"Lost Hearts": Out in a deserted section of the Dreaming, Dream reveals to Rose Walker that she is what is known as a "Vortex of Dream", and in order to protect the Dreaming, he must kill her. Rose hopes that it is a dream, that she will wake

Quote1 I am sorry, Rose. There is nothing personal about this. We all have responsibilities, and this is one of mine. I am sorry. Quote2
-- Dream

Appearing in "Lost Hearts"

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Synopsis for "Lost Hearts"

Out in a deserted section of the Dreaming, Dream reveals to Rose Walker that she is what is known as a "Vortex of Dream", and in order to protect the Dreaming, he must kill her. Rose hopes that it is a dream, that she will wake up, and none of this will have happened, but eventually it becomes clear to her that it is a dream from which she will never wake.
Meanwhile, Gilbert and Matthew the Raven return to the Dreaming, and rush to their master's location. Gilbert reveals that he was once a dream of a place known as Fiddler's Green, and he escaped 50 years ago to become a human in the real world. Now that he has returned, he hopes that he can find some way to prevent Dream from killing Rose, though he doubts he will succeed.
Dream explains to Rose that once in each era, there is a vortex - a mortal who briefly becomes the centre of the Dreaming. By it's nature, the vortex destroys the barriers between each dream until every dreamer is caught in one massive dream. When each dreamer dreams the same dreamer, they all become one, and the vortex begins to collapse on itself until it is gone, and the Dreaming is left in an irreparable state.
Dream admits that this has happened to completion once before, and it is his duty to prevent it from happening again. In the past, a vortex collapsed and it destroyed an entire world in another universe. He failed in his duty then, and he will not again.
While Dream is lord of the Dreaming, he is not omnipotent. He cannot simply make vortexes go away. They must be killed. He promises, though, that she could stay in the Dreaming, as Matthew has. Rose, however, does not want to die.
Elsewhere, Unity Kincaid bids goodbye to her daughter Miranda before falling asleep for the last time.
Finally, Gilbert and Matthew arrive, and Rose is very happy to see them. Gilbert offers his own life in exchange for Rose's, knowing that he will not go unpunished for escaping the Dreaming during Dream's imprisonment. Dream, however, states that it cannot be so. He chooses not to punish Fiddler's Green, but states that he must return to his former position. Sadly, Rose embraces her friend, and says goodbye. As he disappears, Gilbert invites Rose to stay within his green glades, should she choose to remain in the Dreaming. Moments later, they are surrounded by the lush greenery of Fiddler's Green.
Dream prepares to take Rose's life, apologizing for his responsibility. Firmly, she shouts that he should just get on with it. Before he can, though, Unity Kincaid appears, and announces that Rose will not die - she will. Unity explains that had Dream not been imprisoned away from the Dreaming for years, she would have become the next vortex, and not Rose. Instead, she was sent into a coma. Unity turns to Rose and asks for her to reach inside of herself and give her whatever it is that makes her the vortex; her heart.
Cautiously, Rose reaches within her own chest, and pulls out a crystal in the shape of a heart. Unity takes it in her hands, and announces that now, she is the vortex. Suddenly, the crystal radiates a bright light, and Unity collapses in pain.
In her bedroom, Unity suddenly bolts upright, startling her daughter Miranda. Finally, she lays back in the bed, and dies.
Dream reaches down and helps Unity up, revealing that the vortex is gone, and Rose will not have to die. Before sending her back to the real world, Dream promises that he will bring her younger brother Jed back from the shores of dreaming as a gift.
Six months later, Hal sends Rose a letter announcing that he is selling the house where she stayed in Florida, and is moving out west. Ken and Barbie have split up. Chantal and Zelda are buying the house from Hal.
Rose and Jed are living in a big house that their mother Miranda bought with money from Unity's estate. Rose has been depressed, though. She doesn't leave her room much except when her family is asleep. One night, Rose cuts and dyes her hair, and decides to return to her family. She knows that if her dream about her grandmother's death is true, then the world is not what anyone thinks it is.
In the Dreaming, Dream visits his sibling Desire. He believes that Desire is complicit in the events which caused Unity Kincaid to become comatose rather than become the vortex, and allowing it to pass on to Rose instead. Dream has deduced that the one who fathered Miranda Walker - the man who raped Unity Kincaid while she was comatose - was Desire itself.
Angrily, Dream explains that the Endless are not the masters of men, but their servants. He warns that if Desire crosses him again, he will forget that they are siblings, and bring down the power of all of the other siblings against it. After Dream leaves, Desire simply forgets the warning, being driven only by desire, after all.


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