He dreamed vividly. He dreamed in color and emotion and sound, which was as far from his normal dreaming that he could get. Like now. He knew he was dreaming. He knew for certain that he was dreaming, but that didn't stop him from doubting. Still, reality had never been this weird.
A giant red rose hung in the sky above him like a demented bastard-child of the sun, its petals shaped into hearts, complete with arteries and slowly dripping blood. He stood on a beach, the ocean disappearing into the horizon on his left, the sand stretching as far as he could see in every other direction. It wasn't warm, not with the sun bleeding into the ocean, making the water swirl purple briefly before the blood dropped below the surface. It wasn't cold either. The sand radiated heat, as if it had been baking in the sun a few short hours ago, before he'd stepped into this dream. Footprints in the sand trailed away from the shore.
He'd been here before.
He followed the footprints, like he did most times he came here. Sometimes he'd dive under the water, swim down into the endless nothing only to awake minutes later. It seemed the water didn't lead anywhere, and when he fell asleep again he'd be right back here on the shore with the footprints in front of him. He'd tried walking in other directions, but that was the same as swimming. The sand went on endlessly and he'd wake up before getting anyway.
Following the footprints was the only way to get anywhere. He was beginning to get sick of the sheer repetition of it.
The footprints led him to a park, lush and green like out of some Home and Gardens picture book, only here the flowers grew in bouquets complete with plastic and paper wrappings and little note cards. Sometimes he'd stop and read them. He'd spent an entire night going through them once, without coming to an end of them. While the words were different on each card, they all said the same thing.
He flipped open the card on a bouquet of orchids, already knowing what it would say.
He pulled his hand away slowly and followed the white cobblestone path through the garden. The air was filled with the cloying perfume of flowers, the scent changing with each step. He walked past roses and carnations, tiger lilies, orchids, baby's breath, daisies, tulips, gardenias, hyacinth, and more flowers that he didn't know the names of.
The garden ended in a stone archway. Through that he'd walk onto a boat filled with vacant-eyed lovers dining under the stars. All of them were as repetitive as the cards, professing love to John with glassy eyes in a singular hollow voice. There was one vacant table, set for two and he knew if he sat down, the waiter would bring him whatever he asked for and in the morning he'd wake up with the taste of the meal on his lips and his stomach oddly full. Busy as he was these days, that was sometimes the only time he ate a decent meal.
Beyond the boat was a movie theater, then a park with a picnic set out on a red and white checkered blanket, then a dark hillside where there was always a meteor shower. Then, at the very end, was a bedroom that had to be straight out of some girl's romantic fantasy. The sheets were red and black silk, the bed large enough for two with room to spare. Candles burned on every surface, filling the room with a different fragrance every time he came here. Today it was vanilla. Some relaxing, wordless tune played from the stereo, the sound washing away the tension of his day.
Shedding his clothes, he slipped under the sheets and closed his eyes, relaxing into the wonderfully soft bed. He didn't have to wait long before the music changed, shifting to a quieter background melody. He knew better than to try and open his eyes as the sheets lifted, the bed rolling slightly as a new weight settled on it. His eyes always stayed shut no matter what he tried.
Chilled hands reached out to him, pulling him back against an equally chill body. Whoever it was, whatever it was, kissed him as it wrapped its arms around John's torso, holding him tightly. The kiss was strong, possessive, demanding in the way that the unseen person's tongue forced its way between John's lips. The hands moved, lifting one of John's legs so that the whatever or whoever in bed with him could slide a leg between his thighs, an obviously male appendage poking John in the rear.
One hand slid down his stomach to fondle him, playing with him lightly in a touch that grew more familiar each night that he came here. The hand warmed as it moved over him, feeding off the heat of John's erect flesh as if they were trading warmth for pleasure. Sometimes this was as far as it went - kisses and a hand job by a guy he could never see.
He could tell this was not going to be one of those nights.
John Constantine was not an expert on gay sex. Before he'd started having these dreams, he would never have even considered putting the word 'gay' into any sentence concerning himself. Despite that, even he knew it should have hurt when his mysterious bedmate pressed fully erect flesh slowly but relentlessly inside of him. It should hurt, but it didn't. He knew, logically, that there was at least a little bit of preparation needed in this sort of thing - lubrication, touching, sometimes condoms. Apparently none of that was needed because his dream-lover was able to slip inside John like his ass was an express freeway with all lanes open.
These dreams were making him reconsider what he knew about himself because nothing in the real world felt as good as it did when the guy in his dreams moved, his hips rocking into John in a tempo that started out slow then ended in what John knew from experience would be a mad, pounding finish. All the time, the hand on John's erection kept moving, pumping along with the tempo like it was directing the choir and with the rhythm of hand and cock flowing through him John sure felt like singing. He certainly wasn't quiet, his voice rising with each thrust until he was gasping, moaning, sometimes even begging for release.
He always got what he asked for, though the mystery man took his own sweet time bringing John to completion. It had felt strange the first time unseen hands had jerked him off, stranger still when his mystery lover came inside him. Now those things seemed more commonplace than waking up.
They were reaching that point now. Warm breath puffed against the back of his neck, one of his lover's hands jerking roughly against John's erection, pre-cum wetting the now-hot palm. Inside him, behind him, powerful thrusts jerked him forward into the waiting grip, striking a spot deep inside of him that made pleasure like molten lava burn through his veins.
He felt wetness behind him seconds before he came, his body tightening in the throws of climax to squeeze around his lover.
After that they slept, still entangled, the mess magically clearing from their bodies without either of them moving.
John awoke, as was becoming custom, sore, sated, and slightly horny. He stretched, not for the first time admiring the tiny little kiss-bruises that marked his shoulders. His ass ached as he moved, but it was an ache he was slowly getting used to, and not nearly bad enough that he couldn't work around it. Dressing quickly, he mentally reviewed his plans for the day. Much as he enjoyed his dreams, there was too much hidden meaning in them for him to ignore. The last week had been spent tracking down a new lead in his dream mystery.
He dropped his cardkey and credit card on the motel counter, not even glancing at the chick behind the counter. Two months ago, he might have ogled, maybe even booked the room for an extra night not spent alone. That was before the dreams. Now he barely looked at the girl as she checked him out of the room, his mind focused on his current mystery.
His stop for the day was four hours down the road, a tiny little shop in the backwoods of Connecticut. The sign above the door advertised herbs and teas. There were two other cars parked in front of the shop. Both looked as if they'd seen better years. He walked in, ignoring the neatly labeled jars and bags on the shelves. He asked for Adie. The girl behind the counter showed him through the hanging curtain into the back room without a word, leaving him in a small sitting room with a cup of tea. He sipped slowly, the taste of lavender sticking to his tongue.
An old woman with hair so gray in was pure white joined him after a moment, pouring a cup of tea for herself before smiling at him.
"You have the touch of the Endless on you."
John knew better than to question how the woman knew that. "I've met them before."
The woman's eyes twinkled merrily and she laughed at a joke that only she knew. "Meeting doesn't leave a mark. One has marked you."
Wracking his brain, John tried to think of the last time he'd met an Endless. It had been years, surely. "Which one?"
The old lady's smile widened and she chuckled into her teacup. "You know which one."
When John stared at her in confusion for several moments she laughed out loud before elaborating. "You've been having dreams?"
John stood with a curse, dropping an American fifty on the table before stalking out of the store. He drove until sundown and beyond. He wouldn't have stopped except his eyelids were drooping and the car was threatening to swerve off the road. Pulling over to the side or the road he parked, swearing all the while. His eyes fell shut as soon as he switched the car off.
He was on the beach, rose-heart sun bleeding into the ocean, footprints in the sand leading away. He ran down the path, thoughts churning. He made it to the bedroom in record time. Pulling off his clothes, he jumped under the covers and closed his eyes. He waited until the mystery man joined him, until they were entwined and fucking like rabbits before he let the name slip from his lips.
All motion stopped. He had expected his lover to disappear, but the hands still held him, erection still burned between his cheeks.
He opened his eyes, turning his head to the side to stare at a pale white face frozen in shock. John smiled. Reaching up with one hand, he tangled his fingers in Morpheus' hair, using his grip for support as he leaned up to kiss the Endless. Morpheus' tongue slipped into his mouth the same as it did on any other kiss and they were moving again, bodies slowly falling back into their previous rhythm.
This time he kept his eyes open as Morpheus fucked him. This time he saw pale hands drawing him inexorably to completion. This time he watched emotion dance across the Endless' face as Morpheus came inside of him. And when they were done, he didn't fall asleep like he normally did but he let Morpheus slid out of his body as he turned around.
He kissed Morpheus, amused that he could make one of the Endless look surprised.
This time he fell asleep knowing fully well whose arms he slept in.