Antfrost was not expecting to pull one of his best friends screaming from a burning castle, but he also wasn’t expecting that the cute mage also wanted to date him, so he just figured he was really bad at guessing what was going to happen.
Ant dragged the burned and unconscious Sapnap to his camp that he shared with Velvet. Velvet was awake, and was also not expecting Ant to drag one of his burned and dying friends back to camp.
“Well, look what the cat dragged in,” He said. Ant giggled.
“I don’t know how to explain this.”
“You ran off because you heard a scream, and you come back to camp dragging a dead guy around.”
“Sapnap is still breathing.”
“You gave the dead guy a nickname.”
“That’s his real name.”
“So, you know the dead guy?”
“Yeah, he was my best friend,” Ant looked at him sadly. It was Sapnap, alright, just it was 20 year-old Sapnap, not 15 year-old Sapnap. His hair was darker, and he was stronger. He also had more scars, but the one on his chin where he tripped into a tree branch was still there. He also still wore the white bandana, though now it was charred.
“Wait, this is Sapnap, the Sapnap? This isn’t you naming a dead guy after your best friend because you miss your best friend.”
“Holy shit,” Velvet said, running his hands through his hair. “I think I should probably heal him.”
“Yes, please,” Ant said as he watched the maroon magic flow out of his boyfriend’s hands and onto his best friend’s body. Sapnap’s breathing evened out and his burns receded, though he was still unconscious. Ant would have been able to celebrate this and relax with his boyfriend, had he not realized one thing.
“If Sapnap’s here, where’s Dream?” He asked, and started to sniff the air, yet it was blocked by the smoke. “Also, Sorang Keep is on fire.”
“Yeah, we should probably put that out.”
“Ant, I love you, but you gotta tell me these things earlier.”
“What are we gonna do with him?” Ant said, motioning to Sapnap. “We can’t just leave him here.”
“You were able to drag him here, could you drag him out of the forest?”
“Velvet, what are you gonna do?”
“Take Sapnap and run.” Velvet said, quickly kissing Ant on the cheek before running into the forest. Ant touched his cheek, the ghost of his boyfriend’s lips fresh on his skin.
He started to drag Sapnap out of the forest to get him to safety before he could run back to Velvet. Sapnap had gotten stronger in 5 years, and so he had gotten heavier. It was difficult for Ant to drag him to camp, it was even more difficult to drag him out of the forest, but Ant knew how to work smarter, not harder, as so he didn’t drag him out of the forest, but to the beach. The waves lapped up against the sand, and Ant dragged Sapnap to a spot where he wouldn’t get wet or burned, and ran back into the forest.
“Velvet!” He screamed, dashing through the burning forest. He clawed his way through singed leaves to his boyfriend. “Velvet!”
Ant felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see Velvet next to him. His boyfriend was exhausted, and he could tell that he used a lot of magic. Ant picked Velvet up, and carried him to the beach with Sapnap. Once there, Velvet started coughing up the smoke. Ant just held his boyfriend. They watched as the part of the forest that Velvet couldn’t save burned to the ground. The sun set upon a red sky, and Ant watched this all go down in flames.
Neither Ant nor Velvet slept that night. The smoke made it difficult, and Ant wanted to be there when Sapnap woke. The two of them sat on the beach, watching the waves lap against the sandy shore. This was the first time they had been to the beach together, and Ant preferred that it would have been more romantic than a burning forest as their backdrop and his best friend lying unconscious next to him, but it would have to do.
“Thank you,” Ant said.
“Of course,” Velvet replied, holding Ant. The two of them continued to watch the waves and the pearl shaped moon until they heard Sapnap groan next to them. Ant looked over at his best friend, and watched as he started to wake. When Sapnap opened his eyes and looked at the couple next to him, Ant greeted him appropriately.
“Morning! Or, night actually.”
“Hey, George, where’s Sap?”
“Why should I know, I’m not his mom.”
“Ok, well, can you answer this? Why is the forest on fire?”
“I’m not the forest’s mom-wait, what did you say?”
“The forest is on fire, George, and I have no fucking idea where Sap is.”
George quickly stood and grabbed his stuff.
“Dream, I have no idea where he is, but we gotta get out of here.”
Dream nodded, and the two of them ran out of the forest. They reached the beach, and watched as the forest burned. It was beautiful, almost. The oranges and reds matched the smoky sky. Yet, they could not admire the flames, Sapnap was still in there, burning, and they couldn’t save him.
They heard him scream, but it didn’t come from the forest. It came from the beach. The two of them looked at each other, then ran toward the sound. They came across three figures, one of which was Sapnap, who seemed quite calm now, and the other two had their backs to Dream and George. Sapnap looked up and saw his friends. He waved to them, and Dream watched as the people Sapnap was with turned, and Dream saw him.
“Antfrost,” he whispered.
“Hey Dream, it’s been a while,” Ant responded as Dream ran to him and hugged him tightly. Ant hugged him back. Dream was crying at this point. Ant was back, he was really back!
“I missed you so much,” Dream said, pulling away.
“I did too,” Ant replied.
“Never do that again,” Dream said. Ant smiled. “What have you been doing for the past 5 years?”
“Running from the King’s Guard, mostly.”
“Hey,” the unknown person said next to him, and lightly smacked his arm.
“Sorry, babe-” Ant started.
“‘Babe’?” Dream screamed.
“Dream, Sapnap, unknown third person, meet my boyfriend, Velvet,” Ant said proudly.
“Nice to meet you, Velvet. I’m George.” George said, the only one of them able to talk. He turned to Ant. “Dream and Sapnap kidnapped me and now I’m helping them find you. But, we found you, so I can leave now.”
That seemed to snap Dream and Sapnap out of it. They both responded at the same time, “No!”. George just laughed.
Dream turned back to Ant. “Congrats on getting a boyfriend, never woulda thought someone would like a stinky cat like you.”
“Hey!” Ant laughed as he tackled Dream into the sand. Dream was hit with a wave of nostalgia as he felt like he was 14 again, wrestling with Ant and Sap. It was a bittersweet feeling, but Dream could ignore the bitter for a little while longer to focus on the sweet. He and Ant rolled around in the sand wrestling. He heard Sap cheer him on like when they were little, but just like when they were little, Ant quickly gained the upper hand, his instincts aiding him.
“I yield,” Dream laughed. Ant got off of him and helped him up. Dream shook the sand off of himself.
“So, what do we do now?” George asked. “We found Ant, do we just go home now?”
“No,” Velvet replied. “My friend Karl was taken by the King’s guard. He-he gave his life for us, and I won’t let him die at their hands.”
Dream and Sapnap nodded. They owed Karl one after he saved Ant. George nodded because he had no idea what was going on, but the call of adventure was hard to resist. The five of them were going to save Karl, the journey made easier by the destruction of one of the four castles.