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Still Remembering Dreaming

Part Three

Elsewhere (the place between dimensions, belonging to no realm)

The pair of beings occupying the place between realms performed the actions equivalent to blinking, yawning, and stretching the kinks out of their joints. Of course, it wasn't quite the same action as it would have been had it been taken by a mortal human, but it filled the same niche. Thoughts were passing through their minds, quicksilver streams of consciousness, far more – it could be argued – efficient than the same process in a human brain. This being true or not, the beings shared many of their thoughts, whether dreamt up individually or not.

Everything has its time, and everything dies. But it was not the time for this mortal to pass from this current existence to the next, not yet. Not just now, and not for a good while yet (all things being favourable).

The pair of immortal, unearthly beings came to a decision; or rather, they reached the point where a decision made long ago only now came into immediate effect.

It was time for the circle to join its ends, for the end to meet the beginning, for dusk to meet dawn. It was time for despair to meet hope, for anguish to bloom into jubilation.

Through an act of pure, untainted will, the two individuals activated the ancient net of accumulated magics, the web that had been put into place an eternity ago, in case of mishap, or in case of the precise set of circumstances – circumstances predicted long ago, along with the exact probability of the occurrence of such – that were now unfolding in the world viewed by the pair.

It was time for a renewal, for a rebirth.

Life flowed on, and intertwined with it, travelled some of the oldest forces in all the known dimensions. Magic, and hope, and faith, and prayer, and belief. And, because it can never be truly denied, not by a single being that was ever born or created, but only temporarily avoided, death also flew on silent wings.

And the pair of beings watched, and they waited, patiently, knowing that all things must happen sometime and they had but to wait to see their actions come into effect. Actions that they had always known would be taken, whatever thoughts, whatever contradictions, may have once whisked across their minds in the space of less than a nanosecond.

Because realms that have been forsaken, even temporarily, by their monarchs are never the same. Because abandoned children need someone to lead them, and because children are always able to tell when something is missing, even when they don't know just what it is. Because heroes always return, just when they are needed most.

And because even otherworldly, unearthly, supernatural, paranormal beings, hailing from a dimension that is neither here nor there, enjoy a happy ending.

Earth (known to some as the "real world")

The room was all but quiet, hushed voices not daring to speak above a whisper, and the restless movements of limbs gone to sleep suffering in silence through the accompanying pins and needles, not daring to create disturbance. Yawns, growing increasingly common as the evening wore on, were stifled by pale, oft-shaking hands, their owners not wishing disrespect but unable to prevent the signs of exhaustion.

The watch of the family members that the room contained looked to be on the verge of becoming a vigil, extending throughout the night. At that thought, the room's inhabitants could not help but feel a brief flicker of disappointment, immediately extinguished by remembrance of what the end of the vigil would mean.

The single doctor was present only for the purpose of formality, there being no cure for old age. Individuals would at intervals vacate the room, returning with a great relief of pressure on the bladder, or with a new round of coffee, or with quickly transferred information as to the status of various young children. But on the whole, the room was undisturbed by noise.

The sun had set, and the atmosphere had long since settled into a sense of serene calm, patiently awaiting the inevitable, when the figure laying weakly on the bed stirred. Looking disturbingly frail, he didn't quite wake, but his eyelids fluttered, and his hand, resting on the blanket, crept briefly, haltingly, into the air before flopping limply back down. Even that slight movement attracted the entirety of the available attention, a few eyes flitting towards the doctor, who merely shook his head.

He's not waking; not coming out of it.

The old man in the bed didn't move again, his chest moving up and down, incrementally providing proof of continued existence, second by second, breath by breath. No one else moved, hardly dared to breathe, listening tensely to the rasping sounds of the old man clinging to life, all former calm fled. In and out, in and out, the air went, in his nose, down his trachea, into his lungs and passing through the alveoli into his bloodstream, and all the way back out. Up and down his chest moved, tiny fractions of movement.

Up and down, in and out, up and down, in and out. Mesmerising. In and out, up and down. The tiny little flutters continued, somehow managing to find the strength.

And then they didn't.

Neverland (the land of the dreams of children; everlasting realm of youth)

At much the same time, or near enough, in a dimension just the other side of morning, something of the opposite nature was occurring. A new Lost Boy was opening his eyes. And yet, he wasn't new at all, really, but, somehow, more like the original.

And Tinkerbell felt a fragile, long-silent bond flicker into vibrant life. Her eyes filled with hope, and faith, and an absolute, wonderful certainty.