If I Could Be In Your Dream

Nearly Famous | Owen/Lila | PG | ~1,141

They spend the weekend sitting on her floor, drinking tea and eating toast and talking about everything and nothing.

A/N: Post-finale. Written for bloodbelieve who's responsible for my love of this show. Title from Jump5's 'Just a Dream'.

(He leaves and she stays and it should be the end except that love's never that easy.)

Lila hangs out with Kate and Joe, calls her mum though she doesn't pick up, and writes stories that have Jen avoiding her eyes; she wonders if that's because her heartbreak's bleeding through the pages or because Jen never honestly believed Matt's pleads of innocence, not really, but it's not like it matters either way.

Sometimes, when it's closer to dawn than dusk and she's huddled under her duvet and forgetting sleep, she texts him. Just short, simple messages about her day: Kate's been chosen to perform at the next show and I think Joe has a crush on a cellist and I wore two different shoes today but I don't think anyone noticed.

He doesn't text back but she likes to think he gets them anyway.

Everything seems a little less bright without Owen around, and she knows she's not the only one that feels it; Kate gets this look sometimes, like she's remembering something meant for someone else, and Joe just misses his friend – his best friend – the only person who'd reached out to him and helped him feel like maybe he could belong.

Lila misses all those things too, but most of all she misses something she never got to have.

She doesn't text him when she's been drinking.

It's a rule she set herself straight away; she doesn't drink that much anymore anyway – too many bad experiences and not enough good ones – but even if she's only had a few, it still wouldn't be fair on either of them.

Lila wants to tell him she misses him but it'd only make everything worse.

(She doesn't know how it could get any worse, but life's taught her there's always a way.)

"Are you sure you don't want to come?" Kate asks, squeezing her hand gently, and Lila smiles and shakes her head, hugs Kate close and presses a kiss to her cheek before throwing her arms around Joe's shoulders.

"It won't be as much fun without you," Joe says, and Lila smiles.

"You'll have a fantastic time," she says. "Send me a postcard."

Kate laughs. "We're only going for two days!"

"So?" Lila says, and waves them off enthusiastically, hugging her cardigan to herself tightly as the car disappears.

She gets out her phone and calls her mum, leaves an answer phone message telling her she loves her and misses her and hopes she's okay, and then sends Owen a text even though she's not hidden in darkness where she can pretend it's not real.

Kate and Joe have gone to Cardiff for the weekend. I miss them already.

She stays outside until her hands have gone numb and the cold's seeped into her skin, and then she goes back to her room and curls up in bed even though it's barely five o'clock.

She doesn't sleep but at least this way she can pretend the time's moving faster.

She wakes up to find him sitting on her bed, and for a moment she thinks she's still dreaming.

"Hey," he says, soft smile caught at the corner of his lips as his hand runs through his hair.

"Owen," she says quietly, and then she's flinging her arms around him and pulling him close, breathing him in as he laughs and holds her back.

"I missed you," he says, and maybe it's okay when he's the one that says it first.

They spend the weekend sitting on her floor, drinking tea and eating toast and talking about everything and nothing.

Owen's not happy but he's okay, and that's not so scary when he's right next to her, his thigh pressed against hers and his breath brushing hair away from her face every time he turns to say something.

He breaks off a conversation halfway through to kiss her softly, like she'll break or he will, and then starts talking again with a smile. Lila twists her fingers through his and folds herself into him and it's all a dream even though it's reality.

"I have to go," he says, and she can feel her slowly mending heart start to crack and fade.

"No-" she begins, but he cuts her off.

"I have work tomorrow," he says, "and besides, Joe and Kate get back soon, right?"

"They'll want to see you," Lila says desperately, "you know they will. They'll be furious if they find out you were here and didn't wait for them."

"I know," Owen says, smiling sadly, and Lila wants to cry but there was too much of that last time and she doesn't want him to think of her like that again.

"I don't want to say goodbye," she says, biting her lip hard enough to taste blood.

"Oh God," Owen says, "Lila, no. It's not- It's not goodbye. It's, I don't know, a new start?"

She frowns. "I don't understand."

"I'm not going to disappear again," he says. "I got a job in town working at a small recording studio." He smiles, brushing his thumb across her cheek gently. "I do want to see Kate and Joe just, not yet. Not until I'm settled. Not until I've worked out what I'm going to say."

"You're staying?" Lila says, because the words don't seem real, are too like the dreams she's been replaying for months, and she's so scared that she's going to wake up soon.

"I'm staying," he says. "I thought I was, I don't know, doing the right thing by leaving? But, I guess I've always been selfish." He closes his eyes and takes a shaky breath, and when he looks at her it's with a startling intensity. "And besides, you didn't forget me."

"Never," she says, wrapping her arms around his neck and resting their foreheads together. "Never, ever, ever."

She's crying now even though she promised herself she wouldn't, but it's okay because he's crying too, and he's staying, and they'll have a hundred more moments and memories and images of each other so it doesn't matter. Not at all.

"You're worth everything," she whispers, and hears how much he loves her in the catch of his breath.

"How was your weekend?" Joe asks, handing her a paper bag full of blank postcards with a smile.

"Great," she says, "really, fantastically, awesomely great."

Kate throws her a cautiously pleased glance and Lila thinks of how she'll look when she sees Owen again, how Joe will look, and feels happiness swell over her.

She takes out her phone and doesn't care about hiding.

I miss you, she says.

She only has to wait thirty seconds before the screen lights up.

I'll see you soon.

She smiles, following her friends inside, and feels her heart threading itself back together.