Bro strokes Dave's soft, silky hair with one hand and rubs his back with the other. Dave grips Bro's shirt tightly in his hands, sobbing into his brother's stomach.
"It's all ok, lil' dude," Bro says softly. "Nothin' wrong here. Nothin' bad to hurt you."
"You were dead," Dave chokes. "An' so was John. An' Rose, an' Jade."
"We're all ok, we're all safe," Bro murmurs softly.
"There were other kids, and they were dead too," Dave says through his hiccuping sobs. "I know 'em, but I never met 'em."
"There's no one dead, Dave, everyone's fine," Bro assures him.
"The whole time I heard this big loud clock," Dave says, retracting slightly and wiping his eyes. The sobs have slowed and he has more time to speak between them. He sits up and stares at his brother with wide crimson eyes. "An' there was this guy," he says, choking on another sob. "He was big an' scary an' green."
"There ain't any big scary green guy, Dave, I promise," says Bro, rubbing Dave's shoulder lightly.
"He killed everyone and then when everyone was dead," he said, "He went and looked at me. And the clock stopped."
Bro was now curious about Dave's nightmare. He knew he had to comfort his kid, but it sounded somehow... familiar. His hand froze on Dave's shoulder, as the kid went on.
"The clock stopped and he looked at me and he said that he was going to give me one chance to stop it and bring back my friends and then..."
"And then what?"
"And then the clock started to go really fast and everything got really dark and all I could hear was the clock being loud and fast and..." Dave trailed off, shaking slightly with soft sobs.
"Well," said Bro finally. "None of it was real, okay, Davey? I promise you it was all just a dream. You're okay now, and so am I, and so is everyone else."
"I wanna call John and make sure he's ok," said Dave.
Bro nodded. He watched as Dave scrambled atop the counter to dial the phone, and he wondered briefly if it really was all just a dream.