Title: Role Reversal
Author: Singing Violin
Series: Drop Dead Diva
Summary: What if it had been Jane who survived…in Deb's body?
One moment she was stepping in front of a gunman, and the next, she found herself waiting in a stuffy office, dressed in a white pants suit. A young, male lawyer entered, holding a case file with her name on it.
This can't be good. I need to get back to the office. They need to know what I discovered during my all-nighter.
"Jane Bingum, right?" the young man asked rhetorically. "My name is Fred. I'll be handling your case." He then sat down at the desk and logged onto the computer.
"My case?" she asked, bewildered. "I'm not suing anyone, and nobody's suing me. Just please, let me get back to the office; there's a client that needs to know…"
"Miss Bingum, that's no longer an option," Fred retorted pleasantly. "You see, you're dead."
"Dead?" Jane breathed. "Call me Jane. And no, that can't be…I have work to do! Please." She thought for a moment, then continued. "This is obviously a dream, one of those near-death experiences people always rave about, that's actually just a side effect of neurons firing out of order, and if I just concentrate, I can wake up." She closed her eyes tightly and attempted to picture the office…her office…the one whose floor she was obviously lying upon…
"No dream…Jane," Fred replied, eyeing a chart on his screen. "But no worries, either…it seems that you've done more than enough good deeds to get into Heaven."
"Heaven?" Jane laughed, opening her eyes and failing to hide her disappointment that her surroundings had not changed. "I don't believe in Heaven, any more than I believe in the Easter Bunny."
Fred eyed her knowingly. "I get a lot of that. Nevertheless, you need not believe in something for it to be true."
"Right, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody's around, it still makes a sound…I'm familiar with the work of George Berkeley. In this case, however, it's my dream, and I will take charge of it." If I can't will myself to wake up, I'll have to redirect the dream.
She looked over at Fred's keyboard and tried to imagine what key she'd have programmed to get out. After all, it was her dream. Just then, she noticed the list of rules posted next to his computer. The last one stated, "Do NOT hit return without authorization." If that wasn't a clue, she didn't know what was.
She reached over and hit return…
…and woke up in a hospital bed. Now, this is more like it.
"Deb!" cried a handsome young man who had obviously been hovering over her for quite some time, as he appeared as tired as she felt. Did he just call me Deb? Who's Deb? Wait, he looks familiar…
"You're Grayson Kent," she remarked, realizing where she'd seen him before. "I inter…"
He interrupted her, "I'm just so glad you're okay." He bent over and kissed her cheek. Okay, that was odd. He hardly knows me…didn't even remember my name.
Just then, she realized there was someone else in the room, a beautiful, thin, blonde twenty-something. The kind of girl who always looked past Jane as if she weren't there. But this one was looking right at her, making eye contact, and…smiling. This is getting weird. That must be Grayson's girlfriend or something. But what are they doing here? Where are my coworkers?
Just then, someone else entered the room, dressed as a nurse. Fred, from my dream? Well, now I know where I came up with him. I must have been semi-conscious here for a while. I wonder how long.
"Excuse me," Fred interjected apologetically. "May I have a moment alone with the patient? We need to, um…run some tests. Miss Dobkins will need her privacy." Miss Dobkins? He must have the wrong chart.
"Of course," answered Grayson. Then he directed his glance towards Jane. "We'll be waiting right outside, sweetie." Sweetie? Maybe I shouldn't have recommended we hire him.
The blonde girl took her hand and squeezed it. "Don't fail," she teased before disappearing behind Grayson. Fail? Is she implying this is the kind of test I'd have studied for? Ridiculous…I've never failed one of those in my life. And obviously it's not one of those tests anyway. Wait, is she THAT dumb that she thinks it'd be one of those tests?
"Miss Dobkins?" Jane asked Fred once the others had gone. "Tests? I don't have time for this. I need to get back to the office. Don't bother with the tests. You've got the wrong patient anyway."
"Slow down, Jane," he answered. Oh, so now he knows who I am? "I've definitely got the right patient. You know, you got me in a lot of trouble. Because I let you escape, I'm relegated to Earth duty."
Jane laughed again. "I know what's going on. I'm still dreaming. This is getting old…I've got to wake up sometime." She closed her eyes again, and after a moment, opened them hopefully.
"Still here," Fred stated matter-of-factly.
"Yes, I can see that," said Jane, sighing. "I've always heard about lucid dreaming, but I never tried it until now. I guess I need more practice."
"You're not dreaming," insisted Fred. "This is it, your life…now. And you're not Jane anymore."
"Now you sound ridiculous," said Jane. "What kind of practical joke is this?"
"It's not," he answered, handing her a mirror. "See for yourself."
She gasped. "I'm…blonde? What is this, did I need a face transplant or something?"
"No," answered Fred. "When you hit the return key, your body was no longer available. You were sent to the nearest available vessel…the body of one Deb Dobkins, recently killed in a car crash."
"I don't believe you," answered Jane. "It's a trick. That's not a real mirror." She ripped out her IV and tried to stand up, hoping to find the nearest shiny object and verify that she was being played.
Woozily, she swayed, and luckily Fred was there to catch her. "You're not quite ready to get up," he explained. "You need to accept the fact that you're Deb now."
She sighed. If this was what her subconscious wanted, then she needed to get through it as quickly as possible. After all, there were clients waiting, and the sooner she could get through the dream, the sooner she could get back to those clients. She wondered idly whether this experience was related to the case, whether she'd wake up and have an insight she hadn't considered. It wouldn't be the first time.
"Okay," she conceded. "Tell me about Deb."