Jack had never woken up feeling so well-rested in his life. In those brief seconds in took his mind to adjust, everything was perfect. He was going to be a father, and there was a wedding to plan. Of course he'd slept like a log. Why wouldn't he?
When he opened his eyes, he was greeted by Roxy's sleeping form. He immediately smiled and reached forward to brush a stray piece of hair from her face, and, as he looked her over, it hit him. He realized things weren't as he remembered them. Gone was the ring he had placed on her finger, the glow of pregnancy, and the bulging belly that housed their growing daughter.
This wasn't real. It couldn't be.
He pinched his arm, thinking maybe this was the nightmare and that he might snap himself out of it. Wasn't that how it was supposed to work, where the phrase pinch me, I must be dreaming came from?
"Ow." Apparently not. He had forgotten his own strength. The spot on his arm swelled and would undoubtedly bruise. Thanks, Deadpool. You're welcome! "Note to self, that was a stupid idea."
He looked back over to Roxy, wanting nothing more than to wake her up and tell her everything, but it was late. He didn't want to concern her with his problems just yet. Maybe one of his friends was awake. Drew, maybe even Whitney. He couldn't be picky right now. It wasn't until he reached for his phone and looked at the lock screen that he realized something was definitely wrong.
12:02. Wednesday, April 12.
That wasn't right. The last he remembered, it was Sunday night. Had he slept for two days or lost that much time? He knew Wade Wilson was still present without thinking about it – Jackie Poo! Why'd we sleep so long? – which meant a shift hadn't happened and he hadn't lost Wade. That should have given him comfort, but it meant something worse was going on. He was reminded of the lost time last year when Parallax had fucked with everyone's worst fears. Two days they'd been out then, similar to this, but it didn't smell of the fear entity they'd banished into Oblivion. Parallax fed on fear, not hope.
Whatever the case, Roxy's sleep didn't seem so peaceful anymore, and Jack found himself longing for his dream world more and more with each passing second.
He reached forward and nudged her, hoping he might pull her from her sleep. In his heart, he already knew that she wouldn't wake up, but it didn't stop him from trying. "Roxy, wake up!" Dude, you know she's not going to. "Shut up, Wade." Her vitals seemed normal, from heartbeat to breathing, but he already knew that. He would have been more erratic had there been a sign she was in danger, but he wasn't exactly calm either. Something like this had happened before, but knowing that and accepting that the one person he needed right now couldn't hear him were two different things.
He had woken up to a nightmare, and he found himself wishing it wasn't real. The world from his dreams was preferrable to the lost feeling in his stomach, the one that came from not knowing where her mind had gone or if her dreams were anything like his. In his mind, they had been happy and had everything they could have ever wanted.
After making certain Roxy was okay, Jack got out of bed and threw on a pair of pants. There was one thing he needed to see, to confirm what he already knew. The nursery. He opened the door to be greeted by his many pets, and blindly petted at the jumping dogs as he moved down the hallway.
He stopped in front of the door and sucked in a breath, knowing already that things were not as they had been. He remembered the day he'd installed a white door, one that they eventually planned to paint when their daughter established a favorite color. They hadn't wanted to stick to traditional colors, like pink or purple for her, but instead went for a variety. It had been very them.
The door was still brown, matching the others along the corridor, but he opened it anyway. In place of the nursery he remembered slaving for weeks over, with the help of Drew for the heavy lifting, was the bedroom his friend from Canada had stayed in before leaving to pursue better opportunities. Some of her things still lay strewn on the dresser.
It was all gone now. Their daughter and everything they had built. The conversations about baby names had never happened. The joy he had felt was a lie, and he was left alone to cope with that.
Jack slowly wandered back into the bedroom. He sank onto the bed, feeling defeated. When one of the dogs jumped on the bed to offer comfort, he accepted it, pulling the huge German Shepherd between him and Roxy and securing his arms around her. "Hey, Scout," he finally determined, and she greeted him with a lick to the face. It didn't do anything to comfort him.
He'd been stabbed, shot, and even lost limbs (they grew back), but nothing compared to the pain of losing something he'd never had.
Having been asleep for two days, he wasn't tired, but he didn't have the energy to get out of bed. He remained there, eyes focused on his sleeping girlfriend and wishing with every fiber of his being that she was awake, until sunlight started creeping through the window.