I really wanted this to be something fun for you to do. Instead it became something of a nightmare for both you and me. I suppose I can't really blame you as it's
technically Tina's fault that she flirted with you in front of everyone else. But why do these things always seem to happen to you? And while I'm here, if you happen to
be recreated in another dimension, could you please pick someone nice? You know, someone who will appreciate you and love you. No? Really? Why? Oh, I see.
You like being the Woobie. That's the only explanation I can come up with. Oh Zane, Zane, Zane. Well, don't get mad at me when you aren't pleased with the
Hugs and Kisses,
Cassandra was the one who ended up being left out of the hot tub date. She grumbled and sulked to herself, not knowing why she was
upset. Zane had really made her angry so she really didn't want to spend any more time with him.
Suddenly a way to improve her mood struck her, and she walked upstairs.
“Yeah! Take that!” Using full force, she threw another dart. “There! Have another one!” She threw another dart.
“Bullseye! Yeah, you don't want to get angry, do you? Oh, but you will, Zane. I promise you, you will!”
Downstairs in the hut tub, Zane was feeling more uncomfortable than he had ever felt before. Both Samantha and Meadow had taken
to glaring at him and Tina and not doing much else.
Of course, he really wasn't saying all that much either. He couldn't shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong. It was as if
along the fringes of his mind there was a bunch of voices screaming, warning him that Tina was going to hurt him.
Then again, it could also just be a side effect from the headache that was beginning to pound behind his eyes.
In an effort to break the silence, Zane cleared his throat. “So...how about that local sports team?” He winced at how stupid that
sounded, especially since he had no knowledge what so ever about any sort of sport.
Tina smiled at him in a condescending manner. “Oh Zane, you're so cute when you're nervous. But sports, really? Well...I suppose I
can think of one sport you would be most interested in trying.”
Zane felt his eyes go wide and his cheeks heat up with embarrassment. And then...the dream fell out of his control.
In a rather mature tone, Meadow chimed in. “Oh Zane, he's so physically fit. Look at him with his top off over there. Cut and chiseled.
It's almost like he's an Adonis statue.”
Zane was horrified to see that the other two girls looked over his bare chest with appreciation.
“I'm telling you,” Meadow continued, “we could rub some oil on him and he'd be like one of those guys in those stud calendars.”
Samantha nodded and smiled in agreement.
“For the love of God, I don't want to go there!” Zane exclaimed as he shut his eyes and tried as hard as he could to shift the dream into
something a bit more comfortable. When he opened his eyes, he noticed that everyone, including himself, was dressed in their normal
“Now, please, let's not talk about oil or anything else like that. Okay? No oil. No statues. Sports. Real sports!” He stressed that last
He sighed, somewhat relieved, that they had all fallen silent. He noticed curiously that he was far more comfortable with their ire than
with the thought of them talking about...something he had absolutely no experience with. At least with sports, he would only
embarrass himself a little bit with his lack of knowledge.
“Well we could always talk about the merits of spatulas,” Samantha said after a moment.
“No spatulas, Sam. You go way too far! Zane doesn't like--”
“Gaaaahh!” Zane screamed, blushing furiously as he scrambled out of the hot tub. He barely noticed that his clothes were completely
dry as he bolted from the room.
Though it hadn't been mentioned out loud, everyone inherently knew that it was time for everyone to dress in their formal wear for
dinner and dates for the night. All of the girls dressed in their potential wedding dresses and waited for Zane to enter the room. While
they were waiting, Cassandra looked over at Samantha and laughed.
“You're supposed to dress nice for this. You call that nice?”
“What? I was under the impression that we were supposed to wear our finest and most formal. My Class A uniform is my finest and
most formal. Why are you guys wearing wedding dresses?”
The other girls just snickered.
Zane had managed to regain his composure while he got dressed up himself. He made a mental promise that he wouldn't let any more
of those thoughts enter his dream. He was having a difficult enough time as it is with the girls and his other apparent issues without
He walked into the living room and paused when he saw the waiting women.
Marriage That's something I'll never experience, he though unhappily to himself as he looked at the girls in their formal wear. He almost
chuckled a bit at the desperate nature of his subconscious, if most of the girls weren't so angry at him that is.
Wordlessly, he poured the champagne into the glasses on the tray and motioned to the four women, inviting them to help themselves.
In an almost silent ritual, the girls took their glasses and drank the liquid, not really looking at Zane; though Samantha nodded and
smiled in appreciation at the taste.
Zane sighed and realized that everyone except Tina was still mad at him, despite the rowdy comments that were said in the hut tub
He decided that he was going to have to make massive rounds of multiple apologies, or at least attempt at apologizing. Before he
could utter a word however, Meadow approached Samantha and attempted to start a fight with her. Zane winced and felt it best to
start apologizing to someone else.
Cassandra glared at him when he approached her. Biting the bullet though, he launched into a heartfelt apology.
“Cassandra, I am truly sorry for upsetting you. I didn't mean for it to happen and--”
“Do you even know what you're apologizing for?” Cassandra interrupted. Zane winced.
“I, uh, well I'm apologizing for the fact that Tina hugged me and--”
“Did you want her to hug you?” He hung his head and Cassandra pursed her lips. “That's what I thought. Your apology is not
accepted,” she said as she turned away from him.
Zane attempted to get Cassandra to talk to him some more, but before he could fully turn around, Meadow was right there slapping
him in the face. Again.
“I'm still super mad at you, Zane! Why did you do that? Why are you still doing it?” She huffed at him and stomped away.
He sunk his head into his hands. Why am I doing this? He asked himself. Why am I still dreaming about this? Why haven't I woken up
yet? I made my decision, didn't I? He was beginning to feel frustrated and he had the sinking feeling that no matter how much he
wanted out of the dream, his subconscious was not going to let him wake up yet.
With a sigh, he turned around to sit on the couch and noticed that Samantha had also decided to lounge there. He sat down and after
a moment, he spoke to her. “I want out,” he bluntly stated. “I'm tapped. How do I wake up?”
She quirked an eyebrow and didn't look at him when she answered. “Zane, have you ever had a nightmare where you desperately
wanted to run away from the monster chasing you, but your feet were stuck to the ground?” His mind flashed to a number of barely
remembered nightmares that he had while growing up and he hesitantly nodded. Samantha smiled. “This is a rather similar situation,
His mouth went dry. “Nightmare? But--” Before he could finish, Samantha got up and walked away without another word.
When it came time for dinner, everyone except for Tina avoided sitting next to him. In fact, none of them talked while eating except for
Tina. “I'm going to have so much fun with Zane when this is over with. I'm going to be his lifelong companion and I'm so excited to
start. Someone like Zane here, while not a unique case in any sense of the word, is the type of person who will be so sweet to deal
with. Dealing with people like him is very satisfying. Right Zane?”
Confused, he only smiled nervously at her in response.
Cassandra and Samantha glared over at Tina, but said nothing. Meadow, for her part, didn't even bother to glance up from her food
plate. In fact, she seemed rather preoccupied and withdrawn altogether.
After the dinner plates had been cleared, everyone made their way to the loft where Zane inwardly braced himself for what was sure to
be a rather exhausting night of trying to make unwelcome amends and stilted conversation. Apprehensively, he approached Cassandra
first, hoping to keep things light.
“So, um, Cassandra. Hasn't your family been tied to stories of magic and such? I have only heard some of the local urban legends, and I
was wondering if they were true. I only know a little bit about magic myself from my mother and, um, with being a...Grim Reaper and
stuff,” he babbled inanely.
Cassandra glared at him for a moment before answering. “Zane, I don't think it's any of your business or concern about the inner
workings of my family, or anything else about me for that matter. You're screwing up big time and I can't believe that I let my guard
down for even a moment! I actually thought that you were going to choose me, but it's becoming abundantly clear that you never will.
So, go away. I'm done talking to you!”
He hung his head in disappointment. He thought he had been making some headway with Cassandra and her attitude towards him,
but it now appeared that he was back at square one with her. He sighed and sought out Meadow, preparing to make yet another
When he approached her, he realized that an apology was about the only thing she might be interested in him saying. Toys, fun,
anything else was probably something she didn't want to hear.
“Meadow, I am so sorry about what happened. I didn't want to hurt you, or anyone else for that matter. I just...well, there is no excuse
for my behavior and I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that you will forgive me.”
Meadow pasted on a small, false smile and shrugged. “It's okay, Zane. I really thought that you were going to keep me, but you can't
have me and Tina around at the same time. We don't get along.”
“But, wait, this is only a dream of...Wait, what? Isn't the purpose of a challenge like this to choose one? Why would it matter if you two
get along if I chose only one?” Zane's mind was spinning in confusion.
Meadow sighed softly. “You don't get it. But I'm super surprised that I lasted this long before you gave up on me. But it's okay now. I
Zane was able to catch her eye for a moment before she looked away. What he did see, though, gave him the feeling that Meadow
really hadn't forgiven him.
“I'm sinking Samantha...Sam. I don't know what I'm supposed to do anymore. I'm trying to apologize, I'm trying to make amends, and
I'm trying to be nice. You said that you have something important to tell me; could you please tell me now? I need to know what to do
to make everything right again.”
Samantha gave him a long, cool gaze before responding.
“No, Zane, you aren't sinking. The boat has already sunk, you're in the water, and now you're officially drowning. Everyone, except for
Tina, is upset with you because believe it or not, you're doing this to yourself. We aren't mad at Tina for what she did, because it's in her
nature to make you miserable. We're mad at you for allowing it to happen!”
He winced both inwardly and outwardly at her statement. “So, you still aren't going to tell me what I need to know.”
“No, I am not. Not yet. Open your eyes, Zane. That's what you need to do. Look at Tina with your eyes open! Know what she is and
realize what she's doing to you; that's what you need to do. But you won't because she overwhelms you and you are allowing it to
happen. So the rest of us are angry because you aren't even looking at other options.”
“I've said too much right now. But please, keep all of this in mind when dealing with her.”
When Zane approached Tina, he tried to keep in mind what Samantha told him and when he started talking to her he did notice
something: For all the fact that Tina said that she wanted to be with him, Zane couldn't help but notice that she looked terribly bored at
everything he was saying. He blinked a few times at that realization.
But before he could question it though, he found that his mind had started wandering to more hopeful thoughts.
He also had the sneaking suspicion that he was spewing some nonsense about the weather, or something equally as stupid, while his
hopeful thoughts were focused on marriage. He couldn't, in good conscience, really blame Tina for being bored. Could he? His mind
was growing confused again and he totally forgot about what Samantha warned him about.
When he was finished with what he thought was a very trying ordeal, Zane made his way down the stairs. The headache he had earlier
was back, and he just wanted to turn in for the night. He heard a rustle of a dress coming up behind him and he turned around to see
The two of them looked at each other wordlessly and he felt compelled to stroke her cheek. He smiled happily when he saw that Tina
leaned into his hand. It was like a dream come true.
He didn't notice Cassandra coming into the living room, dressed back in her regular outfit. Tina, however, smirked in her direction and
gracefully stepped into Zane's arms, giving him a hug; a hug that he gratefully accepted.
Cassandra glared in their direction, but said nothing.
“You love me, don't you Zane?” Tina whispered as she kept her eyes on Cassandra. Zane nodded against her shoulder. “Good,” Tina
continued, “because I think I'm going to love you back.”
His breath caught. “You...you mean it? You love me?”
“Yes, I do. Loving people like you is so satisfying. Sweet, nice, compassionate. Oh yes, people like you make my job so very fulfilling.”
Startled, he attempted to pull back, but Tina kept holding him. “People like me? You keep saying that. And job? What on earth are you
“Don't worry about it, love. Get your rest. You have more deadweight to get rid of tomorrow.”
Just being reminded of what the next day entailed, Zane felt tired again, despite any elation he had knowing that Tina was in love with
him. He sighed as he slipped under the covers, once again noting the fact that he must truly be tired if he's dreaming about sleeping.
He was about to turn out the light on the nightstand when his bedroom door opened and Cassandra walked in. Surprised, he smiled
and began to get out of bed. “Hey Cassandra,” he began, “I'm really glad you came in here. I really wanted to say--”
She shoved him back. “You are being such and idiot! What kind of moron can't see what she's doing? Are you really this stupid? She's
ruining you and you aren't getting mad! Get angry, Zane because she's destroying you and you are being a goddamn idiot for letting
Zane walked away, and for the second time that day, he sunk his head into his hands and sighed. Cassandra kept her back to him as she
spoke in a low, questioning tone. “You aren't mad, are you? I just came in here, shoved you and insulted you and yet, you aren't mad.”
He shook his head silently. “Why aren't you?” Cassandra asked again.
“Because nice people don't get mad,” he answered tiredly.
“That has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard.”
“GO AWAY CASSANDRA!” Zane yelled. “Please,” he continued in a softer tone, “go away. I don't want to talk to you anymore.”
Cassandra did leave, and Zane sat up for the rest of the night.
Zane got showered and dressed when the sun came up in an attempt to get rid of the exhausted, headachy feeling. When he was
finished, he made his way into the private room and saw that Tina was already in there, waiting for him on the couch. He went over and
sat next to her. “Good morning,” he said in an attempt to sound chipper. Tina gave him a long, bland look and he felt his smile begin to
“Did you sleep well?” Tina finally said.
“Yes, I did,” he replied, surprised at his own fib. Tina smirked at him in a knowing manner and got up from the couch. He felt himself
blush before he followed her.
He reached out and took her hand in his, stroking the back of it with his thumb before he spoke again.
With his other hand, he stroked Tina's cheek. “Gosh, I really wish that this were happening in real life. Do you know how much I want
this? Do you know how much I want to wrap you in my arms and tell you that I will do anything to make you feel better, and that
everything will be okay? Do you know how much I want to kiss you, and hold you, and...and...” he trailed off with a furious blush,
thankful that Tina wasn't suddenly standing there wearing only her bathing suit. He let his hand fall to his side.
With a smile, Tina placed her hands in his. “Oh, but Zane, I will be there when you wake up. I will be there when you're feeling sad. I'll
be there every time you have to collect a soul, especially one of your family members' souls. I'll be there when you're feeling lonely. I
am going to be your companion for the rest of your unnaturally long life. All you have to do is choose me, and when you wake up, I will
be there welcoming you with open arms.”
Zane began to feel dizzy as she spoke, as if a part of him wanted to run, run, run away from her, but he fought it down and he managed
to smile at her. “Good, I'm glad.”
Tina smirked again and left the room.
As Samantha entered the room, Zane began to plead with her. “Look, please just tell me what I need to know. I want to wake up. Tina
told me that she's going to be there for me when I wake up and that's what I wanted to hear. I---”
“Wait a minute. You're telling me that you're going to accept Tina? And that's okay with you? That goes beyond settling, Zane. You're
rapidly approaching the danger zone, the point of no return, and you are glad that Tina is going to be there for you?”
“But, she's already there. What else would I even do with her? Take her back to the mortal realm to let her die? I wouldn't do that even
if I didn't love her!”
“ZANE! THAT IS NOT THE SAME TINA I'M TALKING ABOUT! We don't care about your romantic dalliances in the waking world. We
are concerned about you! Open your eyes!”
He bowed his head and was silent for a moment. “If you were so concerned about me, you wouldn't make me go through this entire
painful process. You would allow me to wake up.”
“We aren't keeping you here. You are. You have to make a decision and as I told you before, something like this takes time to work
through. Until that choice is made, you will remain here. Try to remember that you're in control and the choice is yours.”
She left him standing there with his head down.
Meadow didn't even allow him the chance to speak. “Look, Zane, I really like you and I thought we could be friends, but Tina and I
don't get along and I can't be by her anymore.”
“But, you guys don't fight!” He protested.
“She makes me sad, Zane. And you liking her makes me even more sad. Please, let me go. You don't want me anymore.”
Reaching a breaking point, Zane looked up and began shouting, “WAKE UP! How much more of this do you want to take?! I-YOU-
made your choice already! You choose Tina! Why won't you WAKE UP?!”
He closed his eyes and willed, with all of his might, to end the terrible dream.
After a moment, it became abundantly clear that his waking self must have a masochistic streak that was apparently enjoying the inner
torture the dream was providing, so he didn't wake up. He collapsed to his knees and he hung his head as he took a few deep,
controlling breaths. The headache was pounding furiously behind his eyes to the point where he almost felt nauseous.
That was how Cassandra found him. She watched for a moment and she cocked an eyebrow. “I'm apparently interrupting something,
so I'll just 'go away' because you clearly don't want me to be by you.”
Zane took one more deep, clarifying breath and stood up to face her.
He reached over and gently tried to place his hand on hers. “I'm really sorry about what I said last night. I should not have yelled at
you; it was wrong of me. Please forgive me and I'll make sure that it won't happen again.”
She jerked her hand away and looked at him incredulously. “You're actually apologizing for briefly losing your temper when you were
“Well, yes, I am. I should not have taken my anger out on you. In fact, I wasn't angry, I just-”
“You were angry, for a good reason, and now you're apologizing even though I was in the wrong. God, you are such an idiot. You are
never going to survive without me, but like I told you before, you're going to reject me in the end and the world will eat you alive.
Moron.” She shook her head and left him standing there, hurt.
Zane had a few moments to spare before the elimination, and he intended to sit on the couch with his eyes closed with the hope that
the pounding in his head would cease so he could face the rest of the day. Those plans were interrupted when Tina strode over to him.
He smiled up at her. “Hey,” he said lamely.
“Yeah. So, I'm not going to be eliminated, right? I mean, you love me and you're mad at everyone else and they are all mad at you. So,
I don't really need to sit in on the the boring elimination, right?”
“Good. I'll be upstairs. Call me when it's hot tub time.” She walked away without looking back at him.
He sighed and stood up when the other women came into the room, and he tried to push away the stabbing pain in his head. He
looked at the girls and began to speak.
“Once again, I am really sorry about what has happened. I really thought this was going to be something fun, albeit unconventional. I
really didn't meant to hurt anybody and I--”
“Wait a minute,” Cassandra interrupted with a glare, “where is Tina?”
“Oh, let me guess, she's so confident that she's not going to be eliminated that she just decided to skip all of this. Am I right?”
Before Zane could answer, Cassandra looked at the other two. “Okay you guys. I'm pretty sure we can gang up on her and take her
down. This has gone on long enough, don't you agree?”
Samantha looked at Zane when she answered. “It doesn't work that way and you know it. He has to do this on his own. As much as
we want to make this easier, we really can't.”
“But, but...” Cassandra sputtered.
Meadow stood up and began walking towards the door. “No Cassie, Sam is right. And today is the day that I go away. Zane, you know
why. I tried my best. I really did, but I have to go.”
“Meadow,” Zane said, trying to stop her, “wait. I wasn't--”
“Yes you were. We both know it. Tina was kinda right, I should have been gone by now. I was going to be gone yesterday, but Lucy
beat me to it. So today is the day. Bye bye Zane.”
Feeling the situation go out of his control, Zane tried to stop her...
...but she was already out the door. As Meadow walked down the sidewalk, she braced herself for the inevitable. I hope it doesn't hurt
too much, she thought.
Much like the others before her, Meadow was struck by a bolt of lightning. A tear trickled down her cheek and she gave a small,
mournful sigh as she too was winked out of existence.
“Come on Teal'c. You got to do it last time!”
“Perhaps we should pay heed to what Daniel Jackson said about the power of this box, O'Neill.”
“You do realize, Keith, that you are to be held responsible for whatever havoc my teammates cause while misusing that box. It should
be brought back to Stargate Command for further research, NOT played with.” Daniel's tone was condescending and he gave a long
“Teal'c! It's my turn!”
“Colonel O'Neill, I've already used the box today so further discussion upon this topic would be without fruit as the an appropriate time
for its use will not occur again until tomorrow.”
“Pfft. Aside from watching you die repeatedly, Daniel, this is the most I've I've ever had,” Keith said with a smile.
Final Scores for Day Four:
Tina: 100/87= 187 Both Best Friends, Both in Love
Carter: 77/42=119 Both Furious
Cassandra: 66/16=82 Both Furious
Meadow: 50/1=51 Both Furious. Meadow fell far, didn't she?
Only two days left. Hopefully the girls will stop shoving Zane around, resetting everyone's furiousness. Hopefully being the key word
here. Day Five on its way soon. Until next time, Happy Simming!