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Kedgeup in... Beauty and the Beast

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Once upon a time, there was a wealthy inventor who had two sons. Doctor Wingdings Gaster adored his children and gave them all the love he could spare. The youngest, Papyrus, whose smile lit up their home and energy kept the entire family going. And the eldest, Sans, with a soul of gold and compassionate as he was funny. Small in stature though he was, his character and soft mien had given him the whispered nickname of Beauty among the cityfolk.

Though the Gaster family had once been quite rich, they had fallen on hard times and had gone from a mansion in the city to a small cottage in the woods. Doctor Gaster felt ashamed for the circumstances he had put his family in; but his children smiled happily and pulled their shenanigans as though nothing had changed. They brought him only joy even in the dark and desolate forest.

One day, the father set out on a long journey to the city in hopes of recovering some of his lost wealth. His children had grown old enough to manage themselves and their home in his absence and despite their contentment with this poor life, Gaster wished to give them all that he had grown with.

Gaster saddled his horse with the provisions needed for the trip and turned to his sons who had been shadowing his steps all morning. Just because they didn’t need him to be here, didn’t mean he would not be missed.

“Now, now my sons, don’t look at me like that.” He laughed lightly to assuage their worried faces, “All will be well and will return in no time at all.”

Papyrus looked a little relieved, allowing his ever-energy to pipe up in excitement again. Sans however, looked up at him with a small frown. A face once lively with laughter now drawn pale and sad over time from stress Gaster had not been able to keep from his eldest. It was one of the reasons he could not put this trip aside any longer.

“And should my trip prove to be fruitful, what gifts would you like me to bring back for you?” Gaster pressed on, eager to spoil his sons. He was confident in his journey and it’s purpose.

Papyrus nearly bounced on his heels, smiling splitting wide with a child’s glee, “OH FATHER, IF YOU COULD BRING ME ONE OF THOSE PRETTY SCARVES, RED IF YOU COULD, THAT WOULD BE WONDERFUL!”

Gaster chuckled, hiding the uncertainty from his expression. Even if his trip was fortunate to him, he doubted he would be able to afford such an accessory. A scarf was no hard feat, but anything dyed such a vibrant color would not be wasted on cheap materials. No, for such a rich popular color, it would be quite expensive. However, Papyrus would surely be happy with a scarf of good quality and perhaps a less colorful hue. He was determined.

To Sans, he asked, “And you, my son?”

Sans shifted on his feet, bunching the drab gray skirt he wore in his hands, “i don’t need anything, father. please just come home safe.”

Gaster’s soul ached and he reached out to take his eldest’s hands gently, easing them from the thin material, “You ask me to return with nothing for you?”

Sans looked up at him and after glancing at Papyrus’ concerned countenance, he sighed and looked like he was thinking quite hard. Then, “… an echoflower. it’s been a long time since i’ve seen them.”

Gaster couldn’t help but look around. It was as though the world had turned as poor as his family when they’d been forced to relocate to the woods. The trees seemed ever gnarled and bore few leaves, the ground barren of much beyond a few weeds and even they were withered and dry. The cottage was a reprieve only from the efforts of his sons to make it homier and comforting.

Was it surprising that Papyrus wished for a splash of color, or his eldest requested a humble flower?

Gaster smiled and embraced his children one more time before pulling himself up onto his horse.

“Very well. I love you, my sons! Farewell!”

He rode off on the forest path to the sounds of his sons calling back their own goodbyes and love. Yes, he had a good feeling about all of this.

If he had looked back, he would have seen Papyrus scamper back into the house and Sans standing there in front of the small cottage until he had ridden out of sight. The eldest pressed his hands down the wrinkles he had made in his skirt and heaved in a deep breath before making his way back inside.

Sans wished his father had not left. They’d lived like this for years, since he’d been a child, and though Sans could remember some aspects of city life, he couldn’t say it was horrible living here. Still… if it made Papyrus and his father comfortable and happy, he wished his father luck on this endeavor.

Now, he had to step up a little and do some chores. The picture of his little brother’s flabbergasted expression eased a smile on his face for the first time this morning.

 

 

Unfortunately, things did not go well for the Doctor in the city. After many months of living out of pocket, he had to return empty-handed. His pack only had the barest of rations to make it home and he still had a week’s journey ahead with no gold to buy more. Winter brought its snow flurries early as well, causing his pace to slow even further.

Gaster was forced to walk through the snowdrifts, urging his horse to follow him with every step. Hunger made his stomach ache and exhaustion pulled at his limbs. The dread he had been valiantly fighting off overcame him as the lead in his hands snapped from brittle cold and use.

“No!” He called out helplessly as his horse thundered away, the hoof falls his only indication that he was now all alone in a blizzard and without even his meager rations he’d been saving.

Cold bit into him as he sunk into the snow. He was lost, unsure if he’d been on the path for hours but no choice but to press on. Now what? Gaster sat there, thinking. What about his sons? He’d been unable to bring anything home for them and it had stung to imagine their disappointed faces. Now, he imagined them waiting, looking out the window for his return. And he would simply never show up.

It would be as though he’d disappeared, or worse that he’d abandoned them.

“Someone… help…” He sobbed. Gaster didn’t wish that fate on anyone, let alone his precious children. Let me get back to them somehow, was the praying mantra in his head.

Suddenly a red hue was cast upon the snow and Gaster looked up, squinting through the snow. A massive, ominous shadow was in the distance and it was as though the glow were coming from it. The alarming glow might have sent him running away but with his clothes soaked and frozen to his body, weak with hunger, he stumbled to his feet and made his way toward the shadow and its hellish light. As he drew closer, he was stunned to see it belonged to a spiral castle enclosed by an imposing stone border. Approaching the gate, he looked up until his neck strained. It was easily as tall as himself times three.

“Please, let the master of this place be merciful.” Gaster whispered to the winter wind and pressed against the massive gate. It opened easily to him and he pushed into the courtyard; and stopped in wonder.

The doors clicked closed behind him but Gaster only had eyes for the courtyard that by all rights should have been buried under thick layers of snow and assaulted by gales of biting wind. It was not. The courtyard was covered with green and trees fluttered in a light breeze. The paved walkway was smooth and even, a comfort to his numb feet. It was cold but as though it were early spring and not the dead of winter.

As he walked, he noticed that for all the life, it was wild and untamed. Not a proper garden, no flowers or vibrant flora, but as though it had taken a life of its own. Not that he was judging anyone, it was still more green than he’d seen in sometime.

The castle on the other hand was like something from his nightmares. Sharp and twisted, the color as black as ebony with a sinister red light leaking from some of the windows. But it, its Master, was his only hope of getting back to his sons again.

When he reached for the knocker on the door, he watched with wide eyes as it swung open freely. Thick darkness lay inside until torches alit, by themselves and with a warm yet strangely violet light, illuminating a long hallway. Gaster followed it slowly, looking around. How very strange… how had he never known about this castle? No one had ever mentioned it in his memory.

His musings were broken when torches lit up to his left and he stepped through the doorway they framed and a table was illuminated with a set of candlesticks. He could smell it before he saw it. Gaster inhaled the heady scent of spices and aroma of freshly cooked food and felt his stomach ache anew. On the long table, at one end was a chair that turned by itself toward him. In front of that chair was a layout of food. Fresh bread, meat and cheese platters, steaming bowl of soup, and a decanter of a dark red wine.

He hesitated, was this the Master’s chair?

The chair suddenly angled toward him further in a jerky movement and Gaster made up his mind. He quickly took a seat and scooted himself in to the table. He poured a goblet of wine and raised it in a toast to the darkness bordering the room.

“I thank you, kind sir, for your hospitality. I am in your debt.”

There was no response but he felt no trepidation and dug in. The wine never seemed to run out, he noticed as he feasted.

Just behind his chair, a pair of slitted crimson eyelights looked down on him, watching silently.

 

 

Gaster stepped out of the castle to a bright morning. He wondered if the weather outside was just as brutal as last night. Clearly the courtyard was no indication of the outside world.

He stretched and felt the aches and pains of lumpy mattresses long gone. The wonder of a good night’s sleep on a good bed. After dinner, he’d been led by torchlight to a bedroom. It had been sparse but luxurious. The featherbed alone had nearly brought him to tears. It had been so long since he’d had such comforts of this degree.

But the night had passed and so he needed to press on. His sons were surely anxious for his return by now. Gaster turned to regard the menacing castle with a smile.

“Kind Master of this castle, I thank you for your generosity.” He bowed and then set off.

He chose a different path as last time toward the gate, eager to take in this magical place and commit it to memory for further research later. He came upon an enclosed garden area and gasped. Blue blossoms peeked into view and even in daylight they glowed softly against the ground. Even from this distance he could hear the whispers from them.

Echoflowers! He could at least take something home for Sans, bring a real smile to his face.

He approached them eagerly and knelt down. He reached out and plucked one as it whispered in a gravelly, low voice, “… doncha worry bro, we’ll figure this out…”

“Fascinating.” He said, then shook his head as it started to repeat the word back. Ah, that had been careless. The message it held was gone. Oh well-

The sky darkened around the castle and Gaster gasped as the sound of thunder rumbled so powerfully it shook the ground.

No… it wasn’t thunder.

Gaster turned his head and nearly screamed at the sight of the… the beast standing behind him. A hand, large and clawed, grabbed him by the neck tightly and threw him down the pathway. He cried out in pain as he skidded to a stop and pushed himself up fearfully.

The beast stalked toward him, long tattered cloak billowing around him and a growl rumbling from it’s chest. The draconic looking skull was snarling, red slits burning like hellfire in it’s sockets.

“YOU DARE.” It snarled, “I SHELTERED YOU IN MY CASTLE, FED YOU, SAVED YOUR LIFE AND IN RETURN YOU STEAL MY ECHOFLOWERS!” The beast stalked forward until it stood above him, shadowing him from where Gaster cowered upon the stone. The echoflower still repeating his statement where it had fallen beside him. “THANKFUL INDEED.”

Gaster tried to stammer out an apology but fell silent at the roar the beast unleashed.

“YOUR APOLOGIES MEAN NOTHING. YOU CANNOT BRING BACK WHAT YOU ERASED. PREPARE FOR DEATH, THIEF.” A hand rose from the depths of the cloak and the claws were sharp in contrast to the stormy sky.

Gaster was once a proud monster, but life had humbled him. He longed only to make his children smile. He begged, “Please! I wished only to give a gift to my son! His only wish was for a single echoflower, please have mercy!”

Gaster, with his head bowed, missed the softening of the narrowed eyelights though the gleam of fury remained.

“I HAVE LITTLE MERCY LEFT IN ME, THIEF. FOR WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN, YOU WILL GIVE ME YOUR SON IN EXCHANGE.”

Gaster paled, Stars no, “No! Never!” Not his son, not his children!

The beast snarled, “THEN I WILL KILL YOU THIS MOMENT!”

If it meant Sans would live, he could accept that. He’d lived a life long and full because of his family. Resolved he met the beast’s gaze, “So be it. I would die a thousand times if it spared my son.”

The beast paused and some softer emotion that could not quite be called kindness laced his next words, the harsh contours of the skull softening just a bit, “IF YOU GIVE ME YOUR SON, I PROMISE YOU NO HARM WILL COME TO HIM UNDER MY CARE.”

The beast straightened from the hunched, like a predator Gaster thought fearfully, position it had taken above him and gestured to the side. A large dog statue perched upon a pedestal leapt off of it and bounded to the beast’s side. Gaster stared, stunned at what he had been sure was an ordinary statue seemingly come to life.

“TAKE MY PET. SIMPLY SPEAK THE PLACE YOU WANT TO GO AND HE WILL TAKE YOU THERE.” The beast began stepping away as he spoke though his words were no less impactful, “SEND YOUR SON TO ME IN THREE DAYS TIME OR I WILL HUNT YOU ALL DOWN.”

The beast disappeared into the shadows and the sky cleared just as quickly as it had clouded over. Gaster stood shakily and robotically stepped toward the dog statue that waited unmoving for him. He paused only to scoop up the echoflower and held it closely to his chest as he mounted the dog.

“Take me home.” He whispered and held on tight as the dog bounded across the courtyard and over the great border. The moment it’s paws hit the ground, the world blurred around him. It took no time at all for the dog to cross the miles that had taken him days. It came to a looping pace, the world becoming clear and crisp once more. His relief at seeing the small cottage waiting at the end of the path had him sagging atop the dog.

Home.

Gaster dismounted the dog who remained unmoving once it had come to stop and stumbled to the door. He needed to see them. It opened when he was mere inches from it and he barely saw the relieved faces before his children enveloped him in their arms. He wept as their warmth chased away the chill of the last few hours and he held them both tightly.

The echoflower still clutched in his hand, pressed against Sans' back, was a dark weight but he closed his eyes. He would enjoy this for as long as he could.

Then… then he would tell them about the Beast.

Chapter Text

After the tears were dried and Gaster brought into the cottage, they sat down at the table together. Sans brought his father a glass of water and sat beside Papyrus as they waited for him to speak. He could see the silhouette of the strange dog statue in the corner of his eye; where it sat frozen in the middle of their yard, only visible by moonlight. It unnerved him and Sans had a sinking feeling in his soul.

“Sans.”

Sans looked up at his father’s call and he was astonished to see him holding out an echoflower, vibrant and fresh as though it had just been picked. He gently took it and the gentle motion prompted the blossom into speaking, “… take me home…

Sans looked up with wide eyes at the echo of his father’s voice.

The story that spilled from their father’s mouth was fantastical and terrifying. A castle untouched by the outside world? Magical and mysterious and owned by a beast that made Gaster’s voice shake with fear. Sans might not have believed it had it not come from his own bone and blood’s mouth. How was it possible no one had ever mentioned a castle of such size and peculiarities; like no one knew it existed?

But Gaster was a man of facts, of honesty, and the honest truth was that the fear in his eyes was very real as he recanted his tale. There was a castle and there was a Beast who was the master of it.

That same Beast would come to kill them if Sans did not hold up the other end of the bargain. The mere idea of his father and little brother dying when he could prevent it…

“i will go.”

Gaster looked up sharply, “No.”

Sans only looked back resolutely. “if it will save you and Paps, then what else can I do?” He leaned forward, gripping the stem of the echoflower tighter, “you said yourself. it has no intention to harm me and if i go we will all live.”

Papyrus fretted at the other end of the table as Gaster stood up, sending his chair kicking back against the wall.

“Sans, I forbid you.” His father’s voice shook with anger but Sans knew it was fed by concern. “No. Now, both of you, go to sleep. We will prepare to leave in the morning.” And he hurried to his bedroom.

Sans stared after him, something determined welling in his Soul.

Papyrus tried to confront him but Sans gently rebuffed every attempt to discuss it. To compensate for Papyrus’ growing worry and annoyance, he sat on his little brother’s bed and recited as many bedtime stories as it took to lull Papyrus to sleep. He spent some time simply watching Papyrus’ fitful slumber before standing and quietly leaving the room, closing the door silently after himself.

Sans wrote a small note. He couldn’t bear to leave without explanation. If he couldn’t say goodbye face to face, he would at least leave this token. He crept to his father’s door and slipped the note beneath it. Sans moved slowly; despite the urgency he could feel at his back. He didn’t want either of them to wake up and stop him but… this would be the last time he’d walk in his home. He paused by the table and picked up the echoflower that had caused all this.

Sans brought it close and whispered to it's softly glowing petals.

He took nothing with him except for the warm light blue cloak. A token he’d take for himself. Papyrus had found this cloak tangled in a thorn bush and mended it for him for his birthday a few years prior. He wrapped himself up in it and took a deep breath as he stepped out into the chill of the night.

Approaching the stone dog, he tentatively placed a hand on its snout and whispered, “take me back.”

It laid down and Sans trembled as he got astride it. Then it was off and Sans closed his eyes against the fierce wind. When the rushing wind finally stopped, Sans opened his eyes and gasped. His father had described the castle but to see it was breathtaking. Even its twisted design did nothing to detract from its grandness.

The dog knelt again and Sans carefully slid off, bunching his cloak around him tighter. He watched the dog bound for an empty pedestal and take up a sitting position before the aliveness vanished. It was disquieting to see any aliveness disappear and he stepped back without thinking.

Two violet flames lit up the mounted torches at the entrance to the castle, as though beckoning him.

Sans summoned as much bravery as he could and stepped forward. The doors swung open before he could even reach out from the warmth of his cloak. The castle within was only darkness until more flames lit torches on the walls and a long hallway appeared. Walking forward, more and more torches seemed to lead him deeper in to the castle. A chill of fear made its way up his spine as he imagined where he might be being led too.

Sans regretted nothing but the reality of his situation was finally beginning to dawn him.

Suddenly light bloomed just beside him and Sans jumped, startled. A doorway had appeared and it swung open silently, light gently filtering through the entrance. Sans crept through it and couldn’t contain his gasp.

The room was lavish and beautiful, yet simple in its luxuries. Unlike the rest of the castle, the room seemed to be made of some sort of soft white stone that reflected the moonlight peeking through the windows. The fireplace glowed with a modest fire, as violet as the flames in the hall. The dark blue bed was large and had a sheer bed canopy cascading to the floor. A dresser and a bookshelf half filled with books already, there was even a vanity with a lit candle. A few potted plants dotted the walls and there were gray fur rugs about the floor.

WELCOME, SANS.

Sans looked around quickly, but the voice that had suddenly spoken seemed to have no source. It seemed to ring in the air around him, coming from the walls and ceiling and floor.

THIS IS YOUR ROOM.”

Sans looked at the beautiful room with wide eyes. That couldn’t be right. Wasn’t he a prisoner?

As if to contradict his thoughts, the voice spoke again, “EVERYTHING IN THIS CASTLE IS YOURS. YOUR EVERY WISH WILL BE SERVED.

Perhaps it was his desperate desire for comfort but the voice, the Beast’s voice, sounded almost as though it was seeking to soothe him. It was loud and gruff, like a voice used to the subservience of others, but it was inexplicably gentle.

Perhaps if he were not emotionally drained, he might have tried to speak with his new master. As it was, he slowly made his way to the vanity and collapsed into the chair.

“i wish i could see my family…” He whispered, his soul-aching.

Something glimmered in the side of his vision and he turned to see the vanity mirror’s surface ripple as though water were behind the glass and as it cleared, he saw Gaster sitting at the dinner table, his note laid out, and weeping onto the echoflower he clutched tightly in his hands as it whispered over and over.

"... i love you... i love you... i love you..."

Sans was overcome. It was the last straw. Tears spilled from his sockets and he wept with his father so many miles away.

 

The days after were hard for Sans. He spent much of the time in bed, miserable and missing the comfort of his family. He never had need to tend the fire, it climbed in the chill of night and merrily glowed in the heat of day.

The first time a piping hot meal had rolled in on a tray trolley all on its own, Sans had been disturbed but curious. Meals arrived promptly the same time every day and when hunger became to much to bear, he found it delicious.

Much in the same way, Sans had taken to exploring his new room once his tears dried.

A full week had passed when one morning, Sans spied a spider creeping out of a dresser drawer. It had prompted him to peek inside for a sign of cobwebs. He had checked before but put nothing in them. He had brought nothing with him after all. He owned nothing now… except the Beast had said the castle was Sans’.

Which couldn’t possibly be what the Beast had meant.

Opening the drawer, Sans was astonished to see a fine white shirt and beautiful blue skirt. He touched them and the silky materials felt like water in his hands. These hadn’t been here before had they?

Sans puzzled over the clothing but if this were his room, then these must be for him. He didn’t know how they’d gotten into the dresser but he couldn’t wear his old clothes forever. Shedding the gray skirt and shirt he’d worn for years, they looked truly drab against the new clothing.

Sliding the silky shirt and skirt on was almost exciting. He felt a bubbling joy at the sensation of the silk on his bones and could not contain the urge to twirl and sway around the room. It brushed and glided smoothly and Sans laughed, bowing once to the spider that was resting on the corner of the dresser just for fun.

 

It was as though the new clothes brought with them a newfound curiosity and daring. Misery and no little amount of wariness had kept him from leaving his room. However, with his cloak settled around his shoulders, he peeked his head out the door and looked both ways. The hall outside was lit a few feet in either direction.

He had no idea where he was in the castle so he simply chose a direction and began walking. The torches flaring to life and guiding him to wherever they might lead.

In this way, over the next few days, Sans found a number of interesting places within the castle.

During one of his walks, he mused aloud that perhaps he would find something to read. He’d finished all the books in his room already and though traveling the mysterious castle was interesting, sometimes he simply wanted to curl up on his fluffy bed and read a good book. Quite suddenly, the torches veered off, revealing another hall. Having learned to trust the fire to guide him, Sans found a massive set of doors.

Touching one of the grand doors had them both parting and Sans gasped as violet fire swirled about the room, lighting fireplaces and torches and candles throughout. Within was a library so large and full that Sans could barely believe was he was seeing. Books upon books; worth a fortune. Sans hesitated; only for one of the large armchairs to turn enticingly toward him.

Sans had gotten used to the furniture moving about by invisible hands and he took a seat with a polite thank you. He picked up a book on a nearby table and the title was enough for him to curl up and devour it. He spent hours within the library that first day, immersing himself within the stars in the pages. Food arrived by trolley and Sans read book after book until he fell asleep with one cradled in his lap.

He’d woken to see the library bathing in morning light and a warm throw blanket tucked around him.

Another room he’d stumbled upon was the kitchen. Sans had looked around dubiously. All the delicious food he’d been served came from here? The kitchen was dark and dusty. Strangely there were no cobwebs here but there was definitely a feeling of disuse and neglect.

The sight saddened Sans for some reason.

Papyrus.

His little brother had always kept the kitchen so clean and perfect. Even if it was small and their tools were chipped and worn, Papyrus kept everything spotless and organized. Looking at what must have been a magnificent kitchen once upon a time, Sans felt sad.

The next day he had very clearly announced he wished to go to the kitchen, cloak safely hanging in his room and gray skirt back on. He coaxed the violet fire to life in the kitchen though it seemed resistant at first and heated a large pot of water. Taking a decent looking rag, he began. He scrubbed and when more and more cleaning supplies began to appear at the door and the fire slowly creeping to the candles Sans had placed beforehand, he swept and scraped and washed.

And as he finished for the day and saw the difference he’d already made, the ache in his hands and knees, he laughed. If only Papyrus could see him now.

One time, he spotted a line of spiders crawling beneath a door and on a whim, he’d followed them. Creaking the door open, he had to blink as a mass of black suddenly scattered the second the torchlight touched the room. What was left were spinning wheels and rows of fabric and boxes of buttons, bows, and the like.

Stepping inside, he gently stopped one of the spinning wheels that was still moving. Glancing around the room, he could see no sign of anyone that might have been using them. But he did see something else. A glimmer of a beautiful dark, deep blue.

Approaching the splash of color, he gasped at the half-made dress. It looked similar to the skirt he’d found in his room. He brushed his fingers against the fabric and the silkiness was just the same. He followed its finished hem to the unfinished portion and narrowed his eyes.

Was that spidersilk? Wait, was he wearing spidersilk? The most expensive weave in the world?

A twitch of motion drew his eyes and he spotted a spider creeping across the dress. He stepped back and watched in awe as it scurried up a strand of spidersilk and as though they’d always been there, a collection of spiders suddenly brought the wheel to life. He watched as they skillfully weaved together the dress.

Sans looked around as more and more sounds filled the room and he saw spiders appearing from every nook and cranny, working their craft slowly and methodically. Standing in the middle of all that, Sans was amazed. He located a chair and just sat there for a while, watching webs and deceptively strong tiny spiders work magic.

Just before leaving them to their work, he bowed to the spiders and thanked them for their gift.

 

The castle was more than it appeared to be.

However, it didn’t escape Sans that the castle was wallowing in neglect. Not unlike the kitchen, there was dust and wear at every turn. The carpet was torn in places and coming untangled at the edges. Curtains moth-eaten and billowed dust at the slightest touch. Furniture creaked and doors screeched on rusty hinges. The outside world didn’t remember this place and it was mirrored in it’s desolate state.

In spite of this, the castle was filled with hidden wonders. Magic was invisible in the walls but clearly there was something about this place that was more. Sans could sense it. Despite its emptiness, he no longer felt so alone.

In fact, Sans knew he wasn’t.

During his exploration during the past few weeks, Sans had caught sight of a hulking figure more than once. A large, bulky figure that moved just out of the torchlight, sometimes on a different floor or turning a corner. The Beast, Sans’ new master. At the beginning, the sight of the Beast sent Sans in the other direction or hiding behind the corner until he could no longer hear talons scraping the ground.

Now, Sans couldn’t help but be curious of his new Master. Surely after demanding him to be here, there was a purpose for his presence. But he had yet to even see the Beast in person, only the vague silhouette beyond torchlight. He hadn’t been spoken too by the Beast since the night he arrived either.

But… Sans could not deny that for all his wanderings on his own, the mere glimpses of a black tattered cloak, sometimes he could feel watchful eyes on him. It had been unnerving at first but certain things had begun to soften him to the Beast’s invisible presence. The lavish room and little comforts. The blanket that had been tucked around him in the library. Given time and privacy to come to terms with the new arrangement.

Tonight, a month after his arrival, he came to a decision.

Straightening out his new purple skirt and pale blue top, he made his way to the dining room he’d found some time ago. Taking a seat at one side of the table, almost on que, a tray trolley was rolled through the doorway and Sans watched as the items rose and laid themselves out neatly on the table. It didn’t matter how many times he saw it, it was amazing every time.

“thank you.” He nodded toward the trolley. It paused on it’s way to the doorway then continued on. Sans looked out at the food and though it smelled mouth-watering and steamed inticingly, he folded his hands in his lap and called out softly.

 “Beast?”

… There was no response.

Sans took a deep breath and slumped into the chair. It was a long shot. It truly seemed the Beast was intent to keep it’s distance. Perhaps tomorrow night, he thought sitting up and reaching for his cutlery.

 

Then, from the shadows on the other side of the room, “YOU CALLED.”