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Dim Turquoise

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Snow. Just your luck, it had to be snow. A mixture of intense sadness and immense relief had nearly overwhelmed you as you stepped through the door that lead out of the ruins, but now, seeing the snow cast an even darker cloud over your already expanding sense of dread. Still, you knew that you had to keep moving. In this strange world, you had been told so many times already, and it sounded clearly to you, buzzing loudly in the front of your head: Kill or be killed. However, you were resolute: you had no intention or desire to do either. However, in your short time here, you knew all too well that fate would take every chance it could to test your resolve.

Yeah, well.... fate could fuck right off.

Of course, it's easy to talk big in your head, but facing what the path in front of you at the moment made you feel tired, small, and wilted.

Where was “here” anyway? Where were you headed? Where did this path lead? A light snow was falling, which was strange, considering that you were under a mountain... no, wait.... were you.. were you out? Had the door lead you back to the outer world? You felt your breath hitch for a quick second, and without another thought, you started walking. If this was the path out, you wanted to move quickly. You needed to find someone, tell them about your strange adventure, find shelter, get out of this stupid cold.... a shiver engulfed you, and you pulled your hood closer to your face. It felt as if the stupid fur accent on the hood did nothing but add an unnecessary embellishment to the jacket as a fashion statement instead of doing any real job at keeping you insulated. You made a passing mental note to write a letter of complaint to the company.

Your footfalls slowly came to a halt, eyes suddenly scanning up and around into the dark, barren trees that towered over you. Something felt off... wrong... unsettling. You felt your skin crawl as another shiver worked its way up your spine. What was it? Why were you feeling so uneasy? Sure, it was a bit of a spooky atmosphere, but.... then it hit you: it was deathly silent. No birdsong graced the air, no critters scampered about in the foliage, no sound of distance wind or people.... the only thing that you could hear was your own breathing, and your heartbeat sounding much too loudly in your ears.

You felt panicked; this was the kind of environment that you've heard would proceed an earthquake or a natural disaster. Maybe... you weren't out yet? The thought hit you hard, but you didn't want to dwell on it for too long. You had to keep going. You had to get out of here. You had to do something. So, you kept walking, with your own footsteps seemingly too loud in your ears.

A couple of branches had fallen over the snowy road, but a quick jump and you cleared them easily. You felt the tension easing up a bit with every little leap you made. No use being sad or scared, you mused as you skipped over another small branch, a smile twitching at the corners of your mouth. Despite the quiet all around you, it didn't look like there was anything around here that could harm you. Besides, if there was a threat, you would clearly be able to hear it.

CRACK.

Oh, fuck no.

You whirled around at an insane speed, eyes stopping on a cracked branch that you had jumped over not twenty seconds before. Other than that, there was nothing else there to symbolize a threat. Your heart was galloping now as your eyes darted wildly around your surroundings. There was nothing up in the trees, and there were no other footsteps that you could see other than your own. The condensation from your rapid breaths formed a fog before your too-wide eyes as you tried to rationalize it. Maybe the branch had already been weakened? I mean, it looked heavy enough... Yeah, that was it. And that was enough thinking over this. You quickly spun on your heel and continued to walk, your breathing, heartbeat, and footsteps all much quicker than before. Just keep walking, just keep walking, just keep walking....

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.

Your pace quickened even further, brain screaming incoherently as the slow footfalls you definitely heard behind you registered, and you made no move to look back. Oh, christ almighty, don't look back, don't look back....

It was then that the sight of a small bridge made you falter and stop. The sides seemed to be altered in a way that looked like it had been hastily modified for.... some reason.... but you couldn't quite figure out what the builder was going for here. Was this bridge even safe to cross? It looks kind of worn and rickety....

CRUNCH. CRUNCH CRUNCH. CRUNCH. CRUNCH.

The footfalls directly behind you stopped at the same time your heart did.

“H U M AN . D O N ' T Y O U K N O W H O W T O G R E E T A N E W P A L ?” a deep, rasping voice sounded suddenly from behind.

You took a long, slow, deep breath that didn't seem to successfully bring back any air to your lungs before you replied:

“NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE!” Not even waiting for your “new pal” to answer, you sprinted wildly across the bridge, all danger of its construction now lost to you, and before you can even think any more about it, you're across, and still sprinting like a maniac further and further down the winding path spread before you.

 

 

Chapter Text

You were basically blind to anything and everything around you, but it was obvious that the loudest thing in the forest right now was you. Gasping breaths and frantic, pounding feet crunching snow and cracking small branches underfoot were a perfect way to ensure than anything within a hundred miles would be alerted of your presence. Brilliant plan. You would almost be angry with yourself if you didn't feel so out of breath. Taking that as your cue, you stumbled through the clearing and leaned unsteadily against one of the tall, bare trees to wheeze a bit, hoping to procure some oxygen back into your aching lungs.

“HEY!” came a sharp yell from the distance behind you, causing you to jerk sideways and look over your shoulder. A short, stocky form was steadily approaching, hunched over with its arm pumping, fists clenched tightly. And, oh, the face..... it was a skull. A scowling skull with teeth that looked like they belonged in a shark's maw. “Ya' really don't know how ta' greet a new pal, do ya'?” It snarled in a low, gravelly voice as it continued to stalk towards you. Your brain seemed to snap back into place as you realized just how close this skeleton creature was getting.

“NOPE! NOOOOOPE!” you yelped yet again, feet resuming their trajectory down the path. All your brain could do was scream, and, unfortunately, your legs and lungs were doing the same.

Shit.... a fork in the road. You needed to make a split-second decision. Left. Go left. A small, worn, wooden box caught your eye as you turned, but you really didn't feel you had time to investigate. You just had to escape. Escape and get to-

SHIT. You found yourself at the bank of a river, surrounded by trees on the both sides. You were trapped.

“Swear ta' god, kid....!” a distant voice behind you sounded angrily. Nope. Without another thought, you dashed to the nearest tree and scrambled up, hoping that the branches would give you sufficient cover enough to hide. If only you could quiet your panicked breathing if only for a moment.

You hear slow, deliberate footsteps and saw the dark figure of the skeleton-man saunter slowly into view. He stopped casually and seemed to look around lazily before heaving an exaggerated sigh.

“Ya' know...” he drawled out as cooly as the snow around the both of you. “I'm startin' ta' think that maybe you don't like jokes...” He spoke in an all-too-causal tone as he reached inside of his dark hoodie to bring out a large rolled cigarette, clamping it between those sharp fangs. It was only now that you started to take in his appearance from your hidden perch. His black hoodie was adorned with thick, spiked fur on the hood and collar. The hoodie itself was unzipped, revealing a dark red shirt underneath, draped over a pair of black shorts.

“Now, human....” he spoke out again, taking slow steps around the river bank, scanning the snow. Your breath hitched yet again. Oh god.... the snow.... your footprints.... Smoke exhaled from the hole where a nose would be. When did he even light that cigarette..? “We can do this the easy way....”

Oh please, god, no....

“Or...” he continued. Your eyes drifted frantically to your footprints below. Then you saw him turn and discover them as well, leading his gaze to scan over them slowly, trailing his eyes to the base of the tree. “...we could do this....” His vision scraped upward until his head raised up enough for his eyes to lock directly onto yours, that shark-like grin somehow becoming even bigger and more menacing. “....the hard way.” He took a step towards the tree, that grin twisted upward with malicious glee.

Wait!” you found yourself squeaking as you hugged the tree even closer. To your surprise, the skeleton-man stopped, that grin of his faltering just a bit. His head tilted slightly to one side as he squinted up at you and took the cigarette out from between his teeth.

“Huh. An' here I thought that all you could say was 'nope',” he mused with a dark chuckle that sent shivers up your spine. Or maybe that was just your elongated contact with all this damn snow.

“W-wait a second,” you managed to squeak out, a bit louder this time. The skeleton shrugged.

“What's it look like I'm doin', sweetheart?”

“O-okay...” you fumbled. “Umm, wh-what's the easy way?”

The skeleton shrugged again. “It's more of a figure of speech, kid. Let me rephrase: we could do it the hard way, or the even harder way,” he clarified, that ever-present grin still plastered on his face.

“Is there an third option?” you offered up meekly, still gripping the branches, as if the tree might drop you to the ground at any given moment. The skeleton threw his head back and let out a hearty, bellowing laugh. Not that it did anything but unnerve you even further, though, when he looked back up at you.

“You choose option three, an' now look where it got ya',” he said, taking a couple more step towards the base of the tree.

“WAIT!” you called again, almost startling yourself at your sudden boldness. A look of irritation crossed the skeleton's face. Oh no, you were making him angry... as if he wasn't angry before...

“What?” he ground out, irritation clear within his tone.

“Umm... uh.. look, I don't want to hurt anyone....” you started, but his sudden laugh cut you off.

“Oh, izzat so?” he sneered almost mockingly. His taunting caught you somewhat off-guard, but you decided to continue.

“It's true! I-I don't have any weapons or anything.... all I have is some...” you cautiously let go of a branch to rummage through the pocket of your jacket. “Um.... some candy... 'monster candy'? And, uh, some pie.” You were surprised that the last half of the strange butterscotch-cinnamon pie hadn't been mashed to oblivion from all your running around. “If-if you'd like, you can search me. I really don't have any weapons, a-and, if you'd like, we could share the candy and pie!” A sudden smile tugged at your lips as you offered. You were still scared as all hell, but maybe skeletons like pie and candy? Looking back down at the skeleton below, however, you were convinced that somehow your offer may have proved to be a fatal mistake.

The dark skeleton glowered up at you from below, his brows knit angrily together and his mouth now turned down into a dark scowl. You almost preferred the predatory grin to this even scarier look.

“Are you fuckin' with me, kid?” he snarled out, eyes practically ablaze.

“What? No! Not at all!! I-I'm sorry, I just....” honestly, you didn't know what to say.

“Ya' just what?” the skeleton snarled again.

“I-I just....” you stopped suddenly. “I.... I don't know.” The sudden thought hit you with full force. What in the world were you trying to do? Well, “not die” was something, but... what exactly were you doing? Were you really offering pie and candy to a demon-skeleton-man, in hopes that he would be happy about it enough to let you go free and on your merry way? Seriously?

“Am I crazy?” you mused suddenly. It was actually a question that you had meant to ask yourself inside your own head, but it just tumbled out of your mouth without a second thought.

The full-blown laugh of the skeleton jolted you so suddenly that you nearly lost your grip on the tree, but, thankfully, you managed to compose yourself and keep your grip.

“Oh, wow....” he chuckled. “Maybe you do like jokes....”

“Okay, okay, look!” you fumbled. “W-what exactly will happen to me if I come down? Will you put me in prison? W-will you torture me?” You suddenly have a thought. “Will.... will you eat me?”

A belly laugh louder than all the rest roared out from this short skeleton, as he hooted and snorted. You didn't laugh, as he still didn't answer, and you weren't certain that any of those things wouldn't happen if you were convinced to come down. Still, though, he was laughing, which you took as a good sign.

“Oh.... oh this rich.... Paps is gonna fuckin' love this,” he said, wheezing a breath as he hunched with his hands down on his knees. You could have sworn that you saw tears at the corner of his eyes as he stood up straight once more and wiped his hand over his face before looking back up to face you.

“You got a name, kid?” he called up to you, his hands back in his pocket. You shifted your weight to your other foot. Dang, everything was going stiff..

“Ahh.... you, umm... didn't really answer my question,” you said carefully.

“Okay, listen, I don't really give a shit about your name, so I'm just gonna call you 'Dim', got it? That outta' the way, I'm Sans.”

“I...... Sans?” you echoed back

“You got snow jammed in your earholes, kid?”

“No, no, I just.... okay... um, Sans... why... why 'Dim'?” you ask.

“Because you're not too bright, kid,” he tittered on another fit of laughter. The only thing you could do was lower your eyelids and twist up your mouth into a somewhat indecipherable expression. What were you gonna do? Argue? With a creature as menacing-looking at him? No thank you. The whole point of the conversation was trying not to die.

“So..... comin' down, sweetheart?” he asked, smiling back up at you. You hesitated.

“And..... you won't hurt me... right?” you confirmed.

“I'll try not to,” came the blunt answer. Well... that wasn't too reassuring.

“Ahh, seriously, Mr. Sans.... you won't imprison me or torture me or anything like that, will you?”

You saw the grin twitch, threatening to turn back into a frown.

“Are you callin' me a liar?” his tone turned sharp. Hands still in his pockets, he marched right up to the base of the tree. “Come on down, little birdie!” he called in a mock sing-song voice, giving the tree several heavy kicks will the full force from his red trainers.

WAAAAHH!!” This skeleton was much stronger than you had anticipated, given the way the tree jerked and swayed under his kicks. “Okay, okay!! Hold on!! Just let me-!” Too late. Your fingers slipped from the branches as he gave the tree another swift kick, and you were hit in the face with a branch as you fell forward. You flailed your limbs wildly as you felt yourself fall, slamming into more and more on the way day, before hitting the snowy ground with an unceremonious “OOF!!” The breath you had worked so hard to bring back into your chest was gone again, leaving you to gasp for air as the slow footsteps of the skeleton-man who had formerly stood below you approached your breathless form to now cast a shadow over you. A short gasp of air gave your lungs relief enough to know that they weren't permanently damaged, as you heard the footsteps stop and felt the shadow grow closer. A pair of golden socks crowning those red tennis shoes entered your vision, and you saw them lower as he knelt down. You just knew that he had that wide, stupid grin on his face again. He was probably enjoying this.

“Didja' have a nice trip?” he chuckled. You wanted to say something in reply, but all you could do was gasp and lie on your stomach, hoping that the wind that was knocked out of you would return. You held up one finger, in a silent plea for him to give you a second, only to feel bones on your face. Oh god..... he was touching you.... with his... bone hands. Goosebumps immediately rose on every inch of your skin as your face was pulled up and your eyes met his. Red light made up his pupils within a pit of blackness, seemingly searching your eyes, trying to scratch the surface of your very soul. You were very still and very quiet as he silently looked over your face, giving only a small hum in acknowledgment.

“You look... different than the others...” Sans spoke, a strange touch of curiosity in his voice. Others? Other what? Other people? He sighed and stood back up to his full height. “If you think for one damn minute that I'm gonna' carry ya', you are sorely mistaken.”

All you could manage was a small “ah” as you struggled to stand. You felt light-headed and a bit queasy, but you felt that you wanted to say something back to him.

“Do..... do you... want some of that pie?”

Your question was only met with another laugh as you stumbled.

Nothing you asked had truly been answered. If anything, it only left you with more questions. Maybe you would start getting somewhere if you complied. Hopefully that “somewhere” wouldn't be your doom.

 

Chapter Text

Your dread was melting away, but your anxiety was not. Stumbling through the snow alongside a skeleton to god-knows-where could do that to you, and you had a trillion questions running though your mind, but none stood out enough for you to give it any coherent words.

“You like dogs, kid?” Sans rumbled, his gait staying a couple steps in front of you. Hesitating for a moment, you wondered if this was some kind of trick question or test.

“Umm.... well, to be honest, I'm not a big fan of dogs.. I'm more of a cat-person myself.”

Sans gave a disdainful glance over his shoulder and looked you up and down. “You don't look like anythin' but a human,” he scoffed.

“Wha-?” You gasped. “Oh! No, I didn't mean that, I'm, like, a literal 'cat person', I just meant- wait.... are-are there actual cat-people that live here?”

Sans only gave a snort. “Jezuz, Dim, it was only a joke,” came the curt reply, and you realized that he had called you by the new “nickname” he had given you.

“Oh,” was your quiet response. You felt your face get hot, knowing that is was reddening at a rapid pace, but you hoped that the fluff on your hood would hide it as you pulled it closer to your cheeks.

“I ask because there's quite a few dogs around here who would just love to get their paws on ya',” he snickered. You frowned and took a few quick steps to catch up the unusually quick skeleton.

“Are they friendly?” you asked. Sans turned around so suddenly that you nearly slammed right into him. His face was twisted into an unpleasant sneer and he surveyed you, and you couldn't help but take a couple steps back.

“You've gotta' be fuckin' kiddin' me, kid. Just how long have you been down here, anyway?”

You rolled your eyes skyward and thought for a moment. “Umm, to be honest, it's maybe been.... a couple days, really..” you mumbled quietly, glancing up to meet the glare of the angry skeleton in front of you. Even though he was shorter than you by a couple of inches, it didn't make him any less intimidating. Sans glowered and took another couple of steps towards you, cigarette clenched in his teeth so hard, you expected it to the be sliced off in those huge chompers and fall to the ground, but the only thing falling the ground was you. As your butt met snow, Sans plucked the cigarette from between his teeth and held it tightly between his knuckles, exhaled a large plume of smoke upwards, then knelt down to meet your frightened eyes.

“Tell me somethin', sweets.... did the residents of the Underground seem... particularly friendly to you?” His bony brows were furrowed down over his eyes sockets, which didn't seem to hold any humor in them.

“Weeeell.....” you drew out, shoulders shrugged and hands on your lap. “No.... but.... well, you seem really nice, Mr. Sans, and, well, I thought that maybe, umm.... maybe....” you trailed off, realizing that his eyes were wide, his expression unreadable. You sighed and hunched forward. “You know, I just want to see the best in people.” Still no discernible reaction, so you continued. “Everyone seemed hell-bent on me attacking them, so they charged first. I guess.. I guess that's the law of the land down here, or.. so I've heard, but....” You paused. “I don't believe in that,” you said firmly. “And there are other ways to get by other than hurting people.” You looked up at the still-quiet skeleton. Very slowly, he raised himself back up, and took a very long, deep breath.

“That.... is the stupidest fuckin' thing I have heard in a long, long, loooong time, kid,” he ground out flatly. You felt as if you were a small child being talked down to by their older sibling. You felt your face flush again. Maybe is was naivety, but, goddammit, you hadn't hurt anyone yet, even after all that madness you encountered in the ruins, and you certainly weren't about to start.

“Maybe it is,” you said defiantly, pushing yourself back up off the ground and dusting the snow off your pants and jacket. “But.... I'm not bad.. I'm not! And I have absolutely no idea why anyone would be scared of me! But I can show everyone here that I mean no harm! Really!” You breathed to speak out again, but hesitated. Should you...? Oh, screw it. “And you know what else?” you continued. “I don't think you're as big and bad as you look and make yourself out to be, either!” There. You had said it. It hadn't meant to sound like a challenge or anything, but it seems it just came out a little more accusatory than you had meant for it to actually sound. And there you were, standing there in the snow, colder than you have ever been before, your boots, jacket, and pants soaked through, and a demonic-looking skeleton staring you down.

Sans slowly exhaled a gray cloud of smoke and, slower still, raised a bony finger and pointed it at you.

“What would you do.... if I attacked you? Right here and now.”

“I- what..?” You asked. This couldn't be good. He took even more steps towards you. This seemed to be a “thing” with this skeleton... but, damn, if his little intimidation tactic wasn't top-notch. His gait was steady, both hands now in his pockets, as you stepped back as quickly as you could. Oh christ, think, think!

“I would.....” Nothing. He was still advancing, and you were being backed against the treeline. “I would.....” Why wasn't your stupid brain working???? He chuckled, the deep, dark sound that rumbled through his entire being.

“What's'a' matta'? Ya' scared, little human?”

“Yes! Yes, I am! I have been scared since the goddamn moment I came to this place!” you yelped. His steps faltered, if only for a second, but he kept advancing. “I-I'm cold, and I hate snow! Always have! I don't know what's going on, where I'm headed, or even if I'm heading in the right direction! Well, I guess if I don't know where I'm headed, no directions could really be the wrong direction....” your thoughts mulled back into place as you realized your back was now against a very tall pine, a skeleton almost upon you. “I don't want to hurt you! I don't want to hurt anyone!” You slumped down the trunk of the tree, your voice becoming more and more high-pitched with each word, the skeleton now mere inches from you. You peered up at him, watching in horror as he slowly raised one hand high above his head. You swallowed, but it did nothing to ease the lump in your throat. “Hey," you croaked hoarsely. “Despite everything.... and.... even though I've only known you for a short while, I-I think that.. maybe we could have been great friends, Mr. Sans.” Somehow, from the depths of your heart, a small smiled welled up in you before you squeezed your eyes shut and braced yourself.

Well, you wished you could say that it had been fun.

WHAP.

You flinched. The pain on your head was quick and dull.....but nothing else came. You were still there, sitting curled up in front of the tree, the balls of your hands still pressed tightly against your cheeks. Slowly, oh, so slowly, you lifted your head and opened your eyes, staring up at the offender, whose hand was still raised up in the air. You opened your mouth to speak.

“What-?”

WHAP.

He brought his open palm down on the top of your head again, making you flinch downward once more.

“HEY! What the-??”

WHAP WHAP.

It didn't hurt all that badly, if you were being perfectly honest, but it did leave quite a sting. It must be that bony hand. You dared to cover your head and peer up at him with an accusatory look in your eye. The look that met yours looked to be on the brink of hysterics. The bottom of is eye sockets were scrunched upward as his smile threatened to crack through the sides of his skull. You could hear the “pffft”-s of air escaping through the sides of his teeth as his whole body began to shake.

“Oh, oh GOD!” he yelped, his body now convulsing with laughter at your unfortunate state. You blinked up meekly at him, letting him ride out each hoot and holler with so much gusto, you thought he might pop a rib. Despite yourself, you felt a smile creep up onto your face, watching this monstrous creature in his undignified fit. You didn't know what it was, but you almost wanted to laugh right along with him. He seemed to have remembered you were still here and took a couple of short, wheezing breaths, still chuckling as he wiped what looked like tears away from the corners of his eye sockets.

“Ya' know what, kid?” he chortled, reaching a hand down to you, stopping in front of your face. You hesitated, peering up at the smiling skull inquisitively. His face seems less sharp than it had been before.. or maybe it was just your imagination? “You're right. Ya' know? I think we could be... ah... 'friends'.” He hesitated on the word “friends”, but you didn't really think too much of it. Your smile got that much wider as you reached out and took his bony hand, allowing him to pull you up from the snow. Immediately, his face went sour, though. “Ugh.... wipe that dumb look off your face....” he growled. Immediately you pressed your lips together, but you could feel it carry over into your eyes as you looked back at him with what you thought was probably an even sillier look. He let go of your hand once you were back on your feet and proceeded to give a long, hard squint in your direction before giving a huff and shrug and turning back to the path.

“Okay, kid, now.... in order for you to be my... ahhh.... 'friend'...” He kept saying that word as if there was something funny about it. “...I do have a couple of rules. Rule one: keep callin' me 'Mista' Sans'. I really like the sound a' that....” he mused. “Rule two: do not go around drawing any attention to yourself. Got it?” Despite his back being towards you, you nodded quickly. “Rule three: any funny stuff, and, I swear ta' god, I will shred you to bits, ya' hear me?”

“Got it,” you answered back, if only to show that you were still listening. For some reason, despite his last rule, the words seemed somewhat hollow and non-threatening. Maybe you were just getting used to all the threats and dangers around here for it to have any real meaning anymore.

“Rule four: you will be doing exactly as I say. There ain't any room for arguin'.”

This “friend” stuff seemed to be going a little less than how you had planned. You found yourself walking right past Sans, realizing that he had stopped. You spun around on your heel to face him with a puzzled look.

“Which brings me to rule number five,” he drawled out, that wicked grin of his coming back full-force. “Stay away from my brother, Papyrus. You see....” he said with a shrug. For some reason, the air around you suddenly felt much colder, and it seems that Sans wasn't even looking at you anymore; he seemed to be looking right past you.. or rather, right above you. “My brother, Papyrus, is a bit of a human-hunting fanatic.”

No... it wasn't just you... the space around you suddenly felt that much darker now.

You turned around slowly and nervously to proceed back to the path, when you found yourself face-to-belly with the tall, dark beast who had been looming directly behind. Malicious eye sockets dotted with an orangy-red glow glared down at you. This must be Papyrus. Well...... shit.

 

Chapter Text

The gentle snowfall always brought a nice hush over the landscape, draping the foliage and dark trees in a cloak of white. The Mean-Cream Man stood with an arm casually across the handle of his pushcart, hoping that someone would pass by, eager for a frozen treat. The folk around these parts were reserved and quiet, most preferring to avoid anything and everything if just to avoid any hostility, but no one he knew would ever shy away from a fight if confronted. That was just the way of the Underground, and it seemed to have always been the way since any of them could remember.

However, ears perked as the lazy quiet of the snowy forest was slowly coming undone. At first, he couldn't hear anything... then came a quiet, continuous hum. Then, a steady buzz. Then, a louder unbroken stream of vowels. Whatever it was, it was moving quickly through Snowdin Forest. Shrill barking joined the seemingly ever-stretching sound, coupled with the sound of multiple voices giving off shrill yells and colorful curses. The Mean-Cream Man couldn't help but feel curious at the sounds and leaned forward, one arm still on his cart, but his body stretched out from under the umbrella to survey the scene across the way that was rapidly heading in his direction.

A lone figure appeared on the long stretch of the path, moving faster than almost anyone in the vicinity of the forest had ever seen, and it appeared that they were the creature who was responsible for all the ruckus, that humming-to-buzzing-to-steady-streaming-of-vowels was now revealed to be a continuous scream of “aaaaaaaaAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!” that became louder and louder the closer they got. The azure-colored bunny twitched an ear at the curious sight of such a creature, but didn't take his eyes of it as it drew closer to cross the snowy bridge. It seemed to be wearing a jacket similar to the one that one of the skeleton brother wears, albeit theirs was a dirtied tan color. Goodness knows, neither of those skeleton brothers would be caught wearing anything that wasn't their usual dark attire. As if on cue, one of the skeletons, the tallest one, appeared behind the screeching creature, and, despite his position as Captain of the Royal Guard, he was having a hard time keeping up.

“HOW IS IT ABLE TO RUN SO FAST????” the largest of the brothers yelled through the screaming, as he continued behind the strange being currently outrunning him. The Mean-Cream Man watched in silent wonder as the creature in the tan jacket bolted past him without giving him a second glance. He blinked, but decided to call out anyhow.

“Ahh, hey! You!” he yelled after the frantic figure, cupping one hand on the side of his mouth. The figure didn't seem to notice and just kept right on running. The vendor sighed but continued on anyway. “You might wanna' be a little careful around here! You see-” But it seems a loud “SNAP!” that cut him off signified it was too late. He winced and jerked his head downward so as not to witness the carnage, but quickly lifted his head back up to a continual, loud snapping chorus that continued as he saw the rouge runner still sprinting forward through the booby-trapped snowfield. His jaw went slack, eyes wide as saucers and jaw hanging open as the the figure ran on further down the path, still screaming wildly as it went. Captain Papyrus finally sprinted past, stopping for only a split-second to survey and allow the shock to set in as he realized what had happened.

“WHAT THE HELL?? ARE YOU SERIOUS??? IT RAN RIGHT OVER AND THROUGH THE TRAPS?????” Captain Papyrus screeched in disbelief and he mussed his hands roughly over his skull. “OH, FOR THE LOVE OF..... HALT!!!!” he screamed at the offending escapee, resuming his pursuit over the field littered with tripped and now-useless iron-toothed bear traps. The long stream of screaming was dying out at the runner drew further and further away. Still, the Mean-Cream Man had not let his eyes drift from spot where the two figures had run, the only proof that this bizarre circus display had happened being the array of footprints and the triggered traps. Silence graced the forest once again, the screaming and cursing no longer within hearing range. Before he could even scratch his head in wonder at the spectacle he had just witnessed, wheezing laughter approach from behind. He turned back to the snow bridge to settle his eyes on the smaller of the skeleton brothers who sauntered casually across the bridge and toward the cart, too wrapped up in his own fit of laughter and amusement to even have yet set eyes on the blue rabbit. Sans hooted a couple more times before wiping an eye socket with the edge of his sleeve as he approached and gave one last gleeful giggle before looking up at the vendor with that ever-present grin of his.

“Hey, bub. Twenty Mean-Creams, and make it quick. I've got a show to catch,” he snickered.

“Do you actually have the money to pay for them, Sans?” the rabbit scowled down at him. Sans shrugged and pulled a bag of coins out of his pocket, plunking it carelessly on the top of the cart, his smile never wavering.

“It seems you know me a little too well, chum,” he chuckled. The vendor could only grunt as he lifted the bag of coins into his pocket and opened up the lid of his cart to scoop out a large pile of wrapped treats for his only customer of the day.

“Say, what was that whole.... 'thing' back there about?” the rabbit asked, his curiosity getting the better of his as he eyed the short skeleton, watching him stack the Mean-Cream inside of his jacket, somehow making them all fit. Were there hidden pockets in such a small jacket, he wondered? Sans only gave a dark chuckle in reply and shook his head, exchanging one of the Mean-Creams for a lighter from the interior his mysterious coat, and proceeded to light up a cigarette.

“Couldn't tell ya' if I wanted, friend-o. But I will say this:”, a sinister grin stretching over his features, “This are gonna' be a lot more interesting from here on out.” With a deep exhale of smoke, the skeleton was walking back where he had come from, emitting a echoing laugh that was even darker than the cloud he had left behind.

Alone with only the reminiscence of smoke, the telltale footprints, and the myriad of forgotten traps in the wake of the strange troupe, the Mean-Cream vendor was left only ponder the events of the day, still wondering exactly what the hell had just happened.

 

Chapter Text

“SANS! SANS!!!! IT'S ON THE ROOF!!!! GET IT DOWN!”

Sans stopped and stiffened at this bit of news, but quickly proceeded to pick up his pace a bit, making a beeline towards his angry brother, who had crossed his arms and was angrily tapping his foot in the snow. “ANY TIME TODAY WOULD BE NICE,” he snarled as Sans drew nearer. Sans only gave a sneer as he glanced upward, yet again stopping dead in his tracks in bewilderment.

“How the-? You can't be serious..... Kid!! Th' fuck you doin'?? Didn't I say specifically to not draw attention to yourself??” he yelled. He saw you wrinkle up your nose, but still you said nothing. A couple of monsters were milling about, stopping to watch this strange event unfold, all of them curiously staring at this odd creature that had perched itself stubbornly on the roof of the shop. Sans rubbed his palms roughly down his cheekbones and gave a low growl of frustration. He had half a mind to strangle this human. “You gotta' be kiddin' me....” He turned to Papyrus and jerked a thumb up at the human on the roof of the shop.

“How'd she even get up there?” he asked, his tone caught between irritable and impressed.

“I. DON'T. KNOW, SANS,” Papyrus ground out in hot frustration, harshly biting off the end of every word, his eyes ablaze with building rage. “PROBABLY THE SAME WAY IT DODGED MY TRAPS AND PUZZLES WHEN IT MADE ITS WAY OVER HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!”

“Ahhhh.... so sheer dumb luck then, huh?” Sans grinned, the lights in his eyes darting back to focus on the figure on the roof.

“DOES IT REALLY MATTER????” Papyrus exploded as he stamped an angry foot in the snow. “JUST GET IT DOWN!!!!”

Sans could only manage a sigh as he turned away from his brothers little tantrum to look up at the human who gave a hard stare right back at him. He stretched a cheerful enough grin on his face and called up to them.

“Kid, I ain't got a lot of patience, if I'm bein' real honest with ya'. So how about ya' quit messin' around and come down here, ehh? No trouble, no foul.” The harshness in the skeleton's words seemed like a direct disconnect to his big smile, and he seemed to grin even wider as your face turned into a more frantic expressions as you looked around at your current predicament. With a short shake of your head, the skeleton brothers watched as you opened your mouth the speak, but all that came out was a violent hacking cough. Sans took a step back, confusion etched clearly on his face. “Kid....?” he asked. Both skeletons watched as your face twisted into a frustrated grimace. You held up your finger once more and opened your mouth to speak, determined to give a firm yet witty reply, only to have that same hacking cough as the last burst forth, leaving you doubled over, sputtering and wheezing. Sans squinted up at you, not really knowing what he should do.

“SANS, WHAT'S GOING ON? WHY WON'T IT ANSWER? WHAT LANGUAGE IS THAT? IS IT THREATENING US?” Papyrus demanded. Sans saw you snap back up to a kneeling position, waving both your hands and shaking your head, then pointing sheepishly at your throat. Sans quirked up a brow bone as fit together what you were saying.

“Ahh, ... I think she's lost her voice,” he said slowly, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN? WHERE DID IT GO?”

“Probably left it back in the forest, boss.”

“OH, THANK GOD! AND I HOPE IT NEVER FINDS ITS WAY BACK, EITHER!” Papyrus turned from Sans to glare up at the roof fugitive. “YOU HEAR THAT, HUMAN?? THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS WILL MAKE SURE THAT YOUR VOICE STAYS LOST IN THAT FOREST FOREVER!!!”

Sans caught the wide-eyed, shocked look on the human's voice as she jerked her head back to focus on him, a nervous and questioningly look on her face akin to: “Wait.... can he do that...? How was she to know whether he could or not? She was new to the world of magic and monsters, after all. Sans chuckled again, closed his eyes, and shook his head. God, he couldn't remember the last time he had genuinely laughed as much as he had today.

“Look, kid, hows about we git you somethin' for that? Or, if you prefer, you could stay out here freezin' on that roof-”

OR,” Papyrus cut in, throwing a sharp glare at his brother, “WE TAKE IT PRISONER, AS ORIGINALLY PLANNED. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ARE YOU DOING, BROTHER?? WE'RE NOT TREATING THIS... THING TO A TEA PARTY, YOU KNOW! IT'S NOT A PET! IT IS A DANGEROUS CRIMINAL!” Sans was immediately in Papyrus' face, pulling on the monstrously tall skeleton's billowing cape to stoop him down to his own height, shushing, seething, and hissing like a rabid animal.

“Paps, shut up!!!” he hiss-whispered to the indignant skeleton in his grasp. “If the residents catch wind that we have a dangerous criminal on our hands, right here in the town, shit could get ugly!” He tried to ignore the loud fit of coughing that followed his warning, his eyes trained on his brother who growled and shifted his gaze from his brother to the intruder on the roof and back to his brother once more.

“I'D SAY THAT THINGS HAVE ALREADY TURNED UGLY,” he growled, wrenching himself out of his brother's grasp to stand straight once more. Sans grimaced and felt a similar growl well up in the back of his own non-existent throat.

“Boss, just trust me on this one, I'll handle this one.”

“YOU'D BETTER,” came the short reply, which Sans opted to ignore.

“Kid,” he called out again, a warning low in his voice. He could have sworn that saw the little hairs on neck visibly prickle up. “Ya' have ten seconds to decide how we're gonna do this,” He watched , if only slightly amused as panic rose up in your eyes, “and I do hope you make the right decision here. One!” He started the countdown with no warning, watching you scramble up like a frantic squirrel being confronted by a slow-moving car. His toothy smile stretched wider in amusement at your jerky, bumbling movements. “Two!” He saw your eyes dart every which way and could almost hear you wheezing, your voice lost to all the screaming you had done earlier. No doubt that you'd be screaming now, if you had it in you still. “Three!” Your gaze was scanning over the town, stopping on the entrance to the area beyond Snowdin: Waterfall. “Four!” She wouldn't..... “Five!” Before either of the brothers had time to figure out what was going on, you had bolted up and made a leaping dash from the shop over the the inn. “SIX!!” Sans yelped out in shock, watching as your balance failed you. “SEVEN!!” Sans' voice was cracking as he darted over closer to the front of the shop. Jesus, if he let you fall and you ended up broken or dead or something... he looked surprised when you somehow managed to stay upright and sprung to scramble up the incline of the roof to the other side. Oh ho ho, if Sans wasn't angry before... “Eight!!” he snarled.

“SANS!!!! IT'S GOING TO ESCAPE!!!”

“Then you do somethin' about it, bo-!!!! oh shit....” A quiet gurgling squeal alerted Sans of the human's fall as she plummeted off the far side of the roof. “You stupid little-”

You caught a glimpse of Sans as you fell. Both him and Papyrus were too far away to help you now. Until you blinked and saw Sans again.... now planted directly below your trajectory, smile wide and eyes blazing with amusement with his arms held out.

“Come to papa~!” he sang out as you plunged closer and closer. “Nine! You little- OOF!!! OH CHRIST!!! PAPYRUUUUUUUUS!!!!!!!!” came the suddenly urgent shriek from the small skeleton. Papyrus was already running towards the pile of mixed up fabric and bone.

Sans fucked up. Sans fucked up real bad. How was he supposed to know how much humans weighed?? He had dealt with small humans before, kids, really, and the ones he had interacted with had been very lightweight and easy to carry. Christ, you were easily twice or even three times that! What had you been eating in the Underground? Concrete bricks? Goddamn! It was clear to him now that you were very obviously not a child.

Papyrus was fuming as he approached the pair: Sans wide-eyed and breathless on the ground from the surprise weight that had fallen on him like a boulder and the human entangled in a sea of jackets and bone. How the human's hand had managed to snake its way under Sans' shirt and jut up through his ribs and out the back near his shoulder blades, none of them would ever know. Papyrus saw you with a limb stuck through his brother and cringed back, unsure of how to handle some an unnerving situation.

“OH.. OH GOD, GROSS!!! GROOOOSS! UGH!! SANS? ARE YOU HURT???” Sans managed to give a wheezing gasp as he shakily lifted a thumbs up from the ground. Papyrus was frantic. “OKAY! OKAY, HOLD ON! I JUST NEED TO... OH GOD.... I DON'T EVEN WANT TO TOUCH IT... UGH!!!” he shrunk away from the human who was partially embedded in the incapacitated skeleton. “SANS, I CAN'T DO THIIIIIS!” he screeched wildly, genuinely undone by what he was seeing before him. Sans grunted and lifted up his head to look at the human on top of him.

“H-hey.... hey kid... you okay?” he asked. He looked down in surprise at the arm that managed to somehow sneak its way in between his bones and his face went blank.

“Gross...” he said quietly, his face slowly scrunching up. He sat up partway and glared down at the human who was still face-down, partway on top of him, their legs still twisted together. “You can't just go puttin' your weird, squishy hands anywhere ya' want, kid. I mean, come on, have some decency....” he trailed off, noticing that you were awfully still, and more quiet than you have probably even been in his company. “Oh no.....” he breathed, his scowl turning nervous and grim as perspiration beaded the top of his skull. "This can't be all that good...."

He hadn't even gotten to "Ten" yet.

Chapter Text

You had been alive (mostly) and conscious (barely) when the utterly terrifying Papyrus had managed to practically rip you from his smaller brother. Sans had carefully maneuvered your arm out from between his body, and it hadn't really hit you until now just how mortifying the whole thing had been. You must have been a pretty sight: sopping wet and sagging like a ragdoll as you were thrown unceremoniously over the shoulder of the monstrous skeleton and marched to.... here. And “here” was where you had hazily been thrown and left. You had fallen asleep as soon as the Great and Terrible Papyrus had shut the door, and you knew this because of the puddle of drool that had accumulated on the wooden beneath your face. Ugh...You would have sat up, except for the fact that your body absolutely and adamantly refused. At first, you thought that your legs were just asleep, but then.... oh..... all that running you'd done yesterday..... it'd be safe to say that you had never ever ever in your entire life run that much, that fast, for so long. Coupled with the volume and amount of screaming you has also done, your chest and lungs had also decided to that you could go fuck yourself.

Thighs so hard and mood so dark, you could call me “Rock Bottom”.

You sighed deeply through your nose and gave a quiet grunt, barely managing to lift your neck to get a better look at where you were. Oh cool. Alone in a dark and sinister-looking shed, complete with spooky-looking cracked windows that were coated completely with dust, filtering out all light that might have been trying to sneak in from the outside. Well, if this didn't have “B-movie axe murderer” written all over it, you'd throw yourself into a woodchipper.

As your gaze scanned slowly around your humble dwelling place, you realized that this place was actually pretty tidy. Who'd have thought that murderous monsters could be so well-organized? You stopped cold when you realized what you had just thought. “Murderous monsters”? Well, here you were, still alive and.... worse-for-wear, sure, but you were pretty sure that you hadn't been murdered quite yet, despite feeling that you had just been mowed down by a truck............a monster truck.

Your attempt at a stifled laugh came out as a horrible, body-shaking cough. Water... you desperately needed water or you'd be down one pair of lungs. Through eyes blurry with tears brought on by your need of oxygen, you searched desperately for something to sooth your throat. There! Next to a dish of strange-looking kibble, was a shiny bowl filled with heavenly-looking clear liquid. You managed to drag your screaming body forward by frantically gripping the floor with your forearms and twisting your hips to provide enough momentum to pull your forward. The second you were close enough to the bowl, you reached out to snatch it greedily (despite the protesting of your tired arms) and tipped it upward, greedily gulping it to fulfill your all-too-intense thirst. Water was dripping down your chin and neck, running uncomfortably down the front of your coat (which you now just realized you were still wearing), but you couldn't find it in yourself to care, thanks to a raw throat and the sudden appetite for liquid like that of a dehydrated camel. Your greed came at the expense of your need for oxygen, though, you realized, as you bolted up for air, coughing and gasping. What was more important to you right now? Water or air? The thought of your solid self and how chilled you were suddenly came to mind as the two elements once again flowed through you. All of your clothes were still damp from the snow and water now dripped down the top of your jacket from drinking so quickly. You grimaced. You hated snow, and you hated the cold, and your discomfort now was another good reason to why that hatred would never cease.

A sudden thought struck you: would it be okay if you took your clothes off? For real, though, anything would be better than feeling like you were wearing a cold towel straight out of the wash. What about the skeletons? What if they came in while you were undressed? Well, there was an odd thought. You were left to ponder for a few moments, your lips pursed thoughtfully into the curl of your closed fist, eyebrows furrowed in deep thought as you mulled it over. Skeletons don't have skin, so they wouldn't have things like nipples or hair or anything like that. For a split second, you opted to wonder if they had anything.... “private” that would even need covering? Then that split second was over and you pushed it as far from your mind as humanly possible. No sir. Nuh-uh. You decided that you were going to firmly believe that the lower half of a skeleton monster was comparable to the anatomy of a Ken doll. You also decided to never think about that ever again.

So be it. Your stripping-in-the-shed idea was a “go”, the chance of being awkwardly walked in on by a skeleton be damned! Now there was a weird risk you never in your life thought you would be having to worry about.

You sat up carefully and warmed your hands with your breath before reaching down and unzipping your soggy jacket, discarding it beside you, followed by your boots and socks. You couldn't help but whimper a bit as you bent, your thighs and calves still angry at you for your adrenaline-fueled marathon you tormented them with before, not to mention your aching abs and tight chest. Maybe you would feel a lot better if you had been hit a truck instead. Your jeans and long sleeve shirt came off next, and you relished peeling them off, feeling not unlike a snake shedding its old, uncomfortable skin. The air around you was still a bit chilly, but you felt the dampness dissipating from your skin despite that, silently thanking the unseen for a bit of quiet and privacy. Your bra and underwear were damp, too, but much less so than your outerwear, thank goodness. Despite having the privacy, you didn't want to greet any intruders while completely nude. The day had already been unbearably crazy, thank you, and you did not want to set yourself up for any further shenanigans.

Speaking of privacy, was there anything in here that you could cover yourself with? A blanket or something? Your face fell when you looked around and saw only a worn doggy bed against the far wall, a forlorn rubber chew toy not too much further away. Without giving it much thought, you reached out and took the chew toy. It was shaped like a bone (of course it was.... ha ha) and had some light teeth marks on it, but it looked clean otherwise. You briefly wondered if might have belonged to one of the dog monsters you had run across in the snowy forest before? Nah.. that'd be stupid.... right? You shook off the thought and turned your attention back to your messy pile of clothes. They wouldn't get much drier sitting in a sloppy pile. You halfheartedly scooted yourself over to collect your humble pile and creaked your body slowly upward, forcing yourself to walk unsteadily to the strange, wooden, pillar-like construction that guarded uselessly over the hallway beyond it. It looked strangely like the odd structure you had come across when you first entered the forest; the one that had preceded the first bridge. You stopped as you approached, now coming to the startling realization that there was a door beyond it. The pillars were so far apart that you could simply walk right between them. But... did that door lead to freedom? Or was it a trick? These skeletons couldn't be dumb enough to put the gate to freedom right smack-dab in front of you! …...No. No way. They couldn't be.... but.. if they were....

You hesitated, opting to first hang and stretch your wet collection of clothes between the various nails that were left jutting out of the structures in seemingly random spots. You needed to get up your nerve before you dared an attempt to venture to the door. After eying your clothes to make sure they would all stay put, you slowly and cautiously made your way to the door. It looks like your common, standard door, but the possibilities of what lay beyond made it seem much more ominous and mysterious. You shivered, not knowing whether it came from nervous anticipation or the chill in the air around you, but, honestly, you didn't expect much; the door was probably locked, but, of course, you'd never know unless you tried. You paused momentarily, fingers hovering over the doorknob. There was no window or anything on the door that would allow you to sneak a peek at what was on the other side.

Well, you thought feebly, there's no knowin' 'til ya' go in! You turned the knob, suddenly cringing: if it turned out that there was something sinister behind that door, you kind of hope it smacked you for that.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

Sans sauntered out of his room with a yawn, both hands locked together behind him as he arched his back and puffed out his chest, stifling a grunt and lifting his face to the ceiling as he stretched. Humans were nothing to be trifled with, that he knew. He was now fully aware that one flying body slam from a grown human could probably desecrate a monster, easily rendering them into a monster pancake. Lucky for him, his old bones were sturdy enough to handle it (for the most part), but damn, was he sore in both body and mood. He grumbled absently at the recollection as he lowered a bony hand to scratch his pelvis.

A movement to his left had him doing a double-take. Papyrus was out on the second-story deck, body bent sharply over the railing with his gloves perched on the edge, cape billowing in the breeze. Sans could only see his brother's back, but he knew that he was looking down at the garage.

“The fuck is 'e...? Yo, boss!” he greeted as he slid open the glass door. Papyrus only grunted and made no move to look at him. “Anythin' particularly interesting down there?” he asked, pulling a cigarette out of his jacket and coming up beside his brother to lean against the side rail. Papyrus didn't move a single inch, nor did he change his expression from that hard, highly focused squint directed fiercely at the building below as Sans exhaled a large plume of smoke into the morning air, sighing deeply and allowing his eyes to close as he savored the feeling of his usual early morning nicotine buzz.

“GOD, SANS, THAT SMELLS AWFUL. UGH! FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING EVIL, COULD YOU, FOR ONCE, NOT SMOKE THOSE INFERNAL THINGS IN MY PRESENCE?”

“Well, good mornin' ta' you, too, boss,” Sans chuckled, giving his cigarette another drag. Papyrus let out one final “UGH!” before going back to focus his sights back on the garage. Sans only gave it a sideways glace.

“For real, tho', whatcha' lookin' at? She up yet?”

“SOMETHING'S DOWN THERE....” Papyrus growled.

“Yeah, no shit, boss.”

“YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!!” he snapped impatiently, turning back to his original view. “I COULD HAVE SWORN I SAW SOMEONE MUCKING ABOUT DOWN THERE.....”

“Yeah..?” Sans answered back, either not interested, not listening, or not at all concerned, but Papyrus wasn't paying him much attention, either.

“I THOUGHT I SAW A FIGURE OVER BY THE BACK WINDOW... I DON'T KNOW WHY ANYONE WOULD BE-”

A loud pounding jolted both skeletons to attention and was followed by the sudden crashing shatter of glass.

There it was!

Without another second to spare, Papyrus has hurtled himself over the railing and hit the snow running, his long strides getting him there in mere moment. Sans, still in mute shock, watched as a couple of local kids bolted around the garage and started pulling viciously at the door, which somehow held fast. Only then did he remember that neither him nor Papyrus had locked that door before they left last night.

“SON 'UV A...!!!!” Sans barked, following suit and leaping after his brother, opting to teleport over to the door instead of hitting the snow feet-first. And when he appeared in front of that door, stopping the two monster children in their tracks, they could not have imagined a more terrifying face to greet them.

“I, for one, would absolutely love to know exactly what the fuck you brats think yer' doin',” he growled low, one eye socket swirling with darkness while there other was aflame with a red blaze.

“Fuck off, skeleton!!!” sneered the largest one, a stocky blue bear, who, despite trying to look tough, took a couple steps back. “We wanna see what you've got holed up in there!”

“Yeah, yeah!” piped up a much smaller child, a small, orange reptilian-looking monster with spikes poking up from the back of its head. Their voice wavered between “scared but still trying to seem cool” and “far too excited for predicament they were in”. “Word is that you've got a human in there!! And we want to see it!! And-and take it to the king!!” they chirped defiantly. Sans groaned and smacked a bony palm to his forehead in annoyance. The last thing he wanted was the whole town knowing that there was a human in their vicinity, and handling a panicked riot was not part of his pay-grade.

“Look, brats,” he snarled. “I don't got time for this right now...."

"We'll go tell Commander Undyne that you've got a human in there!"

"Didn't know you kids had the connections to git in touch with such a powerful monster," he quipped at their bluff.

"We'll tell our parents!" the other little monster piped up.

"No you fuckin' won't, ya' lil tattletale. They wouldn't believe you anyway."

""If you don't let us in, we'll go tell the whole town that you're holding a human in there!!

"You don't know that we do," Sans stated flatly with a twitch of his eye, his anger threatening to spill over. There was a gleam in the bears' eyes as he saw Sans' facade falter at their threat.

"You do, you do! We saw the shape through the window! An-an' our friend, they saw it, too! On the roof of Miz Bunny's shop last night!"

"Yer friend needs 'is eyes blackened. There ain't nothin' fer you to see in there, kids....."

"Oh really? Then I'll bet you wouldn't mind us tellin' everybody that you're holding a dangerous criminal that could probably kill all of us in your dinky little barely-secured garage~!" one them sing-songed. Sans felt the last of his patience snap and boil over, giving way to unbridled fury.

"FINE!!!" he snapped. "You brats wanna see what we've got in there?? Great! Then why don't I just show ya'???” Sans slammed open the door with much unnecessary force just as Papyrus rounded the corner, holding a lumpy, potato-looking child by the top of his long lumpy head, his arms stretched far out in front of him like he was holding a smelly wet rag, his expression a mask of pure disgust. However, seeing Sans suddenly in front of the open door with two eager monster children following him inside, he gave a shrill shriek of “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” and flung the lumpy child carelessly up into the air as Papyrus bolted into the door hot on the heels of his brother and the two intruders, leaving the outside with the echo of his frantic scream and the muffled “pomf” as the child landed headfirst into the snow.

“SANS, HAVE YOU LOST YOUR-????” Papyrus began, but Sans was already upon the upside-down doggy bed, roughly snatching it up and flinging it across the garage with gusto.

“See?????” he roared loudly at the two children, violently thrusting a finger as the figure that had been revealed on the floor before the small audience.

There was only silence as everyone in the room as everyone but Sans looked down at the wild-eyed creature at the edge of the room. Sans realized that the air was much too quiet and slowly turned to actually look at what he had unveiled to everyone.

And there you were, in all your half-naked glory: hair flattened in one place and sticking up wildly in another, various sizes of purple and yellow bruises littering your skin in too many places to count, arms up to your chest in a protective pose, and wild concern and confusion locked and swirling in your too-wide eyes. There were far too many eyes and far too little words to be anywhere near comfortable. No one spoke. The awkward silence hovered, but soon gave way to something else as the large bear-child shifted on one foot and gave a halfhearted frown.

“Awwww.... that's not a human...” he grumbled. The spiky-headed monster kid next to him bobbed their head up and down wildly in wholehearted agreement.

Disappointment.

“Yeah! Not a human! It looks too weird!”

“Yeah!” the bear echoed. “Like, humans are supposed to be big.. and terrible! And scary! And powerful!” He snorted and folded his arms over his chest. “This thing is just.... I don't even know... but it's not any of those things. It looks weak. And stupid.”

“Yeah yeah! Ha ha! It looks like a hairless bunny with, like, King Asgore's mane, if King Asgore decided never to brush it!” The two kids cackled gleefully at their own wit, oblivious to the odd and silent exchange going on between the other onlookers and the creature displayed before them.

“Ohmigosh! It does!! Ha ha! Wait, it looks like a baby elephant with seaweed hair and a giant wart growing out of the middle of its face!”

“No no! It looks like a lizard that just shed! With noodle arms and a Vegetoid head!!”

“Nice! Ha ha! Hey! It looks like a weird, pink Moldsmal swallowed a skeleton monster and just stretched itself out to live on top of its bones! Ha ha!”

The adults in the room were all visibly sweating as the children continued to laugh and jeer.

“Heh..... it looks like.... umm... it looks.... it looks suuuuuuper stupid! Heheheheheh!” an unfamiliar nasally voice sounded from behind the group, jolting them all out of their thoughts. It was the little lumpy potato-looking kid that Papyrus had tossed up and left stuck in the snow. The bear exaggeratedly rolled his eyes and let out a half groan, half snarl.

“Ughhh...... I thought we told you to get lost, Jerry!”

“Ummmmm, I was helping you, lame-o! You wanted me to distract Captain Whateverhisnameis, right? That's why I chucked a snowball with a rock in it at the window,” the lumpy one explained proudly. The other two children groaned loudly.

“You were supposed to distract him!!! Not break stuff and make him run over to see what was going on!!!” Jerry shrugged and started to pick his nose, pulling it out to look at what was smeared on his finger as he shrugged.

“Well, you're in. So, you know...you're welcome.” He looked up and stared at the continuously silent and bewildered “thing” in front of everyone. “Ugh..... I totally knew it was going to be super laaaame. What a waste of time...” he grumbled and turned back to his companions. “Hey, can any of you give me a ride home?”

Shut up, Jerry!!” the two kids yelled in perfect unison as they all turned to stomp out of the garage, leaving the two skeletons and the lone human behind to keep staring between one another, all of them not quite knowing what to say.

 

Chapter Text

“SANS, ARE YOU MAD?????”

“Nah, boss, but I'm guessin' that you might be, yeah?”

Papyrus began angrily stomping one heavy boot on the already worn-out floorboards as he seethed. “THIS IS NO TIME FOR JOKES, BROTHER!! DO YOU REALIZE THAT YOU JUST NEARLY COMPROMISED OUR ENTIRE MISSION???” Sans only gave a heavy, resigned shrug as he burrowed his hands in the pockets on his jacket.

“'Ey, what can I say? Chasin' down and protectin' humans ain't actually my job, ya' know. You're the one who's got the big, bad title of 'Captain', boss.”

“AND YET YOU ARE THE ONE I FOUND CANOODLING WITH THE HUMAN IN THE FIRST PLACE! NOT TO MENTION THAT YOU'RE ALSO THE ONE WHO PRACTICALLY THREW YOUSELF UNDERNEATH THE HUMAN WHEN IT DECIDED TO DIVE OFF THE ROOF!” Sans seemed to be growing irritated and he turned his full attention to his large brother.

“Then don't mention it! Geez! See, this is what I get for doin' you a favor!” he snarled. "Pffft.... 'canoodling'....." he murmured hotly, scrunching up his face and rolling his eyes.

“OH, JOY, WHAT A GOOD DEED INDEED!” Papyrus jeered, crossing his long arms over his armored chestpiece. “AND I SUPPOSE THAT LETTING THOSE KIDS GO OFF TO TELL THE ENTIRE TOWN THAT WE HAVE A HUMAN ON OUR HANDS WAS A GOOD DEED, AS WELL?”

“Ummmm....” you said quietly, lifting up a finger in the split-second of quiet between the back and forth. The two skeletons snapped their heads suddenly in your direction, causing you to shrink back only slightly. You took a short breath. “I-I don't think they thought I was a human,” you said somewhat timidly, hoping that your correction wouldn't anger the Great and Terrible Papyrus. “I actually think that they think that I'm some weird species of monster. So.......” You trailed off quietly, not exactly sure what to say next, but Sans pointed himself at Papyrus once more.

“Yeah! Didn't ya' hear? Those brats thought she was a monster! An ugly one, sure, but they sure as hell didn't believe she was human!”

You were tempted to say something in your defense but faltered and decided it would be wiser to keep silent. Papyrus seemed to ponder this thoughtfully.

“WELL...... I KIND OF BLACKED OUT ONCE I GOT IN HERE AND SAW EVERYONE LOOKING AT THE HUMAN, SO.... I MAY HAVE MISSED THAT LITTLE TIDBIT...." he admitted somewhat sheepishly, but quickly changed his expression once the information sunk in. "HMMM..... THIS MAY ACTUALLY WORK OUT TO OUR ADVANTAGE...” he mused, his gruff voice taking on a thoughtful tone.

You began to feel uncomfortable as you shifted on the floor and noticed that Sans had his eyes on you, that same blank expression on his face as the seemed to study your disheveled and curled-up form. You couldn't help but shift again, now feeling desperate for an escape. The snowball that had been thrown through the window had melted, revealing a large rock that had been concealed inside of the snowy projectile. Maybe you could escape through the broken window? The thought was quickly thrown out as you turned to see the field of broken glass and spiked shards that jutted out from the broken pieces that remained still attached to the window frame. You felt even stupider when you realized that even if you did escape your current predicament, your next predicament would be one where you had to deal with being in the freezing cold, walking through a snowy landscape in your underwear. So scratch that off the list. You looked away from the window to find Sans still staring intently at you and forced your eyes to the floor in an attempt to hide your embarrassment.

“SANS. THE HUMAN: PICK IT UP.”

Sans was startled out of his thoughts and turned angrily to his tall counterpart.

What? Why me??” he demanded.

“BECAUSE I AM THE LEADER AROUND HERE AND YOU WILL DO AS I SAY!”

“Nuh-uh! No way, boss! I wouldn't care if you wuz the Captain, Commander, General, King, or God himself; I ain't doin' you no more favors when it comes to this human! I'm washin' my hands of this whole mess, so count me out! Noooo way!”

“SANS, PLEEEEEEASE!!” Papyrus whines pitifully, catching the sudden attention of both the short skeleton and the human. “I-I CAN'T EVEN.... I DON'T WANT TO.... TH-THERE'S NO WAY I'M GOING TO TOUCH THAT THING WHEN IT'S.... LIKE.... LIKE THAT!” He makes a wide, sweeping gesture at you, causing your eyebrows to shoot up to hide under your disheveled bangs. What were you, some kind of venomous snake or something? To your dismay, Papyrus continued.

“I MEAN... SERIOUSLY!!! LOOK AT IT!!! THAT WEIRD, NAKED SKIN....” he shuddered. “NO FUR OR HARD BONES OR SCALES OR.... ANYTHING!!!! IT'S PROBABLY WEIRD AND SQUISHY AND.... SLIMY... AND WET.... LIKE SNAIL SLIME THAT OOZES AND STICKS TO YOUR BONES.... IT WILL PROBABLY LEAVE A TRAIL ON ME IF I TOUCH IT.... AND IT WILL PROBABLY SMELL AND LINGER ON MY CLOTHES AND BONES AND I'LL HAVE TO BURN MY CLOTHES AND BATHE FIFTY TIMES JUST TO GET RID OF THE STENCH BUT IT WILL STILL HAVE PERMEATED THROUGH MY ARMOR AND I WON'T BE ABLE TO GET IT OUT AND IT WILL LINGER AND FOLLOW ME INTO MY ROOM AND PROBABLY MAKE THE WHOLE HOUSE STINK LIKE HUMAN AND- AAAAARGH!!!!!! OH MY GOD, I CAN'T DO THIS!!!! HELP ME, SAAAAAANS!!!!” the tall skeleton pleaded, his desperation levels practically launching through the roof. You clamped your hands over your mouth and nose, desperately trying not to let the hysterical skeleton see your amusement as his outburst and far too caught up in trying to hide your cackling to be able to speak out to correct him. Sans looked wildly uncomfortable as his brother fell to his knees.

“Jezuz, boss, aw'right, aw'right! Don't go freakin' out on me now! Geez!” He sighed and pressed his fingers to his temples, massaging them as if he had a headache. “Okay, Paps.. here's what we're gonna' do: you go get some clothes and I'll keep watch over good ol' Dimmy here. Once you get 'em, she puts 'em on, then you kin carry her to the house, capiche?” Papyrus snapped out of his state of desperation and went right back to angry.

WHAT?? YOU THINK I'M GOING TO BRING THAT THING INTO THE HOUSE? AFTER ALL I JUST SAID ABOUT IT STINKING UP THE AND LEAVING TRAILS OF SLIME AND RESIDUE ALL OVER THE PLACE????”

“I-I don't stink or leave slime trails or residue or anything.....” you spoke up meekly, but you were ignored.

“Seriously?? Then where tha' fuck do you plan on keepin' her if you ain't leavin' her here??” Sans barked right back.

“I TOLD YOU, I'M TAKING IT TO COMMANDER UNDYNE!!”

“Boss, I called Undyne last night, and she said that she's out on another job for a while, so anything we need, she can take care of it when she gets back!”

“SANS, WHAT THE FUCK?? ARE YOU SERIOUS??? DID YOU TELL HER THAT IT WAS AN EMEGENCY???? TELL HER WHAT HAPPENED-? WHY YOU HAD EVEN CALLED???? DID YOU HAPPEN TO MENTION THAT TINY LITTLE INSIGNIFICANT FACT THAT, I don't know..... WE HAVE A HUMAN TRAPPED IN OUR GARAGE???????

Yeeeeeeeah...... I may have failed to mention that before she hung up, boss....” he said absently, stroking his chin with his thumb and forefinger as if he was pondering whether he should have mentioned that little bit of info. If Papyrus had the ability to explode, you were sure he would have self-destructed right then and there as you watched him scream in frustration.

“ARE YOU SERIOUS-??? OH, GEE- FUCK, OF COURSE YOU ARE, YOU GODDAMN LAZYBONES! WELL, WHEN DID SHE MENTION SHE WOULD BE BACK?”

“I'unno. I think she said two weeks or so?”

“TWO WEEKS???” Papyrus screeched incredulously. “ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT WE HAVE TO KEEP THIS HUMAN CONTAINED FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS UNTIL COMMANDER UNDYNE GETS BACK TO TAKE CARE OF HER????”

Sans opened his mouth to give a smart reply but shut up once he caught a glimpse of you out of the corner of his eye. You had both wrists crossed over your chest with your knees up and clenched tightly together, leaving your ankles to splay outward and your uneven pigeon-toed feet stacked feebly on top of one another. Your eyes were wide with fear at the name: Undyne, who was apparently a commanding officer of some kind. Seeing as how hated humans were, you knew that if you were handed over, your future would probably be two things: short and grim. You squeezed your already parted lips together before you dared to open them once more to speak.

“I-is Undyne going to kill me?” you asked softly. You had said it so quietly and with so much trembling sadness in your voice that Sans almost wanted to reassure you, but he clamped him mouth shut before he could say anything and just stood silently, his fists clenched at his side.

“NO, HUMAN. IT WILL BE UNDYNE'S JOB TO ESCORT YOU THROUGH THE REST OF THE UNDERGROUD AND TO THE KING, WHERE HE WILL BE THE ONE TO DECIDE YOUR FATE.”

Papyrus' words are concise and matter-of-fact, leaving no hint as to what you may be facing once you are handed over, but the way you were trembling gave clear evidence of your fear. You didn't want this.... you didn't want to die at the hands of a tyrant in a world of hate-filled monsters.... you didn't want to be trapped underground and held against your will.... You felt hot liquid pooling up in the corners of your eyes as you let the thoughts take you over. As much as you scolded yourself and willed them not to come, those fat tears that had gathered now spilled over and ran in thin streams down your cheeks, and you knew that now they had been freed, they could not be stopped.

You quickly jerked your forehead downward to rest against your bare knees, embarrassed and ashamed to be crying in front of these proud and powerful monsters before you. Truly, you were no danger to anyone.. couldn't they see that? Why in the world did these monsters speak like humans were something cruel and terrifying? So far, the only cruel and terrifying thing were the monsters themselves. It took everything in you to cut your blubbering cries short and turn it into a single, muffled, shuttering sob, hoping that these beasts before you didn't take much notice of your pitiful sound or your shaking at the thoughts of your imminent death.

“H-HEY! HUMAN! HUMAN!! SANS, SANS WHAT IS IT DOING?” you heard Papyrus stutter out nervously. Sans started to sweat and shifted on his feet. He somehow felt disgusting and.... dirty as he watched the human crumbling before them. Hadn't this been the plan all along, though? To break and destroy the humans that fell down here with them? He had aided in the demise of humans before, and it had never bothered him, striking them down, laughing at their pain, indulging and gloating in their suffering, but.... this.... this was somehow different.... he didn't even do anything, really, and yet the whole thing felt very very wrong. So wrong, in fact, that Sans felt sick, and he had a feeling that his brother had a similar sinking feeling.

“Ahhh... um.... geez.... fuck....” he stuttered and swore quietly before letting out a defeated sigh and giving his brother a sideways look. “Pap, would you go get those clothes? We gotta' get this human inside before any other nosy fuckwits come snoopin' around here.” Papyrus, seemingly forgetting his previous objections about letting a human into their home, turned and fled out of the garage without objection, happy to have been given an excuse to be freed from the sudden and unexplained, uneasy shame that had settled all too suddenly in his bones.

 

Papyrus was gone, leaving Sans to stand alone to stare down the pitiful human trembling fearfully before him. Unlike all the other times, though, Sans did not feel gleefully smug and powerful this time. This human wasn't like the others; instead of fighting, she had run, talked, tried to bargain.... sure, Sans thought the whole running and trying to talk their way out things was some weak shit, but, hey, this human hadn't fought. In fact, they hadn't even threatened or made any sort of move to hurt him or any of the other monsters they had come across yet.

Yet, he thought, setting his usual smirk into a line as he finally mustered up the courage to walk over to your frail form. It's only a matter of time, came the grim thought as he stopped just short of your bare feet. He knew that you was only biding your time, and he would not be caught off guard. Not again.

“'Ey,” he grunted. You raised your head to look up at him, eyes far too large with nearly all of your features tinted a dark pink from the crying. Sans' resolve to stay cold and resigned was wavering under his guilt. He needed to remind himself again that you were not as harmless as you seemed. Time would prove him right, this he knew, but what he hated was not knowing what to do with the gross feeling that seemed to cling to him. It was completely unnerving. Suddenly feeling completely exhausted, he gave a sigh and rubbed a hand over his eye socket.

“Stop,” he commanded grumpily, weakly. He heard you sniffle, trying to get yourself under control and peeked out from between his fingers to see your face, tears and snot still flowing, even as you wiped it on your bare arms in an attempt to clean it from you. He groaned into his palm and tried again.

Please stop....” he urged weakly, not quite knowing what else to do. This situation was far too uncomfortable for him. I mean, he knew full well that you were probably thinking about your ultimate demise at the hands of the king, but, for some reason, he also didn't want you thinking about that right now, if only to ease his own sticky feelings of shame. He squatted down, balancing on the balls on his feet and resting his elbows on his knees, watching as you lifted your head again to face him. He felt his eye twitch. God, he was no good at this.... He could feel himself grimace as he lifted a hand and brought it slowly and cautious up, leaving it to linger awkwardly over the top of your head. Your eyes slid from his extended hand to the skeletal face and to the hand again, not really knowing what to expect. Then he brought it down with a gentle “pat” on the top of your hair. You gave a light flinch at the contact, but continued to hold steady when it was hesitantly brought down for a second and third time. Pat pat. Then his hand was pulled away and planted firmly on his knee again, his face twisting up even more, like he was being punched in his non-existent stomach. Did he happen to mention that he was no good at this? He finally forced a small grin.

“Tha's it, kid.... buck up, will ya'? We won't hurt ya'.”

Your eyes darted up to meet his, almost startled at those words.

“You won't?” you piped, your voice weak and unsure. Sans felt that gross feeling clinging and sliding down his bones again but managed to perk up his toothy grin and give a quick shake of his head.

“Nah! What do you think we are? Monsters?” He chuckled, but saw your lack of reaction and quickly continued on. “Look, sweetheart, you've been a royal pain in my ass from th' second you got here...”

“I could say the same about you.” You regretted the words as soon as they left your mouth, fully expecting a backlash, but, luckily, a good laugh from the skeleton quickly eased your anxiety over the matter.

“Okay, granted, but you started it. I was only doin' my job.” Sans sobered up quickly as he saw the fear threatening to creep back into your face and felt that sticky feeling squeeze at his bones.

“Look, kid.... I'm a skeleton of my word, okay? And I promise, I promise you,” he emphasized, “that no harm will come to you as long as you're with us. Aw'right?” he chided, hoping that he had managed to sound sincere and encouraging. He watched your face intently as you took a slow, deep breath, blinking fiercely to hold back the fresh batch of tears that perched right behind your eyelids.

“But what about when the two weeks is up? And Captain Papyrus' commanding officer comes back? Then what?”

Sans tried to disguise his short flinch by leaning back and looking thoughtful.

“Well,” he shrugged, “I told Paps that she'd be gone for two weeks or so, buuuut, if I'm being totally honest, I think the 'or so' part was more accurate. Knowing Commander Undyne, she's probably going to stay longer.” A flash of relief flooded your eyes for a quick second before turning back to worry.

“And then...?” you pressed, even quieter than before. It seemed that nobody wanted to give you answers. In reality, you honestly didn't want to hear it either, but the morbid need to know pressed inside your mind, and you wanted to be prepared for what lay ahead. Sans only gave you another short, awkward pat on the head.

“Hows about you don't worry about that for now, kiddo? Just let ol' Sans take you on a tour of our place! Get you some food, a comfier place to sleep....” he faltered as he looked over your bare skin. “....some clothes.....” he said much more quietly as he stood up and backed away. Sweat was beading up on his brow all of the sudden and his bones felt like they were being squeezed by that unknown, invisible force again. He looked urgently over his shoulder at the door, a lump in his skeleton throat.

Where the fuck was that damn brother of his?

 

Chapter Text


“Well, whadda' ya' know? Those look an awful lot like... my clothes, boss.”

Papyrus looked down at this brother and both locked equally narrowed eyes.

WHAT? THE HUMAN IS CLEARLY MORE YOUR SIZE, SANS. YOU THOUGHT THAT MY WARDROBE WOULD FIT ON THEIR PUNY LITTLE FORM? OH, PLEASE,” scoffed the big skeleton.

“Wait.... did you j'st imply that I'm puny?” Papyrus didn't grace Sans with a reply and only grunted as he bent to put the neatly folded stack of clothes on the floor in front you, then righted himself and crossed his arms back over his chest.

“YOU SHOULD FIND THESE CLOTHES SUITABLE, HUMAN. THOUGH THEY MAY STILL SMELL A BIT FOUL, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THEY ARE FRESHLY WASHED. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THAT I HAVE TRIED MY BEST TO REMOVE THE SMELL, BUT IT SEEMS THAT MY DEAR BROTHER HAS A KNACK FOR MAKING EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES ABSOLUTELY FILTHY.”

“Thank you very much, Captain Papyrus,” you said quickly before Sans could get a word in edgewise. Papyrus looked somewhat pleased as he watched you happily rummage over you small pile of choices. The two brothers went back into what seemed to be their usual jeering banter, leaving you to decisively pick out a soft knitted red ribbed sweater and a pair of large, black athletic shorts.

Do skeletons even play sports? You found yourself musing as you slipped the short on and pulled the drawstring as tight as it would go. Well, maybe not a skeleton as lazy as Sans.. these shorts are probably just a staple of lazy, comfy “style”. The mental picture of the compact Sans jumping high to slam a basketball into a hoop made you bite back a snicker and you continued to dress, pulling the sweater over your body.

A soft sigh of relief escaped you at the sheer softness of the top as it draped over your thankful, chilly form, but you quickly found yourself silently gagging. Good lord, Papyrus wasn't kidding about the smell! You quickly popped your head up through the collar and gave a sharp gasp, happy to have escaped and survived those long three seconds of smell-torture. Sure, your new garment was delightfully soft and warm, but it smelled vaguely like someone farted in an old sock, wiped down their sweaty armpits with said sock, stuffed it inside a rotting fish, grilled week-old curry on it, slathered it in mustard, then took the whole heap, made yarn out of it, and knitted it into a sweater. Luckily, it was only noticeable when your nose was pressed against the fabric. You were safe so long as your head was high on your neck, but you needed to remember to hold your breath you went to take it off again.

“W-why even keep this if it smells so bad??” you sputtered. “Not that I'm ungrateful for the clothes, of course!” you added quickly, not wanting to anger the skeletons.

“Dim, are you serious?” Sans guffawed, only earning a questioningly look from you. He shook his head dramatically before pointing at his face. “Skeletons don't have noses,” he snorted, letting loose another round of pointed laughter

“Oh..” was all you could manage as you say as you watched him yuck it up some more before turning his attention back to Papyrus. You felt stupid for a moment as you lowered your gaze back to your pile but then squinted your eyes in confusion. Hadn't Papyrus been the one to warn you about the smell? And hadn't Sans just belted out a snorting laugh? Both of those things kind of required a-

You directed your gaze at the back of the short skeleton's head and squinted even harder as your eyes bore hotly into the back of his skull.

You lil' shit...

Sans suddenly felt chills run up his spine and shivered, moving to zip up his jacket in confusion.

“Yipes... must be the draft....” he muttered, looking nervously over at the broken window before turning back to face you. He seemed a bit startled to see such a hard look on your face, but his expression changed back to his usual, too-wide grin, obvious approval on his face once he saw you shifting awkwardly in your new attire. He gave a low whistle (how??) and chuckled.

“Well now! Lookin' better already, kid! Whatcha' think, boss?”

“OH THANK GOD!” Papyrus rasped, one hand over his chest while dramatically fanning his face with the other.

“That good, eh?”

“I'M ONLY HAPPY THAT THEY AT LEAST MADE THEMSELVES PRESENTABLE SO I DON'T HAVE TO LOOK AT ALL THAT.... THAT..... SQUISHY-LOOKING JELLY SKIN THAT THEY.... UGHHH!! OKAY! NO! NO THINKING ABOUT IT ANYMORE! THAT'S DONE! AND YOU!” he shouted, sternly thrusting a gloved finger in your direction. You only managed to lean back a little at his advance. “DO ME A FAVOR AND TRY TO STAY DECENT FROM HERE ON OUT!”

“I'm really sorry! I was just trying to dry out my clothes.. they all got wet from the snow and stuff, and.. and I was just so cold and uncomfortable, and -”

“YES, WELL, NOW THAT YOU'RE BEING MOVED TO THE HOUSE, YOU WON'T HAVE THOSE ISSUES ANYMORE, SO HOPEFULLY YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOURSELF COVERED FROM HERE ON OUT, YES?”

“Yes! Well... I mean...” you fumbled, feeling heat rise up your neck and ears. “I still need to.... take showers and bathe and stuff, so....” You looked at the tall captain expectantly, but his expression did not change and his arms stayed crossed over his chest.

“SO WHAT?” he asked.

“D-do you really not know where I'm going with this..?”

“She doesn't want ta' wear clothes in the shower, boss,” Sans finished for you.

Dear god, why?

“WELL, WHY NOT? WEARING YOUR CLOTHES IN THE SHOWER IS THE MOST EFFICENT WAY TO GET EVERYTHING CLEAN! PLUS, IT SAVES ENERGY AND WATER! IT'S THE PERFECT SYSTEM!”

“Oh, it's probably perfect for a skeleton! It's just that humans have more.... to clean... I guess..?”

“It's that icky-sticky skin!” Sans cackled evilly as he waggled all his bony fingers up at a cringing Papyrus.

“OKAY OKAY! ENOUGH!” he shivered, letting a noise that sounded like “hrrrngnnngkkk” escape from him. “YOU MAY REMOVE YOUR CLOTHES ONLY IN APPROVED AREAS OF PRIVACY!”

“Thank you, Captain Papyrus!” you said with a smile and sigh made of pure relief.

“YES. WELL,” he said nervously, suddenly looking around at seemingly nothing. “YOU CAN CALL ME EITHER 'CAPTAIN' OR SIMPLY 'PAPYRUS', IF YOU WISH, HUMAN.” You felt a fluttering warmth in your soul as your smile quirked just a bit wider.

“Oh! Well, thank you, Captain!” came your reply. You felt that you still wanted to acknowledge Papyrus' authoritative title to show him some form of respect, hoping that maybe it would keep you on his good side. Papyrus looked satisfied but still managed to glare down at you.

“BUT DON'T THINK THAT MEANS THAT I TRUST YOU, HUMAN!”

Well, so much keeping on his good side.

“Can we finally just move this circus inside?” Sans grunted.

“AH, RIGHT. HUMAN-!”

“Can I please not be thrown over your shoulder like a sack of potatoes??” you called out quickly, backing away as Papyrus took a step forward. He looked slightly stunned. “Can I just.. hold your hand or something, and you can lead me to your house?”

“WHAT?? NO!!!” he squawked, seemingly appalled by the idea. You sighed and mustered up the courage to try again.

“Well.... can I get on your back or something?” you asked meekly.

“.....WHY?” he asked, squinting his eyes at you with suspicion.

“Um, well, it's just that.. I'm pretty sore from all the.. uh, running and.. stuff from yesterday..”

“VERY WELL. SANS, YOU CARRY THE HUMAN INSIDE!”

“Nope.”

“WHAT???”

“This one's all yours, boss!” And with a wide grin and a fleeting spark of red, Sans was gone.

“ARRRRGGHH!!! SANS, YOU TRAITOR!!!” Papyrus barely held back a snarl but managed to recomposed himself before swirling back around to face you.

“How does he do that?” you asked in wonder. “Is that what he did before when I tripped off the roof?”

“YES, THAT'S USUALLY HOW THAT LAZYBONES GETS AROUND,” Papyrus huffed. “HE IS PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF WALKING, YET HE OPTS FOR USING MAGICAL SHORTCUTS INSTEAD! BAH! HE COULD USE HIS ENERGY TO WORK OUT INSTEAD, BUT NOOOOO~! SANS WOULD RATHER USE HIS MAGIC TO DO THING LIKE MAKE THE REMOTE FLOAT INTO HIS HAND! OR PLAY PRACTICAL JOKES ON THE GUARD DOGS! OR TRANSPORT THE TRASH INTO THE FURTHEST REACHES OF TIME AND SPACE INSTEAD OF SIMPLY PUTTING IT ON THE CURB LIKE I HAD ASKED HIM TO!”

.What?

“BUT THAT'S MY BROTHER FOR YOU, I SUPPOSE. SO IT IS UP TO ME, THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS TO TAKE PROPER RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THINGS GET DONE RIGHT AROUND HERE!” He turned his attention back to a thoroughly confused and confounded you, who could do nothing but blink and try to sort out your jumbled thoughts.

“NOW, HOW DO YOU PROPOSE WE DO THIS, EXACTLY?” Papyrus rasped, crossing his arms, not even winded from his spirited rant.

“Well, how about we piggy-back?” you suggested.

“WHAT?”

“You know, I'll climb up on your back and latch my legs and arms around you? My arms will go around your neck and shoulders, and my legs will go around your....” You studied the skeleton quickly, suddenly realizing that his size and general bony anatomy might cause a problem, “... go around you,” you finished uncertainly. Stoic Papyrus still did not look convinced. “You can hold my legs, too, if you're nervous about me jumping off and escaping!” you offered. Not that you had any energy left in you to make another run for it.

“...VERY WELL...” he accepted with an air of suspicious caution. You couldn't help but smile for some reason as you approached. Papyrus looked on edge as you stepped forward.

“It's alright,” you said gently, surprising yourself at the words. Why in the world did you feel the need to comfort this large, beastly skeleton captain? Then again, one look at that wildly nervous expression made his face look, dare you say it, almost cute. Who could have even imagined that murderous-looking demon skeletons had the ability to look cute? Well, at the very least, you did feel a bit sorry for him.

“Okay, go ahead and kneel down,” you urged. Papyrus, not taking his eyes off you as you went to walk behind him, did just that without a fight, which surprised you, but you weren't about to complain.

“Great! Now, I'm going to climb up your back. Is that okay?” The monster before you only nodded in response. You felt a bit shaky as you assessed the situation, but you plucked up your courage and leaned up against his armor, jumping only slightly to snake your arms around his neck and shoulders and lift your legs off the floor. Your upper body secure, you then lifted up your feet and pressed your knees firmly into the armor that covered his ribcage, jutting your feet out in front of the both of you.

“Alright, now just grab my legs!” you commanded once more. Your perch grunted

“I KNOW WHAT TO DO,” he scoffed, gripping your calves with surprising gentleness. You felt him shudder, probably from having to touch your skin, but he seemed to shake it off rather quickly. You figured that the fact he was wearing gloves helped.

“IT'S BEEN A WHILE, BUT ACTUALLY SANS USED TO CARRY ME LIKE THIS.”

“What??” You were genuinely surprised, your smile even bigger now. “Recently?”

“WHAT? NO! DON'T BE RIDICULOUS! WHEN THE BOTH OF US WERE YOUNGER!”

“I can't even imagine you being so small, Captain.”

“WELL, I WAS A BABY ONCE, TOO, YOU KNOW,” he said as he strode forward. “I DON'T REMEMBER TOO MUCH, BUT I DO REMEMBER ALWAYS ASKING SANS TO CARRY ME.” He scoffed as the both of you ducked in the doorway that lead out into the snow. “THAT'S PROBABLY THE MOST I EVER REMEMBER SEEING SANS DO! NOWDAYS, I'M ALWAYS THE ONE WHO HAS TO CARRY HIM EVERYWHERE! BAH! HE'LL FALL ASLEEP ANYWHERE! IN THE KITCHEN! THE BAR AT GRILLBY'S! AT HIS POST WHILE HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING FOR HUMANS! NYEEHHH!!!” Papyrus is fuming as the both of approach a quaint little house. A more-than-welcome surge of surprise and relief overcomes you as you saw that it was not the dark, looming, eerie castle you had been expecting. It was painted a little dark, sure, and there was a small Jolly Roger flag with a skull and crossbones flying from the second-story roof, but other than that, it actually looked pretty cozy, dare you say, “normal”. You sincerely hoped that the inside wasn't filled with torture rooms and spikes, though, not that you were all that hopeful.

“YOU WOULDN'T THINK THAT SUCH A LAZY GUY WOULD HAVE THREE JOBS, WOULD YOU?” he continued on as he opened the door and the both of you ducked down again to enter the dwelling.

Oh thank god, it also looked fairly normal!

“No way! Seriously?” you asked, taking in your surroundings from atop the skeleton's back.

“YES! HE SELLS MANY THINGS AROUND VARIOUS PARTS OF THE UNDERGROUND!” You still clung to the skeleton's back as he strolled through the foyer and into the kitchen, seemingly oblivious to the human still mounted on him. “IT VARIES FROM REGION TO REGION, BUT HE HAS A STALL IN SNOWDIN FOREST WHERE HE SELLS HOT DOGS, HOT CATS, AND FRIED SNOW!”

You couldn't help but laugh loudly at that as Papyrus opened a standard-looking refrigerator to pull out a tupperware container.

“That sounds pretty great, actually!” you giggled, hanging on tighter when Papyrus opened the freezer and spun on his heel suddenly.

“IT WOULD BE BETTER IF HE WASN'T SO LAZY,” he growled. “SPEAKING OF WHICH.... SANS!!!!” he bellowed across the house, making you wince and wish you had your hands free to shield your ears.

“Yeah, boss?” came the mellow reply from directly beside you. You let out a sharp gasp of surprise as an unfazed Papyrus turned to face his brother, hands on his hips. How did he-? Oh. Right. Sneaky little teleporter..

“WHERE ARE THOSE MEAN-CREAM BARS YOU BROUGHT HOME YESTERDAY?” he demanded, thrusting a hand toward the empty freezer.

“Half are in my stomach and half are in front of the house,” came the reply. Noticing you still on his brother's back, Sans frowned and focused his gaze squarely on you.

“IN FRONT OF THE-? SANS, WHY ARE THE MEAN-CREAM BARS IN THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE??” Sans shrugged, his eyes still not wavering.

“Snow out front is just as cold as the freezer in here. Guess I just didn't feel like walkin' that far.”

Poor Papyrus only gave a snarling groan of frustration before stomping back to the front door, and you clung on like a helpful little monkey as he went, scooped up an armful of snow and frozen treats, then slammed the door shut and stomped back to the kitchen where Sans was waiting, unfazed and unmoved, his eyes still directed at you.

“What's she still doin' up there?” His voice held a strange kind of tense irritation over the witness of such a innocent act. You shifted nervously and averted your gaze, yet still held firm. “I thought ya' were grossed out by humans, Pap. What gives?”

“IT SEEMS THAT IT ISN'T SO BAD WHEN I HAVE ARMOR TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM THEIR MUSHY SKIN, BROTHER,” he said as he focused on neatly stacking the remainder of the Mean-Cream bars into the freezer. “BESIDES, I AM CAPTAIN OF THE ROYAL GUARD, AND I NEED TO LEARN TO DEAL WITH MY HANG-UPS IF I WANT TO ONE DAY BECOME THE HEAD GENERAL OF THE ENTIRE UNDERGROUND ARMY.” Even from atop his back, you could still feel the skeleton below you puff with pride.

“Yeah, well, I think the human's had enough for today,” he said pointedly and reached up towards you. An inhuman squawk escaped from you as you somehow jolted high enough to scramble up and sit up on Papyrus' shoulders, grabbing the sides of his skull to steady yourself and stare down at the small skeleton leering up at you from below. Sans let out a low chuckle.

“Awww, what's wrong, sweetheart? You're not scared of lil' ol' me, are ya'?” He opened his arms and smiled up at you with those sharp fangs of his, his one gold tooth gleaming dangerously under the lights.

You gripped Papyrus' head tighter and tried to mask that shiver that crawled up your spine, finding solace in the the thought that maybe Papyrus would let you stay up on his shoulders forever!

….........It could happen.

Besides, Papyrus had warned before that Sans had a knack for making everything he touched absolutely filthy.

You were kind of hoping to stay clean for as long as you possibly could.

Chapter Text

So there you were, sitting at a table flanked by one pissed-off looking skeleton, wolfing down your third Mean-Cream and laughing at the wrapper, which, when opened, presented you with an insult. Your current one was “When you go to the zoo, you need two tickets; one to get in and one to get out.”

You almost felt comfortable! However, the small yet intimidating monster to your right, sitting between you and the door, was the teeny-tiny little oversight that kept the tension in the immediate vicinity astoundingly high. Sure, it wasn't surprising, given his overall appearance, but his constantly revolving attitude kept you on alert. What was his deal, anyway? What could you have possibly done now to piss him off? Besides generally existing, that is. For now, you thought it best to just stay casual and ignore him, munching quietly on your Mean-Cream and focusing probably too intently on the pile of wrappers accumulating at your elbows.

“So what were you an' Paps babblin' about?” came the voice to draw you out of your fake reading. You shrugged but kept your eyes on the wrappers as you continued turning them over to examine them much too closely.

“Nothing, really. He was just telling me about how sleepy you are all the time.” When you turned to look, you saw that his head had lulled backward over the back of the chair and he was emitted some quiet snores. You gave a cough and smirk before turning back to the table.

“Smart aleck..” but you continued. “He also talked about how you used to carry him when he was little. When he was a.... 'babybones'? Honestly, that alone is super cute.” You smiled. “I can hardly imagine! Captain Papyrus is so... big!”

You imagined a tiny little skeleton in a onesie, clinging to Sans' ribs like a skeletal koala as he cooed and babbled the way babies do and reaching up happily to bop his brothers' face. The thought alone almost made you croon aloud, but you held back and let out a high-pitched hum instead.

“My gosh, the thought of a tiny little skeleton baby alone makes me kind of want to see one!” you sighed. Before you could say more, a pair of red eyes were upon you, the owner of which was now suddenly and dangerously close to your face and your chair was turned to face him. You let out a gasp and gripped your seat, now forced to stare into those gleaming eyes.

“Ya' wanna make a little skeleton baby, now, do ya'?” he rumbled, his voice low and his grin wide and dangerous. You would have flinched back if the chair had given you room.

“Ummmmmm.... uhhh.... well, I thinking more along the lines of, like... looking at photos of the two of you or something....” you managed to say. Sans immediately fell back into his chair, his eyes now lazily closed, and he shrugged.

“Sorry, kid. Ain't no pictures of us little bitty skels, I'm afraid.” The previous air in the room had shattered, but now the tension seemed even thicker as you just gave a slow nod and moved to scoot your chair back toward the table again.

“Oh... well... that's a shame...” you mumbled. Sans only grunted and leaned back in his chair to prop his feet up on the table.

Make a little skeleton baby”? What would that even entail?? I mean, these guys are skeletons, for god's sakes! They couldn't possibly-! You stopped that thought short. Nope! Not going to think about it. Sans was just trying to get under your skin. For whatever reason, his hatred for humans must be pretty bad. Or maybe he was just teasing? After all, doesn't everyone say that the people who tease you are only doing it because they like you? Well, Sans had shown you mercy back in the forest, and he seemed to have been trying to be reassuring back in the garage, but could all that really be called “kindness”? You scoffed as you scooped up the wrappers and moved to get up.

“What? Still thinkin' about makin' skeleton babies?” Sans' devilish voice cut into your thoughts as you went to throw the trash away. You couldn't help but feel your face flush.

“Oh, please! I was just saying how it would be cute to see one! I wasn't implying that we make some!”

“Whoa, now! 'We'?” You wanted to smack that ever-widening smiled off his dumb skull-face. “Who said anything about us makin' skele-babies?”

You did!!” you shot back incredulously. He winked and waved a lazy finger at you.

“Ah ah ah! I only asked if you wanted to make 'em. You're the one who filled in the blanks and ended up admittin' that you wanna' make some with me.” He leaned back even further in his chair, tipping the front legs off the ground. Oh, this little fucker was wholeheartedly enjoying your discomfort. “So don't go around actin' offended like I'm the weird one around here.”

You pressed your mouth into a hard line and walked calmly out of the kitchen.

“You know, you're probably right,” you measured your calm reply as you went to sit back down. Sans didn't have any time to revel in his triumph before his chair was jolted, leaving him only to yelp in surprise before he toppled to the floor with a loud “thunk”.

Sans laid there on his back, unmoving, the chair pinned under him, his head slowly turning in your direction. You only continued to look even more interested in those Mean-Creams as his hard gaze stopped on you.

“Did you just kick my seat?” he asked quietly. You turned to him with mock-shock expression.

Me? Now, Mr. Sans, you were the one leaning back in your chair..” you scolded gently, trying not to let a gleeful smile creep onto your face. You made note of his twitching eye socket before excusing yourself to put the rest of the Mean-Creams back into the freezer.

The best kind of aggression is passive-aggression.

“SANS! I'M GOING OUT!” Papyrus announced as he strolled down the stairs, not bothering to acknowledge his brother lying on his back. Perhaps it was a more common occurrence that you thought?

“Ok,” came the resigned reply.

“I NEED YOU TO LOOK AFTER THE HUMAN WHILE I'M AWAY!”

“ok.”

“MAKE SURE ITS HP IS BACK TO NORMAL LEVELS, TOO!”

“ok.”

“SANS, I'M SERIOUS! THIS IS A BIG RESPONSIBILITY, AND I CAN'T HAVE YOU FUCKING THIS UP!”

“ok.”

“SANS!!! SERIOUSLY!!! DO NOT BREAK THE HUMAN WHILE I AM OUT!”

“.............”

SANS!!!!!!!!!

“ok.”

“CHRIST....... ALRIGHT. HUMAN! DO NOT CAUSE ANY TROUBLE WHILE I AM AWAY, I MEAN IT!!!”

“Yes, Captain!” you squeaked.

“THAT IS AN ORDER! AND THAT MEANS NO TRYING TO ESCAPE, NO BEING DIFFICULT, NO PLOTTING, NO GENERAL SHENANIGANS,” One of his eye suddenly flared up with an intimidating orange-red flame. “AND YOU HAD BETTER NOT HARM MY BROTHER.” His voice was ice cold, and you could have sworn that the temperature had dropped a couple degrees as he spoke that. You shivered and nodded, giving him another quiet “Yes, Captain,” in response. Papyrus' expression relaxed a bit as he gave a nod, then turned his attention to Sans as he opened the front door to leave.

“AND, FOR GOD'S SAKE, SANS, STOP BEING SO LAZY AND GET UP OFF THE FLOOR! GOD!!!” With that one last valley girl-esque scoff, the door was slammed shut, and he was gone, leaving you and Sans alone.

And as the skeleton lifted himself slowly from the floor, you suddenly felt a cold sweat break out on the back of your neck, as it just now registered that you may have made a dreadful mistake.

 

Chapter Text

You sat backwards on the couch, your upper body draped heavily over the back as you gazed steadily out the window at the going-ons of the outside world. There were kids laughing and yelling as they ran past, throwing snow and shouting to their friends about who might win and what their plan of attack was. Despite the cold and the snow, the lighthearted atmosphere outside was far more appealing than what you were forced to endure under your captors' roof. Something stirred in you as you started to fidget.

“Mr. Sans,” you called quietly, looking to the other side of the couch at the snoozing skeleton. You knew he probably wasn't even sleeping. “Can I maybe go out and look around a bit?”

“I dunno.. 'Can' you?”

The temptation to smother him with a pillow was almost too strong to ignore, but somehow you managed.

“Sure I can!” you answered with faux brightness lighting up your words. “I just want to check out-”

“No,” he said flatly, not even bothering to open his eyes.

“Oh, come on! Why not? I won't even leave the front steps!”

“Because yer a pain in my ass.”

“You don't even have an ass.”

“How would you know?” he asked, cracking opening an eye socket to look you over.

Oh, for the love of.... not this again. Nope!

“Just the steps, Mr. Sans!” you begged, folding your hands together and turning to give him a pitiful look.

“No,” he repeated.

“But I'll be good for the rest of the day!” You knew you sounded like a child and you felt like one, too, but you desperately wanted to get out of the house. Being cooped up with Sans was far too uncomfortable of a plight.

“You'll be good for the rest of the day, regardless. Now shut up and behave yourself.”

“But Mr. Sans,” you pressed. “I'll shut up that much faster if you let me go outside. Just for a little while? Please?” The grumpy skeleton emitted a growl.

“I didn't sign up for this....” he said, bringing a bony hand up to rub his forehead. “You promise you'll shut up if I take you outside?” You couldn't help but bounce on the couch a little as you nodded.

“Yes, yes!! Of course! Cross my heart!” You saw Sans draw back quickly as if he had been burned and stopped bouncing. After a moment, Sans spoke.

“Don't... don't ever say that again, kid,” came his cautious reply as he studied you. Something about the way he said it made you feel genuinely bad.

“Oh.. is that, like, a bad thing? Or a swear or something?”

“It's just somethin' you shouldn't be sayin',” he grunted irritably, rolling forward and up off of the couch.

“Oh.. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-”

“Well, quit bein' sorry and start bein' ready. Don't you humans need somethin' warmer than that ta' go out into the snow?” Your eyes lit up as you realized your prayers had been answered.

“Yes! Do you have another jacket I could borrow?”

“Sorry. Fresh out.”

“Oh.... well, how about Papyrus-?”

“You can't go into 'is room.”

“Can you?”

“I dunno.. 'Can'-?”

Will you?” you corrected quickly.

“Nope.”

“Oh, come on, Sans!”

“That's 'Mista' Sans', to you, sweetheart,” he corrected right back.

“Do skeletons even feel cold?”

“Nope. It goes right through us,” he joked.

“Great!” you nodded, taking a couple of steps toward him. “Then could I borrow your jacket?” You tugged on the hood gently for emphasis. Sans only frowned at you.

“No. It's mine.”

“You can't share?”

“Sharing is for pussies.”

Stubborn-ass skeleton.

You thought for a moment, putting a knuckle up to your lips, furrowing your brow in concentration. Then, you had it. You looked back up at his with a smile and eased your way over beside him very slowly.

“Okay then!” you chirped, moving carefully. “How about I.... do this??” You went ahead and yanked his the collar down his shoulders, surprising Sans when his coat was pulled off his arms from behind.

“Wha..?? Hey, what the fuck??” he yelped as you ran towards the table with the coat hanging victoriously in your hands.

“There! See?” you piped in triumph at your prize.

“The only thing I see now is red,” Sans seethed, making it known that he was about to pounce.

Toro! Toro!” you teased, flapping the jacket like a matador holding a cape for a bull. Ahhh, teasing Sans just felt too satisfying. “No, wait, look!” you pointed before he had a chance to tear you limb from limb. “You didn't share with me, so you're not a.. pussy, or anything,” you hesitated. “But now if anyone asks, you can just say I stole it from you! See? Fair and square! No need to be ashamed! And I'll even let you 'steal' it back once I'm done with it, so we'll be all square!”

You saw Sans looking you over questioningly, your dopey smile stretching thin as the confidence in your own plan wavered slightly. However, a small chuckle from the skeleton put you at ease once more. It's funny how he kept doing that.

“Alright, kid,” he put up his hands in surrender. “'t's yours. But I'm warnin' ya': you better stay real close, and no funny stuff, or tryin' to run off. Understand?” Sans meant business, and you knew better than to argue, so you nodded in affirmation of his demands and zipped up the heavy jacket without complaint. It smelled a bit musty and weird, but it was so toasty warm! Plus, how could you complain now? You were going to be able to get out and explore a little! You tried to keep from bouncing as Sans drifted over to the front door in nothing but a red, long sleeve shirt and gym shorts, kicking off his slippers at the front door in exchange for his ratty red tennis shoes.

“Hurry up, Dim. I don't feel like bein' outside all damn day,” he grumbled, but even a cranky Sans couldn't dampen your enthusiasm as you eagerly followed and stepped out into the snow once more.

 

“Hey! Can we go there?” you asked, leaning out and pointing toward the warm brick building a bit of a ways down the path.

“No.”

“How about over to that tree? Look! It has lights and decorations on it!” you pointed out, maybe a little too enthusiastically.

“No.”

“Well.... can I go check out the shop further down? Then I wouldn't have to wear your clothes..”

“No.”

“Aww, come on, Mr. Sans!”

“Look, you said that you 'wouldn't even leave the steps'.”

“Yeeeees, that's true, but..”

“No buts, kid. Yer stayin' right there. No more complainin'.” You couldn't think of a good protest, as you sat awkwardly on the steps with your elbows on your knees, the cold seeping into the seat of your pants and the discomfort once again seeping into your bones. You had hoped that Sans would relent a little bit and give you a little more freedom once you both stepped out of the house, but, nope! Sans had kept you tied to your word, so here you were, stuck moping on the stoop.

“C'mon, babe, this ain't so bad!” he chuckled, exhaling smoke and pushing himself back into a standing position from against the awning supports. “You need ol' Sans to warm you up?” You shoot him a look from above your arms.

“Skeletons can't keep me warm,” you pointed out.

“Oh ho! Is that what you think, now? Well, wanna' find out if that's really true?” You quickly scooped up a handful of snow and tossed it his way. It plopped uselessly behind him, and he didn't even have to move to avoid it. Sans looked at you, then to the fallen snowball, then back to you, clearly unimpressed.

“I'll stick to my theory, thank you very much,” you huffed. Sans only leered at you over his cigarette.

“Oh, come on, now, sweetheart! The only way to test a hypothesis is with an experiment!” He took a step toward you.

Hey, skeleton!!!!”

Sans stopped short and gave an exasperated groan as he lulled his head back and turned around. The hallelujah chorus nearly sounded in your head as you too turned to lean out and face your savior. It was that little orange, reptilian monster child from earlier.

“That little shit has a lot of nerve comin' back here after what they pulled...” Sans growled out to no one in particular.

“Yo!” they called out again as they got closer. A spiked collar peeked out from underneath the top of their dark poncho, and it even matched their skin color and spikes on their head, but you didn't feel at all threatened by this little monster whatsoever. You smiled as they came closer.

“Don't go callin' me 'skeleton', brat. It's 'Sans'. 'Mista' Sans',” he emphasized irritably.

“Oh, okay! You got it, Mister Sans!” they piped cheerily, then they caught sight of you.

“Heya!” you waved.

“Uhhhhhh.... hi, I guess....” they mumbled.

“My name is Dim! What's yours?”

“Uh, umm, I-I'm Monster Kid.. but, most people call me MK..” they mumbled again, shifting a bit uncomfortably.

“Well, hi, MK! It's nice to meet you! Hey, do you want to have a snowball fight?” MK seemed startled.

“Wha-? With you?” he asked. You stood up and dusted some snow off your pants, a bit confused.

“Well... sure! Why not?”

“Uhhhhh..... well, cuz, my friend, Broof, said that you're super ugly and uncool. And, and, if I hung out with you, you'd probably, like.. I dunno... give me germs or somethin'! Then maybe I would be ugly and uncool, too! I dunno!” Your shoulders sagged a bit.

“She's not a human, ya' know.. you said that, remember?” Sans pointed out before you could speak out. MK seemed to perk up a bit.

“Wellllll, yeeeeah, that's true....” they said, trotting in place as if their mind was powered by moving. You took his reconsideration as the chance you needed and smiled again.

“We could always team up against Mr. Sans!” you suggested with a sly grin. MK gasped happily at the notion and Sans looked bewildered.

“Whoa, now, wait just a minute there, kid..”

“Yeah!” you continued before Sans had the chance to say more. “You can gather your friends, and it'll be all of us against him!”

“What about Captain Papyrus?” MK asked, half-cautious, half-curious.

“Well, actually Captain Papyrus is out right now, so that just leaves us versus Sans!”

At that, MK lit up again, his excitement whirring like a well-oiled machine.

“Yeah yeah! That sounds like a great idea!!”

“Well, okay then!! What are you waiting for?? Let's go rally the troops!” And with that, you and MK bolted off like rockets, and you didn't dare to look back at the skeleton you left behind.

 

You and the group could barely suppress your giggles from behind the giant snow dune as the fuming skeleton in red appeared from the path, looking around furiously and snarling what was probably multiple curses under his breath.

The group had sneered at you at first, when MK had introduced you, but they all warmed up pretty quickly when the both of you quickly explained your plans to pelt Sans with snowballs. The children seemed to be wary of Papyrus, but it seemed that they all had some unspoken beef with Sans. For what reason, you really couldn't say, and no one was giving any definitive answer, but you were just happy that they siding with you in favor of the skeletal assault. Huzzah!

“Okay, okay.... is everybody ready?” Broof, the large blue bear whispered to the group. Everyone nodded and quietly gathered up their snowballs. You held your breath almost unaware that you were doing so, then proceeded to exhale slowly, getting your breath back. “Operation Snowy Skull” was a go!

“NOW!!!!” Broof yelled. All of the children popped up above the peak of their snowy hideout and proceeded to belt out a rather impressive battlecry before raining snow and ice down onto the small skeleton on the path below. Sans looked up, startled, and and managed to catch a single snowball straight on one of his eyes sockets. WHAP! The assault continued, with the dumbfounded skeleton below not moving while more projectiles were aimed and thrown his way, snow dripping down from his socket. You went to follow up with another snowball, but the sight of the stupefied Sans had you throwing your head back, instantly howling with laughter. You couldn't help it! It looked like the poor guy had just taken a snow-cone to the eye and didn't know how to deal with it! After all he had put your through, that silly, sneaky, seemingly all-knowing, all-put-together Sans was now the one being surprised. Even though it was small, this little sip of payback tasted so sweet!

That sweet taste soured rather quickly when you looked back down to see those sockets now devoid of any light, his glowing pupils disappeared to leave darkness gaping in its place. The snowball had slid down his face and left a trail of ice water gleaming in its wake, making that golden tooth look even more sinister and threatening than before.

Oh god, why?

Sans casually pocketed on of his hands and raised the other in front of him, palm out, toward the entire battalion. Before anyone could react, snowballs engulfed in a red glow shot up from the ground and hung motionless in the air around him.

“RETREAT, RETREAT!!!” someone shrieked, but you couldn't move. Your eyes were locked on Sans, who gave a dark, hearty laugh, knowing full well that the tides had turned. With a flick of his wrist, the snowballs he has possessed for himself were flung with pinpoint accuracy at the group as they made a mad dash to escape.

You didn't even have time to think before a snowball was slammed straight-on into your face, knocking you senseless. You blanked out for a second as you hit the ground, all the children now scattered and running for safety, leaving you to fend for yourself. Your nose ached, and you wondered if it was melting snow or blood that now ran from it now. You couldn't be sure.... Struggling to right yourself on your hands and knees, you were suddenly aware of a large, looming shadow, and you didn't have to think twice to know who it was. Catching your breath and swallowing back your fear, you dared to peer up, giving a dopey smile at your captor above.

“Surprise!” you breathed quietly and nervously. You were grabbed roughly by the back of your hood and gasped as your feet were lifted off the snow, which was quite a feat, considering that your captor was almost the same size as you.

“You mind explain' ta' me why you decided to run off..? Again??” Sans was just shy of roaring the last word, and you flinched, arms spread haphazardly out, eyes darting every which way, trying to look everywhere but his face.

“I-I didn't run off..” you sputtered. “I'm right here!”

Goody,” he sneered, not loosening his hold. “But if I'm rememberin' correctly, I do recall sayin' to stay close, no funny stuff, and no runnin' off!” He then flipped you roughly over his shoulder, turning tail back to the house before you could reply. “We're goin' home,” he snarled.

“B-but Mr. Sans....” You gasped as he jostled you roughly, leading you to choose silence as the wiser option. You felt ashamed. You had assured him that you would follow the rules, after all.

You wanted so desperately to apologize, but nothing came out.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

The both of you had traveled back in uncomfortable silence. You knew you were in for it the moment you got back, and it was such a short trip.. this was your funeral march. You had expected it to be more dignified, more with revered quiet and a pathway of flowers.. instead, you were ass-up, being carried by the fabled incarnate of death himself. What a way to go!

Sans slammed the door open and carried you over to the couch, dumping you roughly on the cushions before thrusting a waiting palm directly in your face, not giving you a chance to talk.

“Coat,” he ground out, letting it be known that his patience was worn down to the last drop. Your mouth flapped open like a fish for a moment, before you quickly fumbled with the zipper, then hesitated. You looked up at him through your bangs, a ghost of a smile on your lips.

But I thought sharing was for pussies?” you whispered and watched his fingers curl upward and go rigid, his face twisting into what was probably the beginning of unbridled fury.

“Okay, okay! Wait, I'm sorry!!!” you yelped, not able to get the zipper down fast enough before you gathered it in your arms, only to have Sans go to snatch it from you.

Wait!” Before he had a chance to curl his fingers around his jacket, Sans found them instead curled around your outstretched hand.

That bewildered face looked at your hand in his, then at you, then back to your hands, then back to you. To be honest, you hadn't actually expected him to stop, or listen, or continue holding onto your hand like he was... you were woefully unprepared to get this far, but you forced yourself to continue to say.. something, anything!! He was somehow still listening, so you had to think fast.

“Look, I uh...” you stammered out. Smooth. “J-just hear me out! Umm.. I-I'm sorry.. not like you haven't heard that from me before, sure.. but, this time, I know I really fucked up, and I'm sorry. I just wanted the tension between us to lift, you know? And I just thought, that, well.. maybe.. maybe a bit of fun would help you lighten up a little? Look, okay, I guess it's kind of stupid now that I look back at it, but I just really wanted us to get along a little bit, you know?” You stopped your rambling long enough to catch your breath and glance up at Sans, whose expression was all but unreadable. You opted to continue.

“O-okay.... from now on, I promise that I won't go against you anymore. Okay? I won't get into anymore trouble....” Good start, keep going... “....I-I'll stay in the house...” Wait, what??? “..... a-and I'll do whatever you say...” WHAT WERE YOU SAYING???? “....after all, you made me a promise, and I believe that you'll follow through, so.. now I want to make you a promise!” STOP!!!!!!!!!!

Oh lord.. what have you done?

You looked expectantly at Sans again, trying to gauge a reaction of some kind. He only gave a couple of blinks in response. The quiet around the both of you, your hand still grasped in his, felt suffocating as you waited for some kind of answer, some change in his face... literally anything!!

Sans looked down at your intertwining hands again and slowly raised it up to his eye level, forcing you to stand up from the couch and follow. You remained silent as his glowing pupils examined both hands, one bony and one made of flesh. He gave yours an experimental squeeze, then flitted those lights to meet your own eyes, as if he was trying to gauge your reaction, as well. When he saw no indication of change on your face, he went back to examining, lifting his other hand to run a phalange over your taut knuckles, rolling it further to explore the skin between your fingers and poke at the wrinkles that crowned your joints. He slowly and carefully flipped your hand over and used his thumb to smooth out your bent fingers, forcing you to expose your open palm to his gaze. He slid your fingers between his with a gentleness you would have never thought he possessed, not sparing a single digit from his careful inspection, all the way to your thumb. It was like he was caught in a trance.

“...Sans?” you dared to whisper, oh so quietly, but he seemed too far entranced by your fleshy hand to notice. You swallowed hard and tried again.

“Mr. Sans?” That seemed to do the trick. Sans snapped out of his daze and widened his eye sockets at you, his brow bones now high on his forehead and his mouth hanging open slightly. That was the classic look of the boy who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. There were another few moments of silence, as his mouth seemed to gape open and then shut again, as if he was wanting to say something but kept forgetting the second his teeth parted.

In a whirling flash, you suddenly had your hand thrown back at you, Sans throwing up his own hands up like a burglar caught in the act. Then, with a single step backward, a crackle of red lightning and quiet snap, he was gone.

You looked up quickly at the commotion that seemed to originate from the top corner of the house; Sans' room: A loud banging crash, several loud dull bumps, then a shatter, followed by a muffled but loud “WHAT THE FUCK????” that obviously came from the red skeleton himself, and the crashing continued without explanation as you sat there, still dumbfounded on the downstairs couch.

With a dazed blink, you continued to listen to the ruckus upstairs. You honestly couldn't have summed up the situation any better if you tried.

 

Chapter Text

The next few days remained very quiet. Well.... you remained very quiet, at the very least. The brothers busied themselves in squabbles and bickering while you tried your best to stay out of the way. Any questions or demands directed your way were met with either a nod, a head shake, or a single-word answer, if you were forced to speak up, and you were careful to limit your existence mostly to the couch and far corner of the house.

Things had fallen into a usual routine. As usual, Papyrus had gone earlier that morning, waking you up with his usual yelling and clamor from the kitchen before he left. You willed yourself back to sleep, as usual. Sans got up closer to noon-ish, as usual, and flopped onto the couch in his usual spot further down the couch from you. He picked up the remote without a single word to you and clicked it on to watch his usual show. The volume was too loud, as usual, and the screen featured the usual mass of violence you knew he liked. You could feel him ignoring you, as usual, and chuckling every so often at something that happened onscreen, while you usually hid away underneath your blanket and tried in vain to get a little bit more sleep. Without warning, Sans would pull the blanket from you and use it to cover himself instead, and this was usually your cue to sit up, signifying the start of your day. You would usually get up and go into the kitchen, asking permission to sample one of the spaghetti containers in the refrigerator before eating a little bit before to satiate your hunger. Spaghetti was great, usually, sure, but having it be the only thing to eat in the house and being forced to make do with it for breakfast for the past few days usually put a damper on its appeal.

Usually, after your morning spaghetti, you would clean up and usually mill around the house, trying to keep your distance from the skeleton who now claimed the couch for himself. There were usually a few books you tried to read, though none of them particularly held your attention, usually. You usually might have tried to watch TV with Sans, but the amount of gore and violent imagery that was shown had you swearing it off for good, and Sans always denied your requests to change channels, as usual. You weren't allowed to go outside, either, so you were usually left trying to find things to clean, attempting to read, or just straight-up counting specks on the wall. What else could you do?

But, dear god, this day was not a usual day.

Sans plopped down on the couch next to you, as usual, which was met with the usual silence from you. He gave a grunt and put his feet up on the coffee table, chuckling to think that Papyrus would probably have another fit when he came to see greasy marks on the top from where his slippers were perched. He did his usual bit where he floated the remote up to his hand and turned on the TV, making sure to turn it up much too loud, if only to rouse and annoy you.

The couch was vibrating.

Sans quirked a suspicious eye over at the lumpy blanket to his left then frowned. Were those vibrations coming from you? You had never uttered any complaint at the noises, despite his best efforts, which annoyed him to no end. It would be ever so much more fun if you fought back, giving in to the squabbling and joining in the loud arguments that both he and his brother had on the regular. Why did you have to be such a little goody-two shoes – doormat – pansy? Why couldn't you just be agreeable and join in all the fighting? It was obnoxious and he didn't like it, not one little bit.

Giving into his disdain, Sans grunted and didn't wait any longer before reaching over and roughly yanking the blanket to reveal the human underneath. He didn't bother giving you a second glance before draping the blanket over his own legs and giving a drawn-out, exaggerated sigh to show off his smug satisfaction.

The couch was still vibrating.

Sans only had eyes for the TV, and shifted his arm up to the back of the couch, waiting for you to finally get up. The volume of loud yelling and screaming blared though the speakers and echoed through the living room, and Sans knew that between that and his boisterous laughter, you had to be getting up soon.

But the couch was still vibrating.

Sans gave a loud sigh of annoyance and turned to face the human who was still so rudely existing in his space.

Look, kid,” he started with an exasperated groan, “I'm kinda' tryin' ta'-” He stopped and flinched back in horror. You still hadn't moved, and your skin looked positively ashen. Your complexion and color almost matched that of his own bones! Your arms were tight against your chest, hands clutching your shoulders, but doing nothing to stop your uncontrollable shaking, your knees curled up to your belly and your toes were curled much too tightly against the bottoms of your feet. Ragged breathing and almost-silent whimpers escaped you, but you couldn't will yourself to move; if you moved, it would only hurt more. Your tongue and throat felt thick and dry, but, no.... you had to keep still.. you had to keep quiet.. but, oh, what you wouldn't give for some water!

“H-hey, kid! What are you doin'??” the skeleton demanded, his voice edged with confusion and dread. He reached down to grip your arm and give you a quick shake, but then jumped and fell back over the side of the couch when you let out a short wail in response to his touch. He scrambled backward on his butt but quickly used the armrest of the couch to pull himself back up to his knees, peeking wildly over the side to examine you from a distance. Had he hurt you? Were you preparing to fight? Sans watched you carefully as you weakly raised your head to face him, your eyes glazed and body still trembling, but the second you attempted to open your mouth, you jolted your face downward and proceeded to vomit all over the floor.

 

Ring. Ring.

“HELLO, THIS IS THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS SPEA-”

BRO, YOU GOTTA' GET OVER HERE!!! I DUNNO WHAT TA' DO!!!!!” Papyrus flinched and closed one eye, pulling the phone away from the side of his head at the screams of his brother on the other end.

“SANS, WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA??? DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO-???”

“Somethin's wrong with the human!!!! I-I-I-I don't know what's going on!!! She wuz fine last night, and now when I woke up, sh-she wuz lookin' like a ghost!!! A-a-and she's all shaky and 'er skin iz all wet and feels all hot, and she spit up a pile of somethin' on the carpet, and she- OH GOD!!!!!! SHE'S DOING IT AGAIN!!!!! GOD, IT WON'T STOP!!!!!!!”

Sans' yelling became nothing more than incoherent screeching as he was interrupted by the sound of violent retching followed by even louder screeching as he involuntarily broke his vocal range by an unspeakable amount of octaves.

“B-bro!!! You gotta' come home!! You gotta' help me!!!!” he pleaded.

Anyone who could have seen the Great and Terrible Papyrus' face in that moment would have testified that a skeleton could indeed go even paler than their natural hue. A gloved hand squeezed the phone so much that it was slowly bending inward on itself in his grip, his mandible trembling ever so slightly as he continued to listen to the screaming and the squishing, wet, disgusting sounds that were echoing through the speaker. Wide-eyed Papyrus gave a strangled gulp and trembled as his ears were assaulted.

“I-I'M SORRY, BROTHER..... BUT..... I AM AFRAID YOU WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS ONE ON YOUR OWN....” Without another word, he quickly clicked his phone off and gave another strangled gulp, attempting to swallow down his guilt.

“FORGIVE ME, BROTHER.”

“Oi! Paps! What's goin' on? You okay?” called a voice from the tidy kitchen behind him. Papyrus stopped fanning himself with both hands and tried again to recompose himself.

“I WILL BE..... I HOPE..... OH GOD...” he shuttered, all but sprinting across the the floor. “I NEED TO USE YOUR SHOWER!!!!” he crowed, slamming the door frantically behind him without waiting for a reply.

Even the Great and Terrible Papyrus had his breaking point.

 

 

Mrs. Bunny always savored the quiet, and it was that very reason that she did not like loud disturbances or obnoxious guests. Not that she was weak or timid, mind you. Nay nay! She could kick ass like nobody's business, and she had kicked ass, several of them, in fact, which is why she didn't have to deal with loud loud disturbances or obnoxious guests at her inn anymore. She also had a brood of children to look after, which is what made her love for quiet so goddamn strong. Have you ever had to deal with caring for a fussy trio of triplets along with your older child while simultaneously trying to keep a hotel clean, keep your guests happy, and try to make time for yourself? It's nearly impossible! So quiet was sacred, and that's why those skeleton brother were on thin ice, in her book.

She had overlooked it at first, trying to ignore their antics and simply go about her merry way, but the incident this last week had her worn far too thin. She had finally gotten the triplets to sleep and settled down at the front desk, eager to rest her weary soul with some mindless reading of a popular romance novel by a rather popular underground author and performer, entitled: “Drama and Love at the Hands of an Almost-Too-Handsome-to-be-True Robot With Stunning Eyes and Absolutely Perfect Hair.” It summed up the usual tone of the author all too perfectly, and Mrs. Bunny was ready to be swept away within its pages of romance, rescues, rigatoni, and reeling robot drama! That is until there were several loud “bumps” on the roof.... then the skeletons were out in front of the inn screaming about something.. then more bumps.. then came more screaming, then there was screaming coming from the upstairs.. they had woken up the children. After she had just gotten them all tucked in and sound asleep in bed.

She had repressed a string of terribly foul curses, probably not fit for a lady of her breeding, and calmed herself with a deep breath as she turned another page, forcing a smile and trying not to let the memory get to her. What mattered now was that the children were now sleeping soundly upstairs, finally down for their afternoon nap, so she could finally figure out what happens to the all-too-bland protagonist when they figure out the dashing, daring, courageous, talented, amazing, stupendous, and totally gorgeous robot's dark secret....

SLAM!

The peaceful air was gone with the sound of the front door being smashed violently into the wall behind it, a skeleton bolting through it and slamming a hand directly on the desk.

Mrs. Bunny felt her eye twitch.

Oh, hell no, motherfucker.....

Mrs. Bun, no time ta' explain!!!! I need a room, pronto!!!”

Mrs. Bunny's plan was to disembowel him right then and there in the lobby, but the fact he was a skeleton put a rather large hole in her otherwise perfect plan. Why was this skeleton panting, anyway? Even if he had run all the way here, his house was only just a stone-throw down the lane. She crossed her arms and jut out her hip, a sneer curled on her lips and her eyes bulging as she heard a stirring from upstairs where her little ones were supposed to be sleeping. She couldn't keep her eye from twitching, now.

“Look, skeleton...” she ground out, her voice strained on the verge of snapping. Sans slammed a large handful of gold coins on the counter before she could lose it. Mrs. Bunny was stunned into silence as more than a few coins from the large pile slid off the desk and landed on the floor with a chorus of dainty “dings”.

Hire yourself a goddamn babysitter!!!!!” he roared. “A room with a bathroom and all the extras!!! NOW!!!!

Mrs. Bunny hurriedly reached into one of the many drawers to pull out a numbered key, wordlessly holding it out to the near-hysterical customer who snatched it from her waiting hands, and within a second, he vanished before the bewildered woman could utter another word. .....Had that been another monster draped over his shoulder...? Either way, she wouldn't bother questioning it at this point. He had plopped down more than enough coin to cover the stay of ten monsters for an entire week! Maybe she would let this one slide.. for now, at least.

 

“Please..... stop....” you rasped. “It.... hurts when..... I move.....” Sans looked wildly around the room, and when he caught sight of the bed, strode over to it as quickly as he could manage without jostling you around too much. He made a half-careful attempt to set you down, but his nerves had him more dumping you on the mattress instead, leaving him to back away quickly, searching wildly around the room in a panic, trying to figure out what to do next.

“Wha'do I do? Wha'do I do??” he whimpered out to no one in particular, his palms pressed flat and tight against the sides of his skull as he paced. He turned quickly at the sound of a faint mumble from your crumpled form on the bed and quickly rushed closer, putting his face next to yours.

“Wha'....? Wha'dya' say??” he asked frantically.

“..........T-trash can....” you managed to breath out quietly, shaking like a leaf in the wind. Sans nodded and shot right back up and returned seconds later with a small trash can in his hand.

“O-okay! Got it! Wha' do ya' need with-?” He was cut short as you shot forward and bowed your head into the vessel still held in his outstretched hand, retching loudly as your stomach emptied itself once again. Sans kept the trash can still but shot backward to lean the rest of his body away from the ghastly display, sheer horror displayed plainly on his face.

“Oh, dear god~!” he squeaked as you leaned up for a breath before shooting your face right back down again for round seven. He turned his head up and tried to distract himself with literally anything else other than this horrifying display of... something!!! That output from your mouth looked like everything Papyrus had rightfully feared a human would bring into the house, and, dear god, the smell!! What the hell was going on?? What the hell was wrong with you???

Sans looked back to see you raising your head again, the skin under your eyes dark and your tongue lolling out of mouth as you panted and shook. Your eyes darted to his, and the both of you looked at each other for one very long moment of silence.

“I feel.... a...... lot better....” you said weakly. You would have smiled except for the fact that you felt your vision was fading out at the edges. You sighed and leaned your head forward slowly, eventually clinking your damp forehead gently against a wall of smooth, cool bone, making you sigh again.

“That feels..... so good.....” you breathed, closing your eyes and savoring the cool feeling against your flush skin. You took another deep breath. “Okay..... I'm... going to.... go to sleep now..... okay..?” you asked quietly, curling up once more on top of the bed, already drifting off. Sans' eyes were still wide as dinner plates, but he didn't feel like he was in much of a position to protest and could only watch helplessly as you closed your eyes and drifted off again.

 

“Water......”

Before you could register what you had just uttered or even open your eyes, you felt a light splash of water on your cheeks and jumped a bit, mumbling out a quiet “oh geez!” at the shock of suddenly feeling it on your face. You pulled the blanket against your cheek, successfully wiping off the droplets, and cracked open your weary eyes to face the culprit. Little glowing red stars met yours and you blinked, still feeling weak.

“Y-ya' need... water?” came the cracked voice of the skeleton before you. If you hadn't felt so shitty, you would have sworn he probably looked just as haggard as you. Your eyes locked onto the glass he held in his shaking hand. Your joy at seeing the coveted liquid caused you to exhale sharply as you attempted to sit up.... dear GOD!!! What that smell you??? You started to gag, but was startled to see Sans take a flying leap backward at the sound, squawking and splashing water all over himself as he fell into a squalling, undignified heap. You watched the whole thing unfold, and though you were tempted to laugh out loud at the dumbfounded skeleton on the floor, you were suddenly overcome with pity, which snuffed out any desire you had to laugh.

“Oh, Sans....” you sigh gently, a quiet smile on the edge of your lips, flipping up the comforter covering you and taking a couple unsteady steps before padding over to the poor, soaked creature before you. Your body still felt shaky and your head light, but the pain in your guts was thankfully gone, for the most part.

The poor skeleton hadn't moved from his spot on the floor, even as you knelt down to check on him.

“San-! Err... Mr. Sans!” you corrected. “Are you alright..?” He only blinked at you in response. Unable to wait any longer, you quietly took the glass that was still loosely gripped in his hand, stood up, and made your wait to the bathroom to fill it up. Puke-stank breath coupled with dry-mouth was not a great combo to wake up to. Luckily, a single long gulp from the glass brought salvation, and you found it much easier to breath again, thank goodness.

“H-h-hey....” You whirled around to see a stuttering Sans nervously peeking around the open door. You took another swig and raised your brows at him expectantly.

“D-do you feel like yer g-gonna' do that.... s-spitting thing again..?”

“You mean.. throwing up?”

“W-whatever it's called.... a-are you gonna' d-do it again..?”

Ahh! So that's why he nearly jumped through the wall when you had gagged! He thought you were going to puke again!

“Well, my stomach feels much better now.. so, I think I'll be fine. No more throwing up, I don't think!” you reassured. He disappeared in the wake of a wheezing gasp.

“Oh, thank god!” he praised. “P-please.... never do that again!”

“Do what? Get sick?”

“Yes!!!!”

“Uhh... I can't help getting sick, Mr. Sans... it just.. happens! I don't have full control of my body, you know.” Sans popped his head back into the door frame and gave you a horrified stare.

“Are you kiddin' me??” he gasps.

“Don't monsters get sick?” you asked.

“Oh god, no!!!!” he cringed. “I mean, our HP can get low, sure, but we can replenish it with monster food to get our strength back, but.... getting sick? Like you just did? No, and also, hell no!!!” he shuddered, turning his back to you. “God, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy! UGH!”

“.......so am I not your worst enemy then?”

You watched Sans' back as he stopped fidgeting and went quiet, noting the atmosphere going very quickly from light to unfathomable heavy.

“No.. 'course not...” he shrugged. There was no turning back now.

“Then why do you and everyone I've met down here so far think that humans are-” You stopped before you could say “monsters” and faltered for a momentarily before finishing, “evil?” Sans remained quiet. Only his long, drawn-out sigh and the quiet ticking on the clock up on the wall echoed between the both of you.

“Look..... kid..... that's another story for another day.”

“But you'll tell me eventually.. won't you?” you pleaded quietly. You still couldn't see his face, but you saw him nod.

“Sure, kid. Eventually. But for now, how about you focus on cleanin' yourself up?”

“Oh, god, yes! You don't have to ask me twice!”

 

Showers were usually more your thing, but you weren't about to turn down a bath. Besides, you still felt a little too weak, and you weren't sure you could deal with standing in a shower for so long. Plus, it had been almost a week since you had arrived in Snowdin Town, and this was the first time you had access to any bathing facilities! It was no wonder you had felt like garbage! However, watching the tub fill up with hot water and feeling it rise up and over your body until you were consumed in a pleasant little relaxing sea of bliss, you already felt so much better..

That was until you were nearly scared witless by the banging on the door.

“Lemme' in.”

Goddammit, Sans..

“Can't!” you called back, settling back into the water.

“I got some questions for ya'.”

“You can ask when I'm done.”

“No.”

Goddammit, Sans!

“It really can't wait?”

“It's important. I gotta' get me some answers.”

“Can't I just... enjoy this peace for a little while more?”

“Ya' neva' showed me the same courtesy since you landed down here.”

Goddammit, Sans!!!!!

You sighed and grabbed a couple of cute looking bottles, pouring them into the water at random.

“Okay, hold on!” you called out, swishing your hands in the water, causing the suds to surface and bubble up, successfully clouding the water and giving cover to everything below your shoulders.

“Whatcha' doin'?” The bottle of suds flew up into the air, only to be caught by a skeletal hand that stretched out to return it.

“What part of 'hold on' confused you??” you huffed snatching the bottle from his palm and re-shelving it with more force than you needed to.

“I don't like waitin',” he shrugged, grinning lazily and leaning against the wall, seemingly back to his old self.

“Well, for goodness sakes, have some respect for people's privacy!” you argued.

“'Ey! I'm a teleporter! Fuck privacy, I do what I want!” he laughed, plopping himself onto a stool next to the bath, propping his arm out onto a small chest of drawers and putting his feet up on the side of the tub. You only gave a grimace and a low grumble before trying to focus your attention back on relaxing, knowing full well you were wasting your time.

“So....” Sans chided. “Why do you stink so bad?”

Oh, this was off to a great start.

“My body.... human bodies, have toxins and stuff that build up inside them. We expel waste in a number of ways, one of which is through our skin, so we need to bathe often to keep us clean and keep the waste from building up to the point where it stinks.”

“Oh, gross...” Sans cringed back on his stool and twisted up his face. You only smiled.

“Well, I'm bathing now! Had enough? Done with all those questions of yours now?” you teased. “Besides, I have a couple questions of my own.”

“Shoot.”

“Well, okay.. why doesn't this bathroom have a toilet?”

“.....Huh?”

“A toilet.”

“A what?”

You felt yourself go pale and watched as Sans' confusion turned to fear.

“You're not gonna' 'throw up' again, are ya'??” he asked, kicking his feet off the side of the tub in preparation to run. You laughed.

“No! I'm fine! I just.... how do you even...? Umm.... how do you...” Shit. “How do you... expel waste?” Sans scoffed and made another face, even worse than the last.

“Monsters don't 'expell waste',” he snorted. “When we eat monster food, the whole thing dissipates into magical energy, which give us our fuel, so there's no need to.... 'expel waste'. Ugh.... disgusting....”

“Ohhhhh.....” you nod in realization. That would explain why you hadn't needed to “go” since you had arrived in the Underground. Neat! Well.... kind of... then what about your sickness today..?

“My turn, now,” Sans chimed in. “What was that.... that.... 'throw up'-stuff?” he asked, his shudder returning, leaving him to grimace at the all too-recent recollection.

“Ahh, right. Well.. let's start with explaining the stomach: it's an organ that food goes into and breaks it up so that the nutrients and things that we need for our body to function properly can be absorbed. Sometimes, something goes down into your stomach... maybe like.. some spoiled gross food or some foreign invader, germs or something.. anyway, sometimes your body can tell that whatever is inside of you is bad or isn't supposed to be there, and it rejects it before it can go any further. Thus the result is: vomit.”

Sans' shudder turns into a full-bodied flail when you finish, the disgust on his face turned up beyond maximum levels.

“God, I can see why Papyrus has issues with human now!” You could only laugh in agreement.

“Yeah, I can see that. When you put it into simple terms, humans really are pretty gross.” You firmly decided not to tell him about other ways of “expelling waste”.

“So why did ya' throw up today?” Sans questioned. You pondered on that for a moment before shrugging and shaking your head, making the water ripple out.

“I don't know, honestly.. sometimes humans just get sick, I guess.”

“Monster food disintegrates into magic once it's consumed,” Sans frowned at you. “You told me that you throw up only if there's something in your stomach.” He shuddered, probably not for the last time. “And, god knows, there was a lot of somethin' in there for you to throw up that much..”

“Honestly, I don't know..”

“You rejected it.” You turned your head to cock an eyebrow at the scowling skeleton.

“Pardon?”

“You rejected the food. You rejected the magic. You rejected the healing.... you didn't want to get better.” Sans looked positively angry, though this was not the same anger that you'd seen in him in the past days. This wasn't just a flighty bit of annoyance that bubbled up from inconvenience, no.. this was an anger that had boiled up from deep inside and pulsed inside his bones; a slow burn that now glowed hot and overflowed from the depths. Sans was burned, and he looked like he was about to burn you, too.

“Wait.. really??” you floundered a bit.

“Wha'do' ya' mean, 'really'? Don't play dumb, Dim,” he glowered at you. You put up your hands and shook your head so hard that you saw little stars.

“I honestly don't know what you're talking abooooohhhh.....” You stopped and put a knuckle up to your lips, scrunching up your brow and looking thoughtfully into the frothy bubbles. “Mr. Sans.... do you think maybe I could have unknowingly rejected it?” you finally asked. Sans looked thoughtful for a moment, lifting his eyes up to the paneled ceiling.

“Well, I s'pose.. maybe?” You gave a sad sigh.

“Look.... Sans.... I know why I'm here.... well, not really... but it was made very clear to me that I wouldn't be alive all that long. Do you think that maybe my body unconsciously rejected the magic and the healing because, deep down, I knew that I was going to die soon anyway?”

The both of you sat in silence for a while. You savored the quiet, though, letting the water soak into you just as Sans let your words sink into him. This past week, you had been quietly anticipating your demise. Maybe you hadn't been showing it with loud sobbing or inevitable depression, but it looked like, deep down in your soul, you had been letting your fear take over until you were rejecting everything else.

“Hey... kid...” Sans finally spoke up. “Do y'know what HP stands for?”

“Yeah.... Papyrus told me is has something to do with health.”

“But did he tell you what it stands for?”

“Oh.. well, I guess not.” Sans chuckled and leaned back, his face suddenly looking tired.

“When monsters down here lose all their HP, they die.” He looked directly into your eyes with an expression that looked almost like sadness darkening his features. He sighed, shifting and bowing forward again, taking his feet down from the side of the tub and resting his elbow on his knees.

“HP..... it stands for 'Hope Points', Dim.” He reached out slowly and rested his fingers on the top of your head, and, even slower, began to gently tangle them in your hair, stroking your scalp before letting out a low, rumbling sigh. “I don't want ya' losin' hope now, Dim. So can ya' do ol' Sans a favor?” He pulled a piece of wrapped candy from his pocket with his other hand and gently held it out to you with a weak smile.

“Don't lose hope.. and.. don't reject it this time...” he said gently. “......Please?”

 

Chapter Text

You gave a happy hum as you sucked on the candy in your mouth. It was nice and sweet, with a slightly bitter bite in the aftertaste, but, overall, it was actually pretty good!

“Why all the questions, anyway?” you asked, swallowing the taste again and pocketing the candy in your cheek to continue talking.

“What can I say? I like figurin' out how stuff works. I'm a scientist, ya' know.”

“No way!”

“What? You think a guy like me can't be smart?”

“No, no! Nothing like that. I just never pegged you as the studious type, that's all.”

“Ehh.... I only study what I like, I guess. If I ain't interested, I won't be payin' any attention.”

“Okay then, Dr. Scientist Sans, sir! Any other questions I could assist with?” you joked.

“'Doctor Sans'? Geez, I might have to change that from 'Mista'' now... 'Docta' Sans' sounds so much better!”

“Better for your ego, sure!” you laughed, but Sans gave you a very pointed, serious look.. so serious that you immediately stopped laughing. Then he quirked his mouth back into that old familiar, devilish smile.

“Wanna' play doctor?”

You choked and felt the monster candy you were saving in your cheek slide down your throat.

Jezuz, Sans!!!” you rasped, trying to get your throat cleared before another choking cough seized you.

“No, I'm serious! I've never gotten a good look at a human before! I just wanna' see what you're all about! To satisfy the scientist in me!” You managed to scoff and sank deeper into the water.

“Yeah, I bet that'd satisfy the scientist in you....”

“Christ, Dim, I ain't no pervert!! I ain't gonna try nothin' with ya'! I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm a monster, rememba'? You and I are completely different species! What makes ya' think I'd be attracted to a completely different species?”

“Ummmmm.....” You wanted to say something, but somehow you couldn't force the words out.

“And even if I was,” he scoffed, leaning back again, “what makes you think I'd be attracted to you after all that 'expelling waste' you did today? Yeeesh.. So, trust me, kid: this is all purely scientific!”

“You know, Mr. Sans.... for a skeleton, you sure do have a lot of nerve.”

“Ya' know what? Fine! Whatever! Forget I even asked....” he make a move to get up, but you caught him by the wrist.

“Wait....” And wait he did. You hesitated and cocked your head, pondering on how many mistakes this could potentially lead to. “Uhh, Sans...”

Mista' Sans,” he corrected.

“Okay, shut up for a second.... you... you do know that humans aren't all that... different from you... right..?”

“Are you pullin' my leg, kid? It's pretty obvious that humans and monsters don't-”

“No, no... not 'monsters'.... you.” He frowned.

“I'm a monster, ya' know.”

“I mean.... skeletons, Sans.”

Mista' Sans.”

I swear to god, I'm trying to say something important, and if you say one more thing, I will take both of these bottles and shove them so deep into your eye sockets that you'll be seeing bubbles for months!”

“Okay, okay, sheesh! Well, look like someone's a little feisty today..”

You looked him square in the face while reaching your hand up toward the multiple bottles of soap.

“Alright!! Okay, I'm done!! Fine.... what were ya' gonna' say about me bein' a skeleton?”

“Nope. Forget it. The moments gone,” you groaned, leaning back into your bubble kingdom.

“Well, git it back! I wanna know!”

“Well, Doctor Sans, for a scientist, you sure are bad at getting results.”

“I bet I'll get results if I pull up the plug,” he warned, leaning that much closer to the tub.

“You wouldn't dare!”

“You don't know me, then, sweetheart.”

You couldn't help but snicker as you leaned forward and crossed you arms over the side, resting your chin on top and smirking up at the skeleton.

“Okay. You win, Mr. Sans.” He looked absolutely stunned.

“I do??”

“BUT!” you held up a finger. “There are rules!”

“I don't like rules.”

“Too bad! You're going to have to follow them if you want to do any 'research'.”

“Uggghhh..... fine.... what are your damn rules?”

“I'm serious, Sans!”

“Geez, okay, I know!! I'll follow your goddamn rules, ya' pushy dame, just tell me what they are!!”

“Okay! There's only really one rule: when I say stop, you stop. No exceptions. You break that rule, and I will break every single bone you've got.”

“Oh~! I'm shakin' in my boots!”

“Sans, I'm serious....”

“I know, I know. I won't break your rule, then.. can we get on with this?”

You seem eager!” you teased.

“Only cuz you've been stalling for the last ten billion goddamn years!!”

“Has it really been that long? Well, what can I say? Good things come to those who wait!” you chirped with a big, taunting smile.

“I hate waiting...”

“What don't you hate, Sans?”

“Can we just git on with this??” he groaned.

“Okay, alright! Just..... be prepared, okay?”

“Th' hell does that even mean?”

“Just.... keep an open mind,” you sighed, sitting up a little taller. Sans eyed you suspiciously, but scooted the stool over closer to the edge of the bath and proceeded to give you the once over, carefully letting his eyes flit over what skin could be seen over the water. The waterline met your underarms and your wrists draped loosely over the edge on either side of you to give your skeletal spectator a more open view.

“Okay,” you breathed after more than a few moments of nervous hesitation his part. “I'm ready.”

“Don't rush me....” he mumbled. “I'm just gittin' mentally prepared, is all...”

“No rush! It's fine! But if I didn't know any better, Mr. Sans, I'd sayyou were nervous,” you smiled. His eyes flitted back up to your face with a scowl.

“Of course I'm nervous! I don't wanna' go about breakin' ya'!” he growled before looking back down at your naked shoulders with a look of disgust. “Stupid, fragile humans, with all your weird skin and all that fuckery....”

“You know,” you chimed in gently, “humans aren't all that fragile, Sans...” You uttered a quiet praise when he didn't correct you for not using his preferred title. “You won't break me just by touching me, you know. I can take a little bit of poking!” You laughed, not unsympathetically as you smiled up at the still-hesitant scientist. “Just relax...”

Sans took a deep breath and slowly reached a hand out toward you, stopping for a split-second over your cheek before poking at it a bit. He looked at your eyes quickly to confirm that he wasn't causing any pain, which you graced with a gentle smile and a nod. At the reassurance, his dimly glowing pupils turned their attention back to your face and brought his other hand to rest on either side of it. His palms rested on both cheeks, and he watched your features squish together from the pressure as he pressed them gently. Another glance at your reassuring eyes and he did it again, pressing them with a bit more force, his face lighting up when he found he could transform your features into a fish-face. The most uncharacteristic giggle escaped him as he kept squishing, watching your features morph.

“Enjoying ourselves, are we?” you asked from puckered lips. Sans giggled again as he continued squishing and unsquishing.

“It's weird, but it's kinda' fun!” he said brightly. His eyes scraped over your features and his digits trailed to your nose, poking at it before taking it gently between his fingers to bend it back and forth.

“Careful...” you warned after feeling a bit too much of a bend. “There's some bone in there, so it's not quite as squish-able as the rest of my face.” Sans quickly backed off, but still moved his fingers onward to continue his exploration.

He roamed upward to the sides of your head and carefully felt your ears.

“Those are made of cartilage, so they're bendy! You can go ahead and move them as much as you'd like.”

Sans carefully pinched together the skin of your ears experimentally, watching how they sprung back to their original shape and continued to waggle and bat at your ears as if you were a floppy-eared dog.

“It's weird how they're on the side of your head!” he mused and leaned even closer, moving his fingers into your hair. You watched him quietly, feeling his movements become more confident as his fingers trailed along your scalp to explore your head through your damp mane. He pinched a lock in his fingers and gave it a gentle tug watching how the skin raised up when he pulled. Then he took a single hair and pulled it the same way.

“Ouch!” you hissed suddenly, flinching downward as the strand was plucked from your head. Sans immediately reeled his hands back with a look of alarm.

“Oh, shit! Did I hurt ya'??” You touched the tender spot that had been robbed of hair and rubbed it gently.

“Yeah, just a little... nothing I can't handle, though!”

“Y-you said that you wuz okay with pokin' and shit!” he stuttered, looking miffed.

“It's fine, it's fine! Just don't try to pull things off my body next time, okay?” Sans took another deep breath and nodded before reaching back down, giving a quiet, mumble of “okay, okay” under his breath.

He ventured again towards your face, placing his palms over your ears and letting his bony thumbs massage underneath your eyes, giving a push slightly into your sockets before trailing them up to your eyelids. You closed your eyes and tilted your head back to allow him full access to the smooth skin, hoping to god that he wouldn't be an asshole and gouge into the socket. Luckily for you, he didn't, and you smiled, feeling his fingers dust curiously over your lashes, causing him to give a quiet “huh” in response before he moved his touch lower. He glided his hands along the curve of your jawline and neck before those palms moved back over your cheeks again before arriving at your chin.

“You've got a weird mouth....” he mumbled, tracing his fingers over the edge of your lips. “So red and puffy.... like ya' got punched or somethin'.” You only gave a quiet hum in response before you suddenly felt his fingers press against the closed line. You leaned back further and opened your eyes, frowning up at him.

“You want to see the inside my mouth?” You gave him a doubtful look while knowing that he probably did truly want to see it. As expected, he nodded, almost too eagerly, and you felt heat in your cheeks at the more boldly invasive nature of the investigation. However, you couldn't help wanting to go on, too. The pure wonder that painted the skeleton's face had you yearning to see more of his reactions as he explored you with that unexpected, unassuming gentleness. So, with another nod, you parted your lips and continued to watch as he leaned closer still to explore the toothy cavern before him.

Sans breathed in awe as he poked a finger in and pressed it against your teeth.

“They're so tiny!” There was that odd giggle again. He then ventured to poke at your tongue and withdrew his hand quickly.

“Ew!! I-it's moving!” he rasped, twisting his face up in a grimace that caused you to laugh out loud.

“I asked, and you said you wanted to see!” you taunted, still laughing. That grimace of disgust suddenly turned into a scowl made up of stubborn determination, as he hastily leaned forward again and grabbed your chin with a force more characteristic to the rough skeleton, causing you to gasp in surprise.

“And I still do!” he snarled, plunging a finger quite roughly between your still-parted lips, forcing them wider, using the hand that caught your chin to hold you steady so he could continue examining where he left off. He faced your tongue more bravely now, squishing and rolling it between his fingers and tracing the insides of your cheek and your upper palate. He continued on, caressing your gums and daring to delve his finger deeper toward the back on your throat. Your eyes widened as you felt his movement and you gargled out a short yelp and flinched back, not wanting to be left gagging and heaving with a burning esophagus yet again. Sans met your pleading gaze and stopped short. With a deep breath, he withdrew his hand slowly, examining the way his fingers glistened with saliva, while you took advantage of his exiting fingers to gulp down more than a few deep breaths.

“G-geez, Sans...” you managed to sputter, bringing your hand to the middle of your chest. “At least warn me before you-” In a flash, Sans' hands were back, this time trailing from your jaw down your neck, giving a far-off, mumbling “sorry, sorry...” but still focused solely on his path of skin instead of meeting your eyes.

“Really?” you droned. “You're going to keep going?”

“Yeah... yeah...” he said absently, still not looking into your face as he continued to explore. You begrudgingly let him, annoyed at his unwarranted behavior, but it quickly faded as you watched his face, adorned with curious awe and wonder, his hands and fingers pressing onward to trace every groove and depression in your skin. He stopped over your collarbone and frowned, cocking his head like a confused puppy.

“Huh..... if I didn't know any better, I'd say....” he trailed off, that frown of his pulling the corners of his mouth even lower, which in turn made your smile creep up even further.

“You'd say what, Mr. Sans?” you asked innocently, barely able to keep your smile from turning into a gleeful grin as you watched the gears slowly turning in his head. He scrunched up where his nose was supposed to be and shook his head, brows still creased together in thought.

“Nah, it's stupid.... but.... I swear, it almost looks like you have....”

“A skeleton inside me??” you blurted out, barely able to contain your glee. Sans eyes shot up to meet yours, a bewildered expression on his face.

“Well.... yeah!” he said gruffly, his expression slowly turning from bewildered to suspicious. “Wait a sec.... you don't really....”

“Yes!!” you interrupted again, bouncing up and down excitedly, making a field of ripples in the bubbles, not able to hold back any longer. “All this skin? It's covering up my bones!” you finished, a triumphant smile beaming out at your bony onlooker. Sans stared blankly at you before snorting and turning his attention back to the skin that stretched out into a plain below your protruding clavicle.

“Nah, that ain't right..” he snorted out again, trying to mask his uncertainty. “Lemme see your ribs!” he demanded.

“Uhhhhhh....” you sunk down deeper in the water, suddenly feeling a bit uneasy. “I don't.... I don't know about that...” you mumbled.

“Why not?” Sans demanded again, a gleam coming into his eye. “Cuz you know I'll figure out yer tellin' a buncha' lies?”

“I'm not telling you any lies, Sans!” you shot back, boldly moving to sit up straight. “See?? Ribs! Plain as day!” you answered, poking the side of your body to point out the jutting bones of your ribcage just underneath your flesh, your chest and a portion of your waist was now visible above the suds.

It was silent. Sans only stared. Not at your ribs, but at your now-exposed breasts. He blinked and slowly lifted up his hand to point.

“What..... is that...?” he asked, eyes wide. You frowned and felt your face flush again. Oh no...

“It's my chest!” you defended, trying to act natural and stay calm.

“Ha!!” he called out, mocking your previous display of triumph as he grinned and kept pointing. “There ain't no skeleton that has that shape on 'em!” he crowed before laughing and shaking his head. “Ahhh, ya' almost got me there, Dim! I almost really believed that humans were just..” he chortled. “..skeletons with some skin over 'em!!” Then the laughter burst forth. “HA!!! I swear, for a second I was almost as gullible as you, Dimbulb, ol' pal!”

“SANS!” came your sharp interruption of his joyfest, causing all laughter to cease suddenly. You cupped your boobs, jiggled them slightly then raised them up a bit. “These are all muscle and skin and stuff! Not bone! There are ribs underneath them! Look!”

Back came that bewildered look as Sans took in the sight of your ribcage lined clearly under your skin. A wheezing sound escaped him as he scrambled forward from his perch and leaned his face underneath your lifted breasts to examine you closer. You felt a shiver try to snake its way up your back as you felt his warm breath against the skin of your belly. Wait..... how....?? How was that possible??

“Well, I'll be damned...” Sans wheezed before you could speak. He quickly grabbed you by your shoulders, ignoring your yelp of protest and surprise, and spun you around to view your back, sloshing water onto the floor and pushing against the base of your neck to so that you were hunched over.

“No way...” he wheezed again as you felt his fingers trace down the skin-covered ridges of your spine. You squealed loudly at the tingling sensation his touch lit up in you and arched your back, successfully moving away from his grasp before turning back to face him again.

“You could have asked, you know!!” you scolded with a huff. He managed to look apologetic but still shook his head.

“Yeah, but... holy shit, Dim! This is wild!!” he spouted, his wide eyes and shark-tooth smile now miles away from being remotely threatening. He looked more like an awestruck child than a blood-thirsty monster with the way his features lit up. “I mean, I never even thought it was possible! I mean, sure, humans kinda' have the same basic stature as us skeletons, but a skeleton inside a human?? I mean..!! Holy shit!! I'll be honest, Dim, I've never seen a fully-grown human before, and-” He cut himself short and gave you a questioning look. “You.... are fully-grown.. right?”

“Well.. I am an adult, if that's what you mean...” you confirmed.

“Do all adults have those?” he asked, pointing again at your chest.

“Uhh... no....” you said slowly, knowing your face was starting to heat up again. “M-most adult women have them, though... umm... to-to some degree...” you stuttered. Oh god, he was just staring at you expectantly.

“Umm... uh, so, yeah... most men don't.. have.. this..” you continued, gesturing to your naked breasts, trying to force the blush from your face, arguing with yourself that there was no need to be embarrassed, because this was purely an educational talk. “These are, um... breasts..”

“What are they for?” the ever-curious Sans piped up.

“Well, umm.... they.. are for feeding babies..” you explained.

“Wait.. really?” came his suspicious reply.

“Well.. yeah! They produce milk to feed babies!”

“Sooooo, what, they're, like, udders?”

You opened your mouth to say something in retort, but only silence came out, forcing you to snap it shut and pause to take in what had just been said. Well.... Christ, he wasn't technically wrong...

“Uh, well... I guess... kind of? But, don't call them that..”

“Why not?”

“Well, because, they're not udders! They're breasts!”

“Seems to me they look and function a lot like udders, though.”

“But they're not,” you argued. “They're breasts! And they don't look like udders very much at all!” you finished defensively. Sans glanced down at your chest again, squinted, and moved his hand up to reach out toward your chest.

“Nope!” you called out, crossing your arms over your boobs to cover them. “Those are off limits!”

“What? How come??” Sans urged, looking almost disappointed.

“Because... my breasts are private, and nobody is allowed to touch them unless I say so!”

“So then say so!” he demanded. You shook your head.

“They're private! Not for casual touching!” you said again.

“But why?” he continued to argue.

“Well.... because.... they're kind of a.... umm.... you only share them with people you trust...” you faltered, trying to quickly think up a better explanation.

“Ya' don't trust me?”

“No, no, I do trust you, it's just-”

“Then lemme' touch 'em!”

Oh lordy lord.....

“It's just..... it's kind of an.... intimate thing!” you finally managed.

“Wait, what? I thought you said they feed babies?”

“Well.... they do! It's.... it's just....”

“It's just what?”

“It's just that... you usually only share them with someone you.... love.”

The room was filled with heavy silence.

“Uhh... yeah.... th-that's why.... it's... you know... intimate...” you finished lamely.

Still silent. You cast a nervous look over at Sans.

“Oh,” he finally spoke. “Okay...”

Another silence.

“I guess that kinda' makes sense...” he mused aloud before twisting up his face again. “It's stupid, but it makes sense.”

“It's not stupid!” you laughed, feeling the tense silence melt away. “It's just how it is!”

“Yeah, well, 'how it is' is stupid, if ya' ask me,” he huffed, glancing over at your crossed arms.

“Do yours make milk?” he asked, all too earnestly.

“Wha-??? No!” you said all too quickly, recoiling in horror. “They only make milk when you have a baby!” you corrected, noting that his smile was growing wider, probably relishing the sight of your discomfort. That golden tooth flashed as he slowly leaned forward to lean a lazy arm on the side of the tub and prop the opposing elbow up to meet his chin, giving a smug, wolfish look down at you.

“Well, sweetheart, you were talkin' so fondly about skele-babies not too long ago..” he purred, his voice low and husky. “And you do know how good milk is for keepin' strong bones, don'tcha'....?”

He didn't get any further before a wall of water drenched him down to his socks.

Welp! Gotta' jet!” you declared, grabbing a towel and quickly wrapping it around you before the sputtering skeleton could gather his wits about him. You stepped agilely past him, being careful not to slip in any of the water that pooled underfoot. “Just sit tight in here while I get dressed! BYE!” you called before slamming the bathroom door, leaving the soaking pile of bones to stew underneath his heavy, waterlogged jacket.

Good. Maybe he'd think about what he did.

Or not.

Yeah, probably not....

God, could this get any more awkward?

 

Chapter Text

“Lemme' at dem bones!” you cackled in a mock-Sans dialect, leaning towards the skeleton with waggling fingers. He skittered backwards at an amazingly hilarious speed and shot you a wary look once his back was to the wall, only succeeding in making you laugh.

“I'm only teasing! I wouldn't make you do anything you don't want to do, Sans. Unlike some pushy and impatient people I know..”

Mista' Sans,” came the inevitable correction.

“Why is it so important?” you ask, throwing your hands up and falling back into the bed in exaggerated exasperation.

“'t's important if you wanna' continue bein' my.. friend.

“And why do you keep saying 'friend' like it hurts you?” you inquired, sitting back up to look at him. He shrugged.

“'Cuz bein' friends with humans is weird and has brought me nothin' but trouble.”

“Me? Trouble?” you feigned innocence, putting your hands over your heart and fluttering your eyelashes, no doubt looking less like an image of an angel and more like that of an confused sloth with a falsie stuck in its eye. Sans didn't even acknowledge you, pocketed his hands and turned his head to stare out the window, in turn causing you to also peer over, only to find the glass frosted over.

“Well, who would you consider your best friend, then, if it isn't me?” you pushed. Sans turned his head to shoot you a dirty look.

“I don't have friends,” he snorted.

“Really? But you're so.. likeable!”

“Hows about you cut out the sarcasm before I dump you back outside?” he growled in response. You bit back a laugh and hoped your dopey smile wouldn't further fuel his anger.

“Besides..” he rumbled, turning his attention to back to the frosted window. “Ain't nothin' good 'bout friends. They'll stab you in the back the second you let your guard down.” He pushed himself off the wall and jerked a thumb to point at his chest. “That's why guys like me put on such a tough front! We don't need no back-stabbin' assholes followin' us around tryin' ta' mess with the flow of how things are run 'round here!”

“So you're admitting that your 'tough guy' attitude is only an act then?” you grinned again. Sans faltered, his face turning to shock, then to nervousness, then back to anger.

“Yer gittin' awfully mouthy, Dim,” he said, taking steps closer to your sitting position on the bed. “And it's startin' ta' bug me..” he growled. You had almost forgotten who you were dealing with here, and you instantly felt regret shoot up from the depths of your soul as you watched him lumber closer. Yet, somehow, it wasn't fear that bloomed alongside the regret.. it was something different entirely, though you couldn't quite put your finger on what it was..

Despite him closing the distance between the two of you, your face only turned up to meet his with a look of gentle concern.

“I'm sorry, Mr. Sans,” you said earnestly, causing him to stop. “You know.... I would never hurt you, right?” He looked at you like you were stupid. “And a real friend would never stab you in the back. So.. maybe you just need to find real friend!” Your smile grew bigger while you watched his frown do the same. “So, Mr. Sans, may I please be your real friend?”

Sans glowered at you silently, not sure which direction he should let his anger go, but you watched him close him eyes and give a slow, controlled exhale before opening them again.

“No.”

What?? Oh, come on!!”

“You ain't been keepin' up your end of the bargain for us ta' be any type a' 'real friends'.”

“How so??”

“Yer really askin' me?” he asked with narrowed eyes before crossing his arms and shaking his head in disbelief. “Rule one: ya' gotta' call me Mista' Sans,” he emphasized, making you want to groan aloud.

“But it's just-”

“Rule two: don't go around drawin' attention to yourself!”

“Okay, but I-”

“Rule three: no funny stuff!”

“Define 'funny stuff'....”

“Rule four: do exactly what I say.”

“Well, that's-!”

“Rule five: stay away from Papyrus.”

“It's a little inevitable-”

“And did you follow any of those rules at all since we've met?”

“No, but-”

“Then we can't be friends,” he concluded with a shrug and smirk. Before you could protest, Sans' arms shot out and shoved an item under your nose, causing you to flinch back, though the wonderful smell of the item quickly caused you to lean in again. It was a soft-looking, doughy item that resembled a chubby little rabbit topped off with a opaque white glaze. You found yourself giving a soft gasp as you reached out to take the cute item.

“It's a Cinnamon Bun,” Sans filled in.

“Oh, gosh, that it too cute!” you squealed as you looked it over.

“Yeah, well, it ain't fer lookin'. Eat it an' it'll refill your HP some more,” he grunted.

“It almost is too cute to eat, though,” you smiled, holding it up to your face to examine it though you could already feel your fingers getting sticky. It was quickly plucked unceremoniously from your hands, though and shoved roughly against your lips.

“Yer gonna' eat it anyway!” Sans ground out impatiently, looking even more annoyed when you drew your head back.

“Okay! I was going to eat it-!” But you were cut short when Sans shoved the front half of the bun in your open mouth. You wrinkled your nose and held in there in your teeth, looking up at Sans with a frown.

“Hrewwy?” came your muffled “Really?” from behind the doughy treat. Sans grinned and snickered.

“Now you look kinda' like a bunny!” he said, bringing his hands forward to press all his fingers against your puffed-out cheeks a couple of times before you pulled away.

“Eeve wee ahhone, oo ansy herehin! Oww ee hih!” You chomped down on the pastry and brought your hands up to hold the back end, slightly saddened that the cute little bun was now ruined, but also invigorated by the delicious taste of cinnamon, sugar, and frosting. You munched happily, you eyes occasionally darting over to see Sans observing you quietly.

“Thanks! This is actually super good!” you praised between mouthfuls. You lifted it up and gave your observer a look, gesturing with a nod towards the bun in an offer to share, but Sans shook his head.

“Nah, I ain't the one who's sick,” he grunted, grabbing a chair and flopping down heavily. “'Sides, I gotta' make sure you actually accept it this time.” The food suddenly felt hard in your throat when you went to swallow, and your face saddened. That's right.. your future.. although it was a little difficult to ponder due to your comfortable surroundings, you thought about the promised future that would have you be turned over to the King of Monsters for... for... for what, exactly?

A snapping of fingers directly in front of your face jolted you out of your thoughts as you were faced once again with the angry face of Sans.

“That's exactly what you're not supposed to do!” he barked. You looked down guiltily at your bun, trying not to look him in the eye, but knowing that he was right. You took a deep breath to calm yourself but still couldn't manage to look back up. You felt Sans move in front of you and heard him give a growling sigh.

“Look..... kid....” he said, his voice sounding pained and tired, causing you to glance up to see him rubbing his forehead with unnecessary force. “What if..... I.... accepted your offer.... to be.... 'real friends'....?” he stammered out hesitantly as if the words themselves caused him pain. You looked up at him with wide eyes.

“Wait, really??” He sighed.

“Yeah, really.”

Before you knew what you were doing, you were leaning forward with his hands clasped in yours.

“That is the greatest news I've heard all day!” you grinned before shooting up and padding over to your bag.

“And what do you think you're doing?” he asked.

“Gathering up some things so we can go out and do stuff together! Just like real friends do!”

“Nope.”

“Yes!” You turned around with a smile and padded back to the sitting Sans before tapping him twice right between the eyes. “No arguing! This is what 'real friends' do! And I'll show you what being 'real friends' is all about!” And with that, you half-skipped into the bathroom and shut the door.

“And you have to promise that you'll work with me on this!” you called through the door. “Because that's also what real friends do! Okay?”

Sans was left staring at the other side of the bathroom door and didn't reply.

“Promise?” you chided once again.

More silence.

“Promise??” you called again, louder this time. Sans grinned and took a deep breath.

“Cross my heart,” he mumbled at the closed door.

“Great! I'm just changing, so I'll be out in a minute. I'm so ready to get out and starting doing some friend stuff!” you chirped.

 

“I'm sick of snow.” Your confidence ran strong as you marched towards the cave on the other side of the town. “Captain Papyrus told me that there's a a giant cave in there! With water and flowers and- THEG!!” A garbled squawk escaped past your lips as you were yanked back by your scarf. Apparently Sans had really put thought into your attire, making it maybe not-so-fashionable, but painfully functional. Clever.

“You ain't goin' in there.”

“I is goin' in there!” you crowed, pulling at the scarf still caught in Sans' grip to loosen it from its strangling hold on your neck, still undeterred from the task at hand. “I want to see the wa-TERG!” Another tug on that blasted scarf rendered you mute and immobile, once more.

“That's too damn bad. We kin go to north Snowdin and you kin watch Ice Wolf or somethin'....”

“But I already saw the Ice Wolf!” you protested, fumbling with the python scarf squeezed around your neck. “I wanna' see the water, Mr. Sans!” You felt like a whiny child arguing with him like this, but you just wanted to be anywhere but here. The air here was cold and stale, and you craved a change of scenery; something less white, perhaps?

“Ya' sound like one of them brats,” Sans growled, finally relenting to let go of your scarf, thank god.

“Yeah, well, let's go have fun!”

“Ugh.....”

“Oh, come on! What, allergic to fun, Mr. Sans?”

“Jezuz, fine....”

“Okay! Off to the cave!” you chirped.

“No.”

“Sans!!!!”

“Ya' kin have fun in Snowdin. It's full a' fun.”

“Not like it's rubbed off on you too much.”

“Ya' wanna say that a little louder, runt?” he growled.

“All I saying is that a change of scenery might cheer you up!”

“A wet, humid cave ain't gonna do the trick. We're stayin' here.”

“But! But! Friendship!” you reminded him.

“.......”

“Soooo....?

“We kin have friendship in Snowdin.”

“But Snowdin only has snow in it.”

“No shit, Sherlock Bones.”

“Aaaaand the cave has water in it!”

“The fuck are you on about, Dim?”

“Weeeeeell, don't you think that we need a little water...?” you grinned. “To keep our.... friend-ship afloat?” The way your laugh hissed from the back of your throat and your waggling eyebrows gave away just how proud you were of yourself, so much so that Sans' dead-eyed silence didn't even bother you as you cackled away.

“Oh, come on! That was a-!” A typhoon of glowing red snowballs suddenly pelted you from every direction, turning your glee into panic as you dove into the snow to protect your face. A barrage of snowy projectiles bombarded on top of you, causing you to fear for your safety and hope that you wouldn't be hopelessly buried in an avalanche of deadly fun. It seems that you were sufficiently buried in a couple of moments, rendering the rest of the attack useless as they bounces against the snowy fortress you were now unwillingly and accidentally encased in. Luckily, one lift of your head made a little window out so you were able to face your assailant, who you would have scolded, if not for the strange smile on his face that stopped you short.

He was smiling. Not a malicious grin or a smirk like all the times before, but.... this time, it seemed more real.... more genuine and pure, reaching up into his eyes in a way your didn't think possible. Yet, here you were, watching his eyes lit up by that big, real smile that graced his features, and you couldn't help but smile right back, your snowy prison all but forgotten.

“Man..... aw'right. Know what, Dim? I guess we could spend a little time explorin' in there.”

“Yes yes yes!!! Thank you, thank you!!!” you shouted happily as you struggled to wiggle around in the snow.

“Yeah, whatever. Don't mention it.”

“You won't regret this, Mr. Sans!!”

“I'm sure I will,” he grunted before pausing. “Ya' know what? Just go ahead and call me 'Sans'.”

“Wha..? You mean it??” you questioned suspiciously as you wiggled and pushed your way out of the snowy barricade with much difficultly while Sans only looked on with a shrug.

“Sure. You're the one who keeps insistin' that we be 'real friends', right?”

“Why do you always say that like that?”

“Like what?”

“Like saying it like you're about to eat a plate of worms or something.”

Sans only tittered some more before walking away towards the entrance of the cave, leaving you to dust yourself off and hurry to follow, hopeful that maybe you could be the one to change his mind about friends.

However, as you watched Sans slip silently into the darkness of the looming, maw-like entrance ahead of you, the more the thoughts of your pleasant, adventurous romp in the cave to look for flowers, rocks, and minerals began to darken ever so slightly.

 

Chapter Text

He watched you “splish splash” your way through the darkness of the cavern's entrance and continued to watch your face brighten as the purple glow hit it, though he couldn't tell if it was the light or your own stupid giddiness that caused you to glow. Either way, he felt himself becoming immediately annoyed. The mix of the stale, musty air added to the abrupt change in temperature and humidity was causing him to shift back into his usual bad mood. Then again, what didn't put him in a bad mood? Who could blame him, though? Compared to the pleasant coolness of Snowdin, it felt hotter than the inside of a warthog's butthole in this stupid cave.

He grunted and trudged forward, giving a quick glance back to see you stop to marvel at the water that was falling from above. Those bright eyes and those reddened cheeks that perked up so high and round when you smiled, giving your eyes little hills to perch on.. the way your teeth shone between your parted lips when you looked around in awe and wonder.. the way your head floated on your neck and shoulders as you looked all around, taking in all the mundane, usual sights of the cave Sans has all-too-frequently visited...

All of those things didn't put him in a bad mood.

But he would be lying if he said it didn't make him feel nervous and irritated, somehow, and he was certain that your dumb, wonder-struck expression would wear off soon enough.

“Ya' know...” he started, puffing up in satisfaction at seeing you jump at the sudden sound of his voice through the low light. “There's more to this place than just those lil' ceiling drips, if ya' ever decide ya' wanna keep going.”

“Oh!” He watched the expression on your face change to one of goofy embarrassment. “Sorry! It's just so... different! I think I've been in Snowdin too long, so the water is such an amazing change!” A muted shiver ran down his spine when your light laugh echoed through the rocky hall and irritation grasped at him once more before he turned with a scoff continued forward again.

“Yeah, yeah, neat. Just try to keep up,” he sighed. He heard your footsteps quicken into a jog as you caught up to walk beside him.

“So where are you going?” you piped up, arms clasped leisurely behind your back.

“Whaddaya' mean, 'where we goin'?' We're here!” he grunted, gesturing all around the both of you.

“Okay, Sansy-sassypants!” ….Sansy-sassypants...? Sans thought, momentarily bewildered. “I meant is there any place in here that we're actually going to? Like, an end destination or something?”

“What do I look like? A tour guide?” he shot only to be met a single upturned index finger and a mischievous half-smile.

Friendship,” you reminded him merrily. He made no effort to stifle a groan and wrinkled up the space above where his nose might have been.

“'Kay. Sure. Whatever,” he huffed as both of you walked into another section of cave that had a kiosk that looked exactly like the one you had seen in passing in Snowdin forest.

“Keep up, Dim. Here's your tour!” he said abruptly. “That over there is an echo flower. The monster next to it is Idon'tgiveafuckwhat'isnameis.” Sans gestured a hand at everything while not actually looking at it or slowing his stride. “That other there 's my other job. I sell stuff there.”

“Wait!” you yelped, trying to both keep up with Sans and inspect the items around you. “What's an echo flower? Can I go see it?” Sans felt his arm yanked back, forcing him to stop just short of the next room. He turned to look at you, a scowl on his face.

“'t's just a dumb flower,” he growled.

“Not to me it isn't! I wanna go look at it!” You took one single step away from him before freezing for a moment and turning back. “..... is it dangerous...?” you asked cautiously. Sans can't help but snicker.

“Maaaaybe...” he drawled with a wide grin.

“.....Sans....”

“Naw, they're not dangerous.. geez, lighten up..” he grumbled. Seeing your suspicious caution, Sans watched you turn and walk up to the orange, bug/fish-like monster who had been standing next to the glowing blue flower. He didn't feel inclined to listen in on the conversation, already knowing that the mechanics of the blue flower was being explained to you. Sighing impatiently, though no one else was there to hear it, he leaned heavily against the wall, staring as you knelt down to try it out, talking into the flower and then listening as it repeated back whatever you had just said, which seemed to get a laugh out of you. You glanced over and caught his eye, a large grin spreading over you face again before you turned back to the flower once more to whisper something else into it. Seemingly satisfied, you stood back up, said one last thing to the other monster and happily jogged back over to the waiting skeleton.

“Ya' done playin' around?”

“For now,” you said, your grin even wider.

“What'd ya' say?” he asked, attempting to mask his curiosity with demanding suspicion. He frowned as you only shook your head.

“Maybe when you're in less of a hurry...” you answered back mischievously, strolling right past him. Sans had never been more tempted to tackle someone to get that smile off of your face, and he refused to show that he had any interest in what you had said to the dumb echo flower, despite his faint pull of shameful curiosity. Seriously, though, he hoped that this human's whole “friendship” kick would be over with soon. With that thought, his footsteps slowed into a shuffle along the hard, stony ground. If he kept it up, he would wear even more holes in his slippers, though he honestly didn't care about his worldly possessions, he thought, and kept his grimacing gaze on the ground as he moved along.

“Um, Sans?” he heard you call from a ways in the distance. He forced himself to look up at the girl shifting in her place in front of a stream of rapidly flowing water. “Uhhh.... I think it might be best if you led the way.. I kind of don't know my way around here, aaaaand.... can... can we even pass through this??” you fumbled. Without a word, Sans had breezed past you, hands still deep in his pockets, and briskly waded through the water, expertly dodging all the debris that fell with it.

“Wha-?? It's only ankle deep all the way through??” he heard you call from the other side. He couldn't contain himself from laughing out loud at yet another display at your stupidity, smug and satisfied yet again when it died down to only mocking echoes that left his human companion, still on the other side, with a face reddened from embarrassment.

“Oh, little Dimwit..” he sneered before giving another chuckle, watching you follow his same path carefully across. “Your head is emptier than this stupid cave! We may never know how deep the emptiness goes!”

“You can never be too careful,” came you resigned reply coupled with a shrug, drawing Sans back into irritation at the lack of response from his insult. You seemed to be getting used to his insults. Or maybe... was Sans losing his touch? He bristled at the thought.

“Hey, Dim.. ya' know why they call this place 'Waterfall'?” he asked casually as you waded across carefully. You looked up quickly and cautiously to send him a hard look before letting your eyes fall back to the water.

Okay, Sans, you don't really think I-”

“Cuz first comes the water, then comes the....” Sans gave a quick, sharp lunge of his foot, which collided with yours midstep as you almost reached the other side of the stream. “....fall!” Sans finished gleefully as the violent splash signaled the beautiful union between your face and the garbage that lay at the bottom of the shallow riverbed.

The bellowing roar of Sans' laughter drowned out the gurgling and sputtering of the human fallen below him as you gasped for breath after the surprise. Unfazed at your plight, Sans only leaned down close to your wet and disheveled face, his laughter now slowed into a tittering chuckle.

“Did ja' have a nice trip?” Sans inquired with devilish delight, his newest joke threatening to send him back into a frenzy.

Why you-!!!

Sans was surprised by your strength and didn't even have time to comprehend as he was yanked down into the stream of water and debris with you. He flailed for only a second before he found himself flat on his back, face-to-face with a girl who very much resembled an angry, drenched yak.

“That's not cool, Sans!!!” you seethed at him. Sans had never seen you this upset before.. this.. angry! Granted, it was a small spark, sure, but.... he couldn't help but like it. He finally got the human angry. Was this all it took to set you off? All this time, and it turned out to be a little dunk in the river? Still on his back looking straight up into you anger-contorted face, Sans only lazily placed his hands in the pocket of his jacket and allowed the water to flow over and around him and shrugged.

“Seems pretty cool to me,” he drawled, content at seeing your anger flare even more.

“I'm serious!!!”

“Ya' know, kid, for someone who took such a refreshing dip, it didn't seem to cool you off at all.”

He watched with a taunting smile as you raised a non-threatening finger to point at him.

“I'm not messing around, Sans....” you said, your voice now low and even.

“It seems that the mess already happened. Jezus, sweetheart! You look terrible!”

He watched your eyes close. He watched you take a deep breath through your nose then exhale slowly through puckered lips. He watched you stand up, your eyes still closed, and walk away.

“What? That's all ya' got, sweets?” he taunted after you, lazily sitting up to watch you go. You froze, leaving Sans to await your reaction almost too eagerly. To his disappointment, you didn't even turn around, and all he could see was your shoulders lift slowly with another deep breath before you pressed on without gracing your skeletal guide with a single reply.

“Hey now! Where do you think yer goin'?” he called after you, grunting before finally lifting himself out of the water and quickly picking up a rapid pace in order to catch up with the miffed human up ahead. To him, this was much too fun.. he didn't know exactly what he did to make you tick, but finally getting a reaction from you made him swell with pride at the feat, and he didn't want to lose it now.

“What's the rush, sweetheart?” he chirped with a wide grin once he found himself closer to your fuming, fleeing form. Again, he was left in silence as you quickly trod on ahead, not even bothering to acknowledge him.

“Awww, come on, Dim! What'sa' matter? Does the little kitty not like gettin' her paws wet?”

Still no answer.

“Don't be such a wet blanket!”

Still nothing.

“Well, I at least hope ya' had a nice trip!”

Silence.

“Do you think there's such thing as-”

Shut up, Sans.” He flinched. The words came low and quiet, but they didn't need to be loud to have a sting to them, but the bold spark from a human that was relying on his good nature to stay alive caused his anger to flare.

“What'd ya' say now??” he fumed, grabbing you roughly by the shoulder. You still didn't turn around and only gave hard, jerking shrug that freed you, now walking even faster to avoid another touch. This only served to make the recipient of the brush-off even more furious. How dare you speak to him like that! And pulling away like you did? Did you have a death wish? He was back within arms reach within seconds and reached his arm out toward you again, determined to make you look at him.

But it seems you beat him to it.

In an instant, before he could lay a single bony finger on your angry form, you whipped around and stopped, causing the trajectory of Sans' reaching hand to overshoot its destination, grasping into the nothingness of dark beyond. The two of you collided, startling the skeleton who then realized that had been your exact intention, judging by the way your arms were now wrapped tightly around him. All the insults, retorts, and smart words that had perched heavily yet so easily on the tip of his sharp tongue were blown away from him in that single moment. He quickly jolted to steady himself at the sudden, gentle assault of your embrace, his arms still hovering awkwardly in the dark beyond your head, his head suddenly blank and his jaw slack with surprise as his cheek pressed into the damp softness of your hair.

The sound of falling water and your slow, steady breathing was the only thing he could he could hear. Your head leaned even heavier into his own cheek, causing his eye sockets to widen even more than he thought they ever could, but he still couldn't find any words or incentive to move away.

He could smell your hair (amplified by the fall in the stream, no doubt), a slightly floral scent that was offered up in the bathroom of the inn. Both your your breath and body was warm against him, the air from your lungs carelessly against his neck, and he suddenly wondered where the cave ended and you began.

It seemed as if the fumbling hands finally found a home on your back, but his elbows were still splayed outward, still making this whole position an awkward and uncomfortable one. Sans was starting to sweat. What were you doing? What did you want? Were you angry? Were you planning something? Would you ever let go?

“You....” the quiet, muffled whisper came from the depths of fabric on his shoulder. “You....” it repeated before taking a long, deep breath. “You suck at hugs....” Your face rose up from from the refuge of his jacket, leaving the spot feeling strangely empty but the eyes he had wanted to see so badly were finally staring back at him, though he didn't feel at all compelled to respond in the way he had previously intended..

“..Really? No witty comeback for that one?” You gave a dry laugh as Sans realized only then that he had been silent. Heat rose to his cheeks while panic rose to the rest of him.

“I-! I just-!” His mind was reaching wildly in every direction, hoping to grab onto something witty or helpful to say or do, but it was just like when he had tried to grab you before: he had only grasped at thin air while you were the one who had done the capturing. Sans realized very suddenly while his mind spun uselessly that you were studying his face very intently while something more genuine began to reclaim you. Finally, a real laugh replaced the forced one from before and Sans felt your arms loosen before you stepped back to give the both of you your space back.

“You dumb, soggy skeleton..” you sighed, not without a faint smile. He watched you turn to look into the vastness of the rest of the cave before turning back to him, then back to the cave, then back again with another sigh.

“These wet clothes aren't ideal for cave exploring,” you explained. “Why don't we just head back? We can explore another day.”

“B-but.. friendship!” Sans blurted out. He noticed the strange look you gave him and realized his mistake. “I mean.. come on, Dim!” he urged with a huff. “You're the one who dragged me here! Don't ya' care about furthering our.. friendship?” The look you gave became more intense, and he fumbled to try again. “I mean.. ya' just givin' up, huh? This whole 'friendship' business too much for ya'?” He had finally found his smug grin again and silently congratulated himself on the recovery, but found his celebrating ego deflating a bit at the shrug and the shake of your head you gave when you walked right past him to venture on back to the entrance.

“Not giving up.. just taking a break.”

That was it. Nothing more. Not even a look backward at the dumbfounded and confused companion who lingered behind. He had expected a fight. He had expected yelling or crying, maybe some hitting or... something. Honestly, he wasn't exactly what he would get, but in the end, all he had reaped from the human was confusion and apathy.

For once, he felt gravely concerned.