The Corinthian feels supremely awkward each time Dream makes a personal visit to his lonely citadel deep within Nightmare. It is not a form of awkwardness, however, that he would willingly part with. He has trouble thinking of anything to say, but Dream does most of the talking. He has become his master's confidant – a rare thing.
On this occasion, Dream materializes wearing a white t-shirt and white jeans, similar to the Corinthian's usual garb. His hair is even wilder than usual and he begins speaking in a torrent of words before his form is truly solid.
"I know I should not have done it. It was not a good idea. But there is still such weakness inside of me…" Hardly looking up, and apparently not noticing the Corinthian's nakedness, he perches on the side of the bed and stares at the floor. "All dreams are my jurisdiction, but I should not have gazed into those of Hippolyta Hall."
"What did you see?" The Corinthian asks. After the second of these visitations he stopped using honorifics, though he continues to be far more polite than he is with anyone else.
"She begged me to give back her son. She offered all her worldly possessions, her beauty, her strength, every happy memory from childhood and marriage. She tore out her own heart…and I…and…I…" And a tear slides down the perfectly white face.
"Your previous incarnation never cried. He made it rain instead. I remember."
Dream gave a shaky laugh. "That would be inconsiderate to the rest of you. Excessive unseasonable rain, that is. I of course make sure there is enough to feed the rivers and trees."
"Sometimes I wonder what it's like to cry. I obviously can't…"
"Would you like to be able to? I can make it so."
"Not just now, thanks."
Crawling timidly, Dream nestles in the crook of the Corinthian's shoulder, shuddering like a bird in the rain. "You understand, though. That is why I need you."
"Mmm," the Corinthian says sympathetically but without committing himself, not sure what to do with his hands as they sit in silence for an unmeasured time.
Then Dream takes one in his and squeezes it. "This is not too much of a burden? I would not – I mean…" He looks the Corinthian in the mouths, face screwed up with worry. "If you are simply tolerating this as my subject…"
"I'd rather news didn't get out…" He could just imagine the jokes Mervyn would crack about one of the Major Arcana serving as a stress-relieving plushie. "…But stay. Please."
"Mind if I fall asleep? I had a big night."