As I have only read "Endless Nights" and bits of information on Sandman online, I pray you will be kind as this is my first Sandman one-shot fic, dedicated to my Art Teacher.

Disclaimer: I do not own Sandman-but I do own my dreams.

It is a quarter to 12 midnight but I am expecting guests. They are to arrive any moment. Ah, my friend. I was not expecting you…. Nevertheless, you are welcome.

There is wine downstairs on the dining table. There is no food I'm afraid. It is after all, very late. But please, let's not stand on ceremony. Chocolates?

I see you raising your eyebrows at my attire. What do you think of my corset, hidden behind my poet shirt-white-, my black slacks and my boots? What do you think of my vintage choker, with matching earrings, lined with feathers and beads? The latter are my mother's. She had such fashionable tastes.

Enough about that. I hear you ask who my guests are. Let's just say, they're not your average people-or guests…

Ah! Despair! What a pleasant surprise! You're early! Have a seat. Do say hello to Despair, my lady.

I see my friend, you are shocked. That Despair is a plump, pale nude woman, that she came via the Florentine mirror behind me. I already told you-my guests are not your average sort.

A knock on the door. No surprise. It is Desire, Despair's twin. I see you frown, my lady. Yes, I spoke correctly-Despair's twin.

How can that be? I don't know either. Desire is handsome. And is beautiful too. Today, he/she wears a three-piece suit and looks most attractive with his/her long hair in a ponytail.

"Smoke outside if you must, Desire. I will not have cigarette smoke in my realm."

I tell Desire politely. He /She extinguishes the cigarette before pouring himself/herself a glass of Chianti.

"Keep your eyes off my …guest, Desire."

He/She gives me a lewd smirk, swirls the Chianti and sips it.

"I need not tell you who each of them are. Their names are self-explanatory."

I say, as I pour both of us a glass of wine.

"There are seven of them. They are the Endless. They are Destiny, Dream, Death, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Delirium. Destruction of course, will not be present. He never was."

All this while, I whisper. Destruction, contrary to his name, was a jolly man. I had met him on a few occasions, on the crossroads of Life. And, the rest of the Endless missed him greatly.

"It has been quite a while, has it, Muse?"

I turn to see Dream-or Morpheus-, sitting on the top of the stairs, looking his usual, brooding self. Muse is one of the nicknames he labels me with. He is the only Endless I have a deep affinity with For some reason, he reminded me of the late iconic actor Brandon Lee-and I desperately wanted to tame his hair with an economy-sized bottle of conditioner. Beside him, his older brother-the eldest- Destiny. As usual, he wore robes that covered half his face and held a thick book.

"Ever thought of using the door?"

Just then, said door's bell rang. To our consternation, it kept ringing and ringing, as if a naughty child was playing with the doorbell. You open the door-and there is Delirium, wearing a worn leather jacket over a worn blouse and skirt. Her eyes are beautifully mismatched. Her copper-red hair is in disarray. She is quite the delightful creature-if one can understand her apparent rambling-which to me makes more sense than those cruel words. Beside her, looking (mock) angrily at Delirium is Death. She looks especially tonight with her long raven hair and her black clothes. Mine merely look out of a past time period.

"Sorry we're late."

"Women's prerogative."

I reply. Delirium chuckles though I am sure she doesn't get the joke. Death glides in and hugs Dream. They remind me more of lovers than siblings do, personally.

"Now that we are all here, shall we?"

I pour Delirium a glass of grape juice-I fear to think what would happen if she got drunk- before pouring the others glasses of Chianti, Cabaret Sauvignon and Amarone (Desire's personal favorite). No, I have not forgotten you, my unexpected guest. Have we met? You look dazed. I don't blame you, Friend. This motley crew must be the very definition of Odd-at least to you. Still, you have been civil with them for the last few hours-my how time does fly. For that I thank you. Raise your glass, if you please. If I may propose a toast, to the Endless-and to Destruction!

As I tilt my glass and drain it, I swear I can sense…that Destruction is sitting somewhere in a cave, with his pet dog, patting its head affectionately while raising a glass along with his other brothers and sisters. He is with them in spirit. I do not know when he will return but until he does, Delirium will remain in her present state and Despair will forever mourn for him. The sweet wine in my mouth takes a sour turn at the thought. However, that cannot distemper our joyful spirits as we continue to banter, laugh and joke till dawn. Soon, one by one, the Endless fade. And so must I-and so must you…

Be at peace. You will simply address this as part of a figment of your imagination-if you have one that is..

Or perhaps a dream. Do you dream, my Friend?

This Storyteller does.