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Not the best way to go about Life

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You manage to catch the word on your lips before it escaped. You were in a park after all, and there were children nearby. So instead you caught yourself and ended up shouting "FfffffFUDGE!" like some kind of lunatic.

Nice.

Hot coffee was burning into your skin and there was a huge brown stain down your jumper. Every fibre of your being wanted to throw the rest of the coffee at the person who had just bumped into you, but you wanted to save what you had left, so instead you lifted up your arms like some kind of ragdoll and let the now cold coffee drip down your sleeves and onto the floor.

Great, that's 2.50 gone into the wind.

Gritting your teeth, you decided to calm yourself down, apologise to whoever you bumped into, and carry on your way. You glanced up, highly doubting that you would be able to contain the rage that was simmering near the surface.

"damn, you ok?"

The rage that had been threatening to burst melted away like ice on a hot summers day. You shrank back a little when your eyes met the hollow, black sockets of a Monster.
A skeleton Monster.

Well, that's what he appeared to be at first glance. He was much bulkier than a human skeleton, with thicker and longer bones. His face was rounded and his huge teeth were sharp points, like shark teeth, and they fitted together perfectly. One of them was... Golden?
He sported a black hoodie with a fur-trimmed hood and red sneakers. You had no idea why he was able to wear SHORTS on a cold day like today, but you put it down to skeletons not feeling the cold or something.

Monsters had been 'released' from the Underground a few years ago. It had been incredibly exciting, learning that monsters and magic all existed, but once the whole story was uncovered it became apparent that they weren't at all friendly. In fact, their king and the captain of their Royal Guard had served time in jail for murdering children. Monsters had integrated themselves into societies all around the world and had been somewhat prejudiced against by a lot of people, but eventually, like all things, everyone stopped giving a shit. You were one of those people who didn't care but tried to stay out of the way.

Spilling coffee over one was NOT your definition of 'staying out of the way'.

"I'm fine." You said, voice coming out a lot shakier and squeakier than you had intended. You glanced around you, eyes begging for help, but all the adults were turning their children away and avoiding eye contact.

"you sure?" His voice was deep and smooth. Had he been human it would have been quite sexy, but you banished that thought from your mind.

You looked into his... eyes...? and saw that, contrary to what you had assumed at first, he had tiny red pinpricks of light inside his black sockets. They seemed to be studying you intently.

"Y-yeah, I'm fine. Sorry, It was an accident. Yeah. Uh, I'll be on my way." You tried to skirt around him but you were yanked back by a vice grip on your arm. You turned around and saw that his thick skeletal fingers were wrapped around your forearm, preventing your escape. He looked genuinely concerned, eyelights roaming from your coffee stained blue jumper to your probably ghostly white face.

"you spilt your coffee, right? i'll buy you another." He turned around and moved towards the coffee shop, dragging you along with him.

"No, really, I'm ok!" You blurted, trying to yank your arm out of his grip.

"it wasn't a request, sweetcheeks."

...What did he call you?

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True to his word he got you another coffee. He also got one for himself and a small chocolate cake to say sorry for 'spilling your coffee fucking everywhere'. You were given apologetic glances by the staff, which you appreciated.

So now you were sat opposite a gigantic skeleton monster, drinking coffee as if you were close buddies, and every eye in the cafe was on you two. You could feel yourself draining of self confidence with every sip you took. How were you going to leave? Could you just get up and go? Or was he going to make you stay longer?
And why were all the monsters in the cafe giving you that strange look?

"you ok doll? you've gone really fucking pale." He was sat opposite you, red eyes glowing gently.

You almost spat your coffee everywhere at the nickname he gave you.

"Y-yeah, umm, just..." Real smooth, (y/n). Real smooth.

"it's cause i'm a monster, isn't it?" he chuckled to himself, resting his elbows on the table top. You flinched at the casual way he accepted your stereotyping, and you felt really guilty, pulling your legs up to your chest and holding the coffee cup close. He, on the other hand, was oozing self confidence and you caught a whiff of cigarettes and... mustard? "don't worry, i won't eat you. not without permission anyway." He winked one of his sockets.

You felt yourself go white as a sheet and you focused on your coffee cup. Suddenly the prospect of eating the slice of chocolate cake in front of you made you feel sick to your stomach and you stared at it, willing it to move away and create some kind of distraction.

"h-hey, i was joking."

You were surprised to hear him stutter. He was also... sweating? Do skeletons sweat? There was a moment of silence, filled only with the sound of you taking another sip of your coffee and him sighing. Had you pissed him off? Your heart was beating against your ribs, trying to break out and run for it.

"knock knock." He said, his face completely serious. Was he seriously doing this? Right now?
You took a deep, shaky breath through your nose and looked up at him.

"...Who's there?"

"cows go."

"C-cows go who?"

"i'm pretty sure cows go 'moo', ya dingus."

The atmosphere cracked a little and you let yourself snort with laughter. He looked like he'd hit the jackpot, his grin growing even wider, golden tooth sparkling.

"did that joke tickle your funny bone? was is humerus? tibia honest, i can do better than that. i have a skele-ton of jokes in my joke book. don't give me that look, it's 'killing' me..."
He threw terrible joke after terrible joke at you, constantly making you either snort with laughter or put your face in your hands with how cheesy it was. Eventually he did one about a photon walking into a hotel and you absolutely HAD to tell him one.

"Okay, okay." You put your coffee back down on the table and looked up at him, trying hard not to smile. "What are cats composed of?"

He tapped the table with one skeletal finger for a moment then shrugged.

"i don't know."

"Iron, Lithium and Neon." You bit your upper lip to stop yourself chuckling as you said the punchline.

It took him a moment but when he finally got it, you both broke out into a fit of giggles.

"i'm sans, by the way." He offered his hand for an introduction. "sans the skeleton."

You took a moment, looking at his huge hand. You took in the sharp fingertips and disturbingly white colour. Eventually, however, you took his hand and shook it, cautiously.
Sans. Where had you heard that before?

"I'm (y/n)."

The conversation went from jokes to idle chatter and you found yourself relaxing. The room was no longer stifling and you weren't afraid that Sans was going to bite your head off or something. In fact, from what you could gather, he was a massive doofus. A massive doofus with a very, VERY scary face.
You found yourself doing most of the talking and you had to actively ask Sans more questions than usual and try to rebound questions back at him to get him to talk about himself. He had a knack for dodging questions and it pissed you off. From what you could gather, he had an older brother and a father, but he seemed to talk about his father in the past tense, so you tried not to focus on that subject too much.
The time slipped by without you realising and you felt your phone buzz with a text. When you saw the time displayed on the screen you flinched. Two hours!? How had you been talking to Sans for TWO HOURS!? It barely felt like ten minutes!

"Oh MY GOD! Sans, I gotta go. Thanks for the coffee and the cake and all, but I really have to leave." You stood up so fast you knocked the table, the fork clattering against the empty plate, your empty coffee cup falling over.

"oh. ok." you heard his shoulders slump.

The resignation and disappointment in his voice made you stop for a second and before you could think about what you were saying, you had given him your number, and he had given you his number too, his grin turning into something that resembled cheeky. On the way home, you realised to yourself that monster or not, you had just traded numbers with a guy.

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You tried to sneak into your room without your parents noticing, but Dad caught you going up the stairs and gave you a huge lecture about how you were wasting your time doing nothing, lazying about without a job, and he expected your share of the rent by the end of the week. You responded by slamming your door and screaming into a pillow.
How were you supposed to get the rent? You were stuck in this endless cycle of losing money. You were stuck at your parents house and you didn't have enough money to move out. To get money to move out, you needed a job. And it wasn't like you hadn't tried! You'd lost your jobs one by one for the most ridiculous reasons. You lost your job as a cashier because you mouthed off a guy who smashed a bottle of wine on the floor, you lost your job as a waitress because you slapped someone for grabbing your ass, no one in the neighbourhood would let you walk their dog because you 'scared the dogs'. And any money you were able to make in the meantime was drained because you had to pay for rent!
You took off your coffee stained blue jumper and threw it into the corner. You'd wash it later.
Probably.
Ok, probably not.
You fell onto your bed, groaned into the pillow and shut your eyes. It would be easier if Mom and Dad were vaguely nice people. For as long as you could remember, Mom had been an asshole, but Dad had always seemed to be your knight in shining armour. Then you got older and he got more and more detached until he just seemed to... turn on you.
Until you found a stable job and bought an apartment, you were stuck. Heck, a potting shed in the middle of a city would do. Anything to get out of this hellhole.
You hated it. You hated your parents. You... You didn't want to admit that you hated yourself but you did feel like a burden. Especially with your parents driving it into your head like that.
Sighing and rolling over to get out of bed, you turned off the light and threw yourself back onto your bed. You didn't care if it was too early to sleep. You'd just read in your pyjamas until you couldn't keep your eyes open anymore, and you'd go back to the taunting nightmares of being trapped in a slowly shrinking box.
That's what happened every night.

Chapter Text

sans: ayy you doing anything today??

sans: im bone-tired of being stuck inside

sans: ok that one wasnt my best but srsly im really bored do you wanna meet up

sans: i can pay for coffee

sans: not that i think ur poor lmao

You stared at the texts, heart pounding. You figured it would be like most number trades you went through- both sides forget to text the other and in three years you find their number still on your phone and you have no idea who it belongs to, so you delete it and you never hear from them again.
But Sans seemed ADAMANT that you were going to meet up again.
You didn't have anything against the guy and you reckoned that if you actually got up off your ass and met up with him, you'd have a good time away from home with someone who seemed interested in what you had to say.

There was just one slight issue.
A tiny, tiny, MINISCULE problem.

You were terrified shitless of monsters. Sans was only an exception because you didn't find him terrifying, just... mildly scary.

Your mind was fighting itself. Half saying you should go, half saying you should ignore his texts until he got bored and vanished. The logical option seemed to be clear as day: He's not a bad monster, but if you hang out with him you're bound to be forced into hanging out with more, probably less trustable monsters.

You sighed and rolled out of bed. There was only one way to settle this.

You opened your door and poked your head out. She'd probably hear you. Mom could hear you doing something suspicious from a mile away.

"MOM!" you shrieked loudly. It bounced around the walls of the large house and you were absolutely certain she'd hear it.

"WHAT!?" came the angry reply from somewhere downstairs. It was accompanied shortly by some angry muttering that Mom thought you'd be unable to hear.

"Do you like monsters?" you asked, leaning a little further out your door so you could catch her reply.

"Of course not! Why!?"

"No reason." You shut the door with a click.

Problem solved. You looked down at your phone at typed out a reply.

You: coffee shop at 11. Sound ok??

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It was nothing fancy, this meetup, so you figured jeans and a top would do. You found yourself reflexively reaching for where your favourite hoodie always hung but you remembered what had happened to it and you cast your eyes into the corner of the room, where it sat, covered in dried coffee and dust.

If the coffee stain didn't come out you'd hold a burial for it later.

Instead, you chose a black zip-up hoodie. And a nice bobble hat. You only usually wore hats when it was really, REALLY cold. It wasn't particularly cold today, but you hadn't washed your hair in a few days and it was starting to look greasy at the roots.

Mum didn't ask any questions, she just looked at you over her computer and then went straight back to work. You had the sneaking suspicion that as long as you were out the house, she was okay with it.

'One day.' You thought to yourself as you closed the door behind you. 'One day I'll have a nice flat far away where I can get ten dogs and do what I want and use my money how I want.'
'Haha, good luck with that'. A smaller corner of your mind taunted you as you walked briskly, the cold morning air nipping at your face. You buried your hands inside your pockets and looked up to see some kind of puppet monster coming towards you. It looked up, flinched, then... crossed the street?
You looked behind you in case something had spooked them but there was no one there. Just you.
The puppet had it's head down and carried on walking like... like... well, how YOU walked when a monster came in your direction. A different monster, an anthropomorphic rabbit, gave you a piteous look and a disproportionately wide berth.
What was going on? Did you look particularly dishevelled today or something? There had been a few occasions when people had looked at your condition and assumed you were homeless. But never monsters.

You shrugged it off as some monster tradition against greasy hair and approached the cafe. You were about ten minutes early but, to your surprise, you saw Sans in the window, screwing about on a phone that looked older than your grandmother.
Instantly, you lost a little feeling in your legs. You had forgotten how huge and intimidating he was. He was at least a head taller than you and he had a predatory aura that seeped around him like some kind of suffocating fog.

"Do you like monsters?"
"Of course not, why!?"

The brief shouting match with Mom rang in your head, reminding you of why you had come here, and it filled you with determination.

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You sat down opposite Sans and found that he had already ordered the coffee and cake. His terrifying aura almost suffocated you and it took all your courage and determination to speak up.

"How old is that phone anyway?"

Sans startled and dropped said phone, his aura popping like a bubble.
"holy fuck, (y/n)! don't do that!"

You chuckled and picked up the undamaged phone, surveying it. It was pretty ancient, to say the least. Like someone had put a Nokia brick inside an actual brick, then spray painted the whole thing black. The screen was tiny and for a moment you questioned to yourself why he didn't have a touch screen phone. After a while you handed it back to him.

"That would probably give the Nokia Brick a run for it's money."

He blinked twice then snorted with laughter. "the fuck? humans made a phone out of a brick? that's stupid." He leant his elbows on the table.

"No, no we didn't." You chuckled to yourself, leaning back, taking a sip of the coffee. It was lukewarm, and you wondered how long Sans had been waiting. "I'm surprised they called it that, but it's just an old phone. It's known for being almost indestructible. The internet love themselves a Nokia Brick meme."

"the fuck's a 'meme'?" Sans asked, his serrated teeth opening a little so he could drink some coffee. The question of HOW he could drink coffee was instantly drowned by the fact that he DIDN'T KNOW WHAT A MEME WAS.

You couldn't help but break into a fit of laughter at his innocence. You even considered not telling him. The look of utter confusion on his face as you cried with laughter was priceless.

"Such an innocent flower." You chuckled to yourself, before retrieving your own phone from your pocket. "One second... ah, here we go. Urban Dictionary says... an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behaviour that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media)." You glanced up at his utterly confused skeletal face.
"Basically, a huge joke that everyone around the internet copies and knows. Like... Chuck Norris. I don't know where it came from but there's all these memes about him being a completely untouchable god or something."

"so what does this have to do with a phone named after a fucking brick?" He was completely confused, and you saw the boney area where his eyebrows would have been rise. The fuck? Eyebrow bones?
But the fact that he was out of his element was still funny and you snickered.

You put your phone back into your pocket. "There's a huge joke that the Nokia Brick is actually indestructible. Like... 'left my Nokia on vibrate. It broke my leg' or 'Chuck Norris vs Nokia Brick = unstoppable force vs immovable object.' That kind of thing."

Sans took another sip of his coffee and stared out the window and his grin widened, golden tooth shining brightly. "you humans are amazing at inventing ways to waste your goddam time."

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You were surprised at how easily the conversation flowed and how keen you were to meet back up with him. And for once in your life, you... started giving a shit about how you looked. Like, showering regularly. You knew that you smelt some times but you honestly didn't care. Now that you had regular meet-up times with someone who seemed interested in you as a person, you felt like... making an effort?
You'd only felt like this a few times in your life. When you were younger you definitely wanted to be pretty, but...

"hey, you like star wars?" Sans asked. It was a cloudy, slightly drizzly day and there weren't that many people in the cafe. Just you, Sans, and some other regulars who you were getting used to seeing.

You blinked.

"W...what kind of a question is that?"

"so you do?"

"Of course I do, who doesn't!?" You slammed your fist on the table. "It's like, the best thing to ever happen to the cinema!"

"so if someone was deciding whether or not to go see it, you'd advise to go?"

"Sans, you're being uncharacteristically non-sweary. Is-" you stopped. A horrible possibility dawned on you. Has he...

"Sans." You put your hands together, voice completely flat. You stared him dead in the eyelights. This couldn't be.

"...yeah...?" He shrank back a little under your unwavering gaze, grin faltering.

"Are you telling me..." You pointed both hands towards him. "You've never. Seen. Star Wars?"

"well... i've already had the fourth and fifth one spoiled, but..." His red eyelights refused to meet your unwavering gaze and he rubbed the back of his head. His skeletal grin looked a little forced. "Yeah, technically."

You looked at him like he'd just told you the moon was actually a giant chocolate teapot. Your mouth hung open a little bit and you still had both your hands together, like you were praying towards him.
You were filled with a strong desire to EDUCATE.

After a long, thin silence, you knew what you had to do.

"You. Me. Cinema. Right now."

"wait what."

"Right now. Pack your shit. I'll pay."

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You just took a guy out to a movie.
You just took a guy out to a movie.
YOU JUST TOOK A GUY OUT TO A MOVIE.

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"Did he try anything?" The crackled voice came through the speaker of your laptop.

"Nope."

"Not even the Yawn and Stretch?"

"Not even the Yawn and Stretch. Well, he offered to walk me home, but I turned him down."

Honey, your only friend besides Sans, looked at you through the screen and tapped her chin.

"Did he actually pay attention to the movie?"

"He fucking loved it. He wouldn't shut up about the laser guns."

Honey adjusted her glasses a little and tapped her chin again. The two of you had been besties since the dawn of time and nothing could keep you apart, not even her family moving to Australia. Loneliness had been an issue for you for a while after she left, but not for Honey, since she was a confident and beautiful brunette who attracted friends like moths to a flame.

"I say he's a keeper." She chuckled.

"Honey!" You shouted, your face heating.

"It sounds like you enjoy his company, though. The last few times you went out with a guy, you wouldn't shut up about how awful he was. You seem to have enjoyed yourself. Plus, he didn't try anything."

"Why would he? I was the one who invited HIM out to the movie. If anything, he probably thinks I like HIM."

"You know what guys are like, babes! Most of them will jump at any opportunity to get in your pants. The ones who respect your boundaries are definite keepers."

You sighed and shrugged. There was no use arguing with Honey. One she had her mind set on something there was no turning her around.

"You asked my advice and that's it. He seems like a good enough guy, from what you've told me. I know your past experiences with dudes hasn't been all that great but they were bad apples and it doesn't mean you can't try again. And he's a monster, right? A fresh page."

You chuckled at the reference to your past relationships. And you couldn't argue with the points she made. You just hoped that Sans was a good guy.

"Thanks babes."

"No problem, babes."

Chapter Text

“the blasters were fucking awesome. and those... lightsabers? is that what they're called? yeah, so goddam cool. there’re 7 movies, right?”

“Depends.” you answered, swirling your coffee in the cup. You’d been meeting up with Sans for about a week now and it was always the same routine- arrive feeling slightly scared, drink coffee (maybe a milkshake if you were feeling cheeky), chat for what felt like no time at all, and leave feeling significantly less scared. Then you’d arrive back the next day and the cycle would begin again. You figured it was his appearance and you’d made an effort to ignore it but it wasn’t like you could just pretend he didn’t look like a beast from some kind of fairy tale.

“the fuck do you mean ‘depends’?” he raised an eyebrow bone and snorted. “7 movies or not?”

“1, 2 and 3 are trash compared to the others.” You stated nonchalantly. “Most of the fandom pretend that those three don’t exist. So technically it depends on who you ask.”

“it’s star wars though, isn’t it? so they can’t be that bad.”

“You’ll have to decide that for yourself.”

There was a moment of silence, then a loud growling noise from within your stomach interrupted. You chuckled and made to apologise, but when you turned to Sans, he was in shock. His brow bones had practically smashed the roof, his eyelights had shrank to tiny flecks of light and his teeth had parted.

“what the fuck was that!? was that you? i didn’t know humans growled!”

You laughed once but shook your head.

“No, I’m pretty sure we don’t. It’s just me digesting food.” You slapped your stomach. “Either that or my stomach is disagreeing with the amount of coffee I’ve been consuming, as of late.”

“die whatting? human stomachs talk?” he visibly went whiter. You weren’t sure how that worked.

You sighed.

“No, they don’t. It's an expression for when you get sick due to something. Humans have got all these wiggly, squidgy organs inside us, and about here, roughly,” You gestured to your stomach. “we have a ‘stomach’, and I think it's basically a meaty bag that drenches the chewed food in different types of acids to break it down and make the nutrients easier to extract. And a bit lower we have about six meters of wiggly tubing, ‘intestines’, and I think it does the same thing again but breaks it down more. The stuff we can't use we just shit out. It’s been a while since I did biology. There’s definitely a lot more to it than that.”

Sans looked absolutely distraught.

“humans do all this? every meal time? drench their food in fucking ACID?”

“Well, yeah. What do you do?” you drained the last of the coffee and put it down on the table.

Sans blinked, like he hadn’t expected the question. He shrugged and opened his jaw wider with a sickening ‘crack’. The red glow got brighter and he stuck out some kind of translucent red tongue.
Wait, TONGUE?
It was flat and short, but ended in a point. It looked like it was a really weirdly shaped red bubble, the way it was glowing and shifting. It was... very unnerving.

“Ew, what the fuck?” You shuffled back a bit. You figured 'skeleton' wasn't a good way of describing him any more.

He pulled his ‘tongue’ back into his mouth with a soft ‘click.’

“magic breaks my food down an' turns it into magical energy... but i only really use my tongue for tasting stuff.”

"Have you got other bits like that? You know, all swirly and translucent?" You were oddly intrigued. Magic was mostly exclusive to monsters and you'd never really gotten to see it.

He chuckled at your enthusiasm. "only in necessary places. tongue, spinal cord, even a little in the bits between my bones. and... other parts." He wiggled his brow bones and it took you a second before you understood what he was getting at.

"Oh. Ok. Wow. I didn't need to know that."

"you asked, though."

You rolled your eyes and for a moment you were lost in thought. If they have the right body parts, does that mean some monsters can sleep with people? It made you shiver. You were reminded of the anthropomorphic rabbit lady who'd given you a wide berth and you wondered if some humans had fetishes to do with that. Screw that, there were DEFINITELY humans with that kind of fetish.
You instantly felt sorry for monsters.

There was a buzzing in your pocket. Your alarm had gone off.

"Well, it's been a pleasure, jello-skello, but I have to go now." You stood up and got your things together. Then you froze.

You snorted at your own pun and looked at his unimpressed face. "Oh my god, jello-skello." You put a hand over your mouth and chuckled. "That's your name now. Jello-skello."

He sighed, shrugged and rolled his eyelights, but you could see the smirk he was trying to contain.

"bye."

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You took another bite out the apple and scrolled through the job options. Waitress? Been there, done that. Drive-thru attendant? Hah, as if.
Cook? Your culinary expertise stopped somewhere around 'heating things up in the microwave'. Cleaner? You held a secret admiration for cleaners. They could clean up other people's messes and come back next time to another huge mess... WITHOUT loosing their shit.
You sighed and looked through the options again. You needed a job, and badly, but nothing seemed to be worth it. The only job you'd actually ENJOYED was dog walker, and that one ended in disaster.
You chuckled to yourself. Maybe you could just marry a really rich guy and rub it in your parent's faces by flaunting your wealth at them. You'd only JUST managed to pull together enough money to pay the share of the rent you owed, and now you had next to nothing. Barely enough to buy food for yourself.
Speaking of food, you'd finished the apple some time during your wealth-flaunting daydream and you were still hungry. You sighed.

Begin the mission impossible theme, it was time to raid the fridge.

Quietly, you opened the door to your room and shut it again with a soft click. The TV was on downstairs and you heard something that sounded like Gordon Ramsey being an asshole to a poor cook again, with Mum agreeing with him in the background. The job option of being a cook became even less appealing.

You danced over the loose floorboard and set yourself on the banister to prevent the creaking stairs giving you away. Your parents wanted you to buy your own food and despite the fact that technically you owned a third of the house (since you paid rent), they were adamant that the food INSIDE the house was theirs and that you taking anything was stealing.

You slid down the banister quietly and landed at the bottom. Ok, it was going well so far. You slipped past the living room door without making a sound and you scurried down the hallway, praying that there wasn't anyone in the kitchen.

Ok, the coast was clear. You silently tiptoed across the floor, your bare feet providing no sound, and you opened the fridge.

Ahh, the holy light of heaven. All kinds of food offered themselves to you and you felt your mouth start to water.
But you had to be sneaky. Take only what you needed.

You took some cheese, a slice of ham, some lettuce leaves and then you raided the breadbin and found some slices of white bread. Then you 'borrowed' a knife and a plate before beginning the journey back upstairs. You had the bread, ham and cheese on the plate in one hand, the knife in the other and lettuce hanging out of your mouth haphazardly. Combined with your uncombed hair, loose jumper and pyjama trousers, you probably looked like the human embodiment of a scavenging dog.

Then, just as freedom was close, your jumper caught on the handle of the door and as you ran across the hallway it slammed shut with a loud and almost painful 'BANG.'

shit

shitshitshit shit shitSHIT SHIT SHIT

You let the jumper tear as you bolted down the corridor. There were more important things at stake. Hah, steak. You'd MURDER a steak right now.

Mom shouted and Dad came into the corridor as you dashed up the stairs, no longer caring about making no sound. The lettuce was threatening to fall so you threw your head back and ate it, still on the run. Sacrifices must be made. You weren't about to give up the ham and cheese sandwich that was waiting for you, should you get back to the bedroom.

"(y/n)! Come back here right now!" you heard Mom bellow. Something smashed, you couldn't tell. You were so close to freedom...

You got in through your door, threw the knife to the side and locked yourself in. Just for safe measures you slid the chest of drawers you had in front of the door and covered the lock in several layers of duct tape.

Crap. Another stakeout.

Whenever you were caught doing something bad or suspicious, your parents would either shout at you (should Mom have been the one who caught you) or sit you down and make you talk about responsibilities as an adult (should Dad have been the one who caught you). However, after escaping them once, you realised that if you barricaded yourself in your room they wouldn't be able to force you into talking. If you waited long enough they'd get concerned about your mental health and let you out with just a warning. You had an ensuite bathroom so water was fine. Plus, after experience during a siege, you'd been stockpiling on bagged sweets, should this moment arise.

You could sit this out. You could beat them.

They may be angry but you're sure as heck more DETERMINED.

Chapter Text

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Stakeout, day 1:
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You: yo, can’t make coffee today

Jelloskello: ?? why tf nor

Jelloskelo: **not

You: reasons

Jelloskello: like wut

You: it’s not important

Jelloskello: ok but if you need to talk to some1 the phone is right there k

Jelloskello: i need verbal confirmation that you read that, doll

You: omfg yes I read it

Jelloskello: great

Jelloskello: so y can’t u make it to coffee

You: Sans I already told u it doesn’t matter

Jelloskello: that didnt answer my question, y cant u make it

You: SANS IF U ASK ME ONE MORE TIME IM LEAVING

Jelloskello: ...y cant u make it ;)

You: ok fuck this

Jelloskello: wait i was kidding

Jelloskello: nooooo come back

Jelloskello: gah, you must b dead

Jelloskello: i will avenge u with my mighty sword

You stared at the tiny gif of a chibi man in armour showing off his sword and chuckled. You’d already spoken to Honey and eaten the sandwich, and you’d discovered that you’d managed to accidentally steal a third slice of white bread and that was what you were eating right now. You stared at the phone and wondered how Sans would react if he realised what was really going on. You wondered how EVERYONE would react if they knew what was really going on.
You never really felt scared of your parents- that feeling had stopped the moment you realised you could physically overpower Mom. Dad never touched you, and that included hugging, so after discovering you could VERBALLY overpower him you felt good enough. They couldn’t touch you and you’d gotten them out your head years ago. Nothing they said mattered anymore.

You heard the gentle murmurs downstairs, most likely your parents discussing the best ways to bribe you out of your castle.

Day 1 of the stakeout was always the most tense because it was the moment that decided the outcome of the siege. If either side caved in at this point, there would be no need for a stakeout. If both sides held, you could go on for days. The record was a week and a half before your parents gave in and promised to pretend like you hadn’t been fired for smacking someone’s ugly visage.

Heh. The look on your Mom’s face when you emerge victorious from your castle is always worth the waiting and the lack of social interaction outside of speaking to Honey over skype.

In fact, now that you thought about it, you’d never failed to beat your parents in a siege. The thought of this filled you with DETERMINATION.

But... why did you even have to siege with your parents? Why couldn’t they just be nice? Like those parents on the tv. Or Honey’s parents. The only parents who seemed to be like yours were the ones from Home Alone. Unnecessarily mean and only caring when things spiral out of control. And even then, once the danger is over, they leave you alone again. And again. And again.
At least you’d learnt not to expect help from them. Well, Mom at least. You didn’t want to admit it to yourself, but you still held hope for Dad. Hope that he would realise the error of his ways and go back to being the funny, jolly giant that he used to.
You sighed. Your hope was slipping. With each day you felt less and less certain that either of them would be good again.
You felt your determination fall as fast as it had come and thoughts of opening the door and giving up the siege started springing to mind.

Jelloskello: You okay?

Holy shit, perfect timing. You dispelled the thoughts from your mind and felt the determination start to grow again. You weren’t going to give in to a few sappy thoughts and two people who were mad because their child wasn’t a famous rocket scientist yet.

You: just overwhelmed by how cool that gif is

Jelloskello: like i said, if u need 2 talk, u know where to find me

The thought of the giant, slightly perverted skeleton talking like this in real life was enough to make you laugh a little. People (and monsters, apparently) were much easier to converse with over text.

You: holy shit it's considerate? this is a revelation, i must call the scientists of the wrold

You: I mean world

You: haha i can't type

Jelloskello: I'm serious.

Ok, scratch that, he's getting too concerned. Time to initiate: operation spam
...
You proceeded to spam him with fish gifs.

*fish gif*

*fish gif*

Jelloskello: (y/n)

*fish gif*

*fish gif*

*magikarp gif*

*fish gif*

Jelloskello: (y/n), this is breaking my phone

*fish gif*

*fish gif*

*spongebob gif*

Jelloskello: (Y/N) MY PHONE IS FREEZING YOU NEED TO STOP

...

...

...

*fish gif*

You: #sorrynotsorry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was six hours before you caved to hunger and cracked open the first packet of food. Cashew nuts? When did you pack those? More like cashEWWWW nuts.
Hah, you HAD to tell Sans that one.
...
On second thoughts, maybe you should wash that pun out your mouth with some soap and just eat the damn nuts.
Slither.io, Youtube and memes were keeping you perfectly entertained, plus the occasional skype or facetime call from Honey. She was concerned, as always, but it wasn't like she could do anything about it from all the way in Australia.
You kept texting Sans and he seemed to fall out of his 'concerned auntie' stage and back into the skeleton you knew. By the end of each texting session your head was swimming with the most awful puns imaginable. When he found out that you were a Harry Potter nerd he fed you endless spoonfuls of Harry Potter puns.

What do you call a Hufflepuff with two brain cells? Pregnant
(Maybe if you were a Hufflepuff you'd be less of a dickhead. Plus, JK Rowling is a Hufflepuff)

*sends a picture of Ron Weasley in Quidditch gear*
If your boyfriend dresses like this he's probably a Keeper
(Oh my fucking god)

There's nothing Ron with my puns
(Are you serious?)
Dead sirius
(THAT WAS TOO FAR)

You sure you're a muggle? 'Cos that ass is magical
(*slow clap*)

You must have given me some Skelegro because my 'bone' is really growing right now
(Had that not been fucking disgusting I would have been impressed)

Knock knock
(Who's there.)
Not Sirius Black
(YOU SON OF A BITCH)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A surprisingly gentle knock on your bedroom door startled you from your sleepy haze. It wasn't late but you'd decided to nap the boring part of the day away, but apparently your parents had decided to attack the castle. You mentally prepared yourself.

"Johnson's beard cleaning service, how may I help you?" You said flatly.

"Open the door." You heard your father's voice. He rarely ever spoke that softly. It brought back memories. Painful, happy memories that you buried deep in your mind the moment they reared their heads.

"We're closed, sir. If you want your beard cleaned you're going to have to go to a different shop."

"I don't have time for this. You're being childish for the sake of being childish." his voice was beginning to waver, his soft facade falling.

"Wow, that's exactly what I was going to say to you. Except with more swears."

"Open the door now. I'm your father."

You had almost formed a snazzy Johnson's beard cleaning service reply, but something else came out your mouth.

"Not as far as I'm concerned."

 

You silently slapped a hand over your mouth. You had NOT intended to say that. Not at all. If you could pluck words out the air and eat them, you would have. Your heart rate quickened and you began to sweat. No, nono nononononono. Maybe you didn't say it. Maybe you fell asleep while you were napping and this was just a bad dream.

"... (y/n), I'm sure you don't mean that." Came his quiet, shaky reply. Confirmation that you had indeed said that. And apparently, that had hit him almost as hard as it had hit you.

"..."

You couldn't think of any way to get yourself out of this without digging yourself into a deeper hole.

"(y/n)!"

"That's not my name, this is Johnson's beard cleaning service!" You almost shrieked it out. You heard him slam his hand on the door and thunder down the stairs, shouting profanities, then another door slammed and there was complete silence.

You covered your mouth with both your hands and started to cry. Silently, of course. But eventually you couldn't keep it quiet and you buried your scrunched up face in a pillow, wailing. Any hope you had for him was gone now. And YOU had been the one who ruined it. YOU had been the one who snapped the thread that attached your Dad to his past, kinder self.
You had said it yourself. You didn't see him as a Dad any more. He and Mom were the villains of your story. The people you had to fight against to make it to the happy ending, instead of the supporting cushion you could fall back on, like parents were supposed to be.

Your fault.

Your phone buzzed. Sans was trying to call. What was it with him and popping up at emotional moments? It was so annoying! You flung the phone across the room and it hit the wall and then the carpet with a loud -thump-, and it sat there on the floor, vibrating, showing a dumb picture of him you had taken during one of your coffee meetups.

You felt the metaphorical stab of a memory surfacing and you buried your face in the pillow again. You couldn't keep it in any longer, and you silently screamed and cried your way through an hour.
...

You had lost all HoPe for a better relationship.

Chapter Text

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stakeout, day 2
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Hey Sans. Sorry I missed your call. I was napping. If you can hear a weird noise in the background it’s just my phone, I dropped it by accident and now it keeps making this annoying ‘fshhh’ sound when I turn the mic on. Can’t listen to any music. Weird, right?
Oh, by the way, I can’t make it to coffee. Again. *Sigh*.
S-something went down at home and I gotta stay here... Bummer, right? In fact, at this rate I probably won’t be able to make it tomorrow or the next day either, so just don’t bother going to coffee.
N-not that I don’t like meeting up for coffee! I’m just... busy? Haha. So, umm... until further notice just don’t bother.

And, uh, Sans? Please don’t ask.

I’ll... probably explain eventually. Call back if you need to, but I most likely won’t answer.
Ok, bye.
...
H-how do I turn this off... oh there we g-”
-beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep-

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(y/n’s pov)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“yo (y/n), i know you can’t answer your phone, but I got new harry potter jokes and you need to hear them. ok ok, why isn’t snape the herbology teacher?
because he can’t keep the lilies alive.
*snrk*
i can sense you’re about to delete the message and no, wait a second, i got another. what did draco malfoy say to the person he liked?
can i slytherin?
geddit? cos it sounds like slither-in and he wants to sleep with them.
...judging by your imaginary sigh that wasn’t good enough. ok, one more, then i’ll hang up.
what’s snape’s favourite brand of tampon?
Always
i don’t even know what a tampon is so if it’s funny, call me back.” -beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep-

You chuckled, lying back on the bed. You looked over at the unopened packet of crisps next to you and decided against it. You didn’t want to get fat. And besides, no matter what you ate, you always had that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

You got up off your bed and did a few starjumps on the carpeted floor, a few push ups and some leg excercises. One of the few downsides about sieges was the lack of outdoors. You’d thrown open all the windows and sprayed some air freshener to liven up the room, before playing some games and chatting to Honey once in the morning and once before you go to sleep, which helped with your growing sense of loneliness.

The days were lackluster and incredibly stifling, but they always were during a seige. You’d resorted to walking around your room in circles to get the motion you needed.
And although you didn’t want to admit it to yourself, you were starting to miss that stupid skeleton.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stakeout, day 3
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Video games had lost their edge and you were constantly tired from your awful diet. You face had broken out with acne and you had terrible stomach aches. Worst of all, Sans was starting to get worried, and despite the fact that you totally 100% did not miss him at all, you were a little concerned he’d find out and do something stupid, like call the police.

“sup. haven’t heard from you in a while and i know my pun wasn’t THAT bad, so i need some verbal confirmation that i’m not sending voicemails to a dead person. that would be dead annoying. hah. anyway, call me back. or text, i don’t mind. also, i still don’t know what tampons are.” -beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep-

“i see you texted me to prove you aren’t dead. great! you aren’t dead! that’s cause for celebration. i’ve got another terrible joke for you, but this time, it isn’t harry potter. i know, the horror! well, neville mind. granger things have happened.
ok, get this. you don’t need a parachute to skydive. you only need a parachute to skydive more than once. *snrk*. well, hate all you want. i won’t hear you. my head’s in the clouds.” -beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep-

“god, did you see the news? some guy got mugged. i fucking hate the news. they start with ‘good evening’ and then proceed to give you every reason why it is NOT a good evening.”-beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep-

“please call back.” -beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep-

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stakeout, day 4
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That’s it. You were fed up of being inside.
You weren’t going to break the seige, of course. You’d never surrender. You woke yourself out of your crying fit after realising, for the fourth time, that Dad wasn’t going to be his old self anymore, and got yourself out of bed. You looked at yourself in the mirror of your bathroom, your eyes puffy and red and smeared with tears. You slapped both your cheeks.

“You’re being stupid.” You said to your reflection. “Of course he wasn’t going to be good again. You’re not a child anymore. They’ve moved on, and you’re going to as well.”

You showered and got some clean clothes before opening your window wide, feeling the fresh air fill your nostrils. It was a nice, crisp morning, the air was deliciously cold and sweet.

You grit your teeth. You weren’t here to sing a morning song to the birds and bees. You were going to get to the ground.

You looked down and surveyed the ground below you. Holy shit, this house was tall. Much, much taller from up at your bedroom window.

You took some spare bedsheets and ripped them in half, before knotting them together and using the leg of your desk as an anchor. You had envisioned yourself abseiling awesomely down the side of the building but you just ended up sliding awkwardly down it, like it was some kind of swishy fireman’s pole, and you dropped the last meter.

Oh my god. Open spaces. The garden wasn’t huge, but after being trapped in your room for days on end, it was as big as a football field. It was a patch of bright green grass bordered by flower patches and large, bristly hedges.

You laughed inwardly and ran around the garden, rolling in the grass, jumping up and down, attempting to perform cartwheels but not being able to get your legs high enough and falling to the ground in a big heap. You realise the stupidity of showering before you quite literally rolled in dirt, and chuckled at yourself. You found a ball in the hedge and played catch with yourself, seeing how many tricks you could perform before you were unable to catch the falling ball. Your record was two claps and a 360 degree spin before successfully catching the ball in one hand, even if you only managed it once.

Mom wouldn’t mind if you ‘borrowed’ some flowers, would she? Of course she would. That’s why you were taking them. You took at least one flower from each bed, ending up with some bright pink peonies, rich purple pincushion flowers, a bloom of bluish pink rhododendrons and of course, lots and lots of lavender.

You took more than one piece of lavender from each bed. You took a whole bunch of lavender. Then, clutching the flowers between your teeth and stuffing some of them in the waistline of your trousers, you climbed back up the bedsheet.

You must have looked like some kind of crazed romantic, climbing a bedsheet up into a girl’s bedroom with flowers clutched between your teeth and quite literally falling out your pants.

The climb back up wasn’t exactly easy and you slipped once or twice before wriggling into the bedroom and falling in an unceremonious heap on the floor.
You retrieved the flowers from your trousers, mouth and some from your hair, before pulling the bedsheet back into the room and leaving it tied to the leg of your desk. You’d probably go back into the garden tomorrow, if not later this same day.

Leftover cups from drinks you had brought upstairs and forgot to bring back provided the perfect holder for the flowers. You weren’t sure if the plants could survive on tap water but you left them there anyway, the darker, shorter rhododendrons contrasting nicely with the slightly longer stemmed bright pink peonies.
In a separate cup, the purple pincushion flowers sat with the lavender. They were much brighter than the duller lavender but the lavender’s delicious smell wafted around the room, better than any air freshener.

You went into the bathroom and looked into the mirror, then laughed. You had a streak of mud on your cheek and there was a half-destroyed peonie in your hair, missing all but four of it’s petals. Despite the acne and the pinched look of your cheeks, there was a warm glow behind your face as you smiled. You were reminded of something Roald Dahl wrote in a book you once read.

‘A person who has good thoughts can never be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’
It made you smile.

‘Maybe flowers are a look I should go for.’ You thought to yourself, humming.

However, despite your comment, you washed the mud off your face and removed the destroyed flower from your hair, placing it into the cup of water with it’s flowery brethren.

You stared at the computer on the bed and sighed. The prospect of going back online hurt your eyes, just by thinking about it, and you opted instead to grab some paper and draw by the window. You'd had enough of being a bed potato.

At least you were happy. You still had that ache in your chest but it was dull and unnoticeable if you let your mind wander to other things. Your thoughts drifted to Sans and you picked up the phone. Should you call? It was rude to keep someone in the dark. You weren't going to tell him what happened at home but speaking to someone other than Honey sounded refreshing, and he'd seemed pretty desperate for you to call him back. You searched for his name in the contacts and called.

-beeep, beeep, bee-

"WHO IS THIS?" A loud and startling voice boomed through the speaker and you jumped, almost dropping your phone. Okay, that wasn't Sans.

"H-hi, I'm (y/n). I'm loo-"

"WELL OF COURSE, YOU MUST ALREADY KNOW WHO I AM. MY REPUTATION PROCEEDS ME IN MOST PLACES I GO."

His voice was loud and professional, like some kind of captain. You racked your brains for a moment, before concluding that he must be a relative of Sans's. Sans always spoke of his father in the past tense so it couldn't be him, and the only other person was...

"Oh, are you... Papyrus? Sans's brother?"

"CORRECT."

You summoned all your knowledge from your daily ramblings with Sans and smiled.

"I'm honoured to finally meet the Great and Terrible Papyrus."

"WELL OF COURSE YOU ARE!" You could practically feel the ego leaking through the speaker. "WHO IS THIS?"

"I'm (y/n). Do you know where Sans is? Of course, I would be more than happy to carry on speaking to the Great and Terrible Papyrus, but I have urgent... erm... 'things' to discuss with Sans."

"URGENT THINGS? WITH MY STUPID BROTHER?" You flinched at the way he casually verbally attacked Sans.

"Yes. Very urgent. I'm sure you'd understand, as a member of the royal guard." Haha, trump card. Suck on that.

"YES, OF COURSE. I SHALL SUMMON HIM." Papyrus's slightly muffled voice boomed. "SANS! GET YOUR STUPID ASS DOWN HERE, THERE'S SOMEONE ON THE PHONE FOR YOU!" you heard an unintelligible reply, then "...WHAT'S YOUR NAME AGAIN?"
You flinched again. You were never going to get used to that voice.

"(y/n)."

"IT'S (Y/N)!" He shouted.

There was some thundering of feet down steps, a bit of swearing, and a significantly quieter, familiar deep voice came onto the line.

"sorry, left my phone downstairs. you ok?" he sounded out of breath.

"Yup, I'm fine. Sorry I couldn't call. I was super, SUPER busy." You paused. "Your brother, he's...loud."

"shit." You heard a sigh. What did you say? Did that piss him off? "Look, whatever he threatened you with, he can't actually do it."

You stopped for a moment.

"Threatened? He didn't threaten me. He seemed like a nice per- I mean, guy. He seemed like a nice guy."

More silence, then a low whistle.

"wow, he didn't threaten anything? he didn't say he'd torture you or break your legs?"

"W...wha...? Why would he say any of that?" You were so confused. You leant back on your chair.

"he's, uhh... not usually that nice to anyone. especially over the phone. i'm actually kind of impressed that you managed to get into his good books so quickly. how'd you manage?"

"Flattery can get you anywhere. I think he sounds rather charming, if not a little ego-centric."

You heard Sans snort unceremoniously with laughter. "a little? just wait 'till you meet him properly."

"He sounds nothing like you, to be honest."

Silence.

"... whaddya mean by that?"

"Well," you thought for a moment. "it's hard to explain... The way Papyrus talks... it's like he talks in all caps. You seemed more lowercase. Like..."

You stopped, then burst into laughter.

"what? what's so funny?" he asked. You tried to reply but your sides hurt too much.

"Holy shit, I just figured it out. Ha... " You calmed yourself down a little. "When we first met I could've sworn I recognised your name and I think I know why." You were still laughing. "It's the font. Comic Sans. And the Papyrus font. You... you guys have got the same names as the most hated fonts on the internet..." You were wheezing, and you put your head on the desk.

"fonts? what? what's a font?"

You spent the next part of half an hour explaining about fonts and typefaces. Sans seemed to grasp the concept rather quickly but he didn't really get why Comic Sans and Papyrus were so hated.

"I think Comic Sans is hated because it looks really childish, but I honestly have no idea why people hate the Papyrus font." You chuckled again. "Man, I haven't laughed that hard in ages. I can't believe I didn't notice it sooner."

"you've got a really nice laugh."

...

 

"What?"

"what?"

You blinked.

"Did you say something?"

"nope. you were just talkin' about how you couldn't believe you hadn't noticed it sooner."

???

You could've sworn you heard him say that. But Sans seemed pretty adamant he didn't. You rubbed your head, before shrugging.
It was probably the bad diet combined with the lack of sleep.

"you ok?" he asked.

"Yeah, just... tired." You yawned, and rubbed your eye with your free hand. "I think I'd better catch some z's. I'll try and call you again tomorrow."

"k. don't overwork yourself." his voice was laced with concern and you appreciated that, but you felt guilty at keeping such a huge secret from him.

"I'll try. Talk to you tomorrow. Hopefully."

"bye."

"Bye."

-beeeeeeeeeeeep-

Chapter Text

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stakeout, day 5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You honestly hadn’t expected the siege to go on for this long. Most of them stop after a two-day sass battle with Mom, but this one looks like it might go for a week. Maybe you could break your record? Maybe THEY were trying to break YOU this time. You heard the concerned mumblings every night. They probably thought you were starving.

Hah, what did they know? Maybe if they had actually cared about what you did they would have seen you carrying the tins and bags of food in your hands and taking them up to your bedroom, but never putting their empty containers in the bin. It was safe to say that they weren’t a waste of money.
Two quid for three bags of sweets? Yes thank you.

Despite the painful acne you were doing well. Better than usual. Showers took your mind off everything and was one of your favourite pass-times so you were showering much more regularly than normal, and your hair was glossy and silky, the skin with no acne on was soft. You’d even started doing cold showers in the morning to wake yourself.
Heh. Your parents were the ones who paid for the water bill.
But you were running out of shampoo and there was no way you were going to break the siege because you ran out of SHAMPOO, so instead you just ran the water down your back for a few minutes and contemplated the vastness of the universe.

You went outside a lot as well but you tried not to stray too far from your bedroom, in the event that Mom should knock on the door and announced her defeat. You always loved that moment. The look of contained rage.

“I think it’s going to last for a few more days before they quit.” You told Honey. “They probably think I’m starving to death up here.”

“... Babes, I think you should end this.” Her face was that of someone who’d been thinking on something conflicting for a long time. “You’re getting thinner. Way thinner.”

“Losing weight, a guidebook by (y/n). Step one, lock yourself in your room with limited food supplies for 5 days.”

“Babes, I’m serious.” Her gorgeous face was creased with concern. “You’re unhealthily thin. I don’t want you to get anorexia just because you couldn’t admit defeat over a sandwich.”

“That sandwich was well worth it.” You minifisted. “Besides, anorexia is a mental condition as well. As long as I still think I need to get fatter when all this is over, I’m in the clear.”

She sighed and it came through the speaker with a crackling undertone. “I’m still worried about you.”

“Babes, I’m fine.” You put emphasis on the last two words. “If it makes you feel any better I can look up the symptoms of anorexia and prove that I am, indeed, ok.”

“...Ok...” She sighs, then looks off to the side, as if contemplating something.
“Let’s make a deal. I won’t bother you about your health. But if your parents don’t call off the siege in... three days, you’ll call it off.” She says suddenly. You stop and blink twice before registering what she said.

“I-I can’t just call it off like that!” You protested to the computer screen. “You know me! I couldn’t! I just couldn’t!” You felt a surge of unnamed emotions. It wasn’t anger, you could never be angry at Honey. And if it was, the anger was directed at your parents instead. It was something near shame and dread, guilt and fury, disbelief. You felt yourself pale.

Honey was unfazed.

“Babes, you’ve got to promise it.” Her expression was pitiful. You hated it. You didn’t need her pity, you needed her support. “I know you’d rather gouge out both your eyes than admit defeat to your Mom but if this keeps up...”

“Ok, fine.” You rubbed your face. You could never deny Honey a heartfelt request like this one, even if it tore at you. “Three days, then I give up.”

“Not ‘give up’.” She stated. “You emerge with your head high, and if they ask why you called it off, just say you ran out of food. We all know that if you had enough provisions you would have stayed in your room for all eternity.”

You were about to agree when something in the corner of the screen caught your eye.

“Is that a dinner plate or a fucking spider?”

She turned and looked into the corner of the room where the eight legged shadow remained, silent.

“Yeah, we get those around here. They don’t really bite people, and they keep the insects and mice away.”

“They eat MICE!?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stakeout, day 6
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You looked at the digital clock on your bedside, '3 am' shining back at you. You'd been unable to get to sleep for the past few days now, but you'd never been kept awake this long. You glanced back at your book and sighed. It was... interesting? You'd prefer something with less... plot holes.

You shut the book, turned off the bedside lamp and rolled over, staring at the wall. You just weren't tired. At all. Getting your phone or your computer out would just hyper-stimulate your brain, and getting to sleep would be even HARDER.

You sat up and readjusted your pyjama top so that it wasn't pulling on your shoulder, but instead of lying back down, you got out of bed. There was nothing to do.

You sat at the chair by your desk by the window and drew back the curtains a little, looking out at the night sky. It was a gorgeous clear night, and the milky way was clearly visible across the sky. The moon was almost full, but not quite, just missing a tiny line of silver.

Your phone buzzed twice, signalling that you had a new text.

Puzzled, you picked it up. Who would be texting you at this hour of the morning? Honey would either be at work or coming home from work, you weren't sure. How many hours ahead was Australia anyway?

You turned on the phone and you were temporarily blinded by the flash of light, and you quickly turned the brightness setting down, before checking the message.

Jelloskello: yo r u awake

Sans? What was he doing awake at 3 in the morning?

You: how did you know??

Jelloskello: magic *:・゚✧

Of course, expecting a valid response from him was all but stupid.

Jelloskello: na jk

Jelloskello: i guess 'twas fate

You: or insomnia

Jelloskello: yeh u probably right

You snickered.

Jelloskello: can u see the milky way

You: yeah

Jelloskello: can u see that bright star right next to it??

You: yeah

Jelloskello: that's Arcturus, its also called Alpha bootis aka 'bear guardian' and i think it's the foot of a bear herdsman or sometin

Jelloskello: and u see that really REALLY bright one that doesn't twinkle

You: the one almost right above

Jelloskello: yeah taht one

Jelloskello: thats jupiter

You: sweeeeeet

Jelloskello: how does jupiter throw parties

You: does he planit

Jelloskello: dammit how did u know

You: magic *:・゚✧

You looked at all the stars, shining above you, and thought about monsters. Didn't the news say that they'd been stuck underground for thousands of years?
You whistled lowly. So they never saw the sun? Or the stars? Or the moon?

Jelloskello: we didnt get stars in the underground so we hadto make do with shiny rocks on cave walls

Jelloskello: lmao

Jelloskello: not that anyone ever stopped to look at the stones

Jelloskello: We were all too busy trying to kill each other.

Holy shit, that got dark quickly.
From what you had heard, it had been literal hell down there. Like some kind of never-ending cage match, where only the strongest could survive and anyone weak would be slaughtered instantly. Which made everyone incredibly confused when some 8-year-old managed to free them all with magic.
You stopped for a moment. You wanted really badly to ask him what it was like down there but your emotions got the better of you. You could kind of empathise with the feeling of being trapped, and you knew that you didn't like it when people asked you about it and tried to pry into it.

...

You: what's the really bright one just above the west horizon?

You quickly typed out, trying to change the subject. You looked up from your phone and tried to focus on the star that you had pointed out, but something else caught your eye.

In the dark street that was visible from your bedroom window, you saw a shadow. The distant street lamp silhouetted them, making their face impossible to see, but their form even more terrifying. And judging by the way their head was turned they were looking straight at your house.

At your window.

Every single hair on your body was standing on end.

Your heart was thumping against your ribcage, panic rising in your chest. You felt like a rabbit in the headlights.

And you could not, despite everything, tear your eyes away from them.

Your phone vibrated in your hand, but you couldn't look away. What if it was like a horror movie, and the moment you turned away, they would vanish? The way their head never moved told you that they had seen you too.

'Ohshit ohmygod how long have they been there I'm going to die'. Those were the thoughts passing through your mind. Your phone was vibrating constantly now, the sound painfully loud in the stillness of the moment. It was just you and the person on the other side of the street.

Then they moved. It was just a twitch of the arm but it broke the ice that had encased your mind and you let out a small shriek, whipping the curtains shut and jumping out of your seat, sitting with your back against the wall underneath the window, breathing quickly and sharply. The phone buzzed again and you looked at the barrage of messages attacking your phone.

Jelloskello: the bright one is probably sirius

...

Jelloskello: hey

Jelloskello: you ok?

Jelloskello: doll?

Jelloskello: where'd you go?

Jelloskello: hey is everything ok?

Jelloskello: (y/n)?

Jelloskello: hey answer

Jelloskello: youre freaking me out come on

Jelloskello: its not funny are you ok

Jelloskello: im gonna call you

Jelloskello: you arent answering your phone

Jelloskello: whats going on

Jelloskello: dont just leave

Jelloskello: (Y/N)

Holy fuck, how long had you been staring at that person? You checked again, peeping through the curtains, and they were gone. You let out a long, shaky sigh, but your heart rate was still through the roof and you felt like vomiting.

You: sans I think someone was watching me

Jelloskello: oh my god (y/n) don't vanish like that you almost gave me a fucking heart attaak

Jelloskello: Wait what

You were hyperventilating, and you ran over to your bed and wrapped yourself in the covers, in a childish attempt at making yourself feel safer.

You: there was someone on the street and they were loooking at my window sans help i dont know what to do

You were typing too quickly and your fingers were shaking.

Jelloskello: Hey it's ok

Jelloskello: It was probably just someone walking, and they saw you at your window

Jelloskello: I'd be confused too if I saw someone texting by their window at 3 am

He made a valid point. You let out another shaky sigh, the panic in your chest dying, but you were shivering all over.

Jelloskello: I'm gonna call you, ok?

You: ok

He called, just like he said he would, but the guy at the other end wasn't the same Sans who tried to crack a joke about planets planning parties.

"hey, you feeling alright?" His voice was deep and smooth. He sounded comforting. It was not something you would label the skeleton monster with.

"Y-yeah, I'm just spooked." You replied, trying to sound brave but just sounding squeaky.

"need some puns to cheer you up?" There we go, that's Sans.

"I guess."

"ok... knock knock."

"Who's there?"

"theodore."

"... Theodore who."

"theodore wasn't open so i knocked instead."

"... Sans, that was awful." You rolled your eyes, forgetting for a moment that he was unable to see you.

"ok how about... knock knock."

"Who's there?"

"To."

You paused. You vaguely remembered this one from somewhere.

"To who?"

"it's 'to whom'. honestly, kids and grammar these days."

You liked that one, and you pursed your lips to stop yourself laughing. You would NOT give him the satisfaction.

"Ok, I got one." This one had been one of Dad's favourites. "Knock knock."

"who's there?"

"Etch."

He stopped this time, then chuckled.

"etch who?"

"Bless you."

"...did not expect that." You could practically hear the smile. Your heartbeat had slowed considerably and your eyes were heavy, so you checked the time. 4 am.

"I... think I'm gonna go to sleep now." You admitted, yawning. You suddenly felt calmer, like someone had thrown a blanket over the angry, bubbling emotions that had surfaced during that staring contest with the shadowy stranger. It felt like less of a big deal now that you were curled up in bed.

"ok. don't worry about it."

Why were you suddenly so sleepy? You almost entirely missed what Sans said. Something about... handles?

"...Mkay..." You yawned again. Then, as if someone had flicked a switch, you were out.

...

"...don't worry about anything, doll. i'll handle it."

-beeeeeeeeeeeep-

Chapter Text

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stakeout, day 6
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You awoke to a knocking on the bedroom door and a jabbing pain in your side. You rolled over and retrieved the phone that you had fallen asleep holding, but had somehow worked it’s way to your stomach where you had rolled on top of it.

You checked the time. 1 in the afternoon? Holy shit, you slept heavily.

There was the knocking again. You rubbed your eyes and yawned, sitting up.

“Johnson’s beard cleaning service.”

“... We think you should come out.” You heard Mom’s voice. It was strained and you could tell she was about to say something she did NOT want to say. You pulled back the covers and got out of bed.

“Why?” You asked sassily, dropping the Johnson’s beard cleaning service routine and removing your pyjamas. “Did you finally realise how stupid you were being?”

Boom! That struck a chord. Your Mom choked on her words then grumbled for a moment.
“Let’s just... Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen.” She sighed. “There was no sandwich, there was no door-locking, there was no midnight conversations with random people who your father and I don’t know.”

Oh, she was awake for that? You rubbed your eyes again as you pulled on a shirt and jeans. You couldn’t really recall anything other than chatting to Sans about... stars. Then most of it was mixed in with the dream you had about the slowly shrinking box and being naked in an exam you didn’t prepare for.

“Mhm. and...?” You prompted, running a hairbrush through your hair quickly. You heard a growl of frustration.

“And... I was... oh, you really are the devil.” She hissed.

“I’m sorry I didn’t quite catch that.” You put up your hair in a messy bun and removed the almost-week-old duct tape from the lock.

“And I was wrong about the sandwich.” She finally spat it out.

“Pfft, what sandwich?” You said, opening the door and looking at your furious mother. Her face was red and you could see the set line of her jaw, showing that she was gritting her teeth way too hard. She also had her hair in a messy bun, but instead of a stylish messy bun it was just... mess. “There was no sandwich. I don’t know what you’re on about.” You smiled patronizingly. “Perhaps you’re going crazy in your old age.”

She took a deep breath, and maintained her composure, and you didn’t like that. You wanted to see her explode. You wanted to see her unhappy.

You walked past her and started going down the stairs. You really wanted to see her unhappy but you REALLY wanted to go outside for a walk.

“You shouldn’t go outside, you look ugly with acne like that!” She shouted, in a half-assed attempt at making you feel bad. You retrieved your coat and slipped it on.

“Honestly, go and pick on someone your own humongous size.” You opened the door and pretended to check outside. “Speak of the devil! There’s a bus pulling up.” You turned around, winked at her fuming face and shut the door behind you. Pretending not to hear her demanding you come back inside, you left.

It was slightly less cold than usual today and you doubted you’d need your coat, but it was very unlikely that you were going to go back inside and grab your jumper so you just tied it around your waist.
Retrieving your phone from your jean pocket you opened up the messaging app.

You: finally free from the shackles of being busy, so coffee has the all-clear

Jelloskello: srsly its like 2 in the afternoon, coffee wouldve been 4 hours ago, had you not CANCELLED IT

You were surprised at how quickly he texted back. Usually it’s a good 10 minutes before he gets off his lazy ass and actually checks his phone.
You chuckled evilly to yourself.
It doesn’t matter if he’s rude or not, you still had the trump card.

You: ok if you don’t want to do coffee that’s fine :(

Boom, sad face. Without it you’d seem understanding and not at all fazed by him implying that he’s turning down the offer but thanks to colons and brackets you now had his emotions in the palm of your hand.

Jelloskello: no wait

You: *cries*

Jelloskello: srsly i cant believe im doing this

You: yay!! ;)

You chuckled to yourself. Then, scrolling up a little, the previous night’s conversation caught your eye.

Jelloskello: the bright one is probably sirius

An error has occurred, and the following (25) messages have been deleted -

Woah. That’s one hell of an error. You wondered if the conversation had been about anything important. Probably just some random puns about stars. Maybe-

“boo.”

Two large skeletal hands closed around your shoulders and you shrieked loudly, jumping about two feet in the air, before falling stumbling forwards, out of Sans’s grip.

“SANS YOU MOTHER FU-”

When you turned around his face was twisted into a huge grin and he was bent double laughing. His tears were... red? And they vanished before they got too far away from him. At this point magic had stopped shocking you but it was still interesting to watch.

“... Urgh, don’t do that.” You rubbed your shoulders. His grip had been gentle but it had scared the living daylights out of you and you’d jumped INTO his hands, and the sharp ends of his fingers had dug into your skin. It hurt like someone had bruised it.

“hahaaa... i should’ve recorded that, holy shit.” he finally stood straight. Not that you’d ever say it out loud, but you’d actually missed him. Loneliness hadn’t been a too much of a problem in your room, but it still nagged at the back of your mind.

You kept rubbing your shoulders, and you bit your lip. Ow, ow ow ow, ow ow ow.

“oh. did that hurt you?” he asked, suddenly becoming concerned.

You wanted to shout ‘OF COURSE IT FUCKING HURT’ but instead “Not really.” came out your mouth and you stopped rubbing, shrugging.

“don’t lie to my face, angel.” he chuckled and beckoned you closer. “here, i’ll fix it.”

You didn’t move but you eyed him. “I’m, uh, not really a touchy feely person.”

“i don’t gotta touch you, dove. i just need you in arms reach.” When did he get such a wide variety of nicknames?

Before you could say anything, he took a step forward and placed his hands a few centimeters above your shoulders, just out of sight when you looked up at him. In the time you’d been locked in your room you’d forgotten how massive he was and his form blocked most of the light. You felt fluttery nerves rising in your chest and you tried to back away, but your legs wouldn’t move, no part of your body would move.
Sans’s right eye flickered brighter, the other dimming, and then a warm red glow started fluctuating from his skeletal fingers, and you felt heat pooling in your shoulders, the muscles tensing in response.

“Oh my gOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” It felt like you had sunburn, except without the pain. Just the heat. You tried to turn your head to look but it wouldn’t move.

“hey hey, relax, i can’t do this unless you work with me.” His voice had an stern undertone and his eyes were narrowed in concentration, staring at your shoulders. The muscles inside were tense, like someone was squeezing them. “i’m just healing your shoulders. standard stuff. it’s fucking weird doing it on a human, though.” he snorted with laughter.

Healing? Like, magic healing? You’d only heard of this stuff on hospital programs. Monsters who became doctors could knit wounds together quickly and without the need for stitching. The more powerful the healing magic, the less time it took and the bigger the wound you could heal.

After a few seconds the heat and red glow died and Sans stepped back, a big grin on his face. Apparently he was admiring his handiwork.

The... the aching pain was gone. You blinked and squeezed your shoulders.

Nothing.

“W... woah.” You rolled your shoulders and chuckled in amazement. “I never thought I’d be healed with magic.” You laughed again, more of a nervous laugh. “That’s... pretty damn cool.”

He put his hands in his pockets and shrugged. He had red in his cheeks, probably from using magic or something. “s’nothing major. humans are pretty much made of meat. it’s way easier than trying to heal a monster, that’s for sure.”

The two of you started walking, but you weren’t really concentrating. Your interest had been peaked.

“How does it work?” You asked, looking up at him. “You know, the healing?”

He glanced down at you then looked ahead. “humans are mostly matter but you all got a lil’ magic in you. it’s just a matter of using some of my magic to get YOUR magic to pull the wound back together and seal it.”

“Why is it harder to heal monsters?” You couldn’t believe you were learning all this.

“monsters are the other way around. mostly magic, lil’ bit of matter. you got manipulate more magic if ya want to seal the wound.”

You weren't checking where you were going and you bumped shoulders with a monster that resembled a heavily built man covered in feathers, with a beak. You apologised and kept walking.

“What’s it like? Sealing a wound?”

Sans was watching the bird monster with an unrecognisable expression, but he eventually turned back to you.
“you’re full of questions, aren’t ya?” He laughed, then shut his eye sockets for a moment, thinking. “It depends. it’s like... pushing two bits of something together.” he opened his eye sockets as the coffee shop came into view. “with humans it’s pretty fucking simple. like shoving two pieces of clay together and making sure they stick. with monsters it’s like trying to push something really gloopy and runny together. bits fall out ya hands and ya gotta catch ‘em and make sure you don’t fuck it up.” he looked at his hands. “an’ with some monsters it’s like tryna hold water. it’s goddam annoying...” his eyes were distant for a moment.

“You sound like you’ve had a lot of experience with healing.” You said, going ahead of Sans and opening the coffee shop door. There were two teenage girls at the front who apparently couldn’t decide what to get.
He shrugged.

“nah, you should see my bro. he’s fucking awesome at healing.”

“Sans, there are children nearby.” you glanced at the small coffee shop, noting the group of preteen boys by the window. “You need to tone the language down a bit.”

His eyelights widened, and his grin became something mischievous. You instantly regretted saying anything about swearing.

“i’m sorry, does my shitty language make you fucking mad? crap, if i’d known i’d have toned it the fuck down.” People were looking, including the two girls at the front. You started flushing red and you tried to disappear into yourself, pushing your hands into your jean pockets and lifting your shoulders to your ears.

“Sans, stop it.” You hissed, not looking at him. You could hear the preteens giggling and you shuffled a step forward away from him, closer to the counter, and the waitress gave you a look of sympathy. “C-can I just have...”

In response to your previous, movement, he leant super close, his face inches from yours. “whats the matter? can’t handle a little bad language?” You looked away and tried to look like you didn’t know him, even though your face was bright red. Your voice caught in your throat when you tried to order.

“C... can I... uh... SANS STOP!” You put your head in your hands. You couldn’t concentrate with him so close. You could quite literally feel his hot breath on your ear.
Screw missing him, you were ready to skedaddle

“shit fuck crap ass.” He laughed at your muffled shriek of annoyance. “fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fu-”

“ENOUGH, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! YOU'RE SUCH AN ASS!” You shoved a hand over his teeth and pushed him away. You honestly hadn't expected him to move but he was taken completely by surprise and his stupid smile fell. He stumbled back a little, allowing you room to storm out.
He quickly regained himself, though.

“hey? doll? come back!” You kept walking, undeterred. Bullshit bullshit bullshit. He was just being annoying. You felt so MAD at him! It was RIDICULOUS!
He also had the audacity to not come after you, something you quickly realised as you made your way to the park.

You buried your hands in your pockets and kept going.

A smaller, less destructive part of your mind told you that it was harmless teasing and you had overreacted. And as you started to listen to that part, your rage slipped away and you felt a little guilty.

But you couldn’t go back now, everyone had seen you make a huge scene by storming out! It would be embarrassing. If need be, you could text him an apology later. He was lucky he was getting one. If it had been a different guy they would have to answer to your fury, not your phone.

You slipping on your coat as you entered the park. The park was mostly concrete with a shitty climbing frame and a slide surrounded by that weird rubber flooring, plus a broken roundabout that no one ever used. It was lined with metal benches, though, so it was a great place to sit and think.
You planted yourself on a bench and pulled out your phone. Your finger hovered over the messaging app but a small part of you still hoped that Sans would show up later, and there wasn’t much point texting him if he was on his way.

You suddenly had a thought and you checked a different app. Your eyes darted along the screen, and you sighed. Yeah, it was as you’d suspected. PMS.

Your menstrual cycle was always something that escaped your mind so you had downloaded an app that notifies you when your period is about to start. According to it, you were starting a roughly two-day jousting tournament with your nerves. Grreeaatt.
You slipped your phone back into your pocket and sank back into your coat.

You reasoned that if Sans didn’t show up in ten minutes you’d go. But instead of screwing about on your phone again, you rocked your head back and looked up at the sky.

It was completely cloudy now, but the sun was high behind them and the miserable grey sky was decorated with swirls of white. You watched the slow way they moved, curling in on themselves over and over and...

“oi.” A shadow blocked the light and you blinked. “don’t fall asleep out here, you’ll catch hypothermia.”

You blinked again. Sans?
When did he get so... serious?

He wasn’t smiling, but he wasn’t frowning either. It was a completely straight look, and it didn't suit him at all. He looked like he was about to tell a child to go to sleep. Ironic, considering he just told you not to.

You blinked a few more times and shuffled. There was nothing much to say.

Sans was holding a cup of coffee in either hand and he sat down right next to you, shoulders touching.
Oh.
So that's why he didn't follow you. He was busy retrieving the peace offering.

Wordlessly he handed you the coffee and you sniffed it, then took a sip. Hmm, your normal order. You figured he didn't pay attention enough to remember your order.

You took a sip and you were suddenly reminded of how cold you actually felt. You only had a shirt, jeans and a coat, and it was another cold grey day. You didn't know why you did it but you pulled your legs up to your chest and huddled into a ball.

Silence.

You reasoned that Sans was either enjoying the moment or trying to figure out what the fuck to say. And you were somewhere in the middle. It was nice, sitting in the park, but maybe shoving his face and calling him an ass earlier was a bad idea.

You glanced up at him to see if whatever he was thinking would be clear on his face, but instead you caught him staring and he quickly looked away. Was that blush? It looked like a dusting of red across his face. Not pinkish red, just blood red, like the rest of his magic. You turned back to your coffee. Ok, this was just getting awkward now.

You took a breath and mentally prepared an apology.

"Look, I-"
"hey, i-"

You both stopped and snorted in an uncivilised manner. Of course. You felt like you were in a fucking romance comedy.

"You go first." You said quietly, trying to hide the smile.

"sorry i embarrassed you in front of an entire coffee shop." He said it like he'd practised it in his head over and over.

"Sorry I exploded unnecessarily." You took another sip of coffee. "... Look, I got PMS, I'm going to be overly emotional for a few days. Don't be surprised." You drank some more coffee.

He looked down at you with a raised eyebrow and you met his gaze.

"... p... p m s? what's that? ...is it some kind of infection?"

You spat coffee everywhere and took two gasps of laughter, bending forward. Sans swore. Loudly.

"Holy shit..." You laughed again. "I... I thought you were kidding when you said you didn't know what a tampon was..."

"yeah i wasn't! what even IS a tampon? no one will tell me." He stared ahead of him angrily. "everyone just goes all weird and laughs or refuses to tell me! and i don't wanna look it up online in case it's going to be some weird disgusting shit."

You chuckled, wiping coffee off your chin.

"Maybe some other time. It's not really socially acceptable to talk about it in public."

"humans are weird." He grumbled.

"Yeah, yeah we are."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Sans stalked through the street, following the smell of the bird monster who had bumped your shoulder earlier. The stupid shit was broadcasting his scent for all to smell, making sure it was recognised instantly.

How fucking dare he. Sans had already marked you, you were off limits to other interested monsters, unless Sans gave them express permission. By attempting to mark you as his own, the fucking fried chicken had, in every sense of the word, ASKED for a fight.
He was gonna get a fight. He was gonna get a goddam slaughter.
Sans felt the pure hatred fuelling his magic and scraped his teeth against each other to stop himself from smashing something. 'Eventually', he told himself. 'Not long now' 'just wait a little longer'.
His claws twitched and the amount of magic coursing through his bones was begging for some kind of release. Every tiny thing stimulated them, especially since the stupid bird was so close, his scent heavy on the air.

There he was, the fucker. Taking a smoke outside a small, quiet bar. Sans instantly hated everything about him. His feathers, his eyes, the way he held his cigarette, the way he stood like he owned everything. The guy could smell Sans too, not that it mattered.

Sans was gonna make him pay. Make him scream. Make him beg for death. Maybe, with this dead fucker's smell on him, other male monsters would get the message.

Don't touch her.

Chapter Text

Jelloskello: so hey you know how we always meet in the same fuckign shop

You: what about it? I think it’s cute.

Jelloskello: yeh but im going insane from th amount of coffe im consuming

Jelloskello: and im gonna get fat from all the cake

You: how do skeletons even get fat??

You: wait no don’t answer that

Jelloskello: magic *:・゚✧

You: ب_ب

Jelloskello: so do u drink alcohol

You: yeah

Jelloskello: r u a lightweight

You: you wish

Jelloskello: sweet

Jelloskello: i kno this guy who runs this great place

Jelloskello: he serves monster alcohol, which is like super hardcore

You: whats the food like

Jelloskello: best fuckign burgers ever

You: I’m not sure, I really like our little coffee shop

You: plus I don’t really want a huge hangover

Jelloskello: he serves human drinks as well if youre too pussy to try monster alcohol

You: bitch you what

You: prepare your stupid boney ass, you going down big time (ง'̀-'́)ง

Jelloskello: great, meet in the park at 5, ill walk u there

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You slipped on a navy hoodie and put your phone in your pocket. It wasn’t too cold this afternoon and you didn’t think you’d need a coat. Besides, wherever Sans was going to take you, it’d probably be warm. If it served alcohol it was probably a bar.

You looked in the mirror at yourself. What hair style should you go for? Messy bun again? Or something more refined, like a fishtail plait or a side plait?
Who were you kidding, you were gonna go free. It looked particularly nice today anyway, shiny and wavy and natural.

Your stomach gave another wave of hunger to remind you that it needed filling. You checked the time. 4:28? You had time. It was only about ten minutes to the park, six if you speedwalked. And even if Sans was taking you somewhere that served good burgers, you couldn’t wait that long.

You came downstairs quietly. Mom was out doing Mom things and you weren’t sure where Dad was. Probably watching TV. Not that you’d talk to HIM.

The fridge was unattended so you cracked it open. There wasn't much in there, surprisingly. Perhaps that was what Mom was doing. Shopping or something like that.

Your eyes caught sight of a pack of granola bars that hadn't been touched, so you opened the cardboard packet and took one. Score! It was chocolate, too!

You removed the wrapper and binned it, taking a bite. Thaaat hit the spot. Sweet enough to be nice but not so sweet that you were left parched and chugging water from the tap.

You finished the bar quickly and looked at the clock. You would be early if you left now, but better early than late. Besides, from past experience, not matter how early YOU showed up, Sans always seemed to show up before you.

You were heading toward the door when Dad came through it. He looked down at you with an unreadable expression. For a few seconds you both just stood there, you wanting to go through and Dad blocking the way.

"Where are you going?" He asked, suddenly. It was the first time he'd spoken to you in days.

"Out." You said flatly, staring him dead in the eye.

"Out where?" He asked.

"Somewhere."

He sighed, apparently realising how useless it was to try and get a destination out of you. And to be honest, YOU didn't even know where Sans was taking you.

"You're going alone?"

"With a friend."

Beep, wrong answer. His eyes narrowed.

"Who?"

"Since when did you care?" You said. You were getting agitated now. You narrowed your eyes back at him.

"Is it a guy?"

"Well, technically." You shrugged. 'Guy' felt like you were talking about a male human, not monster. Though that was information you probably shouldn't share with your racist parents.

Dad seemed like he couldn't get his head around the concept that his DAUGHTER was going out with a MAN.

"Do you know him well?"

"Yeah. Let me through, I'm gonna be late." You lied partially about the last bit. You were in no danger of being late right now, but you felt trapped.

"Do you trust him?"

"O-of course I do! What does it matter!?" You shouted, exasperated.

"It matters because of the recent muggings!" He said back, his voice slightly raised.

"Since when did YOU give a shit about my personal safety!?" You screeched, throwing your hands up in the air. "I've been going out for weeks, and you never even batted an eyelid! You probably didn't even notice I was gone in the first place! Fucking MOM paid more attention to where I was going than you did!"

He looked like you'd slapped him in the face. He took a breath and became stern.
"... (y/n), you shouldn't go out."

"Fuck off. Let me through."

"Let me rephrase that." He was getting scary. "(y/n), you aren't going out."

"Y-you can't do that!" You shouted, panicking. "You can't control my life! I won't stay here! You can't keep me here!"

"(y/n)," he tried to take your hand and you slapped it away with all the force you could manage, stumbling back. The noise echoed throughout the house.

"DON'T TOUCH ME!" You turned and ran. You were trapped. Trapped. Locked in. There was no way out. You were going to be here forever. In this house. With Mom and Dad. They'd never let you out. They'd never let you be independent. You were trapped. Trapped.

Trapped.

You burst through the back door into the garden, nearly falling over. The sun was starting to go down. If you could find some way over the garden wall, you could go. You slipped on the grass and nearly fell but regained your footing at the last minute.

Trampling over the flowers, you took a leap and flew straight onto the bushes. Experience had told you that there was a wall underneath the leaves, and you scrambled up, pulling yourself onto the top of the wall. You looked down at the other side, at the concrete. Your garden and house was elevated on a separate level to the street, like the others, so the fall was huge. There was no flowerbed to cushion your fall and no way to leap off without probably spraining an ankle.

"(y/n)!" you heard a voice that made something inside the centre of your chest waver with joy.

Sans...!?

"SANS!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He emerged out an alleyway on the other side, his eyes wide, something like red smoke trailing out his eyes behind him before fading. He made his way over to you quickly, looking up at where you were perched. You were so relieved to see him, you could've cried.

"w... what the shit are you doing up there?"

"Sans, I need to get down. Is there any way of climbing?" You said, panicked.

"what? why? doll, what's going on?"

"Sans, answer me! Is there a way to get down!?" He seemed taken aback at your tone.

He looked at the wall, then back up at you. "no, there isn't. it's just a flat wall. unless you're spiderman or something."

You heard someone shout inside. Mom was back, and Dad was filling her in.

"I... I have to get down!" you were panicking.

Sans seemed to pick up on your panic and he gritted his teeth a little harder.

"you're gonna have to jump, sweetheart." He held out his arms. "look, i'll catch you."

You flushed and you were going to protest against this, but you heard the back door open, and your head snapped around to see Mom striding towards you. Your eyes widened and you squeaked, before turning to Sans, who still had his arms wide open.

"Don't you dare drop me!" was all you could think to say, before jumping.

You landed rather softly into his huge arms, which closed around you, and so did a calmness you didn't recognise. For a skeleton, he was very warm and comfortable, aside from the smell of mustard. Perhaps it was his jacket? You figured a skeleton would be slightly more spiky. Or, uh... boney.

He set you onto the ground, arms still holding you securely, until you flushed and pushed away from him, looking up at his face. He had that stupid smile.

"told ya. said i'd catch you."

You shook the fuzziness out of your head and looked back up at the wall. H... holy fuck, it was high. You could hear Mom shouting over the wall. She was too unfit to climb it.
Dad wasn't, though.

"Let's go. Now. Now now now now." You said, but he placed a hand on your shoulder that stopped you from moving. "Sans, come ON!"

"i know a shortcut." He pulled at your shoulder and you fell back against his chest, face pressed against him. You didn't even have time to shout, he'd already wrapped his arms around you, and the protests you made were lost in the fabric of his coat. What!? What was he doing!?

"whatever you do, don't let go."

What the shit did tha-

...wait what?

"there we go."

You weren't by your house any more. A wave of nausea hit you and you broke away from Sans, despite how warm and comfortable his grip had been, and you bent over and gagged. Nothing came out, but everything was spinning and you were sure that the granola bar wasn't going to stay down there for long.

Sans offered his arm as support and you grabbed it roughly, still dry retching. Luckily, the granola bar decided to stay down, and you stood up wearily, still feeling lightheaded, gripping his arm like it was a lifeline. You could feel the large, thick bones beneath his clothing.

"uh, sorry, didn't think you'd take that so badly. usually people just get dizzy."

"What the heLL WAs that...?" You asked dizzily. You couldn't really tell where you were. Now that the sun had set it was cold, colder than you'd foreseen, and you regretted choosing not to get a coat. There were the orange glows of streetlights. And people. And the smells and sounds of a bar.

You focused and came back to your senses, the nausea dying. You looked at the bar Sans had brought you too. 'Grillbys' was written in pink neon, and the bottom of the s stretched under the name, a small blue cocktail glass perched there.

"come on, dove, let's get you something to drink." He said, opening the door for you and letting you inside. It was warm, and filled with idle chatter. The floorboards where highly polished and the walls were a gentle maroon brown. There were seats along the sides of the room and they were filled with monsters of many kinds, but they seemed to be mostly dogs. You were ok with that- you liked dogs.

Sans took you to the bar, and you set yourself down, before looking back at Sans. He was talking to the bartender, who was a tall, well-built... purple, firey man in a nice suit. Quite literally 'firey'. He was made of purple fire. He didn't let off any heat, though, and seemed to be able to touch things normally, as he was polishing a glass with a rag that you knew would set alight if he was made of real flame. His face was completely flat, save for two white dots that looked like his eyes.

You looked around and saw yourself being eyed by the other monsters, all of whom were giving you that restrained, piteous look that monsters seemed to give you. Except a huge, white, armour-suited dog in the back who seemed totally friendly but was leaking adorable stupidity in a soft aura around him.

Sans finished ordering and silence ensued. The firey man passed you a glass of water, before heading away to serve someone else.

"So-" He silenced you with a look.

"no, i get that you want to know how we got here, but i should get to rephrase my unanswered question first." he interlaced his boney fingers. "what the fuck were you doing on a wall? why were you so goddam desperate to get out? why were your parents after you?"

You reckoned you could give him half the truth.

"I wasn't allowed to go out, and I was trying to escape before my parents caught on that I was leaving."

He stared at you.

"... so you're saying..." He tapped the desk. "you weren't allowed to leave, and i essentially kidnapped you from your neighbourhood?"

"Well, no, not technically. I went willing." You took a sip of water.

He dragged his hands down his face. "oh my fucking god, you're gonna be in deep shit when you get back."

"I can just..." a thought came to mind and you turned your head, put down your glass and narrowed your eyes at Sans, who seemed confused at your sudden change in behaviour. "... Wait. Why were you outside my house? And how did you know my parents were after me?"

He blinked twice, caught off guard by your question.

"you butt-dialled me, and I heard shouting and what sounded like a slap. i panicked and figured i should try and find you. it was pretty obvious your parents were chasing you, everyone was shouting and slamming doors when i arrived."

You were satisfied with his answer and you moved on.

"So... was that teleporting?"

He nodded.

"yeah, i can do that." he said it casually, like teleportation was no big deal.

"...Is that it? 'yeh its no big deal i can teleport, next question'. You can TELEPORT! It's amazing!" He wasn't looking you in the eye right now. "Like, how do you even do it? Are you the only one who can, or can all monsters do it?"

"i'm pretty sure it's just me." he drew circles on the bar top with his finger. "and, as for how i do it, it just feels like running somewhere." He shrugged again. "if i've been there before i can go back again. simple as that."

You were going to press further when he picked up a mustard bottle, opened his jaws with a sickening crack and... fucking squirted it STRAIGHT INTO HIS MOUTH.

"D-dude..." You cringed back. "That's disgusting!"

That granola bar was making a second attempt at escaping, and you clasped a hand over your mouth. Sans turned to you and chuckled, that stupid grin on his face, the firey bartender's light reflecting in his tooth.

Well, at least that explains the smell of mustard.

"what? it's nice."

You shuddered at the thought of squirting an entire gobful of mustard into your mouth. You looked and noticed a second bottle of mustard next to the usual ketchup. So the bartender already knew his order, whether or not it was fucking gross? Was Sans a regular?

"This is a nice place." You glanced around. "You said you knew the owner?"

"yeh. grillby, the 'hot' bartender. he owns the place." Sans chuckled at his own joke and you rolled your eyes. "the first place was originally in the underground, but after we were freed he rebuilt it here. grillby is ancient and powerful, one of the few who saw and survived the war that ended with us being trapped. he doesn't like cleaning up monster remains, so his bar was one of few places in the underground where monsters didn't fucking dust each other. Not unless he wanted them dusted."

"...'Dusted'?" You wanted to ask more questions but you were treading carefully. Sans REALLY didn't like talking about the underground.

His smile became strained. "ya know all the business about souls, right?"

You nodded.

"and remember how i said that monsters are made of mostly magic and a lil' bit of matter?"

You nodded again.

"the soul is what keeps all that magic together, and in turn, the magic keeps the matter together." he pushed his palms together. "when a monster dies, their soul shatters and the magic dissipates." he separated his palms. "there's nothing to hold the matter and the monster's body just turns to dust. so the moment a monster dies, they turn to dust. hence the term 'dusted.'"

The atmosphere became as thick as smoke and despite the friendly background chatter you felt exposed. Eventually Grillby arrived, the lifesaver, and gave you your food.

You took one look at the steaming burger and felt your stomach leap for joy. You stared at it in some kind of trance, until Grillby set it down in front of you and gave you a wink. You tried hard not to flush.
He had an air of class around him, and he seemed like gentleman, for sure. And now he was closer you got a better view of the purple fire man. He somehow had muscles under his suit and he was broad shouldered, tall and REALLY FUCKING SEXY.
You remembered the fact that he had winked at you, so you winked back at him.
"Thanks Grillbae~" You said, in your most flirtatious voice.

Grillby stopped and blinked, an absolutely blank look on his face, then he chuckled. His voice was soft, like smoke being sucked up a chimney. He did, apparently, have a mouth. The edges were jagged as if he had teeth and the same white light that came out his eyes spilled out his mouth. He straightened, set down Sans's plate and left.

Sans was staring at you. His eyelights were tiny, almost invisible specks and his mouth was open. He was still staring.

He was staring very hard.

...

You were filled with DISCOMFORT.

"...Sans?"

There was no idle chatter. You turned around and everyone was looking at you in what seemed to be either awe or shock. Except, of course, the huge dog, who was absolutely invested in chewing his poker cards into mush.

Sans finally broke out his shock, and snickered in amazement.

"i've known that guy most of my life." he said quietly. "and that's the first time I've ever seen him laugh."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The burger was gone and you were reminded suddenly of something that you thought you'd forgotten, and had been nagging in the back of your mind for a while. You pushed the empty plate out of the way and folded your arms, resting on the bar.

"I seem to remember..." You looked at Sans with narrowed eyes. "Someone challenging me to a drinking contest."

Sans chuckled, narrowing his eyes. "you sure? monster alcohol is hardcore."

"You backing out?" You asked, teasing him. "You too much of a... hmm, what was the word?" you tapped a finger to your chin. "'Pussy'. I think that's what you called me."

"sweetheart, even if you could keep up with me, you are going to absolutely fucking destroy yourself." He seemed to be enjoying himself, and that just pissed you off.

"Well you'd better be prepared to pay for my surgery when I kick your ass." You fired back. "Now order those goddam drinks."

Sans made some sort of sound that was a mix between a chuckle and a sigh. He called Grillby over.

"the little lady wants to challenge me to a drinking contest." Sans smiled deviously. "we'll need some shots of your best monster whiskey."

Grillby seemed to flinch at this, and he looked at you, then back at Sans.

"... are you sure about this...?" he asked, with his gorgeous soft voice. The concern in his tone was enough to make you have second thoughts. Was this dangerous? Grillby turned to you, tiny white dots focused. "... my dear, monster alcohol effects are far heavier than human alcohol, and Sans is no lightweight. I do not wish to be responsible for your harm."

Oh my god. You felt your heart flutter at his words. Did... did he really care that much? You had to turn away from his caring gaze to stop yourself blushing like a fool. You turned to Sans, who had the most pretentious grin ever.

"yeah, i'd hate to have to scrape ya off the floor." Sans chimed in. "humans can't really-"

"Shut your mouth." You pointed at him. "I'm representing my species here." Your voice softened considerably when you turned to the flickering purple flames of the bartender. "Grillby, I'll be fine. Just stop serving me if you think I'm going to die."

Grillby sighed.

"well then. how much have you been eating lately?" he asked, flipping open a notebook.

You raised an eyebrow. Grillby looked down at you.

"I need to know your general health, so I can estimate how much alcohol it is safe to serve you."

You shrugged and answered his questions. They were small things, like how much you had eaten, your weight, your height, if you'd taken any prescription drugs lately, and so on. Once you'd answered them he shut the notebook and began pouring shots.

You heard Sans laugh. "just try not to vomit all over my clothes, k?"

"We'll see who's vomiting."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"(y/n), stop, your going to be sick."

"Fffuck you!" You slurred. You weren't going to admit defeat. You were too determined. The others in the bar had stopped doing what they were doing to watch and you could tell even Grillby was impressed with how many shots you'd managed to get through. But you were already completely smashed and Sans didn't even look a little tipsy.

"kitten, you're completely pissed."

"my dear, you do not look well, perhaps it is time to admit defeat."

"No...!" You cried, but you put your head on the bar top. It was too heavy to keep up, and Grillby was a big bright blur at the moment. It hurt your eyes.

"my dear, I refuse to serve you any more alcohol. it is no longer safe."

"I... I can go on for fucking hoursss... I won't loose..." You tried to get up again, but you put your hand on a glass and it tipped over, making you slip forward. The only reason you didn't smack your face against the bar was Sans catching you, and placing one hand on your chest, one hand on your back. Your audience had already figured that the fun was over so they were filtering away.

"woah there, maybe we should... call it a draw. ok?" Sans stammered.

"yes, you did most admirably, but I think Sans wishes to go home." Grillby placed a bright, flickering hand on your forehead. It felt weird, like firm, smooth silk, and cold flames licked up your head. He removed it and you grumbled.

"Sans, she is not well, you need to take her home." His voice was warped and funny, and you chuckled.

"Your voice is really sexy." You poked the firey hand that was lying on the bar top. "Though Sans's voice is sexier... This is super wwweeiirrd... iss like a... this weird thing I saw once..."

"Sans, you are blushing."

"shut up."

You sat up and nestled your head into Sans's side, humming contentedly. There was a weird warm feeling in the centre of your chest but you were far too drunk to think anything strange of it. You could hear fuzzy voices and... hahah was that a guy with a horse head by a jukebox?

"Sans, I think you have gone a bit overboard with how much you have... marked her."

"need to make sure people know she's off limits." You felt something warm and mustardy drape around your shoulders and Sans's torso suddenly became a different colour. Huh, how did he do that?

"Sans, that is not just a territorial scent. ... do not act as if you are shocked. I have lived for hundreds of years, I can tell the difference between territorial marking and potential mate marking."

"grillbz, shut it, she might hear you..."

"She is too drunk to remember anything we say, Sans. An event that transpired because you knowingly challenged her to a game involving monster alcohol."

"it's just alcohol, grillbz."

"Sans, are you aware of the side effects of humans consuming too much alcohol?"

"don't they just get really sick for a while?"

"alcohol is toxic to humans, Sans. too much alcohol can result in organ failure and even death. you are lucky I knew when to stop serving her. if I had been less competent, she would have run the risk of acute alcohol poisoning."

"acute WHAT?"

You didn't hear anything else. You fell into a drunken sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"dove, come on, we gotta go. it's closing time."

You opened your eyes and protested grumpily, pulling the nice warm mustard-smelling thing further around yourself and nestling into his side.

"c... come on, we don't have time for this..."

"Fiinnneee..." You removed yourself from his side and tried to get off the barstool, but just ended up stumbling before Sans caught you. Wow, his coat was heavier than you'd expected. He placed an arm around your waist to steady you and you tried to put your arm around his shoulder but he was too tall.
"right, so teleporting is a no-go if you want to keep the contents of your stomach..." He grumbled as you left the bar.

You made drunken belch, to which he replied with a chuckle.

"c'mon, let's get you home." He said comfortingly.

The word hit you like someone had doused you in cold water and you gasped sharply. His grip tightened, he probably thought you were in pain.

"N-no! Don't take me back there!" You gripped his red turtleneck, starting to hyperventilate. "I can't go back! I won't! I won't let them trap me again! I won't! I w... w..." You wrapped your arms around him and buried your head in his sweater. Your legs gave and you nearly fell to the floor, if not for your hot iron grip on Sans's turtleneck and his lightning reflexes.

"woah woah, sweetheart, calm down! what's wrong!?" He said, wrapping his arms around you to stop you from falling.

"I won't..." was all you managed to sob before you broke down.

"c'mon, you're drunk. you don't know what you're-"

"DON'T FUCKING TELL ME WHAT I DON'T KNOW!" You shrieked into his sweater. "You're the one who doesn't... doesn't know...!"

He sighed as you kept crying. He waited much longer than you thought he would, rubbing your back while you blubbered all over him, tears and snot everywhere. Once you calmed down to shuddering breaths, he finally spoke.

"so where're you gonna go instead?"

"I dunno..." The effects of the alcohol were already wearing off. It might have been something to do with the fact that it's monster alcohol. ...Then you realised, in silence, that you were probably going to have to sleep rough. "...I'll find a bench or something..."

"you're not sleeping rough."

"It's fine, I've done it before." You assured him, your face still pressed into his sweatshirt. "There's this really nice bench near..."

"you're not sleeping rough."

"Sans, it's fine. I can j... ow, ow..."

"you're not. i won't let you." His arms tightened around you and you let out a small gasp when something in your spine clicked. "people are being mugged all over the city, you'd be easy pickings. i won't let you."

"S-sans, you're squeezing me too tight!" You beat your hand against his chest and wriggled, and he seemed to break out of his thought train and he released you, taking a step back and instead resting his hands on your shoulders.

"you... you can come round mine if you want. if not, i've got some female friends you can stay with. one of them's really loud and the other will probably try to experiment on you and they're both really, REALLY lesbian for each other but if i tell them to look after you they'd do their best."

"Your place is fine." You took a step back from him. "Sans, I need some room, I'm going to vomit."

He looked absolutely ecstatic that you'd agreed to come round his, but you didn't see his face very much when you were blowing chunks.

Chapter Text

You vomited again into the toilet, regretting every moment of the now hazy drinking challenge you had been involved in. Your arms and legs felt trembly and Sans was holding your hair out of your face as you grumbled between retches about how it was his fault you felt like this, to which he would reply that you were the one who agreed to the challenge despite the warnings from both him AND Grillby.

You held out your phone and told Sans to text your parents and tell them you were staying at a friend’s house, before vomiting again.

It was disgusting. You had gotten to the point where you were just vomiting acidic tasting water. Sans eventually tied your hair back for you and said he had to go for a minute, and through the lurches of your stomach you could hear shouting downstairs. Papyrus? Oh fuck, you really couldn’t deal with him right now. You had a splitting headache as well, and you were starting to wonder what the fuck was IN that stuff.

And worst of all, Sans wasn’t even tipsy! He’d had the exact same amount as you, and he wasn’t having any trouble whatsoever!

You felt really pissed off at this but you were too taken up with the whole world spinning and more acidic water rising into your throat, which you emptied into the toilet, before taking great gulps of air. It was horrible. You could hardly keep yourself up, every part of your body was trembling.

You rested your head on the toilet seat and shut your eyes when you didn't feel another attempt to be sick. You sighed heavily, the taste of it burning in the back of your mouth. Sans had a surprisingly large house, larger than yours, and you had always thought your parents were very well off. His bathroom was big and had been quite fresh until you stumbled in and tainted it with the smell of your vomit.

You heard the door creak open and the gentle -click- of shoes on the floor but you didn't open your eyes.

“hey.” Sans’s voice was significantly softer than usual, and you appreciated that. You felt a boney hand on your shoulder and opened your eyes to Sans crouching beside you. He’d changed his red turtleneck for a tight black shirt, and you got your first look of his arms. The bones were thick and heavily set, and his shoulders were much naturally broader than you thought they were. He was so much bigger than you, in all physical aspects. Under one arm he had something bundled up, and in the other, a bottle of water.

“grillbz said you need to hydrate yourself.” He offered the water to you.

“Don’t want to.” You shut your eyes and laid your head back down.

“sweetheart, c’mon. i didn’t know how bad alcohol was for humans and some of the shit i’ve been reading up on is terrifying.”

"Nnooo..."

"if ya don't drink some water i'm taking you straight back to your parent's house."

"You're blackmailing m-" You emptied the remaining contents in your stomach into the toilet. Sans swore quietly and put down the bundled up thing so he could rub your back, and for a few moment you just dry retched, whole body trembling.

Eventually you stopped retching and sat back onto your heels.

"water. c'mon, you know you want it..." he started shaking the bottle and eventually you groaned and snatched it out of his hands, opening it. The moment you took a sip your entire body lurched with a previously forgotten thirst and you started draining it far faster than you should have.

"woah woah woah, slow down, you're gonna choke." he grabbed the bottle and pushed it downwards so you couldn't drink any more. he gave you a disapproving look. "i said 'hydrate' yourself, not 'drown' yourself."

You whined quietly in response. You were really, really thirsty. And hungry now, too.

"hungry?" he seemed to read your mind. You nodded, rubbing your forehead.

"can you walk?"

"Might need some help..."

He hooked an arm around your waist and helped you up, and he led you along a large corridor with two other doors. You felt yourself flushing red, realising your physical closeness, and that he'd done that same waist-hooking thing a lot over the past few hours. And as he helped you down the stairs, you remembered you'd also gripped onto him and cried all over his shirt. And swore at him loudly. And given hints that everything wasn't okay at home that he would probably question you about later. And you had a nagging feeling in the back of your head that while you were completely pissed on monster alcohol, you'd said something you probably shouldn't have said.

His house WAS quite large. You hobbled down the stairs and into a big living room with large (currently covered) windows, but you couldn't help noticing how bare it was. There was a small table against one wall which had a rock on a plate on it, a large sofa and a tv, but there were no cabinets, no family photos, no proof that anyone was actually living here. And it was all so neatly kept that it added to the illusion that this wasn't a place where people stayed.

If it wasn't for the noises in the kitchen, you'd be sure you and Sans were the only ones here.

Sans set you down on the sofa and switched on the tv. The bundled up thing he had been carrying under one arm turned out to be blanket and you gratefully wrapped it around your shoulders, snuggling into a little ball. His sofa was REALLY nice. Nothing like yours. Yours was way too flappy, you sank into it and got a bad back. This one was firm enough to be supporting but soft enough to be comfortable.

"whaddya want to eat?"

You looked up at him from within the excess folds of the blanket and felt a surge of thankfulness. You weren't at home right now, having to tough it out on your own. Sans was doing his very best to take care of you. It made you feel... special?

You shrugged.

"I dunno. Anything's fine. As long as it isn't completely disgusting."

He rolled his eyes and chuckled. "oh shit, that ruins my plans. ok... how do ya like your eggs?"

Ahhh, eggs. Right now, they would really, REALLY hit the spot.

"Scrambled's fine."

"great. remote's just there if you need it."

He opened the door to the kitchen and you instantly heard Papyrus's loud, booming voice. You flinched, your headache already pretty bad.

"SANS, WHY ARE YOU GETTING READY TO COOK?"

"told you bro, (y/n) needs something to eat. watch killer so he doesn't get out."

Who's Killer?

"WHY ARE YOU COOKING FOR A HUMAN? IT'S A SIMPLE HANGOVER, HUMANS GO OUT AND GET THEM DELIBERATELY ALL THE TIME. SHE SHOULD JUST TOUGH IT OUT HERSELF."

Wow, dude. Thanks for the support.

"human alcohol is way weaker than our alcohol, bro."

"WHAT DOES THAT MATTER?"

"humans aren't used to it."

While the brothers were... conversing, the door creaked open further, and a big head poked it's way out. A large, fluffy white dog the size of a fucking wolf slunk out the kitchen slowly and turned it's head toward you, staring you down with aggressive eyes. It's ears were back and it's tail was between it's legs, and you could already see the starts of a snarl growing on it's black lips.

You smiled despite the threatening gesture from the dog, and patted your knees. Instantly it's angry behaviour dropped away and it's ears sprang up, tail shooting out from between it's back legs and wagging from side to side.
You'd encountered dogs like this before. They just wanted some love and were desperate for the odd pat on the head, but you reckoned that in a household like this, displays of affection were few and far between. It expected harshness but the moment you offered love it came bounding toward you, a completely different animal.

You ruffled the hair around it's neck and behind it's ears and cooed praise, before patting the space next to you on the sofa. It jumped up and sat next to you, awaiting it's cuddles.

While Sans cooked and Papyrus complained, you gave the dog all your attention, completely ignoring the TV. Some quiz show or something. Eventually you built up enough trust to allow his head on your lap and you gave him lots of scratches behind the ear and, when he rolled on his back, belly rubs.

You wondered what type of dog he was. He certainly LOOKED like a white wolf. But a wolf would never be so... tame. Perhaps monster's had their own dog breeds? There were dogs in Grillby's bar. Maybe some dogs were smart and anthropomorphic and others were like normal dogs, like this one, or the huge one at the back of the bar who just didn't seem to give any shits about anything.

"I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND THE LOGIC BEHIND YOU LOOKING AFTER THIS HUMAN. YOU WILL JUST CREATE AN UNNECESSARY EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT, AND SHE WILL GET USED TO RECEIVING YOUR HELP. YOU WILL BOTH BECOME WEAK."

...Well, he's... not exactly WRONG about that.

"look bro, i value your opinion and all, but i don't really give a shit."

Ayyyyyy

"FINE. I WILL TALK TO THE HUMAN MYSELF."

"uuhhh, bro, she's got a heada-"

The door burst open and a huge shadow stood in the doorway. He was at least a head taller than Sans, which made him two heads taller than you. He was much lankier than Sans too, more like a human skeleton. Unlike Sans's rounded face, Papyrus’s was taller, with a jaw that looked far more detachable. His eyesockets were smaller than Sans's and his eyelights didn't glow. One eyesocket was marked with a huge scar. He would have actually looked quite cool, if it weren't for his clothes. He was wearing jeans and an unzipped leather jacket revealing a shirt saying 'cool dude', which, combined with his scar and spiky teeth, made him look like a fucking overly edgy teenager.

He stormed towards you, stopping just in front of the sofa so that you had to crane your neck up to look at him.

"HUMAN!" When he spoke, you felt your brain split a little, and you flinched away from him. Edgy teen or not, he was scary. "I DEMAND THAT YOU LEAVE THIS HOU-"

He stopped, and his eyesockets widened.

You felt the growl from the dog before you heard it, and Papyrus backed off a few steps. The dog was still lying it's head on your lap but it's lips were pulled back and it's ears were flat. You were actually very surprised, and a little touched, to see the animal getting so angry at Papyrus and protecting you like this.

Papyrus was clearly startled to see his dog lying happily on the lap of a complete stranger and growling at HIM when he came in.

"Hi Papyrus." You stroked the dog's head to calm it down, making sure to avoid his mouth, should he bite.

"...K-KILLER! YOU TRAITOR!" Papyrus sounded hurt. "COME HERE, YOU STUPID ANIMAL!"

You almost gasped in horror with the way he addressed the dog, and you cuddled Killer's growling head closer to your chest, scowling at Papyrus. Your fear vanished.

"Don't speak to him like that!" You scolded, and it was Papyrus's turn to flinch. "How do you expect him to be loyal when all you do is shout at him!? Would YOU want to obey someone who was rude to you like that?"

You heard Sans snickering from the kitchen, as if there was some hidden joke there.

Papyrus's face went very red, and you started to regret opening your mouth.

"HOW DARE YOU!" He was furious, and your headache pounded against your skull, but you didn't care. He was trying to excuse abusive behaviour towards this gorgeous animal. "YOU MAKE AN EMOTIONAL PUSSY OUT OF MY BROTHER, STUMBLE INTO MY HOUSE, DRAIN MY SUPPLIES AND ASSUME THAT MY DOG DOESN'T OBEY ME!" He turned to Killer, a look of thunderous fury on his face.

"KILLER, COME HERE!"

"Killer," you said softly, and the dog looked up at you. "Stay."

You weren't surprised when Killer opted to stay with you instead, but Papyrus looked like he was about to explode. You calmly looked up at Papyrus while stroking Killer's head.

"Dogs pick up on emotional states, tones in your voice and body signals. If you act threatening and never give them any reward for their behaviour, they're less likely to do what you ask. Simple things like patting their head or telling them that they've done well can make the difference between a loyal or traitorous dog. Shouting at them will just make a dog anxious and more likely to bite someone, even if they know them well."

Papyrus blinked, not expecting the sudden speech from you. To be honest, YOU hadn't expected the sudden speech from you. His face set back into the usual scowl as he looked down at you.

"I'm Going To My Room." He said, quieter than usual. He got out of the way, and went upstairs. You heard a door shut carefully, then nothing.

The moment he was gone you put a hand to your forehead and grumbled loudly. It hurt like hell, and Papyrus's shouting hadn't helped.

You heard a familiar chuckle from the kitchen door and you looked up. Sans was leaning against the door frame holding two plates of scrambled eggs. The freaking angel had made bacon to go with it, too. You drooled at the thought of it.

He jerked his head to the side and Killer jumped off your lap and moved up to the other end of the sofa, and Sans sat next to you, handing you the plate and a fork, before resting his plate on his lap, leaning back and stretching his free arm across the back of the sofa, right behind you. You flushed, but didn't mind it. There was that weird warm feeling in the centre of your chest again.

"i'm impressed you managed to make a buddy out of killer." Sans said, as you shovelled bacon and eggs into your mouth. His cooking was actually pretty good. "he's usually not that friendly with humans."

"His name isn't exactly... comforting." You said through your mouthful, looking up at him. "Why's he called Killer, anyway?"

Sans raised an eyebrow bone.

"you sure ya wanna know?"

"Yup." Well, not really, but it'd bug you in the back of your mind throughout the rest of the week, and getting it out the way was probably the best option.

"papyrus found him wild in the underground and trained him to rip out throats on command."

"He WHAT!?"

"so what ya watching?" Sans jumped subjects quickly, opening his teeth and eating some bacon.

"I... I wasn't actually paying attention. I think it's a quiz show." You knew from experience that bugging Sans after a subject change like that wasn't going to get you anywhere. You looked over at the dog who was sat on the other side of the sofa, watching the bacon Sans was eating with hungry eyes, and couldn't quite believe he would rip out someone's throat. He looked large and powerful enough to do so, though...

"it's university challenge." Sans said. "i like this. questions are way too fucking easy, though."

"Easy?" You laughed. "You kidding me?"

"ok, fine, watch this." He looked back to the TV. The presenter, some old dude you couldn't remember the name of, was giving a team some bonus questions, the theme being British duck species.

"*~Give the common name of the species from the description. Firstly, Anas platyrhynchos, sometimes known as the wild du-"

"mallard." Sans said easily, as if the presenter had asked him what his favourite colour was. You watched in awe as, after a few more seconds and hints, the university team agreed on 'mallard', and got the point.

"Y..."

"see? it's too easy." he shrugged his shoulders.

"*~Secondly, Bucephala clangula, also known as the whist-"

"it's a goldeneye." Sans said. When the team started conversing, he got agitated. "for fuck's sake, you're a university! get your stupid duck species's right."

The team gave the answer 'hornbill' and Sans groaned, putting a hand on his head. They were marked incorrect, and the presenter gave 'goldeneye' as the correct answer.

You stared at Sans in amazement.

"How did you...?"

"it's just latin names, no big deal." He shrugged, then turned back to the TV, and you followed suite. You'd missed the last duck question and you were onto the next round, so you put your empty plate on the floor, stomach and head feeling slightly better.

"*~The names of the capitals of the Dominican republic and Tajikistan contain, in the local languages, the names of which two successive days of the week?~*"

At least the presenter was able to actually finish the goddam question this time. Sans shut his eyesockets, thought for a second, then opened his eyesockets.

"sunday and monday." He said. Then, almost instantly after, a girl pressed her buzzer and gave the same answer, and was marked correct.

"HOW THE FUCK?"

He looked down at you and laughed at your amazement.

"when we came up from the underground, i buried myself in books and learnt all i could about human history, tech, wildlife, etc etc. this is all run-of-the-mill knowledge for me."

"You... You WHAT?" You were really, REALLY impressed. "This is a UNIVERSITY challenge you're getting completely right. That's incredible, Sans! You should get a PhD or something!"

He flushed red and looked back at the TV. There was something about the way his eyelights danced a little when you said that.

"... You're kidding me." Your jaw dropped. "Sans, you have a PhD?"

...

He's blushing like a little girl right now, eyelights dancing around.

"it's... no big deal."

University challenge is still going on in the background.

"Sans, you have a fucking PhD?"

"it's nothing weird. loads of humans have phd's."

"Sans." You sat up into a kneeling position, the blanket falling away, and you grabbed his skull and turned it towards you. His entire face was red and his eyelights were large and bright.

"s-sweetheart what are you...?"

"That's fucking incredible!" His eyelights wavered when you said this and his face flushed a deeper, bloodier red. "Why didn't you tell me!? What's it for?"

"it, uh... it's... um, th... theoretical quantum physics..." He won't meet your gaze.

 

Oh my God

 

This fucking guy

 

He's got a PhD in fucking THEORETICAL QUANTUM PHYSICS and he doesn't tell you? Of all the things to talk about at your coffee meetups and over the phone, he talks about his loud sociopathic brother, puns, tampons and goddam MEMES?

"c-can you stop looking at me like that!?"

He snaps you out of your thoughts and you let his head go. You sit back on your heels and he runs his free hand down his face, letting out a big sigh. You give him your best puppy dog eyes, and he grumbles a few swear words.

"i... a friend of mine told me that i should do something with my life and help her with a project she was working on. whoever she made it for was really impressed and we were both awarded PhD's for it."

Was that it? ...What was the project? ...Who was the friend?

"sweetheart, i told you to stop looking at me like that!" He seemed agitated. Really, really agitated. Angry, even. He started to shout. "it's really fucking ANNOYING!"

You flinched back at the tone he took with you and your gaze darted to the floor. You curled the blanket around you in a defensive gesture, bringing your knees up to your chin.

Your headache came back and the nice warm feeling that had been growing in the centre of your chest was gone, replaced by a feeling similar to having it pricked it with a needle.

Why, of all things, did that remind you of the way Mom and Dad scolded you for being a burden on the household?

"h... hey," his tone was soft again, but it didn't help how you felt. "...i didn't mean... o-oh shit, please don't cry..."

Damn, you were crying? You roughly rubbed it away and sniffed.

"S' nothing. I just don't like angry shouting."

"yeah, me neither."

You felt him rub your shoulder with the arm that was draped across the sofa behind you but you shrugged it off, not in a touchy mood.

"I'm fine, Sans." You chuckled. "I'm just being annoying."
You said it before you realised the impact of using the very same word Sans had just shouted at you a few moments ago.

"...please don't say that."

You couldn't bring yourself to look up at his face, and judging by his pained voice, you didn't really want to do so anyway. You picked up the remote and went onto the guide, flicking through the options.

"dove, don't dance around this, i don't need a phd in theoretical physics to tell it's been troubling you for a while."

"Masterchef is on. Haven't watched that in a while." you stated, totally ignoring him.

"(y/n), come on."

"Sans, I've said it before and I'll say it again." You looked at him, trying hard to seem nonchalant. "I'll explain when I'm ready, okay?"

Sans's eyelights studied you for a moment. They seemed to glance at your chest more than once and linger there a beat longer than usual. Eventually he sighed, then turned to look at the TV.

"yeah, masterchef is good. makes me fucking hungry though."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Sans woke up slowly.

Huh.

That was... abnormal.

Usually he'd wake up violently, covered in his own sweat, breathing heavily and being strangled by his own bedsheets.

Speaking of bedsheets, where were they?

And why was he so warm?

It was probably the small warm thing he was cuddling. It was too big to be a hot water bottle, but in his sleepy haze, Sans couldn't think what it might be.

Oh, whatever. He hadn't felt this nice in ages.

He let out a sigh. His SOUL was beating slowly, pulsing.

H... hang on a second.

 

The... warm thing was cuddling him back.

 

He snapped into awareness. He was lying on the sofa, with both his arms wrapped completely around you. You had your tiny, doll-like arms around his neck and your breath was hot on his clavicle. Your shirt had ridden up a little in your sleep and one of his phalanges was touching your skin. Your body was TOUCHING HIS. There was a soft white light in his chest and he could clearly see the warm red glow in yours.

Then his light started to wane.

'Nononononono don't fade don't fade don't fade...' he mentally begged, and tried his hardest to focus on the love he was experiencing...

He watched the white light shining through his shirt fade slowly and eventually, when it's partner was gone, yours did too.

DAMMIT!

He would've shouted his frustrations if he hadn't been quietly cuddling with you. Your SOUL had communicated with his, and the two had been glowing in synchrony, and if his stupid conscious thinking hadn't interfered, the two might have even connected.

But annoying or not, this was amazing news. You were starting to feel the same way about him, that much was clear. You were starting to return his feelings.

He glanced at your sleeping form and instantly, all his aggravations faded away. You were just so goddam beautiful. Every inch, every mark, every strand of hair. Your skin was so soft and he couldn't stop himself from gently touching your cheek. That was one of his favourite things about you- the way your face perfectly portrayed how you felt. Like when you were happy or embarrassed or mad, your cheeks flushed with colour. Or when it became peppered with freckles when you'd been in the sunlight for a while.

Human skin had always been intriguing but with you it was downright enchanting. How it was silky but strong, how the longer he looked, the more detail he seemed to see. It wasn't until a few days ago that he realised you had tiny, soft hairs on your skin, or the fact that it wasn't one solid colour, it was a blotchy mix of many.

And your eyes... don't get him started on your eyes.

He wanted to tell you all of that, to tell you how perfect you were. How much he loved you. How much he wanted to do this all the time- to cuddle quietly on the sofa, just enjoying each other's company. Trusting each other.

But you didn't trust him entirely. Not yet. You still wouldn't tell him about what was troubling you so much. If he wanted to gain your true affection, he needed you to trust him entirely.

But he had to wait for now. Just a little longer.

 

And once he did find out, he'd make sure it never bothered you again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

where the fUCK AM I

Chapter Text

You woke up hugging Sans.

 

Hugging

 

Sans.

And he was hugging you back.

 

The freaking sack of potatoes had fallen asleep next to you, and somehow, in the night, the two of you had started cuddling like some sickly sweet couple. The TV was still on and light was seeping through the living room curtains now. What time was it? How long had you been sleeping for?

You found yourself squashed between Sans’s chest and the back of the sofa. You took your arms from around his neck and tried to push him away from you, but he was a goddam brick wall. You tried to sit up or wriggle free but Sans let out a sleepy grumble and tightened his grip around you. Then he...

He fucking shoved his hand up your shirt. You let out a surprised squeak when huge boney fingers touched the small of your back, gently tracing the line of your spine, then settling just below your bra strap. A contented sigh left Sans’s huge chest, then he settled back into sleep.

The fucking sneaky bitch.

“You’d better be asleep.” You hissed quietly.

Ok first, that hand has GOT TO MOVE. You wriggled in his grip and reached your arm behind you, gently pulling his hand out. Then, before his hand could grab again, you sorted out you shirt so that he wasn’t touching bare skin, because NOPE.

You managed to sit up, and Sans’s grip instead went around your waist. This guy, seriously...

You were in the middle of trying to pry Sans’s hands off your waist when he grumbled something unintelligible and let go, before rolling over. You sighed, finally free, and sat up entirely.

Honestly, you hadn’t pegged Sans as the cuddly type.

Clambering over him and more than once falling on top of him, you eventually managed to get to the floor, and you landed there with a ‘thump.’
You looked up at Sans’s sleeping face. He was actually kind of cute when asleSHUT UP BRAIN.

You got up and went to go find your phone. You vaguely remembered giving it to Sans so he could text your parents, so the first place to check would probably be the bathroom.

At least he was asleep for all that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans peeked one eye open as you went up the stairs and chuckled to himself, before rolling back over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You opened the bathroom door and found your phone lying discarded on the tiled floor. You checked the time. 9 am? Good. Enough time to get home before midday.

You looked at yourself in the mirror. Hah, you were a wreck. Hair everywhere, dog fur on your clothes. You probably stank as well.
You were pretty much certain that Sans didn’t have a hairbrush. After all, it was a family of skeletons.

Then your mind, that was still trying to recover what it could from the hazy vomit-fest that was the previous night, presented a memory to you. Outside Grillby’s bar, a small poster, and a detail you had completely passed over.

He was hiring.

You’d been a waitress before, but a waitress for a monster pub? That was new. And if the owner himself was serving the drinks and food, they must need staff pretty bad. You weren’t exactly... TOLERATING of rude behaviour towards you, but if it was from a piss-drunk monster who simply couldn’t stop what was coming out of his mouth, you could relate, and possibly ignore.

Besides, might as well give it a shot.

...And you really, REALLY needed the cash.

Once you’d finger-combed your hair to the best of your abilities and made sure you looked slightly less insane, you left the bathroom. Papyrus wasn’t out his room yet and judging by the sounds coming from inside, he was waiting for you to leave before coming downstairs.

As you passed Sans’s room, you heard a thumping noise from inside. Confused, you pressed your ear against the door.

It sounded like a low whistling, like wind. Did he leave his window open? You tried the door, and...

“hey.” Sans’s voice cut through you like a knife, and his hand wrapped around the one you were about to open the door with, stopping you from entering. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh my god he was RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

“if you’re gonna go snooping in my room, at least get a fucking gas mask. it’s nuclear fallout in there.”

You let out a silent sigh of relief at how not-angry he sounded. Thank god he wasn’t mad.

“Sorry.” You took your hand off the door handle and spun around to face him. “I heard a weird noise and I thought you might have left your window open.”

Dear lord, he was close. Your face was almost touching his chest, you were pinned against his door and his hand was still on the door handle, making it seem like some cheesy anime shit. You’d think that after quite literally sleeping in his arms this wouldn’t bother you, but apparently it did. No, stupid brain, he did NOT look sexy in that shirt.

Luckily, he seemed satisfied with your answer. You smiled nervously and stepped sideways a little, escaping from your cheesy anime position.

“I’m gonna leave. I should probably get back.” You started walking backwards towards the stairs.

“don’t you want breakfast?” he asked nonchalantly, hand still on the door handle.

Ahh, breakfast. The thought of it... eggs... bacon...

“Nah, I can eat when I get home.” You lied. “I slept in these clothes and I’m pretty sure they stink. Besides, I don’t think Papyrus is coming out his room ‘til I’m gone.”

He chuckled and scratched the side of his skull. “yeah, he’s taken quite a shine to ya. do you want a lift home? teleporting, i mean.”

Locking himself in his room while you were there was classed as ‘taking a shine’ to you?

“Sure.” You shrugged. At least you didn’t have to walk through the streets smelling and looking like a homeless person. “I’ll go get my jumper. I think I left it on the sofa.”

As you turned to go downstairs, you threw a quick look over your shoulder to see Sans looking really, REALLY serious. His smile was nonexistent and something about the way his eye flared red when he locked his door magically was off.

The worst part was that you couldn’t even snoop into his room next time you came over if you expected him to not snoop into your life in turn.

What was even in there...?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans dropped you off outside your house and you came back in, announced your arrival, rocketed upstairs and had a shower before Mom and Dad could even register you were home. Fresh clothes and clean hair felt absolutely amazing after worrying whether or not Sans was bothered by your B.O when he held onto you for the teleporting.

If you were going to go ask Grillby about a job, you needed to look nice, but not too nice. A tight-fitting black shirt and some jeggings would do the trick.

The acne from the stakeout was completely gone now and you felt so clean and hygienic when you stepped out your bedroom. You mentally prepared yourself for dealing with your parents, before slowly coming downstairs, trying to act like nothing was wrong.

“(y/n).”

Fuck, it was Mom.
Welp, better get it over with.

“Yo.” You leant against the banister. “If you’re gonna rant about last night, at least make it quick. I'm about to go inquire about a job.”

“Come into the kitchen.” fffUUCKK it was Dad. If the two of them were combining forces to speak to you, then you were in some seriously deep shit.

Against your better judgement you obeyed and went into the kitchen. The two of them were sat on one side of the small table and you pulled up a chair on the opposite side, feeling more and more like you were about to be interrogated. So, to ease the tension, you swung your legs up onto the table.

Mum sat forward, but before she could speak, you piped up.

“Yeah yeah, I get it.” You waved your hand like you were waving an unspoken question away. “‘(y/n), your behaviour was unacceptable, running away without our permission.’ I apologise for my behaviour, mother and father know what’s best for you, yada yada, can I go now?”

Silence.

“Great.” You swung your legs down and made to get out your chair.

“(y/n), that’s not what we called you here to talk about.” Dad interlaced both his fingers and you groaned, sitting back down.

“What? Is it because it was a GUY I ran off with? And if I’d gone with a girl everything would be fine? You two are so heteronormative.”

The two of them shared a glance at each other, and Dad sighed.

“We’re concerned about the... company you’re keeping.” He said.

You cocked your head a little, slightly confused. What company?

“Meaning...?” Your gaze jumped between the two of them. They were just being confusing now. What was wrong about Sa-

Your jaw dropped.

...

You couldn’t believe the bullshit they were pulling.

“...This is because he’s a monster, isn’t it?”

The two of them shared another glance, then turned back to you.

Mum spoke this time. “We wanted to remind you that monsters are dangerous, and although you’re free to make your own choices, you n-”

“Since when have I been free to make my own choices?” You were losing your temper fast, and you folded your arms to stop yourself from lashing out. “Less than 24 hours ago, you tried to stop me from leaving the house.” You nodded towards Dad. “Not to mention the dozens of friends you deemed ‘unfit’ and stopped me from seeing when I was younger.” You nodded towards Mum. “I’m not a six year old anymore, I’m not just going to bow my head and say ‘yes mother, no mother, thank you father’. So what the actual fuck makes you think that now I’m older, I’m going to listen to anything you say?”

“Funny you should mention being older.” Dad said, shifting in his seat. Mum had bee hit hard and was apparently swapping out with Dad while she got herself back together. This was a tactic they often used- they probably thought that if they could outlast you, you’d do what they said.

“You’re still living in our house, and while you’re in our house, you follow our rules.” Oh shit, not this again. He looked at you with those piecing eyes. “If you don’t follow our rules, you shouldn’t be in this house.”

“You’re blackmailing me.” You're eyes widened. “...you’re saying you’ll kick me out if I keep hanging out with Sans.”

“What we need you to understand,” Mum said, regaining herself. “is that there’s a reason your father and I don’t associate with monsters. There’s scientific proof to show that they can use their magic to manipulate the human mind.”

Smells like bullshit

“We’ve decided that the best option is to-”

“Right, I’ve had enough.” You stood up and looked down at your parents, who had stopped mid sentence. “I don’t care what you think.”

You didn’t know what else to say. You turned around and left the kitchen. When they didn’t call you back in, you sighed in relief.

At least there wasn’t any shouting today.

As you left the house, you thought about what they would think if they knew you were going to inquire for a job at a pub run by a monster. You chuckled just to think of it.

They wouldn’t really kick you out.

... Would they?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since Sans had teleported you there the first time you went, you weren't actually entirely sure where Grillby's bar was, but Google maps quickly pinpointed where you needed to go. Sans was right, it wasn't actually that far from the park.

- fabulous lady: babes I haven't heard from u in a while, r u ok?

Honey? Oh shit, you completely forgot to text her to tell her you weren't able to facetime.

- You: omg I'm so sorry babes, I toats forgot to text u

- fabulous lady: lmao you had me so worried

- fabulous lady: y didn't u text me??

- You: Had a fight with Mom and Dad, got really really drunk and spent the night vomiting at sans's house

- fabulous lady: GUURRRLLL U WENT TO SNAS'S HOUSE???

- fabulous lady: did u do... the horizontal?

- You: eww no

- You: but gurl u won't believe what happened

As you walked to Grillby's, you filled Honey in on the events of the previous night, including Killer scaring off Papyrus for you, and accidentally falling asleep (and cuddling) with Sans. She was, needless to say, completely ecstatic.

- fabulous lady: GURL I SHIP YOU TWO SO HARD

- You: srsly babes

- fabulous lady: this is such a good step forward for u, babes

- fabulous lady: you're finally opening up

- You: but srsly why do u even ship us??? he's just a friend

You didn't know why, but saying that to Honey made something in the centre of your chest throb.

- fabulous lady: well 1. u fell asleep on the sofa with him = u feel safe with him (a guy) which literally hasn't happened in years

- fabulous lady: 2. when u woke up being cuddled u didn't punch him straight in the gabba

- fabulous lady: 3. when he had u against his door u didn't punch him straight in the gabba

- You: lmao markiplier

- fabulous lady: ok babes, picture this;

- fabulous lady: snas wants to kiss u, but he needs ur permission to do the kissing

Oh my god. Before you could stop yourself you had pictured Sans in the tight shirt he had been wearing...
...
SHUT UP BRAIN OH MY GOD

- fabulous lady: he asks u for permissions, do u give him permissions for the kissing???

You flushed so red that you were sure anyone walking by could see it. Sans? And you? Kissing? He didn't even have lips!

- You: no!!!

- fabulous lady: u took more than 10 seconds to reply and u added exclamation marks

Dammit, even when she couldn't see your face she could read you like an open book.

- fabulous lady: deny it if u want but I have all the info I need ;)

- You: BABES SERIOUSLY, COME ON

- fabulous lady: ok, fine

- fabulous lady: but when u two are the cutest couple on earth, I'll rub it in yo face ;)

- You: i have no idea y i'm friends with u

- fabulous lady: i have no idea either

- You: lol maybe that's why

- You: i gtg, going to inquire about a job

- fabulous lady: mkay, good luck babes!!!!

You put your phone away and sighed, but let out a little chuckle as well. She was so goddam ridiculous. But in a good way. You really missed hanging out with her, getting food together, going out when you weren't supposed to, doing detention together... she was your partner in crime. The two of you had always clicked in your own special way.

You sighed again. She was gone now, and the only way you were going to be able to hang out with her is if she came here. You didn't have NEARLY enough money to afford a trip to Australia.

You looked up at Grillby's, then at the small poster on the side.

Well, maybe that could change.

 

HELP WANTED:

WAITERS/WAITRESSES WILLING TO WORK 5pm - 11pm, DAYS SPECIFIED INSIDE

EMPLOYEES MUST HAVE:

*THE ABILITY TO CREATE SMALL TALK AND BE FRIENDLY

*THE ABILITY TO DEAL CALMLY WITH DRUNKS

*THE ABILITY TO WORK UNDER PRESSURE

*TOLERANCE OF MONSTERS

 

Willing to work 5 to 11? This is a bar, isn't it? Surely Grillby would want you to work later into the night, towards am and pm?

You shrugged. Those hours suited you pretty well, even if they seemed stupid for a BAR. You didn't have to get up ridiculously early and there was enough time to get home and get to sleep before midnight.

You were surprised to find that it was open, and there were already people inside. It was only about 11, maybe midday? You couldn't be bothered to check your phone. For a bar, this was a pretty all-day establishment.

You heard footsteps, and saw a guy stood next to you. He was eyeing the flyer for work as well. He was about your height and stature, with messy black hair that just about covered his ears, and a pale freckled face. His eyelashes were long and fluttery and he looked quite girly, especially with those red rectangular glasses.

"You here for the job?" You asked him. He jumped, you'd probably startled him. His bright blue eyes scanned you, then he blushed and nodded, pushing his glasses up his nose.

Oh my gosh, he was adorable, like a little puppy. You resisted the urge to tell him that.

"Y-yeah. I've had experience working with monsters before, they're much nicer than humans, even when drunk." He wouldn't meet your gaze.

When he finally lifted his eyes up to meet yours, you smiled at him.

"That means you've got one up on me." You held out your hand. "I'm (y/n), I'm also here for the job. If Grillby hires both of us, you'll have to give me some advice on serving monsters."

He blushed some more, took your hand and shook it rather firmly. You were surprised at the strength behind his hand- he'd seemed weak at first glance.

"I-I'm Bal." He stuttered.

"Bal? That's an nice name." You chuckled. It was abnormal, to say the least.

He let go of your hand and looked at the floor, adjusting his glasses again. "It's... uhm, it's short for Balthazar..."

"Nice. Does that mean I can call you King?" You chuckled again.

He looked up, apparently startled, but he blushed and smiled. God, he was an open book. Did YOU look this obvious when you blushed?

"Y-yeah, King is fine. Don't know why I didn't think of that." He laughed this time.

So. Freaking. Adorable.

"C'mon. I don't know about you, but I need some cash." You smiled. He looked a little awkward, but you ignored it and went into the bar, waving to Grillby, who waved back, apparently surprised to see you. The dog patrons recognised you and greeted you, some (like the large male anthropomorphic dog who'd been sitting paw-in-paw with a female dog just like him) asking if you were ok after your disastrous drinking contest with Sans.

When you got to the bar, King sat down next to you, and the two of you waited for Grillby to finish serving some kind of plant that was literally a gigantic mouth. It reminded you of the plant from Little Shop of Horrors.

"Y-you seem to know everyone." King said. He was sitting upright, hands in his lap, like a little poshboy, while you leant lazily over the counter.

"Came here yesterday and had a drinking contest with a friend." You rolled your eyes at the memory.

"Did you win?" He asked, still sitting like a rich young girl from the 1600's.

You turned to him and grimaced. "It was monster alcohol."

He cringed, and you laughed aloud.

"Yeah, I was piss drunk for an hour or something, then I blew chunks and had a splitting headache the rest of the night. Wasn't pretty."

"What about your friend?" King took off his glasses and wiped them on the corner of his shirt.

"He's a monster. It didn't affect him at all." You grumbled. "The bloody sod."

"can I help the two of you?" Grillby's soft voice caught your attention. He'd come back to the bar while the two of you had been chatting.

"Ayy, Grillbae, good to see you." You winked, and you saw him trying to stop his smile. "We're here about the job."

You were still leaning on the counter and you looked up at the purple fire man, who now had a small white smile on his face.

"Y-yes, I would greatly appreciate it if you hired me." King looked down at his feet. You thought about the contrast between the two of you- you were lying lazily on the bar counter and talking to Grillby like he was an old buddy, and then there was King, upright in his seat and addressing Grillby like he was writing a letter to him.

"Grillbae, I was wondering," you finally sat up, but you were in no way sitting professionally. "if this is a bar, how come the work times are between 5 and 11?"

"I only serve food between 5 and 11. that is when most monsters arrive. your service is only needed then, my dear."

"Sweet." You winked at Grillby. "So do we get the job?"

Grillby smiled again. "well, usually there's a bit more to it than that, my dear, but I am incredibly short on staff willing to work the weekdays at the moment, and Sans speaks very highly of you. from what I can gather, tolerance for monsters and creating small talk will be no issue for you. if you can work Monday to Thursday, I do not see why you should not start as soon as you like."

You minifisted. You'd struck gold with this job. You didn't even need to go for an interview. Did monsters even DO interviews? You'd heard online that they do this weird SOUL stuff, but it sounded like nonsense.
Whatever. You got the job, that's what mattered.
You then looked at King, who was fidgeting nervously.

"What about my buddy?" You asked.

King seemed surprised to be mentioned, and he smiled awkwardly.

Grillby's smile vanished and he looked King up and down.

"may I see your soul, sir?"

King nodded, apparently this was standard procedure for him. Grillby reached out and placed his hand on King's chest. The two of them went very quiet for a few moments, and you saw a green glow emanating from where Grillby's hand was pressed. It was mesmerising to look at. So this was the SOUL stuff people talked about?

You felt like you shouldn't interrupt. Something about the way the two of them went dead silent told you it was a private moment.

But why was King's SOUL green? Did that mean something? You wondered what colour your SOUL was.

After about thirty seconds, Grillby removed his hand and nodded.

"you are appropriately qualified. you can work Tuesdays to Fridays, Balthazar." He said, and the two shared a quick smile.

"Hold up, what the frick was that?" You gave them both a confused look. "Is that some kind of monster interview?"

King, surprisingly, nodded.

"Yes, that's exactly it. Well, almost." He adjusted his glasses and looked to Grillby.

Grillby's smile returned as he explained. "monsters can gather the information we need from simply taking a glance at your SOUL. anything that weighs on your mind will be easily reflected onto your SOUL, so unlike human 'interviews', there is no way of hiding or lying about what you have done and how you think."

You whistled between your teeth and chuckled, glad that Grillby didn't request to read your SOUL.

"Sounds flipping intense."

Grillby looked up as a monster called him over, and he took a sheet of paper out of a notepad in his breast pocket. He scribbled down something, then tore the paper in half.

"(y/n), Balthazar, should you have any questions, feel free to 'text' me. I will be available to answer between 3am and 1pm." He handed both of you the pieces of paper, then got up and left to go get the monster's order.

You spun around in your chair to watch Grillby go, and you snorted, putting the paper in your pocket.

"He's got a great ass." You whispered to King, who went considerably more red and looked at his hands, which were clasped tightly in his lap.

Chapter Text

In one sense, Bal was right. Monsters were much kinder than humans and most seemed to appreciate that you were just here to make a living, even if the drunk ones occasionally went over your boundaries.
However, that did NOT make them any more easy to serve.

Your first day had been, in a word, ‘rushed.’

7 was when pretty much every goddam monster in the city turned up for burgers and fries- and they all took the EXACT SAME ORDER. Burger, side of fries, no mustard or ketchup. The cooks all seemed to think this was totally normal, and had no trouble preparing the food. Especially when at least two of them were octopi with multiple hands. Occasionally someone would order a glass of monster alcohol but it honestly made no difference when all you saw was burgers and fries everywhere. You also learnt a nifty way of stealing *just* enough fries so that it still looked like a decent portion.

“BARK.”

“Greater Dog would like some more fries.” Said Dogamy, who was serving as your temporary translator to the huge fluffy dog. You liked Dogamy- he had silky white fur and magnificent eyebrows.

In fact, you liked all the dogs. On your first day they'd given you tips and tricks, like telling you that pretty much everyone will leave at 9, so you needed to be ready to collect all the bills by 8:50.

The only dog who didn't seem to like you was Dogaressa. She gave you nasty glares every time you spoke to Dogamy, and seemed to completely ignore you otherwise.

“Coming!” You called, squeezing between two chairs, holding the plate high to stop it being bumped.

"You alright?" Dogamy asked, when you arrived with the fries. He and Dogaressa were still holding paws, and you almost cooed at how cute a couple they were.

You nodded in response to his question, but in fact you were lightheaded and probably sweating.

"Better than Doggo, at least." You chuckled and glanced over to the poor ninja-mask wearing dog with really bad eyesight, who was sweating and shifting around, trying to look at everything that moved, which in this hustle and bustle would be a nightmare. Someone in the back called for a burger and you quickly waved goodbye to the dogs, then nodded to King, who seemed totally overwhelmed. A little like Doggo.

“Another burger for the rabbit table.” You glanced at the clock. 8:47. Three minutes to get your math brain in gear.

You collected some empty plates to take to the kitchen, but as you squeezed back through the chairs, you felt a hand on your ass. You summoned your patience and ignored it. The outfit Grillby had provided was, thank you Lord in heaven, not skimpy at all. A long sleeved white shirt, a white waistcoat and a black skirt that just about reached your knees, with the simple requirement of having your hair tied back. Compared to some of the slutty outfits you’d endured at other cafes, this was godsend.

You skirted past the cooks who all greeted you like an old friend, even though you'd only been working here two days. And, knowing your previous jobs, you wouldn't be here very long. You took the plates to the sink, complimented the cooks on their work and came back into the hustle and bustle of the pub.

King looked at the clock and the two of you locked eyes. You'd already informed King of what was going to happen at 8:50.

"I'll handle the rabbits and the drunks." You stated, whipping your notepad out the breast pocket of your waistcoat. King gave you the 'are you absolutely sure' look and you nodded. King was too much of a cinnamon roll to handle piss-drunk strangers who were absolutely adamant that the 5 note they just handed you was a 20, and the rabbit table had too many screaming children for him to concentrate.

You were prepared like Nan had always told you to be, and you'd noted down the orders of each table. You just had to add up the amount. And dear god, that math was coming in handy now. 20 or more rabbits, all who ordered burgers and fries, four of the adults ordering alcohol and one small child getting a glass of fruit juice.

"Don't desert me now, math." You whispered to yourself. Then, when they called you over, you put on your best smile and ignored the screaming children.

"We'd like the bill, please." Said a pretty rabbit lady in a lovely green hat. She was holding a baby rabbit who was kicking and crying, but she seemed to be paying him no mind.

You added up each burger with fries, alcohol and juice, before cringing slightly while smiling at her.

"That'll be 166.75, please." You smiled. The rabbit lady seemed completely unfazed, as if this was what they always paid when they went out. To be honest, it probably was. After she gave you the money, you noticed a small blue toy on the floor. It was went with drool, mangled beyond belief and you had no idea what type of animal it was supposed to be, but you ducked down and retrieved it from the floor, holding it out.
The baby bunny saw the toy instantly and held out it's arms, ceasing it's ear-splitting crying.
"Is this yours?" You passed it to the bunny, who gurgled and held the mangled blue toy.

The mother (you assumed) beamed at you, and slid a fiver towards you.

"A tip." She smiled, her pink nose twitching. You looked at the fiver, then back at her, wide-eyed.

"A-are you sure?"

The bunny lady apparently found that hilarious and chuckled, but nodded. "Yes, you've been such a big help."

"Th... thank you ma'am." You blushed red and took the fiver. Hopefully this small act of kindness would keep you sane when you went to the drunk's table.

You took the rabbit's money to the till and also took a deep, shaky breath. You waited for the rabbits to leave, unsure of whether or not there would be any swearing, but wanting to save the children's ears anyway. Once they were gone, you put on your best smile and went to the drunk's table. You could do this. You were determined. And patient.

"Would you like the bill?" You asked. There were three of them- two man-rats and a sleeping bird who reminded you of someone you'd seen somewhere. You couldn't quite place your finger on it. Perhaps a relative of someone you knew?

"Sure, beautiful." Said one rat, sat closest to where you were standing. He looked tall and lanky, and something about the way his eyes hungrily scanned your entire body was really off-putting.
You checked your notebook.
"Three burgers and a substantially large amount of beer... that's 39.50, please." The lanky rat chuckled at your sass, but the smaller, fatter rat next to him scowled.
"Thath too exthpenthive. *hic*. You thure you added it right?"

You pretended to look it over again, and smiled apologetically.

"Yup, I'm completely sure."

"It'th not right, check again."

You'd planned ahead for this. Without breaking your smile, you took a small calculator from the breast pocket of your waistcoat and spun it around so that it was facing the smaller rat. You leant over and clicked in the numbers, one by one, making sure the smaller rat and the lanky rat could see.

"The first burger and fries, plus the second burger and fries, plus the third burger and fries, plus the multiple beers you had, plus the whiskey... 39.50." You smiled at his defeated face, feeling quite proud of your math skill. Then you saw the lanky rat trying to get a look at your cleavage as you bent over to 'educate' the smaller rat, but thanks to the high collar of the uniform, there was no cleavage to be seen.

Grillby, you angel.

You stood back upright and pocketed the calculator.

"...Can't we get a discount?" The lanky rat was still smiling and he had the most disgusting yellow teeth you'd ever seen, but you held your tongue. "We're regulars around here, babe."

So Sans wasn't the only one with a weird thing for pet names.

"As much as I would love assisting you with theft," the lanky rat chuckled again as you spoke, and from where you were standing, you could smell his sickly breath. "I'd rather keep my job."

"Ok, just for you, babe." He rummaged in his pockets and handed you two twenties, and winked. You almost vomited. "Keep the change."

'Golly gee, thanks for the 50p, no need to act like you just gave me a life's wages.' Was what you said in your mind.

You turned to go to the counter but you felt a furry hand around your wrist, holding you in place. You hoped to everything holy that he didn't have fleas.

You took a deep breath and turned to the rat, who was smirking disgustingly.

"Get off me." You wrinkled your nose in disgust.

"Attitude. I like it." He snickered, and his grip tightened. "Hey, babe, how about I get your num-"

"How about no?" You yanked your arm, but he held fast. People were starting to look and someone got out their chair. "Let go."

"C'mon, it's just a request, darling." His grip tightened even more, and you hissed in pain. "How about-"

-WHAM-

His fucking head was slammed into the table and you shrieked, wrenching your hand out his now-slack grip, stumbling back a few steps. A very angry Dogaressa pulled his head back up, a deep growling coming from within her throat, her black lips pulled back.

"She said NO, you fucking rodent!" Then she slammed his head again. The bird woke up and squawked loudly, the smaller rat had already ducked under the table and vanished. She was preparing to slam his head again, when-

"Dogaressa." Grillby's silky smooth voice cut through all the noise and she froze, the growling stopping, the lanky rat's head still in her paw. "that's enough. please go back to your table."

Dogaressa, still growling, stalked back to her table, where Dogamy started cooing all kinds of 'good girl' praise and petting her head. Dogs petting dogs? You world was expanded.

"please leave and do not return to my bar, sir. I will not tolerate the abuse of my staff." Grillby's voice was still soft, and you couldn't understand what everyone found so terrifying about it, as to remain totally silent when he spoke. You felt Grillby's hand on your shoulder, and you watched the rat get up and leave, a look of utter defeat on his face.

The door swung shut and Grillby looked down at you, his beautiful purple flames lighting up the area around him.

"are you alright, my dear?"

King came running over, but you smiled and gestured to the people still waiting for their bill.

"Yup." You lied to Grillby's face. Your wrist stung like hell, but you ignored it. "Sorry I caused a scene, Grillboss."

He frowned. "my dear, what makes you think it was your fault? the only ones who caused a scene are that young sir and Dogaressa."

"He probably thought I was leading him on or something." You shrugged Grillby's flaming hand off your shoulder. "Anyway, speaking of Dogaressa, I'm gonna go thank her."

Grillby seemed concerned, but he allowed you to go. You rubbed your wrist. Damn, it hurt. Maybe you could get Sans to heal it for you tomorrow or something.

You approached the dog's table, but before you could speak, Greater Dog had wrapped his giant metal arms around you and lifted you up to his face, where he proceeded to lick you over and over. The remaining monsters in the bar all 'awwed.'

"Hey, boy, what's gotten into you?" You ruffled the fur on his head. "Come on, stop, you're getting slobber in my hair."

-click-

"OK that's my spine. Down, boy." He whined and made a fuss, but when you gave him your best 'no' stare, he put you down, and you wiped the slobber off your face with the sleeve of your uniform. You looked up, and Dogaressa was avoiding your gaze, an embarrassed look on her face. You leant on the table, exhausted from the day. Now that the non-regulars were gone you could be yourself again.

"Thanks Dogaressa, you really saved my ass back there."

"Just helping a fellow female." She mumbled. She WAS the only girl in a group of male dogs, wasn't she? You only just noticed.

You turned instead to Dogamy. "You got one kick-ass wife, Dogamy. You two make the best couple."

"You think so!?" They both yipped, and you could practically see the stars in their eyes. You chuckled and nodded, and the two of them engaged in a sickly sweet dog kiss, cheered on by the remaining people in the bar.

You could get used to this.

"I've got to go back to the bar now in case anyone else arrives." Dogaressa and Dogamy both looked out of this world with happiness, Doggo seemed far less shifty now that everyone moving erratically was gone and Greater Dog was just... Greater Dog.

You gave them the leftover chips for free, as thanks for Dogaressa saving your butt, then went back to the bar front. King was waiting for you, his adorable cinnamon roll face plastered with worry.

"(y-y/n)! Are you okay?" He looked at your now-bruised wrist as you leant on the bar top, letting out an exhausted groan. "I'm so sorry! I-I was busy collecting bills, I didn't know anything was wrong until Dogares-"

"Chill bro, I'm fine." You waved it away. "He was a perv, I've dealt with a few pervs in my time. I was just lucky that Dogaressa stepped in."

King adjusted his glasses and some colour returned to his cheeks.

"(y/n), you're so cool."

"...?" You raised an eyebrow. You didn't quite know how to react to that.

"You handled the busy pub easily, and you're still pretending that the rat didn't hurt you, even though he did. You're the only other person who likes monsters, and you're so open-minded and confident..."

He turned to you and made little fists out of his hands, and for a moment you thought he was going to fight you, but the sheer cute determination in his eyes was enough to make you think otherwise.

"(y/n), someday I'm going to be like you!"

You snorted at his obliviousness.

"Bal, trust me. You don't want to be like me."

He drooped for a second, confused.

"Wh-"

"sweetcheeks?"

Oh buddy boi, you'd know that deep voice anywhere. You looked across the bar at him, and Sans looked back at you, eyelights bright. He was wearing his black hoodie but instead of the usual shorts he just had jeans.

His eyelights darted to the now completely white King, who could've been mistaken for a marble statue, then back at you. He strode across the bar towards you and you knew exactly what to do- you grabbed a mustard bottle.

"what're you... why've you got grillby's uniform?" He looked back at King who flinched and adjusted his glasses.
"and who's this?"

"That's Bal, my buddy. Also, I work here now." You offered him the mustard bottle and his jaw dropped, and you saw the spooky red glow of his tongue.

"y... omg..." He just stood there and looked down at you.

"You gonna take the bottle or what, Sans?"

He sat himself down at the barstool and chuckled in amazement.

"i think i'm dreaming." He took the mustard and stared up at you in an overly-dreamy way, his chin on his hand, that stupid grin on his face.

"Why would you be dreaming?" You rolled your eyes. You sensed a pun coming.

"because my favourite human is working at my favourite place, which means i can come here and still pester her all day long, now PUBlicly."

His smile was the goofiest you'd ever seen it. You groaned, rolled your eyes again and went to go get some water so you could sit down with him, but suddenly you felt his boney fingers close around your hand. He was gently examining your wrist. How did he see it that fast?

"... what's this?" The goofy smile was gone, replaced with a strained one.

"Pervert got overly handsy. It's no big..."

He was already healing it, a soft red light emerging from under his hand, muscles tensing and heat pooling in your wrist. It was such a strange sensation, you reckoned you'd never get used to it.

You glanced up from your hand to Sans and for a split second, you thought you saw no lights in his eyesockets. Just empty, dead, black holes. But they were back, but definitely smaller than usual. Did you imagine it?

For some reason, he seemed really, REALLY ticked off.

Sans had your wrist in both his huge hands, and he turned your hand over and started running his boney thumb over your palm while he was healing, tracing the inner lines. It was... really gentle, and actually quite caring? You hadn't expected that from him, and you found yourself trying really hard not to enjoy his attentions.

Once he was done healing, he seemed to break out some kind of trance and he let your hand go. He was about to speak, when-

"H-hey (y/n), can I talk to you for a second? Privately?" King, who was stood by the door to the kitchen, was as white as a sheet and kept staring at Sans, who had his eyes narrowed at King in suspicion.

"Thanks for the heal, Sans. I'll be right back." You followed King into the kitchen, where all the cooks were taking a break, and he led you into the corner, where he turned to you, wide-eyed and pale faced.

"That monster you're with, that's... his name is Sans, right?" King was panic-stricken, and you were completely confused.

"...Yeeeaaahhh?"

"Does... does he have a brother called Papyrus? And... and a dog?"

You blinked.

"Have you two met before?" You asked. How did he know so much about Sans?

"So he does!?"

You flinched at King's tone. Why did he sound so... afraid?

"Yes, he does. Bal, what are you-"

"You have to stop seeing him. You have to." His breath was quick and sharp. "D... does he have your phone number?"

You nodded, completely and utterly nonplussed. What the frick-frack was going on?

King ran a hand through his hair, and bit his lip.

"S-shit."

Woah, King never swore. You always thought he never had it in him. You were finally getting a grasp on how serious he was, instead of being the normal, average scared-of-everything cinnamon roll he always was.

"You have to get a n-new phone, or , or..."

"Bal." You took both his hands and looked into his terrified eyes. "Take a deep breath. You need to explain to me what's going on."

King did what you said and took a long, shaky breath, before taking his hands out of yours.

"I... I have a friend who's a monster. She runs a chain of pastry shops in the city centre, and we meet up a lot." He pushed his glasses back up his nose. "She tells me stories about what happened in the underground, and..." He visibly whitened. "... she always talks about a guy monsters call 'The Judge', and they're all really, really afraid of him, because he had the highest LV in the underground..."

"L... V?" You asked. King blinked.

"Y-you know, LV and EXP?"

"Aren't those... video game terms?" You asked, pinching the bridge of your nose.

"No, no, just hear me out." You couldn't deny a request from King when he looked like such a frightened child.
"all SOULs have stats, kind of like a videogame, but in real life. You know, HP, DF, AT... they all mean what they sound like. And to increase them, you train your physical body."

You nodded along with this, not sure if you believed it or not.

"but when you kill someone," his face darkened. "your EXP goes up. EXP stands for 'execution points.' And with enough EXP, your LV, 'level of violence', goes up. The higher your LV, the more people you've killed."

Holy shit, that got dark quickly.

"Ev... everyone from the underground has killed at least one person, and they all have at least 2 LV, but they had to do that if they wanted to survive. That's what humans don't understand." He was trembling. "M-my friend, Muffet, she's a spider, and she has about 4 LV. That's below average. She was only able to survive because of her huge family, and her ability to get away quickly. But this guy, 'The Judge', he has somewhere nearing 20 LV, which means he's killed in the vicinity of hundreds."

Oh. Holy shit.

"So what does this all have to do with Sans?" You asked, even though you already pretty much knew what was coming.

"(y/n), I think he's The Judge." King's eyes darted to the door. "Muffet said he is, and all her spider family agree... please, you have to believe me."

You sighed, brain working quickly. Who should you trust? The cinnamon roll who probably never told a lie in his life, or Sans?

"Look, Bal, I believe that there was a Judge, but I can't believe it's Sans. I mean... surely, if you killed hundreds of people, it would take a toll on you, right? You'd sorta be able to see it, wouldn't you?"
Reluctantly, King nodded.
"Sans is just..." You shook your head and chuckled. "He tells bad puns and has no idea what a tampon is. He doesn't seem like the murderous type, y'know?"

King still looked unconvinced, his bright blue eyes boring into you. You sighed.

"Ok, how about this- I'll ask Sans to tell me about The Judge, okay? If he IS the Judge, it'll be pretty obvious when I ask him about it, right?" You were convincing yourself more than King. There was no way Sans was a mass murderer. That lazy skeleton? You fucking slept in his arms, and nothing happened! Of course he wasn't. It was ridiculous.

King seemed satisfied.

"Please be safe, (y/n). Monsters are good friends but some still haven't entirely adjusted to the surface, and they don't know how to express themselves. They can be dangerous if they get emotionally confused."

"I'll be fine." You snorted, turning and heading towards the door, King following behind. "Besides, this is ME we're talking about. What even IS there for monsters to get emotionally confused about?"

Chapter Text

- You: wassup, you alive

- Jelloskello: well depends on how u define alive

- You: k so you are

You were lying on the sofa- a dangerous place, should your parents be home, but they weren’t. Mom and Dad had left a while ago and you weren’t sure where they’d gone but it was a great opportunity to leave your room. It was Friday, so you didn’t have work, and you planned on actually doing something with the day.

- Jelloskello: so r u here for puns or do u need something else

- You: no puns

- You: don’t you dare

- Jelloskello: but my jokes are absolutely punderful

- You: right, this was a mistake, I’m going out alone

- Jelloskello: WAIT NO

- You: if you want to come, your paying for everything

- Jelloskello: blackmail? rlly?

- You: leaving in 3...

- Jelloskello: THIS IS BLACKMAIL

- You: 2...

- Jelloskello: fine fine ok

- Jelloskello: cash or credit card

- You: I’m kidding, got loads of muns from tips ;)

- Jelloskello: don’t spend it all at once

You almost choked with laughter. Boy, if only he knew.

“(y/n), shouldn’t you be at work?”

Oh shit, they're back.

Mum and Dad, both in the doorway, blocking your way out. They both had their jumpers on, and judging from the car keys in Mum’s hand, they’d just driven somewhere. You turned off your phone mid-text and slipped it into your pocket, sitting up.

“I don’t work Fridays.” You said stiffly.

Dad narrowed his eyes.

“Who’re you texting?” He asked.

“Honey.” You replied instantly, expecting this question. You were already regretting choosing to sit on the sofa- if you’d stayed in your room there would’ve been no way for them to sneak up on you like this.

Your phone buzzed and you checked the screen.

- Jelloskello: hey wheredya go

- Jelloskello: youre being really RICH rn

You stopped yourself mid-laugh, remembering that you were supposed to be facing off against your parents. But Mum caught on before you could make an excuse.

“It’s that monster, isn’t it?” She strode forwards and you jumped up from the sofa so quickly that Mom stopped, and you put your phone behind your back. You stared down at her. You were taller than her, now. Just about.

“It’s my property. I bought it with the money I got from previous jobs.” You rattled this off quickly, thinking of any excuses you could muster. “You have no right to take it away from me or look at anything on there without it being theft or a breach of privacy.”

“You’re being ridiculous! I’m your mother! Give me the stupid phone!” She grabbed your arm and tried to pull it out from behind your back.

She GRABBED you. The physical contact sent shockwaves through your body, memory after memory surfacing, and you caught yourself before you lashed out.

“Don’t touch me!” You shrieked. Mom flinched and pulled back for a second.

“(y/n), give your mother the phone!” Dad joined in now.

“Stop it!”

“Give me the phone NOW!”

“It’s MY PHONE! Get away!”

Mom, gritting her teeth, went for round two, and this time, you weren’t able to catch yourself.

“I SAID DON’T TOUCH ME!” With your free hand, you swiped your hand towards her face, catching her on the cheek.

...You slapped your Mom.

In the face.

...

You were so fucking done for.

Everyone was frozen, and the silence was deafening. Mom’s hand came up slowly and she touched her now red cheek, her eyes brimming with... tears?

You didn’t even register HER slap until your cheek stung and the sound echoed round. But you weren’t like her. You weren’t weak. At least, that’s what you told yourself.

You darted past both of them, who didn’t even seem to realise you were going. Your hand was stinging so badly, and your cheek too. Emotions were welling up in your chest and you bit them back, taking a deep breath as you slammed the door behind you.
‘How dare she cry!’ you thought, trying to drown everything else in anger. ‘It doesn’t even hurt after you get used to it! It’s stupid! She’s so hypocritical! Both of them are!’

You were furious. Absolutely furious. You let your feet carry you wherever they were going and you wiped the angry tears out of your eyes, biting your lip to stop the rest of them coming. You weren’t weak. You wouldn’t let yourself cry like her.

They were both wrong about you. You weren’t a waste of space, you weren’t a leech, you weren’t a parasite. You were their child, but they sure as heck weren’t your parents. You were worth the air you breathed.

You weren’t going to fall back into that hole.

You stopped walking. Where were you? You looked up and saw the little coffee shop you always went to when meeting up with Sans. You’d probably taken this route so many times, your legs had done it in auto-mode.

You took a deep breath, pushing everything back down, bottling it up, then you checked your phone.

- Jelloskello: did u loose wifi

- Jelloskello: that happens sometimes lol

- Jelloskello: cmon if u really hated my joke that much u couldve just said -3-

- Jelloskello: u still up for going out?

- Jelloskello: hey cmon whered u go

- Jelloskello: dove?

- Jelloskello: is this silent treatment or is something wrong

You took another shaky breath, reading his texts over. 'See?' you told yourself. 'If you were worthless, why would Sans care so much?'

Then guilt started gnawing at your stomach.

‘He cares a lot about you.’ A little voice in your head said. ‘It’s unfair to keep him in the dark. To keep him worrying. He's not stupid, and he probably already knows what's going on.’

'But if I tell him, he'll probably try to step in or do something stupid.'

'If you told him not to, he'd respect your decision, wouldn't he? What's the damage in having a shoulder to cry on?'

'That's Honey's job.'

'But she's not here, is she? You can't do this on your own forever.'

You looked down at the phone, the little black sentences looking back up at you. Should you...? Was getting him involved worth it? Was making him worry worth it?

You closed your eyes for a second. Which option felt right? Your head was telling you no, but something in your chest was telling you yes.

You opened your eyes and sighed.

It wasn't like you could go through anything worse than what had already happened, was it?

- You: meet outside coffee shop plz

- Jelloskello: omg there u are

- Jelloskello: what happened??? u vanished for a sec

- You: can't talk about it over text

No turning back now.

- You: outside coffee shop plz

- Jelloskello: Ok, I'll be there in a sec.

Well, he wasn't kidding. You had literally *just* placed your phone in your jean pocket when you heard footsteps behind you and you looked up at Sans's shadow. He was blocking out the light but his eyelights were casting a spooky red glow over his face.

The concern in his eyesockets made you think twice about bothering him with your personal troubles, but he was already there, and it wasn't like there was anything you could do about it now. You couldn't just say it was a prank and jump around it.

No turning back.

"Can... can we go to your place?" You were fighting back tears already. You couldn't look at his concerned face, so instead you looked at his shoes. "Or just, somewhere private, y'know..."

"sure." His voice wasn't pitying, you couldn't handle pity right now. But it had just enough sympathy in it to make you feel comforted. You wondered how he managed to find that perfect balance.

He opened his arms and you quite literally fell into them, trying very, VERY hard not to cry. You had to scrunch up your face and clench your teeth to fight back the wail that was threatening to surface.

A spell of dizziness hit you and your ears popped.

"we're here." He was rubbing your back with a skeletal hand. You recognised the smell of his house.

"paps isn't in today. he's taken killer out training." He said softly. In all honesty, you didn't want to let go. He smelt really nice. Behind the sharp mustard, you smelt the smoke, but... if you concentrated, it wasn't actually cigarette smoke. It was more like bonfire smoke.

He seemed to understand that you didn't want to let go, and he carefully manoeuvred the two of you onto the sofa.

"you wanna talk about it?" he asked, one arm still around you.

Now or never.

"It's my parents." You took a shuddering breath. His smell was comforting. "They... they do these... things to me." His grip tensed. "They always tell me I'm a leech, and I have to pay rent all the time, but I can hardly ever afford it, so sometimes I have to give them my belongings as payment, and Mom shouts at me all the time and tells me I'm a waste of space, and she scares off all my friends, and I can never keep a job long enough to pay the rent AND get a house, and she... she..." you couldn't breathe. "She tried to take my phone, and I hit her, and she hit me back, and Dad tried to stop me leaving the house the other night, and, and..." you couldn't breathe.

You took quick, gasping breaths, but your lungs wouldn't accept the air. Your arms and legs were tingling and your heart was racing so fast you could hear it in your ears. You couldn't breathe. You were going to suffocate. What was wrong with you!? Were you dying!? Were you having a heart attack!? "I can't breathe!" You screamed hoarsely, but you couldn't hear anything except your heartbeat. Were you going crazy!? You couldn't let go of Sans's jacket- your muscles had ceased up. And you were afraid that if you did, you'd be pulled back home, where Mom and Dad and everything that came with them was waiting for you. "I can't breathe!"

He was going to think you were crazy. Sans was going to think you were batshit mad. He was going to tell you that you were being ridiculous and you were overreacting and he'd send you back. You couldn't breathe. You could hear him shouting at you, but it was all muffled by your heartbeat. Your stomach was doing backflips and trying to dry heave. You couldn't breathe.

You wouldn't let him send you back. You wouldn't let him let you go. You gripped tighter, so tightly that you thought you'd break your fingers. You couldn't breathe.

There was a flash, then something bright and red floated in front of your eyes. It looked like a heart. Not the organ, more like the cartoony symbol. It was jittering and pulsating, flashing darker and lighter, and every time you took a panicked breath it quivered.

Sans was talking. He rubbed a skeletal thumb over the little red heart and kept talking. Something about deep, slow breaths, that it was ok, you were just having a panic attack. His hand was glowing too, glowing red, like the little heart, and your body felt weirdly cool, in a nice way.

You did what he said. You took deep, slow breaths, and your heartbeat started to calm. You could hear Sans. He was still talking. You focused on his words, trying to make them out.

"...s a panic attack, it's not dangerous at all, it can't hurt you. you can get through this. deep breaths, concentrate on your breathing. ...there we go, well done. you're doing really great."

The red heart disappeared and you started to feel better. Your fingers were twitching but the tingling and the seizing had gone, your heartbeat was quick but not as violent as earlier, and you could finally breathe again. You started to feel less terrified.

"hey, can you tell me a joke?" Sans asked. You'd changed positions during the attack- you were sat sideways on his lap with your head against his chest. Had he put you there? It was nice.

You started thinking of a joke, and your mind wandered away from your parents.

"...Knock knock." You said hoarsely, your throat tired from screaming.

"who's there?" He asked, still cradling you in both arms.

"... Who."

"who who?"

"I didn't know you were part owl."

Sans chuckled.

"i haven't heard that one before." he admitted.

"I just thought of it now." You let out a sigh. You were definitely feeling better now, but you were shivering, and your breath was still heightened. "What... what happened?" Oh god, what if it happens again? "Is there something wrong with me?"

"no, not at all." he relaxed his grip a little, realising he was hugging you a bit too tight. "you had a panic attack. i get them too, sometimes."

There was a small span of comfortable silence, and you felt his chest rise and fall. You wondered why he breathed when he had no lungs.
As the two of you sat there together, you regretted not telling him about your troubles earlier. You could see now that he understood, and would never think you were crazy. You felt a little guilty for doubting him like that.

"Am I going to get another one? A panic attack, I mean." You asked. He'd unzipped his hoodie and you toyed with the collar of his shirt, feeling anxious. You never wanted to go through that again.

"i don't know, sweetheart." he sighed, and you liked the way his chest lifted you up when it moved. "some people only get them once, some people get them a lot, some people never get them."

"Do you get them a lot?" You asked. You felt ok asking these sorts of questions, for some reason. There was an atmosphere of trust right now.

"yeah, yeah i do. most nights, actually."

You felt a pang of empathy in your chest, and you sighed. King was wrong. Sans couldn't be The Judge. This guy had slept next to you, bought you coffee pretty much every day for weeks, comforted you during a panic attack, and just admitted to you that he had them himself. There was no possible way.

You'd promised that you'd ask, though.

...

Maybe another time.

"What... what was that heart thing?" You asked, thinking back to during the panic attack. "The red one."

"that was your SOUL." he replied, gently rubbing your arm in a comforting way. "i had to calm you down, so i took it out and massaged it a little, taking away some of the excess magic. it soothed you enough to get you into the process of actually calming you down."

The way he said it made it sound so professional. Like he did this all the time. And, well... he probably did.

"Why's mine red?" You asked. King's had been green, right? Was it a male and female thing, or...?

"SOUL's take on a different colour depending on your core personality trait." Sans explained. "red usually means determination, but it can also mean stubbornness or wrath. although stubbornness is usually more orange and wrath is a much darker shade."

"What about green?" You were thinking about King's SOUL now. It probably meant shyness or something. Or cinnamon rollness.

"kindness." Sans confirmed. Ah, close enough.

"What colour's your SOUL?" You asked, finger finding his collarbone and tracing a line along it, feeling the bone underneath his shirt. Did... did he just shiver?

"m... monster SOULs don't have colours..." yeah, he definitely just shivered. You stopped tracing his collarbone and you leant away from his chest and looked up at his face.

"Did that hurt?" You asked, and his face went red. His eyelights were darting around, looking at anything that wasn't you.

"n-no, it felt really nice, actually."

You blinked.

"Oh. Ok." You snuggled back onto his chest and stroked your fingers against his collarbone again, a little sigh escaping his teeth as he sank into the sofa. For a very large and probably powerful skeleton, he was awfully easy to tame. He kinda reminded you of a really big dog.

"So how come monsters don't have a SOUL colour?" You pressed your finger into the centre of his collarbone, massaging it gently.

"...cuz they're not as powerful as human SOULs." his breathing was slow and deep.

You stopped massaging for a second. "... Can I see yours?"

You expected a no, because a monster's SOUL made up their entire being. One slash and Sans would be dust, and you wouldn't exactly want to show someone your heart if you could take it out your chest.

There was short span of silence and you wondered if asking to see someone's SOUL was offensive at all, but he let out a soft chuckle eventually.

"don't see why not. as long as you're not gonna break it."

He shifted a little in his seat, sitting up properly, and then he placed his huge hand over his chest. You could see the white glow forming under his hand- a bit like when the green glow formed on King's chest, except not as bright. He gently lifted his hand off his chest, then turned it over so his palm (if he had one) was facing the ceiling.

It was a small, glowing, upside-down white heart, no bigger than your fist. It wasn't beating like a heart, but it WAS vibrating very quickly, making it look fuzzy at the edges. When you looked closer, the white was mixed in with swirls of very light pink, swirling and tumbling over each other like clouds.

You really wanted to touch it. You really, REALLY wanted to touch it. But you were also scared of breaking it. This was Sans, this tiny little white heart was everything he was made of, and if you did something stupid there would be no second chance.

It was quite poetic, really.

After about a minute, Sans pushed his SOUL back into his chest. You blinked, mind working quickly.

"What happens when two SOULs touch?" You asked, and Sans snorted loudly.

"that's how monsters make babies, sweetheart."

"O-oh." Your face flushed red.

To distract yourself from your utter embarrassment, you started rubbing his collarbone again, this time using all your fingers, rubbing small circles with your fingers and exploring the shape of the bone. You felt Sans's laughter cut short, as he shuddered and pulled you a little closer.

...

"Sans...?" You kept rubbing.

"y... yeah?" His voice was breathy and low.

"Are you purring?"

Inside the top area of his chest you could hear it, and it was coming from his mouth, too. It was like a cat's purring, but deeper and louder.

"that... that happens..." He sunk lower into the sofa. "i think i growl too, sometimes..."

Woah, weird. So monsters had a few animalistic qualities? Did they do anything else? You'd heard somewhere that a monster's sense of smell is more profound than a human's.

After a while, in your mind, you saw King's face. That terrified look he'd given you when he was telling you about The Judge. And the promise you'd made to ask Sans about it.

Sans isn't The Judge, so it can't matter, can it? You'd just ask, fulfil your promise, and get it over with.

"Sans," you moved a little lower with the massage, onto his ribs instead. "who's-"

He jolted upright and his hand snapped around your wrist before you could even finish your sentence. You made a small squeaking sound. Had you hurt him? Did that make him feel uncomfortable? You should've just stayed on his collarbone.

"d... don't go any lower..." He said breathily, his chest rising and falling much faster than earlier.

"I-I'm so sorry! I didn't mean... d-did that hurt?" You blabbered. The atmosphere had broken with the sudden movement and you became aware of how ridiculously intimate the two of you were being, and suddenly you weren't so comfortable sitting on his lap anymore. You wriggled and pushed off him, shifting your butt onto the sofa, but you felt Sans's hand on your foot before you could get your legs off him, and with just that one point of touch he was able to hold you there entirely.

"woah woah, hey, i never said it hurt, chill the fuck out." he chuckled nervously, running a boney finger over your foot, then massaging it gently. Oh, ok, wow, he was REALLY good at that. You felt your tense muscles relax a little, and you allowed yourself to calm, but you pulled your feet off his lap and crossed your legs.

He gave you a look that resembled a childish pout, and the two of you snickered.

"you want something to drink?' He asked, and you nodded, feeling parched.

"Have you got any tea?"

...Oh shit, you just gave him a perfect pun opportunity. You saw the signature Goofy Smile™ and your eyes widened.

"Don't you da-"

"yup, we got tea. qualitea stuff, it is. tea-rrific, if you ask me. it's-"

"NO MORE!" You threw a sofa cushion at him but he caught it, chuckling.

"you take sugar in your tea?" he asked, and you stopped trying to throw things at him.

"N-" Your phone buzzed. You checked it, expecting a text from Honey or something.

 

(7) MISSED CALLS FROM: 'stupid bitch' (MOM)

(4) MISSED CALLS FROM: 'do not answer, let him suffer' (DAD)

 

...Shit

Chapter Text

"you sure you wanna do this?"

Sans had brought you to the front of your house and you looked up at the building, mind buzzing. It looked so much nicer on the outside- like a regular home, where people could go to at the end of the day and feel safe.

"i mean, you kinda had a fucking panic attack earlier when you thought about going back..." He rubbed your shoulder soothingly. "it doesn't really seem like a good idea to... y'know, go back again."

"Yeah, but until I get enough money, it's where I live." You kicked a stone that just happened to be in front of you. "Plus, all my shit is still in my room, I at least gotta pack everything up before I go AWOL, right?"

Sans grumbled and scratched the back of his skull, looking up at your house.

"you got me on speed dial?" He asked, glancing at the light coming from the downstairs window, even though the curtains were shut.

"Yup."

"you remember the breathing excercises, right?" he asked, and you looked up, meeting his eyelights. "if you get another-"

"Sans." You walked a step closer to the door, just in front of it, then you turned around to face him. "I'll be fine."

He grumbled again.

"i just don't know if i should let ya do it. 's not safe for your mind, sweetheart." He shoved his hands in his pockets and he looked at your feet. "mental health is like physical health- if you break a leg you gotta let it heal. you don't keep walking on it. 's just fucking stupid."

"I know, Sans, I know." You looked at the door handle, and took a breath. "You should probably go." You remembered, looking over your shoulder at him. "If monsters are the problem, my parents won't appreciate me standing with one."

Something resembling a dog-like growl exited Sans's throat and he stepped forwards, taking both your hands in his huge warm skeletal ones.

"just be safe." He looks almost angry, but not quite. More like... overly firm. "call me after, ok? keep me posted."

"Ok." You nod.

He sighed, released your hands, and took a step back, before vanishing entirely.

You looked down at your hands, the ghost of his touch still tingling on your fingers. You wondered when you'd gotten so comfortable with touching him.

Bringing out your phone, you typed a quick message to Honey.

-You: code SLAP 13, im going in for the confrontation. I'll fill you in later

-fabulous lady: good luck

You turned to the door, mind already firing excuses and comebacks to things your parents always said, and planning possible escape routes. You'd slapped your mother, after all. They weren't going to be standing by the door waiting, pale-faced.

Taking a deep breath, you rapped your knuckles against the frame loudly.

-knock knock-

Maybe you could make a pun out of this at some point?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The door opened and you looked down at your Mom.

...

Ok, you weren't expecting that face.

She was pale, definitely pale, but her cheek was still a little bit coloured. Damn, how hard had you hit her?
She let out a... a sigh of relief? Who was she, and what had she done with your mother?

"She's back." Mom called out, and Dad emerged. The two of them looked... significantly less COMPLETELY FUCKING FURIOUS than you'd expected. They hadn't actually been worried, had they? You ran away all the time. It was nothing new.

"Come in, we need to talk." Dad said. Boom, there it is. You KNEW you were in deep shit.

You rolled your eyes and came inside, Mom shutting the door behind you.

They led you to the kitchen table and they took their seats, pulling them up close to the table. Dad was smiling. Ok, this was getting out of hand with weirdness. You took your seat and did everything in complete silence, trying to look as bored and nonchalant as possible.

"So." Dad began, leaning forwards, and you leant back in your chair. You'd positioned it as far as politely possible from the table, so it didn't actually LOOK like you were about to get up and run for it, but if you needed to, you could do so much faster than them. "We're not going to gloss over the fact that you assaulted your own mother, but..."

The two shared a look.

"She slapped you back, so I think the punishment had already been dealt." He explained. "There's no need to be continuously violent."

You snorted loudly and pretended to disguise it as a cough, and they both got the message pretty clear, shooting you stares from across the table.

"Anyway." Dad continued, acting as if you didn't laugh. "Your mother and I have been speaking to some professionals lately, and we've discovered the source of your violent and... 'sassy' behaviour as of late."

"...PMS?" You offered, but Mom shook her head.

"The symptoms are not the same as PMS."

You rolled your eyes but shrugged and allowed them to continue. Might as well get it out of the way.

Mom noticed your eye roll and chose to ignore it. "We've found a very nice doctor who works in the city centre; he believes you're suffering from the first stages of your brain fighting against mind control."

"URRGGHH, not this racist bullshit again." You pressed your palms into your eyes and leant all the way back on your chair. However, this just seemed to make Dad nod.

"Humans still have some in-built magical defences passed down through the ages." he explained. "Only incredibly powerful mind readers with hundreds of years of experience can instantly read someone's mind, because of how different human brains are as individuals. Most mind readers have to tap in slowly, learning your way of thinking before they can break in." Why did this seem to make sense?
"And even then, closely guarded thoughts with large emotional value are extremely difficult to get to."

Mom nodded along with this, and took over shortly after Dad had finished. "Because it's such a painstakingly long process with so much room for error, it can leave magical imprints on the mind where someone has been trying to break in. When a SOUL senses a magical attack on the brain, it tells the body to flood it's system with adrenaline as a first defence, and if the tampering continues it creates large hormonal swings to make the brain unpredictable and hard to enter."

FUCK, it made so much LOGICAL SENSE! You took a deep breath.

You wouldn't allow yourself to be convinced that easily. You were too DETERMINED.

"Orrr..." You leant forwards a little. "maayybbee I'm overly emotional with large mood swings because my parents are assholes who've inflicted years of emotional damage on me, and now I've finally got a friend they're trying to force me to stop seeing them?"

Dad flinched and Mom pulled herself up straighter in an attempt at looking less guilty.

You chuckled and leant back.

"We knew you wouldn't agree with us." Dad regained himself. "So we're continuing nonetheless. The same doctor we mentioned earlier is willing to do therapy with you to bring you back to your senses."

... What?

Mom chimed in, her face still slightly red from your earlier comment. "He's a very nice man and we've organised a flat to rent while you go to his sessions-"

"You're putting me into THERAPY?" You shouted, standing up out your seat. It fell to the floor behind you with a loud clatter. "And you didn't even ASK ME!?"

Dad stood up as well and you balled your fists, still shouting. "You're the ones who are fucking crazy! YOU'RE the ones who should go to therapy! You haven't even MET Sans, and now you're accusing him of fucking MIND CONTROL? WHAT'S YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM!?"

"Whether you want to go or not, we're leaving tomorrow evening, and you're coming with us." Dad's voice was loud and firm. "We've paid a lot of money for these sessions, (y/n)."

"YOU SHOULD'VE FUCKING A S K E D ME BEFORE YOU THREW AWAY YOUR MONEY, THEN!" You screamed, starting to cry. "I'm NOT LEAVING! You CAN'T FORCE ME!"

"(y/n), shut up and sit back down!" Dad shouted. You screamed at him and ran, pulling out your phone. You needed to speed dial Sans once you got to your roo-

Dad caught your arm, and your phone, which was in the other hand, went flying out of your loose grip, landing on the floor with a thud, the back cover coming off and the screen smashing into tiny pieces.

... You made a small sound like a choking animal and dropped to the floor. Dad let go of your arm as you tried to grab the smashed remains of your only contact with others. Your only way of contacting Sans.

Trapped

 

You were going to cry when you realised you were, in fact, wrong.

Your phone wasn't your only way of contacting others.

...

Your laptop was upstairs in your room.

Taking advantage of Dad's shock you scrambled up, the remains of your phone in your hand, and you went straight up the stairs and into your room, Dad hot on your heels.

You slammed the door in his face and locked it, searching for the duct tape you always kept by the door. A plan was already forming in your mind.

Aha! There's the tape. You applied it generously to the lock and, once you were done, you slid the chest of drawers in front of the door as the last defence. Dad was banging on the door and shouting but you didn't reply.

You glanced down at the smashed, unusable phone in your hand. You'd been gripping it so tight the shards of the screen you'd picked up by accident had been cutting into your hand, and blood was smeared across your palm.

Whatever. 'Tis only a flesh wound.

... You should rewatch Monty Python sometime.

Eventually, Dad stopped banging on the door.

"Your first therapy session is in two days." He said angrily. "So think about your behaviour, and if you're not out by tomorrow afternoon, I'm smashing this door down!"

Hahah, the bedroom will be empty by then.

You took out your laptop and checked online. You'd forwarded Sans's phone number to Honey per her request- she probably wanted to tell him to watch his fucking back and look after you. If she was online, you could get her to relay a message to him so he could come and pick you up.

Shit, Honey wasn't on.

You sighed. Time for plan B, then. You opened the facetime chat.

 

-You: Hey babes. I know your not online right now but I just want to say that you were right. I can't deal with this any more. So I'm NOT going to deal with it any more.

-You: My phone got smashed in a fight and my parents are trying to take me into the centre of the city to do therapy because of some racist bullshit about monsters.

-You: But I won't let that happen.

-You: By the time you see these messages I'll be out the house and probably at Sans's, if I can find some way of contacting him or finding out where his house is. The only times I've ever been to his house have been through teleportation so I don't know it's exact location, but if worst comes to worst I can just camp out at Grillby's.

-You: So once you read these messages, I need you to call Sans. If I'm not with him, then tell him I'm at Grillby's. That's where I'm heading to.

-You: So don't freak out when I vanish, that's part of the plan ;)

 

-You: Love u babes, wish me luck xxx

 

You shut the computer lid and unplugged your charger from the wall, putting them both into a rucksack. You also packed the last of your stakeout food- just in case things went wrong, or hunger breached your defences before you could actually get to Grillby's.

You had your money, your laptop, a decent jumper, your coat, some spare clothes, food. Everything you needed.

The Bedsheet of Escapingness was still tied to the leg of the desk and you opened the window wide, throwing the bedsheet down, watching the material flutter to the ground. The sun was just starting to set and it was a lovely cold day- perfect for the ultimate escape plan.

You turned around and took one last glance of your bedroom, and felt a surge of sadness at leaving it behind. It had been your castle, your fort, your protection. For so many years of your life you'd shut yourself in here and it had become your tiny world.

If you could pack up your bedroom and take it with you, you would have.

So in a last goodbye, you tore a sheet of paper from a sketchbook and scribbled a few sentences onto it, before pinning it to the wall.

"Farewell, fort (y/n). I'll miss you." You saluted your bedroom and climbed out the window, holding onto the sheet. You took one last glance at everything- the bed, the desk, the drawers still dragged in front of the door, the bedside lamp, the ensuite bathroom...

You couldn't believe you were crying over a fucking bedroom.

Glancing at the note you left on the wall, you snickered, and began the climb down.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NOT-SO-DEAR MOM (el bitcherino) AND DAD (sir twatticus):

TAKE CARE OF THIS ROOM. SHE SAVED MY LIFE AND SANITY MORE TIMES THAN I CAN COUNT.

 

PS: EAT A BAG OF CRUSTY DICKS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

To your horror and dismay, Grillby's was closed. The door was locked, the lights were off and the bar was devoid of life.

You took a step back and ran a hand through your hair, surveying the situation. You'd told Honey to tell Sans you'd be at Grillby's, but if Grillby's was shut, you were going to be sat outside in the cold and dark while you waited for Honey to check her messages and call Sans. It wasn't like you hadn't slept rough before, but it wasn't something you wanted to do again! And you were relying on Honey to check her messages, and who knows how long that'd be! She might even be on a ban if her parents thought she was spending too much time online, and that could last WEEKS!

You leant against the wall of Grillby's and slid down it, biting back even more tears. Fuck, you'd planned everything specifically around Honey being online and Grillby's being open, and now neither were doing what you needed.

It was colder than you'd anticipated, too, and you got your coat around your shoulders. You looked up, and saw rainclouds gathering in the slowly darkening sky. You hoped they wouldn't empty their contents onto you.

Sans would be looking for you, wouldn't he? You told him you'd call, and you didn't. He'd be out searching.

But where would he search? Well, he'd be trying to get inside YOUR head, so where would YOU go?

You'd go to the park, yeah. The park. 'There's a comfortable bench there', he'd heard you say that, he'd go there. But what if Honey saw the message, called him and he waited for you at Grillby's? And what if he didn't see it, and he was in the park right now, looking for you? What if he was waiting outside your house?

'But that was if he even went looking for you in the first place.' A tiny piece of your brain said. 'Why would he go searching for someone like YOU?"

You clamped your hands over your ears and curled up tighter. You weren't falling back into that hole again! You were determined! You were determined! YOU WERE DETERMINED!

You furiously bit your lip but the tears kept falling silently. You felt little patters of tiny raindrops on your shoulders. It was just a light shower, it would pass.

And even if it DID get bad, Sans would find you before it got out of hand, right? He'd find you, wouldn't he?

He'd be searching, right?

He cared, right?

...

 

H-he cared... right?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans looked out his window at the clouds gathering, then back at his phone, lying motionless in his hand. Where were you? Why hadn't you called him? Had something bad happened!?

'you knew something bad was gonna happen, sansy, but ya let her go back into that stupid house anyway.' His mind taunted him with images of you alone and scared, in the dark and cold. 's your fault, and she's probably in danger. you should've just taken her back to yours and not allowed her to leave.' He could feel his magic flaring wildly, SOUL calling out to yours, even though he knew your powerful human SOUL wouldn't be able to hear it. His calls would be tiny whispers in the wind, like a mouse trying to attract a giant's attention.

Rain started pattering gently against his window, and he got even more agitated. You told him you'd slept rough before, so what if you decided to do just that? What if you'd gone to some random bench or wall anywhere in the city, sat yourself down and gone to sleep?

"ya gotta go find her, sansy." He told himself, standing up, staring out at the city. The rain was getting harder. "ya gotta go find her before someone else does."

Chapter Text

The rain was heavy.

VERY heavy.

Sans pulled his hood further over his skull, the fur trim already completely dripping. He wondered if humans could see anything in this darkness and water. Monsters naturally had good nocturnal vision- side effect of living underground for so long.

He needed to find you. You were too fucking determined, you’d probably sleep in this weather for weeks rather than give in to your parents.

Sans wasn’t entirely sure how human immune systems worked, but he was ABSOLUTELY sure that being out in this weather wasn’t good for anyone, including himself.

He checked the park first, making sure to teleport in leaps, just in case you were somewhere in the streets. He checked outside your house, he checked inside your room. Guilt stabbed a little at his bones for intruding, but seeing that you weren’t there just increased his anxiety further. It wasn't the first time he'd teleported into your room to make sure you were ok.

He liked your note, though, and it helped ease his mind a little. If you were still sassy, you were still yourself. You were still determined.

Leaning against a wall under the protection of a shop canopy, he looked out at the darkness, and ran a hand across his wet skull. Where else...? The park, your house, the coffee shop, outside the cinema the two of you went to once... And Grillby's was closed, you wouldn't have gone there. Unless you didn't know it was closed...?

The rain poured and poured, sounding like a rushing river with how much it was coming down. Sans wanted to break the sky itself- why today of all days did it rain so heavily? Why not yesterday, when you weren't out in the darkness, too determined to turn back? Without his protection?

His mind teased him with images of you trying to sleep in this stupendously heavy rain, alone and scared, cold and quiet. Sans grit his teeth and teleported to your room again, in case you left him a note or a sign that he'd missed- a way of him telling where you would be. But as he scanned the walls and the desk, he remembered that you'd never seen him up in your room before and probably didn't expect or WANT him up there.

Your room smelt of you. It smelt of you so strongly that it was like you were right there with him. Eventually it became too much for his huge magic levels to bare and he had to go back to the little shop with the soaked canopy.

He couldn't stop his SOUL from calling out. It wouldn't do much good to try and shut it up, he no longer had much control over what his magic was doing. His phalanges were twitching rapidly and every bone in his body was vibrating with the energy that was pouring out of his SOUL. If he tried to contain any more magic he'd probably just shatter.

His SOUL called out into the night.

...

Then, very faintly, he felt your reply.

It was next to silent, almost undetectable, but his ridiculously high magic levels latched onto it immediately and magnified it so much that when he heard you his entire body shuddered and he stumbled back, like someone had punched him in the chest.

Y-you shouldn't even be able to hear him unless the two SOULs were quite literally touching!

But he didn't waste any more time wondering how. He was already there. The fact that your SOUL had heard his, and even gone out of it's way to REPLY... he felt like anything was possible now.

He saw the Grillby's sign, turned off now that the place was closed, and he felt your human magic and smelt your smell. Even if the rain had dampened it, it was definitely there, as delicious as ever.

'ya should've just checked grillby's anyway, for safe measures, you stupid bonehead!' he told himself.

As his eyelights adjusted to the streetlamp's light, he saw something that made his already explosive magic levels SKYROCKET.

Someone was hunched over your little curled up form. Every ounce of magic in his body churned hotly and his SOUL beat against his ribcage, as if it were about to break out and fly over to you.

"(y-y/n)!" They stuttered, shaking you. Touching you. Putting their disgusting smell all over you. "Wake up, we need to get you somewhere warm!"

He recognised that voice easily. It was the little four-eyed brat who works with you. The one with the SOUL so green it burnt his eyes.

But right now, Sans didn't care who was with you, as long as they were trying to help you. This brat was lucky Sans had overheard him trying to be helpful- otherwise the greeny wouldn't have a throat.

The greeny (...what had you called him... King?) saw Sans approaching and visibly whitened, his SOUL flaring red for a moment. He glared at Sans, hugging your unconscious body close.
It made Sans even more furious.

"W-what do you think you're doing, Judge?" King stuttered, trying his hardest to be brave.
Sans hadn't been called that in years, and for a moment, he wondered how this human brat knew. But right now, he had more important matters to attend to. He crouched so the two of them were eye-level.

"you seriously think i came out here in the fucking freezing rain to hurt her?" Sans raised an eyebrow bone, letting magic seep out his sockets like red glowing mist. He wasn't in the mood for games.

"G-go away!" King tried to shout, but he sneezed. The cold rain wasn't doing anyone any favours.

"look." Sans's SOUL was burning with the need to be closer to yours. "i think we can both agree that we want (y/n) out this rain. i'm taking her with me, seeing as i'm the only one here who can carry her." King's lips pursed, and Sans hissed lowly. "whether ya want her to go or not doesn't matter to me. hand her over."

"No!" King said resolutely, his SOUL flashing red again.

Sans let out a feral growl, magic spiking wildly. He couldn't keep it contained any more. His hand snapped forward and closed around the stupid boy's throat, the sharp ends of his phalanges digging into the soft skin and making it bleed.

"I ' m N o t I n T h e M o o d F o r G a m e s, H u m a n." He felt the magic from his eyes vanish, manifesting in an attack he had to desperately hold back.

King squeaked but didn't let go. Sans growled furiously, wanting so badly just to KILL THE STUPID SHIT, let out the built up tension. Tear his throat out or simply crush it slowly...

Sans glanced down and saw your flushed, pained face, he heard your quickened breathing. His fury washed away like the very rain that was falling onto them, and his eyelights reappeared, looking back at King.

Suddenly, butchering the crying kid who just wanted to protect his friend from The Judge didn't seem like such a good idea. He also didn't want you to wake up covered in your coworker's blood.

"how 'bout this." he snarled, loosening his grip. "you come with. (y/n) seems to like you, and she'd probably miss you if you were dead. that's enough for me to not kill you."

King bit his bottom lip, thinking. Sans didn't know if the kid was crying or if it was the rain but he didn't care.
Eventually King finally nodded, releasing his grip. Sans instantly scooped you up in his arms, wiping the wet hair out your face. Your little warm body pressed against him... Your breath... Your smell... it flooded all his senses and for a moment, after searching for you for so long, all he could do was sigh in relief and love the way you curled into his hold, the way your SOUL spoke softly with his, the way you smiled for a split second...

Then he was dragged rudely back into the present by King asking a question.

"H-how long will it take to get to your place?"

Sans chuckled, and gripped the boy's shoulder with one hand, holding you close with the other. He was slightly less concerned with leaving King in the void. It would be an easily explainable death, after all.

"not long at all."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-buzz-

-buzz-

-buzz-

"what? i'm busy." Sans put the phone to where his ear would be. You were lying on his bed with an ice pack on your forehead, and Sans was sat on the end of the bed watching to make sure your condition didn’t worsen. King was still here, but Sans wouldn’t let him in his room, so he waited outside looking pale.

"BOI I DON'T GIVE TWO SHITS ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING RIGHT NOW." Sans flinched and held the phone as far away from his skull as possible. “WHERE THE FUCK IS BABES!?”

“...babes? ...you mean (y/n)?” Sans wasn’t used to hearing other people call you pet names, other than Grillby at least. This girl had a slight Australian accent, but not too noticeable.

Was this the crazy bitch Honey that you always talked about? How did she get his number?

“Yeah, (y/n), you dingus!” She shouted. “Where is she? Where’s babes?”

“she’s here with me. she’s really sick though.” Sans explained. He hadn’t even met this girl and he was already slightly scared of her. She reminded him of Undyne.

“Phew, at least she’s with you. Lemme guess, she slept in the rain again?” He heard a crackling sigh from the other end.

“a-again?” Sans blinked. There HAD to be a story behind this.

“This isn’t the first time she’s run away from home, stupid.” She scalded. “First time she came round mine, second time she slept rough and nearly got attacked by some dude, but she decked his ass! 'Cos babes is awesome! Third time she fell asleep and it started raining and she went home with a fever, and fourth time... well, you get the picture. She’s just so goddam stubborn, it’s both hilarious and really aggravating!”

Sans couldn’t quite comprehend this girl, but she was funny at least. Definitely like Undyne, but less murder.

"so, uhh, how did you get my number?" He asked, eyelights drifting to you again, watching you sleep, your cheeks plastered with a feverish blush. He still couldn't believe you were in HIS bed, and even if he HAD got fresh sheets for you (as Papyrus looked on in utter confusion) it was HIS bed, in HIS room, the whole placed filled with HIS smell...

"Secret girl tricks." Honey made a kissing noise and Sans couldn't help but roll his eyelights. "In case you don't know, the name's Honey. No nicknames, only (y/n) can do nicknames!"

"grea-"

"SOOOO... let's get down to business!" He heard knuckles cracking, and he chuckled. He seriously doubted she'd be this confident if they met in person. "This is my bestie we're talking about, so I'm in Ultra-Serious mode."

...Ultra-what?

"From what I can gather, you're either on Friendship level 9, or you have some serious feelings for my babes. Probably the latter."

Sans's breath hitched in his nonexistent throat and he felt his magic rushing to his face.

"th-the fuck...?"

"And judging by the complete shock, you DO have feelings for her!" A crackling chuckle. This girl was something really, really strange. Sans was formulating a threat in his mind. Something he could blackmail her with...
"Don't worry... I won't tell." Honey said, and Sans allowed himself to breathe a sigh of relief.

"ya fucking scared the life outta me, stupid bitch." He growled.

Honey chuckled again, this time louder.

"Now now, I'm (y/n)'s best friend, aren't I?" Her tone was teasing "You'd better watch your language mis amigo. I'd hate to have to tell on you."

And now.... SHE was blackmailing HIM? He'd been on the phone with this woman for less than ten minutes and she'd already uncovered his secret and looped him into being blackmailed?

Christ, she wasn't kidding when she said 'Ultra-Serious mode.'

"d... does she feel the same way?" Sans asked, glancing at you again to make sure you were asleep.

"Now, if I told you that, I'd be breaking her trust, wouldn't I?"

Of course, expecting a straight answer from this girl would be nuts.

"Besides, if she DOES feel the same way and the two of you kick up something, it's gonna be YOUR relationship. You need to learn how to read her without my help. For example... If you ask a girl if she's ok and she says 'I'm fine', it can mean anything from 'I'm actually fine' to 'hug me and tell me I'm pretty'. All depends on the subtle signals and signs."

Sans was at a complete loss for words, and yet again he found himself looking at you. He wanted to reach out and stroke your cheek, tell you everything would be fine. He wanted to go to your parent's house and kill them both slowly, painfully, making sure they felt the pain you felt. He couldn't, though.

More guilt pricked at his conscious. You'd trusted him enough to tell him about your parents, and the only people who seemed to know about that was him and same woman he was on the phone with. He trusted you, definitely, but... if you knew what he'd done, would you ever look at him the same way? Would you ever reciprocate his feelings? Would you ever trust him again?

Would you feel safe with him, like he does with you?

He just wanted to lie next to you every night and hug you until he fell asleep. Sex would be great, sure, but he didn't care about that.

Maybe your forgiveness was all he needed? Frisk had forgiven him, so could you do so as well?

 

Perhaps he should tell you slowly, break it to you piece by piece...? Start with the lesser things he'd done, like killing someone when he was threatened, then work up the scale towards the worst ones?

...

maybe another time.

 

"...But seriously, Sans." Honey's voice brought him back down to earth. She had gone down at least an octave. "Take care of her. She's more fragile than she likes to believe."

"don't worry." Sans couldn't help but smile to himself. "i'll keep her safe and happy. no matter what."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

...Too cold...

...Too wet...

 

H... help me...

 

...Hmm?

... Warmness, but... not quite enough warmness... like a cold hug...

 

... a voice you recognise... oh, why's he sad...? He shouldn't be sad...

 

...? Another voice... quiet, in your chest... pulsing like a SOUL...

A little sad white SOUL...

 

Hello funny SOUL...

you want to know where I am...?

Oh, I'm over here, with this funny not-warm-enough person...

 

Shouting voices. you don't like shouting... then a different warm person, much warmer... perfect warmness...

You liked this person. They touched your face, and you felt the little SOUL was even closer...

Hello funny SOUL...

 

This person was perfect warmness.

...

You drifted into sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

... Where am I!?

Your eyes snapped open and you looked around with panic. This wasn't your room. Where were you?

It smelt like Sans's house, and you relaxed. ...But which room where you in? You didn't recognise this one. You lifted up your head from the clean pillow and an ice pack slipped off your forehead. You took one glance at the room around you, then a wave of nausea hit you and you lay back down again, sweating horribly.

But holy shit, this room.

It was an utter pigsty.

Clothes bundled in gross piles in pretty much every corner, and for every square meter of floor there was about two to four socks. A lamp with a bust bulb, scrunched up papers in one corner and used mustard bottles in another. A closet, and a large cabinet with an impressively large metal lock on it, and even a freaking treadmill.

You doubted he ever used it, though.

In fact, the only thing in this room that was clean in any way was the bed you were lying in, which had fresh bedclothes. You appreciated that.

There was a chair propped up by the side of the bed and Sans was slouching in it at an angle that would definitely result in a neck ache. He was snoring softly, and you realised he was actually gently holding your hand.

You flushed and hastily tried to remove you hand from his, but whenever you wriggled it, his grip increased tenfold, only relaxing again when you let him hold your hand.

It was cute, but... you had a feeling he wasn't holding your hand for YOUR comfort.

...So, this dump was Sans's room? Shit, he wasn't kidding when he said it was nuclear fallout in here.

Although, you checked again, and it DID look like someone had made a rushed, last-minute effort to clean it. The dirty clothes were in piles, at least. Some socks had been pushed to the corners of the room, the window was cracked open and the whole place reeked of expensive air freshener.

You started to wonder what skeleton B.O smelt like. You'd seen Sans sweat once or twice but the only thing you could smell under the air freshener was the classic mustard and bonfire smoke.

Sans mumbled something unintelligible and squeezed your hand. You glanced up at him and saw red light leaking out of one of his closed sockets- it was really strange. Was he dreaming? You wondered what he was dreaming about. His face was completely straight, but his body seemed tense.

You squeezed his hand back, then put the ice pack back on your forehead.

So, did Honey call Sans? She must have at some point. How would he have known to go check at Grillby's?

It didn't matter, though. Fever or not, you had successfully escaped.

'See?' you told yourself. 'He does care. Why'd you even doubt it? Stupid.'

But EURGH, you felt so gross. Sweaty and hot. Your laptop and spare clothes were in your rucksack, but you had no idea where that was, and getting up to look for it didn't seem so appealing when every time you tried to move you were hit with another wave of nausea.

Sleep seemed like the best option right now.

You shut your eyes and chuckled, thinking about how your parents were gonna react to finding your room empty. You pictured Mom's face, wide-eyed and furious, like that crazy Trunchbull woman from Matilda.

But when you pictured Dad's face, you couldn't bring yourself to imagine fury. A small part of you still hoped he'd be worried, wondering where you went, if you were ok, if you were eating enough...

You mentally berated yourself for falsely putting up your hopes and you settled back into imagining a furious Mom. The warm image of her anger accompanied you sweetly to sleep.

Chapter Text

"sswweeeetthheeaarrtt... wakey wakey..."

...Fuck off, five more minutes...

"c'mon, that's no way to talk to the guy taking care of you, is it?"

Fuck oooooffffff...

"trust me, i'd rather let ya sleep, but... i kinda need my arm, dove."

Wait what?

You blinked your eyes open and looked ahead blankly, trying to piece everything together. You were... at Sans's house, weren't you? You'd run away from home and gotten sick or something, and Sans had taken you back to his. You were currently lying on your side, cuddling something long and large and boney to your chest.

You looked down a little and became aware of your situation.

The large boney thing was Sans's forearm. Not only had you buried your face in the fabric of his red turtleneck but the act of cuddling his arm while lying on your side meant his arm was pressing against your breasts.
...
fml

You looked up at Sans, who was sat in the most awkward leaning angle you'd ever seen. He had his Goofy Smile™ and when you met his eyelights he gave his brow bones a wiggle.

You immediately squeaked and let his arm go, sitting up so fast you got a little lightheaded.

He sat himself back up and opened his mouth. Your pun-sense tingled. "so you-"

"Not a fucking word." You pointed at him. "Not. A fucking. Word."

"mmmmokay." He shrugged. "was going to ask if you were feeling better, but..."

You DID feel better, actually. Fever wise, definitely, but hygienically? Not in the slightest. You took a sniff of the sleeve of your shirt and instantly flinched back. Eurgh, you smelt like sweat and damp streets. And... bonfire smoke? Again? Was that just a side effect of being near Sans or something?

"king's using the shower right now, so you'll have to wait 'til he's out." Sans frowned a little at the mention of him, scratching the back of his skull.

"King's here?" You glanced at the door, as if King were about to appear there at any minute. "How come? Did I miss a party or something?"

"naw, he found you first." Sans admitted grumpily, slouching in his chair. "wouldn't leave you alone, so i had to take him with."

You blinked, thinking.

"Hey, did Honey call?" You tucked some hair out your face.

Sans snorted loudly and nodded. "heck yeah she did. she's fucking crazy, if you ask me."

"She's great, right!?" Sans noticed the way you smiled so excitedly at the mention of her, and the way your eyes lit up so beautifully. "We've been friends for years and years, in fact, as long as I can really remember, but she had to move to Australia because of family stuff, so I only ever get to talk to her online or stuff like-"

"holy shit, calm down, i can barely understand you." Sans chuckled. "something about australians and online?"

The smell of bonfire smoke assaulted your nose yet again and you blinked.

"Hey Sans...?"

"yeah?" he'd noticed your sudden change in behaviour.

"Have you got a bonfire going?"

He laughed a little, narrowing his eyes a little in confusion. "no, why? is this a pun?"

"No, it's just..." You thought back to every time the two of you had met up. Yeah, there it was. The acrid smell of smoke. You'd always assumed it was cigarette smoke, but now you thought about it, it was definitely a campfire or bonfire. "You always smell like a bonfire. And your house does too." You sniffed your sleeve again. "And me, sometimes, when we've been hanging out. Do skeletons just smell of bonfires or something?"

Sans's eyesockets were wide and his eyelights were really, really small. Instead of being pricks of light now, they had the rippling effect of light being reflected onto water. You began to associate this look with shock.

"you can smell that?" he eventually asked.

"...Yeah?" The two of you held eye contact for a moment. 'Was that offensive?' You wondered, panicking a little. 'Have I accidentally done the verbal equivalent of dancing on his ancestor's graves or something?'

"well... i guess..." he muttered to himself, his shocked look falling away slowly. "so... y'know how monster's have a much better sense of smell than humans?"

Oh shit, it was learning time. You nodded slowly.

He sat up in his chair.
"so... not sure if ya know this already or not, but..." He shrugged. "all monsters and humans have a smell that's specific to them, and them alone. no two beings alive can possibly have the same smell, because it's... genetic, y'know?" He sounded like he was over-simplifying things for you. "if someone smells really nice to you, it probably means the two of you are gonna be sexually attracted to each other. though with humans it's far less pronounced, since you guys can hardly smell at all."

"Gee, thanks." You said sarcastically.

"no problem." He chuckled.
"monsters are a bit more... whaddya humans call it... 'animalistic' in that sense. we use our sense of smell in every day life, with things like possessions. if something belongs to you, ya make it smell like you so everyone who goes near it knows it's your property. parents do it with their kids, too, so they're less likely to get murdered young. 'cos if little timmy smells like that fucking giant-ass dragon mom next door, ya aren't going to lay a hand on him.
and sometimes, if a monster likes another monster very much~, they'll mark them with a tiny bit of their smell. enough so that the monster being marked doesn't know, but others walking by can. that way, if anyone considers hitting on the person you've marked, they'll know who they're contending with."

You raised your eyebrows in surprise. That seemed pretty cool, not to mention a great way to tell if someone was cheating on you.

"So..." You thought for a moment. "What do I smell like?"

"lavender." Sans said, almost instantly, and you were surprised how quickly he answered. And... lavender? Like, the flower? You hadn't expected that.
"but like, not just lavender." He added, his eyelights drifting, focusing in whatever world he was in. "it's like... smelling lavender, but it's on a really cold autumn day, y'know?" Oh my god, was he blushing? "that... crisp, fresh smell. floral, but it's still natural."

The blush vanished and he chuckled. "you're super fucking lucky, smelling like a flower n'all. there are monster girls out there who would kill to smell like a flower."

So people could smell like anything at all? Even... gross stuff? "Have you come across any weird ones? Smells, I mean." You asked. This was actually quite interesting. You had no idea you smelt like lavender. It didn't have anything to do with the lavender in the garden at your parent's house, did it?

"heck fucking yeah i have." He laughed openly thinking about this, and he turned to you. "ok, get this, i met a human guy who smelt like burning rubber. like, when a car stops too fast."

You snorted unceremoniously and his grin widened.

"and another time, there was a girl who smelt of copper and piss. and, -pfft-, oh my god, some poor kid who quite literally smelt like dog shit."

-SLAM-

"SANS!" The door nearly broke off it's hinges and Papyrus stood in the doorway, looking edgier and angrier than ever. Your head screamed in protest to the loud noise and you flinched when he started talking. "WHY THE FUCK IS THERE ANOTHER HUMAN IN THE HOUSE? HOW MANY HUMANS DO YOU PLAN ON-"

"paps, you're giving her a headache." Sans's voice was only a tiny bit louder but it cut through Papyrus's loud voice like a knife.

Papyrus sighed, and continued lower.

"How Many Humans Do You Plan On Soiling This House With? Do You Know How Long It Takes To ReMOVE A HUMAN'S SMELL FROM THE FURNITURE?"

King... slept on the sofa?

"AND WHAT'S WORSE, IT TRIED TO ASSIST IN THE CLEANING! AND IT'S IMMUNE TO MY THREATS..."

Papyrus's phone buzzed. He checked it, and higher part of his cheekbones flushed red. Dawwwww.

"IT SEEMS... METTATON... HAS RELEASED A NEW VIDEO." And with that, he turned and left, slamming the door behind him.

You blinked. He was literally half way through telling Sans off, and he just vanishes?

"He follows Mettaton?" You used to watch Mettaton's videos, too. His MOVIES were absolute trash- making the first 3 Star Wars seem like incredible, flawless works of art.
SOME of Mettaton's movies were him playing every single main character, with the most cliché of cliché plots (hero (mettaton) defeats the overly evil evil person (mettaton) and saves the princess (mettaton) from the dragon (also mettaton)), but most were just three hour long videos of him lying on a piano feeding himself grapes.

'Narcissist' to the letter.

His videos, however, had actually been quite good. News coverings, gossip bits and pieces, vlogs, etc... He certainly knew how to captivate an audience by just... being himself.

Well, when 'himself' is a sexy four-armed robot with the hottest legs imaginable, it certainly makes his life easier.

Sans seemed to be having trouble choosing between smiling and grimacing.

"well, if by 'follow' you mean 'watches every single one of his videos, knows the words to all his songs and has every single fucking piece of merchandise with his ugly calculator face on it', then, yeah. he follows him."

Papyrus? A fanboy? Pfft.

"...Hey, Sans, are you the older or younger brother?" The question came out your mouth before you could even stop it, and you flinched. Oh shit. You chanced a glance at Sans.

He looked like he'd been asked this question every day of his life.
"... older." His smile was strained and his eyelights were dim.

Oh god, he thinks you were confused because he's shorter... ohhh shitt... You went very, very red and stared at the blankets. Boy, what an interesting blanket it was, what a lovely colour, it's so interesting, it demands all your possible attention. Sans's eyelights were burning metaphorical holes in the side of your head.

The door opened again and King peeked his head through, his hair wet and glasses foggy. A PLAUSIBLE EXCUSE NOT TO LOOK AT SANS, THANK YOU LORD AND ANGELS IN HEAVEN.

"O-oh hey, (y/n), you're ok." King and Sans locked eyes, bright blue and white versus blood red and black. You sensed... something like a burning animosity between the two.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Does that mean the shower is free now?" You asked, breaking the tension. King nodded, and you sighed. "Ohhh thank god, I stink like a pig." Ohhh thank god, any way to get out this compromising situation with Sans.
You spotted your rucksack with the spare clothes in and you grabbed it, pulling back the covers and getting out of the bed. Your legs felt a little weak, but nothing serious.

"you sure you ain't gonna collapse or some shit? that'd be the dumbest way to die." Sans snickered and you rolled your eyes. If he was trying to be concerned it wasn't working.

At least he forgot the 'big bro little bro' question.

"I'm not THAT weak, Sans." You stood up and HOLY SHIT your knees nearly buckled, but you managed to pass it off as dizziness when they both questioned you.

As you passed King on the way to the shower, you noticed some little scabs and bruising around his neck. He'd already been picking at them, and one was bleeding a little.

It looked like... someone had tried to... strangle him?

King gave you his signature Cinnamon Roll smile as you headed towards the bathroom and you couldn't help but smile back. That kind of face was just so. Fucking. Cute.

Just before you went into the bathroom you turned and checked behind you. The door to Sans's room was shut and you could hear quiet voices inside.

Huh. Maybe they were frenemies?

Thank god there was a lock on the bathroom door, you don't think you could look either of them in the eye again if they walked in on you naked.

As you were getting undressed, you started wondering where Killer was. He hadn't been with Papyrus... maybe he was downstairs? You'd have to check for him later. You were already starting to miss that big ball of fluff.

You got into the shower and turned it on, letting steam fill the room. It... wasn't as good as your shower at home, but then again, no shower would ever be as good as the one you had at home.

You were actually quite surprised to find bottles of shampoo AND conditioner in the shower. Weren't the owners of the house two skeletons? They didn't even have hair to clean! ...Maybe they had to care for their bones in a similar fashion to hair? Keep them 'strong and rejuvenated, just like new~', according to the label on the products.

They were relatively expensive brands and definitely for hair, as the instructions implied. You actually recognised them- Honey had used them for a while, until they had proven too expensive to purchase regularly.

You shrugged. I mean... it was an expensive brand, so you felt grateful, but... You were very 'meh' about this whole situation.

You felt the warm soapy water run down your body and you sighed happily, letting yourself quietly sing out a tune from somewhere. Loud enough so that it still felt like you were singing, but not so loud that anyone outside the door could hear you.

Boy, this felt good. Showers always felt amazing when you'd been grossed-out for awhile.

You finished the song, and your mind wandered to the marks on King's throat as you had walked by. You placed a hand gently around your own neck, picturing where the marks were relative to a hand. Yeah, the bloody scabs would've been where a particularly large hand tug the nails in too much.

'But no one would strangle King, would they?' You thought to yourself. You'd have to be pretty damn stone-hearted to hurt that lil goober. He had the kind of face that you never, EVER wanted to see frowning. Just PICTURING him crying was enough to make your heart stab at itself angrily.

You showered quickly, not wanting to use up the bathroom for anyone who might be needing it. The towels they had were really, REALLY big, and easily wrapped around you like a cloak, and you found yourself giggling like a schoolgirl. They were very fluffy, too.

You dressed in the nicest things you could find in the tiny rucksack- jeans again, and a tight fitting grey shirt with 'You're too close' written in tiny writing. It was either that, or a white shirt with 'Now That's what I call Edgy' stamped on the front. You must have thought of Papyrus and subconsciously packed the edgiest shirt you could find.

You rubbed your wet hair with a towel and figured that it was the closest you were going to get to dry hair. Shampoo and conditioner, sure, but you were 99% sure they wouldn't have a hair dryer.

You needed to talk to Sans about your current state. You had no idea if he was going to let you stay over, but you definitely weren't going back home. Hahah. Nope.

'Maybe I can smuggle myself on a plane to Australia and have Honey pick me up in a suitcase.' You planned to yourself, walking along the corridor back to Sans's room. 'Or I could hide in a landing gear or something. Although, I might get crushed, or die from lack of air at that altitude.'

You could hear voices inside. King and Sans talking, in hushed angry whispers. Something like 'if you say anything i'll...' and part of 'I'm not going to sit back and...'

You knocked and they shut up instantly. Huh. Secret meetings?

"Is there some sort of mysterious meeting I wasn't invited to?" You asked, poking your head round the side of the door. They were both stood in the middle of the room, Sans towering over King. Both of them had their hands behind their backs, and they looked like two kids who'd just been busted while trying to steal from the cookie jar. King wasn't looking in your direction and Sans was sweating nervously. Occasionally the two would lock eyes, but apart from that, they pretended the other didn't exist.

You rolled your eyes. "Kids."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

King left, eventually, after insisting that Sans has his number so he could call you through Sans's phone, since your phone was a smashed mess. Though, judging by Sans's grumpy toddler face, no one would be calling you any time soon.

Also, you found Killer! Cue the fireworks. He'd been chilling downstairs, and he greeted you excitedly, tongue lolling and tail working overtime. He proceeded to follow you around the house- wherever you went, Killer was at your heel, waiting expectantly for a pat or cuddle.

"S...Sans?" You asked, waiting in the kitchen doorway, watching him cook. He was VERY skilled with a knife, chopping everything quickly and precisely with utter ease. You figured Papyrus would be doing the cooking, he seemed like the older brother. O-oh wait, Papyrus was the younger brother, right...

Sans hadn't asked you any questions about what happened, why you'd run away from home, why you'd been curled in a ball in the freezing rain outside Grillby's, when you were leaving... he hadn't even asked if you'd THOUGHT about leaving. He'd just kicked into some kind of new version of himself, suddenly doing way more physical activity than you figured SANS would do.

"yeah?" He asked, glancing once over his shoulder, then turning back to evenly slicing a red pepper.

"Could I, uh, stay here for a while? At your house? Like, for a few days...?" He stopped chopping. Oh shit, cover up cover up... "I-I can pay rent, and sleep on the sofa if need be, y'know." You sounded so freaking desperate, and you focused on the floor, trying not to feel like a homeless person asking for change. "But, uh, this is kinda the only place I can really stay at, y'know, uh..."

"oi. look at me."

Shit shit shit shit shit...

You dared to glance up for a moment, and Sans was doing that creepy thing where he blocks out the light by being so close, and his red eyelights light up his face with a spooky glow. He took both your hands in his, and a pit formed in your stomach. He's going to apologise and then send you away, isn't he? Fuucckk... Maybe that 'stowing away in the landing gear of an aeroplane' idea wasn't so bad after all...

"you're a guest. guest's stay as long as they want and don't pay rent."

Hope sparked in your chest and your eyes widened. He seemed to find that hilarious, and he pulled your hands to him, looming over you. Strangely enough, though, it didn't feel like a threatening gesture.

"c'mon, you really think i'd ever let ya sleep rough again? after that disaster?" His grin widened. "what kinda guy do you take me for?"

His grin vanished, however, when you flung your arms around him and buried your face in his turtleneck, biting back tears. Fucking stupid emotions.
He made a sound like you'd punched him in the chest, but he quickly recovered and put one arm cautiously around your back, another ruffling your hair. You could tell he was trying to be as non-intimate as possible.

"hey, you crying? gee, no need to get all emotional. it'd be a crying shame."

"Fuck you." Came your muffled voice.

"buy me dinner first."

...

"...Wha-" it clicked. "Oh my god, ok, no in every dimension..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans made dinner (spaghetti) and you helped as much as you could- but with your culinary skills being nonexistent, you were limited to simply getting the table prepared. The food Sans had made was incredible, but...

It was hard to enjoy it when Papyrus was staring you down like that.

He wasn't even doing it in glances or sneaky looks- he was just flat out staring! What was he even staring AT? You found yourself watching how the two of them ate from time to time, but surely it wasn't that much of a mystery with YOU? It just went inside your body.

Sans made some small talk to ease the tension, and it helped a little, but the moment the two of you stopped conversing it was straight back to being assaulted by Papyrus's gaze.

You did notice, however, that Papyrus would occasionally look back at Sans with this befuddled expression, then he'd turn back to you and continue. It felt a little threatening.

You finished before Papyrus did (probably because he spent 75% of his time staring) and spent the rest of the meal talking with Sans about small things like sleeping arrangements. You said you'd take the sofa but somehow, by the end of the conversation, you had Sans's bed and HE had the sofa...? You didn't even know how you got there.

Once Papyrus had finished, he got up, put his plate in the kitchen and went straight back upstairs without another word.

You blinked. "Is, is he...?"

Sans chuckled.

"he's embarrassed, sweetcheeks. he didn't know what to say."

You looked at the stairs, unsure if Sans was telling the truth or not. Papyrus hadn't seemed hostile but he hadn't exactly been open to conversation. He hadn't seemed blushy and embarrassed either. Just... befuddled, maybe?

Well, whatever. Sans knew Papyrus way better than you ever could, so you just had to trust what he said.

"Thanks, by the way." You couldn't look Sans in the eyelights and you picked at the table with a fingernail. "It's, uh, probably a bit annoying for you, me camping out here and all."

"...why d'ya keep saying these sorts of things, sweetheart?" You glanced up and studied his expression. He seemed confused and concerned, but he was trying to hide it behind a jokey mask, and you lowered your eyes again.

"B-because I'm taking up your food and room. And-" You felt his eyelights burning into you and you stopped talking instantly.

"c'mon, i've already said this. you're a guest."

You nodded, but remained unconvinced. You'd taken up his room too, hadn't you? He was sleeping on the sofa. You'd barged into his house, kicked him out his own room, sapped his supplies. What if he was only saying this stuff because he was trying to be polite? What if he actually wanted you to leave? How long were you even going to stay there for? The questions fizzed around your mind and you sighed, bottling them up for now.

You'd deal with them during the night, with a pillow over your mouth, so no one would be troubled by your crying.

You had a thought. Did you remember to pack a toothbrush? Ohhh shit... What if it was still at home... You couldn't borrow Sans's toothbrush, the thought of doing that made your face flush just by THINKING about it.

Maybe they had one of those electric toothbrushes that has changeable brushes? So you can swap them out?

That's if they even BRUSH their teeth. Technically their teeth are part of their external appearance, so maybe it's self-maintained by magic or something.

"D... do you guys..." You glanced up at him. "...Brush your teeth at all?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bonus: Sans and (y/n) talking about sleeping arrangements.

[[Note from Llama Goddess: I couldn't find anywhere to put it without making the transition between context's jumpy, so I've placed it here, because it was far too funny to leave out. ]]

"So, I'm taking the sofa, right?" You asked, twirling the pasta around your fork and eating it, trying to ignore Papyrus.

Sans looked up. "ya sure? don't you wanna have a bed?"

"I don't really mind." You admitted, shrugging.

"if you 'don't mind' then you don't mind having the bed, right?" He said it like having a bed was a chore, and he was asking a favour of you.

"Yeah, but...?"

"so you'll have the bed?"

You blinked. He was just going in a circle.

"No...?"

"'no' you don't want the sofa?"

"Wait, no..."

"ok, you don't want the sofa. so you don't mind having the bed, then?"

"No...!"

"you don't mind? great."

"Wait, yes, hang on... SANS!"

"yes you will have the bed? ok, i'll take the sofa." He took a forkful of spaghetti and ate it. You were still trying to process what you just agreed to. Did you say 'Yes' to agree to the bed, or 'No' to say no to the sofa? So either way, you were having the bed?? Wh... what??

[[K, back to plot now ;) ]]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Silence.

Black all around you. You were curled up, unable to move, hands outstretched to stop the walls closing in on you.

You couldn't stop them. You were being crushed. You couldn't scream. Too much, too much...

Trapped.

 

You bolted upright, unaware of who you were and where you were for a moment, until your senses kicked in and you remembered. The smell of smoke, the smell of bonfire smoke... Sans's room, right. Urgh, so sweaty from the nightmare... for a moment you thought about changing into a different set of pyjamas, but then you remembered that you only HAD one set of pyjamas with you; your shirt and a pair of panties. You'd wash your own clothes tomorrow or something. Maybe you could sneak back into the house and steal some more necessary items?

You ran a hand through your tangled hair and it caught more than once. You sighed. Same dream, same wakeup call. Although, the dreams had been shorter recently. Did that mean something? Eh, you were too tired to care right now.

You 'flomped' back onto the pillow and sighed, staring at the huge locket cabinet on the opposite side of the room, and you wondered what was in there. Maybe a secret diary of sorts? That would be fun to-

 

Your hair bristled and you shot straight back up.

 

A scream.

 

 

From downstairs.

Chapter Text

A scream.

...

 

You waited for a moment. N... nothing? Ok, it was your mind, ok, calm down (y/n)... You took a breath and ran a hand through your hair. Ok ok ok...

No, holy shit, there it was again! It was muffled, and followed by shouts! And it came from downstairs!

Sans!? You pulled back the covers and tore across the bedroom, tripping over random items in the dark. You unlocked the door and swung it open. Immediately, you could hear panting from in the living room. Oh god, was he ok? A nightmare or something? Was it safe to be near him? He said he had panic attacks in the night, was this one of them!?

You were already partway down the stairs when doubts began to flood your mind and you were far too panicked to take notice of them. It was dark, but the room was lit up with deep purple light. It was such a deep shade, it might as well have been black. It danced and wavered, getting brighter and darker, casting crazy shadows that flickered and stretched in an unnatural way.

Sans was curled up on the sofa, twisted on his side. He was clutching his chest with one hand and digging the other in his left eyesocket desperately, sweat beading all over his face. Tiny blood red flames licked up the hand that was stuffed over his eyesocket and something like purple mist was pouring out of both of them. That was the source of the eerie, almost violent purple and red light.

Was he trying to hold something in? With his wide-eyed, panicked expression, that was most likely the case. He seemed to be staring at something you couldn't see, and the absolute terror he radiated made you quite glad you couldn't.

"Sans!" You shouted, running over to him. His visible eyelight was deep violet and had the shimmering effect you'd seen earlier. You didn’t like it one bit.
“Sans, hey!” You shook him, and then decided against that, your hands hovering in the air, mind unable to choose an action.
You were panicking now, too. Was it safe to wake him up like this!? Were there special steps you had to take!?
Oh shit, you were crying as well. Hot tears that streaked down your cheeks and blurred everything. You just had no idea what to do.

He flinched when you called his name and the flickering purple eyelight moved slowly, resting on your face.

The red flames were dying a little and his panting started to slow. His eye became... lidded...?

A blush started to creep over his face, and his smile became something... lewd. Definitely lewd.

“S... Sans?” You asked, quietly, considering backing away.

~*-*-*~non sinners look away~*-*-*~

He caught both your wrists and yanked so hard you were sure your arms were going to dislocate, pulling you on top of him. He quickly rolled over, pinning you down on the sofa, your wrists secured above your head.
You shrieked and struggled, trying to kick, but he had his knees on either side of your legs and your attempts did nothing. H-how was he so fucking strong?

“Sans! G... Get off me!” You cried, still struggling fruitlessly. Your heart was pounding in your ears.
You looked up into his eyes. The one he’d been covering desperately was a beautiful blazing orb of flame that licked up his eyesocket, flashing between red and violent purple in a mesmerising and almost hypnotic pattern. Like some kind of magic catherine wheel. The other eyesocket was almost closed, with no eyelight at all. Just an empty, black, hollow socket.
He was staring back at you with a lidded gaze, still blushing, his face mere inches from yours, and when you screamed he just chuckled.
This wasn’t Sans. Sans would never be so violent and pushy. Sans would never be so... animalistic.

He leant in ridiculously close, burying his head in the crook of your neck, and you shrieked, flushing so hot and red you thought you were going to explode, struggling even more, kicking as much as you could. You were acutely aware of the fact that you were only wearing a shirt and panties- no bra or trousers. His breath was hot on your skin and his teeth touched the sensitive nerves. What if he bit you? Oh god, he could tear out your neck muscles with ease, couldn’t he...
You felt something that was dangerously close to a kiss being pressed against the skin of your neck and you shuddered. He didn’t have lips though, did he!? How could he even...!?

“...m i n e.” He purred against your skin, voice silvery and deep.

OK, NOPE

You shrieked again, this time louder, trying to hit Sans’s legs with your knees.

“H... HELP ME!”
Could Papyrus hear you? Was he THAT heavy a sleeper!? O-or maybe Killer could...

Sans lifted away from your shoulder and turned fully towards you again, and you wilted back like a dehydrated flower. That stare... holy shit, it could kill a man.

“S-Sans, you’re still half asleep, you’re... you’re not in the right mind.” You said shakily, panting. You stopped struggling physically, your only struggle now was verbal. He seemed to calm even more when you spoke, his grip on your wrists loosening, so you kept doing it.
“It’s me, (y/n). You know me, right? You wouldn’t hurt me, would you? ...You’d never do that, would you?” His shoulders were starting to sag and the blush around his face was deepening. “You’re Sans, remember? Sans doesn’t do stuff like this. You need to wake up, Sans. You need to-”

Sans cut off all your trains of thought when he pressed his mouth to yours, the red and purple fire escaping from under his boney eyelids and brushing harmlessly against your skin, before dissipating.

... Oh my god.

He’s kissing you.

Taking advantage of your surprise, he’d already slipped his tongue into your mouth and begun exploring around gently, kissing with restrained passion. He tasted like mustard and smoke.
You screamed against his teeth and fought back uselessly with your own tongue, trying to get him back into his own mouth. It felt so... w-weird! You’d had kisses forced on you before, and they’d been invasive, wet, annoying and disgusting. So why did this feel so... not-disgusting!?
If he’d been ANYONE else, you would’ve bitten their tongue off by now, but you didn’t do that. You didn’t really want to do that.
‘It’s because Sans isn’t in the right mind. This isn’t my Sans, but I still couldn’t hurt him like that.’ you reasoned to yourself. Besides, you didn’t even know if biting magical appendages would WORK.
He chuckled again and wrapped your tongue in his much longer and more mobile one, massaging it gently. At the same time he rubbed little circles into the palms of your hands with his boney thumbs and you tensed and kicked, unable to understand what he was doing.

Well, you half understood, but you didn’t want to accept that as fact right now.

You struggled so much that he started to fucking GROWL in a feral way, applying more pressure to your palms and tongue in some kind of punishment for moving too much. You eventually whined and submitted out of fear and pain, because if he applied any more pressure to your palms you were certain he’d break your hands.

You couldn’t believe this. He’d pinned you to the sofa and was KISSING you! Again, you tried to fight against his tongue, and he mistook it for acceptance and let himself relax, swirling his tongue with yours, humming happily.

A white glow began to emanate from Sans’s chest and you felt your own chest begin to warm. Deep inside it, something was thrumming gently. It wasn’t your heart. Was it your SOUL? Why was it-
...Oh, oh... wow... Waves of calm washed over you and you couldn’t help but relax, losing yourself in the feeling, closing your eyes. W... was his SOUL doing that? It felt amazing... you felt so safe and warm and excited... the panicked beat of your heart became that of a steady drum and everything was tingling deliciously...

“Mhmmm...”

You lifted your head more, pressing deeper into the kiss, adoring the way he quietly purred... He tasted more smokey now, the mustard vanishing slowly. ‘Do I taste of lavender?’ you wondered...
He was definitely being more gentle now that you were kissing him back. Like a puppy given praise, he let out a little whine and almost melted into you, the blush so vibrant it lit up his entire face. You could tell he wanted to touch you, but he was afraid of moving, afraid of breaking the moment, of ruining the kiss...

~*-*-*~u can open ur eyes now~*-*-*~

Suddenly, Sans’s eyes snapped open and he broke away, the moment and the delicious feeling of calm shattering like glass, and you stared up at him. The fiery purple had almost entirely faded and he screwed his eyes shut for a moment, shaking his head like he was shaking off a bug. He opened his eyesockets wide and he was back again, back to the normal red eyelights. Back to YOUR Sans. The purple light was gone too and it was just dark, except the light of his eyes, which cast a small glow, illuminating the two of you.

His eyesockets widened in terror. He must have completely misread the situation- you were pinned underneath him, panting and red-faced, the tear tracks from earlier still hot on your cheeks.

He released your wrists slowly, carefully, like he was afraid you were going to startle and run like a deer. He was trembling, and he raised a skeletal hand to his mouth.

You’d never seen Sans so terrified. His eyesockets were so wide you were afraid they were going to crack at the edges. Something was glowing softly in the back of his eyesockets, gathering, and spilling out, dripping softly onto your cheek.

T... tears?

The sound of the tear dripping seemed to snap him out of whatever silent trance he was in and he threw himself back to the other end of the sofa, covering his mouth with both hands, trembling violently. You sat up immediately.

“(...y.../...n...)” He stuttered. More tears. They were red and glowing, like his eyelights. “i’m... i didn’t...” He started to breathe faster. “... i’m so sorry...”

“Shh, shh, no, don’t cry.” You shuffled closer and he refused to meet your gaze. You couldn’t believe that a minute ago, he had you pinned underneath him, growling because you weren’t submitting to him. Now, he was a shuddering mess.

“i didn’t... i didn’t ask... i forced you...” he was sobbing. He curled into a ball, putting both his hands on the top of his skull, digging the sharp ends into it. “i’m...”

“Hey, heey...” You came closer, rubbing a hand on his huge back gently, slowly maneuvering the other awkwardly so you could hug his head to your chest. “Nono, it wasn’t you, that wasn’t you...”

“i can’t... i can’t...” His breathing was way too fast, and combined with the crying, you were pretty much certain of what was going on. “i can’t lose you too...”

“Shh, I forgive you. It’s alright, I forgive you...” You stroked the top of his skull gently and he kept sobbing, taking huge gulps of air, practically choking on his own tears.
“Can you do something for me?” You almost whispered it, still holding his skull to your chest. “Can you take a deep breath for me, Sans? Like this...” You took a long, slow breath in and a long, slow breath out. He was still crying, but he was listening. You could tell. “Can you do that for me?”
He tried, taking a slow and shaky breath in, but he collapsed into another fit of tears and wrapped his arms around you.
“Well done, Sans, you’re doing really well...” He was trying, at least. You had a small idea.
“Let’s take the breath together, ok?” He nodded slowly. “In... and out.”

When you breathed together, he was much steadier and calmer, and gradually his breaths got deeper and cleaner and his crying got softer and softer until it was just the occasional gentle sob.

“...Did you have a bad dream?” You asked, as quietly as you could, and he nodded, skull brushing your chest.
“You wanna talk about it?”
He seemed to take a moment to decide, but he shook his head slowly, hugging you a little closer.
“Alright.” You understood the personal feeling behind nightmares. He’d already trusted you enough to cry in front of you, something you figured not many humans had seen a monster do.

You glanced down at the sofa and figured it’d be a pretty uncomfortable place to sleep for a large skeleton like Sans. For fucks sake, why hadn’t he just let YOU sleep on the sofa? It wasn’t like you’d never slept on someone’s sofa before. At this point you’d slept in so many uncomfortable places that you’d trained yourself in the art of ‘going to sleep no matter what the fuck I’m lying on.’

You couldn’t let Sans sleep on an uncomfortable sofa after something like THAT. He needed to be in his own room, where he felt safe.

He was almost nodding off, his breathing slowing. You shook him a little, not wanting him to fall asleep.

“C’mon, let’s get you to your room.” You whispered, and he grumbled something.

“...’ll just... teleport there...”

“No teleporting.” You said, trying to strike a balance between stern and gentle. “I don’t really know how it works, but I don’t want to run the risk of you finding half of yourself stuck in a wall.”

He pressed his head into your chest more and grumbled. You soon realised he wasn’t going anywhere without some kind of outside push, so you let go of his head and swung your legs over the edge of the sofa, trying to get off.

“nooo...” Sans was still sat down, and his arms were still around your waist when you stood up to go.

“Sans, c’mon, get up.” You tugged at his sleeve. He responded with a groan.

Eventually, with a big sigh, you sat down, put one arm around his back and stood back up again, heaving him with you.

HolY FUCK HE’S HEAVY

I mean, good god, he’s just bones and magic, right? He’s a thickly set skeleton so he should only weigh, like, 50 pounds absolute max or something. So how is he so goddam heavy!?

At least he was assisting you by walking. Or, trying to walk. He was still leaning most of his weight on you.

With one of his arms around your shoulders you managed to get him to the base of the stairs without much trouble. You glanced up at the steps, which loomed above you forebodingly.

Ugh, since when had there been so many steps on their staircase?

Your eyes found the top of the staircase and something red vanished into the darkness. ...What the fuck? How tired WERE you? You were seeing crazy shit now.

You heaved Sans up the first few steps and he seemed to get the gist of what you were trying to do, and he helped as much as he could in his literally-about-to-fall-asleep phase, trying to walk, occasionally dragging a foot when he was about to go to sleep.

“C’mon, almost there.” You whispered, trying to motivate yourself more than motivate Sans. Three more steps to go.

His foot slipped and he almost fell, rock hard skeletal knees hitting the stairs with a loud -crack-, and you had to hold up his ENTIRE WEIGHT. He was so frickin’ heavy, it was like trying to hold up two fully grown men. How... how did he even get around without falling through every floorboard he encountered?
You quietly shrieked and strained, trying to stop him from falling back down the stairs. If he did, he was sleeping on the sofa.
Like heck you were going to haul him up all these steps again.

Eventually he got himself back up and you made it to the top of the stairs, sighing in relief. The journey to Sans’s bedroom was like skipping across a field in comparison.

He seemed to relax a little more when you came into his room and you pulled back the bedsheets with a free hand. Sans was able to infer what you wanted him to do and he climbed into his bed.

Your shoulders felt like floating balloons now that Sans wasn’t leaning on them and you rolled them, hearing them crack.

Right, back downstairs now-

Before you could leave, Sans grabbed your wrist. Well, less ‘grabbed’ and more ‘held onto it like a scared child.’

“...stay?” He asked quietly, eyelights small and dull, more tears gathering in the back of his sockets, and you realised his hand was shaking. This goddam huge skeleton monster, with razor teeth, dangerous magic, and who’d EASILY pinned you down...

...Was the same monster who was currently asking you to stay with him because he’d had a bad dream.

Wow. Guess you never really know what’s going on in someone’s head.

“...Alright.” You sighed, lifting up the corner of the duvet and sliding in next to him. He was warm, really warm. Your face was opposite his on the pillow, and he seemed a little surprised that you’d actually decided to stay.

When facing him so closely without the prospect of being killed flooding your mind, you got an overwhelming urge to stick your hand in his eyesocket and see what was in there. You didn’t act upon the urge, however, for fear of having your hand lost or mangled in some strange way.

He had his back pressed against the wall, as far away as he could get from you, and you wondered why he was doing that. Perhaps he only wanted you to sit nearby or something? Had you just made this really awkward for no reason?

“can i hug you?” He asked, avoiding eye contact, and you blinked.

Oh.
He was staying away because he hadn’t asked permission.

You didn’t really object to being hugged. He was warm, and after wandering about the house in nothing but a shirt and panties your arms and legs were chilly. “Yeah, I guess.”

He shuffled around, moving down a little, and he snuggled his head just under your chin, arms wrapping around your waist. You’d expected him to press YOUR head into HIS chest, but...

‘He’s acting like a submissive dog.’ You thought.

You yawned and rested your chin on Sans’s skull, the adrenaline fading and tiredness quickly catching up with you. He had the aura of a big, soft baby right now.

“...do you hate me?” Sans asked, his voice muffled by your chest, finally breaking the silence.

“No...” You answered, eyelids getting heavy.

“...are you gonna... run away?” He asked again, but this time he seemed nervous and even more muffled.

“No. Why would I do that?” You stroked his skull, feeling the smoothness of the bone underneath your fingers.

“...everyone... runs away.” You could tell he was still half asleep. Fully awake Sans would never articulate his words this well. “because i’ve done bad things... they promise they won’t run away, then they find out more... and then they get scared, and leave me all alone again.”

You had no verbal remedy for the wound he just showed you, so instead you hugged his skull to your chest and sighed.

“How about you go back to sleep now, ok? Then we can sort this out in the morning.”

“mhmm...” He nodded.

He was pretty much out like a light in less than a minute.

You, on the other hand, were completely unable to get to sleep.

'HOW am I able to feel so comfortable with him?' You asked yourself. He'd pinned you down and FORCED himself on you, completely ignoring your screams and cries for help, and then half an hour later you're casually falling asleep cuddling him!?

It didn't feel natural. Feeling this comfortable after something that should've scarred you. Forced kisses weren't romantic or cute, and they CERTAINLY weren't a good way of expressing love. They were disgusting and terrifying and slimy.

It brought back memories of when you first met Sans, and he'd absolutely terrified you. Then, seemingly without reasoning, you'd felt completely safe in his presence. Like someone had snapped their fingers and skipped several months of growing to know each other.

"Only incredibly powerful mind readers with hundreds of years of experience can instantly read someone's mind, because of how different human brains are as individuals. Most mind readers have to tap in slowly, learning your way of thinking before they can break in."

Dad's voice rang in your head, and doubt numbed your senses. He was shortly followed by Mom.

"When a SOUL senses a magical attack on the brain, it tells the body to flood it's system with adrenaline as a first defence, and if the tampering continues it creates large hormonal swings to make the brain unpredictable and hard to enter."

You'd had large, unpredictable mood swings, hadn't you? You'd exploded randomly at people. Sans included.

"(y/n), I think he's The Judge. Muffet said he is, and all her spider family agree... please, you have to believe me."

Out of all three of the voices that had rung in your mind, King was the one who made you doubt Sans the most. King was the most trustable of them. You wouldn't trust your parents as far as you could throw them.

Sans mumbled in his sleep and shuffled a bit. You just... you were so conflicted. All logic pointed to Sans being dangerous and powerful, but here he was, sleeping in your arms. He didn't look one bit dangerous while lying there, dead to the world.

You knew it, but you couldn't believe it. You needed absolute, complete confirmation that Sans was a bad guy. And the only person who could give you absolute, complete confirmation was the monster himself.

And you HAD promised King you'd ask. ...You just had to ask once, no big deal. 'Hey Sans are you The Judge' 'who's the judge' 'Ok nevermind.' And the whole 'feeling scared then not feeling scared' thing was probably just Sans's physical appearance making a first impression, then when you get to know him it turns out he's ok.

You wrapped your arms around the sleeping Sans's neck and sighed to yourself.

Innocent until proven guilty.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"-hoLY SHIT!"

You woke up violently, and a loud thud startles you, and you prop yourself up on your elbows, looking around like a curious meerkat. Sans proceeds to swear loudly.

The duvet has been pushed to the far end of the bed and you regret the loss of warmth. Sans is sat on the bed, back to the wall, skull in his hands, and you can already see something on the back of his skull that looks like... a bruise?

Blinking, still reeling from your rude awakening, you start to become aware of the situation you and Sans are currently in. You're wearing nothing but a shirt and panties.

You're wearing nothing but a shirt and panties.

Nothing but a SHIRT and PANTIES.

Squeaking, you grab the discarded duvet and covered your bare legs. M-maybe he didn't realise the marks were there? Maybe he didn't see them? They were small, perhaps he didn't notice!?

Thank god, he was too preoccupied with nursing his bruise. How did he even get coloured bruises when he had no blood? Wait, did he have blood? You'd kinda stopped asking questions now. You were pretty sure the reply would just be 'magic'.

"You okay?" You asked. He groaned in reply.

"fuckin' wall..." He looked up and took in the sight of you. You were modestly trying to cover your bare legs with the duvet, face flushed and hair messy.

God, he wanted to kiss you again so bad.

"yeah, i'm fine, i just... panicked a lil'." He chuckled. It was a nervous chuckle. "just, um, wasn't expecting to find someone else lying in my bed next to me, y'know."

There was a thick silence and Sans couldn't help but glance at the small bit of your thigh that was visible, peeking from under the covers, and his mind flooded with...
...thoughts.

18+ thoughts.

"Can... can you.. uh, leave for a minute? So I can ...put some clothes on?" You fretted, pulling the duvet higher over your legs, covering the small patch of skin and waking Sans from his thoughts.

"...oh, yeah. yeah." He blinked. He was so tense. "sorry." He vanished quickly, bed springing upwards, air rushing into the space he had just occupied, and you blinked a few times before running a hand through your hair and groaning. Oh dear lord, everything between the two of you was going to be TENSION GALORE.

Pulling back the covers a little, you surveyed your upper thighs, and sighed. He probably didn't notice. He was too busy being tense and smacking his skull on walls.

You didn't have work today, so you had all the time you needed to corner Sans and ask him a few questions. You DID have work tomorrow though, and on your own too. King wouldn't be around until Tuesday. So you needed a good night's sleep, dealing with so many goddam burgers and fries.

Hahahah, 'get a good night's sleep.' Funny.

Fuck. You were almost out of shirts. Your jeans and bra would last you forever and you'd packed more than enough panties (your period drawing ever-nearer), but you hadn't thought to pack extra shirts.

Suddenly you pictured yourself borrowing one of Sans's shirts, and the look on his face if he saw you wearing it. That ridiculous, adorable blush on his cheewhAT THE FUCK

HAHA NO

NOT HAPPENING

"Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" You silently seethed, internally flipping. Your mind was already waving big red flags.

One: He'd comforted you during a panic attack

Two: You were suspiciously okay with touching him

Three: He was like, your only friend who wasn't on another continent

Four: He'd kissed you (and... maybe you'd enjoyed it at the end??? You were still undecided on that).

Five: You'd slept with- ...well, 'fallen asleep' with him was a better term.

And now you were considering WEARING HIS CLOTHES? Ugh, there was something wrong with you. It's like you were a girlfriend or something. You absolutely didn't need another guy or girl. Not after the disasters you called 'relationships'.

You had enough shirts to last a two more days at least, and if worst came to worst you could just request to use his washing machine. Wait, did he have one? Another question resurfaced in your mind: 'did skeleton sweat smell?'

Tooooooooo many questions, not enough time.

You didn't bother putting your hair up, finger combing it in front of a mirror was the best you could do right now to keep it tame. You were now stuck with jeans and your 'Now That's what I call Edgy' shirt.

You opened the door to find a very sweaty and fidgety Sans waiting for you, with a respectable 1m distance between you and him. The bridge of his nose and just around his cheeks was dusted with red, his eyelights looked anywhere that wasn't you, and he was wringing his large skeletal hands. You needed to look up the scientific names for his bones, you couldn't just keep referring to them as 'skeleton fingers' and 'skeleton arms', etc.

"look, doll- uh, (y/n)." He seemed to hang his head in shame. "i don't really remember much of what happened last night, but, uh... the memories i have aren't exactly..." He cringed. "...'consensual'? and i... i just wanted to say, i'm so fucking sorry."
He ran a hand over his skull, already tearing up. "like, i don't know what came over me, but it doesn't excuse what i did and i know i put you in such a scary situation but i'm a scary guy and there's no way i can ever make it up to you. and, uh, i can understand if you don't want to stay here any more and i can pay for a hotel room or something while you get a new arrangement..."

"Hey." You took a step towards him, trying to be comforting. "It doesn't matter, I've already forgiven you-"

"it does matter." He was staring at your feet, light pooling in his eyesockets. "i didn't ask, i'm not safe to be around."

"But you stopped, right?" What was wrong with him? You'd forgiven him twice and he was still acting like he should... go to JAIL or something. You tried to take his hands, but he flinched away.

"but what if i hadn't?" His fists clenched.

"You did, Sans!" You sounded exasperated. "It doesn't matter!"

"it DOES matter, (y/n)!" You flinched back at his tone. He'd... never raised his voice like this at you. He seemed exasperated, even going so far as to throw his hands up. "do you even realise what fucking happened!? what i DID? it doesn't matter if you 'forgave' me, what if it happens again? and next time, i..."

Silence.

He pressed his palms into his eyesockets and gritted his teeth so hard you thought they were going to crack.

"what if next time, i don't stop?" His voice dropped significantly, becoming deep, clear and quiet. "what would you do then? what if i ended up raping you?"

The word was like a cloud of choking, black smoke that suddenly filled the room, silencing everything. Sans's palms were still pressed over his eyesockets, like he was refusing to look at you.

Both of you were sweating.

More silence. But this time it was tense and strained, as you stood there, too determined. You'd forgiven him. It didn't matter.

"fine." He said suddenly, removing his palms from his eyesockets. He looked really... disappointed. His eyebrow bones knitted together and his gaze was a glaring one. "you don't want to leave? fine. but i'm not staying under the same roof as you. i'm not going to put you in danger because i cracked under a little determination."

You bristled. He was going to leave.

"Don't you fucking-" You grabbed his sleeve and there was a split second where Sans's face fell to sheer panic and he reached out, trying to grab a hold of you, but then he was gone.

 

Everything was gone.

 

Everything was cold.

 

Everything was dark. You couldn't see anything. Not even your own body. Like you were floating in cold, black ink.

 

"Sans!?" You shouted, but there was no sound. It vanished into nothingness.

Your voice drowned in nothingness.

...

 

 

A void.

Chapter Text

“SANS!” You screamed.

 

Nothing.

 

“It’s just a dream, it’s a nightmare.” You told yourself, shivering violently. You could see nothing, not even yourself. You felt something vaguely solid beneath your feet, like some kind of squidgy black mud. The darkness was swimming with lights and shapes your mind was creating in an attempt to fill the emptiness.

 

It didn’t feel like a nightmare. It felt too real. Too cold, too empty.

 

You touched your face. Ok, so you still existed. You just couldn’t see anything. Oh god, had Sans left you here as some kind of punishment? Had he forgotten about you? Had he secretly been wanting to get rid of you this whole time, and everything had been an elaborate plan to leave you in this... void!?

 

“I-I promise I’ll find somewhere else to stay!” You clutched your forearms, tears spilling over your cheeks. They were hot when they left your eyes, but they too became cold eventually.

 

Silence.

 

“I’ll go somewhere else!” You shouted, turning around in circles and shouting in every direction.

 

Silence.

 

“I... I’ll stay with my parents for a while, a-and make some cash from working at Grillby’s, and then I’ll go stay with Honey in Australia! That’s as far away as I could possibly get, right!?”

 

Silence.

 

“SANS!” You screamed, trembling with rage. “DON’T LEAVE ME HERE!”

 

...

 

Silence.

 

“COME BACK!” You screamed, voice hoarse. “HONEY, KILLER, EVEN FUCKING PAPYRUS! ANYONE! DON’T LEAVE ME BY MYSELF!”

 

Silence.

 

You crumpled into a little ball, holding yourself tight.

 

“D-dad, Mom, help me...”

 

You sobbed.

 

...

 

Silence.

 

You cried for what felt like hours, but it could have been minutes. You’d never know, this place was so empty of everything. No light, no sound except you.

 

Crying into an abyss.

 

You trembled, but no more tears would come. You’d probably die of dehydration here. Or hunger. Whichever decided to mercifully strike you down first.

 

“[Well, this is a surprise...]”

 

Sounds. It was so sudden you jumped straight up, and looked into the black sockets of a skeleton, and for a beautiful moment you thought it was Sans coming to take you back, take you away from wherever you were right now.

 

But it wasn’t Sans. They did strike an unsettling resemblance to both Sans AND Papyrus, but... perhaps skeletons just looked similar?

 

They had deep, hollow sockets like Sans, with tiny white eyelights, but high cheekbones like Papyrus. Two scar-like cracks marked their face, one running from their right eyesocket to the top of their skull and the other running from the bottom of their left eyesocket to their skeletal mouth, which, uh... had no teeth in it. At all. It gave them a very eerie smile.

Their bones were starch white, but that might have just been the constant blackness of the void affecting your vision. They were wearing black as well, but compared to the darkness of the void, it was a very fancy grey.

Their stature practically radiated importance, with their hands clasped behind their back, and they had to lean down to look at you. They were Papyrus’s height too. If not taller.

Something about them was off. It made you... wary. You took a small step back. How come you could see them, but not yourself? Could they see you?

“[Nobody has ever lasted this long in the void.]” The sounds coming out of their mouth were garbled, like a man’s voice synthesized through a computer, repeating random consonants and noises. You picked up words and phrases from his speech like you were listening to someone speak in another language, but one that you vaguely recognised.

“[It has been so long since I have had someone to talk to...]”

His ghostly sockets shifted a little, his empty smile grew wider, and it didn’t seem anything like a friendly gesture. Something resembling a warped chuckle escaped his form. It made you shudder.

“[I see... You are another of my son's 'fixations'...]”

His eyelights looked into the distance at something. Something beyond what you could see.

“[He was always such a disappointment, that boy.]”

He glided closer to you and you shrieked, skittering backwards, but no matter where you went, he was always the same distance away from you.

“[Poor child, you do not know the horrors this universe has in store for you.]”

“[It will break you and break you, over and over again~...]"

He smiled wider, and you tripped backwards, falling flat on your ass.

“I... I don’t know what you’re...” More cold tears brimmed in your eyes. But he kept talking, ignoring you.

“[Unfortunately, it is in the nature of a determined SOUL to continue, no matter what the universe throws at you.]”

He crouched down and grabbed your chin in his skeletal fingers. They were cold and hard, like ice. He studied your chest with a look of mild interest.

“[And all that bravery and stubbornness will not help things, either.]”

What was he... why was he looking at you like that? With that amused, pitying face?

"[Such a pretty little thing...]" His cracked voice came out low, like a purr. "[...It is almost a shame I have to send you back...]"

He looked up suddenly, face contorting into some kind of disgust.

"[...That boy always seems to ruin everything.]"

He scrunched up his bony face in some kind of mocking laugh, the noise he made inhuman and broken, hardly a laugh at all. The gesture sent more shivers down your spine. He... he looked way too similar to Sans for it to be a coincidence.

"[I could just kill you now, and make you incapable of returning, but...]"

His eyelights returned to you.

"[This story has piqued my interest.]"

Silence.

Then, suddenly, his eyelights vanished and his eyesockets widened unnaturally, some kind of shock painted onto his face. You screamed, and his hand on your chin gripped tighter.

“[Your SOUL...!]”

You felt freezing cold fingers on your chest, the icy temperature of his digits being no match for your shirt.

Something tugged your SOUL, and your whole body seized tightly in response, adrenaline flooding your system.

What the fuck did he think he was doing!?

You grabbed his bony arm, hands misty and swirly, viciously tearing at him in panic.

“L-let go of me!” You shrieked, your voice so loud it even surprised the strange man.

He was... trying to pull it out!? Trying to PULL OUT YOUR SOUL? You kicked and shrieked, but like Sans he was terrifyingly strong. He continued the pull on your chest and it felt like he was trying to rip your fucking heart out, pain shooting through your body.

The strange man was staring intently at your SOUL with a mixture of confusion and awe, trying again and again to pull it out, each pull making your body contort and tingle uncomfortably.

He pulled again.

 

...It refused.

 

“ST... STOP IT!" You bit down on the hand that was gripping your chin and a loud, warped sound escaped the man, something akin to a shout. He pulled his hand away and you easily wrenched your SOUL out his grip.

"...You..." His voice was no longer warped and broken, and it's clarity and refined tone was absolutely terrifying.

He was bristling with rage. Quite literally bristling. The edges of his suit and his shoulders were starting to... bubble...?

You felt another tug in your chest. No, your SOUL. It was moving, calling, responding. Then, instantly, strong arms wrapped around you and colours and light and sounds all blinded you, and you shrieked, fighting and pushing.

"h-hey! calm down, it's me!" Sans's voice was too loud. Everything was too loud. Everything was too loud and bright and the smells stung your nose and the colours attacked your eyes and the feeling of Sans's arms around you was too much.
You clamped your hands over your ears and screwed your eyes shut, desperately trying to shut everything out. It hurts it hurts it hurts it hurts it hurts...

Then it was quiet.

You lifted your hands away from your ears. Sans's breathing, birds outside, footsteps on the landing, but apart from that, it was much quieter. You peeled your eyes open and the curtains of Sans's room were drawn, the colours no longer assaulting you from all sides.

"...you okay?" He asked quietly.

You felt anger bubbling within you.

How dare he pretend to be concerned. He left you there.

It was his fault.

You pulled out his grip, refusing to look him in the eyelights.

"I'm leaving." You croaked, voice still hoarse from all the screaming and shouting. You turned, ignoring his startled stuttering, heading for the door. Your hand closed around the handle, but he pressed his bony hand into the door just above your shoulder, locking you in.

"not 'till ya tell me what happened to you, doll." His silvery voice sounded from behind you.

More anger brimmed near the surface but it was smothered by your heart, which was drumming with fear. You stared at the door handle, as if it would come to life and chase Sans away.

"I'm just doing what you told me to do. You wanted me to leave, right?" You said, trying to keep the venom out of your voice. You rattled the door handle and tried to yank it open, but it remained firmly shut. "Sans, open the door."

"what happened?"

His breath was right on the back of your neck and you fought back a shudder. "Sans, open the fucking door." Your own breathing quickened, more fear blossoming inside you.

"sweetheart, you're really starting to get on my nerves." He chuckled, like this was all some kind of big joke to him.

Trapped.

“Let me out!” You shouted, pulling the door handle again, tears welling in your eyes. You put a hand on the wall to help pull the door open but it didn’t even budge.

“look at me.” He said, and you could hear his patience slipping.

Pulling clearly wasn't going to work while Sans was holding it shut, so instead you slammed on the door with your fist.

"PAPYR-" You screamed, but it was cut short by Sans placing a boney hand over your mouth. He chuckled again, but it was strained and thin, about to break into anger at any moment. You stopped slamming on the door and clawed at his hand, desperate to get away.

"L o o k a t m e."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In hindsight, losing his temper was possibly the worst decision Sans could have made. You screamed even more, your voice muffled, limbs thrashing. Fuck, whatever had happened in the void...

He pulled you away from the door, one hand over your mouth and another securing your small warm body against his, your back to his chest. "okay, look, just stop screaming for a second..." Nope, that didn't work. Actually, saying it out loud made him realise how fucking creepy he sounded.

Your tiny nails scratched harmlessly against his bones and your little squishy form wriggled, rubbing against him, and he buried the dark desires that started to bubble, resisting the urge to turn your face to his and kiss you.

He glanced over at the door and locked it quickly with his magic. You froze in his grip, and he hated how your scent soured with fear.

"just, stop screaming, okay? i can explain, but i can only explain if you aren't trying to tear the marrow out my bones." You made a particularly angry lurch and he almost lost his grip. "okay okay okay,"

Why did he find your struggles so... adorable?

He thought as fast as he could, trying to come up with a way to pacify you long enough for him to think of a half decent plan that didn't involve you being terrified of him.

"just lemme speak, then you can leave, ok?" He blabbed. Hah, he wouldn't really let you leave alone. He'd let you go, at least, but he'd follow at a short distance to make sure you didn't do anything ridiculous with that determination of yours.

He didn’t want to, but if he had to, he’d drag you kicking and screaming back to his room and lock the door to keep you safe.

Having you lost in the void, even if it was for a few seconds, every trace of your SOUL gone... it had been torture. And getting you back had jumpstarted every single protective instinct he had. The thought of making you leave and live somewhere else made his SOUL burn hotly.

“Mmmmph.”

You were breathing quickly through your nose, SOUL pulsing with fear and anger and betrayal, but you stopped screaming at least.

"... you gonna let me speak?" He asked, and you nodded slowly.

He carefully prised his hand away from your mouth, and let out a slow breath when you didn't immediately start screaming again.

Baby steps.

"ok." He wrapped his spare arm around you, making sure you were close at all times, in case he disclosed a bit too much info and you got spooked again.
"so, when i teleport, i pass through a place called 'the void', basically a gap between existences that is empty of everything, light, sound, life, etc. the reason i always hold onto you so tightly when i teleport is i don't want you to get stuck in there."
More anger seeped from your SOUL like smoke. Sans hated the way you refused to look at him, beautiful eyes focusing on the door instead.
Despite his better judgement, he used a tiny bit of his SOUL magic to douse your anger. ‘It’s nothing major’ he told himself. ‘It’s not like I’m controlling her mind or anything.’
"when you grabbed me, i wasn't able to catch you fast enough, and somewhere between the void and where i was going... you slipped." He explained.

"You left me there." Your voice was tainted with fury, and he could feel your little body shaking.

Sans gritted his teeth, resisting the urge to pull out your SOUL and massage it. You probably wouldn't appreciate anything that touchy-feely right now.
"time doesn't really work the same way there, sweetheart." he explained, simplifying it as much as he could. "there's no guarantee how long you'd be there for... that’s why i went straight back to get you."

“What do you mean, ‘doesn’t work the same way there?’” Your fury and fear was starting to dull now, and he took that opportunity to use a little more magic to soothe you. Enough so that you’d feel less mad, but not so much that you’d realise he was tampering with your mind.

You’d forgotten that he’d said you could leave once he was done explaining, thank god. Talking to you when you were mad was like trying to defuse a bomb.

“well...” Sans looked into the corner of the room. “it’s something to do with the perception of time and light, but... it’s difficult to explain.”

“B...but you’ve got a PhD.” You said, and Sans could feel something like guilt starting to seep off you. He took the edge off that, just so you wouldn’t feel bad.

“theoretical quantum physics is about OUR universe, sweetcheeks. it doesn’t help understand someplace like the void.”

Well, that wasn’t necessarily true, but Sans was betting you probably didn’t know what theoretical quantum physics involved.

“...how long were you there for?” He asked quietly, holding you a little closer. This time, instead of tensing or pushing away from him, you shifted a little in his arms and placed the side of your head on his chest, leaning your weight on him.
His SOUL skipped a beat.

“...An hour, maybe.” You said, equally as quiet. “I can’t tell.”

He sucked in a breath.

“did... anything happen?”

You rolled your eyes and snorted quietly.

“I had a tea party with a hippo and everything was completely peachy and fine.”

His grin widened. Sarcasm was good. It meant you were feeling more like yourself again. “c’mon, don’t go keeping me in the dark here.”

You froze in his grip, and Sans started sweating, worrying that the pun had somehow pissed you off.

“... Did you seriously just make a fucking void pun?” There was no malice in your voice. Just friendliness and disbelief.

Sans let himself relax again, glad he hadn’t said anything to make you mad.

“what can i say? void puns are una’void’able at this point.”

“Stop.” You hit his chest with a hand. You were trying to be serious, but he could hear your restrained laughter.

“you’re saying i should a-void making puns? that’s a pretty ‘deep’ request. it would make me ‘empty’ of humour.”

“Stoooopp...” You were chuckling now. Then you froze, and a crease appeared between your eyebrows. “Sans, you said there’s nothing in the void, right?”

He tensed. “yeah...?”

“...There was someone else there, though.”

He tensed even more. He felt like it shouldn't be possible, but... if someone fell out of existence, then the logical place they would go would be the plane between existences, right?

"... are you sure?" He asked, feigning ignorance. Sans already had a good grasp on who you were talking about.
He felt your head nod, brushing against his sternum. "... can you describe them...?" He removed one of his arms from around you, so he could stroke your hair.

"Like you." You said quietly. "A skeleton. But... taller, and... darker. I think it was a 'he'? I couldn't tell. They also spoke funny, all garbled and broken..."

"did..." Sans couldn't believe he was asking this. It was such a personal question. But right now, your safety was at stake. "...did he touch your SOUL?"

"...Tried to pull it out." You answered shyly. "It really hurt."

Sans felt his golden tooth dislodge a little with how forcefully he bit his teeth together to restrain the murderous instincts that reared their heads, and he was seriously considering teleporting to the void himself. He'd never be able to outright KILL Gaster, that much had been clear since the day he was born, but he could at least land a few HP-draining hits that would make a clear point...

"... Are you ok?" came your soft, quiet voice, and all Sans's anger melted away like snow in the sun. He could never stay mad when you were being so adorable...

"yeah, i'm fine." He stroked a phalanx over your hair, delighting in it's natural softness. "just... that's really frowned upon in monster society." Understatement of the century. Even in the underground, battles were done outside of Encounters. "you're only really ever allowed to pull out a SOUL without consent if it's a fallen human, but... kinda can't have fallen humans anymore."

Sans thought for a moment. Didn't you say Gaster... 'tried' to pull your SOUL out? Surely it was easy to pull a SOUL out? If a fucking froggit could do it, then one of the most powerful monsters who ever lived could too?

He mentally shrugged. Probably something to do with the void.

There was a thin stretch of comfortable silence that Sans used to enjoy how cuddling you felt. You were so soft and warm, like a kitten, but underneath the softness he could feel the solidity of yours bones.
The thought of you as a skeleton gave him a thrill that made a shiver run down his spine. But, despite that, he preferred you how you were. Soft, small, cute, stubborn, determined...

The sound of your breath, the gentle humming of your SOUL... he could've fallen asleep there and then.

And although you probably didn't feel the same way he did, as long as he could be close to you like this, he'd be content.

'pap's would probably vomit in disgust.' He thought, trying not to chuckle. 'that, or lecture me for hours about how gross humans are and how forming relationships with them is fucking impossible.'

"So this means I can stay, right?" You asked, breaking the silence.

Sans was tempted to say he'd never let you leave him again, even if he had to tie you up in the corner of a locked room for the rest of your life, but his logical mind kicked in before he fucked everything up.

"so was this all just a huge, elaborate plan to make me reconsider?" He joked, and the two of you chuckled.

"Maybe. You'll never know."

There was another short span of silence, before you shuffled a bit in his arms to look up at him, and he looked down at you. It was such a relief to see your gorgeous eyes empty of hate.

"You really need a shower." You whispered.

Sans raised his eyebrow bones. "wow, i literally went into the fucking void to get you back, 'shower' little appreciation."

"Haha, no."

Chapter Text

You stared down at the small lizard woman and raised your eyebrows in surprise. Her slit-pupils stared back with equal surprise through round, thick-rimmed spectacles. She was stood on her hind legs, and in her arms she was holding a folder of important-looking papers. She was wearing a red and black striped dress with some kind of white lab coat over the top. Perhaps she was a doctor of some kind?
Her feet were bare, and you nearly cringed thinking about walking over the sharp roads with no shoes on, even if feet were armoured with claws and scales.
She had a pointed head that ended in a crown of spikes, and her scales were a bright yellowish gold. She reminded you of one of those frilled lizards from Jurassic Park that spat gunk everywhere.

Her perfect appearance and pristine clothing made you feel a little outshined, with your reused grey top and stained jeans. You were going to have a shower before you went to work, but you probably stank of B.O.

The slit nostrils on her snout twitched as she took a deep breath in, then her surprise faded into something like a mocking, pitiful smile. She regained a straight posture that reminded you of the man in the void.

“Human, I am Doctor Alphys.” She said, in a cool and calm feminine voice, bearing a striking resemblance to Glados. Her teeth were bright white and razor-sharp, and fitted neatly into rows, a bit like Sans’s teeth.

“Is Sans home?” She asked.

“...He’s upstairs. Still asleep, I think.” You replied.

By your feet, Killer started growling lowly, and Alphys responded by hissing, the crown of spikes enlarging a little. Killer stopped growling and slunk away, apparently in a bad mood.

“I need to speak with him.” She pushed straight past you into the house, as if it were her own, and placed the folder of papers on the table before surveying the room with a disdainful glare. The lizard woman was a full head shorter than you, and yet she acted as if she was on some kind of podium and you were her inferior.

You rolled your eyes and made an audible ‘ugh’ sound, before making your way to the sofa, where Killer had placed himself. The quiz show was still going on and you were pretty pissed off that you missed two questions because of this bullshit lizard.

“So, human, what is your current relationship with Sans?”

The question caught you totally off guard and if your eyebrows hadn’t been attached to your head they would probably have hit the ceiling.

“What?” You said, turning around on the sofa to look at her. Had you misheard her?

Alphys’s ruby red eyes were glinting brightly, focused on you.

“Is it sexual? Romantic?” She pressed.

You blinked. “F-friends! Just friends! Jesus fucking...”

“So why are you at his house? You said he was still asleep, so I’m inferring you were here overnight?” She gave you an accusing look.

You held up your hands and looked to the side.

“I’m just crashing here because my parents kicked me out.” You lied. Well, half a lie. Technically they didn't KICK YOU OUT, but...

“Hm.” She seemed disappointed. Now that you weren’t facing her from the front, you had a clear view of her long spiked tail that swished along the floor.

Killer placed his head on your lap, ears pricked, and you stroked him. It was probably some kind of defensive gesture, you didn’t really know.

“Would you consider starting a relationship with him?” She asked, drawing up a chair and sitting down, like it was some kind of interrogation.

“I just said we’re friends.” You rolled your eyes again

Alphys narrowed her eyes a little.

“Hmm...” She thought for a moment. “Well, do you find him sexually attractive?”

For a split second, all you could see was Sans in that tight-fitting black shirt he’d worn the first time you spent the night at his place...

And there was the time at the coffee shop, when he explained his magic and said he had some kind of magic dick oH DEAD GOD NO
GET YOUR MIND OUT THE GUTTER

You felt your face redden and throat go dry. “H-how?” You spluttered, quietly. “He’s... he’s a skeleton!”

She tilted her head to one side and surveyed you with those weird red eyes, before her snarky expression fell away. She removed herself from the chair and instead joined you on the sofa, her clawed feet clacking on the floor.

“... Human,” she said, quietly, checking around as if she was being hunted by the police or something. “Have you ever... birthed a child?”

You blinked, surprised to have such a question asked.

"No...?

"Have you ever considered striking up a long-term relationship with someone?"

You shook your head, and her shoulders slumped in something that looked like relief. She glanced up at the stairs, then back at you.

"Would you be willing to answer a few questions for me?" Her voice was a lot less quiet now.

You answered with a shrug. 'Depends on the question' you thought.

She adjusted her glasses with a clawed finger.

“I know that human males have penises, and luckily for my research, there are many monsters who share that same method of reproduction. But... human females are another matter.”
The scales around her face became red.
“You don’t go through magic heats, and the formation of the child is almost entirely matter-based. It’s rather incredible, actually.”

You snorted a little and Alphys reddened even more, eyes flickering with anger, but you shrugged.

“Well, I guess I can explain some stuff. Nothing personal, though.” You pointed out. Hah, who needs quiz shows when golden dinosaurs can ask you questions about human reproduction? "If you overstep any boundaries I'm calling Sans down."

“So, I was wondering...” She adjusted her glasses again, despite there being no need to. “Do human females go through heats during their ‘menstrual cycle’?”

You shook your head. “Nah.”

She pursed her golden lips and squinted a little. “Not at all?”

“As far as I know, we just get cranky.” You shrugged, scratching Killer’s ear as he watched Alphys with hostile eyes. “I’m actually due to bleed in, like, a few days or something.”

There was a small moment of silence as she drew a notepad from the pocket of her white labcoat and noted some stuff down, nodding.

"Do humans use their SOULs at all during the growing of the baby?" She glanced at you out of the corner of her eye, pen poised over the paper.

"I dunno, maybe? I didn't even realise SOULs existed until monsters surfaced."

"That's almost certainly a 'no', then." She scribbled the answer down. "And am I correct in assuming only females can grow children?"

"Yeah." Wait, male monsters could be pregnant? You had a vivid mental image of various guys you'd known with belly bumps and instantly regretted it.

Coming back into reality, you looked Alphys up and down, and found the question on your tongue before you had time to think about who you were asking.

"So how do monsters reproduce?"

Alphys's head snapped round to face you, her ruby red eyes alight, and you realised she'd probably been waiting for you to ask this the entire time. She put away her pen and paper, and you prepared yourself mentally for a big explanation.

"Well," she interlaced her clawed fingers. "When a monster and another monster love each other very much..."

"Don't mock me." You sighed, but her cool chuckling made you want to chuckle too.

"Monsters experience yearly surges of magic that we call 'heats'." She made air quotes. "But in reality, it's just a large excess of magic and an increased instinctual desire to produce offspring with the person who seems most compatible with you."

You raised an eyebrow. "So... it makes you wanna fuck."

"To be crude, yes." She made an 'ugh' sound. "Monsters with high magic will be drawn to big monsters with lots of physical matter to balance out the child's magic and dust. Some kind of evolutionary tactic to stop offspring being entirely magic." She shrugged, but glanced sideways at you, with that same pitying smile. "Oh, unless you've already fixated your SOUL on someone. Then your desire to be near to them will just increase tenfold, while the want to be near others does the opposite."

The pitying gaze flew straight over your head. You were used to it by now.

"... 'Fixated your SOUL'?" You asked, blinking a few times.

Alphys hid her smile very badly.

"When a monster finds someone they truly hold dear, someone they..." She made air quotes again. "'click' with, and wish to build a life with, their SOUL will naturally begin to build a connection with the other's SOUL. But, no one did that in the underground. Well, except the Queen. And look what happened to that unhinged bitch when the connection broke! She went utterly mad until Frisk came along." Alphys laughed. "It was stupidity, to give someone an easy target like that."

Woah. That sounded like complete hell.

You'd heard very little about the monster Queen. Everyone was far too focused on Asgore and his crimes to pay any attention to the goat woman.
The very few pictures you'd seen of her, with her sullen, sunken yellow eyes (and apparent need to always have a child near her at all times) had made you want to drop everything and run in the other direction. You always admired Frisk, the child who set the monsters free, for having the ability to stay by her despite her mental fragility and even legally call the goat their mother.

You noticed Alphys sweating at the mention of the Queen, as if the woman herself would break down the door and kill everyone. You started to wonder how a lizard could sweat through those metallic scales.

Silence.

"S-so, if both monsters mate during their heats," Alphys continued, as if the last few moments never happened. "the natural surplus of magic caused by their heats and the magic created in the... 'moment', is just enough to make the start of a SOUL when combined. The child's SOUL will reside in the SOUL of the parent with the highest magic level until it's powerful enough to start drawing in matter to make a body, then the rest continues much like human pregnancy."

"...Cool." You thought for a moment. "So, they need to be able to carry a child, right?"

"Yes."

"Then, how could a skeleton monster be born?" You asked quietly, aware of the fact that Sans was upstairs. Unconscious or not, it felt like gossiping.

"I've been trying to get that information out of Sans for years." Alphys hissed, but quietly too. "Papyrus has no idea, and he's far too... 'blunt' to lie. Sans, on the other hand..." She gritted her razor teeth and her little clawed hands bunched into fists. "... He just dances around the problem or puns his way out. I can never tell if he's lying or telling the truth. I can't stand him."

Yep, that sounds like Sans.

"Aren't there any other skeleton monsters?" You watched as Killer got bored and hopped off the sofa to who knows where, annoyed that he wasn't having 100% of your attention focused on him.

Surely there's more skeleton monsters than just those two, right? That man in the void might have been a skeleton.

Might.

"No, it's just those two. Sans won't talk about his parents, either." She answered, making you raise an eyebrow in surprise.

Oh. Shit. You're stumbling into Tragic Backstory™ territory here. You gotta be at least Level 4 friend for that.

You wondered what you were to Sans. A friend? A liability? Probably the latter.

"I've got work, so I better go." You half-lied. You'd made an impressive amount of half-lies today without being caught. You'd be two hours early if you set off now, but... "This has been an enlightening experience, Alphys."

She seemed to hold back on saying 'I know', and you couldn't help but chuckle at that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans woke up to voices. Your voice was always the best way to wake up in the morning, but there was another voice. Specifically, a cool, calm and feminine one.

Uuuuuuuurrrrrrrggggghhhh, that lesbian fish-fetish lizard always seems to storm into his life whenever anything is going remotely well. She appears, creates a hurricane of shit, then leaves and makes Sans pick up the pieces.

She was probably after those papers he never gave back. Damn, they were buried SOMEWHERE in his room. He'd search later.

Sans extricated himself from the twisted bedsheets that had wrapped around his bones during his silent nightmare last night and put on his shorts, before nearly tripping and hitting the door. Again.

He came out of his room and was about to go downstairs and remove you from the possible experiment Alphys was most likely trying to talk you into, when something made him freeze.

"...at is your current relationship with Sans?"

...

...Maybe he should just stay up here for a little while.

"What?" Your voice chimed like a bell, and he envisioned your eyebrows shooting up in a ridiculously comical way.

"Is it sexual? Romantic?" Alphys pressed.

Sans had fleeting mental images of what a sexual relationship with you would involve, and instantly began to sweat, using the wall as support.

"F-friends! Just friends!" You squeaked, and despite him knowing that this would be your answer, his SOUL felt like it was cracking. "Jesus fucking..."

"So why are you at his house? You said he was still asleep, so I’m inferring you were here overnight?" Sheesh, give the girl a break, Alph. But still, Sans's mind was subjected to torture in the form of you sleeping in his arms and he clamped a hand over his mouth to stop his teeth from opening obscenely loudly.

"I’m just crashing here because my parents kicked me out." Well, that wasn't strictly true, but Alphys didn't NEED to know that, did she?

Sans could hear the disappointed sigh from where he was upstairs and he knew that Alphys was already rigorously shipping you with him, even if it was under the pretence of 'scientific research.'

And, well, he didn't exactly DISLIKE the notion of having Alphys pushing the two of you together...

"Would you consider starting a relationship with him?" Oh damn, she was really getting into this.

He leant forward in anticipation for your answer, more sweat beading on his skull. If his dreams came true and you said yes, he'd know he was shooting in the right direction, and he was safe to make a few more moves...

If he'd been reading all the signs wrong and you definitely 100% did not want and never would want a relationship, then he'd have to start breaking that SOUL bond he'd subconsciously been building, which would be a long and emotionally painful process, and would more than likely drive him insane from the jealousy of knowing that he wasn't good enough for you.

So, yeah. Anything other than no.

...

"I just said we’re friends." Came your shaky reply. No disgust or apprehension, just embarrassment.

'so not a definite yes.' He thought, his skull falling back and resting against the wall as he let out a shaky breath. 'but... not a definite no.'

"Well, do you find him sexually attractive?"

Sans felt his eyelights vanish as all his magic gathered in... certain areas.

He was 98% sure someone had just stabbed him in the chest.

...Did you find him sexually attractive?

He sure as heck found YOU sexually attractive. But he was usually too busy desperately trying to make you smile again (being in love and all) to think of what you'd look like in something more... revealing. Or, preferably, nothing at all. Lips against his teeth, arms around him, breasts squishing against his chest...

"H-how? He’s... he’s a skeleton!"

 

Oh.

 

oh yeah, he forgot about that.

 

Of course you didn't find him attractive. Why would you ever see him in that way? He didn't even technically have a face to FIND attractive. It was stupid of him to get his hopes up like that.

But still, the pressure on his chest, on his SOUL, was too much to bear. The thought of hearing your voice after a bombshell like that had just been dropped would probably incite a situation that everyone would regret, so he retreated back into his room silently, locking the door.

He didn't have the energy to walk or teleport back to his bed, so he rested the front of his skull against the door, gritting his teeth.

Yeah, he should've seen that coming. It was obvious. You were a human, humans tended to stick with other humans. He was just a friend, someone to rely on. He needed to make do with that.

And he might not even be that.

Sans looked at his hand, flexed his phalanges and sighed. Of course. How could anyone love a huge, frightening skeleton monster? It was for the best, anyway. He wouldn't have to tell you about his past or the powers he routinely used on you, and risk seeing those beautiful eyes of yours look at him with hatred, or worse, fear.

He couldn't stand your fear. That's why he'd toyed with your emotions so early in the friendship. How was he supposed to get to know you if you couldn't look him in the eye? And it wasn't like he was MAKING you like him, you'd done that on your own. He was just dampening the abject terror. And even if he HAD the power to make someone love him, he wanted a real relationship and wouldn't dream of using it on YOU.

Well, maybe he fantasised about it a little, but that was beside the point.

He let out a sigh that rattled his bones and mustered the energy to move back to his bed, where he lay silently. He was going to have to try a lot harder if he ever wanted the slimmest chance of getting your love in return.

Sans squeezed his eyesockets shut and sighed again, letting one or two tears slip loose. His SOUL wasn't reacting kindly to the thought of you never reciprocating and it burned in his chest, sending out pulses.

"get yourself together, sansy." He growled quietly. "sitting here and crying ain't gonna do shit."

If it was so blatantly obvious that you'd never like him in... that way, then...

 

Why did it hurt so bad?

 

There was a sharp knock on the door and Sans rolled his eyelights, sitting up.

"fuck off, alph." He groaned.

"Nice to see you too, Sans." The lock on the door sparked with yellow magic and swung open. Alphys's nose instantly scrunched and her lips pulled back. "So THIS is where that STENCH was coming from." She mused.

"hey, if you don't like it in here, my previous offer still stands."

She narrowed her eyes.

"What offer?"

"the offer to fuck off."

She made an 'ugh' sound, something Sans hadn't heard her do before, and he realised she probably picked it up from you. That made him grin.

"Well, at least it's not the same smell you plastered all over poor (y/n)." She said absentmindedly.

His grin vanished.

"Honestly Sans, I've heard of possessiveness, but you really take the cake." She checked her claws. "I could smell her before I even got to your door. Humans may lack a refined sense of smell, but it's a miracle she hasn't noticed yet."

Her red eyes glinted maliciously, the rest of her body silhouetted by the light from the hallway.

"Can you imagine what would happen if someone told her? I believe she'd be very upset if she knew she'd been marked like a toy. Is that what she is to you? A little toy for you to brea-"

The sound of wood splintering made Alphys's mouth snap shut. Sans had closed his hand around the first unfortunate thing nearby- the headboard of the bed had stood no chance, crumpling like paper. Sans's eyes were pitch black, and seemed to suck in all the light around them like voids.

"G e t T o T h e F u c k i n g P o i n t. " He said.

Alphys coughed a little and adjusted her glasses.

"I want regular monthly updates on how your relationship progresses, and the way her SOUL responds to your... magic."

His eyelights reappeared and he removed his hand from the ruined headboard, shaking the splinters out from the joints between his phalanges and metacarpals.

"that it?" He was genuinely surprised. He was expecting some kind of 'drug her, lock her in a room and drain every ounce of her DT every day without her noticing' kind of shit.

"This is a golden opportunity, Sans. I've never seen a human-monster relationship like yours." Her eyes seemed to sparkle with electricity. "All the relationships I've observed have either been sibling, parental or strictly political." She smiled, but it wasn't friendly. "But THIS..."

Sans half expected her to do an evil laugh.

"...and if i refuse?" He asked, though he already knew what was coming.

"I wonder how she'd react to knowing she had effectively been marked as your possession...?" Alphys smiled again, a sickly sweet gesture. "It really WOULD diminish your chances of gaining her trust, wouldn't it?"

He growled quietly.

"fine. monthly updates." He locked eyes with her. "but if you break the agreement, undyne'll be lying next to a pile of dust when she wakes."

The mention of Undyne struck a nerve and Alphys faltered for a moment, but she regained her composure.

"I'm sure (y/n) will handle the dirty work if you break your side of the deal. I expect the first update by the end of the week."

She turned to leave, and as the door shut, Sans hollered after her.

"smell ya later, bitch."

"Get a fucking job."

 

...He waited for the sound of the front door closing before he lay down on the bed and let more tears come. So not only was he repressing your emotions, now he was testing your reactions like you were some kind of lab rat?

He glanced over at the large metal lock on the wooden cabinet in the corner and it glowed red, before clicking open. He used his magic to float a piece of it's contents over to him, before shutting the doors and re-locking it. The item fell into his open hands, soft fabric and smell making him shudder.

Sans told himself it was creepy to keep one of your shirts, and not to mention stealing, but he couldn't bring himself to give it back. It was a soft black one that had most likely fallen out of your rucksack, and you hadn't noticed. It smelt like you and helped him get through the aftermath of his nightmares, he could hold it close and calm himself down without having to traumatise you again.

He traced the collar with a fingertip and sighed. It was soft, but not at soft as you. He was pretty sure that there was nothing as soft at you.

"i'm such a creepy asshole." He chuckled, holding the shirt to his face and taking a deep breath, welcoming the crisp lavender smell.

The shirt was so small. And cute. Like you.

Sans hugged it to his chest and sighed.

Maybe, if he was patient... If he tried hard enough to be gentle and understanding, like Frisk had always said he could be...

Maybe you'd love him back?

Chapter Text

Needless to say, Mondays without King were an absolute nightmare. Even if Grillby offered his help on multiple occasions, you found yourself wishing you had Sans’s teleportation power.

Damn, that would be useful.

‘I could just hang in the void for a few centuries while I get my brain together.’ You thought to yourself sarcastically, setting down a plate. ‘Bring a mirror with me and practise my smile so I look less like I’m a psychopath.’

That was a comment you got from a bear when giving him his third burger. “Take a break, girl. You look like you’re going to kill the next monster that asks for fries.”

You were very proud of yourself, though. You were single-handedly managing the crowd. No one had died or been blinded or stabbed with a toothpick.

...Apart from the children at the rabbit table, at least three of them had gone home early because of a small fight that broke out over who had the most dip. You didn’t mind, though, because the rabbit mother gave you another great tip for dealing so well with the chaos.

Yeah, you liked that rabbit. She could come in any time.

On the other hand, you still had to deal with the perverts, but the knowledge that Dogaressa was waiting on the other side of the bar gave you a spur of calm confidence that allowed you to maintain sanity whenever they catcalled you, or tugged the corner of your skirt.

You kept reaching for your phone, y’know, just to check your texts, do something with your short breather... and you had to keep reminding yourself that it WASN’T THERE ANYMORE. Every time your hand patted your pocket and didn’t feel the solid rectangle, you died inside a little.

“Here’s your extra-extra-extra fries.” You dropped the plate onto the dog table and instinctively leaned back when Greater Dog made a move to lick you. Instead, he gave a short ‘bork’ as thanks, and you took your seat next to him, exhausted and sweaty.

You stopped mid-chuckle, shuddered, and turned around.

A rather large green gecko made eye contact with you from across the bar and, after licking his eye, seemed to have his face twisted into some kind of confusion, then shock, then a grin. He pulled out his phone and dialled in a number, then got up and left, leaving only the regulars behind.

You blinked. You didn’t recognise him, you hadn’t collected his bill. Actually, he hadn’t bought anything. He’d just sat there the entire time.

“Who was that?” You asked.

“Bert.” Doggo replied, his misty eyes focused on the door as it swung shut. You hadn’t expected Doggo to speak up, usually he was too busy trying to get a long look at someone else’s poker cards. “Wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.”

“Don’t worry if he’s giving you weird looks.” Dogaressa reassured, simultaneously pulling her cards away from Doggo’s line of sight. “Some human went missing yesterday, he thinks every girl he sees is them.”

Oh.

Oh shit.

“A human went missing?” You asked, trying to seem nonchalant, but you were slightly aware of the panic creeping into your voice.

Dogamy nodded. “Yeah, ran away. Parents are leaving rewards for anyone who can find her. Which is why ol’ Bert is so obsessed with finding... Are you alright?”

A sick feeling twisted inside your stomach and your face paled.

So they WERE looking for you. Not only that, but they were offering a REWARD. How much money, exactly? Would you have to worry about friends turning you in?

You looked at the table of dogs and numbered them on danger levels. The least dangerous was Greater Dog. Despite his appearance and height, he couldn't hurt a fly if it offered itself to him on a pedestal. Dogamy was far too... sweet? He just didn't seem like that kind of guy. Which meant the two you had to worry about the most were Dogaressa, arguably your closest friend in the group, and Doggo, who was the very definition of overly shady.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I... I need to speak to Grillby." You muttered, about to slide off your chair. Perhaps you could get a few days off while waiting for the storm to blow over? He was probably lingering around the fire exit, but you shouldn't really go through that, since you weren't made of fire...

The door opened and in the corner of your eye you could see your Dad's face.

Letting out a silent shriek you jumped under the table and crawled along the dirty floor until your back was against the wall. They were going out to look for you IN PERSON!? They never did that! They didn't CARE enough to do that!
You shuffled closer to where the seat met the wall. Greater Dog's armoured legs SHOULD be able to hide you, but...

"What the fuck are you doing?" Dogaressa hissed, ducking her head under the table, and you looked back at her in terror.

"I'm not here! I don't work here!" You whispered, tucking your legs up to your chest. She blinked twice, then shrugged, her head vanishing from view.

"Is (y/n) here?" Dad's voice made you stifle a squeak.

"She was jusst here, sserving the dogss, ssir. I ssaw her mysself." Was that Bert? His voice was hissy and somewhat... Canadian?

"Who?" Dogamy asked. Ohh thank god.

"My daughter (y/n)." You were surprised how serious he sounded, and how calm he seemed around monsters. Mom would completely fucking flip her lid if she had to stand with monsters for this long.
"She vanished yesterday and her mother and I been looking everywhere for her. We think she might have been kidnapped."

Bullshit! You even left them a lovely parting note!

"We'll be willing to pay if you have information about where she is." Fuck, so it's serious business.

"How much?" Doggo asked. Wait, he wasn't going to... ...was he?

Your Dad named an obscenely large amount of money and you blinked twice, trying to register what he said.
...That much!? Did he get a new job or something? That was almost twice over what he got paid in a month. You almost felt guilty that he was throwing this much money around to find you.

There was a thick silence, and your heart pounded.

...

They wouldn't dob you in, would they?

...

"Describe her." Dogamy said.

As your dad was speaking, Greater Dog's legs shifted a bit, as if he were relaxing. He stretched his legs out and gave you much better cover. You couldn't say thanks, but you petted his bare paw in an attempt to acknowledge his efforts.

"Nah, haven't seen her." Dogaressa said blandly. "We don't have human staff around these parts. No one ever wants to work here. You should know that."

"D-Dogaressssa!" Bert hissed.

"Don't 'Dogaressa' me, Bert, it's not my fault your wife left you and you're lying and cheating for your gold."

Oooh, you cringed at how sick that burn was. And how flawlessly she handled it.

"You're in the wrong joint, bud." Doggo chuckled. "Any humans working here would've been served as the main course by now."

“I ain’t seen no humans around these parts for months. Yer the first in a long time, buddy.” Was that the horse that stood by the jukebox? Why was he defending you too?

A murmur of agreement rippled through the bar like a wave.

“Nnnobody except mmmonsters heeere, ammmigo.” The FeedMeSeymour plant too?

“Aww, Bert’s such a silly bean, hehe~”

“Wrong *hic* bar, bud.”

“Hope you find her.”

“Yip yip.”

Greater Dog made some kind of sound that was a mixture between a boing and a 'bwoof' that was loud and deep, making every bone in your body vibrate uncomfortably, shaking the glasses on the table a little.

"Ssir, I would never lie, she was sserving them. She workss here regularly. She-"

"I've heard enough." He interrupted. "Thank you for your time."

When the bar door shut, you realised you'd forgotten to breathe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans would've gone to see you at work, like he normally did, but right now he really couldn't handle it. He'd drifted in and out of sleep for a few hours, gone downstairs and eaten something (per Papyrus's request) then gone straight back upstairs to his room.

He'd toyed with your shirt as well and wallowed in his own self pity for a while, before reminding himself that even if you didn't like him in that way, you still liked him as a friend.

He woke up for the millionth time, staring at his ceiling. Somehow, even with all the sleep he'd had, he still felt tired.

'she's comfortable with hugging you.' He thought to himself, rolling over and teleporting your shirt back into the locked cabinet. He'd been cuddling it in his sleep again. 'you can just stay friends. nothing much would change if the two of you dated anyway. if she don't want a relationship you gotta respect that, instead of being a wimpy ass loser.'

A small part of him, probably his SOUL, told him that you'd said it to Alphys, not to him. Maybe that was your instant reaction because you were simply embarrassed? That made him feel a little better.

He glanced at the clock. Quarter past 11. You were either heading home, or already here. Probably already here.

Ugh, he stank of B.O. Probably from lying all day in a hot bedroom with the windows shut and curtains closed.
'i should probably shower or something before she sees me.' He figured, feeling his joints crack as he stood.

Sans emerged from his room and the lights momentarily blinded him. He could hear Papyrus cooking downstairs, and he assumed you were down there too. Probably watching TV with Killer or some cute shit like that. Damn, why was everything you did so freaking adorable?

He opened the bathroom door.

Your smell hit him like a ten ton truck. You were freshly showered, all perfumes and dirts were gone, and something primal within him purred with satisfaction.

The two of you looked at each other for a stupefied moment, both sides thrown into the deep end without warning.

You were wearing grey panties and a black bra, and that was it. Your hair was still wet and you were in the middle of drying it with a towel, loose strands falling down around your neck unevenly. Moisture glistened on your bare shoulders, making your skin shine like some kind of precious deep sea pearl, and the heat of the room had decorated your cheeks with a pink flush. Your thighs were littered with beautiful, straight and parallel silver scars that seemed to reflect all the colours of the rainbow.

You were so.

Goddam.

Beautiful.

Unfortunately, neither of you had any desire to take advantage of the moment.

Your eyes widened and your face flushed with the deepest red he'd ever seen.

All the magic in Sans's body rushed to his face and pelvis. He was certain he was as red as you were.

"oh my GOD." He slammed the door back shut again and stumbled back, falling flat on his ass. At the same time, you let out a startled scream.
"i'm so fucking sorry! i... i had no idea!"

"...I-It's fine! I sh-should've remembered to lock the door!" You squeaked from the other side. Judging by your voice it was 100% completely NOT fine. He heard the click of the lock moving into place.

'she was only wearing a bra and pants she was only wearing a bra and pants she was only wearing a bra and pants...' He dragged a hand down his face, panting heavily around a fully-formed tongue.

He squeezed his sockets shut and calmed his magic down, particularly the magic around his... pelvic area. If him seeing you in your underwear had been startling for you, he was pretty sure you wouldn't appreciate the sight of him sitting there with a glowing boner.

Sans stood up and regained himself. But... something else started stirring in his SOUL.

'those were self-harm scars.' He realised. They couldn't have been caused by falling or getting bitten or anything like that. They were too... parallel. Too neat.

A black rage exploded inside him and he felt his eyelights vanish entirely.

Your parents had hurt you. Badly. Both mentally, and physically.
If he hadn't wanted to kill them before, he sure as heck did now. Make them suffer, make them pay, slowly and precisely. Maybe he should look up the parts of the human body that are the most sensitive... He'd seen something about digging sharp sticks under fingernails, that seemed to hurt a lot... Or maybe he should slice their thighs with a hot blade in a delicious sense of revenge? Little by little, the heat sealing the wounds so that they can't bleed to death, but it's still excruciatingly painful? Alphys had mentioned something that some humans used to do to traitors... what was it... 'hanging, drawing and quartering'? He'd look that up later.
Gouging their eyes out seemed fun, he'd seen that done to monsters on Mettaton's late night show in the Underground, and they sure had screamed. He could drown them when he finally got bored... Or bury them alive? That's supposed to be a pretty traumatic death. Or burning. Burning seems better, and easier if you wanna get rid of the body...

The sound of a lock clicking brought Sans back to the real world and he dispelled the morbid thoughts for now. He kinda needed your permission to kill them anyway- it would suck to find out that you actually really loved your parents and that their murder would bring you spiralling into depression.

He also didn't want you to become so terrified of him that you try to run away. That would probably incite a situation that everyone would regret, himself included.

Yeah, kinda didn't want either of those.

The door opened a little bit and your wet hair, red face and averted eyes instantly made him melt.

'she's so cute and sexy when she's shy.' He thought to himself.

"The, uh, bathroom's free now." You mumbled, unable to look up at him. "It's a little steamy, so uh, you might wanna open a window or something."

"ok. thanks."

You pursed your lips and left the bathroom, quickly running down the stairs. Sans noticed that your shirt was inside-out.

He snickered. You'd be back to yourself soon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You were avoiding him.

You were avoiding him, and he absolutely hated it.

Whenever he entered a room and you'd mumble something about having things to do, and then you'd vanish. He'd sat next to you on the sofa and you'd got up and gone to the bathroom for half an hour. He'd asked you if anything was wrong and you'd nearly choked on your glass of water. You'd locked yourself in his room and used your computer to facetime your friend for two fucking hours.

And the worst part was that you wouldn't look him in the eye.

When he got a glimpse of your SOUL, he read emotions like embarrassment, dread, stress, a faint dusting of fear. And he couldn't understand why. He expected a reaction, there would always be a reaction to something like that. If he'd just read embarrassment, there'd be no problem.

But what were you dreading?

And, more importantly, how could he stop you from dreading?

"THEN YOU CUT THE TOMATOES, LIKE THIS." Papyrus boomed. He was teaching you how to cook, per your request. It seemed your culinary skills were... limited. "HUMANS HAVE FLESH, SO BE CAUTIOUS WITH WHERE YOU PUT THE KNIFE."

"R-right."

He shuffled on the sofa, unable to feel comfortable. Was it his fault? Was something else bothering you?
Oh shit, had he... had his magic calming attempt been unsuccessful? Had... had you seen his...?

He dragged both his hands down his face and groaned. He had no idea how to cheer you back up again, no idea how to find out what was bothering you without being aggressively straightforward. And if he knew anything about you, he knew that you were stubborn as fuck, and if you didn't want to talk about it then nothing on this Earth could make you talk about it.

Sans looked down at Killer, who was lying on the floor at the foot of the sofa, giving him a disapproving glare.

"watcha looking and me like that for?"

Killer's ear flicked in the direction of the kitchen, and Sans sighed.

"i walked in on her while she was getting changed," He admitted. "now she's avoiding me, but i think there's a deeper problem and i have no idea why she's got so much dread."

He'd never admit it, but Sans had always slightly admired the huge white dog. It didn't need to look at a SOUL to perfectly read someone's emotions. It was also completely fine with leaving Sans to do his own thing and Papyrus was the one who walked and fed him, so Sans didn't mind the dog. The two of them never really interacted, they had an unspoken contract of sorts. 'Don't bother me, and in return, I won't bother you.'

Killer rested his head on his paws and made a small sound that could've been a groan.

"buddy, if you've got any ideas, i'm open to suggestions." Sans mumbled, rubbing the back of his skull. "i don't like it when she's like this either."

The dog's eyes darted to the kitchen door. 'Well get in there and talk to her then, you useless sack of shit.'

Sans looked at the door, and sighed. He didn't want a replay of what had happened when you came back from the void- that would be a complete disaster, and his SOUL couldn't handle any more of your negative emotions. He'd either crack and force all your emotions down, or teleport to a hotel on the other side of the city and rest for a while. But, there was also the possibility that it went amazingly well and the whole situation was sorted... It was a bit of a gamble...

Killer growled and Sans sighed, pinching the bridge between his sockets.

"fine." he rolled his eyelights, and pointed at the dog. "but it's your fucking fault if this goes wrong."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"HUMAN." Papyrus's voice was lowered significantly and it made you stop for a moment, nearly cutting yourself on the knife. He was by your side at the kitchen counter, looming a full two heads over you.

Shit, what had you done now?

"Y-yeah?" You stuttered.

Wow, smooth. Stuttering and high-voiced. Totally inconspicuous. 10 points to you.

"I Cannot Help But Notice Your..." He seemed to be trying to find the right words. "Distress. You Seem To Be Struggling With Some... emotions. A very Human Thing to Do."

Oh. Uh, ok. Was it that noticeable? You gulped and put the knife down, sweat beading on the back of your neck. He wasn't going to pry, was he? You couldn't answer any questions right now.

You hardly ever spoke to Papyrus. Then, one or two nights ago, he suddenly changed. He'd avoided you after you'd yelled at him for being mean to Killer, but after you'd recovered from your camping-outside-of-Grillby's-induced fever, he was open and happy to talk to you. To be completely honest, you would've asked Sans to teach you how to cook if the... current situation wasn't in place. You'd expected to be turned down but surprisingly, Papyrus jumped at the opportunity.

Unfortunately the only thing he knew how to cook was spaghetti.

"Do Not Misinterpret my Actions." You looked up and saw the light blush dusting his high cheekbones. He made a head movement that would've been a hair fwip, if he had had hair. "...The Great and Terrible Papyrus is only concerned because when You struggle with emotions, Sans does Too."

You blinked.

"He does?" You said timidly. This was uncharacteristically calm for Papyrus to be.

"Sans has Never been Very Good with his Feelings." Papyrus admitted, picking up the knife and slicing the tomato with expert precision. "None of us monsters are. But Sans in particular." Ohhh jeese, where was this heading? "He Doesn't know how to Express himself without Violence, but He's very in tune to the Emotions of Others. When we First came Up to the Surface, he found it very Hard to Adjust." Papyrus screwed up his face, like he'd sucked a sour lemon. "Humans are so Subtle with their Emotions, the conflicting messages Confuse him a lot. Humans are very Difficult to Understand. Particularly Females."

You forced a chuckle at that, heart still pounding. You tucked some hair behind your ear.

"What I am Saying, Human," He turned fully to you. "is that my Brother pretends not to Be, but he is Very Sensitive and Easily hurt. I Learnt that Lesson Long ago. Combined with his Lack of Knowledge of Human Nature, Very large misunderstandings can Arise, Simply because he feels Confused and doesn't know how to Express it."
Papyrus looked up, as if asking some higher deity for an answer.
"Asgore forbid anyone actually ever TALK THE SITUATION OUT."

That got a real chuckle, and he seemed pleased with himself.

He turned back to you, narrowing his eyes a little. "My brother never usually opens up to people, but he seems fine around you." You blinked. Wow, really? Just you? "Which also means when you feel sad or angry, he worries that he's the one who caused the negativity." He sighed. "Please remember that he probably just needs the situation explained to him."

You looked at your badly chopped tomato, feeling a little guilty. You'd been avoiding him because you were worried he was going to judge you for the scars on your thighs, but now, with this new insight, you could see how he could misread it. He might think you were avoiding him because you were afraid of him, or because he'd done something wrong, or because you were ashamed...

"So remember that. THAT, AND IF YOU EVER HURT HIM PURPOSEFULLY, YOU WILL FACE THE UNRESTRAINED WRATH OF THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS."

You let out a low whistle. "God forbid that."

The kitchen door opened and Sans's head poked through. As soon as his eyelights met you, you burst out into an uncontrollable blush.

'He's seen me pretty much naked.' You thought, putting the knife down after almost cutting yourself on it again. Your heart was thundering in your chest.

"bro, can i borrow your assistant?" He said, no malice or embarrassment or teasing in his deep voice, and you let out a slow breath.

"OF COURSE." Papyrus said, as if it were a business deal. "I WILL FINISH COOKING."

Did... did Papyrus just wink at you?

You followed Sans into the living room and looked up at his huge, broad back as you walked silently, the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen smothered by the silence between the two of you.

Your heart was pounding, faster than it had when Dad walked into Grillby's. The dread and panic was much less, but you could hardly think. What if he thought the scars were gross? What if he judged you for them? What if his entire attitude toward you changed because he thought you were some depressed, attention-seeking emo?

"so why're you avoiding me?" He turned around so quickly you flinched and nearly collided with him.

"I-I'm not..." was your immediate reaction, folding your arms defensively and taking a step back.

"c'mon, sweetheart." He sighed, shoving his hands into the pockets of his hoodie. He scuffed the ground with his shoe, looking at that instead of you. "...w...what did i do?"

You clutched the sides of your arms and took a small breath. So, he didn't mind the scars? Even though...?

When you'd fallen into that hole, the hole of feeling like you were worthless... you did cut yourself for a while. You knew other girls and guys at school who'd done the same thing, coming in every day with red scars on their wrists. They were ridiculed by the class, and pulled out of lessons by teachers who thought they could help, and those kids fell deeper into the vicious spiral.
So, instead of cutting on your wrists, you'd cut on your thighs, where no one would see them. So even if you messed up and cut too deep or something like that, no one would see.
No one would ask.
No one would make you think about it.

Sans's breath hitched and he stared at your thighs. You realised you'd been subconsciously scratching them through your jeans, and you snatched your hand away.

"... is that what this is about...?" He asked gently, slowly stepping a little closer. When you didn't move, he took both your hands in his larger ones. Each move he made was precise, calculated, slow. "do you wanna talk about it...?"

You shook your head.

You trusted Sans, but... in reality, you'd probably only known him for about a month at most. You didn't even know what his favourite colour was (red? Maybe). And you had that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that something your parents said could possibly have been right.

And there was still the fact that you had yet to even bring up the subject of The Judge.

"M-most people don't really react kindly to self-harm scars." You grinned sheepishly. "I was just, uh, worried that you were gonna ask questions..."

Your face fell, cheeks flushing deeply.

Oh

Oh no

Sans's face fell too, eyelights becoming dim. You heard him take a breath in, apparently smelling the air.

"(y/n), what...?"

"I have to go to the bathroom!" You squeaked, pulling your hands out of his and running for your freaking life.

Well, more for the life of your underwear.

You locked the door behind you and checked your panties.

... Fuck, there was blood. Your period had started early. And you hadn't been ready for it, since you relied on the app on your phone to tell you when your period was nearing, and your phone was smashed beyond repair! And you didn't have any spare pads on your person right now!

"sweetheart, you ok?" Sans's muffled voice made you jolt.

"Yeah, I'm fine, just... give me a..." You took a deep breath. "Uh, Sans?"

"yeah?"

"Could you, uh, get my rucksack for me?" You had spare panties in there, not to mention a large pack of sanitary pads.

There were a few seconds of silence as you waited. Then he knocked, and you unlocked and pulled the door open a little, hiding behind it. He passed the bag through and you grabbed it quickly, re-closing the door and locking it again.

"uh, doll, why does it smell like..."

"Not right now, Sans." You put the pad in some fresh pants, washed the stained pair in the bathtub for a few minutes before ringing them out. Luckily, you'd caught it before the blood had time to dry, and the stain came out easily and without much fuss. You'd hang it to dry somewhere. Until then, you could just keep it in the waterproof front pocket of your rucksack.

Thank everything holy in the universe. You'd lost better panties to the same cause. Fallen soldiers who did not deserve to die.

When you opened the door, feeling significantly more hygienic, Sans was leaning against the wall opposite, waiting for you. As soon as you stepped out and he got a view of the bathroom, his sockets widened.

"is that blood on the toilet seat!?"

You flushed red and turned around. Yeah, there was a spot of blood you hadn't seen.

"Oh, uh, sorry. Guess I didn't noti-"

He put both his hands on your shoulders and gripped tightly, a look of panic on his face.

"no, let me rephrase that." He shook you a little. "why is there b l o o d!?"

You blinked, then realisation settled.

He didn't know what a 'period' was.

You bit your lip, trying to hold back the laughter, but it was too much. He just looked so... CONFUSED! He'd asked what a tampon was before, hadn't he?

It broke into full out laughter and Sans just waited, his hands on your shoulders, a look of confusion and embarrassment on his face. You took a breath and wiped away a tear.

"Guess I'm gonna have to do some teaching, aren't I?"

Chapter Text

Sans's eyebrow bones knitted together and his mouth hung open. Papyrus kept blinking, as if he'd open his eyes and the last 5 minutes hadn't happened.

"so... so you're saying... every month..." He looked down at the table. "but... isn't that dangerous? all that blood being lost?"

"No, not really." You shrugged. Explaining menstruation had been relatively easy until you mentioned the blood aspect.

"AND, THIS HAPPENS TO ALL HUMAN WOMEN? ALL OF THEM?" Papyrus hadn't sat down, he was leaning against the wall, a look that resembled a mix between confusion and respect painted on his face.

"Yeah. All of us." You fiddled with your hands. In front of you was a piece of paper with a diagram of the female reproductive system, with various parts labelled. "In fact, if you don't bleed, or the blood comes out smelling or looking strange, it can be a sign that something's wrong. Like, maybe you aren't eating enough, or you're sick without realising.

Papyrus scratched his chin. "AND YOU SAID... MALES ARE CONSIDERED THE DOMINANT GENDER? DESPITE FEMALES EXPERIENCING REGULAR STOMACH PAIN AND BLOOD LOSS EVERY MONTH, AND STILL CONTINUING THEIR DAY TO DAY LIVES?"

You nodded. "Yup. And talking about periods is this huge weird taboo. It's considered disgusting, and something you should only talk about in private."

Sans had his eyes narrowed at the table and he kept shaking his head, like he couldn't quite believe it.

"every month? every single month?"

"Yeah. That's what I said. Usually we bleed for 1 - 7 days. Well, unless you're pregnant." You chuckled. It seems even a PhD couldn't prepare Sans for the female reproductive system.

"i... don't know what to make of that." He raked a hand across his skull, staring at the diagram you'd drawn. "like, how... how do you cope with..."

"I TAKE IT MORE HUMAN MALES ARE CONVICTED OF MURDER THAN FEMALES?"

You blinked. That was... unexpected.

"...Yeah, actually. I think." You'd heard of more male murderers than female murderers. "What made you say that...?"

"WELL, HUMAN WOMEN HAVE TO CLEAN UP BLOOD EVERY MONTH! THEY MUST BE VERY EXPERIENCED IN THAT FIELD." He looked at the diagram. "I CAN'T BELIEVE I USED TO THINK HUMANS WERE WEAK!"

You wanted to tell him that most people didn't really commit murder, but you couldn't bring yourself to. At least Papyrus was taking this well. Sans still seemed to be contemplating the fact that women BLED every month.

"and this stuff? about hormones and cravings?" He narrowed his eyes at the diagram. "every single woman?"

You nodded. "All of us. It's part of growing up. As for the cravings..." You shrugged. "It varies person to person. Some people get really bad cravings and pains, some don't. It just depends."

"but, i don't understand..." His eyelights looked up from the diagram to you. "why is it a taboo? if half the human population get it, then why is it considered something to be hidden? why do you gotta pay so much money for 'pads' and 'tampons' if every woman on earth has it? surely it's a natural body function...?"

You blinked. This was some pretty deep stuff he was digging up. "I... I dunno. Western culture is pretty male dominated, I think it's something to do with that."

Sans shook his head and shrugged his shoulders, as if he'd given up on trying to understand it.

"seriously, you humans... you're so fucking weird."

"Gee, thanks."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"hey, i've got a surprise for ya."

You blinked. You had your jumper on, and you were literally just about to step out the door to go to work. When you turned around, Sans was a few steps behind you, holding his hands behind his back, the stupidest grin you'd ever seen on his face. He kept rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet.

"...What type of surprise?" You asked, cautiously. "And, is it quick? Because I need to go."

"yeah, it's quick. but you gotta shut your eyes." His grin was getting wider.

You looked at him suspiciously, unsure if that was a safe idea or not. Sans definitely seemed like the kind of guy who would ask you to shut your eyes and hold your hands out, then put a bug in your hands or something.

"This better not be some kind of prank." You threatened, pointing at him. "Because I swear to God, if it is, you will not see the light of another day."

"s' not. don't worry." He winked at you, and you rolled your eyes.

'Even if it IS a prank' you thought to yourself. 'If I get it over with now, I can go to work.'

There was a moment of silence.

"I'm only complying because I need to leave." You sighed, shutting your eyes.

"m'kay, hold your hands out."

"This is really suspicious, Sans."

"c'mon, sweetheart, you really don't trust me? you're breaking my heart here."

"You don't even technically HAVE a heart..."

"it's a metaphor, doll."

You rolled your eyes behind your eyelids and shrugged. It can't be that bad, can it? You held out your hands.

Something smooth, thin and rectangular was dropped into your hands and you felt the edges of it with your fingers. It... it felt like...

"...you can open your eyes now."

You opened them and blinked. It was...
A brand new phone. The screen was shiny and smooth, uncracked and ungreased. And by brand new, this model had LITERALLY come out, like, a week ago or something. You'd never held a more expensive device in your hands than the one you were holding right now. Not only that, but the back was your favourite colour. The cover was a flip cover and could seal magnetically to protect the phone. Sans probably got that cover to prevent this phone coming to the same fate as your old one.

Your mouth fell open.

"see? i AM trustworthy. well, most of the time." He grinned again. "figured you'd need a new one, and a friend happened to be selling these. gave me a discount for it." He scratched the side of his face like it was nothing.

You were completely speechless.

"do you like it?" He asked.

You finally ripped your gaze from the phone and looked up at Sans.

"O-oh my god." You breathed. How did he know your favourite colour? "I-it's amazing. Than-"

"i've already put me and paps in your contacts so you can just call us whenever." He waggled his brow bones, grin wider than you'd ever seen. "you should probably go now. don't wanna be late, do you?"

You blinked. But you hadn't even said thank you! Discount or not, this would've been... very, VERY expensive! And he was just handing it to you, no strings attached? No favours, no payment?

Your heart pounded in your chest.

In a split second decision you jumped up, wrapped your arms around his neck and pressed a kiss to the side of his face. You could feel his grin fall under your lips, the way the bone magically flexed. It was strange, but not necessarily dislikable. You could feel your SOUL humming in approval, your heart thundering, blush rising to your cheeks.
You then squeezed him a little in a moment-long hug and dropped back down to the floor. His grin was gone completely but your own was huge now. Your heart was thumping and you could feel the blush rising but you gave him a big smile and turned, running in the direction of Grillby's.

'Holy shit.' You thought to yourself, covering your mouth with a hand. 'Holy shit, I actually just did that. I just kissed him.' As you got further away from the house you started to slow down, cheeks pink from running, chest heaving.

'But it was just a platonic, friendship kiss.' You told yourself, taking a deep breath. 'I did it because I was grateful for the new phone. No other reason.'

You pictured Sans's completely shocked look and slapped your face with both hands, as if you were slapping the picture away.

The new phone buzzed in your hands, and you checked it. You'd have to set a passcode for it sometime.

...A text from Sans. Your heart gave another little thump, but you quickly rolled your eyes when you saw the name he'd set for himself.

-GuyWhoMakesTheBestPuns: well if u wanted to kiss me u couldve just said ;)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans fell back onto the sofa, face aflame with red magic, his phone clutched in his hand. He stared at his text. You'd seen it, but you hadn't replied. Had he been too forward? Had that come off as weird?

He touched the side of his face with a phalange, where you had kissed him.

Consensually.

Of your own accord.

He'd felt the way your SOUL thrummed with the close contact, but he had no idea if that was love or just really, REALLY strong friendship. But either way, you had just kissed him on the fucking cheek. You had just KISSED HIM.

'...maybe i should buy her stuff more often.' He thought.

His phone buzzed and he checked. Oh thank Asgore, you replied.

-sweetheart<3: Thanks SO much for the phone OMG~!!!!!

-sweetheart<3: Also I was just warming up, ur gunna have to try a little harder if you want a REAL kiss ;)

'like pinning her down and forcing one out of her, how's that for trying hard?' a little voice cackled in the back of his mind. But he ignored it. He couldn't help but hide his flaming face in the fluff of his hoodie and desperately try to think of something casual to say in response.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was quiet today.

Too quiet.

Hardly anyone showed up. And the only ones who did were big beefy monsters who looked scary and strong. No weaker monsters appeared. 7 came and went, a few people ordered, but it was nowhere near the hustle and bustle 7 o'clock usually brought with it.

King seemed incredibly on edge. He was jumpy, white as a sheet, and kept offering to walk you home, which you politely declined. He found out you had a new phone and he insisted on giving you his number, but it didn't seem to calm his nerves. He vanished for a few minutes and came back from the toilets looking paler and smelling of vomit.

Even at the end of the day, when you said goodbye to Greater dog, Doggo and Dogi, you noticed a significant change in their behaviour. They weren't jumpy, but they kept looking around shiftily (which was abnormal for everyone except Doggo), as if someone was about to break down the door.

So when 11 came around, you got your coat on, and you were about to leave when King gently took your wrist.

"H-hey, I don't think you should walk home alone tonight." His baby blue eyes were unusually focused on you. He wasn't very good at holding eye contact most of the time.

"I've already said no thanks, King." You gave him a patient smile and pulled your hand out his grip.

"Can't you feel it? The atmosphere?" He asked, pushing his glasses up his nose and glancing about. "Something's happening, or is about to happen. I can't figure out what, but..."

"Look, King." You took both his small, cold hands in yours and he blushed vibrantly. "I've already said no. If you walk me home, you'll have to walk double the distance back to your house in the cold and dark. I don't want that." You chuckled as his blush got deeper. "Besides, I've got Sans on speed dial, and he can teleport, right? So if anything happens I can just call him."

He seemed to dislike the fact that you trusted Sans so much, but he bit the inside of his cheek and kept the comment to himself, which you appreciated.

"O-ok." He looked like a scared child. "Just, remember to walk confidently, and stay away from back alleys, and if anyone attacks you, hold your phone like *this* and drive it into their head or shoulder, and if any..."

"King." You interrupted him. "I'll be fine."

His eyes disagreed, but he let you go anyway.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Damn, it was cold.

You tugged your coat tighter around you and listened to the sound of your own footsteps echoing out around the street. It was so strange and quiet, usually there were plenty of monsters walking about as well. You passed the odd human and they gave you a nod or blatantly ignored you, which most people always did.

You came to a corner and stopped, shivering. But it wasn't the cold. Now that you were alone and in the dark, you understood what King meant about the atmosphere. It felt like you were being watched by thousands of eyes on all sides.

You shivered again and continued. But just before you made it round, someone grabbed the back of your coat hood.

Before you could even scream a furry hand clasped around your mouth and the sickly sweet smell of alcohol saturated breath filled the air. You let out a muffled shriek, but whoever they were had a strong hold and you were pulled away and into a dark alleyway.

'SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT' was the only thing going through your mind and adrenaline flooded your system as you clawed at the furry hand. You also kicked and let out more muffled screams, yanking yourself from side to side, trying to shake them off, but they proved far stronger than you and kept pulling, dragging you further away from the light.

Trapped.

"Heheh, lighten up babe." They chuckled.

Oh my god. It was the rat from your first day working at Grillby's. The one who'd grabbed you and had his head slammed into the table by Dogaressa. You couldn't believe you hadn't recognised the sickly smell of his breath.

Your heart pounded as you fought, and your chest burned.

"I'll only hurt you if you hurt me... That's a good agreement, right?" You responded by screaming against his hand and driving your elbow into his side.

He barely even fucking flinched.

"C'mon, babe, that's just rude." He sounded offended. He slammed you against a brick wall, and you grit your teeth as a stinging pain shot across the back of your head and black spots danced across your vision.

He secured both your arms against the wall and smiled with his disgusting yellow teeth.

You looked up at him. He was utterly revolting in every way. His fur was grey and filled with dirt, his huge ears were full of wax and black grit, his nose was crooked (probably from where Dogaressa slammed him into the table), his eyes were small and beady, his clothes were well made but reeked of B.O, his breath was beyond words in it's disgustingness, and every time he breathed out you cringed. Did he drink loads, or did his scent happen to be the thick smell of alcohol?

"You know," He purred, leaning closer, and you leant further back, letting out another scream. "I don't really care if Sans has marked you as his own anymore." He placed a hand over your mouth, and apparently, one hand was all he needed to pin you down.

Sans fucking what?

"Ever since I first met you, babe, you're all I could think about." You were sweating and staring at him with wide, angry eyes, still lurching from side to side. "I'd wait outside Grillby's just to watch you leave. You've got such a fine ass, babe." Oh my god, this disgusting rat had been STALKING you? "I don't usually have an eye for humans but holy fuck, babe, you've got spark. I've been waiting for so long to do this..." He leant even closer and you turned your face away, screwing your eyes shut. "...Maybe if you stay still, you'll enjoy it too..."

Line crossed.

You brought your knee up and since he'd leant so close it found it's mark and drove straight into his crotch. This time he swore and stumbled away, doubled over. His beady eyes narrowed.

"You... fucking bitch..." He growled between clenched teeth, but you were too busy to care. Where was the exit? Where could you run to? You'd been too busy thrashing, you didn't know which way to run!

ARGH! Either way will do! You ran to the right.

Pain exploded across your cheek and you skittered over, lights dancing across your vision. Fuck! You lifted yourself up onto your elbows but everything was spinning and you could taste blood. You spat it onto the ground. Fuck fuck fuck fuck...

"Got 'er. You won't get far in these alleys, precious." Someone else, a new voice. Three sets of footsteps. You felt a boot press into your back and it pushed you roughly down onto your chest. "Y'allright, boss?"

"Stupid bitch kneed me in the crotch."

"Ouch."

There were four rats in total. The one who had you pinned under his foot was significantly cleaner than the rest, with white fur and bright red eyes, a big black coat and shiny leather boots. Two of them were helping alcohol rat get to his feet, one of them was the small guy with a lisp you recognised.

You were so done for. There was no way you could get your phone without being noticed, it was in your coat pocket and was impossible to reach at this crushed angle. You angrily bit back your tears, trying to figure out some kind of escape plan.

Alcohol rat got up and seemed absolutely furious. When his beady black eyes met yours you made sure to give him your most fiery, determined look. Well, as fiery as one can look while lying on the dirty ground covered in blood and bruises.

He strode over to you and Albino rat took his foot off you, then grabbed you by the arms and pulled you up, holding them behind you. You were too dizzy and slow to actually break free but you wriggled anyway.

Alcohol rat roughly grabbed your chin in his hand, but you spat blood in his face.

"I offer you a good time, and this is the thanks I get? Stupid slut."

His lip curled and he punched you. You hardly registered it, since he punched you on the side that was still sore and numb from behind hit by the Albino rat, but your head still jerked and you felt more blood in your mouth.

"Fuck, forgot humans were matter. You, you do it."

You righted your head and saw him nursing his hand, and you chuckled to yourself. So you were made of tough stuff, were you?

A different rat, a little shorter than alcohol rat, stepped forward.
You spat at him too.
So, yeah, you kinda had THAT slap coming. And this guy slapped you on the other cheek so it stung like hell and you let out a pained groan. Alcohol and short rat were just standing there, watching, apparently pleased with themselves.

"Coward." You hissed at the guy hitting you, and his face twisted in fury. Another slap. That one hurt more than the last and you felt the sting of where his claw-nails had dug in. But it just made you chuckle. "You... can't fight a little human girl on your own?" Another slap. You could see the other rats getting fidgety. "Gotta have someone... hold her." You smiled and stared him straight in the eye, feeling hella stubborn. "Cuz you're all scared, aren't you?"

You really shouldn't be saying this stuff, it was just pissing him off even more. He lifted up his hand to slap you again.

 

A fist met his face.

"Y O U."

The rat went flying in the opposite direction and there was the loud crack of a body meeting a wall and proving to be the less dense of the two. You looked in horror at the sprawled figure. Something sharp, white and covered with blood was protruding out him, and it definitely wasn't one of his bones. With a sickening crack it retreated back into the wall, vanishing instantly.

The rat stood no fucking chance. His entire body went grey and he sifted into a little pile of dust that lay over the trash and dirt of the alleyway.

You turned to the assailant, the guy that had literally killed someone in one punch.

...

Sans looked fucking terrifying.

His eyelights were gone, leaving empty voids of black that seemed to radiate darkness. His grin was wide and sociopathic. His fingers were bent like claws and one hand was covered with the blood of the now-dusted rat. He had the aura of a predator and it made you want to scream and FLEE.

Albino rat instantly let go of you and you fell onto your ass with a thump. You scurried backwards until your back was against where the two walls met, and you cowered there in the corner.

This wasn't Sans.

Albino took out a large kitchen knife and you clasped a hand over your mouth and screamed. He thrust the knife towards Sans, but Sans just teleported to the side of him, grabbed the rat's wrist in one hand and drove his elbow into the rat's arm.

You cried out again, but the sickening sound of crunching bones seemed to have no effect on Sans's murderous rampage.

He took the knife out of Albino's hand and drove it into the rat's chest so forcefully that the end of the blade protruded out Albino's back.
Sans then grinned wider and pulled the knife upwards, slicing the rat's insides.
Albino vomited blood then faded into dust around the knife, the look of shock and agony still painted on his face and imprinted in your memory.

The smaller rat and Alcohol rat tried to tackle him from behind but something made the air around them shimmer with heat. The... the fucking floating skull of a dog materialised briefly, opened it's ragged and dangerously sharp jaw and fired a beam of burning light, white hot, and you could feel the heat from where you were hiding in the corner.

The scream was brief as the small rat was engulfed in the burning light, and when the beam stopped there wasn't even any dust left. You felt your nails digging into your bruised face with how forcefully you were pressing it over your mouth. The dog head vanished without another move.

Sans turned around and grabbed Alcohol rat by his throat, lifting him off his feet. You thought he was going to use the knife but Sans then turned again and slammed the rat into the ground with such force that the tiles cracked. Now that they were facing you, you could see that Sans's right eye was ablaze, a thick red ring of crimson fire, red mist leaking out his wide, unnaturally wide sockets.

He looked insane.

"I ' M G O N N A F U C K I N G K I L L Y O U." He said, through a wide smile. His voice was unrecognisable. Every word was made purely of rage and malice.

Alcohol rat still hadn't turned to dust, but you realised he was in no shape to fight. Or do anything. His arm was broken, mangled in an unnatural way, and there was blood pouring out of his mouth and pooling beneath him.

Sans dragged him over to the wall opposite you and slammed the rat's head into it. Alcohol rat let out a bubbling, gargled scream, and Sans slammed his head against the wall again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Your legs shuddered with adrenaline and you ran over to him, grabbing his arm and pulling at it. He didn't move an inch, he didn't even seem to notice you were there.

"Sans, stop!" You screamed, tears pouring down your face, pulling on his arm again. You couldn't watch this. "STOP IT!"

...

He stopped. He actually did what you said. Your chest was heaving and the smell of blood made you feel sick. It made you want to be sick.

Sans's head turned slowly and he looked at the mangled rat who's head he had in a vice grip. He was barely a rat anymore. His arm was broken, his jaw was broken and hanging open, his fur was soaked with blood, the area that had been slammed into the wall was bone and you could see... see...

You faltered back a few steps, doubled over to the side and vomited, your legs giving way underneath you. You heaved all the air you could get and vomited again, choking and spluttering and sobbing. You wanted to get up and run but your legs wouldn't work. Your clothes were covered in blood and dust. You couldn't tell if it was your own blood or the rat's blood. You hoped to God it was your own blood. More bile rose in your throat and it spilled out onto the ground.

When you looked up again, Sans was closer. He was on his knees about a meter away from you, eyelights normal again, expression soft. Something akin to regret.

The ripped body of the rat lay behind him, still breathing. Still hurting.

You had hoped Sans would leave you alone. You'd hoped he'd just kill the rats and leave. Fuck, you sincerely hoped this was all just some horrible, overly realistic nightmare.

He took a deep breath, and his eyelights never left you. Not for a second.

You stared at the bloody and dusty knife still clutched in his hand and he noticed your line of sight. It vanished from his grip and you heard it hit the ground far, far away, deep in another alleyway.

Your breathing was quick and you were still crying, silent tears still streaming down your face. You'd seen him kill someone with a single punch and gut another like a fish, and both those guys had been far broader and stronger than you. What would stop him from snapping you like a toothpick? You were a witness, what if he killed you too?

He read your expression easily.

"i'd never hurt you." He said, his voice soothing and deep. "ever."

He shuffled a little closer and you flinched back, watching his every move.

"ever." He repeated, maintaining constant eye contact. He moved slowly, like he was afraid you would startle and run, which you probably would if your legs would work.

He came closer, and he held his arms out to you. You wanted to run, but at the same time you wanted to... to...

He came even closer. If he'd leant forward, he could've touched his forehead to yours. His arms were almost around you, but not quite.

"it's ok, sweetheart." He whispered quietly. The pet name made your SOUL hum and your heart start beating calmly again. You looked up into his eyelights, which were casting a soft red glow. He was so much bigger and more powerful than you, and you knew you should be running, you knew you should be scared, you knew you should hate and fear him, but...

You choked back a sob and leaned into his warm chest. He let out a quiet sigh of relief as his arms closed around you, face pressing into the top of your head.

You just wanted to feel safe. And right now, he made you feel safe. That was all you needed to know.

His shoulders starting twitching and for a horrifying second, you thought it was laughter, but when he took a deep shaky breath in you realised he was crying. Or holding it back, rather.

You could feel one hand on the back of your head and he buried his face in your hair.

"i'm sorry." He whispered.

You couldn't manage a reply. You couldn't string any words together. It was just incoherent babbling.

You felt the familiar wave of nausea caused by teleportation and it tipped you over the edge again. Sans had foreseen this and the cool tiles of the bathroom floor pressed against your knees.

You emptied the remaining contents of your stomach, a portion of which did not manage to make it into the toilet. And every time you thought it was over you saw the blood and the dust and the mangled face of the rat, and it all came back. You cried a lot, too. You didn't understand why, but you did.

"here." Another glass of water. Sans just kept refilling it from the tap. You downed it again.

Your mind was buzzing and you doubted every life decision you'd ever made. How... HOW? He'd committed murder right in fucking front of you! He'd sliced someone's chest open in front of you! He'd slammed someone's head against a wall over and over again in front of you! And you were pretty fucking sure that the dog skeleton thing wasn't just some kind of trauma-induced hallucination!

And the way he'd killed... You knew he'd done it before. All monsters had done it before, that much was already apparent from getting to know any of them. But... he'd seemed experienced. Far too experienced.

Maybe he WAS The Judge.

Yet every time you needed to cry again you were reflexively reaching out for Sans, and he was always there. Without fault. You were clinging onto a murderer. You hated yourself for it, you hated your mind, you hated your SOUL. You hated yourself. You hated yourself. You HATED yourself.

But you couldn't bring yourself to hate Sans.

You fell asleep bent over the toilet, too exhausted to move, and when you woke up, you were downstairs on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket with Killer snuggling into your side. You relished in his presence. He was so soft.

You sniffled and patted your cheeks. They felt... tight. Most of the cuts were gone but some of the bruising and the large slash from the rat's claws were still there. They had sticky plasters stuck on them. Did Sans do that? Why did he have plasters in the house?

Speaking of Sans, you realised you were leaning against him, his body warmth seeping through the blanket. His head was leaning back along the top of the sofa and his chest rose and fell slowly, and there was an open book in his lap.

'The Human Brain: How to Deal with Traumatic Events'

 

...Oh.

He... he was doing research to make sure he did everything right. You swallowed. The gesture was touching, but...

You looked up at the sleeping skeleton's face. His mouth was wide open and every time he breathed he snored softly.

...The sudden jump between 'murderous rampage' and 'caring friend' had been disturbing. He didn't seem at all guilty or in any way regret what he'd done, which means he thought nothing of it. How... how many times had he done just that? Gone out and killed people?
Did he really think nothing of cutting a few people down in the street, then going home and being himself again?

If the Sans you knew even WAS his normal self.

Your stomach churned and you felt sick again.

Sans started shifting. You thought he was waking up, but instead a huge skeletal arm seemed to appear out of nowhere from behind you, and it wrapped around your shoulders. You flinched, staring at his hands and his sharp, sharp fingers. When they didn't dig into your flesh, you let yourself relax a little.
Another arm had snaked around your waist and was hugging you close to his body, pressing your head into the crook of his shoulder.

"...mm...love you..." He mumbled.

Your eyes widened and your heart thumped loudly.

 

He... he what?

Chapter Text

"...mm...love you..."

...

...

What

The

Fuck

P-perhaps he mistook you for someone else? Perhaps he was dreaming of the person he liked, and he meant it for them?
You pictured Sans with his arm around some... girl, and didn't recognise the feeling that caused the twist in your gut, or the angry beat of your SOUL.

You shuffled a little and looked up at what you could see of his sleeping face. There was a light blush dusting his cheekbones and the bridge between his closed eyes. How come he had eyelids? Were they also made of bone? You'd kinda stopped asking questions at this point.

You then noticed the tears that had started to leak out the corners of his sockets, and you froze. You... you hadn't caused that, had you?

"Sans?" You said, quietly.

No reaction. He was pretty deeply asleep. His face looked completely calm but the red tears continued to leak from his eyes.

He seemed fine. It was just a dream anyway, right? And after a few moments you became uncomfortable in your crusty, dirt, blood, puke and dust-stained clothes. You, uh, really didn't want to be wearing those right now.

You extracted yourself from Sans's arms, which was easier than you had figured it would be. The last time you could recall trying to escape from Sans's grip was the time you'd gone round his after getting totally pissed on monster alcohol, then woken up casually cuddling him on the sofa. That had been one heck of an escape mission.

Killer grumbled a little, but allowed you to go. Your legs felt light and tingly, and your mind was a little fuzzy, but apart from that you felt relatively okay.

Fresh clothes were absolute godsend and you tried not to think too hard about the fact that it was becoming more and more apparent that somebody had washed you. Your arms, legs, belly and face were totally clean.

You looked at yourself in the bathroom mirror and let out a small gasp. You looked fucking AWFUL. Next to one eye was a huge patch of purple, and your cheeks were a red and blue swollen mess of bruises and hastily applied plasters. Your hair was thick with a layer of dust and when you ran a brush through it, little grey particles lifted into the air.

'That's... that's the remains of the rats that attacked me.' You swallowed thickly, looking at your bagged eyes, cut face, etc. 'And... despite all the murder, I would be in a hell of a worse shape if Sans hadn't shown up.'

You started to wonder how he found you. There were so many goddam alleyways in the city, the way from Grillby's to Sans's probably had a whole secret complex of alleyways.

Then it dawned on you that you knew so LITTLE about Sans. He'd mentioned a father in past tense, but pretty much the only thing you knew for certain was that his brother was a member of the Royal Guard and that they were both very experienced at killing.

You would've slapped your cheeks like you normally did when you felt determined, but you knew that was a pretty bad idea.

You were going to talk to Sans. Get everything cleared up. Ask him questions, get him to explain himself. And perhaps, finally ask him about The Judge.

You quickly popped into Sans's room and grabbed your laptop. You kinda wanted to speak to Honey.

Making your way back down the stairs was harder than going up because of how wobbly your legs felt, and every now and then you had to put your laptop down because you felt like you were going to trip over. You were starting to feel hungry too, the nausea wearing off to leave a completely empty stomach.

You stood there for a moment, looking at Sans, who was now clutching a pillow to his chest like his life depended on it, more red tears trickling down the side of his face. You felt a pang of guilt for leaving him like that, but you were unsure if you should climb back onto the sofa with him or go upstairs and sleep in his bed.

'Well, it's not like he murdered YOU, is it?' A little voice said. 'He killed off some people who the world will probably be better off without. He was only protecting you, right? You should be grateful for his help.'

'But protecting or not, it was still MURDER.' Two voices were battling for dominance now. 'He's not safe to be around. What if he decides to kill you as well? How simple would that be? He clearly doesn't feel too bad about cutting a few rats down in the street then trotting off home.'

'Didn't you listen!? He said he'd never hurt you! Even when he was completely blind with rage, holding a knife and IN THE PROCESS OF KILLING SOMEONE, he didn't lay a hand on you! He'd never hurt you!"

'Are you stupid? Are we just going to forget the fact that he- hey wait, what are you doing?'

You'd already crawled onto the sofa, re-wrapped yourself in the blanket and placed your head against Sans's large shoulder. Sans, still asleep, decided his life no longer relied on how tightly he could hug the pillow, a big deep sigh leaving his chest and one arm wrapping lazily around you.

He was warm and comfortable. And made you feel safe. That was all you needed to know. But you still had the nagging feeling in the back of your mind that once you found out more about him, you wouldn't feel so safe.

You cracked open the laptop, the white light momentarily blinding you. Honey was online, good.

The moment her pixely, low-quality face appeared, her expression went from excitement to complete shock, her jaw dropping.

"... Hey babes." Was all you managed to say. You recognised the look in her eyes and you held up your hands, shaking your head. "Ok, no no no no no, it wasn't Sans, don't kill him."

"Then. Who. The. Fuck." It's the most serious you've ever seen her. Ever. She raised an eyebrow, waiting for your answer.

"Ok, so, long story short, a bunch of guys attacked me in an alleyway, but Sans showed up and dealt with them. It's fine-"

"I don't want the short story." She looked like she was going to kill someone, but she also looked calm. Like some sort of cold fury. "Tell me exactly what happened. EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED."

You relented and relayed the story to her. Gradually, as you spoke, she seemed to calm down. When you got to the part about Sans killing the rats you choked up a little, reliving the memory.

"You've got to promise not to call the police, ok?" You whispered, and this made her raise her eyebrows in surprise, but she shrugged and nodded.
"...He, h-he killed the first one, the one who was slapping me, by punching them so hard they flew across the alley and onto some kind of sharp bone that was protruding out of the wall. But I think it was the punch that killed them." Had this been a lighter situation, one of you would've made a One Punch Man joke. "The second one, the Albino one who pinned me under his boot... he... sliced that one's stomach open." Honey cringed. "The third, the short one with a lisp, he killed with this... massive dog skull thing that fired a white hot laser. I think that small rat was lucky, he got the quickest death. And the last rat, he..."

You blinked.

"I... I'm not actually sure if that one died or not."

Honey seemed to bristle, like an angry cat. You could read what she was about to say. 'The worst one got away!?'

You quickly jumped in. "Sans broke his arms, then slammed his head against a wall until I told him to stop." That calmed her down a little. "Well, until I screamed at him to stop. He seemed to kinda... wake up. Realise what he was doing. And after that, he was too concerned with getting me home, patching me up and looking after me when I was blowing chunks. I never saw the last rat turn into dust. I think he's still alive."

Honey whistled lowly.

"So." There was a small space of silence. "...Bone Boy reveals his true colours at last."

You frowned. Why was she so... calm about it? How was she so calm about it?

You then realised you'd asked yourself the same question on multiple occasions.

"Why are you...?"

"So calm?" She still had it. The ability to read you like a book.

She sighed and shrugged, hair bouncing. "Well, I have to admit, I'm still processing it. It was probably a lot worse IRL. I'm actually surprised you aren't slightly more..." She waved her hands about. "...Traumatised. Like, you know, wide-eyed and jumping at every noise."

Well, now that she mentioned it, you didn't feel very traumatised. Just... wary. Very wary.

"I'm also incredibly biased against the rats. I mean, they kinda attacked my bestie. Had I been in Sans's shoes I can guarantee I would've done the same. Where is he, anyway?"

"Asleep." You rotated the laptop a little so she could see the sprawled skeleton, then you turned it back to you again. You did NOT like the way she was smiling.

"So the two of you are making a habit out of sleeping next to each other...?" She wiggled her eyebrows and you rolled your eyes, hoping to everything holy that Sans was still asleep.

"I've just witnessed murder, can you be serious for a second here?"

"I AM being serious." She laughed, then shrugged again. "You just saw him kill people and you still feel safe enough to sleep next to him. It means you've forgiven him. It's also a sign of your..." She made a face remarkably similar to a Lenny face. "... undying devotion to him."

"Please fuck off."

Having said that, it was still a huge relief to hear an outside opinion and not feel like you were acting weirdly. If HONEY said you'd forgiven him and there was nothing weird about it, then you were pretty much fine. Honey knew you better than anyone else on this planet, your parents included.

Huh, your parents.

You wondered what they were doing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans was in the Last Corridor, a place he hadn't been in a very, very long time. Dust glittered in the light filtering in from the huge stained glass windows and in the distance, he heard the long, slow chime of a bell.

He looked down and saw Frisk, with their Determined SOUL and endless, endless Mercy. He had to kill them, it was his job. Kill people with too little or too much LV. He saw himself killing them over and over and over, unwilling to accept their Mercy, undeserving of their Mercy. So, like the coward he was, he just killed them.

Again.

And again.

And again.

He had a bone at the ready to kill them reflexively when they came back, still Determined, but a grip on his arm and your piercing scream made him freeze.
"Sans, stop!" You screamed, tears pouring down your face, pulling on his arm again. "STOP IT!"

Why were you here? How could you even get underground!? H-how much had you seen!? All he could do was stare down at you in horror. And when he finally tore his gaze away, he wasn't in the Last Corridor anymore. He was back in Snowdin, and the ground around him was covered in b o d i e s.

The bodies of everyone he remembered killing. The mother of three that he had cut down when he was bored, surrounded by her sickly and starved children. The rats he mangled a few hours ago, still bleeding, staining the snowy ground. The weak monsters he'd killed passively while out and about, the stronger monsters he'd been sent to kill because of the threat they posed to the king. The three or four human children of times gone by that he'd caught in Snowdin, and S o M a n y F r i s k s, all lying on the deathly white ground, blank-eyed and drenched in their own blood. There were hundreds of them, stretching as far as he could see. His sins, all lying out in front of him.

You screamed again, grip on his arm snapping away violently. You covered your mouth and stared at the twitching corpses all around you. Your beautiful eyes settled on the human children he'd been assigned with killing, mouths open in silent screams that would never be heard again.

You looked at him for a split second, eyes full of nothing but fear and repulsion, and you ran.

"sweetheart, no, wait!" He chased after you, but his teleportation wouldn't work, and no matter how fast he ran, you were always getting away. He was suddenly in an alleyway, and it was dark and filled with trash cans and walls, he was constantly shoving something out of the way as he chased you, too large to dodge them nimbly like you did.

"please, come back!" He shouted. He wouldn't let you leave. He wouldn't let you go. Not after he'd gotten so close to you.

Finally, he had you cornered in a dead end, and there was nowhere you could escape to. You lashed out but he caught both your wrists.

"Let go of me!" You cried, wriggling and trying to get your arms free. "I hate you! You're a murderer! You're a monster! LET GO OF ME!"

N-no! You were wrong! You didn't understand, he'd never hurt you! He'd never let you go!

"you don't understand!" You flinched when he shouted at you but at this point he didn't care. "(y/n), you don't get it! i love you!" The last part came out choked. He tried to pull you closer but you somehow broke free and cowered in the corner, hands over your head, like you thought he was going to strike you.

"You don't love me!" Your sobs were muffled but still pierced his SOUL. "You control my mind so you'll get your way. You're manipulative and obsessed!"

Your words struck him like a knife. It was true, he'd sometimes suppress a few emotions, but it wasn't... it wasn't like...

He put his head in his hands and slumped to his knees. There was no use pretending anymore.

You were right. He was a monster, a murderer.

No matter what he did, nothing could excuse what he'd done.

A white, holed skeletal hand reached out from the shadows and grabbed you by the hair, dragging you into the blackness. Sans opened his mouth to shout and-

He woke up, gasping a deep breath, the air brushing against his cold tear tracks. His mind took a second to adjust, and when it finally did, he sighed.

Right, he was at his surface home. Gaster was in the void. You were here. Everything was fine.

Sans turned his head a little and his magic simultaneously calmed AND spiked when he saw you, curled up against his side, wrapped in a blanket and sleeping peacefully. It felt good to know that you still trusted him enough to fall asleep next to him.

You looked so cute when you were asleep. Totally calm and peaceful, fragile and oblivious. Like a little doll. When you were like this, his protective instincts kicked into overdrive and made him want to snuggle you to his chest and never let go.

You also smelled different when you were asleep, your scent becoming thicker and... deeper, in a sense. He took in the fresh lavender smell, his eyelids becoming heavy. He'd never get tired of that.

You shifted in your sleep and let out a little sigh that made his breath hitch in his throat.

...You were so warm and soft and squishy. He pressed your nose with a fingertip and chuckled quietly when you scrunched your face up and sniffled, then settled back down again. He took a deep breath and dispelled the idea of pressing your pink lips to his.

He ran a hand over his skull. Well, that dream was... relatively new. Usually his dreams were just resets, his father coming back or his brother dying. Sometimes all three.

He never told you that the nightmare you'd interrupted, causing him to pin you down, had been about losing you to the resets. That the reason he'd even been in that animalistic state was that the thought of losing you had been too much for his conscious brain and he'd fallen back onto his primal side, his instinctual self, who'd been more than happy to force his affections on you.

He never told you that it had been the worst nightmare he'd ever had.

But... this one... Your pitiful sobs, and the way you'd looked at him... Like he was a vicious animal, or... a monster.

He took a deep breath. Experience with nightmares had made him more adept at pushing the thoughts away. He was here, in the now, with you cuddled up to his side, completely oblivious to who he really was. What he really was.

And although he wanted to avoid the situation in his dream at all cost, he felt guilty leaving you in the dark. If he was going to trust you with a SOUL bond then he was going to have to trust you with that information. He couldn't live with a huge lie like that, it would eat at his conscience forever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When you woke up (again), still leaning against Sans's shoulder, you were glad to see that he was awake too. Screwing about on his phone. However, you weren't too keen on how your hand was feeling a very large femur through the material of Sans's shorts.

You went red as a tomato and your breath caught in your throat. It was... thick. The bone itself was probably just a little less thick than your entire thigh. Your hand snapped back and Sans's deep chuckle made you blush even more.

"finished feeling me up?" His smug grin and raised brow bones made your blush become an angry blush.

"I, I didn't-" You words were jumbled. Work, brain, work! "It wasn't, I didn't mean-"

The arm that was wrapped around your shoulders pulled you close and you stared into semi-serious eyelights. "relax, i'm kidding. don't rattle your bones about it."

You mumbled something unintelligible to even your own ears and he chuckled, his arm relaxing. He continued messing about with his phone and you swallowed thickly.

'C'mon, just do it!' you thought to yourself. 'Ask him about what happened! Ask him!! DO IT YOU WIMP!'

"Ok so what the fuck was that?" You blurted, unable to stop the dam that just broke. "Like, with the glowing eye thing? And your voice!?" His arm tensed and his expression fell but you couldn't stop. "And the floating dog... skull-head thing!? It fired a fucking LASER! And when you punched that guy and he hit the wall there was that THING there that impaled him, and I know that you guys had to kill each other to survive in the underground but you just seemed so experienced and..."

His expression was stone cold, eyelights dim and jaw clenched. His phone sat there in his hand, and he stared at it, some kind of game still running. You stopped, tripping over your words.

"...But, um, you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to..." You suddenly didn't feel very comfortable being cuddled so close to him, and you were pretty sure the cold wasn't responsible for the chill you just had.

Papyrus, a welcome distraction, started making noise in the kitchen. Probably cooking pasta again. You tried to completely focus on him instead of Sans and, spoiler alert, it didn't work.

After a small span of silence you started to internally panic. You fidgeted too, biting your lip and shuffling your shoulders, trying to surreptitiously get his arm off you. When you felt his hands curl into fists you let out a thin, strained laugh that sounded more like a squeak.

"Ahah, um, well, I'm gonna go upstairs-"

"you really wanna know?" His voice was quiet, but it was so deep it made your heart stop for a second, vibrating your insides. And it was especially effective since he was so damn close. He was probably talking quietly because Papyrus was in the next room but it still made your heart go into overdrive.

You couldn't look at him. The heat in your cheeks was becoming more apparent and you attempted to ignore it, staring instead at the silent TV. You just nodded.

"you absolutely, completely sure you wanna know?" He was closer, and you could feel his warm breath against your ear, his hand slipping down toward your waist. "cos if you do, you gotta promise me something."

Shit shit shit, that hand ain't stopping. You held your breath, heart racing. His hand settled on your waist and gently pulled you closer, and he whispered in your ear.

"don't run from me until i've finished explaining."

HE'S DOING THIS ON PURPOSE

"can you promise me that?"

200% SURE HE'S DOING THIS ON PURPOSE

You nodded, still unable to look at him, probably steaming from the ears.

"good."

His grip tightened and the two of you passed through the void momentarily. You felt the tug of someone trying to pull out your SOUL, but you ignored it and felt the springs of a bed bounce underneath you. The first thing you noticed was that the door to Sans's room was locked.

Sans let go completely and put his hands in his lap, slouching a little. He seemed to be running a few things through his mind. Eventually, after a few awkward seconds, he rubbed a hand over his face, sighed, looked down at you and shrugged, smile gentle.

"guess it'd be easier to give you the whole story, wouldn't it?"

You didn't know how to react to that. What was 'the whole story'? His LIFE story? Wouldn't that take a while?

"so, uhm, you need to understand that this is what i USED to be like." He was sweating. "i'm a different guy now, i've changed, and i understand that what i did is... frowned upon. you also need to understand that i've killed a lot of people."

Oh. You swallowed. Is it too late to back out and decide you didn't want to know?

He took a deep breath.

"you know what lv is, right?"

You nodded. King had explained all this to you before, hadn't he?

"in the underground, lv was everything." He scratched the back of his skull. "if you didn't have any lv you were either dead, or about to be dead. monsters with no lv were thought of as vermin, wastes of space, etc etc. but monsters with too much lv were dangerous beasts that had to be either under control or dust." He talked about this with a restrained voice, like he was reliving memories he didn't want to see. "usually you need a soul reading machine to tell how much lv someone has, and if you can't afford one, you're just going to have to take someone's word for it. trust wasn't exactly plentiful in the underground, so, as you can see, problems arose."

You nodded along with this. It seemed relatively tame so far.

"i've got an ability which means i can see and read everyone's souls." He turned to you. "like how yours is a ridiculously determined and stubborn soul with a fuckton of defence and attack." His expression fell a little, becoming placid and almost sleepy, and he reached out, touching the centre of your chest with the back of his finger. It was... intimate. "and a whole lot of scars, too."

He seemed to snap out of whatever trance he was in, and he pulled his hand away.

"y'see, you can tell a lot about a person based on their soul. attack and defence aren't just physical stats. someone with naturally high attack is more likely to be extroverted, think offensively and make sudden, brash decisions. people with higher defence are more introverted and less likely to place trust. bright souls are happy, dull souls are sad. and of course, the colour is the core of their personality."

He looked into the distance for a moment.

"the soul-reading skill is... hereditary."

Silence.

"when the king found out about my 'talent'," Speedy subject change. "i was assigned to kill off monsters with little or no lv, and to track down and kill monsters with dangerously high lv. it was an... interesting job. paid high, though. was enough to pay for pap's training when he wanted to become a royal guardsman. and, uh, killing wasn't exactly something i wasn't familiar with." He was avoiding eye contact with you again. "got a bit of a reputation for myself. monsters called me 'the judge', cos i would 'judge' them for how much lv they had."

Oh. You paled a little. So... King was right. You felt sorry you'd ever doubted the lil' guy.

"of course, killing meant i got a lot of lv. ...a real' big lot." He grimaced. He wasn't proud of it. "i trained myself to hide my stats so whenever i got scanned i didn't run the risk of having the royal guard called on me, but y'know, having that much blood on ya hands... really digs at your conscience. i think that was what kept me from becoming detached, like most people with a lot of lv do."

He glanced at the locked cabinet in the corner of the room for a moment, then went back to his story.

"uh, also, since paps was a member of the royal guard and i'd been given a job by the king, the two of us were often in charge of a lot of..." He seemed to be searching desperately for the right word. "... interrogation?" He sighed, rubbing a hand over his face. "no, it was torture. we did a lot of torture."

You swallowed again. Did all monsters have this kind of background? This horrible, dark, twisted background?

"i... i killed one or two of the human kids that tried to pass through my hometown, snowdin." He chuckled, but it was an empty chuckle. His eyelights were distant. "you humans just keep bleeding, don't you?"

Now you get why he told you to promise not to run until he'd finished explaining.

"i didn't like killing humans. or monsters, really. eventually i got sick of it. so i quit being the judge and just ignored the humans that passed through. i mean, our captain and the king would handle it, so there was no point bearing that weight, right?" Another empty chuckle. "then frisk comes along, with all this talk of mercy and forgiveness. we all thought nothing of them. they were the last soul we needed to break the barrier, who cares what they said, right?" He shrugged, face falling a little. "then they go ahead and make it through the entire underground without harming a single soul. without spilling a grain of dust. and they even freed us using the other souls."
He let out a huge sigh and put his head in his hands.
"it was such a huge blow to everyone. we realised that all the pain and suffering and killing could've been avoided if we'd just been a tad more d e t e r m i n e d to make a difference. the captain of the guard and the king decided they'd shoulder the blame for the killings, and the rest of us would just keep quiet in return, and hopefully our sins would die with us, and the next generation could start anew." Oh, god, was he crying? "but it's still so fucking difficult to break out of that 'kill or be killed' mentality. and sometimes, when i'm angry or scared, and i'm surrounded by sounds and smells that remind me of the underground, i just..."

His hands fell away from his face, and he had a hollow, broken look. "i just s n a p. and those rats were hurting you so bad, even though..." He cut himself off early and you chose to ignore it.

You finally spoke up, and your voice was quiet and shaky. It was... a lot to take in. The guy you'd fallen asleep next to on countless occasions was a torturing mass-murderer with a fragile mental state.

"Thank you." You said, feeling his gaze on you. You picked at your nails in your lap.
"For, uh, telling me."

You let out a nervous, breathy giggle. "I mean, I have no idea what to do. I know the logical thing is to call the police or the army or something but I don't want to get anyone arrested. And I know I should be scared of all of you but I just can't bring myself to it. You've recognised that what you did is wrong, and even though that doesn't make what you did ok, I guess forgiving is the best thing we can do right now. B-but you should never forget. Forgetting and forgiving are two different things, and when people forget the suffering of others then bad things happen." You hadn't noticed the tears welling up in your eyes, and you wiped them away quickly, chuckling again. "S-sorry, I don't know why I'm crying."

You finally built up the courage to look at Sans. He was hunched over a little, hands clasped in his lap. His eyelights finally darted over to you, red glinting at the corner of his sockets.

"heh. me neither."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He was lying.

He knew exactly why he was crying.

Because despite everything he'd said, everything he'd done, you still talked about forgiveness. Despite all his sins, you were still open to him. He hadn't touched your emotions during the whole affair, and despite the thin film of fear that rippled every time he mentioned killing, the steady thrum of your SOUL didn't change.

The way you saw him didn't change.

You, the absolutely perfect you, stooping down to be friends with a broken shell like him.

Right now, he was absolutely lost in your eyes, the way they glittered and sparkled with tears, the way your eyelashes fluttered like the wings of a bird when you blinked.

He took a breath and held back the raging desire to hold you close and kiss you stare into in your eyes until the two of you fell asleep like that.

You wiped your eyes again, and his SOUL fluttered with how cute it was.

"...Can I, uh, have a hug?" You were blushing. You started stuttering something else with an embarrassed look on your face (probably apologising for something) but Sans had already completely lost his shit. You. Wanted him close. While blushing. You were still rabbling on about how you didn't mean to impose and if he didn't want a hug that was perfectly fine but there was no disguising the flutter of your heart or the way your SOUL thrummed in time with his when he wrapped his arms around you, giving in to his desires.

You let out a little 'whoosh' of air, then snuggled into his embrace.

"So is that it?" You said jokingly. "We done spilling deep dark secrets?"

'do it.' His brain was telling him. 'tell her about the emotional toying. get it over with.'

His mouth didn't move.

'just tell her, she'll understand and forgive you if you tell her now!'

Nothing.

'T E L L H E R!'

...

"yeah, that's it." He chuckled. "why, you got any sins to repent? you actually 'bad to the bone'?"

"Oh yes! I have sinned so badly!" You placed a hand against your forehead and pretended to faint into his arms. "Father I must confess the sin of wanting to kill someone, because he's a prick who makes the worst jokes ever! I cannot help it, but I fantasise about it every day!"

You straightened your back and made your voice unnecessarily deep. "Child, that is not a sin! Everyone wants to kill people who make terrible jokes!"

"why's the reverend got such a deep voice?"

"Cuz you're the inspiration for the reverend."

"so you fantasise about killing the reverend?" He clicked his tongue at you. "you should know better, child."

You shook your head and sighed.

"Nah, the reverend's voice is deeper than that. Waaay deeper." You looked at your hands and pressed your fingertips together. It was like you were plotting out the story of a book. "Like, when he speaks the very ground shakes, and when he shouts the ground cracks and the sinners fall into hell."

"so, ya mean..." He leaned in close again, eyelights vanishing. He dropped it as low as he could go, with the intention of mildly scaring you.
"L i k e T h i s ?"

He adored the way you shrieked and went as red as his magic. He knew you were embarrassed so he pretended not to see the blush and just laughed to himself. You eventually joined in and the two of you had a lighthearted chuckle together.

But deep down, he knew he'd really, really regret not telling you.

Chapter Text

Sans walked you to work. Unfortunate side effect of being attacked- Sans was now pretty much glued to your hip, giving off the aura of someone who was NOT to be fucked with. Which meant whenever you went out he followed you like a shadow and made sure that nobody came within a meter of you. You'd FELT his magic crackling in the air like electricity when someone bumped shoulders with you by accident, and you were pretty sure that the poor woman had felt it too.

"Sans, calm down." You'd had to tell him more than once, squeezing his hand. Physical contact usually rendered him calm again. "If you can't deal with this, we can teleport, or I can just walk by myself."

"...sorry." He'd reply. "...'m just worried." No shit. He was approaching Doggo level of shiftiness.

'I can take care of myself' almost sprung to your lips on multiple occasions but you bit it back. He was just being protective, right? He'd stop eventually.

He told you to wait for him once your shift was over, because he'd teleport over and walk with you. You could understand that. You'd been attacked at night, of course he'd be wanting to protect you at night.

You just hoped this... OBSESSIVE protection would stop soon. You liked Sans's company but not when he was clinging to you like a limpet.

The doors opened quietly and you hoped to make it behind the counter before anyone had any questions but you were barely halfway there before King's head popped out from behind a door and his eyes locked with yours.

You'd half expected him to say 'I told you so' the moment he saw you. But instead he ran at you, flung his arms around you and took long, deep breaths, like he was about to cry.

You stood there for a moment in the middle of the bar, caught completely off guard, King's hair brushing your nose and making you want to sneeze. Everyone else had stopped too and you didn't know whether to hug him back or not.

You settled for simply patting his head awkwardly.

"King, I appreciate the gesture, but I gotta get ready to start serving." You mumbled. He flinched and pulled away, an apologetic smile on his lips, so the two of you headed into the kitchens, where the chefs were just starting to set up.

"W... what happened?" Worry was scrawled all over his face and he looked at your cheeks.

"Some losers in an alley thought they could mug me." The lie sprung to your lips naturally. You made a gun with your fingers and blew the top of it. "But Sans and I took care of them. The city is safe now."

King seemed surprisingly unconvinced. He opened his mouth, as if he was about to ask a question, but the room lit up with purple light and all the attention, even that of the cooks, was instantly diverted to Grillby.

"(y/n), it was very irresponsible to walk home alone when the atmosphere was as thick as it was." That might've been the first time Grillby had used your name. He sounded like a different guy. His voice, instead of being the sexy and soft tones, was harsh and serious. Occasionally, as he spoke, his voice would crackle and spit like a log fire.

He strode over and towered a full head over you, the same height as Sans. You had the feeling that now was NOT the time to call him something like 'Grillbae'.

"...Yeah, sorry boss." You felt King shrink behind you, and you weren't sure if he was embarrassed or scared. "I didn't really pick up on it until I was walking home." You held one forearm in a defensive gesture.

"Balthazar warned you beforehand and even offered to walk you home, did he not?" Grillby seemed thoroughly unimpressed.

You smiled apologetically. "You know Bal, I thought he was just being polite and overly cautious." You felt bad talking about him like he wasn't standing right behind you.

"you mean to tell me that you did not pick up on ANY of the signals in the air or mood?" He seemed more and more unimpressed, even going so far as to fold his arms and tap his foot.

"...No?" Your patience was wearing thin and you hoped Grillby could see it in your SOUL, because you liked your job and didn't really want to lose it.

"no? you did not pick up on anything at all?" Well, technically you had, but the way Grillby was making it seem like a huge deal made you internally count to ten to calm yourself down.

You sighed and pinched the bridge of your nose. "Look, I don't know what secret smells you guys release into the air to signify danger, but I'm not a monster. I don't get these things."

His white dot eyes blinked.

"I know plenty of humans who have shown themselves to be more than capable in the 'using all five senses correctly' category."
Was he fucking SASSING you!?

"Some humans pick up on shit, others don't. It's called 'being an individual with your own abilities and disabilities', Grillby. And I know humans aren't exactly lining up at your door to get a job but I figured with all this SOUL colour jazz you'd understand that."

He blinked, seemingly taken aback for a moment, before he returned to himself.

"I was under the impression that humans were social creatures who communicated with one another. was I wrong?"

This bitch thought he could out-sass you?

"No, you're right." He didn't expect that. You folded your arms. "But it varies. Some people can pick up on that, others need verbal confirmation. I just happen to be in the... how did you put it... 'unable to use all five senses correctly' category, as you so lovingly described me."

His flames sparked orange for a moment.

"I'm pretty sure that, having been a human all my life and grown up around humans, my knowledge of humans surpasses yours. If something's up or someone's about to die you gotta TELL ME. I'm not one for subtly." You wiggled your hands a little. "Now I know not to go out alone when everyone's dead serious, you know that you need to verbalise any issues you have, whoop-de-doo, let's move on and carry on with our lives."

Silence. Everyone had stopped. Even the cooks. They all seemed to look at you like someone was about to stab you from behind.

"Ok, I have to admit, that could've sounded really hostile if you took it the wrong way." You started fearing a little for your job.

You did NOT expect Grillby to laugh once out loud, flames crackling blue for a moment. Everyone, yourself included, was suitably shocked.

"I should have expected that kind of reaction from a determined SOUL." He chuckled again, smile still visible. "you are right, my dear. we have both learnt from this. my apologies for making assumptions."

Oh.

"...So I get to keep my job?" You blinked. "Usually... I would've thought backtalk wasn't really..."

He gently took one of your hands in his, and it felt like your hand had been encased in a very soft, warm material that rippled. It wasn't an entirely dislikable feeling. You'd expected more... burning.

"of course you keep your job, my dear." He pressed the back of your hand to where his mouth would be, but because of the lack of facial features you didn't feel anything. Probably the fire-man equivalent of a gentlemanly kiss on the back of your hand.

WAIT WHAT

"you were merely stating the fact that you were upset over my assumption. there is nothing wrong with that~" He let your hand go and you pulled it back slowly so as not to offend him. You were actually kind of impressed at your own ability to hold down your blush. If that'd been SANS kissing your hand you would've absolutely flipped your lid.

"on the contrary, feel free to speak to me any time you need." He seemed to purr the last part. Ok, was he hitting on you, or just being overly friendly?

You settled on overly friendly.

"Thanks, boss." You chuckled, unsure what else to say. I mean, what WAS there to say? He'd just kissed the back of your hand, were you supposed to curtsey?

He seemed a little disappointed for some reason, but his gentlemanly smile came back and he nodded to you and King. His gaze seemed to hold on King and the two had a moment-long staring contest before he turned away and exited through the fire exit.

He did have a REALLY good ass.

The room seemed kinda... green now that he was gone. It was probably the sudden lack of purple light.

...

"King, you can let go of me now."

"O-oh, uh, sorry."

You could tell instantly that King was on edge. Very on edge. As you served around, he kept glancing at your hand, obviously trying to do so inconspicuously.
Had Grillby actually burnt it by accident? You kept checking. Nope, the skin was fine. Not broken, not marked. It smelt a little funny but you put that down to magic shenanigans.

King's eyes were suddenly distant. He pulled out his phone then left the room, going into the kitchen.

O... k...?

You shrugged. King was a cinnamon roll but you knew that even the cutest cinnamon rolls had their secrets, so you went back to sweeping the underneaths of the tables.

But you couldn't help but wonder who he was texting. And why he'd suddenly looked so... what was it... conflicted?

The tingling of a bell caught your attention. The front door opened and you turned, expecting to see a tired monster who'd come in for a late drink (you'd been hoping for Sans), but instead you felt all your blood boil and you nearly lost your hold on both sanity and the broom you were using to get the dirt and food out from under the tables.

Your ex. Your fucking ex. He was wearing a large leather jacket that made him look like someone who was trying way too hard, and he smelt of food and cheap alcohol. Perhaps he was looking for a warm place to sit down, and happened to come across Grillby's? Usually humans steered clear of this place.

You put your head down, continuing the sweeping, even though you wanted to deck the bastard. Perhaps he wouldn't recognise you? You'd changed a lot since the two of you were datin-

"Oh my god, (y/n)?"

'Don't respond, act like you don't know who he is...' You swept the pieces of fries and general dust and dirt into the dustpan. Sometimes, when you were cleaning the floor underneath the table or the seat themselves, you'd find small trinkets and maybe even coins that had fallen out of someone's pocket.

Perhaps someone had dropped a gun? Or a brick you could throw at him?

"(y/n), hi! Helloooo?" You stood up, completely disregarding him, and walked over to the corner of the room, where you emptied the dirt into the bin. The barstools creaked and you sighed under your breath.

Where were all the raging and murderous skeletons when you truly needed them?

"Can I help you?" You said, as dryly as you could, standing behind the counter and folding your arms at him, giving him your best death glare.

He pouted a little. God, his face was everything you found annoying.

"Aww, you're not still mad at me, are you?" He tried, and failed, to do puppy dog eyes.

"Of course I'm still mad, you little shit." Should you call Sans? ...Nah, you got this. "Are you even going to get anything?"

He chuckled, leaning forward, dirt on his 'I'm-totally-cool-and-sophisticated' jacket rubbing off onto the polished counter and you resisted the urge to wipe it off again with his face.

"Still sassy as ever." He winked. Oh, fuck off. "I thought your parents were looking for you?"

The thought of your parents making an active effort to get you home was enough to make your stomach flip.

You scoffed. "The only thing they're looking for is publicity." You were slightly annoyed that he found that funny. The asshole knew your parents all too well. In fact, your parents had loved him. They thought he was the best thing in the world (probably because he had a lot of money).
His stare was bugging you and you changed the conversation again. "You actually gonna order any drinks, or...?"

"Who's this?" King asked. He was cleaning out a glass and looked between you and your ex, probably sensing your burning animosity toward him.

"Ben. My ex." You said, a coy smile creeping onto your lips, and before he could say anything you jumped into the story, leaning casually on the counter. "Two months into our relationship and his fiancée and I bump into each other at a store, and we realise that he was cheating on her with me. So we teamed up and made his life as terrible as was legally possible. Mailing him boxes of glitter so that it gets everywhere, buying completely useless stuff from his joint account that he shared with her, signing him up to loads of sales deals so that he gets bombarded with calls 24/7..." You hadn't realised how widely you were smiling. You felt like a badass snake. "Man, those were the days."

He went red and looked away, wilting under the combined disapproving glares that the patrons were giving him. Yeeaahh, take that you stupid dickbag.

Eventually, however, he did order a drink. Well, a few, actually. You might've hated him but when the thought of slipping him monster alcohol instead of human alcohol came to mind you felt disgusted with yourself.

"Y'know, I wouldn't have cheated on her if you weren't super fucking hot." He pouted again as you placed the drinks down on the counter, and you were halfway through groaning and thinking of something sassy and burning to say back at him when he downed the contents of the first glass within his reach, then instantly paled, freezing. Your eyes widened considerably.

"...That was neat whiskey." You said slowly.

He nodded, white as a sheet.

"... I'll get the milk."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Needless to say, he downed so much milk that he vomited. Since you were the one who gave him the glass you felt obliged to stand with him outside while he upturned his stomach.

"I hate to admit it, but that was actually rather impressive." He gave you a thumbs up from where he was doubled over, still looking pale.

You rubbed your shoulders. It was cold again tonight. But, not as cold as the previous few nights. It was getting warmer now.

You'd forgotten how much you enjoyed...

You looked at the guy vomiting beside you.

...USED to enjoy his company. It was the whole reason you dated him in the first place. You'd met at a park, similar to how you met Sans, except without spilling coffee over each other. He'd tripped and you helped him up, and he wanted to make it up to you so he took you to the movies, and the two of you just had so much fun together. He was goofy and you both had the same interests, so you could talk for hours about the smallest things...

You sighed. Pity he had to be an asshole. Any romantic feelings you'd had for him had died the moment you saw the ring on that poor girl's finger.

"Sorry about that." He stood up, looking considerably less... 'dying inside'.

"You done? I'm cold." You rubbed your shoulders again.

"I could give you my jacket...?"

You narrowed your eyes at him. Having been his unknowing side chick for a while, you knew when he was trying to get into your pants. "Benjamin, don't even fucking try. I'm not and will never again be interested."

He sighed and grumbled.

"So you got yourself a new partner then, huh?" He muttered, trying to start a conversation.

"Nope." You stared out into the night, listening to the sounds of the city. Sirens, cars, people...

"... Wait really?"

"So you're done? I'm going inside."

"Wait, babe, serio-"

You bristled and stared him down viciously.

He realised his mistake and looked down, stuttering out apologies. It didn't suit him. Cute stuttering and blushing was reserved for King only.

You went inside and heard him following behind you like a wounded puppy. You took your place behind the counter, and he took his on the barstool, staring at the drinks he ordered but never actually drank.

Silence.

"I do still like you, you know." He grumbled, swirling one of the drinks.

You raised an eyebrow and chuckled, not in the slightest bit guilty. "Should've thought of that before you made me your side chick."

He shot up when you said 'side chick', slamming his hands on the counter, red-faced. You jumped back a few feet and King almost leapt out of his skin.

"You weren't the side chick! If anything, SHE was the side chick!" He shouted. "I only put that fucking ROCK on her finger because my parents liked her!"

Silence in the entire bar.

You blinked, then regained yourself. So now he was acting like he never actually cared about the other girl? The one who'd been so damn excited for her wedding that she couldn't help but talk to anyone who would listen, including a random person she happens to bump into at the store? The one who'd cried on your shoulder for hours when the two of you realised what he did?

He was acting like she wasn't anything at all!? Like his relationship with her had been MEANINGLESS!?

The door opened and you let out a sigh of relief, your rage slipping.

"yo. i'm not late for once, would ya look at that." Sans looked vaguely clean- he'd apparently decided to wash the bloodstains out of his hoodie, so most of the older marks were gone. Except the mustard stain on the sleeve. You were pretty sure that one would never go.

Ben looked like he was about to have a fucking heart attack. He gave Sans the once over, then turned back to you, wide-eyed and pale.

"Hey Sans." You reflexively reached under the counter and grabbed the mustard bottle, sliding it onto the top, which earned you a chuckle. "I'll be free in a few minutes. Just gotta finish cleaning up."

"alright, sweetheart." He winked at you. "don't keep me waiting too long."

Sans took the seat next to a frozen Ben and you finally felt like you could relax a little, so you went to wipe and clean the tables that the patrons were leaving. It was a funny image. The huge, broad skeleton monster, casually swigging mustard from the bottle, next to a small and intimidated human who had no idea what to do.


"so." Sans put his mustard bottle down, and checked over one shoulder, making sure you were out of earshot. You were cleaning the tables and had been sucked into a conversation with Dogaressa, who was just getting ready to leave. He then turned to Ben, who was contemplating on whether or not he could move up a seat without being considered rude enough to be killed. Sans chuckled thinly. "you're (y/n)'s ex, right?"

Ben jumped and nodded, sweating, wilting under the skeleton monster's gaze.

"heard ya lil' outburst earlier." He leant forward a little. "...that true? you still got a thing for her?"

Ben nodded again, a thin blush spreading over his face.

"Y-yeah. We used to date so I figured I could take another shot."

"hmm. really?" Sans's voice was thick with mock interest. "'cos y'know, you scarred her soul. i'm pretty sure you don't need to be familiar with magic to know that THAT is a huge fuck up."
Ben flinched, and Sans just shrugged. "you betrayed her. she hates you, almost as much as she hates her parents." He sipped some mustard. "a scar like that is gonna take more than a few years to heal. my guess...? she'll probably never love you again."

Silence.

"so tell me." Sans swirled the mustard bottle, staring at it, grin widening. "do you genuinely think you have any chance with her after what you did?"

Ben paled even more.

"'cos, buddy, i'm not very good at this whole 'rivals' thing." Sans's eyelights vanished. He squeezed the mustard bottle so hard that there was a soft 'pop' noise, and yellow liquid started dribbling slowly down the side of the container. "it'd be easier for everyone if you just gave up on her. she's happier without you. you wouldn't wanna give her a B a d T i m e, would you?"

Swallowing thickly, Ben looked at the highly polished counter. He could hear you chatting away in the background, happy. You'd never chatted with him like that. You'd talked together, but... not as happily. Not as freely. You'd always had a wall up.

He sighed, suddenly feeling guilty and upset. This terrifying skeleton was right. You were happy without him.

He felt a huge hand on his back and he looked to see Sans giving him another sharp-toothed smile.

"good man. knew you'd understand." He grabbed a napkin from the napkin dispenser and wiped up the mustard that was drizzling down the side of the bottle before it could touch the clean counter. If Ben had known Sans better, he would've recognised a victorious smile when he saw one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans seemed... very touchy feely. He had this constant NEED to hold your hand or put an arm around your shoulders or even around your waist at one point, when there was a particularly loud bang from down the street. You put it down to anxiety over another attack so you settled for allowing him to hold your hand.

"... do we have to walk?" He asked, when you entered a particularly quiet and dark area. Every time there was a gap in the street lights, the dull glow of his eyelights would become visible, and it was handy when you didn't have to constantly pull out a torch or your new phone.

"I like the city at night. It's so much quieter." You guessed it was different nearer the city centre- you could always hear clubs and music and screams from that direction.

His hand twitched for a moment. His voice was suddenly softer, and it caught you off guard.

"i don't like the quiet."

You looked up at him, catching a glimpse of a familiar hue of purple. He glanced at you then quickly looked away, red lighting up his cheekbones.

You chuckled. "I've always wondered how quiet it is in the countryside. I can't imagine constant quiet."

He blinked.

"you've never been to the countryside?"

"Nope."

A crease appeared between his eyebrow bones. "you've been in this city your whole life?"

"No, not this city exclusively." He seemed to relax a little at that. You shrugged. "My parents are quite well off, and they took me to cities in other countries while I was still young and obedient. Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Paris, all those." You listed them off on your fingers. "But never anywhere in the countryside. I've only ever seen the ocean from aeroplanes, I've never been on a beach..." You sighed. "I just wonder what I'm missing, y'know?"

"yeah." He chuckled thinly, looking ahead. "i know. you want to be thankful for what you have but you know there's so much more outside where you are."

"And you can't help but wonder how much better everything would be if you were out there instead, but you DON'T know how much better it would be because you've never experienced anything other than what you have right now."

"but you know there's no point whining over something that won't happen."

"Cuz in the end,"

"you're still trapped."
"You're still trapped."

You both froze, looking at each other in silence for a moment.


...Something inside your SOUL began to hum. You could feel it, a pulling, like a magnetic attraction... you wanted to be wrapped up in his arms where it was safe and warm...

You were drowning in his eyelights, unable to look away. Your heartbeat was speeding up.

Slowly, his hand released yours and moved around your waist, pulling you closer.

His eyesockets were lidded.

He leant down, closer.

His breath was warm on your cheek.

Your heat was about to break free of your ribcage.

You gripped his hoodie like a lifeline.

He came closer, eyesockets closing.

You closed your eyes...


A car horn blared as it sped by and the two of you seemed to snap out of a trance. Sans was literal MILLIMETRES away from you. If he'd had a nose, it would've been touching yours. Your eyes widened and both of you went a deep shade of red.

"uh." You could see the conflict in his face. Carry on with the moment or break away?

"..."

For a fleeting moment, his face twisted into the most gut-wrenchingly guilty look you'd ever seen. If you hadn't been so ridiculously close to his face you probably wouldn't have noticed. He seemed to realise where his hand was resting (dangerously close to your butt), so he let go and stumbled back, sweating.

You instantly missed how warm he was.

Then his horrified face fell down into complete and utter embarrassment. His entire face lit up with red magic and he stared at you like you were a venomous snake about to pounce, before he slapped his hands over his face and a flood of words fell out.

"i'msosorrryihavenofuckingideawhatcameovermepleasedon'tdoanythingweirdididn'tmeantopushlikethat-"

He kept rambling and you just stood there, wide-eyed, shoulders up, face red and emotions in turmoil.

He'd moved in to kiss you, and you'd moved with him. If that car hadn't gone by you'd probably be tongue-to-tongue right nowshuT UP NONONONO SHUSH SHSHHHHHHHHH SHUT UP NOPE LOL HAHA NO

Still red in the face you grabbed his hand and started walking again, dragging him along behind you.

"L-let's just get to yours." You said, more to yourself than to him. "No point standing in the street, right?" Nervous. You sounded far too nervous. He probably thought you were being weird. A weirdo.

Your heart was beating so fast you could hear it in your ears and feel it in the back of your throat. And you just couldn't push down the feeling of intense regret.

Regret that you hadn't continued.

The two of you walked in silence, you dragging Sans by the sweaty hand, until the house came into view.

"i-i'm gonna get you something to eat. you just relax." He said, opening the door for you. You paused and glanced up at him, scrunching your eyebrows together.

"But... I want to help."

He ruffled your hair with a hand and winked. You blushed, muttered and flattened it back down. He'd gone straight from 'stuttering mess' to 'adult teaching a child', without a hitch. It was rather impressive.

"nah, i'm putting my foot down with this. you go relax. watch some tv or some shit."

"But-" He flicked your nose and you stuttered and shook your head, wondering what the fuck he did that for. Hair ruffling? Nose flicking? What were you, a ten year old?

"don't make me chain you to the sofa." He chuckled, pushing you inside and shutting the door behind him. You grumbled some more. Sans took off his hoodie, throwing it haphazardly onto the floor, and you swallowed.

Shit.

He was wearing that super sexy shirt again. The tight, short-sleeved black one that made his chest look broad and sHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP

He glanced back at you, noticed your flushed stare and grinned, raising his eyebrow bones.

"see something you like, sweetheart?"

HOW IS HE EVEN SO CALM HE WAS LITERALLY ABOUT TO KISS YOU LIKE 5 MINUTES AGO

'Yes, as a matter of fact.' Your brain quipped, but you just snorted unceremoniously and shifted the conversation.

"I'm gonna go get my laptop. I'll be right down."

Killer greeted you at the top of the stairs by glancing upwards from where he was lying and letting his tail thump against the floor a few times. Guess he was tired.

There were sounds coming out of Papyrus's bedroom. Quite loud sounds, actually. Laughter and shouts. You tiptoed your way across the corridor and when you leant your ear against his door you could hear him talking to someone. Probably a friend on social media. Their voice was vaguely familiar, robotic and crackly. You couldn't place your finger on who the voice belonged to, so you just ignored it and went into Sans's room to grab your laptop.

Aha! There it was. Poking out the top of your rucksack. You manoeuvred your way across the socks and trash, retrieved your laptop and turned to go.

Oooooooooh...

Your eyes widened as you noticed something INTERESTING.

... The locked cabinet...

Was OPEN...!

...Well, not literally 'open', but someone (probably Sans) had unlocked the huge metal lock and seemingly forgotten to reseal it. You were frozen, staring at the invitingly undefended cabinet, stuck in a mental battle with yourself.

'Open it.' Whispered one corner of your brain. 'Don't, it's clearly private.' Whispered another. You found yourself in front of it without even recalling walking over.

You bit your lip. One tiny peak couldn't hurt, right? Unless it was a body or something. Having seen Sans kill multiple people, that honestly wouldn't surprise you. You'd still scream if you saw a body, though.

...

... Fuck it.

I mean, it's just a cabinet, right? What could possibly be in there that you'd be shocked by?

You set your laptop down on the floor quietly and gingerly pulled at one handle, heart racing. If you saw a diary you were 99% sure you wouldn't be able to resist taking a peak at a FEW pages.

You saw something that definitely shocked you- items that were well organised. That was NOTHING like Sans.
There were three shelves. The bottom shelf had a rolled up piece of blue paper that you ignored, a pair of fuzzy pink house slippers, a framed certificate, a couple of old photos, a badge and a torn red scarf. Huh, weird. The second shelf was a load of books, mainly joke books and physics books, but one of them was a pink and very worn down children's story of some kind. You could just about make out the words 'fluff' and 'bunny' written on the spine.
The top shelf was only two items- an almost religiously folded black shirt that you vaguely recognised from somewhere and a notebook. They were the only items not covered in dust. The notebook was open and had a red strip of ribbon that served as a bookmark resting on the current page. You couldn't help but glance at the paper.

The writing was messy but you instantly recognised the Comic Sans font. Various scribbles and notes, some circled, some with arrows pointing to them, some neat, some probably jotted down last minute.

"fav colour: ___" "fav food: ___" "parents = no go!!!" "favourite flower???" "<-- probably lavender, check later" "ask if she likes classical" "likes dogs, what about cats" "--->!!psychology books!!<---" "talk to her about problems, dont let her suffer alone"

... This... everything matched to you.

Then, in the corner, there was something that put the final nail in the coffin. A little sketch of your face. It was really, really good. You had a wide smile, and he'd drawn little stars around your face. It was adorable.
You hadn't pegged Sans as the artist type. You snickered at the idea of him in a painter's outfit, with a little beret and an apron-

"sweetheart? you coming?"

You jumped at the sound of his voice and nearly slammed the cabinet shut. You took a quick breath.

"Yeah, sorry, couldn't find my laptop. I'll be right down."

You carefully shut the cabinet and left his room. Hopefully he wouldn't notice. You hadn't even moved anything. Yeah, he wouldn't notice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i'm going to kill whoever was in that car

Chapter Text

"... what does... 'added sugars' mean?"

"It pretty much means what's written there. Someone's pumped it full of extra sugar."

"mhmm. what about 'added flavourings'?"

"It means they've had to artificially put flavours in there because it's so bland."

"ok... and 'sugar free'?"

"Chemical shitstorm."

"so literally EVERYTHING on this isle is out of bounds?"

"Yup." You surveyed the shelves. Biscuits, fizzy drinks, supermarket-grade sweets...

"if this shit is so inedible then why do they sell it!?" Sans threw his arms up in exasperation, stepping back and sweeping the whole isle with his gaze.

"Because people buy it." Yup, you got the right one. And good tomatoes, too. If Papyrus was going to make nothing but spaghetti, you were going to make sure he made the DAMN BEST spaghetti.

You made eye contact with a woman who was about to turn down the isle, cart full of various goods. She caught a glimpse of Sans and seemed to remember that she had forgotten something at the opposite side of the store.

Yeah, the isles you two entered always seemed to be mysteriously empty.

"but you said this 'artificial sugar' stuff made your body go haywire." He was holding a can of fizzy drink. "surely this shit should be banned or something? or at least have the warnings written in bigger writing?"

You snorted and Sans looked at you with utter confusion.

"Like I said, they sell it because people buy it. Sweetness is addictive, and artificial sweetness is cheap and easy to pump out. It's a huge profit and a small price." You shrugged and dropped a small pack of biscuits into the plastic basket you had over one arm, then continued into other isles picking up the items for other foodstuffs. You couldn't survive on ONLY SPAGHETTI. You also needed to restock on sanitary towels, you only had about two left. "The big CEO's don't care if they jump the odd safety measure or ignore scientific fact. In the end, it's up to you what you eat. And if you choose to buy their stuff despite the dangers, it's supposed to be your fault."

Sans's eyebrow bones scrunched together.

"but that's fucking stupid. how can you know what the 'dangers' are if it's printed so fucking small?" He squinted at the bright bottle. "how'm i supposed to read that?"

"I don't freaking know, Sans, reading glasses?" Where did they keep the overnight towels...?

He chuckled. "i don't have ears, sweetcheeks. they'd just fall off. i'd have to tape them to my skull."

You snickered at that, imaging Sans with King's glasses on. Sans sighed and put the fizzy drink on the shelf, even though this was the sanitary products isle.

"i used to think humans were like, super kind to each other and shit. then we get up here and it turns out you're all either at each other's necks, bombin' innocents or trying to poison the population."

"Yup." You grabbed a few boxes of the inexpensive pads and finally decided to head towards the checkout. "Welcome to humanity."

Sans laughed at that and you felt quite pleased with yourself. Usually HE was the one making YOU laugh. You got to the counter and a bored-looking female employee started scanning your items. You reached for your purse but Sans's hand lightly grabbed yours.

"nu-uh. you're still saving your cash. i'm paying." You would've appreciated the gesture had he not just essentially called you poor.

You scowled.

"Sans, I'm more than capable of paying." You roll your eyes. "It's just food and sanitary products."

"mmmmm... nope." Your purse vanishes from your hands and you let out a little shriek before recognising it's weight in your pocket. You're still glaring at him when you take it out a second time and with a little flash of red magic in his eyesocket it's back inside your pocket again.

His smile was a lazy, 'try-again-if-you-like' kind of smile. You could hear the previously bored employee chuckling.

"SANS!" You try to take it out again and he just shrugs and teleports it.

"next time," He warns jokingly, raising his eyebrow bones. "it's going back home."

You lock eyes with him.

"You wouldn't dare."

"wanna bet?"

"Sans, I swear to God, if you teleport it home I'm gonna kick your ass."

"i feel like it'll drive the message 'home'."

"Don't you dare pun your way out of this!"

"but house jokes are so much 'pun' to make."

"THAT WASN'T EVEN GOOD-"

"Thank you, come again." The employee chuckles. You turn, shocked, seeing the products all waiting inside a plastic bag, paid for and ready to go. When you look back at Sans he's holding his own card between his fingers with the biggest shit-eating grin you've ever seen. ... HOW!?

"you know what, you're right, i won't bother teleporting your purse home..." His card vanishes, and he's still looking like he's about to break down with laughter. "it could go anywhere, it would be hard to PIN down it's exact locati-"

You let out a frustrated scream, grabbing the bag of items and shoving it into his face, half hoping you could smother him with the plastic. He just chuckles, unfazed, hands in his pockets as you continue your attack on his face.

"I'M GONNA KILL EVERYONE YOU LOVE-"

"i don't think killing yourself is the best option here." He muffles through the bag.

You raised an eyebrow. What did he mean, kill yourse-

Before you could even respond or figure out what he meant, a familiar background voice made your head jerk. You froze entirely, everything around you seemingly stopping.

Mom.

Was right there.

Back turned, a few feet behind Sans. Her basket was full of various cooking items but she also had paper and printer ink. Tucked under one arm was a load of grainy, photocopied pictures of your face, and she was showing an identical copy to the woman who'd turned out of your isle a few minutes ago.

She was printing missing person posters.

Of you.

Your brain had crashed. You didn't know whether to run or stand still or hide behind Sans or... or...

You dropped the bag and it fell to the floor, disregarded, tomatoes rolling out. The woman she was speaking to nodded and pointed in your direction.

Mom turned around and you made eye contact. Every hair was standing on end. Mom's face dropped and you could vaguely hear your name escape her lips, but everything had gone fuzzy, like a tuned out radio.

You could feel your breath quickening, heartbeat quickening, everything quickening, a cold sweat breaking out. Your chest tightened and you couldn't breathe.

Not again. Not again not again not again not again

So you ran blindly, shoving through the doors, sweat pouring down your face and even though you'd only just started to run your chest was heaving. Tight. Trying to get in air but your body wouldn't let you. You couldn't breathe. Someone was shouting, following after you. You couldn't go back. You WOULDN'T go back. They'd have to drag you back and tie you up to keep you there.

You were sweating and crying and you didn't know where you were and the tightness in your chest was unbearable but you had to keep running. You had to. You were too Determined to stop. Every breath burned.

You had to stop, but you had to keep running, you had to stop, but you had to keep running, don't let them catch up, don't let them catch... everything was spinning. Your SOUL hurt. It hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt-

"sweetheart, s t o p!"

It was like your brain had been waiting for his signal, and you would've collapsed onto the tarmac if Sans hadn't caught you. As you passed through the void momentarily you caught a glimpse of the man in the distance, watching, eyesockets wide.

Then you fainted for a few moments from the nausea of the sudden jump.

The sofa. You were lying on the sofa, and Sans was looming over you, hand over your chest, red light seeping between his fingers. It wasn't the same red as his magic, though. It was a deeper, richer... more POWERFUL red.

Your panic was dying away now, breath becoming even, heartbeat calming. You held the sleeve of his hoodie as you began to relax slowly, the space inside your chest expanding again, allowing for deeper breaths. Your SOUL felt like it was loosing weight, loosing stress...

"...Can't go back..." You rambled, still gripping his arm. "W-won't go back..."

"i know, i know." His voice was deep, like a purr. "it's okay, you don't have to go... shh, shh..."

You couldn't help but stare upwards into the black pits of his eyesockets. The rolling waves of calming energy from Sans's magic seemed to push you to cry. You didn't know why. The magic didn't hurt, and it certainly wasn't an unpleasant feeling. You just stared at his eyelights while tears rolled down the sides of your face.

He seemed relieved, letting out a sigh, corners of his sockets creasing. "there we go." He breathed. You noticed that for some reason, he now had big purple shadows under his eyes. Like he hadn't had a very good night's sleep. His sockets looked heavy, too, and his breathing was laboured.

"Why am I crying?" You asked. Sans sat himself down at the opposite end of the sofa and you propped yourself up on your elbows so you could see him.

"it's hard to explain, doll." He rubbed his sockets. Damn, he suddenly looked like a train wreck.

You sat up now, tears still streaming down your face, even though you didn't feel sad at all. You rubbed them away.

"uhm... ok, so, when you saw your mom, you were determined to get away." He was doing that thing again- the thing where he sounds like he's trying to simplify something very, very complicated. "but you were, uh, how do i put it... TOO determined." He scratched the back of his skull. "your determination pretty much... overpowered every other sense and body function."

He did something you hadn't seen before- he bit his lower 'lip', the top row of teeth tucking over the bottom row and dragging along where his lip would be if he'd had one, then setting back to normal again.

"determination is the most powerful of all the soul cores, and that also makes it really dangerous. monsters simply MELT once we get too much determination, since our bodies can't handle it." Something behind his eyelights told you there was a story to this.
"humans don't melt, though. once you hit a certain point of determination you won't ever stop until you reach your goal, even if it means death." His eyelights flickered over to you. "you got to the point where you were so determined to get away that you weren't paying attention to your body and the fact that it was shutting down."

You blinked. Oh, fuck. So if Sans hadn't distracted you, you would've... ran yourself to death.

"monsters call it 'deadlock', when your soul's main drive overtakes all rational thinking. i think the other soul types can get it too, but it's never been recorded. that, and i don't think a deadlocked kindness soul is in too much danger."

You both chuckled at that.

"so, yeah. i basically channeled your excess magic through my soul and into the air." He pointed to your cheek. "the crying was your body finally reacting to the pain and stress it was experiencing earlier."

"You channeled my magic through yourself?" You blinked. Wasn't human magic, like, way too powerful for monsters? "...Is that why you look like a train wreck?"

Sans's grin widened.

"c'mon, i'd like to see YOU do that and not shatter into pieces." He yawned, the ethereal glow of his tongue lighting up his face for a moment. You got a good view of his entire mouth and he suddenly reminded you of a huge dog. He stretched his arms along the back of the sofa.

"yeah, it's... pretty draining." His sockets started to close. He glanced over at you. "hey, do me a favour, sweetheart."

You blinked. "Uh, sure, what is it?"

"c'mere a sec."

With his lidded eyesockets, arms braced on the back of the sofa and that signature cheeky grin, you felt like it would be a bad idea (prank senses tingling), but you also felt indebted to him after he pretty much saved your life. You shuffled until you were sat next to him, knees almost touching.

You glanced up at his face and realised he was barely conscious. His head kept nodding forward and he didn't seem to notice that you'd moved up next to him.

"Sans?" You cooed, trying to attract his attention. He was completely unresponsive, and eventually his eyesockets closed and he started to sink into the sofa, his breath deepening.

You sighed and got up. Wasn't much point in sitting with him if he was asle-

The arm that you were 100% certain had just been on the back of the sofa caught you around the waist and pulled you back down, keeping you against his side. You let out a little shriek of surprise and Sans chuckled, eyes still shut.

"nope." He mumbled. You groaned.

"A-at least give me the remote." Your voice was wavering. You wanted to keep acting like he should let go but at the same time it was super warm and comfortable cuddled up to his side, with one of his arms around you lazily. It felt safe.

At times like these, you were reminded of how large and powerful Sans actually was. He could hold you down with one arm while barely even passing as conscious. Sans was a goof and a friend, but when you got physically close like this you suddenly felt very small. And it wasn't a bad kind of small, It was a protected, warm and fluffy kind of small.
It was also strange, now that you'd literally seen him kill people, to know that he was perfectly capable of dealing some serious damage when he wanted to. And yet, he was always such a gentle giant with you...?

There was a little flicker of light under his socket, and the remote dropped into your lap. Ah, right, yep. Tv. Grumpy face. Pretending like you're not 100% ok with this.

You nestled into his side and started up University Challenge. You wondered how many questions you could get through before his question senses started tingling and he woke up shouting out the answers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"hey, sweetheart, wake up." His voice was soft and low, and you felt a hand on your shoulder.

"Nooooooo..." You groaned.

"c'mon, i wanna show you something."

You blearily opened your eyes. You were lying sideways on the sofa and Sans was crouching on the floor in front of you, at your eye level. His grin was wide and giddy, but he also had a little blush dusting his cheeks.

"Mmmfrmf." You grumbled, rolling over, back to him.

"kitten, c'mon, we got a couple of minutes window." The hand on your shoulder started shaking you. "trust me, you don't wanna miss it. this is like, once-in-a-lifetime shit."

The pure childish excitement in his voice made you realise that extra sleep wasn't going to be worth ruining this moment for him. You groaned and sat up, rubbing your eyes.

"...What is it?" You asked, running a hand through your knotted hair.

"it's a surprise. c'mon, we gotta go quick." He stood up and held out a hand to you. He looked... very pleased with himself. You were too tired to consider that this might be a prank, so you took his hand and he helped you to your feet.

"Where are we going?" You asked, and he just looked down at you and winked.

"that's a surprise too." ... He was getting more suspicious by the moment. "you ok to teleport?"

You were super tired but that wouldn't affect anything. "Yeah."

He chuckled to himself, and when his arms closed around you, his bones were shaking a little in excitement. You blinked, kind of curious as to what had got him literally shivering in anticipation.

Then salty, fresh air hit you and you opened your eyes, still in Sans's arms. What was that smell? It was so strange! Like... fishy, but not unpleasantly so. And the air was so crisp and clean...

When you pulled yourself away from Sans you were surrounded by a gorgeous sky, completely cloudless. The moon was a small sliver of shining silver and Venus blazed brightly nearby. The sky was a vivid orange, and golden by the horizon-
Wait, why was it sunset already? When you and Sans fell asleep it was only around 1 in the afternoon, you couldn't have slept until sunset! Had Sans teleported the two of you somewhere that was hours ahead? Could he DO that? Teleport to... to other countries-

Oh my god.

The horizon was completely flat.

You let out a little gasp, train of thought severed, and stepped away from Sans completely. Was that... was that the ocean!? Is that what it looked like from the ground? A yellow-orange sun was hovering over it, not yet touching the horizon, making the deep blue waters sparkle and glitter.

You scanned around you. You were on a steep grassy hill, and the surrounding area was huge, empty fields. The nearest buildings were a small cluster of houses in the far, far distance, almost invisible.

It was so quiet. You could hear the rush of the sea, the calling of seabirds and the whispering of grass, but... no people. No cars, no horns, no shouts. No people. You stared at the burning sky in complete awe. You stared at the sea in complete awe. You stared at EVERYTHING in complete awe.

"there's gonna be a green flash tonight." You heard Sans say from behind you. You turned, and he suddenly had a rolled up blanket under one arm. Where did he get that from?

Sans unfurled the blanket, spreading it over the ground, and sat down, grinning up at you.
You plonked down next to him. "What's a 'green flash'?" You asked.
The blanket was fuzzy and slightly uncomfortable because of the bumpy grass underneath it and you were about to complain, but when you looked up at Sans's face, you instantly shut up.

He looked like an excited fanboy, and you could've sworn he had LITERAL RED STARS in his eyes.

"so, when the sun sets over a completely flat horizon, it sometimes does this cool optical trick." He pointed to the ocean. "the atmosphere scatters the last rays of sunlight, and in the few seconds before it goes below the horizon, the top of sun goes green, and sometimes blue if you're lucky." His eyelights flickered to you, then back to the ocean. He brought his shoulders up, seemingly sinking into the fur of his hood.
"you, uh, said you'd never been to the countryside before, so i figured i could bring you here and show you. y'know. it's supposed to be really beautiful." Red tinted his cheeks.
"plus, you've had a bad day, and sunsets are supposed to help with that kind of shit."

You couldn't help but feel touched. He'd taken you to see a sunset, which may possibly be the most romantically cliché thing to do, but was still a nice gesture. The wind brushed past your bare arms and you repressed a small shiver. Ugh, you wished you'd brought a jumper or something.

"Yeah, sunset sounds great right now." You leaned against his shoulder and heard his breath hitch. You snickered at that. The two of you had literally fallen asleep together this very same day, and he was still shocked when you leant on him.

Eventually, though, he did relax. The sun didn't take long to hit the horizon but a small conversation about the visible light spectrum began to flow easily, which then evolved into light puns.

"a leaf and a flower in a garden. the flower asks the leaf if it's hungry. the leaf says 'yeah, i could do with a light snack.'"

"Ahaha, photosynthesis jokes. Ok, how about... a photon walks into a hotel. The receptionist asks if he needs any help with his bags, and the photon says; 'no, I'm traveling light.'"

"ayy, that's a really good one."

"Did it 'brighten your day'?"

"...ya beat me by about 3 seconds."

"Yup. Gonna have to speed up a bit if you want to catch me, jelloskello."

"forgot how much i hated that nickname."

"Geeeet used to it."

"oh, hey, it's gonna start soon." He suddenly perked up, looking out across the sea. You checked the sun. It was a richer shade of orange and about halfway below the horizon, but you couldn't look at it for too long without worrying about burning your retinas.

"... you shivering, doll?" Sans asked. You shrugged, leaning back on your hands. If you were shivering, you hadn't noticed. It was a little cold, but nothing you couldn't handle.

"M' fine."

Sans thought for a moment, glancing one last time at the sun that was slowly getting further below the horizon, then he started to shuffle. He unzipped his hoodie and you were about to protest, thinking he was going to give it to you, but instead he uncrossed his thick skeletal legs and spread them a bit so that there was room between them. What the fuck was he...?

Then, there were two hands under your armpits, picking you up like some kind of child, and you momentarily let out a yelp of surprise. Sans set you down in the space between his legs, your back to his chest, then wrapped the hoodie around both of you and zipped it back up again before you could protest.

"that better?" You felt his deep voice vibrating his ribcage and it made your insides feel weird. You were pressed up against his warm body, so closely that you could feel the ribs against your back, and you blushed furiously, really glad that he couldn't see your face. But, yeah, this was warm and snuggly.

"Yeah." You mumbled. He could've literally teleported back and grabbed a jumper for you but he'd opted to share his hoodie instead. You appreciated that.

"...right, this is where shit gets awesome." He leant forward a little, resting the bottom of his skull on your head and pointing to the almost-set sun. "this is gonna be quite literally 'blink and you'll miss it', so once it gets two thirds of the way down just keep watching." You really, REALLY liked the way his voice sounded when he was so close. It made you want to go to sleep, right there and then, but you fought back against that desire so you could watch the sunset.

The two of you sat in complete silence, waiting, watching the last inches of blazing orange sun slip below the horizon. It sank lower and lower, further and further, and you started to wonder when the green stuff was going to happen.

Your neck was cold, so you buried yourself a little further into Sans's hoodie.

The top of the sun got smaller, so small that you were starting to think that this whole 'green flash' thing was bullshit. But the last twinkle, the last piece of the sun, so tiny that it could've been a star, faded from yellow to lime green to dark green. It was gorgeous, like a minuscule green emerald balancing on the top of the ocean, and underneath it was the reflection it cast on the water. Then it slipped under the horizon and vanished.

There was a long moment of silence between the two of you, until you let out a small breath.

"Woah." You whispered.

That had been amazing. And now, you were just left staring at the burning colours of the sky. Glowing oranges and yellows, deep blues right above you and stars just appearing, streaks of pink and purple. The sun was gone, so you could look around properly, and everything was just so... peaceful.

The sunset glowing, the sea whooshing quietly, birds twittering, grass rustling, Sans's breath.

"this is so nice." He sighed, out of nowhere. You furrowed your brow and stared out at the ocean.

"I thought you didn't like the quiet...?"

You felt his shoulder's shrug gently, and he made no reply. If he was being like that, there was no point chasing the subject any further, so you just settled for sitting with him and watching the last of the sun's light vanish.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He loved it. But at the same time, it hurt so badly.

Sans enjoyed every minute of being alone on the hill with you. It was like a romantic date or something... and when he closed his eyes, with you cuddled into his chest like that, he could pretend that it WAS a date. He could pretend you loved him as much as he loved you, he could pretend you wanted this as much as he did.

But then, he'd open his eyes, and reality would stab him hard in the SOUL.

You DIDN'T love him. You were a human, he was a monster, he was your friend. Nothing more. And because he was such a coward, he couldn't bring himself to tell you how he felt.

And the fact that he hadn't told you about the emotional 'toying' ate at him every waking moment, hanging in the air like a black cloud. He wanted you to trust him, he NEEDED you to trust him... He needed you to WANT him.

You'd fallen asleep some time ago, your delicate little frame resting on him. Your smell was mingled with the smell of his hoodie and it made him slightly giddy, instincts pleased that you were surrounded by HIS smell, and not the smell of some disgusting human who thought he could ever possibly have a chance with you after scarring your SOUL.

He ran a phalange through your hair and felt the tears coming. Again.

Why was everything about you so fucking beautiful and difficult? All those women in the Underground had been practically throwing themselves at him, so why were YOU, the ONLY one he'd ever ACTUALLY loved, the most difficult to handle!? What did he have to do to get you to love him!?

Did you like romantic guys? Or flirty guys? Or sexy guys? Or intelligent guys...? Or GIRLS?

Should he straight-on tell you that he loved you? Should he be low-key about it, with subtle messages and signs? ...Or should he just give you an explicitly detailed list of all the things he wanted to do to you when you were alone together?

He realised he was twitching and he had to severe his train of thought before he got himself too worked up about anything.

'take a deep breath, sansy.' He told himself. 'getting all feisty isn't going to do anyone any favours. she likes and trusts you, that's enough for now. be happy with what you got.'

Sans looked down at your sleeping face, and knew that he'd never be satisfied with anything less that having you all to himself.

...

... He'd never liked the quiet.

... But quiet was ok when you were around.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You woke up. It was dark, and you panicked for a moment, memories of the void flooding back, but then the gentle rise and fall of Sans's chest reminded you that you were still here, with him, on the hill by the sea. Except now, instead of a sunset, it was-

"WOAH!" You breathed, half whispering, looking up. The sky, every inch of it, was covered in stars, and it lit up the sky with an ethereal blue glow. So many, you couldn't even begin to put a number on how many there were... the areas that would've been empty blackness (had you been looking out your old bedroom's window) was glittering with stars...

"aaand the princess awakens." Sans's voice snapped you out of your childlike wonder. You suddenly remembered that you were sharing Sans's hoodie and became more aware of his hands wrapped around your waist. And it didn't really bother you. It just felt like a lazy hug.

You turned and looked upwards (and backwards a little) at Sans's face. His eyelights were casting a ghostly red glow, much brighter now that there wasn't any light pollution, and you could see the glow of his tongue shining dimly through the gaps between his teeth.

"How long was I asleep for?" You asked.

"bout an hour, maybe." His smile widened. "i didn't 'port us back because i figured you'd want to see the nighttime view when you woke up. guess i was right."

"Fuck yeah." You breathed, looking back at the stars. Then you stopped for a moment. You... couldn't find any familiar constellations. Everything was jumbled up. Orion should've been in a different spot, and...

"Sans, where are we?"

He chuckled.

"i'm not 100% sure on the human name for the country, but in case you're wondering, yes, we are abroad."

... Oh shIT! Your eyes widened and you turned back to him.

"Sans, this is illegal!" You hissed.

...He started laughing. "I'm serious!" You squeaked, embarrassed that he was laughing at you. "You need to teleport us back! We could be arrested if anyone figures out you can pass borders without going through security!" His laughter got a little louder and you huffed, pissed off at him. You tucked one hand out the top of his hoodie and grabbed the zipper, pulling it down and making to get up.

Still laughing, Sans grabbed the hem of your shirt.

"n-no, wait..." He managed to wheeze out, but you huffed again and tried to turn around and get up.

Unfortunately, Sans ALSO tried to get up, and the unbalance pulled you down on top of Sans. The two of you fell backwards, tumbling onto the blanket, and you landed on top of him, straddling his middle, chest in his face.

There was a moment where the two of you just stared at each other, wide-eyed, before Sans broke into laughter again and you spluttered in embarrassment and anger, trying to get back up.

"if you wanted to 'jump my bones' that badly, sweetheart, you should've just said." He took both your wrists and rolled back up again. Now you were straddling his lap, both your hands caught. You wriggled a little but Sans just chuckled.

"look, 'm sorry i laughed at you." You were still upset and you pouted angrily, looking up at him. He flushed red a little. "it was just funny to think that i could be arrested and sent to jail for taking you out on a date."

"This is serious, Sans!" You shouted, the 'date' word totally sailing over your head. "Humans and monsters are already pretty hostile with each other, if anyone found out you could illegally pass through borders with no repercussions...!"

"i get it, i get it." The skeletal hands that were holding your wrists decided they'd be better off intertwining themselves with your fingers. He chuckled one last time, then sighed. "no more border crossing and no telling anyone, on pain of death."

You made a little 'humf' sound and it made his SOUL flutter.

"You betcha. I'll kick your ass."

He grinned like a cheshire cat, zoomed in and pressed a kiss to your forehead. The world went black around you and you were back at Sans's, the two of you on the sofa. You were completely frozen and Sans just looked like he'd defeated a mighty beast.

"heheh. did i-"

There was a loud -SLAM- as someone kicked the door so hard it flew open and crashed against the adjacent wall. You jumped off Sans's lap so quickly you felt like the fucking Flash. His eyelights vanished and you saw sweat bead immediately on his head. Why was he...?

The person stood in the doorway was GODDAM TERRIFYING. Some kind of tall, ridiculously muscled FISH WOMAN. Her skin was blue and littered with huge scars, she was wearing an awesome eyepatch, her sharp razor teeth were bared and her blazing blood-red ponytail waved like the red flag of a pirate ship coming to murder everyone on board.

"PAPYRUS YOU FUCKING P U S S Y!!!!" She yelled/shrieked/screamed so loudly that it put Papyrus's booming voice to shame. "YOU DIDN'T SHOW UP FOR SPARRING, I'M GONNA SLAP YOU SO HARD YOU'LL BE HALFWAY TO-"

The two of you locked eyes.

Chapter Text

There was a long, aching silence, as you stared into the yellow slit eyes of this crazy fish woman who had just kicked down the door. You recognised her from somewhere. You definitely, definitely recognised her from somewhere. It's not every day you see a noseless fish woman who looked like she could rip you limb from limb if she wanted to.

Sans looked like a child who'd just been caught with their hand in a cookie jar, and he had completely frozen, eyelights gone. So, he knew her...

Then she blinked, as if realising you were there, and a huge grin spread over her face, massive razor teeth glinting in the light. Did EVERY monster have teeth like that...?

"HELL-FUCKING YES!" She suddenly boomed, pumping the air with her fists. "I KNEW you'd come round, Sans, you lazy FUCKER! Can't believe you ACTUALLY had me WORRIED!"

Sans turned to the crazy fish, went red and held his hands up, shaking his head. "nononono, no no. she's a friend. i don't do that anymore. c'mon, undyne, i told you."

She looked really confused for a moment, then her fists dropped and she slouched, growling in angry frustration.

So this was Undyne, ex-captain of the Royal Guard? THAT'S where you knew her from. She'd been on the news. Her and Asgore (the king) had served time in jail for murdering those kids, but had a shortened sentence because of the situation monsters had been in.

Yeah, not very many people had agreed with that. You remembered the marches and the petitions to get Undyne and Asgore to serve the full sentence. It hadn't been pretty.

"URGH." She stomped in, slammed the door behind her and planted herself on the sofa between you and Sans, the entire thing shifting and groaning under her weight. She crossed her arms and scowled. "So I guess you're still a fucking PUSSY, then?"

"unfortunately." Sans confirmed. You felt incredibly awkward, sat there while listening. They were like two close friends fighting over something insignificant and it made you miss Honey.

Undyne turned her one eye to you and if you hadn't had experience with big monsters you would've wilted under her gaze, but instead you met it with one that was just as fierce. So she'd killed a few humans kids. So? Sans had done the same. Not only that, but you'd SEEN him kill people. You were a hardened monster veteran.

"So... you're Sans's FRIEND, right?" She seemed to spit out the word. Gee, if she had a problem, she just needed to say. Why were all the monsters you met so interested in your relationship with Sans? First Alphys, now Undyne?

"Yeah. You are?"

She raised an eyebrow at your confident answer and you thought you could see a smile forming.

"Undyne. This fucker's ex-boss." She jerked her head towards Sans. "So-"

"you were never my goddam boss, undy-"

She glared at him and he grit his teeth together, grumbling.

"As I was SAYING..." She continued, turning back to you. "Why are you friends with this LAZY ASSHAT?"

The insults Undyne threw at him sailed over your head. Monsters had a weird way of expressing affection and friendship- the angrier they got with someone, the more they cared.

"I bumped into him and spilt coffee all over myself." You chuckled at the memory, and at Sans's rising blush. He was avoiding your eye contact, instead opting to stare at the floor. "He bought me another and the relationship kinda set off from there."

"Do you ever think you'd fuck him?"

 

...

waht

Sans decided to choke on his own breath and splutter uncontrollably, then vanish, and you decided to just sit there with your mouth open, brain crashing like an outdated computer. Why were ALL of Sans's friends so keen for you to have sex with him!? At least Alphys hadn't been so... straightforward!

"W-why do all you guys ask me that!?" You said, half actually wondering and half trying to deflect the question. "Alphys literally asked me that same question!" You looked away. "Except... not as bluntly."

Undyne groaned loudly and fell sideways, lying on the sofa, scowling. "Cuz in the Underground, Sans was a fucking badass!" She rolled onto her back and threw her hands up. "Sure, he was lazy as FUCK, but he went out and dusted monsters with us and smoked and always had at least ONE gorgeous monster girl latched onto his arm and was literally SUCH A FUCKING COOL DUDE!! Then we get to the surface and he's A COMPLETE PUSSY. Like, I know that dusting is illegal now, yeah, sure, I get that." She balled her hands into fists. "BUT HE HASN'T GONE OUT CLUBBING with us ONCE!! And he hasn't gotten laid in like, a YEAR!"

You raised an eyebrow at her frustration. Surely, if Sans had changed, that was his decision? If he wanted to become a better person it was his choice, right?

"... So you all want Sans to go back to his old self, and you think someone sleeping with him is going to fix that?"

"Not anyone." She didn't even look at you, just pointed a blue scaled hand at you. "You in particular. The ONLY times we ever see him, he NEVER shuts up about you." Your heart fluttered a little at that.

Undyne sat up. "So we've all resorted to VIOLENTLY SHIPPING THE TWO OF YOU."

Um. "... 'All'?" You repeated. ...How many people shipped you and Sans? Did she mean all the monsters he used to know...?

"Y'know, his old drinking buddies." She slapped her chest and it sounded like she'd just hit a drum. You could see clearly defined abs through her shirt. "Me, Paps, Alphys, Mettaton... Well, not REALLY Alphys, she never went out drinking. She just wants an excuse to ship you guys."

Fricking METTATON shipped you? You hoped this wouldn't bite you in the butt later. He was getting increasingly popular on Youtube and if he mentioned anything about a possible SHIP...

Ugh, you could already see the spamming emails, the people crowding, and oh god the FANART...

"And he doesn't even TRY to visit us!" She continued. "We have to practically FORCE HIM! And even then, he stays for about THREE MINUTES then just TELEPORTS BACK HOME AGAIN!" She slammed her fist down on the back of the sofa and you cringed as something cracked. You hoped it was the sofa. "NGAH! Enough STALLING! I've got a BET for you!"

You blinked. Oh...?

"I've been trying to convince Sans to come out to Mettaton's new club. There's a branch that's opening in the city, and it would be treason not to go." Her voice dropped significantly and she leant so close you could see the tiny scars littering her face. "Since we all got free entry 'cuz of being his drinking mates, I figured this would be a great opportunity to convince Sans to get wasted with us again, but apparently he's 'not interested'." She made air quotations, and her expression went evil. "But if YOU go, he HAS to come along. He's a protective freak, and with all those pervy assholes wandering around, he wouldn't dare to leave you by yourself."

You screwed up your face and waved your hands.

"Nonono, I hate clubs, they're all dark and sweaty." You cringed. "Plus I'm not sure about manipulating Sans like that. If he doesn't want to go, he doesn't want to-"

"Guess Sans isn't the only pussy."

You froze. Undyne was trying to look nonchalant but you could see the evil smirk. You caught yourself before you screamed 'BET TAKEN'. You WEREN'T going to give in to peer pressure like that.

"Ex-fucking-scuse me?" You retorted, hands falling to your sides. "Bitch, I did a drinking contest with monster alcohol and didn't DIE the next morning."

Undyne's face fell, mouth hanging open, and for a moment you thought she didn't believe you.

"Man, that brutal." She hissed, with a look that resembled shock and respect.

"...Yeah, it was pretty gross." You looked at the opposite wall, recalling sobbing all over Sans and having your face inside a toilet for most of the night.

"BUT STILL." She shouted, regaining herself. She pressed a scaly finger against your nose accusingly and you flinched back. "Friday. Next week. Mettaton's new club. If you've got Sans with you they'll let you in for free."

You sighed. "I still don't like the idea of forcing him to go out."

"C'mon nerd, he'll be with his buds." She slapped you on the back and you fell forward a little, winded. "He'll have a great time. And if he doesn't want to go again afterwards, we'll give up on him. Ok?"

You sighed, rubbing your abused back. Well, there wasn't much point arguing with Undyne anyway. They'd leave him alone if he decided not to go a second time, right? So you just had to convince him to go clubbing with you. No big deal. And if he didn't want to go, you could just go yourself and check it out.

"Ok, fine." You sighed again. "But I'm not making any promises. I'll try, and that's the best I can do."

"Try to look sexy, too." You figured she would've winked at you if she'd had two eyes, and she pulled out a large phone from her pocket. Was that an anime character on her case...? "I'll give you my phone number, then you can ask me if you have any questions."

"Oh, ok, sure."

...

"...GREAT!" She shouted, suddenly back at full volume, and you flinched. "I'm gonna go raid Sans's fridge. I'm THIRSTY as FUCK!"

"Oh, uh, don't touch the Hobgoblin!" You called out, as she jumped up and stomped over to the kitchen. "That's the only beverage Sans'll drink other than mustard!"

"So he still fucking DRAINS mustard?" Her voice yelled from the other room. You laughed at that, and joined her inside the kitchen. She popped the cap of a beer bottle with her fingernails. "Papyrus missed sparring and I SWEAR to ASGORE, I'm gonna KICK HIS ASS when he gets here."

"He's out trying to train Killer to attack on command." You just settled for getting yourself a glass of water. Alcohol was still ruined for you after the disastrous night at Grillby's.

"...That poor dog." She knocked her head back and drained the entire bottle in a matter of seconds. You stood there, glass almost touching your lips, staring at her. Is that... healthy? Does she have a liver? Do monsters REQUIRE livers? Sans doesn't have a liver, does he? I mean, if Undyne DOES, then that poor thing doesn't know what's coming.

You heard the sound of the front door opening and froze. Ah, shit. Papyrus was back. The pitter-patter of a four-legged animal running inside made your spirits lift, though-

"PAPYRUS YOU LITTLE SHIT!" Undyne yelled, dropping the empty beer bottle. It smashed loudly and pieces flew everywhere, so you shrieked and jumped up onto the chair out of pure instinctual shock. Killer started barking, and you heard Papyrus swear quietly.

Undyne, now an entirely different person, stormed from the kitchen and there was the sound of bones rattling and more swearing. You stood there, on a chair, glass around you with a dog barking and people swearing and hoping to GOD that they decided to take their fighting elsewhere.

"UNDYNE, I -OW- DID NOT MEAN TO MISS SPARRING, IT SIMPLY SLIPPED MY -OOF- MIND!"

"Well maybe I should ENGRAVE it into your SKULL so you NEVER FORGET AGAIN! Let's go, I'm gonna NOOGIE you until YOU SHATTER INTO PIECES!!!!"

"NO! DON'T NOOGIE THE SKELETON!"

...Where was that music coming from?

"NNNGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!" The door slammed again, this time so loudly that it made you yelp and fall off the chair. Well, technically not. After the realisation that you were falling finally hit, your SOUL lurched towards the ceiling unpleasantly and gravity seemed to stop functioning entirely, except on your hair and clothes, which were still being pulled towards the floor. So only your body was being held up? It was such a weird sensation, not-quite-complete weightlessness.

You could still hear the two of them screaming outside- Undyne's promises of pain and death, highlighted by Papyrus's shouts.

You looked at your hands. ...Aaand the rest of your body. Yup, you were encased in some kind of glowing red mist that swirled about like tiny gales on a you-shaped landscape.

'Aha. Magic.' You thought. It smelled like bonfire smoke so you were pretty sure that it was Sans, but... where was he?

You wriggled a little but you were unsuccessful in moving anywhere. Eventually you huffed and let your hands fall limp, your knuckles knocking against the floor. Holy shit, you were only like, a few inches off the ground.

Killer trotted in casually, walking over the shattered glass. He gave you a quick sniff and you reached out to pet him, but he turned and left, which hurt your feelings. Didn't he want any attention? Maybe he was just tired from Papyrus's training. Or was it the fact that you probably smelt of Sans?

"SANS." You shouted. "CAN YOU PUT ME DOWN NOW PLEASE...?"

A familiar 'whoosh' of air. "... how'd ya know it was me?" His voice sounded, and he appeared behind and over you. Urgh, that was really disorientating. Was he sat down? His head was way too close for him to be standing. You were probably floating with your head right above his lap.

Either that or he magically turned into a dwarf when no one was looking.

"Red magic that smells like bonfire smoke." You said up to his face. Wow, you REALLY wanted to stick your hand in his eyesocket. "Anyway, thanks for the save, but, can I go now?"

Oh no. Ohh no. He's giving you the Goofy Smile™ again. What did you do to deserve this fate? RIP you. Better just say your prayers now and get it over with. 'Here lies (y/n), killed by puns.' You need to write a note to your next of kin...

"...nah. i think i'm just gonna sit down for a while." He stared at something out of your field of vision. You let out a frustrated shriek, wriggling your arms about (probably trying to subconsciously grab his nonexistent throat), and Sans just looked down at you, raising an eyebrow bone. The smug fucker was mocking you.

"you just 'hang' in there." He punned. But... something was off. He looked... otherwise occupied. Like his mind was elsewhere and he was trying desperately to remain in the moment, while solving the puzzle in his head.

His eyelights kept shifting in brightness and... yup, he was sweating.

"... You ok?" You asked, looking up at him. He started sweating even more and looked to the side.

"i, uh, to tell the truth..." He cringed. "i, uhm, can't put you down..."

...

"That's a joke, right?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He chuckled nervously at your tone, sweating bullets. Shit. Shit.

"usually i can just do it naturally, but, uh, right now, my magic..." Doesn't want to let you go. "... isn't cooperating..."

He should've expected this outcome. What was he thinking, surrounding you with his magic when his heat was probably only a month away? If not closer!? Stupid stupid stupid. He'd relied on gut instinct to catch you when you'd fallen off the chair and now said gut instinct was preventing him from putting you back down again.

No, scratch that, it was flat out refusing to put you down. Why should he save you from harm only to put you back in harm's way again? It was a sure way to guarantee your safety after all...

He rubbed some sweat from his face, trying to ignore the little voice. You were an adult, you could take care of yourself. You'd managed so far. He didn't own you, you weren't his. ...Yet. And even then, what kind of relationship would it be you feared or hated him? You were a person with a life outside of him. You'd pack up and skedaddle the moment he became possessive like that. After all, it wasn't like you'd never broken away from unhealthy relationships before.

No. He needed to get that little voice back in it's box and stop thinking about just himself and HIS happiness. Being a possessive freak never helped anyone.

... Not that he was pretending he didn't struggle with possessiveness.

"Is this a prank?" You blinked. "Cuz it's not very funny."

"n-no, i..." He couldn't look you in the eye, and he'd lost his train of thought. Instead, he moved you slowly through the air, bringing you to sit on the floor next to him. He rubbed his face. "i-i literally can't turn it off."

"S-so I'm STUCK?" You yelped. "Being floaty and red?"

Well, red actually looked really good on you, but he kept that comment to himself, instead opting to shrug silently.

"... How restricted am I?" You asked, concern leaking into your voice.

"you can only move your limbs." He cringed at the 'are you shitting me' look you gave him. "t-the magic's got a hold on your SOUL, so your torso is basically locked in place now."

He could see your jaw moving as you grit your teeth together, looking off to the side and thinking for a moment, before sighing and pinching the bridge of your nose. You looked completely DONE, but not in an angry way, which was a relief to him.

"And... how do we solve this?" You asked.

... uh

wasn't thinking of that.

"...well," He looked to the side. "if my magic's acting up, then..." Working directly against the flow would just tire him out and make the magical effects even stronger. Resisting would buy enough time to let you down but eventually it would build up and break like a dam, meaning that his heat would be even worse. So, his only option was just...

"i guess i just gotta do something calming. go with it until my magic settles down." He stood up, deciding to take you with him, making you the centre of your own gravity and floating you just above himself. Your eyes widened and you held your arms out as if balancing yourself, yelping and kicking your legs.

Don't laugh, don't laugh, don't laugh...

"How-how long will that take!?" You shrieked, pulling down the shirt that had started to ride up. "I can't live like a spaceman!"

He broke a chuckle at that.

"if it lasts more than a day, then something is SERIOUSLY wrong with my magic, and i should be signing myself up for a trip to the doctor." That was putting it mildly. If he couldn't actively control his own magic in day-to-day life he'd have to either get training or get dusted. He shrugged. "probably a few hours at most. don't worry about it, you literally couldn't be safer."

You groaned and crossed your legs, still floating in the air next to him, covered in red magic.

"Well, can I at least take a picture of myself meditating in the air like one of those crazy movie monks?"

"if anyone found out i used anything other than healing magic on you, all hell would break loose."

"FUCK." You made fists out of your hands and crossed your arms. "So I literally CAN'T DO ANYTHING without you?"

"...you can sleep?" He offered. That's what he'd do in this situation.

"Sans, you're definitely the pranking type." You held out a hand as you casually floated along behind him while he stood up and started cleaning up the shards of beer bottle Undyne had left behind. "...and I'm 99% sure that sleeping in the air while completely under the effects of your magic will NOT end well."

Welp, you got him there. "... touché." He still got a little thrill at the thought of you being completely under his control but he banished those thoughts with a grimace. If he started thinking like that, he'd almost certainly get overly possessive.

"So in a nutshell, I'm stuck to following you around, like... like..." You broke him out of his sin-filled thoughts, waving your arms about. "Some kind of spoopy ghost?"

"...spoopy?" He asked, looking over his shoulder at you, giving you a weird look. Did you just mis-pronounce spooky? Or...?

"It's an internet term."

Oh, ok. Memes.

There was a small span of silence as Sans cleaned up the broken glass and you floated in the air beside him, unsure as to what you should do. Eventually he heard the rustling of fabric and you'd pulled out your phone, fingers already jumping across the screen.

"Honey has GOT to know about this." He saw that little smile that only ever appeared when you thought about your best friend. He wished you'd smile like that when you thought about him. "She can keep a secret, and besides, she'll find out sooner or later."

Well, you're not wrong there. The crazy bitch probably already knew.

"...are you hungry? for literally anything that isn't pasta, i mean." He scratched the back of his skull, admiring the way your attention snapped back to him, nodding eagerly.

"Heck yeah." You laughed. "Pap's spaghetti is good n'all, but..."

A moment of silent understanding passed between the two of you.

"you wanna help?" He asked, hands in his pockets, already feeling a tiny bit drained from keeping you in the air. W-which was a good thing, of course. Yeah.

"I'll try, but I have the culinary expertise of a neanderthal." You pursed your lips and went back to texting. "Actually, no, neanderthals can cook meat."

He smiled, cracking his joints. "we can work with that."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"So." You dug at the food on your plate, still getting used to not being able to lean over to eat it.
You weren't sure how to go about doing this. Not the leaning over to eat part, the 'getting Sans to go to the club' part. You needed to convince him that it would be enjoyable and worth his time, and you were just going to do that before you got distracted with the whole gravity magic fiasco. It'd popped back into your head while you floated around aimlessly, and you'd mulled over it a few times while eating.

Sans cooked pretty much all food, and he cooked at the speed of light. Pots here, pans there, can you pass me this, I need to use that, can you stir this thing while I do this, etc. And all the while you just stayed there in the air, occasionally complaining that you couldn't reach something he was asking for or saying "Can't you just teleport and go get it?", to which he would either reply with a shrug or by nudging your SOUL a little closer to the thing he wanted in a silent way of saying "please just pick the damn thing up."

He made jacket potato with various other pieces on the side, like baked beans and tuna. It was nice but you were under the impression that he'd deliberately chosen one of the easiest fucking meals to make so you wouldn't feel worried about screwing up or something. It was a nice gesture, but... a little humiliating, especially since you felt like a toddler being held up by it's parent so it couldn't get into trouble.

Yeah, you hoped his magic 'calmed down' soon.

"so...?" Sans prompted. You blinked, aware that you'd completely stopped and gone silent. Hanging in the air had that effect on you sometimes.

You took another forkful of potato. There was a chair underneath you just in case his magic stopped during the meal, but you were floating above it casually. "... Soooo... You know Mettaton is opening up a new club on Friday?"

He put his fork down, sockets widening considerably. Uh, well, he didn't shout for you to shut up, so you took that as a sign to continue.

"Aaand, it's supposed to be really good. And all his old drinking buddies get to go for free..."

"undyne put you up to this, didn't she?" You flinched and pursed your lips. Damn, he'd already got you. Curse his superior body language reading abilities! "i've said it before and i'll say it again- i don't do that anymore. tell her i'm not going." He went back to eating.

"But she said if you go this once, she won't bother you about it again!" You leant your head back a little. You were pretty certain that this was a battle you wouldn't win. "You literally just have to go out, have a drink or two, then go back home again."

"nope." He kept eating, not looking at you. The way he said it told you that it was his final answer.

"Urgh, ok. Fine." You ran a hand through your hair, then got your phone out, about to text Undyne. "Guess I'm going alone, then."

You suddenly careened backwards, your back slamming into the back of the chair and knocking it onto the floor with a loud clatter. Your phone fell from your hand as well but the case stopped it from breaking as it fell to the ground.
You shrieked as you flew partway across the room before finally stopping a few inches away from the wall. Sans's magic had flared wildly and the grip on your SOUL was now vice-like, almost crushing it. You gasped quietly when Sans jumped up from his chair in panic, because the magic on your skin fizzed and crackled like electricity.

You could quite literally FEEL his panic at the prospect of you going alone. But right now, you were too focused on your SOUL being FUCKING SQUEEZED TO DEATH.

"SANS, put me down, RIGHT NOW." You wheezed, as he teleported straight to you.

"oh my stars i'm so sorry, i didn't mean to-"

"FEET. ON GROUND. NOW."

"i-i can't!"

He was too agitated. His magic was too jumpy and upset. It hurt, your chest contracting like a small panic attack.

"J-just relax, Sans." You put your hands on his shoulders, trying to seem nonchalant, even though you'd just screamed at him and you felt like you were being crushed. Damn, is this what it felt like when he was actually serious? He could kill someone like this.

Um.

Right, uh, stop thinking about that.

"Deep breaths. I can't move unless you calm down." You said softly.

He shut his eyesockets and inhaled deeply through his nose. Or nasal bone. Nasal cavity? ... Oh, whatever. Where his nose would've been, had he been human. Eyesockets still shut, he took a hold of your forearms, and squeezed them just a little.

Slowly, the grip on you SOUL relaxed, like a stretched piece of rubber going back to normal. He blinked his eyes open and let out a breath, eyelights flashing then going back to normal, like a fire sizzling out.

"G-gee, if you didn't want me to go by myself, you could've just said." You chuckled, trying to make light of the situation. You were still floating, but you could feel the Earth's gravity slowly starting to affect your legs. It was a strange feeling- being pulled by two gravities at once.

Sans chuckled too, but he was still taking deep breaths.

"m' sorry. i was just..." He looked mad at himself for some reason. "yeah, changed my mind, i'm going too. friday, right?"

You frowned. "Sans, you shouldn't go just because I'm going. If you don't want to go, that's fine."

"don't know what you mean." He shrugged, and you took your hands off his shoulders, but he kept the grip on your forearms. "i reeaallllyy miss my old drinking buddies." You rolled your eyes. "like, sooo much-"

He froze, and his grin dropped. You thought you'd done something wrong, but then his smile grew so much that his eyesockets creased at the bottom and corners. His eyelights grew much wider and brighter, and a little blush broke out on his cheekbones when he looked back up at you.

Oh no.

"oh my stars, you'll have to wear a dress..." He squeezed your forearms. "a... an actual dress..."

You glared at him, heating up instantly, about to shout something sassy, but he looked like an excited fanboy again. The same expression that he'd had when you'd asked him what a green flash was.

And yup, you were right last time. His eyelights had turned into tiny, five-pointed red stars.

"You'll have to wear something smart too, y'know!" You grumbled in a weak attempt at bouncing the attention off yourself, pulling your arms out his grip and crossing them. You didn't like the way he suddenly turned into a five year old at the prospect of you wearing a dress.

"you gonna go for elegant or slutty?" He asked, grin absolutely huge, wiggling his eyebrow bones.

You wanted to laugh at him but you automatically plastered on a scowl.

"I'll go for whatever feels comfortable, thank you very much-"

You stopped.

Then you shrieked.

"HOLY FUCK!!"

The Earth's gravity on you increased tenfold, Sans's magic completely letting go. You fell out the air, legs folding underneath you, and you landed flat on your ass with a loud -bang-.
Your thighs and calves felt like absolute jelly from not being used for so long and your butt really, REALLY hurt. Was... was gravity always this damn strong!? How did people LIVE in this? You were lucky Sans hadn't been floating you above him like he'd done most of the day, or the fall would've been MUCH longer.

But still, that fucking HURT! And you hadn't been expecting it, so the shock made it hurt even more!

"SANS, YOU ASS!" You shouted, rubbing your lower back. "GIVE ME a fucking WARNING next time!"

"s-shit, sorry..." He crouched down to your level and wrapped his arms around you, passing quickly through the void, then falling onto the sofa. You hissed at the feeling of your bruised butt pressing onto it.

"Great. Fucking great. Now I can't walk." You groaned, as Sans peeled himself off you, giving you space. "I can't call in sick again, it's unfair on King. Plus Grillby will just be mad that I injured myself agai-"

You felt the atmosphere drop like a penny, and you shut up instantly, eyes widening.

What...?

Why did everything suddenly feel so cold and quiet?

It was like the entire world had stopped around you. Like the air and warmth had stopped flowing. Everything had gone dead, everything had been muted.

Sans gently took one of your hands in his, staring at the back of it with a dead expression. Eyelights gone, grin wide, completely silent. Was he doing that...?

You'd forgotten how large he was compared to you, but looking at your tiny hand in his huge skeletal one was a sharp enough reminder.

When you glanced up you saw his empty expression, and you recognised it. That was his murderous look. That was the same look he gave those rats before he killed them. Except without the crazy, burning eye.
And his slow, gentle movements made it even more tense. He was being placid, but you knew that if you tried to pull your hand away, you wouldn't be able to escape.

But what was it about your fucking HAND that made him so quietly, emptily, murderously angry?

...

"...so that's what it was." He said to himself, voice low and just above a whisper. Anything you could've said hitched in your throat. His grin grew a little, and not in a friendly way. "how did i not...?"

"Sans?" You finally managed to squeak out. "What's...?"

And then, just like that, everything was normal again. The air and warmth came back, the light came back, and you released tension in your shoulders that you hadn't even realised was there.

"sorry." He chuckled, and he was back to normal, looking down at you with non-murderous eyelights. "i just realised something really important."

"... What was it?" You asked, blinking. Uh, were you allowed to ask that?

He brought your hand to his mouth, where he planted a kiss on the back of it. You had an immense feeling of déjà-vu, which was promptly drowned out your hot embarrassment.

"i just realised that you're my DATE to the club." He grinned like a child.

FUCK THAT STUPID GOOFY SMILE™

"hey, since you're my date, can i have a proper kiss?" He leant forwards, one of your hands still in his grip.

"FUCK NO." You used the free hand to slap it over his face and push him away.

"aww, way to break a man's heart."

"You don't even HAVE a heart!"

"it's the thought that counts~"

"FUCK YOU!"

"buy me dinner first."

"That's it. I'm done. Go away."

...

... But you still couldn't shake off the feeling that he'd lied.

Chapter Text

... You were awoken by your phone buzzing against your back. For a moment you were confused as to how it was buzzing against your BACK, but you became aware of the fact that you were lying on the sofa in almost pitch black with a dog weighing down your feet and a blanket wrapped around you.

You retrieved your phone from between you and the sofa cushions and turned it on.

You flinched, squeezing your eyes shut for a moment. Damn, forgot to turn the brightness down. You blinked at the screen, still only partially awake. Someone had... texted you? At 5am? You blinked again, eyes adjusting to the sudden bright light of the phone.

-Unknown: Pardon me, is this (y/n)?

Ok, so it was probably someone you knew. You stretched, then pulled the blanket further over your shoulders, considered the prospect of it being Mom or Dad trying to get a hold on your new phone number. Although, how they'd gotten their hands on it would be subject for another conversation.

-You: That depends. Who's asking?

-Unknown: It is Grillby.

Oh, ok. You almost started typing, but decided against that. Ugh, being sleepy made you stupid. You ran a hand through your knotted hair and paused for a few seconds, before typing out your message.

-You: Proof needed, my friend. If you're Grillby, what did I call you first time we met

That was decent enough. Had you been awake, you probably would've thought of a bomb-ass question, but right now you were still in a bleary haze.

-Unknown: I believe it was 'Grillbae'

TING TING! Test passed!

-You: Ok. Yup it's (y/n)

/-you set Unknown's name to Grillboss-/

-You: Sorry about the initiation process

-Grillboss: It is fine. Better safe than sorry.

So his inability to use contractions passed on into text? Weird.

-You: What do you need?

-Grillboss: I do not require anything, I simply wished to know how your weekend has been so far.

Um...? Ok? I mean, out of every monster you've met, Grillby still holds no.1 spot as most polite. Heck, he's in the top 3 for most polite PEOPLE. Perhaps he was just genuinely interested. In what you were doing. ...At 5am. ... On a Sunday.

-You: Yeah, everything's pretty basic

Well, that was a complete lie. Panic attacks, illegally passing over borders and Sans's magic going haywire was nothing 'basic'. However, you were pretty sure that they were events you would have to keep between the two of you. Well, three. Honey knew everything.

-Grillboss: What does a 'basic' weekend for you involve? Forgive me, I am not human.

-You: Man, I don't know what I do on the weekends, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast yesterday

-You: If I even HAD breakfast :/

-You: Well since I'm still crashing at Sans's place, I just hung out w him all day? Also met Undyne, she was a handful

-Grillboss: Yes, she is quite the character, is she not?

What was the point of this whole conversation again? You couldn't keep up. Urgh, whatever.

-You: Look, boss, it's 5am or something, I need sleep.

-Grillby: Ah, yes, of course.

-You: If you need to text me I'll probably be free in the afternoon or something, Papyrus would've woken me up by then

-You: Bye

-Grillboss: Goodbye. I shall see you at work :)

Setting the phone to Do-Not-Disturb, you rolled over and blinked your eyes shut again. Well, that had been... awkward? Short-lived, but awkward. Wait... didn't Sans say that Grillby was hundreds of years old!? Oh man, now you just felt weird. ...He had such a great ass for someone who was potentially more ten times your age.

You sighed heavily, slipping back into sleep. Well at least you didn't have a thing for him. Damn, that would be a mess. Trying to strike up a relationship with someone who was alive during a time humans forgot? Phew, no thanks.

And, uh, that smiley face he'd sent had given you the creeps. Bigtime.

No idea why.

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Sunday was chill. That's always a good thing.

You'd been chatting to Honey and filling her in on recent events (she gave some pretty sound advice), when Sans burst into the room holding an old Wii console he'd found in the cupboard, complete with a Smash Bros Brawl disc. It freaking WORKED! The two of you had rattled off a good few hours just wrecking each other on various maps with different nostalgia-inducing characters.

"... god fucking DAMMIT marth! stop doing up b, you stupid...!"

"Sans, I am going to destroy you for that."

"i swear, playing meta knight is illegal or something."

"Just 'cause he's banned in tournaments doesn't mean he's banned here, sunshine."

"how do i do that '0 to ko' thing you showed me?"

"Oh, like *this*, then *this*, then *this*. It only works with Marth, though."

"ok."

"YOU'VE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME HOW DID I WALK INTO THAT!?"

"hell-fucking-yeah!"

That had been great, and you resolved to do it again sometime.

Then, you'd both decided to go to the coffee shop, since it was a nice sunny day. Still a little cold, but sunny nonetheless.

Plus you really needed some coffee in your system before you headed to work without King.

Like, really really.

Like wow.

Sans had accompanied you out, of course, but even if you didn't want him to come it wasn't like you could stop him.

"... How old is Grillby?" You asked, as you trudged to the coffee shop, Sans looming beside you while you tried to think of a number. He seemed... tense? "I know it's in the hundreds but is there anything more... specific?"

He shrugged. "eh, it varies person to person. in humans years? some say he's already hit a thousand, some say he's only five hundred."

You pulled a face. Wow, and Sans said it so casually. So living into the hundreds was nothing new for monsters?

"Do monsters age differently? Y'know, to humans." Sans looked down at you with a gaze that was asking for you to continue. You bit the inside of your cheek. "We only tend to live to 70 or 80, but we're at our physical prime in the 20's and 30's." You shrugged. "After that, shit just gets nasty. Degrading bones, flabby skin, pneumonia, weak heart..." You listed them off on your fingers. "Most people don't really live past 70, and only a few ever see the triple digits."

Sans blinked.

"wait, you mean you only live 'till 70!?" A crease appeared between his eyebrows bones.

"Well, what's your average lifespan, then?"

He took a moment to gather his mind together before he answered, scratching the side of his face.

"if no one killed each other? well, as long as ya don't have a kid... there'd technically be no limit. we're just animated dust, as long as our magic is doing ok there's no reason to age."

Your jaw dropped, then you stopped walking and narrowed your eyes, a sudden horrifying thought occurring.

"How old are you!?" You demanded.

Sans flinched back a little at your aggressive tone, sweat breaking out on his skull.

"wait, wh-"

"HOW OLD ARE YOU!?" You demanded again. Oh god, what if he was hundreds of years old too? And he KISSED you! You repressed a shudder.

"holy shit, let me speak." He held up his hands and took a step back. "um, i'm probably... probably the equivalent of somewhere in the mid twenties...? human years and monster years aren't the same."

You let out a breath of relief, shoulders sagging. Thank everything good in this world. You wouldn't be able to look Sans in the eye again if he'd actually been a really old man or an edgy preteen.

... Actually, that would make a lot of sense.

"Sorry, I just..." You saw his shocked, confused expression and waved your hand, as if waving the unspoken question away, starting to walk again. He quickly followed behind. "Humans don't generally stray outside our generation when considering partners."

"woah, really?" He looked impressed. "that's picky."

"Well, if your partner dies in the first four years of your relationship, it would be a pain." He chuckled at that. "...And then there's women and their menopause. Basically, once you stray outside your generation it's not really socially acceptable. But that's not to say there aren't people who have older lovers." You shrugged. "Like I said. Generally."
You knitted your eyebrows together. "Well, you can go for other generations, but you never touch children. Never."

"glad to see that's not just a monster thing." Sans nodded. "guess some things are universal."

There was a moment of silence until you clapped your hands together and perked up, making Sans jump a little.

"Right, well, that's enough talking about pedophilia. Let's talk about something nice instead." You tried to ignore the fact that you just realised you'd asked for his age then effectively told him that he was in the right zone to be a partner. "Tell me a good joke."

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[[Note from Llama Goddess: There was a part that would've gone here, but I had to delete it because I realised it had some major spoilers in, and there wasn't really enough time to edit a good transition in. Pls forgive me if this sudden jump is weird]]
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"... opened the door for a clown the other day. he said it was a nice jester."

You nearly spat some coffee, instead swallowing it while it was super hot, almost searing your throat. Sans just sat there and laughed at you while you gasped and coughed, hitting the table with his hand.

"oh man, that's the best reaction i could've got." He wheezed. You just glared at him while chugging a glass of water.

Then he looked out the window, and you followed his line of sight. This was the same coffee shop the two of you had met up in during the first days of getting to know each other. Man, it felt like an eternity away. Who would've known that you'd end up living with him? Holy shit, how different would your life be if you'd been watching where you were fucking going? Sheesh, your entire relationship was only started because you'd been clumsy...

"do you like grillby?" Sans asked. You broke yourself out of your life-questioning thoughts and looked up at the huge skeleton. He was still looking out the window, apparently submerged in thought.

"In what way?" You sipped some coffee, making sure he wasn't about to tell a joke before you drank it.

He scratched the side of his face. "y'know, just, how do you see him?"

You raised an eyebrow. What a weird question. "Uhm, he's my boss? And kind of a friend? ...More of an acquaintance, really." It was your turn to stare out of the window and look immersed in thought. "I don't really know, he seems really uptight. Plus he's hundreds of years old, which makes things a little awkward sometimes. And I think he's started flirting with me? I have no idea. It's hard to tell when he has literally no expression." Sans nodded along with what you were saying, seemingly agreeing, and you took another sip of coffee. "Why'd you ask?"

"you just suddenly started talking about him, out of the blue." Sans shrugged, trying to seem nonchalant, but you could've sworn you heard some kind of hostility in his voice. "i was wonderin' if you had a thing for him or someth-"

"Oh, no. Nonononono." You put down your coffee and held up your hands, slightly horrified at the thought of having a relationship with Grillby that went any further than friends. "Maybe a little at first but no, definitely not. He's just too..."

You pursed your lips, unable to find the right word.

"I don't want to say old, but... it just feels weird to think of him in any way other than a friend way." You chuckled. "I dunno. I'm probably making no sense. You don't have to worry about competition from Grillby." You teased.

He chuckled too, suddenly brighter, a small blush appearing on his cheekbones. "yeah, that's good to hear."

Then the two of you realised the meaning of what you just said and fell into an awkward silence, the only sound being the occasional sip of coffee.

Well.

Uhm.

"So..."
"so..."

You both stopped and blinked, then broke into laughter. Wow, awkward much.

"Ok, so..." You put your coffee down. "A man walks into a bar..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[[Same situation as the paragraph above, don't kill me, I swear I'll try harder next time]]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The moment you stepped into Grillby's, something was different.

It wasn't unusually quiet or tense or atmospheric, it was just different. Like... slightly calmer.

You stopped and stared, looking at the table that was usually occupied by your friends. The dogs weren't in! That was... odd? They were always there! You'd never seen them anywhere else! They pretty much LIVED at Grillby's! Everyone else was here. The Bunny, the plant, the drunk fish, the bird, the horse who always stood by the jukebox so he could get the next song...

"Where are the other dogs?" You asked the first person you saw, who happened to be the FeedMeSeymour plant.

"Theyyy are visssitinnng... a fffammilly mmemmberrsss." It droned. You blinked at it's choice of words. ...A family members? Was it foreign, or did it just change it's mind halfway through the sentence?

"A family members...?" You parroted.

"Ennndogennyy." It simply said. You felt like you should know what it meant but you honestly had no idea. Wasn't that a scientific term? The plant put a lot of stress on the 'dog' sound in the middle, so maybe it was a family member with some kind of pun name...?

Oh well. Too much to think about. You shrugged and sighed, lamenting the temporary loss of your friends. Especially Greater Dog. The atmosphere just... wasn't the same without them.

"why do you look so down, my dear?"

Oh. Grillby was already at the bar, wiping a large kitchen knife with a cloth. You glanced at the blade and shuddered, remembering the bloody and dust-covered weapon that Sans had used to kill the Albino rat.

"The dogs aren't here. I'm just a bit annoyed." You made your way behind the counter next to him, ducking underneath, opening a small cabinet and checking that there were enough mustard bottles for when Sans arrived. Sans was one heck of a regular because there was a whole drinks cabinet dedicated solely to him (and it was just mustard.) Usually there was only one in there, but sometimes he chugged through two of them and it was better for him to drink this cheaper mustard than the expensive stuff that was put on the tables. "Something about visiting a family member called Endogeny? I'm not sure." You looked up at Grillby, feeling like a midget from this height. "Plus I have no idea who Endogeny is and I feel like I should know."

The corners of Grillby's mouth turned upwards and he went back to wiping the knife. "ah, I see. yes, it is not the same without them. as for Endogeny, they were a group of dogs subjected to experiments which aimed to artificially create SOULs back when we were underground."

You blinked. You definitely weren't expecting that.

Grillby seemed to examine the knife carefully as he wiped it. "they were given Determination extracted from human SOULs but it proved too much for their systems. as they melted, they realised that the only way for them to survive was to bind together into a single gelatinous being known as Endogeny. it currently lives with dr. Alphys, the ex royal scientist, for she is the only one who can successfully take care of the creature."

As you listened, you noticed that Grillby seemed to refer to the Underground a lot more affectionately than most monsters did. Sans, Papyrus, Undyne, the dogs... they all spoke of it with venom in their voices. They seemed to spit out the word like it soured their tongues.

Grillby, on the other hand, spoke of the Underground like it was an old friend. Perhaps he had a better time there, because he was old and powerful. What did Sans say...? 'he doesn't like cleaning up monster remains, so his bar was one of few places in the underground where monsters didn't fucking dust each other.' So it was the equivalent of some kind of safe haven?

"Yikes." You said quietly in response to Grillby, though you were still thinking. So the monsters did experiments? Well of course they did, they weren't just going to sit there patiently while they waited for another human to fall so they could take their SOUL. You hadn't heard anything about this until now. So monsters were all keeping a lid on it?

Didn't Sans say something about monsters agreeing not to tell anyone about what they'd done, in the hopes that their sins would die with them?

Grillby had described Endogeny as 'gelatinous' and you had the sudden chilling image of a group of dogs all merged together into one gloopy, crawling creature.

"are you all right, my dear?" Grillby's soothing voice brought you back into reality. You shook the image out your head and stood up, blinking a few times.

"Sorry, I just had a mental image of loads of dogs all melted together." You pulled a face. "Wasn't pretty."

You turned to Grillby and saw that he was staring at you. Well, your hair. Had you forgotten to tie it back...? No, you'd definitely remembered to tie it back, because you had the definitive memory of explaining hairbands to Sans when you accidentally stretched the aforementioned item, firing it into his face.

Perhaps he was interested because he didn't have hair? A few bunny children had asked if they could touch your hair once. The parents had been embarrassed but you let them have a feel simply because you thought it was cute, and before you knew it all the bunny children were cooing at how soft your hair was and how much they wanted hair like yours.

Plus their mom gave great tips and you felt obliged to be nice to them.

But Grillby's continuous staring made you uncomfortable and you turned away, instead looking across the bar. Despite your better judgement you started to wonder what happened to Ben. After you'd left Grillby's with Sans he kinda... vanished. Perhaps Sans had scared him off? That would explain his terrified and slightly guilty look.

You were probably going to have to talk to Sans about scaring people off. Luckily, you were happy with Ben gone, but if that had been someone you actually liked you would've been pretty pissed.

Grillby's eyes continued to burn into the side of your head until you took a deep breath and turned to him, smiling.

"You okay, Grillboss? You've been staring at me for a while now."

His flames crackled blue for a moment and his mouth vanished, just leaving two empty white dots, then he smiled, returning to the familiar violet hue.

"my apologies. I was lost in your eyes."

You paused, then laughed openly at that, which gained another blue crackle and turned a few heads in your direction. Damn, you hadn't expected that! You didn't know why it cracked you up, but it just did. You laughed a few more times before bringing yourself back down to Earth.

"Th... that was smooth as fuck." You chuckled again, wiping a tear away. "Man, didn't see that coming!

"why, thank you." He winked.

That just made you laugh harder. He was such a freakin' genius.

"my dear, I have a question." His smile fell, and he put his forearms on the counter and leant on it, staring at the door. He seemed... morose, all of a sudden. "if you had... romantic feelings for someone, how would you make them known?"

You stopped laughing, eyebrows shooting up. Grillby? Romantically interested in someone? Wow, who's the lucky person?

"...Well, uh, I guess it depends." You leant against the counter too, but instead of leaning forwards you just rested the small of your back against it. The two of you were facing opposite directions now, but you turned your head to study him. "I mean, I'm no expert, but it depends on the person, right?"

Grillby nodded along to this, still looking at the door.

"What're they like?" You asked, making sure to use non-specific pronouns.

"she is very beautiful, and smart." He said instantly. Well, now you got the pronoun game sorted. "she handles stress incredibly well, although she likes to think she doesn't. she's passionate and determined, and tends to act on impulse instead of thinking the situation through." Wow, that sounded like you. Except you DEFINITELY couldn't handle stress.
Grillby smiled and rested his fiery chin on his hand, looking like someone who was off in another world. "she most likely knows I admire her, and simply pretends not to so she can avoid a confrontation..."

His smile fell a little.

"but someone else loves her too, perhaps even more than I do, and I am afraid to make my feelings known because that person is the jealous and possessive type- they are more than happy to use backhanded and manipulative tactics to get rivals out of the picture. they have never been in love before and they are overwhelmed by the emotions, so they wish to keep her all to themselves."

You whistled lowly. Poor gal. Wouldn't wanna be in her shoes.

"... Well, does she value honesty?" You asked, looking at the glasses stacked on top of each other.

"... yes, I believe she does." He answered, voice whistling like the wind.

"Then build up the courage and tell her. Be succinct. You said she probably knows, but she'll never be 100% certain unless you tell her." You leant your head back a little and stared up at the ceiling. "Perhaps you'll confess to her and you'll find out she's actually loved you this whole time. Perhaps you'll confess and she just wants the relationship to stay how it is. But either outcome is better than hanging in an uncertain balance, hoping the other person can pick up on your subtle signals and signs."
You looked back at the glasses on the wall.
"And as for the possessive weirdo- if they really love her, they'll want her to be happy above all else, and they'll respect her decision either way. If they don't, they don't love her and don't deserve her." You scratched the side of your face. "...I'm no expert with relationships, but I know that much at least."

You turned to Grillby, who was examining your expression carefully.

"Though don't take my advice as gospel truth, my past relationships haven't exactly been steady."

"so... you believe I should tell her of my feelings?" His flames crackled blue again. Perhaps that was some kind of blush?

"And respect how she responds." You pointed out, crossing your arms. "Don't go chasing after her if she doesn't want any romance. That'll just scare her." Your expression softened a little. "...And don't worry if she can't make a decision on the spot. If she needs time to think about it, give her time."

Grillby seemed to mull over this information for a few seconds, occasionally tilting his head to one side. You figured 'she' must be one heck of a woman to be able to charm someone like Grillby. If he's as ancient as everyone makes him out to be, he must have seen quite a few partners in his time.

"Don't worry, Grillboss, you're smooth as fuck." You pushed off the counter as the first few customers started trickling in. "I'm sure you'll handle it perfectly."

Grillby chuckled at that. "I shall try, at least."

As more customers arrived, the noise level started to grow, but it wasn't nearly the usual level. Probably because the dogs weren't there. You also noted that no one sat in the dog's seats, even though they were absent.

You started handing out drinks, and despite yourself, wondered even more about where Ben had gone. Surely he'd drop by to piss you off? He was never one for giving up easily. Perhaps Sans really HAD scared him off? Sans could be terrifying when he was mad. You knew that, you'd had front row seats to his murder show.

Or maybe you'd finally gotten through to him? That made some sense. He could've seen how happy you were without him, and decided to bugger off? Or maybe he'd found another girl to drool at?

Probably the latter option.

You banished thoughts of Ben when you heard Grillby call your name over the racket of the bar. You were carrying a tray of drinks and blinked when he called you, a little annoyed at being distracted from your work.

"Yeah, boss?" You shouted over the noise, dropping the tray onto the required table, a small bit of the drinks sloshing over the tops of the glasses. You hoped it was quick, you didn't exactly have time for a chat. Did he need more advice on confessing? Could that wait?

You blinked. Oh shit, maybe the girl he wanted to confess to was in the bar right now? You glanced around, trying to pick out someone who matched Grillby's description. Unfortunately it was a little hard to tell who was male and who was female simply by looking at them. You'd probably have to ask around.

Grillby made his way towards you, purple light from his flames dancing across the polished tables and glittering against the sides of glasses. You started to wonder if the colour purple had anything to do with the type of magic you used. You specifically remembered Sans's eyes being purple when he... yeah.

"(y/n), I would like to speak with you after-" His flickering hand touched your shoulder.

Another hand touched the other shoulder and you flinched at first. It was a familiar, warm boney one, and you let out a breath of relief. You blinked and turned your head to look at Sans.

All the chatter died instantly, drinks pausing halfway to lips, children freezing, everyone stopping.

Everything stopped.

... Yeah, Sans didn't look pleased. His eyelights were tiny, pulsing pinpricks, and the smell of bonfire smoke filled the room. But there was another smell with it. ... Parma violets? No, just violets.

You felt like a tiny midget, sandwiched between two monsters who loomed a full head over you.

"...Guys?" You asked. They were both staring at each other, and a burning animosity radiated from both of them. But... weren't they friends?

The monsters around you looked like they were trying to surreptitiously hide under their tables. At this point, you wanted to join them. You had no idea what the cause of Sans and Grillby's conflict was but you sure as heck didn't want to be caught up in the middle of it.

Sans rubbed a bony thumb along your shoulder comfortingly, though he continued the hostile stare with Grillby.

"... Sans." Grillby hissed, voice crackling and spitting like a log fire.

"... grillby." Sans growled, like an angry dog.

You pursed your lips and tried to shrink into your shoulders. After hearing that, you had no doubt that there was some real hostility going on here.

No noise.

"... shall we take this outside?" Grillby's flames crackled menacingly, and everyone in the bar seemed to flinch simultaneously. Apart from Sans, who chuckled deeply, seeming taking no notice.

"yeah. let's go."

Grillby and Sans removed their hands from your shoulders, and tension that you didn't even realise was there was released. Grillby made his way to the door, and you turned around to watch him go, almost bumping into Sans's chest. You blinked and looked up at him, eyes wide.

"Sans, what the fuck did you do." You whispered.

He chuckled, and his eyelights softened.

"i didn't do anything. don't worry, sweetheart. i got this." He ruffled your hair and you squeaked loudly, putting your hands on your head in defence.

Then he fucking WINKED and turned away too, following Grillby out. Grillby held the door open for Sans and you just stood there with your hands on your head as the door swung shut, bell tingling.

Utter silence.

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Sans waited until the door was shut. Didn't want to scare you or the customers.

Grillby's purple light lit up the darkness around them and the magic that had been slowly building in Sans's system was finally allowed to pour from his eyesocket, but he refrained from using any attacks. For now.

Grillby lead him round the side of the building, where there weren't any windows in the wall. It was also quiet here, and it would be harder for a bystander to see them.

Smart guy.

"you knew exactly what line you were fucking crossing, grillbz." Sans growled, as Grillby leant casually against the brick wall that separated them from the people inside the bar, no doubt getting dust and grit all over the back of his suit.
"the only reason you aren't already DEAD is you're a buddy, and i'm giving you a chance to fucking E x p l a i n Y o u r s e l f."

There was a small span of silence and Sans grit his teeth in frustration.

"do you love her, Sans?" Grillby asked, not looking him in the eyelights.

"course i fuckin' do, you candlestick." Sans shoved his hands in his pockets to stop himself from decapitating Grillby. "why the fuck d'you think i'm talking to you right now?"

"it appears I... may have formed a romantic attraction towards her." Grillby sighed.

Sans stopped, blinking once. Then he started to shake, more magic pouring out his sockets.

"you can't do that. she's mine."

"she does not belong to anyone, Sans! I believe that much should be clear to you by now." Grillby's voice was sharp and stern, like a father reprimanding his child, and Sans grit his teeth together to stop himself from arguing back. "do you know what she said to me, Sans? she said that if someone truly loves you, they will want you to be happy above all else. do you think taking away her freedom will make her happy? do you think treating her like a possession will make her happy!?"

"sh-she doesn't even like you in that way." Sans growled, as he attempted to get a grip on his rage.

"I am not stupid, Sans, I know when a woman does not reciprocate. luckily I am emotionally stable enough to disregard my attraction." Grillby ran a hand across his face, groaning. "alright. tell me why you love her."

Sans blinked, magic calming. ... Why did he love you?

"i dunno, man, she's just amazing." He leant next to Grillby on the wall, partially because it meant attacking and striking would be easy, and partially because the amount of magic coursing through his bones was tiring him out. “she’s beautiful and nice and forgiving, and i feel like i can be myself around her, and she makes me laugh and when she smiles i just forget everything bad that ever happened to me...” He looked up at the sky in the hope of seeing a few stars, but the light from Grillby's flames made them impossible to see.
"she's fiery, too. in a metaphorical sense. and goddam, she's so hot when she's mad." Sans chuckled, anger slipping away. "she never lets anyone put her down, and asgore have mercy on you if you piss her off." He shut his eyelights for a moment. "dude, i could go on for hours. what about you?"

Grillby hummed for a moment.

"...she makes me laugh."

"that it?" Sans raised an eyebrow bone, snorting.

"when you get to my age, and you have experienced all that there is to experience, happiness is a rare gem. people who can make you laugh are few and far between." He chuckled smoothly. "she also does not fear me, which is refreshing."

"yeah, i can agree on that."

The two friends leant on the wall in silence for a few moments.

"she is a pretty stellar woman."

"mhmm." Sans scratched the side of his face and smiled widely. "also, my soul has started bonding to hers now, so she is kinda mine now."

Grillby just froze, then made a noise that was partway between a sigh and a groan, putting a hand against his forehead.

"Sans, I congratulate you." He ran the hand down his face. "that is the biggest possible fuck up anyone could make."

Chapter Text

"it just happened."

"...Sans, please tell me you are joking."

"nope."

Grillby clapped his hands together, brought them to his face and took a deep breath.

"you purposefully, with full intent to initiate a connection, began building a SOUL bond... with a woman who may not even reciprocate your feelings, is not your partner, and is a human who has no knowledge of the way SOUL bonds work?"

"well, when you put it like that..." Sans shrugged.

"Sans, do you understand the magnitude of your fuck up?" Grillby was quickly getting to the end of his tether. "if she chooses someone else as her lover... best case scenario, you will go completely insane."

"just gotta make sure that never happens." Sans said coolly, as if the prospect of becoming a broken husk of his former self was nothing troublesome.

"...does she know that you are The Judge?" Grillby looked like he was trying very hard not to slap Sans, instead lacing his fingers together and taking a deep breath.

"yup. she knows... the basics." He scuffed the ground with the top of his shoe. "y'know, the murder and torture stuff. she's already seen me kill a bunch of guys, so i'm hoping to ease her in. break it to her piece by piece."

Grillby let out a sigh. "well at least you intend for transparency in the relationship." He narrowed his eyes. "have you considered... safety precautions for your heat...?"

"yeah. 'm gonna get paps to set up a magical barrier on my door that can only be opened from the outside. as long as i don't smash the wall down, she'll be fine."

"you do realise you will most likely 'smash the wall down', correct? there are bigger things that have been unable to keep bonded SOULs apart."

"look, grillbz, i know what i'm doing, ok?" Sans growled. "she'll be fine. if there's anyone who can handle me in a heat, it's gonna be her. besides, i'm already up to my neck. might as well try to swim, right?"

Grillby sighed and his shoulders sagged.

"I must say, I am impressed that you are handling this situation so calmly." He looked up, despite the fact that his own light made the stars impossible to see. "but I still cannot understand why you would take such an... ASTRONOMICAL risk. surely, you could have just waited until you knew she reciprocated, then began the- "

Grillby froze, flames crackling, then dying a little.

"...Sans." Grillby said, his voice only just above a whisper. "...are you editing her emotions?"

 

Silence.

 

... Grillby's flames slowly grew back to their original size, but the two of them remained silent for a few more moments.

"it's only to ease up the fear a little. you should know i can't make emotions that aren't already there." Sans said, his voice dropping an octave.

"unfortunately, Sans, I do not trust anything you say at this point." Grillby let out a slow sigh. "you were never above manipulation and you clearly are not now."

Grillby straightened slowly, pulling the bottom of his shirt to get rid of the creases. He then turned, putting a flaming hand on Sans's shoulder.

"all I can hope is that you will be smart enough to tell her yourself."

Sans grunted and shrugged Grillby's hand off his shoulder. Guilt was growing, gnawing away in his ribcage, and this out-of-place gesture of comfort just made it worse.

"i know what to fuckin' do, grillbz." He growled.

"well then." Grillby went straight past Sans, making his way back to the door of the bar. The light and warmth leaking from inside was a stark contrast to the bleak darkness and cold of the night. "...when this all goes downhill, do not attempt to place the blame on anyone else."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You surveyed your options with a small frown on your face.

Your jumper and your coat lay in front of you on the sofa, and they were both too thick! The weather was just warm enough so that you were too hot when wearing them, but not warm enough without them! Urgh. You needed to go out to buy something nice for the club on Friday. ... To be honest, you probably wouldn't go for a dress unless you saw one that absolutely took your fancy, but you could just get something that doesn't look like it's ages old. Anyway, did monster girls wear dresses? Or was there a whole sector of fashion that humans were missing out on?

You sighed and pursed your lips, picking up your jumper, then throwing it back onto the sofa. It was your second favourite, after the one that had been ruined when you spilt coffee all over it during your first encounter with Sans. That one was probably still rotting in the corner of your old room.

You put your hands on your hips and grumbled. Well, maybe you could just tough out the cold? Or wear the jumper and just risk getting too hot...?

"why're you lookin' like someone just asked you to pull your teeth out?" Sans's silvery voice broke you out of your chain of thought and you looked up to see him leaning casually over the top of the sofa. He had some clothes packed under one arm (maybe he finally decided to wash some of them?) and...

Oh shit

He's wearing that fucking sexy shirt again

Even worse, one boney hand was playing with the collar, and every now and then you get a glimpse of the top of his ribs. You told yourself that it was just a freaking rib, everyone's got AT LEAST ONE, there was no point in getting all hot and bothered about it.

...You honestly, completely and truly meant to say 'Hey Sans.' It was not your intention to say anything other than that simple greeting. But instead, your stupid human brain fucked it up, messing words together.

"Hey sexy."

... shit

"I'm experiencing a crisis." You continued, as if you totally meant to call him sexy. "My clothes are either too thick or too thin for the weather. And I need to go out. So I'm debating on whether I should fry to death or free-"

-pomf-

Soft fabric made contact with your face, enveloping your head, and for a moment, everything was red... Not in a bad way. Whatever Sans had thrown at you happened to be red in colour. It was large and a little heavy, but still soft.

You stood there for a moment with the red thing on your head. You made a little 'pweh' sound as bits of fluff got in your mouth, and you quickly pulled it off.

Sans had thrown his clean red turtleneck sweater at you...? You blinked, looking between him and the sweater. Was he...?

"it's not gonna bite, sweetheart." He chuckled, resting his elbow on the back of the sofa and supporting his head with it. "you've got nothing, and i can safely say that pap's stuff won't fit you." When you still hesitated he chuckled. "...it's clean, don't worry."

"... Oh. Thanks." You blinked again.

So he was lending you his sweater? Sweet. It was quite large but you figured that would... give more room for air to flow, or something along those lines. You slipped it over your head easily and you were met with the smell of smoke that accompanied all his clothes. It didn't smell TOO badly, though, since he'd literally just got it out the wash, but the scent still lingered.

Your head popped out the top and you were about to put your arms through the holes when Sans chuckled and got up, walking round the sofa and stopping in front of you.

"your... *snrk* just gimme a sec..." He took the neck of the sweater and fiddled with it for a moment, before chuckling again, a small blush breaking out on his cheekbones. "it's... it's all floppy and folding 'cuz your neck is so small." He gave it a little tug upwards and you squeaked and flinched when his boney fingers gently grazed the soft skin on your neck.

"Agh! Be careful, I'm tickl..." You stopped, eyes widening, realising your mistake.

Shit.

...His eyelights turned into huge dorky stars and his grin grew exponentially.

"I-I mean, I'm..." You started blushing furiously. "I'm not ticklish! I just-"

"reeeaaallllyyyy now?" He droned, eyebrow bones shooting up. The top of a boney finger touched your neck again and you squealed, bringing your shoulders up and jumping back a little.

"I'm not!" You were trying to suppress your smile and you hated it.

"mhmmm..." he wiggled all his fingers at you playfully, eyesockets lidding and smile widening further. He took a step closer to you. "... then you won't mind if i... test that theory?"

"Oh my God, what is that?" You exclaimed, pointing behind Sans, and the moment he turned around you let out a shriek and ran for it, red faced and grinning wildly, long sleeves of his sweater flailing around.

You heard him bellow loudly with laughter as you rocketed up the stairs, but he soon followed after you.

"sweeeeeetheeaart, you said you weren't ticklish~!" He called, and judging by the slow sounds of his footsteps, he wasn't bothering to run. Oh, he can teleport, right! You weren't exactly sure why you were running when his power spoilt the whole game but it was hilarious and you were too caught up to stop at this point, because goddamnit you were going to DIE before he tickled you.

Then he was suddenly in front of you, arms open to catch you, but you'd been expecting this, and you pivoted on one foot, laughing and going back down the corridor and the stairs again. You were giggling and shrieking like a schoolgirl.

You were running toward the sofa when big arms locked around you and boney fingers suddenly started tickling your sides. You squealed and thrashed about, laughing and crying and trying to breathe, but Sans just proved to be too strong. He laughed along too, snorting unceremoniously.

"gotcha!"

"Ghh... HAHAHA! St-stop, I can't breathe...!" You wheezed, tears in your eyes, trying to hold your sides or protect yourself from the onslaught of tickles. "Can't breathe...!"

Sans stopped, and you shifted in his grip, turning to face him, wiping the tears away with the massive sleeves of the sweater.

Sans snorted again. "thought you said you weren't ticklish?"

You narrowed your eyes, a sly smile pulling the corners of your lips up.

"What about you? Are YOU ticklish?" You put a finger against Sans's chest and stared into his eyelights.

His smile dropped for a split second and he made to move away from you but you latched your arms around him, snickering to yourself.

He burst into a cute blush, and you could barely contain your huge grin. "n-no, ah, wait, sweetheart, i-i..."

"What's wrong, Sans?" You asked, wiggling your eyebrows, drawing a small circle on his back with your finger. "...Can't I... 'test that theory'?"

"...you saucy bitcAH NONONONO!" Too late. You stuck one hand under his armpit and he broke into uncontrollable laughter, trying to pull your hand out but his arms were shaking.

He stumbled back and red tears were streaming down his face, as you continued the assault on his armpits.

"naHAHAH, s-stop, (y/n), wait, i'm gonna-"

He tripped backwards onto the sofa and you collapsed on top of him, still locked in the boney cage of his arms.

He laughed and took advantage of the moment, rolling over and squashing you underneath him, tickling your sides, and you squirmed and shrieked, laughing but annoyed that he'd so easily flipped the tables on you.

"GAH! You- you asshole! Ahahah!" You gasped a breath and looked up at him. His smile wasn't VERY wide, but the important part was that it was REAL. It wasn't the smile he always had to wear because of his anatomy, it was an actual smile of happiness. His eyesockets were creased at the corners and his eyelights were bright. Is this what he looked like when he was truly happy? You could get used to that face. Maybe you should tickle him more.

He noticed the way you were studying his face and he stopped tickling you, looking down at you.

Last time the two of you were in this position, Sans had forced a kiss on you. But, this time...

... You lifted your head toward him a little.

You didn't know what you were doing, but you didn't care.

He closed the gap.

... And apparently, neither did he.

Your lips met gently at first, barely touching, feather-light pressure. Instead of pinning your hands down, he gently entwined his large boney fingers (... phalanges? Isn't that what they're called?) with yours and gave a gentle squeeze, gaze searching you for something. You squeezed back.

He seemed to take that as a sign to continue and he lightly nipped at your bottom lip. He was being so cautious and slow, every action he took was calculated and he seemed to wait for your reaction every time he moved.

'He's giving you chances to back out.' You thought. Then all you trains of thought were cut when his tongue ran over your bottom lip. You could feel your SOUL quiver gently and you let out a small gasp at the tingling feeling of his magic against your skin. He pulled back a little, surveying you with an almost smug look. His eyelights were... tiny red hearts? So his eyelights could jump between shapes?

Whatever.

Enough screwing around.

SOUL pulsating with determination, you pulled your hands out from under his and wrapped them around his neck, pulling yourself up and closing the distance instantly, shutting your eyes. His hand came to the back of your neck and his tongue snaked past your lips, swirling with your own tongue. It was definitely different from your first kiss with Sans- he was slower this time, instead of just kissing you he was kissing WITH you. It felt so much better, so much more loving, so much more... it just felt right.

Even so, you could feel tension in his shoulders. He was restraining himself. You tried to think about why he might be doing that but his tongue was making you forget everything and that feeling in your SOUL was blossoming again, waves of calm and that delicious tingling sensation and oh man, you never wanted to stop...

"SANS! HUMAN! IF YOU'RE GOING TO CANOODLE ROMANTICALLY, AT LEAST GET A ROOM, WHERE I AM NOT FORCED TO SEE YOU EVERY TIME I GO UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS!"

... Shit.

You both broke away instantly and Sans shot straight up so he could talk to Papyrus, but just ended up straddling you, so you sat up as well in an attempt to wriggle free of the compromising position, but you sat up too quickly instead and you just ended up whacking your forehead on Sans's.

"fuck, are you okay!?" Sans asked. He didn't even flinch when your heads collided. He probably had a super reinforced skull, which was bad news for your forehead.

"Owww..." You rubbed the abused area. What was he made of? Fucking steel?

"I'D PREFER ANY ROMANTIC OR SEXUAL MEETINGS TO BE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, SANS!"

"bro c'mon, you totally ruined the moment."

"GOOD! NOW YOU CAN CONTINUE IN YOUR ROOM!"

"it... doesn't really work like that."

"WHY NOT? SIMPLY GO TO YOUR ROOM AND CONTINUE YOUR FACE MINGLING."

"... hey, why're you so keen for me to make out with (y/n)?"

"KISSING BURNS 1.5 CALORIES A MINUTE, SANS, IT'S THE CLOSEST I CAN GET TO YOU DOING ANY FUCKING EXERCISE."

The pain in your forehead was gradually subsiding, and you hoped there wasn't a bruise there. You didn't have any makeup with you and a massive bruise would be a pain. That, and Sans would stew in guilt for hours if he thought he'd hurt you.

...Sans.

You put your hands against your face and tried to refrain from an internal meltdown.

You just kissed Sans.

And not just a little peck, it... it...

...Fucking tongue-to-tongue.

You just kissed Sans, of your own accord. He didn't force you to, he gave you plenty of opportunities to back out, and yet you still went ahead with it. Does this mean you like him in that way...? And he...!? Oh fuck. Oohhh fuckity fuck fuck...

I mean, looking back on everything, it was pretty obvious that he'd liked you from the start. B-but you had no idea what to make of how you felt right now. You'd never reacted like this to a guy or girl, you'd known clearly whether or not you wanted to date them, but with Sans everything was a fuzzy mushy mess of emotions and feelings and whatever the heck your SOUL was doing to you...

"WELL, IF YOU FIND YOURSELF 'INTERMINGLING' ON THE SOFA AGAIN, PLEASE MOVE TO SOMEWHERE PRIVATE!"

You looked up and saw Papyrus standing on the stairs, a huge washing basket full of clothes in his arms. It was actually rather funny, seeing such a loud and powerful monster performing such a domestic task.

He came down the stairs and passed by the two of you, grumbling about 'FLESHY PARTS' and how 'DISGUSTING' they were.

The moment he was gone, you missed his loud and distracting presence, because you were stuck in a room with the guy you had just french kissed with.

And you had absolutely no idea how to talk to him about it.

Like, what were you supposed to say? 'Yo, thanks for the kiss, let's just pretend this never happened because I don't want our relationship to change.'?

Mercifully, Sans spoke first.

"...is your head ok?" He asked. His voice was low, you could tell he was struggling to find words.

"Yeah." You rubbed it, even though it didn't really hurt anymore. "... what about yours?"

"it's fine." He started fiddling with the joints between the bones of his fingers... it was probably the equivalent of picking at his nails.

Speaking of picking at nails, you caught yourself before you started biting them. The situation was getting more and more awkward and you were desperately searching your mind for a reason to leave.

... Oh, right! You needed to buy a dress or something. Whatever. Yeah, you needed to buy a thing. That was a good excuse to go with.

You cleared your throat and got up from the sofa.

"Uh, I need to go." You had you purse with you anyway. You could just go.

Sans spluttered and you took advantage of the moment, walking briskly toward the door. Maybe you could just make out like it never happened, and both of you would forget about it, like the other time he kissed you.

You were almost to the door when Sans appeared in front of you and caught your wrists gently, making you gasp. He looked so... upset. You felt your stomach turn and you wanted to pull away and leave, but...

"p-please..." He seemed almost exasperated. "...please don't pretend this never happened. i-i want to talk to you. i know i fucked up but please, p l e a s e don't pretend it never happened."

You flushed red and looked at his feet instead. That face was just... you couldn't look at it. It made your chest hurt.

"...look at me, sweetheart." His voice actually cracked and he pulled you closer to him. You glanced up, remembering the time after you escaped the void and he'd said the same thing to you.

His eyesockets were creased at the corners, like he was trying really hard to keep his smile up, but it just made him look pained. What had Papyrus said? '...when you feel sad or angry, he worries that he's the one who caused the negativity. Please remember that he probably just needs the situation explained to him.'

Your chest hurt again. Sans'd automatically assumed that when you walked away, you'd walked away because HE'D done something wrong. He was trying so hard to do everything right.

You quickly hugged him and buried your face in his chest so you wouldn't have to look him in the eye.

"I-I just need to think it over." You said, voice muffled a little by his shirt. "You didn't fuck up. It's... it's all... complicated. I can't make a straight decision when I'm like this. You understand, right?"

"...yeah." He seemed to let out a sigh of relief, and his hands snaked around your back, pulling you in a little closer. "we can talk about it later."

You felt his skull touch the top of your head. Poor guy.

... So he liked you... romantically? You weren't aware monsters ever wanted to do that. The way Alphys had talked about... what was it... 'SOUL bonding', made romantic relationships seem like a precious rarity between monsters. In fact, the only non-familial monster relationship you could think of was Dogamy and Dogaressa's cuddly lovebird affinity. Monsters always seemed to have this restrained, low-lying wariness and distrust of anyone they weren't involved with. Dogs seemed to be the only exception to this rule.

That, and Sans and Papyrus. Their hatred and shouting was something they wore like clothing, when in reality the two were closer than they'd like to admit. Well, closer than Sans would like to admit. Papyrus seemed pretty open about the relationship between him and his brother.

Sans's grip seemed to tighten a little and you remembered that you were still pressed up against his chest.

"...Plus, I do actually need to go out." You chuckled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"...look at me, sweetheart."

Sans was torn.

On one hand, he was absolutely ecstatic.

That kiss had been so much better than he ever could have imagined. The way you'd moved underneath him, the little gasping sound you'd made when he ran his tongue across your lip, the way you'd gripped onto his neck like you never wanted to stop... It had all been for him. For him and only him.

... And you had been the one to initiate it. Sure, there'd been a bit of teasing on his part, and if you'd waited a few more milliseconds it would've been him, but it had been you.

It had been you.

You wanted this.

You wanted HIM.

And if the kiss was proof, then the way your SOUL had reacted was the final court ruling. There was no mistaking those pulses.

His SOUL had been right, you did love him. Probably not as much as he loved you, but... that was a situation that could be easily remedied. He'd been torturing himself unnecessarily with all that talk of you 'never reciprocating' and 'choosing someone else'. He should've just listened to his SOUL in the first place.

And then, on the other hand...

Your emotions were in turmoil because your subconscious refused to believe that your feelings were real. It seemed like you had some powerful magical ancestors because your ability to sense magic was far more refined than you realised, far more refined than HE'D realised. Your mind recognised the touch of his magic, and had correlated it with emotional manipulation- and, well, it wasn't wrong.

So any changes in feelings caused by thoughts of him were written off by your subconscious as fake. Part of you wanted him and the other part refused to accept it.

And worst of all, there was nothing he could do about it. Even if he told you about his power, about the emotional toying, your subconscious was set. Nothing could change it's- YOUR mind. And it was his fault. If he'd just kept his hands to himself and been a bit less lazy when trying to win your trust, you would love him right now. You wouldn't be trying to escape the situation because he fucked up.

So, on one hand, he was ecstatic, and on the other, he was furious with himself.

As always, it wasn't your fault, yet you were caught up in the middle of something he'd started. All he could hope, for now, was that your conscious and your SOUL could drown out your subconscious.

Maybe, with a bit of honesty on his part, he could solve this.

You buried your face in his chest, and even though his SOUL leapt for joy, he didn't fool himself into thinking you were doing anything other than trying not to look at him.
"I-I just need to think it over." You said, voice muffled a little by his shirt. There you go, being super fuckin' cute again, just tearing his SOUL into shreds, no big deal. "You didn't fuck up. It's... it's all... complicated. I can't make a straight decision when I'm like this. You understand, right?"

He... 'didn't fuck up?'

'sweetheart, if only you knew.' He thought to himself, trying hard not to laugh drily.

Well, at least you were willing to talk to him. You hadn't rejected him and you hadn't disregarded your feelings as fake, so your SOUL was drowning out your mind for now.

For now.

"...yeah." He sighed, unable to stop himself from wrapping his arms around you and holding you closer. No matter how many times he held you, he still got that jolt in his chest. "we can talk about it later."

You seemed to relax a little at that. So you DID want to talk to him? But... why had your first reaction been to run away from him? Had he frightened you? He'd definitely tried to restrain himself from going any further than a kiss, but... Your first reaction to finding out you had romantic feelings for someone was to... get up and leave them?

'don't be stupid.' He told himself. 'she didn't deliberately leave YOU, she was leaving the situation because she needed to clear her head. if she really wanted to leave, she'd already be gone.'

But still. He felt a small possessive flare rise up in his chest at the thought of you... l-leaving... him...

He panicked and smothered the flame as quickly as he could. Getting possessive wouldn't help anything or anyone at this point, ESPECIALLY himself.

"...Plus, I do actually need to go out." You chuckled. Oh, right. He'd been standing there holding you in total silence. Not creepy at all.

"oh. yeah. sorry." He let go and you gave him a sheepish smile, then stepped past him to get to the door, the air thick with awkwardness.

Well, at least you'd be outside wearing his sweater. There was literally no better way of reminding passing monsters that you were his.

He chuckled nervously and ran a hand along the back of his skull while you fiddled with the long, long sleeves of the sweater, trying to get your tiny soft hands out so you could open the door. It was so big that it stopped about midway down your thighs, yet it was easy to tell that there was a good figure underneath all that material. You looked good in his clothes. Even in something that baggy, there was the clear flair of your hips and br-

Hahah, okay, banish those thoughts right now.

"So, uh, talk later." You gave him another sheepish smile as you opened the door, and he noticed the little wobble of apprehension in your voice.

"yeah. later."

Hopefully it wouldn't end in disaster.

Chapter Text

You bit the inside of your cheek to stop the groan from escaping.

Man, everything was so confusing...

So, you were going to talk with Sans later... about... feelings...

You ran a hand down your face, then pulled it away, realising you were rubbing the fabric of Sans's sweater all over your head and ruffling up your hair.

What were you supposed to say? Would... would anything change? You didn't want a friendship that was constantly full of sexual tension. ...But you also didn't want to launch headlong into a relationship, realise you didn't want it, then break it off and lose the friendship you had before because everything was awkward.

'Sans is an understanding guy.' A voice whispered, as you made your way down the street. 'If you started a relationship, then didn't feel comfortable and wanted to break it off, he'd be okay with that.'

'On the outside.' The other voice said. 'He'd be okay with it to your face so that you wouldn't worry, but you have no idea how he'd really feel about it. What if it tore him apart?'

You glanced across the street and made eye contact with a monster. A female monster, with scaled skin like a snake, and no hair. You gave her a smile, and...

A flash of pure terror hit her face, slit pupils closing almost entirely. She dropped her shopping bag, then picked it back up and put her head down, continuing on her way.

Your own smile dropped instantly.

Wha... what had you done? Why had she...?

You looked around. All... all the monsters were avoiding you. Crossing the street to get away, going into side alleys to avoid bumping shoulders with you... It wasn't the usual pitying glances or worried looks, they all seemed...

Terrified.

For once, you couldn't ignore it. For once, you couldn't put it aside as something that monsters did. You may be weird and occasionally pitiful (walking home after a night on the street), but you definitely weren't scary.

You heard a whistle from behind you and groaned, unable to contain it this time.

Cat callers. The female monster probably saw them and decided not to get involved. Yeah, that made sense.

"Hey baby, why don't cha park that ass over here?"

You gritted your teeth, not even bothering to turn around and look at him. His voice was thin and slightly reedy, he sounded young enough to still be a teenager. The thought of someone that young even THINKING he had a chance with an older woman was disturbing to say the least.

And anyway, what even WAS there to holler at? You were wearing Sans's big-ass sweater, which wasn't exactly a figure-hugging piece of clothing! Assholes seemed to have this strange ability to find something to yell about when there wasn't even anything there.

There was the sound of shoes hitting the ground and you realised that he was walking alongside you. You tried to not look at him, but you couldn't help it. He was making loads of movement in your peripheral vision.

... Dear God, he was probably only around 16, if not younger. To give him credit, he was good looking, with a nice jaw and eyebrows, but he was still WAY too young to be hitting on you.

"...Can I at least have your number?" He said, after your disgusted silence finally passed the message. He gave you a white-toothed grin as the two of you made eye contact. He was just shorter than you, probably by only about an inch, but he sauntered next to you like he was a head taller.

"Here's some advice, kid." You broke eye contact, totally unfazed. You were lucky he wasn't a big guy. If he'd been larger you wouldn't have dared to speak for fear of angering him. Then again, no one had ever gone so far as to walk next to you when they were hollering... It was usually a whistle or a car horn beeping, then on with the day. "No girl is ever going to give you her number if you approach her like that."

"Well..." A small pause as you walked, him half-trailing behind you. "First time for everything, right?" He was trying to be smooth.

"No, there isn't." You still weren't looking at him. "It's threatening and gross. You think I want a relationship with a guy who shouts about my ass?"

Silence on his end.

"Exactly." You yawned, looking straight ahead and quickening your pace.

"Aww, don't go..." He moaned, quickening his pace too.

"Go away." You felt your anger bubbling. You were tired and emotionally confused and you just wanted to buy a damn dress for the club and you couldn't catch a fucking break... Where was Sans when you needed him to kick some ass...

You really, REALLY wished Sans was here... No one would hit on a girl walking side-by-side with a massive fucking monster...

The stupid fucking boy was still following you. Clearly he couldn't sense you ever-growing rage. "Hey, I just-"

"the lady said no, kid." Came a low, vicious growl.

...

... Wait, what?

Sans?

You spun around and sure enough, the skeleton himself was there, one hand gripping the boy's shoulder. The poor kid was white as a sheet- he probably didn't bet on this happening. People were staring.

But... how did Sans get there...? Did he follow you!? He probably teleported, but how did he...?

You took a look at Sans's face and stopped worrying about what he DID. Right now, you were worried about what he was GOING to do. His jaw was set and his eyelights were almost nonexistent... it was his murderous face, to be sure.

This kid might be an asshole, but he was in some serious danger.

"Sans! What're you..." You tried to draw attention away from the boy but there was no response. You remembered the way Sans had totally blanked your existence when he was killing the rats, right up until the last moment.

"I-I didn't mean any trouble!" The kid said, holding up his hands in surrender.

Sans chuckled- an empty, sarcastic chuckle, claws bending into fists and probably piercing the boy's clothing. "well, you should've thought of that before you decided to be an asshole."

You paled a little and walked up to Sans, pulling his arm. "Hey, Sans, that's enough."

... Absolutely no reaction. You might as well have been tugging a concrete pillar.

"It was just a joke, man, I didn't..." This kid was going to loose his head pretty soon.

"if you so much as fuckin'-"

"Put him down!" An older man barged his way through and pulled the boy out of Sans's grip, shoving himself between the two of them. You felt an immense wave of relief knowing that the boy was safe, but now THIS guy was in danger. It was stupidly brave of him to step in Sans's way instead of just standing and watching like everyone else was. "What makes you think you can bully people in my neighbourhood, filthy monster!?"

Sans's smile twitched.

"excuse me?" His voice was a warning.

"You heard me!" The slightly balding man shouted up at him. "You should've just stayed underground, where you belong!"

Everyone fell silent.

...

... Was this dude INSANE!?

"Sans! Let's just leave!" You tugged at his arm again, this time actually making him move a little. Your voice was thin, about to break at any moment. You didn't want anyone to die. And you were sure that if his continued, someone was going to do something stupid and get arrested.

Probably Sans.

"I don't know WHO you monsters think you are, coming up here like you own the place," the man's face was red and puffy with rage. "...but mark my words, I'm-"

"isn't that funny?" Sans's voice was low and soft, but it cut through everything else like a knife. His grin grew, and he loomed over the guy, eyelights dancing like tiny fires. "don't tell me that YOU, a human, are accusing ME of popping up out of nowhere and claiming lands that don't belong to me?"

You would laugh if he hadn't just made a crack at your species, and the stunned silence told you that everyone else felt exactly the same way. The older man went red in the face and his mouth opened and closed, like he was trying to think of something to say.

"isn't that... i dunno... all of human history?" Sans continued, his smile growing wider. "your level of hypocrisy is actually pretty hilarious."
He blinked, then chuckled.
"in fact, i think you humans would love the underground. it's full of gold and shiny rocks for you to squabble over. and you guys just looove to start wars over nothing~."

You weren't sure if you should be offended or pleased that he was serving this guy's ass.

Your upper lip curled. "Sans-"

"i'm surprised you guys lasted so long as a species. you're just big useless bags of meat with no magical abilities whatsoever."

You stopped tugging on his arm, and you narrowed your eyes at him, even though he wasn't even looking at you. Wait, what? 'Big useless bags of meat'!?

"how you even got us underground in the first place is still a mystery to me. i mean, look at you." He flicked the frozen older man's shoulder. "small and flabby. it's pathetic."

...Your mouth fell open a little and your eyebrows drew together, horror and rage bubbling inside you. He was saying all this RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!? Did he forget that you happened to be a fucking human as well!?

He chuckled. "and it doesn't help that you're all racist, too-"

"Hey!" You shouted, hitting his arm. That was crossing a line!

... Your hand bounced off harmlessly and you were pretty sure you did more damage to your hand than to Sans.

He glanced at you, the darkly amused face dropping to a neutral one almost instantly.

"stay out of this."

Then, just like that, he turned back to the older man, grin reappearing.

... Did he just fucking...!?

"ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?" Both of them jumped out of their skins (well, except Sans) at your sudden outburst. In fact, YOU were shocked at your sudden outburst. He just... pulled a really big red trigger.

"Don't PATRONISE me, you ASSHOLE!" You glared into his eyelight-less sockets. "I'm not a DOG! You think I'm gonna SIT HERE and listen to you SHIT-TALK MY ENTIRE SPECIES because you TOLD ME TO!?"

Sans was completely taken aback, frozen in place, sweat beading on his skull.

Clearly, he had NOT expected that reaction. Now that the words had left your mouth you gritted your teeth in order to stop more spilling out. You kissed the damn guy less than an hour ago, it wasn't like you wanted to purposely hurt his feelings.

...But you weren't going to sit here and listen to Sans talk shit about your species. He can't get angry at racism then spout racism himself, it's hypocritical and fucking annoying.

You made an audible 'ugh' sound and turned on your heel, storming away.

You just wanted to buy a fucking dress.

You heard Sans swear quietly and follow after you, walking behind you without any noise. You picked up the pace in an attempt to send a message, but Sans's long strides made it easy for him to keep up.

... He followed you so silently that if you hadn't been stewing in your own rage you probably would've forgotten he was even there in the first place. He wasn't teleporting in front of you and he wasn't grabbing you, which you couldn't help but appreciate. It meant that you could let yourself be angry for a while.

... You were just so MAD that he'd said that. Like you were some PET, and he expected you to do whatever he said. He might've been trying to stand up for you at first, but then he just started bullying a kid and trading verbal abuses with an old guy.

Scrubbing furiously at your face to stop the angry tears, you finally stopped walking, standing there in the middle of the pavement. You turned a little, too embarrassed to look Sans straight in the eyesocket but also wanting to signal that you were acknowledging his existence.

"Sorry for exploding." You said, flatly. Well, you were only half sorry.

"don't be sorry." He kicked the ground with his shoe. "i'm sorry for being rude about humans."

There was a little span of silence, and you chuckled drily.

"Why did you say all that stuff while I was literally right next to you?" You rounded on him and he flinched, grin falling. "Were you TRYING to piss me off?"

"i..." His eyelights looked to the floor. "k-kinda forgot you were human."

You blinked, turning to him fully.

"... You did?"

He went red and tried to sink into his jacket, pulling the front up to cover his teeth.

"i-i mean, most humans are really horrible, and we've been living together and i just kinda forgot, y'know? like, it wasn't an important fact. you weren't 'a human', you were (y/n)."

His use of your name was so startling that it took you a second to realise that he was, in fact, referring to YOU. A flush crept over your face, but you fought it back with a vengeance. You weren't going to melt into a puddle just because he said you were different... he still pulled all that racist bull.

...It was just so hard to be mad at him.

"y-yeah, sorry anyway. i got carried away. shouldn't've said that racist stuff."

Well at least he knew exactly what he did wrong. He wasn't just apologising because he wanted to be back in your good books.

"Thanks for apologising, but..." You sighed. "...That's not why I exploded."

He blinked this time, slightly lost, then a crease appeared between his brow bones.

"...you yelled because... i told you to stay out of it...?" He narrowed his eyesockets and tilted his head to one side, like he was searching your face for something.

You looked around, checking the amount of people nearby. You were already making a scene, and the two of you looked like a couple having a serious heart-to-heart about something.

"M... maybe not out in the open." You said, under your breath, knowing Sans would be able to hear you anyway. "It's kinda personal."

His face fell for a second, red flush and smile disappearing, before both returned in full force.

"sweetheart, i got all the time in the world." His voice was a purr, and he held a skeletal hand out to you. He was just asking your permission for teleportation, but it still felt like he was flirting.

You chuckled nervously, avoiding eye contact, blushing like some kind of cliché anime girl. You eventually swallowed and stepped forward, ignoring his hand and wrapping your arms around him, shoving your face into the fabric to hide your tomato face. Why was this so difficult to do all of a sudden!?

Sans chuckled (unscathed as always, the fucking prick) and returned the hug, leaning down a little to whisper something.

"plus, this is a great way to corner you so you can't escape when we talk about feelings."

THE SNEAKY BASTARD

"FU-"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When he got to his room, your face was glowing such a pretty colour from your embarrassment that Sans considered scrapping all the emotional talks and going straight in for another kiss. Or at least a lick.

... Unfortunately, he also needed to know why you blew up in his face like that. He could understand your anger over his racism (Sans, you fucking idiot)... but getting that mad at him trying to protect you? Why did that make you upset?

You slapped your cheeks and got that determined look in your eyes. Oh, he loved that look so much.

He shut his eyes and teleported over to his bed, sitting up on it, the bed springs creaking underneath him. When he opened his eyes again you were standing in the middle of the room, fidgeting with the long sleeves of his sweater, face flushed and red. You looked so small and cute, something that needed constant love and care and protection and STOP THOSE THOUGHTS.

"take your time." He tried to make it sound as understanding as he could. Last thing he wanted was for you to get mad again.

Apprehension was seeping off you like smoke, and his magic unconsciously reached out to lessen it a little-

'no.' He told himself, sternly. 'no toying. this is about real feelings, not ones you cultivated out of nothing.'

It was warmer in his room and he removed his hoodie, pretending not to see the way your eyes widened and your breath cut short. You liked this shirt, he could tell, so he'd made a point to wear it more often. You would stare at his chest or exposed arms without even realising you were doing so sometimes.

Eventually, you sat next to him, rocking in his direction a little because of the weight imbalance on the mattress.

"you wanna go first?" He asked, leaning back and observing the way your face paled a little, but you nodded anyway.

"... I, uh, had a friend..." You started fiddling with your fingers. "Well, not really a friend. We had the same interests and we were friends at first, but as we got closer she made me really uncomfortable." You bit your bottom lip for a moment. "There was just... something off about her. She seemed a little TOO friendly, you know? A bit too close for comfort. She just..."

You seemed to be searching for the right word for a few moments, before giving up.

"There was never one specific thing that tipped me off, but she'd like... say these really strange things. She talked about death and murder a lot. She liked collecting knives. She wrote lots of stories about cannibalism, and made me read them so I could 'check if they were good or not'."

You paled even more, and Sans started regretting bringing this subject up.

"She also touched me a lot." That sentence made Sans bristle like an angry cat. "Sometimes even when I asked her not to. Like, she'd grab my leg when we were sitting together, or randomly stroke my face while we were eating. I passed them off as jokes but they made me really uncomfortable.
"I stayed friends with her because I didn't want to upset her or make her mad, she was really scary when she was mad. She kept trying to invite me over to stay the night at her house. I really, really didn't want to, so I made excuses. I explained the situation to Honey and she would back me up, like calling in the middle of the day due to an 'emergency' that I had to go to straight away, which was a great way to get out."

Sans grinned. Honey could always be trusted to help you out.

You started gripping tightly onto your forearms. "Then she started getting really clingy. She told me that her dad was abusive and that she didn't want to spend time at home, and I empathised with her on that, so I sorta allowed her to stick around more. And then she just started... inviting herself round to my house as well. She'd suddenly appear out of nowhere in the middle of the street and say things like 'wow, it must be fate' and 'we must have some kind of connection'. It was really scary."

You paused, pressing the heels of your hands into your eyes and pursing your lips, shoulders shaking.

"you can take a break if you want." Sans said, quietly. He would've rubbed your back, but he suddenly didn't feel very confident in touching you without provoking a bad reaction.

"N-no, it's fine." You took a breath, removing the heels of your hands to reveal red, puffy eyes. "... After that, she started following me everywhere. When I talked to other girls she'd just kinda sulk around, but whenever I tried to talk to guys she got really angry, and would even pull me away in the middle of a conversation. She'd just say stuff like 'don't get involved with them' or 'you don't know what they're really like, I'm doing you a favour', like I wasn't capable of making my own decisions. I was... just..."

You rubbed your eyes again, and this time, Sans couldn't help but put his hand on your shoulder. Surprisingly, you leaned into his touch, and before he knew what he was doing he had you in a hug.

Well, no harm in that. It felt so good to know that he was protecting you from further upset.

"... I was just SO SCARED of making her mad." You sobbed. "I wasn't... I wasn't determined enough to tell her to back off. I thought it couldn't get worse, but she took my silence as some kind of consent or something, and it got worse. She'd attack people who hit on me and chase away anyone who got too close by threatening them online. I didn't know at the time, but that just made it even worse."

Sans felt a pang of guilt. ...He was that kind of guy. The kind who would chase away rivals. He hadn't realised quite how much it affected you. He felt sick knowing he was so similar to the woman who'd hurt you so badly.

"Then, at some point," you continued. "I guess she started seeing Honey as some kind of rival? Or something? So she would say these really low-key nasty things about her and try to deter me from meeting up with her."

You chuckled and sobbed at the same time.

"Honey told me that she'd been sent really fucking awful messages online and that someone was following her, and I just couldn't do it anymore. She was driving away my best friend, and I was just so TIRED of being treated like her PROPERTY or something. So went to her house and confronted her about it, told her that she was making me uncomfortable, and that I was my own person, and that she needed to back off."

... Silence.

"...then?" Sans prompted, carefully. He'd held his tongue throughout the entire thing to stop himself letting all that thick, black rage form itself into words.

"She screamed at me." You said, and your voice was far too empty of emotion. It sounded like you'd relived this memory thousands of times. "Told me that I was stupid and naïve and that I was so ungrateful for all the help she'd given me." A crease appeared between your eyebrows. "Then she started spouting all this stuff about 'destiny' and how it was 'fate' that we were friends. She told me that if I stopped being friends with her, she'd commit suicide... ow, Sans, you're squeezing me too tight..."

He loosened his grip, sweat beading on his skull. "oh. uh, sorry."

You chuckled, then sighed, picking at the sleeves of the sweater again. "I told her that I didn't want to be friends any more, and I left. Never went back." Sans saw a grin forming on your lips. "She called me loads, begging for a second chance, but I told her that if she spoke to me again I'd get a restraining order."
The grin dropped and you went red. "I, uh, had no idea how to get a restraining order, so it was a total bluff. But it worked. She left me alone, and I think she moved to a different part of the city. Either way, I never saw her again."

"so when i told you to stay out of it, it reminded you of her?" Sans said quietly, rubbing a hand up and down your back. The other hand was fiddling with your hair, letting the strands run between his phalanges. Well, now he just felt like a huge asshole.

"Mhmm." You shifted, looking up at him, cheeks red and puffy from crying.

"s... sorry."

He felt disgusting. He was a possessive piece of trash. He drank in the sight of your red eyes and tear-stained face, and told himself that THIS was what happened when he got possessive and obsessive. No one won. He got angry, and you got upset and scared.

... Still. He wasn't as bad as that woman, was he?

... Was he...?

"So..." You looked away from him, a new redness appearing on your face. "... A-about that kiss."

Oh.

Right.

"I-" You started, but Sans pressed a phalange against your lips, making you blink twice and freeze.

"nu-uh, sweetheart. my turn." He grinned, delighting in the softness of your lower lip, and the way it squished like a marshmallow under his finger. "first, i want to apologise. for kissing you without making sure you were definitely into it."

You look to the side, and Sans became aware of the faint feeling of blood pulsing through your lip. It was... strangely erotic.

His grin grew. "...but that doesn't mean i regret my decision."

A gorgeous shade of red lit your face up, and you blinked multiple times, like you were expecting him to shout 'just kidding' at any moment.

The phalange that was resting on your lip drifted down to your jawline, then to your neck. The blush got thicker and hotter, and he could feel the heat through your skin.

"i know this might not be a good time, seeing as you just finished telling me about someone who touched you and made you uncomfortable, but..."
He let his hand run down your neck and to your shoulder, then along your back, where it settled next to his other hand at the base of your spine. He felt the a little shiver go down your back, which made HIM shudder in turn.

"... i'm going to put it as clearly as i possibly can."

He pulled with both hands so you were pressed flush against his chest, straddling his lap, faces inches away from each other. Your eyes widened and he could feel your heart pounding through your ribs.

He grinned.

"i'm in love with you."

Chapter Text

“i’m in love with you.”

...

...

... You blinked.

Your face was mere millimetres away from his, and you were looking deep into his lidded eyesockets.

...He wasn't kidding.

He... Loved you.

... hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Your SOUL thudded against your chest, but your brain had completely crashed.

...How were you supposed to respond to that!?

Like, did you love him back?

You felt nervous and really, really hot in the face, but something at the back of your mind was screaming 'this is a bad thing!’ over and over. But then, why did you feel so happy? Well, happy was the wrong word, it was more like a nervous excitement, but then if it was a bad thing then you shouldn't feel excited but why did you even feel like it was a bad thing because it wasn't and... and... You were just so... CONFUSED!

Sans chuckled deeply, and you felt the vibrations in the pit of your stomach. That laugh should be ILLEGAL in situations like this.

“so, judging by your shocked silence, we're not on the same page?” He didn't sound sad at all. In fact, he sounded like he'd been expecting this outcome.

You looked at the collar of his shirt.

“Uh, I... I don't know.” You said, honestly. “I... I don't definitely reciprocate and I don't definitely reject you. I mean, I don't want to reject you because I DO like you, but I just... Doesn't feel... Um...” You took a breath, steadying yourself. "...I DO like you, but a relationship outside friendship just doesn't feel... okay right now."

Sans chuckled again, this time louder, and you felt a bit upset that he was laughing at you. You tried to shuffle off his lap, but he caught you by the waist and pulled you back again.

“it's totally fine. i get it.” He grinned as you flushed again. Stupid skeleton. “don’t feel pressured to do anything, i’m okay to wait. besides,”

His face was already so close that you didn't register the kiss on your forehead until his stupid grin told you that he must have done SOMETHING.

“as long as we can do stuff like this, i’m fine with whatever.”

Oh.

Um, ok.

"...S-sorry." You stuttered.

"don't apologise. you can't help how you feel."

You couldn't stop a tiny smile from forming on your lips. It was a good thing Sans was so understanding. It made everything so much easier. But still, the way he said that... 'you can't help how you feel'... why did he sound like he was pitying you? And why did he sound so... guilty?

“don't go being all cute, you're making me want to kiss you again.” He purred lowly, breaking you out of your thoughts.

‘HIS VOICE SHOULD BE ILLEGAL’ was all you could think as the blood flow to your face became too much for you to make comprehensive thought.

“...plus, this means i can make SO many love jokes.” His grin stretched so much that his eyesockets creased. “i literally CANNOT wait for you to fall over. so many puns. so many opportunities.”

It wasn't until you were half way through your reply that you realised he'd quickly and effectively shifted the subject and broken the tension. Nice.

“If you make any bad jokes I'm flat out rejecting you.” You said, giving him a 0-shit stare.

He pouted and made puppy-dog eyes at you. “aww, not even one or two...?”

You thought for a second, before turning away from his puppy face. For a skeleton, he could make himself look pretty damn cute.

“One a day.” You said, flatly, closing your eyes and looking aloof as possible.

He giggled like a child, then... p-pressed his face against your neck!? The contact was mostly covered by the large sweater, but... His breath was SUPER ticklish and you squealed like a piglet, which made him break down into unrestrained laughter, blasting warm breath along your shoulder.

"F-for someone who's technically just been rejected, you seem pretty happy." You stammered, which earned another chuckle. It was like... Like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

"it doesn't really matter much anyway." He purred. "like i said- whether or not you rebuffed me, i still get to do shit like this. s'long as you're okay with it."
He made a little gasping sound, shifting his head so that his chin was resting on your shoulder.
"does this mean i can flirt with you?” You couldn't see his face but you were 98% certain he had his Goofy Smile™ on.

“I mean, I guess?” You shrugged. Well, tried to shrug. His head was pretty heavy. “You've probably been flirting without me realising anyway.”

“...sometimes.” He chuckled, pulling back. His eyesockets were lidded, and it gave him a slightly predatory look. You felt his finger run up your spine and you shuddered. “but now i have permission...”

Oh god, that low drawl. Something was about to happen.

Well, two can play at that game.

*FLIRT

You dropped your head and looked up at Sans from under your eyelashes, pressing your forearms together, an act that pushed your breasts higher. A blush had already formed on your face, and you tried to make yourself look as shy an innocent as possible.

“Just... Don't tease me too much...” You mumbled, fluttering your eyelashes and looking away.

... Well, it worked perfectly, because Sans looked like you'd just stabbed him in the chest.

His breath hitched, eyelights flickering and vanishing, entire face going a deep red, and... Was that BLOOD coming out his nasal cavity!?

It felt so great to finally be the one flustering HIM that you sat there for a moment, being cute, looking up at the your victim.

Eventually, you got a bit worried. He'd been frozen with no eyelights for a solid 30 seconds.

“Sans...?” You dropped the cute act.

No response. His eyesockets remained empty and his face remained completely red.

... Did you break him?

“Saaans?” You waved a hand in front of his face.

“that... that was just cruel.” He stammered, eyelights still missing.

“Hypocrite.” You waggled your eyebrows, grinning.

... Then a thought came to mind.

“Can you still see like this?” You asked, cupping his face in your hands. Well, almost hands. They were covered by the long sleeves. “With your eyelights gone, I mean.”

At your touch, he seemed to regain his senses, and his eyelights returned, blush falling a little but not going away completely.

“well, yeah, obviously.”

You raised an eyebrow, taking your hands away from his face. “Then why do you have eyelights in the first place?”

Grinning, he picked up your hand, tucked the sleeve up and put it back on his cheekbone, placing his own hand over the top, that weird dreamy look on his face. You flushed, but didn't pull away. His bones were smooth and slightly warm- it was a nice feeling.

“how can i put it...” He stared at your lips for a second, before glancing away. “i think that the old skeleton monsters couldn't change their expression, so they used eyelights to convey emotions. but for me, it's like...”
He leant further into your hand. “whenever i turn them off i feel like something's... wrong. sometimes they turn off by themselves and sometimes i turn them off deliberately, but it always feels like something's just... out of place. it also aches a bit if i leave them out for too long.”

He grinned. “besides, d'ya think people around me prefer this...” He waited for a second with that dumb, goofy look.

...Then his eyelights vanished, leaving empty voids that seemed to suck in all the light, and the blank smile of a murderer. He still had your hand against his face. “or this?”

It took a moment for you to move, your first reaction being to freeze like a deer in the headlights. When you did, it was with panicked, garbled words.
"First one. First one." You said, cold dread exploding inside you, the words tumbling out your mouth before you could stop them. You tried to pull your hand away but it didn't budge an inch, despite Sans's seemingly gentle grasp.

"woah, chill." He released your hand, albeit reluctantly.

"S-sorry." You looked down, tucking the sleeve back over your hand, fumbling a little. "It's just..."

You paled.

"... just what?" He prompted.

"... Th... that's your murder face."

...

The atmosphere dropped like a coin.

Sans's smile fell for a split second, and when it returned, it wasn't a real smile. It was his 'neutral' smile- the one he always wore. The one he HAD to wear.

...Way to kill the mood, ya dingus.

Now all you could think about was the face he'd been making when he slammed the rat into the wall.

Again.

And again.

And again.

"i, heheh, keep forgetting you saw that." He scratched the side of his face- was it a coincidence that it was the same spot he'd held your hand against? Probably a coincidence.

You didn't like the face he was making. He should never look that sad.

Sans should NEVER look that sad.

You put your forehead against his chest. This time, it wasn't because you didn't want to look him in the eyelights. You just really, genuinely wanted to make him feel better.

"... Me too."

It... felt a little cruel, seeing as he loved you and you'd just rejected him, and now you were cuddling up to him like nobody's business.

He froze for a second, but quickly regained himself and took the opportunity to hug you again. He took a breath, and you instantly knew what was about to happen.

"Don't apologise." You said, trying to strike a balance between stern and soft. Tension left his shoulders. "If they'd been beating YOU up I probably would've reacted in the same way. I mean, if I was big and scary."

"you think i'm scary?" He said into your hair, quietly.

...You considered lying, but...

"When you want to be, yes." Like when he'd pinned you down.

You almost laughed when you realised he'd made a huge fuss over kissing without consent, but hadn't really done anything about the murders.

Did he just... not care enough to bring the subject up? That would be a problem. ...On the other hand, though, he could be too scared to bring it up. Sans had quite a few issues, and addressing his problems seemed to be one of them.

"my god, i just remembered." One of his arms stopped hugging you and you heard the sound of a face slap. You welcomed the change in atmosphere. "you went to go buy a dress, and i just brought you back here."

Oh yeah. You chuckled at this development, and Sans followed along shortly afterwards, like he'd been waiting for you to laugh first. I mean, he probably had been.

So.

How were you going to get off his lap without everything becoming awkward...?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"He CONFESSED!?!" The speakers crackled as Honey let out a squeal, at a pitch that only a fangirl could ever manage. The image blurred as she practically threw herself in the air, computer taking a few minutes to catch up.

"Y-yeah. He did." You glanced to the side, making sure there weren't any massive fucking spiders in the corners of the screen. Sans was going to take you out to get a dress later, but right now, you really needed to update Honey on the situation at hand.

"FUCKING KNEW IT! I FUCKING KNEW IT!" She pumped her fists in the air, then sat back down, immediately calm. "Soooo... what did you say?"

You went red. "Uh, I told him I DID like him, but I wasn't really down for anything outside our current relationship right now."

Honey took a breath, clapping both her hands together and bringing them to her face. She looked like a meme.

"So you rejected him."

You blinked. "Well, technically. I don't think anything's going to change." You pursed your lips. "Except he's going to be a full-on flirt, I suppose."

Honey took another breath, calming herself. She probably wanted the two of you to get married, buy a house in the countryside and have monster-human hybrid babies ASAP.

"Can't say I agree with your decision to reject him, but whatevs, it's your life." Her smile widened and she put her hands down. "But I gotta ask... what did HE say?"

You couldn't help but smile to yourself. "He didn't actually seem that sad. He said he'd be 'willing to wait', and that as long as he could do cuddly stuff he'd be fine with whatever." A small blush broke out on your cheeks and you giggled. "Then he asked for permission to flirt with me. We talked about his eyelights for a while, then... yeah." ... Then, you talked about murder! Yay!

Honey grinned widely, like an evil overlord plotting to destroy the world. You could practically see the anime-style glint in her glasses. "Good, good. That's the best reaction he could've had."

You raised an eyebrow, blush falling away. "You say that like you planned the whole thing."

Honey shrugged. "If he'd acted all butthurt over it, like he DESERVED your affection or something, I would've told you to pack your bags and wait with King until I could catch a plane over to you." She smiled. "But once again, Bone Boy reveals himself to be a boundary-respecting guy."

Her brow furrowed. "Well, relatively boundary-respecting."

You swallowed. The two of you were both thinking about the forced kiss.

"That was a one-time thing. It's the only situation where he's ever done something really intimate without making sure I'm okay with it." You defended. "Besides, he tried to kick himself out the house afterwards. If I hadn't got stuck in the void, I'd probably be living somewhere else."

Honey held her hands up. "Ey, calm down babes." She chuckled. "He's not dead, so I think we can both agree that he's in the clear with me. ...But anyway." She looked directly into the camera. "If you aren't going to marry him right now, at least have a bomb-ass friendship, ok? Don't let this romantic stuff get in the way."

You grinned. You had such awesome friends.

"Also, wear something really sexy for the club, and send me a pic. It's been thousands of years since you actually dressed up for something."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, so when you went to buy a dress, you literally just wanted to go to a small shop and get something nice. Nothing crazy, nothing extravagant. Just something smart and casual and pretty. You even knew a nice shop run by a sweet lady you'd met, who'd probably pick out something for you if you told her the kind of event it was.

So when Sans teleported you... to...

"Sans."

"mhmm?"

"I can't get anything from here."

"why not?"

"Because, not only do the clothes look ridiculous,"

You threw both your arms in the direction of the sign above the huge glass doors that shone in red and yellow lettering.

"They cost more than MY ENTIRE LIFE'S SAVINGS!"

He'd brought you to Mettaton's new clothes shop. METTATON'S NEW CLOTHES SHOP.

As in: THE PLACE WHERE WALLETS GO TO DIE.

"it made sense to buy stuff from his shop if you're going to his club." Sans dug his hands into the pockets of his hoodie.

You gawped at him, eyebrows pulled together.

"You... you don't just BUY STUFF from here!" Did he have ANY care for how much ANYTHING costed? "This is the kind of place where you walk in and STARE at the clothes on the shelves in the hope that you will one day become a MILLIONAIRE and be able to ACTUALLY AFFORD IT!"

He shrugged nonchalantly. "well if you REALLY don't want to pay for it-" He started digging through his pockets.

"W-wait!"

He stopped, and blinked.

You made an exasperated movement with your arms.

"Y-you can't just do that! Paying for stuff for me! You're not even my boyfriend!" Hadn't you literally JUST rejected him?

"yet." He winked at you and you flushed. People were starting to look now. "besides, you're the one who's making me go to this damn club. i should at least get to choose SOMETHING." He grabbed your shoulder and steered you towards the doors. "and anyway, if you don't like the look of anything, you don't have to buy it, right? so right now, your argument has no merit."

Your face went red again, but this time, it was mostly to do with the fact that you were mad. He... Why did he have to make such good points?!

"B... You..." He had was about to bring you through the doors when you stopped dead, planting your heels. The automatic doors opened in front of you. "Ju... AHG!"

"i will carry you inside if you don't go in." Sans warned from behind you, even though his voice was tinged with sarcasm. You looked over your shoulder at him, narrowing your eyes.

"You wouldn't dare."

"...not unless you don't go inside."

"I'll scream."

"that's a problem that can be easily dealt with."

"I'll never hug you again."

"pfft, course you won't~"

"I'm serious!"

"absolutely. of course. i believe you totally."

"Sans, I'm-" Suddenly, his arms latched around you from behind, and the world fell away to darkness, before the two of you reappeared in the bright lights and blaring music of Mettaton's.

"...Did you just teleport us inside...?" You asked, incredulously.

He shrugged from behind you, removing his arms.

You slapped a hand against your forehead and yielded. Well, he said that if you decided you didn't want to buy anything, you could just leave, right? So you just had to refuse everything.

You heard Sans take a little gasp of breath, and you turned to see what he was looking at.

... A short dress that would probably reach just above your knees, with a... relatively low neckline. The colour was a very rich red and it reminded you of Sans's magic. In comparison to everything else on the shelves (made for monsters with six arms, frills everywhere, glitter, so much glitter, ascending to the astral realm of eye-bleeding colour), it was simple and plain. There was nothing special about it, but...

You looked over your shoulder at Sans's face, and he was staring at the dress with that same face he'd had when you'd flirted with him. Eyelights nonexistent and face redder than yours could ever go.

... You grinned.

Chapter Text

You heard a knock on the bathroom door and you startled, remembering where you were. Right, ok.

Tonight, you were going to Mettaton's. Tonight. You hadn't done any makeup because you didn't HAVE any makeup, and you were pretty sure that being in a hot club with a full face of expensive crap could only end badly.

You'd just done your hair in a loose plait, hopefully you looked nice.

Hopefully.

"you fall down the toilet or something?" Sans's muffled chuckle startled you again, and you tried to answer with a laugh of your own, but it just sounded nervous as you fiddled with the braid.

"S-sorry, coming." You tugged the bottom of your little red dress. It suddenly felt too short, and too form-hugging. But when you tugged it down, it suddenly felt too long.

You took a small breath. You were overthinking. You looked great! Y... You looked great...!

Unlocking the door, you heard Sans chuckle again from outside.

"man, i thought you'd never come ou..."

You opened the door and he stopped dead, eyelights travelling from your face to your feet, then back up to your face again. You flushed under his gaze, but snickered at the childlike adoration in his eyes.

"ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu..." He kept going for a few seconds, red splashed all over his cheekbones, before blinking and regaining himself. "...t."

He seemed rather casual at first glance, but you could tell he'd actually made an effort. Clean jeans ('clean' being the keyword), that DAMN SEXY SHIRT AGAIN, FUCK, and a new zip hoodie you hadn't seen before. It was a greyish one with a black hood, but no fur trim.

He looked... really good.

"You look nice." You said meekly, in an attempt to start a conversation. Sans took a few seconds, but eventually he spoke.

"i can't find a word to properly describe how fucking perfect you are."

... Oh. You blinked.

He said it so smoothly, without a single hitch, that it took you a moment to grasp what he said. And when you did, your face set on fire and your heart decided to start beating out the drum line to the world's fastest song.

"Th-thanks."

Silence.

You fiddled with the bottom of your dress, glad that you hadn't put on any makeup, because you knew you were going to start sweating in any second.

"shall we go?" He asked, grinning and holding his hand out. Yeah, the two of you had scrapped walking in favour of teleportation to guarantee you wouldn't be late.

"Y-yeah." You stammered, taking his hand and letting him pull you into a tight hug. Gee, was it hot in here? It was hot in here. His other hand was resting just on your back- too low to be in the curve of your back but too high to be on your ass. Non-intimate. You appreciated it, but couldn't help but feel... a little disappointed.

Woah, he smelt nice. You took a quiet breath in, trying not to seem creepy, and you picked out some strange cologne that seemed to fit him perfectly. It mixed with the natural smell of bonfire smoke, and it made something... new. It made your face flush and head spin.

"you like what you smell?" Sans teased, and you brought up your shoulders, shoving your face into his hoodie. Fuck! How did he know?

"Just take us to the fucking club already." You grumbled, trying to sound pissed off.

Sans chuckled but it quickly cut to silence as the two of you passed through the void. You couldn't help but look, just in case the man was there.

Yes! There, in the distance. He was looking your way, a small grin on his toothless skeletal face. He opened his mouth, and...

You arrived outside Mettaton's club. You broke away from Sans, feeling dizzy and confused. He... had the man been about to say something?

"you ok?" Sans asked. You blinked and shook your head, adjusting to the darkness of the streets and the light coming from somewhere outside your field of vision.

"Yeah, just... void nausea." You lied. Sans's eyesockets narrowed and for a moment you thought he was going to question you, but he just shrugged and grinned.

Then you gasped.

"I forgot my fucking-"

You looked up, and Sans was holding a small black purse bag, dangling it from the strap. He grinned widely and you flushed red again. That bag had your money and your phone- it would've SUCKED to have left it behind.

"man, you're forgetful." He chuckled. You mumbled a quick 'thanks' and slung it over your shoulder, trying not to look at him, because you knew he'd be mocking you. "...welp, here we are."

Oh yeah. Club. Yeah.

You turned and got your first view of Mettaton's. You were a little startled to see the sign in red and purple letters- all of Mettaton's branding was usually red and yellow. And it was a rather small sign on the side of an otherwise plain black building. Usually Mettaton was as loud and attention-drawing as possible. Two large, orange-faced suited monster guards stood in front of a smooth black door... but the door had no queue?

"Why is there...?"

"no queue?" Sans grinned. "tell me, what happens when lots of monsters all gather in one concentrated area, and there's a definite date and time for when they're going to be present?"

You paused for a minute. What would...

...then your face dropped, and so did your stomach. You turned to Sans, eyes wide.

"Monster hate groups..."

They feared an attack. Even Mettaton, who could hire all the greatest security men and women in the whole world and still have enough for a private jet, was afraid that a human would sneak in and attack them.

You suddenly felt a little less confident about going in.

Sans nodded, apparently pleased that you'd come to the correct conclusion so quickly.

"that's a decoy entrance. they won't let you through that door, no matter what you say or how popular you are." He held his hand out to you, still grinning. "come on, i know the real way to get in."

You took his hand, all embarrassments forgotten, and he pulled you towards the guards. You tensed, feeling the authority and power radiating off the orange-skinned monsters. They were even taller than Sans- perhaps not as tall as Papyrus, though.

Sans sauntered up to them and held you against his side by the waist, grinning widely. There was a small stretch of silence, and for a moment, you thought nothing was going to happen.

They didn't even look up to acknowledge him- there was a small head jerk in the direction of the building next to you, then absolute stillness again. Had you not been looking for a sign, you wouldn't have noticed the nod.

"thanks, gentlemen." Sans chuckled, turning towards the other building, holding you against him by the waist so the two of you walked side-by-side. You were confused by all this secret head jerks and signs, and you were very, VERY glad you hadn't come alone. No one had told you about all this fancy business, and it would've been very embarrassing to show up with money and a full face of makeup, only to be turned away.

The building right next to the sleek black one was greyer, with no sign on it, and one slightly worn looking door. Sans led you over to it, taking one final glance at the bouncers at the fake entrance, before opening the worn door and stepping inside, quickly pulling you in with him.

It closed slowly behind you, and there was pure darkness. You could feel the faint thrum of a bass line deep inside you... probably the music leaking from the club.
You leaned into Sans's body for comfort, feeling like the walls were pressing down on you. He stepped through the pitch black easily, eyelights casting a red glow, small cracks of light escaping from between his teeth. Was this his nocturnal vision coming into play?

"Name?" A female voice droned. Wait, what? Who was there?

"i don't think you need my name, honey." Sans purred, and you flushed from just being nearby while he spoke like that. But you felt... a little jealous, that he was calling someone else a pet name.

... wait, you felt WHAT?

"R-right, sorry Ju... Sans. And... this is (y/n)?" Wait, how did she...?

"how'd you know her name?" His voice was calm and curious, but his grip tightened a fraction.

"Undyne said the two of you would be coming together." There was the sound of another door opening, and light. A lot of it. And music. The monster you'd been talking to was a cat woman with piercing yellow eyes that glinted in the semi-darkness. She looked like the kind of person who could move before you could speak.

"Keep an eye on him for me, (y/n)." She winked at you, and you smiled back as Sans walked the two of you into Mettaton's.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was really, really big.

... Heh, innuendos.

But seriously, you'd never seen a club this big.

At the far end you could just about make out a glowing form as the DJ- Napstablook? The angry DJ? He was really famous in the music community. He was up high, up on some kind of stage. The dance floor was sunk into the ground by a few steps and it glowed vibrantly, shifting between colours, lighting up the faces of the monsters who danced on it.

At first, you were shocked at how clean everything was, but you soon weren't. You could just about see HIS green form, zipping easily between everyone, catching drinks before they fall and cleaning up messes. Woshua, the legendary janitor, some kind of holy deity to all cleaners around the world.

There were a flight of stairs on the side of the wall that led up to the second level, each step lit up with red neon lights. From where you were, at the entrance on the lower floor, it looked like it led to some kind of lounge area, but you couldn't really tell without going up yourself. The bar was probably up there, since there wasn't one down here. The music was SO LOUD, bass reverberating and making your head feel fuzzy.

'All shapes and sizes' barely came CLOSE to the variety of monsters that milled around the club. Monsters that were basically large yellow squids with anime eyes, all the dogs, living mould, frogs, some kind of devil with red skin who was practically magnetising women in his direction.

And thank God, everyone was wearing different stuff. Some people looked elegant, with sleek black dresses or three piece suits, and some people were completely crazy with classic Mettaton-style frills and glitter, some people were... rather slutty, but you wouldn't judge. As long as they were having fun.

There were a handful of humans dotted around, most of them holding onto the arm of a monster, but there were a few lone wolves scattered throughout the crowd, hitting on people or having a great time dancing. How'd they know how to get in?

"you wanna head up to the bar?" Sans shouted, above the racket of the club. You nodded. So the bar WAS at the upper floor.

And anyway- sticking to Sans felt like your best option until you knew the whole layout of the club.

"if you get lost, meet me at the bar." He shouted again. It was weird to see Sans shout- he had to fully open his mouth to do so. But apparently he had a very powerful voice.

"OK!" You yelled, only just rising above the din. He made it look so easy to out-shout the noise!

You gripped his hand and he pulled you across the room at a surprising speed, easily weaving between everyone. Well, not really weaving. He just... walked, and everyone made way for him.

He WAS The Judge, whether or not he no longer held the position, you supposed he still had a name for himself among the monster community. That cat at the door seemed pretty shocked to see him in person.

Sans led you up the neon-lit stairs, and something very strange happened.

Once you reached the top floor, the music...

Almost entirely stopped.

It faded instantly into a low background murmur once you got more than halfway up the stairs. You stopped, your arm tugging unpleasantly as Sans tried to pull you further.

He raised an eyebrow bone at you, looming over you, since he had another step added to his height.

"The music..." You said, voice taking a moment to adjust to the sudden lack of noise. "It's gone...?" Some kind of... magical sound barrier?

He caught on to what you meant. "sound muffler. means everyone upstairs can relax in peace." Then he continued, dragging you behind him like a captured warrior.

This area was nice- a dimmer, bluer light lit up the area with odd glowing crystals situated in the corners of the ceiling. There were a bunch of leather sofa's with various rich-looking monsters lounging about and talking, a glass banister providing a view over the whole club. It was really weird, being able to see all the dancers and lights, but not being able to hear the music. Against the wall was a bar that some people were buying drinks from, with...

Grillby serving?

"Grillby!?" You called, and the suited fireman stopped polishing a glass and turned in your direction, instantly puffing blue for a few seconds. You pulled your arm out of Sans's grasp and headed over to Grillby, very surprised to see him serving anywhere that wasn't... well, Grillby's. He'd apparently removed his waistcoat at some point, leaving him with a perfectly ironed white shirt.

What was it with tall male monsters and wearing fucking sexy shirts? You were lucky you didn't have a thing for Grillby- otherwise you would've melted into a puddle.

"(y/n)? what are you doing here?" He asked, still very blue, and you chuckled, taking a seat on a barstool. The barstool next to you creaked and you heard Sans make some kind of small grumbling sound.

"I could say the same for you!" You weren't really aware of how many people were staring at you. "Aren't you supposed to be at your place?"

"I... I closed early." He admitted, starting to lose the blue tint. "Mettaton asked me to serve tonight, so I..." He seemed to loose his train of thought, white dot eyes blinking twice as they looked at you. He took a breath, as if he was about to say something, then seemed to regain himself.

"(y/n), my dear, you look absolutely wonderful tonight." He smiled, and you chuckled.

"Thank you. You don't look too bad yourself, either."

Sans seemed to make some kind of sound that resembled a growl, and you were going to ask him if he was okay when a familiar voice made you jump.

"I KNEW IT!"

Undyne slammed a hand onto Sans's back, and something cracked, but he seemed to take no notice. He was probably very used to it. Undyne laughed loudly, but...

Sans had this... look on his face. This set-jaw kind of look. And the air around him seemed to become... thinner, in a way. It was like a barrier had gone up behind his eyelights, and a different person had taken his place.

"I KNEW I could rely on you to get his ass out here, (y/n)!" She'd taken the seat on the other side of Sans, a huge toothy grin decorating her face. She had a well-fitting leather jacket and jeans, plus something that looked like... tactical boots?

"First time I've seen him outside his house in a long time." Alphys took a seat next to Undyne and you had to lean slightly on the counter to get a look at her. A well-fitting black dress, simple. Like yours.

"fuck off, alph." Sans growled, shutting his eyesockets and looking like he was at the end of his tether already. You felt bad for him.

"Come ON, you stupid sack of BONES!" Undyne slammed her fist on the bar, gaining her an annoyed glare from Grillby. "Stop being a downer! It's not like we asked you to RIP OUT YOUR EYES or something!" She threw her hands up in the air. "Once Mets and Paps arrive, it'll be like old times!"

"that's what i'm afraid of." He mumbled under his breath, catching eye contact with you, and it made you chuckle. He seemed to lighten up a bit.

"What about you, (y/n)?" Undyne's yellow eye found you. "You gonna drink something!?"

You held up your hands and shook your head.

"No thanks. Alcohol's been ruined for me." You snickered. "Plus, if Sans is gonna get piss-drunk, someone'll have to drag him home."

Undyne stopped for a moment, then seemed to get an evil glint in her eye. Alphys chuckled and Sans started sweating.

Some kind of... hidden joke, maybe? You shrugged, then slid off your barstool.

"Where're you going?" Alphys asked.

"Don't wanna spoil your fun with my boring soberness." You chuckled, brushing off the front of your little red dress and making sure there weren't any creases in it. "I'm gonna go see if I can find Dogaressa, I thought I saw her when I came in. Nice seeing you, Grillby."

Sans gave you a wide-eyed look that said 'don't leave me with these crazy bitches', but you just winked and gave him finger guns as you passed. He could deal with them. Besides, you didn't really want to be within the same vicinity as a drunk Undyne.

As you headed down the stairs, just before the music became ridiculously loud again, you distinctly heard Undyne say something like "She's got a nice ass, I can see why you-" before a loud slam cut her off.

Huh, weird.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

...Sans was so, so fucking drunk.

He hadn't really meant to get like this, but between Undyne's yelling and Alphys's annoying provoking, he'd downed shot after shot after... whatever. Uninteresting, change subject.

He could hear Undyne and Alphys kissing, but he didn't care. He started to wonder where you were. He wanted to see you.

He slipped off the barstool, heading over to the glass banister so he could pick you out of the crowd below him. Everything was moving weirdly. He couldn't tell. Couldn't tell what? Haha, he couldn't remember. Where were you? Didn't you say you'd find Dogares-

His whole thought train collapsed.

You'd found a Moldsmal. A-and since it didn't have a nose, it couldn't sense that he'd marked you, so it was... wiggling flirtatiously. You were laughing, and... and...

He watched the way you wiggled your hips back, ass shaking, dress perfectly outlining your curves, a big smile on your flushed face and a few droplets of sweat running tantalisingly across your skin. He watched like someone had put him in a fucking trance. He watched and couldn't look away. And deep inside him, he felt something he never usually felt, bubbling and festering in his SOUL.

Lust.

He wanted to feel your hips wiggling against his pelvis. He wanted to feel your whole body squirming against him. He wanted to have you underneath him, moaning and gripping his ribs. The monster alcohol in his system made it almost impossible to stop the thoughts, and they grew and multiplied until he was drowning in sinful whispers, magic jittering and pulsating, bones aching with how badly he wanted those thoughts to become a reality. How badly he wanted it. How badly he wanted y o u.

And suddenly, he was struck... with how easy it would be, to get what he wanted. How easily he could grab you right now, teleport you to someplace quiet and inescapable, and get exactly what he wanted. Right now. He could make everything in his head a reality before you even knew what hit you. He was so much stronger than you were, so much more powerful... He could hold you down without breaking a sweat.

So... why was he frozen in place, watching you? Why didn't he just t a k e what wanted s o m u c h?

You seemed to notice that someone was staring, and you looked up to see him. He tried to wave, but he just stuck his hand in the air a bit and slumped forwards. He probably looked like a complete idiot, and it made him frustrated.

But, even through the sound barrier and the music, he heard your chuckle, like a tiny bell. It soothed the raging magic in his SOUL, but he didn't look up from where his head had slumped. He knew that if he looked at you again, he'd probably pounce on you.

He sank to the floor and let his back lean against the cool glass of the banister. He glanced over at what Alphys and Undyne were doing back at the bar- apparently, Undyne was arguing with Grillby. Something about... more shots. Oh, was that Mettaton? When had he arrived?

... Oh yeah, he'd arrived ages ago. There were a bunch of monsters crowded around him, and he was grinning, using all four of his arms to act out some kind of story he was telling. In fact, Mettaton had asked when Papyrus was arriving, and it'd pissed Sans off. Stupid hunk of metal thought he was good enough for Papyrus? Hah, as if.

Huh, everything was spinning... why was the floor on the ceiling?

"Sans?" Your voice attracted his attention. "...We should probably go now." When had you come up the stairs? He glanced up and saw you crouched in front of him, a look of worry and amusement on your face. ...Your perfect, flawless face. He wanted to touch your face.

Oh, he WAS touching your face. Haha. He pressed a hand against your cheek and felt the warmth behind it, and how the top stretched a little when you blinked. It made him chuckle like a child.

You sighed, breath touching his face a little. He liked it when that happened. But you took his hand off your face, and placed it back by his side, and he instantly missed the warmth.

"You're really drunk." You said it with some resignation in your voice, like you knew what was going to happen next. "C'mon, let's go. Have you got everything?"

"... got everyfin." He slurred, and he reached out to put his hand back on your face, but you deflected again, setting his hand back by his side.

"... Where's your hoodie?"

"... the barstool..." Hand deflected again.

"So you DON'T have everything?"

"... s-sorry..."

"Sans, I'm not mad, I just don't want you to forget anyth- are you crying!?"

"...didn't mean to..."

"Oh my god... Sans, I'm not mad. Let's just get your hoodie and go home, okay?"

"okaaaaaay..."

"... Can you stand up?"

"...nope."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You checked the map on your phone, Sans's arm hanging over your shoulder like a very heavy scarf. He was also leaning most of his weight on you, and you occasionally had to swat his hand away from your face again and/or listen to his drunken rambling. Like, at one point, he started saying something about how 'everything is better in the vanilla universe' and 'we're already together in the other timeline', and, most weirdly, 'i'm so short and blue in that other place.' Like, what the actual fuck was he on about?

You looked down at the map again, a little confused, since it kept changing it's mind on where you needed to go. Downside of teleporting somewhere- you had to rely on Google to find your way back.

...Especially since Sans was piss-drunk. But you'd both had a good time, at least.

You'd found Dogaressa after some crowd-navigating, danced to Napstablook's (surprisingly good) music for a while, given Dogamy advice on how to read girls, then met a super cute jelly monster who wiggled and made these adorable little gurgling noises. You'd wiggled with it for a while, before spotting Sans watching you from the area above. Then he'd hit his head on the banister and done some kind of arm wiggle that you assumed was a drunken attempt at a wave.

And now you were here, dragging a barely conscious Sans through dark streets, with only Google to light your way. Huh.

You looked down at your phone. Ok, so you needed to turn left here, and-

You felt Sans's breath on your cheek and you reacted quickly, turning your head and placing a hand over his mouth.

"What are you doing?"

His eyesockets were lidded and he lightly nipped the inside of your hand with his huge fangs. You squeaked and pulled your hand away.

"...mmm... wanna kiss youu..." He leaned in slightly, teeth almost grazing your cheek.

"Sans, you're drunk." You pulled your face away again, trying to continue walking, but he'd apparently decided to plant himself in the ground. And now that he was leaning his weight on you, you were stuck.

"just onnee..." he moaned, pressing his face into the crook of your neck, which you were kind of used to him doing by now. Some kind of behaviour thing he did. "i promise it'll be nice... 'm really good at kissing..."

You flushed deeply and took a breath, trying to calm your thundering heart.

...You felt Sans's grin widen against your neck, and he chuckled deeply.

"... i can feel it..." He whispered. "i can feel your pulse. your little heart, going like a drum..." His arm slipped from your shoulder to your waist.

"badum, badum, badum..." He was chanting in perfect synchrony with your heartbeat, and you were completely frozen, like he'd put some kind of spell on you. You couldn't move a muscle. He... he was scaring you a bit, m-making you feel small, and... vulnerable.

You swallowed, took a breath, and broke yourself out of whatever trance you were in. You shifted in his grip so that his head was no longer in the crook of your neck, and his hand fell away from your waist.

"Look, Sans, I can't kiss you because it's mean." You cupped his face and looked him in the eyelights. He looked... hurt. "I know you love me, but I'm not your girlfriend, and it's not nice to lead you on." You smiled apologetically. "Let's just... get home, alright? There's no point kissing now. You probably won't even remember it in the morning."

"i will." He said it so sincerely and so truthfully that you felt like someone had punched you in the chest. Goddamit, why did he have to look like he was about to cry? "promise. just one. i'll remember."

You sighed deeply, looking away from his puppy face. Fuck, why'd he have to...? You gritted your teeth together and let out a long, slow breath.

Well, he was tired and drunk, wasn't he? He probably wouldn't remember anything, so there was no harm in indulging him in just one, right? A harmless kiss on the teeth, then straight to bed. End of story. No need for drama or angsty confessions.

You held up your finger, still not looking at him. "One. But only when we get ho- SANS WHAT THE FUCK?!"

He'd scooped you up bridal style, and started running down the pavement, little red stars in his eyes and a massive fucking grin on his face. You shrieked and kicked your legs, clinging onto his hoodie for dear life as he ran in a surprisingly straight line for someone who was completely pissed.

Then it hit you.

You were being carried home by a huge drunk skeleton who wanted to smooch you.

...What has your life come to?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Running home, the world spinning, you clutched to his chest, a huge grin on his face and laughter bubbling inside him, Sans realised why he had just stared at you. Why he hadn't teleported you away. Why he hadn't taken what he wanted.

It was because that wasn't what he wanted.

In all his sinful thoughts, all his fantasies, you were there because you WANTED to be there. Because you needed HIM as much as he needed YOU. Not because he'd forced himself on you, not because he was using his powers on you, not because he was putting his wants and needs above yours.

He didn't just want sex, he wanted all the stuff that came before and after. Having your trust, being able to sleep next to you, waking up in the morning and having your face be the first face he saw. Being able to see you smile at him without feeling like it was a fake smile grown from fake feelings he planted. That was what he wanted.

And he was gonna make damn sure he got it.

Chapter Text

"hey, sooo... do you like kids?"

You glanced up. Sans was stood at the bottom of the stairs- you told him not to get up!- holding his phone in his hand, looking at it like it'd just asked him to kill someone.

"I told you not to get out of bed!" You tried to stand up from your seat, glaring at him, but you felt a familiar gravitational pull on your SOUL that rendered you trapped on the couch. "H-hey!"

"and i told you that i'm fine now." He grinned, but he certainly didn't LOOK that way. He looked tired and hungover, with big shadows under his eyes, and you noticed that he was leaning on the banister to help keep himself up. "anyway, back to my question- do you like kids?"

You gave him a dirty glare for keeping you on the sofa, but you eventually sighed.

"Well... Kinda? Probably? Unless they're a twat."

"great." He didn't waste a second. "'cos a friend of mine really needs someone to babysit tonight while she's out. and i..." You were about to exclaim that you weren't going to go and babysit people's children randomly, but his face fell to dread for a second. "...i really don't want to go alone."

You narrowed your eyes in suspicion, but he didn't LOOK like he was planning anything. He just looked like a hungover guy who didn't want to spend the day around screaming children.

"Is your friend okay with a total stranger being in the house with her kids?"

He scrolled back through a few messages and nodded.

"yeah, she's fine as long as i keep an eyesocket on ya." He winked. You rolled your eyes. You'd tried babysitting for some time, while you'd been out of a job, but you just couldn't deal with kids who kept screaming whenever you tried to feed them anything that wasn't pink or shaped like a dinosaur.

"I... I guess I can come. How old are they?" You asked, in case you had to mentally prepare yourself for toddlers.

Sans paused for a second.

"... one is like, 13, i think, and the other is thousands of years old but trapped eternally in the body of a flower."

You blinked. "Why've you got to babysit if they're thousands of years old?" Grillby was thousands of years old and he was pretty chill.

Sans chuckled drily, and you smelt another story behind this.

"well, he's... kinda a massive fucking wimp who cries all the time, so my friend needs someone to make sure he doesn't dehydrate himself to death."

...

So you were babysitting a squealer.

"...Well, fuck."

"language."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans teleported the two of you into someone's living room.

... Without even knocking.

The whole place felt kind of... 'aggressive', with red walls and a red sofa, a completely solid wooden floor (no carpet to soften the blow) and a black ceiling, but you figured it was some kind of monster thing. They all had an affinity for the colour red.

You opened your mouth to shout at him that he needed to at least knock, but he clamped a boney hand over your mouth and held a finger to his teeth, a look of absolute glee on his face.

"listen." he mouthed, silently.

You listened, his hand still on your mouth.

You could hear a faint humming coming from somewhere in the house. ...Someone was humming an upbeat tune that sounded rather childish, like something a flower in a kid's game would sing.

Sans grinned wider, something malicious glinting in the back of his eyesockets. He stalked over to a doorless doorway and went into the room on the other side, completely silently. There was something very off-putting about someone his height and stature being able to move so quietly.

You followed and poked your head through the doorway, feeling quite loud and clunky in comparison to Sans's silent sneaking.

It was a meticulously clean kitchen, and you noticed a yellow-petaled flower in a pretty blue flowerpot bobbing on it's stem while humming the song you could hear. It's vines were sneaking upwards towards a cabinet, almost as silently as Sans was sneaking up behind them.

Oh no.

Before you could warn them, Sans grabbed the pot and yelled loudly, causing the flower to let out a high-pitched scream that resembled that of a goat in a Youtube video. You repressed the 'FUCK' that naturally sprang from your lips and snatched the flower pot out of the now crying-with-laughter Sans, just before he dropped it.

"SANS!" You shouted, and the living flower started crying, putting it's head underneath your chin. You responded by hugging the pot.

"shouldn't've... shouldn't've tried to steal from the wine cabinet, azzy..." he wheezed, hitting the side while doubling over, apparently trying to hold himself up.

"You can't just JUMPSCARE people!" You almost called the flower- Azzy?- a kid, but remembered that Sans had said they were thousands of years old. "...ESPECIALLY if you're babysitting them!"

Sans just kept laughing and 'Azzy' kept crying. You scowled, turning to leave the kitchen and tend to the terrified flower.

...A kid was stood in front of you, looking up at you through thick eyelashes. They had a big black sweater with red stripes, and some denim shorts. Shorts were cool. They were comfy and easy to wear.

You blinked.

Hang on... you knew this kid. You'd seen them before. Brown bob of hair, tanned skin, roughly 13 years old, no discerning features that could lead to figuring out their gender, always had some kind of plaster or band-aid on their face...

You were babysitting the fucking monster ambassador!?

"...You're Frisk, right?" You said slowly.

They nodded. They seemed... neutral. Unsettlingly so.

"I'm (y/n). I'd, uh, shake your hand, but he's still crying." Yeah, Azzy seemed unwilling to let go, and the pot was quite heavy. You noticed now that there were small, string-like vines wrapped loosely around your neck and shoulders. Some kind of... plant hug?

"hey squirt." A skeletal hand (and a skeleton) appeared out of nowhere behind Frisk, and ruffled their hair. The neutral facade broke and they grumbled in mock annoyance, batting his hand away. "(y/n)'s with me. we're babysitting your ass tonight."

"Sans! Language!" You glared at him, and he grinned widely, winking. You were reminded of the time he swore in your face at the café just to piss you off. Man, that felt like an eternity ago.

Frisk got this... look. It reminded you of Alphys, almost. Excited, mischievous. Like they'd just uncovered a huge secret. They turned and stared at Sans with their Alphys grin.

Sans mirrored Frisk's look. "you betcha. well, just me." He wiggled his brow bones. "go get what you need, kiddo."

You blinked, still cradling a quietly sobbing flower. What secret code were you missing out on?

Frisk giggled and ran out of the kitchen, and the sound of someone travelling very quickly up the stairs was followed by feet pattering on the floor above you. You left the kitchen and sat yourself down on the red sofa, STILL holding the flower. Luckily he wasn't crying anymore.

Sans joined you on the sofa, propping his legs up on the coffee table in front of it, but you held the pot away from him, giving him a death glare. You then turned to the flower hiding under your chin.

"Lil' guy, I'm going to need to you to let me go now." You prised some of the vines off your neck, and the flower shot out, as if you'd slapped him, a bright blush on his... face?

'Azzy' was a large yellow flower. With a face.

Overall, he was about the size of a small dinner plate, with five bright yellow (slightly torn) petals and a small white face the size of your fist. A tiny mouth, with two tiny fangs, that seemed more accustomed to frowning that smiling, little black eyes, a long thin stem and two broad leaves that acted as hands.

... A little too cute, for a monster.

"S-sorry." He turned, staring at Sans with a look of apprehension.

"What's your name?" You asked, trying to distract him.

"F-Flowey." He just kept staring at Sans.

Sans's eyesockets went black and he grinned madly at Flowey, jerking his head forwards a little, as if he was going to jump out at him. Flowey squealed and rocked the pot backwards, almost falling off your lap onto the floor, but you caught him just in time.

"SANS!" You shouted, holding Flowey to your chest and scooting as far away from Sans on the sofa as you could get. "Don't be an a... nasty!"

He grinned when you caught yourself before swearing, but he shrugged and looked away eventually. The sofa was facing a (very large) flatscreen TV mounted on the wall, but it was currently off. Underneath it were various games consoles- how rich WAS Frisk?

"You can't scare other people's kids!" You said sternly, and Flowey made a rather shaky noise of agreement. Wasn't this flower supposed to be thousands of years old? Well, you'd probably be scared of Sans as well if you were at the receiving end of his wrath. "This is strike two!"

Did he just roll his fucking eyes at you?

At that moment, Frisk came into the room carrying a stack of papers and some video game boxes, a pencil clutched between their teeth. The papers looked... unfinished, like homework. Ah, so they weren't allowed to play games until they'd done their homework? And they were getting the guy with a PhD to help them finish?

Smart kid.

You pursed your lips, watching Sans teach. The two of them sat at the coffee table in front of the sofa and spread most of the papers out in front of them. You figured you'd have to jump in at some point, but... Sans was very good. He didn't just GIVE Frisk the answer, he gave them tips on how to work towards it, occasionally teasing them or making a pun.

It was a weird feeling, watching Sans looking after a kid. It filled you with some kind of... satisfaction? Longing? It was odd.

"Thanks."

You looked down at the small voice. Flowey. The pot was squished between you and the arm of the sofa (far away from Sans). Flowey was bobbing on his stem, and you turned off the phone you'd been entertaining yourself with.

"What for?" You asked.

"H-helping me." Flowey looked away, leaves moving around. "Mom wasn't there, so I thought... I thought I was stuck with him."

Ooh, he meant Sans. You felt bad for the poor little guy.

Flowey's face lit up. "B-but, he seems to listen to you!"

You snorted and rolled your eyes.

"Most of the time." You chuckled.

Flowey blinked, tilting his head. It was a very cute movement. Then he seemed to remember something, and he glanced to the side, shrinking back a little.

"Do you, uh, know about his...?"

"Yeah, I know he's The Judge." You waved the question away quickly, aware that the guy you were talking about was nearby. Flowey relaxed, stem straightening more. "We've been through it, I know about all the murdery stuff."

"Oh, ok. Phew." Flowey still seemed troubled, though.

Then you started to think- why had Sans called him Azzy, if his name was Flowey? Was it a nickname? The two names had no correlation to each other. No similarities. If it was a nickname, it was a pretty odd nickname.

Why did it feel so... important...?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"you can't just skip the last question, kid." Sans chuckled, and Frisk made a shrugging motion, covering the paper with their arms. 'What question?' seemed to leak out of their movements.

"frisk. i'm serious."

"Nice to meet you, serious. I'm Frisk." They said, in their usual unnaturally quiet voice.

Sans felt a small swell of pride at Frisk's pun, but he quickly crushed it, giving the saviour of all monsterkind a flat grin. "nice try, kid. now do the damn question."

They sighed in exaggerated sadness (a trick they probably picked up from Mettaton) and started writing. He knew homework sucked, but Sans wasn't about to get the kid AND himself in trouble with Toriel.

He heard your small chuckle and looked up from Frisk's work, quickly feeling jealously rear it's head. You were showing Flowey something on your phone, and his eyes were wide with amazement. Flowey tapped the screen and said something in a small voice, then his jaw dropped as the mechanical reply on your phone provided him with whatever he had just searched for. He glanced up at you and said something else, which made both of you break into a small fit of giggles.

Fuckin' flower. Sans looked away, grinding his teeth together. He could make you laugh TWICE as hard as that yellow weed... so why was he so fucking jealous?

"She's allowed to speak to other people, you know. She's not your girlfriend." Frisk said, not looking up from their work.

"i know." He growled, running his hands over his skull. "i hate it, but i can't... i can't ignore it."

"Jealousy like that is a reflection of your own insecurities and paranoia." Frisk said, softly. "You just need to build up a little more self confidence and trust."

"easier said than done." He rested his head on the coffee table. He felt a small hand on his shoulder, patting him twice.

"It's alright to FEEL jealous." They went back to their homework. "You just shouldn't ACT on it. Let it pass."

He looked up and saw Flowey trying out something on your phone- probably typing. He saw the way you looked at Flowey with absolute adoration and would've thrown up if he had guts, because he wanted you to look at HIM like that. Fuck.

He started to grin, various malicious thoughts and pranks cropping up as he watched the two of you talk. Then his grin dropped for a second as he remembered that he was technically on his last strike.

... Well... they were just pranks, right?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The day continued rather tamely.

...

Well, except for Sans and his FUCKING SHENANIGANS.

You spent all of your spare time trying to keep Flowey with you, since that seemed to be the only way to get Sans to BACK THE FUCK OFF. You'd spotted him doing all kinds of stupid shit, and catching him just before something awful happened.

"What. The fuck. Are you doing."

"... nothing."

"Are you sure? Because it looks like you're putting salt in Flowey's water."

"... you've got no proof."

"YOU'RE LITERALLY HOLDING THE SALT PACKET RIGHT NOW."

...Frisk, on the other hand, continued in the background like all this was perfectly normal behaviour, occasionally just asking Sans for help with something, like a faulty wifi box or a malfunctioning remote.

They never seemed to hang around in the same place for too long, and you never heard them say anything. They also kept giving you this weird, smug look whenever you reprimanded Sans. Like they knew something you didn't.

When it got dark and Flowey seemed to be getting tired, you were on super high alert, and with good reason. If Sans was ever going to prank this yellow cinnamon roll, now was the time.

"(y/n)?" Flowey's small voice broke you out of your protective thoughts. You'd taken him upstairs to a small room with a single bed- probably Frisk's, and the flower had assured you that he normally slept on the bedside table.

"Yeah?" You replied. You were sat on the bed, waiting for Flowey to fall asleep, so you could make sure Sans didn't come in and scare the absolute shit out of him.

"Are you going to babysit again?" He was tired, you could tell, leaves drooping.

... You wanted to say yes, but the answer was probably not. Judging by how attached to you he had been, other babysitters were... less than sympathetic. You'd treated him like a child and he seemed more than okay with that.

"I don't know." You replied, honestly. "I'll have to ask."

"Please do. You're nice." His petals were starting to furl inwards.

"...I'll try." You'd be lying if you said you weren't incredibly flattered by that. It was such a small thing, but it meant a lot.

He fell asleep quickly, petals closing together like a daisy when the sun goes down.

You left, closing the door behind you, then turned and made to go down the stairs. But just before you actually headed down, you spun around and locked eyes with Sans.

He was at the door to Flowey's room and he absolutely WITHERED under your gaze.

"Downstairs, now." You hissed, teeth clenched, and he flinched, sweating. You hoped he could FEEL your wrath seeping off you in WAVES.

You headed downstairs and turned around to make sure he was following. He was. And he looked like a wounded puppy. You ignored the guilt and made your way to the sofa, sitting down and crossing your arms.

He joined you and leant back, resting his legs on the coffee table.

...

Silence.

You groaned, leaning on the arm of the sofa.

"Sans, you can't keep scaring him like that." You glared at him. He already knew who you were talking about.

"...why not?" He asked, resting his head on his hand and refusing to look at you. "he's not a kid. i do it all the time."

"That's not an excuse." You put a cap on your rage. Perhaps he just didn't know the effects of this kind of behaviour on children? "In fact, doing it all the time just makes it WORSE, Sans. It's bullying."

"it's funny. doesn't do him any harm." He shrugged.

"It DOES, though." Ok, that bottled rage was simmering. "He's jumpy and jittery, and wouldn't leave my arm the entire day. His anxiety is through the roof. He was scared to EAT, Sans, in case you'd..." You threw your arms up. "I dunno, poisoned him or something!"

"chilli powder in his meal. that's actually a good idea." Sans still wasn't looking at you, and you bit the inside of your cheek, taking a breath.

"I'm not asking you to do anything stupid." You sighed. "I'm just asking you to give the kid a break."

"he's not a kid." Sans grumbled, finally looking at you. "anyway, why're you taking his side? you don't know anything about him."

"I don't need to know his life history to recognise when someone's being an asshole, Sans." You pointed out.

He flinched at the word, but you stayed firm.

"you don't know what he's done." Sans repeated.

"Then tell me." You folded your arms and leaned back. Why was he being such an ass about it?

Sans blinked at you, like he wasn't expecting you to ask.

"Go on then." You gestured to him. "I've got all night. Literally. What did the flower do?"

"it's..." Sans avoided eye contact again. "it's not that simple."

"Try me, murder boy."

That caught him off guard, and he stuttered, wide-eyed.

"i can't just... it's complicated!"

You grit your teeth together, bringing your hands to your face and taking a deep breath.

"So you can't give me any evidence of Flowey doing something bad, yet you use his past as an excuse to BULLY him?"

"i can't just TELL you!" He growled, and your back straightened. GROWLING? What the fuck was his problem? He was sweating, and he stood up from the sofa. "it's way too complicated to just EXPLAIN." He paced to the wall, then back to the sofa again, running a hand across his skull. "you probably wouldn't even believe me!"

"Why wouldn't I believe you?" You stood up as well. "I'm stood right next to a walking skeleton! I just finished reading a bedtime story to a fucking LIVING FLOWER!" You waved your arms, gesturing to the room around you. "Are you seriously telling me that whatever you're hiding is so FANTASTICAL and CRAZY that I wouldn't believe it!?"

"yes!" He gripped at his skull, voice almost breaking in exasperation. "that's exactly what i'm saying! you'd think i was lying to your face!"

"You really think I trust you that little!? Why would I ever think you were lying to me?" Your voice raised without you noticing. His face contorted for a moment, like you TRUSTING him was something that made him angry, then he turned and made for the door.

He was running away from the problem, like a fucking toddler.

"Sans, where are you going?"

No response.

You stormed over to him, grabbing his shoulder. "Sans! I'm talking to you!"

He spun around and caught both your wrists, slamming you into the wall adjacent to the door. Your breath was knocked out of you- more from the shock of Sans GRABBING YOU than of hitting the wall- you actually hit the wall rather gently. His teeth were gritting together and sweat was beading all over his face, eyelights flickering, looming over you. He looked like a wreck.

"you don't...!" He gasped, staring you dead in the eye, then pressing his skull into the wall next to your head, completely trapping you in with his body. "you can't just...!"

You could feel his chest against yours- he was taking long, deep breaths. Was he... he was calming himself down from a potential panic attack?

"Sans?" You said, rather quietly. He had you in a... compromising position. You were reminded of how large he actually was, and that raising your voice at him had probably not been a very good idea.

"s-s... i'm sorry. i'm sorry." He let go of your wrists, but kept his arms up on the wall, effectively holding you in.

He took a breath.

"flowey..." Oh, shit. Here it comes. "he had the ability to save and reload fractions of time, like in a video game. he could 'save' at one point in time, and if he died or decided to 'load', he could go back to where he saved and go again."

He was quiet for a moment, waiting for you to interject. When you didn't, he continued, albeit softer than before.

"it meant he could hop through time. do what he wanted. he fucked with the timeline, finding the best ways to go about doing everything- finding the best outcome, resetting until he was satisfied." He took another deep breath. "you usually aren't supposed to remember hitches in the timeline unless you were the one modifying it, but..."

His arms wrapped around your waist and pulled you against him. He took another breath, but it hitched.

Was he CRYING?

"o-over time, i started... i started remembering the hitches." He buried his head into the crook of your neck again. "days would jump and rewind and repeat themselves. sometimes i would spend whole years without any leaps, and i would fool myself into thinking it'd stopped... then everything would reset back again. it was torture." He chuckled drily. "i thought i was going mad. i could recite everything anyone said."

You ran a hand up and down his back comfortingly. So... this was why he didn't want to talk about it. That sounded... nightmarish, to say the least.

... You were still pissed off at him for being so childish about it, though.

...Was this why everyone who knew him Underground said he was lazy? He never seemed like a particularly lazy person, but... Undyne, Alphys, Papyrus, they all called him lazy. That whole time, he'd just been... depressed...?

"i just wanted to die." He said, blandly, and you flinched against him. Well, there's your proof. "i know flowey was only finding the best way to survive, but..." He trailed off. So it was a grudge?

He sighed into your neck, then let go of you, turning away, and for a moment you thought he was going to leave again, but he just sat himself down on the sofa and put his head in his hands.

You stood there for a second, then made your way over to him, settling down beside him.

"sorry for slamming you against a wall." He mumbled.

"And?"

"and for assuming you wouldn't believe me."

"....Thanks." You patted his back. ... What were you supposed to say? This guy's life had just been... so awful, in so many ways. The more you got to know him and seemed to come to grips with how awful his life was, the more he opened up to you and revealed that his life was even MORE awful than you previously thought.

How were you supposed to help? How were you supposed to make things better?

His hand grazed your cheek and you looked up. He was smiling again.

"you still owe me a kiss."

Shit! You went blood red. You thought he forgot about that! He didn't mention it this morning... So you just figured his drunken brain had let that small fact slip! You hadn't actually given him the kiss, he'd collapsed the moment you got through the door. AGH!

"hey, c'mon, you've got to give me SOME credit." He purred, hand settling behind you so he could lean closer. "i didn't forget. i kept my promise."

"B-but you still haven't explained..." You shuffled back a little, and he grinned like a cat that was chasing a mouse. "D-does Flowey still have his powers?" You kept shuffling back and he kept following your movements, until your back was against the arm of the sofa and he was looming over you, that stupid, STUPID smile on his face. "It doesn't make sense, how did Frisk get you out of the Underground if-"

"ssh..." He held a finger to your lips and a small part of you died, face on fire. "i've got a question for YOU, now..."

Sans pressed his forehead against yours and grinned, eyelights casting a creepy red glow. He was pretty much on top of you, and you held your breath, trying not to think about how fucking SEXY this was.

"...do you wanna keep your promise?" He whispered. "'cause the kids are asleep and i don't wanna let this opportunity slide."

He was essentially just asking your permission, but FUCK, he just HAD to go about it in the sexiest way possible. But still, you were glad he hadn't just gone for it. He was learning.

"I..." You stammered, looking up at him, chest squeezing. "I-I'm still not your girlfriend."

"i know." His expression softened a little. He was so close, you could see the way his face moved and flexed like real skin and feel his breath against your cheeks. You could hardly breathe yourself. "all that 'leading on' stuff. don't worry, i understand."

He grinned very widely, cheeks glowing red, shuffling so that he was completely on top of you, knees either side of your legs. "doesn't mean i don't wanna kiss you until you can't breathe, though."

FFFFUCK THIS, FUCK THAT, FUCK ME WITH A CHAINSAW, FUCK EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD TWICE OVER

"mm, i like that face." He purred. "you should make it more often."

"F-fuck you!" You stammered, hitting his chest weakly with your fist. So he liked it when you felt like you were going to die of embarrassment? Sadist.

"still. serious mode." He took the hand that had smacked his ribcage and brought it to his cheekbone, a solemn smile on his face. "it's up to you."

You bit the inside of your cheek.
W-well, just one kiss, right? It's like you said last night- no harm in just one. You'd promised him anyway. Besides, that face he was making...

"O-ok." You said, barely above a whisper.

He grunted out something that sounded like 'finally', and wasted no time in crushing his lips to yours, tongue snaking in. You let out a muffled sound of surprise, but it quickly melted into a moan as that familiar delicious feeling washed over you. Every time he kissed you, it felt so much better than you remembered it to be.

He shuffled above you, leaning on his forearms so he could get closer. You barely even registered it, too caught up in how good a simple kiss could feel, tongue dancing with his larger and more flexible one.

You needed to grip onto something, or you were probably going to faint. You clutched onto Sans's shirt without even realising, fingers gliding over his ribs, and he groaned into your mouth. Next thing you knew, a warm boney hand was under your shirt, and his touch on bare skin sent electricity coursing through you.

Still locked in a kiss, his hand drifted higher, until it touched your bra. Then it froze and slid back down again, as if realising it's boundaries. You, on the other hand, were gripping on for dear life, because you figured that if you let go you would probably never stop. It just felt so good, so right, and the corner of your brain that usually told you it was a bad idea was pacified completely.

You returned the 'hand-up-shirt' favour and caught one of his lower ribs in your hand, squeezing it tightly. He shuddered and growled against your mouth, bucking his hips into yours.

... Oh my god, that was his erection pressing into your thigh.

You let out a squeak, breaking the kiss and shuffling underneath him, the pacified part of your brain waking up and coming back with a vengeance, SCREAMING at you to get away. You tried to sit up a bit more so that his erection wasn't rubbing against you, but just ended up wriggling awkwardly.

"... y-you okay?" He asked, still panting, a light flush over his cheekbones. He looked a little hurt that you'd broken away.

"You just, uh..." You couldn't stop staring at the bulge in his pants. "Uh."

His face dropped, eyesockets going completely blank, and he whispered a very faint 'shit'.

His erection vanished entirely and the two of you spent a solid minute just staring at each other.

 

Then you both broke into laughter.

Chapter Text

"You still haven't explained how you escaped the Underground if Flowey can reset time."

Sans's grin fell a little as he hovered above you. He thought you'd forgotten about all that. Haha, as if. He's not THAT good at kissing.

...Well, he WAS pretty damn good, but... that's not important right now!

He made a little noise that sounded like a sigh, except it went through his nasal cavity instead and came out in a sharp ‘sst.’ He then sat up, removing his arms from either side of your shoulders and retreating to the other end of the sofa, apparently deep in thought.

Damn, you kinda missed the warmth.

You sat up as well, wondering if you accidentally stumbled on even more emotional baggage.

“it's... way too complicated to explain to someone who doesn't get how the underground works.” He observed, actually putting his hand to his chin and looking ahead. “i’d have to explain the theory of determination and the experiments ga... the royal scientist did. the magic aura... not to mention the dt extractor and all of alphys’s subjects...”

The WHAT extractor!? Wait, weren't Alphys's 'subjects’ the gloopy things Grillby told you about? ... Endog... Endogeny?

He suddenly seemed to get an idea, and you practically SEE the plan forming in his head as his grin widened. He turned to you, eyelights flickering like a fire starting.

“i could take you to see the underground?”

You blinked.

The... The whole Underground? As in, where Sans grew up? Where all of monsterkind were trapped for centuries, maybe even thousands of years...?

Well, naturally, you were curious to see a place you'd never been to. Practically every human was. The notorious 'Mount Ebott' had drawn so many tourists and scientists and cult-enthusiasts and conspirators that the authorities had to cut it off before someone became the next 'Fallen Human'.

"...Wait, really?" You finally managed to spit out. Was he actually being serious?

"i mean, it's the best way to explain everything to you." He went a little red, and looked down, picking at the collar of his shirt. "plus, i've been thinking about showing you waterfall for a while now."

"Waterfall?" This guy had been on top of you less than five minutes ago, and he was blushing at the prospect of taking you out somewhere.

"it's a place in the underground." His grin became a little tighter, before loosening again. Too late, you already saw it. "i don't want to spoil it, but basically- it's beautiful."

That sounded nice, definitely, but...

"Are you sure you're okay with...?" You stopped, trying to find the right words, and he turned to you, his blush fading a bit. "... Going back?"

He thought for a second.

"yeah. as long as we skip snowdin village." He smiled softly at your look of utter confusion. "...it's... where i-"

The sound of the front door opening cut him off, and he sighed, suddenly taking your hand and gently yanking you into his grip. You were about to question him when he spoke.

"tori's back."

"Wait, what-" Too late, back on Sans's sofa.

Killer, who you hadn't seen in ages (he just seems to slip in and out of rooms unnoticed), was chilling on the floor, and he jumped and barked when the two of you landed on the couch with no warning.

You blinked. Whenever you were expecting a teleport it always took ages, and sometimes you even seemed to spend several seconds in the void itself. But when you WEREN'T expecting it, it was...

...Instantaneous.

"Sans!" You pulled yourself away from him. He just jumped you out of there with no warning? "What the fuck!?"

He blinked and held his hands up in defence. "i, uh, teleported us? i thought you were familiar with that?"

You blinked right back at him and drew your eyebrows together. "What about Frisk and Flowey!? You can't just..."

You stopped, taking a breath, calming yourself. Sans seemed completely befuddled and you didn't think it was fair to rage at him if he had no idea what he did wrong. "...Ok, new rule." You sighed. "You need to tell me when you're going to teleport. You can't just..." You wiggled your hands a little. "Skedaddle me out of somewhere without saying anything. It's really fucking rude."

He processed it for a moment, then finally seemed to understand where you were coming from, and smiled sheepishly.

"oh. sorry." He didn't sound very sorry, but you'd take what you could get.

"Great." You ran a hand through your hair. "Now 'port us back."

...

"Sans."

"uh." He started sweating, and he scratched the side of his face, a classic nervous gesture. "look, i don't... i don't think it's a good idea for you to meet tori yet."

"What?" You said, incredulously.

"tori is, um..." Sans looked really, REALLY nervous. "... a bit unstable. s-she CAN be unstable, i mean. especially around new people."

"Then why does she have custody of children if she's 'unstable'?" You were still mad at Sans for dragging you off, but the sheer dread in his eyes made you think that he might have a good reason for doing so.

"she's fine with kids." He starting grating his teeth together. "it's... fuck, i should just explain this when we get underground."

You blinked for a moment, then narrowed your eyes.

"Anyway, how'd you know it was Toriel?" You pointed out. "What if someone was robbing them?"

"it was tori." He said it so plainly that you knew there was nothing more to that side of the conversation.

So you let him stew in silence, your arms crossed over your chest. Killer, seemingly sensing that the thickness of the conversation was over, plonked his big white head down into your lap and looking up at you with eyes that could only be described as 'cuddle me plz'.

Eventually, after a few minutes of you giving attention to literally anyone that wasn't him, Sans sighed, running a hand down his face.

"ok, looking back, that was a pretty dick move. sorry." He was still sweating and his eyelights kept darting around. "won't happen again. promise."

You sighed too, shaking your head a little. You couldn't stay mad at him- he was like Killer, but worse.

...Ok, maybe that wasn't true, but still.

"You're 100% sure it was Toriel?" You asked, softening your voice a little. Killer jumped up onto your lap, temporarily incapacitating you, and decided that your lap was the best place to curl up and go to sleep. Not that you had anything against it.

"yeah." Was Sans JEALOUS? AHah... He'd have to work a little harder if he wanted to sit on your lap.

"And she knows we teleported away, and didn't just leave her kids home alone?" You added.

"yeah. i teleport out a lot." He chuckled thinly, probably still worried that you were mad at him, and apparently sharing a glaring war with Killer. "plus, the place'll smell like me now."

"...Ok. Fine. I'm pacified." You relaxed into the cushions, Killer weighing you down. Sans shuffled a little closer to you, draping his arm across the back of the sofa. Hah, no cuddles for you, Mr. Skeleton. Killer's getting the love right now.

"... You're lucky you have a cute dog." You remarked. "Otherwise I'd be kicking your ass."

Sans made a small grumbling sound, and flicked on the TV.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Underground trips! Woooo!

Sans woke you up some time around 11 in the morning. He had his favourite hoodie on- the black zip-up one with the fur hood and mustard on the sleeve. He told you to wear something 'practical for all weathers' (whatever the fuck he meant by that- you were going underground, for Christ's sake!). Once you'd both eaten, he teleported the two of you into a small, rocky cavern, lit up by sunlight filtering in from a hole far, far above you. Dust glittered in the air and you instantly felt the soft, squishy yellow flowers beneath your feet. They were huge! Probably the size of a child's head, at least!
You craned your neck. The hole above you was most likely huge as well, but it was so far up that it seemed like just a pinprick. This was where humans fell? How would any of them survive such a sheer drop? Did the flowers break their fall? The roof was covered in viciously-pointed stalactites that had tiny green and brown vines wrapping around them. This was a place no one had been in a long, long time.

"this is where humans would fall. most of 'em didn't even survive the drop. come on, this way." Sans said, slowly. His grip on your hand tightened a fraction, but he led you off the flower bed, out of the cavern and through a long, dark passageway, out of the sunlight. You missed it instantly, holding his warm boney hand tighter.

You could already see the difference in Sans's behaviour. He'd suddenly picked up some kind of very faint bronx accent (what the fuck?), and his shoulders were squared. He looked larger, more threatening.

The passageway ended at a large, dusty doorway carved out of the rock, flanked by two pillars. There was a symbol above the door that reminded you of the fairy from Legend of Zelda, but you had no time to admire it, because Sans quickly led you through and into another room.

This one... was really simple. A large, rocky, black room. There was a doorway at the other end that was an exact copy of the one you'd just passed under, and right in the middle there was a patch of grass. That was it.

Sans led you over, and he seemed to stomp rather hard on the grass for no reason. You followed behind him, waiting for him to say something or start the explanation, but he just kept leading you silently.

You passed under the doorway, and the colour red assaulted your eyes from all sides. Red bricks lined the walls instead of rock now, but some of them were cracked and ivy seemed to slither through the gaps. Grey, withered leaves littered the ground in unaligned piles. A stone staircase led up to yet another doorway, but Sans's arm wrapped around your shoulders.

"this is the ruins. there's no point passing through here." He said, as he stared at the doorway, his voice flatter and lower. You could feel tension in his arm, and he seemed determined to keep you close. "it's just old puzzle rooms, you might get hurt."

He teleported the two of you into a different, slightly elongated room. A dead, black tree sat in the centre, and an ominous house loomed at the other end, the door kicked in and a thin layer of dust covering the bricks. Why was everything made of red brick?

Your SOUL felt pressured, like someone was watching you, and you gripped onto Sans's jacket.

He grinned down at you, but it was a strained smile that he was probably wearing in a bad attempt at making you feel comfortable. He took your hand and squeezed it gently.

"this is tori's old house." He explained, looking carefully at it. "she moved here from new home after both her children died. she was driven insane by the loss, and she tried to fill the gap with new kids who'd fallen from the surface." You stared at the house. So... she was a mum? "i think at least one of them chose to stay with her instead of carrying on, but the rest fled. frisk included."

You both teleported into a room that was exactly the same as the one with the black rocks, single patch of grass and purple doorway. It was so exact, that had it not been for the slightly different vines and the now closed door, you would've sworn Sans had just taken you back to the same room.

He took his arm off your shoulder, starting to slip off his black hoodie, revealing the red turtleneck sweater underneath. He offered his hoodie to you. "yer gonna need it, sweetheart."

Ok, what the fuck was with his voice? You didn't mention his sudden accent for fear of offending him, but you accepted the coat, wondering why you would need it. It was relatively humid.

Sans grinned at your confused face and suddenly slammed his shoulder into the purple doorway. You flinched back as a horrible grating sound of stone scratching against stone filled your ears.

He grunted, and shoved the door again. It opened a crack, and bright white light temporarily blinded you.

A gust of cold wind hit you in the face, and as the door opened further, you realised why Sans had given you his hoodie.

The ground was covered in snow! H-how!? You were underground! Sans shoved the door even wider and you were impressed by how much snow he'd managed to move. It was a solid two feet of the stuff!

He turned and grinned at you, sweating a little from opening the door.

"after you."

You blinked and squeezed through the gap he'd provided, stepping out into the snow. Well, more like ONTO the snow. You had to step upwards to get there.

The cold hit you like a brick wall and you gasped, air freezing around you. Holy shit! You slipped on Sans's hoodie, but it was just so damn cold! Plus, you were sinking into the snow up to your calves, and every step was a huge effort.

The air in here... it was cold, but... kind of dank. Like it'd been re-used, over and over again. At least in the Ruins, the air was vaguely fresh, since it came down the hole the humans fell through. But here...

Right now, you were on a snow-covered path surrounded by tall, bleak pine trees. Most of them were covered in slashes and marks, many years old. A fair distance ahead you could see that the trees fell away, to be replaced with smaller, more christmas-like ones.

"sheesh. this place has really fallen apart." Sans observed, suddenly by your side. You heard the door slam shut behind you, and you would've jumped from the shock, had your legs not been buried in snow. Sans seemed to have no problem with the cold. "used to be a nice long path through here. now 's all gone."

He started walking, striding through the snow with (s)no(w) problem, as if he was walking through water, but you just remained there. You could feel the wetness seeping through your trousers as you stood in the same spot for too long.

"Uh, Sans?" He turned around before you even called. "I can't..."

He chuckled and you blushed angrily. God, you felt so fucking helpless right now.

He strode over, then turned his back to you and crouched down. You inferred what he meant, and you locked your arms around his neck area, jumping up and wrapping your legs around his torso. Free piggyback rides!

He linked his hands together and put them under your butt, bouncing you once to make sure you were secure, then strode easily through the snow, carrying you on his back. It was really odd, being this high up. How did he walk around without bumping his head on stuff?

You felt a light squeeze on your ass and responded by whacking his skull.

"Watch those hands, fuckboy."

He chuckled, and you bit your tongue to stop yourself from laughing with him.

"this is where i lived with paps, for a while." He explained, as he strode easily through the snow. You actually tightened your grip a little as you looked into the long, thin trees- you felt like someone could sneak up on you at any minute. "when monsters still lived here, they trampled the snow into pathways. but now everyone's gone the snow just keeps falling."

He came to a barbed wire fence, which he teleported past. Cheater. It opened to a small clearing, and there was what looked like a collapsed pile of snow and wood in a jumble.

"this was my old sentry station." He said it harshly, and continued quickly. The trees became shorter, christmas-tree like and more green- how was anything green down here? There was no sun.

The two of you continued. Well, Sans continued, you snuggled your head onto his shoulder and watched the sights as you went by, pretending not to hear his breath hitch. Occasionally, you passed interesting, run-down sentry stations (and one that smelt strongly of dog treats), but Sans just kept striding. He trudged over what might have been ice, once, but was now just hard snow.

"in the underground, everything is powered by magic." He explained, carrying on along the path. "if someone is determined enough, the magic aura of the underground amplifies this, and they can save points in time and go back if they die. no more than two beings with this power can ever exist, or the whole timespace continuum might collapse."

Well fuck

"whoever has the most determination controls the timeline, basically." He kept glancing through the trees. "flowey had the most determination in his soul, i'll explain why later, and that's what gave him his power. frisk's human soul naturally outmatched his own, in terms of power, size and raw determination, so when the kid fell, the power was passed on to them instead."

Every now and then he'd teleport, missing out large chunks of the area, but you didn't push the subject. Either he was shortening the trip, or there were parts of the Underground he just never wanted to see again.

One of those places was a run-down village you could see on the other side of a long wooden bridge. Sans froze for a moment, sweat breaking out all over his skull, before teleporting onto another snowy pathway next to a river, skipping it entirely. You didn't dare look back.

"sorry." He said, quietly. "... killed a few humans there."

Oh.

He continued for a few more steps, before crouching down low, signalling that your taxi ride was over. Damn, you were enjoying that. You hopped off and spent a few seconds smacking your dead legs before you were able to continue.

The snow got thinner and thinner, revealing a dark rock floor. It was almost tinted blue. Wait, was it really rock? It had a kinda squishy consistency to it. Sans gripped your hand silently and led you into the next part of the Underground. Was he blushing a little?

"watch out, the ground is pretty uneven here." He led you along behind him.

The cavern roof lowered significantly and the light shifted to darkness. Except, not quite. There was a faint blue glow coming from up ahead.

You gasped loudly, and had you not feared for you life a little, you would've let go of Sans's hand. Instead, you ran ahead, still holding his hand, yanking him a little until you came to what had caught your attention. You dropped to your knees and stared.

Tiny, glowing blue crystals in the floor. GLOWING. Would they keep glowing if you picked them out somehow? And there were pink ones in the walls, too! AAAAAAA, they were so gorgeous!

"... you like glowing stuff?" Sans asked, amusement clear in his voice, and you responded by squeezing his hand very tightly.

"Sans, Sans, look look look!" You were like a child, and if you had Sans's ability to morph your eyes into stars you were 99% sure you'd be doing it right now. You pointed to the pink ones across the room, then ran a finger over the blue ones in the floor. "How do they glow like this? Is it magic? Or some chemical thingy!? Imagine if houses had these instead of lights! We could solve the energy crisis!"

Sans laughed openly, something he hadn't done since you got to the Underground, and the red glow of his tongue shone almost as brightly as the tiny gems.

"there're more 'glowing stuff' up ahead, you know." He looked so relaxed and pleased with himself. You grinned widely and stood up, Sans leading you further through the caverns. Except this time, you were walking next to him, marvelling at the shiny gems and glowing crystals.

The two of you came to a waterfall (a waterfall in Waterfall, what're the chances), and Sans swept you up bridal-style to cross the water. You remarked that he could've just teleported the two of you across, and he responded with a wink.

He stomped through a patch of conveniently placed tall grass and swept you over a few more rivers, and all the while you admired the incredible glowing stones and mushrooms that made up the cavern floor. Everything about Waterfall was just... so calming.

You passed through one more doorway and into...

Oh my god.

The ceiling... It was like staring up at a gorgeously lit night sky. Pinks, purples, blues, glittering and glowing, twinkling, shining, lighting up everything around you.

You turned to Sans, wide-eyed, and saw that he was watching you with an unreadable expression.

He opened his mouth, and song words started to flow out. You'd never heard him sing, and you were stopped dead.

"at the curtain's call is the last of all
when the lights fade out, all the sinners crawl."

Was that... Demons? By Imagine Dragons? You'd heard it a few times on the radio, but... When Sans sung, his voice was low and smooth, and it made you shudder. He stepped closer to you, taking your hands in his.

"so they dug your grave, and the masquerade
will come calling out at the mess you made."

He spun you around slowly, placing your back to his chest, still holding your hands, which were now crossed over your chest. He swayed gently in time with the song playing in the back of his mind.

"don't want to let you down, but i am hell bound
though this is all for you, don't want to hide the truth
no matter what we breed, we still are made of greed
this is my kingdom come, this is my kingdom come."

Instead of increasing the volume of his voice in the chorus, he went even quieter, leaning in close to your ear. He was just loud enough to make a tune, and just quiet enough to make you flush as red as his magic.

"when you feel my heat, look into my eyes
it's where my demons hide, it's where my demons hide
don't get too close, it's dark inside
it's where my demons hide, it's where my demons hide..."

He stopped, and the two of you admired the view for a few moments, before you let out a small breath.

"Wow." You whispered. "I didn't know you could sing."

You could almost HEAR him blushing.

"i, um, heard it on the radio a while back." He was still swaying gently. "it just felt... y'know, appropriate."

"You've got a nice voice."

Before either of you could speak, you noticed something incredible, and broke away from Sans's grasp to run towards it.

A huge, glowing blue flower, with five curled petals. It came up to your waist and shimmered like silk when you touched it. It was making a very faint sound... it sounded like Sans's singing. But super, super quiet.

"Oh my god, what IS this?" You asked, crouching down and touching the centre of the flower.

"Oh my god, what IS this?" Came your voice. But, smaller, and slightly warped, rippling like water. Both your hands flew to your mouth and you swear your jaw would've broken off.

It SPOKE BACK TO YOU!?

"Sans, it, it, it repeats..." You couldn't even look away, and you waved your arm behind you in a half-assed attempt at getting you to come sit next to you. "... it repeated what I said!"

"Sans, it, it repeats... it repeated what I said!" 

There were more of them, too! About eight! They seemed to be whispering with each other, some of them still humming in Sans's voice and some of them repeating in your enthusiastic tone.

"echo flowers." Sans explained, coming up behind you, the flower repeating only a few seconds after him. "they repeat whatever you say. then they try to repeat each other until they're only saying garbled words, then it descends into white noise if given long enough."

"That's... kinda dark." You raised your eyebrows.

"That's... kinda dark." It whispered back. The other echo flowers mimicked one after the other, until the room was filled with 'dark' 'that's' 'dark' 'kinda' 'that's', over and over again...

There was something... a little off-putting, yet magical, about hearing your own voice rippling back at you from the silky surface of a mindless blue plant.

"they can't survive aboveground." Sans muttered, almost sadly. He took your hand again and gave you a gentle tug. You left the room, the voices following you out. How long had the flowers been silent for? It made your heart ache.

"shit." Sans groaned, and you peeked out from behind him. You could hear water gently lapping against rocks, and in the darkness you could vaguely make out a collapsed wooden pathway of some kind. Reeds and cattail (what were they doing down here?) hung silently in the black, inky water, undisturbed.

"we'll have to skip this part." He muttered, apparently disappointed, before sneaking an arm around your waist and teleporting.

A bright, light blue light made you blink a few times, and the ground beneath your shoes was squishy. Sans let out another 'shit', and the room echoed it back to him thousands of times.

An... an entire room of echo flowers!?

A huge, long corridor, flanked with glowing stones and with star-like gems in the ceiling, filled entirely with glistening echo flowers. There were so many of them! You couldn't even see the floor any more, and you lifted up your arms to avoid... I dunno, hitting them or something. It was absolutely beautiful!

Unfortunately, the mood was slightly broken by the fact that they were all repeating the word 'shit' to each other.

"there aren't supposed to be this many!" Sans exclaimed, grabbing your hand and wading through them like water. You loved the way the blue light danced against his skull as he moved them, and every time you disturbed a flower, a shining speck of yellow would lazily float up into the air. Fireflies? No, they were too small to be fireflies. Maybe some kind of Underground-dwelling bug?

"we kept the population under control so they wouldn't swarm like this." Sans groaned, pulling you along the corridor, through the flowers. Why? They were beautiful altogether! ... Well, the citizens of the Underground probably weren't all that bothered about whether or not something looked pretty. "but now," He continued. "you can barely say anything without being mimicked!"

"mimicked!" "icked!" "ick ick!" "say anything..." "anythicked...!"

So they controlled these beautiful flowers... because they were annoying when they copied you?

"Wait a second." You said, quietly, but the flowers around you picked it up, and it rippled away from you in waves of sound.

Sans stopped, turning to look at you. His red sweater stood out remarkably against all this blue.

The corridor had opened out into another room- you took your hand out of Sans's and ran over to the edge of the pathway, sending those weird glowing bugs up into the air around you.

Whispers of "Wait a second." Followed you as you came to the edge of what seemed to be some kind of... stone riverbank.

A maze of bright, luminous rivers sprawled in front of you, twisting around tiny islands of black rock. This was some CRAZY photosynthesis shit. It was like being in an anime or something. There were mini waterfalls of the glowing liquid pouring over glistening stones, black lily pads floating idly and some very odd black trees that were lit up by the mushrooms and surrounding rivers.

It was such a beautiful, yet melancholy place.

Was it safe to swim in? Swimming in this would be SO fun. Does the glow stay on you if you touch the water? You put the theory to the test, crouching down and leaning over a little, swirling a hand in the river. You could feel the faint push of a current against your palm.

It was... cool, and crisp, but not too cold. You took your hand out and looked at the water droplets that had gathered in your palm. It didn't make your hand glow (aww), and you let the water drip back into the river.

"enjoying yourself?" Sans asked, quietly, crouching next to you. The two of you were now only JUST above the echo flower line, and anyone looking on would only see your heads and part of Sans's shoulders.

"enjoying yourself?"

"I can't believe a place like this exists." You breathed, whispers repeating all around you. "AND I get to visit it. It's so beautiful."

Sans laughed quietly to himself, and you turned to look at him. The light from the water was rippling around his face and eyesockets, the mixture of red and blue light was kind of enchanting.

"yeah." He chuckled, giving you a soft grin. "the view's pretty beautiful."

"You aren't even looking."

"i'm lookin' at the prettiest thing in the room right now."

You rolled your eyes and suppressed the smirk, but, in a spur of bravery, you leaned forward and gave him a quick peck on the teeth, before standing up.

"W-we should probably keep going. Which way now?" Fucking stammer, goddamit.

He blinked out of his daze and looked up at you, grinning playfully.

"oh no, you don't."

He grabbed your forearm and yanked you back down into a tight hug, rocking backwards into the echo flowers and falling onto his back. The sudden movement sent glowing bugs shooting into the air and he laughed, squishing you against his chest, tickling your sides.

You squealed and laughed too, playfully punching his sternum and trying to wiggle out of his grasp. Fuck him and his super strength! Instead, you resorted to tickling him back (you knew his weak spot), and the two of you rolled around in the echo flowers, pinning each other with tickles, until the caverns echoed with your laughter.

Hearing the flowers laughing as well just seemed to make everything funnier. Sans shushed you quietly as you laid next to each other, pulled a super serious face, then...

Did an armpit fart. How he did it without skin escaped you, but hearing the beautiful, shimmering, majestic flowers of the Underground rip out huge farts was side-splittingly funny, and you just laid there on the ground with Sans for a few moment, lungs cramping with how much you were laughing.

Once he recovered, he grinned at you and helped you up. You looked out over the sea of echo flowers, felt the happiness in your chest, and thanked whatever god made you accidentally spill coffee over this skeleton monster.

"c'mon, let's keep going." Sans started to lead you towards another doorway. "i wanna get to new home before the underground's midnight."

"ground" "midnight." "new home..." "home..." The flowers repeated, the words chasing after you. "midnight." "keep going, wanna get..." "mid...going..." "go..." "night." "wanna..." "go..." "home..."

The last three words you heard before exiting the echo-flooded room made your hair stand on end, and you turned to stare at the flowers just as Sans led you out. Why were all of them facing in your direction!? It looked like they were... gazing at you as you left, or something! Your skin prickled and your eyes widened.

"wanna..." "go... "home..." They all whispered, in unison.

Chapter Text

"D-did you hear that?" You gasped, Sans leading you out of the echo flower room. They all said they wanted to go home? WHO wanted to go home? Was there someone down there!?

"hear what?" He asked, stopping. He took in your pale face and wide eyes and instantly seemed to deduce that something was wrong. "sweetheart? hear what?"

You shook you head, as if shaking the thoughts out.

"The echo flowers... said some really creepy shit." You rubbed a hoodie-covered hand over your face, feeling a very slight tremble in it. "I-it's fine, they were just repeating us, but what they said was really fucking weird."

"what'd they say?"

"Said... they wanted to go home, or something like that." You let out a dry laugh, feeling a bit sick. On the other hand, Sans seemed to relax a little, letting out a small breath.

"oh, ok. yeah, that's just them repeating." He looped an arm around your waist nonetheless, carrying on. You leant into his side, still spooked. "you wanna watch out if they ask you to follow them. or join them. or... y'know, just tell me when they say anything weird."

"Why would they ask you to join them?" You said, hair on the back of your neck standing on end. Fuck. More backstories.

"it's... an old cautionary tale that they told kids in the underground." He continued, and it was almost pitch black. You could hear water lapping slowly against something, and you were walking in a very straight line. Maybe... a pathway over a lake or something? "an echo flower that promised friendship to a small monster if they 'followed them'. ...cutting a long story short, kid get's their soul taken, turns to dust and lives as an echo flower for the rest of eternity because he trusted someone else." He made a small sound that was halfway between a grumble and a laugh. "think it was supposed to make monsters rebuff friendship, but it just made everyone hate echo flowers."

... So THAT'S why they controlled the population of the flowers? Because of a children's story? ... Before you told Sans how dumb that was, you swiftly reminded yourself of the thousands upon thousands of stories that humans had, which provoked stupid behaviour.

"story varies between areas of the underground, though." He added. "in some versions, the flowers eat the monster whole. in later versions, his smart mother saves him at the last minute, and he becomes a powerful boss because he learnt not to trust people."

"So, either way, you weren't supposed to have friends?" You asked, quietly. He rubbed a thumb up and down the skin on your waist and shrugged.

"well, yeah. 's just the way things were. there're a lot of stories like that. the monster who burnt, little trivan, commat and the bloody tree, mother yetty... all of 'em end with the same moral. kill or be killed, don't trust anyone who isn't yourself."

You heard something, and looked up, eyes picking up something. Music was drifting down the stone hallway. A music box? It was playing faintly, occasionally stuttering and stopping, then starting up again. You could see light up ahead, too.

Why did the song make you want to cry? It felt... so important, somehow.

Like it belonged to someone. Who was that someone? You didn't know. But it was their song.

Sans exhaled slowly.

It was...

A statue. A crumbled, lonely statue, with two big horns. Perhaps, long ago, it had been standing tall and proud on two feet, but it had collapsed and was now hunching, like... a crying child.

It sat right under a hole in the roof, and you were certain that it was sunlight leaking through. But... there was also rain coming down. Perhaps it was something to do with the fact that Waterfall had loads of moisture floating around.

Someone had propped an umbrella within the statue's crumbled rocks, protecting most of it from the droplets, but the umbrella had worn away a lot, leaving a few gaps. This water was apparently the source of the music box's stuttering.

You glanced around, and noted a bin full of umbrella's, just to the right of the statue. It was cobwebby, but you ran over and pulled out an umbrella, filled with a sudden determination to fix the music box.

You opened it up and one or two spiders fell out, but after shaking it off a little, you knelt down and rearranged some of the rocks to hold your umbrella over the first one.

The original just felt too important to move. You left them there, two umbrellas, two shields protecting the statue. Why did you feel like you were going to cry? You scrubbed furiously at your face as the music box continued, unsure as to why this had such a profound effect. Water was soaking into the knees of your jeans and the bottom of Sans's hoodie, but you couldn't seem to move. The lonely, hunched statue, bathed in sunlight and rain?

It looked so lonely. You wished you could take it with you, or something. Your legs felt so weak and your face was already hot with tears.

"...yeah, this place tends to do that to you." Sans said, softly, taking a hold of your shoulders from behind. "it speaks to everyone, in some way. it's best not to stay here for too long. c'mon."

You silently agreed with him, and didn't argue when he picked you up bridal style again. He seemed to like carrying you this way, and (though you wouldn't admit it, even if your life was at stake) you kinda liked it too. Being able to snuggle your head to his chest while he held you was comfortable and felt safe.

Again, you'd never, ever admit it.

After a while of silently walking, the only light being Sans's eyelights, a question started to bubble in your mind.

"How come Flowey had the most determination?" You asked, the darkness making you a little nervous. "He doesn't seem... very..."

"yeah, i know what you mean." You could hear the grin in his voice. "well... it's a big story, really. it'll take a long time."

"I've got time." You breathed, letting your eyes drift closed and head rest against his chest.

"w-well," he choked on his words for a few seconds before he could actually start. "let's just... just wait for a few seconds, 'lright? we're getting to a good spot to rest for a while."

It was getting increasingly difficult to not fall asleep, with the constant darkness, warmth from the hoodie and the way Sans's steps made you rock gently. You kept forcing your heavy eyelids back open again, making yourself stay awake.

"here." Sans said, after a few minutes of silence. You felt rustling as he sat down, propping you up in his lap. You tried to blink away the sleepiness and stare at the view in front of you.

W... wow.

A long, dark black landscape, with a giant red castle in the distance. It was the only thing standing for what looked like MILES, and it was HUGE, large and proud on the horizon. It was either much closer than you thought it was, or very very big. Three large spires, sharp and elegant, reminding you of knives facing up to the sky.

Oh man, the stars. Or, the gemstones. Whatever.

They put the previous rooms to shame a thousand times over. It was like big, swirling galaxies and all different colours, mapped out, as if someone had punched holes in a blanket and laid it over you.

You were looking out over the monster's main city. What did Sans call it? New Home? It looked so old and broken, like a ghost town. The castle seemed to be teetering to an edge slightly. Was it falling down?

And the silence... it was both relaxing and unsettling at the same time.

"so..." Sans started, resting the bottom of his skull on your head. "where do i start this?"

"At the beginning?" You chuckled.

"shut up, smartass." He said, but there wasn't an ounce of malice in it. He let out a small laugh, then sighed. "that's actually quite a good idea. the beginning.
the first human that fell was actually a good kid. back then, we weren't so... violent. we'd been imprisoned, sure, but the king was working on a way out, and we still had hope. so after the human fell, prince asriel befriended them, and the royal couple even adopted them. that's... asgore and tori."

Your limbs grew heavy. Just listening to Sans's voice was enough to make you drowsy. You stayed awake by staring at the view.

"the whole underground pinned their hopes on this kid." He murmured. "a kind human. a kind human who showed us compassion, and wanted to set us free. and we all thought; 'hey, maybe humans aren't so bad, y'know? maybe we just got caught out by a bad bunch.'"

You heard him sigh deeply, his big chest moving, lifting you up a little. Man, you liked it when he did that.

"the story is that the human suddenly got sick fast, and was approaching death. they requested to see the golden flowers of their home one last time, but since they grew aboveground, no one could get to them. the human died quickly. the prince absorbed their soul and passed the barrier so he could lay the body in the flowers from their village. the humans of the village attacked him, and he stumbled back into the underground before turning into dust in tori's arms."

You blinked. Holy shit, that... that hurt your heart to think about.

"in reality, though, the human had planned most of it."

WHAT!?

"they poisoned themselves deliberately, so they could fuse with asriel once their soul left their body, and become powerful enough to pass the barrier. asriel was supposed to go out, kill seven humans, take their souls and break the barrier, setting monsters free."

"...Wouldn't the human stay dead, though?" You asked, quietly.

"... was something they were willing to do for monsterkind, sweetheart." He explained. "and it would've worked... but asriel got cold feet at the last minute and refused to kill any humans. that's when he came back through the barrier and died. no one knew about the royal children's secret plan. all they knew was that humans had murdered innocents, and taken away the underground's only hope."

He looked up, staring at the castle.

"even when we thought they'd taken everything from us, freedom, space, sunlight... they took more. and after the king harvested the next fallen human's soul, tori went mad and barricaded herself in the ruins. asgore vowed that he'd never bow down to the humans, who took his entire family from him. if monsters escaped, it would mean war. kill or be killed."

He laughed, suddenly, like there was a hidden joke he'd only just understood.

"but we had no one to fight except each other! all that rage from having our futures robbed from us- we turned on ourselves. and asgore was okay with this, technically. if only the strongest survived, we'd win the next war for sure. 'f course, it was fucking hell."

He scratched the side of his face and pulled you a little closer to his chest.

"but when asriel took the human's body to the golden flowers on the surface," Sans's voice became softer, more gentle. "a seed stuck to him. and when he turned to dust in the middle of the royal garden, the seed fell into the ground. monster's believe that if you sprinkle someone's dust over an item, it puts their essence into it..."

You let out a little gasp. "So... Asriel had some of his essence in the flower!?"

Sans chuckled. "smart girl. alphys figured this out, too. skip forward a few hundred years, and alphys injects raw determination harvested from human souls into the flower as part of her attempt to create an artificial soul."

You blinked, tiredness now completely gone. Sans seemed to be waiting for you to join the dots, his grin soft, eyesockets a little lidded as he looked down at you.

"F... Flowey?" You whispered. "Flowey is the prince? And..." More things were starting to line up. "That's why you nicknamed him 'Azzy'? His real name is Asriel, and he...!? And the raw determination is why...!?" Everything started to click together. Holy shit!

"yup. you got it." Sans looked so pleased with you. "he ran away, though. lived in the ruins too, since it was pretty much the only place where alphys couldn't get to him. he's scared shitless of her. and then... he met frisk. rest is history."

He let out another big breath, and you turned your head to one side. Your only thought now was... poor Asgore and Toriel. They lost both their children at once, Toriel went insane and barricaded herself in that tiny red brick house, Asgore went from having a loving wife and two kids to being the sole ruler of a nation of hope-deprived, murderous people. Did the two of them ever wake up at night, alone in their beds, and stare at the empty space next to them, knowing that it once belonged to the one they loved?

It broke your heart.

You hadn't noticed that Sans had been fiddling with something while you were thinking. Something glowing and small...

"here." He suddenly said, dangling the thing in front of your face. "you really seemed to like those stones, so i nabbed one."

It was one of the blue gems. A tiny octahedron, glowing faintly now that it had been removed from the wall- it looked like glass, except in the centre was a blue light that seemed to rise and fall, weaken and strengthen, like breathing. It was hanging by a black piece of string.

He'd... made a necklace for you!?

Your hands flew to your mouth and you stared up at him, wide-eyed. That was probably the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for you! He blushed fiercely when you gave him your starry look and he huffed, turning his head away, still dangling the little necklace.

"you gonna take it or what?" He grumbled.

You accepted his gift and looped it around your neck, tying it as best you could at this weird angle. It hung just above your cleavage line, and you held the gem in your palm for a few seconds, watching the pulsing light inside. It was... like a beating heart, almost.

"Thank you." You breathed, only just remembering to be polite. Sans made a tiny grin and looked back at the castle, face aflame.

"you, uh, ready to keep going?"

"Sure."

Sans started moving, then paused for a second. "you okay to walk?"

"No." You lied. It came out before you could even stop it, and you were about to correct yourself, but Sans seemed all too keen to keep carrying you. He stood up, bouncing you once to make sure you were secure, then continued through the Underground.

"'m gonna skip most of waterfall." He explained, teleporting in jumps. "most of it will've collapsed and the rest'll be overgrown with echo flowers." He looked down at you, and the hoodie you were still wearing, and lowered you to the floor. "you, uh, might wanna loose the hoodie once we get to hotland, sweetheart."

"These are some very creative names." You joked, hopping out his arms. "I wonder why I won't need a hoodie in 'Hotland'."

"yeah, it's a running joke in the monster community. asgore is fucking awful at naming places." Sans grinned to himself, and the two of you continued towards a hole in a cliff face. "...guess what he named the first village monsters set up on the surface?"

You paused.

"Monster village?"

"here's a clue: the capital underground is 'new home'."

You paused again, thinking of the dumbest solution.

"... Aboveground Home?"

"new new home."

Oh my God, that was so stupid! You burst into laughter and Sans joined in, snickering along. So the terrifying child murderer Asgore couldn't name places for shit? You learn more every day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You were right. Hotland was called Hotland for a very good reason. The entire place seemed to be made of orange rock pathways above fucking lava, and the moment you passed under the archway and into Hotland you nearly collapsed from the raw hotness of it. Everything around you was swirling and shimmering from the heat rising from the lava, and it all but hit you square in the face. You gripped Sans's arm, dizzy from the huge leap from mild, cool Waterfall humidity to satan's baking oven.

You broke out in a sweat. What the fuck!? How did monsters function in this heat!?

Sans seemed completely unaffected by the sudden shift in temperature, and even slipped his hoodie back on when you shook it off.

"it's cooled down a lot." He surveyed, and your eyes widened. THIS was COOLED DOWN!? "some of the lava has probably hardened."

He waited for you to regain your senses, and the two of you set off in the direction of the place called New Home. Multiple times you had to stop from the dizziness of the sweltering heat, and you were too terrified of the lava to cross over a wooden bridge suspended by thin ropes. It didn't even have a handrail! Over LAVA! No way in heck, you'd seen enough Casualty episodes to know how that would end.

Sans teleported you past a run-down laboratory (again, you'd watched enough horror movies to know how that would end. Thank you TV, for saving your life), multiple ominous laser puzzles that flickered on and off, some kind of cooking show stand (!?), and square-shaped vents in the floor that occasionally let out huge whooshes of steam.

You thought you saw someone by the long, brightly lit elevator you were approaching. Someone (a cat, maybe) in a grey suit, holding something out in front of them, grinning in exasperation. But they were gone the moment you tried to focus. Fuck, this heat was doing weird shit to you.

"almost there." Sans chuckled. You glared at him, sticky with sweat. Damn bastard with his heat immunity. Since when had he been so hardcore?

You stepped into the air conditioned elevator and sighed with relief as a blast of cool air hit your face. Eurgh, you were so sweaty and gross... you probably stank as well... you leaned against the wall and wiped some moisture off your forehead. You'd have to get a drink sometime soon.

"Was oven land really necessary to walk through?" You asked, considering taking your shirt off.

Sans didn't answer, he just pressed a button. "w-we're gonna skip core, since most of it would be closed off anyway." His face was a little red, and he seemed to... sniff the front of his hoodie, and get even redder.

"Sans?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

His hoodie smelt so nice. You'd been curled up in it for so long, and the moment he'd put it on, your crisp lavender scent had lulled him into... whatever state he'd been in. It'd taken most of his mental strength to remain in the moment and help you not collapse in the heat.

The heat. The heat. He hated and loved it. Hated it because it obviously made you suffer, but loved it because you looked so fucking good.

Sweaty and red-faced, panting, stuck in a small room with him and no one around for miles... You get the idea.

He took a deep breath to compose himself, but just ended up taking another deep inhale of the same scent that was driving him crazy in the first place. Fuck...

He glanced at you.

... Fuck... him. Fuck him. Please. No wait, don't do that. Well, do, if you want to, but...

"Sans?" You asked, leaning casually against the wall of the elevator as it clunked and moved upwards. "Is something wrong?"

... How could he tell you that you smelt delicious without seeming like a huge fucking creep?

"you, uh. you..." Aaaaaaaaaa why wasn't his mouth working!? "you smell, um..."

"Oh, do I...?" Your face fell. "Do I smell that bad?"

"nonono!" He waved his hands about, but you looked down at the floor. AND NOW YOU THOUGHT YOU SMELT BAD BECAUSE OF HIM. "y-you smell really good! that's the problem!" He froze, then slapped his hands over his face and made a noise of defeat, turning around and standing in the corner of the elevator, considering smashing his skull into the metal.

Your light chuckle broke him out of his suicidal thoughts, and he looked over his shoulder at you. You... didn't seem completely fucking freaked out.

"You think I smell good?" You asked, a grin pulling at the corners of your mouth.

Good enough to eat. Heheh. "y-yeah." He stammered.

You were blushing a little- the kind of blush you did when you thought he hadn't noticed that you were blushing. Moments like these tore him apart... it was just further proof that you liked him, but subconsciously didn't want to because of his own selfish actions.

You grinned at each other from opposite ends of the elevator, and he wondered what you were thinking about. Where you embarrassed, or did you appreciate his comment...?

The doors swung open and he nearly fell out, recovering just in time and trying to look like he meant to do that, ignoring your badly muffled laugh. Ah, New Home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sometimes, Sans was just too cute. Especially when he did that thing where he turtled his head into his hoodie. There was... just... something so charming about a massive skeleton getting flustered because he admitted that he liked the way you smelt.

... Even if that was a bit of an odd thing to say.

Red brick everything assaulted you yet again, except... it was dulled. Greyed out. Like someone had drained the colour out of the ruins, and stuck a load of houses in it.

"this is new home." Sans said, quietly, taking your hand again. Except, far more gently. If anything, he just encased your hand in his own. "and, this..." He passed through a doorway. "is the last corridor."

A huge, gorgeous hall, roman pillars flanking every side. Everything was golden in colour, a bright contrast to Waterfall's blue and black and the red of everywhere else. Huge stained glass windows let the light shine in, and you noticed the same Zelda-fairy symbol on them. Was it some kind of royal insignia?
The whole place, although beautiful, was... also kind of ominous. The roman pillars cast long shadows across the floor, like someone was supposed to stand there.

"we can't go into the throne room." Sans said, simply, and you didn't question why.

Silence, for a moment, as you both looked at the Last Corridor.

"welp, that concludes the grand tour." Sans grinned at you, wrapping his arm around your waist.

Before you knew it, you were back in the living room. But you had no objections to being teleported this time- the Last Corridor had given you the creeps.

"... Wow." You breathed, looking up at Sans. He seemed so pleased with himself. "Thank you. That was..."

Your phone buzzed in your back pocket, and both of you startled, jumping back from each other. You laughed nervously and quickly pulled it out.

M-mom was CALLING you!? You ignored it with shaky fingers, and slipped the phone away again, the mood totally ruined. You were going to thank Sans for the amazing adventure, but all the excitement had instantly died the moment you read her name. She just HAD to ruin everything, like she always did...

"your mom." Sans observed, putting a hand on your shoulder comfortingly. "you okay?"

You shook your head, feeling tears welling.

"I just... I'm so scared of..." You put your head in your hands, then...

Something went very wrong.

"shit!" Sans said, his hand snatching back, and your head spun, a jolt of pure fury surging inside of you. It was so unexpected and hot, that you let out a little choked sound. You... you didn't feel like that!

Then it vanished, far too quickly. Like someone had squashed it down hurriedly, without a care for finesse or...

Sans.

Your heart dropped.

Everything ground to a halt, and your eyes widened.

"What. Did. You. Do." You said, slowly, quietly. You couldn't look at him.

"Humans still have some in-built magical defences passed down through the ages." Dad's voice echoed in your mind. Things were clicking into place. Tiny moments, tiny unexplained movements. Sans's facial expressions when you said specific stuff. Why you felt like a relationship with him would be such a bad idea.

"...When a SOUL senses a magical attack on the brain, it tells the body to flood it's system with adrenaline as a first defence, and if the tampering continues it creates large hormonal swings to make the brain unpredictable and hard to enter." Mom too.

"What. Did. You. DO." You repeated, panicking.

No. It couldn't be true. Sans would never... he'd never... You TRUSTED...

You took one look at his face. His horrified, guilt-ridden face.

... It was true.

It'd all been true.

Your parents were right.

He was...

"please." He croaked, reaching out to you. "i didn't..."

You slapped his hand away, and he withdrew it like you'd burnt him.

"You've been fucking with my mind." You were trembling with fury. And this time, it was real. "Oh my God, you've been fucking with me this whole time. I TRUSTED you with SO MUCH, and you've been...!?" You'd never felt like this. You'd never felt this much raw, black, unfettered fury. Not even towards your parents. You tore at your own hair, not worrying about the fact that you might rip it all out, and turned your black rage on Sans. He flinched away, with a look that you could only describe as broken. "YOU FUCKING... YOU..."

You were trembling so much that your lungs were spasming. You took deep, heavy breaths, hot tears bubbling down your face, and stared at Sans with such fury that you were sure he was going to set alight. You wanted him to set alight. His tears and 'pained' expression did nothing to quell your rage.

He wasn't going to fuck with you anymore.

You turned and made for the door. That was it. You were never going to speak to him again. You never wanted to look at his fucking face ever again. He could go and rot in the same hole he crawled out of when Frisk freed the monsters.

"no." His voice was firm, but desperate. It just made you even madder. He couldn't control you, he couldn't stop you. No one could.

So when his arms sealed around you again, you screamed, and fought with every scrap of your fury.

"LET GO OF ME, YOU FUCKING SHITHEAD!" You punched and kicked and ripped, Sans grappling with you, trying to hold you somehow. But whenever his hands caught somewhere on your body, you tried to break them. "I HATE YOU! I FUCKING HATE YOU!"

That hit him where it REALLY hurt. His grip faltered and you spun around, catching him off guard with a slap right in his face. It hit him with such force that he wobbled to the side, staring at the floor.

You stumbled back, and he stayed there for a second, head still turned slightly to the side from when you slapped him. Another emotion rose up next to your fury-

Fear.

Furious or not, you'd just slapped someone larger, stronger, smarter and faster than you, with magic and lots of experience in killing people.

He touched his cheekbone with a phalange, and his shoulders slumped. He let out a small breath, more red tears falling onto the carpet.


His eyelights flickered. You heard something move behind you, and the door swung open on it's own. You didn't wait for an invitation, you took off, leaving the house far behind you, hearing what you were sure was an anguished scream echo inside it.

You kept running, in the direction of Grillby's, but when you noticed the signs of SOUL Deadlock you stopped running and screamed into your hands, face wet and hot.

How could he?! Why did he DO THAT to you!? Why!? What did you ever do to him!? You furiously wiped away the seemingly endless stream of tears.

Had the whole thing meant nothing? Your whole friendship!? Every trip to the cafe, every walk, every hug, every kiss, every smile, every talk, every time you trusted him with a problem you'd never trusted to anyone else...

Everything...!?

EVERYTHING had just been some GAME TO HIM!? Did he even really love you, or was he just making a SICK GAME to see how much he could MANIPULATE you!? How was he ANY BETTER than your parents? At least your parents VAGUELY CARED ABOUT YOU.

You screamed into your arms again, ripping at your hair. You just couldn't understand WHY.

You took a shuddering, furious breath, and tore the necklace off your neck, feeling the string burn against your skin as it dragged along it way too fast. You raised it above your head and threw it down to smash the fucking rock on the ground, but...

Your hand didn't move.

It stayed there in the air, clutching the beating octahedron. Shaking, but... not moving. You tried again, tried to force your hand to throw it down onto the floor.

"you gonna take it or what?" He grumbled.

He'd... made a necklace for you!?

Your hands flew to your mouth and you stared up at him, wide-eyed. That was probably the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for you! He blushed fiercely when you gave him your starry look and he huffed, turning his head away, still dangling the little necklace.

You sobbed, trying to throw it.

"Don't you dare drop me!" was all you could think to say, before jumping.

You landed rather softly into his huge arms, which closed around you, and so did a calmness you didn't recognise. For a skeleton, he was very warm and comfortable, aside from the smell of mustard. Perhaps it was his jacket? You figured a skeleton would be slightly more spiky. Or, uh... boney.

He set you onto the ground, arms still holding you securely, until you flushed and pushed away from him, looking up at his face. He had that stupid smile.

"told ya. said i'd catch you."

It hurt so much. You wept, choking on your tears.

"ok, fine, watch this." He looked back to the TV. The presenter, some old dude you couldn't remember the name of, was giving a team some bonus questions, the theme being British duck species.

"*~Give the common name of the species from the description. Firstly, Anas platyrhynchos, sometimes known as the wild du-"

"mallard." Sans said easily, as if the presenter had asked him what his favourite colour was. You watched in awe as, after a few more seconds and hints, the university team agreed on 'mallard', and got the point.

"Y..."

"see? it's too easy." he shrugged his shoulders.

Stop. Please stop. Please.

"i think i'm dreaming." He took the mustard and stared up at you in an overly-dreamy way, his chin on his hand, that stupid grin on his face.

"Why would you be dreaming?" You rolled your eyes. You sensed a pun coming.

"because my favourite human is working at my favourite place, which means i can come here and still pester her all day long, now PUBlicly."

His smile was the goofiest you'd ever seen it. You groaned, rolled your eyes again, holding back the smile, and went to go get some water so you could sit down with him.

Stop...

"you're a guest. guest's stay as long as they want and don't pay rent."

Hope sparked in your chest and your eyes widened. He seemed to find that hilarious, and he pulled your hands to him, looming over you. Strangely enough, though, it didn't feel like a threatening gesture.

"c'mon, you really think i'd ever let ya sleep rough again? after that disaster?" His grin widened. "what kinda guy do you take me for?"

"Stop." You wailed, clutching your head.

i'd never hurt you." He said, his voice soothing and deep. "ever."

He shuffled a little closer and you flinched back, watching his every move.

"ever." He repeated, maintaining constant eye contact. He moved slowly, like he was afraid you would startle and run, which you probably would if your legs would work.

"You liar." You sobbed, falling to the ground, clutching the necklace to your chest. "You liar."

i'd never hurt you."

"Stop lying..."

 


... "it's okay, sweetheart. i'm here."

Chapter Text

You didn't even need to explain anything. When you turned up at King's apartment door, teary, broken, dishevelled and exhausted, he grabbed you in the small cinnamon roll equivalent of a hug and let you cry on his shoulder for however long you stood there for.

"L-let's get you inside." He said, softly, against your shoulder. You nodded, still unable to string words together at this point.

King had a decently sized apartment comprised of bright yellows and blues, that smelt faintly of cake that had been left in the oven too long. The walls were decorated with family photos, most of them being various sunny holiday destinations, except one that looked like someone face-planting in snow next to four laughing children. One that caught your eye was a group of seven black-haired people, all with sandy faces and sunglasses, giving the thumbs up and huge smiles to the camera.

It was smaller than Sans's house, definitel... You squashed that train of thought. You weren't going to grace Sans with your thoughts anymore.

"S-sit down, I'll get you something." King stuttered, leading you to his sky blue sofa and sitting you down. Leather? Fancy.

He rushed through an already-open door and you heard the sounds of cups clinking, a small crash and a faint 'oops', water running, then King emerged with two glasses of water.

"Crying makes you dehydrated." He explained, sitting next to you, and you graciously accepted the water. You downed it quickly, enjoying the cool feeling of the glass against your mouth. You hadn't drank anything since Hotland.

"What... what happened?" He asked, watching you with those adorable blue eyes.

"...You were right." You croaked. "I should've... I should've left when you told me to." You could feel it bubbling- that raw fury. You pressed your palm into your eye, still shaking a little. "H-he was using a power on me, messing with my m-mind, making me feel stuff that wasn't there..."

"How'd you find out?" King asked, taking the empty glass out your hand.

"... He screwed up, I think." You took your hand away from your eye. "He probably messed up while trying to do something. I felt the sudden jump and realised what was going on. I... I screamed at him. And ran away." You felt more tears coming. "I just... can't understand why he'd do that to me...!"

"That sounds awful." King said honestly. "Y... you were staying with him, weren't you?"

Shit! Your hands flew to your mouth. You had nowhere to go! And all your stuff was still over there! Your laptop, your clothes... Right now, you had nothing but the clothes on your back, your necklace and your phone!

"Fuck..." You whispered. "I..."

"Y-you can stay here!" King's eyes lit up like stars. You blinked, taking your hands from your mouth. What was it with you and striking lucky with people who were willing to let your stay? "I-I have a spare bedroom, it would just be like an extended sleepover, right? We can watch movies and stuff!"

You couldn't help but chuckle a little. All this rage and sadness was exhausting, and King's happiness was rubbing off on you. Right now, a good movie and some sleep would do you a world of good.

"Th... thanks. Yeah, sure. Extended sleepover." You did your best to smile, feeling your cheeks crack a little from the dried tears and other fluids caked to them.

He gave you a small grin. "If you want, we can watch Princess Bride. I've got it on DVD."

"... I'd like that."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans screamed.

He'd NEVER done that before. He didn't even know he was capable of making that kind of sound.

He gripped his skull and screamed again, collapsing to his knees, every bone stinging and burning and rattling.

There were no words for what he felt. Everything was... almost numb. Only one thought was running through his mind.

'she's gone.'

He doubled over as pain welled in his chest, stabbing over and over. He gripped onto the carpet, tearing it, feeling more tears welling into his empty sockets.

'she's gone.'

'she's gone and she hates you and she's never coming back.'

He teleported into his room and clutched his skull, curling up on the floor. It hurt so much. Why did he let you leave? He could feel it inside him- that burning, aching desire to grab you and f o r c e you to love him. It would be so easy. He'd bet every piece of gold he had that you'd probably run off to that green kid, King. It would be a simple matter of tracking you down, slamming you up against a wall, running his tongue over yours and coaxing that happiness and pleasure until you were absolutely SQUIRMING under him.

He dragged his claws along the carpet and tore it, trying to reel in his magic. But for once, he couldn't. It was building and the pressure was growing and FUCK it hurt so bad, pouring thickly out his eyesocket... Gasping with pain, he decided he had to do the one thing that always worked when he was like this.

Destroy stuff.

He started by deliberately tearing up chunks of the carpet from where he was lying, bending his phalanges into claws and running them through the fabric. It calmed him a little, but it wasn't enough. So he stood himself up and tore the footboard off his bed, snapping it into splinters. He ripped the sheets into ribbons, smashed what remained of the headboard. Clawed at the walls and floor. He started to feel his vision tunnelling as he furiously broke EVERYTHING in his room. The treadmill, the draws, the...

He paused at the locked cabinet, fist raised. He blinked twice.

His vision became cleared. He lowered his fist, and instead of smashing it, he opened it slowly. Carefully. He retrieved your shirt, tears welling in his eyesockets.

It still smelt like you.

His magic fizzled away almost instantaneously as he held the soft fabric in his hands and inhaled your scent. For a small moment, he could imagine you still standing there. Laughing at one of his crappy jokes, or doing that adorable thing where your face goes so red that you have to cover it momentarily.

He sat back on his heels, rage spent. In it's place was an empty numbness he vaguely recognised. He just wanted to lie on his (now destroyed) bed and cry all day long.

"SANS?" Papyrus opened the door, slowly. "ARE YOU... DONE DESTROYING YOUR ROOM?"

Sans nodded, not even bothering to look up from your shirt.

"THEN WE MUST GET TO WORK CLEANING IT!" Papyrus opened the door further, rushing in. He started picking up pieces of smashed headboard and tutting at the huge claw scratches in the carpet. He was probably trying to avoid the subject.

Sans almost growled- he really, REALLY didn't want to be cleaning right now. The only thing he wanted right now was you.

"SANS." Papyrus said, seriously, kneeling down and clasping a hand on his older brother's shoulder. "MOPING ISN'T GOING TO GET HER TO COME BACK. IT'S BEST TO REDIRECT YOUR ANGER."

Sans sighed. He knew that Papyrus was right, but... He just didn't have the energy for anything. He didn't really have any anger anymore. Unfortunately, that meant he also didn't have the energy to argue with Papyrus.

Sans put your shirt back into the locked cabinet, catching a glimpse of the little notebook that he'd used to keep track of all your likes and dislikes.

He'd never gotten round to asking you if you liked classical music.

"COME ON." Papyrus encouraged, helping Sans stand up. "IT'LL TAKE YOUR MIND OFF HER FOR A WHILE."

"thanks paps." Sans said, forcing a smile. Papyrus was probably only trying to help, but... 'Taking his mind off you'?

He didn't WANT to stop thinking about you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Okay, so, dare this time." You said, picking a nice light shade of blue for King's nails. You didn't know how you got to this situation, huddled on the sofa in pyjamas (you'd borrowed some clean ones, they had tiny teddy faces on! King had a pair with tiny bananas), smothered in blankets and doing each others nails, but you weren't exactly adverse to it. You hadn't done something like this since Honey was still local.

"I dare you... to..." King pursed his lips, pushing his glasses with a finger. Suddenly, his face lit up. "... put nail varnish on your nose!"

"But it smells!" You protested. King chuckled, and you sighed, bringing the light blue nail polish up to your nose and pressing a single blob of it on. "There, happy?"

He started giggling and you joined in, screwing lid back onto the tiny nail polish bottle to stop it from tipping everywhere. You had hot pink nails right now- you'd almost gone for red, but...

You had the mental image of Sans's eyes and immediately crushed it. Fuck, get OUT, stupid fucking...!

"My turn." You snapped yourself out of your own thoughts. "I dare you to... say 'cunt'."

King froze, colour draining from his face. He'd probably been raised by a very polite family. Unlike SanSHUT UP.

"C..." He looked down, then slapped his hands over his face in pure embarrassment. "F-female lady parts! I can't do it!"

You snickered, but didn't push it. No use making him uncomfortable.

King swiped some orange nail polish onto his finger- the penalty for not doing a dare or answering a truth. Whoever had the least orange swipes at the end was the winner.

"Hmm... Truth this time." You opted. King's face went blank for a moment... then broke into a huge, mischievous grin.

"Tell me your most embarrassing story!"

"...And by truth, I meant dare."

He thought for a second, then pointed at you. "... I dare you to answer my previous question truthfully!"

That cracked you up. It was so fucking brilliant yet simple, you couldn't believe you hadn't thought of using it.

"Fine." You relented, still smiling. There was one, definite story that came to mind. "So, I went to a party with Honey and some of her friends. It was a big house party, lots of people were going. We were... about 15, maybe 16 at the time. Definitely shouldn't have been drinking."

King looked like you were about to tell him the secret to life, the universe and everything (42)- he was hugging his knees to his chest and giving you the widest, most starry-eyed look he'd ever given you.

"Yeah. DEFINITELY shouldn't have been drinking." You shrugged. "So, naturally, someone cracked a bottle of Vodka out some time around 11am. Bear in mind, I'd never gotten drunk before. My parents were VERY strict about my alcohol intake and I'd barely had anything outside of the occasional sip of beer or watered down wine." You chuckled, recalling the memory fondly. "I think... one of Honey's friends dared me to have a shot or something? Well, I ended up downing a lot. I think."

"You THINK?" He asked, wide-eyed.

"Well, the only thing I really remember is being offered the glass." You snorted. "Next thing I know, I'm standing on the sofa, arm in arm with a complete stranger, screaming out karaoke lyrics to a very drunk crowd of mostly white teenagers."

King seemed totally enamoured by the story, and nodded for you to continue.

"So, karaoke done, I vaguely remember stumbling out into the garden to vomit." You rubbed your forehead, trying to recall years-old memories buried under nights of partying. "I'm not sure how much I actually drank, but... being my first taste of proper alcohol, it didn't go down well. I think... I think I might have picked a fight with someone? The only thing I remember for sure is waking up at 4am with no shirt or bra, halfway up a tree."

King made a spluttering sound and burst into full-out laughter, cheeks bright red. You couldn't help but join in- his laugh was so damn infectious. High and fluttery, not at all like Sans-

Stop.

"The most embarrassing part," you continued, King still laughing. "was that I couldn't get down. I don't know how the fuck I got up there, but I was dizzy and sick and half naked and VERY confused. Some friends helped me and someone lent me a shirt, since mine had apparently vanished into the aether, and everyone was a bit flustered from having to stare at my tits for so long. So my friends had to help a sick, braless me out of a tree, all the while surrounded by people they'd known their whole lives, most of whom were just as confused as I was."

King actually started coughing, he was laughing so hard, and you grinned.

"Needless to say, I stopped going to house parties."

That was the kicker, and it renewed King's amusement, making him actually bend forwards and press his face into the blankets. While you were laughing, you caught sight of a clock on the wall. And for a tiny moment, you told yourself that you needed to head 'home' for the night.

Home, being back with Sans.

Your instinctive reaction to the word 'home' was with Sans. With a manipulative sociopath.

You made a little noise and slapped your cheeks again. It... it was most likely the mind control effects still lingering. Why else would he keep popping back into your thoughts? You were sure that, after a few days of not being near him, your TRUE feelings about him would surface. Hate and fear were your top bets at the moment.

"You okay?" King asked, coming down from his laughing high. Bless his tiny green SOUL, you felt better just by LOOKING at him.

"I just... can't stop thinking about Sans." You muttered, grumpily, picking at the bottom of the pyjama top. "Despite everything."

"It's... it's okay to think about him." King assured you. You gave him a sceptical look, and he took off his glasses slowly, glancing at you with those piercing blue eyes. Without his glasses, he looked even more like a child.
"I know it must be hard, but..." His eyes darted to the nail varnish bottles spread out in front of you. Probably the untouched skull-shaped bottle. "H-he broke your heart, and whether or not the emotions you felt back then were fake, you'll still feel betrayed. And, if I've learnt anything," He gave you a shy smile. "it's that you should never bottle up or invalidate your feelings. I mean, fake or not, they're still there, right?"

You nodded. He seemed to know a lot about heartbreak, for a smol innocent bean.

"... Hey, do you want to go into work tomorrow?" King asked, pulling out a wet wipe and removing the nail varnish from your nose. Oh! You forgot that was still there. "I mean, you'll be alone..."

"I'll be fine." You scrunched up your nose in response to the wiping. "I shouldn't stop everything just because he MIGHT show up. I've still gotta, y'know... live. And anyway..." King finished taking off the nail varnish. "... If I explain to Grillby, I'm pretty sure I'll have a personal bodyguard all night long."

You imagined what would happen if Sans showed up at Grillby's, and you couldn't help but feel shamefully happy. God, what had he done to you? How long had he been screwing with your feelings?

"Thanks, King." You mumbled, pulling the blanket further over your legs, not daring to look up at him. "Y'know, for... helping me out. I don't really think I can stress it enough."

"It's okay, we all fall on hard times sooner or later." He started packing the nail varnish pots back into a small bag and putting his glasses back on. You blinked. The way he said that... there was definitely more to this story.

You curled your legs up to your chest. "So have YOU had your heart broken before?" You asked.

King froze, and you back-pedalled as fast as possible. "Y-you don't have to answer, I was just curious..."

"Nono, it's fine." He smiled weakly. "Spilling would be kinda nice. Especially with a friend."

You nodded, and let him finish packing up the nail varnish, closing the bag and placing it down on the floor by the sofa.

"So, I'm cute." He settled under the blankets, facing you. "I think we can both agree on that."

You nodded again, trying to stay as non-verbal as possible.

His gaze flicked up to you. "I'm also very susceptible to peer pressure. And I get crushes easily. Most of them, like in your case, don't really last very long, and almost always end in platonic feelings. And you had Sans metaphorically clinging to your arm, so you were pretty out of bounds anyway. But it's fine, and I don't mind. I'm... used to it. Not every crush is the person I have to spend the rest of my life with."

Again, Sans fucks up the lives of the people around you. You wanted to punch him in the boney face.

"But it took me a while to realise that. I thought every crush I had was 'the one'." He made little air quotes with his fingers. "...And, a lot of people took advantage of that. That, and my naïvety. Since, y'know, 23 and still haven't taken any drugs." He laughed a little, wiggling his hands, before cuddling up to his knees again. "I started having doubts when I was 17. At the time, I had a HUGE crush on a girl called Ambrosia." His face flushed a little. "She was super pretty and kind and always talked to me like I was an equal, not a child. I was certain that I was in love with her. And... we even got together after a while."

He picked at his nails for a long moment, and you thought he'd stopped his story, but he continued after a few seconds.

"She wanted sex." He admitted, face going red from just mentioning the word. "... Sh-she wanted to have sex with me. And at first, I said no, because I was still a virgin and pretty uncomfortable with the prospect of... d-doing 'the thing' with someone."

Oh balls. You could see where this was heading. Who was this 'Ambrosia'? You wanted to have a nice, long chat with her.

"Eventually she kinda guilt-tripped me into it." Nope, you were going to kill her. Your hands balled into fists. Definitely kill her. "I-I mean, I liked her so much, and I didn't want her to be sad, so I agreed to it." He paled, pushing his glasses up his nose. "It was... really horrible. She enjoyed it and said I was good, but it was... just, awkward and gross and off-putting. Even with someone like her, who I really trusted and liked. I was like: 'Why does anyone like this? Why does SHE like this? Am I SUPPOSED to like it? Is there something wrong with me?'"

This poor, poor smol bean.

"I told her I didn't like it, and that it made me uncomfortable, and I guess she took that as some kind of personal offence. We broke up, and she told me that I could 'come back when I'd manned up.'" He shrugged, as if he was past it now. "It really hurt. I moped around for about a month, before finally getting over her and meeting someone else." King glanced to the side, at the now-off television. "And, so, uh... rinse and repeat that process with different people, I guess. I'd meet them, fall for them, get in a relationship, tell them I didn't like the sex, then they'd break up with me. It was a real blow to my confidence. My brother mentioned I might be asexual but I told myself I couldn't be, because I had crushes on people, so I just kept cycling through and breaking my own heart over and over."

He fiddled with his hands, then finally smiled again.

"But, after reading into it a little more, I found out that romantic and sexual attraction were two entirely different things!" He grinned at you, making your chest contract with pure cuteness. "Someone who doesn't like ROMANCE is aromantic, and someone who doesn't like SEX is asexual!" He put his hands in his hair. "Man, after years of thinking I was broken, or that something was wrong with me, it was SO NICE to find out that there were people just like me!"

His face fell a little, and he wrapped his hands back around his knees. "Of course, I got the usual reaction from my friends. 'Asexuality isn't real', 'You're only saying that because you can't get a girlfriend', 'Do you reproduce through mitosis or something?', and most of all, 'You just haven't met the right person yet'. Of course. Because they're psychic and know my body better than I do." His voice was dripping with sarcasm. "But, luckily, by family was much more accepting. So..."

He looked up at you from under his thick black eyelashes and smiled.

"So, uh, here I am. I'm a tried-and-tested asexual, with years of heartbreak under my belt."

You TACKLED him in a hug, feeling a swell of pride in your chest. King was so strong! Not physically, of course, but mentally. In a world where everything seemed to rotate around sex, to be able to accept yourself like that...

"I'm so proud of youuuuuu!" You said, probably with an anime sparkle next to your face.

There was a moment of hugging before you backed down, grinning. You held out your nails and glanced at yours, then King's.

"I won by a landslide."

"...Okay." King sighed. The punishment for loosing was that they HAD to do the next dare or truth you gave them. No if's, no but's, no coconuts. "What do I have to do?"

"Say cunt."

"...Noooo! (Y/N)!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans sat alone, on the lone mattress that was now his bed, and stared at his phone.

More importantly, at your number.

Would... would you even pick up? Almost definitely no, but... Staring at the picture he'd set for your number always made him feel better. He'd snapped it at Grillby's when you weren't looking- you were in your uniform, and laughing at something. He couldn't remember what. All he knew was that fuck, it made him feel good when he looked at it. His chest went all tight and his SOUL fluttered pleasantly. Like what happened when he looked at the real you, but less powerful.

The tip of his distal phalange hovered over the 'call' button. Would you... would you WANT to speak to him? You hated him now, but... what if he called under the pretence of trying to return your clothing? You'd left almost EVERYTHING behind. He could just pretend he wanted to give you your stuff, which would give him a viable excuse to talk to you. To... to hear your voice...

He glanced at the icon of your face and paused. Then again... what if you thought he was being creepy, and it just made you dislike him further? And he wasn't able to get a word in, because you... blocked his number after he called, or something?

... Not like he wasn't above being a creep. He'd already considered following you on multiple occasions, even before you started hating him. Ok, no, that was a lie, he'd always considered following you, and DONE IT a few times. He kept on telling himself that he was being a stalker and that you could handle yourself, but...

He groaned and rubbed a hand over the front of his skull. God, he just wanted to hear your voice. Even if you were telling him to fuck off, just... UGH!

"SANS?"

Oh, fuck. Papyrus. Sans turned his phone off and replaced his frown with a grin so as not to worry his younger brother, who'd opened the door carefully. The two of them had already fixed Sans's room to the best of their abilities, but Sans was going to be without a closet door and an actual bed for a few days. Not to mention the scratches all over the wall.

Papyrus glanced at the phone in Sans's hand and made his way across the room, far more quietly than was normal. He sat down next to Sans on the mattress, long legs bent in front of him.

"SANS, DID... DID YOU AND THE HUMAN HAVE A FIGHT?" Papyrus was still loud, but it had a softer edge to it.

"not really." Sans stared at the wall. "i did something awful. she did what any sane person would have done."

"SO... SHE'S GONE?"

"yeah. she's gone."

"IS SHE GOING TO COME BACK ANY TIME SOON?"

"i don't know, paps. probably not."

"... OH." He sounded a little disappointed. "I... REALLY LIKED THAT HUMAN."

"me too, paps." Sans dug his palms into his eyesockets. "me too."

There was a small pause, until Papyrus spoke up.

"...BROTHER, IF YOU WISH TO... 'TALK' TO ME ABOUT ANYTHING, THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS WILL OFFER HIS METAPHORICAL EAR."

"sure. thanks bro." Sans grinned, but it was another fake one. He didn't have anything he wanted to say. Except, to you. He had quite a few things he wanted to say to you. And it would be something along the lines of 'i love you i'm so SO sorry for treating you so badly can we at least be long distance friends or something please please let me make it up to you'...

His gaze fell down to the floor. But of course, why would you listen? As far as you were concerned, everything that came out his mouth and everything you felt in response was just him trying to pull your strings.

He wasn't anything to you. And that hurt more than anything else could.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Papyrus narrowed his eyesockets. Sans was... never this sad. Even in the Underground, his brother had still had some life in him. All of them did, they HAD to have a fight in them. If you gave up, you'd be dead within the week.

But Sans seemed completely empty of spirit, as if he'd spent it all on his mini rampage earlier. His eyelights were tiny and dull, almost white. The shadows under his eyesockets were thick and purple, and he hadn't made a single pun. He just stared at walls or at his phone.

Papyrus had to admit to himself, he missed the tiny human woman. She had a... presence around her, that seemed to make him feel happier. She was also very kind, even if she'd shouted at him the first time they met. His first impression had been a spoilt human brat who'd waltzed into his house, turned his dog into a traitor and made Sans go all soft.

Then... He'd seen her helping Sans up the stairs after one of his many nightmares. How she'd genuinely struggled to help him, how she'd hauled his heavy ass up all those stairs. Though, to be honest, how she'd gotten within 10 feet of Sans during his nightmare without having a bone through her abdomen was a fact that still alluded Papyrus. But he respected her for that, anyway.

And, when she was around, Sans... changed. He'd become happier, and his magic would be light and buzzy. He wouldn't make self-deprecating jokes, and his smile would be real. He'd laugh a lot more. And he'd be so much more open with her than with anyone else- Papyrus included.

Seeing his older brother like this, empty and lonely, made Papyrus... determined. The two of them obviously fought and fallen out, he could hear the screaming and slamming through his headphones.

When she was here, Sans was happy. When she was not here, Sans was NOT happy. Sans was too depressed to make any effort, and there was only one skeleton left in the house who was fit for action.

The resolution was clear.

Papyrus knew that she worked at Grillby's because Sans would not shut up about it, and he knew what time she worked there, since Sans always vanished around that time to go see her.

Papyrus got up and headed to the door, a plan already forming in his mind. A brilliant scheme that was GUARANTEED to work, since it was, of course, the Great and Terrible Papyrus who masterminded it! Nyeheheh! Sans would be feeling better in no time!

"where're you going?" Sans asked, though Papyrus could tell he didn't actually care. His voice was flat and lifeless.

"NYEHEHEH! I'M GOING TO... SOLVE THIS PUZZLE!" Papyrus chuckled maniacally. With the assistance of Undyne and Alphys, and his own master persuasion skills, he could get you two to meet up and solve your little problem! And Sans would be back to his punny self in no time!

 

Truly, he was the genius of geniuses!

Chapter Text

"They did fucking WHAT!?!?!"

Undyne slammed her drink down so hard that it spilled all over the table and made Alphys jump a few inches into the air. Undyne didn't seem to care that she'd cracked her table. Again.

"YES. THAT'S ALL I COULD GATHER FROM THEIR... LOUD INTERACTIONS." Papyrus had been expecting Undyne's furious reaction, and lifted his plate off the table just in time to dodge the shockwave that sent Alphys's plate flying, including the small amount of sushi she'd placed there.

"W-what did he even do?" Alphys asked, fumbling with the sushi that had nearly fallen off the table. "I know (y/n) isn't the calmest of humans, but... that kind of reaction?"

"I'M NOT SURE. BUT IF WE PLAN TO REPAIR THE RELATIONSHIP, WE NEED TO FIND OUT." Papyrus placed his plate back on the table. "WHICH IS WHY I CALLED THIS EMERGENCY MEETING."

"NGAAAAH!" Undyne seemed absolutely furious. Actually, no. She didn't SEEM furious, she WAS furious. "Sans had the PERFECT possible girlfriend RIGHT THERE and he FUCKS EVERYTHING UP!" She slammed her head onto the table.

"So why do you need us?" Alphys asked, trying her hardest to be the only voice of reason between the two tornado-resembling monsters.

"AS MUCH AS THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS COULD DO IT ALONE..." He put a gloved hand to his chin, deep in thought. "IT IS... UNLIKELY THAT (Y/N) WILL LISTEN TO ME. NATURALLY, IF I COME TO HER AND DEFEND SANS, SHE'S GOING TO ASSUME THAT I'M ONLY DOING IT BECAUSE HE'S MY BROTHER. SHE'LL ASSUME THAT I'M BIASED AGAINST HER, WHICH WILL RENDER ANY FURTHER CONVINCING IMPOSSIBLE."

Alphys nodded along with this, but Undyne still had her face on the table.

"HOWEVER, ALPHYS HAS ALREADY EXPRESSED HER DISTASTE FOR SANS ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS. (Y/N) WILL BE LESS LIKELY TO BELIEVE YOU'VE SIDED WITH HIM, MAKING YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR A BITCH BUDDY. YOU'RE IN CHARGE OF SWAYING HER OPINION." Alphys muttered about being called a bitch buddy, but Papyrus had already turned to Undyne. "UNDYNE, YOUR LACK OF RESTRAINT AND AFFINITY FOR SWEARING MAKES YOU EASY FOR (Y/N) TO TALK TO, SO YOU'RE IN CHARGE OF FINDING OUT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED."

"What about YOU, Paps?" Undyne finally lifted her head up a little, resting her chin on the table. "What're you in charge of?"

"WELL, FOR ONE, I'M EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR SANS. HE HASN'T LEFT HIS FUCKING ROOM SINCE SHE WENT." He tutted. "AND TWO, I'M GOING TO TRY AND GET THE INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED OUT OF SANS AS WELL. IF WE FIGURE OUT BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY, WE CAN COMPARE NOTES, AND IT'LL BE EASIER TO GET THEM BACK TOGETHER."

"And THEN we can make them KISS!" Undyne grinned.

"BUT DON'T BE TOO RASH ABOUT IT!" Papyrus added, quickly, after seeing the all-too-familiar look on Undyne's face. "IF THEY'VE FALLEN OUT, WE SHOULDN'T MAKE THEM MEET UP TOO SOON. SANS IS VERY DESPERATE FOR HER ATTENTION, BUT (Y/N) IS STILL MAD AT HIM. SOMETHING VERY BAD MIGHT HAPPEN." He leaned back, stretching his fingers out. "WE NEED TO LET HER... COOOOOL DOWN. WE'LL START TOMORROW, AND HAVE ALPHYS FEED THE OCCASIONAL GOOD COMMENT ABOUT SANS THROUGHOUT THE WEEK. THEY'LL BE ON SPEAKING TERMS AGAIN IN NO TIME!"

"You know, sometimes, Papyrus, you do actually come up with quite good plans." Alphys observed, nodding along.

"OF COURSE I- ... WAIT, S O M E T I M E S!? WHAT ARE YOU IMPLYING!?"

"Alphys, run."

"On it."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So.

...

Grillby's.

You opened the door, and everyone looked up slowly. It was like being the coffin at a funeral, slowly making your way towards a grave, with everyone staring at you like you were the poorest, most tragic human in the world. Somehow, they all probably already knew.

The smell, the feeling... you wished you'd taken up King's offer to stay at his place. It felt like Sans would saunter in at any given moment, and order mustard or some gross shit like that. And if he DID arrive, there was nothing you could really do to get him to leave, unless he broke the rules.

And Grillby's had always been his favourite place.

The necklace seemed to tingle a little around your neck as you settled behind the counter, as if reminding you that you still kinda wanted to see him, and you had shamefully hoped he'd arrive yesterday.

"Why would you be dreaming?" You rolled your eyes. You sensed a pun coming.

"because my favourite human is working at my favourite place, which means i can come here and still pester her all day long, now PUBlicly." 

You ignored the memory, and reminded yourself that everything you'd felt with him was a lie. You sat up on the counter and slapped your cheeks, saying it again in your head. Everything you felt with him was fake. Everything you felt FOR him was fake.

... But it still fucking hurt.

"(y/n)!?" Grillby's low crackle brought you back to your senses. You glanced up at him and tried to smile, but your face didn't move.

"Oh. Hey boss." You tried to sound happy. You really, really did. But...

He came closer until he was standing over you. "what happened? why is your SOUL...?" His tiny lights blinked, then he froze.

He ran a hand down his flickering face after a few moments of silence. "ah. so... you found out, I assume?"

Your head snapped up to him.

"You KNEW?" You said, in utter exasperation. Grillby knew, and hadn't said ANYTHING? You would've been madder, but you were so emotionally exhausted. All you could do was deflate.

"it is better to discuss this elsewhere." He waved his hand, like he was waving the question away for now. "I will get one of the chefs to stay at the bar while we are gone."

He waited for you to slide off the counter, then placed one hand on your back, steering you gently through the doors into the kitchen, then through into another room that you could only assume was his private place or something, since he had to unlock the door before inviting you in.

You were considering whether or not punching him in the face would be a good idea if he revealed that he knew the whole time.

It was a small room, with a desk and two large leather armchairs. A small drinks cabinet and a photo frame were the only things that adorned the walls- the photo being a person made of flames, like Grillby, except they were bright blue and the natural curves of their body led you to believe it was a she. ...You'd probably refer to her as a 'them' until you got definite confirmation of the gender (it was so hard to tell with monsters, and you didn't want to offend someone). They were wearing a classic Japanese high school girl outfit, and glaring at someone behind the camera. Either that, or trying to pull a scary face.

"Who's this?" You asked, looking at the photo. For a being made solely of blue flame, they were quite attractive.

"my daughter, Fuku." Ahh, so they WERE a she. Good to know.

Grillby sat in one of the leather armchairs, and motioned for you to take the other. You sat slowly and carefully, planning a definite way to hit him in the face with something if he'd actually known anyway.

You gave him a flat glare until he cleared his throat, flames puffing blue for a second.

"so, yes. I apologise in advance. I did, in fact, know that Sans was using his abilities on you. but," He added, when he saw you move to get up. "I have a good reason for not sharing that information with you, if you would let me explain."

You sighed and sat back down again, much to Grillby's relief. You rested your chin on one hand, staring at the fire man in front of you. Man, imagine if GRILLBY had had emotional manipulation powers in some other universe, or something. Combined with his looks and gentlemanly attitude? That would've been one HELL of a bad time for everyone.

"so. Sans has the ability to see SOULs, but also feel the waves of emotion that come from them." He began, crossing his legs and looking to the side.. "somehow, he discovered how to increase and decrease those fluctuations of feeling, making his manipulation possible. ... I realised he was doing this to you a few weeks ago, and encouraged him to tell you, but he... had reservations."

"No fucking shit." You still weren't convinced.

Grillby seemed to flinch, and steam rose slowly from his forehead. Was he... sweating!?

"however, I... seemed to... incorrectly believe that he would tell you himself." Yup, he was sweating. Except it evaporated the moment it formed on his head. "if he was planning on telling you, then... me interfering as a third party would ruin everything, would it not?"

Yeah, that made sense. You nodded, relieved to find an excuse to forgive him. You didn't want to have to hate Sans AND Grillby.

"I... do apologise again, though." He looked down. "it would have been wiser to tell you as soon as I found out. by hoping that Sans would do it, and prolonging everything, it just made the situation far worse."

You leant forward, placing your hand over his own purple one, which was resting on the arm of the chair.

"Don't blame yourself." You smiled, albeit tiredly. "It's not your fault that Sans is a manipulative bitch."

Grillby went almost entirely blue for a second, before a little puff of smoke came out the top of his head and he blinked, seemingly regaining himself.

You removed your hand and sighed, feeling more tears coming for no reason. You were just... so FRUSTRATED with everything. Even Grillby, even though he technically didn't do anything except trust Sans, something both of you were guilty of.

"do you require the week off?" Grillby asked, softly.

You took a deep breath and shook your head. "No, I... I shouldn't leave you and King to do everything just because I fell out with Sans. I can still work."

"you did not 'just fall out' with Sans." Grillby leant forward. "this is your emotional wellbeing, my dear-"

"Look, Grillby, I appreciate the sentiment." You held up your hands. "But right now, I need to feel like I have control over my life. The rug has just been swept out from under my feet and I need stability. This is one of the few things that hasn't changed. Okay?"

Grillby seemed to take a moment to mull over the information, then sighed.

"alright. but if I think you are pushing yourself too hard, you are going back to rest. understand?"

You nodded. For now, all you could do was work to take your mind off everything, and just hope and pray that Sans didn't show up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans stared at the clock.

Right now, you would be at Grillby's.

He knew you'd be there, because you would push through this. Because unlike him, you were willing to move forward and forget. Because you were independent and self-relying and so fucking perfect in every way.

And meanwhile, he was lying pathetically on a mattress, his SOUL in utter agony. He would drift in and out of dreams, all of them being you turning up and revealing that it was actually just a long prank and you did love him back. Well, most of them. There were the occasional... sex dreams. He'd never had those before, but... he wasn't about to say that he didn't enjoy them. The part he enjoyed the least was the part where he woke up at the end.

Sans dug his claws into his eyesockets again, trying to stop the burning feeling in his skull. God, he just wanted to touch you, was that too much to ask? Why did EVERYTHING have to hurt? Not just mentally, he could feel his bones physically burning up with all the magic, instincts screaming at each other.

'follow her.' 'don't cross her boundaries.' 'teleport to her and grab her.' 'leave her alone.' 'tear her clothes off.' 'don't force her into anything.' 'kiss her.' 'don't touch her.' 'she wants to love you, she just can't because of her subconscious.' 'she hates you, give her time.'

He kept staring at the clock, emotions like a flurry in his head.

Right now, at this very moment. You. At Grillby's. Were you thinking of him? You were probably hoping he wouldn't show up. He squeezed his eyesockets shut, and felt tears leaking out the corners.

A thought occurred to him.

Perhaps he could just... wait outside? Wait for you to leave? His mind slowly began to clear of all the tempestuous emotions. You didn't have to see him, you didn't have to know he was there. He didn't have to put you through any further harm. It was just... observing. A simple and effective way to get rid of the ache in his chest.

'so you're planning on stalking her.'

N-no! Not stalking... Not like that! He wasn't a stalker. Stalkers were disgusting and creepy and obsessive...

Okay, yes, he was all of those. But he wasn't going to... watch you SHOWERING through your window, or something like that. Even if the thought of it made a pleasurable shiver run up his spine and magic pool in his pelvis.

He cringed and stopped the magic, instead redirecting it into the air, lifting himself up on his elbows and groaning.

God, he was so disgusting. Getting turned on at the thought of stalking you.

Sans chuckled, sitting up fully, more tears falling. He was disgusting and creepy and obsessive, and you deserved so much better than him following you around like a shadow that wouldn't leave.

But he needed this aching to go away. He needed to see you, smell you, hear you. He could... hold back on the touching.

Sans lifted himself onto his feet, bones aching from not being used for two days, stumbled across the room and grabbed a hoodie. Papyrus was out, and even if he came back, he probably wouldn't notice that Sans was gone.

Just as he opened the door to his room, he looked down, and locked eyes with the large white dog that was lying at his door.

Sans paused, and stared at the creature. Killer stared right back, albeit tiredly.

Rather like Sans, Killer had spent most of yesterday and today lying around, just waiting for you to come back. He seemed to have not quite yet grasped the fact that you wouldn't be arriving home anytime soon. Again, rather like Sans.

"sorry, killer." Sans's voice was low and crackly from not being used for such a long period of time. "she ain't coming back."

'And who's fault is that?' Seemed to leak out of every movement in the dog's features as he stared up at Sans.

Growling to himself, Sans slipped on his hoodie. He'd chosen a blacker one, one that he hadn't worn around you much. Hopefully, if worst came to worst and you did actually see him, you might not recognise the hoodie, and him by association.

If you saw him, there really would be no saving his relationship with you. That thought alone made him stop for a moment, pausing at the door.

If you saw him, it would shatter what little affection you still might harbour for him. If you saw him, it was over.

...


Well, he just needed to make EXTRA sure he didn't get caught.

The night was warmer than he'd expected, and Sans considered scrapping his hoodie. Unfortunately, he was wearing your favourite shirt, and he knew that'd be an instant giveaway. So he flipped the hood up and continued on in short teleport bursts, making sure to stick to the sides and in the shadows.

He was masking his scent to the best of his abilities, but he still couldn't go very close to Grillby's. Not unless he wanted the ache in his chest to become the very real heat from one of Grillby's fire balls.

Had it been any other monster's territory he couldn't have cared less, since even if they noticed him in the first place (unlikely), he could just threaten or dust the one in charge to make sure they never spilled that he had been nearby. But, no matter how much one masked their scent, every monster knew that stepping into Grillby's territory when he didn't want you there would be the pinnacle of stupidity.

So, tonight, Sans was watching from the shadows. He found a nice little alleyway on the opposite side of the street, which provided him with a clear view of the front entrance. He sat against the wall, blending perfectly into the darkness, staring at the light that was filtering in from the windows.

And he wasn't sure if it was just his desperate mind picking up on random shit, but he could've sworn he could already smell you inside the building. He could've sworn he could hear your voice, like a tiny sweet bell hidden in a chorus of noise. He exhaled slowly through his nose and leant back against the wall, letting his eyesockets slide shut. It soothed the aching to a certain degree, but... not enough.

So he waited. In the cold and dark, staring at Grillby's, filtering through the noise to find you.

...Yes, there you were. He hadn't been tricking himself. You were talking to someone, slowly. Most likely Dogaressa. He couldn't hear what you were actually saying but there was no mistaking that it was you.

It was like... a cool breeze, on a sweltering hot day. A small break from the burning heat, but a welcome break nonetheless. He sighed and began to relax against the wall, clutching the fabric of his hoodie. Maybe, for just a minute, he could... rest.

...

...

Sans's eyesockets snapped open, and he jumped up. How long had he been lying there for!? His bones were sore from sitting in such an uncomfortable place, but his first reaction was to check Grillby's.

... The light was still on, but he couldn't hear as many voices. He sat up a little, shuffling, trying to get a better look. Did he miss you? Had you already gone home?

There were a few noises, and a jingling bell, before the door opened. Light spilled into the street, and Sans startled, ready to teleport if someone attacked.

"are you sure you do not require my company...?"

Grillby. Sans's magic prickled uncomfortably at the presence of a rival. Could Grillby sense him? Sans was masking his scent as much as he could, but-

"I appreciate it, Grillby. Really, I do. But you need to keep serving, and King's place isn't far."

Your voice.
Ooh, your voice.
It made Sans shudder and sink into his hoodie, the aching and burning melting away. It was like... some kind of wonder drug or something...

"but, my dear, you seem to have a track record of refusing perfectly capable escorts before being attacked..."

"Well... I guess that's true." There was a small pause, then a tiny sigh on your part. "...You... You can walk me as far as the cinema. No further."

Crap. If Grillby was walking you, Sans wouldn't be able to get close enough to see you. In fact, there wasn't even much point following you if the fire monster was there- Sans'd have to keep such a large distance to avoid being caught.

But... The way you spoke about the cinema told him that there was a small distance between there and where King lived. He could... wait outside the cinema, in new territory, completely covering his scent. That would enable him to get closer than usual. And once Grillby left, he could follow you safely from that point onwards. You being the oblivious, adorable little thing you were.

He teleported quickly to the front of the now-closed cinema and scanned the dark area for good places to hide. There was a car park nearby... or perhaps...? Yes, there, another conveniently placed alleyway. It was a bit far away, but being further away was better than being closer in the case of Grillby.

Sans crossed the dark, cold street quickly, occasionally glancing over his shoulder. He knew it'd take longer than THAT for you to get here, but he was so jumpy at the prospect of you catching him... He could almost SEE your horrified expression, and your hair whipping around your face as you turned to run away.

He slipped into the shadows of the alley, dimming his eyelights as much as he could. The two of you were far away, but he could already feel Grillby's strong presence coming nearer. Sans wondered if you'd ever have the courage to allow Grillby to walk you home in the dark if you knew what he was to the other monsters.

Then again, you knew perfectly well what Sans'd done, and you'd been fine with being alone with him. What was it about you that attracted such powerful and dangerous people? The thought made him chuckle.

After a few minutes of waiting, he heard your voice, and what sounded like Grillby laughing. Sans tensed a little. He SHOULD be completely invisible to the both of you, but...

"... Who's there?"

Sans would've leapt out of his skin, if he had any.

"... mikey." Grillby said.

"Mikey who?"

"... 'mikey' does not fit in the lock you have provided on the door."

You let out a sweet peal of laughter, and Grillby followed suite with a handsome chuckle.

Oh, thank everything bright in the universe, you were just telling knock-knock jokes. Sans let out a slow, steady breath, sweat trickling down his skull. His SOUL had all but leapt from his chest when you said that.

But still... Sans glanced round the alley wall and felt his jaw clench. At some point in your walk, Grillby had offered you his arm (like a true fucking gentleman, of course), and now the two of you were walking like... like a c o u p l e.

"Well, we're here." You giggled lightly, and Sans had to turn away to stop himself from screaming in fury. "I might ask you to walk me home more often now, Grillby. Even if you ARE my boss."

"I would be delighted to accompany you. perhaps you can enlighten me with more jokes, next time." He was so fucking smooth, GODDAMIT.

"Welp, I guess I'll see you tomorrow, then. Thanks again!"

Sans heard your footsteps retreating briskly, then silence. Once Grillby left, he'd be safe to follow you.

... Why wasn't Grillby moving...?

...

"Sans, I am quite ashamed of you."

Sans froze, breath hitching, but he didn't move. Grillby was bluffing. He HAD to be. There was no way he could've... Sans'd been covering up his scent...!

There was a small pause, then Grillby crackled. "she's gone, by the way. you can come out of that shady alleyway you are hiding in."

Sans stepped out of the darkness, but wasn't dumb enough to approach Grillby. He instead leant against the wall and glared at the floor, crossing his arms, trying not to look as guilty as he felt. He'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

The quick clacking of Grillby's shoes crossed the distance between them quickly. Too quickly. Too quick for the smooth gentlemanly demeanour that Grillby normally wore.

...A familiar sizzling heat made Sans jump, materialising a sharpened femur in his hands out of pure instinct, and he raised it just in time to deflect a purple fire ball that came hurling towards him. It bounced away and smashed into a wall, dissipating to leave a huge burn mark in the brick.

"what the FUCK, grillbz!?" Sans raised the bone yet again, only to feel it buckle and crack under the force of another fire ball. He teleported away just before the bone shattered, and raised a hand to his cheekbone, where a light burn mark had appeared.

* HP: 0.8/1

"I should honestly be thanking you." Where the FUCK did Grillby get a CROWBAR from!? He held it loosely in one hand while he rolled his sleeves up. "now that (y/n) hates you, she is far happier to spend time with me. and it seems that, unlike you," another fire ball flew past, singeing the side of Sans's hood as he scrambled to avoid it. "I can live with the fact that she will not return my feelings."

Sans was panicking. He could deal with other monsters, but... Grillby!? Grillby knew Sans's entire attack pattern, he knew every trick and last-minute turn, he knew the counter to every counter and how to escape a blaster's fire with minimal damage. One hit, and Sans was dust.

And... even if there was the slimmest chance that Sans could, he didn't WANT to kill Grillby. ...So, no, he couldn't kill Grillby. There was no malicious intent, he wouldn't be able to do anything except land a few HP-draining hits.

"I would have just let the two of you go your separate ways." Grillby admitted, glancing down at the crowbar. "and, knowing you, sooner or later you would charm your way back into being on speaking terms with her. and I was alright with that. but... this!?"

Grillby swept his hand to the side, and a wall of heat raced across the surface of the tarmac, Sans only just teleporting back in time.

"stalking the poor girl!? can't you give her a moment's rest?" He shook his head. "I am sorry, but I draw the line here. I cannot let you continue this behaviour."

This was happening. Sans was about to fight the undisputed most powerful resident of the monster race.

Over a girl.

"i don't want to fight you." Sans said, magic beginning to drift slowly out of his eyesockets. Right now, the only weapon Sans could truly use... was his tongue.

"... good." Grillby's white eyes narrowed. "that will make this much easier for me."

Chapter Text

The only way Sans was going to get out of this alive was if he, for once, used his brain instead of his immeasurable power. It'd been so long since Sans had actually been in a fight that was a challenge for him, he'd almost entirely forgotten how to strategise.

And... Grillby wasn't exactly giving him enough time to remember.

*MISS

Between trying to dodge the extensive flame walls, fireballs and crowbars being flung at him (was that a summonable weapon for Grillby, or did he just keep loads of crowbars on hand?), constantly finding new places to dodge to and not DYING, there was very little room for him to think. How was he going to actually get any attacks in? Those split-second rests he needed while summoning one was enough to get a ball of heat through his-

*MISS

Fuck, speak of the devil. Grillby sent another wave of purple fireballs flying in Sans's direction, and Sans jumped out of the way almost too late.

*MISS *MISS

He'd barely landed on the floor when it began to crackle with magic, and he had to teleport to another section of the road before red-hot flames erupted from it like a geyser.

*MISS

'grillbz really needs to CHILL' he thought, almost chuckling. But in all seriousness... how was he supposed to get out of this alive!?

"so you're, uh, really trying to kill me, then, huh?" He wheezed, catching Grillby's eye for just a second. There was a small falter in Grillby's attack pattern- a single fireball out of place. But Sans picked up on it.

Keep him talking. That was the plan.

"it seems that way." He crackled, another flame geyser shooting upwards. But Sans barely had to sidestep to avoid it.

*MISS

"so... heheh, do i still have to pay my bill when i'm dead?" Sans was sweating.

"I'll collect it out of the property and insurance you leave behind." Grillby swept his arm to the side and a wall of flame raced down the road, fireballs raining down in the enclosed space, the ground heating up with the magic from a geyser. "either that, or Papyrus shall pay on your behalf."

Shit. Sans's dodging abilities only went so far. Well, orange meant keep running, right? Sans tried to form a blaster above him to shield himself from the sheets of fireballs, but he could only do so much in the short amount of time, and only the top half appeared, already black and cracking from the strain of holding under such a barrage high intensity of magic. He took a chance and ran straight into the flames- emerging out the other side relatively unharmed. Except the blaster, which disintegrated.

*MISS

No chance to rest, another waves of attacks. If Sans had done this amount of magic for such a long time, he probably would've passed out. There's a reason he uses his blasters as a last resort or quick kill method- bones are simpler and require next to no magical input, but blasters have beams that need charging.

And boy, do those beams drain.

"who woulda thought, i survived 20 odd years underground, only to be killed by another monster on the surface." Sans tried to keep smiling but the imminent prospect of being dusted was starting to cloud his mind. "ironic."

Grillby's attack didn't even waver. Sans needed to find something... that would hurt. Or at least make Grillby think. Directly after considering this, Sans barely dodged a crowbar that was flung at his head.

*MISS

"so..." A genuine question surfaced in his mind as he sidestepped the geyser, and it made his SOUL sink in his chest. "...once i'm gone, can you clean up the dust, give it to Papyrus in a pot? ...and maybe give a handful to (y/n)?"

Grillby's attacks all stopped, even though his hand was still raised in midair, ready to call down another rain of magic. Sans quickly took this in- you made Grillby pause. He could use that.

"... no. I will give Papyrus your dust, but I will tell (y/n) you perished accidentally. if she even brings up the subject, that is."

Sans's eyesocket BURNED.

"w h a t?"

"you heard me." He clenched his hand into a fist, the action making the light around him bend menacingly. "I won't plague her mind with any more thoughts of you."

Suddenly, the fact that Grillby was an old friend...

...didn't seem to matter than much.

"heh." Welp. He was done dodging. The next fireball that came soaring towards him was deflected.

*MISS.

Grillby blinked. That... hadn't been him missing.

... That miss had come from Sans.

Grillby was reflexively leaning outwards after having dodged what was probably a bone- it had been travelling too fast to tell. All he knew was that he'd felt the flames of his head being sucked in it's direction as it flew by.

Sans wasn't grinning anymore. He looked... tired. His arm was outstretched, and Grillby could feel the magic crackling in the air like static. Hot, burning static.

This confused Grillby. Where was the witty comeback? The familiar sharp-tongued retort that always seemed to be balancing in the air during conversation? The-

Sans immediately teleported behind Grillby, catching him off guard. Curse that ability! Grillby jumped to the side and Sans brought something heavy and brittle down in the spot he'd just been in. A club, of some kind. Grillby threw his hand up and created a wall of flame just in time to disintegrate a flurry of bones that came flying in his direction- he quickly regained himself, bringing up geysers wherever Sans stood, falling back into a pattern. The skeleton was just too unpredictable. He might not be a challenge in terms of raw magical power, but in terms of intellect...

Instead of jumping all over the street in a purely dodging manner, every time Sans teleported into a new area he sent a single bone flying in toward the flame man, before focusing on avoiding his own toasty death. The bones flew in from in front, behind, above, every angle. Minimal magical input but an easy tactic to use over a long period of time. Grillby stood in one spot, bravely, but his attacks were vaguely hindered by the constant minimal interference of the single bones, coming in on all sides. This gave Sans so much more time to think.

Sans had seen Grillby's slow reaction time. He saw the little stumble. Grillby was powerful... but he was still old. He wasn't physically fast.

Don't attack the magic- attack the monster.

Sans teleported into the air above Grillby, so naturally the bartender fired upwards- but Sans reappeared directly in front of Grillby with TWO sharpened femurs in his hands, which he thrust toward his friend, catching him quick enough so that a flame attack would take too long to manifest. Grillby retaliated, bringing his crowbar down forcefully with the intent of cracking his skull. Sans caught it, crossing the bones together, feeling them bend under the sheer POWER behind Grillby's attack.

...But together, they held.

"what do you intend to GAIN from this!?" Grillby asked down to Sans, trying to force the crowbar to break the bones defending the skeleton. "what fulfilment do you get from stalking her? what do either of you win in this situation!?"

Sans didn't respond. His face just darkened, and the air sizzled. A familiar sound, like an electronic buzz and the whoosh of wind served as the only warning before a blaster formed behind Sans and he bailed, teleporting away before it let it's hot beam loose. Grillby almost didn't dodge in time- he stumbled after Sans moved, and the ends of his fingers were caught in the searing white light.

His fingers re-ignited back again and he glared at Sans, who was scuffing the ground with his shoe.

"it hurts." Sans said, finally, staring blankly at the ground.

Grillby paused. It was only now that he noticed that the subtle bags under Sans's eyesockets had returned. He last had them... in the Underground.

Sans reached up, but instead of summoning an attack, he just drew a circle around his chest with a finger.

"right here." His voice cracked a little. "it hurts when she's not there."

Grillby stopped entirely, magic still whispering in the air. He...

He understood what Sans meant. Perhaps not to that extreme, since Sans had SOUL bonded with you, but... he understood the pain.

Whoops, shouldn't have let his guard down. Apparently, Sans had said all he wanted to say, and it was straight back to fighting. This time, Sans was focusing solely on overwhelming Grillby up-close, so he didn't have enough time to start the fire magic. When both his arm were occupied with blocking and returning physical attacks it was impossible to form anything.

Sans was quick. Very quick. Most of his physical attacks seemed to be punches that Grillby either had to deflect or take on fully. Sans'd throw in the occasional kick- pretty ballsy for someone with only 1 HP- but he seemed to be trying to keep a distance. And, for the love of Asgore, Grillby couldn't land a SINGLE FUCKING PUNCH.

Sans was... starting to get the upper hand because of his speed.

...That, and Grillby's heart was no longer truly in the battle.

Sans leaned back for just a moment, a second if you will, to form a bone in his hand.

Grillby mirrored the action and made a crowbar.

Both monsters swung their weapons at the same time-

...

-neither moved.

Sans, with his sharpened femur only inches away from Grillby's neck. Grillby, his crowbar frozen in air, millimetres from the side of Sans's skull.

Standoff.

Neither side wishing to outright kill the other.

...

Then Sans's knees buckled under him and the bone clattered to the floor, disintegrating once it's time of usefulness was over. Grillby was down too, crowbar gone, tending to his friend.

"i can't do this anymore!" Sans was wailing. He'd never wailed like that. He clawed at his own face, red tears like blood smeared over the skull. "why won't she come back!? why!? all i did was make her happy, and she..."

Grillby just sighed, rubbing Sans's shoulder. There was nothing he could say. He'd never be able to understand the pain of being SOUL bonded.

"i just want to see her again." Sans sobbed, hands falling limply to the dirty tarmac. "it's unfair. i didn't ask to feel like this about her. i can't do it. it hurts too much."

"...Sans, do you truly love her?" Grillby asked. He couldn't believe he was talking to him, but... this was painful to watch, and he knew that if he left this issue unattended, Sans would probably just go back to following you under Grillby's nose.

Sans nodded silently.

"do you want her to feel happy and secure?"

Sans nodded again.

Grillby placed both his hands on Sans's shoulders, and the skeleton monster finally looked up at him, eyelights barely even visible.

"imagine yourself in her shoes. you recently found out that someone you trusted and loved had been manipulating you the whole relationship. you do not know what is real, what is fake, what you truly feel and what is fabricated. for all you know, everything good was a lie. you do the smart thing, and cut off contact with them, despite the fact that you know they are a murderer who could easily hunt you down and kill you."

"i'd never hurt her..." Sans started, but Grillby gave him a look.

"she doesn't know that. after all, why should she trust anything you told her? all she knows now is that you lied, and you can kill people if you want to."

A look of realisation seemed to pass over Sans's features.

"now, all of this has happened in the span of a few days and you are exhausted from the emotional turmoil." Grillby continued. "you are walking home, alone, in the dark. and who do you see following you, but the very same murderous sociopath you tried to cut contact with. he's stalking you."

Grillby tightened his grip on Sans's shoulder. "do you see where I am going with this? it would ruin her. the confident, boisterous (y/n) we both know and love? would cease to exist. she would stop going outside for fear of running into you. she would try to hide herself in public to prevent you from seeing her. she would change her entire daily routine for fear of encountering you. she might even leave the city. and she would be in a constant, CONSTANT state of fear and anxiety."

Sans nodded weakly in understanding, shoulders slumping.

"if it makes you feel any better," Grillby helped Sans to stand up. "she does miss you. whether or not she will admit it to herself."

"... really?" Sans asked, his eyelights dilating a little.

"really."

The two friends stood there in the dark for a while, the sounds of the city and the gentle crackling of Grillby's flames being the only sounds.

"sorry for tryin' to kill you."

"likewise, old friend."

"and, uh, thanks for stopping me." Sans mumbled, looking away. "i was too caught up in how it was for me. i didn't think about how it would be for (y/n)."

Grillby nodded. "I know it is painful and it must seem unfair, but you cannot let this get the better of you. if you wait, she will most likely come back to you of her own accord."

"plus i still have all her clothes, she'll probably want those back soon."

Silence.

"Sans."

"... okay, i know that sounds REALLY weird, just let me explain..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After you said goodbye to Grillby, you could've sworn you heard something, but it was probably nothing. Besides, it was cold, and you wanted to get back to King's. He'd texted you earlier today to tell you that he'd found his old Spirited Away disc, and the two of you were going to watch the FUCK out of that.

While scrolling through your texts in the dark, you saw Sans's number. You... still had him down as Jelloskello. You should've blocked him, but...

Secretly, you'd hoped that he would text you. After all, there was no way he could manipulate your feelings over texts, right? You'd hoped that he would explain his actions, or beg for forgiveness, or ask to see you one last time or something.

Something.

Instead, you stared at the single message he'd sent you a day ago.

-Jelloskello: I'm sorry

Fuck. Why did that hurt so much? You hated how bad you felt. Why did YOU feel bad for HIM? He deserves this, frankly. He deserves everything, from the loneliness to the fucking slap you gave him.

Oh man, it was only just now starting to dawn on you that you'd actually, physically smacked him across the face. Did... did it hurt...? Would he be mad about that?

FUCK! You didn't CARE if he was mad!

... But... The unordinary perfect grammar of the text just made it worse! Was that his aim? Guilt you into replying?

Because it wasn't going to work. You grumbled and turned your phone off, approaching King's apartment door. You knocked quietly.

Hmm. Were you going to have to take the spare room? Last night, you and King ended up sleeping in the same room, with you on a mattress on the floor. The two of you just shit-talked various annoying people you'd known over your lifetime before falling asleep. It was great.

There was some movement behind the door, and you heard a voice. A... strikingly familiar one, that made your pulse race.

Could... could it be...?

You took a breath, daring yourself to believe for a moment.

The door opened and you were greeted with someone who was not King. Someone who was tall, with long brown hair and glasses. Someone with a white crop top and denim shorts.

Someone you hadn't seen in person for many, many years.

You and Honey simultaneously started screaming at each other when you made eye contact. Then you started jumping up and down, grabbing her hands and everything was bright, oh my god, you must've died, there's no way...! For a beautiful, perfect moment, it was just the two of you, Honey using her height to pick you up and spin you in a circle.

You were crying and laughing and had never felt this good in your life. Not even Sans had made you this happy.

She was back!

"This is why you didn't text me, you bitch!" You said. Unfortunately, since the two of you were still hugging, your face was more or less buried in her boobs.

"You got smaller. I can't believe you actually got smaller." She put the side of her head on the top of yours. "My smol precious bean!! Staying with ANOTHER smol precious bean! So many smol precious beans everywhere!"

"How did you even get here!?" You started wiggling in her embrace, suffocating a little. "How did you know where King lived...? And...?"

"She got a plane yesterday." King piped up from the kitchen, placing three full mugs of something warm on the table. He was wearing the most adorable blue knitted sweater you'd seen in your entire life.

Oh my goodness, these two perfect people, what the fuck did you do to deserve them!?

"NO TIME FOR THAT!" Honey shouted, and you laughed. She hadn't changed a bit... and she really DID bare an uncanny resemblance to Undyne. "Sit your ass DOWN, the three of us are going to do some TALKING!!!!"

Before you could even say anything, you were ushered into a seat on the sofa. The steaming mug King handed to you turned out to be full of hot chocolate, and Honey took the seat on one side of you, King taking the other.

"A toast to King," Honey raised her mug to him. "for looking after my bestie while I was MIA."

You raised your mug too, chuckling at King's blush. You felt all warm and fuzzy, being sat here with your two best pals.

"How's life been treating you in the land down under?" You asked Honey, sipping the hot chocolate. Mmm, this was some good shit.

"It's hot and everything that isn't human is trying to kill you. Perfect for someone like me." She drank while you and King laughed. The steam from the liquid was making her glasses fog up. "I WAS doing biology and medicine in college, but I dropped out. Now I'm just a part-time lifeguard while I sort things out."

She certainly looked the part of Australian lifeguard. Long, perfect brown hair, slightly tanned skin, bouncy personality. You'd always wanted to be like her. Honey had been your epitome of perfection as a child- what you needed to work towards. What you needed to BE.

"Buuuutt..." She glanced down at you, a sad smile appearing on her usually jovial face. "...That's not what I came here to discuss. ...I need his address before I can kill him."

You laughed, but it fell flat. You exhaled slowly, staring down, letting the emotions you'd been holding back start to flow out.

"(y/n)?" King asked, meekly, touching your shoulder.

You rubbed a hand over your face, feeling the familiar painful prickling of tears.

"I miss him." You admitted, and even though your voice was muffled by your hand, everyone heard it crack. "Oh God, I miss him so much."

Honey and King both wrapped their arms around you in a wordless hug, and you started crying. Oh fuck, it was ugly crying. Every time your shoulders shook from your sobs, you were afraid that the hot chocolate in your hands would spill.

"I ha-te h-im." You managed to say, between breaths. "Why d-id he m-ake me..."

You couldn't fit any more words in, and just ended up crying. Well, at least you were sandwiched between your two favourite people.

... Eventually you stopped crying, wiping your eyes with the palm of your hand and drinking some hot chocolate. It'd cooled down at bit now.

"... You guys wanna watch Spirited Away?" King asked, after a few moments of silence.

"Heck yeah." You and Honey both said, at the same time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The three of you were sat together in a mini train, with the lights off and a duvet over your lap. You were sat between Honey's legs and she was braiding your hair while you watched the movie. Then, behind her, King was braiding HER hair, his black locks already carefully entwined into lots of little individual plaits held together by tiny rubber bands. Honey had her back to the sofa and King had to sit on it to be able to reach the top of her head in the first place.

It was the sad bit, where Chihiro was crying after seeing her parents as pigs. This part always broke your heart.

"Why are tears always so big in Ghibli movies?" You asked.

"...I think it's because they always draw water as how it feels." King said, finishing up with Honey's loose braid and shuffling next to you on the floor under the duvet. "Like, when you're crying, it always FEELS like huge bubbling tears. And in Ponyo, the water seems almost gelatinous when people step in it, because it feels like that against your skin. And whenever it rains, it always rains super heavily, because that's what it feels like when you're running through it."

"I never thought of it like that." Honey said, her eyebrows rising a little. She finished your double french plait and you shuffled off her lap, sitting on the other side of her.

...Did Sans like Ghibli movies?

AAGH! You didn't CARE if he liked them or not! You had to stop yourself from smacking your cheeks in front of your friends.

After a short while, you put your chin on one hand. "Wouldn't it be cool if you named a cat Haku?"

"...Just don't let it turn into a dragon." King started resting his head on Honey's shoulder.

"But if it's ginger, you HAVE to call it Baron Humbert von Gikkingen." Honey pointed out. The three of you nodded in solemn agreement, then broke into laughter.

"What about... Muuutttaaa?"

"Only if it's a maine coon."

"...Are you saying I'm a fat cow?"

"Ssh, guys, one Ghibli movie at a time please."

"...We gonna do Cat Returns after this?"

"Heck yeah."

"Aww, but I wanted Nausicaä!"

"...Well... Why don't we just marathon as many as possible before we fall asleep?"

"King, you're a genius."

Chapter Text

"I have an idea." King said, suddenly, rolling over to to edge of his bed to look down at you. You and Honey had placed two mattresses on the floor of King's bedroom, and all three of you had slept in the same room.

You blinked and stared back up at him. He'd literally just woken up, apparently, because he had to reach over to his bedside table and grab his glasses.

"Y'know how the library has a Magic and SOULs section now? About the science behind it?"

Of course KING would want to go to the library. You nodded.

He looked at the ceiling. "Well... what if we did some research about magical emotional manipulation? If you're informed, there's no possibility of it happening to you again, right?" He looked back down at you. "W-well, a significantly smaller possibility."

You paused, glancing to the side. That... was actually quite a good idea. Better prepared, right?

"I'd be up for library time." Honey rolled over suddenly, apparently awake, her hair in a firework-resembling shape around her head and glasses askew.

"Grillby seemed to know some stuff, too." Your voice was crackly and dry from sleep. "We can ask him at work. He's always happy to help out."

"And you dudes need to take me for a tour of the city." Honey tried to point, but her face fell back into the pillow. "I'm only here for a few weeks." She mumbled.

"So," King sat up, baggy pyjamas hanging off his thin frame. "all in favour of library?"

You and Honey both stuck your hands in the air and made some grumbling sound that resembled 'aye'. It was the closest you could get to a consensus before Honey fell back asleep again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It only occurred to you on the steps of the library itself that you were, in fact, going out with friends for the day. The thought was... somewhat shocking.

And another thought occurred to you. It was, in a way, thanks to Sans and his assholery that Honey had come all the way from Australia.

All this happiness, at the expense of all that sadness.

"You coming?" King asked, and you snapped out of your trance, following the two of them in.

You hadn't actually been to a library for a long, long time. The last time you recalled going was after you snuck out of the house in the middle of the night. The library was the only place open and you pretended to go and read a book, instead opting to go to sleep.
Unfortunately the librarian at the counter noticed you when she was locking the place up, called the police, and you were sent home. She let you keep the book you fell asleep on, at least.

The librarian nodded to King as the three of you entered, and Honey chuckled quietly.

"So, I take it you're a regular?" She whispered. King blushed and nodded.

"I-I like reading, ok!?" His voice was just barely quiet enough. "Let's just... find the section, and get to researching, okay?"

This library was relatively large, with two levels and a wooden, almost 16th century look to it. The books were organised neatly into long, polished wood rows that were actually rather small, but there were so damn many of them that it wasn't a vaguely limiting factor.

"This is a good place to relax." King led you and Honey up the stairs onto the second floor, then through the winding book cases, like a guide leading foreigners through a jungle. Occasionally you'd stumble across some students or friend groups sat on the floor with books spread about them in a pool. "Sometimes I actually get lost. It's kinda fun to find your own way, then find a book you've never seen before or something. Some of the ones on the top shelves haven't been read in years."

You'd never seen King this confident before. His shoulders were suddenly higher... it was like he was in his element.

"Here!" He said, his voice a little louder now that you all were out of earshot of the librarian. "This is the Magic section."

"...Are you sure?" You asked, scanning the shelves. There were no signs pointing to it, no writing on the book case itself, nothing to show that this one was special.

King nodded, reaching up and taking down the two closest to him. "I remember seeing the titles as I walked past one time. Here- 'Human and Monster SOULs, their differences and similarities', by Eccly Eccleston. And 'The relationship between SOULs and the Mind', Bridgett Howler."

Honey raised her eyebrows. "Wow. I mean... that's impressive."

"What's impressive?" King blinked, already leafing through the pages of 'Magic and it's place in Science', by... damn, the name was scratched out. Doctor... Ga...? Whatever. You'd already grabbed your own book. 'SOULs and Emotions'.

Honey put a hand to her chin. "...You... you knew the exact location of this single bookcase in the entire library... because you read a title as you walked by. I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday."

You glanced up from the book. King was blinking, eyebrows drawn together.

"It was just by chance. I'm not very good at remembering."

"Uhuh..." Honey narrowed her eyes, then quickly jumped and covered the spines of two random books on the shelf with her hands. "QUICKLY! Tell me who wrote these, or I'll burn them!"

King seemed to whiten at the prospect of someone burning a book. "A-Alwilda Judit Brock and Rebecca Alfson!"

Honey clicked her fingers into finger guns at him, eyes wide. "You see! You memorised the names without even knowing!"

"King." You said, shutting your book and covering it, suddenly VERY impressed with the tiny black-haired boy you worked with. "What's the date this book was written?"

He was blushing profusely. "January 2014, but I saw it when you got it down! That doesn't count."

"...I think you've got a photographic memory." You gasped, covering your mouth with the book. "King, that's incredible!"

He covered his face with his hands, beet red and probably steaming from the ears. "P... please don't tell anyone..."

Oh

Oh shit

Nononononononono

You leapt up discarding the book, and hugged King instantly.

HE WAS CRYING

SMOL BEAN IS CRYING

RED ALERT RED ALERT

Every motherly instinct you never thought you'd ever have suddenly knocked down the door. Apparently, Honey had the same reaction, since you were all soon in a squishy hug.

"Woah woah, why not?" You asked. Priority no.1 was to make him happy again.

"I d... d-don't like a-ttention..." He kept his hands over his glasses but his shoulders were shaking.

"That's fine, no one has to know." Honey said, her voice softer than you'd ever heard it. "I just thought it was a super cool skill. Not many people can do that."

After a few moments, King removed his glasses, wiped his eyes and put them back on again, giving a little shuddering breath.

...

"You guys can let go now." He chuckled, and you and Honey (reluctantly) let go. At least he wasn't crying anymore. "S-sorry about that. I... Y-yeah."

"It's no problem." You had the sudden urge to pat his head, but you figured the gesture would be a little too condescending. You settled for glancing up at the shelf for another book to grab before the three of you started on your research.

"Ok. Let's begin." King said, suddenly back to the confident library boy, making a little minifist. King's eyes would've turned into stars, like they did in anime, if human eyes could do that. ... Sans's eyes could do that... "For starters, we're going to need to figure out how a SOUL actually works, and how it relates to emotions. I've read some of Doctor G's stuff before, he's really good at explaining, so we can start there." Well, he was back to chipper in no time.

The three of you gathered some books and sat down in a triangle. Honey seemed a little out of her depth with the sheer SIZE of the books in front of you, but... King's confidence was rubbing off on you.

"This one should be a good start." He picked up a little red booklet. It was written by the same Doctor that had most of his name scratched out. King laid it on the floor at a certain page, which had a small diagram in the middle. Three hearts, in different positions, with various labels coming off them.

"This is a human SOUL." King pointed to the one that was upright. "We come in a whole colour spectrum because ours are superior in terms of what they can manage. And this," He pointed to the upside-down heart. "is a monster SOUL. They come in various tinted shades of white. And this final one," He gestured to the drawing. It was upside-down too, but smaller, and much more rounded. More cartoonish. It looked... softer. "is an animal SOUL. they're smaller, but are unique in that no two are the same. They're very complex and change greatly from being to being. Smarter animals, like dolphins and monkeys, actually have SOULs that are indistinguishable from human ones. The only thing that sets us apart from them is our capacity for cruelty, and our ability to gain LV."

He flipped a few pages forward. You glanced up at Honey, who seemed completely enraptured in the lecture. Weird. She'd never been one for paying attention in lessons.

"Here. He's listed the main SOUL types." There was a diagram on this page that seemed something akin to a family tree, except with colours. Right at the top was red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple. Then two linked together would make a new colour, with a different label, going down and down the pages. "Bravery, Justice, Integrity, Kindness, Perseverance, Patience, Determination. But they can mix and match to make other ones. Bravery and Determination make Stubbornness, Perseverance and Kindness make Loyalty, etc."

"What do all of them make?" Honey asked.

King traced his finger down to the bottom, then flinched.

"Uh... severe mental illnesses, apparently."

You all paused, and King mercifully interrupted the silence by bringing out a new book. It was the one you'd picked up earlier- 'SOULs and Emotions'.

"We'll try this one, and see how it goes from there-"

"... (y/n)?"

You flinched from the familiar cool, calm female voice that sounded behind you.

Alphys.

You had hoped not to run into any of Sans's friends, but...

You turned around. There she was, wearing her usual striped dress and white labcoat, holding a small red book in one arm.

"... Hi?" You waved awkwardly, and felt King and Honey staring at you.

Alphys seemed... almost surprised to see you. She blinked twice, then adjusted her thick-rimmed glasses (why did everyone you encounter today seem to be wearing glasses?) and approached you, looking down at the three of you on the floor.

"I need to discuss something with you. Privately?" The last part seemed like more of a request than a demand. You shook your head.

"Anything you have to say, you can say to all of us." You replied. Like hell you were going into a private situation with this crazy lizard.

She pursed her lips for a moment, and her eyes flicked from Honey to King, back to Honey, then to you.

"I suppose... it can be shared." She muttered to herself, sitting down with you, making sure her lab coat folded neatly under her legs as she sat.

Why was she sitting with you? You couldn't look at her. Every time you saw her ruby eyes you were reminded forcefully of Sans. Namely, his heartbroken face when you'd slapped him, and how, despite his efforts to keep you there, he'd more or less opened the door for you when you'd left...

"My apologies, first, for interrupting... Whatever it is you are doing here." She waved the unspoken question away. She didn't SOUND very apologetic, but... it was probably the closest you could get. "I am Doctor Alphys, a... an acquaintance of Papyrus's. I trust (y/n) has told you of... the 'incident' with Sans?"

"Well duh." Honey mumbled, seemingly sensing the sheer attitude radiating off Alphys, and King just nodded, not making eye contact with the yellow dinosaur in front of him.

"...I... am going to be completely honest." Alphys cleared her throat, glancing away. "Papyrus... wants Sans and (y/n) to make up. He has... 'assigned' Undyne and myself to befriend you, and convince you to get back on speaking terms with him."

Something...

... something turned, inside of you. Your stomach dropped and you felt yourself pale.

You had to grip your hands into fists to stop yourself from shaking.

Pap... Papyrus? Was making his friends LIE to you... so you'd get back with his brother!?

You suddenly felt very cold.

...Why was everyone trying to manipulate you!?

Honey's arms wrapped protectively around you as you stared at the space on the floor in front of you. If Alphys hadn't told you, you would've wandered into another fake relationship where you thought you could trust someone, only for them to be stabbing you in the back the whole time...

"Why would you tell her this?" Honey asked, a harsh undertone to her voice. She clearly didn't trust Alphys.

"I..." Alphys trailed off, her calm façade starting to slip. She fiddled with her claws in her lap. "I-I'm not sure, I g-guess." Since when did Alphys have a stutter? "I... you'd only j-just b-broken away f-from someone who... who was f-fake and manipulative, s-so I just..."
She paused, shutting her eyes and taking a slow, steady breath. When she re-opened them, she was back to the calm, cool Alphys you knew.
"It didn't feel like the right thing to do. It just felt... cruel."

"Well at least SOMEONE has had that revelation." You chuckled drily, still being hugged by Honey.

"How can we trust you?" You could almost HEAR Honey narrowing her eyes.

A pregnant pause. "...You don't have any logical reason to, that much is clear."

"She's telling the truth."

You all turned to King, who'd been sitting silently, apparently going unnoticed.

"I think we can trust her." King shrugged. You blinked, and figured that if King trusted her, you should at least give her a shot. Honey finally took her arms off you, but remained close.

Alphys's eyes caught the front of a book that was lying in the pile, and she picked it up, examining the front, then the back.

"You are..." She squinted at the rest of the volumes stacked together. "Doing research on SOULs?"

"We're trying to figure out how Sa..." You caught yourself. "How HE did... what he did. Y'know, so I'm prepared if it happens again."

"You don't really need to worry about that." She shrugged.

You stared at her, at first shocked. And then, when she didn't explain, feeling a little mad. "... What? Why not?"

Alphys paused, then set the book back on the pile.

"Well, how do I put it..." She shut her eyes, then opened them again. "All magic has a personified quality to it. It's never the same for two people. It's... think of it like an invisible signature. Something that sets it apart. Sa... sorry, HE's edited your emotions so much that your body has naturally adapted, and recognises his magic. And now that you've consciously acknowledged it, he essentially can't do anything to you without you noticing."

You blinked. "So... I'm safe?"

Alphys shrugged. "Technically yes. Unless he figured out some revolutionary way of changing the structure of his magic."

"How does it work? The magic sensing aspect?" King asked, leaning forward a little.

Alphys paused again, apparently surprised, then adjusted her glasses again, reaching for a smaller book.

"Well, for starters, if we look at this diagram here..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"PAPYRUS!" Undyne's voice woke Sans from his slumber, along with a loud crash. What did the lesbian noseless shark want now? "PAPYRUS, WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM!!!!"

"WHAT!?" Papyrus stomped out of his room and ran down the stairs. "WHAT HAPPENED?"

"It's about the PLAN!!" Undyne sounded worried. Huh. "Alphys... SHE WENT ROGUE!!!!! She's given us up!"

Papyrus... actually went quiet for a moment. Sans lifted his skull up off the pillow, suddenly intrigued. Plan, huh? Was it important?

"... LET'S GO." Papyrus said, before the door slammed again. Sans groaned and rolled over. Oh well. It was probably some kind of... training regime gone wrong, or something.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sans awoke for the second time when his phone buzzed in his hand. He ignored it, for a moment, thinking that it was probably Papyrus, but eventually he checked his screen.

... HOLY SHIT

He sat up so fast that he nearly fell over forwards, SOUL pounding in his chest. He must have misread it. He must have. There was no way...

Oh sweet mother of Asgore.

His eyesockets widened so much that he thought his skull was going to crack.

-sweetheart<3: Hello?

He read it again.

... Again.

... Again.

He wasn't imagining it. You'd sent him a message. You'd... You...

He took a deep breath, steadying his nerves. The hand that was clutching his phone was shaking a little. ... Okay, it was shaking a lot. He was shaking a lot.

'don’t get too excited.' He thought to himself. 'she probably still hates you. play it cool.’

He spent a full minute trying to figure out how to respond, before settling on something simple and emotionless.

-sweetheart<3: Hello?

-You: hi

He waited with baited breath as the little bubble came up to show that you were typing.

-sweetheart<3: Can I come and get my stuff back?

He took another deep breath, trying not to write 'yes’ so many times his phone broke. Play it cool, Sans. Don't scare her off again.

-You: i can get undyne to drop it off if you want

-sweetheart<3: no it's fine

Huh. You responded a little too quickly. Did Undyne do something?

-sweetheart<3: She's probably busy anyway

-sweetheart<3: what time should I come over

-You: now is fine

He regretted writing that the moment he hit enter. Now definitely was NOT fine! He hadn't showered, everything stank, he wasn't mentally prepared to see you again... He was pretty sure that if you walked through that door right now, he'd pounce on you.

-sweetheart<3: Ok. See you in 15.

-You: k

He fell back onto the bed, steadying his breathing and magic. He had time for a really, REALLY quick shower. Maybe, throw open some windows, or...

He looked back at the messages and started scrolling up, reading through the old ones. So... you were getting your old stuff back, huh? You were moving on. He wasn't surprised, really. You never seemed like the type who would be wasting time on tears when a new opportunity was opening.

It still hurt, though. The prospect of breaking down that SOUL bond he'd been manifesting was drawing steadily nearer. He loved you more than he'd ever loved anyone in his life, but...

... Maybe he should... Start moving on? Like you were? Maybe he should... f-find someone else...?

The thought of kissing and cuddling with some 'other girl' made his nonexistent stomach turn. He didn't WANT to move on from you. He'd rather be alone like this than wasting his time rebounding onto random women he meets at the club.

Ugh. He got up and headed to the shower, rinsing as fast as he could.

Right now, he needed to focus on controlling himself. Making sure that he didn't grab you the moment you opened the door. He could feel it in his bones- the impending dread that came with knowing that something was definitely, DEFINITELY going to go wrong.

He finished showering and waited downstairs on the sofa, picking the spaces between his phalanges, bouncing his knee and occasionally glancing at his phone. 15 minutes was almost up. It was like someone was giving him a countdown before he had to go up and do a stage performance. A mixture of dread and excitement was gnawing at him, and he was sure that if he had to wait much longer, he'd go mad.

This was probably the last time he'd get to see you. He had to make the most of it.

...

Someone knocked at the door. Three times, and very softly. He almost flew out of his seat.

'okay. stay calm. give her distance. let her get her stuff and leave.'

He walked across the room, and took a long, deep breath before opening the door.

Oh man.

He should've taken another breath, because all the air was instantly knocked out of him.

There you were. Thinner than he remembered, with slight shadows under your eyes. Your top was too large for you- you'd probably borrowed it from someone. Same jeans, though.

... Lavender.

You'd barely been stood there a second and he was already itching to touch you. Aching to grab you and babble apologies. But he balled his hands into fists, and kept still for once.

You stiffened when you saw him, scent souring with a mixture of fear and anger and regret.

"... Hi." You said, tone dry.

"hey sweetheart."

You visibly flinched when he said it, and you screwed your eyes shut, as if restraining yourself.

"Don't... don't call me that." You said, through gritted teeth, and Sans immediately wanted to slap himself in the face.

"... yeah. okay. sorry."

You took a breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth.

"... sh-should i get your stuff, or do you wanna...?" Sans didn't want to be rude and leave you waiting outside, but he also didn't want to assume that you wanted to be alone in the house with him. It was anyone's guess at this point.

You shook your head. "I'll get it. It's all in your room, right?"

'including the shirt i stole.' He thought, but out loud he said nothing, instead opting to nod. He didn't trust himself not to call you 'sweetheart' or some other pet name the moment he opened his big dumb mouth.

You headed up the stairs and almost got knocked off your feet by Killer, and Sans watched as your dry and angry demeanour fell away to reveal the girl he'd fallen in love with. The one that smiled, and laughed at his jokes, and got mad at video games, and took him to watch a movie because you were so outraged that he hadn't seen it.

The one that used to be his.

You cuddled Killer for a few short minutes, albeit sadly. This was probably the last time you'd get to see the dog. But you quickly moved on, taking a deep breath and going into his room to find your rucksack.

Sans waited by the door. He figured that going into his lockable room with you unguarded and defenceless would easily be the most stupid decision he'd ever made.

When you came out of his room, bag over one shoulder, you gave Killer a kiss goodbye on the nose and headed down the stairs in silence. Fuck, he wanted to hold you so bad. He was sweating with how much he was restraining himself.

He should've just let you leave there and then. Said his quick goodbyes, and that would've been it.

... You put your hand on the door handle.

...

"l-look, this is probably the last time i'll ever see you, right?" He blurted out, looking at the ground, eyesockets stinging. He couldn't just keep his own goddam mouth shut.

Your footsteps stopped.

"i-i know i'm in no position to ask you for anything, but..." He bit his teeth together to fight back the tears. If he looked too weepy you might think he was trying to manipulate you into coming back.

"can i... can i please just hold your hand? once? before you go?"

A long pause. He started panicking. Now you were going to yell at him for even THINKING that he could touch you. Now his last memory of you was going to be your rage. The sting of your hand against his cheekbone.

... Your shoulders sagged. He bit his teeth together harder as the pressure in his eyesockets from the tears grew, and looked up, waiting for the fury.

...

... You didn't look at him, instead facing the door, but you held your hand out. Stiffly.

"Just get it over with." You mumbled.

Sans stopped for a second, realising you'd said yes, then took your hand and held it as gently as he could, the pressure in his sockets so great that he had to squeeze them shut before he started bawling. You hand was so cold, but at the same time, he could feel the heat and blood pulsing through it.

So soft. And small. Why did something so soft and small hurt so much?

You were crying. He could smell the salt from the tears. He took a quick shaky breath and dared himself to open his eyesockets, feeling his own tears spilling down the sides of his face.

That's when he noticed.

You.

You were still wearing the necklace he gave you.

The dam broke and he let out a single, harrowing sob, before mumbling a quick "i'm so sorry." and letting go of your hand, covering his face.

You paused for a moment, before finally opening the door and stepping out.

"Goodbye, Sans."

...

... Gone.

Silence.

Sans slid to the floor, covering his mouth with his hand as blood-red tears bubbled free. It hurt so much worse than a slap or a furious scream.

Saying goodbye hurt so much worse.

Chapter Text

Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Fucking Sans and his stupid fucking... AGH!

You pressed you palms against your eyes, hot with tears. It hurt even more than when you'd left last time, because now, it really felt like the end. There was no excuse to go back, no reason to see his face again. If you turned up at his door again, it would be because you WANTED to be there, not because you had to be.

MOTHERFUCKER!

You kicked a lamp post and continued. There were footsteps behind you and you looked over your shoulder, shooting the hooded figure who'd been following you a glare so ferocious you couldn't even describe it, and he held up his hands in surrender and turned around.

Bitch, he'd better run.

You stormed through the streets, and this time, monsters weren't giving you the piteous glances. They didn't have the chance to. The moment anyone LOOKED at you, you gave them a vicious stare that was the facial embodiment of 'shut the fuck up'.

When you got to King's, however, the anger quickly melted away.

"(y/n)!" King exclaimed.

"What the fuck did Sans do now?" Was Honey's instant reaction, jumping up from the sofa.

You just coughed in response as the two of them grabbed you in another hug. Fucking feelings and fucking Sans making you feel them and fucking memories doing nasty shit to your brain and fuck FUCK FUCK FUCK!

"S-said goodbye." You sobbed. "T-old me he wanted t-to hold my hand one last time, and I LET him!"

You hated this. You hated how emotionally exhausting it was. You hated how you couldn't even look at the letter S without feeling like your chest was going to implode.

"I... I need..." You took a breath. "I need some alone time. Please."

King backed away immediately once you spoke, but it took Honey a few moments to let you go.

... Eventually, she got a look on her face that you knew meant she'd decided something, and let go.

"... You can use my room." King said, quietly, and you nodded in thanks. It felt a little awkward, storming into the house and crying, then wandering away and taking up King's room, but you needed the rest. As good as friends were, you just wanted to be alone.

...

"I'm going to kill him." Honey said, once the door closed behind you. She stood in the middle of the room and ran both her hands through her hair. "I swear to God, I'm going to kill him. He's going to regret ever being born."

King's shoulders drooped.

"... They're probably going to get back together, you know." He said, mellowly.

"What!?" Honey snapped, and King shushed her.

"I know you hate him, but from what I've seen so far he... he seems to really regret what he did. Like, really. Grillby says he's gone into a completely depressed state." Under Honey's burning gaze he glanced to the floor. "She'll probably never trust him as much as she used to, but... she misses him badly. It's pretty clear."

"She'll get over him eventually." Honey folded her arms.

"She might, but..." ... King made a little sighing sound, and headed to the kitchen, where he'd been making some lunch. "... Just don't get too angry at her when they become friends again, alright?"

"They won't!" Honey hissed, following him into the kitchen. "Can't you see how much she hates him!? How BADLY he hurt her?"

"I know, I know." King said, trying to placate the beast. "But can you seriously tell me there's never been a relationship where they hurt each other, but sort it out later and have a nice life together?"

She went silent, glancing away.

"... (y/n) isn't stupid, she's not going to trust him again instantly. But I seriously doubt that this is the last time we'll hear from him." He reached out and took both of Honey's hands. "Just... try to respect her decision when it happens, okay?"

Honey let out a small breath, taking her hands out of his. "I'll respect any decisions she makes, because she's my friend." She folded her arms again. "But that doesn't mean I'll agree with her."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You woke up to your phone pinging. It drew you out of your sleepy half-haze, and you blinked, trying to pull yourself together. Hm? Who would be texting you at this time of night?

You checked the screen, flinching and turning down the brightness, then squinting.

... Sans? Did you leave something at his place by accident?

You'd changed his name from Jelloskello to avoid the flurry of memories every time you saw it, but...

-Sans: i fiucking hate you why wouod u do tthis to me

...Uhm?

Why was he texting you at two in the morning telling you he hates you!?

-You: Sans, it's like, 2 in the morning?

-Sans: stop makkng me feel all this bulleshit feelijngs

...?

-Sans: haha just rrealised the irony of me bekng tjhe one complakning abouut feeling stuff i dont wanna feel

-Sans: fuicking keyboar d

... Is he okay? You figured he'd just go back to radio silence after you left, but...

You gasped and put a hand to your mouth.

Shit. He'd probably tried to drown his feelings in alcohol, then decided that it would be a good idea to text you in his drunken haze. You checked Honey on the mattress next to you to make sure she was asleep.

-Sans: youu stil jthere

-Sans: dont leave agin pleaess

-Sans: cme baaakc

-You: Where are you right now?

-Sans: some pub somehwere i donno

-Sans: whyd youy care

-You: How drunk are you?

A small pause.

*ping*

-Sans: m not drunk i jtust have a fu ckng stpid keybard

-You: Well, how much have you had to drink?

Another small pause, filled with anticipation on your side.

-Sans: a lott

-Sans: hey acn i ask a questionh

... He was clearly VERY drunk, so... would it be okay to talk to him? Would it worsen or brighten his mood? After properly saying goodbye and him holding your hand like he did, you felt significantly less angry with him. Still betrayed and pissed and unlikely to ever trust him again, but, still.

-You: I guess?

-Sans: do u ebver miss me

You froze, swallowing, acutely aware of Honey and King being in the same room.
... Should you lie? You didn't want Sans to wake up in the morning and check his phone, only to see you saying you missed him. It might give the wrong idea.

-Sans: cus i miss u all the fucjkn tijme

Thank God, he'd carried on on his own.

-Sans: so muchj

-Sans: im a bad person an u deesrve better but I cant hellp it

You paused, looking down at the phone.

...

-You: Why did you mess with my feelings?

He responded almost instantly. You felt a little bad, manipulating him for answers while he was so smashed he couldn't even type right, but...

-Sans: cus i wantwd u to be happy wiht me

... What!?

-Sans: hwo was i sopposed to be ur frined if u were so scaredd that u coulnt even sit at th e tab;e with me???//?/????//

He made a good point...

You shook that thought out of your head. He couldn't get you THAT easily. One drunken ramble wasn't enough to bring you back.

-You: Why did you make me like you?

-Sans: i didnt

-Sans: i c ant make ppl fall in lov e

-Sans: haha if i could amke ppl fall in love i wouldve made u liek me ages ago

-You: What?

-Sans: sorry

-Sans: alcjhol makng me

-Sans: can i ask u hanother question

-You: Sure?

-Sans: can we just b freinds once all thisis over??

-Sans: pleas

-Sans: u dont have to say yeds

... You paused again, frowning. Did... did you WANT to be friends with him after everything that happened?

... Kinda.

But would it be good for him? Constantly being kept in the friendzone, constantly being reminded of what he did to you? Constantly being reminded that he couldn't have you? Surely, it would just be easier for both of you if you just kept your distance and waited for him to move onto someone else, right?

You typed 'perhaps', but... Quickly deleted it. That was too leading.

Hahah, even when he was piss drunk, he left the final decision to you. He always thought about you, and what you wanted.

Unless, of course, he was pulling the strings the whole time. Unless he always made you THINK the decision was yours, always let you THINK that you were in charge, when he was in fact always the one who made the choices.

You just didn't know.

...Would it be healthy to 'just b freinds'?

-You: I don't know

At least it was a truthful answer.

-Sans: ok

-You: Sorry

You couldn't help it, it was a reflex to type tha-

*ping*

-Sans: no

-Sans: nononono no o ioo noono no no dont say that

... Wha?

-You: Sans what are you saying

-Sans: dont sya that

-Sans: dont b sorry

-Sans: juts hate me

-Sans: its fine

-Sans: i desrve it

I mean, it's not like you disagreed with him. He most definitely deserved it. But hearing it straight from him? It hurt.

-You: Sans, how much have you had to drink

...

-Sans: lost cpunt somewhre around 6

-You: 6 what

-Sans: dirnks

Well fuck. You didn't know if that meant 6 beers, 6 shots, or 6 bottles of alcoholic mustard.

-You: How're you gonna get home, you idiot!?

-You: Should I call Papyrus to come pick you up?

... Silence. He didn't respond.

...

You waited a full five minutes. Nothing. You stared at his name- he was still registered as active. Perhaps he'd gone to call Papyrus himself? That would make sense. You might've reminded him that he needed to get home at some point, so he took the initiative...

You instead just browsed the internet while you were waiting for his response. In fact, you were about to go back to sleep, when-

*ping*

-Sans: why do u care so muchj

What? You blinked at his message. What did he mean?

-You: Do you need me to call Papyrus?

-Sans: y cant u jsut hate me

-Sans: it would bmake everythinng so much easier if u jusr hated me and

...

-You: Sans, are you okay

-Sans: no

-You: I'm calling Papyrus

-Sans: i love you

You dropped your phone like it had burned you, sitting up straight in bed. You flinched when King rolled over, grumbling in his sleep, but he eventually went silent again.

Fuck.

You stared at your phone on the opposite side of the mattress, the screen still on, letting off a gentle white light. You couldn't believe that after everything, he still thought it would be a good idea to tell you that.

Well, in his defence, he was completely fucking drunk.

The phone buzzed again. You stared at it, debating whether or not you should even pick it back up. Maybe you should just let the man rest for the night. And all this talk of love and 'just b-ing freinds' was making you hurt inside.

*ping*

-Sans: im sorryy

-Sans: ohj

-Sans: pap is here did u call hm

-You: No?

-Sans: okk i have ot go now

Divine intervention. Thank you, Papyrus.

-You: Bye.

-Sans: bye

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You woke up the next morning hungry, tired, and with an odd aching in your SOUL. It felt like... something was missing. Like a part of your SOUL had gone cold and empty, and had left a hole in your chest. That, and an impending sense of panic, similar to when you KNOW you've forgotten something, but you just can't place a finger on it.

You tried to get up, but the whole world span around you, and you whined, lying back down again.

"You ok?" Honey asked, from the mattress next to you.

"What time is it?" You groaned, placing a forearm over your head.

"Mm... About six in the morning." She replied.

"Ugh, my head is killing me." You rolled over to face her. "I think I caught something."

She reached out, slowly, and put the back of her hand against your forehead.

"You don't FEEL hot. You on your period?"

You shook your head. "It stopped about a week ago. Uugghh." You stared at the ceiling. Your forehead and lips felt like they were going to split- you hadn't felt this bad since your infamous Grillby hangover.

In fact, this felt just like that. ...This felt like a hangover, plus the cold feeling in your SOUL. You didn't drink anything last night, did you?

"Babes, can I ask you something?"

You turned back to Honey, blinking a few times.

"Yeah?"

She paused, glancing to the side. She looked different without her glasses. "... Are you..."

Your phone started buzzing in your pocket. You cringed, but she shrugged, and you checked the caller.

Huh. Papyrus.

"You mind if I take this? I'll be right back." You asked.

"Sure. No problem. It wasn't important anyway." She waved it away and rolled over, probably going back to sleep.

You answered the call and got out of bed, heading to the living room for some privacy. It was still quite dark outside and you didn't bother switching the light on, instead just sitting on the sofa in the half light.

"HELLO? HUMAN?" He said, after a short pause. This reminded you of the time you first called Sans, all that time ago.

"Papyrus." You said, drily.

"ARE YOU... DOING WELL?"

"No."

"OH." He 'nyeh'd' nervously. "UM, WHY NOT?"

"Because someone I used to be friends with is trying to manipulate me into seeing his brother again. Do you know anyone like that, Papyrus?" You said his name slowly, stressing each vowel.

"I'M SORRY, HUMAN."

"Yeah, I've been hearing that a lot lately. It's starting to lose it's effect, to be honest."

"... I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO SAY."

"Good. Then you won't mind if I hang up." You took the phone away from your ear, and you were about to hang up when you heard Papyrus's voice blaring through the speaker.

"NO! WAIT! DON'T HANG UP!"

"Give me one good reason not to." You said, coldly, bringing it back to your ear. You hoped the ice in your tone would freeze and crack his phone.

"SANS."

...

"That's your reason?"

"WELL, YOU HAVEN'T HUNG UP YET, SO I BELIEVE IT WAS A GOOD ENOUGH REASON."

You sighed. "What do you want?"

"I WOULD FIRST LIKE TO THANK YOU." Oh, wait, really?

"For what?"

"FOR TALKING TO HIM LAST NIGHT. HE IS A PITIFUL DRUNK, BUT I BELIEVE YOUR CONVERSATION IMPROVED HIS SPIRITS. HIS SOUL WAS DOING A LOT BETTER."

You felt like he'd led you into it, but you couldn't help but ask.

"... 'Was' doing better?" You ran a hand over your face, feeling sick. This fucking hangover-like state you were in was taking it's toll, as was being up at 6 in the morning.

"AH. YES. THAT IS THE SECOND THING." You heard a sniff, and instantly paled. Fuuuck, he wasn't crying, was he? "HIS SOUL STARTED CRACKING THIS MORNING, AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I THINK IT'S BECAUSE YOU LEFT? I THOUGHT HE'D BE OVER IT BY NOW, BUT HE JUST KEEPS GETTING WORSE, AND I INSPECTED HIS SOUL THIS MORNING AND THERE WERE FRACTURES IN THE CORNERS!"

Part of you was telling yourself that he was faking it, but... There was just something in his voice. You knew it was real. Papyrus, from what you'd seen, wasn't exactly the greatest actor of all time. And that was some hella convincing crying.

"Papyrus, I-"

"PLEASE, HUMAN." His voice fucking cracked. "JUST... CONSIDER SPEAKING TO HIM AGAIN. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING YOU DON'T WANT TO DO, BUT IF THIS KEEPS UP, HE COULD DIE OF GRIEF."

"That can't happen to someone." You said, in a desperate attempt to prove some part of his speech wrong.

"UNFORTUNATELY, WITH MONSTERS, IT CAN. IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE."

You put a hand to your face. What have you done to them? All you did was befriend a skeleton. Now you're both emotionally damaged, he's going to die of grief and his younger brother is begging you over the phone.

How did everything go so wrong? If there's a God out there, he or she is out to get you.

"I KNOW YOU THINK I'M JUST SAYING THIS BECAUSE I WANT THE TWO OF YOU TO GET BACK TOGETHER. ...AND... IT'S PARTIALLY TRUE." At least he's honest. Unlike someone. "I DO WANT YOU TWO TO BE FRIENDS AGAIN. BUT I ALSO DON'T WANT MY BROTHER TO DIE OF A BROKEN HEART."

You inhaled shakily, staying silent while you tried to piece yourself together.

"... HE MAY BE COMPLETE AND UTTER TRASH, BUT..." A small pause. "... I THINK HE DOES LOVE YOU."

"I've been hearing that a lot, too, funnily enough." You chuckled, trying to keep the tears out of your voice, before you hung up the phone.

You ran your hands through your hair and took a deep breath. They were getting to you. They definitely were. You were seriously, very, REALLY considering going back to talk to Sans.

You weren't sure if you believed in this whole 'dying of grief' thing. I mean, if you did, you would be on your way to his house right now! You hated Sans, but... you didn't want him to DIE!

Your phone pinged. You ignored it. It was probably Papyrus again. It had been a bit rude to hang up on him like that, but... you couldn't handle the 'L' word when it involved Sans.

*ping*

Well, you had to at least read his messages. Did he write in all caps, too? That would be hilarious.

-Sans: did paps just call you

-Sans: don't listen to him

Oh. You suddenly... You started to feel a bit angry. He could DIE, and he didn't tell you?

-You: Is he telling the truth???

-Sans: what did he tell you

-You: Are you going to die!!?!?

-Sans: that's not important right now

-You: He said your soul is cracking, and that monsters can die from grief?

Your fingers were shaking with a mixture of fear and fury.

-You: SANS IS THAT TRUE

...

-You: SANS ANSWER ME RIGHT NOW

-Sans: ok it can happen sometimes but it's not gonna happen to me

-You: How do I know that!?!?

-Sans: it just won't, okay

-Sans: you gotta trust me

-You: Trust you?

-You: Are you fucking kidding me?

-Sans: this conversation is over

-You: Sans don't you dare

-You: SANS

... Nothing. The fucker had left.

There was a storm inside you. You couldn't tell if it was fury or love or anything even remotely within those borders, but before you could stop yourself, you had a coat on, and the door had shut behind you.

The only thought that was whirling through your head as you crossed the streets in the early morning was 'I am going to fuck his shit up'. An area that should've taken you at least 20 minutes to walk was covered in 15 minutes, and the whole time, you were angry and upset and swooning and GODDAMMIT SO MANY EMOTIONS AT ONCE. Your SOUL was pounding in your chest in a way you couldn't described, and you barely even noticed the fact that your hangover-like state got better as you approached Sans's house.

You stormed up to his door and smacked the back of your hand against it, probably crying. Eh. If you were, you couldn't feel the tears.

When there was no reply, you did it again, this time harder and angrier. It hurt the back of your hand, but goddammit you didn't care.

"l'right, l'right, i'm coming!" Sans shouted, his voice harsh. He sounded like someone with one HECK of a hangover. The handle rattled and the door swung open. "it's 7am, calm your fucking-"

The world seemed to grind to a halt, and he just stared, completely frozen. He still looked utterly awful, with old clothes and bruised sockets.

Actually... the world HAD ground to a halt. Everything was cold, it was like the entire world had stopped around you. Like the air and warmth had stopped flowing. Everything had gone dead, everything had been muted.

...

... Then you slapped him.

This time it was a lot softer, more like just a reminder, but it set everything back into motion again. He didn't even move his skull when you hit him, but his eyesockets still widened considerably.

Then you did something very, very stupid.

You reached up and grabbed his face with both hands, then pulled him down and kissed him.

... At first, he didn't react. He remained there, leaning over a little, mouth on yours. Doubts started flooding your mind as the impending weight of how stupid this was started crashing down on you. What if he'd already moved on, and last night was just a drunken tirade, and the reason he wasn't going to die from grief was that he was in a new relationship? What if he was so shocked that you were kissing him because... he had another girl in the house, or something? You literally just walked up to him and slapped him. You shouldn't have done this. It was-

You gasped and tried to pull away, but the moment you did, he seemed to shudder and... wake up. Both his arms seized you, pinning you against his suddenly heaving chest, and he kissed back with the ferocious intensity of a desperate man, pressing you harder against him, trying to touch as much of you as he could. He was holding you so tightly that you were being lifted off the floor a little. You hadn't even let his tongue into your mouth, and this was already one of the best kisses you'd ever had. He was breathing deeply through his nasal cavity, shoulders shaking.

Aw fuck, you were both crying. Sans a little more than you, but... that was to be expected.

After what felt like a century, you broke away and took a deep breath. He was staring at you, so intently that it was a little creepy. He didn't even blink, he just stared.

You put a hand against his mouth when he leaned in for another kiss, and gave him your best death glare.

"You." You took a breath. "...Have so much fucking explaining to do."

Chapter Text

"Sans, you need to let go of me now."

He was still crying, his shoulders bouncing up and down every few seconds. You were tense, and trying to lean away from him.

"don't wake me up." He whispered, his face pressed into your neck. "please don't wake me up."

"You're not asleep, but you're gonna be in a minute if you don't let go."

"hit me again."

Your eyebrows nearly flew off your head. "What!? No!" You exclaimed.

"if you hit me then i'll know this is real."

You exhaled. How many times had he dreamt about this? He sounded pretty damn convinced that he was dreaming.

"... Fine. First, let go."

He seemed to mentally prepare himself for a few moments, before slowly slipping his arms off you. He was breathing deeply and his hands were shaking- every now and then, his grip would tighten on the fabric of your coat, as if he was FORCING himself to let go.

Now that you were closer, you got a better look at his face than you did last time. Fuck, he looked terrible. The bruises under his eyesockets were actually what seemed to be huge purple shadows, his eyelights were flickering like dying red candles, dried tear tracks marked his cheekbones and there were crease marks in the bone around his mouth from where he'd been forcing himself to smile. Of course, new fresh tears were still spilling out his sockets, and there was a far away look on his face.

He really, REALLY believed he was dreaming.

When he finally looked into your eyes he seemed to calm a little, eyelights dilating.

"hit me." He repeated.

You really didn't want to, and you'd been beating yourself up over smacking him earlier, but... he was literally asking for it. And if he was going to explain himself, he needed to realise that this was real.

No more lies.

You took a deep breath, held up your hand and grimaced, using a little of your remaining anger to slap his face. Harder than before. This time, it knocked his skull to the side a bit and his sockets widened.

"... oh." He touched a hand to the side of his face that you'd smacked. "... oohh..." He turned back to you, still holding his cheekbone. "so that kiss was...?"

You nodded coldly, folding your arms.

Blush formed all over his skull, and he started sweating. "oohh fuck. you really... uh..."

'Give him time to collect himself.' You thought, getting a little impatient. The passive aggressive feelings you had for him were starting to fester. 'He thought he was dreaming until a few moments ago.'

"So, are you going to explain yourself, or...?" You pinched the bridge of your nose, and he went red, nodding.

"right." The blush vanished, instead being replaced by a shadowy look of dread. "uh, do you wanna come in, or is that...?"

Ah, right. He didn't know if you ever wanted to set foot in his house again.

"... Is Papyrus home?"

"he left."

"... I guess I'll come in, then."

He seemed to visibly relax at that statement, and he held the door open for you as you entered the house. It smelt of... memories, and old laughter.

"... you probably wanna sit for this." He said, closer behind you than you expected him to be. You sighed, realising that you were going to be here for a long while. You took a seat on the familiarly comfortable sofa- the same one you'd been pinned down on, kissed by Sans on, slept on, cuddled on, practically LIVED on...

"... want something to drink, or...?"

"Sans, just get to the point." Both of you were surprised at how tired you sounded. He swallowed (how?), took a breath, and sat next to you.

...

"where should i start...?"

"The manipulation." Your voice was so damn cold. You started listing things off on your fingers. "How long you've been using it on me, why you used it, how many times you used it, what you dulled and what you enhanced. I wanna know what was real and what was fake before I can fix this."

He was hunched over a little, and kept fiddling with the spaces between his phalanges, but eventually he sighed and rubbed one hand over his face. He looked so damn awful.

"okay." He took a breath. "okay okay okay. i've... i've been using it... s-since we first met."

Your body froze. Hearing it from drunk texting Sans was one thing, hearing it from a sober, in-person Sans...

"Why?" You managed to keep your voice steady.

"... cause i'm lazy, and i wanted you to like me." He wasn't looking your way. "you were terrified of me. at first it was little things, like soothing the fear, but then i started doing it more. making you slightly more happy when we met up, slightly more sad when we had to say goodbye to each other at the end of our meetings, st... stuff like that." He took another breath, closing his eyes, bringing both his hands up to his eyesockets.
"once you started feeling those on your own i eased off for a while, th-then you had that panic attack before you moved in, and i had to intervene, and i dunno... i started feeling RESPONSIBLE for your happiness, or some creepy shit like that." You both grimaced at the same time. "and when you actually moved in, it just got worse."
He was gushing, running his hands over the sides of his skull, staring at the space in front of him.
"i got completely obsessed with making you happy without even really REALISING i was obsessed. when you talked about your parents and you felt guilty i'd cut that off, or when you were talking about the void and you got sad i'd soothe it, and it just kept spiralling and spiralling until..."

He stopped.

"... Until?" You prompted.

"... i, uh, overheard you talking to alphys." He was mumbling, face dark. "you said you didn't find me sexually attractive because i was a skeleton."

You paled. He heard that!? Oh fuck. Did he think you'd never like him because of his looks?

"something... snapped in me, i guess. i started realising that if i ever really wanted a chance, it'd have to be a real one, y'know? why would i wanna spend the rest of my life forcing someone to love me?" He took a small break, apparently holding back tears. "it took a while for that to really sink in, but i think that was where i started to get a bit better. didn't touch your happiness once after that. i still felt kinda responsible and capped some bad feelings once or twice, but on the whole i was getting better."

Well, it all fitted in with what you'd experienced and what others had told you, you'd give him that. You looked away, feeling distant.

"Then you fucked up." You said, quietly.

"yeah." He muttered. "then i fucked up."

"So... everything good past my first meeting with Alphys?" That was longer than you thought it would be. That meant all the (consensual) kisses, the tickle fight, the dates... "That was real?"

"... yeah." There was a hint of resignation in his voice, like he himself was only just realising that everything before that was fake.

"Who else did you use it on?"

He flinched and starting sweating again, staring at the floor, but growled at himself and smacked his own forehead, seemingly to work up courage.

"y... your mom, when we ran into her that one time." You blinked. Wait, really? "threw down all her emotions so it'd give me enough time to run after you and get you home before she followed."

You actually... appreciated that, in a twisted way.

He started listing them on his fingers. "then there was your ex. b... ben?" Should've seen that one coming. Again, you weren't too mad about that. "those rats i killed. spiked fear makes them make mistakes." He started rubbing the bridge between his eyesockets, closing them, as if trying to remember. "uhh, grillby once or twice? he cottoned on to what i was doing real quick, and i didn't wanna risk him telling you. tried to with king when i first met him, but he's got a hereditary resistance to soul tampering. i think... i think that's it?"

You were a little pissed that he'd tried to fuck with King, but apart from that, you were actually a little underwhelmed. You thought he'd crack out the whole 'everything was a lie, you don't even know me, i'm actually a 45 year old woman from spain and all your friends are just figments of your imagination', but...

So far, he seemed to telling the truth.

"Okay, I think I'm up to speed." You sighed, finally looking at him. "Anything else?"

He paused, going bright red, refusing to meet your gaze.

Your eyes widened. There was something else.

"n-not r-"

"Sans." Your voice was like ice, cutting through the atmosphere and he flinched visibly. "If you lie to my face again, I'm never coming back. I haven't even forgiven you for everything else yet. You're running out of chances."

He screwed his eyesockets shut and kept breathing deeply. Where his phalanges shaking? Huh.

"o-okay. yeah. there's a few more things." He leant back, blinking his sockets open. This time, he was looking right at you. "... you, heheh, ever heard of a soul bond?"

"... Alphys mentioned it once." You blinked.

"... you know what it entails?"

You paused for a moment, trying to recollect. You weren't sure what this had to do with anything, but...

"Isn't it... when you really really love someone, your SOUL naturally builds a connection to them... ...Oh my God." Your head snapped in his direction. You took in his light blush as he watched you, you recalled the kisses and closeness between the two of you...

"Y-you didn't?" Your eyes widened considerably, and your heart (or maybe your SOUL) plummeted into your stomach. "You...!?"

"... it... happened." He said, quietly, looking away, blushing even harder. "one moment it was a slightly blown up crush, and the next i'm half-accidentally half-purposefully forming a bond that can only be broken if one of us hates the other so much that we want to kill them."

You put a hand over your chest defensively, like you could snap the bond like a string by just reaching your hand up. Your head was spinning. How were you supposed to... REACT? Isn't your SOUL the most private part of your being? The very culmination of your existence? And he bonded with you without even SAYING ANYTHING!?

"... it's the equivalent of proposing. when you make a bond." His voice was getting quieter, and deeper."you're not really supposed to be able to do it by accident. and the bond can never be fully formed unless... both sides reciprocate." He said the last part slowly, eyelights landing on you and sharpening into pinpricks.

You paled under his intense gaze. So... he's saying you...?

"... What does it mean?" You asked, trying to keep your voice even. "This... 'bond'?" You cringed when you said it out loud.

He put a hand over his own chest, too, but less like he was protecting it and more like he was checking it.

"before all this...? it was probably the equivalent of being engaged."

WHAT THE SHIT!?

"right now...?" He paused, squinting, deep in thought. "it's... more like... an affair between a single and a married person, when the single person doesn't know the other is married. one side has their whole heart in it and wants to go further, and the other kinda wants to join but is held down by their guilt over cheating. except, in this case, the thing holding you down is your passive aggressive hatred toward me, and your inability to trust me after what i did."

You didn't know what to say.

He'd... you'd... you'd been the equivalent of fiancées.

Fucking. Fiancées.

He'd practically MARRIED YOU WITHOUT PERMISSION.

Oh my God, you still couldn't quite wrap your head around it.

But... you had to reciprocate for the bond to have formed in the first place. So that meant you'd loved him? I mean, before all this, you probably wouldn't have been adverse to having a serious relationship with Sans. He'd been all but your best friend. But now?

Not if someone PAID you.

You felt furious. Got, you'd rarely ever been this mad with someone. Your fingers were itching and your chest was killing you- would it be bad to slap him again? Maybe a punch instead.

Wait, Sans said something about hate. For the bond to break, you had to hate him enough to want to kill him, right? Well, you were sure getting there. You rubbed your hands over your eyes.

"So, you essentially got engaged with me behind my back?" You hissed, trying to keep cold. ...Hot anger took up so much more goddam energy.

"... you can leave, if you want." He said, quietly. Judging by his slow speech and hesitation, he didn't want you to leave at all.

You let out a breath. This... 'admitting session' he was doing seemed to involve a lot of deep breathing.

"Not yet." You said, bottling the anger for now. Just... sweep it under the rug. Deal with it later. Right now, you needed to find out the answers to your questions. "... What else is there."

"...uh. ok." He turned to you, leaning a bit closer, cringing. He reached out to take your hands, but paused and retracted them again, thinking better of it. "before i say this one, you need to know that you have every right to slap me. alright? i'm not excusing myself in any way. i'm a shithole."

Your eyes widened a little. Uh, fuck. Was this gonna be really, really bad? Worse than... surprise engagement?

"... so, you know how i told you that monsters mark each other with scents?"

You narrowed your eyes at him. Don't say it. Don't say it.

"... i... i was scared that monsters would attack you because you knew me. it's happened." He glanced away. "... and, y'know, since i liked you n'all, i..." He screwed his eyesockets shut again "... look- i mean- i'm sorry that i-i just couldn't help it because i want those sneaky motherfucking bastards to stay away from you but I KNOW I SHOULDN'T have done it but it was just so easy to do and it made me feel good knowing that you were safe but it..." You caught about 2% of that, but... oh my God, was he crying? Yep, he was crying again. Just how bad WAS this?

He suddenly grabbed your hands, and your first reaction was to nearly tug them away, but his pitiful sob made you pause.

...Maybe you could just let him have this one moment, before you slapped the shit out of him.

"... Sans, what did you do?" You asked, trying to make your voice sound soft under it's icy encasement. "... Sans?"

"i-i fucking marked you..." He sobbed, squeezing your hands a little too tight.

"Sans, take a breath. Explain."

"it... i-i can't b..." He took a moment to gather his thoughts. "... it's territorial scents." He said, his voice steadier. He was still clutching your hands, though. "...p-potential mate marking. i basically just... slapped a sign on your back that said 'sans is after this girl, fuck off unless you wanna lose a limb' to all monsters in the area."

You recoiled.

Wait.

... All monsters in the area? A mark that said you had Sans, The Judge, the guy with the highest LV in the Underground going after you?

...

The monsters. Never the humans.

...

The pitying looks.

...

Right from the start.

...

The terrified female monsters, the male monsters avoiding your eyes. The monsters crossing the street to stay out of your way.

That was because of Sans...?

"You..."

Your necklace tingled.

The rat saying Sans had marked you as his.

"... Marked me as your PROPERTY...?"

"no!" A hand flew up and cupped your cheek. You were completely frozen, unaware of the single tear that had broken free that Sans was wiping away. "n-no, not property. never property. i'm awful, but i'm not THAT awful. you were never something to be owned."

"How do I know that?" You said, voice cracking.

He let go of your other hand and used both of his own hands to tilt your face up to his. He looked... a little angry.

"because i may be a shithead, but fuck, i still love you, dammit. c'mon, think about it. everything stupid and selfish i did, i did because i wanted you happy here. happy with ME. i fucked with your emotions because i wanted you to like me. soul bonds create emotional and physical links between the two hosts, meaning i can understand how you feel on a deeper level. i marked you so you would be protected from assholes like those rats. but one thing was for certain," He looked deep into your eyes. "you were always, ALWAYS free to leave if you wanted to."

He cracked, smiling a little. He was still holding your face, and you couldn't figure out why you hadn't snatched yourself away already.

His hands were so warm.

"(y/n), if you were property, do you really think i would've opened the door for you when you left...?"

It took a moment for the information to settle in, but when it did, it started sapping away at your anger. You had him in your mind as a mastermind who was pulling your strings to make you think that you loved him, but... Right now? Staring him dead in the eyelights? You knew he was telling the truth. You just... knew. Like Papyrus, sometimes... you just KNEW.

And the truth was that he was a bumbling idiot who had no idea what to do with all his feelings, tripped over somewhere along the way, and before he knew it he was using magical powers on the girl he liked to smother her emotions while simultaneously scent marking her as his mate and building a (relatively) unbreakable SOUL bond.

You sighed.

"I'm still fucking mad at you, though."

His shoulders sagged in relief.

"yeah. but i deserve that."

"I just..." You took his hands off your face and put them onto his lap, trying to re-distance yourself from him and your biased emotions, before remembering something with a jump. "... Holy shit I just realised I left King's without saying a word."

Sans snorted at that.

You pulled out your phone. One text. Okay, that's good, they weren't calling the police to go look for you.

-fabulous lady: lol where u at

-You: Sans's place, I'll be back soon

-fabulous lady: wait what???

-fabulous lady: why u @ Sans's????

-fabulous lady: get out of there!!!!

... You were very aware of Sans being literally sat right next to you, reading your texts. Honey was rightfully horrified- half an hour ago you would've said the exact same thing.

-You: it's fine, he's explaining himself

-fabulous lady: how many times did you slap him??????

-You: twice

-fabulous lady: i'm coming round to get you, sit tight

"Oh, um..." You turned the phone in his direction and he shrugged, unfazed.

"yeah. she probably hates me even more than you do."

... A short span of silence. Sans's hand twitched in your direction a few times, but he kept restraining himself. You appreciated it.

"... so... what changes now?"

You paused, glancing to the side. "I don't know. I don't trust you anymore, and I definitely haven't forgiven you yet, so it's hard to see if anything even WILL change. I'm still going to live with King, and Honey is still going to be plotting your murder. It's never going to be like it was again."

...

"... what if i earned it back...?" He asked, suddenly.

"Earned what back?"

"your trust." He turned to you, seeming a little brighter. "what if i earned your trust back? i can start over. start the whole friendship over. and this time, i do it without my powers. this time, i'll do it right."

You blinked. "Sans, I don't know if..."

"look, swee... (y/n)." A light dust of red magic covered his cheekbones. "i'm... i'm still selfish, but in a different way. i want you to trust me again. i want to be able to call you sweetheart without you cringing like that. i get that it's never going to be how it used to be, but... maybe we don't need it to be like it used to. maybe we could work towards something better than before instead...?"

Ok, you had to hand it to him, he knew how to make a heartfelt speech. And he certainly knew how to get you to like him again- most of your pent up rage was gone, and you felt inclined to forgive him.

But you weren't stupid. And you certainly weren't done being mad at his dumbass manipulative shenanigans. You were going to wait before you threw yourself at the opportunity to have what you once had with him again.

"I don't know, Sans." You sighed. "I'm... gonna need time. I'm still pretty fucking angry with you, and you're essentially asking for a complete do-over. I can't just... un-madden myself like that."

He nodded. "yeah. right. 'course." You heard the tone of disappointment that he was trying to hide. Actually... less like disappointment, and more like... hurt? "just... think about it, okay? and," He leant over a little and tapped your phone with one skeletal finger. "i'm always right there if you change your mind."

You stared at your phone screen, the black reflection staring right back at you. So... you were calling shots on this? He was letting you decide whether or not you wanted to see him again.

"... can i ask you something?"

"Sure."

You turned to look back at him, and he was blushing, eyelights adverted. He scratched the back of his skull.

"... um... why did you kiss me? earlier?"

Fuck

"Ugh." This was going to pop up at SOME point. "...I really don't know." You put your head in your hands. "Gut reaction to seeing your stupid face after so long, or something? I guess."

"so... your gut reaction was to kiss me?" He sounded... huh. You couldn't really put a finger on how he sounded.

"... Is that a bad thing?" You turned to him, taking your head out your hands. He was grinning to himself.

"not at all." Oh. That was the tone in his voice. Mild excitement that he was trying to cover... you almost laughed. Yeah, of course SANS would have no problem with kissing.

...

Someone pounded on the door. Ah, Honey. How had she got over so quickly? It was usually a 20 minute walk, at best.

Sans got up to get it, but you put your hand in front of him.

"She'll probably beat your face in." You cringed. You crossed the room and opened the door-

Honey shouted in surprise, and grabbed you, hoisting you over her shoulder. You shrieked in shock, suddenly VERY high up. Hang on a second! You weren't a sack of potatoes! She was SO lucky she was your bestie. She was literally the only person alive right now with the carry pass. But your coat was still on the sof-

Oh shit. Oooh shit. You could feel the fury radiating off her, clashing with Sans's aura. You needed to defuse this situation, ASAP!

"Sans." Her voice was a solid 0 Kelvin, and put your previous cold tone to shame. You could practically SEE the particles in the air freezing upon coming into contact with absolute zero.

"honey." Sans's voice wasn't cold, but it certainly wasn't warm either. It was thick with sarcasm, and dry like a desert.

"Babes, can you put me down?" You squeaked, trying to be the sense in the storm, but your voice was lost in the furious stare-off the two of them were having. You couldn't even SEE it, you were facing the wrong way.

...

"Let's go." She said, suddenly, after at least 30 seconds of silence. She spun around and you sighed, but waved to Sans as she walked away.

"Later." You chuckled.

He threw your balled up coat to you, and you caught it messily, most of it landing in your face. And when you lifted it back out of the way of your face, he was stood in the doorway, sticking out his thumb and pinkie in the 'call me' sign, grinning. You rolled your eyes in response. You were still mad at him, and wouldn't trust him as far as you could throw him, but...

It felt good to be on speaking terms again.

Saying 'Later' felt a lot better than saying 'Goodbye'.

Chapter Text

...?

You opened the door in the early morning, intending to go out to the library and return those books you took out while studying SOULs, but...

... A bouquet of Flowers? Lying on the doorstep?

... Tiny, oddly-shaped white ones, soft pink ones, dark blue ones and a couple of star-shaped pale ones that you recognised- arbutus. Your parents had a small plant of this that they kept trying to grow in the back garden, but it would just flower then die.

They were quite small flowers, which was unusual for a bouquet. Didn't most suitors go for large and bright? These were all relatively tame, and wrapped neatly in crunchy white paper.

At first, you thought it might be something for King (a secret asexual admirer?), but there was a little piece of card attached to the white paper by a thin red ribbon that shimmered pleasantly in the morning light.

You picked it up and turned the tiny card over, and instantly recognising the Comic Sans handwriting, which made you raise an eyebrow. He'd dropped flowers at your door?

'hey y/n.' The card read. 'wanted to say a lot of things but figured i should just get some pretty flowers that say it for me and use sum magic to keep em alive. two birds one stone, amiright?? ;).'

Okay, you had to admit, that was pretty cute. And a lot easier to handle than the constant grovelling you'd been expecting. Plus, they smelt absolutely amazing, and if he was using magic to keep them good, they'd smell nice for ages.

You looked at them again. There were five types of flower overall, and you recognised a few more now that you had them up close. The jasmine flower was the one giving off the amazing smell, and the white clovers were the small white unusual-looking ones that reminded you of shattering orbs. Overall... quite an interesting selection.

You pursed your lips, re-reading the card. What did he mean by 'flowers that say it for me'? Flowers didn't speak?

Wait, wait... You blinked to yourself. Didn't flowers have a... secret language, or something? Certain meanings assigned to each one, and if they were put together, you could convey stuff? You chuckled.

So he was being cryptic about this?

Nerd.

You went back inside, temporarily forgetting the books you were supposed to return.

You laid the flowers on the table and cracked open the lid of your computer. Right. So, you knew what three of them were. Arbutus flowers, white clovers and jasmine.

You looked up white clovers first- yup, that's the one you were searching for. Loads of tiny white cups, organised in a sphere shape. The whole flower was only a little bigger than your thumb in total. You were impressed that he'd figured out a way to get such a tiny thing into a bouquet without them all falling out.

You searched their meaning.

- 'White clover, positive symbolism: White clovers have ball-shaped lovely flowers, and it is said that four-leaf clovers will bring luck. Language of white clovers are “happiness”, “promise”, and when in bunches, “Be mine”. It’s so romantic, isn’t it?'

Hmm. You glanced at the flowers. The clovers weren't bunched up at all, they were dotted throughout the entire thing, as far away from each other as they could get. Huh. So, no pressure to be 'his'? That was actually kinda sweet, if not overly cryptic.

So, white clover meant promises. But, promise what? You looked up Arbutus flowers next, fingers dancing over the keyboard. This was actually pretty fun.

- 'In the Victorian age, the flowers of the arbutus have one of the most romantic meanings. It means “thee only do I love” or in plain English, I love only you. Arbutus’ different hues of white are also symbol of devotion and its pale pink as an eternal love, it's the perfect flower to use before proposing!'

Uhm.

You felt inclined to check within the flowers, just in case there was a ring you missed. No? Okay, phew. Dodged a bullet there.

So, Sans was... 'promising' 'eternal love'? You chuckled to yourself again, propping your chin on your hand. He really went all-out with this secret coding stuff. Okay, so the last one you recognised now. Jasmine flowers.

Wait, how did he get them to survive? Don't jasmines die in temperate- oh, yep, magic. Almost forgot.

- 'OMG!! Jasmines are like,, soo sweet! They're like, eternal love and purity!! Yeaaaahh! If you wanna get some great flowers, come to Catty and Bratty's flower shooppp, it's like, totally wicked amazing!!'

Not exactly what you were looking for, but you got the message about what they meant.

So, what were the other ones?

You used a funny flower identification website and entered a few of the key traits of the one you were looking at. Long stem, multiple purple flowers packed tightly together in a tube shape, five long petals on each flower...

Aha! Purple hyacinth. That definitely looked like the one you had. It meant...

... 'Sorrow'. 'Please forgive me'.

Oh.

You pursed your lips.

Well, that was a change from undying love and devotion.

You followed the same steps as before with the last flower, looking up what a slightly purple tinged many-petaled flat flower was. ... Rue flower. You could pretty much guess what that one meant.

Yup.

- 'Intense regret. This flower was handed out by a mad Ophelia in Hamlet before her death. "There's fennel for you, and columbines: ... O you must wear your rue with a difference..."'

Welp. That stabbed you right in the feels. You shut your computer lid and went to see if there was a vase for the flowers- two of them might have been depressing, but they definitely looked nice, and the white-blue theme went well with King's house.

-You: didn't know you had a thing for flowers, Sans

You chuckled as you unwrapped the blossoms and placed them in a small vase you'd found in one of the cupboards. They looked very pretty on the table like that.

Perhaps... you shouldn't tell Honey where they came from. She was your best friend and all, but you had to talk to her about that stunt she pulled at Sans's. Did you ASK to be carried? Did you ASK to have your stomach bruised by her perfect shoulder? No, you did not.

Your phone pinged, and you picked up the books you were about to take to the library, reading Sans's message.

-asshole: i didn't until today ;)

Pfft.

-asshole: hey, have u got work today

-You: no, Grillby's visiting his daughter so he's shut up shop since he doesn't trust anyone else to run it while he's gone

-asshole: haha, that's so him

-asshole: um, do you wanna go to the cinema later?

Hm...? Cinema invite?

You weighed your options. You actually kinda wanted to go see a movie- you hadn't done that in AGES. But, then again... Would you honestly be able to meet up with him so soon? And would you be able to look at him and sit near him in a dark cinema without slapping him at least once?

-asshole: there's a new horror movie i wanna see and i was wonderin if u wanted to go with

-You: Sorry, probably not

It wasn't like you didn't like the odd horror movie every now and then. You just... alone? With Sans? In a dark room, while a horror movie went on? It seemed like a pretty stupid idea

-asshole: k

Oooh, that stung you. His utter lack of real response made you realise how much courage it probably took to ask you to the cinema in the first place, and now he was shot down...

-asshole: undynes trying to steal my phon///

... Undyne?

You hadn't spoken to her since... well the club. And frankly, you were glad. She'd tried to puppet you back into seeing Sans again, and if Alphys hadn't ratted her and Papyrus out, you would've been in for some serious heartbreak.

-asshole: //';l,;,lp[l.vh

-asshole: './

-asshole: I'm back!

You almost rolled your eyes.

-You: Undyne give Sans his phone

-asshole: Waht do you mean?

You sat back down on the table, leaning your chin on your hand again and yawning.

-You: Sans would never start his sentence with a capital letter, and he would NEVER use an exclamation mark, even if his life depended on it

... A short pause. You sighed, rubbing your eye. Today was going to be one of THOSE days, wasn't it...?

-asshole: Sans says he's hurt you'd say that about him

-You: You've got my number anyway, stupid, why do you need sans's phone

... Another pause, this time longer. You couldn't help but roll your eyes again.

-asshole: Oh yeah

Then your phone started buzzing loudly, and you were so shocked that you dropped it onto the table, swearing. Undyne was calling you, fuck.

You had no choice but to answer- she seemed like the kind of person who would keep calling for all eternity until you responded.

"What?" You asked, far more aggressively than you had intended.

"Jesus woman, chill!" Undyne' voice was crackly, and you heard a small boom from the other end, and Sans yelling. Uh? "I was gonna tell you something!!"

"I don't really care."

You heard Sans laugh loudly from the other end, and couldn't help but feel a little swell of pride.

"TOO BAD! Telling you anyway." Ugh. There was just no bargaining with her, was there? "I'm not sorry for trying to get you back with Sans!"

"u n d y n e!" Sans yelled, and there was another crash.

You didn't speak, at first. You just put one hand over your face, all those emotions you thought were starting to go resurfacing- this time directed at Undyne, not Sans. You realised, now, that you hadn't even been expecting an apology from Undyne in the first place. Perhaps you'd just been hoping that you wouldn't have to talk to her again?

"Is that so?" You managed to growl out, surprised by how steady your voice sounded. You'd expected at least a LITTLE waver in the middle.

Undyne snorted. "He was going to DIE, (y/n). Fucking DIE. Can you SERIOUSLY tell me you wouldn't do the same for someone you knew? I mean, I KINDA regret making you mad, but I think it was worth it. My buddy isn't dead."

Well, she... kinda made a point. You pictured Honey or King being in Sans's shoes, quite literally dying of grief, and had to admit to yourself- you probably would've worked to get said friend and their significant other back together if it meant saving their life.

You sighed.

"I'm fucking mad as hell at you, Undyne." You hissed.

"Yeah, well, that was going to happen anyway." She sounded so UNBOTHERED, it really made you angry. It didn't matter if you would've done the same for Honey and King. She tried to manipulate you.

You realised, suddenly, that... you slightly preferred this situation to her apologising. You blinked in surprise. You'd been apologised to so many times now, you'd kinda grown numb to it. If she'd called up to say sorry, you would've accepted it verbally, but not mentally. You were so sick and tired of the constant sadness and anger and hostility toward everyone... you would've probably just rolled over and taken it.

At least, this way, you didn't have to do that. At least this way, things could go relatively back to normal.

You were about to answer, but there was a scuffle on the other end, and Sans and Undyne swearing at each other.

"... Guys?"

"gimme my fuckin' phone!"

"Back off Sans! Or I'm gonna TELL HER!"

"no you FUCKING-!"

You grew suspicious. "Tell me what?" You said, loudly, hoping your voice could make the two of them realise that you were still technically on the phone.

"SANS HAS A PICTURE OF YOU AS HIS BACKGROUND!" Undyne yelled. She then swore loudly, and the phone hung up abruptly, the dial tone sounding in your ear.

Well. You stared at the now-black screen.

That was... tense? You opened the messaging app.

-You: Is that true?

You snickered to yourself. You used to have a selfie of you and Sans at Grillby's as your background, but you deleted it in an anger-fuelled rage. Now it was Killer booping his nose against the camera.

It took a short while for him to respond- probably because he was still wrestling it back from the crazed fish woman.

-asshole: no

-You: Sans

-asshole: okay yeah

You felt it in your SOUL and heart simultaneously- a little skip. What...? Why did the thought of him having a picture of you as his background make you so... happy? You'd literally been so furious with him that you never wanted to speak with him again a few days ago. Why were you suddenly...?

-asshole: i can delete it if u want

-You: Send it to me

It was up on the screen before you could even recall writing it down, and you flushed, desperately searching your mind for an excuse, should he ask.

-asshole: you sure?

-You: wanna make sure it isn't 18+

-asshole: uh, ok

BULLET DODGED.

-{asshole sent (1) attachment}

You clicked it and opened it. It was... you didn't remember him taking this picture? It wasn't even a very attractive picture, you were in your Grillby's uniform and laughing at something. Probably a stupid joke that'd come from a string of other stupid jokes, based on the red flush on your cheeks. You weren't looking at the camera, and the low angle made you think he might have snapped it without you noticing.

-You: I don't recall you taking this

-asshole: probably because I took it in secret ;)

-You: Why do you even have it lol

-asshole: why do you think, (y/n)

Oh. Right. You hadn't expected him to be that straightforward about it.

The door at the other end of the room opened, and you glanced up, seeing King, instantly welcoming any and all distraction from your phone. His hair was a little messy and damp- he'd probably just gotten out the shower. His clothes were a little too large for him- a large light blue shirt, and jeans that bagged at the bottom of his feet. Hand-me-downs?

He fiddled with his glasses and put them on, focusing on you at the table.

"Oh. Hey (y/n)." He noticed the phone in your hand. "Who're you texting?"

"Sans."

He took a seat next to you at the table and sniffed once, turning and noticing the vase of flowers on the table.

"... Who're the flowers from...?" He asked, cautiously.

"Also Sans."

King let out a little whistle, eyes scanning the various assorted blooms for a few moments, before he chuckled.

"He really went all out."

You chuckled, putting your phone down and joining King in looking at the beautiful, delicate flowers.

"He certainly did. ...Don't tell Honey that Sans bought them, alright?"

"Yeah, she'd probably burn them all."

You both laughed quietly at that. Honey was most likely still asleep- she'd always been one for a lie-in.

Then... you had a small idea.

What if...?

"Hey, so... Sans invited me out to the cinema, and at first I turned him down, but..." King turned his head to one side as you spoke. "...Would you consider coming? Y'know, as support? I'm thinking of getting Honey to come with too. It'd be a good way to start fixing her burning animosity for Sans. And if we're both there, we can stop her from dusting him."

"What type of movie?" He asked, a small glint of what seemed like excitement in his eyes.

Oh. You cringed. Oooh. You didn't think about this. Sans wanted to see a HORROR movie... would King even be up for it? You might have to rethink your plan.

"Uh, horror." You cringed again, but...

"Sure!"

... What?

You blinked, and King chuckled.

"I love horror movies! I know it's unexpected, but I really do. I'd be up for that!"

"Wait, honestly!?" You started laughing. "You're serious!?" King? This adorable little marshmallow? Loved HORROR movies? Jumpscares? Gore? Death? Blood? Are you kidding!?

King burst into laughter at your shocked face, pushing his glasses up his nose.

-asshole: you still there?

Oh! Right, you'd been halfway through a conversation with Sans before King came in. You were still laughing at the recent revelation, but managed to type out a response.

-You: Can I reconsider the cinema offer? On one condition?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Right. So, maybe bringing Honey wasn't the best idea.

All of you had met in the appointed place; outside the cinema, in the cold and dark. Sans had already been there for a few minutes when the three of you arrived, leaning casually against the wall, phone still in his hand from when he'd been texting you. It was a very warm night- you'd discarded your thicker jumper in favour of a thin hoodie you could unzip when you needed to. Honey, used to the Australian climate, was still in just a shirt and shorts. King seemed to have some king of fatal weakness to the cold, and had borrowed one of Honey's large coats, which hung off his arms and practically swallowed the bottom of his face. It reminded you of the time you'd used Sans's sweater...

Reflexively, you grabbed Honey's arm when Sans came into view. You saw Sans's posture tense for a moment, then he relaxed all too quickly, something... snake-like about his new smile.

It was like a scene in an anime, where two mortal enemies spot each other across a field, and a lighting bolt connects between their eyes.

"Babes." You said, warningly, and she grumbled under her breath, but allowed you and King to lead her up to him.

The three of you approached Sans, and his lizard smile broke for a second to give you a genuine one, before the wall came back up.

You positioned Honey in front of him, and they both stood rigorously. They were pretty much the same height, but Sans seemed a little shorter because he was still leaning back against the wall.

"honey." He said, kicking off the wall, standing at his full height. It sounded warm to an unpractised ear, but you shot him a quick glare.

"Sans." She replied. Instead of going for barely covered hostility, she smothered so much sweetness onto her words that it practically screamed 'sarcasm'.

"Alright you two, tone down the venom." You felt very small, but stood between them. You took Honey's hand, then very cautiously took Sans's too, guiding the hands toward each other. "Shake hands."

On your command, the two very stiffly took hands, shook once, and immediately let go again, eyes never once leaving each other. You heard King groan in the background.

You sighed, slapping a palm over your face. "That'll have to do." You muttered. "Let's just... go inside, alright?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh my God, it was like a constant silent cage match was going on. The two of them were just constantly giving each other heated glares and maybe surreptitiously interrupting each other in conversation, or trying to stand next to you.

King was a welcome break, he was the one you shared an exasperated glance with when someone 'accidentally' pushed the other, or said something snarky under their breath. He was the one you ended up walking with when Honey would walk directly in front of Sans to stop him from getting any closer to you.

He was literally the only other sane person in the room right now.

So, when you needed to talk to Sans in the lobby while Honey was buying snacks, King was already distracting her before you'd even asked. You gave him a thankful grin and he just shrugged, smiling to himself.

You dropped back a few steps to stand next to Sans.

"Thanks for the flowers." You said, keeping your voice down so Honey wouldn't hear. "And... for letting me bring her with us. I know she's a little hard to deal with, but..."

"it's fine." His voice was a low purr, and you wrestled those damn feelings back into their cage when they reared their heads. "i'm just glad you even showed up." He looked down, suddenly averting eye contact. "we'll have to meet up again sometime. but, just the two of us. y'know, if you want to. cafe or somethin'..." He trailed off at the end, turtling into his hoodie.

You patted his shoulder, giving him your best shot at a friendly smile.

"I'll think about it."

He flushed very red, smile wobbling at the corner.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[[Had to cut a part here because it was making the chapter too long, sorry]] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You hadn't thought about seating. You hadn't considered that both Honey AND Sans would want to sit next to you, even though... you wanted to sit next to King.

So that brought you to your current predicament.

"Babes, are you serious?" Honey asked, cringing. Sans was quiet and shrugged, but you could tell he really didn't like this arrangement either.

"Yes, I am." You pointed to the seats. Most of the people in the theatre were watching you guys- it was still the adverts, and this drama seemed to be far more interesting than a website you could make with Wix. "Sans on the end, Honey next to Sans, King next to Honey. That way, I'll be on the farthest end from your shenanigans."

Honey opened her mouth to protest, but Sans cleared his throat. The three of you turned to him, and he grinned, already in his seat, winking at Honey sarcastically. Her scowl deepened.

"Look, babes," You took her hands, l