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The Tree of Feelings

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A few days later, after everyone had tenuously settled into a new routine, Nightmare and the teens were hidden away in the library for some alone time. Dream was busy practicing how to flirt with Killer as his guide for reasons that his massive blushing refused to allow him to admit. He was always too overwhelmed by it and ended up hiding under a thick, fluffy blanket. Nightmare decided not to press the matter, but he knew that, with all the people currently hanging around the castle, he wouldn’t be able to dodge the question forever.

Today he had a different goal in mind. Rather than ferret through his brother's defenses ( a very apt phrase for anyone who had ever met a ferret... Or his brother, for that matter) he decided to work with his other brothers on something that had been bothering him for a while: reading. Neither of the younger twins could read.

That was a huge difference that he dint' understand; he could read as a child! Dream could if he had help with the spellings, as his dyslexia and poor eyesight made it nearly impossible for him to read in a more normal manner. It was why Nightmare read him a story to help him fall asleep every night! Contrary to what most of the universe might expect, Dream most enjoyed the gory versions of things to the sanitized ones.

Perhaps his eagerness to see the villains punished for their misdeeds should have been a warning to the young Nightmare that something was wrong. He hadn't been aware of that, though, as he was often in too much pain to be able to. Pain could blind you to a lot of things

Putting that aside, Nightmare now had a task he'd gladly taken on; he was going to teach his new brothers how to read. He couldn't wait to share all the stories from his... Books...

If the little shadow, Night, couldn't read, why was he so enamored with books? Was it some kind of-

{I read them to him, my eldest darkness,} his mother slipped into his mind, {Just as I once read them to you. The villagers did not teach him as they taught you because they remembered what you had done to them and blamed it on him. They will pay, will they not?}

Nightmare huffed, startling the two young godlings in his lap. {Of course. We punished Ink, we can punish them next. Also, why are you sounding like the Toriels? Is it simply to annoy me?}

{To annoy Dream. You're just a bonus.}

That was when Nightmare decided he was going to do the highly mature thing of ignoring his mother for a few hours while he sulked. He turned back to his task of teaching his brothers. Hmm... Where to begin?

"Alright, Night, Day. Give me a moment to find you some examples of the letter 'A'. We might as well follow tradition. It at least has a starting place," Nightmare mumbled to himself as he flipped through the large-print copy of 'And Then There Were None' he'd decided to use as his teaching material. Night and Day were teenagers. Besides, he had a feeling that they'd like the descriptive and thematically correct deaths of the people in the story just as much as Dream had.

#

"okay," Killer said, his skull in his hands to hide the laughter written clear on his face, "when i said, "wink your eye light", i meant to turn one of them on and off again, not to do... whatever it was you just did. how the hell did you manage to get the magic out of your eye socket like that in the first place?! didn't it hurt? why aren't you bleeding? dream... do not ever do that again. especially not in front of whoever you want to flirt with. they'll freak."

"But I-"

"just don't. you don't want to find out what sci does to monsters with missing eye magic."

#

Blue and Cross had a very weird relationship. Blue was this powerful, scary thing to Cross. Cross was a means of getting rid of the endless need to cook tacos for Blue. It was a symbiotic relationship. Blue made the tacos. Cross ate the tacos while feeling vaguely threatened. It worked.

It worked, at least, until Cross mentioned offhandedly to Dust that Blue's tacos tasted funny. Dust was almost the embodiment of curiosity, so he had to check it out. On that day Blue learned many things about tacos, like that decorative corn wasn't the right kind to use for the tortillas, that there was a difference between tomatoes and tomatillos, the proper way to peel an onion, and, most of all, the right way to cook the meat so that it wouldn't give the poor souls who were eating these things food poisoning.

Cross learned that his whole universe couldn't cook worth shit and that he needed to take cooking classes to understand what was edible and what was not.

Dust learned that being an idiot about the most basic things in life was not a trait unique to Sans-types or Swap-Paps. Blue and Cross had to deal with it, too.

#

GG Stir, as weird as his name was, wasn’t all that bad. Error had seen worse Gasters out there. Far worse, in fact. This one was rather pathetic compared to them. Hell, he was rather pathetic compared to your average Jerry. That was saying something because Jerrys were the epitome of pathetic.

There was something nice to his acknowledgment of Error's superior knowledge of knitting. The middle-aged monster had come to his son-in-law (theoretically- he and Blue hadn't married yet) and asked for help. Help? Error? That was hilarious enough that he went along with it. After all, he could always undo whatever they did, right? Coding was fun like that.

As it turned out, GG Stir wasn't wanting anything dangerous to others. It wasn't all that dangerous to himself; knitting only was dangerous in a loose, minor bruises sort of sense. That was what he wanted to do: learn how to knit. Apparently, he was worried that all the people with holes in them would get cold, so he wanted to make hats and sweaters for them so they could cover-up. That was sweet and harmless enough, right? Yeah. Okay, so Error was going to show him how to "knit" some harmless "patterns" that would make him swear a lot out of frustration, but that was just Error's nature. Error was a little shit and proud of it.

#

Horror was enjoying this little hang-out of theirs. He and Stripes, Blue’s Chara, were out in the woods near Nightmare’s castle gathering herbs, berries, and cool rocks.

Stripes reminded him of his “kid”, Aliza. They were more stubborn than they were determined, but that made sense- both had been through a lot before they ever made it to the Underground.

This kid wasn’t very quiet, though. They chattered at him, but the things they were talking about were good for him to know.

They were talking about Blue, and how his world was harsh on him. They talked about what that whole Omega nonsense meant. They told him about their past.

The best thing about all of that talking was that they didn’t seem to mind that he wasn’t talking back. Horror had a hard time stringing words together when he wasn’t angry, and right now he felt at peace, so words were almost impossible. The fact that this human was letting him be quiet endeared them to him a lot.

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