Much of the world had changed while his gaze was elsewhere. Many things were different. Many people were different. Even more rules that had held firm for centuries were now casually broken, nary a thought to their impossibilities. It happened amongst the men, the dwarves, the hobbits, and the fell creatures of the night. It happened even amongst the elves, and yet perhaps the biggest case of impossibilities becoming suddenly possible was standing in front of him, a contrite look on the intruder’s face as he cringed from the words he’d just given voice.
Had anyone else said such a thing they would've been smart to fear, but here in his own dreamscape it was easy to keep his calm, practiced to relax. The dreamer wouldn't say that his first instinct hadn't been a severe tongue-lashing, merely that it was easier to remain composed, to know that this was a quiet place, and to acknowledge that the intruder didn't know any of this was real. With that break from reality, safety was restored.
At first when faced with an intruder in the only safe place he had left, a mix of fury and confusion had almost overcome him. He’d wanted to know how said intruder had gotten into his dreamscape and why the other was there. In the initial moment he hadn’t even cared why the other was there, only wanted him out.
Then, before he could give voice to either rage or slowly growing confusion, he’d been brushed off, asked such a ridiculously menial question that he hadn't known how to respond. It was only when further prodding revealed that the intruder thought himself in an unreal dream, that a sort of peace fell over the actual dreamer. The realization of security in being thought fake was comforting at first, but soon opened up all sort of doors. To be thought a delusion meant that he could speak without care. Whatever actual opinions he had or thoughts he couldn’t usually give voice to, here he could speak aloud without concern of consequence. The intruder would never know this world was as real as the one he walked daily.
That it was this man of the vast many helped.
Not only was he a new king, but also a reasonable one whom the dreamer himself had, to an extent, taken under his wing. Indeed, how could he do less when faced between the other options of either letting him fall or having him taught by the dwarves? The very thought was enough to make him shudder. Dwarves, ensnaring the new king before anything could be done to counter their appalling influences. It was beyond imagining. Especially with this king. In a word, he was, interesting. Almost glorious in his righteous anger against that which brings harm to those who were his, trying to protect everyone he could. So passionately standing up to the dreamer and speaking with him as if they were equals even before they were. Not cowering in the face of elven royalty like so many humans did, instead approaching him high on his elk and speaking words of humble but strong gratitude. Later on when the dreamer gave advice, going willingly with almost too much trust in matters he had little hope of understanding, while carefully contemplating those he did. If the dreamer were a crueler person, ah, but he is not, and it is not worth thinking of. Especially not here where the new king was a potential sounding board for whatever thought might come the dreamer’s way.
So while in the waking world the dreamer would have no qualms about responding to the intruder’s question with cold fury, here such a defense was unnecessary. There’d be chastising of course, but only enough to teach the man of when tact might be used more appropriately.
It would be nice to have someone to talk to.