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[i “Ah, a little bit of a troublemaker. He sounds like an interesting guy.”] Joshua had made his way down the hall and downstairs. Breakfast wouldn’t be served yet, so he took his time walking. The cafeteria would open in a little while.
Once outside, he set off on one of the longer, winding paths in the general direction of the cafeteria. It was a little early, but if anyone caught him he’d be just within the grace period for leaving the dorm for breakfast. He wondered if he would get along with Rosalind’s brother. Would he be upset about the bond? Or would they even tell him about it? Joshua wanted to keep it a secret from as many people as possible, but that was her brother. She clearly had a better relationship with her family than he did with his.
[i “Planning on telling your brother about the bond, or are we just keeping it between us for now?”] Whatever they were going to do, they ought to be on the same page.
She wanted to know about his roommate. He scratched behind his ear, pretending to pause and look at a tree. [i “He’s a class B. Nice enough, but he’s an absolute sucker for a pretty girl. Even if she’s… uh, not nice. Manipulative. Nevermind.”] Joshua felt his cheeks burning. Why was he blushing so much this morning? He tried to pull the embarrassment and bit of resentment back, but it was hard to keep it completely contained. He asked himself why he even thought of it now, and hoped she wouldn’t ask about the pathetic dodge. The not so nice girl was his ex-girlfriend, who had started dating his roommate recently seemingly out of spite. He didn’t want to try and explain all of that to Rosalind. Or that he was avoiding his dorm as much as possible because of it.
[i “Anyway. He prefers to keep to himself mostly, but he’s a stickler for most rules. He… can’t find out about us. This bond, I mean. For small rule bending or breaking he’ll tell you you shouldn’t but won’t say anything. Anything big though… He’ll run to a teacher or administrator.”] Joshua sighed quietly,[i “He’s not a bad guy, he’s just scared. We all are, I guess.”]
Rosalind does her best to shake the feeling, she washes her hair before finally scrubbing her body down while trying to find the right words to describe her older brother [#f08080 [i "Well he can tend to be a bit arrogant. Which makes it so he's in trouble a bit more than normal, but its for minor stuff, like smarting off to his professor's, or taking an extra bagel from the café, so nothing so bad that he lost his wings or anything. He tends to exaggerate his abilities a bit, but is really quick to make friends. People tend to just like him for whatever reason. He's about two years older than me, and is working on his last semester of schooling as well."]] She sighs and rinses off.
[#f08080 [i "I'm sure you'll get along with everyone pretty well, everyone is very accepting no matter your race of scale of abilities. All we want is equality and not one race higher than others."]] She wraps a towel around her and steps out of her bathroom. [#f08080 [i "So what's your roommate like?"]]
[i “I understand. Psychics train to maintain control within our minds, most people don’t.”] Joshua ruffled his hair and tried to smooth it with his fingers. It just wasn’t behaving. He gave up, and gathered his stuff for class.
At the mention of tonight he paused. Her brother? The idea of meeting everyone made him a bit nervous, but at the mention of her brother something else hit him. It wasn’t the usual nervousness with a group of people. Embarrassment? He wasn’t sure, and he could feel something from her. It was confusing. And he couldn’t let him roommate wake up and see him just standing there looking bewildered. He saw himself in the mirror. His roommate could not be allowed to see him blushing like this for no reason.
Joshua rushed out of his room as quietly as he could with his bag over his shoulder,[i “I hope so. Little nervous about meeting all those people, honestly. Anyway, so you have a brother here? What’s he like?”]
For whatever reason the thought of him popping into her dreams doesn't bother her in the slightest. Ordinarily just talking about her dreams was an immeasurably embarrassing thing to do, but she feels safe with Joshua, likely because she could easily read him.
She leans back in her chair, causing it to balance on the back two legs and just stares at the ceiling [#f08080 [i "You can stop by if you want. I can't promise as much control over my dreams though, and sometimes they can be super weird, so don't hold that against me."]] She chuckles to herself before tossing the pencil in her hand into her text book and closes the book.
She gets out of the chair and steps out of her clothes for the day and into the shower. She takes her time, enjoying the heat of the water on the soft part of her back that melds into her wings.
[#f08080 [i "I am excited for the meeting tonight, it'll be nice to introduce you to everyone. You'll get to meet my brother, I think you'll get along really well."]] with that thought, Rosalind finds herself blushing uncontrollably for no apparent reason. She scrunches shampoo in her hair, trying to will away the embarrassment.
[i “Oh good. I slept pretty well. Eager to finish our race sometime.”] Joshua had a small smile on his face as he got up and got dressed. It was pretty early still, and his roommate was still asleep. He tried to keep quiet as he got ready.
Still, having her just there made him a little giddy. He’d bonded psychically with others before, but never this strong. It was nice having her just there, how easy it was for him to just reach out to her. At the same time he was a little nervous about the very real possibility of sharing too much. Joshua knew he had to be careful what he shared with her.
[i “I’m getting ready to go to class. If I get a chance, would you mind if I dropped into your dream?”] He ruffled his hair, looking in the mirror. It was a mess, and possibly hopeless to try and tame it. He quickly added,[i “If you don’t, it’s alright. Dreams can be a bit private.”]
The music from the world Joshua created remains stuck in her head the remainder of the day. While the music originally was a sign of the falsehood that surrounded the dream, it acts as a comfort for the remaining hours, a reminder that at any moment if she needed to escape she had a location to escape to.
She can't help the peace that settles from that knowledge. The rest of her day seems to go a lot smoother, and Rosalind feels severely less tense than normal at the conclusion of her day. Even slipping into her plain dorm room is much less dreary than normal. And when Joshua's voice comes to her, a genuine smile comes to her lips, even in the midst of homework.
[#f08080 [i "Yup, working on homework right now before I get dinner and go to sleep. Did you sleep well the rest of the night? Cause I certainly had a much better rest of my night."]] She says, leaning back in her desk chair and staring up at the small window in her room.
He could tell she seemed excited about the race. Thinking about it as he moved into place beside her he realized she may have never gotten to race anyone like this before. It was a dream, but not an isolated dream. They were both here, rather than being a figment of each others dreaming minds.
On her mark Joshua took off. He was keeping up with her, at least for the moment, but then she suddenly plummeted down and disappeared. He could feel that she wasn’t in the dream anymore, but didn’t sense anything beyond that. He hovered in the air in stunned silence for several seconds. He would feel if she were hurt, he knew that. So she was fine, right? Then he heard her and breathed a sigh of relief.
[i “Later then. Too bad we don’t sleep at the same time.”] He slowly lowered himself to the ground, realizing his heart was racing and trying to breathe slowly to calm the rapid beating. He’d been scared something happened to her.
She would need to focus on classes, so he’d leave her alone at least until he woke up. His roommate was either still awake or had left the music on. Whichever it was, it was annoying. To pass the time he shaped his dream forest, hoping it would be here next time or at least this would make it easier to shape it this way again next time. It was relaxing to lose himself in the effortless work of shaping a dream.
When he woke to his alarm the music had stopped, though he couldn’t recall when that happened. He sat up and rubbed his face, reaching out for Rosalind,[i “Are you still awake?”]
With her feet leaving the ground, Rosalind can't help but smile. The sight of Joshua hovering beside her is nearly breath taking. Her eyes linger a bit longer than they should, and when he finally looks back at her she quickly looks away, pretending like she's taking in the change of scenery.
She can't help feeling jittery as she gestures for them to line up beside each other. She waits till they are both in a prepared stance before stating [#f08080 "On my mark. One... Two... Three!"] and with that she takes off, the feeling of the artificial wind blowing past her is exhilarating. While she's done her best not to get carried away with the feeling of the dream, the sudden sensation of someone touching her physical form causes the form of her in Joshua's dream to take a sudden nose dive into the forest, vanishing just before hitting a tree.
Her eyes flash open to find Summer staring down at her in worry, "You okay Rosie?" The water nymph asks, taking the seat beside her.
Rosalind takes a moment to readjust to the darkness around her before managing a response/ [#f08080 "Yeah, just fell asleep by accident. Did you just get out of class?"] She says, attempting to allow the small talk to play down the pounding that's formed in her head. Tentively she reaches back out to Joshua, so she doesn't get pulled back into his dream but can assure him she's alright. [#f08080 [i "Guess I wasn't as aware as I thought, someone touched me and pulled me out of the dream. We will continue our race later."]] She allows the small talk to continue until she has to leave for her next set of classes.
She looked like she perfectly belonged here. The sun shining, her wings spread. It was beautiful. Joshua chuckled, taking her hand,”Well, I’ll have to test that then. This is my dream, so that’s got to give me some advantage. First let’s get in the air.”
Rosalind was in his head, but the lack of reluctance to take his hand left a warm feeling. Once on his feet he lifted up off the ground with a thought. It was so simple in a dream to imagine he was going up, and then to just go. As he rose higher he explained,”Actually flying like this is possible for psychics, though it’s sort of rare to be able to do it well. Most don’t master it well enough to do more than levitate up to a high ledge or a window.”
Looking below him there was the waterfall and meadow. The river was hidden under trees past that, and the thick forest stretched on as far as he could see. Endless trees. They needed more landmarks for a race. The landscape reformed, a high plateau off to one side, barren on the top. He looked the other way where a huge tree sprang up, much taller and wider than the rest, with branches as wide as streets jutting out from a massive trunk. That would work.
“We’ll start here, loop around the plateau, and the finish will be on that tree. First to touch the trunk wins. We’ll go on your mark.”
Joshua felt like she might win, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to try. No dirty tricks, but he’d be flying as fast as he could without cheating.
With Rosalind laying in the grass with her eyes closed, she doesn't exactly see the shift in the landscape, but she does hear the rushing sound of the waterfall. She instantly pushes herself up with the lower portion of her wings tolook at it.
Somehow heree in Joshua's dream its far more beautiful than she had ever imagined it to be. Though its Joshua's words of lfying that grabs her attention. She pushes herself to a standing, wings fully extended. [#f08080 "I bet I'm still faster. Even in a dreamworld no one could beat me in a race. Generations of very dleberate choices for mates to create the fastest flying generattion ever known, Farley is almost as quick as I am. So lets see tese flying skills"] She says smiling, hand extended to help him up.
“Impressive. I’m… sloppy. I can tell my roommate is still awake though.” Joshua watched her, and then took a seat next to her. What would it look like once he knew her better? Would it change at all? He wasn’t sure.
He listened to her describe her dream, silently thinking it over. It sounded beautiful, but also just like what it was. A dream. Something like that was not the reality they lived in. Once they graduated they would likely spend most of their time working for humans in their designated specialties.
“It’s not your fault.” Joshua answers right away to her apology. He leaned a little over her,”Neither of us knew this would happen, at least not like this. So don’t feel bad about it.”
Her dream for a better future was brilliant and warm. Would he have chosen to join without the bond? He wasn’t sure, but thought perhaps he might have. Then again, he thought maybe he would have been a coward and backed out.
He pushed his hair back, looking over at the river. The landscape shimmered and shifted. A waterfall rose to life at one end, and the river below it widened into a relatively calm pool. It wasn’t much, but it was something from her dream. He didn’t add the rest, preferring to keep it mostly calm and serene. Calmer dreams he had an easier time controlling. It was almost effortless. “That’s a nice dream. So, we can save some of that talk for tomorrow night, but for now we’re in a dream. Literally. And dreams like this are an excellent way to unwind from class. You know, in a dream like this even I can fly.”
There is a false warmth on Rosalind’s skin as she takes form in Joshua’s dream. There is a faint noise of music that’s rather disconnected from the serene meadow. Rosalind walks over to Joshua and lays down, not carrying that this sunshine is fake. The tingling sensation of the sun on her skin is still far beyond anything she had felt in a while.
[#f08080 “I somehow managed to perfect the fully aware sleeping state since being forced into the night time schedule. It’s how I make it through the night, typically my last few classes are filled with me sleeping, and my professors waking me up and asking me what they just said, and me typically being able to tell them word for word. Plus, a recorder helps a lot when it comes to studying.
Also if this is based off of your impression of me, I can’t wait to see what this place will look like once you’ve really gotten to know me.”] She admits, spreading out her arms and feeling the soft grass against her skin. [#f08080 “My favorite part about dreaming is the control you have over it. In my dreams there is always a giant waterfall and just a giant water hole beneath it. Off in the distance the summer castle can be seen, the sun blazes above.
I have friends in the water hole, nymphs making the water dance, Siren’s running a dj booth, and Farley sitting on the edge of the water, with a giant umbrella blocking out the sun and providing her with freshly fallen snow and the cold she needs, while she dares me to jump from the top of the waterfall, not to fly down, to simply jump. I know it’s a weird dream, but it’s my secret hope for once everything is said and done that it’ll be a reality.”] Rosalind sighs at the thought.
She rolls onto her side and looks at Joshua [#f08080 “So I wanted to apologize, I didn’t mean to take your choice away from you when it comes to being involved in the revolt. I wanted to give you the option, but now that we are bound together what happens to me happens to you, and I just feel awful about that. I didn’t mean to force this on you.”] She says folding her hands under her head as she gazes at him.
“A distraction? I might be able to help with that.” Joshua laughed,”It’s a nice dream. A little boring, but sometimes with dreams boring is best. Still probably better than textbooks.”
It was odd to be talking with anyone in his dreams that wasn’t part of the dream itself. He could feel her seem to get closer, and then he saw her seeming to fade into the dream. At first see through, but he helped pull her into it more fully, and then it was like she was there with him, sitting in the little meadow by the stream. Along with his roommates annoying music. Joshua sat down next to her. The sunlight wasn’t real, and he guessed it wouldn’t give her energy the way a real sun might, but she still looked a little more vibrant in this light. Like she belonged here.
“I’m pretty sure the dream has something to do with you. Just an impression of you, or a place you might like, that I probably got from the bond I think. So, better than homework? Oh…” He paused and scratched the back of his head,”You’ll probably look like you’re taking a nap if anyone sees you, but be careful. Just stay aware if someone comes near or tries to wake you.”
There is this moment that the connection fully registers that fills Rosalind with a warmth, as if she’s being wrapped in a big hug. She leans back on the bench she’s sitting on and sets her books next to her, closing her eyes and allowing the feeling to warm her from the inside. She allows a blissful sigh to slip from her lips.
She closes her eyes and lets his words come to her and she can’t help but take the distraction in joy. [i [#f08080 “No, I’m perfectly fine, just looking for a distraction. I know that I should just silently take my lunch and do what I always do and do my homework, but I am so tired of staring at my textbooks. Having a good dream?”]]
She opens her eyes for a moment, looking around the quad making sure that she is alone, or at the very least as secluded as she can be. With no one truly in sight, she feels perfectly at ease slipping further and further into the pull of Joshua’s dream, allowing it to take over her reality and changing the scene around her to the crafted one in his dreams.
Joshua managed to get the pass easily. Study passes were the easiest to get, and once the teacher realized Joshua was working with a summer fairy he handed him the pass without any other questions.
Then it was back to his dorm room to work. His roommate had his music on and was bobbing his head to the sound as leaned over his desk. Joshua didn’t know his roommate all that well yet. Things got shuffled around in the human dorms sometimes, when powers or personalities conflicted, and this time Joshua got shuffled around to make things work. His last roommate had been a quiet guy who was always there and never talked. The new guy was rarely there but when he was, he was louder.
After greeting him and exchanging a bit of small talk about school they both went back to mostly quiet studying, with the music in the background. It was still going when Joshua finally settled into bed, and bled into his dream when he slept.
His dream, he was sure, was influenced by Rosalind. Possibly talking with her, or seeing her memories. As a psychic he’d learned to be aware of his dreams, so he knew the sunny setting was all in his head. He still thought it was pretty. A stream flowed nearby, the grass was sweet and soft, and he was surrounded by trees which kept him from seeing very far in any direction. Most likely there wasn’t anything past the trees, at least not yet.
The thing that ruined the whole scene was the incessant music his roommate must still have been playing, sounding like it was coming from the trees or the sky. He resolved to talk to his roommate about the noise later, but in the meantime enjoyed the sensations of walking the little meadow. Then he felt Rosalind, almost as if she were there. She was reaching, and he responded,”You’ve caught me asleep. Be careful, or you might slip in. Is everything alright?”
He thought it probably was. He wasn’t feeling any sort of fear or panic from her, so he already guessed that she was at least mostly alright. Or that it wasn’t urgent.
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