"Pleeeeeaaaaasssseeeeee?!?!" The tall, male-identifying being whined from his spot, draped over the back of the sofa like a blanket.
His gracious, yet very tired, host barely gave him a glance. "No. I said it once, and I'll say it again: you are not coming with me."
"But Georgeeee-" Dream continued to whine, like a child; which George knew for a fact he was not. "I wanna meet your frieeenndddsss!"
And that was the last thing George wanted.
Dream came into George's life very unexpectedly. Or, well, he should have been expected; George did summon him after all.
Long story short: the young man didn't believe in "all this ghost and demon and whatnot crap." So when Sapnap left his weird, old leather bound book over at his apartment during a study session, George couldn't help but put it to the test.
Boy, did he regret it...
Sapnap had yet to learn of George's new roommate, despite the act happening only a week ago. The British man could only imagine his friend's wrath when he finally finds out he used the spell book (or whatever it was) without permission.
Apparently, Dream was a 'dream demon;' a demonic entity that typically wreaks havoc through its victims' dreams (pretty damn self explanatory, don't ya think?). They were also not very creative with names- but what do you expect from demons? The demon himself hadn't looked particularly ugly or disfigured, surprisingly handsome and charming, making every guy, gal, and non-binary pal swoon. He had dirty blond (almost dark gold) hair and unnatural, yet dazzling, emerald eyes you could get lost in as he pinched your wallet (leave George alone, it was one time). Granted the green looked more like a wolf-ish yellow to George... Dream was also pretty tall, standing almost half a foot taller than George's 5'9".
Dream was pretty in just about every degree. Especially him being pretty fucking annoying.
"C'mon! Please? Just one little meet up! Five minutes- that's all I'm asking!" He pouted, seemingly teary eyed, as he played with the brunette's hair. "I'll do anythinggggg..!"
"Then go back to hell." George responded, indifferent as he closed his book and got up from the couch. He was quite used to Dream's constant begging by now. The Brit was due to meet up with Bad and Skeppy soon. Part of him wondered why he even bothered though. It was very likely the duo would just start arguing about something stupid, leaving the poor man to sit back and listen, considering it was rude to simply leave in the middle of their little get-together.
Dream huffed at the idea, following the human with his eyes. "Anything but that... Pick something else."
"Why do you want to meet my friends so badly?" His eyebrow rose, amused at the response, before turning away to put the novel on the kitchen table.
"I don't know. Maybe if I'm friends with them too I won't have to be left home alone for so long." Partly a lie. He thought to himself. "How about no manhunt dreams for the rest of the month?"
George hummed, considering the offer. "More like nightmares..."
"Dreams, nightmares, whatever- do we have a deal?"
The human was quiet once more, carefully thinking it over. "Make it two months and you've got yourself a deal."
Like a puppy, Dream pushed himself up from the sofa, a wide grin plastered on his face. "Deal!"
Let's hope George does not come to regret it...
"George!" Skeppy waved over the duo, smiling bright. "Bad'll be right back; he just needed to grab something."
Their plan was to meet up at the park, find a nice cafe for lunch, then head out to do some interesting activity (probably the arcade considering it was the only appealing thing within walking distance). Bad was kind enough to invite the lonely man, but he was half convinced it was just so him and Skeppy's time together couldn't be mistaken as a date. George still felt like a third wheel.
The day was comfortably warm, partly cloudy with only a 15% chance of rain. In the park, people milled about, taking the chance to enjoy such weather in the fickle state that is Florida. Bright greens could be found wherever you looked, from the trees, to the grass, to the scum floating on top of the pond. Summer wasn't going to last much longer, turning all those beautiful green leaves into rich reds (not that George could quite enjoy it).
Dream followed closely behind George, glancing at everything and everyone. Curiosity danced in his eyes, sometimes making his body stop just to watch children play or a young couple being lovey-dovey on a bench or a wagging dog trotting next to its owner. George quickly pulled him along, muttering something about it being rude to stop and stare. The demon found George's friend more interesting though; black hair and dark eyes against tanned skin, grinning as if he was ten years younger than he actually is. There was also a hidden glint in his eyes, something that promised mischief at any given opportunity. Dream didn't quite know what to think of that.
"Who's your friend?" Skeppy looked the man up and down, gauging him with an unfamiliar look. It was then that Dream also figured that Skeppy was smart- excitable, maybe a little childish, but there was a cunning that kept him from being destroyed by the world's cruelty. Interesting person indeed...
"Oh, uh, this is Dream." George gestured to the demon. "He's my roommate and I thought, why not invite him along? You know, so I'm not the only one third wheeling." He paused. "As long as that's okay with you."
The man nodded, ignoring the third wheel comment. "Yeah, it's cool. I'm sure Bad would agree." He stuck out his hand to Dream, who took it without hesitation. "I'm Skeppy, if George didn't already tell you."
"Nice to meet you."
They released each other, and for a moment, no one said anything. Then Skeppy groaned, "Ughh- What's taking Bad so looong?"
"I'm right here, you muffin-head." A figure, clad in a black and red hoodie strode up to them, mostly focused on the man in the pale blue hoodie. "And I wasn't gone that long, you're just-" Bad looked to greet George and went rigid. "-impatient..."
Dream stared back in a similar manner, except grinning like the Cheshire cat. "Hello there."
George and Skeppy were stuck watching their friends, a dark, threatening energy surrounding them. Bad had angled himself in front of Skeppy, glare set in stone and teeth gritted. Dream seemed much more casual, less defensive, but George noticed his muscles tensed, arm close to the human like he would push him away from the danger at a moment's notice. Neither Bad nor Dream blinked.
"Um..." Skeppy was brave enough to speak up after what seemed like hours [but in reality was only around five minutes], "Do- Do you guys know each other?" He shifted his weight from foot to foot, glancing around. "If you have beef, can we take this somewhere less, um, open?"
It was then that George realized people were staring, concerned and frightened expressions painting their faces. He cleared his throat. "Yea-yeah... Let's just, let's just grab lunch, okay?"
He doubted a cafe would be a better environment, but they could talk about things over food, right? Also, it was less likely either of them would try to murder the other in a public place like that.
Bad frowned before giving a curt, "Fine."
Dream agreed in a similar tone, "Yeah."
Skeppy and George decided to take the lead, considering Dream and Bad were just glaring at each other, daring the other to do something more and see what happens. Neither of the men turned around to face their strangely angry friends, but George swears to God he heard a deep, rumbling growl come from Bad to which Dream responded with a threatening hiss.
The cafe was busy. People chatted with each other at their respective tables; some conversations were lively and exciting, others were more of a fond mumbling. However, at Skeppy and George's table, neither of that was happening.
George sat next to Dream, much to Bad's disdain. Once more, the two were watching each other, too engrossed in it to order food or drink. Skeppy sighed pinching the bridge of his nose as he set down his chocolate chip muffin.
"Okay, one of you better start explaining what the fuck-"
"Language!" Bad broke his gaze to look flabbergasted at his friend.
"(Sorry, Bad...) -is going on because I don't want to spend the rest of the afternoon with whatever is going on between you two." He pointed from one to the other, both having the decency to look embarrassed. Such a complicated matter was it not?
Dream and Bad stayed quiet, glancing at each other.
"Should we take this somewhere private?" Bad asked, surprisingly calm yet apathetic. The only true telltale was his mossy green eyes narrowing. "I'd prefer not to have Skeppy or George involved in this."
Dream nodded in agreement, getting up from the table. "I can respect that."
"Wait, where are you guys going?" George was confused. How did they go from 'I'm going to slit your throat the moment you blink' to 'Ah yes, let's be civil business men and kill each other from there'? Skeppy was in the same boat.
"Don't worry about it." The two stood a good foot or two away from the table and each other, speaking in sync. Their whole demeanors seemed to change, for better or for worse, George couldn't tell.
As he was about to say more, they left side-by-side, obviously still untrusting. The British man looked to Skeppy, who was staring after his friend and the stranger. "Should... Should we follow them?"
Skeppy shrugged, poking at his forgotten muffin. George barely touched his own pastry, opting to sip at his tea. It wasn't as good as the tea back in the UK but it would do. "Bad'll be fine. He can hold his own in a fight."
George scoffed. "Please. Dream would probably devastate Bad. Poor guy will end up with so much psychological damage, he'll need a therapist till he's 62... But I doubt he'll be that cruel... Bad is my friend, whether they have bad blood or not."
Suddenly, Skeppy perked up in interest, cogs turning in his head; there was also a hint of anxiety that George could barely make out. "Wait... What do you mean by that?"
"That Bad is my friend-?" George wasn't following.
"No, no- Why would Dream give him psychological damage? Explain that bit."
"Um," the man paled, realizing his slip. But there was no way he would know Dream is a demon, right? "I, uh, Dream studied... psychology? Yeah. So, I guess he’d, um, know some tricks?”
Skeppy simply leveled him an incredulous look.“You’re a terrible liar; and I didn’t think it was possible for someone to be worse at it than Bad.” He leaned forward, eyes narrowed. “What is Dream?”
"So, why are you here?"
Dream merely smirked, a playful huff escaping his lips. Without George or the other human, he could take care of this matter accordingly. George wouldn't miss Bad too much, would he? Besides, it was in the Brit's best interest and safety! This was to protect him!
"I could ask you the same thing." Dream seemed to purr. Bad watched the demon carefully, tense. The sudden shift from hostile to playful was bad, hiding something more dangerous.
Bad should be familiar with such methods...
The two stood in alley, the smell of mildew, mold, and rotting trash heavy in the air. They barely paid any mind to it- sulfur smelled much worse. Luckily, there were no cameras or windows facing the narrow strip. Anything could go down here and no one would have a clue. With their humans away from the main threat, confronting each other should be easier... They didn't need to hold anything back...
Dream rolled his shoulders, and like shedding old skin, he appeared different. It wasn't quite obvious, his demonic form being fairly similar to his 'human' form. One would have to take note of the subtle features: sharper teeth, an aura radiating pride and confidence, flesh so pale it almost looked white. Of course, Dream had full control over his form; such demons had that ability, easily becoming your worst nightmare with a few choice adjustments. Hell, he could make himself 6'10" if he really wanted to (but then that'd make George feel even shorter, and Dream didn't want to make him feel bad). To top off the whole look, a circular white mask with a crudely drawn smiley face sat on his face, covering his pitch black eyes from the other but still revealing his grin full of sharp, threatening canines.
Bad wasn't fazed in the slightest; in fact, he looked unimpressed. "Is that suppose to make me scared? Intimidated?" He pursed his lips, a teasing glint in his eye. "Well, then consider me running for the hills."
The dream demon's charming smile dropped. A cold draft swept through the alley, coincidentally because neither of them actually had the ability to manipulate temperature.
Pulling up his hood, large, black feathery wings unfurled behind Bad, making Dream unconsciously take a step. His skin now was more of a very dark ashen grey, white eyes blank yet un-glowing. He cracked a smile, one that would have been friendly in any other circumstance, showing off his sharpened fangs. They weren't as sharp as Dream's but they were able to do damage. Horns, about three inches each, jutted up from Bad's forehead, fading from the color of his skin to a bloody red. His hands looked like they had been dipped in paint to match the rest of his body, the ends of his finger sharpening to make claws.
Dream took a moment to study the other demon in front of him. Bad's demonic form felt like it was missing something, like he was only using a small percentage of his true abilities (and thus, Dream wasn't seeing Bad's full true form). Dream nearly scoffed in offense at that thought. He's taken down countless demon hunters and other creatures more powerful than himself- Bad would just be one more to add to the list. He'd quickly teach Bad the mistake he made.
"You don't look much better, to be honest." Dream commented, only earning an annoyed flick from Bad's ribbon-thin tail (which he hadn't realized was there till now).
"Start talking, Dream."
"Or what?" The pale demon stepped closer, his smirk returning. "Will you smite me where I stand? Open up some sort of chasm and send me back to Hell yourself?" They were only inches apart, Dream soon finding that he was actually taller than the other. If that didn't boost his confidence... "I think it'd be better that you leave. Leave George and whoever the other guy was-"
"His name is Skeppy, you-" Bad corrected with a growl.
"Yeah, yeah, him. Leave them alone." When had their faces gotten so close? Bad's lips curled up in a snarl. Dream waited a moment, before casually stepping back. "Go back to Hell, or Russia, or visit Australia for all I care. I don't want to see you in this city ever again, and if I do-" He pulled out a silvery blade, tinted blue when flashed in the limited light, the tip pointed under Bad's chin. "It's not going to end well for you."
Any other demon would have shit themselves and scrambled away, booking the next flight to Greenland. Dream was powerful, any supernatural being could feel the energy emitting from him. Often times, any demon he came across was his subordinate.
Bad only seemed to become more annoyed.
He marched closer, pointing a clawed finger at Dream, wings flared up like he was trying to make himself look bigger. "No! You listen here! I want you away from George, away from Skeppy, away from everyone because I know your kind." The claw dug into his chest, Dream unflinching. "Your kind destroys everything pure and happy and good. You ruin lives, scaring people for decades. Hundreds have to seek external help just to deal with the trauma.
"I want you gone, before you hurt George." Now that hurt. Dream winced at the idea; sure, he gave George a few nightmares here and there, but he would never go as far as to traumatize his summoner... right?
Bad must have caught onto Dream's falter and squinted his eyes in mild confusion, head tilting a bit. The dream demon quickly cleared his throat, trying not to let Bad's words get to him. He wouldn't hurt George, not like that. He cares about the man; Dream rather die than let anything happen to him.
He glared at the gray skinned demon. "Hypocritical coming from you..." Dream didn't quite know what type of demon Bad was. Obviously he was powerful enough to have his own form to roam the mortal world (rather than possessing some unfortunate fool). "How do you know that you aren't going to hurt George or, uh, Skeppy?"
Sure, he was playing a 'No U' card here, but Bad's argument could easily be turned against him.
"Because I'm not." He growled.
"Bad! Dream! Wait, stop!"
"Geppy?" Bad turned away from Dream, looking towards the entrance of the alleyway. Skeppy and George sprinted towards them, obviously panicked.
"Guys, wait! Big misunderstanding!" Skeppy stopped before Bad, hands on his knees as he hunched over, gasping for air. The poor man had never run so fast. Bad began fussing over him, forgetting his little fight with Dream.
Similarly, George was huffing. Skeppy hadn't explained much, quickly running out of the cafe before they could finish their conversation.
“What is Dream?”
George froze, eyes widening slightly. He cleared his throat awkwardly, "I, um, uh... He's, uh, human; what else would he be?"
Skeppy only frowned. "Really?"
"Yea-Yep!" He gave a nervous chuckle, coming out more strained than he wanted. "Not like he'd be a demon or something..."
"No..?" This is bad, this is bad- was Skeppy psychic or something? Did he know?
The tanned man leaned even closer, voice hushed but urgent. "George, tell me right now. Is Dream a demon? Or something like that?"
He hesitated, mouth gaping before sighing, shoulders falling. Chocolate eyes squeezed shut, George mumbled, "Yeah... He's a demon..."
Opening his eyes, he was greeted with a nervous Skeppy tapping his finger against the table. Quickly, he added on: "Well, I mean, I summoned him on accident and he's just been staying with me for a while. Dream's nice though! He's not evil or wants to kill me- we have a deal! Kinda. Not like 'binding contract' type stuff, more like a... mutual agreement. Yeah."
Skeppy thought for a moment, biting his lower lip. He muttered to himself, thinking. "This is bad; shit, shit, shit."
"What?" George obviously did not have all the pieces to the puzzle. Skeppy quickly got up, grabbing his coat (and at last minute, the chocolate chip muffin). "Wait! Where are you going?!"
"Gotta find them! Before something bad happens!" He spat before rushing out the door. George quickly grabbed his own sweater, chasing after his friend.
"Wait! Wait for me!"
The two humans finally caught their breath, glad that both of them were alive and well...
George was still a little shocked though.
"Hold on, hold on- Bad... sweet, kind, nearly angelic," (No one noticed the subject flinch at the word) "Bad, who calls everyone muffins and refuses to swear even if his life depends on it... Is a demon?! "
Bad nodded slowly, face hot with shame. No one could see, thank goodness, due to his dark coloration. He pulled his wings tighter behind him, watching as he ground his shoe into the concrete. "I'm sorry..."
"No, no. I mean, it's fine." George tried to reassure him, "It's just... unexpected, I guess." He then gestured to Dream. "He's a demon, and you're nothing like him. He's an asshole!"
Stopping the two from doing any damage was fairly easy, especially once Skeppy explained the situation.
Apparently, Bad was a demon simply living among humans just so he could escape the confinements of Hell and live a peaceful existence. Skeppy had found out one day, by accident, and has kept the secret since. Those two, in turn, learned that Dream had been summoned by George (also by accident), but for reasons similar to Bad's, they made a small agreement that they could coexist under one roof. If one were to do anything that would break that deal (more directed at Dream than George), they could peacefully go their separate ways.
"So... I was threatening Dream for nothing..?" Bad hesitantly asked. George could still barely believe that Bad, the man is front of him who would cry over a dropped muffin, was in fact a demon.
"I... I guess?" George replied, rubbing the back of his neck. Bad and Dream had returned to their human forms once everyone was calmed down. Luckily, the two were a lot less malicious towards each other; in fact, George would say that they were getting along fairly well. Not as well as he and Dream did; but you know, for just meeting the guy after you threatened to kill him...
"My sincerest apologizes then, Dream..." He paused, frowning. "I- I don't mean what I said earlier... Heat of the moment, I guess."
"Same." Dream nodded. "I..." He didn't finish the thought.
"But fair warning, I will not hesitate to have you mauled if you hurt George or my friends in any way." There was a dangerously dark undertone to his words. A threat that shouldn't be taken lightly. The dead expression, with a sickly sweet smile that didn't quite meet his eyes, only added to the effect.
The taller demon nodded again, albeit a bit meekly, somehow more afraid of Bad now than he was earlier. "I won't let anything happen to him, I promise."
That seemed to be a satisfactory answer, Bad returning to his friendly exposition, nodding happily.
Off to the side, George leaned towards Skeppy, whispering, "Did you get any of that?"
Skeppy shook his head. Sometimes Bad would slip into his other tongue but the demon never bothered to teach any of it to the younger. Neither Dream nor Bad seemed to realize that had done it. "Nope. My guess is that it's some sort of demonic language..."
"Ah... That makes sense."
"Hey, Bad?" George asked suddenly. They group of four was walking to the arcade, deciding that they still wanted to do something fun today.
"Does Sapnap know you're a demon?"
The addressed demon paused. "No... Why?"
"Just wondering." He shrugged, "When should we break the news? It's not like I can keep Dream hidden from him forever... It was also his book I used to summon Dream..."
"Sapnap's book?" Skeppy piped in.
"Ah... Makes sense." Bad nodded, "We'll tell him once we think the time is right, I guess. It's not quite a... big secret considering he should have an inkling of this sort of stuff." He shrugged, "But I dunno."
Dream simply hummed, not quite paying attention to the conversation at hand.
Bad's stomach grumbled, making him frown. He pouted, "Now I wish I got a muffin from that cafe..."
Like he knew it was coming, Skeppy handed Bad his chocolate chip muffin from earlier. It had since cooled but that wasn't going to stop anyone. "I figured as much..."
The demon's smile seemed to shine as bright as the sun. If he had any less self control, he'd be squealing in joy. "Thank you, Skeppy! You're an amazing friend!"
Bad paused, staring at the baked good.
"...Wait- Didn't you already start eating this?"
"If you don't want it, I'll gladly take it back-" Skeppy reached for the muffin, only to have it quickly pulled away and bitten into.
"No! It's fine. I'll eat it!" Bad said, mouth full of muffin.
His friend only chuckled, sticking his hands in his pockets before muttering an amused "You're so gross," under his breath.