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Misery Loves Company

Chapter Text

Wels grimaced.


What happened...


He opened his eyes.


There was someone standing over him.


"You took quite a beating, you know." 


He wanted to get up, but he felt stiff and sore.


"Who are you..?" 


The figure smiled.


"That doesn't matter right now. You need to rest." 


He felt tired, drained. He let his heavy eyes fall closed once more. 




But later, when he opened them again, there was no one in sight.


He was laying in bed, and other than having injuries in the process of healing, it was as if nothing happened.


Who was that?







Chapter Text



"You know, this always reminds me of school," Ren chuckled. "Like when there's a school dance and all of the boys and girls stand in a circle and they're not sure if they should dance or not."


The hermits laughed as a few of them began jumping and dancing around, some doing it in pairs. Everyone had a bright smile on their face.


"Alright, alright." Xisuma quieted them down, laughing. "We've got a few new faces with us this season—"


Biffa cut him off, raising his hand high. "Biffa!" He cheered jokingly, which spurred laughter throughout the circle. 


Xisuma chuckled as he shook his head. "We've got missus Stress joining us this season." He announced, letting the hermits say hello to her. 


"So, you've got ten minutes, tell us all about yourself, go!" Biffa joked. Doc lightly punched him in the shoulder. 


"And the next new person is Doc!" Iskall exclaimed. Everyone gave fake welcomes to him as well. 


"Doc's been with us a long time, ya fool!" Xisuma said, letting the laughter die down a bit. "We've got two new other folks with us—mister Zedaph has finally joined us!" 


Another round of welcomes and cheers went around, the hermits giving Zedaph a few playful shoulder punches. The admin laughed. "Alright, alright, don't punch him to death!" 


"Finally, we've got the man who needs no introduction, mister Bdubs!" 


More cheers went around—only this time without the punches. Biffa snuck over to him, feigning menace in his smile. "We're watching you." He said in a low voice.


Wels chuckled and punched his arm playfully. He gave Bdubs a friendly shoulder pat, shaking his head. 


Xisuma clapped his hands. "Alright, peeps! I'm gonna make the sun move through the sky now, and let's get going!"


Pulling up his command panel on his helme visor, Xisuma ran the world command allowing a daylight cycle. No longer being stuck in one position, the sun began its cycling journey through the sky. With that, the hermits began the starting process of gathering wood.


And thus began a new season, a new journey, and a new world.


Wels was excited to get started in the new season.


Though, he wasn't so excited about the early-world grind of getting materials together. 


Chopping trees, mining for iron and other resources, starting farms—it was time consuming and slow. He didn't always mind it, though. He set up a small and temporary starting house in the communal area, and he even planned on building a community enchantment center.


Right now, he was down in the mines. 


Wels groaned tiredly, sitting down and leaning against the rough stone wall. 


"I've been mining so much and I've got almost nothing..." He sighed. Looking in his satchel, he counted about 17 iron ore gathered up, along with some bits of gold and a good amount of coal. Sure, he also found a few diamonds, but he needed iron.


Sighing, he pushed himself up off the floor. "Oh well," he said, his voice sounding oddly cheerful. 


"I won't just magically get more iron if I sit around sulking." 



Chapter Text



Flopping down lazily on his bed, Wels sighed. He let his pickaxe fall out of his hand, ignoring the loud clink it made as it hit the floor. He threw off his satchel as well.


Closing his eyes, he decided he would take a nap before getting his resources together. 



He didn't expect to have an unpleasant dream, though.


He wasn't sure what was happening. There was mostly darkness at first, then he saw light. Then more light. And even more light.


It was fire. 


Everything was burning.


Around him, there were houses crumbling and fire roaring, consuming everything.


He heard shrieks and yells. He heard swords clashing. He heard monsters growling. 


He saw figures. Shadowy figures. He couldn't make out any details looking at them—they were just shadows.


But he also saw his friends. Some of them were fighting, some of them were wounded on the ground—


Some of them were dead.


He couldn't comprehend for a moment what was going on. But it seemed familiar. It seemed like something that happened in the past...


And it was. 


He was having a dream—a nightmare—re-living what happened in the kingdoms. The night that the kingdoms fell.


He remembered it now. Yet he never could remember who was attacking them. 


Wake up.


He didn't want to see this again.


Wake up.


He couldn't.


"Wake up!"



Wels shot up in bed, his heart racing. 


He looked around frantically. 


He didn't see anyone.


Who said that...


He shook his head, taking a moment to regain his breath. He didn't even notice that there were tears streaming down his face.


Breathing in deeply, he gave a long sigh and composed himself. Picking up his satchel, he headed out the door.



Chapter Text



"Hey, Wels!" 


The elf flinched, turning around. 




It was only Jevin.


"Are you okay, man?" Jevin asked, frowning. 


Wels sighed. "Yeah, sorry." He figured he would let his friend come along on his walk.


Jevin noticed that something was off with him, though. He was awfully silent. He looked weary. 


He made no comment on it, though.


They stopped once Wels found a nice spot in the forest with an abundance of mushrooms and flowers. He sat on the cool grass, picking a few and laying them out in piles.


Jevin helped.


"Something going on with you?" 


Wels shook his head. He only continued separating the plants into groups—red mushrooms, brown mushrooms, roses, dandelions—


"I feel like you're lying." Jevin said, frowning at him.


He stayed silent. 


Red mushrooms, brown mushrooms—




Roses, dandelions...


He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. 




He paused.


There were no more plants around


"Wels, I feel like you should go back home and rest." Jevin suggested, concern in his voice. "You seem a little off right now." 


Wels shook his head. "I can't sleep..." he mumbled, standing up.


"I'll see them again..."


He moved to another spot, sitting back down, and continuing to pick and sort the plants—this time mumbling the groups aloud as he did.


"Red mushrooms, brown mushrooms, roses, dandelions..."


Jevin sighed. He figured it was useless to try and protest, so he didn't. He only helped Wels continue picking and sorting.


The same deal.


Red mushrooms, brown mushrooms, roses, dandelions—


"What about peonies?"




Wels looked up. "Was that you, Jevin..?" 


"Was what me?" Jevin asked, tilting his head. 


The elf shook his head. "I swear I heard someone say something..." He looked off to the side. 




He started adding those to the bunch. 


"Red mushrooms, brown mushrooms, roses, dandelions, peonies..."


"What do you need all this for?" Jevin asked. "Or did you just want to gather some?"


Wels paused, shrugging. "I don't really know. I just needed something to do." 


He started shoving the plants into his satchel, still trying to keep them somewhat organized. 


He stood up, sighing. "I want more flowers." He mumbled. 


Jevin gave him a pat on the back. "We'll find you more flowers." He offered a quick smile.


The elf glanced at him, trying his best to return the smile. 


He needed more peonies.



Chapter Text



Plans, plans, plans.


That's all he's been doing.


Making plans.


He would build a castle this season. A big one. Right in the middle of the dark oak forest. It was all his to use. 


He knew where he wanted to build, he had a good idea on what it would look like, all he had to do was clear out more of the trees in the area and gather up some more materials.


For the most part, he was all set. Plenty of stone, plenty of other valuable resources, plenty of food—all tucked away and organized into an array of double chests in a cozy little hole he dug out in the side of a hill. The same hill his castle would sit on.


He already moved out of his old house in the communal area. He didn't need it anymore. It could be used for scrap.


The forest was nice and peaceful, save for the mobs at night. They could be unpleasant sometimes. It was fine, though. He could deal with it.


He couldn't deal with the dream, though.


He had it a few more times.


The same dream—the same nightmare


The kingdoms were burning, people were fighting, people were dying. The shadows were killing them. He never knew what the shadows were.


But he saw someone else.


They weren't there before.


There was someone else.


He didn't know who.


But he tried not to let it bother him. He distracted himself with his work. 


Laying out plans, mining, gathering plants, more planning, more mining, gathering more plants—


It was enough to keep him busy. 


Every now and again, Jevin came around to make sure he was doing okay.


The answer never changed.


"I'm alright," he would say.


Even if it was a lie. Jevin knew it was, but he didn't push it. 


Sometimes, he thought he should, though. 


Maybe it would have been better to do that.


But he did get better, eventually. 


He stopped having the dream. He stopped worrying. He was working for the sake of working instead of trying to use it as a distraction. 


He was smiling again. It was all fine.

Until one night when it wasn't.


It wasn't at all.


He didn't have the dream again. He wasn't asleep. 


He was awake when he saw it—saw them.


The shadows. He saw them. All around them.


But they looked different.


They looked like his friends. The ones that died and the ones that barely lived.


Iskall, Stress, Kryllyk, Cub, everyone—


They looked like them.


And they attacked him. 


But he barely remembered it.


All he remembered was seeing them and feeling afraid and confused.


They surrounded him, and he felt pain shoot through his body.


And then he blacked out.


The rest was a blur.



Chapter Text





Wels grimaced.


He felt the cold grass beneath him. 


He tried sitting up, but an immense pain shot through his body and he winced. He felt sore and stiff.


What happened...


He opened his eyes.


Someone was standing over him.


They looked familiar.


They smiled. "You took quite the beating, you know."


"Who are you...?"


"That doesn't matter right now. You need to rest." 


He felt weary, worn out. Resting sounded nice, but he was also curious.


It would have to wait, though.


He blacked out again.


When he woke up, he was in his bed. 


He didn't remember going to bed. He didn't remember anyone taking him here.


But he remembered seeing someone.


Who was that...


He shook his head. 


Once more, it would have to wait.


His injuries were still healing, but he wanted to keep working.


When he walked out the door, he saw chunks of rotten flesh and bones scattered around the grass. Blood was still drying up in small pools. 


So it wasn't just those shadows that attacked me unless they were tangible...


He shook his head. Not the time.


He grabbed a few blocks from a chest he had sitting outside and went back to work.


He was laying out the foundations for the keep of his castle. Where rooms would go, where the entrance was, how big it would be—


You know, the basics.


He worked on it for a while. Building up walls, laying out even more rooms, lighting the place up—


It was a bit tiring and a slow process, but it was necessary. 


After a few hours, he stood back and looked at his progress. The structure was coming along nicely.


Wels smiled, scaling back up the hill and walking through the entrance.


But then he sensed something, and he froze.

"What'cha building?"




Chapter Text



Pulling out his sword anxiously, Wels walked back out to the front.


He saw a figure laying on the ledge that hung over past the gate entrance.


"Looks fancy." They smiled. 


He recognized them, but only barely. They had long, white hair—not to mention messy—and a face full of scars. Well, not that many. They had cold, blue eyes, and they wore some sort of red hoodie over a black turtleneck, along with some sort of black ripped jeans or leggings—Wels couldn't tell.


But he recognized them.




"The one who you saw yesterday?" They interjected, hopping down. Bits of dust and dirt flew up as he landed hard on the grass.


"Yeah, I am. I never introduced myself, huh?"


Wels shook his head, putting away his sword. He didn't sense any ill intent. 


"So what's your name?" He asked.


"Well, everyone just calls me 'Evil Xisuma'—mostly shortening it to 'Ex'." 


"I asked for your name, just what everyone calls you."


"Wouldn't that be my name?" Ex tilted his head. Though, it only made Wels sharpen his gaze a bit.


"Oh, fine." He sighed. "Technically my name is Xizara. No one uses it, though."


"Xisuma's brother, right?"


"Guilty as charged, unfortunately." He extended a hand. "And your name is Wels, right? I've heard people talk about some 'Welsknight' and you look quite like a knight to me."


Reluctantly, Wels shook the other's hand, nodding.


Ex gave him a pat on the shoulder. "Sorry if I came off as suspicious." He chuckled. "You're just easy to mess with." 


He put his hands up defensively when Wels let out a small growl. "You know, I didn't come here to be your enemy—"


"Then what are you here for?"


"Relax!" Ex laughed. Wels sensed no trace of mockery or ill intent, but he still didn't want to believe it. 


"Look, you probably don't trust me—obviously—but I promise you," he laid a hand on Wels' shoulder. Wels didn't move. "I'm just here to watch you."


The elf tilted his head. "What do you mean "watch me"?" He asked, feeling uncertain. He almost considered reaching for his sword, but he didn't sense an immediate threat. 


He did, however, dig his boot into the ground a bit.


Ex shrugged. "You seem interesting. I mean, you are building an entire castle out here." Wels only stared at him. He would need a better answer than that. 


"You've got good taste in plants too, I suppose. And before you ask: yes, I was watching you before. Could have gotten more peonies but it was only a suggestion." Ex continued. 


Wels' gaze sharpened, practically piercing the other's soul. 


"Oh, come on, what do you want from me?" Ex asked, slightly exasperated. "You looked interesting, so I wanted to watch you do things! It gets boring around here, y'know?" 


Wels held his gaze for a moment before sighing. "Alright." He said plainly. 


Just as Ex was about to move, vines began creeping up his legs, wrapping around him and holding him in place. 


"You can "watch me" from a distance." Wels sneered, walking past him. He would have worried that he was being harsh, but he didn't care at the moment. He was a bit irritated, though he didn't know exactly what caused it.


Ex shifted, testing how strong the grip of the vines were—which was too strong for him to escape just by wriggling around like a worm. "How did you even—"


Wels pointed at the spot where he dug his boot in the ground without turning around. "Elementumkinesis."




"Manipulation of elements."




"Aka, you're staying there until I tell those vines to let you go." The elf said, returning to his work. 


Suddenly, he heard the loud crash of lightning and froze. What the hell?


Turning around, he saw Ex brushing dead vines off of his shoulders. The ground beneath him was singed. 


"Ta-da." Ex smiled, holding up his hands. He walked past Wels, who was still trying to register what just happened. "I can do fancy nature things too. Though, I guess only with lighting." He chuckled.



"Oh for God's sake." 



Chapter Text



Flopping face down onto his bed, Wels gave a loud and slightly exaggerated groan.


Ex trailed in behind him, silently giggling.


Wels sighed, turning his head. "You know, I'm really tired, so if you're gonna bug me, I'm kicking you out." He heard another soft giggle from behind him.


"I'm not. I'll leave you alone, but I'm still gonna sit in here." Ex replied, sitting on the floor next to the bed. He looked almost like a child the way he was sitting with his legs crossed.


"You know, you might as well get some sleep too while you're in here, Zar." The elf said, flicking Ex's forehead.


Ex whined. "Zar?" He tilted his head. 


Wels blinked. "Yeah, that's... the nickname I'm giving you. You said your name was Xizara, right?" 


"Well, yeah, but no one actually uses it. My name, I mean." 


"Well, I tend to use people's names when I'm referring to them."


Ex shook his head, deciding it was dumb to push it. "So how exactly am I supposed to sleep?"


Wels shrugged, moving to lay on his side. "I don't know, figure it out."


Not my problem, he thought. Closing his eyes, he attempted to fall asleep as quick as he could.


He was interrupted by the constant shuffling around of Ex, though. Eventually, he gave up after he felt eyes on the back of his head.


Sighing, he rolled over. Ex was sitting on the floor again, staring at him. 




He didn't get a response.


"You look like a cat who wants something. What do you want?" 


Ex glanced at the bed for a moment before returning his gaze. Wels understood this time—somehow.


"You want to share the bed." 


Ex nodded. "If that's alright with you." 


Wels sighed, moving to make room for the other. "Sure. Just don't roll over on me and suffocate me or something." 


The elf began questioning if Ex was some sort of reincarnation of a cat. The way he crawled into the bed and practically curled up, plus the way he was staring before that. 


He shook his head. It doesn't matter. I'm tired.


He definitely ought to keep a spray bottle with him, though.




Chapter Text



Wels stared blankly at the dull, grey ceiling.


He would have gotten out of bed by now, but there was one simple problem.


"Do you think you could uh—get off me?" 




Ex was laying right on top of him.


Just like a cat.


Wels sighed. 


He wasn't getting up anytime soon. 



Ex swung his legs back and forth as he sat on the edge of an unfinished tower. "Hmmmm..." 




He hopped down, landing his feet on the edge of a placeholder block sticking up from the wall behind Wels, leaning with his back against the other's. "M bored." He mumbled.


Wels growled silently. He almost wanted to throw the block in his hands at Ex, but he wasn't a violent person. 


"Well, what do you want me to do about it?" He asked, slightly annoyed.


Ex shrugged, managing to roll over while still laying against the elf's back. Wels was a bit surprised at how light he was. 


Sighing, he tossed the block aside. 


Then, as gently as he possibly could—despite it not being something you can really do gently—he reached back, grabbed Ex by his shoulders, and threw him over his head, slamming him on the ground. 


Ex yelped as he hit the ground—not hard enough to hurt him badly on purpose, but when someone slams you onto stone, it's gonna hurt. 


"That wasn't very nice." He whined, rubbing his head. Above him, Wels was glaring at him, ears flicking with annoyance.


"At least I didn't break your ribs like I could have." The elf snarled. Again, he wasn't a violent person—but that didn't mean he wasn't capable of violence.


Ex rolled over, pushing himself off the ground. He rolled his shoulder a few times, grimacing. 


Wels sighed, frowning. "Sorry." He muttered, crossing his arms as he leaned against the wall behind him. He really had no reason to be harsh. He was just a bit irritated, it seemed. Glancing off to the side, he spotted a few dots of color within the forest around him. 




Sure, he was busy, but...




He laid a hand gently on Ex's shoulder, trying to ignore the way the other flinched under his touch. 


He sighed, pointing to a spot in the forest. 


"You wanna go pick some flowers?"


It wouldn't kill him to take a break from it.



Chapter Text



It almost seemed a bit creepy the way he was staring.


But he didn't mean for it to be, and luckily, it wasn't. He zoned out a bit, leaving him with a blank stare, gaze focused on the other, who was messing around with a few soft pink peonies. 


Suddenly, Wels jumped slightly as a hand waved in front of his face. 


"You good?" Ex chuckled. Wels noticed that there were multiple peonies and other small white and red flowers woven into Ex's messy white hair, which was probably why his face was so lit up. 


And he had to admit—it was kind of cute.


He shook his head. "Yeah—yeah, sorry. I just kinda spaced out." It seemed he was out for a while, considering it was already getting dark. 


The elf grimaced as he heard the hissing of spiders. "We should probably go inside now." He suggested, extending a hand to help the other up. 


As they were walking back, however, Wels heard quiet snickers behind him. 


Turning around, he saw a bit of a cheeky look on Ex's face. 


"What?" He asked, turning his head. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a pink petal fall from his hair. 


Oh. Of course. He sighed. He put flowers in my hair.



Wels glanced behind him after hearing a slight whimper. He saw Ex rolling his shoulder again, wincing slightly. 


He sighed. I shouldn't have slammed him on the ground like that...or at all.


"Is it still hurting badly?" 


Ex shook his head. "Not badly. It's just a little sore, that's all." 


Even still, Wels frowned. "I'm sorry." He sighed. "You didn't deserve that." 


"It's okay. I shouldn't have been such a bother." Ex protested.


"Still, I shouldn't be so mean to you."


"Why not?"


Wels almost felt tears welling in his eyes. "Because! I—"


He was cut off when he felt a pair of arms wrapping around him. 


That was enough to make him start tearing up for real. 


Holding back his slight sobs and sniffles, Wels buried his face in Ex's shoulder—the one that didn't seem to be hurting. He wrapped his arms tightly around the other, trying not to hurt him in the process.


He felt guilty. Really guilty.


"I'm sorry, Zar." He mumbled through tears. 


He lifted his head slightly when he heard a quiet chuckle. 


"There you go again with that nickname." Ex smiled bitterly. "It still sounds so odd to me."


Wels smiled, moving back slightly to wipe his eyes. "What, would the name 'Exy' be better?" 


Ex giggled, lightly giving Wels a playful shoulder punch. The elf couldn't help but laugh too, his smile widening. 


"Come on." Wels laid a gentle hand on Ex's shoulder. "Let's get some rest. You could use some." 


"You could use more than me." Ex said, though he still walked ahead of the elf. 


Wels sighed, shaking his head and following him. 



Just as he always did, Wels threw himself lazily onto his bed. 


This time, though, he noticed that Ex was still standing in the doorway. 


"What?" He said, sitting up and patting the space next to him. "Come lay down and sleep." 


Ex hummed uncertainly. "I don't wanna disturb you again." He mumbled. 


Wels sighed, getting up and—figuratively—dragging him over. "It's fine!" He smiled, laying the other down before crawling back onto the bed. "Just get some rest. It'll help with those sore muscles." 


Before Ex could protest, he threw the soft blanket over them both. "Goodnight."


Ex sighed in defeat, though he still smiled. "Night, Wels."


Despite the lingering feeling of guilt, the elf somehow felt like he was sleeping more peacefully now. 


Maybe he had been a lot more lonely than he thought he was.



Chapter Text



Even now, Wels kept working, day in and day out. 


Not so much as a distraction, more so for the sake of boredom. He hadn't much to do other than build.


He could just sleep, but that was no fun. Granted, he could also try and hang out with some of the other hermits, but...


That didn't really interest him either. 


It's not that he doesn't like them—they're his friends, for God's sake, and practically his family—he just preferred not to. Hell, he reserved an entire forest for himself to live in, being a good distance away from everyone else. If you couldn't tell, he kind of liked being more on his own. 


This was his new life after what happened, and he wasn't too eager to accept it at first. He kept some of his friends—the ones who lived—but it was never the same. He was adapting to it, but he still liked to be alone for the most part.


Well, he was more or less alone now. With Ex around, he couldn't really catch a break. That isn't to say he hated it, though. Admittedly, he actually kind of enjoyed having the guy around, even when he could be a bit of a nuisance. 


Serves him right to be bothered, though. He slammed the poor guy on the ground. He can handle having a thorn in his side for a while.


But honestly? He liked having Ex around. Quite a bit, actually. It gave him someone to ramble to about his plans for building and whatever came to mind—someone who actually didn't seem to mind listening.


Ex liked it as well. He was lonely in the world—not many people liked him. In fact, pretty much nobody liked him. Not even his brother liked him that much.


But Wels was so different. Sure, he wasn't very quick to trust him, and he didn't quite like him at first, but they were getting there. Ex could tell Wels wouldn't have the same hatred for him. long as he didn't know about one thing.


But that wasn't important. 


He felt guilty not telling about it. But this was his only chance to find someone who didn't hate his guts. 


He needed a friend. Really badly. And this was his only chance.


So he was damn well going to take it. He would push those other thoughts to the very back of his mind and hide them away. He wouldn't tell Wels about the things he did. 


Maybe one day he could. But right now, he couldn't ruin it.


He knew it was wrong, but he just couldn't ruin it.


He wanted a friend. 


He wanted Wels. 


And he would keep his secrets until he couldn't hide them anymore. Until he got sick of it, or until the guilt practically ate him alive. Maybe even until Wels found out on his own somehow.


It didn't matter. He just knew that he had to keep it secret for now, maybe even forever. Who knows?


He just wasn't ready to ruin it all yet.



Chapter Text







"C'mon, get up!"




Wels opened his eyes, yawning tiredly.


After the tiredness cleared from his vision, he saw that Ex was leaning over him. He blinked as a flower petal fell onto his face. 

Once he was decently awake, which only took a few seconds, Ex smiled.


"You fell asleep out here." He said, moving over to sit next to him. 


Wels sat up, running a hand through his hair. Peering through the leaves, he saw that it was barely sunrise. Stretching, he yawned once more. 


"Why didn't you wake me up so we could at least go inside?" 


Ex shrugged. "You looked really peaceful. I didn't want to disturb you."


Sighing, Wels noticed what appeared to be a few cuts and bruises on Ex's face and arms where his sleeves were rolled up. 


Frowning, he reached over and gently cupped the other's cheek, running his thumb over one of the cuts. "What happened? Where did these come from?"


"Oh, I uh—had a few minor run-ins with some zombies n stuff." Ex chuckled nervously. "I stayed awake out here to make sure none of the monsters got you." 


The elf stood up, helping him up as well. "While that was sweet of you," Wels held out his hand. "I don't want you to get hurt." 


Taking it, Ex trailed behind the elf as he lead him over to his makeshift storage room to find some bandages.



Now that Ex was taken care of, Wels could get back to his work.


Though, he decided he would work on chopping down some more of the trees and mushrooms to clear space instead of building more.


Off to the side and leaning against a few chests and shulker boxes stacked up was Ex, now with his minor injuries patched up and bandaged. He even had more flowers in his hair, along with some from before.


As Wels insisted, he was wrapped up in a thin but soft blanket and would stay there doing nothing more than watching. 


He didn't mind it, though. It was cozy, and he liked watching Wels running around and working. 


Eventually, though, he fell asleep. Not because it was boring, but because he skipped a whole night of rest. 


And, after a sufficient amount of tree chopping and space clearing, Wels decided he had enough of it. 


Sighing heavily, he plopped himself on the ground next to Ex, who was now peacefully sleeping. He had to admit—it looked pretty cute. The way he was nestled up in his blanket, curled up slightly, hair a mess with flowers still scattered around in it—


He looked so comfortable. 


It put a warm smile on the elf's face. Leaning back against the chests, Wels closed his eyes for a moment, gently wrapping an arm around Ex. He stared up at the sky, watching the clouds move for a while.


He'd done enough work for today. Now, he just wanted to sit here like this. 


Sitting back, watching the clouds go by, hearing nothing but the gentle breeze rustling through the leaves and grass, along with the soft breathing of his companion next to him, peacefully getting his much-needed rest—


It was relaxing.



Chapter Text



Wels was learning. 


He was learning how to keep his annoyance at a minimum, how to tolerate his "company" a lot better. 


And how to regain that kind spirit he lost. 


It would take him a while. It would take him days. Weeks. Maybe a month. And it did.


It took him a while to fix himself, learn how to be patient, tolerate Ex a lot longer. The guy wasn't leaving anytime soon. He might as well make the best of it.


But he had to learn how to. He threw himself out into an isolated area twice and didn't live too close to anyone on purpose. He made himself lonely. 


He had to learn how to live with someone again. How to treat them kindly even if they got on his nerves sometimes. How to care for them. 


Ultimately, it might take him quite a bit of time. For now, it only took him a decent amount of days, maybe two weeks or so, to adjust himself just a little bit. 


He continued to work, plan, build, gather resources, and everything else. When Ex followed him around to bug him, he was patient. He didn't let it get in the way. He wasn't mean. He tolerated it better. 


It would still take some time. A few times, he nearly lost all his patience, but he would get there eventually. Ex was learning, too. He was getting to know when Wels had enough of him, knowing when to leave him alone to do his work, knowing when he was fine to go and mess around a bit. 


They would both learn in their own ways. Learning takes time, they know that, but they would get there in the end.


Ex was committing to what he was doing. Wels was going to try his best to not push him away in frustration. Both of them would change in some way, be it good or bad, and they would develop a hopefully positive relationship with each other. If they were going to be practically stuck with each other, they might as well make it a good thing, rather than being at each other's throats.


They would just have to learn.




Chapter Text




The stars were absolutely beautiful tonight. 


The way they twinkled against the dark blue background of the sky, shining through the occasional light clouds that passed by. They shined so beautifully, complimented by the moon and her gentle glow. 


It gave off the most serene and calm feeling, created such a soothing atmosphere. One of the loveliest feelings in the world to just sit there and watch them hanging in the sky. A family of stars, being born in galaxies far from this one, whole other worlds with even more of them, even more beautiful sights. 


Sometimes Wels wondered just how many stars were out there. How many in this world, and how many beyond it—impossible to know, to count. 


Plenty to fill the skies, that's all he knew.


But it wasn't just the stars giving him this warm and calm feeling that he enjoyed so much. 


The company of the moon and her stars—it was nothing compared to his other company. 


Ex—the person he called a nuisance, a disturbance, a thorn in his side—


And yet that was his greatest company. The more he thought about it...


Wels never had that nightmare.


Ever since he, Xizara, showed up, started bugging him, started befriending him—


Wels never had that stupid nightmare again. Where he lost everything from his past, where it crumbled and burned before his eyes—


It all went away. It went away. It left him. It finally left him alone.


As soon as Ex decided he wasn't going to leave him alone, his past started to instead. His loneliness went away, too. The loneliness he didn't realize he had experienced until now. 


He'd kept everyone away for the most part—and for what? He still didn't know. 


But he made himself lonely. He really did. 


Now he wasn't anymore, and he realized just how much he loved having this company. How much he loved sitting out here, sitting outside under the moon and her stars—


Out here—out here with Ex. 


He didn't know just what it was that made him feel so much better—much more at peace, and so much happier—with Ex around. It took him a while to get used to him and warm up to him, but now it just...made him feel better, and he had no idea why.


But he didn't need to know. He didn't have to go digging for answers. It didn't matter to him. All that mattered was that he was happy. 


It took him a while to get used to having someone around. He had to work on his patience, regain that kindness that was slipping away from him, fix up his temper so that he wasn't constantly standing on thin ice.


He didn't know what got into him, honestly. He didn't know where that old, kinder Wels went—the one that always smiled, always talked to people, greeted them every day with a happy attitude and cared for them much more.


That old Wels that seemed to slip away from him and turn to dust, just like his past life.


The old Wels died with it—died with his kingdoms, with everything he lost, with every friend he lost, every person that died—


He died with it, and with them.


So now that old Wels had to be reborn inside the new Wels. The one that was often too tired to care. Too busy working, not feeling like socializing, wanting to stay away from people and make himself lonely. 


His only company was the stars. The moon and her stars, up there in the night sky, shining over his forest. 


But now? That changed. It changed, and he was glad it did.


He was glad. He really was.


Wels was glad that Ex showed up, stayed with him, became his new company.


His company was much greater than that of the stars.



Chapter Text



"C'mon, I gotta go." Wels sighed. 




"Zar, come on. Let go, I need to leave." 


He tried gently pushing the white haired figure clinging to him away, but he was practically holding on for his life.


He sighed again. "Ex, please. I won't be gone long." He began gently stroking Ex's hair, hoping it would help.


Even still, Ex kept his arms wrapped tightly around Wels' waist, face buried in his chest. 


Wels could wait a few minutes, but he needed to go talk to someone. He continued trying to persuade Ex to let go, but to no prevail. 


"I don't wanna be alone here. I'll get bored." Ex mumbled. "Why can't I come with you?"


"Because, Zar, I need to talk to Jevin alone. Besides, I thought you didn't like the others." 


He got a low whine in response.


"Listen, I won't be gone long, okay?" Wels repeated, lifting the other's chin. "It'll take me no longer than an hour, maybe even less. You'll be fine." 


Ex held his gaze for a few more seconds before reluctantly letting go. Stepping aside, he sat down against the wall, pulling his knees up to his chest. 


It made Wels feel kind of bad about leaving him alone, even if it was only for an hour or so. He knew Ex didn't like being alone. And there was no one else he could stay with, considering he didn't seem to get along well with anyone else.


Kneeling down, Wels gave him a quick hug. "I won't take too long, junebug. You can go out and pick some flowers or just take a nap if you'd like while I'm away." 


Ex sighed, but leaned into Wels' shoulder during the hug. 


"Junebug..." he mumbled to himself as Wels walked to the door.


The elf smiled before walking out the door, heading towards the communal area to find his slimy blue friend.




"Good to see you, man." 


Wels kept his gaze down at the table, fidgeting with his thumbs.


The two met up in his old, run-down house he stayed in before. It had no purpose now and was pretty empty, but it was an alright place to meet at.


Jevin frowned. "You alright?"


He sighed, nodding. "Yeah, I'm good." He rested his head in his hand, gently drumming his fingers on the table. 


"You don't seem like it."




"What's up?"




Jevin tilted his head. "You don't know?"


Wels shook his head. "Nope. I'm not really upset, just not sure what I feel or how to feel about it."


"Why don't you at least try explaining it then?" Jevin suggested, gently laying a hand on Wels' arm.


Sighing, Wels ran a hand through his hair. 


"Well—" He glanced at his old bed. "You know that dream I kept having?" 


"The one you never really explained to me?" 


"Yeah. I haven't had it in a while—which is good, but it's kind of odd. I haven't had it since he showed up."


"Who?" Jevin asked.


Once more, Wels sighed. "You know Xisuma's brother? Xizara? Or, I guess you guys call him 'Ex' instead." 


Jevin thought for a moment. "I think I know who you're talking about. I haven't seen him around anywhere in so long, though." 


"Well, he kind of just appeared at my base, and after that I haven't had that dream." He crossed his arms. "He just kind of bugged me and watched me build, and I wasn't very nice to him at first, but..." 


The elf shook his head. "I don't know what it is, but he makes me feel oddly happy sometimes. I'll just feel more relaxed or content when he's around me."


He sighed. "I'm not really sure. It could just be that I've been lonely."


Jevin leaned back in his chair, humming as he looked up at the ceiling. He seemed to be thinking about something. Wels stared at him blankly, waiting for him to speak.


After a moment, he smiled.




"How would you describe the 'oddly happy' feeling?"


Wels tilted his head, but didn't try to ask what exactly that meant.


"I don't know, he just...kind of makes me feel better, I guess." 


He gave another sigh, laying his head on the table. "He'll just do dumb stuff sometimes like put flowers in my hair or in his own, then he has a dorky smile on his face when it's all a mess. He follows me around like a cat—acts like one sometimes, too. And he'll get all cuddly when I give him a hug or we fall asleep outside or something. When he does that kind of stuff I just...get some sort of weird feeling in my chest."


He buried his face deeper into his arms. "I've been so mean to him before when he first showed up, yet he stayed with me. He continued sticking around and messing with me, even if I lost my patience."


"He stays with me, and he acts so nice to me. It's almost like a part of me has been lost for a long time and I've finally found it. I don't know what it is, I just—"


He paused, lifting his head as Jevin got up from his chair.


Walking over, Jevin lowered his voice to an uneeded whisper and said:


"Wels, I think you're in love with him."


And he froze.











Chapter Text



Wels trudged home through the dark forest—which was always dark, despite it being around noon—keeping his gaze to the ground. 


His thoughts buzzed around in his head like an angry swarm of bees trapped in a hive.


"What do you mean I'm 'in love' with him?" 


Jevin chuckled. "You're in love with him! It's that simple. Come on, Wels, it should be more obvious."


"How would that be obvious?" Wels shook his head. "All I know is that I enjoy his company and that he makes me feel happy, or at least less lonely. How would I know if it's 'love'?"


"Well, how did you say he made you feel again?"


He sighed. "Oddly happy. He makes me feel like I'm not alone and he's always so nice to me. I like his company, and the way he seems so fond of flowers, and his dumb smile when he puts them in his hair, and when he does that kind of stuff like smiling at me or hugging me I just—feel so happy and I get a weird feeling in my chest and..."


Wels groaned, burying his face in his hands. "You're right." He mumbled. "I think I'm in love with him."


He shook his head, bringing his gaze up to the giant, unfinished structure that was his base. Or, what he's gotten built of it, at least.


He sighed heavily as he came into the small clearing near the front of his base area. Off to the side, he saw Ex messing with a few flowers.


When Ex saw Wels, he immediately smiled and ran over to him, pulling him into a hug.


"You're back!" He yelled happily, earning a small chuckle from the elf.


Wels returned the other's embrace, running his fingers through his soft, white hair. "Sorry that I left you alone here." He mumbled. 


Ex released his embrace, still smiling. "It's alright. I managed to keep myself busy." 


Now smiling himself, Wels gently took Ex's hand, leading him inside. 


"I feel like sleeping, I don't know about you." Wels said, closing the door behind them.


Ex giggled lightly. "It's still daytime. Too early for sleep."


"It can be a nap, then." The elf replied, heading to the bedroom with Ex trailing behind him.


When he opened the door, he saw that there were pillows and blankets piled up on the bed, forming some sort of comfort pile. And there were quite a few, which Wels didn't own.


"Uh, Zar? Did you do this?"




Wels pulled a face, inspecting it. "Where did you even get all the pillows and blankets from?"


"Might've stolen them." Ex mumbled. 


Wels sighed, shaking his head. "I'm not gonna question it, I suppose." He plopped himself down tiredly on the bed, admittedly enjoying the extra comfort. 


He patted the space beside him, smiling. "C'mon, you lay down too."


Ex crawled into the bed, curling up on his side with his head resting on Wels' chest. He smiled and let out a small purr-like noise as the elf ruffled his hair.


"You know, I'm really glad you're here." Wels mumbled, gently stroking the other's hair. "I really enjoy your company."


Ex pressed his forehead up against Wels' cheek. "I'm glad you let me stay." He giggled. 


Wels' smile widened as he closed his eyes. "G'night, junebug." 


"Night, Welsie." Ex giggled again. "Even though it's technically still afternoon."


"Oh, hush."



Chapter Text



"Welsiee, come on, wake up!"


Wels groaned, wanting to keep sleeping. He felt a hand pawing at his face in attempts to get him up.


"Can't we just sleep more?" He muttered tiredly.


Ex pouted. "But I'm not tired anymore. I wanna go outside."


"Isn't it already night?"


"Yeah, you slept until it got dark!" Ex huffed, jabbing at the elf's cheek.


Wels grumbled, finally sitting up. "Fine, I guess we can go outside." He said, rubbing the tired from his eyes.


He couldn't help but smile a bit when he saw the way Ex's face lit up. 


"Dork." He mumbled, ruffling the other's hair as he got up. Ex trailed behind him as they made their way outside. 


Wels made sure to grab his sword before going out the door—just in case any mobs appeared nearby. It was night, after all. 


Once they were outside, Ex immediately ran over to a small patch of flowers. It was the same patch he always messed with, full of pink and white flowers of different kinds.


Wels made sure to re-grow the flowers often for him.


Sighing, the elf walked over to him, sitting down in the grass nearby. Might as well keep an eye on him.


Realistically, Ex couldn't possibly get into any trouble when he was just messing with flowers. 


Then again, this was Ex he was dealing with. Better safe than sorry.


Even still, nothing happened. Ex sat there weaving flowers into his hair, Wels sat there watching him, occasionally glancing around the area. No mobs were nearby.


At least, none that he knew of.


Something caught his eye, though. Something that alarmed him.


He glanced off to the side when he saw a dark figure peering at him from deeper within the forest. 


He didn't know what it was, but it just kept staring at him. It looked oddly familiar, though...


He turned to Ex, who was still humming away and focused on the flowers.


Turning back, the figure had come closer. 


This alarmed Wels enough to get him to stand up, drawing his sword, which grabbed Ex's attention.


"Wels? Are you okay?" Ex asked. He began feeling worried once he saw the elf's expression. It was an almost unreadable mixture of what seemed to be fear and worry. 


Wels didn't seem to hear. He was focused on the fact that the figure was still coming closer. 


It inched towards him, and as it did, he backed up slightly.


"Hey—what's wrong?" 


He gently shook his head, tightening his grip on his sword.


That's when the figure rushed at him, causing him to raise his sword immediately.


He couldn't tell if it hit anything—if it did, it didn't slow the creature down any. 


Continuously, it rushed at him at every angle possible. He had no reaction time, so all he could do was swing his sword around in hopes of stopping it. 


He heard Ex calling out to him, but it was muffled.


He was focused on trying to get the creature away from him, but it wouldn't leave him alone. 


He nearly froze when he heard it lowly growl something.


Your fault.


He paused for a fraction of a second—but the feeling of something touching him broke him out of it.


He swung his sword more aggresively, even more blindly than before. His senses were too jumbled, and the creature was moving too quickly. He felt his sword come into contact with something, but he didn't know what.


He tried backing up, but eventually hit a wall. 


At that point, he saw it right in front of him—the sight of its glowing red eyes freezing him.


Once more, it came rushing straight at him, but he had nowhere to go. 


In attempts to dodge out of the way, he let himself fall to the ground. 


When he looked up, it was gone.


He tried catching his breath, but it seemed impossible. He was relieved that it was gone, but he still was in a panic. 


Its voice was still swirling around in his head.


Wels shut his eyes tightly, covering his ears. He felt a hand gently resting on his shoulder. 


"Wels, it's okay—you're okay, calm down." 


The voice was muffled, but he recognized it. He opened his eyes, moving his shaky hands from his ears. 


Nothing in front of him.


He felt a hand take one of his, a thumb gently caressing his knuckles. 


"Shh, it's alright." Ex soothed, stroking his hair. 


Gradually, Wels began calming down. His breathing steadied, and tears were flowing less aggresively. 


Sighing heavily, he closed his eyes, burying his face in Ex's hair. He placed his other hand over the other's, intertwining their fingers and tightening his grasp.


"You're okay, Welsie." Ex repeated softly. "You're okay."


It took him a few more minutes to fully calm down, but he got there.


Once he did, though, he saw that Ex's cheek was cut, which immediately made him panic again, only not as intensely.


"Ex, what—oh, no, did I do that?" Wels asked, running his thumb gently over the cut. "I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have been reckless like that." 


Shaking his head, Ex smiled reassuringly. "It's okay, you weren't able to see what you were swinging at. I just got a little too close. I'm alright, it's just a small cut."


Wels frowned, pressing down as he ran his thumb over the cut again, sealing it up. It left a faint scar, and he hoped it would fade quickly. 


To be fair, Ex already had a good few scars on his face, but Wels didn't want him to have one that he caused.


Wrapping his arms around the other, he buried his face in Ex's shoulder. "I'm sorry." He mumbled. 


Ex returned the embrace, leaning his head against Wels' and stroking his hair. "Shh, it's okay. You don't have to apologize for anything." 


He felt a slight huff from the elf, but no protest.


Once he let go, he cupped Wels' cheek, gently wiping away some of the remaining tears.


"Come on, let's go inside and go back to sleep." He smiled. Somehow, it got Wels to smile a bit too. 


Helping him up, Ex took his hand once more as they went inside. 


Maybe they should have just stayed in bed.




Chapter Text



He couldn't sleep.


Ex laid there, slowly stroking Wels' hair. He gently cradled the poor elf in his arms, burying his face in his hair. 


He felt terrible.


So he couldn't sleep.


Ex didn't see what Wels saw at first, but then he was able to. It flickered in and out of his vision until it stayed visible to him to taunt him.


It was one of those monsters. The ones he summoned. 


The ones that he used to destroy everything back then. 


That's what Wels saw. It wasn't real, or at least not tangible, but that's what he saw. 


And that was Ex's fault.


He didn't know why it showed up, but it did.


It was his fault.


He was the one who brought them into existence in the first place. The one who brought them into this world for destruction. He made them ruthless. They were wretched creatures.


And the way the damn thing just grinned and laughed at him when he cried for it to leave Wels alone—


Tears welled in his eyes.


Why did he do all of that? Why did he have to be evil? 


He never wanted to be. 


He never wanted to do any of that. 


He didn't want to be evil.


He shook his head.


There was no need to think about this right now.


He didn't need to think about anything right now. He should be asleep. That's why he was laying in bed, was it not? To sleep?


He should be sleeping. Sleeping doesn't require any of that terrible thinking. 


He closed his eyes, tightening his embrace just a bit. He felt Wels lean further into his chest. 


There was no reason for him to be thinking about anything. He should focus on sleeping, on comforting the poor elf that was snuggled up in his arms, needing all the comfort he could get after what happened.


That incident that was Ex's fault.


But he didn't need to think about that right now.











Even still, he mumbled quietly:

"I'm so sorry."



Chapter Text



"Go back to sleep, Welsie."


"I heard you crying." The elf mumbled, cupping Ex's cheek.


Ex sighed, leaning into his hand. He moved a few strands of hair away from Wels' eyes, gently stroking his cheek after. 


He gave a weak but reassuring smile. "I'm okay. Just go back to sleep, honeybee." 


And although Wels knew he wasn't, he didn't push it.




He snuggled up to Ex again, burying his face in the crook of his neck.


"G'night, junebug."


Ex sighed, closing his eyes and stroking Wels' hair.


"Goodnight, Welsie."



Chapter Text



"You're just gonna go back to building again?"


Wels glanced down at the ground—which was quite a distance, as he was standing at the top of one of the keep's towers.


Way down there, Ex was sitting on the ground, staring up at him.


"Well, I haven't worked on it in a while. Might as well." He replied. 


Ex frowned. "You shouldn't push yourself too much with it." 


"I won't."




Wels smiled, going back to his building. 


The keep was coming along, he just needed to get back to work on it. So far, the main structure of it was complete. The inside still needed decoration, and he needed to add another level to the building. 


The new level would be inset a bit, rising up into 3 towers with pointed tops. He could add a few flags to them as well. 


Afterwards, he could start on the walls. He still needed a layout for those, but he had some wall and road placements in mind, as well as spots for a few other structures. 


A few clusters of buildings to make towns, some with uses—some without—and a pier would be built near the keep where the land broke off into water.


For now, though? He would just focus on the keep. 


So, once again, he worked on placing block after block for hours on end, day after day.


As he said, though, he wouldn't push himself too hard.






Chapter Text







Well, that wasn't entirely true.


He still pushed himself to get work done. 


Ex watched him continue to work so hard, planning and building for most of the day without breaks, every single day. 


He didn't interfere, though. A few times he had asked: "Shouldn't you take a break?"


Wels refused. 


So he didn't try to interfere with his work. He would only interfere if it got too concerning for him to just watch.


In this case, that was when Wels nearly collapsed due to overworking—which was made even more concerning given his position. 


He was beginning to work on building up some of the walls when he nearly fell from the top of one. Well, he did fall, but not completely—he was lucky that Ex was standing close by to catch him. 


"Alright, no more building for you." Ex sighed, sitting on his knees, the elf still in his arms. "I told you not to overwork yourself."


Wels groaned, letting his tired eyes fall shut to block out the sun. "You said not to push myself too hard." He mumbled.


"Same thing!" Ex said, exasperated. "Ugh." 


As much as he could, Wels rolled over on his side, burying his face in Ex's sleeve, which he gently grasped in his hand. "M sorry." He said quietly.


Sighing, Ex got up, holding the worn out elf closer. "It's okay, just—" He shook his head. "Just get some rest, honeybee." 


He heard a small, weak chuckle. 


"Cute name..." Wels mumbled, smiling.


Ex smiled too as he began carrying Wels back inside. 


That way, he could finally get some proper rest.



Chapter Text




"You really gotta stop doing that to yourself." Ex sighed, stroking Wels' hair. 


The elf let out a small, quiet whine as he buried his face in the crook of Ex's neck. "I'm okay, though." He mumbled. 


Ex shook his head. "You're really not. You're worn out from overworking yourself and too much of it is bad for you." 


Wels frowned silently.


"I know you want to get more work done on your castle, but you need to take breaks while you do." Ex continued, cupping the elf's cheek. "You know I care about you. I don't want you to get hurt because you're working too hard. Hell, you almost fell off a wall because you were so tired." 


Sighing, Wels leaned into the other's hand. "I know." He said. "I'll try not to overwork myself again." 


"You promise?"


"I promise."


"Good." Ex placed his hand on the back of Wels' head, gently pulling it closer. He buried his face in the elf's soft hair. 


Wels leaned his head further against Ex's chest and closed his eyes, gently clinging to his jacket. "I'm sorry, Exy."


"It's okay, Welsie." Ex gently stroked his hair. "It's okay." 


A low purr-like noise began emitting itself from Wels as he tiredly re-opened his eyes. A small blush creeped over his freckled cheeks, which he ignored as he buried his face in Ex's chest.


"Love you, junebug." He mumbled. 


Ex smiled. "I love you too, honeybee."



Chapter Text



"Where did you even get the nickname 'honeybee' from?" Wels asked. He was tired, but not in the normal way. He couldn't fall asleep, so he didn't try. 


Ex giggled. "You're a hard worker, just like bees are. And your hair is a soft golden color, so it reminds me of honey." 


Wels smiled. "I guess that makes sense." 


"What about the 'junebug' one for me, then?"


"I don't know." The elf chuckled. "I just decided I wanted to call you that." 


"Well, it sounds cute either way."


"Fitting, then."


"Shut up." Ex laughed, playfully punching Wels' shoulder. 


Wels' smile widened. "What, am I wrong?"


He chuckled as Ex gently flicked his nose. 


Ex playfully huffed. "The same could be said about you."


"Mm, I don't know about that." Wels replied.


Smirking, Ex said, mockingly:


"What, am I wrong?" 




Chapter Text



When Wels woke up, he had a few questions.


#1: What time was it? It felt late in the afternoon. Which would be odd considering late in the afternoon is when he went to sleep yesterday.


Did he really sleep that long?


To be fair, sleeping felt quite a bit more comfortable now that he slept in a proper room inside the keep.


#2: Where was Ex?


And #3: Why did he smell cake?


Instead of sitting in bed trying to figure it all out himself, he decided to just get up and go see.


Walking out and into the kitchen—which was a new edition to the interior of the keep—two of his three questions were answered. There stood Ex, hair still a mess, extinguishing the flame of a furnace. On top of said furnace was some sort of loaf cake still cooling inside of its pan.


"I didn't know you baked." Wels said, chuckling as Ex jumped slightly.


Turning around, Ex smiled. "Morning." He removed the flour-stained apron he was wearing. "Yeah, I don't think I'm very good at baking, but I try." He giggled. 


Smiling, Wels glanced at the cake. "Well, it doesn't look burnt, so there's a positive." 


Ex shook his head, now also smiling as he hung up the apron on a small hook. "We'll just have to see if it turned out bad or not."


Walking over, the elf ruffled his messy white hair, which was partially thrown into a bun in the back. "I'm sure it'll be good. Baking isn't all that difficult." 


Although he pouted slightly about the elf further messing up his hair, Ex still giggled. 


Stop being so cute...Wels thought, shaking his head.


"While you finish up with whatever it is you were doing, I'm gonna go back to building for a bit." He said, leaving the kitchen. "And don't worry—I'm not gonna be at it for very long."


Ex would have protested if not for that last addition. "As long as you aren't working too hard." He sighed. 



This time, Wels truly didn't work too hard. 


He only worked on building for a few hours until he took a break. Just a few minutes of rest, then he went back to work. 


While he was working, Ex had brought him a couple slices of the cake he made earlier. He said it was lemon flavored, a thin layer of hardened glaze on top of it.


For a loaf cake made by someone who says they aren't very good at baking, though, it was pretty good. 


Eventually, Wels decided he'd worked on building up more of the walls enough for the day. It was one of the quickest building sessions he's had, considering it only lasted around 5 or so hours. 


It was enough time for him to make some significant progress, though.



Chapter Text



It was also enough time for Ex to let his thoughts run wild. They've been silenced for quite a while, and it was getting tiring.


He's been suppressing any and all thoughts about the past, what he's done. He didn't want to think about it.


He wanted to forget all he did. He wanted to forget the demon that ruined his life. He wanted to forget being evil when he never wanted to be. He wanted to forget all of the hermits' hard work that he destroyed.


Above all, he wanted to forget about the innocent lives he took all those years ago...


Back when he destroyed those kingdoms. 


Back when he ruined a certain person's life.


Wels, the person he valued most, the person who he felt safe and happy with, the person he loved—


The person who he took everything from back then. He destroyed it all. 


He could never forgive himself for that, especially not now. He knew about the dream Wels had been having over and over again. It wouldn't still haunt him if none of it ever happened. 


He knew how to get rid of the dream, and so he did. He kept it away. He kept it away by staying with Wels. It was a dangerous move for him, but he had to take the chance.


He's heard good things about Wels—how kind he is, how caring—he generally sounded like a really nice person. Ex wanted to at least try to grow close to him. He wanted to befriend Wels at the very least.


Admittedly, he became a bit more attached than he originally planned to be or thought he would. But he at least wanted to try. If Wels knew about the fact that he was the one who ruined his life, it would screw it all up.


He just wanted a friend. He wanted Wels. He wanted to try and forget about the past, even if it was as terrible as it was. Maybe it could work. 


He didn't think it possible to just erase the past for either of them. It wasn't his goal. He wasn't entirely sure of what his goal even was.


All he knew was that it wasn't to trick Wels. He didn't want to manipulate him into forgetting about it. He didn't want to try and make him forget it ever happened. 


He just wanted to befriend Wels. He wanted to gain his trust so he could stay with him. That's all. He had no bad intentions.


If anything, he wanted to help Wels. He wanted to try and give him a better life, or at least help him have a better life. It might not make up for ruining it in the past, but it was something


And if Wels wanted to throw that all away when he found out, it would be okay. 


Ex kept the possibility in mind that Wels might find out what he did and quite possibly kill him. Wels was capable of violence, even if he preferred not to use it. 


He was certain it would be a possibility. There was a high chance of it.


Of course, he wouldn't know for sure how Wels would react. He might think this whole befriending thing was a plan to manipulate him. He might become angry and full of rage.


And Wels might just kill him if he gets too overwhelmed by anger.


There was no way to guess, really. Did it even matter right now? Wels wouldn't know for quite some time.


Ex would tell him eventually. He can't just keep it a secret. That would be cruel. Sure, it could end in his demise, but Wels has to know the truth eventually.


For now, he just...wasn't ready to tell him. 


And he wouldn't be for a long time.


Especially not the way he felt about Wels.



He couldn't help but wonder would Wels react? Knowing that he was the one who took everything from his past? 


How violently would he seek revenge, if at all? How angry would he be? How much would he hate him?


He almost wasn't ready for the answer. He wanted it, but he didn't. 


He was just afraid of ruining what he had with Wels so far. Even if it wasn't much. 


He loved Wels...he wasn't ready to completely kill his chances yet. And he wasn't ready to throw away all of his progress.


Wels seemed much happier now. That's what mattered the most to him.


He wanted Wels to be happy.



Chapter Text



Groaning, Wels held his arm up in front of his face, shielding it from the sun. 


Did I really fall asleep outside again...?


He pushed himself up off the ground, running a hand through his hair. While it seemed to be normal for him to fall asleep outside by now, there was one thing he found a bit off.


...Ex didn't come to wake him up this time.


Usually, he's woken up by the white-haired dork poking him until he got up, gently calling his name in a musical tone. 


He shook his head. Ex was probably just busy or didn't come to check on him yet.


Glancing around, Wels saw that he still had quite a bit of his materials left. He only packed a certain amount to use this time, which he hadn't fully finished using.


Might as well keep building until I run out, he decided.


So, with that, he continued working on building up the walls until he ran out of blocks.



Strangely enough, the sun began to set without Ex coming out even once.


Although it was probably nothing, Wels couldn't help but feel the slightest bit of concern. Ex usually came out to check on him quite often, and he never seemed to have much else to do. 


Shaking his head, Wels decided to just go back inside. It was getting dark, so he may as well take the opportunity to check on Ex himself. 


I suppose the tables have turned, he chuckled.


Glancing around, Ex didn't seem to be in the main part of the keep. 


He checked the grand hall and the kitchen. Still not there.


Wels sighed. Where is he?


Stepping back outside, he glanced around. Maybe Ex was outside after all?


He wasn't standing near the entrance or at the bottom of the stairs. He wasn't sitting in his flower patch either. 


He sighed again, running a hand through his hair. 


"Zar? You out here?" He called out, walking down the stairs.




"Exy?" He called again.


He glanced around the nearby trees.


Finally, he saw a familiar figure—but he didn't look very happy.


Frowning, Wels walked over to him.




Ex glanced at him.


"Are you okay?" Wels asked, laying a hand on his shoulder. 


His worry only got worse when Ex gave him a small shake of the head and a quiet "No."


Wels sighed, putting his arm around the other's shoulders. "Come on, it's getting dark out." He said softly, leading Ex back inside.



"What's wrong, Exy?"


Wels decided they could sleep in the cozy cave bedroom tonight, rather than the one in the keep. Ex still said nothing, leaning against the wall as Wels closed the door behind them.


Instead, he simply walked over and leaned his forehead against Wels' shoulder. 


Wels gave his hair a quick ruffle before taking ahold of both Ex's hands.

The two stayed there like that for a while. 



Ex shook his head lightly.






Ex looked up at him. "Can I ask you something?"


Wels gently stroked the other's hair, his gaze soft. Cupping Ex's cheek, he replied, "What is it?"


Sighing, Ex put his hand over Wels'. "If someone were to do something really bad to you. If they destroyed your hard work and that of others—what would you do? Would you kill them?" 


Wels gave no response, surprised by the question. 


After a few seconds of silence, Ex sighed again. "If someone was evil and ruthless, destroying things for no reason, wouldn't you want to get revenge on them?"


"Exy, why are you asking me this?" Wels frowned, gently stroking Ex's cheek. 


Tears welled in Ex's eyes. "Because I used to be horrible, and I keep thinking about it. I used to destroy things and I was evil. That's why everyone calls me 'Evil Xisuma', but I never wanted to be evil."


"I'm sure you didn't. What happened?"


"Stupid demons, that's what." Ex grumbled, wiping his tears away with this sleeve. "One of them got ahold of me and made me destroy things. A lot. It only went away when the Convex helped me get rid of it." 


"You poor thing." Wels mumbled, pressing his forehead against Ex's. 


The two were silent for a moment.


"If you did those kinds of things to me...I would forgive you." Wels said. "I know you didn't want to be evil. If you explained it to me, I would know you weren't lying, and I would understand. Sure, I might be angry at first, but I would forgive you nonetheless." 


Ex moved to wipe his tears away again. "You wouldn't hate me? Even if I destroyed everything?" 


Smiling reassuringly, Wels nodded. "I would forgive you, junebug."


Still sniffling, Ex gave a weak smile in return. He buried his face in Wels' chest, wrapping his arms around his waist.


"Thank you." He mumbled.


"It's okay, dear."



Chapter Text



"...You're not evil, Exy."


He glanced up. He was sitting on the floor as Wels "re-fluffed" all the pillows and blankets on the bed.




Wels turned to him, smiling. "You're not evil." He turned back. "Everyone might have stuck that label on you, but it doesn't mean you have to roll with it."


Ex blinked, not knowing what to say.


"You never wanted to be evil. It wasn't your choice. Society might push labels onto us, but that doesn't mean we have to follow them." He walked over, ruffling Ex's hair. 


"You're not evil, just misunderstood." He chuckled.


Ex sighed. "Do you really mean all that?" 


"Why wouldn't I?" 


He smiled. 


"...Thank you, Welsie."


"Of course, junebug."



Chapter Text





Wels crawled onto the bed, crossing his legs.


"—All fixed up." He said, patting the space in front of him like a pair of bongos.


"C'mere." He smiled.


Ex gave a content sigh as he crawled onto the bed. He sat in the spot in front of Wels, crossing his legs as well. 


The elf pulled him into a quick, cuddly hug before straightening out his legs and laying down, pulling Ex over to lay on his chest. 


Smiling, Ex buried his face in the crook of Wels' neck. 


"G'night, Exy." Wels chuckled, stroking the other's hair. "Love you."


Ex frowned a bit. "Do you really mean that..?" 


"Of course I do, junebug." Wels said in a partially pouty voice.


Chuckling quietly, Ex smiled. "Sorry. I love you too, honeybee."