A/N: This was the prologue to another idea that I had. I haven't given up on it yet, but the warning I've given in all my fics still stands - I've got a lot going on right now that makes evening turning on my computer a virtual impossibility. I keep up with the longhand, but that doesn't do you much good, does it? I want you to like this (of course) but it would be unfair of me to post without warning you ahead of time that updates will be few and far between. Still, I hope this gets your creative juices flowing...


December 2010

It was just a dream.

She whispered the words to herself as she gripped the chains binding her to the bed tighter – squeezing them until she felt the tension cut into her wrist, felt the first trickle of blood.

"It won't do you any good." The voice that emerged from the darkness that seemed to surround her seemed almost amused by her struggled, which only made things that much more frightening.

"Who the fuck are you?" She yelled into the darkness, panic forcing her eyes right and left as she searched frantically for some clue into the secret identity of her kidnapper.

"A ghost," the voice replied from somewhere in front of her.


She screamed as his warm breath brushed against her ear, her scream rising in volume as his warm chuckle moved down her neck.

"See," he stated conversationally, his fingers appearing in her line of sight. She tried to turn her head – to look at his face – but she was suddenly frozen, only her eyes able to move, only able to track those fingers as they brushed almost casually – too familiarly – down the front of her blouse.

"That's what I like about you, Kira," he stated, undoing those first few buttons. "You've got spirit."

"Fuck you!" She snapped, her gut sinking with the certainty of what was about to happen. "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!"

His chuckle – raspy and so effin' amused with himself at the futility of her struggles – sounded, grating across her ear drums like sandpaper on wood.

"Kira, sweetie," he murmured, swinging one leg over her torso as he settled himself on top of her, teeth shining white on his impossible face. "That's the point."

She gaped up at him, frozen for one long moment before she let her breath out in a shaky sigh.

"I'm dreaming." It was both relieving and terrifying – what possible part of her subconscious would dredge up this terrible little game and think it into a dream? – and relieving because…it was just a dream.

"You're dead," she murmured, staring up at his familiar features, into his familiar blue eyes.

"For now," the boy agreed amicably. "But I'm hoping you'll help me change that."

She laughed again – it was shaky but at least it was real.

"Chase, baby, I'm good, but even I'm not that good."

"You're perfect," Chase replied, his fingers making quick work of the rest of the buttons of her shirt, easily separating the sides and baring her to his gaze.

She thought his eyes were fixated on her breasts and felt a flush of pleasure at the thought of him finding her attractive.

"So, so, perfect," he murmured, his lips wet against her stomach, his breath warm, his eyes moving up until they met hers.

"Do you want to play a game?" He asked suddenly, his chin shifting to rest on her stomach as he peered up at her.

"What sort of game?" She asked, curious despite herself.

"A fun one," he replied, reaching over to wave a hand over her wrists. The chains disappeared and the wounds on her wrists instantly closed.

Moving her arms down to his head, she chalked it up the innate magic of dreams and ran her fingers through his hair, openly curious now that she understood she was in the safety of a dream.

"How fun?" She asked, a teasing smile – a lovers smile – teasing the corners of her lips.

"The most fun," Chase replied, crawling sinuously up her body, brushing skin against skin until he was resting his weight on top of her, his legs separating her own as his lips traveled up over her collar bone, up her neck, across her cheek, and over to her ear.

"The first rule is simple," he murmured, his hands resting lightly on her waist, his thumbs stroking a sensuous rhythm into her skin that – combined with his weight – had her back arching.

"Wh-what is it?" She asked, stuttering a little as he shifted, pressing harder against her.

"The first rule," Chase's hands left her waist and traveled to her wrists, grabbing them and pinning them above her head too fast for her to comprehend. "Do what I say."

"Okay," her heart gave a sharp thump against her ribs, some of her unease returning until she reminded herself that this was all a dream – the speed of his movements, the very fabric of this world – none of it followed the rules of reality.

"The second rule," Chase shifted on top of her and she realized – with a start – that they were both naked. She blinked in shock, her eyes instinctively traveling downwards over the vast expanse of skin on skin until Chase set his teeth gently into her neck.

She hissed, the sound ending in a low moan as his tongue darted out to sooth the small wound.

"Pay attention, Kira," he admonished, his tone reproachful. "This is very important – you need to understand the rules of this game or we can't play. And you want to play, don't you?"

"Uh, huh," Kira nodded her head, her eyes practically rolling back as he moved his legs to separate hers just a little bit more.

"Good girl," Chase murmured appreciatively before continuing on. "The second rule is simple – keep your eyes on mine. Can you do that?"

His face drifted in her line of sight and she fixated on his baby-blue gaze, her head nodding frantically, her chest practically heaving as her desire rose along with her heartbeat.

"Good, good, girl," Chase praised her and she whimpered as he shifted his body lower so all the important parts were lined up.

"Kira," Chase chastised and she realized she'd closed her eyes at the same time she realized he'd stopped moving. She opened her eyes and he smiled at her.

"There's one more rule, Kira," Chase stated. "Do you think you can follow one more rule?"

Anything, she thought to herself as she nodded her head frantically in reply, words completely lost to her.

"The third rule," Chase started to push forward and Kira groaned, her eyes locked with his as her body strained against his sudden invasion.

"The third rule," Chase grunted out, his breathing fast and hard as he seated himself all the way inside, his eyes locked on hers. "Don't scream."

Given what he was doing, she thought the hardest rule to follow would be the third. And then he started to really move and she really didn't think she'd be able to follow the third rule until, just as they were about to finish, his eyes changed.

She wasn't a virgin by any means – she'd had her fair share of guys. She knew the 'I'm-about-to-come' face. She knew that cross-eyed 'God, baby' expression like the back of her hand, so when a guys eyes changed, she knew what was about to come.

But Chase…his eyes didn't cross, didn't go hazy, didn't blink – his eyes went dead black.

"So good," he murmured and suddenly it wasn't his face but an old mans and suddenly the hard flesh was like fucking a sponge – moist and dead, slagging at her skin.

Slamming her eyes shut and opening her mouth she broke all three rules even as her body went soaring over the edge – and so was he…

"Kira!" She opened her eyes and rolled away from the voice out of an instinct she didn't recognize as her own.

"Kira!" The voice repeated, hands reaching for her. She held her breath as the first appeared in her line of sight – for some unfathomable reason she was expecting to see liver spots – but instead she saw smooth skin and the glint of a familiar ring.

"Aaron?" She murmured, rolling onto her opposite side to face her husband, blinking in sleepy eyed confusion at his concerned face. "What time is it?"

"Four thirty," Aaron replied, frowning down at her. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Kira replied, frowning at him, her eyes already starting to drift shut once more. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"You were screaming," Aaron replied with concern.

"Must have been having a bad dream," Kira yawned at him, her eyes shutting, sleep pulling at her once more.

"Are you okay?" Aaron asked again, reaching over to pull her close to him, peering down at her carefully, some of his tension dissipating when she showed no outward signs of trauma only cuddling closer to him.

"Fine," she murmured in reply before her breathing evened out signaling her re-entrance into the land of dreams.

He stayed awake for a few minutes longer, listening to her breath and waiting for the screams once more but all remained quiet until he finally drifted off after her.

"How sweet." Nobody heard the voice – the speaker wasn't even sure he heard himself – but the sentiment was sour on his face as he watched the sleeping couple.

"Sweet dreams, Kira, baby," he murmured, his eyes drifting down her form, landing on her stomach, his lips tilting upwards at the corners. "I'll be seeing you again before you know it."

He laughed as he disappeared, so caught up in his own melodramatics that he missed the slight shiver of the female in the bed.

It would have pleased him immensely to know that his presence could still be felt even after having been dead for almost six years now.

January 2011

"How far?" The doctor frowned at Sarah and her husband – Caleb – feeling more than slightly confused by their pale faced shocked expressions.

"No more than five weeks," he replied, pointing at the fetus on the screen. "See? The growth span is just about right for that time frame."

"The end of November, then," Sarah stated, watching Caleb carefully. Dimly – distantly – in the back of her mind she was aware of the voices whispering, telling her she should be happy. But it was so unexpected and they'd been expecting to have so much more time and the others…

God, the others.

Tyler had just gotten married and Reid was still getting over his last break-up and Pogue…

Pogue'll be thrilled, she thought tiredly to herself. He and Annie have been wanting a baby for almost a year now.

"I can see you aren't exactly thrilled by the news," the doctor interrupted her thoughts and she blinked at him in surprise. "There are options…"

"Options?" There might as well have been a big giant sign stamped on her forehead - Does Not Compute – so it wasn't until the doctor placed the brochure for early termination in her hands that it registered.

"You think…oh god. Oh God. I think I'm going to – " She was on her feet, racing for the door and disappearing in the direction the bathroom before she could even think to finish the sentence.

"We would never do that," Caleb informed the doctor, his lip curled in distaste as he glared at the discarded packet mentally debating whether or not it would be worth it to burn the damn thing.

"I'm sorry," the doctor apologized, feeling immensely relieved. He always hated it when people made that decision – life was precious and new life moreso than any other. "I just assumed…most parents are thrilled."

"We're just surprised," Caleb offered as an explanation, running a hand through his hair and sending it sticking straight up in rough spikes. "We just graduated and I just got into law school…we wanted kids we just didn't expect to have them so soon."

It made since, though. The Covenant's almost always reproduced young thanks to the addiction of using. Survival instinct, he supposed.

Sarah returned from the bathroom, pale faced and smelling faintly of sick but he hugged her to him anyways while the doctor gave them all the information they needed before sending them out to the receptionist to make another appointment in six weeks.

"We have to call the others," Sarah stated, buckling herself into their car as Caleb turned over the engine.

"Yeah," he agreed absently, staring off into the distance for a long moment.

"Hey," he spoke, breaking the silence and drawing her back from where her thoughts had been racing, trying to find the best way to break the news to the others.

Pogue, she decided with a quick nod. We'll start with him and work our way down from there.

"Hmmm?" She responded to Caleb, blinking as she turned to look at him. He reached over, gently grabbing her hand in his own and running his thumb across the back of it as he slowly smiled at her.

"We're having a baby." She blinked at him, about ready to open her mouth and say 'no shit, Sherlock' but then it hit her.

"Oh my god," she blinked at him, her mouth opening in a small 'o' of surprise before a sudden smile broke out across her face. "I'm going to be a mom. Holy shit."

"We're going to be parents," Caleb stated, smiling widely. "This is awesome."

"Totally," Sarah agreed with a little laugh, leaning over to brush a kiss across his lips, her eyes dancing. "I love you."

"God I love you, too," Caleb whispered against her lips before losing himself in the moment, in the kiss, in her.

"Congratulations," Reid grunted as Tyler settled himself on the stool next to him.

"Shouldn't you be home with your wife making babies?" Reid replied snidely, flicking a peanut over behind the bar and ignoring the annoyed look the bartender shot his way.

"We've got time," Tyler replied with a shrug of his shoulders.

"One year," Reid replied, not feeling the least bit happy or relieved at the extra time. It seemed more like a looming presence than a welcome grace period.

"You'll find somebody, man," Tyler clapped a hand on his shoulder. "You always do."

"One night stands who aren't fit company for the monkey's at the zoo let alone fit enough to be mothers," Reid replied, shelling another peanut with angry ferocity before tossing the shell on the floor and the nuts back behind the bar.

"Would it kill you to eat one?" Tyler watched the process with fond exasperation and Reid paused in his actions long enough to five his friend an irritated look.

"If you're going to be a pain in the ass be it somewhere else," Reid snapped at him and Tyler held up his hands in surrender, expression shifting so fast Reid couldn't keep track.

"Hey, whatever man. You want to keep killing yourself, be my guest."

So it was going to turn into one of those lectures.

If it wasn't 'Quit Whoring Around' it was 'Quit Using'.

"Fuck you."

"Gladly," Tyler replied angrily, leaving his seat and disappearing out the door as silently as he had come in.

"A little harsh, weren't you?"

Reid grunted at the woman who had slid into Tyler's vacated seat.

"Not interested," he informed her tersely.

"Please," the woman snorted – such an unladylike and rough sound he found himself curiously glancing up. "Like I'd date you."

"What's wrong with me?" Reid asked, wincing even before the question was finished.

Oh man – open a can of worms, why don't you?

She laughed instead and it was a beautiful sound – full of life and genuine joy and so pure he blinked.

"Reid Garwin," he offered impulsively, extending his hand and studying her neutrally, head cocked to the side as he assessed.

"Carly Malone," she replied, taking his hand in her own.

Chipped nail polish, just like –

He cut the thought off, smiling at Carly widely in pre-emptive defense, already setting out to distract himself in someone else to forget about her.

"So, Carly," Reid asked the pretty blonde. "What brings you to a bar at two o'clock in the afternoon?"

"Not the company, that's for sure," was her smart-ass reply and the her was suddenly a lot easier to push aside.

"Aw, come on," Reid cajoled with a grin. "You can do a lot worse than me."

"Wow, with a come-on like that, I'm surprised woman don't just flock to you."

"Jealous?" She laughed again and Reid's smile widened.

Laugh some more, he thought to himself as he leaned closer and she unconsciously echoed the gesture. I could just fall into that laugh...