When Dreamers Wake

This story is set not very long after “To Wake the Dreamers”.  I used a prompt from NaNoWriYe’s DreamWidth.

**

Prompt: Celebration

Ilya felt strange – heavier, somehow, and cold.  He shivered and then forced his eyes opened.  Soft brown eyes met his and he blinked.  “Felicja?” he breathed.

She smiled and then nodded.  “Gilbert said… Are you cold?” she said.  She was flushing and awkward.  That was completely not like the Felicja he remembered.

Nodding, Ilya said up and looked around.  He was in a hospital room, sitting on a bed.  He glanced around then, finally, spotted a mirror.  It was in the bathroom.  He pushed back the covers and stepped off the bed.

Rather than standing, he crumpled.  He gave a shaky laugh as Felicja helped him sit up.  “I… I feel heavy.  Does that make sense?”

“Taurys said he did a little too,” Felicja said, nodding.  “You were… well, it was longer for you.  Yeah?”  She helped him to his feet and then stepped back slowly, ready to catch him again, if she needed to do so.

Ilya was relieved when he didn’t need her help.  His steps were unsteady, but he made it to the bathroom.  He pushed lightly on the door and it flew back with a bang.  He startled, blinking as the door swung back.  Catching it, he looked to Felicja for an explanation.  He found Gilbert standing in the doorway of the room, just behind her.

“You’re new body is pretty strong, Agent Putin,” he said.  His tone was calm and confident.  That alone was enough to make it reassuring as well.

Ilya nodded and pushed the door back a bit more carefully.  Then, he stepped into the bathroom and looked into the mirror.  He wasn’t sure what he expected to see.  However, he sighed in relief as his own face stared back at him.

“I look like me,” he breathed.  He turned back to Felicja and then sighed.  “Can you… I never wanted to leave you, Felicja.  I was recalled and…”

She hushed him and then closed the gap between them with three steps.  She leaned up to kiss his cheek and said, “You’re back now and… there are people you need to meet.  They’ve waited far too long to meet their father.”

“They?” Ilya repeated.  “We have…” he trailed off.  Setting a hand to his brow, he shook his head, his eyes still locked on his wife.  “How can we have more than one?”

“It’s called twins,” Gilbert said, his tone lightly teasing now.  “You’ve got a son and a daughter, Agent Putin.  They’re just down the hall.  Are you ready to meet them?”

Breathing a chuckle, Ilya nodded.  “Felicja,” he whispered as he took her hand.  He was careful to hold it lightly.  He looked into her eyes and he knew that he was all right.  He wasn’t hurting her.  “Do you… we married under an assumed name.”

Felicja stifled a laugh and kissed his cheek.  “Yeah, well, unless you want to paint a target on your back, you’re going to have to go back to that assumed name Eliasz.”

Ilya nodded.  “So… at least on paper, I’m Eliasz Braginski,” he said.  At her nodded, he hugged her and swung her around.  “Well, then, Mrs. Braginski, I think it’s past time that I met my children.”

“I could not agree more, Mr. Braginski,” Felicja said.  Then, she chuckled and, holding his hand, drew him towards the door.  “Then,” she said, “I think a little party is in order.”

“A birthday celebration,” Ilya murmured.

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