“DREAM-!” He hit the ground, teeth singing with pain as his face bounced off the ground, snow clinging to his cheeks. He brushed off the pain, scrambling to the side. A beam of searing magic blazed past, cutting through everything in its path. The snow on his cheeks flung off, stained yellow with his blood.
Ink teleported over, stumbling to Dream’s side, grabbing him by his arm and yanking him back as another blaster went off. Ink wasn’t in any better shape than Dream, his clothes dirty and ripped in several places, millions of cuts leaking black blood and bruises littering all visible bones. Ink’s eyes were wide and panicked, his words coming out in a rush. “Where’s Swap?!”
Dream shook his head, breathing heavily. A trail of golden blood trickled from his nose, seeping into his mouth as he said, “I-I lost him in Snowdin!” A rumble shook the ground, screams coming from all around them. Ink swore sharply, wrestling Dream to the floor, dodging a barrage of bones. The ground beneath them cracked. Dream’s eyes widened. “Oh fuc-”
Dream’s soul was racing, his body trembling as he stared at where he’d just been. Sharp bones jutted raggedly from the snow, a threat on their own. Ink looked around wildly, his brush in hand. Dream summoned his bow as well, pulling the string taut and holding his breath.
For a long second, nothing happened. The screams in the distance were dying out one by one, each person picked off. Dream shuddered with each dying aura. Ink was shaking where he was pressed against Dream, their backs to one another. Dream’s head snapped to the side at the sound of crunching snow. “There!”
Four figures approached, hidden in the clouds of dust and smoke. Dream could pick out almost all of them. Dust on the left, Horror on the right, Killer in the middle, and one more.. Ink stiffened at the sight of Cross. Killer was leaning against him heavily, his grin high and wide, filled with cheerful malintent– and Dream could sense the faint arousal and was that pride?– and Cross looked fairly annoyed.
Nightmare and Error were nowhere to be seen. Killer whistled, catching Dream’s attention. “Well, hello there, star sluts! Fancy seeing you here!” Dream’s expression darkened, Killer cackling, “Like what we’ve done with the place?” Cross rolled his eyelights, muttering something to Killer, whose grin hitched up. “We’re the villains, Crossy! Of course the evil speech is necessary!” Dream forced himself to stay on guard, watching as Killer, with his arm slung around Cross’s shoulders, squeezed the guard and nuzzled him almost affectionately, loudly proclaiming, “Besides, Night ain’t here to do it himself, and someone has to!”
Cross’s response was inaudible. “Oh for fucks sake- Will you two stop flirting already?!” Dust barked. Cross shot him a glare. Then he looked back at the stars, opening his mouth to say something. Ink didn’t let him, “Nightmare’s not here? Oh, thank the creators!” He relaxed, lowering his brush. Dream cursed, hissing over his shoulder. “Ink, what the hell are you doing?!” Ink snapped his fingers, ink flying from the forest, ensnaring the murder trio. Killer wasn’t happy about ripped away from Cross, if the wave of rage he let out meant anything. Cross was frozen in place, shocked.
Dream stood on guard, “Why didn’t you tie Cross up?!” Ink snorted, “Oh, please, as if she could hurt me.” The rage Killer felt suddenly tripled, startling Dream. It took him a second to realize that two-thirds of it came from Horror and Dust. Dream himself was a little put off. “Ink, you really shouldn’t underestimate her,” he muttered, splitting his bow into dual daggers. Ink only laughed, “Dream, she’s a girl, how dangerous can she be?”
Dream shuddered under the weight of the trio’s hatred. Even so, his own annoyance surged. “Pretty fucking dangerous, Ink. Girl or not, she’ll fucking wipe the floor with you if you keep this up.” Seriously, where did Ink get the idea that gender dictated someone’s threat levels?! Cross was starting to get mad and that wasn’t good, not one bit. Ink put his brush on his back– fucking idiot, why would you do that?!– and shoved his hands in his pockets, casually approaching Cross as if they were friends. As if Cross didn’t have a huge ass knife in his hands. “Cross, buddy, could you please tell me how you managed to break your code?”
Again, Cross didn’t get to answer, Ink plowing on as if Cross weren’t even there. “Cuz I’m pretty sure you broke it. I checked it the other day and, gosh, it was the most shocking thing.” Cross took a step away as Ink continued to approach. “We all know you’re a girl, right? Right. Except, here’s the thing. Your code says you’re a guy. Crazy right?” Dream twitched at the utter elation Cross gave off, his brow furrowed in confusion. But if Cross’s code said he was a boy, then why was Ink calling him a girl??
“Crazy, right?” Ink repeated himself, his tone shifting into something Dream couldn’t grasp. “Tell me, Cross, are you still trying to pretend.” Killer seemed to get fed up, yelling across the field, “CROSS ISN’T PRETENDING TO BE ANYTHING, YOU FUCKING ASSHAT!! LEAVE HIM ALONE!” Ink grinned. “Killer, do you know what Cross is even lying about? She has you completely fooled into thinking she’s a boy, doesn’t she?” Killer thrashed, spitting out names.
Ink snickered, circling around Cross. “C'mon, Cross, don’t make this hard on yourself. Tell them you’re lying. Tell them the truth.” Cross was trembling. From the outside, it looked like fear. But Dream knew that it wasn’t fear. It was pure, firey rage. And if Ink didn’t stop, Cross would snap and everything would go to hell.
Ink couldn’t read the room, though. “Say it, Crossy. You’re a weak, dumb little girl. Go on-” Ink choked, his eyes widening. “Ink.” Cross, sounding very much like a man, twisted the knife he’d shoved through Ink’s chest. The creator sucked in a breath, his eyelights guttering out. Cross shook his head, his voice low. “You need to learn how to shut. The fuck. Up.” He ripped the knife out, throwing it aside and firmly grabbing Ink’s skull, jerking him down and driving his knee into his face.
Without pause, he shoved Ink back, slamming a kick hard into the already broken ribs, sending Ink flying a few feet. He sent a handful of knifes after him, just to get some extra damage, before he turned heel and hurried to his gangmate’s aid.
Dream and Ink were gone when he was done freeing the others. Cross didn’t particularly care, instead indulging in the kiss Killer had yanked him into. Nightmare watched from afar, a proud grin on his face. “Error, you can take it from here.” Error nodded, standing beside him. “Get your-your goons out-t-t-t of here.”