### The Shape of Our Container #### A <a target="_blank" href="http://ifdb.tads.org/viewcomp?id=w7c92kqrhij4kt8h">TinyUtopia</a> entry by Rocketnia #### 2016 ##### Version 2 *Play for as long as you like. You are not expected to reach the ending.* *The total length of all branches is approximately 3,600 words.* *No state is kept between passages. Logic and causality are fickle.* *There are no sex scenes, sudden flashes, or automatic media players.* *There are external links to YouTube.* [[Begin->Reset]]You open your eyes as the breeze settles around you. The clouds proceed slowly through the sky, and the ground is flat and white for as far as it goes. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Start2]]</span>"What were you dreaming about?" ze says, zir hand resting on your forehead to keep the hair out of your face. It's warm here in zir lap. [["I had a dream about you," you manage.->Start3]][["I'm so glad you're still here."->GladYoureStillHere]] [["I'm going to have to say goodbye soon."->HaveToSayGoodbyeSoon]]Ze smiles. "It's what I'm good at!" Ze moves zir hand, and your hair falls right into your face. You sit up. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->GladYoureStillHere2]]</span>Ze leans against your shoulder, and you do likewise. The two of you look out over the shadows under the overcast sky, and ze starts up a language game to pass the time. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->GladYoureStillHere3]]</span>"A building rests there," [["Approach it with care,"->LanguageGameA]] [["Its family plays fair,"->LanguageGameB]]"All travelers say," [["They'll be back someday,"->LanguageGameAA]] [["It's not much to stay,"->LanguageGameAB]]"But only Frosty," [["Had half the moxie,"->GladYoureStillHere4]] [["Could rhyme with Frosty,"->GladYoureStillHere4]]"A pleasure to go," [["If only they'd know,"->GladYoureStillHere4]] [["Out from it they row,"->GladYoureStillHere4]]"Their dog and their cat," [["Have buzz cuts all flat,"->LanguageGameBA]] [["Make little of that,"->LanguageGameBB]]"Their tailors are mad," [["Get in on the fad,"->GladYoureStillHere4]] [["If only they had,"->GladYoureStillHere4]]"Because in the end," [["They're family, not friend,"->GladYoureStillHere4]] [["Pets rarely pretend,"->GladYoureStillHere4]]It's not long before you've passed the time away and you're back to sleep in each other's arms. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"That's all right," ze says. "Every dream comes to an end." [["Why does this have to be a dream?"->WhyADream]] [["I'm tired."->ImTired]]"I would make it real if I could." Ze faces down to catch your eye, zir hair falling toward you. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhyADream2]]</span>You squeeze zir hand. [["Let me stay awake here for a while."->WhyADream3]]You sit up, and the two of you look out at the clouds. They remind you of each other. [[Walk along as the patches of coolness and light drift across your path.->WalkOverPatches]] [[Hold zir close.->HoldZirClose]]You walk together. For a long time, you don't say anything. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkOverPatches2]]</span>You stop when ze tugs at your arm. Ze sits on the soft ground, looking up at you with drowsy eyes. [[Sleep here.->SleepTogether]] [[Say goodbye.->ZellSleepYoullWakeUp]]You lay down next to zir and take zir hands in yours. The two of you drift off to the sounds of each other's breath. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Ze'll sleep, and you'll wake up, and maybe somewhere in between you'll meet again. Ze knows this. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->ZellSleepYoullWakeUp2]]</span>You wave excitedly, running backwards and tripping over yourself as the two of you compete to see who can wave the biggest. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->ZellSleepYoullWakeUp3]]</span>You can't open your eyes for laughing, and before you can, the dream is over. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Ze rests against you, and before long ze's sleeping in your lap. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->HoldZirClose2]]</span>You let this go on for a while. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->HoldZirClose3]]</span>With nothing else to do, you start to put zir hair in braids. To your surprise, ze sleeps through it. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->HoldZirClose4]]</span>Having braided zir hair right to the tip, you inspect your handiwork one last time and look out at the clouds again. [[Stay until ze wakes up.->LetZirWakeUp]] [[Let zir sleep in comfort as you walk away.->WalkAway]]You pull zir hair away from zir face and whisper to zir about the clouds. Ze adjusts zir position a few times, but it takes hours for zir to wake. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->LetZirWakeUp2]]</span>Zir eyes open, and ze turns zir head to look out at the barren landscape. "I had a dream about you," ze says. [["How was it?"->LetZirWakeUp3]]"It was... funny, now that I think about it." Ze grips your leg, and ze settles again, confident and relaxed. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->LetZirWakeUp4]]</span>"In the dream," ze says, "it was me who had to wake up, and you were helping me." [["Was I helpful?"->WasIHelpful]] [["But it's really the other way around, isn't it?"->ReallyTheOtherWayAround]]"You were selfless," ze says, reaching up to hold onto your hand. "Just like I want to be for you." [["You might even be too good at that."->MightEvenBeTooGood]] [["But was I helpful?"->ButWasIHelpful]]"Well, we know where I get it from." Ze slips zir fingers into yours, and now your hands rest on zir, interlocked, as ze stares out at the sky. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->MightEvenBeTooGood2]]</span>You just rest there like that for a while. You nod off with zir still resting in your lap. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"Well, you did help me wake up. But in the end, we're still right here." Ze lets go of your hand and gestures out at the sky. "Having me wake up clearly didn't accomplish much!" <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->ButWasIHelpful2]]</span>Ze shakes a bit, and you realize ze's laughing, so you laugh too. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->ButWasIHelpful3]]</span>"I think you need to wake up," ze says. "I have an idea, too. I'm going to say nonsense words until you can't imagine them anymore." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->ButWasIHelpful4]]</span>You're not sure what ze's up to, but ze's already begun. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->ButWasIHelpful5]]</span>"Zingbra, quarquay, jintamelon, alcolabrosy..." Soon the consonants have overlapped and inverted each other. Some of the word roots seem to make sense in some way, but connecting them is no use. By the time you start to pay attention again, ze's moved on to vowels you've never heard of. [["Thank you."->ButWasIHelpful6]]You barely manage those words as the image fades. You're not even quite sure what you were thankful for. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Ze looks up at a cloud, and over zir mess of hair, you see an eyelash dash by as ze blinks. "Yeah," ze admits. "I guess I only woke up to wake you up, huh?" [["I'm sorry."->WhyIExist]] [["How about if I help you wake up again?"->HelpYouWakeUp]]"No," ze says. "I'm happy with this. It's why I exist." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhyIExist2]]</span>Ze keeps talking to you, and you stand up and talk about waking up. The two of you hug and point into the distance, and you walk off into the distance as you wave to each other. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhyIExist3]]</span>Despite participating in that conversation, you don't really hear any of it. You wake up feeling like you could have paid more attention. But all you can think about is that haunting line. "I'm happy with this. It's why I exist." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhyIExist4]]</span>It would be nice to have that kind of confidence. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"That doesn't make any sense!" Ze rolls over to look up at you. "But maybe you're right. Either of us could be the one who needs to wake up right now." Ze poses zir eyebrows, a smile barely forming. "Fascinating." [[Pinch zir on the cheek.->PinchZir]] [[Practice some high-pitched opera singing. "Rope 'em up, boys! The desert is a-calling."->SingingIsAbominable]] <div class="rocketnia-footnote">Komar & Melamid and Dave Soldier's "The Most Unwanted Song" (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gPuH1yeZ08">YouTube link</a>)</div>Ze bats your hand away and tries to pinch your cheek in retaliation. You stumble backward, and the two of you sit up again, separated. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->PinchZir2]]</span>You stare at zir face, finally upright. Ze looks back at you. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->PinchZir3]]</span>"We're awfully alike," ze says. "We could be clones." [["Maybe we're allegories for the same person."->Allegories]] [["How do you know what you look like?"->HowKnowLook]]"Then does that mean we both need to wake up?" <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Allegories2]]</span>Ze sees you contemplating this, and ze breaks the spell. "No, I'm sorry. I'm kidding around. I know it's you who needs to wake up." [["What makes you so sure?"->WhatMakesYouSure]] [["Me too. You need to wake up, and as the subconscious here, I should know."->SubconsciousHere]]"I just am, okay? Trust me on this." Ze takes your hand, and you walk along, the ground sinking and pushing back up with every step. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhatMakesYouSure2]]</span>As you're about to speak up, ze stops walking. "Okay, here we are. This is where we part ways." Ze smiles at you. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhatMakesYouSure3]]</span>You give zir a quizzical look. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhatMakesYouSure4]]</span>"I believe in you." Ze holds your hands up and presses them toward you. "And if I am really the dreamer here, then that's all you need." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhatMakesYouSure5]]</span>Ze fixes your hair, and you set off in the direction ze wants you to. Right toward the sun. You squint a few times as the clouds occlude and reveal the sun, and you settle on watching your steps instead. Eventually you make your last step and leave the dream behind. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"Dammit!" Ze laughs and puts zir hand on your shoulder, staring you right in the eyes. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere2]]</span>It's just the two of you out here, clouds passing overhead. Some of them reflect in zir eyes. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere3]]</span>"If we're going to keep up this charade," ze says, "then you're going to need to give me lucid dream powers. Or vice versa." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere4]]</span>Ze lets go of your shoulder and lifts up your hands, resting them flat upon zirs. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere5]]</span>Ze levitates, and you levitate. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere6]]</span>Soon you're both zooming through the sky, hiding from each other in the chilly clouds, playing catch with the sun... <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere7]]</span>When you've had enough, you curl up together on a cloud and rest there for a while. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere8]]</span>As you start to drift off, you both sink through the cloud. From an out-of-body perspective you see the two of you fast asleep, plummeting, surely about to have your fall broken by the soft white ground. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere9]]</span>Falling, but so peacefully. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SubconsciousHere10]]</span>Midway through the descent, you wake up. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Ze rolls zir eyes and smiles. "That's a silly question. I know what you know, and you know what I look like." [["If there are two of us, maybe we could make more."->MakeMore]] [["Then why don't I know everything you know?"->WhyDontIKnow]]"That could get out of hand," ze says. "Right?" <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->MakeMore2]]</span>But it's too late. Walking up behind zir is another one, and as you turn around you catch sight of a few more. A crowd forms, and the two of you stand up awkwardly to greet the newcomers. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->MakeMore3]]</span>Everyone's talking. Everyone's talking at once. You lose track of it all, and you wake up. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"Actually, you do!" ze admonishes you with a raised finger. Then ze levels it at you. "But you're trying to fool yourself, pretending that I'm independent from you." [["If you're not independent from me, how are you even telling me this right now?"->HowAreYouTelling]] [["Are you trying to gaslight me? You're the dreamer here."->Gaslight]]"That's what I'm trying to say." There's some frustration in zir voice. "You're pretending that I'm telling you this. This is your dream." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->HowAreYouTelling2]]</span>You're not sure what to say. Anything you could say, you already know how ze's going to reply. The whole conversation has collapsed to a single point. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->HowAreYouTelling3]]</span>You're aware of nothing but your breathing until your other senses crawl back to life. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"I don't really know how you knew that," ze says. You look at zir again. What? <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Gaslight2]]</span>"So I'm the dreamer," ze says. "I can still make you wake up if I want to." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Gaslight3]]</span>Something about this doesn't make sense, but as ze waves zir hand, you do find yourself waking up. Maybe ze was the dreamer after all. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Your singing is abominable. Ze sits up and gives you a disapproving look, and yet a disapproving look with a smile on it. [["Christmas time! Christmas time!"->MoreSingingIsAbominable]] [[Let it rest.->ZeSings]]As you keep singing The Most Unwanted Song, ze stands there with zir ears cupped under zir hands. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->MoreSingingIsAbominable2]]</span>Eventually ze sighs and nods, and ze fades away before your eyes. You're all by yourself now, and there's no one to sing to. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->MoreSingingIsAbominable3]]</span>You just lay back on the soft ground, staring directly overhead as you watch yourself in the third person, camera pulling away until you're obscured beneath the clouds. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->MoreSingingIsAbominable4]]</span>Soon, you've woken up too. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Ze sits down on the ground next to you and puts zir arm over your shoulder. When you've both settled your gaze on the horizon, ze takes zir turn to sing. \ <blockquote>\ I fear there's something Deep inside Of your lonely heart And it seems So desperately to call Away Tear you and I apart...\ </blockquote><span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->ZeSings2]]</span> <div class="rocketnia-footnote">Injury's "Blue Reflection," a remix of Harumi Fujita and Yasuaki Fujita's "Ending" from Mega Man 3 (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB-0m2R4scw">YouTube link</a>)</div>Ze usually doesn't talk about wanting to stay together, and the song transfixes you. By the end, you're lost in contradictory thoughts, and you realize you've been asleep for a while. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>You pick a destination, and you walk. Ze gets smaller every time you look back, and soon there is nothing more of interest to describe, and you become aware that you're asleep. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkAway2]]</span>You open your eyes as the breeze settles around you. The clouds proceed slowly through the sky, and... You're alone this time. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkAway3]]</span>You're all alone in a field of white. The sun must have woken you when a cloud drifted out of its way. You get up and look in every direction, but ze's nowhere in sight. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkAway4]]</span>You circle for a while, tracing a wide Archimedean spiral, but ze still isn't anywhere on the horizon. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkAway5]]</span>You fall to your knees, and you think back to your dream. You walked away from zir in the dream... but was that reality? Maybe you didn't really wake up; you just fell asleep and woke up into the same dream. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkAway6]]</span>You put your head in your hands, trying to call up clearer memories. As your head dips down, your braids slip over your shoulders. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkAway7]]</span>You open your eyes again and examine your braids. If that was you... then ze was the one who walked away. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkAway8]]</span>Ze was the one who woke up! <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WalkAway9]]</span>[[Maybe you should wake up, too.->WakeUpToo]] [[Maybe you could just sit here and remember zir.->RememberZir]]You walk along, admiring the clouds that remind you of zir. Ze is as free as they are, now. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WakeUpToo2]]</span>You suppose ze's the light of the sun all around you, alternating warm and tense like a heartbeat. Maybe there's some of zir voice in the breeze. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WakeUpToo3]]</span>And when you wake, maybe you'll find zir light again on the other side. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WakeUpToo4]]</span>[[It's time to find out.->Reset]]You drift off to sleep, imagining zir holding you like ze used to. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->RememberZir2]]</span>You're in a cold and shady patch. You don't know when you started standing, but you see zir at a distance... behind you. Ze's walking toward you, and the two of you meet and fall into each other's arms. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->RememberZir3]]</span>"I thought you woke up," ze said. "What brought you back here?" [["It's just another dream up there, and you're not in it."->RememberZir4]]Ze laughs. "Of course I'm in it! You're visiting me right now." [["But you don't know what goes on up there."->YouDontKnowThere]] [["But you only do what I want you to."->YouOnlyDoWhatIWant]]"I do, actually. I know all that you want for me to know. That's why we leave so much unstated." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->YouDontKnowThere2]]</span>Ze catches you and holds your head as you rest it on zir shoulder. The two of you collapse to the ground. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->YouDontKnowThere3]]</span>"Maybe now isn't a good time for you to wake up," ze admits. "Just take it easy." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->YouDontKnowThere4]]</span>And you do. Before long, you're asleep in zir arms. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Ze nods. "If that's a problem for you, you need to wake up." [["Okay, slap me."->SlapMe]] [["Let me try again."->LetMeTryAgain]]Ze slaps you, but you don't feel it. Of course you don't. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SlapMe2]]</span>Ze sees that in your eyes. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SlapMe3]]</span>"I'm going to try that again," ze says. "But this time, think of the stinging and warm reminder it leaves. I sent you away. It was for your own good. There was nothing you could do about it. Hold onto that pain." Ze holds your hands and waits for approval. [[You nod.->SlapMe4]]Ze holds zir hand close to your cheek. Ze raises it, and... <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SlapMe5]]</span>Allegories of rejection and domestic violence. Why would ze choose these over letting you stay? No matter how you slice it, there's nothing for you here. You don't even want to think about it. You wake up. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Ze waves as you turn away. As you walk, ze trails you at a slow pace. Every time you look back, you see zir smile. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->LetMeTryAgain2]]</span>This makes it easier to try, but not at all easy to leave. Just easy to try. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->LetMeTryAgain3]]</span>And as the tears drown those distinctions, you forget what you were even hoping to accomplish this way, and you wake up. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"If you want to go back to sleep, I'll be here as long as you need," ze offers. [["That sounds good."->LiftLocks]] [["That's not the answer."->Oversleep]]It takes a while before you fall asleep again. You watch zir lift locks of your hair and fiddle with them as the clouds pass overhead. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->LiftLocks2]]</span>It almost feels like the two of you are the ones drifting over a sea of white, exploring the sky. Maybe there's a destination to find. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->LiftLocks3]]</span>Ze shifts zir position. "I guess I'll just lay down too." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->LiftLocks4]]</span>The ground is soft enough for it. Ze takes your hands, and you hold onto them like you might drift apart. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"Oh, did you oversleep?" ze chuckles. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Oversleep2]]</span>When you don't answer, ze continues, brushing hair over your ear. "Waking up is not going to bother me. Go on with your life at your own pace, and don't pay me any mind." [["Of course I'll mind."->OfCourseIllMind]] [["What else do I pay you in?"->PayYouIn]]"Really?" Ze sighs. "What does that even mean?" <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->OfCourseIllMind2]]</span>Ze leans forward in a way that sort of crushes you. You find your way back into a comfortable position. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->OfCourseIllMind3]]</span>"If you think of me at all," ze says, "that's more than I require. That's the only reason I exist to begin with." [["Don't you want more?"->OfCourseIllMind4]]"If you want me to want more, then I will. But would you be so cruel?" [["Maybe I would."->IWouldBeCruel]] [["It's not cruel to want you to be independent."->NotCruel]]Ze laughs. "Maybe. I don't know what it's like to live that way." [["Let's leave it at that, then."->LeaveItAtThat]] [["I'll teach you."->IllTeachYou]]Ze reaches down your arm and fits zir fingers between yours. You grip hands, saying nothing for a long time. [["I guess... I must have something I don't want to want."->DontWantToWant]] [[Just go back to sleep.->CruelBackToSleep]]Ze jostles your hand. "That explains making a utopia like this one." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->DontWantToWant2]]</span>You take another look at it. Flat white ground, slowly moving clouds, a blue sky, and a sun somewhere overhead. And zir. You outstretch your hand and watch the way zir fingers and yours match up. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->DontWantToWant3]]</span>"Some reality is being cruel to you, somewhere. But I don't have to be the same as them." [["Thanks."->CruelThanks]] [["I have to go."->CruelGo]]"Any time," ze says, zir words barely making it out before you're so lucid that you might be conducting them yourself. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->CruelThanks2]]</span>She wasn't standing. She was sitting, and you were laying with your head in her lap. Her pronouns... You've lost the dream already. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->CruelThanks3]]</span>You try to squeeze zir hand again, and this time it feels surprisingly real. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"You..." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->CruelGo2]]</span>You turn back to look at zir, having already stood up. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->CruelGo3]]</span>Ze looks up at you. "You... Just keep in mind that you don't have to be cruel." [["I made someone like you."->CruelGo4]] [["I have you to guide me."->CruelGo4]]"That's right." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>Ze doesn't mind, even when your tears drip down. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->CruelBackToSleep2]]</span>Once you're out of tears, sleep comes easy. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"That'll be the day," ze says. "What can you teach me that you don't imbue in me already?" [["You're only a very specific fabrication."->IllTeachYou2]]"But I am your idea of an ideal." [["And I don't trust myself."->DontTrustMyself]] [["No, you're actually somebody else's idea."->SomebodyElsesIdea]]Ze rests a hand on your side, and you're sure ze's about to tickle you. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->DontTrustMyself2]]</span>That ze does, and you spring right up to your feet. Ze stands up to meet you. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->DontTrustMyself3]]</span>"You'd better not trust yourself," ze chides. "It's not like you're perfect or anything." [["And you are?"->AndYouAre]] [["What if I am?"->WhatIfIAm]]"Hardly." Ze winks. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->AndYouAre2]]</span>You take each other's hands and rest your foreheads together. The dream ends in peace. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"Then I fully believe in your ability to disabuse yourself of that notion when you wake up." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->WhatIfIAm2]]</span>Ze pulls you in for a hug. Then you wave to each other, and you walk off as you bring the dream to a close. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>You don't know how it happened, but the two of you are suddenly upright, floating in midair. Ze puts a finger to your lips. "Shh. That's out of character." Ze seems awfully proud of zirself for some reason. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SomebodyElsesIdea2]]</span>Then ze wakes up, and you don't exist. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->SomebodyElsesIdea3]]</span>It's a long time before you see zir again. <div class="rocketnia-end">End</div>"Then it's not cruel for me to want you to be independent, either. You have your own life to tend to right now." <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->NotCruel2]]</span>The sun dips behind a cloud and comes out again. You squint and blink. Soon you feel like you've had your eyes closed for a long time. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>"Hah, paying mind." Ze tickles your side, and you flip over and pin zir to the soft white ground. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->PayYouIn2]]</span>Zir eyes meeting yours, you realize how rarely you take in that view. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->PayYouIn3]]</span>"You're so much like me," ze says. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->PayYouIn4]]</span>And that's that. You both run out of things to say, and you just rest your forehead on zirs as you wake up. <span class="rocketnia-next">[[Next->Reset]]</span>