I wrote this at 4 am the other day because I worry incessantly. (not beta'd, and I'd had no sleep so all mistakes were rightly earned).
Morpheus went straight to the refrigerator and grabbed the jug of orange juice; working nights always left him thirsty. Taking a large gulp straight from the jug, he almost choked when he heard his name called out.
"Morpheus, come here." Morpheus poured the juice into a glass and then following the sound of his tops voice, found him sitting in the den at the computer. "How was work last night? Did you finish?"
"Work was good. Yeah, I finished everything I was supposed to."
"Really?" Morpheus wondered if all tops took a class in Top School on how to quirk their eyebrow just so. "You gave out your quota of dreams to everyone?" Damn, it was the direct question technique that every top learned about in Top class 101.
"Ummm," Morpheus quickly took a drink of the orange juice so as not to say anything more.
"`Since Morpheus eludes me, I think I'll give feedback.'" His top read from the computer screen.
"What? Where'd you get that from? Writing Lines? But you're not a member of Writing Lines! Only members can read the posts!"
"No, I'm not. But you left your computer running and the browser open to the Writing Lines yahoo group. As I was turning it off, I saw your name. Naturally, I was curious. Why did you not send the girl off with sweet dreams? You know she is over tired, stressed out, and ran ragged. She could have really used the sleep."
"Well," Morpheus started, then knowing his top had aced his Advanced Lie Detection class, skipped straight to the truth. "She just kept digging herself deeper into a hole. I wanted to see what she would post next."
"You found that amusing?" Damn, Morpheus thought, his top had taken and aced that eyebrow class.
"No, not amusing, it was fascinating. It was kind of like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I couldn't do anything to stop it."
"Yes, you could have stopped it, you SHOULD have stopped it. You should have done your job and sent the prescribed dreams to her. But since you didn't you will have to face the consequences."
Morpheus started to tear up as his top opened the top drawer of the desk and pulled out the paddle. When his top held out his other hand, beckoning him over, Morpheus tried one last effort. "But it's not my fault she kept posting!"
"No, it's not your fault she kept posting. I'm sure she will take responsibility for her own actions. You did however, not complete your job to the satisfaction of the gods. So, for not completing your job you will take responsibility for your own actions."
Lying across his top's lap and yelping at each swat of the paddle, Morpheus did accept his responsibility for his actions of the previous night. Not too soon, the paddle stopped and Morpheus sobbed out his apologies.
"Come here, let me cuddle you."
Knowing that his top received high honors in Cuddling and Comforting class, Morpheus dove into the arms of his top.
"Come, let us get some sleep, and then later today when Hypnos sends the girl to sleep for a nap, you can give her the dreams that she should have had last night."
Still wrapped in the arms of his top and knowing that after a few hours sleep all would be right with the world, Writing Lines in particular, Morpheus drifted off to sleep.