Day/Theme: 2. 27 | The starry floor (late)
Character/Pairing: Greece/Japan, Greece/Hypnos
Summary: The space between falling asleep and dreaming.
hypnagogic \hip-nuh-GOJ-ik; -GOH-jik\, adjective:
Of, pertaining to, or occurring in the state of drowsiness preceding sleep.
Hypnagogic (sometimes spelled hypnogogic) ultimately derives from Greek hupnos, "sleep" + agogos, "leading," from agein, "to lead."
Hypnos is of course, the Greek god of sleep.
I've had this mostly done for a while... posted/finished in celebration of the anime becoming The Japan-And-Greece-Come-On-To-Each-Other show lately (and yes, it's a good thing.)
The heat crept hour by hour up until it was impossible to not rest. Walking, working, even speaking was too much of an effort in this kind of heat. It was too hot here, even in the shade. The breeze simply made it worse. There were three fluffy cats curled up near his feet. One was speckled with brown and white, another a simple grey soot stain of a cat. The third was an orange tabby. The first was called Takenokoyama, the second was Baklava, the third simply Kiku.
These were what he was missing when he named them. The third especially when the thought of Japan's emperors came to mind, the stories of golden chrysanthemums stitched into traditional dress.
Japan was curled up in the crook of his Greece's arm. Greece was used to the heat, which to him was as familiar as it was oppressive. It was a nagging parent, filled with the traces of his mother's ways. In heat mirages he could see the line of her neck, her curly hair flowing down unbound for the night. Japan hadn't spoken a word of complaint, but his cheeks were flushed. Red like poppies, red like the color of his cheeks before he came. This was the drowsy point before Hypnos arrived, the unmitigated flow of thoughts and feelings that came to light. He thought of wind against their skin, the first kiss, the brush of soft hair and the first mewling sound Japan made at that midpoint of arousal and orgasm.
These were the tales that Mama Greece has told him: He will come and place poppies on your brow. Wings on his brows and shoulder, a lovely youth with curly hair. Water from the river Lethe drawn, a horn full of opium to rub in his lover's eyes. It was the lingering traces of kisses and dried poppy dust that he wiped from his eyes in the morning.
Hypnos must love you with how much his visits, was her teasing. He remembered every dream he told her, for there was never any shame between them. He remembered the tales she would tell him: of the rape of unmerciful gods upon their people; of gods turned into swans and bulls; of maidens ripped apart, and old gods given endless agonizing torture. These were his bedtime stories, and what he settled into as the drowsiness came. He in turn would tell her of the youth who lead him over the starry floor of the sky with his hands about his wrist. There were wings on his broad shoulders.
Hypnos was his first love; Japan was his last.
His mother would have liked Japan, he thought. She would've approved, and probably have smothered Japan with hugs, with all her affectionate ways. In the space between sleeping and dreaming, he curled closer despite the heat. He moved until he could feel the press of his lips to Japan's sleek, dark hair. Two cats turned on their sides and stretched out their legs. One sunk their claws into him, but he did not stir. It took far more to disturb him, for he has slept through wars and earthquakes, slept right through his mother's disappearance.
It was this, her being there one day and gone the next which made him hold tight while he was sleeping. During the hazy moments of waking, there was always a point where he touched furtively to the sheets searching for another presence. He didn't like sleeping alone. Several cats at the foot of his bed, a lover to spend the night with, that was how he kept the loneliness at bay. The constant loneliness always abated when Japan was near. It faded, like stories told until they became something unreal. Mythologies, and the slackening of thick fog across the harbor. It worked even better than hundreds of nameless lovers, kept for a night and then set free back to walk the city streets of their own lives. The word love was always on the tip of his tongue, and then left unsaid in favor for language lessons, and mentions of the weather.
His eyes were heavy with the drowsiness, the heat. He felt the first touches of sleep coming, overlaid with the sweetness of poppies, heady and left as gifts, and the presence of Japan curled against him. Comfort, (despite the heat) he thought. Love.
And so he drifted off.