Written by Kerry
Many thanks to Beth for her wonderful beta-reading.
Monday 3:05 a.m.
Tim Bayliss woke abruptly to the sound of his own moaning. His body
was rigid, his chest was tight and he felt sick to his stomach. He
panicked a little as his eyes opened wide but could see nothing but
darkness. Jeez, but he wanted to *cry*.
After what seemed like an age, he finally made himself move and
fumbled for the lamp switch. He took a deep breath and looked
around. He saw their bedroom, not clearly, because he hadn't put
his glasses on, but well enough for things to look comfortably
familiar. And beside him in the bed lay Chris, still sound asleep,
breathing deeply and making soft noises in his throat. For a
moment, Tim really did begin to cry, a solitary tear welling up in
"Fucking nightmare," he told himself, "just another bad dream,
Bayliss." Except this one had seemed so disturbingly *real*.
Gulping down some water from the glass on the table beside him, he
lowered himself back down as quietly and gently as he could.
"I should switch off the light," he told himself without
But he didn't. Besides, it hadn't woken Chris. Tim noticed that
his side of the bed was damp now. Rolling over cautiously, he
reached out and rested his hand on Chris' chest. Chris' face was
turned away from him, so Tim just let himself feel his lover's
heartbeat, the rise and fall of his chest. He closed his eyes and
prayed to no god in particular, to be spared from nightmares:
"Please, no more. At least not tonight."
For an instant, Chris Rawls' eyes fluttered open as he battled
against sleep. After a few seconds, sleep triumphed and he fell
back into its embrace.
Chris awoke at a rate he thought at first was leisurely until he
looked at the clock with a start. 5:53 a.m. the digital display
glared at him. He groaned a little and swore quietly to himself.
He always seemed to wake up before the alarm these days, even on his
days off. "Day off. That's today. Monday." For some reason he
needed to mentally confirm this information. "Christ, I must be
getting old," he muttered.
Tim still had his arm resting loosely around him when Chris twisted
round to look at him. Tim always looked so pretty and boyish when
he slept: so peaceful. Yet, something about him this morning
seemed amiss and it made Chris wonder. Tim's face looked wan and
Chris had some vague recollection of waking briefly during the
"Please, don't let this have been one of his nightmares," Chris
thought, his face creasing with consternation. It was then that he
noticed Tim's lamp switched on: "Jesus, it must have been."
Just when Chris was about to gently nudge him, Tim half-opened his
eyes and mumbled "Hey," with the side of his face still buried in
"Good morning. You know it's not even six yet. It's not like you to
wake up this early unaided, Tim." Chris smiled affectionately while
he stroked the fine silver threads in Tim's mussed brown hair.
"Did you sleep okay?" Chris tried to sound upbeat although he wasn't
sure he wanted to know the answer.
"Uh, yeah, okay," Tim responded at first. He then revised his
assessment and admitted, "Well, no, actually. Didn't sleep real
well." He sat part way up and slowly exhaled. "I had another bad
dream last night," he said, giving Chris an apologetic smile.
Hesitating a fraction, Chris asked with as much tact as he could
muster this early in the morning, "Was it about your uncle or
Adena...or something else?"
"It was kind of complicated and bizarre. I'm not sure I can make
sense of it myself," Tim answered, lifting both hands to his face
and rubbing it, then letting them rest together against his nose and
mouth as if in prayer. He sat thoughtfully for a moment and then
turned around. Impulsively, he threw his arms around Chris and
buried his face in his neck. He nuzzled him, murmuring, "I'm going
to take a shower. I'll tell you about it over breakfast, okay?"
"Sure, okay," whispered Chris, as he enjoyed the touch of Tim's
rough stubble and soft lips against his own.
With the sound of the shower coming from the bathroom on the floor
above, Chris got about the business of preparing breakfast. Cereal,
followed by home fries and eggwhites. Not Babette's Feast, but it
was what Tim liked. As he broke the eggs one by one and watched the
whites flow out into the bowl beneath, Chris mused how long it had
been since he had eaten an eggyolk for breakfast. Probably not
since he and Tim had been living together. Remembering that Tim had
a rough night, Chris added cheese to the eggwhite mix.
A few minutes later, Tim came into the kitchen. He was wearing his
glasses and was clean shaven, his hair damp. He was half-dressed for
work in his socks and suit pants, but his shirt was still
tieless and untucked. He sat down to the cereal and grapefruit
juice ready on the table and watched appreciatively with warm brown
eyes as Chris worked around the kitchen.
Chris hadn't shaved or combed his dark hair and was dressed in an
old well-worn sweatshirt and pants. He looked unabashedly shabby in
the mornings and Tim relished that. It was a far cry from the way
most people saw Chris: Rawls, the restauranteur, the immaculately
groomed master of somber designer smart casual. Any lascivious
thoughts Tim may have started to have, however, were rudely
interrupted by a dull thudding in the pit of his stomach and a
cankerous ache in his soul: he remembered the dream.
The two men sat opposite each other across the small kitchen table.
Tim fiddled distractedly with his cereal while Chris watched him with
clear, steady eyes.
When Tim stopped fiddling and looked straight into those eyes, he
found himself stunned, yet again, by the striking beauty of them and
still wholly fascinated by their color. Usually they were a beautiful
deep-sea blue. But, like any ocean, Chris' eyes would change color
in different light and with different moods. Sometimes they were a
light blueish gray, Tim thought, sometimes so dark they were almost
navy. Often there was a hint of jade green in them, and occasionally
they would be a clear, sky blue. He meant to go to a paint store one
of these days and see if he could match up the colors with any on the
"So, you were going to tell me about your dream, Tim." Chris' genteel
voice puncturing Tim's train of thought.
"Oh, yeah, right. Okay," Tim said, swallowing some juice and
clearing his throat a bit. "It started off with Gee running for
Mayor, see, something about a drugs policy.."
"Does Giardello have any political ambitions that you know of?" Chris
"Well, no. Outside the BPD? No, not that I know of. But anyway,
he's shot and then that's when it gets kind of weird and
complicated. Everyone I've ever worked with in Homicide gets a call
and comes back to work the case. Even people who haven't been there
in years." Tim paused a moment as he tried to recollect the rapidly
fragmenting details of his dream and articulate them into something
"Well, I was fly-fishing when I get a call on my cell-phone.."
"Fly-fishing, huh? We *have* always meant to get around to that,"
Chris' eyes twinkled mischievously.
Tim flashed a grin at his lover, then pulled on his lip as he spoke.
His statement flattened as he continued.
"The weird thing was that Frank wasn't working Homicide anymore.
Neither was Munch. I don't know where Frank was supposed to be.
Teaching college somewhere -- maybe New York or maybe here at
Loloya. Actually, I think both of them were in New York, but I
Furrowing his expressive dark eyebrows, Chris pondered the Jungian
significance of New York.
"And Kay, was, er, well..she wasn't lieutenant anymore. I
don't...No! That's right. *Gharty* was! I dreamt *Gharty* was
lieutenant!" The volume of Tim's voice kept rising and it exploded
with emphasis on each repetition of Gharty's name.
Having met both Kay Howard, whom he considered a friend, and Stuart
Gharty, whom he considered a slob, Chris nearly choked on his coffee
laughing. "And after Kay went through so much crap to get that
promotion," he said good-humoredly.
"And," Tim chortled, "Jason Priestley was there."
That sent Chris into spasms of snorts and laughter.
"At least it wasn't Tori Spelling. Now that, my friend, *would* have
been a nightmare," Chris managed to gasp. He was laughing so much
that his eyes were shut and his face was all crinkles, dimples, lips
Forcing himself to regain some composure, he added in a more serious
tone, "Ya know, Priestley was pretty damn good in "Love and Death on
"Yeah, he *was* good in that. Anyway, everybody I've ever worked
with was there," Tim repeated. "I mean, *Bolander*!" Tim was on a
roll now as he swept his arm wide in one of the clumsy gestures that
"I haven't seen that guy in something like six years. And Julianna
Cox and Brodie - I've told you about him, right?"
Nodding and smiling, Chris remembered the story Tim had told him
about Brodie of no-fixed-abode. Oh, and he remembered Julianna Cox,
too. Chris stopped smiling.
Tim paused and took a big bit out of his eggwhites. "Mmm. This is
really good, Chris."
"Probably just saying that out of habit," Chris thought. "He knows
how important it is to compliment my cooking. I've trained him
well." He smiled at Tim and winked.
"Well, so far, Tim, it sounds more silly than nightmarish. Um. Was
*I* in this dream?"
A pall of loneliness shadowed Tim's face.
"Er, no. No, you weren't."
His voice lowered as he reached out and touched Chris' hand.
"No. I felt as though I was completely alone and I had been for a
very long time." He looked lost and serious, too serious for a
moment. It made Chris' stomach flip and he tightened his grip on
Tim's hand when their fingers entwined.
"You remember that nightmare I had maybe eight or nine months ago?"
asked Tim, gently extricating his hand from Chris' and placing his
fingers flat on the table before him.
"Which one, Tim? You know, you have quite a repertoire," Chris
quirked his mouth up teasingly, trying to bring some levity back into
"The one about the guy video streaming his murders over the
"Oh, yeah. Bound and gagged 'em and murdered them on other people's
home pages or whatever." Leaning in, Chris looked earnestly into
Tim's melancholy brown eyes.
"Didn't we discuss this, Tim? That was just an episode of
"Millennium" replaying in your head. You've got to stop letting TV
shows affect you so much." He laughed a little and was relieved to
see that Tim did too.
But then Tim's statement turned so dark that it was almost
unfathomable. There was genuine pain in his eyes as he lowered them
"But towards the end, after Frank and I got Gee's shooter to give it
Chris again couldn't help but be amused, which Tim acknowledged by
looking up at him through his eyelashes and narrowing his
eyes, letting them twinkle just a bit.
"Well, last night, I dreamt that I was supposed to have killed that
internet guy - Ryland, or Leland, or something. I mean apparently I
*executed* him in cold blood." He looked away, creasing his brow.
"In that other dream, I *wanted* to kill the guy but I don't remember
dreaming that I actually did it, if you know what I mean." He pursed
his mouth in contemplation and glanced back at Chris, who nodded.
Actually, Chris *wasn't* sure he knew what he meant, he was getting a
little confused. But having known Tim for more than a couple of
years, he had gotten used to sometimes losing a thread or two in the
Tim didn't say anything for a moment, but Chris could see that this
was really bothering him and that it was best to get him to forge on
and get it over with.
"So, what happened, Tim? What was it that was so bad?" he asked
Tim pressed his lips together and let out a long breath.
"I was on the rooftop with Frank and I *confessed* it to him. I made
this big confession about how I was a murderer and I couldn't live
with myself and I wanted him to forgive me, or er, absolve me or
something like that. But he wouldn't - he said he couldn't - and I
just wanted to die -- I wanted to eat my gun --so he has to turn me
in and I dunno after that."
"Jeez," thought Chris, "there's some pretty heavy stuff here. Is Tim
still feeling guilty about having to shoot that homeless guy last
year? Well, of course he is, you *idiot*," mentally kicking himself.
He had been in love with a cop all this time and he still didn't
really know what it felt like to do the job that Tim did. Standing
over mutilated corpses everyday: men, women, children. Suicides.
Then one day having to kill someone yourself? What the hell kind of
job was that? His own experience of finding Alan's body had been bad
enough. He couldn't imagine doing that for a living. He *had*
understood when Tim had considered quitting after shooting Moss.
Part of Chris would probably always wish that he had.
As for Pembleton, Chris had learnt the hard way, a long time ago:
don't go there.
Tim was just idling with his fork now, head down, looking like a
"You know, Tim, you probably still have a lot of guilt about shooting
Larry Moss and maybe some unresolved issues about being shot
yourself. Your dream was probably just an statement of that," said
"Oh, *that* came out well," Chris silently rebuked himself. "Sound
like a fucking first year Psych student. At least I didn't lay it on
about his childhood or Ade..."
"Adena was there," Tim said quietly.
"Oh, shit," Chris thought. He could feel himself grimacing even as
he struggled to keep his statement neutral.
"I dreamt at the end that Gee died and he was in the old squadroom,
the coffee room with the others: Crossetti, Felton and Adena." He
said this last name with such sadness and reverence.
"Hmm. The Big Coffee Room in the Sky, huh? I *could* make a joke
about that," mused Chris to himself.
But he didn't, because Tim looked too miserable and so beautiful.
His appearance so overwhelmed Chris that he didn't know what to say,
so he decided to let actions speak louder than words.
He got up and moved over to Tim, indicating to him to push his chair
back. Chris sat down on Tim's lap, straddling Tim's legs. He
caressed Tim's face and hair, stroked his neck and encircled his arms
around his shoulders. When he pressed his lips and stubbled skin
against Tim's ear it made Tim quiver and release a tiny gasp.
"It's okay, Tim. I'm here. It was just a dream," he murmured, his
low voice vibrating softly through Tim and his hand running down the
right side of Tim's back.
"I know," whispered Tim, almost inaudibly. He touched Chris' face
with the fingers of both hands, gently bringing it in front of his
own. Their lips and the tips of their tongues brushed
together sweetly for a few moments before locking in a long, fervent
Enshrouded with everything that was his lover - his taste, his scent,
his body, his touch - Tim felt the nightmare, with all its anguish
and guilt, gently evanesce. Soon the only thing that was corporeal,
that truly mattered, was the love and desire he felt for the man he
held in his arms.
Tim was standing in the hallway by the front door, pulling on his
heavy overcoat and scarf to brace the cold outside. Chris hovered,
watching him thoughtfully.
"You going to be okay?" he asked.
"Yeah, yeah," replied Tim too quickly. He smiled and bent his head
down, pressing his nose into the dimple of Chris' cheek.
"Yes. I will be *now*," he teased.
Chuckling, Chris ran his fingers down Tim's tie and then reached up
and straightened the knot.
"Take care, you. Okay?"
"Yes. I'll take care. I always do," said Tim with a poker-face.
"Except when I'm throwing myself in front of flying bullets and
getting shot in the back."
Tim beamed playfully, biting his bottom lip, although Chris feigned a
"I'll call you when I can," Tim said.
"Yeah, I know the drill," answered Chris.
They kissed on the lips and hugged briefly. Then Tim opened the
front door, hunching his shoulders at the sudden onslaught of frosty
air and reluctantly walked out.
Through a window, Chris watched until Tim got into his car and drove
away. Finally, turning around, he made his way back to the kitchen,
pausing briefly to look into the study at The Zodiac's accounts
nestled on his desk. Even though it was his day off, he knew he'd
end up doing the restaurant's books. In the kitchen, he stared for a
moment at the morning's debris before moving towards the sink to
Just another Monday, he sighed.