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Hey you, AU! Springing into Action

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Another week, another hideout while on the lamb. Killer and Dust walked through the portal cut by Cross, and stepped into a small, Japanese-style mudroom with guest slippers nearby. Through a small window they could see it was early evening and no one was nearby. Shoving open the sliding door, Killer almost stepped in until Cross held him back by the shoulder.

"The floor is tatami, take off your shoes." He may or may not have grumbled about the possibility of someone being raised in a barn.

Only after everyone changed their footwear and Cross hung up his large coat, did they finally enter the slightly elevated room. Ryokan-tale. A nice resort they had been planning for months. Axe was already inside with a table full of roasted fish, picked radishes, steamed rice, and miso soup.

---

After a nice meal, they changed into swimwear and robes, getting prepared to experience the personal hot spring outside of their room. The team had all agreed they wanted to try a hot spring as part of their hide-cation, but had to make sure they didn't advertise who they were. With this special Ryokan room, they had their own private area. It was also some kind of festival, so not many monsters were hanging around the building right now.

The water was perfect for their sore bones. Steam floated up and stuck to the underside of their skulls where they dabbed themselves with a washcloth. Killer, Cross and Axe relaxed peacefully, until Cross started to tap his arm in irritation.

"Dust. Come on. You insisted on this style of onsen for weeks. Get in already." He leaned further back into the water, hoping that would make him relax.

Dust stood nearby, still wearing his yukata pulled tightly against his body. He shrugged and looked away.

"... did you forget your swimsuit?" Axe asked. A shower cap was around his head wound and he sat with red swim trunks and a white shirt that soaked up the water around his shoulders.

He shook his head. "no-"

"then you just like being smelly~" Killer grinned.

"shut the fuck up-"

"Then get the fuck in!" Cross rolled his eyelights. He may have had a bit of scheduling issues in this room that he had to pull a few strings for. Why can't they just stick to the plan?

Dust bristled, but stomped over to the edge of the bath where he threw the yukata off and tried to climb into the water as fast as he could.

".... what's on your back…?" Axe definitely had an 'eye' for details.

"nothing"

"Are those…. the remains of the painting from tattoo-tale? Have you not washed since then?" There may have been a bit of judgment in Cross' voice.

"aww, you love my design that much~?" Killer blinked his dark sockets in mock flattery.

"shut the fuck up! i can't get the stupid paint off my back, okay?"

It was true. There was evidence that he tried to clean it off. Every flat surface of his ribs exposed were blank, but anywhere near the sides or groves in the spine itself still held flecks of black and purple. He sunk into the water until it was up to his chin where he pouted.

"..." Axe thought for a moment, and then got out of the water and appeared to be getting something from his personal bag. His inability to fully control his magic made his inventory unstable and he had to rely on pockets like some kind of non-monster. His wet feet clicked against the stoney tile.

"i still can't believe you got tagged by ink for a full twenty minutes and he didn't notice." Killer darkly chuckled.

Dust blew a few bubbles under the water and looked down, clearly thinking about something. After no one made any more snarky comments, Axe got back into the water and Dust lifted his head.

"i did get some important information…"

Cross immediately sat up and looked over to the sulking skeleton. "Oh? About what? Who?" Dust actually got more than art from that interaction?

"about dream…. and boss."

"oh ...?" A smile deepened. Now Killer was interested.

Axe motioned to Dust that he was going to rest a cloth soaked with hot water on the top of his back, hopefully to let the paint dissolve faster. Dust complied and shifted slightly in his 'seat' of stone. Axe was such a nice frie--TEAMMATE.

"Well... what was it?" Cross asked. He seemed both incredibly interested as well as hesitant on what he would learn.

Axe very gently and slowly wiped the paint off of Dust's back on areas like the edges of his ribs. The heat and slow motion just felt like a soft massage and wasn't too irritating. During that time, Dust distracted himself by telling the group about tickle-tale and Ink's view of what happened to both Nightmare and Dream when they encountered the battle.

"holy shit~" another sly grin from Killer as he reached for his towel. "so they both booked it out of there and never said anything." He motioned to Cross, climbed out, and left to go change back into his normal clothes, leaving the three behind him.

Cross' face was flushed. From the heat, embarrassment, or anger, it was unknown. After Axe started wringing the paint from the washcloth, he spoke up.

"What a… hypocrite!" He almost seemed more upset at himself for speaking ill of his boss. "Whatever, whatever!" Taking a breath he reached for his towel as well and stood up, trying to assess the situation. "At least we know this is a weakness for Dream..... Should we ever get to that point." Frustrated with blush on his face, Cross dried off and put his yukata back on before going inside.

Dust scratched at his chin, feeling slightly awkward at the sudden exchange. It was to be expected, though. Knowing a potential weakness of your boss and ruler, who is almost regarded as a divine figure? It was almost mutiny to consider.

He almost shot out of the water as a brush slipped against his spine. "!!!!"

".... it's the only way to get the paint out of the niches…" Axe 'answered' the unspoken question. In his hand was a toothbrush, often used by skeletons for getting out dirt and grime in their finger joints from daily activities. Sure, Dust has used that kind of brush on areas like his face and wrists, but never the spine!

Dust clenched his teeth. It was just him and Axe here but… it's so embarrassing! The brush returned and he found himself arching his back away, his vertebrae actually pinching the bristles and pulling the brush out of Axe's hands.

"....did you want me to stop?" He thought he was helping.

Dust tried to glance over his shoulder and knew there was still plenty of paint left. "yes-no- i just … i just keep having this stuff happen to me. it makes me feel…. weak." His last word was quieter than the first.

Axe reached out and grabbed the brush as it floated on the surface of the water. ".....then what if you had full control?..... if you say stop, i stop... i won't do anything you don't want to."

Beside the fact he really needed the paint out of his spine as long term grit caused problems… he was also referring to tickling. Axe thought it could be enjoyable if the negative aspects were removed. For him, he didn't want to be tied down. For Dust, it sounded like he didn't like the idea of losing control. If he gave him that, maybe then it wouldn't be so bad.

"...." Dust stared at his washcloth in his hands. After a moment, he nodded his head.

Secretly flattered by the trust of his frie--coworker, Axe went ahead and lightly nudged the back of Dust's head so he would lean over and expose the discs in his spine where the paint sat. With the brush in his hand, he slowly rubbed the small brush around the process of his mid vertebrae. As he brushed against the disc, Dust spoke.

"stop."

Axe stopped. There was a pause.

"okay."

Axe started up again and managed to clean two before Dust spoke again.

"s-stop."

And Axe stopped.

Truthfully, Dust was testing to make sure Axe was serious. And a part of him figured Axe knew that too. This whole time he was embarrassed of his weakness. But can he really remove that from the equation? Maybe… maybe this way he could try to mentally acclimate?

"okay."

The brushing resumed and this time, Dust didn't ask to stop. He wiggled back and forth slightly, but Axe didn't scold him or appear frustrated.

"....nn… phh.." Dust waited for Axe to suddenly push him over the edge of safety but he never did. It was the same light feeling brushing lightly near the sides of his ribs.

"ffhheh…. ngyheh… snkk-k-k-k"

He held the washcloth to his mouth, and his bones shook lightly. Cross and Killer were still inside. Nobody was here to judge him. Bristles fanned down the left side of his spine.

"hhheh… hehehehehe...nhehehe…. nyehehaheheha…! snk!"

Nobody asked him. But if anyone asked him, he'd say he didn't enjoy it. But Axe didn't need to ask.

-------

Cross sat on the zaisu chair, chewing on his fingertips in frustration. The eyeless teammate entered the room with a wink.

"I'm not in the mood for your games-"

From his inventory, Killer held up multiple rectangular boxes of Pocky. "classic choco, choco mint, choco banana, ichigo choco~"

He swallowed, and tried to stay angry. "Really? During our resort that we've been planning for ages?"

Another box. "double…. choco…. heart~"

"....." Okay, that sounded really good and he honestly needed to eat his thoughts out right now. Standing up, he snagged the boxes from his teammate and deposited them into his inventory. As Killer smiled, he formed his weapon and cut a portal open to another universe. "You have three hours."

----

 

A dark cliff with a starry view. It was deadly silent with no vegetation or other hiding spots. After the portal closed, Killer stood, waiting for someone.

Footsteps on the dusty gravel path. Another skeleton was walking towards him while carrying a backpack. They locked eyes and remained silent until they stood together. Killer was the first to speak.

"is anyone following you?"

"*nope. no one for miles." The figure replied.

There was a pause before they spoke again.

"*how much time do you have?"

"three hours. longer if i'm lucky."

"*nice."

Killer kicked a small rock off the cliff before facing them.

"…. did you bring the stuff?"

"*yeah. good quality, none of the cheap stuff like last time."

The individual reached into his backpack. He also was a Sans who wore a hoodie, only this one was more insulated for the fact they were on a small empty crater in Outertale. He pulled the large cylinder from his back and turned it so he could read the label.

"rocky road, yesssss~" Killer leaned over and took the carton. "thanks, ass-troid."

"*no problem, oil-slick."

A pause. Dark staring into each other's sockets for the sake of intimidation. Burning silence then erupted into laughter as the mood lightened. They loved to play shady business chicken.

Sitting now on the crater's edge, the Outertale Sans by the code name of Vesta, reached into his bag and pulled out some utensils. "*two spoons." He winked.

"cool, i can be a walrus." Killer grinned.

Vesta chuckled before clarifying. "*nuh-uh, delivery fees, you gotta share, ki-ki" he held his grin with an iron grip on the spoons.

With an equal grin and locked eyes, Killer's hands clenched Vesta's wrist and hand; there was a struggle between the two over who controlled the arm. With his free hand, he opened the ice cream cartoon, and guided Vesta's hand and the spoons to be dipped in. Spreading them out, Killer managed to hold a small amount of chocolate ice cream on both utensils. As he fought the other's arm, the eyeless skeleton pulled the spoons towards his mouth and ate one with the dairy goodness.

Killer was strong. The starry skeleton with galaxy freckles was clearly trying to take control of the spoons, but was unfortunately overpowered. After finishing his bite, Killer used his strength to twist Vesta's arm back towards his own face.

A deeper grin, and a "pckkhhhhh" sound effect, Killer 'crashed' the full spoon against the side of Vesta's mouth, smearing chocolate and marshmallow along his cheek. "oh no, no survivors~" he spoke at a higher pitch, as if to mimic the 'passengers' in the 'plane'.

Vesta gave a strained smirk. "*really? i bring you sweets and this is how you repay me?" He still couldn't move his hand from the other's grip.

"aww~ you're right, i'm sorry. let me get that for you~" raising their joined hands higher, Killer leaned over the other with a menacing stare. And then he licked him.

Gross. "*did you seriously summon your magic to lick me…?" If he had a nose, he'd wrinkle it. "*c'mere..."

Using his free hand, Vesta fought against Killer's playful strength until he was able to line up with mouths and join in a nuzzling kiss. The crater was silent.

"*there you are…." Spoke the starry skeleton softly as he pulled away.

Opening his dried sockets, white dots appeared in Killer's eyes and focused on the tiny stars peppered across Vesta's cheek bones. "....heh, yeah. here i am." He took one spoon for himself, dug out a large chunk of the ice cream, and took a bite of it like an absolute maniac (affectionate).

They stared up at the sky while chatting about anything and everything. Just being around each other and admiring the endless sky was enough for them. Comfort and home for Vesta, and endless possibilities with the feeling of something bigger than himself for Killer.

"so how are the sour dreams treating you?" Killer finally interrupted the silence after a longer pause.

"*ugh." Vesta rolled his eye lights. "*let's just say i'm glad you don't treat me like some kind of alien. like this ice cream? 'OH? I THOUGHT YOU WOULD EAT ASTRONAUT ICE CREAM!'" he mimicked Blue's voice "*-- like, hello? i'm not a fucking astronaut."

Killer cackled as he took another spoonful. "still trying to get information out of you?"

"*that or use me as a sounding board because they think i'm so 'Isolated and Sheltered from the Exterior Universes'" another accent, this time channeling Dream himself.

While Vesta wasn't going to go out and destroy universes, it wasn't because he wanted to be on the self righteous team. He was fairly neutral and had trouble traveling to other alternative worlds. Being in space built him different and he just didn't feel as strong as he did in his own universe. But that didn't mean he was naive or shielded.

"speaking of dreamed-cheese, i heard a funny second-hand story of him getting attacked in a universe called tickle-tale--"

"*oh stars, i remember that." He rested his spoon in the carton while Killer listened attentively. "*he came here all bewildered, and then acted like he was surprised i knew what it was? it was super weird. how does someone not know what it is?"

Killer raised a brow. "really? they never have?" His question was a little rounder to include his boss.

Vesta shrugged, unsure. "*well you know it's in their nature to study things they don't understand. when he first entered my world he wouldn't shut up about gravity for weeks." He adjusted the puffy hood of his jacket and took out the Pocky Killer was trying to sneakily leave there. He simply held it in his hands and continued.

"*so of course he's trying to understand it, and i guess thought i wouldn't tell anyone because i don't leave my universe? he was trying to learn how, and he asked me to show him?? for being so powerful he doesn't have a lot of endurance for a few pokes in the right spot." He looked down at the box and smiled. Chocolate dipped with little almond bits.

That seemed like good information. But that's not why he was here. "so you're a teacher of those attacks?" He dramatically held his hand against his chest, over his soul shaped target. "you know I can't resist a challenge~"

The space Sans smirked and pocketed the Pocky into his inventory so it wouldn't get damaged. "*is this a challenge? i thought we were just hanging out."

A devilish grin spread over the visiting skeleton's face as he switched to the offense. "... we are…!"

Fingers dug into the puffy coat of blue and yellow and tried their best to find any ribs or bones available. Vesta's hand gripped Killer's wrists in guidance away from vulnerable areas, but not enough to make Killer think he wasn't winning. When Killer gets creative, that's when he's the most dangerous. Even with the padding, the freckled skeleton gave a few giggles before planning his attack.

"*ohho geeze, ki-ki, wait-"

The visitor foolishly stopped and was attacked at full force with fingers squeezing his legs and hips. Falling back against the chalky ground, Killer yelped out a variety of sounds, unable to admit defeat.

"beTRAYEHEHALLL!!!" he snickered into his sleeves while feeling overwhelmed at a sensation he hasn't felt in a very long time. A scream and hiccup, he tried to reach under his bonefriend's coat to reach his ribs, but that only exposed his own.

"nyahehaheheha!! what are you-holy FUCAGAKKKUH!" Vesta returned the same attack and stuck his hand slightly under Killer's hoodie and pinched at his spine like he was tuning an instrument. The victim was curling in and making noises you may have only heard on cartoons.

"*you said it! i'm the teacher!" Vesta attacked as viciously as he could, knowing that Killer could stop him at any moment and he liked a friendly wrestle.

They rolled around on the dusty crater, laughing and play-fighting where no one could hear them. The only witnesses were the stars

Killer was strong. But maybe… he let him win, this time.

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Check out the beautiful at for this chapter by thecomfortable!! A twofor!

This is part 7 of a series!

Want to read part 8? 

 

Part 1: could you not

Part 2: back at the base.

Part 3: Spacing out

Part 4: Thank You for this Meal

Part 5: A Mighty Battle

Part 6: Secret Agent Man