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Matthew has Feelings about his Boss.  

Not like THAT, you goddamn pervs.  He has Feelings for his Boss the same way that chick in that Brooklyn 99 meme had about that puppy.  Like, "I've only had Dream of the Endless as my Boss for about two minutes but if any of you motherfuckers hurt him, I have a very particular set of skills that will make me a nightmare for people like you."  

Yeah, he's mashing up his references, but Matthew doesn't care. His Nibbly Darkness, the Lord of Dreams and Nightmares has had a shit time this past century, no thanks to his bastard bitch of a sibling and seriously, Matthew thinks it's seventeen thousand kinds of fucked up that their idea of teaching their brother a "lesson" involves imprisonment, innocents caught in the crossfire and potential murder.

So yeah, Matthew is perfectly willing to throw down for his Boss if he has to.  

Except his Boss still has nightmares about poor Jessamy and it's manifesting itself in being oddly protective over Matthew in the absolute worst way.  Like, he's the Raven for Dream of the Endless now - he's got a job to do and maybe sometimes that has an element of risk to it but those are the breaks right?  Dream can't keep Matthew from attending to his duties and he's gonna do them, come hell or high water.  

And the perks are like, super amazing, because flying, woo to the hoo!  There's some magic stuff and some secret raven tricks that Lucienne has been teaching him, because she used to be Dream's Raven too. 

He's also got nesting privileges now, because it's nice to get some shut-eye in the Boss' coat.  It's hilarious because Dream will be all exasperated and say, "Matthew" in this long-suffering tone, but he accompanies that with gentle strokes along Matthew's feathers and there's a tiny sweet smile playing about his lips.  Dream reserves those smiles just for a very select few - which currently includes the boyfriend that Matthew thoroughly approves of.  Matthew's proud to be one of them.  Of getting to see Dream smile, not the boyfriend thing - you know what?  Matthew's gonna stop while he's ahead.  There.  

Matthew remembers the first time he got a proper hug from the Boss, which had scared off several years of his life.  And that was mostly because he felt real tears soak through his feathers.  

"Hey, Boss, you okay?" 

A soft hitching sigh.  "No, Matthew.  Things are not... okay." 

It was kind of awkward to manage a "there, there" with a wing but Matthew made it work somehow.  "Okay, so just so you know, if somebody's ass needs to get kicked, you know I'm your guy, right? I mean, raven, but yeah, you get what I'm sayin'? I will go mano a mano with whoever or whatever it is that's giving you grief - oh, shit, is it your asshole sibling again?" 

"Matthew... Matthew,"  Dream gave a watery short laugh.  "The sentiment is appreciated.  But unneccessary.  Thank you."  

Matthew was a little proud that he did manage to coax his sad wet cat of a Boss out of whatever melancholic funk that Dream found himself in but yeah, that made Matthew nervous, because he knows all the signs of depression when he sees them and this is not a task one single Raven can undertake alone.  

Well, Lucienne actually said that first, when she first recruited Matthew.  He's taken them to heart.  

Mervyn was another one they'd nabbed, because while Mervyn might have a mouth on him and tact wasn't exactly a word in his dictionary, Merv was still good people in the end.  The next was Abel, with Goldie peeping along.  Then, thank the Creator, they'd finally managed to grab Hob Gadling who was a goddamn gift to them all, even if they had to put up with the occasional flower showers or the inadvertent appearance of blooms in every nook and cranny of the Castle.  

Merv, of course, complained the loudest about this, especially about the smell of roses, lavender and poppies getting in everything, but he did hum a couple of love songs while sweeping away the blooms.  It was also Merv who said, with authority, "Y'know what?  I think ol' Hobsie's good for the Boss.  This one's gonna last, I'm telling you." 

(It was Merv who had clued Matthew in on the Boss' absolute fucking disaster of a lovelife and also added to Matthew's Mental List of 'Things I Will Absolutely Kick Desire's Ass For Just Gimme Half A Chance.')

There was this one time, where they were all in the Dreaming's version of the New Inn, where Lucienne had finally gotten drunk enough to reveal one very important secret about the Boss.  

There was a lot of swearing, and Matthew had to appreciate Hob Gadling for the colorful Middle English swearwords, which kinda had a weird harmony with Mervyn's cussing.  But basically, it all amounted to a collective NOPE from everyone in this conspiracy.  This wasn't going to happen.  Not to their Morpheus.  Not on their watch.  

Dreams don't fucking die, Matthew had once said to his Boss, down deep in the bowels of literal Hell, with the Morningstar Herself about to move in for the kill.  Dreams don't fucking die because they are Hope given form, the same thing that makes Hob Gadling look Death Herself in the eye, smile charmingly, and tell her that he was still looking forward to living.  Especially now, when he's got his ridiculous husband to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, from this day forward to forever.  

(See, Death just couldn't give Hob the Obligatory Shovel Talk after that.  Matthew had to take care of it.  If only to keep up the tradition, yeah?)  

Well.  Anyway!  Matthew's  gonna make good and goddamn sure that Dream of the Endless will stay alive.  He'll always have his Raven to guard his back for him.  

-end-


Footnote the First:  Matthew still hasn't gotten over the fact that Dream of the Endless has a laugh like... well, if one had ever imagined a black hole in space to laugh, which was somewhere between hilarious and horrifying.  Maybe "hilarifying" was the right word.  Now why did Dream laugh?  Look, you do not expect to start singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" and not get an entire chorus going, which is what happened when Merv started in on it, then snagged Snottor, then Fauntleroy and the Dreamlings, then Nuala, Lucienne and finally Matthew.  They were answering each other with "Galileos" and were startled when Dream joined in on the last few verses.  Man, the Boss really had a Voice on him.  

Footnote the Second:  The Hellfire Club and most of Hob's students weren't sure why they suddenly had Bohemian Rhapsody as their LSS, but really, nobody minded.  There was a lot of impromptu singing in the hallways because of that and even their favorite history professors Gadling and Pierson joined in.  

Footnote the Third:  Matthew looked in on a Certain Little Girl and he'd really just meant to.... well, he wasn't sure what he meant to do, except just he wanted to know.  The two of them had a Very Important Conversation about their Lord Morpheus and a mutual understanding was reached and a friendship formed.  Lord Morpheus' Ravens had to stick together, right?  Matthew also made friends with said Little Girl's dog, who was named Gregory.