‘Dreams ever present, some call them nightmares, others, simply bad memories from the distant past.’
“No! I will go first. The shuttle? Fives? Please hurry!”
Echo’s hands were grabbing something in the air. Something, or someone, which wasn’t there any more. But he wasn’t awake. He was having a nightmare. One of the worst ones in a long while.
Hunter had been immediately alerted and woken up form his own less than deep slumber. As if sensing it before hand and then having been prepared for a bad night. Something which both of them still endured every now and so often, Echo less so than Hunter did. But the bad dreams were indeed becoming less frequent than they had been for both men.
Still, the signs had been all there during the day. Something Hunter had learnt to read of his partner, sensing Echo’s dilemma even before Echo realised it himself. Hunter had been sleeping rather lightly so far. Ready and willing to help Echo when he was right smack middle of the worst scenarios of his past.
“Don’t go that way. There is danger there, I can sense it!”
Echo was clearly trying to either rectify the past or then simply steer the scene into some other direction than it had been in real life. The real life having Echo sacrificing himself for the others benefit. Dying there, in the Citadel.
Hunter could tell the dialogue was different now though.
It usually varied. Echo trying to control the nightmares. But he seemed to be as unsuccessful in doing so as he had been in reality. Having gotten himself blown up instead, even if his team mates had gotten to safety. Whatever it was happening there now inside of Echo’s mind, Hunter only having the read the mission file by Rex and Fives. So, Hunter could only make an educated guess as to what Echo was going through even now. Reliving the past in his dreams.
“Echo, love, I am right here.”
Hunter cooed the sleeping man, trying gently to rouse him from his dream.
“No, no don’t go in there. Fives. Fives!”
Echo sounded distressed as obviously his dream having taken the wrong turn.
Echo’s own mind playing tricks on him. Because Hunter knew from a fact that Fives had survived the incident only to die at a later point of the war. His sacrifice not in vane as the Bad Batch had learnt from Rex. Fives having been the one bringing the subject of the inhibitor chips to the light of the day. Thus saving not only the Batchers, but many other clones from a fate most horrid.
Of course not Crosshair, but that was a discussion for another day.
“Echo, please, come back to me.”
Hunter pleaded softly, his tone low but close to Echo’s ear, trying to bring him gently out of the state he was in now. Not wanting to make things worse for Echo.
Hunter could see the tears pouring out of Echo’s eyes, even if they were still shut. The dream worse than it had been in a long while. Clearly.
It took several attempts for Hunter. Holding Echo in his arms and whispering sweet nothings into his ear, to bring him out of the nightmarish world Echo was completely engulfed inside of.
As Echo finally opened his eyes, in the dim light of their bedroom, Hunter felt nothing but relief.
“Hey sweetheart. Welcome back.”
Hunter greeted the man he loved, even if he was yet to speak out the truth to Echo. Having a hard time bringing forth the three simple words which meant the world for both of them.
Echo blinked, once, twice, the tears rolling free now as he had woken up and his eyes were wide open.
Echo reached for Hunter, grabbing a hold of him. Burying his face into Hunter’s front, holding on for dear life.
Hunter tightened his grip on Echo. Letting Echo simply cry off the remnants of his nightmare. This was not the time for words, but the presence. And Hunter would remain there for Echo, as long as he needed him to be there.