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October Drabbles 2019

Chapter Text

Time on the Surface is so different than Underground.

Most of it is thanks to the sun. The humans’ world revolves around it, literally and figuratively. Even with clocks of the digital and analogue varieties, the sun’s cycle is an important indicator of time. As long as it is visible, it is considered to be daytime, the more socially acceptable period to be out and about. This contrasts heavily to the Underground, when day was when the king declared it to be, not that it made any difference in how safe it was to be in public.

Before, like many monsters, one of the Surface things Edge was most excited to see was the sun. To feel its warm rays on his skull. To watch the sky be painted in a rainbow of colours as it rises each morning. From a young age, even in the bleakness of living in Underfell, Edge thought of the sun as freedom, as the best thing he could look forward to if he was able to live long enough to see it.

Now, though, he knows that he was wrong.

The sun is too bright, almost unnaturally so. On good days, he sometimes doesn’t notice it; it has almost become as normal as the blizzards were in Snowdin. On bad days, however, it seems blinding, making the crack through his eye socket twinge painfully.

Speaking from a basis of survival, it should be comforting, that brightness. After all, when there is a good source of light, it is harder for unsavoury creatures to hide in obscurity. He can see the dangers around him more easily now.

Still, if he had to choose, Edge would say he prefers the night. 

After all, there is nothing like seeing his lover’s face under the pale light of the moon.

Pulling Stretch closer, Edge tilts his head up, looking at the stars. If he concentrates, he can make out a constellation or two. Orion’s belt, a line of stars Stretch had made sure to point out the first time they had gone stargazing together. One of the dippers, although, to this day, he cannot recall which is which.

Edge imagines that this is what the other ‘verses got to enjoy in Waterfall’s gem caves. Years ago, perhaps, things were the same in Underfell. Never when he was alive. One simply couldn’t afford to stop and stare at the ceiling, making wishes and dreaming of seeing the real stars. Not if he wanted to live.

Here, he doesn’t have to deprive himself of such luxuries. That doesn’t mean that he still isn’t on guard; the Surface may be safer than his Underground, but that doesn’t mean that danger is nonexistent, and some old habits will never die.

An eager hand suddenly grasps his own. “did you see that?”

“Hmm?”

“there!” With his other hand, Stretch points to a fast moving line of light. A shooting star. “did you make a wish?”

Edge hums absently, running his gloved thumb over Stretch’s knuckles. “Did you?”

“well, yeah,” he responds, an unspoken ‘obviously’ implied. Without looking, Edge can see the grin covering Stretch’s face, diminishing the stubborn dark circles under his eyes. He is doing far better than when they first met. Both of them are. 

Turning his head, Edge drinks in the sight of his love’s happiness. Even when he knows it is there, it won’t ever stop him from seeking it.

“Are you going to share?”

“huh?” Edge can feel his expression soften as Stretch shakes his head, visibly trying to recenter his thoughts. In the dark privacy of their backyard, he doesn't bother hiding the joy Stretch brings to his soul. His brother says he is a lovesick fool. He isn’t wrong. “oh, right, my wish. of course not! it won’t come true if i tell you!”

“Of course,” he says dryly. “How could I forget?”

“good thing you’ve got me, then.” Snuggling in to rest his head on Edge’s chest, he asks, “got any more of those cookies?”

“Chocolate chip or gingersnap?”

“babe, i thought you knew me better than that.”

He does, but it is still good to make sure. Reaching into the tupperware at his side, he takes out three cookies; a chocolate chip and a gingersnap for Stretch, and another gingersnap for himself.

They eat their cookies in silence. Another shooting star passes by, and he can feel Stretch hold his breath as he makes another wish. Just like the first time, Edge doesn’t bother.

Why would he need to make a wish when he is already living it?

Chapter Text

The second he spots them in the pile of assorted Halloween supplies, Stretch knows that it is going to be impossible to resist temptation.

Quietly, while Edge is busy putting away the vegetables he bought to help balance out the copious amounts of sugar in the house, he snatches the package and shortcuts up to their bedroom.

 


 

The house is quiet. Too quiet, if Edge is to be honest with himself. There is almost always something making noise, whether Stretch is napping to the apparently soothing sounds of the science channel, whether he is tinkering away at some experiment or if he is just chattering away to Edge as he works. Sometimes, it is even as simple as hearing Stretch’s breathing in the wee hours of the night, the comforting knowledge that Edge isn’t alone.

Right now, however, the only thing he can hear is the soft, rhythmic sounds of his knife slicing through carrots and peppers for supper.

“look, edgelord, i’m dressed up as you.”

Veggies go flying across the kitchen as Edge whips around, startled by the words that were said far too close to his acoustic meatus from out of nowhere. When he realises who it is, he drops his knife, horrified.

“Don’t do that,” he warns, breathing heavily. The urge to fight, deeply ingrained since early childhood, is still going strong. His soul is agitated, magic ready to do harm. Beyond that, however, is the awful realisation of how close the edge of his knife came to Stretch. If he had taken even half a step forward—

In the corner of his vision, he notices Stretch’s hands slowly moving towards him, a wordless offering. Nerves shaky, he accepts, letting his love wrap his cool, slender hands around his scarred ones.

“sorry, babe,” Stretch whispers guiltily. “i know better than to sneak up on you like that.”

He does. However, now that he is calm enough to think more rationally, Edge realises that there had been an eagerness which has been replaced by shame, which simply won’t do. “Stretch…”

His thoughts completely derail when he tilts his head up to look him in the eye.

What. On earth?

“like them?” Stretch asks, and it is a wonder that his voice isn’t muffled in the slightest. “toldja, i’m dressed up as you.”

And indeed he is. The leather pants, too short in the leg and too wide at the hips, can only belong to Edge’s side of the closet. The same goes for the crimson button up, sleeves pushed up past the elbows to reveal smooth, gleaming bone. Frankly, even if it is ill fitting, seeing the combination on Stretch is quite the enticement.

What catches him off-guard the most, though, is clearly a new addition.

“What are those?”

Without missing a beat, he answers, “they are my crocs.” Even though his mouth is covered by whatever monstrosity he is wearing, Edge can hear his shit eating grin. “nah. i thought this—” he says, tapping at it, “—would help me match you better.”

Dryly, Edge observes, “I don’t recall ever having bright red lips.”

This earns a muffled laugh as Stretch endeavours to keep them in place. “that would sure be something. i was talking about the teeth, smartass. i tried removing the lips from the first set of wax fangs, but it didn’t really look right. this is actually the better option.”

Edge hums, considering. Then, he leans forward, kissing the waxy candy. The texture is strange, almost greasy, and there is a slight taste of cherry. “Bonus points for attempts at accuracy,” he decides, removing the fangs from Stretch’s mouth, “but not nearly as satisfying as this.”

He draws Stretch closer, carefully side stepping the knife and vegetable slices on the floor, to further prove his verdict.

Supper can wait.

Chapter Text

Out of all of his alternates, Stretch is easily Edge’s least favourite.

Lazy, judgemental, prideful and impulsive, the ashtray manages to combine the most obnoxious things about his brother with his least favourite aspects of himself.

“hey, killer!”

Correction: most of his least favourite aspects of himself.

Part of him considers simply ignoring the other skeleton. It would be easy enough to do; the streets are loud this afternoon, cars driving past and creating waves of dirty water to dodge to avoid as he walks on the sidewalk.

“edge!”

He raises a brow, turning around. Never has he heard Stretch use his new name, even in the presence of the other skeletons. Edge has grown all too used to epithets such as ‘murderer’, ‘dust collector’, ‘dust buster’, ‘fucker’, ‘unrepentant slayer’ and the oh-so-memorable ‘pompous ass of a killer’. The closest Stretch has ever come is the milder ‘edgelord’ he uses to avoid offending Blue, but even something as tame as that can come across as scorching when spoken with such a burning loathing.

This ought to be good.

“What do you want?” Edge snaps. He has places to be, and standing around downtown in the middle of a downpour isn’t one of them.

Stretch, completely soaked through, opens his mouth to say something. Before he can, however, a wracking cough runs through his body. Without thinking, Edge surges forward to help.

Damn the nurturing part of him. At times like this, it is annoying as hell.

After what feels like an eternity, the coughing fit stops. Weakly, Stretch leans against Edge. “thanks,” he says, clearly trying to sound as blasé as he normally does. It isn’t convincing. “you, uh, wouldn’t happen to have a juice box or something on hand, would you?" 

He narrows his eyes, suspicious. "No. Why—”

Then it hits him.

Stretch is outside. Walking. In a heavy rainstorm. Instead of taking a shortcut. And he wants food. From Edge, of all people.

“How low is your magic?” Edge demands. He needs to be prepared; it would do neither of them any good if Stretch randomly passes out on the concrete, vulnerable to passersby.

“what does it matter to you?”

Am I not allowed to show concern about you, he almost says. Instead, he goes with, “Well, I’m sure your brother wouldn’t appreciate it if I left you to dust in the streets.”

This seems to get to him. Stretch slouches more than usual, raising his right arm to cough once more into his sleeve. Edge hovers uselessly, unsure of how to help his double at this time. 

"sorry 'bout that,” Stretch says, mercifully breathing again.

“Don’t be.” Edge holds his umbrella a bit higher. “Come here, you fool, before you get sick.”

Obediently, Stretch shuffles under the umbrella. “too late for that,” he says bitterly. With this close proximity, Edge can notice his shivering. Ignoring how the wetness starts seeping through his own clothes, he draws the waterlogged skeleton under his arm, both steadying him and trying to share some body heat.

“Hurry up, now,” he says gruffly, using the physical contact to his advantage to guide Stretch forward, “and let’s get out of the rain.”

Neither of them say a word as they walk, which is probably for the better; Edge doesn’t know what he would do if they got into one of their normal disputes at this specific moment in time. It is only when they are a few blocks away when Stretch speaks up.

“where are we going?”

“My house.”

“why?”

“Because it’s closer than your house. Besides, I don’t particularly feel like dealing with Blue’s disappointment just because you’re the idiot who goes out in the rain without the proper clothing while his magic is drained.”

Edge ignores the way he can feel Stretch wither at the scathing remark. It isn’t like they haven’t said worse things to each other; some days, that exchange could be considered as downright courteous. He must be shivering from the cold, Edge convinces himself.

Despite this, a twinge of guilt weighs on his soul.

Edge hands Stretch his umbrella so he can unlock his door more easily. Quickly, he heads to his room, ushering Stretch in to wait in the living room.

“Here,” he says firmly, handing over a pair of track pants he wears for his early morning jogs and a sweater that this universe’s queen pushed on him last Gyftmas. Besides being warm and soft, it is decorated with skulls wearing Santa hats, which should appeal to his alternate’s sense of humour. “You know where the bathroom is. Have a warm shower before you fall over, then you can put these on. There are some extra towels under the sink.”

Stretch gives him a weird look, but doesn’t say anything.

As soon as the bathroom door closes, Edge gets to work. The first thing to do, of course, is to lock the front door, but that only takes seconds to do. Next up is to make something for Stretch to eat; the sooner he gets his magic levels back up, the sooner he can get out of Edge’s sight.

Kettle beginning to boil, Edge sits down, readying himself. Infusing healing intent into food is will always be a struggle for him now, his LV making it more and more difficult. Once, when he was younger and his soul was less stained…

It doesn’t matter. That was the past, and this is now. The fact of the matter is, Stretch was already looking sickly when they met up today. Edge will just have to suck it up and put in the extra effort.

By the time Stretch finally leaves the steam-filled bathroom, Edge is sitting on one end of the couch, a modest pile of pillows and blankets neatly arranged on the other side and two cups of hot tea and snacks set on a tray on the coffee table.

“what’s this?” Stretch asks, snatching a haystack from the tray. Dressed in dry clothes, he is already starting to look a bit better. Still, that doesn’t stop Edge from performing a Check on him; better safe than sorry when it comes to someone with such low HP. It earns him a dirty look, but no argument. Then again, it is difficult to argue when one is stuffing one’s mouth with food, but that has never stopped Stretch before.

“Sit your ass down,” he scolds, “and I’ll tell you.”

fine.” Stretch rolls his eye lights disdainfully, immediately making himself a cocoon of blankets. It doesn’t escape Edge’s notice how tightly Stretch bundles the blankets around his body, like he is still cold. He frowns, quickly handing over a cup of tea; even if Stretch doesn’t drink it like he is supposed to, it will at least help warm his hands some more.

“Is there anything else you’d like to eat?”

“what i’d like,” he says, spitting that word like it has a bitter taste, “is to know what’s going through that thick skull of yours.” With a sweeping gesture, he adds, “if you want to play tea party, talk to someone else. i’m sure paps would have fun. if you’re really desperate, i hear this asgore likes his tea.”

Edge picks up his own tea, forcing himself to take a drink before he says something regrettable. “Don’t be ridiculous. I’m doing this for you.”

Stretch scoffs. “yeah, because i can definitely believe that.”

“You need to refuel your magic—”

“so this is just some charity thing? trying to lessen your own guilt by helping the poor, defenseless skeleton with low hp?” Angrily, he shifts forward, dropping his teacup with no regards for the coasters Edge had laid out. “well, you can take your charity and shove it. i’m going home.”

“Stretch, wait—”

He cuts himself off. While getting up, Stretch missteps, getting his foot caught in one of the blankets. Acting on sheer instinct, Edge catches him before he hits the coffee table.

He isn’t sure how much time passes. Five seconds. Maybe a minute. All he knows is that it feels like both an eternity and no time at all, staring into those pale, startled eye lights, feeling Stretch’s lithe weight in his arms.

Eventually, the moment is broken. “let me go.”

Edge nods, helping Stretch get to his feet. “Look. I know we may not get along the best—”

that’s the understatement of the year”

“—but please understand, this isn’t just charity.” He pauses, trying to sort out his words. “I am… concerned for your safety. But, if you really want to leave, I won’t stop you. I’ll just ask that you permit me to escort you home.”

Slumping back into the couch, Stretch says, “okay.” 

Edge can barely hide his relief.

Over the next few hours, raindrops continue their rhythmic pattering against the window. Eventually, Stretch falls asleep, leaning against Edge’s shoulder, leaving Edge with a mysterious warm feeling growing in the bottom of his soul.

Chapter Text

Coffee in hand, Stretch settles down on the nearest park bench, ready to waste some time. Blue isn’t expecting him home for another hour or so, and he doesn’t feel like explaining that he ditched his friend early because he didn’t feel like being the awkward third wheel. Again.

Out of nowhere, a blur of black and white fur comes skittering over. It stops at his ankles, tail wagging and tongue lolling out of its mouth. “hey there, little guy,” Stretch says, cautiously offering a hand to sniff. As a skeleton, dogs are a risky animal to encounter; he isn’t particularly fond of having animals chomp on his bones, thank you very much. When that is accepted, Stretch starts petting. Experience has proven that dogs are far less likely to nip at him if their attention is on being loved. Almost immediately, the fluffball flops to the ground, rolling over to hint that belly rubs are calling. Far be it from Stretch to ignore such an important request.

“Bailey!”

The dog’s ears perk up at the call. Soon, another skeleton comes jogging over, two leashes in hand: a green one leading a pure white dog roughly the same size as the one at Stretch’s feet, and a yellow one bearing an empty harness.

“hey, is this your dog?” Stretch asks, gesturing down with his unoccupied hand.

“At the moment,” the other responds, wrapping the green leash around his wrist. “Bartholomew, heel.”

The other dog — presumably Bartholomew — tilts his head, then blatantly ignores the command, walking over to Stretch. He noses at Stretch’s tibia until he reaches down to pet. Stretch pauses. “is it okay that i…?”

“Go ahead,” the other skeleton sighs, kneeling down. “It will keep him entertained while I deal with this little troublemaker.”

“cool cool.” Bartholomew, it seems, is more interested in scritches behind the ear than belly rubs, but that is just as easy to do. “these are some cute dogs you’ve got. what kind are they?”

Without slowing down in his task of finagling Bailey back into the harness, the skeleton says, “I have no idea. Some kind of husky mix, I think?” He mutters a curse under his breath before continuing, “I’m just watching them for a coworker.”

“nice.” Easing up on his petting to give the other skeleton more room, Stretch takes a sip of coffee, only to grimace; pumpkin spice lattes aren’t nearly as good once they’ve been cooled to the point of being barely tepid. “i’m stretch.”

“Edge,” he responds, brushing at his pants while he stands up. And now that Stretch’s attention isn’t solely on the dogs, all he can think is hot damn.

That is one good looking dude!

Based on a lifetime of finding clothes that fit decently without tailoring, Stretch can confidently say that it is impossible for jeans to be skinny enough to properly showcase bone. Yet, here Edge is, defying the odds with dark, strategically ripped jeans that cling to a very nice pelvis, iliac crests peeking out ever so slightly. The plain flannel shirt also stretches quite nicely across a broad rib cage, accentuated by a scarf the same bright crimson as his eye lights. Add in the sweeping scar over his eye socket and his gruff, self-assured expression, and Edge is the spokesmonster for ruggedly handsome.

Swallowing away the magic that had started pooling in his mouth, Stretch sends a quick prayer to the angel that he can manage the whole ‘casually flirty’ thing without making a total ass out of himself. “so, nice weather for dog walking, huh?”

Edge nods. “It’s supposed to be chillier tomorrow.”

“yeah, i saw that too. winter’ll be here before we know it. how long are you watching the dogs for?”

“At least another two days.”

“ah.”

Edge stretches, readjusting his hold on the leashes. “Well, it was nice talking to you, but I should get going.”

“you too,” Stretch says, pushing down his disappointment. “good luck with the troublemakers.”

The corners of his mouth turn upwards, almost a smile. “Thank you. Enjoy your coffee.”

“thanks.” Stretch looks away, afraid that he might accidentally show his dismay. 

It was worth a shot.

Then, his eyes widen as a pressure around the back of his legs drags him forward, up to his feet. He stumbles forward. 

Oof!

Stretch can feel his face lighting up bright orange before he goes tumbling down. 

On top of Edge.

For a few moments, all either of them can do is stare in bewilderment. Stretch and Edge’s faces are so close together, all he would have to do is lean forward a little bit more… 

Any thought of that goes away as Edge starts struggling under him.

“sorry,” he squeaks, pushing himself up on his elbows to give the guy a bit of breathing room.

“Don’t be,” Edge says, sending a glare to Bartholomew and Bailey. Twisting his head, Stretch soon realises why.

“did they really?” Stretch asks with a shaky laugh, spinning his finger around in a circle to pantomime the dogs wrapping their leashes around their legs, pulling them together.

“It appears so.” He reaches down, trying to loosen the bonds between them. “Are you hurt?”

Stretch (regretfully) manages to roll off of Edge, lying with his back on the grass. “no. if anything, i should be asking you that.”

“If it makes you feel better, only my pride.” Standing up, he offers a hand to help Stretch do the same.

“well, that’s good, i guess.” He pauses. At this point, he might as well gamble and take the chance. “hey. I’m not up to anything, and you look like you have your hands full. want some help?”

Edge stares at him, stone faced. Was the wink too much? The wink was probably too much. But how else was he to make his flirting explicitly clear?

Just as Stretch gives up hope completely, Edge hands him a leash. “Since she seems to like you so much, you can take Bailey.”

“really?”

“Of course.” A sly smile makes its way across his face. “Besides, I could always use a walking partner.”

Chapter Text

Indulgently, Edge allows himself to be dragged along to the front yard as Stretch pleads, “c’mon, edge! we need to test it out for the kiddos! they’ve never gotten to do this before, so we gotta be a good example.”

Edge stops, pulling Stretch close for a quick kiss before fixing his haphazardly placed knit cap. “we’ve never done this either,” he points out.

“an even better reason to do it, then.” He tugs the both of them a little further, until they are standing beside the pile of leaves Edge had meticulously raked before lunch. Stretch must realise that his resistance is starting to run thin, because he starts bouncing on his toes with a large smile. “please? it’ll be fun!”

Edge gives an overly dramatic sigh. “As long as you help me clean up.”

“promise,” he says, crossing his soul with the expression of a man who has won the lottery. 

“So, is there a specific way that we’re supposed to do this?”

Stretch sends him the ‘babe, you’re overthinking things again’ look. Edge huffs, even as Stretch says, “i think the ol’ run and jump will do just fine.”

Nodding, he backs up several meters, making sure there are no hidden obstacles for either of them to trip on. He frowns as he notices neon orange shoelaces trailing on the ground.

“babe, this isn’t necessary,” Stretch laughs lightly.

Edge makes a double knot, tightening it firmly before moving on to the second shoe. “I’m not letting you get hurt because you are too lazy to tie up your shoes.”

“i’m not going to get hurt.”

“That’s right, because your damn laces are now properly tied. I swear, one of these days I’m going to buy you a pair with velcro.” Standing back up, he takes Stretch’s hands within his own and moves in to soften his rebuke with another kiss.

“wouldn’t stop me; i’d just leave the velcro open and it will collect all sorts of lint and dirt.”

“You are rather incorrigible.”

“the most,” he agrees. Letting go, he adjusts so both of them are standing side by side, facing the pile. “ready?” Stretch asks, retaking Edge’s hand to give it a light squeeze.

Edge squeezes back. “On the count of three.”

“okay. one…”

“Two…”

“three!”

With that, they start sprinting forward. It’s a bit awkward, like a three-legged race, but they make it work, finding a proper rhythm.

“now!” Stretch exclaims.

Leaves flutter around like a snow-globe of golds, oranges and scarlets as they land on their knees. Something sharp — either a small twig or a stray pine needle — pokes its way through Edge’s right sock. “What did you think, love?”

“again?” Stretch asks, breathless with delight. Stars, he is so gorgeous at times like this. His eye lights bright and sparkling with excitement, a pale flush bringing life to his cheeks… it is unlike anything else.

Naturally, there is nothing he can say but, “Yes.” Positively enthralled, Stretch’s smile grows even wider. Discreetly, Edge reaches deep into the pile, careful to avoid any telltale rustling. “But first…”

“but first what?”

Straight faced, he solemnly answers, “This.” His mask breaks once a handful of leaves goes flying in the general vicinity of Stretch’s face.

Spluttering, Stretch pulls a leaf out of his mouth. “you shit, i can’t believe you just threw leaves at me!”

Cheekily raising a brow bone, Edge asks, “And what are you going to do about it?”

Stretch doesn’t bother hiding it as he grabs a handful of his own. “this!”

“I hope you know this means war.”

“bring it on, edgelord.”

Fifteen minutes later, the yard is in a worse state than it was before Edge had raked. They both sit down, winded, with their backs leaning against a tree. It isn’t the most comfortable, but that doesn’t matter too much. From across the street, Edge notices a pedestrian gawking at them. One murder glare later, they are speed walking away, eyes fixed down at the side walk in front of them. Good. This allows Edge to fully devote his attention to Stretch, who is still giggling from the great leaf war.

Tiredly, he slumps down, gazing up at Edge from his lap. “man, that doesn’t work nearly as well as snowball fights.”

“No,” he says, running a hand over Stretch’s bare skull. The knit cap had fallen off two minutes into the ordeal. He wipes away the rivulets of cooling, honey coloured sweat. “No it doesn’t. That was quite a strategic manoeuvre you made.”

“strategic man— are you talking about me shortcutting into the tree?” At his affirming nod, Stretch snickers. “and you call me a nerd. i just needed to rest my legs for a minute, and gravity would be working against your favour if you were to try to throw more leaves at me. now, using blue magic to direct the leaves higher, that’s what i call a ‘strategic manoeuvre.’”

“I’m glad you approve.”

“and i’m glad you’re glad. speaking of making you happy, i guess i should get the rake out, huh?” He starts to sit up, only for Edge to place a restraining hand on his chest.

“It can wait.”

If Edge was to go off of Stretch’s reaction, it would seem like he had said something absolutely scandalous. “are you okay? the edgelord i know and love would never put off chores.”

“Yes, well, it’s starting to get cold out. Besides, we still need to show the children how to jump in the leaves properly, and it would be better to have a fresh pile.”

Stretch wraps his arms around Edge’s waist. “i love you so much!”

“I love you too. Now, let’s go inside. Do you want something to eat?”

“as long as you’re the one making it, anything.”

“Brussels sprouts it is, then.”

baaaaaaaaaaaaabe,” Stretch whines, only to screw up his face when he receives a gentle flick between the eyes.

“If you hurry up, I might change my mind and make pizza instead.”

“got it!” He jumps to his feet, rushing out a quick, “you’re the best babe,” before teleporting directly into the house.

Shaking his head at Stretch’s antics, Edge stands up, brushing off any leaves still clinging to his clothes. Already, thoughts of how to incorporate traps and puzzles into jumping into leaf piles are running through his brain. Sadly, none of them seem very appropriate for children, let alone children in this universe.

Oh, well. He is sure the children will enjoy themselves tomorrow regardless.

He and Stretch will, without a doubt.

Chapter Text

The kitchen is covered in pumpkin. Pumpkin pies and muffins, freshly baked and ready to share with friends and family, jack-o-lanterns, straggling innards from when the lanterns were carved, whole pumpkins of various sizes to be put to future use, and even what Stretch dubbed ‘the pumpkin man’, a wobbly tower of three pumpkins vaguely reminiscent of a snowman.

Edge clears off some space on the counter. Recently, Papyrus shared a recipe for honey glazed salmon with him, and he was hoping to make some for supper tonight.

As he takes out the honey, inhaling its sweet smell, Edge can’t help but think of Stretch. He would be able to camouflage right into the kitchen right now, the shades of orange so similar to the bright clothes he likes to wear and to the colour of his magic.

It used to be that Edge didn’t have an opinion on the colour orange. In Underfell, he rarely saw the hue. There was one Gyftmas he can recall when he was little more than a babybones that Red managed to get his hands on an orange for them to share. It was half rotten, rather unpleasant really, but as a child, it was a rare gift. Additionally, he has memories of Asgore’s fire magic, but needless to say, those didn’t help to give Edge a positive view of the colour.

Or at least, that was the case until he came to this universe.

Here, his exposure to orange increased tenfold. That first night, getting to see the colour painted through the sky as he watched his first sunset. Easily, it was more beautiful than any sight in his Underground. Waking up early the next morning, he was awed once more as pinks, purples, yellows and oranges slowly spread over the horizon.

And then there was Stretch.

Initially, his alternate complicated his feelings for the colour. It would be an understatement to say that Edge’s early interactions with Stretch were unpleasant. To be honest, their early animosity was almost enough to ruin the colour completely for him.

Almost.

Even when it the two of them weren’t permitted to be alone in a room together, Edge had found something beguiling about the way Stretch’s face would light up orange in his anger. Back then, of course, Edge simply wrote it off as satisfaction at being able to visibly tell that he was getting to his alternate. His competitive nature approved, and before he knew it, he started seeking as many opportunities as he possibly could to make that flush appear.

These days, Edge’s feelings on the colour orange are strongly positive. From the warmth of the sun, the crisp autumn leaves, the brightness of pumpkins and the beauty of his lover, he now derives enjoyment from all the different nuances in the hue.

Behind him, the crackly pop of a shortcut sounds. “what’s cookin’, good lookin’?”

Edge smiles, setting down his whisk. “Currently, nothing. But once I finish this glaze, salmon.”

Stretch hums pleasantly, likely noticing the honey on the counter. “sounds good to me.”

Unable to resist, Edge turns around and traps him in a hug. He rests his head on Stretch’s shoulder, breathing in the sweetness of his magic from the soft, safety orange sweater. With all of his soul, he wishes for time to stand still, that he could enjoy this moment forever.

With great reluctance, he eventually lets go; as much as he would like to have Stretch in his arms for the rest day, supper needs to be made.

And besides, the sooner they eat, the sooner Edge can find more ways to make that lovely orange magic appear.

Chapter Text

It’s a beautiful day outside. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming…

Yet, here Edge stands in front of the middle of the graveyard, soul numb.

It isn’t a grave in the human sense; monsters have no need to inter their loved ones’ remains in a plot of dirt. Still, these days many monsters are imitating human traditions, and assigning a public spot to place the dust of a monster is becoming more and more commonplace.

Edge is no stranger to death. How could he be? One of the realities of Underfell was death, instilled to him before he could even walk. Kill or be killed.

Somehow, it doesn’t make it any easier now that he lives on the Surface.

Here, everything is supposed to be soft. The children are loud, free to play in the streets without fear of being taken down as free EXP. Monsters grow up to be old, with all of their loved ones close to them.

That is how it is supposed to be.

That is how it was supposed to be.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

The glass dome protecting the neon orange, dust covered hoodie is spotty, likely a result of the past day’s thunderstorm. Kneeling down automatically, Edge wipes the worst of it clean with his sleeve. There he stays for several minutes — unnoticing and uncaring of how the muddy soil is seeping into his jeans — polishing the grave until it sparkles in the sunlight.

Blue should be coming tomorrow, and he would hate to see it dirty.

A hand taps his shoulder from behind, but he doesn’t lash out. He can’t. Not now. 

The tapping soon shifts to simply resting on his shoulder. Edge knows it is supposed to be reassuring. Instead, it feels like another weight is being added on to him, bringing him down even further.

Why?

Why him?

A gentle breeze goes by, stirring the grass. With it, he can hear the bright laughter from their first picnic, smell the sweetness of the honey oozing between layers of bread for the sandwiches Edge had made just for him mixing with the natural scent of his magic, feel the steady beating of his soul as Edge rested his head on his chest, the two of them watching puffy clouds float across the clear blue sky. 

Instinctively, Edge lowers his head, hoping to catch one more trace of that sweetness on his borrowed sweater. But when he catches sight of the ring — a perfect match to the one sitting on his left hand — gleaming bright and golden in the sunlight as it is held close to his chest by a simple chain, his soul clenches painfully.

Not so long ago, ‘’til death do us part' seemed like an eternity. Now… it came far too soon.

The hand on his shoulder tightens in a gentle squeeze. “c’mon, boss. you need to rest.” A pause. Another squeeze. “he would want you to.”

Edge doesn’t move. 

He can’t move.

Desperately, he wishes he could do something. 

He wishes he could cry. Since the funeral, his sockets have been painfully dry. Because of this, he has made himself the shoulder for Blue to cry on, so that they can fulfill their emotional needs together; to mourn, and to be strong.

He wishes he could scream. At the universe, for taking him away so soon. At himself, for being powerless to do anything. At him, for leaving Edge alone.

Most of all, he wishes he could stand with Stretch at his side once more, alive and well and not gone.

papyrus.” 

Edge can’t remember the last time Red has said his name so gently, if ever. The only person who has said his name like that was… 

With a ping, his soul turns blue, raising him to his feet. “we need to go.” There is no room for argument in his brother’s tone.

Edge nods, fighting back his reluctance. After examining his face for a moment, Red lets up his magic. Without another word, they get up and go.

They make it to the entrance of the cemetery when Edge freezes. “Wait,” he requests, his voice a sliver of his normal self.

“sure, bro,” Red says, turning his back to give Edge some privacy.

Shoulders quivering, Edge brings his hand to his mouth, sending one last kiss. I love you. He waits a second, hoping despite all logic that Stretch will catch it. Then, he forces himself to turn back and let Red guide him to the car.

Chapter Text

With a smirk, Red hands the human his cash for the haunted house. As he walks inside, the human warns him that he’s in for a ‘spooky scary experience’.

Red laughs.

Most humans, they wouldn’t know scary if scary bit them in the ass, stole their keys and wallet, burned down their house and gave them video evidence of the whole shebang with neatly labelled timestamps.

This means that the worst Red gets to look forward to is maybe a few jump scares, some ‘eerie’ noises like howling? Bitch, please. Shit like that might be able to make a cocky frat boy come close to pissing himself, but Red calls that soothing. It’s like being back in Underfell on a good day.

Fine. He’s starting to get why this place’s Sans thinks he’s messed up in the head. Whatever. If that was such a problem for Sans, he probably wouldn’t keep showing up to climb on his dick.

When he first saw the posters for the haunted house, Red knew he had to go. He’s never been to one before, but it sounds like a good place to get some shits and giggles.

The first room is as boring as it gets. A human, dressed up as a vampire, goes over all the rules before accepting Red’s ticket. Don’t enter if you suffer from asthma, heart conditions, seizures, claustrophobia or if you are pregnant. Red dryly reminds the worker that half those things are physically impossible for him, which makes the guy stammer through the next part faster. No smoking, flash photography or touching the actors or props. A real shame, but easy enough to follow. The final warning is that he must enter at his own risk.

Scoffing, Red continues onward.

He barely makes it through the door when what is supposed to be the first jump scare occurs. A plastic guillotine comes slamming down behind him, clearly calibrated to miss him. What a disappointment; Edge could have done better when he was still in stripes. Fog machines cover the room in a heavy layer of smoke, making it easier for the people running the show to hide the gears and levers and maintain the illusion. All the ‘furniture’ — more like carefully stacked cardboard boxes — is covered in white sheets with slashes and red paint. Oh, sorry; claw marks and blood.

About halfway through the haunted house, Red realises that he should have joined a group of humans or something. That would at least make this whole event worth the price of admission. On his own, it’s rather underwhelming. Fake spiders — small and fluffy compared to the venomous beasts his Muffet used to have in Hotland — drop down from the ceiling, bouncing on their strings. So frightening. Oh no, a hand reaches out of a ‘graveyard plot’. How spooky. Such scares. A bloody woman comes walking out of a mirror to point and scream at him. How will he ever manage to sleep tonight?

The final straw is thankfully the final room. This one seems unintimidating even by human standards. It’s another graveyard, because apparently those things are the shit. Unlike last time, this one is empty. The sound of rattling chains draws nearer and nearer.

A shiver runs up his spine, and Red buries his hands deeply into the pockets of his jacket. The air conditioning sure is cranked up in here.

Suddenly, a cold hand touches his shoulder. “ r e d ,” a low voice says, echoing across the room, nowhere and everywhere.

At first, Red can’t place the shrill scream that follows his name. It’s only after recognising Sans’ raucous laughter that he realises that it was his own scream.

“man,” Sans says, doubled over and wiping the tears from his face, “you’re never gonna be able to let that one down.”

“shut up!” Red hisses. “why the fuck are you even here?”

“a guy’s gotta earn a living,” Sans shrugs.

“you already got three jobs.”

“yeah, and now i have five.”

Five?! What the —

Red’s trail of thought cuts off completely as he actually gets a good look at his alternate. 

“dude. why the fuck are you naked?”

The small part of Red that can still process regret at this point in life starts going off the moment Sans’ face lights up with a shit eating grin. “why? you like what you see?” Each word is punctuated by a thrust of his bare hips.

The worst thing about Sans is that Sans is Red; he can tell when people are bullshitting from a mile away. If Red denies it, Sans will know and he will never hear the end of it.

Still, Red didn’t get this far in life without keeping a few aces tucked up his sleeve. No one said he had to make telling the truth easy on Sans.

Leaning in, making sure he doesn’t break the ‘no touching the actors’ rule, he places his head right by Sans' acoustic meatus, close enough that Sans will feel his every breath. Sultrily, he whispers, “yeah, i like what i see. a lot. in fact,” he adds, noting Sans’ shiver with glee, “i think i’m gonna go home, climb into bed and think real hard about those pretty little bones of yours, sweetheart.”

Beside him, he can hear the dry click of Sans swallowing. Good. Taking a step back, Red chuckles at the sight of blue magic glowing at Sans’ joints, his face flushing. Even better.

Abruptly, he steps back. “see ya, sansy,” he says, shortcutting away.

He can tell already; he’s in for some fun when Sans clocks out for the day.

Chapter Text

Soon after he and Edge started dating, Stretch had made a personal goal for himself: give Edge all the hugs.

It really is for a good cause. His grumpy Underfell boyfriend is deserving of so much affection, yet it’s as though he can’t believe it when it is given to him. That needs to change.

Stretch can vividly recall their first hug, as silly as that sounds. They had barely graduated to the occasional hand holding at that point in their relationship. Edge paused their movie in the middle of the climax, staring down at his hands. 

“Can I…” he started hesitantly. He shook his head, restarting, “Would it be okay if we…?” 

“if we what?” Stretch prompted, still confused as to what was important enough for Edge not only to stop the movie, but also to feel uncertain about asking.

Patiently, he had waited for Edge to say something, half wondering if the topic would end up getting dropped completely; it wouldn’t have been the first time, and certainly not the last. Finally, in a rush of words, he asked, “Can we hug?”

Needless to say, even if Stretch didn’t know what to expect, that request sure wasn’t it.

“sure, edgelord,” he said, opening his arms wide. “bring it in.”

A moment’s hesitation later, Edge did. Albeit, he was stiff and awkward. Edge hugged like he had only heard of it being done in theory. Of course, having grown up in Underfell, that was scarily possible.

Slowly, Stretch took the lead, guiding the hug, and Edge had positively melted, unwilling to let go. He was like a drowning man, clinging desperately to a life preserver.

These days, Edge is a lot better at the whole hugging thing, but he is still so hesitant about it. Each time, Stretch can tell that Edge is building up the courage to request for something that Stretch would freely give, no questions asked. Don’t get him wrong; he’s glad that Edge is always looking for his consent. Real quality trait in a partner, right there. It’s just that he hates seeing seeing him so uncharacteristically nervous about it, as though he is waiting for Stretch to shoot him down each and every time.

Stretch would like to think that Operation Hug the Edgelord is helping do away with those thoughts. Someone as quick witted as Edge should be able to puzzle two and two together that Stretch enjoys getting hugs just as much as he likes giving them, right? 

He hopes so. Not that his efforts would be wasted, of course; Operation Hug the Edgelord is just as fulfilling on his end of things.

Aha! Here comes his next chance.

Humming the Mission Impossible theme, Stretch tiptoes to the front door. Edge, carrying a mountain’s worth of bags, has already taken his shoes off and is starting to the kitchen. He hides behind the doorway, waiting until Edge has made it almost all the way through the hall to make his sneak attack.

“hi babe!” Stretch exclaims cheerily, hugging Edge from behind. “how was grocery shopping?”

“Good,” he responds, amusement fully palpable. “That one particular brand of honey you like so much was on sale.”

“did you buy some?”

“Of course.” Happily, Stretch nuzzles closer, resting his chin on Edge’s shoulder. “Are you going to let me put things away now?” 

Stretch shakes his head. “nuh uh. it’s hug time.”

“The ice cream will melt,” he warns halfheartedly, his posture already relaxing.

“hug time.”

Carefully, Edge sets the grocery bags to the floor. They probably look absurd, with Stretch still clinging to his back like a gangling, bony koala. So worth it, though. “You’re ridiculous. I hope you know that.” 

“yup.”

“Are you going to let go anytime soon?”

Stretch hums quietly, suspecting he already knows the answer. “only if you want me to.”

Edge sighs. “I suppose we’re going to have to eat melted ice cream, then.”

“guess so,” he responds, loosening his embrace enough for Edge to turn around and return the hug.

Arguably, this is better than ice cream anyways.

Chapter Text

All too late, he realises it’s a trap.

They’ve targeted Sans. Unlike Papyrus, he isn’t in stripes anymore. He no longer has the king’s protection under threat of execution. 

He is legally considered free EXP.

He has such low HP. If Papyrus — who could never, ever muster up the intent to harm his older brother — could cause accidental damage when they train together, these monsters will be able to dust him, no problem.

Drawing on all the strength he has, Papyrus creates a series of bone attacks, one after the other after the other. Even when he receives a hard blow to the face, the shattering bone cracking loudly, he doesn’t give up.

He can’t give up.

Everything seems to happen all at once. His brother’s sharp cry of pain. The other monsters collapsing into dust, dust that he breathes in by accident. He feels like he is going to be sick.

“paps!” Sans gasps. Right away, Papyrus runs to his side, only to cry in horror at what he sees. A growing crack forms at the corner of Sans’ mouth, one of his teeth gone completely. 

It’s all his fault. If he had only been more careful, if he had only listened when Sans told him not to go to the Dump…

He flings himself onto his brother, ignoring the pain as he tries to summon some healing magic. “I’m sorry,” he sobs, “I’m —”

With a start, Edge wakes up.

There is no marrow running down his face, slick and awful. There is no new LV stirring within his soul, staining it dark. There is no dust in the air; only the clean crispness of freshly washed sheets in the darkness of his bedroom.

It was just a bad dream, albeit one based on truth.

That attack had happened years ago, before different universes and nicknames and living on the Surface. Right now, Red is likely in his own home, sleeping in his own bed and snoring like a chainsaw. These days, the golden tooth looks normal in his mouth, like he was born with it. When asked how he got it, neither of them say that it was Edge’s fault. Besides, it gives Red so many opportunities to make up those ridiculous stories of his.

Absently, Edge traces his own scar. Over the years, it has healed some, but it is still very noticeable when he looks at himself in a mirror. A stark reminder of his own failures.

His brother used to berate him for feeling guilt over the occasion. Yes, it was a ‘fuckin’ dumbass decision’ to disobey him, but Edge was still a kid. It wasn’t supposed to be his place to protect Red; back then, it was the reverse. He had no choice, Red said, but to kill the fuckers that attacked them. And if Red got some collateral damage? At this point, he would shrug; what can you do?

Beside him, the bed shifts. A voice fuzzy with sleepiness mumbles, “edge?”

“Go to sleep, love,” Edge responds, unwilling to look at Stretch.

The lamp on their side table turns on with a click, illuminating the room. Slowly, with the incoordination of someone who is still half asleep, Stretch manages to get up to a seated position, rubbing at his eyes. “what’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he says, the lie heavy on his tongue. He sneaks a quick glance at Stretch, only to wilt at his slight, knowing frown.

“c’mere,” he says, opening his arms wide. Without hesitation, Edge does. “it’s gonna be okay.”

“Okay,” Edge quietly agrees, because it will. Soon, he will fall asleep and everything will be fine.

As he rests in Stretch's arms, he may not be able to forget the unpleasant memories of his past — as much as he wants to. He can, however, look forward to the new, happy memories tomorrow will bring.

With that final thought, Edge drifts off peacefully for the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

Edge scowls at his bowl of salad. There is nothing offensive about; in fact, it is quite tasty. He just needs a target for his frustrations, and it’s better his salad than his spouse.

Speaking of, Stretch reaches his hand across the table encouragingly. “c’mon, just sing it already. i’m telling you, it helps! it gets the song out of your brain!”

Of course, Stretch still figures it out. He was the first and only person to hear of Edge’s earworm trials.

Earlier at work, someone had started playing that song. It’s a Surface one, evidently quite popular during this time of year. Edge had never heard it before, so he was hoping that it wouldn’t bother him.

Oh, was he ever wrong.

Since then, the chorus of the infernal thing has been running through his head in an endless loop of annoyance. Even the accompanying video — some old animated cartoon — has been on repeat! All day, it has been in the foreground of his mind.

As he was responding to emails? The song.

As he was eating his lunch? The stupid song.

As he was driving home from work? That song, partially because it played once more on the radio!

Even while he was making supper, the song was an inappropriate soundtrack to the joy he should have received from Stretch sharing about his day.

Deep, deep down in his soul, Edge wishes a slow, painful demise to whoever is responsible for inflicting this song onto the universe, and consequently, himself.

“I’m not singing it.” To punctuate his statement, he takes another large bite of salad.

Stretch remains undeterred. “why not?”

Firmly, Edge says, “Because.” Stretch would find the whole thing too funny, extending his torture. Telling him that, of course, would only make matters worse. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“if you say so,” he responds dubiously. Before Edge can interject that, yes, he does say so, Stretch continues, “hey, did i tell you about this new book i found? it seems like it would be right up your alley.”

Grateful for the change in topic, he shakes his head, letting Stretch inform him all about his latest discoveries.

Still, the song remains.

 


 

Curled up under Edge’s arm, Stretch tries to think of a solution.

This whole sticky song thing is still very clearly bugging him. Every once in a while, Edge keeps frowning vaguely in front of him, as though at something offensive, only to violently redirect his attention elsewhere after a few seconds. 

Stretch considers bringing up his suggestion again. After all, there is some research that suggests that singing the song to completion can help end the cycle. However, Edge was quick to shut that idea down. Really quick, now that he thinks about it. And, while that particular set of gears is going strong, Stretch realises that he’s never really heard Edge sing. Sometimes, he hums along with the radio or whatever, but who doesn’t?

Is… is Edge insecure about his voice? 

If Stretch had to give a one word description of Edge’s voice, it would have to be gravelly. That isn’t a bad thing in the slightest; to be honest, Stretch finds it sexy as fuck, but that could just be him being biased. The same roughness that sends sparks running through his entire body could potentially be viewed as unpleasant by someone else. And if that someone else was to make Edge feel ashamed of his voice… well, it probably wouldn’t work the first time. Edge may not actually have any skin, but if he did, it would be as thick as can be. Still, things like that can easily build up, and no one is one hundred percent emotionally invulnerable.

Oh shit! What if Stretch had done something to fuel into Edge’s insecurity?

The next commercial break can’t come soon enough. “hey, babe?”

Lowering the volume of the TV so that they don’t need to compete with the human trying to sell some kind of over marketed duct tape,  Edge says, “Yes?”

“y’know, you have a really nice voice.”

“Thanks?”

“i mean it,” Stretch says insistently. “and fuck anyone who says otherwise.”

“Stretch —”

He cuts Edge off, not liking the uncertainty in his voice. “seriously. don’t listen to them, edge. they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

“I’d be inclined to agree, even if I don’t have a clue what prompted this discussion.” Edge peers down into Stretch’s eyes. “What’s going on in that mind of yours?”

“i just… you shouldn’t have to be ashamed of singing.”

He blinks, confusion plain in his expression. “I’m not.”

“you’re not?”

“No.” Dryly, he follows it up by asking, “Am I supposed to be?”

“fuck no!” Stretch exclaims, a small smile growing on his face. “that would contradict everything i just said.” 

“Good. At least we’re on the same page about that.” Edge starts stroking Stretch’s skull, a nice, calming repetitive motion. 

“yeah, that’s something, at least.” Swallowing a yawn, Stretch snuggles in a bit closer. “why won’t you sing?”

“Is this your way of asking for a lullaby? Because — I hate to break it to you, love — but just because the sun is setting earlier right now, it doesn’t mean that it’s time for bed yet.”

“i know that,” he protests, even if he is starting to get sleepy. Blame the good, filling meal and the quiet cuddles. “i was wondering about earlier.”

“Earlier… oh.” As realisation sets in, he stops his absentminded petting. It’s a real shame on Stretch’s end of things, but it might make it easier to concentrate, so he probably isn’t allowed to complain. Too much. “That’s not why I won’t sing that song.”

Stretch shifts his position, allowing for easier eye contact between the two of them. “then why…?”

“You’ll laugh.”

At Edge, for singing in an attempt to remove an annoying earworm? Banish the thought. “i won’t,” he says, holding onto Edge’s hands.

“Promise?”

For something like this? “of course.”

Fine,” he sighs. After a deep breath, he starts. “Spooky scary skeletons send shivers down your spine. Shrieking skulls will shock your soul, seal your doom tonight.” A pause. “Spooky scary skeletons —”

Perhaps Stretch had made that promise a bit too hastily. But those lyrics, sung by his grumpy husband who looks like he is planning to throttle someone, are just too good! Stretch bites down, forcing down his snickers before begging, “please, stop, i get it!”

Thank you.” Any thankfulness on his part disappears as he notices Stretch taking out his phone. “And what do you think you’re doing?”

“looking up the song so i can send it to blue. he’s gonna hate it!”

“Just don’t send it to my brother.”

“perish the thought,” Stretch says lightly. Luckily, the song isn’t too hard to find. A few taps later, and it’s sent. 

Wait a minute.

fuck!

Edge leans to see Stretch’s screen. “What?”

“i put it in the wrong message.”

His eyes widen in horror as he processes the name of the contact. The expression only grows as his own text notifications ding cheerfully, alerting him of an incoming message. “You didn’t.”

“whoops?”

Right away, more messages start flooding into the group chat Papyrus had made for ‘multiversal bonding nights’. Stretch turns his phone off as both Red and Sans start typing, not wanting Edge to see whatever they have in store.

“so, uh, wanna have a movie marathon?”

Edge nods, already switching the TV over to Netflix. “As long as it doesn’t involve that song.”

“no halloween movies. got it.”

Chapter Text

in the basement. please don't bug me. love you!

That message, scribbled on a coffee stained sticky note, was the only sign of Stretch that Edge received when he got home from work.

In some ways, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Stretch has… well, he has been in a mood lately. Edge isn’t sure of all of the details, but from what he has managed to gather, he is on the verge of a breakthrough on one of his projects. Being on the verge is clearly starting to get to him, though; the frustration at not being able to fully succeed. Even if he can’t always understand what Stretch does, Edge can surely relate to that particular sentiment. 

Well, if Stretch needs more time to work on things, giving him that time is the least that Edge can do. Besides, he could use some time to really get into the library books he had recently borrowed. The due date is drawing nearer, and it would be nice if he won’t need to renew them for another week.

Several chapters later, Edge begins to feel the first stirrings of hunger. Holding his book open with a finger to keep his place, he looks for a bookmark. When he can’t find a real one, he uses Stretch’s note instead. Almost immediately, a sense of unease consumes him. A quick glance to his phone tells him why.

He has been home for almost two hours, and he still hasn’t heard anything from Stretch.

This is beyond odd. Even on his most focused days, Stretch thrives on taking quick breaks. He will come back upstairs to grab a snack, to find a functional pen, to give Edge a quick peck on the cheek and request to use him as a sounding board. Every fifteen minutes or so, the subtle pop of teleportation can be heard, letting Edge know that all is good and well. 

Today, though, the only sound is that of Edge flipping pages. There are no snack breaks, no quick scavenger hunts for stationary supplies, no kisses. No Stretch.

After a great deal of decision, Edge gets out of his reading chair and starts heading downstairs. Even though he doesn’t want to go against Stretch’s request, Edge realises he will only become more and more concerned if he doesn’t check in on Stretch’s self-imposed isolation. All he needs is a quick hello, maybe ask if he would like some supper soon. Then, Edge would be fine to let Stretch get back to work.

Edge taps twice at the door. “Stretch? I’m home.”

Stretch doesn’t respond.

“Stretch?” Edge tries again, a bit louder. It wouldn’t be the first time that Stretch has gotten so absorbed in his work that he zones out to the world around him. As long as it’s in the safety of their own home, Edge doesn’t mind. Usually. Right now, of course, it would be quite useful if Stretch would respond.

After knocking for a third time, Edge decides to crack the door open a smidge. “Love,” he says, peeking his head inside, “are things going okay in here?”

Once more, Stretch doesn’t respond. At least this time, Edge can understand why.

Ink covered papers are scattered across the room, making it appear as though a tornado had ran through. By the garbage can, there is a large pile of papers crumpled up into balls, more casualties to Stretch’s thought process. In the middle of the disaster is Stretch, passed out at his desk. Somehow, he managed to get yet another paper stuck to the top of his skull. It’s surprisingly endearing.

Walking up to him, Edge gently jostles Stretch’s shoulders. He wakes up with a groan, the paper remaining stubbornly in place. “oh, hey babe,” he yawns.

“‘Hey’ to you too. Did you make any progress?”

“sorta,” Stretch sighs.

That’s better than not at all, Edge supposes. “Are you hungry?”

“huh?” Stretch blinks, his eye lights staring dully past Edge. “oh. sure.”

There are no food wrappers around the desk, Edge realises, or dirty dishes. Concern rises up once again. “Stretch, have… have you eaten anything today?”

“uhhhh... good question.” Which means, probably not. And — ignoring the fact that he spent two hours reading before coming down — Edge had gotten home late tonight, so it’s likely been over twenty-four hours since Stretch has last eaten.

“Come on upstairs, love,” Edge says, spinning Stretch’s chair away from his desk. “Whatever you’re working on can wait until tomorrow.”

“but —” Stretch falters when Edge sends him a beseeching look. “— fine.” He holds his arms up, allowing Edge to tug him up into a tight embrace.

“What do you want for supper?”

“food.”

“So very helpful,” Edge says dryly, brushing the paper off of his skull.

“i try."

"If by that you mean you try my patience," he teases, "then absolutely."

As they leave the basement, Stretch gets the lights. "you know you love it."

"No. But I do love you."

Stretch laughs. "love you too."

Chapter Text

Edge pokes at the steaming water skeptically. “Is all this necessary?”

“absolutely,” Stretch says, pouring half a container of bubble bath in. “now take off your clothes and jump in.”

Rolling his eyes, Edge does so. As he carefully folds his clothes and puts them on top of the counter, he grumbles, “I still don’t get why bath salts and bubbles are necessary.”

Stretch tests the temperature of the water once more, stirring in the bubbles. Good; it’s nice and hot. Satisfied, he turns off the tap. “like i said before, the epsom salts are supposed to help with the achiness.” Hopefully, at least; from what he can tell, their use hasn’t been officially proven — plus the fact that most humans use it more for their muscles anyways — but it can’t hurt. “the bubbles make it smell nicer. plus,” he adds, scooping up some of the foamy goodness in his hand to blow towards Edge, “they’re fun.”

"If you say so," Edge responds dubiously. His arms are crossed as he stands stark naked in the middle of the bathroom, unmoving.

“babe, come and get in the tub! you’re making me cold just by looking at you.”

“You get in the tub,” he counters.

“that’s not what we’re here for.” 

Edge still doesn’t move. Too bad for him, but Stretch isn’t going to fold that easily; if there is one thing that has been made abundantly clear since meeting him, it’s that stubbornness is a trait that spans the multiverse when it comes to skeleton monsters named Papyrus. 

Tonight, Stretch has a plan, and he is going to stick to it, damn it.

Then again, if he doesn’t make amendments, the water will get cold long before either of them decides to give in. Besides, Stretch can find a way to make this work.

“alright, look. if you want me to join you so badly, how ‘bout you get in the tub while i get undressed. deal?”

Thankfully, Edge nods. “Deal.” Any remaining irritability soon melts away as he sinks into the bathtub. A satisfied moan escapes as the hot water starts seeping into his bones, and Stretch turns around to hide his gloating grin as he starts undressing.

“nice, isn’t it?”

“It would be nicer with you here with me,” Edge says, his tone conveying many unspoken promises. Promises which, any other day, Stretch would gladly accept.

“yeah, yeah.” Hoodie off, Stretch pauses his stripping to grab another towel. He may be willing to share practically anything with Edge, but sharing towels just doesn’t work. Nobody wants to try drying off with a damp towel. “you just enjoy your soak for a few minutes, okay edgelord?”

When he gets a relaxed hum in response, Stretch knows that this was a great idea.

They may never talk about it, but Stretch knows that Edge often has aches from several of his old injuries. Bones that have been sprained, fractured and bruised in combat far too many times, but healed enough to be functional. Usually, the aches are worse at night, aggravated from having stress put on them all day. On the worst days — like today — Stretch will sometimes catch him furtively digging in the medicine cabinet for an over-the-counter pain killer. Edge treats his pain as though it is something to be ashamed of, despite the fact that it means that he was strong enough to survive what Underfell threw at him.

It stings, sometimes, that Edge is still so afraid of showing Stretch his vulnerabilities. Goodness knows that Stretch is a vulnerable mess around him all the time. At the end of the day, though, it still has to be his choice.

The bath is supposed to help. The heat, the Epsom salts and soon Stretch’s massages will hopefully erase any discomfort from Edge’s body. And even if it doesn’t, Edge deserves it. He is always on the go, caring for Stretch, helping others. 

Edge deserves to be spoiled, and Stretch wants to be the one to do it.

Soon, Stretch is as bare-bones as the day he was born. Stepping into the tub, however, proves to be more of a puzzle than expected. Both Stretch and Edge take up enough space on their own, which means fitting them both in the tub can be a bit of a game of skeleton tetris. Fitting them both in there while keeping Edge as comfortable as possible only brings the game up to hard mode.

Finally, Stretch ends up straddling Edge’s lap, gasping at both the sudden heat of the water and the proximity to his love’s face.

“Hello,” Edge drawls, placing his hands on Stretch’s hips to help stabilise him.

Swallowing back the magic that had suddenly flooded into his mouth, Stretch responds, “hi.”

Okay, fine. There might possibly be some slightly selfish reasons in convincing Edge to take a bath, but the important part today is to help relieve his pain. Maybe next time, if all goes well, they can do something a bit more fun.

“ready to start?”

Edge leans forward, claiming a not-so-quick kiss. “Now I am.”

“sap,” Stretch teases, grabbing a washcloth and dipping it under the water. After wringing out the excess water, he starts at Edge’s right shoulder, carefully washing down from the humerus all the down to his distal phalanges, making sure to get between each and every joint. He can feel Edge’s eye lights focused intently on him as he repeats the process on his left arm. This time, Stretch ends it with a soft kiss to his knuckles.

“And you call me a sap,” Edge chuckles as Stretch tries in vain to remove the taste of soap from his mouth. Maybe kissing isn’t the best idea when Edge is covered in bubbles. 

Eh, still worth it.

“guilty as charged.”

In silence, Stretch continues his way down his love’s body. Edge’s eyes drift close as he starts on his ribs, rubbing firm yet gentle circles into the scarred bone. The scent of the lavender bubble bath diffuses throughout the room, lulling them both into a calm quiet.

“edge?”

Without opening his eyes, he murmurs, “Mhm?”

“want me to get your back now?”

“Yes, please,” Edge says, already starting to sit up.

The next few minutes involve a lot of splashing and laughter as they try to shuffle into a more comfortable position. Edge sprawls out with his back to Stretch’s chest. The water begins to cool as Stretch finishes his massage.

“all done,” he announces, pulling Edge back into a hug.

“Thank you,” he says, snuggling in. He is so relaxed, he looks like he could melt into a puddle at any moment. It’s a good look for him.

“my pleasure.” Stretch release his hold for a moment, scooping his hands under water.

“What are you —”

“tada!” Stretch says, depositing a pile of bubbles on top of Edge’s head.

“Do I dare ask?”

“my prince charming was missing his crown.”

Edge gives a short huff, which Stretch decides to count as an honorary laugh. “A crown.”

“yup.”

“Well, then.” Edge gathers a handful of bubbles, reaching up and behind him to place them on Stretch. “It’s only proper if you match me, love.”

“now that that’s settled, should we head to the royal bedchamber? i think we’re starting to get pruny.”

Edge stands up, wiping off his bubble crown. “Bones don’t prune, you nut.”

“no, but if they did, we would be the wrinkliest raisins.”

“True.”

Edge continues to amusedly put up with Stretch’s nonsense as they dry each other off. All the way back to their room, they exchange kisses, stopping for a minute with Stretch pressed against the linen closet door. By the time they tumble onto the bed, however, they are content simply cuddling close together, cozy and warm under their covers.

“how do you feel?” Stretch asks, twining their hands together. Exhaustion is starting to get the better of him, only aided by the comfort of snuggling close to his love in the peaceful darkness of their bedroom, but he needs to know.

“Good.” 

As simple as the response is, hearing the sleepy honesty in Edge’s voice sends satisfied flutters through his soul. 

These flutters increase as Edge asks, “Do you think we could do this again sometime?”

“absolutely,” Stretch promises.

He’s already looking forward to it.

Chapter Text

Before meeting Stretch, Edge had never heard another monster’s soul.

Back in Underfell, he had seen far too many souls. Broken ones, mostly, corrupted by LV. In battle, he had wrapped monsters' souls with his magic, restraining them with the blue. As a member of the Guard, it was his duty, even if it meant grabbing criminals by the very essence of their being to inflict punishment.

Too many times, Edge has watched by as souls shattered into dust, destroyed completely. 

So, it goes to say that before Stretch, all of his experiences with other people's souls were tainted by violence. There was simply no opportunity or reason for him to listen to another's soul. It just wasn’t done.

When he was younger, the human books he had found at the dump led him to believe that souls would sound comparable to heartbeats. Before they had the house in Snowdin, Edge used to worry that the sound of his soul would give them away, the pounding of his fear as loud as if it were thumping under a set of floorboards. Ridiculous really, but that's what happens when Red decided to read that Poe story to him before bed. Fluffy Bunny was a far better choice.

But now, as he rests with his skull pressed against Stretch's chest, Edge knows the truth. The sound of his soul is less like a beating drum and more like the flow of a waterfall, a gentle, constant stream with subtle variations. Lying together in bed, the pulses are calm and mellow, each one blending into the last.

Something shifts in the sound of Stretch’s soul, a happy little burbling that is the precursor to a laugh. Edge puts his phone aside and looks up. “What’s so funny?”

“i just remembered this dumb video thing that you have to see.”

“Do I, now?”

“hell yeah. i probably spent an hour watching different compilations.” He reaches grabby hands out to Edge’s phone. “now gimme.”

“Fine,” Edge says, obliging in Stretch’s whimsies. Sadly, watching the video means he has to sit up completely, preventing him from listening to Stretch’s soul. 

But if this is enough to bring joy to Stretch, how can he bring himself to refuse?

Bringing up YouTube, Stretch cheerfully announces, “alright, here comes the lemon babies!”

“The what?

“just watch!”

And for the next six and a half minutes, Edge does, Stretch snickering at his side. The video is a compilation of short clips, most no more than fifteen seconds long. Human adults — presumably the guardians of the so-called ‘lemon babies’ — hand their unsuspecting infants the citrus. Inevitably, the child takes a bite, causing their face to screw up in the most ridiculous expressions at the sour flavour. 

Admittedly, there is an element of amusement to the video, but clearly nothing compared to what Stretch gains from it.

“is it bad that i wish i knew about this when blue was a babybones?”

Taking his phone away before it auto-plays to videos of even more babies being tricked into making silly faces, Edge says, “I think it means you’ve been spending too much time with my brother.”

“yeah, you’re probably right.” An impish glitter enters his eye lights. “hey, wanna pass me back your phone?”

Ah, well, Edge does have some limits to what he will do for Stretch’s happiness. “I’m not enabling you to give my brother more bad ideas than he’s already got rattling around that malicious little skull of his.”

“party pooper,” Stretch pouts. “probably for the best, though. he’d do some shit like force feed random babies lemons in the park.”

“Exactly.”

Yawning, Stretch says, “too bad. hey, do you mind getting the lights?”

“No problem, love.”

“thanks,” he says, already burrowing under the blankets. 

Edge crosses the room in a few quick strides, longing to join him. He can feel Stretch’s soul beckoning to him, like a siren call. But as he settles back to hear its gentle thrum, Edge decides that analogy has to be inaccurate; Stretch would never purposefully lead him to his doom.

No, right now, Stretch’s soul is Edge’s own personal lullaby, a comforting song helping him to fall asleep. And that’s the way it should be.

Chapter Text

Wet crimson slicks the golden tiles. The corpse of the human — he refuses to call the demon who cruelly slaughtered the vast majority of the population of the Underground a child — lays beside his feet.

"i'm sorry, bro," he whispers, his voice echoing hollowly in the empty hall, "they didn't give me any other choice."

With shaky, bloodstained hands, he reaches into his pocket for a cigarette, forcibly ignoring the soft cotton of a blue, dust covered bandanna. He's done his job. Her majesty can wait a few minutes for his official report.

But before he can, the world shifts to black, and the human stands before him with a dust covered knife once more.

 


 

Thermos filled with Edge’s hot apple cider in hand, Stretch relaxes and watches the various festivities. Edge is over at the food tables, exchanging recipes with a group of people. Stretch can happily say that the casserole Edge brought in for the potluck barely lasted through the first line up — even if it means that he wasn’t able to get any seconds. To his left, Stretch can hear kids running around in the leaves.

His moment of peace is suddenly interrupted when the herd of kiddos start ambushing him, the sound of crying loud and piercing compared to childish laughter.

“Frisk’s hurt!” The leader of the pack explains, which is the exact moment that Stretch realises he is the nearest adult, forcing him to be responsible.

Damn it.

“alright, let’s take a looksy…” His voice fizzles out, feeling like he is going to be sick.

He knows it isn’t them. Frisk may look similar, and goodness knows that Sans had his own issues with the kid, but it isn’t them. But when he sees the blood running down their leg, all Stretch can think of is the Judgement Hall, the Underground devoid of everything but dust, a knife slashing in the air as he is forced to fight until they are nothing but a bloody corpse, knowing it won’t do any good because they will just reset, they always reset.

“Stretch? What’s going on here?”

Edge! Thank the stars! Shakily, he gets to his feet, ignoring the reflection of his panic in Edge’s eye lights. “frisk... heal them. i’ll get toriel.”

“Stretch —” Edge starts, but Stretch teleports away before he can hear anything else.

By the time he gets finds the former queen and brings her over, Frisk is all cleaned up, sitting in a circle with all the other kids playing some kind of clapping game. Concerned mother that she is, Toriel still goes over to assess the situation, leaving Stretch alone with Edge.

His arms open, Edge quietly asks, “Are you okay?” Stretch shakes his head before burying it into the soft leather of Edge’s jacket, letting himself be held by those warm, secure arms. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“later.” Right now, he just wants Edge to be close, reminding him that everything is okay.

“If you say so.” Changing the topic, he says, “The hayride will be starting in a few minutes. Are you still wanting to go?”

Getting to sit beside Edge while watching the fall scenery of the Surface? “of course.”

“Then it’s a plan.” 

Good. 

Behind him, he can hear the kids complaining that he and Edge are being mushy. Silently, he mouths, “wanna be even mushier?”

“Absolutely,” he mouths back, smiling.

With that, Stretch moves forward, capturing Edge in a kiss sweetened by the apple cider they had shared. Naturally, the complaints increase in volume, Toriel chuckling as she ushers them off to play. 

A tug on the hem of his sweatshirt distracts him away from kissing Edge. “look, kiddo,” he starts, “i love edge very much, and — oh. it’s you.”

Frisk nods, pushing up the sleeves of their own sweater. The large tear in their pants shows off smooth skin, with no hint of scrape whatsoever; Edge did a good job with his healing. There are still rusty stains on the jeans, but for his own mental state, Stretch is just going to pretend that it is just dirt.

“I’m sorry,” they sign.

“frisk, it’s not your fault you got hurt. it was an accident.”

“But it’s my fault you’re upset.” Each sign is bold, distinct, allowing for a clear emphasis. Stretch can feel Edge’s posture stiffen beside him. If he hasn’t connected the dots already, he will soon.

“Frisk!” Toriel calls. “Come here for a moment, my child.”

They give her a quick thumbs-up, then turn to face Stretch once more. Their hands flash quick yet precise as they say, “I’m sorry your human was like me. They made a big mistake.” Frisk starts running to catch up to Toriel, but pauses quickly. “Thanks again for healing me.”

And then they are gone.

Stretch sits back down in his lawn chair, Edge soon echoing the motion. “pass me the thermos?”

“Of course.” Edge waits until he has taken a few gulps of the warm beverage before carefully taking his hand. “You did very well, love.”

Stretch doesn’t answer, knowing that whatever he says will be filled with too much bitter, self-deprecating guilt. Edge wouldn’t like that, and he doesn’t really want the self-esteem boosting talk right now. He would much rather scooch his chair closer to Edge’s, allowing him to rest his head on his shoulder. When he does, Edge slips an arm around him.

“I managed to get the recipe for those mini honey cakes that you took five of.”

“six.”

“My apologies,” Edge says, and Stretch can hear the indulgent smile in his voice. “Six it is, then. I’m guessing you would like me to try making them when we get back tonight?”

“hell yeah! need a taste tester? ‘cause i’m pretty sure i could work it into my schedule.”

Edge turns his head, managing an awkward kiss on the side of Stretch’s forehead. “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind. Are you ready for the hayride?”

Stretch stands up, offering a hand to help Edge up. Neither of them let go as they start walking towards the line-up at the horse-drawn wagon. “yeah, edgelord. lead the way.”

Chapter Text

The cobwebs are the same.

Sometimes, the other similarities can verge on uncanny. The sweet, enticing aroma of freshly baked goods. The whisperings of spiders, barely perceptible unless one is truly listening. The violet and lavender painted walls, toeing the line between elegant and gaudy.

But the cobwebs, decorating the corners of the building, delicate as lace, are the same. 

Stretch can feel all of her eyes on him from the moment he enters her parlour. Unlike many people, he finds it to be a source of comfort. “Ahuhuhu~ Back so soon, deary?”

“of course,” he says with a languid grin. At the sound of his voice, Cupcake wanders over, nosing around blindly. Stretch takes another step forward, giving the pet some scritches between the pedipalps before guiding them to their bed near the bakery entrance. “how are things going with the spider clans these days?”

“Thanks to the generosity of people like you, things are going quite well. My cousin Arachne is actually working on mass producing silk to sell to the humans for body armour.”

“good for her,” Stretch says, leaning across the counter. A pang of nostalgia runs through his soul at the action, so reminiscent of how things used to be in Snowdin. In another world, Muffet would take this moment to pass him yet another bottle of honey, quietly tolerating all of his bullshit. Here, Muffet leans right in, her shrewd, business-first mentality carefully obscured by the frilliness of her appearance. Stretch isn't fooled. “i’ll get my usual. oh, and something for edge, too.”

“One box of honey glazed doughnuts and a spicy mango éclair it is~” She claps her hands, and several spiders descend from their webs, getting to work. “Will that be all, deary?”

“yeah,” he says, already counting out his gold. Even if her prices have supposedly dropped drastically from back in the Underground, his wallet still feels empty after paying for this special treat. It’s at times like this that Stretch misses his tab the most. His Muffet still charged heftily for her food, but everyone knew it was to help offset the costs of her electric bills, higher than most Snowdin inhabitants’ because of the extra heating she needed to keep her spiders alive and well.

It doesn’t take long for his order to be finished. Muffet hands him the box of pastries, neatly tied closed with a periwinkle bow. “Have a nice day, Stretch dear~ And say hello to that lovely man of yours for me.”

“can do,” Stretch says, grabbing a doughnut from the box to go. After years of consuming them, he can tell that this Muffet uses slightly less honey, a hint more of vanilla. Still good — and Blue has never noticed the difference — but not quite the same. Not to him. “thanks again, muff. see you.”

If she doesn’t like his use of that familiar nickname, she has never said so. “Hopefully sooner than later, ahuhuhu~”

The bell at the door rings, signalling a new customer. With one arm, Muffet waves Stretch off, inviting the new customer in with another as her lower arms work on wiping down the counter-top in front of the till.

Stretch smiles once more, keeping the cobwebs in the corners of his vision as he heads out. Yes, some things are different, but some things will always be the same, regardless of the universe. And at times when he misses the home of his past, this familiarity can help ease the ache.

Besides, it gives him another excuse to indulge in his favourite treats, and who would he be to complain about that?

Chapter Text

The air is cool, crisp, with the slight, pleasant mustiness of freshly fallen leaves. The breeze pierces through Stretch's sweatshirt, bringing forth a shiver. As an onlooker, it doesn't appear that he has even processed his cold state.

Edge shakes his head, smiling. His love has had something on his mind all day, which means the world around him doesn't exist. Even at breakfast, he was gazing dreamily in the distance, eye lights vaguely focused on their box of Fibre One sitting out on the counter. And, considering how much he despises the taste of that particular cereal, that was the first sign that Stretch’s thoughts were elsewhere. What really confirmed it, though, was when Edge kissed him on top of his head and told him that he was going to start meal prepping for the upcoming week. Without breaking eye contact with the Fibre One, Stretch responded by saying, “bye, babe. have fun at work,” completely serious, like it wasn’t Edge’s day off.

Stepping back into the kitchen, Edge sets about grabbing everything he needs. He turns off the back burner, carefully ladling in the homemade beverage into a set of thermoses; he would rather not spill and waste any. With that taken care of, he sets the thermoses on the table and makes one last trip to the living room before heading outside.

Stretch, unsurprisingly, hasn’t moved in the slightest in the minutes since Edge left. Another shiver racks through his body, causing his bones to rattle slightly.

“You should have worn something warmer,” Edge scolds lightly, draping a blanket over the two of them as he sits down. He hands Stretch one of the thermoses, leaving his own at his side.

Stretch turns his head, smiling like he has just noticed Edge’s presence. Which, to be honest, is entirely possible. “oh, hi!”

“Hi to you too,” Edge says, adjusting the blanket so that it covers them better. “I made you something.”

“i see that.” Stretch’s delight increases when he opens the thermos lid, noticing the layers of marshmallows and whipped cream. If they had any, Edge would have added sprinkles to complete it. Oh well; either way, it should be enough to satisfy Stretch’s sweet tooth. “you’re the best, babe.”

Edge smiles softly, taking a sip of his own plain hot cocoa. “I try.”

The two of them sit in silence, Edge enjoying Stretch’s presence more than the hot cocoa and the cool fall weather combined. Part of him wants to get some more things done, but he shoves that urge down. This kind of tranquillity is always a blessing, a respite he would never have dared dream of in his youth. He would be a fool to give it up.

The silence is broken with a loud slurp from Stretch, whose face is covered in whipped cream. He uses his sleeve to wipe it off. Then, his voice quieter than normal, he says, “babe?”

“Yes?” Edge replies, drawing the word out. This is a situation in which he should tread carefully; Stretch being as pensive as he is today can either be a good sign or a bad one.

“do you ever think about how lucky we are?” A good sign, it seems. Stretch waves a hand in a meaningless gesture before settling it back on his knee. “to be here, together.”

More than you could ever imagine, Edge thinks to himself. Rather than saying that, however, he reaches for Stretch’s hand, warming up his cold fingers by intertwining them between his own. Stretch snuggles closer under the blanket, sending his soul close to bursting. 

This just serves as proof of how lucky he is. How lucky they both are.

Above them, a V of geese fly by, honking in the distance. Resting his head on Edge's shoulder, Stretch murmurs, “i’m glad this is how things turned out.”

“Me too, love.” Me too.

Chapter Text

"We should probably get up, love."

Stretch curls around him closer. "don't wanna. it's warm here."

“I would hope so,” Edge chuckles. “We’re less than three feet away from a fireplace.” And covered by a blanket, but he doesn’t feel the need to mention that too.

By the time they had returned inside from their back porch, Stretch’s teeth were chattering, the long exposure to the chilly weather too much to be abated even by the combination of hot cocoa, Edge’s arms and a blanket. Lighting a fire seemed like the perfect solution.

And it was. Now, however, Edge’s bones are starting to protest at lying on the floor for so long. Their carpet may be soft, but he has his limits. Besides, it’s also for Stretch’s own good that they move to somewhere more comfortable. His back will complain just as much as his if they don't get up.

Still. It is hard for Edge to deny his love his happiness, even if it is for something as simple as staying by the fire longer.

“At least let me grab some pillows or something.” Creating a nest in front of the fireplace appear to be among the plans for the night. Surely, they can’t go wrong with extra coziness.

When he tries to get up, however, Edge finds he has a sleepy Stretch still firmly holding on to him.

“Feel like letting me go?”

“nope,” he says, sweetly stubborn, “you’re mine now.” There is a hint of possessiveness to his voice, a hint that Edge finds himself enjoying.

Nonetheless, all it takes is a weak tug to free himself from his love’s grasp. “I am yours,” Edge agrees, noting with intrigue the way Stretch’s eye lights flare brightly, “but I am just as much yours when I’m grabbing things around the house.” He leans down for a kiss, which Stretch happily gives him. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“promise?”

Edge pushes back a concerned frown, trying to see everything detail in Stretch’s expression. Most likely, Stretch is just being ridiculous. However, if there is any signs of emotional vulnerability, he wants to find it. Stretch seems happy enough,  but there is a chance that thinking about how lucky they are now also meant thinking about how unlucky they were in the past. He doesn’t want to risk hurting Stretch by giving his word carelessly.

All Edge can find is a hopeful, inviting smile and an outstretched pinkie.  

Hooking fingers, he seals the promise. “Of course, my love. Do you need anything?”

Stretch shake his head. “just you. and maybe some more cocoa?”

“More cocoa it is, then.”

Heading to the kitchen, Edge turns on the kettle and takes out the hot chocolate powder. It isn’t as good as making it on the stove, but it takes less time. The sooner he can get back to Stretch, the better.

Edge pauses in surprise when he returns to a heaping pile of cushions and blankets scattered on the floor. Stretch sits amidst the bedding, looking quite proud of himself. 

“What happened to not wanting to move?”

“i got impatient. besides, this just means we get to cuddle faster.”

“That it does.” Stretch’s shortcuts certainly saved him a few trips up and down the stairs, in any case. Behind him, Edge can hear the kettle whistle. “Could you work on arranging everything while I finish up with the cocoa?”

“sure thing. can i have some marshmallows?”

As if he wasn’t already planning on adding them in. “Absolutely.”

“and a barbeque skewer?”

Why would he…? Realisation sets in, and Edge puts a halt to the plan before it can start. “No, you are not going to roast marshmallows over our fireplace.” He does not feel like trying to treat burns tonight, nor does he want to try and remove melted marshmallow from their carpet. The sheer thought of endeavouring to remove that particular kind of stickiness from carpet fibres is enough to make his eye sockets twitch.

Stretch sticks out his tongue. “spoilsport.”

Ignoring that remark, Edge goes to finish their hot chocolate, refilling their thermoses. That way, they can keep their drinks hot for more time and they don’t have to worry about spills.

Soon, he is able to be dragged down by Stretch into their mess of a nest. He can already tell that supper will have to be ordered in tonight. It works for him, though. The longer Edge can keep Stretch within in sight and in his arms, the better.

Chapter Text

"And this," Blue says, pointing at the uppermost picture on the page, "is the time Papy accidentally blew up the basement! That was a fun surprise when I got home from sentry duty!”

“How did he manage that?” Edge asks, morbidly curious as he looks at the photo of a younger Stretch, smiling sheepishly and covered in streaks of soot.

“Good question. He still pleads the right to remain silent. On the plus side, there was minimal damage to the rest of the house.”

Blue flips around some more in the scrapbook that he placed between their laps. Earlier this morning, Edge had gotten a text from his boyfriend, only to be taken hostage by Blue as soon as he stepped through the machine into Underswap. Apparently, there is some sort of tradition in which a person shows their sibling’s date mate embarrassing childhood photos? Perhaps it is simply an Underswap thing; he highly doubts anyone does this at home. Any family related dramas when it comes to relationships typically have to do with duels. 

Needless to say, Red has it coming to him if he tries anything like that with Stretch.

Even if Red wanted to reciprocate and show Stretch pictures of Edge, it wouldn’t work. There aren’t really any pictures to show.  Red has one photo from when Edge was a baby, and that’s it. Nothing particularly embarrassing, either. In it, Edge is just a tiny, bundled up baby bones held in Red’s arms. Red himself looks so small, still in stripes and slightly less menacing. Slightly. In typical Red fashion, he was glaring at the camera, as though daring it to try him. 

Over the years, that photo has become stained and wrinkled. One of the first things Edge did when exploring the other, safer worlds was pay to make some copies of it. Red doesn’t know; he would find a way to remind Edge that such sentimentality is a weakness waiting to be exploited, like he wouldn’t take a copy of his own to keep safe in his inventory.

Edge can remember, when they were a bit older, he had found a camera with film in the Dump, still fully functional. He never got to use it, though; why keep a camera and film when you’re starving in the streets? Red had sold that trinket right away, and the G that it brought in helped keep them well fed for over two months. Like it or not, the sacrifice was worth it.

The next picture of Edge is from the day he finally made it into the Royal Guard. Standing beside Undyne, he looks like a gawky teenager, mostly because he was. But he had earned his position in blood and dust, and he was proud of himself. 

Blue stops on a picture of Stretch holding a certificate, his graduation cap askew. From the caption, neatly written in Blue’s script, he knows it is from when Stretch graduated the Underground’s basic school system, before he had moved onto his higher studies. 

Edge finds himself running his fingers over Stretch’s face with longing. His wide grin was genuine, like he was laughing, and he can find no evidence of dark circles under his eye sockets. His spine is still bent in a slouch, but it is more carefree than what Edge has ever seen, more relaxed.

What Edge would give to have a Stretch who looks so happy and healthy every day for the rest of their lives.

Blue coughs politely. Drawing his fingers back with the speed of someone who has touched a hot stove, Edge watches as he flips the pages again. “Let’s see… I wonder where the picture of the hoodie incident is?”

Hoodie incident? This ought to be interesting, if the other photographs of ‘incidents’ are any indication.

Before he can find out, a somewhat frazzled Stretch shortcuts into the living room. “stars, i knew i should have never let them met.”

“Let who meet?”

Stretch blinks, as though just processing Edge’s presence. “shit, you too?” He heads over to the couch, sitting half on its arm and resting his feet on Edge’s legs. Glaring down between the photo album and Blue, he explains, “i’m talking about our bros.”

A sense of unease runs through Edge. “What happened?”

“well,” Stretch says, drawing the word out, “i woke up to a text from you, asking me to come to your house. i thought it was weird, with you liking to meet up here better and all, but whatever.”

“I didn’t text you, though.”

“yeah, i know that now. the point is, as soon as i stepped through the machine, red grabbed me by my hoodie and took a shortcut to grillby’s.” Stretch shudders, shoving his hands in his pockets. “blue, you officially can’t complain about muffet’s anymore.”

“What did my brother do?” There are so many warning alarms going off right now in Edge’s head. Red can be… creative, when he wants to be. On the plus side, he can eliminate anything duel-related from the list with certainty; Grillby is quite strict with the rules of his establishment, and Red would never risk giving up his tab.

“he talked to blue, that’s what.” He sends another irritated glare to Blue, who simply stands up and puts away the photo album. “it turns out that red may not have childhood pictures of you, but boy oh boy, does that guy ever have some stories.”

Edge buries his face in his hands. “Fuck.”

“yup. he had some good ones too. a lot of freaky ones, too, but i’m working on burning those out of my memory.”

“Please feel free to burn all of them from your memory.”

“nah,” Stretch says, sliding down to sit more in Edge’s lap, a shift in position he is quite pleased with. “some of the stories were pretty cute. i especially liked the one about —”

Edge covers Stretch’s mouth with his hand. Blue is still within earshot, and he would still like to maintain some of his dignity. 

When Stretch decides to lick his hand, though, he recoils instantaneously. Grinning smugly at his successful escape, Stretch says, “wanna go up to my room and discuss revenge prank ideas?”

“Lead the way.”

Clearly, they need to make a scheme of their own to get back at Red and Blue. And if they get a bit distracted from their plans by other activities… well, such is life.

Chapter Text

It had all started as a dumb bet.

Stretch had been at Undertale’s Grillby’s with Sans and Red. By that point in the night, all of them had had a lot to drink. Actually, now that he looks back, that might not be so accurate. Stretch had certainly done his fair share of drinking, but Sans kept his rate of consumption relatively slow and steady. And Red… well, that guy is a tank. The sheer amount of alcohol he can store in that short body of his is scarily high, his tolerance well above anyone Stretch has ever met.

Somehow, the conversation turned to the topic of their brothers. And, tongue loosened by his drinks, Stretch had some opinions to state about the tall asshole that is Red’s brother.

“why are his pants so tight?” Stretch slurred, using Sans’ head as an armrest. Sans was weirdly tolerant about it when he started earlier in the evening, so Stretch just decided to roll with it; Sans’ head was at the perfect height, anyways. “i mean, how does that even work? shouldn’t they just rip when he’s doing shit with the guard?”

Red finished his beer, setting the glass down with a belch. “beats me.”

“and how can he hide the stick lodged up his ass when he’s wearing them? i don’t get it.”

“maybe you should,” Sans snickered. At the other end of the bar counter, a red bird monster turned to see what the hilarity was, but soon went back to his drink. “try to get it.”

Stretch blinked blearily. “huh?”

A sharky grin grew on Red’s face. “i think what sansy over here is tryin’ ta say is that you should try ‘n take the stick outta my bro’s ass. ain’t that right, pal?”

“you bet.” The two shorter skeletons leaned in front of Stretch for a fist bump. 

“so, whatcha say, stretchy boy? you up to the challenge?”

Downing more honey, Stretch asked, “what’s in it for me?”

 


 

So far, Stretch is regretting this whole trip.

Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration. It’s pretty nice to visit the Surface again. Sans and Papyrus really lucked out with their human situation. Stretch doesn’t even mind the whole camping thing; being out in the woods makes it a lot easier to see the starlit sky.

No, what Stretch really regrets is the fact that the trip gives him no excuse but to spend time with Edge. 

Sans and Red haven’t been subtle in reminding him about his drunken bet, the latter going as far as to pick up a twig and point it at his brother before tossing it into the campfire. Earlier, when they were settling down to eat some grub, Sans had ever so conveniently switched spots to sit beside Blue. This, of course, left only one chair, which so happened to be right beside Edge.

“so,” Stretch starts, drizzling some honey on his graham crackers. The box may say that they are honey flavoured, but he personally can’t taste it. “how are things going back home for you?”

Edge, who hasn’t really said anything since he got his plate of food, looks up with a raised brow bone. “Why would you want to know?”

Stretch shrugs. “i’m just trying to make conversation.”

That earns him a skeptical glare, rightfully so; it isn’t like Stretch has ever tried much in the past. But, hey, if he is going to try and get the edgelord to chill out, baby steps are the way to go.

“In that case, I suggest changing the topic. You don’t want to know.”

Stretch grimaces. “that bad, huh?”

“By your standards, perhaps.” Without pause — or even looking away from Stretch — Edge snaps, “Red! How many times do I have to tell you?”

Whatever Red was doing, he stops. “at least one more time, boss.”

Under his breath, Edge mutters something along the lines of, “Why do I even fucking ask?”

“couldn’t tell ya,” Red replies cheerily. Edge pinches at his nasal bone, looking done with life.

Clearly, Red isn’t going to try and make Stretch’s task any easier.

Hoping for a lighthearted distraction, Stretch hands Edge a marshmallow. “here. to sweeten your mood, edgelord.”

“... Thank you.”

As Edge takes it, Red rolls his eyes. “gonna need at least another bag to do any good there.”

In perfect unison, both Stretch and Edge say, “Shut up, Red.” And, okay, that can count as a bonding moment, right there.

To his right, Papyrus takes a roasting stick and pokes at the logs in the fire. To his dismay, an executive decision had been made that he isn’t allowed to be on fire duty, as much as he protested that, because of his training with Undyne, he clearly has the most experience in setting things on fire. Edge, the least pyromaniacal of the three more energetic skeletons, had been assigned the job. “Edgy-me, do you think we need to get some more firewood?”

Nodding, he says, “I’ll get on it right away.”

“i’ll help!”

At once, everyone’s eye lights focus on him. Blue, who has been busy roasting his marshmallow to golden perfection, even has stars in his when he looks up from the fire. “Really, Papy? I’m so proud of you!”

“thanks, bro,” Stretch replies, ignoring the thumbs-up from Sans and Red. A trickle of guilt runs up his spine, the knowledge of his true intentions nearly ruining the moment. He pushes it back, though; even if it’s for the bet, he is still being helpful. “well, you ready, edge?”

Setting his plate down on his chair, Edge nods. “We’ll be back soon.”

“take as much time as you want,” Sans calls after them. 

The walk from their campsite to the front desk to purchase some more firewood is a fairly long one. A quiet one, too. In fact, neither of them really say anything until they get to the till. 

“i’ll pay, and you pick out the wood?”

“All right.”

Edge, of course, ends up carrying the bundle. There isn’t much that Stretch could do to help out there, after all; it doesn’t make sense to unwrap the firewood to divide it between them. They navigate the dirt road easily, the light of the full moon guiding their way.

Looking up, Stretch sighs. “do you ever… just wish you could see this every day?”

“All the time,” Edge quietly admits.

“really?”

“Is that so hard to believe?”

“i mean…” Stretch shrugs. “you just don’t seem to care about it, you know?” Goodness knows Sans and Papyrus have offered to give the Underfell brothers a place to live before. Hell, even he and Blue have made that offer, even if living in Underswap is less appealing than the choice of living on the Surface in Undertale. Each time, Edge has refused, and if Edge isn’t on board, then Red isn’t either.

“I do care.”

“but…” Stretch prompts, curiosity building.

But Edge doesn’t take the bait. “It doesn’t matter.”

“whoa, whoa, whoa.” Stretch takes a small shortcut, allowing him to appear in front of Edge and hold his hand out, stopping him. “clearly, it does matter.”

Shaking his head, Edge side steps him. “You wouldn’t get it.”

Another shortcut stops him. “try me.”

Edge sets the firewood on the ground, gesturing for Stretch to join him in using it as a makeshift bench. He splays his hands out over his knees, as vulnerable of a gesture as Stretch has ever seen of Edge. “I’m not ready for the Surface.”

“why not?”

Edge scoffs. “You know why.” He gestures to himself, hand lingering at his scar before he slams his hand back onto his leg. “Besides, I don’t think I could leave them behind.”

Clarity floods in just as Stretch opens his mouth to ask who he means. Really, it shouldn’t come as a surprise: despite the differences between the universes, he can see the same thing in Papyrus and Blue. If anything, it’s even more impressive in someone like Edge, who has seen so many horrors in his home.

Somehow, Edge still believes in the monsters of Underfell. Living on the Surface while they are still going around and dusting each other would be like giving up and admitting that they can’t choose to do better, something Edge clearly refuses to do.

“if it makes you feel better, i think you’re ready.”

Edge’s expression softens slightly. “Thank you.”

“no problem.” Stretch hesitates, but decides to go forward with it. Edge just shared something important, and at this point, it’s only fair for Stretch to be truthful. “i have something to confess.”

“Does this have anything to do with the bet you made with the trouble twins?”

“no, you see — wait. you knew? how?”

“Believe it or not,” Edge says wryly, “the three of you aren’t as subtle as you think you are.”

“oh.” 

“Indeed.”

“sorry about that.” Stretch stands up, shoving his hands in his pockets. It is so tempting to just blip out for a smoke break, but with his luck, Edge would make it back to the campground before him and Blue would start to worry. “i’ll just go and stop bothering you.”

This time, Edge is the one to hold out his arm. “Stretch, wait.”

He does.

“I don’t appreciate the lying, but some of your efforts were nice. Earlier, when I said you wouldn’t like to know how things were going back home, I wasn’t exaggerating. It’s been… nice, to have a distraction from all that.”

Stretch doesn’t know what to say. What he does know, however, is that he and Edge keep moving closer and closer to each other. Edge is only a few inches shorter than him, but the difference seems so much bigger when they are practically touching. “i’m sure i could find more ways to distract you.”

“I’m sure you could,” Edge agrees, smirking.

“do you want to?”

Edge grabs him by his hoodie, drawing him even closer. “Only if you’re up to it.”

Wrapping his arms around Edge’s strong back, Stretch says, “then i guess we’re doing this.”

“I guess we are.”

That’s how Stretch ends up kissing Edge under the light of the full moon, something he would have never anticipated when he agreed to the bet. And he would be a liar to say that he isn’t enjoying it.

 


 

Meanwhile… 

“it’s about goddamn fuckin’ time,” Red mutters, only to be shushed by the creampuff and the blueberry, the latter pushing him further down into the bushes.

Shhh! They might hear us!” Blue’s admonishment doesn’t stop him from offering Red a hand to high five. Good to know he’s still in his corner when it comes to getting these two tall disasters together.

The free entertainment is soon ruined by Sans, who starts to stand up. Thankfully, he decided to hide more behind a tree than the shrubbery, so he doesn’t give away their location. Red doesn’t want to know what his bro would do if he clued into the fact he was being spied on. It wouldn’t be fun, that’s for sure. 

“welp, this whole ‘stalking edge and stretch’ thing has been fun and all, but i’m getting hungry,” he says. “see ya.” 

Not long after Sans’ shortcut does Red decide to gather the other two skeletons and book it back to the campsite. As much as he wanted to see Stretch and Edge finally resolve that unbearable sexual tension, there is only so long he can sit and watch his younger bro suck face before he wants to get the hell out of there. 

Besides, Red has got enough blackmail material to last him a while. He’ll leave them to their fun for now.

Chapter Text

As strange as it sounds, one of the first physical differences Edge noticed between himself and his counterpart from Underswap was how smooth Stretch is.

No pointed teeth. No jagged scar running across his face, creating an unpleasant groove in the bone. In fact, no scars whatsoever. Just a perfect expanse of smooth, pristine, pearly white bones.

And now, with Stretch writhing under him on their shared bed, those smooth bones are all his to feel. 

“Please,” he whispers, tugging desperately at the hem of the tangerine hoodie, “may I?”

Stretch nods, lifting his arms above his head. His face is already covered in a soft orange flush. It’s intoxicating. Slowly, as to savour the moment, Edge begins removing the hoodie. Already, he can better see Stretch’s form, but it’s not enough. By the time he gets to removing Stretch’s t-shirt, the temptation to see him is too strong. Stretch laughs as the offending garment gets stuck on its way off.

“excited much?”

“For you,” Edge says, finally tossing the shirt out of the way, “always.”

“i’ll be sure to remember that the next time you complain about — oh!” Whatever sassy remark he was going to make gets bitten off by another moan as Edge nips at his cervical vertebrae. He grabs at Edge’s skull, encouraging him to stay down. “yeah, right there.”

Far be it for him to disappoint. Edge laps at the delicate bones, gradually making his way down towards Stretch’s pelvis. Under the dim light of his reading lamp, the honeyed glow of Stretch’s magic seeps through his shorts, an item of clothing which is becoming more and more irritating by the second. Edge slips his fingers under the fabric, only to pause when Stretch swats lightly at his hands.

“you first,” he insists, looking Edge up and down eagerly.

Fair enough. Without ceremony, he strips off, fumbling for only a few seconds with his belt. As soon as he is done, Stretch sits up, meeting him halfway for a kiss. The sharp mintiness of their toothpaste mingles with the sweetness of Stretch’s mouth, a pleasant combination. 

Stretch raises his hips, making it easier for Edge to remove the last of his clothing. His magic has coalesced into a gorgeous pussy, soft and inviting. 

Edge can’t wait to taste it. 

Licking his teeth, he crawls backwards on the bed, ignoring the way that the covers keep bunching under his legs. He lifts Stretch’s legs over his shoulders, peppering light, teasing kisses on his inner thighs.

“edge, c’mon,” Stretch whines, squirming. He always has been ticklish there. “do something.”

Edge lifts his head enough to speak, still breathing warm huffs onto Stretch’s femurs. “I am doing something,” he says, already ready for the pun that he will undoubtedly be setting up. “Unless, of course, there is something else you would rather me be doing?”

True to form, Stretch responds by reaching up to flick him in the side of his skull and saying, “do me, you jerk.”

Edge smirks. “As you wish.”

In a single move, he dips his head back down and licks a path directly from Stretch’s femur to his pussy. Stretch gasps, body tensing as he digs the back of his knees into Edge’s scapulae. Grinning, Edge continues his assault, flicking his tongue up to tease Stretch’s clit.

He wants — no, he needs to hear more of his lover’s soft cries, breathless and needy. To feel it as Stretch bucks his hips up closer to his mouth, heedless of Edge’s sharp teeth in his desire. To know that he is the one to make Stretch feel way, and no one else.

Before he knows it, smooth fingers clutch at his skull, scrambling desperately. It is as much a warning as the trickle of wet against his tongue. “edge,” Stretch says, voice strangled, as he continues to delve his tongue deep into his cunt, “i’m gonna —”

Edge keeps going, circling his thumb around Stretch’s slick clit. His actions only slow when Stretch curses loudly, whole body clenching in pleasure. Licking away at Stretch’s juices, Edge works at bringing his lover down from his high, stopping just before the point of too much.

Very willingly, Edge allows himself to be dragged up to Stretch’s mouth, teeth clacking against each other. He grunts as Stretch rolls his hips up to grind against him. For quite a while now, his cock has been hot and heavy between his legs, ready for stimulation, and this only intensifies his arousal.

“Do you want to keep going?”

“hell yeah,” Stretch replies. “give it to me.”

Their shared groans are loud in their bedroom as Edge slowly, slowly buries himself into Stretch. The tight, warm wetness is just too much. Edge drops his head onto Stretch’s sternum, exhaling slowly in an attempt to regain control.

Naturally, Stretch notices. “enjoying yourself?” He asks cheekily before clenching down on him. Edge’s breath hitches, all the answer that Stretch needs.

Still, he can’t give in to his lover’s teasing so easily. 

“Immensely,” Edge says, relishing in his surprised gasp as he flips them around so that Stretch is on top. The shift in position is a win-win for Edge, allowing him to more easily see the flush of magic in Stretch’s joints, gleaming under the thin layer of sweat.

Stretch rides Edge with a vigour that is nothing short of pornographic. Edge is happy to watch as his normally more subdued lover takes control. It lets him run his hands up and down those perfect ribs, his spine, his iliac crests. 

fuck, babe,” Stretch babbles, grabbing onto Edge’s ribs to stabilise himself, hips rocking at a steady tempo. “this feels so — fuck! you feel so good!”

An involuntary shudder runs through him at Stretch’s words, his head falling back onto the pillows. “You close?” Edge asks almost desperately, knowing that his own release is nearing.

“mhm,” Stretch moans, leaning down to capture him in a passionate kiss. 

Reaching between them, Edge feels blindly for Stretch’s clit, determined to help his lover come before him. Upon finding it, he keeps his hand steady, allowing Stretch to grind against as much as he pleases.

Spine arching, Stretch’s mouth opens in a silent gasp. Edge keeps thrusting, groaning as he works on bringing himself to his own orgasm. It doesn’t take long.

Panting, Stretch relaxes on top of Edge, pressing their foreheads together in a show of sleepy affection. Edge takes him in his arms, inhaling the musky scent of their sweat before helping Stretch into a more comfortable position. 

“love you,” Stretch mumbles drowsily, wiggling closer to him.

Edge gently caresses Stretch’s cheek. “Love you too.” 

Contented, Edge continues to stroke Stretch’s smooth, beautiful bones, lulling them both to sleep. The responsible part of him protests that they should shower, but sweet exhaustion is running its course.

Besides, he thinks, a selfish thought before sleep claims him for the night, this just means that the first thing he will see in the morning is those lovely, lovely bones.

Chapter Text

Stretch rests his chin on his hands, grinning at the frustration building in Edge’s eyes. “king me.”

Glowering, Edge does, placing the crowning piece on top with enough force to shake the table. “I still cannot believe that you and Blue don’t have a full chess set,” he grumbles, moving one of his own pieces in a way that blocks off one of Stretch’s. Not that it matters; Stretch doesn’t need that piece to move to be able to kick Edge’s metaphorical ass.

“and i still can’t believe that you’re still bitching about this, edgelord. surely you should know that what you find in the dump is what you get?”

“Just move your damn checker already.”

Well, that’s something Stretch can do. Looking Edge directly in the eyes, Stretch triple jumps him. Edge gapes down at the board, clearly shocked at how he could have missed such a move. As he removes Edge’s checkers from the board, Stretch sweetly says, “your turn.”

“Fine,” Edge replies, a dark, vicious smile growing on his face. “I see how we’re playing this.”

Stretch knows he should start feeling nervous, but he doesn’t. Rather, he finds himself anticipating what Edge is going to bring to the table. 

This is going to get good.

In his next move, Edge captures one of his checkers. A small price, really, considering how Stretch’s black pieces still greatly outnumber his red ones. Somehow, Stretch doesn't clue into his victorious expression until it’s too late.

While he is in the process of deciding his next best move, Edge sets his arm down on the table. Whatever. It becomes a lot less whatever, though, when he starts trailing his fingers up Stretch’s arm, each touch feather light. A shiver runs up his spine, and, in his distraction, he moves his checker with a leftwards jump instead of a right like he had intended.

“shit!”

Edge gives Stretch’s hand a pat before going to the board. “That was quite an uncalculated move, there.” Stretch’s mistake provides the opening for a double jump leading to the end of the board, a move someone would have to be stupid not to take. Edge, of course, isn’t stupid. “King me.”

“that was a dirty trick.”

“Perhaps, but strategy is strategy. Besides,” he adds, lowering his voice until it reaches a seductively rich and husky register, “I thought you liked dirty.”

Magic wells up in Stretch’s mouth — and other places. Swallowing, he forces himself to ignore it. He can’t let Edge win this easily in either of the games they are now playing. His next move is a safe one, giving him more time to recollect himself.

“dirty is just a surprise coming from you, edgelord,” he says as Edge figures out what to do next. “i didn’t think you liked that kind of thing.” Under the table, he starts playing footsies. Edge falters, but he still manages to remove another one of Stretch’s pieces. A real shame.

“You’d be surprised what you don’t know about me, ashtray.”

Things only escalate from there. Stretch can feel his face flushing, but, based on the rising redness on Edge’s cheeks, he is being equally affected. Teasing touches linger for longer. Innuendos are made as they start leaning closer over the table. 

Breathing warm huffs of breath, Edge purrs, “I win.”

At checkers, yes. However, Stretch isn’t going to let him win their other game. He has a reputation, after all.

Checkers go clattering as he sweeps the board of the table. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Edge asks as Stretch stands up, chair scraping against the floor in his haste.

He stalks towards Edge, satisfaction growing as the other stands up. “want to find out?”

“Convince me,” he growls. Obviously, he has pieced things together.

“gladly.”

Stretch keeps going, keeping close as Edge backs up. When his back hits the wall and Stretch pins him in place, Edge exhales sharply. He doesn’t resist, though. 

“my bro won’t be back for at least a few hours.”

Edge wraps his arms around Stretch’s rib cage, pulling him closer. “I can think of a few ways to entertain ourselves in the meantime.”

“me too. feel like taking this upstairs?”

“Absolutely. Take me upstairs, ashtray.”

Stretch’s smile widens, readying himself for the shortcut. “if you say so.”

Now this… this is going to be fun.

Chapter Text

“For the last time, brother. Pick. Up. Your. Sock.”

From his official spot on the couch, Sans gives Papyrus a sideways glance, then the sock, which has remarkably stayed in the same spot even after their move to the Surface. “mmm... how ‘bout later?”

Tapping his foot, Papyrus waits a few seconds before saying, “It’s officially later. Pick up your sock.”

Sans respects the response, but it isn’t going to change his mind. He has committed to this for years now; it would be a waste to give up now. Besides, doing that would mean getting up, which… nah. Just nah.

“why is it that you suddenly have a bone to pick about it with me?”

Papyrus sighs, looking incredibly done. Whether if it’s because of the pun or if it’s because of the sock thing is still unclear. Quite possibly both. “Don’t try to distract me with your tired attempts at humour.”

bone tired?” Sans suggests, employing finger guns. Based on the exasperated glare, the answer to his previous question becomes crystal clear: it’s definitely both.

“The point is, your date mate is coming over tonight.” Sans stifles a protest at the term ‘date mate’; that implies that he and Red have feelings, and he’s pretty sure Red would shit a kitten if he were to imply something that soft and touchy-feely. “Shouldn’t you at least try and make it look like you put in at least a singular effort?”

He scoffs, picking at a stain on his hoodie. When did that one show up? “dude. he’s me. red’s not gonna give a shit.”

The oven timer goes off, saving Sans from further questioning. Before he goes, though, Papyrus sends him a scathing glare, one that must have been learned from spending time around Tori and the kid. “Ahem.”

Right. “sorry. he’s not gonna give a crap.”

Papyrus nods. “That’s better.” As he leaves to attend to whatever burnt offering they are going to eat for lunch, Sans distinctly hears him mutter, “Honestly, how hard is it to watch your fucking language?”

 


 

“for the last fuckin’ time, boss, i’m not doin’ it!”

Edge doesn’t move, instead getting up even closer in Red’s personal space. Goddamn it; why did he have to raise his bro to not take anyone’s shit? Annoying as hell, when it gets used against him.

“Red, just because you don’t have any standards doesn’t mean that no one else does. March yourself upstairs. Now.” 

“how ‘bout no?”

“Standards.”

Red laughs. “boss, are we still sure that the hit to your skull didn’t result in brain damage, or what? this is sans we’re talkin’ ‘bout. ya know, the fucker that greeted you with a fart joke and that has been wearing the exact same outfit longer than we’ve known him? he ain’t gonna notice if i take a bath in the trash water of waterfall. hell, i could use eau de toilette made of actual dirty human toilet water and he still wouldn’t care.”

Frustrated, Edge lets out a garbled scream before dragging Red by the collar all the way up to the bathroom.

 


 

By this point in his life, shortcutting into Sans and Papyrus’ living room is nothing new. Even before he and Sans were screwing around, Red would pop over for giggles, pranks or snacks. He knows their house in general like the back of his hand.

That’s why it comes as such a shock when he shortcuts directly into their side table instead of the middle of the floor.

“what the fuck, sans?”

“don’t look at me,” he says from behind Red, forcing him to turn around as he rubs at his bruised hip. Everything in the living room has been shifted around. “this is all paps.”

Looking up to the ceiling, Red repeats, “what the fuck, papyrus?” It doesn’t do him any good, of course; the guy always clears out at least an hour before Red comes over to spend time with Sans.

“it’s a long story.” Sans shifts over on the couch, tapping the space beside him. “now are you gonna sit down, or are you just going to stand around my living room like a creep all day?”

Snorting, Red says, “bold of you to assume i won’t be a creep sitting next to you, sansy.”

“touché.” With a fake yawn, Sans starts leaning over into his personal bubble, only to jump away. “what,” he says, holding his nose, “is that smell?”

Echoing Sans’ earlier words, Red shrugs. “it’s a long story.”

“feel like exchanging the sparknotes?”

“you go first.”

“alrighty.” Sans stretches his back, like he thinks Red won’t notice him inching away. He gets it; he smells like an old lady. No need to try and be subtle about it. “so, you know the sock?”

“yeah. still can’t believe paps lets you get away with that shit.”

“yeah,” Sans laughs, “me neither. guess he does have his limits, though. when i refused to pick it up today, he decided to rearrange everything to hide it. something about how if i can’t try and make the house look presentable for you, someone should.”

“dude,” Red says flatly, that single word enough to convey how unlikely he would be to notice even if Sans had gone on a cleaning spree.

“i know. and what’s with you?”

“boss was also in a mood today. when i wouldn’t shower before coming here, he decided to take matters into his own hands.”

Brow wrinkled, Sans points out, “but that doesn’t explain why you smell like you’ve been working triple shifts at the perfume factory.”

Red grins. Sans will be sure to appreciate this next bit. “well, i wasn’t going to give in that easily, and there wasn’t enough time for a real shower. so he fuckin’ took out his fancy anti bacterial air freshener shit and doused me until my bones were soaked through.”

"man, that really stinks. i hope my bro doesn't try that trick."

“that would really sock, wouldn’t it?”

Sans reaches out a fist. “nice. want to figure out some new ways to annoy our bros?”

Red completes the fist bump. “hell to the yeah.”

Chapter Text

All week, it has been the same thing, and Stretch hates it.

An hour or so after he is supposed to, Edge returns from work. If he’s lucky, Stretch gets a quick kiss along with his mostly absent hello. Mostly, though, Edge just comes in, locks the door, takes off his jacket and heads straight over to set his laptop up at the kitchen table. The first and only break he takes is to make supper. Even then, he is typing with one hand while he stirs ingredients with the other. 

The thing is, Stretch hates to ask Edge to stop. It feels selfish, even if it has felt more like he has been living with a roommate he doesn’t know than living with his husband for the past week. Edge’s work is important. Not just in the generic ‘work is important’ way that a lot of people say, either. He makes a genuine difference in the world with what he does, and Stretch can’t help but feel bad for wanting him to stop helping.

Enough is enough, though.

Crossing the room with the help of a shortcut, Stretch shuts Edge’s laptop. Edge looks up at him, eye lights glassy and dull. Now that he thinks about it, his laptop’s display was set lower than usual, with the blue-light filter turned on much too early. Combine that with the tension in his body, and it all becomes clear to Stretch: Edge is going to work himself into a killer migraine if he doesn’t stop him.

“I’m working,” Edge protests, trying to pry the laptop open from under Stretch’s fingers.

Stretch picks up the computer and shoves it under his hoodie, away from Edge. “precious, you’ve already worked the day shift. there’s no need to add on another night shift.” 

“But I need to —”

“you need to rest.”

Stubborn as always, Edge shakes his head. “I’m fine.”

Yeah, because Stretch definitely believes that. 

Quickly, he shortcuts away, hiding the laptop under their bathroom sink. This process will probably be easier if he doesn’t have to worry about any grabby hands sneaking under his hoodie. Well, grabby hands sneaking under his hoodie for non sexy time related activities, that is. Sexy time grabby hands would be very welcomed right now, please and thank you.

Edge is waiting for him with his arms crossed over his chest. “What was that for?”

“it’s a distraction, babe. i needed to get rid of it.”

You’re a distraction.” And, okay, Stretch can’t deny that, even if Edge said it like a sulky seven year old.

“yeah, but as your husband, it’s my job to distract you,” he retorts, running his hands over Edge’s forearms until he unfolds them. “especially when you’re trying to make yourself sick.”

Edge scoffs. “I’m not trying to make myself sick.”

“coulda fooled me.” Then, he pulls out a winning card from his argumentative deck. “do i need to call red?”

A cross look covers Edge’s face. “No!” He coughs, likely realising that he doth protest too much. “I just need to finish my project.”

Sure, like how he has been ‘finishing’ it all week. Stretch takes another step forward, waiting until Edge slowly opens his arms to him. “it can wait until the morning.” With his head resting in the hollow between his neck and his shoulder, Stretch sighs. Edge is still wearing his work jacket, neatly pressed and not nearly as fun to snuggle into. “i missed you, babe. it’s like you’ve been gone all week.”

“Oh,” Edge says quietly, jolting the slightest bit as his breath hitches. Looking up, Stretch can see the guilty misery in his expression, which, no, that’s not what he wants. He wants Edge to relax and spend time with him, and shame isn’t relaxed.

“c’mere,” Stretch says, shuffling them over to the living room couch. “sit down, precious.”

As Stretch manipulates him into position, Edge asks, “What are we doing?”

you’re gonna relax,” he explains, wrapping his legs around Edge as he sits behind him, “and i’m gonna show you how much i love you.”

“I know you love me,” Edge says, still sitting all too rigidly. 

“aww, that’s sweet, babe. still doesn’t hurt to get a reminder, though, does it?”

“Only if I get to remind you back when you’re done.”

Unlikely, if Stretch does this properly; he’s planning on Edge being relaxed enough to finally get some sleep  preferably, with him. But, hey, if his plans don’t go a hundred percent according to plan, he’s not going to complain about some nice reciprocation. Humouring him, Stretch says, “if that’s what you want.”

Stretch starts at Edge’s shoulders, wanting to ease him into the experience. Really, he knows that the problem really lies at the cervical vertebrae, but Edge probably won’t react well if he starts digging in there without warning. He hasn’t really ever discussed the whole human situation back in the Underground with Red, but with the way Edge sometimes reacts to things touching his neck, it really makes him wonder. Of course, Stretch prefers to think that it is just an instinctive thing from living in Underfell as a whole; he would rather his love be freaking out because of a normal survival instinct than the ghost of a memory of having been beheaded in another timeline.

Much to his delight, some of the tension begins to leak out of Edge as soon as Stretch starts his massage. A cross between a sigh and a moan escapes him, and best of all, he doesn’t try to obscure it.

“Love?”

Pressing his thumbs in harder, Stretch says, “yeah?”

“Could we stop for a minute?”

Stretch draws his hand back. Damn, he was hoping for this to last a bit longer. But, if that’s what Edge wants… “sure.”

“Thank you.” Instead of getting up — as Stretch had believed he would — Edge leans forward, shucking off his jacket and shirt, draping them on the far arm of the couch. He then leans back closer to Stretch. “Okay. I’m ready.”

This is going better than he expected. He places his hands back on Edge, noting the shiver he makes. Then again, his hands probably feel freezing in comparison to the warmth Edge puts off on a regular basis. 

He makes his way up his spine, targeting in particular that one spot that always seems linked to Edge’s migraines. There, he massages the magic between the joints more carefully, kneading the knot away until nothing remains.

“Could you…?” Edge asks, grabbing one of his hands to move it to just below his left scapula.

“of course,” Stretch says, pride welling up within him for Edge. Him asking for something specific in this situation is an incredible thing. “just let me know if there’s anything else you want, okay?”

Edge mumbles a response, practically pushing in to Stretch’s touch. Curiously, Stretch adds a bit more force, which earns him another one of those beautiful sigh-moans.

Half an hour later, Stretch has got a tranquil pile of bones for a husband. It’s a good look on him, even if it means that Stretch has to help him to his feet to go up to their bedroom. As comfortable as Edge currently is, Stretch refuses to have all his hard work go to waste by having him fall asleep on the couch.

Leaning on Stretch as they walk, Edge sleepily says, “I’m sorry for being such a preoccupied ass lately.”

“i forgive you, babe.” He kicks their door open, not wanting to let go of Edge for even that little amount of time. “i’m sorry for not talking to you about it sooner. i shouldn’t’ve let it bother me for this long.”

They part long enough to put on pyjamas, immediately finding each other as they climb into bed. Edge pulls Stretch into his arms like he’s an overgrown teddy bear.

“Thank you,” he murmurs, resting his chin on top of Stretch’s skull.

“any time, precious. any time.”

Chapter Text

The gentle tinkling of wind chimes announces his entrance into the shop. It’s a cute local place, quiet and decorated liberally with displays of fragrant flowers to buy. 

After stopping to check out a few of the pre-made arrangements, Stretch walks up to the front desk. The florist, a tall, angular skeleton wearing a dark apron over a simple button up and slacks, is there, talking on the phone.

“— we’ll deliver the bouquets and table arrangements in a week,” he says, holding up a finger to tell Stretch that he will be done in just a bit. “Have a nice day.” Scribbling something down on a scrap of paper, he recites, “Sorry for the wait. How can I help you?”

Stretch leans forward, resting his elbows on the counter. “i’m looking for some flowers.”

The florist gestures widely. “Then you’re in the right place.” Talking over Stretch’s snickers, he continues, “Is there any specific occasion?”

“it’s me and my boyfriend’s first anniversary,” Stretch says, smiling fondly. “I want to get him something thoughtful.”

“First, let me give my congratulations.”

“thanks.”

“Next, do you have any specific flowers in mind?”

Sheepishly, Stretch looks around the store. “uhhhhhhhhh…”

“I’ll take that as a no,” the florist says, riding the line of being sassily dry. “What can you tell me about your boyfriend? It might help in making a decision.”

“well, edge has the most gorgeous magic, a bright red colour. kinda like that —” he points to a small display of poppies, “— but better. he puts his all in basically everything he does, all of the time. i honestly don't get how, but it's damn impressive. his cooking is one of the nicest things in my life, but don’t tell my brother that. oh! and he gives the best hugs, just strong and warm and comforting whenever i need them and even when i don't, but just want them.”

The florist nods. “He seems like quite the catch.”

“he is,” Stretch agrees. “i’m so lucky to have him.”

Rummaging behind the counter, the florist goes through a set of papers, humming quietly. “Aha! Excuse me a second; I think I have the perfect thing out back.”

“okay.” 

While he waits, Stretch decides to wander around the store. To his untrained eye, there appears to be a wide selection of flowers in different colours. Some more common ones, like roses and the tall sunflowers, he feels safe in identifying. It makes him curious to see what the florist will bring out, when there is already all of this to be chosen from.

A polite cough directs his attention back to the counter. There, the florist holds a striking bouquet of tulips. What makes the flowers noteworthy, in Stretch’s opinion, is the colouring of the petals: A deep red in the centre which fades to a soft orange at the ends.

“that’s perfect!”

As Stretch pays, the florist fiddles around with the flowers, rearranging each one in a way that makes sense to him, even if Stretch can’t really tell the difference. Whatever; it’s his job, so he probably knows what he’s doing.

Bouquet in hand, Stretch calls out over his shoulder, “thank you!” 

“You’re very welcome.”

Leaving the store, Stretch starts counting under his breath. About five seconds after the door has shut completely, he decides he can’t wait any longer.

With the determination of a man in love, Stretch marches back into the flower shop. This time, however, he doesn’t hesitate in marching up to the till. The florist’s familiar face lights up in a smile as Stretch presents him with the bouquet, leaning over the counter for a tender kiss.

“happy anniversary, babe.”

Chapter Text

Deep down, Edge knew this day would come. He was just hoping that it wouldn’t be so soon.

For the past several days, he could tell it was looming. His temper, which is short at the best of times, has been ready to go off at anything and everything. And everyone.

Distantly, he can hear them talking around him at the cafeteria table. Some of his coworkers — well-meaning for the most part — sensed that something was off with him. In an attempt to ascertain the problem, they decided to come over and ask him questions about his ‘old home’, as most monsters who are at least vaguely in the know tend to refer to the other universes. Behind their questions, it isn’t hard to read their real concern: is this his LV, and what does it mean for them?

He can’t blame them for being worried. Hell, he can’t even blame them for judging him. There are only a handful of monsters with LV in this universe, Edge and his brother being among the ranks. Unlike most of the others, however, their LV did not come from the War. This world’s king and the remaining soldiers from back then may have blood on their hands, but Edge has dust. So much dust on his hands.

The problem, however, arises from how they keep trying to discreetly bring it up. The constant pressing and questioning only serves to make his marrow boil hotter as his LV flares. Edge forces a mask on himself, a desperate attempt to hide the jitteriness that could oh so easily slip into violence, if he isn’t careful to keep a strong leash on his emotions.

A series of laughs erupts across the table, presumably at some joke. After a while, they had gotten bored of bothering Edge — thank the stars — and switched to some more mundane topic. Digging his fingers hard into the palms of his gloves, Edge tries to breathe through the burst of rage that the grating sound brings on.

It doesn’t work.

Teeth clenched, Edge stands up stiffly. “Excuse me for a moment,” he says, leaving his food on the table. Before they can answer, he is already marching towards his office. 

Hopefully, it will be easier to keep everything leashed in if he’s alone where it’s quiet.

 


 

Today, Stretch has been doing most of the talking at their unofficial weekly meet up at the local café. Knowing that he can’t contribute, Edge tries to let the pleasant chatter wash over him.

But the fact of the matter is, he is still all too tense. He can feel his cup of herbal tea — because angel forbid that he drink anything caffeinated at a time like this — start to give way under his tight grip. Most of his concentration is still devoted to his breathing, keeping it nice and calm. He has to. 

Edge is too close to snapping, and that would result in taking down anyone with him. Stretch is his friend; Edge will never be able to forgive himself if he hurts him because of this.

He should have called off, he realises as he drinks robotically. Stayed home until his soul settles. Yes, it would mean putting Red in harm’s way, but that’s less of a problem because of who Red is. His brother may be an irritating goblin with low HP, but he knows what limits he can and can’t press when it comes to LV. He has been with him at his worst, and has helped him get through it.

A hand touches his own, and he jumps, LV singing, begging for him to lash out and attack. He just barely manages to suppress the reaction when he notices that it is Stretch’s hand. He looks concerned as he says, “edge?”

Before he can stop himself, he snaps, “What?”

“are you okay? you’ve been zoned out for the last five minutes. that’s not like you.”

“I’m fine,” he says tersely.

Stretch frowns. “dude. it’s cool if you don’t want to talk about it, but don’t lie to me, okay?”

Edge averts his gaze guiltily. Stretch deserves to know, even if it’s so he can stay away until he regains control. “Do… can we go to your place? To talk.” Maybe, if he’s in a quieter place, more in his element, it will be easier. At the very least, it will keep him away from innocent bystanders.

Giving him a deep, searching look, Stretch nods. “sure thing, edgelord.”

The walk from the café to Stretch’s apartment barely takes five minutes, and half of that is waiting for an appropriate time to cross the busy street. As Stretch unlocks his door, Edge stands guard, hoping it will help keep the LV fuelled twitchiness to a low if he puts his instincts to use.

“alright, here we go,” Stretch says, kicking off his shoes. “do you want something to drink? i know we were literally just at the café, but i think i still have some of that tea you like, if you want. or i’ve got milk, some juice…”

“I’m fine. Can we just get this over with?”

Stretch freezes. “hey,” he says slowly, “let’s sit down, yeah?”

Edge lets his friend direct him to the couch. Purposefully, he sits right at the end, as far away from Stretch as he can. Stretch seems to get his silent message, shifting over from sitting cross legged in the middle of the couch to the other side.

“edge,” Stretch starts, breaking the silence before him, “i’m glad you want to talk, but just remember what i said: you don’t have to. you’ve got no responsibility to explain whatever’s going on if it makes you uncomfortable. personal boundaries are a thing.”

Edge nods shakily. In a rush, he says the bare basics. “It’s my LV.”

He feels Stretch’s flinch — despite their distance across the couch — more than he sees it. Stretch takes a shaky breath. “o-okay. that, uh, explains a lot, actually. should i go?”

“But it’s your house,” he protests, conflicted about the offer.

“i’m aware. but if you need some space right now, i can head to blue’s for a bit and let you chill here. or i can stay. the choice is yours.”

Grasping for calm, Edge whispers, “Stay.”

“alright,” Stretch nods, a trickle of relief causing his expression to relax. Carefully, he reaches an arm out, making sure to approach Edge slowly. “is it okay that i…?”

Edge lunges forward into the comforting hug. Part of him is cringing at the danger he is putting Stretch in, but a stronger part needs something to ground him and help him settle. Soothingly, he can feel Stretch running his hand over his spine, murmuring words of comfort.

 


 

Sunlight peeking through the window across his face wakes Edge in the morning. Groggily, he sits up, a light throw blanket sliding down his lap. The longer he sits, the more he realises how strange the situation is. Besides the fact that he must have fallen asleep fully clothed on Stretch’s couch, the clock across the room tells him that it’s almost noon. Somehow, he still feels tired, despite the fact that he can’t think of any time he has slept in that late.

Wandering over to the clattering in the kitchen, Edge spots Stretch in front of the microwave, watching it carefully. The circles under his eyes are darker than normal, but other than that he seems to be perfectly fine. He bears no injuries, and that’s Edge’s biggest concern at the moment.

“I see you’re braving the dangers of the wild kitchen this morning.”

“laugh it up, edgelord,” Stretch responds lightly, opening the microwave as it beeps, his tone bearing no malice. “believe it or not, i can make microwave oatmeal without setting off the smoke alarm if i follow the instructions.”

“Sometimes.”

Stretch laughs. “yeah, but i thought we agreed that time didn’t count. i’m taking it you’re feeling a bit better this morning?”

Edge doesn’t need to wait to find his answer. His soul is calm, completely unbothered. “Yes. Thanks again.”

“no problem. i hope you don’t mind, i took the liberty of calling into work for you. it’s just that you were still asleep, and i figured it was probably a good idea to give you some more time, just in case.”

“Thank you,” Edge says once more, moving to turn on Stretch’s kettle, a gift that may have been bought partially for his own benefit. “For everything.”

“any time. seriously. if you ever need someone to talk to or whatever, i’m here for you, man.”

“I’ll… try to remember that.”

“good. now, if you really want to thank me, you know where the fridge is. i haven’t eaten yet, and you’re less likely to set things on fire.”

Edge smiles. No matter how either him or Stretch are doing emotionally, some things will never change.

Chapter Text

Living with Stretch brings all sort of surprises to Edge’s life, albeit some more pleasant than others.

He is curled up on their armchair, reading by the fire. Recently, Papyrus had lent him one of his old favourite books from back home. This one is even better, though, as it has all of its pages fully intact.

That nearly becomes not the case when Stretch jumps up by his legs like a meerkat from out of nowhere. 

“pay attention to me!” Stretch demands, eagerly placing his hands on Edge’s knees.

Edge suppresses a sigh. The thing is, he loves Stretch, he really does, and normally, he wouldn’t think twice about giving in to his whims. But it’s been a long day and he needs some time to mentally unwind. At the very least, he would really like to finish the chapter.

“I’m reading, love,” he says, hoping it is enough to deter him for a few minutes.

It’s not.

More insistently, Stretch rests his elbows on Edge’s lap, peering up at him. “but i wanna play.”

Edge holds his book up to hide his face. Conveniently, it also prevents Stretch from seeing his smile as he seriously announces, “Sorry, we’re closed.”

Laughing, Stretch swats at the book. “are not, you jerk.”

This time, he doesn’t bother trying to hide his amusement. “Try again in ten minutes.”

“but baaaaaaabe,” Stretch coaxes, tugging at his wrists, “aren’t i more fun?” There is a mischievous spark in his eye lights, tempting as can be.

Perhaps the book can wait until later when they are both more tired out.

The gloating glee which appears on Stretch’s face as soon as Edge sets down his book rapidly shifts to surprise as Edge — carefully — tackles him down to the floor. Almost immediately, he allows himself to go slack enough to make it easier for Stretch to wrestle him without it being too obvious that he is giving his love help. Stretch still knows, obviously; how could he not? But the illusion is part of what makes their play fights so much fun, the fact that either of them currently has the potential to win. 

At last, he pins Stretch to the ground, wrists captured above his head. “Fine, you brat. You said you wanted to play; what’s the game?”

Stretch gulps. Noticeably flustered, he tries and fails at being nonchalant as he says, “i was thinking yahtzee.”

Smirking, Edge lowers his voice to that husky growl he knows drives Stretch crazy. “I’m sure we could come up with something far more fun than Yahtzee.”

Stretch’s face erupts in a beautifully bright orange blush. “monopoly?”

Well, if that’s how Stretch wants to play this… “Sure,” Edge says, standing up. “Let me get the board.”

Unsurprisingly, Stretch grasps at his ankle, preventing him from running off.

“Do you want something?” Edge asks as he crawls back down on top of him.

“yeah,” Stretch purrs, taking Edge’s skull into his hands and drawing close. “this.”

The kiss is deep, demanding that Edge stays close to enjoy this rather than a silly board game. Stretch’s tongue plays with his own, drawing forth muffled moans from the back of his throat. All the while, Stretch pulls Edge nearer, until their bodies are practically molded together.

After what feels like hours, Edge draws back, his soul racing in excitement. Stretch doesn’t complain. Instead, he slowly runs his tongue across his teeth, hooded eyes twinkling promisingly. Edge finds himself backing up, coming to an abrupt stop as the back of his legs make contact with his reading chair.

“you ready, babe?”

“Why don’t you come over here and find out?”

Before he realises it, Stretch has shortcutted over, gently cupping the front of Edge’s jeans. His breathing stutters. “oh, honey. if things go according to plan, you’re the one who’s gonna be coming.”

Clever hands unzip his fly, the sound obscenely loud. Edge’s grip on the chair’s arms tightens as cool phalanges begin running up and down his magic. Any cool that Edge has is lost completely from the first teasing lick Stretch makes. And, based on the way he chuckles before swallowing Edge down completely, Stretch knows.

At times like this, it becomes clear that Stretch’s tongue is just as dexterous as his hands, if not more so. Soft and plush, Stretch uses it to pleasure Edge’s cock with great skill. His mouth is warm and wet and constantly moving, never letting Edge grow too accustomed to something before changing strategies in sucking him off.

Too soon, Edge’s climax draws near. “S-Stretch,” he gasps in warning.

Stretch hums agreeably around his dick, drawing out another groan from Edge. Bobbing his head, he keeps going but takes his hands away. Looking up at him, Stretch entwines their fingers together.

Edge tries to keep his eyes open as he comes, to keep looking at his lover, but the feeling is too much. His hips buck as Stretch swallows down the hot pulses of come, not slowing down.

As he pants, Stretch pulls his mouth off Edge’s dick with a slick pop. Still holding hands, Stretch nuzzles at his lap, smearing crimson magic over his jeans. Later, Edge will make his annoyance known, but now, he only has one thing on his mind.

“Do you…?”

“later,” Stretch says. “providing you’re still open for business, of course.”

Edge grins, already thinking of all the different things they could do when the time comes. “I’m sure we can make arrangements.”

Chapter Text

Stretch’s fingers twitch at his side as he walks up the hill with Edge. Stars, what he would give for a cigarette right now. Not that he can, of course; he very purposefully left his pack and his lighter at home, not wanting to ruin the moment.

He has been planning this for a few weeks now. Blue has borne the brunt of it, having to listen to his excited and anxious ramblings at any and all times of the day. Literally. For the most part, his brother tolerated all this, although he did place a limit after he woke up to Stretch sitting on the edge of his bed and prodding him to wake up to be a sounding board for his plans.

To be honest, he’s not even sure if Edge will notice all the effort he put in. Some of it is admittedly subtle. He spent extra time in the shower, trying to make sure his bones are perfectly clean without any lingering scent of nicotine. Stretch even got Blue to help him with his clothes, removing any hints of stains and even going to the extreme of ironing his hoodie — although that one was definitely more of a Blue decision than a Stretch one.

He just wants this all to be the perfect surprise. And, based on past experience, the best surprises are those which cannot be anticipated in any way. In this case, the best way to surprise Edge is to keep everything low key. If Stretch was to wear really nice clothes, for example, Edge would definitely get suspicious and start asking questions.

And tonight, asking questions is Stretch’s job.

After walking for what seems like an eternity, the two of them reach the top of the hill. Edge spreads out the thick blanket over the flattest area of grass while Stretch works on pulling out some of the snacks for their evening picnic. Cookies and cheese and crackers and tiny sandwiches they can munch on all night. Maybe they can even be extra cutesy as a couple and feed each other. Tonight, the world is his oyster, and Stretch plans on exploiting it to all of its romantic potential.

The sun begins to set, soft colours painting the sky above them. This is Stretch’s cue.

Squirming under Edge’s arm, he turns to look him in the eye. “babe?”

“Yes?”

“could you let go for a minute. i’ve got something i need to tell you.”

Edge does, although there is a hint of concern in his deep, crimson eye lights. Which, okay, that’s perfectly understandable. Stretch is rarely one to turn down snuggle time, and he kinda worded his need to get up ominously. The thing is, there is a proper procedure to how these things are supposed to go, and even if Edge wouldn’t mind an unconventional approach, Stretch wants everything to be perfect for his love.

As soon as he gets to his feet, Stretch has to resist the urge to pace. It would only serve to increase Edge’s worries. Instead, he slips his right hand into his pocket, fiddling around with the item of the day.

“y’know, if someone were to tell me, hell, even a year ago that we would be together like this, i would call them a crazy liar. like, the whole ‘on the surface in a different universe’ thing would be hard enough to believe, but you and me, actually getting along and being in love? i don’t know. it probably would’ve seemed pretty far-fetched.”

“Stretch, are you —”

He places a finger in front of Edge’s mouth. “please, babe. i promise i’m getting somewhere with my rambling. don’t worry.”

Edge nods, smiling. He trusts Stretch, loves Stretch, and isn’t that something?

Seeing all that, all the words he has planned disappear completely. 

“and i… fuck. i love you, edge. so much.”

“And I love you too,” Edge says earnestly.

“i know you do. that’s why i need to do this.” He gets down on one knee, kneeling on the blanket so that he doesn’t have to worry about the cold dampness of the grass or any stray pebbles. He takes the ring pop out of his pocket, opening the packaging to reveal the bright red of the cherry flavoured candy. “edge, i love you so fucking much. i love you with all of my soul. that’s why tonight i want to ask you for the honour of becoming my hus—”

Before he can finish, Edge rushes forward, all but tackling him to the ground in a warm kiss.

Laughing breathlessly, Stretch says, “i take that as a yes, then?”

“Of course, you goose! Yes, yes, yes and yes!”

“in that case, we might as well make it official. ish.” Stretch takes Edge’s left hand, slipping the ring pop on. “the timing just seemed right to do it tonight, but i don’t have a real ring yet. i figured you might want to pick them out together, you know?”

“That sounds perfect,” Edge replies, smiling fondly between the candy on his hand and Stretch. “Should we take a picture?”

“i mean, yeah. how else am i supposed to prove it to your bro that i actually managed to get you to accept my proposal with a freaking ring pop?”

Taking out his phone, Edge says, “I could tell him.”

“yeah, but that would ruin half the fun.”

“I suppose it would. Now smile, my love.”

Stretch doesn’t have to be told twice.

Passing the phone between them, they take several pictures together, as well as some of just Edge’s hand. With the sun setting behind them, it looks even better than Stretch could have dreamed. Soon, when they have their real engagement rings, they can plan a proper photo shoot. Hell, Stretch will even wear something fancy if it makes Edge happy.

After a while, they are forced to stop, the darkness of twilight making it too difficult to take pictures. Once more, Stretch draws himself under Edge’s arms. This time, though, he can officially say that he is his fiancé. He can’t wait to use that as much as he can.

Surprisingly, the ring pop still sits on Edge’s finger. Bringing their hands together, Stretch asks, “are you gonna eat that?”

Edge snatches his hand back with the speed of someone getting burned. “No! This is mine now! How else am I supposed to show off that I am engaged to a wonderful skeleton like you?”

Face burning pleasantly, Stretch protests, “it’s gonna get sticky.”

Edge nuzzles closer, the peaceful rhythm of his soul close enough to be heard. It’s a beautiful sound, one that Stretch can’t wait to hear for the rest of his life. “Then I guess we’re going to go ring shopping sooner than later.”

“guess so,” Stretch agrees. He knows for a fact that neither of them have to be anywhere specific tomorrow. They can spend the entire day together, practice for the joy that will be spending the rest of their lives together.

He can’t wait.

Chapter Text

Hand placed protectively over his brother’s shoulder, Papyrus staggers out of the machine, vision obscured by the smoke. Automatically, he summons a weapon, both to be prepared for any impending danger and to help him see. At his side, Sans does the same, although he is surely ready to teleport them away should the need arise.

Some of the haze clears, revealing an interesting sight. Two skeletons sit with their backs to the wall, huddled close together. What immediately rouses Papyrus’ suspicions is their uncanny resemblance to him and his brother. Shapeshifters, meant to catch them off guard? No… that can’t be. There are too many obvious discrepancies. The clothing is all wrong, too colourful and bright. They bear no scars, no signs of injuries past or present. Beyond that, they look completely shell-shocked, hardly the correct expression for either Sans or Papyrus.

It’s all very odd.

Discreetly, he squeezes his brother’s shoulder. Papyrus may be a genius at battle strategy, one of his defining qualities as a guardsman, but there are things that Sans can see in people that he will never be able to fully replicate off of sheer intuition alone. In this case, he needs the gift of his brother’s Judgement to give him a better idea on how to proceed.

Before he can, however, the pop of a shortcut makes him whip his head to the other side of the room. Another skeleton who looks uncomfortably similar to his brother, except softer. 

“Brother, slow down,” a voice calls, clomping down what must be a set of stairs before bursting through a door. At this point, Papyrus is only mildly surprised at the fact that the owner of the voice is yet another skeleton who looks like himself. “Oh! It’s another me! And, of course, another Sans! Just give me a minute; I only brought down enough snacks for the other us-es.”

“No.”

The other freezes mid step, almost comically, and blinks. “I’m sorry, Newest-me?”

Out of the corner of his vision, Papyrus can see Sans give him a small nod. Indeed, there is something strange going on here. The sooner he can sort it all out, the better.

“First of all, I demand that you cease all this ‘Newest-me’ nonsense. I am Papyrus the Great and Terrible, second in command of the Royal Guard.”

“well, hate to break it to you, buddy,” the alternate sitting on the floor interrupts, still slouching heavily, but drawing his brother nearer to him, “but half the people in the room are called papyrus, and you’re the last one to show up. that kinda makes you ‘newest-me’ by default.”

“Don’t be rude, Other-me, even if you are entirely correct. I’m sure this is a frightening situation for them as well.” Papyrus bristles at the accusation, but refuses to comment. “In any case, what kind of host would I be if I didn’t make sure all my guests — surprising as they are — didn’t have anything to eat or drink?”

“paps?” Simultaneously, the three taller skeletons turn to the Sans wearing a blue hoodie. “sorry. bro, how ‘bout you just sit down with them or something. from what i can tell so far, these guys are going to be here a while, and that’s provided the machine doesn’t spit out any more alternates.”

“I suppose,” Paps — Papyrus would rather not think of this other monster as himself if he doesn’t have to — says.

 


 

Nerves on… well, never mind, Edge emerges from the basement with his brother, Blue and Stretch following behind. He can feel his alternate’s judgemental stare behind his back, something he doesn’t much care for.

This was not what he expected would result from Sans — no, it’s supposed to be Red now, that was one of the conditions that had been agreed upon — shortcutting him to the machine in their basement in the middle of his shift.

As far as this universe’s Sans can tell, no one is going back, like it or not. Even if they can repair the machine, a task which is seemingly improbable if his brother’s expertise is to be believed, there is no guarantee it would work out for them. Something about anomalies in the continuum, or some other nonsense which made sense to Sans, Red and Stretch.

In front of them, Paps keeps chattering about something or other. Edge has been trying to tune him out for the past however long they have been in this universe. Despite the knowledge that no one but Edge and Red have LV, he can’t help but feel suspicious of his chipper, innocent attitude. 

It’s strange, knowing that they are both technically the same monster, changed by circumstances beyond their control. This version of him with no battle scars, no EXP whatsoever, is supposedly friends with a human, for crying out loud! Is this how Edge would have turned out if things were different in their home? If so… he isn’t sure if he likes it or not.

Stranger still is his other alternate. The Judge of his world, an older brother and a lazy bones, Stretch couldn’t be more different than Edge if he tried. 

Reaching the main level of their hosts’ house, Edge hesitates. His instincts are screaming that this must be some kind of trap, that there is a catch somewhere. Who takes in absolute strangers without demanding some form of payment?

“Well,” Paps says cheerily, “I’m going to work on supper.” He frowns slightly, but it is still a soft expression. “Hopefully, I won’t have to go buy more food.”

“Can I help?” Blue asks, honest to goodness stars in his eye lights.

“Certainly! Edge?”

“No.” After a pause, he tacks on a, “Thank you.” As long as he and Red are here, he might as well try and remain on his hosts’ good side.

“Well, feel free to join us at any time, should you change your mind! Now, come on Blue, and let me show you my illustrious kitchen!”

As soon as they go, this Sans scratches his leg. “welp. this has been fun and all, but i’mma head up and nap for a bit. someone call me when the grub’s done.”

And then there were three.

Almost immediately, Red settles onto the couch, becoming one with the cushions. It’s obvious that he is struggling to stay awake. Giving him a look, Edge closes his eyes, hinting that Red should also nap if he needs it. Edge will stay here and keep guard; there is no point in depriving himself if he doesn’t need it. After all, tomorrow they will all be meeting with the King. They will need to be at their best for that. Even if Paps keeps calling him King Fluffybuns.

Positioning himself against the wall, Edge watches as Stretch paces around the living room for a few seconds before finally settling at the other end of the couch. Irritatingly, he keeps twitching his fingers, bones making a bothersome clicking noise.

“hey, papyrus,” he calls out.

Paps pops his head out of the kitchen door at the summons. “Yes, Stretch?”

“do you mind if i step out to…” Stretch takes a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket with a lighter.

“Go right ahead,” he says, face wrinkling.

Standing up with a stretch — stars, these new names are the worst — Stretch gives Paps a small wave. “thanks.” Then, he leaves without a second glance to Edge or Red.

Edge can’t help but breathe easier when all who remains in the room is himself and his brother. Despite everything, there is a sense of normalcy in the picture: one brother keeping watch over the other after a long day. 

But before he can truly enjoy the quiet, Stretch shortcuts back in to the living room, wide eyed. Edge’s posture shifts automatically, ready for whatever threat has caused this reaction.

“there’s something you need to see,” Stretch says, pulling him to the side.

Reluctantly, he allows his alternate to guide him to whatever the problem is. Part of him wants to wake Red up, but… he’ll be fine for a minute or two. If things are bad, Edge will make do alone. Besides, Stretch is walking him to the door instead of subjecting him to a shortcut; it mustn’t be too time sensitive.

As soon as he steps outside, all thoughts of violence and danger escape his mind.

Somehow, it didn’t click previously that when Paps said he was friends with a human, it must have meant this.

“It’s…” Edge’s voice trails off, unsure how to put it all into words.

Luckily, Stretch seems to understand. “yeah. i know.”

Even being in a strange, new universe, there is no doubt as to the fact that they are standing on the Surface. 

Reaching down, Edge touches the grass beneath his feet. It’s not as bright of a green or as soft as he had always imagined, but based on the golden leaves falling to the ground, it is a result of the season. Above his head, the sky seems impossibly high, one shade of blue fading into another. And most importantly, he can see the sun. The actual sun.

They’re actually on the Surface.

Stretch smiles at his side. “helps make this whole thing a little more bearable, huh?”

Edge doesn’t answer. He doesn’t have to.

“i’m gonna head back in. blue should get to see this too. do you want me to get your bro?”

Edge shakes his head, still struggling to believe that all this is real. “I’ll come with you.”

“sure thing, edgelord,” Stretch says, getting the door. “after you?”

Ignoring the new nickname, Edge takes him up on it. “Thank you,” he says, and he means so much more than for letting him through the door.

Knowingly, Stretch replies, “you’re welcome."

Chapter Text

“babe, don’t get me wrong; i love you and all, but i’d sure appreciate you a lot more if you weren’t shoving a brush in my eye sockets.”

“Oh hush, you big baby. I’m nowhere near your sockets. Now quit squirming, because when you do, I can’t control where the brush goes.”

“i’m trying,” Stretch grouses, crossing his arms.

Edge smiles patiently, but he doesn’t put the brush down. “I know, love. Just a little longer.”

Stretch represses a sigh. That’s what he said fifteen minutes ago.

For some reason, Edge is super insistent on practising his face painting for tomorrow. That in itself isn’t too weird, he guesses, except for the fact that it’s apparently to add the finishing touch to their costumes. Which, based on his current knowledge Stretch personally finds confusing, but whatever. Edge has a vision, and it would be a jerk move to counteract it when he’s having so much fun.

Now, in an ideal world, Stretch would take the opportunity to have some shut eye as he sits at the kitchen table. Edge could doodle all over his face like he was the first person to fall asleep at a sleepover. At least Edge wouldn’t draw dicks all over his face. Probably. Who knows; Red might have passed that trick down to him, as unlikely as it seems.

Hell, even awake, this should be relaxing as hell. Sitting back, letting Edge be all soft and artistic with him. They could make it into a real ‘paint me like one of your French girls’ thing, even.

In short, this would all be fantastic if it didn’t tickle so damn much.

Each stroke is unpredictable from Stretch’s vantage point and the gentler Edge is, the more Stretch is tempted to jolt away. The worst, though, is when Edge’s painting ends up near his nasal cavity. The resulting sensation just makes him want to sneeze, shortcut out of the chair and scratch at his face in peace. In that exact order.

“finally,” Stretch breathes as Edge sets down the brush. “can i see now?”

“Not yet.” 

“but —” His protest gets bitten off as Edge determinedly washes the brush, swirling it in at least three different cups before placing it on a drying mat and choosing a new one. The new one looks almost identical to the first. “is all that necessary?”

Edge holds up a series of papers. “I’ve got the rules here.”

“there’s rules to face painting.”

“Of course there is,” Edge huffs. “It may be an art, but it’s an art which is mostly done in public places for great amounts of people. It’s only natural that regulations exist.”

“so you went and found them.” Squinting, Stretch looks at the logo at the top of the first page. “dude, do those even apply here?”

“... No. But I thought adhering to a government's regulations could hardly be a bad thing in this situation, especially since they were the only place that really went into sanitation procedures and what kind of materials are safe to be used or not and —”

Stretch tries to lean forward for a kiss, but gets a brush of green paint to his teeth for the effort. “i get it, babe. you just wanted to be thorough, so you did your research.” As Edge continues to work away at his chin, Stretch remembers something. “is this why you left to go shopping in the middle of the night the other day?”

Sighing, Edge takes another baby wipe to his face. “Please stop talking when I’m trying to paint, love. I almost messed up again.”

“sorry.”

“I forgive you. To answer your question, yes. I had finally found a store that sells good face paints, and I didn’t want them to run out of anything before Halloween.”

He hasn’t started painting yet, so Stretch decides it’s a good time to say, “you do realise all this stuff is for fleshier people, babe. it’s probably not gonna make a difference if you get skin safe products or not.”

The dreaded brush makes a reappearance. “Yes, but better safe than sorry.” Edge hums, moving his hand midair like he’s trying to come to a decision before continuing, “Also, I don’t want to try scraping actual paint off our bones. This stuff is washable. Besides, once we’re done, we can gift everything to a monster family without fear of the children reacting badly to it.”

Stretch smiles. “you really think of everything, don’t you babe?”

Edge smiles back. “I try.”

The last few minutes of face painting are just as tortuously ticklish as the first. Stretch still doesn’t know what is going on, and Edge’s choices in colour and placement make absolutely no sense to him. Obediently, he follows each instruction, trusting that there is a reason why he has to close his eyes at specific intervals.

“Alright, love. I think I’m done. Are you ready to see?”

“hell yeah!”

“Then open up your eyes and tell me what you think.”

Stretch does. “oh!”

There is actually no way in hell that he could have expected that from his husband.

It’s a fucking mess. Generously, the smears of paint covering his face could be called abstract, but that would be an insult to artists everywhere. Colours that absolutely shouldn’t run into each other do, creating a muddy mess. 

Worst of all, Edge is standing behind him, eagerly anticipating feedback. What is Stretch supposed to say?

“well, it’s, uh… unlike anything i’ve ever seen before? the glitter. it’s a nice touch.” Mostly because if he’s sparkly enough, the light will just bounce off his face completely, making it so that no one can see the paint job.

Unexpectedly, Edge starts laughing, first soft and muffled, but transitioning to full out and loud.

“what?!”

“It’s just,” Edge says between giggles, gesturing vaguely at him, “I can’t believe you said that with a straight face!”

Wait, what? “edge?”

Hugging Stretch from behind the chair, he exclaims, “Consider yourself japed!”

Laughter begins to burble up in Stretch now that he doesn’t have to worry about hurting Edge’s feelings. “i can’t believe you put in that much effort just to mess with me.”

“That’s what makes it so good.”

It sure does.

However, it doesn’t stop Stretch from grabbing the orange paint and a brush. In the mirror, he can see Edge’s eyes widen in realisation. He breaks off the hug and starts running. Standing to his feet, Stretch also grabs the purple. Might as well add another colour for the fun of it.

Edge may have gotten him first, but Stretch’s revenge will be sweeter.

After all, he is extremely well-versed in every single one of Edge’s ticklish spots.

Chapter Text

Taking his love by the hand, Edge locks the front door behind him and follows the rest of their troupe, eager to complete the festive mission of going door to door for candy.

Anticipation has been high in the weeks leading up to Halloween. A great deal of it comes from the opportunity to dress up and all that, but there is also the beauty of the fact that this is the one time of year where monsters are more normalised. Even if it means that Edge has had to deal with Stretch pointing out every plastic skeleton in existence. Which is a lot. Humans are rather obsessive about it around this time.

Leading the crew is Blue, map in hand to check off each house they visit. He is dressed up as a superhero, not that Edge can recall which one. He suspects, however, that a great deal of the costume’s appeal was the cape, which is currently billowing behind him.

Beside Blue are Frisk and Papyrus. Frisk has been very thorough in helping the monster community as a whole to prepare for their first Halloween. Apparently, they even made a powerpoint presentation to share with the other children at school. Right now, they are holding on tight to the pillowcase they are using to trick or treat, body hidden by the white sheet they are wearing as a costume. When he asked what they were, Frisk said a ghost in honour of Napstablook, who is too shy to go trick or treating with them. There is something endearing about the simplicity of it.

Papyrus knocks at the first door of the night. His costume, although also homemade, is the most impressive of the bunch. Keeping with the hot pink thigh high boots for the aesthetic, he has gone for a more old school Mettaton look, box form carefully made out of recycled cardboard.

Simultaneously, they all cry out, “Trick or treat!”

No one, however, opens the door. From inside the house, a voice exclaims, “Ahh, so many beautiful knocks tonight! Maybe if I don’t answer, I’ll get to hear some more again.”

“sorry kiddo,” Sans says as they leave. “this one was a bust.”

“It’s okay,” Frisk signs awkwardly, shoving their pillow case under their arms and struggling to keep their costume out of the way of their hands. “I’m glad to know that they are still enjoying their hobby.”

“that’s one way to put it,” Red mutters under his breath. As always the case when he is around Frisk, he has been on his best behaviour tonight. Sometimes, Edge wishes he would hang out more frequently with the kid; maybe it could help curb some of his bad habits, however unlikely that is.

Red and Sans’ costumes are… interesting, to say the least. Neither of them really put in much effort. Both in their normal outfits, the only thing out of the ordinary is the piece of paper with the words ‘error 404: costume not found’ taped on to their chests.

The best part of it was when Blue had innocently commented on how cute it was that they decided to go with couple’s costumes. Edge nearly had to stop a brawl then and there. Apparently, neither of the trouble twins had planned this, a fact that they argued a little too much.

As they continue to the next house, Sans and Red linger a few steps behind Frisk, Blue and Papyrus, throwing puns back and forth. It doesn’t escape Edge’s notice how they keep their eyes fixed on the human at all times, as though waiting for them to attack.

Finally, him and Stretch walk in the back, where they can hold hands as much as they please without anyone complaining about them being mushy.

“babe, you’re a real sweetheart, you know that? you complete me.”

Edge tries to scowl at the wordplay, but he can’t help but smile. He knew what he was getting himself into as soon as he agreed on the costume. Hell, even if they didn’t match, he would still be subjected to the candy puns, so he might as well accept it.

Besides, he would be lying if he didn’t admit that there was something fitting about them going as two matching puzzle pieces. 

With that pun saved in mind for later in the evening, Edge draws even nearer to his love. The fall air is chillier at night, and his costume doesn’t give Stretch the luxury of tucking his hands into his pockets or to cover his skull with his hood. That, of course, is Edge’s excuse.

“Trick or treat!”

“My,” the Bun in a witch’s dress says as she opens the door, “what lovely costumes! Each of you can take two.”

“Thank you!” Frisk signs hastily, digging into the large mixing bowl to take their choice of candy.

“You’re very welcome!”

Edge doesn’t pay much attention to what he picks, knowing it will likely end up in Stretch’s possession either way. Although, perhaps later he can work on collecting candy that will work well in baking. Perhaps some M&M’s to make some chocolate cookies.

All in all, it’s a nice night. Human or monster, any house they have visited has been friendly, which in and of itself can be written down as a success. 

Of course, there is one house that results in some sourness: the house where the Tooth Fairy hands out toothbrushes and dental floss in place of candy.

“— waste of my time, that’s what this is,” Red continues to mutter as they go down the walkway. By this point in the night, his ‘costume’ is hanging on desperately by one corner. It’s likely a good thing that Edge had searched his brother before they left for the night to make sure that Red couldn’t take the ‘trick’ part of trick or treating too literally. Not that it will stop him from remembering this particular address to exact his revenge with copious amounts of toilet paper at a later date, but there is only so much Edge can do.

Reaching forward, Edge gives him a flick on the back of the skull.

“hey! what was that for?”

“Brother, you already have enough gold in your mouth. The toothbrush is an excellent idea.”

“fu—” Red’s cuts off immediately as Papyrus whips around and gives him a Look. Groaning, Red scratches at his cheek with his middle finger — outside of Frisk’s line of vision, of course — and says, “fudge you, boss.”

Blue sighs.

They don’t make it back to their house before candy is already being pulled from their bags. Stretch is particularly guilty of this, and even in the darkness of night, Edge can see messy streaks of chocolate around his mouth.

“Stretch.”

Around a mouthful of Caramilk, he mumbles, “uh huh?”

“Come here, my sugar skull.”

The quick burst of laughter that earns is almost as sweet as the kiss they share, the flavours of chocolate and caramel mingling with their magic.

“Happy Halloween, love.”