Dave slowly blinked his eyes open as the strings of his dream were cut and he floated towards consciousness. He shifted his body, feeling the stiff muscles stretch and his joints creak. He was also aware of a heavy weight on his chest.
Dave looked down to see a familiar old and tattered cloak stretched over his body. He propped himself up slightly and picked up the collar of the coat quizzically. Still holding the collar, he looked down to find himself laying on Balthazar's appointed couch.
But if he was here, where was Balthazar?
Dave looked up and his eyes instantly locked onto the prone form of his master. Balthazar was sitting up in the chair Dave remembered being in last. His elbow was on the armrest and supporting his head. The sorcerer's eyes were closed in sleep.
Dave's wondering stare remained on Balthazar's face until he put the pieces of the puzzle together. A warm smile crept across his lips at the hypothesis he came up with for the reason why he had been sleeping on the couch and then waking to find his master facing him; asleep on the chair.
Then he frowned as a cold fear took his heart. He pulled his arm out from under the coat and stared down at the watch.
7:52. He was going to be late for class.
Dave ripped the coat off and jumped up from the couch.
He stumbled around his "lab," grabbing his bag and throwing the supplies and notes he needed for class, no longer aware of his master's presence in the room.
Satisfied he had everything he needed, Dave trotted past Balthazar towards the stairs.
He turned back to face his master, his eyes shifting from the coat strewn on the floor to the man sleeping on the chair.
With a sigh, Dave walked back to the couch and retrieved the coat. Balthazar would kill him if he woke to find his favored coat lying on the dirty stoned floor.
"Um, thanks for this," Dave muttered as he draped the coat over the back of the chair. During the day, the lab warmed nicely and Balthazar would be more comfortable without it.
He was ready to rush out again when his gaze flickered down to the Incantus still open on the desk. The Dream Giver spell gazed back at him.
Dave's brow furrowed in thought as he returned to the dreams he had had during the night.
At first there had been nothing. But then a spark lit up the dark and two gleaming eyes glared at Dave. Then Dave was running from the dragon he had faced before in Chinatown. No matter where he ran to or where he hid, the dragon always found him, burning down any potential places of shelter or items for weapons.
Dave had tried to fight back. He had tried to use his magic but his ring was missing. He was defenseless. So he ran on and on, crying out for the help of his master but finding no aid.
And then he was trapped. The road simply ended and all obstacles faded. A sinister darkness wafted towards Dave like a cloud, swallowing everything else until it was just him and the dragon floating in the dark. The dragon inhaled and opened its mouth to release a stream of fire.
Dave covered his face.
Suddenly his teacher was calling him.
Dave lowered his arms to find himself standing in a quiet classroom at the front of the class. His experiment hummed in preparation beside him. The class waited with excited eyes and at the front of his audience, was Becky.
His teacher bade him to carry out his experiment and Dave did so successfully. To his surprise, he received a hearty applause and a standing ovation that Becky started. Dave smiled and waved and then it was over.
Dave blinked and found that he was still staring down at the spell book. His mind working to complete this newest puzzle, Dave slowly transferred his gaze to Balthazar.
It was a good thing his mind was designed to come up with answers.
"Thanks," Dave said with new sincerity.
It seemed like Balthazar was still saving him; this time from his own dreams.
"Allow me to return the favor."
Dave moved to stand before his master. He closed his eyes and recreated the image of a face he had seen only once. Concentrating diligently, Dave morphed together several images as he started to hum a song aloud.
He touched two fingers to his forehead and then moved his hands to touch Balthazar's.
"Just imagine that you're sending one of those text things to another phone. You write it, push send, and direct the message where to go."
He wasn't sure why the instructions suddenly came to mind - especially since it hadn't been in the spell book - but Dave listened to the advice and obeyed.
He felt the images and music swirl in his own mind and then willed the completed dream to pass from his consciousness and into Balthazar's.
Dave gave a gasp and opened his eyes as he felt the dream he had created ebb out of his mind. At the same time, Balthazar released a sign of content and settled more comfortingly in the chair, his furrowed brow softening and the tired haggardness that shadowed his features lifting.
"Now we're even," Dave smiled. He patted Balthazar's shoulder lightly and headed quietly for the door. He placed his hand on the knob and looked back at his sleeping master.
"See you after school. Sweet dreams."
And then he was gone, closing the door silently behind him.
It wasn't much, but compared to the usual dreams, it was heaven.
Dressed in a simple outfit of black slacks and a loose shirt - and a strange black tie that flickered in and out of sight - Balthazar moved gracefully around the circle of marbled floor.
There was nothing else around them, no ceiling, no walls; only the music that seemed to drift to his ears from the darkness around him. It was the same song playing over and over but he paid it little attention.
His focus was on the woman in his arms, swaying with him to the sound of the music, her black hair swinging with the gentle motion of her hips, her lips curved in a smile, and her deep eyes never breaking contact with Balthazar's. A white dress clung to her body as her feet padded noiselessly in a pair of black slippers.
They danced in slow circles around the border of the dance floor, the song endlessly going on.
Not bad for a first try. The dream needed some work but he didn't worry about it now. Having his beloved Veronica dancing in his arms was enough. He didn't need the finer details.
He'd have to thank the kid later for this one.
And it is complete.
Thank you all for reading and your wonderful reviews that make every story worth writing.
Keep reading and hope to hear from you in the future.
(P.S. so you don't sue me, only the plot and words spoken are mine in this fic. Dave and Balthazar belong to the mind of a different creator. Just thought you should know.)