Actions

Work Header

To fix a Multiverse

Chapter Text

Inky grumbled unhappily as he fixed his wounds by brushing his paintbrush over it, the magic closing up the wound and healing it without a trace. The Doodle Sphere was silent as Inky wasn't feeling like creating, not after just getting out of a fight with Nightmare's Gang. The Dark Sanses had been very active lately, hardly giving Ink enough time to recover what had been lost when he was trying to keep them from destroying any more.

Inky sighed tiredly when he finished healing his arm, dropping his small paintbrush on the ground next to him. He looked towards the vast portals of the Doodle Sphere. His creations. His AUs. His pride and joy.

Inky smiled at the sight. All of those AUs were his. He had made them. He had watched them grow into beautiful worlds with their own choices and lives. Different each time. Timelines growing into AUs and AUs growing more timelines. It was gorgeous.

He shuddered suddenly, a sharp pain shooting up his spine. He scowled, his eye lights red as he stood up. It would have been gorgeous if there weren't some people trying to destroy everything. He'd lost too many AUs because of them- Error and the Dark Sanses- and he didn't have enough time to replace/rebuild them. His focus now on making sure they wouldn't destroy any more AUs.

He grabbed his large paintbrush and teleported to an AU where he sensed the destructive and negative presence of Nightmare. Inside he wished for someone to be his friend. Someone who understood his world and helped him. Who would always be by his side through everything without worry of his friend being killed. He couldn't ask that from his creations. Not even Dream. Because they could die.

He was all alone in this. Despite being surrounded by living beings that were his creations, none of them were like him. None of them could be with him.

Inky shook his skull and rushed towards the AU. No time to stray from his goal. He had his creations to protect.

Fate watched as their child suffers from loneliness. They sympathised with him. Even when he possessed the ability to create more friends than anyone else, none of them were like him. They were constantly at risk of death. Nor did they see the world as Ink did.

Fate couldn't punish Error any more. Not with their strings cut from the Destroyer by the others' help. They couldn't make Error stop destroying to keep their child happy. And they hated that. They hated to be ripped of their control.

Fate glared hatefully at Nightmare and Error who were fighting their child, hurting him further. If only their child had someone to help him and be his friend.

Fate brightened up with an idea. They grinned and summoned their strings, reaching out into the Void to another Multiverse. One they had been watching curiously from time to time.

They spotted him. A skeleton in an AU who was similar to their child in every way. From his looks to his smile to his charm. A perfect candidate for their favorite.

Who would be better to be Ink's friend than Ink himself?

Using their strings, they caught the other Ink's Soul- ignoring the way it looked. That could be fixed.

They pulled this new Ink through the Void and into their Multiverse, holding the unconscious skeleton in front of them. So perfect. A best friend and companion for their favorite.

Fate summoned their power to grant this Ink the same powers they had granted their child. An array of colours trailing down from the strings, heading for the skeleton's Soul. The spectre touched the white Soul, going inside of it to grant him the power to create and transform him into a god.

However, before the process could begin, something bright shot out at the strings, cutting their connection to the Soul. They cried out in pain and screamed in rage when the other Multiverse's Ink was taken away from them by another entity.

"Who DARES take my prize?!" Fate screamed at the entity.

Destiny came into view, holding the kidnapped Ink in their arms while glaring hatefully at Fate.

"YOU!!!" Fate screamed at Destiny, their hate boiling around them. "How Dare You!!?"

"How dare ME?! How dare YOU to put another in your strings?!" Destiny screamed at Fate, holding the unconscious skeleton close, his Soul floating in front him now taking on a rainbow shine from the incomplete transformation.

"He shall be my child's companion!" Fate screamed as they tried to take Ink back. Destiny fought them off and kept Ink away from the enraged deity.

"He shall be returned back home!" Destiny protested, trying to encase the skeleton in their magic- white and misty- and send him back where he belonged. The plan didn't go well when Fate's red strings wrapped around the magic, shattering it before it could completely engulf Ink.

"Ink will have his wish! This skeleton will be his friend! That is his fate!"

"He shall be returned home where he belongs! That is his destiny!"

"You think you are stronger than me Destiny?!"

"If it means keeping another away from your cruel hands then yes! I shall be stronger than you!"

As the two deities fought, a thin trail of pink gently wrapped around Ink. The skeleton crying in distraught at the negativity around him. The pink stood, gently pulling Ink away from the negative aura, pulling him into another set of arms.

They smiled down at Ink, gently stroking his skull comfortingly, sending out calming waves to the distraught skeleton. Ink calmed down at the positive feeling, relaxing into the embrace. They smiled wider. An empath. When was the last time they'd seen an empath?

They looked towards the fighting deities and frowned. Those two were no help to the Multiverse. Nor to this skeleton.

They looked down at Ink and smiled, gently touching his Soul with a wisp of pink. Now Ink was touched by them. No one shall touch Ink again, neither Fate nor Destiny. This one shall not be subjected to their whims. What he chose would be his choice alone. And no one shall be able to sway his reasons in any direction.

They gently lowered Ink into the Multiverse in a pacifist AU. They could not send Ink home for they did not possess the power. But they would keep Ink safe from harm. They would keep their friend safe in this dangerous Multiverse. Ink shall be the one to link two sides together. The glue to fix this broken Multiverse.

That was not his Fate.

That was not his Destiny.

But it was his duty, love and Passion. He would make peace with both sides and make them come to a compromise. He would turn the Multiverse into a peaceful place. That was what Ink had done in his Multiverse. And he shall continue his work in this one.

He shall reveal a new side to everyone. Open both their eyes.

It was time to connect two stories together.

Chapter Text

Haven hummed a small tune as he walked along the way back to Snowdin, his pink bunny slippers kicking up some snow as he walked. He readjusted his pink ear muffs, smiling.

Suddenly he caught sight of some brown fabric laying in the snow. Someone had thrown that there. He couldn't believe it. The poor forest. Well. He'd have to pick it up.

Haven approached the fabric with a swing in his step, stopping short when he saw that it wasn't just a heap of fabric.

That was Ink!

What was Ink doing in Snowdin?!

Haven bent down and poked the other, wanting to know why he was sleeping in the cold snow.

 

Ink shivered, his bones rattling loudly as he cried.

Pain. There was so much pain.

What had happened? One minute he's been happy and the next something had pulled him, choking him and dragging him away from his home. He remembered pain, then sorrow, then there was darkness. Too dark and too cold. He couldn't see or react but he could feel. He'd felt power, so much power before it had turned into anger. Fury from someone else, so much of it that it had hurt his Soul.

Then there'd been warmth. A gentle touch and a gentle voice before he felt himself fall and into something cold.

It was so cold.

 

Haven frowned when he didn't get an answer. Ink was shivering really badly. He put a hand onto Ink's skull, his eye sockets widening when he noticed just how cold the other was. Not good.

"ink?" Haven called out, feeling very worried for the other. He was probably unconscious.

Haven stood up and slipped off his jacket, wrapping it around the other as he lifted him with blue magic.

 

It was so cold. The cold biting his bones, almost numbing them. Somehow he knew it was worse when he couldn't feel it. It hurt. It hurt so much.

He felt something. Something... soft and... warm? He tried to get out of whatever he was in. But he couldn't. He couldn't see nor hear. But again... he could feel.

And he felt... Warm.

 

~~~

 

Haven gently shook Ink's shoulder. The taller skeleton was laying on his couch now. It had been a while and Ink had still not woken up on his own. Haven had also changed his clothes since Ink's had been completely soaked and a warm blanket was laying on top of him, pulled up so high that only his skull poked out.

 

It was warm. So warm. It feels... safe. Calm.

A sense of fulfilment.

A spark of pink.

'Wake up little one. This is no time to be a lazy bones.'

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

Ink scrunched his eyes as his consciousness returned. He opened his eyes only to blink and shut his eyes again when light hit his sensitive eyes.

He tried again, this time adjusting to the light. He looked up and saw a ceiling but... not his own. Or any ceiling he recognized.

He blinked confused. His right eye light a yellow five pointed star with a purple heart inside and his left eye a pink heart with a four pointed star inside.

Where was he?

 

"woah... that's some interesting eye lights you got there." Haven suddenly spoke up. Ink's eye lights were unlike any he had ever seen on the creator.

"though you're not really the creator, are you?" He asked, shifting into Ink's field of view with a large smile.

 

Ink gasped and sat up quickly in surprise when he heard someone speak beside him. He groaned in pain and held his skull when vertigo hit hard. Maybe he shouldn't have sat up so quickly.

He turned his skull and his eyes widened at the sight of a new Sans. This was not any Sans he'd seen before.

He raised a confused brow at the term this Sans said. "Who?" he asked softly.

 

This was definitely not the creator. Haven rubbed his back comfortingly.

"please don't puke all over the couch..." Haven requested quietly. It was very hard to get ink and paint out of fabric.

"the creator is the one who created all the aus. his name is ink." Haven explained, sitting down next to the strange skeleton while still rubbing his back.

 

Ink felt even more confused though he was grateful for the gentle touch. "Puke?"

Why puke? He didn't puke. Scratch that, he rarely puked. But only if he was sick and... he didn't feel really sick. Or had he hit his head too hard and was dreaming all this?

He gasped softly and swallowed nervously when Sans spoke. He shakily pointed to himself. "But... I'm Ink." he said confused and looked around. He didn't recognize this place.

"Where am I?" he asked the new Sans, his voice a higher pitch in fear and confusion.

 

Haven tilted his skull in confusion. This was not the creator Ink but he did say his name was Ink.

"hm.." Haven hummed thoughtfully. "are you from an au?" He asked finally, coming to the conclusion that this Ink had to be from an AU if he wasn't the Ink he knew.

 

"AU...?" Ink asked confused before he nodded. "Y-yeah. Ink!Tale." he answered shakily, his hand going down to his lap as he looked at this new Sans.

Did the Multiverse form a new AU? Wait... that couldn't be it. If so he would have known. And how had he gotten here in the first place? He hadn't made a portal.

Wait.... portal.

Ink looked around frantically. "W-where's my brush?" he asked, slightly panicked.

 

That proved his assumptions right. This was not an outcode. Haven patted his back comfortingly. Ink looked so confused.

Haven flinched slightly when the other seemed to panic.

"brush? i haven't seen a brush. can't you just summon it?" Haven asked.

 

Ink's breathing hitched as he looked around frantically. "N-no. I-" he stopped himself when he remembered. His brush always disappeared into...

"Where are my clothes? T-the sash." he asked the strange Sans.

 

Haven tilted his head again. This Sans sure was weird. He wondered why Ink hadn't given him the same powers as Ink himself had.

"oh. they were soaked so i hung them up to dry and dressed you in new ones to make sure you wouldn't get sick. they're already dry and laying on the table. right there." Haven explained, pointing at the coffee table right next to the couch. He really asked himself why Ink hadn't seen them.

 

Ink looked towards the table, seeing his clothes and sash laid out perfectly. How had he not seen that? He shook his skull and reached out for his sash. He had been confused and dazed. Maybe he just hadn't seen them.

He reached into a leather pouch attached to the sash and let out a relieved sigh. He pulled out a thin wooden brush that had a gold band and silky looking bristles. There was a star symbol engraved on the wooden tip and a wavy heart design on the gold band.

He put the brush back in its pouch before realizing his mistake. He turned towards Sans with an apologetic frown. "I'm sorry. I've been rude. I didn't even ask your name or properly introduced myself." he said before reaching a hand out towards the skeleton.

"I'm Ink!Sans from Ink!Tale. But everyone calls me Ink. What's your name?" he asked politely with a wide smile.

 

He watched the Sans take out a paintbrush which wasn't at all like the one Ink used. It was much smaller and more delicate.

"it's fine. i'm haven from haventale." He introduced himself and shook Ink's hand, smiling. It wasn't like he had introduced himself so he couldn't really blame the other. Ink had been dazed and they both had been confused.

 

Ink smiled at Haven as he shook his hand. So this was a new AU. He hadn't heard of HavenTale before.

"Hello there. Um... the Creator? Who has the same name as mine?" Ink started slowly. "Can you... tell me anything?"

 

"well... there are aus as you know. lots of them. that wasn't always like that. ink is the god of creation and can create aus. he created all of the aus except the original one..." Haven started to explain.

 

~~~

 

Haven sighed when the Sans went outside. That had been hard to explain. He pulled out his phone and called Ink, wanting to tell him that a lookalike of him was running around Haventale.

 

Ink looked blankly at the snow covered ground of this AU, his hands shoved in his pockets of his shorts. He had changed earlier before going outside, not bothered by the cold anymore. A new Multiverse. That was the only explanation.

There was already an Ink here. And other AUs. Hundreds, thousands of them. Much more than his measly tiny Multiverse.

From what Haven told him, this AU- hell all the AUs had been created by Ink. Thus his title as the Creator. But then there were bad Sanses who destroyed AUs like Error and Nightmare.

He wanted to believe it. But it felt like he was missing something.

Ink stopped when he found a lone flower bud in a plain flower pot. Somehow that gained his interest and he walked over to it.

 

Haven sighed as he hung up. Ink was going to come soon. As soon as he could anyways which could still take a few days. He slowly trudged to the kitchen and looked into the fridge. Papyrus was at Undyne's and he couldn't cook all that well. He didn't want to blow up the house again. He should probably call his dad to make some food if there wasn't anything in the fridge. He scanned the fridge's contents and when he didn't find anything but cold air and a ketchup bottle, he called his dad.

"hi, dad." Haven greeted Gaster when he picked up after the third ring.

"Hello. What is it?" Gaster asked.

"could you come down and cook something?" Haven asked. After receiving an affirmative and Gaster hanging up, he looked up at the door between his and Papyrus' room. Gaster went out of his room and went to the kitchen to make food while Haven sat on the couch.

 

Ink looked at the flower sadly. Poor thing. It didn't bloom like the other flowers he'd seen in this AU. And it was small too.

Ink reached a hand into his pockets and pulled out his brush and a bottle of blue paint from his sash. He saw a discarded watering can and smiled. Perfect.

Dipping his brush into the paint, he swirled it around the top of the opening and watched as it turned into liquid and soon he had a full can of water.

He put both items away and picked up the watering can, tipping it over the flower, slowly letting down a rain of water before setting it back down. He frowned in thought. Something was missing. Oh yeah!

He gently nudged the pot into the sunlight from its position under a shaded area. He stood up and nodded, feeling satisfied. That should do it.

Ink looked around and frowned. Oh yeah. He was still stuck here. Ink sighed sadly and began walking towards the middle of the town. He saw a bench where he could sit and think. Hopefully Haven wouldn't be too worried if he stayed there for a while.

The town was busy yet calm. Monsters were walking around with happy faces and easy air. It brought a smile to Ink's face and a calm hum to his Soul. He soon got to the bench and wiped away the snow before sitting down to stare at his surroundings.

It was... oddly peaceful in this town. Much more peaceful than any AU he'd seen, he realized. Maybe being stuck here wouldn't be so bad. At least until he could find his way back. He wondered if this world's Ink could send him back home.

 

Haven looked around for Ink, a small bag with sandwiches in it in his hand. He hadn't seen the other eat and the was sure the Sans was hungry. He walked through Snowdin, eventually spotting Ink sitting on a bench.

"hi!" Haven called out with a wave and a bright smile.

 

Ink jumped in surprise when someone called for him and looked up to see Haven. He smiled back with a small "Hi." He'd been too distracted to notice the other skeleton walking towards him. He should probably get his guard up. He didn't trust this strange AU let alone this Multiverse.

 

"my dad made something to eat for you." Haven explained, offering the small bag to Ink.

"here you go." He added.

 

"Oh." he said in surprise, taking the bag from Haven. He looked up at Haven and smiled, this time a little wider. "Thank you."

He pulled out what appeared to be a sandwich and took a bite and chewed before swallowing. Wow. That was actually good. And he hadn't realized how hungry he actually was. He took another bite to try and get rid of his hunger.

 

"you're welcome." Haven responded with a smile, watching Ink a bit as he ate. He sat down on the bench after a bit, looking at the various monsters passing them.

".. what's your au like?" Haven asked after a bit, glancing over to Ink.

 

Ink swallowed down his first sandwich and frowned in thought as he took out another.

"Well," he said softly, looking down at the food in his hands. "It's kind of like yours. It is mostly Snowdin and everyone there can create and is very creative."

Ink leaned back to stare upwards with a small, sad smile. "Monsters thrive on creativity. Some sing. Others dance. Some draw. Others write. There's no shortage of creative works there. Everyone loves to have fun and being with each other. Though...." he trailed off suddenly and frowned. "I'm the only one who can bring my works to reality. I wouldn't call it a good thing. Monsters kind of... got jealous and a little upset. Tried to get me to make a weapon to break our barrier."

 

"the first part sounded really cool. though that was really mean of them..." Haven replied, frowning slightly. A random monster passed them and put a flower crown on each of their skulls. The shorter Sans chuckled.

"thanks." Haven called after the monster, not caring that they probably didn't hear him.

 

Ink blinked in confusion when someone put a flower crown on his skull. He raised a hand to it in confusion, just short of touching it.

"Is this normal in your AU?" he asked, turning towards Haven curiously.

 

"yeah. every time we see someone look down or even just frown, we place a flower crown on their head." Haven explained. He opened his jacket, showing off the collection of flower crowns he had made for that day.

 

Ink smiled at the admittedly hilarious sight and chuckled. "That's good." he said and looked back at the passing monsters with a sad smile. "Your AU is so... peaceful. And happy. Now I know they're supportive too. We could have used a system like yours to get everyone's hopes up."

He looked back down at his sandwich, his eyes downcast. "Don't be too upset with the monsters in my world. They just want to be free. I just happened to possess a magic that could be useful in their freedom. If only I succeeded though."

 

Haven frowned slightly and pulled out a flower crown, placing it on top of Ink's head. He gave his shoulder a small pat.

"don't beat yourself up about it. it's in the past." He explained.

 

Ink looked at the newest crown in surprise before smiling at Haven, the flower crown a little big on him and slid down one side of his skull. His Soul was beating calmly in his chest, absorbing the comfort the skeleton beside him provided.

"Thanks." he said to the other skeleton. "It had been a while since then. I've... moved on from that. Though I do what I can to help."

He remembered his sandwich and took a bite. The sandwich tasting better now than before. Probably because he felt easier now that he had someone to talk to.

 

"that's good." Haven said with a smile and leaned back a bit, staring up.

"it might take a while for the creator to come. he's been really busy lately." Haven mentioned.

 

Ink looked at Haven in confusion, swallowing the sandwich in his mouth before asking. "Busy protecting AUs? You mentioned that."

 

Haven nodded, looking at Ink.

 

"yeah. error, nightmare and the dark sanses have been awfully active lately." He explained, rubbing his eye lights a bit. He was sleepy already.

 

Ink nodded in understanding and finished his sandwich, swallowing it down before speaking. "Yeah, you mentioned them too. Why though?" he asked curiously.

 

"they destroy aus..." Haven answered gravely, looking up when another flower crown was placed on his head. He smiled again and shouted a loud thanks.

 

Ink felt the harsh emotions coming off of Haven and leaned away slightly, looking at him warily though he hid his reaction from the other. The emotions tampered off into something milder when someone placed a flower crown on Haven's skull. Okay.... that was... odd.

Ink wanted to ask more. Why did they destroy AUs? What was their goal? Their reason? Why were they doing this?

Despite his questions, he shut his mouth and didn't ask. Best to just wait for the answers to come. They always did.

So Ink nodded in understanding, offering him a small smile. "Don't worry. I'm sure your Ink will fix everything."

 

"i hope so..." Haven muttered. He knew he should have more faith in Inky but lately he hadn't been doing that much of a good job. He was constantly fighting with Error, Nightmare and his gang and there hadn't been new AUs for a while. Additionally he was neglecting all the people he normally used to visit at least once a week, including Haven. He knew it was a bit stupid to feel sad about that but he could have at least replied to his messages.

 

Ink felt his Soul growing heavy from Haven's emotions and took a deep calming breath. He looked at Haven with a sad smile. The other looked so bothered. Maybe it had to do with this world's Ink being busy fighting the Dark Sanses.

Ink suddenly had an idea and pulls out his paintbrush and red paint from his sash. He dipped the brush in the paint and began painting in his hand. "Hey, you gotta have faith in the Creator. He's the protector right? It's his job to protect the AUs from harm."

Ink continued to paint something in his hand as he spoke calmly to Haven, not looking at the other skeleton and instead focusing on the item he was painting.

"Sure he may be busy at times but that doesn't mean he doesn't care. He's doing so much to try and protect the AUs including yours. So don't be sad."

He returned his paintbrush into its pouch and handed Haven his creation. A big red flower that sparkled under the light and was the size of his hand. He gave Haven a reassuring smile. "I'm sure he's trying his best. You gotta have faith in him. After all, what good is a protector without the faith and trust from those he protects?"

 

Haven nodded, flushing a bit in embarrassment.

"you're right..." Haven agreed though he still didn't seem to like it. There was no way to change that though.

His eye sockets widened when he saw the flower and he took it gently, worry forgotten as his eye lights sparkled. He loved flowers. That flower was so pretty...

"wow." He breathed out, mesmerised.

 

Ink smiled proudly when he saw and felt the change in mood. "Glad you like it." he said and turned back to look at the town.

"You don't have to like everything Haven. But just understanding is enough. I'm sure your Ink will appreciate that."

 

"okay.." Haven let out a small sigh before a smile slipped onto his face. Ink would probably have time for him soon. He placed the flower onto his skull where it was secure in the nest of flower crowns.

"thanks." Haven thanked Ink. Man. It was sure confusing with two skeletons having the same name.

"say... do you have any nickname that i can call you?" Haven asked. "because it's kind of confusing with two inks." He explained.

 

"A nickname?" Ink raised a brow at Haven before humming in thought. "I've always been called Ink. Maybe when I meet the Creator then we'll think of a new nickname. But for now...."

A spark of pink flashed in his eye lights.

Ink turned towards Haven with a gentle smile. "Call me Vigour."

 

"that's a cool nickname." Haven said, smiling brightly.

"well then. nice to meet you, vigour." Haven greeted, holding out his hand for the other to shake.

 

Vigour took Haven's hand and shook it happily. "Same here."

Vigour looked back towards the sky and frowned. "It's pretty late." he noted, rubbing his eyes and yawning.

 

Haven smiled. He looked up too, smile brightening at the thought of sleep.

"yeah. we should probably head back. do you want to sleep on the couch or in the inn?" Haven asked, looking up at Vigour.

 

Vigour looked towards Haven and thought for a moment.

"This place is new to me. You wouldn't mind if I sleep on the couch do you?" Vigour asked uncertainly.

 

"not at all." Haven replied, smiling.

"you can have the couch." He added. He just hoped that Vigour wouldn't mind his enthusiastic dad.

 

Vigour smiled thankfully at Haven and stood up. "Thanks Haven. I'm glad I met you."

 

Haven smiled at Vigour. The skeleton really was something. He had a feeling that he would accomplish big things with his kindness and passion.

Chapter Text

Ink jumped through a portal into Haventale. He had managed to wound Nightmare quite a bit and the dark Sanses and Error had run away, leaving him with a bit of time to check up on what Haven had told him. If there really was another person like him, that would be amazing.

Then he would have someone to help him create AUs and fend off the dark Sanses and Error.

"Hello, Haven!" Ink called out when he spotted the skeleton. He was currently talking with someone and looked up, waving and smiling brightly, clearly happy to see him. The person he was talking too looked a lot like Ink.

 

Vigour had been talking with Haven when someone jumped into the room they were in and he jumped in surprise, staring at the newcomer.

Vigour's eyes widened when he saw Ink. Haven had been right. Not only had Ink the same name as him, he looked like him. Except for a few differences. Ink's eye lights seemed to change shape and colour every time he blinked. He wore a slightly different coloured pallet in his sash and he had a large paintbrush strapped to his back. Vigour could also see something like black tattoos on Ink's neck, probably trailing to his body too.

The same face but... different.

Vigour raised a hand and waved shyly. "Hello there. I'm guessing you're Ink?"

 

Ink looked at the one who looked like him but also not curiously before a wide smile took over his face.

"Yeah. I'm Ink." Ink replied, smiling brightly as he approached the other skeleton. He couldn't wait to tell this skeleton about all of his creations and create something with him. He was sure the other was very creative. He held out his hand for the other to shake.

Haven watched them and took a few steps back, not wanting to be in the way.

 

Vigour smiled back just as brightly and shook his hand. He could feel excitement radiating off of Ink making he himself a little excited. It was contagious. Well, at least to him.

"Well, nice to meet you. I'm Vigour." he said politely with a bright smile.

"Haven told me a lot about you! And he's been real kind to me since I arrived!" he added when he realized that Haven had taken a few steps back. It honestly upset him a bit. He didn't want anyone to be left out. Besides, Haven had treated him so well these past few days. The least he could do was put a good word to Ink.

 

Ink shook his hand with a bright smile. He could see the other look a bit excited. Yes! He was as pumped as him.

"Nice to meet you too." Ink responded. He wondered why this Ink called himself Vigour.. Maybe because he had a vigourious creativity?! That would be awesome!

Haven flushed slightly when the attention was directed at him. He seemed to act a bit differently around Ink than normal. He seemed awed and like he didn't feel himself worthy of Ink's presence.

"i did what i could..." Haven mumbled quietly.

 

Vigour smiled and let go of Ink's hand, turning his skull to look at Haven with a gentle smile when he spoke.

"Well, I still thank you. If you hadn't saved me I would've been iced." he winked at the subtle pun. Okay, puns weren't his forte. But he tried. He could feel something coming off of Haven, beyond Ink's enthusiasm. But he couldn't identify what. He was an empath, not a mind reader.

 

Haven chuckled slightly, his reaction much more mellow than when Vigour normally made puns. He looked away after a second.

Ink tilted his head slightly, not getting why Haven was laughing a bit. Then it clicked and he frowned slightly. He didn't really like puns despite being a Sans. He had to deal with too many and after a while they got boring and annoying.

 

Vigour smiled when Haven chuckled, a little sad when he didn't laugh as much as he normally did and how he acted. What was wrong? Why was he acting that way? He hadn't acted like that before.

His smile fell slightly when the air went a little heavy. A quick glance with his eyes shows that Ink was frowning. Okay, not a pun lover. Noted.

He tried to remedy the situation by changing the subject subtly. "Anyways, you look like you got something on your mind earlier Ink." he says with a smile. "Whatever it was you were really excited. Care to share?" 'hey that rhymes', he realized.

 

"Sure. I was just thinking about how awesome it is to have another creator around." Ink explained with a bright smile. He was really happy about that fact. They could go to the doodle sphere and create something awesome. He now had someone to bounce off his ideas!

Haven frowned slightly. He didn't think that Vigour was a creator. Was this a misunderstanding? He didn't dare to speak up though.

 

"Creator?" Vigour said confused before realizing what Ink meant. He raised his arms in a placating manner as he smiled nervously. "Oh no! I don't... I'm not sure I can create like you."

 

Ink tilted his skull in confusion, his earlier enthusiasm disappearing.

"You can't create universes?" Ink asked.

Haven took a step back. No matter how much he was friends with Ink, he didn't want to be near him when he was upset or dare he say angry...

 

Vigour shook his skull apologetically, something pink sparking inside his pouch. "I'm sorry. I can create but... not anything living."

 

Ink sighed. It had been too good to be true. He could feel a headache forming and was ready to fall over.

If this had been any other skeleton, Haven would have put a flower crown on his head already but he didn't dare to.

 

Vigour now felt bad for this skeleton. "Hey, even if I can't create that doesn't mean we can't be friends." he said, trying to amend things.

"Look!" he said suddenly, pulling out his brush and pulls out a bottle of paint. He dipped the brush and painted the air. After a moment of painting, he reached a hand under his creation and caught a small rainbow flower crown. He showed it off to Ink. "See? I can still create. Just not whole AUs like you can."

 

Ink nodded, still looking a bit sad. Vigour would still be able to help him a small bit.

"Well then. Would you like to come with me?" Ink asked, holding out his hand for the other.

 

Vigour sighed in relief though he could still feel a little sadness coming from Ink. He looked at the hand and then back to Ink before giving a small smile, one that didn't reach his eyes.

"Well, it's not like I have anywhere to go." he joked with a grin and took the offered hand. "Sure."

 

Ink smiled slightly. He was really glad that the other hadn't declined his offer. He opened a portal to the doodle sphere and lead Vigour through.

Haven took Vigour's hand and held him back for a second, handing him a small pot with a beautiful, tiny, pink flower in it. It was the plant Vigour had watered when he had first come to the AU.

 

Vigour followed Ink to the portal before pausing when Haven stopped him.

He looked at the flower in surprise before he smiled. He reached a hand out which was glowing spectre and touched the flower. It glowed for a bit before its stem began crawling up Vigour's arm before settling on his upper arm in a nice little band.

Vigour smiled at Haven and gave the skeleton the flower crown he'd made. "Thanks Haven. I hope to see you soon."

 

Haven watched, mesmerised at what he was seeing. That looked so cool. He smiled brightly when Vigour gave him the flower crown and hugged the other tightly. He had no idea whether he would see the other ever again.

"you'll accomplish great things, vigour." Haven whispered quietly, only for the other to hear.

 

Vigour looked at Haven in surprise when he was hugged before smiling softly and hugged back just as tight, closing his eyes and smiling brightly.

"I hope so Haven." he whispered to Haven softly and pulled away. "You're a great friend."

 

"thanks. you too..." Haven responded, looking a bit sad.

"good luck out there." Haven mumbled quietly, pulling away reluctantly. He smiled sadly.

"goodbye." He said as he stepped back a bit.

Ink was getting a bit impatient.

 

Vigour looked back at Haven sadly as he walked towards the portal where Ink was waiting impatiently. "Bye..."

Vigour looked at Ink and smiled apologetically. "Sorry. But it's proper to give a friend a goodbye. You'll never know when they'll... you know."

Vigour looked away and headed towards the portal, hiding his sad look as he mumbled. "There's always a chance that when you leave, it'll be the last time you'll see them."

 

Haven waved, looking away when Vigour voiced his fears.

Ink nodded and lead the way through the portal. He had no idea what Vigour meant though. He never got too close to anyone because he was afraid he would lose them.

 

Vigour followed the Creator through the portal, his Soul aching for his friend. He'd miss Haven. The other had been so nice to him.

Vigour's eyes widened in shock at what he was seeing. This place.... he had no words. It was a vast place with an island in the middle where they were standing. It seemed like the only solid land in this place. All those papers... they were portals. He could see other worlds. Other AUs. There were... so many of them.

Vigour didn't know if he should be amazed, or overwhelmed.

 

"this-" Ink exclaimed, turning around as he spread his hands wide to point at everything. "- is the doodle sphere." He explained, looking incredibly proud.

 

Vigour looked around, spinning slowly on this small island as he took everything in. There was no end it seemed. It just went on and on, he could see more beyond the horizon. Paper like portals showing worlds beyond what he could imagine.

"You.... you made all this?" he asked curiously, looking amazed at the sight. "All of these... worlds? Haven.... wasn't kidding when he said you made everything."

 

"Yeah. I did." Ink stated proudly, smiling.

"It took a while but it was worth it." Ink explained. A sharp bolt of pain ripped down his spine, making him wince hard.

 

Vigour smiled back at Ink before his face turned into worried shock when the other looked pained. Something hard slamming into his Soul coming from Ink and he rushed towards the Creator.

"Ink?!" he called worriedly, stopping a feet away from the skeleton. "Ink what's wrong??!"

 

"Ju-just... those bastards are destroying my AUs again..." Ink explained shakily. He straightened up, tears in his eye sockets as he used his brush to open a portal.

 

"Ink wait!" Vigour called out before the Creator could leave. Those bastards? Did Ink mean Error and the Dark Sanses that Haven mentioned? Did destroying AUs cause pain to Ink?

 

Ink looked over, his eye lights seeming oddly glazed as if he was in deep pain.

"Yes?" He asked quietly, swaying a bit. They were hurting more than one AU. Three of them. His children were screaming for him to save them...

 

Vigour's eyes went small at Ink's condition. His Soul throbbing from second hand pain coming from Ink making it difficult to breathe.

"Can I help?" he asked softly. He couldn't stand watching someone suffer. Especially his friend. "You don't look well enough to fight Error."

 

"I'm fine. Just stay here and don't worry about me." Ink gasped out. He had to do something about this. He hopped through the portal to fight Error, wincing slightly.

 

Vigour reached a hand out to try and stop Ink, stepping a few feet towards him but the latter had jumped through the portal before Vigour could say anything. He paused and slowly lowered his arm to his side watching where the portal used to be.

He looked around the Doodle Sphere, his footsteps loud in this vast place. He turned this way and that but he couldn't see Ink from any of the portals.

He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. "Ink said to stay here." he said to himself as he looked around. "Not much to do."

He spotted a lone tree near the edge of the island and walked towards it, failing to notice the wisps of white on the ground near the edge of the island. "Maybe I could just lay here and draw someth-iiiiiiinnnngggg!!!"

The ground under his feet crumbled away and soon he felt himself falling down into the vast world of the Doodle Sphere, the wind rushing past him and fluttering his clothes. It was scarier than any time he'd free fallen. Because this time he didn't think he could slow down or even survive!

He screamed fearfully as he fell, thinking he might get lost in this void. As luck would have it or just coincidence, a paper like portal floated below him a few feet down. He descended quickly before falling through the portal to an AU.

 

Cross walked around an Underswap copy. He really didn't like the fact that the others hadn't taken him with them on the mission. He was definitely not pouting as he kicked a snowpoff, his eye lights glowing a bit brighter in agitation. He looked over when suddenly a portal opened and someone flew out of it, crashing into him, knocking him to the floor.

Cross groaned in pain and quickly pushed the other off, his eye lights shrinking when he saw who it was. Ink.

Cross summoned his sword and charged towards the creator with a scream.

 

Vigour grunted in pain when he collided with something, hard. He felt himself being pushed and onto the snow covered ground- another Snowdin area. He groaned in pain, holding his throbbing skull with closed eyes. What was it with him falling into AUs? At least he was alive.

He didn't have time to be grateful when he heard a loud scream and pain shooting up his arm. He screamed in pain and used his legs to push whoever it was off of him.

He looked down and saw a large sword stabbing through his arm. His clothes now stained with red blood. He grabbed the handle to try and pull it out but it wouldn't budge. He breathed heavily in fear as he tried to remove it but it was stuck deep through his bones and into the ground.

 

Cross stared down at Ink who was stuck to the ground, his sword in his arm. Huh... Normally it took more to down the other.

"Hope you'll burn in hell, Ink." Cross hissed as he raised another sword high, ready to crush the creator's skull.

 

Vigour looked up with a gasp at the new skeleton, his eye lights shaking as the latter raised another sword high.

He'd die. Oh stars he was going to die!

He raised his free hand over his skull and curled up as best he could in his injured state.

"Wait! Please don't kill me! Please!!!" he cried out loudly in desperation, tears dotting the corners of his eyes in fear.

 

Cross looked down confusedly. Ink wouldn't cry for mercy, would he? He noticed that there were tears in the skeleton's eye sockets, his eye lights different than Ink's. He also had a flower on his arm. This was not Ink.

Cross was shocked. He had almost killed an innocen- He gasped as he suddenly toppled over, the weight of his raised sword making him fall in his shocked state.

 

Vigour looked towards the skeleton fearfully when he didn't die to felt any pain- other than his arm that is. Had he... decided to spare him?

He gasped in shock when the other fell onto the snow, the sword falling just missing his leg. That... would have made him lose a limb.

"Oh no!" he exclaimed with wide eyes. "Are you okay?"

Okay, maybe he shouldn't ask that from someone who had tried to kill him! But this skeleton could have injured himself. And... he did spare Vigour's ass so that was something.

 

Cross stared at his sword, cursing it mentally as it had almost sliced off his leg. He looked up when the Ink duplicate asked whether he was alright and smiled weakly.

"I should be asking you that, buddy..." He replied, dismissing his two swords.

"I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I thought you were Ink." Cross explained as he jumped up and dusted himself off. He held out a hand to help the Sans up.

 

Vigour relaxed when the swords vanished. He smiled up at the skeleton, his hand going up to his injured arm to try and stop the bleeding. He could feel blood running down his arm and staining the white snow.

His eyes widened slightly when the other mentioned Ink. Why would he want to kill Ink? Vigour didn't dare ask. That question would be answered later.

"It's cool. I probably startled you when I literally fell for you." he winked at the pun, wincing at the pain shooting up his arm. He looked up at the skeleton with one eye open, the other closed in pain. "Self defence right?"

 

Cross frowned in concern when he saw that the other was clearly in pain. He decided to check this weird Sans. He blushed brightly when the other said that and let out an embarrassed noise, hiding his face.

Cross pouted and checked the other, wanting to make sure that he wasn't dying because that was an awful lot of blood.

 

Ink!Tale Sans (Vigour)

LV : 1
HP : 35/500
EXP : 0
ATK : 20
DEF : 5

* D3-F-57-4-1N-7-Y-3 PASSION TOUCHED
*Skeleton from another Multiverse. Dragged here by F473 for the Creator. D3571NY wants him returned home. Can't go home.
*Is confused and hurt.
*W11L 54V3 7H3 MUL71V3R53

Vigour felt himself being Checked and sat still. He wondered what his Check read. He never knew what it says. Hopefully something that wouldn't get him killed by this skeleton. Or anyone else for that matter.

 

"Shit..." Cross cursed quietly. He hadn't thought his attack would have chipped away so much of his HP and 'from another multiverse'? Yeah. He definitely had some questions. At least this showed him that this wasn't Inky.

Cross opened a portal to the hideout quickly.

"Come with me, Vigour. I'm really sorry that I did this to you and I didn't mean to and I'm sure you don't trust me but you have to go through here and let me patch you up because I wanna make up for what I did and I'm-" Cross rambled, visibly panicking. There were tears in his eye sockets and his emotions were running wild. The one that overshadowed all of them though.. was anxiety.

 

"Hey hey," Vigour quickly said, moving his uninjured hand to make a placating gesture to the skeleton. His Soul beating quickly from this skeleton's anxiety. Out of all of the emotions he could feel, anxiety was the third worst. The worst being anger and second worst was hatred.

"It's alright. You didn't hurt me that badly." he said in reassurance and stood up shakily. He grinned at the skeleton, his hand grabbing his injured arm. He felt something under his clothing that wasn't pain and hummed. "I think you did gave me a hole. Hole-ly shit."

 

Cross looked the other over, his eye lights tiny pinpricks when they landed on the injury.

He choked out a laugh at the pun, tears rolling down his cheek bones.

"'m so sorry..." Cross apologised.

 

Vigour took a few steps closer to the skeleton and gave him a reassuring smile. He would wipe away the tears but he didn't want to risk getting blood on the skeleton. "It's alright. Besides, it probably got so low because I had a rough time coming here."

He used his free hand to count, mostly to make a pun. "I fell into an AU twice, one hitting someone in the face- you, and the other almost turned me into a skele-cicle. Thinking about it, the thought chilled me to the bone." he grinned at his pun, hoping it'd ease this skeleton's worry.

 

Cross let out a chuckle, still crying slightly. He wiped his cheek bones with a weak smile.

"Thanks... You're pretty punny." Cross mumbled, looking a bit sheepish.

"You're almost as good at comforting as Nightmare." He complimented the other before flinching slightly. He hadn't been supposed to say that...

 

Vigour smiled when he managed to cheer up the other skeleton. His smile fell slightly when he heard that. Nightmare. The leader of the Dark Sanses. He wanted to ask but when he saw that flinch, he decided not to.

This opened up a new side of things. Why would a Dark Sans- he had to be one right?- spare him? That was odd. It went against everything he had heard about them from Haven and Ink.

He put his smile back on and winked- deciding to ignore his curiosity. "Glad you think so. This person must be very good then. Or better than me. I'm not sure. Haven't met him." he shrugged playfully.

 

Cross nodded. Nightmare was great and really nice. To his gang and Error anyways.

"Oh.. Um... Would you please follow me. We still gotta patch that up..." Cross reminded the other, pointing at the portal.

 

Vigour nodded and walked towards the portal, pausing just before entering as he waited for the skeleton.

Which reminded him. He turned towards the other and asked. "By the way, didn't get your name."

 

"Oh. Sorry. How rude of me. I'm Cross." He introduced himself but made no move to shake Vigour's hand. He didn't like physical contact with strangers. It usually resulted in pain...

He hopped through the portal, landing in the living room of the hideout. Everyone except Error was there. Nightmare, Killer, Dust and Horror.

"Hi guys." Cross greeted with a smile though it was apparent for the others that he had recently cried.

 

Nightmare and Killer looked up from the couch where they had been patching up their injuries after their latest battle with Ink. They heard Cross and wanted to greet him back only to tense up when they saw that the younger had been crying recently.

"What happened?!" Killer exclaimed, standing up and ready to run towards Cross.

"Who hurt you?" Nightmare asked grimly. If any of the Star Sanses so much as touched Cross....

 

Dust and Horror watched from the couch where the former was fixing up the latter's tibia. They were both busy and couldn't really stop now that they were almost done so they stayed in the background and watched. Nightmare and Killer got this one.

"I'm fine." Cross explained. "Just... made a stupid mistake..." He added, looking down as self-loathing attacked his Soul again.

 

"Mistake?" Killer raised a brow questioningly.

Before any of them could say anything else, Vigour jumped through the portal, landing on his feet shakily.

The skeleton winced in pain, gripping his bleeding arm tightly as he hissed. "Damn, probably shouldn't have jumped."

He looked up and widened his eyes when he saw the other skeleton, all of them looking at him with wide eyes. They all looked frozen in shock at the sight of him. He grinned shyly and waved. "Hi."

That seemed to snap them out of whatever trance they were in as Killer quickly grabbed Cross by the arm, holding him protectively while Nightmare jumped up and poised his sharp tentacles at Vigour. Both of them radiating malice.

"INK!" Nightmare screamed loudly. The air went thick with anger, fear and hatred.

Vigour looked at the sharp point just a few inches away from his skull. "Not again." he squeaked softly.

Chapter Text

The air was tense and heavy as the skeletons all glared at Vigour. Nightmare glared hatefully at the skeleton, his eye glowing brightly and his tentacles now sharp weapons ready to pierce his skull, radiating malice and hatred. Vigour looked at the weapon of death just a few inches away from his skull fearfully. Why did it have to be him?

"I don't know how you managed to convince Cross to take you here," Nightmare growled out lowly. "but you won't leave alive Creator."

 

Cross struggled in Killer's hold.

"STOP!! He didn't do anything wrong!" Cross shouted, pulling at his arm to try to escape Killer's grip.

Dust stopped patching up Horror and jumped up, bones at the ready while Horror scooted away from the confrontation a bit, his tibia hurting too much to walk or even stand.

 

Killer kept his grip on Cross, summoning his blasters pointing at the Creator. His eye socket blank with rage. If Ink had forced Cross to eat something that caused him to act like this, then Killer would show him how he got his namesake.

Nightmare growled lowly at Ink, turning his skull to look at Cross. "What the hell do you mean? It's Ink! He has done too many wrongs!"

Vigour started to tremble in fear when bones and blasters were added to the 'deadly weapons poised ready to kill him' list. He couldn't move or speak to defend himself. The air was thick and his Soul felt heavy and tight from it all. Fear added to the mix had him silent, staring at the weapons with small shaking eye lights. Sometimes being him sucks. Especially in this situation.

 

"That's not Ink!" Cross shouted, still struggling. By then his arm started hurting and tears were in his eye sockets as his ulna creaked with the force Killer used to hold him.

Dust pulled out a knife and pointed it at Vigour, ready to throw it at a moment's notice.

 

Killer noticed how he was hurting Cross and switched tactics. He wrapped his arm around Cross's middle and hugged him close, not letting him go. His eyes trained on Ink.

"What do you mean 'that's not Ink'?" Nightmare growled lowly at Cross. He was so close to unleashing his anger on Ink.

Okay, now there was a knife added to the list. Vigour now felt like his life was on the line here. And it was now in the hands of Cross, who had tried to kill him too. Somehow the thought didn't seem reassuring.

 

"I mean that this is not Ink! He's not even from our multiverse! And he has an AU!" Cross shouted, trying to push Killer's arm away from him.

Dust frowned, glaring at Ink though he didn't say anything.

 

Nightmare narrowed his eye at Cross in disbelief before Checking Ink. His eye widened at what he's reading.

Ink!Tale Sans (Vigour)
LV : 1
HP : 30/500
EXP : 0
ATK : 20
DEF : 5

* D3-F-57-4-1N-7-Y-3 PASSION TOUCHED
*Skeleton from another Multiverse. Dragged here by F473 for the Creator. D3571NY wants him returned home. Can't go home.
*Is hurt and terrified.
*W11L 54V3 7H3 MUL71V3R53

Nightmare relaxed slightly and lowers his tentacles though he still kept them sharp and ready.

"Stand down boys. 's just a look alike." he commanded, though he kept glaring at Vigour waiting for his next move.

Killer frowned but obeyed and dismissed his blasters.

 

Cross sighed in relief and stopped struggling, relaxing slightly against Killer.

Phew..

Dust pocketed his knife and dismissed his bones though he kept his hand in his pocket just in case.

 

Killer relaxed his grip and let go of Cross though he kept an eye on the younger. This skeleton might not be Ink but that didn't mean he was not a threat. Killer would be dead before he let his gang mates get hurt under his watch.

Despite having his life no longer on the line, Vigour still didn't move. He couldn't move. He was shaking so badly, sending sharp pain up his injured arm- not that he reacted. His legs were weak and numb and his mind blank with fear. He wanted to fall down but he couldn't. He couldn't move. He couldn't speak.

Nightmare raised a brow at the Ink lookalike. "Well? Got anything to say?" he said harshly.

 

As soon as Cross was free, he tried to move in front of Vigour. The other looked so extremely scared.

Dust plopped down onto the couch again and helped Horror patch up his tibia.

 

Vigour tried to move, lifting his leg to try and walk but he ended up falling onto his hands and knees instead. He cried out in pain when the action caused his injured arm to sting.

 

Cross kneeled down in front of Vigour and helped him sit up.

"Easy." Cross warned.

 

Vigour trembled as he let Cross move him into a sitting position.

Nightmare watched in interest at the action. Interesting. Vigour acted nothing like Ink. This still required more information

 

"Are you okay?" Cross asked, sitting down next to Vigour.

 

Vigour took a few deep shaky breaths, coughing a few times as he tried not to pass out.

He barely heard Cross voice and was torn between shaking his skull and nodding. He opted to shake his skull. He felt sick.

 

"Hey..." Cross murmured, rubbing Vigour's back gently.

"Guys get the healing gel." He called out, taking Vigour's hand and squeezing it reassuringly, his expression one of concern.

"It's gonna be okay. Just hang in there..." He mumbled. He couldn't let Vigour dust because of him!

 

Vigour closed his eyes and tried to calm down, his Soul taking whatever bit of comfort he could take from Cross. He trembled endlessly, his Soul too shaky to be healthy. He closed his eyes, tears dotting them from fear.

He blinked when something was given to him. He followed the arm to see a skeleton with black tear marks handing him what appears to be a gel. The other looked at him with an unreadable expression.

 

Cross unscrewed the top of the jar of healing gel and scooped up a decent amount of it, figuring that Vigour either didn't know how to use it or couldn't.

"This might hurt a bit.." Cross warned before applying the healing gel to the wound.

 

Vigour lowered what he could to expose the wound and hissed in pain when Cross applied the gel. He watched with one eye as the other gently rubbed it on his wound where he could see a hole where the sword had pierced through the bone.

Killer whistled at the mark looking impressed. "You made that? Hole-ly shit."

Vigour chuckled, wincing in pain. "That's what I said."

 

"I didn't think my sword would go through his bone like a hole-puncher through paper." Cross whined, sounding slightly distressed.

"When I hit one of you with my sword, nothing like that happens..." Cross reasoned with a frown as he finished putting the healing gel onto Vigour.

 

Vigour chuckled despite the pain and looked at Cross. "Nice comparison." he winced and let out a soft sigh when the pain was more bearable.

Killer frowned at Cross and Vigour. "Cross, our bones are used to those type of treatment. So is Inky."

"Well nice to know I'm as fragile as a butterfly." Vigour joked with a strained smile. "Too bad I'm not as graceful as one."

 

Cross smiled slightly.

"I thought he was Inky..." Cross admitted, looking away with a frown.

 

"Well then you've just shown that you're capable of handling yourself." Nightmare said as he walked closer, pausing when the Ink lookalike scooted back. He resisted the urge to smile at that. Vigour may not be Inky but he sure looked like him. "If he had been Inky then you had just shown that you can take care of it yourself."

 

"Thanks, Nightmare..." Cross replied, looking up at the other with a happy smile. He had proven himself.... Wow.

Dust stood up when he had finally fixed up Horror's leg and walked over to the others while the taller skeleton was still stuck on the couch.

 

Vigour looked between each of the skeletons in confusion. He had so many questions. So many things he needed to know. But he didn't know where to start. Ink or Haven hadn't been lying when they said that Nightmare and his gang were bad. But he hadn't seen any of that violence they were known for. If anything it looked to be that the 'senseless violence' they were labeled with was more 'self defense' than anything.

Vigour smiled at them and waved his slightly bloodied hand. "Hey. Haven't properly introduced myself. I'm Vigour. I would shake your hand but sadly I think you'd be bloody mad if I did."

Nightmare chuckled softly despite himself. "You're definitely not Inky. He's not a pun lover." he said. Nightmare didn't offer his name. That would be too much of a risk.

"Nice to meet you Vigour." Killer said politely and smirked. "Would be better if you hadn't looked like Inky."

Vigour chuckled softly. "Yeah. That would have saved me from personal trauma." He didn't look offended when the dark skeleton or the other hadn't given their names. They probably didn't trust him. He could understand that.

 

Cross chuckled at the pun, smiling at Vigour.

"hi." Dust greeted indifferently. He wasn't really in the mood for puns. He was patched up but his whole body was still hurting. Being thrown into a tree did that to you...

Horror waved from where he was still stuck on the couch.

 

Vigour smiled but looked away after a moment. The air still felt tense and heavy, and he hated that. He hated how constricting it felt. Only this time he doubted this could be fixed with a flower crown.

Nightmare looked down at the newcomer. "From your Check, it said that you're from another Multiverse. Care to explain?"

Vigour looked up at the dark skeleton with wide eyes and looked back down. "I'm not sure how to explain it."

"Just try." Nightmare said flatly.

 

Cross perked up slightly. He really wanted to know this. How had Vigour managed to travel through multiverses?

 

Vigour looked down sadly and frowned, trying to remember what happened. "Well... I don't know how to explain it. One minute I was in my AU, happy and heading towards the shop for some art supplies that they had on sale. Then... I felt like I was being choked by something."

Nightmare tensed at that. That sounded too familiar.

"It felt strong and I was dragged out of my AU somehow. Dragged into the darkness. It was... so cold." Vigour shivered when he remembered how the darkness felt on his bones. "I passed out after that. Woke up in HavenTale in this... other Multiverse."

Nightmare growled lowly in anger, his hands clenching into fists. He knew this story. It felt too familiar. And now he knew why.

 

Cross flinched when he heard that. Chocked... Did that...? He shoved the thought aside.

"Are you okay now?" Cross asked worriedly, checking the other's neck for any marks.

 

Vigour gave Cross a small smile, one that didn't reach his eyes, looking almost fragile. He tilted his head to let Cross check his neck. "I'm okay now. It was unpleasant but it's not there anymore. That feeling."

Killer noticed how angered Nightmare looked. "What's wrong?"

Nightmare growled lowly causing Vigour to flinch. "It looks like Fate decided to screw over someone else. This time from another Multiverse."

 

Cross froze up, his eye sockets widening.

"W-what...?" He asked shakily, looking up at Nightmare with fear in his eye sockets.

Dust's eye lights vanished completely, only leaving hollow, unnerving eye sockets.

Horror flinched slightly, looking horrified.

 

Killer froze at that. His grin frozen on his face.

Vigour looked between all of them in confusion. "Fate...?" he asked tentatively. "Fate is real here?"

Right, different Multiverse. It probably had different rules.

Nightmare stalked closer to Vigour with a glare. Vigour scooted backwards in fear but Nightmare kept coming closer.

"Whoa whoa wait-!" Vigour raised his arms up in fear, freezing when his Soul was pulled out.

 

Cross's eye lights dimmed rapidly and then disappeared. He jumped up over to Vigour, giving him a tight hug.

Dust felt sick to his non-existent stomach. Wasn't one victim enough...?

 

Killer took deep shaky breaths, looking at Vigour sadly. Poor guy. He didn't deserve this. No one did.

Nightmare frowned at what he was seeing. A white upside down monster Soul but it had a rainbow shine to it, like an opal. Looking closer he could see faint red strings attached to the Soul alongside something white and wispy. Red strings. Those were Fate's strings. But they looked off. Incomplete. And they seemed to be fighting with that white wispy glow.

But there was something else. A bright pink glow surrounds the Soul. Nightmare could feel its power. It didn't belong on Vigour's Soul.

"Fate dragged you here." Nightmare said grimly. "In your Check; it said that something brought you here for the Creator- Ink. But something else wants you home, I'm not sure what."

Vigour looked up at the dark skeleton in shock and confusion, his arm going around Cross hugging him back. He could feel the air going thick and tense with fear. But for what? He felt so confused.

Nightmare kneeled down to look at the Soul better. "I think Fate wanted to create another Creator for Ink, thus that rainbow shine. But the process never completed. Something else fought Fate, fought to bring you back home. Both lost when something eventually got you." Nightmare explained, telling everyone his theory. He knew how Fate worked. He'd seen it work and he'd seen what it had done to Error. What it did to everyone and anyone that caught its eye.

"Passion." he said softly, looking at the pink glow. "Passion won and took you from Fate and that other entity."

 

Cross relaxed slightly when Vigour hugged back. He listened to the explanation but his eye sockets stayed dark. At the end he looked up at Vigour.

"Passion?" He asked quietly. He had never heard of that entity.

Dust looked deeply unsettled.

"maybe we should call error?" Dust suggested.

 

"And what can he do?" Killer asked Dust with a frown. "Error couldn't escape from Fate's strings. It was us who eventually loosened it enough from him to break free and that was with Destiny's help. Even then it took us years to do it. What makes you think he can free another?"

Vigour looked so confused. He didn't know what was happening around him. He didn't understand. He stayed silent however. His hand going up to gently rub Cross' skull soothingly. He felt like he'd get an answer.

Nightmare sighed softly. "Killer's right. Error can't free another. But maybe we should call him anyway. We might get some insight of what's going on and how to free Vigour from Fate."

Nightmare smiled softly at Vigour, his Soul sympathising with the Ink lookalike. "Don't worry. Passion isn't the type to hurt others nor control them, not like any other entity I've heard about. You will not be harmed by it."

 

Dust shrugged. He had no idea.

Cross sighed softly when Vigour petted his skull gently and looked up at the other, his eye lights finally back.

"I'm sure you'll be okay..." Cross reassured the other, shooting him a quick smile.

Horror frowned in the background, wincing when he tried to put weight onto his injured tibia. That probably wasn't the best idea...

 

Nightmare nodded and stood up. "In any case, he should rest. I'll try and call Error."

Killer nodded and stood up, walking towards them and offering a hand. "Come on. I'll show you the guest room."

 

Cross let Vigour go and backed up a bit. Nightmare was right. It would be best if Vigour rested some. He seemed a bit overwhelmed by everything.

Dust walked over to Horror when he noticed that the other was trying to stand up and made him sit down again.

 

Vigour hesitantly took the skeleton's hand and let himself be pulled up. He stumbled slightly when the shock and fear of what happened still in his system. Yet he felt okay.

Killer used both hands to hold Vigour, making sure the other didn't fall over.

"Easy. You're probably in shock right now." he said softly. He knew what shock looked like. They probably sent this poor skeleton into shock. "Let's go. You need time to think."

Vigour nodded in agreement as he let this skeleton lead him down the hallway. If this was shock then he hated it. He couldn't think. Maybe these past few days, hell this past hour had been too much.

Nightmare left towards his bedroom to try and contact Error. They needed all the help they could get. He wouldn't let an innocent be trapped in Fate's strings. No matter if they looked like Ink. Vigour didn't deserve to be dragged into their mess.

 

Cross plopped down on a couch with a sigh, sinking into the cushions. He still felt a small bit bad for what he had done to Vigour.

"What are we going to do now?" He asked, voicing the question that had bothered him for a small while now.

 

Killer walked back to the living room- having just finished leading a very mentally unstable skeleton to the guest room- just in time to hear Cross say that. He sighed tiredly and sat down on the sofa, his eyes returning but he looked tired.

"I'm not sure Cross." he admitted softly. "I'm not sure."

 

Cross looked up when Killer came around. He had no idea either.

"Do you need a hug?" Cross asked Killer who looked really tired. He didn't want to admit it but he really wanted a hug too.

"well.. at least we're on the same page. i got no idea either..." Dust admitted, closing his eye sockets.

 

Killer shrugged. "If you want a hug sure. I just...." he rubbed his skull with a sigh. "Why Fate? What do they want with another Ink?"

Nightmare walked in after calling Error and heard that. "Fate took Vigour for Ink." he informed and sat down beside Dust who was still patching up Horror. "Most likely to make another Creator."

"Why?!" Killer growled out. "Isn't one Creator enough?! That bastard managed to single handedly flip the balance! We just got it fixed! And now Fate wants to create another Inky?!"

 

Cross hugged Killer tightly, closing his eye sockets.

"I'm worried for Vigour. I doubt that a transformation into a creator feels nice..." Cross said. His eye sockets widened slightly when he noticed something. Nightmare had said that something was fighting Fate's strings.

"W-what if Fate is still out there, trying to get a hold of Vigour?" Cross pointed out, looking horrified.

 

Killer hugged back, growling slightly at Cross' words. He hated that thought. If Fate was out there still trying to get Vigour, they would have a lot of trouble.

"I'm just happy Fate didn't succeed. Another Creator." Killer shuddered at the thought. They would not get any rest at all if that happened.

Nightmare sighed softly, looking so troubled and tired. "They could very well still be out there. And they're trying to get Vigour."

Nightmare looked up at his gang, a thought came to his mind when he thought about Ink's lookalike from another Multiverse. "I think we don't need to worry about one thing. Vigour will not be like Inky. Even if Fate did succeed, I doubt Vigour would turn out like Inky did."

 

Dust shivered slightly at that prospect. He didn't want to think about it. Horror growled slightly.

"You're right. Vigour is really nice." Cross agreed, cuddling into Killer with a soft sigh. He looked up at Nightmare.

"Do you need a hug too?" He asked, his eye lights a bit brighter at the thought of helping Nightmare.

 

"Not only that, Vigour may look like Ink but he's nothing like him." Nightmare added and nodded when Cross asked. To be honest, he didn't need a hug but Cross looked like he wanted to so Nightmare let him.

"Fate wanted an Ink but they didn't account for how different they'll be." Killer said in agreement. "Vigour isn't just nice. He's sensitive, funny, calm and adaptable. He did so well considering he had been dragged out of his AU into a new Multiverse, attacked twice and who knows what else he had to go through."

"But Fate is still a problem." Nightmare said lowly, his eye glowing brightly in anger. "It won't stop until it gets Vigour. No matter how different he may be, Fate wants him. And it's not just Fate that wants him it seems."

 

Cross smiled and hugged Nightmare, looking up at him happily.

"That's true." Cross agreed, glancing over at Killer.

"maybe we should keep an eye on him?" Dust suggested.

 

"To make sure Fate doesn't get to him or to make sure he won't be like Inky?" Killer asked Dust with a raised brow.

 

"i guess both... though i can't really see vigour being like inky." Dust responded, frowning slightly.

 

Killer nodded. "Yeah, neither do I."

Nightmare sighed, his arm going around Cross and pulling him close. "We still don't know what Fate has planned for Vigour."

Before anyone else could say anything, a glitching portal opened up and the Destroyer stepped through.

 

Cross hugged Nightmare tighter, smiling. He felt safe. He looked up when Error stepped through the portal.

"Hi, Error." Cross greeted with a small wave. Dust's eye lights brightened a bit when he saw the destroyer.

"Hey." Horror greeted.

 

"Error!" Killer greeted with a smile.

Nightmare looked at the Destroyer with a small nod. "Hello Error."

Said skeleton nodded back politely, error signs flashing about on his body, but there was a gleam in his eyes that showed he was not here for small talk.

He looked towards Nightmare. "YoU SAid tHaT ThERE's aNoTHEr INkY?" he asked. His voice rising and falling rapidly.

 

"Yeah! His name is Vigour!" Cross responded, still smiling.

"he isn't really an inky. he looks similar to him but he doesn't behave like him at all and he isn't a creator either." Dust explained.

 

"ViGoUR?" Error raised a brow at that name. Vigour... A name related to passion. Odd... he had assumed the Ink lookalike would get a name similar to creativity. "yOu aLSo MeNTiOnEd tHAT hE's bEEn ToUCHEd bY fATe."

Nightmare nodded before his face turned grim. "Not just Fate. From his Check, three entities want him. One of them is Fate, he's been dragged here for Ink it seems. The other we don't know yet. And the last one is Passion who had managed to touch Vigour."

Error narrowed his eyes at the new information. "wHy?"

"That's the thing," Killer started. "-other than Fate wanting him for Ink, we aren't su-"

"HELP!!!"

 

Cross's head snapped into the direction of the sound. That was definitely Vigour. He twisted out of Nightmare's arms and quickly ran down the hallway.

Horror was about to jump up but Dust held him back, not wanting him to injure his leg further.

 

Killer tensed and wasted no time to jump off the couch and run after Cross. What's wrong?! "Vigour!!!" he called out loudly.

Nightmare quickly ran after them with Error following behind.

Error was the first to reach the guest room, sliding to a stop before his eyes widened at what he was seeing.

An Ink, no, Vigour, was being pulled by glowing red strings towards what appeared to be a tear in space leading towards nothing. The strings wrapped around Vigour's neck, arms, ribs and legs. The skeleton holding onto the bed with his life.

Vigour didn't know what was going on. One moment he was sitting on the bed thinking and the next there was a tear in space right beside him with things pulling him and choking him. He looked up when he heard someone and his shaking eye lights met the multi-coloured eyes of a tall, dark, glitching skeleton.

 

Cross stumbled into the room, panting heavily. He stared at Vigour, horrified at what he was seeing. Fate's strings were choking him, pulling him into a gaping abyss. He tried to run towards the other and help him, tears in his eye sockets.

They couldn't let another be taken by Fate.

 

Vigour whimpered fearfully as his grip began to slip. "HELP!"

Error snapped out of his shock and summoned his own strings, wrapping around Vigour's arms and tried to pull him back. Nightmare used his tentacles and did the same, his feet slipping on the floor. Killer grabbed into Nightmare and helped pull him back.

They couldn't let another get dragged by Fate's strings.

Vigour grabbed onto the strings and black tentacles. But whatever is dragging him kept pulling him back. He could feel himself being dragged towards the tear.

He teared up in fear, his Soul pounding loudly in his skull.

 

Cross didn't know what to do! If he held onto Vigour, he would be pulled into the tear but he couldn't let the other be taken away!

He held onto Killer, trying to help him keep Nightmare from slipping away.

Vigour looked so incredibly frightened. That face burned itself into the memories of everyone present.

 

Everyone pulled hard to try and keep the skeleton from being dragged by Fate's strings. But no matter how hard they pulled, no matter how strong they were, Fate was stronger.

"This Skeleton Shall Be Returned To My Child!!!"

With another harsh pull, everyone's strength was outmatched. Error's strings and Nightmare tentacles couldn't hold on and snapped off or slipped out of their grip. They fell backwards and watched in horror as Vigour was pulled into the tear.

Vigour reached a hand out at them but there was nothing he could hold on to. He stared fearfully into their eyes before he was pulled into the gaping abyss, leaving no trace.

The tear disappeared, with Vigour in it.

Chapter Text

Red huffed in annoyance as he trudged down the path to his sentry station. He tried to keep up his edgy appearance, scowling.

He flinched slightly when he heard a weird sound like someone falling down from somewhere. He took a step back, raising his arms defensively when suddenly a skeleton fell from the sky, landing in a snow heap.

"what the fuck... what is this weather?!" Red grumbled to himself, looking up to see if there were any more skeletons falling from the ceiling. Apparently not.

He glared at the skeleton and approached them carefully.

 

Vigour didn't know where he was. It was too dark. Too cold. Too.... tense. He didn't belong here.

Wake up. You're in danger.

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

Vigour clenched his eyes, struggling to open them. He was... in the snow. Again. Perfect. Like he wasn't cold enough.

He groaned softly, pushing himself off the snow covered ground with his hands. His skull pounding and his body sore. His head hurt too much to open his eyes. Where was he? What had happened?

A spark of pink destroyed faint strands of red and white attached to Vigour's neck before disappearing without a trace.

 

Red raised a brow ridge as he saw that weird red string and white mist get destroyed by something pink. That was weird. He shook the feeling off and glared at the other skeleton.

"what are you doing in my area?" Red growled, scowling deeply.

 

Vigour heard that growling voice and cursed internally. Great. Not only was he in pain, he was also in a violent place. Fan-fucking-tastic.

He forced his eyes open and looked up, seeing an UnderFell Sans. Oh no. Please tell him that this one wasn't as violent as his UnderFell. It took him forever to make that place manageable.

"I'm.... I'm just passing through." he said before shaking his skull. Fuck it. His skull hurt too much to think straight. "Scratch that I'm just falling through. Look I don't mean any harm. I don't even know how I got here."

 

Red tilted his head slightly. The skeleton had a crack on his skull and seemed to be too out of it to lie. He huffed, cursing his hatred for violence and crouched down next to the other, the scowl giving way to concern as he lowered his defensive shield.

"do you need a hand?" Red asked worriedly.

"that crack looks painful..." He added.

 

Vigour blinked up at the Sans with a grimace. His vision kept blurring up repeatedly, kind of reminded of a pulsing sensation. Though this time in his skull, eyes and caused his vision to blur. "What crack?"

 

"you got a crack in your skull. right here." Red explained, pointing to a place on his skull.

"let me help you up." Red mumbled and grabbed Vigour under his arms, pulling him up.

 

Vigour let himself be pulled up by this world's Sans and put a hand to his skull. He flinched at the sharp pain and pulled his hand back. The white bone now stained with a little bit of blood, most likely from the crack Sans had mentioned.

Vigour frowned as he tried to stand, his legs were also in pain as he shook. "Thanks." he mumbled softly.

"Sorry, forgot to introduce myself." he said and gave Sans a small fragile smile. "I'm Vigour, from Ink!Tale. And you are?" he asked. He left out the part where he was from another Multiverse. That was not important right now. And saved him the trouble of explaining. He could explain later when his skull didn't feel like it was going to split in two.

 

"i'm red from underfell-8." Red replied as he shook Vigour's hand.

"but i doubt that you can handle walking right now. care for a teleport?" Red suggested, supporting the other skeleton slightly. They were easy prey outside.

 

Vigour nodded after shaking Red's hand. "Anything if it means sitting down soon." he said as he held the side of his skull. The ground was honestly spinning right now. "My name is Vigour. Not Vertigo."

 

Red chuckled slightly but he still looked very worried as he slung his arms around Vigour, not wanting him to collapse when they landed.

Red teleported them to his living room.

 

Vigour braced himself for a 'port and grabbed onto Red once they landed. He looked at the ground shakily, trying not to puke.

He took a deep breath and got his lunch under control.

 

"you okay?" Red asked, sounding alarmed. He quickly guided the other to the couch and helped him sit down, walking to the kitchen quickly to get the other skeleton a glass of water. He really didn't want to leave Vigour alone but he also didn't want him to throw up on the new carpet.

He quickly ran back with a glass of water in his hands and handed it to Vigour.

 

Vigour took the offered glass with a grateful smile. At least he knew now that Red was not like his UF Sans. That was something he was eternally grateful for.

"Thanks. I'm okay now." he said looking up at Red.

 

"that's good." Red replied with a relieved smile.

"um.. would you mind me sitting down next to you?" Red asked, remembering that he hated people being near him when he was injured because it made him feel weak and vulnerable. He really hoped he wasn't making Vigour uncomfortable with his presence...

 

Vigour shook his skull. "Not at all." he replied.

 

Red smiled slightly and sat down, sighing.

"soo... do you wanna talk about why you fell outta the sky like a ripe apple?" Red asked quietly, his voice slipping a bit into an accent.

 

Vigour chuckled softly before he frowned and looked down. "I.... honestly have no clue."

He put a hand to his skull where the crack is, his face filled with confusion and pain. "I.. don't remember."

 

"oh.." Red replied quietly, his eye lights fixing on that crack.

"do you want me to heal that up for you?" He asked, pointing at the crack. Maybe the other had hit his skull too hard and now had amnesia or something..

 

Vigour looked up at Red in surprise. Usually UnderFell monsters never offered help like that. Especially to a stranger. "You... would do that?"

 

Red tilted his skull slightly when Vigour stared at him. He rubbed the back of his skull nervously.

"o-of course i would... i know how much head wounds hurt." He explained, unconsciously brushing over a nasty scar on his skull.

 

Vigour winced at the sight of the scar and nodded in understanding. That was right. No matter the Multiverse it seemed, UnderFell Sans always had a crack one way or another.

"Alright, if you want." Vigour said softly before smiling up at Red. "Thank you."

 

"no problem." Red responded, biting his tongue in concentration as he summoned a pretty strong (for an Underfell Sans) green glow around his hands. He kneeled on the couch and placed his hands on top of the other skeleton's skull, closing his eye sockets in concentration.

 

Vigour winced a bit when healing magic and Red's hands touched the crack on his skull but soon relaxed. He smiled up at Red as the latter healed his wound to the best of his abilities.

 

Red winced slightly when his magic drained to dangerous levels, the crack completely gone. He pulled back, trembling slightly because of the magic loss.

 

"Whoa hey you okay there?" Vigour said in concern when Red flinched and shook. His skull wasn't hurting anymore but he didn't want Red to exert himself because of him.

 

"just a bit dizzy..." Red mumbled, his eye sockets flickering slightly, a clear sign of either distress or magical exhaustion. He should really go eat something.

 

Vigour looked at Red in worried concern before he nodded.

"Alright. Thanks for-" he was cut off with a gasp and hunched over the couch. His hands going up to his skull in pain as he clenched his eye sockets shut. His head pounding painfully as flashes of memories flickered through his mind.

 

Red gasped as he noticed that Vigour seemed to be in pain.

"what's wrong?" He asked, rubbing the other skeleton's back gently.

 

Vigour couldn't hear the UnderFell skeleton. His mind only seeing what had happened, his memories.

He remembered Cross.

He remembered meeting the others.

He remembered about Fate and what Nightmare had said.

He remembered being pulled by those... vicious choking strings into....

Vigour's hands went to his neck with a gasp as his eyes went small. He came back to reality panting and shaking heavily.

 

"hey. calm down." Red said in a warning tone. He looped his arms around the other to make sure he wouldn't be able to move and frowned up at him.

 

"I'm...." Vigour stuttered before regaining his mind, his body trembling. His finger trailed over his neck, feeling the phantom pains of those strings. "I'm fine."

 

"you're obviously not okay." Red argued though he only sounded worried.

"do you need something to eat? anything at all?" He asked Vigour.

 

Vigour blinked at Red before giving him a small smile, his hand lowering from his neck.

"Thanks. But you shouldn't waste food on me. I know how sparse food is." he said gently.

 

Red chuckled softly.

"naw. that was a few months ago. alphys managed to grow some edible plants and since my bro's the second in command we get some of it. if you want something to eat, just ask." Red explained, grinning. The plants were completely tasteless but held a lot of magical energy.

 

Vigour smiled at that but looked down after a moment. He hadn't eaten anything since he had been in HavenTale. And dropping in and out of AUs, plus what had happened earlier, he could use the strength and HP. But still, this was UnderFell. They needed all the food they could get. Especially if they got into a fight which Vigour knew was fairly common.

"If... if you want to. Maybe something small. I don't need that much food." he says, looking at Red and giving him a small smile.

 

Red smiled back and stood up.

"be right back." He called over his shoulder as he walked to the kitchen, leaving Vigour alone with his thoughts.

 

Vigour watched as Red left for the kitchen, sighing softly in exhaustion when the skeleton was out of sight.

The colourful skeleton looked down at his hands- which were sitting on his lap- with an unreadable expression. He narrowed his eyes at them in thought. He was thinking about what Nightmare had said earlier before he was taken to UnderFell.

Dragged here by Fate for the Creator. For Ink. Fate had dragged him from his own Multiverse for Ink. A lot of trouble for one person. But why? What were Fate's intentions for doing that? Why Ink? Why him? Was it because he was Ink from another Multiverse? Was it to make another Creator? Clearly that plan had failed.

Someone else wanted him other than Fate. Someone wanted to send him home. But again, clearly that hadn't worked. Is that why he kept jumping into AUs? Fate and that other entity were fighting over him to send him to two different places?

And then there was Passion. What were their intentions? What was their goal with him?

This Multiverse. This place. What did it want with him? Why was he still here?

This was too confusing. Too many questions. No answers. He needed answers. He wanted answers.

His Soul pulsed with pink for a moment, his iris' sparking the same colour as they narrowed with determination.

And he'd get his answers one way or another.

Chapter Text

Vigour sat curled up as he looked down at the snow as he remembered his past, or whatever past he could remember. It was honestly a bit blurry.

----------------------------

He poked his tongue out as he drew on a piece of cardboard he had found with a broken pencil. It was small and the lead was blunt but it did its job. A small little lamp containing a few glowing spots illuminated the dark cave he was in. A thin pink and yellow striped sweater covered his body, a little big on his small frame but it was something he could wear.

Footsteps sounded loudly against the stone floor making the small skeleton's head snap up. He sat still when another taller skeleton walked in. His face was blurry but he could tell that the shape was lean and thin, unlike his own rounded skull.

The skeleton leaned down and gave him a small smile. He spoke softly but he could barely remember what the skeleton said. He smiled and nodded "Okay brother."

The skeleton sat down beside him and watched him draw, occasionally asking about his artwork and gave out pointers.

He was content. He was happy.

~~~

"Happy birthday Sans."

Brother kneeled down and handed him a small paintbrush in his hand. His eyes widened at the sight and took it hesitantly. It was beautiful. It was just like the ones he saw adults use when they paint. He could only imagine the struggles his brother had to go through to get it for him.

He looked up at Brother while the latter smiled. "This here is for you. Look, I even carved a star on it to match your eye." Brother pointed to the star carved on the wooden tip, almost identical to his star shaped eye.

"I hope you like it." Brother said softly. "I know how much you love to paint. This is for you and you only. Don't lose it."

He smiled brightly at Brother. "I won't! Thank you!"

"I love you Sans." Brother said. He smiled and hugged the taller.

"I love you too."

"Hey, can you draw something for me?"

"Sure!"

He would draw to make Brother happy.

~~~

He shivered as cold wind brushed against his bones. It was chilly tonight in the cave. Not even the blanket he was wearing was enough to keep out the cold.

He heard a shuffle before he felt Brother's warm body pressed against his. He smiled and snuggled into the warmth, sleep came easy with his brother around. Brother was warm. Brother was safe.

He was warm.

~~~

He shivered fearfully, holding onto the small brush in his hands when he was jostled in Brother's hold. He could feel Brother's presence through the thin box he was placed in. A thin blanket wrapped around his body to keep him warm. Brother was panting heavily as he ran. He didn't dare open his eyes. Brother told him not to move or make a sound.

He felt Brother stop after a while. His brother's nervousness and fear made his Soul clench up painfully. He wanted to help his brother, but he couldn't. He knew he couldn't. He just had to listen to what Brother told him. His brother was smart.

He felt his brother move again before he was placed on the ground. He opened his eyes and whimpered when he saw the taller.

"Shh... shh... it's okay Sans. It's okay." Brother said softly, rubbing his skull soothingly. He wasn't convinced. If everything was okay, why was Brother crying?

He heard shouts in the distance. The air growing tense as his brother looked scared. Brother leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to his skull before pulling away. He smiled sadly, talking through his sobs as his voice hitched every few words. "I love you Sans. Stay safe. Stay strong. I love you. Brother loves you. Goodbye."

He didn't speak when Brother stood up. He didn't speak when Brother knocked on something hard. He didn't speak as he saw Brother running away. He didn't speak or yell. But he cried. He cried loudly as he watched his brother leave. He felt someone pick him up and say something but he didn't care. He gripped the brush in his hands as he cried for his brother.

Please come back! I don't want to lose you!

~~~

Sans glared at the monster in front of him. The monster was a cat monster and she was taller than Sans. Sans had his hands clenched into fists at his sides as he met the cat monster's eyes with a heated glare. His own multi-coloured heart and star shaped eyes meeting her orange slitted eyes.

"Give it back Minca! That's mine!" Sans yelled at the cat monster.

"Oh look, the baby wants his brush back." Minca taunted as she held Sans' brush over his head, way out of his reach. The other monsters laughed behind her as she smirked down at Sans. "What are you gonna do about it pipsqueak?"

Sans' eyes sharpened when Minca's claws were getting close to scratching the wood on his paintbrush. "If you don't give it back, I'll take it back!"

"Ooo... I'm so scared. Somebody save me from a baby bones." Minca taunted, laughing loudly afterwards before grinning down at Sans. "Listen kid, you're nothing but a small twerp who's parent obviously abandoned because you're worthless!"

Minca pushed Sans to the ground on his back causing him to grunt in pain. The taller and older kids laughed at his fall but he refused to cry. Not for their satisfaction.

"Just admit it! You're a freak! Not even your parents want you! Why did you think they left you here three years ago?! In a box with nothing but the clothes on your back and a stupid paintbrush!"

Sans pushed himself off with his hands, glaring at them with glowing enraged eyes. That was not true and he knew it. He never knew his parents but his Brother loved him. He wouldn't believe this bully's words even if he was about to dust. They were <i>lies.</i>

Minca saw that gleam in his eyes and smirked, now holding the brush with two hands in front of her.

"I wonder if you'll miss them with this gone?" she asked and threatened to snap the brush in two.

She cried out in pain however when Sans kicked her knee with all of his might before he kicked her stomach hard. Minca dropped the brush as she hunched over in pain, the brush rolling forward until it stopped in front of the skeleton.

Sans leaned down and picked up his brush, glaring down furiously at the cat monster.

"At least my family cared enough to give me something. Unlike you who came here with <i>nothing.</i>" he spat out venomously before walking off, fully aware at the tension in the air.

He rubbed his ribs right over where his Soul was to try and ease the pain. He hated fights. They always brought with them a strong impulse of negative emotions. But he ignored it sometimes. Especially when it came to something he was passionate about. Whether it was his art or his paintbrush, he'd ignore the pain, the urge to try and fix things and stop avoiding conflict.

It didn't matter if he was sensitive. When it came to something he believed in, no one would sway him in any direction.

~~~

Sans painted a coil of rope on a piece of paper, smiling when the rope appeared into existence. He picked it up and stuffed it into his backpack alongside his blanket, some stolen food and some G he had earned. It wasn't much but it'd do for now.

He paused his packing when he felt a hand on his arm and turned around. He spots a small Whimsum staring at him sadly.

"Do you have to leave?" the Whimsum asked softly.

Sans smiled sadly and patted the flying monster's arm. "I have to Wendy. I don't belong here."

"I-. I know." Wendy said softly, her hand going up to touch the bruise on Sans' left cheek. One that almost mirrored his birthmark on his right cheek. "I'm sorry you got in trouble."

Sans smiled at the shy monster. "Why? It wasn't your fault."

"Still, those bullies are the ones who should be punished!" Wendy frowned angrily. "They deserved that kick! Especially that jerk Minca! They know how special that brush is to you!"

Sans' fingers grazed over the wood of the paintbrush in his pocket with a sad look. "Yeah. But it can't be helped. No one wants me here. So I have to leave."

Wendy looked down sadly. "I'm gonna miss you."

Sans hugged the Whimsum tightly, smiling with tears in his eyes. "I'm gonna miss you too Wendy." he pulls away sadly. "Thanks for being my friend."

Wendy smiled with tears falling down her face. "No. Thanks for being <i>my</i> friend. You're a great person Sans. Never change."

Sans smiled softly at the smaller monster. "People change Wendy. All the time. But... I'll try to keep the parts of me that you like."

Sans heard a sound on the other side of the door and tensed, turning around to stare at the door cautiously. He waited for a minute for any movement or sound. Wendy looked sad but understood why Sans had to leave the orphanage here. There were other areas in the Underground where he wouldn't be picked on or hated or beaten up. Sans needed to leave.

"Go." Wendy said softly. "I'll miss you."

Sans looked at her in surprise before smiling and nodded. He climbed up to the window and looked back at his friend. "I'll miss you too. Goodbye."

With that he jumped out of the window and grabbed onto the window sill. He pulls out the rope and tied it on a pole tightly, grabbing onto the rope with both hands and dropped down onto the solid ground.

He quickly ran away from the large building, not looking back but trying to remember the good times he had there. In the four years he'd lived there, the only memories he had of that place, added up together accounted for only a few weeks<i> at most</i>. Most of it consisting his pride in his artworks, playing with Wendy and remembering his brother on depressing nights. Beyond that, he remembered the happy times he had with Brother in that cave. They didn't have much he realized but Brother had always kept him fed, kept him warm and kept him happy. The orphanage only fulfilled two out of three despite supposedly being a better place than that cave he had lived before.

He looked down as he ran, shedding no tears for that place he had lived for years. He narrowed his eyes and ran faster through wet caverns and finally towards a snowy town. Ready to start a new place to call his home, free of pain and sadness.

No matter the place, only good memories stay with you.

~~~

Sans painted on the imprint of himself he left on the snow. Making sure to focus intently on his artwork and his intentions.

Once he was done, he smiles and grabbed at the artwork he made. His fingers grabbing onto a clean warm blue sweater with a yellow star design on the front. He took off his old worn stripped sweater, shivering when the cold hit his exposed bones and put on his new sweater. He smiled and began painting a pair of brown pants, a pair of gloves, some simple shoes and a scarf.

He looked at his new clothes proudly. This would hide the fact that he was a kid. No stripped sweater. He turned around and took a deep breath, steeling himself as he looked at the back of a restaurant. He walked towards the front for and walked inside. This would make it easier to get a job.

If he wanted something, he had to try to get it.

~~~

Sans looked up from his painting when someone knocked on the door. He stood up from his chair, leaving his desk to walk towards the front door as he fixed his brown scarf. Ten years of working for Grillby's gave him enough money to buy a house and food. He felt thankful of his ability to create other essentials like furniture and clothes, it gave him more money to buy a house and pay the bills. Grillby's paid but at first it was difficult. Took a while before he could afford more than a night at the inn for a week. It was a lot of work to get where he was now. Thankfully Grillby was a kind boss and now a good friend. The best he could ever ask for.

He opened the door and saw a small child- a female bunny monster at the door, a small dented can in their hands. The child looked dirty and sick.

Sans felt sad for the kid and thinks for a moment. He smiled softly down at the kid. "Hold up for a sec." he said and walked towards the kitchen.

Once there he pulls out his paintbrush from his pocket and quickly began painting a few items.

After a moment, he walked back towards the door smiling when he saw the child still standing there. He handed the child a pair of warm clothes, a paper bag full of cinnamon buns and a small bag of G.

The child looked up at him in awe. He smiles and gently pats the child's head. "Go on and keep going kid. You'll get where you want to be."

The child nodded and left happily. Sans was about to close his door when he spots the child running to an alley. He paused and watched as the child gave his items to three smaller kids, their faces full of joy.

Sans smiled at the sight of their smiles and closes the door with a soft click. He never knew that in the future, that bunny would turn out to be a successful shop keeper thanks to his help.

A little bit of kindness meant a lot to others.

~~~

It was cold with only a small stream of light coming from the window. The air was tense causing his Soul to clench.

Sans struggled against the large monsters holding him by his arms. Their grip was causing him pain with how hard they were gripping him.

"We heard that you can create things to life." the monster in front of him said with an interested look. But Sans wasn't fooled. Something about this monster made his Soul feel off. It felt wrong.<i> They </i>felt wrong.

Sans paused to look at the monster, his sash full of paints and his paintbrush trapped securely on his torso. "Yeah?"

The monster leaned forward on the table and Sans could see a gleam in their eyes that felt wrong. "As you know, monsters have been trapped in the Underground by humans for a long time now. It has come to my attention that your ability could be used to create a weapon to destroy the barrier."

Sans stared at him for a moment before talking carefully. "Don't we need 7 human Souls to break the barrier?"

The monster glared at him for a moment before he took a calming breath. He looked at Sans as if he was a troubling child. "Yes. But with your ability, you could create a weapon to bypass the need for human Souls. You could create something to break the barrier, Sans."

Sans was silent for a moment, thinking. It was impossible. The Royal Scientist had tried to break the barrier another way but it had ended up with him disappearing. Humans were thorough with the creation and <i>destruction</i> of the barrier. There was no other way to break it.

But....

Sans sighed softly and looked up at the monster.

Monsters had been trapped for so long. It wouldn't hurt to try right?

"Alright. I'll try to break the barrier."

Just try.

~~~

He grunted painfully when he was thrown onto the hard cement floor. He looked up with narrowed eyes at the monster through blurred eyes. His bones aching with new bruises and cracks. He wiped away the blood on his chin with the back of his hand.

"You failed. Again." the monster spat out harshly.

"I said I'd try!" Sans defended himself. "I'd <i>try</i> okay?! Clearly it didn't work!"

"Well clearly you're doing it all wrong!" the monster screamed loudly.

Sans' eyes sharpened at those words. What about the word 'try' did this monster not understand? He was seething with anger, taking slow calming breaths. Despite wanting to scream at the monster, instead he spoke calmly. "Look. The barrier has to be destroyed with 7 human Souls. Nothing can change that. We can make any weapon we want,<i> I </i>can make whatever weapon you want, but nothing can<i> break </i>that barrier. Not without the power of 7 human Souls."

The monster was silent for a long moment before he turns around with a huff. "Well, clearly you don't feel creative enough to make a suitable weapon to destroy it. Maybe a while in a blank room would clear your mind a bit."

Sans' eyes widened. "What? No, wait-!"

Before he could say anything else, the metal door closed with a loud boom causing him to flinch. He sat there dumbfounded, staring wide eyed at the door before he looked around the small cell. It was small, smaller than his shared room at New Home Orphanage. Grey walls met his multi-coloured eyes. No window or light beyond a small lightbulb above him. Small particles of dust floated in the air. There was no sound. There was no colour. There was no comfort or warmth.

He shivered and curled up sitting, staring at his colourful shoes with tears in his eyes.

It was so cold.

~~~

Sans trembled in fear as he heard shouts growing louder, closer. He panted in exhaustion, his footsteps loud against the hard floor of the hallway. His Soul pounding loudly under his ribs. He couldn't stop. He couldn't. Not if it meant going back to that room. Not if it meant more pain.

He had worked so hard to escape. He had to keep <i>running</i>. He had to keep <i>going.</i>

He almost cried when he saw light at the end of the hallway. He smiled at the sight and ran faster. That was his way out.

"Catch him! Don't let him escape!"

He ran up the stairs, his legs on auto pilot as he tried to reach towards the light. He wasn't afraid of stumbling. He wasn't afraid of breaking his leg. He just needed to run. He needed to escape.

He ran out of a large doorway and saw golden hallways and golden pillars. He heard shouts and pulls out his brush and yellow paint. He dipped it in the paint and swung his brush at the ground creating a large splatter of paint that turned into clear slippery oil. Difficult to spot against the golden yellow tiles.

He kept both items back in his sash and sprinted towards a large archway. A way out.

He heard his captors slip on the oil and grinned. Served them right. That would give him some time to get away.

He ran and stopped dead in his tracks in shock when he was met with a large room filled with golden flowers. Golden light streaming down on the garden through large windows that displayed the Royal Emblem. The flowers glistened with water droplets when the sun hit their petals, almost sparkling with their beauty. Golden Flowers. He'd heard of them. Never actually saw them since they only grew in the Ruins and the castle. He saw a large white goat monster watering said flowers. They met eyes, both looked shock to meet each other.

The large monster smiled kindly at him. "Howdy there little skeleton. Where did you come from?"

Sans was about to answer when he heard footsteps coming closer. Thinking fast he ran towards the goat monster and hid behind him, startling said monster.

"Oh my! What has spooked you little one?" the monster asked in concern.

Sans didn't answer and pressed his skull into the monster's cape, tears streaming down his face. His whole body trembling in fear as he silently sobs. This monster felt warm. This monster felt safe. His Soul humming in relief at the feeling of the larger monster's Soul. He felt a large fur covered thumb wipe away his tears and trail over the bruises on his skull.

"What?" he heard the monster say in horrified shock.

He hears his captor's footsteps in the room and then a sharp gasp. "My king!"

He felt a large arm wrap around his shaking frame causing him to shiver but he didn't pull away. This monster wouldn't hurt him, he knew he wouldn't. He felt a hint of anger and fear coming off of the larger. "Jason, what is the meaning of this?"

"I-! I can explain your majesty!"

Sans tuned out the screaming and the way his Soul clenched at the tense atmosphere, his focus is on the feeling of warmth coming from the king and the gentle petting he received.

He was warm. He was safe.

~~~

Ink smiled happily as he clinked his drink with Blue- US Sans. He looked around the small gathering in Blue's living room to celebrate their AUs freedom and reaching the surface. UnderSwap being the final AU among five others to reach the surface since he started hopping through alternate universes, this achievement caused for a celebration. Blue was kind enough to host this party at his house in Snowdin before they would move out onto the surface. It took a lot of time and patience, through hardships and pain to achieve where they were at now but it had been worth it. Everyone was happy on the surface in their AUs.

Fell- UF Sans had finally gotten along with humans on the surface. He'd even gotten a stable job and fixed his relationship with his brother. He was happy

Sans- UT Sans has gotten over his fear of Resets and humans with Ink's help. He'd even hung out with a group of human friends. Ink had also helped him manage his depression and social anxiety. He was happy.

Echo- EchoTale Sans was on the surface with his Papyrus, even gotten over his fear of the Labs and got a degree in Quantum Physics. He was now a professor at a monster university researching on ways to expand the Core. He was happy.

Raspberry- SF Sans was nicer now once Ink had helped him. He was kinder and calmer than before. Ink had helped him with his anger problems, anxiety and fixed his relationship with his brother. He was now the chief of police with his brother as his loyal secretary. He was happy.

Hearts- UL Sans got a stable job as a stripper on the surface. With Ink and Echo's help, he was finally free of his constant painful heat and was now happy with his brother. He was now integrated into the surface nicely alongside other monsters, despite their lifestyle they were happy on the surface. He was happy.

Blue had finally reached the surface and the others were helping him get a job, integrated into human society and help with any problem he'd face. His future looked bright. He was happy.

Ink watched his friends as they chatted happily amongst each other. It had taken a lot of work but it was worth it. Everyone was happy and helping each other when any of them were down or needed help.

Ink reached into his pouch and pulled out his brush, smiling down at the small object that had helped him with his ability to create items and make portals to other AUs. The heart engraved on the gold was new and it had formed after he had found out he could open portals to other universes. He thumbed the star carved onto the smooth wood.

"Are you proud of me Brother?" he asked the brush with a smile. "I hope you are. I hope you're proud of what I did."

He was finally happy.

~~~

Ink walked towards the store with a spring in his step. He had heard there was a Sale going on and he could use the extra art supplies. Asgore's birthday was coming up and Ink had decided to make a nice bouquet of paper flowers. That'd surely put a smile on the king's face-

He felt himself be choked by something strong before he was somehow pulled out of his AU and into a dark cold place. He passed out after that.

It was so cold.

Chapter Text

"-and then i said 'ice to meet you'." Red said with a chuckle. He looked over at Vigour. He should probably call Ink and tell him that Vigour was here...

 

Vigour chuckled at the pun as he sat on the couch beside Red. He might look okay but his tense shoulders and twitching fingers said otherwise. He was stressed. Too much had been on his mind lately. At least he had a few days in UnderFell to gather his thoughts.

 

"umm..." Red hummed, sounding slightly nervous. "would it be okay if i called ink and told him that you were here?" He asked bluntly, hoping not to upset the other. Vigour had been really nice to him these last few days and he would even go so far and call him friend...

 

Vigour jumped at the question before looking down in thought. Ink. That was all he'd been thinking about. He was happy here, yes. Red and his brother had been nice to him. But he couldn't stay here. He didn't belong here and had never gotten a chance to bond with Ink.

Fate had dragged him here for Ink.

Vigour's eyes sharpened as he smiled.

He had already planned to be friends with Ink.

"Sure." he answered softly. "You can call him. Though, I'm gonna miss you Red."

 

Red frowned slightly when Vigour jumped at the question but he felt at ease when the other smiled at him. He couldn't help but smile back.

"me and paps are gonna miss you too. feel free to visit any time." Red offered.

 

Vigour winked at Red. "Well then, expect some surprise visits." he joked lightly.

 

Red smiled brightly. He was really looking forward to that. He hummed in thought.

"do you have a multiverse phone?" Red asked curiously. Maybe they could exchange numbers and stay in touch that way.

 

Vigour raised a brow in thought before he nodded. "Yeah." he said.

He reached inside his pouch and pulled out a small phone that had a pink star painted on the back. He handed it to Red with a smile. "Don't know if it'll work here though. But if you wanna try..."

 

Red took the phone with a smile. He really hoped that it worked. He typed in his phone number and called it with Vigour's phone, his smile brightening when his phone vibrated in his pocket. It worked! Yes!

 

Vigour looked over when he heard the vibration and smiled. Huh. It worked. "Cool. Expect some puns through texts now." he joked.

 

"that'll be awesome." Red responded with a chuckle - He wasn't giggling. Absolutely not! - and handed Vigour his phone back. The design of the phone looked really nice.

 

Vigour took the phone back with a smile. "You better call Ink before he falls over from worry." he said while pointing the phone at Red. "Stars know how long he's been searching for me."

 

Red nodded and pulled out his phone, saving Vigour's number. He pulled up Ink's contact data and called him.

 

Vigour pocketed his phone and leaned back onto the couch to stare at the ceiling in thought. He wondered what Ink was thinking. Hopefully he wasn't mad. Vigour didn't think he could handle an angry Creator at the moment.

 

Red explained the situation quickly, that Vigour was in his AU and such. Ink sounded incredibly relieved.

"Thank the stars, you found him!" Ink called out happily, the connection cutting off immediately after. Red took a startled step back when a colourful portal appeared in his living room and Ink jumped out, smiling brightly.

 

"Gah!" Vigour jumped over the couch in surprise and hid behind it, peeking his skull out to see Ink. He sighed and relaxed in relief.

"Dangit Ink you scared me!" Vigour said from behind the couch.

 

One of Ink's eye lights turned into a question mark as he saw Vigour dive for cover.

"What happened? You seem so scared..." Ink asked though he supposed the time in the Underfell copy was to fault for that. There were always monsters out to get you in that AU.

 

"Um...." Vigour stuttered as he looked between Ink, Red and the couch. "I uh..."

"I.... hard to explain?" Vigour squeaked softly nervously.

 

Ink frowned slightly as Vigour suddenly seemed so nervous. Though he didn't know the other well. For all he knew he was like that most times.

Red was worried. Vigour was normally not someone he would call nervous or even anxious.

"you don't have to tell if you don't want to." He explained.

"But I want to know." Ink argued, sounding slightly annoyed. Red flinched back slightly. He wouldn't want to go against Ink...

 

Vigour sighed in defeat as he looked down and stood up slightly but not daring to leave the safety of the couch.

"Earlier after I fell out of the Doodle Sphere I dropped into an AU. Didn't know which one. Wandered around a bit and suddenly some.... some red st- things wrapped around me, choked me and pulled me into some dark place. I passed out and woke up here. Those things are the same things that took me from my AU in the first place. They... they weren't nice." Vigour explained with a fearful shiver. He hated that feeling. He hated it as much as he hated.... he shook his skull to get rid of that thought. Don't dwell on the past. Move on.

 

"Red things...?" Ink hummed in thought.

"that totally doesn't sound ominous." Red deadpanned, sitting down next to Vigour to provide a bit of support.

 

Vigour sighed as he stood up fully; staring at the couch as if he had been traumatized. In a way, he had.

"Don't know what those are. Never want to see them again." he shuddered at the thought. They were worse than those monsters who beat him every time he....

Stop. Don't think about it.

 

"are you okay?" Red asked, noticing how off the other was acting. He stood and moved next to Vigour, eyeing him concernedly.

Ink frowned slightly. He wondered what the red things were. Maybe the dark Sanses had something to do with it...

 

"I'm...." Vigour stuttered, looking down at his hand and seeing it ensnared by red strings tightly before he clenched it into a fist, the image gone.

"I'll be fine. Just need a moment."

 

Red was getting more worried by the minute but decided to leave Vigour his space. He could handle it... hopefully.

Ink tapped his foot impatiently. He didn't like not knowing things and neither did he like wasting time. Right then he was doing both.

 

Vigour looked up at Ink in confusion. He could feel slight irritation coming from the skeleton and he didn't like that feeling.

"What's wrong Ink?" he asked softly.

 

Ink looked up when Vigour talked to him, frowning slightly.

"I need to check on some AUs." Ink responded.

Red plopped down on the couch, watching the situation unfold in front of him.

 

Vigour frowned at that. "For what? Ink no, you just got here. You're not leaving me behind again."

 

"B-but they need me." Ink replied, frowning slightly. The dark Sanses hadn't destroyed any universes for a bit. It could only be a matter of time...

 

Vigour frowned. "Ink, tell me the truth. When was the last time you've sat down and really enjoyed your day? Not once thinking about the AUs?"

 

Ink tilted his skull slightly, frowning in thought. Suddenly he remembered.

"I think that was..." He counted on his fingers. "eight years ago." Ink replied.

 

Vigour jumped slightly but not visibly. Stars that was longer than he expected.

He took a small calming breath and gave the Creator a smile. "See. It's been so long ago. You need to relax and enjoy yourself."

 

"I can't just.. relax." Ink argued, sounding like he didn't like that word.

"I have to protect my creations." Ink explained, crossing his arms.

 

Vigour's eyes sharpened at the action into almost a glare, the only indication of his anger. How stubborn was this skeleton?! Vigour wanted to scream and hit Ink over his skull with a fucking broom. But he closed his eyes and took a deep calming breath, breathing out a sigh before opening his eyes to look at Ink softly. There was no need for conflict. There was no need to get angry. He was just tired.

"Ink," he started softly. "I'm tired. Okay? I'm tired. You're tired. We're both tired. Let's just... go to the Doodle Sphere to sit down and just.... hang out? Talk? You said you haven't relaxed in a while. Well, this is your chance."

Vigour smiled softly. "You haven't had time to sit down and properly enjoy your day right? Well now you have the time and the friend. Let's just go and hang out for a bit." his hands clenched on the couch, a small sign of distress. "Please."

 

Red frowned slightly as he picked up on the small signs of distress and anger from the other. It was subtle but not subtle enough. He reached over carefully and gently rubbed Vigour's shoulder, hoping to calm him a small bit.

Ink sighed.

"Maybe you're right..." He relented reluctantly.

 

Vigour flinched at the touch but soon relaxed when it was only Red trying to comfort him. His Soul stubbornly tried to take whatever comfort it could take from Red. Lately it hadn't been easy to feel emotions from others but hopefully with time it'd be back to normal. He gave the UnderFell skeleton a grateful smile before turning to Ink.

"See? Come on. You said you wanna show me the AUs." he lied. Ink had said something about AUs but he didn't exactly remember what he said.

 

Red smiled back, happy that he had been able to help Vigour some. Ink brightened up visibly, not even noticing that the other was lying. He was ecstatic.

"I'd love to show you the AUs!" He agreed and held out a hand to help Vigour up.

 

Vigour smiled at Ink, one hand on Red's hand on his shoulder while the other took Ink's hand. "Sure. Let's go."

He looked towards Red and gave a small smile. "Gonna miss ya." he said softly while gripping Red's hand in a silent goodbye.

 

Red smiled back, looking a bit sad.

"i'll miss you too." He replied, nodding at him.

Ink smiled excitedly and pulled Vigour up, slashing open a portal with his paintbrush.

 

Vigour released Red's hand as he let Ink pull him towards the portal that would take him to the Doodle Sphere.

However, before he could walk through, he dug his heels into the ground suddenly at the sight, forcing himself to a stop. He stared at the portal with wide eyes and small eye lights, his breathing starting to grow heavy with panic.

 

Red let Vigour's hand go and waved, smiling at the other. His smile dropped into a frown when he saw that Vigour tried to avoid going through the portal and quickly stood up, wanting to check whether his friend was alright.

Ink froze when Vigour tried to hold him back and looked at him. Why did he look so scared...?

 

Vigour's body tensed and started to tremble the longer he looked at the portal. All he could see was that dark place with those terrible strings reaching out for him. His hand twitched, now fully aware of the fact that someone was holding him. Someone was holding him tightly.

"L-let me go..." he stuttered softly, his eyes still trained on that portal. One that seemed to be getting bigger and closer and larger, reaching out for him.

 

Ink frowned slightly but didn't let go. Was Vigour scared of him?

"Why?" Ink asked.

Red's eye sockets widened. That sounded like panic. He didn't want Vigour to have a panic attack. He approached the other carefully.

"let him go, ink." Red demanded.

 

Stop touching. Stop touching. It hurts. Let go. It hurts. Let go! Let go! Let me-

"-Go!" Vigour screamed loudly as he ripped his hand away from Ink before falling on the floor hard. But he didn't register the fall, his mind growing hazy in his panic. His breathing quickened as he looked towards the ground with trembling eye lights. His body trembling as he kicked his legs out to try and get away from the portal and the person in front of him.

Pain. So much pain. Pain. Cold. Hurt. Too cold. It hurts. Stop it. Please stop. Don't touch me!

Vigour curled up into a ball with tears streaming down his face.

 

Red gasped loudly.

"vigour! what's wrong?!!" Red asked worriedly, sounding a bit panicked as he kneeled down next to Vigour. Panic attack. Definitely a panic attack. Why? Ink? No. The portal? The portal.

"close the portal!" Red shouted at Ink who looked extremely lost. Ink flinched and did as he was told, closing the portal quickly.

 

Vigour whimpered at the sudden scream and curled tighter. His mind was in a haze, his ears ringing, his eyes unfocused and unaware. He was so cold. It was so cold. He was shivering-trembling- at the feeling. It hurt. They were going to hurt him again. Please don't. Please stop.

"Please don't hurt me. Please." he sobbed out.

 

Red cursed. That shout had made it worse.

"everything's okay, vigour. nobody is going to hurt you." Red explained steadily. His voice sounded calmer than he felt. Internally he was panicking himself.

Ink frowned. He had no idea what was going on but somehow felt that he couldn't help all that much.

 

Vigour heard a soft voice beyond the haze in his mind and unconsciously clung onto it. Trying to cling onto what he had learned was comfort and safety.

After a moment he realized he was having an attack and took a few deep slow breaths to control himself. His Soul shuddering and trembling in a panic.

Once he felt he was somewhat in control, he raised his skull, daring a peak. He saw Ink and Red, both having different expressions on their faces.

 

Red sighed in relief when he noticed that Vigour was trying to take deep breaths. He looked at him worriedly.

"are you okay?" Red asked, concern audible in his voice. His eye sockets were a small bit wider than normal and he was shivering slightly.

Ink looked extremely confused.

 

Vigour looked between Ink and Red before he uncurled slowly, still trembling as he gave a small fragile smile.

"Y-yeah. 'm...okay." he said and looked down at his shaking hand. He let out a humourless chuckle as he wipes away his tears. "Heh, l-look at that. I- I got a new phobia now. Or t-trauma I g-guess. G-great."

 

Red frowned. A new one? Did that mean Vigour already had some?

"that's not great." Red mumbled quietly.

"and sorry that i asked that question. i can already see that you're not doing okay." He apologised.

"is there any way me or Ink can help?" Red asked. Ink frowned slightly.

 

"I-It's alright." Vigour said softly. "You were w-worried."

Vigour looked towards Ink and raised a brow at the look he was receiving. "W-what's wrong? You l-look like you w-wanted room ask something."

 

Ink blinked.

"Um.. I have no idea what just happened." Ink confessed awkwardly. Red still looked very worried but decided not to pressure Vigour.

 

Vigour looked at him in surprise. "Have you not...? You haven't seen a panic attack before?" he asked softly in confusion. Odd. Very odd. Considering he was the creator he should at least know what a panic attack was.

 

"No?" Ink asked more than replied. Red frowned slightly. What? Was that really the truth or did Ink either forget or not recognise it as such?

"are you sure?" Red asked, brow ridges furrowed in confusion.

 

Vigour stared at him for a moment, searching for any lies but the other looked confused. He sighed and nodded in understanding.

"Right um." Vigour thought for a moment before he explained as best he could. "A panic attack is when the body- or in this case Soul- feels extreme intense emotions such as panic or stress which causes breathing and heartbeat to elevate, muscle spasms in some humans, and so on. The person who's having it can feel like dying because well, it sort of feels like a heart attack. Often commonly confused for heart attacks actually. It comes when someone undergoes extreme panic, anxiety or stress. It's a terrible feeling and can happen anytime."

Vigour didn't know the full scientific diagnostic but as someone who had panic attacks a lot in the past, he knew the feeling and what could trigger it. "In some cases, it can cause severe harm to the person because they're not aware of their surroundings and thinking they're about to die or fall down."

 

"it can also be accompanied by screaming. because the person thinks they're dying..." Red added, looking at the floor. He almost always screamed.

Ink nodded. Maybe he did witness some panic attacks then. He just hadn't recognised them as such. Oh! He might've even had a few himself.

 

Vigour looked at Ink, his trembling now a bit more manageable as he tried to calm his shuddering Soul. "How did you not know what a panic attack is? Sorry for asking but I'm curious."

 

"Nobody told me." Ink replied.

"did ink's portal trigger you?" Red asked cautiously.

"you don't have to reply if you don't want to." He quickly added.

 

"It uh-" Vigour looked away for a bit, his expression a subdued pain. "Both the portal and Ink's touch. I uh, I have slight Haphephobia- fear of touch. But only when it's firm touches. And the portal... it-. It reminded me of those things that choked me."

 

Red hummed. He knew what haphephobia was like. He still had it a slight bit but it wasn't nearly as bad as a few years prior.

"if you don't mind me asking... what other phobias do you have?" Red asked, mostly because then he'd know how to keep some panic attacks from happening.

 

"Um..." Vigour hummed in thought as he looked down. "I don't know the name but... Tight spaces, restraints alongside firm touches and cold."

 

"hm... claustrophobia, merinthophobia, slight haphephobia and frigophobia or cryophobia." Red explained. Phobias like those were very common in his universe and he knew many of the clinical names.

 

Vigour blinks up at him in awe and amazement. Red knew all those names? Wow.

He looked down after a moment. "Yeah. It's- heh. Kinda messed up huh? Someone like me having all those phobias. They're not even... not even good reasons to have those phobias. Heheh." he chuckled softly, lacking any humor and had a self-deprecating tone to it.

 

"hey. any reason to have a phobia is a valid reason." Red replied, frowning. He didn't like that tone.

"being choked is a very good reason." He added.

 

Vigour flinched at the reminder and raised a hand to trail over his cervical vertebrae. He could feel the phantom pains of those strings choking him as they pulled him into a new strange place. "Actually... that's not the reason I have those phobias."

 

"oh. if you ever want to talk, i'll listen and i won't judge you." Red explained.

"What is talking going to help?" Ink asked, frowning. He was leaning against the wall.

 

Vigour looked at Ink in surprise before he tries to explain. "Well uh, panic attacks and phobias are part of a mental disorder. Can't be fixed with medicine or magic." he smiled, a brief flash of pink in his eyes and a spark in his Soul.

"Talking to someone, about anything and having positive feedback like support and mutual understanding can help a person get over their phobia or any other mental problems." he explained with a smile. "It can also help get their fears or problems to be more manageable. On the downside, if one gives the opposite feedback; ie insult, judgement and all in between, it gets the opposite results which ultimately makes the problems worse. Especially if talking about their problems is difficult for some people. Having someone to talk to and who won't judge you or look down on you because of your problems can help improve their mental health."

"It certainly improved my friends' health." Vigour smiled sadly at the thought. His friends. He wonders if they were doing well without him. Or if they were supporting each other.

 

"Oh. I think I understand." Ink replied. A thought shot through his mind. He was very scared of the colour white. Was that a phobia...?

"What if you don't talk to anyone at all?" Ink asked. Red frowned at the thought. He knew that without his brother's support he probably wouldn't even step out of his room anymore.

 

Vigour looked at Ink wide eyed for a moment before looking down in thought. "Well, that'd be... self-destructive. If I want to be accurate. Especially if you're bottling up so much emotions like pain, anger, sorrow and regret."

Vigour shifted to sit in a more comfortable decision. "Think of it like a glass bottle, that person is the bottle. You keep filling it up with pressure- bottled up emotions. Every day you bottle up more emotions, more pressure in the bottle. All that pressure will build up over the course of weeks, months or even years. Without an output, a way to release that pressure? Well... That bottle will eventually go crack. And finally, shatter into a thousand pieces."

Vigour leaned back to stare up at the ceiling, his expression oddly blank. "Nothing can bring a shattered person back. They're scarred now. Once that person is broken, no matter how much you fix them, they won't be the same. Ever."

 

Ink's eye sockets widened. He hadn't talked to anyone about his problems for decades. And his fear of the colour white had been getting worse and worse... He couldn't even properly move through Snowdin...

"Oh.." Ink said. There was no emotion behind it.

"vigour?" Red asked worriedly. His expression looked too blank.

 

"Hm?" Vigour hummed questioningly at Red, looking at him blankly.

 

"are you okay?" Red asked worriedly, the blank stare he was receiving very unsettling.

 

Vigour nodded at Red. "I'm fine."

Vigour looked down and rubbed his ribs with one hand, feeling his Soul underneath his ribs. "Just... tired."

 

Red hummed thoughtfully. He had a feeling that this tiredness didn't have much to do with physical exhaustion or that it was anything that sleep could fix.

"like i said. if you ever need anyone to talk, just send me a text and i'll come to you or the other way around." Red explained, doing his best to smile convincingly.

"If you have a phobia of portals... How are we going to get to the doodle sphere?" Ink asked, finally voicing the question that had been bugging him for a while.

 

Vigour nodded at Red's words and formed in thought.

"Like I said, it's... manageable." Vigour said as he stood up from the floor. "Just gonna focus on the portal. Won't be easy. Just... don't touch me."

 

"Okay." Ink agreed easily.

"bye. good luck out there." Red wished Vigour with a small wave of his hand.

Ink opened a portal, this one a lot less colourful than the first. Probably because his mood affected his magic just like his eye lights.

 

Vigour waved goodbye at Red with a sad smile and paused as he stared at the glowing portal, his hands clenching and unclenching at his side. His Soul trembling in fear at the sight that caused him so much pain. He took a few breaths to calm himself before he speed walked towards the portal and walked through.

 

Red watched Vigour jump through the portal. He hoped the other would be alright.

"bye, ink." He told Ink as the creator followed Vigour through the portal with a quick wave.

 

Ink frowned in thought as colours were all around him. He was diving through the multivoid, on his way to the doodle sphere. What Vigour had said had made him think. Maybe he could open up to the other skeleton? Vigour seemed really trustworthy and it would be great to have him as an ally or even a... friend.

Chapter Text

In the vast void of the Doodle Sphere, Vigour sat cross legged on the ground as he sketched in a sketchbook with a small smile, sitting beside Ink. It had been a few hours since they got here and things were pleasantly peaceful. No attacks. No screaming. Just relaxing together and painting or drawing.

Vigour smiled and handed Ink his sketch which was a drawing of a meadow that had a shining sun and a wind bent grass.

"Ink, check this out. Looks great right?" he asked with a hopeful smile.

 

Ink frowned as he doodled circles and spirals mindlessly, his thoughts going a mile per minute. Should he talk to Vigour or shouldn't he? Was he going to break? Was he going to shatter?

Ink looked up from where he had been doodling circles. He took the offered drawing. It was awesome and he told Vigour so but his soul wasn't in it, his mind on an entirely different subject.

 

Vigour smiled happily at Ink's approval and took the sketch back, starting another page.

After a moment of drawing, he looked over to Ink and frowned. "Hey, you seem distracted. Care to share?" he asked with a soft smile.

 

Ink gave Vigour his sketch back and picked up a green coloured pencil, starting to draw circles again.

"I'm thinking about whether or not I should." Ink mumbled mindlessly, not even noticing that he had said anything.

 

"Should what?" Vigour asked curiously. Ink looked so distracted. He wondered what the other was thinking about.

 

"Hm?" Ink hummed confusedly, looking up from his circles.

"What?" He asked, his eye lights looking a bit unfocused.

"Should what what?" Ink inquired, looking incredibly confused.

 

Vigour smiled with a shake of his skull. Ink must have answered unconsciously. It was honestly endearing. "I said what were you thinking and you said that you couldn't decide what you should do."

 

Ink frowned slightly. He couldn't remember that he had done that. But there was no point in lying, was there. He could just tell Vigour, right? He definitely should. That didn't mean that he wanted to. Or maybe he did.

Ink's frown deepened as he thought about the pros and contras. The pros clearly outweighted the cons but he was still not sure whether he should tell Vigour...

 

"Ink? You alright there buddy?" Vigour called softly; a little worried for the other.

 

Ink blinked and looked over at Vigour.

"I'm trying to decide whether or not I should talk to you about something." Ink explained, trying to gain more time to think about exactly that.

 

"Tell me then." Vigour encouraged with a large smile. "You know I won't judge you if you do, right?"

 

Ink flinched slightly. He hadn't been completely sure about that. Scratch that. He had thought that Vigour could maybe even harm him with the knowledge that he was afraid of the colour white. He winced when the point of the coloured pencil he had been holding broke. He stared down at the green pencil and the yellow paper.

"I think I have a phobia..." Ink mumbled quietly.

 

"Oh?" Vigour said softly. Not a hint of mocking in his tone but rather of interest an encouragement. "What is it?"

 

Ink took a deep breath, closing his eye sockets.

"I'm afraid of the colour white." He rushed out as quickly as he could, squeezing his eye sockets shut.

 

Vigour took a while to think about that, Ink? Afraid of white? But then again, it would explain a lot of things. Why he was covered in colourful clothes. All the AUs. Even his bones had colour- those black tattoos. It made sense.

Vigour smiled kindly at the Creator, making sure to not let his tone come off as mocking or insulting or even judging. Ink didn't need that. "Really? Do you know when this happened or why? Don't answer if you don't want to."

 

Ink's eye lights shrunk slightly at the question.

... the reason...?

Blankness all around him, the whiteness threatening to devour him as he curled up into a small, shivering ball, trying to block the nothingness out. His bones blended in with the white and he lost the awareness of his existence.

Ink trembled, the green coloured pencil slipping from his hand as he stared down at the yellow sheet of paper with blank eye sockets.

 

Vigour jumped and leaned closer to Ink, hands raised but not touching.

"Hey hey, shh...." he mumbled slowly, calmly. Trying to bring back Ink from a panic attack. He was used to this. His friends used to have them all the time. "Shh... it's alright Ink. It's alright. Wherever you are, you aren't there. It's alright. You're here. You're safe."

Vigour's eyes flashed pink as he thought of a way to bring Ink back. He got an idea and pulled out his paints, dipping his fingers in each bottle before smearing it on the discarded paper that Ink was holding.

He gently placed the now multi-coloured paper in Ink's lap as he continued to speak softly. "It's alright Ink. It's alright. Look, a rainbow. Can you name the colours for me Ink? Please?"

 

Ink curled up slightly, the white pressing against him, forcing him to the ground, his breathing speeding up slightly as he sat hunched over, tears in his eye sockets.

Then, suddenly, there was colour. Tears dripped from Ink's eye sockets as he stared at the colours. He dimly registered someone talking to him.

Name the colours? Why..? There was no point with all the blank space...

Ink blinked slightly. Maybe...

He started sobbing quietly and slowly started naming the colours on the paper, his voice getting steadier with each colour.

 

Vigour smiled as his method was helping. Ink was slowly calming down with each word. With each colour his voice got steadier and his trembling lessened. He wanted to wipe those tears away but he didn't dare touch Ink right now. Not until he was fully back and calm.

"Good job Ink." he praised and pointed at the colours with his still paint covered fingers. "Now, can you tell me what shade of colour they are? There's a lot of colour here but there's also a lot of shades. Can you tell me them Ink?"

 

Ink's breathing hitched slightly but he listed all the shades he could see, his eye lights focusing more as his trembling receded to occasional shivers. His tears slowed down a bit.

 

Once Ink listed at the shades there were- he had repeated a few shades a bunch of times- Vigour nodded.

"See there." Vigour pointed at a spot where two colours mixed. "Look at that. It's a colour that was created after blending other colours together. Can you tell me what colour blended created that colour?"

 

Ink nodded slightly, focusing solely on recounting each and every mixed colour. His breathing deepened and he seemed a lot more aware of what was going on around him.

The white in his mind was quickly overtaken by colours and he felt like he could breathe again, his tears stopping. He wiped his cheek bones.

 

Vigour smiled when Ink looked aware. "Hey Ink," he greeted softly. "You okay?"

 

Ink tilted his skull slightly, looking at Vigour.

"i... i think so..." He replied, rubbing his face a bit. He forced himself not to think about what had just happened.

 

Vigour nodded and pulled out his brush, dipping it in the yellow paint on his middle finger before painting a pile of tissues.

"You don't have to tell me what happened. Not if it'll cause to you panic." he said as he picked up a tissue to wipe away the paints on his fingers. "But I'm glad you told me. It shows a lot of trust to admit your phobia to someone you've only known for a few hours."

 

"I was in the anti-void..." Ink explained shortly, one of his eye lights flickering slightly. He took a deep breath in an attempt to stay calm and pulled out his paintbrush, hugging it.

"There was nothing but white." He added.

 

Vigour looked at Ink in surprise but nodded in understanding.

"Must have been terrible. You've been there for a long time I assume?" he said softly.

 

"I have no idea... Felt like centuries..." Ink mumbled. It certainly did feel like a very long time. Since the anti-void could bend time there was no way to tell how long he had been in that cold, white place.

 

Vigour hummed softly as he looked at Ink. Right now the other looked nothing like the all-powerful Creator the others had talked about. Instead he looked like a traumatized kid.

It reminded Vigour of himself.

He looked at Ink with soft eyes. "Hey, if you want I can help you. Or just be someone you can talk to. If you want of course."

Vigour had helped others before. What was one more person? Besides, he couldn't leave Ink like this when he could help.

 

Ink looked up, his eye lights a bit brighter. Maybe with Vigour's help he would be able to tread through Snowdin again without having a panic attack? It was definitely worth a shot.

"I'd like that.." Ink responded tentatively.

 

Vigour brightened up, his eyes flashed pink once as he stood up. "Thanks. I have an idea."

He slowly took off his fingerless brown gloves and reached it out towards Ink. His bony hand. His white hand.

Vigour gave Ink a small smile. "Do you trust me?"

 

Ink's eye sockets widened when he saw that Vigour had taken off his gloves. He flinched back when that white hand stretched towards him, staring at the other skeleton with trembling eye lights.

Did he trust Vigour? He had helped him with his panic attack and he didn't seem to have any ulterior motives. Could he trust him? His very Soul wanted to trust him. He didn't want to be afraid anymore.

After an internal war he finally came to a conclusion and gently placed his own gloved hand in Vigour's, shivering slightly.

 

After a while, Vigour smiled wide when Ink took his hand. He gently pulled Ink on his feet, stroking Ink's hand with his thumb softly in reassurance.

He gently pulled Ink towards the edge of the island and looked over the edge. He smiled when he saw a portal. "See there?" he pointed towards the portal.

"There's something there I want you to see. I saw it a while ago." Vigour smiled softly at Ink, trying to be encouraging. "You trust me?"

 

Ink let himself be pulled up and was kind of thankful for the reassurance. He followed Vigour to the edge of the island and looked down, seeing a portal. Ink nodded slightly, still looking at the portal. He wondered what would await him there...

 

Vigour nodded and pulled Ink to jump off the island, falling down and into the portal.

 

Ink's eye sockets widened as he was suddenly pulled along and over the edge of the island. He clung to Vigour tightly, closing his eye sockets tightly. He had not expected that.

 

Vigour's feet landed on soft grass with a thud. Soft wind blew against his face bringing the sweet smell of grass. He smiled as he looked up at the sky. Perfect. This was what he had wanted.

They were on a small hill with the sun slowly setting beyond the horizon. The sky a beautiful blue which was slowly changing into a spectra of red and orange. But what he wanted were the clouds. Because of the lighting, the clouds were fluffy and white with a soft orange glow on one side. He gently patted Ink's back.

"Ink, look up." he said softly, smiling down at Ink.

 

Ink grunted slightly as he landed on his rear. He looked around, noticing how late in the day it was. The grass was a beautiful shade of green and he really wanted to draw all this. It looked amazing.

At Vigour's prompt he looked up, freezing up a little. White. There were splotches of white on the beautiful blue sky....

 

"Ink," Vigour said softly but sternly, waiting for the other to look at him. "Don't focus on the white. Look at the blue. The orange. Look at the other colours ON the white."

 

Ink frowned but managed to tear his eye lights from the white and looked at Vigour.

"I-I'll try..." Ink replied, looking back up at the... white clouds. He forced himself to focus on the blue sky instead, tears dotting the corners of his eye sockets as he fought against himself.

 

Vigour sat down beside Ink and gently grabbed his hand, squeezing it reassuringly. He looked up at the clouds and pointed at a cloud that looked like an apple.

"Look," he said as he pointed at the cloud. "An orange apple. And look," he said, pointing towards a cloud shaped like a cat's face. "An orange cat."

 

Ink squeezed back unconsciously, finding some comfort in the gesture. He looked at the cloud Vigour had pointed at, tilting his head slightly. That really looked like an apple. The next one looked like a cat's face. The clouds were slowly getting more and more orange which eased Ink's worries quite a bit.

"A dragon..." Ink mumbled, pointing at a cloud which was vaguely shaped like a dragon.

 

Vigour smiled wide. "Yeah! And look! That trail of clouds looks like its breathing fire."

 

"Cool..." Ink breathed out, his eye lights shining brightly as he stared into the sky. He relaxed slightly, pointing out a cloud that looked like a paintbrush.

 

Vigour smiled and laid on the grass on his back, pointing at other shapes in the sky. He took a deep calming breath from the wind. He had missed this. The calm.

Vigour relaxed as he and Ink continued to spot shapes in the sky. The sky growing more orange as the sun set.

 

Ink gasped slightly as he could spot the first stars in the darkening sky. They were so beautiful. Gigantic balls of fire that are so far away that they appeared as mere points. It was mesmerising.

"Look." Ink pointed out a star, his eye lights changing to stars.

 

Vigour looked to where Ink was pointing and smiled wider. "Yeah, beautiful right? Stars. Said to be the literal meaning of hope in a hopeless world. Beautiful."

 

"Hm... I didn't know that..." Ink hummed, crossing his arms behind his skull as he looked up. More and more stars were popping up out of nowhere.

 

They laid there in calm silence as they watched as more and more stars began to appear until the whole sky was full of shining bright lights.

After a moment, Vigour spoke. "I miss this."

 

"Miss what?" Ink asked, entranced by the glowing points of light. He wondered what Vigour meant. Did he miss looking at the stars?

 

"This." he answered softly, eyes trained on the stars. "Watching stars with a friend."

Vigour sighed sadly but with a small smile. "Ever since I could remember, my fondest memories are me sitting down watching stars or lights with someone. Ever since I was young. I watched the glowing lights in Waterfall with my brother. Watched the glowing stones with Wendy. And watched actual stars every week with the other AUs."

Vigour's eyes flashed pink briefly, his Soul growing warm with fond memories.

"Stars have been with me since I was born. From my eyes," he pulls out his brush and thumbs the star carved on the wood. "To my life. I don't think I could ever part with it. It turned into something more than burning planets far, far away. It became a part of me. My love and passion. Something to look forward to even in the darkest of times."

 

"Must be nice to have friends..." Ink murmured, not noticing what Vigour had implied.

 

Vigour chuckled softly. "Yeah. You could have all the treasure in the worlds. Have all the stars in your hands. But it's useless alone. Beauty is best.... admiring it with someone else."

Vigour frowned slightly when the words registered and looked at Ink. "You don't have friends?" he asked in surprise.

 

Ink frowned slightly as he stared at the stars.

"Define friend..." Ink prompted. He wasn't sure whether they were on the exact same page. He had a lot of allies but... No friends.

 

"Well," Vigour started, thinking for a moment before responding. "Friends; are someone who you trust and can talk to. Friends are people who care about you and always have your back when things are tough. Friendship however; is a bond of mutual understanding and trust among a group of people."

Vigour looked back at Ink with a mix of surprise and curiosity. "Don't you have those? Friends?"

 

"No. I don't have any friends. I have people who would have my back but..." Ink explained, trailing off at the end. He couldn't remember ever having a friend.

 

Vigour hummed softly before looking up at the stars. He had a theory why but...

"Do you know why?" he asked. "You don't have to answer but I'm just curious."

 

Ink hummed sadly.

"I'm scared of losing them. I'm immortal while they could die anytime. It's easier to push everyone away..." Ink explained softly, his voice laced with sadness.

 

Vigour's eyes widened in surprise before he sighed and shook his head with an understanding smile.

"I know that feeling. All too well." he said, his Soul slightly tense at the sadness coming from Ink. "But that's not the right way to do things."

Vigour looked up at the stars, seeing the faces of his friends in the twinkling lights. "It's true, friends leave one way or another. And it sucks when they do. I know it does. It's unavoidable. But the good memories stay with you, even if the person doesn't. But how can you make good memories with your friends if you're afraid of making friends in the first place? There'll be nothing to look back to. It's a scary thought, having someone you care about suddenly not there anymore. I know. But as long as you remember them, they won't ever leave your mind. They'll be with you long as you want to remember them. "

 

Ink looked up, tears in his eye sockets.

"I want to... but I'm so scared..." He confessed, rubbing the black marks on his arms.

 

Vigour looked at Ink, second hand pain in his wide eyes before he reached out to grab Ink's hand comfortingly. He gave a small sad smile at the other, understanding in his eyes.

"I know." he said sadly. "But you can't live your life alone. I know it's easier to push people away, believe me. But being alone would just destroy you. You have great friends here Ink. Reach out to them."

 

Ink sniffled slightly and nodded. Vigour was right. He gripped the other's hand tightly.

"You're right..." He agreed. He had to stop pushing everyone away. He had to let them in.

 

Vigour felt happy for Ink. Now the other could make great friends. Friends from the AUs he had created. Maybe that was the purpose for creating then? To make friends. But with Ink's fear he had never gotten the chance. And now he did thanks to Vigour's help.

Vigour's Soul pulsed happily, a pink aura surrounding it.

This is what he lived for. To help people. To help them find happiness and to help them grow and get over whatever problems they have. This was what made him happy. If it meant seeing his friends, the people he cared about smiling happily then everything would be worth it.

"Hey, you want a hug?" he offered. "You know, from a friend?"

 

Ink smiled brightly and nodded, hugging Vigour tightly. He wasn't as afraid anymore. He would be friends with the other skeleton.

He felt pretty tired too. It had been a long, emotionally taxing day...

 

Vigour smiled and gently embraced Ink with one arm, the other behind his skull as the other laid his skull on his ribs. Vigour watched the stars, his chest rising and falling rhythmically. It didn't take long for Ink to doze off into a peaceful slumber. Vigour smiled through half lidded eyes at Ink's peaceful face, pressing his skull gently on Ink's forehead before he drifted off to sleep. A nice nap under the stars sounds perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fate smiled down at the scene. Well, the other Multiverse Ink, Vigour, was doing what Fate had decided for him. He was now Ink's friend. Ink could be happy now that he had a friend. Fate knew another version of their child would be the perfect friend for Ink.

Now if only Fate could turn the other into a Creator like their child. That would certainly make Ink happy.

But the process wasn't complete. And it was too risky to complete the transformation now. But he had a small part of Ink's power of creation. He just needed to unlock his power.

Fate smirked as an idea came to them and sent out a small red translucent string towards Vigour. The skeleton shifted with an uncomfortable frown when the string reached his Soul and wrapped around it.

Vigour shall unlock his power of creating. That was his Fate.

Meanwhile Destiny frowned at the sight. Their child, Error, was frantically searching for that skeleton. The skeleton needed to go back home. But Destiny couldn't do anything to send him home.

Destiny brightened up when they had an idea. They sent out a trail of white towards Vigour's Soul- unknowingly at the same time as Fate. The wisp latched onto Vigour's Soul causing him to flinch in discomfort at the intrusion. Destiny couldn't send Vigour back now but they could push a bit to get the scenario they wanted.

Vigour shall meet with Error and find his way home. That was his Destiny.

Passion frowned when both entities sent their aura at Vigour. Passion looked at Vigour's pained face with anger. Passion couldn't help but they have full trust in their friend. Vigour shall get what he wanted, he'd outsmart Fate and Destiny. Passion knew it.

But for now, they could only sit back and help him wherever they could.

Chapter Text

Ink smiled brightly as he painted the scenery he had seen with Vigour the day before. Beautiful orange clouds, a small hill, ...

He held the picture up triumphantly when he was done, handing it to Vigour with a bright smile.

 

Vigour was busy writing a story in a small notebook when Ink handed him something. He hummed with a large smile and took the offered paper, smiling brightly at the art.

"This looks amazing Ink." Vigour said while giving Ink a large bright smile.

 

"Thanks." Ink responded, smiling brightly, his eye lights twinkling.

"I want you to keep it." Ink told him. It would be an amazing reminder and Vigour seemed to like it.

 

Vigour looked at him surprised before it turned into delight. His eyes sparkling like their shape. "Really?!"

 

"Yeah." Ink replied, smiling. It had been a really long time since he had given someone one of his drawings but it felt really great.

 

Vigour smiled thankfully at Ink. He looked at the art and used his magic to shrink it into a smaller size. He pulled out a leather bound book and opened a page, inside was filled with pictures and other little things like pressed flowers. The book was only a quarter full. He added the picture inside and showed it to Ink.

"My little memorial book." he said with a smile. "It's where I keep anything given to me by a friend. Helps to remember them if they're ever gone."

 

Ink smiled, incredibly happy that Vigour saw him as a friend. He was pretty sure he wouldn't be gone soon, being immortal and all but said nothing about that.

Suddenly he had an idea. He knew an AU that Vigour would surely like.

"I know an AU that I'm certain you will like." Ink said, standing up excitedly.

 

"Oh?" Vigour said curiously, looking at Ink. He stood up to follow Ink and he kept the book back in its place. "What's the place?"

 

"It's a surprise." Ink replied with a smirk.

"I'm going to open a portal now." He warned before he slashed open a portal with his paintbrush.

 

Vigour chuckled at the look on Ink's face before he twitched at the warning. He took a breath and nodded to show that he was ready. It was Ink. He wouldn't hurt him. Besides, Ink's portals were nothing like that black void he had been pulled into.

He looked at the portal, his Soul beating anxiously but he kept it in check. He looked at Ink and waited for him to lead.

 

Ink smiled at him reassuringly and jumped through the portal, his eye lights glowing brightly as he took in the many shimmering stars. Outertale.

 

Vigour jumped through the portal, following Ink. Once he landed on solid ground, he didn't expect to see so many stars.

He looked around him, spinning slowly as he took everything in. Stars. So many stars. It was...

"It's beautiful." he breathed out softly in awe.

 

Ink smiled at him happily.

"Glad you like it." Ink replied, looking around. He loved this spot. He sat down, raising a brow ridge when he saw a figure off in the distance. Was that Outer?

 

Vigour was too busy looking at the stars to notice anyone else besides him and Ink.

Error grumbled to himself as he wandered around OuterTale-2. It'd been almost a week since that skeleton- Vigour, had been taken away by Fate's strings. Error and Nightmare's Gang had been busting ass trying to find Vigour. Who knew what Fate had done to him?! Thankfully Ink hadn't created anything this week which gave Error plenty of time to search for his lookalike. He hoped he wasn't too late. He didn't want anyone stuck in Fate's strings like he once was.

 

Ink was about to call out to whom he assumed to be Outer when he noticed that the skeleton was much too tall to be Outer.

Who was that...? Ink stepped in front of Vigour protectively.

 

Vigour's eyes were as bright as his smile when he saw a comet fly by. Wow. He'd always wanted to see a comet. They were so beautiful in the sky. Especially this star filled sky.

Vigour looked at Ink in confused surprise when the other suddenly stepped in front of him almost protectively. "Ink?"

Error felt a presence and shivered. He knew that aura. He turned towards the direction of the aura and froze. Ink.

Blue strings formed on his fingers, at the ready in case the other would attack him. Honestly it was not the question of 'would' but rather 'will'. Stars he didn't have time to fight Ink. He needed to find the Ink lookalike.

 

Ink growled lowly when he saw the blue strings and whipped out his paintbrush, acid-like paint collecting at the tip.

How he hated Error.

 

Vigour leaned back slightly with a small unconscious whimper when he felt malice in the air. "I-Ink? What's wrong?"

Error heard the small sound and looked over, his eyes widening when they saw the other Ink. Vigour. He had found Vigour.

Unfortunately he was in the company of an uncontrollable Creator.

"HElLo INkY." Error narrowed his eyes at Ink, malice growing in the air. He had to get Vigour away from Ink. Who knew what Ink would do to him. Especially when Vigour had been with the gang.

 

"Stay behind me, Vigour." Ink hissed, taking a step towards Error.

"What do you want, destroyer?" Ink asked loudly, his eye lights flickering dangerously as he felt anger and hatred rise deep within him, the colour on his paintbrush darkening threateningly.

 

Vigour's breathing went heavy as his Soul constricted painfully. The air felt too tense. Too painful. He heard Ink's hate filled voice and whimpered softly. He didn't like that tone.

He looked up and saw a black skeleton. His eyes widened. That was Error, he was sure of it. The so called Destroyer. The one who killed and destroyed AUs.

The one who had tried to save him from those red strings.

"I-Ink." he called out weakly only to be ignored.

"WhAt I wAnT," Error started with a scowl. "iS fOr yOU tO gIve mE tHAt SkElEtON."

 

Ink's eye sockets widened. There was no chance that Error wanted anything good with Vigour. He would hurt Vigour, no doubt.

"NEVER!!!" Ink shouted, charging at Error, his paintbrush raised high.

 

Vigour felt surprised but not as much when Error said that. He could understand that. He must have worried the others when he was dragged away. Unfortunately Ink didn't feel the same way and screamed out at Error.

"Ink wait-!" Vigour reached out but Ink ran before he could stop him.

Error narrowed his eyes and jumped back to avoid the swinging brush, summoning his strings and blasters to shoot at the Creator. He needed to get Vigour, now! He didn't know what Fate had planned and he wouldn't waste time fighting Ink to find out.

 

Ink did a barrel roll and jumped up a few feet away from Error, charging at him again and slashing his paintbrush at him with a war cry.

 

Error blocked the slash of acidic paint with a wall of bones before shooting out more strings at Ink, acting like miniature needle like spears.

Error scowled at Ink. He didn't have time for this! Vigour could be in danger the longer he stalled! He shot out three blasters at Ink screamed out loudly. "tHiS iS jUSt yoU! yOu fInD a NEw toY aNd yOU wON't LeT iT gO! POsSeSSivE uNcOnTRoLLAble cReATOr!"

 

Ink batted away the strings with his paintbrush, growling lowly. He glowered at Error and hit two of the gasterblasters. He missed the third one..

Ink grunted in pain as he was hit by the gasterblaster.

 

Vigour watched helplessly as his friends fought. Each hit had him flinching. He wanted to help but he couldn't.

Error didn't let Ink rest and shot out bones at the other.

 

Ink dodged, his eye lights flaring threateningly, his sleeve slightly burnt. Error would pay for that!

"You'll only hurt Vigour! That's the only thing you can do!!" Ink shouted, his eye sockets narrowed as he took a vial from his sash and threw it at Error, hoping to distract him enough to get a clean hit in.

 

Error grabbed the vial mid-air with his strings and threw it back at Ink.

"yOu doN'T KnOw anYThInG!" he screamed.

 

Ink deflected the vial with his paintbrush and it hit the ground, the glass shattering and colour splattering on the ground.

"You always destroy everything!!!" Ink screamed back, charging at Error with a loud yell.

 

Error shot out his strings at Ink to stop him in his tracks. "anD yOU alWaYs cREaTE uSEleSS aUs!"

Error snarled and summoned his strings and blasters. "I dOn'T hAVE tImE fOr ThIs!" he screamed and shot his strings at Vigour intending to capture him.

 

"They. Are. NOT USELESS!!!!!" Ink roared, slashing the strings with his paintbrush, his eye lights turning red. He saw the strings that shot out for Vigour a bit too late and couldn't stop them in time.

"Leave him out of this!!!" Ink growled angrily, charging towards Error with his paintbrush raised high, vials of paint in his other hand which he shot at the other skeleton.

 

Vigour's eyes widened when blue strings shot out at him and grabbed his Soul causing him to flinch. Oddly enough, he didn't feel scared or in pain. But rather safe and a hint of worry coming from the strings.

Error blocked the attack with his bones, hissing when some of the vials hit his arm and the painful acid eroded the bones. The strings on Vigour loosened but didn't let go, Error's focus still strong. "I'M tAKInG tHAt sKeLEtoN iNk! YOu wOn'T uNdERstANd! YOu'Ll neVEr uNdERstANd!"

 

"You're the one who DOESN'T UNDERSTAND!!!!" Ink yelled loudly, swinging his paintbrush in a wide arch at Error. He couldn't let that insane destroyer take Vigour!

 

Vigour saw that strike coming straight for Error and it felt like the world slowed down around him. He couldn't let Ink kill Error! He couldn't let his friend get hurt! Not if he could help it.

His eyes narrowed and he ran, his eyes flashed pink and his body had a small pink aura around it. He ran towards Error and pushed him out of the way, safe from the blow. Unfortunately he didn't have time to escape the brush's path and it hit his skull with a loud CRACK.

Error grunted when he was suddenly thrown to the side. He heard a loud crack and a thud and looked over. His eyes widened in shock when he saw Vigour. The other was knocked out cold, lying on the ground on his stomach, his skull bleeding profusely from the spiderweb of cracks on it.

 

Ink saw what was happening too late and his reaction was too slow to stop the paintbrush. It hit Vigour's skull with a sickening crack. He was frozen as he watched his friend fall to the ground, a spiderweb of cracks on his once unmarred skull.

Fuck...

Ink dropped his paintbrush in horror, taking a small step back, his eye lights dim in shock.

He had...

Tears were dotting the corners of his eye sockets as he stared at what he had done to Vigour. He had hurt his only friend. He was terrible.

 

Error snapped out of his shock and ensnared Ink in his strings, standing up quickly and picking up Vigour in a bridal style. The other was limp in his arms as he opened a portal, ignoring Ink's struggles. He wouldn't be able to fight with his brush on the ground out of his reach.

 

"No!" Ink called out weakly, only struggling slightly.

What had he done? Oh stars, what had he done...

 

Error opened a glitching portal and jumped through with Vigour in his arms. His strings disappearing once the portal closed. He needed to get Vigour some help. Now!

 

Ink sunk to the ground when he was released, sobbing quietly as he curled up into a small ball.

That was how Outer found him hours later...

 

Error jumped through a portal and landed in Nightmare's Hideout in the living room, startling said skeleton. "Error, what the hell-?"

The destroyer cut him off as he laid Vigour on the couch. "hE NeEds hELp."

 

Cross looked up from the couch when he saw Error return, hand already raised in greeting when he saw that Error was carrying someone. Who...? Vigour.

Cross jumped up when he saw the wound and rushed over.

"What happened?!" He asked, shocked that Vigour had such an injury.

Dust was dozing on the same couch when he suddenly heard some commotion and blinked open his eye sockets, his eye lights hazy as he tried to make sense of what was happening.

Horror stuffed the pastry he was eating inside his mouth and stood up quickly, running over to the cabinet to get some healing gel.

 

Killer rushed to get some spare clothes and a towel while Nightmare pulled out the med kit from under the table.

"I WaS fIghtINg InK iN OuTeRTaLe and He jUmPEd iN fRonT Of me aNd PuSHeD mE AWay bEfORe InkY cOuLd hIt mE wIth hIs bRusH." Error explained while he let the others handle Vigour. "WhY dId hE dO tHAt?"

"It's Vigour." Nightmare said as he examined the wound on the other skeleton's skull. "I wouldn't be surprised he did that to protect you."

 

Horror threw the healing gel at Cross who caught it effortlessly and handed it to Nightmare.

Dust blinked slightly, his eye sockets widening as he noticed what was going on. He stood up quickly, too quickly and fell with a small grunt. Horror was there in an instant and helped him up.

 

Killer ran back towards the living room with a towel and a bucket of water. Nightmare nodded and let Killer wipe away all the blood first before he opened the jar and rubbed a generous amount onto the cracks. Vigour didn't even stir.

After all of the cracks had been coated with healing gel, Nightmare pulled out a roll of gauze and gently wrapped it around Vigour's skull.

"He'll be fine." Nightmare mumbled as he bandaged the other skeleton. "No scars but he'll have a small concussion when he wakes up. So no loud noises or sudden moves."

Error nodded, internally relieved that Vigour wasn't dying.

 

Cross watched intently, his very Soul radiating worry for the other. He breathed a sigh of relief when Nightmare said that.

Dust and Horror joined the others after a bit, seeming very relieved that Vigour was going to be okay.

"okay." Dust agreed sleepily, rubbing his eye sockets slightly.

 

Nightmare sighed once he finished bandaging Vigour's skull and stood up, grabbing a blanket from under the table and put it on Vigour's unconscious body.

"We should let him rest. But keep an eye on him. We don't know how he'll react." Nightmare said to the others.

"I'll go make some healing food." Killer said and walked towards the kitchen. "Horror! Where's your cookbook?!"

 

Dust nodded sleepily.

"Okay." Cross agreed.

"Should I watch over him?" Horror asked. It wasn't like he had anything better to do right then.

"Kitchen counter!" He answered Killer's question.

 

"If you want to. Call us if he wakes up." Nightmare said turning towards Horror before looking at Dust. "You can sleep on the couch Dust."

Error sighed as he rubbed his skull, his injuries fixing themselves thanks to his magic but he ignored the pain. He was used to it.

Nightmare looked at Error with a raised brow. "What's wrong?"

"I jUsT-. CAn'T gET oVeR tHE fACT tHat hE Did tHAt."

 

"Will do." Horror replied. Dust mumbled a sleepy affirmation and walked over to the couch, falling asleep as soon as his skull touched the couch cushions.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly at Dust's antics and looked at Error before sighing softly. He walked over to the Destroyer and gently grabbed his hand before pulling him away. "Come on, let's fix you up."

"bUt I dOn'T nEEd-"

"And let's talk about what happened." Nightmare added before Error could protest.

Error looked at Nightmare, thinking of a good reason to not follow the other but he came up with nothing. He sighed and let Nightmare pull him away towards a room.

 

Horror sat down on the couch opposite of the couch Vigour was lying on.

He really wondered why Vigour would harm himself to help Error. They didn't even know Vigour all too well...

Then there was the question where Vigour had been all that time since he had been abducted.

And why had he been in the same universe as Ink?

So many questions...

 

~~~

 

--hours later--

Vigour's eyes scrunched up in pain as his consciousness slowly returned. He shifted slightly, his skull pounding in pain as he struggled to open his eyes. When he managed to force them open- squinting painfully when light hit his eyes, his eye lights were hazy and dim and he was seeing double.

 

Horror looked over at Vigour when he saw him shift and stood up, walking over to him.

He needed to get Nightmare...

Horror shook Dust, trying to wake him up. The shorter skeleton grumbled unhappily and opened his eye sockets, blinking up at him.

"Get Nightmare." Horror said, turning back to Vigour.

 

"Ngh..." Vigour groaned softly as he slowly sat up, putting a hand to his aching skull. He blinked a few times to get rid of the headache and double sight, it didn't do a thing. He turned his skull and blurrily saw a skeleton with... a hole in his skull?

"Who...?" he mumbled under his breath in confusion. It didn't help his thinking when his head was pounding painfully, fuzzy and heavy. As if he'd been stuffed with cotton with a pistol inside.

 

"Easy." Horror murmured.

"I'm Horror. You already know me. You got a nasty head wound..." Horror explained.

"Do you need anything?" He asked.

 

Vigour blinked slowly before his hazy mind caught up to him. "Oh. Horror. Yeah I remember now."

Vigour looked around slowly, trying to comprehend everything. He heard Horror's question and thought for a minute. "I.... painkillers?" he asked in a small voice.

Nightmare walked in alongside Dust and Killer just in time to hear the request. "Killer, can you go get some?"

Killer nodded and walked towards the kitchen while Nightmare kneeled down in front of Vigour. "You alright?"

 

Horror smiled at Vigour comfortingly.

Dust rubbed his eye sockets sleepily, his eye lights still a bit hazy.

"Anything we should do?" Horror asked Nightmare.

 

Nightmare shook his skull in a negative as he gently took Vigour's skull to examine any injuries or pain. "Not at the moment. Just sit down. I'll call when I need anything."

Vigour let himself be checked by Nightmare, fully trusting the dark skeleton. His skull hurt tremendously. He remembered what happened. But...

"How'd I get here?" he asked confused, hissing softly when Nightmare pressed a few fingers on his skull. Which was bandaged?

 

"Error took you here." Horror explained, sitting down on a couch. He pulled Dust with him. The shorter skeleton just let himself be moved, yawning tiredly. He hadn't been getting enough sleep lately, nightmares plaguing him every time he had tried to sleep at night.

 

Killer walked in from the kitchen with a bowl of soup and two pills. He set it down on the coffee table in front of Vigour. "Your skull was shattered when he brought you."

Vigour blinked at that and looked down. "Oh." He remembered pushing Error out of the way before blinding pain and darkness. It didn't take long for him to know that he had taken the hit and been knocked out cold. Ink could really pack a punch, Vigour was impressed honestly.

An idea sprang in his mind and he looks up at the other in concern. "I didn't worry anyone too much did I?"

 

Horror laughed loudly.

"That's the first thing you're concerned about? You really are something." He said with a chuckle.

 

Vigour blushed slightly and chuckled nervously. It was a habit he had gained from his Multiverse. His friends were often concerned and honestly, they were like mother hens when they were worried. "Sorry. Can't help it."

He jumped when he realized who might have been worried to death. He stood up suddenly, his face panicked. "Oh no! Ink must be worried sick!!!"

Vigour was about to step before a wave of dizziness hit him hard causing him to stumble. Nightmare frowned and pushed him back on the couch.

"Calm down. You need to rest." Nightmare said sternly. He used his tentacles to push the bowl of soup into Vigour's hands. "Eat this first. It'll help you regain your strength and HP."

"But-!" Vigour protested.

 

"... Ink...?" Horror asked quietly. Why would Ink be worried about Vigour? He was the one who had hurt him in the first place.

He looked over at Dust when he felt something touch him. The shorter skeleton had fallen asleep again, leaning onto him.

 

"No buts." Nightmare said sternly, his eye narrowing at Vigour. "Eat."

Vigour wanted to protest but he sighed defeatedly and slowly drank the soup. It tasted amazing and was easy to swallow. He put the bowl down when he was finished and blinked when Nightmare handed him some pills.

"Painkillers." Nightmare answered the unspoken question.

Vigour took the pills and swallowed them dry, thanking Nightmare softly. The midnight skeleton nodded and checked Vigour's bandaged skull, unwrapping it slowly. The skeleton let the other do what he wanted, unwilling to protest.

"So," Killer started, leaning onto the couch while staring at Vigour. "What were you doing in OuterTale with Ink?"

 

Horror perked up slightly. He really wanted to know that too. He wrapped an arm around Dust and pulled him a bit closer, shifting a bit to make the other more comfortable.

Cross walked into the room, catching the last sentence. He was curious about that.

 

Vigour closed one eye as Nightmare removed the bandages from his skull, wincing occasionally from the lingering pain. "We were stargazing." he answered softly.

 

"Ink? Stargazing?" Horror asked, doubt etched in his voice.

"I can't really imagine that that crazed creator would do anything like that." Horror explained, frowning. Cross supported his statement by nodding.

 

Vigour looked at them surprised, the bandages now removed from his skull as Nightmare checked it for any cracks that he might have missed.

"Ink isn't crazy." he says softly in protest.

 

"He whacked you upside the head pretty badly." Horror concluded. Noone in their right mind would think Ink wasn't insane.

"Ink is out of control." He growled lowly.

 

Vigour shook his skull, stopping when Nightmare held his skull in place. The dark skeleton examined the white bone thoroughly until he nodded satisfied. It had healed up perfectly. No scars. But it'd be a little tender for a few days.

"He's not." Vigour said, a spark starting to light up in his eyes as he thought about his friend. "He hit me but that was an accident. I jumped in his way. There wasn't any time to dodge or stop it. He didn't mean to hit me. It was my fault."

 

Horror sighed.

"Sure..." He mumbled, crossing his arms. There was no use to argue with Vigour while he was in that state of mind.

"What do you mean?" Cross asked curiously, his eye sockets widening slightly when Horror shot him a withering glare.

 

Vigour looked away while crossing his arms with a soft frown. "I saw Ink fighting Error. Ink was about to hit Error's skull with his paintbrush. I couldn't let that happen. After all, Error tried to save me once from those red strings. The next thing I knew, I was pushing Error away from the trajectory of the brush and got hit instead."

His eyes narrowed with a soft spark of pink. "It was my fault and mine alone. Ink or Error had nothing to do with me being hurt."

 

"Error and Ink aren't completely at fault but you shouldn't blame yourself either. It was a combination of the actions of everyone that lead to that result." Cross explained, trying to comfort Vigour. The other skeleton was being way too hard on himself.

 

Vigour sighed softly, his shoulders relaxing at Cross' words but still looking bothered. "I know. Still, things would be different if they'd just... calmed down and talked instead of fighting on sight."

Vigour's eyes looked up towards Horror. "But you shouldn't blame Ink either. He's my friend. He wouldn't hurt me on purpose."

 

"Ink's your... friend...?" Cross asked, sounding confused.

"Fuckkk..." Horror groaned. What if Ink came looking for Vigour or had even put a tracker on him or something?! He would be able to get to the hideout...

 

Nightmare narrowed his eyes at Vigour, both confused and worried. "Ink's your friend? You sure?"

Vigour nodded firmly. "Positive. Why is that such a shock?" he asked, trying to keep his anger under control. He was thankful he had learned to hide his anger well. But he was still mad. They were treating Ink like he was an escaped asylum patient. "Ink is capable of making friends too."

Nightmare shook his skull, trying to show Vigour that he didn't mean anything by it. "Nothing. It's just that Ink never claimed anyone as his friend. Not even my goody two shoes brother, Dream. And they're as close as one can get."

 

"Yeah. He doesn't let anyone get close to him. I have no idea why though." Cross added, frowning in thought. It didn't really matter. Ink was out of control.

But.. if Vigour was his friend, maybe he could convince Ink to listen to reason... It was definitely worth thinking about...

 

Vigour narrowed his eyes at Cross' words but looked down to hide it. He knew why. But he wouldn't tell the others what Ink had shared with him. He wouldn't break Ink's trust.

Vigour shook his skull and tried to stand up once more. "It doesn't matter why. I have to find him. He's probably worried sick."

Nightmare pushed him back down with his tentacles. "Not so fast. There's a reason we and Error searched for you ever since those strings captured you."

Vigour blinked at Nightmare. "Why?"

 

"Would it ease your mind if I would go and tell Ink that you are fine...?" Cross asked tentatively. He would just tell one of the Star Sanses and not Ink himself. He wasn't suicidal after all. But he knew that Vigour would not rest until Ink knew that he was okay.

"It's because of Fate." Horror explained, frowning.

 

Vigour raised a brow at Cross with a face and crossed arms. "You really think he's gonna believe you?" he said flatly.

Honestly, if he was lucky Ink would just get angry and scream profanities at Cross. But he was not lucky which meant Cross will most likely get attacked with the intention of death. Ink wasn't very... fond with the Dark Sanses or anyone associated with Error/Nightmare apparently. That much he was sure about.

Vigour's eyes widened in shock and fear at the mention of Fate. "Oh. I... honestly forgot about that."

 

"Not really. But if it would calm you down I'd still try." Cross responded with a grin.

"The fact that you forgot about... that is slightly concerning." Horror replied, frowning slightly.

 

"I think it's better if you don't try Cross." Killer said towards the younger. "Who knows what Ink'll do."

Nightmare nodded in agreement to both Killer and Horror. "Horror's right. You don't just forget about that Vigour."

Vigour huffed slight with a frown. "I was.... I didn't want to think about it okay?" he confessed softly while looking down. "I never want to think of my traumas. Not until.... not until I'm ready. It's bad I know, but.... I can't help it."

 

"Fine.." Cross relented, sighing. He had just wanted to help...

Horror frowned. That didn't sound very healthy.

Killer gently patted Cross' arm in reassurance, smiling softly in understanding. He knew Cross only wanted to help. But he couldn't risk Cross' safety by going to Ink and tell him that Vigour was with them. He doubted Ink would take it well. Vigour's friend or not, Ink was still dangerous.

"Vigour," Nightmare started tentatively. "How long have you been like this? Avoiding your fears and trauma?"

Vigour slumped on the couch, looking so tired and fragile. "Ever since my brother left me at the orphanage."

Chapter Text

Cross looked up at Killer, smiling slightly at the comforting gesture.

He frowned when he registered what Vigour had said.

"Orphanage?" Cross asked confusedly.

 

"What do you mean orphanage?" Killer asked in confusion and slight worry.

Vigour sighed tiredly. "I mean what I said. My brother left me at an orphanage when I was four. Never came back since. Which is understandable. Bad monsters.... they were after us. He did what he had to."

 

"Bad monsters?" Cross asked. There were more and more questions popping up in his skull and almost no answers.

Horror just watched, not wanting to add any questions to the pile to give Vigour some time to respond.

 

"Vigour, what happened to you?" Nightmare asked softly, trying to get the other to talk.

Vigour frowned with a shake of his skull and curled up, pulling his legs to his chest and buried half his face into his legs. He didn't want to talk about it. He didn't want to remember. He pushed down his emotions, ignoring the tears in his eyes and the painful clench on his Soul.

"Vigour..." Killer trailed off slightly with uncertainty. He wanted to know, hell it would probably be good for Vigour to talk about it. But the other was resistant and didn't want to open up.

 

"you don't have to talk but if you want to, we'll listen. and we won't judge." Dust explained, giving him an encouraging smile. Horror looked down in surprise. Since when was Dust awake...?

Cross nodded.

 

Vigour was silent for a few moments, internally fighting with himself. He gripped his legs tighter as if to shield himself. He didn't know what to do. He didn't want to remember. But he knew he had to let it out. They wouldn't judge him but he was too afraid to say anything. He was confused, scared and anxious.

"Vigour," Nightmare started softly after a few moments of tense silence. "What do you mean bad monsters?"

Finally Vigour broke. "I don't know." he choked out, almost sobbing. He sounded so broken. "I don't know, okay? All I know is that ever since I could remember, we would always move all around the Underground. Never staying in one place and never in any homes. Just caves and holes and boxes. Anything inconspicuous."

Vigour sniffed and wiped away his tears. "My brother always tried to keep me safe. Keep me happy and warm and fed. But we would always move whenever we heard someone near our 'homes'. But I was happy. I had my brother with me. But one day, he said we need to run and took me away. He left me at an orphanage in New Home before running off when he heard running in the distance. I never saw him since."

 

Cross' eye sockets widened when Vigour explained. That sounded awful. To have the one person that had always protected you taken from you...

"Can I give you a hug?" Cross asked quietly, not wanting to startle the other skeleton.

Horror and Dust both looked shocked.

 

Vigour sniffed and nodded trembling, he could use a hug.

Killer frowned and looked away in pain and sadness. Shit. That hadn't what he'd been expecting.

Nightmare frowned at the explanation. "I'm sorry."

Vigour sniffed softly, trying to wipe away the tears that kept coming. "Not your fault."

 

Cross hugged Vigour tightly, tears collecting in his own eye sockets as he held the crying skeleton.

 

Vigour let Cross hug him, curling up slightly in the other's embrace. The touch sending comfort through him despite his Soul still clenching painfully.

Killer watched from the sidelines. Cross had this handled.

"I'm sorry Vigour. For what you've lost." Nightmare sighed, feeling hopeless in this situation and stood up, an unreadable expression on his face. "Stay here, I have to check on something."

Killer looked at their leader with a raised brow. "Nightmare?"

"Just... wait here. I'll be back." Nightmare said over his should sounding oddly emotionless, as if he was trying to hold back his emotions.

 

"Everything's gonna be okay..." Cross mumbled, rubbing soothing circles into Vigour's back.

"nightmare? what are you..?" Dust asked. He had a bad feeling about this.

 

Vigour leaned into the soft touch and his trembling lessened by the second. He leaned into Cross and closed his eyes, trying not to think about his brother.

"I just need a minute." Nightmare said and left the room without another word.

Killer looked around at the others and sighed. "Anyone want to watch a movie or something?"

Vigour looked up when he was reminded of something. "I need to get to Ink."

"Later." Killer said softly. "Later, once you're feeling better."

 

"a movie sounds nice." Dust responded, smiling slightly. Horror nodded in agreement.

Cross perked up a bit at the mention of a movie. That would probably do them all some good.

"Movieee." Cross said excitedly, dragging the word out a bit. He made sure not to startle Vigour though.

 

Killer smiled and looked at Vigour. The other sighed softly and snuggled closer to Cross. "Sure. But a calm movie, please?" he didn't think he could handle any action movies.

Killer nodded and picked a movie from their selection before sitting down on the couch next to Cross. He leaned back and pressed play.

 

Cross leaned against Killer slightly, still hugging Vigour.

Dust shifted a bit to see the TV better and leaned against Horror, using him as a pillow. The taller fortunately didn't seem to mind.

 

Vigour laid silently in defeat as the movie played. It was a good time to relax and regain his bearings.

A quarter into the movie and his eyes were growing heavy. He leaned onto Cross and soon drifted off to sleep.

 

Cross glanced over at Vigour, checking whether he was doing okay when he suddenly noticed that he had fallen asleep. Huh. It had been quite the day for the other..

Cross pulled Vigour closer and leaned against Killer with a smile.

Dust looked over at Horror when the taller skeleton nudged him slightly. He looked at him questioningly and followed his outstretched arm to where he was pointing at Killer, Cross and Vigour. Vigour and Cross were fast asleep, cuddling with each other while Cross leaned against Killer, trapping him there. He chuckled quietly.

 

When Nightmare returned a half an hour later he paused his steps when he saw his boys cuddling on the couch around Vigour. He smiled and left them alone to rest. Vigour would need it. He'd called Error and he'd come here soon to discuss how to get rid of Fate's strings.

But for now, he'd let his boys rest.

 

~~~

 

"Vigour?" Dust asked as he poked the other skeleton, an agitated debate in the background.

 

Vigour's eyes twitched in irritation before he settled back into sleep.

 

"vigour?" Dust asked slightly louder, poking Vigour's cheek bone.

"wake up." He said, frowning slightly. The other had been sleeping for an awfully long time.

 

Vigour twitched before groaning in irritation before he forced his eyes open. He looked up and saw Dust looking down at him in concern and he sat up straighter, his movements sluggish as he rubbed his eyes.

"Mmm... what?" he asked with a groan, a bit irritated that he was woken up. He still felt so tired.

 

"you were asleep for quite the long time and we got worried." Dust explained, feeling a bit bad that he had woken the other skeleton up.

"sorry." He apologised.

 

Vigour took a deep breath, common for him after waking up and nodded in understanding, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

"It's fine. You were worried." he said softly. He was used to it. The others from his Multiverse did the same whenever he slept too long. He knew they meant well and it was not good to sleep too long. But he couldn't really help it. He was.... tired.

Vigour looked up at Dust with a confused brow when he heard violent arguing from the other room.

"What's up with that?" he asked pointing towards the kitchen where the argument was taking place. He was amazed he'd slept through that.

 

"oh. that. they're discussing how to free you from fate's strings." Dust explained, sitting down on the couch next to Vigour.

"as you can clearly hear they weren't successive yet." He added, sounding slightly amused.

 

"Mm?" Vigour hummed questioningly at Dust before looking over the couch towards the kitchen. He couldn't see any skeletons but he could definitely hear a lot of screaming and arguing. Thankfully- or not- he was too tired to feel any emotions from anyone else but himself. Pros of sleeping he guessed.

He wanted to ask what was so important about freeing him from Fate but he stopped himself from saying anything when he remembered those strings.

"You're here to escape the screaming I assume?" he asked the skeleton beside him.

 

Dust nodded. It had gotten a bit too much for him after some time and while he knew they only wanted to help Vigour, it still got too loud. He could still hear the screams of...

Dust shook his head slightly to shake off the memories. He shouldn't waste time thinking about that...

 

Vigour sighed tiredly. This Multiverse.... was chaotic. That was one word for it, the perfect word for it. In the few weeks he'd been here he'd been dragged, stabbed, hugged, thrown and many more. Ink and the others wanted to hang out with him but he kept being thrown into other AUs. The Dark Sanses wanted to free him from Fate. Fate wanted him here. Destiny wanted him home. He didn't know what Passion wanted. What happened to his free will these past few weeks? He wanted to just lie down and sleep but even that he couldn't get a peaceful rest.

He pushed down that annoying voice that told him to end it. He was used to it. He could still handle this.

He stood up, stretching and popping his spine before walking towards the kitchen. He was tired but he had to at least amend the situation. They shouldn't wear themselves out arguing about him. He could handle himself.

His Soul pulsed pink weakly.

 

"you okay?" Dust asked as he hurried after Vigour. The other looked tired. More tired than he should look after spending several hours asleep. Maybe he was emotionally tired?

 

Vigour nodded stiffly, ignoring Dust approaching him and still walking towards the kitchen.

"I'm fine." he said, but it was flat. Too flat. He didn't have the energy to speak more than he had to.

He walked into the kitchen and he could see Nightmare, Killer, Cross, and Horror arguing with each other. They didn't seem to notice him so he stood there with his arms crossed staring at them.

"Let's just ask Error to-!"

"It won't work!" Nightmare cut Killer off growling. His tentacles writhing around in agitation and his form unstable, showing his intense emotions raging. "We don't know if Fate's strings have gotten Vigour's already! If it has that tactic won't work! It never worked in the first place anyway!"

 

"Yeah but we could still try!" Cross interjected, frowning. Maybe they'd be lucky this time.

"You heard Nightmare, Cross. It won't work." Horror explained, a low growl hidden in his voice. His fingers twitched slightly, itching to grab his battle axe and fix the problem with violence. He knew it wouldn't help the situation though so he tried to stay calm.

 

"Trying would be risking Vigour's life!" Nightmare retorted angrily. "He may look like Inky but he isn't immortal! If we try and it fail, he could die!"

"Then we'll just ask Destiny to help." Killer offered with a frown. "They helped Error be free from Fate's strings before."

Nightmare scoffed. "Destiny helped Error, no one else. What, you think we can just call out to them to help free Vigour? Not a chance!"

 

Cross frowned in thought and crossed his arms. He came up with nothing. The short skeleton huffed and leaned against the kitchen counter, glaring at the floor like it had offended him.

Horror sighed. He got no more ideas.

 

Killer however wasn't finished. He scowled and clenched his fists at his sides shaking from anger. He hated this. He hated not having any idea how to fix something.

"Look we have to do something!" Killer forced out. "If we don't do something and Vigour continues to be Fate's puppet he'll end up like us! Insane and no chance of going back!"

"Well you have an idea Killer?!" Nightmare screamed loudly, his anger taking over as he glared at Killer. "Well go ahead! Tell us your idea! I'd love to hear you come up with a solution!"

"What do you think I was fucking doing?!! Singing a lullaby?!!" Killer screamed back with his hands thrown up to emphasise his frustration.

 

"guys...?" Dust piped up from where he was standing in front of Vigour now. He couldn't watch his best friends go at each other's throats like that. It was just plain wrong.

Horror looked over to Dust and shook his head, a silent sign that he shouldn't get involved.

 

"I'm saying we should at least try! We won't get a result if we don't try a solution!" Killer stepped forwards towards Nightmare with a glare.

"If it fails Vigour dies! I don't know about you but I actually want him to survive!"

"And you think I don't?!"

"No! I think you're insane to try something we aren't 100% sure will work!"

"What's the point if we're waiting for a 100%?! There's always a chance of failure Nightmare!"

"Well we'll try a solution when we get a higher chance of success! But you wouldn't know about would you?!"

"What's that supposed to mean?!" Killer hollered furiously. The air growing thicker as the two skeletons fought.

No one saw how Vigour was shaking with a glare and a scowl, his hands to his sides visibly restraining himself.

 

Dust felt a shiver rip through his whole body. He hated screaming. He absolutely despise it. The screams of his victims as he cut them down echoed inside his head, making his mind fuzzy. He took a shaky step back, stumbling into Vigour accidentally.

Horror's eye sockets widened when he saw Dust's reaction.

"Killer, Nightmare. Stop." He growled lowly.

 

Both ignored Horror and Dust as they fought. Too caught up in their anger to notice how they were affecting everyone around them.

"I mean you wouldn't know when to act correctly! May I remind you that you killed everyone because you couldn't stand Chara killing everyone huh?!" a few of the winced at that statement. That was a low blow, even for Nightmare.

"Oh that's rich Nightmare!" Killer screamed out. "Don't forget you ate the all black apples because you were jealous of Dream getting all the attention!"

"That was not what happened!!!" Nightmare's tentacles sharpened with the intent to harm the skeleton in front of him. Negativity around him fueling him and making him stronger.

"Well I wouldn't know would I?! Cause you don't fucking trust us enough to tell us anything you hypocrite, little-!"

"That's ENOUGH!" a burst of pink exploded out of Vigour causing a pink aura to encase everyone, freezing them in place. Everyone stopped dead in their tracks as Vigour trembled, breathing heavily from intense fury. His eye lights smoking pink, reminding everyone of a raging fire.

 

Dust was shaking in earnest now, the screams multiplying as he stared in shock as the two fighting skeletons tried to one-up each other by saying such awful things. Everything was falling apart... A few tears dripped down his cheek bones as all he could see was dust.

Dust flinched hard when Vigour suddenly screamed right next to him. Oh stars he was mad. He shouldn't have woken him up... He froze when a pink aura wrapped around him.

Horror didn't seem bothered to be frozen at all, just glad that the screaming finally stopped. He really wanted to comfort Dust though. His eye sockets widened when he saw how pissed off Vigour looked.

Cross tilted his head slightly at the shout and looked up when he was frozen, startled to see Vigour radiating anger and Dust crying.

 

Nightmare and Killer both startled out of their anger when they heard a loud, attention demanding scream followed by a sudden bright pink aura freezing them in their place.

Nightmare looked around, the best he could do considering he couldn't even move his tentacles. He gasped internally when he saw Dust crying- frozen and Vigour standing at the doorway shaking violently looking furious. A pink smoky fire in his eyes as he glared at everyone in the room. Well, now he knew where the aura was coming from.

Killer looked at Vigour, internally fearing that furious look on his face. Stars, he had never expected to see Vigour angry. It had never crossed his mind. His Soul pulsed in guilt when he saw the distraught look on Dust's frozen face. It came to him suddenly when he realized that their fighting had caused his friend to be upset.

Vigour looked between everyone, too angry to notice that everyone was frozen out of their will.

"You. Are. Assholes! You know that?!" he screamed loudly. His rare anger taking over his entire Soul, unknowingly fueling the pink aura.

"I understand that you want to help! I do! But fucking arguing about it?! Where in that empty skull of yours did you get an idea that that would help?!" he pointed to his own skull to emphasise his words. "Helping is fine but I didn't ask for your help! I never asked you to help me with whatever this fucking thing is! I can handle things on my own! And your 'help' lead you all to fight with each other about something that isn't even worth it! Was it worth it?! Well congratu-fucking-lations! You've managed to fight with each other instead of helping! In the process hurting the ones you care about! Give yourself a pat on the back for your efforts! What a nice job you did!" Vigour said sarcastically.

 

Dust shut his eye sockets tightly, wanting to hide from the stares as more tears rolled down his cheek bones, leaving a wet spot on his shirt. He was breathing heavily, only the dying screams of his victims and all that dust in his mind.

Horror flinched. Vigour's screaming wasn't helping Dust at all but he was right. They had wasted time arguing when they could have talked it out like normal monsters.

Cross winced slightly. They really weren't helping...

 

Killer looked like he was struck at Vigour's words, staring at the latter with wide eyes. He didn't mean to. He was just- He had- He was trying to help. He looked down with tears in his eyes. Clearly he wasn't helping as much as he wanted.

Nightmare looked away by turning his gaze somewhere else. As much as he hated it, Vigour was right. They weren't helping anyone. They were just making things worse. Nightmare flinched internally when he recalled what he had yelled at Killer. He was such a bastard.

Vigour looked at their faces with a scowl and a glare. "Good! Finally some sense in your hard ass skulls! Maybe next time you should ask-!"

He stopped suddenly when he heard Dust sniff sadly beside him. He looked at the skeleton, jumping when he saw the distressed look on his face. Shit. He hadn't meant to make Dust cry....

He blinked, something wet trailing down his cheeks. He slowly raised a hand and touched his cheek, pulling the hand away and seeing it wet with tears. He blinked again, sending more tears down.

'Shit.' his mind supplied, taking a shaky step back as his throat constricted painfully and tears starting to fall down his face. The full force of the negativity around him hitting him hard, the pink aura around everyone vanished. 'Shit shit shit what did I do? Stop crying. Stop crying! You're not weak dammit! Stop crying!'

He couldn't stand and wait for everyone to yell at him for crossing the line and ran out the kitchen, not turning back to see if anyone was following him.

 

As soon as the aura holding him up was gone, Dust sunk to the ground, sobbing as he covered his face with his hands. He was a cold-blooded murderer. He was no better than Chara.

Horror frowned when he saw Vigour start to cry. As soon as the aura holding him in place was gone, he quickly went over to Dust who seemed to be panicking.

Cross leapt up as soon as he could, worried about Dust and Vigour. He saw that Horror was already heading to Dust so he quickly sprinted after Vigour.

 

Killer gasped silently when he saw Vigour crying suddenly after screaming at them, the latter looking so distraught and internally fighting with himself. His eyes followed Vigour as he ran, the aura faded causing him to drop to his knees when they were limp in shock. He stared at the ground with his own tears falling. What had he done?

Nightmare stumbled when the aura disappeared. He saw Cross going after Vigour and stopped him by wrapping his middle with a tentacle and pulling him back. He looked to where Vigour ran off sadly. He felt extremely guilty for what he did. He also felt Vigour's negative emotions- Guilt, Fear, and Sadness. He wondered what could have caused that.

 

Cross let out a small yelp as he was suddenly yanked back by a tentacle. He looked over his shoulder, seeing Nightmare stare after Vigour. He knew struggling wouldn't help so he stayed as limp as he could as he was suspended in mid-air.

Horror kneeled down in front of Dust who was still crying and panicking.

"Dust?" Horror asked gently, trying not to startle the smaller skeleton.

"Dust, can you hear me?" He asked softly.

Dust whimpered quietly, looking up with empty eye sockets, tears dripping down his face.

 

Killer cried silently as he stared at the ground, tears dripping down his face and dripping onto the floor with light 'tap's. Guilt eating at his Soul as he recalled his actions and words. He covered his mouth as he sobbed. Why had he said that? He hadn't meant to. He hadn't meant it. He had just been so angry. Vigour was right. He was an idiot.

"I'm sorry." he whispered softly.

Nightmare turned to look at Killer, seeing the latter cry in distraught and guilt building up in his Soul. He sighed and looked down. "I'm sorry too."

"I didn't mean it." Killer said towards Nightmare sobbing. "I swear I didn't mean it."

"Neither did I." Nightmare agreed softly, his voice tinged with guilt and sadness. "I'm sorry. Vigour was right. We-. We shouldn't have fought."

 

Cross pinched the tentacle that was holding him up, getting a bit sick of being off the ground. He was glad that the two were apologising to each other but he would really like to be let go. Then he could maybe help some.

Horror continued talking to Dust steadily, the shorter skeleton's eye lights slowly reappearing and growing more and more focused.

Dust gasped when he recognised Horror and quickly hugged him tightly, still crying slightly.

 

Nightmare slowly lowered Cross to the ground, looking down sadly. "Cross, I'm sorry too."

Killer sniffed softly and looked up at the younger. He had yelled at Cross earlier too. Before Vigour had come in. He had said bad things to Cross because he'd been mad. "I'm sorry too."

 

"Yeah. Me too." Cross apologised. Although he hadn't insulted anybody he had still participated in the fight. That was enough of a reason to apologise.

"Sorry..." Horror said, hugging Dust tightly. The small skeleton was still sniffling slightly but at least his mind wasn't stuck in that dark place anymore.

 

"We- we should get Vigour." Killer said starting to stand up but Nightmare stopped him from going after the skeleton.

"No." Nightmare said softly. "Let him calm down for a moment. This fight affected everyone. We'll find him later Killer, I promise.

Killer frowned at Nightmare's words but nodded in understanding. He was right. They had a lot of things to do. They could find Vigour later.

 

Cross walked over to Killer and Nightmare and gave them both a hug. He felt that they might need it. He did too.

"You okay?" Horror asked Dust gently. The shorter skeleton nodded slightly.

"sorry for zoning out like that..." Dust mumbled, sounding guilty as he looked to the floor. He had been getting better... and now all of that progress...

 

Nightmare and Killer froze when Cross embraced them but relaxed and hugged back hesitantly before hugging him at their earnest. They had to admit, a hug did made them feel slightly better. After what they had done... they were just glad Cross forgave them and accepted their apology.

"We're really sorry." Killer mumbled into Cross shoulder. Nightmare nodded in agreement before he turned towards Dust and Horror. "We're sorry too. We didn't mean to fight."

 

"It's okay. Next time we should spar instead of going at each other's throats like that." Cross replied, smiling slightly.

"it's fine..." Dust mumbled quietly, wiping his cheek bones to get rid of the tear tracks. Horror nodded in agreement.

 

Killer couldn't help but laugh at Cross' words. His low mood cheering up slightly as he wiped away the reminiscent of his tears. "Yeah. At least broken bones can be fixed instead of a broken heart."

Nightmare chuckled slightly. "You make it sound like a romantic relationship." he joked causing Killer to fake gag.

"Gross. No thanks. I'm quite fine with us being a family." Killer said with a small nervous smile. Nightmare nodded in agreement.

"Me too."

 

"Yeah." Cross agreed, hugging Killer a bit tighter. They were his family.

"You are the best family I could have wished for..." He added, smiling up at them before looking over to Horror and Dust. He held out a hand, inviting them to a group hug.

Dust nodded and stood up shakily. Horror helped him steady himself and together they hugged Cross and Killer.

"you coming?" Dust asked Nightmare, holding a hand out.

 

Killer hugged back with a small nuzzle, both of relief and joy. He was happy he was a part of this family.

Nightmare looked at the offered hand before sighing and smiling softly. "Sure." he said, taking the hand and let himself be pulled into the group hug.

 

Cross chuckled softly when he was nuzzled.

Dust's smile brightened when Nightmare took him up on the offer and he cuddled the taller skeleton close, sighing in relief. He felt much better already.

 

Everyone cuddled for a moment before pulling away hesitantly.

Killer cleared his throat awkwardly. "So, who's getting Vigour?"

"Right. We still need to apologize to him." Nightmare agreed. That look on Vigour's face was something he was both fascinated and slightly scared of. What had that freezing thing been he'd done? Had he always been able to do that or....

Nightmare pushed down his thoughts. Best think about this another time.

 

"i'll do it." Dust offered. He was probably the only one Vigour wasn't mad at.

 

Nightmare nodded. "Alright. Go ahead. We'll stay here."

Vigour might need someone right now. He hoped Vigour was okay where ever he was.

 

Dust nodded and went to the door, wondering how he would be able to find Vigour in the gigantic castle. He walked down the hallway, going until he came to a crossroads. How to proceed...?

 

"I guess, we should start looking?" Killer suggested.

"Everyone take a section. I'll go outside to check." Nightmare said.

 

"Sure." Cross called, running after Dust to inform him of the plan.

Horror nodded and teleported to a section further away from the others, starting to search for Vigour.

"Vigour?" He called, hoping the other would answer if he heard him.

 

Meanwhile, after he'd ran away, Vigour had found a large room that appeared to be some sort of training room. He closed the doors and walked towards the benches, wiping away his tears silently. He sat down, immediately curling up on the bench and cried.

He hated himself. He had screamed at everyone because he'd been tired. Maybe a little mad because they were trying to help something he was supposed to handle. No one should be dragged into his mess. They'd just get hurt and he didn't want that. He wanted to help people not make it worse.

And now he had just made everyone hate him because he had yelled at them. What in the world had he been thinking? He barely knew these skeletons and he thought he had the right to scream at them and point out their wrongdoings?? What kind of monster was he?

He was just so... tired. He wanted to lie down and sleep forever. And he even wasn't able to do that.

 

After a while of searching, Horror got to the training room. Even though it was highly unlikely that Vigour was inside, he opened the door.

 

Vigour didn't know how long how long he had been sitting there crying, all he knew that it was long enough for his tears to dry and his emotions to be drained. Now he was just blankly staring at the mat covered floor over his legs.

He heard the door open and didn't react. He didn't have the energy to react or feel anything right now. If one of the gang was here to yell at him, he'd let them. He deserved it.

 

Horror's eye sockets widened when he saw how numb Vigour looked. He was staring off into space, no emotions to be found anywhere.

"Vigour?" Horror asked, kneeling down in front of the other to be in his field of view.

 

Vigour's eyes flicked over to Horror blankly, seeing that look on his face but not registering the emotion. He tried to will himself to feel, to react or do something. He could feel himself trying to tear up, to cry and apologize to Horror, to do something. But he couldn't feel anything. Only a small twinge of pain in his Soul.

He looked back down after a moment, not meeting Horror's face. He couldn't bring himself to gain the energy to act.

 

"Are you okay?" Horror asked, getting more and more concerned about Vigour.

"What's wrong?" He asked worriedly.

 

Vigour shrugged slightly, not having the energy to do anything else. He didn't know what was wrong. He was just tired.

 

"Do you need a hug?" Horror asked Vigour gently. He felt worry coil in his soul. The other seemed to be blocking his emotions. He looked so tired...

 

Vigour shrugged again. He could hardly care anymore.

 

Horror hugged Vigour gently, rubbing his back soothingly.

"It's okay to feel emotions." He reminded the other skeleton. Some of them frequently forgot that fact.

 

Vigour didn't respond and put his skull to Horror's fluffy hoodie. He blinked lazily, still not able to feel. Internally he was talking.

'I know.' he thought. 'But I can't.'

 

"We're all really sorry for fighting like that. It didn't help the problem and upset Dust and probably you too. I'm sorry." Horror explained, apologising earnestly. He kept hugging the shorter skeleton even though he didn't think it was helping very much.

 

Vigour didn't react except snuggling into the warmth the larger skeleton provided. He couldn't.

He exhaled shakily, his shoulders trembling. His Soul wanting to feel something. To feel anything. But it was numb. It wanted to feel something.

 

Horror sighed, seeing that his approach wasn't working. Vigour was cuddling into him but he was shivering.

"Do you need anything?" Horror asked gently, not wanting to startle or upset the other. Maybe that weird freeze attack had drained a lot of Vigour's magic... He checked the other, hoping that his HP hadn't dropped, so concerned that he forgot to ask before doing so.

 

Ink!Tale Sans (Vigour)

LV : 1

HP : 500/500

EXP : 0

ATK : 20

DEF : 5

*Is tired

'I don't know. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for yelling. I'm sorry for whatever I did. I'm sorry'

Vigour felt himself be checked but didn't put any effort to stop Horror.

 

Horror flinched slightly, holding Vigour closer.

"Don't apologise. If you wouldn't have yelled, Killer and Nightmare would've hurt each other. Your yelling helped while ours didn't at all." He explained, rubbing Vigour's spine gently.

 

Vigour trembled, his Soul talking every bit of comfort and emotion coming from Horror. His Soul trying to take back whatever emotion it had lost. To feel again. The good thing about being so emotionally sensitive.

He snuggled slightly.

'Still bad. I shouldn't have yelled' he thought.

"'m s'rry." he mumbled quietly, his energy slowly returning with his emotions. But still feeling mostly empty.

 

"It's okay." Horror responded quietly, rubbing Vigour's skull gently. He shifted slightly to be more comfortable and pulled the shorter skeleton onto his lap, hugging him tightly.

 

Vigour was limp in Horror's arms, too tired to react but he managed to bury his face into Horror's fluffy hoodie.

He closed his eyes as his Soul slowly hummed back to life from its emotionless state. His bones felt like they were filled with lead and his mind and Soul felt drained. He felt drained.

"tired..." he mumbled quietly into Horror's jacket.

 

Horror held the other a bit closer, petting his skull gently.

"You should sleep." Horror suggested quietly. He leaned against the bench Vigour had been sitting on previously, pulling the shorter's limp body with him.

 

"c'n't..." he mumbled a soft protest. He knew it wouldn't work. He'd tried earlier before Dust had woken him up. He'd tried it before he came into this Multiverse. It had never worked. "w'n't.... w'rk"

 

"What won't work? Sleeping?" Horror pried gently. He petted the top of Vigour's skull gently, trying to help him relax a bit.

 

Vigour hummed in affirmation with a short nod, relaxing slightly when Horror petted his skull.

"n't that t'pe 'f tired." He mumbled, his eyes growing heavy but inevitably couldn't sleep. He was exhausted. But it was not something sleep would fix.

 

"Okay." Horror hummed, trying to think of another solution. Emotional exhaustion then...

"What do you like to do, Vigour?" Horror asked. He was sure he already knew what Vigour would say.

 

Vigour tried to think of something but he came up blank. Especially with his exhausted self.

"Don't know." he answered, this time his voice didn't sound as flat or as emotionless as it had been before. But still sounding tired.

 

Horror counted that bit of emotion in Vigour's voice as a win.

"You like drawing, right." Horror stated more than asked as he rubbed the other's back gently.

"What's your favourite thing to draw?" He asked.

 

Vigour thought for a moment, his Soul slowly regaining its steady hum from being so close to Horror's Soul. Unconsciously using Horror's emotions to regain his own- it didn't hurt Horror. In fact only Vigour could feel it and he was grateful for it even if he didn't know it.

"Anything." he answered softly. "But my favorite is stars and galaxy art." he smiled as he recalled the multiple paintings he had added in a galaxy style one way or another.

"They're fun." he said with a small smile.

 

"That's cool." Horror replied calmly. He liked the stars too. Probably every Sans alternate liked them.

"I like the stars too. They're very nice. Relaxing." He added.

 

Vigour nodded in agreement. "Yeah. They're pretty cool."

"I always get star-struck whenever I see them." he grinned weakly at the pun, chuckling softly which sounded more like a huff or rapid exhalation.

 

Horror chuckled softly.

"I especially like comets. My excitement always shoots up when I see those stars." He replied with a small laugh.

 

Vigour chuckled. "Actually, a comet is an ice rock that flies through space." he raised his hand to help explain, a habit when he got excited. Others said he was really animated.

"See, the tail is a reaction when the ice or bits of the comet are eroded by solar wind all around space. Fun fact; did you know that the colour of the comet's tail can help identity what material the comet is made out of? Like a blue tail means the comet is made out of Magnesium."

 

Horror listened to Vigour explain, his eye lights glowing brightly. He was really happy that Vigour was talking again.

"Wow." He mumbled, clearly awed.

 

Vigour smiled wider, his Soul now glowing its normal soft glow as his emotions returned.

 

"Fascinating right?" he smiled up at Horror excitedly, genuinely. "There's also not much different between Asteroids, Comets and Meteors except their positions in space. They're all rocks but a little different. An Asteroid is rocks floating in space. They turn into Meteors when they hit the atmosphere while Comets are just flying rocks in space with that signature tail."

 

"It is fascinating." Horror agreed, happily taking in the information about space. It was amazing how much Vigour knew about space.

"You sure know a lot." He murmured as he listened to the other.

 

Vigour smiled shyly. "Y-yeah. I-I'm really interested in stars. They're my favorite."

 

Horror smiled.

"Understandable." He replied with a smile.

 

"Yeah." Vigour smiled sadly. "I... I miss them. I miss the stars. I miss my friends. I miss.... I miss being free. Having free will."

Vigour buried his face into Horror's jacket again, fighting back tears. He was too tired for this. "I want to be free again. I want to be able to choose what I want again. But that's not gonna happen here, is it?"

 

Horror rubbed his skull gently.

"We just need to find a way to free you from Fate's strings." Horror murmured quietly as he held the other skeleton close.

 

"It's not just Fate." Vigour said shaking his skull sadly. "It's everyone. It's why I was so mad when you were arguing. You were fighting about me. About how to free me from whatever Fate did to me. It's like... you were taking my free will in your hands. And I'm not allowed to do anything for myself. You were making me feel like... like I was stuck in your strings."

 

Horror's eye sockets widened. He hadn't thought about it that way. Had they really done that...? How were they any better than Fate... Tears pricked at the corners of his eye sockets. They were horrible...

 

Vigour exhaled shakily, trying to reign his own emotions thus not noticing Horror's emotions. He didn't notice the tears in Horror's eyes, not with his face in the larger's hoodie.

"It's wrong to think that way, I know. But I just-. It made me feel like I don't have control over myself. First Fate. Then you. Hell, I can't even control myself cause I'm too caught up in trying to make everyone happy." he frowned at himself. He hated that part of him. He hated how useless he felt and how helpless he felt whenever people were only trying to help. They were trying to help. And he had yelled at them.

He sighed. "Sorry. It was wrong for me to think that way. I shouldn't have gotten mad in the first place."

 

Horror's breathing hitched slightly as tears slid down his cheek bones. What had they done...?

"No. I'm sorry. We're sorry." Horror cut in, his voice shaky.

 

"It's fine." Vigour said softly, trying to comfort Horror. He hadn't meant to make Horror upset. Maybe he shouldn't have said anything. He had known it would make them upset. He hadn't wanted that. It was his fault for thinking that way.

"You were only trying to help. That's a lot more than some people would do." Vigour consoled softly, patting Horror's arm as he looked up at the larger skeleton. "I'm sorry for making you upset. I shouldn't have said anything."

 

"Thanks. It's okay." He replied, wiping his cheek bones.

"We'll try not to do it again." He promised, sighing shakily.

"Just tell us what we can do to help." He suggested. That would help a lot more than blindly screaming at each other.

 

"I don't know." Vigour admitted softly. "Maybe, just let me do my own things. And don't fight? I don't like fighting. It usually doesn't end well."

 

"We'll try." Horror replied, not promising anything. He knew they were going to fight over one thing or another. They were living together after all.

 

Vigour nodded at his words, thankful know they would try.

He suddenly had an idea. He needed a friend and a calm place to relax. And he knew where and who.

He looked up at Horror pleadingly. "I need some time alone please? Can- can you open a portal to HavenTale? Please?"

 

"I need to ask Nightmare first." Horror responded, sitting up. Speaking of that he should probably tell the others that he had found Vigour. They were most likely worried.

 

Vigour nodded in understanding and stood up too, intending to follow Horror. He rubbed his arm nervously and looked away. Talking to Nightmare would mean facing everyone. Was he ready to do that? They might not share the same sentiments as Horror.

 

Horror stood up and stretched slightly, pulling out his phone. He called Nightmare and put him on speaker.

 

Nightmare answered after the second ring, rarely ignoring any of his gang's call and spoke loudly through the speakers. "Horror? You found him?" he asked urgently, going straight to the point.

Vigour flinched at the tone. He had worried Nightmare, hadn't he?

 

"Yeah. I did. Vigour was kind of out of it and apologised for shouting. He wants to go to an AU." Horror explained quickly, placing a reassuring hand on the shorter skeleton's shoulder.

 

Vigour gave Horror a small grateful smile.

"An AU?" Nightmare said, already wanting to protest before he recalled Vigour's tears. He sighed softly in defeat. Vigour could use a place to wind down. Clearly the hideout wasn't a perfect place for him to do that. "Which AU?"

 

"Haventale. Real peaceful. Never want to go there in my life." Horror explained, frowning slightly. The residents of that AU were almost always happy. Something was definitely wrong there.

 

Both Vigour and Nightmare chuckled out a laugh at his words. Vigour should have known that would be his response. HavenTale was really peaceful.

Nightmare hummed softly. "Alright. Go ahead. Stay safe." Nightmare warned sternly. Implying if they wouldn't be careful he'd do something worse.

 

"Sure." Horror replied, opening a portal to Haventale. The portal showed the alleyway next to Grillby's though instead of being dark, there were fairy lights everywhere.

 

Vigour nodded thankfully at Horror and approached the portal. He paused before stepping inside, turning around and gave Horror a quick hug.

"Thank you." he said into Horror's hoodie before pulling away and jumping through the portal.

 

Horror waved, freezing slightly when Vigour hugged him suddenly. He petted his head gently, smiling slightly as he hugged back for a moment.

"You're welcome." Horror replied, not really knowing what the shorter skeleton was thanking him for. He watched Vigour leave. He was going to be okay.

Horror should head back to the others now...

Chapter Text

Vigour landed on the snow covered ground safely. He stood up, looking at the familiar AU in front of him. He took a deep breath, smiling happily when he found that he could breathe easily for once. There was no constricting feeling in his Soul anymore. He smiled, this AU was the perfect place for him to relax and wind down. Especially after such long, long weeks. The portal closed behind him as he walked.

He waved at a few passerby and searched for Haven's house. He could really use some time with Haven. This place was peaceful.

He spotted Haven's house and knocked twice on the door, smiling excitedly yet anxiously. He wondered if Haven would recognize him.

 

Haven looked up from where he had been sitting on the couch and sleepily rubbed his eye sockets, walking over to the door. He opened it and was delighted to see Vigour stand there. He hugged the other tightly.

"hi." He greeted happily.

 

Vigour felt his breath knocked out of him and chuckled, rubbing Haven's skull with a large smile.

"Hey Haven. Did you mist me?" he grinned slightly at the pun, still hugging the other tightly.

 

"i did." Haven replied with a chuckle.

"it's so ice to see you!" He added, smiling brightly. He whipped out a flower crown and put it onto Vigour's head. Welcome present.

 

Vigour chuckled joyfully when Haven gave him a flower crown, his hand going up to touch the delicate flowers.

"Aw, if I had known we'd be giving presents I might've brought you something." he smiled down at Haven, his eyes shining brightly. Not an hour in this AU and he was already feeling better.

 

Haven laughed.

"i'm glad you like it." He replied with a bright smile. The colours of the flowers really fitted to his eye lights.

 

Vigour smiled happily down at Haven. He had missed this. This easy feeling that came with hanging out with a friend. And Haven was his best friend.

"So, you wanna let me in or are we gonna stand here and play knock knock jokes all day?" he winked at Haven playfully.

 

"knock knock jokes sound great!" Haven exclaimed happily but he stepped inside to let the other in.

"but i guess we can do them inside too." He added with a big smile.

 

Vigour chuckled and walked inside, waiting until Haven closed the door before he embraced him tightly.

"I missed you so much." he said with a large smile but tears began falling down his face. He'd had a tough week. He really needed a friend like Haven right now.

 

"vigour? what's wrong?" Haven asked worriedly when he saw that Vigour was crying. Had somebody hurt his friend? If they did, Haven would have to lay down his pacifism.

 

Vigour sniffed slightly but smiled, chuckling softly in relief. "Nothing. Just... had a rough couple of weeks."

 

"it's okay now." Haven murmured, rubbing Vigour's back gently.

"i'm sure everything's gonna be okay..." He added quietly, hugging the taller skeleton tightly.

 

Vigour's breath hitched every so often but he nodded with a smile.

"You're right." he said, wiping away his tears. "You're right. It's just... been very hard lately. I just want someplace quiet and calm to rest."

 

"do you want to watch a movie?" Haven asked gently.

 

Vigour nodded shakily with a small smile. "A movie sounds nice." he agreed softly.

 

"okay. you go sit on the couch and pick out a movie from the closet next to it. leave everything else to me." Haven explained with a bright smile before zooming off with a lot more energy than he should actually have.

 

Vigour smiled with a nod, chuckling joyously when he saw Haven ran off seemingly full of energy. He walked over to the couch and looked over at the closet. He scanned the set of movies before his eyes widened at one of them.

He shakily reached out and pulled out a small hard cover cd disk, holding it in front of him with wide unbelieving eyes. It was his favorite movie. The one where he was able to watch with his brother once.

Echo. A nice simple movie with amazing music, beautiful animations and simple dialogue. It's a story about a boy finding a small key that helped him open doors to other places like the ocean- miraculously he could breathe in it- the forest and space, walking among the stars trying to find his lost father.

 

Haven hummed to himself as he got some snacks ready and carried them into the living room. He had popcorn, chips, tortilla chips, more chips and... some more chips.

 

Vigour was too caught up in memory lane that he didn't notice Haven return.

 

Haven set the snacks down and poked Vigour's shoulder gently.

"vigour?" He asked softly.

 

Vigour snapped out of his haze and looked at Haven. "What? O-oh! Yeah."

He stood up and placed the cd in the player before sitting back onto the couch. He waited for the movie to start, playing with his hands nervously. "I... hope you don't mind the movie I picked."

 

Haven's eye sockets widened in recognition when he saw the title.

"that movie is awesome." He stage-whispered, smiling happily.

 

Vigour let out a relieved sigh. "I'm glad you like it."

They sat back and watched the movie in silence, occasionally eating snacks and laughing at a funny scene in the movie. Vigour's tense shoulders relaxed at the calm atmosphere. This is what he needed. If only he could do it with....

"Ah shit!" Vigour exclaimed suddenly, sitting up straight. "I forgot about Ink!"

 

Haven winced slightly when Vigour suddenly shouted.

"do you need to call him? i got his phone number." Haven offered.

 

"Y-yeah, yeah please do that. So sorry! I'm so sorry! I just- oh stars I forgot how Ink would react after what happened!" Vigour ranted in worry. Last time he'd saw Ink he'd run in front of his brush before being knocked out. Who knew what Ink was thinking right now!

 

"it's okay." Haven tried calming the other down. He put the movie on pause and got out his multiverse phone.

"you need to calm down. you can't talk to ink like that." He explained.

 

Vigour took a few deep breaths to calm himself and nodded. "You're right. I'll just worry him more. I'm sorry."

 

"it's fine. you ready to call him?" Haven asked.

 

"Yeah, I can." Vigour said and took the phone that Haven handed to him.

He put the phone to his skull and waited for Ink to answer.

 

Haven stood next to Vigour, wanting to know what this was about.

 

When Ink picked up he sounded so empty and drained it made Vigour wince.

"Uh... hey Ink." he said, immediately pulling the phone away from his ear when Ink screamed before the line went dead. He stared at the phone with an open mouth. "Uh....."

 

Haven winced at the loud scream.

Ink jumped through a portal and was hugging Vigour tightly before any of them knew what was happening. He was sobbing and apologising profusely, tears dripping down his face.

 

"Gyah!" Vigour exclaimed in surprise, flailing his arms slightly when Ink hugged him tightly, threatening to squeeze the air out of him. He looked down and his eyes widened when he saw Ink sobbing. Shit. He hadn't meant to make Ink this upset.

"Whoa, hey, Ink. What's wrong?" Vigour asked softly, gently rubbing Ink's back and skull.

 

"I-I hu-hurt you and.. and I'm so s-sorry!" Ink sobbed, clinging to Vigour tightly. He had hurt his friend. He didn't deserve friends. He was so horrible!

 

"I-Ink. Ink...." Vigour sighed softly before he gently wrapped his arms around Ink's skull from his position on the couch. He rubbed Ink's skull soothingly, trying to calm the distraught Creator.

"Ink, I'm fine. It was an accident. I'm not hurt anymore. See?" Vigour gave Ink a small smile showing that he was physically fine.

 

"B-but I hurt you.... I don't deserve you as a friend." Ink whimpered quietly.

Haven perked up slightly. Friend... If Ink had a friend then... He stood up and hugged Ink, putting a flower crown onto his skull.

 

Vigour chuckled softly when Haven gave Ink a flower crown and pulled out his brush, painting his own flower crown on Ink's skull using rainbow paint.

"It's alright." he said soothingly as he painted. "You didn't mean to. It was an accident. Friends forgive each other. And I forgive you."

 

Ink smiled weakly, sniffling slightly.

"You do...?" Ink asked quietly, feeling a bit better, sandwiched between the two other skeletons.

 

Vigour nodded with a gentle smile, using his thumb to wipe away Ink's tears. "I do. I forgive you Ink. And I'm still your friend, if you'll have me as one."

 

"Thank you." Ink thanked him, hugging him close.

"Of course I will." He replied, burying his face in Vigour's shirt.

 

Vigour smiled softly and rubbed his flower crown covered skull. "Then don't feel bad. It was an accident, okay? Don't beat yourself up."

 

"I'll try..." Ink replied. He'd definitely try but he wasn't sure whether he could just disregard the fact that he had hurt Vigour.

"vigour's right. i'm sure it was just an accident." Haven piped up.

 

Vigour nodded with a satisfied look. "Besides, I'm fine now. I'm not dust or in a coma right? I'd count that as a win." he grinned, trying to ease the situation.

"C'mon, we were just watching a movie. Wanna join?" Vigour offered his double with a smile.

 

Ink nodded slightly.

"I'd like that..." Ink responded.

"do we need some blanke-?" Haven went to ask but cut himself off before he managed to ask. The answer was crystal clear.

"i'll go get some blankets." He announced and teleported away for a few seconds, returning with a big, fluffy blanket that was big enough for all three of them.

 

Vigour chuckled when Haven left to grab a blanket for all of them. He gently helped Ink onto his feet before settling him down onto the couch beside him, right at the middle.

When Haven returned, Vigour smiled wide. That was one big and fluffy blanket. "Nice. Come and join us before we start the movie."

 

Haven smiled brightly and sat down next to Ink, throwing the blanket over all of them with a small giggle.

"here you go. fluff for everyone." He giggled.

Ink smiled slightly when he felt how fluffy the blanket was and pulled it up to his chin.

 

Vigour laughed as he was covered by the soft blanket. The soft material covering his skull and entire body in warmth. The touch was so soft, he was touching something akin to a cloud.

"Fluff forever!!!" he exclaimed playfully.

 

"yay!" Haven agreed, only his skull poking out of the blanket. Ink chuckled slightly.

 

Vigour wrestled out of the blanket monster so that his skull was poking out. He smiled at them and picked up the remote to restart the movie. He leaned back, snuggling into the warmth blissfully. He could get used to this. Peaceful friend hangout.

 

Ink snuggled into the blanket, relieved that Vigour had forgiven him. He was really happy that he was still his friend.

Haven smiled. Maybe he could now start to try to be Ink's friend. He had wanted to do that for a long time but now he had a chance.

Chapter Text

Ink's eye lights darted around nervously as he followed Vigour. They were in Snowdin. There was snow. Snow was white. White was bad...

Ink shook his skull slightly, trying to shake off those thoughts. He was being completely irrational... He moved slightly towards Vigour anyways, suppressing a nervous sound.

 

Vigour turned to face Ink when he felt the other move closer. They were trying to get Ink used to snow and the colour white. But clearly this needed to be taken slow. Ink shouldn't push himself if he couldn't handle it.

"You doing okay?" Vigour asked gently. "We can stop anytime Ink. Just say the word."

 

"N-no. I'm fine..." Ink stammered quietly, hoping that Vigour wouldn't notice how weak his voice sounded. He wanted to do this. He really did but he was so damn scared and he was shivering, stars no...

 

Vigour saw how scared Ink sounded and stopped walking. He gently took Ink's hand to help the other ground himself.

"I kinda like the colour of the sky." Vigour said softly staring at the lavender sky. "It's unique. It's really calm too. A perfect colour for this pacifist AU, don't you think?"

 

Ink stopped next to Vigour. Had the other noticed...? He relaxed slightly when he took his hand.

Ink's eye lights darted up hopefully in the prospect of a colour. Wow. That purple looked nice...

"It's really nice..." Ink breathed out, staring upwards.

 

Vigour smiled and waited for Ink to relax before speaking softly. "Don't push yourself Ink. This is supposed to help, not make it worse. I can't let you push yourself. Take things at your own pace, okay?"

Vigour gave Ink a soft reassuring smile, trying to show support to his friend.

 

Ink looked at Vigour, exhaling shakily. He was right. He shouldn't force it. He'd only have a panic attack and that'd help nobody.

"I feel okay now..." He replied, looking at a snow-covered tree. He could see a bit if green peeking through the white...

 

Vigour nodded and looked around, trying to find something that could help Ink.

He looked at the snow and smiled, kneeling down slightly and looking up at Ink.

"Did you know you can create using snow?" he asked.

 

Ink watched Vigour curiously, raising a brow ridge doubtfully when he heard the other say that.

"How could I ever create something with... snow?" Ink asked, seeming pretty doubtful.

 

"Well," Vigour started with a smirk before falling backwards onto the snow and moving his limbs up and down. "You can create a snow angel."

After a moment Vigour sat up and looked at his snow angel proudly, reaching over to trace a halo in the snow above the imprint. "It's pretty easy. You can try if you want."

 

Ink watched Vigour, looking curious.

"Don't your clothes get soaked?" Ink asked. The snow was cold and wet. He couldn't imagine that lying down in it would feel really great. But he had to admit that the snow angel looked pretty cool.

 

Vigour let out a startled laugh, still sitting on the snow. "Yeah it will. But that's the fun! Just in case though, stop when you start shivering." he winked playfully.

 

"Okay." Ink replied and let himself fall face first into the snow. He moved his arms and legs, making a snow angel. The cold burned his face slightly and he wasn't sure whether he was doing it right.

 

Vigour snickered softly when Ink fell face first into the snow. He sat in a more comfortable position and watched Ink make a snow angel with a smile.

 

Ink sat up on his knees and wiped off his face, observing his work. It was better than he had expected. He chuckled softly. He probably looked like a snow monster with all that snow on his face.

 

Vigour laughed at Ink's snow angel and the fact that Ink was now covered in snow. Ink's vials on his sash imprinted alongside Ink's body.

"Wow! That's so cool! It kinda looks like an artist angel!" he chuckled softly and leaned closer to gently brush away at the snow on Ink's clothes and face. "I'd recommend on your back next time though. You'll get hypothermia faster on your face since you're breathing in the ice."

 

Ink laughed slightly. Vigour was right.

"Oh. Okay." He agreed. His face did feel pretty cold.

"Thanks." He told Vigour, smiling.

 

Vigour smiled back and sat down, one leg bend upwards. His hand digging into the fluffy snow and this gave him an idea.

"Wanna make a snowman?" he asked brightly.

 

"A... snowman? What's that...?" Ink asked confusedly. He had no idea about anything to do with snow. He had been avoiding that whole topic for a very long time.

 

Vigour chuckled and began piling the snow into a mountain. "A snowman is like a sculpture. But made of snow. See?"

He packed the snow into a large ball, patting it down to make the snow firm. "You build the bottom, for a simple snowman it's a circle."

Vigour patted the large pile and gathered more and more snow until it became a large sphere with a flat top. "See? Patting it down will make the snow firm so that it won't crumble. You try. Go and make a slightly smaller ball for the body." Vigour said encouragingly.

 

Ink listened intently, taking in all the information.

"Okay." He agreed and stood up, abandoning his snow angel to make a small snowball. It crumpled when he tried to pick it up and he stifled a sigh. He wasn't good at anything other than drawing and creating universes...

 

Vigour chuckled and scooted closer to help the other. He gently took both of Ink's hands in his own. "Here, like this."

He gently directed Ink's hand to the snowy ground and scooped up some snow into a middle area. Once it piled into a small pile, he moved Ink's hands to gently pat the snow firmly. "See? You do this multiple times until you get the size you want. Make sure to pat the snow firmly so that it won't crumble. You can use your hands to sculpt the pile into the shape you need, which in this case is a sphere."

 

Ink watched and listened carefully, nodding. That made sense. He piled up some snow and tried to shape it into a circle but oddly it started to look like a cube instead. He patted the edges and piled up some more snow.

Ink looked at his end result. It was a pretty mishappen circle but if you tilted your head you could see it as a circle. He tried to pick it up but it was frozen to the ground. Great...

 

"Good job." Vigour brightened at Ink's sculpture. It looked amazing for a first try.

Vigour chuckled softly when Ink was having a difficult time moving the snow and reached his hands under the circle, cutting the sphere from the ground and patting it to keep it in shape. "I'll help." he said.

 

Ink smiled at the compliment.

Oh. So that was how you got it off the ground.

"Thanks." Ink thanked Vigour with a bright smile, seemingly having forgotten that snow is white.

 

Vigour nodded smiling as he gently lifted the snow up from the ground and set it on the larger sphere. He fixed both snow spheres to make sure they would stick before looking at Ink.

"Wanna help me make the head?" he offered with a knowing smile.

 

Ink's eye lights sparkled slightly. It looked so cool already.

"Yeah." He responded, smiling. He wondered whether there was anything special to do with the head.

 

Vigour nods happily. "Alright. The head's the same way. Just a smaller circle. But.... wanna help me sculp it into a skeleton head instead?" he grinned at Ink.

"After we're done we can decorate it any way we want." Vigour added to keep Ink interested. He was doing so well. He was playing with snow, something white and he was not panicking.

 

"Sounds cool." Ink responded with a wink, trying his luck with a pun.

 

Vigour brightened up and chuckled joyfully, his face full of excitement. "That was ice!"

"Come on, let's get started! Before we start to freeze that is." Vigour shivered slightly to make his point.

 

Ink laughed quietly.

"Sure." He agreed, making a small pile of snow.

 

Vigour smiled back and helped Ink create the head of the snowman. His hands digging into the cold snow to create the sphere. His bones began to shiver at the cold temperature, sending warning pulses through his Soul. He unconsciously ignored them because he was having fun.

 

Ink looked up when he noticed that Vigour was shivering. He stood up and whipped out his paintbrush, drawing a jacket that he hoped would fit Vigour.

"Here." He said as he held it out to the other skeleton.

 

Vigour blinked in surprise when Ink handed him a jacket. He reached out hesitantly and grabbed the soft material. Oddly, the touch... didn't feel wrong. It felt... right. It felt like his own.

Usually anything that wasn't his own, it didn't matter if it was clothes or a freaking pencil, they felt wrong. Like.... phantom pains shooting up his arm. The same feeling when someone touched him during an attack. But this... it didn't feel like that. It felt right. It felt like his own.

He gently took the jacket and looked down at the fluffy material, smiling slightly. "Thanks, Ink." he said and put on the jacket, relaxing into the warmth happily.

 

"No problem." Ink replied with a smile. Vigour seemed to like the jacket. That was great! He kneeled down again, laying his paintbrush next to himself and continued working on the head.

 

Vigour snuggled into the warm fur on the jacket for a moment. He loved it. A large fluffy jacket with a simple galaxy design. In his favorite shade or orange, red and black- warm colours. The brown hood had small sparkles in them blending into the design.

He stopped snuggling and began helping Ink build the head.

 

After a bit of time they had a snowman head that more or less resembled a skull. Ink cheered quietly.

"It looks great!" He exclaimed.

 

Vigour nodded in agreement. "Yeah! Let's decorate!" he said pulling out his paintbrush, visibly smaller than Ink's brush.

 

Ink nodded enthusiastically, picking up his paintbrush. He drew a green robot arm onto the side of the snowman, giggling slightly.

 

Vigour snorted slightly at the robot arm and began drawing a classic game controller with a large star background.

 

Ink drew small, colourful light orbs and put them into the eye sockets of the snowskeleton.

 

Vigour tilted his skull while poking the tip of his tongue out in thought. He looked over the snowman and perked up, painting a pair of cat ears on the snowman while fighting back a laugh.

 

Ink snickered. A cat snowskeleton with a robotarm.

He drew a mustache onto the snow creature, giggling quietly.

 

Vigour laughed when Ink drew a mustache on their snowman. He had an idea and started to paint a cute little mouth with the tongue sticking out.

Vigour grunted suddenly when he was hit with something soft and cold on the back of his head. He reached up and brushed the snow off his skull. Who...?

 

Haven chuckled softly from where he was leaning against a tree, a snowball in his hand. He grinned mischievously and threw it at Ink who looked incredibly confused.

"Wha-?" Ink started to say, wincing when he was hit by a second snowball.

 

Vigour looked at Ink with wide eyes before he followed the source and found Haven. He blinked, a flash of pink in his eyes before a mischievous grin took over his face as he scooped up some snow.

"You wanna play Haven~?" he purred lowly, standing up with his snowball. "Alright. Let's play!" he screamed and threw the snowball at Haven.

 

Haven flinched slightly when Vigour suddenly screamed and got hit by the snowball square on the face. He brushed the snow off, looking calm, then his eye lights darkened and he picked up two snowballs he had made previously and shot both of them at Vigour with a battlecry.

Ink was completely confused. He had no idea what was happening.

 

Vigour blocked the attacks with his arm, laughing joyfully and ducked behind the snowman, using their creation as a shield. He began scooping up some more ammo when he noticed Ink just staring.

"Ink!" he called with a smile. "C'mon we gotta hide and attack the enemy! He'll pelt us with vicious snow that'll chill us to the bone!"

He poked his head and shook his fist at Haven playfully. "You shall not defeat us Sir Haven! We shall win!"

 

Ink tilted his skull confusedly. Weren't they friends...?

Haven giggled at Vigour's antics and hid behind the tree, making some more snowballs. He threw one at Ink, making him move over to Vigour.

"Um... What...?" He asked as he sat down next to Vigour.

 

Vigour ducked back down and began make more snowballs with an excited grin. He heard Ink's question and turned towards his lookalike with confusion.

"You've never had a snowball fight?" he asked curious and confused, peeking up to throw two snowballs at Haven's direction before ducking back down.

 

"Not that I remember." Ink replied, glancing over at where Haven was hidden.

Haven giggled when the first snowball hit the tree and got ready to throw one of his own as he got the follow-up onto his face. He sputtered slightly, moving behind the tree again.

 

Vigour snickered when he heard Haven get hit with a snowball. He turned towards Ink and began explaining while pulling out his paintbrush and painting a few things.

"Well, snowball fights are a common winter activity where people throw balls of snow at other people. It's really fun! Especially if you're the type to roleplay while you do it!"

Vigour emphasized his point by placing a colourful crown he had made on top of Ink's skull while he strapped a wooden sword to his hips.

He picked up a snowball and peeked his head up. "You shall not take the kingdom Sir Haven! I, Sir Vigour, Knight of Light- snrk!- who serves under King Ink shall defeat you!" he threw a snowball at Haven after that.

 

Ink nodded, looking up when the crown was placed on his skull and immediately slipped down a little because his skull was really small.

Haven was giggling hysterically as he got hit by a snowball. He quickly dove for cover.

"I shan't lose! I will defeat you, Sir Vigour!" Haven shouted back, making a big snowball.

 

Vigour laughed and gathered more snowballs into a large pile. "I shall not let my king and kingdom down!!!"

He began throwing the snowballs rapidly at Haven, laughing all the while.

 

Haven chuckled, staying behind the tree. He made some ammo and climbed onto a branch of the tree, throwing down snowballs from the higher vantage point to hit the two others better.

Ink made a snowball and added it to the pile, knowing that his aim was way too bad to be helpful.

 

Vigour screamed playfully when they were attacked from above. He blocked the attacks with his arm, laughing all the way. "No! They are using the trees to their advantage my king! What shall we do?"

 

"Aim there!" Ink replied, pointing at a branch above Haven which was loaded with snow. Hitting it would send all the snow crashing onto Haven.

Haven threw another few snowballs, giggling.

 

Vigour looked up and nodded. "Got it!"

He grabbed a new snowball, making sure to pack it tight for maximum damage and threw at the branch. It hit dead on sending the snow to crashing down onto the giggling skeleton.

 

Haven yelped when a heap of snow fell on top of him, knocking him out of the tree. He only fell a few feet and landed in a pile of snow, starting to giggle slightly.

"Oh my stars!" Ink shouted shockedly.

 

Vigour winced at the fall and poked his head up to look at the pile of snow. "You okay there Haven?" he yelled.

 

Haven gave a thumbs up, shouting a muffled "i'm okay!". He sat up, shaking the snow off his jacket.

Ink let out a sigh of relief when Haven told them he was okay.

 

"Alright!" Vigour yelled in response and ducked back down. His face brightened with an idea and he began painting something in the snow.

 

Ink looked at what Vigour was panting curiously, leaning over a bit to see better.

Haven rolled down the snow pile and stood up, dashing behind the tree. He chuckled quietly when he saw the giant snow pile. He gathered as much snow as he could and started working on a wall.

 

After a few minutes, Vigour let out a triumphed yell. He peeked over the snowman at Haven. "Hey Sir Haven! You know what's amazing about King Ink's Kingdom?" he yelled.

 

Haven peeked out from behind his enormous snowwall curiously.

"No idea." Haven replied, leaning onto his sturdy wall.

 

"Well," Vigour drawled and jumped out from his snowman holding a large futuristic gun like machine that had a large hose stuck to the ground. "Here nothing is limited but your imagination!"

He turned the gun on and a barrage of snowballs shot out of the gun as Vigour directed it to rain above Haven, laughing 'evilly'.

 

Ink chuckled softly as Vigour used the snow gun, not at all bothered by the whiteness of the snow.

Haven's eye sockets widened, his eye lights shrinking to tiny pinpricks.

"oh hell no!!!" He exclaimed loudly, turning around and fleeing, his whole body covered in snow.

 

Vigour laughed hysterically as he showered Haven with snowballs. He handed the gun to Ink. "Cover for me my king! I shall defeat the enemy for this kingdom!"

 

Ink took the snow gun and pointed it at Haven with a smirk.

Haven yelped as he was hit by a wall of snow and went to the ground, sputtering to get the snow out if his mouth.

 

Vigour chuckled evilly and began stalking towards Haven sneakily. He had an idea to win this war.

Once he was close he tackled Haven to the snow laughing like an idiot as he pinned Haven on his back with his arms above him.

"Gotcha!" he said smiling, panting slightly.

 

Haven giggled as he was pinned, cheek bones flushed slightly from the cold. He was shivering a bit and his clothes were wet already.

Ink switched off the snow gun, smiling brightly. They had won! Or had they...

 

"So...." Vigour drawled playfully. "Are you ready to admit defeat Sir Haven?"

 

"I, Sir Haven, admiteth defeat." Haven proclaimed, sounding proud. He smiled up at Vigour.

Ink cheered quietly. They had won!

 

Vigour smiled. "Very well then, you shall be taken for punishment for attacking our beloved kingdom."

Vigour grinned mischievously and leaned down to look into Haven's eyes. "Do you know what the punishment is, Sir Haven?"

 

Oh no... He could already imagine...

"a... a h-hug...?" He tried nervously, knowing full well that that wasn't what Vigour had in mind.

Ink frowned confusedly. Why was Haven so nervous...?

 

"Nope!" Vigour said cheerfully and used one hand to pin Haven's arms above his head while he sat on his hips. "It's........ tickling!!!"

He quickly spidered his fingers from his free hand all over Haven's ribs and sides, laughing joyfully all the while.

 

He knew it. He kne- Haven tried to struggle but Vigour was much stronger than him. He let out involuntary giggles and laughs, writhing under the other skeleton.

Ink chuckled.

 

Vigour chuckled happily at the laughter and squirming. When had been the last time he had teased someone like this? It had been so long ago. His victim had been UnderTale Sans.

"Aw, is Sir Haven a ticklish knight? What a cute laugh you have." he teased and wiggled his fingers at Haven underarms. "Mind if I hear more?"

 

"oh stars, oh st-ars, please stooohhpppp..." Haven gasped, tears of laughter in his eye sockets.

 

Vigour chuckled and did what Haven wanted. He sat on his hips but still kept pinning the thoroughly punished skeleton, grinning down at him.

Aw man, he felt so mean watching Haven pant like that.

He gently picked the smaller up and wrapped his arms around the other in a gentle hug. "You okay?"

 

Haven giggled quietly as he was hugged and snuggled into Vigour.

"yup. i'm fine." He responded, smiling.

Ink snuck up on them and hugged Haven from behind.

 

Vigour smiled and nuzzled Haven slightly. "That's good to know." he said softly.

 

Haven snuggled into the hug, giggling evilly when he noticed he was getting the other two completely wet.

Ink just smiled and hugged his two friends, happy that he and Haven had given each other a chance.

Chapter Text

Vigour sneezed loudly with a shiver as he walked. He pulled the jacket he was wearing closer, trying to warm himself.

"In retrospect, we shouldn't have stayed in the snow for half an hour." Vigour said with a smile despite shivering. "Still fun though."

 

Haven nodded in agreement, trembling slightly. He had snow everywhere, in his sleeves, his jacket, cold fluid was running down his spine, making him shiver.

"I guess you're right." Ink agreed, a small icicle on his cheek bone.

 

Vigour looked over and chuckled softly. He reached a hand out to gently pick the icicle off of Ink's cheek.

"Ink," Vigour said softly in amusement. "I know you're cool and all. But how in the stars did you get ice to form on your face?"

 

Haven chuckled when he saw the icicle. How?

"I have no idea..." Ink replied, sounding and looking confused as he thought about why he could have ice on his cheek.

"Maybe because of the snow angel?" Ink asked, frowning in thought.

 

Vigour shrugged and shoved his cold hands in his jacket pockets to warm them. How he hadn't gotten a panic attack confused him. Maybe he'd been having fun and the cold from snowballs was hardly a threat. He could use a pillow fort with some hot chocolate though.

"Maybe. Or it could have been the water from the snow balls that condensed on your face from the cold. We'll never know." Vigour shrugged playfully, not noticing how his voice slipped into a nerd like tone when he said his theory. He had been interested in science before but.... he had left that part of him behind. No one wanted a smart guy. They wanted a fun guy. He still watched some science shows with his UT!Sans and G!Sans from time to time.

 

Haven giggled, nodding.

"makes me wonder why i don't have icicles everywhere." He joked.

Ink made an affirmative sound, freezing slightly when he heard the telltale sound of a portal opening. He stepped in between the portal and his two friends, glowering down at the figure that fell out of the portal, panting heavily.

 

Vigour was smiling at a pun Haven had made before he passed when Ink stopped walking. He felt Ink's negative emotions hit like a bullet train as he watched a portal open and someone fall through.

 

Fresh felt tears drip down his eye sockets, blurring his vision as he landed in the snow of the random AU he had fled to. He couldn't understand why everybody hated him. He'd never done anything bad. He sniffled quietly. He'd have to ask Error to fix his clothes again. They were torn in some places. He stood up and brushed off the snow, fixing his glasses to cover his eye sockets. He froze when he saw who was in front of him.

Ink...

Ink growled lowly, pulling out his brush. Why was Fresh here?! Was he trying to suck out their souls?

Haven tilted his skull in question. Who was that and why seemed Ink so angry at them? They hadn't done anything wrong...

 

Vigour looked at the newcomer, gasping in shock at the state the other was in. He was injured. Badly. He was also.... crying.

Something tugged inside of him at the sight.

His Soul constricted when he felt Ink's emotions and turned to him. "Ink.... don't." he said softly but he was ignored.

A dark shadow shaped into existence beyond the trees as Nightmare stumbled slightly. He hated forming in a pacifist AU. They always weakened him.

He had felt Fresh negative emotions earlier, deducting that the other had to be in danger.

He was right when he spotted Fresh.... and Ink. The trees obscured his view of another skeleton.

 

Ink's eye lights hardened, turning red. Fresh was here to torture the poor souls of the pacifist AU. He would stop him! Ink ignored Vigour and instead rushed at Fresh, his paintbrush drawn and at the ready.

Fresh's eye sockets widened in fear, his eye lights shrinking as he tried to move backwards, stumbling and falling with a grunt. He covered his face with his arms, trying to shield his skull.

Haven frowned and tried to hold Ink back but his shirt slipped from his grip and he nearly landed on his face.

 

Nightmare saw the attack and growled, rearing his tentacles ready to defend Fresh. He may be weakened here but it wouldn't stop him from protecting what was his. He was about to sprint towards Fresh to get in front of him but someone else beat him to it.

Vigour felt a sharp feeling of something in his Soul when Ink ran and narrowed his eyes with a spark of Pink. He ran too but leaving a trail of Pink behind him.

Vigour stood firmly in front of the other skeleton with one hand out to stop Ink, his face set in a firm frown.

 

Ink skidded to a stop, his eye lights sputtering out for a second. Huh? What was he-? Damn... He had been about to hurt Vigour again...

Ink's hand went limp as he stared up at Vigour's face, the paintbrush tumbling out of his grip.

Haven panted slightly as he ran over to the two. Damn were they fast. He had no idea what was happening.

Fresh's breath hitched on a sob as he tried to scoot away, his injured body aching. He was so sick of being used as a punching bag...

 

Nightmare watched from the trees with wide eye, completely impressed. Vigour was fast. Really fast. Well, now he knew where he was. He was in HavenTale where Vigour said he'd be. Never expected Ink though.

Vigour stared into Ink's eyes firmly. "Ink, stop." he said, not a single waver in his tone despite the air growing tense. "This is a pacifist AU. No fighting."

 

"But Fresh is here to destroy the peace of this universe and eat the monsters' souls!" Ink argued, his eye lights glowing with righteous anger. He needed to vanquish this threat to the multiverse!

Fresh whimpered quietly at the false accusations. He didn't want to hurt anyone. He wasn't the bad guy, he swore...

Haven frowned, slowly approaching the brightly coloured skeleton.

 

Vigour listened at Ink's words, thinking them over before he turned his skull to look at the newcomer. Looking him over and feeling the fear and sorrow from the skeleton's Soul, he knew that wasn't the case.

Vigour turned back towards Ink, looking at him curiously. "You sure?" he asked.

Nightmare kept to the shadows as he watched Vigour. He'd see where this would go. He was curious.

 

"I'm completely sure! There have even been sightings of him eating souls and he keeps the ones he can't devour immediately inside his skull like the freak he is!" Ink ranted angrily, wanting to finally get his hands on Fresh.

Fresh sobbed harshly, curling in on himself as he heard that. He hadn't hurt anyone! His ribcage was stinging in pain as he tried to draw in more oxygen, his breaths resembling short gasps as he cried.

Haven flinched slightly. The other was having a panic attack! He kneeled down in front of the other, in plain sight and tried to think of a way to calm him down.

 

Vigour looked down in thought as Ink spoke. He heard the gasping sobs behind him and the crunching of snow. The sobs weren't of guilt however. They were of pain and sorrow. Not the kind where he was sorry for what he did. No. It was the type that.... was accused of something he hadn't done.

"Ink," he started carefully. "In the darkness, one can perceive a starving man searching for food as a no good crook lurking around. Or a group of people can see a stick in the darkness as a knife because they fear it to be."

Vigour finally looked up at Ink. "I don't think that what you're saying is the case. At least, not the whole story."

Vigour looked behind him and kneeled down in front of the distraught skeleton, next to Haven. His Soul emphasised with the skeleton in front of him. "Ink, I don't see a killer or a psychopath here. All I see is a hurt, in pain, person who's been through a lot."

 

Ink frowned as Vigour told him he was wrong. There had been various sighting of-

He was about to say something when Vigour went to explain, effectively shutting him up.

Fresh flinched when he perceived two presences in his close proximity, both unknown and strange to him. His paranoia kicked in hard and he curled up tighter, trying to minimise the damage. His body was already banged up. He didn't want new scars to add to his already enormous collection.

"we're not gonna harm you." Haven explained quietly, frowning worriedly.

 

"Shh..." Vigour hushed the other softly, a trail of pink left him towards the other skeleton to help calm him, unbeknownst to everybody but a certain shadow. "It's okay. It's okay. No one's going to hurt you. You're safe."

Vigour turned to Ink and nodded towards a spot beside him. "Come here. You should see this skeleton in a different light Ink. Learn about this skeleton. Not by listening to other people's words but by watching and listening to the actual person."

 

Ink huffed. He couldn't see how that would help any. He sat down cross-legged next to Vigour, staring down at Fresh.

Fresh looked up when he suddenly felt a bit calmer. He would have questioned it but Ink was there and he was dangerous.

"Ple-please don't..." Fresh gasped quietly, hugging himself tightly. He hated having strangers that near and with Ink being there... A shudder ripped through him.

"it's alright. noone will harm you-" Haven tried to reassure the other skeleton. "-right Ink?" He added, his voice dropping a pitch.

 

Vigour nodded at Haven's words, glancing at Ink with his eyes. A silent way to say 'behave'. He looked back at the injured skeleton with a smile as he spoke softly. "He's right. No one will hurt you now."

Vigour looked at the ground for a moment, thinking his words before speaking again. "I'm sorry if we're invading your space but I can see that you're hurt. Why don't you show me what's wrong so that I can heal your injuries." Vigour offered softly with a small smile.

 

"Sure..." Ink agreed hesitantly, clearly not happy with it. He was going to hold back his attacks but if Fresh made even the smallest move against them he would kill him in a soulbeat.

Fresh stared up at the three skeletons, wincing slightly.

"Um.. I... I just..." He stammered quietly, seeming incredibly nervous as thoughts shot through him rapid fire.

"it's okay. you can tell us." Haven reassured the other quietly, scooting back a bit to give him some space.

 

"It's alright." Vigour said in reassurance. "I just want to heal you. You can leave when we're done. I promise."

 

"O-okay..." Fresh mumbled quietly, fumbling with his hands nervously.

"Um.. the-they only bro-broke my arm though..." He responded shakily, holding out his right arm as more tears dripped down his cheek bones. He had been able to get away with a few cracks and a lot of scratches but only his left arm was broken completely.

Haven held back a shocked gasp. Only his arm?! Wha-!

Ink seemed oddly disinterested by that fact.

 

Vigour nodded calmly. "Okay." he said and reached into his jacket to get to his pouch on the inside. He pulled out his paintbrush and white paint.

"Let me see." he looked at the bone and used his magic to change the shade of the white paint to match. He dipped his brush into the paint. "Don't worry, I'm not gonna hurt you. This will fix all the breaks. It's... my healing magic you would say. It's really effective. But it's gonna hurt a bit. Just bear with me."

Once he got a confirmation, he stroked the paint covered brush over the cracks and breaks on the arm, covering it in paint.

"So, what's your name if you don't mind me asking?" he asked, trying to distract him from the healing.

 

Fresh flinched when he saw the paintbrush. He squeezed his eye sockets shut and took a deep breath, nodding hesitantly.

He winced when the brush burned him slightly.

"... 'm Fresh..." Fresh replied quietly.

Ink frowned slightly. Why was that soul eating demon so nervous?

 

"Fresh?" Vigour smiled with an idea as he continued to paint the broken bones. He tried to be as quick and as thorough as possible. Fresh didn't look like he wanted to stay here long which was understandable. Ink had just tried to threaten his life and he had no reason to trust any of them.

"That's a cool name. It strikes me as kind of 90's style. It means new and fun. Heheh," Vigour chuckled softly, looking up into Fresh's glasses covered eyes brightly. "You must be a mushroom then. Cause you're a fun-gi to hang out with."

 

Fresh's eye lights lit up slightly when the skeleton pointed it out right away. A small smile appeared on his face when the other made a pun.

Haven giggled quietly.

"it's ice to meet ya, fresh." He greeted with a smile.

Ink frowned, looking away. He didn't want to be proven wrong...

 

"I wonder if I could find a jacket like yours." Vigour said as he applied more paint. "I really love the colours. They're so bright! Like you!"

 

Fresh blushed, looking away nervously.

"Uh... Umm...." He stammered quietly though he was clearly happy about the compliment. Very happy. How could he tell them that Error made that jacket for him without them freaking out?

"A-a fri-friend made it fo-for me..." He replied quietly.

Ink tilted his head. Since when did Fresh have friends?

 

"Really? He must be very creative then." Vigour praised.

"Aaaannd done! There you go. That should be good as new when it dries." Vigour said at the now pristine white bones on Fresh's arm

 

Fresh flinched at the word 'creative' but managed to hold his arm remotely still.

"Th-thanks..." He responded quietly, withdrawing his arm. The injuries were still stinging a bit but he felt a bit better already.

Ink huffed quietly. There. Now Fresh could go wherever he came from.

Haven frowned at Ink. He was not being nice...

"Hey Fresh. Do you want a flower crown?" Haven asked, looking over at the small skeleton. He still had one flower crown that was enchanted with healing magic.

 

Vigour smiled and reached over to gently wipe away Fresh's tears. "There we go. All better."

 

Fresh nodded slightly when Haven asked him whether he wanted a flower crown. Maybe it would help him feel better...

Fresh unconsciously leaned into the touch.

Haven pulled out a colourful flower crown and put it on top of Fresh's skull.

 

Nightmare smiled when he saw that Fresh would be okay. He hid behind a tree and watched.

 

Fresh smiled slightly when Haven put a flower crown on top of his skull. He immediately noticed that there was healing magic in it and relaxed slightly.

Haven smiled brightly. Yay. His flower crown was helping.

 

Vigour stood up and smiled down at Fresh. "Alright, you're okay to go."

He turned to look and Ink and frowned slightly. He didn't like how... dejected Ink looked. Vigour could understand. Having your perception about someone turn out to be wrong.... some people didn't take it well. He looked back at Haven and Fresh before looking back at Ink.

"Um..." he said and looks towards the duo. "Be right back, Kay? It was nice meeting you Freshy" he winked and walked towards Ink.

"Come on, we need to talk for a bit." he said gently and walked away from them, already thinking of what to say.

 

Fresh nodded, getting up. He winced slightly.

"Thanks." He told Vigour with a small smile. He should probably head to the hideout to get his clothes fixed. He waved as he opened a portal to a random AU to throw Inky off and walked through.

Haven waved, smiling.

"bye!" He said.

Ink's frown deepened as he gave a grave nod and followed Vigour.

 

Nightmare watched as Vigour left, most likely to talk to Ink. Vigour was much different than Ink. He didn't believe Ink's words and found the truth for himself. That was something a lot of people needed. Nightmare smiled and left the AU. Maybe, just maybe, Vigour would help Ink stop creating so much and give them all a break.

Vigour walked until he was a good ways away from anyone else and turned to face Ink. He gave the other a small smile. "You doing okay?"

 

Ink scoffed as he stood next to Vigour.

"No. I still can't see why Fresh seemed so scared. He could have eaten all our souls..." He explained, frowning.

 

"Ink," Vigour said softly with a frown. "He was scared because you tried to kill him. He was gravely injured. He clearly doesn't want to die."

 

"Nobody wants to die. Doesn't stop those freaks from killing people." Ink replied, anger in his voice as he crossed his arms.

 

"Ink, have you actually seen him eat Souls?" Vigour asked softly, trying to reason with the other.

 

"No. But the people of his AU have warned me." Ink explained, frowning in thought. He had never seen Fresh eat souls but he always had one in his skull and many others had caught him in the act.

 

Vigour frowned when Ink denied seeing Fresh eat Souls. Then why-?

His eyes widened in pain and sorrow when Ink continued. Fresh's AU... had told him? Vigour thought it over. Ink hadn't seen Fresh in the act. Only heard about him from inhabitants of Fresh's AU. Fresh had lived there all his life. He had faint scars, old scars. And lots of them. He was nervous. Anxious. Hesitant and Uncertain. Hell, he had been expecting to be hurt. That kind of trauma didn't come from just a few months. That had to stem from years of abuse. And Ink said he ate Souls. But there was no real proof. No evidence. No facts. Just.... rumours. Rumours from Fresh's own AU. And by the scars....

Vigour really didn't like his conclusion. But there was no other explanation. Fresh doesn't look like a killer. A killer wouldn't cower in fear and sob. A killer would fight for survival. A killer would show no mercy. Fresh...  wasn't any of that.

"Ink..." Vigour said, his voice cracking slightly as pain shot through him. Not secondhand pain. His own pain. He didn't like talking about this. It was... personal. But Ink needed to know.

"Do you know what bullying is?"

 

"Sure. Why?" Ink asked, not getting how that was related to the topic in any way. Vigour looked as if he was going to be sick.

"You okay?" Ink asked worriedly.

 

Vigour shook his skull, looking away and unable to look into Ink's eyes. "Then you know why it happens. Some people don't like to see different. To some, everyone has to be the same. They have to be what society perceived as 'normal'. Anyone out of that spectra... they are 'different'. Some don't like 'different', so they lash out."

Vigour's voice kept cracking as he tried to control his emotions. But saying this, it brought back old scars and memories he'd sworn he'd bury deep inside of him.

 

Ink frowned, not understand what Vigour meant. His eye lights guttered out in shock when it hit him like a brick wall.

Fresh had been bullied by his AU. And Ink had helped them abuse Fresh by listening to the abusers instead of the victim...

What had he done...?

 

Vigour had his eyes down so he couldn't see that Ink had caught on. So he kept going. "It's terrible, y'know? Some people are terrible. They don't like something different and they shun them. Poke at their weaknesses. Abuse them mentally, emotionally and physically until they break. But they don't stop."

Vigour chuckled humourlessly at himself as he hugged himself, tears gathering in his eyes. "They never stop. And they make the person's life worse by spreading lies. Others believed them cause they're 'normal'. They gather an army and continue to hurt the person more and more. Until they try to end it themselves. Sometimes, the person doesn't win. And normal people got rid of the evil person because they're different. Funny right? How life works."

 

Ink could hear an undertone of sadness in Vigour's voice and looked up, tears in his vacant eye sockets. He was horrible but... His eye sockets widened when he saw that his friend looked seconds away from breaking down.

"... Can I hug you?" Ink asked, recalling that hugs seemed to help whenever someone was sad.

 

Vigour sniffed as he fought back tears. Fuck he had messed up. He shouldn't show emotions while trying to say something. They never listened when he did that.

He looked up at Ink when he other asked that. He thought for a minute. His body was shaking. His nerves high as his body trembled with phantom pains. But a hug usually made him feel better so..

"Y-yes. B-but, not too tight?" he requested softly, looking at Ink with teary eyes. His eye lights small and shaking.

 

Ink approached Vigour carefully and wrapped him up in a gentle hug, burying his face into the taller skeleton's jacket as tears rolled down his cheek bones.

"Thanks..." He whispered. They both needed a hug.

 

Vigour leaned into the touch, thankful that he wasn't going into a panic attack. He nuzzled Ink for a moment, but stopped when the touch was sending panic through him. He'd just accept the hug. Hugs were nice. He looked at Ink confused when the other spoke.

"For what?" he asks softly.

 

"T-the hug..." Ink mumbled shakily, his breathing hitching on a quiet sob. He had done so many bad things to Fresh. He needed to apologise the next time he saw him...

 

Vigour chuckled softly and hugged back, using one hand to wipe away Ink's tears. "You're helping me. I should thank you."

Vigour frowned when he felt distraught and regret from Ink. "What's wrong?" he asked concerned.

 

Ink sobbed quietly.

"I... I did so ma-many bad thi-things to Fresh..." Ink explained, his voice shaky.

 

Vigour frowned and hugged Ink tighter as he rubbed the top of his skull, trying to comfort him.

"Hey, don't be upset." he said gently. "You feel bad but that's okay. You made a mistake. You regret it now that you know and you want to fix it right?"

 

"I'm go-going to fix it." Ink agreed, leaning into the touch with a small sniffle. He was definitely going to fix it!

 

Vigour smiled proudly at Ink. "Good."

A cold wind brushed against him and he shivered, not aware of his chilling predicament before. He chuckled softly. "Let's get inside. I'm dying for something warm right now."

 

"Okay..." Ink agreed. He started walking back to where they had been before, intending to pick up Haven.

Haven was leaning against a tree, shivering slightly as he napped.

 

Vigour saw Haven and winced with guilt while staring at him wide eyed. "Oh dear, we left him all alone!" he exclaimed in alarm.

"We better get inside before he freezes." Vigour said as he lead the way, he was sure Ink wanted to pick up the smaller skeleton.

 

Ink nodded and picked up Haven gently, trying not to wake the other up. Thankfully Haven was asleep like a stone. Nothing could wake him up once he was out.

 

Vigour walked until they reached Haven's house. He opened the door- no one locked their doors in this AU, it was very different but not unpleasant- and walked inside.

"Wake him up if you can. We need to change him into something warmer." Vigour said as he walks into Haven's room. "I'll go find a blanket."

 

Ink nodded and set Haven down on the couch.

"Haven? Wake up." He prompted without any kind of response. He started poking his cheek bone but got no response either. He didn't even move!

 

It took a while to find a blanket but Vigour achieved his goal. He brought the blanket back down towards the living room where Ink and Haven were. The former seems to be having trouble to wake up the latter.

Vigour placed the blanket on a chair and walked over to the kitchen, calling out to Ink. "Try teasing him awake by tickling? It usually works on any Sans. Trust me, I've tried it on a few of my friends."

 

Ink shrugged slightly. He had tried almost everything else so he figured it was worth a shot. He tickled Haven slightly, hoping for a reaction.

Haven huffed out a giggle and hunched in on himself slightly.

 

Meanwhile Vigour looked around the kitchen for some tea to warm them up. He boiled some hot water and pulled out the teapot, tea and sugar. He crossed his arms and waited for the water to boil.

 

Haven giggled quietly and opened his eye sockets to look what had woken him up. He squirmed slightly when Ink kept tickling him.

"Ah. You're awake." Ink said quietly, withdrawing his hands.

 

The kettle whistled and Vigour turned off the heat. He began brewing the tea, making sure it was warm and not scalding hot.

 

Haven glanced over at the kitchen when he had heard the kettle.

"is vigour making tea?" He asked curiously, looking up at Ink.

Ink shrugged. He had no idea.

 

Vigour walked out with a tray and set it down in the table while looking at Haven. "Oh good you're awake. Go change. You're shivering. You too Ink."

 

Ink nodded and walked to where normally the bathroom was to change.

Haven let out an affirmative hum and stood up or rather tried to. His magic didn't want to cooperate because he was too cold and his legs gave way, making him fall back onto the couch with a slight grunt.

 

Vigour gasped slightly and rushed towards the other, checking him over for any problems.

"You okay?" he asked concerned. "What happened?"

 

"my ma-magic is frozen..." Haven explained, shivering slightly. He frowned. He needed to warm himself up. Maybe he should lay on top of the heater again.

 

"Oh!" Vigour said and smiled. "That's an easy fix!"

He grabbed a cup of tea from the tray and sat down beside Haven. He gave the cup and wrapped Haven in a large hug, using his Soul to warm up the other. His Soul glowing faintly under his shirt and jacket, radiating warmth.

"My brother taught me this trick and used it whenever I had a cold." he said and hugged Haven, wrapping him up in warmth coming from his humming Soul.

 

Haven held the cup close and cuddled into the hug, sighing happily. He was feeling warmer already. Vigour was radiating the warmth his soul desperately needed which made him snuggle a bit closer.

 

Vigour chuckled softly and pressed his cheek on Haven's skull.

"You warming up now?" he asked with a grin. "Cause if not I could always kiss you. Very heat-edly."

 

Haven smiled, cuddling the taller skeleton.

His eye sockets widened and his face flushed brightly as he let out an embarrassed squeak, blushing even deeper because of that.

"um.. i... i..." He stammered awkwardly, not wanting to move away despite his embarrassment.

 

Vigour laughed softly and hugged him tighter to comfort him. "I was joking. Maybe." he winked playfully at Haven.

Yes he flirted. But usually with people he saw as friends. It was a habit he didn't know when he had gained but he did know that it only happened when he absolutely thought of that person as his friend. He had differences between acquaintances, work partners/buddies and true friends. Haven had now fallen into the latter category.

 

Haven relaxed a small bit from his rigid state, still blushing brightly. His cheek bones were glowing a bright blue. He buried his face into Vigour's jacket, taking great care not to spill any tea.

 

Vigour chuckled and rubbed the back of Haven's skull as he stayed in the embrace, his Soul humming with warmth.

 

Ink walked into the living room, wearing new clothes. He had freshly drawn them. He wore a fluffy brown hoodie and dark grey sweatpants, his sash hung up to dry.

Haven cuddled into him, using his magic to put the cup onto the coffee table.

 

Vigour looked up and saw Ink with new clothes and smiles. "Hey. Grab a blanket and join us. Be warned, we're still soaked."

He chuckled softly at his own joke. It was true their clothes are still completely wet but the warmth from his Soul was slowly drying them off.

 

Haven waved at Ink, cuddling closer to Vigour with a small, content sigh. His soul was glowing slightly under his shirt as he hugged Vigour.

Ink grabbed a blanket and sat down next to them, burying himself under the blanket.

 

Vigour smiled and closed his eyes as he projected the warmth father to reach Ink. It was nice to know he was helping his friend. Maybe he'd help Ink apologize to Fresh. Though... that could take a while seeing as Fresh was terrified of Ink and Vigour was not sure how long they'd been fighting.

He looked down at Haven and Ink, thinking in his mind. A brief flash of pink spread in his eye lights before he closed them.

Well, it wasn't like he was going anywhere.

Chapter Text

Vigour was scrolling through his phone as he sat on the couch. Yesterday had been fun and he had promised Ink he'd help him apologize to Fresh. Unfortunately they hadn't seen the other skeleton. Most probably avoiding Ink, much to Ink's distress. Vigour had managed to convince Ink to relax and help Haven shop for supplies while he stayed at home and clean up a bit. He had sort of fallen asleep leaving the tea on the table so he had cleaned that up.

He scrolled through his phone and spotted a number. Red. Well, this multiverse's Red. Which reminded him, he promised he'd call whenever he could.

Vigour smiled and sent a text to the other.

*Hey, did you mist me?

 

Red sighed as he leaned onto his sentry station, bored out of his mind. He flinched slightly when his phone buzzed and pulled it out of his pocket, frowning at the glowing display. Who..?

Vigour!

He read the text, smiling slightly.

*yea i did. snow much!

He replied, chuckling.

 

Vigour snickered at the reply and texted back.

*ice to see you in a great mood

 

Red chuckled softly.

*kinda board out of my mind

He responded, still smiling. He glanced up from his phone and took stock of his surroundings, checking whether somebody had snuck up on him.

 

Vigour smiled.

*Same. Had to force Ink to follow Haven to the store.

*Oh yeah, I'm in HavenTale. Staying here for a bit to chill and calm down after a... very hectic week.

 

Red flinched slightly when he heard a barely audible crack nearby.

*i'm coming over

Red typed hastily, leaving no time for Vigour to argue as he made a portal and dove through.

 

Vigour received the text and not a second later he jumped halfway up the couch when a portal opened. He relaxed when Red jumped through instead of 'Red' strings.

He put a hand over his beating Soul and panted softly. "Damn, gave me quite a shock there buddy."

Vigour had replaced his blue jacket which he had tied around his waist with the jacket Ink had given him. A little more differences than the eyes, flower, brush and personality.

 

"sorry. didn't mean to." Red apologised, his eye lights trembling slightly in fear. That had been close. Closer than he would have ever liked. At least one monster had been stalking him...

 

"It's fine. At least I'm not in any risk of getting a heart attack." Vigour joked with a smile. That smile fell as tilted his skull curiously when he noticed how nervous Red looked. Why was that? His Soul clenched suddenly in a familiar feeling. Fear.

Ah... problem in UnderFell.

"You okay Red?" he asked in concern. "Do you need a hug? Or a buddy to talk to?"

 

"i'm fine. just a little shaken. a few monsters had gotten a bit too close for my liking." He explained, plopping down on the couch with a sigh.

 

Vigour nodded in understanding and pocketed his phone. He looked at Red, really disliking that look on his face. "Offer still there."

 

Ref nodded and hugged Vigour gently, shivering slightly. That had been a close call... He could have...

 

Vigour hugged back with one arm, using his thumb to gently rub Red's arm comfortingly.

"Hey, you're safe now. Ain't no monster gonna get you here. If they try they'll have to go through me." Vigour said with a smile, trying to convey confidence despite his lack of fighting skills.

 

Red hugged back tightly. Vigour wouldn't let anyone sneak up on him.

"... thanks..." He replied quietly.

 

"Anytime." Vigour said and gently hugged tighter.

 

Red twitched slightly when he heard something. He couldn't exactly place it but he wasn't exactly sure whether it was a good sound. He tensed, his nerves still high-strung from Unferfell.

 

Vigour felt Red tense and turned to him.

"What's wrong?" he asked in concern.

His answer was a loud boom coming from outside. He turned towards it with a frown, he could see someone fighting from out the window. "What-?" he asked with narrowed eyes.

 

Red flinched, his eye lights darting to the window. He had just escaped a fight. Did they really have to fight now...? Wait...

This was Haventale. Those people had to be outcodes. That was even worse.

Red whimpered quietly and curled in on himself as a scream rung out.

 

Vigour turned to Red and frowned. "Stay here." he said and ran out the door towards the fight.

His eyes were glowing pink as he scowled. This was a pacifist AU. Who the hell was fighting?! He could hear the monsters running away as the air grew tense.

 

Red nodded dejectedly, shivering slightly as he tried to focus on anything else than the sounds of the fight. He squeezed his eye sockets shut and pressed his hands to the sides of his skull, curling in on himself slightly.

 

Error growled as he sent more strings towards Ink, sliding against the snowy ground to a stop. He had only been passing through. How the hell could he have known Ink would be here?! Of course the Creator would cause a fight! That was just his nature!

Error sent out a blaster at Ink intending to do some serious damage.

 

Ink jumped to the side, hissing slightly as he yanked his hand free of a string that Error hadn't had the time to tighten. His eye lights glowed a dark red as he charged at his enemy with his paintbrush, acidic paint sizzling at the tip.

 

Haven picked up a small bunny that was in the middle of the road, panicking because they had never witnessed a fight before. He quickly teleported a good distance away, breathing heavily.

 

Error saw the attack and summoned his blasters to counter it.

"jUsT gIvE Up Ink!" Error screamed in anger. "yOu'Re nOT goINg tO cReATE mOrE uSElEsS aUS!"

 

"THEY ARE NOT USELESS!!!" Ink screamed, his eye lights flaring with anger.

Dream jumped through a portal right behind Error and used his bow to aim at his ribcage.

 

Error grunted in pain as the arrow pierced through his ribs. He growled lowly at Ink as he summoned hundreds of sharp bones.

"WHO nEEds a WoRlD fILleD wItH sUfFeRinG pEOplE!?" he screamed and sent out the sharp bones. All the negativity in the air helped Nightmare create a portal to join Error. His gang following behind him.

"You called for backup?" Nightmare grinned at Error gaining a scoff.

"I cAN hAnDle iT." Error said to Nightmare.

"Sure." Nightmare said sarcastically. "Boys; let's cause some chaos."

 

Ink drew a bright green wall, the bones shattering upon impact. He frowned, charging at Error again, completely unbothered by Nightmare and his gang.

Dream knocked another arrow into his bow and aimed that one at Nightmare, shooting rapid fire.

 

Nightmare's eye widened at the attack but it was blocked by Killer and Dust who sliced it into bits, standing in front of Nightmare protectively.

Error summoned his strings, Cross standing beside him with his sword drawn ready for Ink's attack.

 

Ink slammed the wooden part of his paintbrush against Cross' ribcage, hoping to knock him back to get a clear shot at Error.

Dream huffed in annoyance, his bow turning back into a staff as he charged the three.

A portal opened and Stretch and Comic jumped out, wielding three gasterblasters in total which they fired at the three Dream was attacking.

 

Cross blocked the attack with his sword, holding him still while Horror swung his axe towards Ink's shoulder with the intent to cut off an arm.

Error spotted the trio attacking his friends and used his strings to attack Comic, the slowest among the tree when it came to his strings.

Nightmare frowned and turned his tentacles into sharp blades, ready for his brother.

Dust summoned a Gaster blaster to counter the attack while Killer summoned walls of bones to block the remaining blast.

 

Ink let go of his paintbrush and leapt a step back, glowering at them. He threw one of his vials at them, a pink one, full of acidic paint.

Comic winced, writhing in his bonds, his eye lights small and scared.

G jumped out of a portal and cut the strings as soon as he saw them, Slim following him closely. He rushed over to Ink and fired a barrage of bones at the three skeletons in front of him.

Dream charged Nightmare along with Stretch, letting out a war cry.

 

Error blocked the flying vial of paint from hitting Cross in the face with his hand, winching when the paint burned the back of his hand. Horror blocked the barrage of bones with his axe but some managed to pass through and hit his arm. KR eating at his HP about 1/6 of his full HP.

Cross' eyes widened when Error blocked the attack before he glared at Ink, summoning bones and knives behind him. Horror grabbed his axe harder with a large smile full of malice.

Error formed more strings and blaster behind him before shooting at G and Stretch.

Nightmare shot out a tendril to pierce his brother while Dust shot out bones at the ground to stop Dream.

 

Ink summoned his paintbrush, glowering at his opponents.

G jumped in front of Comic to shield the shorter skeleton, wincing hard when his HP lowered significantly.

Stretch jumped to the side to dodge the blasts and left Dream hanging by doing that. He summoned several bones to shield him though.

Dream jumped back, letting out a cry of pain as a tentacle cut his arm.

Slim summoned some gasterblasters, hovering at the ready to defend Ink.

 

The dark Sanses grinned smugly at the other skeletons, they were stronger together than alone. Ink had learned that the hard way when Nightmare had begun helping Error.

Cross summoned a large blaster and shot at Ink alongside Horror who summoned his bones shooting at the other skeletons.

At the same time Dust summoned sharp bones and shot at Stretch, keeping him away from Dream. Killer rushed towards Comic with his knife held high. He made sure to dial back on his attack though. Original skeletons need to stay alive. Why couldn't Ink ever call in the copies so that they could dust them easier?

Vigour huffed tiredly as he glared at the fighting skeletons in front of him. He had been trying to call for them for a long time now! They hadn't even noticed him!

He spotted Killer running towards a UT Sans and he froze. In his mind he was seeing his Sans. An insecure nervous skeleton who had been traumatized by the Resets.

Instinct took over as he ran with a trail of Pink, standing in front of UT Sans to block the attack.

Killer saw him too late and he couldn't stop the attack. His knife cut through Vigour's sash and paints dropped down onto the ground. His HP shaved off halfway as he kneeled down in pain.

Killer couldn't even try and get Vigour away when bones shot at him, forcing him back.

 

Ink deflected the blast with his paintbrush, shielding Slim as he summoned his own gasterblasters and shot them at Error.

Stretch flinched hard, gritting his teeth in pain as a bone slashed open his dominant arm, preventing him from using his magic temporarily.

Comic flinched, already having braced for the impact when nothing happened. He blinked open his eye sockets, gasping in shock when he saw Vigour.

Fuck...

G ran over to Comic and Vigour.

"Damn..." He murmured, wincing as he was hit by a stray bone. His HP was too low to fight much more so he decided to at least help this skeleton get to safety. He touched the other's arm, planning to teleport them both.

Dream glanced over at Vigour, seeing that G was handling it. He didn't know how well but figured it was going to be okay without his interference.

 

Vigour hissed in pain as he stared down with blurring eyes at the snow now covered in paint mixed with his blood. He heard more blasters and looked up, seeing Error about to get hit.

He forced himself to stand up, ignoring whoever was beside him and ran quickly, standing in front of Error with his hand out radiating the intent to block the blow. His Soul sparked a rainbow of colours and the paints on the ground shifted.

Before the blast hit and before the dark Sanses could react, a wall of green formed in front of Vigour, blocking the blast.

 

Stretch frowned as Vigour ran over to Error.

Ink's eye sockets widened.

He had been about to help in hurting Vigour again. His paintbrush fell out of his hand. He was already hurt. What had happened...?

 

Error and Nightmare looked at Vigour confused before they shook it off. Maybe finally Ink would realize that he should stop.

Error summoned his strings to attack a shell shocked and vulnerable Ink but Vigour sensed it and turned around, a sword forming in his hand which he swung to cut the strings.

"Vigour?!" Killer screamed. "What the hell are you doing?!"

Nightmare shook his skull and reared his tentacles to hit Dream. But again, Vigour intercepted by suddenly standing in front of his attacks and blocking it. Nightmare realized that the sword he was holding looked solid but he could see it shifting... like paint.

 

Ink's eye sockets widened when Error tried to use his vulnerability but got intercepted by Vigour. He picked his paintbrush up quickly, throwing a vial of glowing pink paint at Error. He wouldn't let that destroyer hurt Vigour.

Stretch was shocked to have the same opinion as one of the dark Sanses for once. They had to get Vigour off the battlefield.

Dream had his staff ready to block the attack when Vigour suddenly did it for him. What was he doing...?

"You have to stop before you get hurt." Dream tried to tell him.

 

Vigour saw the vial from his corner of his eyes and his eyes flashed a spectra of colours. He raised a free hand slightly, the paint spilt on the ground shifting before lunged upwards into the air. A blob of red paint intercepted the vial mid-air by catching it, covering it entirely like it was eating it and absorbing the liquid inside.

Vigour narrowed his eyes at Dream and sliced the tentacles back, running away in a bright pink streak to stand in between the chaos. Green paint flowed over to him and over his body, healing all the damage he had taken.

Vigour's eyes were glowing pink but a rainbow shine took over the eye lights. Blobs of paint floated beside and behind him, ready to intercept anymore attacks. He twirled his sword in one hand and gripped it tightly.

"That's what I've been telling you to do." he said, answering Dream. He raised his sword, clearly ready for battle.

The dark Sanses hesitated. They couldn't hurt Vigour. Not someone who hadn't hurt them nor judged them. But Ink could kill them all including Vigour if they didn't fight back.

"VigOUR," Error said gently. "sTaNd dOWn. THiS iS bETweeN uS aNd tHeM."

"We don't want to hurt you!" Cross yelled at Vigour, his body ready for combat but his eyes looked worried and scared.

Vigour didn't answer. He was the only one stopping both sides from killing one another.

 

Dream frowned. They should really stand down. Vigour seemed hell-bent on protecting all of them from harm but he was going to get hurt eventually. He looked over to Ink to see whether they were on the same page.

Ink stared at Vigour. Why was he protecting the dark Sanses?

G used the confusion of the moment to teleport a safe distance away to take care of his injuries. There was no way he could fight anymore and he didn't want to hurt Vigour either.

 

Vigour stared everyone down, waiting for their next move. When none came from either side, he spoke. "Now are you willing to stop?" he asked.

 

Ink's eye lights flared. They were far from done. He went over to Vigour and grabbed his arm, attempting to drag him off the battlefield.

Dream got the hint and turned his staff into a bow, firing an arrow at Nightmare.

 

Vigour felt himself be grabbed and saw the bright skeleton shoot an arrow at Nightmare. His eyes flashed. Not gonna happen.

A blob of paint flew from behind Vigour to catch the arrow mid-air, shattering it into a thousand harmless pieces.

Nightmare's eye widened before he snarled lowly. He reared his tentacles to attack Dream. His gang got the memo and attacked Ink with a barrage of bones. Error shot his strings at Vigour to try and get him away from Ink.

Vigour saw the bones and another blob of paint expanded and swallowed the bones. He pulled his arm free from Ink and sliced the strings. "Stop!" he screamed but he was ignored.

 

Stretch summoned a wall of bones in front of Dream and teleported over to him to help.

Dream nodded thankfully and shot arrow after arrow at the dark Sanses.

Slim summoned a gasterblaster to shield Ink and Vigour from the bones and fired it at Killer.

Comic summoned bones that shot from the ground to attack Error who was trying to get to Vigour.

 

'Shit.' Vigour cursed in his head and ran quickly- escaping Ink's reach- to intercept as many as he could. He stopped in the middle, turning towards the light side and used his sword to block the barrage of bones. A wall of green paint blocked the blast and a trail of cyan paint pushed Error away from the bones.

"Guys enough!" he yelled again but he was ignored. He turned quickly and sliced a bone in half that was directed at the other Sanses from the dark side.

Cross summoned his knives and shot it at Slim alongside his blasters but they were quickly intercepted by a blob of black paint and a sword respectively.

"Vigour stop! You'll get hurt!" Cross screamed, trying to reason with the other. This wasn't his battle.

"You stop!" Vigour screamed back and blocked a tendril from reaching Dream with a wall of pink paint and sliced Error's blue strings. "Stop fighting! Now!"

 

Slim frowned. That skeleton was going to destroy himself. He couldn't keep that up for long. He dropped the bone he had just been summoning. Vigour was going to block it anyways.

"what are you doing?" Comic asked Slim after he had teleported over.

Ink's eye sockets widened.

"Leave him alone!" He shouted, throwing a green vial of paint at Error.

Dream drew the bowstring back, an arrow loaded but he didn't dare to shoot.

 

Vigour raised a hand to summon a blob of pain to swallow the vial. He raised his sword and blocked Dust's bones. "Enough!" he screamed.

Nightmare growled at his brother before he turned towards Vigour while keeping an eye on his brother. "Vigour, stay out of this!"

"Get out of the way!" Horror screamed and summoned a barrage of bones to shoot at Stretch but it was quickly swallowed up by a blob of purple paint.

"Both of you stop! No more fighting!" Vigour screamed but yet again, he was ignored.

 

"you idiots! are you fucking blind?!!" Slim shouted. Couldn't they see that no matter what they did, Vigour wouldn't stop?

 

Horror growled at Slim, taking his words to heart since he was so used to hearing it about the Multiverse. "We're blind?! What about you?!"

Dust nodded. "Yeah! Especially Ink!"

Vigour raised a brow at the sudden shouting match and shook his skull. "That's enough guys."

 

Ink growled lowly. He was the one that was blind?!!

"You're the ones destroying my creations!!!" Ink shouted, trembling with barely restrained rage.

"That's all you do. Destroy and kill!!!" He added, seething with rage.

 

Vigour flinched at the scream and the sudden clench on his Soul as the air grew tense with fury and hatred. Two things he hated feeling because they're the worst pain ever to feel.

"Ink stop." Vigour said towards Ink, trying to ease the situation. Fighting was easy. Physical pain can be counteract. Emotional fights however only grew and grew.

"I think we are justified for that!" Killer stepped forward and shot a bone but that was blocked by Vigour. Righteous anger coursed through him as he recalled how much trauma his friends and Nightmare had gone through because of Ink.

"Killer stop-"

"You ruined us Ink!" Killer cut Vigour off, glaring at the creator. "You created us and cast us away! For what?! Fun?! You left us to suffer you uncontrollable insane skeleton!"

 

Ink's eye lights glowed a dark red.

"You are uncontrollable!!!" Ink shouted. Comic nodded in the background.

"you're insane!!" He shouted, his left eye light glowing a bright blue.

 

Vigour dropped his magic as he clenched his eyes shut. What the hell? Emotions shouldn't be this intense. "Stop it guys!"

"We used to be! But it was because of you Ink!" Dust screamed loudly, trembling from emotions. "You drove us insane!"

"You abandoned us!" Cross screamed hatefully.

"You tortured us!" Horror joined in.

"You abused us!" Killer yelled loudly.

"Guys stop-!"

"You never listen and we suffer your consequences!" Nightmare hollered.

 

Ink flinched back, opening his mouth to retort but he had nothing to say in edgewise.

Fuck...

Dream noticed Ink's hesitation and frowned. Were they actually right?! Had Ink done things like that?!

"Ink?" He tried.

"dirty liars!" Stretch shouted.

 

"Guys stop he didn't know-!" Vigour tried to say, to help Ink. He knew Ink didn't know what he had done. That was the problem. Neither of them knew the whole story. All of this happened because they only knew one side of the story!

Error didn't say anything and just watched as his friends attacked Ink verbally, a satisfaction he had never gotten to see until now.

"And you're no different!" Killer turned towards Stretch screaming hatefully. "You're all hypocrites! All of you!"

"Stop! All of you!"

"You judge others without looking at yourselves!" Horror joined in.

"You're liars! You call yourself Judges!" Dust screamed. "You're liars! You're no Judge! Just a bunch of shallow minded hypocrites!"

 

Stretch flinched back from the verbal assault. Hypocrites? What were they-

Stretch suddenly remembered Blueberry. He had been really sad that Error had left and Stretch had intercepted every time he had tried to go meet Error. They had all thought it had been Stockholm syndrome but maybe Error had really been nice to Blueberry...

He shrunk back slightly. He was an awful brother. He hadn't listened...

Ink took a step back.

 

Killer growled, his anger taking over everything. "You call us insane freaks! You call us evil! You snapped our bones and cracked our skulls more times than the amount of people we killed!"

"You almost killed us! Thousands of times! You tortured us and left us to rot!" Horror added, his AU was a hell hole. He was literally supposed to starve to dust until Nightmare found him.

"You even abused an innocent!" Cross screamed thinking of Fresh. The poor skeleton was nice and he was abused for how he looked. He was innocent and he was hated.

Vigour pressed his hands to his skull as he tried to stop the screams. Stop the painful clench on his Soul. Stop the pain.

 

Dream's eye lights flared. Ink would never abuse an innocent.

"Shut the fuck up!!! Ink would never hurt anyone innocent!!!" He shouted, conviction audible in his voice.

"yeah!! you fucking freaks!!!" Slim agreed, glowering at them.

 

Vigour's eyes widened at Dream's words and he looked at Ink. The other looked so guilt ridden, almost painfully so. They didn't know. Hell; Ink had only found out.

"That's a lie!" Nightmare screamed. "He's abused a lot of innocent people!"

Ink had abused an innocent. He had abused Fresh.

"Hypocrites! Blind and insane, that's what you are!"

"He's a liar!"

"He's insane!"

"Guys please stop!" Vigour begged as the negative emotions were staring to damage him physically. His Soul starting to crack from hopelessness. He couldn't help them. He couldn't help anyone. They won't listen.

 

Ink winced and took a small, barely perceptible step backwards, his expression guilt-stricken. None of the Star Sanses noticed.

"You're the ones that are insane killers!!!" Dream shouted back, his eye lights flaring.

 

"You abandoned your brother!" Killer screamed. "You tried to kill him! Your own blood and bones! And we're the insane ones?!"

He didn't know. They didn't know.

They didn't know the whole story.

"Ink left me to dust in my AU after he turned it into a white void!" Cross screamed with tears streaming down his face. "We're evil?!"

They only knew one half of the story.

"He left me to starve!" Horror screamed.

Everyone made mistakes.

"He almost drove me to suicide!" Killer screamed.

People always attack those mistakes because they don't understand.

"You all drove me insane enough to kill my AU. My Papyrus!" Dust screamed.

 

Ink took a step back with each verbal blow, looking slightly anxious.

Slim concentrated on Dust's and Killer's statement. Their Chara's were at fault there.

"that was the charas' fault!" He argued.

"Yeah!" Dream supported. "They drove you insane, not Ink!!" He added loudly.

 

"Oh look, blaming another! Chara is just another innocent blamed for something they can't control!" Killer screamed. "Everything has balance! Why do you blame the person who is just doing their job?! Especially the person who's keeping you all alive right now!"

Error twitched. That statement was true but no one cared.

"You forgave Razz for abusing Slim and killing!" Dust yelled. "What's the difference between him and us?!"

"Stop it...."

Knowing only one half of the story was dangerous. It caused problems that had severe consequences.

"What about Comic?!" Cross screamed. "He's abusing his Papyrus by not letting him grow! He's creating toxic relationship by being a helicopter brother! Which won't help Papyrus grow and learn at all! Why do you think he always dies in Genocide runs?!"

"You're all to blame!" Nightmare screamed. "Others suffer your problems while you keep using them as scapegoats!"

 

"he's my brother, that's the difference!!!" Slim shouted. "and he's sorry for what he's done unlike any if you!!!"

Comic's eye lights flared.

"oh yeah?!! i'm not the one killing him, ain't i?!!! chara kills him!! what's innocent about that?!!" Comic screamed loudly.

"Scapegoats!!! Ain't that rich!!!!" Dream yelled, chuckling humourlessly.

 

"So is Nightmare but I don't see you all or Dream forgiving him!!!" Killer screamed. "If he's sorry he'd change! But he doesn't, does he?!!"

"Stop."

"Every actions have consequences!" Nightmare yelled hatefully at Comic. "You keep your brother in the dark?! You're helping him get killed!! You are sadistic!!! You enjoy watching your brother die don't you?!"

"Enough."

Dust's eyes glowed red and purple in anger. "We don't blame others for our mistakes do we?!!"

"I SAID ENOUGH!!!"

A bright flash of Pink exploded with the scream surrounding everyone in pink and freezing them in place. Vigour looked up and looked absolutely done and pissed.

 

Comic growled, his eye light blazing with hatred. Before he could say anything in edgewise there was a pink flash that froze him.

Ink tried to struggle against the invisible bonds but he couldn't even twitch his fingers.

Slim's body tried to shiver but not even that worked.

Dream's eye sockets widened. Oh shit Vigour was furious...

 

Nightmare shivered internally when he was frozen by a familiar pink aura. Oh shit....

Every one of the dark Sanses didn't panic all that much when they were frozen. But they did shiver fearfully when they knew what it meant. A certain pacifist was mad. And now with new powers to control paint. They were fucked. Please let Vigour be the type to yell instead of fight.

Vigour breathed heavily as he glared at everyone. Pure fury was in his eyes as all of his anger and frustrations bled together with the tense air from their fighting.  "YOU'RE ALL THE SAME! EACH AND EVERYONE ONE OF YOU! YOU JUDGE AND ACT AND COME UPON YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS WITHOUT EVEN TRYING TO FIND THE TRUTH! YOU ONLY KNOW HALF THE STORY AND YOU DON'T EVEN TRY TO COMPLETE IT! YOU KEEP BLAMING EACH OTHER AND FIGHTING, HURTING OTHERS IN THE PROCESS! WHAT KIND OF ASSHOLES ARE YOU?!"

Vigour turned towards the dark Sanses, his eyes burning bright pink from anger. "YOU ALL KEPT BLAMING INK AND EVERYONE ELSE FOR YOUR PROBLEMS! DID IT EVER CROSSED YOUR MINDS THAT HE DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING?! YOU DON'T EVEN TELL HIM A FUCKING THING ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON AND YOU EXPECT HIM TO ACT ON IT?! YOU DIDN'T EVEN TRY TO FIND OUT WHY HE'S DOING WHAT HE'S DOING! YOU JUST COME TO YOUR CONCLUSIONS AND SAY HE'S INSANE WHEN IN REALITY, HE JUST WANTS A FRIEND!!! "

Nightmare and Error winced at the accusations. As usual, Vigour was right. They hadn't even tried to explain the balance to Ink. And they had kept blaming Ink for their problems. True, Ink was to blame. But they could have tried to fix it instead of making things worse.

Vigour snapped his head towards the Star Sanses and scowled. Oh he had a few words for them too.

 

Comic smirked slightly as Vigour started yelling at the dark Sanses. That was exactly what they deserved.

Ink frowned. Which balance? What were they talking about? His eye lights shrunk slightly when Vigour turned to them. Fuck. He was mad.

All present Star Sanses felt their sins crawling down their backs when Vigour turned to them. They were in for a bad time...

 

"And you..." he growled lowly, almost animal like. Correction, completely animal like. Feral and pissed.

"They were right. You're all hypocrites!" He screamed loudly, his hands clenched to his sides. "Neither of you tried to find the truth either and you used the 'dark Sanses' as excuses for your mistakes! Summon some balls in that empty pelvis of yours and take action you cowards!!"

Vigour turned towards Comic. "You whoever you are, they're right! You're killing your brother inexplicably by controlling him and not letting him grow and learn! I'm not surprised if your Papyrus is an ignorant child who only knows happiness! He dies all the time because of you!! Because you won't let him learn to defend himself from bad people! His dust in on your hands!"

 

Ink flinched as much as the pink magic let him. It was just like with Fresh, wasn't it? He kept making the same mistakes over and over again...

Comic's eye sockets widened. Fuck... Vigour was right, wasn't he...? He had...

Stretch stared at the ground guiltily. He had treated his brother like a child too.

 

Vigour didn't know much about them but he did know a bit from the screaming. He had payed attention. And now he was using that to knock some sense into their skulls.

He turned towards Dream and scowled. "You must be Nightmare's brother. Funny, how you claimed to be good. A 'Star Sans'. The good guy! The positive one that everybody loves and the one who loves helping others! But oh! What am I seeing? A Star Sans attacking his own brother without hesitation!" His voice stared as sarcastic before it tapered off into anger.

"Am I right to assume that you don't see Nightmare as your brother anymore because he's a 'Dark Sans'? Because he has problems and because he's not who you wanted him to be!" Vigour growled lowly in anger. "I'm pretty sure you helped abuse innocent people too. Did you help beat up Fresh? Yeah, that guy. Turns out rumours are just people being jerks who bullied that poor skeleton because he was different. Who abused him for who knows how long until he was full of scars. Mentally and physically! Who did you call yourself again?!"

He turned towards Ink and narrowed his eyes. Oh his friend was not safe from a good old reasonal blow to the head.

 

Dream flinched harshly, his eye lights small pinpricks. That wasn't.. He didn't...

Nightmare was bad. Evil. He... Dream chanced a glance over. He did truly miss his brother but he wasn't there anymore, was he?

Dream felt tears collect in his eye sockets.

Ink winced when Vigour mentioned Fresh. He had to make it up to him somehow.

His eye sockets widened when Vigour turned to address him.

 

Nightmare looked away sadly and painfully, from Dream when Vigour mentioned him. He missed Dream. Truly. Sure Dream had done a lot of things that hurt him and his boys but he still cared. He still cared about his brother. But he had to question... did Dream ever miss him? Dream never showed it. He supposed that he since he's a 'Dark Sans' now, he wasn't Dream's brother anymore.

"Ohhoho, you aren't safe my friend." Vigour smiled menacingly at Ink as he purred lowly. "It seems that this all started because you created too much. Not just AUs, copies! You still haven't told me why you did that. Care to explain?!" he yelled in a slight sarcastic tone.

He looked between Ink and Error. "Both of you are the supposed 'balance keepers'. What FUCKING balance?! All I see is chaos when both sides outright refused to talk things out! Error! You couldn't try to explain to Ink about the Multiverse didn't you?! About Fate?! What did you think someone's gonna magically know what only you two were supposed to know?!"

He turned back towards Ink with his eyes blazing pink. "And Ink, I keep thinking to myself why don't you ever stop and try to talk things out. Cause from what I've seen, YOU KEEP ATTACKING PEOPLE WITHOUT HESITATION OR QUESTION! HAVE YOU EVER STOP TO THINK ABOUT ANYTHING LIKE THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS YOU IDIOTIC LITTLE- Hhngh-!"

Vigour's rant was cut off abruptly by red strings wrapping around his Soul tightly. The pink aura around everyone shattered as Vigour clawed at the strings on his Soul but only ended up choking as they constricted painfully.

 

Ink shrunk in on himself as Vigour screamed at him. He deserved this. And so much more...

His eye sockets widened when Vigour suddenly stopped screaming. No... Not those things... What... He glanced over at Error but those strings were red and he couldn't have moved either.

He staggered when he could suddenly move again.

"Vigour!" He shouted, trying to reach him.

Dream sagged to his hands and knees when he was released, sobbing quietly. He was sorry. He didn't mean to...

"I'm sorry, Nightmare..." He whispered shakily. He hadn't wanted to hurt his own brother for stars sake!

The other Star Sanses seemed shaken up but managed to regain their footing quickly.

Haven froze when he saw those strings around Vigour's soul. He had heard screaming and had decided to check it out.

 

Error looked at Vigour and his eyes widened in fear alongside Nightmare's. Those red strings. Those strings were wrapped around Vigour's Soul visibly, and painfully squeezing him. Fate.

"Vigour/vIGoUR!!!"

Cross' gasped loudly at the sight of him being choked by Fate's strings. "No!"

Killer and Horror flinched when they saw those strings. Dust looked sick at the sight.

Vigour struggled against the strings wrapped around his Soul painfully, the heart shaped object shining a rainbow spectra he hadn't noticed before. The touch burned terribly and he couldn't get it off of him. He opened his mouth to scream when he choked as more strings wrapped around his neck, cutting off his air supply painfully.

A loud booming voice sounded out in the AU sending chills down everyone's spine.

"NO ONE HURTS MY CHILD!!!"

Chapter Text

"what's going on?!" Slim asked, sounding freaked out. What the fuck was up with that voice?

Dream looked up, tear streaks on his cheek bones. The voice sent chills down his spine. He stood up, wiping the tears away. He couldn't waste time crying.

Ink shuddered. That voice felt oddly familiar. He was close to Vigour now.

Haven flinched back hard when he heard the voice. Damn was that loud. His skull ached slightly. His eye lights shrunk when he noticed that Vigour was choking.

"vigour!!" He shouted, teleporting, hoping he'd reach Vigour before those strings choked him to death.

 

Vigour choked, trying to breathe with a limited air flow thanks to the constricting strings around his neck and Soul.

"fAtE." Error answered with a growl and summoned his strings to save Vigour but he was hit by the red strings, throwing him back and into a tree. He fell groaning in pain.

"Error!" Cross screamed and ran to him.

Nightmare glared at the strings. "Leave him alone Fate!" he screamed loudly but the strings shot at him and he was thrown far away, skidding painfully on the snow covered ground. He groaned in pain as he laid in the snow.

"NO ONE SHALL HURT MY CHILD!" Fate hollered and wrapped more red strings around Vigour, pinning his arms to his sides. Red strings destroyed the ice in the frozen river creating a hole filled with freezing water behind the struggling skeleton. "HE SHALL BE PUNISHED FOR HURTING INK!"

"No!" Killer screamed and ran towards Vigour with his bones ready. He skidded to a stop when red strings shot at him which he blocked with his bones. He couldn't reach Vigour. "Vigour!"

"Fuck!" Dust cursed and summoned his bones to shoot at the strings hoping to sever it but it was destroyed by more strings. He turned towards the Star Sanses and growled. "Don't just stand there! Help!"

 

Haven appeared twenty feet away from Vigour. He started sprinting in his direction gritting his teeth. He was aware of the fact that he didn't know enough fighting magic to protect himself and that he would be easily dusted but he couldn't let those strings drown Vigour so he pushed forward.

Ink's eye sockets widened when Haven appeared. The other only had one HP. What was he doing?! He tried to grab a hold of Haven's jacket but the skeleton dodged effortlessly.

Stretch summoned a gasterblaster and tried shooting at the strings.

Dream picked up his staff and tried to get to Vigour to cut through the strings.

 

A wall of red strings appeared in front of the running skeleton cutting him off.

The Gaster blaster was easily crushed by the red strings and Dream was easily knocked back.

"ENOUGH! HE NEEDS TO BE PUNISHED. THAT IS HIS FATE!" Fate screamed and began dragging Vigour to the frozen river. Vigour's breathing stuttered at the sight and tried to dig his heels into the snow to stop himself but the strings were stronger than him. He was only making himself more panicked as his efforts were hopeless. He was slowly starting to hyperventilate.

Vigour opened his mouth to scream. "HEL-mmmpph!!!" red strings wrapped around his mouth tightly preventing from screaming for help. He sobbed and cried out loudly when the strings tightened, cracking a few bones in the process.

Nightmare forced himself back onto his feet and growled at the strings. He ran towards Vigour and blocked the red strings headed his way. "Leave him alone Fate!" he screamed.

"STAY OUT OF THIS OR ELSE!" Fate screamed; more strings appearing to attack. But one wasn't hostile. A lone string pointing at Ink.

It slowly moved forward and caressed the skeleton's cheek gently, almost lovingly.

 

Haven ran into the wall of red strings, grunting in pain. Okay. Not as bad as it could have been but he couldn't give up! He ran around the wall, panting heavily. He had to help his friend!!!

Ink froze when the lone red string approached him. He flinched back when it touched him, trembling in fear. Those strings were bad.

"STOP THIS!!!" He shouted at whomever was doing this, hoping that he would be heard.

 

Nightmare used his tentacles to capture Haven before he got too close; pulling him back just in time before he got hit with hostile red strings.

"Are you insane?!" he screamed at Haven. "Stay out of this or else you'll die alongside Vigour!"

He grunted when the strings pushed him back and cut his arm but he tolerated the pain.

Vigour's sobs were muffled as he was pulled towards the river. The cold radiating from the water was enough to slowly panic and his brain shut down. He stared at everyone with wide pleading eyes, tears streaming down his face.

Error sent out hundreds of strings, some were intercepted by Fate's but a few managed to grab onto Vigour. "gOt hIm!"

Error began pulling but he was getting dragged too. Fate was too strong for him. "fUCk!"

Nightmare's eye widened as he abandoned Haven to wrap his tentacles around Error and pulled as hard as he can. His other tentacles grabbed onto a tree to hold their ground but his grip was slipping. He held on, gritting his teeth. He wouldn't let Vigour go again.

The string stopped for a moment and pulled away slightly. "Do not be afraid Ink. It's for your own good. He won't die. He'll just be... broken. Like Error was. Your favorite punching bag." Fate said sweetly at Ink.

 

Haven sobbed quietly.

"guess i am insane then.." He replied quietly, tears streaming down his face. He grunted in pain as he was dropped. He wiped his cheek bones as he looked over to Vigour, reaching out his hand for him. He was much too far away. He stood up and tried getting to him again, his ribcage stinging. He wasn't used to this much movement but he needed to help Vigour! Nightmare and Error could clearly not hold on much longer. His vision was blurred by his tears.

Ink's eye sockets widened. He didn't want that!!

"NO! Just leave him alone!!!" Ink shouted panickedly.

Dream's eye lights hardened with determination and he ran over to Nightmare, grabbing his hand and trying to help him get a better grip on the tree again.

 

Nightmare flinched at the touch but he didn't tell Dream to stop. He needed help whether he liked it or not.

Cross ran over towards Nightmare and grabbed hold of his arm, pulling him back to help. Killer and Horror joined in by blocking the red strings attacking them. Dust ran over and grabbed Haven.

"You want to help?!" he asked. "Then grab hold of a tentacle and pull!"

Nightmare wrapped a tendril around Dust's arm and the latter pulled with all his might. They managed to match Fate's strength and halted Vigour's path towards the river. But more strings wrapped around the bound skeleton and pulled harder, his feet soon touching the cold liquid sending him into a panic attack as he struggled hard and screamed from behind his gag.

"Oh?" Fate asked curiously yet still kept that sweet tone. "Don't you want him broken? He'll do whatever you want. Without question or hesitation. He'll be your perfect friend. Just like Error was your perfect toy."

 

Haven nodded. Whether he liked it or not, what he was doing was plain suicide. He grabbed hold of a tentacle and pulled as hard as he could.

The other Star Sanses caught on surprisingly quickly and teleported over to help. Maybe together they could match Fate's strength or even beat them.

"I don't want him to be broken!!" Ink growled angrily.

 

Vigour shivered violently as the water reached his knees. His legs were frozen and he could barely feel them. Actually, he could barely feel anything. He couldn't feel anything and he could barely hear anything. Just seeing blurred shapes and muffled noises.

Shock. He was going into shock.

"Fuck!" Nightmare cursed as he slipped slightly but he regained his footing and pulled harder. "Come on! Vigour's going to drown if we don't pull!"

"What the hell do you think we're doing?!" Killer screamed in frustration.

"Not the time or place guys!" Cross interjected before those two could fight again.

"Why not?" Fate asked, as if not concerned that they were trying to drown Ink's friend into their worst phobia. "He yelled at you. He disobeyed the rules. Once broken he will be a perfect friend. Don't you want that, my child?"

 

Haven pulled as hard as he could, squeezing his eye sockets shut as if that would make him stronger.

"we... we can do this... we just have to... work together..." Haven panted heavily, digging his heels into the snow.

Tears started to drip down Ink's cheek bones.

"No. He already is the perfect friend. My perfect friend." Ink growled out.

 

Error growled as he pulled with all his might. Even as a destroyer, stronger than anyone else even Ink, he couldn't pull Vigour away from Fate's strings. He couldn't fail. He couldn't let someone else be trapped and broken like he'd been. He wouldn't let someone else be Fate's puppet!

"Is he?" Fate asked with slight doubt. "I can make him better."

 

Haven winced as he felt his grip slip slightly. He gritted his teeth and readjusted his weakening grip, pulling with all his might. He couldn't let Fate break Vigour!

"He is." Ink replied steadfastly. "And you can't. There is no way you could make him better by doing this to him." He tried to reason.

 

"INK!!!" Error screamed loudly in distress when he slipped slightly on the ice and snow, Vigour now half submerged under the freezing cold water. "WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING MAKING IT QUICK!!!"

Fate didn't say anything for a moment before they sighed. "Very well. If you insist my child."

Suddenly the strings disappeared and everyone fell back onto the snow. Error managed to catch Vigour and held the smaller skeleton close, breathing heavily as he cradled the other in his arms. Vigour was unconscious but shivering terribly. His whole body ice cold and his legs were soaked with freezing cold water.

"Call me if you ever change your mind. I'll be watching my child." Fate said sweetly before it disappeared.

 

Haven and the Star Sanses fell into the snow but despite how exhausted Haven was he was up in less than a second, running over to Vigour, panting heavily.

"is he okay? oh stars we need to get him inside because of hypothermia!" Haven rambled panickedly. He pulled off his jacket and draped it over Vigour, trembling slightly in fear.

Ink stared ahead blankly, not entirely sure what had happened.

Dream looked over at Nightmare.

"I'm sorry, brother..." He apologised, tears in his eye sockets. "I'm a horrible brother..." He added quietly.

 

Error looked at the monster cradled in his arms and nodded. They should get inside. Error stood up, careful of Vigour and looked at Haven. "AnY pLacE tO gO?"

Killer winced as he sat up alongside the other Sanses. He looked at Ink and saw how shocked he looked. He scowled. "Hey!" he called loudly. "You can daydream later! Vigour's not out of the woods yet!"

Nightmare gave Dream a glance and scoffed before standing up and walked towards Error and Vigour. He ignored his brother for now. They still needed to save Vigour.

 

"yeah. my house." Haven replied, leading the way as quickly as his short legs would carry him. They had to be quick. The river was ice cold.

Ink startled out of his stupor and shook his skull slightly, trying to shake off the thoughts as he followed Haven.

The Star Sanses stood up one after another, following too.

Dream winced. He deserved that. He had been so scared after Nightmare had become corrupted that he hadn't been able to act like a brother should...

 

Nightmare and his gang looked among each other before they followed Haven too. Dangerous or not, Vigour was their friend and they were not ungrateful assholes.

Error turned towards Ink who began walking beside him. He looked away for a moment before speaking. "LOoK iNk, hOw AbOUt wE aGReE oN a TrUCe fOr nOW? UNtIl vIgOuR's bETTer oF cOuRsE."

Nightmare glared at Error but didn't protest. Error was right. They needed a small truce to help Vigour. But he was not sure everyone would follow it. Especially Ink.

Killer ran up to walk beside Haven to talk. "Hey, we need some warm blankets and lots of warm packs. We know how to treat hypothermia. We can handle this, if you'll let us. If not Vigour dies. Your choice." Killer spoke bluntly. Hey, they were not his gang mates. Why would he be nice to someone who wanted him dead?

 

Ink nodded. He'd do anything to help Vigour get better. He knew he needed all the help he could get. He wasn't stupid after all. And that was the least he could do after doing so much wrong.

"you seem to care about vigour as much as i do so i'll trust you. just tell me what you need and i'll get it for you." Haven replied. "if you want something to eat too." He added, glancing over at Vigour worriedly.

 

Nightmare raised a brow at Ink's compliance. Odd. He'd never done that before. He scoffed. "Well then, make sure your dogs follow the rules too. We won't hesitate to fight back if we're attacked. Got it?"

Horror brightened up at the mention of food. "I can help cook!" he offered before jolting when he realized what he had said. Killer chuckled softly in amusement.

Error looked down at Vigour who looked to be in so much pain. His body constantly shivered as ice began forming on Vigour's legs. He was ice cold to the touch. Error used a thumb to rub Vigour's skull comfortingly as they walked towards Haven's house. They needed to heal Vigour, now.

 

"Sure. Just please help Vigour." Ink replied, seeming scared.

"that'd be great." Haven replied, happy about any kind of help. They'd have to make a soup and some tea to help warm Vigour up. He sprinted the last few feet to his door and slammed open the door.

Red flinched when there was the loud sound of a door being slammed open. He was still on the couch, only just having managed to calm down after his panic attack. His eye sockets widened when he caught a glimpse of Vigour. He stood up carefully, trying not to fall over and moved over.

"what happened?" He asked, still shaking slightly.

 

Nightmare looked confused and a little apprehensive at Ink but chose to ignore it. Ink had always been weird. Now was no different.

Error followed Haven and laid Vigour on the couch. "faTE hAPpEneD."

"Red strings dragged Vigour to a frozen river." Killer said while he passed them before kneeling next to Vigour. "Choked him and probably damaged him in some way. We're not sure of the physical or mental damage he has at the moment. Can you get me some blankets, warm packs and other warm items?"

Horror went to the kitchen to cook while Cross followed. Some full HP food would suffice. Good thing Horror had learned how to make some recently.

 

Red didn't even have time to question it as Haven took his hand and dragged him with him to get as much blankets as they could possibly carry. He found several warm packs too and they teleported back to the living room, fully loaded with blankets. Haven had picked up a change of clothes for Vigour too. He put everything onto the coffee table, heading to the kitchen to make tea.

Red just stood there nervously after he had put the blankets on the coffee table. He knew how to handle hypothermia but he was sure the others knew that better.

"anything we can do to help?" Comic asked slightly nervously.

 

"Just stay there and try not to cause any trouble." Killer said with a frown and removed the wet clothes from Vigour's body. He growled at the sight of the cracked bones but he knew he couldn't fix any of them until Vigour was warmed up to a safe temperature. He quickly replaced the wet clothes with the brought clothing and began putting the warm packs at the pressure points to warm him up. Killer moved Vigour's arms to his sides before wrapping him up in a cocoon of blankets.

"There." he said once he was done. "That should do it. We'll fix up the cracks and fractures later once he wakes up. We better give him some pain killers too."

 

Comic frowned but nodded.

"i'll ask haven where he keeps them." Red offered and promptly did just that. He hated being in the way.

Ink leaned against the wall and slid to the floor. This was all his fault. Those strings had been there because of him. What sick, twisted mind thought they could make Vigour a better friend by almost killing him?!

 

"You look upset." Nightmare pointed out at Ink as he sat on the couch.

 

Ink looked up, frowning.

"This was all my fault..." Ink replied, self-loathing thick in his voice as he hugged himself. He was such a bad friend....

 

Nightmare scoffed with a roll of his eye. "Finally. You admit it."

Error frowned at Nightmare and turned towards Ink. "yOu dIDn't'T tRY to dRowN VigOUr."

 

Ink winced. He deserved that. He was the worst. He looked up at Error.

"Yeah but those strings... They were there because of me..." He admitted, feeling his soul convulsing slightly.

 

"No, they weren't." Killer interjected while sitting on the floor besides Vigour who was beginning to look slightly better. "At least... not usually. Fate is funny that way."

Dust looked away with crossed arms, eyes shining brightly in anger. "No, it was Ink's fault. Fate loves him. Not anyone else. He's to blame for Vigour's pain. If Ink hadn't done whatever he did to gain Fate's attention, Vigour wouldn't have been dragged here from his home!"

 

Ink winced. The only thing he had wished for was a friend... Wait... Had Vigour been dragged here because he wanted a friend..? He closed his eye sockets, trying not to cry. He didn't deserve to cry.

"Leave him alone." Dream hissed quietly though it lacked conviction as he sat down next to Ink.

 

Dust growled at Dream. "And why should I? You've all caused us enough grief for years! Now this insane creator has dragged someone else into his mess and Vigour's the one who paid the price! As if we're not enough! As if Error wasn't enough!"

"Dust shut up." Killer said softly but it was almost unheard. He was tired and he was upset. As much as he wanted to join Dust, Vigour wouldn't like it. If the second time they'd been frozen had shown anything, it was that the skeleton didn't like fighting. Especially if it hurt others.

 

Ink hugged himself tighter, trying to block them out.

"Didn't we agree to a small period of peace?" Dream asked, frowning.

"Because I'm pretty sure we won't hold back if you make Ink cry." He explained, his eye lights burning.

 

Dust burst into laughter, his Soul tearing apart at the grief of the idea of losing his friend and the idea of Ink crying was something he would never comprehend.

"Him?! Cry?!" he laughed bordering on insane. "Oh that's rich! That insane Creator-! Mmmf-!"

Killer covered Dust's mouth with his hand as he wrapped an arm around Dust. He leaned down and whispered something into Dust's ear which made him let out a shaky sigh and stop struggling. Killer turned to the others.

"Fine." he said. "A momentary truce. At least until we get this whole thing sorted out. I don't want to stay here for long."

 

Ink stood up and left the room wordlessly. There were tears running down his cheeks though.

Dream looked after Ink, smiling weakly at Killer. He was clearly glad about the peace but wanted to get to Ink as soon as possible.

"Thanks." He replied, happy that the dark Sanses were cooperating. He stood up and rushed after Ink worriedly.

 

Killer looked at the duo leaving the room before he sighed. He released Dust and gave him a glare but it was weak.

Dust looked away with a scoff. "Don't look at me like that."

"We agreed. For peace." Killer gritted out.

"He had it coming." Dust retorted making Killer sigh.

Nightmare raised a brow at the duo and sighed. He uses his tentacles to wrap around them and pull them to sit beside him, keeping his tentacles in place. They looked surprised but relaxed into the touch. He rubbed the top of their skulls.

"Behave." he said calmly and they nodded.

Horror and Cross walked into the living room with bowls of soup for everyone but Cross noticed Ink and Dream missing.

"Where are...?" he started.

"Out." Killer responded briefly.

 

Haven followed them with a big pot of tea in his hands. Several mugs were floating behind him but it was getting really hard for him to hold them up. He was also carrying the painkillers Red had gone to get. Red was still in the kitchen, his social anxiety preventing him from going into the living room.

Slim quickly stepped towards him and took a few mugs out of thin air, carrying them to the coffee table. Haven thanked him and put the other cups and the pot of tea down too. He wondered where Ink had gone.

 

Horror handed his gang a bowl of soup while Cross put one of them on the table for Vigour. He handed one to Error who refused at first but one look from Nightmare had him sigh and take it.

The duo sat down on the floor and began eating silently, the air tense.

 

Haven glanced around nervously. The air was extremely tense. He didn't like it at all. It felt like he could get attacked at any moment.

"um.. can i have some soup or..." Haven asked, trailing off. He was not sure whether he could take any. Sure. They had used his kitchen and his ingredients but they had put so much time into that food. He didn't feel right just taking any.

Slim took a cup and filled it with tea, sitting down next to Stretch and Comic on the floor.

Dream walked back into the living room, Ink right behind him, his eye sockets swollen slightly as if he had just cried.

 

Horror nodded, placing his bowl on the ground and teleported away for a second only to return with another bowl. He handed it to Haven with a small smile.

"I made enough for everyone." Horror said, a light shining in his eyes. "Full HP food. It'll heal whatever injuries you received for trying to help."

Horror turned towards Ink and Dream hesitating. After a moment he teleported away and returned with two bowls. To the dark Sanses' surprise, Horror handed them to Ink and Dream.

"Here." he said softly, slightly hesitating. "It'll make you feel better."

 

"thank you." Haven thanked him, smiling brightly as he took the bowl from Horror, carefully walking over to the coffee table, trying not to spill anything. He sat down at the table and started eating, humming happily. It tasted awesome.

"wow. this is great." He said, smiling at Horror.

"Thanks..." Ink mumbled, looking grateful as he took the bowl. Dream thanked him too as he took the bowl.

 

Horror looked surprised at the compliment coming from someone other than his gang. He nodded and sat down back at his spot, trying to fight a smile.

Nightmare took a glance at his brother and Ink for a moment before looking away.

Error looked between Ink and Dream before he looked at Vigour's unconscious face. "NiGHTmAre, cHeCk hIS sOUl."

 

Haven tore his attention from the heavenly soup reluctantly. Whose soul? Vigour's? Wasn't that invasive if he was still asleep? Maybe it was necessary.

He looked over when Ink and Dream approached the coffee table, the former looking a bit out of it.

 

Nightmare nodded and raised his hand at Vigour. He flicked his hand upwards and Vigour's Soul appeared above his chest. The sight made him scowl with a low growl.

The white inverted Soul had a rainbow shine to it, kind of like Ink's Soul except instead of being completely rainbow it shined like an opal. But the Soul looked damaged. The white heart barely glowed, there was a crack starting to form in the middle of the Soul and faint lines marred where those red strings had touched him.

"His HP is 10/500." Nightmare informed. "He's Falling Down. But..." he trailed off as he looked over the Soul with a critical eye.

 

Haven's eye sockets widened in shock. Was Vigour dying?! He stood up quickly and walked over to the couch, frowning worriedly.

"is he going to be okay..?" He asked concernedly.

Ink had just taken a sip of his soup - he had to admit that it was very tasty - when Nightmare said that. He had to fight hard to swallow the soup. Fuck..

 

Killer raised a brow as he focused on a small detail. "What's the 'but'?"

"But," Nightmare said as he looks at Vigour's Soul. "It's... stagnant. It refuses to fall lower than 10HP despite the fact that he's Falling."

Error winced at that. He only knew one person who's Soul refused to Fall Down no matter what. Himself. "iS It bEcAUse Of FatE?"

 

"oh thank the stars..." Haven breathed out, extremely relieved. His eye sockets opened again when he heard that.

"fate's that bad entity that tried to..." Haven shivered at the thought. "um.. do certain things to vigour, right?" He asked, sounding nervous.

Ink was happy that Vigour was not dying but if he was being forced to stay alive... That wasn't that great either....

 

Killer nodded at Haven grimly before turning towards Nightmare. "Does that mean he'll be like Error? Not being able to die no matter how much he wanted to?"

Cross shivered and hugged himself. "That.... that's a fate worse than death."

"I'd not be surprised if Fate did that to Vigour." Horror growled lowly. "He did it to Error and that's because Error's the destroyer. Vigour is Ink's 'friend' that Fate dragged for him. Most likely Fate wanted Vigour to stay with Ink forever."

"Now hold on-." Nightmare tried to say but Dream cut him off.

 

"What do you mean with 'dragged here for Ink'?" Dream asked suspiciously.

"Clearly that's not true. He already has friends after all." He explained, fighting to keep his tone civil.

Haven frowned. Horror wouldn't lie for no reason. He cared about Vigour too.

"Dream, just listen to them for once." Haven huffed slightly.

 

Horror growled at Dream but refrained himself from saying anything bad, like cursing at the Star Sans. They had agreed to not fight for now. But they were really pushing his buttons. Bunch of shallow minded, blind, hypocritic-

"I don't know what world you lived in but so far Ink's only ever called Vigour his friend." Horror opted to say and he did it much calmer than he felt.

"Alright no fighting." Nightmare said sternly. He read the Soul again, trying to find more details. "No, Fate didn't cause Vigour's inability to Fall Down. Surprisingly. The process of transferring Ink's powers of creation never completed."

 

Dream opened his mouth to snap back but he had no ammo. He really had never heard Ink call anyone friend.

"and that means...?" Comic asked confusedly.

Haven tilted his head, trying to understand. At least Vigour wasn't being forced to stay alive. He counted that as a win.

"maybe he knows we need him?" Haven suggested quietly. He had never thought that it would be possible for the dark Sanses and Star Sanses to be in the same room without any casualties. Vigour had made that possible.

 

Nightmare sighed at Comic's question. Of course. Vigour did tell- yell- at them about this problem. The Star Sanses didn't know about anything the Dark Sanses knew. Not even his brother and Ink.

"We checked him earlier before he went to HavenTale." Nightmare started to explain. "His check said that he was dragged here by Fate for Ink. The rainbow shine is the same as Ink's Soul, and because Ink can create and the fact that Fate was involved, it means that Fate tried to give Vigour Ink's powers. A 'perfect friend' that Fate kept saying to Ink earlier. But it didn't work leaving him with that shine. Thinking about it... that would explain his power to control paint. He wasn't able to do that earlier."

"What about his inability to Fall Down?" Cross asked concerned. "What's the reason if it's not Fate?"

 

Comic nodded, still slightly confused but he had understood most of it.

Haven huffed and repeated his idea louder. He wasn't sure if that really was the case but maybe it was.

 

Nightmare shook his skull at Haven's theory. "No. Fate isn't the one causing him to not Fall Down. It's his own Soul."

"Nightmare that doesn't clear anything up." Killer said crossing his arms. The others nodded in agreement.

"For fucks sake, it means Vigour's always been unable to Fall Down." Nightmare said in frustration. "His Soul won't allow him to, despite how close he is at Falling. Something akin to Determination but not at the same time. Something in his Soul, hell maybe the Soul itself, won't let him Fall Down."

 

"But how? That shouldn't be possible." Dream pointed out doubtfully. Was Vigour immortal?

Haven looked at his friend worriedly. He wished the other would wake up so that they could ask him questions and get some of that delicious soup into him.

 

Nightmare sighed and glared at Dream in frustration. Surprisingly he kept his voice level. "Why are you asking me why? I'm just reading from his Soul."

"But can he die?" Dust asked curiously. Vigour couldn't be immortal. Fate hadn't completed the process and everything died. Even Vigour, unfortunately.

Nightmare read the Soul and nodded. "Yes, he can. Just.... not able to Fall Down. Fate's magic also gave him something akin to immortality." Nightmare chuckled in amusement as he read the Soul. "Apparently he'll outlive most Sanses despite the Resets in their favor."

 

"Sorry." Dream replied slightly agitatedly. Ink slapped his arm and he went silent.

Ink frowned. It wouldn't do to fight. They needed all the help they could get.

"in our favour." Stretch deadpanned, scoffing. Sure. The resets were so great. He didn't think more sarcasm was even possible.

 

Dust gave Stretch a manic grin as he pulled out his knife. "Do you want me to end your misery then?"

Nightmare wrapped his tentacles to cover Dust's mouth to keep him silent. Dust growled around the tendril but didn't fight back.

Vigour stirred but no one noticed since the air was getting thicker with agitation.

 

"no, thanks." Stretch replied with a frown, his right eye light flickering with magic at the threat.

"guys. remember? we agreed on no fighting." Haven reminded them, trying to keep up the fragile peace, his voice slightly shaky with nervousness. He didn't want his house to be destroyed either.

 

"If beanpole here can keep his magic to himself, we won't have any problems then." Horror growled out as he stared Stretch down, his eye shining dangerously as a warning. He was so done of being pushed around. If the Star Sanses caused trouble he'd fight back hard.

"Guys..." Killer said warningly but he was ignored.

 

Stretch growled lowly.

"stop it, both of you." Haven warned, frowning. They weren't helping. They had to help Vigour together.

"Stretch." Ink said lowly, staring the taller skeleton down.

 

Horror grinned wide as he stood up, his magic sparking. "You want to go tough guy? Alright meat, let's-"

"...nnnh… didn't i stop this fight....?" a soft weak breathy voice spoke from the couch. Vigour stared at them through squinted eye sockets and small blurry eye lights.  His face was covered in a blush from a fever as his bones ached.

 

Stretch was about to stand up but stopped when he heard Vigour, his magic still sparking.

"vigour." Haven tried to keep his voice quiet, trying not to agitate Vigour. He moved next to him, either running or teleporting, he wasn't completely sure.

"do you need painkillers?" He asked quickly, already reaching for the box of painkillers in his jacket pocket.

 

Horror sat back down when Vigour spoke, internally relieved that he was awake. Nightmare and the other dark Sanses were silent as they watched their friend slowly rouse from unconsciousness.

Vigour turned his skull to the side and forced himself out of the cocoon, groaning softly but breathlessly. He held his skull confused and in pain. "i need a... a freaking horse tranqulizer. i feel like i've been hit with a... wrecking ball to the brain."

 

"don't move." Haven warned him. If he moved it would only hurt worse. He took out the small box of painkillers and gave Vigour four of them. He couldn't give him any more. It could be lethal. He quickly used his magic to pour a cup of tea and held the slightly cooled off cup out to Vigour.

 

Vigour took the offered pills and the cup thankfully but sluggishly. He looked sick. Extremely sick.

Vigour popped the pills in his mouth and swallowed them dry before drinking the tea. Once the cup was emptied he gave it back at Haven with a small thank you as he rubbed his eye sockets.

"what the fuck happened?" he breathed out, his voice soft and weak.

 

"always." Haven replied with a smile as he took the cup back.

"Y-you almost... dr-drowned... Those red str-strings took you and... River..." Ink tried to explain but he was crying, tears dripping down his cheek bones as guilt clawed at his soul. This was all his fault.

"'m sorry." He mumbled quietly, sniffling softly.

 

"...ink...?" Vigour looked at the sobbing skeleton on confusion and worry. "what...?"

"Fate almost drowned you in the ice cold river." Horror spoke but sounded agitated, clearly angry at something.

Vigour flinched hard when he was reminded and held his skull and ribs in pain. "ah... that explains things.." That explained his aching body, head and Soul. Hypothermia and trauma all rolled into one. Fantastic. "....but why is ink...?"

 

"Ink's blaming himself for what happened." Dream explained, hugging Ink. The shorter skeleton sniffled quietly, hugging the other back.

"um.. horror made amazing soup. do you want some?" Haven asked. Vigour should really eat something.

 

"What? Why?" Vigour asked, his worry for his friend momentarily override his rationality to heal himself.

"Cause it is." Dust growled hatefully now that Nightmare was distracted and let his tentacles fall.

 

"It's not." Dream argued, his eye lights flashing briefly. He had just managed to convince Ink that he wasn't at fault but now he was blaming himself again and Dust certainly wasn't helping. He hugged Ink tighter, rubbing his back gently.

Stretch stepped forward, growling lowly.

"stop it, idiot." Slim told him, holding the back of his hoodie to make sure he wouldn't attack anyone.

 

"Guys...?" Vigour asked hesitantly, his face nervous and scared.

"Oh yeah?" Dust asked standing up and glaring at Dream. "Why'd you think Fate took Vigour huh? Why did Fate drag Vigour to that lake? Didn't you hear them? To turn Vigour into Ink's perfect friend!!!"

"Dust!" Killer screamed at him. "What the hell?! Ink didn't do anything!"

"Oh don't you start!" Dust shot back glaring at Killer. "Everyone in here knows it! Vigour's in this mess because of Ink! Because Fate can't have their favorite child be a little lonely! Because they can't handle Ink a little upset! Because Ink's the greatest fucking person in the whole Multiverse! That's utter bullshit!! Or did you forget what he did to us?!!"

 

Ink buried his face into Dream's shirt, holding onto him tightly.

"stop it. you're making vigour upset." Haven warned them firmly, looking a bit shaky himself. He hated fights.

 

"Shut it!" Dust snapped loudly causing a few skeletons- including Vigour- to wince. "Look! Even Ink knows it's true! At least now he gives a damn about other people!"

"That's enough Dust." Killer tried to reason with his friend. "Look, we'll just fix this and-"

"Fix what?! Vigour?! Fate had him! Fate had their strings on him and he's now their new puppet! Face it we failed!"

"We didn't-!" Cross tried to say but Horror interjected.

"We haven't failed yet!"

"Oh yeah?!" Dust scoffed. "How do you expect to save Vigour now?!"

 

Haven flinched back when he was shouted at, tears collecting in his eye sockets. He had just wanted to help...

He sat down on the couch next to Vigour.

"He's still saveable. He's awake. That's positive at least!" Dream argued agitatedly.

"Fate said they'd leave him alone..." Ink sniffled quietly.

 

"Guys..." Vigour said weakly, looking between the fighting skeletons like someone who was lost. But mostly, he was looking at them with hurt. They were doing it again.

"So?! You actually believed them!?" Dust screamed loudly.

Nightmare sighed. "I hate to admit it but, Dust's right. When does Fate leave their puppet alone? Once you've gotten their attention..."

"Look, we've tackled this before." Killer said calmly. "We can find a way."

 

"I can protect him in the doodle sphere." Ink interjected.

"how abou-" Haven tried to say but he was cut off by Dream.

"I bet Fate has a good grip on the doodle sphere. He'll stay with us!" Dream argued, frowning. He sounded agitated already and his voice was much louder than before.

 

Nightmare scoffed in disbelief. "No offence but didn't Vigour fall out of the Doodle Sphere before? How's that safe?"

"Right." Dust agreed with a nod. "Besides, we're stronger than you all. We can protect Vigour better! And, we have Error!"

"Assuming someone doesn't create more fucking AUs that is." Horror said staring at Ink.

"dOn'T pULl mE inTO tHis ARGuMEnT." Error said from the spot.

Vigour let out a shuddering exhale as he curled in on himself, tears dotting his eyes. His Soul clenching painfully at their words. He was his own person. Couldn't they see that? Why couldn't they just... leave him alone?

Despite how hard he was Falling Down, his HP refused to go lower. Knowing that fact, Vigour began to cry silently but no one noticed.

 

"Right..." Ink agreed, sighing.

"you're stronger?! wanna go?!" Stretch growled lowly, lunging towards them. Slim rolled his eyes and grabbed the back of his hoodie again, pulling him back.

"fucking stop." He hissed.

 

Dust grinned at Stretch. "Fuck yeah I am. I can protect Vigour better than you. In fact, he'll live with us from now on. It's the best way to protect him after all."

 

"no way! he won't live with you! he can't!" Comic shouted, jumping up in outrage. Slim huffed and took his jacket sleeve, holding it tightly.

"you're really not helping..." He growled, holding them both back.

 

"Why not?" Horror asked while crossing his arms. "We're better at protecting someone than you."

"I'd recommend shutting up now Horror." Nightmare said lowly in a warning.

"Guys stop..." Vigour said but his voice was too soft to be heard.

 

"what if you get bloodthirsty or something?!!" Comic shouted angrily. "you might be better at protecting him from fate but who protects him from you?!!!" He added, his eye lights blazing.

"shut the fuck up!" Slim hissed, using blue magic to hold Comic still as he covered his mouth tightly. If they were going to get into a fight they would lose.

"but he's righ-!!" Stretch started, gasping as Slim kicked his legs out from under him.

 

"THE HELL?!!" Horror screamed in anger, the other dark Sanses followed suit.

"That's going too far!!" Killer screamed at Comic.

"Truce is fucking over!!!" Dust screamed and readied his blasters and bones.

"And here I thought you'd stop to keep Vigour sa-!"

"Shut up!" Vigour cried out loudly. "Shut up shut up shut up! Just please shut uhuhup!!!"

Everyone froze, but not because of Vigour's magic.

But because Vigour was crying. Big fat tears streamed down his face as his shoulders shook with gasping sobs. His face covered by his hands as he cried loudly. His face full of distraught.

When had they ever seen Vigour.... cry?

 

Slim sighed as he let Comic and Stretch go. Well. There went the peace...

Dream summoned his staff, ready to defend Ink.

Ink flinched when Vigour suddenly started sobbing. The other Star Sanses froze in the middle of summoning their weapons.

Haven looked over at Vigour, his eye sockets widening. Stars. Why did they always have to fight...

 

Vigour couldn't control himself. Everything was too much. He tried and tried and tried to make things better. To fix things. But he'd failed. Now they were fighting and he couldn't do anything about it. He hadn't felt this helpless since... since forever. And he hated it. He hated that he couldn't do anything. He hated that he couldn't control himself. He hated how he let his emotions run wild as he sobbed. He could never stop himself when he was upset. Everything came out.  They were going to despise him for crying. They were going to because he'd say bad things. People always did when he was upset.

"Just shut up! All of you!" he screamed while sobbing harshly. "Why?! Why can't you all just get along?! Was it something I did?! Was it something I didn't do?! Why can't you just-! Just-! Tolerate each other!?!"

"I'm not an object! I'm not some item you can fight over as if I don't have any free will!! I'm not something you can fight over like-! Like a toy! And then you always fight each other when neither of you wins! You always fight and fight and people always gets hurt!! You know what?!" Vigour stood, glaring at everyone through tear filled eyes. "I wish I hadn't met any of you! Maybe then you all wouldn't fight over me and hurt each other like this!"

Vigour then ran out of the living room, not looking back and not knowing where he was going. He just wanted to be alone. He opened a random door and locked himself inside, sliding down the door to the floor. He looked around. Haven's room.

How ironic.

Vigour covered his face and sobbed loudly, his tears dripping non-stop as everything- all the bad in the world- came crashing down on him. Too bad he couldn't Fall Down though. It would have ended his misery.

 

Ink curled in on himself tighter with every word, guilt eating at his soul.

Slim closed his eye sockets, letting the words wash over him. He should have tried harder to hold Comic and Stretch back...

Dream regretted everything he had said.

Comic and Stretch both winced hard as they were shouted at. They shouldn't have tried to insult and attack the dark Sanses...

Haven was shivering when Vigour was done. He had tried to stop all this but he had failed and even though he hadn't participated in the fight he felt so bad...

 

Horror looked down guiltily as Vigour screamed at them. Every word sent sharp pain through him. Stars that hurt. They'd caused that hadn't they?

Nightmare looked away as Vigour screamed. Maybe he shouldn't have let his boys fight. He could have stopped them but he hadn't. And now...

 

Haven stood up shakily, his whole body trembling. He should go upstairs and comfort Vigour. His soul was aching... He sat back down on the couch again. His legs couldn't hold him, he was shaking too much...

The Star Sanses seemed to be in a state of shock, not moving much despite breathing.

 

After a moment of tense silence, Nightmare spoke after his tentacles could move.

"We're sorry." he said softly.

 

Ink nodded.

"We're sorry too..." He replied.

"i behaved like an asshole... 'm sorry..." Comic apologised, looking at the ground guiltily.

 

Killer sighed, looking up where Vigour had ran. "Should we-?"

"Let him rest." Nightmare said softly.

 

Haven sighed shakily, sinking into the couch cushions reluctantly. Nightmare was right. They should give him some time to calm down. Who knew what would happen if they disturbed him while he was in that frame of mind.

Ink nodded in agreement. Though he seemed to want nothing more than jump up and comfort Vigour he stayed where he was.

 

Nightmare looked down at his hands. "Look, Vigour's right. All we ever did was fight."

"It really doesn't help anyone." Killer interjected in agreement. "So far it only hurts them."

 

"well we didn't start it..." Stretch murmured. Slim's eye lights flashed dangerously as he glared at his counterpart. He never knew when to shut up.

 

"It doesn't matter who started it." Nightmare growled lowly, his eye flashing dangerously. "What matters is who's ending it. That's always been the problem, hasn't it? Neither of us wants to finish, to lose. That's our problem."

 

"guys, this is exactl-" Haven tried to explain but got cut off by Dream.

"Doesn't give you the right to insult Ink that way." He growled lowly, holding Ink protectively.

"just lis-" Haven tried again but was cut off again.

 

"Insult?!" Dust yelled at Dream. "It's the truth!"

Nightmare sighed softly in annoyance. "Here we go again."

Chapter Text

Comic growled lowly and summoned a gasterblaster, pointing it directly at Dust.

"i dare you to say that again!!" He shouted, his left eye light flaring just as much as his temper.

All the Star Sanses seemed ready for battle except for Ink who looked like he would rather be somewhere else.

Haven was hiding behind the couch by now. He only had one HP and fighting magic made him almost physically sick. It felt so wrong.

 

"Why? Are you deaf too on top of being blind?" Dust grinned as he summoned his own blasters.

The dark Sanses either looked downright murderous, or like Error who looked like he wanted to be somewhere else.

"Guys come on!" Killer tried to reason but they ignored him. Again.

 

Comic growled lowly.

"your voice is just too ridiculous to listen to it!" He snapped, firing a gasterblaster. And with that all hell broke loose.

 

Dust grinned wide and attacked back just as hard. Horror and Cross growled before shooting bones, knives and swings at the Star Sanses. No one insulted their family!

Meanwhile upstairs....

Vigour flinched when he heard the telltale sound of blaster firing. His voice hitched every so often with sobs but he couldn't cry anymore.

He wiped his tears sadly but they kept being replaced with more. He blinked when he felt something nudge his foot. He looked down and saw a small bunny sniffing his foot before it looked up at Vigour with wide curious eyes.

 

Stretch summoned several bones and shot them at the dark Sanses, his eye lights blazing.

Slim huffed and raised his two bone swords, trying to block some of the attacks thrown at Stretch and Comic. His HP dropped a bit when his arm was slashed with a knife but he fought back, keeping more to the defensive side.

Dream summoned his staff, his eye lights glowing dangerously.

 

Cross growled and used his large sword like knife to slash the bones into dust before he shot out a barrage of bones and knives at Stretch.

Horror grinned wide as he ran towards Slim, his axe raised high with the intent to maim. Dust ran towards Comic with a fire burning in his eyes.

"Guys stop!" Killer screamed but he had to block a bone from hitting him.

"Enough boys!" Nightmare yelled but his voice wasn't heard past the violence. For once why couldn't Ink do something?!

---

Vigour looked at the bunny and sniffed softly. "When did you get here?" he asked shakily at the bunny.

Of course he didn't get a response except another nudge. He smiled nonetheless. "You hungry little guy?"

He pulled out his brush and painted a large carrot which he fed the bunny with. The creature immediately nibbled at the vegetable, its ears twitching at the sounds of fighting. Vigour smiled understandably and stroked its soft fur.

"I know." he said softly. "It's scary right? The fighting? I'd wish they'd stop though."

 

Haven whimpered from where he was hiding behind the couch, covering the sides of his skull with his hands, trying to block the sounds of fighting out.

Slim jumped in front of Stretch and used a gasterblaster to vaporise the bones and knives, grabbing his bone swords tightly. He quickly dodged a swing of Horror's axe and used one of his longer legs to kick at Horror's, trying to get him to fall.

Stretch summoned two gasterblasters behind him and shot one at Cross, keeping the other on standby.

Dream intercepted Dust before he could get to Comic, whacking him upside the head with his staff.

Ink's eye lights burned as he stood up, clearly pissed off. Why couldn't they just stop fighting for once?! They had already upset Vigour more than once!

 

Vigour chuckled at the bunny and sniffed again while wiping away tears. "I kinda miss when my friends didn't fight all the time. I miss my friends. Heh,"

Vigour reached inside his pocket and pulled out a book. The same book he'd used to keep Ink's art. But it was also a scrapbook of his friends. He opened the first page and smiled. Inside were miniature art works his friends had given him alongside pictures to commemorate the day.

"I'm glad I took these." he said sadly as his hand brushed over a friendship bracelet his UT Sans made for him. Beside it was a picture of him with Sans and Papyrus outside on a blanket making said bracelets.

Vigour smiled and a song came to mind. He opened his mouth and started to sing softly, his voice shaky but mostly melodic.

"Loving can hurt,
Loving can hurt sometimes. But it's the only thing that I know, know~"

He was reminded of his friends from back home, how they used to fight all the time too. Yet he tried and tried again until they were all happy, tolerated each other peacefully before being friends.

Then he could hear the fighting and felt that the next verse fit perfectly.

"And when it gets hard~
You know it can get hard sometimes.
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive~
Ooohh~"

---

Horror jumped out of the way with a growl- thankful for his constant training with Killer- and raised his hand to summon a barrage of bones.

Cross blocked the attack with his sword and aimed his knives at the other blaster, some of them pointing at Stretch.

Dust grunted in pain as he was hit and stumbled back. He quickly regained his bearings- despite his HP dropping and his eyes slightly blurry- and raised his knife to strike again.

"Nightmare!" Killer pleaded at the dark skeleton.

"On it. Error?" Nightmare said while Error nodded.

Error summoned his strings to ensnare the Star Sanses, cutting off their movements and magic. Nightmare himself used his tentacles to wrap around his gang, restraining them tightly and gagging them.

"That's enough boys!!!" Nightmare screamed firmly at his gang. The Star Sanses trapped in Error's strings immediately protested.

 

Ink sighed when he was tied up by Error's strings, trying to keep his body mostly limp. It hurt less that way. But he saw that it was necessary. They were going to destroy Haven's house. Speaking of him. Where was Haven...?

Slim struggled slightly but stopped once he noticed that it was futile. At least this was better than getting beaten up.

Comic's eye sockets darkened as he tried to struggle, growling lowly.

"fucking leave us alone, freak!" Stretch seethed.

"Will you shut up for once!" Ink shouted at him.

"Where's Haven?" He asked in a more quiet tone when Stretch finally shut up. Had they hurt him or even worse, was he dust?!

 

Nightmare's eye widened and he looked at Error who released Ink. "Go fINd hIm." Error said.

Nightmare looked at his boys and growled before walking towards the kitchen with his gang behind him still trapped in his tentacles. "You however, need a long... long... chat."

Vigour was too caught up in his song and memories that he didn't notice the door opening slightly.

"We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves"

He smiled at a picture where he, UF Sans and his US Papyrus were covered in cookie batter. They'd been trying to bake cookies for their brothers but it hadn't went so well. The next picture showed their finished- slightly messy- cookies and three proudly grinning skeletons behind them.

"Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
Times forever frozen still"

He brushed over a picture of him and SF Sans at a training field with SF Papyrus sleeping in the background. A golden foil metal was attached beside the picture that had a red #1 drawn on it.

"So you can keep me
Inside the pocket
Of your ripped jeans
Holdin' me closer
'Til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone
Wait for me to come home"

 

Ink stumbled slightly when he was released but nodded, a determined fire in his eye lights as he searched for Haven. He really hoped he was okay...

Haven was shivering, curled up into a small ball behind the couch, pressing against the wall, trying to get away as his closed eye sockets dripped with tears. He looked up, his whole body trembling as he saw Ink.

Ink cursed quietly.

"Haven?" He asked gently.

Red opened the door to Haven's room quietly. There. He had been sure he hadn't been hearing things. He peeked inside carefully. Vigour was sitting on the ground, holding a small book. There was a bunny too and Vigour was... singing?

It sounded pretty good actually.

 

Vigour smiled when the bunny hopped over to his side and snuggled into him, watching the book. He continued to sing as he recalled the good times.

"Loving can heal
Loving can mend your soul
And it's the only thing that I know (know)"

He didn't know that because of the door being ajar, his voice carried throughout the house with an aid of a certain pink trail coming from his Soul.

Nightmare huffed as he finished scolding his gang who looked down guiltily. He opened his mouth to say something else when he paused and looked back into the living room. Was someone... singing?

Dust and Horror looked up from the floor when they heard singing and- because they couldn't do anything else- listened to the song. It was melodic with a sad undertone to it. Dare they say, calming.

"I swear it will get easier
Remember that with every piece of ya
And it's the only thing we take with us when we die"

 

Red listened but he didn't want to disturb Vigour so he kept silent.

Haven looked up when he heard Ink. He relaxed slightly when he could suddenly hear a song, his shivers lessening. He stood up shakily and hugged Ink.

Ink frowned slightly. Who was singing? His thought process was interrupted by Haven stumbling into his arms. He hugged back, listening to the music. It felt familiar. And calming. He relaxed a bit and hugged Haven tighter.

Dream perked up slightly from where he was tied up. Singing...? The other Star Sanses were confused too but ultimately decided that they couldn't find out where it was coming from because they were tied up and stopped struggling to listen better.

 

Unconsciously, without knowing he had an audience, Vigour sang louder.

"We keep this love in this photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts were never broken
Times forever frozen still

So you can keep me
Inside the pocket
Of your ripped jeans
Holdin' me closer
'Til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone"

Vigour smiled with tears dripping down his face and onto the book as he looked at all the artwork and pictures his friends had made for him. All of them contained good memories and little joyful mishaps. All the struggles and pain they had went through to get where they are, happy and at peace. All the pain...

"And if you hurt me
That's OK, baby, only words bleed
Inside these pages you just hold me
And I won't ever let you go".

...they were worth it.

"Wait for me to come home~"

He missed them.

---

Nightmare listened intently to the song as his tentacles loosened. Why... did he feel that he could relate to the song? Why... was he feeling this?

Error finally dropped his strings when everyone strangely calmed down from the singing. Though he had to admit, even he was affected by the song.

---

"Oh you can fit me
Inside the necklace you got when you were 16
Next to your heartbeat
Where I should be
Keep it deep within your soul

And if you hurt me
Well, that's OK, baby, only words bleed
Inside these pages you just hold me
And I won't ever let you go"

Vigour sang, his voice cracking slightly every so often with emotions. He didn't notice how he was affecting everyone below. Nor that the fighting had stopped. He was too caught up in his memories.

 

Red frowned when he felt something drip down his cheek bones. Was he bleeding? He reached up, noticing that his cheek bones were wet. He was crying... He gripped the watch he didn't realise he was holding tighter. The only thing he had still left from his best friend...

Ink held Haven closer, trying not to cry.

Haven looked up, noticing that the singing was coming from upstairs.

... Vigour?

 

Nightmare walked over to the living room where he could see the other Sanses all silent and looking upstairs. He looked up too alongside his gang, the others having tears in their eyes. Was... Vigour singing?

Dust held his Soul as he cried. A sense of loss filled him alongside regret. Why did the song affect him so much? It was just... a song. He sniffed and wiped away his tears.

Vigour opened the new page and smiled. It was Ink's art. The first art he'd gotten from his friend in this new place. He sniffed and wiped away his tears. He remembered that day. It was the day Ink had become his friend and the day he had helped Ink with his fear.

He wondered whether he'd leave Ink too like he'd left his friends.

Well, even if he did...

"When I'm away
I will remember how you kissed me
Under the lamppost
Back on 6th street
Hearing you whisper through the phone,
"Wait for me to come home."

He'd have something to remind of him his friends here.

Vigour grabbed the bunny and hugged it close, closing his eyes as exhaustion came back hard. His face was still flushed from a fever and his bones ached slightly from Fate's strings.

It didn't take long for him to fall asleep with his open book in his lap and cuddling the bunny.

 

Red sniffled quietly and wiped his cheek bones, noticing that Vigour had fallen asleep. He looked flushed.

Red walked over and checked his temperature, noticing that he was burning up. He picked Vigour up gently, flinching slightly when the book fell down from his lap. He made sure the bunny wouldn't fall too and carried the taller skeleton to the door, picking the fallen book up with his magic.

Haven looked up when Red appeared in the doorway, Vigour in his arms.

 

Nightmare looked over and spotted Red carrying Vigour down. It didn't take long for one of his boys, Cross, to rush over and help. Vigour looked sick. Really sick. Maybe emotional pain on top of physical pain had been a bit too much for him.

Horror spotted how sick Vigour looked and ran towards him, checking his temperature.

"He's really sick. We need to heal him now, we can't wait for him to wake up." Horror said worriedly and blinked when he spotted the bunny on Vigour's lap. "Where did you come from?"

 

"thanks." Red thanked Cross, glad that he was helping him. Vigour was heavy. Probably because Red wasn't the strongest physically and Vigour was taller than him.

"i could heal him." Haven volunteered. His healing magic wasn't as good as the one most monsters in his AU had but it was nothing to sneeze at. He was out of Ink's arms in a second, standing next to the couch.

 

Cross carried Vigour- and the bunny- to the couch, setting him down gently. Vigour didn't stir. The bunny looked at Cross with wide eyes, refusing to leave Vigour's lap except to hop over to his side and snuggled close.

Nightmare nodded at Haven before he looked away. A thought coming to mind. "You need to keep an eye on his Soul. If it doesn't heal... we have to inject a special concoction straight into it."

"What's that?" Killer asked pointing at the book hovering in Red's magic.

 

"okay." Haven agreed, stepping next to Vigour, his eye lights glowing a soft, calming green as he pulled out his soul. He winced when he saw it and got to work immediately.

"oh. he had it in his lap when i found him." Red explained. He was kind of curious what it was but for all he knew it could be his diary and he didn't want to invade his privacy by reading it.

Ink walked over to the book, recognising it immediately as the book where Vigour had kept his drawing. He knew the book was personal so he'd try not to let anyone look inside.

 

Cross looked at the bunny curiously and reached out to pet it. When it didn't move, he slowly ran a hand down its back feeling the smooth soft fur. He smiled and petted the bunny gently.

Dust looked at Comic and Stretch, a brief flash of anger before he forced himself to look away. No more fighting.

Killer nodded at Red's answer and watched as Haven healed Vigour's Soul. He did a quick simple Check before he winced.

"Oh... shit." he cursed softly.

 

Dream went to the kitchen to get a rag drenched with cool water. They had to get that fever down.

Haven winced slightly. The injuries on his soul were worse than he had expected. He could feel a deep pain in Vigour's soul that made him want to cry.

"what's wrong?" Red asked worriedly, glancing over at Killer, concern on his eye lights.

 

"Well..." Killer started slowly. "He's healing. His HP is going up but his Soul... it really doesn't look well."

"Emotional pain." Nightmare answered from his spot near the doorway. "His Soul... I can feel hopelessness, despair and sorrow from it. And a deep pain that can't be healed through healing magic. He's still trying to Fall Down. I can feel it."

Killer looked at Nightmare in concern. "Does he need that concoction?"

 

Dream returned with a soaked rag and put it onto Vigour's forehead.

"That's horrible..." Ink breathed out shakily.

Haven flinched, the deep emotional pain Vigour was feeling seeping into him through his healing magic. His soul was fighting against the storm of negativity but it was slowly loosing. He couldn't keep this up.

Haven stumbled back with a pained gasp, his head swirling. His eye lights were hazy and he didn't seem to be completely there.

 

"Haven?!" Cross exclaimed fearfully, kneeling down beside the fallen skeleton. "What's wrong?"

Nightmare sighed softly. "If Vigour's Soul doesn't get better in about an hour, then yes. We will need to inject healing food into his Soul."

Killer looked between Nightmare and Vigour. "Can't we do anything?"

"Not that I knew of." Nightmare responded with a shrug before turning towards his brother. Usually Dream has the answer when it comes to healing Souls with positivity.

 

Ink was by Haven's side only a moment later than Cross, frowning worriedly.

Haven was breathing heavily, his eye sockets shut tightly in pain as the negativity tried to take over his soul. Thankfully he had cut the healing magic off just in time.

"h-hurts..." He gasped quietly, clutching the fabric of his shirt right above his Soul.

"Well... He'd need to wake up first. Emotional pain is a very tricky thing to heal. We'll have to be careful not to fight again because that seemed to upset him deeply." Dream explained, frowning slightly.

 

Cross frowned and pulled Haven into a gentle hug, hoping his Soul's positivity was enough to get rid of whatever pain Haven's feeling. A small spark of healing magic stuttered to life trying to heal Haven.

Killer nodded in agreement. "Yeah. We'd better make sure we don't fight again. Even if Vigour can't Fall Down, we can't risk it."

Nightmare nodded with Error. The destroyer looked towards Ink and spoke softly. "it'S bEst We rEsT fOr THe NIght."

"Agreed." Horror said. "We can fix whatever happened today when we wake up."

"If," Nightmare started, looking at Ink. "you're willing to let us stay and willing to listen."

"Everyone." Dust added while staring pointedly at Comic and Stretch.

 

Haven trembled slightly but his eye lights seemed sharper. He closed his eye sockets and hugged back tightly, his Soul managing to defeat the negativity with Cross' help.

"th-thanks..." He mumbled quietly, shaking slightly. Vigour felt all that pain and hadn't said anything...?

"I am and I'll try to keep them in line." Ink promised, looking over at Nightmare.

 

Cross smiled and hugged slightly tighter. "Anytime." he said softly.

Nightmare nodded thankfully. "Alright then. Haven," he turned to the skeleton he was referring to. "are you alright with us sleeping in your living room?"

 

Haven relaxed slightly and looked up at Nightmare.

"sure." He replied. Gaster was at the lab and wouldn't come home unless he dragged him home and Papyrus was at Undyne's.

"i can get some more blankets and i'm sure we have at least one mattress and about five sleeping bags laying around somewhere..." He explained.

 

Cross brightened up and looked at Nightmare with hopeful eyes. Nightmare nodded, already knowing what that look meant.

"Alright. We can share a mattress. Error... he doesn't sleep unfortunately." Nightmare said while slightly glaring at Error before he looked over at Ink. "What about your associates?"

 

"Dream and I can share a sleeping bag if it comes down to it. We're both small." Ink explained.

"with error not sleeping, both groups have the same amount of people needing something to sleep in so we can share it equally." Haven explained. He reluctantly pulled back and got up, still looking shaken up.

"i think i'll need some help with carrying the things..." He admitted quietly, not looking like he could carry a single sleeping bag in that condition, much less five and a mattress on top.

 

"I'Ll heLP." Error offered.

"Then it's settled." at the Star Sanses' doubtful look, Nightmare rolled his eye. "Error can carry all those and Haven at once."

 

"okay. thanks." Haven replied, starting the stupidly long journey of getting upstairs. Normally he just teleported but his magic was pathetically low after healing Vigour and fighting against that negativity.

Dream looked over at Nightmare, fumbling with his hands nervously.

"Um... Nightmare..." He started, sounding anxious.

 

Error nodded and followed, already thinking to just carry Haven if the other ever collapsed or even stumbled. Looking at Haven he nodded internally. He'd just carry Haven later.

Nightmare looked as Error and Haven left before he turned to look at Dream when the other spoke, his face neutral. "What?"

 

"I... I wanted to apologise..." Dream apologised nervously. A sorry wouldn't cut it. He wanted to try anyways. He felt incredibly bad about what had happened and really was sorry.

He had acted horribly...

 

Nightmare looked at Dream suspiciously before scoffing and looking away. "Whatever."

Cross, Horror, Dust and Killer sensed a little tension between the two and sat down to talk among each other. Better not get involved.

 

Dream felt tears well up in his eye sockets but he felt a small flame of determination deep inside of his Soul.

"I'm sorry, Nightmare. I regret what I did. I've always regretted my actions... I'm a horrible brother..." He admitted, staring down at the floor.

 

Nightmare frowned deeply at Dream's words. Now he apologised?! Where had that been decades ago?!!

"Oh so now you care?" he asked sarcastically with a slight bitter tone to it. A deep pain blooming in his Soul. A pain sprouted from Dream's betrayal.

 

"I always did. I just..." Dream admitted, trailing off at the end. He had thought that the corruption had taken his twin brother and had wanted revenge for that.

 

"You just what?!" Nightmare snapped at Dream. Tears gathered in his eye as his Soul tore itself in pain. "You left me Dream! You left me alone because I changed into something you hated! You broke your fucking promise!"

 

"I.. I..." Dream stammered, tears rolling down his cheek bones.

"I th-thought I'd lost you..." Dream whispered, sobbing quietly. He hadn't thought that that dark creature that had tried to kill him still was his brother.

 

"Lost me?" Nightmare gritted out, his shoulders shaking with contained sobs. "You never tried to find me. You never cared to try. After I changed you stopped thinking of me as your brother."

 

"I was too sc-scared. I.. I was too f-fucking scared to try..." Dream confessed, trembling in pain. His Soul was burning with agony.

 

Nightmare glared at Dream with tears streaming down his cheek. "I thought you didn't care. You didn't show that you cared. You only showed that you hated me. That you didn't want me."

His face fell suddenly. He looked away and rubbed his arm. Just like he did before. "I cared." he said softly.

 

Dream's eye sockets widened.

"I.. I don't ha-hate you..." He sniffled quietly, hugging himself. This was his brother. His twin brother. He was the worst twin in the whole multiverse.

"'m really sorry." He sobbed, tears rolling down his cheek bones. He wiped them away but they were quickly replaced by new ones.

 

Nightmare sighed softly. "It's in the past. Nothing can change what happened."

 

"I.. I know b-but I wanna cha-change what happens now..." Dream replied quietly, wrapping his arms around himself tightly as he cried.

 

Nightmare chuckled humourlessly, sniffing softly. "Decades. It took you decades to finally try and change."

 

"I ne-never said I was the sma-smarter twin..." Dream replied, his breath hitching on a sob.

 

Nightmare chuckles softly. "Yeah. N-neither was I."

 

"I acted like a se-selfish, idiotic ass-asshole..." Dream admitted quietly, his eye sockets dripping with tears. He wanted to hug Nightmare but he didn't want to overstep any boundaries.

 

Nightmare grinned at Dream. "Yeah, you did."

Error walked down the stairs with the blankets, mattress and Haven in his arms, carrying them without breaking a sweat.

"Hey... Um... Would you l-like a hug from.. your stupid twin br-brother?" Dream asked quietly. He was sure Nightmare would say no though.

Haven cuddled into Error's hold slightly, looking completely exhausted. He was really glad that he had picked him up after he had stumbled over his own feet and hadn't had enough energy to stand back up.

 

Nightmare raised a doubtful brow at Dream. "Only if you promise not to kill/hurt/stab me when you do it."

Error looked at the scene in front of him and shrugged. At least those two were starting to get along. He placed both items and skeleton on the floor before looking around. They were lacking certain someones.

"WhERe'S iNk aND rEd?" he asked while looking around.

 

"I promise I won't do any of that." Dream swore, approaching Nightmare slowly.

Haven whined slightly when he was placed down but managed to keep his balance, not toppling over. He stumbled over to an armchair and was out in less than a second.

"they went to the kitchen." Comic replied.

 

Nightmare tensed when Dream approached and watched wearily. He had the right to be. The only reason Dream ever got close to him was to hurt him. Had been for decades. The initial immediate response would never fade instantly despite what Dream had said.

Killer looked towards the kitchen while the others grabbed a blanket and other things.

"Is he okay?" Cross asked with concern.

Dust scoffed slightly and mumbled. "Can't believe you asked that towards Ink."

 

Dream watched Nightmare warily for any sign that his tentacles would turn against him. As soon as he was close enough he hugged his twin gently, noticing how much taller he was than him. He gave him enough space to pull away at any given time.

"I missed you..." He mumbled quietly.

"he looked pretty bothered." Slim replied.

 

Nightmare flinched when Dream touched him but stayed calm and relaxed slightly. He shivered in slight disgust when Dream's positivity weakened him but he stayed strong. At least he was not fully depended on negative emotions as he was before. If not he'd be burned or hurt by now just by being near Dream.

"I missed you too." Nightmare admitted quietly.

Cross looked at the kitchen in concern before he stood up and started walking.

"Where are you going?" Killer asked.

"To find Ink." Cross answered and walked into the kitchen where he could see Ink and Red sitting on the floor. They didn't look happy.

 

Dream sighed softly, relaxing.

He pulled back after a bit, not wanting to make Nightmare uncomfortable.

Ink was crying, leaning against Red for support. The slightly taller skeleton was rubbing his back comfortingly, frowning slightly.

 

Cross peeked inside and looked at Ink and Red. "Uh... hi. You okay?" he asked Ink in concern.

 

Ink was about to open his mouth to say he was fine.

"he's not fine. don't believe what he wants to tell you. he just cried for like ten minutes." Red stated bluntly, frowning at Ink.

"he's currently regretting all his poor life choices." He explained.

 

Cross looked at Ink for a moment before he spoke. "Why? Vigour's gonna be fine. We're gonna find a way to fix this."

 

"it's not only about vigour. i said all his poor life choices and i meant all his poor life choices. He feels really guilty about what he did to all of you." Red explained, rubbing Ink's back comfortingly.

"I.. I'm re-really sorry...." Ink mumbled quietly, his voice shaky.

 

Cross couldn't help but stare at Ink in shock. Never once did he expect Ink to feel terrible for what he had done to them. He'd lost hope that Ink felt guilty. But now here he was. Ink telling him that he felt bad for-

Cross shook his skull slightly. No time to be shocked. He couldn't let Ink destroy himself with guilt. "It's... Um... It's fine." he sighed out. "You're... you're gonna change that, right?"

 

"It's not fi-fine..." Ink replied shakily, tears collecting in his eye sockets.

"But I'll cha-change... I just..." Ink promised, trailing off at the end.

"I'm s-sorry..." He stammered out another apology. Red frowned, pulling Ink closer.

 

"Hey..." Cross said softly and kneeled down in front of Ink. He raised a hand to gently wipe away Ink's tears. He couldn't help it. Being in Nightmare's Gang, support was just a part of the routine. Ink might have been lying but, he couldn't leave him like this.

"Hey... shh... don't beat yourself up too much. It's going to be okay. You said you'd change right? That you want to fix it? That's a start." Cross smiled at Ink reassuringly. "I'm sure the others will forgive you. I forgive you."

 

"E-even after I... a-abandoned you...?" Ink asked shakily, more tears dripping down his face. There was no way Cross could forgive him for that... He just knew...

 

Cross flinched hard at the reminder and looked away, rubbing his arm nervously. "It... hurts. I can't lie. It hurts that you left me alone after what had happened. Honestly, I'd thought I'd die there if it hadn't been for Nightmare."

"But," he started and looked at Ink with a small smile. "I'm willing to put it behind me. No grudges. If... if you promise you'll change."

 

Ink held onto Red's arm tightly, sobbing quietly.

"I'll cha-change. I promise..." Ink promised, looking up at Cross.

 

Cross smiled in relief. That was good to hear. "That's good. Now, come on. We're having a sleep over and you wouldn't want Vigour to see you upset now would you?"

 

Ink sniffled quietly.

"O-okay..." Ink agreed quietly, standing up. He wiped away his tears, sniffling softly.

Red followed him, frowning worriedly.

 

Cross smiled and stood up, following them to the living room. Once inside he spotted his gang already starting to bundle up. What surprised him was that Nightmare and Dream, despite being in the same room together, were actually tolerating each other.

Cross smiled and ran over to Killer and Nightmare where the former had saved a spot for him in between them. Killer smiled and rubbed the top of his skull as they relaxed into the blankets.

 

Ink surprisingly went over to where the dark Sanses were, rubbing his arm nervously. Red followed him.

"Um.. I.. wanted to apologise for how I treated all of you..." Ink apologised, his eye lights dull with regret for what he had done.

"I... I wanna change..." He added quietly.

 

Everyone, even Nightmare, looked between each other and Ink in shock. They even blinked a few times to check if they were hallucinating.

But they weren't. Ink was actually apologizing to them.

What had happened to the Multiverse?

"It's uh..." Killer started, looking at Cross who only stared back smiling happily. "It's fine."

The others mumbled in agreement, albeit reluctantly and a little hesitant.

 

Ink breathed a shaky sigh of relief, nodding to no one in particular. He was ready to collapse. Today had been a tiring day for all of them.

Red frowned slightly and nudged Ink over to a sleeping bag before he could pass out while standing. He smiled at the dark Sanses before he turned.

 

"What the fuck happened?" Dust mumbled to no one.

Killer stared at Ink wide eyed before he smiled and snuggled into the blankets. "Change."

"Fucking hell I'd never thought I'd live to see this day." Horror mumbled gaining a few chuckles in agreement.

 

Ink got into a sleeping bag, falling asleep almost immediately.

Red took a blanket and covered Haven with it, walking back over to the pile of leftover blankets and pillows. He fell on top of it, taking a blanket and wrapping it around him as he cuddled into the warm pile.

The other Star Sanses were still chatting with each other, Comic playing around with his phone, texting his Papyrus.

 

Horror yawned tiredly as he laid in his bag. "How are they still awake..?" he mumbled sleepily.

Nightmare shrugged and closed his eye, his arms crossed as he leaned on the couch. Killer and Cross leaned onto each other and fell asleep, a blanket pulled up to their shoulders via Nightmare's tentacles.

Dust yawned and cuddled into Horror, falling asleep almost immediately after such a hectic day.

 

The Star Sanses fell asleep soon after, one after another.

The only sound in the room was soft, calm breathing.

Chapter Text

Vigour's eyes twitched irritably when sunlight shone through the lids, stirring him awake from a blissful- dreamless- sleep.

He slowly blinked his eyes open, hissing a few times when his mind and body were assaulted with pain and exhaustion. He slowly sat up and rubbed his pounding skull. Maybe he should have asked for more painkillers. They had helped before.

 

Haven was rubbing his eye sockets sleepily, having woken up a few minutes earlier. He yawned slightly as he stretched a bit, not noticing that Vigour had woken up. His Soul was still aching a small bit but it was much better than when he had fallen asleep. His magic had recharged a bit too but he would definitely need a good breakfast.

 

Vigour blinked sleepily, trying to blink away the blurriness and stars in his eyes. He looked down in surprise when he felt something soft. He smiled and raised his hand to pet the bunny lying next to him.

"Hey there little guy," he said softly in a hoarse voice. "Still here I see."

 

Haven blinked and looked over at Vigour when he spoke up.

"mornin'." Haven mumbled, standing up. He trudged over to the couch and sat down next to Vigour.

Haven then remembered all the emotional pain he had felt, bottled up deeply inside of Vigour.

"you can't go on like this." He whispered, not wanting to wake anyone up.

 

Vigour looked up and was surprised to see Haven. He smiled at his friend as he petted the bunny's soft fur. "Morning."

Vigour looked at Haven confused. What was he talking about? "Go on like what?"

 

"your soul. when i was healing you i felt a small fraction of the emotional pain you carry with you and..." Haven fell silent. He had almost died. His Soul had almost been corrupted with negativity.

"if you ever need to talk, i'm here. and those people too." Haven explained, gesturing at the sleeping skeletons.

 

Vigour raised a brow in curiosity when Haven started before he flinched back almost violently, staring at Haven with wide fearful eyes.

He didn't know what to say.

He opened his mouth a few times to say something- anything- but nothing came out. Not even a sound. So he looked away and rubbed his arm, unable to meet Haven's eyes.

What could he say?

 

"vigour?" Haven asked tentatively.

"i'm just... this behaviour is destructive and i don't want you to hurt yourself in any way..." He explained, looking up at Vigour with hopeful eyes.

 

"I- I-i-" His voice cracked a few times and he shrunk in on himself. His Soul pounding hard and rapid inside his chest in distress. He ignored it. He'd always ignored it.

"I know." he said softly, barely audible.

 

"good. acceptance is the first step to getting better." Haven explained, smiling slightly.

"do you want a hug?" Haven asked gently.

 

Vigour didn't respond for a moment and shrunk in on himself. It was clear now how affected he really was. How much of that emotional pain affected him. Now, it was showing. He was practically crushed under the invisible weight he was carrying on his shoulders.

"You don't get it Haven." Vigour said softly, still unable to meet his friend's eyes. "I know."

 

Haven frowned as Vigour curled up slightly. He could see just how affected Vigour was and wanted to do nothing more than to hug him.

"we all make mistakes. doesn't mean you can't fix it." He explained.

"you can still talk about it. it'll help. i know it will." Haven added.

 

Tears began gathering in the corners of Vigour's eyes which he immediately wiped away. His mind racing to try and fix something. Anything. Because it refused to fix himself.

"I can't." he choked out, hands covering his eyes as his expression went pained.

 

"hey.. it's alright. of course you can." Haven tried to calm him. He really wanted nothing more than to hug him but he shouldn't do that without consent.

 

"You don't understand. I can't." he growled out in frustration. "I can't I can't I can't!"

 

"vigour... why not?" Haven asked, his frown deepening. He tried to keep his voice calm. Why couldn't he talk about it?

 

Vigour's breathing deepened with raging emotions. "I just can't. Never wanted to. Never needed to. I don't want to." his voice trailed off into a pained whisper.

He knew the risks of healing. He knew what had to be done. But he didn't want to go through it. Unlike other people, he didn't have anyone with him. Never did. Why hurt others with his burden? Better to just keep it to himself.

 

"shh... vigour... just stay calm. we can talk about this.." Haven tried to soothe him.

"is there a reason why you don't want to?" He asked gently. "if you have a good reason i'll leave you alone." He added.

 

Vigour sniffed softly. "I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to burden anyone. I just... I just want to help them."

"I know." Vigour sobs silently. "I know it's bad. I know. But I just- I don't know what to do."

 

Haven kicked the thoughts to not hug Vigour out of the window and did exactly that, holding him gently. He left him enough space to pull away.

"shh..." He whispered quietly.

"you're not burdening anyone..." He explained gently.

 

Vigour flinched when Haven touched him. The touch sent panic and phantom pains through his body. He had to pull away. He couldn't. But he tried to be gentle when he pulled away, he didn't want to hurt his friend.

He kept about an arm reach away from Haven, breathing heavily and shakily. He shook his skull, tears threatening to fall down his face. He wanted to believe his friend. He wanted to. But-

"Stop being a burden to monsterkind and do something for once!"

 

"i'm sorry." Haven apologised quietly. He should have listened to that voice. He mentally helped the voice inside of his skull again. Right. Rational thought was important.

"vigour?" He asked gently.

 

Vigour forced himself to look at Haven with tears in his eyes. Trauma and pain in his eyes.

Neither skeletons noticed that Nightmare had woken up due to Vigour's negative emotions.

 

"you're not a burden. it's okay not to be okay sometimes." Haven explained quietly.

Dream stirred slightly, opening his eye sockets slightly. Negative emotions had disrupted his sleep.

 

Vigour's shoulders shook with contained sobs. He shook his skull and covered his face, trying to control his emotions. He couldn't break down. He'd already done that enough times already.

Nightmare looked over at Vigour and Haven on the couch before meeting his brother's eyes.

 

"it's okay..." Haven murmured quietly.

Dream glanced over at Nightmare and nodded, hoping that his brother was thinking the same. They had to help Vigour.

 

Vigour shakily sighed as he trembled. His mind a jumbled mess of confusion and pain.

Nightmare stood up and walked over to the duo sitting on the couch. He gently placed a hand on Vigour's shoulder which gained him a shocked gasp.

"Horror made soup earlier." Nightmare said softly, his eyes showing concern and gentle affection.

Vigour looked up at Nightmare uncertainly. "How about you eat first? You must be hungry. If not, you could use the energy."

 

Dream scooted out of the sleeping roll, trying not to disturb Ink. He quickly strode over, nodding at Nightmare's words.

Haven looked up when both of them approached, feeling relieved. He was sure they knew more about comforting people than he did.

 

Vigour looked between Nightmare, Haven and Dream uncertainly. He didn't know what to do.

"It's okay." Nightmare said softly and offered a hand out to Vigour. "Come on. Let's go eat. Can't have you become all bones right?"

Vigour gave a small smile at the joke and shakily took Nightmare's hand. The dark skeleton smiled.

"There we go. Slowly." He said as he helped Vigour on his feet.

 

Dream was surprised at seeing Nightmare being so gentle with Vigour but it was a good surprise.

Haven got up and stayed at Vigour's other side. If he showed any signs of fatigue he'd help him.

 

Nightmare lead Vigour towards the kitchen where there was still some leftover soup in the pot. He gently put Vigour on a chair at the table.

"Stay here for a minute okay? I'll go heat up the soup." Nightmare said and went to the stove to heat up the soup. Thankfully Horror had made enough for all of them. Though he'd probably have to cook some more food if they wanted to feed everyone.

"Dream," Nightmare called without turning his skull from the stove. "Would you go get some painkillers? Haven, go get some water or make some tea. Best make enough for everyone when they wake up. Also, you wouldn't mind if I take some ingredients to make breakfast would you?"

 

"um.. i still got the painkillers in my pocket." Haven explained and got out the box of painkillers.

"i'll get you a glass of water for the painkillers and then i'll make tea." He added as he placed the box onto the table next to Vigour, getting a glass of water.

Dream sat down next to Vigour since he had nothing to do.

 

"You do that." Nightmare said towards Haven. "Still, can I use your ingredients? If not I can send one of my boys to go 'shopping'."

After a moment he turned towards Dream and Vigour. The latter was looking at the table while playing with his hands. Nightmare could feel a deep pain inside of him, clearly weighing him down.

Nightmare met Dream's eyes and nodded towards Vigour. 'Cheer him up' his expression said.

 

"sure. take what you need." Haven replied, putting the glass of water onto the table. He walked over to a cupboard and started working on the tea. He glanced over at Ink.

"make sure he doesn't take more than four." He warned.

Dream nodded at both Nightmare and Haven. He took the box of pills and took four of them, handing them to Vigour.

 

"Thanks." Nightmare said, pausing to get rid of a bad taste in his mouth. It felt odd thanking someone who wasn't one of his boys or anyone he trusted. Speaking of which. "Where the fuck is Error?"

Vigour took the pills numbly and wordlessly. He immediately swallowed the pills before drinking the water, unconcerned of the way his body wanted to remove the pills. He was just so tired.

 

"i didn't see him anywhere in the living room." Haven replied, taking out a few tea bags as he let the water cook.

"Me neither." Dream said as he thought of a way to cheer up Vigour.

 

Nightmare groaned softly as he took out some eggs. "He's probably wandering around again. That bastard."

Vigour smiled slightly at Nightmare's words. Despite what he was saying, there was a hint of fondness in the words.

 

Dream's eye sockets widened when he remembered something. Or rather someone.

... G.

"Stars... We lost G again..." He mumbled, sounding used to it but still very guilty.

 

Vigour raised a confused brow at Dream. "G? I don't suppose you meant gold huh?"

Nightmare rolled his eye in annoyance. "Is he finally dust?"

 

"No. He's a fusion between Gaster and Sans. He came to this AU with us but he's not here anymore." He explained, choosing to ignore his brother's rather morbid question.

"you could always call him." Haven suggested as he got onto the tips of his toes, trying to reach the cupboard with the mugs.

 

Nightmare used his tentacles to help Haven retrieve the mugs. He chuckled slightly when Dream ignored him. "Probably dust." he said.

Vigour smiled slightly. "It kind of reminds me of a friend, Echo. He's also a fusion."

 

"thanks." Haven thanked the taller skeleton with a smile, taking the mugs. He put them on the counter and filled hot water into four of them, putting in tea bags. He carefully carried them over to the table and set them down, looking at the clock. They could drink it in about ten minutes.

"He's not dust." Dream hissed quietly, taking out his phone. He should have thought of that before panicking. He wrote a quick message, asking G where he was.

 

"Whatever you say~" Nightmare sang teasingly with a shit eating grin directed at his twin.

Vigour smiled slightly at the playful banter. It really felt like home sometimes. Especially when two people fought like brothers.

 

Dream pouted, staring at his phone, awaiting a reply.

Haven put a hand onto his mouth to hide his grin. He was glad that the two were getting along.

 

Nightmare smiled before he returns to the stove to cook. He paused for a moment. "Would you prefer pancakes or waffles?"

"Waffles!" Dust suddenly said from the doorway.

"Pancakes!" Horror jumped in.

Nightmare chuckled in amusement at his boys. "We'll have to pick the majority. Not both."

 

"waffles sound great." Haven replied quietly. Both of them actually sounded great but waffles were still a small bit better than pancakes.

"Um.. pancakes?" Dream replied hesitantly, not sure if the question was addressed at him too. He glanced over at Vigour.

 

Vigour shrugged. "I don't mind either."

Nightmare paused for a minute before sighing and turning back towards the stove. "I'll make both."

 

Haven chuckled slightly, removing the tea bags from the mugs. He looked over at Dust and Horror.

"do you want some tea too?" Haven asked.

 

Both of them nodded.

"Though you might have to make some coffee." Horror said as he walked towards Haven to help. "Some of them don't drink tea."

"You mean Killer?" Dust grinned gaining a small chuckle of amusement from Horror.

"Yes that's exactly who I mean." Horror said with a small smile directed at Dust. "But I do know that Comic prefers coffee."

Nightmare turned towards Dream and smirked. "Is he dust?"

 

"okay." Haven replied with a smile, looking up at where Gaster kept the coffee machine. He hated being the shortest one in a household with only tall people.

"He can't be. Dust is standing right here." Dream replied with a smirk.

 

Horror helped Haven with the coffee machine.

Nightmare glared- pouted- at Dream. "Smug bastard."

Vigour chuckled slightly at the scene, his Soul starting to hum softly at the easy aura around him.

Nightmare noticed and locked eyes with Dream.

 

"thanks." Haven thanked the taller, opening a thankfully lower cupboard to get some coffee grounds.

Dream nodded slightly, barely noticeable.

"I am and I'm proud of it." He chuckled slightly.

 

Nightmare rolled his eyes and used his tentacles to flip a pancake. "Of course you would."

He looked at Dream again, hopefully he'd understand. 'More brotherly shit.'

 

Dream thought quickly of anything else. Then he remembered something his brother loved to tease him relentlessly about.

"Really glad you're cooking. I haven't gotten better at all." Dream sighed. He had even once almost burned down half of the village when he had tried to bake a cake.

 

Nightmare chuckled slightly. "What? You mean the village burning incident? You sure you aren't part Undyne?"

Dust and Horror kept silent but with a smile. Clearly those two were planning something. Best stay out of the way.

 

Dream pouted slightly.

"I might have managed to burn a whole city to the ground." Dream admitted quietly.

 

Vigour snorted quietly. Really?

Nightmare smirked at Dream with one raised brow. "Why do the villagers keep letting you into their homes again?"

 

"I have absolutely no clue. Maybe they think whatever I cook makes their lives more positive." Dream guessed with a chuckle.

"You're definitely more skilled at cooking than I am." He added, smiling.

 

Nightmare paused and gave Dream a brittle smile, tears gathering in his one eye before he turned away to hide it. That brought back memories he didn't want to remember.

"Yeah?" he said softly. "Want me to teach you some time?"

 

Dream's eye sockets widened slightly as he noticed the sudden decrease of positivity. Fuck. What had he done wrong now? Had he upset Nightmare? He kept up his smile, not wanting to distress Vigour. Shit. The positivity thing. He had meant it as a joke... Shit.. He'd apologise as soon as Vigour wasn't in the same room.

No. He'd walk over there and apologise now.

"I'd like that." Dream agreed, standing up. He walked over to Nightmare as if to watch him cook.

"I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking..." He apologised quietly. He was such an idiot.

 

Vigour did notice the sudden shift in atmosphere but he didn't say anything. That sentence must have opened up old wounds it seems. He wouldn't say anything. He knew how sudden and painful they were.

Nightmare turned slightly to look at Dream, still keeping an eye on the pancakes and waffles. "It's fine Dream. It wasn't your fault. Those... Y'know. They thought that you were the literal positive feeling while I was pure evil. Can't blame you for that."

 

Dream nodded. He couldn't even imagine how hard it must have been for Nightmare. He'd had problems too. Every time he did even the smallest mistake they thought it was the end of the world but they'd always watched Nightmare, waiting for the slightest slip up.

His attention was caught by the sizzling pan. The pancakes looked heavenly.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly at Dream's attentive look. "You are so easy to manipulate you know? How are you going to protect the Multiverse if food gets your attention faster than a monster of negativity?"

Honestly, he meant it as a joke. A morbid joke but a joke nonetheless.

Nightmare placed the finished pancake on a plate joining the stack. His tentacles began making more waffles. He had never been more thankful of his tentacles than during these times. Cooking was easier with help.

"Can you get the maple syrup or fruits?" he asked Dream.

"I can make them." Vigour offered and pulled out his paint brush. Honestly food items- especially magic food- were easy to make.

 

Dream pouted slightly at being called easy to manipulate.

"You're not a monster. Well okay. You're a skeleton monster but you're not bad. I'm sorry I was too blind to see that." Dream apologised, leaning against the counter heavily. He was clearly still beating himself up about it.

He looked over at Haven for help because this was his kitchen.

"maple syrup's in the fridge but it'd be better if you make some fruits." Haven said, addressing Vigour.

Dream nodded and headed to the fridge.

 

Nightmare watched as his brother left, a hint of guilt inside the normally positive skeleton. He turned back towards the pancakes and waffles. He wanted to comfort Dream, telling him that he wasn't blind. But that'd be lying. He didn't know what to say.

So he didn't.

Vigour nodded and reached a hand up to his sash to grab his paints... only to find it empty. He stared down at it confused.

"Um... guys?" he called. "Where are my paints?"

 

Haven frowned slightly.

"maybe they fell out while you were... fighting...?" Haven suggested, clearly not happy about reminding anyone about that.

Ink stepped into the kitchen, rubbing his eye sockets sleepily.

"Colours? You can use mine..." Ink mumbled tiredly. He was clearly not a morning person.

 

Vigour smiled at Ink thankfully. "Oh! Thanks! I wonder if they're the same?" he mumbled to himself. His paints were all special. His magic made them special. He wondered if Ink's paints were different?

Nightmare looked at Vigour worriedly. "Vigour... your paints got destroyed when you were fighting yesterday."

Nightmare looked at Dream for help. Vigour's paints had gotten destroyed when he had jumped in front of Comic. Had he forgotten?

 

Ink trudged over to the table sleepily and took off his sash, putting it into the table in front of Vigour. He pretty much collapsed into a chair, putting his skull onto the table.

"They fell onto the ground but maybe some are still okay..." Dream tried to soothe Vigour.

 

Vigour raised a confused brow at the duo as he pulled out a red vial from Ink's sash. "When did that happen?"

"Vigour..." Nightmare started softly as he turned off the stove. "Don't you remember what happened?"

 

Dream frowned. Maybe it had something to do with that weird pink glow in his eye lights?

"Your eye lights were glowing a weird colour too." He voiced gently.

 

"Weird.... glow?" Vigour repeated in confusion as he painted a bowl of strawberries. "Um.... can you elaborate cause I have no idea what you're saying."

"Vigour, what do you remember from the fight yesterday?" Nightmare asked as he put the plates full of pancakes and waffles on the table.

"Um..." Vigour hummed in thought. "We.... fought? It's all blurry really."

 

"Your eye lights were glowing pink." Dream explained.

"maybe it's a defensive reaction?" Haven suggested as he put two mugs of tea onto the table, placing a bowl of sugar cubes and some honey next to it.

 

Nightmare opened his mouth to speak but he closed it again. They had discussed about Vigour many times and that had always bothered the other. He looked at Vigour, waiting for his answer.

Vigour thought for a moment. "Maybe? Glowing pink.... you mean.... ugh, my head suddenly hurts." He said clutching his head with both hands. It felt like someone was pounding it with a hammer.

"Maybe Fate did something?" Nightmare suggested.

"I don't know. Maybe?" Vigour groaned. "The only time I remember pink was when I froze you at your house. And then before the fight.... but after that it was blurry."

 

"you should drink this." Haven suggested, pushing a cup of tea towards Vigour. The tea had some healing magic in it. It should help take the edge off the pain.

 

"Thanks." Vigour said and took the offered cup. He took a sip and was relieved to feel some healing magic in the tea.

"This...." Nightmare said trailing off before he shook his skull. "What do you remember?"

Vigour puts down the cup and thinks for a moment. "I remember jumping in front of UT Sans. Then stopping your attacks. Then Fate's strings. Between and after that it's really blurry."

 

"you're welcome." Haven responded with a smile. He was glad that Vigour took the tea. He slid into a chair, taking three sugar cubes and a mug. He dropped two inside and put one into his mouth.

"That's worrying... Does that happen often?" Dream asked concernedly.

 

Vigour paused at Dream's question before he looks down. His eyes showed pain and anger but mostly spoke of horror and trauma. "Only once."

Nightmare could feel a lot of negativity from Vigour. He wanted to know. But was it worth it?

"Can you tell us?" he asked gently. "You don't have to. But it will help. Especially since we promise we won't judge."

 

Dream frowned slightly.

"Yeah. We won't pressure you and we won't judge you." He agreed.

Haven nodded in agreement.

Ink had fallen asleep again.

 

Vigour sighed softly as he looked at the still tea in his cup. He wanted to believe them. Should he believe them?

Vigour took another sip. What the hell? Haven had said he shouldn't bottle things up. What was one time? He put down his cup and looked down, unable to see their faces.

"It happened in my AU." he started. "Word spread that I could bring my art to life. That's not normal. So... some monsters came into my home and brought me to this... cell of place of some kind. It was cold. Almost like a basement. I met a monster there, their boss. He said that my magic could help them break the barrier. I didn't believe him. You need seven human Souls to break the barrier. That part was very specific. But... I had to try. And boy; when I said that to that monster, it was the biggest mistake of my life."

 

Haven listened intently, his eye lights attentive as he looked at Vigour. He wondered if that was why he had a phobia of cold things.

The sudden influx of negative emotions hit Dream like a brick to the face.

 

Nightmare tensed up at the negative emotions coming from Vigour in waves. This... he felt like he needed to contain his anger for this next part.

"That's when the memories started to blur." Vigour said as he clenched his hands into fists. Anger pulsing through him alongside sorrow and so much pain. "I tried. And tried. And tried to create some sort of weapon to break that barrier. But all of it failed. Of course, the monster didn't like it. They beat me up every time I failed. Until one day, they had enough and decided that I needed some alone time to be more creative."

 

Dream frowned as he listened to Vigour. Alone time? Why did that fill him with so much dread?

Haven got the urge to hug Vigour again but he managed to resist this time.

 

"I'm assuming they didn't leave you alone and stopped pushing you to create?" Nightmare questioned, his form shifting in slight distress.

Vigour laughed humourlessly. "I wish! On no, they locked me in a 10 by 10 cement cell." he said calmly with a slight smile. But that smile wasn't a happy one.

 

Haven flinched. That sounded awful. He couldn't even imagine how horrible that would be. He felt sick even thinking about it...

Dream's eye lights glowed a bit brighter in anger. Who would do something like that?!

 

Nightmare didn't know if he should be angry or concerned based by Vigour's tone and behavior.

Vigour smiled slightly, but his hands clenched into tight fists. Hard enough to draw blood. "The walls were pretty much just grey. It was cold. And silent. That's pretty much when my memories started to blur. Can't remember much in between that room and more pain. That was my routine for... well I don't know how long. Memory loss is a pain that way. Plus, you can't really tell time there where you can't see the changes in light. And that's it. That's the one time my memory was blurry."

 

Haven was staring at Vigour with wide eye sockets, his eye lights tiny pinpricks.

"we won't let anything like that happen to you ever again." Haven promised, his eye lights shining with determination.

Dream nodded. That sounded awful...

 

Vigour gave them a brittle smile. "Thanks. But it's in the past. Asgore already dealt with them."

Vigour hissed softly as he unclenched his hands seeing his fingertips wet with red and his palms stinging. "Ow..." he said softly.

Nightmare immediately leaned closer and gently took Vigour's hands to examine the wound. "Just a small cut. Easily healed." he said softly.

"Sorry." Vigour said softly while looking down.

"Don't be." Nightmare said and offered him pancakes. He might or might not have made them full HP food.

 

"good." Haven hissed slightly, seeming happy that those people weren't around anymore.

"do you want some syrup?" Haven asked, reaching over the table to grab the syrup.

 

Vigour nodded thankfully and took the offered sweetener. He poured a generous amount, wincing slightly at the sting on his palm before he began eating slowly.

"In all honesty I'm glad I can't remember what happened." Vigour said as he ate the pancakes. The wounds on the palms of his hands fading with the aid of healing magic in the food.

"Yeah?" Nightmare said as he sat down on a chair.

"Yeah. Cause I wouldn't want to remember how I got most of my scars that are hidden under my clothes." Vigour said nonchalantly. "So yes, I guess it's safe to say that my memory loss is a defense mechanism. Wonder what was so terrible during the fight to have activates it though."

 

Haven's eye sockets widened, the small pinpricks that were his eye lights trembling slightly. He knew what had been so horrible. The ice cold water. He decided to keep his mouth shut though. He didn't want Vigour to remember. Some things were better left forgotten. He'd have to inform the others to keep their mouth shut.

Dream frowned. The whole experience the day before had been traumatising.

 

"It's best to not remember what your Soul doesn't want you to." Nightmare said, staring at Vigour with calm but enraged eyes. There were a lot of reasons why the defence mechanism was activated. Most likely those strings that had been dragging him towards the river.

Vigour nodded in agreement. "Yeah. Guess my Soul's just trying to stay together."

Vigour only ate one pancake before he said that he was full. He really couldn't eat more. Not after what happened. His Soul hurt more than ever and he didn't know how to fix it.

Chapter Text

Ink frowned slightly as he paced in the kitchen. He wanted to apologise to Error personally. He had done so many bad things to him...

But he couldn't find him. He had no idea where he could be...

 

Just at that moment, the destroyer walked into the kitchen brushing off the snow on his jacket. He had gone on a walk around town for a while to think, and received tons of flower crowns too. At the moment he was wearing one on his skull which also has a few snowflakes on it.

He stopped dead in his tracks when he spotted Ink. Shit. He hadn't meant to walk into the same room as the Creator.

 

Ink stopped his pacing and looked over, seeming a bit relieved to see Error. Fuck. He had had this all planned out. Now that he was face to face with the destroyer, looking up at the much taller skeleton he had no idea what to say.

"Uh... Hi Error." He greeted dumbly, internally shouting at himself. He should apologise, damnit!!!

 

Error watched Ink warily, trying to figure out his motive. What was he trying to do now?

"uH... hI?"

 

Ink sighed. Who was he kidding. He'd just apologise and leave Error alone then. He knew the other couldn't stand to be in his presence.

"I... I'm sorry.... for everything I did to you." Ink apologised. He might not know Error's motives but he knew that he had to have a good reason to destroy universes.

 

Error stood there in silence, his face blank with shock and confusion. He blinked a few times to make sure. Nope. He wasn't dreaming or hallucinating. Ink, the Creator, the person who wanted nothing more than to dust him; was apologizing.

"wHAt?" he said dumbly.

 

Ink took a deep breath, trying to keep his composure.

"I said I'm sorry. And I mean it." Ink repeated, his eye lights bright with determination.

"I have no idea why you keep destroying AUs and I'm not okay with it but I figured you'd have a very good reason to do it." He explained.

 

Error discreetly pinched himself to make sure. Nope. He was still awake.

"yOu mEAn tO kEeP tHe bALanCE?" Error asked confused. Honestly did Ink not know about the balance?

 

Ink raised a brow ridge in confusion.

"... Balance..?" He asked hesitantly. The dark Sanses had mentioned a balance too. He had no idea what they'd meant.

 

"YoU kNOw. SO tHAt tHe MuLTivERse dOEs'T dEsTroY iTsElf tO nOn-ExIstencE." Error added, not thinking about Ink's reaction to the blunt truth.

 

"Destroy itself to non-existence?!!" Ink echoed, sounding shocked. Because he was shocked. Very shocked. If it was this important why hadn't anyone told him?!!

 

"Oh yOU dIdn't'T kNow?" Error wondered before he looked down and mumbled to himself. "daMn. VIgoUr wAs rIGht."

"AlL rIGht, SImplE tHing iS tHaT tHe MuLTivERse hAs a LiMIt. IT's nOt ENdLess. aUs kEEp GroWIng. wiTh sO LiTTle SpAce, tHeY'll tOuCh. AnD wHen tHat HaPPeNs, tHE AUs CrumBle. IF wE're luCkY iT wOn't cAUsE a DoMinO eFFect oN oThEr AuS.

 

"That's why you kept destroying AUs!" Ink concluded, his eye sockets widening.

"I'm such an idiot..." He whined slightly, face palming.

 

"hEy Now," Error said sternly, stalking over to gently grab Ink's hand. "yOu mIghT bE aN idIot, bUT yOu cAN't huRt yOURseLf."

 

Ink looked up, tears in his eye sockets.

"This could have all prevented if I wasn't such a... stubborn, ignorant imbecile..." He argued, staring at the floor.

 

Error gently wiped away his tears. Insane or not, he couldn't leave Ink like this. Especially since the other truly regretted his actions. Even if it sprouted from him being unaware.

"It'S ALRight. IT's nOt tOO lAtE tO cHAnGe iT. BUt thERe'S StILL a DileMMa." Error said while staring down at Ink.

 

"Huh?" He asked, looking up. He wanted to know what it would take to fix his mistakes or at the very least make it better.

 

"YoU cAn KEEp cReATinG, bUt aT a MoRe moDeRate pAce. iF tHe baLAnCe iS tHreATened hOweVer, i HavE tO dEstRoy iT. plEAse ReFrAin yOurSelf FrOm mAkIng CopIes." Error informed, gently releasing Ink's hand and stepping back to give him some space. "aLso, AUs tEnD tO gROw. AS tHey Grow, New TImElInes fOrM. anD tHey Grow, cReAtIng nEw AUs Or CopIes. IN if I HaVE tO, I NeEd to DEStRoY tHem."

 

"Okay. I'll try to hold myself back." Ink promised, already thinking how he could do that. He was suddenly reminded of what he had done things at the beginning. He had kept a notebook in his reach at all times to write down ideas and had only created a new AU when he had a good idea for a concept. Most of the AUs he created now were spur of the moment creations.

 

Error nodded. "thAt's gOOd."

The destroyer had to wonder if this would change anything. Ink had promised to create at a more moderate pace and the Multiverse would be more stable. He wondered what else would change.

 

Ink nodded. He walked over to the table and pulled out his old notebook. It was full of unfinished ideas. Maybe he could combine some of them to create about one universe a week. He shuddered slightly. It was going to be hard, no doubt.

 

Error looked at Ink curiously. "WhaT's tHat?"

 

"It's my notebook. I use it to write AU ideas down. At first I collected about twenty ideas and made an AU from that but lately I've not been doing it like that..." He admitted, pulling out a pencil. In big, bold letters he wrote:

'!!REDUCE CREATION RATE!!'

 

Error nodded in understanding before he chuckled in amusement at the words Ink had written down. The Creator sure was determined. Thankfully that determination wasn't directed at him or the dark Sanses this time. An idea popped into mind as he grinned slightly. He held his hand out asking for the pencil. "mAy i?"

 

Ink looked up at Error, once again astounded by how tall and intimidating he was.

"Sure." He replied, handing over the pencil.

 

Error gently took the pencil and wrote down below Ink's words, writing in neat words. He was actually proud of himself that his handwriting had gotten better over the years. At first his handwriting had been like drunk Undyne writing an essay.

In neat simple lettering was;

-Keep The Balance. Protect The Multiverse-

 

"Thanks, Error." Ink thanked him, smiling slightly. He was slightly surprised how neat Error's handwriting was. It looked much better than his own scrawl.

 

"nO pRObLem Ink." Error replied, not sure what the thanks was for. He gave the pencil back and watched Ink, curious what the other would do.

 

Ink took the pencil again and closed the notebook, putting it into his jacket pocket along with the pencil. He got out a small paintbrush and pulled up his sleeve, taking off his fingerless gloves on that arm. He searched for a free spot where he hadn't drawn on yet and wrote another reminder. His whole arm was covered with drawings, almost none of the white bone peeking out from underneath.

Ink shuddered slightly when he saw the white bone.

 

Error raised a confused brow at Ink when he saw what the other was doing. Though it mostly caused him confusion. "wHaT ArE YOu DOing?"

 

"I'm writing myself a note." He explained. "Besides I really needed to get rid of that white spot..." He muttered quietly, drawing a circle around his writing to fill the blank space better.

 

"wHy?" Error asked before he remembered how vague the question is. "wHY dO yOU wAnT tO geT riD oF tHe wHIte?"

 

Ink shuddered, his eye sockets going blank.

".... I'd rather not talk about it..." He forced out, trembling slightly.

 

Error nodded in understanding. "aLRiGht. I wON't asK."

 

"Thanks..." He mumbled quietly. He peered up at Error with dim eye lights.

"Anything I should avoid?" He asked quietly, his voice barely a whisper.

 

"meANiNg?" Error raised a questionable brow at Ink. He was not sure what Ink meant about that question.

 

"I want to know if there is anything I should avoid talking about..." Ink explained, pulling down his sleeve and putting on his glove.

 

Error shrugged at Ink's question. "nOt rEAllY. I'Ve pReTTy mUCh gOnE nUmB wITh eVErY toPIc. asK aWAy."

 

"Oh... Okay." Ink mumbled quietly, feeling guilty.

 

Error nodded and stood up to walk away. He wondered how much things would change after this? Ink had promised to create less. Meaning the balance would be more stable.

Maybe he could finally have some time to sew some dolls. The Charas would like them.

 

G looked at the house. That was the one Dream had described. He knocked at the door loudly.

Haven looked up, slightly confused. He wasn't expecting anyone. He walked to the door regardless, opening it. He looked up at a tall skeleton.

 

Killer looked up from the books he was reading while sitting on the couch when he heard a knock on the door. Who could that be?

He tensed up and instinctively reached for his knife hidden inside his jacket when he spotted G. Shit. He'd better not cause a fight. Killer would rather not be trapped in another pink aura if he could. Plus Nightmare would kill him for causing a fight with the Star Sanses.

 

"Hello. Is Dream here?" G asked, not looking at Haven but at Killer, his eye lights glowing.

"yeah. he's in the kitchen." Haven replied, frowning when he saw G staring at where he knew Killer was sitting.

"you got a peace agreement with them and ink and dream will probably kill you if you break it." He explained.

 

Killer grinned slightly and removed his hand from his knife. He relaxed his posture yet still tense and ready if G decided to pull a Gaster Blaster on him. "Hear that? Can't cause a fight without upsetting the Guardian Of Positvity or the Creator."

 

G twitched slightly but sighed, his posture relaxing a small bit. He didn't like this. What were Ink and Dream thinking?!

Haven waited until G didn't look so murderous.

"follow me." Haven said, walking to the kitchen.

 

Killer watched as Haven directed G to the kitchen. He let out a relieved sigh when the taller skeleton was out of view. Welp, he was Dream's problem now.

 

Dream looked up when he saw someone looking into the kitchen.

"G!" Dream exclaimed happily. He was glad that the other was okay.

G nodded at him.

"We got a peace agreement. Don't attack anyone." He explained.

 

Horror and Dust looked over from the kitchen counter, searching for snacks, and tensed when G walked in. Oh dear why here why now why him?!

Nightmare looked up from the table, sitting beside Vigour, and saw G. He groaned internally. He'd better not cause a fight.

Vigour looked up and waved politely at the newcomer. He looked like Echo. He wondered if this other skeleton was like Echo.

 

G scoffed when he saw the dark Sanses and moved to the table to Dream, keeping his eye lights on Nightmare warily.

He ignored Vigour, frowning at Dream.

"This is a horrible idea." He commented, not caring that the dark Sanses were in hearing range.

Haven frowned. He hoped nobody would take that as an insult.

 

"What is?" Vigour asked confused. Nightmare distracted the other by pushing him a book he'd been browsing. Of course it was a cook book. But the artistic design of the foods immediately gained Vigour's attention. It helped when he realized that he couldn't help this time.

"Now listen here." Nightmare said sternly. "This peace was agreed by all parties. We all agreed on it. Even Ink. So you have to follow it."

Horror and Dust crept out of the kitchen slowly.

"Hold it." Nightmare said sternly causing them to flinch and stop in their tracks. Busted.

 

G glowered down at Nightmare.

"I just said that the idea was stupid. Unbelievably idiotic. I don't plan on breaking the peace but if I feel threatened, I will." He explained, his voice calm with a burning rage underneath it.

Dream frowned.

"Stop it, G." Dream warned.

 

Nightmare stared back calmly. "We feel the same way."

Vigour looked up when he felt his Soul clench slightly. "Guys?"

 

Dream twitched slightly when the emotions suddenly dropped to negative ones.

"how's about we all stop now before this escalates?" Haven suggested, looking slightly uncomfortable.

 

Nightmare let out a small exhale. "Fine." he agreed.

Dust and Horror looked at each other before they started to walk slowly out of the kitchen.

"Stay here." Nightmare said causing them to flinch again. They sighed and walked over to the table and sat down. Nightmare didn't stop staring at G, a clear warning in his eyes.

 

Haven sighed in relief and sat down between Dust and G, not wanting them to fight. His table was small.

G glowered at Nightmare, his eye lights glowing. His concentration was broken however when Dream tapped his shoulder to gain his attention.

 

Nightmare smirked slightly when G looked enraged but his brother had it covered.

Vigour looked over at the taller skeleton. "Hi!" he greeted with a smile. "I'm Vigour! What's your name?"

Dust softly facepalmed himself.

 

"G." G replied coldly, directing his ice-cold gaze at Vigour.

Haven frowned slightly. G wasn't being particularly nice but he didn't want to make him angrier by interfering.

 

"G?" Vigour tilted his skull curiously before he smiled. "That's a nice name! Simple and easy to remember! You must be a very G-reat person then!"

Horror couldn't help but chuckle. G was being cold to Vigour and yet he was still making puns and trying to be friends.

 

G raised a brow ridge, clearly unimpressed though he seemed to be smirking slightly.

Haven laughed quietly.

 

Vigour smiled bigger when Haven laughed at his pun. "No seriously! You look like you have a G-olden personality!"

Dust chuckled softly at the word play.

Nightmare smirked in amusement.

 

G's shoulders were shaking with restrained laughter but he refused to acknowledge it.

Haven snickered, smiling brightly.

"He's a G-iant too." Dream joined in, chuckling. G was a lot taller than him.

 

"Yeah!" Vigour brightened up. "With a G-igantic heart too!"

Horror covered his mouth to cover up his laughter. This was priceless.

Nightmare smirked at G with a raised brow. Pointedly looking at Vigour. 'You really going to hate him?'

 

G gave in and started chuckling quietly.

Haven covered his face with his hands as he laughed.

"g-ood one." Haven gasped out.

Dream chuckled, nodding.

 

Vigour smiled brightly. "Thanks!"

Nightmare chuckled softly before he looked at G. "Now are you willing to obey the truce?"

 

"I already agreed to do so." G explained, wincing slightly. He still had a wound from taking that hit for Comic. His whole ribcage was scorched which was the only reason why he was wearing a sweater underneath his jacket. He needed a cigarette...

 

Vigour noticed the wince. Was G hurt?! "Are you hurt?!" he exclaimed in concern.

Dust looked at Vigour with slight curiosity. He barely knew this skeleton. The dusty skeleton shook his skull. He'd never understand him.

 

"Yeah. No big deal though." G replied, rubbing his aching sternum slightly.

Dream frowned. If G was hurt enough to show it, it was a big deal.

 

Vigour frowned at G. "Well, I can heal it for you. You can't just let yourself stay hurt."

Dust rolled his eyes at the determined skeleton. "Just let him dust."

Vigour's eyes sockets widened. "I can't let that happen!"

Horror sighed. "Just let it happen Dust. Nothing can change his mind."

 

"It's fine." G insisted, rolling his eyes. He didn't need to be healed. It would be a waste of magic since he was fine anyways.

Dream glowered up at G.

"You're going to let yourself be healed." He growled lowly. He didn't want his friend to be hurt.

 

"Please?" Vigour begged up at G with wide eyes.

"Just let him heal you." Nightmare said in amusement. "He'll find a way eventually."

 

G sighed and pulled off his jacket and his sweater without a care in the world, revealing his scorched ribcage. At least his soul hadn't taken any damage...

Dream's eye sockets widened in shock. He couldn't fathom why G would protest if he could have this healed.

 

Vigour winced at the scorch mark and immediately walked over to the injured skeleton. He pulled out his brush and white paint. He dipped the brush into the paint and hovered over the blackened part of the ribs.

"It'll sting a bit but it'll be good as new when I'm done. Just, bear with it." he warned before he began to cover the entire ribcage in white paint.

Nightmare watched with curiosity and interest.

Chapter Text

Dream sighed as he sat at the table, thinking. He frowned when he noticed that he actually had no idea why Nightmare had eaten the apples and become corrupted. Maybe he knew and had just repressed the memories of it. He didn't actually know. He glanced over at Nightmare. Would he have the guts to ask him? He knew it had to be a sensitive topic...

 

Nightmare could feel eyes on him and turned towards the source. His blue eye met Dream's bright yellow eyes. He raised a single brow at his brother. "What?"

 

Dream flinched slightly as he looked up, knocked out of his thoughts.

"Just... Thinking..." He responded, knowing that that wouldn't sound really convincing.

 

"About?" Nightmare asked flatly. "You're looking at me weirdly."

 

"I... I don't want to upset you by talking about it..." Dream admitted, sighing quietly. He looked off to the side.

 

Nightmare sighed impatiently. Dream was such a stubborn, hard headed little-

"Just spill it Dream. It's eating you up. I can feel it. What in the Multiverse are you thinking?"

 

"Um... I was thinking... 'bout the apple incident..." Dream explained quietly.

"And what led up to it..." He added. And that if he hadn't been so ignorant he might have been able to stop it.

 

Nightmare tensed at Dream's words, the memories of what lead up to that day were... the mistake of his life. But it was just another road he had picked to get where he was now. And considering what he did for the balance, he didn't regret his decision that much.

Still, that day opened wounds that should have been left closed.

Nightmare sighed and looked around. Too many people. That incident was better left between them and the people he trusted. So he stood up and began walking out of the kitchen. "Follow me. We'll talk privately."

 

Dream looked up surprisedly. Nightmare would actually talk to him about it?

He nodded and got up, following Nightmare.

 

Nightmare lead his brother outside on the porch where he closed the door to give more privacy. He leaned on the wooden railing while looking at the falling snow. At least the inhabitants of this pacifist AU gave them privacy. Even if this place weakened him.

"What do you want to know?" He asked Dream without turning towards his twin.

 

Dream followed him and leaned onto the railing, sighing as he stared at the treeline.

"What caused you to eat the apples?" Dream asked quietly, his voice full of regret for bringing it up but he had to know...

 

Nightmare laughed humourlessly. Oh what wasn't the reason? Pain? Sorrow? Jealousy? Hatred? Vengeance? Really; he had felt a lot of things that day. "Short answer? Desperation."

 

"Oh..." Dream said. It was just that. Oh. It held no real meaning though. He just said it to have something to say. He wanted to ask more, to pry further.

Why had Nightmare been desperate?

But he didn't want to upset Nightmare.

 

"You could just ask you know." Nightmare prompted nonchalantly. "Don't hide it. I can feel your curiosity and guilt. A little sprinkle of desperation on your end too. You want to know. So ask. That's why we're here."

 

Dream sighed.

"What made you so desperate?" He asked hesitantly.

 

Nightmare hummed for a moment. He had to admit, he was stalling. He didn't want to tell Dream. But he had said he would. Didn't mean he'd cooperate immediately.

"What do you remember about our AU Dream?" he asked gently. "The villagers. The treatment. What do you remember?"

 

That sounded like a trick question. He didn't know why he thought so, he just did. He answered anyways.

"Well... The people were pretty nice except for that one time where they hurt you. I don't know what got into them..." Dream explained, glancing over at Nightmare.

 

Nightmare couldn't contain a small chuckle. Then a giggle. Then a laugh. He couldn't help it. The very thought of those people being nice. Then suddenly being extremely violent towards him. It sent him into hysterics.

He laughed for about a minute before it trailed off into small choked chuckles. "No. They've always been like that. The beatings? They've always done that."

"Of course they usually did it verbally. Or emotionally. Hell, they did a lot of things when you weren't there. Why'd you think I stayed up on the tree?" Nightmare asked with a pained grin, as if he was hiding his pain through a smile. "Those lethargic bastards, despite their hatred for me, wouldn't risk a broken limb to try and climb up just to beat me up. Though they did throw a bunch of things. Most of them missed since they don't exactly have good aim. But unfortunately some have good arms. Luckily... actually I can't recall any luck. Just pure survival mostly."

 

Dream stared at Nightmare with wide eye sockets as he suddenly started laughing. What about his statement had been so funny?

"W-what?" Dream asked, sounding shocked.

"Why didn't you tell me?" He asked gently but the question echoing in his mind was 'How didn't I notice...?'

 

Nightmare fell silent, staring at the falling snow for a minute.

When he did speak, it was soft and raspy. "You were happy."

Nightmare chuckled softly, tears dotting his eye. "You were so happy. Oblivious to what I'm going through. Everyone loved you. Everyone adored you. I... I didn't want to lose you. If I told you; you'd think of me differently. You'd think I was accusing them of bad things because I hated them when in reality it was the other way around."

Nightmare exhaled softly, his voice thick with emotions. "I wanted you Dream. I wanted you to be my brother forever. You were the only friend I had. I just want to keep it that way. Heh. Of course, I failed that later on. Ate the apples because I wanted to prove to everyone that I'm not bad. That I can help others. That I'm worth it. But it went terribly wrong."

 

Dream gasped slightly, tears rolling down his cheek bones. He... had been too oblivious to stop it...

"You.. could have, should have told me. I would have believed you. You're my brother..." Dream whispered quietly, looking at Nightmare with tear streaks on his cheek bones.

 

"Brothers? Heh. No. Not anymore it seemed." Nightmare said softly while looking at the snow covered ground.

"I ate the apples because the villagers wanted to kill me. I couldn't- I wasn't strong enough to attack back or defend myself. But I didn't want to die. So I ate the apples, trying to get enough power to at least defend myself. Didn't think it was going to do this though."

He let out a shuddering sigh at the memories flashing through his mind. "I went insane with so much anger, pain, sorrow and so much more. I attacked back; I wanted to show them the same amount of pain they gave me. You saw me like that. And when I looked into your eyes, when you ate the last golden apple, when you attacked me; I knew you didn't see me as your brother anymore. Or your friend. And you stopped thinking of me as your socially awkward, introverted, happy twin."

 

"I..." Dream started to say but he was cut off by his own sob.

"I'm so sorry..." He choked out.

"I.. I was sc-scared.. so damn scared... I..." Dream trailed off. He didn't know what to say. He didn't know how to fix this. He didn't even think he could fix this...

"I'm sorry this ha-happened to you... I'm sorry I did this to you..." He apologised, crying.

 

"It's in the past Dream." Nightmare said blankly, he didn't feel anything. Because it was true. It was in the past. Something that couldn't be changed. Something to look back, remember, learn and improve on. He'd learnt that. Besides, he'd done a lot of good after that.  "Nothing can change that. Besides, I've made my choice. I'll face the consequences."

"Besides," he added. "If I hadn't turned into this, I wouldn't have saved my boys."

 

"Yeah. They really need you.." Dream agreed.

"You're like a dad to them." He added because honestly that was the truth.

 

Nightmare blushed slightly and tensed up at Dream's words. Was he like that?! He couldn't be right? He cared for his boys, yes, but as a father?

"I uh... I... really?" he asked Dream, looking at the Star Sans doubtfully.

 

"Yeah." Dream agreed with a smile, wiping his tears away.

"You really care for them. A lot.." Dream added quietly.

 

"I uh... heh. Yeah. I do." Nightmare smiled slightly. "Don't tell anyone." he said sternly. He couldn't let anyone hurt his gang. Who knew what would happen if they found out he cared for somebody.

 

"I promise I won't." Dream swore. He couldn't let someone his brother cared about get hurt.

 

Nightmare gave Dream a small grateful smile before looking back towards the falling snow. A snowflake fell onto his skull and melted immediately causing him to hum softly. A memory coming go his head.

"You know, you used to nag me all the time about seeing snow." he started, staring at the fluffy white dots lazily floating down. "Our AU never snowed. But you wanted to see snow anyways. So you remember what I did to try and cheer you up?"

 

Dream chuckled slightly. He remembered that he always used to complain about that. He really liked Snowdin because of that.

"I remember." He replied with a smile.

 

"That was certainly a fun day." Nightmare said softly.

 

"It was..." Dream agreed quietly. He regretted that he couldn't do things like that with his brother anymore. A thought came to him, making him chuckle slightly.

"Did you ever consider using a tunnel of horror or a haunted house?" Dream suggested with a small chuckle. Nightmare feasted off fear, right? A lot of people got scared in there.

 

Nightmare hummed for a moment in thought. "You mean those weird places where people come in to get purposely scared?" he chuckled. An evil thought came to mind and he snuck a tentacle down onto the snow covered ground.

"I tried that." he answered. "But the fear is always accompanied by joy and it ruins the whole purpose of me coming there. It's not scary enough. But you know what is scary?"

 

"Yeah." Dream affirmed.

"... Creepypasta?" He asked more than replied because he was pretty sure that wasn't what Nightmare meant.

 

Nightmare grinned evilly and turned towards Dream. "Nope."

He dropped tentacles full of snow on top of his brother. "Surprise snowball fight!"

With that he turned into a shadow and ran towards the trees.

 

Dream sputtered as snow was dumped on him, closing his eye sockets. How cold. He smirked, almost pausing when he felt something positive from Nightmare. He smiled happily and quickly jumped over the banister, scooping up a fistful of snow.

"It's on, brother!" He shouted into the direction where Nightmare had disappeared.

 

Nightmare hid behind the shadow of a tree and used his tentacles to scoop up more snow. He threw at Dream before hiding back into the shadow, chuckling silently.

 

Dream yelped, jumping out of the way. Nightmare had his tentacles. What could he use...? Well. His hands.

Dream quickly shoveled some snow onto a pile and made a wall, taking cover behind it.

 

Nightmare grabbed another snowball and shot high in the sky to hit Dream from above.

 

Dream looked up when he heard an odd sound, gasping in fright when a snowball hit him square in the face.

 

Nightmare formed behind the tree and laughed at Dream's face when he got hit.

 

"HEY!!!" Dream shouted, picking up a snowball. He threw it at Nightmare.

 

Nightmare got hid square in the chest which caused him to grunt a bit before he hid back into the shadow. He scooped up more snowballs and threw them at Dream in a barrage of snow.

 

Dream snickered when he hit Nightmare and quickly hid behind his snowwall, giggling as the snowballs hit his wall harmlessly. He started making some of his own.

 

Nightmare huffed in displeasure before he had an idea. He crept a tentacle up into the tree and pulled on a branch. He directed it to hit Dream above the wall before he released, sending the snow on the branch flying.

 

Dream gasped as he was suddenly hit by a wall of snow. Where had that come from?! He regained his composure quickly and jumped up, throwing two snowballs at Nightmare.

 

Nightmare effortlessly caught the snowballs with his tentacles before he threw them back at Dream, scooping up more snow to throw at his twin.

 

"Hey!" Dream shouted as he got hit by the two snowballs. "Not fair!" He added, diving for cover.

 

"Don't care!" Nightmare screamed back playfully and pulled two more branches full of snow. He directed them at Dream and let go one after the other, letting the snow rain down on his hiding brother.

 

Dream squeaked as snow rained onto him, burying him under a thin blanket of snow.

"You're too good at this!" Dream shouted back, dashing to a tree for cover. He threw two more snowballs at him.

 

Nightmare grabbed the snowballs and returned fire, alongside another branch. He quickly switched trees when the branches of the tree he was hiding under had no more snow.

"Good!" He said and threw three more snowballs periodically.

 

Dream hid behind a tree, peeking out slightly. He was immediately hit with snow and retreated, making a pile of snowballs.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly before he decided that maybe his brother had enough snow for one day.

"Hey Dream!" he called. "You want to end this now? I'm kinda getting tired."

 

Dream giggled victoriously. He had worn Nightmare out.

"Sure." He agreed, stepping out of his cover.

 

Nightmare immediately captured Dream in his tentacles and formed in front of his brother, smirking victoriously.

"Got you~" he purred playfully.

 

Dream yelped in surprise and struggled slightly before going limp in the tentacles with a huff.

"Hey!" He complained as he hung upside down.

 

Nightmare smirked proudly- and a little smugly- at Dream. "Come on Dream. Don't you remember this game?"

 

Dream rolled his eye lights.

"Of course I remember. I can't escape your tentacles though, brother." He explained, struggling futilely to show him what he meant.

 

Nightmare huffed, pouting slightly. "Fine."

He gently released Dream onto his feet on the snow covered ground, retracting his tentacles before he tackled his brother into the snow onto his back. He sat on Dream's hips while pinning his arms down, smirking down at his brother. "How's this?"

 

Dream laughed as Nightmare pinned him down.

"Better." He replied, struggling harder now. He tried to push Nightmare off himself.

 

Nightmare barely budged, still smirking smugly. Of course he was used to being pinned down and pinning someone down. His gang trained a lot. "Come on Dream. Don't tell me your time with Ink all these years have made you weak? Weaker than your brother?"

 

"You got a lot stronger." Dream panted quietly as he tried to get Nightmare off him. Stars, he was strong.

 

Nightmare smirked down at his brother. He felt a sense of pride when he could keep Dream pinned. He hadn't been able to do that before. Sure, he could climb fast, faster than his twin. But Dream had always been stronger than him. Dream could always escape his traps and pin him down or fight back easily. It was nice to know that he was stronger now.

"I'm not so weak anymore now." he said proudly, a little bitter undertone to it when he recalled how weak he had used to be.

"I'm stronger now. Faster." his grip loosened slightly as he looked down, almost dejected. "Better than what I used to be."

 

Dream looked up worriedly. He could have used that opening to pin Nightmare but he didn't.

"Hey.. You were always great." He replied quietly, trying to cheer his brother up.

"Besides. Even if I was stronger I was one hell of a lot clumsier." Dream reminded with a chuckle.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly at the reminder, cheered up a little but still upset. "Yeah you were. You've gotten better now though. You barely trip when we fought all these years. You used to trip over your own two feet all the time."

 

Dream chuckled.

"I'm still really clumsy though. I've been tripping over everything lately. I think I just found a way to turn it off during fights or something." He explained.

 

"Really?" Nightmare purred with a smirk, his tentacles forming behind him poised at Dream. Another game they had used to play. "So... say I attack you with tickles? Would you still be clumsy?"

 

"No. Nonono!!! Nightmare don't you dare ten-tickle me!!" Dream protested but he was still smiling.

Comic stepped outside, worried about Dream. He and Nightmare had left some time ago and he was very wary of Nightmare. His Soul skipped a beat when he saw Dream on the ground, pinned by Nightmare who had his tentacles ready to strike.

 

"Tell me why I shouldn't~?" Nightmare purred teasingly, his tentacles moving closer towards his ticklish brother.

 

"Please don't torture me!" Dream tried, giggling slightly.

Comic's eye sockets widened, his left eye light glowing as he jumped over the banister, using blue magic to knock Nightmare off Dream none too gently.

 

"Hmm...." Nightmare hummed playfully. "Should I give you mercy or no-ah!" he yelped when a tightness on his Soul grabbed him and threw him off of Dream. He fell onto his back and skidded a few feet away on the snow, groaning painfully.

He sat up, rubbing his skull. "What the fuck?" he mumbled in confusion. Dream couldn't do that. Neither of them could use Blue Magic.

 

"Huh?" Dream asked, confused why Nightmare had been thrown off him.

"You okay?" He asked worriedly, getting up to check on Nightmare.

"don't get close to him! he'll hurt you!" Comic shouted, trying to hold Dream back.

 

Nightmare stared at Comic in confusion before it hit what their position could have been to the Tale!Verse monster. He sighed roughly.

"Fucker." he mumbled to himself but made no move to stand up. He had promised to not cause a fight. Besides, Comic hadn't tried anything yet. He could wait.

 

"He won't. The only thing he threatened me with were tickles." Dream explained to a flabbergasted Comic. A devious smirk made its way onto his face. Nightmare was already down... It wouldn't take much to...

Dream pinned Nightmare down with a giggle.

"The tables have turned!" He exclaimed victoriously.

 

"Gah! What the fuck?!" Nightmare screamed when he was pinned onto his back. He glared up at Dream when he realized what had occurred. "I changed my mind. You're the fucker!"

 

Dream giggled and started tickling Nightmare relentlessly.

Sensing his mistake, Comic retreated quietly, still staying close enough to interfere.

 

"Gah fucking hehehehehell!" Nightmare laughed as he struggled. Stars how could something so harmless be so devious. At least his goop lessened his sensitivity. If not it would be much worse. "You mohohohotherfucker!"

 

Dream giggled evilly, tickling his brother maliciously.

"I'd like to inform you that I haven't fucked anyone's mother." He stated matter of factly.

 

"Hahahahaha! Oh yeheheah?!" Nightmare laughed, glaring up at Dream. "Well youhohohore about to be fuhuhuhucked!"

He summoned his tentacles and grabbed Dream's tickling hands, pulling him away from Nightmare and hanging by his hands. More tentacles came up and grabbed his brother's ankles, keeping him straight. His brother now hanging helplessly above the ground, spread and exposed.

 

"Oh fuck..." Dream gasped as he was tied up. He was screwed. He peered down at Nightmare nervously, knowing full well what would come next.

 

Nightmare panted softly for a moment before he stood up and glared at Dream. "You know? I was going to give you mercy. But clearly you don't want that."

Nightmare's tentacles formed behind him and immediate hovered over Dream's sweet spots, wiggling teasingly. "Tell me one good reason why I shouldn't torture you right now."

 

"I'm your brother?" Dream tried hesitantly, using the same answer he'd always given Nightmare when he had asked that.

 

"Did you really expect that to change anything?" Nightmare deadpanned. Without waiting for a reply, he spoke. "Answer is nope! It doesn't!"

With that be immediately began tickling fast and gently which ultimately made the sensations worse. Having tentacles was handy in this situation.

 

Dream laughed loudly as he was tickled, writhing in his bonds as he tried to get away.

"Stohop!!!" He giggled.

 

Nightmare counted in his head for thirty seconds before he stopped and dropped his brother on the ground. He leaned over Dream with an uninterested look. "You still alive?"

 

Dream laughed loudly, tears streaming down his face.

He panted when he was dropped, lying face down in the snow with no response.

 

"Well you're dead then." Nightmare said and walked away from his 'dead' brother. He looked over his shoulder and smirked smugly. "By the way, I won."

 

Dream groaned slightly as he got up, glowering at Nightmare. He quickly bent down and threw a snowball at him.

 

Nightmare didn't look back but a tentacle caught the snowball with ease, curling around the cold weapon. It reared towards the light colored skeleton and threw it back at Dream.

 

Dream sidestepped the cold projectile, pouting.

"Okay. You won." He conceded, following his brother back to the house.

 

"Glad you accepted my superiority brother." Nightmare said with a small smug smile. He slowly walked back inside the house, the chill from outside didn't bother him thanks to his corruption. But the change in temperature was noticeable.

 

Dream paused for a second when Nightmare called him 'brother'. He smiled happily and ran to catch up with him.

 

Nightmare turned his skull to the side to look at Dream when the other caught up to him. "What's got you so peppy? You know, more than usual."

 

Dream chuckled.

"It's nothing." He replied with a smile, not wanting to point out what Nightmare had said.

 

Nightmare stared at his brother for a long moment before he shrugged defeatedly. Dream was so odd now.

 

"We could go get something to eat?" Dream suggested. He was pretty hungry after that snowball fight.

 

Nightmare shrugged. Why not? Everyone could use lunch. "Sure. What do you want?"

 

"Hm... Maybe we could do a sandwich platter for everyone?" Dream suggested, shrugging slightly.

 

Nightmare nodded. "Sure. We can do a bunch of different types too. But you better ask Haven for permission to use his food and kitchen. Or ask Vigour or Ink to make the ingredients."

 

"count it done." Haven spoke up from the couch. He waved, smiling, happy that the two were getting along.

"you can use my kitchen and ingredients all you like." He added.

"Thanks." Dream replied, smiling.

 

Nightmare nodded and began walking towards the kitchen. "Come on Dream. I'll show you how to make sandwiches. And please don't burn anything down."

Horror brightened up from his spot on the floor. "Sandwiches?!"

Dust grinned alongside Cross and Killer. They loved sandwiches.

 

"I think there is hardly anything even I could do wrong with sandwiches." Dream replied. He really hoped that was the case.

 

Nightmare scoffed as he pulled out the bread and other ingredients for multiple types of sandwiches. "I'm sure you'll find a way. Somehow."

 

Dream chuckled. Nightmare was probably right. He'd try not to mess up though.

"So... What do you want me to do?" Dream asked.

 

"Take these bell peppers," Nightmare said, pushing a couple of red, yellow and green bell peppers at Dream using a tentacle. "Wash them. Cut them in half then into strips."

 

"Okay." Dream affirmed. He could do that. It was an easy enough task. He picked up the bell peppers and carried them to the sink.

 

While Dream was doing that, Nightmare pulled out some chicken strips, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. He washed the vegetables before laying them on the table. Using a knife he carefully and skillfully cut the tomatoes into slices and tore the lettuce into edible sizes.

He pulled out a slice of bread and began making the sandwich. He put lettuce first, then the chicken, then the cheese, more lettuce and finally tomatoes before topping it with another slice of bread. He did this two more times to make a neat pile of sandwiches.

He thought for a moment for another type of sandwich he could make.

 

Dream did as he was told and washed the bell peppers, taking out a cutting board to cut them. He stared at the bell peppers.

How should he cut them in half...

He decided to just cut them in half, hoping he would get it right.

 

"Cut them vertically." Nightmare intervened before the knife could make contact on Dream's bell pepper. "Not horizontally."

 

"Oh. Okay." Dream replied, doing as he was told.

 

Nightmare hummed for a moment before he decided for tuna sandwiches. He pulled out a can of tuna and opened the can. He laid out another slice of bread and placed some lettuce on top. Using a spoon, he scooped up some tuna and spread it on the lettuce. He placed a slice of cheese then two tomatoes on top before placing another slice of bread. He did this two more times.

 

Dream cut up the bell peppers into small slices and carried the cutting board to where his brother was working.

"What now?" He asked, curiously eyeing the sandwiches.

 

"Grab four slices of bread, some lettuce, tuna and cheese. Make a double decker sandwich. Go nuts." Nightmare said as he thought of another sandwich to make.

 

"I'll try." Dream responded, starting to prepare the sandwiches.

 

Nightmare thought for a moment before he decided on an egg sandwich. He grabbed two eggs and cracked them in a bowl. While his tentacles threw away the shells, he beat the eggs and turned on the stove. He poured the eggs and began making scrambled eggs, his tentacles washing the bowl in the sink.

Once the eggs were done he pulled out more slices of bread. He spread a bit of mayo on the slice before placing a spoonful of scrambled eggs, covering it with another slice of bread. He did this until the scrambled eggs were finished.

 

Dream stared at the thing he had created, a brow ridge raised in doubt. That didn't look like a sandwich... He wondered what he had done wrong...

 

"What did you do?" Nightmare asked without turning around from his sandwiches.

 

"Um..." Dream said as he continued staring at the messed up sandwich. He had somehow managed to rip some of the bread and some of the tuna was slipping out. The cheese was on top of the sandwich and partially hanging down. He didn't even know where the salad had went...

 

Nightmare looked over and chuckled. "Told you." he said with a smug grin.

"Want me to help?" he offered.

 

Dream looked over at him and gave a defeated sigh.

"Please." He replied, looking back at the mangled mess that should have been a sandwich.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly before walking over to Dream and his amalgamated sandwich. He stood behind his brother and looked over Dream's shoulder towards the sandwich. "First, lets cut some more bell peppers. This one can't be salvaged unless you want your sandwiches to have an after taste."

 

Dream chuckled slightly. He took his horrendous sandwich and threw it in the trash. He couldn't have Nightmare showing it to everyone.

"Okay." He agreed, cutting up some bell peppers. He tried very hard not to cut his fingers.

 

"Try it like this." Nightmare said, gently taking Dream's hands and the knife. He showed Dream a better way to hold the knife and the red bell pepper, showing him how to cut the pepper in half, then in strips effectively and evenly.

"See? Now you try." Nightmare grabs another pepper, this time a yellow one and let go of Dream's hands but still watching closely.

 

Dream watched intently as Nightmare showed him and clumsily tried to copy the motions, cutting the bell pepper up.

 

Nightmare watched with careful and attentive eye as Dream cut the peppers, making sure he didn't cut himself.

"That's good." he said softly. "Now the tomatoes. Same technique."

 

Dream nodded.

"Should we wash them first?" He asked. He hadn't seen Nightmare wash them and since he'd washed the bell peppers it only made sense.

 

"I already washed the lettuce I gave you." Nightmare said softly. He knew Dream would forget and he had already washed them in the first place as a habit. "Now you have to tear them into manageable strips. Not too small but not too big."

 

"Oh. Okay." Dream replied, starting to tear the lettuce. It started out as a perfect line but then it ripped to the left side and in the end he held a piece that was too big but if he tore it in half if would probably be too small.

 

"That's alright." Nightmare said when he felt Dream's sadness at his lettuce. "We can still use it. It'll hang a bit off the sandwich but it'll still look good."

 

"Okay." Dream agreed hesitantly, starting to rip some more lettuce.

 

"Alright," Nightmare said once Dream was done. "Now the tomatoes. You remember how to cut them right?"

 

"Yeah." Dream replied, setting the piece of lettuce of top of his lettuce pile. He took a tomato and carefully started to cut it.

 

Nightmare watched carefully as Dream cut the tomatoes into slices. Thankfully he didn't ruin anything despite only cutting tomatoes.

"Alright, that should do it."

 

"What now?" Dream asked, putting the knife onto the counter as he looked up at Nightmare. He was much taller than him now.

 

"Now we make the sandwiches." Nightmare said and grabbed two slices of bread. He laid one out on the counter.

"First you place the lettuce, then the tuna, then the peppers and tomatoes. Make sure not to overdo it with any of them. You don't want to overwhelm anyone with just a single ingredient like tuna. It'll make the other ingredients unable to be tasted."

 

Dream nodded and carefully followed the instructions, only placing one slice of tomato on top of everything.

 

"Try two slices." Nightmare said softly, his tentacles reaching out to grab the already made sandwiches, ready to be cut. "One on one corner since we're cutting it into triangles."

 

Dream huffed. He didn't like tomatoes. He put another one onto the sandwich anyways, putting some bread on top of it.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly. Honestly Dream was like Dust sometimes. Both of them hated tomatoes. "Alright. Do it about three more times and then we can cut it into two slices."

 

Dream nodded and did as he was told, hoping to get away with only putting tomatoes in two of them. Maybe Nightmare didn't notice...

 

Nightmare noticed but he let it slide. It'd be a nice surprise for Dust if he got one.

"Alright, let's cut them all into two triangles. Can you do that Dream?"

 

"Sure." Dream replied. He really couldn't do anything wrong by cutting a sandwich. He got a new knife and started to cut a sandwich. The knife didn't want to cut through though.

 

Nightmare chuckled and gently took Dream's hands to guide him. "Not like that. Like this."

Nightmare showed him a better angel to cut the sandwiches and how to move the blade through sandwich. It was a clean cut. "See? Now you try."

 

Dream let Nightmare help him and nodded, copying what he had done rather clumsily. He definitely needed some more practise. By the third sandwich it looked a lot better.

 

Nightmare nodded when Dream got the hang of it. He took the cut slices and carefully placed them on a large plate, arranging them neatly. He grabbed a carrot, washed it and peeled the skin before he took another knife and cut the vegetable into thin long slices.

 

Dream watched Nightmare when he was done cutting the slices, amazed at how great his brother was at cooking.

"Wow. You're awesome at cooking." He noticed.

 

Nightmare flinched in surprise at the compliment. He blinked a few times to gather his bearings before he began to arrange the sandwiches on the plate, the lettuce between the spaces and in the middle while he used the carrot slices to make a pattern between and in the outer area of the sandwiches.

"Thanks." he mumbled softly, pulling out an apple. He washed the apple before he took a knife to cut it into even slices. "At least I'm good at something."

 

"You're good at many things, brother." Dream replied. It was true. Nightmare was great at many things.

 

"Oh really?" Nightmare asked doubtfully as he arranged the apple slices into a flower shape in the middle of the plate.

"Like what?" he asked while grabbing some sauce to go with the sandwiches. Did Haven have some sour cream?

 

"You're great at climbing and parcour, you've always been better at it than me. You're great at cooking as I have already mentioned. You're a great fighter and know which colours go together which I can't manage at all. You're extremely perceptive, very coordinated and not clumsy at all. And that's only to list a few." Dream explained as he listed off some things Nightmare was awesome at.

 

Nightmare looked at Dream wide eyed in surprise for a moment. His movements pausing. He was... all that? That couldn't be true could it? He was nothing but a worthless being. A waste of space. A useless freak.

His form shifted in his distress. He didn't know what to think. What to believe.

 

"Brother..?" Dream asked hesitantly as he saw Nightmare's form shifting.

 

Nightmare snapped out of his shock and shook his skull, turning back towards the plate of sandwiches. "I'm fine..... thanks. For saying those things." 'Even if they're not true.'

He picked up the plate and carried it towards the living room, his mind running a mile a minute as he looked down.

 

Dream smiled slightly even though he knew Nightmare wasn't okay yet. He followed him into the living room.

 

Nightmare walked into the living room where almost every skeleton was.

"Who wants lunch?" he called. He chuckled when his boys immediately brightened up.

"Sandwiches?!" Cross exclaimed excitedly.

Nightmare nodded and placed the plate full of sandwiches on the table. Thankfully he had made more than enough for everyone.

 

Haven stood up and stretched slightly, teleporting over.

"they look great." He said, taking one before he teleported back to the couch. The table couldn't fit everyone.

"They do!" Ink agreed, sitting at the table. He reached over to take one.

"look awesome." Comic called out, getting up to take one.

 

Killer grabbed a sandwich and took a large bite, humming softly at the taste. "Taste just as good."

Cross smiled wide as he took a sandwich and a slice of apple. "You have Nightmare to thank for that!" he said joyfully and ate the snacks.

 

Haven took a bite, humming happily.

"thanks, nightmare and dream." He mumbled, closing his eye sockets. It tasted heavenly.

Ink bit into the sandwich he had grabbed, smiling at the taste.

"It's great. Thanks." Ink thanked the two of them when he had swallowed.

Comic blinked surprisedly. Nightmare had made all that?

 

Nightmare looked away for a moment, not used to all these... thanks. That was when he noticed someone missing.

"Where's Vigour?" he asked.

"He went to take the bunny back to the woods." Dust said while munching on a carrot stick.

 

"We could have given him some carro-" Dream started to suggest when suddenly the door slammed open, a short skeleton stumbling inside. It was Fresh.

Fresh was trembling in pain and fear, one glass of his very durable shades shattered, the other cracked, bruises all over his body. His jacket and shirt were in tatters and tears were streaming down his cheek bones as he whimpered slightly, clearly distraught.

"fuck..." Comic cursed, readying his magic.

Haven frowned and teleported next to him, holding his hands down gently to prevent him from using magic.

That didn't stop the other Star Sanses from readying their magic though.

 

The dark Sanses looked over and they jumped at seeing their friend in such a state.

"Fresh!" they exclaimed in alarm but Nightmare was by Fresh's side in a blink.

Nightmare gently used his tentacles to steady the hurt skeleton, making sure not to hurt him any more than he was currently. "Fresh? What happened?" he asked gently.

Killer swallowed his sandwich and stood up to go find a first aid kit. Horror immediately went to the kitchen to get some leftover full HP food.

Cross saw how the Star Sanses looked and stood up, standing between them and Fresh. "Calm down. It's just Fresh."

 

Fresh practically went limp when Nightmare tried to steady him, too exhausted to hold himself up. It was a wonder that he had managed to even get there. He sobbed quietly, closing his eye sockets tightly.

"Just Fresh?!" G asked shockedly. He went on to say more but was interrupted by Dream.

"He's hurt. He's hardly a threat now." Dream pointed out.

Ink stared at Fresh, guilt eating him alive.

 

"Hey hey, it's okay. It's okay." Nightmare said softly as he carried Fresh's limp body to the couch. He sat Fresh down, unfortunately next to a murderous looking Comic.

"Fresh, let me see what the damage is. Okay?" Nightmare said gently, trying to reason with Fresh who was clearly in too much pain.

Killer returned with a first aid kit and Horror returned with a bowl of leftover soup. The last bowl actually.

"Guys it's fine." Cross said towards the light Sanses. "He's our friend."

 

Haven got in between Fresh and Comic, staring his taller doppelganger down.

"do you need some healing magic?" He asked gently, not taking his eye lights off Comic.

Comic growled lowly.

Fresh whimpered quietly, his eye sockets squeezed shut tightly. He shuddered but managed to point at his bruised face and his broken and battered ribcage.

Red was already retreating into the kitchen. He didn't think he'd be able to get through a fight without a panic attack.

The Star Sanses ignored Dream and readied their weapons.

"Your friend?!!" G screamed enragedly.

"Guys! We have a peac-" Dream tried but he got cut off.

"peace is over..." Stretch growled.

Ink curled up slightly, feeling like shit.

 

"Hey hold on there." Nightmare said, narrowing his eye at the Star Sanses. A few of his tentacles circled Fresh protectively while the rest poised at the enraged skeletons warningly. His gang already standing up with their magic ready and weapons drawn just in case of a fight. "I fail to see the problem here that needed the truce to end."

 

"Fresh is the problem!!!" G shouted, summoning a gasterblaster and pointing it at Fresh.

The short skeleton whimpered, aware of the threat and curled in on himself, hugging Nightmare's tentacles tightly.

Ink stood up, making the Star Sanses pause. He had tears tracks on his cheek bones but managed to keep his voice steady.

"Fresh isn't the problem! His AU is! Fresh is innocent!!" Ink shouted, making the Star Sanses back down in shock, their magic shattering.

 

Nightmare looked at Ink in surprise while his tentacles that were being hugged by Fresh, gently rubbed his skull to try and calm him down. He had to admit, he hadn't thought Ink would say that. Didn't Ink hate Fresh too? What had changed?

"Wow," someone said making them all turn their skulls.

Vigour leaned against the door frame grinning at them. "And here I thought I was gonna have to use that freeze thing again. Heya Ink. Nice balls."

 

Fresh blinked perplexedly. Didn't Ink hate him...? He relaxed slightly when the gasterblaster disappeared and closed his eye sockets, leaning into the comforting touch of Nightmare's tentacles.

Ink looked away, wiping his cheek bones with his sleeves.

"F-fresh... I behaved like an idiot and believed that horrible lie your AU's people told. I-I want to fix my mistakes and I'm sorry." Ink apologised.

Haven sighed in relief. Ink had stopped it just in time and Vigour had thankfully showed up...

 

Vigour smiled proudly at Ink as he walked closer to the couch. He didn't say anything, but he was happy for Ink.

He kneeled down in front of Fresh. "Hey Fresh. You forgive this idiot?"

 

Fresh opened his eye sockets and scooted back a bit, his small, trembling eye light fixed on Vigour as the heart-shaped eye light pulsed slightly in fear, fixated on him too. He was in too much pain to talk so he just shrugged, wincing in pain at the motion. He wasn't sure whether this was all a prank and he couldn't think clearly with the way his skull was pounding.

Ink deflated slightly but nodded. It wasn't a yes but neither was it a no.

 

Vigour nodded in understanding. "Alright. Now, let's try and fix you up okay buddy? Can you let me do that?"

Nightmare backed away slight to give him space but he was still near to make sure nothing went wrong.

 

Fresh stared at the skeleton that looked so much like Ink with wide, fearful eye sockets. His gaze darted over to Nightmare for reassurance as he hugged a tentacle closer.

"it's okay. he won't hurt you..." Haven tried to soothe him.

 

"It's me. Vigour." Vigour said softly with a smile. He pulled out his small paint brush and showed it to Fresh. "Remember me Freshy?"

 

Fresh's eye lights sparked with recognition and he nodded hesitantly, wincing in pain when that movement jostled his skull.

He relaxed slightly but his eye lights darted between everyone in the room uneasily. He clearly had no idea what was going on.

"it's okay... they got a peace agreement." Haven tried to console him.

 

Nightmare gently rubbed Fresh's skull. "It's okay. Even if we wouldn't have the peace agreement, we won't let anything happen to you."

His gang nodded in agreement, determination shining in their eyes. They wouldn't let anyone harm Fresh.

Vigour nodded with a small reassuring smile. "No one's going to hurt you. We'll make sure of it. Now, let's fix you up kay?"

 

Fresh leaned into the touch, closing his eye sockets briefly as he took a deep breath.

"O-okay...." He agreed hesitantly, his voice nothing more than a soft whisper. It was hoarse from screaming and he felt so incredibly exhausted.

Ink watched the Star Sanses intently, telling them to back off with a flick of his hand. Fortunately they followed orders and took a few steps back, sitting down near the wall.

 

Horror noticed how hoarse Fresh's voice is and went back to the kitchen to make tea. Cross followed him to help.

Vigour smiled and raised his hand, a blob of paint floating up from the vials- he had found and retrieved earlier from the fight- attached to his sash.

"Just remove your jacket and shirt so I can reach your ribs." Vigour said softly.

 

Fresh looked at the floating ball of paint confusedly. Last time Vigour had healed him he hadn't used this technique...

He weakly tried to push off his ripped jacket, whimpering in pain.

"would it be okay if i helped you?" Haven asked carefully.

Fresh looked over at him. No one from this AU had ever hurt him... and he really needed help. Besides. Nightmare would dust the other before he could harm him. So he nodded slightly.

 

Vigour smiled at Fresh and carefully maneuvered the paint towards the battered and scarred ribs. He turned the paint into ivory white- the colour of Fresh's bones. He covered the cracks and scars with paint, making sure not to leave a single scratch.

"You can heal his skull." Vigour said towards Haven. "I'm not sure if I want to risk getting paint in his eyes."

Nightmare grinned at Vigour. "I see you've gotten the hang of that new magic of yours."

"Yeah." Vigour said softly, eyes focused on his task. "Thankfully. This is actually really handy."

He pulled out his brush and covered the brush with paint. He used the paint brush to cover the little bones of his hand and fingers- also cracked. He wondered what had happened to him. "Unfortunately I can't do little details."

 

Fresh whimpered slightly but was quickly pacified by Haven healing his skull. The pain at both locations dimmed significantly and he couldn't help but relax. He felt better than he had in days...

Haven healed the cracks and bruises on Fresh's skull gently, frowning worriedly.

Who had done this to this poor skeleton?

 

Once Vigour was done he stopped and smiled when he couldn't see any more cracks or breaks. "That should do it."

The other multiverse skeleton looked at the torn and tattered shirt and jacket. "I feel bad for your clothes though. They look cool."

Nightmare shrugged from beside Vigour. "I'm sure Error can fix it."

 

"Th-thanks..." Fresh mumbled quietly.

He nodded in agreement. Error would easily be able to fix it.

G frowned. Error?! First Nightmare could cook and now the destroyer could fix clothing?!!

 

Vigour nodded at Nightmare. "Still such a shame though."

"It'll be good as new." Nightmare said and picked up a bowl of soup before handing it to Fresh.

"Eat up Fresh." he said gently. "You need your energy and tell us what happened."

 

Fresh nodded slightly and took the bowl of soup, eating slowly. He still wasn't used to getting that much food.

He really didn't want to talk about what had happened to him though. A shiver ripped through him.

Haven thought for a second, then took his jacket off, putting it on Fresh. He was surely cold.

 

"Fresh?" Vigour said in concern. "You don't have to tell us but... it'll help you feel better if you do."

Nightmare scoffed. "After we chase the bastard down that is."

 

Fresh sniffled slightly, pulling the jacket around his shoulders tighter around himself as he mumbled a thanks to Haven.

"I.. I was just minding my own b-business when a Sans attacked me... They asked wh-where Ink was a-and I checked but I sensed Nightmare and you guys there and.. and I thought you were fighting s-so I didn't tell them because.. they would've gotten hurt a-and then they hurt me..." Fresh explained shakily, tears rolling down his cheek bones as he trembled. He looked like he could really use a hug.

 

Nightmare sighed. "Of course. You did good Fresh."

Nightmare used his tentacles to lift Fresh off the couch before he sat down instead, gently putting Fresh in his lap. His tentacles circled Fresh in a soft hug while he rubbed the top if his skull.

Vigour frowned. "Why would...." he shook his skull. "Nevermind. It's a stupid question. You did the right thing."

 

Fresh sighed in relief when Nightmare hugged him and cuddled into him, closing his eye sockets. He was glad that the other wasn't mad at him. Not like that Sans.

Haven watched the smaller skeleton worriedly. He got hurt because he didn't want someone to get hurt? That was... very kind but also self-destructive...

Ink frowned, very concerned for Fresh.

 

Nightmare noticed how broken Fresh's shades were. That couldn't be comfortable to wear.

"Fresh, why don't you give Vigour your shades?" he said softly, thumbing the broken shades. "He can fix them for you."

Vigour nodded. "Wouldn't be a problem."

Horror returned with a cup of tea. He gave Fresh the tea. "Here you go. This should help with that throat. Drink it. Or we'll might have to drug you again." he winked playfully.

 

Fresh sniffled softly, thinking it over for a second. His shades didn't cover much of anything anymore but they were special. He couldn't just.. They... The small skeleton was torn but eventually took off his shades hesitantly, holding them out to Vigour while he kept his eye sockets tightly shut.

Fresh peeked open the eye socket with the normal eye light and took the tea, thanking Horror with a nod. He giggled softly. He didn't want to be drugged again but he wouldn't put it past them. He was still amazed how much they cared about him.

"Drugged...?" Dream echoed worriedly.

 

Vigour took the shades gently and examined the damage. Shattered and broken but fixable. He dipped his brush in black paint and began to carefully paint over the cracks and breaks, making sure not to accidentally ruin the shades.

"Fresh came in one day almost dead." Horror explained. "Dust put a drug in his soup to make sure he didn't run away before we could heal him fully. Fresh does that sometimes."

 

Fresh sighed quietly. He didn't have anything to say in edgewise. He took a careful sip of his tea, humming softly. The tea tasted good.

"Oh." Dream replied, sounding pretty shocked. Why wouldn't Fresh want to be healed...?

 

Nightmare rubbed Fresh's skull gently. He could feel curiosity and a plateau of other emotions. It didn't take a genius to know what he was thinking. "Brother, you're smart. You can guess why Fresh wouldn't want to be healed by someone."

A few of the dark Sanses purposely glared at the Star Sanses. Obviously they didn't like how Fresh was treated for how he looked.

 

Fresh leaned into the touch with a small hum. He already felt a lot better. He looked up at Nightmare, both of his eye lights glowing.

"Thanks..." He mumbled quietly, taking another sip of his tea.

"You mean..." Dream hesitated, looking over at the Star Sanses. He'd never taken part in that whole hurting Fresh business because he had never been attacked by him but he hadn't said against it anything either. He felt awful. And he'd have a serious word with Ink and the others.

"I'm really sorry, Fresh." He apologised, looking over to glower at his friends. They'd have a very serious talk.

The Star Sanses shrunk in on themselves slightly as Dream stared them down.

 

Nightmare smiled and thumbed the corners of Fresh's eye sockets, wiping away the residual tears. "That's better. No need to hide those eyes of yours."

Vigour hummed to himself while tapping his chin with his brush as he tried to think of a way to fix the YOLO on the glass. Which was mostly blocked by black paint. Maybe....

 

Fresh didn't exactly agree - his eye lights were horrible after all - but he kept his mouth shut and set the cup of tea onto the coffee table, cuddling into Nightmare again.

 

Nightmare hugged back gently. "Go to sleep Fresh. You're exhausted."

"Better too." Vigour spoke, waving the fixed shades around in his hand. He handed them towards Fresh with a smile. "A nap is definitely a good idea."

 

"Okay..." Fresh mumbled sleepily, taking his glasses back with a grateful smile.

"Thanks..." He whispered, putting them on immediately. He closed his eye sockets and rested his skull on Nightmare's chest, falling asleep in mere moments.

 

Nightmare relaxed and let Fresh rest on him. The other deserved some peace and quiet.

Vigour watched with a smile and stood up. He looked around for a moment. "Where's Ink?"

 

Dream looked around. Weird. Ink had been in the room a few minutes ago...

"That's a very good question which I can't answer..." He admitted.

"Should we search for him?" He asked.

"probably." Haven agreed, getting up. He glared at Comic warningly and took a healing magic infused flower crown out of his shorts pocket. He approached Fresh, looking up at Nightmare.

"can i put that onto his skull? it has some healing magic in it." He explained.

 

Nightmare nodded. "Go ahead. Hopefully it'll heal whatever injuries that we've missed. Which is most likely going to be a lot."

Dust scoffed. "Bastard. Why can't he just tell us what's hurting him?"

"You know why." Killer replied making Dust sigh.

"I know. But still."

"Well," Vigour said. "we better find Ink before he does something that will be self-damaging to himself."

With that he began to walk towards the kitchen while the other walked towards other parts of the house.

 

Haven gently placed the flower crown on top of Fresh's skull, smiling when he saw the other relax further.

 

"You're quite self-destructive yourself." Dream reminded, frowning at Vigour.

 

Vigour flinched at the reminder and turned his skull to look at Dream with wide guilty eyes. He really couldn't deny it. He knew he was self-destructive. He knew it yet he didn't do anything about it. He was too afraid to do so. He gave the bright skeleton a forced smile. "Maybe. But I'll be fine."

Vigour turned away and began walking towards the kitchen, ignoring everyone else as he curled up slightly. "I know how to keep myself alive." he mumbled.

 

Dream hurried after him, grabbing his shoulder.

"It's okay not to be okay sometimes, Vigour." He insisted.

 

Vigour stopped when Dream grabbed his shoulder. His eyes trained onto the floor. He grinned slightly but shakily, involuntary tears in his eyes. "Yeah, it is. But who could I be not okay to?"

 

"Us." Dream replied steadily.

"You helped us so much. You deserve to be helped too." He explained determinedly.

 

Vigour didn't answer for a moment, just staring at the ground blankly. Them? He could tell them?

"How can I trust you?" he asked bluntly. "How do I know I can trust you? I couldn't trust my own Multiverse. I've seen what this one is capable of. How can I trust any of you?"

 

Dream flinched back slightly, looking down ashamedly.

"We all aren't without fault. We all did bad things except maybe Fresh and Haven... I just... It's your call. If you don't want to trust us, to believe that we can be good enough to help you then so be it. Just please let somebody help you..." Dream explained.

 

Vigour sighed softly and looked down a bit guilty. He shouldn't have asked that.

"I'll..." He trailed off before he spoke. "I'll think about it. You're all trying to change, to be something else. Based off of my words- a stranger. I guess the least I could do is do the same."

 

"Sounds good." Dream replied, waiting for Vigour to step into the kitchen to follow him.

 

Ink looked down at his feet, his body curled up with his legs tucked to his chest and his back against the drawers of the counter. Tear tracks visible down his cheeks as he sniffed softly. Guilt making his Soul clench and tear itself as he recalled all the times he had hurt Fresh. All the beatings and screams and everything, and for what? Some lie made up by Fresh's AU. Why had he thought those were true? He had never created Fresh to be a parasite. Why had he-?!

Ink choked on a sob and put his skull in his legs to hide his tears.

 

Red sat next to him, rubbing his back gently, trying to help him get a hold of himself.

"just let it all out..." Red murmured softly.

 

"I feel so bad." Ink choked out, curling tighter.

Vigour poked his skull inside and spotted Ink and Red but he kept silent. He didn't want to intrude- or shock Ink with his arrival.

 

"it's okay to feel bad. it's even normal too but you can't let it consume yourself." Red explained, giving the shorter skeleton a hug.

"you're sorry and you won't do it again. the only thing left to do now is to show everyone the truth about fresh. you need to make sure he won't be hurt again." He added, rubbing his back comfortingly.

 

Ink lifted his head up from his legs and wiped away his tears. "You're right." he said softly. "But how?"

 

"you could make a meeting where you tell the truth to as many as you can and then they spread the news all over their aus and to their friends." Red suggested.

"it's going to take a bit but it'll work out in the end." He added, smiling slightly.

 

Ink smiled at Red. "Good idea. I'll do that in the next meeting."

"You do meetings?" Vigour spoke up from the doorway causing Ink to jump.

"Uh yes." Ink stuttered in surprise. "Usually to... discuss about Error and... Nightmare's gang..."

 

Red held Ink a bit closer, trying to calm him.

Dream stepped into the kitchen after Vigour.

"I could help you spread the word." he suggested.

 

Ink smiled gratefully at Red despite still being upset and nodded at Dream.

"Thanks. It would be a big help." Ink said softly.

Vigour smiled slightly. "Glad things are going better. I think?"

Ink nodded. "It is. Just... a little shaky."

 

Red hugged Ink closer. He couldn't fool him. He was still feeling awful. He waved Dream and Vigour closer.

Dream understood immediately and walked over, hugging Ink tightly.

 

Ink relaxed into the hug and looked up at Dream, willing him to join in. He smiled happily when Dream joined in the hug.

Vigour smiled at the sight and began backing away. "I'm glad you're supporting each other."

 

"oh no you're going to get hugged too and if i have to drag you here with blue magic." Red threatened, his one good eye light glowing a bright red.

Dream nodded.

"You need this as much as Ink does." He agreed.

 

"Eek!" Vigour squeaked softly with a grin at Red's threat. But he was giggling and smiling. Despite his Soul starting to pulse fearfully- it was a weak pulse but it was still there.

"For what?" he asked.

Ink looked at Dream curiously. Something else was in his tone and Ink wants to know what. "Yeah, for what?"

 

"He's being self-destructive and doesn't want to be helped even though he helps us all." Dream explained.

"onto the cuddle pile you go." Red encased Vigour's soul gently with blue magic and pulled him into the cuddle pile.

 

Ink's eyes widened and he looked at Vigour. He nodded in agreement. "Come here."

"Ah!" Vigour yelped softly as he was being dragged by blue magic. Unconsciously he dug his heels into the floor to try and fight the pull. He chuckled softly but he looked slightly nervous, bordering on fearful. "M-maybe let me come on my own instead? I- I won't run away. I promise."

 

Red tilted his skull slightly.

"you're scared of blue magic. should have said so." He mentioned casually, setting Vigour down gently.

"i am very sorry for doing that. i should have asked first." He apologised.

 

Vigour breathed heavily, trying to calm his pounding Soul. "N-not blue magic. Being... being pulled against my will."

"It's fine." Vigour said as he shakily walked towards the pile. "You didn't know. It's just... something from my past."

Ink looked concerned and gave some room for Vigour to join in the cuddle pile.

 

"They can't do anything to you anymore. Nobody will hurt you like that here." Dream murmured, rubbing the taller skeleton's skull gently.

"that's right." Red agreed. "if anyone gives you a bad time we'll show 'em." He added, smiling.

 

Vigour smiled faintly as he leaned into the touch but he looked down afterwards. "Not true. Someone is out here that can hurt me. Already did." he mumbled softly, almost inaudible.

Ink flinched at the reminder and wrapped an arm around Vigour's ribs loosely. "We'll make sure Fate won't do that to you again."

 

Dream nodded, hugging Vigour closely.

Red frowned slightly. How could they get Fate off Vigour's trail? They wanted him to be friends with Ink, right? So he'd just have to stay his friend and everything would be fine...

 

Vigour sighed softly. "Okay. I trust you."

Chapter Text

Ink looked around Haven's house, searching for Error. He'd noticed that Error hadn't really believed him when he'd apologised and was carrying an envelope with him in which he had written down everything he wanted to do better and he'd signed it.

 

Error watched as monsters played around in the snow from the front of the house, leaning onto the wooden railing. He sighed softly. He heard Nightmare had gotten along with Dream again. Error was happy for him, he was. But he wondered how things would be after this.

They still needed to bring Vigour home and cut him from Fate's strings. Ink had said he'd create at a moderate pace and stop making copies but Error was not sure about that. The balance still existed, how would Nightmare and Dream's relationship go when that happened?

Error didn't know... and that frightened him.

 

Ink opened a door leading outside, expecting to be met with another disappointing Error-less space. He flinched slightly when he spotted the skeleton he'd been searching for.

Shit... He had no idea what to say...

 

Error perked his head up when he heard someone walk in. He turned around and he was met with a very nervous Ink. It was an odd sight, he mused. He had never thought of Ink being nervous yet here he was. What was he doing here?

"You need something?" Error asked.

 

Ink nodded slightly and held out the envelope. He'd worked a while on perfecting the wording and he had to admit, Dream had helped him quite a bit.

 

Error raised a confused- and wary- brow at the piece of folded paper in Ink's hand.

"What's that?" he asked, cautiously taking it from Ink. At least if it was a trap he was away from the others. Or should be step even farther?

 

"You seemed really doubtful about my promise. So I wrote it down and signed it... Like a contract." Ink explained, looking up at Error.

 

"Oh." Error said in slight surprise. He looked down at the folded paper and tentatively opened it.

True to his word, Ink had written down all the things he said he'd do on that piece of paper. The wording was a little messy and some words were crossed out- Error assumed he'd gotten the spelling wrong like he did so many times- but it was true. Ink had even signed the paper at the bottom of the page.

"You're serious about this aren't you?" Error asked but it was mostly rhetorical.

 

"Yes. I am very serious about this." Ink agreed, staring up at Error determinedly. He wanted to make things right. He knew he could never make up for what he had done in the past but he'd do his best to make sure that he'd never make the same mistake again.

 

Error stared at Ink for a moment, analyzing him, before he shrugged. "Okay." he said and folded back the 'contract' that Ink had signed.

 

Ink let out a sigh of relief as Error seemed to accept it.

"Thanks." He said.

 

Error nodded.

They stared at each other for a moment before Error spoke. "So... is that all?"

 

"Um.. yeah. I think so... Thanks." Ink mumbled quietly, sounding nervous.

 

Error raised a brow at Ink. "You sure?" he asked doubtfully. "You seem oddly nervous. You being nervous is odd on its own."

 

"I just... I feel incredibly horrible for this whole misunderstanding and I know you hate me and I shouldn't even talk to you but I need to make things okay again and-" Ink ranted, taking a gasping breath before trying to continue.

 

Error covered Ink's mouth before he could rant again.

"Okay calm down." he said. "That's all? That's really nothing to be nervous about Ink."

 

"Mm!" Ink protested as his mouth was covered, looking up at Error.

Ink shook his head. It seemed like a very good reason to be nervous for him.

 

Error rolled his eyes and let his hand fall down from Ink's mouth. Such an overachiever.

"Honestly, if you want to fix everything then just keep your promise. What else do you expect me to ask for?"

 

"Redemption?" Ink asked unsurely, not really knowing what Error would want.

 

Error shook his skull. "I've never been good at redemption. So I don't really have the right to ask that from you or from anyone."

Error turned back towards the snowy town, watching the white flakes fall down slowly. "Actually if there's anything I want; it'd be to stop trying to kill us all the time whenever we go somewhere. It's kinda annoying whenever I have to fight you when I was watching the stars in OuterTale." Error turned his skull to look at Ink. "I'm allowed to go to OuterTale now, right?"

 

"Of course!" Ink replied hastily.

"You can go wherever you want. I won't bother you." He explained.

"And I'll try to make sure nobody else will bother you either." He added.

 

Error stared at Ink for a moment before he chuckled and turned back towards the snow. "Never thought I'd hear that from you. What changed Ink? You've never been adamant to talk about anything, let alone listen."

At that moment, the window to the kitchen suddenly shot out white power with a loud 'bang' making Error turn towards it in surprise.

"My bad!" Vigour's voice yelled.

"I think you rival Dream at clumsiness." Nightmare's voice spoke right after sounding amused.

 

Ink was about to respond when he heard a loud noise and jumped slightly, looking over at the window.

He chuckled slightly. If Vigour was able to rival Dream, that really meant something.

"Don't give him any knives then!" Ink shouted.

 

Error snickered in amusement at Ink's words.

"Hey! I am perfectly capable of using knives!" Vigour purposely exaggerated voice spoke. "I'm not clumsy all the time!"

"You're gonna drop the eggs." Nightmare warned followed by a symphony of cracks. "Too late."

"Uh..." Vigour's voice trailed off. "Forget that happened! There's no evidence!"

"The eggs are on the floor-"

"No evidence!" Vigour interrupted.

"Just because you're cleaning it up doesn't mean it didn't happen."

"No one will know~!"

 

Ink winced slightly when he heard the eggs crack. He laughed. Vigour really was clumsy.

"there are still some eggs in the back of the fridge." Haven informed them.

Ink laughed as he listened to Vigour try to get rid of the evidence.

"i took a picture." Haven said with a giggle.

 

"No! Gimme that!"

"Stop that!" Nightmare scolded.

"There shall be no evidence!"

"There'll be no evidence of your dust if you keep playing around!"

 

There was a giggle and an unexplained crash before there was a snap of teleportation.

Ink laughed as Haven materialised near the treeline.

"catch me if you can, vigour!" He shouted, running off.

 

"Shit!" Vigour cursed before he ran with a trail of pink to stand beside Error. He was panting slightly and covered head to toe with white flour.

"Oh I'll getcha!" he laughed and chased Haven but without that pink trail.

"You better clean this up when you come back!" Nightmare hollered from the kitchen.

Error chuckled at their antics. His Soul humming with ease.

 

Haven giggled and ran off into the woods, his phone clutched close.

Ink chuckled. He was positive that Vigour would manage to catch Haven.

 

Error smiled as he watched Vigour run into the woods after Haven. He turned his skull to look at Ink.

"Well?" he asked. "Why are you suddenly willing to listen?"

 

"Vigour made me listen. And when I did I noticed that I should definitely listen more." Ink explained, looking at the snow intently.

 

Error hummed slightly. "Odd. I never pegged you as narcissistic."

 

Ink flushed brightly.

"W-What?!!!" He shouted shockedly with wide eye sockets.

 

Error laughed loudly at Ink's shocked and flushed face.

"I meant," he spoke between chuckles. "-I didn't think it'd took another you from a different AU for you to listen."

 

"He's not another me! Else we'd not have gotten anywhere." Ink explained with a slight pout.

 

"Sure," Error agreed with a chuckle. "But he's still Ink. He's still named Ink and he's from another Multiverse."

Error looked over at Vigour who was sneaking around between trees to find Haven. "He's like the AUs' Sanses. He looks like another Sans but he acts differently. So differently that you'd never think of him as the original person. You'd never think of Razor to Red. Or Fell to Edge. They look the same but act differently. He's still an Ink, with or without the name change."

 

Ink buried his face in his hands, his cheek bones glowing brightly. He had no idea why he was acting that way.

"I know." He agreed.

 

Error raised a confused brow at Ink's behavior. "Why are you acting like that?"

Before Ink could answer, Dust poked his skull out from the kitchen window with a large grin- and a waffle in his hand. "Ooo~ Is Ink in love with his copy?"

Nightmare pulled Dust back into the kitchen with his tentacles.

 

"Absolutely not." Ink responded, taking a deep breath and rubbing his cheek bones to get rid of his blush. He certainly wasn't in love with Vigour. They were friends. That was all. Error's comment had only taken him off guard.

 

Error hummed softly. "Might as well. Fate intended for you two to be friends. I doubted they meant anything more than that."

 

"Yeah." Ink agreed, looking over at Vigour.

 

"Gotcha!" Vigour laughed as he pinned Haven down onto the snow with an evil grin. "Now that the fantastic Sir Vigour has captured the traitor, he shall give Sir Haven his punishment!"

 

Haven threw his phone into the snow, hoping that Vigour hadn't seen it and that he could retrieve it later. He'd also sent the picture to his Papyrus. It was safe.

"no. you will not tickle me!!" Haven warned.

 

Vigour grinned evilly. He saw the phone but he'd let it slide. It was all fun and games anyway. Besides he'd purposely made a face when the picture was taken.

"What's gonna stop me~?" he purred playfully as he encased Haven's Soul with blue magic.

 

Haven struggled slightly before giving up with a huff.

"friendship." Haven replied with a smile.

 

"Yeah..." Vigour drawled with a grin. "But friendship gets stronger with joyful laughter!"

He leaned down to gently nibble Haven's neck and used a hand to lightly poke his ribs.

 

Haven writhed under Vigour's touches, laughing loudly.

"sto-ooohppp!!!" He gasped out.

 

Vigour chuckled, tickling harder for a moment before he stopped and pulled away from Haven.

"Numnumnum. I should eat you more often." Vigour commented playfully before he pulled Haven up from the snow.

 

Haven giggled slightly as Vigour pulled away, panting heavily.

"i don't taste good. i'm only skin and bones... minus the skin." He replied, chuckling as Vigour pulled him up.

 

"Don't care~" Vigour hummed happily before standing up.

"We should probably get inside before we freeze. Again." Vigour smiled before he spotted Ink at the front of the house with Error. He waved at them with a large bright smile. "Hey Ink! Hey Error!"

 

Haven nodded with a giggle.

"That and you still didn't finish helping Nightmare cook." He replied.

Ink waved at his two friends with a smile.

 

Vigour jumped at the reminder. "Eek! You're right!"

He ran back towards the house quickly with a trail of pink, leaving behind nothing but snowy dust and footprints.

 

Haven laughed as he brushed the snow off his skull and walked back to the house.

Ink chuckled as Vigour ran past them.

 

Error chuckled softly as he watched Vigour run past. "Anyone having him as a mate would be lucky." he commented.

 

"Yeah." Ink agreed. Vigour was kind and understanding and always tried his best at whatever he did.

 

"I wonder why he hasn't gotten a mate yet?" Error asked before he shrugged. "Well I have no right to ask. I'm single too but for my own reasons."

 

Ink hummed in thought. He was curious but he'd hold himself back.

"maybe he even has a mate but they're back in his multiverse." Haven piped up as he walked past Error and Ink.

 

"Well that's... sad." Error said softly while looking at the snowy ground. "That means we're keeping him from his mate for who knows how long. Is he ever going to see his mate again? We still don't know how to bring him home."

 

Ink frowned. That sounded horrible.

"stop assuming that it's true. both of you." Haven chided.

"i said maybe and i meant maybe. go ask him." He explained.

 

"I'm not asking him." Error said immediately.

 

"Me neither!" Ink said quickly.

Haven huffed, trudging inside.

"vigour! do you have a mate?" Haven asked.

 

"A mate?" Vigour asked, poking his out from out of the kitchen doorway. He was holding a bowl of flour with a few fish fillets inside- Nightmare had stolen them from a SeaTale AU.

He shrugged at Haven. "No, not really. I don't think anyone would want me. I'm too.... excitable."

 

"i'm actually surprised you don't have a mate. sure, you're excitable but you're awesome. by the way i asked for error and ink." Haven explained with a wink. He giggled mischievously.

Ink flushed slightly. They had only been worried and Haven knew that!

 

Error chuckled softly. Haven was a cheeky mischievous little shit.

"Aw thanks! And why did they ask?" Vigour asked curiously while handing Nightmare the bowl of flour covered fish.

 

"they were talking about why you don't have a mate even though you have so many great qualities." Haven responded, grinning.

Ink sighed. Of course he'd use that type of wording.

 

Vigour flushed slightly in rainbow but it had a pink highlight, staring at Haven wide eyed. "Uh... thanks? I uh don't see any incredible qualities but thanks."

 

Haven giggled slightly.

"don't talk yourself down. you have many great qualities." He insisted.

"i bet ink could tell you what he likes about you." Haven added with a smirk, fighting hard not to giggle as he looked over at Ink who promptly flushed slightly.

 

"Uh... okay?" Vigour chuckled slightly. He regained from his shocked and smiled at them. "Maybe he can sing praises to me after dinner. Nightmare's making fish tacos! So far it looks delicious!"

"I haven't even cooked the fishes yet." Nightmare said from the kitchen.

"Still looks good!" Vigour smiled wide.

 

"i'm sure ink would love to do that." Haven replied, stepping into the kitchen.

"it looks really good." He agreed with a smile.

Ink flushed slightly, hiding his face in his hands with a groan.

 

Vigour chuckled softly when he heard the groan. "Okay let's stop teasing Ink."

"You better not start taking your jokes on me." Nightmare warned as he heated up the taco shells. "And go cut the vegetables."

 

"okay." Haven agreed with a grin.

"we wouldn't joke about you. you're pretty much the only one good at cooking and i certainly don't want to get on your bad side." He explained with a smile.

 

Vigour nodded and walked over to the counter to begin cutting the vegetables. There were a lot. They were cooking for a lot of monsters.

Nightmare smirked proudly at Haven. "Good."

 

"should i help you, vigour?" Haven asked. He didn't want the other to hurt himself with a knife.

 

"No I got this." Vigour said as he began cutting the cucumbers. He could handle a knife. He was not that clumsy, hopefully. "You better wait in the living room. I heard someone's playing a movie."

 

"nope. i'm gonna be standing right here and tell you that i knew it if you manage to hurt yourself." Haven explained.

 

Vigour passed and looked at Haven in a mock blank look. "Ha ha, funny. Go. I'm fully capable of not hurting myself or anyone."

Vigour looked down and mumbled under breath. "Unless I want to."

 

Haven's eye sockets widened when he barely heard Vigour's mumble.

"you wouldn't intentionally hurt yourself, right?" He asked worriedly, keeping his voice barely audible.

 

Vigour flinched slightly and looked away from Haven. It was answer enough.

 

Haven gasped quietly, his eye lights flickering. Vigour had... self-harmed? Why hadn't he noticed sooner? What kind of friend was he?!

 

Vigour sighed harshly when he felt his Soul beating faster from Haven's unease and guilt.

"Stop that." he scolded, slightly glaring at Haven. "It's not a big deal."

 

"it is a big deal!" Haven protested.

"i'm sorry you feel like you have to do that." He added, frowning.

"bad time for this topic! concentrate on cutting the vegetables!" Haven warned.

 

Vigour chuckled humourlessly. "Oh you have no idea Haven."

Vigour began to chop the vegetables but his mind was distant yet focused. "You gotta understand my situation. Being in a cold empty cell without anything to keep your sanity, it does things. I'm glad the self-harm is the only one I remember. Why? Cause if I hadn't done it I wouldn't have escaped."

Vigour grabbed the tomatoes and cut it into slices then into cubes. "I was mostly dazed, not sure what I was doing or why. But then I realized that what I was seeing was red and a liquid. Not water. It was something I could use. So I cut a long line down my ulna and tibia..."

Vigour raised the knife slightly towards his wrist, trailing along where he had cut. Where his scar laid. "... I got my brush..."

He lowered the knife to the juices that the tomatoes had left behind and trailed the tip of the knife in the liquid. "... Gathered as much blood as I could... and painted."

He put the knife down on the counter with a harsh sigh. "What I made... was a monstrous version of a Gaster Blaster. It was big. Red. Sharp diamond like teeth. No eyes. No nose. And it was dripping with my blood. It wasn't natural. But it was the best I could do with my scrambled mind. I shot at the door and escaped. It was the last time I cut myself."

 

Haven sighed deeply.

"i hate the idea of you doing that to yourself but it's better than you staying in that cell for even just a second longer." He explained.

 

"Exactly." Vigour responded and picked up the knife again to continue his work on the tomatoes. "So it's not a big deal."

Nightmare looked over at Vigour with an understanding look. Killer had done that... but he hadn't gotten to escape. At least, not until Nightmare had come and saved him.

 

"thanks for explaining." Haven thanked Vigour with a small sigh. He was just glad that the other had stopped doing that...

 

Vigour shrugged. "Why thank me?" he asked, already knowing the company hiding just outside the kitchen and obviously having heard what he had said.

 

"because you didn't have to tell me but you did." Haven explained.

 

"Well, if I learned anything. Knowing half the story causes more problems than solutions. It's best to just come clean, or not tell anything at all." Vigour said, grabbing the lettuce to tear into smaller pieces.

 

"okay." Haven agreed, watching Vigour as he prepared the vegetables.

 

Ink stepped into the kitchen, walking next to Vigour.

"We'll make sure you'll never have to go through that again." He promised determinedly.

 

Vigour hummed softly but his focus was still... unclear. "Okay."

Chapter Text

Dream sighed quietly. He was the only one who was still awake. Everyone else was asleep and he was leaning against the wall, sitting up, unable to sleep. It was kind of funny that he couldn't sleep well despite his name being Dream...

 

Nightmare slept leaning on the couch with his arms crossed and his skull lulled down. He was breathing slowly, twitching occasionally.

 

Dream held his aching skull with a quiet groan, closing his eye sockets for a second.

He looked around, noticing that everyone was sleeping peacefully. He was surprised, really. He'd have thought at least one of them would have a nightmare. His eye lights widened when he saw that Nightmare was twitching a bit.

Dream stood up silently and went over, cringing when he stepped onto a particularly loud piece of floor.

 

Nightmare cringed at the sound and curled into himself, his face growing pained as he twitched more often.

 

Dream cursed quietly, sitting down next to Nightmare. He had jinxed it..

He gently rubbed his twin's skull, trying to calm him down.

 

"Mm." Nightmare grunted/hummed a bit, his face scrunching up more in distress before it relaxed. He curled in on himself tighter- turning himself into a slight ball and exhaled softly, relaxing fully to the comforting touches.

 

Dream used his other hand to gently rub his brother's back, glad that what he was doing seemed to be helping.

 

Nightmare flinched a bit at the contact before he sighed softly. He shifted and turned around towards Dream's touches, leaning onto his chest. He shifted his skull slightly before falling still with a deeper sleep.

 

Dream yawned slightly as he felt his eye sockets growing heavy and pulled his twin closer, falling asleep.

 

Nightmare twitched a little when he was hugged but he soon relaxed, leaning into Dream's embrace happily.

They slept in the position they had always been in a long time ago.

 

~~~

 

Papyrus hummed as he unlocked the front door to the house he shared with his dad and his brother. It was still early in the morning. Maybe he could get Sans to go to his job at a reasonable time.

"SANS!! I'M HOME!!!" Papyrus shouted as he closed the door.

 

Nightmare jumped awake at the loud noise and instinctively wrapped the person up in his tentacles. He pulled away from someone and stood up to stand protectively in front of his gang while glaring at the intruder.

The Dark Sanses roused awake from their slumber a second later, confused and sleepy. Nightmare knew this. They were vulnerable right now. He wouldn't let anyone hurt his boys. No one would touch them.

 

Haven startled awake, drowsily looking at his brother.

"mornin'..." He mumbled sleepily, standing up unsteadily.

The Star Sanses were slow to wake up.

Papyrus seemed unfazed by the predicament he found himself in.

"My dearest apologies. If I had known Sans had some friends over I'd have refrained from shouting. I didn't mean to startle you." He apologised.

 

Nightmare looked at the intruder with a shocked and baffled look. His sleep ridden mind couldn't figure out what to do in this situation so he didn't release the monster.

 

Haven's sleep-muddled brain tried to make sense of the situation and he tried to get to Nightmare to explain the situation, stumbling over the carpet.

 

Nightmare jumped at the sound and snapped his skull to look at another skeleton- Haven- who had fallen. His nerves were sparking as he tried to make sense of what was going on. Weren't they being attacked?

Vigour rubbed his eyes and looked over the situation. He immediately realized what was going on and stood up to slowly walk towards Nightmare.

"It's okay." he said softly making Nightmare turn to him. "Haven's brother just arrived. He just startled you. He's not going to hurt anyone."

 

Haven rubbed his aching skull and stood up.

"hey, bro." He mumbled, hoping to clear up any confusion.

"Hello, brother. Would you kindly ask your friend to put me down?" Papyrus asked.

"could ya please put him down?" Haven asked with a small yawn.

 

Nightmare looked between Haven, Papyrus and Vigour uncertainly and still on edge.

Killer saw how distressed Nightmare looked and stood up to walk towards him. He gently put a hand on Nightmare's arm. "It's okay. We're safe. Paps is not a threat."

With a strained breath, Nightmare released Papyrus and stepped back, still eyeing the skeleton with doubt.

 

"Thank you." Papyrus said as he was let down.

"actually... why are you back so soon? didn't you plan on staying with undyne for a week?" Haven asked confusedly.

Papyrus nodded. "I didn't want you to get lonely. But I suppose that wasn't necessary." He explained.

Fresh blinked sleepily and cuddled into Horror, a bit upset that he had woken up.

 

Nightmare frowned at Papyrus but Killer gently pulled him back by his arm. Killer gently pushed Nightmare to sit down on the couch beside Horror and Fresh.

Vigour sighed in relief, blinking slightly as his head spun from the sudden rush. He looked up at Papyrus and smiled while offering him a hand to shake. "Hi! You're Haven's brother right? I'm Vigour! I'm... kinda new."

 

"Indeed I am. I'm Papyrus." He greeted as he shook Vigour's hand. "It's very nice to meet you." He added with a smile.

 

"Likewise!" Vigour says happily. "Your brother is the greatest friend ever! I'm assuming he got it from the Great Papyrus?"

 

Papyrus chuckled.

"No. I learned everything from him." He explained, smiling. "He's the best big brother one could wish for."

Haven smiled happily.

"aw. thanks, bro." He replied.

Comic flinched slightly. Papyrus! He had completely forgotten that he needed to get home.

 

"Aw! What a fantastic brother!" Vigour says, his eyes sparkling slightly with happiness. "Haven's a fantastic brother and a friend! He's also very caring! And he shared it with you! So cool~!"

 

Haven smiled brightly.

Ink frowned slightly. He didn't like it that Vigour was talking so much about Haven. He didn't know why. Haven was his friend too. Why was he feeling that way?

 

Nightmare looked over at Ink- one hand idly stroking Fresh's skull- when he noticed a little jealousy from the creator. He grinned and gently nudged his brother.

 

Fresh unconsciously leaned into the touch, humming happily.

Dream looked over at Nightmare, raising a brow ridge in question.

 

Nightmare nodded towards Vigour- who was hugging Haven happily- and Ink's stare.

 

Dream chuckled slightly. Ink was totally jealous. He wondered if he would act on his obvious crush. He peered over at his twin and smirked. He was going to tease Ink relentlessly.

 

Nightmare saw the smirk and rolled his eye. He knew that look.

"Ink's not gonna ask Vigour out." he whispered at his twin.

 

"Vigour has to make the first move. Hm.. This is going to be hard. But I ship it." Dream mumbled quietly, his mischievous smirk growing.

 

"What's going to be difficult...?" Nightmare asked tentatively.

 

"Vigour doesn't have the highest self-esteem. I doubt he'll make the first move without prompting..." He explained, frowning slightly.

 

"And what does that have to do with anything being difficult?" Nightmare asked as he watched Vigour interact with Papyrus and showing him his new paint controlling powers while Ink watched.

 

"Well.. It's gonna take some time." He explained, watching Ink.

 

Nightmare sighed when he realized what his brother was planning. He watched as Ink practically fumed when Vigour made a paint sculpture of Haven.

"You aren't going to set them up are you?" he asked, already knowing the answer.

 

Dream giggled mischievously as he watched Ink freak out internally.

"I'm sure you know the answer." He replied.

 

Nightmare sighed and continued to rub Fresh skull- who was now sound asleep.

"Do what you want." Nightmare said. "I'm sure some of my gang want to help you."

 

Dream nodded. He was going to need every help he could get.

"i bet haven wants to help too." Red piped up.

 

"You sure Haven doesn't feel the same as Ink for Vigour?" Horror asked, gently putting a sleepily Fresh in Nightmare's lap.

 

Dream hummed thoughtfully.

"Love triangle." He replied.

Red sighed.

 

Nightmare rolled his eye at them in exasperation. "Please don't cause too much trouble."

 

"Trouble?" Dream asked innocently. His tone said he knew he'd cause a lot of trouble.

 

Nightmare gave his brother a blank look, unamused by his act. "Just don't go overboard. That includes you boys." he said addressing his gang.

"Sure boss." Horror grinned.

 

"No flower petal rain then?" Dream asked, a hopeful glow in his eye lights. He really wanted to do that...

Red sighed. Nightmare had said not to overdo it. That was certainly overdoing it.

 

"....We'll see." Nightmare grinned. If Vigour was as hard headed and oblivious as Ink then maybe that's what he needed.

"Wait, you're okay with this?" Dust asked incredulously. "It's Ink."

"Frankly I don't care what he does with his love life. As long as it doesn't bother us." Nightmare responded nonchalantly.

"Who's love life?" Vigour butted in with a curious look.

 

Dream grinned back. This was going to be fun.

His eye sockets widened when Vigour suddenly showed up.

"Red's love life." Dream lied. He did it quite well too.

Red flushed.

 

"Aw really?!!" Vigour's smile was wide and bright.

Vigour ran to stand in front of Red with a wide smile. "Are you in love with someone?! What are they like?! Do you need help courting?!! Can I help?!"

 

Ink flushed as he saw the bright, excited smile on Vigour's face. He really wanted that smile directed at him...

"i.. i'm not in love with anyone!" Red shouted, his brightly glowing cheek bones suggesting otherwise.

"Speaking of courting... What method would you recommend?" Dream asked with a smile.

 

Vigour chuckled softly and excitedly. "Alright." he said deciding to leave Red alone. Red could tell at his own time.

He turned towards Dream with a curious and thinking look. "Hmm... well I'd find out what they like. That way if both their interests match, they can decide a perfect date and form a bond. Like if both of them like sports and are very competitive, they can watch a game or play a game against each other."

Vigour waved his arms a bit as his eyes flashed pink. "But consent is everything. No one can force anyone to do anything and both parties must agree. No forcing or making anyone uncomfortable. So boundaries must be known."

 

Red grumbled embarrassedly and looked away.

Dream nodded with a bright smile. Both Ink and Vigour were creative and liked art. Maybe he could convince Ink to take Vigour on a date to a gallery.

 

"Why do you ask?" Vigour asked curiously before smiling wide. "Are you setting someone up?! Who?! Can I help! Uh... if it's okay with them and you that is."

 

"I'm trying to set Red up." Dream replied truthfully. He really was trying to help the shy skeleton.

"i don't need no setting up!" Red growled lowly.

"Yeah? What's with the whole pining after Outer thing then?" Dream asked, making Red flush brightly.

"i have no idea what you're talking about!" Red shouted.

 

"Aw~! So cute!!!" Vigour gushed. "Question. Who's Outer?"

 

"He's the Sans from Outertale. That's the AU that I showed you." Ink butted in, not wanting to be left out.

"i'm not crushing on outer." Red grumbled embarrassedly, hugging himself.

 

"Oh cool!" Vigour brightened up before an idea hit him. "Hey, since OuterTale is all stars, I'm assuming they've never seen a sunset?"

 

"No, they didn't. Are you suggesting that Red should show Outer a sunset?" Dream asked, his eye lights glowing brightly. That sounded so romantic!

 

"Well, if Red wants to." Vigour smiled softly at the FellVerse skeleton. "It'd be nice to show him a sunset. Or better yet, a sunrise. The normal scene of stars changes into something new for Outer."

 

Red flushed brightly as he thought about it. That look of wonder on Outer's face... He blushed brighter, his face glowing.

 

Nightmare shook his skull at them. "I'm related and friends with shippers." he mumbled under his breath.

Vigour chuckled softly when he saw Red's flustered face. "Looks like someone likes the idea. What do you think guys? Is it doable?" he asked the other Sanses.

 

Dream chuckled softly.

"It is completely doable. Outer has taken a liking to Red too so it should be fine." He explained. Red looked away, burying his face in his hands with a slight groan.

"I'll even help you confess." Dream promised.

 

"Yeah. And if you need support I'll be there!" Vigour offered with a wide bright smile. "Anything for a friend!"

 

Ink flushed, internally screaming. Why did Vigour smile at everyone that way except him?!!

Red mumbled a thanks.

 

Vigour nodded happily. "Anytime!"

"So... we're doing this when?" Vigour asked curiously. "And how can I help? And Ink too!"

 

Ink flushed slightly.

"Ink could call Outer to Haventale and we could just stay and back Red up." Dream explained.

 

"Cool! When's the next sunrise?" Vigour asked happily before he paused. "Wait... shouldn't we prepare the things first? And Red?"

 

"Right!" Dream agreed. "Which AU should we use?" He asked.

Red kept quiet, looking away. He seemed to want to say something.

 

Vigour smiled before he noticed Red's quiet behavior. He turned towards Red with a concerned look.

"Red? Is everything okay?" he asked.

 

"... there's this small hill near mount ebott that would be perfect for watching a sunrise..." Red mumbled quietly.

"i'd need some help getting past the barrier though..." He added.

"That's absolutely no problem." Dream assured him with a smile.

 

Vigour smiled softly and nodded. "I'm sure Outer would love it there. What are you planning on doing there? Picnic? Or just a simple conversation?"

 

"a.. a picnic sounds nice..." Red replied quietly, pulling the hood of his jacket up embarrassedly as he blushed brightly.

 

Vigour nodded in understanding. "Alright. When do you want to take him? We could help you prepare. Or do you want to do it yourself? It's your choice."

 

"um... i need some help... i'm not very good at cooking..." Red mumbled quietly, hugging himself nervously.

 

"I can help." Vigour offered. "I'm good at cooking. Worked at Grillby's for a few years."

 

"i'd really appreciate it..." Red replied.

 

"It's settled then!" Vigour smiled. "So we'll get the date and plan it out. Right guys?"

 

"i could ask him out today and ask when he's got time..." Red suggested nervously, looking more and more anxious with every second he talked.

 

"That's a good start." Vigour said. "You want some support?"

 

Red nodded silently, looking a bit overwhelmed.

"you should take a small break from people first." Haven suggested. Red was already looking extremely anxious.

 

"That's a great idea." Vigour said before he paused and thought for a moment. Alone time. He was feeling a little... off too.

"Actually," he started softly. "-I think I also need some time alone too. Maybe a week or so. Got any recommendations for places for alone time?"

 

"i definitely wouldn't recommend staying here." Haven advised.

"underfell would be a bad idea too." Red said.

 

"The Hideout is pretty much always busy and noisy so that's a no." Nightmare said lowly, gently petting Fresh's skull.

Vigour sighed softly and sadly. He thought for a moment. There had to be someplace peaceful. He turned towards Ink. "Any quiet peaceful AU?"

 

Fresh leaned into the touch a bit.

"Outertale is peaceful." Ink replied, smiling slightly.

 

Vigour chuckled softly. "OuterTale it is." he stood up and turned towards Red.

"You can ask Outer on that date when Ink drops me off." Vigour winked at Red. "Or later. Whichever you choose."

 

"i... i'll try to do it now..." Red mumbled.

Dream cheered quietly as Red said that. He was so glad that Red finally had some confidence.

Ink nodded and waited for Vigour to say goodbye to everyone. He was sure he'd ask for phone numbers from everyone.

 

Vigour nodded and began to say goodbye to everyone. Some of them insisted on getting their phone numbers in his phone so he obliged.

After a few minutes he walked over to Ink while waving goodbye to everyone. "Bye guys. Thanks for the fun time."

"Bye Vigour!" Cross waved.

"See ya." Dust said.

"Goodbye Vigour." Horror and Nightmare said.

"Hope to see you next time Vigour." Killer smiled slightly at them.

 

Fresh waved sleepily, cuddling into Nightmare.

The Star Sanses waved.

"bye! remember to text me!" Haven replied with a smile.

Red stood up and walked to Vigour and Ink.

"I'm going to make a portal." Ink warned.

 

Vigour flinched slightly at the warning before he took a deep breath and nodded. He had to fix that. He couldn't be afraid of portals forever... right?

He found himself starting to tremble subtlely.

 

Red frowned slightly, concerned for his friend.

"you okay?" He asked as Ink summoned the portal.

 

Vigour stared at the portal wide eyed for a moment before he closed them with a deep inhale. He opened his eyes and nodded.

"Let's just get this over with." he said, his voice straining from keeping his panic at bay. "Lead the way Ink."

 

Ink nodded, looking slightly worried and jumped through the portal.

 

Vigour steeled his nerves and jumped through the portal, landing on a familiar ground with familiar looking stars. He quickly walked away from the portal, his body shivering slightly with fear.

 

Red followed Vigour, looking around nervously. He couldn't believe he was really doing this. This was a horrible idea...

 

Vigour smiled when Red jumped through- especially when the portal closed afterwards. He had to fix this fear of his.

"Welp," he started softly. "Red, you need me to stay and support you or does Ink have it covered?" he asks.

 

"c-could you please both come..." Red asked quietly, messing with his hands anxiously at the thought of asking Outer out on a date.

"Of course." Ink replied.

 

Vigour nodded with a soft smile. "Of course Red. Let's go."

 

Red nodded slightly and lead the way to Outer's house, his eye lights trembling in fear of rejection.

 

Vigour noticed Red's fear and walked slightly closer for support. He knew how nervous confessing could be.

"Hey, it's okay. We got your back." he said softly with a wink. "Sides, you're being brave for doing this. Count that as today's accomplishment."

 

Red nodded distractedly, hugging himself nervously. He winced slightly as he spotted Outer's house.

Ink looked back at Red concernedly.

 

Vigour frowned slightly in concern before an idea came to mind. He pulled out his brush and quickly paints a single red, orange and yellow gradient rose. He handed it to Red.

"A little taste of the sunset." he winked. "For Outer."

 

Red took the rose confusedly, flushing when Vigour explained.

"thanks... i'm sure he'll like it." He mumbled quietly, standing in front of Outer's front door. He swallowed nervously.

"We got your back." Ink tried to reassure him.

 

Vigour nodded with a big thumbs up to show his support. "We're right here for you Red!"

 

Red nodded and took a deep, shaky breath, knocking on the door loudly. He flinched at the sound, looking ready to bolt.

 

Outer opened the door a moment afterwards, looking slightly sleepy. He rubbed his eye with the palm of his hand sleepily before he noticed who was at his door. He looked surprised before he smiled softly and happily at Red.

"Hey Red," he greeted softly. "What brings you here? Want to go stargazing again? Or watch a movie? Paps isn't home."

 

Red flushed slightly as Outer opened the door. Shit. He hadn't thought this through!!! He didn't want their friendship to break because of him!!!

Ink stood next to him, nodding at him. He was sure that the other could do it.

 

Vigour nodded encouragingly and pulled out a notebook. He quickly wrote something down and showed it to him.

'Give the flower'

"Red?" Outer asked in concern when he noticed how red, uh, Red looked. "Are you okay? Do you have a fever? Is that why you're here?"

 

Red nodded slightly at Vigour.

"n-no. i'm fine!" He quickly tried to reassure Outer.

"um.. here." He mumbled awkwardly and held out the flower for Outer.

 

Outer blushed slightly at the flower and gently took it. He brushed a finger over the uniquely coloured petals.

"It's lovely." he said softly with a smile. "Thank you Red."

 

Red smiled, his blush brightening slightly. He really loved Outer's smile.

"um... actually. i wanted to ask if you.. would want to go.. on a date with me...?" Red asked quietly but managed to keep eye contact the whole time.

 

Vigour cheered internally in pure joy. Outwardly, he was trembling with a bright wide smile and sparkling eye lights.

Outer blushed furiously and clutched the flower close. Red's question had caught him completely off guard. "Oh I uh... heh. Never thought you'd ask me Red." he said awkwardly looking away.

He looked up at Red's face with a loving smile. "Of course I'll go on a date with you."

 

Ink couldn't help but look at Vigour. He liked that look on his face. He was smiling widely, happy that Red had managed to confess.

Red flushed brightly. Outer had wanted him to confess?! His cheek bones were burning brightly when Outer smiled at him.

 

Outer tilted his skull slightly when Red didn't say anything. He waved a hand front of Red's flustered and shocked frozen face. "Hello? Red? Did I... break you?"

 

Red nodded dazedly.

Ink patted his back hard, making him snap back to reality.

"um... when can i pick ya up?" Red asked.

 

Outer thought for a moment. He didn't have many plans. "I'm free tonight if it's no problem."

 

"oh. um. yeah. that'd be cool." Red mumbled, rubbing the back of his skull awkwardly.

 

Outer smiled brightly at Red. "Great! I'll see you then? Or... do you want to hang out first?"

Vigour wrote something else down and showed it to Red. "Say no. You have to get everything ready first to meet his expectations."

 

"i.. i still gotta do some stuff..." Red mumbled quietly, mentally slapping himself at how awkward he sounded.

"um.. i.. i'll see you later. pretty late..." He added. Fuuucckkk! He sounded like an idiot. Why was talking so hard?!

 

Outer smiled in understanding. "Alright." He said softly. "I'm looking forward to it."

Outer leaned close and pressed a chaste kiss on his lips before leaning back inside and closing the door.

 

Red felt teeth press to his own and Oh stars Outer was kissing him!!! He wanted to say something, anything but then the door was closed on him, leaving him in stunned silence. His face was as red as it could be as he stared at the door unmovingly.

Ink chuckled slightly.

"You okay?" He asked.

 

Vigour snickered amusingly at Red's... uh, red face.

 

Red slowly raised a hand to the spot where Outer's teeth had touched his, his eye sockets wide in shock.

"Red?" Ink asked. Had Red managed to crash like Error sometimes did?

 

Vigour shook his skull and walked over to them to stand right beside Ink, making sure there was a space between them, to look at Red.

"You gotta prepare the date, remember?" Vigour reminded.

 

Red snapped out of his daze at that. Right, the date.

He wheezed quietly as reality came crashing down on him. Outer had kissed him!!!!

 

Vigour chuckled softly at Red's wheeze, leaning slightly on Ink unknowingly. "Looks like we'll have to help ya. Right Ink? Ink?"

 

Ink was very aware of the fact that Vigour was leaning onto him for some reason. He glanced over, his eye sockets a bit wide as he stared at Vigour, a faint rainbow blush on his face.

Red nodded slightly. He needed help. He sat down in front of the door, burying his face in his hands as he let out a strange high-pitched noise.

 

Vigour chuckled softly and leaned down to gently pick up Red from under his armpits. He carried Red and walked away from a flushed Ink.

Vigour turned to look at Ink confused. 'Is he sick?'

"Ink? Let's get Red ready for his date. We kinda promised."

 

Red let himself be dragged away, too preoccupied by the fact that Outer had kissed him!!!

"Yeah." Ink agreed, snapping out of whatever he'd been stuck in.

"I have to make a portal though." He warned.

 

Vigour tensed slightly and blinked with a nod.

"R-right." he said before sighing. "Do it."

 

Ink nodded, summoning a portal back to Haventale.

 

Vigour looked at the portal for a moment with a rapidly beating Soul before he steeled himself and jumped through, his feet landing back in HavenTale. Everyone had left already- except Haven because he lived there.

 

Ink jumped through the portal and closed it.

Haven looked up from where he had been cleaning up the kitchen.

"hi guys." He greeted them. "is red okay?" He asked worriedly as he saw the short skeleton's brightly flushed face.

 

"Yup!" Vigour answered cheerfully, his earlier fear buried inside of him- unaware of the others' plans to set him up with Ink- and put Red on the couch gently. "Outer kissed him earlier."

 

Red pressed his hands to his face, shaking a slight bit as he was reminded of the fact that Outer had kissed him. His face flushed brighter even though he had just managed to calm down a bit.

Haven chuckled slightly.

"i think outer broke him."

 

"I think so." Vigour says, straightening up and putting his hands on his hips as he stared at Red. "Though he needs to hurry up cause Outer will be here in two hours and we've got nothing done."

 

Red's eye sockets widened in shock. They only got two hours?!! Nooooo! Stars, he still had to plan everything. How could he manage to keep Outer entertained and awake long enough to see the sunrise?! Oh stars!

Haven looked over at Red who was obviously panicking.

"red's panicking." He pointed out.

Ink frowned slightly. Why was he panicking? Two hours were more than enough time to set everything up.

 

Vigour jumped and kneeled down to look at Red better. He smiled gently at the panicked skeleton.

"Hey. It's okay." he said softly. "With us helping you it should be plenty of time to set up before Outer gets here. Okay? No need to be afraid. With our help Outer will be kissing you hotter than Grillby in Hotland."

 

Red frowned slightly, looking away. He wasn't so sure about that. He nodded slightly despite his fears. They could probably do it.

Haven hummed in thought.

"what kind of food should we make?" He asked, trying to get Red's mind off that topic.

"i dunno..." Red mumbled quietly as he thought about what Outer would like.

 

Vigour smiled at Red, both encouraging and excited. "Don't worry! I'm sure Outer would love anything you give him. Let's help him guys." he said gesturing to the others.

 

"o-okay.." Red agreed, standing up. He still looked slightly anxious but his blush was slowly calming down, just like his Soul.

"let's do it!" Haven agreed, smiling encouragingly. Ink nodded in agreement.

They would make this date awesome for Red and Outer.

Chapter Text

Red messed with the sleeves of his shirt nervously as he walked up to Outer's house. He stopped in front of the front door, glancing back anxiously.

Haven gave him a thumbs up from his position in a bush. He wore his normal clothes and had a few branches taped to his jacket and skull.

Ink nodded at him as he sat next to Vigour, wearing proper camouflage.

 

Vigour gave Red a double thumbs up, poking them out of his realistic bush camouflage.

Outer opened the door wearing a pair of blue sparkly jeans, a yellow shirt with a sparkly blue star under his normal jacket. He smiled at Red.

"Hey Red." he greeted happily. "You ready to go?"

 

Red looked at Outer and flushed promptly.

"yeah. um.. you look really great.." Red mumbled awkwardly.

 

Outer looked away shyly at the compliment. "Oh uh... thanks. Paps helped pick it out. You look good too."

 

Red flushed brighter at the compliment. He didn't think he looked particularly good in his rather new red shirt and his normal black jacket. He was wearing black pants and feeling a small bit uncomfortable because he was so used to his shorts.

"th-thanks." He replied quietly.

"um.." Red mumbled quietly, holding out his hand for Outer to teleport him.

 

Outer chuckled and grabbed Red's offered hand. "Where are you taking me anyways?"

Vigour quickly wrote a response and showed it to Red. "It's a secret you'll very much like. But you have to be patient."

 

Red repeated the words on the paper, stammering slightly as he gripped Outer's hand.

 

Outer chuckled softly at Red's words. "Alright. Let's go casanova."

 

Red nodded, his cheek bones bright red as he teleported Outer and himself to his AU. They landed on a small hill, next to a picnic blanket, the sky full of stars.

 

Outer felt himself be teleported and looked around. He smiled at the picnic. "Aw Red, you shouldn't..." he said softly before looking up.

He smiled sadly at the stars. "It looks a bit different here than in space." he commented.

Vigour looked at Ink and Haven. "We should probably follow them."

 

Red smiled a bit.

"i got some sandwiches if you're hungry." Red mumbled quietly, not missing the slightly sad look.

"yup. let's go!" Haven agreed, smiling as he jumped up. Ink stood up.

"Gotta summon a portal." He warned.

 

Outer turned to Red and his smile grew happier. "I'd love some."

Vigour shrugged- though in his camouflage it was more of a rustle of leaves. "Go ahead. I'll be fine. If not I'll try to be."

 

"great." Red replied with a smile and walked over to the blanket, sitting down on it. He pulled out a box from his inventory and set it down, opening the top.

Ink nodded and opened a portal, stepping through.

 

Outer followed Red and sat down, tilting his skull curiously at the sound of rustling leaves. He shrugged it off. Must be some critter or something.

 

Red took one of the sandwiches and handed it to Outer with a smile. He was really glad that the others had helped him with the sandwiches.

 

Outer took the offered sandwiches thankfully and nibbled on it. He smiled at the delicious snack.

"It's good." he complimented as he took another bite.

 

Red smiled, his cheek bones heating up a bit.

"thanks." He replied as he took a sandwich of his own, taking a small bite. They still had about an hour until the sun came up.

 

Outer continued to eat silently, his mind trying to think of a good way to start a conversation.

"You got anything new going on lately?" he asked curiously.

 

Red chuckled slightly. There were a lot of things that had happened to him lately. Most of them had been very panic-inducing.

"heh. a lot of stuff happened lately. you remember that skeleton i told you about; Vigour?" Red asked.

 

Outer hummed slightly as he recalled a familiar name. "You mean the one that looks like Ink but acts like a cinnamon roll?"

 

"yeah." Red confirmed with a smile.

"that skeleton managed to turn most of the multiverse upsidedown. the dark sanses and the star sanses were in the same room plus ink and error and nobody got killed!" He explained.

 

Outer snorted softly and turned to Red with a wide disbelieving smile. "Seriously??! How did he manage to do that?"

 

"he somehow managed to get ink and nightmare to form a truce because they both care about him and he was unconscious and hurt. they kept everyone else mostly in line." Red explained.

"i wasn't there at the beginning. they were fighting and i didn't want to risk a panic attack so i hid inside." He added.

 

"Huh." Outer said in thought. "How'd he make Nightmare care for him? I mean... doesn't he look like Ink? What's special about him that makes even Nightmare like him?"

Unknowing to them, Vigour was curled up in his bush covering his flushing face as he smiled. He was so flattered yet so overwhelmed by their words.

 

"hm. i guess he's special because he's really good at empathising. he makes sure to listen to everyone involved before tackling a problem. he cleared up a lot of misunderstandings." Red explained.

 

A bush rustled as Vigour flushed deeper and tried to contain a strained whimper.

"Really? Like what?" Outer asked. "I'm not aware of any misunderstandings."

 

"error isn't bad. and before you say anything, listen. i know from what we've grown to be used to, it sounds crazy. we only know error as the destroyer of universes. but he was forced to destroy by an entity named fate because ink was creating too much. there's limited space in the multiverse and when too much of the space is filled, universes touch and collapse." Red explained.

 

Outer hummed and looked at the stars. "Sounds far-fetched to be, like you said. Error being forced? He doesn't look like the type to be forced into something. Ink creating too much? Limited space? If you're right then what else have we been wrong about? Or is anything we know right in the first place?"

 

"i don't even know anymore. i don't know what's true or false. all i know is that this-" Red pointed at them. "-feels right." He explained.

 

Outer flushed as his Soul skipped a beat and grinned at Red. "Since when did you become so suave?"

 

Red flushed slightly.

"i'm just... comfortable in your presence. it's been one heck of a week." Red sighed softly.

 

Outer smiled happily at Red. He was glad Red could be himself around him. Red deserved a break once and a while. "That's good. You deserve to be relaxed."

'That's what I said!' Vigour thought from the bush.

 

"thanks." Red responded with a soft smile. He looked up when he noticed that it was getting a bit brighter. He scooted a bit closer to Outer, pointing at the horizon.

"look." He urged, smiling brightly.

 

"Hm?" Outer hummed in confusion before he looked where Red was pointing.

His eye sockets widened when the stars slowly went away and replaced with red and orange and purple. He went silent with awe as a bright yellow orb peaked over the horizon, chasing away the stars and casting a bright glow across the sky.

A sunrise. It was his first... sunrise.

 

Red smiled at the expression Outer was wearing. He looked so amazed and mesmerised.

Red decided not to interrupt the moment.

 

Outer kept his gaze to the rising sun as it brightened up the sky and chased away the stars. He watched in fascination as the sun he had dreamt of seeing was finally in front of him, as if it was only for him.

He always liked orange and yellow much more than the darker colours of space.

 

Red smiled as he watched the rising sun. He'd never get tired of this. It was just as beautiful as the first one he had ever witnessed.

 

Outer smiled widely when the sun finally rose to its place in the sky, casting the sky into a beautiful shade of blue.

"Red..." Outer whispered softly. "Thank you. So much."

 

Red smiled as he looked at Outer.

"you're welcome." Red replied, looking into Outer's eyes.

"but your expression was already thanks enough." He added, looking happy.

 

Outer looked at Red with a loving and awestruck look. "It's not enough."

Outer leaned close and kissed Red on the lips, this time not pulling back but pushing forward to deepen it.

 

Red hummed confusedly when Outer said that, his eye sockets widening in pleasant shock as his date kissed him. He hummed happily, leaning into the kiss as he closed his eye sockets.

 

Vigour's bush rustled as the skeleton shook within the leaves happily. His eyes were almost sparkling with happiness for his friend. 'Get some~!'

 

Haven smiled as the two kissed. It had been high time for that. He resisted the urge to do a fist pump because that would have given away his position.

Ink nodded slightly. He was really happy for Red and Outer.

 

Outer pulled away with a deep blush that got deeper when he realized what he'd done. He pulled away and looks down shamefully.

"I-I'm sorry. That was uncalled for. I- I didn't mean to kiss you without permission-"

 

Red flushed brightly as he took Outer's chin and tilted his skull up to look into his eyes. He leaned in and kissed Outer.

 

Outer looked into Red's eyes with small guilty eyes before he squeaked in surprise.

He relaxed and wrapped his arms around Red in a loving hug.

Vigour's bush shook again from excitement and pure joy.

 

Red sighed happily and hugged Outer back, kissing him gently.

 

After a moment, Outer pulled away to breathe and stare deep into Red's eyes, flushing deeply.

He looked down shyly. "So... that means you... love me?"

 

Red flushed brightly.

"yeah." He replied, smiling as he stared at Outer, adoration and love in his eyes.

 

"W-well I-" Outer stuttered before smiling softly. "I feel the same."

Vigour cheered silently- and discreetly took pictures.

 

Red's eye sockets widened. He smiled brightly and hugged Outer tighter.

"i'm so glad." He murmured softly, nuzzling Outer's cheek bone gently.

 

Outer hummed happily.

"I'm glad too." he said and closed his eyes to relish in the feeling.

Vigour texted Ink. "We done?"

 

Red sighed softly, smiling happily as he kissed Outer's cheek bone gently.

"We're done, let's go." Ink texted back, smiling at Vigour. He gave a signal to Haven who nodded.

 

Vigour poked his hand out briefly to give a thumbs up.

"Cool. So.... I leave for a week stay at Chez OuterTale?"

 

"Yup. That was the plan." Ink confirmed even though he didn't want Vigour to leave. He wanted to stay with him but that would defeat the purpose of Vigour taking a break from everyone.

 

"Cool. Open up. I'm ready- as I'll ever be." Vigour texted back.

 

Ink nodded and opened a portal behind them to hide it better. He quickly went through.

 

Both skeletons ignored the rustle of leaves behind them when a bush suddenly waddled off and disappeared.

 

Red smiled as he nuzzled Outer gently, yawning quietly. He was a bit tired.

 

Vigour stood in OuterTale with a soft sigh. He shed his camouflage before looking up at the stars. Still stunning.

 

Haven had teleported to his own AU.

Ink stood next to Vigour, taking off the bush he had been wearing.

"Mission accomplished." He said with a smile.

 

"Mhm." Vigour hummed in agreement. He exhaled and almost slumped from exhaustion.

 

"Vigour? Are you okay?" Ink asked worriedly. Vigour didn't look too well.

 

"Yeah." Vigour says softly. "I'm just a little tired."

He turned towards Ink with a small tired smile. "But hey, it takes a lot to be as cool as me." he joked with a nervous chuckle.

 

Ink sighed in relief.

"Yeah, it does." He agreed. Vigour gave his best with everything. Of course that had to be exhausting.

"I'll leave you alone now. You should sleep." He added, stretching a bit. He needed to write down some ideas.

 

Vigour smiled wider but tilted his skull downwards slightly shyly.

"Alright." he said, walking towards Ink slightly. He looked at Ink hesitantly, not knowing if he could hug him or not?

 

Ink looked up, noticing that Vigour was hesitating. He stepped forward and hugged him.

 

Vigour tensed at the hug before he relaxed slightly and put his head on Ink's shoulder. His arms wrapped around Ink's hips with a quick squeeze.

 

Ink flushed slightly, hugging Vigour tightly. He let go after a few moments, smiling.

"I hope you'll have a nice time here." Ink told him.

 

Vigour smiled at Ink with a small nod. He felt so happy. "Thanks. I'll see you soon."

 

Ink nodded with a smile.

"I'm gonna summon a portal now." He warned.

 

Vigour tensed and smiled at Ink with a wave. "Alright. See ya."

 

Ink waved with a smile and opened a portal, jumping through.

 

Vigour twitched slightly in alarm at the sight before sighing in relief when it disappeared. He should fix his problem with portals soon. This was fairly annoying. He looked around OuterTale.

 

Ink closed the portal behind him and sat down in the doodle sphere, pulling out his notebook. He got a pencil and started writing.

Chapter Text

Ink laughed at the joke Haven had told.

The small skeleton looked pretty proud of himself.

 

Error rolled his eyes at the two as his hands were busy with making a doll.

How Ink had managed to drag him here he didn't know. He looked at the plate of chocolate cookies and took one. Now he remembered.

 

Haven smiled at Error.

"if you want some more just tell me. i got some in the oven." He mentioned.

 

Error nodded at Haven while he ate another cookie.

"It'S GoOd." he complimented.

 

Haven's smile widened a bit.

"thanks." He replied, looking happy.

 

The atmosphere was silent for a moment before Ink's phone rang loudly. It was Vigour. Ink hadn't heard from him in five days since he had been taking some time off in OuterTale to relax and get away from people.

 

Ink looked around quickly, spotting his phone on the table. He smiled as he saw that it was Vigour and picked it up, pressing the green button.

 

On the other end was scratchy and slightly noisy, as if the phone was pressed to someone's shirt. Rapid muffled breathing could be heard before a trembling voice spoke softly.

"I-Ink?"

 

Ink frowned slightly. Was Vigour running?

He really didn't like his tone of voice. It made his worry spike. Why did Vigour sound so scared?

"Yeah. It's me. Vigour, what's wrong?" He asked worriedly.

 

The sound stopped and now there was only the sound of rapid heavy breaths that started to become choppy with gasps and whimpers.

"I-Ink. I-. I-I-. I-" Vigour couldn't speak beyond trembling words. He was so close to sobbing.

Error went silent and tensed. What was happening?

 

Haven frowned slightly. Ink sounded worried. He wanted to ask what was wrong but he didn't want to interrupt.

Ink's eye sockets widened. Vigour sounded very close to crying.

"Where are you at?" Ink asked firmly. He needed to get there now.

 

"I don't know." Vigour whimpered almost silently before muffled shouts sounded out making him gasp and cover his mouth. More shuffling was heard before the phone was pressed close to his skull.

"I-I fell... portal... took me... here..." Vigour whimpered in between soft inaudible wet gasps. He choked on his sobs once before whimpering. "Ink... someone's after me. They want Sans but..."

More muffled shouts and more rustling and whimpers. "They found me instead. Said I'll do."

 

"Shh... I'll find you, okay. Just stay hidden until I get there." Ink tried to calm him, his voice sounding much more collected than he was.

 

"Ink-" Vigour whimpered before he covered his mouth when another muffled shout was heard, this time slightly louder.

"Find him!" one voice spoke. "They'll pay for trifling with our mob!"

"I'm h-hiding..." Vigour force out in between silent sobs. "b-behind a crate. a-at the docks. B-but they're c-close."

Another gasping sob. "Ink...I'm scared."

 

Ink tried to stay calm but on the inside he was extremely scared for Vigour.

"I'll be there soon." Ink promised as he opened a portal to the doodle sphere.

Haven wanted to follow him to find out what was happening but the portal disappeared before he could follow Ink.

 

Error frowned deeply and kept the almost finished doll. "FuCKer." he muttered before opening a glitched portal. He gestured for Haven to follow him before he jumped through. That idiot was going to be rash. Again.

Error landed on the island in the Doodle Sphere and spotted Ink frantically searching the AUs. Most likely for Vigour if he didn't go straight to OuterTale. But there were too many. It'd take at least minutes to find one person.

 

Haven nodded and followed Error, jumping through the glitching portal. He frowned when he saw Ink opening and closing portals rapidly.

Ink was frantically checking the AUs, going off the limited information he had.

Vigour was being chased by someone that wanted the AU's Sans. That meant that he couldn't be in a peaceful AU.

 

Vigour flinched when bangs were heard. He gasped softly, taking slow deep breaths.

"Ink, I-"

"Hey! I think I found him!"

 

"Vigour!" Ink called out fearfully, cursing himself for creating so many AUs.

"I'm so fucking stupid..." He mumbled anxiously. He needed to find Vigour!

 

Error frowned and sighed, raising his hand to open the codes. Idiot. Vigour had to be somewhere here.

Vigour was silent for a moment before he whispered softly. "I'm sorry. Please... don't- don't do anything rash Ink."

There was a soft clank before the sound was muffled with something but the phone was still on.

 

Ink's eye sockets widened in fear.

"Vigour? Vigour!" He asked frantically as he searched through the AUs, tears stinging in his eye sockets and making it hard to see.

 

Bangs and shouts were heard. Vigour screamed, struggling before a crack sounded out before a thud.

 

"Vigour?!!" Ink shouted, freezing up in fear. Oh stars...

Haven frowned. He felt so useless. There wasn't anything he could do to help. He walked over to Ink and patted his skull slightly.

"keep looking. vigour needs you." He tried to encourage the other.

 

There was some shuffling, muffled words and laughter before someone being dragged.

Error cursed in worry when Ink screamed. He found Vigour's code a minute later. "fOuND hIm!"

 

"Where?!" Ink asked panickedly, already taking out his brush.

 

Error read the code with critical eye. "MobTale- 89."

 

Ink froze up completely. That one was the worst Mobtale AU. He didn't even want to think of the unspeakable things that could be happening to Vigour. He opened a portal to the AU, still seeming to be in shock as he jumped into the universe.

 

"iNk!" Error screamed at the retreating Creator before growling. He turned towards Haven and opened a portal to his AU. "Go hOMe. I'Ll mAke SuRE hE DoESN't dO AnyThIng RaSh."

Error jumped through Ink's still open portal just before it closes.

 

Haven nodded. There wasn't much he could do anyways. He went through the portal, sighing quietly.

---

One of the humans who had successfully managed to capture the small skeleton smirked. This little friend of Sans' would surely know where to find him. They only had to find a way to make him talk.

 

Vigour slowly woke up half an hour later, hissing silently at the pain on his skull. He could feel his arms chained above his skull. A shiver ran up his spine. This felt too familiar.

 

"Look who decided to wake up." One of the humans mentioned, a tall one who was holding a Colt which was pointed at the skeleton.

"Where's Sans?" A shorter man asked.

 

Vigour huffed slightly as he blinked, trying to get rid of the spots in his eyes.

 

The man scowled angrily and hit the skeleton's face.

"I'm not playing around! We will kill you if you don't cooperate!!" He shouted.

 

Vigour grunted in pain as his skull was hit. He breathed slowly, his mind turning blank from habit as he blinked slowly. He was so used to this. This was normal.

 

"Where is Sans?!" The man shouted, hitting the skeleton again.

 

Vigour grunted in pain again, keeping his eyes down.

"I don't know." He answered truthfully.

 

The man sighed long-sufferingly.

"I warned you." He said, waving at someone in the back. They wouldn't kill the skeleton. Yet.

The woman in the back nodded at him and stepped forward, holding a sharp knife.

 

Vigour chanced a glance up before he looked back down. A knife. As if his bones weren't marred enough already. Would they get creative this time?

 

The woman smirked as she saw the look directed at her. She trailed the knife up the skeleton's cheek bone, leaving a small cut there.

 

Vigour clenched his eyes at the sting on his cheek, feeling the cut going up his bone and drawing out blood. He was not afraid. He couldn't feel anything.

 

The woman trailed the knife over the skeleton's ulna before making a long, deep cut into it.

 

Vigour hissed at the sting, his hand clenching from the pain, the only reaction he gave. He could feel warm blood drip down his arm. He had to clean that up somehow. Maybe they'd let him clean up? Or did he have to stay like this? Blood got irritating if it wasn't cleaned up.

 

The woman smirked sadistically as she did the same to his other arm.

She hummed a bit before pulling up his shirt. She placed the knife on the skeleton's sternum and carved their symbol deeply into the bone.

"Where is Sans?!" The man from before asked loudly.

 

Vigour grunted and groaned in pain. Stars, his sternum already? He tilted his skull up and groaned in pain.

He panted softly and looked at the man. "How should I know? Never met him."

 

Anger flashed in the man's eyes.

"I guess if he doesn't want to do anything other than lie we could use his mouth better." He growled, signalling the woman to back up which she did.

 

Vigour looked up as the man said that before looking down. Rape? Honestly, he was surprised it had taken this long.

 

The man stepped forward a bit, glowering down at the skeleton as he stroked himself.

"I wonder what a skeleton's mouth feels like." He murmured, smirking.

 

Vigour didn't respond. He knew a dick tasted terrible. Worse than his penis.

He chuckled silently at his own joke. Sick humour. That was his speciality.

 

The man slapped the skeleton's cheek.

"What are you laughing at?!" He sneered as he pulled out his dick.

 

Vigour flinched at the hit but smiled slightly. "That you'll kill me after I'm done."

He looked up at the man slightly but still had his skull down. "But that won't happen, will it?"

 

"You will tell us where Sans is." The man growled. They needed information, then they could kill this freak. He rubbed his cock, preparing himself.

 

Vigour's Soul shivered in fear but his expression was blank. He was so used to this that his Soul had been shielded and his emotions locked away. "I can't if I don't know."

 

"We just need to help you remember." The man murmured, trailing the tip of his dick over the skeleton's cheek.

"What do you want me to fuck, your mouth or your eye socket?" He asked, smirking.

"I ain't picky." He added.

 

Vigour leaned away slightly at the touch. A trail of sticky precum stuck to his cheek. He didn't answer. Not that his words mattered. It's an illusion of choice. They'd fuck both eventually. They always did both options.

 

"I'll take the eye socket then..." The man concluded, smirking as he lined himself up. He was about to shove his cock inside when suddenly a sharp pain shot through the sensitive organ, making tears collect in his eye sockets as he staggered backwards.

Ink felt the magic drain from his face as he saw the condition Vigour was in. He stepped forward, glowering at all the humans in the room as acidic paint collected at the tip of his paintbrush.

 

Error clicked his tongue at the human as he held his arm out. That'd teach him. He would have rained hell upon them for hurting Vigour- someone who he was starting to grow fond of somehow- but Ink looked like he'd do that and worse. Ink had looked so scared and angry when they'd found Vigour's phone under his jacket behind a crate in a building. Ink had run around searching while Error had searched the codes for Vigour. Looks they were just in time.

Vigour closed his eyes when blood splattered on his face. His face was blank but there was confusion in his eyes.

 

The humans reacted quickly as their leader was attacked, pulling out their guns but they didn't even have a chance to shoot because Ink was on them in mere moments, fighting like he was possessed.

He needed to protect Vigour!

 

Error calmly walked towards Vigour and broke the chains. "ViGOur?" he asked softly.

Vigour blinked up at him before his eye lights went out and he passed out. His Soul had taken too much trauma for today. It had 'shut down' to protect himself when he thought the threat was gone.

 

Ink scowled as he brushed off his hands. He looked around, daring anyone to move before he put his paintbrush away, running over to Vigour and Error.

 


 

End of attempted non-con/rape


 

 

Error was sitting down on the ground with an unconscious Vigour in his lap. Error had used his jacket to cover him and made a handkerchief to wipe the blood and cum away.

 

"Oh stars, is he going to be okay?" Ink asked worriedly, shivering in rage as he saw a symbol carved into Vigour's sternum.

 

"hE'lL bE fInE." Error said as he looks over the skeleton in his lap. "iT'S jUsT lIkE hOW hE pASSed oUt juSt lIKE bEfORe."

 

"Okay. I really hope he won't have any memories of this..." Ink mumbled as he summoned a portal to the doodle sphere. He'd fix Vigour up and then they could decide where to bring him. He didn't want the other to fall into a random AU again.

 

Error stood up, carrying Vigour's limp body easily.

"lOsInG mEMoRy iSn't'T gOOd EIthEr." Error informed.

 

"I know. But maybe it'd be better that way..." Ink replied, stepping through the portal into his house. He quickly pulled back the blanket on the couch.

 

Error stepped inside and looked around in confusion as he put Vigour on the couch. "OdD. YoU nEVEr hAd a hOUse bEFore."

 

"I had to cut back on creating so I made myself a house to have something to do." Ink explained.

"It's really helpful when I have guests over too." He added, pulling out a paintbrush and some white paint. He should heal Vigour as soon as possible.

 

Error nodded and stood beside the couch as he watched Ink pull out his large brush. "cAreFul. YOU miGHt nOT liKe wHAt YoU See."

 

Ink nodded silently. He carefully closed the cuts on Vigour's arms, slowly checking his body for more injuries. He fixed up the wound on his face, frowning slightly. He had to hold himself back when he saw a strange symbol carved into Vigour's sternum and quickly covered it with paint.

 

Error watched in fascination as Ink healed up his friend. He chuckled in amusement.

"Never thought you'd care for someone this much." he commented.

 

"Me neither." Ink agreed. He was still amazed by the fact that he had allowed himself to care for Vigour that much.

 

Error hummed. "Well, don't you hurt him. He's not as durable as you."

 

"I won't hurt him. He's my friend and I'd do anything to protect him." Ink explained quietly.

 

"If you say so." Error said and looked away. "What are you gonna do to him when he wakes up?"

 

"I'll try to give him some food and I'll ask him if he wants to stay." Ink explained as he looked at Vigour worriedly.

 

"Stay?" Error questioned with a raised brow. "You're inviting him to live here?"

 

Ink flushed slightly.

"Just temporarily. We still have to figure out how to get him back to his multiverse." He explained.

 

Error narrowed his eyes at him. "Do you want him back there?"

It was like the air had frozen from how cold it had suddenly gotten. More than one person/entity was in shock at his words.

 

Ink frowned sadly.

"No. I absolutely don't want him to leave but he's got friends there. I don't want to keep him from his friends." He explained, rubbing his arm nervously.

 

"After what he's been through?" Error question with a deep frown. "After what his AU did to him you want to send him back? And here I thought you cared."

 

"I do care!" Ink argued.

He sighed as he dragged a hand down his face.

"He said it'd gotten better." He added.

 

"Did he actually say that," Error growled lowly. "Or did you think he said it. Because so far I've heard he said it didn't get better but his abuser stopped completely cause they're gone. He didn't say it got better. When was the last time he even went to his AU. Or even mentioned anything good about it?"

 

Ink frowned.

"I don't know, okay." He snapped, his eye lights changing colour and shape rapidly.

 

"That's the problem!" Error yelled at him. "You don't know! You always don't! Now you're going to hurt Vigour just like how you hurt us because you don't know!"

 

Ink looked down ashamedly, tears in his eye sockets. Error was right. But he just wanted the best for Vigour.

 

Error looked at Ink and sighed. He couldn't get mad at Ink anymore if he looked like that. At least Ink wasn't rash and impulsive anymore.

"Look," he started, crossing his arms. "-I know you care for him. We all do. But he can't stay here with Fate interfering. Or Destiny." he ignored Ink's surprised look. "But if he goes back he'll go back to the people who hurt him."

 

Ink sighed.

"We should ask Vigour what he wants to do once he wakes up." He said.

 

"And if he wants to go home?" Error asked with raised brow.

 

"He's a responsible adult. He knows what he's doing." Ink sighed. Or at least he hoped so...

 

Error scoffed in amusement. "If he knows what he's doing, he won't knowingly or unknowingly put himself in between trouble. Multiple times."

 

Ink sighed.

"Maybe he's not responsible all the time..." He admitted.

 

"True." Error agreed with a small grin. "But his passion is admirable. He might have more passion than you did."

 

"It is." Ink agreed. There were many things he admired about Vigour.

 

Error shook his skull slightly. "It's kind of sad."

 

Ink looked up, not understanding what Error meant.

"Huh?" He asked.

 

"Y'know, Vigour." Error continued softly. "He's like a light in a dark place. But so many things want to shatter it, make that light disappear and join the darkness. But it kept glowing, never losing its glow completely. It even makes other lights glow."

Error looked up at the ceiling. "So many things want Vigour gone. Want to hurt him. Yet he bounces back like nothing happened. I wonder what will happen if he cracks, if he can't handle the world that's trying to crush him. Will he shatter permanently? Or will that light snuff out like everyone wants it to."

 

Ink nodded along with what Error was saying.

"I hope he won't crack. Whatever is going to happen then, it's not going to be anything good." He replied, putting a blanket over Vigour's limp body.

 

Error chuckled suddenly. "How much do you wanna bet that if he ever did, the person who cracked him will go running for the hills?"

 

Ink smiled slightly.

"They'd run without looking back." He agreed.

Chapter Text

Vigour stared blankly at the table as he sat on Ink's couch. No expression on his face. His eye lights small and dim. He had been like that since he'd woken up an hour ago.

 

Ink frowned worriedly as he sat down on a chair opposite of Vigour. He hadn't managed to snap him out of whatever daze he was in yet and he was scared. He was very scared that Vigour had been broken.

 

Vigour blinked slowly before looking at Ink with dull eye lights that held so much pain in them. No longer that glow and sparkle he often had. As if that sparkle had been taken away to show the pain that had dwelled within him.

"Ink?" he asked in a monotone voice. "You need something?"

 

"Yes. I need to know if you think you're alright." Ink explained.

"And you should eat something." He added, pointing at the plate that he had placed onto the coffee table. A chicken sandwich was laying on it.

 

"I'm fine." Vigour answered in that same monotone voice, obviously not fine like he'd said.

He looked at the sandwich and shook his skull. "Maybe later. I'm not hungry."

 

Ink sighed when Vigour told him he was fine. He was obviously not.

"You should really eat. You've been out for a while." He said gently.

 

Vigour looked at the food for a moment and sighed heavily before picking it up and nibbling on it. He didn't need to eat. He didn't feel hungry after all. If he ate he'd most likely be sick because his magic wouldn't process the food properly.

 

"You don't have to eat much. I just want you to eat a bit." Ink explained, sighing shakily. He was worried out of his mind.

 

"Okay." Vigour replied and ate about a quarter of the sandwich before putting it down. He could feel his magic trying to push it out but he just swallowed it back down. He was used to this. They always force fed him after sessions after they found out about this little fact that he couldn't process food well after pain.

 

Ink stood up, letting out a small sigh.

"Do you need anything?" He asked as he picked up the plate, intending to carry it to the kitchen.

 

Vigour shook his skull slowly and looked back down, his eyes not focusing on anything.

 

Ink nodded slightly and put the plate into the kitchen, picking up a blanket as he walked back to Vigour. He wrapped it around his shoulders carefully.

"Is there anything you would like to drink?" He asked.

 

Vigour blinked in confusion before he snuggled into the warmth, pulling the ends to wrap around him. He'd take any sort of comfort he could get. He thought for a moment on Ink's question.

"Water... I guess?" he asked more than said.

 

"Okay." Ink replied, walking back to the kitchen. He quickly made a glass of water and walked back to Vigour, putting it onto the coffee table. He sat down next to him and took out his notebook and a pencil, writing something down.

 

Vigour tentatively reached out for the water, looking at Ink a few times to see if he was watching or if he'd said he couldn't have it. Finally he took the glass and took a sip, feeling cool water down his throat.

 

Ink wrote down a few unspecified things, glancing over at Vigour. He was glad that he had taken the water.

 

Vigour drank about halfway before he stopped and gently put the glass back down onto the table. He did it so carefully, as if he was trying not to make a sound, still glancing at Ink in slight fear.

 

Ink tilted his skull a small bit, feeling confused. Why was Vigour looking at him like that? A sudden thought struck him.

"Are you scared of me?" He asked, feeling shocked.

 

Vigour flinched slightly at the question, looking down quickly before shaking his skull.

"No. I just..." he trailed off, not knowing what to say. He was not afraid of Ink. Hell, he recalled in his blurry memory that Ink had saved him from whatever those men were about to do. But he was just so used to the aftermath of torture that it had become a habit, acting like he always did no matter who was in front of him. He was just so used to it.

 

"Hey.. It's alright. Can I give you a hug?" Ink asked gently.

 

"I-." Vigour started before shaking his skull and pulling the blanket closer as if it could protect him. His bones already trembling from phantom pains and he knew touching would make it worse. His Soul starting to hum and pulse again, almost painfully. "No. P-please no."

 

"Okay. Shh... I won't touch you and I'll make sure noone else touches you either. You're safe now." Ink tried to soothe him, his voice gentle as he scooted away a bit to give Vigour his space.

"If you want to I can even leave the couch." He suggested.

 

Vigour relaxed a bit at Ink's words and shook his skull.

"N-no. It's fine." he said and curled up slightly, his eyes heavy with sudden exhaustion. His head was starting to hurt.

 

"Does anything hurt?" Ink asked, a bit glad that Vigour wasn't scared enough to want him off the couch.

 

"My head I guess..." Vigour says softly yet slightly hesitant, closing his eyes hoping it'd help. It did slightly.

 

"Do you want some painkillers?" Ink asked quietly, trying not to make Vigour's headache worse.

 

Vigour groaned almost silently at the thought of swallowing something right now. "No. I'll be fine."

 

"Okay. Just tell me if you need any." Ink responded quietly, drawing something into his notebook.

 

Vigour nodded and turned to his side to lay his skull on the couch. "I just need some rest Ink."

 

Ink nodded as he drew something on his notebook.

 

Vigour laid on his side on the couch with closed eyes, trying to sleep off his headache and exhaustion but after a few minutes he realized it was a lost cause. He didn't move though. Less movement and closed eyes meaning he'd get some form of rest. Some rest was good than none.

 

Ink stayed quiet, flipping through the pages of his notebook, trying to be quiet about it.

 

Vigour heard pages turning and looked over at Ink.

"You drawing something?" he asked softly in curiosity.

 

"Yup. I'm designing a universe. I already got the plot but I still gotta design the characters." Ink explained.

 

Vigour shifted with a hum as he closed his eyes. "That sounds cool. How does your magic work?"

 

Ink hummed, thinking about how to explain it.

"Well. First I need to know everything about the AU and then I... create the code...?" Ink mumbled.

"It's really hard to explain. Maybe I could show you once I'm done." He added with a slight smile.

 

Vigour smiled as he slowly drifted off from Ink's soothing voice. "That'd be nice. Can you show me your favorites?"

 

"I'd love to." Ink agreed, smiling happily.

"But it's gonna take a while. I got a lot of favourites." He said with a soft chuckle.

 

Vigour copied his soft chuckle, keeping his eyes closed with a small smile. "Then how about you just tell me a few of them now? I'll see them later so you don't have to explain it twice because I'd be in awe and not listening."

 

Ink nodded with a chuckle.

"Sure. One that's definitely in my top ten is Outertale but you already know that one." Ink explained. He really loved the stars. He was sure almost every Sans did.

"I absolutely love Oceantale. It's an AU full of water." He explained.

 

"Really?" Vigour said with a smile. "What do you like about it?"

 

"It's got this beautiful coral reef and all kinds of fish. There are even some sharks." Ink explained excitedly.

 

"That sounds cool." Vigour hummed softly, slowly falling asleep from Ink's happy voice. "I wanna go there sometime. Hang out with the sharks. Turtles too?"

 

"Yup. There are lots of turtles. It's gonna be so cool." Ink replied, smiling. He'd always wanted to show his creations to a... friend.

 

"...Dolphins... too?" he asked sleepily.

 

"Yeah. Lots of them. They're really nice. Some even let you ride on their backs." Ink responded happily. It was always a great experience to ride on a dolphin.

 

"...Mm... that's nice." Vigour mumbled, already half asleep. "... a whole pod... playing...?"

 

"Yeah. They all really like to play and are super excited when someone plays with them." Ink explained.

 

"that's..." his voice trailed off before he could finish his sentence. He breathed slowly as he slept soundly.

 

Ink looked over worriedly when Vigour went silent. He chuckled softly when he noticed that he had fallen asleep.

 

Vigour slept peacefully, his breathing slow and steady as he laid on the couch. The blanket slipping slightly from his hand but stayed covering his body.

 

Ink smiled a bit. Vigour needed all the sleep he could get.

Chapter Text

Ink looked at Vigour worriedly. He still seemed very distracted which was understandable. He really wanted to cheer him up. But how?

 

Vigour tried to read a book but he ended up not reading anything. He still tried though, no matter if it was the 24th time he tried.

 

Ink sighed quietly as he thought about what to do to cheer Vigour up. He gasped quietly as he got an idea. They could go to BittyTale. He always went there when he felt down.

"Vigour?" He asked quietly.

 

"Hmm?" Vigour hummed at his name and looked up at Ink.

 

"I want to show you an AU. It's really cool." Ink explained softly.

 

Vigour put down the book and looked at Ink with curious eyes. "Okay?" he smiled slightly and stood up.

"Where?" he asked curiously.

 

"It's called BittyTale." Ink explained with a smile as he jumped up.

"But I have to open a portal to get there." He added slightly unsurely.

 

Vigour smiled a little tense but nodded. "Okay."

 

"I'm going to summon it now." Ink warned before doing exactly that.

 

Vigour flinched and tensed a bit before he steeled himself and jumped through.

 

Ink jumped after Vigour, closing the portal behind them. They were standing in front of the bitty adoption centre.

 

Vigour looked at the building in confusion and slight hesitance. He looked towards Ink for guidance.

 

Ink smiled.

"I always come here when I feel down." He explained as he opened the door and held it open for Vigour, waving at the adoption centre owner.

 

Vigour walked inside a little hesitantly.

Mama Cry turned towards the door and waved at a familiar skeleton.

"Nice to see you again Ink." she greeted with a soft smile, noticing another skeleton that looked like Ink. "Oh. Is this your brother?"

 

"Nice to see you too, Momma Cry." Ink replied.

He chuckled slightly.

"No. That's Vigour, a good friend of mine." Ink explained with a smile.

 

"Oh?" Cry smiled at them as Vigour slowly walked towards her. He waved at her but she could see how hesitant and anxious he looked. There was a deep pain in his eyes that Cry could see. She had seen that look before. But he also had that sparkle in them that so few had.

Cry somehow knew why Ink had brought him here. "Special friend? Are you getting a bitty?"

 

Ink flushed slightly.

"No. I just wanted to show him the bitties." He explained as he followed Vigour.

 

Cry smiled knowingly. "Alright then. Let me show you the play pen."

Vigour smiled nervously. "Thanks. Um... I'm sorry but what's a bitty?"

 

Ink chuckled slightly. Right. He probably should have explained before they'd gotten there.

"Bitties are very small monsters, mostly skeletons." Ink explained, looking over at Cry. He was sure she could explain it better.

 

Cry nodded as she lead them down the hallway towards the play pen where she let the bitties out for monsters or humans to interact with them.

"Yes. Bitties are miniature versions of monsters. But they have lesser magic reserves and are dependent on their 'owners' or better yet, companions." Cry explained. "They come in many different varieties and have different or special needs."

Vigour smiled excitedly. "Wow. That sounds so cool."

 

"They're all awesome!" Ink agreed. He wondered who had been adopted. He almost vibrated in excitement when he saw the bitty pen.

 

Cry chuckled as she let them inside.

Vigour was smiling but he was nervous when bitties crowded his legs and yelled at him. It took a moment for him to regain himself. He smiled and kneeled down slowly, gently holding his hand out and letting a few bitties climb over him.

"Hey there guys. You're cool." he said softly.

 

Ink sat down, watching out to not crush any bitty and giggled when they climbed on him. A small Sansy climbed into his scarf, smiling.

"hi ink!" He cheered happily.

 

Cry smiled and slowly walked away.

Vigour smiled as he answered their questions to the best of his abilities. He noticed that they looked like the AU Sanses. Ones that looked like US Sans and UT Papyrus were the ones who were crowing him. He saw a few other types like UT Sans and UF Sans scattered around. Though there were a lot of bitties he wasn't familiar with. It was cool.

 

"who's your friend?" Sansy asked.

"That's Vigour." Ink explained, smiling.

 

Vigour smiled and sat down, letting the bitties climb over him and snuggle him. He nuzzled one bitty gaining a small laugh.

 

Sansy hummed.

"can you give me a lift?" He asked, smiling up at Ink.

Ink nodded and picked the small bitty up, holding him over to Vigour.

 

Vigour blinked when Ink held a small UT Sans bitty in his hands. He smiled nervously and waved, the other bitties starting to leave or sit around him. "Hi. I'm Vigour."

 

"i'm sansy." Sansy greeted Vigour, smiling.

"it's really nice to meet you." He said, holding out his tiny hand for a handshake.

Ink chuckled slightly.

 

Vigour used his thumb and pointer finger to shake Sansy's hand. "Nice to meet you too."

 

Sansy chuckled with a smile.

"I'm really glad you managed to befriend Ink. He's quite lonely sometimes." He explained.

Ink flushed slightly in embarrassment.

 

Vigour smiled with a chuckle. "Me too. He's fun. And kind. And so very creative! He's a good friend."

 

Ink looked away, his cheek bones flushed. He was really glad Vigour had wanted to be his friend.

"he's super great at drawing and he's a pro at designing houses and furnishing them." Sansy explained. Ink often helped Momma Cry when he was at the bitty centre and was exceptionally good at designing homes.

 

"Really?" Vigour grinned and looked at Ink. "He should have been the one to design my room then. It's a chaotic mess. On my part of course. I'm a chaotic person."

 

"ink is too, most times. he's not really good at remembering stuff. he's extremely scatterbrained." Sansy explained.

Ink flushed a bit brighter in embarrassment. He wasn't that bad anymore! He just had so much on his mind.

 

Vigour chuckled and offered his hand for Sansy to climb on. Ink had to be tired holding him up this whole time. "Really? I haven't seen it myself. It'd be hilarious to see if I did. Though I have seen him fight. He's so strong."

Vigour looked into Ink's eyes and smiled, showing that he remembered Ink saving him a week earlier.

 

Sansy climbed onto Vigour's hand without hesitation, smiling.

"sometimes things just get lost in that thick skull of his." He explained with a chuckle.

"really?" He asked. "i've never seen him fight. it's too dangerous for us bitties to be near fights." He explained.

Ink flushed a bit more as he caught the implication. He hadn't thought Vigour had remembered how he had gone berserk on the people that had hurt him.

 

Vigour nodded with a happy smile, a slight flush on his cheeks as he remembered how Ink had fought. "That makes sense. And yeah, he's so strong. And he saved me from bad people. I don't remember much but he came in and kicked ass! Literally. He kicked a guy's ass and sent him flying!"

 

Ink flushed brighter. Yup. He had done that.

Sansy gasped.

"wow! does that mean he's your hero?" He asked with bright eye lights.

 

Vigour flushed deeper and chuckled. "If he had been where I had been, he'd be my hero. But now?"

Vigour looked at Ink with the look of awe and happiness. "He's just a very, very cool friend."

 

Ink flushed deeper, his whole face looking like a rainbow.

Sansy smiled.

"ink's awesome." He agreed.

 

"He is." Vigour agreed. "And I'm happy for being his friend even if I don't deserve a friend like him."

 

"You do deserve a friend like me." Ink quickly interjected.

"You're amazing!" He explained.

Sansy nodded.

"you seem very deserving of a friend like ink to me." He agreed.

 

Vigour flushed and chuckled. "Thanks I guess." he said, not really truly believing it.

 

Ink frowned slightly. They needed to work on Vigour's self-esteem. He seemed to have no idea how important he was to all of them.

 

Vigour nuzzled Sansy for a bit with a large smile. "What about you little guy? You got a special friend?"

 

Sansy giggled as he was nuzzled.

"yeah." Sansy cheered and pointed at a small bitty who was napping on a pillow, curled into a small ball.

"that's cherry." He explained.

Ink pulled out his notebook and wrote down a to do list.

 

Vigour looked over and brightened- not noticing Ink's frantic writing. "He's adorable! Uh... if it's okay to call him that."

 

"he's really shy and anxious so he'd probably blush and start stuttering. he's adorable." Sansy explained, looking at Cherry.

Ink quickly put his notebook away.

 

"Aw~" Vigour cooed before he looked at Sansy with a glint in his eyes. "So does that mean you're the same? You are adorable too."

 

Sansy chuckled.

"thanks. but he's the cutest. nobody can take that title from him." He explained with a fond smile.

 

Vigour chuckled evilly. "Oh I know one bitty who can~"

 

"are you sure?" Sansy asked doubtfully.

 

"Yup!" Vigour turned and nuzzled Sansy, gently nipping his neck at the same time. "This little cutie right here~!"

 

Sansy giggled, nuzzling back with a bright smile.

"thanks." He replied happily.

 

Vigour chuckled and kissed his cheek bone. "You're welcome."

 

Ink watched the two, wishing that Vigour would call him cute. He flushed slightly when he noticed his train of thought.

Sansy giggled quietly.

 

Vigour looked at Ink and smiled brightly.

"Don't worry! You're cute too Ink!" he said happily, not wanting Ink to feel left out. He didn't want anyone to feel left out. He knew how much it hurt.

 

Ink flushed brightly, his eye sockets wide in shock. He covered his face, embarrassed about his reaction and mumbled a "Thanks..." which was muffled by his hands.

 

Vigour blushed in surprise as his Soul raced at the look Ink was sporting. Stars he loved that look. He exhaled softly with a smile, feeling satisfied he had made Ink happy.

"Anytime Ink." he replied softly and happily, a little bell in his voice.

 

Ink couldn't help but smile wider, his cheek bones flushing brighter.

Sansy smiled knowingly but said nothing.

 

Vigour chuckled before scooting closer to Ink with Sansy still in his hand. "Wanna draw something together? I've missed it."

 

Ink looked up at Vigour, smiling happily.

"I'd love that." He agreed, slowly taking his hands off his face.

 

"Cool." Vigour said and pulled out his brush from his pocket. "What do we wanna draw?"

 

Ink hummed in thought as he pulled out a pencil.

"We could draw a cat." He suggested.

 

Vigour hummed before looking at the bitties, specifically the one Cherry sleeping.

"We could draw draw that bitty." he said pointing at Cherry. "Or bitties in general since we're here."

 

"That's a great idea." Ink agreed, smiling. He noticed that he was doing that a lot in Vigour's presence.

 

Vigour smiled happily and looked over at Sansy. "You wanna be a part of the picture? You could sleep next to Cherry while we paint you?"

 

Sansy brightened up at that idea. He really liked the idea of taking a nap with Cherry. He nodded in response and teleported next to the shorter bitty, cuddling him.

Ink smiled as he pulled out a paper from seemingly nowhere.

 

Vigour chuckled and grabbed a pencil to sketch with, keeping his brush in his pouch for the moment. He looked at Ink with a sly smile. "Are we going to make hearts around them?"

 

"Definitely." Ink replied with a smirk as he started sketching.

 

Vigour chuckled lowly and helped Ink sketch.

 

~~~

 

Sansy blinked blearily as he woke up, hugging Cherry a bit tired tighter. He nuzzled the shorter bitty gently.

 

Cherry blinked when he was nuzzled awake, blushing when he saw Sansy. "Uh.... h-hi?"

 

"hi, cherry." Sansy mumbled sleepily, smiling at Cherry as he hugged him gently.

 

Cherry blushed heavily and chuckled nervously. "H-hi S-S-Sansy."

 

Sansy looked around, noticing a drawing of them sleeping together with a lot of hearts around them. He blushed slightly.

"look." He said, pointing at the picture.

 

Cherry looked and his face exploded in red. Who-?! What-?! When-?! Why-?! How-?!

Cherry covered his face and groaned a high pitched embarrassed sound.

 

Sansy chuckled at Cherry's adorable reaction.

"so cute." He mumbled, kissing his cheek bone gently.

 

Cherry whined in embarrassment. "Y-you had s-s-something to d-do with this d-didn't you?" he pouted at Sansy.

 

"of course i did." Sansy replied, nuzzling the shorter's cheek bone gently.

 

Cherry whined loudly with a darker blush. "You-!" he sighed and nuzzled back hesitantly.

 

Sansy chuckled softly.

"you're so cute." He murmured quietly.

 

Cherry only gave him a flustered middle finger, still hiding behind his other hand.

 

Sansy laughed. Cherry was incredibly adorable and nothing could convince him otherwise.

Chapter Text

Dream took a bite of his sandwich. They were currently playing Monopoly and he was losing.

Blue giggled.

"That'll be two hundred dollars, Dream." He informed Dream smugly.

Dream huffed slightly and handed over the money.

 

Killer grinned from his spot beside Nightmare- who was currently dominating the game with Killer in second. He rolled the dice and moved ten spaces and got back to the start. He grinned at Dream as he got himself the money from the bank.

"Need a hand?" Killer asked grinning wildly. Dream was currently losing and was on the verge of bankruptcy.

 

"No." Dream grumbled, pouting slightly.

"My turn." Blue announced. He was currently in third place. He rolled the dice, smirking evilly as he got to an unbought plot. With that one he'd have three in a row.

"I'll take that one." He said with a smirk, handing Killer the money.

 

Killer frowned and took the money, putting it in the bank and handing him the deed. He'd wanted that land. Though now it was a very dangerous zone.

"My turn." Nightmare said and rolled the dice, landing on his land that was filled with houses. He picked up his deed and counted in his head before announcing and paying the bank. "I'll buy a hotel."

 

"We're doomed..." Reaper whispered to Geno who was sitting next to him. They were both just in front of the area where Nightmare had just bought a hotel.

 

Geno sighed and picked up the dice, talking to Reaper. He had a lot of money on him, having the means to buy some houses and save money instead of spending it all on land like Reaper did. "You mean you're fucked. I got enough to pay him if I ever hit his five star suite."

Geno threw the dice and moved three spaces, landing on Killer's- thankfully- one plot land. He handed Killer the money.

Killer grinned and took the money happily. "You could negotiate with me~"

 

Reaper froze slightly as he noticed that Geno was right. He was so dead. Fuck. He threw the dice, sighing in relief when he rolled a five. This game was making him incredibly nervous. He moved the five fields, about to cheer because he had evaded the trap when he landed on the prison.

"Well, fuck." He cursed.

 

Killer chuckled and looked over Reaper's predicament with his arm propped up and supporting his skull. "At least you're safe. Or do you wanna pay your way out for 400?"

Nightmare rolled his eyes as he watched Killer pick up the dice.

 

"No way." Death replied immediately. He didn't have enough money to simply throw it out the window like that.

Stretch hummed in thought. He was directly in front of Blue's plots. He glanced over at Killer who was holding the dice.

"could you give me the dice?" He asked because it was his turn.

 

Killer rolled his eyes and lazily threw at it Stretch. "No fun."

"They play by the rules Killer." Nightmare said as he looked over the playing field. "They don't negotiate or partner up like we do."

Geno looked at them confused yet still wary. Even after meeting them for three days he still thought they'd turn back into evil. No, they hadn't been evil in the first place. Dream had cleared that up. "Then how do you play?"

Killer grinned at him with a glint in his eyes. "Real life edition."

 

Stretch wasn't expecting the sudden throw and quickly fumbled to catch the dice. He sighed as he rolled a four. He looked up at Blue who was grinning menacingly.

"mercy?" Stretch asked as he moved onto one of Blue's plots. The short skeleton shook his head and held out a hand. Stretch reluctantly handed him the money.

"Real life edition?" Dream asked. He had no idea how that worked.

 

Killer looked at Stretch. "My turn now?"

Nightmare shook his skull at Dream's question. "Y'know, bribery, threats, stealing. Real life things."

 

"nah. it's cross' turn." Stretch pointed out.

"Dream would suck at that. Sometimes he's too nice for his own good." Blue teased, giggling.

 

Cross blinked when his name was called. "O-oh, right." he said softly and rolled the dice getting a four. He moved his piece and landed on an empty plot of land. He didn't want to buy it. He barely had enough to pay for more than two houses on a cheap plot.

Nightmare shrugged. "Maybe. He wasn't nice during our little fights in the past though." he said- referring to the tickle fights his brother always pulled on him- pouting at Dream.

 

Dream chuckled softly.

"You can get me back now though. My days as the stronger twin are counted." He explained dramatically, chuckling.

He took the dice hesitantly. He couldn't lose any more money. He rolled the dice, praying for a high number. Dream deflated as he rolled a one, landing on one of Blue's plots again. He huffed, completely bankrupt now as he handed over his last money.

 

Nightmare smirked. "I'm so glad I changed into this form." he said before flinching and looking away.

Killer looked at Stretch hopefully. "My turn?"

 

"Yeah." Dream sighed as he handed over the dice and faceplanted the desk defeatedly.

 

Killer chuckled and grabbed the dice. He shook it a few times in his hand and threw it, he got a six. He moved his piece until he landed on his plot of land. He smiled and paid the bank. "I'm getting another house!"

"You already have three." Geno said looking at his plot.

Killer grinned. "I'm getting a hotel."

"You'll risk bankruptcy if you need to pay for it all." Nightmare informed.

"I shall take the risk." Killer said with a smile. "Who's next?"

 

"Me." Blue said with a grin. He had more money than Killer now and was very proud of that fact. He took the dice and threw it.

"Eight!" He called out and moved over the start field, holding out his hand to receive the money. He landed on the train station.

 

Killer frowned at him and handed him the money. He'd get more money.

"I'm next?" Nightmare asked.

 

Blue smiled sweetly.

"Thanks, Killer." He cooed.

"Yeah... It's your turn." Dream sighed.

 

Nightmare nodded and rolled his dice. He got a mystery card and picked one from the deck. "I get 600 from all of you." he announced.

Killer groaned and handed the money to Nightmare. Geno did the same reluctantly, looking at Death.

 

Death winced. He only got 500...

"Um... Credit?" He asked hesitantly.

Dream groaned and slid to the floor defeatedly.

"Got no money..." He sighed.

Stretch and Blue handed over the money silently.

 

Killer rolled his eyes and grabbed the notebook. "You wanna owe how much?" he asked Reaper with a grin.

"What do you mean?" Nightmare asked Dream. "You have three thousand right there." Nightmare said pointing to the bills under the board in front of Dream.

 

"Huh?" Dream asked as he sat down again. He cheered when he saw the money and quickly handed over some.

"I thought I was bankrupt." He explained with a sigh.

 

Nightmare smiled knowingly and counted his money. He'd lost three thousand but he'd gained a bit of what he'd lost.

Geno rolled his eyes. "He'll owe 200." he answered for Death. Killer nodded and wrote down the number before handing the money to Death.

 

Death quickly handed 600 over, clutching the 100 dollar bill close.

"Who's turn is it?" Dream asked.

 

"That'd be me." Geno said and rolled his dice. He moved five spaces and picked up a mystery card. He sighed and raised his hands. "Welp, I'm dead. I gotta pay you all 900 each and I have no money."

 

The game progressed slowly and in the end it was a close match between Blueberry and Nightmare.

"How?!" Blueberry asked when he went bankrupt.

 

Killer chuckled as he watched Blue lose. "You can't beat Nightmare. Unless he lets you. He's like a monopoly master."

Nightmare began cleaning up the cards and money to keep it back in its box. "It's just strategy and business. Nothing too complicated."

Geno rolled his eyes as he ate a cookie. "You don't seem too thrilled at winning."

"I'm happy." Nightmare said but his voice didn't changes from its usual tone.

 

Blue huffed.

Dream frowned slightly. He couldn't feel any highly positive emotions from Nightmare. He remembered that he had never felt anything very positive from him ever since the apple incident. He hummed in thought.

 

Geno offered Blue the cookies on his plate. "Want some? Don't be like Death." he said eyeing the frowning- pouting- reaper.

Nightmare kept the items in the box before closing it. He yawned slightly and stood up. "Well, I'm going to grab a drink. Anything?" he asked everyone.

"Think I can get any beer?" Killer asked with a grin.

"Just one bottle." Nightmare said sternly.

 

Blue chuckled slightly, earning a glare from Death.

"Sure." He agreed, taking a cookie and eating it.

"Me too?" Blue asked. Stretch stared at his brother.

"Could I have some orange juice?" Dream asked.

 

Nightmare nodded and rolled his eyes at the look he received. Honestly he was not an asshole all the time. "Yes I meant everyone."

 

Stretch sighed in relief only to choke when Blueberry clarified.

"I know. I just wanted to ask whether I could have a beer too." Blue explained, smiling.

Dream was giggling quietly.

 

Nightmare shrugged, seeing nothing wrong with it. Blue was an adult, he could drink. "Sure. But no one's getting drunk. I'm not dealing with drunken skeletons again."

 

"Sure. I got a high tolerance." Blue agreed, smiling. Stretch was staring at his brother.

"Don't give him alcohol though. He doesn't have any tolerance." Blue warned, pointing at Stretch.

 

Nightmare chuckled and nodded, walking away from them to get some drinks. "He'll get a bottle of honey then."

Geno didn't say anything as he watched silently eating another cookie.

Killer chuckled at the look Stretch was sporting. "Come on bean stalk. Blue's an adult, not a kid. He drinks."

 

Blue chuckled.

"Yeah, little brother." He teased, smirking slightly. Despite what most thought he was actually the older brother and by three years even.

Stretch pouted slightly, crossing his arms.

Dream chuckled a bit as he thought. What could he do to make Nightmare happy, truly happy...? His hand slipped into his pocket. He got an idea when he touched the flute Nightmare had made him.

 

Killer laughed at Blue's words while Geno smiled slightly.

After a moment, Nightmare waked in with his can of diet soda while his tentacles handed everyone their requested drinks. Geno hadn't asked for any. He didn't want any.

Killer smiled as Nightmare handed him his beer, immediately downing a quarter of it.

"Don't drink too much." Nightmare said sternly gaining a nod.

 

Stretch was still pouting when Nightmare handed him a bottle of honey.

Dream smiled and thanked Nightmare when he got his glass of orange juice.

"Thanks." Blue said as he took the bottle of beer, taking a big sip.

 

Nightmare nodded and sat down, drinking his soda in little sips.

Killer smiled and leaned back onto the couch he was sitting on, trying to will himself to sleep. Hey, he was still a Sans. Lazy as ever. Or should he carve...? No. They'd take it the wrong way if he pulled out a knife. While it would be fun to watch, they had a truce.

 

Dream took a sip of his orange juice, fumbling a bit with his flute that was still in his pocket.

 

Nightmare sipped his soda, raising a brow at what Dream was doing. He had a feeling about this. Bad or not he wasn't sure.

"What are you doing Dream?" Nightmare asked warily.

 

"Hm?" Dream asked, stopping to fumble with the flute.

"Oh. I was just..." He pulled out the flute with a smile.

 

Nightmare gasped at the sight of the flute, his body going slack in shock. "You... you kept it? Even after all this time...?"

 

"Yeah." Dream confirmed with a smile.

"I kept it to remember you." He explained.

"I practise whenever I got time which is unfortunately not as often as I'd like." He added.

 

"Dream... I... I..." Nightmare stuttered. Not sure what to say.

Killer noticed and quietly snuck away to give them some time alone.

 

Blue stood up slowly and took Stretch's hand, dragging him away to a couch.

Reaper glanced at Geno.

Dream smiled a bit, using the flute to play a quick warm-up tune.

 

Geno shook his skull and stood up, walking away to give them time alone.

Nightmare stared entranced at the flute he had made for Dream so long ago. The fact that Dream had kept it was hard to believe. Yet he had. And now he was... he was going to play... Dream was going to play. Something he had missed hearing for a long time.

 

Reaper stood up silently and floated after Geno.

Dream chuckled a bit nervously, taking a deep breath before he started playing their song.

 

Nightmare gasped silently with wide eye at the song. Their song. Dream- his brother- was playing their song. He had missed it. He had missed listening to Dream play. And now Dream was playing their song.

A warm smile grew on Nightmare's face, threatening to grow as happiness grew in him.

 

Dream felt happy when he felt the happiness coming from Nightmare and gave his all as he played their song. They had come up with it together and he had always felt bad when practising it alone.

 

Nightmare smiled wider the longer Dream played, humming the song under his breath. He had missed it. He had missed hearing this song. His humming and guitar strumming was a bad substitute. It wasn't Dream's flute. It wasn't special. It had just been a song before. But now he could hear it again. And he was so happy.

Warmth began spreading inside of him and growing, though he was too distracted to notice.

 

Dream paused for a second and took a deep breath.

"I still got your guitar if you want to join me." He suggested.

 

Nightmare's eye widened further as he looked at Dream with a mix of happiness and surprise. "You... you kept mine too? After.... after what I did?"

 

"Of course I kept it. I think I kept all your stuff now that I think about it." Dream hummed.

Dream opened his inventory and pulled out Nightmare's guitar.

"Here." He said as he handed it to his twin carefully.

 

Nightmare gaped at the guitar, still in pristine condition, in Dream's hands. He tentatively reached out for it, grabbing it and pulling it to his lap. It was still the same. Not a scratch on it.

"Dream..." Nightmare whispered with tears in his eye. "Dream I-"

Nightmare suddenly tensed and coughed, his hand going to his chest where his Soul was.

 

"Nightmare?!" Dream called alarmedly, quickly catching the guitar.

"What's wrong?!" He asked worriedly.

 

Nightmare continued to cough as pain and warmth grew inside of him. He gasped and looked at the ground in fear. 'Oh no!'

"Nothing!" he said and stood up running. "I gotta go!"

 

Dream stared after Nightmare dumbfoundedly. He quickly put the guitar into his inventory and stored the flute in his pocket before jumping up and running after Nightmare. He had to make sure his twin was okay.

 

Nightmare locked himself in a random room- the guest room apparently- his back against the door and panting heavily. He looked at his left hand and whimpered when the goop began peeling off showing white bone underneath.

He whimpered and scolded himself for being stupid. He shouldn't have let his guard down. He shouldn't have been that happy!

 

Dream gasped as Nightmare slammed the door closed and locked it.

"Nightmare!" He called, knocking on the door.

 

 

Nightmare whimpered at Dream's voice. He was breathing heavily from both fear and pain. He backed away from the door slowly. "G-Go away Dream!"

 

"No! I won't ever leave you alone again, brother." Dream responded, knocking on the door again.

"What's wrong?!" He asked.

 

"Nothing!" Nightmare screamed fearfully as more goop began peeling off of him. "Just please don't come in!"

 

"I am coming in. I won't make the same mistake again." Dream explained firmly, pulling out a key from his inventory. He unlocked the door and opened it.

 

Nightmare whimpered when Dream said that, looking around frantically. He dived into the closet and closed the doors, burying himself under sheets and pillows, crying softly. He was so fucked.

 

Dream frowned when he saw the empty room.

"Nightmare?" He asked slightly hesitantly.

 

Nightmare curled in on himself beneath the blankets in fear. He let out an involuntary whimper at the pain that spread through him. Oh stars why?! He was such a weakling in this form! Usually he could handle a bit of pain!

 

Dream's eye lights snapped to the closet when he heard a whimper. He cautiously moved to the closet, not wanting to scare Nightmare.

"Nightmare? What's wrong? I'm worried about you." He asked quietly, sitting down in front of the closet.

 

"Nothing!" Nightmare screamed with a small sniff, cursing himself for how weak he sounded. "J-just go away Dream! I'll be fine! Just l-leave me alone."

 

Dream flinched slightly when Nightmare screamed. His voice sounded softer than normal... There was definitely something wrong.

Was that a sniffle?! Was Nightmare crying?!

"Are you crying?" Dream asked shockedly.

 

"No." Nightmare said in a small voice, shuffling slightly inside the closet as he fought to keep quiet.

 

Dream knew immediately that Nightmare was lying. He stood up and opened the door slowly. Whatever had happened couldn't be that bad. His brother had only been happy.

 

Nightmare trembled in his cocoon when he heard the door being opened. His skull was covered by a pillow and his body in blankets and pillows.

"Dream no!" he screamed fearfully. He couldn't let Dream see him like this.

 

Dream took a trembling pillow and pulled it away. It slipped from his grasp as he saw Nightmare.

He looked exactly like he had before the apple incident had happened. And he was crying.

 

Purple tears fell from Nightmare's eyes as he stared up at Dream. He gasped when he saw the door of the guest room wide open. Oh no, he couldn't let anyone see him like this!

"Dream close the door!" he screamed fearfully.

 

"What? Why?" Dream asked confusedly, doing it anyways. He had no idea that Nightmare still had this form.

 

Nightmare looked around before grabbing another pillow and covered his skull, even though he knew it was too late. He sniffled softly. "I don't want anyone else to see."

 

Dream frowned.

"Why not?" He asked, walking over to sit in front of the closet.

 

Nightmare sniffed and wiped away his tears, curling into the makeshift cocoon tighter. "Cause I'm weak like this. They'll- they'll use it against me."

 

Dream frowned worriedly.

"They would never use it against you. I'll make sure they won't." He explained.

"We got a truce, remember?" He reminded his twin.

 

"And how many times did Stretch or the others try to break said truce?" Nightmare questioned with a frown before he looked down. He couldn't fight Dream like this. He wouldn't match up to his bro- to Dream anymore.

"I can't Dream." He said pleadingly. "I need to be strong."

 

"I'll make sure to keep them in line." Dream promised.

"You don't have to be strong all the time." He tried to comfort his twin.

 

"I do!" Nightmare said before sobbing quietly, covering his face with his hands. "I can't be weak. I have people to take care of. If- if I'm weak then they'll hurt Cross. Or Killer. Or Dust or Horror. I can't."

 

Dream gently pulled away the pillow that was covering Nightmare's skull.

"Nobody will hurt them because I will stop anybody that tries to mess with you." He explained, looking into Nightmare's eyes.

"There were several monsters that weren't okay with the truce but I dealt with them." He added.

 

Nightmare looked into Dream's eyes before sniffing softly, wiping away the tears that kept coming.

"Dream don't. Please." he begged. "You can't save me anymore. Not from everything."

 

"But I can try to protect you." Dream replied, smiling sadly.

 

"Dream look at me!" Nightmare screamed at Dream in distraught and anger as tears streamed down his face. "I'm not just physically weak! I'm emotionally weak! I'm the same weak, worthless, pathetic crybaby you call a brother! When I meant you can't protect me from everything, I meant everything!"

 

"You're not pathetic. You were never pathetic!" Dream argued, looking concerned.

"You're strong. Stronger than everyone I know." He explained.

 

Nightmare shook his skull as he sobbed silently. "Stop lying. You don't need to lie to me anymore. Just leave me alone and pretend this never happened."

 

"I'm not lying. I would never lie to you, brother." Dream promised quietly.

 

Nightmare chuckled sadly. "You broke your promise Dream. That doesn't count as lying?"

He suddenly gasped as a thought came to him. He looked at Dream with wide eye sockets but his eye lights were small and shaking. "I didn't... I didn't force you to make that promise. Did I?"

 

"No! You didn't! I'm.. you're right..." Dream admitted. He wiped a few tears away.

"I... know I'm a horrible brother but can you trust me this one time?" He asked quietly.

 

"You aren't bad. You're amazing." Nightmare said immediately, sighing in relief. He never wanted to force anyone to make a promise. They were important and must never be used without meaning it.

He looked down and kept quiet, unsure if he could answer that. He didn't want to lie. He did trust Dream a little bit but... he couldn't at the same time.

 

Dream sighed quietly.

"If you want me to believe I'm not the worst brother ever, which I certainly am, you have to believe that you're strong."

 

"I am strong." Nightmare said quietly, looking at himself sadly. "Just... not in this form. I just want to turn back to my other one."

 

Dream sighed.

"When we were kids I might have been an okay brother but there was a very long period of time where I was absolute scum." He said, frowning.

 

Nightmare flinched as if struck and looked away. "You didn't know." he protested weakly.

 

"I didn't listen." Dream corrected, frowning. He felt extremely guilty, negative emotions radiating off him.

 

Nightmare felt the emotions and shivered. He looked at Dream uncertainly. If he just let Dream wallow in self hate he could turn back to normal. But...

He sighed and tentatively reached a hand out to rub Dream's skull. He was still a weak little crybaby. "It's okay. You're trying now aren't you?"

 

Dream sniffled quietly as he looked up at his brother, unconsciously leaning into the touch.

"I should have tried much earlier." He replied guiltily.

 

"Like you said, you were scared. And I..." Nightmare trailed off with a nervous smile. "I hadn't really given you a reason not to."

 

"I was blind... I could've seen it so much sooner..." Dream sighed.

 

"Okay, that's enough Dream." Nightmare said softly yet sternly, looking into Dream's eyes. "You aren't allowed to be upset. Not my brother. When I say it's in the past, it's in the past. You promised you won't do it again and I know you'll do your best to keep your word. Okay? So no more of that."

 

"Then you're not allowed to be upset either." Dream replied, hugging his twin.

 

Nightmare tensed in surprise at the sudden hug. It took a moment before he chuckled and slowly hugged his brother back, the blankets and pillows pooling around him.

"If I'm not upset I'll stay like this." he said softly with a small smile, warmth growing inside of him.

 

"Okay." Dream agreed quietly, closing his eye sockets as he hugged his brother.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly. Still a hugger. Did that mean Nightmare got to be his teddy bear again? "You seem to not mind."

 

"Yeah. You're still super comfy." Dream mumbled quietly, starting to calm down, his negative emotions disappearing.

 

Nightmare groaned as he was eventually pulled out of the closet by his hug and into Dream's lap. Stars he was smaller than Dream now.

"I meant me being... this." Nightmare said pointing at himself.

 

"I don't mind at all." Dream confirmed with a smile as he snuggled his twin close.

"You're my brother no matter what form you're in."

 

"You didn't say that before." Nightmare said under his breath before wincing as if in pain. He shook his skull and nuzzled Dream. "Nevermind."

 

Dream flinched slightly but relaxed after a bit, sighing.

"How exactly did this happen?" He asked quietly.

 

Nightmare tensed and looked away. "Look, when I came out of my insanity, the darkness didn't get all of me. It can go away, along with my other form, but only if I feel true happiness. True joy. Which because of the corruption is very hard to do and feel. It helps when I don't want to change into... this."

 

"Oh. Okay." Dream replied, taking in the information. Nightmare really seemed to not like that form...

 

Nightmare rubbed his brother's back gently to calm him. He didn't like his brother sad, despite how many times he'd made Dream mad.

 

Dream closed his eye sockets and rested his head on Nightmare's shoulder, sighing softly.

 

Nightmare chuckled and smiled. At least Dream was happy he supposed.

 

"How long does it normally last?" Dream asked curiously.

 

"Uh..." Nightmare trailed off in thought. "If no one bothers me? One to three hours. Hopefully shorter. I can't let anyone see me like this."

 

"Okay. Maybe you could try sleeping it off and I tell everyone you weren't feeling well?" Dream suggested.

 

Nightmare scoffed at the thought. "Dream I've never been sick. Exhausted, sure. Unconscious, many times. Sick? Doesn't happen anymore."

 

Dream hummed in thought.

"The Star Sanses don't know that. Your gang will probably know that you don't want to be disturbed while you're 'not feeling well'." He explained.

 

Nightmare looks down uncertainly. "I don't know Dream. They're... persistent. They always come and see me afterwards to see if I'm okay. Heh. Ironic."

 

"They know you still have that form, right? I could just tell them?" He suggested.

 

Nightmare winced and shook his skull. "N-no. I-... I never told them. I never told anyone. Like I said, someone might use this form against me. If they knew that my gang knows my weakest form.... I can't risk it."

 

"Okay. Shh..." Dream soothed him, rubbing his back gently.

 

Nightmare relaxed slightly at the touch, snuggling into Dream hesitantly.

"Heh." he chuckled humourlessly. "I probably disappointed you again by saying I won't stay like this even though you wanted me to."

 

"You didn't disappoint me." Dream replied, hugging his brother tightly.

 

Nightmare sighed and closed his eyes. "If you say so Dream." he said softly, agreeing with his twin but his tone said otherwise.

 

"I'll tickle you if you keep not believing me." Dream warned.

 

Nightmare squeaked in mock fear and tried to pull away but he was still being hugged.

"Don't you dare!" he yelled but he was smiling slightly, if not nervously.

 

Dream giggled.

"Do you believe me or not?" He asked.

 

"I uh..." Nightmare stuttered, looking around nervously. He trusted Dream but not completely. It was hard to trust anyone. They'd hurt him and his gang eventually. "Can't I just say I'm being an honest person?"

 

Dream sighed.

"Okay. Just know I'm not out to get you, alright." He said.

 

Nightmare looked down, unable to meet Dream's eyes. "I just... it's hard."

'It's so hard to trust someone when everyone has hurt me.' he finished in his head. Only his gang hadn't hurt him. But it was a given. They were the same. They were the Dark Sanses.

 

"It's okay. I just wanted to remind you." Dream explained.

 

"Okay." Nightmare said, hugging Dream slightly for comfort- comfort he had wanted and missed so much.

 

"I didn't get to finish our song. Do you want me to..?" Dream asked.

 

Nightmare looked up with wide hopeful eyes. "You'll play?"

 

"Yeah." Dream agreed.

"Do you want to play your guitar?" He asked, opening his inventory and taking it out.

 

Nightmare smiled slightly. "If- if you don't mind. I haven't practiced at all."

 

"That's okay." Dream replied with a smile as he handed Nightmare the instrument and took out his flute.

 

Nightmare sat up properly and grabbed the guitar. He strummed it a few time to adjust the tone until he was satisfied.

 

Dream played a quick melody before nodding at Nightmare to start.

 

Nightmare nodded and started strumming. He winced when he missed a cord but he continued anyways.

 

Dream quickly joined in, extremely happy to finally make music with his sibling again.

 

Eventually Nightmare gained some confidence and began playing better. He closed his eyes and played his Soul out. Though it ended sounding slightly melancholy but with Dream's happy tune, it was harmony.

 

Dream closed his eye sockets, happiness pouring out of his Soul and into his music. He loved playing.

 

Nightmare played for a while longer before he opened his mouth slightly.

"Monsters in the underground,

They want to be set free

HmmMmmHmmMmmHmm~" Nightmare hummed the last lyrics.

 

Dream felt his Soul humming with happiness as his twin sang. His voice still sounded great.

 

Nightmare played until the song ended where he ended with a long note.

 

Dream put his flute down, taking a deep breath.

"Wow. You still sound great even though you didn't practise!" He complimented.

 

Nightmare flushed shyly and hugged his guitar slightly close to him. "It's uh... I... thanks Dream."

 

Dream smiled happily as he put away the flute.

 

Nightmare put the guitar down on his lap and traced the design on the guitar. "I still can't believe you made this. And kept it even after what I did to you."

 

Dream smiled, giving his brother a hug. He was so glad he had kept it.

"Like I said, I kept all your stuff. If you want to, I could get it for you." He suggested.

 

Nightmare smiled sadly. "Well uh, it's- you don't have to. I really didn't have a lot, just a few little... uh... Nevermind."

 

Dream frowned slightly.

"It's your choice, Nightmare. I'll get it if you want to." He explained.

 

Nightmare thought for a moment before answering. "It's not that much so, yeah. It'd be wrong to ask you to keep it forever."

 

Dream stood up.

"Stay right here." He said as he opened a portal. He quickly got a box labeled 'Nighty's stuff' and was back within seconds, putting the box in front of Nightmare. He opened it with a smile and took his brother's crown, giving it to him.

 

Nightmare gasped softly at the sight, taking the golden crown from Dream. He slowly trailed his fingers over the crown, a longing look in his eyes.

"I.... I thought I threw this away..." he whispers softly. "I thought.... how?

 

"I spent three days looking for it but at long last I found it." Dream explained with a smile.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly in disbelief. "Why? I... I hurt you. And you still tried to find anything of me? I just... why?"

 

"You're my brother, that's why." Dream explained.

 

Nightmare smiled slightly at Dream. "You... want me to wear it?"

 

"Of course." Dream agreed with a smile.

 

Nightmare nodded and put the crown on his skull. It fit perfectly. He was sure he looked odd. "So... how do I look?"

 

"Amazing." Dream responded happily.

 

Nightmare smiled slightly. "Heh, never thought I missed this. Huh. I missed a lot of things."

 

"Things like this?" Dream asked before he hugged Nightmare.

 

Nightmare gasped when he was hugged before he sighed and hugged back gently.

"Yeah. And..." he clears his throat. "I kinda miss being your teddy bear at night."

 

"I'm still having trouble sleeping without you." Dream admitted quietly.

 

"Really?" Nightmare asked with a small smile. "Can't live without your twin brother teddy?"

 

"Nope." Dream replied. He hadn't been able to get a good night's sleep since he had cuddled Nightmare at Haven's house.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly. "You... want to sleep together." he cleared his throat awkwardly. "For old times I mean."

 

"I'd love that. I think I slept not much more than an hour today..." Dream replied, cuddling into Nightmare.

 

Nightmare chuckled. "We better get on the bed if we want to sleep."

 

"Okay." Dream agreed and picked Nightmare up, carrying him to the bed.

 

Nightmare squeaked when he was picked up and placed on the bed. He huffed, glaring at Dream. "I hate this form so much."

 

"Why though? You're warmer like this." Dream asked, snuggling Nightmare close.

 

Nightmare huffed softly. "You know why. But... you have an hour to hug me before I turn back."

 

"I'm gonna use that whole hour." Dream mumbled quietly, his sleep deprivation quickly catching up to him.

 

Nightmare rolled his eyes and rubbed the back of Dream's skull. "Go ahead." he hummed softly and closed his eye.

 

"Thanks, bro..." Dream mumbled sleepily, closing his eye sockets as he cuddled into Nightmare.

 

Nightmare smiled and rested his skull on the pillow, hugging his twin gently. Soon both skeletons fell asleep.

Thankfully Nightmare had turned back to his dark form long before Killer checked on him. Killer smiled and closed the door gently, letting the twins sleep.

Chapter Text

Dream smiled as he sat down on a chair in front of the couch in Red's house, facing everyone who wanted to help get Vigour and Ink together.

Red cuddled into Outer slightly as he sat on his lap.

 

Cross sat beside Horror smiling slightly, Horror looked indifferent but his eyes showed interest.

Outer smiled and hugged Red happily as he waited for what Dream wanted to say.

 

"As you already know, Ink has a major crush on Vigour. I'm pretty sure Vigour has some feelings for Ink but they're both oblivious like there's no tomorrow. Anybody got any ideas how to get them together?" Dream asked.

 

Cross chuckled slightly. "Obviously we'll set them up. So... we trick them into hanging out- on a date?"

Horror smiled slightly. "And how will we convince them to do that?"

"Threats?" Cross said sounding innocent but the gleam in his eyes said something else.

 

Blue chuckled.

"I like that idea." He said, smiling innocently.

"how exactly do you expect to do that..?" Red asked quietly.

 

Horror chuckled. "Alright no threats. Ink'll kick our asses."

"Plus we'll lower Vigour's self worth and confidence." Cross interjected, frowning slightly at his own idea.

Outer thought for a moment. "Maybe we trick them? We'll say we're hanging out together but when we're there we suddenly have some plans and we already paid so they'll have to stay wherever we put them."

 

Blueberry giggled at that.

"Art gallery?" Dream asked, receiving a nod from Blue.

 

Cross nods. "It'll be perfect!" he said excitedly.

Horror smiled in agreement. "So we'll have to assign jobs. A few will convince Ink and Vigour. Another few will keep an eye on them secretly and the rest makes sure everything goes well."

Outer looked at everyone with slight concern. "But... what if they don't return the other's feelings? Or if someone intervenes?"

 

"If someone intervenes, I'll deal with them." Blueberry explained with a smile.

"totally not creepy." Red mumbled.

 

"Hey, if not I'll join in and help you." Cross said with a wide smile, a little wink to show his red eye before turning back to white.

Horror coughed slightly. "So... assigned jobs?"

 

Blueberry nodded, his smile slightly wider.

"Right. Who wants to do what?" Dream asked.

"um.. i could try to convince vigour..." Red suggested quietly.

 

"Red and Haven can convince both Ink and Vigour." Cross said. "Better ask Haven though."

Horror nodded. "The stealthy ones can spy on them. So it'll be Cross and Blue. Outer, me and Dream will make sure everything goes smoothly."

 

"Okay." Blue cheered happily.

"Sounds good." Dream agreed.

 

"Alright!" Cross cheered. "When will we commence?"

 

Dream hummed in thought.

"next saturday?" Red asked quietly. He had a date with Outer on Sunday and worked on weekdays.

 

"Sounds good to me." Horror said agreeing.

"Then it's settled." Outer said with a smile. "Do any of us need to get those two prepared?"

 

Dream shrugged slightly.

"We could tell them that it's a fancy gallery so they'll try to put more effort in their appearance than usually?" Blue suggested.

 

Horror rolled his eyes. "Look at both of them, you'd really think they'll change into suits?"

 

"Nope. But maybe a bit fancier clothing. I managed to get Ink into a dress shirt once." Blueberry explained with a proud smile.

 

"Really?" Cross asked. "How?"

"Think we can get Vigour into a tuxedo?" Horror asked with a smile. "It's not impossible."

Outer chuckleed. "Ink'll have a heart attack."

 

Blueberry just chuckled. He'd never tell them his secret.

"i think vigour would look better in a dress..." Red piped up.

Dream chuckled.

"Then Ink would really get a heart attack." He said.

 

Cross and Horror laughed loudly at the mental image.

"Imagine if he came with a flower too?" Outer said while looking down at Red with a grin.

 

"he does have a flower on his wrist though." Red reminded them.

"or did you mean.. oh..." Red mumbled, blushing brightly.

 

"Imagine on his head or chest." Cross said smiling widely.

Horror chuckles. "Aren't we suppose to get them together and not plan on making fanart?"

 

"I'm totally writing fanfiction about this." Blue announced, giggling.

 

Outer looked at Blue with a smile. "Can I join?"

 

"Of course. We could do a collab!" Blue cheered happily.

 

Cross chuckled while Horror rolled his eyes. "Well, see you next Saturday." Horror said.

 

~~~

 

Ink gasped as he looked at the clock. He was running late!!! He quickly opened a portal to the art gallery where they'd meet up and stumbled over his own feet as he landed. He was wearing a light blue dress shirt and brown jeans but he still had his sneakers on.

 

Vigour checked his flower that was wrapped around his upper arm. Miraculously it was still blooming and sparkling despite everything. He was wearing a pair of slightly sparkly black jeans, purple dress shirt and a pair of galaxy sneakers.

He jumped away from a portal and hid behind Haven.

 

"Oh. Um. Sorry.." Ink apologised, quickly making the portal disappear.

"I'm late. Why aren't the others here yet?" He asked, frowning slightly.

"they cancelled." Haven replied.

"you okay, vigour?" He asked worriedly.

 

Vigour gulped, trying to calm his shaking and breathing heavily before carefully stepping away from Haven.

"S-sorry. J-just startled." he apologized shyly.

 

"Don't apologise. It was my fault. I'm sorry." Ink apologised.

 

Vigour smiled slightly up at Ink but still looking down. "Okay. Still, I should really stop being afraid of it."

 

"It's okay." Ink reassured him.

"Should we go inside?" He asked.

Haven nodded in response.

 

Vigour nodded shyly. "Sure. Oh uh.... you look amazing Ink."

He turned towards Haven and smiled. "And you look cool too."

 

Ink flushed slightly.

"You look awesome too, Vigour. Your shoes are really cool." Ink mumbled.

Haven smiled.

"thanks vigour. same."

 

"Oh uh..." Vigour looked down at himself and looked away. "It's nothing creative. Plus, think I can sneak my sneakers inside? I know it's not proper formal shoes but...?"

 

"I'm still wearing my sneakers too so we'll just annoy them until we get inside." Ink reassured him. Nothing would get between them and art. He started walking to the front door, opening it and holding it open for the others.

 

Vigour chuckles softly. "Please don't Ink. They're people too." he said and walked inside waiting for the other two.

He looked around nervously. He never went to art museums anymore.

 

Ink chuckled.

"Okay." He agreed. He walked inside after Haven, gasping at the wonderful interior design. It looked amazing.

"Your tickets please." A security guard asked them.

Ink nodded and handed over their tickets.

 

Vigour looked around slowly, feeling in awe but slightly overwhelmed at the designs. It was so.... fancy. Overwhelmingly so. He walked closer to Ink and Haven for comfort.

 

Ink noticed immediately.

"Everything okay?" He asked.

The security guard frowned at Haven.

"I'm sorry sir but you cannot enter." He said.

 

Vigour frowned in confusion. "What? Why?"

 

Haven stared at the security guard in disbelief.

"Why?" Ink asked confusedly.

"He's not dressed according to the dress code." The security guard explained.

 

Vigour frowned and reached a hand into his pockets. "Um... it's okay. That's an easy fix!" he said with a smile.

 

"I hope you're not about to use magic because it's forbidden to use magic in here and an alarm will go off." The security guard warned.

 

"Wait really?" Vigour said curiously before pulling his hand out of his pockets and sighing in disappointment. "Stars. Forgot some places have that."

He frowned and looked up at the guard with crossed arms. His eyes discreetly flashing pink. "Well if my friend can't come in I won't go. I won't leave any of my friends out of any fun. It's terrible being left out!"

 

"nah. it's okay." Haven relented. "we can hang out some other time." He suggested.

Ink frowned.

"Well. Then you're both not getting in." The security guard said. "All the same to me."

 

Vigour shrugged stubbornly. "Fine by me."

"Come on Ink." Vigour said. "Um... unless you want to stay. It's fine if you do since we already paid. But.... I'm not going inside without everyone."

 

"No. It's no fun to go to a gallery alone." Ink agreed and walked over to Vigour. He had really looked forward to this but he didn't want to go inside without Vigour.

"it's fine. i probably wouldn't understand anything you say anyways." Haven tried to convince them.

Blueberry frowned as he watched from behind a pillar. He had paid the guard to not let Haven in but he had forgotten to calculate Vigour's stubbornness. He glanced over at Cross.

 

"It doesn't really matter." Vigour said before smiling. "Hey! I wonder if we can get ice cream and giant cookies? I wanna make cookie ice-cream! Wanna try?"

Cross frowned. Vigour was so stubborn. They didn't account for this. He thought for a moment before having an idea. He pulled out his phone and called Haven.

 

Haven flinched slightly when his phone rang and excused himself to take the call.

Blueberry chuckled silently. Maybe they could threaten someone after all.

 

Vigour smiled and nodded, waiting for Haven to answer the phone.

Cross spoke when Haven answered. "Speak loudly pretend I'm your bro!" he whispered quickly.

 

"what's up, bro?" Haven asked, sounding slightly hesitant.

Ink frowned slightly as he looked at Haven.

 

"Say; oh, alright. That is an emergency. I'll be there soon." Cross said. "Also if they ask say, Papyrus needs help baking. He switched baking soda with something else and it smells like burning."

 

"oh. alright, that's an emergency, be there soon." Haven repeated obediently.

"sorry guys, i gotta go." He said as he ended the call and started walking outside.

Blue cheered silently, giving Cross a thumbs up.

"Why?" Ink asked.

 

Cross grinned at Blue with a wink as he pocketed his phone.

Vigour frowned slightly before following him. "Need some help? Besides, we aren't going inside anyways."

 

"no. i'll only need a fire extinguisher." Haven replied before hurriedly teleporting away.

Ink frowned.

 

Vigour blinked in confusion when Haven left. Well, Haven was gone. He sighed softly before smiling slightly. "Well... ice cream?" he asked Ink with a grin.

Cross slapped his face.

 

Blueberry huffed, rolling his eyes.

"Ice cream sounds great." Ink agreed with a smile.

 

Vigour smiled and began walking towards the exit.

Cross panicked and quickly texted and sent at Ink.

'Did you go inside? We paid the premium tickets. Also can you tell me what happened? I really really want to hear it!'

 

Ink followed Vigour and got out his phone when he got a message.

"Hey, Vigour." He called out and showed the text to Vigour.

Blueberry looked over at Cross, curious what he had done.

 

Vigour hummed and read the text before wincing. "Oh... Uh... but what about Haven...?"

Cross sighed but hoped that Vigour would go inside already!

 

"Maybe he can meet up with us later? He said he doesn't know much about art so maybe he's not too interested in it?" Ink suggested.

Blue stared at them encouragingly.

 

Vigour looked between the text and Ink for a few moments before sighing. "Okay. I guess."

Cross cheered happily.

 

"He can still catch up with us later." Ink tried to reassure Vigour.

Blue made a fist pump, smiling brightly. He gave a thumbs up to Cross.

 

"Okay...." Vigour sighed before looking down nervously when he realized what he said. "Uh... can you talk to the guard? I feel... silly."

 

Ink nodded.

"Yeah, no problem." He agreed and went to talk with the guard. They nodded, checked their tickets and let them in.

 

Vigour looked down before rushing towards Ink. He sighed in relief when he was fully inside and away from the guard.

"I'm sorry." he mumbled softly. "I shouldn't have made such a scene."

Cross ran inside, paying the security person.

 

"It's okay." Ink replied, smiling up at him.

"It was only right to not want to leave Haven behind." He added.

Blue rushed after Cross, giggling.

 

"I guess." he said before smiling slightly. "Let's go see some art. It's... been so long since I've been in a museum."

Cross hid behind a large vase, spying on them. He got a silent text from Horror. "Some asshole is watching Vigour since earlier. He's paying inside."

Cross showed it to Blue.

 

"I never had anyone to go with so it's been quite a long time for me too." Ink replied. This was going to be awesome. He looked at a floor plan that was conveniently right next to them.

"Where do you want to go first?" He asked.

Blue frowned slightly.

"Is he already inside or can we still take him out?" He asked quietly.

 

"I don't mind anywhere." Vigour said with a shrug, unconsciously moving closer to Ink when humans and monsters alike began looking at them. "You're my guide."

"He's at the door and going inside. Can't do anything with magic. Gotta go old school." Horror texted still watching the person. "No weapon but he smells of chloroform and... faint sex and alcohol."

Cross rolled his eyes and pressed call before handing the phone to Blue to handle the situation.

 

Ink noticed some people staring and shot murderous looks at them, making them hurry along. He gently put a hand on Vigour's shoulder, trying to calm him down.

"How about we go to the basement first and work our way up?" Ink suggested.

Blue took the phone and kept an eye on Cross.

 

Vigour smiled slightly at the comfort and nodded. "That sounds nice."

Cross looked at Blue. "Come on. Unless you want to stay with Horror and help him."

 

Ink smiled and lead Vigour to the elevator, pressing the button.

Blue smirked slightly and nodded, following Cross.

 

Vigour followed Ink to the elevator, grabbing onto Ink's hand while nervously looking around. Stars he was not good with large crowds.

 

Ink squeezed Vigour's hand reassuringly and pulled him a bit closer. When the door to the elevator opened he quickly went inside and pretty much shielded Vigour, frowning when the flood of other people pressed them into a corner.

 

Vigour winced when more people walked inside the elevator, holding onto Ink's hand tightly for reassurance.

 

Ink looked up at Vigour worriedly.

"We'll take the stairs next time, okay?" Ink suggested.

 

Vigour nodded silently, hiding his face in Ink's shoulders. His Soul was beating rapidly. It had been so long since he had interacted in a large crowd of strangers.

 

Ink gently rubbed Vigour skull, trying to calm him down some.

"It'll be over soon. They'll all leave in a few moments." He murmured quietly.

 

Vigour nodded, leaning slightly into the comforting touch from Ink. Familiar and safe. Safer than the crowd in front of him.

 

The doors opened again and the crowd left. Ink gently pulled Vigour outside of the elevator, waiting until the mass of people dispersed.

 

Vigour followed silently, looking down in shame. He really shouldn't have reacted like that. They hadn't even done anything and he was just being a cry baby. "I'm sorry."

 

Ink looked up confusedly.

"What are you apologising for?" He asked, stopping to walk to face Vigour.

 

"It's just... it's just a crowd. I shouldn't have reacted like that." Vigour said softly and still looking down. "I'll try to not do that anymore."

 

"Do you remember my reaction just because of the white of your hand?" Ink reminded him. "You don't have to apologise for having a phobia."

 

Vigour looked at Ink for a moment before nodding slightly. "Y-you're right. I'm sorry."

 

Ink smiled at him.

"Come on. We're here to look at art." He reminded the taller skeleton gently.

 

Vigour nodded with an agreeing smile. He was right. They were here for art and he wouldn't make today worse. "Okay."

 

Ink's smile brightened as he took Vigour's hand gently. He walked towards the first room.

 

Vigour followed Ink silently, smiling a little at how excited he looks. At least Ink was excited.

 

Ink gasped slightly as he saw all the sketches inside the room. They were original sketches of the paintings in a famous church.

"Woah!" He gasped mesmerisedly.

 

Vigour looked at the art Ink was looking at and smiled. The sketches looked good. He wished he could draw like that. Oh well. Keep practicing.

 

Ink pulled out his phone and searched a picture of the church, showing it to Vigour.

"That's the church these paintings are in." He explained excitedly.

 

Vigour looked at the picture Ink showing him with a smile. "It looks cool. I can see some resemblance even as a sketch."

 

Ink smiled happily as he gently pulled Vigour along. He was so excited!

 

Vigour chuckled as he was pulled along, not fighting the pull as Ink dragged him to another area for more art. Ink looked so excited. It made him smile warmly.

Cross nudged Blue. "Look, Vigour's showing signs of attraction."

 

Ink told Vigour what he knew about the art that was in that room, smiling brightly as he recounted facts.

Blueberry grinned widely.

"You're right." He whispered back.

 

Vigour smiled as Ink chatted excitedly about art and how it came to be. It was fun seeing Ink so happy.

"So we're doing it right?" Cross asked Blue softly.

 

"Yeah. We're doing awesome." Blue agreed, holding out his hand for a fist bump.

Ink was really happy.

 

Cross gave Blue a fist bump in victory.

 

Blue giggled.

"We should celebrate with tacos." He suggested.

 

"Maybe later," Cross said eyeing Ink and Vigour as they walked into another room. He followed silently, having already practiced sneaking around as a spy for his gang. "After we finish up."

 

"Yeah."  Blueberry agreed. He'd seen a Mexican restaurant in the city. He sneaked after Cross, happy for his guard training.

 

Vigour smiled as Ink began explaining the abstract art in front of him. He was glad to see Ink so passionate about art. Rarely did he see Ink this happy. He was always serious in a way.

Vigour turned a bit and his eyes widened in awe at the sight of a beautiful realistic painting of a mountain, a sunset and a forest.

 

Ink smiled happily when he finished explaining the art in front of them. He followed Vigour's eyes to a beautiful drawing.

"Wow." He breathed in awe.

 

Vigour walked over and noticed that it was not a famous art. It was a competition winner. He smiled slightly at the painting.

 

"Hm? What's wrong?" Ink asked, curiously walking towards Vigour and the painting.

 

Vigour shook his skull. "Nothing. I just... out of all the art in the world, I rather like the natural art. The natural beauty of the world."

He chuckled softly with a smile. "Stars. Sea. Sky. Those are my favorite, not sculptures that look like humans deformed. Though no one can really capture their beauty on a piece of paper. Not even me."

 

"Hm..." Ink hummed thoughtfully. He gasped slightly as he got an idea. He could show Vigour natural beauty.

"I wanna show you something but first we need to leave." He explained.

 

Vigour turned to Ink in surprise and confusion. "Oh... Uh... but won't Cross want to hear what we did? We barely saw anything."

Cross groaned silently. Sometimes Vigour's care for others was annoying!

 

Blueberry sighed long-sufferingly.

Ink frowned. Vigour was right.

"Yeah, you're right." He agreed with a smile. More art for them.

 

Cross panicked and texted again this time to Vigour. "Guys, don't forget to have fun! I don't mind if you tell me something else on the trip. We feel bad for abandoning you. So go have fun okay?"

Vigour hummed in confusion when his phone beeped with a notification. He arched his brow at the text before smiling fondly. They were here weren't they? Why else would their text be so on time? That would explain why he'd felt faint secondhand panic earlier. Oh well, best to play along.

"So Cross said that we should have fun." Vigour started. "So... I guess we can leave."

 

Blueberry sighed in relief and slid down the wall into a sitting position.

"Good save." He murmured quietly.

"Okay." Ink said with a nod. "I have something awesome to show you." He explained, taking Vigour's hand.

 

"Okay?" Vigour smiled slightly and took his hand. "Should I be afraid?" he asked teasingly.

Cross noticed and nudged Blue. "Get ready. I think they're about to go somewhere else."

 

"No. Of course not. But I think we should head outside first. I don't want to set off the alarm." Ink explained with a small smile. As funny as that would be, it would only create mass panic.

Blueberry nodded and stood up again.

 

Vigour chuckled softly and nodded. "Alright. Lead the way Inky." he said smiling.

 

Ink smiled brightly and started walking back towards the stairs, gently pulling Vigour along.

Blueberry silently followed them once they had left the room.

 

Vigour nodded and followed Ink up the stairs slowly. It was certainly better than being in a crowded elevator.

Cross followed smiling and nudged Blue. "Vigour gave Ink a nickname!" he whispered excitedly.

 

Ink slowly walked up the stairs, slightly paranoid because he often got attacked on stairs.

"Yes!" Blue cheered happily, still mindful to keep his voice down.

 

Vigour noticed how anxious Ink looked and walked faster to walk beside him. He turned and gave Ink a small smile.

"So where are you taking me, oh great creator?" he asked, trying to ease Ink's fear.

 

"It's a surprise. But I know you'll like it." Ink replied, glancing around a corner to make sure noone would be there to tackle him down the stairs.

 

Vigour chuckled softly and crossed his arms. "Alright then Mr. Secretive. But what if I don't like it?" he asked playfully.

 

Then I'm gonna bury myself. Ink thought.

"Then we could still get some ice cream." He suggested instead.

 

Vigour's eyes brightened as he smiled brightly. "Yes!!!" he cheered happily. "I scream for ice cream!"

Cross snickered silently. Stars he was worse than Cross himself. Maybe even Papyrus or Blue.

 

Ink smiled happily as he opened the door at the top of the stairs for Vigour.

"Glad you like that idea." He said with a small chuckle.

Blueberry giggled quietly.

 

Vigour smiled brightly before grinning with an idea. He walked fast towards Ink and standing right in front of the surprised skeleton. "Okay, it's a bet. What do you want if I do like your surprise?"

Cross cheered and nudged Blue. "Vigour's being confident!" he whispered excitedly.

 

"Um.. Your happiness is enough." Ink mumbled quietly, his cheek bones flushing slightly.

"Oh stars, did you hear that? Ink's flirting!" Blue whispered excitedly.

 

Cross cheered loudly in his head. "I did!" he whispered excitedly. "Did you record it?!"

Vigour looked at Ink in surprise with a flush before smiling nervously. His Soul was beating loudly in his chest. "T-that's not a prize. Come on Ink. What do you want from me if you win?"

 

"Yeah!" Blue agreed happily. He'd recorded everything.

Ink was about to ask for a kiss but went silent before he could ask for it, his face flushed brightly.

 

"Ink?" Vigour asked in confusion and oblivious. He thought for a moment before sighing softly, his face flushing slightly. Why was he doing this?

He...

A flash of pink in his Soul.

...he just felt like it. Like it was the right thing to do.

He leaned down to gently kiss Ink's forehead.

 

Ink's blush brightened even further, his face a rainbow of colours.

"What are they doing...?" Blueberry asked quietly.

 

Vigour pulled away, staring at Ink wide eyed before he coughed and looked away nervously. "S-sorry. I shouldn't- I-. I uh... we- we should go now. I'll get you a surprise in return i-if I like yours."

Without waiting for Ink to reply Vigour practically ran out the door blushing madly and scolding himself internally.

 

Ink took a moment to collect himself before he ran after Vigour.

"Did they... Did they kiss?" Blue asked as he quickly went up the stairs.

 

"More like Vigour kissed Ink." Cross said in surprise as he ran after Blue. "Didn't think he had the balls."

Meanwhile, Vigour was walking down the hall looking at the ground and mentally screaming at himself.

Why had he done that?! He was not- why?! Ink was great and all but they were just friends! He hadn't even asked for permission he had just went ahead and kissed him like they belonged!!! Why had he done that?! He was not in love-!

A sudden thought made him stop in his tracks. Did he... was he... was he attracted to Ink? His Soul certainly thought so and that scared him.

 

Blue chuckled, smiling brightly. Everything was coming along nicely.

Ink ran after Vigour, gasping as he tripped just before he reached him.

 

Vigour gasped when he heard someone fall behind him. He turned around and kneeled down beside Ink to help pull him up. He ignored everyone's stares as he helped his fallen friend.

"Ink?!" he exclaimed in concern. "Are you okay?"

 

"Yeah." Ink replied, gritting his teeth to avoid saying that he had fallen for Vigour. Because it was true. He had fallen for Vigour.

"He fell for Vigour." Blueberry whispered.

 

Cross covered his mouth to muffle his laughter.

Vigour shook his skull and gently pulled Ink up to stand. "Be careful next time." he said as he brushed off Ink's shirt and pants with his hand.

 

Blueberry giggled quietly.

"Thanks." Ink mumbled with a blush.

"I just... You ran away and I was worried about you." He explained.

 

Vigour looked down and pulled away from Ink to give him some space. "I'm fine. Sorry."

 

"It's okay." Ink replied with a smile. He got up on his tiptoes and kissed Vigour's cheek bone with a bright blush.

Blue was giggling happily.

 

Vigour went completely rigid at the kiss, twitching slightly with a bright blush. What.... did-? Did Ink just-?!

Cross frowned slightly but he was also smiling. "I think Ink crashed Vigour."

 

Ink blushed brightly as he pulled back, looking up at Vigour worriedly.

Blueberry nodded, giggling quietly.

 

Vigour stood frozen as his mind was racing but blank at the same time. He didn't know how to react.

Cross winced when a thought came to him. "I hope Ink doesn't accidentally made Vigour feel worse about his self esteem."

 

"Um... Vigour...?" Ink asked as he stared up at him. He was internally panicking.

Blueberry flinched slightly.

"That would be really bad..." He mumbled.

 

Vigour snapped out of his daze and covered his furiously blushing face. He was still incoherent to answer.

 

"I'm sorry, Vigour. I should've asked first..." Ink apologised, looking up at Vigour guiltily. He shouldn't have done that.

 

"It's fine. I just-" Vigour mumbled into his hands before looking up at Ink with shaky eye lights. "N-no one ever did that. S-so I overreacted."

Vigour grinned slightly but shakily. "B-besides! I- I didn't really ask permission either s-so it's fine!"

 

"Okay. Do you still want to accompany me or..." did I scare you so much that you never want to see me again?

 

Vigour nodded shakily. "Y-yeah. Y-you go ahead first. I gotta clear m-my h-head for a b-bit."

 

"Okay." Ink agreed, starting to walk towards the exit.

 

Vigour watched as Ink left with a nervous smile before it fell. He looked at the ground, his fingers touching the place where Ink kissed.

Did that mean Ink likes him or..?

He chuckled humourlessly with a tear down his face. No. Ink didn't like him that way. That was just payment for kissing him before. He didn't feel the same.

Vigour wiped his tears quickly and walked over to Ink, ignoring how his Soul stung at the idea.

 

"Damn..." Blueberry whispered. Vigour didn't seem to be doing good.

Ink looked at Vigour.

"Everything okay?" He asked.

 

"Shit. I knew it." Cross cursed lowly and stood up to begin following them. "We did this too early. Vigour isn't mentally or emotionally ready."

Vigour looked at Ink and smiled slightly, ignoring his hurting Soul. "I'm alright now. I will be better if you show me the surprise you promised."

Stars even talking was tiring now.

 

"Fuck..." Blue cursed as he followed him quickly.

Ink nodded. He was such an idiot. Of course Vigour didn't feel the same. He had looked so incredibly shocked when he had kissed him.

"I have to open a portal." He warned, his Soul pulsing painfully.

 

"Go ahead." Vigour said softly. Honestly he couldn't bring himself to care or react about his phobia. His Soul was hurting too much to care about his fear of portals.

 

Ink nodded and opened a portal to an AU with a forest. He wanted to take Vigour's hand but he didn't. He shouldn't.

 

Vigour looked at the portal and then Ink. He looked hesitant before asking.

"C-can I hold your hand? P-please?" he asked uncertainly, looking down at the ground. "I- I don't think I can go through alone." not like this. He finished in his head.

 

Ink nodded and took Vigour's hand gently, waiting for him to step through the portal.

 

Vigour gripped the hand tightly for a moment, feeling reassured. He took a breath before stepping through the portal.

Cross frowned as he hid behind a large vase. "We have to follow them. I'll make a portal to where they're going."

 

Ink followed Vigour, his Soul feeling heavy as he did.

Chapter Text

Blueberry nodded, frowning worriedly.

 

Cross opened a portal and followed them, waiting for Blue.

Vigour looked around confused when they were in a forest of some kind.

 

Blue jumped through the portal, still looking worried.

"Um.. you said you liked natural beauty so... Here you go!" Ink explained, trying to fake enthusiasm.

 

Vigour looked around before staring at Ink confused. "Really? Um... okay?"

 

"Wow. Ink's super awkward..." Blueberry mumbled from his spot in a tree.

"There's a feeding station nearby, maybe there are some animals there..." Ink explained, looking slightly down.

 

Vigour looked at Ink with worry for a moment before nodding. "Yeah. It sounds cool."

 

Ink nodded and started walking into a direction, taking care not to be too loud. He wanted to cry...

Blueberry dropped onto the floor soundlessly, frowning in concern.

"We have to do something.." He whispered to Cross.

 

"Do what?" Cross asked back, frowning at the sight. "What can we do to fix this?"

 

Blueberry huffed slightly.

"I don't know. They're both so stubborn..." He sighed, starting to follow them again. That was much easier in the forest than at that museum.

 

Cross thought for a moment, humming to himself silently.

Vigour walked through the forest silently, looking around to try and find something that looked cool. So far he'd found nothing. Maybe that animal feeding station had something-

He paused when a feeling pulled at his Soul. He turned his skull to the right where there was a path that lead somewhere through the thicket.

 

Ink turned around when Vigour stopped walking.

"Is something wrong?" He asked worriedly.

Blue looked towards what Vigour was looking at.

 

Vigour shook his skull. "I feel like we should go there." he said softly.

Cross tilted his skull in confusion. What was Vigour doing?

 

"Then let's go." Ink agreed.

"Am I the only one that thinks this is ominous?" Blue asked, his legs dangling off the branch he was sitting on.

 

Cross shrugged as he watched the duo begin walking down the path through the forest and into uncharted territory. "It's Vigour. What's not ominous about him sometimes?"

 

Blue chuckled slightly and nodded, sliding off the branch and following them.

 

Vigour walked down the path through the forest, something was pulling him to walk down this path but he didn't know what. He just knew that he should.

'Hopefully I'm not dragging Ink into a trap of some kind.' Vigour thought to himself as he ducked a low hanging branch. 'I don't want him to get hurt.'

 

Ink followed Vigour, looking slightly weary as he looked around.

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" He asked, moving a bit closer to Vigour.

 

"I'm not sure..." Vigour said softly as he walked down the darkening path. "I just... I have this feeling."

 

Ink nodded in understanding and kept following Vigour as the forest got thicker and a bit darker.

 

After about five minutes of walking Vigour began to lose hope and began worrying. Maybe going down this path was a lost cause.

He paused when he heard something. It sounded like... rushing water. "You hear that?" he asked softly.

 

Ink perked up slightly and nodded. It was faint but he could certainly hear it.

 

Vigour began running down the path towards the sound. "Come on Ink!" he called.

 

Ink nodded and ran after Vigour, feeling a bit excited despite the emptiness in his Soul.

 

Vigour ran through the thicket down the path, feeling excitement coursing through him.

After a few minutes he stopped and slowed down, panting slightly as he looked at the path in front of him. He began walking slowly down the path and pushed away some leaves. He paused to look in front of him with wide eyes.

A waterfall hidden in the forest. The water clear and sparkling as it fell from a cliff and into a clear blue river that had a small pond downstream. The rocks leading across the river glistening under the sun that shone down onto the clearing. Beautiful bright flora all around them with little butterflies and hummingbirds flying around.

 

Ink came to a halt behind Vigour, standing up on the tips of his toes to see what the other was looking at but he was too short. He huffed quietly.

 

Vigour heard the frustrated huff and chuckled slightly. He walked forward and into the clearing, no longer blocking Ink's path as he looked around in slight awe.

Cross looked at the scene impressed. "Would you look at that."

 

Ink's eye lights turned into stars as he smiled.

"Woah." He breathed, looking around mesmerised.

 

Vigour turned to Ink and smiles at him.

"Guess I wasn't leading you into a trap after all." he joked softly, looking around happily. "Never thought this was here."

 

Ink smiled back happily.

"It looks awesome!" He agreed, chuckling a bit.

 

Vigour chuckled softly and looked at the waterfall, his smile growing slightly.

"Never thought I'd see this in my life." he murmured softly.

 

Ink looked up at Vigour.

"I'm glad I dragged you to this AU." He said.

 

Vigour chuckled and smiled at Ink. "I'm glad too."

A rustle caught his attention and he turned his skull towards the foliage. He brightened up at the sight of a deer among the trees eating some leaves. "Ink, look!"

 

"Wow!" Ink gasped. "Look! It's got a baby!" He exclaimed, pointing at the baby deer.

 

Vigour smiled at the sight of the baby deer. The foal twitched its ears before looking at both of them. The larger mother deer followed behind it. Both creatures staring at them with big doe eyes.

 

"Oh stars, it's so adorable." Ink whispered, staring at the deer mesmerised.

 

Vigour smiled and kneeled down to not scare the creatures. The foal tilted its head and clumsily walked closer towards Vigour, sniffing him uncertainly. The mother watched with careful eye.

Vigour smiled and reached a hand out to touch the foal. It sniffed his hand for a moment before pushing its head into his hand. He chuckled and gently petted the creature.

 

Ink smiled as he watched Vigour. He really had a way with animals. They all seemed to like him really much.

Now that he thought about it, people liked Vigour too. He probably wasn't the only one who had fallen for him...

 

"What is he a monster/animal whisperer?" Cross mumbled at he watched Vigour interact with the deer foal, laughing when it licked him.

Vigour chuckled and nuzzled the small creature, laughing when it licked his cheek.

The mother deer turned towards Ink and approached him slowly.

 

"He probably is." Blueberry agreed.

Ink looked up when the deer approached them. He really hoped she wasn't mad at Vigour for petting her foal.

 

Cross snickered. "Take some pictures."

The deer walked closer to Ink and sniffed him curiously.

Vigour chuckled as he watched Ink, the foal still nuzzling him. "Don't move Ink. She's curious."

 

"I'm making a video." Blue replied, pulling out his phone.

Ink froze up a bit, looking at the deer. He didn't want to startle the creature.

 

The deer sniffed him a few times before pausing and nuzzling his neck gently. Pushing her head into him to comfort him.

 

Ink looked at the deer, curious what she was doing when she suddenly almost pushed him over.

Wha-? Was she trying to comfort him...?

Blueberry chuckled softly.

"Seems like that deer really likes Ink." He mumbled.

 

Vigour chuckled as he watched the mother deer nuzzle Ink.

"They're like the creatures in my Multiverse." he mumbled with a smile.

 

Ink smiled slightly.

"That's cool." He mumbled as he looked down at the deer, his Soul pulsing painfully but not as bad as before. It would take a while for him to get over it.

 

The deer pulled back for a moment before licking away Ink's tear that began pooling in his eye socket.

 

Ink sniffled slightly, wiping away the magic accumulating in his other eye socket.

"Shit.. He's crying." Blueberry mumbled worriedly.

 

Cross sighed as he watched Ink. "Should we stop this? They're both not ready."

Vigour frowned when he saw Ink wiping his sockets. "Ink? You okay?"

 

"Wait.. I know that expression on Ink's face. He's about to break down and no matter what we do, he'll break down." Blueberry explained.

"Yeah. I'm fine." Ink replied, his voice shaky as he looked down with tears rolling down his cheek bones.

 

"Shit." Cross cursed softly.

"Ink?" Vigour said concerned and began standing up. The foal looked at him curiously. "Ink what's wrong?"

 

"Shit..." Blueberry agreed.

"No-nothing.. I.. I'm... I just..." Ink let out an involuntary sob.

 

"Ink!?" Vigour exclaimed in shock. He pulled away from the foal to walk slowly towards Ink. "Ink? What's wrong? Please tell me."

 

"I-I'm okay. D-don't worry 'bout me.." Ink sobbed, his legs feeling as if they could give out any moment.

 

Vigour frowned and walked closer to Ink to wipe away his tears gently.

"Don't lie. Please tell me what's wrong." he said softly.

 

Ink was shaking slightly and winced when Vigour touched him, crying all the harder.

"I'm fine. Ev-everything's okay..." Ink sobbed.

 

"Ink stop lying." Vigour said firmly with a slight glare. "You're distraught. I want to know why so I can help. So please Ink. Please tell me."

 

Ink let out a choked sob, trembling harshly.

"I really, really like you and-" Ink sobbed. "-it's not yo-your fault but I thought you like me too be-because you-" He sobbed loudly. "-you kissed me and I'm s-so stupid, I'm sorry, Vigour. I cou-couldn' stop myself..." He choked on a sob.

"From falling for you!" Tears were rolling down Ink's face as his legs gave out and he fell to his knees.

 

Vigour flinched with a sharp gasp as he flushed. So...so it wasn't just him. Ink... Ink really liked him.

And he'd hurt him.

His Soul clenched but beat rapidly at the same time. He kneeled down beside Ink and gently wiped away his tears.

"No no no. Don't cry Ink. I'm sorry. It is my fault. I..." Vigour bit his lip before talking. "I do like you. I just... I just thought you didn't like me back. That kiss... I... I'm sorry Ink. I didn't mean to hurt you."

"But," Vigour gently grabbed Ink's chin to look into his eyes, smiling softly but shakily with emotion. "You aren't the only one fallen for someone. I love you too."

 

Ink looked up at Vigour shockedly. He loved him too...? He hugged Vigour tightly, feeling extremely relieved.

"Can I... Can I kiss you...?" He asked quietly.

 

Vigour tensed at the hug before chuckling softly and hugging back gently. He blushed at the question before pulling away to look again Ink.

"Sure. J-just uh... m-make it quick?" he chuckles nervously. "I haven't... y'know. Never done it on the lips before."

 

"Me neither." Ink admitted quietly, slowly leaning in to give Vigour a kiss. He gave him a quick kiss.

 

Vigour hummed in surprise before kissing back slightly but uncertainly. He pulled away and hugged Ink with a small flustered smile as his Soul beat rapidly in his chest.

"Can't believe I fell for another me." he chuckled and nuzzled Ink's skull. "Am I really that narcasistic?"

 

Ink flushed, hugging back.

"Then we're both narcissistic." He replied.

 

Vigour chuckled and hugged Ink softly.

"So..." he started after a moment. "Is there more to this date or do we want to go home and eat ice cream cookies?"

 

Ink flushed brightly.

"I... still got some stuff planned but if you want to go home that's okay." He explained.

 

Vigour chuckled and kissed Ink's cheek, pulling away to give him a bright smile. "I don't have anything better to do. Let's go see what you have planned!"

 

Ink smiled brightly, nodding.

"I just have to open a portal." He warned.

 

"Go ahead." Vigour said softly with a smile and a nuzzle. "I know you'll protect me."

Cross cheered silently at the sight. "That went better than I thought."

 

Ink flushed a bit more but nodded, summoning a portal. He took Vigour's hand gently and waited for him to walk through.

 

Vigour gripped the hand tightly, steeling himself before walking through the portal.

Cross tracked the portal and made his own portal to the same AU. "Come on."

 

Blue nodded and jumped through the portal.

Ink was right behind him, smiling as they arrived at the AU. It was extremely cold though.

Beautiful lights lit up the sky, distracting him from the cold that made him shiver.

 

Vigour gasped at the sight of dancing lights shining in the dark sky. His eyes brightened up happily.

"Oh wow! It's the aroura borialis!" he exclaimed in awe.

 

"It looks beautiful." Ink agreed, shivering from the cold air.

 

Vigour looked at Ink when he noticed his shivering. He smiled and sat down on the grass, pulling Ink down to sit in his lap. He wrapped his arms around Ink and rested his skull on top of Ink's. His Soul began humming with warmth to try and warm Ink up as he watched the dancing lights in the dark sky.

 

Ink let himself be moved easily and leaned into the touch, sighing in relief. He probably shouldn't have worn a short sleeved button up.

 

Vigour smiled and nuzzled Ink's skull, pressing a gentle kiss. His fingers trailed over the marks on Ink's bare arms, smiling happily into Ink's skull. His Soul was humming calmly.

 

Ink leaned into the touch, humming happily as he looked up at the beautiful lights.

 

Vigour smiled and kissed Ink's skull again.

Cross smiled at them. "Vigour's so affectionate suddenly." he commented whispering.

 

Blueberry nodded.

"I think that's pretty good because it'll strengthen their bond." He explained.

 

"But still," Cross started softly as he watched the two skeleton watching the northern lights dancing in the sky. "-We can't ignore what happened earlier. Neither of them is mentally ready. Ink's emotionally vulnerable- surprisingly. And Vigour has terrible self esteem and self worth. I just hope this won't blow up in our faces."

 

"I hope so too." Blueberry agreed.

"Do you want to contact Horror?" He asked.

 

"Sure." Cross said softly as he subtly took pictures of the scene in front of him. "Can you call him and explain the situation?"

 

"Of course." Blue agreed and stopped the video he was taking, calling Horror.

 

Horror picked up at the first ring, sounding worried. "Where are you guys? The guy left as soon as Ink and Vigour disappeared."

 

"We're at an AU. Vigour and Ink kissed at the museum but they both thought the other didn't return the feelings and Ink broke down and confessed and Vigour confessed too and now they're cuddling." Blue explained.

 

"Wait what?!" Horror exclaimed in shock. "Hold up! Slow down a bit! What happened??"

 

"Ink and Vigour know about their mutual attraction and are cuddling right now." Blueberry summed up.

 

"...and how did that happen so quickly??" Horror asked dumbfounded.

 

"Ink broke down completely and confessed to Vigour." Blue explained.

 

Horror was silent for a moment before chuckling softly in shock and disbelief. "Well that wasn't what I expected. What are they doing now?"

 

"They're cuddling while staring at the northern lights." Blueberry replied.

 

"Oh stars." Horror laughed slightly. "Please tell me you're taking a picture of that."

 

"We made so many pictures already." Blueberry chuckled.

 

"Please share them with us when this mission is finished." Horror grinned.

Cross nudged Blue when Vigour and Ink moved.

Vigour looked down at Ink and smiled. The lights had disappeared for the night. "So... got any place else you want to show me?"

 

Blueberry looked up and nodded.

"We will. Call you later." He said, ending the call.

"Yeah." Ink replied, looking up with a smile.

"I'll summon a portal." He warned.

 

Vigour nodded and stood up, gently pulling Ink up to his feet. "Wonder what else you'll show me?" he smiled down at Ink.

Cross readied his magic to follow them.

 

Ink smiled and summoned a portal. He gently held Vigour’s hand.

 

Vigour took a breath before he stepped through the portal.

 

Ink followed him with a bug smile, holding onto his hand tightly when they suddenly were in a dark forest.

 

Vigour blinked in confusion when he saw tall spaced out trees and long grass in the dark. He turned around slightly confused. "What's this?"

Cross opened and portal and jumped through, hiding up on a tree and out of sight.

 

Ink only grinned, watching as fireflies came out. They were flying around them.

"Look." He whispered quietly.

 

Vigour paused and stilled in awe as small yellowish lights began flying up from the grass and into the night sky.

Vigour tentatively swept his hand across the blades of grass, watching as the disturbed insects began glowing and flying up from the grass.

He smiled brightly. "Fireflies. I've always wanted to see them." he breathed out in awe.

 

Ink smiled up at him. He'd always wanted to show all these beautiful things to someone.

 

Vigour let go of Ink's hand in excitement as he ran around the field in circles, laughing happily as he watched the insects fly up into the sky. His path glowed with more fireflies as they were disturbed. Vigour spun around in circles before flopping onto his back and causing the area around him to explode with fireflies.

 

Ink laughed as he watched Vigour run around. He walked over to him, giggling slightly as he sat down next to him.

 

Vigour smiled brightly at Ink before looking up towards the flying fireflies as they flew around slowly.

 

Ink smiled at Vigour, giggling when a firefly sat down on Vigour's nose ridge.

 

Vigour looked at the firefly in surprise before he sneezed, scaring the insect off of him. He chuckled softly as he watched them fly up into the sky. From their position, it looked like they were yellowish stars that kept moving slowly.

 

Ink laughed as the startled firefly flew off. He flopped down next to Vigour with a chuckle, sending a bunch of fireflies flying.

 

Vigour chuckled and pulled Ink closer to him, resting Ink's skull on his ribs as he watched the fireflies flash in synchronization.

 

Ink let himself be moved without protest and cuddled a bit into Vigour, looking up at the beautiful light show.

 

Cross watched the duo from the tree with curiosity. "Wonder what else Ink's got in his sleeve?"

 

Blueberry looked down at him from the branch he was sitting on.

"I bet it's gonna be awesome." He replied, staring up at the fireflies, mesmerised.

 

Cross hummed in agreement. "Though we should probably call Horror and the fix up crew to make a place for them to sleep in later. I doubt after this they'll stay awake."

 

"Yeah. Ink's got his house at the doodle sphere, so maybe they could stay there." Blue suggested.

 

"Most probably they will." Cross said as he watched the duo laying on the grass.

After about half an hour of staring at the fireflies, they finally vanished back into the grass. Vigour looked at Ink with a small smile. "Anywhere else? Or is your bag of tricks empty by now?"

 

"Still got a trick up my sleeve." Ink replied with a chuckle.

"Portal incoming." He warned, yawning quietly. He was getting a bit sleepy. Vigour was just so warn and comfy.

 

Vigour chuckled and slowly stood up with Ink. "Alright. I'm ready."

 

Ink smiled happily and summoned a portal, waiting for Vigour to go through at his own time as he held his hand.

 

Vigour smiled, kissing Ink's cheek softly before stepping through.

And immediate falling into crystal clear water with a startled shout.

 

Ink smiled at the kiss, squealing in delight as he was pulled after Vigour into the water.

 

Vigour looked around in surprise before swimming upwards. He took a breath and looked around in confusion.

His eyes widened when he realized where they are. "Ink... is this a coral reef?"

 

Ink chuckled as he resurfaced.

"Yup." He confirmed, looking around excitedly. He loved this particular part of Oceantale.

 

Vigour brighten up and dove down. His eyes sparkled at the sight of all the bright coral all around and the array of fishes. He rose up and pulled out his paint brush with a grin.

 

Ink smiled as he dived down, looking at all the beautiful fishes.

 

Vigour painted a bubble around his skull with his brush before diving back down. He smiled at all the fishes that swam around him. All the coral and shells everywhere.

 

Ink giggled slightly at Vigour's idea. He had discovered that he couldn't drown a long time ago so he didn't make himself a bubble. There was no need to.

 

"Shit!" Cross whispered when he fell into the water immediately after making a portal.

 

Blueberry winced, keeping himself silent just like he had trained to be. Good thing he knew how to swim but out here they were easy to spot.

 

Vigour was too busy cooing at all the beauty around him that he didn't realize the two newcomers. He swam towards the coral and smiled when a school of brightly coloured fish swam around him. He spun with them laughing happily. He loved this so much. It felt like dancing on air.

 

Ink smiled brightly and swam towards Vigour, his eye sockets widening in surprise when he noticed a dolphin not too far away. He tapped Vigour's shoulder and pointed the dolphin out.

 

Vigour turned to him with a hum and looked to where he was pointing. He squeaked in joy when he saw the dolphin- which in turn gained its attention.

 

Ink smiled brightly at Vigour's reaction.

 

Vigour watched in fascination as the dolphin swam closer, clicking and whistling with curiosity. He tentatively reached his hand out and the dolphins nudged its head into him. He laughed and petted the dolphin happily.

 

Ink smiled happily, barely holding back a chuckle. He was happy Vigour was enjoying himself so much.

 

The dolphin whistled before swimming away, apparently finding something else more amusing than a floating underwater skeleton.

Vigour chuckled and swam towards another bed of coral hoping he'd find something interesting.

 

Ink swam after Vigour, looking around curiously. There were lots of different fish all around them.

 

Vigour gasped when he saw a green sea turtle.

"A turtle!" he exclaimed happily as he watched it eat sea grass. "They're so endangered in my world! So much so that no one sees them anymore! I can't believe I'm seeing one for myself!"

 

Ink smiled, happy that he got to show this to Vigour. He looked up when a small squid rested on his skull.

 

Vigour looked at Ink smiling happily before gasping when he saw the tiny sparkling squid.

"Oh cool!" he exclaimed. "I've never seen that creature before! What kind of squid is that?!"

 

"I got no idea. It's on top of my head, I can't see it." Ink mumbled, trying not to get too much water inside of himself.

 

Vigour reached a hand out slightly when the squid moved and floated off Ink's head and floated over Vigour's hand. Vigour smiled brightly.

"It's so friendly!" he said with sparkling eyes. "I've never seen creatures do that!"

 

"Wow! It looks so cool." Ink mumbled, staring at the squid, mesmerised.

 

The squid was a dark blue squid but it had little sparkles covering its body. The sparkles were in purple, pink and light blue- looking almost like stars. Its large eyes had a diamond shaped iris.

Vigour chuckled at Ink. "You made this AU and you don't know its contents?"

 

"I'm forgetful. Very forgetful." Ink admitted.

"Remember that I was late? I forgot when we were going to meet up." He explained.

 

Vigour laughed softly in amusement.

"I hope you won't forget your crush for me." he teased, internally wincing at his bravery.

 

Ink flushed.

"I could never forget that." He replied, blushing brightly.

 

"Good." Vigour grinned at Ink as the squid swam away. "Cause I'll tease you for the fall you took for me earlier."

 

Ink blushed brightly, pouting slightly.

 

Vigour laughed at Ink's pouting face. He leaned close and kissed Ink's cheek.

 

Ink flushed a bit brighter, smiling a bit at the kiss.

 

Vigour chuckled softly. "You're cute." he complemented.

 

"I got one more surprise for you." Ink said, still blushing brightly.

 

"Really?" Vigour smiled at Ink. "You have a lot up your sleeve don't you?"

 

"Yeah." Ink agreed, pulling a pencil out of his sleeve with a slight chuckle.

 

Vigour covered his mouth with a chuckle. "You're so cool." he murmured softly.

 

"Thanks." Ink replied with a smile.

"I'll summon a portal." He warned.

 

"Sure." Vigour answered before grinning. "Though warn me if we're going to fall somewhere instead of landing on the ground."

 

"We certainly won't fall but it won't be the ground either." Ink replied mysteriously as he opened a portal with a smile.

 

"Oh stars." Vigour groaned playfully before grabbing Ink's hand. "I'm taking you with me!"

With that he swam through the portal and into wherever it lies.

Which was falling through the air before hitting solid wood with a thud. "Ow!" he exclaimed in pain.

Cross saw the interaction from behind a large coral and made a portal before swimming through.

 

Ink managed to brace his fall slightly, looking at Vigour apologetically.

"Sorry." He apologised.

Blueberry dived after Cross.

 

Vigour sat up, rubbing his skull slightly. The fall had broken his breathing bubble.

"It's fine." he mumbled and looked around. Everything was dark but it was clear that they were in the middle of a large body of water, sitting on a medium sized boat. Above them he could see twinkling stars and the whisps of clouds in the sky.

"Where are we?" he asked. "And why'd you take me here? Stargazing?"

Cross managed to land gracefully behind a cabin attached to the boat, hiding behind it and spying at the duo.

 

Ink chuckled softly and stood up.

"No." He replied with a smile. He headed to the edge of the boat and laid down on his stomach, waving his hand through the water. A bluish glow appeared where he had touched the water.

Blue stumbled a bit when he landed, managing to catch himself by doing a spin.

 

Vigour's eyes widened at the sight and kneeled down beside Ink, watching the glow in amazement. It seemed to follow Ink's hand like a trail. Kinda like how some monsters used magic, they left a trail of evidence. It was so cool.

"How... how'd you do that?" he asked, leaning slightly closer to see better.

 

Ink just smiled and took Vigour's hand, guiding it through the water and creating a mesmerising streak of blue glow.

 

Vigour smiled when he could make the glowing trail. He smiled brighter as he waved his hand around in the water at different speeds. Even creating a small whirl in the water.

He had a sudden idea and stood up, quickly making a bubble around his skull before diving into the water.

 

"Vigour!" Ink shouted, startled at the action. He certainly hadn't been expecting that.

 

Vigour opened his eyes and looked around the water. He smiled when he noticed that the glow appears with each movement of his limbs. He giggled happily and spun around underwater, laughing cheerfully at the light show it created.

 

Ink chuckled when he saw what Vigour was doing and slowly slid into the cold water, a bluish glow lighting up the area around him as he swam to Vigour.

 

Vigour was still giggling and spinning around in the water. He began doing little acrobatic twirls and spins and circles underwater, smiling brightly at all the glow around him with each movement in the water.

 

Ink smiled brightly, spinning a bit.

 

Cross watched in fascination- and dripping wet- as the two skeleton danced under water. Their movements creating a light show in the dark sea.

"You're recording this right?" Cross whispered to Blue.

 

"All of it." Blue whispered back, slowly zooming in on them.

 

"Good. This is good material." Cross whispered as he watched the duo.

Vigour saw Ink swim towards him and smiled. He swam around Ink, over and under him creating an arch and circle around the other. He kept looking at Ink happily as he swam around the other.

 

"This is gold." Blue replied quietly.

Ink chuckled as Vigour encased him in a glowing ball.

 

Vigour smiled brightly and stopped in front of Ink with a wink. He raised both hands and quickly made a heart in the water, the shape glowing with his movements making a blue heart.

 

Ink flushed a rainbow of colours, smiling brightly. He swam forward a bit and hugged Vigour gently, giving him a small kiss.

 

Vigour smiled happily and hugged Ink tight. He gave Ink a small kiss to his skull and hummed happily.

 

Ink smiled brightly and swam around Vigour happily, lighting up the space around him.

 

Vigour laughed and began chasing after Ink in circles. None of them noticing a large approaching mass heading for them.

 

Ink giggled, swimming around happily.

Blue frowned slightly when he saw some part of the water glow blue where Ink and Vigour weren't touching it.

"What's that?" He asked, pointing at it.

 

Cross narrowed his eyes at it, noticing that it seemed to be moving very quickly. "I'm not sure."

 

"Do you think it's dangerous?" Blue asked, keeping careful track of the creature.

 

Cross shook his skull. "No murderous intent. If anything it's hungry."

 

"Maybe it's a whale?" Blue haphazarded as he watched the big creature.

 

Cross shook his skull. "I don't think so. It's not as big as a whale."

 

Blueberry hummed thoughtfully.

"Dolphin? Turtle? ... Jellyfish? I hope it's not a jellyfish."

 

Cross took a closer look before he finally saw what it was. "It's... it's a-"

Vigour laughed as he chased Ink around, he stilled when he saw a lot of glowing coming at them. He looked over in curiosity before his eyes widened in awe as large creatures swam around him causing a magnificent light show with the glowing.

"Manta rays!" he exclaimed in awe and joy.

 

Ink looked over at what Vigour was looking at. Damn those things were big. They looked awesome!

"Woah." He mumbled.

 

Vigour watched in awe as large Manta rays swam around them. Their movements caused more of the water to glow in trails.

Vigour smiled as they swam around them, not going near Ink or him. He cheered in joy before spinning and swimming around with them.

 

Ink watched Vigour with a large smile, swimming around excitedly.

 

Vigour swam around with the rays, looking as if he was dancing underwater on a spectacular stage. He looked at Ink and waved him over, encouraging him to join.

 

Ink chuckled and swam to Vigour, swimming around him with a smile.

 

"Please tell me you're getting this." Cross said as he watched the two skeleton dance underwater

 

"Got all of it." Blue replied with a small smirk. He was really glad that his phone was waterproof.

 

Vigour smiled as he swam with the rays and with Ink. The blue trail never ceased to amaze him. He loved this so much. So much beauty. So much wonder. And he was living it.

Vigour felt that his Soul was about to burst with emotion and swam upwards rapidly, jumping out of the water before diving back in. He laughed joyfully at the rush.

 

Ink chuckled and swam around Vigour, smiling brightly. He felt so happy. He hadn't felt that good in a long time.

 

Vigour spun around in place to watch Ink, smiling and laughing happily. The rays swam fast around them in a glorious display of elegance.

Vigour met Ink's eyes and smiled. It was not as wide as he used to. But it was big, soft and held the look of complete awe and love.

 

Ink flushed a small bit and swam up to Vigour, giving him a small kiss. It felt right.

 

Vigour blushed slightly before kissing Ink back shyly before swimming up to the surface.

 

Ink followed Vigour, his Soul humming with happiness. He was getting a small bit tired though.

 

Vigour reached the surface and his bubble popped. He met Ink's eyes and smiled. The area around him glowing with his movements, Ink's and the rays.

 

Ink smiled at him, truly happy. He had to hold himself back from hugging Vigour because they still needed to swim.

 

Vigour smiled at Ink, a few rays jumping over them. He realized that the sky was full of stars, the moon is rising in the horizon, the water was glowing with their movements and a few rays swimming all around them.

It was almost as if he was in an art.

He smiled brightly and swam towards Ink, kissing his lips quickly and happily with a bright blush.

Cross grinned as he managed to take a picture. He looked at it and grinned wider. Picture perfect.

 

Ink blushed a rainbow of colours when Vigour kissed him and kissed back immediately.

Vigour looked so beautiful...

 

After a moment Vigour pulled back smiling at Ink shyly. "S-So... we should probably go home. I'm starting to get a bit tired."

 

"Yeah. Me too." Ink agreed, shaking his skull a bit to get rid of the water inside.

"Do you want me to summon a portal here or on the boat?" He asked gently.

 

"I guess on the boat." Vigour shrugged slightly. "I'm not up to getting water anywhere we land."

 

"Right." Ink agreed with a chuckle. He took Vigour's hand and swam back to the boat.

 

Vigour let himself be pulled towards the boat. He was dripping wet. He clenched Ink's hand slightly for comfort.

"Okay, go ahead and open a portal." he said; his voice shaking at the end.

 

Ink hugged Vigour, his clothes dripping wet. He slowly raised his hand to summon a portal.

 

Vigour tensed slightly before taking a deep breath and stepping through with Ink.

Cross made a portal and jumped through, waiting for Blue.

 

They landed in front of Ink's house.

Ink promptly opened the door, yawning slightly. He kicked off his sneakers and quickly went to grab two towels, giving one to Vigour.

 

Vigour grabbed the towel and slipped off his shoes. He began drying himself off. Being wet while in formal clothing was really uncomfortable.

 

Ink used the second towel he had gotten to dry himself off, shivering a bit. It was pretty cold.

 

Vigour cleaned himself off and looked at his soaked clothes.

 

"I'm gonna borrow your bathroom for a bit. I need to change." Vigour said, waiting for Ink's approval.

 

"Sure." Ink agreed. He had two bathrooms so each of them could use one.

 

Vigour nodded and walked towards a bathroom. He should probably make more clothes. Maybe a sweater instead of a shirt? Hmm... thoughts.

 

Ink got himself some fresh clothes and dried himself off, changing into the fresh clothes.

 

After a few minutes Vigour walked into the living room wearing a large loose white sweater that had paint spots on it, it has a hood with splotty insides, a pair of loose brown pants and some pink fluffy bunny slippers.

Vigour cleaned his skull with a mostly wet towel. "Stars I need some more creative clothes design." he grumbled to himself. At least it was comfortable.

 

Ink looked up when he heard Vigour enter. He was wearing a pale brown shirt and a green jacket, his pants dark blue.

 

Vigour handed Ink the towel with a nervous smile. Should he dry it off himself or give it to Ink. He was not sure. "Uh... thanks for the towel."

 

"You're welcome." Ink replied, standing up as he took the towel. He put it onto the heater.

 

Vigour smiled slightly in relief. He looked at Ink with a small smile. "Um... how do I look? It's not... what I had wanted but um... thoughts?"

 

"Your hoodie looks awesome." Ink replied with a smile.

 

Vigour smiled. "Thanks. I uh.. made it a little too big." he said waving his hands which were half covered by the loose sleeves.

 

Ink chuckled softly.

"Your hands won't get cold then." He replied with a smile.

 

Vigour chuckles with him. "Yeah. Though it'll be hard to paint with my sleeves like this."

He yawned slightly, rubbing his eye sockets. "Or maybe sleep. Sleep sounds good."

 

"Yeah." Ink agreed, plopping down on the couch. He closed his eye sockets. He should probably get to his room but he didn't want to.

 

Vigour smiled and sat on the couch, stretching slightly with a small groan. He relaxed and looked up at the ceiling.

"By the way, thanks for the date today Ink." Vigour said softly with a small smile.

 

Ink flushed brightly, looking up at Vigour with a smile.

"Would you... like to do something like that again?" He asked softly.

 

Vigour smiled happily at him. "Sure. I really liked what we did."

He yawned slightly and hummed afterwards. "Though I am a bit exhausted. Good exhausted but tired nonetheless."

 

Ink nodded with a bright smile. He was glad that Vigour had enjoyed himself.

"Yeah. Me too." He agreed, yawning.

 

Vigour smiled and closed his eyes. "Well... maybe tomorrow I'll do something for you instead..." he mumbled sleepily dozing off.

 

Ink flushed a small bit. He drifted off, his skull leaning onto Vigour's shoulder.

Chapter Text

"So. How many friendships did that game of Monopoly ruin?" Ink asked with a grin.

 

Vigour snickered softly from beside Ink. He was back to wearing his normal clothes minus the gloves and sleeves.

Killer grinned at Ink from the floor- he was carving a piece of wood. "None, surprisingly. Except between Geno and Reaper that is."

Geno rolled his eye from his spot at the couch. "Not my fault he lost. I'm not his mom."

 

Reaper scoffed, saying nothing.

Ink chuckled.

"Who won?" He asked, looking around. He wouldn't be surprised if Blueberry had won again.

 

"Nightmare actually." Killer answered with a smile.

"Speaking of him where is he?" Vigour asked, looking around for the dark skeleton.

 

"Dream's not here either." Blue pointed out.

Ink hummed in thought. Maybe they were doing some brother stuff. He was glad the two got along again.

 

As if they'd been called, Nightmare walked into the room yawning softly. Dream following close behind. His black inky body shifting calmly as he rubbed his eye.

He looked and saw Ink and Vigour in the room. "When did you get here?" he asked.

 

"A few minutes ago." Ink replied with a small smile.

 

"Alright." Nightmare said rubbing his skull and stretched with a groan. That was the best sleep ever. Maybe being Dream's teddy bear again wasn't do bad. Though he still needed to get used to it after all these years.

 

Dream yawned, still looking a bit sleepy. That had been the best sleep he'd had in a long time.

 

Vigour looked at the crown on Nightmare's head and smiled. "That crown looks beautiful!" he said happily.

Nightmare tensed at his words while Killer raised a confused brow. When had Nightmare gotten that crown?

 

Dream looked up, noticing that Nightmare was still wearing his crown. He should be. Dream knew how much that crown meant to his twin.

Ink nodded.

"It does." He agreed.

 

Nightmare looked around nervously before grabbing the crown and taking it off to hide it. "I uh..."

Vigour tilted his skull in confusion. Why had he done that?

 

Dream frowned slightly.

"You should wear it if you want to." He explained.

 

Killer nodded in agreement. Despite being confused, Nightmare shouldn't be nervous to wear anything. Especially a crown that looked good on him.

Nightmare looked at the crown nervously before slowly putting it on his skull.

Vigour smiled happily. "When did you get it anyway?"

 

Dream only smiled, letting Nightmare do the explaining.

 

"I-I uh..." Nightmare stuttered softly. "It's... it's mine. From... a long time ago."

Vigour smiled. "It looks good."

 

Ink frowned slightly. A long time ago? What did Nightmare mean?

"What do you mean?" He asked.

 

"I uh..." Nightmare stuttered, looking away feeling lost. He looked at Dream for help. He looked down afterwards. He really didn't like being vulnerable. Maybe the transformation didn't complete?

 

"We got our crowns back when we were kids." Dream explained, pointing at his own crown.

Ink nodded.

 

Killer raised a brow at Nightmare but he didn't ask. He didn't ask about Nightmare's past. They all had terrible pasts. Nightmare could open up when he wanted to.

Vigour smiled and nodded. "They look cool!"

 

Dream smiled.

"How was the art gallery?" He asked, trying to change the topic.

 

Vigour froze and looked away with a nervous chuckle. "We didn't... uh... stay for very long?"

Killer chuckled under his breath. Cross had shared all the details last night.

 

"Oh. Did you go home after the gallery?" Dream asked, already knowing the answer.

 

Vigour blushed slightly with a wide happy and nervous grin.

"Actually...." he trailed off nervously before blushing. "Ink took me... to other places...?"

 

Ink smiled brightly.

"Yeah. We visited some AUs." He explained.

 

Vigour smiled and nodded happily. "Yeah! Ink took me to some fantastic places! I even swam with some manta rays! It was the best date ever!"

Nightmare grinned at them. "Did you Fuck?" he asked bluntly.

Killer laughed at the idea.

 

Ink flushed a small bit at the mention of it being a date, smiling happily. His face flushed completely when Nightmare asked that.

 

Geno chuckled softly at the look. "Is that a yes or...?"

Vigour blushed brightly and covered his face with a strained embarrassed noise.

 

"You can't just ask that." He scolded playfully.

Ink covered his glowing face.

 

Nightmare grinned at his twin, feeling no guilt for his question. "Why not? It's the only way to get the truth."

Vigour looked up with a pout at them. "We didn't... uh... you know. It's a little... fast?"

Killer shrugged. "To be fair, technically you two already did it. Being the same person and all. All you have to do his jack off in front of a mirror."

Nightmare laughed at the mental image.

 

Dream chuckled.

Ink's face flushed impossibly brighter as he let out an embarrassed noise.

 

Vigour sputtered in embarrassment. "I- uh- I- we- um-"

Vigour stood up and began backing away towards the kitchen. "I'll uh... go get some cookies and ice cream that I've been promised."

 

"Wait for me!" Ink shouted, running after Vigour.

Blue laughed. Dream chuckled, looking after Vigour and Ink.

 

Nightmare laughed as they practically 'noped' and ran into the kitchen.

Killer and Geno chuckled as they ran away. Killer turned towards Nightmare with a grin.

"We're teasing them both after this?" he asked knowingly.

Nightmare nodded between laughter.

 

Blue grinned. This was certainly going to be fun.

"How long do you think it'll take until they'll fuck?" He asked.

 

Nightmare shrugged at the question. "Probably very long. I can still feel very high self hate, anxiety, depression and other shit inside Vigour. Ink too but much milder."

Killer nodded and continued carving. "Right. It's a miracle they shared their feelings yesterday."

 

"Yeah." Blue agreed. "I really hope Vigour won't ever witness one of Ink's bad days." He added.

Dream nodded in agreement.

 

Killer frowned at them as he carved automatically. "Vigour should see Ink's bad days. Relationships stand on understanding, trust and compromise. That can't happen if they aren't truthful to each other and disguise as their best."

Nightmare nodded at them. "Killer's right. You can't keep someone with you by only showing your best. You have to show them your worst too. That's how relationships work."

 

"That's true but.." Dream shuddered a small bit. The utter hopelessness he'd felt from Ink that day had been scary.

 

"But nothing." Nightmare says firmly, frowning at his twin. "Ink needs to let Vigour see his worst self. And vice versa for Vigour."

Killer nodded. "Let's just hope it won't turn into a toxic or abusive relationship." he mumbled softly to himself but it was heard by everyone.

 

"We're here to keep that from happening." Blue replied. He was sure it wouldn't happen though.

 

"Yes but do you know the signs of a toxic/abusive relationship?" Nightmare questioned Blue.

Killer nodded in agreement. He had to. The Star Sanses turned a blind eye on their suffering and other suffering AUs like Horror's. Why would they focus on something as small as relationships- compared to whole AUs- when they couldn't even see the problem. For all he knew they could only see it as the couple's own way of loving each other, with hearts and sparks flying everywhere. When in reality the person, or both, were suffering.

 

"Yeah. It was an important part of my training." Blue explained.

 

Nightmare nodded before looking at Dream. Did he know anything about toxic/abusive relationships?

Geno shrugged. He almost never left the save screen so it really didn't help if there was no one to be aware of.

 

"I know a bit about it from what Blue has told me." Dream explained.

Reaper knew almost nothing about it.

 

Nightmare took that as an answer and turned away. "Better let us see the signs. We're used to it."

"Before you say anything," Killer said before they could come to any conclusions. "No we haven't dated anyone. We're just used to seeing it on others."

 

Dream nodded.

Blue got an idea and smirked slightly, rubbing his hands like a cartoon villain. He had just found his new shipping project.

 

Nightmare turned towards Blue when he felt mischief coming from the skeleton. "What is it this time?" he asked blankly.

 

Blueberry giggled.

"You'll see..." He replied with a bright, innocent smile that was very obviously fake.

 

Killer chuckled in amusement while Nightmare sighed. He was so used to this by now from his gang. "When will we see?"

 

"In a month tops." Blue replied happily, already starting to plan.

 

Geno rolled his eyes at Blue.

Killer chuckled softly, wondering if he could join if the plan was good.

Nightmare merely sighed and pinched the bridge of his nasal bone. "Please don't kill anyone. We have a truce."

 

"I would never kill anyone." Blue replied sweetly. At least not anyone here.

Dream huffed slightly, reminding himself to make sure to check Blue's EXP.

 

"Sure..." Nightmare said, already know that Blue did kill before to protect Stretch when they were younger. "Just don't accidentally kill anyone either. Or 'accidentally'."

 

"I'll try." Blue replied earnestly.

 

~~~

 

Vigour pulled out a tub of mint chip ice cream while Ink got the cookies. His face was slightly flushed which he hoped the ice cream would make disappear.

"What type of ice cream do you want?" he asked Ink as he stared at the gigantic fridge. It didn't look much from the outside but inside? It was magic- he chalked it up as. "They have like... a gigantic space for ice cream only. It's amazing."

 

Ink walked over to him with the cookies in hand.

"Woah!" He gasped. That was so much ice cream!

 

Vigour chuckled softly at Ink. "Yeah. So many flavors. Your pick? Also got any chocolate chip cookies?"

 

"I don't eat ice cream often. I have no idea which one I like best..." Ink whined.

 

Vigour chuckled at Ink. "Then I'd recommend rocky road. It's vanilla ice cream with marshmallows and bits of chocolate in it."

He paused and thought for a moment. "Saying it out loud, I kinda want one."

 

"It sounds delicious." Ink replied, smiling. He really liked the idea of ice cream with marshmallows.

 

Vigour nodded and pulled out a tub of rocky road ice cream. He closed the fridge and brought the two tubs of ice cream to the table. He walked over to the drawer and grabbed a plate and an ice cream scooper.

"Yes!" he said holding the scooper. "Knew they'd have it. Why wouldn't they?"

 

"That's cool!" Ink joked with a grin.

 

Vigour let out a startled yet joyful laugh at Ink's joke.

"Ice one!" he smiled brightly at Ink with a wink. "I didn't snow that coming! That was stretch I know." he shrugged and walked back towards the table.

 

Ink laughed, following Vigour. He put the cookies onto the table.

 

"Now!" Vigour grinned excitedly and waved his arms high. "Let's! Make! Ice cream cookies!!! Yes I have to scream cause I scream for ice cream!!!"

 

Ink laughed.

"I really like your enthusiasm." He replied.

 

Vigour picked up the cookies and set them one by one, flat side up, on the large plate with a smile.

"It's pretty much the only thing I can rely on." he said before chuckling. "And the only thing I can't get rid of. I've got the face of a Sans but the heart of an Undyne! Minus the fire!"

 

Ink smiled and hugged Vigour from behind, watching him while he prepared the cookies.

 

Vigour tensed in surprise before chuckling and letting Ink hug him. Loosely, thankfully. He might actually panic if Ink was tight with his hug.

Once the cookies were laid, he opened a tub of rocky road before putting a scoop of ice cream on each cookie.

 

Ink watched curiously as Vigour put ice cream onto the cookies. This was going to be a great sandwich.

 

Once he finished half the cookies, he grabbed another tub- mint chip ice cream- and did the same thing with the other half of the cookies.

 

"It looks so tasty." Ink commented, holding himself back from taking any before everything was done.

 

Vigour smiled and nodded. He grabbed the cookies and began placing a cookie on top of each ice cream.

"Can you clean this up while I finish this?" he asked softly.

 

"Sure." Ink agreed, letting Vigour go. He put the ice cream back into the ice cream heaven.

 

Vigour finally finished making a plate full of ice cream sandwiches and showed it to Ink.

"Ta da~! Now for the best part!" he said before taking one and eating it. "Num!"

 

Ink chuckled and took one, taking a bite. He hummed in bliss. It tasted like absolute perfection.

"It's so tastyyyy..." Ink murmured.

 

Vigour chuckled and swallowed his bite. "I'm glad you like it."

 

"I love it. It's the best thing I've ever eaten." Ink replied, stars in his eye sockets as he took another bite.

 

Vigour smiled happily. "I'm glad."

 

Ink smiled back.

"Soo... Do we have to share or are we going to eat them here?" He asked.

 

Vigour thought for a moment. "I'm tempted to just be a little shit and just keep it all after the teasing earlier as payback."

He chuckled softly before taking the plate. "But I won't. Come on. Let's share."

 

Ink chuckled. It would serve them right.

He nodded and followed Vigour into the living room.

 

Vigour walked into the living room and said loudly. "I got ice cream cookies!"

He playfully glared at them but the grin didn't convey any bad intentions of feelings. "Even though none of you deserve a treat."

 

Ink chuckled and snatched up another ice cream sandwich.

Blue brightened up.

"We totally don't." He agreed, taking one with a smile.

 

Nightmare chuckled and grabbed one for himself. So did Geno and Killer.

"Glad you agree." Vigour said faking satisfaction. He grabbed one and ate it happily.

 

Dream took an ice cream sandwich with a smile.

"Thanks." He said.

"Reaper don't you want any?" Blue asked.

Reaper frowned slightly.

"Geno says I shouldn't eat sweets because I'm too salty for it." He explained.

 

Geno snickered over his own ice cream sandwich. "No, I said you should eat sweets because you're too salty. Balance it out, kinda like a lemonade. Unless you like being a giant block of salt." he grinned at Reaper.

Nightmare chuckled softly at their interaction alongside Killer.

Vigour laughed softly at their words. His Soul humming with ease.

 

Ink laughed.

"I'm a skeleton, not a block of salt." Reaper muttered as he took an ice cream sandwich.

Blue giggled quietly.

 

"You sure?" Geno grins. "Because of how salty you are you should rename yourself Sodium Chloride."

 

"I don't even know what that means. Stop calling me salty and emo because I don't know what you want." Reaper sighed, taking a bite of the ice cream sandwich.

 

Meanwhile the others were too busy laughing to interject.

Vigour was the one who calmed down first, still snickering between words. "Sodium Chloride. The scientific name for salt."

Killer laughed and wiped away an imaginary tear. "Good one Geno."

 

"What does salty even mean?" Reaper whined.

Blue started laughing again.

 

Geno smiled proudly as he ate another treat he now deserved.

Nightmare chuckled softly. "It means being overly sour about something or an act in which a person is pouting over something." he shrugged slightly. "I think that's how you explain it."

Killer shrugs. "I can't do any better."

 

"Yeah." Dream agreed with a chuckle. Reaper was really salty.

"Oh. Geno you're salty too sometimes. I'm just overdramatic." Reaper explained.

 

Geno shrugged, not denying anything as he ate another sandwich. "At least I'm not emo."

 

Reaper groaned.

"Why do the words you're saying make even less sense than normal?!" He asked annoyedly.

 

Nightmare laughed loudly along with the others.

"Emo." Killer said in between laughs. "It means emotional or a social stereotype where it is oftentimes associated with people wearing dark colours like black, write poems all the time, is overly melancholic and listens to sad/rock music all the time."

 

Reaper flushed slightly.

"I don't write poems and do you really think people would take me serious if I showed up to reap them in a pink cape?" Reaper asked.

 

Vigour had to put the plate down before he crumbled to his knees with laughter at the mental image.

Killer had fallen on his back laughing and pounding the floor.

Nightmare was wiping away a tear in his eye from all the laughing. His cheeks were starting to hurt.

Geno snickered at Reaper. "I mean you'd probably still scare the crap out of them regardless. Also you don't deny the other stereotypes? Huh, now we know that you're part emo."

 

"I fucking tried it before because of a bet. They died laughing. Literally." Reaper scoffed, sending Ink into hysterics.

Blue was trying not to fall from the couch, clutching his ribcage.

 

Now Vigour was laughing so hard he was wheezing.

Killer had tears in his eyes from laughter.

Nightmare was laughing loudly. Was anyone recording this? This was pure gold.

Geno laughed with a flush on his face. "Maybe you should wear it again. Or a dress. Maybe they'll have a treat before their inevitable death."

 

Dream was trying not to shake too much as he recorded the whole thing.

"I don't look good in dresses. I should really stop betting with Life..." He hummed.

 

"Life makes amazing bets!" Killer said in between laughing. "I need to get a picture of you wearing that pink monstrosity!"

"Share it with me please!" Vigour said, mostly to the floor with his hunched state.

Geno hummed for a moment. "What if you made a bet with me? If I win, you'll wear a dress that I'll pick out for you."

 

Reaper rolled his eyes.

"I'm not falling for it." He replied. "Unless it's a bet that I can make you laugh for another five minutes at least." He added.

 

Geno grinned at him. It would be so easy considering how cool he could be and how much control he had over his emotions. "What if a bet where I can make you speechless?"

 

"I've seen everything. What do I get out of it?" Reaper asked.

 

"What do you want from me?" Geno asked with a grin.

"Oh this will be good." Nightmare purred out with a large grin, content to watch the show.

 

Reaper hummed in thought.

"You have to stop teasing me for a we- month." He decided.

 

Geno shrugged. "Sure. Start now?" he asked with a grin.

 

"Okay." Reaper replied. He was sure he'd manage to win this bet.

 

Geno grinned and grabbed Reaper's cheek. Thankfully he couldn't die- 'thankfully'.

He pulled Reaper close and kissed him deeply.

Vigour looked up and cheered happily- and breathlessly- at the sight. More happiness!!! His Soul felt so full of happiness it was gonna explode!

 

Reaper looked up when Geno grabbed his cheek. That was all-?

His eye sockets widened when Geno kissed him. He flushed brightly, staring at him, not believing what was happening.

Dream clapped while still laughing.

 

Nightmare had to cover his- and Killer's- mouth to not ruin the moment.

Geno pulled away with a smug grin when Reaper didn't say anything. "I win."

 

Reaper just stood there, shocked before suddenly teleporting away. Probably to scream into a pillow.

 

Geno laughed loudly when Reaper disappeared. That was the best reaction ever.

Killer chuckled when the tentacle wasn't covering his mouth anymore. "Hopefully Reaper will remember about the bet."

Nightmare laughed loudly at that. This would be so priceless to see that hipster wearing a dress.

 

"Do you need help picking the dress out?" Ink asked with a smirk.

 

Geno shook his skull and pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket. "No but I need help making it."

"Wait...." Nightmare grinned. "You planned this didn't you?"

Geno looked over with a grin.

 

Ink chuckled.

"You evil genius." He joked.

Blue leaned close to see the paper.

 

Geno shrugged and showed Blue the picture. "Can someone bring him here after Ink finishes the dress?"

"Can I help?!" Vigour jumped up excitedly.

 

"Oh my stars, it'll look awesome on Reaper." Blue mumbled in amazement.

"I can try." Dream offered with a smile.

 

Geno nodded with an evil smile. "Let's get started."

 

~~~

 

Dream opened a portal and dragged Reaper through who looked so done with the world.

 

Geno looked over from the pile of giggling monsters and smirked at Reaper. He stood up but blocked the view of whatever they were making.

"Took you long enough. Remember our bet?" he grinned wide.

 

Reaper sighed.

"Yeah..." He mumbled, looking down. That kiss had probably meant nothing... Or everything... He wasn't sure.

 

"Good!" Geno said, reaching behind him and pulled out the dress everyone had helped recreate. "So this is what you'll he wearing."

Vigour chuckled as he put down his brush. They had done a good job on that dress. They'd even made the small head jewelry.

 

Reaper stared at the dress dumbfoundedly. Geno wanted him to wear... That?!

The dress was sleeveless, there weren't even shoulderstraps, and it was a bright red, a long slit going down from the waist. The inside was black with a red pattern and there was a black belt too.

All in all, something he regretted betting on wearing.

 

Geno smiled at him and handed him the dress. "Go ahead. I want to see it. There's a room down the hallway to the left. Be quick." he winked at Reaper.

Nightmare chuckled at the look on Reaper's face.

 

Reaper sighed in defeat and shuffled away with the dress. He really didn't want to wear it. He'd look terrible wearing it and even if Geno had meant anything with the kiss he'd be disgusted by him...

 

Geno smiled as he watched Reaper walk away.

"Someone go make some comfort food for Reaper." Geno said without turning around. "He'll need it."

"I can do it!" Vigour offered. "But what does he like?"

 

Reaper sighed and locked himself into the room Geno had pointed out. He had no idea how to put on a dress.

 

Nightmare shrugged.

"Maybe we can make some more ice cream cookies?" Killer suggested.

"Sounds good to me." Geno said making Vigour nod before walking towards the kitchen to make more.

 

Reaper struggled to get himself inside the dress, almost dislocating his arm reaching for the zipper.

Blueberry got out his camera.

 

~~~

 

Vigour walked in with a literal mountain of ice cream cookies and a large smile.

"Will this be enough?" he asked making Geno chuckle.

"Yup. I wonder what's taking Reaper so long?" he asked.

"Better question is where's Blue?" Nightmare said looking around.

 

Reaper sighed when he heard a high pitched giggle.

"Blue, I know it's you. Please help me." He sighed, hopelessly entangled in the dress.

Blue laughed quietly as he stepped out of his hiding spot, his camera fixated on his shoulder as he stepped up to help Reaper.

"You have to summon your ecto-body for it to work." He explained with a giggle. That wasn't necessarily true.

 

Blue walked over and helped Reaper get out of his dress, being very careful not to touch any of his bones since only Ink and Geno could touch him. At least the magic laced gloves he was wearing helped.

He held the dress and looked at Reaper with a small giggle full of mischief. "It'll help if you summon a body for the dress to put and stay on."

 

Reaper flushed slightly. He hadn't noticed the camera yet.

 

"Not a word to anyone about this." He growled as he gathered his magic to summon his ecto-body.

 

Blue cheered at the sight of the blue ecto body that Reaper summoned. His ecto stomach was blue and perfectly curved.

"You look beautiful!" he praised sincerely. He walked over and opened the zipper to help it get on. He opened it under Reaper, ready for him to step through.

 

Reaper flushed slightly, stepping through the dress hesitantly.

 

Blue pulled the dress up Reaper's body and turned around to carefully zip up the zipper. He looked Reaper up and down and fixed the dress a little.

"Oh!" Blue brightened and pulled out a ribbon that was attached to a large black flower. "This should be attached to the dress on one shoulder to keep it up and steady. Unless you don't want it."

 

Reaper sighed.

"Just put it on..." He mumbled. This couldn't get any more humiliating.

 

Blue smiled and tied one end of the ribbon to a small hole on the front of the dress. He pulled it up and tied the other end neatly in another hoop on the back of the dress. The flower laid perfectly on Reaper's shoulder.

He backed away and smiled happily. "You look stunning!"

 

"I do not and we both know it." Reaper replied, forcing away his emotions. His voice sounded monotonous.

 

Blue frowned and walked towards the door before he opened it. "Let's go show the others. I'm sure they'll say you look amazing."

 

Reaper sighed and followed Blue, his eye sockets dark.

 

Geno looked up when he heard footsteps and smiled when he saw Reaper. Reaper looked... exquisite.

Vigour looked up and smiled brightly while the others looked shocked/pleased.

"You look beautiful Reaper!" Vigour said brightly. Reaper looked so elegant and stunning yet there was a deadly aura to him. He looked amazing!

 

"Yeah." Dream agreed with a smile.

"I really don't." Reaper replied, floating over to the spot he had been sitting in previously.

 

Geno frowned and walked over to Reaper. He stared down at Reaper before leaning close and putting his arms on the sides of Reaper's skull.

"Do you know why I asked you to wear a dress instead of wearing something stupid?" he asked seriously.

 

"Probably because I look even worse wearing a dress." Reaper replied.

 

"No. The opposite actually." Geno said, leaning away to look Reaper up and down. "I do like teasing you. But I like you better when you look like this. Not stupid. Gorgeous."

Vigour smiled and ate an ice cream sandwich.

 

Reaper rolled his eyes. Geno was just saying that. He didn't mean it.

"Sure." He deadpanned.

Dream frowned. He couldn't feel any emotions from Reaper.

 

"What do you want me to do to prove that what I'm saying is the truth?" he growled out with narrowed eyes. Reaper was such a hard headed skeleton!

"He's suppressing his emotions." Nightmare whispered at Dream as he ate a sandwich. "Be warned of the flood when the dam breaks."

 

"I dunno." Reaper replied monotonously, staring up at Geno.

Dream nodded. He wondered if Reaper did that often.

 

Geno huffed in frustration before leaning down to gently press a kiss to Reaper's cheek. He began pressing kisses all over Reaper's skull.

"I guess." kiss. "I'll just-" kiss "Have to show you-" kiss kiss "The best way that I can." kiss.

 

Reaper flushed slightly, trying to pull away. He didn't need those emotions. Geno couldn't feel the same so he shouldn't either.

 

Geno used a hand to cup Reaper's cheek and kissed his forehead gently. He pulled away and looked into Reaper's eyes.

"Why are you so annoying sometimes?"

 

Reaper frowned. Geno was being the annoying one at that moment.

 

Geno gently took Reaper's chin and tilted his skull upwards. "Answer me Reaper. Why do you refuse to feel or believe anything good I tell you?"

 

"Because it's not true." Reaper responded matter of factly.

"The only thing I am is a cold-blooded killer who reaps the Souls of the dead. Nothing good there." He explained.

 

"What you just described is your job. Not you." Geno said firmly with a glare.

 

"My name literally is Reaper. I am my job." Reaper replied factually.

 

Geno glared at Reaper feeling slightly angry and frustrated. Why was he such a little-!

Geno took a deep breath before exhaling softly. He turned towards Nightmare and Killer. "Do you agree with his bullshit?"

Nightmare and Killer shook their skulls.

"Nope." Killer said factually.

"Not at all." Nightmare agreed.

 

"Where did you even get that idea from?" Blue asked worriedly.

"My AU. Everyone says it." Reaper replied.

 

"And you should believe them?!" Vigour said looking angry.

"Vigour's right." Nightmare said softly. "People say a lot of things. Most of them are wrong or the product of jealousy, hate, disgust and fear."

 

Reaper huffed, staring up at Geno.

 

"Why can't you believe us?" Geno said growling. "You can believe strangers but not the people you trust?"

 

Reaper sighed. He knew they just wanted him to feel better.

"You're so much more than just your work." Blue said.

 

Geno narrowed his eyes at Reaper. Why was he such a stubborn bastard?!

"Do I really need to fuck you unconscious for you to believe it?" he growled bluntly.

 

Reaper flushed brightly. Geno would do that? He flushed even more at thinking that, gathering up his magic to teleport.

 

"Oh no you don't!" Geno said when he felt the familiar magic gathering, grabbing Reaper's face and kissing him deeply to throw him off his concentration. He couldn't use magic when he was distracted.

 

Reaper gasped as Geno kissed him, his magic disappearing. He stared up at him dazedly.

 

Vigour smiled and looked away politely.

Geno pulled away after a moment and looked into Reaper's eyes with a frown.

"The offer still stands." he said calmly despite the slight blush on his face.

 

Reaper's face flushed impossibly brighter.

"You'd have to take me on a date first." He mumbled quietly.

 

Geno grinned. "Alright. Where do you want to go?"

Nightmare snickered softly as he covered his face. What was his life now?

 

"Wait. Really?" Reaper asked surprisedly as he stared up at Geno. 

 

"Do you want me to fuck you first instead?" Geno asked with a grin.

 

Reaper hid his face in his hands, whining embarrassedly.

Dream frowned a bit. There was a storm of different emotions in Reaper, changing too fast for him to register them properly.

 

Geno pulled away slightly, staring at Reaper with concern. "You okay Reaper?" he asked softly.

 

"I'm fine." Reaper replied with a nod. "I just can't believe you'd really want to go on a date with me." He explained.

Blue sighed. There he went again...

 

"Why'd you think I wouldn't?" Geno asked before shaking his skull. "Nevermind. If you're ready, pick a place for our date."

 

"Okay." Reaper mumbled quietly. He had no idea where he'd want to go. Probably an aquarium because he liked fish. Or a cinema.

 

Vigour smiled at the sight and looked at Ink. "So... should we leave them alone?"

Killer looked at Nightmare questioningly. Should they leave?

 

Ink nodded and quietly left the room. Dream followed him and Blue somehow managed to disappear.

 

Vigour quickly followed Ink. He was still sorta uncertain about where everything was and he didn't want to get lost. Plus he had terrible memory.

Nightmare nodded and followed the others. Killer looked at him for a moment before dropping whatever he had been carving on the table before following Nightmare.

 

Reaper looked after the others, confused why they had left. He looked back up at Geno.

 

Geno noticed the lack of people and chuckled. "They're probably giving us privacy."

He noticed the wooden figure on the table and picked it up.

 

"What do we need privacy for?" Reaper asked.

 

Geno shrugged and kept the wooden thing in his pocket. "For our date? Or for fucking."

 

Reaper flushed brightly.

"We could go to the aquarium?" He suggested quietly.

 

Geno nodded and opened a portal. He looked at Reaper and grinned. He held his hand out at the other skeleton, feeling extremely smug.

 

Reaper flushed as he realised he was still wearing the dress but took Geno's hand.

 

Geno gently pulled Reaper up and began walking towards the portal, chuckling softly under his breath.

"Oh I can't wait to see all those jealous people when they see my date." he mumbled to himself. "Better not touch anyone though. Or pull out your scythe. Don't want to accidentally kill them."

 

Reaper flushed slightly but let himself be pulled through the portal.

"They're gonna be jealous of me." Reaper corrected him with a smile.

 

Geno grinned at him. "That's exactly what I said."

 

Reaper flushed. He had meant...

"No.. I..." He mumbled, his face glowing.

 

Geno chuckled and nuzzled Reaper gently. "Don't even think about it. You're stunning and I'll make sure you'll believe it."

 

Reaper flushed a bit more and nuzzled back happily.

"You can try..." He mumbled quietly.

 

Geno smirked at him. "Oh I will do more than try."

Chapter Text

Geno smirked at him. "Oh I will do more than try."

 

Reaper looked at Geno, trying to figure out what he meant when he suddenly caught sight of a tank. He gasped, staring at the fish.

 

Geno smiled and let Reaper look around. He felt so proud for choosing this place. He paid the entrance fee, smiling when the person behind the counter looked stunned at Reaper.

 

"Look at all the fish!" Reaper gasped excitedly. There were so many. He could name each one of them. He loved fish.

 

Geno chuckled at Reaper. "We'll see the fishes soon. We need to pay inside first."

He snapped his fingers in front of the person behind the counter who snapped out of his trance and apologised. Geno got his tickets and walked over towards Reaper.

"Come on hon." he smiled as he gently took Reaper's hand to pull him inside.

 

Reaper smiled and gripped Geno's hand, smiling at him. He followed him inside, gasping immediately, a bright smile on his face.

 

Geno noticed immediately how almost everyone's eyes were on his date. He grinned smugly at them and wrapped his arm around Reaper's hips loosely.

"Which area do you want to see first?" Geno asked softly at Reaper.

 

Reaper noticed that Geno was holding him but he didn't care.

"I wanna see everything. I can't deciddeee..." Reaper whined dramatically, staring at the map. There was so much to see.

 

Geno chuckled and covered Reaper's eyes with his free hand. It gained a few jealous looks from a few people.

"Well then pick one without seeing." Geno cooed softly. "Maybe it'll be fun."

 

Reaper nodded excitedly and pointed at the map blindly.

 

Geno smiled and removed his hand to show that Reaper had chosen the jellyfish cave.

 

Reaper gasped in delight.

"Wow! Jellyfish are so cool!" He explained.

"Did you know that they don't have a brain? They have managed to survive without brains for so long and that really explains some people."

 

"Really?" Geno smiled at his mate. Internally he was laughing at the looks Reaper was receiving after that little fun fact.

'That's right bitches. My mate is gorgeous and smart.'

 

"They're so cool! Let's go!" Reaper prompted enthusiastically, taking Geno's hand with a bright smile.

 

Geno chuckled softly and let himself be dragged away by Reaper to the jellyfish cave.

 

Reaper gasped excitedly when he saw a jellyfish, pressing his face against the glass tank.

"Wow." He mumbled, sounding mesmerised. The jellyfish looked so graceful.

 

Geno chuckled as he watched Reaper be mystified by blobs of barely sentient animals.

"You should see the actual cave. They turn off the lights to see the glowing ones." Geno informed after a few minutes watching Reaper.

 

Reaper gasped.

"There's glowing ones?!" He asked excitedly.

 

Geno chuckled and nodded. "Of course there are."

 

"I need to see them." Reaper replied excitedly. He took Geno's hand and gasped when he saw a sign, pulling the other along.

 

Geno smiled and let Reaper drag him towards the darkened area of the tank.

 

Reaper gasped in excitement when he saw the glowing jellyfish. They looked so cool.

"They're so cool. Almost as cool as you." He mumbled, mesmerised.

 

"Aw... thanks hon." Geno said, walking up to Reaper and hugging him gently from behind. He kissed the back of Reaper's skull happily. "But you're much more beautiful."

 

Reaper relaxed into the hug, flushing slightly.

 

Geno chuckled for a moment before growing silent as he watched the floating jellyfish swim by slowly.

 

"They're so amazing for a species who doesn't have a brain." Reaper mumbled quietly.

 

Geno chuckled. "No brain but plenty deadly. Their 'tentacles' have little harpoons in them that shoot out and inject venom at a single brush."

 

"They're so amazing." Reaper breathed out in awe, staring at the deadly jellyfish.

 

"Beautiful and deadly." Geno hummed and nuzzled Reaper. "Just like you."

 

Reaper flushed a bit more, smiling slightly. Maybe Geno was right.

 

Geno smiled as he watched the jellyfish with Reaper. It was nice. Also he could practically feel the jealous looks from other people in the area. Even a few arguments, most likely from a few couples that had caught their mate staring at Reaper.

He chuckled lowly at the thought. "So... what do you want to see next?"

 

Reaper gasped when he got an idea.

"Can we please go see the seahorses?" He asked, his eye lights glowing brightly.

 

Geno smiles and nods. "Of course. Lead the way hon."

 

Reaper flushed slightly but his smile brightened a small bit as he lead the way.

 

Geno smiled and let himself be dragged away by his excited mate. He glared at a few people who looked at Reaper lustfully. He might have to stay close to Reaper. No one knew what these people would do to his mate if they ever separated.

 

Reaper didn't notice the gazes resting on him and dragged Geno to the seahorse tank. He stared at them excitedly.

"Look how adorable they are!" He gushed.

 

Geno smiled and nodded. "They are."

He pointed to a pink branchy coral slightly stubby coral. "Look there. There's a small seahorse hiding there called a Pigmy Seahorse. One of the smallest in the world."

 

Reaper gasped as he spotted the seahorse. It was so tiny!

 

Geno smiled softly and wrapped an arm around Reaper's waist.

"Did you know that seahorses use their prehensile tails to wrap around coral? They can't swim properly with their little fin so they hang on for dear life on coral and seaweed."

 

"That's so cool." Reaper replied, relaxing into the touch.

 

"Yeah." Geno smiled and points to a large seahorse that had long weed like fealers. It almost looked like a floating piece of seaweed or kelp. "That's a Sea Dragon. A type of seahorse. But they're super endangered."

 

"It looks so awesome." Reaper whispered awed, pressing his face against the glass.

 

Geno let go and watched Reaper happily. At least he was happy which was an achievement in his book. Reaper was hardly happy so this was also a treat that Geno was the one who'd made him happy.

 

Reaper chuckled softly as he watched the seahorses, looking happy. He stepped back a pace and took Geno's hand with a slight flush. Now he was truly happy.

 

Geno smiled at the flush and kissed his cheek softly.

"So," he started softly. "Where to? Sharks? Or coral reef?"

 

Reaper flushed a small bit.

"Sharks?" He asked hopefully. He loved sharks.

 

Geno nodded and looked at the map for directions. After a moment he walked towards the shark exhibit, pulling Reaper gently.

 

Reaper followed Geno happily, taking great care not to start floating in happiness.

 

Geno pulled Reaper to a large area where there were some fishes and lots of sharks.

He smiled and pointed at a brown shark on the sandy bed. "That's a nurse shark. They mostly feed at the bottom."

 

"Wow! You know so much about fish!" Reaper pointed out with a big smile.

 

Geno shrugs. "Only small facts. Not many details."

He pointed to a shark swimming around that has a black tip on its dorsal fin. "That's a- ironically named- black tip reef shark."

 

Reaper chuckled softly, gripping Geno's hand a bit tighter.

 

Geno pointed towards another shark but with a white tip. "That's a white tip reef shark."

He pointed to a shark with a long elegant tail. "I'm not sure if I'm right or not but I think that's a zebra shark."

 

"Woah!" Reaper gasped. They looked so cool! His eye lights were glowing brightly which was a rarity on itself but he seemed extremely happy too.

 

Geno smiled and watched the sharks and fishes swim by. Not noticing how a human male was slowly creeping towards Reaper.

 

"Do you think the sharks get living prey sometimes?" Reaper asked, looking at the big, sharp teeth some of the sharks had.

 

Geno shrugged. "Sharks in tanks are mostly spoilt. Hand fed. If they hunted these fish would have been eaten long ago. But I'm not sure. Gotta ask the person who works here."

 

"Right." Reaper replied with a chuckle, turning to Geno with a smile.

 

Geno looked at Reaper with a smile before it fell. He growled and spun Reaper around just in time to grab a hand that had almost touched his mate.

He glowered at the human. "What. Do you think. You're doing?" he growled lowly with his eye flickering.

 

Reaper yelped in surprise as he was spun around, staying behind Geno as he looked at the man confusedly. What had just happened?

 

The man looked at Geno in shock and fear. "Hey man! I wasn't doing anything!"

"Really?" Geno growled. "Cause that hand was getting too close and too low to my mate there."

 

Reaper glowered at the human. He would have died if he had touched him. And he had his ecto-body summoned. He didn't like anyone touching his ecto-flesh.

 

Geno leaned down menacingly. "Why don't you leave before I call security on you for attempted harassment/molestation."

 

Reaper held onto Geno gently to ground himself.

 

The human sweated nervously at the look Geno directed at him. "H-hey! N-no need for that! I-I'll leave now!"

"Good." Geno growled before letting go of the cowering human who ran away from them. He scoffed under his breath and muttered lowly.

 

Reaper hugged Geno gently, nuzzling him softly.

 

Geno huffed angrily before turning around and hugging Reaper. His anger slowly diminished as he hugged his love.

"Rude asshole." he mumbled lowly with a deep frown.

 

"Thanks, Geno." Reaper murmured softly, snuggling him gently.

 

Geno smiled slightly, hugging Reaper back for a moment before pulling away.

"Sorry that asshole soured the mood." he apologized softly, his hand rubbing Reaper's cheek gently. "I know how excited you were earlier."

 

"It's not your fault. Thanks for keeping it from escalating." Reaper murmured, flushing a bit. Geno had not only done that but he had called Reaper his mate.

 

Geno smiled and nuzzled Reaper gently. "I was so tempted to just let him touch you. Then he would learn a painful- and final- lesson."

 

Reaper nodded.

"Why did he want to touch me anyways?" He asked confusedly.

 

Here Geno grinned at him, his hand gently grasped Reaper's chin to tilt his skull upwards. "Because, my little Reaper. You look so damn hot in that dress. Have you not notice the stares you've been receiving ever since came here?"

 

Reaper flushed brightly.

"No, I didn't notice..." He mumbled quietly, looking around. There were several people staring at him, making him flush all the more.

 

Geno chuckled and hugged Reaper close to him, pushing his skull to Geno's chest as if to hide him from the stares.

 

Reaper hugged back, hiding his face in Geno's jacket with a bright blush. He let out a flustered noise.

 

Geno chuckled at the noise and nuzzled the top of Reaper's skull. "Let's continue our date. Ignore them. They won't bother you while I'm around."

 

"Thanks, Geno." Reaper murmured. He knew Geno would protect him. He hummed softly. They still had to see the coral reef.

 

Geno smiled and pulled away and mock bowed, grinning at Reaper. "Let's continue our date shall we m'lady?"

 

Reaper flushed brightly but took Geno's hand anyways, walking towards the room with the coral reef.

 

Geno smirked and followed Reaper happily.

He smiled wider when they reached the room. All the tanks were filled with colourful coral and fish. He even saw some clown fish swimming around an anemonea.

 

Reaper gasped quietly when he saw all the fish. They looked so awesome and beautiful!

He pressed his face against the glass wall, staring at them with wide eye sockets.

 

Geno smiled and stood behind Reaper, watching the fishes and corals with crossed arms.

He pointed to a large emerald green fish with a bump on his head. "That's a parrot fish. It can make a sack made of mucus around itself whenever it sleeps."

He pointed to a red shrimp hidden in the rocks. "That's a cleaner shrimp. Fishes of all kind come to it for cleanup. It eats microscopic organisms on the fishes."

 

Reaper looked back at Geno and smiled brightly, looking at the fish he pointed out.

"Wow!" He responded excitedly.

 

Geno smiled and pointed towards more fishes. He wrapped his arm around Reaper's hips and pulled him slightly closer as he named the fishes he knew.

 

Reaper smiled and listened to Geno explain him things about the various fish.

"That's so cool." He mumbled.

 

Geno smiled and nodded. "Yeah. Did you know that corals release their eggs only once a year in mass quantities? Like, every coral all at once."

 

"I didn't know that. That's like. So many eggs!" Reaper gasped.

 

"Exactly." Geno chuckled. "Those eggs get swept by the waves and find other places to stay. Then, those places will have coral. It's why coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems in the ocean. They're like... a city underwater."

 

"That's so amazing!" Reaper replied excitedly.

 

"Yeah..." Geno smiled. "The ocean is amazing. You should see the deep end of it. The midnight zone as most call it. They have some weird yet fascinating sea creatures that scientists are still trying to discover. Really, I think evolution kicked in before Ink knew it." he chuckled softly.

 

Reaper chuckled and nodded. He really wanted to see it for himself.

 

After a few minutes, Geno withdrew from the window and looked around. He grinned smugly with a glare when he caught some eyes that were watching Reaper. He loved this bet. And date.

 

Reaper looked around curiously at what Dust was looking and flushed brightly when he caught some people staring.

 

Geno turned towards Reaper with a small smile. He leaned towards Reaper slightly to show comfort. "Want to go see the aquatic show? I heard they have dolphins and orcas."

 

Reaper was immediately distracted by what Geno had said.

"Orcas?!" He asked excitedly.

 

Geno nodded once with a small smile. "Yeah. Though it's funny how they're called killer whales when they're actually dolphins. Anyways, the show stars in five minutes."

 

"Let's go!" Reaper replied excitedly, smiling brightly. He really wanted to see some orcas.

 

Geno smiled and held his hand out to take Reaper's.

He gently pulled Reaper towards the place where the show was though they had to take an escalator because it was at the upper level on the surface.

 

Reaper took Geno's hand happily, following him with an excited smile.

 

"So..." Geno spoke after a moment. "How do you like the date so far?"

 

"It's been amazing." Reaper replied with a bright smile, a small blush on his cheek bones.

 

Geno smiles slightly. "I'm glad you're enjoying yourself. Despite what happened earlier."

 

"Thank you so much for helping me." Reaper responded with a thankful smile.

 

"That's not what I was talking about." Geno said as they walked down the crowded hallways. He made sure no one was close to Reaper. "I meant this morning."

 

"Oh. I had honestly forgotten about that." Reaper admitted with a small frown.

 

Geno frowned slightly and put an arm loosely around Reaper's shoulders. "Hey, it's okay."

 

Reaper leaned into the touch with a small sigh.

 

Geno smiled and pulled him closer. "Well, at least I got you to agree to go on a date with me."

 

"Yeah. I'm glad I agreed." Reaper responded with a small smile.

 

Geno smiled happily and pressed a small kiss to Reaper skull. "I'm glad too."

 

Reaper flushed slightly, humming happily.

 

They walked like that until they reached the exhibit where the show was. Geno payed the fee and walked inside, sitting in the middle row with Reaper. He was not risking Reaper getting wet from the inevitable splash.

 

Reaper sat down next to Geno, almost vibrating with excitement as he looked around. He scooted a bit closer to Geno, leaning onto him.

 

Geno smiled at the action and put an arm around Reaper. "You know that dolphins like to play a lot? They're more like kids than anything."

 

Reaper nodded, relaxing into the touch.

"They're like really smart kids." He agreed.

 

Geno nodded. "They would find some shells, coral or sponge to play with. If not, they'll use them as tools to find food in the sand."

 

"That's so cool." Reaper mumbled, cuddling into Geno slightly.

 

"Yeah." Geno agreed softly, noticing more people pouring in. The show would probably be starting soon. "Some have also seen dolphins swimming with the waves. They surf."

 

"Wow." Reaper replied, sounding astonished.

 

"Yeah." Geno chuckled softly. "They know how to have more fun than me."

 

"If you want to surf, we could try it." Reaper suggested.

 

Geno looked at Reaper in surprise before looking away and chuckling nervously. "I don't think it's a good idea. I have terrible balance. I'd probably fall and the dolphins will laugh at me."

 

Reaper chuckled softly.

"I can float next to you and help you keep your balance." He explained.

 

Geno laughed at the mental image. "You'll make it worse cause I'd be repeatedly falling for you!"

 

Reaper flushed, giggling quietly as he hugged Geno.

 

Geno chuckled and hugged Reaper happily. "I think they're about to start. Do you want to eat dinner after this?"

 

"Please." Reaper replied, smiling happily as he relaxed into the hug.

 

"Of course." Geno chuckled softly as he watched the workers starting to get ready for the show. "What do you want?"

 

"Could we get some pizza?" Reaper asked hopefully, looking up at Geno.

 

"Of course." Geno promised happily. "Let's just enjoy the show first okay?"

 

"Yeah." Reaper replied excitedly, smiling happily.

Reaper gasped quietly when the show started. It was truly amazing! He cuddled into Geno with a bright smile, watching excitedly. Next time he'd ask Geno out.

Chapter Text

Ink smiled as he connected some of his notes, creating an interesting story line.

 

Vigour yawned slightly from his spot on the couch. He was laying on his back with his eyes closed, arms behind his skull and one leg crossed over the other lazily. Calm and quiet. Oh how he'd missed this.

 

Ink smiled as he connected the back stories of some of the characters, building up a convincing plot. He giggled mischievously. He had forgotten just how much fun this was.

 

Vigour heard the giggle and shook his skull with a small fond smile. Honestly he had been with this skeleton for almost two months now. By now he knew what that giggle meant. Ink was having a brainstorm again.

 

Ink's giggling joy stopped abruptly. He flinched violently when he felt a stinging pain in his Soul.

 

Vigour twitched when he felt second hand pain in his Soul. He opened his eyes and sat up quickly when he saw Ink in pain.

"Ink?!" he exclaimed in concern. "What's wrong?"

 

Ink winced, gritting his teeth. The pain never got any more bearable.

"Error's destroying an AU." He explained, trying to take deep breaths.

 

Vigour tensed and nodded, sitting down beside Ink. "Okay. Just tell me if I can help."

 

Ink winced as his Soul pulsed in pain.

"Gotta stop him." He mumbled, getting up, his eye lights a bit hazy with agony.

 

Vigour's eyes widened and he quickly grabbed Ink's wrist- ignoring how phantom pains shot through his own arm at the touch.

"Ink no. You have a truce." Vigour reminded softly. "Some copies probably got too big and had to be destroyed."

 

Ink flinched as he was touched.

"Truce?" He asked confusedly, his eye lights slowly coming back into focus.

 

"Yes Ink, a truce." Vigour said calmly. "Error has to destroy AUs because if not they might touch and the Multiverse will destroy itself."

 

It looked like there were gears turning inside Ink's skull and finally he nodded.

"R-right. Sorry." He mumbled.

 

Vigour shivered before pulling his arm back a little too quickly. He gave Ink a small comforting smile, hiding his subtle shaking.

"It's alright. It's easy to forget something new when you've been acting on habit all this time." Vigour said softly. "I know how that feels."

 

Ink nodded slightly.

 

"You okay?" Vigour asked Ink in concern.

 

Ink nodded again.

"It's just kind of painful..." He mumbled, his whole body and his very Soul pulsing in pain.

 

Vigour nodded in understanding. "Okay. Tell me if you need anything okay?"

 

Ink nodded once again.

"I will..." He mumbled quietly, rubbing his sternum gently to soothe the pain.

 

Vigour sighed and looked away when he didn't have anything to say. What could he say?

 

Ink took calming breaths, trying to reduce the pain by even a small bit.

 

Vigour could only watch sadly as Ink went through the pain. He wished he could help but he couldn't. The best he could do was give support.

 

Ink stood up and went to the kitchen wordlessly to look for a painkiller or something.

 

Vigour watched Ink leave before sighing softly. He was so useless. He couldn't even help his date mate.

 

Ink got himself a painkiller and swallowed it dry, trudging back to the living room. He sat down on the couch next to Vigour with a sigh.

 

"You... got something on your mind?" Vigour asked softly at Ink.

 

"Mostly emptiness." Ink replied quietly. It had become an impulsive reaction to clear his head completely to get ready for a fight.

 

"Oh. Need any... uh... help?" Vigour asked nervously. "I know how emptiness feels. And I usually try to get rid of it by doing things I love. Or be with other people who will help me."

 

"Yeah, please..." Ink mumbled quietly.

 

Vigour nodded and thought for a moment. How could he fix the feeling of emptiness?

Vigour scooted closer towards Ink and wrapped his arms loosely around the other skeleton. He put Ink's skull over his chest and closed his eyes, letting his Soul beat calmly and pouring as much love as he could.

 

Ink let himself be moved without complaint and looked up at Vigour when he could feel his Soul beat.

He slowly relaxed, feeling the emptiness go away to be replaced with love.

 

Vigour rubbed Ink's skull gently as he exhaled softly. "I'm sorry you had to realize about the balance like this."

 

"It's okay. I'm really glad I have you to help." Ink replied, hugging Vigour back gently.

 

Vigour tensed slightly before chuckling softly, nuzzling Ink's skull. "I'm just glad I can help you in any way."

 

Ink nodded, sighing shakily. The pain in his Soul was slowly getting better.

 

"I wonder how often this will happen?" Vigour asked curiously. "I... really don't want it to be often. I hate seeing you hurt."

 

Ink sighed.

"Seeing as it took pretty long for it to happen the first time I guess once or twice a month." He replied, cuddling into Vigour a bit.

 

Vigour blinked before looking down. "That... isn't very long Ink. I... I hope you won't be too affected by this."

 

"I've been fine up until now. It's just... The AUs are a part of me and it hurts to lose a part of me." Ink explained, sighing quietly. The pain was only a dull thrum now.

 

"I know." Vigour said softly in understanding. "I'll try to help you in any way I can."

 

Ink nodded and closed his eye sockets, relaxing completely as he cuddled into Vigour.

 

Vigour sighed softly and rubbed Ink's skull. He wondered.... if Ink was realizing the Dark Sanses needed role, what about the others...?

 

~~~

 

Dream took a sip of his tea, humming in thought as he went over his mental to-do list.

 

Somewhere, a scream sounded out inside a few homes in some AUs. Monsters and humans alike woken up by nightmares and night terrors.

 

Dream flinched slightly as he felt the sudden influx of negativity. He should go check it out. He was in the process of getting up when he remembered that if there were so many people in the same areas having night terrors, it was probably Nightmare.

 

Nightmare was sitting on a tree in SwapFell, his body shifting and growing darker as he absorbed the negativity around him. He sighed softly, gently moving his crown that was on his skull.

 

Dream frowned. Should he check it out or just leave Nightmare alone?

 

A few people whimpered and cried in their sleep. The air was filling with negativity.

 

Dream winced slightly, forcing himself to sit back down. He should let Nightmare do his thing.

 

The screams continued without an end. They were constant. One scream finished, replaced with another. One tear stopped, another started. It was a continuous cycle.

 

Dream sighed and tried concentrating on Haventale.

 

An hour later, Swapfell Sans- Razz jumped through a portal and glared at Dream.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?!"

 

Dream looked up when a portal opened. He was reading a book, forcing himself to stay on that couch.

"What do you mean?" He asked.

 

"You know what I mean guardian!" Razz hissed. "The AUs, especially mine, are getting violent with negativity! Why aren't you stopping Nightmare?!"

 

Dream let out a sigh, putting his bookmark into his book and closing it.

"Nightmare has a good reason to do this. There has to be negativity for there to be positivity. I can't interfere with his work." He explained.

 

Razz glared at him for a moment. "What if he does more than he should?! He's already making AUs violent! Monsters and human are trying to kill each other!"

 

Dream sighed.

"There's still more positivity than negativity." He replied.

 

"SOME BASTARD ALMOST KILLED MAPLE BECAUSE HE WANTED MORE EXP!" Razz exploded in anger, fueled by worry for his brother.

 

Dream sighed. He couldn't do anything about that.

 

Razz growled when Dream said nothing. "Well?! Why aren't you stopping Nightmare and do what you promised your worth?!"

 

"I am not allowed to stop him. You two can leave your AU and stay here for a bit but I can't stop my brother." Dream explained, his voice sounding gentle.

 

Razz glared for a moment before exhaling softly and his shoulders lowered. "I hate this truce, you know that? It's- it's hard."

 

"But it's the only way to do things right." Dream reminded, looking up at Razz.

 

Razz frowned and looked away. "I really hate this. But I understand why. It's just difficult to adjust since we're not going after them to stop all of this."

 

"I know it's difficult to adjust to but we'll all manage." Dream replied.

 

Razz scoffed and crossed his arms. "Not all of us. A few Sanses are still pissed at this truce thing. They don't agree with this. They'll act sooner or later."

 

Dream sighed quietly.

"You're right..." He admitted. "I'll try to talk to them."

 

Razz clicked his tongue in thought. "Keep an eye on them. I have a feeling they won't listen to words or reason. Some of them aren't as great and understanding as me." He puffed out his chest in pride. At least he hadn't reacted violently when Ink and Dream had announced their truce- physically that was.

 

"Yeah. I'm really happy that you're so understanding." Dream replied with a small smile. He made a mental note to keep an eye out.

 

"Muahahaha! Glad to see that you know it as a fact!" Razz said smugly before his face turned serious again. "I'm serious Dream. Some monsters hold a grudge if they don't like something. I've been through it a lot. Protect that Vigour person and the Dark Sanses. But do it silently and in the shadows. No one plans murder aloud. Only idiots do that and Sanses and Papyruses are no idiots."

 

Dream nodded seriously.

 

Razz sighed and rubbed his face. "In any case, I shall leave now. But do try to keep Nightmare from targeting my AU. The monsters there are violent already."

He looked up at Dream with a raised brow. "Also reports said that an AU has been destroyed. Care to explain?"

 

"I'll try." Dream replied, not making any promises.

"Error most likely destroyed it." He explained.

 

Razz sighed and pinched the bridge of his nasal bone. "This'll take a while to get used to. We rarely ever ignore a destroyed AU."

 

"I know. I wonder how Ink reacted." Dream hummed thoughtfully. He should probably ask Ink if he was okay.

 

Razz sighed softly. "Let's not ask. It must be hard on him. I've seen him react when Error destroyed one. It ended being painful on him though I brushed that to the side. He can feel the AUs so it's not surprising."

Razz paused when a thought came to mind. "Actually.... you said Vigour told everyone about the balance right? About Ink and Error's jobs to protect the balance?"

 

"You're right." Dream agreed, sighing softly.

"Yeah he did." He replied.

 

"Did you or anyone ever question how he knew?" Razz asked seriously. "I mean, he couldn't have known all that just by befriending Ink and the Dark Sanses. And how did he come to that conclusion in the first place? He's right, sure, but how did he know?"

 

"I have no idea..." Dream replied. "Maybe they just told him." He suggested.

 

"Since when do they tell anyone anything?" Razz scoffed at the thought. "Slim said Ink looked downright confused when he mentioned any balance and Error and the Dark Sanses don't trust anyone that easily."

 

Dream hummed in thought.

"We should ask them." He decided.

 

"Aha you mean you ask him." Razz smirked at Dream while raising his hands in an unarmed gesture. "I'm not going to risk my Soul. He has that weird freezing power from what Slim described and that verbal cannon he has that managed to break some hard Souled monsters. Not to mention some weird telepathy shit? Yeah no, you're on your own guardian."

 

Dream chuckled softly.

"Vigour's really nice. Except when he's angry. Then he's really scary." He explained, smiling a bit.

 

Razz chuckled in return. "Yeah, I've heard. I had to comfort Slim all night after his verbal attack on my brother."

Razz shrugged slightly as he hummed in thought. "Though... I'm tempted to meet him to see that power for myself. Maybe he can make even a hardcore FellVerse monster cry? It's odd for someone so 'nice', as you put it, to have that much power."

 

"Trust me, you don't want to see that power. I'm sure he can make everyone cry." Dream replied.

 

Razz chuckled softly and grinned down at Dream. "You just make me wanna see it more."

 

Dream sighed. He would have to keep an eye on Razz too. From what he'd gathered Vigour had always been extremely upset after using that power.

 

Razz stood up straighter and stretched with a small groan. "Well, I have to leave. Good luck guardian."

 

"Thanks. Bye, Razz." Dream replied.

 

Razz nodded and jumped through a portal back to his world. He had a brother and a title to protect.

 

Dream frowned slightly when Razz was gone. Should he call Vigour now or should he wait until they met next time?

 

He didn't get to choose when his phone vibrated. Nightmare was calling.

 

Dream quickly got out his phone and answered the call.

"Hey, brother." He answered.

 

"Hello Dream." Nightmare's voice spoke from the other line.

 

"Is there anything you need?" Dream asked.

 

"No. No it's just... a little odd I guess." Nightmare admitted softly. "Usually you'd be on my blackened tail fighting for everything at that time."

 

"Oh." Dream replied quietly, humming in thought.

"Well, I shouldn't mess with your business so I won't. But Razz came to me and told me to request that you could maybe not use any very violent AUs because someone almost killed Slim." He explained. 

 

Nightmare nodded from the other line. "Unfortunately I can't pick which AU I attack Dream. It's random and fair. So like it or not, his AU won't be safe from bad choices.

 

"Okay." Dream agreed easily. "Would it be okay if I snatched up Razz and Slim the next time you did it though? They're really good friends of mine and I wouldn't want them to get hurt." He explained.

 

"You do that, their fragile position in that AU will crumble." Nightmare warned. "Do what you wish. Just be careful."

 

Dream sighed. Nightmare was probably right.

"Okay." He agreed.

 

"Good. Anyway," Nightmare looked over at the city from a giant tree. "I don't know how to say this. But uh- can we uh... hang out later?"

 

Dream frowned slightly. Why did Nightmare sound so hesitant? He brightened up a little.

"Sure." He replied with a smile.

 

"R-really?" Nightmare said in shock. "Well, my gang is probably busy helping Error so we have a few hours. Where do you want to go?"

 

"I dunno." Dream hummed. "Where do you want to go?" He echoed back the question.

 

"I'm... I'm not sure." Nightmare said softly. "I… I haven't gone anywhere to just... you know."

 

Dream hummed. He'd completely forgotten about that.

 

Nightmare sighed softly when Dream didn't respond other than a small hum. Maybe this was a bad idea. "Sorry."

 

"No. It's okay. I'm just thinking about what we could do. For all I know your interests shifted and you won't like the things I have in mind." Dream explained.

 

"O-oh." Nightmare said in surprise. Dream was being thoughtful. He smiled slightly. Of course his brother was being thoughtful. "N-no it's okay. Let's do what you want to do. Next time maybe I'll pick the activity."

 

"Okay." Dream agreed with a smile. "Do you still like reading? Because I found the absolute best book shop ever!" He explained excitedly.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly. "Of course I do. Like I'd ever give up reading."

 

"Right." Dream chuckled.

"Should I come to you or you to me or should we meet up there?" He asked.

 

"We should meet there." Nightmare says. "Which AU? Where?"

 

Dream excitedly told him the AU and the address.

 

Nightmare nodded with a small smile. "Okay."

He paused when he remembered something. "W-wait.... what if... what if I cause chaos there? Not everyone knows what's happening and..."

 

"I already told everyone there. I wanted to take you there for a while." Dream explained.

 

"Oh...." Nightmare said in surprise for the second time. "Th-thanks."

 

Dream smiled brightly.

"Always. I know how much you love your books." He replied happily.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly. "Right. I'll meet you there."

With that he ended the call and looked up at the moon. A day in an AU without being chased around or out by anyone. Sounded too good to be true.

 

Dream smiled as he pocketed his phone. He created a portal to the front door of his favourite book shop and jumped through.

Chapter Text

After a few minutes, a portal opened where Dream was and Nightmare jumped through. He looked around the new place nervously and cautiously.

 

Dream smiled at Nightmare brightly.

"Hi, brother!" He greeted happily.

 

Nightmare spotted Dream and waved with a nod. "Hello Dream."

He looked around the space of the bookstore. "So this is the place?"

 

Dream smiled brightly.

"Yeah. It's super amazing! I think they got a new shipment yesterday!" He explained excitedly.

 

"Really?" Nightmare grinned at Dream. He noticed how the shelves were filled to the brim with new books. The smell of books was everywhere and it calmed him. But that was not the only thing he noticed.

"Well, what's your favorite genre and we'll start there." Nightmare said, ignoring how the people avoided going near him. Hopefully Dream didn't notice. It would easier if he didn't notice.

 

Dream smiled brightly.

"I absolutely love fantasy!" He declared, pointing to where the fantasy books were. He gasped when he saw how many there were, his eye lights glowing brightly.

 

Nightmare nodded at him. "Then let's start there."

 

Dream's smile fell a bit when he noticed that people were staring at them.

"Shoo." He called.

 

They flinched and began to scatter away from them.

Nightmare turned at Dream with a raised brow. "Really Dream. You couldn't just ignore them?"

 

"Nope!" Dream replied, his smile back. He would never let anyone annoy his twin on his watch.

 

Nightmare frowned before looking down. "You should just ignore them. They're not worth causing chaos for." 'especially if it meant tainting your name brother.' he finished in his head.

 

"It's okay. I do that pretty often anyways with my clumsiness and all." Dream explained.

 

"You're not that clumsy." Nightmare rolled his eye as he walked away to the fantasy section.

 

Dream quickly walked after him.

"Oh yeah? I managed to knock over three rows of shelves in another bookstore." He explained.

 

"Pff!" Nightmare snickered at Dream as he walked. "Seriously?!"

 

"Yup. I tripped over a chair that was randomly placed there and ran into a bookshelf, knocking it over. It fell and caused a domino effect." Dream explained.

 

Nightmare covered his mouth and laughed softly, closing his eye with mirth. "Only you, Dream. So how did everyone react?"

 

Dream chuckled softly.

"There was a lot of screaming and when I tried to pick everything up I tripped again and laid on top of a pile of books in shame." He explained.

"I managed to help them clean everything up in the end and had to buy every broken book so now I got eight big boxes full of destroyed books at home."

 

Nightmare shook his skull at his brother's misfortune. He looked up at the ceiling in fond exasperation as he walked. "Oh stars. You better not make me pay for your mistakes if it happens again."

 

Dream chuckled.

"I would never." He promised with a smile.

 

Nightmare nodded in satisfaction. "Good."

He paused and looked around where they stopped at a section. "This it?"

 

Dream nodded, stars in his eye sockets as he looked around. There were so many new books! He squealed happily and looked over the books excitedly.

 

Nightmare chuckled at his twin's enthusiasm and looked around. He spotted the Mystery section just down the aisle.

"I'm going to check out the Mystery section, okay Dream?" he informed Dream who was busy looking over books with starry eyes.

 

"Sounds great, brother." Dream replied happily, giving him a smile before diving right back into his hunt for great books.

 

Nightmare smiled back slightly before walking towards the Mystery section.

He looked over the various books on the shelves and picked up one to read the back. He liked Mystery, Thriller, Adventure and Horror. They had that type of plot that just drew him in and kept him entertained. Especially the emotions portrayed in these types of books.

He just hoped no one would bother him while he was browsing. No one could really hate him for reading books, right?

 

~~~

A monster scoffed as they glanced over at Nightmare. That skeleton would hurt them all. No matter what Dream said. They looked over at their friend.

"Let's leave before he hurts us." They suggested. Their friend frowned.

"Why should we leave? He should leave." They argued.

 

Nightmare had grabbed a basket a few minutes ago when his pile of books grew. He smiled as he picked up another large hardcover book. It had been so long since he'd taken the time to choose a book. He'd missed it so much. He'd even grabbed a full five book series. So productive. He had to repay Dream somehow.

 

"How the hell are we gonna get him to leave?" The first one asked.

The second one gasped as they had an idea.

"Let's report him!" They suggested.

 

Nightmare put the book into the basket and looked at his prize. He chuckled softly. Maybe it was time to stop. Or put some back.

He sighed and kneeled down to sort the books. Maybe he could put the ones he didn't want back on the shelf?

 

A bookstore employee walked up to Nightmare. They had gotten a complaint about the dark skeleton being violent.

"Could you please leave?" They asked.

 

Nightmare looked up from the floor with an annoyed frown. Mostly to himself since he couldn't pick which to put aside. Though it probably came off wrong on the person in front of him.

"Why?" he asked irritably.

 

The employee flinched back slightly.

"Someone told me you've been behaving violently and we can't have that here." They explained.

 

Nightmare blinked at the person for a moment before closing his eye and sighing harshly. He glared up at the person.

"Does this place looks trashed to you?" he gestured to the clean aisles. "Also did you hear screams of terror or crashing or explosions? No! Then why the fuck are you bothering me for non-factual accusations?

 

"Are you implying that customers who have been visiting this place for almost a year would lie to me?!" The employee spat.

Dream frowned slightly as he looked over at Nightmare. It looked like he was in trouble. He quickly got up and walked over, hoping to resolve any conflict.

 

"Are you implying that I would magically destroy any evidence of destruction including screams and explosions?" Nightmare shot back with an irritated frown. He was still sitting on the floor and he was not risking standing up because he knew he'd get angrier.

"Is it that hard of a fact to swallow that some people do things because of hatred and disgust? Or have you not heard of it? Let me spell it out for you. They're called hypocrites."

 

The employee glowered down at Nightmare and was about to step forward when Dream got between them.

"I've been with Nightmare the whole time we've been here and he hasn't done a thing wrong." Dream said.

 

Nightmare frowned before blinking in surprise when Dream stepped between them. He scowled before looking away. He could take care of himself. He didn't need Dream protecting him.

 

The employee frowned but walked away.

"Sorry." Dream mumbled, rubbing the back of his skull. He had thought they had gotten the point not to annoy Nightmare.

 

Nightmare sighed harshly before standing up with the basket. He walked away frowning deeply. Of course. It never changed. Why had he expected any different? "Whatever. Let's pay and leave already."

 

Dream frowned and quickly got his own stack of books. In retrospect it was really stupid to run with a stack of books that was bigger than himself.

Dream yelped as he stumbled over a rug and fell, his books scattering.

 

Nightmare's tentacles were swift and grabbed each book as they fell. Some also captured Dream.

Nightmare turned around to check on him. "You okay?"

 

Dream had his eye sockets squeezed shut tightly, his hands in front of his face to brace for the impact. He blinked and looked up when nothing painful happened.

"I'm fine. Thanks." He replied with a small smile.

 

Nightmare nodded and put Dream back on his feet. "Be careful next time."

 

"I'll try to." Dream replied with a small smile and took some of his books. He might have overdone it with how many he'd taken but he should have enough gold to pay for them.

 

Nightmare nodded and continued to walk towards the desk where he could see a few humans and monsters already waiting in line. He felt some of their negative emotions and internally sighed.

 

A human huffed as they spotted Nightmare.

Dream followed Nightmare carefully, trying not to drop any books again.

 

Nightmare took a breath to stop himself from causing chaos. He waited in a relatively short line with his basket of books and Dream behind him.

 

Dream looked around curiously. He gasped quietly as he spotted a sign. There was a sale that day. For every four books you purchased you got the fifth one for free. He pointed at the sign excitedly.

"Look!" He whispered.

 

Nightmare looked at where Dream was pointing with a small hum. His brows arched in surprise.

"Well that makes this easier I suppose." he said and looked down at his basket. He'd save a few G from the offer.

 

"It's amazing!" Dream agreed happily. He couldn't wait to start reading all those books!

 

Nightmare shrugged and stepped forward, moving in line. He ignored the looks he was receiving, opting to talk to his twin.

"How long do you think you can finish all of it?" Nightmare asked curiously.

 

Dream hummed in thought.

"It depends. I'll probably take about five days for each book." He replied.

"What about you?" He asked.

 

"Two books a day." Nightmare grinned at Dream. Luckily he was a fast reader. Which came in handy when you had a job like his. "So.... maybe a few weeks I'll finish the whole stack."

 

Dream stared at Nightmare, flabbergasted.

"T-two books a day?!" He asked shockedly.

 

"Yeah." Nightmare said, grinning proudly at Dream. "Why do you think I got bored easily in the past? I already read the whole library there."

 

"Wow!" Dream gasped. Nightmare could read so much! It was amazing!

 

Nightmare smiled proudly and stepped forward again. "So... does that make me the better brother?" he teased with a grin.

 

Before Dream could say anything about Nightmare being the smarter twin he got cut off by an angry looking monster.

"As if that would compensate for your evilness." They growled.

 

Nightmare looked at the monster in surprise before he smirked. Oh so that's how they wanted to play?

"At least I compensate for something. Unlike you." he shot back with a cool smirk. He put his hands in his hoodie pockets to keep his temper.

 

The monster's magic flared dangerously.

"Oh yeah?!"

 

Nightmare raised a finger and waved it from side to side while clicking his tongue. "No fighting inside the store. Unless you want to get kicked out?"?

 

Dream couldn't help but chuckle. Nightmare was handling the situation perfectly.

The monster glared at him.

 

Nightmare smirked triumphantly at the monster before turning away from them. They were not worth causing chaos for. Besides, he had a truce and he wouldn't break it for something petty.

 

Dream was struggling not to laugh at the sour expression on the monster's face.

 

Nightmare smiled when he heard Dream's suppressed laughter and finally walked up to the counter. He placed his basket on the counter and waited for the human employer to check them.

 

The human looked up at him fearfully and scanned the books as quickly as humanly possible, trying to avoid staring at him.

 

Nightmare frowned and rolled his eye at the human irritably. Of course. Everyone was still afraid of him. Though he didn't mind. It just fueled him and made him stronger.

 

"T-there you go." They stammered, giving Nightmare his receipt and his books.

 

Nightmare pulled out a small bag of G and placed it on the counter. He took his books with his tentacles and the receipt. He walked away but waited by the door for Dream to finish his payment.

 

The human took the G without counting and moved on to the next customer, Dream.

 

Nightmare turned his attention to the small bookmarks they had on sale with a tiny amount of curiosity.

He frowned at them. He could make better ones. Or better yet, ask Cross to do it. Cross made better bookmarks. He should know. He still kept them in his room in a special box.

 

Dream walked over to Nightmare carefully, a bright smile in his face. He had already paid. He looked at what Nightmare was staring at.

 

Nightmare looked at Dream when he walked over. "Done already? How deep is the dent in your pocket?"

 

"Very deep." Dream replied, still smiling. He didn't really care. He got books for months.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly and looked outside. He spotted a nice little shop that sold all kinds of treats.

Come to think of it, he never had the time to really treat himself. Maybe he could buy some for his gang too?

"You up for that shop over there?" Nightmare asked pointing to the little shop across the street.

 

Dream nodded excitedly.

"Yeah. Just let me put away my books real quick." He replied, opening a portal to his room. He put his books inside gently.

 

Nightmare did the same and put his books in his room. He'd sort them later.

He turned to look at Dream with a small grin. "You lead the way. I'm sure everyone will think I'm forcing you if I was the one who lead the way."

 

Dream nodded and lead the way.

 

Nightmare followed Dream a few paces behind him. He noticed the people around him looking at him and walking away with whispers. He chose to ignore them. They were giving him negative emotions to feed on anyway. Little whispers and rumours didn't bother him anymore.

 

Dream gasped.

"They got chocolate cake!" He exclaimed, his eye lights glowing with excitement.

 

Nightmare chuckled at Dream's excitement. Seriously, how was Dream still here if food got his attention?

"Better pick and pay before you stuff your face inside a cake." he teased with a grin.

 

Dream's eye lights glowed brightly.

"I'm so gonna stuff my face inside a cake." He mumbled, quickly entering the shop.

 

Nightmare chuckled softly as they walked inside. "Please not in public. I don't think they'll tolerate that."

 

"Don't care." Dream replied. He walked up to the cashier's desk.

 

"I'm not gonna be a part of this." Nightmare warned with an amused grin as he stood beside Dream. He looked over at the different cakes and pastries they had available.

 

"Hi! Please two pieces of the chocolate cake." Dream explained. The employee nodded, getting to work immediately.

 

Nightmare rolled his eye and looked over at the cakes. He assumed Dream wanted them for himself.

"I'll take a lemon vanilla cake." Nightmare said at the person behind the counter.

 

The employee nodded and got their orders ready, looking a bit nervous but not particularly scared.

 

Nightmare nodded before turning and walking away. "I'll go get us a seat." he said to Dream.

 

"Thanks!" Dream called out, waiting for their orders.

 

Nightmare smiled slightly and looked around to find a spot. He found one near the back. A small table for two. That should be enough.

He walked over at the table and sat down, waiting for Dream for their order.

 

Dream took the two plates and carefully carried them to the table where Nightmare was sitting.

 

Nightmare looked up when Dream arrived and smiled slightly.

"Please don't make a mess brother." Nightmare said softly in amusement. "I'd rather not want to clean it up."

 

"I'll try." Dream replied happily, sitting down as he stared at his chocolate cake excitedly.

 

Nightmare rolled his eye and took his cake. He used a fork to cut a piece before putting it in his mouth, humming at the pleasant taste.

"It's really good." Nightmare praised and took another bite.

 

Dream picked up his cake with his hands and took a big bite, humming happily at the taste.

 

Nightmare looked over and chuckled at the sight, shaking his skull gently. Of course. It was amusing honestly.

 

Dream scarfed down the first chocolate cake, managing to thoroughly mess up his face and clothes.

 

Nightmare looked over and shook his skull. He used his tentacles to grab a tissue from the counter- thoroughly scaring the person behind the counter- and handed it to Dream. He used one tentacle with a tissue to wipe away the chocolate on his face.

"Honestly Dream." He sighed softly.

 

Dream giggled quietly.

"Thanks, brother." He thanked the taller skeleton with a smile.

 

Nightmare looked at him in surprise before he smiled slightly. The tentacles that had cleaned Dream's face earlier gently rubbed his skull.

"You're welcome Dream."

 

Dream smiled at him brightly, leaning into the touch.

 

After a moment, Nightmare cleared his throat and pulled his tentacle away. He continued to eat his cake silently, trying to ignore the moment he'd had with his brother. When... when had been the last time he'd done that? The last time he'd cleaned up his brother's mess?

 

Dream was beaming brightly as he ate his second piece of chocolate cake, trying to be less messy but not really succeeding.

 

Nightmare looked up after he finished his cake. He sighed softly with a fond smile and a shake of his skull.

"Seriously Dream..." he said softly and picked up another tissue to wipe his skull. "You're messier than Horror."

 

Dream chuckled.

"Guess I am." He agreed with a smile. "I don't know how you manage to even keep your plate clean." He added, pointing at Nightmare's nearly clean plate.

 

Nightmare grinned with a small chuckle. "It's called being careful. You get used to it." he said leaning on his chair proudly.

"Or are you purposely being messy just to be pampered by me?" Nightmare teased with a smug grin.

 

Dream chuckled. He'd have to try being careful once.

He shook his skull.

"Nope. I'm just clumsy." He retorted.

 

Nightmare smirked and raised a brow while leaning onto the table slightly. "You sure? Cause you also did it in the past. And you were pretty content with me cleaning you up every time."

 

"Totally sure." Dream replied, smiling. Though he certainly wouldn't deny that he had missed Nightmare taking care of him.

 

"If you say so." Nightmare said, sitting back on his chair but never losing his grin.

 

Dream nodded, turning back to his plate. He frowned upon finding that his cake was already gone.

 

Nightmare raised a brow at Dream's sad face. "You could buy more if you want. Just not the whole store please."

 

Dream's face lit up.

"I should buy some more for later." He replied happily. He'd get some things for Ink and Vigour too.

 

"You should." Nightmare nodded and stood up. "I should get some for my gang too. They love treats."

 

Dream nodded and stood up, walking back to the counter.

 

Nightmare followed and looked over the treats. He thought for a moment and picked out a strawberry cheesecake, a blueberry pie, a chocolate pie and a vanilla cream pie.

 

Dream ordered a whole chocolate cake and a fruit cake for Ink. He frowned thoughtfully.

"What do you think Vigour would like?" He asked.

 

Nightmare paused and shrugged. "Um... ask him?"

 

Dream nodded and quickly pulled out his phone, calling Vigour.

 

Vigour picked up a few dials later. "Y'ello? This is blue. What's the code green?"

 

"Cake." Dream replied.

 

"Cake?" Vigour repeats in confusion. "What's the twenty on treats and neats?"

 

"What kind of cake do you like?" Dream asked.

 

"Oh..." Vigour said in realization. "Um... vanilla cream peach. Or something like that. Why?"

 

Dream just chuckled in response and ended the call. He quickly ordered the cake. He'd give it to Ink so that he could give it to Vigour.

 

Nightmare shook his skull at Dream. "You sneaky bastard. Vigour's gonna get curious."

 

Dream nodded with a bright smile. He could already hear his phone ringing again. He quickly turned it off.

 

Nightmare shook his skull and grabbed his treats while paying the bill. "Whatever. Don't regret your decision."

He turned around, pausing to stare at Dream. "I'll... I need to go. See you next time?"

 

Dream paid and carefully took the treats.

"Yeah." Dream replied happily. He loved spending time with his brother.

 

Nightmare's lips turned up slightly in a happy smile before he disappeared in a black shadow, leaving Dream alone in the shop.

 

Dream smiled and opened a portal, getting back home.

Chapter Text

Ink hummed thoughtfully as he walked through the Waterfall area of an AU that he had made before he'd been aware of the fact that the multiverse had limitations. It was an Underswap copy.

 

Error opened a portal and jumped through, sighing harshly. Another copy. He rubbed his face tiredly. He needed to destroy this last one before he could finally have a break. Preferably in OuterTale. The voices were something he did not want to deal with.

 

Ink sat down at a waterfall and looked down into the depths it flowed down.

 

Error summoned his strings and began shooting them at the residents. They were swift and silent. Dust flew in the air and in moment, Snowdin was nothing but dust.

 

Ink winced as pain exploded in his Soul. Someone, Error, was destroying an AU. He held himself back from jumping up and fighting him and merely ignored the feeling.

 

Error began walking towards Waterfall, dusting everyone he found and everyone who was hiding. He really hated this. But it had to be done.

 

Ink sighed and laid down, breathing deeply to cope with the pain better. It hurt. It felt like a part of him was being ripped away.

 

It hurt.

Error felt a piece of his Soul break away as he killed the monsters. Shooting blasters over the town to eliminate it better. It hurt so much. He wanted to stop. But he bore the pain.

 

Ink sighed. The AU had to be really close if he felt it that much. He tried to ignore the feeling, closing his eye sockets.

 

Error finally reached Waterfall and immediately dusted Alphys by crushing her Soul. He sighed softly and fixed his scarf. Just one AU.

 

Ink winced slightly but fought the urge to jump up, breathing deeply as he tried to calm himself.

 

Error went through Waterfall, dusting everyone in his path.

He startled when he spotted Ink on the ground.

"Ink?" he said and walked closer to the Creator. Was he in pain?

 

Ink opened his eye sockets when he heard Error. Was he destroying the AU he was in?

He sat up when he saw Error.

"Hi, Error." Ink greeted.

 

Error looked at Ink warily. "You're not here to stop me again are you? We made an agreement."

 

"I'm not here to stop you." Ink agreed. "I was here on accident." He explained, wincing in pain as he sat up. His Soul was pulsing in agony.

 

"Oh." Error said and noticed how Ink winced. "Are you injured?"

 

Ink shook his skull and pressed a hand to his Soul.

"No. My Soul's just hurting." He mentioned casually.

 

Error's eye sockets widened. "Why? Has anyone tried to hurt you? Did they get your Soul?"

Impossible right? Everyone loved Ink.

 

"No." Ink replied. He suddenly realised something. He didn't want to add onto Error's burden by telling him that it hurt his Soul when AUs were destroyed.

 

Error watched Ink in confusion and concern. "Then... what's wrong?"

 

"Don't worry about me. It's normal." Ink tried to reassure Error with a smile. It was indeed normal but only for him. He really hoped Error wouldn't ask any more questions.

 

"It's not normal." Error said factually while crossing his arms. "I've never seen you like this. Without a reason."

 

I got a reason but I can't tell you! Ink thought, frowning slightly.

"Maybe I just overworked myself again." He suggested. He sighed in relief as the pain disappeared.

 

"If you say so." Error said, not believing him. "Well, you better leave. I have to destroy this AU and I can't do it without risking your life with you here."

 

"Right." Ink agreed and stood up shakily. Damn. He had underestimated the effects a dying AU had on him. He hadn't felt it this bad in a long time.

 

Error watched as Ink stood up shakily. "You sure you're okay? You don't have to lie."

 

"I'm doing horribly but it's nobody's fault but my own." Ink explained because he deserved to feel like this for creating too many AUs.

 

Error nodded in understanding. He knew that feeling so well. "Then why? Why are you hurting Ink? I can't help if you won't tell me what's wrong."

 

"It's nothing that could be helped." Ink explained, rubbing his ribcage unconsciously.

 

Error sighed harshly. "If you say so Ink."

"By the way, where's Vigour?" Error asked curiously. "I haven't seen him since last time."

 

Ink perked up a little at Vigour's name.

"I think he's at Haven's house right now." Ink hummed. Or he was in the doodle sphere.

 

Error nodded. Haven's house huh. Vigour always seemed to be there.

"He and Haven are close aren't they?" He wondered aloud.

 

Ink nodded, tilting his skull slightly. Was Error implying something?

 

Error grinned slightly in thought. "I'm glad Vigour has Haven for a friend. At least he has someone."

 

Ink nodded slightly. He didn't like that wording. Vigour had him too and all the other friends he had.

 

Error looked around and sighed. "Alright, I have to finish up Ink. I can't destroy an AU with you in it."

 

Ink nodded and opened a portal, his hand shaking a bit as he stepped towards it.

"See ya." He mumbled and stepped through.

 

"Bye." Error said, watching Ink leave through a portal.

He sighed and summoned his blasters and strings to finish destroying this AU.

Chapter Text

Nightmare looked around the crowded place of the cinema uncertainly. He and his gang had dreamed about watching a movie in a real cinema and now that it was coming true, he felt anxious though he didn't show it.

Killer came back from the ticket counter with five tickets. He'd changed his clothes a bit and wore a soft black fluffy hoodie and grey jeans with comfortable black and white laceless shoes.

"I've got the tickets. And scared the shit out of the person behind the counter." he grinned at the others. "Horror's grabbing the snacks."

 

Cross stayed behind Nightmare and looked around warily. There were so many people. It made him uneasy. He was wearing a purple sweater, black jeans and his normal shoes. He giggled quietly as Killer told them what had happened.

Dust chuckled, staying close to Cross because he looked really nervous. He was wearing a pale blue shirt, a leather jacket and dark blue jeans with black sneakers.

 

Nightmare nodded and looked around. He relaxed slightly when he noticed his gang looked just as nervous as he was. Made it easier to keep control of his emotions.

"Really?" he said with a raised brow. A small tendril subtly wrapped around his gang's wrists for comfort.

"Yup." Killer said happily, relaxing slightly when one of Nightmare's tentacles wrapped around his wrist. "They looked ready to pass out and I think they even peed themselves when I grinned at them."

 

Cross relaxed slightly as one of Nightmare's tendrils wrapped around his wrist. It felt really comforting. He laughed as Killer explained them what had happened.

Dust sighed quietly in relief when he felt a tendril wrap around his wrist. He laughed.

"I wonder what the person giving horror the food did." He chuckled.

 

Nightmare snickered at the thought while Killer burst into laughter.

"They'll probably shit themselves!" Killer laughed loudly gaining a few curious glances. He winced subtly and walks closer to Nightmare for comfort.

 

Cross giggled at the thought.

"They were obviously not prepared for us." He concluded, smiling.

Dust nodded with a chuckle.

 

Nightmare chuckled and shook his skull. "No they're not."

Horror came a moment later carrying five bags filled with popcorn, chips, drinks and snacks of all kinds, with some hot food like hot dogs and nachos. He was wearing a fluffy dark red hoodie with the hood having soft maroon coloured fur, loose black jeans and a pair of blood red sneakers.

"Hey guys!" he smiled happily as he walked over to them. "The cashier gave us a ton of discounts and extra snacks!"

 

Dust laughed. Wow. That was awesome.

"That's so amazing." He wheezed out.

Cross chuckled. He hadn't even thought of that option.

 

Killer laughed at that. They'd probably given Horror so many snacks because they were afraid of him and wanted Horror to leave. They probably didn't even count the money and just gave him everything.

Nightmare chuckled softly. "Good job Horror."

Horror smiled brightly and distributed the bags evenly. "Thanks. When does the movie start?"

"Five minutes from now." Killer answered in between chuckles.

 

"Thanks Horror." Cross thanked him with a smile. He'd hug him but his hands were full.

Dust chuckled as he took the things Horror handed him.

"Thanks."

 

Killer took the bag happily.

Nightmare looked at the sign where the numbers were. He noticed their number was lit.

"Our number is lit." he informed the others, a tendril wrapping loosely around Horror's wrist.

Horror smiled at the motion and nodded. "Should we go in?"

 

"Yes!" Cross replied happily. He was extremely excited.

Dust smiled. He really wanted to go inside too.

 

Nightmare chuckled and nodded. "Alright. Let's go inside."

Nightmare lead the way, making sure his gang was close with the tendril around their wrist. Killer showed the man their ticket- and scaring said man with their appearance. They walked inside and found their room.

Inside were rows and rows of chairs in a slanting area with the large black screen on the adjacent wall.

 

Dust chuckled quietly when the security guard got scared.

"Woah." Cross gasped. It looked so awesome! He stayed close to Nightmare, looking around amazedly.

 

Nightmare looked at Killer. "Which ones are our seats?"

Killer looked at the tickets. "G1 to 5." he says.

Horror nodded and looked for the sign that said G. He found it and pointed towards the line of seats. They all slid into the seats in order.

 

Cross slid into his place between Dust and Nightmare. He watched the black screen excitedly. They were really early so it'd take a bit until the movie started.

Dust sat down next to Cross and watched the path warily. If anyone would try anything he'd stop them.

 

Nightmare slid in after Cross followed by Horror and lastly Killer. He kept the tendril wrapped around their wrists to make sure he knew they were there and to comfort them in case they needed it.

 

Cross gasped in amazement.

"Guys, look!" He stage-whispered, not really being quiet. The previews had started.

Dust nodded, looking up at the screen, his eye lights bright.

 

Killer and Horror looked up when the previews started. They tensed and covered the sides of their skull when the speakers shot loudly.

Nightmare tensed at the loud noise and cringed. Ouch. He never knew movies were so loud.

 

Dust flinched slightly. He quickly got out his headphones and put them on, blocking out some of the noise that way. He dug around in his bag, trying to find his replacement headphones and Cross'.

Cross winced. He'd forgotten how loud movies were.

 

Nightmare turned and saw what Dust was doing. He hummed in thought before an idea came to him.

He reached inside his hoodie and secretly made a small portal. He pulled out Killer's and Horror's headphones. He placed them on their skulls to dampen some of the loud noise.

Killer sighed in relief when the noise was slightly bearable. Horror smiled happily and thanked Nightmare.

 

Dust smiled triumphantly when he got Cross' headphones and handed them to him.

Cross smiled at Dust, whispering a thanks and put them on.

 

Nightmare slowly got used to the loud noises. He leaned back and watched the previews calmly.

Killer looked at the movie and smiled as the previews went by.

Horror smiled widely when the previews showed some action scenes.

 

Dust dug around his bag, his eye lights lighting up slightly when he found his replacement headphones. He handed them to Cross and pointed at Nightmare.

Cross took the headphones, nodding. He tapped Nightmare's shoulder gently.

 

Nightmare looked over at Cross with a raised brow and smiles slightly, taking the headphones gratefully.

"Thanks." he said softly and put the headphones on his skull.

 

Dust smiled happily before focusing back on the screen.

Cross hugged one of Nightmare's tentacles gently, looking back at the screen with a smile.

 

Nightmare smiled when Cross hugged his tentacle, Horror doing the same as his eye practically sparkled with awe at the fighting previews.

Killer smiled as he watched the previews.

 

~~~

 

Cross hugged Nightmare's tentacles happily as the bad guys managed to one-up the good guys.

 

Killer smiled wide when the bad guys in the movie managed to win! And escape the 'good guys' hilariously in a car chase. He would take notes if he could. He wanted to do that to the Light Sanses.

Horror smiled wide as he chuckled at the fighting as the bad guys completely fooled the good guys in a car chase. It was nice to see a movie that showed the other side for once. Focusing on the 'bad people' and knowing that they aren't really bad, just have different motives and ways to get things done.

 

Dust chuckled, muffling the sound with the sleeve of his hoodie. The movie was hilarious. He'd get it on DVD for sure.

 

Nightmare looked around at his gang and a small smile grew on his face. It always brought him joy when his gang was having fun.

 

Nightmare's phone vibrated slightly, informing him that he had gotten a message.

 

Nightmare looked at his pocket with a confused brow. Who would be messaging him?

He discretely pulled out his phone and checked it. His eye widened and his Soul beat. His brother.

When was the last time Dream had actively contacted him?

He shook his skull. It was just a text. What was so important? He probably needed something. Nightmare opened the text to read.

 

"Hi, bro! I was in the AU with the bookshop today and gave Vigour some cakes and pastries to leave in your kitchen. Hope you all will enjoy it. ^^"

 

Nightmare smiled but he was slightly tense.

"How did you get to our hideout?" he texted.

 

Dream's reply came almost instantly.

"I gave the things to Vigour. I wasn't inside the hideout and I left before Vigour went there."

 

Nightmare sighed in relief for a moment. Stars his Soul was beating so hard he literally got stronger from his own fear.

"Thank you for respecting our privacy brother."

Unknowingly he had typed 'brother' instead of Dream. He didn't have time to change it because he had hit send.

 

"No problem, bro ^^" Dream wrote back.

 

Nightmare smiled slightly. He decided to tell Dream what he was doing.

"I'm at the movies with my boys. So far it's good."

 

"That's great. I'm glad noone's annoying you. ^^"

 

Nightmare smiled slightly wider.

"Hopefully. I have to go now. Goodbye Dream."

 

"Bye, brother. Have fun ^^" Dream replied.

 

Nightmare smiled and looked over the texts again. A warmth blooming in his chest at the words. It had been a while since he'd had a good conversation with his brother. Even more so with anyone else than his gang.

He looked around and smiled wider in happiness when he saw his boys having fun watching the movie. A movie.... in a real cinema.

Nightmare noticed that no one had bothered them ever since they'd arrived. Halfway into the movie, no Ink or Dream to attack them. No screaming Sanses trying to kill them. No assholes. No pain. No nothing. It was... relieving.

And for once, he was... happy?

 

Cross hummed softly and cuddled Nightmare's tentacle happily.

"Thanks for making this possible." He mumbled quietly.

 

Nightmare turned to Cross in surprise before he smiled as the warmth grew larger.

"Of course. You deserve it." he said with a loving smile before his eye widened and he winced subtly. He gripped his chest from the pain. Stars no. Not now.

 

Cross smiled happily as he watched the movie. It was really interesting.

 

Nightmare winced in pain as he pulled the hood of his jacket over his skull. He retracted his tentacles as it was too painful to keep them away from him. He could feel his goop peeling off his bones.

Oh stars why now?! Why?!

"Horror, can I borrow your jacket?" Nightmare asked without looking at the other. He needed to cover his body. He couldn't let anyone see

 

Cross looked at Nightmare worriedly as the tentacle slipped from his hold.

"Sure." Horror agreed, giving Nightmare his jacket.

 

Killer raised a confused brow at Nightmare as the latter grabbed the large jacket and wrapped it around his body, covering his skull. The tentacle around his wrist retreated which was worrying. Nightmare didn't like to pull away from them in case he needed to pull them out of trouble.

"You okay Nightmare?" he asked in concern.

"I'm fine." Nightmare said calmly despite his body being in agony from the feeling of his goop peeling off his bones and retreating deep into his Soul. "It's just a little cold."

 

Cross frowned. It was pretty warm inside the movie theatre.

"If you're uncomfortable we could leave." Horror suggested. Maybe there were too many people around.

Dust nodded. They could do this another time.

 

Nightmare shook his skull, one that was now having white peeking through. He covered it up panickedly.

"N-no. I'm just... I-" he tensed when his voice started to sound meek and weak. "I need to go to the bathroom." he said before standing up and walking past the others towards the path.

 

Cross frowned. Was Nightmare getting sick? That shouldn't be possible...

Dust looked up.

"What's wrong?" He asked as Nightmare passed him.

 

"Nothing." Nightmare quickly said before walking up the path. He winced as more goop peeled off his bones and practically ran out.

Killer looked at the others in worry. "I don't believe his bullshit."

Horror nodded in agreement and worry. "Me neither."

 

"Should we follow him?" Cross suggested worriedly.

 

"And abandon this movie?" Killer asked before nodding. "Definitely."

He didn't waste time to stand up and follow where Nightmare had gone. Horror followed his lead.

 

Cross smiled slightly and followed them, Dust close behind.

They'd be there for Nightmare just like he always was there for them.

 

Nightmare ran into the bathroom and breathed heavily. He winced when more goop pealed off his bones, freeing his other eye socket. He trembled in pain.

Killer heard the door slam open and shut in the large hallway leading towards the bathroom. He walked faster towards the sound.

 

Cross frowned, running after Killer. He was very concerned about Nightmare.

 

Nightmare heard footsteps coming closer and panicked. He ran towards a stall and sat on the covered seat, curling up in fear.

Killer opened the door and looked around in the empty bathroom.

 

Cross frowned as he walked inside.

"Nightmare?" He asked worriedly.

 

Horror looked around and found the only stall closed. He walked over and knocked on the door.

"Nightmare?" he asked.

"Yes?" Nightmare replied softly.

"You okay in there?" Killer asked worriedly.

 

Cross looked over concernedly, walking there.

Dust followed him.

 

"Nightmare? You're worrying us." Killer said and knocked on the door.

Nightmare trembled inside the stall. "I'm fine." he said meekly, cursing himself internally for how he sounded.

 

"You don't sound fine." Dust pointed out, frowning. "We won't judge you for whatever's wrong." He promised.

 

"I'm fine." Nightmare repeated as the last of his goop pealed off. "Just go back inside. I'll just uh, go back home. For work."

Killer frowned and grabbed the knob. "That doesn't sound convincing." he said and opened the unlocked door.

 

Cross looked at the strange skeleton a bit confusedly. Where was-? That was Nightmare!

"Why did you run away? It doesn't seem bad..." He explained.

Dust nodded though he was a bit shocked.

 

Killer stared at Nightmare wide eyed in shock.

Horror had his mouth open slightly. That was Nightmare? He looked.... so different. But the crown on his skull and the jacket proved it was Nightmare.

Nightmare stared up at them fearfully before hiding his skull in the large hood. "It is bad. I'm weak like this. If anyone finds out-"

 

"Can I hug you?" Cross asked quietly.

 

Nightmare trembled uncertainly. Eventually he nodded slightly.

 

Cross slowly approached Nightmare and gave him a gentle hug, leaving enough room for him to pull away.

"It's okay..." He murmured softly, rubbing his back gently.

 

Horror stepped back and let Cross and Killer do their thing. He was still learning how to comfort someone. He was not as good as them yet.

Nightmare trembled in Cross' hold but slowly calmed down. But he didn't look up from the large jacket. "I'm sorry. Just- just forget you saw me like this. I'll turn back to normal soon."

 

"It's alright. It's not your fault..." Cross whispered, rubbing his skull slightly.

Dust stayed back. Cross knew what he was doing.

 

Killer nodded in agreement. "Yeah. Besides, you look adorable."

Nightmare flushed under the jacket and curled tighter. "I-I'm not!" he said flustered.

 

"He's still the strong guardian of negativity we know." Cross argued, hugging Nightmare gently.

 

Killer shrugged. "Yeah. But he's also cute."

"I'm not strong in this form." Nightmare protested softly. "I'm weak like this."

 

Cross shook his head and nuzzled the top of Nightmare's skull gently.

 

"You aren't weak." Killer argued.

Nightmare shook his skull. "I am. I'm always weaker in this form. Not just physically." he curled tighter as he fought a sob. "I can't protect you like this. I can't even protect myself."

 

"That just means we can return the favour for once." Cross murmured softly, rubbing Nightmare's back gently.

 

Nightmare shuffled his skull out of the jacket to stare at Cross in confusion. "W-what?"

Killer smiled at Cross with a nod. "I'm with you Cross."

 

"Me too." Dust agreed with a smile. They could protect Nightmare for once, just like he always protected them.

 

"W-what are you all talking about?" Nightmare asked meekly, hiding slightly back inside the jacket.

 

"We will protect you, just as you always protect us." Cross replied quietly, rubbing his skull gently.

 

Nightmare's eye sockets widened. "But- b-but- but- That's my job."

 

"And you're amazing at it. But while you're like this, you can allow yourself not to be strong for once. We won't judge you for it and we'll have your back." Cross explained.

 

Nightmare teared up and trembled slightly. Dream had said the same thing. But.... "But- But I can't."

 

"Of course you can. You got us." Cross replied, smiling slightly as he hugged Nightmare gently.

 

"But I-" Nightmare's protest was cut off by Killer.

"Nightmare, you've done a lot for us. Now it's time for us to do the same for you."

 

Cross smiled.

"He's right." Dust agreed. "You've taught us a lot and now we can use that knowledge to keep you safe." He explained, his eye lights shining brightly.

 

"But-" Nightmare stuttered before looking down and nodding. He knew they were strong. He just hoped they could work together and not fight. "Okay. I- I'll allow it."

 

"Thanks." Cross murmured. He knew Nightmare was putting a lot of trust in them.

"No fighting and no recklessness for the entirety of this?" Dust suggested.

 

Nightmare frowned at them, a little playfulness in his tone. "Of course not."

 

Dust chuckled.

"We'll try to hold back the reckless ideas for later." Cross said.

 

Killer smiled a little mischievously but as Dust had said, he'd try to hold it off until Nightmare was okay.

Nightmare rolled his eyes playfully and pulled the jacket down from his body, showing his white bones and passive form.

 

Cross hugged Nightmare gently. He'd protect him. Nightmare was shorter than him too. He decided he shouldn't tease him about it.

 

Nightmare looked up uncertainly. "S-so... what now?"

Killer hummed in thought. "Well, we would miss a lot of scenes."

 

"What do you want to do?" Cross asked Nightmare.

 

Nightmare shrugged and sat up straighter, the large jacket pooling around him. "I'm okay with whatever you want."

Killer grinned at an idea. "I read there's a paintball arena upstairs."

 

Cross gasped excitedly.

"Paintball?" Dust asked, his eye lights shining brightly. He really liked that idea.

 

Nightmare rolled his eyes fondly.

"Fine." he relented and put his feet down from the lid. "But I'm small now so go easy-!"

He yelped as he fell into Cross' arms.

 

Cross caught him and hugged him gently.

"Sure." He agreed happily.

 

"You okay?" Killer asked worriedly.

Nightmare grumbled irritably. He hated being small. Also his balance was off.

He picked up Horror's jacket and handed it back to him.

 

"I can carry you if you want to." Cross suggested.

 

Horror took the jacket back and tied it around his waist.

Nightmare shook his skull and stood up shakily. "I'm fine. Just a little off. I've only changed a few times."

 

"Okay. Please tell us if you need help." Cross explained.

 

Nightmare sighed and walked out of the stall. "If it'll stop you from pampering me? Fine."

Killer chuckled and followed his boss. "We'll always pamper you."

 

Cross giggled and nodded.

"Once we get home we'll do a cuddle pile." Dust explained with a smile.

 

"Oh stars." Nightmare groaned and slumped as he walked. "Please don't wrap me up in blankets again. They feel... odd."

 

"Burrito Nightmare!" Cross cheered happily.

"we'll wrap you up in hugs." Dust explained with a smile.

 

Killer chuckled softly in amusement.

Horror snickered at Nightmare. "Topped with snacks and movies!"

Nightmare groaned and gave them a middle finger as he left the bathroom.

 

Cross chuckled and followed Nightmare.

"pillow fort?" Dust asked, gaining a nod from Cross.

 

Killer followed them with a nod. Pillow forts were perfect for Nightmare. They were safe.

Horror chuckled with a nod. "We'll make a nest inside of it too. More fluff."

 

"That sounds awesome. But first we wreck you in paintball." Cross replied with a smile, fistbumping Dust.

 

Killer's eyes widened in realization. "Wait! We're uneven. We can't play with uneven numbers."

Horror frowned and nodded. Killer was right. It wouldn't be fair. Especially for Nightmare since he would most likely volunteer to sit it out.

 

"Let's do PVP then." Dust suggested.

"Or we could all be on the same team." Cross added.

 

"Or...." Nightmare said while turning his skull over his shoulders to stare at them. They weren't exactly quiet. "-we ask someone else to join."

 

"Fresh?" Cross asked hopefully.

Dust shook his skull.

"You know he doesn't like loud noises." Dust replied.

 

Nightmare clicked his tongue and grinned at them. "I was thinking someone.... hyper."

 

"Blue?" Cross asked.

 

"Nope." Nightmare said while chuckling before walking away.

"Then who?!" Killer pleaded. Surprises were rarely good. Plus he wanted to know!

Chapter Text

Killer quickly dove behind a wall, panting slightly. He glanced around, spotting Cross and Dust in front of him. He looked over his cover for a split second, spotting Dream. They were good but they could beat them. He positioned his gun and quickly shot at Dream, ducking away before he could see if he had gotten in a hit.

 

Dream yelped in surprise when he was hit and hid behind a barrel. He looked around and grinned when he spotted a familiar golden crown.

He looks over at Vigour who raised a brow. Dream pointed towards Nightmare and made some hand gestures.

Vigour grinned and nodded. He stood up and ran in the open screaming playfully. "Kamikaze!!!!"

Nightmare chuckled silently at the sound as he hid behind a wall with a window.

 

Cross jumped out of his cover and shot his paintball gun at Vigour with a giggle.

Killer peeked out of his cover and shot a few paintballs at Vigour.

 

Vigour smiled and began rapid firing at the duo, not caring about the hits he was taking.

"Attack!!!" he screamed playfully.

Haven peeked out of his wall and chuckled, shooting at them before ducking back behind the wall.

 

Killer quickly got back into cover.

Dust's eye sockets widened and he quickly tackled Cross to the ground.

"I'm hit..." Cross mumbled dramatically, starting to giggle.

"Thanks, Dust."

 

Vigour laughed and ran back for cover. His bones were starting to ache.

He slid behind a wall and was met with Ink. He smiled happily and waved. "Hi Inky Bunny!"

 

Ink smiled, flushing slightly.

"Wouldn't it be cool to make a painting like this?" He asked, looking at the paintball gun.

 

Vigour chuckles happily and cocked his gun playfully. "Aren't we doing it right now by painting the opposing team?"

 

Ink chuckled slightly.

"Yeah." He agreed, yelping when he got shot by Killer who had snuck up on them.

"Sorry, you two lovebirds." He apologised, shooting at Vigour.

 

Vigour grinned and quickly tackled Killer with a trail of pink, pinning him to the ground.

"Nobody hits my Inky Bunny!" he declared playfully as he sat on top of Killer.

 

Killer huffed as he was tackled to the ground.

"Now!!" He shouted.

Cross jumped over the wall and tackled Vigour off Killer with a smirk while Dust shot his paintball gun at him.

 

"Hey!" Vigour said with a grin as he was tackled and shot. "No fair!"

Dream frowned when Vigour was captured and made a dash for Nightmare.

Nightmare had been watching the interaction and didn't notice Dream running at him. So he yelped in surprise when he was tackled.

"Dream!" he exclaimed unhappily.

"Life's not fair." Dust chuckled, quickly withdrawing with Killer.

Cross jumped off Vigour and ran after them, giggling.

"Gotcha!" Dream giggled, aiming his gun at Nightmare.

Horror shot Dream with a smirk from his vantage point on top of a wall.

 

Nightmare frowned up at Dream. He chuckled when he was shot by Horror.

Blue jumped up and climbed the wall, smiling at Horror. "Hi!" he said before shooting Horror.

 

"Hi." Horror replied before getting shot. He aimed his gun at Blue, smirking as he pulled the trigger.

 

Blue dodged to the side before jumping down with a wave. "Bye!"

Vigour stood up and looked at Ink with a playful pout. "And you didn't help me Inky? How could you?"

 

Horror waved before he slid down the wall to help Nightmare. He couldn't deny that Blue obviously had some skill.

"I'm sorryyyyy." Ink whined.

 

Vigour pouted and looked away. "You left me Inky. I thought you loved me."

"Will you let me go?" Nightmare asked since he'd been taken hostage by his brother.

 

"I'm so sorry!" Ink cried out.

"Sure." Dream replied with a smile and did that but not before shooting Nightmare. He ran away quickly.

 

Vigour turns his skull and smiles at Ink. "I'll forgive you if you prove you love me!"

Nightmare winced at the shot. He sat up and grumbled, showing Dream a middle finger. "Bitch!"

 

Ink got on his tiptoes to kiss Vigour.

"I'll get revenge." Ink promised.

Dream chuckled.

"Language, brother!" He shouted.

 

Vigour blushed at the kiss before smiling lovingly at Ink.

"Aw. Go fuck em up Inky-Bunny." he said softly and nuzzled Ink.

"Fuck you!" Nightmare screamed at Dream before standing up and running to another safe point.

Haven peeked out from his hideout and spotted Dust, shooting the other once before hiding.

 

"I will." Ink promised, nuzzling back.

Dream giggled as he crouched behind a wall.

"who the fuck was that?!" Dust cursed as he dove for cover.

 

Vigour chuckled softly. "You better get me a hostage too."

Killer looked around when Dust was shot but seeing no one. He took shelter behind a metal barrel. He looked up when Nightmare walked towards them and shows them a middle finger.

"You left me to him you fuckers." he grumbled with a frown.

 

Dust chuckled and pulled him behind the wall before he could get shot.

"sorry. we thought horror had it handled." He apologised.

 

Nightmare grumbled and looked away. He raised his gun and shot the back of Dream's skull that was poking out. "Payback you bastard!"

 

Dream yelped in fright when the back of his skull was hit.

"Hey!!!" He shouted.

Dust laughed.

"great aim."

 

Nightmare huffed and looked around for another target. "Being corrupted taught me to shoot better or die." he said nonchalantly and shot Blue a few times since he was in the open for a moment.

 

"it's really impressive." Dust mumbled as he peeked out of their hiding spot.

 

Nightmare shrugged and looked for another target.

Vigour looked over from his hiding place and shot Killer a few times since his leg was exposed.

 

Killer huffed and quickly took a step back, being hit two times.

 

Vigour fist pumped happily at the win. He looked at Ink with sparkling eyes. "I did that! Did you see?!"

 

"It was amazing!" Ink agreed happily. "You're so cool!" He quickly aimed at Horror who had been sneaking around and shot him once.

 

Vigour looked up and grinned, firing rapidly.

Horror yelped at the sudden barrage and turned tail to hide with his gang.

 

Killer grabbed Horror by the back of his jacket and pulled him behind a wall.

 

Horror let himself be pulled and thanked Killer.

"Thanks." he said and peeked over the hiding spot. "He's good."

 

"he is." Killer agreed, checking how much ammo he had left. "but we got nightmare."

 

Nightmare waved at Horror as he scanned the area.

Horror chuckled and nodded. "You're right. We have a sharp shooter on our team."

 

Killer nodded. Nightmare was an awesome shot. He peeked out of their hiding spot, frowning slightly and ducking away when he saw nobody.

 

Horror looked at Killer. "See anybody?"

Meanwhile, Vigour was hiding behind a wall and waiting for the perfect opportunity to shoot the opposite team.

 

"no. they're waiting for us to come out to shoot us i think..." Killer hummed thoughtfully.

 

Horror nodded and looked around. "Should we move to a safer location? They might advance on us."

 

"sounds good. cross? scouting mission?" Killer asked.

 

Cross nodded and looked around. He quickly ran to the nearest hiding spot as swiftly and silently as possible.

 

Killer smiled. Cross would be an awesome ninja. He chuckled slightly at the idea.

 

Cross looked around and kept low. He rolled swiftly to the next safe zone and looked around. Still nothing. Where were they-

He yelped when someone tackled him to the ground.

 

Killer quickly ran over to Cross, ducking behind obstacles to get to avoid getting shot.

 

Cross huffed and looked up at his attacker and found Blue smiling evilly.

"I have been told to take a hostage!" he said and easily lifted Cross up and ran away, dropping Cross' gun on the floor.

 

Killer ran after him but he couldn't get a clear shot without hitting Cross. He huffed and hid behind a wall, picking up Cross' gun.

 

Vigour tried to peak over his hiding spot after he sent Blue away. He giggled and turns towards Ink. Finally he could tease his little bunny.

"So, you're having fun Ink?" he asked with a mischievous grin.

 

"Yeah." Ink replied with a smile. "I'm really glad they invited us."

 

Vigour chuckled lowly and stalked over to Ink with half lidded eyes. "And I'm glad they let you come. Plus me. You know, I get kinda hyper during these types of games."

 

Ink looked up at Vigour, flushing slightly as he saw Vigour approach him.

 

Vigour grinned and put his arms to the side of Ink's skull, pinning him to the wall. His gun still in his right hand as he looked down at Ink.

"And wouldn't you know it? You're here. With me. Alone." he said, his voice trailing with a purr and a growl.

 

Ink flushed brightly as Vigour pinned him to the wall. He looked up at him, feeling his Soul pulse fast.

 

Vigour leaned close, almost touching Ink as he purred lowly. "And you know what's gonna happen now?"

 

Ink flushed brighter as he shook his skull slightly.

 

Vigour's feral look turned soft before he nuzzled Ink with closed eyes.

"You get love." he said softly, one arm lowering to Ink's hips to pull him closer for a hug.

 

Ink smiled and leaned into the hug, hugging back with a smile.

 

"I thought it was 'you get fucked'." Cross said from Blue's shoulder at the duo.

Vigour jumped in surprise and pointed the gun at the voice. He lowered it when he realized who had talked.

 

Ink flushed brightly, his whole face a rainbow of colours as he let out an embarrassed sound.

 

Vigour chuckled softly- a hint of mischief in his tone- and pulled Ink closer. "Well, I wouldn't mind. But we're is in public."

Cross laughed at his words. Suave was suave. "Okay. But what about at home?"

Vigour grinned and looked at Ink without turning away from Cross and Blue. "Well, we'll see." he purred lowly.

 

Ink flushed brighter at that, letting out an embarrassed squeak. He buried his face into Vigour.

"Stop teasing me..." He mumbled embarrassedly.

 

Vigour chuckled lowly and turned around to face Ink, one hand gently tilting Ink's chin up to face him. "What? You think I haven't thought about it? You know how crazy you make me?"

He dropped his hand and played with Ink's shirt, trailing his hand down the material and feeling something underneath. "I bet if I lift this up, I'll find a slightly toned body underneath. One that would drive me insane."

 

Ink looked up at Vigour shyly, his eye lights changing colour and shape rapidly. His face felt so hot.

He looked down slightly when Vigour touched his shirt, flushing even further. How could Vigour say something like that?! Did he really want to...?

 

Vigour grinned, his eyes starting to take on a darker shade of pink. The hand trailed lower as he spoke. "And wouldn't it be a rush? For me to take someone like you? To love you and make you see how much I love you."

The hand began playing with the knot that tied Ink's blue hoodie to his hips. Another hand went down to Ink's ass from behind. "The way you dress too. Those pants are tight. They really show your ass well."

 

Ink's face was glowing brightly as he stared into Vigour's eye lights.

"W-we.. we're in.. public..." Ink stammered, glancing over at Blue and Cross who were both making a video.

 

"So?" Vigour grinned at Ink. He pulled at the knot and loosened it, making it drop slightly lower down his hips. "You should really take this off to show your delicious ass. It'll make others jealous. And me smug knowing that I can break their hearts when they know that you're mine."

Vigour paused and flushed deeply when he said that. Shame and fear growing inside of him. He... he hadn't meant to sound possessive. He just- he-

 

"O-okay..." Ink mumbled quietly, slowly taking off his jacket and putting it into a portal to his room.

"I'm yours." He mumbled, only loud enough for Vigour to hear.

 

Vigour blushed brightly with wide eye sockets when Ink did that. He blinked a few times in shock but his mind was blank. Damn Ink was hot and perfect.

"You... you don't need to do that." Vigour stuttered softly but he was touched. "I was just..." just being silly and honest. If not a little horny.

 

Ink smiled shyly and got onto the tips of his toes to kiss Vigour gently.

 

Vigour made a soft noise of surprise and tensed at the touch. He relaxed after a moment and kissed back. His hands going to Ink's upper back to hug him loosely.

 

Ink hummed happily and held Vigour loosely, kissing him gently.

 

Vigour pulled away and nuzzled Ink happily.

"Thank you." he mumbled before snapping one eye open to summon his paint and wrap around the dark Sanses that had tried to sneak up on them.

 

Ink nuzzled back happily, looking up to see where the startled shouts had come from.

 

Vigour grinned up and them and turned his skull to look at the floating skeletons trapped in his balls of different coloured paints.

"Nice try guys." He said smugly.

Nightmare frowned at the skeleton. "We thought you'd be distracted. And isn't this cheating?!"

"It's paint isn't it?" Vigour winked. "Paint-ball."

 

Killer huffed.

"we agreed on no magic, remember?" He reminded Vigour.

 

Vigour shrugged at them carelessly. "And you were interrupting a private moment with my baby bunny."

"But fine." he said and lowered them down carefully. He picked up his gun and shot each one of them with a grin. "How's that?"

 

Ink flushed brightly.

Killer quickly got his gun into position and shot Vigour.

Dust chuckled and did the same, handing a gun to Cross.

 

Vigour smirked at them before dodging the paint balls easily by turning around, making Ink turn with him by spinning him.

He shot all of them again before running away with Ink.

 

Ink chuckled as he ran after Vigour.

Killer huffed. He'd never get all that paint out of his shirt.

 

The other light Sanses followed the retreating duo.

Vigour laughed happily as he ran with Ink and his gun. Today was so much fun.

Chapter Text

Ink looked around confusedly, wincing immediately. There was white all around him. It was everywhere. He flinched back.

He was in the anti-void.

He quickly tried to summon a portal, his eye lights shrinking in panic, changing rapidly as he found he couldn't.

 

"Help!" a voice sounding so similar hollered in the white.

 

Ink flinched slightly and quickly ran into the direction the voice had come from. He needed to get to Vigour quickly.

 

Vigour was halfway into the ground of white. The floor acting like glue and water at the same time, sucking him inside.

Small shaking eye lights spotted Ink and he reached a hand out pleadingly. "Help me! Please!"

 

Ink's eye sockets widened and he sprinted towards Vigour, feeling tears sting in his eye sockets.

No. Nonononono. Why..

 

Vigour gasped when the white thing reached his skull, threatening to pull him down.

"Ink please! Help me!" he screamed fearfully.

 

Ink felt tears drip down his cheek bones as he grabbed Vigour's hands and struggled to pull him out.

 

Vigour grabbed Ink as hard as he could, screaming in fear when he sunk deeper into the white.

Slowly but surely, he began to be pulled out of the white.

 

"Stats damnit..." Ink cursed as his grip slipped slightly. He quickly readjusted his grip and pulled as hard as he could.

 

Vigour tried to hold on as much as he could as the white slowly lost its grip on him.

Suddenly he was released and thrown into Ink from the sudden force. He fell onto the floor on top of Ink, groaning softly.

 

Ink grunted as he stumbled back, Vigour on top of him.

 

Vigour looked down at Ink before smiling brightly with tears in his eyes. "Ink. Ink you saved me."

Vigour hugged Ink tightly. "Thank you."

 

Ink hugged Vigour tightly, wiping away his tears.

"Always." He replied, cuddling Vigour gently.

 

Vigour pulled away before giving a quick but meaningful kiss. Vigour pulled away from the kiss before he smiled down at Ink softly.

"Ink...I-" he gasped in shock as his eyes widened. He gulped and looked down at his chest where a white sharp arrow pierced his Soul, the little culmination of his being pierced through and out of his chest.

 

Ink smiled, kissing Vigour back gently. His expression morphed to horrified shock when a white arrow punched out Vigour's Soul.

"VIGOUR!!!" He shouted, tears in his eye sockets.

 

Vigour let out a shaky sigh as part of his skull began dusting. He looked at Ink for a moment before smiling shakily, tears streaming down his face.

"I'm sorry." he whispered as his Soul cracked. "I'm sorry I couldn't be here for you anymore."

 

"No!!!" Ink shouted, tears streaming down his face. He hugged Vigour close, trying to summon his magic to heal him but it didn't work!

"Please no! V-vigour!!" Ink sobbed.

 

Vigour smiled shakily and leaned into the touch weakly.

"I love you Inky." he whispered to Ink weakly. "Please... stay happy for me."

A trail of solid white wrapped around Vigour's ribs and pulled him back from Ink and back into the floor.

 

Ink sobbed loudly, holding Vigour close.

"I love you! I love you too!!! Please don't go!" He sobbed, screaming in pain as the white took away his Vigour.

 

"I wish I can. But..." Vigour trailed off as more white tendrils wrapped around him. He let go of Ink hand and smiled with tears down his face. He sunk into the white floor, leaving nothing behind.

"The white always consumes its victims."

 

Ink woke up with a scream. He bolted upright, curling in on himself as he started sobbing. He kicked away the white bedsheets with a deep hatred in his eye lights before he closed his eye sockets tightly, sobbing harshly.

 

Vigour peeked inside Ink's room a few minutes later, rubbing his eye sockets tiredly. He was wearing some loose pink pants and a green sweater.

"Ink?" he said sleepily as he looked at Ink's curled up form. "You okay? I heard you crying."

 

Ink looked up, his eye sockets empty of light but full of tears. He sobbed quietly, trying to wipe his tears away.

 

Vigour's eyes widened and he walked inside, closing the door. He kneeled on the bed beside Ink and reached a hand out with sympathetic eyes.

"Ink.... what's wrong?" he asked softly. "What happened?"

 

Ink sobbed quietly, shaking his head. He wouldn't tell Vigour. It was too horrible to even think about. He shied away from the white of Vigour's hand.

 

Vigour pulled his hand back with a frown. Poor Ink. Something must have happened. He sighed and sat down beside Ink. He wouldn't touch Ink if the other didn't want to. He could understand the need for space.

"Hey, do you want to hear what I dreamt about?" he asked softly with a smile. "It's kinda funny and weird."

 

Ink sniffled quietly, wiping away his tears frantically. He flinched when he saw his own hand. Too much white. He quickly got out his gloves and covered his hands with them, words echoing inside his skull.

The white always consumes its victims.

 

Vigour raised a confused brow when Ink put on gloves. His eyes widened when he realized a moment later. He sighed softly. Ink...

He could understand. It was just... it hurt that they had had so much progress and it was gone now.

 

Ink looked up at Vigour. There were so many white things that could hurt him... His eye lights were dim but there. He sniffled quietly.

"H.. hug...?" He asked hesitantly.

 

Vigour looked at Ink in surprise. But... what about his phobia?

He looked down at his white hands before he grabbed Ink's spare brown gloves from his bedside table to put it on. He smiled at Ink and showed it to him, making jazz hands.

"Now we can." he said softly before gently pulling Ink in a loose hug.

 

Ink sniffled quietly and hugged Vigour close. He wasn't afraid of the white. He was afraid for Vigour.

 

Vigour smiled and nuzzled Ink's skull softly. "It's okay. I won't let anyone or anything hurt you. Okay? I'm here for you. Always."

 

Ink gripped Vigour a bit tighter. He cared so much about him. When had he allowed himself to care so much? Why? He was so stupid...

 

Vigour kissed Ink's skull when he felt the grip tighten. "Shh.... it's alright Ink. It's alright. Everything's alright."

 

Ink sniffled quietly, burying his face in Vigour's shirt.

"m sorry.." He mumbled quietly.

 

Vigour rubbed the back of Ink's skull slowly. His Soul humming calmly to ease Ink's fear and worry.

"Why are you apologizing?" he asked softly. "You didn't do anything wrong. And if you did, you fixed it remember?"

 

Ink's breath hitched on a sob as he held Vigour close. He didn't give him an answer, trying to block out the white.

 

Vigour frowned softly and hugged Ink closer, rubbing Ink's skull and back slowly. He closed his eyes as he tried to comfort Ink as much as he could.

"It'll be okay. Let's just rest okay? You've had a long night." he said softly.

 

Ink sniffled softly.

"O-okay..." He mumbled quietly.

 

Vigour smiled slightly. "Want me to sleep with you? Or do I need to leave?"

 

"Please s-stay..." Ink whispered, tears rolling down his cheek bones as he looked up at Vigour.

 

Vigour gently wiped the tears away with his thumb. "Shh... okay. I will."

He laid back onto the pillow and pulled Ink to lie beside him, still hugging loosely.

 

Ink laid down next to Vigour, hugging him gently.

 

Vigour smiled and rubbed Ink's back and skull slowly to make him sleep. He fought his own sleep to make sure Ink would sleep peacefully.

 

Ink shivered slightly as the words echoed in his skull, tears threatening to spill down his cheek bones again.

 

Vigour wiped the forming tears away.

"Do you want me to hum a song?" he asked softly. He was trying to calm Ink. He knew nightmares tend to haunt the mind with images and voices.

 

Ink sniffled quietly.

"P-please..." He mumbled softly, burying his face into Vigour's shirt.

 

Vigour nodded and thought of a song to sing. He picked a soft song he had heard from the radio in his own Multiverse and hummed lowly.

 

Ink relaxed slowly as he listened to Vigour. His eye sockets slowly slipped shut as he calmed down from his awful dream.

 

Vigour continued to hum slowly and lowly, repeating the song when he was done. It seemed to work perfectly.

 

Ink slowly fell asleep, holding onto the one he loved gently.

 

Vigour smiled when Ink fell asleep. He stopped humming and closed his eyes, drifting off immediately.

He hoped Ink wouldn't have any long term effects from whatever nightmare he'd had.

 

~~~

 

Ink dragged himself out of his bed, his eye sockets dark. Why had he ever allowed himself to feel anything?

He opened the door and walked to the living room, forcing his eye lights to ignite. It hurt to forcefully do that.

 

Vigour looked up and frowned at Ink. He forced himself to relax and gave him a smile. "Hey Inky! I was thinking of getting some ice cream cookies. Any requests?"

 

"No. I don't really feel like eating." Ink mumbled, his voice monotonous.

 

Vigour frowned at the tone. It had been like that for a week now. It was irritating because clearly Ink was hurting himself! But Ink kept pushing him away when he tried to help!

"Oh." he said softly, his tone not matching his irritation but replaced with sadness. "Well, you haven't eaten much in a while. You need anything? If not, maybe a hug or just hang out?"

 

"No. I'm fine." Ink replied, sitting down on the couch. His Soul was aching but he didn't mind. It reminded him of the pain when Error destroyed his AUs.

 

Vigour felt his 'bs meter'- as his friend used to call it- reach its highest peak. He still contained it. He wouldn't snap at Ink. He wouldn't. He wouldn't.

But damn if Ink wasn't frustrating!

"Is something wrong?" Vigour asked softly in worry. Of course something was wrong! He could literally feel his own emotions being sucked out of him because Ink was somehow making himself emotionless! "You know you can tell me. I'm here for you. I'll listen."

 

"Thanks, Vigour but I'm fine." Ink replied, taking great care to keep his emotions away.

 

Vigour frowned deeply and looked at the table where Ink's sash laid.

"When was the last time you drank any of your paints?" he asked. He knew Ink needed them to keep his emotions more stable.

 

Ink frowned slightly.

"No idea." He replied, staring at the wall. He didn't want to drink the colours. He didn't want to paint or draw either...

 

Vigour raised a brow at him. "Are you gonna drink them?" he asked before narrowing his eyes. "Like, now."

 

"Why should I? It doesn't matter anyways..." Ink replied, frowning slightly when his eye magic stung and his eye lights went out.

 

Vigour frowned as his mental meter shattered. He stood up and stalked towards Ink angrily, his eyes glowing brightly but without a pink hue. "Okay, I am done with your bullshit."

He stood in front of Ink with a glare. "You have been like this for weeks. I don't know what the fuck is wrong with you but I will not let you go on like this!"

 

Ink looked up at Vigour, not reacting in any other way.

"What exactly do you want to do?" He asked. Despite not wanting to be attached to Vigour, he couldn't help but hope he didn't want to break up with him.

 

"I will make you take care of yourself." Vigour said while crossing his arms. "You won't tell me what's wrong. Fine. I get it. But I will not let you tear yourself apart like this. As your mate I will make you better, willingly or not. Even if I literally need to kick your ass."

 

"You can try." Ink replied, trying to sound emotionless but there was a barely audible, desperate plea inside there.

 

Vigour's eye twitched before flaming up pink with magic. He used blue magic to hold Ink down on the couch as he floated the paints over to him.

"Good. Cause I'm not stopping until I succeed." he said with determination in his tone.

 

"Okay." Ink agreed, looking at the paints. That probably wouldn't work.

 

Vigour rolled his eyes and gave Ink the sash of paints. "Drink three of them. Orange, pink and purple. I need to make a call. And don't you dare skip drinking or else I'll shove it down your throat."

Vigour walked away and pulled out his phone to call Nightmare. "Hey, I need your help."

 

Ink shrugged slightly but complied, drinking a bit from each colour. He didn't know what Vigour hoped to accomplish with that.

 

~~~

 

Vigour walked towards Ink carrying a bowl of warm soup in one hand and a mug of chocolate milk in the other.

He sat down beside Ink and placed the mug down onto the table.

 

Ink looked up, looking slightly confused. What was Vigour doing?

 

Vigour grabbed a spoonful, blowing softly before moving it towards Ink's mouth.

"Eat." he said sternly. He had asked Nightmare how to make someone better and the other had taught him how to make healthy full HP food. Since Ink was stubborn- and hadn't eaten in who knew how long, he'd get half a bowl of vegetable chicken soup. He had a sandwich- chicken, cheese, vegetables and a little love- ready in the kitchen too. First objective, butter Ink with food and honesty.

 

Ink huffed slightly. He didn't want to eat at all. He just wasn't hungry.

"I'm not hungry..." He mumbled, scooting away from Vigour slightly.

 

Vigour frowned and a tentacle made of paint pushed Ink closer towards him and pushed the skull to the food.

"I wasn't asking." Vigour said with glowing eyes. A clear threat if he didn't comply.

 

Ink growled quietly but opened his mouth.

 

Vigour put the spoon inside Ink's mouth before pulling it out.

He scooped up another spoonful and did it again.

 

Ink closed his mouth tightly after the fifth mouthful. He couldn't taste the soup at all. What did it taste like? He'd eaten some of it. Why couldn't he taste it?

 

Vigour huffed when Ink refused to open his mouth.

"Finish it, Ink." Vigour said with narrowed eyes. "This isn't even a full bowl. And you haven't eaten in who knows how long."

 

"Shh. I'm having an internal panic because I can't taste the soup." Ink mumbled more to himself than to Vigour.

 

Vigour raised a brow but paused. Fine. He'd give Ink the benefit of doubt.

"That's normal." Vigour said. "I've seen others who went through the same. Felt it myself a few times. You'll be able to taste it after you've eaten a lot."

 

Did he just say that to get him to eat or was it true? It probably was true.

"It's really weird..." Ink mumbled.

 

Vigour nodded in understanding and put the spoon down. "It is. But it happens. You haven't eaten in a long while so your tastebuds taste nothing."

 

"Stupid tastebuds." Ink grumbled quietly. He flinched slightly when pain filtered through the indifference. Shit..

His Soul was pounding with pain.

 

Vigour raised a brow with a blank face and scooped up a spoonful. "Eat. You'll feel better. And it'll get your tastebuds working again."

 

Ink winced slightly, a shiver of pain ripping through him but he opened his mouth.

 

Vigour put the spoon in Ink's mouth, leaving it in for a moment before pulling it out. He repeated the process again.

 

Why did Vigour care so much for him even after he had ignored or denied any attempt of help?

Ink felt tears collect in his eye sockets. Why did he care so much about Vigour? How had that happened?!

 

Vigour stopped feeding Ink- the bowl was almost empty- and put the bowl down. He gently used his thumb to wipe the tears away.

"Shh... are you still hungry?" He asked gently, all traces of the earlier sternness gone.

 

Ink shook his head, trying to reign back his emotions.

 

Vigour frowned at him. He didn't believe him. Still so stubborn.

"What's wrong Inky?" he asked softly. "You know you can tell me. And you know I'll listen."

 

"It's stupid..." Ink mumbled. Because really, it was stupid. It was stupid to think that just because a dream where Vigour had been consumed by the anti-void, that it would happen in reality and that he was so extremely scared Vigour would die that-

His thoughts were cut off by Vigour.

 

"Whatever caused you to be like this is not stupid." Vigour replied softly, his eyes gentle and caring as he touched Ink's cheek. "I won't judge you for it. But I need to understand first. I can't do that if you don't tell me. So please, tell me."

 

"I had a nightmare." Ink mumbled quietly, his Soul beating painfully.

That sounded even more stupid. He'd been pushing Vigour away for weeks because of a nightmare. He was such an asshole.

 

"And what was it about?" Vigour asked softly. What was about that one nightmare that it had caused Ink to act like this for weeks? It must have been severe. Or at least, severe to Ink.

 

"You... You died... I couldn't save you and the white consumed you..." Ink explained shakily, his eye lights small and trembling as they changed shape rapidly.

 

'Oh... Ink...' Vigour smiled softly and gave a brief kiss to Ink's skull. "I'm here Ink. I'm safe. The white isn't here to take me from you. Okay?"

 

Ink sniffled quietly.

"What if you die...?" He asked hesitantly.

 

Vigour raised a curious brow. "If I died? What do you mean?"

 

Ink sobbed quietly.

"I'm happy with you, I really am, but I can't stand the thought of losing you." He sobbed.

 

Vigour stared at Ink for a moment before smiling softly. He gently wiped away Ink's tears and pulled him into a loose hug.

"I can't say for the future." he said softly as he looked at the table. "But I can say that, I can't control life or death. Death can happen to anyone at any time. Especially when you don't want it to."

His eyes flashed pink for a moment. "But while we can't change that, we can change our thoughts. I was scared too, Ink. Scared of losing the ones I love. But I learned not to fear when they're gone, but cherish when they're here. Cause memories last forever. Especially if you cherish them."

 

Ink hugged Vigour back, his shoulders shaking with sobs.

"I.. I love you... I'm sorry..." He whimpered quietly.

 

Vigour startled at the sudden hug before smiling and hugging back with a small affectionate/comforting nuzzle. "There's nothing to be sorry about. You are not at fault for being afraid."

 

Ink sobbed quietly, burying his face into Vigour's shirt.

 

"Shh..." Vigour whispered into Ink's skull as he rubbed his back slowly. "It's okay Ink. It's okay. Let it out. You'll feel better."

 

Ink took almost half an hour to finally calm down.

He sniffled quietly, pulling away. He probably made Vigour uncomfortable.

 

Vigour smiles down at Ink, having gotten used to the touch a while ago. "Do you feel better now?"

 

"Y-yeah..." Ink mumbled quietly.

 

"Do you want some chocolate milk?" Vigour asked with a soft smile.

 

"Cho-chocolate milk...?" Ink stammered quietly. His throat was rather dry. Chocolate milk sounded pretty good.

 

Vigour nodded and grabbed the mug from the table, handing it to Ink. Nightmare had recommended having it around just in case.

 

Ink took the cup and took a small sip, noticing that the chocolate milk didn't taste only dull. There was some taste there.

 

Vigour rubbed Ink's back slowly with a small smile. At least Ink was feeling better.

 

"I'm sorry for trying to push you away..." Ink apologised quietly.

 

"It's okay. I understand." Vigour replied quietly. "You had me so worried."

 

"I'm sorry..." Ink mumbled, feeling a bit tired from the emotional strain.

"I'll try not to do it again." He added.

 

Vigour hugged Ink and kissed his skull softly. "Good. I was so worried. Seeing you like that, it hurts."

 

"I'm sorry." Ink apologised again, leaning into Vigour.

 

"I know." Vigour said and peppered Ink's skull in kisses. "Didn't stop me from worrying. Don't do that again."

 

"I'll try... Whenever I feel like this I'll tell you?" Ink suggested quietly, messing with his gloves nervously.

 

Vigour smiled wider and hugged Ink with a nuzzle. "Yeah. You'll tell me and I'll do my best to help you."

 

"Thanks..." Ink whispered, hugging Vigour closely.

 

"Anytime." Vigour smiled before grinning playfully. "And you better not do it again. I won't hesitate to force you to eat either."

 

"Okay..." Ink mumbled, hugging Vigour gently as he yawned quietly.

 

"I think someone is a little sleepy." Vigour teased and set Ink's mug down onto the table. He put his arms under Ink and lifted him up bridal style. "Time for bed, bunny."

 

"Okay..." Ink agreed easily, cuddling into Vigour slightly.

 

Vigour smiled at Ink as he walked into Ink's room and closed the door with his foot. He laid Ink down onto the bed and covered him up with the blanket. He pulled away to leave but he was interrupted by Ink.

 

Ink sighed quietly when he was tucked in and was about to drift off when Vigour left.

He reached out to him, looking up at him with pleading eye lights.

"Please don't leave me alone..." He pleaded.

 

Vigour looked at Ink in surprise before smiling softly and nodding. He went back to Ink's bed and crawled in beside Ink, lying down and hugging Ink loosely.

 

Ink sighed in relief and cuddled into Vigour, his eye sockets falling shut.

 

Vigour smiled down at Ink. "Maybe I should rename you cuddle bunny instead." he mumbles lowly.

 

"Sure..." Ink mumbled sleepily, agreeing easily.

 

Vigour rubbed Ink's skull to ease him to sleep. He gently kissed Ink's skull with a smile. "Go to sleep Inky. I'll be here when you wake up." he promised softly.

 

Ink hummed softly, cuddling into Vigour. He slowly drifted off.

 

Vigour smiled before frowning slightly. A nightmare about him being consumed by white? That had made Ink like this. He didn't like it. He didn't like Ink hurting himself.

He pulled Ink closer and closed his eyes. Well, now he could make sure Ink wouldn't hurt himself again.