Disclaimer: Don't own it.

The Same, But Different

On Monday night, it's her house she's in. In her sleep she's tossing and turning, but in her dream she's wide awake. She steps through the rooms, looking left and right. She sees the clock on the mantle and the pictures on the wall. Everything is in its place. But something feels odd; a draught, although there's no open window, a feeling of clutter although everything's tided away, something that's misplaced that she can't quite put her finger on. Things are the same, but different.

On Tuesday night, her dreams take her to the office. Loker is in the lab, Heidi's at her desk, Cal's in his office. She's shuffling through papers, her computer screen is glowing, she can hear chatter outside. But there's something she's feeling that she can't quite explain; like everyone knows a secret that they're just not telling, like there's something important she should be doing even though her diary is blank, like something's about to happen and she doesn't know what. Things are the same, but different.

On Wednesday, she's back at home, in the house she grew up in. Her stuffed animals are lined up on the bed, there's a book on the bedside table, her clothes are hanging in the wardrobe. She runs her finger along the desk, looks out the window at the familiar sight of the sprawling lawn, lays her head on the pillow and finds the crack on the ceiling that she always used to stare at when she couldn't sleep. But the door is ajar although she's certain she closed it, there are voices downstairs that don't sound familiar, and the walls are ever so slightly the wrong shade of lilac. Things are the same, but different.

Dream interpretation has always fascinated her; other people's dreams, that is. Uncovering what their subconscious is trying to tell them, delving deeper into their psyche, analysing the messages that come to them in their slumbers… she loves it. But her own dreams she keeps locked away. It doesn't take a genius to know what her recurring dream of Cal being shot in front of her is all about, nor the dream she used to have as a child of bottles smashing around her head while in the background she heard her father shouting words she was never allowed to use. Most of the time, she ignores her dreams – they're usually just an amalgamation of what she's been thinking that day, a jumbled film of people she's met or things that are on her mind, or confused plots that resemble films she's just seen or books she's just read.

She questions this one, though. Perhaps because it's happening so much, perhaps because it's more puzzling. She doesn't want to think about it, but she can't stop; because she's the person who knows the answers, who solves the problems, who completes the challenges.

She thinks about her life, mulling over the various components as she sips her morning coffee. She tries to see a shift in the pattern, spot spikes in the imaginary graph she's drawing in her head, pinpoint when and where and how something started to change. She thinks about the evenings she spends at Cal's house, how these days there are fewer papers strewn on the coffee table, and more empty bottles of wine. She thinks about how the length of their embraces is growing a little longer, how the friendly kisses are becoming a little more frequent, how the smiles are a little wider. She thinks about how things are the same. But different.