A Night in Dallas

Written by Rhen Brink

Written after "Going Home" (Season 3, Episode 6)

Charlie awoke with a start. The room was dark and he felt a momentary surge of panic. He looked at the clock. 4:36 ... Glancing over at the empty space beside him, he felt the emptiness overtake him again. She was gone ... Kirsten was miles away in another bed all alone and he had been helpless to stop it from happening. He reached out his hand and smoothed her pillow - it was cold, he was cold. He tried to think of happier times when they were together and in love and everything was right with the world but the memories wouldn't come. He had lost them too. Staring into the darkness, he could almost imagine her sitting in the chair by the window, her legs pulled up beneath her, her hair gleaming in the dim light from the streetlight below. He missed her so much that the ache was a physical thing buried deep in his chest. He tried to fool himself into thinking that she was just in the bathroom getting herself a glass of water or that she had heard Owen cry out in his sleep and she had gone to comfort him but they were lies and he knew them for what they were. Charlie felt the lump in his throat tighten. He had no more tears to shed. He couldn't stand the dead quiet anymore. Slowly he got up and dressed.

He walked the empty streets looking for something that didn't exist anymore. Places and things reminded him of what he had lost. Exhausted, he returned to his bed. Climbing slowly under the covers fully dressed, he put his head down and stared at the ceiling till merciful sleep took him once again.

The alarm went off loudly. He shot up into a sitting position, drenched in sweat.

"Charlie? What's wrong? Didn't you sleep well?" Kirsten's eyes were barely open and yet there was concern written over her entire face. "Charlie? What's the matter?"

He grabbed her in a tight embrace smothering his face in her hair. Feeling her warm body against his sent tiny shivers up his spine. "Kirsten," he sobbed. "I don't ever want to be without you again. Get dressed - we're getting married! Now! Today!"

She smiled, puzzled and confused. "Charlie?" She tried again. "That must have been some dream! Can I get a cup of coffee first?"

The way it should have ended ...

(In case you're wondering, the title refers to another TV show which became famous by doing a dream recant.)