Dreams Don't CountbyXarth©
Author's Note: Thanks to LizHaze for editing.
As soon as I found myself in the room, I knew I was dreaming. It wasn't that the room itself was particularly strange, other than the slightly ethereal quality it held. It could almost have been a rather nice bedroom, or something along those lines, based on the way it was furnished. Mostly it was the fact that I'd been finding myself there quite a lot in the past few weeks that tipped me off. As far as I could tell, I'd developed some sort of recurring dream and I didn't have the slightest clue why.
I turned around, knowing I'd find the same person who always shared the room with me. There were plenty of people my unconscious mind could have dreamed up, many of them people I would have loved to hang out with, even if only for pretend. Instead, I got my brother.
Not that I didn't like Tyler, it wasn't that. Being twins and all, we'd grown up closer than most brothers and sisters I knew in our eighteen years together. The thing was, I could see him practically any time I wanted. If I was going to dream about a guy over and over, it could at least have been a cute guy I could play out sexy scenarios with or something. Relatively speaking, Tyler wasn't nearly as much fun.
"Why is it always you?" I wondered out loud.
"I could ask you the same thing," he replied.
It could so easily have actually been my brother in front of me; he looked and sounded exactly the same as in reality. No doubt we'd spent enough time together that my brain could form a nearly indistinguishable facsimile.
"This is my dream isn't it?" I said. "Why can't I change you into someone else?"
No matter how hard I tried, I'd never succeeded in altering this dream in any significant way.
"How do you know this isn't my dream?" my fake brother countered.
"If it is then at least change me into someone else," I muttered. "Or do something. This is getting a little boring. What is this, like eight times I've had this dream now? And all we ever do is argue."
"You're always the starting the arguments. I'm pretty sure I'm just being punished somehow."
I shot him a dirty look. "Yeah, that's pretty much a dumb enough thing for you to say. Dream you is a dead ringer for real you, you know that?"
Tyler just grinned. "Ditto," he said.
I sighed and walked around in a long, slow circle. It was a funny thing about the room; there seemed to be plenty of windows as well as a door, but even though they never appeared to move, I could never reach them no matter how far I walked. Dream geography at its finest.
"We should really come up with something more fun to do while we're here," Tyler suggested. "Seeing as how it's been happening a lot lately."
"Like what? A game of cards? A board game of some kind? We always used to play Monopoly, maybe we could get a game of that going. Have you seen it around here at all, because I sure haven't."
"You don't need to be so sarcastic, I'm just trying to help."
"Of course you are. I think more to the point, it's silly to be so sarcastic toward a person who, as near as I can tell, is all a figment of my imagination."
I walked over to Tyler and tapped him lightly on the forehead as I finished speaking. He felt real too, as real as anything in the dream world.
"Again, pretty sure it's the other way around," he said. "But that's not the point. I'm serious, we should do something while we're here. We could at least talk about something more than just how annoying this is."
"Fine. How 'bout... you tell me a secret I don't know about you. That way you can prove this is your dream and not mine. Two birds, one stone."
There was a bed off to the side of the room, which I'd always considered a little too meta for my tastes, but it offered a nicely visual way of displaying my irritation. I flopped down onto it and closed my eyes in an ineffective attempt to make Tyler go away.
"First, I could just make something up and you'd have no idea if it was a real secret of just some random shit," he said. "Second, I can totally see your panties when you lie like that."
I angrily sat back up and pulled my skirt back into place to cover myself up. I'd been wearing the same skirt earlier in the day, but somehow I hadn't realized that I was still wearing it now, nor had I paid much attention at all to any of my clothing. When I looked at Tyler I noted that he was wearing his outfit from earlier today too. Weird perhaps, but not terribly important.
"Don't look at my underwear," I said.
"I didn't exactly mean to," he said.
"Well... just don't. That's such a pervy thing to do."
"Yeah, 'cause that totally matters. I could do anything right now and no one would ever even know."
As if to prove his point he came right up next to me and reached out toward my chest. There was no way in hell I was going to let him grab my boobs, if in fact that was his intent. Whatever the case, I fended off his attempt and punched him hard in the shoulder for good measure.
Then I woke up.
I lay in the dark for a moment while my mind went back over everything I could remember about the dream. It might just have been a coincidence, but that had been the second time I'd tried to hit Tyler in the dream, and both times I'd woken up immediately afterward. If it worked every time, at least I'd have a way to get out of there when I wanted to, so that was something.
I couldn't believe I'd dreamed up my brother trying to get a feel in though, that was just weird.
At breakfast the next morning things were pretty much normal, even if they didn't feel that way to me. I kept glancing at Tyler who was innocently sitting across from me. It was like I was expecting him to do something strange for some reason.
Both he and mom failed to pick up on my mood thankfully, because I didn't want to have to make up a story for why I was keeping my brother under surveillance. Mostly they maintained a fairly constant conversation with very limited input from me at any point. More than usual I appreciated the versatility of a generic grunt when responding to questions.
Finally, after far too long in my opinion, I finished eating and left the table. I knew I had some stuff that needed to be sorted out in my head, but I didn't have the first idea where to start.
"What the hell is wrong with me?" I said out loud.
I'd gone to sleep hoping desperately I'd wind up in some random, relatively normal dream, but no such luck. I was stuck with the dream version of my brother once again.
"Maybe you just like me," he suggested.
"Not this much. And not after what you tried last time." I sighed heavily. "You know the worst part? This is basically all something I'm doing to myself when it comes right down to it."
"Hey, I'm sorry about that, but I'm still pretty sure this is my dream. At least that means you can blame it all on me, right?"
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, why don't I just do that. That's the way to prove to myself I'm not crazy."
I sat down on the bed, noticing idly that the covers still seemed to be a bit rumpled where I'd been lying last time. Tyler stepped closer, but was apparently clever enough not to come within arm's length.
"Whatever you want to think, that's fine," he said. "But I meant what I said before, it really doesn't matter what we do while we're here. It's not going to make any difference in the real world."
"It makes a difference to me if I let my brother feel me up, even if it's only in my head. Maybe it's worse if it's all in my head actually, no one to blame but myself."
"Why not just pretend I'm someone else? I'm only imaginary anyway, according to you."
"Oh, I've been trying to imagine you as someone else, believe me. Pretending, well, that could work. Maybe. But I'm not sure what I'd get out of it."
"I'll give you a back rub," he offered. "Then you let me touch your boobs. Win-win."
It actually was more of an intriguing suggestion than I was expecting. I did love my back rubs, and real-life Tyler had used that fact more than once to get something he wanted from me. The question was whether or not it was worth it in this case. There were some serious mental scars to be had here if I played it wrong.
"No talking," I said eventually. "No sounds of any kind while you're touching me."
"Deal," he said far too quickly.
I settled in so I was comfortable on my stomach and closed my eyes. As long as I didn't see or hear him, the guy positioning himself on the bed next to me might as well have been anyone at all. It was my dream after all, and just because my imagination didn't want to cooperate shouldn't mean that I couldn't have any fun.
Tyler gently placed one of his hands on my back and started running it up and down in a slow, semi-random pattern. It didn't take me long to feel the relaxation kicking in, which was kind of weird considering I was technically already asleep. Still, I did have to admit that over the years my brother had done a good job of learning exactly what I liked, and his dream version apparently shared his skill.
For some reason I found it nearly impossible to imagine anyone else rubbing my back like I'd planned. Maybe Tyler's technique was just too unique, or maybe my imagination sucked even more than I thought. The latter seemed more likely considering the lack of originality in my dreams lately.
Dream chronology always tended to be difficult to pin down, but this time in particular I had absolutely no idea how much time was passing. Mostly I just luxuriated in the feeling of getting an awesome back rub. It was quite disappointing when he stopped.
"Okay, time's up," he said. "My turn."
I rolled onto my side and pouted at him. "Aw, but I was having so much fun."
"I know you were, but, like I said, my turn now."
He reached toward my breasts, and I had a sudden urge just to punch him and see if that would wake me up again. Some part of me thought that was playing just a little too dirty though and instead all I did was watch as my brother happily grabbed my tits. The plan had originally been not to look at him while he did it, but it didn't really make that much difference anyway. I'd still know it was him.
Strangely, the experience was not nearly as gross as I might have expected. Maybe having just received a back rub helped, both because it helped put me in a good mood and because it demonstrated that being touched by my brother could be quite nice at times.
It was, however, a little disconcerting when my body began reacting to the way Tyler was squeezing and toying with my breasts. My nipples stiffened noticeably as his fingers brushed across them repeatedly, and I felt myself flush ever so slightly. Brother or not, he was getting more of a reaction out of me than I liked.
"Okay, that's enough," I said.
"Uh uh, it hasn't even been close to as much time as you got," he said.
"I said that's enough."
Tyler looked completely unready to give up his toys, so I went back to the plan I'd rejected earlier and took a swing at him. As soon as my fist connected I woke up in my bed, with only a slight regret at not getting to see his face when I did.
I was kind of annoyed to find that my nipples were still as hard as they'd been in my dream, and that I was more than a little turned on. Obviously I needed to get my mind more firmly under control and stop these stupid, relentless dreams from taking over.
I gave Tyler a dirty look when I first saw him the next day. I knew he didn't really deserve it, but it made me feel better. He just seemed confused and shrugged it off.
However, throughout the day on the few occasions when we were around each other, I almost got the sense that he was watching me more than usual. It could have just bee my own perceptions that were off, considering I'd been watching him more than usual lately too. Or it might have been because he was still trying to figure out what he'd done to annoy me. Well, he could go right on wondering for all I cared. I wasn't about to explain it to him.
"That wasn't very nice, what you did last night," was the first thing I heard the next time I wound up in the dream room.
I rolled my eyes, though the effect was lost on my brother since I wasn't actually facing him. "Haven't you ever heard of 'no means no?'"
"I was only touching your boobs. Which we'd agreed was okay, I might add."
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean you get unlimited access." I crossed my arms and faced Tyler, doing my best to look firm. "You need to listen better."
"And you need to play fair."
"Or what?" I asked, arching an eyebrow. "What exactly is going to happen if I don't?"
I took my eyes off him for a second, which turned out to be a mistake. He took the opportunity to tackle me to the floor and pin my arms above my head.
"You know I'm stronger than you, right?" he said. "Especially in my dream, 'cause I can basically be as strong as I want here."
"Not your dream," I said and attempted to fling him off me. It didn't work. I was getting really fed up with all these arbitrary limitations my brain was giving me.
"Whatever you say. Point is, apparently you can wake me up by trying to hurt me, so all I have to do is make sure you can't do anything of the sort."
I continued to struggle, but with less and less resolve to actually break free. It was something I'd never dared tell anyone, and hadn't even wanted to admit it to myself for a long while, but sometimes I kind of liked being restrained. It was kind of a rush to know I was completely helpless against whatever Tyler decided to do to me, though a lot of that was only because I could trust him not to take too much advantage of me.
"You're so dead when I get free," I said, more for show than anything.
He smiled. "Uh huh, 'cept the worst you can do is wake me up and the whole point is to make sure you can't."
Slowly and with great care not to let me go, he removed his shirt while holding me down with his free hand, switching out as necessary. He then proceeded to use the shirt as a make-shift rope to tie my hands together above my head. I hated myself for starting to get aroused at the treatment. If only it had been someone else tying me up, someone I could have fantasized about without any guilt or self-loathing.
"So," he said as he finished and sat back, "are you going to behave now?"
I sat up and tested my bonds. It wasn't the first time I'd been tied up by Tyler, though it had been a long, long time since he'd done it. He still remembered how to make sure I couldn't get free easily it seemed. I couldn't help wondering if some of those childhood games had anything to do with some of my current feelings toward being held captive.
"Do I have much of a choice?" I asked.
"So what are you going to do to me?"
He shook his head. "You make it sound like I'm gonna abuse you or something, and to be fair I probably could if I wanted to. It's weird though, you're just too much like the real you. Like I'm not even dreaming you up. Makes it hard to be too rough."
A thought occurred to me, one that had been bouncing around in the back of my head but that I'd never put too much stock in.
"You ever wonder if we're both actually here?" I asked. "Like, if we're both having the exact same dream at the same time."
He though for a moment. "That... would explain a lot actually," he said slowly. "Except it also doesn't make any sense. Like, people can't share dreams."
"How do you know? You have any proof of that?"
Tyler's rejection of my hypothesis, even though I didn't really believe it either, immediately put me into argument mode. Damned if I was going to let him win just because he was probably right.
"Do you have any proof that it is possible?" he countered. "Or any idea how it would even work?"
"No, but I totally can," I said.
"Easy. Magenta. Make sure you remember that."
"What? That doesn't even... what?"
I smirked at his confusion, but also at how distracted I'd gotten him. He hadn't even noticed how I'd been working at untying his shirt from my wrists until I had already slipped one of my hands free. He gave me a disbelieving look as I lunged at him.
The more I thought about it, the more I tried to convince myself there was no way Tyler and I were having shared dreams. It was a silly idea. And yet... it would explain a lot about the dreams, like why we were both there every time and why neither of us had much control over them.
It didn't really matter what I thought though, because at least now I had a way of determining the truth, and I was actually quite pleased with my sleeping self for having come up with it. All I had to do was talk to my brother when I saw him at breakfast.
Tyler was already there when I made it down, and so was mom which almost made me chicken out since it made the necessary conversation far less private than I wanted. However, there was nothing that needed to be said that would alert her to anything she shouldn't know about.
"Hey Ty?" I said.
"Yeah?" he replied, giving me a funny look as I sat down at the table.
"Gimme a colour."
He stared at me for far too long as I tried to act unconcerned.
"Magenta," he said finally.
Mom looked at us both like we were crazy, and to an extent we must have been. It could have been pure coincidence that he picked that colour, sure, but it was highly unlikely. That's why I'd picked magenta to begin with; it wasn't a colour I'd expect him to pick randomly. If I needed further confirmation, the expression on his face made it pretty clear he was thinking the exact same thing I was thinking.
Obviously we couldn't discuss the issue too much further with mom sitting right there, that would have been asking for trouble even if we were subtle about it. In order to get out of what I expected to be a fairly awkward meal, I grabbed some toast and went back to my room instead of sitting at the table like usual.
I decided that, even if it drove me crazy to wait all day, it might be better to wait and talk to my brother during our dream that night. Now that I knew it was actually him and not some figment of my imagination, it made sense to take advantage of the complete privacy we'd have. There was a reasonable chance yelling might be involved.
"This is seriously fucked up," I said.
"Like you need to tell me," Tyler said.
We were standing a safe distance apart in the dream room, neither of us really sure how to proceed.
"I can't believe you actually wanted to touch my boobs," I said. "But I guess at least that makes you the perv and not my own subconscious."
"Hey, you let me do it, don't put it all on me. We both thought we were just having weird recurring dreams. I just wanted to get something out of it is all."
"Uh huh, and how long exactly have you wanted to 'get something' from me?"
"I swear, if I'd known it was you, I never would have done that. You're my sister for fuck's sake. Do you even understand how bad I feel about it now?"
"Not bad enough."
I was probably being too hard on him, honestly. He'd just wanted some boobies, and I couldn't really blame him for that. Deep down, I knew part of my anger was actually at myself for the reactions I'd had to the situation, and I was purposefully misdirecting it.
"Well, I'm sorry, okay?" Tyler said. "I promise I won't do anything like that again."
"Whatever," I said.
We tried to ignore each other for a while, but there really wasn't much to do and I soon got bored. It was a pretty sad state of affairs when my even my dreams bored me. That was usually what school was for.
Tyler was lying on the bed, off in his own little world I assumed. It was going to be up to me to reinitiate contact, if only I knew how. I supposed I could just say I forgave him or something, but it seemed such an unnatural thing to say to my brother. I needed a less direct approach.