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WARNING: This story includes sexually explicit material.

Please note any unfamiliar spellings and phrases may be due to the
fact I am English, not American.

I would like to thank the proof-readers for all their help

Any comments, including constructive criticisms, would be
most appreciated. Please send to

This work is copyrighted by the author. You may download and keep
one copy for your personal use as long as my by-line and e-mail
address and this paragraph remain on the copy. Any posting or
reposting on a website, other than the archive or Dejanews, or
to a newsgroup requires my permission first (but I'll probably say
yes). This story should not, under any circumstances be used to make a
profit by anyone other than the author


Back To Reality (MF, rom)[4/4]
by Vickie Morgan
Ellen woke up to pain. Throbbing through her back, a cruel reminder
of reality. As realization struck that she had lost David, the tears
started pouring down her face. Desperately, she choked them back and
examined her situation. As before,she was attached to the VR3000, the
bags had evidently been empty for days and she was pitifully weak.
This time though there would be no convenient friend knocking on the
door. If she wanted to survive she had to move. Somehow she managed
to disconnect everything but the struggle had exhausted her. It felt
as though her arms weighed several tons but somehow she managed. She
rolled off the machine and dragged herself along the floor. She
grasped the telephone cord and pulled. With her last remaining
strength she punched in Baz's number and managed one word: 'Help.'
before collapsing.

A week later she was released from hospital. Baz picked her up and
she almost wished he hadn't offered as he lectured her the whole way
home on her folly. Still it was nice to know he had been worried
about her. He helped her unpack and made her a coffee before he
finally stopped reading her the riot act.

"How are you feeling now." he asked.

"Surprisingly well, all things considered."

"Is there any chance you feel up to doing me a favor?"

"Depends what it is?"

"If you don't want to I quite understand, but he made me promise to
ask you."

"Who made you promise to ask me what?"

"Dave. He's the one who designed the program. He wanted to know if
you would give him a report on the program's performance. I told him
it was very unlikely since you nearly died because you got stuck in it
but I promised to ask."

"Would I be able to do it over the phone?"

"I think he wants you to go to the lab as there are a lot of tests
he's talking about."

"I don't know about that. You know how I feel about meeting new

"I know. But sooner or later you will have to get on with living.
And Dave is a good person to start with. He wouldn't notice if you
turned up with a purple face with green stars on it. The other thing
is it might help you to talk to someone about what happened. It must
have been very confusing and at least he will be a sympathetic ear."

"Okay. Give me the address and I'll go down next Monday after

When Ellen walked into the lab she nearly fainted. Sitting at a desk
in a white coat was David. She gripped her crutches herd as the
universe reeled around her. David looked up and saw her. Jumping to
his feet he quickly sat her in a chair and got her a glass of water.

"David?" she asked in bewilderment

"It's okay. There's nothing to worry about. I didn't know you had
chosen David for your partner in the program or I would have warned
you. I'm not your David but the staring character is based on me, and
of course my appearance is the same."

"My David was taller." Ellen observed, trying to collect herself.

"Really? That's interesting. This is just the kind of information I
need. It would be a reasonable conclusion that you subconsciously
prefer taller men so the program altered that for you." He picked up
a clipboard and began scribbling. "Tell me, what did you look like."

"The first time I looked the way I did when I was 21. It was the
first program I've used where I could see my own reflection."

"It's the only one. Because we tap into your subconscious we can
access your self-image. In the old programs it would be impossible as
they would have to have a individual program design for each player."

"Great. So what does this say about my subconscious? When I tried to
leave, it didn't let me."

"Maybe that you were a lot happier in the virtual world than in the
real world."

"Thanks for nothing."

"So what made you realize you were still in the program."

"Everything was too perfect. They miraculously managed to bring back
David. Adrienne had a reason for not visiting me and we became
friends. I was again in a situation where I saved someone else's life
at the risk of my own. It was all just a little too convenient."

"Tell me about this life-saving incident." Ellen told him in detail
what had happened.

"This is marvelous. And have you now resolved this conflict. Are you
confidant that you would behave in a similar way again?"

"At the time, yes. But now I know my subconscious was aware it wasn't
real, so what does it prove?"

"But did you subconsciously know you were not in reality? That is
what we want to find out."

They were interrupted by another white-coated man. Dave introduced

"Guess what, John. She didn't choose the model or you. She chose
me for her date."

"Oh, no! Where did he take you for your date, Stamford Bridge?"

"No. Why? Are you interested in old battle sites?" Ellen asked,
puzzled. Both men laughed out loud.

"No. It's the name of the football ground where Chelsea FC play.
Didn't he mention Chelsea in the program?"

"Not once."

"Well the program obviously began adapting and altering straightaway.
I've never known Dave go more than an hour without mentioning

Over the next few weeks Ellen discovered more and more differences
between Dave and the David of the VR3000. He totally disagreed with
her about art and hated opera. However as she grew to know Dave she
discovered that underneath he shared many characteristics with David.

He had the same kind heart and concern for her welfare and he also
loved Italy. About a month after Dave had started interviewing Ellen
he surprised her by meeting her in the parking lot.

"I've just been hauled over the coals by your doctor. He says you
need fresh air and plenty of exercise now that you're off the
crutches. Apparently sitting in a stuffy lab talking doesn't qualify.
So I thought we could go for a walk on the moors and end up at a pub
for lunch."

"I've not been walking on the moors since a school trip years ago. It
could be fun."

They got into Dave's battered Toyota and drove for about an hour down
narrow twisting lanes. The desolate grandeur of the moors were
beautiful that day. The brown remains of heather and bracken seemed
to stretch out endlessly in an unbroken carpet. There was no hint of
the purple magnificence to come or of the many streams and valleys
that criss-crossed the moors. The path was well worn by both sheep
and humans and easy to follow. The wind was invigorating as it
chased clouds across the pale winter sun, sending shadows racing
across the moors creating a continually changing vista. Despite the
ache in her back and the cold stinging her nose Ellen was enjoying
herself. At first they walked in companionable silence but soon the
path widened and they began talking. After a discussion of Chelsea's
prospects for the weekend the conversation inevitably returned to
Ellen's experience with the VR3000 programme.

"Do you still miss David?" Dave asked her.

"Yes. I think I always will. I know it probably seems very pathetic
to fall in love with a figment of my own imagination. It's getting to
be more like missing an old boyfriend though. I think I always knew
there was no future for us. He was just too perfect."

"It's not pathetic at all. After all David was created by the program
to fulfil your subconscious desires. You didn't really have a chance.
What do you mean by too good to be true?"

"Oh I don't know. He would say the kind of thing I would read in a
romance and wish a man would say to me. But that's not how men talk."

"I would try to defend my sex but I have a feeling you're right. No
self respecting male would say some of the rubbish they do in those
silly books."

"I know. He had no faults either."

"Oh well at least that characteristic of mine remained."

"I don't think so. I've caught you picking your nose several times."

"I'll have to be more careful about that in future."

"You have lots of other faults that I've noticed but it would take too
long to go through them."

"Good. Getting back to David; Do you think you'll ever get over him.
It would be hard for a new boyfriend to live up to a perfect man."

"Who knows. I'll just have to wait and see. After all at the start
of most relationships people tend to think they've found their perfect
partner. It's only later that their faults become noticeable."

"Hmm. I don't know about that. I think the relationships that last
are those where you see the other person's faults clearly but love
them regardless."

At that moment it began to rain. Plump raindrops spattered around
them, rapidly becoming heavier.

"I don't believe this," David said. "I bet you wish you were still in
the VR program. Come on, it's not far to the pub. We can try and
make a run for it before we get too soaked."

They began jogging along the track while the rain bombarded them. The
path dipped steeply into a valley. Ellen slipped on a muddy patch,
her legs shot out from under her and she went tumbling down the slope.

Horrified Dave scrambled after her. When he reached her he was amazed
to see she was laughing.

"Are you okay?" he asked. "You're not hysterical are you."

"No. I'm just happy to be back in reality. I would never have fallen
over and got covered in mud in a rainstorm in the VR3000." Giggling
she tipped her head back to let the rain wash the mud from her face.

"You are amazing." Dave said. He cupped her head in his hands and
kissed her. Caught by surprise Ellen was slow to respond and Dave
quickly drew back. "I'm sorry. You just looked so, so kissable."

Ellen smiled up at him as she slid her arms around his neck. "Don't
be. I've been wanting you to do that for weeks."

"I've been thinking about it for while too."

"So what's been stopping you?"

"I don't want to try to compete with your memories of your perfect
man. Are you sure it's me you want, not David."

"I'm sure. I want the nose-picking, football obsessed Dave. The real
man who is just as imperfect as me."

Their lips met in a burning kiss. The rain was forgotten as they
explored each other's bodies. Her cold muddy hands were providing a
unique sensation as they roamed over his chest. He slid his hands up
inside her jumper to find her breasts while his mouth gently nibbled
her neck. His zip was undone just enough to free his cock. Ellen's
trousers' were bunched around her ankles as she sprawled on top of
Dave. She felt the mud squelch under her knees as she guided him
inside her velvety warmth. Slowly she slid his throbbing shaft in and
out. His hands caressed her breasts as she moved and she moaned with
pleasure. The rain poured relentlessly down on them as Ellen arched
her back and began moving faster. She climaxed noisily, her cries
echoing around the valley. He rolled her onto her back and began
thrusting into her. She squirmed in the mud as she met each thrust.
He covered her face with soft kisses until his orgasm contorted his
body. Gradually they became aware that they were both thoroughly
soaked and covered with mud.

"Do you think this is what the doctor meant when he said fresh air and
exercise?" He asked ruefully.

"Maybe a bit too much fresh air. Don't you think we should get to
that pub before we catch pneumonia."

They rearranged their clothing as best they could then they scrambled
hand in hand back onto the path and hurried to the pub. The rain
typically stopped just as they reached the door. The landlord was
accustomed to muddy hikers and happily let them in. They cleaned up
as best they could in the bathrooms then tucked into big helpings of
homemade stew and pints of local beer. Ellen was tired and aching but
very happy. They talked a little about the future but they both were
content to see how things went rather than make unrealistic promises.
They drove back to Ellen's flat and took a much-needed shower
together. Soaping each other inevitably led to making love again.

Dave eventually left after arranging to pick Ellen up the next
morning. Completely exhausted Ellen leaned against the windowpane
watching him drive away. Idly she looked at the street, slightly
surprised to see there was no litter blowing in the brisk wind.
Feeling unsettled she examined her flat. She couldn't remember
cleaning it once since she had come back from hospital yet there
seemed to be no dust or cobwebs. Apprehensively she searched through
every room looking for bits on the carpets and dust under the beds.
The whole place was spotless. It was impossible. Ellen sat on the
bed and felt the tears start. The only explanation was she was still
in the VR3000. She couldn't believe it. The programme was becoming
more and more convincing each time. How would she ever know reality
if she found it? Then there was Dave. Each time she fell deeper and
deeper in love with him. She didn't know if she had the strength to
leave him again. But, as he had convinced her in Verona, it would be
madness to stay. And maybe, just maybe this was reality. There could
be some other explanation. Ellen sat on the bed, as the room grew
dark, wrestling with her dilemma. In the end, dreading the results
she said:

"End VR3000 'Date' programme."

And everything went black.

Copyright Vickie Morgan, 1998

This story is distributed free of charge for your entertainment. It does take quite a lot of time and effort to write, type, edit and post a story, especially a long one like this. All I ask is that you take a couple of minutes to e-mail me, let me know that you've read this and perhaps give some reaction. Thank you.


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