Six cups of strong coffee later, Sydney was feeling rather more able to face the day. Of course, the coffee was punctuated by refills of his plate. He felt like he hadn’t eaten in days, so a chance to sleep, eat, and enjoy some coffee was certainly welcome.
When he surfaced from the first plate, Gwen was sitting opposite him and smirking a little. As before, there was a hint of smoke about her, and a faint hint of scales to her complexion. Her eyes were not the least bit human despite all appearances. Sydney had the impression somehow that others would not see as much of the dragon showing through her current guise when they looked, but wasn’t sure why.
“I hear you met the rooster? He’s rather infamous in these parts.”
“He was kind enough to break a fugue. I was at least seven layers deep in dreams within dreams when I happened on him.”
“Infamous but not always welcome. He and I have not always seen the world the same way.”
“I can respect that. But your orchard is a powerful place of its own. It tried to own me, and I resisted using what I could find at hand. I did have to seek him out.”
“Like you sought me out?”
Sydney suddenly realised that this conversation was built on a foundation of quicksand.
“I seek the wisdom to find my way home. I hope sincerely that my mission did not interrupt your business. I’m quite sure that you are not the one responsible for my inter-universe transference.”
“Well, I knew that. Next step, lake, and fish. Several fish, actually.”
They made their way to a little lake, and spent the rest of the day fishing, with exactly as much success as you would imagine.