It is summer and the sun is setting. The windows are open and there is a light breeze bringing in the scent of blue sky and green grass. They're sitting on the living room couch. Just him and her.

He places his book—or is it a CD case?—down on the table and turns his head slightly. She is dozing, body facing him as she slumps gracefully against the cushions. Patches of sunlight dance on her fair skin, the shadows of her eyelashes deep and long. Her lips are slightly parted as though she forgot to say something. Dark hair flutters against the curve of her cheek, falling on her exposed neck.

Without realizing, his hand is reaching for her, remembering the soft warmth of her skin as he brushed away salty tears. Now he brushes away silky strands from her parted lips.

Her eyes flutter open. She smiles at him directly, dazzlingly. "I had a dream," she murmurs. "It was snowing. We were walking home. You held my hand."

"Can I kiss you?" he asks.

Or maybe he doesn't. But she reads his mind and says, "Yes." Doesn't even blush when his hand slides down the slope of her warm neck and he leans in, eyelids heavy. His other hand grabs the back of the sofa for balance as his lips hover over hers, watching her own eyelids fall shut in anticipation. A part of him wants to take this slowly, cherish every second, every draw of breath, but a larger part of him has been waiting an eternity for this moment, so he closes the remaining distance without another thought and—

He wakes up. The room is dim. He can hear his brother's soft breathing from the bed below.

It is winter and the sun is rising. The dream is still fresh and lingers in his mouth like apple juice, but strangely he is not disappointed. He is hopeful.

The reality will be much better than a dream, he thinks.