Sue Wells did a wonderful job with this one. I just couldn't resist putting it in with the rest of the chapters. Now if only she'd finish her OTHER stories. *wink*

Chapter 12.5: Only in Your Dreams (by Sue Wells)


Jim watched as his father quietly closed the door. He rolled over and promptly fell asleep. Hours later, he awoke. Disoriented, he glanced around the unfamiliar room, boosting his vision to note the details. The sparsely-furnished room had white walls with a couple of posters of half-forgotten teen idols and football pennants. One corner of the room had a tiny student's desk with an ancient computer on top.

The bed felt wrong, too, too small and stiff. *Where am I...? Oh, yeah, Dad's place. My old room, in fact. I wonder...* Jim leaned half out of bed, letting his hands touch the floor to support him. His head dangled mere inches from the floor, giving him an excellent view of underneath the bed.

Reaching with one hand, he pushed a box out of the way and snagged a soft, stuffed object. He shifted back up, resettling himself on the bed and stared at his prize: a nine-inch stuffed Gonzo, complete with a large, crooked nose and wide, staring plastic eyes. He self-consciously slipped Gonzo under the covers and tried to get back to sleep. He was NOT going to listen for his father's heartbeat, as he did with Blair's. In the absence of his roommate, Gonzo would have to do.

"Give me that!" Something was tugging on the sleeve of his sweatshirt.

"Shhh! You'll wake him up!" another voice half-chirped from his right-hand side.

Jim cracked his eyes open and saw long blonde tresses with pink ears!? peeking out from the hair at odd angles. He rubbed his eyes. "Miss Piggy?"

"See, I told you," Kermit said to the afore-mentioned pig, who was still pulling determinedly at Jim's sleeve.

"But it's mine and I want it back!" Miss Piggy harrumphed and pulled again.

"Wait a minute!" Gonzo suddenly appeared from under the covers. "When were you in the Army, Piggy?"

Miss Piggy glared at Gonzo and said, airily, "MOI entertained the troops at last year's USO tour. I was fantastic, and the grateful men in uniform gave me a memento, a sweatshirt. THIS one!" She heaved again on the sleeve.

"Are you sure, Piggy? It looks a little" - Kermit coughed, politely - "er, large."

"Hey," Gonzo glanced at the sweatshirt. "Maybe it IS yours, after all, then. I'll help you reclaim it, Piggy."

Much to Jim's annoyance, Gonzo started yanking the opposite sleeve. "Now, wait just a minute," Jim growled, entering the conversation. He sat up in bed. "This is MY sweatshirt." He firmly folded his arms in classic closed-mind body language.

His actions sent Miss Piggy and Gonzo flying off the bed as they lost their grips on the sleeves. Gonzo landed on his nose, with a distinctly nasal-sounding "Ouch!" and Miss Piggy fell in an undignified heap on her derriere.

She hastily rose to her feet and stomped a high-heeled hoor. "Well!" she said, frostily, "you, sir, are NOT a gentleman!" She thrust her hand out imperiously at arm's length. "Come, Kermie!" She commanded. "We are leaving this, this - philistine!"

Kermit hopped down from the bed and gallantly offered Miss Piggy his arm. She took it and they swept away in grandeur, the effect marred slightly by Miss Piggy's slamming the door shut behind them.

Jim stared at the closed door for a moment, then sank down into bed and fell back asleep.

Just after dawn, William Ellison tip-toed into his son's room and checked on the sleeping Sentinel. His foot brushed against something on the floor, and he bent over to pick up the object. His eyes widened as he stared at the stuffed Gonzo, then back to Jim, still asleep.

He hesitated a moment, then approached the bed and carefully tucked Gonzo back under the covers.

Jim stirred slightly, rolling over and placing an arm around Gonzo. He resettled with a barely-heard sigh. William Ellison smiled and quietly retraced his steps back to the door of Jim's room. "Rest easy, Jimmy," he whispered.

Chapter 13

Chapter 12


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