"I'm going to bed early tonight, dad."
"Early? On a Friday night?" John's dad looked up from the newspaper he was reading.
John shrugged and stood up from his spot on the couch, stretching a bit. "Yeah, well I was up late studying for that test last night so I'm pretty tired."
His dad nodded and went back to reading his article on pipe tobacco. "Do you want me to wake you up in the morning before I leave for work?"
John headed towards the stairs. "No, don't worry about it." He put his foot on the first step. "I'll be fine getting up by myself." Second step. "So... g'night!" Third, fourth, fifth, all the way up to the 14th step.
He stepped into his room, shutting the door behind him and flicking on the dim light. Damn, he was going to have to get a new lightbulb soon. Quickly, he stripped out of his jeans and t-shirt, tossing them in the corner without a second thought. He grabbed some pajamas, not paying much attention to exactly what it was he grabbed and threw it on. He hit the light again and sat down on his bed, slipping his glasses of his face and setting them on the nightstand.
With a happy sigh, John layed down. He pulled his blankets over top of him and closed his eyes.
He fell asleep almost at once and woke up not a moment later.
He jumped up, pleased by the familiar sight of his room- his second room as he'd begun calling it. His golden clothes were vibrant as ever, standing out against the blue walls of the room. He wiggled his toes in the thin shoes. They felt more like slippers than anything- very comfortable if you were to ask John. He stepped over to the window, peeking his head out and leaning over the sill a good ways. His grin only grew as he looked over the tall buildings.
This was Prospit. This was John's dream-world.
He'd done a decent amount of googled-research on the place- trying to figure out why he woke up on this planet every night, trying to figure out if he was the only one. He'd gotten a lot of links popping up describing things like 'reoccuring dreams' or 'out of body experiences', but nothing that was really helpful. So the young man had decided to keep his world a secret.
He had convinced himself it was more fun that way anyhow.
John rested his elbows on the window sill, staring off into the gold-painted distance.
Suddenly, a head popped up, effectively blocking his view. "Hey John! Glad to see you're finally asleep!"
John jumped back in surprise, stumbling and falling onto his butt. Really, he had to get used to her sneaking up on him like that. "Oh, hi Jade!" he responded once he'd cleared his thoughts up.
Jade was, as John had deducted, his dream sister. It was only the two of them on Prospit- the only two humans, anyway. There were the odd chess-like people wandering the moon, but they were about as far as human as one could possibly get.
"It took you long enough," Jade said, placing her arms where John had rested his a moment ago. "I've been waiting, you know."
"I can only go to bed so early."
Jade smiled playfully. "I guess so! But come on! You've taken long enough!" She drifted forward slightly and landed elegantly on her dainty feet, leaning down and taking John's hands in her own.
John pulled himself up. "To the moon, then?"
"Where else would we go, you dope?"
John loved flying. He had discovered this very quickly; there was nothing compared to the sensation of having the wind carry you. Maybe when he turned 18, he'd go skydiving in the real world. It was something he had often considered, but even still he had a feeling he would be disappointed.
So he decided he would just enjoy the feeling of actual flight for as long as he could. So the two flew, staying close to the bright chain that connected Prospit to its moon, making idle chat as they did. They landed a few moments later and were greeted by the cheerful, colorfully-dressed people that lived there. One of them offered Jade a newspaper, which she took with a kind "thank you!"
John looked over her shoulder as they walked through the crowded streets. "What does it say?" he asked, unable to read the small print at such an odd angle.
"More about Skaia. It sounds like we're not doin' so hot."
"What about the king? Is he okay?"
Jane said nothing for a moment, her eyes scanning the page quickly. "Well I don't see anything... I'm assuming he's alri- John, are you listening to me?" She turned around, folding up the newspaper. Her hands were placed at her hips. "John!"
The boy had stopped, frozen dead in his tracks a few steps behind her.
Annoyed when she didn't get an answer, Jade stormed over to to him and gave his arm a good punch.
"Did you feel that?" came the slightly dazed reply.
"What? Me punching you in the arm? Not really, but I can do it again if you-"
John shook his head, breaking out of his daze. "No, no not that! ...but really, you didn't have to punch me. It kinda hurt!"
"Sorry," Jade said, not looking at all apologetic. "Now what are you talking about?"
"There was a shake. Not a big one, but it was there. Coming from beneath! Hey, you think there can be an earthquake here? I mean, it's not earth or anything, so..."
"John, you're not funny."
"I'm serious! You didn't feel anything?"
Jade shook her head, giving John an odd look. "No. I didn't. Are you feeling okay?"
John was silent for a moment. "I think so?" He frowned. "I hope so."
Suddenly there was a tremor, one large enough to shake the entire ground and making everyone stumble. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was more than enough to keep everyone on the street freeze in shock afterwords.
There was dead silence as people waited- waited for another tremor, for something else to happen.
And then it came. Perhaps 60 seconds after the first. Another shake, one so powerful it knocked most everyone off their feet- including John. He fell backwards, his head smashing against the stone street.
He woke up back in his bed in Washington, cold sweat on his brow and his hands shaking uncontrollably. "No!" He glanced at his clock, squinting in an attempt to make out the red numbers- 2:42. He still had time to sleep, then. Good. He threw himself back down on his bed and squeezed his eyes shut in an attempt to fall back asleep. But he soon found out that he was too excited to slip back into unconsciousness.
"Shit," he whispered, flipping onto his side. "Shit, shit, shit." He flipped onto his other side. He had to get back and he couldn't fall asleep. In a panic, John reached under his pillow and pulled out his iPod. He set it on his piano playlist and shoved it back beneath the cushion. Then he leaned over the edge and opened up the bottom drawer of his nightstand and pulled out a bottle of nighttime cold medicine.
Desperate times called for desperate measures.
He uncapped the bottle and took a few swigs of the bitter liquid. He'd been told many times not to take it simply to cure insomnia, but just this once wouldn't hurt, he figured.
A very long and anxious 14 minutes later, the medicine finally kicked in and John was once again awake on Prospit.
Everywhere he looked was pure and absolute chaos- people were running screaming, buildings were starting to show signs of crumbling, and everything was shaking awfully. Everything was so hectic, it took the boy a good moment to realize that Jade was leaning over him.
"Oh thank god you're okay!" she exclaimed, pulling him into a hug.
The sudden movement made John's head swim. "Jade... what's going on?" he managed to slur out.
"I don't know," she admitted, looking around worriedly. "But I have a feeling there's nothing we can do about it."
"We should... we should get off the moon."
Jade nodded. "Can you stand?" It was a silly question really; hardly anyone was able to stand on such unstable ground. But if she could get him to stand, she'd be able to get him off the ground and into the air.
"I think so. But I need your help."
Carrefully, Jade stood up and took John's arm in her hands, pulling him up. It was a difficult task, trying to keep them both balanced, but eventually they managed to make it work- Jade standing up as best she could and John draped over her shoulder.
"On the count of three, we take off."
Suddenly the two were up in the air, not by choice, but by a blast that sent them flying back from the moon. The two kids lost their grips on each other and were left reaching for each other as they fell towards Skaia and the battlefield.
And then, everything went black.
Based off of an idea thought up by the wonderful moeartea (tumblr). Hope I do it justice!
Also, this was beta'd only by myself and spell check, so if anyone sees a typo or something, let me know!
This fanfic is also posted on my AO3 account. I'm under the same name there, so check it out!