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Sleeping to Dream

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Junpei doesn't dream all that often, well not recently anyhow. These days he mostly ends up collapsing straight into bed after dinner, his body and mind too exhausted for anything but deep, dreamless sleep.

But when he does dream,- and it's a real dream, not an anxiety fuelled nightmare or another flashback that has him jolting awake in a cold sweat - Minako is there, by his side, like nothing happened. Like she never...

He doesn't tell the others, he knows they've grieved enough. Aki and Yuka-tan, especially, seem like they're finally moving on and they definitely don't need Junpei holding them back in the past with him.

But still he wonders: does this happen to them? Do they dream her back to life too? Do they see her smile, her crimson eyes glinting back at them? Hear her laugh? Do they remember the way she walked, the little skip in her step when she was excited about something?

They probably do, Junpei thinks. How could they possibly forget?

It's not only in the past that Minako is there in his dreams, he's not just reliving memories. Sometimes she's there with him at the baseball diamond, handing out juice boxes and snack crackers to his team, cheering raucously from the bleachers. She's there grinning and high fiving all the kids 'cause they'd just won a tough one, she's there in the van, singing along to the radio en route to an away game.

She's there visiting him at work during his lunch break, - god, shift work was so monotonous, so many hours of bullshit and repetition, hands busy but mind empty, just his own terrible thoughts churning in his head over and over and over - sharing her food or stealing his, making friends with even the grumpiest of his co-workers.

She's there walking Koromaru with him at the shrine - shit, he can't even remember the last time he saw Koro-chan, he should probably call Ken and ask how he is...if he's still--damn. That's another thing Junpei doesn't want to think about right now. How can time seem to pass so slowly, but slip away so easily too? How is it even possible that it's been five years since that day?

Five whole years and when he dreams that she's there with him, it's like she never left. She fits seamless, gracefully, into Junpei's life and when he wakes up the sense of loss is damn near unbearable - even after all this time.

One night he dreams of the rooftop, that afternoon near the end when she grabbed his hand and confessed, - shit, why did he have to remember that so well? - but dream Junpei doesn't change anything, just repeats the same lines he said all those years ago.

I think you're really cute and a great girl, but...

Maybe if he'd--no.

There was no stopping her, Junpei knows this. Minako was their leader to the very bitter end. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't feel guilty, that he doesn't feel fucking devastated, still.

Damn her.

Bless her.

But mostly - miss her.

So Junpei sleeps. Sleeps and hopes to dream just to see her once again.

It's all he really has at this point, so he'll take it.