Ebott belongs to the monsters.
You remember when it didn’t, back when it was called things like Hillside and Ashburg and Bedford Pass. Pretty names. Human names. Now it’s all just Ebott, and human things don’t have a place here.
You don’t have a place here.
“you prayin’, doll?”
There was a time when the suddenness of that voice behind you would’ve made you jump, but these days you’ve come to expect it. Anticipate it, even. You can feel the shift in the room when he steps through one of his shortcuts, and you wonder whether it’s due to repeated exposure or… something else.
You peer up at the mural behind the pulpit, barely visible through the gloom. Most of the stained glass is either broken or boarded up, and bars of light fall across the hanging crucifix, looking more dystopian than divine.
“You know,” you say softly, afraid to disturb the quiet of the space. “People used to come to places like this for fun. They called it ‘urban exploring.’”
There’s a low laugh behind you. “humans. a whole world of places ta see, and you pick the broken ones.”
When you ran, you want to say, there weren’t a whole lot of options. The abandoned church had a gap in the boards large enough for you to fit through, and you figured your chances of avoiding monsters here were greater than any of the establishments lining the streets nearby. And you were right—for a time.
“I think it’s kinda beautiful,” you whisper to the dust motes and the crucifix and the skeleton behind you.
Bony fingers grasp your elbow, and you turn reluctantly away from the altar. Above you, the dying Jesus seems to look away.
“why’d you run, doll?” Sans doesn’t look angry, which is good, though unexpected. He scrutinizes you, eyelights small and bright. The corners of his mouth are downturned. “you knew i’d find you.” He leans in. “i’ll a l w a y s find you.”
You know. Oh, you know.
You shrug and stare at a pinstripe on his shoulder. “Maybe I just wanted a change in scenery.”
You’re playing with fire, and you know it when his gaze starts to burn.
Fingers tilt your chin back up so that you can sizzle under the full brunt of it.
“you got more freedom than any human in this city, and you wanna test the guy givin’ it to ya?” His voice is soft, but it’s the softness found in the tread of a stalking predator. His thumb brushes your lower lip in tiny strokes. “you got nerve, i’ll give ya that.”
His eyelights disappear then, and it’s as if they were never there in the first place. He crowds you against the low altar at the foot of the dais, shoving you up onto the flat surface when you stumble. He stands between your legs, one palm flat beside your hip, the other still cupping your face.
“now i’m gonna ask ya again, all nice-like—why’d you run? cause judgin’ by the way ya looked bent over my bed this morning—”
You’d blush at the memory if you had any shame left.
“—ya weren’t too unhappy.”
It’s true. This morning, you were more than happy to wake up to an amorous monster, to fist his sheets in white-knuckled fingers and chant his name like a broken hymn. But that was… that was before.
Under the neckline of your dress, the note burns like a brand.
“so what’s it gonna be, babydoll? you gonna tell me what has ya so spooked, or you want me ta remind you w h o s e g i r l y o u a r e ?”
You swallow and fight the urge to squirm against him.
The hand near your hip scrapes down the altar, bones scratching along the polished wood with a sound that makes your heart pound with something other than fear. Your knees squeeze his hipbones, and you get a rasping chuckle for your trouble.
“never did have the good sense ta fear me,” he says, leaning in to nip at your chin. His wandering fingers find the hem of your dress and ruck it up in tantalizing inches, his thumb trailing a lazy path up your inner thigh. “now, darlin’, you wanna tell ol’ sans what’s got ya in a twist?”
At this, his questing fingers find your underwear and the growing dampness there. Two fingers hook into the cloth and tug it aside. Your skirt is pushed up to your hips, pooling around you. It’s the only altar cloth this church has seen in some time.
His mouth continues a slow trail down your neck, teeth catching just a little too hard at the junction of your shoulder. You grasp at his lapels, head tipping back. He tugs you, suddenly, to the edge of the altar, broad femurs spreading your thighs apart, fingers dipping between your slick folds to draw a stripe through the center of you. Your back arches.
“oh, ya like that, dontcha?” He nips again, fangs just barely breaking the skin. His tongue laps at the spot, a sound not unlike a purr rumbling up from his hollow chest.
He’s always liked leaving marks.
“now,” he says against the flushed skin of your neck, teeth just brushing the tender spot of his claim. “you gonna be a good girl and talk? ‘cause I got other ways t’make you scream.”
“That s’posed to be a threat, Sans?” Your huffing breath is the only thing disturbing the still air of the sanctuary.
“oh, you’re gonna tell me either way, doll, but seein’ you up on that altar makes me feel like desecratin’ somethin’.” He drags a thumb over your clit, just shy of too hard, and your hips twitch.
“you know,” he says conversationally, as if his fingers aren’t drawing jagged breaths out of you with every practiced stroke, “humans have all these ideas about immortal souls, but half’a ya don’t even believe they exist. i got a soul, darlin’, and ya wanna know how i know?”
“You can—” you gasp into his shoulder, “—see it?”
His other hand finds your breast, kneading it through the thin cloth of your dress. The cut of it doesn’t allow for a bra, and there’s hardly a barrier between his hand and your pebbling nipple.
It’s for the best, you think; Sans isn’t much on barriers.
“nah—well, that too—but i can feel it.”
There’s a crinkling noise and you remember, too late, the note tucked into your cleavage. Sans deftly plucks the folded paper from your neckline before you can even think to lean away.
“Sans—” you start, but he clicks his tongue.
“nuh-uh, sweetness, lemme finish.” He holds the note between two fingers, but doesn’t move to open it.
Your eyes flick to the paper, your breath still in your lungs.
“y’see,” he continues, “i knew you’d made a break for it before i ever got the call. i felt it in that soul-shaped thing that sits in my chest.” He taps your own chest with a sharply folded corner. “some people doubt a guy like me has anything even resemblin’ a soul, but you, angel, you got a direct line ta whatever’s thumpin’ in there, and when somethin’s goin’ on with you, I got no choice but ta feel it.” He flicks the square of paper so that it spins in the air between you, then snatches it and holds it at eye-level. “now i suspect that whatever’s got ya worked up, it’s ta do with this. you wanna elaborate?”
You stare at the note, then at him. He quirks a browbone and a finger between your legs, his expression pointed. You jerk into his hand, hips canting for more friction, but he moves his away, gripping your thigh instead.
“i got aaall day.”
You hiss out a sigh, shifting damply. “It’s from my family.”
There’s a pregnant pause.
Sans’s eyelights dim and flicker before he seems to reign himself in. The hand at your breast slides around to your back, fingering the hidden zipper on your dress.
“your family, huh? how’d they manage that?”
Borders around Ebott are tightly enforced by both monsters and humans. One side out of fear, the other out of hate. You suspect there’s some overlap in those emotions.
You shrug. “Bribed a smuggler, probably.”
The teeth of your zipper part with hardly a whir.
“and they asked ya to come home?” he guesses, voice neutral. He’s back to nipping at your skin, but when you pull back a touch, you can see that his smile is tight.
Your dress slips off of your shoulders, sagging around your chest.
“They told me that if I didn’t, they’d assume I was here against my will.”
Sans shows no sign of having heard you. There’s a tug and your dress is pooled around your hips, your torso bared to the dim light filtering through the windows. Ghosting fingers trace your spine, your ribs, the soft undersides of your breasts.
You shudder under his ministrations but grit your teeth and force your worries into words.
“Something’s coming, Sans—we both know it. Tensions between the races can’t stay like this forever.” You reach up to cup his face. “I don’t want to be the catalyst for this war.”
“’s that what you’re afraid of?” Both his hands are on your shoulders suddenly, one of them slick against your skin. “doll, you never gotta worry about that, a’right? never.” He pulls you to him, and the ensuing hug is the most chaste contact you’ve experienced today—despite the hard-on you can feel through his slacks.
“i promised i’d never let anythin’ hurt ya—or don’t you believe me?” he says into your hair.
“I’m not—Sans, I’m not afraid for me.” You pull away to give him an incredulous look. “I know you’d rip this earth apart to protect what’s yours—me, your brother, the friends you pretend to hate—”
Sans grumbles at that.
“—but if another war breaks out, who’s gonna protect you?” You want to shake him. “No, don’t give me that look, I know you. You’re gonna fight every battle trying to protect everyone, you’re gonna stretch yourself too thin, and I’m gonna lose the only—” You stop short, breathing hard.
His gaze softens and you have to look away, throat tight.
“the only what, doll?” Sans tilts your face back to him, gentle but firm.
The only person who’s ever made me feel alive.
You cover his hand with yours, the thick phalanges warm to the touch.
“I love you, Sans, and I don’t want to lose you.”
It’s his turn to look incredulous.
“…so your plan is t’leave?” He starts to laugh. “sweetheart, for someone so smart, that’s real dumb.” He kisses you once, hard, pulling away before you can reciprocate. “and if you think for one goddamn second that i’m gonna letcha walk across that border without raisin’ all hell, you got another thing comin’.”
Hearing the surety in his voice shakes loose the clog of emotions in your throat.
He’s here. You’re not going to the note’s pickup point. Nothing has to change for now.
“That the bone-a fide truth?” you ask, your voice a bit watery.
Sans looks downright gleeful at the pun.
“well see, now i gotta fuck you,” he says, gold tooth glinting. He plucks one of your hands from his shoulder and presses a toothy kiss to the palm. “not that that wasn’t already the plan,” he adds with a leer. “gotcha all laid out like a virgin sacrifice. gonna do some worshippin’.”
“I don’t think this is that kind of church,” you say instead of pointing out the obvious fact that you are not a virgin. Sans has seen to that many times over.
“don’t see anyone else around t’complain, darlin’.” He grabs your other hand and suddenly you’re on your back, wrists pinned to the table, and Sans is divesting you of the rest of your clothes. “you’re in the church of sans now,” he says against the softness of your stomach.
He flings your dress and underwear away as if they have personally offended him.
“You’re getting those back before we leave,” you say in a failed attempt at sternness.
Sans rolls his eyes, and the hand not pinning your wrists yanks one of your legs up and over his shoulder.
“less talkin’,” he says into your inner thigh, “more prayin’.”
The first touch of his tongue has you arching off of the altar. You don’t know what he means by ‘praying,’ but the way his name falls from your lips, you could be entreating an absent god.
“S-sans—" Your head tips back against the table, mouth moving in near-silent plea.
The shapes he traces with his tongue could be magic for all the feelings they spark within you. He drags you further up, gripping your hips as if something will dare try to wrest you from him. The hand bruising your wrists releases you, and you scrabble for something to hold onto, reaching for the table edge, something, anything—
Sans pulls away.
“tell me ya ain’t leavin’,” he says abruptly.
You can hardly hear him over the rush of your own pulse.
“What? God, no, Sans, I was just—”
“scared?” He works his newly freed fingers between your legs and you nearly choke. “heh, don’t worry, doll, i gotcha.” Slow fingers circle your clit, his red eyelights watching you come apart by inches. “make me a promise, angel.” His circles get tighter, faster. “promise me ya won’t run again. it’s got me—all—worked—up—just thinkin’ about ya out there alone.”
You are so close, so, so close, his voice and the rhythm of his hand driving you toward that cliff faster than you thought possible.
“c’mon, sweetness,” he coaxes, “one lil’ promise and i’ll let you come.”
It’s not that you don’t want to give him what he wants, it’s just that every time you open your mouth, you make a broken sound instead.
Sans, damn him, know what he’s doing. He edges you along that precipice, his jagged grin relaxed and unhurried.
“and if you’re real sweet,” he says, clearly enjoying himself, “i’ll take ya right here, before god ‘n everyone, and make ya sing praises like this church has never heard.” He ducks back between your quaking thighs, tongue spelling unholy words against you. His fingers thrust shallowly—too shallowly—into you, the hand on your hip preventing you from thrusting down on his hand.
You shake your head, forcing words through numb lips. “I pr’mise.”
“oh, good girl,” Sans says against you. “now come for me, angel, and don’t make it quiet.”
At this point, you have no choice, your voice limited to moans and choked off screams.
Sans finally, finally gives you what you need, his fingers thrusting in time with his tongue, one, two, then three curling up into the spot that makes you shake apart, colors blooming and dying behind your eyelids. He fucks you through it, untiring, the glow of his eyes giving him a distinctly demonic cast from the altar’s edge.
“Fuck,” you say hoarsely when he lets you breathe.
“s’the plan, angel,” he says, and then you are on your stomach, fingers flexing against the edge of the now-desecrated surface.
“’m sensitive,” you murmur into your arm. Your legs are too shaky to hold you, and you slump over the altar instead, wetness fairly dripping down your thighs.
Behind you, you hear the quiet sound of a zipper.
“i know, doll,” Sans says, bending over you and placing a gentle kiss on the nape of your neck. You feel the length of him against your backside, heavy and hot. One broad thigh works between your legs, spreading you further. “i’ll make you a promise, too.” His mouth brushes the shell of your ear. “when we’re done here, you’ll never want to run,” he says, all softness. “y’know why?”
You shake your head, mute.
“’cause ya won’t be able t’ walk,” he growls and sheaths himself in one hard thrust.
You arch up into him, mouth falling open.
“Oh god,” you moan.
His pace is brutal, nearly punishing, the snap of his hips driving you into the altar.
“nuh-uh, sweetheart, y’remember what i told you?” One of his hands finds yours where it’s fisted by your head, his fingers slipping between yours, holding you tight. “this is the church of sans,” he grunts, pushing deeper. “the only god ya pray to is me.”
You don’t need any more correction.
“Sans—Sans—Sans—” you chant, more desperate than you’ve ever been.
Your coupling echoes through the empty sanctuary, loud and heathen.
“ya won’t be able to move for a week without thinkin’ of me when i’m through with you,” he pants in your ear. “gonna fuck ya here, gonna take y’home and fuck ya ‘til every monster on the goddamn block knows just whose you are.”
You try and fail to meet his thrusts, his voice driving you to distraction.
“whose are you, angel?” He reaches around to stroke your clit, fingers pressing just—so—
“’m yours, Sans. Yours, yours, yours—”
“m i n e,” he growls.
He pulls out almost entirely, your protest echoing through the pulpit, before bottoming out, the hot length of him pressing against you so good, so perfect—
He shudders against you, hips shivering in aborted thrusts, and you come around him, hard and sudden.
He groans into your neck, coming with a rush, and if you weren’t already shivering in aftershocks, you’d come again just from the feel of it.
“think ‘m gonna marry you, sweetheart,” he says, still inside you.
You make a wobbly sound that’s almost a laugh. “I’ll pr’bably let you.”
Ebott belongs to the monsters, but only one can call you his.