It is the night of Polaris' first day in the Smurf Village, and Polaris had spent it mostly in the company of Empath introducing him to the various Smurfs he has only heard about, plus those that only Empath knew about since he came home for good. They had ended the day together at Tapper's Tavern, watching the entertainments going on and talking with the village bartender, who is eager to find out more about the Psyche who has now made the Smurf Village his home.
After the tavern had closed for the night, Polaris asked, "Where will this one be staying for the night, Empath?"
"Since we have been living together in the same residence when we were in Psychelia, Polaris, this smurf doesn't see why you shouldn't stay with this smurf until you decide to have a place of your own," Empath answered. "This smurf had Hefty and Tuffy move a spare bed into the house so that we could bunk together."
"You are certain that is a wise decision?" Polaris asked. "This one senses the discomfort that the other Smurfs have of us being seen together like this."
"Let them think what they want, Polaris," Empath answered. "Only we know for certain what our actual relationship with each other is like. Besides, we're not doing anything that's wrong."
They both entered the house, and Polaris noticed that his bed and Empath's were very different from each other. "Is that what you actually sleep on for a bed, Empath?" Polaris asked, pointing to the lumpy giant cushion that looked like a beanbag.
"It's the most comfortable bed this smurf has ever slept in, Polaris," Empath said. "You should try it sometime. Anyway, you'll find that the Smurfs make the best beds for anyone to lie upon. They're far better than the ones in our sleeping quarters in Psychelia."
Polaris decided to try out his bed. He laid down on top of the sheets and noticed how soft everything is. "The Psyches never had need for such comfort like this, Empath," he commented.
"You'll get used to it, Polaris," Empath said, taking out his bathrobe and going behind the dressing divider to change into it. "Of course, if you don't like the mattress, we could have Carpenter bring in a special bed without a mattress that you could sleep on."
"This one will adapt," Polaris said, watching as Empath came from behind the divider with his bathrobe on and little else besides his underwear. "Is that what you and the other Smurfs actually wear when you go to sleep?"
"Normally, most Smurfs wear a nightgown and a nightcap when they go to sleep, Polaris," Empath answered. "Somehow, this smurf feels more comfortable wearing a bit less. Of course, knowing how you would react to this smurf appearing in a half-dressed state, this smurf is also wearing a bathrobe until we get used to living with each other."
Polaris frowned, already feeling somewhat uncomfortable hearing about Empath's sleeping habits in the Smurf Village. "Is that why you also do not wear your hat when you sleep?" he asked.
Empath laughed with a little embarrassment. "Perhaps it's just a habit that this smurf picked up from living in Psychelia for too long, Polaris," he answered. "Anyway, this smurf will only wear the hat in public, since it's basically a custom for a Smurf to be wearing a hat, and besides, this smurf doesn't like having this smurf's designation code constantly being displayed on the back of this smurf's head. It's degrading enough to have to display it in the sight of everyone in Psychelia."
"This one would empathize with your situation, Empath," Polaris said. "Perhaps tomorrow we will make better arrangements for ourselves when it comes to sharing the same residence together."
"Just remember, Polaris, that my house is your house," Empath said as he settled into his bed. "You should have a good night's sleep knowing that you're free of being tethered to the mindlink of the other Psyches."
"That may take some time for this one to get used to as well, Empath," Polaris said as he relaxed himself. "Rest well, fellow Empath...this one will see you again in the morning."
"Rest well, fellow Polaris," Empath said, as they both closed their eyes and fell asleep.
During the night, however, Empath found himself back in the dream space that he and Polaris used to be in together when they were in Psychelia, again wearing nothing more than the same white robes. To Empath, it felt like he was being awakened from his sleep. "Polaris, this smurf thought that you would be asleep by now," Empath said.
"In a manner of speaking, we are both sleeping, Empath," Polaris said. "It's just that this one has been without being in contact with you in the dream space for about a year, and that this one longs for your presence within it."
"This smurf can understand that feeling, Polaris," Empath said. "It's just that this smurf has gotten used to sleeping without being in a dream space with anyone, since the Smurfs around here prefer this smurf not to invade them in their sleep just so they can keep company with this smurf."
"Then this one apologizes for invading your privacy, Empath," Polaris said. "This one is not aware that this is your custom sleeping habit in the Smurf Village."
"That's not a problem, Polaris," Empath said. "You'll get used to sleeping without having to use a dream space. In time you'll have thoughts of your own that you may not want to share with this smurf due to their rather personal nature."
"As this one senses that you have some thoughts about Smurfette that you do not wish to share with anyone except with her alone," Polaris said. "This one finds is rather odd that you do not wish to communicate those thoughts directly with her through your telepathic abilities."
"This smurf would rather not communicate with Smurfette in a way that would be invasive to her, Polaris," Empath said. "Besides, Smurfette's mind isn't always easy for this smurf to read her thoughts from, which has been a mystery to this smurf from the day this smurf has first met her."
"This one has never imagined your people to be so needful of privacy despite how open they seem to be in their need to express themselves, Empath," Polaris said.
"Well, that's the nature of people who are not telepaths like us, Polaris," Empath said. "This smurf had to be taught by Papa Smurf not to use this smurf's minds-eye powers to snoop into other Smurfs' minds unless it's absolutely necessary for the greater good."
"That seems to be a very wise policy coming from one who does not share our abilities, Empath," Polaris said. "This one will make sure that this one will heed to that policy as well. And hopefully this one will be respectful of your privacy so that this one will not need to disturb your sleep through such a form of communication as this."
"Just remember that you're free to communicate anything with this smurf even when we're awake, Polaris," Empath said. "If you need to communicate anything to me through telepathy, don't hesitate to do so."
"This one acknowledges, Empath," Polaris said, nodding with acceptance. "Then this one will allow you to go back to your sleep without invading your privacy."
"You do not need to leave unless this smurf wishes it, Polaris," Empath said. "This smurf also misses your company in the dream space. You can stay for as long as you like until you need to awaken from your sleep."
"But what is there for us to do in the dream space if there's no need for us to talk about anything private in here?" Polaris asked.
"That's the best part of it, Polaris -- you don't have to do anything in it," Empath answered. "You can simply just sit and relax and not have to think about anything at all."
"Then this one will remain with you until it is time for us to awaken," Polaris said as he and Empath sat down in the middle of the meadow and stared at the picturesque scenery that defined the landscape of the dream space.
After what seemed like a long while, Empath turned to Polaris and found him lying in the meadow, sleeping -- which was pretty odd, for Empath never thought anyone would fall asleep in a dream space. He smiled, glad to see that his friend felt comfortable, and then laid back and stared up at the sky, imagining what Polaris may be dreaming about right about now.
Then Empath ended up closing his eyes in the dream space, and the next thing he knew, it was morning. He opened his eyes and saw that his friend Polaris Psyche was still there. He had woken up earlier and was simply sitting upon his bed waiting for Empath. "Salutations, fellow Empath," he greeted in his usual flat-toned voice.
Empath stretched his arms as he yawned. "Salutations, fellow Polaris. Did you sleep well?"
"This one's resting period was tranquil, to say the least," Polaris answered. "Again, this one apologizes for intruding upon you in the dream space."
"You have nothing to apologize for, Polaris," Empath said. "This smurf is just glad that you are able to sleep in your first night here at the Smurf Village." He then looked at himself. "This smurf just needs to slip into something a bit more appropriate, and then we can go out for breakfast together." He pulled some clothes out of his dresser and stepped behind the divider to change into them.
"This one notices that you have left the clothes you were wearing yesterday on the floor, Empath," Polaris commented. "Is that the usual habit of the Smurfs?"
"No, it's just a habit that some of this smurf's fellow Smurfs have picked up, and so has this smurf, Polaris," Empath answered. "However, this smurf does admit that this habit is rather embarrassing, because this smurf usually doesn't let other Smurfs come into this smurf's house unless it's absolutely necessary."
"It seems that this will be an adjustment you will have to make now that this one has become a resident of your living quarters," Polaris said with a hint of disgust in his voice.
Empath snorted at that, never expecting to hear that from his friend in the way that he said it, as he stepped out from behind the divider fully clothed. "We can deal with that later, Polaris. Let's just get our breakfast and find out what you may do today to contribute to the everyday life of the village."
Polaris sighed as he and Empath left the house together.