Work Header

Dress Up

Work Text:

Here's the drawing before we get started :)))) also! if you wanna see more of my art, check out my Tumblr!

Killer stared at the inconspicuous box on his bed, his entire body still, his fingers splayed to catch the knife that had long since fallen to the floor. He unfroze after a long second, stooping down to pluck his knife from the ground and slipping it up his sleeve. He strolled over to the bed, reaching out to finger the lacy ribbon. It wasn’t his birthday, and even if it was, no one in the gang but Nightmare knew when it was.

That really could only mean one thing. It was a party day. Killer tugged the lid off, setting it aside, his gaze on the outfit inside. Of course. He shook his head and carefully pulled the suit out. Black on maroon. Killer shook the tuxedo out, a matching tie fluttering out. He took it and spread the tux out on his bed, looking back in the box. A false cardboard bottom separated the shoes and other smaller accessories from the rest of the outfit. He set the shoes on the ground, stepping back to take in to outfit.

He hated to say, but it looked nice. Opening Nightmare’s party boxes, as Killer liked to call them, was always a gamble. Each outfit was really nice, he would admit, but not everything was Killer’s preferred fashion. Sometimes there was a dress, sometimes a tux, and at one point, there had been a mixture of the two.

Killer shucked his jacket off, tossing it aside, his shirt quickly following. Hopefully, Cross would help him with his tie. Killer was hopeless with ties. Somehow, Cross- and Nightmare- was the only one who could properly put on a tie. Killer sighed, kicking off his shorts. He hated party days.

Horror rubbed at the soft fabric of his dress. It reminded him of those old movies, the ones with miles of fabric somehow piled on one person. It wasn’t nearly as frilly as the ones in the movies, though. Just one small layer of ruffles. It looked like something you’d wear to a high school party. Horror sniffed it. It smelled like cinnamon.

He liked cinnamon. A plastic chewy came along with it, tied on a string and smelling heavily of cinnamon. Horror put it between his teeth, humming as he started to undress. He liked party days.

Dust didn’t bother to look at what he would be wearing, sparing nothing more than a quick glance. In the end, it didn’t matter. He unceremoniously shoved himself into his tux, swatting at his infernal ghostly brother when he began griping. Sans, your dress shirt is inside out! That is not how you wear a tie-! SANS!

Dust groaned, taking off his top for the fifth time in another attempt to placate him. “Oh shut up paps.” Papyrus did shut up, once Dust properly buttoned up his dress shirt. He didn’t bother to button his overcoat though, nor did he even try to fix his tie. He slipped it around his neck and let it hang undone. Your sleeves, brother. Dust swore, going back to the box to snatch the cufflinks and jam them into place.

Tie your shoes. He knelt to tie his shoes, standing back up with a huff. Paps started to say something, but Dust only scowled and snapped at him. “Shut the fuck up already, paps!” He hated party days.

Cross didn’t particularly enjoy Nightmare’s party boxes. So far, all he’d gotten were tuxes, but that could change any second. Cross kept his distance from the box, instead hopping into the shower with the thought that he’d open the box later. He was dreading it, honestly. Sure, the stuff Nightmare made was always comfortable, and yeah, even Cross looked okay in them, but he dreaded the day Nightmare gave him a dress.

Cross rubbed a towel over his skull, hissing as it caught in the crack over his eye. He tugged it free and moved on, patting himself down. It was clear that it was a party day, as Killer had so ingeniously dubbed it. Party days were what happened when Nightmare decided to take everyone to a party- whether they wanted to go or not. Cold air chased out the warm air as Cross opened the door. He stepped out, reluctantly approaching his bed. Please let it be another tux.

His soul dropped at the sight of light purple ruffles. Party days, Cross decided, were the worst.

Nightmare clipped on a bowtie, adjusting it a bit. He was somewhat excited, though he wouldn’t admit it. A tendril flicked behind him. He could picture Cross’s reaction. He grinned to himself, absolutely sure that Cross would love the dress-

A wave of horror blindsided him, startling him into throwing his bowtie. He immediately recognized it to be from Cross, but he didn’t know why. Nightmare took his bowtie, reattaching it, mulling over every possible issue. Perhaps the dress didn’t fit? Or did it rip? Was it too short??

He anxiously glanced to the side, fiddling with his shirt buttons. Maybe it all be fine. Cross sometimes had that reaction on party days. Nightmare nodded, certain that it was just Cross’s social anxiety acting up. Once they got there, everything would be fine, and Cross would enjoy himself. Nightmare was sure of it.

Killer was halfway through pulling on his dress shirt when Cross popped in, literally. The half-dressed guard stumbled into the wall, whipping around sharply. Killer could already recognize what was happening: Cross was panicking. He dropped his shirt on the ground for the moment, giving Cross his full attention. “Hey bud, what’s the problem?” Cross was breathing heavily, his party box clenched tightly to his chest. He threw the box on the floor, pointing at it and ranting, “I can’t fucking wear this, it’s too much, there’s not- I can’t put this on, I’m not- I’m not prepared, and it’s so short and-”

“Woah,” Killer interjected, “Take a breath, man.” He knelt to take the box, dumping the contents out curiously. Cross continued to hyperventilate, pacing in Killer’s peripheral vision. A dress fell out in a heap, the shoes, sleeves, and stockings plopping out with it. Killer tilted his head, sifting through the small pile to pick out the dress and hold it out.

It was a pretty purple, the color so dark it was nearly black. A thick strip of white wrapped around the dress just above the waist, a second one attached at the back to dangle off like a tail. The right side of the chest had a long line of light purple ruffles, the color matching the underskirts peeking out at the hem.

The dark fabric of the dress shimmered ever so slightly when Killer shook it. He couldn’t see anything wrong with it. The dress was quite short, but there were stockings to fix that problem. It even had a high collar. Though one side of the top was a big baggy, like it had been stretched. Killer fingered the sagging cloth, humming. “Did something happen to it,” he asked Cross, only for the realization to hit a second later.

“Holy shit, you have to summon ecto for this??” That was a problem. Well, not for Killer, he personally liked the idea, but for Cross, that was one of the worst things that could happen. Killer shook it out again, spreading it out on his bed. He turned to Cross, who was backed against the wall with his arms over his bare ribs. “Killer, I can’t wear that.”

The unspoken 'but' was loud. Killer nodded, wandering over absently. “Yeah, okay. But..?” Cross threw his hands up, “But I don’t wanna upset Nightmare! He always makes these things specifically designed for us- what if I don’t wear it and he gets offended or something?!” He rubbed his face irritably, flinching as soon as he did. Killer took his hand, frowning. “You’ll hurt yourself doing that.” Cross yanked his arm away, shivering and rubbing his forehead again. “Don’t touch me, prick.”

Killer held his hands up in surrender, stepping back. “Alright, alright. Here, look, it’s gonna be alright. You can wear my jacket or something.” Cross let out a breath, shaking his head, “No, then your outfit would be incomplete-” Killer shrugged, turning away to pick up the rest of Cross’s outfits. “Better you than me, sweetheart.” Cross flushed at the name. Not that Killer saw it, he was too busy mapping out the rest of the clothes. “These are some cute shoes,” he muttered. They looked like the kind tap dancers wore. Simple, shiny black flats with pretty golden buckles.

Cross glared at the back of Killer’s head, blowing air through his teeth aggressively. Killer glanced back at him, a brow raised. “C'mon. Let’s try it on.” Cross shook his head, “No, I don’t want to, I-” Killer pulled him over with blue magic, brazenly grabbing a handful of Cross’s shorts. Cross yelped, kicking at KIller. “What the fuck are you doing?!” Killer scoffed, tugging the shorts off and tossing them aside. “Oh, please, calm your tit, I’m not doing anything.” Cross glowered at him, his face hot with embarrassment. Killer draped the dress and stockings over Cross’s shoulders. “Bathroom’s over there, unless you want me to watch.” Cross scowled, snatching the clothes off and using them to cover himself. “Bastard,” he growled, backing into the bathroom and slamming the door behind him.

Killer rolled his eyelight, scooping his own clothes off the floor and resuming donning it. He was fiddling with his tie when Cross came back out. Killer spared a single glance, humming. “Crossy, you gotta wear yer ecto or you’ll look weird.” Cross snapped his teeth at him, hissing, but doing as he said, begrudgingly filling out the clothes. He grimaced as his chest summoned, making a face at himself. Killer snorted, “Cross, you look fine. Did you get the stockings on?” Cross stuck out a leg, showing off the white stockings, his expression deadpan.

Killer nodded, “Right. Put your shoes on. Oh, and the sleeves too.” Cross silently mocked him, stomping to the bed as Killer snorted. He tugged the sleeves on sourly, slipping them as far up they would go, taking a split second to ponder the softness before kneeling to jam his feet into his slippers. He rather aggressively buckled the shoes, standing up with a groan. Cross hated this dress. It was breezy and skintight and-

Cross yelped, whipping around to smack Killer’s hand away. “Oh fuck off!” Killer rubbed his hand, his grin wide and amused. “’m just tryna help, Crossy.”

“I don’t know how touching my ass equates to helping!”

“Yer skirts all trapped in the back of yer stockings! I’m just tryna pull it out!” Cross blinked, “My what??” He patted at his backside, flushing as soon as he felt it. He pulled the skirt free, muttering angrily as he smoothed the dress out. “Fucking warn me first, idiot.” Killer snickered, “Yeah yeah, just come fix my tie.” Cross huffed, stepping up to Killer. He tried to fasten the tie quickly, avoiding Killer’s gaze, but he made the mistake of glancing up at one point. Killer winked, grin hitching higher, and Cross immediately looked away, his cheeks warm. He pulled the tie tight, momentarily choking Killer, and pulled away, putting at least five feet between them.

Killer loosened the tie, chuckling. As he’d promised, he gave Cross his coat, which Cross promptly buried himself in and strategically adjusted it to hide his chest. A line of tension eased in his shoulders, Cross finally relaxing just a little. His relief was quickly covered with annoyance as Killer slung his arms over Cross’s shoulders, leaning on him with his signature grin. “Ready to party, Criss Cross?” Cross rolled his eyes, shoving Killer’s face away with a hand. “Shut up moron.” Killer laughed, backing off. “You got it, babe.”

“Don’t call me that.”

Dust admired the boss from a distance, taking a long, appreciative look from where he leaned against the wall. Horror contently chewed on a red thing beside him, the poor thing already riddled with dents and divots from Horror’s teeth. Dust grimaced at the trails of drool on the other’s jaw. “Horror, you’re all messy.” Horror hummed, taking a moment to wipe his face with his sleeve. What a nasty monster. Dust twitched at his brother’s voice, his frown deepening. He shot the ghost a glare, unable to verbally respond. Last time, he’d spooked Horror.

Paps met his gaze defiantly. Dust scoffed and looked back at Nightmare. Really, he looked ethereal. He’d gotten rid of his tentacles for the night. He was standing against the wall across from them, his one eyes closed and his face relaxed. That crown, the one he wore for special occasions, gleamed beautifully under the light, the gold in stark contrast to Nightmare’s everything. He wore a typical tuxedo, but the black was so much darker than any he’d seen, and the undershirt was a crisp white unstained by Nightmare’s goop. The cufflinks were golden as well, both shaped like large, crescent moons.

He looked good. Dust ducked his head in his scarf, still eyeing Nightmare. Do try to contain yourself, brother. I don’t think your boss would enjoy being ogled. Dust discreetly flipped his brother off.

Horror looked up, a familiar scent stealing his attention. He perked up after a second, looking to the door expectantly. Killer was the first to appear, though his overcoat was missing. He gave an award-winning smile, doing a dramatic spin worthy of a fashion show, his arms held out. “How do I look?” Horror gave a thumbs up, the only thing he could think to do to show appreciation. “looks tasty,” he offered. Killer’s grin widened.

“Stop tryina get us to stroke yer ego, dumbass,” Dust said, and Killer’s grin sharpened. “Ya looking to stroke something else, dusty?” He downright purred, though Dust only glared back instead of answering. Killer stepped right up to Nightmare, getting in his face. “Night~ You look delicious.” Nightmare snorted, eye opening. “Save the flirting for when Cross gets here.” Killer leaned closer, “I did.” He turned away, calling into the hallway. “C'mon Crossy! We’re waitin’ on ya!”

Horror looked back at the doorway, eagerly awaiting Cross’s arrival. When he never came, he frowned and started to shift. “is ‘e okay,” he asked Killer. The other shrugged- not very reassuring- and slipped away to dart back into the hall. Some hushed arguing, and then Killer came back, Cross close behind this time. Horror couldn’t see him very well, but he must’ve looked nice because Dust made a wounded sound and erupted into a coughing fit.

“Killer, don’t you dare leave me here-” Killer teleported out of Cross’s death grip, leaving him exposed. Cross stiffened, his fingers curling in the air. Horror suddenly felt hungry again, his eyelight dilating just a smidge. Cross hunched in on himself awkwardly, rubbing his arm and refusing to meet any of their gazes. Dust muttered something- “Shut up paps, I’m not horny.”- Horror failing to process it beyond background noise. Cross looked delicious. He’d flushed a pretty purple, little white spots speckling his cheeks like stars. 

Killer catcalled, and the spell was broken. Cross bristled, casting an irate glare in Killer’s direction. “Would you stop that?!” Killer sneered, “Only if you stop looking so sexy.” Cross seethed quietly, pulling what was clearly Killer’s coat on even tighter, hissing at him to shut up. Horror shifted away from the wall, and Cross startled, his gaze snapping up to Horror’s. The other moved over slowly, as if Cross would run at the first sudden movement. When Cross didn’t run at the first chance he got, Horror grabbed him and crushed him in a hug. Cross gave an adorable squeak of surprise, “Horror?!” He nuzzled the other affectionately, “Y'look real good, Crossy.”

Cross sputtered, his voice high pitched, “T-thank you??” Horror hummed, pulling away and putting his chewie in his mouth, biting down aggressively. Cross cleared his throat, smoothing his dress out and shuffling into the room. “Cross, why do you have Killer’s jacket? Are you cold?” Cross jumped, looking at Nightmare quickly. “Oh, uh- Yeah. I’m cold.”

Nightmare accepted the answer, turning away to open a portal. “Very well. Make sure you hand it back once we arrive.” Cross nodded, “Okay. I will.”

Killer shot him a look, Cross shrugging helplessly. Whatever it was, Horror didn’t have the capacity to understand anything other than everyone looked really tasty and he was hungry.

The party was loud. It wasn’t the typical big castle fancy gala, no, Nightmare had brought his gang to something that looked like a high school party made for adults. Standing at the entrance, Nightmare could already pick out groups of people doing drugs or drinking. The snack tables were horrifically overridden with foods, each of them probably laced with something.

Nightmare looked around, taking in the rest of the partygoer’s outfits, pleased that he’d gotten it right. Suits and fancy dresses all around. Cross’s spiking anxiety took a fever pitch. It must’ve been visible to Killer, because he was back at it again, distracting Cross with annoying one-liners and pick-up lines. He was currently nudging Cross, his grin amused. “Wanna go make out in a corner, Crossy?” The other huffed, shoving him away. “You disgust me, Killer, don’t touch me.”

Killer gasped in mock hurt. “Oh, how you wound me, darling.” Nightmare tuned out their banter, scanning the room. There were a lot of people dancing in the center of the room, and even more lingered around the walls and on seats. “Boss?” Nightmare glanced to his side, where Dust was peering up at him. It was always a shock to his system to see Dust without his hoodie. He still had his scarf, of course, but it was odd nevertheless. He looked handsome in his tuxedo, Nightmare absently thought. Horror wasn’t one for dresses, he was much more fitted for tuxedos, but this dress was cute. Horror looked adorable in his dress.

Killer looked good in anything. Nightmare eyed him for a moment, thinking to himself about how Killer could probably wear a trash bag and still look amazing. Cross always looked good too, but tonight? He looked especially good. He wasn’t comfortable though, that much Nightmare could tell. There was a heavy line of discomfort in the guard’s form, not to mention the slightly distressed aura. Nightmare sighed, pushing down his thoughts for the moment to finally answer Dust. “Yes?”

“Are we here for something in particular?”

Nightmare hummed, “No, we aren’t. This is just a, uh. A fun night? Something of the sort.” Dust snorted, “Right. Well, me 'n Horror are gonna head over to the snack tables. You want anything?”

“Some of the snack sandwiches, perhaps?”

“You got it, boss.”

“Thank you, bun.”

Cross leaned against the wall near the snack tables, idly chewing on some pot brownies- he’d known the instant he’d bitten into one- and watching the crowd. There were far too many people here. Every now and then, some rando came out of the masses and tried to talk to him. He’d managed to drive them all away in record time, but there would be a stubborn one every now and then. Horror and Dust were standing nearby, though, and would come to his rescue. Occasionally, Horror would bring him some little chocolate bits, which Cross appreciated.

Currently, though, they were taking their sweet time. Cross stared past the latest creep’s shoulder, lazily taking another bite of his brownie. “You here with anyone?” Cross stared at Dust and Horror, glaring at their backs. Where was Killer?? “Hello?? I can’t make conversation if you don’t say something, you know.” And where was Nightmare? Cross angrily swallowed his brownie, shifting in place, readjusting his jacket. “I- woah.”

If Killer didn’t come back soon, Cross was going to do something he’d regret. Like eat all the brownies. “Your, uh. um.” The stranger reached out and Cross stiffened, alarms going off in his mind. He snapped his arm out, shoving the creep away. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” They stared up at him in shock. Cross’s shout had called some of the other people’s attention, but not very many. About five, really. But it was still way too many. The stranger sat up, getting to their feet and patting their chest. “Dude, your tits.” Cross bristled, about to snap when they stated, “You literally only have one tit, what the fuck?”

Cross flushed in shame, opening his mouth to defend himself. “Shit, did the other one fall out? Is this one fake too? It’s fake right?” Where the hell was Killer, why weren’t Horror and Dust helping, where’s Nightmare- “Since it’s fake, it doesn’t matter if I touch, right?” And Cross did the most logical thing. He shoved the obviously drunk person away and darted over to Horror and Dust, grabbing onto them.

Dust jolted in surprise, blinked at Cross, “What is it??” Cross shook his head, “I’ve been trying to get your attention for a while now, please handle this fucking creep-”

“Why’d you leave? I just wanna see!” Cross ducked behind Horror, huddling into Killer’s jacket to try and hide himself. Horror switched modes easily, menacing even in his outfit. Dust acted much the same, his stare threatening. “You need something, buddy?” As safe as Cross felt, he really hoped the weird person wouldn’t outright state what was going on. “That guy only has one tit, so I wan-”

“Hokay, time for you to go, Horror, dear, please get rid of this person.” Horror gave Cross a quick glance, his eye flicking down to his chest before snapping back up. Cross’s soul dropped even as Horror nodded. This was bad. This is was so bad, where the fuck is Killer.

Horror grabbed the person by their throat, lifting him off the floor. They wheezed in shock, flailing around as Horror carried them away. He came back a moment later, his expression worried. Dust wasn’t being as discreet as Horror, staring at Cross. “…Did 'e touch ya?” Cross shook his head, “No, they didn’t, but they wanted to.” Horror made an aggravated sound, “Shoulda roughed em.. up more..”

“Are we gonna gloss over what they said? Cross??” Dust tried to take a look, but Cross backed up, slipping around them and making straight for the drinks. “Nope, we are not talking about it. And please do pay more attention, I don’t want to have to deal with another freak like that.” Horror shared a look with Dust before following Cross. Dust moved away into the crowd, probably to go find Killer or Nightmare. Horror offered silent company, watching disapprovingly as Cross downed drink after drink in an attempt to forget everything that just happened. He wasn’t even going to think about the other’s knowing.

Killer came back to quite a scene. Cross was sitting on the floor, muttering to himself, his face flushed bright, and Horror was warding off strangers with a warning glare that could rival Nightmare’s. “Woah, what happened here? Cross?”

Cross made a high-pitched noise, stumbling to his feet with a dopey grin. “Kiiillllerrrr! You… came back!” Killer caught Cross in his arms, blinking down at him in surprise. Cross giggled, nuzzling Killer’s shoulder and going half limp. Killer looked up at Horror, confused as he held Cross up. “Horror??” The other ambled over, lightly patting Cross’s head, making him make a happy sound. “..Got drunk… Was real upset.. cuz someone.. tried to touch his… chest.”

Killer stiffened in alarm, looking down at Cross. “They didn’t touch him, right? Should I go hunt them down? Why didn’t you keep an eye on him-” Cross slurred something, his hands on Killer’s chest, tugging at his shirt. Killer couldn’t do much to stop him, his hands currently occupied with keeping Cross from falling over. Horror took care of it for him, taking Cross’s hands in his own and peeling them away. “s'ok. Tossed 'em in… a bathroom…. bun’s prob'ly dealin.. with 'em. Cross was ok. Just upset.”

Cross made another sound, one of the buttons from Killer’s shirt in his mouth. Horror sighed, working to pry him off as he continued to retell what happened. “…person wanted ta.. see if Crossy’s, uh…. thingies were.. real. Said 'e only had one??” Killer glowered at nothing in particular, angry that he hadn’t been there to interfere. “They must’ve gotten real close to notice that, Horror. Where were you and Dust?”

Horror mumbled an apology, ducking his head in shame. “..we were… flirt'n’… Crossy came.. t'get us.. 'e started drinkin’… after.” Killer tsked, shaking his head. “Damn it.. Did you say anything about his chest? Ask him anything about it?” Horror shook his head, “ not that.. dumb..” Killer relaxed, “You’re not dumb, Horror. It’s a good thing you didn’t ask him about it, then.” Horror scratched at his head wound, frowning, “..’m sorry.” Killer risked a moment to reach up, taking Horror’s hand away from the wound. “Stop that, dummy. It’s okay now. You know Cross probably forgave you immediately. And I’m not mad either. You got rid of the bad person, and Cross isn’t crying right now, so we’re okay. You get that?”

Horror allowed him to pull his hand away, nodding quietly, much less distraught than he’d been a moment before. Killer gave him a quick pat before moving his arm back to hold Cross properly. Cross squirmed in Killer’s hold, whining. “Noooo, lemme goooo… ’m thirstyyyyy.” His struggling wasn’t hard to fight, Killer simply tightening his grip. He sighed, “Horror, get him another drink.”

“…but…” Killer gave him a look. “He’s already wasted, man. Another one wouldn’t hurt.” Horror caved in, turning away to grab another drink. Cross perked up, wiggling against Killer to try and turn around. His head smacked Killer’s chin rather painfully, though Cross didn’t notice. Killer grunted, his teeth aching from the hit. Horror came back with a cup, holding it up to Cross’s mouth. Cross opened up easily, even sticking his tongue out. Horror chuckled, working the cup around his tongue and tipping the cup. Cross chugged the drink like a man starved of it, somehow managing to drink it all without spilling it.

Killer glanced over his shoulder while Horror helped Cross drink, looking to the crowd to try and find Nightmare or Dust. Where were they even at?

Dust stumbled out of the closet, Nightmare close behind, both of them pleased and satiated. “That was fun,” Dust said. Nightmare hummed agreeably, turning around to lock the closet door behind him. “It was. Oh, Dust, you have some on your cheek.” Dust blinked, reaching up to rub at his cheek, his hand coming away with red stains. “Did I get any on my clothes? I can’t tell.” Nightmare gave him a quick look over, shaking his head and beckoning Dust over. “Surprisingly, mon cher, you are entirely unstained. Just that one spot on your cheek.”

Nightmare took his handkerchief, shaking it out, cupping Dust’s face, and tilting it for better access. He rubbed the blood off, grinning at the way Dust flustered. The blood came away easily, staining the cloth, but Nightmare kept rubbing at Dust’s cheek, swapping the handkerchief for his hand. Dust’s cheek was hot, warm to the touch, worsening the more Nightmare touched. “You’re awfully warm, darling.”

Dust shivered, his face burning brighter. Nightmare gave a quiet chuckle, tapping Dust’s cheek before letting go. “All done. Come now, I’m sure the others are curious as to where we are.” Dust sputtered, scrambling to follow Nightmare. They no doubt looked suspicious to anyone who looked, coming out of the dark with flushed faces and somewhat untidy clothes. Dust hurriedly fixed his clothes, stumbling a bit. Nightmare led the way, the crowd parting for them, granting them an easier trek.

They found the others at the snack table. Cross was leaning against Killer and clearly drunk, Killer was holding him up, and Horror was trying to get Cross to let go of his dress. “Mes amours, what are you doing?” Killer visibly jumped, Nightmare’s voice having caught him off guard. “Boss!” Cross gave a loud whine, calling out in a sugary tone. “Kills, it’s Nighty!! He came baaack!!” Nightmare took Cross from Killer, much to Cross’s joy. The smaller wiggled happily, nuzzling into Nightmare. Dust came up behind Nightmare, giving Horror a look.

“How much did he drink?” Horror shrugged, “..dunno. 'e also ate lotsa brownies.. 'e was upset so… i didn’ stop 'em.” Nightmare raised a brow. When had Cross gotten upset? And why hadn’t he sensed it? “Why was he upset?” Killer scoffed, “Some creep tried to grope 'em.” Nightmare immediately glanced down at Cross, looking him over. “And? Did they succeed?” Dust shook his head, “Nah, Cross came to get me and Horror and we drove the prick off. Actually, it was the guy we just killed.” Nightmare let out a breath, holding Cross protectively, hissing. “We should have drawn it out more.”

The next two hours were spent passing Cross around, each one of them taking turns holding him and keeping him from doing something dumb. It was relatively calm until Cross started crying.

Horror had been holding him when Cross suddenly burst into tears. Distressed, Horror looked to the others for help. Nightmare came to his rescue, taking Cross and attempting to soothe him. “Calm down, darling, everything is okay-”

“bu-” Cross hiccuped, “-but it’s noooott!”

Nightmare lightly kissed Cross’s skull, dismayed as Cross cried harder. “What’s wrong, cher? What’s upsetting you?” Cross whimpered pitifully, curling in on himself and trying to hide in Killer’s coat. “I-I’m-” Cross sniffled, wiping his face, his expression pinched. Accusingly, he pointed at them, sobbing out, “Y-you guys h.. hate me now!” Horror gasped, scandalized by the mere idea. “..what.. d'you mean 'hate you’..?” Cross curled up even more, babbling incoherently, looking more and more stressed. Nightmare nudged him again, frowning. “Why would we hate you, Cross?”

Cross sobbed into his hands; it was a long minute before he could answer. “.I-it’s b'cuz ’m ugly! y'don’t- y'don’ like me 'nymore!” Killer grimaced. “Boss, lemme have 'em.” Nightmare reluctantly let Killer take Cross, letting go of the smaller. Cross latched onto Killer instantly, hiding his face in Killer’s neck, crying softly. Killer shushed him, rubbed his back and whispering something. Whatever it was, it was helping Cross to slowly calm down. Nightmare sighed in relief, leaning back against the wall tiredly.

“Killer, i wanna dance,” Cross mumbled quietly. Killer blinked, glancing down at him. “You do?” Cross nodded, looking dazed, “Ye. I wan’ dance… 'n make out inna closet..” Killer snorted, “Crossy, you’re drunk, you can’t even walk.” Cross shifted, leaning heavily against Killer and making a pleading noise. They’d migrated to one of the couches along the wall, mainly because Cross wasn’t able to stand properly. Cross had clumsily climbed into Killer’s lap when they’d sat down, and now he was trying to convince him to dance.

Horror and Dust sat on the floor beside them, tangled up and messily making out. Killer spared a glance, scoffing at them. It hadn’t taken them long to get drunk. Killer and Nightmare were the only sober ones. It was fairly easy to control Dust and Horror. They were distracting each other well enough. Cross tugged insistently at Killer’s tie, whining petulantly. Killer sighed, “Cross, no-”

“Pleeaaaase? I’ll give you kissesssss..” Cross bumped his head on Killer’s chin, more affectionate than anything. Killer closed his eyes, letting out a breath. “When Night comes back,” he promised. Cross beamed, squirming further into Killer’s lap and placing a sloppy kiss on his forehead. Killer blinked. Alright then.

Nightmare came back a moment later, some drinks in his hands. He offered one to Killer, drinking from the other. Killer took it, sipping from it quickly before letting Cross drink the rest. Nightmare sat down beside them, eyeing Horror and Dust. “When did that start?” Killer shrugged, “Not sure. Think you can keep an eye on 'em? Cross wants to dance.” Nightmare nodded, “Of course.” Cross tumbled out of Killer’s lap and onto Nightmare’s, clawing his way up to give Nightmare a kiss as well, and then flopped back onto Killer.

Killer caught him, snickering at the startled expression Nightmare wore. “He’s takin’ after Dusty and Horror, I guess.” Cross rolled off of the couch, nearly falling onto the ground before he squeaked as Killer jerked him away from the edge. “Alright, alright, we’re going.”

Killer eased off of the couch, helping Cross up as well. He wrapped an arm around his waist when he nearly toppled over, though Cross simply used it to swing around with a whoop. Killer had to push Cross’s leg down to keep him from flashing any onlookers. Cross giggled, coming back to sling his arms around Killer’s neck. Killer led him into the crowd of dancing couples and people, constantly making sure Cross wouldn’t trip over his own feet or Killer’s. “Try to follow me, ok?” Cross chuckled, “Okayyy, Mr. liquorice..”

And Killer tried to dance with him, he really did. Only, when he went one way, Cross would stumble another. When Killer took a step to the side, Cross tried to spin. It was messy, uncoordinated, and Cross stepped on Killer’s shoes more times than he could count. But Cross was laughing, and happy, and that was more than Killer had hoped for.

Cross managed to pull off a spin, his dress billowing out rather gracefully, and Killer had to pull him back before he ran into another couple. Cross bumped into him with an 'oompf,’ staring up at Killer with sleepy eyes. Killer tilted his head, his grin lopsided and confused as to why Cross had stopped dancing. “You alright-”

“Yer so.. pretty,” Cross mumbled, his eyes drooping. “..mmm.. wanna…i…..” Killer yelped as Cross’s legs gave out, the guard dropping abruptly. Killer caught him in a hug, holding the now wheezing monster to his chest. “Ah. Right. Drunk.” Killer heaved Cross up, Cross shrieking as he was lifted off the ground. He kicked his legs aggressively, whining as he was carried off the dancefloor. “Noooo, ’m not donneeee!” Killer shushed him, aiming straight for the couch where the others were.

Nightmare glanced up when they approached, his grin quirking up. “How did it go?” Killer plopped onto the couch, the fall jolting Cross out of his grip. Cross scrambled away, crawling into Nightmare’s lap and hissing when Killer tried to grab him. Killer huffed, sitting back. “It went pretty well. He almost fell over a few times.”

Nightmare chuckled, setting his hand on Cross’s head. Cross immediately shook him off, “Mmnoh! ’m still mad atchu..” Nightmare blinked, taken off guard. “Pardon?” Cross sticks his tongue out, his expression sour. “Said ’m mad.” Despite this, Cross settles in Nightmare’s lap, hiding his head in his arms and letting out an exaggerated breath. Nightmare looked at Killer, confused, but Killer only shrugged.

Nightmare left to go get drinks again, allowing Killer to talk to Cross. “Are you actually mad at him?” Cross nods vigorously, “Yeah. Cuz 'e made funna me.” Killer tilted his head, “He did?”

"Yea! Wit th’ dress. 'e made it so ev'ryone c'n see how ugly I am.” Killer frowned, “Cross, you’re not ugly.” Cross shook his head, “'mma freak.” He shoved his face into the couch cushions, “no one’s ev'r g'nna love me cuz ’m ugly 'n no one likes ugly-” Killer cut him off sharply, “Cross, you are not ugly.”

“Yes I am! Who only has one boob?! It’s disgusting- I’m disgusting- 'n.. 'n ’m gross 'n..” Cross let out a quiet whimper, tearing up. Killer’s frown deepened. Gently, he pulled Cross back into his lap, peppering his cheeks with kisses. “Well, I don’t think you’re gross. I think you’re gorgeous. Beautiful, sexy, handsome, you’re everything but ugly, Cross.” Cross’s expression crumbled, tears spilling over for the second time that night. Killer kissed his forehead, hugging him to his chest. “….Do you wanna get back at Nightmare, Cross?”

Cross nodded miserably, “Yeah.. But how..?” Killer smiled. “I’ll show you, but you’ll have to do it until we get home.”

“I c'n do that..”

– (pettiness highlights montage time) –


Cross turned his nose up at the drink Nightmare offered him, stubborn. “Nnno! Dun wanna.” Killer took the drink instead, sipping a bit from it. Nightmare didn’t seem too bothered, sitting down beside them. Cross turned to Killer, making grabby hands for the drink. “Gimme. ’m thirsty.” NIghtmare’s brow furrowed as Killer chuckled and gave Cross the drink.


Killer fed Cross a few chocolates, snickering at the mess on his face. “Ah, here, let me-” Cross turned away from Nightmare, refusing to let him wipe his face. “No!” Nightmare backed down, more confused than anything. Cross accepted Killer’s help, though, and Nightmare stared, a bud of unease blooming in his soul.


Cross dangled over the side of the couch, watching Dust and Horror intently. Horror blinked back at him, chewing absently on his chewie. Dust dozed off beside him, his eyes shut and the occasional snore leaving him. Cross gave a slow blink. Horror copied him. “Cross, darling, would you like anything?” Cross sat up, giving Nightmare his best glare. “Llleave me alone..” There was a flash of hurt in Nightmare’s expression, and Cross slumped over again to resume his staring contest with Horror.


Nightmare didn’t understand what he’d done. Cross was upset with him, that much he knew, but why? He just couldn’t figure it out. But Cross was making it clear he was upset. “I don’ wan’ yer help!” Nightmare tried to grab Cross, “Mon cher, you’ll fall, please-” Cross shoved him away, diving off the side and making for Horror, nuzzling up to him and not noticing the way Nightmare frowned.


Cross tried to climb back on the couch, clearly struggling, but when Nightmare reached out to help, he ducked away and told him to go away. Nightmare sighed.


“’m thirsty..” Nightmare stood up, “I’ll-” Cross shook his head, “no. wan’ Dust t'do it.”


Killer struggled to pick up Cross, trying to get him to still so he could lift him. It was time to go. Nightmare stepped up, “Perhaps I can help-” Cross kicked at him, “no! wan’ 'ror t'help..” Another flash of hurt and Nightmare backed down. Horror slipped past him, picking Cross up easily. Cross happily held onto him, wrapping his arms and legs around him like a koala. He stuck his tongue out at Nightmare.


Nightmare brought Cross a cup of water, holding it up to him. “You should drink this, mon amour..” Cross slapped the cup away, not even needing to say anything. Dust left for the kitchen, coming back with another cup that Cross gladly took.


Cross squirmed out of Horror’s grip, wanting to be put down. Horror tightened his hold, frowning. “You can’t.. walk good..” Cross shook his head, “I wanna walk.” Horror sighed, carefully putting Cross down. “Alright..” Cross nearly fell over, bumping into Nightmare. He made a face, pushing away from him with an angry sound. Nightmare twitched.


Cross stumbled into the wall, having been put down. Nightmare appeared in front of him, offering his arm. Cross pointedly ignored him, continuing past him silently. “Oh for- Cross, are you angry with me?” Cross glanced back at him, frowning. “I am..”

“Why? What did I do?”

“’ dress.” Nightmare stopped, startled. “The dress? What’s wrong with it?” Cross sniffed quietly, leaning against the wall. “I'dun like it.” When Nightmare offered his arm, Cross took it this time, allowing Nightmare to help him walk. “Why not? I thought you would like it.” Cross shook his head, “I don’. ’s cuz of it th’t a creepo wanted t’ grab me. 'n Dusty an’ Horror found outtabout the ugly partsa me.”

“Ugly?” Nightmare parroted. Cross nodded, “Yea. ’s ugly scars.” He patted his chest, right where the ruffles were. “’m ugly. Killer said ’m not, but..” Nightmare was silent, dismayed. “..Cross, I hope you know how dearly the others love you. Not one of them would think any less of you, darling. And neither would I.” Cross shrugged. Nightmare glanced away, inhaling quietly. “And.. I am… sorry. I’m sorry for putting you in that situation. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.”

Cross blinked up at him, his expression blank. “y'promise not t'make me wear a dress again?” Nightmare nodded, a bit too desperately, “Of course, cher. Never again.” Cross relaxed, his smile bright. “Ok, then. I forgive you, Night.”

Cross groaned in relief as he let his ecto dissipate, already feeling better without it. Struggling to stand- the floor just would not stop rolling- Cross fumbling with the zipper. It took far too many tries to undo it, but once he did, he slid the dress off and threw it to the far side of his room. He ripped off the stockings and his sleeves hurling them aside as well. He didn’t bother with clothes, crawling into bed tiredly. The sheets were blessedly cool against his flushed face, easing the pounding headache settling in his skull.

He sank bonelessly into the mattress, tension seeping out of his body in aching thrums. Slowly, he drifted off to sleep, curling up under his cool blankets and sighing happily.