I always wondered if the Caribou in the pilot knew they drowning, or if they simply ignored something so familiar as a river. Sorry, no sex. I'm just testing the waters, so to speak.

Thanks to Derora.

I've been dreaming of Caribou again.

I stand with them in the middle of the valley, at the edge of a stream. It's peaceful and white; I can smell the sharp scent of the trees and the crisp cold air makes my lungs ache. It's dark and the tiny lights of the dam sparkle in the distance. The herd mills about me, unaware, filling the air with whistles and dull grunts.

Water from the stream is lapping coldly at the edges of my bare feet and then my ankles. The caribou ignore it. It's only the stream and the stream is no threat. It has simply always been. I want to shout at them, *runrunrunrunrun*, but I can't speak, I can't move. And the herd never sees the danger until it's too late.

I can only watch at the cold water flows over us all, a sudden raging tide. The lights of the dam are gone, swallowed by the growing distance and I can no longer feel the ground beneath me. The current pulls me under; squeezing me, unable to breathe, unable to scream. Unable.

I struggle as it takes me.

It hurts.


Diefenbaker wakes me, whining. His head is resting on the bed; his damp nose pressing against my hand. He wants breakfast. I feed him and dress, moving to stare unseeing out the window at the gray streets.

I'm tired and edgy, feeling the unease, unable to contain it. I can't find the calm that I've used to build my defenses. The walls that keep people at a safe distance, that keep me protected are still in place, but at my feet, a stream flows on. No longer put in it's place by the polite facade or the intentional naivet. It's no longer content being on the outside. I can feel it... him... pulling at me and wonder when I became mired in his life, trapped at the knees. Did the caribou feel this panic? Or did they simply give in to the stronger force?

He arrives and I watch him cross the street with his easy grace. A minute later he opens my door, confident in his welcome, open in his smile, as I turn towards him. Just to see him walk. He's speaking but I can't hear what he says; all I can see are his red lips moving and the flush in his cheeks from the wind. I can feel the water beating against my waist.

He moves closer and I can smell him. Tangy and sweet at the same time, making me wonder if he tastes the same? Wondering if I put my mouth to his throat would I be able to feel his pulse racing as fast as mine? Would those beautiful green eyes close in rapture, or would he turn away? I close me eyes to the question in his and the water is suffocating me, tight about my chest, rippling at my neck.

And suddenly, I can feel his hot breath on my face and a soft brush against my parted lips. Tender and fleeting, a promise of what will come. I open my eyes and I'm a caribou again. Drowning on dry land.

But this time, I don't struggle as he pulls me under.

I find that it doesn't hurt at all.


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Disclaimer: These characters belong to Alliance and the author makes no claims upon them - no copyright infrigement is intended. This story is for entertainment purposes only and there is no monetary gain.