Charlie sat on his side of the bed and watched Colby thrash. He knew he couldn't wake Colby up yet, he was too deep in the dream, either he wouldn't wake up or he'd wake up dangerous.
Charlie learned just how dangerous only a few weeks after Colby returned to work. When the doctor setting his arm asked him how he broke it Charlie looked him in the eye and said 'I slipped', despite the glaring finger bruises. Colby refused to sleep in the same bed as him for weeks and it was all Charlie could do to keep Colby from reporting himself on domestic abuse charges.
That had been just a year earlier. The worst of the nightmares had faded, or so Charlie thought, but as the Californian season went through their slow and subtle changes the nightmares returned.
Charlie watched as Colby jerked then hissed and finally cried out. Charlie took a breath, slid a few feet back and gently prodded him with a firm pillow.
“Wake up.” Charlie said loudly but as gently as he could. “Colby, please wake up. You're dreaming. Please. You're safe. You're in bed. The boat is just a dream. Please wake up.”