Staring at the aftermath of yesterday's battle, Dexter gave a drawn-out sigh. Various robot parts, panels of the ceiling, wiring, and lighting littered the floor of his lab. He wished Mandark had chosen a more judicious method of invading, but then again it's not like either of them was about to change their habits.

"It's always inopportune for me, but not for him..." The redhead grumbled as he began collecting the scattered nuts and bolts. "My robot army, my ceiling, and my Computer … and this entire mess I have to clean up on my own!"

He was about to continue his ramble when his boot caught on something and tripped him. Dexter landed ungracefully on his behind, his shoe twisted in a knot of red fabric.


He pulled off the fabric and unraveled it. "His cape. Now I have to return his stupid cape to him too?" The genius grumbled, throwing it unceremoniously onto a random desk. "I really don't have the time for this…" He muttered, rolling up his sleeves as he began the painful and arduous task of fixing his laboratory. "But I think I will pay Mandark a visit later…"

Mandark had been unable to go to sleep that night, and had been tossing and turning restlessly. It wasn't until the early morning hours that he finally fell into a peaceful sleep, once he popped a melatonin pill.

It wasn't typical for Mandark to dream. Usually he woke up with vague fragments of his dream tugging at his consciousness, but he could never piece them together to form a cohesive thought.

In truth, he was apathetic towards dreams and even towards nightmares; as far as he was concerned, there was no need to fear the subconscious because he would always wake up in the safety of his bed in (relative) normalcy. There was just a strange feeling that accompanied the first moments of wakefulness, as though he had been forcefully removed from a separate world and thrust into reality without any warning.

Increasingly, there were mornings when he'd wake up and would lie for a few moments in bed before getting up to face the day, staring at the ceiling listlessly. There wasn't any real basis behind it as far as he could tell - he wasn't depressed or unhappy, and he never had any overwhelming responsibilities that he would be reluctant to face. This behaviour certainly deviated from his normal self pre-puberty, where he would be up at the break of dawn tinkering away at his laboratory and making himself busy as a bee.

Still, these few moments weren't enough to interfere with his day to day activities, and he brushed it off as increased lethargy due to the onset of adolescence. There wasn't any need to worry as long as he could be productive, and it was much better than becoming one of those teenagers who were in bed until noon.

The day after the failed lab invasion, he found that he could recall one, just one, extraordinarily vivid detail of his dream.



Judicious - Having, showing, or done with good judgment or sense; ie prudent

Inopportune - Not opportune; occurring at an inconvenient time; not appropriate

Unceremonious - Having or showing a lack of formality
Arduous - Involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring

Cohesive /Cohesion - the act or state of sticking together tightly

Apathetic - Showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern

Deviate - Depart from an established course/ or acceptable standards

Wow. So, surprisingly, I'm not quite dead yet. I'm a college student now, so I guess that's why I stopped writing. Normally people expect college students to write a whole lot. But for me, it's pretty much just been one essay once in a blue moon. Ironic, right? I think so.

Reading over this (and my other fanfics) makes me nostalgic for the good ol' days. I guess that's why I'm submitting this at all. I'm honestly really flattered whenever I get an email that says someone reviewed one of my stories or even is following it when it's been approximately 2 years (again, wow) since the last update. And, I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bit proud of this work. It's no novel, but I think it's at least decent writing for a girl who was like, 16 years old at the time.

I do have a winter break coming up, and I'm honestly not sure if I will update this story further or not in that time. But it's highly likely that I'll try. It's a good way to brush up on vocabulary, and I still love this couple (total guilty pleasure). Positive encouragement does help me along though, if it weren't for the email alerts telling me about the reviews and follows, then this fic would probably be completely dead. (And I mean, completely. You know those fics that haven't been updated since like, 2005? Like that, but in several more years.)

I missed fanfiction. It's silly at times, but it definitely helps for people who have issues making up their own original characters. I hope you liked this installment. I'll try and post again in maybe 2 weeks, although I have a ton of stuff to do on the 21st so maybe I'll shoot for the 20th ish. Depends on how much privacy I get too, since my parents peek over at my laptop when I'm at home (Eyeroll)