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Afternoons in the castle were… Cross watched Killer absently flick Dust, who did nothing but glare at him. Underwhelming, to say the least. Midday was a mess, their shared home filled with screams and running, and maybe the occasional sound of blasters whenever Dust was involved.

Horror snored quietly on the recliner, sprawled out in a way that looks uncomfortable, but probably wasn’t. Laying on his side, an arm flung over the arm cushion, the other twisted beneath him, and both legs curled up. His neck was a perfect ninety-degree angle, Cross noticed with a sympathetic wince. Horror’s neck would be locked up like that for the next two days.

Cross flopped his head back on the couch, staring at the ceiling tiredly. He wanted to nap as well, but couldn’t. Not when Killer was hissing at Dust, the two throwing tiny bones at each other. Cross was there for damage control. Chara snickered overhead, You’re like the oldest sibling in this patchwork shitshow family.

Cross flipped the apparition off, scowling as he answered, “And you’re the goldfish everyone forgot existed until it spoke.” Killer cackled, “Who’re you talking to, Crossy?” Cross grunted instead of answering.

Oh quit whining. Cross rubbed his face. God, this day needed to end already. Thankfully, Chara fell silent, either passing out or going to sleep. Dust and Killer eventually dozed off as well, and by the time it was half-past eleven, Cross was gazing off into nothing, his eyes lidded. He wanted to make sure Nightmare went to sleep too, so he was waiting.

Two chimes past twelve, a portal opened, and Nightmare silently slipped out. Cross blinked a few times, clearing his vision from sleep. “Boss.” Nightmare twitched, glancing at Cross, frowning. “Cross, you should be asleep.” Cross sat up, opening his arms and beckoning to Nightmare. “C'mon. You should be asleep too.”

Nightmare gave a half-grin, closing the portal. “I’ve told you not to wait up for me..” Still, he complied, joining Cross on the couch. Cross snuck his arms around Nightmare, hugging him and sleepily trying to pull him down. “Sleep.” Nightmare sighed, going limp, letting Cross basically cuddle him. He rubbed the soldier’s skull, his voice fond. “Go to sleep, Cross.” Cross mumbled, already dozing off.

Nightmare smiled. A bunch of children, he mused. Guess that made him their parent.