Warm breeze ruffling his hair, sunrays caressing his skin. And the sounds of calm waves tickling his feet.
Pran took a deep breath and… there it was – the scent of the ocean, salty, fresh, and soothing.
Pran fought the urge to open his eyes.
He didn’t want to wake up.
It wasn’t the first time he dreamt about this place, although it was the first time in a while. It was almost exactly a mirror of the beach he once went to with Wai during their first summer break after everything went to shit.
It was truly the only place on Earth where he felt entirely at ease and wasn’t that sad?
Nothing to worry about. Nobody to worry about.
Pran could almost believe he could taste the salt on his tongue when he let his mouth go slack and took another deep breath.
His toes wiggled in the wet sand, and oh, what a wonderful feeling that was!
Slowly, he opened his eyes…
Every new day was making him feel so, so tired. He just couldn't stand seeing them together.
The beach again.
This time, he opened his eyes almost immediately.
“No, no, no!” he caught a glimpse of the sand and the ocean before everything faded to black.
He drifted in nothingness.
Every interaction was as exhilarating as it was agonizing.
Pran suspected he might actually die of emotional whiplash.
That third night, he stubbornly decided not to open his eyes at all. Maybe then he wouldn’t have to wake up and face reality.
He stood in his usual place, and just absorbed the sounds, the smells, and the sensations of the waves hitting his skin.
The ocean felt more alive that night.
“Well, this is new.”
There was literally no way in hell-
His heart dropped. Couldn’t he exist in peace even in his own fucking dreams?
“Pran, is that you?”
A big, warm hand curled around Pran’s wrist resting at his side.
It felt way too real.
God, he had to wake up.
Pran opened his eyes, expecting everything to fade to black, as it did those previous times, but-
He gasped because nothing happened. Instead, he could finally see the ocean, vast and beautiful and calm, although there seemed to be some dark clouds on the horizon, slowly inching closer. He squinted, trying to see better, completely forgetting all about his predicament.
“This is weird,” the voice reminded him of the unwanted presence and he flinched. “I can’t remember this place” the voice got so close, Pran could feel the other’s breath on the side of his neck.
He refused to look back. Maybe if he willed him gone… well. Stranger things used to happen in his dreams.
“But hey, this time I can actually touch you, so I’m not gonna complain.”
“What?” Pran reacted before thinking and turned around, forcibly freeing his wrist from Pat’s hold. It felt like it got burned by his touch.
And there he was.
“Oh goody, you’re as prickly as a hedgehog even in my dreams,” Pat rolled his eyes and, wait a minute, what? “But that’s okay. I like you anyway, so… makes sense” he grinned.
Oh God, has Pran actually gone insane?
His lips trembled and Pat, who’s been watching him intently, frowned.
“Wait, this isn’t right. Why are you sad? You always look happy in my dreams.”
Pat’s words punched a hysterical laugh out of Pran.
“Your dreams?” he blinked rapidly a few times to get rid of that annoying wetness “YOUR dreams?”
And… no. He wasn’t even going to dwell on the meaning of Pat’s words. There was no point.
“Shit, why did you have to appear?” he took a step back into the water and covered his face with both hands, defeated. “This is my secret place, go back to your own dreams, jackass.”
He must have sounded crazy. He found he didn’t care.
The whole situation was fucking crazy.
He blindly took another step back and sank a bit lower in the wet sand, warm water caressing his thighs.
“Pran, wait. Don’t-“ Pran looked up.
Looking Pat straight in the eyes, he kept taking step after step back into the ocean, submerging himself in the water centimeter after centimeter with quiet resolve.
The sound of thunder.
Pat’s eyes filled with sheer panic, his hands outstretched towards Pran-