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Power Rangers Ride The Rails
#12 - "Only In My Dreams" (Originally Written In: 2017)

[ Song du Jour | Close ]

"It's getting late," Riley said. "We'd better turn in."

"You're just mad because you're losing, mate," Chase commented, noting the numerous hotels that dotted the Monopoly board.

"No, I'm mad because you turned this into Strip Monopoly, and all I have left is my boxers."

"I don't mind the view," Kaori said. She, Gabriela, and Phoenix were sitting on the couch. "We were smart enough to fold before it got to that point." She sipped her soda.

"But, dude," Phoenix spoke, "Spongebob underwear? Really?"

"It's the last clean pair that I have!"

"Just roll the dice, mate. Anything besides an 11 spells doom." Riley blew on the dice, shook them vigorously in his hand, and rolled them onto the board. "Ah, you rolled a 12! That's Boardwalk with a hotel! You owe me $2,000." Chase grinned.

"You know that I don't have it."

"Want to fold, or do you want to take a Payment Card from the 'special deck'?" Chase put a stack of blue cards in the middle of the board.

"'Special deck'?" Gabriela asked. "Do I want to know?"

"It's probably for the best that you don't."

Riley pondered. "We Griffins never were ones to give up a game of Monopoly. However, given the circumstances, I think I'll fold."

"Chicken." Chase put the blue cards away. "Guess I'm the real estate tycoon of the bunch!"

"Winner gets to put the game away." Riley grinned.

"Aw, man!" Chase started to tear the game down and put everything back into its box.

"We'd better get going. It really IS getting late." Kaori waved. "C'mon, Gabi."

"Right behind you!" She looked at the guys. "G'night!"

Phoenix, Riley, and Chase waved. While Riley was getting ready for bed, Phoenix walked over to Chase and started to help put the game away. "What are those blue cards, anyway?"

"Oh, it's a special deck that we use whenever we play this. When it gets down to the two of us, we bust out the blue cards. They usually involve... Well, we'll just call them 'dares'."

"'Dares'?"

"Just think about it." Chase grinned. "Riley's such a prude that I usually wind up winning. It's like my own secret weapon."

"Have you ever had to do any of these, erm, 'dares'?"

Chase nodded. "Once, I had to streak across the field at the Amber Beach Baseball Stadium."

Phoenix's eyes widened. "That's quite a dare."

"And, that's one of the tamer ones." Chase put the final pieces of the game back in the box, and set it back on the shelf. "You should have seen Riley's face when he found out that he had to--"

"Okay, that's enough!" Riley walked back into the room, stopping the conversation dead. "Bathroom's free, for whoever wants it."

"You fine if I take it next?" Phoenix asked.

"Be my guest," Chase replied. Phoenix got his pajamas together and walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. Chase looked over at Riley. "You know, we've got a few minutes." He grinned, pulling a blue card out of his back pocket.

Riley snatched it out of his hand. "No! We're not supposed to do these outside of the board game." He looked at the card and blushed. "You're bad..."

"There's always next time," Chase said, snatching the card back from him.

"Speaking of... Well, that... How are things between you and Kaylee?"

"It's weird. I used to not want her around. After that encounter with that book woman... I think I'm more in love with her now than I was back in Amber Beach."

"Maybe you should save that card for her, then."

"Yeah, maybe..." He sighed. "I don't know. Am I, Chase Randall - ladies' man extraordinaire - ready to settle down?"

"It might be good for you to stop chasing after anything in a skirt. Kaylee's your girlfriend from - well, I'll just say it - your previous life, and she just happens to be in your present life. If a galaxy and a wormhole can't keep you two apart, it must be meant to last."

"You're probably right."

-"I used to be like you,"- Phoenix commented, walking out of the bathroom, throwing his clothes across the room into his laundry hamper.

"Nice toss!" Riley said.

"Thanks! Anyway, Chase, I used to have the women throwing themselves at me. I was the Star Quarterback of the football team, and I had every girl at school throwing themselves at me. Sure, I took advantage of the situation more often than I should have, but I *really* liked the attention, and... Well, you know what else."

"I get it. I don't need the mental image."

"Anyway, when I met Kelly... Something just clicked. Sure, she's not often playing with a full deck, but there's just something about her that drew me to her, and I never looked back since. It doesn't help that she threatened to rip off all of my appendages, one by one, if I ever so much thought about looking at another woman, so maybe that's what kept us together?"

"Kaylee's the exact same way," Chase commented. "If any woman so much as looks at me, she leaps into action and does whatever it takes to scare them off."

"What is it with us and crazy girls?"

"Beats me, but I'm gonna go and get ready for bed. Good talk!" Chase gathered his pajamas and walked into the bathroom.

Phoenix approached Riley. "So, those blue cards..."

"I don't want to talk about them!"

~*~

Later that night, everyone was sleeping in their respective beds. A mist flew into the guys' quarters through an open window, and materialized into a translucent version of a blue aardvark-looking monster with a vacuum attachment for an arm. The monster, who goes by the name 'Dream Weaver,' sprayed some of his dream mist onto each of the guys' faces, making sure not to wake them up. When this was done, he transformed back into a mist and made his way around to the girls' quarters to do the same thing. When he was finished, he flew out of TQGHQ and back to Joopy's hideout.

~*~

-"Do you, Gabriela Velazquez, take this man, Otome Momoiro, to be your lawfully-wedded husband?"-

Gabriela looked around and saw that she was at a wedding. She looked down and saw that she was the one in the bridal gown. She looked over and saw Otome standing next to her, waiting for her response. "Oh, that's me! Yes! I do!"

"Very well." The minister turned to Otome. "Do you, Otome Momoiro, take this woman, Gabriela Velazquez, to be your lawfully-wedded wife?"

"Of course I do." He took her hand in his. "Now, and forever."

"Very well. Then, by the power vested in me by the city of Venture Capital, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."

Otome lifted her veil and kissed her, to the cheers of the wedding guests in attendance. After about a minute, he broke the kiss and slowly pulled away. "So, how does it feel to be married, Mrs. Momoiro?"

Gabriela smiled. "It seems so sudden, but I'm loving it so far!"

"Let's get going. The reception awaits!" Otome led her down the aisle, followed by the procession of bridesmaids and groomsmen, to the limo that was waiting for them outside of the church. He opened the door for her. "After you."

"Thank you!" She got into the limo, and Otome closed the door behind her. When she got in, she saw that the limo went on for what looked like a mile. "Oh, my God!" Her voice echoed.

Otome got in from the other side and sat next to her. "What do you think of the limo? Is it big enough?"

"Big enough? I could fit my whole family in here and still have room!"

"Let's talk about our honeymoon. Which of my many houses should we spend it at?"

"Many houses? I thought you were one of the lone survivors of your war-torn planet."

"Exactly. That means that I get all of the houses. Which one would you like to use for our honeymoon?"

"That seems a little cold, but are any of them on the beach?"

"A couple."

"We'll flip a coin."

~*~

-"And now, the Nobel Prize for Technological Achievements goes to... Ms. Kaori Yamada, for her research with the Terra-Quasar Group!"-

"What?" Kaori looked around and saw that she was sitting at a table in a banquet facility, and the spotlight was shining on her. "Oh, I won!" She jumped up out of her seat and ran to the stage, losing her high-heels on the way. She took the award from the presenter, who stood back and let her approach the microphone. She looked at the award, which had her name on it. "Oh, wow! Um... I'd like to thank everyone at TQG for allowing me to work with the team in helping to develop the techology that the Rangers used in battle. I'd also like to thank my friends and family. Thank you!" She walked off of the stage and made her way back to her table, where her whole family was waiting for her. "Where'd you guys come from?"

"We're so proud of you," Imbala said, giving her a hug.

"You've really made us proud," Johnny added.

"You'll still always be my nerdy sister," Arnold commented.

"Arnold!" Maddie exclaimed.

"I'm sorry. What I meant to say was..." He paused. "No, that's what I meant to say."

Kaori snickered. "It's okay. You know, genius does run in the family. Maybe you'll be up there getting your own award someday!"

"Only if that award's for 'World's Biggest Doofus,'" Reese commented.

"Alright, that's it! I'm gonna--"

"No, you're not," Rafael commanded. "Sit down and behave." He watched his children sit down, then turned to Kaori. "So, what are you going to do, now that you're a Nobel Prize winner?"

"Hmm," she pondered, "I never really thought about it. I guess..."

~*~

Dream Weaver rematerialized in the barn, where Joopy was waiting. "So, did you do what I asked you to?"

"Yes, sir. They were all sprinkled with the Dream Dust, as you requested."

"Excellent! Now, all I-- Hold on, did you say 'Dream Dust'?"

"Yes."

He smacked him. "You idiot! I said 'Nightmare Fuel,' not 'Dream Dust'!"

"Is there a difference?"

"Yes! Dream Dust is for happy dreams. Nightmare Fuel is for, as it's appropriately called, nightmares! The idea was to give them sleepless nights, not to give them the best sleep they've ever had! Now, they'll be unstoppable!"

"I can always go back and resprinkle them with Nightmare Fuel."

He waved his hand. "No, the moment's passed. You might as well go into the city and wreak some havoc. Maybe I can just cut off their dreams at the good part and hope THAT impedes their fighting abilities."

"Yes, sir." Dream Weaver teleported away.

Joopy shook his head. "I'm surrounded by buffoons, which, considering I'm alone, is REALLY saying something!"

~*~

"Hut, hut... HIKE!" Phoenix caught the snap and moved back, looking for an open teammate. When he saw that Big Jack was completely open AND within a few feet of the touchdown line, that's who he picked. He threw the ball in his direction. He watched in anticipation as time seemed to slow down. Big Jack caught the ball and took a few steps back, crossing the goal line and winning the game for the team as the final buzzer sounded, securing their victory by just one point. "We did it!" He took his helmet off and tossed it aside, running toward Big Jack to give him a celebratory hug. "You big lug, we did it! We won the game for the team! We're going to the championship!"

"Yes... I won the game, didn't I?" Big Jack shoved Phoenix aside and made his way toward the waiting reporters. "I, Big Jack, have secured the victory for Venture Capital, and I can assure you--" He watched as the reporters ran past him toward Phoenix. He turned around. "But... I caught the pass! That should count for something!"

"You're my hero, big guy," Skinny Mack said, giving him a pat on the shoulder. "Those reporters are just chasing him because he's the Quarterback."

"Thanks, little buddy, but it's not the same."

-"Excuse me?"- The two of them turned around to see Melanie, one of the cheerleaders, standing there. "I couldn't help but notice that you caught the winning pass. That's *so* athletic! I was just wondering if you'd like to, I don't know, go out sometime?"

"I'd love to!" He pushed Skinny Mack aside. "Sorry, little buddy, but I've got a date!" He took her arm in his. "Why, yes, I did win the game for the team..." The two of them walked away.

Skinny Mack stood up and brushed himself off. "Once again, I'm tossed away like yesterday's trash over a woman. Figures..."

Back at the crowd of reporters, Phoenix was recounting what was going through his head as he took that last snap and chose which player to pass the ball to in order to win the game, when the coach approached him. "The team would like to present you with the MVP trophy for tonight's game." He handed him the rather large trophy. "We couldn't have done it without you!" He handed him an envelope. "Also, we'd like you to accept these tickets to Sea World of Mirinoi, which is dedicating their new picnic pavilion in your honor."

"What are you going to do, now that your team's going to the championship?" A reporter asked.

He looked at the trophy and the tickets. "I'm going to Sea World!"

~*~

"Would you like another grape, sire?" A young, voluptuous woman asked.

"Please," Chase - dressed in an outfit resembling an Aztec ruler - replied, opening his mouth and accepting the grape. "Delicious!"

"The villagers will be pleased that you like the fruits of their labor, Your Highness," she commented.

A small, older man ran in. "Sire! Sire!" He stopped, short of Chase's chaise lounge and his harem, which included several well-endowed women, two of which were fanning him with palm fronds. He tried to catch his breath.

"What is it, Fauntleroy?" Chase asked.

"The representative of the village is here, and he's not pleased with your plans to build your Resort Paradise on their hill."

Chase sighed. "I'm busy. Can't someone else address his concerns?"

"I suppose I could have the Prince do it, but you remember what happened the last time he addressed the villagers' concerns, don't you?"

"You're right. I'd better go to it. Let him know that I'll be there soon, Fauntleroy." He waved his hand, dismissing the servant, who scuttled out of the room.

"You're not *really* going to address the peasants, are you?" One woman, Angela, asked. "We were supposed to have our special time soon!" She pouted.

Chase stood up and took her in his arms. "Don't worry, babe. There's plenty of me to go around." He kissed her before turning and leaving the room.

"You're so lucky, Angela," Cassandra said. "His Majesty seems to prefer you over the rest of us."

"That's not true, Cassandra," she replied. "You heard him: There's enough of him to go around."

"You hussies will never experience him the way that I do," Pamela, the servant holding the grapes, spoke. "Clearly, *I'm* his favorite."

"Dream on, tramp," Cassandra said, approaching Pamela. "Chase loves *ME*!"

"I think Chase loves *ALL* of us," Angela spoke, "so there's no reason to get bent out of shape. We're bearing his children. Someday, the entire village will be populated with our descendants. It will truly be a magnificent time!"

Pamela and Cassandra looked at each other, then they turned toward Angela. "The ENTIRE village?"

Meanwhile, Chase made his way through the corridors of what he assumed was his palace to the Throne Room, where a peasant, dressed in modest clothing, was waiting to speak with him. "You may relax, kind peasant! Your King has arrived!" Chase opened his arms, expecting a wave of applause. Instead, he heard a slow clap coming from the peasant. He lowered them. "You could be a little more enthusiastic."

The peasant removed his hood, revealing his face. "I'm sorry if I'm not enthusiastic about losing MY ENTIRE VILLAGE for your stupid resort!"

Chase rubbed his eyes. "Riley?"

"Yeah?" He paused. "Wait, don't you remember me? We've met several times already. In fact, you ate dinner with my family just last week."

He shook his head. "I'm sorry. It's early."

"It's 3:00 in the afternoon."

"Like I said." He walked over to a scale-model of the village. "So, you're upset that I'm planning on demolishing your house and building my resort right here, right?" He pointed to a small house on top of a hill.

"Yes. That's why I'm here. We've been over this."

"What if I make you a deal?"

"My house for yours? Deal!" Riley ran up to Chase and shook his hand.

Chase quickly withdrew it. "Whoa! Hey! No touchy!"

"Too late! We already shook on it! See ya!" Riley laughed and ran out of the palace.

He looked at the model, then looked around the Throne Room. "What did I just do?" He shrugged. "On the upside, I got my hill, so I won."

~*~

"I can't see a thing," Riley said.

-"You complain too much,"- a mysterious voice commented.

"Are we almost there, at least?"

-"Almost. Just a few more yards, and we'll be there."- After they walked a little bit more, Riley's blindfold was removed. "Surprise!"

Riley looked around, and saw that he was back home on his farm. Matt and his mother were sitting on the front porch. "Mom! Matt!" Rubik came running out of the house and jumped into his arms. "Rubik!" He started giving Riley kisses on his face. "Easy, boy!"

"Looks like ol' Rubik's still got some spunk left in him," Matt said, walking over to Riley. He took Rubik out of Riley's arms and set him down on the ground. He ran back into the farmhouse. Matt looked Riley up and down. "Looks like the city's taking its toll on you!"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Matt playfully patted Riley's stomach. "I mean, you're getting kinda soft, Ry!"

"I'll have you know that I've actually been getting into shape since-- Oops."

"Since... What?" Matt asked.

"I guess I can tell you now. I've been the Green Ranger." Matt laughed. "What's so funny?"

"Oh, nothing... You? A Power Ranger? I don't buy it."

-"What's not to believe?"- Riley's grandmother walked out of the farmhouse and made her way toward the brothers. "I'd believe that Riley was a Ranger."

"But, Grandma Iola... Riley? A Ranger? Why wouldn't the fates pick me? I'm definitely Ranger material." Matt rolled up his sleeve and flexed his arm.

"Physically, maybe, but you've got an ego the size of Cleveland. Riley's humility and his empathy toward others are admirable qualities in anyone, especially a Power Ranger."

"Not only that," Constance said, walking toward them, "but haven't you noticed that Riley's only been wearing green every time we've seen him?"

Matt looked Riley over, and noticed that, indeed, he was wearing his signature color. "I just thought you liked the color."

"Someone's just jealous that no magical gemstones chose *him* to be a Power Ranger," Riley teased.

Matt noticed the other person standing by the car. "What about your friend over there? Is he a Ranger, too?"

Riley turned around and saw who was standing there. "Chase? He's the Black Ranger."

"Ooh, I always liked the Black one! He's so suave, and the way that spandex clings to his butt..." Constance started to daydream.

"Mom!" Riley exclaimed.

"That's awfully endearing of you to say, Mrs. Griffin," Chase commented, "but, my heart belongs to another."

"Yeah, Mom. He's got this girlfriend. Kaylee's her name, and she's exactly like Cousin Sheila."

"Aw, man," Matt said. "I'm sorry."

"No, not just Kaylee." Chase looked over at Riley. "There's also a place in my heart for your son."

"Riley?!" Constance and Matt shouted, in unison. Grandma Iola just smiled.

Riley looked at Chase. "Me?"

"Yes," Chase nodded. "We've been through a lot over these past couple of years, and who's always been the rock that I leaned against? We're practically brothers. I'd do anything to protect you, and I know that you've done a lot to protect me - mostly, from myself - since we've known each other."

Riley's eyes started to well up. "That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me." He hugged Chase. "Thank you!"

"It's so sweet," Grandma Iola spoke. "Now, I hate to break up this touching moment, but who wants to rub my feet? These dogs are barkin'!"

Riley and Chase looked at each other. "You get the left one," they said in unison. "Jinx! Owe me a Coke! Stop that!"

"Yeah, you two are practically brothers, alright," Constance said, trying not to laugh.

~*~

-"ALERT! ALIEN ACTIVITY DETECTED DOWNTOWN!"-

The sound of the alarm blaring throughout TQGHQ, combined with the automated alert, woke the Rangers out of their slumber. The five of them ran out of their rooms and joined up in the hallway.

"Were you having a nice dream, too?" Riley asked.

"The best ever!" Phoenix replied.

"Me, too," said Chase, "and, I want to get back to it."

"Now, I'll never get my honeymoon!" Gabriela whined.

"And, my award!" Kaori pouted.

"Let's take this beast out quickly, so we can get back to bed. Grab your Engine Chargers and Rail Morphers, and we'll meet back here in a minute. Go!" Riley, Chase, and Phoenix went back to their room, while Gabriela and Kaori went back into theirs.

~*~

"Time to give the citizens of Venture Capital a dream they'll never forget!" Dream Weaver fired a beam from his vacuum hand, striking a storefront and setting it ablaze.

A female reporter and her news crew were stationed a short distance away. She grabbed her microphone and faced the camera. "This is Miranda Veracruz de la Hoya Cardinál, coming to you live from the streets of Venture Capital, where some weird anteater-looking thing is causing trouble! The police have warned everyone to stay indoors and away from the Downtown area until the threat is resolved. As for me, I'm taking that advice and getting the heck out of here. For Channel 12, this has been Miranda Veracruz de la Hoya Cardinál. Back to you!"

The Rangers teleported to where Dream Weaver was standing. Riley spoke up first. "Hey, monster!"

"Ah, Rangers! Did you enjoy your sweet dreams?" Dream Weaver asked.

"That was YOU?"

"Indeed, it was!" He bowed. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dream Weaver, and I accidentally gave you the best dreams of your lives."

"Well, there's no real harm in that, I suppose," Kaori spoke.

"There's going to be real harm now, little girl. Take this!" He fired a blast at the Rangers, striking them and knocking them back. As they struggled to get up, he summoned a squadron of blue-and-white-colored grunts with double-sided swords as weapons. "Nightmares, strike!"

The Rangers summoned their weapons. "You four, tackle the grunts. Dream Weaver's mine," Riley ordered.

"Right!" The four Rangers battled the grunts, leaving Riley to take on Dream Weaver.

"I was having a beautiful dream until you actually showed up," Riley said, slashing into Dream Weaver with his Wind Saber.

"I've got a newsflash for you, Red Ranger," Dream Weaver replied, blocking Riley's sword with his vacuum arm and kicking him to the ground. He stepped on him with just enough pressure to hold him down. He took aim at Riley. "Welcome to my nightmare!"

Phoenix and Gabriela freed themselves up enough to come to Riley's defense. "Fire of the Phoenix!"

"Lightning Hammer, Strike!"

The two blasts combined, and an electrically-charged fireball struck Dream Weaver, sending him flying into the side of a nearby building.

"Welcome to OUR nightmare!" Phoenix and Gabriela said in unison. The two bumped fists and rejoined the battle against the grunts.

Riley stood up. "This one's for you, Matt," he said, charging up his sword for a final blow. "Wind Saber... Tornado Blast!" He slashed toward the ground, sending a tornado flying toward Dream Weaver, which struck him and destroyed him.

When he was destroyed, the Nightmares disappeared. The Rangers regrouped around Riley. "Do you think he's really gone?" Chase asked.

"I doubt it," Riley replied.

Just then, a gold-and-blue monster materialized near the remains of Dream Weaver. "My baby! Daddy's here!"

"Who are you?" Kaori asked.

"You'll find out soon enough, Rangers!" He laughed. "Now, I'm about to give you the worst nightmare you've ever experienced. Be reborn at a grand scale, Dream Weaver!" Joopy shot out a potion from his giant syringe, which reformed the pieces of monster into Dream Weaver, which then grew to city-wrecking proportions. "Ta-ta, Rangers!" He disappeared.

"I'm bigger and badder than ever before, Power Rangers!" Dream Weaver shouted. "Now, I can make everyone in Venture Capital have nightmares!"

Chase spoke into his communicator, "Brandon, we need the Rail Riders!"

-"On their way!"-

The Rangers heard the sounds of their Rail Riders rushing toward them, and teleported into their respective cockpits. They brought their battle vehicles together to form the Rail Rider Megazord, joining up in the collective cockpit located in the head of the robot. "Rail Rider Megazord, Ready!" They shouted. The Megazord, equipped with a sword and shield, made its way toward the monster and slashed at him, but he blocked and retaliated with a kick to its midsection, causing the robot to stagger back a few feet.

"You call that an attack? THIS is an attack!" He fired an energy blast toward the Megazord, which raised its shield and deflected the blast right back at him. "Ow! Hey! You can't do that!"

~*~

"We can deflect his own magic right back at him!" Kaori exclaimed. "This is great!"

"It's just like Agahnim in 'A Link to the Past.' Remember that game, Ry? You've watched all sorts of speedruns back in Amber Beach," Chase said.

"It was quite interesting to see. Now, I've just got to put that plan into action. Here goes..."

~*~

"Take this!" Dream Weaver took aim and fired another blast at the Megazord, which, once again, reflected it right back at him. "Ow!" He huffed and puffed. "Okay, Rangers. Try this!" He quickly teleported to a different area and took aim.

~*~

"He's at 7:00!" Phoenix shouted.

"Got it!"

~*~

Dream Weaver fired another blast, but the Megazord turned around and swung at the blast with the sword, like it was a baseball, sending it flying back into the monster. "Dang it! Stop doing that!"

~*~

"Can we just finish this and go home?" Gabriela asked.

"Sounds good to me."

"Rail Rider Megazord, Saber Slash!"

~*~

The Megazord charged up its sword and prepared to attack. Dream Weaver backed away. "What are you doing?" The Megazord locked onto him. "I don't want to die!" The sword finished charging. "Oh, no..." It started to quickly slide toward him. "NOOOoooo...!" The Megazord slashed through him as it zoomed past, slicing Dream Weaver in half and causing him to explode. "What a way to go...!" He blew up, dissolving into the atmosphere.

~*~

"Whoo-hoo! We did it!" The Rangers exclaimed.

~*~

Joopy turned off the floating view screen, which was showing him the battle as it happened. "Back to the ol' drawing board..."

~*~

Back at TQGHQ, the Rangers were walking back to their quarters, and discussing the dreams that they were having earlier that night.

"...And then, Otome asked me which of his many beach houses we should use for our honeymoon!"

"That's so romantic! All I did was win the Nobel Prize!" Kaori and Gabriela stopped in front of their door. "G'night, guys!"

"G'night!"

"So, there I was, winning the MVP award for the game, and I got tickets to Sea World as a prize!"

"That's nothing. I was the king of an ancient civilization, and had a bevvy of gorgeous women at my beck and call! It was HEAVEN!" Chase looked at Riley. "What about you?"

"Eh, it wasn't that interesting. -- Hey, look, we're back at our room. Better get back to sleep!" He chuckled nervously.

"Okay... G'night, guys," Phoenix said, walking back into the room.

"Hold the phone, Mister," Chase said, grabbing Riley by the back of his shirt as he tried to sneak back into the room. "I know this trick."

"What are you talking about?"

"The whole 'diversion' tactic." Chase took note of Riley's nervous posture. "You're hiding something about your dream, aren't you?"

"Well... It's very personal, and I didn't want to share it in front of Phoenix and the girls because we don't know them that well. However, since it's just us..."

"Yes...?"

Riley sighed. "I dreamt that you blindfolded me and surprised me with a trip back to visit my family at the farm."

"That's the big secret? Riley, we visited your family several times. I even punched your cousin at Thanksgiving."

Riley snickered. "Yeah, that's true. However, in the dream, you said that you had a special place in your heart for me, and..." He started to tear up. "It just felt so good to hear." He wiped the tears away. "Look at me. I'm a wreck, just talking about it."

"Come here," Chase pulled Riley in for a hug. "You know that I'll always care about you. We've been to Hell and back over the past couple of years, and we're back in Hell again right now." He let Riley go and looked into his eyes. "I might have Kaylee in my life, but I'll always have room in my life for you. We'll always be mates. You know that, right?"

Riley nodded. "Yeah..."

"Very good. Now, what do you say we go back to bed? Who knows? Maybe you'll be able to pick up your dream right where you left off, and I can get back to building Chase-cotopia!"

"Okay," Riley said, wiping the tears away. He shook his head. "Wait, what? Chase-cotopia?"

"Yeah. You didn't like it in the dream, either." Chase walked back into the room.

Riley stood in the hall, dumbfounded. "Wait, what?" He followed Chase back into the room. "What do you mean, 'I didn't like it in the dream, either'?"
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