Actions

Work Header

The Glitch

Chapter Text

Pain. Unimaginable pain. That’s all you can feel. You don’t know what’s going on. The only thing that registers in your mind is the fiery agony in your chest. Unfortunately, the more aware you become, the more you realize that the pain isn’t just in your chest. That’s just the focal point. You can feel the pain coursing mercilessly throughout your whole body. Everything hurts. You squirm, trying to find some form of relief, but your body feels so heavy you can hardly move. Are you dying? Is this what death feels like?

“Hang in there! Please!”

You struggle to open your eyes, but you’re only barely able to lift your eyelids. Everything's so blurry, making it difficult to see your surroundings. All you can tell is that it’s dark. All around you is a pitch-black, oppressive darkness that feels as if it could consume you at any moment.

You notice something else strange besides the darkness. It’s cold. So, so cold. How can your body feel so chilled while at the same time your chest feels like it’s on fire? What’s going on? Why is this happening?

A yell of frustration grabs your attention. It’s the same voice that spoke up earlier.

“What am I supposed to do?! She’ll die if I can’t come up with something! But what can I do?! My magic isn’t strong enough to handle something like this!”

You hear what sounds like the rustling of clothing. When you peer toward the sound of the voice, you see someone holding their head and shaking it frantically. Your vision continues to blur, making it near impossible to make out their features. You try to open your mouth to speak. The stranger seems so frantic and worried on your behalf. The least you could do is offer some words of comfort. After all, you’re almost certain that you’ve never met this person before, yet they are obviously trying to help you. However, even the simple act of speaking seems to be too difficult for you.

The figure suddenly stops their movement and looks toward your face, as if noticing your gaze. No matter how hard you try, you can’t get a clear view of their face. The more you try to focus, the more tired you feel. Your eyelids begin to droop as a blanket of exhaustion wraps around you.

You think you see a bright star before your eyes finally close.

“Please stay awake! Don’t-”

You try to listen to the rest of the stranger’s words, but soon the darkness completely envelops you, blocking out any sounds from reaching you. Much to your relief, the pain in your chest also begins to recede as you finally lose consciousness.

It’s the mind-numbing cold that draws you out of your deep slumber. Your body feels so cold, like you were dropped into a bathtub full of ice cubes with the air conditioner running on full-blast. Groaning, your eyelids flutter before slowly opening. They stay at half-mast as your mind tries to shake off the leftover lethargy.

Suddenly, you spring up into a sitting position, eyes wide as you take in your surroundings. You notice that this place is not your college dorm room, which is what you usually expect after waking up. Hell, you’re not even in a building. You quickly figure out that the chill you were feeling was because of the snow you had apparently slept on.

Your mind is racing.

Snow?! What the hell?! It’s supposed to be spring! Where did this snow come from?!

You look at the surrounding area and realize, with dread, that you have no idea where you are. No matter which direction you face, all you see is snow and tall trees. Fortunately, there’s a little open area to your right with a pathway that seems to cut through the forest. That gives you a little hope. After all, if there’s a road, that means civilization can’t be too far away, right? There’s not a lot of snow on the path, so that must mean it’s been used or cleaned recently.

It’s the sound of your chattering teeth that reminds you of why you woke up in the first place. You groan as you notice your totally-not-winter-appropriate attire. You are starting to regret your love of wearing t-shirts and shorts. In your defense, however, it had still been spring when you left the dorm this morning; it had been warm outside and definitely hadn’t been snowing. You’re pretty sure you would’ve noticed otherwise.

When you search your pockets, you’re relieved to find your cell phone. You quickly take it out, hoping that you’ll be able to find some answers. If my map app works, I can find out where the hell I am.

You scowl in frustration when you see that you have no service. How typical. It’s always when you need your phone the most that it has no service. Looking at the clock, you can see it’s still morning time, so you couldn’t have been out for very long. After messing with your phone for a few more minutes and getting no results, you give up. You put the phone back in your pocket and slowly rise to your feet.

As you move toward the path, you rub your hands together in a vain attempt to warm them up. You start to march in place, hoping your body will warm up a little now that it’s in motion. At least you’re wearing comfortable tennis shoes; you’d hate to have to walk through the snow in sandals.

This sucks! This is worse than the time I had to wear my summer clothes that day with the negative wind-chill because I forgot to bring some winter clothes for my dorm room. At least it wasn’t snowing then! Seriously, how the hell did I get here?!

You pinch yourself just to make sure you’re not dreaming. Once you realize all you’re doing is causing yourself more discomfort, you stop and try to gather your thoughts.

The last thing I remember is leaving the dorm heading to my first morning class. After that, my mind’s a complete blank. Next thing I know I’m here in Winter Wonderland. What the hell is going on?

You shiver as the cool breeze hits your bare skin. You take in your surroundings again, hoping you’ll notice something that you didn’t earlier. Unfortunately, the scenery hasn’t changed. You notice the forest has kind of a creepy air to it. The spindly trees are all closely clumped together with bark so dark, the trees look black. It’s like you’re fenced in from both sides. Curious, you wonder how tall these trees are and decide to look up, only to freeze in shock.

The sky! Where’s the sky?!

No matter how hard you strain your eyes, you can’t see the familiar stretch of blue sky that you see almost every day, or that big ball of yellow called the sun that becomes your enemy every summer. If that was the only problem, you wouldn’t be freaking out so much. After all, you don’t normally see the color of the sky or the sun during snowy weather because of the clouds. However, you can’t see the clouds. You can’t see anything when you look up past the tree tops. You think you might can see what looks like a ceiling, but it’s too far away to get a clear view.

You numbly realize you’re not just shaking because of the cold now. You take a few deep breaths, trying your best to calm down before panic overwhelms you. After a few minutes of deep breathing, the panic finally recedes enough so that you can start thinking.

Ok so I’m obviously not in a normal forest. Maybe I’m not even outside? What if I got kidnapped by some nutjob, and he dropped me off in his whacked-out greenhouse?!

You quickly shake your head trying to dispel your scary thoughts. Paranoia is not going to be useful in this situation. You sigh before starting your trek along the pathway you found.

The only thing I can do now is move forward. Standing still and panicking is not gonna do me any good. I need to get out of here as soon as possible.

You continue to rub your arms as you walk and observe the area. This is like something out of a horror film. A young woman stranded in a forest all alone, easy picking for the local axe murderer. You tremble but continue to move forward. If some lunatic does come after you, you’re not going down without a fight.

This scenery also reminds you of something else, but you can’t remember what. You know you’ve never been to this place before, but it seems so familiar to you like you’ve seen it somewhere else. The more you think about it, the more frustrated you feel because you just can’t remember.

After about ten minutes of walking, you finally come across something that’s not snow or tree branches. It appears to be a small wooden bridge. While the lack of rails is discomforting, what really catches your attention is what looks like a wooden gate that goes across the bridge. You think it’s a gate, but you’re not sure, considering how spaced out the planks are. If its purpose is to block people from crossing, it's doing a poor job. This does seem familiar though. You wish your brain would remember already. You hate not being able to remember something especially when it seems to be on the tip of your tongue.

A snap of a tree branch immediately pulls you out of your thoughts. You look behind you but see nothing. You check the sides and in front with no luck. Your shivering increases once you realize you’re being watched. You have no way to prove it, but you know there’s someone else besides you here.

Quickly, you turn to face the bridge hoping you can run across it before you’re grabbed, but then you freeze. The air suddenly feels charged, sending a shiver down your spine. Even though you’re facing the opposite direction, you can tell there’s someone directly behind you. There was no one there a second ago, but they’re there now. There’s nowhere to run. You don’t know how, but somehow you can tell that you have no chance of survival if this person decides they want to hurt you.

“human. don’t you know how to greet a new pal?”

You immediately turn around to face the stranger, but in your haste, you trip over your own feet and unceremoniously fall backward onto the snow.

Before you can lament over your clumsiness and apparent doom, you notice the other person is chuckling. You look up with a glare that quickly falters once you realize who’s standing before you. Wide-eyed, you stare at what appears to be a walking, talking skeleton wearing a blue hoodie with a white shirt underneath, black basketball shorts with white stripes down the sides, and fuzzy pink slippers. He’s a few inches shorter than you, although he could be taller if he didn’t slouch.

Your eyes are as wide as saucers when you finally realize why this area feels so familiar to you. You’ve seen this place before, but have never visited because it doesn’t exist -- at least not in the real world. Even though the rational part of your mind knows this can’t be possible, the irrational side of you (that watches too much anime and reads too much fanfiction) squeals in delight. Somehow, you’ve entered the world of Undertale, which is one of the most popular video games around. You could just be having some really lucid hallucinations, but deep down you can tell that this is real. You can feel the snow seeping into your clothes, chilling you in a way that makes this impossible to be a mere dream.

And you know that the skeleton before you is none other than Sans, one of Undertale’s most popular characters.

After the skeleton finishes laughing, he winks at you. “wow, kid. we’ve only just met, and you’re already falling for me.”

You blink and then snort. Yeah, this is definitely the Sans from the game. How many other skeletons dress like that and love puns? When he offers you a hand, you’re not surprised at the sound of the whoopee cushion as you pull yourself up.

Sans grins. “the ole whoopee cushion in the hand trick. it’s always funny.”

You roll your eyes good-naturedly. “Yeah, hilarious. Geez, did you have to pop out right behind me like that? I nearly jumped out of my skin!”

The white lights in his eye sockets grow, showing his surprise at your cheeky grin before he laughs. “good one, kid. always happy to meet a fellow pun lover. the name’s sans, sans the skeleton.”

You tell him your name and then sheepishly grin. “Unfortunately, while I do like puns, I’m not very good at coming up with them on the spot. So, I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with a pun master like yourself.”

Sans shrugs. “that’s snow problem, kid. i’m just glad you’re not giving me the cold shoulder like some people tend to do after experiencing my special brand of humor.”

You snort again. Snow puns. Nice -- or should you say ice? His puns remind you of your chilly situation, and you start to shiver. Standing in one place talking is not a good way to keep warm. When a chilly wind blows by, you crouch down into a ball and do your best to ignore the cold.

Sans raises an eye ridge at you. It looks like he wants to ask if you’re alright, but then he pauses and finally seems to notice what you’re wearing. “geez, kid. what’s with those clothes? i know i can’t really say anything considering i’m wearing shorts, too, but skeletons can’t get cold. at least not as easily as everyone else. you look like you’re one step away from getting frostbite.”

You rub your arms. “It’s not like I planned for this to happen! Back home, it was warm outside. I didn’t have to worry about the snow! One minute, I’m heading to class, and the next, I’m waking up in a pile of snow about to catch hypothermia. I have no idea how I got here!”

Sans stares at you in silence. You aren’t sure if you like the look he’s giving you. Well, you can’t blame him for being suspicious. You would be, too, if you were in his shoes -- err -- slippers. Here’s another problem you have to deal with in addition to the cold. How are you going to approach this situation? Tell Sans everything you know? Or should you play dumb?

You bite your lip. You really don’t want to lie to Sans. There’s no telling how much the poor skeleton has already been through, especially if he’s already had to deal with a human running around the Underground with the power to go back in time as they please. You also really don’t want to have to watch every single thing you say to make sure you never contradict yourself. Sans is smart. You can’t fool him with simple lies.

Normal people would lie, considering how absolutely crazy the truth is in this situation. They’d hold all their cards to their chest and only play them when it’s to their advantage.

You’re not like normal people, however.

“Do you believe in the multiverse theory?”

You grin at his look of surprise. Somehow, deep down, you feel that this is the right direction for you to take. “What if I told you that I’m not from this universe? That I came from a completely different universe where monsters don’t exist outside of fiction? A universe where you and your friends are fictional characters from a popular video game? Would you believe me?”

He continues to stare in disbelief, his eye-lights the widest you’ve ever seen them. You contemplate standing up, but decide to remain crouching in order to look as unintimidating as possible. You don’t want Sans to be wary of you. You really want to be friends with him despite how difficult that goal may be.

You meet his gaze. “Sans, I know you watch the door to the Ruins and wait for humans to come out. You would’ve seen me if I had walked through that door, but I didn’t. There’s no other way to get to this area except through the Ruins, so how else could I get here?”

His eye sockets grow dark, and his face is carefully blank. It’s worrying how hard the skeleton is to read. Despite this, you carry on. “I also know about your promise to the lady behind the door. She asked you to protect the kids that left the Ruins. Even though you hate promises, you made one with her because she was nice and liked your jokes. You considered her a friend and couldn’t tell her no when she was so desperate. I know you’re a good guy, Sans. I swear I don’t mean you or any of the other monsters here in the Underground harm. I don’t know how I got here, but all I want is to find a way to get home. You don’t have to trust me. I don’t expect you to. But please believe me when I say I’m not your enemy. I’d much rather be your friend.”

With a wink, you add, “After all, you seem like a pretty cool guy to me.”

It seems that adding the pun at the end was the right choice. Sans chuckles despite himself and shakes his head. “ice one, kid. didn’t expect you to sneak one in at the end there.”

The skeleton sighs before giving you a long stare. You do your best to not look away and show him that you are sincere. However, you do have to remind yourself that it’s okay to blink since this isn’t supposed to be a staring contest. Or if it is, you've definitely already lost since skeletons don’t even need to blink. You still have no idea how they manage to wink but figure it’s not worth the trouble to ask.

Sans stops his staring when you suddenly sneeze and raises an eye ridge. “guess we better take this conversation elsewhere before you become the underground’s first human ice skull-ture.”

You nod as you slowly pull yourself into a standing position and do your best to stop your teeth from chattering. You’re surprised when Sans holds his hand out toward you.

He winks. “come on. i know a shortcut.”

With a grin, you reach out and firmly grasp his hand. Before you can even blink, you feel your body shift. You guess Sans is using his teleport ability. One minute you’re outside on the far outskirts of town, and the next, you’re inside someone’s home. It only takes you a few seconds to realize that it’s not just anybody’s home. You’re inside Sans and Papyrus’s house.

You see a comfy-looking green couch with a nice widescreen TV across from it. Of course, there’s also the famous lone sock on the floor not too far from the TV. Behind you is a large wooden table with Sans’ pet rock covered in sprinkles, and the door to the kitchen is to your right. On the other side of the room, you can see the staircase leading to the second floor where the skeletons’ bedrooms should be.

Noticing your surprised look, Sans shrugs. “i needed to take you somewhere warm before you turned into a human popsicle. this was the closest place we could talk without having to worry about interruptions. my brother shouldn’t be home for a while, so we’ve got plenty of time to get acquainted.”

You smile at the skeleton. You know for him to show you his home like this is a big deal. It could potentially endanger him and, more importantly to him, his brother, but he still brought you here anyway. He’s willing to give you a chance. You have to make sure you don’t waste it.

You follow him to the couch and take a seat, making sure to leave plenty of space between the two of you. When he nods toward the blanket hanging on the back of the couch, you immediately understand and quickly wrap yourself into a tight blanket cocoon where only your face can be seen.

Sans laughs at your bundled-up form. “wow, kid. guess you got that temperature problem all wrapped up huh? you’re not gonna sprout wings and turn into a butterfly if you stay in that cocoon long enough are you? you butter believe i’m gonna take pictures if you do.”

You giggle. “Nice. I guess you could say you’re on a roll, huh, Sans?”

The skeleton snickers at your comment for the next few minutes. Finally, he sighs and turns to look at you. “listen, kid. while i may not be the biggest fan of humans, i know they’re not all bad. i can tell you’re a good kid. i admit the whole coming from another universe excuse is pretty crazy, but i could tell you weren’t lying to me. so either i’ve gotten really bad at reading people, or you’re telling the truth.”

You bite your lip. You really need Sans to believe you. There’s no point in explaining anything about your world if he’s not willing to consider you’re telling the truth. There has to be some way to prove you’re not lying. You think back to what you know about Undertale. You are far from an expert on the game, but you at least know the basics, like how the monsters got here and that they need to collect human souls to break the barrier that keeps them trapped underground.

Your eyes suddenly widen in realization. That’s it! “Sans, what if there was another way to tell if I was lying?”

At his questioning glance, you continue, “What if I let you look at my soul? Souls can’t lie, right? So, if you looked at mine while I talked, you’d know without a doubt whether or not I was telling the truth!”

His eye-lights widen at your suggestion, and his expression grows contemplative. “i actually considered that. i was gonna suggest it, but it looks like you beat me to it. i’m kinda surprised you offered, though. souls are a sensitive topic. people don’t normally offer to let strangers look at their soul so easily.”

You smile. “It’s fine. I trust you. I know that you won’t hurt me without a good reason.”

Sans grins. “not bad, kid. you definitely have more guts than me. don’t worry, the process of getting your soul pulled out doesn’t hurt. it’ll probably just feel a little weird.”

Once you're facing him completely, the skeleton reaches toward your chest, his hand glowing blue with his magic. Instead of two eye-lights, only his left eye socket is lit up. You think the strobing blue magic around his eye looks really cool. However, you lower your gaze when you feel a slight tugging sensation in your chest. He’s right about it feeling weird, but at least it doesn’t hurt.

You have to admit, you’re actually pretty excited to see what kind of soul you have. You wonder how pretty they look up-close.

You only feel the pull for a few seconds, and then a familiar heart-shaped form suddenly hovers between the two of you.

The excitement you felt quickly shifts into horror once you take in the appearance of your soul. Sans also appears visibly stunned.

You open you mouth a few times, gaping at the sight. Finally, you find your voice. “Umm... Sans? Last time I checked, there were seven types of human souls, and they each had a different color. You guys haven’t discovered any new ones recently, have you?”

You’re hoping he’ll say yes -- that what you thought you knew was wrong. After all, how else can you explain this situation?!

Sans shakes his head, his gaze never once shifting from your soul. “sorry, kid. i know about the seven souls you’re talking about, but i’ve never seen a soul like this before.”

Between the two shocked individuals floats a pitch-black soul.

Chapter Text

The more you stare at your dark soul, the more your panic grows. This is not normal. Human souls aren’t supposed to be that color. They come in red, orange, yellow, green, light and dark blue, and purple. The lovely colors of the rainbow.

Not black. Never black.

You tremble as you clutch the blanket wrapped around you with white knuckles. You try to control your breathing and calm down, but you can’t stop shaking.

Could my soul somehow be corrupt? I read about things like this happening in Undertale fanfiction. Maybe it’s actually possible? But how did this happen? What could I have done to make my soul turn out like that?

You squeeze your eyes shut as you think hard about your actions leading up to this point. However, no matter how hard you try, nothing comes to mind. You’re just a normal college student. You are far from perfect, sure, but none of the mistakes you’ve made in the past should warrant this!

You feel your eyes burn with unshed tears. What if my soul has always been like this? What if I had this dark soul from the start? What does that say about me? Having a soul like this, does that make me a bad person?

The panic you have been fighting begins to creep up your throat making it difficult to breathe. What am I gonna do?! There’s no way Sans will want to befriend me after seeing what kind of soul I have. There’s no way he’ll trust me. I’ll be lucky if he doesn’t kill me. Even if he doesn’t, what would I do from there? I’m in another world with no way home! What do I do? What do I-

“kid, calm down! you need to breathe!”

You are abruptly pulled from your frantic thoughts by two bone hands clutching your trembling shoulders. Your eyes shoot open in surprise and meet the worried eye-lights of the skeleton across from you.

There is a deep frown on Sans’ face. “just take deep breaths, alright? just do what i do.”

You watch him take a deep breath and slowly release it. He does it again. You try to follow his example, your breath stuttering with each intake. Finally, after a few minutes of repetition, it becomes easier for you to breathe. The ache in your chest diminishes to the point where you hardly notice it.

Once he sees your breathing is back under control, Sans gently squeezes your shoulders before releasing them and moving back to his original sitting position. He grins. “there we go. that’s much better. i guess you could say your soul is real breathtaking, huh?”

You snort despite yourself as you rub your wet eyes. At least you didn’t break into tears during your little meltdown. That would’ve been pretty embarrassing. You sigh. “I’m sorry for freaking out on you like that, Sans. Thank you for helping me calm down.”

The skeleton shrugs. “don’t worry about it, kid. no harm done. i can’t really blame you for freaking out.”

Silence envelops the two of you as you both get lost in your own musings. Sans appears to be deep in thought as he stares at the TV’s black screen. You wonder what he thinks of this situation. The fact that he cared enough to help calm you down gives you hope that maybe you still have a chance.

Clutching the blanket tightly, you gather up your courage to break the silence. “Sans? What do you think this means? Do you think something is wrong with my soul, or has it always been like this? Magic doesn’t exist in my world, so this is my first time seeing my soul. I honestly have no idea what’s going on.”

After a few minutes with no response, the skeleton finally turns his head toward you. He studies your face before moving his gaze to your soul. Sans sighs. “honestly? i have no clue, kid. i’ve never seen anything like this before. the only thing i can tell you is that your soul isn’t corrupt or anything like that. if it was corrupt, the soul wouldn’t be entirely black. it would have one of the seven colors associated with human souls with black mixed it. yours looks like a perfectly healthy, pure soul to me. it just, for whatever reason, doesn’t have a defining soul trait like all other human souls do.”

Your eyes widen, showing your surprise. “Pure? Seriously? But what about the color? Back in my world, when fictional characters have black hearts or souls, that’s usually not a good thing. It’s the complete opposite.”

Sans rolls his eye-lights. “you watch too much TV, kid. it’s just another color. black doesn’t always mean evil and darkness. it just means your soul’s different. different isn’t always a bad thing. i suggest you do some soul-searching, and you’ll see what i’m talking about.”

Your shoulders slump with relief at the skeleton’s words; it feels like a great weight has been lifted off them. Sans didn’t reject you, didn’t treat you like something to be feared. Maybe you had overreacted after all.

Deciding to take his advice, you bring your attention to the glowing heart floating in front of you. Slowly, you raise your arms and cup your hands under your soul. You are surprised by the warmth you feel when you touch it.

Normally, cold and dark go hand-in-hand, but it’s not cold at all. It feels so nice.

It’s a subtle heat similar to how your hands feel when holding a warm cup of hot chocolate. The warmth courses throughout your body, giving you a pleasant fuzzy feeling from your head all the way down to your toes.

Upon further study, you notice that your soul’s color isn’t like the black associated with the type of darkness that swallows everything in its path, never satisfied no matter how much it consumes. You close your eyes. No, this is a different kind of darkness. The kind you see when you fall asleep. The kind that erases all of your pain, whether it be physical or mental, so that your body can relax and get the rest it needs.

As your eyes slide open, you smile in relief. Sans is right. There’s no need to be scared. Different doesn’t mean bad. It just means you’re not the same as everyone else which is fine with you. You’ve never been the type to blend in with the crowd anyway.

Noticing your smile and relaxed posture, Sans grins. “see? told ya it was fine. now that that’s settled, how about you explain your side of the story? i’m tired of being left in the dark.

Your smile widens. “Well I guess I should shed a little light on the situation, huh?”

Taking a deep breath, you start telling the skeleton your story. You make sure to leave nothing out, from you starting your day normally by heading to class, to suddenly waking up in the snow, and later on running into him. You then tell him about the popular game, Undertale, explaining how much you know about his world.

All the while, your soul continues to hover peacefully in front of your chest. Every so often, the skeleton would stare at it to confirm the sincerity of your words. Not once did it ever falter. Your soul remained unchanged throughout the conversation.

After you finish, you slump back in relief happy that you got to tell your story. As you lean against the couch’s armrest, you watch as Sans activates his magic again to send your soul back into your chest.

You rub your chest, marvelling at how surreal this situation is. Magic, souls, talking skeletons, waking up in another world modeled after a video game. It’s hard to believe that this is actually happening. Sans had asked you why you automatically assumed this was another world instead of thinking you had just been sucked into the video game. While you’ve seen that scenario take place in multiple forms of media, you didn’t think that is what happened to you. It would have made sense if you had been playing the game before you got here, but you hadn’t. Hell, you didn’t even own the game. All the information you have is a result of watching playthroughs and reading fanfiction. You had been meaning to buy the game to play, but you kept forgetting and putting it off. That’s why you’re almost positive you’ve traveled to another world instead.

Sans mirrors your posture, slumping against the couch’s other armrest. He looks exhausted even more than usual. He had remained silent throughout your explanation, only asking questions when needing clarification. You can’t blame him for feeling tired after hearing all of that. You could go for a nap yourself.

“so you don’t remember anything at all regarding how you ended up here? no magic portal or mysterious door popping out of nowhere?”

You roll your eyes at his sarcastic tone. “I think I would’ve remembered something like that. One minute I’m walking to class, the next I’m waking up here. I don’t even remember what caused me to fall asleep.”

The skeleton sighs before slouching even further, which results in him lying more across the couch cushion than the armrest. Fortunately, because of his small size, there’s still plenty of room on the couch so you can sit comfortably. “i gotta be honest, kid. i have no idea what we’re dealing with here. i’ve researched the multiverse theory before and have studied machines that could theoretically make interdimensional travel possible, but i’ve never actually seen it done. the fact that you don’t remember how you got here is worrying, i gotta admit.”

At the mention of his past research, you think of W.D. Gaster. While there was never a lot of information on that skeleton, many fans in your world believe that he is related to Sans and Papyrus, and that Sans had spent many years researching how to get the scientist back after he disappeared. You consider bringing the name up but quickly decide against it. It really isn’t any of your business. You didn’t want to risk upsetting Sans with your nosiness.

“Do you think we could try to build one of those machines to see if it could connect to my dimension? I know it won’t be easy, but it looks like that might be the only chance I have.”

The skeleton continues to stare at the ceiling as he sighs. “you’re right. it won’t be easy. i spent years trying to create a machine that would allow you to travel between dimensions but never had any luck.”

He sits up and meets your gaze. “you might need to get used to the idea of sticking around here, kid.”

At your crestfallen expression, he relents. “but i’ll give it another go. after all, there’s no harm in trying. just don’t get your hopes up.”

You grin brightly at him, grateful that he’s willing to give it a chance. Without thinking, you move forward and wrap your arms around the skeleton’s neck, giving him the best hug you can muster. You hope the hug will convey what you can’t express with just words. “Thank you, Sans. I appreciate your help. It really means a lot to me.”

Noticing his stiff posture, you quickly pull away and take in his wide eye-lights and the dark blue dusting his cheeks. He averts his eyes when he notices you're staring. His embarrassed expression is really cute. However, you feel you should probably apologize for invading his personal space like that.

Before you can, Sans disappears. You hear what sounds like a refrigerator door opening, so you figure he had teleported to the kitchen. Your hunch is proven correct when you see the skeleton walking out of the kitchen with a bottle of ketchup in his hand.

He takes a big gulp of the condiment and winks at you. “well i guess i better get started. i got a lot of research i need to ketchup on.”

His grin widens at the sound of your giggling. He slowly trudges toward the door. “my workshop is a bit of mess, so it’d be better if you just hang out here for now. i need to get what notes i still have sorted out before i can even think of building anything. you can just watch tv or whatever until i get back. doesn’t matter to me what you do as long as the house stays standing.”

You’re about to nod your agreement when it happens. One minute, you’re hunched over the side of the couch and watching Sans head for the door, and the next, you’re back to being crouched under the blanket and facing Sans, who’s back on the other side of the couch.

Your eyes widen. When did he get there? Did he teleport again? But why? Wasn’t he heading outside? And how did you get so wrapped up in the blanket again? You had unravelled your little blanket cocoon when you were explaining your situation to Sans earlier. It’s almost like it hadn’t happened.

At that thought, you freeze in shock. No way. It couldn’t be, could it?

Noticing your expression, Sans sighs. “looks like you just experienced your first reset, kid. you were even lucky enough to remember it. congrats.”

You ignore the sarcasm and instead choose to focus on the skeleton. If you thought he looked tired before, now he looks like he’s one step away from passing out. He looks so much older now. His eye sockets appear more hollow, and the edges of his skull seem more angular than before. The color of his skull even looks paler if that’s possible. It’s amazing how much his appearance could change despite the skeleton having no actual skin or facial muscles to make an expression. It’s obvious what kind of effect resets have on Sans. He looks like a soldier fighting a losing battle -- a soldier who already knows the outcome and can’t do anything to change it.

You consider asking if he’s alright but figure it’s best not to. Sans is the type to keep things to himself, especially his feelings. If you ask, he’ll find some way to deflect or just say he’s fine, even if he’s far from it.

However, there is something else you want to ask him. “Sans, where is Frisk? Have they left the Ruins yet?”

He rubs his forehead. “yeah they left the ruins a while back. the last time i checked up on the kid, they were walking through waterfall. i was planning on heading to my sentry stand in hotland after they passed me in waterfall, but then i felt a weird spike in magic coming from the outskirts of snowdin. out of curiosity, i went to check it out. next thing i know, i’m tailing a new human that’s out of this world.

You chuckle, and then pause as his words register in your mind. “Wait a minute. Spike in magic? So that means you noticed my arrival? Why didn’t you say anything?!”

Sans shrugs. “tibia honest, it slipped my mind. i was too busy focusing on the fact that there’s another human here who’s apparently from another dimension. i would’ve brought it up eventually.” After a pause, he adds, “probably.”

You sigh at his noncommittal response. However, you can’t really blame him considering the situation. It’s definitely a lot to take in. His answer brings another question to mind.

“How the hell did you notice the spike in magic all the way from Waterfall? Was it that powerful?”

The skeleton shakes his head. “nah. i think the only reason i noticed it was because i was in between shortcuts. just in case you don’t know, my teleporting involves travelling through different rips in space that are connected by the void. when i was walking through the void, i felt a large increase in void magic near the exit that takes me near the ruins.”

You gape. “Are you telling me I somehow teleported here?!”

He rolls his eye-lights. “i didn’t say that. you would need magic to be able to teleport, which you definitely don’t have. if that spike in magic was related to your appearance, which more than likely it was, i’d say whatever brought you here involves magic really similar to what i use to teleport.”

Although you know you shouldn’t, you can’t help but feel a little disappointed. Having the ability to teleport would’ve been amazing. You’ve always wanted that super power. If you could teleport, you wouldn’t have to worry about having to walk or drive anywhere. However, it’s probably for the best that you don’t have that skill. You’d probably be just as lazy as Sans.

“So if magic was used to get me here, does that mean someone from this universe brought me here? I mean, magic doesn’t exist in my world. There’s no way someone from that end could’ve done it.”

With a huff, the skeleton pulls himself into a sitting position. He gives you a look. “are you absolutely sure about that, kid? it’s not like the humans in this world believe that monsters and magic exist. they’ve probably long forgotten about us. even if you are right, why would anyone want to bring you here and then just leave you lying in the snow? it makes no sense.”

You have to admit that he makes a good point. If someone from this world really wanted you here, why would they leave you instead of just taking you with them while you were unconscious? It’s also true that you have no way to prove without a doubt that magic doesn’t exist in your world.

You are about to respond when it happens again. You’re once again wrapped up in your blanket cocoon facing a disgruntled Sans. It looks like another reset has occurred.

Sans pushes his face into the back of the couch and groans. “it’s gonna be one of those days isn’t it? just my luck.”

It’s obvious the skeleton is displeased with this situation. By the way he’s moving to make himself more comfortable, you can tell he doesn’t plan on leaving the couch anytime soon.

He probably thinks there’s no point. Why bother if you’re gonna just end up back where you started? He’s probably just gonna wait for the back-to-back resets to stop before he does anything further. How long has Sans had to put up with this? He obviously has enough experience that he knows how to deal with it.

Another thought comes to mind. You wonder how much time elapsed between each reset. It didn’t seem like a lot of time had passed between the first and second reset. You pull out your phone to check the time and then leave it in your lap. It wouldn’t hurt to check the time every now and then in the case another reset did occur. You can’t help but be curious for some reason.

When you see Sans raise a brow ridge at you, you explain your actions. He doesn’t really see the point in it. “why does the time frames between each reset matter to you, kid? it’s not like knowing that will solve anything. it’ll give you something to do, but that’s about it.”

You couldn’t help but sigh at his indifference toward resets. He’s definitely given up doing something about them. It’s true there’s not a lot he can do since it’s all up to Frisk, but it is still disheartening to see the skeleton look so defeated.

“Hey, Sans?”

At your questioning tone, he meets your gaze so you continue. “Have you always been able to remember resets? It was never really proven outright in the game that you could. It was basically hinted that at the very least you had some recollection of the previous game run.”

He remains quiet. The silence continues for some time before he finally gives a response. “not always. if there’s a bunch of short resets, i can remember what happens before and in between them pretty clearly. the longer the reset the more difficult it is to remember. i’ll only remember a few things here and there. either way i’ll always get that feeling of deja vu.”

You ponder this. By the sound of things, he has an easier time remembering events if it involves Frisk loading a save file as compared to them doing a true reset. You wonder if Sans knows the difference between a load and a true reset. Knowing the complicated relationship between the skeleton and the human child, you are hesitant to bring up their abilities without a prompt from him.

Considering the current situation, you feel it might be best to bring it up. However, before you can, time once again resets. It’s fortunate that you both keep your memories each time, or this would have gotten annoying real fast.

Luckily, you had happened to check your phone right before Frisk loaded so you have an idea of how much time had passed. You bring out your phone again to see if another forty-five minutes will pass or if it’ll be different this time.

For some reason, you can’t help but feel worried. Three resets in such a short amount of time? The only logical explanation would be that the child is in a tough battle that they are having difficulty escaping. Sans had said Frisk was in Waterfall the last time he saw them, so that means Frisk must be dealing with Undyne. Of course, there are plenty of other monsters in that area, but with someone as experienced as Frisk, Undyne being their difficult opponent makes the most sense. You hope the poor kid is alright.

Unfortunately, hoping is all that you can do at the moment. With a sigh, you adjust your position so that you’re slouched against the armrest behind you with the blanket spread out on top of you. You make sure to keep your knees bent so that your long legs don’t take up the majority of the couch.

You move your gaze to your fellow coach potato who appears to be asleep, although you aren’t fooled. In an attempt to get his attention, you stretch out your leg so you can tap the skeleton’s foot. “Sans, I know you’re awake.”

“nah i’m toe-tally asleep. i’d never tell you a fibula.”

With a snort, you continue to poke at the skeleton with your foot. “Does this mean you’re sleep punning right now?”

The grin on Sans’ face grows. “now wouldn’t that be awesome? except i couldn't really enjoy them -- being asleep and all.”

You roll your eyes. “Oh, what a tragedy.”

“a pun going unappreciated is a bone-afide tragedy, kid.”

You start snickering when you think of how Papyrus would react to his brother telling puns in his sleep. “Your brother would be so upset if you started sleep punning. He’d have to listen to your puns night and day.”

Sans’s laughter soon joins yours. “yeah my bro definitely wouldn’t be a fan. gotta admit, his reaction would be priceless.”

The pleasant atmosphere continues as you two banter and exchange puns. Unfortunately, this happy mood plummets when another reset occurs.

The air grows heavy with tension. Judging by the skeleton’s rigid posture, it’s easy to tell how much Sans dislikes this situation.

You bite your lip as you think about your phone. It looks like the same amount of time transpired between the last set of resets -- forty-five minutes. You wonder if it’s simply a coincidence or if Frisk keeps getting defeated in the exact same place each time. Surely not? If they’ve been around here as long as Sans has implied, then they should know the ins-and-outs of the Underground. Nothing should be able to surprise them anymore. What is going on here?

Twiddling your thumbs, you battle with yourself over whether or not to ask him about the human child. Finally, you gather up your courage and speak. “Sans? Is this normal? That was the fourth reset. Does the kid reset back-to-back like that often?”

Sans slumps against the armrest and rubs a tired hand across his face. “it’s not the first time i’ve experienced this. i know that for sure, but i don’t think they’ve done so many resets like this in a while. i can’t remember for sure, but that’s the kinda feeling i’m getting. i’m pretty sure the first time they ever fought Undyne they had to reset a bunch of times, but i don’t think they had any trouble after the first couple of times.”

Pulling the blanket into your lap, you begin to play with it to give you something to do with your hands as you think. It looks like your theory of Frisk fighting Undyne was correct if Sans is bringing up the leader of the Royal Guard. It makes sense that the kid would have trouble fighting the fish monster during their first battle, but if they’ve fought her many times now, why is Frisk having so much difficulty this time around?

“Sans, the same amount of time elapsed between the two resets that I timed. It looks like Frisk keeps dying at the same place. It doesn’t make sense for the kid to be having this much trouble if they’ve done this a lot.”

Sans shoots up straight and stares at you with dark sockets. “what do you mean dying?”

You squirm in your seat uncomfortable with his eerie gaze. “Didn’t you know? If Frisk ever dies, they have the option to either do a true reset, or they can load a save file and do a mini-reset. Considering time has only rewinded for a little bit, it looks like they’ve been loading save files. If they did a true reset, they’d be back in the Ruins.”

Realizing he really doesn’t know what you’re talking about, you quickly explain Frisk’s abilities and the concept of save points, loads, and resets. You feel bad for not telling him sooner, but since he hadn’t asked, you had thought he already knew or had some idea.

The skeleton rubs a tired hand down his face. “so that’s how it is. guess it makes sense, no matter how crazy it is. can’t say i like the idea of a kid having so much power under their control.”

He tilts his head and gives you an inquisitive glance. “but what makes you assume the kid has been dying? they could just be playing with their powers for some reason. the kid is always doing stuff i don’t understand.”

You scratch your head as you ponder his reasoning. “You’re not wrong. That could be exactly what they’re doing, not that I see the point. But, I think it’s the fact that they’re probably dealing with Undyne right now that makes me feel worried for some reason. Besides, kids can only do something for so long before getting bored. I can’t imagine why Frisk would be constantly resetting like this.”

Sans drops his head into his hands with a groan. “that kid is gonna be the death of me. i can feel it in my bones.”

You can’t help but wince. On one hand, you’re glad he’s back to using puns, but on the other, you don’t appreciate the morbidity and irony of those words.

With a shake of your head, you decide not to think too much about it. Instead, you consider what you should do about this current situation. You don’t know if there’s even anything you can do, but you dislike the idea of being stuck in a world where time never moves on. You can only imagine how Sans feels on a daily basis.

Clenching your fists in determination, you turn toward the skeleton. “Sans? If another reset happens, can we go look for Frisk? I know they’re probably the last person you want to see right now, but we have to do something. We can’t just let them keep resetting like this. If they really are just messing around, maybe I can talk to them and get them to stop.”

He sighs.“what’s the point? it’s not like we have the power to stop them. as long as they can reset, they can do whatever they want.”

You frown at his expected rebuttal but persevere. “Even so, we can’t just sit back and do nothing. What if this keeps happening? Do you really wanna be stuck on this couch forever?”

Sans slouches against the armrest and shrugs. “it’s a comfy couch. we could be in worse places.”

You groan at his stubbornness. Of course, he doesn’t have a problem with this. He’s already used to it. He gave up a long time ago. He’s not going to start trying just because you ask him. The only person that can motivate Sans to do anything is his brother. His brother.. Your eyes widen in realization. Of course! That’s it!

“What about Papyrus? Are you just gonna leave him stuck forever doing his rounds until the kid gets tired of resetting?”

Bingo! The skeleton immediately sits up and stares at you with narrowed eye-lights. Emboldened by his undivided attention you continue. “Come on, Sans. Just give it a chance. You won’t know for sure what will happen until we try. There’s no guarantee that we’ll fail.”

After a few minutes of quiet glaring, he finally sighs, “alright. you win. if another reset happens, we’ll go looking for the kid. it probably won’t make much of a difference, but it’s true i can’t just leave pap hanging. can’t believe you pulled the little bro card.”

You beam at him, glad your idea had worked. “What can I say? It was the only way to put a little pap in your step.”

His grin grows, rivaling yours. “good one, kid. i guess you could say i needed a little pap-talk to get me going.”

The giggles start before you have the chance to contain them. You briefly consider how Papyrus would react to these puns based off his name. Imagining that makes you start laughing harder. You think Sans is having the same thoughts considering how much he’s snickering.

When the fifth reset occurs, you’re both ready. Sans offers you his hand, which you quickly take. Within seconds, you’re standing beside his sentry station in Hotland, which really lives up to its name.

You haven’t even been there for more than a few minutes, and you’re already breaking out into a sweat. You now feel grateful for the clothes you’re wearing. There’s no way you could’ve handled this smoldering heat if you were wearing a coat or long sleeves.

Wiping the sweat off your forehead, you take in your surroundings. There’s not a lot of ground to walk on around the station. If you take a few steps to your left or right, you’ll reach the cliffsides. Below, you see the boiling lava that resembles a bright, red lake. It’s your first time seeing lava in person. Hopefully, you won’t have to get an up-close view of it.

To your right, you see the stretch of land that leads back to Waterfall, while to your left hangs the wooden bridge that leads further into Hotland. On the other side of the bridge, you can see the area where the water cooler is. Overall, there’s not a lot to see in this particular part of Hotland.

Turning toward the sentry station, you watch Sans lean against the counter with his hands in his hoodie pocket. He tilts his head toward your direction. “so what’s this big plan of yours? how do you plan on finding the kid?”

You laugh sheepishly. “I actually haven’t gotten that far yet. I was just so happy I actually got you to agree that I didn’t plan on what to do after we got here.”

Sans snorts. “well, we’re off to a good start.”

He pushes off the station and walks forward a few feet. “not that i don’t lava your company, but i better get moving if we wanna find the kid before another reset happens. you stay here and hide out in the station. i’ll scope out waterfall to see where exactly the kid is and what their situation is. then we can go from there.”

You open your mouth to protest being left behind, but pause to consider his reasoning. Finally, you nod to show your acceptance. It’ll be easier for Sans to move around on his own. You won’t be much help if all he’s doing is looking for Frisk. You would only slow him down.

Before he can teleport away, you grab the skeleton’s shoulder to gain his attention. You give him a warm smile and gently squeeze his shoulder. “Thank you, Sans.”

Sans averts his eyes and coughs. “no prob, kid. just sit tight, and i’ll be back before you know it.”

In a blink, he’s gone leaving you on your own. You don’t mind the solitude this time since you actually know what kind of situation you’re in unlike when you first arrived in Snowden.

Surveying your surroundings, you consider your options. You could cross the bridge to do a little exploring, or you could just stay in the sentry station until Sans gets back. Using your hand to fan yourself, you sigh. You really don’t want to do any walking in this heat. However, getting a drink from the cooler does sound tempting.

Looking around again, you decide to take your chances. You are feeling quite parched. You can’t even remember the last time you had something to drink. With a groan, you head for the cooler. After draining a cup, you refill it and grab another full cup to take with you back to the sentry station.

Once you’re situated, you patiently wait for your new skeleton friend to return. You bring out your phone to kill time. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do without service. Finally, about thirty minutes later, just as you finish the rest of your water, Sans reappears right beside you in the station. You notice he appears nervous, sweat forming on his skull.

Before you can question him, the skeleton puts a hand on your shoulder pushing you down until you can’t see over the counter. “stay down, kid. they’re on their way here with undyne right on their tail. if undyne sees you, we’ll be in real hot water.”

Nodding your acquiescence, you reposition yourself so that you’re kneeling behind the counter. If you look over the counter this way, only the tip of your head should be seen. You doubt Undyne will be looking close enough to spot you since she’ll be too preoccupied with chasing Frisk.

Speak of the devil.

You watch as Frisk comes into view running as fast as their little legs will allow. The child looks just like their avatar in the game: short dark hair cut in a bob, wearing a striped sweater and shorts. They must’ve been running for quite some time considering how hard they’re breathing.

Right behind the kid is the leader of the Royal Guard. Undyne is as fierce-looking as expected with her eye patch, dark armor, and sharp spear. Her bright red ponytail whips back and forth as she runs after Frisk. You’re impressed that she can run so fast while also yelling at full blast.

“Get back here, you little punk!!!”

You wonder how this situation will turn out. The usual forty-five minutes should be up any minute now, but the kid looks fine. Scared and out of breath but definitely alive. Were they playing with their powers after all like Sans had suggested? But why would they want to repeat something like this? You feel exhausted just watching the kid.

Out of the corner of your eye, you see Sans watching the proceedings. He’s probably wondering the same thing as you.

That’s when you saw it.

You turn your attention back to Frisk just in time to see the child tumble to the ground. What has your eyes widening in shock isn’t the fact that Frisk tripped, but what caused the kid to fall. It happened so fast that you wonder if your eyes are playing tricks on you.

Right before Frisk fell, you noticed the ground in front of them start to flicker. Instead of smooth rock, the small area became white and pixelated. It reminded you of glitches that appear in video games still in beta-testing. When Frisk’s foot touched the glitchy area, they lost their balance and ended up hitting the ground with a hard thump.

The child quickly jumps back to their feet and tries to run. However, it’s too late. That short moment of delay was enough for her pursuer to catch up. Horrified, you watch as the kid gets impaled by several magic spears.

You share a terrified look with the skeleton beside you before the world once again resets.

Chapter Text

Dimly, you realize that you are no longer in Hotland and have returned to the skeletons’ home. The blanket wrapped tightly around you does nothing to fight off the chill that runs down your spine. You stare blankly ahead of you as the scene of Frisk dying continues to replay in your mind without ceasing.

The only time you’ve ever seen death was in movies and video games. Sure, you knew people who had died, such as older family members, but you never had to witness it firsthand.

You clench the blanket tightly, doing your best to contain your trembling without much luck. It’s true you don’t know Frisk very well. It’s also true that they’ve probably made plenty of mistakes since falling down into the Underground. However, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re a kid-- a human child with too many responsibilities put on their shoulders. No kid deserves a death like that.

A heavy weight leaning against you drags you out of your thoughts. You turn to your left to see that Sans has moved to sit beside you, rather than just staying at the other end of the couch. You appreciate the fact that he’s willing to get so close despite not knowing you for very long. You must look pretty pitiful to the skeleton if he’s trying to comfort you like this.

You do appreciate the physical contact, though. The weight helps ground you and prevents you from being swept away by the tidal wave of panicked thoughts your mind won’t stop conjuring.

Sans sighs. “don’t think too much on it. it’ll only make you feel worse. the kid is ok. the fact that we’re back here proves it. focus on that instead.”

He’s right. This isn’t like your world where when someone dies, that’s it. Frisk has the power to come back to life through resets. They’re fine now. There’s no need to worry. Despite knowing this, it still takes you awhile to get your frantic thoughts in order.

Desperate for a distraction, you decide to question the skeleton to see if he witnessed the same thing as you. “Not trying to sound crazy or anything, but did you see what happened to the floor right before Frisk tripped?”

The skeleton slumps against the couch, rubbing a tired hand down his face. “you mean how it got all pixelated right before the kid touched it? yeah, i saw it. don’t know what the hell ‘it’ was, but i saw it.”

You don’t know if you should feel relieved that you weren’t the only one to see it or worried over the fact that it was real and obviously not normal. “It looked like a glitch you’d see happen in a video game.”

When he raises a brow ridge, you continue. “I don’t know how familiar you are with video games, but sometimes when they’re made, glitches occur due to problems with the game’s coding. That’s why companies put their games through so many tests to make sure they’re ready for the market. I’m no expert, but I’ve heard of glitches that’ll cause your character to freeze up for no reason once you reach a certain part of the game. They can also cause you to lose items or make the game crash unexpectedly, forcing you to start all over again. They’re a real pain.”

Sans tilts his head, giving you a blank stare. “so what? you’re telling me that’s what happened with the ground in hotland? there was a glitch that causes whoever steps on it to fall over for some reason?”

With a groan, you drop your head into your hands. “I don’t know! I’m just saying that’s what it looked like to me. All we do know is Frisk was doing fine until they got to that glitchy area. It definitely did something to them.” You abruptly jump to your feet. “We need to go see if that was just a fluke or if something is going on with the ground over there. We might have just discovered the reason behind all these resets.”

Turning to face the skeleton, you hold out your hand. “Will you take us back? Please? If whatever happened really isn’t just a fluke, then I don’t think Frisk will be able to handle this situation on their own.”

With a sigh, Sans grabs your hand and pulls himself off the couch. “alright, kid. let’s give it another go.”

In a blink, you’re back in Hotland, standing in front of the sentry station. Knowing there’s no time to waste, you dash forward once you’re sure the coast is clear. The skeleton ambles behind you, following at a more sedate pace.

Once you’re sure you’re at the right spot, you kneel down to examine the area where Frisk tripped last time. You place your hand on the ground and start patting the area to see if any spot feels different than the others. However, nothing seems amiss.

You even start tapping the ground with your foot just in case the glitch only occurs when a foot comes in contact with the ground. Much to your frustration, nothing happens even when you examine the area surrounding where the kid fell. No matter how you look at it, everything appears perfectly normal.

“so what do you think, detective? make any ground-breaking discoveries? or are you still having trouble getting the lay of the land?”

You glare at the skeleton. The whole time you were investigating, he had just been watching and making puns. When you had asked him to help, he had declined, saying you had the better eye for investigation. You don’t know why you’re surprised.

With a huff, you decide there is no point in examining the ground further, and rise to your feet. You head for the sentry station and take a seat. Groaning, you lean against the counter and bury your head in your arms. “I have no idea what’s going on! I examined every freakin’ inch of this area and found nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing resembles that glitch from before.”

Sans moves to join you, mirroring your position. “well, you tried. the only thing we can do now is wait and see if the same thing happens again. if we’re lucky, nothing will happen, and the kid will get chased by undyne like normal. then we won’t have to deal with this fishy situation.”

You snort, unable to hide your amusement despite how aggravated you feel. Before you can reply, you hear the familiar shouting. Quickly, you duck behind the counter to hide yourself from view.

Not long after, Frisk darts into view, running like the hounds of hell are chasing them. Undyne is following close behind, screaming like last time.

“Get back here, you little punk!!!”

What catches your attention is the kid’s running pattern. Last time, they made a straight dash for the bridge. This time it looks like Frisk is running in a zigzag pattern. Perhaps they’re hoping to avoid the spot that made them trip previously?

You wonder if the child’s plan will work. You watch with bated breath as Frisk draws closer to the bridge. Sans stands silently beside you, tension coming off him in droves.

The two of you can only stare dumbstruck as the glitch from before appears once again in Frisk’s path. This time in a completely different spot than the previous run. Unfortunately, it happens so suddenly that the kid is unable to avoid it, causing them to faceplant.

Numbly, you watch the scene from the last reset reoccur with the child helpless against Undyne’s magic spears. You wish you could help the kid, but everything happens so fast. It’s over by the time you’re on your feet.

Then everything resets.

Pulling the blanket off your body, you turn to face Sans who appears to be deep in thought. No doubt, he must be as confused as you are. The glitch happened again, but in a completely different spot! What the hell is going on here?!

You decide to voice your frustration. “What the hell was that?! That stupid glitch-thing happened again, but in a different area! Frisk was obviously trying to avoid it, considering the way they were running, but it still happened! If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that glitch is out to get the poor kid!”

The skeleton turns to face you so fast that you worry he gave himself whiplash. In the back of your mind, you wonder if skeletons can even get whiplash. He narrows his eye-lights. “what did you just say? repeat that last sentence.”

You blink in confusion. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the glitch is out to get the poor kid?”

Sans rubs his chin in contemplation. “you might be onto something, kid.”

Before you can question him, the skeleton grabs your arm and teleports the two of you back to his sentry station in Hotland.

Eyes wide, you stare at Sans in surprise. You had planned on asking him to bring you back again, but you didn’t think he’d actually take the initiative.

He winks at you. “if we’re gonna prove that little theory of yours, we’ll need to do another trial run. the glitch occurring two times is crazy, but i’d shrug it off thinking my bone-tired mind is playing tricks on me. three times though? i can’t just ignore it, especially since the kid has been resetting constantly for what feels like hours. if another glitch trips the kid, we’ll know it’s after them, and we can plan from there. not that there’s really anything we could do besides directly intervene.”

Propping your elbow against the counter, you rest your head in your hand and give the skeleton a curious look. “I honestly said that without thinking. Do you really believe that glitch could be going after Frisk and purposely making them fall so that they die? I mean, from a video game standpoint, it kinda makes sense considering they are the player character for Undertale. The players are usually the ones most affected by game glitches.”

Sans shrugs. “i don’t really know, kid. i’m more curious about what’s causing the glitch. i’ve never seen anything like this in all my years of being in the underground. i understand having problems with coding in video games, but this is real life. does this mean our world is actually constructed of some kind of code similar to games, and somehow, it’s been infected? honestly, nothing has made sense today from your arrival, to this mess. i need a nap.”

With a smile, you wrap an arm around the skeleton’s shoulders and give him a squeeze. “How about this? We figure out whatever the hell is going on here, and I promise to distract Papyrus the rest of the day so you can take an extra long nap. I’ll even volunteer to help him cook, so that your kitchen won’t end up in flames.”

He relaxes from his previously stiff posture and gives you a contemplative look. Seeing the sincerity in your expression, he grins. “that’s a hot idea, kid. i might just have to take you up on that offer.”

When you pull away, you notice his eye sockets grow dark. Realizing where this is going, you beat him to the punch. “I know. If I hurt your brother in any way, you’re gonna give me a bad time. Relax. I’d rather be suplexed by Undyne than hurt Papyrus. Hurting him would be like kicking a puppy. He’s such a sweetheart. I’d never purposely do something to upset him.”

The skeleton stares at you in surprise, before breaking out into a fit of laughter. Knowing him, he was probably imagining Undyne practicing her wrestling moves on you.

After a few minutes, he finally calms down enough to give you a reply. “way to make me bust a gut, kid. but fine, i’ll give you a chance. if you mess up, off to Undyne’s house you go. you’ll be under house a-wrest.”

That last one was a bit of a stretch, but you can’t help but snicker anyway. You briefly wonder if telling puns is infectious. Will you be unable to stop coming up with puns by the time you leave this place? Your friends at school will probably be just as displeased as Papyrus.

Finally, one stop at the water cooler and a few dozen puns later, you hear Undyne’s screaming from the distance.

Frisk enters the scene, running like a bat out of hell with the fish monster right on their tail. Everything is the same as before, except the kid is running closer to the edges of the land. It looks like Frisk is doing their best to avoid the last two areas where they tripped. Maybe they think it’ll be more difficult for the glitch to appear so close to the cliffside.

Despite their best efforts, however, Frisk still falls victim to the glitch from previous runs. This time is even worse because the glitch causes the kid to fall over the edge toward the lake of lava below them.

You can only hope that the reset that follows is manually activated and not forced.

Taking a deep breath, you slowly release it in an attempt to calm down your frantically-beating heart. To your side, you see Sans looking a bit paler than usual. Yeah, that last scene definitely wasn’t pretty.

Running a shaky hand through your hair, you sigh. “So, are we agreed? That the glitch is definitely after Frisk? They were right on the freakin’ edge, and it still happened. There’s no way what’s happening here is just a coincidence. If we don’t do something to help the kid, this is gonna keep going on forever.”

Sans pinches the area around his nasal cavity. “yeah we’re in agreement. something is definitely out to get the kid. and whatever it is can’t be stopped by the kid alone. they’ve been trying, but it’s obviously not been working. the question is what can we do?”

You unwrap yourself from the blanket and return it to its previous place on the back of the couch. “I guess asking Undyne to stop chasing Frisk is out huh? I mean, she’s the one that’s actually killing the kid each time. Well, besides last time.”

He raises a brow ridge. “if you seriously think asking her will work, be my guest. i may be a bonehead, but even i’m not that crazy. once undyne locks onto someone, she never lets them escape. heh, you could call her a shark-pedo.”

With a groan, you grab one of the couch pillows and throw it at his face. “Okay, so asking her to stop chasing the kid is a no-go. What else can we do? We can’t stop the glitch from tripping Frisk. It pops up randomly! And it’s not like we can just pick up the kid and run. What if it goes after us instead?”

The skeleton pulls the pillow away from his face and puts it behind his back so he can lean against it. “i’d rather avoid doing anything that involves directly intervening and undyne seeing us. if she catches me, i’m fishbait. we also can’t have her finding out about you, or she’ll go after you too.”

You raise a hand to your chest and grip the front of your shirt unconsciously. “With my soul the way it is, would it even be helpful in breaking the barrier?”

He shrugs. “beats me, kid. it’s not like there’s some protocol of what kind of human souls we can and can’t use to break the barrier. but i gotta admit, your soul does feel different from the souls of other humans i’ve seen. considering your stats, i’d say you have a weaker than average human soul.”

Your eyes narrow. “What do you mean ‘considering my stats’? What’s wrong with them?”

Sans scratches his skull. “nothing’s wrong per-se. i mean your attack and defense stats are normal for a human. but your hp is only twenty. that’s normal for human children, but for someone your age, it should be higher. normally, hp rises as you get older. of course, the only humans i’ve ever met have been kids, so it’s not like i have an actual point of reference.”

With a groan, you slump back against the couch. “Great. Just great. So basically, I’m as easy to kill as a kid. That’s reassuring.”

He reaches out to pat your leg. “sorry, kid. wish i could say i was just kidding, but those are the cold hard facts. don’t worry too much about it. just avoid fighting, and everything will be cool.”

You roll your eyes, but know he’s right. There’s nothing you can do about your stats. No point in fretting over it.

“Okay, back to the original subject. How the hell are we supposed to help Frisk without being caught by Undyne? You gonna use your magic to levitate the kid over the bridge?”

Sans raises an eye ridge. “what part of ‘don’t want undyne to catch me’ did you not understand? there’s no way she’ll believe the kid is levitating on their own power.”

With a shrug, you grin. “Hey, I don’t see you coming up with any bright ideas. Besides, Undyne thinks humans are powerful creatures ‘cause of the barrier and all the anime she watches with Alphys right? She might be more willing to believe it than you think.”

He rolls his eye-lights. “let’s just save that as a backup plan for now and keep thinking. there’s gotta be some way around that glitch.”

Silence envelops the room as the two of you get lost in your thoughts. You go over what you know in your head. First, Frisk is stuck getting chased by Undyne. Wherever that save point she loads at is, it’s not far enough away that they can go unnoticed by the leader of the Royal Guard. Second, whenever the kid runs toward the bridge in Hotland, the glitch appears and prevents them from progressing further. Lastly, every time Frisk falls, it always delays them long enough for Undyne to catch up and attack them, which leads to the child’s death. You drum your fingers across the armrest as your eyes narrow in concentration.

Someway around the glitch? I don’t think that’s possible. Frisk has done this almost ten times now. If there was a way around it, they would’ve found it by now. No, we need to make it so that even if the glitch occurs, the kid can still get away unharmed. That means we need to focus on doing something about Undyne. If she wasn’t chasing Frisk, then the glitch would be harmless since all it’s doing is tripping them. The problem is that it leaves the kid open to attack. We need to make it so that even if the kid falls, Undyne won’t be able to hurt them.

You nod to yourself. Yes, that’s the only way this is going to work. You turn to the skeleton and tell him your thoughts.

He rubs his chin thoughtfully. “looks like we’re on the same wavelength, kid. question is, how do we stop undyne without having to reveal ourselves? can’t use my magic on her. she’ll notice right away.”

You consider his words. So, you need to find an indirect method to stop Undyne. After a few minutes, an idea comes to mind. “What if you don’t use your magic on Undyne herself, but on her surroundings instead?”

Sans grins. “i think you’re onto something there. i can’t stop her straight-on, but i can arrange for a few, heh, mishaps to impede her path and slow down her pursuit. but i can’t guarantee it’ll stop her for very long. at the most, i might can buy the kid a few minutes.”

“You saw how fast Frisk got back up each time they fell. I think they can actually make it if we just give them a little headstart.”

The skeleton rises to his feet and heads toward the kitchen. “alright, kid. let’s do it. but first i’m getting some ketchup. i’m gonna need the pick-me-up. want anything?”

Curious, you follow him into the kitchen to see what they may have to drink. When Sans opens the refrigerator to pull out his favorite condiment, you are not surprised to see that the majority of the ingredients inside are what’s used to make spaghetti.

You perk up when you see a juicebox. After the skeleton gives the okay, you quickly pull it out and insert the straw so you can enjoy the beverage. You figure this must be one of Papyrus’ drinks since you can’t imagine his older brother drinking anything other than ketchup. The image of Papyrus drinking from a juicebox is so cute you can barely contain the squeal that wants to come out.

Not long after you both finish your drinks, the next (and hopefully final) reset happens. Sans quickly reaches out and grabs you, teleporting the two of you back to his station in Hotland.

With a wink, he disappears, leaving to put the plan in motion. You wish you could be more help, but it’s going to take all his focus just keeping Undyne preoccupied. He can’t afford to keep an eye out for you too.

You slump against the counter as you sit inside the station. You hate feeling so useless. When this is all over, you swear you’ll keep your promise to Sans and make sure he gets the nap he deserves even if it means you’ll have to eat all of his brother’s bad cooking. A chill runs down your spine at the thought. It’ll be for the greater good, so you’ll just have to deal with it. Maybe if you’re lucky Papyrus will let you cook with him, and you can somehow save the food.

You smile as you think about hanging out with Papyrus. Because of all this craziness, you haven’t even gotten the chance to meet the younger skeleton. You hope the two of you can become good friends.

Pulling out your phone, you check the time. It looks like thirty minutes have already passed. Wow, you must’ve really been in la-la land for that much time to pass you by. You hope everything is going well on Sans’s end.

After returning your phone to your pocket, you let your eyes roam the area, not really looking for anything in particular, but just giving yourself something to do. It’s when your eyes wander over to the bridge that your whole body freezes in shock.

There, in the middle of the wooden overpass, you can see the water cooler that is supposed to be at the other end of the bridge. You immediately climb out of the station and run towards the wooden structure. When you get to the bridge, you pause and stare in disbelief. No matter how many times you blink and rub your eyes, the image in front of you doesn’t change. The water cooler really is right there on the bridge. But how?!

What do I do?! I can’t just leave it there. If I do, it’ll stop Frisk dead in their tracks. It’s a narrow bridge, so they can’t just walk around it. And they obviously can’t move it on their own. Even if Sans does manage to buy the kid some time, it’ll mean nothing if this thing is here to block their way!

There’s no way to know when Sans will get back, so you can’t risk waiting for him. You’ll have to do something yourself. Nodding to yourself, you clench your fists in determination and jog toward the cooler.

You sigh when you see how full the water cooler is. Normally, you wouldn’t complain about having lots of water available considering how hot the area is, but this means the cooler is going to be pretty heavy. You could pour the water out, but Frisk will need it if they decide to help Undyne after she passes out from heat exhaustion. You hope the kid won’t be so traumatized by all the resets that they won’t want to befriend Undyne anymore.

With a grunt, you pull the water cooler off the bridge and slowly move forward. The cooler may not be very large, but it’s definitely not light by any means. You can only hope you’ll have enough time to return the water cooler to its rightful place and get back to the station. Push comes to shove, if you don’t have enough time to get back to the sentry station, you can always run ahead, look for a hiding place, and just wait there until the coast is clear.

Sweat is beading across your forehead and pouring down your face and back. Twice during your journey, you have to put the cooler down so you can wipe your sweaty hands off and readjust your grip. You can feel your arms burning from the strain. The combination of the smoldering heat and physical exertion is tortuous. You’re definitely going to start lifting weights once you get back home.

Slowly but surely, you manage to make it off the bridge. You’re tempted to just leave it at the end of the wooden structure but decide against it. It’s possible that if you leave the cooler too close to the bridge, Undyne will be able to reach it and rehydrate. Then, she’ll just continue her pursuit.

Sighing in relief, you finally let go of the water cooler and put it in its rightful place. Immediately, you pour yourself a cup and drain it. Throwing away the cup, you turn to head back toward the bridge. Just as you walk onto the wooden overpass, you hear familiar yelling coming from the distance.

Eyes wide with terror, you immediately sprint across the bridge, despite knowing the better option would be to run the opposite direction. It’s when you reach the other end of the bridge that you see Sans appear inside the sentry station.

His eye-lights widen once he notices the situation you’re in. You keep running toward the station. By the sound of heavy breathing, you know Frisk will be appearing any second now. When you’re within a few feet of the station, Sans, who’s leaning out as far as he can against the counter, reaches out and grabs your hand that’s extended towards him.

You wince as he pulls your body over the counter, and the two of you tumble to the ground. All you can hear at first is your frantic breathing and your erratic heartbeat drumming in your ears. Then, you notice it’s not just you who’s out of breath. You look down and realize you’re lying across the blue-faced skeleton.

You quickly understand why he’s so flustered when you notice how close your faces are. Embarrassed, you quickly move off of him, stammering an apology. Before he can respond, the sounds of Undyne’s distant yelling reminds you both of your current situation. Immediately, the two of you move toward the counter to see what’s going on. You look out just in time to see the glitch trip Frisk. However, you quickly realize that you can’t see Undyne.

Speak of the devil and she shall arrive.

The Royal Guard leader runs out just as you notice her absence. Judging by how red her face is and how fast she’s swinging her spear around, she must be really mad. Thankfully, when you turn back to check up on Frisk, you see they’re already back on their feet and sprinting across the bridge so fast that you wonder if they know Undyne is no longer right on their tail.

You slump to the floor in relief. Thank goodness. The plan worked. No more resets. Just to be safe, you and Sans continue to watch Frisk to see what they’ll do.

As expected, Undyne collapses due to heat exhaustion once she reaches the other side of the bridge. By the time she gets there, Frisk is already at the water cooler. You smile when the child fills up a cup and pours the water on the fish monster.

Feeling a hand tug your arm, you turn your attention to the skeleton beside you. He winks. “i think i’ve had enough excitement for the day. let’s get outta here. water you say?”

You grin. “Sounds water-ful to me.”

In a blink, you’re back at the skeletons’ house. You immediately collapse onto the couch with a groan. “I’m exhausted! If that never happens again, it’ll still be too soon!”

The skeleton chuckles as he takes his usual spot on the couch. “same. even if undyne herself comes running in here, i’m not gonna leave this couch. i’m so tired.”

He yawns. “before i pass out, mind telling me what you were doing at the bridge? you nearly gave me a heart-attack when i saw you there when the kid was about to show up.”

You quickly explain what happened with the water cooler and how it was necessary for you to move it if Frisk was going to get away safely.

“I have no idea how it got there. I swear, that thing was not on the bridge when we first got there. All of a sudden I look up, and there it is, like it’s always been there. Seriously, what the hell?”

When you don’t get an immediate response, you move your gaze to the skeleton’s face. He appears deep in thought.

After a few minutes, Sans gives you a considering look. “you mentioned before about all the crazy stuff glitches can cause. can they also cause objects to move to places they shouldn’t be?”

Your eyes widen. “Yeah, it’s possible. Sans, are you thinking the glitch caused the water cooler to move places?”

He sighs. “that’s the only explanation i can come up with. i mean, surely you would’ve noticed if someone moved it, right? besides, why would anyone wanna move it? my bet is somehow whatever caused the glitch also moved the water cooler since just tripping the kid wasn’t gonna cut it anymore. the fact that it would go that far proves that whatever that glitch was really wanted to stop the kid.”

You run a tired hand through your hair, doing your best to avoid pulling it in frustration. “Seriously, what the hell is going on here? What if that glitch keeps going after the kid? Trying to kill them during future boss fights? Does that mean we’ll have to do this all over again when they fight Mettaton? That’s on live TV! How the hell could we help them without getting noticed?”

Sans slouches until he’s lying on his back and stares blankly at the ceiling. “i don’t know. we can only hope that the glitch only appears in hotland. we’ll know for sure if the back-to-back resets start up again. nothing we can do but wait and see. i’ll start following the kid again after i get some sleep. distracting undyne was exhausting.”

When you hear snoring, you realize the skeleton wasn’t kidding about being tired. He must’ve used up a lot of magic to help Frisk if he’s already asleep. Smiling, you grab the blanket and cover up the skeleton. He has definitely earned this break.

With a yawn, you stretch your arms and curl up at your end of the couch, kicking your shoes off in the process. Resting your head on the pillow you procured for yourself, you feel your eyes start to drift close. While you didn’t work nearly as hard as Sans, you are feeling quite tired yourself. After all of the excitement from the last few hours, you figure a nap wouldn’t hurt. Just as you’re drifting off, you dimly notice that your body suddenly feels warmer. With a happy sigh, you let sleep claim you.

A few hours later, you are abruptly pulled from your slumber by the front door slamming open. You jerk at the sound, causing the blanket around your shoulders to fall into your lap. Where did that come from? Didn’t you lay this on Sans?

The rest of your pondering is interrupted by a boisterous voice.

“SANS! I AM HOME! I DID NOT SEE YOU AT ANY OF YOUR STATIONS TODAY! YOU BETTER NOT HAVE BEEN PLAYING HOOKY!”

You grin broadly. Looks like everyone’s favorite skeletal sweetheart is home.

Chapter Text

As you hear the younger skeleton close the front door behind him, you wonder if you should make your presence known right away or wait until he notices you. You admit you’d love to see his surprised reaction once he realizes there’s a human on his couch.

Out of the corner of your eye, you see Sans reposition himself so that he’s slumped against the back of the couch. Looks like you weren’t the only one woken up by the loud brother.

“welcome home, bro. don’t worry, i went to work. i just came home early enough to take a little cat nap. it waspurr-fect.”

Slapping a hand to your mouth, you try to contain your snickering. Fortunately, Papyrus’ groaning was loud enough to drown out your laughter.

Due to your slouching, you don’t think you can be seen from the door. Otherwise, the younger brother would’ve said something by now. You decide to just sit back and watch things progress on their own.

Sans winks at you. It appears he’s also looking forward to seeing his brother’s reaction.

Papyrus marches toward the couch. He opens his mouth to speak only to freeze when he realizes there’s more than one person on the couch. He stares at you in shock.

The tall skeleton looks just like you imagined with his famous white and blue body armor and matching red gloves and boots. There’s also his billowing red scarf which is somehow moving despite him being inside. You wonder if he’s using magic to make it do that.

You wave at him and smile. “Hi!”

He jumps as if he’s surprised you’re able to speak and move. Amused, you wonder if he thought you were a just a life-like human doll instead of an actual human.

His jaw drops. “A HUMAN! THERE’S A HUMAN IN OUR HOUSE, AND IT’S NOT MY NEW FRIEND WHO’S HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH ME AND MY DELICIOUS SPAGHETTI!”

Papyrus quickly turns to his brother. “BROTHER! DID YOU MANAGE TO CAPTURE A HUMAN ALL ON YOUR OWN?!” Grinning, he picks up Sans and swings him around. “YOU WEREN’T SHIRKING YOUR DUTIES AFTER ALL! I’M VERY PROUD OF YOU, SANS!”

You can’t help but coo at the very adorable scene before you. Papyrus really does look proud of his brother for his apparent arrest while there’s a slight blue hue on Sans’ cheekbones that proves he’s embarrassed by his brother’s praise. These two were seriously too cute.

After a few minutes of twirling, the younger skeleton puts his brother back on the couch and turns to face you. With a grin, he poses with one arm outstretched and the other hand on his hip. “GREETINGS, HUMAN! I AM THE GREAT PAPYRUS! SOON TO BE MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GUARD. ALTHOUGH, I’M SURE YOU’VE ALREADY HEARD OF ME. I AM VERY WELL-KNOWN IN THE UNDERGROUND.”

With a broad smile, you jump to your feet. “Nice to meet you, Papyrus! My name is Y/N. You’re right about me knowing about you. I agreed to come with Sans ‘cause I wanted to meet the Great Papyrus in person. You’re just as amazing as I imagined!”

Orange dusts his cheekbones as he flushes. “WOWIE! I’M EVEN MORE POPULAR THAN I THOUGHT AND THAT’S PRETTY POPULAR! TO THINK A HUMAN WOULD SURRENDER JUST TO MEET ME. I CAN’T WAIT TO TELL UNDYNE!”

Sans chuckles nervously. “yeah about that. do you think we could keep the kid here a secret from everyone else? her circumstances aren’t exactly normal.”

Noticing the taller brother’s confusion, you explain. “I’m actually from another universe, Papyrus. I suddenly woke up here and have no way to get back home.”

“SO YOU’RE STRANDED HERE? THAT’S AWFUL! DO NOT WORRY! YOU CAN STAY WITH US UNTIL WE FIND A WAY TO GET YOU BACK TO YOUR UNIVERSE!”

You smile warmly at the sweetheart. “Thank you, Papyrus. But are you sure? Wouldn’t you get a reward for bringing me in?”

Papyrus puts his hands on his hips. “WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT I WILL GET TO JOIN THE ROYAL GUARD IF I BRING IN A HUMAN, THERE IS NO WAY I, A TRUE HERO, WOULD IGNORE A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS. YOU MUST BE VERY SCARED BEING IN A STRANGE NEW WORLD ALL ALONE. NEVER FEAR! THE GREAT PAPYRUS IS ON YOUR SIDE!”

You feel like crying when you hear the sincerity in his words. He really is the sweetest monster in the Underground. It’s true that you were very scared when you first arrived, and the idea of never being able to return home terrifies you. However, hearing the skeleton vow to help you erases that fear and fills you with warmth.

Sans smiles as he watches his brother. “you’re the coolest, bro. knew we could count on you. with you watching over the kid, she won’t have anything to worry about.”

His brother laughs. “NYEHEHE! OF COURSE! THERE’S NOTHING THE GREAT PAPYRUS CANNOT DO! NOW, HUMAN, YOU WAIT RIGHT HERE, AND I’LL PREPARE YOU A SPECIAL BATCH OF MY AWARD-WINNING SPAGHETTI AS A WELCOMING GIFT.”

The lazy skeleton chuckles. “my bro is quite the chef. his cooking is im-pasta-ble to resist.”

“SANS!”

You giggle at the brothers’ antics. After Papyrus enters the kitchen, you watch Sans move off the couch and head upstairs. “well, have fun with my bro. if you need me, i’ll be snoozing in my room.”

You wish him sweet dreams before turning your attention to the kitchen. You can hear a lot of loud noises coming from that direction which makes you nervous.

Taking a deep breath, you slip your shoes back on and head for the kitchen. You don’t know why you’re as surprised as you are when you see the chaos. The counter is covered in something red, making it look like the scene of a mini-massacre. Upon closer inspection, you realize the red paste is the remains of several tomatoes that were punched into oblivion. You see other colors mixed in, so you figure other vegetable were smashed as well.

What really worries you is the fact that the stove is on fire, and Papyrus is looking as calm as can be. He’s even humming a little tune as he gathers what’s leftover of the mutilated vegetables into a pan. The chef is also now wearing a red apron with the words “Bone-afide Chef” in bold white letters. Obviously, the apron must have been a gift from Sans, and the younger brother is sweet enough to wear it despite his great dislike of puns.

Quickly, you rush to the stove and turn down the temperature just barely avoiding burning your arm. By the looks of things, he is just trying to boil water for the noodles. How the flames could get so large from just boiling water, you’ll never know. You are more impressed that the pot is still in one piece and not a smoldering heap. You wonder what kind of super metal it’s made of.

Papyrus looks at you in surprise, no doubt not expecting you to join him. You give him a smile. “Sorry if I’m bothering you. I wanted to ask if I could cook with you since I thought it would be fun to cook with a great chef like yourself.”

You look back at the stove. “I turned down the temperature on the stove ‘cause that fire looked pretty dangerous. If you’re just boiling water, you don’t really need for the temperature to be that high.”

The younger skeleton tilts his head curiously. “REALLY? UNDYNE ALWAYS SAYS USE THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURE WHEN COOKING.THE HEAT MUST RESEMBLE YOUR FIERY PASSION FOR COOKING, OR IT WON’T TURN OUT GOOD!”

You grin at him. “There are other ways to show your passion in your cooking without having to set anything on fire. How about I show you the way humans make spaghetti?”

His eye-lights sparkle.”WOWIE! YOU’LL REALLY TEACH ME YOUR HUMAN COOKING SECRETS?”

You wink. “Of course! You were kind enough to let me stay here and offer your protection. This is the least I can do. Now let’s make some spaghetti.”

For the next few hours, you explain the steps to making spaghetti. You have to rack your brain to remember the recipe since it’s been awhile since you last cooked anything. After all, you’re a poor college student living off the food in your school’s cafeteria and the snacks in your room. You don’t get many chances to cook.

You guide him on how to make the sauce, showing that cutting up vegetables is actually more efficient that punching them. Once the sauce is taken care of and left to simmer in the pan, you focus on the noodles. After Papyrus adds the store-bought noodles to the pot of water, you tell him not to stir the noodles too hard. If you hadn’t stopped him, he would have stirred the spoon at full throttle.

You can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment when you realize the two of you managed to successfully cook the spaghetti without setting anything on fire. There’s hope for Papyrus’ cooking future yet.

In all honesty, it’s not like the skeleton is bad at cooking. He’s really good at following instructions. Papyrus just needs proper guidance instead of Undyne’s version of Hell’s Kitchen. Maybe you should suggest to Sans that he get his brother a cookbook. You wonder if Papyrus has ever tried to use one.

The tall skeleton grins at you. “WOWIE, HUMAN! THIS LOOKS GREAT! I NEVER REALIZED THERE WERE SO MANY WAYS TO MAKE DELICIOUS SPAGHETTI! I CAN’T WAIT TO SHOW UNDYNE MY NEW SKILLS!” He paused. “OF COURSE I WON’T TELL HER ABOUT YOU. I’LL JUST SAY I’VE BEEN PRACTICING A LOT. ALTHOUGH, IT’S UNFORTUNATE THAT I CAN’T GIVE YOU THE PROPER CREDIT YOU DESERVE. I’M SURE SHE’D LOVE TO MEET YOU AND BE FRIENDS WITH YOU!”

You smile sadly as you move to set the table. “I’d like to be friends with her, too, but if she sees me, she’ll want to capture me so you guys can break the barrier, right?”

After the skeleton prepares your plates, he sets them on the table. You’re surprised when he grins brightly at you. “THERE IS NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THE BARRIER, HUMAN! THE HUMAN, I MEAN MY OTHER HUMAN FRIEND, IS HEADING TO SEE THE KING. THEY WILL HELP KING ASGORE BREAK THE BARRIER, SO WE WILL HAVE NO MORE NEED TO CAPTURE HUMANS.”

It’s hard not to smile at his optimism. He has so much faith in Frisk. You really hope the kid won’t break his trust in this run.

Papyrus heads for the door as you take a seat at the table. “NOW IT’S TIME TO EAT! I SHALL GO FETCH MY LAZY BROTHER SO HE CAN JOIN US.”

“no need for that, bro. i’m already here.”

Startled, you jump in your seat. When you look across the table, you see Sans sitting as if he’s been there the whole time. He reaches out for the bottle of ketchup on the table and takes a swig.

His younger brother returns to the table and takes a seat. “I’M VERY IMPRESSED, SANS! USUALLY I HAVE TO GO FIND YOU FOR DINNER. WAS THE AMAZING SMELL OF OUR SPAGHETTI JUST THAT HARD TO RESIST?”

Sans grins at his brother’s proud expression. “that’s right, bro. i could smell something tasty all the way from my room. you two obviously worked yourselves to the bone to make it.”

With a wink towards you, he adds, “well, bone-appetit.”

“SANS!”

At the sound of the younger brother’s groans, the laughter erupts before you can stop yourself. If it was just the puns, it’d be one thing, but when you add in Papyrus’ over-the-top reactions, it’s impossible to not be amused.

Papyrus looks at you displeased. “YOU MUST NOT LAUGH, HUMAN! THAT WILL ONLY ENCOURAGE MY BROTHER!”

His older brother shrugs his shoulders. “what can i say, pap? she thinks my puns are very humerus.”

“NOOOO!”

And there goes the last bit of self-restraint you had.The floodgates have been lowered. Your laughter won’t be stopping anytime soon.

The skeletons do not help your situation. Sans keeps telling puns while his brother screeches in outrage. You're worried you’ll soon pass out from lack of air. Your sides are starting to cramp from laughing so hard.

Finally, the shorter skeleton decides to have mercy on you and turns his focus to the plate of spaghetti in front of him. All the while, the large grin on his face remains.

After some grumbling, Papyrus follows his brother’s example and begins to eat his spaghetti. He immediately starts complimenting it, saying how delicious it is and how awesome both of your skills are.

You finally calm down enough that you can breathe. Smothering down the last few giggles that want to escape, you dig into your meal. While it’s not the best spaghetti you’ve ever eaten, it’s not half-bad.There are some burnt parts in the sauce, and the noodles are a tad overcooked. However, considering what it could’ve been, you think the tall skeleton did a good job.

“You did great, Papyrus. You’ll be a master of human cooking in no time.”

Sans nods, teeth covered in spaghetti sauce. “it’s real good, bro. nice job.”

The chef beams preening from the compliments. “NYEHEHE! IT WAS EASY! NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR THE GREAT PAPYRUS TO LEARN!” He turns his large grin toward you. “AND I HAD A MOST EXCELLENT TEACHER! THANK YOU, HUMAN!”

A large grin forms on your face, rivalling his. If this cutie gets any sweeter, you’re going to get cavities. “I was happy to help, Papyrus. Thank you for letting me cook with you. Oh, and you can call me by my name if you want. Now that we’re friends and all.”

You didn’t think it was possible, but the tall skeleton’s grin actually grows even larger. From your point of view, it’s like he’s shining with pure joy. Was it magic? Can magic make monster sparkle like that?

“FRIENDS? WOWIE! MY SECOND HUMAN FRIEND! IF THIS KEEPS UP, I’LL HAVE WHAT THE HUMANS CALL A POSSE IN NO TIME!”

You snort. Where the hell did Papyrus learn that term? Sans shrugs at you when you give him a curious glance. Looks like he has no idea either. Oh well, you gotta admit the idea of Papyrus having his own posse does sound adorable. “Yeah. With how awesome you are, Pap, you’ll have a huge posse in no time.”

After you all finish your meal, you and Papyrus gather all the dirty dishes and bring them to the sink. He’s absolutely delighted when you volunteer to help clean, so you’re in charge of drying dishes after he washes them. With the two of you working together, you finish in no time. You then get some rags to clean up the counter while he tidies up the stove.

Once you’re both done, you teach the skeleton the concept of high-fiving to celebrate a job well-done. You end up doing it a couple of times because he wanted to perfect this new skill.

You’re surprised when a piece of cloth hits you in the face when you enter the living room. Stunned, you barely manage to catch it before it falls to the floor. Upon closer inspection, you realize it’s a pair of grey sweatpants.

Looking up, you see the pants-throwing culprit grinning cheekily on the couch. “thought you might need that. considering the weather here, if you go back outside in your current clothes, you’ll end up chilled to the bone like last time.”

Papyrus groans. “WHILE I ADMIRE YOUR THOUGHTFULNESS, BROTHER. THERE WAS NO NEED TO THROW THE SWEATPANTS AT Y/N. FURTHERMORE, WHY DID YOU PICK THOSE PANTS OF ALL THINGS?”

Curious, you decide to examine the sweatpants further to see why Papyrus would have such an annoyed reaction. You quickly figure out the reason when you see the legs of the pants. On the sides of each leg, you can see in bold, cursive blue letters, Bad to the Bone. There was even a skull and crossbones on the front right pocket area.

You giggle. “I can’t believe it! These are awesome! Are you sure I can wear them?”

Sans’ grin broadens. “knew you’d like them. i found them a while back in the dump. unfortunately, the legs were too long for me, so i gave them to pap. turned out they were too small for him, so they’ve just been hanging around in his closet.”

You turn toward the moaning skeleton. “Is it alright if I wear these, Papyrus? I’d understand if you’d want to hold onto them since they’re a gift from your brother.”

Papyrus smiles. “WHILE I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF MY BROTHER’S GIFTS, I THINK THOSE PANTS WOULD BE PUT TO BETTER USE IN YOUR HANDS, ESPECIALLY SINCE I CAN’T EVEN WEAR THEM. I’D MUCH RATHER YOU STAY WARM, SO YOU MAY HAVE THEM.”

With a grin, you wrap your arms around the tall skeleton’s waist and give him a hug. “Thank you, Papyrus. I’ll treasure them.”

You feel his bony arms return the embrace. “OOH! OUR FIRST HUG OF FRIENDSHIP! THIS IS TRULY A WONDERFUL DAY!”

After giving him another warm squeeze, you pull away and grin up at him. “The first of many to come I hope.”

“OF COURSE! BEING THE WONDERFUL FRIEND THAT I AM, I AM MORE THAN WILLING TO GIVE OUT AS MANY HUGS AS YOU NEED! NYEHEHE!”

Will Papyrus ever stop being adorable? You hope not.

You quickly pull the sweatpants on forgoing changing out of your shorts. You figure it won’t hurt to have an extra layer on even if the shorts won’t offer much warmth. Luckily, the pants end up being just your size, so they’re a perfect fit.

You do a little twirl and place your hands on your hips when you come to a stop. “So, how do I look?”

Sans gives you a thumbs-up. “not bad, kid. they suit you perfectly.”

His brother nods his head. “WHILE I AM NOT TOO ENTHUSED BY CLOTHES WITH PUNS, I DO ADMIT YOU LOOK VERY NICE, Y/N. I THINK MY BROTHER MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE PICKING THOSE OUT FOR YOU. NOW ALL WE NEED TO DO IS FIND YOU A NICE COAT AND A WARMER SHIRT. WHILE I MAY NOT HAVE ANY SKIN, I DO KNOW YOU’LL FREEZE GOING OUTSIDE WITH YOUR ARMS BARE LIKE THAT.”

Before you can nod your agreement, you get a weird feeling in your chest that makes you pause. It’s not painful, but it’s really strange sort of like when Sans pulled out your soul.

When you look up, you see both skeletons staring at you with wide eye-lights. Looking back at yourself, you realize why they’re so shocked.

Your eyes soon match theirs in size when you realize your body is becoming transparent. In a blink, Sans is in front of you, one eye strobing blue. When he pulls out your soul, you can only stare in disbelief. Your soul is glowing much brighter than it did last time.

If you weren’t so freaked out, you would admire how pretty your soul looks as it glitters. You notice there’s a grey outline around the heart that wasn’t there last time.

“Uhh..guys? W-what’s going on?”

Both skeletons are closely studying your soul. Papyrus has a worried frown, while Sans’ eye-lights are narrowed in concentration.

“you’re using magic, kid. well, at least your soul is, somehow. don’t ask me how ‘cause i have no idea. i’ve never seen anything like this before. all i can tell you is this magic is like what i felt when you first arrived. by the looks of it, you’re about to leave for another dimension. whether it’s back to yours or a completely different one, i have no clue.”

Papyrus shifts his gaze between the two of you worriedly. “IS THERE NOTHING WE CAN DO, SANS? WHAT IF SHE DOESN’T GET SENT HOME?”

Sans sighs as he returns your soul to your chest. “sorry, pap. it’s too late. she’s already started disappearing. trying to stop the process now would be too dangerous.”

Your heart warms at the sight of the two skeletons looking so worried on your behalf. Even though you haven’t known them for very long, they truly care about your safety. You have to reassure them before you completely vanish.

You give them a small smile. “It’s alright, guys. Thank you for worrying about me. Don’t worry, I’ll be alright. After all, I might just be going back home. But if I don’t, then maybe I’ll get to visit other alternate universes that have you guys in them. If I do, I hope they’re as sweet as you two. I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you. Thank you.”

When Papyrus starts sniffling, Sans shakes his head. “now look what you did, kid. you made my bro cry.”

“I’M NOT CRYING! I JUST HAVE SOMETHING IN MY EYES!”

“what’s that?”

“TEARS!”

You can’t help but giggle at the familiar dialogue. You’re really going to miss them. When your eyes start to feel warm, you quickly blink away the wetness. The last thing Sans needs is for both you and his brother to be crying.

Sans winks at you. “it was nice meeting you, kid. thanks for your help earlier. i don’t know what i would’ve done if i was on my own. i hope you get home safely and have a skele-ton of fun telling everyone about your little adventure. although, they’ll probably just think you’re out of your skull.”

“SANS!”

You and Sans both chuckle at the tall skeleton’s exclamation. Shaking his head in displeasure, Papyrus turns to you. You wish you could wipe that sad look off of his face with a hug, but with how translucent your body is now, you don’t think you can touch him anymore.

“I WILL MISS YOU, Y/N. I’M SAD THAT WE DIDN’T GET TO HANG OUT FOR VERY LONG. I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING OUR FIRST SLEEPOVER.”

There you go fighting back the tears again. Is this skeleton trying to make you a blubbering mess? If he is, he’s doing a good job.

Papyrus gives you a warm smile. “I HOPE YOU GET HOME SAFE AND SOUND, Y/N! FEEL FREE TO VISIT IF YOU’RE IN THE AREA! YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME HERE. WE’LL MAKE MORE FRIENDSHIP SPAGHETTI!.”

You give him the best grin you can muster. “I’d love that, Papyrus. I’ll be sure to visit if I get the chance. I hope when I do the barrier will be gone so you guys will be back on the surface.”

“take care of yourself, kid”

“BYE, Y/N! I HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN SOON!”

Those are the last things you hear before everything goes black.

After what feels like only a few seconds, your vision returns, and your body is back to being solid. Unfortunately, you quickly realize that you’re somehow in mid-air.

With a yelp, you plummet to the ground, but thankfully fall into a large pile of snow. You’re reminded of that chill that woke you up when you first arrived in Undertale.

You drag yourself out of the snow and swipe off the snow clinging to your trembling body. You are so grateful the skeleton brothers let you have these sweatpants, or you’d really be miserable. Of course, your poor bare arms are shaking a great deal because of the chill.

Taking in your surroundings, you realize that you’re still in the Underground. In fact, you’re standing right in front of Sans’ sentry station that’s close to the Ruins. You briefly wonder if you simply teleported instead of travelling dimensions, but surely Sans, who’s an expert at teleporting, would’ve been able to tell? Besides, it’s clearly early in the morning here, and you’re sure it was nighttime when you left Undertale.

Walking over to examine the station, you see it’s the same wooden structure portrayed in the game. It’s when you move closer to the counter that you hear a voice from behind you that makes you jump in surprise.

“don’t think i’ve seen you around here before. new to town?”

You immediately turn around to face the voice. Thanks to your tight grip on the counter, you manage to keep yourself upright. You stare wide-eyed at the person before you. That’s not Sans. No, that’s a Papyrus. Not just any Papyrus either. It’s a Papyrus that wears an orange hoodie, brown cargo shorts, and orange sneakers.

He takes a drag from the cigarette in his mouth and slowly exhales, leaving a cloud of smoke. “sorry, kid. didn’t mean to make you jump out of your skin.”

A broad grin forms on your face. You’re definitely in another Undertale AU.

You’re in the world of Underswap!

Chapter Text

In your mind, you know that grinning as widely as you are probably isn’t a good idea. You don’t want Papyrus thinking you’re some kind of maniac. However, you can’t help but be excited. Underswap has always been one of your favorite AUs. You find the concept of everyone swapping places and personalities fascinating. The idea of a lazy Papyrus and an energetic Sans is also super cute.

His relaxed expression remains unchanged, so it seems that your crazy grin hasn’t made him suspicious yet, thankfully. You release your grip on the counter and brace your feet so that you can properly stand. You have to look up to meet his eyes. He’s not as tall as the Papyrus in Undertale, but he’s probably only a few inches shorter.

You take a deep breath and hope you won’t make a huge mess of your introduction. “Hi! My name is Y/N, and I come from another dimension. Nice to meet you!”

Nailed it! You are one smooth lady.

Papyrus just stares with slightly widened eye-lights. He continues to gawk for some time with his cigarette hanging from his mouth. Finally, he sighs and rubs his forehead. “you’re not kidding at all. you’re completely serious. so you’re either telling the truth or all this smoke has finally gone to my head. my bro always warns me, but i haven’t had any problems with my smoking until now.”

In fanfiction, you had read about Underswap Papyrus being able to tell if someone was lying just by reading their expression. By the looks of it, this Papyrus does have that skill. Although, he appears to be doubting his abilities considering how unbelievable the truth is. Well, it’s not like you can really blame him.

You smile. “While I’ll agree with your brother that smoking is bad for you, I assure you that I’m telling the truth. This isn’t even the first dimension I’ve travelled to. The last one I was in is much like yours, except you’re the younger energetic brother while Sans is the lazy big brother. In order to prove to Sans that I was telling the truth, I let him see my soul while I explained my situation. If it’ll help you believe me, I don’t mind letting you look at my soul.”

His gaze zeroes in on you like a missile locking onto its target when you mention his brother. His expression grows incredulous at the mention of the other world and the idea that there’s a Sans as lazy as him. At the mention of your soul, he gives you a contemplative look. “that’ll definitely be the fastest way to prove your story, but are you sure? opening your soul to people can be a dangerous thing, kid.”

You shrug your shoulders. “I did it last time. I trusted that Sans not to hurt me just like I trust you. I want you to believe me, so this is my only option.”

Papyrus studies you for a few minutes before sighing. You watch as his right eye grows bright orange, matching the color of the magic surrounding the hand he extends toward you.

A familiar pulling sensation resounds in your chest before your soul makes its reappearance. Watching his expression fall slack in shock is pretty amusing. It’s hard to believe it was less than a day ago that you nearly had a panic attack over the sight of your dark soul. Hopefully, Papyrus will be like Undertale Sans and not reject you because of your strange soul.

“ok, kid. looks like you got a lot of explaining to do.”

With a grin, you nod your assent. Quickly, you check the sturdiness of the station’s counter before pulling yourself up to sit on it. You have a lot to tell him, so you might as well make yourself comfortable. You’d prefer to do this indoors before your arms get frostbite, but considering how suspicious this Papyrus is, you’d be better off explaining everything to him now rather than later.

Just like in the previous universe, you tell your story from you leaving for class to waking up in Undertale. You describe the world of Undertale and how it’s actually a video game in your dimension. It takes a while, but you finally manage to get the whole story out, ending with telling him how you somehow managed to teleport to a new dimension because your soul used magic. You make sure he knows that you have absolutely no idea what’s going on. If he’s going to take anything away from this, you want that particular piece of information to stick.

The whole time you had talked, Papyrus would either stare at your soul or hold your gaze. His expression never changed. You honestly have no idea what he’s thinking. He has a solid poker face.

Kicking your legs to and fro, you watch as the skeleton ruminates over what he’s learned using one hand to pinch the area around his nasal cavity. With a sigh, he puts out his used up cigarette and quickly pulls out a new one. You eyes widen in wonder as he uses his magic to light the cigarette. All it takes is just a quick snap of the fingers. A cloud of smoke soon surrounds him, acting like a barrier as if he’s trying to keep you from getting too close. That’s the impression you get considering how guarded his posture and expression are. It’s not out of fear that he does this -- at least, not the fear of being physically hurt. He probably couldn’t care less about what happens to him. If you had to make a guess, you think he just doesn’t want to get too close to someone and have them break his trust. Again. Because it has definitely happened already. You dimly wonder where Chara is right now in this world.

With a flick of his wrist, Papyrus returns your soul to your chest and brings his hands to rest in his hoodie pocket. “looks like you’re telling the truth, kid. i couldn’t sense any deceit from your soul or read it in your expression. which means this situation just got really weird and way too crazy for my tastes.”

You smirk mischievously. “Am I driving you out of your skull?”

He stares, obviously caught off guard before abruptly snorting. “not bad, kid. that was pretty humerus of you. i see that you’re trying to make me bust a gut with that high class humor of yours.”

You giggle. “Well, what can I say? There’s two types of people: humerus and sternum. I prefer the former.”

His grin slowly starts to grow. “oh now you’ve done it, kid. challenging me was a grave mistake. i’m a master at getting under people’s skin.”

You don’t know why you started this. There’s no way you can beat the skeleton who literally lives and breathes puns. But, you can’t back out now. Curse your competitive spirit!

The two of you continue until you can’t think of any more bone puns, leaving the skeleton the victor -- not that you’re really surprised. It doesn’t help that you had a hard time thinking because of all the laughing you were doing. Now your sides hurt.

Papyrus chuckles as he fiddles with his cigarette. “haven’t had that much fun in a while. now i’m bone-tired.”

With a roll of your eyes, you groan. You should’ve known better than to think he was finished. Deciding to change the subject, an idea comes to mind that makes you grin.

“Alright. You’ve had your fun. Now it’s my turn. There’s a question I’ve been dying to ask you for a while now.”

He raises a brow ridge at you. “and what would that be?”

You steeple your fingers together like you see the big mob bosses do in the movies. With as much seriousness as you can muster, you ask. “Is your brother really as adorable as I’m imagining?”

The skeleton makes a choked noise and gives you a stunned look. You continue, serious expression never faltering. “In this world, I know your brother is supposed to have a personality that’s similar to the Papyrus in Undertale. And let me tell you, that Papyrus is a total sweetheart. Can’t meet anyone sweeter in the whole Underground. So, let’s do the math: traits of a sweetheart plus the normal small stature of a Sans equals one tiny ball of adorable. Am I wrong?”

His shocked expression quickly turns amused. He chuckles for a few minutes while shaking his head. Once he’s calmed down, Papyrus gives you a grin. “nah your math is positively correct.”

To your delight, he pulls out a mini photo album from his hoodie pocket and hands it over to you. Your eyes widen in wonder. If you had magic, you’re sure they’d be sparkling like Undertale Papyrus’ did when you told him you were friends.

It can’t be! Is it...?

It is!

Baby photos!

With great excitement, you examine every single picture, oohing and cooing every other second. There’s one with baby Sans sleeping while holding onto a stuffed animal. In another, he’s crawling and reaching out to the camera with a bright smile. He’s playing with what looks like a puzzle in the next one. You have to bite back a squeal when you see him wearing a blue bunny onesie in the following picture. He looks absolutely adorable with the hood pulled up, making him look like he has bunny ears.

After about thirty minutes, you finally close the album and hand it back to the smug-looking older brother. He looks mighty proud of himself. You hold down the urge to call him cute too. You’re such a sucker for doting big brothers. “Well done. That was probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I’m honestly surprised I’m still conscious and not in some cuteness-induced coma.”

Before he can respond, a loud voice from the distance catches both of your attention.

“PAPY!”

As he returns the photo album back to its original place, Papyrus looks from you to the small lamp a few feet to his left. “well about this time i’d say hide behind the lamp, but heh, i don’t think that’ll work for you, kid. guess you’ll just meet my bro right off the bat.”

You stare at the lamp then chuckle. Yeah there’s no way you could hide behind it like Frisk or Chara could. You could always hide in the sentry station, but it’s not like you actually want to hide from Sans. It’s the opposite. You’re actually quite excited to meet him.

Just as you leap off the counter and get into a standing position, a familiar looking skeleton runs into view. Sans’ body armor includes a grey top with shoulder pads and black shorts. He’s also wearing gloves and boots that match the baby blue bandana tied snugly around his neck. Unlike the previous Sans, his eye-lights are a bright blue. He also appears to be a few inches shorter than his counterpart.

One thing’s for sure.

He’s so cute!!!!!!!

All you want to do is hug the adorable skeleton and never let go. Geez, how can a skeleton be so precious? His cheekbones are so round like he’s got baby fat, which doesn’t make sense at all because he’s all bone. Is it magic? Is magic capable of making you look so cute? You wish he’d share some of that cuteness-inducing magic with you.

The way Papyrus is chuckling quietly beside you makes you believe he totally knows what you’re thinking about. He turns to his younger brother. “sup, bro?”

Sans opens his mouth no doubt about to scold his brother for not doing something like recalibrating his puzzles but pauses when his eyes lock onto yours.

His eye-lights get impossibly wide. “PAPY! IS THAT A HUMAN?!!!”

The taller skeleton looks at you before returning his gaze to his brother. “what do ya know? i think it is.”

You snort before you can stop yourself. Papyrus just gives you a cheeky grin as he winks.

Sans places his hands on his hips and glares at his brother. “HONESTLY, PAPY! WHAT KIND OF REACTION IS THAT? OF COURSE IT’S A HUMAN! WHY DIDN’T YOU CALL ME? WE’RE SUPPOSED TO REPORT WHEN WE FIND ONE! HOW ELSE WILL I GET INTO THE ROYAL GUARD?”

The older brother takes a drag of his cigarette before grinning at the other skeleton. “sorry, bro. i must’ve forgot. you know i can be a real bonehead at times.”

“PAPY!”

You giggle at the shorter skeleton’s groaning. Without any remorse, you add, “Don’t you mean numbskull?”

Papyrus chuckles while his brother moans loudly. “NOOO! YOU’VE ALREADY INFECTED THE HUMAN! I’M TOO LATE!”

Sans’ response makes you laugh louder. It’s hard for you to feel bad for him when he has such funny reactions.

Before his brother can respond with another pun, Sans intervenes. “NO MORE, PAPY! THERE MIGHT STILL BE A CHANCE TO SAVE THE HUMAN!”

You keep laughing, unable to stop.The younger brother makes it sound like telling puns is some awful disease. To him, it probably is.

Finally, after a few minutes, you calm down enough that you can rein in your mirth. When he sees you’re done laughing, Sans turns to face you. “BECAUSE OF MY BROTHER’S BAD JOKES, I’VE BEEN DELAYED IN INTRODUCING MYSELF. I AM THE MAGNIFICENT SANS, FUTURE MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GUARD!”

While the younger skeleton continues his monologue, you lean over to nudge the smoker beside you with your elbow. You keep your voice low so only he can hear it. “I see now. This was your plan all along wasn’t it?”

He gives you a curious glance. “and what would that be?”

You narrow your eyes at him. “Don’t play dumb. You only pretended to spare me, so that I’d let my guard down. You were planning on your brother finishing me off all along.”

Amused, Papyrus raises a brow ridge. “oh really?”

You nod, not once letting your serious expression fall. “That’s right. Just look at him. He’s so freakin’ adorable. Just watching him is giving me cavities and diabetes. I feel like my heart's gonna explode from the cuteness any second now. This was your plan all along, you sneaky fiend!”

The fact that your voice and expression remain serious the whole time you’re talking makes the tall skeleton start to chuckle softy. “damn. looks like you found me out, kid. can’t pull the wool over your eyes.”

With a wink, you turn to face Sans, who had missed your little exchange. After he finishes telling you of his many accomplishments, you give him a warm smile. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Magnificent Sans. My name is Y/N. I hope we can become good friends.”

Just like magic, his blue eye-lights turn into big, bright stars. “WOWSERS! FRIENDS? TO THINK YOU ALREADY LIKE ME SO MUCH AND WE’VE ONLY JUST MET! I REALLY AM POPULAR! MWEH HEH HEH!”

You reach out to grab Papyrus’ arm pretending to stagger. You clutch your chest with your other hand as you whisper. “His eyes just turned into freakin’ stars. This is it. This is how I die. My heart can’t take anymore.”

The smoker starts to snicker, obviously amused by your theatrics. His brother gives him a curious look. “WHAT’S SO FUNNY, PAPY?”

With a mischievous grin, you wink at the shorter skeleton. “I guess you could say that I tickled his funny bone.”

Cue increased laughter and loud groaning. “NOOOO!!!”

You soon join the older brother in laughing. This is way too much fun. Now you know why the older brothers always tell puns despite their sibling’s apparent dislike for it. The reactions are priceless!

After a few minutes, you all finally calm down. A chilly breeze blows by, reminding you how ill-prepared you are for this kind of weather. You sneeze. Shivering, you start to rub your arms, which feel like blocks of ice.

Sans gives you a concerned glance. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT, HUMAN? YOU LOOK VERY COLD!” He notices your bare arms. “OH MY STARS! WHY AREN’T YOU WEARING A JACKET? ISN’T A HUMAN’S SKIN REALLY SENSITIVE TO EXTREME TEMPERATURES?”

His brother chuckles. “she kinda dropped in unexpectedly, bro, so i don’t think she had time to get the proper clothes.”

Noticing the taller skeleton’s amusement, you wonder if he had witnessed your epic faceplant in the snow earlier. Well, that’s embarrassing. “Yeah I hadn’t planned on being somewhere so cold. Otherwise, I definitely would’ve brought a coat.”

And long sleeves, my warmest pair of pants, mittens, a scarf, the list goes on. Man, it’s cold!

Sans frowns worriedly. “WELL, LET’S NOT STAY HERE DAWDLING. WE NEED TO GET YOU INSIDE QUICKLY! I WAS EXCITED ABOUT GETTING YOU TO TRY OUT MY PUZZLES, BUT YOUR HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT!”

Aww, wasn’t he the sweetest thing? You’re really impressed with your self restraint. You thought for sure you’d have glomped the cutie by now. Well, you’re only really prolonging the inevitable. Eventually, you will cave.

Oblivious to your inner turmoil, the skeleton turns to his older brother. “PAPY! CAN YOU TELEPORT US TO OUR HOUSE? NORMALLY, I WOULDN’T CONDONE YOUR LAZINESS AND YOUR APPARENT DISLIKE FOR WALKING OR ANY OTHER PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. HOWEVER, I DON’T WANT THE HUMAN TO STAY OUTSIDE ANY LONGER THAN SHE HAS TO.”

Papyrus grins. “sure, bro. it’s snow problem. i agree she’s looking a little chilled to the bone. the sooner we get inside, the better.”

His brother moans at the two-for-one pun deal. Before Sans can scold the older skeleton, Papyrus grabs a hold of you both and teleports you to their home.

Your eyes widen in wonder as you take in the house’s interior. It’s exactly the same as the Undertale skeletons’ home, except everything is facing the opposite direction. Even the front door is on a different wall which makes you believe the house is on the other side of the street now. The staircase leading upstairs is also on the other side of the house.

You’re drawn out of your thoughts by a hand grabbing yours. Looking down, you see Sans grinning at you. “FOLLOW ME, HUMAN! WE’LL GET YOU WARMED UP IN NO TIME!”

With a smile, you follow the short skeleton who pulls you to their couch and motions for you to take a seat. Once you do, he grabs the nearby blanket and wraps it around your still trembling form.

Ahhh that feels so much better. I might get to keep my arms after all.

Sans leans back to observe his handiwork and frowns. “HMM. ONE BLANKET WON’T DO! I’LL GET THE OTHER ONES IN THE HALL CLOSET. WAIT RIGHT THERE, HUMAN!”

Before you can assure him that just one blanket is fine, Papyrus appears in his brother’s path holding a piece of blue cloth. “hey bro, maybe this’ll help?”

He holds out the piece of clothing so you can get a better look at it. You gasp in delight. It’s a blue hoodie that looks incredibly soft, but that’s not the best part. What catches your attention is the writing on the hoodie. In bold, white letters reads My Bro is Sansational with big exclamation points at the end. You don’t know what it is about these skeletons with their pun clothes, but you love it.

Sans groans into his hands. “PAPY! WHY WOULD YOU BRING THAT OF ALL THINGS FOR THE HUMAN TO WEAR? YOU HAVE PLENTY OF OTHER HOODIES.”

The taller skeleton winks. “but this one’s so punny. and it’s got your name on it, bro. so that makes it even more awesome. plus, it matches her amazing pants.”

Of course the pun lover would notice the pants you got from Undertale. You wonder if seeing them made him think to grab the specially-made hoodie.

You grin brightly. “Not gonna lie. I would totally love to wear that, but are you sure? I mean, that’s probably one of your favorite hoodies right? Is it okay for me to wear it?”

“it’s no problem, kid. this is actually my spare. muffet made me a backup just in case my other one got messed up in the washing machine.”

You tilt your head curiously. “Muffet makes clothes? I thought she sold sweets.”

He drops the hoodie into your lap and plops down onto the other side of the couch. “she does. the making clothes thing is just a hobby of hers. she likes to sew and knit. i asked her if she could make me that hoodie so i could wear it for sans’ birthday. i wanted to surprise him.”

Sans sighs as he moves to sit in the middle of the couch between the other two occupants. “WHILE I ALWAYS APPRECIATE YOUR THOUGHTFULNESS, PAPY, I WOULD MUCH RATHER HAVE A SURPRISE THAT IS NOT PUN-RELATED.”

His brother puts out his cigarette and flicks it toward the nearby garbage can. “got it. i’ll try something different next year. you know how i’ve been learning to play the trombone? maybe i’ll play that at the party.”

“PAPY, NO!”

“what? more of a fan of the sax-a-bone?”

Giggling, you pull the hoodie on and inspect your new clothes while the brothers continue to banter. The hoodie really is as soft as it looks. You don’t think you’ve ever worn something so soft in your entire life. You may never take this off. Hugging yourself, you sigh happily. Yes, this is perfect.

“how’s it feel, kid? you look like you’re about to fall asleep with those hooded eyes of yours.”

You snicker. “It’s perfect, Papyrus. Thank you. This is the most comfortable hoodie I’ve ever worn. I love it.”

Moving your gaze to Sans, you give him a warm smile. “And thank you for the blanket, Sans. I feel better already. You’re a real sweetheart.”

A blue blush appears on the shorter skeleton’s cheekbones. “YOU’RE WELCOME, HUMAN! I AM HAPPY TO BE OF HELP TO YOU!” He suddenly jumps to his feet. “AH, I ALMOST FORGOT! I NEED TO REPORT TO ALPHYS THAT WE FOUND YOU! SHE’LL BE SO PLEASED!”

When you give the older brother a nervous look, the taller skeleton reaches out to grab Sans before he can run off. “actually, bro, there’s something we need to tell you about the kid here. she’s not what we’d call a normal human.”

Sans looks understandably confused. “NOT NORMAL? WHY IS THAT?”

You quickly explain your situation to the younger skeleton who’s pulled back onto the couch by his brother. By the time you’re finished, he’s looking at you with big starry eyes. “WOWSERS! ANOTHER WORLD?! AND WE’RE VIDEOGAME CHARACTERS?! THAT’S AMAZING!”

His brother chuckles at his enthusiasm while gently rubbing the younger skeleton’s head. “sure is, bro. you could say she’s out of this world.”

Sans moans. “PAPY!”

You grin at the shorter skeleton. “So you understand now why I’d rather be kept a secret, right? I’d love to help you guys with the barrier, but I don’t even know how long I’ll be here. I wasn’t in the last universe more than a day before I teleported. I’m worried that the whole teleporting thing is gonna be a reoccurring theme. It’ll just be discouraging if I turn myself in only to disappear before I can help with the barrier.”

The younger brother nods. “YES, THAT WOULD BE VERY DEPRESSING. I’D RATHER NOT GET ANYONE’S HOPES UP. BESIDES, I’D ALSO LIKE TO HELP YOU FIND A WAY HOME. IT MUST BE QUITE SCARY TRAVELLING TO DIFFERENT WORLDS ALL BY YOURSELF.”

Your heart warms at his thoughtfulness. These sweetheart skeletons are going to be the death of you. You just know it. Before you can stop yourself, you reach out and hug the smaller skeleton. “Thank you, Sans. You’re the best!”

When you pull back, you notice his cheekbones are a dark blue, and his eye-lights are star-shaped. The uncontrollable urge to hug him comes back tenfold.

Oh what the hell? Why not? It’s not like another hug will hurt. My self restraint has already left the stratosphere.

With a loud squeal, you embrace him again, squeezing him as tight as you can without actually hurting him. “Why are you so cute?! You’re killing me! You’re way too adorable! This kind of cuteness should be illegal! Why are you not in jail?!”

On the other side of the couch, you can hear Papyrus laughing uncontrollably. He seems to find the whole situation hilarious. He’s not even trying to come to his brother’s rescue when Sans starts complaining.

“I AM NOT CUTE, HUMAN! I AM A FIERCE WARRIOR. I-”

The rest of his protests are drowned out by your squealing as you continue to hug Sans like he’s a teddy bear. You finally release him after a few minutes when you feel that you have filled your hug quota for the hour.

Sans huffs to himself before glaring at his brother. “PAPY, QUIT LAUGHING! THERE WAS NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT THAT! YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HELPING ME DEFEND MY MANLINESS!”

That comment does not help Papyrus rein in his laughter at all. Rather, it does the complete opposite. Even you can’t help but giggle at the younger skeleton’s words.

It takes a while, but the taller brother finally calms down enough to speak. “sorry, bro. you know i’ll always have your backbone. please ex-squeeze me for laughing.”

The shorter skeleton grabs his brother’s hoodie and starts shaking him. “PAPY, NO!!!”

You think to yourself that these skeletons’ antics might actually be funnier than the Undertale brothers. It’s definitely a tight race.

Taking pity on the young skeleton, you decide to come up with a distraction for him. You think of his interests and come up with an idea. “Hey, Sans? You wouldn’t happen to have any board games, would you?”

Sans quickly turns to you with starry eyes. “OF COURSE! THE MAGNIFICENT SANS IS THE MASTER OF ALL GAMES! I HAVE EVERYTHING. DO YOU WISH TO PLAY?”

At his hopeful tone, you grin, happy that your idea worked. “I’d absolutely love to. What game would you like to play first?”

Beaming, Sans dashes toward the stairs. “I’LL BE RIGHT BACK, HUMAN! THE GAMES ARE IN MY ROOM! I’LL BRING THEM ALL SO YOU KNOW WHAT WE HAVE TO CHOOSE FROM!”

Within seconds, he’s out of sight. The only way you know for sure that he even went upstairs is the sound of a door banging open from the next floor. You shrug when you see the other skeleton’s curious look. “It’ll be kinda dangerous for me to do his puzzles that are outside since they’re out in the open, so I figured board games were the next best bet.”

You watch as Papyrus pops a sucker into his mouth. It makes you wonder if Sans has prohibited smoking indoors. He fiddles with the stick of the sucker. “smart move. my bro has a lot of games, so you definitely won’t be board.”

In a flash, the younger brother returns, arms full of board games which he carefully places on the floor. You slip off the couch so that you can join him on the floor. Papyrus quickly moves to take the whole couch for himself. The couch is just big enough that the tall skeleton can stretch out completely.

Sans grins. “WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY FIRST, HUMAN? SINCE YOU ARE OUR GUEST, I’LL LET YOU HAVE FIRST PICK!”

You smile at him before moving to gaze at the games. “Thank you. You’re such a gentleman.”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

There’s quite a selection to choose from. Papyrus wasn’t kidding when he said his brother has a lot of games. What surprises you the most is that they’re all human board games. You were expecting some monster board games that you’d have to learn the rules for, but these are all games you played growing up. You can’t help but wonder where the skeleton found all these games.

Hmm what should I choose? He’s got so many like Sorry, Chutes and Ladders, Operation, Candy Land, and even Monopoly. I’ve never finished a game of Monopoly before. I wonder if Sans has. Either way, I’d rather save that one for later if we have to play it.

“What about Candy Land? I haven’t played that in forever.”

Sans immediately grabs the box for the game and starts setting everything up. He’s so fast you don’t even have time to volunteer to help. “MWEH HEH HEH! GOOD CHOICE, HUMAN! I MUST WARN YOU THAT I HAVE NEVER LOST AT THIS GAME. PREPARE TO BE DEFEATED!”

You laugh. “Thanks for the warning. I’m gonna make you work hard for that victory.”

Before you begin, you turn to the skeleton on the couch. “Do you wanna play too, Papyrus?”

He rests his arms behind his head. “nah no thanks, kid. it’s sweet of you to offer though. i’ll just cheer from the sidelines.”

You’re surprised the younger brother didn’t respond to the pun, but when you turn your attention back to Sans, you see that he’s more focused on the game. He must not have heard his brother.

So starts your fun-filled day of board games. Unsurprisingly, Sans wins the first round, but you don’t give up. After five rounds, you manage to achieve two victories to the skeleton’s three. You consider the fact that you won some rounds an accomplishment.

The game lover picks Sorry next. Similar to the first game, he is ultimately victorious though you do win a few times. This pattern continues with all of the games. It’s a good thing you’re not a sore loser. At least you get to hug the skeleton every time you lose with a claim that you need some sort of consolation prize after all your hard effort. Each time you do this, his brother chuckles.

You blink in surprise when Sans pulls out Clue for the next game. How had you not noticed that one? You didn’t think Papyrus would let his brother play a game that technically involves murder. Maybe it’s okay since it’s a human that dies?

After so many rousing defeats, it’s finally your time to shine. Clue has always been one of your favorite games, so you don’t plan on losing. The small skeleton is shocked when you win the first round. You’re not. The best way to win at Clue is to keep as many of your cards a secret as possible, even if it means heading to a room that you already know isn’t the murder scene. It’s a good way to confuse your opponents. While Sans is very talented, deception does not seem to be his forte.

However, you have to give the skeleton credit. He’s a fast learner. After your first three victories, he manages to sneak in a win for himself. You two end up playing more rounds of Clue than any other board game because the two of you can’t bring yourselves to stop. Finally, you both cease after Papyrus reminds Sans that you two won’t have time to play all of the other games if you keep playing the same one. The younger brother concedes, so you pump your fist in triumph. With a score of 10 to 9, victory is yours!

At the sight of Sans’ pout, you lean down to give the skeleton a quick peck on his cheekbone. His face becomes as bright as a blue Christmas light. You wink. “You put up a good fight, Magnificent Sans. That was a lot of fun. There’s your reward for all your hard work.”

Papyrus snickers at his brother’s flustered expression. “isn’t that great, bro? now you can’t lose no matter how each game turns out. no need to feel so blue about defeat.”

“PAPY!”

You giggle at their antics. Sans quickly brings out the next game, doing his best to ignore his brother. The pattern continues with him winning at every game, although you manage to tie with him at Operation. You can’t help but feel grateful he hasn’t chosen Monopoly yet. You’ve heard horror stories of people spending days playing that game. You really don’t want to find out if it’s truly possible.

Before you can ask about the next game, the skeleton brings out a deck of Uno cards which makes you stare at him in shock. He even has Uno?! More importantly, from where did he pull out that deck? Is he a magician?

You get his attention before he starts dealing the cards. “Hold on. I know Papyrus is content being on the sidelines, but I think he should play with us this time. This game is more fun when you have a lot of people to play with.”

Sans grins. “YOU MAKE AN EXCELLENT POINT, HUMAN! BESIDES, MY BROTHER SHOULDN’T BE A TOTAL LAZYBONES. HE TOO IS A HOST, SO IT’S ALSO HIS JOB TO HELP ENTERTAIN GUESTS.”

Papyrus sighs, moving so that he’s now on his side. “well if my bro puts it like that, i can’t really refuse. i’ll play a couple of rounds.”

The grin on his younger brother’s face grows as he practically radiates excitement. The both of you reposition yourselves so that you can include the tall skeleton in your circle. Within seconds, the cards are distributed among your little trio.

And so the battle begins.

It starts out simply enough. No one does anything too outrageous until Sans puts down a draw four card which forces his brother to draw from the deck. That’s where it goes down hill. Papyrus is surprisingly competitive when it comes to this game. From then on, the two put down cards in an attempt to one-up each other which is pretty impressive since they still somehow manage to do this even though you go after Papyrus meaning the taller skeleton’s cards should mainly be affecting you.

This continues for some time until.. “Uno!”

The two brothers stare at you and your one card in disbelief. They had been so preoccupied with each other that they forgot about little ol’ you. Unfortunately for them, their attempts at stopping you fail, leaving you the victor of this round.

You grin cheekily as you lay down your final card. “Looks like I’m the winner. Would you guys like your consolation prizes now?”

Sans blushes while his brother chuckles. “as tempting as that offer is, i think we should wait until the end. this is only round one, right? you’re not ready to throw in the towel yet are you, bro?”

The younger skeleton shakes his head rapidly. “OF COURSE NOT! THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING! PAPY DISTRACTED ME LAST TIME, BUT YOU WON’T CATCH ME OFF GUARD AGAIN SO EASILY! YOU WILL BE DEFEATED, HUMAN!”

The looks the two are giving you make you feel nervous. You have a bad feeling about this. Unfortunately, there’s no way out.

You quickly realize only a few minutes into the second round that your bad feeling was definitely warranted. The brothers basically tag team against you with draw four cards. Either Papyrus would play that card or a reversal so his little brother could. These guys are vicious. By the end of the round, Sans is victorious, and you have what feels like half the deck in your hands.

With a huff, you return the cards to the game-loving skeleton who begins to shuffle excitedly. “I gotta say you skeletons sure are heartless when it comes to this game.”

The pun causes the taller brother to snicker loudly while the other groans. “NOOO! THAT’S IT! NEW RULE FOR GAME DAY: NO PUNS!”

You raise an eyebrow before turning to Papyrus, who winks at you. Yeah, you don’t see that stopping him anytime soon. That’ll probably just encourage the older brother instead.

Putting your game face on, you do your best to not let the skeletons overwhelm you like last time. Thankfully, this round the brothers take turns going after you and each other, so you have more of a chance.

Time passes, and you actually lose count of how many times each of you has won. You think the three of you are pretty much tied. Before you can ask, you hear the sound of a clock chime. You look around but don’t see a clock. It must be either in the kitchen or upstairs.

Sans’ eye-lights widen. “WOWZERS! LUNCHTIME ALREADY? TIME SURE DOES FLY WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN!” He rises to his feet. “YOU MUST BE HUNGRY, HUMAN! WAIT THERE, AND I’LL PREPARE SOME OF MY DELICIOUS TACOS FOR YOU!”

You start gathering the Uno cards in order to put them back in their box. “Thank you, Sans. You’re such a good host. You can call me Y/N if you want since we’re practically besties now.”

Cue the starry eyes. “BESTIES?!”

You nod. “Yep. Only the best of friends can go through so many hours of board games and not get tired. Plus, no fights broke out which isn’t common for Uno, so I think we’re definitely BFF’s now.”

Papyrus chuckles as he moves into a more comfortable position on the couch while his brother practically sparkles. “WOWZERS! NOT ONLY HAVE I ACQUIRED A NEW FRIEND. I EVEN HAVE A BEST FRIEND NOW! THIS CALLS FOR CELEBRATION! I’LL MAKE SURE THESE ARE THE BEST TACOS I’VE EVER MADE!”

He dashes toward the kitchen while you finish cleaning up the floor. After you’re done, you turn toward the lazy skeleton. “Thanks for the help. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

The older brother grins at your sarcasm. “no prob, kid. thanks for playing with my bro. it looked like he had a really good time. he hasn’t had a lot to do lately until you got here. taco ‘bout good timing.”

You roll your eyes as you move to stand. Sans has been left alone in the kitchen for a while now. Considering his cooking skills are supposed to be similar to Undertale Papyrus, you can’t help but feel nervous.

After a few minutes of inward debate, you finally decide to head for the kitchen to see if Sans would like any help. Before you can pass through the doorway, a familiar feeling washes over you.

Instead of standing at the kitchen doorway, you’re back on the floor in front of the couch. You look down to see the board games that you put in a neat stack are back to being spread out across the floor. Sans is also back in the living room looking very excited.

“WOWZERS! NOT ONLY HAVE I ACQUIRED A NEW FRIEND. I EVEN HAVE A BEST FRIEND NOW! THIS CALLS FOR CELEBRATION! I’LL MAKE SURE THESE ARE THE BEST TACOS I’VE EVER MADE!”

Deja vu hits you like a freight train as you numbly watch the shorter skeleton run into the kitchen. When you turn to face Papyrus, you see his harried expression, which confirms your suspicions. You can only hope this reset isn’t the beginning of a pattern like in Undertale. Otherwise, Underswap is in for some trouble.

Chapter Text

You watch as Papyrus fiddles with a pack of cigarettes, probably inwardly debating whether or not he’s willing to upset his brother by breaking the no smoking indoors rule. Finally, the skeleton sighs and shoves the pack back into his pant’s pocket.

Quickly, you reorganize the board games before turning to face the lazy monster. It takes you a few minutes to gather up your courage, but you finally address the elephant in the room. “Papyrus? Where’s Chara? Have they already passed through Snowdin?”

This is unlikely considering the older skeleton was at his sentry station near the Ruins when you arrived. He would’ve been following the kid if they had already passed through. Still, you felt it best to ask just to confirm your suspicions.

Papyrus shakes his head. “no, they haven’t even left the ruins yet. they’ve been in there for some time now, which is strange. they’ve never stayed in there for that long before. well, at least not that i can remember.”

You bite your lip. “In the last world, I asked Sans if he remembered resets. He said he remembered events related to loads more easily than when the kid would do a true reset and go back to the beginning. Is it the same for you, or do you remember everything?”

Back at the sentry station, when you were explaining your situation, you made sure to include what you knew about the powers the human children possessed. It’s not like you believed the same problem would occur in Underswap; you wanted to tell him just in case. You never told Sans, however, because Papyrus asked you not to, saying his brother had no memory of resets so there was no point in telling him.

The older brother rubs a tired hand down his face. “it just depends. i can remember events related to the loads for the most part, and i can remember good chunks of what took place in the previous run. i know we’ve made it to the surface before, but i don’t know how many times it’s actually happened.”

You frown, giving the skeleton a sympathetic look. You can’t imagine how it must feel finally being able to reach the surface only to be dragged right back underground because of the whims of a child. You wonder if Chara is exploiting their powers or if there’s an actual reason behind their actions. You remember reading fanfiction and theories that talked about Frisk getting possessed by Chara, who would force them to continually reset and do genocide runs. Is something similar happening with the Chara of this universe?

“Was that the first time they reset since returning to the Ruins?”

He moves the sucker around his mouth as he thinks. “no. they did it a couple of times before you got here, but then the resets suddenly stopped. i figured they did that because they finished having their fun.”

You run a hand through your hair as you ponder his response. Somehow, you’ve got a bad feeling about this. The only monster in the Ruins powerful enough to make Chara reset multiple times is Asgore. If that’s the case, why hasn’t Chara left the ruins? If the resets stopped, that means they won the battle right?

With a sigh, you return your gaze to the lazy skeleton. “Papyrus? You remember what I told you about the glitch in Undertale?”

At his nod, you continue. “If another reset occurs, can we go to the Ruins to check things out? I’m worried something similar might start happening in this world.”

For a while, Papyrus remains silent, just blankly staring at the ceiling. Finally, he agrees. “alright. if another reset happens, we’ll go, but there’s really nothing we can do. the only way into the ruins is through that door, and it only opens from the inside. we’re better off just waiting it out.”

“If this does turn out to be the same as it was in Undertale, waiting it out isn’t an option. I don’t know why, but Frisk never tried to do a true reset despite dying almost ten times in a row from that glitch. My bet is the glitch somehow prevented them from doing anything other than loading at that one save point.That’s why they were stuck in that horrible loop. If Chara is in the same position, they won’t get the option to stop. Either they keep trying, or they never get to leave the Ruins.”

The skeleton shrugs. “it’s not like staying in the ruins is all bad. the guy who lives there is nice, so the kid will be well-taken care of.”

You raise an eyebrow. “There’s no way they’ll be satisfied with staying in that small area for the rest of their life. They might take breaks after so many resets, but I doubt they’ll give up.”

As if to reinforce your statement, another reset occurs, and you are once again facing an excited Sans.

“WOWZERS! NOT ONLY HAVE I ACQUIRED A NEW FRIEND. I EVEN HAVE A BEST FRIEND NOW! THIS CALLS FOR CELEBRATION! I’LL MAKE SURE THESE ARE THE BEST TACOS I’VE EVER MADE!”

After he runs off to the kitchen, you turn and give the older brother a look. With a sigh, he sits up and reaches out to grab your shoulder.

In a flash, you are both standing in front of the Ruins.This is actually your first time seeing the entrance to the Ruins up close. It’s a set of purple double doors with matching pillars on each side and an archway over the top resting across the top of the pillars. You give one of the doors an experimental push, only to find it won’t budge. You’re not really surprised, but you figure it was worth a shot.

Papyrus leans against the other door and pulls out a cigarette from his pack. With a snap of his fingers, it’s lit, and he’s breathing in the toxic fumes. You’ve never been fond of smoking. When you were a child, you’d always get sick after visiting relatives that smoked often. While you’re not deathly allergic to cigarette smoke, it does irritate your allergies. More than anything, you’ve always hated the smell. However, you refrain from saying anything since the skeleton clearly needs a break.

Since trying to open the door didn’t work, you decide to put your ear against it to see if you can hear anything from the other side. After a few minutes of silence, you sigh and move to lean against the door like the smoker beside you.

The skeleton exhales a large cloud of smoke. “see? told ya. there’s no point. we can’t do anything from this side. you’re better off giving up now. save yourself the trouble.”

You give him an annoyed look. “I can’t just give up! If there really is a problem, then we’re gonna be stuck in a constant loop of resets! We still have some time. Chara probably just hasn’t made it to the door yet. When they do, Asgore will try to stop them. Hopefully, if we can hear them, they can hear us. If Asgore is behind Chara’s resets, maybe we can reason with him. He only attacks them because he wants to prevent them from leaving. He believes they’ll die just like the previous kids if they leave.”

He tilts his head curiously. “asgore? as in king asgore? that’s the guy in the ruins who laughs at my jokes?”

You nod. “In Undertale, it’s Toriel, but in your world, it was Asgore who left the castle to live in the Ruins.”

“huh. guess i should start coming up with some royalty puns for the next time i come visit him. or maybe i should ask him. he’s goat to know some.”

Even though you try, you can’t hold back the snicker. Encouraged by your response, Papyrus starts reeling out more puns, causing you to laugh harder.

After a while, he finally stops, wearing a satisfied grin. Grateful for the reprieve, you try to bring your breathing back under control.

As you crouch against the door, you hear a noise. Immediately, you perk up and move to place your ear on the door. You can feel your heartbeat speed up at the sound of voices. They’re here!

“I am sorry, my child. I cannot let you pass. It is too dangerous outside these Ruins for a human child. Please reconsider.”

Unfortunately, you can’t hear what Chara is saying. Only Asgore’s voice is loud enough to be heard through the door.

“Very well. If you are that determined, you must battle with me first. You must prove to me that you are strong enough to survive out there. If you cannot defeat me, you have no hope of making it through the Underground.”

Although you can’t hear what’s going on very clearly, it’s obvious the battle has started. You quickly turn to Papyrus, who’s frowning. “Papyrus! You need to try and talk some sense into Asgore! He’ll recognize who you are by your voice, so there’s a chance he’ll listen to you. Try to convince him that Chara will be safe even after they leave the Ruins. You made that promise with him, right?”

The skeleton rubs his forehead. “i did, but honestly, i wish i hadn’t. that kid has caused a lot of trouble since coming here. i might not remember everything, but i know. this is why i hate promises.”

He pushes off the door and moves to face it. “but i’ll give it a try. it’s not like i want these resets to go on forever.”

You frown worriedly at him. It looks like Papyrus has some bad memories when it comes to Chara. You can’t say you’re surprised. You can only hope his feelings won’t end up clouding his judgement.

With trepidation, you watch as he reaches out to knock on the door. “knock knock!”

Leaning against the door, you notice the other side has gone silent. You can’t hear anything resembling a battle going on. Maybe talking will solve this problem.

“That voice!”

Papyrus grins. “come on, pal, you know that’s not how it goes. we’ve been sharing knock-knock jokes for a while now. don’t tell me you forgot your lines?”

“I am sorry, old friend, but I do not have time for jokes at the moment. A more urgent matter demands my attention.”

The skeleton sighs, releasing another cloud of smoke. “that’s too bad. i’ve been knocking my brain trying to come up with new jokes that you’ll a-door. oh well. maybe i can help you with that urgent matter? i noticed you were making a lot more noise than usual. something going on?”

You notice a hint of nervousness in the former king’s voice. “No thank you, friend. I am quite capable of handling this matter on my own. I would hate to cause you any unnecessary trouble.”

Papyrus shrugs, even though Asgore can’t see the motion. “well if you say so. it sounded like you were fighting someone, so i was worried you might be in trouble. but if you say you’re fine, i’ll take your word for it.”

“A fight? Oh no! Not at all! I was just--”

Before Asgore can finish his sentence, a young voice cuts him off.

“Papyrus! Help!”

Your eyes widen. This is your first time hearing Chara’s voice. By the sound of it, they had to shout as loud as they could just to get their voice heard through the thick doors.

When you turn to the skeleton, you see him frowning at the entrance with a pensive expression. After a few seconds, he finally responds, “looks like you’re not the only one there, pal. maybe you should explain what’s going on?”

“I am merely trying to protect this human child. It is too dangerous for them to go outside the Ruins! If they stay here with me, I can look after them and make sure they stay safe.”

Papyrus takes another drag from his cigarette and exhales. “that’s real nice of you, pal, but it sounds like that’s not what they want. are you really gonna force them to stay there?”

You can’t hear Chara anymore, so you’re wondering if they’re too scared to talk or if they’re waiting for another good moment to interrupt. Hopefully, the monsters can come to an agreement soon.

“The child is too young to understand the dangers of this world! Sometimes adults must make tough decisions that children will dislike because it is in their best interests. I have failed all of the children who have come before now, but I will save this child!”

With that final note, you can tell Asgore is done with this conversation. He’s determined not to let Papyrus talk him out of this. You hear Chara’s voice cry out, which signals that the battle has recommenced.

Panicked, you start banging on the doors with your fists as hard as you can in an attempt to regain the former king’s attention. All the while, Papyrus stoically stares at the door. “Please, hold on! We can talk this out! You’re worried about the child’s safety, right? That’s the only reason you’re doing this? What if we can promise someone will be there to watch over them as they head for the barrier? You wouldn’t have to worry about them if they had a guardian, right?”

Thankfully, Asgore doesn’t seem to question the new voice because he’s too busy contemplating your words. “A guardian? You mean someone would stay by the child’s side and make sure they get through the Underground safely?”

You nod frantically despite knowing he can’t see you. “Yes! You made Papyrus promise to watch over the human children that come out of the Ruins, remember? He’s strong and dependable! He wouldn’t do anything to hurt the kid.”

Despite being mentioned, the skeleton remains silent, neither confirming nor denying your words. Something about his blank expression worries you. However, before you can question him, Asgore responds.

“Ah yes, that promise. I had almost forgotten. Are you still willing to keep it, old friend? Will you protect this child and make sure they find their way home without coming into harm’s way? If it is you, I know they will be safe. While we may not know each other very well, I can tell that you are trustworthy.”

You sigh in relief, grateful that your words had reached the former king. All that’s left is for Papyrus to say he’ll keep his promise. Then Chara will be safe, and you two won’t have to worry about the constant resets.

However, the expected reply does not come. After a few minutes of silence, you turn to Papyrus, wanting to ask the reason for him remaining quiet.

You turn just in time to see the skeleton clench his teeth so hard that they bite through the cigarette, causing the lit end to fall to the snow below and immediately fizzle out. He spits out the other part of the cigarette and clenches his fists tightly. Throughout this, he remains deadly silent.

It’s clear to you that he’s upset, but about what? Making a promise? But he’s already made this promise to Asgore. The former king is basically asking him to reconfirm it. Is it that big of a deal?

Once again, you hear Chara’s voice. “Papyrus?”

The child sounds scared as expected, but there’s more to their tone than just fear. While you might be mishearing due to the distance between the two of you, you swear you can hear what sounds like guilt and regret in their voice. Did something bad happen between these two in the last run? You can’t say you’re surprised, but talk about bad timing.

Papyrus stiffens at the sound of Chara’s voice. Abruptly, he turns around and starts to walk away from the Ruins' entrance at a faster than normal pace.

You can only stare gobsmacked. “Papyrus?! Where are you going?! What about the kid?! You can’t just leave now!”

Faintly, you hear a sigh from the other side of the door.“It looks like I asked too much of my old friend. I understand why he would not want to take on such a great responsibility. It would put him in danger as well. I was foolish to ask him to carry such a burden. I should not try to hand off responsibilities to others that I should handle myself.”

“No! Please stop! I don’t wanna fight you! Please just let me through! Papyrus! Papyrus, please come back! I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!”

At the sound of Chara’s desperate pleas, you begin pounding on the door again, hitting it with all your might. “Please stop! Don’t do this! Fighting them won’t solve anything! They’ll only get hurt! Just let them leave, please! I promise they’ll be all right! Just let them pass!”

No matter how hard you hit the door or how loud you yell, your request goes ignored. All you can hear is Chara occasionally cry out in pain from Asgore’s attacks.

Finally, after a particularly loud scream and a horrified shout, everything resets.

Once again, you’re sitting on the living room floor in the skeletons' home with Sans beaming in front of you.

“WOWZERS! NOT ONLY HAVE I ACQUIRED A NEW FRIEND. I EVEN HAVE A BEST FRIEND NOW! THIS CALLS FOR CELEBRATION! I’LL MAKE SURE THESE ARE THE BEST TACOS I’VE EVER MADE!”

As soon as he’s out of the room, you quickly rise to your feet and face Papyrus who’s stretched out across the couch.

With considerable effort, you manage to keep your voice low enough to avoid Sans overhearing even though you want nothing more than to scream. “What the hell was that?! Papyrus! We were so close to getting Chara out of there! All you had to do was agree, and Asgore would’ve let the kid go! Instead, you walk off, and another reset happens! Why?!”

Deciding he doesn’t care about the no smoking indoors rule, Papyrus lights up a cigarette and takes a drag. “just because you know the basics of this world doesn’t mean you know everything. you don’t know what all that kid’s done. i have my reasons for not wanting to put up with them.”

You freeze at the implications. For Papyrus to be this upset with the kid, that means only one thing. The last run was a genocide run. If that’s true, then his brother was…

Oh, man. No wonder he looked so tense at the Ruins. If Papyrus can only remember clearly what happened in the previous run, then all he remembers is Chara performing a genocide run--which actually means Frisk going genocide? Usually, in fanfiction, the ghost possessing the child takes control of their body, leading to the genocide route. Is that what happened in the last run? Did Chara take control at some point and reset to undo all the damage?

All this speculating is giving you a headache. With a sigh, you move to sit on the armrest that his feet are resting against. “But what about the resets? Surely, you don’t want this to keep happening?

He shrugs. “eventually, they’ll give up. they’ll realize there’s no point in fighting asgore, and they’ll stay in the ruins. it’s not like it’s that bad there. they’ll be fine.”

You want to argue with him, but you don’t know what to say. What can you say? You’re asking the guy to help save the kid who killed his brother in the past. Sure, Sans is fine now, but that doesn’t change the fact that his death still happened. And Papyrus remembers it. Obviously very clearly considering his current feelings toward the kid.

How can I ask him to help after what he’s been through? He has every reason to be mad at Chara. I honestly can’t blame him, but does that mean we should excuse what’s going on? Just let the kid keep getting killed? Just leave them trapped in the Ruins for the rest of their life?

It’s after two more resets occur that you decide you’ve had enough. Once Sans is out of the room, you jump to your feet and reach out to grab the startled skeleton’s arm. “All right, you don’t wanna help the kid? Fine. But I’m not gonna just leave them there. Take me to the Ruins. You don’t have to stay; just drop me off. I’ll think of what to do on my own.”

Papyrus silently stares at you, obviously hesitant, but relents at your pleading gaze. “fine. i’ll give you a lift, but that’s it.”

You smile at him, hoping he knows how grateful you are. Within seconds, you’re standing in front of the entrance to the Ruins. You turn to thank the skeleton only to see he’s already gone. He left as soon as he came.

Frowning sadly, you feel a pang in your heart. You had hoped that Papyrus would change his mind and at least keep you company, but you were wrong.

It’s not that surprising. Of course he wouldn’t stay. He hardly knows me. It’s a miracle he let me into his home and let me befriend his brother. Of course he wouldn’t want to help me if it meant helping the kid that caused him so much pain. I should consider myself lucky that he did this much for me.

WIth a sigh, you slouch against one of the doors and consider your options. You told Papyrus you’d handle this on your own, but what can you really do? You can’t directly intervene in the fight because the entrance is locked. All you can do is talk to Asgore.

But what should I say? Should I tell him I’m a human like Chara? Maybe he’d trust me to look after them? Or would he refuse because I’d be just as powerless? What should I do?

You remain lost in your thoughts for some time until you finally hear noises from the other side of the door. Taking a deep breath to calm your nerves, you raise your hand and knock on the door. “Hello? My name is Y/N. Can we please talk?”

Asgore’s deep voice comes muffled from the other side. “I am sorry, my dear. I am a little preoccupied at the moment. Could you return at a later time?”

Faintly, you can hear Chara’s voice. “That voice! Are you the lady from before?”

Smiling at the child’s hopeful tone, you press on. “I’m sorry, but this is important. I noticed sounds of a fight coming from behind this door, and I heard a child’s voice just now. Can you please tell me what’s going on? I’d like to help.”

“Unfortunately, my dear, there is nothing you can help with. Do not worry. I do not plan on hurting this child. I am only trying to convince them not to leave because it is much too dangerous for them to leave on their own.”

Deciding to feign ignorance, you question the former king. “Dangerous? But all monsters are such kind souls. They wouldn’t purposely hurt one of their own, especially not a child. I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about.”

Asgore seems to hesitate before responding, “That is true, but this child is special. They require constant observation, or their health will be put at risk. I am unable to leave these Ruins, so it is in their best interest to remain here with me.”

Ah, well played, Asgore. As expected of a former king, he’s good with his words. He’s left out the important fact that Chara’s a human, but it’s not like his words are a lie. He’s just making it sound like the kid has an illness that needs to be constantly monitored. If anyone else heard that, they’d accept his words at face value and not be the least bit suspicious.

The question now is--how should you respond?

It’s at this point that Chara chooses to intervene. “My health is perfectly fine! I just want to leave this place. He’s worried that I’ll get hurt, but I’ll be fine! I can take care of myself! I just want to see Papyrus. I want--I need to apologize to him!”

You wish the aforementioned skeleton was here to hear those words. They obviously regret what happened in the previous run. Sure, saying sorry doesn’t immediately make everything better, but it’s always a good start. Maybe you can convince Papyrus to come back and hear them out.

“Now, child, there is no need to get upset. It may be a hard adjustment at first, but I think you will grow to love the Ruins. It is a nice home that will keep you safe.”

You sigh at the monster’s stubbornness. No matter how nicely he tries to word things, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s trying to lock them up in the Ruins. No child would be happy trapped in such small quarters, even if it keeps them safe. You decide to tell the former king your thoughts.

His voice gains a melancholy tone. “Yes, it may be true that the Ruins are not very large, but surely the child’s safety is more important?”

As you cram your hands into your hoodie pocket in an attempt to keep them warm, you consider his words. “Yes, safety is always important but even more than their happiness? I don’t know. It’s hard to say. I think you should consider their feelings more. I mean, it’s not like you know for certain that something bad will happen to them when they leave the Ruins, right? If you’re that worried, I don’t mind walking them to Snowdin. It’s a peaceful town, and if the kid starts feeling unwell, they can visit the doctor there. Honestly, wouldn’t it be healthier for the kid to leave at least every now and then? Kids need fresh air to grow big and strong.”

Chara seems to like your line of thinking. “Yes! If you want, I’ll come back and visit you every so often. Even if you can’t open the doors, I’ll just talk to you from the outside. I promise I’ll be really careful. Please let me leave!”

You begin to feel hopeful since the silence means Asgore is at least considering your words. However, that hope soon plummets at his next words.

“I am sorry. I just cannot take that chance. If they had a proper escort throughout their journey, I would consider letting them leave, but if the child will just be left on their own, they are better off staying here. I appreciate your concern for the child, but I will take care of this matter on my own. Now, let us go home, my child.”

“No! Please let me leave! I don’t want to stay here for the rest of my life! Please!!”

The child’s refusal leads to the start of another battle despite your protests. Your begging and pleading falls on deaf ears as you continue to bang on the door.

Just like before, you hear the kid’s painful cry and Asgore’s yell of horror before everything resets.

“WOWZERS! NOT ONLY HAVE I ACQUIRED A NEW FRIEND. I EVEN HAVE A BEST FRIEND NOW! THIS CALLS FOR CELEBRATION! I’LL MAKE SURE THESE ARE THE BEST TACOS I’VE EVER MADE!”

You don’t know how, but you manage to contain your trembling until Sans disappears into the kitchen. You hug yourself as you fight back frustrated tears.

What do I do? Asgore won’t listen to me. He’ll only let Chara go if he knows someone will be there to watch over them, but Papyrus doesn’t want anything to do with them. The only way to stop these resets is for Asgore to willingly let them go. How can I convince him?

A hand ruffling your hair startles you out of your thoughts. You look up to see Papyrus studying you, cigarette already in his mouth. “you tried, kid. all we can do now is wait this out. they’ll give up eventually.”

You rub your eyes, before grabbing the hand on top of your head tightly. “Papyrus, Chara recognized my voice from the first time. They told me they wanted to find you and apologize for what happened. I know apologies don’t fix everything, but the kid really does regret what they did. Please help them. If you tell Asgore that you’ll watch over them, he’ll let them leave because he trusts you. He won’t let them go unless he knows someone will look out for them.”

The bony hand in your grip clenches. “if only apologies were enough. ya know, they might just be saying that so someone will help them. sorry, but i have no intentions of making the same mistake again. the only promises i’m interested in making now are with my bro.”

It seems no matter what you say, Papyrus won’t listen to you. Not wanting to risk entering an argument with the skeleton, you decide to not push him any further. Instead, you simply request for him to return you to the Ruins.

He sighs. “you’re one stubborn human. even though you should know there’s no point, you keep going back.”

With that, he teleports you to the Ruins and then disappears.

This pattern continues for the next five resets. You plead for Asgore to let Chara leave, only for him ignore your words in the end. Each time the kid becomes more and more despondent until it sounds like they’re crying with every word that speak.

Right before the latest reset happened, Chara said something that continues to replay in your head.

“Please tell Papyrus that I’m sorry! I didn’t want to do it! I lost control and couldn’t do anything until it was too late! I know it’s still my fault, but please tell him I’m sorry!”

You’re so deeply in thought that you don’t even hear Sans’s usual words before he heads for the kitchen.

They lost control? Does that mean they really are possessed by Frisk? That the spirit really can take control of their body to kill people? If that’s the case, then Chara has been suffering not because of their own actions but because of Frisk’s.

Your eyes narrow. This can’t continue. You have to tell Papyrus what you found out and convince him to help. He has to help save Chara.

Slowly, you rise to your feet and move to face the smoking skeleton. He raises an eye ridge at your determined expression. “don’t tell me you wanna go again? come on, kid. you’ve tried doing this on your own six times now. just give up. there’s nothing wrong with giving up if all your efforts are pointless.”

You scowl at him. “And you’re really fine with that? Letting things remain as they are? Papyrus, ignoring your problems won’t make them go away! Chara doesn’t deserve to suffer like this! Besides, what if they keep trying to leave and keep resetting? The resets only work as long as the kid has determination. What if they start to lose their determination because this keeps happening? If that happens, they’ll stay dead!”

Papyrus averts his eye-lights and mutters, “is that really a bad thing?”

He doesn’t say it as quietly as he intended because you clearly heard him. You can only stare wide-eyed, too horrified to respond.

Fortunately, you don’t have to because someone else decides to give the lazy skeleton a piece of their mind.

“OF COURSE IT’S A BAD THING! HOW COULD YOU SAY SOMETHING SO CRUEL, PAPY?!”

Immediately, both of your heads whip around to see Sans standing in the kitchen doorway staring at his brother with teary, upset eye-lights.

The shorter skeleton continues before his shocked sibling can respond. “CHARA IS OUR FRIEND! IF THEY’RE IN TROUBLE, WE SHOULD HELP THEM! WHY DO YOU REFUSE TO, PAPY?!”

You continue to stare in wide-eyed disbelief as Sans’s words register in your mind. He said Chara. So he knows who the kid is even though he hasn’t met them yet?

Then that means...Sans remembers resets?!

Chapter Text

Both you and Papyrus continue to gape at the younger skeleton. What’s going on? Does Sans suddenly remember past runs where he befriended Chara? But, why so suddenly? Because of the constant resets that have been occurring? Did they affect his memory somehow?

What the hell?! In each AU, whenever there’s a skeleton that remembers resets, it’s always the older brother, the lazy one who acts as a judge. I’ve never heard of Underswap Sans remembering resets!

“sans, you remember resets? but, you’ve never said anything about them before.”

Sans tilts his head curiously, upset frown still in place. “WHAT IS A RESET? I THOUGHT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT CHARA!”

His older brother’s expression grows contemplative. No doubt he was trying to figure out how his brother could remember someone he technically hasn’t met yet.

I mean, it’s possible that Sans could remember resets and just not know what they are, but if he noticed them, wouldn’t he have an idea of what Papyrus is talking about? Also, if he could remember resets, why wouldn’t he tell his brother? Is it for the same reason that Papyrus never told Sans anything? Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me. No matter who’s the older brother, a Sans and Papyrus will always be equally protective of one another.

“Sans? How do you know about Chara? You haven’t met them yet, right?”

His frown turns from upset to nervous. He fiddles with his fingers as he averts his gaze. “IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN. I KNOW THAT I’VE TECHNICALLY NEVER MET A HUMAN BEFORE YOU, BUT FOR A LONG TIME NOW, I’VE HAD DREAMS THAT HAVE HAD A HUMAN NAMED CHARA IN THEM. IN THOSE DREAMS, THEY TRY TO SOLVE MY PUZZLES AND EAT MY TACOS. WE ALWAYS HAVE SO MUCH FUN IN THOSE DREAMS.”

You stare dumbfounded. His memories of resets take form in his dreams? Well, it’s honestly not that hard to believe. Dreams are a product of the mind, so if any memories remain in Sans’ subconscious, it makes sense that they’d take form in his dreams.

Papyrus puts out his cigarette and focuses his attention on his brother. “bro, you’ve never told me about those dreams before. how come?”

Sans crosses his arms. “I THOUGHT IT WAS STRANGE TO DREAM ABOUT A HUMAN I NEVER MET, SO I FIGURED IT WOULD BE BETTER NOT TO BRING IT UP SINCE I THOUGHT IT MIGHT WORRY YOU. BESIDES, IT’S NOT LIKE YOU EVER TELL ME ABOUT YOUR NIGHTMARES EVEN THOUGH I ALWAYS ASK YOU.”

The taller skeleton flinches like he’s been slapped. “i just don’t want to worry you, sans. they’re really not a big deal. nothing to worry about.”

“THAT’S A LIE!”

You and Papyrus stare wide-eyed at the younger brother. That’s the first time you ever heard Sans yell at his brother. Sure, his voice always sounds loud, but this is different. His usual boisterous excitement has been replaced with a frustrated shout.

The shorter skeleton marches over toward the couch until he’s standing right in front of his brother. “I’VE WOKEN YOU UP ENOUGH TIMES FROM YOUR NIGHTMARES TO KNOW THEY DEFINITELY ARE A BIG DEAL! I’VE NEVER HEARD SUCH PAINFUL SCREAMS BEFORE OR SEEN YOU CRY LIKE YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP FROM THOSE NIGHTMARES. AFTER YOU HAVE A NIGHTMARE, YOU GET SO DEPRESSED FOR DAYS. YOU TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU’RE JUST BEING YOUR USUAL LAZY SELF, BUT I KNOW THAT YOU’RE SAD! EVEN THOUGH I KNOW, I CAN NEVER DO ANYTHING TO HELP BECAUSE YOU NEVER TELL ME ANYTHING! YOU ALWAYS KEEP EVERYTHING TO YOURSELF! IT’S NOT FAIR, PAPY! EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE ALWAYS TAKING CARE OF ME WHENEVER I’M DOWN. WHEN YOU’RE FEELING UPSET, I CAN’T DO ANYTHING! AND I HATE IT! I HATE FEELING SO USELESS! WHY WON’T YOU EVER LET ME HELP YOU, PAPY?!”

When Sans starts to tear up, Papyrus immediately wraps his arms around him and pulls his brother as close as he can. The younger skeleton latches on, gripping his brother with all his might.

Papyrus closes his watering eyes and clutches his brother tightly. “i’m sorry, sans. i’m so sorry. i didn’t know you felt this way. you’re not useless, bro. you’re the exact opposite. you’re what always keeps me going. i’m always grateful when you’re there to wake me from my nightmares. just having you there is enough. i couldn’t ask for anything better than just having you here with me.”

The other skeleton wails in response. “PAPY!”

You feel your eyes begin to water as you witness this touching moment. You feel like you’re intruding, but since it’s not your house, you don’t know where you should go. Maybe to the kitchen? You’d like to give the skeletons at least some form of privacy.

Nodding to yourself, you silently creep into the kitchen. You’re surprised to see that it doesn’t look like Sans had started cooking yet. The ingredients are on the counter, but it appears that nothing has been used yet. Maybe he overheard your yelling from earlier and stopped what he was doing to check up on you and his brother? That would make sense. Plus, if he was eavesdropping, then he could have heard you mention Chara’s name which he knew from his dreams.

Since you’re in the kitchen, you figure it wouldn’t hurt to get something to drink. Not wanting to take anything out of the fridge without permission, you settle for finding a glass and filling it with tap water. You take a seat at the kitchen table and enjoy your refreshing drink. Time passes as you start to lose yourself in your thoughts.

water you doing?”

A voice from behind startles you so badly it causes you to choke on your drink. You splutter and cough as you try to clear your airway. You feel two hands start to rub your back comfortingly.

“ARE YOU ALRIGHT, Y/N?! LOOK WHAT YOU DID, PAPY! YOUR AWFUL PUN WAS SO BAD IT CAUSED HER PHYSICAL PAIN!”

“i think it was more because of me surprising her than my pun, bro. besides, i thought it was a good one. after all, she definitely found it breathtaking.”

“PAPY, NO! DON’T ATTACK HER WHILE SHE’S STILL RECOVERING FROM THE LAST PUN!”

After you finally catch your breath, you move to sit up. On each side of you is a skeleton--Sans on your left and Papyrus on your right. It was their hands that had been rubbing your back. You feel touched even if one of the brothers was what caused your coughing fit in the first place.

You glare at the amused skeleton. “Please no more sneak attacks. You scared the hell out of me!”

Turning to Sans, you smile warmly. “I’m alright now, Sans. Thank you for helping me.”

He grins brightly, eyes shining. “YOU’RE MOST WELCOME, Y/N! I AM SORRY ABOUT MY BROTHER. HE HAS A BAD HABIT OF SURPRISING PEOPLE BECAUSE HE’S SO STEALTHY. OF COURSE, HE HAS NEVER MANAGED TO SNEAK UP ON ME BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS OBSERVANT OF MY SURROUNDINGS!”

Papyrus fiddles with the sucker he must’ve pulled out sometime after you entered the kitchen. “yep that’s true. no one can get the drop on you, bro. you’re way too cool for that to happen.”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

Your smile grows at the exchange. It looks like the two managed to sort out their differences--not that you’re surprised. These two love each other way too much to stay upset for long. You raise an eyebrow at the older brother. “Did you properly explain the situation to Sans?”

He rubs his head sheepishly. “ah, not exactly. i thought it would be better to wait ‘til we found you before beginning the explanation.”

You roll your eyes. “In lazybone terms, that means you want me to do all the explaining while you just pitch in every now and then.”

Papyrus winks at you. “you got it.”

Sans huffs in exasperation. “HONESTLY, PAPY. THERE SHOULD BE LIMITS TO YOUR LAZINESS, YET I HAVE FAILED TO FIND THEM!”

The taller skeleton grins as he gently rubs his brother’s skull. “don’t worry, bro. if anyone can find them, it’s you, especially with the unlimited amount of skills you have.”

“PAPY!”

You snort at their exchange. “Alright, you boys better take a seat if we’re gonna give Sans an update on what’s going on.”

The shorter brother nods rapidly before taking a seat to your left while his brother moves to sit in the chair on the other side of Sans. “I AM READY WHENEVER YOU ARE, Y/N!”

Taking a deep breath, you begin explaining Chara’s powers and the differences between a true reset and a load. Then, you tell him about the constant resets that have been occurring since you arrived and the reason for why the resets have been happening. The younger skeleton looked so distraught after you explained that Chara had caused the resets by dying during their battles with Asgore. Papyrus helped calm Sans down by rubbing his back comfortingly. Every now and then, the older skeleton would add his own comments to your explanation.

After you finish speaking, Sans rubs his chin thoughtfully. “WHY EXACTLY DOES CHARA KEEP DYING IN BATTLE? I THOUGHT YOU SAID KING ASGORE WANTED TO KEEP THE HUMAN SAFE.”

You sigh before telling him about the glitch incident in Undertale. “While I have no proof, I think something similar is happening with Chara. I mean, they’ve gotten by Asgore before right? They shouldn’t be having so much trouble now unless something is interfering with the fight. The glitch in Undertale caused Frisk to fall, leaving them open to attacks. It’s possible the same situation is happening with Chara, preventing them from dodging Asgore’s attacks. The way the game works-- if you get through enough of his attacks, he finally loses his motivation to fight Chara and will eventually accept their mercy. Whatever the glitch is doing is preventing the kid from surviving long enough to get to that point in the battle.”

Papyrus slouches against the table laying his head on his arms. “your theory makes sense to me. the kid has plenty of experience. it doesn’t make sense for them to be having so much trouble with asgore of all monsters. he may be the former king of monsters, but he’s also one of the few monsters here that doesn’t want to hurt the kid.”

You place your right elbow on the table and rest your chin in your hand. “Asgore’s not killing them on purpose. He always sounds horrified right before the resets happen. Every time, it’s an accident.”

The younger skeleton nods to show his understanding before donning a curious look. “THAT IS WHY YOU NEED TO CONVINCE THE KING TO LET CHARA PASS WITHOUT A FIGHT. THAT MAKES SENSE. WHAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND IS WHY PAPY REFUSES TO HELP CONVINCE KING ASGORE.”

Both of you turn your gazes toward Papyrus who averts his eye-lights. “it’s not that simple, bro. i got a lot of bad memories of the kid. i know they’re a sweet kid in your dreams, but they’re not always like that.”

Sans frowns as he studies his brother. “IS THAT WHAT YOUR NIGHTMARES ARE ABOUT? CHARA DID SOMETHING BAD TO YOU THAT YOU CAN’T FORGIVE NO MATTER WHAT?”

No one can ever say that Sans is unobservant. He hit the nail right on the head. It briefly makes you wonder if Undertale Papyrus knows more than he lets on. He’s equally clever and kind enough not to say anything if he thinks it’ll upset his brother.

Papyrus just stares, looking completely stunned by his brother’s words. His sucker is going to fall out if his jaw drops any further. After a few seconds, he collects himself and then rubs a tired hand down his face. You wonder if he’ll tell Sans the truth or try to find a way out of it.

Honestly, you think there won’t be any progress until Papyrus explains himself. Sans considers Chara a friend and wants to save them. The idea that his older brother could care less about what happens to the human obviously upsets the younger skeleton.

With a weary sigh, Papyrus nods his head. “yeah, bro. i’ve got some real bad memories of the kid that sometimes turn into nightmares when i’m asleep.”

The frown on the shorter skeleton’s face deepens. “I KNOW YOU DON’T WANT TO TELL ME, PAPY, BUT I REALLY WISH YOU WOULDN’T KEEP EVERYTHING BOTTLED UP! IS WHAT HAPPENED REALLY SO BAD THAT YOU CAN’T FORGIVE CHARA EVEN AFTER THEY APOLOGIZE? Y/N SAID CHARA WAS SORRY. CAN’T YOU GIVE THEM ANOTHER CHANCE?”

His brother’s voice gains a muffled tone as Papyrus moves to bury his face in his arms. “what they did was unforgivable. normally, i have no choice but to let things go because of the resets. but, since they’re stuck in the ruins, i actually have a say in the matter now. i’m not as kind as you are, bro. i don’t know what the kid will do after they leave the ruins, and that’s what worries me. sure, they’re nice now but for how long? this isn’t the first time they’ve acted like this. i can never predict what the kid will do each time. we’re better off leaving the kid in the ruins.”

Sans slams his hands on the table. “WHY?! WHAT DID CHARA DO THAT WAS SO BAD THAT YOU’D LEAVE THEM TO SUFFER FROM CONSTANT RESETS FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE?! THAT YOU’D LEAVE THEM TO DIE?!”

You hold your breath as you watch Papyrus turn his head to face his brother. With the most despondent tone you’ve ever heard from the skeleton, he answers, “they killed you.”

The younger brother freezes, going completely still, as silence envelops the whole room. For some time, no one speaks. Papyrus re-buries his face in his arms while his brother doesn’t move an inch.

After a while, you start to get worried since Sans hasn’t moved at all. Before you can reach out to him, he slumps over the table and sighs. “I GUESS I SHOULDN’T BE THAT SURPRISED. IF MY OTHER DREAMS WERE REAL, IT MAKES SENSE THAT THE OTHER LESS PLEASANT ONES WERE AS WELL.”

Immediately, Papyrus shoots up straight and gives his brother a horrified look. You quickly connect the dots as well and feel your heart drop to your stomach.

“sans, have you had dreams about dying? about being killed by chara?”

When he sees his brother nod, the taller skeleton pales. “why didn’t you say anything?!”

Sans slowly sits up and gives his brother a deadpan look. “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY ANYTHING?”

Despite the seriousness of the situation, you can’t help but snort at Sans' response. When the older skeleton glares at you, you shrug your shoulders. “Sorry, but he makes a good point. It seems that both of you like to keep secrets in order to protect each other.”

Your expression softens. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to protect each other, but there are some things that can’t be handled alone. Rather than suffering on your own, wouldn’t you both be better off if you shared your pain instead?”

The two skeletons stare at you with wide eye-lights before turning to look at each other. Sans gives his brother a hopeful smile. “I THINK THAT SOUNDS LIKE A WONDERFUL IDEA. DON’T YOU, PAPY?”

Papyrus wears a thoughtful frown that slowly melts into a smile. “yeah. definitely, bro. not a bad idea at all.”

You grin brightly at the skeletons.This is definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully, they’ll start confiding in each other and will continue to do so despite any future resets. It would be nice if Sans could somehow always keep this memory even after Chara resets.

At the thought of resets, your eyes widen. That’s right! You almost forgot! Chara should be close to starting their battle with Asgore now if they aren’t already fighting.

When you jump to your feet, both brothers give you startled looks. You grab the older brother’s shoulder. “Papyrus! We have to hurry! I don’t know how much longer Chara has before they lose the battle with Asgore.”

Judging by his disgruntled expression, you can tell he still isn’t supportive of helping the human child. You decide to tell him what you learned about Chara in the last run. “I haven’t mentioned this before because it was only a theory in my world. I didn’t want to make any assumptions without proof. However, Chara’s last words to me make me believe this theory is true. Are you two familiar with story of the first human child that fell into the Underground and was adopted by the king and queen?”

Sans tilts his head curiously. “OF COURSE! EVERYONE KNOWS THAT STORY! THEY ADOPTED THE HUMAN WHO LATER DIED OF AN ILLNESS. LATER ON, THEIR SON DIED AFTER BEING ATTACKED BY HUMANS.”

His brother narrows his eye-lights. “where are you going with this, kid?”

After taking a deep breath, you explain the story about Frisk and Asriel and how Asgore brought Frisk’s body with him to the Ruins and buried it there. “When Chara fell into the Ruins, they landed on Frisk’s grave. Many people believe that because the two kids’ souls were so similar Frisk’s spirit chose to possess Chara. And, whenever Frisk takes control of Chara’s body, they start a genocide run because they want to make monsters and humans suffer. Chara told me in the last route that they lost control that they didn’t want to do what they did. I’m positive they were talking about Frisk taking control of them.”

Papyrus raises a brow ridge. “so, just because the kid says so, we should believe them? that’s hardly good enough proof.”

The shorter skeleton frowns at his brother. “YOU’RE TOO DISTRUSTING, PAPY! I HAVE MANY GOOD MEMORIES OF CHARA WHERE THEY WERE NOTHING BUT NICE! I NEVER REALLY BELIEVED THE DREAM WHERE I DIED COULD BE TRUE JUST BECAUSE THEIR BEHAVIOR WAS SO DIFFERENT THEN. IT REALLY DID SEEM LIKE THEY WERE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON!”

A completely different person.If I remember correctly, there was a way to tell when which kid was in control. Ah, that’s it!

You release your grip on Papyrus and turn to the younger brother.“Sans! In the dream where you died, what were Chara’s eyes like? Were they open or squinted?”

“hey, where are you going with this? why are you trying to make my brother remember something like that?”

Ignoring the other skeleton’s ire, you focus on Sans who appears to be deeply concentrating. “HMM...LET’S SEE. AH, NOW I REMEMBER! THEIR EYES LOOKED CLOSED! I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS STRANGE SINCE I NEVER SAW CHARA SQUINT LIKE THAT IN ANY OF MY OTHER DREAMS.”

When you move your gaze to the other brother, you see a contemplative expression on his face. “And, what about you, Papyrus?”

He rubs his forehead. “squinted. their eyes are like that in every one of my nightmares.”

You nod your head. Looks like your theory was correct after all. The squinted eyes are a character trademark for Frisk. Frisk has to have been the one in control during the last genocide run. “Well, that’s enough proof for me. I know you’ve never met Frisk, so I’ll explain. One of the main differences between the two kids is that you never see Frisk’s eyes. Their eyes always looked like they’re closed.”

Noticing Papyrus’ skeptical expression, you continue. “Papyrus, I know it’s hard to believe, and that it all seems coincidental. But, doesn’t it make sense when you think about it? How does a kid go from a pacifist to a genocider at the drop of a hat? It’s strange isn’t it? I know you probably have more bad memories than good of Chara but try to focus on those good memories. Isn’t it hard to believe that a kid like that would enjoy hurting others? I’ve spent several resets now listening to Chara beg for help and ask to see you. They regret what happened, Papyrus. All they want is to make amends. Please don’t give up on them. They don’t have anyone else but us to go to for help.”

Sans turns imploring eyes toward his brother. “PLEASE, PAPY! GIVE THEM ANOTHER CHANCE! CHARA IS A GOOD HUMAN! I KNOW IT! PLEASE BELIEVE IN THEM!”

At the tall skeleton’s hesitance, you decide to put the final nail in the coffin. “If you can’t trust Chara or me, how about you just trust your brother instead? He’s the smartest guy you know, right? If he says the kid is worth saving, shouldn’t you believe him?”

Just as you expected, the remaining doubt disappears from Papyrus’ face. He sighs in defeat. “alright, i get it. if my bro asks me like that, there’s no way i can refuse.”

The older brother grabs ahold of the two of you and teleports to the Ruins. Immediately, you can hear the faint sounds of battle. Thankfully, that means the kid is still alive.

After you both give him encouraging looks, Papyrus reaches toward the doors and knocks as loud as he can. “knock knock!”

Like last time, it becomes silent on the other side of the door. Instead of Asgore’s expected response, you hear Chara’s voice.

“Papyrus?! Is that really you?!”

The three of you can’t help but wince at the broken tone of the kid’s voice. The constant resets have taken their toll on the poor child. It’s a miracle they’ve managed to keep their determination this long considering how hopeless the situation has been.

“that’s me. i heard what sounded like a fight going on, so i thought i should check things out. usually my buddy is here to listen to my jokes. i don’t normally hear fights happening in there.”

Finally, Asgore decides to speak. “So, that is you, old friend. I am sorry, but I do not have time for jokes at the moment. Do not worry. This is not a serious battle. I merely wish to prove to this child that it is far too dangerous to leave the Ruins.”

Papyrus sighs. “they’re human, right? that’s the only reason why you’d make such a fuss. but, are you sure that’s what’s best for the kid? keeping them trapped in there for the rest of their life? shouldn’t they have a say in what happens to them?”

“Yes, they are human. That is why I cannot let them leave! If they step outside these Ruins, it is only a matter of time before they end up like all of the other children that came before them. I could not protect those children, but I will protect this one!”

The tall skeleton ditches his sucker for a cigarette. You’re honestly surprised he lasted as long as he did. “what about that promise you made me agree to? i thought you wanted me to watch over the kids that came out. did you change your mind?”

Asgore makes a surprised sound. “Promise? Oh yes, I almost forgot. I did request that of you. I apologize again for my selfishness. Putting such a burden on your shoulders was quite cruel of me. Protecting the human children should be my responsibility alone since it is my former wife who put the law into action that demanded we hunt these innocent souls. I should not be asking others to share this responsibility.”

Papyrus scratches his head. “is that really necessary? after all, i did already make the promise. no point in me backing out now. if you want me to, i’ll look out for the kid and make sure they get through the underground safely.”

Wearing matching grins, you and Sans share a happy look before glomping the older skeleton. You’re really proud of Papyrus. You know that saying those words couldn’t have been easy for him, but he still said them anyway.

The taller brother flushes a bright orange upon being on the receiving end of two very proud looks. Sans gives his brother a big squeeze before turning his head to address the doors. “I, THE MAGNIFICENT SANS, ALSO PROMISE TO LOOK AFTER THE HUMAN! REST ASSURED THE HUMAN WILL BE IN THE MOST CAPABLE OF HANDS! THERE IS NO ONE BETTER THAN MY BROTHER AND I!”

While one arm remains wrapped around Papyrus’ waist, your other one moves to embrace the smaller skeleton. You grin at his blushing face. “That’s right. No one is better than the skeleton brothers!”

“nyeheheh.”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

Their embarrassed laughter only makes you want to hug them harder. These two are seriously too cute. How you survived this long with them is a complete mystery to you.

The three of you turn to face the entrance at the sound of Asgore’s voice. “You are very kind monsters being so willing to help this child even though it will put you in danger. Are you sure you are alright with having such a great responsibility? It will not be easy on either of you.”

After you all break away from the hug, the two brothers share a look before grinning.

“yep.”

“LEAVE IT TO US! WE’LL MAKE SURE THE HUMAN STAYS SAFE!”

There’s a hopeful tone to the former king’s voice. “Very well. I shall entrust this child to you. You may leave now, my child. From the bottom of my heart, I hope that you will be able to return home.”

Because the kid isn’t shouting, you have no idea what they’re saying to Asgore now. You figure it’s probably something like them wishing him well and promising to be careful.

After a few minutes, one of the doors slides open a few feet, and a child quickly walks outside. The door immediately slams shut behind them giving you no chance to see the former king.

Chara looks exactly how you’ve always seen them in pictures. They have brown hair in a bob cut, bright red eyes, and rosy cheeks. They’re wearing a lime green sweater with yellow stripes and brown shorts. You gotta admit that this version of Chara is pretty adorable.

Upon seeing the skeleton brothers, tears spring to the child’s eyes. With a sob, they run forward and latch onto Papyrus’ left leg. “Thank you! Thank you so much! I’m sorry! I’m really, really sorry! I didn’t wanna do it! I promise! I tried to stop, but I couldn’t! By the time I got back in control, I was already at the barrier! I’m so sorry!!”

Sniffling, Sans embraces the young human. “IT’S ALRIGHT, CHARA! WE FORGIVE YOU! WE HAVE HEARD OF YOUR SITUATION FROM Y/N. I KNOW YOU DIDN’T WANT TO HURT ME! WE BELIEVE YOU!”

Chara immediately returns the hug as they continue to cry their eyes out. With a sigh, Papyrus drops a hand on their head and ruffles their hair. “it’s alright, kid. you’re safe now. we can hear your side of the story later. so, stop the waterworks. you’re tear-ing my bro’s heart apart.”

“PAPY!”

Both you and the child giggle while the older skeleton just grins cheekily. Chara slowly pulls away from the embrace and starts to rub their eyes. When they look up, their ruby red eyes meet yours. They stare at you in surprise, no doubt shocked to see another human in the Underground.

Surprisingly, that’s not what they ask about first. “Are you the lady that’s been talking from this side of the door all this time?”

With a warm smile, you nod at the child. “That’s right. I’m Y/N. It’s nice to meet you face-to-face, Chara. Sorry it took so long for us to get to this point.”

The kid surprises you again when they quickly move to wrap their arms around your waist. Chara hugs you tightly with trembling arms. “Thank you so much! I was so scared and didn’t know what to do. When Papyrus left, I thought I would be all on my own. But, you came back! You kept coming back, and it made me so happy! The fact that you didn’t give up on me gave me the determination to keep trying. Thank you!”

Now you’re the one who feels like crying. Their heartfelt words give you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest. The whole time you had felt so useless. No matter what you tried, you were unable to convince Asgore. You couldn’t save Chara. But now, this kid is thanking you and saying that you helped them keep on going.

My efforts weren’t useless. My words may not have reached Asgore, but they reached Chara. I managed to help the kid after all.

You return the hug and give the child a warm squeeze. “I’m glad I was able to help. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t think I was doing much good considering I kept failing, but if you say my words helped, then I guess my actions weren’t meaningless after all.”

When a hand ruffles your hair, you look up in surprise to see Papyrus grinning down at you. “of course they had meaning. if you weren’t here, we’d still be stuck in the resets. i say all your hard work paid off. good work, hun.”

A bright, red blush dusts your cheeks as you beam at the taller skeleton. You don’t know what caused the upgrade from kid to hun, but you won’t complain. The endearment made you happy.

Sans grins brightly. “PAPY IS RIGHT! YOU DID WONDERFULLY, Y/N! TO CELEBRATE EVERYONE’S HARD WORK, I’LL MAKE A SPECIAL BATCH OF MY DELICIOUS TACOS!”

Deciding to forgo the long trek back to Snowdin, everyone huddles close to Papyrus who promptly teleports the group to the skeletons’ home. Sans immediately heads for the kitchen with Chara close on his heels.

You offer to help them make lunch but are refused. Apparently, both of them want to make a special lunch for you as thanks. Touched by their thoughtfulness, you can’t bring yourself to push the matter even though you know leaving those two alone in the kitchen will only lead to pain for your stomach in the near future.

Fortunately, the older skeleton isn’t claiming the whole couch for himself this time, so there’s a comfy spot for you to sit. With a sigh, you relax into the couch cushions. This had been an exhausting day for you, and it was only lunch time. If you have to keep dealing with situations like this, you don’t know how much longer you’ll last.

You lift a hand to rub your eyes when they start to water. That’s strange. You don’t feel sad, so why are your eyes tearing up all of a sudden? It’s after you start rubbing your eyes that you notice how itchy they feel.

Before you can ponder the reason for this new development, you feel a bony hand grab your chin and redirect your gaze. You are surprised to see Papyrus’ face so close. “P-Papyrus?”

He frowns worriedly. “your eyes are really red, hun. you alright?”

Red? That’s not good. Well, at least I have an idea about what’s wrong with them now. My allergies must be acting up. What perfect timing.

Not wanting to worry the skeleton, you explain human allergies and how red, itchy eyes are usually a side effect. “I’m alright, though. It’s not anything serious. Sorry for worrying you.”

It’s at that moment that you abruptly pull away to sneeze three times in a row.

When you look up, Papyrus is giving you a very unimpressed look. “right. not serious at all.”

You grin sheepishly as you rub your now itchy nose. “It’s really not a big deal. It’s pretty common for humans. I’ll be fine before you know it.”

The older brother doesn’t appear to believe you at all. He slowly rises to his feet and points at his vacated spot. “alright, lie down. i don’t know a lot about humans, but i do know that when you’re sick the best thing to do is rest. i’ll take the kid to the store to see if we can buy any medicine that’ll help. sans can stay and look after you.”

Honestly, you feel that he’s making too big of a deal over this. Does any form of sickness activate his big brother instincts? Deciding not to argue with the skeleton, you pull off your shoes and stretch out across the couch. You even grab the blanket for good measure since you figured he’d pull it out if you didn’t.

Nodding to show his approval, Papyrus ambles over to the kitchen. You do a mental countdown as you wait for the expected reaction.

3..2..1

“WHAT?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN Y/N IS SICK?!”

In a blink, Sans is dashing out of the kitchen heading straight for you with Chara following close behind. “I’m fine, Sans. Your brother is just being a worrywart. It’s just allergies. I don’t even feel that bad. They come and go pretty quickly.”

The shorter skeleton frowns. “YOUR EYES DO LOOK VERY RED THOUGH! I ALSO THINK YOU LOOK A LITTLE PALER. I THINK YOU SHOULD FOLLOW MY BROTHER’S ADVICE AND GET SOME REST. I’LL MAKE YOU SOME SPECIAL MEDICINAL TACOS TO CURE YOU OF YOUR ILLNESS.”

Chara giggles. “Shouldn’t you make her some soup? That’s what humans normally eat when they’re sick.”

“I SEE! THEN, I SHALL LEARN HOW TO MAKE SOME DELICIOUS TACO SOUP!”

Your face pales. You have a feeling you really will be sick if you eat that. Thankfully, Papyrus comes to the rescue. “how about i ask muffet to make some soup? i can go pick it up when me and the kid go get the medicine. rather than being in the kitchen, wouldn’t you prefer to stay at her side? that way you can be there for her if she needs anything.”

Sans appears to be in deep thought, obviously contemplating the pros and cons of this plan. Finally, he agrees. “ALRIGHT! I WILL STAY HERE AT Y/N’S SIDE! I WILL BE THE BEST NURSE SHE HAS EVER HAD!”

A smile forms on your face. “Aw I’m so lucky to get such a cute nurse. I’ll be counting on you, Nurse Sans.”

He blushes a dark blue which makes Papyrus and Chara laugh. Turning to face you, the child tilts their head curiously. “Do you know what caused your allergies to act up? Maybe knowing that will help us find the right medicine.”

Both skeletons give you curious looks while you inwardly groan. Of course, the kid had to ask that. You were hoping to avoid that question. The only thing that comes to mind, considering what you’ve been doing lately, is Papyrus’ smoking. Cigarette smoke has always disagreed with you, so it makes sense that it’s the cause of this little episode.

The question is: do you tell them the truth or just lie and say you have no idea? Considering how intently the older skeleton is studying you, you figure the former is the best option. Not like you can successfully lie around him anyway.

With a sigh, you concede. “If I had to make a guess, I’d say it was the smoke from Papyrus’ cigarettes. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened after hanging out with a smoker. And, before you ask why I never said anything, it’s because it’s not a serious enough allergy that I feel that it would be necessary to force him to stop. Considering past events, Papyrus really needed it.”

Sans immediately turns toward his gaping brother. “PAPY! NO MORE SMOKING AROUND Y/N! AND, CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES AFTER YOU GET BACK! THEY ALWAYS REEK OF SMOKE!”

The taller skeleton nods as he rubs his forehead. “sure, bro. come on, kid. time to shop.”

Before he leaves, Papyrus gives you a look that’s hard for you to read. You can’t tell if he feels guilty for being the cause of your sickness or annoyed because you never said anything about your allergies. Knowing him, it was probably both.

Chara, the sweetheart, gives you a quick hug before following after the older monster. Soon, it’s just you and Sans in the house.

He puts his hands on his hips. “WHILE I APPRECIATE YOUR CONSIDERATION FOR MY BROTHER, I WISH YOU WOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING SOONER, Y/N. YOUR HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PAPY’S UNHEALTHY HABIT. EVEN WITHOUT THE CIGARETTES, HE STILL HAS HIS CANDY TO KEEP HIM SATISFIED.”

That’s true. It’s not like you would’ve been the first person to ask Papyrus to stop. No doubt his brother asks him all the time. Still, it didn’t feel right to ask, especially since you hadn’t known the older skeleton for very long.

Sans sighs as if reading your thoughts. “WELL, I WON’T PUSH THE MATTER FURTHER. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU NEED, Y/N? MAYBE SOMETHING TO DRINK?”

Your throat did feel a little sore. “A glass of juice or water would be great actually.”

With a big grin, Sans sprints to the kitchen to fulfill your request. Within seconds, he’s back without having spilled a single drop of the orange juice. You don’t know how he managed that considering how fast he was moving, but you are definitely impressed.

A sigh of relief passes your lips after you finish the drink. That really hit the spot. You hand the glass back to the skeleton who returns it to the kitchen.

Walking back to the couch, Sans grabs his chin as he thinks. “MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE A NAP? PAPY ALWAYS SAYS NAPS ARE THE BEST MEDICINE FOR AN ILLNESS. ALTHOUGH, HE ALSO SAYS NAPS ARE THE BEST SOLUTION FOR EVERYTHING.”

Giggling, you move so that you’re on your side facing the skeleton. “I think a nap sounds like a great idea. I gotta admit that all this excitement has worn me out.”

“ALRIGHT! GET SOME REST, Y/N! I’LL BE HERE WHEN YOU WAKE UP! AND SINCE I’M HERE, YOU’LL ONLY HAVE GOOD DREAMS! WITH THE MAGNIFICENT SANS HERE, NIGHTMARES WILL BE TOO SCARED TO APPROACH!”

You smile as your eyes slowly close. “Thank you, Sans. You’re the best.”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

His laugh is the last thing you hear before sleep claims you.

A few hours later, you start to rouse at the sound of new voices entering the room.

“NOW BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR VOICES DOWN! Y/N IS SLEEPING!”

There’s a giggle. “But, Sans, your voice is the loudest here.”

Then, you hear a snort. “my bro has never had much of an indoor voice. but, it’s always cool like a superhero, right bro?”

“THAT’S RIGHT, PAPY! ONLY THE COOLEST OF PEOPLE CAN PULL OFF SUCH A VOICE!”

You start to snicker which grabs the attention of the room’s other occupants. Sans deflates. “OH NO! WE WOKE HER UP!”

Slowly, you move to sit up and lean against the armrest. “It’s alright, Sans. I need to be awake to take my medicine anyway, right?”

His face brightens. “THAT’S RIGHT! OF COURSE, I ALREADY KNEW THAT! THAT’S WHY I PURPOSEFULLY RAISED MY VOICE SO THAT YOU’D WAKE UP TO TAKE YOUR MEDICINE!”

“you’re the best, bro.”

Papyrus grins as he walks over to the couch and hands you a bottle of some purple concoction that he pulls from the plastic bag hanging on his arm. “it took us a while to find the right thing, but apparently, there are some monsters that have problems with allergies. the store owner said this stuff works like a charm. he said you’ll feel better within a couple of hours.”

Chara’s eyes sparkle as they smile. “It’s magic medicine, so it should work better than the normal medicine you’d usually have to take.”

Magic medicine, huh? You wonder if it tastes better than regular medicine. People always say the worse it tastes the more effective it is. You wish they’d find a way to change that. Bad tasting medicine should not be a normal thing, especially for all the people who have to take it regularly.

Sans rifles through the bag his brother is holding and pulls out a tupperware of soup and a plastic spoon. “FIRST, YOU MUST EAT! THEN, YOU CAN TAKE YOUR MEDICINE!”

Amused, you accept the food and give him a smile. “Yes, Nurse Sans.”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

Chara runs to the kitchen. “I’ll fix you a drink!”

They really are a sweetheart. You’ll have to give them a hug later.

Under the brothers’ watchful gazes, you begin eating the soup, which is extremely delicious. You’re not going to bother thinking about the ingredients. considering who made it. You’re just going to focus on the delightful taste and the warmth that begins to course throughout your whole body. It must be the magic in the food that's making you feel all tingly. “Give my compliments to the chef, Papyrus. This is delicious!”

The older skeleton smiles as he fiddles with the sucker in his mouth. “i’ll be sure to tell her that you think it’s soup-er.”

Sans groans at the pun. “WHILE I AM GLAD YOU ARE ENJOYING MUFFET’S COOKING, I AM ALSO SAD THAT I COULDN’T MAKE YOU MY WORLD FAMOUS TACOS.”

After you swallow another spoonful of soup, you give the younger brother a smile. “Don’t worry, Sans. There’s always next time.”

And hopefully, that next time will include you helping him. While you adore Sans, you can’t say you’re too excited about his cooking.

While Sans beams, Chara re-enters the room and moves to your side to hand you a glass of juice. You ruffle their hair as you thank them.

As you're enjoying your drink, a thought comes to mind. You wonder how much time you have in this world before you teleport again. It’s possible you won’t, but somehow, you doubt you’re that lucky.

You start to think of what other universes you could end up in. If this keeps up, you’ll need to start coming up with nicknames for all these Sanses and Papyruses--or is it Papyri? Either way, it would probably be best to start now to avoid further confusion.

“Hey Sans? Papyrus? Would it be alright if I gave you two nicknames? I’ll still call you by your regular names here, but if I end up meeting even more versions of you two, I’m gonna need nicknames to differentiate between all of you.”

Chara tilts their head curiously. “Other versions?”

Before you can explain your situation, Papyrus intervenes. “we’ll tell you later, kid. in regards to nicknames, i don’t really mind. what about you, bro?”

Sans shakes his head quickly. “NEITHER DO I! A NICKNAME SOUNDS GREAT! THIS IS OBVIOUSLY ANOTHER MILESTONE IN OUR FRIENDSHIP WITH Y/N!”

You grin at his enthusiasm. “Great! How about Blueberry, or Blue for short, for Sans and Stretch for Papyrus? That’s what your fans in my world like to call you, so I’m pretty used to using those names for you two.”

The shorter skeleton’s eyes turn into big, sparkly stars. “FANS?!” He then coughs after realizing how surprised his voice sounded. “I MEAN--OF COURSE I HAVE FANS! AS EXPECTED OF THE MAGNIFICENT SANS! IF MY FANS ENJOY THE NICKNAME THAT MUCH, I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT IT!”

His brother chuckles. “you’re so cool, bro. guess i’ll follow your awesome example. that nickname is fine with me, hun. it’s simple so i won’t have to stretch my mind to remember it.”

“PAPY!”

You and Chara giggle while the younger brother moans as if he’s in physical pain.

Glad to have that taken care of, you quickly finish eating the rest of your soup and take the recommended dose of the purple medicine. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste bad at all. The flavor is like a mixture of bubblegum and skittles. You don’t know how they managed such a flavor, but that’s definitely what it tastes like to you.

Within seconds, you feel your eyelids start to droop. Sans takes away the food and medicine while his brother helps you move into a reclining position. “i forgot to tell ya. monster medicine takes effect right away, so you’ll probably be knocked out for a while. sweet dreams, honey.”

You’re asleep before your head even hits the pillow.

Several hours later, you slowly rouse from your deep slumber. This time it’s not the sound of voices that wakes you up. A familiar tingling feeling in your chest brings you back to consciousness. It takes you a few minutes to recognize the sensation. Then, you immediately sit up.

Dimly, you notice your eyes and nose no longer feel itchy. The soreness of your throat is also gone. Unfortunately, you don’t have time to marvel at the wonders of monster medicine.

You stare wide-eyed at your body that once again starts to become transparent. When you look around, you don’t see the others. They must’ve moved to another room to avoid waking you up.

Not wanting to waste another minute, you jump to your feet and slide into your shoes. When you dash into the kitchen, you, thankfully, find the trio there. Papyrus appears to be snoozing at the table with his head resting on top of his arms while the other two are working on an elaborate puzzle.

“Guys! We have a problem!”

Immediately, the three turn to look at you even the previously sleeping skeleton. When they take in your appearance, their eyes widen.

Sans instantly runs to your side. “WHAT IS GOING ON, Y/N?! IS THIS ANOTHER SYMPTOM OF YOUR ILLNESS?! I THOUGHT YOU SAID IT WASN’T SERIOUS!”

Chara frowns worriedly. “I’ve never seen this as a symptom before. Could it be because of the medicine we gave her?"

Before you can correct the two, Papyrus interrupts. “no, she told us about this before. this happened right before you ended up here in our world, right hun?”

You nod, grateful that he had remembered and saved you from having to make another long explanation. “Yes. This happened right before I came here when I was in Undertale. This probably means I’m heading for another universe.”

Sans’ expression looks so heartbroken that you feel your heart start to break along with his. “WHAT?! YOU’RE LEAVING ALREADY?! BUT, YOU HAVEN’T EVEN TRIED MY DELICIOUS TACOS OR MY AMAZING PUZZLES YET!”

Thankfully, you’re still partially solid so you quickly give him a hug. “I’m sorry, Sans. I wish I could stay longer. Unfortunately, I have no control over this. I wish I did.”

Chara joins the hug. “We’ll miss you! I wish I could’ve gotten the chance to do something for you to thank you for all that you did.”

You give them a squeeze. “Just stay determined and don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Do that, and I’ll call us even.”

They tearfully nod while Sans starts sniffling. His brother ruffles your hair. “be careful out there, hun. i hope you manage to find your way home. thanks for all your help.”

Not wanting to leave Papyrus out, you slowly pull away from the other two and move to embrace the taller skeleton. “I’ll miss you guys. Take care of yourselves.”

He gives you a reassuring squeeze before you let go. By the looks of things, you don’t have much longer until you disappear. You’re really starting to hate this part of your adventure. All these goodbyes make your heart hurt.

Right before you vanish, Sans rubs away his tears and gives you his best smile. “THIS IS NOT GOODBYE, Y/N! I WILL SEE YOU AGAIN SOON! I PROMISED TO HELP YOU FIND A WAY HOME, AND THE MAGNIFICENT SANS NEVER BREAKS HIS PROMISES! I’LL DEFINITELY COME FIND YOU!”

You’re barely able to hold back your tears at his confident words. You know he means everything he says. If there’s a way to come after you, he’ll find it. The fact that someone would go so far for you just to make sure you’re not alone makes your heart throb with joy.

Papyrus winks at you. “guess it can’t be helped. since my bro is so determined, it looks like we’ll be seeing each other again real soon, honey.”

Before you can thank them, your time runs out. Just like last time, your vision fades, and everything goes dark.

Unfortunately, when your consciousness returns, it’s in a similar way as it was in Underswap. For whatever reason, you’re in the air one minute and the next, you’re plummeting to the ground. This time, however, it’s not snow that breaks your fall. The brittle substance isn’t as soft as snow, but luckily, there was enough of it to keep you from getting injured.

Your eyes shoot open at the sound of a deep chuckle. When you look up, you see bright, red eye-lights hovering above you.

“nice of you to drop in, doll. hope you plan on staying for a while.”

You feel your heartbeat quicken as your body stiffens. Only one word comes to mind as you stare at those familiar red pinpricks.

Underfell!

Chapter Text

Realizing how serious this situation is, you immediately start to crawl backwards in an attempt to put some distance between the two of you. Thankfully, the skeleton doesn’t try to stop you. Instead, he just watches you with a large smirk on his face. Once you’re a few feet away, you’re able to get a better look at the skeleton before you.

This is definitely the Sans of this universe considering that short stature and characteristic slouch. Instead of a hoodie, he’s wearing a black jacket with spiked brown fur around the hood, a red turtleneck sweater, a studded red collar, black shorts with yellow stripes down the sides, and red sneakers. All of his teeth are sharp and pointed like a shark’s with one colored a bright gold.

It’s as you're studying him that you notice all the autumn-colored leaves on the ground. You quickly realize it was a pile of leaves that broke your fall earlier. It must’ve been a large pile considering the amount of leaves scattered around the area where you fell.

Leaves? I don’t remember any areas in the Underground with leaves like these. Unless…

You turn your gaze upwards and see a familiar stretch of blue. It feels like forever since you last saw the sky. It might not be the one of your home, but it’s still a comforting sight.

This means that this Frisk managed to break the barrier, and the monsters are free on the Surface. I might actually have a chance at surviving here.

“aw, way to make a guy feel blue, doll. you’re more interested in checking out the sky than me?”

When you return your gaze to the skeleton, you’re relieved to see that he doesn’t appear mad. Although, the grin he’s giving you does make you nervous.

“HONESTLY, SANS! MUST YOU ALWAYS DO THIS WHEN YOU SEE A FEMALE? WHILE I AGREE SCARE TACTICS ARE BEST FOR INTERROGATIONS, THE AMBASSADOR TOLD US WE CAN’T USE OUR NORMAL METHODS NOW THAT WE’RE ON THE SURFACE. WE HAVE TO GET THIS HUMAN TO TALK WITHOUT PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY TRAUMATIZING THEM. UNFORTUNATELY.”

That last sentence sends a chill down your spine. You are so glad that they can’t use their normal methods anymore. When you turn your head, you see another skeleton behind you--obviously this world’s Papyrus.

You have to stretch your neck to see his face because he’s so tall. You figure he’s about the same height as Undertale Papyrus. He’s wearing body armor that reveals his spine and hip bones. Unlike his Undertale counterpart, the armor is black, and it’s really sharp and jagged around his shoulders. He’s wearing matching red gloves and boots along with a red belt that has a golden skull for a belt buckle. Like Undertale Papyrus, he’s wearing a red scarf, but his appears more tattered. His teeth are also sharp even more so than his brother’s. You notice there are a few scars across his left eye socket.

With a sigh, you rise to your feet. You do this slowly in order to make yourself appear as unthreatening as possible. You move a few feet so that you can keep them both in your line of sight. You’re really hoping these guys will be a lot tamer now that they’ve befriended Frisk and returned to the Surface. “Sorry about appearing so suddenly. I can honestly say I have no control of where I end up. Am I somewhere I’m not supposed to be? That’s why you wanna interrogate me?”

The two skeletons actually appear surprised for a brief moment. Maybe they assumed you’d run for the hills after getting a good look at them. Well, jokes on them. You’ve kinda become desensitized when it comes to seeing talking skeletons.

Sans grins broadly, showing off his sharp teeth. “guess you could say that. it’s not everyday we get humans showing up in our backyard.”

Backyard? Did I actually end up getting dropped off at their house?

You let your gaze roam around to take in your surroundings. It appears that you’re in a forest as all you can see is trees wherever you look; most of which are already bare. Considering the amount of leaves on the ground and the crisp air, it’s definitely autumn here on the surface. You’re once again feeling very grateful for your borrowed ensemble.

It’s as you're thinking about your clothes that you hear Sans start to snicker. “what is up with those clothes? they’re awesome!”

His brother seems to disagree immensely. “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? THEY’RE AWFUL! WHAT KIND OF SELF-RESPECTING PERSON WEARS CLOTHES WITH SKELETON PUNS ON THEM? AND, IS THAT PUN ON THEIR HOODIE BASED OFF YOUR NAME, SANS? DID YOU COME UP WITH THAT?”

“no, but i wish i did.”

You grin at the two. “Actually, the hoodie was a gift from the Papyrus of the last universe I visited. You see, in that world, it’s the Papyrus who’s the pun-loving older brother.”

The taller skeleton scowls fiercely. “WHAT KIND OF NONSENSE ARE YOU SPEWING, HUMAN? LIKE ANY UNIVERSE COULD EXIST WHERE I’D ACTUALLY ENJOY PUNS! I’D RATHER THROW MYSELF INTO THE LAVA OF HOTLAND!”

His brother smirks. “aw, come on, boss. don’t knock it ‘til you try it. puns are hot and all the rage now.”

“SANS!”

You giggle as you watch their interactions. You are happy to see that Sans is able to tell puns around his brother without looking nervous, and Papyrus doesn’t look nearly as angry as you’d expect. They actually look pretty comfortable around each other.

Hearing your laughter, Sans returns his attention to you. “speaking of hot stuff, how about you explain how you got here, dollface? you were saying something about meeting another Papyrus. you were actually serious about that weren’t you?”

Papyrus crosses his arms as he gives you a stern look. “JUST KNOW, WE’LL BE ABLE TO TELL IF YOU’RE LYING.”

You tilt your head curiously. “So, you guys just want me to start talking? You’re not gonna bring my soul out? That’s what we did in the last two worlds I visited.”

The two of them just stare at you with wide eye-lights, obviously caught off guard by your suggestion. After a few seconds of gaping, the older brother quickly moves to stand in front of you. “you’re not messin’ around. you seriously don’t care if we pull your soul out to look at it.”

You shrug your shoulders. “Not really. I’m kinda used to it by now. I’d like for you guys to believe me, so this is probably the best method.”

Papyrus rubs his chin. “AND, YOU’RE NOT SCARED THAT WE WILL DESTROY YOUR SOUL IF WE DEEM YOU A THREAT?”

A chill runs down your spine at the thought. Thanks for that visual, Papyrus. You’d be lying if you said you weren’t scared at all. Underfell is a lot different than Undertale and Underswap. This Sans and Papyrus grew up in a world where it was kill or be killed. These are definitely some of the more violent versions of the skeleton brothers.

However, you don’t plan on judging them because of their backgrounds. The fact that you’re still alive and that they haven’t done anything remotely violent proves they’re not as bad as they could be. You are going to give them the chance that they deserve.

“I am aware that you could do that, and honestly, it does make me a little nervous. But, that doesn’t change the fact that I want to trust you guys. Even though this is a completely different world compared to the last two, you’re still Sans and Papyrus.”

When you give them a warm smile, the skeletons look away, obviously flustered. The two probably never received a lot of positive attention before meeting Frisk. You plan on changing that. These two deserve just as much love and affection as their other counterparts.

Once he regains his composure, Sans activates his magic and pulls out your soul. His magic is a flaming hot red--the complete opposite of Undertale Sans’ ice cold blue magic.

You watch amused as the shocked brothers stare at your soul. Papyrus even points at it. “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! I’VE NEVER SEEN A HUMAN SOUL THAT COLOR BEFORE!”

Sans scratches his skull. “that’s a good question, boss. this is my first time seeing a black human soul.”

You sigh as you shrug your shoulders. “I wish I had an explanation for you boys, but I have no idea. Magic doesn’t exist in my world as far as I know, so I had never seen my soul until I ended up in Undertale. I was as surprised as you when I first saw it.”

The older brother moves closer to examine it. “it looks and feels like a normal soul. there’s no sign of corruption either. seriously, what the hell?”

Papyrus tiredly rubs his forehead. “LET’S JUST GET THIS EXPLANATION OVER WITH. I HATE HAVING MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS!”

With a nod, you first introduce yourself, and then you start telling your tale. You briefly describe your world and the Undertale video game. Then, you recount what happened in Undertale and Underswap. You explain what you know about the human children and the glitches that affected them in each world.

After you finish, Sans returns your soul to your body without any hesitation, causing you to breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like you get to keep your soul another day.

Both monsters look like they could use a stiff drink after hearing your story. It was definitely a lot to take in. You don’t blame them for feeling a little overwhelmed.

It’s Sans who gets over his shock first. He smirks as he moves closer to you. “so, you got those clothes from the older brothers in the last worlds, right? does that mean it’s my turn to play dress up with you?”

You’re about to roll your eyes but stop when an idea comes to mind. With a smirk, you decide to follow his example and invade his personal space. “What? You gonna tell me you have some ladies underwear with puns on them stashed away somewhere?”

The look of shock and the dark red blush on his face are totally worth it. He starts to sweat nervously; Sans obviously didn’t expect you to fire back at him.

Grinning like the Cheshire Cat, you reach out to touch his cheekbone. He goes completely still at the contact. You’ve seen statues less stiff than this guy. You gently pat his face before removing your hand. “You’re real cute, Sans. No bones about it.”

Satisfied, you move back and watch with amazement as his eye-lights turn into little red hearts. You thought only Blueberry could do something like that, but apparently, this is a thing all Sans are capable of. You consider hugging him since that expression is really cute but decide against it. You don’t want to overwhelm the poor guy.

“ARE YOU DONE CANOODLING WITH MY BROTHER?”

You turn to face the younger brother and grin cheekily. “Yep! Would you like a turn?”

Sputtering, the red-faced skeleton takes a step back. “O-OF COURSE NOT! DON’T EVEN THINK OF TRYING TO USE THOSE FEMININE WILES ON ME! MY BROTHER MAY BE SUSCEPTIBLE, BUT I WILL NOT BE SO EASILY DECEIVED!”

A pout forms on your face. “Aw, don’t be like that. I’m not trying to deceive anybody. I just like being affectionate. The Papyrus in Undertale loved hugs. You don’t?”

“NO! SO, DON’T EVEN THINK OF APPROACHING ME ANY FURTHER! I SAID QUIT MOVING!”

The whole time he has been talking, you’ve been slowly inching toward him. His flustered reaction is just too good to pass up. This Papyrus is such a cute tsundere. “But, Papyrus! That just makes me want to hug you more! Don’t worry, I’ll show you the awesomeness of hugs!”

At this point, Sans returns from his trip to la la land. He’s snickering quite loudly at your side. “she seems pretty determined, boss. maybe you should stop fighting and just embrace it?”

If anyone could find a way to kill someone by just glaring, your money is on Papyrus. “SANS!”

The familiar antics make you laugh loudly. You’re glad that this part about the brothers hasn’t changed in this world.

While your guard is down, you feel an arm wrap around your waist. “now, dollface, about that underwear.”

This time you do roll your eyes. “Nice try there, handsome. But, I’m gonna give that a no. The only reason I got these clothes from the others was because I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts when I first arrived. I would’ve caught hypothermia if I stayed in Snowdin dressed like that.”

His expression turns dreamy. “it’s a shame i missed that. i guess you wouldn’t be interested in taking off those extra layers so i can see for myself, huh?”

You snort as you shake your head. “In this weather? Not a chance.”

Papyrus rubs a tired hand down his face. “HONESTLY, SANS, WHY MUST YOU BE LIKE THIS?”

The shorter skeleton releases your waist and shrugs his shoulders after returning his hands to his pockets. “dunno, boss. guess you could say i was just bone this way.”

This time the younger brother actually picks the other skeleton up by his collar and shakes him. All the while, Sans just grins cheekily. “WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS?! WHERE DID I GO WRONG?!”

You had already started laughing after the pun, but now you’re close to rolling on the ground because you’re laughing so hard. Papyrus sounds like an upset parent dealing with their teenager who’s in their rebellious phase. Just imagining that scenario makes it so you can hardly breathe.

After several minutes pass, you’re finally able to calm down enough that you can breathe. You remain hunched over with your hands on your knees as you regain control of your breathing.

When you finally move to stand straight, you see Sans back on the ground standing by his scowling brother. The shorter skeleton smirks at you. “you okay there, doll? it looked like you were having trouble with your breathing. need some mouth-to-mouth?”

Instead of giving him the flustered reaction he wants, you wink at him. “No thanks, sweetheart. I’m alright now.”

Cue the blushing and sweating. You didn’t realize Underfell Sans was this easily flustered. It was really adorable. Obviously, this guy was used to flirting but not being on the receiving end of it. You don’t exactly have a lot of flirting experience yourself, but you’re going to do your best to give him a run for his money.

Papyrus releases a long-suffering sigh. “MUST YOU IDIOTS DO THIS? IT’S BAD ENOUGH WHEN MY BROTHER SHOWS THIS BEHAVIOR. THE LAST THING I NEED IS A HUMAN HANGING AROUND WHO ACTS THE SAME WAY.”

You grin at him. “Aw, don’t be like that, Papyrus. I’ll give you some attention too. I’m all about being fair.”

Cue incoherent screeching and uncontrollable blushing. “DON’T BE ABSURD! I DON’T WANT YOUR ATTENTION, FOOLISH HUMAN! RATHER, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY THAT THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS IS EVEN BOTHERING TO SPEAK TO YOU!”

You nod your head in agreement. “That’s true. I’m very lucky that I have this chance to get to know you. I’m really grateful.”

His blush darkens as he crosses his arms and averts his eyes. “GOOD! AS YOU SHOULD BE. DON’T FORGET YOUR PLACE HERE, HUMAN.”

Realizing that Sans is about to start flirting with you again, you clap your hands loudly to get the brothers’ attention. “I know this will probably sound like a weird request, but can I give you guys nicknames? Not to use here. I just think it’ll be easier down the line after meeting so many of you guys to have nicknames for you all.”

The older skeleton shrugs his shoulders. “don’t matter to me, dollface.”

His brother narrows his eye-lights at you. “SO, YOU WANT TO GIVE THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS A NICKNAME? YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE, HUMAN. HOWEVER, I WILL ALLOW IT SINCE I DON’T WANT TO EVER BE CONFUSED WITH MY OBVIOUSLY WEAKER COUNTERPARTS.”

You grin, happy that they agreed so easily. “Ok! So, when it comes to Underfell, the most popular nickname in my world for Sans is Red and for Papyrus it’s either Edge or Black. Now, if you don’t like those names, we can try to think of something else. I won’t call you something you dislike.”

Sans waves his hand dismissively. “nah. red’s fine with me, doll. can’t say it’s very creative, but i appreciate the simplicity.”

The taller skeleton grabs his chin as he considers his choices. He remains in that position for quite some time. Obviously, choosing a nickname is a very big deal to him.

Finally, Papyrus makes his decision. “THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS WILL ALLOW YOU TO CALL HIM BY THE NAME EDGE. IT SOUNDS MORE SINISTER. ALSO, I DON’T WANT TO BE NAMED AFTER A COLOR LIKE MY BROTHER.”

You snort at his reasoning while the older brother shrugs, looking completely unsurprised. “heh, color me surprised.”

“SANS!”

The taller skeleton grabs his brother and starts shaking him again. All the while, Sans’ cheeky grin remains firmly in place. “uh oh. looks like my bro’s seeing red now.”

Papyrus releases an angry screech as he shakes his brother harder. You’re doing your best not to die from lack of air because of your non-stop laughter.

That’s when it happens.

Suddenly, you’re no longer crouched over laughing; you’re back to standing upright. Sans isn’t being held mid-air anymore. Instead, he’s on the ground looking pensive with his brother scowling a few feet away from him.

A familiar feeling of deja vu washes over you. A pit of dread forms in your stomach. This can only mean one thing.

Frisk just reset.

It looks like visiting one world without having to deal with resets is asking too much. Somehow, you highly doubt the resetting will be just a one time deal.

I guess Frisk can still reset even on the Surface. There must be save points here like in the Underground. I’m just glad they saved after reaching the Surface, so they won’t have to do that whole journey all over again.

“WHY AM I GETTING THE STRONGEST FEELING OF DEJA VU RIGHT NOW? I HAVEN’T FELT LIKE THIS SINCE THE UNDERGROUND.”

You and Sans stare at the younger brother in shock. It looks like this Papyrus notices when a reset occurs. He doesn’t retain his memories but still feels the deja vu. Judging by the older skeleton’s reaction, he had no idea. He obviously thought he was the only one who could tell when a reset happened.

Not wanting to waste any more time, you quickly address the situation. “Papyrus, you remember when I was telling you guys about Frisk’s powers? That was a reset that happened just now. That’s the reason for the deja vu. The question is: why did they reset? Considering my bad luck, the same thing that happened in the last two worlds is gonna start happening here. Do you guys know where Frisk is right now?”

Sans scratches his head. “i think they’re doing some work as the monster ambassador. something about a business meeting.”

His brother sighs in exasperation. “HONESTLY, SANS, YOUR MEMORY IS AWFUL. I’M SURPRISED YOU ACTUALLY REMEMBERED THAT MUCH, YOU LAZYBONES.”

Turning to you, he continues. “THE HUMAN WHO’S ACTING AS OUR AMBASSADOR HAD TO TAKE PART IN AN IMPORTANT MEETING WITH SOME OF THE NEARBY HUMAN LEADERS. RIGHT NOW, MONSTERS ARE ONLY LIVING IN THE AREAS AROUND MT. EBOTT. THE AMBASSADOR IS WORKING TO MAKE IT SO THAT WE’LL BE WELCOME IN MORE PLACES. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT MEETING, SO KING ASGORE AND QUEEN TORIEL ARE ALSO THERE WITH THE AMBASSADOR.”

For some reason, you’re getting a really bad feeling about this situation. What would cause Frisk to reset in a situation like that? A deal gone wrong? A violent disagreement?

“Do you think they’re in the meeting right now? Could you call them to see what caused the reset? If they really are in trouble, we’ll need all the facts.”

With a sigh, Sans pulls out his phone. “i’ll give them a call. while i don’t know if the situation is as serious as you think it is, i do wanna know their reasoning for suddenly resetting.”

He holds the phone to his skull and waits for the kid to answer. You hope they’re not already in the meeting. Otherwise, it’s highly unlikely he’ll get to talk to them.

Finally, they answer, and Sans immediately starts questioning them. It seems he got a hold of them before the meeting started. While this conversation is taking place, you notice Papyrus has moved to stand closer to you. His expression appears contemplative.

“YOU SAID THAT RESETS HAPPEN EITHER BY THE CHILD’S CHOICE OR AUTOMATICALLY AS A RESULT OF THEIR DEATH. DOES THAT MEAN THERE’S A CHANCE SOMEONE ATTACKED AND KILLED OUR AMBASSADOR WHILE THEY WERE AT THE MEETING?”

There’s an underlying fury in those words that makes you shiver. The idea of someone attacking Frisk does not please the taller skeleton--at all.

“Honestly? Considering how the resets went in the last two worlds, I think that is very likely, Papyrus.”

A few minutes later, the phone call ends, and Sans turns to face the two of you. Immediately, you notice that the older skeleton has activated his magic; his red eye is blazing brightly. He’s grinning, but there is no mirth in that grin. The grip on his phone is so tight it’s a miracle the phone is still intact.

Sans returns his phone to his pocket and takes a deep breath to calm down. After his magic deactivates, he speaks. “the kid said they were killed while at the meeting. they didn’t see who did it. all they remember is the sound of glass breaking from behind them before they reset. they think they were shot.”

Your blood runs cold after you receive the news. The more details you hear, the worse you feel. You’ve heard of situations like this happening to important leaders but to a child?

Even if Frisk is the Monster Ambassador, how could someone be so cruel as to assassinate a kid?

Chapter Text

It’s Papyrus’ angry yell that draws you out of your thoughts. “I KNEW I SHOULD’VE GONE! OF COURSE THOSE PATHETIC HUMANS WOULDN’T PASS UP SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY TO ATTACK! CURSE THEM!”

His brother sighs wearily. “it’s not your fault, boss. the king forbid ya from comin’. they were all worried if too many monsters were brought that the humans would see it as a threat. the kid wanted everything to work out peacefully.”

The taller skeleton sneers at him. “AND, LOOK WHERE THAT GOT THEM! NOW, THE AMBASSADOR IS EASY PICKINGS FOR THE HUMANS THAT ARE AGAINST OUR KIND BEING HERE!”

You raise your hands in an attempt to placate him. “Rather than focus on that, let’s try to figure out how we can stop this. Frisk may have reset, but that doesn’t change the fact that someone is still gonna try to kill them down the line.”

Sans rubs his forehead. “the easiest answer would be for them to hightail it out of there, but this meeting is too important for them to skip. they can’t just say they have to leave because of an assassination attempt if it hasn’t even happened yet.”

With a huff, the younger brother crosses his arms. “ISN’T IT OBVIOUS? WE NEED TO FIND THE SHOOTER BEFORE THEY ACT AND ELIMINATE THEM!”

When you see the older skeleton nod along, you quickly intervene. “Hold up! We definitely can’t do that!”

Papyrus narrows his eye-lights at you. “YOU DARE TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN’T DO? NO ONE COMMANDS THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS!”

His brother is giving you a look that practically screams “watch what you say”.

You swallow nervously as you shake your head. “That wasn’t my intention, Papyrus. I agree that we need to find the shooter, but we shouldn’t kill them. That will only hurt the monsters’ chances of finding peace here on the Surface. Sure, it would be out of self-defense, but a lot of humans won’t see it like that. When they’re scared, humans will only believe what they think is right. Instead of seeing this as you guys protecting your ambassador, they’ll just assume you guys killed the shooter because you went on a rampage. We need to solve this peacefully, or all the hard work Frisk and the others put into helping the monsters might go to waste.”

The tension in his shoulders disappears once Sans realizes you’re not trying to argue with his brother. Meanwhile, the taller skeleton rubs his chin thoughtfully as he considers your words.

It remains silent for some time before Papyrus finally speaks. “YOU MAKE A SURPRISINGLY GOOD POINT, HUMAN. IT SEEMS YOU ARE AT LEAST A LITTLE MORE INTELLIGENT THAN THE BRAINLESS HUMANS I NORMALLY COME ACROSS.”

You don’t know what surprises you more: the backhanded compliment or the sudden smirk that forms on the younger brother’s face.

“WE SHALL SOLVE THIS MATTER WITHOUT HAVING TO STOOP AS LOW AS THOSE PATHETIC HUMANS. I SHALL PROVE THAT THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS IS SO AMAZING THAT HE CAN SOLVE EVERYTHING WITHOUT HAVING TO FIGHT THOSE BENEATH HIM. WITH JUST ONE LOOK, I COULD HAVE THEM QUIVERING IN THEIR BOOTS BEGGING FOR MERCY! NYEH HEH HEH!”

Right at the end of his speech, the wind picks up making his scarf flutter dramatically behind him as he poses. Sans grins proudly. “ain’t my bro the coolest?”

You pull out your phone to take a picture of the tall skeleton. This is definitely too good to pass up. Too bad you didn’t think of doing this with all the other skeletons. “Absolutely!”

When the shorter skeleton shifts closer to you with an intrigued expression, you show him the picture you took. He smiles appreciatively. “nice. you got the boss’ good side. can you send me that?”

If he had asked anyone else, they’d think he was asking because he wanted to get their phone number. However, you know Sans genuinely likes the photo of his brother and wants a copy. While you think the gesture is cute, you can’t help but raise an eyebrow at the question. “You do realize that this is a phone from another dimension, right? Do you really think I have service here?”

He shrugs his shoulders. “there’s always wi-fi. we can try to see if it works later on.”

“HUMAN!”

The loud voice makes you jump in surprise. When you turn toward Papyrus, you see him watching you with narrowed eye-lights. He stretches his arm out toward you with his palm up and flexes his fingers like he’s about to grab something.

At your confused look, the taller skeleton sighs in exasperation. “DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU? SHOW ME THE PHOTO! I WILL BE THE JUDGE OF WHETHER OR NOT IT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR MY HIGH STANDARDS!”

Doing your best to suppress a giggle, you hand him your phone. You watch as he silently studies the picture. He’s staring at it so intensely you’re worried your phone might combust from the power of his glare.

Finally, Papyrus returns the phone to you. “NOT BAD, HUMAN. WHILE I WAS IMPRESSED WITH YOUR BRAVERY FOR SO CASUALLY PHOTOGRAPHING ME, I DIDN’T HAVE ANY HIGH EXPECTATIONS IN REGARDS TO THE QUALITY SINCE A HUMAN WAS TAKING THE PICTURE. BUT, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ACTUALLY HAVE SOME SKILLS. OF COURSE, WITH SUCH AN AWESOME SPECIMEN AS MYSELF AS THE FOCUS IT’S NOT HARD TO TAKE A GOOD PHOTO.”

Wow. Two compliments in one day? You’re on a roll.

His brother nods in agreement. “that’s right, boss. it’s hard to take a bad photo of someone who’s got the perfect framework.”

“SANS! IF YOU’RE GOING TO COMPLIMENT ME, DO IT PROPERLY! WITHOUT PUNS!”

Sans grins slyly. “aw, boss, i was just saying you were picture perfect.”

“SANS!”

Before the younger skeleton can throttle his brother, you intervene to get their attention. “Sorry to interrupt, but maybe we should wait until after Frisk is safe to continue this?”

Turning to Sans, you continue. “Did Frisk tell you where exactly the meeting is? Can you teleport us there?”

The shorter brother winks at you. “sure can, dollface. they’re in the meetin’ room of the local town hall. i can get us there instantly.”

Papyrus picks up his brother and holds him under his arm like he’s carrying a football. “THEN, HURRY UP AND TAKE US THERE, YOU IDIOT!”

“right, boss.”

Quickly, you latch onto the taller skeleton’s waist, so you don’t get left behind. Before he can complain, Sans teleports the three of you to the town hall.

As soon as you arrive, Papyrus drops his brother and tries to pull himself out of your tight grip. You decide not to let go just to mess with him. “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING, HUMAN?! LET GO OF ME THIS INSTANT! OR, YOU’LL LOSE THOSE ARMS!”

You grin cheekily at him. “But, Papyrus! If I didn’t grab onto you, I would’ve gotten left behind!”

“YOU COULD’VE JUST GRABBED MY ARM! THERE WAS NO NEED TO EMBRACE ME!”

You nod in agreement. “That’s true. This was just a good excuse to hug you.”

There’s that screeching and blushing coming back in full force. Meanwhile, Sans is rolling on the ground laughing up a storm.

Deciding you’ve messed with the poor embarrassed skeleton enough, you finally let go and give him some space. While the brothers are collecting themselves, you study your surroundings. Your eyes widen when you realize where you are. “Why are we on a roof?!”

The shorter brother slowly rises to his feet after finally composing himself. “can’t just appear in front of the building, right? that’d be too suspicious. nobody would think to check the roof. besides, we’ll have a good view point from up here.”

Papyrus crosses his arms as he surveys the area. “NOT BAD, SANS. YOU’RE LEARNING TO USE YOUR HEAD MORE. NO DOUBT FROM MY AWESOME INFLUENCE.”

His brother nods in agreement. “yep. you’re a great role model, boss. your skills are through the roof.”

“SANS!”

Chuckling, you give Sans a pointed look. “While I personally don’t mind puns, you might want to save them for later. If this keeps up, someone will find out we’re up here.”

He nods to show his understanding. “alright, doll. i’ll wait ‘til we’re done here.”

Papyrus rubs his forehead tiredly. “OR, YOU COULD JUST NOT DO THEM AT ALL.”

“nah. that’s no fun, boss.”

You giggle at the younger brother’s groan before making your way to the side of the roof that faces the street.The town where the meeting is taking place isn’t very large. There’s no skyscrapers as far as you can see. You don’t think you can see any buildings with more than eight floors. The town hall building has a decent height so there’s at least three or four floors to it. You’ll need to measure it against the surrounding buildings to get a better estimate.

Unfortunately, all of the buildings in the nearby area are taller than the town hall. Meaning they all have perfect vantage points. Fortunately, none of the buildings are hotels. It would be more difficult to reach someone hiding out in a reserved room. If the meeting is in one of the rooms of the upper floors, it’s likely the shooter is located on a roof somewhere.

Of course, we might not even be dealing with a long distance shooter. Frisk said they didn’t see them, so there’s a chance someone scaled the building and just shot the kid through the window. There’s a larger chance of being seen, but the human might just be that cocky.

“the meetin’ room is on the third floor. since that’s the highest floor, it would make more sense for the shooter to start from the roof and scale down rather than risk bein' seen climbin’ up three floors.”

Startled, you jump at the sound of Sans’ voice. You had been so lost in thought that you hadn’t even noticed him approach you. You raise an eyebrow at him. “What? Are you a mind reader now? How’d you know that was what I was thinking about?”

He grins smugly. “it was pretty obvious. you ain’t real hard to read, dollface.”

Papyrus joins the two of you and stands on the other side of his brother. “SO, WE KNOW THAT THE SHOOTER DIDN’T USE THIS ROOF TO GET TO THE AMBASSADOR. THAT MEANS THEY MUST BE USING ONE OF THE NEARBY ROOFTOPS TO SHOOT FROM A DISTANCE. THE QUESTION IS:WHICH ONE?”

You turn to address the younger skeleton but freeze when you see a red dot appear on his forehead. Immediately, you tackle him to the ground. “Papyrus, move!”

As soon as you knock him over, you hear the expected bullet hit the rooftop. Sans is searching for the source when you grab his jacket and pull him down. Fortunately, the edges of the roof are tall enough to hide you from sight. “Stay down! You only have one HP! One hit and you’re toast!”

A growl escapes his lips as his left eye strobes with red magic. “that bastard tried to kill my brother. no one does that and lives!”

You keep your tight grip on him. “I agree that they need to pay for what they tried to do but not right now! You need to get us off this roof! We’re sitting ducks here, Sans!”

Before Sans can argue, his brother intervenes. “SHE’S RIGHT, SANS. LOSING YOUR TEMPER WON’T DO US ANY GOOD. NOW GET US OUT OF HERE!”

Not able to refuse his brother, the older skeleton grabs the two of you and promptly teleports the three of you to safety. By the looks of it, he brought your group to the roof of one of the taller buildings down the street.

You dimly notice that you’re trembling. Looks like the adrenaline rush is wearing off. Man, that was way too close for comfort. You only noticed the gun’s laser light by chance. If you hadn’t, the bullet would’ve hit Papyrus. Sure, he probably has amazing reflexes, but you seriously doubt he has a lot of experience dealing with guns. For humans, sometimes all it takes is just one shot to die. Are monsters the same? You really don’t want to find out.

A jacket being dropped onto your shoulders pulls you from your dark thoughts. You quickly realize it belongs to Sans. Of course, he’s the only one here wearing a jacket, so you can’t imagine it coming from anyone else.

Sans moves to join you on the ground. With the way you had been shaking, you didn’t think you’d be able to stand even if you had wanted to, so you hadn’t bothered to try. “you alright, doll? you’re shakin’ like a leaf.”

You notice Papyrus is studying the surrounding buildings before returning your attention to his brother. You give him a shaky smile. “I’m alright. I don’t know if skeletons have their own equivalent of an adrenaline rush, but it happens to humans in dangerous situations like before. It basically causes a human’s fight-or-flight instincts to kick into overdrive. And when it ends, you end up a little on the shaky side. I’ll be alright in a few minutes. Sorry for worrying you.”

Sans shakes his head. “you got nothin’ to apologize for, doll. it’s thanks to you my bro is alright. you even stopped me from doing something stupid. as much as i want to hurt them, i know goin’ after them wouldn’t be the smartest idea.”

Wanting comfort, you wrap your arms around the surprised skeleton’s neck and hug him. “I’ve never been in a situation like that before. It was terrifying. I don’t know what scared me more: being in danger like that or what almost happened if I hadn’t been fast enough.”

His posture relaxes as he returns the embrace. “nothin’ wrong with bein’ scared, doll. that’s perfectly normal considerin’ the circumstances. it’s the fact that you were still able to move despite the fear that’s important.”

With a whisper, he adds, “thank you for savin’ my brother, y/n. he’s all i got. i’d be lost without him.”

You hug him tighter as you fight back tears. You know he means everything he says. You know how much every Sans loves their Papyrus--how lost they’d be without their brother. No universe should exist where one brother is without the other. It’s just too cruel.

After a few more minutes, you pull away and quickly rub your wet eyes. Before you can thank Sans for comforting you, you’re distracted by his brother’s shout.

“AHA! I FOUND THEM!”

Unfortunately, it’s just as he makes that discovery that another reset occurs.

Instead of sitting on a rooftop, you’re now back in the woods where you first met the skeleton brothers. Sans has his jacket back on and is wearing an annoyed expression while Papyrus has a confused scowl on his face. No doubt he was trying to understand the sudden feeling of deja vu.

You decide to address his lack of memories first. “Papyrus? I don’t know if you remember anything, but Frisk just reset for the second time. Last time that it happened, we found out from the kid that they had been shot. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stop the second attack because the shooter went after us when we teleported to the town hall’s roof.”

Papyrus rubs his forehead like he’s fighting off a headache. “I HAVE NO MEMORIES OF THIS OCCURRING, BUT IT DOES SOUND VAGUELY FAMILIAR.”

His brother sighs wearily. “unfortunately, it was boss who noticed where the shooter was before we reset. we’ll have to go back to that rooftop and look for them again.”

Like before, the taller skeleton pulls his brother under his arm and requests for Sans to teleport your group. You’re about to grab on like last time when Papyrus suddenly holds out his hand to you.

Briefly, you wonder if he has a faint recollection of your hug from the previous run. With a bright grin, you take hold of his hand. “Aw, Papyrus! I didn’t know you were the type that preferred hand-holding over hugs. I’ll be sure to remember that.”

The older skeleton chooses that moment to teleport your group, cutting his brother off mid-screech.

Immediately, after the three of you reappear on the rooftop that you were last on, Papyrus pulls his hand away from yours like it’s been burned. While you can’t enjoy the hand-holding anymore, there’s still the blush on the taller skeleton’s cheekbones to entertain you. What a cute tsundere.

“I ONLY HELD OUT MY HAND BECAUSE I HAD A BAD FEELING ABOUT WHAT YOU WERE PLANNING! NO DOUBT YOU DID SOMETHING VILE BEFORE THE LAST RESET!”

You pout at his words. “It wasn’t vile! I gave you a nice, warm hug. I’m pretty sure you secretly liked it.”

His blush intensifies as he yells. “I DEFINITELY DID NOT!”

Sans chuckles at your side. “alright, dollface. you’ve had your fun. let’s get back to lookin’ for the shooter.”

Grumbling, his brother quickly moves away to the left side of the roof to look at the buildings in that area. “IF I FOUND THEM BEFORE, I WILL FIND THEM AGAIN! NOTHING CAN ESCAPE MY IMPECCABLE EYESIGHT! NYEH HEH HEH!”

Giggling, you move toward the ledge of the building’s front. Sans really made a good choice picking this building. It’s located at the end of the street and fully faces the road, so you can clearly see all of the buildings lined up on each side of the street. The town hall building is about three buildings away on the left side of the road.

Considering the differences in height between the neighboring buildings, you think this one is at least five floors high--maybe six. You don’t see any structures taller than the building you’re on, so you won’t have to worry about someone getting the drop on you again.

Eventually, the brothers migrate to the side where you’re standing since it has the best view. Unfortunately, you haven’t had any luck seeing anyone suspicious. Of course, you can only clearly see the roofs of the nearby buildings. You can’t make out what’s on the roofs of the buildings on the other end of the street. You wonder if the shooter has even made it to the roof yet.

After about ten minutes of searching, Papyrus yells triumphantly. “I HAVE FOUND THEM! THE FOOLISH HUMAN THOUGHT THEY COULD HIDE IN THE SHADOWS, BUT NOTHING ESCAPES THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS’ WATCH!”

His brother grins proudly. “you’re the best, boss. so, which building is the bastard on?”

With his scarf billowing gallantly in the breeze, the taller skeleton points at the building located to the right of the building almost directly across from town hall. By the looks of it, it’s a four-story furniture store.

Well, it probably wouldn’t be that hard to sneak to the roof of a building like that.

“NYEH HEH HEH! ALL THAT’S LEFT IS FOR ME TO FORMULATE THE MOST EFFECTIVE ATTACK STRATEGY. THEN, THIS NONSENSE WILL BE OVER! WE’LL SHOW THOSE MISCREANTS THAT MONSTERS ARE NOT SOMETHING TO BE TRIFLED WITH!”

Sans nods his agreement. “i’m with ya all the way, boss. we’ll show them that skeletons are not tibia messed with.”

You snort while his brother groans loudly to show his dissatisfaction. The shorter skeleton continues with a wink. “i can’t wait to get my hands on that shooter. i have a real bone to pick with them.”

“SANS!”

After glaring at his brother for a few minutes, Papyrus returns his attention to the situation at hand. “WE’LL NEED TO BE ABLE TO SUBDUE THE SHOOTER WITHOUT CAUSING THEM TOO MUCH BODILY HARM. UNFORTUNATELY, CAUSING PHYSICAL HARM IS MORE MY SPECIALTY THAN SPARING. THE SHOOTER IS LUCKY THAT I AM A SKELETON OF MANY TALENTS. THE QUESTION IS:WHICH OF MY MANY SKILLS SHOULD I USE?”

You cross your arms as you ponder the best course of action. “Maybe we should involve the police? I mean, I know that the shooting hasn’t actually happened yet, but there’s still a suspicious guy with a gun on a roof all by himself. Surely, the police would go check out something like that?”

The younger skeleton waves his hand dismissively while Sans sighs. “do ya really think they’ll come if we go ask them? we don’t know if those guys would take a request from a monster. even if they did, would they believe us and check it out right away? we don’t exactly have a lot of time to deal with this, dollface.”

Your shoulders slump in defeat. “Okay, you got a point. I just thought that if we involved them the risk of backlash on you guys would decrease. Plus, you reporting to the police would prove you’re nice, law-abiding citizens.”

That comment makes both brothers laugh. You wonder which part they found funny: being called nice or you insinuating that they’re law-abiding?

Papyrus shakes his head. “ALRIGHT. ENOUGH NONSENSE. WE NEED TO DECIDE WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SUBDUE THE SHOOTER AND QUICKLY!”

You think over what you know of this Papyrus. Honestly, you don’t know if he has any attacks that could subdue without doing damage. He brags about his strength for a reason. Your gaze turns to Sans. Now, Sans does have an ability that could be useful. You just hope you can word this suggestion in a way that won’t offend the taller skeleton.

“Papyrus, maybe we shouldn’t use your attacks to stop the shooter. I mean, they’re super powerful, right? I think no matter which awesome attack you use it’s gonna cause a lot of damage. What if Sans used his control over gravity on them? That way he could just hold them down until the meeting ends and Frisk leaves. We can then call the police and explain that you guys were patrolling the area because Frisk was there and caught the shooter acting suspicious so you decided to stop him. Or, I could let the store owner know about the shooter and get them to call the police.”

The younger skeleton stares at you with narrowed eye-lights. This continues for a while making you increasingly nervous. Finally, he nods his head. “IT IS ACCEPTABLE. NOT AS AMAZING AS MY USUAL PLANS, BUT IT WILL DO. BESIDES, IT MEANS WE CAN PUT MY LAZY BROTHER TO WORK.”

Sans scratches his head. “well, if the boss agrees, then i have no problem with it. i like the idea of ya telling the store owner, doll. the less the humans know of our involvement the better.”

His brother scowls no doubt displeased that they won’t get the credit they deserve, but he doesn’t argue. “FINE. CAN YOU TELEPORT US OVER THERE, SANS?”

The shorter skeleton stares at the building in concentration. “i can get us to the fourth floor. none of my shortcuts open up on that roof.”

“ALRIGHT. DO IT.”

With a grin, Sans grabs your hand and his brother’s arm. Then, there’s a shift. When you open your eyes, you see that you’re inside the store on the floor with all the mattresses. This greatly amuses you. Of course, the floor that the lazy skeleton can reach is related to sleeping. You notice Sans give you a sly wink obviously reading your thoughts.

Fortunately, no one appears to be in your immediate area, so your arrival goes unnoticed. Quickly, your group heads for the stairs. Luckily, rather than just ending at the top floor, the staircase does continue upwards toward the roof. Maybe it’s like that for upper floor employees who need to leave for a smoking break.

Your group makes it to the top of the staircase in record time. Sans motions for you to stay behind him and his brother and then slowly twists the doorknob to open the door. His magic activates once he sees the shooter who’s lying on the ground near the far right corner of the rooftop.

From what you can see, the shooter appears to be male and is wearing a special camouflage to help him blend in with the roof. He’s holding a long range gun that’s aimed toward the third floor of the town hall building. You’re not familiar enough with guns to be able to identify which one is being used, but it looks like the ones you’ve often seen used on TV for situations like this.

Sans quickly uses his magic on the shooter and slams him into the ground. Unfortunately, you quickly discover that solving this problem won't be as easy as you had originally hoped. Before you can even begin to celebrate the victory, it happens.

Because of all the recent craziness, you had forgotten about what played a pivotal role in the resets of the previous worlds. If you hadn’t, maybe you wouldn’t be as surprised as you are now about this new turn of events.

Your eyes widen in shock as you witness the shooter’s appearance begin to flicker and glitch before he abruptly disappears from the roof without a trace.

You had forgotten about the glitch, or maybe you just unconsciously ignored it? You were so focused on finding the assassin that you didn’t bother to consider what role the glitch would play in all of this. Even though you suspected it played a part, you didn’t try to think of how it would affect the resets. You just assumed that if you found the shooter that everything would be resolved.

Of course, things are never that simple.

Chapter Text

Both skeletons stare completely stunned. No matter where they look, the shooter is nowhere to be found.

Panicked, you immediately run onto the roof leaving your place of safety behind the doorway. Ignoring Sans’ warning to stay back, you frantically look over the surrounding buildings. “Guys! He’s not on this roof anymore! We gotta find him again! The glitch won’t stop the assassination from happening! It’ll make sure it happens! That means he must be on a different rooftop now! We have to hurry and find him before he shoots again!”

Their eye-lights widen in realization before they quickly start surveying the nearby rooftops. Unfortunately, just as Papyrus spots the shooter, the world resets.

You grit your teeth in frustration once you realize you’re all back at the forest. Sans is wearing an angry scowl while his brother’s expression is more perplexed.

Quickly, you update Papyrus on the situation and tell him how your group once again failed because of the glitch.

A growl erupts from the older skeleton. “what the fuck was that?! i know ya told us about the glitch, but all ya said it did was trip kids! that guy was fuckin’ teleported! how does that work?!”

You bite your lip. “I don’t know. I mean, considering the glitch did move that water cooler in Undertale, it doesn’t sound that impossible to move a person. But, that’s still crazy! I’m used to the glitch going directly after the kids. Now, it affects the direct cause of the resets and protects him? Seriously? How are we supposed to stop him if he keeps moving?!”

Papyrus scoffs. “WE JUST HAVE TO BE FASTER THAN HIM! THAT GLITCH MAY HAVE GOTTEN THE BEST OF ME LAST TIME, BUT IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!”

His brother starts to sweat. “uh, boss? i don’t know if this is somethin’ we can outrun. that glitch can probably move the shooter to any of the nearby buildings. that meetin’ room where the kid is at has windows on nearly every wall. there are plenty of angles to shoot from. some of those buildings i can’t reach as easily with my shortcuts.”

The taller skeleton narrows his eye-lights as he glares at his brother. “ARE YOU INSINUATING THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR I, THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS, TO STOP THAT WEAK HUMAN?”

“n-no. of course not, boss.”

You quickly intervene out of sympathy for the older brother. Also, because his words made you think of something. “Sans, can you call Frisk again? I want to know if they’ve tried anything different since the first reset happened. They’re a smart kid, so I doubt they’ve been doing nothing.”

Understanding where you’re going with this, Sans pulls out his phone and calls the kid. Fortunately, Frisk answers their phone faster than last time. The conversation only lasts for a few minutes before the shorter skeleton ends the call.

He puts the phone back in his pocket with a frown. “they said they’ve tried walkin’ by different windows, but no matter where they’re standin’, the shot still comes. i guess that means the glitch has moved the shooter before.”

You pinch the bridge of your nose as you try to fight off an oncoming headache. “I figured you’d say that. This is even more annoying than when the glitch moved the stupid water cooler.”

Papyrus crosses his arms. “SO, NOW WE MUST DEVISE A NEW STRATEGY THAT WILL ALLOW US TO STOP THE HUMAN FROM SHOOTING AND DISAPPEARING. I ADMIT KILLING THE SHOOTER IS SOUNDING MORE AND MORE APPEALING.”

A sigh leaves your lips when you see the older brother agree. “While it would make things a hell of a lot easier, let’s try to save that as a very last resort. There’s gotta be some way to stop that shooter even if he gets teleported.”

Deciding that remaining in the forest isn’t going to help the situation, Papyrus commands his brother to teleport the three of you back to the rooftop with the good view of the street.

You can’t help but feel amused when the taller skeleton doesn’t grab his brother in the usual football carry. Instead, he simply puts his hand on his brother’s shoulder. He narrows his eye-lights and gives you a suspicious look. “I DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT LETTING YOU NEAR ME. SO, YOU’LL HAVE TO MAKE CONTACT WITH MY BROTHER IF YOU WISH TO COME ALONG.”

A giggle escapes before you can completely rein in your amusement. Sans doesn’t even bother to hide it as he laughs. He winks at you. “looks like you’ll just have to wrap your arms around me, doll. make sure it’s tight. don’t wanna lose ya halfway.”

Without any hesitation, you wrap your arms around his neck in a hug. “Ready when you are!”

He returns the embrace with slightly trembling arms and quickly teleports your group. When you pull back from the embrace, you notice that his face is redder and sweatier than before.

Amused by his flustered expression, you give him another quick hug before moving back to give him some space. His embarrassed face is really cute. You think Red is a suitable nickname considering how much he blushes.

Papyrus makes a noise of disgust. “IT SEEMS MY FINELY TUNED INSTINCTS WERE RIGHT. NOT THAT I HAD ANY DOUBT.”

You grin cheekily. “It’s too bad. I was hoping that I’d get to hug you or hold your hand again.”

Blushing, he releases an embarrassed screech before running away. “I’M GOING TO LOOK FOR THE SHOOTER! I HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE ON YOU!”

Chuckling, you turn to the grinning older brother. “He’s adorable.”

Sans raises a brow ridge in amusement. “you’re probably the first person to call my bro that. i’ve heard him get called a lot of things, but adorable was never one of them.”

Shrugging your shoulders, you head for the spot that you used last time. “Just calling it like I see it. Guys who get easily flustered are adorable.”

With a wink, you add, “Of course, that includes you too, handsome.”

His face turns bright red which makes you grin. And, there’s that flustered expression we all know and love. These brothers really are too cute. It’s hard to believe that these are some of the most dangerous skeletons considering how they react to flirting.

Your group ends up finding the shooter pretty quickly this time because he’s back on the roof of the furniture store. That must mean that that’s the roof he always starts on before getting glitched away. You briefly wonder if the shooter even notices the glitch when it moves him. Does he even realize that he’s on a different rooftop, or does the glitch alter his memories of the event as well?

With a sigh, Sans stuffs his hands into his jacket pockets. “so, what’s the plan now, boss?”

His brother rubs his chin thoughtfully. “IF THE VERMIN IS GOING TO TELEPORT NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, THEN I THINK WE SHOULD DIVIDE OUR FORCES TO GO AFTER HIM. WHILE MOST OF MY ATTACKS ARE OF THE LETHAL VARIETY, I AM ALSO CAPABLE OF MANIPULATING GRAVITY. I JUST DON'T USE IT AS MUCH AS SANS SINCE I PREFER MORE PHYSICAL ATTACKS. WHILE I ENJOY PUTTING SANS TO WORK, IT LOOKS LIKE I’LL NEED TO GET MORE INVOLVED IF WE ARE TO FINALLY SUCCEED. I’LL GO AFTER THE HUMAN FIRST WHILE MY BROTHER CAN SUBDUE HIM ONCE THE SHOOTER REAPPEARS.”

You blink in surprise. That’s right. The younger brothers are capable of manipulating gravity, aren’t they? It’s not to the same extent as the older skeletons, but they can definitely do it. You wonder how that slipped your mind.

Sans grins proudly. “you’re the best, boss. no way will we fail with you handlin’ things.”

The taller skeleton smirks as he poses with his scarf once again fluttering behind him thanks to a convenient breeze. “NYEH HEH HEH! OF COURSE! VICTORY IS ASSURED ONCE I TAKE THINGS SERIOUSLY!”

You smile at the brothers, but you can’t help but feel worried. What if the glitch can move the shooter more than just one time? You decide to share your worries with the skeletons.

A frown forms on the younger brother’s face as he considers the question. “HMM. IT’S TRUE THAT WE DON’T KNOW THE FULL CAPABILITIES OF THIS GLITCH. THE BEST SOLUTION WOULD BE FOR MY BROTHER OR MYSELF TO GO AFTER THE SHOOTER DEPENDING ON WHOEVER IS CLOSEST TO THE ROOFTOP WHERE THE SHOOTER REAPPEARS.”

Sans scratches his head. “but, boss, how will ya get off that rooftop in time if he’s closer to ya? should i come back and get ya?”

His brother waves his hand dismissively. “I MAY NOT BE CAPABLE OF TELEPORTATION, BUT I HAVE MY OWN WAYS TO GET AROUND. YOU SHOULD REMAIN AT YOUR SPOT IN CASE THE SHOOTER MOVES AGAIN. EVENTUALLY, THE GLITCH WILL HAVE TO REALIZE ITS EFFORTS ARE FUTILE AND WILL STOP MOVING HIM.”

He makes a good point. Surely, the glitch can’t keep this up indefinitely. Besides, all your group really needs to do is distract the shooter long enough that he misses his chance to shoot Frisk. This might be the best way to handle this situation.

You’re surprised when Papyrus hands you his phone. It looks like one of the original cell phones that came out eons ago with it’s blocky, black body and long antenna. Wow, this is a blast from the past.

When you give him a curious look, the taller skeleton sighs. “TAKE IT. YOU WILL REMAIN HERE ON LOOKOUT. IF YOU SEE WHERE THE SHOOTER APPEARS, CALL MY BROTHER’S PHONE AND ALERT HIM. IT’S POSSIBLE YOU MIGHT NOTICE THE SHOOTER BEFORE HIM.”

Happy to play a part in the plan, you take the phone and give him a salute. “Aye aye, Captain!”

A large, pleased smirk forms on the younger brother’s face. He obviously enjoys the title. Turning to his brother, he tells Sans to drop him off at the fourth floor again and to return here to look for the next place the shooter will reappear.

Sans copies you and gives his brother a salute. “roger, boss.”

In a matter of seconds, the skeletons are gone, and before you can blink, the older brother reappears.

He winks at you. “miss me?”

You grin playfully. “Of course.”

Turning back to the view of the street, you sigh. “I wish I had a pair of binoculars or something. My eyesight isn’t as good as your brother’s."

“i don't think anybody’s is, but maybe i can help ya, doll.”

Before you can question him, he disappears and then promptly reappears holding a pair of binoculars. “lucky for you, i got a pair from home that you can use.”

You take the offered binoculars and give him a quick hug as thanks. A large grin forms on his face in response.

When you move to face the furniture store rooftop, you hold up the binoculars just in time to see the shooter glitch away. Quickly, you start surveying the surrounding rooftops. “Sans! He’s moved!”

The shorter skeleton curses as he starts to look at the nearby rooftops. Finally, you catch movement on the building to the right of town hall. “Found him! Rooftop of the building to the right of town hall!”

In a flash, Sans is gone. However, you don’t notice because you’re too busy watching the shooter. You see Sans appear behind him and use his magic to subdue the shooter. Unfortunately, the human glitches away within seconds.

Biting back a curse, you start your search again. When you hear Papyrus’ phone ring, you answer it while continuing to search the nearby rooftops. “Haven’t found him yet, Sans.”

“that’s fine. didn’t really expect ya to find him that fast. just stay on the line with me. that way ya can tell me as soon as ya see him.”

You agree and continue your search. Finally, you find the shooter on the roof of the building adjacent to the furniture store. That’s not all you see, however. Grinning despite yourself, you update the older brother.

“Found him. He’s on the rooftop of the building to the right of the furniture store. Looks like your brother has already found him, though.”

“that’s my bro. he’s the coolest. i probably shouldn’t move just in case the glitch kicks in again.”

Unfortunately, his worries aren’t unfounded. You watch Papyrus shake his fist in the air after the shooter disappears. Annoyed, you return to your search. “Papyrus got to him, but he disappeared again. I’m looking for him.”

A lot of colorful words come from the other end of the line. You can’t blame him. You’re getting pretty fed up with this too.

Finally, you find the shooter, but before you can relay his location to Sans, the world resets.

It looks like you ran out of time once again.

Back in the forest, you watch Sans throw up his arms in aggravation. “seriously, what the fuck?! i didn’t even hear the damn gunshot, and i was right by town hall. the only thing i heard was the fuckin’ glass shatterin’!”

You rub your forehead tiredly. “He must have a silencer. Those are devices that can muffle the sounds the gun makes when it’s used.”

When you notice the curious look Papyrus gives his irritated brother, you quickly explain the situation to him again. Having to do this every time is frustrating, but it’s not his fault that he can’t remember resets.

The taller skeleton scowls fiercely. “TO THINK I WAS BESTED ONCE AGAIN. THIS CANNOT GO UNPUNISHED! I WILL CONQUER THIS GLITCH!”

Taking a deep breath, you slowly gather your thoughts. You’ve only dealt with the glitch twice before, but that’s more experience than these guys. You need to use what you know to find a way out of this situation.While I understand Papyrus’ desire to stop the glitch, I don’t know if we actually can. Thinking back on it, in the other two worlds, we never actually stopped the glitch. We just changed the situation to work around the glitch, so that even if it occurred it wouldn’t hurt anything. I think we need to do something like that here. Maybe instead of focusing on the shooter, we should focus on Frisk instead.

Feeling that might be the best solution, you decide to tell the brothers your thoughts. Both of their expressions turn contemplative as they consider your idea.

Sans scratches his head. “but, doll, how are we gonna do that? it’s not like we can just bust into the meetin’ to protect them, and we can’t take them out of there. i doubt they’d even agree considerin’ how important the meetin’ is.”

Papyrus rubs his chin thoughtfully. “MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T JUST MOVE THE AMBASSADOR. IF WE COME UP WITH A GOOD REASON FOR ALL OF THEM TO LEAVE THE ROOM, THEY CAN’T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE AMBASSADOR LEAVING. THEY’LL JUST HAVE TO RECONVENE TO ANOTHER TIME.”

Your eyes widen in realization. Quickly, you glomp the taller skeleton and give him a warm squeeze which causes him to sputter. “You’re a genius, Papyrus! That’s a perfect idea! All we have to do is get everyone to leave the room before the shooter acts!”

His face glows bright red. “OF COURSE I AM! EVERY IDEA OF MINE IS PERFECT! NOW, RELEASE ME AT ONCE BEFORE I BREAK YOUR ARMS!”

Too happy to argue, you release the younger skeleton while his brother chuckles. Your brows furrow in concentration. “Now, we just need to think of a good excuse to get everyone to leave the room.”

Sans tilts his head. “probably warnin’ them of an attack won’t be enough without any actual proof. maybe we should do somethin’ to the building so they’ll be forced to leave.”

His brother crosses his arms. “THAT COULD WORK. CAUSING A LITTLE PROPERTY DAMAGE SHOULDN’T BE TOO DIFFICULT. HOWEVER, WE’D RISK GETTING FINGERS POINTED IN OUR DIRECTION WHICH WOULDN’T BE GOOD FOR THE AMBASSADOR.”

You chuckle nervously. “Yeah, let’s try to avoid doing any actual damage to the building. However, doing something that affects the building as a whole instead of just the room might be a good idea.”

For the next few minutes, your group remains silent as you consider your options. There must be something you can do to the building to cause everyone to evacuate without having to destroy anything.

A mental light bulb flashes on as you have a eureka moment. That’s it!

You snap your fingers in realization which gains the skeletons’ attention. “Guys, I got it! The fire alarm! Every building has one. If we pull the building’s alarm switch, it’ll go off, and everyone will hear the noise. They’ll have to evacuate the building because they’ll have no way of knowing if the building really is on fire or not.”

Sans grins while his brother smirks; they’re both obviously pleased with the plan. Your grin grows to match theirs. “Sans, can you bring me as close to the town hall building as you can without drawing attention to yourself? I’ll sneak in and pull the fire alarm. Once the evacuation starts, I’ll mix in with the crowd and exit the building.”

The shorter skeleton winks at you. “i’ll do ya one better, dollface.”

He pulls out his phone and makes a call that only lasts for a few minutes. “okay, i told the kid our plan. i also told them what ya look like, so they know to look for ya when everyone leaves the building. stick close to them, and ya won’t have to deal with any problems if someone questions who ya are. they said they’ll vouch for ya, so ya won’t get into hot water.”

You’re touched by his thoughtfulness. Before you can thank him, you hear Papyrus groan at the pun. Surprisingly, he doesn’t comment on it instead choosing to focus his attention on the plan. “ALL THAT’S LEFT IS TO DEAL WITH THE SHOOTER. WHILE THE SAFETY OF THE AMBASSADOR IS PARAMOUNT, I WILL NOT LET THAT BASTARD ESCAPE JUST BECAUSE HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY SHOOT THEM THIS TIME AROUND.”

You rub your chin in contemplation. “I agree. We can’t take the chance that he’ll try again later on. I think he should be easier to catch once Frisk is brought to safety. Then, the shooter won’t have a target anymore. He could try to go after them once they’re on the street, but if we’re all in a big group, it’ll be difficult to shoot them especially considering how small they are compared to regular adults. I don’t think the glitch will do anything since moving the shooter at that point would be pointless.”

Papyrus nods to show his agreement. “I ALSO AGREE IT WOULD BE FUTILE. ALRIGHT. SANS, I WANT YOU TO DROP ME OFF AT THE FURNITURE STORE LIKE BEFORE AFTER YOU DROP OFF THE HUMAN. THEN, I WANT YOU TO REMAIN ON STANDBY NEAR TOWN HALL IN CASE THE AMBASSADOR NEEDS TO BE TELEPORTED TO SAFETY.”

“gotcha, boss.”

With that, your plan is put into motion. First, you’re dropped off in a nearby alley across the street from town hall. The brothers send you off with a wink and a command to do your job properly. You salute them and then move to cross the street after you check for cars.

Once you reach the building’s entrance, you take a deep breath to gather your courage before you open the door and enter. There are quite a few people on the bottom floor. Judging by the lines at the booths on each side of the building, you think this is where citizens come to pay their electricity and water bills. It’s a small town, so it makes sense to only have one government building to house all the required services a town needs. Besides the booths and the small chandelier hanging from the ceiling, there’s really not much to look at.

On the far side of the building, you spot the elevators and the door leading to the staircase. You head in that direction doing your best not to draw any attention. You even bring out your phone to stare at like most would expect from people your age.

Slowly, you open the door to the staircase and begin your ascent. When you reach the door that leads to the second floor, you find a fire alarm mounted on the wall. Once you make sure there’s no one in the nearby area whether in the staircase or the second floor, you raise your trembling hand to the fire alarm.

You don’t know if the trembling is from nervousness or excitement. It’s probably both. With a gulp, you pull down hard on the switch. You immediately dash past the door as the fire alarm begins to blare throughout the building. Fortunately, the restrooms are near the stairway, so you quickly run in there and hide in a stall. You’re really glad that no one is there. Otherwise, you’d have to explain why you’re not trying to leave the building right away.

Once you hear footsteps in the hallway, you decide to join the group that’s heading for the stairwell. It appears that the second floor mainly consists of offices. Thankfully, no one questions your presence. They’re too busy either panicking about the potential fire or grumbling about having their work interrupted.

Shortly after you make it to the first floor, you feel a hand latch onto your leg which causes you to jump in surprise. When you look down, you’re relieved to see that it’s just Frisk. Instead of the usual striped sweater, they’re wearing business clothes which look really adorable on someone their size.

They shyly smile at you. “You’re Y/N?”

When you nod, their smile becomes relieved, and they move their hand from your leg to grasp your left hand. You’re surprised by the sudden friendliness, but you can’t say that you hate it. With a warm smile, you gently squeeze their trembling hand in hopes of soothing them. “Everything is alright now, Frisk. Let’s get you out of here.”

“Ah, there you are, my child!”

Looking up, you see Toriel and Asgore quickly approaching you. The goat monsters look just like they do in the game except for the clothes. The former queen is wearing a red version of the purple robe you’re familiar with while Asgore is wearing a black suit. He must’ve figured out that armor wasn’t proper business attire.

I wonder how long it took to make a suit for a monster his size.

Toriel looks relieved to have found Frisk but pauses when she spots you. “Oh, hello! I don’t believe that we have met. My name is Toriel. I am this child’s guardian.”

You give her a friendly smile. “Hello, my name’s Y/N. I’m a friend of Sans and Papyrus. Frisk knows me because they told the kid about me. It’s nice to meet you.”

Asgore smiles worriedly. “It is nice to meet you as well. I am King Asgore. I hope you don’t mind us continuing this conversation elsewhere. While I can handle fire, I think it would be best for all of us to vacate the building just in case.”

And, that’s how you ended up leaving the building escorted by the King and Queen of Monsters and the Monster Ambassador. You have to admit that this is pretty cool. It’s like you’re famous because the people who hang out with you are.

You shake your head. This is no time to be distracted. Frisk may still be in danger. You have to make sure that they stay out of the shooter’s sight.

While the goat monsters walk ahead of you and the kid, you whisper to get Frisk’s attention. “Hey, when we get outside, stay behind me, okay? I’m gonna try to stick close to the crowd. The shooter shouldn’t be able to see you among this many people.”

When they nod their head nervously, you squeeze their hand again before walking through the building’s entrance. Holding up a hand to block the sun’s glare, you move forward as fast you can without looking too suspicious.

Fortunately, there’s a large group of people hanging around the bottom of the stairs that lead to the entrance. The whole time you’re moving you make sure that your body blocks the kid from view. Since the shooter should be to your right, you make sure Frisk is on your left side behind you at an angle.

Within seconds, you reach the crowd and immediately move to join it. Asgore and Toriel have made it to the far edges of the right side of the crowd. You wave at them to show where you are and that you still have the kid.

You move as slowly as you can since the longer the child is in the crowd the better their chances are. Right before you reach the king and queen, Sans appears at their side wearing a large smirk.

Relieved, you move faster to join the group of monsters. When they see him, Frisk releases your hand and hugs Sans tightly. It’s obvious that they’re happy to see him. He ruffles their hair. “hey, kid, no need to be alarmed. everythin’ is alright now.”

Toriel giggles at the pun while the king smiles in amusement. When the child pulls away, Sans turns to face Asgore. “we’ve got a bit of a problem, your majesty. my bro and I were patrollin’ the area just to make sure everythin’ went smoothly for your meetin’, and we found a human with a gun on one of the nearby rooftops. it looked like he was aimin’ for the floor you were on, so my bro caught him. we didn’t hurt him, though.”

The king’s expression grows tense as a deep frown forms. “While I wish you two would have alerted me ahead of time in regards to your patrol, I am grateful for your hard work. We will notify the police immediately and tell them of our suspicions.”

Toriel reaches for Frisk who immediately grabs her hand. “Considering the situation, I believe that it would be best if the two of us returned home. I am sure that these leaders would prefer to reschedule this meeting anyway.”

When the kid tugs on her hand to get her attention, the former queen looks down at Frisk. With a shy smile, they ask, “Can Y/N come with us, Mom? She’s staying with Sans and Papyrus while she’s visiting town, and they’ll probably be busy for a while.”

She smiles at the child. “Of course, my child. It has been awhile since we last had company. Is that alright with you, Y/N?”

You grin as you nod. “That sounds great, Ms. Toriel. Thank you for your hospitality.”

Toriel waves her hand dismissively. “Please call me Tori. Now, let us get going. I expect you to take care of this properly, Asgore.”

Asgore nods nervously when she glares at him. “Of course, Tori.”

As you follow Toriel to her vehicle, you see Sans wink at you. “i’ll come pick you up after everything’s settled, doll. have fun with the kid.”

You smile at him before running to catch up with Frisk and their goat mom.

A few hours later, you find yourself in front of a television screen battling Frisk in an intense game of Mario Kart. While you like the kid, you don’t show mercy to anyone when it comes to this game. Frisk has managed to pull off a couple of wins, but you’ve still won the most by far. You don’t plan on that changing anytime soon. You’re about to claim first place again when it happens.

“boo.”

You jump with a yelp and nearly fall off the couch that you’re sitting on. The controller falls out of your hands in the process which causes your Princess Peach to come to an abrupt halt. Before you can reclaim your controller, Frisk’s Yoshi flies past and claims your rightful throne.

As soon as they win, Frisk drops their controller and starts rolling across the couch in a fit of laughter. Pouting, you grab your controller in time to claim second place just barely beating Mario.

Flowey, who has been wrapped around the kid’s shoulder cheering them on the whole time, is also laughing up a storm at your expense.

There’s also laughter coming from behind the couch. When you turn to look over the back of the couch, you see Sans on the ground laughing. You immediately vault over the couch and pull the stunned skeleton into a headlock. “You jerk! How dare you come in between me and my first place trophy?!”

Frisk starts laughing harder when they see you giving a very red-faced Sans a noogie. When Toriel walks in to find out about the commotion, she stares at the spectacle and starts giggling before returning to the kitchen.

“wait, tori! help!”

“Now, Sans, I believe that you are making plenty of headway on your own. I do not think that you require my assistance.”

After a few minutes, you release him once you feel he’s received his rightful punishment. Another reason you choose to stop is because you were worried that he was actually starting to enjoy it.

You pull both of you to a standing position and back up to give the guy some space. His face is bright red and covered in sweat. When he started looking like that, you thought it was best to stop.

Frisk and Flowey continue to giggle on the couch at a lower volume. You reach over the couch and ruffle the child’s hair. “So, are you all done with work now?”

Sans smirks. “yep. now, i’m here to escort ya to my room.”

Flowey makes a disgusted face while you use your fist to give the skeleton a gentle knock on his skull since there’s a kid present. “I think you mean house.”

The skeleton shrugs his shoulders. “right. same thing. ready to go?”

Realizing you're leaving, Frisk quickly moves off the couch and runs to give you a hug. “You’re leaving already?”

You smile as you return the hug. “Afraid so, sweetheart. I had fun spending time with you. Thank you for having me over.”

The child slowly pulls away after a few seconds. “I did too. I hope that you come to visit again. Thank you for all your help.”

Flowey nods. “I hate that I was stuck here and missed helping out. Thank you for helping Frisk, Y/N.”

You ruffle the kid’s hair again and smile at the pair. “I was happy to help. I’m glad that everything worked out in the end. If I’m ever in the area again, I’ll come by to see you.”

After saying goodbye to Toriel and thanking her again for her hospitality, Sans wraps an arm around your waist and teleports you away.

You’re surprised to find yourself back in the forest instead of at a house. When you raise an eyebrow at the skeleton, he grins. “gotta pick up my bro. we were in the middle of checking his traps when we first found you. now that everything's taken care of, he wanted to check the traps before goin’ home.”

Of course. You wouldn’t expect anything less from the hardworking skeleton.

“THERE YOU ARE, SANS! WAIT. WHY IS THE HUMAN WITH YOU? YOU WEREN’T SERIOUS WHEN YOU SAID THEY WERE STAYING OVER, WERE YOU?”

You both wince. Looks like Papyrus isn’t in the mood for guests. With a sigh, you turn to face the taller skeleton. “Don’t worry, Papyrus. It won’t be for long. I never stay in a world for more than a day, so I’ll be gone before you know it.”

Papyrus scowls as he crosses his arms. “VERY WELL. AS A REWARD FOR YOUR USEFULNESS, I’LL ALLOW YOU TO VISIT OUR HOME BUT ONLY FOR A SHORT TIME!”

You grin at him. “Thanks, Papyrus. You’re the best.”

He puffs up his chest proudly. “NYEH HEH HEH! OF COURSE I AM! NO ONE IS BETTER THAN THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS!”

With that decided, the three of you begin your trek to their home. Since it’s not very far, Papyrus forbids Sans from teleporting because he believes that his brother needs the exercise.

After several minutes of walking, your body comes to an abrupt halt. No matter how hard you try, you can’t move another step despite the fact that there’s nothing to impede you. Meanwhile, the brothers continue to move forward not having noticed your predicament.

After a few seconds of futile struggling, you try to call out to the skeletons only to freeze when you finally see what’s wrapped around you.

Strings.

Several blue strings are wrapped around your body preventing you from moving. Just as Sans turns back to check on you, your body gets pulled backwards, and you find yourself floating midair.

A chill runs down your spine when a cold, unfamiliar voice starts to speak from behind you.

finally found you, glitch. you’re not gettin’ away this time.

Chapter Text

You can’t help but flinch at the sound of the voice speaking so closely to your ears. It reminds you of the static that comes on the radio when you’re driving through a tunnel. You can hear the words, but there’s a background noise that nearly blocks them out. The noise wouldn’t be so grating on your ears if he wasn’t so close.

Considering what all you know about the Undertale AUs, this person can only be Error Sans. If the blue strings weren’t already a big enough tip off, add in the strange voice, and that’s definitely enough proof for you. Unfortunately, the strings are so tight that you’re unable to look behind you to prove your theory.

“y/n!”

You look toward the voice and are happy to see that the skeleton brothers have noticed your predicament. Red has a glare on his face which appears to be directed at the monster behind you. You need to warn him about how dangerous Error is. “Red! This is another alternate version of you! He’s incredibly dangerous, so you need to be careful!”

The strings constrict around you making you wince. “oh? so you know about me? i guess i should feel flattered, but that just makes me more suspicious of you. i knew you were trouble, glitch.”

A scowl forms on your face as you try to endure the pain. “I know about you ‘cause you’re a fictional character in my world. If you gave me some time, I could give you a proper explanation. There’s no reason to tie me up like this! And, why do you keep calling me a glitch?”

Before he can respond, Red summons his bone attacks and shoots them toward the monster behind you. Fortunately, he makes them move at an angle, so they go over your floating body.

With a snicker, Error avoids the attack with ease by teleporting. He then reappears a few feet in front of you finally giving you a clear view of him. Error’s appearance is just like in the pictures you’ve seen of him. His skull is pitch black with blue stripes down his cheekbones. The sclera of his eyes are bright red which is the only thing the eyes have in common. The right eye has just a single white dot for a pupil with a black iris. His left eye’s pupil is a tiny black dot with a blue iris and a big yellow iris around the blue one. Error’s teeth are yellow matching his fingertips while the rest of his arms and his legs are red. He’s wearing a black hoodie with a dark blue trim around the hood, a dark red shirt, black shorts with blue stripes down the side of the legs, and dark red slippers. Parts of his body glitch every now and then, and you can see little error signs hovering around him.

Red attempts to shoot his counterpart with his Gaster Blasters, but Error simply summons his own to counterattack. Unlike Red's white ones, Error's Gaster Blasters are black and appear to be larger in size. Due to his stronger powers, the glitchy skeleton easily pushes the other back. He smirks. “if you think you can beat me, you’re in for a bad time. if i were you, i’d run while i still had the chance. i’m more interested in dealing with this glitch here than fighting you. i’ve been looking for it for a while.”

You frown with displeasure when you realize he just called you an it. The rest of his words, though, are making your mind race. Looking for me? So, this really wasn’t just by chance? He’s been actively looking for me? But why? And, he keeps calling me a glitch. Does he think that I’m responsible for the glitch that kept moving the shooter around?

A scowl forms on Red’s face, but before he can respond, his brother cuts him off with a shout.

“SANS! MOVE!”

Without hesitation, the older brother teleports and reappears a good distance from his original spot. There he sees familiar bone attacks embedded into the ground.

When he looks up, Red sees his brother summoning another round of bone attacks. His eye-lights widen in shock. “b-boss?”

Your eyes widen when you see Edge's soul outside of his chest with blue strings wrapped around it. Remembering Error’s abilities, you scream at Red to get his attention. “Red! Error can control people with his strings by wrapping them around their souls! He somehow got a hold of your brother! Edge won’t be able to control his body now!”

Cursing, Red dodges his brother’s attacks. He needs to go after the source of this problem, but Edge won’t let up on his attacks at all.

The taller skeleton has a furious expression on his face. No doubt he hates this situation more than anyone. “PAY ATTENTION, SANS! YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LOOK AWAY FROM MY ATTACKS! YOU NEED TO FIND SOME WAY TO REMOVE THE STRINGS THAT HAVE ATTACHED TO ME!”

His brother grimaces as he does another teleport. “i don’t know how safe that’ll be, boss. what if i hurt your soul messin' with them?”

Edge scoffs as he prepares another attack. “I CAN HANDLE MORE PAIN THAN YOU. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THESE STRINGS OFF, SO I CAN OBLITERATE THAT HIDEOUS VERSION OF YOU.”

Error rolls his eyes. “he calls me hideous. has he looked in a mirror?”

He turns to you with a smirk. “now, let’s finish that conversation, shall we?”

With a flick of his wrist, Error opens a portal. He then moves his fingers to control the strings wrapped around you. Before you can react, the glitchy skeleton throws you into the portal with his strings.

“y/n!”

Red’s voice is the last thing you hear before your body is moved to a new location. You are surprised to see that you’re still in the forest. In fact, you can faintly hear the sounds of the brothers’ fight from the distance.

Noticing your surprise, Error shrugs his shoulders. “i wanted the fight to continue, but i also wanted some privacy. i don’t want to waste all my time dealing with those idiots when they’re not even what i came for.”

He narrows his eyes at you. “so, start talking, glitch. who the hell are you? how are you causing all these problems with the AUs? where the hell did you even come from?”

You’re tempted to refuse since you don’t owe him anything, but the strings give you a threatening squeeze. Unfortunately, the glitchy skeleton still has his strings wrapped around you tightly preventing you from moving at all. You honestly don’t want to piss him off with no one around to come help you. He could easily kill you if he wanted to. You’re only alive right now because he wants answers. Answers you, regrettably, do not have.

With a sigh, you relent and tell Error your story. You explain your lack of memory in regards to leaving your world and include your adventures in the three worlds you’ve visited. The more you talk, the more annoyed he looks.

He scowls fiercely. “like i’d be stupid enough to believe that you’re really that clueless. you’re obviously hiding something. if you don’t wanna tell me, fine. i only asked out of curiosity. it doesn’t really matter how you infected all of those AUs since i’ll be killing you here. since you’re the source of the glitch, eliminating you should prevent the glitch from spreading.”

Your blood runs cold as your face pales. “What are you talking about?! You think that I’m the one causing the glitch?! That’s why you wanna kill me?! I’m just a normal human! How could I cause something like that to affect multiple universes?! I don’t have that kind of power!”

His strings tighten further making you whimper from the pain. “every AU that you go to ends up infected. how do you explain that? besides, no normal human could jump from AUs like you have. you obviously have some kind of power. maybe a peek at your soul will clear things up.”

A chill runs down your spine at his suggestion. While you’ve had your soul examined by others before, you let them because you trusted the skeletons. This time is different. You know, without a doubt, that this monster wants to hurt you. He won’t try to hear you out. That’s why you didn’t offer to show your soul during your explanation.

Smirking, Error summons new strings that move toward your chest to pull out your soul. However, unlike the other times, this time the process is extremely painful. You scream as he rips out your soul with his strings. You’ve never felt a pain like this before; it's pure agony. You wonder if this is what it would feel like if you got your actual physical heart pulled out of your chest. Weakly, you glare at the skeleton somehow knowing that he purposely extracted your soul in a way that he knew would be painful.

His smirk disappears when he sees your soul. The strings constrict around you as if responding to his emotions. He’s obviously not happy with what he sees.

“what the hell is that?! that’s not a normal human soul! this is just another thing that proves that you’re suspicious! that’s it. i’m destroying you now before you cause me any more trouble.”

Error raises his hands and moves his fingers in a way that causes the strings to wrap tightly around your soul. It feels like your chest is being squeezed making it harder for you to breathe.

He grins as he lifts his right hand with the palm open and slowly starts to make it into a fist. With each second of movement, the pain increases and the amount of air passing through your lungs decreases. You know that once his hand becomes a fist that you’ll be finished.

Before he can move his hand any further, his torture is interrupted by a large blast of energy hitting him straight on, forcing him to retract the strings around your soul.

The pressure on your chest disappears, and your soul slingshots back into your body because there are no longer any strings holding it in place. Fortunately, the process of regaining your soul doesn’t cause your body any further pain.

You wish that the strings wrapped around your body would disappear. While you have regained some movement, it’s only minor like moving your head and hands.

When the smoke clears, you see that Error is unharmed because of a barrier of bones he somehow managed to summon last second. He did it so fast you completely missed it.

Turning toward the source of the attack, your eyes widen in surprise when you see four familiar skeletons instead of the expected two. Red and Edge are there both looking royally pissed off, especially the older brother considering his ruffed up appearance.

While you’re happy to see that they’re alright, what brings tears of joy to your eyes is the sight of the Underswap skeletons. Blue is staring at you with a worried expression while Stretch is glaring at Error with his right eye strobing with magic. Apparently, it was his Gaster Blaster that had attacked the glitchy skeleton.

Quickly blinking back the tears, you grin at the skeletons. “Guys! Am I glad to see you!”

The corners of Stretch’s mouth move upward while he continues to stare down Error. “told you we’d be meeting real soon, hun. just wish it was under better circumstances.”

Blue frowns at you. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT, Y/N? IT LOOKED LIKE HE WAS TRYING TO CRUSH YOUR SOUL!”

A snort draws your attention back to your attacker. “that’s ‘cause i was, idiot. before your brother rudely interrupted.”

Error glares at the new arrivals. “how the hell did you two get here? you shouldn’t be able to cross to different AUs. you don’t have that kind of power.”

Red scowls as he narrows his eye-lights at his glitchy counterpart. “who the fuck cares? who’d wanna tell you anythin’ anyway? all that matters now is dustin’ you for goin’ after me and my brother.”

A large assortment of bones appear around Edge. “FOR ONCE SANS AND I ARE ACTUALLY IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT. YOUR TREACHERY WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED, YOU VERMIN.”

It seems both sets of brothers are ready for a fight considering all the different types of attacks being summoned. Blue summons his own bone attacks which are highlighted blue, unlike Edge’s red bones, while his taller brother maintains his Gaster Blaster. Red’s left eye strobes with magic as he summons two Gaster Blasters of his own.

Blue grips one of his bone attacks tightly. “DON’T WORRY, Y/N! WE’LL SAVE YOU!”

At once, they all fire their attacks at Error who quickly dodges by teleportation. He reappears right behind you and wraps more strings around you to lock down any semblance of movement.

You watch wide-eyed as your captor summons three of his own Gaster Blasters which easily overpower the ones used by Stretch and Red. Bone attacks are also thrown at the four skeletons forcing them to go on the defense.

A growl from behind you alerts you of the glitchy skeleton’s displeasure with the situation. “i really don’t have time to deal with these bastards. this glitch needs to be taken care of now before it causes more damage. i have no idea why they’re wanting to protect the glitch that’s trying to destroy their worlds. are they complete idiots?”

Before you can defend your friends’ actions, a tell-tale popping sound of a portal opening causes you to freeze. Oh no! He’s going to teleport me somewhere else so he can kill me without the guys interfering! If he gets me alone with him, I’m dead!

Unfortunately, despite your desperate struggles, you can’t get free at all. You open your mouth to warn your friends, but several strings mold together around your lips to form a gag preventing you from making a sound.

With a deranged cackle full of white noise, Error pulls you back into the portal with his strings after firing one last attack at your friends with his Gaster Blasters. He uses the smoke from the explosion to cover his escape.

One minute you’re in Underfell feeling the crisp autumn breeze, and the next, you’re in a place that is completely pitch black and has an eerie chill that gives you goosebumps despite your warm clothes. For some reason, you can’t help but think that this place feels slightly familiar.

A scratchy chuckle interrupts your thoughts. “welcome to the void, glitch. i figured this would be the best place to destroy you. anything that’s leftover after i destroy you can be swallowed up by the void. won’t have to worry about any clean up.”

Your body starts to tremble with fear. There’s no way of escaping this. You can’t run away because of the strings, and even if you could, where would you go? This is the Void! There’s nothing here that can help you.

Error grins broadly showing off his golden teeth. “alright. time to end this, glitch. only i’m allowed to destroy AUs. i won’t let you continue to do as you please and steal my role.”

Your breath hitches as the strings tighten around your body. What’s worse are the strings that he’s moving toward your chest. No doubt he wants to pull your soul out again since he had so much fun doing it last time.

Try as you might, you can’t do anything to stop him. You close your eyes and brace yourself for the oncoming pain. However, before the strings can bring out your soul, a loud voice interrupts.

“That’s enough, Error! Release her at once!”

At the sound of a new voice, your eyes immediately fly open just in time to see a giant paintbrush come down in between you and Error. It knocks away the strings aiming for your soul and the ones keeping you prisoner. It even gets rid of the strings covering your mouth.

With a gasp, you fall to your knees relieved to finally be able to move. Quickly, you scramble to your feet and try to put some distance between you and your attacker.

“Are you alright, Y/N?”

You turn toward your rescuer and freeze when you recognize him. It’s another skeleton that has a color tone similar to all the other Sanses you’ve met. He has a blue pupil in his right eye socket and a yellow star in his left one. There’s also a smear of what looks like black paint on his right cheek. He’s wearing a black long sleeve shirt with blue geometric lines across the sleeves, a tan short-sleeved shirt over the long sleeves, black pants designed like his undershirt, brown shorts over the pants, and tiger print sneakers. There’s a blue hoodie similar to Undertale Sans’ tied around his waist and a work belt filled with rainbow-colored paint vials with heart shaped tops strapped across his chest. In his gloved hands, the skeleton is holding the large paintbrush that set you free.

You don’t know why you’re surprised. If Error is here, of course Ink Sans is nearby. Whenever the glitchy skeleton is causing trouble, the artist is usually not far behind.

Noticing his curious expression, you realize that you still haven’t answered Ink. With a shaky nod, you smile. “I’m okay. Thank you for saving me. I thought that I was a goner.”

Ink grins brightly. “It’s no problem! Dealing with this sourpuss is basically my job. Plus, there’s no way I could let him hurt you, Y/N, when you haven’t done anything wrong.”

Your eyes widen. That’s right he had called you by your name earlier too. How does he know who you are? Does he know about your dimension hopping like Error does?

Speaking of the glitchy skeleton, Error glares at his rival. “what the fuck are you doing here? how the hell did you even know that i was here? have you been following me?”

Ink opens his mouth to answer but pauses as his expression goes blank as if he forgot what he was about to say. He rubs his chin thoughtfully before suddenly snapping his fingers. “Ah, now I remember. I was watching over Underfell from the Doodle Sphere when I saw you take off with Y/N. I figured that you’d come here to finish her off. It wasn’t real hard to track you once I got to the Void.”

His rival narrows his eyes. “so, you do know who the glitch is. then, why the hell are you stopping me? i thought that saving the AUs was your gimmick. protecting the glitch just means that it can go around infecting and destroying more AUs. you're not making any sense!”

Ink tilts his head in confusion. “My desire to protect AUs hasn’t changed, Error. I’m protecting Y/N because her safety is paramount to the protection of the infected AUs.”

The glitchy skeleton makes a noise that’s a mixture of the AOL dial up sound and the sound of an incoming fax. You figure that sound means he’s angry considering the frustrated look that he’s giving the other skeleton. “you’re a fucking moron! protecting this glitch is not gonna help anyone! if you get in my way, i’ll kill you too!”

You’ve been silently watching this exchange wondering if you should intervene. On one hand, they’re talking about you right in front of your face, so of course you want to say something. On the other hand, you really don’t want to draw Error’s attention back to you.

What to do? Decisions. Decisions. I also really want to know how Ink knows my name and why he’s so adamant that I’m protecting AUs while Error is so dead set against the idea. I admit, I’d be really happy if Ink was right. While I don’t want to die, Error’s words did make some sense. It can’t be just a coincidence that the glitch started affecting those worlds right after I appeared. What really is going on here?

Before you can voice your thoughts, Ink strolls over to you and grabs your hand with a grin. “I’m fine with fighting you, Error. But first, I need to return Y/N. I’m sure the Underfell and Underswap guys are really worried about her.”

Your eyes widen in realization. “You’re the one who brought the Underswap skeletons to Underfell, aren’t you, Ink?”

He winks his starry eye. “Bingo! I knew that Error was close to finding you, so I dropped them off there to lend you a hand since I was a little preoccupied. Too bad they weren’t much help since Error decided to run away to the Void. How lame.”

A loud, crackling screech comes from Error. “i should’ve known that it was you, you bastard! always getting in the way of things!”

With a cheerful laugh, Ink uses his paintbrush to create a portal and pulls you along with him. “Be back in a jiffy, Error!”

Error screams loudly in protest. “wait, you bastard!”

You can’t help but laugh at the sheer amount of fury in the other skeleton's voice. Looks like he didn’t expect Ink to just walk off with you. Your eyes widen in surprise when you look over your shoulder and see Error’s eyes suddenly fill with tiny error messages. His body goes completely still aside from a random twitch every few seconds. Is he having one of his glitch moments? The artist chooses that moment to walk through the portal with you, and it closes behind you right after you enter.

Ink continues to laugh as he cheerily swings your hand that he’s holding between the two of you. He obviously enjoys getting the better of his rival.

As you take in your surroundings, your eyes widen in wonder. Instead of the cold, lifeless Void, you’re in a lush, green forest filled with all kinds of plant life. What catches your attention the most is the many colorful doors you see scattered around the area on small, floating islands. There are so many that you can’t even begin to count them all. When you look up, you see a lovely night sky filled with stars.

Noticing your awe-filled expression, the artist beams proudly. “Pretty amazing, right? Welcome to the Doodle Sphere, Y/N! Those doors lead to all of the AUs that exist. I keep watch over them to make sure that they stay safe from Error among other things.”

You grin brightly as you admire the scenery. “It’s gorgeous, Ink. I love it here.”

While you’d love to just continue looking around as you walk, you know that there are some answers that you need from the skeleton. “Ink? How do you know my name? Did you find out because of my AU jumping?”

He tilts his head as he ponders the question. “Hmm. I can’t remember at the moment. That might be the reason.”

You sigh at his forgetfulness. You might not be able to get any information out of this guy with the kind of memory he has, but you still have to try. “Then, what about what you said to Error? About my safety being necessary to protect the AUs? How am I doing that? I mean, like Error said, the glitches start happening after I appear. That can’t be a coincidence.”

Using his magic, Ink brings the two of you to the floating island with a black door frame containing a red door. After you both land, he frowns at you. “Don’t listen to Error, Y/N. He doesn’t have all the facts, so he’s just making assumptions. He can be incredibly stubborn sometimes, so if he thinks he’s right, no one can convince him otherwise. He doesn’t know as much about you as I do. I know that you’re a good person and that you’re not trying to hurt anyone let alone destroy AUs. How much you helped the AUs that you’ve been to proves that. Why would a glitch try to stop itself?”

His words cause you to pause as you contemplate them. He makes a good point. That would be counterproductive, but what if you’re causing it by accident?

As if reading your mind, he releases your hand and uses both of his hands to ruffle your hair roughly. “No more negative thoughts! Now, come on. Let’s get you back to your friends. Oh! One more thing!”

Ink activates his magic, causing his starry eye to shine brightly. He raises his right hand and uses it to gently pull out your soul. Wanting to trust your rescuer, you watch curiously as he examines your soul.

You wince at what you see. There are a lot of lacerations and indentations from Error’s strings. The glow is also a lot fainter than it usually is. You really don’t want to know how low your HP is now because of Error’s attacks.

Grinning, he pulls out his paintbrush with a flourish and holds it up high. Quickly, before you can even think to stop him, Ink swings his paintbrush downwards and hits your soul with the glowing bristles.

You’re about to yell at the artist but stop when you see the state of your soul. There’s no trace of the previous injuries. It’s shining brightly like it just got a brand new paint job, which it kinda did. Did he seriously just paint your soul?

He returns Broomy to his back and beams proudly with his hands on his hips. “Impressive, right? Now, you’re all healed up and ready to go.”

As the skeleton returns your soul to your chest, you do a little self evaluation. He’s right about you feeling much better now. That confrontation with Error left you feeling sore and worn out. Your chest would throb painfully with every step as you walked through the Doodle Sphere. However, now you feel perfectly fine. “Did you use healing magic?”

Ink casually shrugs his shoulders. “Basically. Now, enough of that. Go through this door, and you’ll end up back in Underfell. It should, hopefully, drop you off where your friends are.”

Noticing your hesitance, he smiles encouragingly. “Don’t worry. Everything will turn out alright. Just keep doing things as you usually do. Now, hurry up. Your friends are waiting for you.”

Nodding your head, you move to open the door but freeze with your hand hovering over the doorknob. Abruptly, you turn and wrap your arms around the skeleton’s neck in a quick hug.

When you pull back, you see him wearing a very surprised expression. You smile warmly. “Thank you for saving me, Ink. I hope we get to meet again soon under better circumstances.”

With that, you turn toward the door again and pull it open to walk inside. Because your back is to him, you don’t see Ink’s look of wonder or him suddenly clutch his chest.

The doorways of the Doodle Sphere are really amazing. Unlike all the other times where you temporarily lose consciousness when changing dimensions, you simply walk through the door and end up back in the forest in Underfell.

“Y/N!”

You turn toward the familiar voice only to get knocked to the ground by a blue blur that latches onto your waist. Looking down, you see Blue in tears clutching you as tightly as he can without actually hurting you.

Realizing how worried you had made him, you wrap your arms around the small skeleton and give him a gentle squeeze. “Hey, Blue, sorry for worrying you. I’m alright. I promise.”

Despite your best efforts, he continues to cry. “I WAS SO WORRIED! WHEN THAT OTHER ME TOOK YOU AWAY, I THOUGHT FOR SURE HE WAS GOING TO KILL YOU! AND, IT WOULD’VE BEEN MY FAULT BECAUSE I COULDN’T PROTECT YOU!”

The cute skeleton is really breaking your heart. You tighten your grip on him. “It wouldn’t have been your fault, Blue. It was a really bad situation. Error is one of the most powerful Sanses. He’s not easy to beat. Plus, as long as Error’s strings stayed wrapped around me, I was pretty much his hostage. I’m sorry for getting caught so easily."

Blue just shakes his head as he buries his face into your chest. That's when another voice decides to join the conversation. “if it’s anybody’s fault, it’s mine. i should’ve noticed him sooner before he grabbed ya.”

When you look up, you see Red who had just spoken. There’s a large scowl on his face. Although, you think that his expression looks more guilty than angry. Behind him are Edge and Stretch whose expressions while different share that same frustration and anger.

Stretch frowns sadly at his brother. “it’s not your fault, bro. there wasn’t anything we could do to stop him from leaving when we were so far away. i honestly wasn’t expecting him to run.”

Scowling, Edge crosses his arms. “THAT COWARD! HE DARED TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS, AND THEN WHEN I COME FOR VENGEANCE, HE FLEES! THE NEXT TIME I SEE HIM I WILL HAVE HIS HEAD!”

You consider telling him that fighting Error alone is unwise but decide your input would only anger him further. Besides, you know that Red will keep an eye on his brother to make sure nothing happens to him.

Slowly, Blue pulls away from you and starts to rub his eye sockets. Rather than move, he chooses to remain in your lap which you have absolutely no problem with.

Grinning happily, you hug the small skeleton tightly. “I’m so happy to see you, Blue! I missed your cute face!"

He blushes a dark blue. “I KEEP TELLING YOU THAT I AM NOT CUTE! WHY CAN’T YOU SEE MY MANLINESS?”

His counterpart snorts in amusement. “right. keep tellin’ yourself that, baby blue.”

Then, Red grins at you. “so, when do i get my hug, dollface? i know that you missed my handsome face the most.”

You roll your eyes playfully. “Your turn can come after Blue’s.”

With a mischievous smirk, you direct your attention to his brother. “You wanna go after him, Edge? I know how much you love my hugs!”

Edge’s face turns scarlet as his scowl deepens. “I DO NOT! I HAVE NEVER ONCE HUGGED YOU! AND, I NEVER SHALL! KEEP YOUR DISTANCE IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU!”

You pout. “Aw, that’s no fun, Edge. You’re really missing out by not joining the hugging experience.”

Blue nods his head. “Y/N DOES GIVE VERY NICE HUGS. I THINK THAT YOU’D LIKE THEM IF YOU TRIED!”

Edge glares at him. “OF COURSE, I WOULDN’T! I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU ARE ANOTHER VERSION OF MY BROTHER. YOU ARE NOTHING LIKE HIM!”

“aw, boss. does that mean you don’t think i’m cute?”

“OF COURSE, I DON’T!”

Chuckling, Stretch turns away from the edgy brothers and gives you a grin. “so, since edgy me is out, that means i’m after red?”

You snicker. “Sure thing. I’m always happy to give out hugs.”

His grin grows. “tibia honest, i’m quite partial to hugs myself. that’s why i like to embrace every opportunity i get to receive one."

Blue slumps against your chest with a groan. “PAPY, NO!”

You look up just in time to see Edge’s horrified look and his brother’s ecstatic expression.

The taller of the edgy skeletons points at his counterpart. “WHY ARE YOU TELLING PUNS?! WHAT KIND OF PAPYRUS ARE YOU?! YOU ABOMINATION!”

You start laughing as you hug the small skeleton to your chest. Stretch just gives his counterpart a cheeky wink which makes you laugh harder.

Grinning broadly, Red decides to join the conversation. “wow. you’ve really got the boss on edge now. it ain’t a stretch to say that he’s seeing red.”

“NOOOO!”

Twin groans chorus from the younger brothers as the older skeletons chuckle in amusement. Edge picks his brother up and starts shaking him while Blue scolds his from his position in your lap.

Your laughter comes to an abrupt halt when a familiar feeling washes over you. You look down, in dread, to see your body starting to turn translucent. It looks like it’s time to leave Underfell. You really wish that you knew what caused the sudden teleports. Why do you only get to stay in each world for a brief period of time?

All of the noise immediately stops once the skeletons notice your predicament. Edge drops his brother in surprise, and Red quickly rushes over to you. “are ya alright, doll? is this the strange teleport that happens right before ya end up in a new world?”

You nod your head sadly. “Yeah, looks like my time here is up. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to hang out with you and your brother more, Red. I would’ve liked to. I did enjoy my time with you guys.”

He gives you a small grin. “can’t say that i’ve ever enjoyed resets, but havin’ you there definitely made things better. i owe ya one. i wouldn’t have known what to do about that glitch. ya really helped us out, doll.”

Edge crosses his arms and averts his eye-lights. “WELL, I GUESS I AGREE THAT YOU WERE SOMEWHAT USEFUL. ALTHOUGH, I STILL DID MOST OF THE WORK.”

You smile at him as you gracefully accept the backhanded compliment. “You’re the best, Edge. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

“NYEH HEH HEH! OF COURSE! YOU WOULD’VE NEVER SUCCEEDED WITHOUT ME!”

Stretch opens his mouth to speak only to freeze when he looks at his brother. Confused, you look down and gape at the sight.

Blue still hasn’t left your lap since he tackled you to the ground. When you started disappearing, instead of getting up, he simply tightened his grip on you. While you had no problem accepting the hug at that moment, you are now starting to regret that decision.

Because you’re not the only one that's disappearing.

Blue’s body is starting to turn transparent at the same rate as yours. Yet, somehow, you can still feel his presence in your arms.

Your eyes widen in horror, and you immediately try to pull the skeleton away from you. “Blue! You need to let go, or you’ll end up disappearing along with me!”

He shakes his head and stubbornly holds on. “NO! WE ALMOST LOST YOU THIS TIME! I WON’T LEAVE YOU ALONE AGAIN!”

While his consideration warms your heart, you know that you can’t in good conscience take him with you and leave Stretch behind. You have no idea what AU you’re going to next. You can’t put him in such danger. Stretch would never forgive you.

You turn your desperate gaze back to Stretch, hoping that he'll be able to convince Blue. You see him attempt to grab his brother only for his hands to pass through. The two of you are no longer solid enough to touch now. You open your mouth in a futile attempt to ask Blue to let go again, but it’s too late.

Your vision goes dark, and you and Blue disappear without a trace.

Chapter Text

When you regain consciousness this time, you are fortunate enough to already be sitting on the ground. Otherwise, you would have definitely been injured if you had crashed into the rocky ground beneath you since there was nothing to cushion your fall like the last three times.

The first thing you see when your vision clears is Blue sitting in your lap. He appears a little disoriented judging by his expression. No doubt he was having trouble adjusting to the sudden teleport since it was his first time being teleported this way.

With a frown, you wrap your arms around him and give him the tightest hug you can muster. You don’t care if it’s too restricting. This is his punishment for doing something so reckless. “What were you thinking?! That was way too reckless, Blue! Now, you’re stuck with me, and your brother is stuck in Underfell. He’s gonna be so worried! If something happens to you because of me, Stretch will never forgive me! Even if he did, I’d never be able to forgive myself!”

At first, Blue had been squirming because of the tight hug, but now, his body relaxes as he returns the embrace. “I KNOW THAT IT WAS RECKLESS OF ME. I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE PAPY BEHIND, BUT I COULDN’T LET YOU GO BY YOURSELF! YOU ALMOST DIED IN THAT OTHER WORLD! WHAT IF SOMETHING EVEN MORE DANGEROUS HAPPENS IN THIS NEW WORLD? SOMEONE NEEDS TO BE THERE TO PROTECT YOU! YOU ARE MY FRIEND, Y/N. EVEN IF WE HAVEN’T KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR VERY LONG, I’LL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO PROTECT YOU!”

Fighting back tears, you rest your forehead against his shoulder. “Thank you, Blue. I’m really lucky to have such an awesome friend. I’m grateful that you’d go so far for me, but please don’t be too reckless. Your health is just as important to me as mine is to you.”

After blinking away the tears, you raise your head and then gently knock his forehead with yours. “And, don’t forget how worried your brother will be. If the positions were swapped and he suddenly disappeared, how would you feel?”

He frowns deeply. “I WOULD’VE BEEN VERY UPSET IF HE WENT SOMEWHERE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS WITHOUT ME TO LOOK AFTER HIM. I WOULD’VE BEEN VERY WORRIED.”

When you pull away, the skeleton sighs. “I’LL BE SURE TO APOLOGIZE TO PAPY. I DO FEEL BAD FOR CAUSING HIM SUCH WORRY. IF I HAD KNOWN THAT IT WAS POSSIBLE TO TRAVEL WITH YOU, I WOULD HAVE MADE SURE THAT HE GOT BROUGHT ALONG. IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST THAT I DIDN’T THINK TO GRAB HIM.”

You grin at him. “Even if you hadn’t, I’m sure he would’ve found a way to make sure he went wherever you did. He always has a close eye on you. This only happened by pure chance. I had no idea that someone could be brought along with me as long as they held onto me when the teleporting started.”

Your friend opens his mouth to reply but is cut off by an unfamiliar, lazy drawl.

“so, the human can teleport? don’t see that everyday.”

You both freeze in surprise, having not noticed a third presence until now. You want to hit yourself for not paying attention to your surroundings. You were so focused on Blue that you didn’t think to check to see where you ended up.

When you look up, you can immediately tell that you’re in what appears to be a cavern. The sound of water falling and the sight of an echo flower not far away makes you believe that you’re now in Waterfall. You also see a sentry station that looks just like the one in Waterfall that Undertale Sans uses in the game, but the skeleton behind the counter staring you down isn’t a Sans.

You see a Papyrus wearing a black jacket with a hood lined with brown fur, an orange turtleneck sweater underneath, and a studded red collar. You can’t see the rest of his clothes because of the counter. One of his sharp teeth is colored gold, and there’s a scar going across his left eye socket. As you’re studying him, he takes a drag from the cigarette in his hands.

After seeing this Papyrus, there’s no doubt in your mind where you are now. This is Swapfell.

Just as you finish your examination, Blue scrambles out of your lap and runs over to the sentry station. He stares at the other Papyrus with wide eye-lights. “WOWZERS! ANOTHER VERSION OF MY BROTHER! I THINK HE LOOKS MORE LIKE MY PAPY THAN EDGE DID. HE EVEN HAS THAT LAZY AURA LIKE MY BROTHER. AND, HE’S SMOKING! I GUESS OTHER ME DIDN’T HAVE MUCH LUCK CONVINCING HIM TO STOP.”

You watch Papyrus study his brother’s counterpart. Considering his lackluster reaction, you wonder if anything can really surprise this guy. He’s not freaking out at all about another version of his brother showing up. The taller skeleton doesn’t even take a break from his smoking and just continues on as if this is completely normal. His expression does appear to soften slightly after listening to Blue talk. Maybe it’s because Blue looks so similar to his Sans?

Seeing that makes the tension ease from your shoulders. Even though you don’t have any idea what he’ll do to you, the fact that there's a strong chance that he’ll look after Blue if something happens to you gives you relief. You feel that you can trust him not to hurt your friend.

Papyrus releases another puff of smoke as he exhales. “as long as i don’t smoke around m’lord or in the house, he doesn’t care if i do it.”

Before Blue can question the strange way Papyrus refers to his brother, you rise to your feet and walk over to the counter. You raise an eyebrow in amusement. “I gotta say, you’re taking this situation extremely well. Another version of your brother from a different universe pops up, and you don't even bat an eye. You either have one hell of a poker face, or you just don’t care.”

The smoker smirks as he leans against the counter. “you see a lot of strange things down here, darlin. it will take more than interdimensional travel to rattle these bones. i always figured the multiverse theory was true. just wasn’t ever able to prove it.”

When Papyrus takes another drag of his cigarette, Blue opens his mouth no doubt wanting the other to stop for your benefit. You shake your head at him which causes him to pout. The two of you stare at each other for a while before he finally relents. He must have been able to tell that you had a good reason for not wanting to mention your allergies.

If Papyrus is only able to smoke when he’s by himself, he probably doesn’t get a lot of smoke breaks. You really don’t want him to have to stop if he really needs a cigarette. You know how hard this world can be on the poor guy. Besides, there’s a strong chance that he won’t even agree, and you don’t want Blue to get upset with the other skeleton.

After all, your allergies really aren’t that serious. Just a little bit of smoking shouldn’t hurt you. Your eyes haven’t started watering, so you take that as a sign to leave things as they are.

Thankfully, the older skeleton doesn’t comment on the little stare-down that you had with your friend. Instead, he props his elbow on the counter and rests his head against his hand. “so, you wanna explain what you two are doing here, darlin?”

Blue grins as he places his hands on his hips. “ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN! Y/N IS FROM ANOTHER WORLD WHERE WE’RE ALL VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS! SHE DOESN’T KNOW HOW SHE LEFT HER WORLD, BUT SHE’S BEEN STUCK TRAVELING FROM ONE WORLD TO THE NEXT. APPARENTLY, HER SOUL IS CAPABLE OF USING MAGIC TO TELEPORT HER ALTHOUGH WE ARE UNSURE HOW THIS OCCURS. THE REASON I AM HERE IS BECAUSE I HAD GRABBED ONTO HER WHILE SHE WAS DISAPPEARING SINCE I DID NOT WANT HER TO BE ALONE. SHE HAD A DANGEROUS ENCOUNTER IN THE LAST WORLD, SO I WAS WORRIED ABOUT HER SAFETY.”

Grateful to have some assistance with story time, you fill in the rest of the blanks such as details about the other worlds, the glitches, the human kids, how Blue and Stretch ended up in the last world, Error’s attack, and Ink’s rescue. This was Blue’s first time hearing about the rescue since you didn’t get a chance to explain things to the others in Underfell before you disappeared.

Starry eyes stare at you with wonder. “WOWZERS! SO, THE OTHER ME THAT BROUGHT ME AND PAPY TO YOU ALSO CAME TO YOUR RESCUE? THAT’S AMAZING! NEXT TIME I SEE HIM, I’LL BE SURE TO THANK HIM FOR SAVING MY FRIEND!”

You smile at the sweetheart. You don’t know what you did to deserve such a good friend, but you’re definitely grateful. While you still feel bad about separating him from his brother, you do feel better having him around.

Returning your attention to the other skeleton, you see Papyrus studying you intently. He had remained silent throughout both explanations. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that he’s doubting you. Maybe because you have Blue as a reliable witness. Rather, it looks like the taller skeleton is just trying to wrap his mind around what he’s been told. It is a lot to swallow all at once.

“so, this glitch..it happened in all three worlds that you visited? does that mean that it’s likely to happen here too?”

You flinch at the question because it reminds you of Error’s accusing words. Error blames you for the glitch because it happened in every world after you arrived. Ink said not to worry about it, but what if Error was right? Will the glitch come to Swapfell because you’re here now?

A hand grabbing yours draws you out of your thoughts. Looking down, you see Blue staring at you worriedly. You hadn’t told them about why Error attacked you. While you feel guilty for hiding it from Blue, you’re scared to tell this Papyrus. If you did, would he kill you to protect his world? You don’t want to take that chance especially after coming so close to death in the last world.

You know that Blue wouldn’t blame you. He’d defend you like Ink even if all the evidence points to you. You don’t think any of your new friends would hold it against you either since you had helped solve the problems caused by the glitch in each world. Still, if they knew, would they try to stop you like Error? Maybe not as cruelly as him, but would they take action to prevent you from potentially infecting other AUs? The thought leaves your stomach in knots.

After you shake your head to dispel those depressing thoughts, you squeeze Blue’s hand and give him a smile to show that you’re alright before turning back to the other skeleton who’s been silently observing you. “To be honest, there is a good chance that it’ll happen. I haven’t been lucky enough to avoid the glitch yet, but I’m hoping this world will be different. Chara hasn’t done any resets lately, have they?”

Papyrus shakes his head as he fiddles with his cigarette. “not lately. last time i checked on them, m’lord was fightin’ them. it looked like he was gonna spare them, so they should be headin’ this way soon.”

You pinch the bridge of your nose. Just thinking of all the possible ways in which things can go wrong in this world is giving you a headache. “Great. So, if it does happen, more than likely the glitch will do something to Chara while they’re running from Alphys. I really hope that nothing happens.”

Blue releases your hand and moves to pat you on the back. “DO NOT WORRY, Y/N! EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY! AS LONG AS THE MAGNIFICENT SA--I MEAN--BLUEBERRY IS HERE, IT WILL ALL WORK OUT!”

Grateful for his optimism, you sweep the short skeleton off his feet and cuddle him to your chest in a hug. “Thanks, Blue. I feel a lot better having you around.”

His cheekbones flush dark blue as he grins. “MWEH HEH HEH! AS LONG AS I AM HERE, WE SHALL NOT FAIL!”

A deep chuckle draws your attention to the taller skeleton. “it’s funny that he’s called blue when he’s the one who cheers you up.”

The shorter skeleton groans as you return him to the ground. You had wondered if this Papyrus would tell jokes. Now that you think about, he did make a pun earlier, didn’t he? Maybe he only does it when his brother isn’t around?

Thinking of this world’s Sans makes you pause. In Swapfell, Sans has a personality similar to Underfell Papyrus. You were lucky that you had met that Papyrus on the surface, so you never had to face his full wrath or deal with being hunted for your soul. Will the Sans of this world try to capture you? It’s unlikely that this Papyrus will help you if it means opposing his brother, so you and Blue are on your own if the other Sans decides to attack. You wonder if he’ll at least hear you out.

You give the smoker a considering look. While Papyrus would never give away inside information on his brother, maybe he’d be willing to give some advice on how to get on his brother’s good side. “Papyrus, what are the chances that your brother won’t try to capture me for my soul?”

He shrugs his shoulders. “considerin’ the kid is here, it’s not like we need another human soul now. besides, you said somethin’ about your soul being weird, right? what’s the point in takin’ it if it’s not even gonna be useful? i definitely wouldn’t bother. regardin’ m’lord, it’ll depend on his mood. he’s usually in good spirits after his fight with the kid, so he might be willin’ to hear you out. of course, he might also decide to just kill you on the spot since you’re a human.”

You pale at the thought while Blue gapes at his brother’s counterpart. “WHAT?! WHY WOULD HE DO THAT?! IF YOU DON’T NEED HER SOUL, THEN THERE’S NO NEED TO ATTACK HER!”

“humans ain’t exactly too popular down here. after all, they’re the reason we’re down here in the first place.”

When it looks like Blue wants to argue more on your behalf, you put a hand on his shoulder to get his attention. “It’s alright, Blue. I understand their reasoning. This world isn’t as well off as yours is. Here the rule is kill or be killed. It’s much more dangerous in this Underground. I can’t blame the monsters here for hating humans since they’re the ones who locked everyone down here.”

The shorter skeleton frowns in displeasure while the other skeleton gives you a considering look. “BUT, THAT STILL DOESN’T MEAN IT’S OKAY FOR THE OTHER ME TO HURT YOU! YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO HIM OR ANYONE ELSE HERE. YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO DIE BECAUSE OTHER HUMANS MADE A MISTAKE.”

Grinning, you give him another quick hug. “I agree. That’s why I want to talk to the other Sans and get him to hear me out. I’d like to become friends with him like I did with you and everyone else.”

Papyrus exhales another cloud of smoke as he slouches against the counter. “well, i wish you the best of luck, darlin. i’d be happy to see m’lord make friends. it won’t be easy, though. he doesn't like a lot of people.”

Well, the same could probably be said about Edge, but you got along well enough with him. Of course, that was on the Surface where everything was more peaceful. Still, you’re not going to give up without at least trying. You know that deep down this Sans is a good guy just like the rest of his counterparts that you befriended. You just need to give him a chance and be patient.

Your thoughts are interrupted by a new voice yelling from the distance.

“MUTT! YOU BETTER BE AT YOUR POST! AND, DON’T LET ME CATCH YOU SMOKING ON THE JOB!”

Within seconds, Papyrus is out of his slouched position and standing straight behind the counter with no cigarette in sight. That’s the fastest you’ve seen him move since you arrived. You didn’t even notice him put out the cigarette or see what he did with it.

His reaction can only mean one thing. His Sans is heading your way and will probably be here any second now.

Mentally, you curse. You were hoping that you’d have more time to think of a way to befriend this Sans. Looks like you’ll just have to make things up as you go--as per usual.

Quickly, you lean down and whisper to your friend. “I know the way these two address each other seems strange but don’t call them out on it. Things are different in this world. All I can tell you is deep down they’re like you and Stretch. It just might take a while to see it.”

Before Blue can respond, his other counterpart comes into view. He looks a lot like your friend except his armor is black instead of grey, and his top is shorter revealing his spinal column and pelvis. Also, his tattered bandana, gloves, and boots are purple which match his eye-lights. Across his left eye socket are two scars. In regards to height, you’d say that he’s about the same size as your friend beside you, maybe a little taller because of the long heels of his boots.

As soon as he arrives, Sans zeroes in on you then on Blue who’s beside you. His eye-lights widen as he takes in the sight of the two of you. The way he keeps switching his gaze between you and Blue makes you think he’s having a problem trying to decide which one of you he needs to focus on first.

Logically, you know willingly drawing attention to yourself is a bad idea. Blue can take care of himself unlike you.You could be killed within seconds if the other Sans wished to do so. Despite knowing this, you call out to him anyway. If he’s going to lash out at someone, you’d rather it be you than your friend.

“Umm..hi? I know that this probably looks bad, but I promise we have a proper explanation for why there’s another you here from a different universe. Of course, I’ll also explain why I’m here. Well, I can tell you what I know at least. Would you be willing to hear us out?”

Sans narrows his eye-lights at you. “AND, WHY SHOULD I BOTHER LISTENING TO A PATHETIC HUMAN LIKE YOU? WHY SHOULDN’T I JUST CAPTURE YOU NOW AND ELIMINATE THAT CLONE OVER THERE? OBVIOUSLY, HE’S THE HANDIWORK OF THAT CRAZY SCIENTIST UNDYNE. I SHOULD’VE KNOWN THAT SHE’D TRY TO CLONE SOMEONE AS STRONG AS MYSELF TO USE FOR HER OWN PURPOSES.”

He mutters that last part to himself, but because of the volume of his voice, you could easily hear him. You can’t help but feel amused by the fact that he believes Blue is a clone of his created by Undyne. It’s true that she’s supposed to be a mad scientist in this world, so you really wouldn’t put cloning past her.

Unwilling to remain silent, Blue speaks on his own behalf. “I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT I AM NOT A CLONE! I AM THE MAGNIFICENT SANS OF ANOTHER UNIVERSE! I TRAVELED HERE WITH MY FRIEND Y/N, WHO IS BY NO MEANS PATHETIC! SHE HAS HELPED SAVE THREE UNIVERSES NOW! SHE’S REALLY AMAZING! YOU SHOULD GIVE HER A CHANCE! JUST LISTENING TO HER WON’T CAUSE ANY HARM, RIGHT?”

Throwing in your own two cents on the cloning matter, you add, “Besides, if she wanted to clone you, why wouldn’t she make him look exactly like you? Your color schemes are totally different, and his eye-lights are a different color. Do you think that anyone here in this world would mistake him for you?”

Sans scoffs derisively. “OF COURSE NOT! HE’S SO WEAK LOOKING! THERE’S NO WAY THAT ANYONE WOULD EVER THINK THAT HE’S ME!”

His counterpart scowls, obviously displeased with being called weak. You decide to intervene before a fight breaks out. “You’re both strong in your own ways. Because Blue comes from another universe, his views of strength are different from yours. That’s why his appearance is different. It would be better not to underestimate Blue. He is another version of you after all, and no one knows better than you what you are capable of. In all my travels, I haven’t met a weak Sans yet.”

With a broad grin, you continue. “Besides, I personally believe that it’s the ones with the least assuming appearances that you need to watch out for the most. After all, what if what you’re seeing is only what they want you to see?”

Sans gains a considering look as he studies his counterpart again. Blue meets his gaze straight on, upset frown still firmly in place. Their glaring continues for some time, making you wonder if they’re actually having a staring contest.

Out of the corner of your eye, you swear that you see Papyrus pull out a phone to secretly take a picture of the two smaller skeletons. He hasn’t said a word since his brother arrived, and considering what you know about him, he’ll probably remain silent unless his brother addresses him.

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

The sudden cackling brings your attention back to the staring contest. You’re surprised to see that it's coming from Sans, who’s watching Blue with a smirk. “I GUESS I HAVE TO GIVE YOU SOME CREDIT SINCE NOT MANY ARE BRAVE ENOUGH TO MEET MY GAZE. IF YOU REALLY ARE ANOTHER VERSION OF ME, THEN IT WOULD BE BEST TO KEEP MY EYE ON YOU. YOU MUST BE WHAT THEY CALL A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING. OF COURSE, IF WE WERE TO BATTLE, I’D EASILY WIN. NO ONE IS STRONG ENOUGH TO DEFEAT ME!”

Blue grins brightly. He seems to be really cheerful all of a sudden. “MWEH HEH HEH! I DOUBT THAT YOU’VE EVER FOUGHT SOMEONE OF MY CALIBER, SO YOU BEST PREPARE YOURSELF IF YOU CHOOSE TO FIGHT ME! I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED SO EASILY!”

Maybe it’s just your imagination, but are they actually getting along? Did they suddenly become friends during those few minutes you were distracted by Papyrus? What the hell did you miss?

After that discussion is finished, Sans returns his attention to you. He studies you for a few minutes, wearing a scowl. After a while, he sighs. “ALRIGHT, HUMAN. I’LL ALLOW YOU TO EXPLAIN YOURSELF. I MUST ADMIT THAT I AM RATHER INTRIGUED ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT BROUGHT YOU TWO HERE. BE GRATEFUL THAT THE MALEVOLENT SANS IS WILLING TO LET YOU SPEAK!”

With narrowed eye-lights, he adds, “AND, YOU CAN ALSO EXPLAIN THOSE HORRIBLE CLOTHES OF YOURS.”

You smile in amusement. “Thank you, Malevolent Sans. I promise that it won’t be a waste of your time.”

With that, you and Blue take turns explaining everything thing similar to how you did earlier with Papyrus. It takes a while, but finally, the two of you manage to finish after covering everything important.

Unlike his brother, Sans would ask questions every so often and took a while to actually appear convinced. It helped when at one point you asked Blue to bring out your soul to show his counterpart, who stared with wide eye-lights at the sight. Even Papyrus, who remained in the background, perked up at the sight of your soul. It does seem to have that effect on people.

Sans rubs his chin thoughtfully. “SO, THAT STRANGE SOUL OF YOURS HAS THE POWER TO TELEPORT YOU AND WHOEVER IS IN CONTACT WITH YOU AT THE TIME. YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER IT, SO IT HAPPENS AT RANDOM. WHILE IT IS INTERESTING, IT PROBABLY WOULDN’T BE MUCH USE TO US. COMPARED TO MY NEW SLAVE, YOUR HUMAN SOUL LOOKS PATHETIC. I’D ONLY EMBARRASS MYSELF IF I BROUGHT IN YOUR WEAK SOUL. BECAUSE OF THIS, I’LL SPARE YOU. BE GRATEFUL, WORM!”

Despite the insults, you can’t help but smile. You don’t know if he’s being completely honest or if he just took pity on you after hearing your story. Either way, you’re grateful that he won’t try to capture you. “I’m extremely grateful. Thank you.”

Blue grins happily. “YES, THANK YOU, OTHER ME! I KNEW THAT YOU’D UNDERSTAND ONCE YOU HEARD THE WHOLE STORY!”

Hearing your friend address his counterpart brings up another important topic that needs to be discussed. “Hey, would it be alright if I gave you and your brother a nickname? I’ve already met so many versions of you now, so that’s the only way to differentiate between you all. Plus, since Blue is here now, it might get confusing if I keep calling you Sans.”

Sans crosses his arms with a huff. “YOU MAY ADDRESS ME AS MASTER AND NOTHING ELSE. MUTT IS FINE FOR THE MUTT.”

Oh boy. Looks like coming up with appropriate nicknames is going to be a little tougher in this world. You really don’t want to refer to this Sans as Master the whole time you’re here, and you don’t want to treat this Papyrus like a dog either.

An idea comes to mind that makes you smile. “Are you sure? You don’t wanna hear the nicknames that your devoted fans from my world came up for you?”

As expected, mentioning his fans piques his interest. “SO, MY FOLLOWERS IN YOUR WORLD HAVE GIVEN ME A NICKNAME? VERY WELL. I WILL ALLOW YOU TO TELL ME.”

Your smile grows at his request. “I’ve seen you with the nicknames Blackberry and Raspberry. For short, you’ve been called Black, Razz, or Berry. I honestly have no idea where the nicknames came from, but all the fans seem to really like them.”

Sans gives you a deadpan look. “FRUIT? REALLY? THAT’S THE BEST THOSE HUMANS CAN COME UP WITH? WELL, I GUESS I SHOULDN’T BE TOO SURPRISED.”

Blue puts his hands on his hips as he grins proudly. “AND, I WAS GIFTED WITH THE MAGNIFICENT NAME BLUEBERRY! WHILE BEING NAMED AFTER A FRUIT IS SLIGHTLY STRANGE, I DON’T REALLY MIND IT. BESIDES, MY LOYAL FANS WORKED HARD TO COME UP WITH MY NAME. BECAUSE I’M THE KIND OF AMAZING PERSON WHO TREASURES HIS FANS, I WILL USE THE NICKNAME WITH PRIDE! ONLY SOMEONE AS AWESOME AS ME COULD MAKE SUCH A NAME LOOK COOL!”

Somehow, you can’t help but think that your friend is purposefully saying those words just to egg on his counterpart. It seems to have worked considering how fast the other Sans jumps to the challenge.

“I’LL SHOW YOU AMAZING! I’LL MAKE PEOPLE TREMBLE IN FEAR AT THE NAME OF BLACKBERRY! EVERYONE WILL STAND IN AWE AT MY BRILLIANCE!”

It takes a great deal of effort, but you manage to successfully hold back your laughter. Blue’s plan worked. Looks like his counterpart will be going by Blackberry from now on.

Turning your attention to Papyrus, you see him watching the proceedings with amusement. You’re probably only seeing that expression because his brother isn’t looking directly at him.

Now, how are you going to handle his nickname? When it comes to this Papyrus, you haven’t seen a lot of nicknames for him, so you wouldn’t know what to suggest. Maybe you could come up with a nickname that would satisfy Blackberry without sounding offensive to his brother--not that Papyrus would really care as long as his brother is happy.

After a few minutes of pondering, a name comes to mind. Time to see if Black will accept it. “Hey Black? Would it be alright if I called your brother something besides Mutt? Like, what if I called him something dog-related but cuter? I was thinking Pup. Puppies are super cute! Besides, it’s only one letter different from Pap, so it’d be real easy to remember!”

For a while, Blackberry just stares at you in disbelief. His right eye begins to twitch. “YOU WANT TO CALL HIM PUP BECAUSE IT’S CUTER? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! WHO CARES ABOUT SOMETHING LIKE THAT?!"

Several minutes pass with him staring at your pleading expression. Then, his shoulders slump as he sighs. "YOU KNOW WHAT? IF YOU WANT TO CALL HIM THAT, FINE. I DON’T CARE. AT THIS POINT, I WANT TO STOP THIS CONVERSATION BEFORE I RISK CATCHING YOUR STUPIDITY.”

Ignoring the insult, you clap your hands together in delight as you beam at him. “Yay! Thank you, Black!”

The tall skeleton raises a brow ridge at you in amusement when you move over to the counter. “Is Pup fine with you? You don’t mind cute nicknames, do you?”

He snorts as he shakes his head. “it’s fine, darlin. if m’lord accepts it, then so do i.”

It’s after this matter is peacefully resolved that it happens.

Instead of standing in front of the sentry station, you are back to standing beside Blue and are now facing Blackberry who is farther away from the station than he was the last time you saw him.

Your face pales as the familiar feeling of deja vu washes over you. This means that Chara just reset.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the glitch is behind this. Chara could have just run into some trouble on the way here. However, that doesn’t stop the uneasy churning in your stomach.

Error’s accusations resound painfully in your head. “Every AU you visit ends up infected.”

Could you really be behind all of this?

Chapter Text

It’s Blackberry who draws you out of your dark thoughts. His words make your eyes widen in surprise. “WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?! WAS THAT A RESET? THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL THE ABILITY THAT CAUSES THE DEJA VU, RIGHT?”

You nod your head as you stare at him in shock. “Do you remember everything we talked about, Black? Do you remember resets?”

Pup is studying his brother very closely from behind the counter. If you had to guess, you bet he was unaware that his brother noticed the resets. That seems to be the case with all of the older brothers.

Black crosses his arms. “OF COURSE, I REMEMBER, WORM! MY MEMORY IS IMPECCABLE! NO RESET COULD MAKE ME FORGET SOMETHING AGAINST MY WILL. I REMEMBER THAT YOU MENTIONED SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENED IN THE OTHER WORLDS. DOES THAT MEAN THESE RESETS WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN HERE?”

His counterpart frowns worriedly. “MORE THAN LIKELY, YES. AND, THE ONLY WAY TO FIX THINGS WILL BE TO GO HELP YOUR CHARA WHEREVER THEY ARE.”

Blue then pauses. “WAIT! I JUST REALIZED I REMEMBER EVERYTHING AS WELL! BUT, THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED WHEN CHARA RESET IN MY WORLD! HOW CAN I REMEMBER?”

You were wondering about that too. It is strange that the resets don’t affect him now. Is it because he’s in a different world? “Maybe the resets of this world don’t affect your memories because you’re not a part of this world. That’s probably why I can remember too.”

His blue eye-lights widen. “OH, I SEE! THAT MAKES SENSE!”

With that matter settled for the time being, you return your attention to situation at hand. You remember what Pup said about the kid earlier and turn to question Black. “Wasn’t Chara fighting you not too long ago, Black? Since you came over here to check on your brother, shouldn’t Chara be with you? This is the only way to leave Snowdin, right?”

A scowl forms on Black’s face. “WHY WOULD SOMEONE AS AMAZING AS ME TRAVEL WITH THAT LOWLY HUMAN? I SENT MY NEW HUMAN SLAVE AHEAD OF ME TO DELIVER THEMSELVES TO THE QUEEN. I TOLD THEM TO AVOID THE OTHER MONSTERS SINCE THEY’LL TRY TO TAKE CREDIT FOR CAPTURING THE HUMAN. ONLY I DESERVE SUCH RECOGNITION SINCE I DEFEATED THE HUMAN ALL ON MY OWN.”

You take that as meaning Chara managed to befriend him, so he allowed them to go on uncaptured. That only raises more questions, however. If Chara left before him, then how did Black get here before the kid? They haven’t walked by since you’ve been here, and Pup said he hadn’t seen them pass by yet. Where did Chara go?

Blue seems to be wondering the same thing. “IF CHARA LEFT BEFORE YOU, THEN WHERE ARE THEY NOW? WE HAVEN’T SEEN THEM, AND PUP SAID THEY HADN’T COME BY YET. DID CHARA NOT HEAD THIS WAY?”

Glaring, his counterpart marches over to the station and slams his hands on the counter. “MUTT! WERE YOU SLEEPING ON THE JOB AGAIN?! I DEFINITELY SENT MY SLAVE THIS WAY, SO YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THEM BY NOW! THE ONLY EXPLANATION IS THAT YOU WEREN’T DOING YOUR JOB PROPERLY!”

Pup bows his head slightly. “sorry, m’lord. i didn’t see them.”

Rather than try to defend himself against his brother’s accusations, the taller skeleton just apologizes like he’s done something wrong. Seeing this Papyrus so submissive toward his brother makes your chest clench uncomfortably. You know that the brothers have their reasons for being like this, but it still hurts to watch. You can tell that Blueberry feels similarly judging by his frown.

You know that Blackberry is wrong. There’s no way Chara could walk by here without Pup seeing them. He may be lazy, but he’s incredibly perceptive. Something must have happened after their fight with Black.

Maybe the glitch is behind this? It moved the shooter in Underfell. What if it’s capable of moving the kid in this world?

Before Black can begin scolding his brother further, you intervene and share your theory. “Wait! What if Chara managed to get through Waterfall without passing this station? In the last world that I visited, the glitch could move a human from one rooftop to the next. What if the glitch moved Chara somewhere else in order to put them somewhere even more dangerous?”

Blue’s expression brightens. “THAT MAKES SENSE! IF IT COULD MOVE SOMEONE IN THE LAST WORLD, I DON’T SEE WHY IT COULDN’T DO THAT HERE. THAT WOULD EXPLAIN WHY WE HAVEN’T RUN INTO THEM AND WHY PUP DIDN’T SEE THEM!”

His counterpart scoffs. “THAT’S JUST A CONVENIENT EXCUSE. I’M SURE THE MUTT JUST WASN’T PAYING ATTENTION. I’LL HAVE TO COME UP WITH A SUITABLE PUNISHMENT LATER SINCE LOCATING MY SLAVE IS NOW A HIGHER PRIORITY. THEY’VE PROBABLY RUN INTO ALPHYS AT THIS POINT. IF I DON’T INTERVENE, SHE’LL KEEP THE CREDIT FOR CAPTURING THE HUMAN ALL FOR HERSELF. I WON’T ALLOW IT!”

With a growl, Black marches past the sentry station. “COME, MUTT! WE HAVE TO FIND THE SLAVE BEFORE ALPHYS DOES!”

In a flash, his brother is following behind him. “yes, m’lord.”

Now that he’s not behind the counter, you can see the rest of the taller skeleton’s clothes. As you expected, his clothes are similar to Stretch’s. Instead of brown, his cargo shorts are black, and his sneakers are a darker orange.

Blue chases after them, pulling you along by the hand. “WAIT! WE’RE COMING TOO! WE WANT TO HELP CHARA GET TO SAFETY!”

You nod in agreement. “It wouldn’t hurt to have more eyes looking out for them, right?”

Blackberry stares you down for a few seconds before shrugging his shoulders. “FINE. I WILL ALLOW YOU TO ACCOMPANY ME. YOU BETTER MAKE YOURSELVES USEFUL AND NOT SLOW ME DOWN!”

Eventually, it turns into a competition between Blue and Black as they run around trying to find Chara before the other does. They’re covering a lot of ground, so you figure it won’t be long until they find the kid if Chara actually is in Waterfall.

Pup chooses to follow after his brother at a more sedate pace, so you decide to walk alongside him since you don’t think you could keep up with the other two. Keeping your voice low, you ask him for his thoughts on the situation. “They didn’t walk by your station, did they?”

He shakes his head as he shoves his hands into his jacket pockets. “nope. didn’t see them. i don’t know what happened to them, but your theory sounds the most likely since you can’t get further into waterfall without passin' my station.”

That’s what you figured. With a sigh, you run a hand through your hair. “The question is: where the hell are they now? Are they even in Waterfall? The fact that Chara reset means that it’s likely they fought someone strong, so could they be dealing with Alphys now? Or, is it a monster from one of the other big battles that come after they leave Waterfall?”

The taller skeleton shrugs his shoulders. “beats me. all i know is m’lord won’t rest ‘til we find them, so we’ll find out soon enough.”

After some more time passes with no results, another reset occurs.

Once again, your group is back at the sentry station near the entrance of Waterfall.

Black curses loudly while his counterpart frowns deeply. Both are wearing similar looks of frustration. The only one looking unaffected is Pup, but that’s probably because he has long become used to resets.

The taller skeleton teleports to the area in front of the sentry station as his brother stomps toward him. “MUTT! TELEPORT US TO THE LAST AREA THAT WE WERE AT! I WILL NOT LET THEM GET AWAY THIS TIME!”

Pup nods at the command. “yes, m’lord.”

He places a hand on his younger brother’s shoulder and then wraps an arm around your waist which makes you squeak in surprise. Blue quickly latches onto you before Pup teleports the group.

Once you all arrive, Blackberry rushes off determined to be the one to find the human child with Blue following right behind him.

The arm around your waist remains, so you raise an eyebrow at the older skeleton. He smirks, obviously pleased with the current arrangement. “i needed a strong grip, so i wouldn’t lose ya. this seemed like the best choice.”

You roll your eyes as you smile in amusement. It looks like he’s just as interested in flirting as Red but a lot smoother like Stretch. Talk about a deadly combination. “Well, I’m grateful that you chose to bring me along and didn’t lose me. But, that doesn’t explain why your arm hasn’t moved now that the teleporting is over.”

His smirk grows as he moves his face closer to yours. “what? is it in the way?”

Deciding to play along, you casually shrug your shoulders and try to not let your embarrassment show. “Not really, but it’ll make it more difficult for me to walk.”

Before he can reply, his brother’s loud voice cuts him off. “MUTT, HURRY UP! QUIT DAWDLING, OR I’LL LEAVE YOU BEHIND!”

At Black’s words, Pup immediately pulls away from you and starts to amble after his brother.You follow after him and soon catch up with the other skeletons.

Unfortunately, despite how long you’ve all been searching and how much ground you've covered, you still haven’t found any signs of Chara. You’re positive now that your theory about the glitch being involved is correct because there’s no way that the kid could’ve gotten this far simply by walking in such a short amount of time. Something is definitely going on here.

The sound of clanging metal pulls you out of your thoughts. It sounds somewhat familiar to you, but judging by the three skeletons' stiff postures, you think that they know exactly what’s causing that sound.

Blue grabs your hand tightly. “WE NEED TO GET Y/N OUT OF HERE NOW! IF YOUR ALPHYS SEES HER, Y/N WILL BE IN BIG TROUBLE!”

His counterpart scowls. “OF COURSE, SHE’D SHOW UP NOW OF ALL TIMES. AT LEAST WE KNOW THAT SHE HASN’T FOUND MY SLAVE. OTHERWISE, ALL WE WOULD BE HEARING IS ALPHYS’ YELLING. MUTT, TAKE US SOMEWHERE PAST THIS POINT. OBVIOUSLY, THE SLAVE ISN’T AROUND HERE.”

Pup moves to do as requested, but it’s unnecessary. Before he can grab you, the world resets again.

Once he realizes that he’s back at the sentry station, Black yells furiously. “AGAIN?! I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THESE BLASTED RESETS! WHERE THE HELL IS THAT SLAVE?!”

Blue rubs his chin thoughtfully. “MAYBE CHARA ISN’T EVEN IN WATERFALL.”

His counterpart snarls. “WHERE THE HELL ELSE COULD THEY BE?! I SAW THEM WALK TOWARD WATERFALL! YOU HAVE TO WALK THROUGH IT TO GET TO THE REST OF THE UNDERGROUND!”

Before an argument can start, you intervene. “I think Blue is right, Black. If they really did walk past Pup into Waterfall, we would’ve run into them by now. No way the kid could walk that far in such a short amount of time. I really do think the glitch moved them further into the Underground. Besides, you said it yourself. Alphys didn’t have them, so who else would be strong enough to cause Chara to reset?”

Black considers your words as he begins to calm down. “IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THE SLAVE COULD MAKE IT PAST ALPHYS UNDETECTED. BUT, IF THEY’RE NOT IN WATERFALL, WHERE THE HELL COULD THEY BE?”

You ponder his question. Where could Chara be? If this situation is like the others that took place Underground, the kid has to be involved in another boss fight. The next big encounter after Alphys should be Napstaton. Maybe Chara skipped Waterfall entirely and made it into Hotland thanks to the glitch?

Thinking of Hotland reminds you of Undyne’s lab. Doesn’t the mad scientist have cameras all over the Underground? Maybe your group could sneak in there and find out where Chara is from the monitors.

You decide to share your idea with the skeletons. “Maybe we should try visiting Undyne’s lab? That’s one of the next spots Chara is supposed to visit after Waterfall, and even if they’re not there, we could always check out Undyne’s cameras to see where the kid is.”

Black stares at you in open disbelief. Apparently, he didn’t think that you were capable of good ideas. At least, your dear friend, Blue, looks impressed. He stares at you with starry eyes. “THAT’S A GREAT IDEA, Y/N! IF WE CHECK OUT UNDYNE’S CAMERAS, WE’LL DEFINITELY FIND WHERE CHARA WENT!”

Pleased to receive some praise, you sweep Blue into your arms and give him a warm hug. You are so glad to have him here with you. His support really means a lot to you. You hope that Stretch will forgive you for keeping his brother all to yourself.

A scowl forms on Black’s face as he watches the two of you. He turns toward his brother who teleports to his side. “MUTT, TAKE US TO UNDYNE’S LAB! MAKE SURE WE END UP SOMEWHERE WHERE WE WILL BE UNDETECTED. WE’LL NEED THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE TO GET THE BETTER OF THAT CRACKPOT.”

“yes, m’lord.”

Like last time, Pup places a hand on his brother’s shoulder, and with a smirk, he wraps his other arm around your waist. Since you were expecting it, it doesn’t surprise you this time. Instead, you just grin as you hold onto Blue.

In a blink, you arrive at what must be Undyne’s lab. It’s not the open area with the monitors that you find shortly after entering the building in the game. Rather, it looks like you’re in a room further into the lab. There’s a surgical table with metal cuffs in the middle of the room and a metal stand nearby with several medical utensils laid out on it.

You get a queasy feeling in your stomach when you notice the smears of blood around that area. Averting your eyes elsewhere, you see other implements of torture hanging on the walls. Most of which have some blood still on them.

Squeezing your eyes shut, you hug Blue, who has remained suspiciously quiet, tightly and turn your face so that it’s buried into Pup’s jacket. You are surprised but grateful when the arm still around your waist gives you a gentle squeeze.

Black scoffs at both of your reactions but refrains from mocking the two of you. Instead, he heads for the door. “NO CAMERAS IN THIS ROOM THEN? WHAT ABOUT THE HALLS?”

Pup slowly pulls away from you and follows after his brother with you right behind him. “i’ve disabled them, m’lord. the alarms weren’t activated, so we have some time ‘til she notices anythin'.”

Smirking, Black pulls open the door and walks into the hall. “GOOD. NOW, LET’S HEAD FOR THE MONITOR ROOM. THAT’S PROBABLY WHERE SHE IS. WE’LL HAVE TO FIND SOME WAY TO DISTRACT HER, SO I CAN GET A BETTER LOOK AT THE MONITORS.”

Like the room, the hallway is dimly lit. The floor tiles are checkered black and red, and every so often you see blood stains on the walls and tiles. There’s nothing else in the hallway aside from the four of you. There are doors leading to other rooms, but you really don’t want to know what’s inside them.

Surprisingly, Blue hasn’t asked to be put down yet, which you’re honestly grateful for. This lab is seriously creeping you out, so you like having him so close. It’s very reassuring. Knowing him, that’s probably why he hasn’t complained about being carried.

Your group remains silent for the remainder of your journey to the monitor room. Since none of the skeletons would talk, you chose to follow their example and remained quiet in hopes that your group would remain undetected.

Finally, after some time passes, your group arrives at a doorless archway. Slowly, your group approaches it with you and Blue on one side and the Swapfell brothers on the other. When you move your head to peer inside, your eyes widen in surprise.

In the room, you see several monitor screens covering one of walls on the other side of the room with a desk and chair situated right in front of the screens. In the chair, facing away from the desk and monitors, sits Undyne, whose appearance is a lot different than the fish monster you saw in Undertale. Her bright red hair is tied up in a prim bun, and instead of an eyepatch, she’s wearing a pair of silver-rimmed glasses. Her clothes consist of a long lab coat with two black belts wrapped around her waist, long black gloves, and black high heel boots.

What’s shocking isn’t the appearance of Undyne but the sight of Chara standing in the middle of the room. They look just like Underswap Chara except they’re wearing a black sweater with a single red stripe and red shorts. On top of their head, you see a trembling Temmie.

It looks like your theory of Chara ending up in Hotland was dead on. However, you weren’t expecting a clash between the kid and Undyne. Where was Napstaton? Wasn’t the robot supposed to show up at this point and attack them?

You look around the room, but there’s no sign of the robot. All you see is Chara nervously fidgeting in front of a grinning Undyne.

The scientist leans back into her chair and steeples her fingers as she observes the human child before her. “I didn’t expect for you to arrive so quickly. It looks like making those last minute adjustments to my killer robot wasn’t the best idea since he’s still offline. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to make do. I’m sure that we can do something fun together to kill time, don’t you agree?”

Well, that explains the lack of robot. Undyne must’ve been adding new killing features to Napstaton when the kid arrived, so that means no crazy game show. If she wants to buy time, does that mean Undyne is gonna fight Chara?

You watch Undyne pull out what looks like a remote control from her pocket. After she pushes a button, several metal arms extend from the walls and head for Chara. In addition to the arms, laser guns also come out of the walls and start shooting at the child. They do their best to avoid the arms and attacks, but despite their best efforts, the kid eventually gets corralled into a corner.

Cackling, Undyne pushes another button and the floor below Chara disappears, causing the kid to fall into the darkness below. You hear Temmie screaming as they fall. Once the child is gone, everything in the room returns to normal, and the scientist swivels around in her chair to face the monitors. “Well, that wasn’t too hard. Now, I’ll just have the human play with the Amalgamates. I haven’t done any experiments with them in a while, so this should be fun.”

Paling, you immediately turn toward the skeleton brothers. If Chara is trapped in the True Lab with the Amalgamates, then your group will have to follow after them if they’re going to survive. It looks like you figured out the cause of the resets. Of course, this discovery does not make you feel any better about the situation.

You whisper as quietly as you can. “Guys, we have to follow after Chara. The Amalgamates are bad news. They have to be what’s killing the kid.”

Black scowls as he looks over at the mad scientist. “FIRST, WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT HER SO SHE DOESN’T INTERFERE. MUTT, TAKE CARE OF THE MONITORS SO SHE CAN’T SPY ON THE SLAVE.”

Nodding, Pup activates his magic, causing his right eye-light to strobe with magic. Before you can even blink, all of the monitors go offline, and all you see is static on the screens which causes Undyne to yell in frustration.

Quickly, the taller skeleton grabs you and his brother before teleporting you to a different area. When you find yourself in front of an elevator, you look up at Pup in surprise. He shrugs his shoulders. “don’t have any shortcuts for that far down.”

Black presses the down arrow, and the elevator doors open shortly after. Once your group is in the elevator and it starts heading down, Blue asks you the question all three of them have been wondering. “Y/N, WHAT ARE THE AMALGAMATES? I’VE NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING IN MY WORLD.”

With a grimace, you explain what you know about the Amalgamates including their origins and how they’re impossible to kill. Once you’re done, you see that all three of the skeletons are wearing pensive expressions. Even Pup appears bothered by the existence of these experiments gone wrong.

Black pinches the area above his nasal cavity. “I HONESTLY CAN’T SAY THAT I’M SURPRISED. THAT CRACKPOT PULLS OFF ALL KINDS OF INSANE EXPERIMENTS. OF COURSE, SHE’D DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS.”

His counterpart frowns worriedly. “NO WONDER CHARA KEEPS RESETTING. IF THEY KEEP GETTING ATTACKED BY THESE AMALGAMATES, THERE’S NO WAY THEY COULD WIN IF THOSE MONSTERS ARE UNDEFEATABLE.”

Scoffing, Black places his hands on hips. “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN UNDEFEATABLE OPPONENT FOR ME! I WILL ALWAYS BE VICTORIOUS!”

The elevator dings signaling your arrival to the bottom floor. When the doors open, Black marches forward with his brother following close behind. Blue had asked to be put down once you entered the elevator, so he’s now in front of you checking out your surroundings with caution.

It’s even darker on this floor. There’s only one working light every few yards, so you can just barely make out the path in front of you. There are screens on the walls, but they appear turned off so they don’t provide any light either.

Considering what little you can see, you’re somewhat grateful for the darkness. The floor and walls are covered in cracks, scratch marks, and dark smears of some unidentifiable substance. It might be blood, but you’re not moving closer to find out.

It’s also eerily quiet. The only thing you can hear is your own breathing and your heart pounding in your chest. Even your footsteps sound too loud to you. None of the skeletons are talking, but you figure that they want to keep the element of surprise since there’s no telling what your group will have to face.

After what feels like forever, the hallway ends, and your group reaches the entrance to the next room. Like with the monitor room, everyone splits up to peer inside the room from each side of the doorway.

Your eyes widen as you involuntarily gasp. From what you remembered of the True Lab in the game, the room after the hallway is supposed to be a small area with a vending machine, the door to the power room, and two other hallways that are supposed to lead out of the room.

However, what you see is completely different from that. This room is a large open area that’s completely bare aside from the one lone light hanging in the middle of the ceiling. You notice that there’s only one exit aside from the door where you are, and it’s directly across from you a good many yards away.

What really worries you is who’s occupying the room. Fortunately, it didn’t take your group long to find the human child. However, Chara and Temmie aren’t the only ones in the room. Surrounding the kid are three Amalgamates. Considering the canine resemblance of the monsters, you think those are the ones called Endogeny. They each have extremely long bodies with three pairs of legs each. Their heads have normal dog ears, but instead of a face, you only see a large hole that appears to function as a mouth judging by its movements.

Unlike their Undertale counterparts, these Endogeny don't appear even remotely friendly as they all growl and snarl at Chara and Temmie. It looks like these creatures have no intention of letting the kid get away without a fight.

Blue stares in wide-eyed disbelief. “THOSE ARE THE AMALGAMATES?! I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT! WHY DO THEY LOOK SO ANGRY AT CHARA?”

Black scoffs at the question. “ISN’T IT OBVIOUS? UNDYNE KEPT THESE CREATURES TO USE AS WEAPONS. THERE IS ONLY ONE REASON UNDYNE WOULD BRING THE HUMAN HERE, AND THAT IS TO MAKE THEM SUFFER. SHE’S NOT EXPECTING THEM TO COME OUT OF HERE ALIVE.”

You watch as the Endogeny close in around Chara and their companion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s any way for the kid to escape. “We need to do something quick before Chara gets hurt. How are we supposed to stop those guys? They don’t take damage, and I don’t think the normal pacifist techniques are gonna work in this situation.”

Blue rubs his chin thoughtfully. “MAYBE WE CAN STOP THEM WITHOUT BATTLING THEM. WE COULD TRY TO USE BLUE MAGIC TO HOLD THEM IN PLACE LONG ENOUGH SO THAT CHARA CAN MOVE ON TO THE NEXT ROOM.”

His counterpart gives him a considering look. “WHILE NOT AS AMAZING AS MY USUAL PLANS, I ADMIT THAT THERE IS SOME MERIT TO YOUR IDEA. I PREFER MORE VIOLENCE, BUT IF WE USE OUR MAGIC, THEN WE CAN DO IT HERE WITHOUT BEING DETECTED BY MY SLAVE. IF THEY SEE ME, THEY’LL MISTAKENLY BELIEVE THAT I’M HERE TO SAVE THEM WHEN I COULD CARE LESS. I JUST WANT THESE RESETS TO END AND TO GET THE FAME AND RECOGNITION I DESERVE FOR CAPTURING A HUMAN.”

You bite back a grin. Of course, that’s why he wouldn’t want Chara to know that he’s here. He’s a tsundere just like Edge.

With a nod, Blue and Black activate their magic causing their left eyes to strobe a bright blue. Inside the room, you see the Amalgamates glow before being suddenly slammed toward the ground. No matter how much the creatures snarl and struggle, they are unable to move.

Your group immediately moves to hide when Chara looks around in confusion. When Temmie yells for them to move, the kid hurries toward to door on the opposite side of the room.

As soon as Chara is out of the room, Black and Blue leave their hiding places and rush inside to get a closer look at the Amalgamates. You and Pup follow the two at a more sedate pace.

When you reach the strange creatures, one notices your arrival and starts growling loudly. Nervous, you take a step closer to the taller skeleton beside you. Fortunately, Pup doesn’t appear to mind the invasion of his personal space. Instead, he lets you stay close while you observe the Amalgamate.

It’s as you're studying the Endogeny that its body begins to flicker. At first, you thought it was just a trick of the eye caused by the poor lighting, but the more you stare, the more you realize that something is wrong here. You can only watch in horror as its appearance starts to glitch like the shooter in Underfell. However, the glitch doesn’t cause the creature to teleport. No, what it does is much worse.

The Amalgamate duplicates.

Instead of one, you are now staring at two Endogeny. What’s worse is the new Endogeny isn’t being held down by magic.

Your body freezes in terror as the unbound creature moves to attack you. In a flash, you feel yourself moved after a long arm wraps around your waist. You’re now near the doorway that Chara used to escape instead of in the middle of the room.

Quickly, you realize that Pup was the one to move you to safety. Fortunately, Blue and Black noticed the new Amalgamate in time, so they’re now standing in front of you instead of studying the other creatures.

You thank the taller skeleton before returning your attention to the new Endogeny. “Guys, the glitch can cause them to multiply! There’s no way we can win a fight if more just keep coming!”

Blue nods his head as he stares at the other Amalgamates who begin to glitch and multiply. “WE SHOULD GO AFTER CHARA. THEY MIGHT RUN INTO MORE TROUBLE ON THEIR OWN.”

His counterpart scowls, obviously not liking the idea of running away from a fight. You put a hand on his shoulder to get his attention. “It’s not running away, Black. Just think of this as you wisely avoiding a pointless fight. Besides, you want to make sure that Chara gets out of here alive and to the capital, right?”

You’re grateful when he doesn’t shove your hand aside. Instead, he appears to be considering your words. You pull your hand away with a smile when you see Black smirk. “THIS IS NOT ONLY A POINTLESS FIGHT. THESE VERMIN ARE ALSO WELL BELOW ME, SO THEY’RE NOT EVEN WORTH FIGHTING. I HAVE MUCH MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS TO ATTEND TO THAN TO DEAL WITH THEM! MWEH HEH HEH!”

With that, Black uses his magic to slam the free Amalgamates to the ground before turning to march through the doorway behind you. Blue grabs your hand with a smile and pulls you along with him into the dark hallway beyond the doorway.

When you look behind you to check on Pup, you see him activate his magic. His right eye strobes brightly as he aims for the ceiling and causes it to collapse onto the trapped Amalgamates. As soon as that’s done, he moves to follow after the rest of your group.

The taller skeleton shrugs when he notices your look. “the magic was about to wear off since m’lord left. this way it’s less likely that they’ll follow after us. you said it yourself that they can’t die, so it’s not like that really hurt them.”

While a part of you does feel bad for the Amalgamates, you do understand the reasoning for his actions. It would be bad if the Endogeny chased after you, so he did what was necessary to keep the group safe. Of course, you also understand that his main priority is protecting his brother. It just so happens that keeping Black safe results in you and Blue staying unharmed as well.

You nod to show your understanding. Then, with a smile, you wrap your free arm around his and give it a quick squeeze before releasing it. “Thank you, Pup. For saving me earlier and for looking out for everyone now. It’s amazing how good you big brothers are at taking care of things. Having you around is really reassuring.”

He appears surprised by the praise. Instead of the witty comeback you expect, he fiddles with the cigarette pack that he pulls from his jacket pocket. You wonder if your eyes are playing tricks on you when you see a faint orange glow across Pup’s cheekbones.

Surely, you must have imagined it. No way would someone like Pup get flustered by a simple compliment.

Pup looks at the pack of cigarettes then at his brother before returning the pack to his pocket with a sigh. He then gives you a side glance before focusing his gaze back on Black. “no need to thank me, darlin. i didn’t do anythin’ special.”

Blue shakes his head as he continues to walk beside you. “THAT’S NOT TRUE! IT’S BECAUSE OF YOU THAT Y/N DIDN’T END UP HURT BY THAT AMALGAMATE. WHILE I WANTED TO PROTECT HER, I WAS UNABLE TO MOVE FAST ENOUGH. YOUR SPEED WAS AMAZING! AS SOON AS YOU NOTICED THE DANGER, YOU MOVED Y/N TO SAFETY WITHIN SECONDS! I’M VERY GRATEFUL TO YOU FOR PROTECTING MY FRIEND!”

If you didn’t know any better, you’d say that the taller skeleton was embarrassed, considering he's so actively avoiding eye contact with you and Blue now. You didn’t give the rescue that much thought since he was right beside you when the Endogeny attacked. However, the fact that he immediately came to your aid is surprising when you think about it.

While it’s true that you are working together with the Swapfell brothers, it’s not like they’re under any obligation to look after you. It shouldn’t matter to them if you come to any harm, yet for some reason, Pup chose to save you.

The taller skeleton chooses this moment while you’re lost in your thoughts to increase his stride in order to catch up with his brother. Looks like he’s not interested in answering any further questions on the matter.

“MWEH HEH HEH.”

Hearing your friend’s laugh, you turn toward Blue, who’s attempting to muffle his laughter by covering his mouth with his hand. He grins at your curious look. “HE’S JUST LIKE PAPY. WHEN HE GETS EMBARRASSED, PAPY TRIES TO PLAY IT COOL, BUT HE ALWAYS FINDS SOME WAY TO RUN AWAY FROM WHAT EMBARRASSES HIM. HE ALWAYS FINDS AN EXCUSE TO EITHER CHANGE THE TOPIC OF THE CONVERSATION, OR HE’LL COME UP WITH A CONVENIENT EXCUSE TO LEAVE THE ROOM.”

That’s seriously adorable. Now, you wanna see Stretch embarrassed, so you can witness his reaction firsthand.

Still, you can’t help but be surprised by Pup’s reaction. If Blue says Pup is embarrassed, then you believe him. His brother is the most similar to the taller skeleton after all, so Blue has enough experience to be able to recognize the behavior. However, why would Pup be embarrassed about helping you? Is it really that big of a deal?

Before you can ponder further on the matter, your group arrives at the other end of the hallway. When you peek into the room along with the others, you quickly find Chara and Temmie.

Unfortunately, the two aren’t alone. There are also six Amalgamates in the room trying to attack the child. The creatures resemble a brain covered in faces which makes you believe that they’re the Amalgamate called Memoryhead.

Black scowls as he activates his magic. “THESE PATHETIC CREATURES THINK THAT THEY CAN WIN WITH THEIR NUMBERS. I’LL PROVE THAT NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY MULTIPLY THAT THEY ARE NO MATCH FOR ME!”

His counterpart follows his example with a bright grin. “I’LL LEND YOU MY ASSISTANCE! IF WE WORK TOGETHER, THE AMALGAMATES WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF INSTANTLY!”

Like with the Endogeny, the two short skeletons use their gravity control to force the Memoryheads to the ground. Unfortunately, the glitch kicks in even faster than before resulting in six new Amalgamates appearing.

Magic flaring, both Blue and Black immediately focus their attention on the new creatures and add them to the group of Amalgamates sprawled on the ground. Rather than look around this time, Chara quickly sprints toward the door with Temmie still clinging to their head.

Unfortunately, before the child can reach the door on the opposite side of the room, one of the Memoryheads reaches out and wraps their tail around the kid’s leg, causing them to tumble to the ground.

Noticing the sweat covering the two small skeletons’ foreheads, you realize that they’re at their limit in regards to using magic. Holding down the twelve Amalgamates is all that they can do at the moment. The creatures keep struggling, so Black and Blue have to keep their complete focus on them in order to keep the Memoryheads down.

At that moment, the glitch activates again summoning another six Amalgamates. Mutt immediately responds by using his magic to hold the new creatures down. While it’s good that the immediate threat is now taken care of, there’s still the problem of Chara being tied down. The kid has been struggling to no avail.

When you hear Chara cry out in pain, you dash into the room without any hesitation. You hear the skeletons calling out to you, but you ignore them in order to focus on the kid.

You run into the circle of struggling Amalgamates and head for the child. Once you reach them, you hunch down to grab the tail and attempt to help Chara pull it off their leg. They freeze and stare at you in shock. “A human? How?”

Temmie gapes while you continue trying to pry off the creature’s tail. “Where did she come from?! How did another human get here?!”

After a few more seconds, you’re finally able to make the tail loosen its grip enough that Chara can pull their leg away. Instead of running away like you’d wish they’d do, they continue to stare at you in disbelief.

With a huff, you rise to your feet and help the kid up. You turn them toward the door and give them a little push. “I think you guys have more important things to deal with than me. Hurry and get out of here before these creatures try to attack you again.”

Temmie pales and starts to pat the kid continuously on the head to get their attention. “She’s right! We need to hurry, Chara! The longer we stay here, the worse our chances are!”

Chara nods and rushes toward the doorway. However, instead of walking through it, they pause and turn toward you. “What about you, Miss? Shouldn’t you come with us?”

You smile as you shake your head. “Don’t worry about me. Just focus on taking care of yourself. I’ll catch up later.”

The child is obviously reluctant to leave you, but after Temmie starts to urgently tug on their hair, they move to leave the room. “Thank you for helping us!”

Right after they leave, you hear Blue’s fearful yell. “Y/N! YOU NEED TO MOVE TOWARD THE OTHER DOOR! RIGHT NOW!”

Before you can question your friend, you feel something wrap around both of your legs and pull you harshly off your feet. You land on your back with a painful smack. Wincing, you use your hands to push yourself up.

When you look at your legs, you see the tails of two Memoryheads tied tightly around them. Apparently, while you were focusing on Chara, the two creatures had managed to crawl close enough to reach you with their tails.

You immediately try to pry off the appendages when you feel them begin to constrict around your legs. You grit your teeth as the pressure from the squeezing increases. Unfortunately, you’re not having any luck removing the tails.

“Y/N!”

In a blink, Blue is at your side, his left eye strobing with blue magic. He raises his hand and summons bone attacks to pierce the tails. The creatures screech angrily as they retract their appendages. Fortunately, they’re still being affected by the magic holding them down.

With help from your friend, you rise to your feet, doing your best to ignore the aching in your legs. As he helps you move toward the doorway, you turn to check on the Swapfell brothers. You see that instead of holding the other Amalgamates down the brothers are using bone attacks to push back the creatures and block them off from the exit.

As soon as you and Blue are in the next hallway, Pup reaches for his brother and teleports them to the doorway. Together, they use their magic to bring down the room’s ceiling on the approaching Amalgamates and then move to join you in the hallway.

Your shoulders slump with relief once you realize that everyone made it out safely. Grinning, you give Blue a big hug. “Thanks for the save, Blue. Your timing was perfect.”

His cheekbones glow a dark blue. “MWEH HEH HEH! OF COURSE! I’LL ALWAYS COME TO YOUR RESCUE, Y/N!”

Black chooses this moment to interrupt. He glares heatedly at you. “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING RUNNING IN LIKE THAT?! YOU HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING WHETHER OR NOT MORE OF THOSE VERMIN WOULD SHOW UP! AND, YOU ENDED UP GETTING ATTACKED BECAUSE YOU GOT DISTRACTED! YOU’RE LUCKY THAT MY COUNTERPART CAME TO YOUR AID BECAUSE I WOULDN’T HAVE WASTED MY TIME DOING SO!”

Blue pulls away from your hug and frowns at his counterpart. “SHE WAS ONLY TRYING TO HELP CHARA! SHE REALIZED THAT WE HAD OUR HANDS FULL, SO SHE TOOK ACTION TO HELP THEM! WHILE IT WAS DANGEROUS, SHE ONLY WANTED TO HELP! WOULD YOU REALLY HAVE ABANDONED HER AFTER SHE SAVED YOUR FRIEND?”

Sneering, Black turns his attention to Blue. “THAT HUMAN IS NOT MY FRIEND! THEY’RE MY SLAVE! AND, EVEN IF SHE HELPED THE SLAVE, SHE STILL MADE HERSELF A LIABILITY. WHEN SOMEONE’S A LIABILITY, YOU GET RID OF THEM BEFORE THEY CAN BECOME EVEN MORE OF A BURDEN!”

Pup remains a silent guardian behind his brother. No doubt he’s ready to intervene if this argument takes a turn for the worse.

Not wanting it to come to that, you choose to intervene. You place a hand on Blue’s shoulder before he can angrily retort in order to calm him down. Giving the shoulder a gentle squeeze, you direct your attention to the small, glaring skeleton. “I’m sorry for worrying you, Black. I know what I did was reckless, but I couldn’t think of anything else to do. Since you were all preoccupied with holding the Amalgamates down, I knew that I had to be the one to do something to get the kid out of there. I’m sorry that I got distracted and that they caught me. I just really wanted to help you guys since you had been working so hard, and I haven’t been able to contribute so far.”

The Swapfell brothers appear surprised by your apology while Blue is frowning, no doubt thinking that there was no need for you to apologize. Soon, your expression matches the shocked brothers when you see a faint, purple blush appear on Black’s cheekbones. His scowl seems more embarrassed than angry now. “I WAS NOT WORRIED! I SAID THAT I DIDN’T CARE WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU! DON’T MAKE SUCH OUTRAGEOUS ASSUMPTIONS, WORM!”

You smile at him in amusement. “Even so, you took the time to scold me because you wanted to make sure that I didn’t make a similar mistake in the future. Also, even though you could’ve left me and Blue behind to follow after Chara, you didn’t. You stayed behind to help instead. Thank you, Black.”

Black’s blush darkens while Pup gives you a satisfied look that goes unnoticed by his brother. You wink at the taller skeleton and mouth a quick thank you. The little, pleased grin that forms on his face makes you grin in return.

With a huff, Black pushes past you to head down the hallway with his brother following close behind. “JUST DON’T GET INTO TROUBLE AGAIN! I WON’T ALLOW YOU TO SLOW ME DOWN ANYMORE!”

Amused, you grin at Blue before grabbing his hand and heading down the dark hallway. A contemplative frown forms on his face. “SO, BLACK WAS COMPLAINING BECAUSE HE WAS WORRIED ABOUT YOU?”

You keep your voice low so that only Blue can hear you. “It’s true that in this world if someone is a liability they won’t be kept around for long. Having friends isn’t exactly normal here. But, I do think that Black was scolding me because he had been worried that I was gonna get hurt from being reckless. He’s just too shy to admit it outright. He’s what you’d call a tsundere.”

Blue’s eye-lights widen in realization. “I SEE! I UNDERSTAND NOW! I THOUGHT HE WAS JUST BEING MEAN TO YOU, BUT HE WAS ACTUALLY CONCERNED FOR YOU. I AM RELIEVED. IT MADE ME SAD TO THINK THAT ANOTHER VERSION OF ME WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO YOU.”

You give his hand a warm squeeze. “Black is a good guy deep down. I like to think that all Sanses are. The only reason some become dangerous like Error is because of their circumstances.”

He tilts his head curiously. “DOES THAT MEAN THAT YOU DON’T THINK BADLY OF ERROR DESPITE HIM TRYING TO KILL YOU?”

You can’t help but shiver as you remember Error’s attack. He had tried to kill you and came very close to doing so. It was only by pure luck that you made it out alive. The pain he had caused was excruciating. Still, you understand why he did it. He thinks that you’re behind the glitch and wants to kill you before it can infect more worlds. More than anything, you want to say that he’s wrong that there’s no way you could be causing the glitch, but can you honestly say that? Do you really believe that it’s all merely a coincidence?

“I don’t hate him if that’s what you mean. I can’t say that I’m very fond of him considering the circumstances under which we met, but I know that he has his own reasons for doing what he does. He comes from a difficult background, so that plays a part in why he’s like he is.”

Blue grins as he squeezes your hand. “YOU’RE VERY KIND, Y/N. IF ERROR TOOK THE TIME TO GET TO KNOW YOU, I KNOW THAT HE’D SEE THAT AS WELL AND WOULD STOP TRYING TO HURT YOU. I CAN’T SAY THAT I CAN THINK OF ANY GOOD REASON FOR KILLING YOU. I HOPE THAT HE COMES TO HIS SENSES SOON AND CHOOSES TO BEFRIEND YOU LIKE I HAVE. HE’S MISSING OUT ON A WONDERFUL FRIENDSHIP!”

Your heart swells as you get a warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest. Without hesitation, you pick up your friend and hug him tight. “Thank you, Blue. I’m really glad we’re friends too. You’re the best.”

His cheekbones glow a bright blue. “MWEH HEH HEH! OF COURSE! NO ONE IS BETTER THAN THE MAGNIFICENT BLUE AT BEING A FRIEND!”

Giggling, you nod to show your agreement as you continue your trek down the dimly lit hallway after you release the adorable skeleton. Shortly after that, you two catch up with the Swapfell brothers who are checking the interior of the next room.

When you peek inside, you notice that the room looks exactly the same as the previous two rooms. The only thing different is the type of Amalgamate that’s present. This time, instead of multiple versions of the same creature, you see the remaining three Amalgamates which you recognize from the Undertale game.

One appears to be a bird with a spindly neck and legs. Its wings are small and spread out as it screeches angrily. If you remember correctly, it’s called Reaper Bird. The creature to the bird’s left has a giant mouth for a head with sharp, jagged teeth, and the rest of its body resembles a slug. For whatever reason, this one is called Lemon Bread. The final monster that’s on the other side of Reaper Bird looks like a large snowflake with two faces. Half of its body appears to be melting. That could only be Snowdrake’s Mother.

All three Amalgamates are attacking Chara who’s running around the room dodging with Temmie screaming on top of their head. When you realize that there’s only one of each creature, you become hopeful that the glitch has given up interfering with the child. Unfortunately, your hope quickly plummets when you see the glitch suddenly take effect, creating a clone of each Amalgamate.

Both of the shorter skeletons activate their magic and use it to hold the six creatures to the ground. Chara immediately dashes toward the door, but the glitch kicks in again. However, this time three new clones of each Amalgamate are created resulting in nine unbound creatures.

For whatever reason, these new clones are immune to the gravity magic since none of the skeletons are able to hold them down not even Pup. You think that the glitch has something to do with it considering the way the new creatures’ appearances seem to differ from how the originals look.

Black summons his bone attacks as he runs into the room. “I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS! I’LL SIMPLY DEMOLISH THE VERMIN SO THAT THEY’RE NO LONGER IN THE WAY! COME, MUTT!”

Pup follows after his brother, summoning his own bone attacks and a Gaster Blaster to fire at the large group of Amalgamates. Blue charges into the room without hesitation. “I’LL LEND MY ASSISTANCE AS WELL! PLEASE STAY BACK, Y/N! WE CAN HANDLE THIS!”

The room quickly turns into a battlefield as all the monsters trade attacks. While the skeletons use their specialized attacks, you see attacks resembling butterflies, flashing orbs, and blades coming from the Amalgamates.

Rather than focus on the fighting, you shift your attention toward Chara. Considering how many monsters are present, it takes you a few minutes to find the small child who is trembling in one of the far corners of the room staring wide-eyed at the battle before them.

Realizing that you can’t just sit back and watch, you slowly make your way to the kid while making sure to stay close to the walls in hopes that it will help you avoid detection. Anytime an Amalgamate gets too close, a bone attack conveniently hits it, distracting it long enough for you to escape. You’re sure that the skeletons have noticed what you’re doing. Thankfully, they aren’t trying to stop you. They must have come to the same conclusion as you regarding the importance of getting Chara out of the room.

Once you reach the child, you pick them up and hug them to your chest. Noticing their shaking, you rub your hand gently up and down their back. “It’s okay, sweetie. You’re gonna be just fine now. Sans and Papyrus are here helping you along with my friend Blue. They’ll take care of those other monsters while I help you get out of here. Hopefully, there’s an elevator close by that can get you back to the upper floors.”

Temmie trembles as you slowly make your way to the exit. “What’s going on? How did you guys get here?”

You reach your hand towards him to give him a soft pat on the head. “Worry about that later after you two are somewhere safe. If you really wanna know, just go look for the skeletons later on, and they’ll give you an explanation if you really want one.”

He quickly shakes his head. “Ask those scary guys? No thanks!”

Chara clings to your chest. “They’re not that scary. Sans was nice enough to let us leave instead of capturing us. I don’t think they’re bad guys.”

“You say that about everyone, Chara!”

Grinning, you give the child a warm squeeze as you continue your trek toward the doorway. “I agree with Chara. They’re really not bad guys once you get to know them. You just need to spend some time with them. Some people take longer to understand than others.”

Before either of them can respond, two Reaper Birds appear to block your path and release loud screeches that make your ears ring. Chara and Temmie cover their ears while you’re forced to endure since your arms are currently full.

The two Amalgamates rear their heads back to attack but are stopped by a wall of bones that appear before you. When you look for the source of the shield, you spot Black scowling at your group. “I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO STOP BEING A LIABILITY! HERE YOU ARE AGAIN BEING STUPID! HURRY UP AND GET OUT OF MY SIGHT! YOU’RE IN THE WAY!”

Grinning, you move around the Reaper Birds which are now completely encircled by bones. “Thank you, Black! You’re the best!”

“OF COURSE I AM! MWEH HEH HEH!”

Temmie just gapes at the exchange as you hurry toward the exit. “What was that?! Did he seriously just save us?! And, you thanked him after everything he just said?!”

The child in your arms tilts their head curiously. “Why’d you call him Black?”

Their friend, who’s still perched on their head, gives them an incredulous look. “That’s what bothers you?!!”

You chuckle at the pair as you swerve around some stray attacks. “That’s my nickname for Sans. Regarding Temmie’s question, I thanked Black because he did just save us. He didn’t really mean what he said. He’s just too tsundere to say what he’s really feeling.”

Chara nods, showing their understanding. “He is a bit of a tsundere. I’m grateful that he came to save us. I’ll thank him properly the next time I see him.”

Temmie huffs in exasperation. “Hopefully, that won’t be anytime soon once we’re out of here.”

You’ve almost made it to the doorway when another obstacle arrives to block your path. This time it’s Snowdrake’s Mother along with two of her clones. The air around you drops by several degrees making you shiver despite your warm clothes. You breath comes out in little white puffs, proving just how cold it has become.

The Amalgamates release several curved blades that fly straight toward you. Unfortunately, they move a lot faster than they do in the video game. Temmie screams in terror as you quickly jump out of the way of the attacks.

You run as fast as you can dodging left and right to avoid the onslaught of attacks which doesn’t seem to be letting up. Regrettably, some of the blades are just too fast, resulting in you being clipped in a few places. Thankfully, the child and their monster friend haven’t been injured because of their shielded position in your arms.

Surveying the area, you quickly find the three skeletons, who are all in different parts of the room fighting the creatures with no success. Because the Amalgamates cannot be killed, the only thing the guys can really do is basically push them back or hold them down.

Mind racing a mile a minute, you try to come up with a plan. You can’t just wait for the skeletons to deal with these creatures chasing you. They already have their hands full with the other lab experiments. You need to come up with something fast in order to get the kid to safety. Once they’re safe, your group can just teleport out of here thanks to Pup.

If the group had decided to directly intervene from the beginning, then Pup could’ve just teleported Chara back to the top floor or even outside of the lab. Then, your group could have avoided all of this trouble. However, that would’ve made Undyne suspicious, and there’s no telling how many cameras she actually has. If she caught the skeletons on camera helping the human child, who knows what kind of trouble they’d get into. Hopefully, Pup took care of all the cameras down here, so they won’t get questioned for their actions later.

The whole time you’ve been running the pair in your arms has remained tensely silent aside from a random whimper from Temmie every now and then. You hug the kid tightly. “It’ll be alright, you two. Just stay close and keep your heads down. I’ll make sure that you get out of here.”

Chara buries their face in your chest as they nod. Temmie quickly moves to sit in the child’s arms and clings to them tightly.

Looking over your shoulder, you see the three Amalgamates chasing you. However, due to their slow speed, there’s still some distance between you and them. When you return your gaze to the front, you notice that you’re approaching one of the skeletons’ battles. A spark of hope ignites in your chest as an idea comes to mind.

It’s crazy, but it just might work.

Up ahead, Blue is using his bone attacks to push back several Lemon Breads. Drool is dripping from their large mouths as the creatures snarl at your friend. As he’s fighting, Blue notices your approach and gives you a horrified look. “Y/N! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?! YOU’RE BLEEDING!”

Due to your current situation, you haven’t had the time to check out your appearance. You do feel a stinging pain in a lot of places on your body, so you can’t say that you’re surprised to hear that you’re bleeding. “It’s alright, Blue. I can deal with that later. I’m kinda in a bind right now. There are some Amalgamates on my tail, and I need to get Chara out of this room as soon as possible. Can you use your magic to move me over to the exit? I know that you’ve got your hands full, so all I need is for you to just throw me over there. You don’t have to worry about the landing.”

Magic flaring, Blue summons a bone cage to capture his current opponents. Once they’re taken care of, he gives you his full attention. He doesn’t seem to be pleased with your plan, but he doesn’t have much time to argue since more Amalgamates are coming this way.

With a worried frown, your friend uses his magic to make you levitate. “IF THIS SITUATION WASN’T SO SERIOUS, I WOULD’VE COME UP WITH A LESS DANGEROUS PLAN. UNFORTUNATELY, I DON’T HAVE TIME TO DO SO BECAUSE OF ALL THESE AMALGAMATES. PLEASE BE CAREFUL, Y/N! I PROMISE THAT I’LL COME AFTER YOU ONCE I’M DONE HERE!”

You smile warmly at him while the pair in your arms stares at him curiously. “I will, Blue. I know that you’ll come as soon as you can. Please be careful, okay?”

“OF COURSE! I’M WAY TOO STRONG TO BE DEFEATED HERE! MWEH HEH HEH!”

Beaming, Blue activates his magic and uses it to fling you across the room toward the doorway that hopefully leads to safety. Temmie shrieks in terror while the kid quietly giggles apparently enjoying the little joyride.

Thankfully, you’re high enough that none of the creatures below can physically reach you. You’re also moving fast enough that you successfully avoid the attacks aimed at you.

When you’re almost at your destination, you curl up into a ball using your body to shield the two in your arms. Luckily, Blue has perfect aim, so you end up sailing straight through the doorway and crash into the floor of the connecting hallway.

Groaning, you slowly unfurl your arms, allowing your passengers to move to their feet. Your back took the brunt of the fall, so it’s now throbbing in agony. In addition, you’re starting to come off the adrenaline rush from the earlier chase, so you’re also feeling all of the other injuries on your body. Overall, you can definitely say that you’ve had better days.

Note to self: Don’t do that again.

When you open your eyes, you see Chara leaning over you, giving you a worried look. This time Temmie has decided to perch on the child’s shoulder. Doing your best to muffle the moan that wants to escape, you move into a sitting position. “I’m alright. How are you two?”

Chara watches as you slowly move to stand. “I’m okay. Thank you for saving us again, Miss.”

Their monster friend nods. “Yeah, thanks. But, please don’t do that again. That was terrifying!”

You chuckle as you pet the little monster's head. “Sorry about that. It was the only thing that I could think of considering the circumstances. At least, it got us out of there. Now, I need you two to hurry and get out of here. I think I see an elevator at the end of the hall. Use that to get back to where you were before Undyne interfered. Hopefully, you’ll be able to escape this lab safely.”

Chara frowns before reaching for your hand and latching onto it. “You should come with us, Miss. It’s dangerous down here. You want to leave too, right? You should just stay with us if we’re going in the same direction.”

Temmie looks around nervously. “Chara’s right. Why would you want to stay around here anyway?”

After squeezing their hand, you quickly pull the kid into a hug. “I wish I could stay with you longer, but you don’t need me for the rest of your journey. I know that you’re strong enough to pull through. You only needed help here because of some unusual circumstances. Besides, my friends are still back there. I need to make sure that they’re all okay.”

When you pull away, the child gives you a determined nod. “Please look after Sans and Papyrus. I’ll be alright. I’ll make sure that I get to the barrier.”

Grinning proudly, you ruffle their hair. “I know you will. I believe in you, Chara.”

The child smiles happily as they give you a quick hug before sprinting toward the end of the hallway. Temmie gives you a little wave as they leave.

You return the wave before turning to face the doorway behind you. When you go back inside, you see that things are just as chaotic as before. There are bone attacks being flung everywhere along with the signature attacks of the Amalgamates in the room. All three of the skeletons are completely surrounded by creatures. Fortunately, none of them appear hurt just tired and annoyed.

Cupping your hands around your mouth, you yell as loudly as you can. “Guys! Chara’s safe now! We can leave this room!”

Luckily, they seem to have heard you since the three skeletons turn toward you. For some reason though, their previously tired expressions now appear panicked. Blue knocks away the five Amalgamates in front of him and runs toward you. “Y/N! MOVE!”

Trusting your friend, you immediately dive forward without hesitation. Shortly after you move, you hear something hit the area where you were once standing.

When you turn around, you notice the lone Lemon Bread clinging to the wall above the doorway. Considering the scorch marks on the ground, it must have used its eye attack that shoots out flashing orbs. The creature roars as it lunges at you with its sharp teeth.

Before it can reach you, a wall of bones appears before you blocking the attack. Then, Blue is there standing in front of you with his eye glowing brightly. Using his blue magic, the short skeleton causes the Lemon Bread to float in the air before he flings the Amalgamate toward the other side of the room.

There’s a lot of sweat on Blue’s skull. His chest heaves as he tries to catch his breath. You notice that the light of his magic isn’t as bright as it was at the beginning of this venture. No doubt your friend is exhausted from all the battling and the constant use of magic.

That’s when Pup appears with Black at his side. You quickly pull Blue into your arms and run through the doorway with the Swapfell brothers right behind you. As soon as they’re through, they use their magic to bring down the room’s ceiling like with the last room.

You notice that the brothers also appear tired. While not as much as Blue since they have more battling experience, it’s obvious that the constant magic use has worn them out as well, judging by their sweating and heavy breathing.

Once the room is taken care of, Black turns toward you with crossed arms. “WELL? WHAT ABOUT MY SLAVE? DID THEY MAKE IT OUT ALIVE?”

You nod absently as you check over your friend who’s leaning against your chest. “Yes, they’re okay, Black. I think the elevator is at the end of this hall, so they should be safe by now. I only know of five types of Amalgamates, so there shouldn’t be anymore to fight.”

Black huffs as he peers toward the end of the hallway. “THEY BETTER BE! I DIDN’T WASTE MY TIME FOR THEM TO GO AND GET THEMSELVES KILLED AFTER THEY LEAVE MY SIGHT. I’M NOT DOING THIS AGAIN.”

His brother shoves his hands inside his jacket pockets. “i don’t sense them on this floor anymore, m’lord. they must’ve found the elevator.”

“GOOD! NOW, TAKE US BACK TO THE FLOOR WITH THE MONITORS. I WANT TO SEE WHAT UNDYNE DOES NEXT.”

Like before, Pup places a hand on his brother’s shoulder and uses his free arm to wrap around your waist. He’s surprised when you bury your face in his jacket. You probably shouldn’t invade his personal space like this since he only does stuff like this to tease you, but you can’t help it. You’re so tired after all that craziness. Besides, hugs always make you feel better.

The taller skeleton surprises you when he chuckles and gives your waist a squeeze. Before you can come up with a response, he teleports your group back to the doorway of the monitor room.

While the Swapfell brothers check out the situation, you move away from the doorway and turn your attention to the quiet skeleton in your arms. You keep your voice as low as you can to avoid being heard by Undyne. “Are you alright, Blue? You look exhausted.”

He gives you a grin that’s only about half as bright as his usual ones. “I’M ALRIGHT, Y/N. IT HAS JUST BEEN AWHILE SINCE I LAST USED SO MUCH MAGIC AT ONCE. WHILE I AM PREPARED TO BATTLE FOR THE SAKE OF THE ROYAL GUARD, THERE’S NOT REALLY A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES TO DO SO. THE ONLY TIME I USE A LOT OF MAGIC IS WHEN I TRAIN WITH ALPHYS. IT LOOKS LIKE I’LL NEED MORE TRAINING WHEN I GET HOME.”

Noticing his disappointed look, you give your friend a warm squeeze. “You did great, Blue. You protected me a bunch of times, and you helped hold back all of those Amalgamates. Your brother and Alphys would be super proud of you.”

His cheekbones turn dark blue as his grin turns bashful. “MWEH HEH HEH. YOU THINK SO? I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO MAKE THEM PROUD OF ME. THAT’S WHY I ALWAYS WORK SO HARD. PAPY ALWAYS DOES SO MUCH FOR ME, SO I WANT TO HELP HIM IN TURN BY JOINING THE ROYAL GUARD. I WANT TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT HIM LIKE HE ALWAYS PROTECTS ME.”

Your heart swells after hearing those sweet words. You hug him tightly. “He’s always proud of you, Blue. To Stretch, you’re the coolest guy on the planet. He loves you so freakin’ much. There’s nothing that you could do to change that.”

“she’s right.”

Both of you jolt in surprise at the unexpected voice. Instead of scoping out the situation with his brother, Pup is now standing beside you. You wonder if he has been listening in this whole time. Maybe he was worried about Blue too?

Noticing the twin curious gazes aimed his way, the taller skeleton continues. “if your bro is anythin’ like me, then you don’t have to worry about makin’ him proud. i’m always proud of my bro no matter what he does.”

Now, your heart’s melting. Damn. These skeletons are way too cute. You’re such a sucker for sweet sibling moments.

Blue’s expression brightens at the admission. He then studies Pup with a thoughtful expression before grinning. “THEN, IN THAT CASE, SINCE BLACK IS SIMILAR TO ME, HE MUST LOVE YOU A WHOLE LOT! HE’S JUST NOT AS GOOD AS ME AT SHOWING IT! MWEH HEH HEH!”

The skeleton in your arms proves once again how amazingly observant he is. Of course, since Pup is a version of his brother that’s incredibly similar to Stretch, it probably isn’t very hard for Blue to get a read on him. While there’s no doubt that the taller skeleton loves his brother, it’s a little harder to tell with Black sometimes. Fortunately, Blue is here to assure Pup otherwise.

Your friend’s declaration obviously catches the taller skeleton off guard considering his shocked expression. Then, his face quickly becomes contemplative. He looks, dare you say it, hopeful? Man, you really hope Chara succeeds in saving the Underground and works to repair the relationship between these brothers. These guys are breaking your heart.

Black chooses this moment to interrupt. He marches toward the three of you with a large smirk. “MY SLAVE IS BACK WHERE THEY STARTED WITH UNDYNE. THIS TIME THE AMAZING NAPSTATON IS HERE TO FIGHT THE HUMAN. WE NEED TO HURRY HOME, OR I’LL MISS THE LIVE SHOWING OF THE BATTLE!”

Of course, he’s more interested in watching his robot idol on TV than looking after Chara. Oh well, at least this is something the kid is familiar with. They should be alright from now on.

Blue appears to be excited about watching his favorite TV show. You just hope that he won’t be too disappointed when he sees that this Napstaton is not like the one from his world.

Following his brother’s orders, Pup grabs ahold of everyone before teleporting. However, instead of the brothers’ home, you reappear in a large clearing. Considering all of the snow and trees around you, you must be somewhere on the outskirts of Snowdin.

Black scowls fiercely as he glares at his brother. “MUTT! I SAID TAKE ME HOME! WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU TAKE US HERE?!”

The taller skeleton frowns as he takes in his surroundings. “i’m sorry, m’lord. the usual shortcut that leads home was blocked. the one leadin’ here was the closest one to home that i could use.”

For some reason, his words give you a bad feeling. “What do you mean blocked? It’s possible to stop you from teleporting somewhere?”

Pup continues to study the area as if he’s looking for something. “it’s never happened before, but i got a bad feelin’ about the other nearby shortcuts that i could take. like, we’d be attacked if i used them.”

His brother crosses his arms. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ATTACKED?! HOW COULD ANYONE KNOW WHERE YOU’D END UP? NO ONE CAN PREDICT YOUR TELEPORTATION ROUTES!”

When he asks to be let down, you put the skeleton in your arms back on the ground. Blue then rubs his chin thoughtfully. “MAYBE THERE’S SOMEONE ELSE WHO CAN TELEPORT LIKE PUP? THERE’S NO ONE THAT I KNOW OF THAT CAN TELEPORT LIKE MY PAPY, BUT IT’S POSSIBLE THAT I’VE JUST NEVER MET THEM.”

Before you can comment, you watch wide-eyed as Pup’s soul suddenly appears outside of his chest surrounded by blue threads. With a strained expression, he then summons a Gaster Blaster and aims it directly at you. You’re surprised when Blue picks you up and moves you both out of the way just as the Gaster Blaster fires.

Right as he lands on the ground a few yards away, several bones attacks glowing dark red fly straight toward you, forcing your friend to dodge again.

This time the attack came from Blackberry whose expression is a mixture of anger and disbelief. His soul is also now in view covered in threads. “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! WHY IS MY BODY MOVING ON ITS OWN?!”

His brothers grunts from the strain. “i don’t know, m’lord. i can’t control my body either.”

Your face pales as their words register in your mind. Those threads and their loss of control can only mean one thing.

A familiar chuckle full of white noise causes a chill to run down your spine. Your body begins to tremble as you cling tightly to Blue.

miss me, glitch?

Chapter Text

When the Swapfell brothers fire more attacks your way, Blue jumps back as far as he can. He doesn’t stop moving until there’s a good bit of distance between the two of you and the brothers.

It’s at this point that you finally see Error hovering in the air watching everything transpire with a large grin. You knew that he had to be the one to blame for all of this. You don’t know of anyone else capable of controlling others, and no one has a voice like his. You wonder if he’s the one responsible for interfering with Pup’s shortcuts. Somehow, you can’t help but feel that this was all planned.

Black scowls at the unfamiliar skeleton. “IS THIS YOUR DOING?! RELEASE ME AT ONCE, YOU BASTARD! I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO GET AWAY WITH THIS!”

His brother remains silent, but it’s clear how he feels about the situation considering the dark glare that he’s aiming at the glitchy skeleton.

Error smirks as he observes the four of you. “no can do. you’re more useful to me like this. you see, i’m here to eliminate that glitch over there. i don’t want to risk you guys interfering like the last group did. don’t worry, i’ll release you if you make yourselves useful.”

Blue gently places you back on your feet before moving into a protective stance in front of you. “WE’VE ALREADY STOPPED THE GLITCH IN THIS WORLD, ERROR! WHY ARE YOU ATTACKING Y/N? SHE’S THE ONE WHO’S BEEN HELPING STOP THE GLITCH!”

The glitchy skeleton rolls his eyes. “who cares if the human helped? it doesn’t change the fact that the human is the source of the glitch. the only way to stop the glitch from spreading is to kill that human.”

Black screeches in outrage. “WHAT?! SHE’S THE CAUSE OF IT?! YOU NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THAT, HUMAN!”

You can’t bring yourself to meet anyone’s eyes. You don’t want to see the betrayal and disappointment that’s sure to be there. “I-I’m sorry, Black. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want it to be true. Error told me all of this before, but Ink said that Error was wrong. I didn’t know who to believe. It’s true that every AU I visit gets infected, so it’s possible that Error is right. I was scared to tell anyone because I didn’t know how they’d react.”

Biting your lip, you wrap your arms around yourself protectively and feel your nails dig into your skin. “I don’t want anyone to be hurt by the glitch. If I’m really behind it, then something needs to be done. But, I don’t want to die! Even though my death may be the only way to save the other worlds, I’m scared to die!”

“I WON’T LET YOU DIE! AFTER ALL, YOU ARE NOT THE ONE CAUSING THE GLITCH!”

Your head jolts upwards as you stare at your friend with surprised, teary eyes. Blue continues to face Error but gives you a quick grin over his shoulder. “NO WAY COULD YOU BE BEHIND SOMETHING LIKE THIS, Y/N! YOU’RE THE ONE WHO’S BEEN FIGHTING THE HARDEST TO STOP THE GLITCH! ERROR IS OBVIOUSLY MISTAKEN!”

Before you can respond, Error snorts, gaining both of your attention. “so, what? you’re gonna deny the obvious just because you think the human’s nice? news flash, idiot. that’s not a good enough excuse to prove that the human’s innocent.”

Blue scowls at his floating counterpart. “IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME! BUT, IF YOU WANT MORE PROOF, FINE! HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE FACT THAT THE GLITCH WAS ALREADY IN MY WORLD BEFORE SHE EVEN ARRIVED?”

The silence is deafening as his words begin to register in everyone’s minds. Even for you, it takes a while to comprehend what your friend is talking about. Finally, you remember one of the conversations you had with Stretch back in Underswap. You eyes widen in realization.

“That’s right! Stretch said Chara had started continuously resetting even before I got there! They had just taken a break and stopped shortly before I arrived!”

Pup considers this new information. “if that’s the case, how could she be responsible for the glitch if it was already happenin’ before she even got there? that doesn’t make any sense.”

His brother narrows his eye-lights suspiciously at Error. “YES, HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT? DO YOU EVEN HAVE ANY ACTUAL PROOF THAT SHE’S CAUSING THE GLITCH, OR IS THIS ALL BASED OFF YOUR ASSUMPTIONS?”

The glitchy skeleton growls in irritation as he glares at everyone with contempt. “do you morons actually believe that it’s all a coincidence that the glitch occurs wherever that human goes? so what if the kid reset before the human arrived? that doesn’t prove that they reset because of the glitch.”

Blue wags a finger as he shakes his head. “NO, THE GLITCH DID INDEED CAUSE ALL OF THE RESETS THAT OCCURRED THAT DAY. I TALKED TO CHARA ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED NOT LONG AFTER WE RESCUED THEM. THEY SAID AFTER SO MANY RESETS THEY CHOSE TO TAKE A BREAK AND THINK OF NEW STRATEGIES WHILE REMAINING IN KING ASGORE’S HOME. AND, THAT’S NOT THE ONLY STRANGE THING THAT THEY TOLD ME! CHARA SAID THAT THE LAYOUT OF THE RUINS HAD CHANGED, SO IT TOOK THEM LONGER TO REACH THE KING’S HOUSE. THAT’S WHY THEY WERE IN THE RUINS SO LONG EVEN BEFORE THE RESETS STARTED HAPPENING. WHAT ELSE COULD CAUSE SUCH CHANGES BESIDES THIS MYSTERIOUS GLITCH?”

The whole layout of the Ruins was changed? You can’t think of anything that could cause something like that besides the glitch. If that’s the case, the glitch had definitely come to Underswap before you. Does that mean you really are not to blame for everything that’s happened so far?

Error makes the noise that’s like a mixture of the AOL dial up sound and the sound of an incoming fax. “like i’d trust anything that brat says! besides, you’d say anything to protect the glitch. i don’t care what you say. i’m not letting this glitch leave here alive!”

When you see him moves his fingers, you immediately turn your attention to the Swapfell brothers. No matter how hard they try, the brothers are unable to do anything besides watch as they launch more attacks at you and Blueberry.

A wall of bones appears before you blocking the attacks. Blue is standing strong in front of you despite the fatigue he must still be feeling from his previous battles.

Your mind races as you try to think of a plan.

What are we gonna do? We’re totally outnumbered! Not to mention, Blue has had barely any time to recover after fighting off all of those Amalgamates. Who knows how much more magic he can use before he can’t fight anymore. We have to get out of here! Where the hell is Ink when you need him? I thought dealing with Error was his responsibility!

You’re abruptly pulled from your panicked thoughts by your friend’s voice. “Y/N! I NEED YOU TO RUN FOR SHELTER WHILE I HOLD THESE GUYS BACK! IT’S DANGEROUS FOR YOU TO REMAIN HERE! AS MUCH AS I’D LIKE TO SAY THAT I’LL PROTECT YOU, I KNOW THAT I’M AT A DISADVANTAGE HERE. I NEED YOU TO BE SOMEWHERE SAFE SO I WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT YOU WHILE I’M FIGHTING.”

Wide-eyed, you stare at him in disbelief. “There’s no way I can just leave you, Blue! That’s way too dangerous! I know I won’t be much help, but I can’t just abandon you! Instead of just me, we should both run! Maybe my teleporting will kick in soon!”

Blue shakes his head. “WE CAN’T TAKE THAT CHANCE, Y/N. BOTH OF US RUNNING IS ALSO NOT AN OPTION. I NEED TO DISTRACT THEM SO YOU CAN SAFELY GET AWAY. DON’T WORRY, I WILL BE ALRIGHT. I WON’T DIE AND LEAVE YOU ALL ALONE. I PROMISE TO KEEP YOU SAFE, SO PLEASE RUN!”

Tears come to your eyes at the desperation in his voice. You don’t want to leave him, but what else can you do? You’re just a liability here! If you stay here, there’s a larger chance of him getting hurt protecting you. The only chance that Blue has to survive this is for you to get somewhere so he won’t have to worry about you.

You hear Black’s voice yelling at you after Blue blocks another of his attacks. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU IDIOT! RUN! DO YOU WANT TO DIE?!”

“m’lord is right, darlin. you need to get as far away from here as you can. that’s the only chance you have.”

Seeing Pup’s defeated expression makes your chest clench painfully. With a heavy heart, you turn and make a break for it, running as fast as you can. “You better keep your promise, Blue! Don’t you dare die!”

“OF COURSE! YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, Y/N!”

You only make it a few yards before Pup appears directly in front of you. With a yelp, you dive to the right barely avoiding his Gaster Blaster attack. He scowls in irritation. “dammit. i was hopin’ he could only control my attacks. you better run fast, darlin. things ain’t lookin’ too good for ya right now.”

Immediately after you hit the ground, you spring back to your feet and sprint in another direction away from the taller skeleton. “Ya think?!”

From above, you can hear Error’s noisy cackling. If you weren’t so busy running for your life, you’d cover your ears to block out the grating sound. Fortunately, the glitchy skeleton isn’t attacking anyone. He seems content to just sit back and watch the show.

Since only Pup appears to be attacking you, that means Blue must be dealing with Blackberry. Hopefully, he’ll be alright since he only has to deal with one opponent.

It seems Error really enjoys playing cat and mouse since for a while he just has Pup chase you around the clearing. However, you don’t think that you can last much longer. You feel your lungs burning as your chest heaves. You haven’t run this much in a very long time. Your body can’t handle much more strain. If you don’t think of something quickly, you’re toast.

Regrettably, you run out of time. One of Pup’s attacks aims for the area around your feet. The explosion it causes knocks you into the air for a brief moment before you crash hard into the ground below.

Groaning, you push yourself up but freeze halfway when you see the charging Gaster Blaster in front of you aimed straight at you. There’s nowhere to run. There’s no way you can move fast enough to dodge a blast from so close.

Pup frowns sadly. “i’m sorry, darlin. i didn’t want things to end this way.”

You think you hear Blue screaming something from the distance, but you can’t make out what he’s saying over the sound of your heartbeat pounding loudly in your ears. Your body starts to tremble in fear before you can stop it. You want to say something--anything--to Pup, but your mouth has gone completely dry. All that passes your lips is a weak whimper.

When the Gaster Blaster fires, you clench your eyes shut and cover your head with your arms in a fruitless attempt to protect yourself. You hold your breath and brace yourself for impact.

However, the pain never comes.

“NYEH HEH HEH! IT LOOKS LIKE WE CAME JUST IN TIME, SANS! OF COURSE, THAT IS TO BE EXPECTED OF THE GREAT PAPYRUS!”

“that’s right, bro. nobody has better timing than you.”

Your eyes shoot open in shock at the sound of familiar voices. You stare in wide-eyed disbelief at the skeletons before you. In front of you are Sans and Papyrus from Undertale. Seeing the wall of bones ahead of you, you figure that they must’ve summoned it to block Pup’s attack.

Sans looks over his shoulder and winks at you. “looks like we made it just in time. i know you must be having a real blast over here, but how about you let us take over?”

Papyrus frowns worriedly as he takes in your current condition. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT, Y/N? YOU’RE SO BEAT UP!”

When you look over yourself, you understand his apparent concern. There are several places all over your body covered in cuts with some still bleeding. Your new clothes are a total mess with all the tears in the fabric and the dirt covering them because of all your tumbles. Because everyone had been so worn out, you didn’t bother to ask for healing after the Amalgamates had been dealt with. You figured your injuries could be taken care of with some bandages later on. Unfortunately, Error interfered before you could get any proper first aid.

Slowly, you rise to your feet and give the taller skeleton a shaky smile. “I’m alright, Papyrus. We just ran into some trouble earlier today, and I didn’t get a chance to take care of my injuries.”

Noticing Sans’ suspicious glare aimed at Pup, you quickly intervene to defend him. “Pup didn’t do this, Sans. Please don’t be mad at him. He and his brother are being controlled by Error, who’s a counterpart of yours that is out to get me. Error blames me for the glitch and wants to kill me before more worlds can be infected.”

Papyrus gasps in shock. “WHAT?! WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO KILL YOU?! AND, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY GLITCH? WHAT IS THAT?”

His brother sighs as he turns to fully face Pup, who’s been silently studying the new arrivals. “i’ll explain later, pap. right now, we gotta do something about these other versions of us that are trying to hurt y/n.”

You don’t hear Papyrus’ response due to Blue’s excited yell drowning him out.

“PAPY!”

Immediately, you turn toward your friend’s voice. What you see makes you gape in shock. While the sight of Stretch standing protectively in front of his brother doesn’t shock you considering Blue’s reaction, seeing the Underfell brothers standing not too far away glaring at Blackberry does make your eyes widen in surprise.

It looks like all of the skeletons that you’ve met from the previous worlds are here now. Ink must’ve brought them. You can’t think of any other way to explain their sudden appearance. You wonder why the artist isn’t here. Is he too busy, or does he not want to directly intervene with this battle despite it involving his rival?

Error is still in the air, scowling at this new development. He has probably come to the same conclusion as you about how they all got here. You really hope that he doesn’t manage to gain control of the rest of your friends, or you’ll really be in trouble.

Noticing that the Underfell brothers and Stretch look ready to attack Black, you sprint toward them. “Wait! Don’t attack him! Error’s the one controlling him! Black didn’t want to attack Blue!”

The three skeletons pause at your words and then, thankfully, hold back on their attacks. With a dark scowl, Edge glares at the glitchy skeleton. “OF COURSE, HE’S THE ONE BEHIND ALL OF THIS! I’M NOT LETTING YOU RUN AWAY THIS TIME, YOU CRETEN! I WILL MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET THE PUNISHMENT YOU DESERVE FOR LAST TIME!”

Red’s eye socket flashes brightly with red magic. “by the time we’re done with ya, all that’s left will be a pile of dust.”

Stretch turns so that he can keep an eye on both Black and Error as he addresses his brother. “bro, are you alright? you look pretty worn out.”

Blue gives him a shaky grin as he pulls himself from his position on the ground. He must’ve fallen at some point during his battle with Black. “I’M ALRIGHT, PAPY! I JUST USED UP TOO MUCH MAGIC BECAUSE OF MY PREVIOUS BATTLES. MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE MUST GET Y/N TO SAFETY! ERROR IS DETERMINED TO KILL HER BECAUSE HE THINKS SHE’S THE ONE WHO CAUSED THE GLITCH! BUT, SHE DIDN’T! THERE’S NO WAY THAT IT’S HER FAULT!”

His brother nods to show his agreement. “i agree, bro. the resets started before she even showed up in our world, so there’s no way she’s to blame. how about you take her somewhere safe while the rest of us stop these guys?”

Judging by the frown on his face, it’s obvious that Blue doesn’t want to just leave and make everyone else do the fighting. However, after a few seconds, he agrees and begins to jog toward you. “ALRIGHT, PAPY! I’LL MAKE SURE THAT Y/N STAYS SAFE! BE CAREFUL AND DON’T HURT BLACK OR PUP! THEY’RE GOOD GUYS WHO HELPED US A LOT WHILE WE WERE HERE. THEY SHOULDN’T BE PUNISHED FOR BEING USED BY ERROR.”

Stretch gives his brother a thumbs up. “got it. the only one who’ll have a bad time is error.”

Red groans as his shoulders slump. “this is gonna be such a pain in the ass. it took forever to get those strings off boss last time.”

His brother summons some bone attacks with a growl. “LESS COMPLAINING AND MORE ACTION, SANS! I DON’T CARE WHO I HAVE TO DEAL WITH! I WILL HAVE THIS BASTARD’S HEAD!”

While the Underfell brothers and Stretch focus on Blackberry and Error, the Undertale siblings have their full attention on Pup. You get a warm feeling in your chest at the sight of everyone willing to work together. Maybe there’s a chance of stopping Error after all.

“HUMAN, MOVE! IT’S COMING FROM BELOW!”

Just as Black’s words begin to register in your mind, you feel yourself suddenly pushed roughly to the side, causing you to fall to the ground with a hard thump.

“sans!”

You immediately look up when you hear the pained yell. Your eyes widen in horror at the sight before you. You now know what Black was warning you about. Several bone attacks are protruding from the ground where you once stood. However, that’s not the worst of it. Instead of you, someone else was impaled.

“Blue!”

You scream his name as you quickly pull yourself to your feet. You want to help, but you fear that anything you do will just hurt him more. The bones struck him in several areas leaving him suspended in the air.

Surprisingly, Blue just smiles despite the obvious pain he must be in. “I’M GLAD THAT I MADE IT IN TIME. I KEPT MY PROMISE TO PROTECT YOU THIS TIME. I’M SORRY THAT I COULDN’T KEEP MY OTHER ONE, Y/N. I DIDN’T WANT TO PUT YOU OR PAPY THROUGH THIS. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT HE GETS HOME SAFELY. I KNOW THAT I CAN COUNT ON YOU TO LOOK OUT FOR HIM IN MY PLACE. THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FRIEND, Y/N. WHILE CHARA WAS TECHNICALLY MY FIRST HUMAN FRIEND, YOU WERE MY FIRST BEST FRIEND. I REALLY ENJOYED THE SHORT TIME THAT WE SPENT TOGETHER.”

You shake your head desperately with tears streaming down your cheeks as you helplessly reach out toward him. “Blue, no! Please don’t! You can’t!”

But, it’s too late. After his parting words, his body turns to dust which falls to the broken ground below. All that’s left of him is his blue bandana which now rests on top of the pile of grey dust.

Then, Stretch is there, staring at the remains of his brother in horror. He reaches for the bandanna and holds it close to his chest. “no, sans. this wasn’t supposed to happen. not again. not when the kid isn’t around to reset. you’re supposed to be here to keep me in line. what am i supposed to do without you, bro? i just found you after you disappeared to another universe. you can’t do this to me, sans. please!”

You can’t bear to watch the heartbroken skeleton anymore. You cover your face and try to stop the tears to no avail. He’s gone. Your best friend is gone, and it’s all your fault. If only you hadn’t come here, then Blue would still be alive. No one would’ve had to suffer. Why did this have to happen? Why did Blue die when you were the one that deserved it?

“now, look what you did, glitch. i was planning on using my new puppet to finish you off, but because your little friend interfered, he’s dust now. if you had just accepted your fate from the beginning, none of this would have happened.”

Before you can yell at the glitchy skeleton, you feel yourself picked up bridal style and placed in another skeleton’s arms. When you uncover your face, you see that Papyrus is now holding you to his chest while a frowning Sans is facing the two of you. He must’ve been the one to originally grab you.

“pap, you need to get her out of here. that error guy is gonna keep going after her unless we get her somewhere that he can’t reach. i’m counting on you to keep her safe. you can do that, right, bro?”

Papyrus puffs up his chest. “OF COURSE! I’LL MAKE SURE THAT Y/N STAYS COMPLETELY SAFE! I WILL NOT ALLOW HER TO COME TO ANY MORE HARM! BUT, WILL YOU BE ALRIGHT ON YOUR OWN, SANS?”

“he’s not on his own.”

The three of you turn toward Stretch, who’s no longer hunched over his brother’s dust. Instead, his right eye is strobing bright orange as he glares at Error. “i’m not gonna let this bastard get away with what he did to my brother.”

Edge marches forward and comes to a stop beside Stretch. “IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE A COMMON GOAL. I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS CRETEN TO DO AS HE PLEASES ANY LONGER!”

Red hangs back in order to keep a close eye on Blackberry. It looks like he plans to handle Black while his brother goes after Error. Sans has moved to face Pup, who’s wearing an indecipherable expression.

Black scowls, obviously displeased. Besides the expected anger, you also notice a hint of guilt in his expression. Does he blame himself for Blue’s death? “JUST HURRY UP AND GET THIS OVER WITH! AND, DON’T KILL THAT BASTARD BEFORE I CAN GET MY HANDS ON HIM!”

Pup stares at Sans for a few minutes before sighing wearily. “i don’t care if ya hurt me. just help my brother.”

Error cackles as he takes in the situation. “do you idiots really think you can beat me? you don’t stand a chance. you should’ve just stayed in your own worlds. all you’re gonna get here is pain.”

While the glitchy skeleton appears distracted, Papyrus decides to take advantage of this opportunity and runs for the nearby treeline. Thankfully, the two of you make it into the forest before Error notices your escape. All you can hear is Error’s enraged scream as you journey further into the forest.

You try to hide your face against the tall skeleton’s chest and cling to the fabric of his clothes with your trembling hands. Every few seconds, you absently rub your eyes as you try to control your sniffles. There’s no time to cry. You need to be strong for Papyrus. You can cry for Blue later once everyone is safe.

With a considerable amount of effort, you bundle up all of the emotions you’re feeling right now and push them into the farthest corner of your mind. Slowly but surely, you feel yourself start to calm down. The emotions are still there, but now, it’s like they’re behind a closed door ready to overwhelm you again once you remove the lock.

“I KNOW THAT ASKING IF YOU’RE ALRIGHT IS A FOOLISH QUESTION CONSIDERING RECENT EVENTS. HOWEVER, I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD STILL ASK YOU HOW YOU’RE DOING. YOU ARE COVERED IN SEVERAL WOUNDS. ARE YOU IN A LOT OF PAIN?”

You wrap your arms around his neck and hug him tightly. “I’m alright, Pap. I got these from another battle before Error showed up. The other guys were exhausted, so I didn’t want them to use any more magic on my account. None of the injuries are major. They just sting.”

Papyrus frowns as he gives you a gentle squeeze. His right eye flares with green magic as he holds one of his hands above your body. You watch in awe as your injuries slowly start to heal and disappear one by one. Within seconds, you look good as new.

With a grin, you give the skeleton another hug. “Thank you, Papyrus. You’re the coolest.”

He grins bashfully as his cheekbones flush orange. “NYEH HEH HEH! OF COURSE! YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON THE GREAT PAPYRUS! I’LL KEEP YOU SAFE, Y/N!”

You didn’t know it was possible for words to heal and hurt you simultaneously. While you’re grateful for his kindness, his words remind you too much of Blueberry and the way he’d always proclaim that he’d protect you despite the odds being against him.

Using all of your remaining willpower, you push back against the rattling door in your mind, making sure that none of your emotions escape. After you take a deep breath and release it, you feel yourself begin to slowly calm down.

When you look back up at Papyrus, you see him watching you with a worried expression. You gently pat him on the chest. “I’m okay, Pap. What you said just reminded me of Blue. He’s the one who-”

Died because of me. Died because I was too weak.

You swallow the sudden lump in your throat. “The one wearing the blue bandana.”

No matter how hard you try, you just can’t say those words. Some part of you is still in denial. He can’t be gone. He just can’t! This has to be some awful nightmare that you’re unable to wake up from. You need to wake up; you don’t think you can take much more of this.

Papyrus stares at you sadly as he hugs you closer to his chest. “I’M VERY SORRY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED, Y/N. IF ONLY I HAD BEEN FASTER, I COULD’VE PROTECTED YOU BOTH. I ADMIT THAT IT WAS QUITE PAINFUL TO WATCH SOMEONE WITH MY BROTHER’S FACE PERISH IN SUCH A WAY.”

You hug him tightly. “And, I’m sorry that you had to see something like that, Papyrus. It wasn’t your fault. It’s mine. It only happened because Blue was protecting me. If only I hadn’t come here, if they hadn’t met me, then no one would’ve had to suffer. Error is only here because of me. It’s all my fault.”

“YOU’RE WRONG!”

His forceful shout makes you jolt in surprise. You stare at the tall skeleton with wide eyes as he frowns at you. “IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! WHILE I NEVER GOT THE CHANCE TO KNOW HIM, I KNOW THAT BLUE WOULD NOT WANT YOU TO FEEL THIS WAY! HE DIED VALIANTLY PROTECTING YOU. HE DID THAT BECAUSE YOU WERE IMPORTANT TO HIM. HE DIDN’T LOOK LIKE HE REGRETTED HIS ACTIONS AT ALL! THAT’S HOW MUCH HE CARED ABOUT YOU! PLEASE DON’T SAY YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE MET US! I KNOW MY BROTHER AND EVERYONE ELSE YOU BEFRIENDED WOULD BE EXTREMELY SAD TO HEAR THAT! I KNOW I AM!”

You feel your eyes grow warm with unshed tears as you cling tightly to the skeleton. “I’m sorry, Pap. You’re right. I shouldn’t say things like that. I’m really glad I met all of you. I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent with you and your brother along with everyone else so much. I just hate that things are turning out like this. I never wanted to see my friends get hurt.”

He rubs your back in a soothing manner. “I KNOW, Y/N. THAT’S BECAUSE YOU ARE VERY KIND. I HATE THAT SUCH A KIND GIRL HAS TO GO THROUGH SUCH TRIALS. I WISH THAT I COULD DO SOMETHING TO STOP ALL OF THIS AND BRING YOU BACK HOME SAFE AND SOUND. I WISH I COULD DO MORE FOR YOU BESIDES JUST TAKING YOU TO SAFETY.”

After a few minutes, you manage to rein in your emotions and calm down. You are honestly not looking forward to the emotional backlash once this is all over. “You’re doing plenty just by being here, Papyrus. I don’t know what I’d do if I was by myself. I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for being here with me.”

“OF COURSE! AS SOON AS THAT OTHER SANS SAID YOU WERE IN TROUBLE, I DIDN’T HESITATE TO COME! THERE WAS NO WAY I COULD STAY STILL AFTER HEARING THAT YOU WERE IN DANGER!”

So, Ink really was the one who brought them here. You figured as much. You just wish that he had come along as well. He’s better suited for dealing with Error. Maybe if he had come Blue would still be alive.

You shake your head to dispel those thoughts. No, blaming Ink for what happened won’t solve anything. There’s no way to know what would’ve changed if he had come. There’s no guarantee that he’d be able to stop Error in time to save Blue. Besides, it’s not fair to blame Ink when you don’t even know his own circumstances. He might be caught up in some trouble of his own right now. Hopefully, he’ll come here as soon as he can.

Silence surrounds the two of you as Papyrus continues to run through the forest. He hasn’t stopped once not even when he used his healing magic on you. You hope that you’ve made it far enough that Error can’t catch up.

You are caught off guard when the tall skeleton suddenly trips, causing you to fly out of his arms and hit the ground hard. You roll for a couple of seconds before your body finally comes to a stop a few feet away from Papyrus.

With a groan, you push yourself up on your forearms so you can check on the skeleton. The two of you are in similar positions, both being more interested in making sure that the other is alright.

Once he sees that you’re okay, Papyrus slowly moves to stand and then studies the ground. “HOW STRANGE. IT SEEMS I TRIPPED OVER WHAT APPEARS TO BE SEVERAL BLUE STRINGS.”

Your heart skips a beat as your face pales. Quickly, you rise to your feet and move toward him. “Pap! We need to run! Now!”

But, it’s too late. Several bone attacks erupt from the ground encircling your startled friend. You immediately turn when you hear a familiar, crackly chuckle.

“you didn’t really think that you’d be able to get away, did you, glitch?”

Error summons his strings to capture you, but they’re knocked away by some bone attacks. Before you can even blink, you’re pulled back by a strong arm and are soon facing a familiar back.

When you look behind you, you notice a giant hole in the bone cage. Papyrus must have broken through to come to your rescue. You can’t help but stare at him in awe.

While you’ve never considered the tall skeleton weak, you can’t help but feel incredibly impressed with the way he handled Error’s cage. Sans was right about his brother being the coolest. Papyrus is definitely someone you should never underestimate.

Error scowls, showing his displeasure at being interrupted. “you just had to interrupt. i would’ve just left you there if you stayed out of my way. now, i gotta waste my time getting rid of you when i should be finishing off the glitch. you’re all such annoying pests.”

His arrival makes you worry about the safety of the other skeletons. Where are they? Are they alright? Are they still dealing with Blackberry and Pup? You hope that no one else has been hurt. The thought makes your chest clench painfully.

Papyrus summons several bone attacks and grabs one of them with his right hand. “WHILE I DO NOT HAVE A FULL UNDERSTANDING OF THIS SITUATION, I DO KNOW THAT THERE’S NO JUSTIFIABLE REASON FOR YOU TO HARM Y/N! I WILL NOT LET YOU HURT HER ANYMORE!”

Not wanting to get in your friend’s way, you quickly move to hide behind one of the nearby trees. You watch with bated breath as the two skeletons trade blows. At first, Error only uses his bone attacks, but when that doesn’t prove to be enough to deter Papyrus, the glitchy skeleton brings out a Gaster Blaster to fire at his opponent.

You feel that you need to warn your friend about how dangerous the other skeleton is. While you know that Papyrus is smart enough not to underestimate his opponents, you need to make sure that he’s fully aware of Error’s strength. “Papyrus! Please be careful! While Error is another Sans, his powers are a whole lot stronger! He’s extremely dangerous!”

Error smirks at you before summoning another Gaster Blaster as if to prove your point. The taller skeleton uses his bone attacks to make a shield and quickly jumps out of the way before it crumbles. Despite this, your friend doesn’t give up as he continues to send attacks toward his opponent.

You’re so focused on the fight that you don’t notice the strings coming up from behind you until it’s too late. You struggle in vain as the strings wrap around your body, forcing your arms to remain at your sides. Before you can scream, several strings cover your mouth, preventing you from making a sound.

Unaware of your predicament, Papyrus comes to a stop a few yards in front of you. Error deflects the bones aimed his way before firing his Gaster Blasters at his opponent.

When you see the large smirk on the glitchy skeleton’s face, you realize what he’s planning. He doesn’t care if Papyrus dodges his attacks. They’re not aimed for the taller skeleton anyway. When your friend moves, the blasts will continue forward and hit you head on. That’s why he tied you up, so you couldn’t run away. Has he been planning this from the start?

You try to scream, but it’s no use. The strings block any noise that you try to make. All you can do is sit back and watch the upcoming events transpire.

However, you quickly realize that there’s something Error forgot to take into account when making this plan.

He forgot what kind of person Papyrus is. The taller skeleton promised his brother that he’d protect you and get you to safety. Papyrus always keeps his promises. No one can stop him from fulfilling his responsibilities.

Your eyes widen when the taller skeleton looks at you from over his shoulder with a grin before turning to face his opponent. Magic flaring, he summons as many bone attacks as he can to make a shield in between himself and the blasts. He’s not gonna let those blasts hit you no matter what it takes.

You want to yell for him to run, but you know your efforts are pointless. Even if you could speak, there’s no way that your friend would abandon you. Why does this keep happening to you? Why must your friends be constantly put in harm’s way on your account? Why are you so helpless?

An explosion occurs when the blasts hit the bone shield. You close your eyes to protect them from the flying debris. After a few seconds, you slowly open your eyes and take in your smoky surroundings.

Through the smoke, you see a familiar tall figure which makes your shoulders sag with relief. He’s alive! Thank goodness! The shield must have been strong enough to hold off the blasts.

When the smoke finally clears, your relief is quickly replaced with horror once you notice the large hole in the bone shield. Moving your gaze from the broken shield back to your friend, you see that there’s a gaping hole through his chest which makes your heart freeze in terror.

Papyrus falls to one knee using one of his hands to prop himself up. He then turns to look at you with a smile. “I’M GLAD THAT I WAS ABLE TO STOP THE BLAST. I WAS ABLE TO PROPERLY PROTECT YOU. I JUST HATE THAT YOU HAD TO WITNESS SOMETHING LIKE THIS AGAIN, ESPECIALLY SO SOON. I’M SORRY, Y/N.”

For whatever reason, the gag around your mouth pulls away allowing you to speak. “No, Papyrus! Please don’t do this! You have to hurry and heal yourself! You still have time! Please don’t die! You can’t! What about Sans?! You can’t leave him on his own! Only you can look after him! Please, Papyrus! Don’t leave me! I can’t lose you too!”

His smile turns into a sad frown. “I’M SORRY, Y/N, BUT I BELIEVE THAT IT’S TOO LATE FOR ME. PLEASE APOLOGIZE TO SANS FOR ME. I NEVER MEANT TO LEAVE HIM LIKE THIS. I KNOW HOW MUCH THIS WILL HURT HIM. I NEVER WANTED TO CAUSE HIM SUCH PAIN, AND I DIDN’T WANT TO HURT YOU EITHER. IF ONLY I WAS STRONGER. I FEEL BAD ASKING YOU THIS CONSIDERING THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH YOU LAST HEARD THESE WORDS, BUT PLEASE LOOK AFTER SANS FOR ME AND MAKE SURE THAT HE GETS HOME SAFELY.”

A painful howl tears through your throat as you witness Papyrus turn to dust just like Blue. All that remains now of your dear friend is his red scarf.

For a while, you just stare numbly at his remains not even able to cry because of the shock. You can’t believe that he’s gone. You can’t believe that you lost another friend just like that.

“what an idiot. all he had to do was move, and he would’ve been fine. i can’t believe that he protected you at the cost of his own life. what the hell is wrong with these guys?”

The numbness swiftly turns into fury as those words register in your mind. You glare heatedly at the glitchy skeleton as you thrash your body around in a weak attempt to break free. “You bastard! How could you?! You know what kind of person Papyrus is! Of course, he wouldn’t save himself at the expense of someone else! He’s too kind for that! He’s no idiot! He’s one of the bravest guys that I’ve ever met, and you have no right to talk about him like that!”

He narrows his eyes at you as he makes the strings constrict painfully around you, but you pay them no mind. “I can’t believe that you’d do something like this! Because of you, Blue and Papyrus are dead! My friends are dead, and their brothers are left to suffer alone! How can you be so calm about this?! It’s all your fault!”

In a flash, Error appears right in front of you, glaring with as much hate as you are. “don’t forget your place, glitch. i may have dusted them, but that only happened because they were protecting you. if you had just quietly accepted your fate, none of this would’ve happened. it’s because you kept trying to run away and protect yourself. it’s your fault that they’re dead not mine.”

Angry tears spring to your eyes, but before you can open your mouth to respond, you hear familiar voices coming your way. Within seconds, Sans and Stretch appear along with the Underfell and Swapfell brothers. Unfortunately, judging by their strained expressions, it seems Black and Pup are still under Error’s control.

“papyrus?”

Your gaze immediately zeroes in on Sans who’s staring at the remains of his brother in horror. He shakes his head as if denying what he’s seeing as he approaches the pile of dust and picks up the red scarf. Instead of breaking down like Stretch, Sans just stares blankly at the scarf with empty eye sockets.

Stretch clenches his fists in anger before looking away to focus on you and Error. Scowling, Edge does the same, but Red continues to watch his anguished counterpart with a myriad of emotions flashing across his face. Pup’s expression is blank while Black stares wide-eyed at the pile of dust.

It makes sense that the Sanses would be the most upset to see the death of a Papyrus. You briefly wonder what the Papyri besides Stretch looked like when Blue died. You were too focused on him to pay attention to your surroundings then. Were they as upset as their brothers are now?

You want to say something to Sans, but what? What could you possibly say to comfort him? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Nothing matters more to Sans than his brother, and because of you, Papyrus is dead. You don’t think that you’ll ever be able to face Sans or Stretch again after all the pain that you’ve caused them.

Error scowls at the new arrivals. “great. more pests. guess i can’t just leave the swapfell guys to handle this anymore.”

You watch in shock as Sans, Stretch, and the Underfell brothers suddenly freeze in place before getting pulled into the air. Regrettably, everyone notices the strings too late. Error must have had his strings laid out around the area just in case something like this happened.

All of the bound skeletons struggle futilely as they attempt to break their bindings. They try to summon their attacks, but the strings prevent them from doing so once they wrap around the skeletons’ souls.

Red snarls as his magic flares. “you bastard! you won’t get away with this!”

Edge continues to thrash about. “I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD FOR THIS! DON’T THINK THAT YOU’LL KEEP ME TIED UP FOR LONG!”

Stretch grits his teeth as he tries to move against the strings. “so, what? you’re gonna kill us all now? or, are you planning on making us watch you kill y/n?”

Pup remains silent while Black screeches in anger. “I WILL HAVE MY VENGEANCE! I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO GET AWAY WITH THIS, INSOLENT WORM!”

Error snickers at the other skeletons’ plight. “relax. i have no interest in killing any of you right now. my main objective is eliminating the glitch. just sit back and watch the show.”

Sans has remained eerily quiet since he saw the remains of his brother. He didn’t even put up much of a fight when the strings captured him. Now, he just dangles in the air without changing his expression or making a sound.

Unfortunately, you don’t have time to worry about Sans since Error has now moved his focus on you. Terrified, you watch as he sends his strings straight for your soul. Knowing what’s about to happen, you struggle to no avail. Within seconds, the strings are entering your chest and wrapping around your soul.

It happens so fast that you don’t even have time to brace yourself. You scream in agony as the glitchy skeleton pulls your soul out of your chest just like he did in Underfell.

Over the roar of your blood pumping in your ears, you can just barely make out the angry and worried voices of your friends.

“WHAT’S GOING ON?! WHAT THE HELL DID THAT WORM JUST DO TO HER?!”

“he just pulled out her soul, m’lord, but i’ve never seen it done like that before. it’s not supposed to be painful like that.”

“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING, YOU CRETEN! YOUR FIGHT IS WITH ME NOT THE HUMAN! COME AND FACE ME, YOU COWARD!”

“y/n! come on, dollface, you gotta answer me! please say somethin’!”

“hang in there, hun! you gotta hold on!”

“kid?”

Hearing your worried friends calling out to you gives you the strength to push through the pain and hold on. The fact that even Sans, who was nearly catatonic mere moments ago, is now worried about you warms your heart.

Your chest feels like it’s on fire, but you fight past the pain and give your friends a shaky smile. “I-I’m alright, guys. It’s okay.”

Unfortunately, instead of easing their worries, the captured skeletons’ expressions only grow more upset.

Edge scowls at you. “DO YOU TAKE ME FOR A FOOL?! THERE’S NO WAY THAT YOU’RE ALRIGHT! YOU LOOK AWFUL! YOU’RE A HORRIBLE LIAR, HUMAN!”

His brother frowns worriedly. “boss is right, doll. you’re not lookin’ too hot right now.”

Stretch glares at Error. “what the hell did you do that for? there was no reason to hurt her while taking out her soul. are you wanting to torture her?”

The glitchy skeleton shrugs his shoulders. “who cares what method i use? all that matters is that the soul is out now.”

He grins broadly as he stares at your black soul. “while your soul is freaky as hell, at least it’s not one of those pesky red souls. i won’t have to worry about killing you multiple times until you lose your determination to live. you only have to die once, and you’re done. no resets for you, glitch.”

You’re dimly aware of your friends yelling at Error, but you can’t hear them over the words he just said that are continuously replaying in your mind.

A red soul. He’s talking about Frisk and Chara who have the power to reset because of their high determination. They’re unable to die because of the power of resets. If anything bad happens that the kids want to undo, they can do that instantly with a reset. They have complete control.

Your eyes widen in realization. That’s it! What you need is a reset! If a reset occurs, everything will be undone like the capture of you and your friends. More importantly, Blue and Papyrus could be brought back to life! It hasn’t been that long since they both died, so the reset would only need to go back an hour or two in order to save them both.

But, the Chara of this world is nowhere near here, and everyone is tied up. There’s no way someone could go get the kid and ask them to reset.

Not willing to give up, you continue to think over possible solutions. If Chara can’t help, what about you? Could you cause a reset? You obviously don’t have the power to do manual resets, but what if your soul was destroyed? Would that really be the end like Error says, or would time reset? Determination is what gives the kids the power to reset, and right now, you have that in spades. Just the thought of bringing Blue and Papyrus back to life fills you with determination.

Your eyes narrow as your resolve strengthens. You will bring them back no matter what it takes.

“I’ll do it. I’ll reset.”

All of the shouting comes to a complete halt at your words. Silence ensues as every skeleton there stares at you with wide eye-lights.

“what?”

You glare at Error, making sure to show him just how determined you are. “I said I’m gonna reset. I may not have a red soul, but I have plenty of determination. If that’s what it takes to bring Blue and Papyrus back, I’ll reset no matter what it takes.”

He stares at you in shock, obviously caught off guard. Then, the glitchy skeleton suddenly starts cackling loudly. “i can’t believe that you’re actually serious. are you that stupid? just because you say that you’ll do it doesn’t mean it’ll actually happen. only the brats with red souls can reset. only one person per world can reset, and this world already has someone. your soul is nowhere near as strong as this world’s brat. no matter how hard you try, it won’t work.”

When all you do is continue to glare at him, Error stares at you contemplatively before a wicked grin forms on his face. “you know what? fine. let’s see you try it. i’ll even help you out.”

Before you can question him, the glitchy skeleton summons more strings and uses them to slash at your soul. You shriek in pain as damage is directly inflicted on your soul.

You think you hear your friends shouting at you, but you’re too busy trying not to pass out to focus on them. You thought what Error did in Underfell was bad. That pain was nothing compared to what you’re experiencing now. You’re surprised that you’re still alive after suffering such a harsh blow. Your whole body feels like it’s on fire. There’s no part of you that’s not in agony now.

“don’t be such a baby. you still have one hp left.”

You lift your head to give him a weak glare. You want to yell at him, but you don’t have enough energy to do so. You feel so weak like you’ve been drained of all your vitality. You can’t believe that having one HP is normal for some of these skeletons. You hope that they don’t actually feel like this on a daily basis.

Ignoring your friends’ yells, Error continues to grin at you in amusement. “what? you said you wanted to reset, right? i was just trying to help. now, your hp is low enough that even an attack from someone as weak as you should be enough to deal the finishing blow.”

You stare at him with eyes wide in disbelief. He wants you to destroy your own soul?

The glitchy skeleton snickers at your expression. “if you really are that determined, breaking your soul shouldn’t be that big of a deal, right? didn’t you say you’d do whatever it takes to bring your friends back?”

You narrow your eyes at him. If that’s the game he wants to play, then fine. You weren’t kidding when you said that you’d bring them back no matter what. You’ll prove just how determined you really are. “Fine. I’ll do it.”

“kid, you can’t be serious. this is crazy. my bro wouldn’t want this.”

Turning toward Sans, your eyes soften when they take in his haggard appearance. “I know, Sans, but I can’t just sit back and do nothing. If it really is possible for me to reset, I want to try it. Error is going to kill me no matter what we do, so I might as well make it on my own terms. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to bring your brother back.”

His shoulders slump in defeat as he stares at you helplessly. Stretch is giving you a similar look. “honey, my bro would never forgive me if i let you do this. it’s too risky. there’s no proof that you’re capable of doing resets. your soul doesn’t have that kind of power.”

You give him a reassuring smile. “Blue would understand. He wouldn’t blame you for something that you can’t control. Besides, there’s no proof that I can’t reset either. If there’s even the slightest chance that I can, then I will. I want to save Blue more than anything.”

The other four skeletons remain silent since they understand that there’s no way to talk you out of this. Judging by their expressions, it’s obvious how much they dislike this plan.

Giving them your best smile, you nod at them before turning toward Error, your face hard with resolve. Instead of speaking, he simply moves his fingers which causes the strings to pull away enough so that one of your arms becomes free while the rest of your body stays restrained.

Understanding what he wants you to do, you clench your free hand tightly. Your eyes zero in on your poor tattered soul. Error really did a number on it. Your soul is covered in lacerations from top to bottom. It’s a miracle that it’s still in one piece.

Taking a deep breath, you gather up your courage and determination as you pull your fist back. All of your friends start to shout, but you ignore them as you shoot your fist forward with as much force as possible.

When your fist makes impact, your soul quickly shatters, filling your body with an unbearable amount of agony. The screaming in the background increases tenfold as you immediately lose consciousness.

Please work! Save my friends! I don’t care what happens to me! Just please save them! Please!

Reset!

Chapter Text

Just like when you teleport, your vision slowly returns after you temporarily lose consciousness. Once you realize that you’re still alive, your eyes immediately shoot open in your desperate need to see if your plan had worked.

“papyrus!”

“SANS? WHAT JUST HAPPENED? THE LAST THING I REMEMBER IS MY BATTLE IN THE FOREST. HOW DID I GET BACK TO THE CLEARING? HOW AM I STILL ALIVE?”

It takes a few seconds for your blurry vision to clear. When it does, your whole body slumps in relief. Standing a few yards away from you are both Undertale brothers. Sans is hugging Papyrus with all of his might. There’s a slight trembling throughout his body proving just how relieved he is to see his little brother alive.

In front of the brothers is the bone shield they used to protect you from Pup’s attack when they first arrived. Behind the shield, Pup is watching the proceedings with wide eye-lights no doubt shocked that your plan had actually worked.

Looking over yourself, you see that you’re now standing in the clearing where Error first attacked your group. It looks like you went back to the time shortly after everyone arrived to help. Your legs begin to shake which quickly results in you falling to your knees in relief.

“sans!”

“PAPY!”

You whip your head in the direction of the voices and have to bite back a sob at the sight. Blueberry is also alive and being hugged tightly by his older brother. Stretch is clinging to his brother like he’s a drowning man and Blue is the only thing that can keep him afloat.

Blue cries as he embraces his brother. “I’M SORRY, PAPY! I’M SO SORRY! I NEVER WANTED TO PUT YOU THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE THAT AGAIN! I’M SORRY THAT I WASN’T STRONG ENOUGH!”

Stretch just pulls his brother closer as he shakes his head. “you don’t have to apologize for anything, sans. not a damn thing. you’re plenty strong, bro. the strongest guy i know. i was super proud of you for what you did. you protected y/n like a real hero. you’ve always been my hero, so i guess i shouldn’t have been surprised that you died like one.”

“PAPY!”

Not too far away, you see the Underfell brothers politely ignoring the spectacle to focus their attention on Blackberry who appears to still be under Error’s control judging by his aggravated scowl.

However, it’s not just anger you see in his expression. In the gaze Black levels at you, you see surprise and respect? You’re probably mistaken, but the way he’s staring at you feels a whole lot different from how he’s looked at you in the past.

From your chest, you feel a sharp pulse of pain that soon courses throughout your whole body. When you examine yourself, you notice that all of the wounds that Papyrus had previously healed are back, but they’re not to blame for this intense agony. No, whatever is causing this torment has to be related to your soul. That’s the only reasonable explanation for why your chest feels like it’s on fire since you never sustained any injuries there before this point in time.

You feel your breath stutter as you try to inhale. For some reason, you’re having a hard time catching your breath. There’s an intense pressure on your chest that’s making it difficult for you to breathe. No matter how hard you try, even attempting small breaths, nothing seems to alleviate the pressure.

At this point, you’re facing the ground with your wobbly arms the only things keeping you from face-planting, but you don’t think that they’ll last for much longer. You feel so weak like you’ve been completely drained of all your energy.

This is like when Error cut down my HP to one but even worse. What is wrong with me? Resets are supposed to undo damage, so why am I in so much pain?

“Y/N! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?! YOUR INJURIES ARE BACK! ARE THEY HURTING YOU?!”

A set of hands grab onto each of your arms which helps you brace yourself. When you look up from the ground, your eyes meet the worried eye sockets of Sans and Papyrus who are kneeling down beside you.

Seeing the taller skeleton up close makes you want to cry as you remember Papyrus sacrificing himself to protect you back in the forest. You feel that mental door holding back your emotions begin to rattle.

You take a shaky breath as you try to smile at them. “E-Everything hurts, and I-I don’t know why. I-I don’t think it’s ‘cause of these injuries, though.”

Sans frowns worriedly while his brother starts using his healing magic on you. “what do you mean? what else could it be? you just reset, kid. you shouldn’t still be suffering from what error did to you.

“Y/N!”

Suddenly, Blue is there squeezed in between the Undertale brothers staring at you with big, worried eye-lights. “YOU LOOK SO PALE! I DON’T REMEMBER YOU LOOKING THIS BAD THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU! WHAT HAPPENED?!”

That door in the back of your mind shakes so hard you feel that it’s just barely attached to its hinges now. You feel all of those pent up emotions try to break out as you take in the form of your dear friend. The last time you saw him he had been impaled by Black’s bone attacks before turning to dust.

But, now he's alive! Looking completely exhausted and worn out from all of the constant battling but definitely alive.

Blue frowns in concern as he leans further towards you. “Y/N?”

Papyrus also moves closer in worry because you haven’t responded in a while. “Y/N? ARE YOU ALRIGHT?”

That’s it. Seeing both of your previously dead friends now staring at you with worry is just too much for your heart to handle. No matter how hard you try to hold back, you fail.

The lock cracks, and that mental door slams wide open releasing the tidal wave of emotions you had tried to contain to no avail. It crashes into you and completely overwhelms you. All you can do now is hope that you don’t drown.

A sob escapes your lips as you move to embrace both Blue and Papyrus with your shaking arms. The little sob soon morphs into a full out wail as you start to bawl your eyes out. Even though you know this isn’t the time or place for it, the tears just won’t stop no matter how hard you try.

This is definitely not helping with your breathing problem. Now, you’re barely able to pull any oxygen into your lungs. Every time you exhale, it comes out as a wheeze.

Tears cloud your vision making it impossible to make out anything around you. The only reason you know Blue and Papyrus are still in front of you is because of your iron tight grip on them.

A blur of blue makes you believe it’s Blue who’s pulling you close and wrapping his arms around you. Yes, this small statured figure has to be him since you’re way shorter than Papyrus.

For some reason, Blue is trembling as he holds onto you, and when he speaks, it sounds like he’s close to tears himself. “I’M SO SORRY, Y/N! PLEASE DON’T CRY! I NEVER MEANT TO CAUSE YOU SO MUCH PAIN! SEEING YOU IN TEARS HURTS MORE THAN ANY PAIN THAT I’VE EVER FELT FROM BATTLE!”

The desperate tone in his voice hurts your heart. You hate that you’re causing him to feel this way. You know your crying is helping no one. It’s just making them feel bad. You want to stop; you really do. However, the tears just keep coming.

It must be Papyrus who hugs you next considering you can see what looks like his scarf a few inches from your face. “THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CRYING. CONSIDERING WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH, I THINK YOU DESERVE A GOOD CRY. HOWEVER, YOU APPEAR TO BE HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME BREATHING RIGHT NOW, Y/N. YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN, OR YOU MIGHT PASS OUT FROM LACK OF OXYGEN. PLEASE, Y/N, TRY TO CALM YOUR BREATHING.”

You try to comply, not wanting to worry your friends anymore, but your breathing keeps hitching with every breath you take. You’re trying--you really are--,but something is obviously wrong. Even taking small breaths doesn’t seem to help, and these damn tears just keep coming. You wish your brain would hurry and bring up the floodgates already.

Then, there’s a hand on your back rubbing it soothingly back and forth along with a warm voice as smooth as honey right in your ear. “it’s alright, honey. you’re doing fine. just keep breathing, okay? everything will calm down eventually. just keep at it.”

Another hand tangles in your hair, lightly scratching your scalp. Like the hand on your back, it’s moving in a calming motion. “that’s right, kid. don’t give up now. just keep taking small breaths. you’ll be alright.”

Stretch and Sans.

You must really look like a wreck if you’ve gotten those two worried. You’re grateful for the support, especially considering what all you put them through these last few hours. Slowly but surely, you feel your body begin to relax under their ministrations.

Finally, the tidal wave subsides, and you no longer feel like you’re drowning in your emotions. For the next few minutes, you just focus on your breathing which starts to calm down as your tears gradually begin to wane. It still feels like you’re trying to inhale through a straw, but it’s better than how you were when you were crying. If that kept up, you probably would’ve passed out like Papyrus said.

With a sigh that comes out as a hiccup, you slowly pull back and release your vice-like grip on the two skeletons before you. Sniffling, you raise a hand to rub at your eyes, so you can clear your vision.

When you look up, you see the four skeletons, who had been comforting you, watching you with worried eye-lights. Stretch is at your left side with his hand still resting against your back while Sans, who’s to your right, has moved his hand from your head to rest right on the back of your neck.

Directly in front of you are Blue and Papyrus who are staring at you with such heartbreaking expressions that you feel like crying all over again. With tremendous effort, you manage to pull the corners of your lips upward into a wobbly smile. “I-I’m sorry for freaking out like that. I’m alright now. Thank you for helping me, guys.”

None of them appear the least bit convinced, especially since you’re obviously still having breathing problems. Unfortunately, even after calming down, you’re still not having any luck fixing that issue.

It’s Red who speaks what everyone else is thinking when he appears right behind Blue and Papyrus. He studies you closely with narrowed eye-lights. “no offense, doll, but i’m callin’ bullshit. there’s no way you’re okay when you look like you can barely breathe. obviously, something’s wrong.”

Before you can respond, Black’s yell interrupts. “I’LL TELL YOU WHAT’S WRONG! WHY DON’T YOU IMBECILES CHECK HER STATS?! THAT’LL ANSWER YOUR QUESTION!”

Everyone freezes at the suggestion before turning their gazes on you. Within seconds, Red’s and Sans’ eye sockets go dark while Stretch starts cursing. Blue glomps you and takes turns between crying and apologizing to you.

Papyrus frowns worriedly as tears prick his eye sockets. “I DON’T UNDERSTAND! I JUST USED MY HEALING MAGIC ON HER AND TOOK CARE OF ALL HER INJURIES! WHY IS HER HP BELOW ONE?! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN RESTORED AFTER THE HEALING!”

Your face pales as you cling to the crying skeleton. Below one? As in you actually have less than one HP out of twenty? You don’t even have a full HP right now? How is that even possible?!

When you look around, you see Pup still standing in the same position he was in when the reset occurred. He’s wearing a contemplative frown. “resets are supposed to undo damage, but it’s not like this was a normal reset. maybe this is the backlash from using a power that should only belong to the kid.”

Stretch removes his hand from your back and uses it to rub his forehead. “so, the price of the reset was her health not just her determination? but, that still doesn’t explain why healing magic won’t work on her. why does it heal the physical injuries but not her hp?”

Sans also pulls his hand away and places it in his hoodie pocket. “it’s gotta be because of her abnormal soul. there’s so much we don’t know about it since we’ve never seen anything like it before. maybe healing magic has no effect on it, so any direct damage dealt to her soul is incapable of being fixed.”

Red kicks the ground as he curses loudly. “so, what? she’s permanently stuck like this? there’s no way she can survive with her hp so low! just look at her! she looks like she’ll pass out at any minute!”

A frown forms on your face as you ponder their words. Something about what they said seems off to you for some reason. Are you really incapable of being healed? After all, didn’t something similar to this happen when Error attacked you in Underfell? You were in a lot of pain after that, but you didn’t stay that way thanks to Ink.

Your eyes widen. That’s it! That’s why their words seemed strange to you. If healing magic doesn’t work on your soul, then how was Ink able to heal you before?

“Wait! I don’t think that’s right, guys! This isn’t the first time my soul got hurt. During Error’s attack in Underfell, my soul took a hard beating, but after Ink saved me, he used his magic to heal me. I felt fine after he did. Doesn’t that mean healing magic does work on me? Or, at least some does?”

The skeletons surrounding you stare at you with wide eye-lights. However, before anyone can respond, someone else chooses to intervene.

“what the hell are you talking about? if normal healing magic doesn’t work on you, there’s no way that bastard ink could do anything for you.”

Everyone stiffens at the sound of the voice before moving their gazes upwards toward the glitchy skeleton floating in the sky. You had forgotten about him after getting so caught up in your breakdown. This is the first time he has spoken since the reset happened. Had Error been too shocked by the reset to speak until now?

Blue immediately pulls away from hugging you and moves so that he’s in a position between you and Error. Stretch quickly puts himself in front of his brother, and Sans moves to stand beside him while Papyrus remains at your side. Red also walks over to stand on the other side of Stretch.

Unfortunately, the Swapfell brothers are still stuck in place while Edge remains close to Black to keep an eye on him since everyone else was closer to Pup because they came to check on you.

Scowling, Edge glares at Error with contempt. “ARE YOU CALLING THE HUMAN A LIAR? WHAT COULD SHE HAVE TO GAIN FROM THAT? BESIDES, IT IS TRUE THAT SHE WAS PERFECTLY HEALTHY AFTER SHE RETURNED FROM BEING KIDNAPPED. HOW ELSE COULD YOU EXPLAIN THAT BESIDES HER BEING HEALED?”

His brother nods in agreement. “boss is right. dollface looked fine after she got back. there’s no way she wasn’t healed considerin’ how beat up she was before you took off with her. you probably put her in even worse shape once you were alone with her. how else could she walk away from that without any damage?”

Error growls in frustration. There seems to be even more white noise now when he speaks. “ink doesn’t have any abilities like that. how could he heal a soul if he doesn’t even have healing magic?”

“That’s easy! It’s because I don’t need healing magic to heal Y/N’s soul!”

Everyone freezes at the sound of a new voice. Recognizing it, you turn toward the source with wide eyes. “Ink!”

The artist grins at you and waves. “Hey, Y/N! Looks like we get to meet again sooner than I thought. Sorry about Error. He’s a really persistent guy. I tried to convince him, but he just wouldn’t listen to me.”

His grin swiftly fades as he continues to stare at you. In a flash, he appears right in front of you with his starry eye glowing brightly. Without hesitation, Ink uses his magic to pull out your soul. While you know that he using the normal painless method, for some reason, the motion of your soul being tugged makes you wince.

You quickly realize why the process hurt this time and why you’ve been in so much pain since you regained consciousness. The silence is deafening as everyone takes in the sight of your soul.

Instead of a solid, black heart, your soul looks like a jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces messily crammed together. You’re reminded of elementary school art class where one day you had to make a picture by tearing up tiny pieces of construction paper and gluing them all together. There are all kinds of jagged cracks along the black surface. Overall, your soul is a total mess. You have no idea what’s keeping it together considering it looks like it’ll collapse at any second. It’s previous bright shine is now a very dull glow. There’s hardly any life to it.

“HOW THE HELL IS SHE STILL ALIVE?!”

Good question, Black. You’ve been wondering that yourself. Your soul seriously looks like it’s one strong breeze away from falling apart. No wonder you’re in so much pain and having so much trouble breathing. You’re just barely hanging on by the looks of it.

Blue wraps his arms around you and squeezes you tightly. Maybe he hopes that if he holds you tight enough that he’ll be able to keep you in one piece. While it’s unlikely the gesture will be able to help your soul, you appreciate the sentiment, so you return the hug and hold him close.

Edge shakes off his gobsmacked expression and turns to point at Ink with a fierce scowl. “YOU! YOU HEALED HER LAST TIME, DIDN’T YOU?! THAT MEANS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT AGAIN!”

Red studies the artist with narrowed eye-lights. “you can help her, right? that better be why you came here so late. you just dropped us off and disappeared. who the hell brings people to a fight but doesn’t do any fightin’ of their own?”

Ink frowns but doesn’t remove his gaze from you. “I brought you guys because I couldn’t fight at the moment. I was preoccupied with something else at the time. I’m supposed to protect all of the AUs. There are plenty of other worlds having problems with the glitch not just the ones Y/N visits.”

“what?! you can’t be serious! it can infect worlds that it hasn’t even been to?! how powerful is this glitch?!”

You scowl at Error’s words. Of course, even after all that’s happened, he’s still bound and determined to put all of the blame on you even when there’s proof saying otherwise. He’s even calling you an it again like you’re not even a person to him, which is probably the truth. All he sees you as is a glitch that needs to be eliminated.

As if reading your thoughts, Blue gives you a reassuring squeeze while Papyrus rests one of his gloved hands on your head. The rest of your friends are giving the glitchy skeleton annoyed looks, obviously displeased with his words.

However, it’s not one of them who calls Error out for his behavior towards you.

Ink turns away from you to glare at his rival. “Enough! How many times do I have to tell you before it gets through your thick skull?! Y/N is not behind the glitch! It started infecting the AUs before she even got here! The resets occurring after she arrives is merely a coincidence! Even if she hadn’t come, they still would’ve happened! There are still other worlds where they’re already happening that she hasn’t even visited! She’s not here to destroy the AUs! She’s here to save them!”

The glitchy skeleton stares at his rival in disbelief. Before Error can respond, the artist makes an abrupt turn towards you and holds out his hand in your direction.

Realizing that he wants you to stand up, you slowly pull away from Blue’s embrace and allow Ink to help you to your feet. You wince as the movement jars your incredibly sore body.

Blue and Papyrus immediately rise after you, choosing to remain close just in case you lose your balance. Considering how wobbly your legs are right now, they probably have the right idea. The two both put a hand on your back to brace you.

With a curious expression, Blue turns to the artist. “WILL YOU BE ABLE TO HELP HER, INK? WE TRIED HEALING MAGIC, BUT IT WASN’T ABLE TO RESTORE HER HP. SHE SAID YOU HELPED HER AFTER HER LAST ENCOUNTER WITH ERROR. CAN YOU DO IT AGAIN?”

His brother sighs as he rubs the back of his head. “at this point, you’re basically our only hope since we hardly know anything about her soul and how it works.”

Ink brings out Broomy and holds the brush tightly as he studies your soul. “I know. I’m the only one capable of healing her soul. Whether or not this will work depends on how lucky she is, considering how tattered her soul is right now. It’s a miracle that it’s still in one piece. Well, all I can do is try.”

Just like last time, the artist raises the paintbrush high into the air and then swiftly swings it down, hitting your soul with the brush’s bristles. The only thing different is that he appears to be using more magic this time, considering how brightly his left eye and Broomy are glowing.

At first, everyone had yelled since it looked like Ink was attacking your soul, but the exclamations quickly cut off once everyone takes in the sight of your soul.

Instead of a battered, barely held together soul, a black heart floats in front of you looking brand new like the day you first saw it. There are no signs of injury on it. The surface of the soul is completely smooth and has a brighter shine than before. However, is it just your imagination, or is the glow weaker than it was originally?

Even though this isn’t the first time this has happened, you can’t help but stare in awe at the sight. All of the pain you had been feeling has completely vanished. The pressure on your chest has lifted allowing you to breathe easily for the first time in what feels like forever. You feel completely healthy now.

After returning your soul, Ink places Broomy back in its usual spot and wipes the little beads of sweat off his forehead. “Whew. Looks like it worked. I was worried my magic wouldn’t be enough, but somehow, it worked out in the end. Good for you, Y/N.”

Everyone just stares completely shocked. Most of them look like they want to say something but have no idea where to begin.

Error has stayed silent for a while, obviously still surprised by Ink’s earlier outburst. You can’t really blame him since it is unusual to see the artist get so emotional over something. Ink had looked really mad when he confronted the glitchy skeleton. Did he get upset on your behalf? Surely not, since the two of you aren’t that close. It’s true that Ink had saved you before, but it’s not like it was because he personally cared about you. He did it because protecting people from Error is basically his job; Ink even said something along those lines shortly after you met him. His anger couldn’t have been because Error didn’t listen to him. That was to be expected considering their relationship. So, what made the normally cool-headed Ink lose his temper?

Shaking himself out of his stupor, Error scowls deeply at his rival and is the first to question Ink’s actions. “what the fuck did you just do?! that soul should’ve been too far gone to be healed! normal healing magic didn’t even work on it! how could your magic do anything?!”

With bated breath, everyone waits for the artist’s response to the question that they’re all thinking. For some reason, Ink’s eye-lights flicker toward you for a brief moment before moving to focus on his rival. You’re far from an expert when it comes to reading people, but when he had met your eyes, you think he actually appeared nervous?

Ink crosses his arms as he faces Error. “Normal healing magic can heal any physical wounds she sustains, but only my magic can heal any direct damage done to her soul. That’s because my magic was used to create her soul.”

You could hear a pin drop in the silence that ensues after his response. You and everyone else are staring with wide-eyes, gaping at the artist. Even Error’s jaw drops at his rival’s statement.

It’s only Blue’s and Papyrus’ steady hands at your back that keep you upright as you feel your knees go weak from shock. You can only stare dumbfounded as Ink’s words replay in your mind.

Did he just say he created my soul?!!

Chapter Text

For a while, no one speaks because they’re all too stunned to come up with a proper response to the bombshell Ink just dropped. It’s you that finally breaks the silence.

“What do you mean you created my soul, Ink? I didn’t meet you until the first incident with Error. I’ve had this soul long before then.”

Ink averts his eye-lights as he absently rubs the back of his head. His expression practically screams guilty.

Your eyes widen in realization. “That wasn’t the first time we met, was it?”

Blue tilts his head curiously. “BUT, HOW COULD THAT BE? IF YOU HAD MET HIM BEFORE, SURELY YOU WOULD HAVE REMEMBERED! THE FIRST SKELETONS YOU MET WERE FROM UNDERTALE, RIGHT?”

Stretch pulls out a sucker from his hoodie pocket and places it in his mouth. “she did say undertale was the first world she visited. it’s possible she met ink before then and forgot, but somehow, i don’t think it’s that simple.”

The artist sighs before moving his gaze to meet yours. “I was actually the first person you met when you left your world. In regards to why you forgot, I’d say it was probably because of the stress of your soul shattering. You were barely hanging on, so I can’t really blame you for forgetting everything related to the ordeal. Plus, you were barely conscious the whole time I was with you, so that probably played a role as well.”

Just when you think there wasn’t anything else Ink could say that would top his previous bombshell, he decides to prove you wrong. Your eyes are as wide as saucers as you gawk at him.

You don’t even know where to begin with your questions after hearing all of that. Ink was the first person you met? Your soul shattered? You nearly died? What the hell?!

While you’re trying to avoid having a mental breakdown, Sans decides to step in and ask the questions that are on your mind.

“i think you better explain yourself, pal. it looks like you know a lot of information that we need to hear. how about you start with how you met y/n?”

Ink fiddles with his scarf as he shrugs. “Fair enough. I knew I needed to tell her eventually. Just couldn’t decide when was the best time.”

He takes a deep breath and continues. “If I’m gonna tell you guys everything, I might as well start from the beginning. A while back, after one of my usual bouts with Error, I accidentally got knocked into the Void. It was right as I was about to leave the Void that I found this white door just floating there. It reminded me of the doors that act as portals to the AUs, so I decided to check it out. I had never seen that door before, so I got curious. I wanted to know if it was a portal and where it lead if it was one.”

Ink shrugs, looking regretful, “Unfortunately, when I tried to open the door, I found out that it was locked. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get it to open. After a while, I got bored and gave up. I forgot about it soon enough, but every now and then, I’d remember it and go check to see if it was still locked. I was just so curious! Finally, one day when I came to check on the door, I found it unlocked for some reason.”

Pup frowns as he raises a brow ridge. “yeah, that ain’t suspicious at all.”

Blackberry scoffs in disdain. “THE IDIOT PROBABLY JUST KEPT TRYING TO OPEN THE DOOR THE WRONG WAY AND FINALLY GOT IT RIGHT. HOW MUCH LONGER DO I HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS POOR EXCUSE OF A STORY? MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHEN WILL THESE BLASTED STRINGS BE REMOVED?!”

Oh right. The Swapfell brothers are still Error’s puppets. While the glitchy skeleton hasn’t made any move towards attacking you since the reset, he still hasn’t removed his strings from the brothers. Something should probably be done about that.

The quickest way to get rid of them would be to ask Error since they’re his strings, but he doesn’t seem interested in being helpful at the moment.

There’s always Ink since he removed your strings pretty quickly back in the Void. He does have the most experience dealing with Error’s strings. However, the artist doesn’t seem to care about the Swapfell brothers’ predicament either. Instead, he ignores Black’s outburst and continues his story. Maybe Black shouldn’t have called Ink an idiot.

“Anyway, once I realized the door was unlocked, I tried to open it so I could see where it led. However, I didn’t get a chance to check out what was on the other side because as soon as I opened the door Y/N fell through the doorway and ended up in the Void with me.”

Ignoring Black’s enraged screaming from being blatantly disregarded, you hold up your hands in a stopping gesture. “Hold up. I don’t remember walking through any strange doors. I was literally on the way to class before I blacked out and ended up in Undertale. Why don’t I remember any of this? You said my soul shattered, but why? What caused that?”

Sans rubs his chin thoughtfully. “she makes a good point. she wasn’t attacked, right? so, what caused her soul to shatter? was it the void?”

Red winces at the question as he scratches his head. “yeah, i can’t imagine the void being too safe for humans. never thought it could cause that kind of damage, though.”

With a sigh, Ink pinches the area above his nasal cavity. “Yeah, it was the Void. But, it wasn’t just the Void. Apparently, humans from her world have much weaker souls since magic doesn’t exist there. I don’t really know how to explain it, but her soul had a way different feel to it compared to others I’ve seen.”

He looks up at you, “And, because it was so weak, her soul instantly became overwhelmed by the pressure of the Void as soon as she stepped through the doorway. When I pulled out her soul, parts had already broken off and disintegrated. What was left was being slowly eroded by the Void’s magic.”

Your face pales as you try to picture what he’s describing. However, before your mind manages to go too far, a hand grabs yours and gives it a warm squeeze. When you look down, your eyes meet comforting blue eye-lights.

Blue grins at you. “IT’S ALRIGHT, Y/N. YOU’RE OKAY NOW. THE FACT THAT YOU’RE STILL HERE PROVES IT. INK MUST HAVE FOUND A WAY TO SAVE YOU!”

On your other side, Papyrus nods in agreement. “THAT’S RIGHT! THE FACT THAT YOU’RE ALIVE NOW MEANS EVERYTHING WORKED OUT IN THE END!”

Edge scowls at their optimism. “BUT, HOW?! HOW THE HELL DID HE FIX HER SOUL WHEN IT SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS BEYOND REPAIR?! IT SHOULD’VE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE!”

Stretch moves the sucker around in his mouth. “ink said something about creating her soul. so, what? he made her a new one? how does that work? i’ve never heard of anyone being able to create a soul before.”

At this point it seems that Error is done being the casual observer. “because it’s impossible! there’s no way he should’ve been able to fix her soul or create a new one! ink doesn’t have that kind of power! he’s obviously lying!”

Ink scowls at his rival’s rebuttal. “I’m not lying! I really did help fix her soul! I admit creating a completely new one would’ve been impossible for me, so instead, I worked on repairing what was left of the soul she already had.”

He rubs a tired hand down his face as he sighs. “I tried everything I could think of without any luck. I was about to give up when I got some unexpected help from the Void.”

At his words, everyone pauses to stare at him incredulously.

Red is the one who breaks the silence. “i must’ve heard ya wrong. did ya just say ya got help from the void? as in the void that was trying to kill dollface?”

Ink lifts his head to meet your eyes. “It wasn’t actually trying to kill you. It’s just your soul wasn’t strong enough to survive there on its own power. Once it realized I wasn’t having any luck saving you, the Void shared its magic and combined it with mine to repair your soul. I had no idea what was going on at first. Suddenly, your soul started glowing with Void magic, and it started accepting my magic instead of rejecting it like it had been doing.”

His gaze captures yours, as if trying to convince you. “Somehow, the Void made it so my magic was compatible with your soul along with its magic. Fortunately, there was still enough of your original soul that all we needed to do was make a new mold and fill in the cracks.”

Sans raises a brow ridge. “you do realize you’re making it sound like the void is actually sentient, right?”

The artist shrugs his shoulders. “I know it sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. I had no idea either until that happened. If you don’t want to believe me, that’s fine, but there aren't a lot of other explanations for how her soul ended up in its current state.”

Your eyes widen in realization. “That’s why my soul is black now, isn’t it? It’s because so much of the Void’s magic and your magic is now in it.”

Ink winks his starry eye at you. “Yep! You catch on quickly, Y/N.”

From above, you hear Error muttering to himself. “that’s why her soul felt weirdly familiar. but, how the hell does something like that happen? that should be impossible!”

Stretch studies the artist with narrowed eye-lights. “well, it doesn’t look like you’re lying. so, if that really is all true, mind explaining why you left y/n on her own and didn’t bother returning her to her world?”

Very good question, Stretch. This is an answer you’ve been wanting to hear since you first woke up in Undertale. How the hell did you end up there if you were originally in the Void with Ink?

Blue squeezes your hand again. “PAPY MAKES A GOOD POINT! I UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO FIX HER SOUL TO KEEP HER ALIVE, BUT WHY DIDN’T YOU SEND Y/N BACK TO HER HOME AFTER SHE WAS HEALED?”

Error glares at his rival. “you’re not gonna say something stupid like you forgot, are you?”

Ink huffs as he crosses his arms. “No, of course not. I didn’t send her back because I couldn’t. Once she was alright, that’s the first thing I tried to do, but the door was locked again. I couldn’t get it to open no matter what I tried!”

You feel your stomach twist into knots. “So, that means I can’t go back home?”

Your voice must’ve sounded sadder than you intended considering the several sympathetic glances you receive after your question.

Papyrus places a comforting hand on your back. “I’M SURE THERE’S SOME WAY TO GET YOU HOME, Y/N! YOU MUST NOT LOSE HOPE!”

Blue nods vigorously in agreement. “THAT’S RIGHT! DON’T GIVE UP YET! THE DOOR TOOK A WHILE TO OPEN UP FOR INK THE FIRST TIME. MAYBE IT’LL UNLOCK AGAIN LIKE IT DID BEFORE!”

Their encouraging words warm your heart. That’s right. It is too soon to lose hope. Besides, you haven’t even tried opening the door yourself. Maybe things will change if you try it. You give both skeletons a grateful look.

Blackberry tilts his head as he stares at Ink with a contemplative frown. “THAT EXPLAINS WHY SHE ISN’T BACK IN HER WORLD, BUT WHY THE HELL IS SHE TRAVELLING BETWEEN WORLDS?”

Pup gives you a considering look. “she said her soul will randomly start usin’ magic which causes her to teleport between worlds. is that a side effect of havin’ void magic in her soul?”

Ink shakes his head. “I think it’s actually because of my magic in her soul. I have the ability to create portals to travel from one universe to another. I think some of that power transferred to her when I shared my magic with her, so now she can do it too.”

Sans rubs a tired hand down his face. “alright, i’ll buy that. but, how does it activate all on its own? y/n teleports whether she wants to or not. she has no say in the matter. how does that work?”

The artist fiddles with his scarf again. “This is gonna sound pretty unbelievable, but I think the Void is activating her magic remotely using its connection to her soul.”

Once again, everyone stares at Ink in disbelief. He can’t be serious.

Growling, Error throws his hands into the air. “it sounds unbelievable because it is! why the fuck would the void wanna take the human anywhere?! that makes no fucking sense!”

Stretch glares at the glitchy skeleton, obviously disliking the use of foul language around his younger brother.

Edge scowls as he crosses his arms. “WHY THE HELL WOULD THE VOID DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT? WHAT WOULD IT GAIN FROM TELEPORTING HER ACROSS WORLDS?”

Papyrus grabs his chin as he ponders this new information. “MAYBE IT WANTED Y/N TO STAY SOMEWHERE SAFER THAN THE VOID UNTIL A WAY WAS FOUND TO BRING HER HOME. AH, BUT THAT WOULDN’T EXPLAIN WHY SHE DIDN’T STAY WITH US FOR VERY LONG. MAYBE IT WANTED HER TO VISIT OUR WORLDS IN PARTICULAR FOR SOME SPECIAL REASON. IS THERE SOMETHING ALL OF OUR WORLDS HAVE IN COMMON BESIDES US SKELETONS?”

Blue brightens as he comes up with an idea. “I KNOW! THERE’S ONE THING Y/N HAS BEEN DOING IN EVERY WORLD SHE VISITS, AND THAT’S DEALING WITH THE GLITCH! MAYBE THE VOID SENT HER TO HELP SAVE OUR WORLDS FROM THE GLITCH!”

While Papyrus grins in agreement, despite not knowing the full story of the glitch, everyone else just gawks at the two skeletons at your side. You can’t help but gape at Blue’s reasoning. It’s true that one thing all of the worlds had in common was being infected by the glitch, but still, being purposely sent to each world to stop it? That’s crazy!

Ink just blinks, getting over his surprise rather quickly. “That’s...actually right. The Void has been sending Y/N to infected worlds in order to save them from the glitch. The Void has the power to eliminate the glitch, but it’s not able to enter AUs on its own. It needed a vessel to hold its magic and enter the AUs.”

Ink seems to think this over for a moment, probably trying to find the right words, “Y/N is basically an antivirus that can stop the glitch in any world she visits. All she has to do is stay there long enough for the Void to spread its magic around to cleanse the world. Of course, it does everything subtly. That’s why Y/N hasn’t noticed all this time.”

Blue and Papyrus share a high-five to celebrate their excellent deduction skills. While you’re proud of them, you can’t bring yourself to share their excitement. After all, you just found out that you’ve basically been the Void’s puppet this whole time.

You feel your eyebrow twitch in annoyance. Seriously, what the hell? Do you have no say in the matter? Sure, the Void helped save your life, but does that mean it can do whatever it pleases with you now? Your opinion doesn’t matter in the big picture?

Doing your best to hold back your anger, you meet Ink’s wary gaze. “So, what? I’m the Void’s slave now? Because it saved my life? Don’t I get any say in this?”

With narrowed eyes, you march toward the visibly sweating artist. “Why am I only now hearing about this? If you knew this whole time, why didn’t you tell me?! You knew where I was didn’t you?!”

Ink holds up his hands in a placating gesture. “I didn’t know for sure! I thought it was strange when you disappeared from the Void, but when I finally found you in Undertale, you looked fine, so I thought I’d leave you alone until I could find a way to send you back home.”

He apathetically shrugs his shoulders. “My hands were tied dealing with the glitch that appeared not long before you. It’s not until after you left Undertale that I realized the glitch was completely gone from that world. When the same result occurred in Underswap, I put two and two together. It’s not like I could actually ask the Void anything. So, don’t get mad at me. I’m just the messenger.”

You take a deep breath in order to calm yourself down. He has a point. It’s not like Ink can control what the Void does, but that’s not what has you so upset.

Luckily, there are some people here who understand your feelings.

Blue moves to stand beside you and places his hands on his hips. He frowns at Ink in disappointment. “SHE’S UPSET BECAUSE YOU NEVER BOTHERED TO TELL HER ANYTHING! WHY DID YOU WAIT SO LONG? YOU COULD’VE AT LEAST SAID SOMETHING AFTER YOU SAVED HER FROM ERROR THE FIRST TIME! DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND HOW SCARED SHE’S BEEN TRAVELLING BY HERSELF WITH NO ANSWERS AS TO HOW SHE GOT HERE OR WHY SHE KEEPS TELEPORTING?”

Following Blue’s example, Papyrus comes up to your other side and wags at finger at the artist. “THAT IS RIGHT! WHILE I UNDERSTAND YOU HAD YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITIES TO TAKE CARE OF, THAT DOESN’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT YOU NEVER TRIED TO MAKE CONTACT WITH HER. THE LEAST YOU COULD’VE DONE WAS EXPLAIN HOW SHE GOT HERE. Y/N IS VERY UNDERSTANDING. I’M SURE SHE WOULD’VE BEEN WILLING TO HEAR YOU OUT AND WOULD’VE AGREED TO HELP IF YOU HAD JUST ASKED NICELY.”

Thankful for the backup, you give the two skeletons a grateful smile. All around, you see the other skeletons giving Ink a less than impressed look, even Error.

Now that you’ve properly calmed down, you turn to face the now remorseful artist. “Papyrus is right. If you had asked, I would have agreed. I mean, sure I probably would have been a little upset about being stuck over here, but it’s not like it’s all your fault. It was one big accident. I have no problem helping with the glitch. I’ve enjoyed meeting everyone here, so it’s not like I hate my current situation. I just wish I could’ve gotten some answers sooner.”

Ink averts his eye-lights as he rubs his head sheepishly. “I guess I should’ve taken the time to explain things to you. It wasn’t really fair of me to put you through all this without giving you any answers. I just went along with things since I knew there was nothing I could do to stop the Void. Of course, since it was helping the AUs, it’s not like I really wanted to stop what it was doing. I definitely could’ve handled this situation better.”

With narrowed eye-lights, Blue leans closer to the artist. “AND?”

Obviously confused, Ink tilts his head curiously. “And, what?”

Papyrus shakes his head. “I BELIEVE THERE’S SOMETHING ELSE YOU NEED TO SAY TO Y/N.”

The artist looks even more bewildered now. “Something else?”

You give the two skeletons a questioning glance wondering where they’re going with this.

Chuckling, Sans moves to stand beside his brother. “i think they want you to apologize to the kid for not saying anything to her. gotta say, i agree with them on this one.”

Stretch nods in agreement as he smirks at the artist. “i mean, it’s the least you could do considering what all she’s been through. you owe her that much.”

Realization dawns on Ink’s expression as he finally understands what Blue and Papyrus were insinuating. “Oh! I guess that is something I should say, huh? I thought it was already implied with what I said earlier, but I’ll say it outright.”

When he meets your gaze, you’re surprised to see the sincerity in his expression as he apologizes. “I’m sorry for dragging you into this, Y/N. I’m sorry for pulling you out of your world so abruptly and for not telling you anything after you started AU jumping. Can you forgive me?”

Grinning broadly, you move so fast that Ink is unable to react in time. You quickly put him in a headlock and give him a noogie. “You’re forgiven, but that doesn’t mean you get off completely scott free! I’ll go easy on you this time. Just don’t do something like that again, alright?”

The stunned look on Ink’s face makes everyone laugh. Their laughter increases when he struggles to get away only to fail. He can’t seem to escape your vice-like grip.

Surprisingly, even Error is amused at the spectacle judging by his loud, staticky cackling. “so much for being the protector of the aus. you can’t even escape the clutches of a human girl.”

Ink scowls at his rival as he gives up his useless struggling. “I’d like to see you try getting away from this! Her grip is like iron! Seriously, what the hell is with this strength?!”

That only makes Error’s cackling increase. It’s at the point where the white noise is starting to hurt your ears.

Deciding that the artist has suffered enough, you loosen your grip and let go after giving him a quick hug which obviously surprises him. “Thank you for the apology, Ink. And, thank you for saving my life back when I first arrived. I really am grateful.”

A pretty, rainbow-colored blush lights up his cheekbones as he grins bashfully. “I’m glad I was able to help! Thank you, Y/N, for all your hard work. Thanks to you, four AUs are now completely glitch free!”

Error’s laughter comes to an abrupt halt as he stares at Ink in disbelief. “seriously? not even this world? the glitch is completely gone?”

His rival sighs before rolling his eye-lights. “Did you think I was kidding about her helping the AUs? I was serious. Why don’t you go back and check the other AUs she’s visited? You’ll see that they’re all completely glitch free now. And, I’d also recommend checking on other worlds just to prove there are some she hasn’t been too that are infected.”

With narrowed eye-lights, Ink continues. “Just stop attacking Y/N from now on, okay? She’s not a threat. She’s helping, so there’s no need for you to stop her if you want the multiverse to stay in one piece.”

For a while, the two rivals just glare at each other. Finally, Error averts his eyes as he huffs. “fine. i obviously can’t just take you for your word, so i’ll need to check things out for myself. if it turns out what you said is true, i’ll leave the human alone. but, if i find out you’re wrong, i’m eliminating her no matter what you say.”

Rather than wait for a response, the glitchy skeleton opens up a portal and walks through it without another word. As soon as he disappears, the Swapfell brothers fall to their knees not expecting to be let go from his strings so suddenly.

Blackberry is back on his feet instantly, screeching furiously. “THAT BASTARD! HOW DARE HE JUST DO AS HE PLEASES AND THEN LEAVE! I WILL HAVE HIS HEAD THE NEXT TIME I SEE HIM! HE WILL NOT GET AWAY WITH THIS!”

Once he’s sure that his brother is alright, Pup relaxes and promptly lights a cigarette. He must really feel stressed if he’s smoking with his brother in sight. Fortunately, Black doesn’t call him out on it since he’s too busy cursing Error and plotting ways to torture the glitchy skeleton.

While Blue tries to calm down his fuming counterpart, you walk over to the smoking skeleton and give him a concerned glance. “Are you alright? I know that couldn’t have been pleasant. I’m sorry it took so long to get you and your brother freed.”

Pup shrugs as he exhales a large cloud of smoke. “it’s fine, darlin. it’s not like there was a lot anybody could’ve done anyway.”

He gives you a considering glance. “how about you, darlin? looks like you had a worse time than us. you were really put through the wringer.”

You smile at him, grateful for his concern. “I’m okay. Had a minor breakdown, but I’m all good now. Thank you for your concern.”

Embarrassed, Pup averts his eye-lights as he takes another drag of his cigarette. Before he can return the cigarette to his mouth, an orange blur snatches it from Pup’s hand. You watch with wide eyes as Stretch quickly puts out the cigarette and shoves a sucker into his counterpart’s mouth.

Fortunately, Pup doesn’t appear upset. The two of you look at Stretch in disbelief as he shrugs his shoulders. “since y/n won’t say anything, i will. no smoking around her. it messes with her allergies and can make her sick if she inhales too much of the smoke. i’m not saying you have to give it up entirely. just don’t do it around her.”

Your heart warms at his thoughtfulness. You quickly wrap your arms around Stretch and give him a big squeeze. “Aw, you big softy! That’s so sweet of you being all protective like that! You really didn’t have to, though. It’s not like Pup smokes a lot. He usually doesn’t do it in front of his brother, so he hasn’t smoked around me much at all since I got here.”

Stretch’s cheekbones gain an orange hue as he flushes in embarrassment. When Pup smirks at him in amusement, he narrows his eye-lights. “still needs to be said, honey. i knew you wouldn’t. i’m surprised my bro didn’t say anything.”

You pull away from the hug and give him a sheepish grin. “That would be my fault. Blue was gonna tell Pup soon after we met him, but I stopped him. The allergy really isn’t that serious. Besides, Pup doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to smoke, so I figured he needed the smoke break.”

Pup appears surprised by your consideration while Stretch just sighs. “you’re way too nice, hun. that just proves my point. guess i’m in charge of looking out for you since you won’t do it yourself.”

You gently elbow him as you roll your eyes. “who are you? my mom?”

Amused, Pup snorts as he moves the sucker around in his mouth. Surprisingly, he hasn’t tried to remove it. Maybe Stretch gave him a flavor he likes. “looks like ya got a lot of people lookin’ out for ya, darlin. considerin’ ya did help us out with the glitch, guess the least i could do is cut back on my smokin’ around ya.”

Feeling adventurous, you hug Pup and give him an appreciative smile. “Thank you, Pup. I’ll try not to bother you during your normal smoke breaks if I get the chance to visit again.”

Smirking, he leans in very close and stops just a few inches above your face. “already plannin’ your next visit? gonna miss me that much, darlin?”

You feel your face grow hot, but instead of giving in to the embarrassment, you grin cheekily. “of course!”

Luckily, your perseverance is rewarded as a dark, orange blush glows across the surprised skeleton’s cheekbones.

When you pull away, you see Stretch grinning in amusement, obviously enjoying watching his counterpart get flustered.

That’s when Red decides to join the conversation. In a blink, he’s there wrapping an arm around your waist. “ya didn’t forget about me, did ya, dollface? there’s not too many guys willin’ to jump dimensions to save a girl, ya know.”

Grinning, you wrap your arms around his neck and give him a warm squeeze. You even rub your cheek against his cheekbone for good measure. “Now, how could I ever forget about you? Especially when you came all this way to help me. Thank you, Red. You’re a bone-afide sweetheart.”

After you release him and pull out of his slack grip, you see that familiar blushy expression. His eye-lights even turned into red hearts like last time. You give him another quick hug because of how cute his expression is.

Stretch chuckles at Red’s dreamy look. “you alright there, pal? you’re looking a little red in the face.”

Pup snorts at the pun while you giggle in amusement. When you hear groaning, you turn to see Edge approaching.

Considering his annoyed expression, he must have heard the pun as well. “HONESTLY, I CAN’T BELIEVE THERE’S A VERSION OF MYSELF THAT WOULD STOOP SO LOW AS TO ENJOY PUNS LET ALONE TWO OF THEM! SANS! HOW LONG ARE YOU PLANNING ON STAYING IN A DAZE? IF YOU REMAIN LIKE THIS, I’M MAKING THE HUMAN CARRY YOU SINCE THIS IS HER FAULT.”

“is that supposed to be a threat, boss? ‘cause that only makes me wanna stay like this longer tibia honest.”

Edge groans loudly while the pun loving skeletons snicker in amusement. Grinning mischievously, you make your move once you notice that Red’s guard is down. Before he can react, you sweep him off his feet and carry him bridal style. “Alright, Edge! I got him! Where do you need me to take him?”

Red is really living up to his namesake as his blush grows to cover his whole face. Meanwhile, Stretch and Pup are chortling loudly, trying not to fall over from all of their laughter.

Edge smirks at his brother’s embarrassment. “WELL DONE, HUMAN. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU CAN BE USEFUL TO ME AFTER ALL. JUST KEEP THAT UP UNTIL WE HEAD HOME. I’LL MAKE THAT FOOL WITH THE PAINTBRUSH OPEN UP A PORTAL TO SEND US HOME. I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS WORLD JUMPING BUSINESS. IT’S TIME TO RETURN TO MY DUTIES AT HOME.”

Using one hand to hold onto Red, you raise the other to salute Edge. “Aye aye, Captain!”

“NYEH HEH HEH!”

Red is sweating bullets now. “now, doll, i appreciate you wantin’ to help the boss, but you don’t have to go this far, really.”

With a smirk, you lean in close to his face. “Aw, you don’t like being this close to me, Red? I thought you’d appreciate all the physical contact.”

Behind you, Stretch and Pup continue to snicker, obviously enjoying this way too much. Red appears indecisive. On one hand, he’s getting the attention he wants, but on the other hand, he’s being carried bridal style by a girl. Not exactly very manly.

“Y/N!”

You turn around just in time to catch a leaping Blueberry. Now, you’ve got two Sanses in your arms. On one arm, Red scowls in annoyance at his bouncy counterpart while the other arm holds the adorable Blueberry. This must be quite the sight to anybody who’s watching. The laughter behind you increases, so obviously the two chuckleheads are enjoying the show.

Despite the fact that you’re carrying two fully grown skeletons, you don’t feel the least bit strained. These guys hardly weigh anything. It makes sense considering they’re nothing but bones.

With a warm smile, you look down at Blue. “What’s up, Blue? You need me?”

He grins broadly. “YES! AFTER I HELPED CALM DOWN BLACK, I STARTED INTRODUCING HIM TO EVERYONE AND TELLING HIM THE NICKNAMES YOU GAVE THEM. HOWEVER, THERE ARE TWO I’M HAVING TROUBLE WITH. WHAT DO YOU CALL THE SANS AND PAPYRUS YOU MET BEFORE ME AND PAPY?”

You pause as you consider his question. He’s talking about the Undertale brothers. Now that you think about it, you don’t have a nickname for either of them. In your defense, you didn’t think it was necessary since at the time you didn’t know you’d be meeting alternate versions of them. Looks like you’ll need to come up with something now.

Driven with purpose, you march toward the Undertale skeletons with Red and Blue still in your arms. Since the sound of laughter isn’t getting farther away, you guess Stretch and Pup must be following you. You can even hear Edge cackling as he walks behind you--no doubt enjoying his brother’s predicament.

“uhh, where are we going, doll?”

“YES! I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW AS WELL!”

You grin at your passengers. “Blue has just reminded me that I have some nicknames to hand out. I never gave one to the Undertale guys ‘cause they were the first ones I met. I didn’t expect meeting everyone else, so I didn’t give them any nicknames.”

Starry eyes sparkle brightly at your words. “DOES THAT MEAN I WAS THE FIRST TO RECEIVE A NICKNAME FROM YOU, Y/N?”

Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of cuteness aimed your way, you can’t stop yourself from leaning down to place a kiss on Blue’s cheekbone. “That’s right, sweetheart. You’re the first.”

His cheekbones turn dark blue as he blushes. When you see Red scowling in irritation, you grin in amusement. “you’re not jealous, are you, Red? do you want a kiss too?”

You didn’t think it was possible for his face to turn any redder than it already was, but Red seems to be really good at surprising you. Almost his entire skull is red now. If this situation wasn’t so amusing, you’d be worried about his health. You hear Edge’s cackling increase from behind you.

Not wanting to be unfair, you plant a little kiss on Red’s cheekbone too. The heart eyes are back while the sweating has returned at full force. You hope that he doesn’t get too overwhelmed and pass out.

That’s when Edge appears at your side holding out his arms to grab his brother. Apparently, he decided to have mercy on Red and not make him be carried the rest of the way. You can’t help but be amused when you see Edge put his brother in a football carry. Even better, Red has his hood pulled up tightly around his face, making it difficult to see his expression.

Okay, that is seriously too cute. Who knew Red could be this cute? He may not be at Blueberry’s level, but he’s a good competitor.

It doesn’t take you long to reach the Undertale brothers who have been talking with Ink and Blackberry. Pup immediately moves to stand behind his brother while Stretch moves to stand by his once you put Blue back on the ground.

The Underfell brothers are a few feet away from the group now. Maybe Edge thought the distance would help his brother recover faster. How considerate of him.

When Papyrus sees you, he picks you up and gives you a big hug which you happily reciprocate. “Y/N! BLACK JUST FINISHED TELLING US THE STORY OF HOW YOU BRAVELY VANQUISHED THE GLITCH IN THIS WORLD. SANS ALSO TOLD ME ABOUT HOW YOU SAVED OUR WORLD. YOU TRULY ARE AMAZING, Y/N! AS EXPECTED OF A FRIEND OF THE GREAT PAPYRUS!”

You blush in embarrassment, not knowing how to handle such sincere praise from the sweet skeleton. “I didn’t do that much. Sans did most of the work in your world, Pap. And, it was the same here. Black, Pup, and Blue handled pretty much everything. I kinda got in the way more than not.”

Black scoffs as he crosses his arms. “OF COURSE YOU DID! YOU KEPT RUNNING INTO DANGEROUS SITUATIONS DESPITE NOT HAVING ANY SKILLS WHATSOEVER TO PROTECT YOURSELF! HONESTLY, I’VE NEVER SEEN SUCH IDIOCY BEFORE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. BUT, I WILL ADMIT YOU WERE USEFUL. BECAUSE YOU DEALT WITH MY SLAVE, I COULD DEDICATE MY FULL ATTENTION TO THE BATTLE. I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANNOYING DISTRACTIONS. I MIGHT ACTUALLY CONSIDER MAKING YOU MY SLAVE TOO. BE GRATEFUL, HUMAN!”

You can’t help but be amused when Pup gives you a thumbs up. You didn’t expect the backhanded compliment from his brother, but you are grateful. “Thanks, Black. I appreciate you helping me and Blue while we were here. We would’ve been lost without you.”

Black’s cheekbones gain a purple hue as he averts his eye-lights. “OF COURSE! WITHOUT ME, YOU WOULD HAVE SURELY FAILED! I WAS THE ONE WHO MADE SURE THE MISSION WAS SUCCESSFUL!”

Blue beams at his counterpart. “YOU WERE REALLY IMPRESSIVE, BLACK! YOU USED A LOT OF MAGIC BACK THERE, BUT YOU DIDN’T LOOK TIRED AT ALL! I’LL HAVE TO INCREASE MY TRAINING WHEN I GET BACK HOME!”

The blush on Black’s cheekbones actually grows darker at the praise. “Y-YOU HAVE A GOOD EYE I’LL GIVE YOU THAT! BUT, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRAIN, YOU’LL NEVER REACH MY LEVEL OF AWESOMENESS!”

Blue places his hands on his hips. “WE’LL SEE ABOUT THAT! I, THE MAGNIFICENT BLUEBERRY, WILL CATCH UP TO YOU IN NO TIME! YOU’LL SEE! MWEH HEH HEH!”

Stretch proudly grins as he rubs the top of his brother’s head. “you’re the coolest, bro. i know you’ll have no problem catching up.”

A tug on your sleeve grabs your attention. When you look down, you see a grinning Sans. “my bro was right about you being amazing, kid. i wouldn’t have been able to stop the glitch without you there to kick my tailbone into gear. you should give yourself more credit.”

You smile broadly at your first skeletal friend. Wanting to thank him, you sweep him off his feet and hug him tightly. It’s been awhile since you last hugged him, so you have to make sure this is a good one. “We made a pretty good team, huh, partner?”

He blushes a dark blue as his grin grows. “yep. the best. after me and paps of course.”

With a giggle, you set him back down. “Of course.”

Then, you turn to Papyrus who has been attentively listening to Blue excitedly tell his story of how he met you. Luckily, they’re about done when you choose to intervene. “Hey, Pap?”

He turns to look at you curiously. “YES, Y/N?”

You grin at the Undertale brothers who appear intrigued by your expression. “Blue has brought it to my attention that I have failed to give you two a nickname. You guys wouldn’t mind one, right? I’ll call you by your names if I’m ever in your world, but it’ll be pretty confusing for everyone else here if I keep calling you Sans and Papyrus.”

Sans shrugs with his trademark, lazy grin in place. “fine with me, kid.”

His brother nods eagerily. “I AM ALSO FINE WITH IT! THE USE OF NICKNAMES IS ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS A STRONGER FRIENDSHIP! WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO CALL US, Y/N?”

All of the chatter around you comes to a halt as everyone decides to listen in on this conversation. Jeez, talk about putting on the pressure. Coming up with nicknames for these two isn’t as easy as the others since people usually let the Undertale brothers keep their regular names in fanfiction. However, that wouldn’t be fair here, so you have to come up with something.

You grab your chin as you thoughtfully consider the two skeletons before you. When your eyes fall on Sans, a mischievous smirk forms on your face. “For Sans, how about Grandpa?”

He gives you a stunned look while everyone else breaks out into a fit of laughter; even the more composed skeletons are snickering. The only one not laughing besides Sans is Papyrus who appears to be seriously contemplating the meaning behind the nickname. Oh, Papyrus, please never change.

Sans starts to nervously sweat. “uh, any particular reason you wanna use that nickname, kid?”

Your smirk grows. “Well, you sure do like to call me kid a lot. Calling someone my age a kid, that must mean you’re pretty old, right? Plus, you have that special brand of humor you enjoy like most elderly men do. I mean, you’re not exactly young and spry, ya know?”

Papyrus slams his fist into his open palm. “I SEE! I UNDERSTAND NOW! YOU MAKE A VERY GOOD POINT, Y/N. MY BROTHER DOES ACT A GOOD BIT OLDER THAN HIS ACTUAL AGE. I THINK THAT’S WHY HE GETS ALONG SO WELL WITH GERSON. NO WONDER HE HAS SUCH GOOD RELATIONS WITH THE ELDERLY MONSTERS OF THE UNDERGROUND! I CAN’T BELIEVE I NEVER NOTICED BEFORE!”

The laughter in the background only increases at Papyrus’ exclamation. You giggle when you see the flustered look on Sans’ face.

Deciding that you’ve had enough fun messing with Sans, you wrap an arm around his shoulder and give him a squeeze which makes him blush. “I’ll throw you a bone, Sans. I’ll come up with a better nickname if you don’t call me kid anymore. Deal?”

He snickers at the pun while Papyrus groans. Apparently, no one else heard it over the noisy laughter. “alright, buddy. deal.”

You affectionately squeeze his shoulder again as you give him a nickname that you’re sure he’ll like. “How about Comic? You know, Comic Sans?”

Judging by the amount of groaning, it looks like the pun haters heard you that time. Their brothers continue to snigger in amusement.

Sans grins broadly in obvious delight. “yeah, i font that one. that’s my type of nickname. it’s just my style.”

Cue increased groaning and snickering. Looks like we have a winner.

You release your grip on the newly dubbed Comic and focus your attention on a frowning Papyrus, who is apparently still recovering from the three back-to-back puns. You take advantage of the moment to study the tall skeleton closely as you try to come up with a suitable name for him. This is the Great Papyrus we’re talking about here. You have to pull out all the stops for his nickname. Nothing but the best for this sweetheart.

Finally, it hits you like a ton of bricks. You have the perfect nickname for him. You grin brightly at Papyrus who seems to have finally recovered from the pun onslaught. “I’ve got the perfect nickname for you, Pap. Ready to hear it?”

He grins as he places his hands on his hips with his scarf billowing behind him heroically. This only strengthens your belief that the nickname you came up with is the best pick for him. “OF COURSE! THE GREAT PAPYRUS IS ALWAYS READY, Y/N!”

You mirror his pose, absently wishing that you had a cool scarf to match him. “How do you like Captain Fantastic? For short, I’ll call you Captain or Cap.”

The skeleton before you freezes in shock and stares at you with wide eye-lights. He stays like that for a while, making you and Comic start to worry. “uh, bro? you okay?”

In a blink, you find yourself suddenly lifted into the air and twirled at a rapid speed. After several seconds of spinning, you’re brought into a bone-crushing hug. “I LOVE IT, Y/N! IT IS THE BEST NICKNAME EVER! I WILL TREASURE IT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!”

You’re happy that he likes the nickname, but his hug is starting to cut off your air flow. “C-can’t breathe, Captain.”

Fortunately, Comic comes to your rescue. “i know your hugs are always breathtaking, but i think you might need to ease up on her a little bit, bro.”

Immediately, Captain Fantastic loosens his grip and then gently sets you back on the ground. You greedily inhale a large gulp of air while he softly pats you on the back. “I’M SORRY, Y/N. I JUST GOT SO EXCITED I FORGOT TO CONTROL MY SUPER STRENGTH.”

Once your breathing evens out, you give him a thumbs up. “It’s alright, Cap. I’m just glad you like the nickname.”

“LIKE IT? I LOVE IT! IT SUITS ME PERFECTLY!”

Comic grins as he nods in agreement. “that’s right, bro. can’t think of a more suitable nickname than that one. she did a good job.”

It’s at this moment that Ink decides to gain everyone’s attention. “Alright, now that that’s settled. I think it’s time I send everyone back to their AUs. Y/N needs to come with me, so we can restore the Void magic that her soul needs to remain stable. It’s really low thanks to that reset stunt, which I hope she’ll never try to reattempt.”

You rub your head sheepishly at the less than impressed look he gives you. You’re surprised when Stretch suddenly sidles up beside you and wraps an arm around your shoulder.

When you look up at him, you see Stretch staring at the artist with narrowed eye-lights. “hold on. i think what she needs most right now is a place to get some rest. when’s the last time you got any sleep, honey?”

You can’t help but feel nervous when you notice all the serious looks everyone gives you as they await your response. “Uhh, your world? But, it’s not like I’ve really needed to sleep since I left. Not a lot of time has passed for me since this all started. This has basically been just one really long day.”

No one seems appeased by that response. The disapproval only increases after you reply to Stretch’s question about your eating schedule. “Besides the food in Undertale and your world, I had a slice of Toriel’s pie when I visited her and Frisk’s house in Underfell.”

Red scratches his head. “yeah, gotta agree with stretch on this one, doll. you’ve already helped save four worlds, and you haven’t had anythin’ close to a real break by the sounds of it. i get that the worlds are in danger, but runnin’ you ragged ain’t gonna solve anythin’.”

Edge scowls as he crosses his arms. “THAT VOID IS AWFULLY COCKY JUST DOING AS IT PLEASES. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE WILLING TO DO THIS WITHOUT ANY FORM OF COMPENSATION. HOW FOOLISH.”

You grin at him. “Thank you for worrying about me, Edge, but it really doesn’t bother me. I don’t mind helping. Besides, you guys are my friends. Of course, I’d want to help save your worlds.”

There’s that familiar flustered expression that you know and love. “WHO SAYS I WAS WORRIED?! SAYING SUCH INSANE THINGS, YOU OBVIOUSLY REQUIRE A BREAK. I DOUBT YOU’LL BE USEFUL TO ANYONE IF YOU JUST CONTINUE ON LIKE THIS.”

Black shakes his head. “NO WONDER YOU WERE ACTING SO FOOLISHLY. YOUR SMALL BRAIN IS OBVIOUSLY EXHAUSTED. YOU BETTER DO EVERYONE A FAVOR AND GET SOME REST, HUMAN. THAT’S AN ORDER!”

Aw, even Black is worried about you in his own special tsundere way. When your gaze falls on Pup, he winks at you. “you’re welcome to use my bed, darlin.”

Instead of refusing you entry to his home like you expect him to do, Black just averts his eye-lights. “AS LONG AS SHE STAYS FAR AWAY FROM MY ROOM, I DON’T CARE WHERE SHE SLEEPS.”

The grin on Pup’s face grows at his brother’s comment. Oh boy. Somehow, you don’t think that their house will be the best place for you to get some rest and recuperation.

Stretch gives your shoulders a squeeze. “no need for that. she’s coming with us. you don’t mind, right, honey?”

Saved by your knight in orange armor. “Well, I would hate to impose on Black and Pup since they’ve been looking after me for so long. Besides, I know Blue’s been wanting a sleepover. Right, Blue?”

Sparkly, starry eyes brighten the surrounding area. “A SLEEPOVER?! YES! SINCE WE ARE BEST FRIENDS, THAT IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST! WE’LL STAY UP LATE PLAYING ALL OF MY GAMES!”

His brother chuckles fondly. “sounds like fun, bro. although, you shouldn’t forget the sleep part of sleepover. that’s the best part.”

Blue rolls his eye-lights. “ONLY YOU THINK THAT WAY, PAPY. YOU LAZYBONES.”

When you notice Captain’s disappointed look, you quickly move to reassure him. “Don’t worry, Captain. I’ll still come over one day to have a sleepover at your place. You’ll be the next place I visit. I promise.”

He immediately cheers up at your words. “YAY! OUR FIRST SLEEPOVER! I WILL START PLANNING FOR IT IMMEDIATELY, Y/N! I PROMISE IT WILL BE PERFECT!”

You smile warmly at him. “I’m sure it will be, Cap.”

Comic winks at you. “i’ll help come up with ideas too, bro. just let me sleep on it.”

It’s really amusing witnessing the mass divide between the skeletons as one side snickers and the other groans. These guys really are awesome.

You return your attention to Ink who has been watching the proceedings with a frown. “Is it really that urgent for me to go to the Void, Ink? Or, do you think I’ll be alright for one night? If you’re that worried, I’ll come along with you.”

No one seems pleased with that idea, but it’s true that they can’t do anything about the situation if the health of your soul truly is at risk.

Inks looks around, taking in everyone’s expressions before releasing a big sigh. “You should be fine for one night, Y/N. But, I’m coming to pick you up first thing in the morning, alright? I don’t know a lot about this kind of thing, so we shouldn’t risk putting this off for too long.”

You pull away from Stretch to give the artist a hug. “Thank you, Ink. I promise I’ll be ready to go when you arrive.”

He grins bashfully before moving to pull out Broomy. A few seconds later, he has three portals open leading to Undertale, Underswap, and Underfell.

Black huffs as he crosses his arms. “GOOD RIDDANCE! DON’T COME BACK UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE MY NEXT OPPONENT!”

Deciding to throw caution to the wind, you quickly move to sweep him into a hug which makes him screech in surprise. You grin as you give him a warm squeeze. “Thank you for all of your help, Black. I’ll try to visit again if I get the chance.”

When you return him to the ground, his face is a bright purple, proving how flustered he was by the affectionate gesture. “Y-YOU’RE LUCKY I AM IN A GOOD MOOD TODAY, HUMAN. OTHERWISE, I WOULD STRIKE YOU WHERE YOU STAND FOR SUCH INSOLENCE!”

You blow him a kiss for good measure. “Thank you, Black.”

Cue the flustered screeching. Ah, these edgy skeletons really are the best to flirt with.

Pup is doing a very good job at keeping his amusement from showing on his face, but you can tell from the slight trembling in his shoulders that he’d really like to laugh right now.

With a grin, you give the taller brother a hug as well. Of course, he doesn’t hesitate to reciprocate. Pup leans down with a smirk. “the offer to use my bed will always be open for ya, darlin. come by anytime.”

A dark blush forms on your cheeks despite your best efforts to fight it off. You quickly pull away and wink at him. “Thanks for everything, Pup. Hopefully, I’ll see you around.”

“lookin’ forward to it, darlin.”

When you head back toward the portals, you’re surprised to see both of the Underfell brothers still there. You had expected Comic, Captain Fantastic, and possibly Red staying to say goodbye, but you assumed that Edge would’ve been eager to leave.

You grin broadly. “Aw, Edge, were you waiting for a goodbye hug? Say no more. I’m your girl.”

He immediately takes a step back when you move toward him. “STAY BACK, VIXEN! I WAS NOT WAITING FOR YOU! I WAS WAITING ON MY LAZY BROTHER WHO CHOSE TO WAIT FOR YOU. DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND!”

You pout in disappointment. Looks like you’re not gonna get an Edge hug this time. What a bummer.

Red chuckles when he sees you pout. “don’t worry, doll. i’m sure the boss will embrace your affectionate gestures someday.”

“SANS!”

You giggle at the younger brother’s reaction. Before Red can put the moves on you as per usual, you decide to act first by pulling him into a hug. “Thanks for coming, Red. I appreciate you and your brother coming to help. I’ll try to come visit, so you won’t feel too bonely without me around.”

When you pull back, you see an amused grin on his flustered face. “you do that, dollface. and i’ll be sure to show you my room the next time you come around.”

His brother groans in disgust. “HONESTLY, SANS! I’M LEAVING BEFORE THIS GETS WORSE.”

Before he enters the portal, you grab Edge’s hand and give it a warm squeeze. “Thank you too, Edge. I’m really happy you came.”

A dark, red blush grows across his cheekbones. He removes your hand with a gentleness you didn’t expect from him. Edge then turns his back to you. “I WAS ONLY HERE TO GET MY REVENGE ON THAT COWARDLY CRETEN. NOTHING MORE!”

With that, he walks through the portal with his brother following close behind. Red winks at you before he leaves. “hope to see ya soon, doll. take care of yourself.”

After they leave, you head for the Undertale brothers to see them off. Captain Fantastic immediately picks you up with a twirl and gives you a big hug. “I WAS HAPPY THAT WE COULD MEET AGAIN, Y/N! PLEASE COME BY TO VISIT SOON! I WOULD LOVE TO MAKE MORE FRIENDSHIP SPAGHETTI WITH YOU! I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR SUPER SPECTACULAR SLEEPOVER!”

You giggle as you return the embrace. “Me too, Cap. I can’t wait. I’ll come visit as soon as I can.”

Once you’re back on the ground, you hug Comic, who doesn’t stiffen at all at the contact unlike when you first embraced him in Undertale. Talk about progress. Ah, the beauty of friendship. “Don’t make Captain Fantastic do all the work preparing for the sleepover, you lazybones.”

He chuckles as you pull away. “sure thing, buddy. i don’t want my bro working himself to the bone after all.”

“SANS!”

You both laugh at the taller skeleton’s exclamation. Now that you’ve said your goodbyes, the two head for the portal. Before Comic follows after his brother, he gives you a serious look. “be careful, y/n. don’t push yourself too hard trying to help everybody. your own health is important too. remember, you can ask for help. you don’t have to do this all on your own.”

Touched by his concern, you lean down to give him a peck on his cheekbone. You smile as his whole face turns bright blue. “Thank you, Comic. I promise I’ll be careful. I won’t try to do everything on my own.”

Embarrassed, he quickly moves to walk through the portal. “good. i’ll see ya around, buddy.”

Now the only ones left at the portals besides you are the Underswap brothers and Ink who has chosen to stand beside them. You give the artist a quick hug. “Thank you for everything, Ink. I’ll see you later, okay?”

He grins brightly. “Yep! You enjoy your break, Y/N. You’ve earned it.”

With that, you move toward the portal with Blue pulling you along by your hand and Stretch taking up the rear.

The portal is much like the doors in the Doodle Sphere. There’s no losing consciousness or weird pull like when you get teleported. All it takes is for you to just step through, and then you’re in the living room of the Underswap skeletons’ home.

You sigh in relief. While this isn’t your home, you can’t help but relax at the warm, comfortable atmosphere this place emits. You smile when you see the happy grins on your friends’ faces.

There’s no place like home.

Chapter Text

You immediately plop down on the couch and stretch out your arms and legs as you lean back. “I’m exhausted! I feel like I could sleep for a week after all that craziness.”

Chuckling, Papyrus follows your example and sits on your left side. Unlike previous times, he’s close enough that his shoulder rub against yours as he slouches against the couch cushions. “that sounds like a good plan to me, hun.”

Sans frowns disapprovingly as he places his hands on his hips. “IT IS BAD ENOUGH THAT I HAVE TO DEAL WITH PAPY’S LAZINESS. I DON’T NEED YOU ENCOURAGING HIM, Y/N! WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO SLEEP THAT LONG WHEN THERE ARE SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING THINGS YOU COULD BE DOING? LIKE PUZZLES AND TRAINING!”

You and your fellow couch potato share a look. Yeah, that doesn’t sound interesting at all. Well, at least the whole training part anyway. You want no part in any physical activity for the next couple of hours.

With a grin, you pull the shorter skeleton into your lap and cuddle him close. His cheekbones turn dark blue as he flushes. “Don’t forget this is a sleepover, Sans. Physical activities like training do not belong in sleepovers. We’re supposed to have fun in a more relaxing way like cuddling. Lots and lots of cuddling.”

His blush deepens as you give him a squeeze and rub your cheek against his cheekbone. You squeak in surprise when an arm wraps around your waist and pulls you into a warm chest.

When you look up, you see a large grin on Papyrus’ face that makes you blush. You feel your face burning as he leans in close. “you have the best ideas, honey. i’d never get tired of this.”

Sans groans into his hands. “PAPY! NO!”

A giggle erupts before you can stop it. You bury your face into Papyrus’ chest in an attempt to muffle your laughter. The arm around your waist gives you a warm squeeze before pulling you closer.

You continue to laugh as Papyrus tells more puns while his brother groans, acting like he’s in complete agony. It feels like it’s been awhile since you last laughed like this. You really missed their antics.

The shorter skeleton can only take so much before cracking. After reaching his limit, he breaks free from your hold and dashes into the kitchen. “IF YOU NEED ME, I’LL BE MAKING TACOS AND NOT LISTENING TO AWFUL PUNS! I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT DAY IT IS NOW THANKS TO OUR MULTIDIMENSIONAL TRAVELING, BUT I CAN AT LEAST TELL THAT IT’S DINNER TIME!”

That leaves you alone with Papyrus, still giggling madly into his chest because of the puns and Sans’ reactions. You squeal in surprise when you feel yourself suddenly moved.

When you pull back, you realize that the taller skeleton is now stretched out across the couch, and you’re lying against his chest with your legs resting in between his. The blush you had earlier comes back in full force. You’re surprised you’re not emitting steam at this point.

Papyrus chuckles at your flustered expression as he guides you back to lie against his chest. You feel his arms resting comfortably against the small of your back. “looks like it’s just the two of us now, hun.”

You can’t bring yourself to meet his eyes, so you stare at his chest while you try to control your blushing. “Y-You do realize that means Sans is left unsupervised in the kitchen, right? Shouldn’t I go help him so we can survive dinner?”

His hand grabs your chin and directs your gaze upwards. The grin on his face is way too wide and amused for your tastes. “what’s the rush? my bro usually burns up the first batch of tacos during the times he cooks when he’s super excited. because of his burning desire to make his first meal for you perfect, he’ll probably be in there for a while. if you really wanna help, you can join him after you smell the smoke. for now, you can just sit back and relax with me.

He then proceeds to give you a cheeky smile. “unless you don’t want to?”

When he releases your chin, you bury your face in his chest to hide your embarrassment. Because of that, your voice comes out muffled when you reply. “N-No, I’d like to stay here for a little longer. This is comfortable, and I really am tired. But, is this really comfortable for you?”

His arms give you a warm squeeze. “absolutely. no bones about it. haven’t been this comfy in a while.”

As you giggle at the pun, you feel your body begin to loosen up. You really start to relax when Papyrus begins rubbing your back in a soothing motion with one of his hands.

This reminds you of when he had helped you calm down during your breakdown in Swapfell. You mentally wince. You can’t imagine how you looked to all of the skeletons there, probably a complete mess. How embarrassing. You’re lucky that no one brought it up later on after everything had calmed down.

Thinking of your breakdown makes you remember what caused it in the first place. Your heart clenches painfully as you recall the deaths of your two dear friends. You’re so glad that the reset had worked. You honestly don’t know how you managed to pull it off, but you’re immensely grateful.

His hand on your cheek draws you out of your thoughts. When you meet his gaze, you see Papyrus giving you a concerned look. “looks like you got a lot on your mind, honey. care to share? i know you got put through a lot lately, so if you need someone to talk to, i’ll listen.”

Yeah, ‘cause I’d love to discuss my near death experiences. Don’t forget watching my friends die protecting me. That should be a fun discussion.

You probably should talk about it, but you don’t even know where to begin. And, honestly? You’d rather not have to relive those painful experiences again. However, a question comes to mind that begs to be answered. It’s been at the back of your mind ever since your last encounter with Error. You keep your face down when you ask.

“Do you blame me for what happened to Sans? Or, I guess I should say, did you blame me? Were you mad? Are you still mad? About me being the cause of his death?”

The arms around you tighten and pull you as close as possible. “listen close, y/n. you did not cause his death. it wasn’t your fault—at all. you were a victim in this as much as my bro was. sans died because he wanted to protect you. because you were important to him. no way could i be mad at someone who my bro risked his life to protect.”

You raise your head as your hands clench tightly around the fabric of his hoodie.You feel tears begin to gather at the corners of your eyes. “Error was after me. If I wasn’t there, Sans would’ve never been in danger. He would’ve still been with you because he wouldn’t have been dragged to another world. He would’ve been safe. If you guys hadn’t met me, then neither of you would’ve had to go through something like that again.”

He rests his forehead against yours. “it’s not like he’s completely safe here, y/n. unfortunately, that wasn’t the first time i’ve seen him die, and it might not be the last depending on how things go with the kid. i’d like to say as long as he’s with me that my bro will be safe, but i can’t guarantee that. after all, i was there when he took the hit for you. everything happened so fast, and i couldn’t get there in time. if anybody should be at fault, it should be me. protecting sans is my responsibility, but i failed.”

You wrap your arms around his neck and hug him tightly. “It’s not your fault. You were busy keeping an eye on Error and Black. You had no way of knowing that there would be an attack from underground. We only knew because Black warned us. Out of all of us, Blue was the quickest to figure out his warning and act. It happened so fast. There was nothing anyone could’ve done.”

“the same could be said for you, y/n. it’s not like you asked sans to save you. he did it willingly. error’s actions are also not your fault. you didn’t ask for any of that. he attacked you in two different worlds because of a false assumption. you didn’t deserve any of that pain, especially since you’ve been helping everyone all this time.”

When he pulls away, he gives you a warm look. “you’re also forgetting one important thing, hun.”

You tilt your head curiously as you blink away the tears. “What?”

A tender grin forms on his face as his expression softens. Papyrus raises a hand to pull a strand of your hair behind your ear. His gentle touch makes you shiver. “you saved my brother, y/n. because of you, sans is still alive. you willingly put your life on the line to bring him back. everything else doesn’t matter. all i care about is that i have my brother. thank you, y/n.”

You feel the tears coming back at full force as you listen to the sincere gratitude in his voice. He really doesn’t blame you at all. You bury your face into his neck as your body trembles. You’re fighting back the tears, but you can’t stop shaking from relief.

If he had held a grudge, you don’t know what you would’ve done. The fact that he doesn’t blame you makes you feel that maybe it is alright to forgive yourself after all. You don’t want to hang onto this guilt for the rest of your life. You want to let go and move on. After all, you’ve never been the type to dwell in negative emotions for very long. Why start now?

With a wobbly smile, you hug the skeleton as hard as you can. “T-Thank you, Papyrus. I really needed to hear that.”

Papyrus squeezes you in return and runs one of his hands through your hair. “anything for you, honey.”

Your body begins to relax at his ministrations. You’ve always had a weakness for people playing with your hair. If this continues for too long, you fear that he’ll put you to sleep.

The two of you remain like that for some time just enjoying each other’s presence. Just as you feel yourself start to doze off, the smell of smoke reaches your nose. You sigh sadly. “Looks like break time is over for me if we want to have an edible dinner.”

The tall skeleton nuzzles your hair as he tightens his grip. “five more minutes.”

You giggle as your cheeks turn pink. “Do you really wanna eat glitter for dinner?”

“no, but i also wanna stay like this longer. this is so comfy.”

While his words do make you happy, you really can’t comply with his wishes. You can’t afford to leave Sans unsupervised for too long. The safety of your stomach is on the line. “I’m sorry. I just don’t want to take the chance that I’ll have to ingest glitter. How about I give you a prize if you let me go?”

That grabs his attention. He gives you a curious look. “what kind of prize?”

You gather up all of your courage and reach up to kiss him on his cheekbone. He blushes a bright orange, and his arms go slack from shock. You take that chance to move off the couch before he can trap you again.

A triumphant grin forms on your face as you take in his flustered expression. He definitely hadn’t expected that. You wink at him before heading for the kitchen. “Not a bad prize, right? Now, I’m off to save dinner. Wish me luck!”

Because you’re now too far away to hear, you miss the next words he whispers. “not a bad prize at all. hope there’s more of those to come.”

Thanks to your cooking experience with Captain Fantastic, you’re not that surprised by the state of the brothers’ kitchen when you walk through the doorway. Only a few feet inside and you’re already coughing because of the amount of smoke in the room. Your nose crinkles in displeasure as you wave your hand in an attempt to clear the air.

The first thing that catches your eye is the glitter. The room is literally sparkling because of the large amounts of glitter covering almost every inch of the kitchen. Where the hell did he get this much glitter?! Does he buy out the store every time he goes shopping?!

On the counter, you see the remains of some mutilated vegetables. You also see the unsurprisingly empty bottle of glitter farther down the counter. You find the source of the awful burnt smell perched on the table. There’s hardly anything left of the tacos on the dark cooking pan. All you see is black ash. Damn. Papyrus wasn’t kidding about Sans torching the first batch he makes. By the looks of things, Sans uses store bought taco shells instead of hand making them. If Undyne never taught Captain Fantastic to hand make spaghetti noodles, it makes sense that Alphys wouldn’t teach this Sans. Well, that’s one less chore you have to worry about.

Right now, Sans is standing in front of the stove with his back to you holding a pan filled with meat. When he sets down the pan on the eye of the stove and reaches for the heat knob, you jump into action. Before he can turn on the heat, you pull him into your arms and hug him close. “Sans! You look so cute dressed as a chef! Will you let me cook with you? Please?”

While you do have an ulterior motive for your actions, it’s true that you think he looks super cute. Over his usual outfit, the shorter skeleton is wearing a red apron with the words Kiss the Chef in bold white font. There’s even a big, fluffy chef’s hat on his head.

Grinning mischievously, you kiss him on his cheekbone which makes him blush brighter than any blue neon light sign you’ve ever seen. It’s adorable how he tries to cover his flustered expression with his hands.

“Y-Y/N! WHAT WAS THAT FOR?!”

You hug him tighter as you grin brightly. “Well, the apron did say Kiss the Chef. It sounded like a good idea to me, so that’s what I did. Why? Did you not like it?”

Despite his best efforts, Sans is unable to completely cover his blush which you notice has gotten darker. “N-NO. I JUST THINK IT IS DANGEROUS TO TRY AND SNEAK UP ON ME LIKE THAT! I AM A TRAINED WARRIOR, SO I COULD’VE ACCIDENTALLY ATTACKED YOU BECAUSE OF MY SURPRISE! YOU ARE LUCKY I HAVE SUCH GOOD INSTINCTS, OR THIS COULD HAVE ENDED MUCH WORSE! YOU MUST BE MORE CAREFUL, Y/N, ESPECIALLY IN THE KITCHEN WHERE ACCIDENTS ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAPPEN.”

You’re making it sound like a lot of accidents have happened in this kitchen, Sans. Should I be worried?

After giving him another squeeze, you set him back down on the floor. You adjust his hat that had been knocked askew from your sudden embrace. “Sorry, Sans. I’ll be more careful next time. I promise.”

He moves his hands to rest on his hips as he gives you his best stern look which seems more like a pout to you. “GOOD! I WOULD HATE TO CAUSE ANY HARM TO YOU WHILE YOU ARE HERE. BECAUSE OF MY AMAZING STRENGTH, I KNOW I COULD CAUSE A LOT OF DAMAGE IF I’M NOT CAREFUL.”

In a blink, his expression turns from upset to the starry eyed excited face you’re so familiar with. It’s amazing how quickly his expressions can change. The skeleton grins brightly. “DID I HEAR YOU CORRECTLY WHEN YOU SAID YOU WANTED TO COOK WITH ME?”

You smile as you nod. “Yep! I’d love to cook together with you, Sans. Can I?”

His eye-lights sparkle. “OF COURSE! I LOVE COOKING WITH FRIENDS!”

You inwardly sigh in relief. Thank goodness. Your stomach has a chance to survive after all. You’re so glad that Captain Fantastic and this Sans are such sweethearts who have no problem cooking with others. You can’t imagine what cooking with Edge or Black would be like. You’re not looking forward to dealing with either of those two in the kitchen. Maybe if you’re lucky you won’t have to.

The first thing you address is the correct temperature for cooking. Like Captain, Sans believed the hotter the flame the better the food would turn out. It took some convincing, but eventually, he agreed to try it your way. Once the meat is taken care of, the two of you work on chopping the vegetables instead of just smashing them. You also show him the best temperature for cooking the taco shells which is much lower than what he has always used. That doesn’t surprise you one bit.

While the glitter bottle was thankfully empty, that didn’t mean you were safe from the substance. Because it was literally everywhere, some still got mixed in with the ingredients. You can’t really complain since it could’ve been a whole lot worse. Fortunately, the empty bottle was the last of the glitter, so he couldn’t add anymore for this batch.

It takes a while, but eventually, your batch of completely edible-looking tacos are finished with not a single burnt mark in sight. The two of you do a double high-five to celebrate your success.

Sans grins proudly as he carries the tacos to the dining table. You follow behind with the plates and napkins. “MWEH HEH HEH! THESE TACOS LOOK PERFECT! AS EXPECTED OF THE MAGNIFICENT SANS AND HIS AMAZING FRIEND Y/N!”

A large grin grows on your face that matches his as you set down the plates. “That’s right. We’re an awesome cooking team. We should totally try to get on TV. We’ll be the taco-f the town.”

The short skeleton gives you a horrified look. You’ve never seen him look so betrayed. A loud snort draws your attention to Papyrus who is unsuccessfully trying to control his laughter as he leans against the doorway.

“Y/N, WHY?!!”

His over-the-top reaction makes you giggle. Messing with him is just too much fun. You turn back to Papyrus and give him a wink. “Taco ‘bout good timing, Papyrus! Dinner’s ready!”

“NOOOOO!”

You bend over clutching your stomach as you laugh at Sans’ distressed reaction. Papyrus isn’t faring much better than you considering his hunched over position.

After a few minutes, the two of you manage to calm down. When you look up, you see Sans pouting with his arms crossed. “IT SEEMS YOU HAVE SPENT TOO MUCH TIME WITH MY BROTHER. YOU HAVE BEEN FULLY CORRUPTED. TO THINK YOU’D START PUNNING WITHOUT PAPY EVEN INTERFERING. WITH TWO PUNSTERS, I FEEL LIKE I AM OUTNUMBERED!”

A broad grin forms on Papyrus’ face. Oh, this should be good. “you mean like a taco-ver?”

“PAPY!”

Chuckling, you sweep the shorter skeleton into a hug and rub your cheek against his cheekbone making him blush. “Aw, don’t be like that, Sans. You know that I’m always on your side. I just love your cute reactions.”

His blush darkens. “I-I AM NOT CUTE!”

The taller skeleton walks over to you and rubs his brother’s head. “sure you are, bro. you’re the coolest and the cutest. how many guys can say that about themselves?”

You nod in agreement. “That’s right! It takes a lot of talent to be super cool and adorable all at the same time. You’re amazing, Sans!”

A large embarrassed grin forms on Sans’ face. “MWEH HEH HEH! OF COURSE! NO ONE IS AS AMAZING AS THE MAGNIFICENT SANS! THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT DO!”

After giving him another quick squeeze, you release the shorter skeleton and walk over to the table to take a seat with the brothers quickly following suit. Soon enough, everyone has a taco on their plate and is digging into their meal.

Sans’ eyes grow starry after he takes a bite. “WOWZERS! THESE ARE DELICIOUS, Y/N! WE DID A GREAT JOB!”

He’s right. These tacos definitely turned out better than you expected. While you couldn’t avoid the glitter, you managed to prevent any of the ingredients from getting burnt. These turned out to be some really good tacos.

Papyrus gives you a thumbs up while he holds his taco in his other hand. “he’s right. these are really good. you and my bro make a shell of a team.”

His brother groans in dismay while you giggle at the pun. “PAPY, NO! NOT AT THE DINNER TABLE!”

“gotcha, bro. hun, lettuce continue this conversation after dinner.”

“PAPY!”

Thankfully, you didn’t have any food in your mouth at that moment, or you would’ve definitely choked from laughing. It takes you awhile to calm down enough that you can continue eating. All the while, Sans gives his brother a less than impressed look.

Not long after that, the three of you finish your meals and move to clean up. Well, you and Sans do at least. Papyrus decides to stay at the table and just cheer you both on while he finishes off the bottle of honey he opened for dinner.

Once the kitchen is clean, you and the brothers head for the living room. While the taller skeleton makes a beeline for the couch, his brother gives you an excited look. “NOW THAT WE’VE EATEN, WHAT SHOULD WE DO NEXT FOR OUR SLEEPOVER, Y/N? GAMES? STORY TELLING? TRUTH OR DARE?”

Before you can respond, Sans suddenly freezes in place. “WAIT! I JUST REALIZED THAT WE’RE NOT PROPERLY DRESSED! IN ORDER TO HAVE A SLEEPOVER, PAJAMAS ARE REQUIRED! I’LL NEED TO GO UP TO MY ROOM AND CHANGE QUICKLY!”

From his stretched out position on the couch, Papyrus gives his brother an amused look. “i think you’re forgetting something, bro. what about y/n? she doesn’t have any pajamas.”

The shorter skeleton’s eyes widen in horror. “THAT’S RIGHT! I DIDN’T EVEN THINK OF THAT! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO WEAR, Y/N?!”

You’re about to tell him that your current clothes are comfy enough to sleep in but pause when you look yourself over. Your outfit is looking pretty rough thanks to your adventure in Swapfell. There are dirt smears from when you fell while being chased, and there are tears in some places from the attacks of those Amalgamates.

After all that running around, you could really use a shower. It wouldn’t hurt to wash these clothes either. But, what would you wear in the meantime? There’s no way that you’d be willing to stay in just your bra and underwear.

You grin sheepishly. “I hate to be a bother, but do you guys have any extra clothes that I can borrow for the night? I’d really love to take a shower, and these clothes I’m wearing could use a trip to the washing machine.”

As your words register, both brothers blush at the idea of you wearing their clothes. Papyrus averts his eye-lights as he rubs his head. “that shouldn’t be a problem. you’re no bother, honey. i can find you something to wear.”

Sans nods rapidly. “YES! I’D BE HAPPY TO LEND YOU SOME OF MY CLOTHES! IF YOU’D LIKE TO USE OUR SHOWER, YOU’RE MORE THAN WELCOME TO, Y/N! IN THE MEANTIME, PAPY AND I WILL PICK OUT THE BEST CLOTHES FOR YOU! DON’T WORRY, I’LL MAKE SURE THAT WHATEVER PAPY PICKS HAS BEEN PROPERLY WASHED.”

His brother chuckles. “thanks, bro. wear would i be without you?”

“PAPY!”

You smile at the skeletons. “Thanks, guys. Just leave the clothes right outside the bathroom door, okay?”

The shorter skeleton gives you a thumbs up. “ROGER! YOU CAN COUNT ON US!”

With that, you move toward the staircase to head upstairs. Just as you reach the first step, you pause. “Wait a minute. You guys probably don’t have shampoo, right? I mean, there’s no need for you to.”

Drat. Looks like I won’t get to shampoo my hair. At least, I can use the water to wash off any dirt that might have gotten on me.

Papyrus snorts, obviously amused by your question. “actually, we do have some, honey. alphys bought some for sans as a gag gift. it’s still in the bathroom if you want to use it.”

His brother nods in agreement. “YES! I’D RATHER YOU USE IT THAN IT GO TO WASTE.”

You start giggling as you move up the stairs. No doubt Papyrus got a big kick out of that gift. Sans was probably really confused but accepted it because he’s too nice to refuse gifts no matter how weird they may be.

“Thanks, guys. I promise I won’t take a long time. Then, we can start having some sleepover fun.”

“don’t worry about it, hun. take your time. no need to rush. we’ll be hair when you finish.”

You hear Sans groan loudly in dismay just as you reach the top of the stairs. When you look down, you see him giving his older brother a disappointed look. “PAPY! NO MORE PUNS! WE NEED TO FIND Y/N SOMETHING TO WEAR!”

Papyrus chuckles in amusement. “right, bro. let’s go check out our closets to see what we have hanging around.”

“PAPY!”

Giggling, you make your way down the hallway until you find the bathroom. You go inside before you can hear the rest of the conversation downstairs.

The bathroom looks pretty normal like one you’d find at home. It’s on the small side with just one sink that has cabinets below it. You see a toilet on the other side of the sink which somewhat surprises you since you didn’t think monsters needed them thanks to magic food. There’s also a nice tub with a shower head above and a shower curtain decorated with cute rocket ships.

You waste no time in turning on the water and moving the knob to make sure it comes out of the shower head. After a few minutes of searching, you find the shampoo Papyrus had mentioned in the cabinets under the sink.

You raise an eyebrow at the label. Honey scented shampoo? Did Alphys really buy this for Sans, or was Papyrus actually behind this? Or, did they team up? Either way, this is hilarious.

Grinning, you place the bottle on the edge of the tub before stripping down and entering the shower. You release a sigh of relief as the hot water hits your body. You feel the tension melt away as your muscles relax. Yes, you definitely needed this.

You end up spending a lot more time than you had planned in the shower. When you check your phone that you left at the sink, you find that you had been in there for at least thirty minutes. It had just felt so nice. You didn’t want to leave.

Above the toilet is another set of cabinets which is where you find the towels. You quickly wrap your body in one and use another for your hair. After spending a few minutes drying your skin, you make your way to the door. You really hope when you check outside that the guys won’t be there. That would be so embarrassing.

Taking a deep breath, you slowly open the door enough so that you can peer outside. Thankfully, all you see is a pile of clothes right where you asked them to be put. You reach your arm out to grab the clothing before quickly pulling them inside and closing the door.

It only takes you a few minutes to get dressed. Once you are, you observe your pajamas for the night. For a top, you’re wearing a black tank top that stretches past your hips and a pair of blue shorts that are so small they don’t even come close to reaching your knees. You can barely see the shorts because of how big the tank top is on you.

Obviously, the top is Papyrus’ while the shorts are from Sans. While this is kinda embarrassing, I admit that these are comfortable. I wonder if the guys realize how this will look on me. I hope seeing a lot of skin won’t make them uncomfortable. I’m surprised I got a tank top instead of a hoodie from Papyrus. Maybe all of his are dirty.

You spend a few more minutes in the bathroom towel-drying your hair before giving up. You can only dry your hair so much with just a towel. While they miraculously had shampoo, you seriously doubt these guys have a hairdryer. Oh well, it’s not like walking around with damp hair really bothers you. Most of the time, you’re too lazy to do it at home anyway.

Once the towels are thrown in the hamper and your phone is placed in your new shorts, you gather up your dirty clothes and head for the stairs. It’s as your walking that you realize you could’ve just worn the clothes you were wearing underneath the hoodie and sweatpants. But, they were kinda dirty and sweaty from all that running around in Swapfell, so it would probably be better to just wash them along with the other clothes. Too bad you can’t do the same with your bra and underwear. You could, but not wearing any for the night doesn’t sit right with you considering you are staying at a house where there’s only guys.

When you return to the living room, you see Papyrus slouched against the back of the couch. Looks like he plans on making his regular outfit his pajamas for the night. Once you walk around the furniture, you find that Sans is also there with this eye-lights glued to the TV. By the looks of it, Napstaton’s show is on. You have to bite back the urge to coo when you see the cute rocket ship pajamas he’s wearing.

You don’t want to interrupt his TV watching, so you decide to ask where the laundry room is so you can take care of your clothes while he’s busy. “Hey guys, where’s your laundry room? I want to go ahead and drop my clothes in there so that they’ll be ready to wear tomorrow morning.”

“I’LL SHOW YOU! IT’S-”

Sans’ sentence abruptly cuts off once he sees you. His eye-lights grow wide as a dark blue blush covers his cheekbones. Papyrus is staring at you in a similar manner except his blush is a bright orange. The way his jaw is hanging open, that sucker of his looks like it’ll fall out at any minute.

You feel your face grow hot as they gape at your appearance. Guess they really hadn’t considered how this wardrobe would look on you after all. “G-Guys?”

At the sound of your voice, the brothers immediately snap out of their reverie. The taller skeleton covers his face with a hand as he averts his eye-lights while his brother quickly jumps off the couch. “I-I’LL SHOW YOU THE WAY! FOLLOW ME!”

Too embarrassed to say anything, you nod and follow after the shorter skeleton who leads you to a door on the other side of the room. The laundry room isn’t very large just big enough to hold a washing machine and dryer. You also see shelves along the walls holding detergent and other washing products.

Once your clothes are taken care of, the two of you head back to the couch. The whole time Sans is unusually quiet. He hasn’t said much since explaining how to use the washer and dryer. Maybe you should wear something else after all if it’s making him this uncomfortable.

Right as you reach the couch, you open your mouth to suggest a change in clothes, but the younger skeleton speaks before the words can leave your mouth. “Y/N! I-I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT I THINK YOU LOOK VERY CUTE IN THOSE CLOTHES! OF COURSE, PAPY AND I PICKED THEM OUT SO THEY WERE SURE TO BE NOTHING LESS THAN AMAZING! HOWEVER, I DIDN’T REALIZE HOW GREAT YOU’D LOOK UNTIL I SAW YOU. EVEN THOUGH IT’S JUST A TANK TOP AND SHORTS, YOU LOOK VERY NICE!”

You blush in embarrassment. Your face feels so hot you bet it could rival a stop light in terms of brightness. You hadn’t expected to receive such a nice compliment for your looks. From what you remember seeing in the bathroom mirror, you looked far from nice. Your hair was a mess thanks to the lack of a hair dryer and hairbrush. There was nothing cute about what you saw in your reflection.

An arm wrapping around your shoulders makes you squeak in surprise. Looking up, you see a large grin on Papyrus’ face. “my bro’s right, honey. you look adorable dressed like that. You should consider wearing our clothes more often. tank about it.”

“PAPY!”

You hide your face in your hands. “You guys are exaggerating! My hair probably looks like a bird’s nest. That is far from cute.”

When you feel fingers card through your hair, you pull your hands away enough to see that the taller skeleton has started messing with your hair.

There’s a softness to his grin now. “you look fine, hun. it doesn’t look bad at all.”

Once you drop your hands, you watch Sans nod rapidly. “PAPY IS RIGHT! I THINK YOUR HAIR LOOKS VERY CUTE! IF YOU ARE DISPLEASED WITH IT, WOULD YOU LIKE FOR ME TO STYLE IT? UNDYNE LET ME STYLE HER HAIR ONE TIME, AND I DID AN IMPECCABLE JOB. AS EXPECTED OF THE MAGNIFICENT SANS! MWEH HEH HEH!”

Your face softens as you smile. “I think I would like that, Sans. But, you don’t have a hairbrush, right? I didn’t see one in the bathroom.”

Sans frowns as he grabs his chin. “HMM. THAT IS TRUE. I USED UNDYNE’S HAIRBRUSH LAST TIME. WE DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING LIKE THAT HERE SINCE WE’VE NEVER NEEDED ONE. WHAT SHOULD WE DO?”

“i have an idea, bro.”

Papyrus moves to sit back on the couch. This time, however, he’s leaning against the armrest sitting with his legs crossed. Once he’s comfortable, he reaches for you. The taller skeleton moves so fast that you have no time to react. One minute you’re standing by the couch, the next you’re sitting in the older skeleton’s lap facing the other end of the couch.

His arms wrap around your middle, and he pulls you close. You shiver when Papyrus whispers right by your ear. “you smell really nice, honey.”

Right when your face had finally started to cool down, your blush returns at full force. Judging by his chuckling, Papyrus has definitely noticed your flustered expression.

Fortunately, Sans decides to join the conversation by moving to sit in front of you. He tilts his head curiously. “I DON’T GET IT, PAPY. HOW IS THIS SUPPOSED TO HELP Y/N FIX HER HAIR?”

The taller skeleton starts carding his fingers through your hair. “we can just use our fingers, bro. it might not be perfect, but it should take care of any knots. i’ll take care of the back, and you can work on the front.”

His brother grins brightly. “I SEE! WONDERFUL IDEA, PAPY! Y/N, IS THAT ALRIGHT WITH YOU?”

Like you could actually say no to that face. Plus, you don’t think Papyrus is gonna let you go anytime soon. He is obviously very pleased with your new fragrance. Using that shampoo might have been an unwise decision.

You give the younger skeleton a smile. “Sure, Sans. That’s fine. Thanks for going through all the trouble. You really don’t have to, though.”

Sans leans forward and reaches for your hair. “NONSENSE! AFTER HEARING ABOUT THEM FROM UNDYNE, I KNOW NOW HOW PAINFUL HAIR KNOTS CAN BE. I’D HATE FOR YOU TO HAVE TO SUFFER FROM ANY JUST BECAUSE WE DO NOT OWN A HAIRBRUSH. LEAVE YOUR HAIR IN OUR CAPABLE HANDS, Y/N! I WILL MAKE SURE EVERY KNOT IS FOUND AND TAKEN CARE OF!”

His hands are surprisingly gentle. Considering how excited the shorter skeleton looks, you figured he’d move his fingers at a more energetic pace. However, Sans just slowly cards his fingers through your hair, wearing an intense look of concentration. You heart warms at the sight.

In the end, Papyrus only handles the hair on the very back of your head while his brother takes care of the rest. You feel your eyelids begin to droop under their ministrations. Having your hair played with always makes you sleepy. When you were a child, any time you’d go for a haircut you’d have to fight off the urge to fall asleep. You don’t know why you’ve always found this so relaxing.

Your head bobs up and down as you try to fight off the sudden drowsiness. Sans notices this and frowns worriedly. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT, Y/N? YOU LOOK VERY TIRED ALL OF A SUDDEN.”

You smile sleepily. “I’m okay. I just always get sleepy when someone plays with my hair. I’m not really sure why.”

The arms around your waist give you a warm squeeze as the taller skeleton rests his chin on your shoulder. “you can go to sleep if you want to, honey. you must be exhausted after everything that happened. i know i am.”

Shaking your head, you rub at your tired eyes. “No, it’s alright. The sleepover just started. I can’t fall asleep now. Right, Sans?”

Sans studies you intently for a few minutes after he pulls his hands away from your hair. He then grins. “AHA! I HAVE AN IDEA! WE CAN SPEND OUR FIRST EVER SLEEPOVER WATCHING NAPSTATON! THERE’S A MARATHON GOING ON RIGHT NOW, SO WE CAN WATCH THAT FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT. I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE EXCITING TO DO FOR A SLEEPOVER THAN WATCH NTT WHILE CUDDLING ON THE COUCH!”

His brother chuckles softly. “you have the best ideas, bro.”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

A warm smile forms on your face. “I think that sounds like a perfect idea, Sans.”

It only takes a few minutes to get everyone comfortably situated on the couch. Papyrus still hasn’t relinquished his hold on you. Now, he’s laid out across the couch. You follow his example and stretch out your legs while you lean against his chest. Sans is now in your lap with his head pillowed on your stomach as he lies on his side facing the TV. He even grabbed a blanket to cover everyone’s legs.

While you had every intention of remaining awake for as long as possible since you wanted to make the most of this sleepover, you couldn’t fight off your drowsiness for very long. Papyrus was not helping matters since he was running his fingers through your hair again. He’s probably doing that on purpose.

In addition to that, he made you take a dose of that allergy medicine after you got situated on the couch. Considering he pulled the bottle out of nowhere, he must have been keeping it in his pocket, waiting to give it to you before you fell asleep. Apparently, he was still worried about you being around Pup’s smoking, so he wanted to be safe just in case. You took the medicine to appease him since he was just trying to look out for you.

Slowly but surely, your eyes drift close as the exhaustion you’ve accumulated from all of your travels finally hits you at full force. The last thing you’re aware of before you fall asleep is two whispers and the feeling of two sets of arms squeezing you gently around your waist.

“good night, honey.”

“Good Night, Y/N.”

You’ve never slept better.

Chapter Text

“What was with those looks they were giving me? They were acting like I was sending you to war or something.”

You giggle at the artist’s comment. “I think they were just upset that you wouldn’t let them come along, Ink. They’ve become a little protective of me ever since Swapfell.”

Ink rolls his eye-lights. “A little? Talk about an understatement. The only reason they let you come with me was because they didn’t want to put your soul at risk.”

Just like he promised, Ink had arrived in Underswap that following morning to take you to the Void. Thankfully, he came after breakfast, so you were able to leave after getting something to eat.

When you woke up that morning on the couch, you were surprised to find just you and Blue there. You found out shortly after waking up that Stretch woke up early to take your clothes to Muffet to get the tears in the fabric fixed. You made sure to give him a big hug for his efforts.

After changing clothes, you and Blue teamed up to make pancakes for breakfast which turned out pretty awesome. For some reason, that meal ended up being much easier to make than the tacos from last night.

Shortly after breakfast, Ink appeared to take you away, and that brings you to your current situation. All around you is the inky darkness of the Void. It’s hard to believe that this place actually played a role in saving your life.

You raise an eyebrow at the skeleton. “So, what now? Do I need to do anything, or does the Void do all the work?”

He smirks as his starry eye begins to glow with magic. “It’s been at work ever since you stepped inside the Void. I’ll show you.”

With a quick tug, your soul appears shining dimly. The first thing you notice is the grey outline around your soul. You remember that’s how your soul looked when you saw it right before leaving Undertale. So, that grey glow was the Void’s magic?

You watch wide-eyed as the darkness from the Void starts to encircle your soul before being absorbed. Slowly but surely, your soul grows brighter with each additional amount of magic it soaks up.

Ink takes a seat on the ground and leans back against his hands. “Might as well make yourself comfortable. This might take a while. Besides refilling your magic supply, your soul’s structure needs to be checked out. While it looks fine after receiving my magic, I think that we should stay here for a while so that the Void can examine your soul and make sure everything is alright.”

With a smile, you sit down beside the artist and gently bump his shoulder with yours. “Thank you, Ink. I appreciate you going out of your way to help me. I know that you must be busy thanks to the glitch, but you’re still taking time out of your busy schedule to lend a hand. If you need to leave at any time, you can leave me here. I’ll understand.”

There’s a slight flush to his cheekbones which shows that he’s embarrassed by the sincere gratitude. He averts his eye-lights. “Well, it’s not like anyone else can do this. And, there’s no way I could just leave you. You’re such a trouble magnet. There’s no telling what will happen if I don’t keep an eye on you. I don’t think me staying here for a little while will cause any harm. Besides, there’s not a lot I can actually do against the glitch once it has infected a world.”

You’re touched that he’s worried about you, but you can’t help but feel surprised. From what you remember reading about him, Ink’s not the type to worry about others--at least not about someone he barely knows. Sure, he’s the one responsible for you being here, but it’s not like he has to go through all this trouble on your behalf. Is there a reason for his unusual behavior?

Feeling it would be rude to question his kind actions, you decide to focus your questions on the glitch for now. “Do you know what exactly caused the glitch, Ink? It didn’t just suddenly happen, right?”

The artist nods his head. “Yeah, no way something this big could just come out of thin air. To answer your first question, I honestly have no idea. When I started seeing AUs disappear, I thought it was Error destroying them initially. However, I quickly found out that wasn’t the case after I saw the glitch in action. I witnessed the glitch firsthand slowly consume a world after killing the Frisk of that AU. At that point, there was nothing I could do to stop it.”

You pull up your legs and hug them close as you rest your head on your knees. “Why is the glitch targeting the kids, Ink? Because of their ability to reset?”

He fiddles with his scarf. “Yeah. As long as the kids can reset, the glitch can’t completely envelop the world. Any damage it does can be undone thanks to resets. That’s why the glitch goes after the kids first. The glitch can’t really do anything serious to an AU until the resets are stopped.”

An idea comes to mind that makes you pause. “What about the worlds that don’t have a Frisk or Chara? There are some like that, right?”

Ink rubs a tired hand down his face. “There are. Those are the ones that are in the most danger. There’s nothing to stop the glitch from taking over. Some of the AUs that have been destroyed were like that. Resets are the only thing besides the Void’s powers that can hold the glitch back.”

You tilt your head curiously. “Then, why hasn’t the Void been sending me to places like that first? Not that I’m complaining about where I’ve been, but since those worlds had a kid, that means they were in less danger, right?”

He shrugs his shoulders. “Beats me. I can’t tell you what the Void’s thinking. At the very least, I can understand why it would send you to Undertale first since that was the first AU. Everything started from there since that was what the video game in your world was based on.”

You blink in surprise. “You know about my world? About the game?”

For some reason, the artist’s expression grows nervous as he averts his eye-lights. You remember that he acted like this before finally revealing the truth about your soul back in Swapfell.

Your eyes narrow suspiciously. “Ink, are you hiding something else from me?”

Ink eyes you warily. “If I say yes, are you gonna put me in another chokehold?”

You shrug your shoulders. “Maybe. Depends on what you’re hiding.”

His shoulders slump as he sighs. “Fair enough. Honestly, it’s not a big deal. Well, that’s what I thought at first. But, the more I think about it, the more I think that maybe you would think it’s important. They’re your memories after all.”

Now, you’re really curious. What do your memories have to do with this? “Alright, I’m lost. What do you mean by my memories? Are you trying to say you’ve seen them or something?”

He nods his head. “When I was examining your soul after it began to erode, I actually touched it. I probably shouldn’t have, but I was curious about what would happen. When I did, I saw your memories. Probably not all of them, but I saw a lot. That’s how I found out your name and about your world. And, also…”

Also? Did something else happen that he’s reluctant to talk about?

When he grows quiet after failing to finish his sentence, you reach over to grab his hand. He jumps in surprise when you give it a warm squeeze. “I’m not mad about you seeing my memories, Ink. I admit that I’m not fond of the idea of someone seeing my memories without my permission, but it’s not like you did it on purpose. Besides, you were trying to save me, so I shouldn’t complain.”

Ink buries his face in his scarf. You know that he says something, but his muttering is so low that you can’t hear what he says.

You lean closer to him. “Sorry, I didn’t catch that. What did you say?”

The artist closes his eyes as he sighs. “I said, ‘I wasn’t trying to save you. Not at that time.’”

Noticing your dumbstruck expression, he continues. “I was just examining your soul out of curiosity. I didn’t plan on saving it because I didn’t see the point. I didn’t think it was possible to save a soul that was so far gone.”

You pull back your hand as if it’s been burned. “I-I don’t understand. Aren’t I still alive now because of you and the Void?”

His face becomes melancholic after you pull away from him. “I did. Because something changed that made me want to save you despite the odds.”

Something changed? What on Earth could make the artist do a complete 180 like that?

While you still feel hurt after hearing about his initial reaction to your plight, you can’t help but be curious. “What changed?”

Ink meets your gaze. “When I touched your soul, I didn’t just see your memories. I accidentally absorbed a fragment of your soul that broke off. It happened so fast that I was unable to stop it from happening.”

You stare at him in wide-eyed disbelief. He absorbed a part of your soul?! You didn’t know it was possible to do that with soul fragments.

The corners of his mouth move upwards. Apparently, he’s amused by your reaction. “I freaked out at first, but when nothing happened, I figured it was no big deal. However, when I was about to leave for the Doodle Sphere, I found myself unable to move.”

Your brows furrow in confusion. “Why couldn’t you move? I thought the soul fragment didn’t do any damage to you.”

The artist shakes his head. “It wasn’t because I was physically unable to move. Just the thought of leaving you to die gave me a sharp pain in my chest. I never felt anything like that before. I didn’t understand at first because there were no wounds to cause me pain, but the more I watched you suffer, the worse the pain got. I…”

When his eyes meet yours, it takes your breath away. You’ve never seen such raw emotion on his face before. He reaches over to grab both of your arms which startles you. “That feeling...It was guilt, right? I’ve never really felt guilt before that moment, but looking at you dying made me feel so bad since I knew it was my fault that you were there. If I hadn’t opened that stupid door, you would’ve never ended up in the Void. You would’ve still been safe in your own world. Because of me, you were dying, and I hated that! So, I tried to save you because I couldn’t handle the guilt anymore. I just wanted it to stop!”

His hands abruptly release you and fall into his lap. They clench into fists as Ink moves his gaze downwards. “So, you shouldn’t be thanking me. For anything. Not for saving your soul or saving you from Error. Not for staying here with you. I don’t deserve to be thanked when I’m only doing it for myself. Because I can’t handle the guilt.”

You surprise Ink by pulling him into an embrace. His body freezes in shock. You place one hand on the back of his head to bring it to your chest, and your other arm wraps around his back. You rest your chin on the top of his head while your hand rubs his back in a soothing motion.

“Even if you only saved me because you felt guilty, that doesn’t change the fact that you did save me, Ink. While you may have been the one that brought me here, it’s not like you did it on purpose. It was an accident. Besides, you already apologized, right? So, you shouldn’t feel bad about that anymore. I was upset at first, but now that I know the whole story, I understand. I forgive you for what happened--all of it.”

He wraps his arms around you and clings tightly. “Why? I was willing to just leave you here to die all alone in the Void. You should hate me. You should be mad. Why aren’t you?”

You give him a warm squeeze. “Because you didn’t. You didn’t leave me. What’s the point in getting upset over something that could’ve happened but didn’t?”

How can I blame him when plenty of other people would’ve probably done the same after seeing my bleak situation? The only reason I survived was because the Void decided to help. It was pure luck. Besides, if I remember correctly, Ink doesn’t actually have a soul, so he’s probably not used to caring about others, let alone complete strangers. Of course, he’d want to leave me. While it hurts to think that he would’ve left me, can I really condemn him? Even if I did, what would that accomplish? The guilt has already been eating him alive as it is. There’s no need for me to make it worse.

His grip on you tightens, but instead of replying, Ink just remains silent. The two of you stay like that for a while with you rubbing his back every so often. He hasn’t moved an inch in quite some time, so you begin to wonder if he actually fell asleep.

“What’s that sound?”

You jolt in surprise. He hadn’t spoken in awhile, so the sound of his voice startled you. “W-What sound?”

When you try to pull away to see his face, he tightens his grip to prevent you from moving. “That thumping in your chest. Is that a normal human thing?”

An amused smile forms on your face. So, that’s what he was talking about. “That would be my heartbeat. And, yes, that is normal for humans. Is this your first time listening to a human’s heart?”

The artist nods his head. “When would I get the chance to listen to one? I don’t exactly hang around humans, you know.”

You giggle in amusement. “That’s true. Saving AUs kinda fills up your schedule, huh? You probably don’t have a lot of time to hang out with people.”

His response comes out as a sleepy hum. “Mhm.”

You raise an eyebrow at the skeleton. Is he seriously falling asleep right now? “Ink? You awake?”

There’s no response.

Slowly, you pull away far enough so that you’re able to see his face. You can only stare in disbelief as you take in the sight of the artist fast asleep.

Did he seriously just fall asleep after listening to my heartbeat? Really? What is he? A kid?

Biting back a chuckle, you adjust your position to make yourself more comfortable. Once you’re sitting with your legs crossed, you lay Ink’s head in your lap and move his body so that it’s stretched out across the ground.

You lean back against one of your hands while the other hand gently strokes the head in your lap. You might as well let him get some rest. You’re supposed to be here for a while anyway.

I wonder when was the last time that he got some sleep. Does he sleep? I know that he’s not as lazy as most of the Sanses, but does he even need to sleep? Surely, he does. Even Captain Fantastic sleeps for at least a couple of hours each night. So, that means all the skeletons need sleep. But, if he’s always busy with the AUs, does he get the opportunity to rest?

At first, your hand remains on the top of his skull, but after a while, you start to move it further down. You let it wander across his face as you study his features.

As you’d expect from any normal person, his eyes are closed as he sleeps. What you don’t understand is how he and the other skeletons can do that when they shouldn’t have eyelids. How do they have eyelids when they don’t have any skin?!

Although it’s very tempting, you refrain from trying to see what his eyelids are actually made of. You don’t want to risk waking him up. Instead, you let your fingers lightly dance across his cheekbones instead.

They’re fuller than the lazy Sanses but not quite as round as Blueberry’s. Now that you think about it, his face does remind you more of Blue’s than Comic’s. Maybe it’s because Ink doesn’t deal with the stress of resets like his lazy counterparts. That’s why his face appears younger. While maybe not as energetic as Blue, Ink is definitely livelier than some of the other Sanses like Comic and Red.

It just goes to show that every Sans is his own unique individual. They may be the same person, but they’re each different in their own way.

Once you realize that you’ve been staring at the sleeping skeleton for far too long, you quickly move your gaze upwards and go back to rubbing your fingers across his forehead and the top of his head. You feel your face grow hot from embarrassment. Jeez. What came over you? Just staring creepily at the poor guy like that. You’re glad that he didn’t wake up while you were watching him. That would’ve been so awkward.

You weren’t trying to be a creep. You just got a little curious. Besides, it’s not like there’s a lot of things to do in the Void. You had to find something to do to keep yourself from growing bored. Maybe you should follow his example and take a nap. The only reason you hesitate is because the ground doesn’t feel like it would be comfortable to sleep on. Ink has you for a pillow, but what are you supposed to do?

With a sigh, you return your attention back to the sleeping artist. He said he absorbed a part of my soul and started feeling guilty after that. Does that mean my soul fragment caused him to feel guilt? How? If it was a small fragment, it shouldn’t really have any effect on him, right? Is that all it did to him, or did it cause him to have other feelings as well? Will it give him feelings that he’d normally have if he had a soul?

You continue to ponder, trying to think of the details surrounding the artist. I can’t say that I completely understand what it means for monsters to be soulless, but in the case of Ink, I remember him only being focused on things that interested him. Once he considered something to be boring, he’d move onto something else. He never got really attached to anything---to anybody. I can’t imagine not having any form of attachment whatsoever. That sounds so lonely.

Your eyes soften as you gently stroke his forehead. But, that’s normal for him. I bet it never really bothered him. He was probably too preoccupied with looking out for the AUs to bother caring about his lack of a soul. It’s not like it really hindered his life. He could still feel happy and get excited along with other emotions to some extent at least. He was just never able to form a real connection with someone and see what that felt like. I wonder...Does Ink have anyone that he’d consider a friend? A true friend?

You remain lost in thought for some time. It’s the sound of a loud yawn that finally draws you out of your musings.

When you look down, you see Ink covering his mouth with one hand as he yawns while the other hand tiredly rubs at his right eye socket. You watch as he stares up at you sleepily. He does that for a few minutes before his eye-lights suddenly widen.

You grin in amusement when the artist quickly sits up. There’s a bright, rainbow-colored blush across his cheekbones. “Sleep well, Ink?”

Your glee only increases as you witness Ink bury his face in his scarf to hide his embarrassment. Because of the cloth, his voice comes out muffled. “W-Why was I asleep in your lap?!”

You raise an eyebrow. “You don’t remember falling asleep on me? Apparently, my heartbeat is so soothing that listening to it knocks you out like a light. You were dead asleep.”

Well, it is true that he has a bad memory. Maybe he really did forget.

Ink tilts his head curiously. You notice that his blush doesn’t last as long as the other Sanses when they get flustered. Either he forgets his embarrassment rather quickly, or he’s just not the type to dwell in one particular emotion for very long.

“Your heartbeat? Oh! I remember now! That thumping noise was just so relaxing; it made me really sleepy for some reason.”

You snort in amusement as you take in his puzzled expression. As you watch him try to figure out his sudden sleepiness, you remember your earlier thoughts which gives you an idea. “Hey, Ink?”

“Hmm?”

Once you have his attention, you give him a warm smile. “Can we be friends? I know that we haven’t known each other for very long. Although, I guess I could say the same for all the other skeletons that I’ve met. I consider all of them my friends now, and I’d like to think of you that way as well. Would that be alright with you?”

His eye-lights widen in surprise. His expression is a mixture of disbelief and confusion. There’s also something else there. Maybe...hope? “You want to be friends with me? After what I did? Why?”

Your expression softens. “I told you, didn’t I? I forgave you for that. That’s all water under the bridge. Now, I just want to get to know you. It wouldn’t be fair to exclude you just because you made some mistakes. Since you regret your past actions, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be friends with you. I think that you’d be a real fun guy to hang out with.”

For some reason, he clutches his chest at your words. Before you can ask if he’s alright, you freeze at the sight of tears streaming down his cheekbones. You reach out to cup his cheek with your hand. “Ink? Are you alright?”

Ink jumps at your touch but doesn’t pull away. Instead, he just blinks in confusion at your question. “Yeah? Why wouldn’t I be?”

You frown in concern as you gently wipe away a tear with your thumb. “You’re crying.”

His eye-lights get even bigger when he touches his other cheek and feels the wetness there. The artist pulls his hand back and stares at it with wonder. “Huh? You’re right. But..why?”

Ink stares at you in bewilderment. “Why am I crying? And, why do I get this weird feeling in my chest when you smile at me like that? I don’t understand. I’ve never felt like this before I met you.”

His lost expression hurts your heart. You cup both of his cheeks and start wiping away his tears. “I’m not really sure, but I think what you’re feeling is joy. It might not makes sense to you, but sometimes humans will cry when they’re really happy. They get so overwhelmed with their emotions that they end up coming out as tears. I think you’re happy that I want to be friends with you because you thought I wouldn’t want anything to do with you after hearing the whole story. You thought I’d reject you, but I didn’t.”

Even after his cheekbones dry, you continue to rub them gently with your thumbs as you give him a kind smile. “But, that’s just me guessing. After all, they’re your feelings, Ink. What do you think they mean?”

The hand on his chest clenches tightly as his eye-lights narrow in concentration. You pull your hands away as you await his response. “I...I think you’re right. My chest isn’t hurting like when I feel guilty. This is different. It feels so much nicer. It’s like the feeling I get when I’m drawing or helping AUs.”

His eye-lights begin to twinkle as his expression grows excited. “But, it’s even better! Like I’ve saved all the AUs and created a million drawings! I don’t think I’ve ever felt this happy before!”

Before you can respond, the artist abruptly throws up, covering the ground with ink. Fortunately, he was considerate enough to turn away before he did it.

Oh yeah. I forgot about that particular character quirk. I’ll have to be more careful around him whenever he’s excited from now on. No way do I want that all over me.

Ink rises to his feet and brings out Broomy. With one sweep of the paintbrush, the ink splatter vanishes after being absorbed by the bristles.

After returning the paintbrush to his back, he sits back down with his legs crossed. Ink rubs the back of his head sheepishly. “Sorry about that. I didn’t get any on you, did I?”

You grin as you shake your head. “No, I’m fine. Thanks to you turning away, I was spared. I’ll have to remember to be more careful around you in the future whenever you get excited.”

He surprises you when he brings out a small paintbrush to write on the inside on his scarf. You give him an amused look. “Taking notes?”

After he finishes writing, Ink grins brightly. “Yep! I definitely don’t want to forget this!”

Your face softens at his words. You reach out to grab his hand and give it a gentle squeeze. “Don’t worry, Ink. Even if you did, I promise that I’ll remind you as many times as it takes.”

A rainbow of colors floods his cheeks as he blushes. He smiles shyly as he fiddles with his scarf. “No one has ever said that to me before. I’ve never had someone to remind me of things. I always had to make notes for myself in order to remember important things.”

You feel a sharp pang in your chest. He really doesn’t have anyone else. Even if he has probably teamed up with plenty of other Sanses, at the end of the day, it’s still always just him. He doesn’t have a world that he can to return to. Not even a Papyrus. I can’t imagine how lonely that must feel.

Your grip on his hand tightens as you give him your best smile. “Well, now you have someone. ‘Cause that’s what friends are for.”

Ink beams at you which gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest. You’re really happy that you could bring that brilliant smile to his face.

You watch as his expression quickly turns from joyful to curious. You wonder what he’s thinking about now.

He tilts his head. “Since we’re friends now, that means it’s alright for me to scold you for being reckless, right? I wanted to before, but I didn’t really think I had the right to so I held back.”

At your confused look, the artist continues. “I’m talking about the reset you did in Swapfell. You do realize how dangerous that was, right? How insane it was to shatter your own soul? It was only by pure luck that you survived.”

Your eyes widen. So, that’s what he meant by you being reckless. He’s upset that you nearly died trying to save your friends.

A frown forms on your face. “I know that it was reckless, but I didn’t really have any other choice, Ink. No matter what I did, Error planned on killing me. At least, my way gave me the chance to save Captain and Blue. They died protecting me. If there was a chance to save them, I was gonna take it no matter how risky it was.”

He releases a tired sigh. “I know. I know that, but I still get annoyed thinking about it. And, I don’t know why. Something like this would’ve never bothered me before, but now I get angry thinking about how close you were to dying because of Error. You only survived by chance, Y/N.”

You squeeze his hand reassuringly. “Is that why you snapped at Error? I was really surprised when that happened. I could tell he was too.”

Ink nods his head. “Yeah, I was surprised too. Error and I fight all the time, but I never felt that angry at him before. I was so mad that he wouldn’t listen to me and instead continued to hurt you. I hated how he treated you.”

You smile warmly. “It made me really happy when you stood up for me like that. Thank you, Ink.”

He grins brightly. “Of course! I won’t let Error get away with treating you badly anymore, Y/N. Leave him to me!”

Your smile grows as you give him a grateful look. That’s when a question comes to mind that you’ve been wondering about for quite some time. “You said the reset happened by chance. So, that means I can’t do it again?”

The artist frowns as he narrows his eye-lights. “Definitely not. If you try it again, you’ll die. You don’t have the power to reset like Frisk or Chara.”

Your brows furrow in confusion. “Then, how did I do it? That was me, right? No way were we lucky enough to have Chara reset right at that moment.”

Ink shakes his head. “No, that time it was you, but it was a one-time deal. The way I see it, at that moment in time, you were the person with the most determination in the Underground. Whoever has the most determination can reset. That’s how Chara got the ability. So, right as you destroyed your soul, your determination to save your friends was strong enough to surpass Chara’s. That’s why you could reset.”

He raises a hand to keep your attention, “However, the stress of the reset was too much for your soul since it wasn’t as strong as Chara’s. That’s why it was in such poor shape. It managed to pull itself back together but just barely. It’s only because I arrived just in time to heal your soul that you’re still alive.”

Ink grabs your shoulders and gives you a stern look. “So, you can’t do that again, alright? It’s way too dangerous. There’s no guarantee that your soul will be able to pull itself together after shattering a second time. You also have no way of knowing if a reset will actually occur. You got really lucky that time, Y/N. Please don’t do that again.”

You slowly nod as your mind tries to fully grasp everything you just heard. You knew that you were taking a chance when you did it, but this is the first time you are truly comprehending the gravity of the situation. You nearly killed yourself in order to help your friends and only succeeded by pure chance. If you hadn’t been so lucky, you would’ve died and your two friends would have remained dead. Who knows what would’ve happened to the other skeletons after your death.

A hand on your cheek draws you from your thoughts. You feel yourself blush when you notice how close Ink’s face is to yours. “I-Ink?”

His thumb gently strokes your cheek as the artist gives you a warm smile. “It’s alright, Y/N. Your plan worked. You saved your friends and survived. Just focus on that, okay? I didn’t want you to dwell on what could’ve happened. I only brought it up because I wanted to make sure you didn’t do something like that again in the future.”

Touched, you wrap your arms around his neck and hug him tightly. He quickly reciprocates the embrace. “Thank you for looking out for me, Ink. I promise I won’t try to do a reset again. At that time, I was just so desperate that I was willing to try anything if it meant bringing Blue and Captain back. Despite knowing how close I came to dying, I can’t say I regret it since I was able to bring my friends back. But, I won’t try it again. I don’t want to hurt you or any of my other friends with my reckless actions.”

Ink nuzzles your neck as he tightens his hold on you. “Thank you, Y/N. I’m not used to worrying about people, but I’ll work on figuring it out. I promise that I’ll become a good friend.”

You bury your face in his scarf and squeeze him as hard as you can. “You already are, Ink.”

The two of you stay like that for a few minutes before slowly pulling away. You make sure to give him a quick kiss on his cheekbone before you release him.

You grin broadly at the multi-colored blush that covers his cheeks. He quickly rises to his feet and turns away to hide his face. “W-Well, I think we’ve stayed here long enough. Your soul looks good to go now. I think the Void’s done with it, so we can head for the Doodle Sphere to figure out what to do next.”

As you move to stand, you turn your attention to your soul and see that he’s right. It looks exactly like it did when you first saw it in Undertale. Its shining brilliance is a comforting sight considering what it looked like before.

Ink uses his magic to return your soul before bringing out Broomy. It’s just as he turns to open a portal that it happens.

One minute there’s a solid surface under your feet, and the next, there’s nothing. You shriek in surprise when you feel yourself fall through the hole that suddenly appears below you.

“Y/N!”

You hear Ink call out for you, but he’s not quick enough to grab you. As soon as you fall through, the hole closes, and you can no longer see your friend. You try to contain your screaming, but it’s really hard when you have no idea how long you’re going to continue to plummet since you can’t see the ground.

All around you is complete darkness. For all you know, your fall could go on like this forever. What the hell is going on?!

You close your eyes and try to calm yourself down. There’s no point in panicking. That won’t get you anywhere. All you can do is hope that this experience will end soon.

Is the Void trying to tell me something? Or, take me somewhere? There’s gotta be a reason for why it’d do something like this so suddenly.

Your plunge comes to an abrupt halt when something catches you. A deep chuckle right by your ear makes you freeze. “looks like it’s my lucky day. not everyday a cute girl falls into your arms.”

You quickly realize that you didn’t land on something but someone. Your eyes shoot open in surprise when you feel a pair of bony arms grip you tightly.

The sight before you makes you gape in surprise. You recognize this person.

Holding you is a smirking skeleton with a bright yellow eye-light in his left eye socket while the other socket appears half-closed. There’s a line that starts at the lid of the right eye socket and goes upwards over the top of his skull. The line for the other socket stretches downwards from his eye to his mouth which is carrying a lit cigarette. He’s wearing a black jacket that only reaches to the middle of his chest and a white turtleneck sweater underneath. The hood of the jacket is lined with white fluffy fur, and each sleeve has a red circle with an emblem of a black Gaster Blaster in the center.

Before you can continue your examination, another voice from behind makes you swivel your head in surprise.

“Are you alright, Miss? Falling like that couldn’t have been a very pleasant experience.”

Your eyes widen as you take in the appearance of the skeleton before you. The first thing you notice is how tall he is. You’ve never seen a skeleton that tall before. While the other skeleton is definitely several inches taller than you, he has nothing on this guy who has at least two feet on you. He’s wearing a black overcoat, a green turtleneck sweater, black dress pants, and black boots. His eyes look exactly like the skeleton holding you except his one eye-light is green.

You know who these two are, but you have no idea what they’re doing here.

Why are the Gaster Brothers in the Void?!

Chapter Text

You must have been gaping for too long since Gaster Papyrus is now frowning worriedly at you. Realizing you need to get yourself together, you give your mind a mental shake before smiling at him. “I’m alright. It didn’t hurt. I was just scared since I didn’t know when I’d stop falling. Thank you for your concern.”

Giving yourself a mental peptalk, you turn your head toward the still smirking skeleton who’s holding you and hope you don’t make a fool of yourself.

Despite your best efforts, you feel a blush rise to your cheeks when you see his eye-light completely focused on you. “T-Thank you for catching me. And, sorry for falling on you.”

His smirk grows as he leans closer to you. Your face feels like it’s on fire now. “no need to thank me. after all, i think i benefited from this as much as you. can’t complain about getting to hold a cute girl.”

You’re surprised that you’re not already emitting steam at this point considering how hot your face feels now. Thankfully, the other skeleton comes to your rescue and manages to distract Gaster Sans.

“I think that is enough for now, G. The poor girl looks overwhelmed. No doubt she is confused about this current turn of events. Maybe you should release her?” Gaster Papyrus gently suggests.

G complies without complaint and places you back on the ground so that you can stand on your own. Now, you can see the rest of his clothes which include a pair of stylish black pants and black combat boots. You notice the holes in his palms when he takes a drag from his cigarette. “so, what’s a lady like yourself doing in this neck of the woods? this is our first time havin’ a visitor.”

The taller skeleton shakes his head as he sighs. “Honestly, brother. We haven’t even properly introduced ourselves yet, and you are already questioning her. Don’t you think we should at least tell her our names first?”

“huh, guess that would be a good idea. the name’s g, sweetheart. nice to meet ya.”

After G introduces himself, his brother follows suit with a warm smile. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss. You may call me Aster.”

Aster? Huh, I’ve never seen that nickname used for him. I like it.

You smile brightly at them. “It’s nice to meet you both. I’m Y/N. Regarding G’s previous question, I’m not quite sure how I got here. The ground suddenly disappeared out from under me causing me to fall. If I had to guess, I think the Void wanted me to find you two.”

Both skeletons stare at you in surprise. They were obviously not expecting a response like that. Before they can question you, you raise your hands in a halting gesture. “I know what I just said is really crazy, but I can explain. There’s actually a lot that I need to tell you guys. Would you be willing to hear me out?”

The brothers share a look. It amazes you how they seem to be able to communicate without having to exchange any words. The mental conversation only lasts for a few seconds before they make their decision.

G smirks as he shrugs. “why not? i don’t see the harm in it. i’d hate to turn down such a pretty face.”

Aster gives you a warm smile. “Yes, I agree. I admit that I am rather curious about your situation, but I don’t want you to feel pressured to tell us everything. Whatever you feel comfortable sharing with us, we would like to hear.”

Your smile widens as you give them a grateful look. Before you begin your tale, a thought comes to mind. “Oh! Would you guys prefer to see my soul while I tell my story? I know what I’m about to say will be pretty hard to believe. In the past, it helped when people could check my soul to see if I was telling the truth.”

The shorter skeleton waves a hand dismissively in response. “nah, don’t worry about it, darlin. that won’t be necessary.”

His brother nods in agreement. The gentle smile on his face turns into a small frown. “While I appreciate your willingness to be so open with us, I’d rather not force you to go through such lengths on our account. If there is a lie in anything you tell us, my brother and I will notice. However, I sincerely doubt a lady with such a kind face would be anything but truthful.”

That blush from earlier comes back with a vengeance. Man, this guy is smooth. You’ve always been a sucker for the gentlemanly type. On top of that, there’s also one of the most flirtatious Sanses here as well. Your poor heart might not be able to take being around these two skeletons for too long.

It does not help matters that G is smirking at you again, obviously enjoying your flustered expression. Before he can make things worse for you, you start explaining your situation to the skeletons. You tell them about your world and how you ended up here thanks to Ink before explaining the existence of other AUs. After that, you tell them about the glitch and how you were unknowingly appointed the position of fixing the problems created by the glitch.

Once you finish telling your story, you turn silent and wait to see how the brothers will react to what you told them. Surprisingly, they didn’t ask any questions while you were talking. While they were obviously caught off guard by a lot of what you said, it never once looked like they doubted your words.

The one to finally break the silence is G who releases another cloud of smoke as he sighs. “i know you said that your story would be hard to believe, but i definitely wasn’t expectin’ something like that. sounds like you’ve had quite the adventure so far, doll.”

Aster’s frown grows. “I would say that is an understatement, G. I cannot believe Miss Y/N was put through so much and only just recently found out the reason for her struggles. Forcing a lady into such a dangerous situation is too cruel. No matter what the Void’s reasoning may be, I find this unacceptable.”

His concern warms your heart. You’re touched that Aster is upset on your behalf despite only knowing you for a short time. He really is kind--not that you’d expect anything less from a counterpart of Captain Fantastic.

A warm smile forms on your face. “While I admit it was a lot to take in at first, I don’t really mind my current situation. Accidents happen, so it wouldn’t be fair to put all of the blame on Ink. And, if there’s something I can do to help the AUs, then I want to. Besides, in the end, I was able to make a lot of good friends, so I can’t really complain.”

Both skeletons appear surprised by how easily you’ve accepted your fate. You watch as their expressions soften and grow thoughtful as they study you.

Soon after, Aster’s gentle smile returns. “You are a very kind girl, Miss Y/N. Not many people would be so accepting of such a fate and be willing to help when there’s no gain for themselves. I can tell that you are sincere in your desire to help others. While I do not condone the Void’s actions, I will admit that it made an impeccable choice when picking you to save the AUs.”

You flush at the praise. At this rate, you fear you’ll be blushing the entire time you’re with these guys. You cover your face with your hands in an attempt to cool down your burning cheeks.

While your guard is down, an arm suddenly wraps around your waist and pulls you into a warm chest. You squeak in surprise at the unexpected movement.

When you pull your hands away to look up, you see G smirking down at you. He’s holding onto you with one of his arms while his other hand handles his cigarette. You briefly think of how displeased Stretch will be if he finds out about you hanging around another smoker without telling them of your allergies. Of course, that doesn’t stop you from keeping quiet. What Stretch doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

G leans in close, making your face redden further. “now, don’t go hiding that pretty face, hun. that’d be a real waste, ya know?”

Why are you so easily flustered around these guys? You didn’t have any problems flirting back with Red or even Pup, but somehow, these two can turn you into a blushing mess with just a few sweet words. You can’t even think of any clever comebacks. Your mind has gone completely blank. This is where your lack of experience in the flirting field comes back to bite you in the ass.

You do the only thing you can think of. You wrap your arms around the flirty skeleton and bury your face in his chest to hide your embarrassment. “I surrender! I’m not used to getting complimented like this! I knew my subpar flirting skills could only get me so far, but I thought I’d last a little longer in this adventure. But, I was wrong! So very wrong! Please have mercy!”

The sudden embrace obviously catches G off guard considering his stiff posture, but his body soon relaxes and begins to shake as he chuckles in amusement. He uses the arm around you to give you a warm squeeze. “not used to compliments, huh? that’s no good. i’ll have to fix that. after all, it’s my policy to compliment a pretty girl when i see one.”

You hear a sigh from behind you, and then a large hand lands on your shoulder and gives it a gentle squeeze. “You’re overwhelming her, brother. While I agree that proper praise is in order for Miss Y/N, you shouldn’t do too much at once. Although, I admit that I am quite surprised to hear that you are not used to compliments, Miss Y/N. I would think a lady like yourself would hear them often.”

Your face feels hotter than Hotland now. This is so not fair. They’re totally doing this on purpose! Your voice comes out muffled since you refuse to pull away from G’s chest. “I never really got compliments from guys in my world. I was never what you would consider the popular type, so I’d usually just fade into the background. No one has ever really said anything nice about my appearance until I came here. If I knew ahead of time that I’d be dealing with flirty skeletons in the future, I would’ve learned how to properly flirt.”

When the only response you get is dead silence, you risk pulling back a little to take a peek at the skeletons. You blink in surprise when you take in the deep frowns on their faces. Did you say something that upset them?

The hand on your shoulder disappears, and G releases his grip on you. You immediately let go of him, hoping that he’s not upset about your sudden embrace. You’ve gotten so used to hugging your skeletal friends that you did it without thinking. You should’ve waited to see if G was comfortable with that sort of contact, since you had just met.

G surprises you by grabbing your chin with his now free hand and tilting it upwards. “listen close, princess. we’re not just saying nice things to flatter you. when i say something, i mean it. so, don’t believe whatever you’ve been told in the past by those guys from your world. okay?”

Before you can respond, the smoker lets go of your chin, and Aster decides to join the conversation. He grasps one of your hands and gently rubs the back of it with his thumb for a few seconds.

He smiles tenderly. “G is right, Miss Y/N. I promise that everything I’ve said so far has been genuine. You’re a lovely lady and deserve to be treated as such. I don't know why you were treated otherwise in your world, but nothing like that will happen here. I hope that you will believe us.”

Back in your world, guys would never give you a second glance. You weren’t the pretty popular type, and you weren’t good enough at sports to be like the cool tomboys. You were just you. With nothing remarkable to offer. Nothing to make you stand out. You figured since that was how it always was even through high school that it would always be like that for you. No one would ever notice you.

But, then you woke up in Undertale and ended up going on this crazy adventure, meeting skeletons left and right. While the friendships didn’t always happen instantly, they eventually formed in every world you visited. They all accepted you for who you are. They saw you.

That’s why you can’t bring yourself to be too mad about your crazy situation. Because of it, you made amazing friends whom you’d never find back at home. You’re grateful that you were able to meet all the skeletons.

Even though you’ve only known G and Aster for a short time, you’re glad that you got to meet them too. You give them a warm smile. “Thank you--both of you. I never thought that you were being insincere with your words. I just got a little overwhelmed since I’m not used to being praised like that. I am grateful for the kind words, though. Thank you.”

Aster’s smile softens while his brother now sports a pleased smirk. In a blink, G is there beside you with an arm around your shoulders. “no prob, princess. now that you’re with us, my bro and i will make sure that you get the royal treatment.”

The giggle bursts forth before you can stop it. The pun caught you off guard since you weren’t expecting one from the smoker. He appears very smug as he watches you try to rein in your mirth. Even his brother chuckles in amusement.

Once you calm down, you raise an eyebrow at the skeleton beside you. “Princess?”

That was the first nickname that he used more than once, so you’re a little surprised. Since he kept using different ones, you figured that he preferred to not stick to just one. Or, was he trying to find one that he liked?

Smirking, G releases his grip on you and takes a drag from his cigarette.“what? don’t like it? i thought it suited you the best. besides, i didn’t wanna give you a nickname that you already had, so i had to be creative.”

There’s a small, amused grin on Aster’s face. “Wanting to stand out, I see. I can’t say that I’m surprised. I do think that you made a very good choice, brother. It suits Miss Y/N perfectly.”

Your cheeks redden in embarrassment. While their affectionate words do make you happy, you really aren’t used to receiving so much positive attention from guys.

Wanting to distract the guys from this topic, you ask the first thing that comes to mind. “So, how did you guys end up here? What are you doing in the Void instead of your world?”

“That’s right. We have not explained our side of the story. Since you were kind enough to tell us yours, it’s only fair that we do the same.” Aster rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Unfortunately, I am not quite sure how the two of us ended up in the Void. After hearing your story, I am inclined to believe that the glitch you mentioned might be behind our current situation.”

Of course. It always leads back to the stupid glitch. Why am I not surprised?

G shoves his hands into his pockets as he slouches. “we’ve been wonderin’ how we ended up here since we arrived. more than anythin’, i was surprised that i was still in one piece. i thought when frisk reset that everythin’ would go back to normal in that world and that sans and gaster would come back while i would disappear.”

The taller skeleton nods in agreement. “I was also surprised about my survival after everything reset in my world. Finding myself stuck in the Void and meeting G were both also quite shocking.”

Wait a minute. Did he just say he met G in the Void? As in they didn’t come from the same world?

You raise your hands in a stopping gesture. “Hold on. Are you saying that you two came from separate AUs?”

G takes another drag from his cigarette and exhales a large cloud of smoke. “yep. that’s right. i thought you already knew that since you said you knew who we were.”

Confused, you keep shifting your gaze between the two skeletons. “But, you’re brothers, right? I just assumed that you were from that one AU where you both existed since it looked like you two knew each other pretty well. I know of Echotale where you’re from G. That’s probably the most popular version of you. However, there’s another AU that I don’t know a lot about that had both of you in it. I’ve never heard of an AU that just had Aster.”

Noticing Aster’s surprised expression, you quickly continue. “But, I don’t know about all the AUs. There’s so many that I’ve lost count. Plus, it can be hard to find info on some AUs, so that’s another reason why I only know so much.”

Aster smiles at you when he realizes that you had been worried about upsetting him. “It’s quite alright, Miss Y/N. I understand. You can’t be expected to know everything considering the large amount of alternate realities. We didn’t really help matters either. I am sorry for confusing you. While it is true that I refer to G as my brother, we are not actually related since we came from different worlds.”

The shorter skeleton shrugs his shoulders. “we’ve spent so much time together here in the void that it feels like we’ve known each other for a long time. so, aster callin’ me his brother doesn’t bother me. i have no problem with a cool guy like aster bein’ my bro.”

“It started when I accidentally called him brother. G had done something that really resonated with Papyrus’ memories of his own brother, and I found myself saying it before I could stop myself. Thankfully, G, being familiar with my situation, didn’t take offense.” Aster recalls, his face softening, “I am also very grateful to be able to consider G as my brother. I admit that I was always envious of Papyrus. I could tell from his memories how much he loved his Sans; it made me yearn for a relationship like that as well.”

When he turns to face you, there’s a fond smile on his face. “Of course, I can understand how confusing that may sound. Calling each other brother despite not being related, is that strange?”

You quickly shake your head. “No way! You don’t have to be related to be brothers. If G is that important to you, I see no reason why you can’t consider each other brothers. In my world, there are plenty of people who treat each other like siblings because they’re that close.”

A cheerful smile forms on your face. “Besides, hearing you say that makes me really happy.”

G cocks his head to the side curiously. “happy?”

Your smile softens as you stare at the skeletons. “I’m happy that you two have each other. To me, there’s nothing sadder than a Sans or Papyrus that doesn’t have his brother.”

Yellow and green eye-lights widen in surprise at your statement. When you take in their stunned expressions, you realize what you just said and facepalm. “Wait. I take that back. I shouldn’t have worded it like that. While a part of you was once Sans and Papyrus, that doesn’t change the fact that you both are your own unique person. You’re G and Aster not Sans and Papyrus. What I meant to say was I’m glad that you’re no longer alone and instead have each other.”

The longer the silence continues, the more nervous you feel. You hope that you didn’t offend them with your previous statement. You really didn’t mean for it to come out the way it did. You know that they’re not just another Sans and Papyrus. You just wanted to say that you were glad that they found each other, so they would no longer be alone.

Suddenly, G appears right in front of you, catching you completely off guard. How’d he get there so fast? Did he teleport?

Your face grows hot when he leans down and cups your cheek with his hand. The way he stares at you makes your stomach do flips. Your breath hitches when you feel his thumb ghost across the corner of your lips.

Instead of the smug smirk you expect, there’s a fond grin on his face as he watches you. He gently strokes your cheek with his thumb. “you’re really somethin’, princess. it’s not everyday that you see a soul as kind as yours. even with everythin’ that’s happened to it, i can still easily sense your pure feelings flowin’ out.”

The whole time he speaks his gaze keeps you captivated. The combination of his stare and gentle ministrations leaves you breathless. Because of that, it takes you a few minutes to reply. “I-I was just being honest. I didn’t say anything particularly outstanding. Kindness toward you shouldn’t be a rarity. Everyone should treat you like that because you deserve it just as much as everyone else.”

His expression softens at your response. You squeak in surprise when he uses his free hand to wrap around your waist and pull you close. You feel your blush deepen when his face comes to a stop just a few inches above your own. You dimly notice that the cigarette isn’t currently in his mouth. Even with it gone, you can still smell smoke from his clothes due to being in such close proximity to him. Despite your usual dislike of that smell and the slight itch you feel from it, you can’t bring yourself to really hate it right now.

G moves the hand on your cheek to the back of your head and threads those fingers into your hair. “not everyone thinks like that, princess. bein’ kind isn’t always the easiest thing, so those who can do it as easily as you are special. you should give yourself more credit.”

Your heart is pounding so hard it feels like it could bust out of your chest at any moment. Your whole body feels like it’s on fire especially the places where he’s touching you. You want to say something, but your mouth has gone completely dry from nervousness.

Thankfully, Aster chooses this moment to intervene and come to your rescue. He puts a gentle arm around your shoulders to brace you while he uses his free hand to pull his brother away by his hood. In any other situation, you would have laughed at the sight, but you’re too busy trying to calm your rapidly beating heart and get rid of your persistent blush.

“That’s enough, brother. While I can understand your desire to compliment her, I must remind you that we are not to overwhelm her. You need to learn moderation, G.”

G returns the cigarette that he was holding to his mouth. It must’ve been in the hand wrapped around your waist since you didn’t see it earlier. “sorry, bro. you’re right as always. i’ll be good.”

For some reason, those words do not assure you at all. Maybe it’s because of the amused look he aims your way.

Aster sighs at his brother’s response before turning his attention to you. The smile he directs at you is so warm and gentle; it makes you feel like you have butterflies in your stomach. “While I think my brother went a little overboard, I do agree that you are a very kind lady, Miss Y/N. Not everyone would see things the same way as you. Kindness is a gift that should be treasured, and I’m very grateful for the kindness that you’ve shown us.”

He gives your shoulders a gentle squeeze before releasing his grip on you. Despite only holding onto you for a few minutes, you continue to feel a tingling sensation where he touched you.

After pulling away, Aster gives you a considering look. “Since you are familiar with my brother’s background but not my own, I believe it’s time for me to explain my situation and how I came to exist.”

Now that you’ve finally calmed down, you find it easier to speak. You frown worriedly. “You don’t have to tell me anything you’re not comfortable sharing, Aster. You don’t owe me any explanations.”

“That may be true. However,-” Aster smiles gently. “I have no problem with discussing my past with you, Miss Y/N. Rather, I think I’d prefer you knew the whole story. Although, it’s honestly not very different from what happened in G’s world. So, there’s not a lot to actually tell.”

Curious despite yourself, you ask the question you’ve always wondered since you first heard of Gaster Papyrus in your world. “How did Papyrus get involved with Gaster? I mean, in G’s world, Sans worked alongside the doctor in his lab. While Papyrus is very intelligent, I don’t see him as being very interested in science.”

G exhales a large puff of smoke. “that’s one of the big differences between our worlds. in mine, sans and the doc were just coworkers. in aster’s, the doc actually adopted sans and papyrus so they became a family. while papyrus didn’t work in the lab like his bro, he was there all the time because the other two were.”

His brother nods his head. “Yes, Papyrus and his brother were orphans before Dr. Gaster found them and adopted them. Papyrus saw it as his responsibility to look after the two and make sure they never worked themselves too hard.”

That makes sense. If Gaster adopted them, of course Papyrus would spend time in the lab. That’s just like him to look after others like that. What a sweetheart.

You tilt your head curiously. “Okay, so that explains why Papyrus would be at the lab. Was he also close to the Frisk in your world like the Sans of G’s world?”

At the mention of Frisk’s name, both skeletons’ faces soften. There’s a distant look on the taller brother’s face as if he’s recalling a memory from long ago. After a few seconds, he blinks and pulls himself out of his reverie. “Yes, that is correct. It was actually Papyrus who had found Frisk and brought them to Dr. Gaster. When he saw their injuries from the fall, he immediately brought them to the lab, so they could be healed. It didn’t take long for the two to become good friends. Neither Sans nor the doctor had the heart to stop Papyrus from visiting Frisk since it made him so happy.”

Aster rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Aside from Papyrus being the one to fuse with Dr. Gaster, those are the only major differences between my and G’s worlds. Of course, if you’d like to hear more, I would be more than happy to answer any other questions you may have.”

While the idea of hearing more about his adventures with adult Frisk does sound enticing, you feel that’s something that could be asked at a later time. Maybe after you’ve spent more time with Aster and gotten to know him better.

There is one question that you really want to ask, however. Grinning, you place your hands on your hips as you stare at the taller skeleton. “There is one important difference you’re forgetting, Aster.”

G raises a brow ridge while his brother appears confused. “Really? What might that be?”

While one hand remains on your hip, the other moves to point at G and then Aster. “There’s a huge difference between a flirty bad boy and a charming gentleman. Did Frisk’s taste in comic books change too?”

A green blush dusts the taller skeleton’s cheekbones while his brother smirks in amusement. Aster coughs into his hand. “Ah, yes. In my world, Frisk’s favorite comic involved a secret agent who went on missions to save the world. He was referred to as the perfect gentlemen, always taking out his enemies with class and treating the women that he’d meet with complete respect. Frisk said the comic was very popular on the surface.”

He averts his eye-light. “I admit that I find it rather embarrassing to be compared to someone so popular. I don’t know if I’d really call myself a gentleman. I just act in a way that I think is right. I don’t think there’s anything particularly special about my mannerisms.”

The fact that his blush still hasn’t died down yet is really endearing to you. Who would’ve thought he’d get embarrassed over something like that?

Smiling brightly, you move closer to the taller skeleton and grab both of his hands. When he gives you a startled look, you squeeze his hands gently. “You’re very special, Aster. Not every guy is as kind to others as you are. You’ve proven how kind you are countless times over the short period of time that I’ve known you. You got upset on my behalf when you heard my story and comforted me when I mentioned my life back in my world despite not knowing me for very long.”

You make yourself keep his eye on you, making him sense your gratitude, “That gentle kindness of yours is very admirable. I can’t think of anyone more suitable of being called a gentleman than you. Honestly, I bet that comic book character has nothing on you. I can’t imagine anyone being cooler than you.”

His blush that was once a light lime color is now a dark emerald. Apparently, it’s Aster’s turn to play the flustered party. You find his reaction extremely adorable. This makes you wonder if maybe that’s why they were enjoying making you blush earlier.

Meanwhile, G is off to the side snickering at his brother’s embarrassment. “you okay, bro? you’re looking a little green in the face.”

You snort at the pun while the taller skeleton releases a long suffering sigh. After you release your grip on him, he uses one hand to cover the upper part of his face although it doesn’t do much good because of the hole in his palm. “Honestly, I don’t know why I am surprised.”

Once his blush fades, Aster lowers his hand and turns his gaze toward you. That gentle smile of his gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest. “Thank you, Miss Y/N. While I believe my kindness pales in comparison to yours, I am honored by your praise.”

Before you can reply, a familiar voice from the distance interrupts. “Y/N!”

When you turn toward the sound of the voice, a body tackles you and almost knocks you over. Aster, thankfully, moves quickly enough to support you from behind and keep you upright.

You thank the tall skeleton before looking down at the skeleton hugging you. Your eyes widen in surprise as a delighted smile forms on your face. “Ink!”

The artist continues to cling to you but pulls back enough in order to look up at you. “I finally found you! I was worried! I can’t believe the Void actually kidnapped you! Are you alright?!”

Nodding, you return the embrace. “I’m okay. Sorry for worrying you. I honestly had no idea what was happening at the time, but I think the Void brought me here to meet G and Aster. It seems the glitch somehow left them stranded here.”

At the mention of your new friends, Ink finally pulls away and notices the other skeletons with you. His eye-lights widen. “I knew the glitch was dangerous, but I had no idea it was capable of this. It must have intervened after they left their original worlds and stopped them from being sent to their new worlds.”

G raises a brow ridge. “new worlds? you mean we were actually supposed to end up somewhere else?”

You snap your fingers. “That’s right! I almost forgot. The Echotale comic ended with G ending up in a new world after Frisk reset. Since their worlds were so similar, I’m sure the same was supposed to happen with Aster.”

Noticing their surprised expressions, you smile warmly at the brothers. “Frisk wanted you guys to live more than anything. They wanted you to find a world of your own where you could live happily. I believe their powers played a large role in keeping you two alive.”

As their expressions soften at your words, Ink nods his head in agreement. “That’s right! You two were supposed to go to a new AU where monsters are free to live on the surface. You would be free to live however you want. The fact that you two are here now means that the glitch must’ve gone after the AU where you were supposed to go. We better head to the Doodle Sphere to see what kind of shape that world is in now.”

With that, the artist pulls out Broomy and uses it to create a portal to the Doodle Sphere. Grinning, he puts away his paintbrush and pulls you along by the hand. You look over your shoulder and smile at the surprised brothers. “Follow us, guys! Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you both get home safely.”

The brothers share a look before following after you. Within seconds, you all arrive at the Doodle Sphere. While the brothers admire the scenery, you focus your attention on Ink. “So, where would the door to their world be? Is it far?”

He shakes his head. “It shouldn’t be too far from here. I’m more concerned with what state it will be in when we get there. Since there’s no one with the power to reset there, it’s possible that we may be too late to save that world.”

Your chest tightens painfully at the thought. You really hope that’s not the case. You don’t want G and Aster to lose a home they never even got to enjoy. They don’t deserve that.

You clench your fists in determination. “We won’t be too late. We’ll definitely save it in time. I’ll make sure they get to go home.”

A hand ruffling your hair startles you. When you look up, you see G smirking at you. “don’t worry about us, princess. no matter what state our world is in, my bro and i will be alright. no need to stress yourself out on our account.”

On the other side of him, you see Aster nod and smile in your direction. “That’s right. While I’m grateful for your desire to help us, I do not wish for you to overwork yourself.”

You’re touched by their thoughtfulness, but you are not dissuaded. You are determined to save their world so they can have the home they deserve. “Thanks, guys. Still, I want to do my best to save your world. The Void gave me the ability to do so, so I want to put that power to good use.”

Ink sighs as he starts leading the group toward the path on the right. “Somehow, I have a bad feeling about this. Don’t be too reckless, Y/N.”

You put a hand to your chest as you give him your best innocent expression. “Who? Me? Reckless? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He rolls his eye-lights but refrains from commenting. It only takes a few minutes for your group to arrive at your destination.

This door is black, and it has a silver door frame. You notice that the color is much more faded compared to the other doors in the area. You don’t think that’s a good sign.

There’s a tension in the air as everyone stares at the door. Finally, Ink releases your hand and moves to turn the doorknob. He sticks his head past the doorway to peer inside, and after a few minutes, he pulls away from the doorway.

The frown on his face is not a comforting sight. He joins your group and rubs a tired hand down his face. “It’s not good. The world is still there, but the glitch has erased a lot of it. There’s definitely no longer any people there. Now, it’s just working on eliminating everything else. It won’t last for much longer.”

You know the brothers are saying something to Ink, but you can’t hear them over the sound of your heart pounding loudly in your ears. You’re too late? G and Aster are going to lose their one chance at a home? Just like that? Because of a stupid glitch?

The skeletons’ conversation turns into background noise as you turn to face the open door and glare at it with narrowed eyes. No way can you just accept this. You can’t let this glitch get away with taking away your friends’ home. There has to be something you can do. You can’t give up without at least trying something.

Determined, you dash straight through the open doorway into the world on the other side. You’re dimly aware of your friends’ panicked shouts, but they’re soon cut off by the door slamming shut behind you.

When you take in your surroundings, you realize that you’re at the top of a mountain. As you study the rocky terrain, you briefly wonder if this is the Mt. Ebott of this world.

The sight you witness when you look further outwards makes your heart plummet. All across the distance you see the white pixelated spots you’ve come to associate with the glitch. Slowly but surely, the glitch is devouring the land. Parts of the land are already gone, and even parts of the sky appear more white than blue.

As you strain your eyes to see past the forest surrounding the mountain, you realize you see more white than any other color. There may be more past the trees, but you don’t think there’s much. Ink wasn’t kidding about there not being much left of this world.

Your hands clench into fists as you stare helplessly at the remains of this world. There has to be something you can do. There just has to! The Void brought you to G and Aster for a reason. It obviously knew that this world was in danger and wanted to bring it to your attention. Why would it bother doing that if there was no way to save this world?

What can I do? All this time, it’s been the Void that’s been saving the AUs. It’s not my magic; I’m just the container. Is there really nothing I can do besides hope the magic kicks in and starts healing this world?

The hopelessness of the situation rests heavily on your shoulders. You rest a hand against your chest and dig your fingers into the fabric of your hoodie. “There has to be something I can do. You wanted me to come here, right? Please tell me what I should do. How can I help this world?”

Despite knowing how ridiculous you probably sound, you continue to talk as if the Void can actually hear you. At this point, you’re desperate enough to try anything. “I don’t know if you can hear me, but please do something! I want to save this world! If I have the power inside of me to do that, please use it! I don’t know if this is anything like resets, but if you need determination, I’ll give you however much you need! I’ll do anything! Just please do something!”

When nothing happens, you feel your eyes grow hot from the frustrated tears that want to fall. You drop to your knees and scream toward the sky. “Please save their home! Please help G and Aster! Please!”

Just as you feel the despair begin to overwhelm you, it happens.

A familiar tugging sensation resounds in your chest before your soul pops out into view. You watch in amazement as it begins to glow brightly. Despite your soul’s dark color, it manages to produce a light bright enough to blind you.

You choose to divert your gaze away from the bright beacon and move to study your surroundings. Your eyes widen in surprise at the sight before you.

Slowly but surely, you witness color returning to the world. You don’t understand how, but the light from your soul is successfully pushing back the encroaching white.

It’s at that moment that an unexpected wave of lethargy washes over you. For some reason, it appears that as the brightness of your soul increases your energy level decreases. You try to fight off the sleepiness that tries to overwhelm you, but it’s a losing battle.

Right as your soul gives off a large burst of light, you pass out.

It’s the sound of familiar voices that rouses you from your slumber.

“Y/N! Can you hear me? Please wake up!”

“i know i call you princess, but i didn’t think that you’d pull a sleeping beauty on me. do you want me to kiss you that much?”

“Brother! This is not the time for that! Please wake up, Miss Y/N. We are all extremely worried about you.”

Hating how worried those voices sound, you fight to open your eyes. After a few seconds, you finally manage to pry your heavy eyelids open. The first thing you see is three blurry figures hovering over you.

Once your vision clears, you realize that you are being held in G’s lap with Ink kneeling close by. Aster is standing right behind his sitting brother bent over so that he can get a better look at you. All three of them are watching you with worried expressions.

Your brows furrow in confusion. “W-What happened?”

Ink wraps his arms around your neck and hugs you tightly. “You were reckless again! That’s what! I can’t believe you just ran in there without any warning! When the door closed behind you, I couldn’t get it to open again. You trapped yourself inside a dying world, you idiot!”

His words remind you of what transpired in the other world. Feeling guilty, you return the embrace and bury your face in the artist’s scarf. “I’m sorry, Ink. I was just so upset that I moved without thinking. I didn’t want G and Aster to lose their world. That was supposed to be their home, and it wasn’t fair that they wouldn’t get to enjoy it. I wanted to save it so badly.”

A shudder of breath escapes you, “I’m sorry for scaring you. I know what I did was stupid, but I just couldn’t stay still.”

After a few minutes, Ink finally releases you, but instead of backing away completely, he starts pulling on your cheeks with his hands. “You better be sorry! Now, I know what real worry feels like, and it’s not pleasant! This better not be a habit of yours!”

The stinging of your cheeks makes you wince. When he lets go, you tenderly rub your now sore face.

A deep voice whispering in your ear makes you squeak in surprise. “you didn’t forget about me, did ya, princess? you’re not off the hook just yet.”

That’s when you realize there’s an arm tightly wrapped around your waist keeping you firmly in place. You had almost forgotten you were sitting in someone’s lap.

Your cheeks heat up with a dark blush when you notice how close G’s face is to yours. He smirks at your flustered expression. “you had me and my bro worried. don’t think that just a hug will be enough to satisfy me.”

Before you can start mentally panicking, Aster intervenes and grabs his brother’s shoulder to pull him away from your face. “Honestly, G. Considering everything she did was for our sakes, Miss Y/N shouldn’t owe us anything. Rather, we are the ones indebted to her.”

G’s smirk grows as his grip on you tightens. “good point, aster. guess i’ll have to give the princess a reward.”

The taller skeleton sighs as he shakes his head. “Don’t you think you should release her now, brother? Now that she’s awake, I don’t think it’s necessary for you to hold her. I’m sure she must be very confused waking up in such a position.”

That’s when you finally notice your current location. Somehow, you’ve returned to the Void.

Noticing your confused expression, Ink decides to shed some light on the situation. “We brought you here in order to replenish your magic supply. All the Void magic in your soul was used up to save that world.”

Your eyes widen as your expression grows hopeful. “You mean, it worked?! Their world is alright now?!”

G squeezes your waist again before pulling you out of his lap and setting you on the ground. He remains close to you as he takes a drag from his cigarette. “yep. you did it. i can’t say that i completely understand how you did it, but somehow, you made everything work out alright.”

His brother smiles at you. “You truly are amazing, Miss Y/N. Despite the hopelessness of the situation, you still managed to persevere and find a way to save our world. Thank you for all of your efforts. We are truly in your debt.”

A large grin forms on your face as you take in the brothers’ grateful expressions. “That’s what friends are for. You guys don’t owe me anything. I’m just glad that everything worked out in the end and that you guys have a place you can go home to now. Besides, I didn’t really do anything. It was the Void’s magic that saved your world. I just basically brought it there.”

You’re surprised when Ink shakes his head in disagreement. “That’s not completely true, Y/N. While the Void’s magic did play a major role in saving the AU, it couldn’t have done it without you. From what I can understand, the Void fed off your determination and the energy of your soul to stop the glitch because the world was too far gone to be saved by just its magic alone. I can’t say I completely understand the Void and its magic, but it somehow managed to eliminate the glitch and undo everything that was done to that world thanks to your help. It’s like the Void uploaded an old save file that held all of the world’s data before it was corrupted by the glitch.”

G exhales a large cloud of smoke as he leans back against one of his hands. “even if you deny it, that doesn’t change the fact that without you our world would’ve been destroyed. the void couldn’t have saved it without you, princess. give yourself some more credit.”

Aster nods to show his agreement. “That’s right. It was you who boldly ran into a dying world despite the risk it brought to your own life. It was you who provided the energy needed to save our home. Please hold your head high, Miss Y/N. You deserve all our gratitude and then some.”

You blush in embarrassment unable to come up with a proper response. While you didn’t think you did a whole lot, you are grateful for their kind words. It makes you even more glad that you did what you did despite how reckless it was.

Ink sighs as if reading your thoughts. Instead of calling you out, however, he rises to his feet and holds out a hand for you. “You’ve been in the Void for a while, so it should be safe for you to leave now. It’s time we get these guys back to their world. They wanted to wait until you woke up before they went home.”

Grinning, you grab his hand and let him pull you up. At the same time, Aster helps his brother to his feet.

Once Broomy is in his hands, the artist creates a portal leading to the Doodle Sphere. Your group walks through the portal and ends up right in front of the door to the brothers’ world. You’re happy to note that the color of the door is no longer faded like it was before.

After returning his paintbrush to his back, Ink grins brightly at the brothers. “Things may seem a little weird at first, but I don’t think you’ll have a real hard time adjusting. You’ll fit in just fine. You always do.”

Aster slightly inclines his head as he smiles. “Thank you for your help, Ink. I hope to return the favor someday.”

The taller skeleton then turns toward you. The way his smile softens as he stares at you makes your heart flutter. Once he’s close enough, he reaches for your hand. “I am truly grateful that I was able to meet you, Miss Y/N. Thank you for helping me and my brother and for saving our world. If you are ever in need of any help, please do not hesitate to come find me. I will do whatever I can to help you. I swear. I hope that you’ll remain safe for the rest of your travels. Please do not push yourself too hard. There would be many people upset if something were to happen to you.”

You blush a bright red when he kisses the back of your hand. Despite the kiss only being the lightest of touches, you feel a tingling sensation that starts at your point of contact and soon travels all across your body like you’ve been shocked. Even after he pulls away, your skin still feels electrified.

As soon as Aster releases you, G is suddenly right in front of you. In a flash, there’s an arm around your waist pulling you flush against his body. His other hand gently cups the back of your head.

Before you can react, he kisses you on the cheek. Your face grows hotter when you feel his mouth graze - perhaps accidentally, perhaps not - the corner of your lips. You involuntarily shiver at the warmth of his touch. While his brother was an electric shock, G is a burning fire that threatens to set your whole body ablaze.

When the smoker pulls back, you see a fond smirk on his face. “come see me anytime, princess. i’ll make sure to pay you back properly then. i promise you won’t regret it.”

You’re having a really hard time coming up with a response after that kiss. It doesn’t help that he’s still holding onto you and his face is only a few inches above yours. The way he’s rubbing the back of your neck with his thumb is making it really hard for you to concentrate and formulate any coherent thoughts.

A sense of deja vu washes over you when Aster intervenes by pulling his brother away by his hood while keeping a steady arm around your shoulders. “That’s enough now, brother. I know that you want to make the most of these last few moments since we don’t know when we’ll see Miss Y/N again, but you shouldn’t overwhelm her. Remember, moderation.”

G returns his cigarette to his mouth and gives his brother a thumbs up with his other hand. “gotcha. i’ll save the rest for when she comes to visit.”

Just when you think your face can’t get any hotter, the shorter skeleton winks at you and proves you wrong. You’re probably as red as an apple at this point. Even placing your hands against your cheeks doesn’t help cool you down.

Aster sighs at his brother’s words. He gives your shoulders a gentle squeeze before releasing you. “I think it would be best for us to leave now before G changes his mind. I wouldn’t put it past him to try and take you with us.”

The smoker smirks as he shoves his hands into his pockets. “what a great idea, bro. now, why didn’t i think of that?”

That’s when Ink decides to get involved. He steps in front of you protectively and places his hands on his hips. “Don’t even think about it. Y/N has to stay here to help with the glitch. Even if you took her, the Void would eventually teleport her somewhere else anyway.”

G shrugs his shoulders. “well, it was worth a shot. guess it’ll just be me and aster leaving.”

With that, the brothers turn to face the door, and Aster reaches to turn the doorknob. Before they leave through the now open doorway, you reach out to grab both of their hands.

At their surprised looks, you smile brightly as you give their hands a warm squeeze. “This is your world now. You’re free to do anything you want. I hope that you’ll both find things that make you happy---not Sans, Papyrus, or Gaster but G and Aster. When I come to visit, I wanna hear all about your interests and hobbies. I’ll be looking forward to it.”

Aster blushes a light green, and for the first time, you see a faint yellow glow across G’s cheekbones. Before you can marvel at their flustered expressions, the brothers act.

They share a quick look before leaning down and simultaneously kissing you on the cheek. Now, you know what it feels like to be shocked and burned at the same time. One cheek is now tingling while the other is sizzling. The sensation makes you shiver and your toes curl inside your shoes.

When they pull away, the two skeletons look extremely pleased. There’s a large smirk on G’s face. “sounds like a plan, princess. i’ll make sure to have plenty of fun stories ready for when you come.”

His brother smiles gently as he squeezes your hand. “I’ll be looking forward to your arrival, Miss Y/N. Until then, please take care.”

All you can do in response is dazedly nod since their kisses left you completely breathless. You fear your blush will never go away at this rate.

Once you release their hands, G and Aster head for the doorway. The two look over their shoulders and give you a smirk and a smile before finally disappearing behind the door which closes as soon as they pass through.

Way to make an exit. Those two really are too smooth. You’ll have to start mentally preparing yourself for the next time you see them or else you’ll be in trouble.

Realizing Ink has been strangely quiet, you turn toward your friend and see him frowning at the door while clutching his chest. Worried, you place a hand on his shoulder which startles him.

When he looks up at you, you give him a concerned look. “Are you alright, Ink? You’re grabbing your chest like you’re in pain.”

He opens his mouth as if to say something but then quickly shuts it and shakes his head. His frown turns into a grin. “I’m fine, Y/N. Don’t worry about me. I didn’t even realize I was doing it.”

Before you can reply, Ink grabs your hand and starts pulling you along. “Now, let’s go! We need to figure out what AU you need to visit next. I haven’t gotten the chance to check on the worlds since I picked you up from Underswap, so I’ll need to look over everything again.”

While you did find his earlier behavior worrying, you decide not to question him further about it. If he says he’s fine, you’ll just have to trust him for now.

You almost crash into Ink’s back when he comes to an abrupt halt. Right as you are about to question him, you freeze at the horrified look on his face.

He immediately takes off into a sprint dragging you along behind him. You can barely keep up with him because he’s running so fast.

After a few minutes of running and the use of some levitation magic, Ink reaches his destination with you panting beside him. Once you catch your breath, you follow his gaze to see what has become the object of his undivided attention all of a sudden.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a door before you. Unlike previous doors you’ve seen, this one has a checkered pattern. Rather than just a simple two color pattern, you see black, white, blue, silver, purple and red on the door. The door frame itself is a dark grey.

The fact that all the colors appear faded worries you since that was what the door for G and Aster’s world looked like when it was infected by the glitch. “Ink? Has the glitch reached this world?”

Ink just stares in disbelief. “How could something like this happen?! It shouldn’t be possible to merge worlds like this! How could the glitch accomplish that?! Is it that powerful?!”

Wait a minute. Did he just say something about merged worlds? “Uhh..What are you talking about, Ink?”

He frowns deeply. “There are supposed to be four doors here. They’re close together since each pair is a similar AU. There’s an Undertale and Underfell version of one AU and a Underswap and Swapfell version of another. Somehow, the glitch messed things up so badly that now there’s only one door and all four worlds have combined into one. I had no idea something like this was even possible.”

That’s when your body begins to turn transparent. Oh, what great timing. Well, at least you have a pretty good idea about where you’re going now. “Guess it’s time for my next stop.”

The artist stares at you worriedly. “I don’t think I’ll be able to come help you with the doors like this, Y/N. With the worlds in this state, I don’t know if I’ll be able to easily enter using my portals. For it to be capable of something like this, it’s likely the glitch is strong enough to block me from entering. It’s only because of the Void’s magic that you’ll be able to slip through. You’ll be on your own. I’m sorry.”

You give him a quick hug while you’re still solid. “It’s alright, Ink. I’ll be okay. I’ve managed to survive all the other worlds this way, so I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

Ink smiles at you after you pull away. “If it’s you, I’m sure you can do it. Just be careful, okay?”

You nod your head as you grin. “Of course! So, what were the AUs that each pair of doors was supposed to lead to anyway?”

When you hear his next words, your grin falls and your heart drops into your stomach.

“They lead to the Handplates and Gaster Blaster AUs.”

Chapter Text

Completely floored, all you can do is gape at Ink as his words register in your mind. It takes you a while to recover from the bombshell. Unfortunately, you wait too long to question him. Because, as soon as you open your mouth to do so, the teleporting process finishes, and you lose consciousness.

Thankfully, this time you don’t awake mid-air. Instead, you find yourself spread out on a cold floor as you regain consciousness. As you wake, you hear several young voices speaking around you.

“WOWIE! COULD THIS BE A HUMAN, SANS?! LIKE WHAT THE DOCTOR ALWAYS TOLD US ABOUT?! HAVE I SUCCESSFULLY CAPTURED ONE?!”

“pap, i think you need to stay away from there. humans are supposed to be dangerous, remember? you shouldn’t get so close.”

“WOWZERS! A REAL HUMAN! SHE’S SO PRETTY! HOW DID SHE GET HERE, PAPY? ARE HUMANS ABLE TO TELEPORT TOO?”

“i guess. that’s what it looked like anyway. how about you come back over here, bro? i don’t think you should be so close to the human.”

Your eyes shoot open when you hear the voices that sound so similar to your skeleton friends. Above you are two young skeletons hovering over you. One looks like the young skeleton in the pictures Stretch showed you of his brother back in his world while the other looks like a young Captain Fantastic.

However, their expressions aren’t as joyful as your friends’ faces. Despite being so young, they look so worn out like they’ve already seen all of the horrors of the world. Their childish excitement is only a weak ember compared to the strong flames of Blue and Captain. Seeing this honestly hurts your heart.

Yet, despite everything they’ve gone through, these two haven’t given up completely. Rather than flee from you in fear, they stare at you with wide, curious eye-lights. Thankfully, there’s still some of that childlike wonder in them.

Not wanting to scare them, you choose to just smile gently instead of trying to sit up. “Hi there.”

Their eye-lights widen, but before they can respond, the two are swiftly pulled away from you. When you sit up, you see that they’re now behind their older brothers who are watching you warily.

The older brothers look exactly like Comic and Stretch just miniaturized. Distrust is plainly written across their small faces which saddens you. They’re even more suspicious of you than Comic and Stretch had been when you first met them which you didn’t even think was possible.

Now that you’re upright, you notice they’re all wearing grey gowns that reach just past their knees. That’s it. They’re not even wearing shoes. The pitiful sight makes you want to find Dr. Gaster and punch him in the face. Seeing the metal plates on the Undertale brothers’ right hands is not helping to quell your anger.

When you look around the room, you’re shocked to also see the mini versions of the Underfell and Swapfell skeletons. Although, now that you think about it, Ink did say four worlds had merged, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you.

Mini-Black is watching you with narrowed eye-lights while his brother hides behind him. If the situation wasn’t so sad, you’d be amused by the sight of the obviously taller brother hiding behind his little brother. The one thing that stands out to you regarding them is the color of Mini-Black’s eye-lights. Instead of purple, they’re a dark red. Well, in your world, there are several versions of Swapfell Sans, so you can’t say that you’re too surprised.

It hurts your heart to see the miniaturized Pup so afraid of you. The poor thing is shaking in fear. As you look closer, you notice there are several scars across his and his brother’s bodies which increases your desire to punch the sick bastards behind all of this. They along with the Underfell boys are wearing the same drab clothing as the others.

Turning your attention to the Underfell brothers, you see that Mini-Edge is glaring at you while his brother hides behind him. While he’s not shaking like Mini-Pup, Mini-Red is obviously as scared of you as the other skeleton. You notice that the nervous skeletons don’t have any gold colored teeth which makes you believe that Red and Pup gained theirs at an older age. Just like the Swapfell brothers, Mini-Edge and his brother are covered in scars. These two also have metal plates on their right hands like the Undertale brothers.

As you stare at the tiny skeletons, you feel your heart clench painfully inside your chest. You were not prepared for this. Seeing your friends’ counterparts looking so small and fragile hurts you more than when Error forcefully pulled out your soul. Even more so than when you shattered your soul to reset. You’ve never felt a pain like this.

Fighting back tears, you slowly cross your legs as you remain sitting and give the skeletons a smile. “Hi. I’m Y/N. As you have already probably figured out, I’m a human. However, I’m not from this world. While I did teleport here, it wasn’t by my magic. My soul is able to use magic, and it takes me to different worlds. Unfortunately, I don’t have any control over it.”

When you see their disbelieving stares, your smile grows from amusement. “Hmm. What would be the best way to prove to you that I’m telling the truth? Ah, I know. Would you believe me if I said I knew your names? I’ve actually met several versions of you guys from other worlds. You’re Sans and Papyrus, right?”

Every eye-light widens in surprise at your question. Before his brother can stop him, Mini-Blue dashes toward you and comes to a stop right in front of you. His expression is full of awe and excitement. “WOWZERS! THAT’S RIGHT! I’M SANS! BUT, I’M NOT THE ONLY SANS, SO IT GETS REALLY CONFUSING HERE WHEN SOMEONE SAYS MY NAME. DID YOU REALLY GO TO OTHER WORLDS AND MEET OTHER VERSIONS OF ME?”

He is so adorable. You want nothing more than to hug him and never let go, but you manage to hold yourself back. You don’t want to scare him or upset his brother.

Your smile softens as you stare at him. “That’s right, sweetie. There’s one Sans that I’ve met that is exactly like you. He is a huge sweetheart, and I consider him a very dear friend of mine.”

His eyes turn into stars. “FRIEND?! THAT’S AMAZING! I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO LEAVE HERE AND MAKE LOTS OF FRIENDS! HERE I CAN ONLY PLAY WITH PAPY AND THE OTHER VERSIONS OF ME AND HIM. NOT THAT I HATE IT! I LIKE EVERYBODY HERE!”

The pure cuteness he radiates makes you grab your chest. If he gets any cuter, you might collapse. Once you calm down, you lean down so that you’re eye-to-eye with him.

He blushes when you smile at him. “Then, how about we become friends? Would that be alright with you?”

His starry eye-lights widen with wonder. “YOU WANT TO BECOME FRIENDS WITH ME?!”

You nod your head. “That’s right. I’d love to be friends with you.”

Mini-Blue’s expression brightens so much that he’s practically shining now. “WOWZERS! MY FIRST HUMAN FRIEND! I’M SO HAPPY!”

Overwhelmed by the sheer cuteness before you, you have to cover your face and fight to hold back the squeal that wants to break free. When you feel a small hand tug on your pants, you pull your hands away and witness Mini-Blue giving you a worried look. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT, HUMAN? YOU’RE SHAKING.”

Not wanting to worry the sweetheart, you take a deep breath to calm yourself down. Once you’re calm, you give him a smile. “I’m alright, sweetie. I was just overwhelmed by how cute you are and how much I want to hug you. You are seriously too adorable for words.”

As a blush grows across his cheekbones, he looks at you with wonder. “YOU WANT TO HUG ME? REALLY?”

The way he asks that question makes your heart hurt. No child should be so shocked by the idea of someone wanting to hug them--by someone wanting to show them the affection they deserve. “Of course, I do. Anyone who wouldn’t want to hug a cutie like you is crazy if you ask me.”

Mini-Blue silently studies you for a few seconds, judging your sincerity. Then, a shy smile forms on his face, and he slowly raises his arms toward you. “WELL, SINCE WE ARE FRIENDS NOW, I WILL ALLOW YOU TO HUG MY MAGNIFICENT SELF.”

“sans.”

There’s a worried note in Mini-Stretch’s voice as he warily watches you and his brother. Everyone else is having a similar reaction except for Mini-Captain who looks like he wants to join in on the fun. The only thing stopping him is his brother who’s holding him back.

For that reason, you move deliberately slow so as not to startle Mini-Blue or anyone else. You reach for the little skeleton before you and slowly wrap your arms around him. There are several sharp intakes of breath in the room not excluding the skeleton in your arms.

Mini-Blue stiffens at first, but within seconds, he melts into your embrace. Smiling, you give him a gentle squeeze before slowly rubbing his back. Soon, he’s clutching you tightly as if he’s worried you only want to hold him for a few seconds.

Ha! Fat chance of that happening. I could do this all day if I need to. I’m not leaving this world until I hug all of these cuties. They’re gonna get so much love and affection they’re not gonna know what to do with it all.

A large smile forms on your face as you quietly hum and rub his back. You’re not gonna pull away until he does. You want to make sure he knows you’re willing to hug him as long as he wants.

After a few minutes pass without him releasing you, you choose to gently scoop him up and place him in your lap. He snuggles into the embrace without any complaint which greatly pleases you.

When you check on the others, you witness seven skeletons watching you with looks of wonder and disbelief. The fact that they’re so surprised that someone would want to hug one of them is really killing you. Curse these awful doctors.

Deciding that he’s spent enough time on the sidelines, Mini-Captain sprints past his alarmed brother and comes to a stop before you. The excited expression on his face causes you to grin which makes him grin in return.

“WOWIE! NO ONE HAS EVER OFFERED TO BEFRIEND OR HUG ONE OF US BEFORE. YOU ARE REALLY KIND, HUMAN! I THINK THE DOCTORS WERE MISTAKEN WHEN THEY SAID ALL HUMANS ARE BAD. I DON’T THINK IT’S POSSIBLE FOR A BAD PERSON TO GIVE SUCH NICE HUGS! OTHER SANS LOOKS REALLY HAPPY NOW!”

He then begins nervously playing with his hands as he shyly looks down. “C-CAN I HAVE A HUG TOO?”

Talk about a one-hit KO. It’s like he shot an arrow straight through your heart. These kids are going to be the death of you. You just know it.

You adjust your hug around Mini-Blue so that you have him in just one arm, and then open your free arm toward the excitable skeleton before you. “Of course, sweetheart. That’s the good thing about having two arms. I can easily hug two cute skeletons at the same time.”

Despite his brother’s warnings, Mini-Captain quickly moves into your lap and hugs you tightly. You wrap your arm around him and give him a warm squeeze. Like Mini-Blue, it doesn’t take long for the kid to relax into the embrace.

Shortly after that, Mini-Comic and Mini-Stretch approach you. You figure it’s because they’re worried that you’re going to hold their brothers hostage. The other four choose to keep their distance although Mini-Black does look like he wants to move closer. Probably the only reason he doesn’t is the tight grip Mini-Pup has on him.

Mini-Stretch watches you with obvious suspicion for a few seconds before his gaze falls on his brother cuddled up in your lap. His expression softens at the sight. “hey, bro, i know you’re happy to make a new friend, but maybe you should let go now. you’re not gonna stay in her lap forever, are you?”

He says it jokingly, but there’s no doubt in your mind that he’s concerned about this situation. He wants his brother as far away from you as possible. He’s probably worried that his brother will want to stay like this for a long time.

Mini-Blue pulls away enough so that he can look at his brother. “BUT, PAPY! SHE’S SO NICE AND WARM! IT’S SO COMFORTABLE HERE! SHE GIVES GREAT HUGS! YOU SHOULD ASK FOR ONE TOO! I’M SURE YOU’LL LOVE IT!”

You can’t help but feel amused when Mini-Stretch stiffens at the suggestion before giving you a cautious look. When you smile at him, a light orange blush blooms across his cheekbones. He immediately averts his eye-lights. “maybe another time, bro.”

The other skeleton in your lap turns toward his anxious brother. “HE’S RIGHT, BROTHER! YOU SHOULD ASK THE HUMAN FOR A HUG! THIS IS VERY NICE! I DON’T THINK WE’VE EVER BEEN HUGGED BY SOMEONE BESIDES EACH OTHER, SO YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY TRY IT OUT!”

There they go again breaking your heart into itty, bitty pieces. You give them both a tight squeeze and rub your cheeks against the tops of their heads. “As long as I’m here, you guys can get as many hugs as you want. All you have to do is ask. Although, honestly, you don’t even have to ask. I’ll never turn down a hug.”

The skeletons in your lap stare at you with wide, sparkling eye-lights. Within seconds, they’re beaming, and they quickly return to hugging you tightly. Oh man, they are seriously too adorable. If you manage to survive this world, it’ll be a miracle. You can already feel the cavities forming inside your mouth from all this sweetness.

Mini-Comic studies you intently with a guarded expression. “that’s real nice of you, miss. but, you don’t have to go through all that trouble on our account. after all, you don’t even know us.”

That’s when Mini-Edge decides to make his opinion known. “THAT’S RIGHT! YOU’RE EXTREMELY SUSPICIOUS! YOU SUDDENLY APPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE SPOUTING UTTER NONSENSE, AND NOW YOU’RE OFFERING HUGS? WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY GAIN FROM SHOWING SUCH AFFECTION?!WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?!”

Ouch, way to stick a dagger in my heart, Baby Edge.

You really hate that these kids are at the point where their first instinctive response to being shown affection is to be suspicious. What all have these damn scientists done to these poor kids?

Mini-Red is clutching his brother fearfully as if he’s worried you’ll snap and go after them. Both Mini-Comic and Mini-Stretch are giving Mini-Edge annoyed looks. They’re probably wishing he went the subtler route like them. Mini-Pup’s shaking has increased while his brother continues to watch you with interest.

When the skeletons in your lap look at you with worried expressions, you gently smile and give them a warm squeeze. Then, you direct your attention to Mini-Edge who has moved into a defensive stance with his brother still hiding behind him.

Despite how much the reaction saddens you, you don’t let your smile falter. “I know you’re not used to hearing this, but I honestly don’t have a hidden agenda here. I’m offering hugs because I like hugs, and everybody here obviously deserves one. I know we’ve only just met, but I sincerely want to help you. You may not be the skeletons whom I’ve befriended in other worlds, but I do care about all of you. I want to become friends with you. If you want, you’re more than welcome to look at my soul, so you can see that I’m being honest.”

Mini-Black decides to join the conversation. “WE CAN’T USE OUR MAGIC IN THIS ROOM. THEY SET UP A BARRIER PREVENTING US FROM DOING SO. OTHERWISE, I WOULD’VE BLASTED OUT OF HERE BY NOW.”

At his comment, you finally look around to take in your surroundings. The first thing that stands out is how white everything is. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all the same color. The only thing that’s not white is the metal door. There are two bunk beds in the room that are pushed against the walls. While you’re glad that they at least have proper places to sleep, you aren’t very impressed with the small mattresses and thin blankets. Since there are only four beds, does that mean each set of brothers has to share a bed? Seriously?

The only other thing in the bare room aside from the beds is a small bookshelf that appears to be filled with books and puzzles. Unfortunately, none of them appear to be something you’d see a child normally play with. They’re all what you’d use to test a kid’s intelligence. There’s nothing in the room that a kid could play with just for fun.

You take a deep breath in order to calm the rage bubbling inside of you. Getting angry won’t solve anything. Besides, you don’t want to risk scaring the kids. “Okay, so you checking out my soul is a no-go. Well, unfortunately, I don’t really have any other way to prove what I’m saying is true.”

That’s when it hits you. “Wait a minute! I do have something!”

Slowly, you reach for your phone that’s in your pants pocket. While the two skeletons in your lap look at you with curiosity, everyone else is watching you cautiously like they expect you to suddenly pull out a weapon.

Once you have the phone in your hand, you hold it out in front of you so that Mini-Blue and Mini-Captain can study it. After you unlock the screen, you go to your pictures and look for the one you took of Edge back in his world.

When you tap the picture, as it pops up it causes the skeletons in your lap to gasp in surprise. They then start looking between the picture and Mini-Edge as if to compare the two skeletons.

Mini-Edge crosses his arms in irritation. “WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU FOOLS STARING AT?”

Mini-Captain’s eye-lights sparkle with wonder. “THIS PICTURE LOOKS JUST LIKE YOU! WELL, IF YOU WERE OLDER AND SEVERAL FEET TALLER, BUT STILL! YOU SHOULD SEE THIS, OTHER ME!”

The other skeleton in your lap nods rapidly in agreement. “HE’S RIGHT! THIS GUY LOOKS JUST LIKE YOU! IT’S AMAZING!”

That’s when you decide to move the phone so that it faces the others. When they see the picture, all six of them gape at the sight. You can’t help but giggle at their surprised faces.

Of course, the one who’s the most shocked is Mini-Edge who’s staring at the picture with wide eye-lights. “T-THAT’S-! B-BUT, HOW?!”

You grin in amusement. “I took that picture of Edge when I was visiting his world. I wish I had taken a picture of his brother too, so I could show you.”

If you didn’t know any better, you’d say Mini-Red looks disappointed to hear that. It’s so strange to see a version of Red that’s so quiet and timid. You really want to hug him, but you figure that’ll just scare him. You don’t want to do anything that’ll upset these guys.

Once you think they’ve examined the picture enough, you pull up another one that you know one of your hug buddies will like. It’s a good thing you took some pictures when you were last in Underswap.

When he sees the new picture, Mini-Blue gasps and starts to bounce excitedly. “THAT’S ME! HE LOOKS JUST LIKE ME! PAPY, YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!”

His brother’s jaw drops when you show the others the picture of Blue grinning as he poses with his hands on his hips. He even starts rubbing his eye sockets as if something is wrong with his sight. “i-it looks just like sans. i can’t believe it.”

The look on his face when you show him the picture that you took of Stretch winking while lying on the couch is priceless. You’ve never seen such wide eye-lights.

Mini-Black places his hands on his hips. “WHERE’S THE PICTURE OF THE OTHER ME? I DON’T CARE ABOUT WHAT THESE GUYS LOOK LIKE WHEN THEY’RE ADULTS. I WANT TO SEE HOW AMAZING I’LL LOOK!”

You give him an apologetic look. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. I don’t have a picture of all the guys I’ve met. I really should, but a lot of crazy stuff happened when I was in their worlds so taking pictures never really came to mind. I took Edge’s picture ‘cause of his cool pose, and I got pictures of Blue and Stretch when I visited them a second time.”

He pouts at your response, but you notice a faint red blush on his cheekbones. Maybe he liked the endearment. You’ll have to try it again later on when you get the opportunity.

That’s when Mini-Captain tugs on your hoodie to get your attention. When you look down, you see his curious expression. “MISS HUMAN, MAY I ASK YOU A QUESTION?”

Aww, he’s so polite! Just when I thought he couldn’t get any cuter.

Smiling, you give him a warm squeeze. “You certainly may. You’re always welcome to ask questions, sweetie.”

An orange blush grows across his cheekbones. “WHO ARE EDGE, BLUE, AND STRETCH? AREN’T THOSE SKELETONS NAMED SANS AND PAPYRUS LIKE US?”

You nod your head. “That’s right. Those are just the nicknames I gave them, so I could tell them all apart. After all, it gets pretty confusing to call everyone by the same name if they’re all together in one place at the same time. It also helps when I’m telling a Sans and Papyrus about the skeletons I’ve already met.”

Mini-Blue’s eye-lights turn starry. “DOES THAT MEAN WE CAN HAVE NICKNAMES TOO?!”

You rub your cheek against his head as you hug him. “Sure, sweetie, if that’s what you want. It would probably make things less confusing around here.”

Mini-Edge scowls fiercely as he crosses his arms. “I REFUSE! NO WAY WILL I ALLOW A PATHETIC HUMAN TO GIVE ME A NICKNAME!”

A disappointed frown forms on Mini-Captain’s face. “THAT’S NOT VERY NICE! WHAT’S WRONG WITH GETTING A NICKNAME? IT’LL MAKE THINGS A LOT LESS CONFUSING HERE IF WE HAVE DIFFERENT NAMES!”

His brother rubs his face as he sighs. “my bro makes a good point. it would be easier to give everyone their own names to go by besides sans and papyrus.”

Mini-Stretch shrugs his shoulders. “doesn’t matter to me. i’m all for makin’ things less confusing around here.”

For several minutes, Mini-Black rubs his chin thoughtfully as he studies you. He apparently found what he was looking for since he soon nods his head. “AS LONG AS I DON’T GET A WEAK NAME, I DO NOT CARE. I DO NOT LIKE SHARING A NAME WITH MY WEAKER COUNTERPARTS.”

His brother speaks up for the first time since you arrived. “i-it’s fine with me too.”

The whole time Mini-Red wisely keeps quiet. Realizing he’s outnumbered, Mini-Edge throws up his hands in surrender. “FINE! BUT, I’LL ONLY ALLOW A NICKNAME THAT I LIKE! IT HAS TO BE FIERCE AND STRONG LIKE ME!”

You grin broadly. “Of course! I’d never give you a nickname that you’d dislike.”

For a while, you study the children before your eyes fall on Mini-Comic. “Okay, how about Classic for you, and-” You move your gaze toward Mini-Captain who is watching you excitedly. “Epic for your super cute brother that’s in my lap.”

“I LOVE IT!” Epic exclaims loudly. “THANK YOU, MISS HUMAN! I WILL TREASURE THIS NAME FOREVER!”

Too overwhelmed by the cuteness, you can’t resist leaning down to give him a peck on the forehead. “You’re welcome, Epic. I’m glad you like it.”

His whole face turns a bright orange which makes you grin. When you turn toward his brother, you see him wearing a contemplative expression. He then shrugs. “that’s fine with me. if my bro’s happy, then so am i.”

Alright! Two nicknames down only six more to go. I hope I can come up with some more winners. At least, I know of some other nicknames used for the Underswap and Swapfell guys.

Since Mini-Blue has gotten to the point where he’s trembling with excitement, you decide to do his next. “And, for the other cutie in my lap, how about Berry? We can call your brother Orange, and you both can have a fruit theme.”

While Mini-Stretch snorts, his brother beams happily. “THAT SOUNDS GREAT! BUT, WHY FRUIT?”

As you return your phone to your pocket, you ponder how to answer that question. In the end, you decide to be truthful. “It’s actually a long story which I’ll be happy to tell you guys later after we finish this nickname business.”

The two skeletons in your lap are practically sparkling with enthusiasm. You worry that staring directly at them for too long will hurt your eyesight.

Completely in sync, they cry out. “STORYTIME?!”

You then proceed to hug them tightly. “Oh man, you two are so adorable. Yes, we’ll have storytime. I’ll tell you all about my world and how I ended up in this situation.”

Once you calm down, you move your gaze toward Mini-Stretch since you never got a response from him regarding his nickname. He had been watching your interactions with his brother with a soft expression, but when he notices your stare, he averts his eye-lights in embarrassment. “i’m fine with the nickname.”

Pleased about another successful round, your gaze falls on Mini-Black who’s staring at you very intently. You grin at his obvious interest. “How about Raspberry, Razz for short, for you, sweetheart? And, for your brother, how about Rus?”

Mini-Pup startles when he’s mentioned while his brother raises a brow ridge. The two of you end up having a stare down for several minutes while his brother nervously fidgets in the background.

Finally, the shorter of the two grins. “YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE, HUMAN! WHILE THE NAME IS NOWHERE NEAR AS FIERCE AS ME, I WILL TAKE PITY ON YOU FOR YOUR POOR NAMING SKILLS AND ACCEPT IT. PAPY WILL ACCEPT HIS NICKNAME AS WELL. RIGHT, PAPY?”

Rus slowly nods as he looks anywhere but at you. “y-yeah. it’s fine with me.”

Your shoulders slump with relief. If Razz had hated that nickname, you would’ve had to come up with something new. It’s bad enough that you have to do that for the Underfell brothers and Epic. You’d rather not have to do that for anyone else. “You are too kind, Razz. Thank you.”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

Lastly, your eyes come to rest on the Underfell brothers. Mini-Edge is glaring at you with his arms crossed while his brother continues to stay behind him. While he’s obviously still wary of you, you can see a hint of curiosity in Mini-Red’s expression.

You study the shorter brother for several minutes racking your brain for a suitable nickname. When he starts to sweat nervously, you smile sweetly at him which makes him blush a bright red.

How cute! His face looks like it’s on fire it’s so red. Wait a minute. I got it!

When he meets your eyes again, you give him another warm smile. “How about Blaze for you, sweetheart? That cute blush of yours makes me think of fire, so I thought it would be a good nickname. What do you think?”

His blush intensifies as he nervously averts his gaze. When his brother remains silent, he slowly nods his head and finally speaks. “t-that’s fine.”

You beam happily at him which causes him to hide behind his brother in embarrassment. The taller brother sighs but makes no move to push his brother away. The sight really warms your heart.

Okay, all that’s left is his brother. I have to come up with something good, or we’ll be here all day doing this. He said it has to be strong and fierce. Hmmm.

For a while, you just stare at Mini-Edge and go through all the nicknames you know. Finally, you remember a certain skeleton that’s well-known in your world.

A large grin forms on your face. “Okay, I got it. How about Grim? In my world, there’s a story about a skeleton called the Grim Reaper. He’s the harbinger of death who shows up when humans are about to die. You can’t get much fiercer than that.”

His eye-lights widen with surprise before a large smirk forms on his face. He quickly masks it with his usual scowl before looking away. “I GUESS I CAN ACCEPT THAT. I DOUBT YOU COULD COME UP WITH ANYTHING BETTER AFTER ALL.”

You release a sigh of relief. “Alright. Now, everybody’s got a nickname. Oh and you guys are more than welcome to call me by my name if you want. Or, if you wanna just stick with human, that’s fine too. Whichever you prefer.”

It’s at that moment that the electric door slides open causing everyone to freeze. Epic and Berry cling tightly to you while Classic and Orange move closer to their brothers. Both Rus and Red are trembling as they hide behind their brothers who are warily watching the doorway.

Your eyes widen at the sight of the skeleton that walks inside. He’s quite tall, definitely beating you by a few feet. Underneath his pristine, white lab coat, the skeleton is wearing a white turtleneck sweater, black dress pants, and black boots. Above his right eye socket is a line that stretches over the top of his skull while the other eye socket has a line below that ends at his mouth.

W. D. Gaster.

Rather than move toward your group, the Royal Scientist chooses to remain in the doorway. He clasps his hands behind his back as he examines you. Gaster doesn’t appear the least bit surprised to see you which makes you wonder if he already knew you were here. Did he somehow sense your presence, or is this room bugged with video cameras? You’re thinking the latter.

Thankfully, when he speaks, it’s in a language you understand. You don’t know what you would’ve done if he started talking in Wingdings. “Hello, human. I see that you’ve become acquainted with our experiments. I must admit it was rather intriguing watching you interact with them. However, I found your words regarding your background much more interesting. I was hoping you’d come with me and tell me more.”

While it sounds like a request, you know that he doesn’t plan on taking no for an answer. That’s just a polite demand. You consider refusing since you don’t owe him anything but pause after you look at the children around you.

They’re all doing their best to appear strong, but it’s obvious how much the Royal Scientist scares them. There’s no telling what torture this mad man has put them through.

A plan begins to form in your mind which fills you with determination. You give the skeletons in your lap a quick squeeze before picking them up and setting them down by their brothers.

Noticing their worried looks, you give them a warm smile before rising to your feet. You can feel everyone’s eyes on you as you walk toward the Royal Scientist.

When you come to a stop before him, you give Gaster a determined look. “I’ll go. I’ll tell you everything I know and will answer all of your questions. However, in exchange, I want you to swear that you won’t hurt these kids as long as I’m here. Don’t experiment on them. I don’t care if you perform tests on me instead. Just leave them alone.”

You hear several sharp intakes of breath behind you, but you don’t turn around because you want to keep your eyes locked with Gaster’s. The tall skeleton tilts his head slightly as he studies you.

After a few minutes, he raises a brow ridge. “You do realize that you are not in any position to be making deals, correct? I have no reason to comply with your wishes.”

Frowning, you cross your arms. “Maybe so, but I do know that scientists like you hate wasting their time. Rather than having to deal with me being stubborn, wouldn’t you rather have me willing to share information? Besides, it’s not every day you get to study a human, right?”

The corners of his lips move upwards. “Very true. I do hate wasting time, and I would rather not have to torture you to get information and risk killing you since we have no way of knowing when the next human will come around.”

Gaster then nods his head. “Very well, human. I shall accept your offer. You are fortunate that there are no new pressing tests that we need these experiments to go through, so I will allow them this small reprieve.”

A relieved sigh passes your lips. “Thank you.”

You don’t really want to thank the bastard responsible for hurting these kids, but the words come out before you can stop them. It’s probably for the best anyway. You don’t want to be punished for being ungrateful.

The doctor quirks a brow ridge at you but refrains from commenting. Instead, he turns around and walks through the open doorway.

Realizing he wants you to follow him, you head for the door, but a tugging on your pants makes you stop. When you look down, you see Berry staring at you with teary eye-lights. “YOU CAN’T GO, MISS! YOU’LL GET HURT!”

Not wanting to test Gaster’s patience, you quickly lean down to kiss the skeleton on the forehead. “It’s alright, Berry. I’ll be back before you know it. Just stay here with your brother, okay?”

Before he can respond, you gently pry his hands away from your pants and walk toward the doorway. Just before you exit the room, you look over your shoulder and see all of the children staring at you with either worry or disbelief. You give them an encouraging grin before you leave.

Everything that follows after that is a blur. You remember walking through a long, white corridor and entering what appeared to be the main lab.

As stark and unfriendly as everything else, inside stood the three other Royal Scientists from the same alternative universes as the kids. Tied down, they kept hauling more and more questions at you.

Where are you from. What caused this. Why, why, why.

Then your soul got dragged out.

You don’t want to think about that part.

After all, what you remember from that point is pain.

Fortunately, because of your tales, the crazy scientists realized healing was in order after the tests were done if they were going to keep you around.

Unfortunately, while the pain was eased, your HP didn’t completely recover since some of the damage was done directly to your soul. You had to explain to them that only your friend could heal your soul if it received that kind of damage. That’s what lead them to stopping their tests for the day.

They just didn’t want to break their new toy after just getting it.

Thankfully, the Gaster that brought you to the lab escorts you back to the room where the kids are. You would’ve hated being separated from them.

He quickly punches in the passcode for the door in the keypad which causes the door to slide open. The Royal Scientist then gestures toward the room. “Thank you for your assistance today, human. Someone, either myself or one of the other doctors, will be here for you tomorrow.”

You nod your head before entering the room. You feel the tension roll off your shoulders once the door closes behind you.

Seconds after you enter, you feel a small body jump into your arms. When you look down, you see Berry staring at you with teary eye-lights.

Realizing that he’s only seconds away from crying, you hug him close and gently stroke his back. “Hey, Berry, it’s okay. I told you I’d be back, remember? I’m fine. I’m sorry for worrying you.”

He buries his face into your chest as he clings to you with all his might. “I WAS SO SCARED! THE DOCTORS ALWAYS TALK ABOUT HOW WE NEED TO KILL HUMANS FOR THEIR SOULS. I THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO K-KILL YOU!”

The pure sorrow in his voice breaks your heart. You hug him tighter. “I’m sorry for making you worry so much, Berry. I’m okay, though. I promise.”

A hand tugging on your pants brings your attention to a teary-eyed Epic. Looks like you had both of your hug buddies worried. Without hesitation, you scoop him up into your arms and hug him close.

Once you have a good grip on them, you walk toward the others who are staring at you with mixed expressions. The Underfell boys have matching looks of disbelief while the Swapfell brothers appear more awestruck. Classic and Orange are wearing similar contemplative expressions.

You take a seat in the middle of the room and let Berry and Epic remain in your lap. It’s not long after you’re situated that Classic approaches you.

He tilts his head curiously. “why’d you do it? why make a deal like that? you basically made yourself their lab rat instead of us. why would you do something like that?”

Taking in everyone’s expressions, it’s obvious that they’re all thinking the same thing. For as long as they’ve been alive, all these boys have ever had is their brothers. No one has ever been there to look after them and give them the love and care they deserve. They’ve just been treated as experiments.

Without thinking, you raise a hand to cup Classic’s cheek. He stiffens at the touch and stares at you with wide eye-lights.

A tender smile forms on your face as you gently stroke his cheekbone. “I just didn’t want him to hurt any of you anymore. I don’t mind being the focus of their experiments. You’ve all suffered under that role for way too long. If I can ease your burden even just a little bit, then I will. There’s no way I could just sit back and watch them continue to hurt you kids if there was something I could do about it.”

You can’t help but feel pleased when he unconsciously leans into your touch. The look of awe on his face simultaneously warms and hurts your heart. No kid should be awed by someone wanting to help them. People should naturally be like that around children. Not that these kids have ever dealt with someone normal. Normal people don’t experiment on innocent children.

Once he realizes what he’s doing, Classic quickly pulls away and averts his eye-lights. The blue blush across his cheekbones makes you grin.

Feeling mischievous, you quickly lean down to give him a peck on his forehead before he moves out of your reach. The way his blush lights up his entire face leaves you feeling immensely satisfied.

“AH! YOU DID THAT BEFORE! WHAT DOES THAT GESTURE MEAN, MISS? IT FELT REALLY NICE WHEN YOU DID IT BEFORE! LIKE YOUR HUGS!”

You grin at Berry. “You mean this?”

When you kiss his forehead, he blushes a dark blue. “Y-YES, THAT!”

“That’s called a kiss, Berry. It’s a gesture of affection. It can be platonic or romantic. Usually when you kiss someone on the lips that’s because you’re in love with them, so don’t do that to just anybody, okay? Or, you might confuse them.”

Berry stares at you with wonder. “SO, YOU GIVE US KISSES BECAUSE YOU LIKE US?”

Your grin grows. “That’s right, sweetheart. You’re all so cute and adorable that I wanna give you all lots of hugs and kisses.”

Soon the room is lit with a red, orange, and blue glow as every skeleton blushes brightly at your words. These kids are seriously too cute. Too bad you can’t hug them all at once. Oh well, at least you’ve got two of them in your lap.

With a squeal, you hug Berry and Epic close. “You’re soooo cute!”

The two choose to hide their embarrassed faces in your chest. Their brothers won’t look at you and are still sporting dark blushes. Blaze is hiding his flustered face behind his brother while Grim is scowling fiercely as he tries to fight back his blush.

Surprisingly, Razz actually begins to approach you with his brother following close behind. There’s still a faint red blush on the little brother’s cheekbones while Rus’ face is a bright orange.

Razz places his hands on his hips. “YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE CALLING SOMEONE AS AMAZING AS ME CUTE! I AM FIERCE AND STRONG NOT CUTE AND ADORABLE!”

Grinning broadly, you give Epic and Berry a quick look which they thankfully understand. As soon as they vacate your lap, you pull a startled Razz into your arms and hug him tightly. “Sorry, sweetheart, but I’m just calling it like I see it. You are,without a doubt, super cute.”

His blush, which had begun to fade, comes back with a vengeance. Instead of struggling like you expect, he suddenly goes still in your arms. “WHAT’S THAT SOUND?”

When you take in his position against your chest, you are reminded of Ink’s similar query back in the Void. “That would be my heartbeat. The heart is an important part of the human body which keeps us alive by continuously beating. I know there’s probably a better way to explain it, but that’s the gist of it.”

Razz relaxes in your embrace. “IT’S...NICE. I’VE NEVER HEARD A SOUND LIKE THAT BEFORE.”

You start rubbing his back. “Well, you’re welcome to listen to it whenever you want. My offer for hugs applies to everyone here.”

When you look up, you see Rus staring at the two of you with wide eye-lights. Once he realizes your eyes are on him, he quickly averts his eyes. You watch with amusement as he keeps moving his gaze between you and the ground.

It appears that he wants to tell you something but is too shy to say it. Before you can question him, his brother intervenes. “PAPY, IF YOU WANT HER TO HUG YOU, JUST ASK. WHY ARE YOU BEING ALL SHY? IT’S NOT LIKE SHE’S GOING TO SAY NO.”

Rus’ flustered reaction makes you smile. “He’s right, sugar. If you want a hug, I’ll be more than happy to give you one.”

After a few seconds, the older brother nods before slowly approaching you. You can tell how nervous he is by the slight tremble in his shoulders. The sight breaks your heart.

Once he’s within reach, you wrap your free arm around him and pull him close. As expected, he initially freezes at the contact, but it doesn’t take him long to melt into the embrace.

Now, you have both Swapfell brothers cuddled up close to you. You wish you could take a picture. You’d love to see Black’s and Pup’s reactions. Maybe down the line you can get a picture of everyone here. Then, you could tease the others with pictures of them as baby bones.

The way Berry is pouting makes it obvious that he wishes he was still in your lap. At least, Epic doesn’t appear too upset. He seems happy that the others are warming up to you.

That’s when the room’s lights suddenly go dim. Your brows furrow in confusion. “Uhh. Is that normal?”

Classic nods his head as he and his brother head for the bottom bed of the bunk bed across from you. “yep. that means in about five minutes they’re gonna turn out the lights completely. guess that means it’s time for bed.”

The skeletons in your lap reluctantly pull away from you before heading for the bunk bed that’s against the room’s back wall. While they head for the ladder, the Underfell brothers move toward the bottom bunk.

Since there’s only four beds here, I guess that means I’ll be sleeping on the floor. Oh well, it’s not like it’ll kill me.

Instead of heading for bed like his brother, Berry frowns at you worriedly. “BUT, WHERE WILL YOU SLEEP, MISS? THE DOCTORS DIDN’T BRING IN ANOTHER BED FOR YOU.”

Touched by his concern, you give him a smile. “It’s alright, Berry. I’ll just sleep on the floor.”

His frown deepens. “YOU CAN’T DO THAT! IT’S COLD AND HARD! YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO GET ANY GOOD SLEEP THAT WAY!”

Then, a large grin forms on his face. “I KNOW! YOU CAN SLEEP WITH ME AND PAPY!”

“Huh?”

“huh?”

Looks like you and Orange are completely in sync considering he responded at the exact same time as you. Everyone is staring at Berry with wide eyes.

Berry places his hands on his hips as he puffs up his chest proudly. “YOU CAN SHARE OUR BED! PAPY AND I DON’T TAKE UP A LOT OF ROOM, SO YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY BE ABLE TO FIT!”

“uhh. i don’t know if that’s a good idea, bro.”

Orange freezes when his brother frowns at him. “PAPY, WE CAN’T JUST LEAVE HER TO SLEEP ON THE FLOOR! WHAT IF SHE GETS SICK? IS THAT HOW YOU WANT TO REPAY HER FOR HELPING US EARLIER?”

You watch the older brother’s shoulders slump under the younger skeleton’s disappointed gaze. So, you decide to intervene. “Hey, Berry, it’s really alright. I can understand Orange’s hesitation. Anyone would be nervous about sharing a bed with someone they just met. I don’t want to make either of you uncomfortable. I really don’t mind sleeping on the floor.”

“I DO MIND!” Berry exclaims as he pulls on your arm.

Not wanting to fight him, you slowly rise to your feet. “EVEN IF WE JUST MET, THAT DOESN’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT YOU’VE SHOWN US MORE KINDNESS IN ONE DAY THAN WE’VE RECEIVED THROUGHOUT OUR ENTIRE LIVES. NOW, I WANT TO DO SOMETHING KIND FOR YOU.”

His words bring tears to your eyes. You don’t hesitate to sweep him into your arms and hug him close. “None of you deserve what you’ve been put through. You all deserve to be treated with love and kindness. You deserve so much better than this.”

Berry hugs your neck tightly but remains silent. When you look up, your eyes meet Orange’s. He stares at you for a few seconds and then sighs. “come on up. my bro’s right. you really helped us out earlier. the least i can do is share our bed.”

Since he’s already on the top bunk, he’s in close enough range that you can give him a kiss on the forehead without any problems. “Thank you, Orange. That’s really sweet of you.”

He blushes a bright orange which he tries to hide by burying his face in the mattress. Realizing the lights will be turning off at any moment now, you quickly reach up to place Berry beside his brother before kicking off your shoes and climbing the ladder to join them.

Once you’re up there, you realize how small the bed actually is. It’s just barely long enough that your feet won’t have to hang off the edge. The mattress isn’t very wide which worries you. You don’t think the brothers will have enough room to sleep once you lie down.

Then, an idea comes to mind that makes you grin. “Okay, boys. I think I have a way to make this work so that we’ll all be comfortable.”

Knowing you don’t have much time left, you quickly move under the thin cover. Then, you grab Berry and pull him under your left arm so he can rest comfortably against your chest.

Unlike with Berry, you don’t automatically reach for Orange since he’s not used to being held by you like his brother. You don’t want to make him uncomfortable. “Are you alright with sleeping close to me? If it makes you uncomfortable, I can try to scooch over more. I just thought you guys might be more comfortable lying against me.”

Berry grins at his brother as he snuggles close to you. “SHE’S REALLY COMFY, PAPY. I THINK YOU SHOULD TRY SLEEPING THIS WAY. I BET YOU’LL LIKE IT.”

It’s at that moment the lights turn out, and the room turns completely pitch black. Thankfully, you can still see Orange thanks to his bright blush. He’s still at the far edge of the bed, leaning against the railing.

For a while, he remains like that not saying a word. Finally, after a few minutes, the older brother slowly crawls toward you and lies down beside you under the cover.

You can’t help but grin at the embarrassed squeak he makes when you wrap an arm around him and pull him close. Like the others, he goes completely still as he leans against you. Slowly but surely, he relaxes in your hold.

It doesn’t take long for both brothers to fall asleep in your arms. Soon, you start to grow drowsy as a wave of exhaustion washes over you.

As your eyelids begin to droop, you feel the brothers snuggle closer to your chest. In response, you give them both a warm squeeze which makes them sigh happily.

Within seconds, you join the two in dreamland.

Chapter Text

The first thing you notice when you wake up is the heavy weight on your chest. You blink several times in an attempt to clear your blurry vision and shake your head to clear your groggy mind. Once your vision clears, you move your gaze from the ceiling to your chest.

You bite back the urge to coo at the sight. Instead of remaining under your arms, Berry and Orange are now asleep on top of you. They must have migrated to this new position while you were all asleep. Somehow, you managed to keep your arms around them the entire night despite their movements.

Not wanting to risk waking the skeletons, you do your best to keep your body still. Hopefully, you’ll be able to last until they wake up on their own.

As you let your gaze roam, you realize the lights are back on. If the lights turn off at bedtime, maybe they turn on at a certain time each morning. Does that mean the skeletons should be waking up now?

Screw that. Like hell do I care about their rules. If these kids wanna sleep in, then I’m gonna let them. Who knows when they last got a good night’s sleep.

Shortly after you wake, you hear rustling from below which signals the movements of the other skeletons. It looks like you were right about the lights being a sign for the kids to wake up.

Epic’s boisterous voice is the first one you hear. “GOOD MORNING, BROTHER! DID YOU SLEEP WELL?”

His brother yawns loudly. “yeah, you know me, bro. sleeping is what i do best.”

Soon the sounds of several other morning greetings reach your ears. You wonder if you should say something or just wait until the Underswap brothers wake up.

In the end, the decision is made for you when Epic notices the absence of your little trio. “THAT’S STRANGE. WHERE ARE BERRY, ORANGE, AND THE HUMAN? I DON’T SEE THEM. BERRY ALWAYS WAKES UP FIRST THING LIKE MYSELF. IT’S UNUSUAL TO NOT SEE HIM AWAKE BY NOW.”

You hear Grim scoff at the question. “THE HUMAN PROBABLY DID SOMETHING TO THEM. IT’S THEIR FAULT FOR BEING FOOLISH ENOUGH TO SHARE A BED WITH HER. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.”

At his words, the children below all start talking at once at such a rapid pace that you can’t make out what they’re saying. You’re amazed that Berry and Orange are still asleep despite all the racket. How tired were these kids?

After a while, there’s a lull in the conversation which you choose to take advantage of. You keep your voice low so that you don’t wake up the sleeping children. “Hey, guys? If you’re looking for Berry and Orange, they’re up here with me fast asleep. And, no, Grim, I didn’t do anything to them. They’re just tired.”

Considering how silent everyone gets, you assume they heard you, but you wonder why no one has replied yet. That’s when you hear movement below, and the bunk bed begins to shake.

Alarmed, you hug the sleeping skeletons tightly and turn to look toward the railing. Your eyes widen in surprise when six heads peer over the railing to look at you curiously. How the hell did they manage that?

Blaze appears completely awestruck as he stares at you. “they’re really asleep. i’ve never seen berry sleep in or orange sleep so deeply before. they’re completely out of it.”

While the comment on Berry doesn’t really surprise you since Underswap Sans is known to be an early riser, it saddens you to hear that Orange doesn’t normally sleep so well. You’re glad you were able to change that for at least one night.

Epic’s eye-lights are practically sparkling with wonder. “WOWIE! YOU’RE AMAZING, MISS HUMAN! HOW DID YOU GET THEM TO SLEEP SO SOUNDLY?”

His brother is looking at you curiously. “you said you didn’t have magic, right? so, is this some kind of power humans have?”

A scowl forms on Grim’s face. “SHE OBVIOUSLY DID SOMETHING! NO WAY COULD THOSE TWO BE SLEEPING LIKE THAT JUST BY SHARING A BED WITH HER. SHE’S OBVIOUSLY HIDING SOMETHING.”

Razz actually rolls his eye-lights at that remark. “WHAT COULD SHE POSSIBLY BE HIDING? IF SHE HAD ANY POWERS, SHE WOULD’VE ESCAPED BY NOW, OR THE DOCTORS WOULD’VE DONE SOMETHING TO HER TO PREVENT HER FROM USING THEM.”

Nervously, Rus nods his head in agreement. “i don’t think she did anything. maybe she’s just really comfortable? her hug yesterday was really warm and soft.”

You can’t help but be amused by this conversation. Apparently, even being a good pillow is suspicious to Grim. Before you can stop yourself, a giggle erupts from your mouth. Unfortunately, once you start laughing, it’s near impossible for you to stop.

When you finally calm down, you look up to see every skeleton watching you with wide eye-lights. Even the previously sleeping Berry and Orange are staring at you with amazed expressions. Oh no, it looks like you woke them up with your loud laughter.

Frowning, you give the skeletons on your chest an apologetic look. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you two up. I was so amused that I forgot to be quiet.”

For some reason, Orange appears embarrassed as he averts his eye-lights. His brother, on the other hand, is beaming at you with starry eyes. “THAT’S OKAY, MISS! IT WAS TIME FOR US TO GET UP ANYWAY. BESIDES, I REALLY LIKED WAKING UP THIS WAY. YOU HAVE A NICE LAUGH!”

He hasn’t even been awake for more than five minutes, and he’s already being too adorable for words. Grinning broadly, you bring him close so you can nuzzle his cheekbone. “You are seriously too cute. I’m super lucky to get to see your cute face first thing in the morning.”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

As his brother laughs, you notice Orange shyly glancing toward you. Not wanting to leave him out, you give him the same special treatment. “Of course, I think you’re a real cutie too, Orange.”

The way his face lights up when he blushes makes your grin grow so much it’s actually beginning to hurt your cheeks. It seems Epic wants to join in on the fun since he’s now clambering into the bed. “I WANT A GOOD MORNING HUG TOO, MISS HUMAN!”

Without hesitation, you bring him into the fold. “Sure thing, sweetie. I could never turn down a request from you.”

“NYEH HEH HEH!”

When you look toward the other skeletons by the railing, you see the resigned expression on Classic’s face. Looks like he’s accepted that his brother won’t be leaving you alone anytime soon.

Scowling, Grim’s face disappears from the railing, and his voice floats up from the floor. “ENOUGH OF THIS NONSENSE! HURRY UP AND GET OUT OF BED, YOU LAZYBONES!”

His brother quickly follows his example after he gives you a quick glance. Soon enough, everyone else not in the bed is back on the ground.

You take that as your que to end hug time and release the skeletons. When you see their reluctant faces, you give them each a kiss on the forehead, even Orange who blushes brightly in response.

Rather than make the skeletons climb down, you get off the bed first and just pick them up from the bed to set them down on the floor. Berry and Epic obviously enjoy the free ride while Orange just seems flustered. Looks like Stretch’s mini-me is a little on the shy side. How cute.

Once they’re all on the ground, you stretch your arms above your head for a few seconds as you slip into your shoes. While that thin mattress wasn’t the best bed you’ve ever slept on, it definitely beat sleeping on the floor.

You grin when you see the many curious looks aimed your way. “I’m just stretching. Humans have muscles that can get stiff if they’re stuck in the same place for too long.”

At your comment, Berry starts playing with his hands nervously. “DID YOU SLEEP WELL, HUMAN? I KNOW BONES AREN’T VERY SOFT, SO HAVING US ON TOP OF YOU COULDN’T HAVE BEEN VERY COMFORTABLE.”

Your expression softens. You waste no time in scooping him up into your arms which makes Berry squeal in surprise. His face turns bright blue when you rub your cheek against his. “I was very comfortable, Berry. I had a great night’s sleep. I’m really grateful to you and Orange for being willing to share your bed with me. You’re both really kind.”

When you wink at Orange, he quickly averts his eye-lights in embarrassment. Before you can tease him, a tugging on your pants brings your attention to Epic who’s giving you a hopeful look. “What’s up, sugar?”

Blushing, Epic shyly ducks his head. “Y-YOU CAN SLEEP IN OUR BED TONIGHT IF YOU WANT TO, MISS HUMAN. IT WOULDN’T BE FAIR IF BERRY AND ORANGE ARE THE ONLY ONES TO THANK YOU. THIS WAY YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY WITH THEM EVERY NIGHT.”

His brother makes a choked noise. When you turn toward him, Classic blushes under your gaze and quickly looks away. “my bro makes a good point. that way orange and berry don’t have to share their bed the whole time you’re here.”

Taking them up on that offer would probably be for the best. You’d feel bad if you made the Underswap boys share with you every night, especially when you don’t even know how long you’ll be here.

Berry tightens his grip on you as he pouts. “I DON’T MIND SHARING WITH HER. SHE CAN USE OUR BED AS LONG AS SHE WANTS. RIGHT, PAPY?”

Surprisingly, his brother doesn’t immediately object. Instead, Orange chooses to keep his gaze locked on the floor. “doesn’t matter to me. sharing wasn’t that bad.”

Everyone is caught off guard when Razz starts cackling loudly. “YOU TWO JUST DON’T WANT TO SHARE THE HUMAN! YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE! NOW, I’M INTRIGUED! HUMAN, I WILL ALLOW YOU TO USE MY AND PAPY’S BED FOR A NIGHT. BE GRATEFUL FOR MY KINDNESS!”

Rus stares at his brother with wide eye-lights before looking toward you. When you smile at him, he blushes a bright orange and averts his eye-lights. “i-if that’s what sans wants, then it’s o-okay with me.”

The pure look of disbelief on Grim’s face makes you want to laugh, but you, thankfully, manage to restrain yourself. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU IDIOTS?! WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO SLEEP NEXT TO THIS PATHETIC HUMAN?! ARE YOU TRYING TO GET YOURSELVES KILLED?! SHE COULD EASILY ATTACK YOU AS SOON AS YOU LET YOUR GUARDS DOWN!”

Berry jumps out of your arms and turns to face Grim with his hands on his hips. “SHE WON’T! SHE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO ME OR PAPY WHILE WE WERE ASLEEP! SHE’S A GOOD HUMAN! SHE CARES ABOUT US! SHE’S NOT GOING TO HURT US! HOW COULD YOU BE SO MEAN TO HER AFTER SHE AGREED TO BE EXPERIMENTED ON BY THE DOCTORS SO THAT WE COULD BE SPARED?!”

With a sneer, Grim cross his arms and glares at the shorter skeleton. “EASY! JUST BECAUSE SHE DID IT ONE DAY DOESN’T MEAN SHE’LL CONTINUE TO DO SO! SHE’LL CAVE EVENTUALLY! ONCE THE PAIN GETS TOO MUCH FOR HER, SHE’LL GIVE UP AND DO ANYTHING TO SAVE HERSELF EVEN IF IT MEANS SACRIFICING US! THERE’S NO WAY SHE COULD CARE ABOUT US! NO ONE DOES!”

At that, everyone goes completely still, and the room is filled with a dead silence. The only movement is the bobbing of Grim’s shoulders as he tries to regulate his breathing after his long tirade.

There are tears in both Berry’s and Epic’s eye sockets while their brothers hide their faces by looking down at the ground. Razz is scowling, but you can tell he’s close to tears himself while Rus is trembling beside him. Behind Grim, you see Blaze with his head ducked low.

Your heart clenches painfully at the sight. They’re not arguing with him because they think the same way. They don’t think it’s possible for someone to actually care about them. They think they’re unlovable.

Without hesitation, you move toward Grim who immediately jumps into a defensive stance in front of his shaking brother. You startle him when you unceremoniously plop down on the ground in front of him and move into a sitting position.

Now that you’re on his level, you bring your eyes to meet his wide eye-lights. “I know that you have no reason to trust me, but I swear to you that I will not betray you. I’m never gonna try to back out of my deal with the doctors. I don’t care what they do to me. I’m not letting them hurt any of you while I’m here.”

You decide to lean in close to make your final point. “And, you are wrong about no one caring about you. I care about you--all of you. And, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get all of you out of this place. You don’t deserve to be here. You deserve to be loved and to be somewhere safe. I’m not leaving this world until you’re all free.”

Before you move back, you leave a quick kiss on Grim’s forehead. A cheeky grin forms on your face when his turns scarlet. “And, of course, I’m not leaving until I get hugs from everyone. I’ll be getting a hug from you eventually, sweetie. Look forward to it.”

With an embarrassed screech, Grim jumps back like he’s been burned and tries to put as much distance between you and him as possible. This leaves Blaze out in the open gaping at you in shock.

Noticing his amazed gaze, you wink at him. “Of course, that includes you too, sweetheart. No way am I forgetting your cute self.”

Soon his face becomes as red as his brother’s. Blaze quickly moves to hide behind his brother, so you won’t see his flustered expression.

That’s when Razz jumps into your lap and starts laughing. “I LIKE YOU, HUMAN! I HAVEN’T HAD THIS MUCH ENTERTAINMENT IN A LONG TIME! I’LL EXPECT YOU TO CONTINUE TO DO SO! DO NOT DISAPPOINT ME!”

With a pout, Berry scrambles into your lap to join him. “SHE’S NOT A TOY, RAZZ! AND, DON’T GO JUMPING INTO HER LAP LIKE YOU OWN IT!”

His counterpart rolls his eyes. “YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO SHARE HER. YOU CAN’T KEEP HER FOR YOURSELF, IDIOT.”

Not wanting a fight to start, you intervene by wrapping your arms around the two and embracing them. “Now, kids, no need to fight. There’s plenty of room for both of you. And, I can play with you both.”

A tugging on your sleeve directs your attention to Rus who’s watching you with a shy expression. “m-me too?”

You haven’t even been up for more than an hour, and these kids are already trying to kill you with their cuteness. Your heart feels like it’ll explode at any minute.

Razz and Berry aren’t very large, so there should be enough room to squeeze another skeleton in your lap. Hell, you’ll make room if it’s necessary.

Without hesitation, you scoop Rus up into your arm and hold him close to your chest. He immediately snuggles into the embrace. “Sure thing, sugar. We’ve got some room to spare.”

Surprisingly, it’s Orange who approaches you next. He takes a seat beside you and leans against your side. He keeps his voice low so that his brother won’t hear him. “thanks. what you said made my bro really happy. i still don’t know what to think of you, but my bro likes you a lot so i’m willing to give you a chance. i won’t forgive you if you hurt him, though.”

Grateful that he’s willing to try trusting you, you reach down to kiss him on the top of his skull. As you expect, his whole face turns a bright orange which makes you smile. “Thank you, Orange. I appreciate it. I won’t let you down.”

Your breath comes out in a whoosh when you feel a small body collide with your back. When you look over your shoulder, you see Epic beaming as he hangs onto your back. “SINCE YOUR LAP IS OCCUPIED, MAY I HAVE THIS SPOT INSTEAD, MISS HUMAN?”

You snort in amusement. “Sure. Just be careful not to fall off, okay?”

“OKAY!”

Classic comes to stand beside you. “don’t worry, i’ll keep an eye socket on him.”

When you look for the Underfell brothers, you find them a few feet behind you. They’re no longer blushing, but they’re obviously keeping their distance. Oh well, at least they’re not on the other side of the room.

Unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end. Everyone freezes in place when they hear the sound of the electric door slide open. Because your back is to the door, you have to look over your shoulder to see who has arrived.

It’s a Riverperson; that much you can tell right away. The scientist is wearing a white buttoned up lab coat that’s so long it reaches the floor. Somehow, they managed to attach a hood to it so their face is completely hidden. Considering the way Orange and Berry tense at the sight of the scientist, this must be the Royal Scientist of Underswap.

“It is time.”

You learned early on that both Riverpersons were monsters of few words. The few times you heard them speak they would spout cryptic words that went completely over your head.

Realizing you have to leave, you give the skeletons in your lap a hug before helping them stand. Berry looks like he’s about to cry, so you give him a quick peck on the forehead before rising to your feet.

No one looks pleased with this situation, but they remain silent since there’s nothing that can be done about it. As you pass the Underfell brothers, you see Grim’s deep frown and Blaze’s worried expression. You give them a wink before turning to face the door.

As soon as you pass through the doorway, the door closes behind you, successfully separating you from the boys. You unconsciously clench your fists at that thought.

The walk down the hallway is silent as expected. When you finally arrive at the door that leads to the lab you visited before, you swallow nervously as you remember all of the pain from yesterday.

That’s when Grim’s words from earlier move to the forefront of your mind. “JUST BECAUSE SHE DID IT ONE DAY DOESN’T MEAN SHE’LL CONTINUE TO DO SO! SHE’LL CAVE EVENTUALLY! ONCE THE PAIN GETS TOO MUCH FOR HER, SHE’LL GIVE UP AND DO ANYTHING TO SAVE HERSELF EVEN IF IT MEANS SACRIFICING US!”

Your eyes narrow as your resolve hardens. You’re not going to cave. No matter what you’re put through, you won’t allow those kids to be hurt any longer. You will save them.

With that, you follow the scientist through the door without hesitation, and the experiments begin.

Biting back a groan, you slowly trudge after Swap River. In the back of your mind, you think you should try to come up with nicknames for the doctors, but you quickly dismiss the thought. Who the hell cares? It’s not like you’ll be making any small talk with your captors.

Now that they are aware of the full situation regarding the health of your soul, the scientists refrained from doing too much direct experimentation on your soul. Of course, that doesn’t mean the bastards completely held back which is why you feel so sore. All of the superficial damage was taken care of by healing magic, but you’re still stuck with a below twenty HP level. If this keeps up, you worry that you won’t last more than a week.

As before, Swap River remains silent throughout the whole walk back to the room. Even after they open the door, the scientist still doesn’t say anything which you honestly find a tad unsettling.

You quickly move through the door and don’t bother to give the door another glance when it slams shut behind you. Instead, you keep your gaze on the kids’ relieved faces which make you grin broadly. “I’m back! Hope you guys didn’t miss me too much.”

Berry wastes no time in jumping into your arms with Epic following right behind him. As soon as you settle down on the floor near the bunk beds, Razz quickly climbs into your lap. “IT’S ABOUT TIME, HUMAN! I WAS GROWING BORED!”

A deep frown forms on Berry’s face. “SHE’S NOT HERE TO ENTERTAIN YOU, RAZZ! BESIDES, SHE’S PROBABLY REALLY TIRED NOW! WE SHOULDN’T BOTHER HER TOO MUCH!”

Epic glances at you with worried eye-lights. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT, MISS HUMAN? DO YOU NEED TO REST? YOU CAN USE OUR BED IF YOU NEED TO.”

His brother nods as he examines you. “there’s no way you’re not tired after all that. you should probably lie down for a little while.”

Orange settles down beside you. “no one will bother you if you want some time for yourself.”

On your other side, Rus moves to sit down. When he sees that your eyes are on him, he shyly nods his head. “w-we won’t bother you, miss.”

Their concern really touches your heart. Even the Underfell brothers are discretely sending you worried looks.

Grinning, you hug the skeletons in your lap tightly. “You’re all sweethearts. Thank you, but I’m alright. I’m a little tired, but it’s not so bad that I need to go to bed now. I’d rather tell you all that story I promised you.”

Epic’s and Berry’s faces brighten at the mention of storytime. Razz also looks very interested although he would probably deny it if you asked.

Before you begin, you move to press your back against the bunk bed so you can lean against it. You then bring Orange and Rus to rest against your sides while their brothers and Epic remain in your lap facing you. Classic crawls into the bed behind your head and sprawls out there.

Surprisingly, Grim and Blaze take a seat a few feet in front of you. You had expected them to not be interested. They must be more curious than you originally thought.

Now that everyone is comfortably situated, you begin telling them about all the adventures you’ve been on. First, you tell them about your world; you have to clarify what video games are at one point since they never played with one before. Once that’s properly explained, you tell them about the world of Undertale.

It isn’t long before you have them all hanging on your every word as you tell them about the resets and how the glitch kept interfering with Frisk, preventing the child from escaping. They were all visibly impressed by how you and Comic managed to work around the glitch and save the world without having to actually stop it.

While they appeared to enjoy the story of Underswap, it was obvious how invested everyone became in the story of Underfell because of all the action. Taking down a constantly moving assassin is pretty exciting. You decide to leave out the altercation with Error since you figured that would just upset them.

Instead, you go straight into the tale of Swapfell which Razz enjoyed immensely. It was also obvious how much Grim liked the stories with battles, but he tried to cover his excitement with his usual scowl. You weren’t fooled for a single minute.

After you finish telling the kids about how your group saved Chara from the Amalgamates, you lean back against the bunk bed with a sigh. All that talking wore you out. If they want more stories, the kids will have to let you take a break first.

I’m a little thirsty after all that talking. The doctors gave me some water and food while I was at the lab, but I wish they would’ve let me bring some back here. Apparently, the kids don’t get fed everyday because they don’t need food as much as humans and other monsters. Like I actually believe that. Those bastards.

A hand in your hair startles you and abruptly draws you out of your thoughts. When you look to the bed, you see Classic staring at you with wide eye-lights and a guilty expression. “s-sorry. i didn’t mean to.”

Your expression softens at his fearful reaction. Slowly, you reach for him and wrap an arm around his shoulders so that you can bring him closer to you. “It’s fine, sweetheart. I don’t care if you wanna touch my hair. It just startled me since I was lost in thought when you did it. If you wanna play with my hair, have at it. I don’t mind.”

Once he realizes you’re not mad, Classic relaxes under your touch. You give him a squeeze before releasing him. A few seconds later, after you turn back around, you catch movement out of the corner of your eye. You watch as Classic slowly moves his hand to touch your hair. He then starts carding his fingers through the strands.

You look down when you feel movement in your lap. Razz is now climbing your front so that he can touch your hair. You can’t help but be amused especially when you see his brother’s horrified expression. “sans! you can’t climb her like that!”

Razz completely ignores his brother in favor of marveling at the texture of your hair as he runs his fingers through it. “IT’S SO SOFT! JUST LIKE YOUR SKIN! ARE ALL HUMANS LIKE THIS?”

Your shoulders begin to shake as you fight off the urge to laugh and fail. “Yes, usually anway. I guess it depends on how well a human takes care of their hair. Hair can actually have a lot of different textures. Skin, for the most part, is always soft.”

Rather than climb you, Epic moves to join his brother on the bed and starts to play with your hair too. “WOWIE! HAIR IS SO NICE! I WISH I HAD SOME!”

Not wanting to be left out, Berry follows Razz’s example and reaches for some hair to play with. You can’t help but giggle at the sight especially when you catch Orange shaking his head in exasperation.

Blaze is staring at you with awe like he can’t believe you’re being so tolerant of everyone’s antics while his brother watches the others in disbelief. “WHAT ARE YOU IDIOTS DOING? IT’S JUST HAIR! THERE’S NO NEED TO GET THAT EXCITED ABOUT IT!”

A smirk forms on Razz’s face as he turns to look at Grim. “YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS BECAUSE YOU CAN’T DO IT! YOU’RE TOO SCARED TO APPROACH THE HUMAN, SO YOU CAN’T TOUCH HER HAIR!”

Grim glares at him as he rises to his feet while Blaze just scowls at his counterpart. “I AM NOT SCARED! UNLIKE YOU WEAKLINGS, I COULD EASILY DEFEAT HER IF SHE DECIDED TO ATTACK. I’M BEING SMART BY NOT STICKING CLOSE TO HER. THAT WAY SHE CAN’T TRY ANYTHING.”

Before an argument can break out, you decide to intervene. “Let’s not fight. It’s understandable why Grim doesn’t wanna approach me. He’s been taught all his life how bad humans are. Of course, he wouldn’t want to befriend one. I don’t blame him for not trusting me. He’s just being cautious and trying to look out for himself and his brother.”

Everyone stares at you with wide eye-lights. They’re obviously surprised that you’re so accepting of Grim’s unfriendly treatment toward you. The Underfell brothers look the most shocked out of everyone.

Surprisingly, it’s Blaze who speaks up. Rather than stay behind his brother, he actually takes a step toward you. “why don’t you ever get mad? you’re always smiling and nice to us. despite how we treat you, you don’t get upset with us. why? shouldn’t you be mad? isn’t that normal?”

Your heart clenches painfully at his words. He thinks it’s normal to have people mad at him. That if he makes even the slightest mistake that it warrants punishment. In his world, being nice isn’t normal. He was probably never shown any kindness before you arrived. How sad is that?

The desire to hug the child is overwhelming. Unfortunately, he’s not close enough that you can reach him. However, you won’t let that deter you.

You gently pull Berry and Razz out of your lap and place them beside their brothers. Then, you slowly crawl toward Blaze who’s watching you with an alarmed expression. You didn’t want to waste time getting up. You want to reach him as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, he doesn’t try to run away, and his brother isn’t moving to interfere. Although, Grim is watching you very closely.

Once you reach your destination, you move to sit right in front of the shocked Blaze. You keep your movements deliberately slow in order to avoid scaring him. He stiffens when you cup his cheeks with your hands.

Smiling, you gently stroke his cheekbones, and you feel him unconsciously lean into your touch. “While getting angry and violent was normal in the world you came from, it’s not normal in every world. In my world, we treat children kindly and give them the love and care they deserve. Children shouldn’t be punished or treated cruelly like how you’re used to. You deserve to be shown kindness. No one else has done that for you, so I’ve decided to make that my job. I’m gonna treat you kids the way you deserve to be treated.”

His eye-lights are impossibly wide as he stares at you with awe and disbelief. When his shoulders start to shake, you gently wrap your arms around him in a hug and guide him to your chest. He melts into the embrace faster than you expected. That just proves how much he really wanted one.

When you look up, your eyes meet Grim’s who’s studying you carefully. At least, he’s not looking at you with suspicion. His expression softens when his eye-lights fall on his brother.

As you watch him, you’re reminded that despite his bravado and protectiveness that he is in fact the younger brother. But, because of how his world is and his brother’s low HP, Grim takes it upon himself to be the protector. He doesn’t allow himself a moment of weakness. In his world, if you falter, you’re easy pickings for stronger monsters.

The world of Underfell is bad enough as it is, but combining it with the Handplates AU makes everything a hundred times worse. You can’t imagine how awful their lives were back then when it was just them on their own in the lab back in their world.

You want to reach out to Grim and offer comfort to him as well. Before you can, however, the lights go dim signaling the end of the day.

Grim immediately turns to head for their bed, and Blaze reluctantly pulls out of your arms to follow after him. Before he does, you give him a kiss on the forehead which makes him light up like a stop light. You give him a gentle smile. “Good night, sweetheart.”

Blaze shyly ducks his head. “g-good night.”

Then, he takes off after his brother. He moves so fast all you see is a red blur. Amused, you can’t help but think that he’d make a good night-light considering how bright his face is because of his blush.

Epic runs over to you and grabs your hand. “YOU’LL BE SLEEPING WITH US, RIGHT, MISS HUMAN?”

Since Berry is right behind him, Epic must have beaten him to you. Not wanting to disappoint the sweetheart, you nod your head. “Sure, hun. It would be unfair to make Berry and Orange share their bed every night.”

A pout forms on Berry’s face. “BUT, WE DON’T MIND, MISS! WE LIKED SLEEPING WITH YOU!”

You pull him into a hug and squeeze him tightly. “I did too. Think of it this way, it’s not like there are a lot of beds, so it’ll be your turn again soon enough. Grim has already stated that he doesn’t want me anywhere near his bed. So, if I stay with Razz and Rus tomorrow night, then I can bunk with you and Orange again after that.”

Thankfully, that seems to appease him. Berry returns the embrace before following after his brother who’s already climbing the ladder. When you look toward the other bunk bed, you see that the Swapfell and Underfell brothers are already in bed.

Once you’re on your feet, Epic leads you by the hand to his and Classic’s bed. You reach out to gently rub the older brother on the head, and he looks at you with surprise. “Are you sure it’s okay for me to stay with you? I understand if the idea makes you uncomfortable.”

Classic gives you a considering look and then shakes his head. “it’s fine. pap is excited about it. plus, you haven’t done anything to warrant our distrust. so, there’s no harm in giving you a chance.”

He squeaks in surprise when you scoop him up into your arms and hold him close. His face turns a bright blue when you rub your cheek against the top of his skull. “Thank you, Classic. I appreciate it.”

Epic, being the total sweetheart that he is, jumps into the bed and pulls back the cover for you. “HERE YOU GO, MISS HUMAN! YOU CAN BRING MY BROTHER WITH YOU.”

With a grin, you get into the bed after kicking off your shoes and move under the cover all the while holding onto a very embarrassed Classic. Epic wastes no time in joining you both under the cover and snuggling close to you.

You decide to release Classic since you don’t want to make him too uncomfortable. Instead of pulling away like you expect, he follows his brother’s example and remains close.

As soon as you’re all situated, the lights go out, plunging the room in darkness. Considering how excitable Captain Fantastic can be, you figure that it’ll take a while for Epic to settle down. That’s why you are surprised when Epic slumps against you fast asleep only after a few minutes have passed since the lights turned off. Either he was really tired, or you have some kind of hypnotic effect on skeletons that puts them to sleep if they stay close enough to you for a long enough period of time.

Even though you can’t really make out anything in the darkness, you can tell that Classic is still awake by how stiff his body is. Worried that you’re keeping him awake, you decide to question him. You whisper so that you don’t risk waking Epic or any of the other children. “Classic? You’re awake, right? Are you okay? Is it hard to sleep with me here after all?”

You can tell that he’s looking at you now since you’re able to make out his eye-lights. “no, you’re actually pretty comfortable. i’m just not sleepy.”

Your brows furrow with worry. A Sans that’s not sleepy? If Berry or Razz had said it, you’d understand since they’re the excitable versions of Sans. But, this an Undertale version of Sans. That just doesn’t sound right to you.

“Is this normal? You were able to sleep okay last night, right?”

You feel him shrug his shoulders. “this just happens from time to time. no big deal. i’ll just take a nap tomorrow. i do it all the time.”

Even if he’s used to it, that doesn’t mean you’re just going to sit back and let him suffer from insomnia all night. You need to come up with something that’ll help him sleep. Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot to work with.

That’s when an idea comes to mind that makes you grin. Slowly, so that you won’t disturb Epic, you move Classic into a new position on top of your chest. Because of the brightness of his wide eye-lights, you’re able to make out his surprised expression. “w-what are you doing?”

You begin to gently stroke his back with your hand. “I’m helping you fall asleep. If you place your head against my chest, you can hear my heartbeat. The last time one of my skeleton friends did that he fell asleep after a few minutes. I was hoping it’d do the same for you.”

His body slowly but surely relaxes under your ministrations. It doesn’t take him long to rest his head against your chest and spread his arms out around you. “this is a heartbeat?”

Your hand moves to rub his skull. “Yep. Soothing, right?”

He nods againsts your chest. “it’s...nice.”

Finally, after several minutes pass, you feel his body go limp against your chest which makes you sigh in relief. If that hadn’t worked, you don’t know what you would’ve done.

Once you’re sure that he’s asleep, you let your hand stop and rest your arm across his back. Your other arm remains wrapped around the snoozing Epic.

Happy that they’re both comfortable now, you close your eyes and wait for sleep to claim you. As your awareness slowly fades, you briefly wonder about your current situation.

Is the glitch still in this world, or have you been here long enough to destroy it? If it is gone, why haven’t the AUs gone back to normal? If the glitch is still here, what are you supposed to do to stop it? There are no children with the power to reset at this point in time. At least, you don’t think so. Could one of the children before the eighth child be here now?

More importantly, how are you supposed to save these kids? You don’t care if you’ll be messing with the timeline. There’s no way that you’ll leave them to suffer under the scientists’ hands.

But, what can you do? You’re at their mercy now. If you try to escape, you’ll be putting the kids in danger. It’s not like you’ve been provided any chances to escape either. If you take one step out of line, they could easily use their magic to punish you or even kill you if they decide they only need your soul.

How am I supposed to fix this?

Chapter Text

This time it’s the sound of several hushed voices that wakes you.

“WOWZERS! THE LIGHTS ARE ON, AND THEY’RE NOT EVEN STIRRING! I’VE NEVER SEEN EPIC SO STILL BEFORE!”

“well, i guess the same could be said about us yesterday. did we really look like that?”

“YOU DID! YOU WERE COMPLETELY OUT OF IT! YOU WERE CUDDLING HER JUST LIKE THAT!”

“yeah, you looked really comfortable just like they do now.”

“DON’T WORRY, PAPY! OUR TURN IS NEXT! WE’LL GET TO SEE HOW THE HUMAN DOES IT FIRSTHAND!”

“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE ACTUALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT! WHAT’S SO EXCITING ABOUT SHARING A BED WITH A HUMAN? THERE’S SO LITTLE ROOM; THEY HAVE TO SLEEP ON TOP OF HER!”

“BUT, THAT’S THE BEST PART! SHE’S REALLY COMFY! I LOVED SLEEPING ON HER CHEST!”

The conversation comes to an abrupt halt when you slowly open your eyes and turn your head to face them. You sleepily grin at their shocked and guilty expressions. “Morning, guys. Did you sleep well?”

Both Berry and Razz grin at you as they nod their heads rapidly. Their brothers choose to nod at a more sedate pace. Blaze does the same with a shy smile while his brother averts his eye-lights and crosses his arms with a huff.

When you bring your gaze to your chest, you see Classic still out cold while Epic starts to stir beside you. Their voices must’ve been loud enough to wake him.

After a few minutes, Epic sits up and sleepily rubs his eye sockets. His face immediately brightens when he sees you. “GOOD MORNING, MISS HUMAN! DID YOU SLEEP WELL?”

You give him a warm smile. “Good morning, Epic. I slept very well. Thank you for asking.”

He sighs in exasperation when he notices that his brother is still fast asleep. “IS MY BROTHER STILL NOT AWAKE? THAT LAZYBONES! I’LL WAKE HIM UP, SO YOU CAN MOVE, MISS HUMAN!”

Remembering the events of last night, you put a hand on Epic’s shoulder to stop him. At his confused look, you shake your head. “It’s alright, Epic. You don’t have to wake him. He looked pretty tired last night, so we should let him sleep as much as he wants. I think I can move out of the bed without waking him.”

To prove your point, you gently remove the cover and slowly scooch out of the bed. Rather than stand, you simply drop down to sit on the floor. You lean against the bed frame and place Classic in your lap. Once Epic crawls out of the bed, you grab the cover and wrap it around the sleeping skeleton.

After you’re all settled, you look up and see the kids staring at you with amazed expressions. Epic, in particular, is sparkling excitedly. Your treatment toward his brother must’ve made him happy. What a sweetheart.

Surprisingly, it’s Orange who approaches you. Placing a hand on your knee, he repeatedly moves his gaze between your face and your lap. Finally, with a blush on his face, Orange meets your eyes. “is there room for one more?”

Miraculously, you fight back the urge to squeal at the cuteness. Instead, you smile at him and nod your head. “Sure thing, hun. Just let me adjust Classic’s position so you can fit.”

It only takes a few seconds to move Classic so that there’s enough room for Orange. You can’t help but marvel at how deep a sleeper the skeleton is. Despite all the moving around that you’ve been doing, Classic hasn’t so much as twitched. He must be really tired.

As soon as there’s a spot available, Orange wastes no time in climbing into your lap. You stare amazed as he drifts off only seconds after making himself comfortable. Did he not get enough sleep last night?

Smiling softly, you adjust the blanket so that it’s covering both skeletons. You gently stroke their skulls for a few minutes before returning your attention to the other skeletons.

Out of the six skeletons, Grim and Epic are the only ones not staring at your lap with jealousy or longing. Razz and Berry are not pleased that their favorite spot is taken while Rus and Blaze look like they’d love nothing more than to take a long nap.

With a worried frown, you focus your gaze on the older brothers. “Blaze. Rus. Are you two still sleepy? My lap may be full, but you can still sit beside me and lean against me if you want. I don’t mind.”

Both of their faces light up with bright blushes. After hesitating for a few seconds, Rus slowly approaches you and comes to sit beside you. He squeaks in embarrassment when you wrap an arm around him to pull him closer and give him a squeeze.

Rus shyly hides his face against your hoodie and raises a hand to latch onto you. He buries his face further when you give him a peck on the top of his skull.

When you bring your gaze back to Blaze, you can tell that he obviously wants to join you but is hesitating because of his brother. Noticing all the glances aimed his way by his brother, Grim sighs before suddenly grabbing Blaze by the hand.

You watch with interest as Grim walks toward you while pulling his brother behind him. He scowls when he arrives at your side, but instead of commenting, he just pushes Blaze toward you before taking a seat a few feet away.

His brother’s unusual behavior has obviously left Blaze feeling baffled. Grinning, you help him sit beside you and wrap an around him to pull him against your side. He sends another look toward his brother, but when Grim says nothing, Blaze finally lets himself melt into the embrace.

The next few minutes pass with you teaching Berry, Epic, and Razz how to use your phone so that they can take a picture of this adorable cuddle pile. There’s no way you’re passing up this opportunity. You can’t wait to see the flustered expressions of their older counterparts when you show them.

After a while, an annoyed Grim rises to his feet and moves to help the trio figure out how to use the phone. Within a few seconds, they’ve got it working and are taking several pictures.

Rather than take it back after they get a good one, you let the kids play with it and take turns using the camera. After you suggest it, they all take a picture of their sleeping older brother, even Grim who refuses to meet your eyes.

Once the excitement of the camera wears off, you teach them how to play the games on your phone. Thankfully, you have some that don’t require an Internet connection to work. You wish you had more puzzle games since you know they’d like those. However, they do seem to be enjoying the Mahjong app you had downloaded. The only problem is making sure they take turns. Both Grim and Razz have a tendency to be phone hogs.

Unfortunately, that’s when fate decides to remind you of what kind of situation you’re in. Everyone freezes when the door slides open. You swallow nervously when you see who’s at the door.

This time it’s a Gaster, but instead of the one you first met, it’s the Royal Scientist from Underfell. You figure that must be his world considering the several scars you see on him and the fact that he has red eye-lights. He looks just like his counterpart except his turtleneck is red instead of white.

The glare he aims at you makes your heart stop. It then starts beating rapidly when he turns to look at the children with narrowed eye-lights.

Quickly, you gently set the sleeping children on the bed behind your head and lay the blanket over them. They appear to be stirring, but you don’t stick around long enough to watch them wake up.

When you give the younger brothers a quick look, you see Berry’s and Epic’s fearful expressions and the narrowed eye-lights of Grim and Razz. Judging by the way he’s holding his hands behind his back, you guess that Grim is the one with your phone. You decide to leave it with the kids rather than risk angering the scientist by taking too long.

Once you reach him after putting on your shoes, he gestures toward the door, and you oblige. Rather than lead you, it seems he’d prefer to follow you from behind. Good thing you remember where to go.

After the door closes, you begin your trek down the corridor. Your shoulders stiffen under his intense gaze. Jeez, what’d you do to piss him off?

You jump in surprise when he finally speaks. “What are you planning? What do you hope to gain by winning them over? They’re just experiments. If you think that they have enough power to help you break out of here, you’re wrong. They can’t do anything for you.”

With a glare, you look at him from over your shoulder. “I’m not planning anything. I don’t want anything from them. I’m not like the people of your world. I have no ulterior motive when I show kindness. I’m nice to them because they’re good kids who deserve it.”

Fell Gaster shakes his head. “Then, you are more foolish than I had originally thought. You are just wasting your time and efforts.”

For the remainder of the walk, the two of you remain silent. You’re almost glad to see the lab door since that means you no longer have to spend time alone with this Gaster. Of course, you’re not looking forward to being a lab rat again.

Gritting your teeth, you march through the now open doorway and clench your fists tightly at your sides.

It’s not a waste. No way could showing kindness be a waste. I’ll prove it.

And, the experiments begin.

Searching, searching, searching. It’s like they’re looking for answers in what they do to you.

You cling tightly to your resolve. Finding that the pain that follows is a little more bearable this time around.

While you are escorted back to your room by a Gaster, it’s not the one you had expected. Rather than the Royal Scientist from Underfell, it’s Undertale Gaster who you first met two days ago.

When you regained consciousness after your latest testing session, you noticed Fell Gaster was strangely absent, but you felt it wasn’t worth the effort to ask about him. Instead, you simply followed after Tale Gaster when he motioned you to do so.

You’re even more tired than yesterday. The scientists seemed more interested in experimenting on you than asking questions, much to your dismay. Thankfully, they’re starting to use healing magic in even moderation to take care of the majority of the damage. You just wish something could be done about the damage to your soul.

Your body feels heavy like you’re wearing weights. There’s a slight throb in your chest each time you take a step forward, and you feel like you could sleep the rest of the day away with no problem.

While it’s nowhere near as bad as when you did that reset, you still wish Ink was here. Too bad he can’t come into this world because of the glitch.

When you arrive at your destination, you’re surprised to see the door to the kids’ room already open. Your heart stops when you look inside.

Now, you now where Fell Gaster went. He’s standing in the middle of the room in front of the Underfell brothers. The scientist does not appear to be very pleased judging by his frown and narrowed eye-lights. Grim is glaring at him hatefully while his brother is trembling beside him. The rest of the children are further back into the room, clinging to their brothers.

You feel something snap inside you when you see Fell Gaster use his magic on Blaze and Grim to harshly press them against the floor. Without hesitation, you charge into the room and tackle the mad scientist to the ground. “Leave them alone!”

Although you manage to catch him off guard, it’s only temporary. Within seconds, his magic surrounds you, and you’re slammed against the nearby wall and held there. Your body is screaming in agony because of the force he used to throw you. It’ll be a miracle if nothing’s broken. At the very least, you somehow managed to avoid cracking your skull open.

Fell Gaster is instantly on his feet and glaring at you heatedly. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Don’t interfere with something that’s not any of your business!”

Scowling, you glare right back at him. “We had a deal! As long as I’m here, you all will focus your attention on me and leave them alone! You want my cooperation, don’t you? Then, leave them the hell alone! I don’t care what you think! I’m making this my business! I won’t let you hurt them anymore!”

A pained noise passes your lips as he increases the pressure of his magic around you. You can dimly hear the fearful whimpering of the kids in the background.

Before more damage can be done, Tale Gaster surprises you by intervening on your behalf. “She’s right. A deal was made. Besides, do you really intend to kill her before the experiment is complete? I would rather not throw away all of our efforts just because you have a bad temper.”

Fell Gaster directs his glare toward Tale Gaster for a brief moment before relinquishing his hold on you. This causes you to crash unceremoniously to the floor with a hard thump.

With a final glare thrown your way, the angry scientist pushes past his counterpart and exits the room without a word. Surprisingly, instead of immediately leaving, Tale Gaster walks over to your slumped form.

Green magic surrounds the holed-hand he places on your head. A sigh of relief escapes your lips when the pain begins to fade.

When you look up at him, you see the scientist staring at you with a calculative expression. “You know there’s nothing to gain from befriending these experiments. You are only bringing more pain upon yourself. I cannot begin to fathom why. They’re not sentient beings like you and I.”

Gritting your teeth, you pull yourself to your feet and glare up at the tall skeleton. “They cry and laugh just like we can. They can also think and speak. I honestly can’t see a difference between them and us.”

Your legs wobble under your weight, but you keep standing, glaring.“You’re just lying to yourself in order to excuse what you’re doing. Deep down, you know that I’m right and what you’re doing is wrong. But, you’re not gonna stop because you don’t want to. You can be a heartless bastard all you want, but I’m not like you.”

You swing your arm in a wide arch, signifying that you mean to protect every kid in the room. “I see kids who are hurting--kids who just want to be loved and accepted. If you’re too cowardly to do anything about that, then I will.”

For a while, the two of you just stare at each other. You had expected him to get angry because of your words, but his expression remains carefully blank. Instead, after a few minutes, he simply turns away and walks out of the room without another word.

As soon as he leaves, you waste no time in moving toward the gawking Underfell brothers. You fall to your knees before them and let your hands hover anxiously. “Are you both alright? Did he hurt you?”

Several seconds pass with no reply from the two. Worried by their silence, you slowly reach toward them and place a hand on each of their cheeks.“Grim? Blaze? Are you okay?”

They both jolt at your touch but, thankfully, don’t pull away. Blaze begins to shake while his brother looks at you with disbelief. “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! IF THE OTHER DOCTOR HADN’T INTERFERED, YOU WOULD’VE BEEN KILLED! WHY WOULD YOU GO SO FAR FOR US?!”

Smiling, you gently stroke their cheekbones. “Because you’re worth it. I told you, didn’t I? I care about you--all of you.”

The brothers catch you off guard when they suddenly jump into your arms. It happens so suddenly that you aren’t able to brace yourself in time, causing you to fall back onto your rear.

However, you quickly recover and wrap your arms around the trembling children. You hug them as tightly as you can and rest your head against theirs. “It’s alright. You’re safe now. I got you.”

Their shaking increases, but they remain silent as they bury their faces into your chest. Soon the other kids approach you, and three skeletons huddle close to each side of you.

Berry, Epic, and Rus are staring at you with teary eye sockets while Classic, Orange, and Razz have sad frowns on their faces. Eventually, you’ll have to figure out how to hug eight kids all at once because being unable to do so when they look so sad is really breaking your heart.

For a while, you remain like that with the Underfell brothers in your lap. They’re going to get as much affection as they want, so you’re not going to pull away until they’re satisfied.

When enough time passes, you decide to lighten the heavy atmosphere. With a grin, you rub your cheek against the top of Grim’s skull which makes him stiffen in surprise. “I told you I’d get a hug from you eventually, sweetie. I knew that you couldn’t resist.”

The flustered reaction you see when he pulls back is priceless. You can hear Berry and Razz giggling as Grim turns completely scarlet.

Instead of releasing him when he tries to pull away like you’d usually do, you keep your firm hold on him which makes him scowl. “RELEASE ME THIS INSTANT, HUMAN! I KNEW THIS WAS A BAD IDEA!”

Giggling, you kiss him on the forehead which makes him screech in embarrassment. Not wanting to let go just yet, you pull him as close as you can and affectionately nuzzle his cheek. “But, we just started! Hug time’s not over yet, Grim.”

Now, the rest of the skeletons are laughing. The sound is music to your ears. When you hear the usually timid Blaze’s quiet chuckling, it’s like you’re on Cloud Nine.

He squeaks in embarrassment when you bring him closer for cuddles. His face becomes as red as his brother’s when you give him a quick peck on the forehead. “That means you too, sweetheart.”

After awhile, you finally let go of Grim, who never once ceased his struggling, even though you know he was secretly enjoying all the attention. Of course, you make sure to plant another kiss on him before he can escape.

As soon as he’s free, Grim moves as far away as he can from you while his brother remains in your lap. It doesn’t look like he’ll be interested in leaving any time soon. Blaze scowls in annoyance when Berry and Razz scramble into your lap to occupy the empty space left by Grim.

Classic and Orange have chosen to use one of your thighs as a pillow and are asleep within seconds. You wonder if they didn’t get enough sleep this morning. Rus is snuggled up against your side while Epic is leaning against your other leg.

Man, are these kids adorable. You wonder if you could convince Grim to be your cameraman. Unfortunately, he might still be too embarrassed to come near you.

Berry frowns at you worriedly. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT, HUMAN? YOU WERE THROWN REALLY HARD!”

While Epic is giving you a similar concerned look, Razz just rolls his eye-lights. “HE USED HEALING MAGIC ON HER. OF COURSE, SHE’S FINE. ANY PAIN SHE RECEIVED SHOULD BE GONE BY NOW.”

His brother is also wearing a worried expression. “but, sans, she looks really tired. she shouldn’t be like that after being healed, right?”

You give him a warm squeeze. “I’m alright, guys. I’m just tired from dealing with the doctors earlier. The damage from hitting the wall is all gone. I promise.”

Classic surprises you when he speaks since you had thought he was asleep. “if you’re tired, you should lie down and take a nap. you can use our bed again if you need to. it’ll be easier than climbing up to one of the top bunks.”

A warm smile forms on your face as you give him a grateful look. You lay a kiss on the top of his skull which makes him turn a bright blue. “Thank you, Classic. I think I’ll take you up on that offer. I could use a little break if that’s alright with you guys.”

Epic and Berry nod rapidly in agreement while Razz pouts, obviously displeased that his source of entertainment is going to sleep before bedtime. Rus gives you a shy smile as he pulls away. Grim is discreetly giving you looks over his shoulder, but when he notices your gaze on him, he quickly turns away.

When you look down, you find that Orange is still fast asleep on your leg, and somehow, Blaze has fallen asleep as well. Amused, you gather the two sleeping skeletons into your arms and slowly rise to your feet. “Guess Orange and Blaze will be keeping me company during my nap.”

Berry and Grim just shake their heads at the sight of their older brothers completely passed out. A thought comes to mind that makes you pause. “You guys still have my phone?”

With a smug smirk, Razz runs to the bookcase and pulls it out to show you. “YES! AND, IT’S MY TURN!”

This leads to an argument among the game lovers since the other three think it’s their turn to play. All you can do is sigh and hope that they don’t accidentally break it.

As if reading your mind, Classic grins at you. “don’t worry, i’ll keep an eye socket on them, so they don’t break it.”

When Rus shyly nods his head, you give them both a warm smile as thanks. If your arms weren’t already full, you’d hug them. Once you reach the bed, you slip off your shoes before trying to come up with a plan on how to get under the cover while holding onto two snoozing skeletons.

It takes a little master maneuvering, but you successfully manage to get yourself onto the bed without waking Blaze or Orange. You had to use your foot to move the cover enough that you could slip underneath.

Once you’re lying down, you set a skeleton on each side of you and reach to pull the cover over the three of you. While you’re doing that, both kids snuggle closer to you and latch onto your hoodie with one of their hands.

You can’t resist lightly squeezing them and giving them a quick kiss on the top of their skulls. They are seriously too adorable. How your heart has survived this long around these kids you will never know.

It doesn’t take long for sleep to claim you after you close your eyes. Not even the chattering from the other kids is enough to keep you awake once a wave of exhaustion hits you. The soreness in your body fades away as you drift off to sleep.

After some time passes, your mind decides to leave dreamland and return to reality. Since you don’t currently have your phone in your possession, you have no way of knowing for sure, but you think that you were out for at least two hours. That’s what it feels like at least. While you’re still a little lethargic, you do feel a little better after your nap.

When you look down, your eyes soften at the sight of Orange and Blaze still cuddled up close to you. Guess you’ll be spending the rest of the day in bed since you’d rather not wake them. You just hope all this napping won’t make it difficult for them to sleep tonight.

The sound of arguing brings your gaze toward the center of the room where you see Razz glaring at Classic who has his arms crossed. “i know you want a turn, razz, but you gotta think of what’s best for her. do you really wanna make her climb in your bed? she’s already in ours. don’t make her move any more than she has too. she’s obviously exhausted.”

Razz stomps his foot angrily. “SHE’LL BE FINE AFTER HER NAP. IT’S NOT LIKE OUR BED IS EVEN THAT HIGH. YOU JUST WANT TO KEEP HER FOR YOURSELF!”

His brother tries to calm him down. “don’t be too loud, sans, or you’ll wake her up.”

You watch Epic rub his chin thoughtfully before his expression suddenly brightens. “I KNOW! WHAT IF WE BROUGHT THEIR MATTRESS TO THE FLOOR? THEN, RAZZ AND RUS CAN SLEEP WITH HER, AND SHE WON’T HAVE TO DO ANY CLIMBING!”

Berry’s grin is so bright you can see it all the way from your position on the bed. “THAT’S A GREAT IDEA! WHAT IF WE DID THAT WITH ALL THE MATTRESSES? THEN, WE COULD ALL SLEEP TOGETHER!”

A pout forms on Razz’s face. “YOU’VE ALL ALREADY HAD YOUR TURNS, THOUGH.”

Deciding you should intervene before someone, namely Razz, gets upset, you clear your throat to gain their attention. They all freeze before slowly turning toward you.

You can’t help but grin at their guilty expressions. “Don’t worry, I woke up on my own. I only wanted to get your attention. I think Epic’s and Berry’s ideas are great. However, Razz makes a good point. So, I have a solution. Razz, Rus, and Grim get first picks on where to sleep since they haven’t had a turn. How’s that sound?”

Judging by the Swapfell brothers’ excited expressions, they like your idea. Grim, however, scowls as he crosses his arms. “I NEVER AGREED TO THIS! WHY WOULD I WANT TO SLEEP CLOSE TO THE HUMAN? PLUS, IT SEEMS RIDICULOUS TO MOVE MY MATTRESS TO THE FLOOR WHEN IT’S FINE RIGHT WHERE IT IS.”

Classic just smirks teasingly. “yet, you were perfectly fine with hugging her earlier.”

Embarrassed, Grim turns to hide his flustered expression. Instead of replying, he chooses to remain silent which amuses you greatly.

Now that a plan has been made, Razz hurries to his bed along with Epic and Berry to start working on moving the mattress. Rus and Classic follow closely behind to keep a close eye on them.

Not wanting them to do all of the work, you try to leave the bed without disturbing Blaze or Orange. It’s difficult since they both have tight grips on your hoodie.

In the end, despite your best efforts, the two skeletons wake up after noticing that you’re no longer beside them. Orange rubs his eye socket. “when’d i get to bed? wait. this isn’t my bed.”

Yawning, Blaze takes in his surroundings. “it ain’t mine either. it must be classic and epic’s bed. how’d we get here?”

They stiffen in surprise at the sound of your giggling. You grin at them from your spot on the edge of the bed. “That would be because of me. The others recommended that I take a nap, and Classic and Epic offered their bed. Since you two were asleep on me at the time, I decided to take you with me since we were all tired. Did you sleep well?”

Your grin grows at the sight of their dark blushes. Both of them shyly nod as they avert their eye-lights.

While you want nothing more than to hug them, you remember that you need to go help the other kids. You don’t want to risk them falling off the bed with the mattress.

So, you settle for winking at the two before moving to stand. You try to stretch the stiffness out of your muscles as you walk over to the other bunk bed.

Razz, Epic, and Berry have climbed to the top bunk and are attempting to pull the mattress over the railing while Rus and Classic are watching worriedly from below. Grim is also on the ground barking out orders to the trio, but it looks like they’re trying to ignore him.

Blaze and Orange must’ve decided to follow after you since they’re now with the children still on the floor. Blaze is now standing by his brother while Orange is beside Classic.

Orange raises a brow ridge. “okay, obviously i missed a lot while i was asleep. what’s going on?”

Classic shrugs his shoulders. “they’re trying to move the mattress to the floor. i told razz that the human shouldn’t climb up there since she’s so tired, and he, unsurprisingly, got mad. in the end, we made a compromise that involves putting all the mattresses on the floor.”

Rather than wait for Orange’s response, you choose to focus on the trio above. You’re not liking how close to the edge Berry is.

Before he can fall off, you grab him which makes him squeak in surprise. You can’t resist giving Berry a kiss on the forehead for his cuteness before placing him on the ground. You do the same for Epic and Razz, who complains loudly in protest. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO MOVE THE BED FROM THE GROUND?”

You kiss him on the top of his skull to appease him before moving toward the ladder. The skeletons watch as you climb a few steps and reach for the mattress. After a few good tugs, you manage to pull it over the railing.

Once the kids move out of the way, you sling the mattress to the floor. Noticing the impressed glances aimed your way, you grin broadly. “I’ll take care of getting the mattresses out of the bunks. You guys are in charge of moving them to the center of the room. Alright?”

Nodding rapidly, Berry, Epic, and Razz start shoving the mattress across the floor and soon enlist the help of their reluctant brothers. You’re surprised when Grim moves to lend a hand followed by his brother.

Noticing your surprise, Grim averts his eye-lights in embarrassment. “I’M ONLY HELPING BECAUSE THEY’LL JUST END UP MESSING THINGS UP ON THEIR OWN. THAT’S ALL!”

When he turns away, Blaze grabs your attention, and you watch him give their mattress a pointed look. He grins when you nod in understanding.

Realizing that it’s okay to move the Underfell brothers’ mattress, you quickly move to do so. Thankfully, it’s a lot simpler than the one from the top bunk.

Once that’s taken care of, you move toward the Underswap brothers’ bunk. You’re really glad that you had that nap earlier since all this moving is wearing your tired body out.

After a few tugs, the bed is free and dropped to the ground. You then pull out the Undertale brothers’ mattress.

By the time you finish, the other two mattresses are in the center of the room. Now, the boys are working on the remaining mattresses.

You offer to help but are quickly denied. The boys seem determined to handle this on their own. Several minutes later, the mattresses are all neatly laid out in a single line.

Grim scowls when he sees your frown. “WHAT? NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT?”

Before he can react, you reach down to kiss his forehead which makes him screech in embarrassment. “You did fine, Grim. I just think a different arrangement might be better if a lot of you want to use me as a pillow.”

Berry jumps up and down in excitement. “I WAS THINKING THE SAME THING! THIS WAY ONLY TWO OR THREE OF US CAN LIE BESIDE YOU. THAT WOULDN’T BE ANY FUN!”

Nodding, you start pulling on the mattress that’s at the end of the line closest to you. Once you’re satisfied, you do the same for the mattress on the other end.

You grin brightly at the end result. Instead of one long line, you moved the mattresses so that they make a square instead with two mattresses laying beside each other and one mattress on each side.

Epic and Berry run to gather the blankets and pillows. Everyone then pitches in on placing them on the mattresses. Right as they finish, the lights grow dim like they did the two previous nights.

You are then tugged toward the mattress pile by an excited Epic. “YOU SHOULD GET IN FIRST, MISS HUMAN! YOU NEED TO BE IN THE CENTER!”

Grinning, you nod in agreement and move under the covers until you’re right in the middle. Razz wastes no time in climbing in after you and claiming a spot on your chest which makes you giggle. “MWEH HEH HEH! THIS SPOT BELONGS TO THE AMAZING RAZZ! COME ON, PAPY! HURRY BEFORE THE OTHERS TAKE THE SPOT THAT YOU WANT!”

His brother joins the two of you at a more sedate pace. Rus snuggles up beside you and lays his head on your shoulder. He blushes a bright orange when you give him a peck on the forehead. You do the same for Razz when he begins to pout enviously.

Everyone turns to Grim since he’s the only one left who hasn’t shared a bed with you. He scowls but surprisingly doesn’t object. Instead, he chooses to take a spot near your left leg. Blaze moves to lie on the same side of you as his brother, but he’s closer to your hip.

Berry quickly moves to take the spot under your one free arm. Grinning, he clings tightly to you and buries his face into your side. Of course, you can’t resist giving him a quick kiss on the head which makes him giggle.

“MWEH HEH HEH.”

Orange decides to stretch out near your hip across from Blaze while Epic makes himself comfortable in the free space by your other leg. Classic plops down on the mattress where your head is. He doesn’t appear to care about the lack of covers in that spot. Classic seems content to just play with your hair.

Now that everyone’s settled, you let your body relax into the mattresses. It’s at that moment that the lights turn off.

Rus and Berry release happy sighs when you give them a squeeze. The only other skeleton you can really see clearly is Razz who’s already out cold. Looks like your heartbeat successfully knocked out another skeleton.

Despite the long nap you had not long ago, you can feel your eyes growing heavy from exhaustion. Guess the experiments today wore you out more than you originally thought.

Only a few minutes have passed since you closed your eyes, and you’re already fast asleep.

When you wake the next morning, it’s because of a hand eagerly shaking your shoulder. Wondering which kid it is, you open your eyes to see a face hovering above you. You have to blink several times in order to clear your vision. When it does, your body freezes once you realize who is standing above you.

Tale Gaster smirks at you. “Good morning. I hate to disturb you, but you are needed in our lab. We’ve made a breakthrough with our experiment and would like your assistance. Let’s hope that you have the amount of determination that we’ll need.”

Chapter Text

After several seconds of you gawking, Tale Gaster raises an eye ridge at you which reminds you of your current position. Right. You should probably get up now.

Unfortunately, the Royal Scientist doesn’t realize how difficult his request is. You’ve got eight sleeping skeletons clinging to you. How the hell are you supposed to get up without waking them?

I’m sure he doesn’t care if I wake them, but I sure as hell do. No way am I waking up these kids when they’re sleeping so peacefully. I especially can’t do it and risk them finding out why he’s taking me away.

The first skeleton you focus on is Classic who has moved from his position above you to a new position where his body is curled around your head with his face pressed against your neck. With great reluctance, you manage to pull away from him after giving him a quick peck on the forehead.

Rus and Berry are snuggled into your sides instead of resting on your shoulder, so you’re able to sit up without disturbing them. Of course, since Razz is on your chest, you have to bring your arms up to cradle him to keep him from falling off. After giving him a kiss on the top of his skull, you set him down beside his brother and pull the cover over him. While he sleepily grumbles, Razz, thankfully, remains asleep like his brother and Berry despite your movements.

It takes a few minutes, but you are successfully able to detach Orange and Blaze from your waist. When they make displeased noises, you make sure to gently stroke their heads to soothe them. Luckily, it works, and they do not wake.

Despite his extreme reluctance to share a bed with you, Grim has the tightest grip on you by far. He and Epic are hugging your legs which you find extremely adorable. Unfortunately, you don’t have the time to enjoy it.

When you hear the doctor subtly cough, you quicken your pace. The skeletons by your legs have such tight grips it takes you awhile to finally pry them off you without waking them. Now, all you have to do is figure out how to stand up without disturbing the children. Oh boy, this won’t be easy.

That’s when you hear Tale Gaster sigh. You’re about to turn toward him but freeze when you see your body begin to glow a bright blue. Wide-eyed, you watch as the Royal Scientist uses his magic to lift you from the mattress and place you on the floor.

Quickly, you run to grab your shoes and head for the door where Tale Gaster has moved to wait for you. After the door closes behind you, you pull on your shoes and follow after the doctor.

The only thing you can hear is your own breathing and the sharp clack of Tale Gaster’s shoes hitting the tiled floor as he walks. While reluctant to break the silence, you decide some thanks are in order. “Thank you for using your magic to help me earlier. I really didn’t want to wake them.”

His face is carefully blank as he looks over his shoulder at you. “No thanks are needed. I simply wanted to hurry the process along.”

You mentally sigh. Of course. It’s not like you expected anything different. No way could this guy actually care about the wellbeing of the kids. He simply took the less complicated route. You wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to avoid waking them so he wouldn’t have to deal with their reaction to you being taken away.

Not that you think they’d do anything different from the previous times. Those poor kids are way too terrified of the doctors to try and fight back against them--at their current age at least. They might get more rebellious as they grow older. Of course, you don’t plan on letting them stay that long. You told them you were going to free them and you will--somehow.

As expected, the other scientists are there waiting for you when you arrive at the lab. You warily eye the large machine set up in the center of the room. That wasn’t there the last time you were here.

The only familiar part of the whole setup is the chair that you sat in during previous experiments. There are metal cuffs on the armrests and the front legs of the chair. Connected to the top of the chair is a helmet-like device lined with several small light bulbs.

There are several wires connecting the chair to what appears to be a large portal. What really grabs your attention is the other device that the wires lead to. From what you can tell, it appears to be a large satellite dish attached to a tall tower. A sinking feeling in your gut makes you think they’re not wanting your help so that they can get a satellite TV connection.

When Tale Gaster gestures toward the chair, you move toward it as you can’t think of a reason not to. These guys hold all the cards. You can’t afford to anger them, or you’ll risk putting the kids in danger.

While every instinct of yours is screaming to run, you grit your teeth and take a seat on what you wouldn’t be reluctant to call the ‘electric chair’. Fell Gaster is obviously enjoying this judging by his smirk. As expected, Swap River and Fell River remain silent as they passively watch you.

Tale Gaster presses a button on the console which causes the metal cuffs to snap around your limbs. You nervously watch as his counterpart approaches you. Smirk still firmly in place, he pulls down the helmet onto your head. “Relax. This won’t kill you, probably.”

After you’re situated, each of the scientists moves to a different part of the lab and starts working on the controls. Shortly after that, you hear the tell-tale sounds of several machines coming to life.

“Since you have been quite helpful in our tests, I’ll explain the purpose behind this experiment.”

Your eyes whip toward Tale Gaster who continues. “Before you arrived, we had been studying the cause of our worlds suddenly merging. Unfortunately, we were not having any success in discovering the cause or finding a way to fix it. We are not fools; we know how dangerous our situation is. Worlds shouldn’t be capable of merging in such a way. We finally found the answers we’ve been looking for with your arrival. Since then, we have been working for a way to combat the glitch and have come up with a solution. We will open a portal to the Void to harness its power since its magic appears to be the only thing that can eliminate the glitch.”

All you can do is gape at the scientist in shock. This whole time they’ve been working on how to combat the glitch? That’s what the experiments were for? That’s why you were here in the first place! “Why go through all this trouble? I already told you that the reason I’m here is to eliminate the glitch. You didn’t need to experiment on me!”

Surprisingly, it’s Swap River who responds. “You’ve never dealt with a situation like ours where worlds are merged. More power than what you possess will be needed to save our worlds. As you are now, you are too weak.”

Fell Gaster crosses his arms as he studies you. “It’s not like you came here with a plan, right? Don’t complain when you can’t come up with anything better. If you thought you could save our worlds on pure determination alone, you’re an idiot.”

While Fell River refrains from speaking, you can feel their judgemental stare boring into you from under their dark hood. All you can do is sigh in defeat. It’s not like they’re wrong. You really didn’t have a plan when walking into this. You never do. You always solve things by pure luck.

Satisfied with your acceptance, Tale Gaster gestures toward the giant satellite dish. “Once the power of your soul is amplified with the Void’s magic, we’ll transfer that power into a signal that we shall broadcast using this tower. This would undoubtedly have a better success rate on the Surface, but since we are trapped here in the Underground, we will have to make do and hope the signal is strong enough to cover the whole world. While I do not know if it is actually possible to separate our worlds at this point, at the very least, we will be able to avoid the destruction of this one world.”

Without further ado, Tale Gaster flips a switch, and the portal whirrs to life. At first, nothing changes, and you wonder if it’s not going to work. However, soon magic and electricity begin to spark and stretch between the two poles of the portal station. Then, instead of seeing sparks in the center of the machine, a portal opens revealing an inky darkness that you have become very familiar with during your adventure.

Wide-eyed, you watch as Void magic exits the portal and creeps toward you. You had expected the magic to be sucked into the machines, but instead, it just heads straight for you. When it reaches you, the magic enters your soul which suddenly pops out of your chest

That’s when you catch Tale Gaster flick another switch out of the corner of your eye. Unfortunately, you quickly figure out that the switch he just moved activates your chair.

The crackling of magic and electricity by your head is the only warning you get before your body is nothing but pain.

A heartbeat is all you can take before screaming.

This isn’t a simple power transfer. It feels like they’re trying to rip your soul right out of your body.

No matter how much the machine drags out of you, it still hungers for more. Its thirst unquenchable. Every last drop of your energy is being absorbed. No pause and no stopping.

You fear there won’t be anything left of you when this is done. If you survive.

When you manage to pry your eyes open, you witness the scientists passively watching your suffering, not caring the least bit for your survival. You wish you had the energy to yell at them--to give them what they deserve.

But, you’re on the verge of passing out. It’s too much too quickly taken from you and you’re fighting tooth and nail to keep yourself conscious.

Suddenly, warning alarms begin to blare. The panicked looks on the faces of the Royal Scientists bring you immense satisfaction.

Then, suddenly the pain stops. Something explodes above your head, causing the power transfer to abruptly end.

A sigh of relief escapes your lips when your torment comes to a sudden halt.

You catch movement out of the corner of your eye, and when you weakly turn your head, your eyes widen at the sight before you. Long, goopy tendrils are coming out of the portal to attack all of the equipment aside from portal gateway.

Despite the doctors’ best efforts, they are unable to stop the Void from destroying the satellite tower or the surrounding equipment. The extended limbs tighten around sensitive equipment, crushing it mercilessly.

In their attempts to fight off the tendrils, more appear to go after the scientists.

While they are powerful monsters. Tale Gaster and his partners are no match for the Void. After all, how can you hurt something that doesn’t even have a real body? Instead, one by one each of them ends up getting captured by strong, engolated tendrils.

What makes you gape in shock is what the Void does next. Rather than dusting them, the Void uses the tendrils to drag the scientists back toward the portal. Every one of them is struggling as much as they can, but their efforts are futile.

Once the Void has a grip on you, you cannot escape.

When both Gasters are pulled past you, you can’t help but smirk at their panicked faces. “Looks like the Void didn’t like your little plan. Maybe you should’ve asked for its opinion before trying this crazy little stunt.”

Fell Gaster throws a glare your way, and you stick your tongue out at him in response. You don’t care if it’s childish. Considering all the hell these bastards put you through, you’re letting them off easy.

His counterpart looks completely baffled as he tries to find something to grab onto. “I don’t understand! If the Void truly is sentient, then it should realize we were only trying to save this world. Is that not what it wanted?!”

No matter what the doctors latch onto, they’re never able to hold on for very long before the tendrils wrench them away and pull them closer to the portal. Deep down, a part of you feels sorry for them, but in the end, you can’t feel too bad about this after all they’ve put you and the kids through.

Tale Gaster’s reasoning is sound, though. Why did the Void get so upset? Did it hate how the scientists were trying to manipulate its powers?

The first to get sucked into the Void is Fell River who screams loudly as they disappear. Swap River follows close behind in a similar manner.

All you can hear from Fell Gaster is loud cursing as he struggles with all his might. Before the Void yanks him through the portal, he levels a final glare your way. “This isn’t over! I know this is your fault somehow, and I will make you suffer for this, human!”

With that, all that remains is Tale Gaster who’s clinging to the equipment near the portal. While he manages to hang in there for some time, eventually his grip slips, and the Void pulls him in without any remorse.

And, then there was one.

You had expected the portal to close up after that and for the dark tendrils to disappear, but that doesn’t happen. All you can do is stare wide-eyed as the Void reaches out toward you. Instead of trying to pull you through the portal, however, the tendrils resolutely wrap around your bindings and destroy the cuffs holding you to the chair along with the helmet on your head.

As soon as you’re free, you move to stand, but a wave of exhaustion knocks you off your feet. Your legs are too weak to hold you, so now you’re breathing heavily as you lie against the cold floor.

When something cold touches your cheek, you flinch at the contact. Turning your head, you see it was one of the tendrils that had touched you.

Smiling, you raise your trembling hand so you can touch it. “Were you worried about me? Thank you. Thanks to you, I’m still in one piece. If that had continued, I’m sure I would’ve been too far gone even for you.”

The tendril pats your face again before wrapping around your soul which is still hovering in front of your chest. Oh boy, it’s looking pretty bad. Maybe not to the extent of damage from when you reset, but its light is incredibly dim.

You watch amazed as the tendril disappears after being absorbed by your soul. A happy sigh passes your lips as the pain in your body lessens. This process continues when other tendrils come to touch your soul.

After several minutes pass, you finally feel strong enough to move. Slowly, you push yourself off the ground and rise to your feet. You smile as you look toward the entrance to the Void. “Thank you. For saving me now and back then. I never said that before, did I? Sorry, I should’ve. It’s not fair to you to just thank Ink and not you. After all, I would’ve definitely died back then if it wasn’t for you.”

The way one of the tendrils loosely wraps itself around you makes you think it’s hugging you. Has it picked up from all of your travels what a big hug lover you are? The thought makes you grin.

That grin quickly turns into a frown once you remember the situation at hand. “Hey, Void? Am I really too weak to save these worlds? To save the kids’ homes? I know those worlds weren’t exactly good to them, but since the doctors are gone, they have a chance now, right? Is there nothing I can do for them? I want to save them! If there’s anything that can be done, please help them! I’ll do whatever it takes!”

You’re not really expecting a verbal reply, but you are surprised when the tendril before you bobs like it’s nodding. Your face brightens, but before you can ask anymore questions, the Void uses the goopy appendages to turn you around and then points to the door.

At first, you just stare at the door in confusion. Then, your eyes widen in realization. The kids!

“You want me to go get the kids first, right?”

When the tendril makes another nodding motion, you sprint toward the door and throw it open with gusto. You can’t say you completely understand what’s going on, but you’re willing to do anything in order to protect those children.

As you run down the corridor, you dimly wonder why you’ve never encountered any other personnel here. Is no one else employed? Did they not survive the merge? Or, were they erased by the glitch?

That last thought causes a chill to go down your spine. If there are only a few people left in this world, does that mean the kids could be targeted next? Your run turns into a dead sprint as you head for the door to the kids’ room.

When you arrive at the door, you remember that it needs a passcode to be opened. And, of course you don’t know it. The doctors always moved their fingers too fast for you to figure it out. You consider trying to find a way to break it, but what if you activate a failsafe that just makes things worse?

Maybe one of the kids knows the code. They’re all perceptive. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was able to watch the doctors’ movements without being noticed.

Since the door appears rather thick, you bang your fist on it as hard as you can. “Guys! It’s me! Are you alright?!”

Soon there is a chorus of voices yelling simultaneously from the other side of the door which makes your shoulders slump in relief. Good. They’re still there. “Calm down! It’s alright! I’m okay! I’m gonna bust you out of here like I promised! I need help with the passcode, though. Do any of you know it?”

Berry’s worried voice reaches your ears. “BUT, WHAT ABOUT THE DOCTORS? THEY’LL COME AFTER US!”

You try to make your voice sound as reassuring as possible. “It’s alright, Berry. The doctors are gone. There was an accident in the lab, and they got sucked into the Void. They won’t be hurting any of you anymore.”

Next to speak is Classic whose voice has a mystified tone. “they’re gone?”

“THEN, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?! LET’S GET OUT OF HERE! SINCE THEY’RE GONE, THE BARRIER PREVENTING US FROM USING OUR MAGIC SHOULD BE TOO!”

“wait, razz! stop! you can’t attack the door while she’s on the other side of it!”

Taking that as your cue to get the hell out of the way, you dive toward the side and just barely avoid getting pummeled with debris. You can only gape from your position on the floor at the large hole in the wall where the door used to be. That was Razz’s attack?

One of the skeletons walks through the hole, but you are unable to get a good look at him until the smoke clears. Once it does, your eyes widen at the sight before you.

This child’s skull looks exactly like one of the Gaster Blaster heads used in several of your skeletal friends’ attacks. Instead of tiny pinpricks for eye-lights, his eye-lights are now large red orbs that are somehow giving off an ethereal glow.

Sudden movement out of the corner of your eye brings your attention to the small bone tail swishing behind the skeleton. You then notice that his hands and feet appear to have claws now. While he still stands upright like in his normal form, his shoulders appear more hunched now than before.

Considering the eye-light color, this could only be one skeleton. “Razz?

When he turns toward you, a large grin forms on the child’s face. “HUMAN!”

Before you can respond, he jumps straight toward your chest with a force strong enough to knock you onto your back with a loud oomph. You giggle when he nuzzles your face with his snout. “YOU DID IT, HUMAN! YOU SAID YOU WOULD SAVE US, AND YOU DID! YOU KEPT YOUR WORD!”

The pure joy in his words makes you want to cry. Instead, you sit up and hug him tightly. “Not quite, sweetie. I still haven’t gotten you out of this place yet.”

That’s when you hear the pounding of several footsteps heading your way. You look up just in time to see Epic and Berry fling themselves at you. You barely manage to avoid falling over when their collective weight hits you.

Much to Razz’s dislike, you have to let go of him in order to catch the other two skeletons. They both cling to you tightly as tears pour out of their sockets.

In response, you hug them tightly. “Aw, don’t cry, you two. It’s okay. You’re safe now.”

“they were more worried about you than anything.”

Looking up, you see Classic frowning at you. “when we woke up, you were gone. it didn’t take us long to figure out where you went. i thought it was suspicious that they got you so early, so i knew something was up.”

Orange sits down and slumps against you. “we thought you might not be coming back.”

The melancholic tone in his voice breaks your heart. You automatically move an arm to wrap around him in a hug. He immediately melts into the embrace. Razz, who somehow changed back into his normal form while you weren’t looking, also moves to join the group hug by wiggling under your other arm.

Rus walks over to your side and stares at you with teary eye sockets. Now, you’re really wishing you had more arms. Two arms just aren’t enough to hug all these skeletons. So, instead, you reach down to kiss his forehead which makes his face light up a bright orange. “Please don’t cry, sugar. I’m alright. I’m sorry for worrying you.”

Rather than reply, he just latches onto you and buries his face into your side. Classic soon moves so that he’s leaning against your back when he sits down. All that’s left are the Underfell brothers standing before you.

Grim rolls his eye-lights when he sees the way his brother is fidgeting and looking between you and Grim. “IF YOU WANT TO HUG HER THAT BADLY, GO AHEAD. AT THIS POINT, I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY YOU BOTHER TO HESITATE.”

Grinning, Blaze nods his head before making a beeline for you. He decides to follow Classic’s example and move behind you. Although, instead of just leaning against you, Blaze is hugging you as tightly as he can.

Overwhelmed by the cuteness, you stretch your neck as you move your arm so that you can plant a kiss on the top of his skull. He buries his face against your back in an attempt to hide his blush which you find extremely adorable.

When you turn back toward Grim, you see him intently studying you. After a few minutes of his silent staring, Grim finally looks away and crosses his arms. For some reason, his cheeks are red now. “IT LOOKS LIKE I WAS WRONG ABOUT YOU. YOU DIDN’T BETRAY US AFTER ALL. YOU COULD’VE JUST ESCAPED AFTER THE DOCTORS WERE SUCKED INTO THE VOID, BUT YOU CAME BACK FOR US EVEN THOUGH YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO. YOU’RE STRANGE, BUT YOU’RE NOT BAD FOR A HUMAN.”

Your face brightens as a broad grin forms on your face. Grim finally accepts you; he believes that you want to help them. You finally managed to gain his trust. Now, you’re really wishing for more arms because you really want to hug him.

That’s when your soul suddenly pops out of your chest and begins to shine brightly. All of the skeletons are staring at it with wide eye-lights and awed expressions. Classic and Blaze move so that they’re now leaning against you and looking over your shoulders.

Razz reaches out to touch it but is stopped by his brother. “sans! you can’t just touch her soul without permission!”

As the younger brother pouts, Berry’s eye-lights turn into stars. “THAT’S A HUMAN SOUL? IT’S SO PRETTY! JUST LIKE YOU, MISS!”

Epic nods his head rapidly as he grins broadly. “HE’S RIGHT! IT’S SO NICE AND SHINY!”

Your heart feels like it’s about to burst from the cuteness before you. You make sure to give them both forehead kisses for being such sweethearts. Their faces light up with bright blushes, but what really makes you grin is the sound of their embarrassed laughter.

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

“NYEH HEH HEH!”

As you’re showering the skeletons with affection, Classic gently tugs on your hoodie to get your attention. When you look to your shoulder, you see his head tilted and a curious expression on his face. “i thought there were only seven soul colors. i’ve never heard of a black soul before.”

Before you can explain, your body begins to turn translucent. This makes you panic. You’re leaving?! Now?! But, you haven’t gotten the kids out yet! You can’t leave now!

Then, an idea comes to mind that makes you pause. Wait a minute. The Void wanted me to get the kids for a reason. It wouldn’t send me this way and just take me away so soon. What about fixing these merged worlds? Surely, that hasn’t been fixed yet. Otherwise, all the kids wouldn’t still be here. So, what could the Void be planning?

Your eyes widen with realization. The Void didn’t just send you to free the kids. It wanted you to take them with you!

Realizing that you don’t have a lot of time, you do a quick headcount. Right now, everyone but Grim is holding onto you in some manner. You have to hurry before you leave without him. “Grim! Hurry and grab onto me! Right now! I’m about to teleport us out of here, and you need to be holding on or you’ll get left behind!”

For the first time, you hear Blaze actually address his brother. “pap, hurry!”

The panic in his voice is evident. While Grim is obviously reluctant, he knows he can’t afford to hesitate right now not if he wants to escape with his brother. Quickly, he moves to join his brother at your back and clutches the back of your hoodie as tightly as he can.

As everyone’s bodies begin to turn transparent like yours, you feel their grips on you strengthen, and you hug the ones in your arms tightly. “It’s alright. You’ll be okay. I’ll be right there with you. We’ll be going somewhere safe. I won’t let anyone hurt you anymore, okay?”

Berry beams at you. “I KNOW THAT AS LONG AS WE’RE WITH YOU WE’LL BE OKAY, MISS! WE TRUST YOU!”

When all the kids nod their heads in agreement, your eyes begin to water. Even the kids behind you are nodding against your back as they cling to you. They really trust you. You had been worried that they’d never trust anyone besides each other because of everything they had gone through, but somehow, you did it. You earned their trust. You have never felt more accomplished than at this moment.

This is a moment you’ll treasure for the rest of your life.

Before you can respond, your soul gives off a final burst of light, and your little group disappears. You give the kids in your arms a final squeeze before everything turns dark.

When you regain consciousness, the first thing that you see after your vision clears is eight worried faces hovering above you. Somehow, you ended up spread out on your back after teleporting.

As soon as they notice that your eyes are open, the children all start talking to you at once while clinging to some part of your body. Giggling, you raise your arms to hug as many of them as you can. “Hey, guys, sorry for worrying you. I’m alright. Are all of you okay?”

The fact that several of them have tears in their eye sockets breaks your heart. You must’ve really scared them.

Epic gives you his best smile. “WE ARE ALL OKAY! THANKS TO YOU! YOU REALLY SAVED US! JUST LIKE A HERO!”

His face brightens as his smile grows. “AHA! THAT’S IT! I HAVE AN AMAZING IDEA! FROM NOW ON, I SHALL CALL YOU MISS HEROINE! AN AMAZING PERSON LIKE YOURSELF NEEDS AN AMAZING NICKNAME! I’M SO CLEVER! NYEH HEH HEH!”

A large grin forms on your face as you feel your heart practically melt at his words. “Aww, you’re so sweet, Epic! Thank you for the nickname. I love it.”

That’s when Berry starts to pout. However, that pout quickly turns into an excited grin. “THEN, I’LL CALL YOU MISS ANGEL! I’VE HEARD THAT ANGELS ARE KIND AND PRETTY JUST LIKE YOU! IT’S A PERFECT NICKNAME! MWEH HEH HEH!”

There’s nothing left of your heart now. It has completely melted. Good luck getting that back. You quickly sit up and hug both Berry and Epic tightly. “Why are you both so cute?! You’re killing me with the cuteness! No one should be this adorable!”

“MWEH HEH HEH!”

“NYEH HEH HEH!”

Not wanting to be left out, Razz immediately wiggles into your arms to join the others. “THOSE NICKNAMES ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO MINE! I SHALL CALL HER QUEEN! BECAUSE THAT WAY SHE’LL BE A PERFECT MATCH FOR ME WHO IS DEFINITELY THE MOST KING-LIKE HERE!”

As he and Berry start to argue, Rus shyly tugs on your sleeve to get your attention. “c-can i call you sugar? i heard you use that before, and i like it.”

You move your arms so that you can hug him. “Of course. You can call me whatever you want, Rus.”

Blaze snuggles up against your side. “i wanna call you sweetheart. that one’s my favorite.”

Grinning, you kiss his forehead and watch as his face lights up a bright red. When you look toward his brother, Grim crosses his arms and averts his eye-lights. “I SEE NO REASON TO GIVE YOU A NICKNAME. HUMAN IS SUFFICIENT.”

While his guard is down, you reach out for Grim and wrap your arms around him. He lets out an embarrassed screech as you hug him close. “That’s fine with me, Grim. I want you to call me whatever you’re the most comfortable with.”

After a few seconds, you finally release the flustered skeleton, and Grim quickly moves several steps away from you. You’ll have to wait until the next time he lets down his guard to get another hug.

You turn toward Classic and Orange when you hear them chuckling at Grim’s reaction. Once they realize that they have your attention, both boys avert their eyes in embarrassment.

Orange rubs the back of his head as he sneaks glances at you. “well, if i were to give you a nickname, i guess it would be sweets since you’re so sweet to us.”

Classic ducks his head in an attempt to hide his flustered expression. “i’d call you hp since you gave us hope.”

Immediately, you pull the two into your arms and hug them tightly. You nuzzle the tops of their heads after giving them both a forehead kiss. “Thank you. That means a lot to me. I’m glad I was able to help all of you get out of that place.”

“Oh, Y/N! You’re finally up!”

An excited grin forms on your face when you see Ink walking toward you with a big smile on his face. “Ink! Long time no see!”

Now that your attention is off the kids, you finally realize where the Void took you. You are honestly a little surprised. You had expected to be taken to the Void, but it looks like your group was dropped off at the Doodle Sphere instead.

Ink rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Has it been a long time? I have a hard time keeping track of time. It does seem like it’s been a while since I last saw you. How many days were you in that world?”

You do a mental count. “Uhh..If I’m remembering right, I spent three nights there, so I guess four days?”

He gives you a surprised look. “Really? That’s the longest you’ve stayed in a world. Well, considering the shape the merged AUs were in, I guess it’s not that surprising.”

Your eyes widen. “That’s right! The worlds! What happened to them?! Was the Void able to fix them?!”

Grinning, the artist jerks his thumb to the right. When you move your gaze in that direction, a relieved smile forms when you see four doors with checkered patterns. One is silver and white while the one beside it is black and red. There’s a silver and blue door and a black and purple door as well.

It worked! Thank goodness.

Berry grins brightly as he hugs you. “YOU DID IT, MISS ANGEL! YOU SAVED US AND OUR WORLDS! YOU’RE AMAZING!”

Epic quickly follows Berry’s example. “YES! INK SAYS EVERYTHING IS FINE IN OUR WORLDS NOW! IT’S ALL THANKS TO YOU!”

A small grin forms on his brother’s face. “all the damage was undone except for what happened to the doctors. ink said since the void got them that they won’t be coming back.”

Grim crosses his arms with a huff. “GOOD RIDDANCE!”

His brother nods his head in agreement before giving you a nervous look. “but, we won’t be able to stay with you anymore, will we, sweetheart?”

Your chest clenches painfully as you watch their excited faces fall at Blaze’s words. You wish you could stay with them, but you can’t possible live in four worlds. Besides, you still have a home you want to get back to after everything with the glitch is settled. You hate that you’ll be leaving these kids to basically fend for themselves. Sure, they’re free from the scientists, but now they’ll be alone without any adult supervision. Your heart aches when you think of what the Underfell and Swapfell brothers might be put through.

Fighting back tears, you embrace Blaze and hold him close. “I’m sorry. I wish I could stay with all of you, but I can’t. There are other worlds that are infected by the glitch that I need to help, and I’m still trying to find a way back to my home. I’m so sorry.”

Grim sighs as he shakes his head. “WHAT ARE YOU APOLOGIZING FOR? YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING CARE OF US. WE’LL BE FINE ON OUR OWN. I CAN TAKE CARE OF MY BROTHER. AFTER WHAT WE’VE BEEN THROUGH, I THINK WE CAN HANDLE ANYTHING OUR AWFUL WORLD THROWS AT US.”

Looking on the verge of tears himself, Rus clings to you tightly. “please don’t be sad. it’s alright. we’ll be okay. i know i haven’t been very useful to my brother all these years, but i’ll do better. i’ll look out for him from now on and keep him safe.”

Razz stares at his brother with awe. “PAPY.”

After pulling away, Berry starts rubbing away his tears. “T-THAT’S RIGHT! WE’LL BE OKAY! AS LONG AS I’M THERE, PAPY AND I WILL BE FINE! I’LL LOOK OUT FOR HIM JUST LIKE YOU DID FOR US!”

His brother’s face softens. “yeah, as long as i have my bro, i’m not worried. we’ll be alright, sweets.”

After he wipes away his tears, Epic gives you a big smile. “OF COURSE, I WILL ALSO BE LOOKING AFTER MY BROTHER! I’LL MAKE SURE WE’RE BOTH WELL TAKEN CARE OF. NO NEED TO WORRY, MISS HEROINE!”

A fond smile forms on Classic’s face. “you’re the coolest, bro. there’s no way we won’t be okay with you there.”

You’re relieved that they’re being so optimistic. It makes you so happy to see such hopeful expressions.

That’s when an idea hits you that makes you grin. Turning toward Classic, you move to cup his cheeks to get his attention. He blushes a bright blue at your actions. “Listen close, okay? You both need to go to the town called Snowdin. There’s a bar there owned by a fire monster named Grillby. You should go to him. He’s a kind monster, and I really think he’ll be able to help you and your brother. I understand if you’re wary about approaching monsters you don’t know, but he won’t hurt you. There are way more kind monsters than bad ones. No one else will try to hurt you like Gaster.”

He stares at you wide-eyed for several seconds before his expression softens. Then, he smiles. “alright, hp. if you say that’s where we should go, then that’s what we’ll do.”

Delighted, you kiss his forehead and give him a big hug which makes his blush darken. After you release him, you move to hug Orange who blushes a bright orange. “In your world, you should look for a spider monster named Muffet. She’ll either be running a bakery or a bar in Snowdin. You’ll be safe with her.”

Orange melts into the embrace and buries his face into your chest. “if you say so, sweets. i’m willing to try and meet her.”

Since he doesn’t appear to want to let go, you keep Orange in your arms as you turn to the Underfell brothers. “I know your world is more dangerous than theirs, so this choice is a little tougher. Overall, I’d say your best bet is to head for the Ruins. That’s where Queen Toriel lives. She won’t harm children, so I think you’d be safe there. There are also less monsters living inside the Ruins, so it’ll probably be a lot safer for you while you’re still young. Of course, you’ll have to find a way to get her to let you in.”

Grim rubs his chin thoughtfully. “I WILL CONSIDER YOUR ADVICE SINCE YOU DO MAKE SOME GOOD POINTS. OF COURSE, I WILL BE THE ONE TO DECIDE WHERE WE GO IN THE END.”

His brother smiles gratefully at you. “thanks for looking out for us, sweetheart.”

Blaze blushes when you give him a kiss on the forehead. Turning your attention toward the Swapfell brothers, you see them watching you with interest. “I know your world is just as dangerous as theirs. The Ruins might be a good place for you too since I don’t think King Asgore will try to harm kids. If you can’t get into the Ruins, try Muffet. I don’t think she’d be as bad as the other monsters in your world.”

While Rus nods his head, Razz grins broadly. “GOOD ADVICE, MY QUEEN! WE SHALL INVESTIGATE BOTH PLACES TO SEE WHICH IS WORTHY OF MY PRESENCE!”

That’s when Ink claps his hands to get everyone’s attention. “Alright, since that’s taken care of, I think you guys should be heading back to your worlds. It’s probably not a good idea for you guys to be out of your worlds for too long considering what just happened to them. Considering all the damage that was done, the flow of time might be a little unstable there so I don’t know how much time has already passed in your worlds since the Void fixed them.”

With great reluctance, the children pull away from you and head for the doors leading to their worlds. Wanting to give them a proper send off, you quickly rise to your feet and move to one of the doors.

Classic’s and Epic’s faces brighten when you approach them. You bend down to one knee and wrap your arms around the two skeletons in a warm hug. “I’ll miss you both. Stay safe, okay? If there’s any way I can come see you again, I will. Until then, I hope you both find happiness.”

Tears appear in the corners of Epic’s eye sockets. “I’LL MISS YOU TOO, MISS HEROINE! WE HAVEN’T KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR VERY LONG, BUT I ENJOYED THE TIME WE SPENT TOGETHER! I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!”

His brother nods as he clings to you. “thanks for everything, hp. we owe you one.”

After a few more minutes of hugging, the Undertale brothers reluctantly let go and move toward the door. They both give you one last smile before Classic opens the door and they walk through the doorway.

Despite knowing that this is for the best, saying goodbye to them really hurts your heart. Rising to your feet, you’re relieved to see the other skeletons have chosen to wait for you before leaving.

Since the Underfell brothers are the closest, you move toward their door and kneel down in front of them. Blaze immediately moves to hug you while Grim looks away with his arms crossed. Of course, you can’t let that stand.

Grinning, you pull the tsundere into your arms and hug both brothers tightly. Surprisingly, Grim doesn’t react negatively like he usually does. Instead, he leans into the embrace and raises one arm to clutch your back.

Your expression softens. “Be careful, you two. I know things will probably be hard for you, but don’t lose hope, okay? As long as you two stick together, you’ll be fine. I hope that I’ll get the chance to see you again.”

When a thought comes to mind, you decide to offer some more advice. “And, Grim? I know how much you care about your brother and that you want to protect him. But, even though he only has one HP, that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on him, okay? He’s your big brother, so it’s okay to rely on him. I think you’ll both be better off in the long run if you work together to face whatever battles you come across in the future.”

Grim studies your expression for a few seconds before nodding. “VERY WELL. SINCE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH OUR OTHER COUNTERPARTS, I WILL HEED YOUR ADVICE ON THIS MATTER. SANS AND I WILL JUST HAVE TO GET STRONGER TOGETHER! THEN, NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE UNDERGROUND WILL BE A MATCH FOR US!”

A pleased grin forms on Blaze’s face. “that sounds like a great idea, pap. we’ll be an unstoppable team.”

The older brother then turns back to aim his grin at you. “thanks, sweetheart, for everything. i’m really glad i got to meet you. you’re the best thing to ever happen to me and my bro.”

Once you finish your hug, both brothers slowly pull away from you. Blushing, Grim averts his eye-lights. “Y-YOU HAVE MY THANKS AS WELL, HUMAN. DESPITE BELONGING TO THE FOUL RACE OF CREATURES WHO LOCKED US IN THE UNDERGROUND, YOU WEREN’T ALL THAT BAD.”

As soon as he finishes saying that, Grim quickly turns around and heads for the door not even bothering to give you a second glance as he opens the door to walk through. “COME ON, SANS! WE HAVE MUCH TRAINING TO DO!”

You give Blaze a final kiss on the forehead which makes him blush brightly. He quickly runs through the doorway after aiming a shy grin your way.

The next brothers you visit are Orange and Berry. As soon as you’re close to the ground, Berry jumps into your arms. Thankfully, you manage to avoid falling over. His brother moves to embrace you at a much slower pace. “I hope you’ll both be able to find a safe home in Snowdin. I think Muffet will take good care of you. Be sure to stick together, okay? I hope I can come visit sooner rather than later. I’ll miss you both.”

Berry looks at you with teary eye sockets and a bright smile. “DON’T WORRY, MISS ANGEL! WE’LL BE OKAY! BE SURE YOU STAY SAFE TOO! I HOPE WE’LL BE ABLE TO SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN! I’LL MISS YOU A LOT!”

Orange buries his face into your chest. “thanks for all your help, sweets. we couldn’t have made it here without ya. you’re always welcome to visit our world. we’ll always be happy to see ya.”

This hug lasts longer than the others since Berry doesn’t want to let go. Finally, after some prodding from his brother, the shorter skeleton releases you. You give them both a kiss on the forehead which makes them blush happily.

They then head for the door leading to their world. Once it’s open, the brothers give you one last smile as they wave before returning to their world.

When you arrive at the Swapfell brothers’ door, you see Razz tapping his foot impatiently with a pout on his face. Like Berry, he immediately jumps into your arms the first chance he gets. “YOU’RE SO SLOW, QUEEN! I UNDERSTAND SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST, BUT I DISLIKE WAITING FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME!”

You giggle as you return the embrace. When Rus shyly approaches you, you open an arm to bring him into the fold. “Sorry, Razz. I didn’t mean to make you two wait. I’m glad that you did, though. I would’ve hated to miss getting to say goodbye.”

A deep frown forms on the younger brother’s face. “YOU REALLY CAN’T COME WITH US?”

The sad look on his face is killing you. You pull the brothers closer to you. “I’m sorry, Razz, but I can’t. But, I’ll try to visit. I promise. Until then, you stay with your brother. Look out for each other, okay? I know you think you should protect him because of his low HP, but remember, he is your older brother. He wants to protect you as much as you want to protect him. So, rely on each other and work together to solve the problems you encounter. I think you’ll be much stronger that way.”

Rus nods his head. “me too. i promise i’ll protect sans, sugar. i relied on him a lot at the lab, but i won’t force him to handle everything on his own anymore. i want to be a brother he can rely on.”

Razz watches his brother with wide eye-lights. “PAPY.”

When tears appear in his eye sockets, he quickly wipes them away and puts on a proud grin. “OF COURSE! SINCE YOU’RE MY BROTHER, I’LL HAVE TO WHIP YOU INTO SHAPE SO THAT YOU’LL BE AS STRONG AND AMAZING AS ME!”

His brother smiles happily. “i’ll do my best, sans. i won’t let you down.”

The brothers then turn their attention to you. Razz hugs you as tight as he can. “I’LL BE EXPECTING YOUR VISIT, SO DON’T KEEP ME WAITING FOR TOO LONG, MY QUEEN! YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT WAITING!”

Rus snuggles into your embrace. “thank you for saving us, sugar. i’m really glad we got to meet you. i hope i’ll get to see you again.”

Like with the previous skeletons, you give the two a kiss on the forehead and smile warmly at them. “I hope you both find happiness. Please stay safe.”

After several minutes pass, they finally pull away and head for the door leading to their world. Before they leave, Razz grins at you as he waves while Rus give you another of his small smiles.

With that, all of the kids are gone and back to their own worlds. All that’s left is you and Ink who had chosen to remain silent while you said your goodbyes.

The artist walks over to your kneeled form and offers a hand to pull you up. He surprises you when he pulls you straight into his arms and hugs you tightly. You frown worriedly when his arms start to tremble. “Ink?”

Ink buries his face against your neck and strengthens his grip on you. “They told me what happened while you were unconscious. You were out for a while because of the amount of magic and energy the Void took from you to save their worlds. I brought you to the Void so you could recover, and the kids told me what they knew. I’m sorry, Y/N. I’m sorry you had to go through all that. You didn’t deserve to suffer like that.”

Your expression softens at his words. You return the embrace and hide your face in his scarf. “You don’t have to apologize, Ink. It’s not your fault. I’m glad I was able to go there. I was able to save the kids, and now they get a chance to live a happy life. I don’t regret going there.”

He remains silent instead choosing to just tighten his hold on you. For a while, the two of you stay like that just clinging to each other.

Finally, after some time passes, Ink pulls away and gives you a grin. “How about I drop you off at Undertale for a little break? You promised that Papyrus a visit and a sleepover, right?”

You smile softly. “I think that sounds like a great idea.”

Chapter Text

After you walk through the door to Undertale, you find yourself in the living room of the skeleton brothers’ home. You look around checking the nearby rooms but see no sign of the brothers. When no one answers after you call for them, you decide that they must both be at work or whatever you call what Sans does.

With a sigh, you plop down onto the couch and lean back against the cushions. Rubbing a tired hand down your face, you let your mind wander. I guess not a lot of time has passed since I was last here. The monsters are still obviously Underground. I wonder where Frisk is now. I hope they’re close to the barrier. While Pap is obviously doing his normal work routine, Sans is probably tailing the kid. I wonder if they’ve reached Mettaton yet.

Rather than risk getting spotted by the monsters of Snowdin, you decide to simply wait at the brothers’ house. They’ll return eventually. Hopefully, they won’t mind you chilling out here until they get back.

You close your eyes and sink further into the cushions. It’s been awhile since you had some time to yourself. Whenever you go to a new world, you always spend the majority of your time there with the skeletons of that world. Of course, it’s not like you hate it. You’ve enjoyed getting to know your new friends. It’s just nice to have a little downtime after all the craziness you’ve been through lately.

A frown forms on your lips as you think about the last world you visited. You hate that worlds where the skeletons suffer like that exist. No one deserves to go through something like that especially not children. While your whole time there wasn’t exactly pleasant, you were being honest when you told Ink that you didn’t regret going there. You’d do it again if given the option. No way could you leave those sweet kids to suffer like that. You’re so glad that you were able to help them and that they’re now free to live their lives the way they want to. You just hope that they manage to find a good home and stay safe.

“hey, buddy. you’re looking a little bone-tired. you haven’t been working yourself to the bone while you’ve been gone, have you?”

Your eyes fly open in surprise as a startled squeak escapes your mouth. Before you stands Sans wearing his trademark grin. Rather than wait for your reply, he moves to join you on the couch and plops down right beside you.

Sans leans against you and winks. “you’re not tryin’ to steal my title as the biggest lazybones, are ya, buddy? i gotta warn ya, i’m a sleeping pro. i’m so good i can do it with my eyes closed.”

His grin grows when you start giggling at the puns. Pleased to have a rapt audience, he continues to deal out sleeping puns left and right.

When your stomach starts to hurt from laughing so much, you reach for the skeleton and pull him into your arms for a hug. That immediately shuts him up. Grinning, you watch as a blue blush covers his cheekbones.

You pull him closer and rub your cheek against his which only makes him blush harder. “It’s really good to see you, Sans. No bones about it.

Chuckling, his body relaxes as he wraps his arms around you and returns the embrace. “same here, buddy. you been takin’ care of yourself like i told ya to do?”

Thoughts of the previous world come to the forefront of your mind and prevent you from giving the positive response you’d like to say. Instead, you choose to tighten your grip on him and bury your face against his neck.

Of course, being the observant skeleton that he is, Sans catches on immediately when you fail to respond and pulls you closer. “buddy? did something happen?”

All you can do is nod. A part of you wants to tell him what happened, but another part is reluctant because you’re worried about how he’d react. Gaster is a sensitive topic, so you don’t know if he’d appreciate you bringing up the previous Royal Scientist. In addition, Sans probably wouldn’t enjoy hearing what all the Gaster of the other world did to him and his brother.

The skeleton sighs wearily. “that bad, huh? although i’m not one for optimism, i was hoping that you wouldn’t have to go through anything as bad as what happened with error. were you attacked again? ink didn’t make you go somewhere by yourself, did he?”

Touched by his concern, you give him a warm squeeze and nuzzle his neck. “I’m alright, Sans. What happened to me was nothing compared to what the other versions of you and Pap had to go through. That world wasn’t very good to you guys, but it should be fine now.”

He remains silent for several minutes before slowly pulling away so that he can see your face. His eye-lights narrow as he studies you. “i think that there’s a whole lot more to that than what you’re telling me. how about you explain what happened? you know the stuff that i’ve been through. no matter what you tell me, i’ll be fine.”

At first, you hesitate since you know there’s no way he’d be ready to hear about him and Pap being treated as experiments. However, you relent once you realize that he’s not willing to budge on this matter.

With a sigh, you nod your head and move to lean back against the couch cushions beside the skeleton. You loop your arm through his and move your hand to hold onto his. Some of the tension in your body melts away when you see him blush at your action. You can’t help but smile at his flustered expression.

Instead of facing him, you choose to divert your gaze to the ceiling as you lean back. Without preamble, you tell him about the four worlds that merged and the backstories of those AUs. You explain what happened after you got there and how you promised the kids that you’d help them. You finish up by describing what happened to the scientists and how the Void went after them.

A blush rises to your cheeks when Sans entwines your fingers with his. When you bring your gaze back to him, you see his deep frown. “don’t hold back on me, buddy. i’m glad that you told me about what happened, but what did they do to you? there’s no way you got outta there unscathed.”

You avoid his gaze and try to look anywhere else but at him. The only thing you didn’t share with him was the deal you made with Tale Gaster and all the experiments you were put through. Rather than focus on what you went through, you preferred to focus on the kids and just gave him the general facts.

You had hoped that he wouldn’t question what happened to you, but honestly, you should’ve known better. Nothing gets by Sans.

The skeleton squeezes your hand and moves to lean against you. “come on, buddy. i ain’t so heartless that i’d let you suffer on your own. just let it out. keepin’ it to yourself will only hurt ya in the long run. i know that makes me sound like a hypocrite, but i really don’t want you to be like me.”

Realizing that he’s probably right, you sigh in defeat and your shoulders slump. “I made a deal with Gaster, the one who looked like he’d be from your world. I told him that I’d answer any of his questions willingly and let him perform any experiments he wanted on me as long as he left the kids alone. He was reluctant at first, but he quickly agreed since he didn’t want to waste time dealing with me being stubborn and risk killing me before they could get any useful info.”

His grip on your hand tightens to the point that you have to hold back a wince. Sneaking a peek at the skeleton, you see that his eye sockets are completely dark. Resisting the urge to shiver, you reluctantly continue. “I was there for about four days, and once each day one of the scientists would come for me. They’d perform all kinds of experiments on my body and my soul although they mainly focused on my soul. Honestly, I had no idea what they were doing. It all went over my head. At the end of each session, they’d use healing magic on me, so I wasn’t always in pain. But, they did some direct damage to my soul a few times, and since they couldn’t heal that, I was stuck dealing with the aftermath. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was bearable.”

Sans has gone completely stiff beside you. You’re worried by how silent he’s gotten. Even though you want to stop, the words keep flowing out like your mouth’s a broken faucet. “The last day I was there, Tale Gaster woke me up early that morning so he could take me back to the lab. I found out that they had been researching how to stop the glitch. Rather than wait for the Void to use me to fix things, they made this contraption that would supposedly pull out the Void’s magic so that my soul could absorb it. Then, they’d pull out that energy and convert it into waves that could be broadcast by this huge satellite dish.”

Tears spring to your eyes when you remember the sheer agony you were put through because of those scientists. Your shoulders shake as you lower your head. “It hurt so much. It was worse than what Error put me through, and I thought that was impossible. The machine just kept draining my energy; it felt like it was sucking the life right out of me. No matter how much it took, it wasn’t enough. It was pure agony. I really thought I was gonna die. And, they didn’t care. I was dying, and they-”

Your words are cut off by Sans who abruptly pulls you to his chest. He wraps his arms around you and holds you as tightly as he can. One of his hands rests on your back while the other braces the back of your head. You can hear the loud hum of his magic as you lean against his chest.

As you try to fight back the tears, Sans starts to gently rub your back. “it’s alright, y/n. you’re not there anymore. you’re safe now, buddy. i got ya.”

The tears slip free at the sound of his comforting words. You quickly bury your face into his chest and hug him as tight as you can, lettings his hoodie soak up your tears. All the while, Sans continues to hold you close and stroke your back comfortingly.

For a while, the two of you stay in that position. Even after the tears begin to wane, you don’t pull away, instead opting to remain in his embrace. Thankfully, Sans doesn’t appear interested in pulling away either as he continues to hold you tightly.

After some time passes, Sans finally breaks the silence. You can’t help but laugh at his question. “why do you smell like smoke?”

When you pull back, you raise an eyebrow at him. “What? Are you gonna start getting onto me for being around smokers too? Who are you? Stretch?”

He grins as moves to wipe away the tear tracks on your face. Your heart warms at the gentleness of the gesture. “nah. i’m sans, remember? the sans-ational one?”

You snort at the pun, and his grin grows at your response. “back when we were all together in that one world, i overheard stretch mentioning that allergy of yours. you should be more careful, buddy. allergies are nothin’ to sneeze at.”

The giggles erupt before you can stop them. You bury your face back into his chest in an attempt to muffle the sounds of your laughter to no avail. You can feel his body shake as he chuckles at his own joke and your reaction.

After a few minutes pass, you finally calm down and pull away from the skeleton. When he raises a brow ridge at you, you sigh. “I met another skeleton who smokes. I didn’t tell him about my allergy ‘cause it’s really not that serious. It’s not like he ever breathed the smoke in my direction, so I’m fine. I promise.”

Sans silently studies you for several seconds before nodding his head. “alright. but, we’re still gonna do something about the hoodie. you still got that t-shirt from before? can you wear that while that hoodie of yours is in the wash?”

You blink in surprise. Did Sans actually suggest doing laundry? Sans--the lazybones? Realizing that he’s completely serious, you can’t help but grin.

Quickly, you wrap him up in your arms and affectionately rub your cheek against his. “Aw, Sans! Look at those protective big bro instincts kicking into gear. You’re acting like Stretch now. You guys are so cute.”

When you finally release him, you see that his whole face is a dark blue, and he refuses to meet your gaze. Unable to help yourself, you give him a quick peck on the cheekbone which causes his blush to darken further. “Thank you for looking out for me, Sans. I think I’ll take you up on that kind offer. I would rather not smell like smoke while I’m traveling.”

In a blink, the flustered skeleton disappears and reappears on the other side of the room. He pushes the door beside him open. “here’s our laundry room. you’re free to use it anytime you want.”

Before you can thank him, Sans teleports again. Judging by the sounds coming from the kitchen, he must have went inside there. His actions make you giggle. All your affectionate gestures must have overwhelmed him. You better take it easy on him for a while.

With that, you push yourself off the couch with a grunt and move toward the open door. As you suspected, the room looks exactly like the laundry room in the Underswap house except of course everything being on the opposite wall.

Once the door is closed behind you, you pull off your hoodie and then decide to do the same with your sweatpants. It wouldn’t hurt to clean those again. Besides, as long as you stay inside, you should be fine wearing just your original clothes.

After everything’s taken care of, you exit the laundry room and see Sans loitering in the kitchen doorway. When he waves you over, you follow him into the kitchen.

A heavenly aroma fills your nostrils which makes your stomach growl loudly. On the table are two orders of burgers and fries. There’s also a soda there along with the expected bottle of ketchup.

Well, there goes your vow to not overwhelm him for a while. Before Sans can even explain himself, you pull him into a tight embrace and kiss his cheek. “Have I told you how much I love you lately? ‘Cause I do. A whole lot. Right now you’re probably my most favorite person ever. Thank you so much!”

His whole skull is blue now. It doesn’t help matters that you’re still nuzzling his face with your own. You can’t help it, though. His thoughtfulness just makes you really happy, and you want to make sure he knows that.

Sans keeps his eye-lights averted after you pull away. Despite his best efforts, he’s unable to will away his bright blush. “no prob, buddy. i figured it’s probably been awhile since you last ate something good, so I made a quick trip to grillby’s. i figured you’d enjoy trying his stuff since you probably haven’t gotten the chance to yet.”

A warm smile forms on your face. “Thank you for thinking of me, Sans. You’re right. I really could go for a nice meal, and I’ve been wanting to try Grillby’s food. I hear it’s real hot stuff.”

His eye-lights widen briefly in surprise before a large grin grows on his face. “yep. grillbz is the hottest chef in town. you’ll definitely love his food.”

Giggling, you make your way to the table and take a seat with Sans following close behind. When he offers the ketchup bottle to you, you accept it but check to make sure the top is screwed on properly before squirting some on your fries.

The skeleton pretends to look offended. “what? you don’t trust me? that hurts, buddy.”

With a grin, you gently bump his shoulders with yours before returning the bottle to him. “I trust that you’ll take advantage of any pranking opportunity you get. I’m too hungry to take any chances with you, Sans.”

Sans shrugs his shoulders and takes a swig of his ketchup. “fair enough. hate to waste perfectly good ketchup. although, i would’ve just swapped plates with ya if your food did get covered in it and you couldn’t mustard up the courage to eat your food like that.”

You start eating your fries which taste absolutely delicious. These are probably the best french fries you’ve ever had. You have to bite back a pleased moan; it tastes so good. “I’m sure you’d relish the opportunity to eat a plate of food drenched in ketchup.”

His response is to do just that and cover his burger and fries completely with ketchup. At your wide-eyed look, he grins broadly. “try to ketchup to my level if ya can.”

All you can do is shake your head. You may like ketchup but not to that extent. Besides, Grillby’s food is so good you feel that it’d be a waste to cover it up in ketchup when it tastes amazing even without any condiments to go along with it.

When you take a bite of your burger, your taste buds sing with joy. No wonder Sans is always eating at the bar. You would be too if you were him. Damn. Is there anyway to get a Grillby’s in your world? He’d be a huge hit once everyone moved past the whole monster made of flames part.

Despite yourself, you keep making these soft, pleased noises as you eat your meal. The last time you had a good meal was at Underswap which honestly feels like forever ago although it probably hasn’t been more than a few days. While those scientists in the last world had fed you, it was only the basic nutrients that would keep you alive. Thankfully, monster food is very filling so you could survive on just one meal each day.

A hand on your face makes you pause your eating. When you look to your side, you watch Sans pull back his hand and see the little blob of ketchup on his thumb. There’s a fond grin on his face. “sorry, i saw that you had a little ketchup on ya, so i thought i’d help you out.”

You can’t help but blush when he brings his thumb to his mouth and licks the appendage clean with his dark blue tongue. At least, you think it was his tongue. It moved so fast that you didn’t get a clear image of it just its color. So, these guys do have magic tongues after all. Fanfiction was right!

It seems Sans didn’t comprehend the implication of his actions until he noticed your blush. Once the realization hits him, a dark blue blush covers his cheekbones. He immediately brings his gaze back to his food and refuses to look anywhere else.

The rest of your meal is spent in an awkward silence. You want to break it but don’t know how. The fact that there’s still a light blush on your cheeks does not help matters. If this had been done by any of the other lazy skeletons like Stretch or Red, it wouldn’t have been as surprising since they can be real flirts at times. You hadn’t expected such a gesture from this Sans, however..

After you finish your food, you sneak a peek at Sans to see him quietly eating his fries. That’s when you notice a glob of ketchup on his cheekbone.

A mischievous grin grows on your face. Well, two can play at that game.

Without hesitation, you lean down to kiss his ketchup-covered cheekbone. The skeleton goes completely stiff at your touch.

When you pull away, you see Sans staring at you with wide eye-lights and a very blue face. His blush darkens considerably when you lick your lips. Despite your confident grin, you can’t fight back the flush of embarrassment that reddens your cheeks. “Saw you had some ketchup there, so I thought I’d be a pal and return the favor.”

Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Now, both of you are blushing like mad and aren’t able to maintain eye contact for more than a few seconds.

Your face feels like it’s on fire. All you can do is duck your head and hope that the heat in your cheeks will eventually cool off.

Needing something to do to distract yourself, you quickly finish off your drink and move to throw away your trash. You expect that you’ll have to do the same for the lazy skeleton once he’s done. However, Sans catches you by surprise when he rises from his seat and moves to dispose of his trash as well.

Noticing your surprise, he winks at you. “don’t want pap to grill me for not cleaning up after myself. then, i’d be in real hot water.”

As you giggle at the puns, you feel the tension in your shoulders melt away. It’s amazing how things can go back to normal so quickly just by him telling a few puns. Leave it to Sans to come up with a way to dispel the awkward atmosphere.

I really need to work on my flirting or at least become less awkward at it. This lack of experience thing really sucks. This is why I was a complete mess when G and Aster double teamed me - wait, not like that. Ahhh. I’m not used to being put in these kinds of situations at all.

Now that everything has been cleaned up, the two of you head back toward the living room and take a seat on the couch. Unlike your first visit to Undertale where you both sat on opposite ends of the couch, you and Sans are now sitting beside each other in the middle close enough that your arms are touching.

For a while, you both watch TV while taking turns picking the channels. It doesn’t take long for Sans to surrender control of the remote to you since he seems more interested in napping.

You pause when you come to the MTT channel and witness Frisk participating in Mettaton’s quiz show at Alphys’ lab. It doesn’t look like it’s live, however. If this is a rerun, that means Frisk has already had their first encounter with the robot star. Maybe Sans is here now because he can easily keep an eye on them by watching TV?

“Hey, Sans? Are you here now because Frisk is dealing with Mettaton so you can watch them on TV?”

While anyone else besides Papyrus might be convinced that the short skeleton is asleep, you aren’t fooled. Realizing this, Sans sighs before opening his eyes. “yeah. they just walked past one of my stands in hotland. i remember enough to know that i can easily keep an eye on them from here. no need to go out of my way to follow their every step. besides, i noticed your arrival, so i thought i’d come check on ya.”

You tilt your head curiously. “You could tell when I got here? All the way from Hotland?”

He shrugs his shoulders. “yep. i set up some sensors around here that would send me a text if they ever detected the use of void magic. once i got the alert, i figured you were dropping by for a visit.”

An amused smile forms on your face. “Well, I’m grateful that you took the time out of your busy schedule to come see me. It’s been awhile since I was left to my own devices, so I was feeling a little bonely here all by myself.”

Sans grins broadly at your statement before reeling out a couple related puns himself. You may have made a great mistake. However, you can’t bring yourself to feel too regretful considering how happy he looks now.

Soon, the two of you are heavily leaning against each other laughing loudly as you exchange jokes and puns. You don’t know anywhere near as many as him, but it makes you happy when you come up with one that makes him laugh. You really enjoy listening to that sound.

After several minutes pass, the laughter finally comes to a stop, and both of you decide to take a break which you really need considering how sore your stomach feels now because of all the laughing that you did. Sans also appears to be worn out considering the way he’s slumped against your side now.

When he lets out a loud yawn, you can’t help but follow suit. Now that your stomach is full, you don’t have anything to distract you from how exhausted you are from the last world. While you had fallen asleep temporarily after leaving the last world, you don’t think you were out long before you woke up in the Doodle Sphere. Those scientists really did a number on you. You’re so tired you feel like you could sleep for days.

You look down at the skeleton and see that he’s fast asleep. Unlike earlier, you can tell that he’s definitely sleeping this time. Grinning, you use the remote to turn off the TV, cutting off Mettaton in the middle of his spiels about his products. You then pick up Sans so that you can stretch your legs across the couch.

Once you’re on your side with your back pressed against the back of the couch, you lay Sans down beside you but keep your arms wrapped around him. The fact that he doesn’t stir makes you smile. Somehow, over the short time you’ve know him, you’ve managed to earn the trust of the cynical skeleton. You don’t know how you did it, but you’ll do your best to make sure that he never regrets that decision.

After you pull the cover on the top of the couch over the two of you, you rest your head on the pillow you procured and close your eyes. Your smile grows when you feel Sans snuggle closer to you and wrap an arm around your waist.

Such an intimate position would normally make you blush, but you’re too tired to care. All you want to do is sleep the rest of the day away. A happy sigh escapes your lips as you finally succumb to your exhaustion and fall asleep.

Several hours later, you awake to the sound of the door slamming open and Papyrus’ boisterous voice. “SANS! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL DAY, YOU LAZYBONES?! YOU WEREN’T SKIPPING WORK AGAIN, WERE YOU?!”

A fond smile forms on your lips when a feeling of deja vu washes over you. This reminds you of how you were introduced to Papyrus the first time you were in Undertale. Like now, you and Sans had fallen asleep on the couch after saving Frisk from the glitch. That seems like so long ago despite it only probably being a few days in this world.

Speaking of the lazy skeleton, when you look down, you witness Sans beginning to rouse from his slumber. He sleepily rubs at his eye socket as he tries to get his bearings.

It takes him a few seconds, but the short skeleton soon realizes what kind of position he’s currently in. You grin in amusement as you watch his face turn a dark blue.

While the option of teasing him is tempting, you decide to have mercy on Sans and release your grip on him so that the two of you can sit up on the couch. You quickly rise to your feet and turn to face Papyrus whose expression grows excited once he notices you. “Papyrus! I came to visit you guys. Sans was just keeping me company ‘til you got home from work, so please don’t be too hard on him.”

Before you can even blink, you find yourself lifted into Papyrus’ arms and pulled into a tight embrace. You giggle when he excitedly twirls you around. When he comes to a stop, you wrap your arms around his neck and hug him. “It’s good to see you too, Pap.”

The taller skeleton beams at you. “I MISSED YOU A LOT, Y/N! NOT AS MUCH AS YOU MISSED ME OF COURSE, BUT STILL A GREAT DEAL!”

An orange blush covers his cheekbones when you kiss his cheek. “That’s true. I definitely missed you the most, Pap. I’ve been looking forward to that sleepover.”

His smile grows at your words. “THAT’S RIGHT! NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE, WE CAN FINALLY HAVE OUR FIRST SLEEPOVER! I WORKED HARD NIGHT AND DAY TO MAKE SURE IT WAS PERFECTLY PLANNED!”

You nuzzle his neck. “I’m sure that you did a great job, Papyrus, but honestly, as long as I get to spend time with you, I know that I’ll have fun no matter what we do.”

The orange glow on his cheekbones turns a shade darker which makes you grin. Papyrus gently sets you back on the ground and puts his hands on his hips. “E-EVEN SO! I WILL NOT ALLOW OUR FIRST SLEEPOVER TO BE ANYTHING BUT PERFECT! FIRST, I’LL START OFF BY PREPARING A DELICIOUS BATCH OF FRIENDSHIP SPAGHETTI. IT’S BEEN AWHILE SINCE YOU LAST HAD SOME, SO I’M SURE THAT YOU’VE MISSED IT!”

You give him a hopeful glance. “Do I get to cook with you again, Oh Amazing Chef?”

He grins broadly as he nods. “OF COURSE! COOKING TOGETHER IS AN IMPORTANT FRIENDSHIP RITUAL! WE CANNOT SKIP SUCH A VITAL STEP IF WE ARE TO HAVE THE BEST SLEEPOVER EVER!”

His response makes you inwardly sigh with relief. While you adore Papyrus, you really don’t want to try his normal spaghetti. You’ve read way too many stories of what happened to people who did.

That’s when Sans decides to join the conversation. With his easygoing grin in place, he ambles over to the two of you. “sounds great, bro. i’ll leave her to you while i go run a quick errand. i’ll try not to be gone for too long.”

Papyrus tilts his head curiously. “AN ERRAND? WHAT ON EARTH COULD YOU NEED TO DO AT THIS TIME OF DAY? YOU’RE NOT PLANNING ON SNEAKING OVER TO GRILLBY’S FOR MORE OF THAT GREASY FOOD, ARE YOU?”

The suspicious look the younger skeleton gives his brother makes you giggle. Sans shakes his head as he grins. “nah, nothing like that, pap. i was just gonna check on the kid real quick and make sure that they’re all settled at the mtt resort for the night.”

You watch as Papyrus’ face brightens at his brother’s words. “OH! I SEE! HERE I THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE TRYING TO SNEAK IN JUNK FOOD WHEN YOU’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO HELP OUR OTHER HUMAN FRIEND. I’M SORRY FOR DOUBTING YOU, BROTHER. I AM HAPPY TO HEAR THAT YOU’RE GOING TO CHECK ON THEM. WHILE IT’S REASSURING TO TALK TO THEM ON THE PHONE, I KNOW THAT I’LL FEEL BETTER IF YOU GO SEE THEM.”

His brother’s face softens, and you notice that his grin shrinks as well. You wonder how much Sans told his brother about their Frisk. Papyrus said that Sans told him about your first adventure here and how the two of you saved Frisk. But, did Sans go into details about the kid’s powers? Did he tell his brother about all the pain that he’s gone through? You honestly doubt it.

While you understand his need to protect his brother, you really wish Sans would open up to Papyrus more. If Papyrus is like Blue, then he probably knows more than he lets on.

“don’t worry, bro. i’ll make sure that they’re taken care of. i’ll tell them that you’re thinking about them. that’ll definitely make their day.”

Papyrus beams as he does his heroic pose. “OF COURSE, IT WILL! THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD BE BETTER WOULD BE A PLATE OF MY AMAZING SPAGHETTI. UNFORTUNATELY, IT HASN’T BEEN MADE YET, AND I DON’T WANT TO MAKE YOU LATE IF THE HUMAN IS WAITING FOR YOU.”

The shorter skeleton nods as he shoves his hands into his hoodie pockets. “that’s true. maybe next time, bro.”

He then gives you a wink. “i’ll see ya later, buddy. you and paps have a good time while i’m gone.”

With that, Sans teleports and vanishes from sight, leaving you alone with his younger brother. Considering he brought up the MTT Resort, that must mean he’s meeting Frisk for the date like in the game. Oh, boy. You hope that he doesn’t make the poor kid cry like he does in fanfiction.

Deciding not to focus on that particular thought, you turn your attention to the tall skeleton. “Alright, Chef Pap. Ready to make some spaghetti?”

A large grin forms on his face as he nods. “OF COURSE! I AM ALWAYS READY TO MAKE SPAGHETTI!”

When he heads for the kitchen, you follow after him with a grin. His cheerfulness is so infectious. You don’t know how anyone can be anything but happy around Papyrus. You’re really glad that you came to Undertale. You’ll have to thank Ink later for his smart suggestion.

After recent events, this is just what you needed to loosen up. You’re looking forward to what Papyrus has planned for this special sleepover.

This time around the cooking process goes a lot smoother. Apparently, Papyrus remembered the majority of what you taught him the last time you cooked together. This only cements your belief that he could be a good cook if given the proper guidance. You have to remember to tell Sans about your idea of getting his brother a cookbook.

After you both finish eating, you and Papyrus quickly clean up after yourselves and move toward the living room so the real sleepover fun can begin. The tall skeleton catches you by surprise when he suddenly gasps. “I ALMOST FORGOT! WE CANNOT BEGIN THE SLEEPOVER UNTIL WE’RE IN OUR PAJAMAS! I CANNOT BELIEVE I ALMOST SKIPPED SUCH A VITAL STEP!”

His reaction reminds you of Blue’s back in his world. Like they always say, great minds think alike. You giggle in amusement. “Sorry, Pap, but I didn’t bring any pajamas. But, I can wear these clothes since they’ll be comfortable to sleep in. These aren’t dirty like the ones that are in your laundry room now.”

“SO, THAT’S WHERE THEY ARE! I ADMIT THAT I WAS CURIOUS WHY YOU WERE BACK IN YOUR ORIGINAL CLOTHES.” Papyrus tilts his head curiously. “BUT, ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU’LL BE ALRIGHT SLEEPING IN THOSE CLOTHES?”

You nod your head as you smile. “Yep. These are fine. Although, I think I would like to take a quick shower if that’s alright with you.”

He beams at you. “OF COURSE YOU CAN! MY CLEVER MIND ACTUALLY FORESAW THIS POSSIBILITY, SO I MADE SURE TO BUY HAIR CLEANING SUPPLIES FOR OUR BATHROOM! I EVEN GOT A HAIRBRUSH AND HAIR DRYER! I THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING!”

A bright grin forms on your face. You quickly wrap your arms around him and give him a big squeeze. “Thanks, Papyrus. You’re the best. I appreciate your consideration.”

The tall skeleton returns the embrace, and when you pull back, you see a faint orange glow on his cheekbones. “NOTHING BUT THE BEST TREATMENT FOR MY SPECIAL FRIEND! I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR STAY HERE WAS PERFECT!”

Your heart melts at his words. What a total sweetheart. Just when you think it’s not possible to adore him more than you already do, he does something sweet like this. Smiling, you release your grip on him and motion for him to lean down.

When he does, you gently place a hand on one side of his face while you move to kiss his other cheekbone. His face turns a bright orange at your actions. Your smile grows at the sight of his flustered expression. “Thank you, Pap. While I’m grateful for everything that you’ve done, just having you here with me is the best present. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”

The way his entire skull turns orange makes you giggle. Once you release his face, Papyrus quickly pulls back and averts his eye-lights. His gaze roams the area as he tries to look at anything other than you. “O-OF COURSE, I ALREADY KNEW THAT! NOTHING IS MORE ENJOYABLE THAN THE COMPANY OF THE GREAT PAPYRUS!”

Realizing his blush isn’t going away anytime soon, the tall skeleton makes his escape. “I’LL BE IN MY ROOM CHANGING INTO MY PAJAMAS IF YOU NEED ME! THE BATHROOM IS ON THE NEXT FLOOR. LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ANYTHING!”

Faster than a speeding bullet, Papyrus vacates the room and runs up the stairs. Within seconds, you hear his bedroom door slam shut behind him.

Giggling, you head for the stairs and make your way to the next floor. A part of you is tempted to check on the cute skeleton, but you decide it would be better to give him a little space. You don’t want to tease him too much even if his reactions are adorable.

When you enter the bathroom, you’re not surprised to see that it’s exactly like the one in Underswap except of course, like the kitchen, everything is on the opposite wall. After you turn on the water, you start looking through the cabinet under the sink. You’re relieved to find a bottle of shampoo along with a bar of soap. You’re pleased to find that both have a nice cinnamon scent.

Unlike your last shower, you make sure not to stay there for too long since you don’t want to make Papyrus wait a long time. It doesn’t take you long to dry off and get dressed after you finish your shower. Then, you pull out the hair dryer you saw earlier under the sink.

While you appreciate getting the chance to use a hair dryer, you hate how it always takes so long to dry your hair. You hope that you don’t end up making the skeleton wait too long.

You can’t help but sigh happily when you run the hairbrush through your messy locks. It’s amazing what we normally take for granted. It feels like forever since I last brushed my hair. I definitely owe Pap another hug for this.

Once your hair is taken care of, you put everything away and exit the bathroom. When you return to the living room, you find Papyrus setting up several puzzles on the floor in front of the couch.

Instead of his usual body armor, the tall skeleton is now wearing a long sleeve pajama top with matching black pants. What makes you giggle is the picture of Mettaton’s face on his top. Talk about a dedicated fan. Of course, the robot would have clothes with his face on them. You don’t know why you’re surprised.

His face brightens when he catches sight of you. “THERE YOU ARE! PERFECT TIMING, Y/N! EVERYTHING IS READY FOR THE NEXT STAGE OF OUR SLEEPOVER! ACCORDING TO THE ANIME I’VE SEEN, THERE ALWAYS NEEDS TO BE A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT AT SLEEPOVERS. THAT’S WHY I MADE SOME PUZZLES. I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE ENTERTAINING THAN PUZZLES!”

Grinning, you move to sit on the floor by the puzzles, and he quickly follows suit. For the next few hours, the two of you work on the puzzles Papyrus set up. While you’re far from a puzzle expert, with enough time, you’re able to figure how to solve them and end up having a good time. Of course, seeing the skeleton’s excited face plays a large role in that.

After the puzzles are done, Papyrus rubs his chin thoughtfully. “HMM. NOW THAT THE PUZZLES ARE COMPLETE, WE SHOULD PROCEED TO THE NEXT STAGE. ACCORDING TO MY RESEARCH THAT WOULD BE…”

You tilt your head curiously when he pauses. “Would be what, Pap?”

The skeleton scratches his head. “WELL, AT THIS POINT OF THE SLEEPOVER, THE ANIME CHARACTERS WOULD BE STYLING EACH OTHER’S HAIR, BUT SINCE I DO NOT HAVE ANY, I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO PROCEED.”

His response makes you laugh. Sounds like Papyrus watched one of those typical shoujo animes where the heroine and her friends have a sleepover. “Pap, you don’t have to do a sleepover exactly like what you’ve seen on TV. This is about doing stuff that you like and enjoy. It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we’re having fun.”

He relaxes at your words. “I SEE! THAT IS GOOD TO KNOW! ALTHOUGH, I ADMIT THAT WATCHING THOSE CHARACTERS STYLE EACH OTHER’S HAIR DID LOOK LIKE FUN. OH WELL! THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER FUN THINGS THAT WE CAN DO. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU’RE INTERESTED IN DOING, Y/N?”

It sounds like Papyrus was actually looking forward to playing with your hair. Thinking back on it, Stretch did seem to really enjoy running his fingers through it. Maybe that’s something all the Papyri have in common.

An idea comes to mind that makes you grin. “Yep! First, I’m gonna need you to move back so that your back is against the couch and be sure to stretch out your legs.”

Despite his apparent confusion, the tall skeleton follows your instructions without complaint. Once he’s situated, you crawl over to him and move to sit in between his legs with your body facing the TV. “Alright. We’re all set.”

“SET FOR WHAT?”

You lean back against his chest so that you can look up at him. You grin at the faint blush across his cheekbones. “You wanted to style my hair, right? I was just moving into a more comfortable position. Even if there’s no hair for me to play with, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything with mine. I love having people play with my hair. You can do whatever you want with it. We can even turn on the MTT channel if you want to watch Mettaton while you do it.”

Your breath comes out in a wheeze when he wraps his arms around you to give you a tight hug. “THAT’S A WONDERFUL IDEA, Y/N! NOTHING IS BETTER THAN WATCHING METTATON! I PROMISE THAT YOUR HAIR WILL BE THE ENVY OF EVERYONE ONCE I AM DONE WITH IT!”

It’s not long after he releases you that you feel him card his fingers through your hair. As expected, your eyelids begin to droop after a few minutes pass with him playing with your locks. He was so excited to style your hair that he forgot about turning on the TV, so you reach for the remote to do it for him. Luckily, the MTT channel was the last thing you and Sans watched before you both fell asleep, so you don’t have to bother with channel surfing to find it.

About half an hour later, Sans returns from his little outing via teleport. He chuckles in amusement when he sees the two of you. “guess the party is in full swing over hair. is it too late for me to join?”

“BROTHER, THAT WAS AWFUL! YOU MAY JOIN US, BUT NO MORE PUNS! PUNS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT THIS SLEEPOVER!”

When the shorter skeleton moves closer to your position on the floor, a mischievous grin forms on your face. Before he can react, you grab his hand as soon as you can reach him and yank him into your lap.

Sans’ face turns a bright blue when you wrap your arms around him and pull him closer to your chest. Grinning, you rest your chin on his shoulder and affectionately rub your cheek against his. “Welcome back, Sans. You came just in time. Having my hair played with always makes me sleepy. Now, I have somebody to cuddle with while Pap is busy.”

He ducks his head in an attempt to hide his flustered expression to no avail. There’s no way he can hide such a bright blush when you’re so close. It’s like a light from a neon sign. “g-glad i can be of service, buddy.”

The hands in your hair haven’t faltered so either Papyrus hasn’t noticed your actions, or he’s too busy to care. “GOOD IDEA, Y/N. SANS LOVES CUDDLING. NOW, EVERYONE WILL BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING THAT THEY LIKE AT THIS SLEEPOVER.”

Just when you think it isn’t possible for Sans to blush any harder, he decides to prove you wrong. His whole skull is a dark blue now. Looks like his brother’s words embarrassed him.

For several minutes, Sans remains silent, obviously too flustered to speak. You’re probably not helping matters when you occasionally squeeze him or nuzzle his face. After a while, however, you feel him relax into your hold and lean back against you.

You have to bite back a giggle when you hear him start to snore. Either your cuddles put him to sleep, or his outing with Frisk wore him out. You feel yourself start to nod off as Papyrus continues to style your hair. If you had to guess, you think he’s trying to braid it. That’s what it feels like anyway.

Right when you’re about to fall asleep, the taller skeleton releases your hair and cheers excitedly. “I HAVE DONE IT! I HAVE COMPLETED THE FAMOUS HAIR BRAID! DESPITE HOW DIFFICULT THE TECHNIQUES APPEARED IN THE ANIME, I WAS ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY MASTER IT! AFTER ALL, NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR THE GREAT PAPYRUS!”

While his exclamation successfully roused you from your drowsy stupor, it apparently had no effect on Sans since he still appears to be out cold. You lean back against Papyrus’ chest and give him a warm smile. “Good job, Pap. I knew you could do it.”

He beams proudly at the praise, but when he notices his brother fast asleep, the younger skeleton sighs. “I GUESS I SHOULDN’T BE TOO SURPRISED. MY BROTHER ISN’T THE TYPE TO STAY UP LATE FOR FUN ACTIVITIES. I GUESS I SHOULD PUT HIM TO BED SINCE THERE’S NO POINT IN WAKING HIM.”

It’s at that moment that you unsuccessfully attempt to cover a yawn. Of course, the perceptive skeleton doesn’t miss this. “IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S BEDTIME FOR BOTH OF YOU. I USUALLY STAY UP LONGER SINCE I DON’T REQUIRE A LARGE AMOUNT OF SLEEP LIKE SANS. HOWEVER, I KNOW THAT IN SLEEPOVERS EVERYONE USUALLY GOES TO SLEEP AROUND THE SAME TIME.”

A frown forms on your face. “If you want to stay up longer, we can, Papyrus. I’m not that tired. I did take a nap with Sans earlier, so I should be okay for a little longer.”

Papyrus shakes his head. “NO, IT’S ALRIGHT. I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE A VERY BUSY SCHEDULE WHAT WITH SAVING MULTIPLE UNIVERSES AND ALL, SO I SHOULDN’T KEEP YOU UP ALL NIGHT. I’M FINE WITH GOING TO BED NOW.”

To prove his point, the tall skeleton scoops both you and Sans up into his arms and rises to his feet. Despite carrying two fully grown adults, his steps don’t falter at all as he heads for the stairs and makes his way to the bedrooms.

First, Papyrus stops at his brother’s room to drop him off. He places you back on the ground, and you watch as he lays Sans on the bed and tucks him in. The cute scene makes you smile.

Once Sans is taken care of, the younger skeleton grabs your hand and escorts you to his room. The interior looks exactly like it does in the game. There’s a computer in the far right corner and a skull and crossbones flag on the back wall. On the left side of the room, there’s a table covered in multiple action figures, and there’s also a bookcase on the back wall next to a door. Of course, the most eye-catching part of the room is the race car bed that’s to your immediate left as soon as you walk inside.

Because of your drowsiness, you had followed Papyrus without question, but now that you’re in his room, the sleepiness is replaced with shock. Could he be implying that he wants you to sleep in his room? Fighting back a blush, you decide to question him. “Um, Pap? Did you bring me to your room because you wanted me to sleep here?”

He nods his head. “THAT’S RIGHT! UNFORTUNATELY, WE DO NOT HAVE A GUEST BEDROOM, SO THE ONLY OTHER PLACE TO SLEEP BESIDES OUR TWO BEDROOMS WOULD BE THE COUCH. HOWEVER, I WOULD NEVER ALLOW A FRIEND OF MINE TO SLEEP ON THE COUCH! NOT WHEN YOU CAN SLEEP IN MY AWESOME RACE CAR BED INSTEAD!”

While you’re touched by this thoughtfulness, the idea of sharing a bed with a guy makes you nervous. Of course, you completely trust him; you know that Papyrus would never do anything inappropriate to you while you sleep. You just can’t help but feel embarrassed since you’ve never done something like this before. Sure, you slept in the same space as the guys at the Underwap house, but that was on the couch. That’s way less intimate than sharing a bed with someone.

“Are you sure, Pap? I feel bad making you share your bed. Will there be enough room?”

Papyrus gives you a reassuring grin. “DO NOT WORRY! THERE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH ROOM FOR YOU, Y/N. THERE IS NO NEED TO FEEL BAD. I AM MORE THAN HAPPY TO SHARE SINCE YOU ARE A VERY DEAR FRIEND.”

Your expression softens at his words. Smiling, you give him a big hug. “Thank you, Papyrus. You truly are an amazing friend. I’m lucky to have you.”

He beams at the praise. After you release him, the two of you head for the bed. Papyrus gets under the covers first and holds them for you so that you can join him. You feel your body relax when you see the faint blush on his cheekbones. “WHILE THERE’S ENOUGH ROOM FOR US TO FIT, WE WILL BY LYING PRETTY CLOSE TOGETHER. I HOPE YOU DO NOT MIND THAT. SINCE YOU APPEARED COMFORTABLE WITH CUDDLING MY BROTHER, I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT NOT MIND DOING IT WITH ME AS WELL. SINCE WE’LL ALREADY BE SO CLOSE OF COURSE.”

Grinning, you move under the covers and wrap your arms around him. You nuzzle your face against his pajama-clad chest. “I’d love to cuddle with you, Pap. Thank you for the offer.”

He sighs in relief before reaching over to turn off the lamp on his nightstand. Then, the skeleton returns the embrace and pulls you closer. You’re relieved to find that it’s not as awkward as you originally feared it would be. It’s actually the opposite. You feel extremely comfortable in his arms. Well, Papyrus does seem to have that special ability; it’s hard to be uncomfortable around such a warm person.

“Y/N, Can I Ask You A Question?”

The low tone in his voice surprises you. You’ve never heard Papyrus speak so quietly before. “Of course, Papyrus. What is it?”

Because it’s so dark, you’re having a hard time making out his expression, but you think he’s frowning. “Did Something Happen After We Last Saw Each Other? It Looked Like You Had Been Crying Earlier. I Didn’t Want To Ruin The Mood Of The Sleepover, So I Avoided Bringing It Up. However, I Haven’t Been Able To Stop Thinking About It. Could You Tell Me What Happened? I’d Like To Help If I Can.”

At first, you feel embarrassed that he noticed. You should’ve washed your face earlier. The embarrassment is quickly replaced with gratitude when you realize that he’s been worried about you all this time. You want to tell him, but a part of you is hesitant since you don’t think he should hear about such awful worlds. However, you do understand that he’s a grown adult, and he wouldn’t appreciate being babied. Papyrus is a lot tougher than most people give him credit for.

After several minutes of mental debate, you make your decision. “To answer your question, yes, I did run into some trouble--right before I came here actually. I’ll tell you the story if you want to hear it, but I have to warn you that it’s gonna be pretty unpleasant. The world I went to wasn’t a very good one.”

His arms tightly squeeze you. “That’s Alright, Y/N. I Want To Know. I Don’t Want To Be The Only One Out Of The Loop. After Everything That Happened In That One World, I Made Sure That Sans Told Me Everything. He Was Reluctant, But Eventually, He Gave In To My Persistence. I Do Not Want To Be The Only One That’s Protected.”

You had wondered if Sans had come clean to his brother about the resets after everything that happened in Swapfell. You had assumed that he’d find a way out of telling his brother, but it looks like he was no match for Papyrus. You’re honestly glad. Like you told the Underswap brothers, it’s better to share your burdens rather than trying to hide them in order to protect the people you care about.

Not wanting to dismiss his strong feelings, you start telling him about the Handplates and Gaster Blaster AUs and how the four worlds merged together. You made sure to leave out no detail even what happened to you. After all, he deserves to hear everything that his brother did. You don’t want to hide anything from your friend.

As soon as you finish, Papyrus brings you into a crushing embrace which knocks the breath right out of you. Thankfully, when you desperately pat on his back, he loosens his grip enough so that you can breathe.

When you look up, you’re surprised to see bright, orange-tinted tears streaming down his face. Worried, you move your hands to cup his cheeks. “Pap? Are you okay? Please don’t cry. I promise I’m alright.”

He shakes his head. “I’m Sorry You Had To Go Through Something Like That On Your Own, Y/N. You Didn’t Deserve That. I Wish That I Had Been There To Protect You.”

You move your body upwards a few inches so that you can be face-to-face with him. With a gentle smile, you rest your forehead against his as you continue to stroke his cheekbones. “Even if you weren’t with me then, you’re here with me now, and that’s all that matters to me. I was feeling pretty low after everything that had happened, but coming here really cheered me up. Thank you, Papyrus, for being there for me.”

His only response is to hug you tighter. After a few seconds, his tears begin to ebb, and you work to wipe them away with your thumbs. Once you’re done, you kiss his forehead which makes him flush.

Then, you move back to your original position and snuggle against his chest. Your face grows warm when you feel him press his teeth against the top of your head as he makes a “Mwah” sound. “I’m Glad That You’re Alright, Y/N. I Would’ve Been Very Sad If You Had Been Killed Or Gravely Injured. I Hope Nothing Like That Ever Happens Again. If You Ever Need Help, You Can Always Come To Me And Sans. We’ll Do Whatever We Can Because You Are Our Important Friend.”

Tears spring to your eyes at his words. Quickly blinking them away, you move to nuzzle his chest. “I will, Pap. I know that I can always come to you guys if I need help. Thank you. I’m glad that I got you guys to rely on.”

“We’ll Always Be There For You, Y/N, No Matter What.”

A warm smile forms on your face as you close your eyes. “I know, Pap. Just like I’ll always be there for you two if you ever need me. That’s what friends are for.”

The combination of his warm embrace and the soft thrum of magic in his chest starts to lull you to sleep. Within seconds, your body goes slack, and you fall asleep in his arms.

When you wake the next morning, you’re surprised to find yourself still in Papyrus’ embrace. Since he’s normally an early riser, you had expected to wake up and find him already up and about.

What really shocks you is the fact that there’s another set of arms wrapped around your waist. When you look over your shoulder, you see Sans cuddled up against your back fast asleep. How long has he been here? Better yet, how did he manage to cram himself inside this bed that barely fits you and Papyrus?

Despite your desperate need to laugh, you manage to hold it in since you don’t want to wake the brothers. Seeing their cute sleeping expressions brings a warm smile to your face.

Papyrus was right. That was the best sleepover. Hopefully, there will be more of those to come.

Chapter Text

Once again, you’re back in the Doodle Sphere following after Ink who’s found another AU for you to visit. He hasn’t mentioned which one it is yet, so you’re really curious to see where you’ll be going.

After a few minutes of walking, you arrive at your destination. Before you is a black door with white vertical stripes. As expected, the colors are faded which means this world is infected by the glitch. The door frame is a metallic grey, but what catches your attention is the white doorknob that’s shaped like an inverted heart. This is the first time you’ve seen a door with a doorknob that’s not circular.

You tilt your head curiously. “So, where exactly does this lead, Ink? What AU is this?”

When he pauses, you’re worried that the scatterbrained artist actually forgot. Fortunately, after a few minutes, he snaps his fingers in realization. “I remember now! This leads to Underchrome.”

Underchrome? You’ve never heard of that AU before. Are you actually about to visit a world that you know nothing about? So far, you’ve traveled to worlds you know a great deal about because of their popularity. You had always wondered if you’d ever get sent to world that you were unfamiliar with.

You stare at the door with renewed interest. “I’ve never heard of Underchrome before. What’s this world like?”

Ink fiddles with his scarf. “This is one of the few AUs where the monsters weren’t stuck Underground. The monsters and humans never went to war. Instead, an agreement was made to give the monsters their own body of land, so they basically have their own country. I was never really interested in this AU since nothing really exciting ever happens in this world.”

You roll your eyes. Of course, he’d consider a nice, peaceful world like that boring. “So, if you say nothing ever happens, does that mean there are no resets? Is there even a Frisk in this world?”

He nods his head. “There’s a Frisk, but they don’t have the power to reset. It’s not really needed since the monsters don’t have a grudge against the humans. The king and queen never lost their son, so everything is peaceful there.”

A frown forms on your face. “So, that means this world will be easier to corrupt for the glitch. With no resets to undo its work, the glitch can easily destroy this world.”

Ink grins brightly. “That’s where you come in. The state of the world isn’t as bad as the Gaster Brothers, so it shouldn’t be dangerous for you to enter. If you stay there long enough, the world should be alright.”

Before you head for the door, another question comes to mind. “What are the Sans and Papyrus of this world like? Since the world is so peaceful, they must be