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Not Your Doll - House of Sans Edition.

Chapter Text

Well, this isn’t so bad, right?

It’s already been a week now, and, hey! You’re still alive. Park benches aren’t that bad to sleep on if you used your weathered backpack as a pillow, you’ve managed to avoid getting mugged or worse for this long, and you have even managed to carve out your own ‘territory’ that the other homeless people don’t seem too interested in bothering you about.

Homeless. You hate that word.

Ugh don’t think about it don’t think about it…

This is still markedly better than being forced into a marriage with that prick Drew, right? You left him two years ago, but your mom still hasn’t gotten the memo. So she gave you an ultimatum - Start “behaving yourself” (Meaning a shotgun wedding and a career in modelling, which you loathe), or go and live with your Aunt Deb because she can’t stand to see your face anymore.

So you left.

Only problem was, Aunt Deb couldn’t take you in. Her latest man wasn’t at all for it, and she didn’t have the strength to argue.

You decided not to fight that one, and assured her you’d figure something out.

Well.

It’s been a week. Why haven’t you figured something out yet?

No, don’t think like that, you scold yourself. Cynicism will literally kill you in this city. You need to stay positive. You have your health, your sanity, your life, your… Backpack, and your public park bench...

You sigh. You need a job, urgently. Some form of income.

Stretching out on the bench, you sit up and roll your aching shoulders. Then, you decide to check the classifieds. You’d use your phone to check out listings online, but it only has fifteen percent battery life left. That could easily go to waste, and you don’t quite have enough change scrounged up for a hot chocolate at Timmies, where you can linger as a paying customer for a while and charge it from their wall.

There’s a free newsstand box next to your bench, with new homes and apartment rental guides. You scoff. If only. But there’s also a thin employment paper available. Just one left. You stand up and snatch it from its metal and plastic enclosure.

Okay, dish pit at a local restaurant for minimum wage? That might be fine with you, but minimum wage won’t get you into an apartment anytime soon. A night time security job? Well, you briefly wonder if the trope of security guards sleeping on the job would be alright with them. But, it still doesn’t make enough money, you work out. No, wait, it’s actually a scam. You sigh. Lower expectations and continue.

Wait… What’s this? Live-in maid? Oh shit yes, a roof over your head! That’s all you really need right now, right? You instantly take out your phone and dial the number, then hold it up to your ear as you read the description further.

You hang up before whoever is at the other end can answer your call. Social study? With monsters?

… What the hell?

Monsters are a very new thing for your town. Actually, the world in general. But the way this listing reads it sounds more like a spot on a reality TV show than an actual job. You let out a long sigh, concerned about that sanity thing as you actually start to consider it. It would mean a (relatively) safe place to sleep, right? Somewhere you could keep your stuff? And a regular source of food, too. Plus, you don’t really have anything against monsters, just heard the same thing that everyone else had.

That the mountain they used to live under was where several children had disappeared a while back, and they never ended up coming home.

That implied that they might be dangerous. But… If there was an ad petitioning for a live-in maid (You note that it specified a human maid), maybe they were safe enough?

You also couldn’t help but be curious about their magic.

Sighing one final time, you dial the number again.

“H-Hello?” a stuttering female voice greets you.

“Hi, is this Dr. Alphys? My name is _____ _____, I’m calling about the monster maid position. You placed an ad in the paper?”

You hear something fall over and several objects bounce around as she scrambles.

“Whoa, are you okay?!” you ask, startled by the commotion.

“I-I-I’m f-fine!” she stammers anxiously. “I-I just… Uhh. We’ve h-had that posting open f-for months now. A-and, you’re the first to call! I’m just s-surprised!”

“Oh,” you mumble. So, it hasn’t been a very popular posting. “Well, I guess that’s good news for me, then!” you say cheerily, giving your fakest laugh. You’re really starting to have doubts about that sanity thing. What are you actually doing right now?

“R-right!” she agrees easily. “Wh-when would you like to, uh, in-in-interview?”

“I’m available as soon as a couple of hours from now,” you tell her, hoping you don’t sound too desperate. “If, uh, you’re eager to fill the position?” you offer. Great, make her sound desperate. Smooth.

“Th-that’s great!” she clamours excitedly.

“Where should we meet?” you ask. “Do you have an office, or…?”

“Oh! Uh-h, h-how about we meet at the house. That way, y-you can meet them!”

“That’s not a bad idea,” you smile. Might as well know who, or what, you’re going to be looking after. “What’s the address?”

You have to ask the gentle woman on the other end of the phone to repeat herself a couple times so that you can type it into a new text message on your phone, saving it as a draft. Then you try to quickly look it up on Google while you still have her on the line, and realize it’s across town. You could spend the morning begging for a bus ticket, or, you could swallow your pride for once.

“A-actually,” you attempt. “I don’t suppose I could ask for a ride? I just realized that the house is across town from me and I won’t make it in time. I, uh, don’t drive.” You wince at yourself. Playing the beggar sucks.

“Oh! S-sure, I guess! I don’t mind!” Alphys says. Maybe she is desperate.

You breathe, relieved. That wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be. “Are you near downtown? I live near the war memorial park,” you lie. “I can meet you along the road there?”

“Th-that’s no problem! I’ll see you th-there in two hours!”

Chapter Text

You’re thankful that the interview outfit that you picked up from the Sally Ann earlier this week is in such good shape. Who would throw away something like this? Maybe they outgrew it somehow? In any case, it’s a light grey women’s dress suit with a snug skirt that falls just above your knees, with a small slit in the back for movement. Your one lacy trim tank top can pass as a blouse, you figure, and it also serves the purpose to hide your modesty as the front of the suit jacket dips lower than you like.

There is a gym nearby that you’ve got a membership for thanks to your last birthday, and it’s still good the rest of the year, so you use their facilities for a shower and to freshen up. Taking a look at yourself in the mirror, you decide to recite your mantras to build yourself up, before either this crazy interview or a house full of monsters have any chance to tear you down.

“I am brilliant,” you say, staring down your reflection in the mirror, leaning on your fists against the faux granite counter in front of it. “I am intelligent. I am strong. I am wise. I am awesome and amazing. I can do anything I set my mind to. I am brilliant…”

Finally, the time comes that you need to head back to the park to meet Alphys. Someone pulls up in a smart car next to you, and you ignore it at first thinking it couldn’t be for you. But then you take a second look at who’s driving it.

A short, yellow, lizard? In a white lab coat with glasses.

… Dr. Alphys? Why did you assume she would be human? You could smack yourself for your stupidity right about now.

“H-hi there,” you greet when she opens her door and starts looking around. She startles when she turns to you, her cheeks turning pink as she realizes your attention is on her. “Are you Dr. Alphys?” you say shakily.

“Uh-uhmm, yes! Are you _____?” she greets.

“The one and only,” you smile, offering a hand.

She nervously takes it. Her scaly hands have softer, smoother pads, reminding you of the underside of a snake. Her fingers are stubby and short, and her hand is rather sweaty. Do non-monster lizards sweat? You file that question away to ask Google later.

“Uh, c-come on, let’s go!” she invites you to step inside her small energy efficient car.

It’s a few minutes in traffic to get out of downtown, and then a few more on the parkway to actually get to the house, so you fight your urge to stare out the window and lose yourself in your thoughts. This is a job interview, after all, and you need to make a good impression.

“So, um, how is life on the surface for you?” you ask cautiously.

“I-it’s alright,” the gentle lizard mumbles distractedly. But she doesn’t offer any other information.

You give the road ahead a faraway glance, slightly disappointed at the closed off answer. Then your gaze rests on a bobble head figurine affixed to her dash.

“Is that from Madoka Magicka?” you ask. It certainly looks like Madoka.

That got her to start talking.

And she kept talking.

A few minutes later you’re not even sure what’s coming out of her mouth can still be considered words.

Apparently she really likes anime, because you think you hear her mention a couple others you’ve heard about in passing. You catch on in the middle of the rambling that she’s a scientist working on dimensional transfers of matter, which is interesting to you, but you don’t get a chance to ask more about it. The few times you can get a response in, you can only manage to confirm whether you’ve heard of one show or not, before she starts up again.

She only manages to calm down once you’re pulling into a driveway in front of a house.

“W-we’re here!” she announces proudly.

You step out of the cramped car with your backpack in hand, slinging it over your shoulder and hoping your suit doesn’t wrinkle. The house is… Well, it’s not small, that’s for sure. Actually, maybe it’s a little bigger than your parents’ house. You idly wonder how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has. Taking a deep breath, you decide that if the monsters inside are anything like Alphys, then this is going to be okay.

Even if you might end up watching everything in her anime library on repeat. You wince at that.

Don’t panic, it’s a roof over your head, you tell yourself.

Fixing your skirt, you follow Alphys to the front door where she’s fumbling with an overloaded key ring in her sweaty claws. She seems to be having a lot of difficulty with how much her hands are shaking.

“May I be of some assistance?” you tease kindly. She looks up at you apprehensively, then nods.

“Th-this one,” she points to the key as she hands it over to you. “S-sorry, I get n-nervous.”

“I don’t mind in the least,” you smile, isolating the key and sliding it easily into the lock.

Monsters weren’t scary at all. If the short golden lizard was any indication, this gig would be a piece of cake.

Even if you had to clean a few toilets. And cook. Mental note: Learn how to cook.

“I-is anyone h-home?!” she calls out into the open house.

You take off your shoes and leave your bag next to them by the door, before looking up at the house’s interior. The livingroom was large, with a huge TV mounted on the wall, and shelves upon shelves of DVDs and CDs surrounding it on all sides. No speakers were visible, but you looked around at the corners of the room, and yup. Surround sound built right into the walls. Just like at home.

You hear footsteps coming from the hallway upstairs. Excited, loud, footsteps.

“IS IT THE HUMAN!?” an excited, male, voice calls out. You mentally brace yourself for whatever’s coming. It sounds like he’s descending the staircase next to you.

A skeleton. He’s about a foot shorter than you, wearing armour (Made out of cardboard??) and probably the largest blue handkerchief you’ve ever seen, tied around his neck like a collar or a cape. His eyes seem to twinkle at you as the small, blue lights in his sockets take you in. His face seems to go blue at the sight of you. Is that… A blush??

Once the spell has worn off, he stumbles down the stairs and you’re briefly worried he’s going to fall and hurt himself, but he manages to keep his balance on the way, falling into you in a hug as soon as he reaches the bottom.

“HUMAN!” he cries out joyfully. How old is this kid, anyway? “MY NAME IS SANS, BUT EVERYBODY CALLS ME BLUEBERRY! I’M SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU!! ARE YOU GOING TO LIVE WITH US?!”

“I haven’t even done my interview with your friend Alphys yet,” you chuckle, trying to find a way out of his iron grip around your waist. This kid was really strong. “Blueberry, do you mind letting me go for a few minutes?”

“OH. OKAY!” he quickly agrees, releasing you. “WOULD YOU LIKE A BEVERAGE OR A SNACK?”

“Actually, water would be great if you don’t mind,” you suggest.

He’s off like a shot to fulfill your request. You can’t help but chuckle at that. You thought you were the one considering to be the maid here.

“P-please, let’s sit in the livingroom to talk,” Dr. Alphys directs you, smiling to herself.

You nod, but wonder at what that smile was about. As soon as you sit down and introduce yourself properly to the gentle lizard monster, you hear more footsteps behind you. A pair of heavy ones, and a pair of normal ones. Suddenly, you’re flanked by more skeletons.

hot damn,” one of them says. You cautiously turn to look at him, and very unlike Blueberry, this one was larger than you, thickly set with one red glowing eye and sharp teeth. He’s wearing a white wife beater and black shorts with yellow stripes, his toes tucked into black house slippers. He sneers dangerously down at you. “berry didn’t tell us we got ourselves a looker,” he grins toothily.

“Don’t mind him,” the other skeleton reassures you, seemingly yawning and stretching- Oh god, did he just do the yawn and lean? Predictably, his arm wraps around your shoulders and pulls you slightly into himself, much to the other skeleton’s anguished dismay. He’s dressed in black skinny jeans and a white turtleneck sweater with a short leather jacket and fur-lined hood. You look over at him, the slender skeleton with cracked sockets regarding you with his mouth twisted up in a smirk. “Red’s terrible company.”

Carefully annexing his arm from you with a hand, you give him a suspicious look. “And you are?”

“Sans,” he answers casually. “But, you can call me G.”

“Sans again?” you blink, then glance over at the lecher on your other side. “Are you a Sans, too?”

lookit that, sexy and smart,” he chuckles darkly. Ugh a monster did not just call you sexy. “yup, we’re all sans here.

You look over at your potential employer, fretting with her scaly hands as if holding something very small and delicate. “Does this have something to do with that dimensional transfers thing you mentioned in the car?”

“Y-yes, actually!” she beams, pleased that you’ve caught on. “A-all of them are the same person, just d-different versions from different uni-universes.”

“And you all just… Hang out, and live in the same house together?”

“pretty much.”

You turn your head and, sure enough, there’s yet another skeleton behind the couch. His eyes are normal, you guess, white lights floating against the black of his sockets, and a large permagrin on his face. All you can see is his powder blue hoodie opened over a white t-shirt he’s wearing.

“Tell me more about this social study,” you lean forward and ask Alphys.

Chapter Text

“So, is this actually a social study, or some kind of elaborate porno?

Red guffaws loudly at your summary of the situation, while G just chuckles on the other side of you. Blueberry had finally returned with your water, but also brought you a plate of cookies and snacks too, just in case. They all looked store bought, so you wonder why it took him so long. He’d taken up residence on your lap though (And, really, you had a hard time saying no to the kid), sort of preventing you from indulging in any of them as they rest on an end table on the other side of Red, and you’re not about to ask him to grab one for you.

“Wh-what!?” Alphys blusters. “What do you mean?!”

“You asked for my age, which isn’t something that’s ever really appropriate to do in a job interview,” you highlight. “And, when I told you I was over eighteen, you then said that there would be cameras all over the house. A house, which is full of guys - Or rather, the same guy, just from different universes - Two of which have already hit on me.” You hold your hands out to either side of you, gesturing to both Red and G. Red seems to think that’s an invitation to hold hands, but when his warm and sweaty fingers grip yours you immediately pull away to deny him.

Blueberry turns in your lap with a worried expression. Shit, was using the word ‘porno’ in front of this young cinnamon roll an okay thing to do?

“uh,” the skeleton behind you stammers. “well, if you don’t want the job, you don’t have to take it,” he offers gently.

“That’s the real problem,” you sigh, falling back against the couch. “What do I call you? Blue? I don’t… Really have a lot of options right now.”

“Wh-what do you mean?” Alphys stammers.

“I mean… Uh, I don’t actually live near the park downtown,” you admit, scowling that you’re confessing your state to five strangers. “I’ve been sleeping in the park, and that bag,” you nod towards your weathered backpack by your shoes at the door. “Has everything I own in it. I got kicked out of my parents’ house about a week ago, and… I’ve been homeless ever since.”

“Oh my gosh!” she gasps.

“So, uh…” you mumble. “I’m sorry I lied. But… What do you think? I can do the job,” you offer anxiously.

“We’d love to have you here,” G pipes up, his long thin arms lazily draped over the back of the couch. But, not around you, at least. He was respecting that boundary, for now. “Right guys?”

YES!!” Blueberry bounces in your lap, and you try and hide a wince from his hard bones beating your legs. “I WANT YOU TO STAY HERE, HUMAN!”

“Please, call me _____,” you introduce again.

“Red? Blue? How about you guys?” G asks, continuing the vote.

You look up at Blue. “i’m good with it,” he shrugs.

yeah, we need more eye candy around here,” Red says lewdly. Did he seriously just lick his lips at that? And, does he seriously have a red glowing tongue? He’s a skeleton!

“It sounds like we’re all agreed,” G says with some finality. He shifts to sit up and removes his arms from the back of the couch, offering one to you in greeting. “_____, welcome home.”

Home. With a bunch of monster guys?

Well… Worse comes to worst, you can always quit when you get back on your feet, right?

“I WANT TO SHOW YOU TO YOUR ROOM!” Blueberry wiggles excitedly. He hops off your lap and grabs your hand in his, urgently leading you away. “COME ON COME ON COME ON!!”

“If I find a camera in there I’m going to break it!” you warn as you’re led away, casting a glance behind you at Alphys.

hah!” Red cackles.

“N-no cameras are in your bedroom, I promise!” she calls out. “C-common areas only!”

Your bedroom. In a house full of monster men. That’s a weird thought.

Blueberry stomps up the stairs triumphantly, then drags you to the door at the end of a long hallway. You count six other doors on your way to the one door facing you, which Blueberry fishes a key out of his pants to unlock. Good, at least it has a lock. Finding Red creeping on you in the middle of the night is about the last thing you wanted to be worried about. Once the lock clicks he swings it open.

“WHAT DO YOU THINK? I DECORATED IT MYSELF, MWEHEHEHEH!” he laughs confidently.

The walls are powder blue, and you notice the high ceiling has those stick on glow in the dark stars all over it. The bed is huge and the queen-sized mattress seems very full and plush, made with dark navy blue sheets to compliment the room. An assortment of stuffed animals and decorative pillows consume a third of the surface area. Off to one side of the room is a writing desk and a makeup vanity, side by side, and on the other side is… Two more doors? A walk in closet… And your own bathroom!?

“I love it,” you tell the darling child. “Good job, Blueberry,” you grin at him, patting his hard skull gently with a hand.

His face bluens again, small phalanges flustering at the compliment. “WOWZA. UHH. I’M-I’M GOING TO GO MAKE DINNER!” he panics, then runs off back downstairs.

“Shouldn’t I be doing that?!” you shout after him, raising an eyebrow. You did just sign up to be their live-in cook and housekeeper, after all. Well, you decide to peek behind each door, confirming that they are in fact your own walk-in closet and bathroom – with a Jacuzzi tub – before changing your clothes and running back downstairs after Blueberry. An excitable kid like that probably shouldn’t be using the stove on his own.

He’s making tacos, you figure out, from the vegetables and seasonings laid out on the counter beside him. You decide to take over cooking the meat when he goes to add some crazy spicy blend of seasonings to it.

“I’ll take over this part if you want to chop vegetables, okay?” you say, trying for a motherly tone. Cooking ground beef shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Face flushing bluely, he nods shyly as he goes to get a cutting board and knife.

“Can I help, too?”

You turn slightly to find a tall skeleton with one golden eye looking at you from his cracked sockets looming over you.

“Sure, I guess,” you shrug, hoping he continues to respect your boundaries. Even if he is a little… Close. “Hey, did Alphys leave? I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye,” you mumble, trying to change the subject as you poke at the lump of meat with a spatula.

“Yeah, sorry. The lab keeps her pretty busy,” he muses, smirking at your flushed expression.

“Why? Is she putting together more trans-dimensional hangout houses?”

G snickers at that as he opens and closes cupboards around you, still invading your bubble. “Something like that, I suppose,” he suggests. “She’s got a couple of Gasters helping her out with the exchange program.”

“Gasters?” you ask.

“Yeah,” he nods out of the corner of your eye. “Sorry, doll, hold still for a sec. I just remembered where it is,” he says, then stands immediately behind you, one of his arms going around your waist and holding you firmly against him.

Alarm bells ring in your mind at the extreme closeness. So much for boundaries. “G what the hell are you-“

Shh,” he whispers into your ear, warm breath brushing past your ear. Holy shit he’s close.

His other arm reaches up to slowly open the cupboard above your head, and withdraws a cheese grater. Very slowly, he sets it down on the counter next to you, then closes the cupboard. After lingering a moment longer, he tears his arm away, then turns to the fridge to get something.

“D-Do you mind!?” you hiss, trying to get the heat in your face to calm the hell down for a minute. “What the hell was that!?

The lanky skeleton seems to stiffen at your tone, turning back to you with a block of cheddar cheese clutched in his long fingers. His cracked expression might look a little guilty now.

“Sorry,” he mutters, though he doesn’t sound very sorry. He walks back over to the counter next to you and you immediately shuffle a foot away from him. Clearly noticing your discomfort, his shoulders seem to sag as he cuts off a block of cheese with a sharp knife through the plastic packaging, then unwraps it and starts working it against the grater. “Really, I’m sorry,” he says again, though maybe a little more sincerely.

“I can’t believe I actually signed up for this. What the hell is wrong with me?” you shake your head. “No more getting into my personal space, okay? I barely know any of you and you’re already trying to get fresh with me?”

He leans over towards you, and you shuffle to lean away. “I just noticed Red staring at us from the hallway,” he whispers discretely. “I don’t trust him, and thought if he saw me with you he’d back off.”

“So, you’re doing stuff like that to protect me from Red?” you ask, your own voice barely above a whisper.

G nods.

“Well…” you fumble. “Thanks, I guess? But, I’m sure I can handle him on my own,” you determine.

He frowns at that, but decides to let it drop. “In the cupboard above your head is a package of seasoning you may want to add to that before it burns,” he suggests.

“What?” Oh that’s right, you’re cooking! “Shoot,” you censor yourself, reaching up to look for it. It’s conveniently labelled taco seasoning. Tearing it open, you don’t even look at the instructions as you dump it into the pan, mixing it with the meat as best as you can.

“Don’t drain the fat – Just let it boil off,” he instructs further, amusement in his soft tone. “Otherwise you’re just dumping half of the spices.”

“Right. Thanks,” you mutter shyly.

“Do you… Actually know how to cook?” he chuckles.

“I can follow a recipe! It’s, uh, a work in progress, all right?” you hiss back defensively. Why’d you have to take the stove? Chopping vegetables would’ve been easier. Blueberry seems to have made quick work dicing the tomatoes and shredding the lettuce, though. He’s happily humming away at the other end of the long counter.

G grins broadly at that. “If you ever need any help, let me know alright? I’m no chef, but, I’m not terrible either.”

You can’t hide your blush as you mumble “Thanks.”

Chapter Text

The tacos are well-received by all four of the guys once dinner is ready, especially after they’re told that you were in charge of the meal and not Blueberry. Berry seems a little offended at that, but he’s also decided that you’re his new favourite ‘human’, so he doesn’t say anything negative, merely praises you on your culinary skills. If only he knew.

You decide to get a head start on your maid duties, washing all the dishes as soon as they hit the counter, and even having to fetch some from the livingroom where they don’t make it back. That was pretty much just Red and Blue’s faults. You sigh.

Collecting Red’s plate from the end table, you go to reach for his empty glass in his hand, but he stretches his arm holding it far behind his head. What now?

not so fast, toots. c’mere,” his abrasive voice is dripping with lust as he winks and beckons you towards himself. What, does he want a lap dance in exchange for a dirty glass? You cross your arms and stare him down, not wanting to indulge him.

He hisses and you look up to see the glass suddenly floating away from his hand. Floating? Blue seems to be guiding it gently with a hand towards you, and you clutch at the gravity-defying glass in surprise. Magic?

“don’t be rude, red. you really want to scare her off so soon?” Blue chastises him lazily. Red scowls angrily at the other skeleton.

“Thanks,” you nod towards the gentle skeleton.

“don’t worry about it,” he shrugs. “hey, you got a sec?”

“Sure?”

He joins you in the kitchen as you add the glass and plate to the soapy bath in the sink, gently scrubbing at the yellow mustard on the side, some of which had already dried and gone hard. Mustard, really? Red sure was a strange one. Blue decides to lean against the counter next to you.

“so…”

“So…” you mimic.

“heh. how’re you holding up?” he asks gently.

“Fine, I guess?” you answer. “This is all a bit weird to me, but, so far so good.”

“i wanted to ask you something,” he starts suddenly.

“Oh?” you reply over the running water, rinsing Red’s plate and then moving to work at his glass.

“what do you think of blueberry?”

“He’s a really sweet kid,” you smile lightly.

“kid? uh, no,” Blue corrects. “he’s an adult like the rest of us.”

You pause your washing. “Wait. Really?” you stammer, locking eyes with white skeleton irises.

“yeah.”

“How old is he?”

Blue grins. “somewhere between eighteen and thirty.”

“Hey, that’s my line from the interview,” you smirk.

He chuckles at that. “i know. thought it was pretty clever.”

“Geez, I let a grown man sit on my lap today. I thought he was just a kid,” you sigh. “What is it with you skeletons and getting physical, anyways? I didn’t think I’d be your type.”

“uh.”

You glance up and notice his cheekbones are dusted with cerulean blue. “Aw crap, not you, too!” you scowl, then hang your head.

“… sorry?” he tries. “i guess… i mean, you’re… uhh, we don’t get out that much,” he says finally.

“I don’t know what any of you guys are expecting, but I can’t date any of you. You know that right?” you declare, polishing the last glass and placing it in the drying rack, then draining the sink of soap suds. “How would the other two react if I started something with you? Or, with G, or, eugh, even with Red? It would just be awkward for everyone involved,” you add, fetching a drying rag from the drawer.

“what about blueberry?”

“What about Blueberry? He’s a harmless cinnamon roll, right?”

Blue’s eye lights twinkle mirthfully at you. “just watch yourself around him.”

You’re not sure you want to know what that means.

Chapter Text

* I survived my first night at the skeleton house, you text Alphys as you get ready for bed. Sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye, a blueberry kidnapped me.

* It’s okay!!! I’m glad everything is working out so well!! she enthusiastically texts back.

* I ’m sorry to dump my baggage on you guys like that. I AM going to work hard for this though, I want to prove that I ’m not just a bum looking for a place to crash.

* Oh, don’t worry!! No one thinks you’re a bum!! she enthusiastically reassures you.

* Thanks. Hey, so I guess I might be responsible for groceries shopping and other errands too, right? Is there something set up for that? I don’t really have my own money to use for that, you wince at yourself.

* G has a bank card, just ask him and it ’s yours!! Also, if you need to get anywhere, Blue has his own car. G can drive too, he also has a motorcycle he keeps in the shed out back.

A motorcycle? Why does that not surprise you?

* Thanks a million Alphys for trusting me with this, I won ’t let you down.

* Thank YOU for helping us and participating in the study!!!

You’d already almost forgotten that it was some kind of weird social study too. Sighing, you roll off your bed where you’d been cuddling with the plethora of plush toys Blueberry had laid out on your bed, deciding to find something to sleep in from the walk-in closet. Earlier you’d only glanced inside, but it seemed to be well-stocked with loose, comfortable clothes. You quietly thank their foresight that you’d otherwise have almost nothing to wear.

Tearing open the closet door, your lower lip falls away as you flush. This must be Red’s doing. When the hell did he get into your closet?!

Hanging up in the middle of the large walk-in was a single article of clothing - A peach silk lacy number that you’re sure would dip too low on your bust, and end too high for your butt. Groaning, you tear it off the hanger and throw it onto the massive bed behind you. You have a pair of pajama pants in your bag still, hopefully, that you can wear with it.

Right then there’s a knock at the door. “Who’s there?” you call out.

“THE MOST MAGNIFICENT SANS, OF COURSE!” Berry’s unmistakable enthusiasm replies.

You walk over to the door and unlock it. Berry’s standing there with a book and a plush sloth hanging from his arms as he looks up at you with an adorably pleading expression.

“I WANTED TO ASK IF YOU WOULD READ ME CUDDLY KITTY BEFORE BED?” he asks innocently.

It’s kind of weird to be asked that by someone roughly your own age, but he honestly barely looks it. He’s dressed for bed, wearing only his over-large blue kerchief and an ivory onesie adorned with pictures of bicycles with blue, green, and yellow frames. His blue eye lights twinkle at you from their dark sockets.

“… Sure, Blueberry. Just give me a minute to get changed for bed. Which room is yours?”

“IT’S THE ONE AT THE OTHER END ON THE RIGHT!” he exclaims, excited you’ve agreed to read his book for him. “MWEHEHEHEH! I’LL BE WAITING!”

Unable to resist his adorableness, you smile at him and pat his head gently before closing the door to get dressed. You decide to leave your bra on for modesty reasons – This nightgown-thing is way too sheer - And fortunately there is still a pair of pajama pants in your bag, which is seemingly untouched.

Once dressed, you head down the hall to Blueberry’s room. He said the one on the right… Right? It’d be too awkward to walk in on any of the other Sans wearing this thing.

“W-WOWZA.” Blueberry comments when you walk in. You sigh softly to yourself. Well, that’s four out of four.

He’s already nestled into his bed, covers pulled up to his chin. His room looks very much like a child’s, full of toys and games, though is surprisingly tidy and orderly. It’s currently lit up by one of those globe nightlights that plot out constellations of stars with points of light. Blueberry shuffles his feet excitedly under his quilt as you locate the book sitting on the short stool next to his bedside. Picking it up and seating yourself, you click on his bedside lamp next to you and start to read him the story.

“Cuddly Kitty Goes to Sleep,” you read the cover aloud, then show it to him. He grins broadly in the dim lighting. Opening the cover you note the author’s name, planning on looking them up later.

“Cuddly Kitty loves to sleep,” you emphasize as you begin to read, eliciting a giggle from the child-like skeleton. “But cuddly kitty has a lot to do before he goes to bed. Do you know what they are?”

You hold up and turn the book to Berry, so he can look at the picture of the fluffy kitten yawning.

“I KNOW! I KNOW!” he beams excitedly.

“Well, I don’t, so don’t spoil it for me, alright?” you scold teasingly. He nods, pressing his weird bony lips tightly together. Turning the page, you continue. “Cuddly kitty has to put on his pajamas. Did you put on your pajamas for bed?” He pulls at one of his sleeves to prove it to you. “Good job,” you commend him.

“Cuddly kitty needs to brush his teeth. Did you brush your teeth before bed?” Do magic skeletons actually need to? Nevertheless, Berry is insistent on grinning and pointing at his teeth for you. “Looks good!” you chuckle.

The story continues like that for a while it seems, but he dozes off after the next couple of pages. You were wondering at that. The short skeleton seems to be bursting with energy at all times, it was odd to actually see him go still and quiet, snoring adorably with his sloth cuddled up next to his face.

You click the bedside lamp off, then very slowly and carefully get off the stool and close the book to leave it where you found it. Tip-toeing out of his room, you close his door softly behind you, though he doesn’t seem to stir in the slightest. Maybe all that enthusiasm during the day made him a heavy sleeper at night.

aww,” comes a familiar, grating voice behind you, as soon as the door clicks closed. You hang your shoulders in defeat. “where’d you get those pants? i was hoping for more of a show.

“What did you do with all my clothes, jackass?” you turn to see Red leaning against his door in a house coat, sternum and surrounding ribs visible as he’s tied it low.

you don’t need anything more than that, sugar,” he regards you wolfishly, red eye raking your body.

“You didn’t answer my question.”

i threw ‘em all in the laundry,” he shrugs. “they were all dirty.

“Is that so?” you challenge.

The confident skeleton takes a step towards you, gripping the lace at the bottom of the silken gown before you can swat his arm away. “if you want… we can get this one dirty, too,” he says suggestively.

You angrily grab him by the front of his housecoat and shove him against the wall behind him, his eye sockets flying open in surprise at your sudden aggression. “Let’s get one thing straight asshole; Just because my shit’s all fucked up right now? Doesn’t mean I’m not willing to just walk the fuck out of here,” you hiss at him. “You either learn to keep your hands and lewd suggestions to yourself, or I’m just going to pack up and leave. Is that what you want?!”

no,” he stammers. Is he sweating? Red droplets seem to be forming on the top of his skull, trickling down the sides by his ear holes.

“Good.” You push away from him, and faintly hope that whole fiasco didn’t wake up the precious sleeping Berry in the room behind you. “Then cut it out with your bullshit and leave me the fuck alone.”

You turn on your heel to march towards your bedroom, closing the door harder than you mean to, clicking the lock into place.

“geez. she’s going to give you a bad time, red,” Blue says, suddenly appearing next to the shark-toothed skeleton in the hallway. “you better watch out.”

heh. lucky me,” Red grins deviously. “i like ‘em feisty.

“don’t do anything to make her leave,” Blue warns.

Red scoffs at the threat. “don’t worry about it, blue. i have other ways i can have my fun.

“do me a favour and spare me the details. night, red.”

whatever.

Chapter Text

You survived a single day catering to four skeleton dudes who all have the hots for you. Some more belligerent about it than others. Ugh.

Well, at least the top Red left for you was rather comfy. Your weathered pajama pants, however, were not. It almost makes you tempted to ask where he got it. Almost. No way you’d actually do it though, that would just indulge him way too much.

It’s hard to roll out of the insanely comfortable bed, you think, but you eventually manage it anyways. You head over to the closet and throw it open to find…

A sexy maid’s outfit.

Goddamnit Red.

Still dressed in your pajamas, you tear it off the hanger and unlock your bedroom, storming down the hall. Somebody snores like a broken chainsaw. Slamming on his door three times, you hear the snoring stop. Must be him, then. You hear a moan, then shuffling as he gets out of bed, heavy footfalls coming to the door. Finally, he unlocks and opens it, rubbing at his empty socket tiredly. You immediately try to ignore that the only thing he’s wearing is a pair of red silk boxer shorts. His demeanor instantly brightens when he realizes it’s you, and he grins.

hey, mornin’ sweetchee-

You hold the maid outfit up for him to see. “Seriously!?” you demand.

well,” he chuckles. “i figured-

Strike two,” you hiss, throwing it at him. “One more and I’m gone.”

alright already, don’t get your panties in a twist,” he surrenders after catching the lewd costume, hands up and everything. “your new shit’s all in the basement laundry room. you’ll have to cut through g’s room to get to it, but he doesn’t care.

Finally.” You jog down the stairs to the basement door you saw yesterday.

G’s room is apparently a large part of the basement, and you can’t help but gawk at some of the stuff he has. He seems to be a man of many talents, both musically and artistically. There are several guitars organized in stands next to a stack of amplifiers, an easel with a half-finished painting on canvas resting on it, with a workbench next to it cluttered with various acrylic paints and brushes. There’s even a piano tucked into one corner, and you wonder whether he’s any good.

G himself is sleeping on a fold-out couch, his bare skeleton upper body exposed from the black sheets as he rests quietly on his back. You wonder if he’s even breathing. Do skeletons even need to breathe?

Curiosity getting the better of you, you tiptoe over to the snoozing skeleton. He actually looks completely still. Oh crap, is he okay? He looks… Dead.

Then again… Skeleton. You decide to try and shake him awake anyways, just to be sure. Reaching a hand towards his arm carefully, you grip his ivory bone gently. It’s surprisingly warm. “Uh, G-“

Before you can finish your thought, you shriek as he shoots upright and pulls you into the bed with him, pinning you with his hands and body.

“Got you,” he grins. “Know what a skeleton’s favourite game is?” he asks. A bit stunned, you shake your head no. “We like to play dead.”

You groan at the joke. “G, what the crap?! Let me go already! What did I tell you about personal space?!”

He removes his hands and sits up. “Sorry beautiful. I just couldn’t resist.”

“Ugh. Where is the laundry room from here?” you ask, sitting up on the bed yourself.

He jerks a thumb at a doorway behind him. “Why? You need clothes?”

“Uh, yeah. Red stole all of them. He seems to want to dress me up like a slutty doll,” you hiss in annoyance.

“But, you should have something in your closet for today, right?”

You cast a suspicious glance at the skeleton, his cheekbones betraying him with a yellow blush. “OH MY GOD!” you swat at him as he giggles. “I just gave Red shit for that, you jerkoff!

“Oops,” he grins, clearly not very sorry for his heinous actions. “I tried to find something tasteful, at least. Plus, you kind of are our maid, right? So, it suits you.”

“GUH!!” you stand from the bed. “Get yourself dressed and help me haul my things upstairs, alright? I need to apologize to that red-eyed asshole.”

“Sorry,” G mumbles guiltily, reaching towards the end of the bed for his shirt and jeans. “I’ll get dressed and be right there.”

“Thank you.”

Turning the corner he gestured to, you find the laundry room. It seems all of your closet organizer bins came down with everything, though they’re all thrown into a big messy pile. You wonder how the hell you’re going to haul all this stuff upstairs, even with G’s help.

“Don’t worry about it,” he says, now dressed, entering the room behind you.

“But… This is a LOT of stuff to haul!” you protest, looking up at him.

He winks a socket at you, golden eye gleaming for just a moment. “Look again,” he hooks his chin towards the pile.

You turn and… All of its gone.

“… Magic?” you ask.

“You catch on quick,” he says lightly. “Yeah, I teleported everything back into your closet.”

“Damn, that’s really convenient,” you admit. “Alright,” you say, gripping his shirt and tugging him along behind you. “Let’s go upstairs and find Red.”

Red’s lounging on the couch in his black housecoat watching the morning news. His eye flicks over to see you coming upstairs with G’s shirt gripped in your hands. His mood seems to darken at that.

“Red, I wanted to apologize for this morning,” you begin, releasing G from your grasp. “As it turns out, G was the one who got into my closet this time. So, sorry about flipping out on you first thing.”

heh. nice job, g,” he comments giddily. “you’ve got an eye for style. hey, hotstuff - does this mean i’ve only got one strike against me now?” he asks.

You roll your eyes and groan. “Yeah, I guess I ought to take that back.”

sweet,” he chuckles. “now i’ve got to figure out how to best burn it. hmmm.

You gape. “That’s NOT how it’s supposed to work, damnit!”

hey, are you going to make breakfast today or what?” he counters.

Oh, right. Shit. “Well, what would you like?” you ask.

shit, i dunno. just make a bunch of scrambled eggs or something,” he shrugs. “we’ll eat anything put in front of us, heh,” he says, winking at you.

“Alright,” you nod, turning back to the kitchen. Where did G go, anyway? He was right behind you.

anything,” Red emphasizes. You spare him a glance to see him waggling his brow bones at you, red glowing tongue hanging out of his mouth.

“Yeah yeah, I caught your innuendo the first time, ass.”

Okay, how to make scrambled eggs? You’d run upstairs and grab your phone for Google’s help, if it didn’t mean passing through the livingroom with Red again, that is. Or admitting that you didn’t actually know how to make scrambled eggs. That should be a pretty basic dish, right? Just how pathetic are you at this whole homemaker thing?

Well, it’s not hard to guess that it contains eggs and involves a frying pan, right? You decide to fish those out of their hiding places in the fridge and cupboard respectively. Setting down the pan on the stove, you go to set down the egg carton next, nearly dropping it on the floor when a random Blueberry appears and hugs you tightly around your waist. “GOOD MORNING HUMAN!!” Berry cheers enthusiastically. “ARE YOU PREPARING BREAKFAST?”

“Uh yeah, sort of. Did you want to help?” you offer.

His eyes shine in their sockets. “REALLY!? YES! I WILL HELP YOU, HUMAN!”

“Please call me by my name, _____,” you smile.

“OKAY _____! HOW MAY I BE OF ASSISTANCE?”

“Well...” you hum, wondering if you should ask. “I was going to make scrambled eggs,” you finally say. “Do you want to take over that for me, and I’ll start on something else?”

“YES! I, CULINARY ARTIST SANS, WILL PREPARE THE SCRAMBLED EGGS!” he poses proudly.

“Awesome,” you beam. Then you realize you don’t actually know what else to make. Shit.

Rummaging through the cupboards, you find half a bag of bread. You can make toast, right? Awesome. Toast is even easier than scrambled eggs. You spare a glance over at Blueberry as he attacks the cooking eggs with a spatula. He pours a dash of milk from the carton into the pan, you notice, then constantly moves them around. Is it really that easy? You can try it yourself tomorrow.

Dropping four slices of bread into the four slot toaster, you press it down. What else can you make? Do they have bacon? You check the fridge. Eureka. There is bacon.

Not sure how much guys eat, you decide to just grab a second pan and join Berry at the stove, pulling the contents of the entire package into it.

“WOWZA! THAT’S A LOT OF BACON!” Berry comments. You can’t find another clean spatula, but there’s a pair of tongs that actually seems to work better for turning them over.

“I figure, four hungry guys plus myself, we’ll probably eat it all, right?” you shrug. “Hey, is there anything else you’d like to eat this morning?” you ask.

“HMM,” Blueberry considers. “OH! WHAT ABOUT WAFFLES? I LOVE WAFFLES!”

Waffles for Blueberry it is. You open the freezer door and find a box of – you guessed it – blueberry waffles. The toast from earlier pops up, slightly darker in shade than you’d intended, so you bring the box of waffles with you as well as a tub of butter from the fridge. Removing the toast onto a plate, you press down four waffles into the toaster as you butter the bread. Berry seems to be done with the scrambled eggs by now, as he lifts the pan to scrape them onto a serving platter.

“WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO TAKE OVER MAKING THE BACON AS WELL, _____?”

“Yeah, that’d be awesome Blueberry, thanks!”

After buttering the toast, you slice it lengthwise and set it on another small plate. It’s a good thing they have so many dishes, you think. But it’s also going to be a lot to clean up for you. Well, this is what you signed up for, after all.

Blueberry gets chattier as he wakes up, and you go back and forth on plans for the day while you finish cooking together. He seems to want to monopolize your time watching movies, playing games, and going to the park, but you remind him that you have a lot of cleaning to do around the house still. Not that you’ve ever actually cleaned a house on your own before, let alone one this big. You decide to find some sort of checklist online that housekeepers use as your own guide. That seems like a good starting point.

Once the rest of the toast is done, you set it out with the other breakfast foods on the island. Waffles, toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon. It doesn’t look complete.

“Hmm,” you hum.

“IS SOMETHING WRONG?”

“Hang on a sec, Berry,” you hold up a finger as if to pause him. Opening the fridge you try and find something to complete this breakfast, and your eyes spy a bag of grapes in a crisper drawer. “YES!” you exclaim. You pop one in your mouth experimentally. They’re fresh. “Hey, do you want to pull these off their stems and rinse them in that strainer thing I saw earlier?”

“THE COLANDER?”

“Yeah, that thing.”

While he does that, you grab the cheddar cheese and start slicing it into bite size squares. Once you’re both done, you arrange it all nicely on a plate. A cheese and grapes plate. Just like at those stupid fancy wine tasting parties your mom would drag you to. Perfect.

“Food’s ready everyone!” you call out to the house.

The other three skeletons – Red, Blue, and G – all appear from their various hiding places to assess the food situation. Red immediately starts loading up his plate, while Blue and G patiently wait their turns. G looks up at you curiously.

“Hey, I don’t smell coffee.”

Oh shit oh shit oh shit!! He wanted coffee? You have no idea how to make coffee!

The panic must be evident on your face, as he sets his plate down and heads over to you. You notice a hand on your lower back as he walks you towards the coffee maker.

“Hey, it’s alright,” he says in a whisper. “I know you’re new at this, but you might want to learn for tomorrow,” he reassures.

“Yes,” you fumble, nodding furiously. “Teach me how to make coffee.”

He chuckles at that, opening the cupboard above the coffee maker and withdrawing some liners and coffee grinds. He opens the lid of the coffee machine, withdrawing an old liner full of soggy brown grinds, then tucks the fresh one in. Opening the can he withdraws a scoop, then holds it up to you. "Four of these is what I like, don't bother levelling it off, either," he instructs, scooping the grounds into the filter paper messily. "Then, you just need to add water to boil." He takes the glass coffee pot off the machine, fills it with water from the sink, then gently pours it in the back reservoir. "Finally, you just plug it in and turn it on."

Could it really be so simple? "Thanks, G. I owe you one," you sigh.

"Oh?" he says, leaning in closer. Okay, the hand on your back was initially comforting, sort of, but now you're realizing he's in your personal space again, and you don't like that look on his face.

"... I just set myself up for something I'm not going to like, didn't I?" you groan.

"Heh, don't worry. I'm not Red," he smirks. "I was just thinking..."

"... It's the costume, isn’t it? You want me to wear the costume."

His cheeks stain yellow at that. "I agree that that wasn't very... Tactful, on my part. But, I wanted to ask you if I could paint you wearing it."

You blink in surprise. "Paint me?"

"I've never had a human subject before," he sighs gently. "Least of all one as cute as you are," he grins.

You take a step back from the skeleton giving you bedroom eyes. "Let me just think about it, alright? I need to get some breakfast too."

You turn back to the breakfast spread, quickly realizing that the other three skeletons had demolished most of the food. Including every morsel on the grape and cheese tray. Well, at least it was a hit. There was maybe just enough bacon, eggs, and toast left for G. Note to self: Make more at mealtimes. In the meantime, you decide to just toast a couple more waffles for yourself before washing all of the dishes again.

Chapter Text

The doorbell rings as you’re rinsing off the last of the dishes. Looking around, it doesn’t seem like anyone’s going to get up and get it. Sighing, you set it in the rack and dry off your hands as it rings again, then you rush over to the door to answer it before whoever it is on the other side of it leaves.

… Oh, great. More Sans-es.

“Uhh, m-morning!” Alphys greets, two skeletons standing idly behind her. “W-we’ve got two new arrivals. D-did you get my text last night?” She sent a text? You guess she’s not referring to your brief conversation before you went to read Berry his story, huh?

“I might’ve missed it, actually,” you shrug, studying the two new house guests.

One is wearing a blue hoodie pulled up over his head and baggy black sweat pants, similar to Blue’s shorts with a white stripe on either side running down the length. His hood is pulled up over his skull and he fidgets his hands in the pockets of the thin fabric. The other Sans is also wearing a hood, but black, and it flares out into a tattered dramatic cape over the rest of his all-black attire. The one in blue glances up at you briefly before shyly looking away, while the other one just stares at you. And grins.

Note to self: Make a lot more at mealtimes, now that there are two more stomachs to feed. Err, well, missing organs notwithstanding, the boys were hungry.

“Hi there,” you greet, offering a hand to the one in black.

He looks at your outstretched hand, then he laughs. What’s so funny? You wince as he snatches your hand in his ice cold phalanges. “you’re lucky i can’t kill with a mere touch in this universe, mortal,” he grins. His hissing voice has a weird ethereal reverb to it, and all you can feel in the air around him is a cold chill. You wrench your hand away as if he’s about to bite it off. “call me reaper.

Well, that’s creepy as all hell. “Okay… Hi Reaper, I’m _____. Nice to meet you,” you mumble half-heartedly. Craning your neck slightly, you regard the other skeleton. “How about you back there?”

His shoulders shrink inwards as he uncomfortably shuffles his feet.

“H-he doesn’t talk much,” Alphys stammers on his behalf. “Y-you can call him D-Dance, though.”

Dance it is, then. “Well,” you hum. “Why don’t you both come inside and make yourselves at home?” you offer, stepping out of the way so they can get past you. Reaper struts confidently into the house first, while Dance follows meekly behind.

“U-uhh, seems like everything is g-going okay?” the lizard doctor attempts.

“Sort of,” you shrug. “We’re all still just figuring each other out, I think.”

“Th-that’s good!” she beams up at you. “A-are you b-busy today?”

“Pretty busy, actually,” you guess. Although you don’t yet have a game plan yet, making one was your highest priority now that you’re done with dishes. “Why, what’s up?”

“I-I was wondering if y-you would like to t-talk over lunch?” she stutters nervously. “Th-there’s a few things I want to g-go over with y-you.”

“Oh, sure, that’s not a bad idea,” you agree easily. “Although… Do you think leaving the six of them alone is a good idea?” you ask, jerking a thumb behind you.

who the fuck is this asshole?” As if on cue, it sounds like Red’s decided to pick a fight.

sup. i’m reaper,” the black clad caped skeleton greets easily.

i don’t give a fuck who you think you are. you’re on my turf,” Red threatens. “and i’m going to beat that stupid grin off your ugly mug!

Reaper says nothing to the aggression, just grins even more broadly, reminding you of the Cheshire cat.

Red!” you call out. “Do you really want to waste your second strike on picking a fight with a newcomer?” you threaten, rolling your eyes.

Red’s eye looks up at you in surprise that you’d actually dare to get involved, but his sockets soften at the interruption. Reaper turns around to stare eerily at you again, grinning broadly.

intriguing,” his creepy voice hums delightedly.

don’t get any funny ideas about her, you freakin’ cape wearinweirdo,” Red scorns.

“St-strikes?” Alphys interrupts the standoff curiously.

“I had to find some way to set boundaries with Red,” you huff. “Three strikes? I’m out. Just like baseball, or something.”

“I-I see!” she smiles with understanding. “W-well, I’ll let you handle things for now, th-then I will come by to pick you up in a couple of hours for lunch, okay?”

“Sounds good Alphys, I’ll see you then!”

After saying your goodbyes, you close the door behind her and turn to find Red and Reaper staring each other down again. Red with a furious expression, while Reaper holds a more calm and amused look. Dance is wandering around the room, hands still stuffed in his pockets, just looking at various things, like the big TV showing the comedy channel, the shelves upon shelves of DVDs, and some other little trinkets you hadn’t really taken the time to notice before. Aw crap, are you going to have to dust those tiny things?

“Hey Reaper, Dance,” you address them hoping to get their attention. “Do you guys want to claim a bedroom or something? I don’t really know how this works, but I think there’s an empty room or two upstairs, plus a couple more in the basement where G hangs out.”

a basement, huh? sounds like fun,” Reaper says hauntingly. “i’ll show myself downstairs.” His pitch black cape seems to envelop his body, then fades away into nothing as he disappears. Well, that was a bit over-dramatic.

“Hokay they,” you grumble. “Hey Dance, how about you?”

He stands on the toes of one foot, leaning it in a couple different directions to stretch and pop his bony ankles in his sneakers. Quickly, he nods upwards, towards the second floor.

“You got it, Dance,” you smile. “Let’s go find you a new room.”

You offer a hand and he shyly removes one of his from a pocket to take it. You can feel Red’s eye boring into you as if you’ve somehow offended him by being pleasant to the silent skeleton. Fortunately, this time he’s left without anything to say.

It turns out there’s just one available bedroom left on the floor upstairs, and it’s immediately to the right of yours. The other remaining two doors in the hall are actually a linen closet and a full bathroom. That makes for two full bathrooms on the second floor, counting the one branching off of your bedroom.

Well, you did sign up for this, a less-cynical voice reminds you at the back of your mind.

Dance steps in and surveys the room in quiet curiosity, idly letting go of your hand to shove it into the depths of his hoodie. Suddenly, he kicks off from the ground and throws himself to land on the bed in a complex tumble manoeuvre. His legs helicopter above his head as he twists to right himself in a sitting positon with his knees bent, one in front of his chest and the other leg perpendicular to it, resting on the bed. His hands never once left his hoodie’s pockets.

Whoa,” you marvel at the quick motion. “That was a pretty cool move!” So that must be why he’s called Dance.

His hood has slid off his skull and he’s smiling shyly up at you. And he’s blushing. Five out of six skeletons have a crush on you now. You wonder if you just have that effect on guys, or if them all being different versions of the same person might have something to do with it.

“Well, I’m sorry I can’t stick around to help you settle in, but I’ve got to get some work done, okay Dance?”

He frowns slightly at that, but nods his understanding.

“Thanks, dude! If you need anything, my room is right next door, alright?”

Another quiet nod. He gets up off the bed to survey more of the room, hands still firmly in his pockets, as you step away into your own.

Chapter Text

The small desk in your bedroom has a laptop computer on it this time, and you wonder how it got there. Well, with the door being locked most of the time, it's not actually that hard to figure out how, so the question is really who.

Booting up the computer, it signs right in. The desktop is littered with icons for games - puzzle games, adventure games, science games and more. You suspect a certain Blueberry might’ve left this here for you. Well, at least it'll help you figure out your new schedule. You open up a browser and a word processor.

… There's no Internet connection. Isn't there wifi? Who doesn't have wifi?!

Sighing, you stand and get your cellphone off of your nightstand. At least you still have data you can tap into for your research. You’ll just have to use the computer for typing and planning for now.

It takes about an hour to get all the information you think you need, and to work out a cleaning schedule for yourself. You decide to also look up some recipes for pancakes, breakfast muffins, crepes, and even some dinner dishes, hoping that you’ll have enough ingredients on hand for some of them come dinner time. You don’t actually know everything that’s in the kitchen cupboards right now as you haven’t really taken an inventory, you just keep getting lucky. Speaking of which, do you have burgers and hot dogs on hand? That would make for a relatively easy lunch for them before leaving to chat with Alphys.

You decide to head downstairs and check it out. As if having read your mind, you find G out on the back patio, grilling some burgers and hot dogs. Well, that answers that question. He’s taken off his shirt and has an unlit cigarette clenched between his teeth as he hums a soft tune. He really is just bones, after all. You can see straight through the narrow openings in his rib cage.

“Beat me to it, I guess,” you say, leaning against the doorway to the patio.

He seems to startle, plucking the cigarette from his mouth and shoving it in his pocket before turning to you, cheekbones blushing golden. “Just thought I’d get lunch started,” he smiles easily.

“It’s alright. And thanks,” you shrug. “I know I’ve been kind of incompetent these last twenty-four hours.”

Not incompetent,” he shakes his head. “Inexperienced, maybe?”

“Yeah,” you say, letting out a relaxed sigh. “I went and made a cleaning schedule for myself, but uh… Do you know if I’ll have to clean your bedrooms?” you wince.

He shakes his head quickly. “No, you’re not responsible for that. Just all the common areas I think.”

Good. Because I’m not interested in seeing the inside of Red’s under any circumstances.”

G laughs openly at that. It’s a nice, handsome laugh, which twists your stomach into knots. “I think a lot of people share that opinion,” he notes.

“I guess I ought to chop up some veggies and get some condiments out for lunch, huh?” you offer.

“That’d help,” he smiles down at you gently. “Thanks.”

Rounding the corner back into the house you return to the kitchen, slapping your heated cheeks a couple times and internally ordering the butterflies in your stomach to settle the hell down. What’s gotten into you today?

And, were you actually considering the maid outfit? You hate dressing up, it reminds you of your parents and makes you feel like an object… But, you’d never been painted before. It might be really cool to have a portrait actually painted of you.

Something about the tall, lanky skeleton, is attractive to you, though, if your physical and mental state are any indication.

Shaking your head furiously, you try again to compose yourself and head for the fridge. Grabbing the lettuce, tomatoes, a red onion, and even the jar of pickles hidden at the very back, you bring them over to a cutting board on the counter to chop through them for lunch. After rinsing the lettuce you get tired of trying to chop the wet vegetable with a knife, so you resort to just tearing it with your hands. Hey, that actually seems to work better.

With the vegetables chopped and laid out, you find all the condiments in the fridge and set those out too. You wonder if G’s got enough burgers and hot dogs on the grill for all of them. At least you don’t have to think about your own stomach this time.

He comes in after a couple more minutes with a serving platter loaded with food. Okay, maybe that’s enough. Smiling at you, he sets it down next to your own efforts.

“Lunch is ready!” you call out into the house.

While the skeletons dig in to the provided meal, you decide to head upstairs and get changed to go out in public. The clothes that G teleported back upstairs for you are still in a messy pile, but you forgive him for that quickly. Red was the one who threw them in a big messy pile in the first place, so it’s not like he’d know where anything went.

Neither did you, actually, but you resolve to tidy it up later. You don’t want to keep Alphys waiting.

Dressed and ready to be seen in public, you lock your door and head downstairs. Red, Blue, and Reaper are lined up on the couch watching a show. You think the seating order might be deliberate to keep Red and Reaper from antagonizing each other – Blue seemed like the sanest dude here, and maybe a bit of a peacekeeper? Dance is off in a lounger with a Walkman he found, headphones resting on his ear holes as his eyes are closed, nodding and jerking a foot with the beat of the music only he can enjoy. Finally, Blueberry and G are having a rousing game of chess off by the big window in the sunlight.

“Alright guys,” you address them, turning a couple of heads. “I’m heading out for lunch with Alphys, so I’ll see you guys in a bit. I want to see the house in one piece when I get back, okay?”

“YOU’RE LEAVING!?” Blueberry bemoans, scrambling out of his seat to run over to you. His strong arms hug you around your waist as he looks up at you, face flushed blue with a pleading expression. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice G moving some pieces around on the board. He catches your gaze and winks at you, smirking.

You give him a scolding glare, then look down at Blueberry, softening at his child-like innocence. “I’m coming back, don’t worry,” you promise. Feeling a little impulsive, and thinking it might help make him feel better, you lean down and give him a quick friendly kiss on the top of his head.

His expression freezes in shock as he slowly stumbles backwards, blue gloved hands moving to the spot your lips touched him as he mumbles softly. His face has turned completely cerulean as he flusters. Ah crap, you broke the cinnamon roll.

Red immediately gets off the couch and heads over to you, leaning against the wall as the tall, thickly-set predator towers over you. “hey sweetness, if you’re giving berry sugar, it’s only fair i get some action too,” the skeleton grins hungrily down at you.

You sigh, realizing that you should’ve seen this coming. Folding your arms defensively, an idea crosses your mind. “Say please,” you demand.

what?

“You heard me, Red. Be polite, and say please.”

and then you’ll mack on me too?

“And then you might get something you’ll like.” Ugh, that sounded way more suggestive than you wanted it to. Nevertheless, if you could use this to get him to be less… Rude and indignant, then maybe it was worth giving it a shot?

The red-eyed skeleton straightens, his lips twisting pensively around his rows of sharp teeth. He seems to actually be considering it. The other four skeletons are watching with rapt attention (Dance is the exception, still firmly off in his own world), wondering how this is going to go down. You’re mostly just worried you can’t actually tame this giant of a man, and might get eaten whole.

with tongue?” he asks brightly.

“Ew, no,” you instantly reject.

fine. can i get a kiss too, please?

May I,” you correct.

may i please get a kiss?” he grumbles.

Grinning, you beckon him forward with a finger. His face goes cherry red and you think he might be sweating again, shuffling his feet slightly as he closes his eye sockets and leans his face in towards yours. You let him think that you’re going to kiss him on the mouth, just for a second, before darting around and leaving a quick peck on his cheek bone.

Red’s sockets dart open, looking a little bewildered and confused. Well, that’s better than surly and aggressive, considering he didn’t get what he was clearly expecting from you.

wow. i didn’t think she’d actually do it,” you hear Blue mutter from the couch nearby.

hot damn,” Red stumbles, taking a step backwards. His face is his namesake right now, a broad smile pulling fiercely at the corners of his flexible bone mouth as he touches his cheek. “heh. i’m headin’ upstairs for a bit, boys.

Oh god, now you’ve done it. You didn’t really want to be the subject of Red’s masturbatory fantasies. Gross. Wait. Do skeletons even have di- NO, WAIT! Arggghhh too late, you thought about it.

ugh,” Blue groans disgustedly.

G’s staring at you with a shocked expression. Oh crap, he’s not jealous is he?

Blueberry’s busy correcting the pieces on the chess board, so he hasn’t turned around to even see your antics with Red just now.

Dance’s eyes have opened, his foot’s stopped moving, and he’s also just staring, a blue blush lighting up his face.

Reaper’s also staring, but he’s just grinning broadly. When your eyes meet his, he just gives you a slight admiring nod, as if to say ‘well done’.

Alphys’ car beeps outside, and you startle as you realize that you’re keeping her waiting.

“Uhm, s-see you guys later!” you wave, hoping you’re not too flustered from your own crazy antics. Opening the door in a hurry you nearly crash right into G. “What the hell?” Wasn’t he just inside?

Oh right, monster magic. Damnit.

“I was wondering when I’d get a kiss, too,” the lanky skeleton grins playfully down at you.

“You know I only did that to pacify Blueberry and Red while I’m away from the house, right?” you scoff. “At this rate though, I’m going to have you guys start taking numbers.”

Well,” he blushes, leaning in as you feel his hand on the small of your back again. “Seems it’s only fair, right?”

Eye sockets closed, he leans down and his mouth moves in towards yours. Acting quickly, you hold up a finger to block his lips from reaching their destination. Eyes still closed, he lets out a sigh of defeat before opening them to look at you.

“Boundaries, G,” you remind him. “But… If you’re good, and you help keep the peace while I’m gone? Maybe I’ll do something else for you,” you offer.

His sockets widen in delight as his golden left eye shines at you, straightening his posture as he smiles. “… Alright.” He seems interested in finding out what that is.

“Awesome. Thanks, G,” you beam even as you extricate his hand from your back.

Alphys beeps her horn at you again, startling you and causing you to dash off. Then, thinking ‘why the hell not’, you quickly jog back to G before he can re-enter the house by the front door, and give him a quick peck on the cheek. He startles and flusters, bringing a hand to his face as you scurry back to the car.

You let yourself into the passenger door of the smart car, quickly closing it and buckling almost in one motion. “Sorry that took so long, I’m ready!” you exclaim.

The shy lizard’s hands are frozen on the steering wheel, her cheeks stop sign red.

Chapter Text

“Y-you’re k-k-kissing them!?!” she finally manages once you’re sitting at the small hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurant.

“Just little friendly kisses!” you defend instantly. “I did it with Blueberry on impulse, then Red forced the issue, and then G wanted something more,” you flush. “But! Only cheeks and tops of skulls, I swear.”

Her claws are fretting in front of herself again, doing that cradling-something-tiny-invisible-yet-fragile thing again.

“Is that… Unprofessional?” you ask worriedly, suddenly feeling very small. “Geez, I’m sorry if I crossed a line back there.”

Alphys straightens in her seat, eyes darting up at you as if suddenly remembering you exist. “N-n-n-n-no!!” she squawks. “I-I-I-I w-wasn’t expecting th-that,” she manages.

“I already told Blue I can’t date any of them, if that’s what you’re worried out. And I plan to stick to that. However… Light teasing seems to keep them reasonably well-behaved, so… I guess, that’s what I’m doing?” you offer. “I even got Red to use manners.”

“WH-WHAT!?

“I know, right?” you giggle. “I got him to say ‘may I’ and even ‘please’.”

“Th-th-th-th-”

A knot forms uncomfortably in your chest as you worry how that next sentence from Alphys is going to go.

“-Th-TH-THIS IS AMAZING!

Wow. That’s not what you were expecting at all. ‘Unacceptable’, or ‘you’re fired’ were your top two guesses.

“Uhh?” is all you can respond with.

Her scaly hands scrabble towards you, taking one of yours in both of hers. “Th-thank you! You’re doing s-s-so well! I can hardly b-believe it!”

“Pardon?”

“I’m sorry, wh-where are my manners,” Alphys releases your hand, then adjusts her glasses as she coughs. “There’s s-something I need to t-tell you about the study.”

“… Okay?”

“All of the S-Sans’ are under the impression that y-you’re the subject of the study, s-seeing how a human can get along living with m-monsters,” she explains. “B-but, it’s actually the oppo-opposite scenario; th-they’re the ones being watched, and y-you’re there as a catalyst.”

You blink in confusion. “Hold up – You’re telling me that they’re the ones under the microscope, not me?”

Alphys nods enthusiastically. “All of them, even B-Blue. Though, uh, h-he doesn’t know it.”

“… Why?”

“Because it’s not a social study – N-not really, I mean – In fact, it’s actually sort of a… Ongoing g-group therapy session?”

“… Whaat.”

“The thing about Sans, i-is that in every timeline, every universe, he has a brother – Named P-Papyrus,” Alphys continues. “E-except, the six of them that you l-live with? They’ve all lost their Papyrus.”

You gasp in shock. “You mean… Their brothers are… Dead?” Alphys nods. “Oh my god, that’s horrible!

“They are all g-grieving in their own ways,” she continues morosely. “A-and, at f-first, we thought grouping them t-together would help them form br-brotherly bonds with each other. But… Th-they all only just got worse.”

“So then you put an ad in the paper looking for someone outside the situation to shake things up,” you realize. Did they actually even need a maid? “I’m their anti-depressant, or something?”

“Y-yes! A-and, you’re already d-doing a wonderful job!” the gentle lizard exclaims.

“Well, that’s a twist I wasn’t expecting,” you admit.

She goes on in no small amount of detail how each of the skeletons had been acting before you arrived. G was a musician and artist, as you’d suspected, but he had stopped painting or playing music since before he moved into the house half a year ago. In about one day’s time, he was smiling and laughing again, humming tunes and talking about portraits.

Blueberry had actually been very closed off from the group until the moment of your arrival, in fact. He’d regressed to a child in some ways, playing with toys and doing puzzles alone in his room, but you indulging him as if he were a child, and even getting him to help out with dinner and breakfast, had certainly improved his spirits.

Red was usually way more violent and aggressive, constantly picking fights with the other skeletons – Not Blue, she notes, though you want to question why. For Red, it was common for him to start a physical altercation two to four times a day, which often meant a lot of damage to the property. But, with you present, he was actually behaving himself – well, mostly - for once. His teasing and hitting on you was keeping him out of other trouble, and Alphys over-emphasized how thankful she was for that.

Blue was from this universe – Alphys’ home universe, she points out – And while he was involved in the initial setup of the house and pulling in the various Sans’, he joined the group under the pretense of supervising them. But, having lost his own brother as well, he’d been staying in his room most of the time, having troubled sleep. In six months he’d failed to form any connections to the other skeletons, and actually just got more shut-in and miserable. The differences in him since your arrival had been more subtle, but he had been spending more time outside of his room, and he’d started becoming protective of you against Red.

Dance, though a brand new arrival to you, had already improved – That crazy kick-off manouevre he did was the first time he’d done anything resembling a dance in months when he was in his home universe. He’d gone selectively mute in his grief after losing his Papyrus, but Alphys assures you that at this rate, it might only be a matter of time before he opens up.

“I-if you want, tr-try asking him to t-teach you how to dance,” she suggests. “He would l-love that!”

“Hmm,” you say, nursing the end of the straw in your soda pop. “What about Reaper?”

“R-Reaper… A-actually, w-we don’t have a lot of info-information on R-Reaper,” Alphys stammers out. “A-all we know is that his brother P-Papyrus is dead, and… Th-that he shouldn’t be.”

“What do you mean, he shouldn’t be?” you ask of the deliberate phrasing.

“Reaper is a d-death god in his universe,” she explains nonchalantly. “A-and, we think his b-brother was, t-too.”

“So his brother was a god? And he died?” Alphys nods in confirmation. “Wow, that’s… Intense.”

“W-we don’t know a-anything else about him, y-yet. B-but, we’re hoping he’ll open up s-soon!”


 

“how’d lunch go with alph?” Blue asks you when you finally return home. He seems to be lounging on the couch watching TV when you come in. That’s good, you think. He’s not holed up in his room.

“It was alright,” you shrug, sliding out of your coat and hanging it up in the closet next to you. You head over to the couch and drop yourself into the open cushioned seat next to him. Wow. It’s surprisingly comfy. You stretch out your neck as you lean back into the cushions, closing your eyes. “I’m glad I happen to like sushi, she seems like a regular otaku that one.”

“… otaku?”

“It’s Japanese for nerd or something. I figure it fits because half the stuff she likes calls Japan it’s home.”

“aha,” Blue says, sounding slightly amused at your assessment of his friend. “did she give you the scoop?” he asks carefully.

“Yeah. I know what’s really going on now.”

“good,” he sighs. “well, if you ever need anything, or if any of the guys give you trouble, just let me know, okay? i’ll straighten things out.”

“Thanks, Blue,” you smile. “Actually, can I ask you a question?”

“sure.”

“Do you think I went too far earlier?” you ask, opening your eyes and looking over at him.

“went too far with what?”

“With kissing Berry, Red, and G,” you reply. “I didn’t mean anything by it, I just wanted to reassure Blueberry, and then Red and G forced the issue,” you grimace.

“oh,” he flushes, looking away from you. “well, to your credit, it worked. they all got quiet and went to their rooms. even red. that guy’s never this calm.”

“But, do you think it was inappropriate of me to do that?” you press.

“… naw,” he shrugs. “i think it’s fine.”

“Cool,” you grin, feeling adventurous. “Because I missed one.”

Before the blue-clad skeleton can react, you lean in and place a quick peck on his cheek. His cheekbones light up cerulean blue and his face is frozen in a state of shock when you pull away. Your heart swells with pride that you can so easily reduce the skeleton to such a shy, blushy mess.

All right, time to do what you signed up for.

Chapter Text

You’re sitting on the cold tile floor of the upstairs bathroom, flanked by cleaning products on all sides. After spending the last half hour reading most of them, you’re still not a hundred percent sure how best to use them. A couple of them called for using rubber gloves, which you can’t find, and others warned against mixing them with other bleach or ammonia products – which you’re not sure you can easily identify.

It’s funny how the things you take for granted can set you back from learning how to do things on your own.

You startle and nearly leap out of your skin when someone knocks on the door. “Who is it?” you ask meekly.

“_____?” comes Blueberry’s voice. You smile as you realize he used your name. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT?”

“I’m fine, Berry,” you sigh. “Do you need the bathroom?” you offer. You haven’t really made any progress, anyways.

“ACTUALLY, I WAS WONDERING IF YOU WANTED TO WATCH A MOVIE WITH US?” he asks adorably.

That sounds kind of awesome, and you really appreciate the invitation over staring at bottles of cleaning supplies on a bathroom floor. But, a knot twists in your stomach since you haven’t actually started anything yet. “Uhh, sounds great, but,” you begin meekly. “Could you… Send G up here first? Please?”

“OKAY!” he enthusiastically agrees, then you hear excited footsteps stomp against the carpet away towards the stairs.

Your mind wanders, and before you know it, there’s a new set of knocks on the door.

“Are you decent?” G calls out amusedly.

You snort. “Yeah? Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Well, it’s not often I’m summoned to see a girl in a bathroom,” he chuckles.

“Just get in here already.”

Slowly, he opens the door with a big dumb smirk on his face, which falls at the sight of you sitting on the floor, bottles of cleaning fluids surrounding you. He closes it softly and sits down near you, lanky legs coming out of his shorts crossed so he can fit on the bathroom floor’s limited surface area.

“What’s wrong?” he asks, sounding concerned.

“Full disclosure,” you begin. “My parents were kind of rich, so we always had a maid and chef do everything for us. I’m realizing now that I’m really unprepared for adult life and I’m kind of freaking out about it.” You pull your legs in to your chest to hug, glaring over your knees at a bottle of Vim.

Oh,” he breathes. He looks like he wants to laugh for a brief instant, but stomps it down quickly. Instead, he brings a skeletal hand to his lower jaw in a thoughtful pose. “So that’s why.”

“Sorry I’m already such a screw up,” you sniffle, burying your face into your legs. “I feel like such a fucking idiot. This is so basic, so why can’t I figure it out?”

You hear him shift and then suddenly there’s a warm hand on your upper back, softly rubbing your shoulder blades. It’s… Nice. Comforting.

“Hey,” he says softly from somewhere next to you. “Don’t beat yourself up _____, okay? It’s just something new to learn, right?”

Shuddering from a sob threatening to break, you raise your head to wipe at your eyes. “I-I guess…”

“Come on, get up off this floor,” he directs. Before you can react, he moves his outstretched arm to hold you under your shoulders, as if supporting you for a limp, then shifting to stand up as he drags you to your feet with him. “Now, you said you had a schedule, right? Some kind of checklist?”

“Uh,” you blink. “Yeah. On the laptop Blueberry left in my room.”

“He did?” G seems surprised. “Well, let’s take a look at it, shall we?”

Still holding and supporting you with an arm that’s wrapped around your waist, you shuffle over to your bedroom and unlock the door with your key.

“I don’t know why I even bother locking this,” you grumble. “You guys just let yourselves in anytime you want.”

G chuckles at that, steadying you as you push the door open, but dropping his arm so you can walk ahead of him. You head over to the laptop and open it while he sits down on the bed behind you.

“Berry did a number on this room,” he notes, faint amusement in his voice.

“Yeah, it’s a lot of blue,” you hum idly. “Okay, here’s what I have.”

He goes over your schedule you made earlier with you, and he makes a couple of comments on what you should and shouldn’t worry about. For instance, skeletons don’t ever have to use the toilet, which is sort of a relief, so he says your only responsibility towards that is maybe dusting and polishing the outside of it. Unless, he adds, if Red goes on a drunken bender, but then clarifies saying that the cleanup is less vomit (As apparently, skeletons don’t puke either), and more collecting the pieces of broken ceramic safely for disposal. Until they can replace it, of course.

“Well, this is a pretty good list,” he says after a while. He puts his hands on your shoulders gently and you turn to face him. “Let’s get started, okay?”

Let’s?” you fumble, shaking your head. “You’ve helped me enough already, you shouldn’t be doing this too. It’s my responsibility.”

“You were really anxious about it earlier, so I’m happy to help if it puts your mind at ease,” he reassures. “Besides, it occurs to me that the rest of the guys are waiting on you to start the movie,” he adds with a smirk.

Oh, right. Blueberry invited you earlier. “Damnit. Okay, fine, let’s go,” you relent.


G just makes everything better.

You’ve been incredibly self-conscious and nervous since starting this crazy job, but he’s been so kind and helpful, taking you through the steps without making fun of you or letting you feel like garbage.

“Say, what’s the deal with Red and Blue, anyway?” you decide to ask as you polish the mirror. “I heard that Red likes to get into fights, but never with Blue.”

“They’re two sides to the same coin,” he answers before turning on the tap in the tub to rinse the mop bucket. "And they know it. For whatever reason, that means that they leave each other alone."

"Huh," you hum, moving to polish the sink's stainless steel faucet.

"Did Blue warn you about Berry?" he asks idly.

"Yeah, but I'm not sure why," you point out. "I guess, he's a little deceptive with his childishness in spite of his age, but he seems harmless. I mean, so far."

"Just don't be surprised if you need a three strikes system for him too," he chuckles.

Great. Rinsing the rag of bleach after polishing the sink one more time, you turn to G. "Do you think this is good so far?"

He sets aside the clean bucket, stepping away from the tub and making a big show of inspecting your work. His hand comes up to hold his chin, furrowing his bony brows. You roll your eyes and swat at him, eliciting a laugh from the scrawny dork. "Yeah, looks okay. We can scrub the shower tile later. For now, I guess it's movie time."

"Awesome," you sigh, slightly relieved. The first major chore is just about done.

"Do you... Know how to make popcorn?" he teases.

"You are the worst."

Chapter Text

You burned the popcorn.

Somehow, you misread the directions and put it in for an extra minute, or two, and while distractedly preparing all of the other snacks and confections to feed six skeleton guys, didn’t even notice the smell. Sighing as you stare into the open bag of charred puffs of corn, you throw it into the garbage and resolve to listen more carefully to the popping with the next bag or two. At least the chips, pretzels, and prepared finger foods you’ve warmed up in the oven will be a hit for sure.

“ARE YOU ALMOST READY?” Berry shouts into the kitchen, startling you as you’re placing mini slider burgers onto a serving platter in a nice arrangement. A pair of bright blue eyelights are watching you intently from around the doorframe.

“Yeah, just about Berry,” you turn and smile at him. You carry the large circular tray to the island where the rest of the food and snacks has collected, then reach for the fridge and grab some bottles of condiments to place in the middle. “Let me just scrub some dishes down now so I don’t have to do it later, okay?”

“OKAY! DON’T BE LONG!” he calls out.

You watch him as he disappears back around the doorway, wondering at that.

The sound of popping drags your attention back, and you startle and run over to the microwave.

Once everything is prepared, you walk into the livingroom holding a giant bowl of popcorn. “Okay, I’m ready,” you announce.

They’ve dimmed the lights low, but you can still see them all clearly. Red and Blue are on the couch with an open seat in between them, Dance is alone on the lounger, Reaper is sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor, and Blueberry has constructed a pillow and blanket fort that he’s sitting just inside of, trying to work the remote. G is nowhere to be seen. Looking down at your popcorn bowl, you offer it to Blue and he takes it gladly.

“What are we watching, Blueberry?”

“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!” he beams triumphantly. “IT’S AN ANIMATED DISNEY CLASSIC!”

Of course he wants to watch Disney. Good thing you love Disney movies.

Scanning the room for a moment, Red grins and pats the open space on the couch between him and Blue. “got a spot for ya right here, sweetheart,” he grins, stretching an arm along the back of it.

“Hard pass,” you respond bluntly. You’re not very interested in getting molested in the dark tonight.

Just then G swings around the corner with a plate in his hands half-covered in finger foods. He lithely hops over the couch and occupies the open seat, shooting Red a big smile before he turns his head to wink at you. Red seethes unhappily, withdrawing his arm to rest in his lap instead.

“_____! YOU CAN COME SIT IN MY FORT!”

Looking over into Blueberry’s starry eyes, you have to second-guess that one. After all, it’s very tiny, and you’re not sure you could even fit in beside him. He might end up sitting on your lap again, and considering the last time left you bruised, you end up shaking your head in a no.

“Sorry, Berry,” you apologize. “Can I borrow one of your pillows, though?”

His face falls, but he obliges anyway. You throw him an honest smile, and he seems to brighten right back up. Pillow in hand, you rest it towards the middle of the couch and sit on it, nestled securely between G’s lanky legs.

Is that too forward? You were warming up to him more than the other five skeletons, for sure, and, let’s face it, you definitely have a crush on him. His smooth charisma has already charmed you, and while he’s been physically flirty himself, he’s always backs down when you remind him about boundaries. Plus, he’s the only one that really knows anything about your issues, and has been helping conceal your ineptitude at your new job. All in all, G’s just got a lot going for him right now.

The other skeletons notice your newfound comfort level with him, though. Reaper and Dance look on suspiciously, Reaper with a big grin and Dance with a curious delight shining in his sockets. Red shuffles uncomfortably next to G while grunting, and Blue on the other side of him chuckles quietly to himself. Blueberry, oddly enough, has shining eyes as he beams at you. What’s gotten into him all of a sudden?

He turns back to the TV, and presses play on the remote. The movie opens with Belle singing and dancing through a small provincial market, visiting the library to return a book, only to have it gifted to her instead. Upon leaving it and ending her song she encounters the film’s main antagonist, a barely-literate ogre of a man named Gaston.

“HEY _____,” Blueberry calls for your attention. “IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN GASTON, WITH HIS RIPPLING MUSCLES AND HANDSOME SWAGGER, OR THE BEAST WITH HIS GRUMPINESS AND ALL HIS FUR, WHO WOULD YOU MARRY?”

“Beast, hands down,” you answer.

you a furry _____?” Red snickers.

“Not for that,” you groan. “He just has the way better personality. Gaston is awful.”

“WHAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT?” Blueberry pouts. “LOOK AT HOW HANDSOME AND CONFIDENT HE IS!”

“Ugh. Just because he looks passable doesn’t mean he’s anywhere near my radar,” you explain. “I mean, look at how he treats Belle – Talking down to her, throwing her favourite book on the ground, not respecting her or her personal space, and let’s not forget the whole wedding fiasco he tries to put on right outside of her house.”

Berry seems surprised, thoughtful even. “OKAY… SO, WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT BEAST THEN? HE’S SO UGLY AND MEAN!

“He’s aggressive, sure – And he does do some pretty awful stuff initially, locking up her father and then her,” you concede. “However, that’s just because he hides a lot of pain, and anger is how he deals with it. He can be a nice person once he stops being selfish and angry, and Belle helps him out with that – She doesn’t give up on him even when he wants to give up on himself, and he proves himself to be very loving in the end.”

Red hauls himself out of his seat abruptly, stomping towards the kitchen.

“… Red? Are you okay?” you turn and ask.

just gettin’ some food,” he snarls.

… Huh. You wonder what’s gotten into him all of a sudden.

Chapter Text

“I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE DOESN’T LIKE GASTON!!

“keep your voice down, berry,” Blue scolds him, looking anxiously up at the stairwell. “you really wanna wake her up while we’re talking about her?”

You had finished the dishes and wiped down the sinks before yawning and insisting you’re tired, while four of the six skeletons settled in for a late night game of cards.

i’d rather play war,” Red grumbles. “or poker.

“You would,” G smirks. The large red-eyed skeleton opens his lips in a feral scowl, sharp teeth bared in an unspoken threat. The lankier skeleton nudges his arm to diffuse him, a teasing smirk crossing his hard face. Then he looks across the table at the less threatening version of Red, nodding towards him. “Hey Blue, you got a seven?”

“go fish.”

He sighs, drawing a card. Then his bony brows perk up as he drops down a pair from his hand.

“BUT HE’S SO HANDSOME AND STRONG,” Berry continues complaining. He sets his cards face down as he flexes his bony arms, cardboard armour shuffling with the unfamiliar movement as he tenses muscles he doesn’t have. “AND BESIDES, CHECK OUT THESE GUNS! HOW COULD SHE RESIST!?”

“Obviously she’s looking for more out of a guy that what he looks like,” G suggests. “Besides, I think you guys missed something important out of _____’s rant back there.”

Red and Blueberry perk up while Blue silently shuffles his cards around in his hand, obviously listening with interest but trying to disguise it. G grins as he leans forward on his elbows, his hand tilted downwards to prevent cheating.

“She had absolutely no problem with Beast being a monster.”

Silence falls over the table for a beat, then it’s broken by Blueberry’s gasp.

“BUT… HE TURNS HUMAN AT THE END,” he remembers.

G shrugs. “Something in what she said made it seem like it didn’t matter, that she didn’t care about that. Just that Beast was ultimately the better choice with his whole redemption thing.”

“hmm,” Blue hums to himself, hiding a smile behind his hand. “red, you got a five?”

Red grumbles, plucking it from his hand and offering it to his smaller twin. As Blue goes to take it he pulls the card back. “depends, you got a three?” he challenges, knowing his turn is up next.

The shorter skeleton chuckles, offering one from his hand in trade. “berry, it’s your turn.”

“HMMM,” Blueberry hums, bright blue eye lights twitching back and forth in thought. “WELL… I GUESS THAT’S A GOOD THING THEN, IF MY PLAN IS GOING TO WORK.”

“Yeah, I’m still not too comfortable with that idea,” G grimaces.

“WHY NOT?”

“A lot of reasons?” he counters. “She doesn’t seem like the type of girl to go for something like that.”

“BUT SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO CHOOSE THIS WAY!” he protests. “I THINK SHE’LL LIKE IT, AND IT WILL MAKE EVERYONE’S LIVES EASIER.”

yeah,” Red grins wolfishly. “for once i can agree with the kid. heck, this might even be his best plan yet. ‘sides, g, you’re probably going to be the first one she picks, why’re you complaining?

“Well, maybe I don’t like to share. Blue, back me up on this, will you?” he says, looking over at him with his cracked sockets, yellow eye gleaming.

“blueberry, it’s still your turn,” Blue reminds him.

“OH! RIGHT! G, DO YOU HAVE AN ACE?”

“Blue?” G grumbles.

“let’s just see what happens first, okay? we’ve already voted on this.”

“… Fine,” he sighs. “Berry, go fish.”


Your alarm wakes you early and you begrudgingly roll out of the covers, gathering up the many plushies that litter your bed from the floor where they fell in the night. You had a dream about smooching Beast of all people, and figure that’s what you get for watching a Disney movie right before bed.

Once you sit up and stretch out the knots in your back with a couple small, but satisfying, pops, you smile as you stand and move to the desk to turn on the laptop computer. There are a couple of recipes saved on it, such as a crustless quiche that seems relatively easy. Just eggs, milk, cheese, some spices, and some meat – Hamburger, bacon, or both.

Satisfied with the recipe you have saved on there, you unplug the laptop and it instantly dies, shutting down with an angry beep. Oh, damn. It must be that the battery can’t hold a charge anymore as it’s so old. Sighing, you pick up the old thing and unplug the charger from the wall and wrap it up to sit on the closed lid, resting both on your bed behind you.

Next, you throw the closet door open and oh good GOD.

There’s a dress hanging front and centre. It’s a golden, shining yellow, practically identical to Belle’s in the animated movie, but not a Hallowe’en costume. It’s better made, and feels smooth and clean to the touch.

You wonder who could’ve snuck this in here, and when. And where the hell they got it? Apart from the neckline, at least it’s not blatantly sexy like your last two spontaneous clothing gifts. You give it a gentle push aside as you look for real clothes.

Getting changed into loose comfortable clothes that are only slightly more presentable than your pajamas, you haul the computer with you downstairs. Red’s apparently already on the couch in his black housecoat, flipping through the news.

mornin’ dollface,” he turns and greets you. Then he frowns sourly. “it fucking figures. you get a free wardrobe and then choose the most boring possible shit to wear from it.

“Sorry Red, but I don’t recall hiring you as my fashion consultant,” you tease.

i should buy you more sexy shit,” he perks up again. “did ya find the underwear yet?

What underwear?” you blink. He opens his mouth but you quickly cut him off. “No, wait, actually, I don’t want to know, or find, whatever this underwear is.”

He grunts at that, but the smirk hasn’t let his skull. “better get breakfast going sweetheart, the others are gonna wake up soon.

“Yeah, yeah, fine.”

Setting up the laptop on the counter, you plug it in and fire it up again, telling the OS not to boot into safe mode. While it grinds and loads, you take a chance a brewing a pot of coffee. G made it look so easy yesterday morning, and you think you’ve repeated the steps flawlessly.

Now, on to breakfast.

The quiche recipe seems to serve four, so you decide to make two in order to cover all of the hungry household appetites. Unfortunately, when you go rooting through the fridge, you discover that you’re using up the last of the eggs and cheese. The boys seem to be well-stocked on homo milk, at least… Which is a little strange. Is it because they’re all skeletons?

Looking over your spoils, it seems you actually only have enough ingredients for one quiche. You sigh. It looks like you’ll need to go shopping a lot sooner than you’d thought.

Chapter Text

G’s put his fork down on the plate, taking a long drink of his coffee before setting it down with a contented sigh. “That was actually delicious,” he moans, pleased at the meal. “When’d you learn how to cook, doll?”

“I told you, I can follow a recipe,” you complain. He chuckles warmly at that.

“Something on your mind?” he asks when you haven’t moved away.

“I think we need to go shopping,” you admit. “But I’m not actually sure what we’ll need to buy yet. I don’t have a meal plan or anything,” you groan.

“Aha,” he grins. Standing from his chair and straightening out his jeans, he slides his hands in his pockets. “Ready to go?”

“Right now?” The dishes are done already, you figure, but it just seems kind of sudden.

“Don’t worry, I’ll tell you what we like on the way. Maybe you can make your list at the store?”

That’s not a bad idea, you guess. You nod and he grins, heading for the front door to slide into his black boots from the closet. You wonder at that, considering its summer and those obviously have a fur lining for winter, but shrug as you slide into your own beat-up running shoes. Maybe that’s just his thing.

“Blue!” he turns and calls upstairs. “We’re going shopping, I’m borrowing your car, alright?”

There’s no response, but when he opens the front door with the car keys in hand, Blue is standing in front of both of you. You gasp in surprise, while G just sighs.

“no chance, buddy,” Blue scolds him. “i’m driving.”

“You’re coming too?” you ask, surprised.

“yeah,” Blue shrugs. “why not? i got nothin’ better to do.”

G offers the keys to Blue and he takes them, but the tall lanky skeleton seems a bit put out by Blue joining you this morning. You’ve got a feeling you know why, and smile fiendishly at his back.

 


For a lot of the essentials you definitely want to stock up, so when Blue puts a carton of eggs in the cart, you put two more. When G grabs a package of bacon, you grab a second one. When Blue grabs the ketchup, you protest at the giant bottles in his arms suggesting you don’t need quite that much, but he’s indignant on keeping the theme of ‘stocking up’ and puts them both in the cart anyways. G chuckles to himself at that, shaking his head. You wish he’d tell you what’s so funny.

The list is coming along with every new item the two boys put into a cart, and you’re on about the third page of the notebook you’d scavenged from the desk in your room. It was all pretty basic stuff, just a lot of it. Half of it was your insistence on stockpiling, and the other half their appetites.

You weren’t really expecting to be stared at by the other shoppers, though. Aside from your two bony companions, there are no other monsters in the store. Maybe you should’ve anticipated this.

“why’d you grab instant potatoes and actual potatoes?” Blue asks you at one point.

“The instant stuff is, well, instant, of course, but I wanted to be able to do other things with actual potatoes,” you explain. They had been lean on the vegetables in the produce section, grabbing only a couple of tomatoes and onions for burger toppings, so you thought this might be a compromise, of sorts.

“What sorts of things do you want to make?” G inquires.

“I can make fresh fries out of them,” you announce proudly. “And I wanted to experiment with them in other dishes, you know? Potatoes can be filling.”

The taller of the two skeletons smirks proudly at that.

“Besides, if I make fresh fries often enough, then maybe getting three enormous bottles of ketchup will be a little more justified.”

Blue startles in place and turns to scowl at you, face flushed cyan blue, while G bursts out laughing, stopping to lean on a display shelf for support.

 


 

“I have no idea what it is with you guys and your condiments.”

G chuckles at that as he places a couple more bottles of barbecue sauce in the cart. It’s already full to the top, now it’s a matter of carefully balancing things on top of all the other groceries.

“That might be enough for today,” he hums, observing your haul.

“How often do you guys usually go shopping?” you have to ask.

“Before we added three more people to the house?” he ponders. “Roughly twice a week.”

Oh, right. Because Reaper, Dance, and yourself have just moved in, it’s probably going to be three times a week now, at least.

shit,” Blue swears out of nowhere. “i forgot red’s mustard. go line up, I’ll be right back,” he sighs.

“Do you really have to get it?” you wince. You’re pretty sure that, like the other Sans-es, he drinks the stuff right from the bottle.

“yeah. best not to antagonize that guy too much,” Blue shrugs.

“Alright, fine,” you relent.

Both you and G watch his back as he shuffles back to the condiment aisle. As soon as he disappears around the corner, G lets out a breath.

“God, finally,” he groans.

“Finally what?” you ask.

He takes a step to stand close to you, practically chest to chest, his hard fingers suddenly trailing lightly up your back as he throws you a hungry expression. The corner of his mouth pulls up in a smirk as his left golden gaze scans what he can see of your body this close, landing on your eyes, and then back down to your lips. His fingers make it into your hair and he gently grips some of it at the base of your skull, leaning in.

“Finally this,” he rumbles lowly.

His mouth… Is very close to yours all of a sudden. Needless to say, your heart is pounding up into your throat on its way out of your ears.

“found it.”

A sudden flash of blue between you has you step back with a yelp, which you try to turn into an inconspicuous cough. Smooth, _____.

“i couldn’t decide whether i should get red the regular stuff, or spice it up a bit with some cayenne kind i saw over there,” Blue chuckles, stepping between yourself and G to place an overlarge bottle of mustard on the belt. “this time i’ll play it safe, and prank him when he’s in a better mood.”

“That guy has better moods?” you have to ask.

G blows air through his nasal passage wistfully while Sans grins to himself.

“Sometimes, when he’s drunk,” G answers you.

“and sometimes not,” adds Blue with a roll of his eye lights. “it’s a fifty-fifty chance whether he’ll be a happy drunk, or the angry type that likes destroying toilets.”

You laugh nervously, remembering G’s warning about that before.

While standing idle in line, your eyes land on the display of chocolate bars under the magazine rack as your cart slowly creeps up the line to the register. You and G swap places so that he can pay with debit, but your mouth waters as you spy a rare favourite low on the shelf.

“Hey, _____,” he calls. Your head snaps up to meet his gaze. “Is there something you want on there?”

… You should probably wait until you’re actually paid to spoil yourself.

“Naw, it’s fine,” you wave him off. “I was just looking.”

“That was a pretty intense stare for ‘just looking’,” he highlights, grinning at you.

You return his smile and shrug, going back to your notebook and jotting down items you missed.

“You can have one, if you want.”

Buckling down on your super important notes, your face flushes as you sputter out “No thank you, I’m okay.”

“Get one for yourself, doll,” G continues to insist.

You shake your head.

“Come on,” he frowns. “Can’t a guy buy a chocolate bar for a pretty girl?”

“I don’t want to be a burden…” you trail off anxiously.

“It’s a dollar, right? I think we can survive the loss of a single dollar.”

“… But, I don’t need it.”

“What do you think, Blue? Think a candy bar is going to break the bank?”

oh no, we’ll be in the poor house for sure,” he sarcastically bemoans. “get the whole box for all i care.”

“Well, you heard the monster. I guess we’re getting you the whole box,” G shrugs.

You’re absolutely mortified.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” G calls out to you.

“Sorry…”

“Don’t apologize… Uh, hey, princess? Are you crying?”

Shit. You look away as you untuck some hair from behind your ear to hang over your face. “I’m fine,” you lie, badly, voice cracking from the sob it had to work its way past.

“… Hmm.”

You startle slightly as skeletal fingers tangle in your hair, carefully shifting it back and tucking it behind your ear again. His golden eye gleams with concern as he then wipes his hard thumbs under your eyes to clear the tears.

“Go help Blue with bagging the groceries, alright?” he asks you softly.

“… Alright,” you agree.

He rests a hand on your waist as you manoeuvre around each other in the narrow space, encouraging you to get past him. You head for the other end of the register and seize some reusable shopping bags that Blue’s offered you, then you try to locate all the canned and boxed dry goods to put together in one bag.

“are you okay?” Blue asks.

“I’m fine-“

Looking ahead to grab a can slowly rolling towards you, you spy G putting literally the entire box of chocolate bars you’d been eyeing onto the belt for purchase.

A sob catches in your throat again and you look away as your face gets uncomfortably hot.

Chapter Text

A sandwich platter for lunch with some fresh pumpernickel bread and spinach dip seemed to go over well, even if two thirds of the skeletons didn’t go for the bread. It was basically just G and yourself that went for it, while Reaper insisted that he didn’t need anything. Do ‘gods’ not need to eat or something? Well, mental note for next time. The rest of the plate was cleared though, to the point that you had to stop eating and prepare a few more. Once you were done with cleanup and dishes after the meal, you headed up to your room for a break.

Only to find G sitting on the end of your bed, a partial box of chocolate bars sitting on the plush comforter next to him. You roll your eyes and groan. What is even the point of having a key?

“Sorry I let myself in,” he snickers. “I just figured you might want to be alone for this talk.”

“… What’s up?”

He pats the open bedspread invitingly and you sigh, stepping over to sit next to him. He drapes an arm around your shoulders and gently pulls you in to rest against his side, his thumb making small circles in your shoulder.

“You seemed pretty upset back there, at the store,” he points out. “Mind telling me what that was about?”

You figured it’d be something like that.

“… I’m not actually sure,” you sigh.

“Did I put you on the spot? If so, then I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to embarrass you.”

“No, no, it wasn’t that,” you shake your head.

“Then… What was that about?”

You sigh and relax in his hold, leaning against his shoulder as you struggle to think.

“… I don’t… Really know,” you mumble out. “I just felt like… Why would you waste your money on something like that?” you sigh. “I don’t deserve it.”

His grip on you tightens and he brings his other arm around you to hug you from the side. “Damn. Your parents fucked you up pretty bad, huh?” he observes.

You look away. “… I guess… You’re not completely wrong about that?”

“C’mere,” he grips you, pulling you into him. G wraps both of his arms around your shoulders, hugging you tightly and nuzzling his face into your hair and sighing against your scalp.

The angle is a bit awkward, with you still seated next to him yet your upper body pulled almost over his lap, but the comfort is… It’s nice. Your throat starts to burn with a confused emotion, but he chases it away when he starts scratching your scalp with the blunted points of his distals.

“Listen to me, beautiful,” he murmurs softly to you. “You’re worth a whole lot more than about half a box of chocolate bars,” he finishes with a chuckle.

Your eyes burn at the comment, but not because he’s laughing. Somehow, you know it’s a sincere laugh that’s not intended to make fun of you, but is more gentle amusement at his own statement.

After a long moment and companionable silence, he drops his arm across you and turns back to the candy bars. “Want one?”

You bite your lip. “It feels kind of weird to say yes right now?” The gesture was nice, too nice, and you’re still kind of hung up on that. Man, you don’t need chocolate, you need a really good therapist.

“Then… Would it help if I had one and shared it with you?” G suggests.

You manage a weak smile. “You know… I think that might be okay.”

It certainly takes the pressure off and lets you feel like the gesture wasn’t solely just to treat you. He grabs one and peels it open with his teeth, his other hand hanging loosely over your shoulder where his arm’s still draped. Once he’s got the package ripped open, he separates the individual sections of chocolate with his fingers, and then clenches one delicately in his teeth and turns towards you.

“Shay awwe, pwincess,” he grins, waggling his bony brows teasingly and pulling you a little closer.

You fluster and giggle at that. “Okay, no. If we’re doing this then you can’t feed me like a baby, or… Whatever that’s supposed to be.”

That said, you snatch the package from his hand and break off a segment for yourself, popping the whole thing in your mouth before he can do anything about it. He does a big theatrical sigh over it before the section of candy he’d been biting down on disappears into his mouth.

It tastes better than you remember it ever tasting. This was your favourite kind of chocolate bar out there, but, somehow, it’s just infinitely more delicious right now than it ever was before. You chew on it slowly, trying to savour the flavour and control yourself from clamouring after the next piece. It’s just so unbelievably good.

“Hey, this stuff is pretty nice,” G remarks.

He breaks off a couple more sections and offers one to you as he pops a second in his mouth, this time not with it clenched between his teeth. You take it earnestly and as you savour the chocolate bar together, talk about what the rest of the afternoon looks like.

“I should definitely scrub at that tile in the main bathroom tonight,” you note, scrunching up your nose in resignation. The grout has turned brown and even black in places, which tells you that, while the rest of the house was actually pretty tidy with four guys living in it before you ever got here, that shower tile might just be an oversight for them.

“… Oh yeah,” G hums, as if acknowledging it for the first time in a while. “Want some help?”

“I think I know how to scrub tile, at the very least.” Between the wifi hotspot on your phone and the laptop Berry left in here for you, you’ve already skipped through a couple of video tutourials on YouTube ever since.

The way his eye sockets narrow and a smirk pulls at the corner of his hard mouth, you know he wants to tease you. But then he looks away and runs a hand along the back of his skull. “I figured as much, but… Not sure I want to leave you just yet,” he admits sheepishly.

You glance away to hide your blush, wringing your hands together over your lap. “… If you want to help and keep me company, I don’t think… I don’t really have a reason to say no,” you quietly admit.

His grin goes wide like he just found out he’s won the lottery. “It’s a date, then,” G teases. You gasp and go to swat at him in protest, but he’s on his feet before you can make contact and heading for the door. He stops and taps his phalanges against the doorframe as he turns to you. “I’m going to go change into something I don’t mind getting bleach on, I figure you might want to do the same.”

Oh,” you realize. “Okay, yeah. That’s a good idea.”

Chapter Text

You gasp and duck back around the corner once you step up to the open bathroom doorway.

You didn’t expect him to be shirtless.

His bare ribs are on full display, just like they were when he grilled up some lunch the first day you got here. They’re so perfectly ivory white that they make the bathroom tile look dull grey in comparison, and you catch yourself glancing them over for a moment too long. You think you can spot some tiny nicks and cracks in his bones, but it’s hard to tell from a distance what the marks are without getting a closer look.

And you’re just now realizing that you signed up to be in a small confined space with a shirtless skeleton who has definitely been flirting and making passes at you since minute one.

And you chose to wear this thing??

“You okay over there, doll?” he calls out, once he realizes you’re hiding from him.

“I thought you said you were getting changed!” you accuse bitterly.

“I did,” he smirks. “Changed my jeans, but then I realized that I didn’t have any shirts I was comfortable with ruining, so, here I am.”

His own cheekbones dust with that yellow glow even as he tries to shrug off his state of dress nonchalantly.

“… That makes sense, I guess,” you acknowledge bitterly.

“You joining me or what?” he beckons.

Sighing deeply, you step out from beside the doorframe. His jaw drops.

Whoa,” he breathes, dumbstruck and yet unable to stop grinning.

You fold your arms across your body and look away, taking a couple short breaths as if to vent out some of the heat gathering in your face. “I was just thinking that, if there’s one thing in my new wardrobe I don’t care about ruining, it’s this thing.”

It’s the lacy peach-coloured silk pajama top Red replaced all your clothes with that first night.

You’ve paired it with your old pajama pants, which honestly in comparison to any of your new clothes are looking pretty tattered by now, but you figured that you just wanted to be comfortable while doing this chore. It hadn’t even crossed your mind that G might take it as you flirting back with him.

But now that it has

“I think I should go change,” you retreat, stepping back out beside the open doorway.

“Looks like you already did.” He’s still smiling.

Again, I mean. I should go wear something else.”

Literally anything else would be better than this in this situation you’ve accidentally put yourself in right now.

“I don’t mind,” he hums innocently.

“I’m not… Ugh,” you struggle. “I didn’t wear this to flirt with you,” you announce awkwardly, face beet red. “I just wanted to be comfortable, but now I get that you’re definitely getting the wrong idea and I should really fix that.”

“Hey, okay,” he acknowledges, his teasing demeanor dropping instantly. “I get it. You don’t have to go get re-dressed or anything, sorry I got carried away there for a sec.”

You stare him down from halfway around the corner, but you can’t figure out his expression. It seems like he’s not going to do anything weird though, so maybe it’ll be okay? This is so awkward.

He takes a step out of the tub and holds out a hand for yours. “Come on.”

… This is still so super awkward why does he have to be shirtless and you wearing THIS thing??

Very reluctantly, you decide that… Yeah. Okay. You’ll trust him.

He’s never given you a reason not to, after all.

Slowly, you move away from the corner and step back into the bathroom. Upon reaching his hand, you give him a low five instead and walk past him. He bursts out laughing and steps back into the tub with you, picking up a second scrub brush and handing it to you.

It already reeks of bleach in here.

“How much did you get done already?” you ask. “Where did you start?”

“I haven’t gotten that far yet,” he tells you, scratching his brush against the tile around the faucet. “This side’s not too bad, I did the part near the ceiling and been working my way down.”

“Okay,” you nod. That’s probably a good plan, actually. You dip your brush in the bleach solution and start scraping away at the top tile of the opposite wall, your back to G as you work.

“Hey, uh- I know I said I wasn’t going to bother you about it, but… Why that shirt?” he asks idly. “I mean, I don’t know everything that’s been put into your closet for you, but it just seems like… Well, it seems really nice? Not sure why you’d want to ruin it like this.”

“Red bought it for me,” you scowl at the wall.

The scraping on his end of the tub space stops and he starts laughing loudly. “Aha. I get it now.”

You snicker to yourself and shake your head.

“But you know, if you ruin that one then he’s just going to buy you more, right?”

Aughhh,” you groan. You didn’t think of THAT.

You chat and make jokes at each other here and there as you use the stiff bristled brushes to work bleach into the tile grout. After a few minutes you’re both facing the back wall, working on your respective sides but still occasionally turning your heads to talk to each other.

“Any idea what you think they’ll like for dinner?” you ask.

“Really anything’s good with us,” he shrugs. “If you cook us something that they ever don’t like, they’ll definitely make a huge fuss over it and you’ll know for next time.”

“Well, THAT’S helpful,” you roll your eyes.

G chuckles. “Sorry, nothing comes to mind. Just make whatever though, and I’m sure the majority of us will go through it.”

“Fine, fine.”

Between the two of you, the work actually goes by fairly quickly. G picks up the bucket to dump out in the sink, but you figure there’s one place that might be overlooked.

“What about on top of the shower curtain rod thing?” you ask.

“Hmm? Oh,” G hums. “I didn’t think about that. Good call. … Hey, what are you doing?”

You finish climbing onto the side of the tub, carefully balancing yourself on the narrow strip of ceramic and grasping the shower rod in a hand. “Figured I needed a better look at it,” you explain.

“That doesn’t seem safe, princess. You might fall,” he warns.

“Don’t worry, I climb on things all the time,” you dismiss.

“I really don’t like you teetering on the edge of the tub like that.”

Disregarding his warnings, you find your balance on the balls of your feet and start working a rag dampened with the bleach mixture against it.

“… Well… Maybe I can just-“

You feel something hard and warm graze your sides.

From your precarious position you yelp and instantly lose your balance.

Hard arms wrap around you as you fall.

A loud THUD rings out against the ceramic.

“… Ow…”

You push yourself away from his chest. Wait. How did you get so close?

G raises a hand to press against the side of his skull, where he hit the inside corner of the tub. His other arm is still wrapped around you carefully, having kept you from taking the brunt of the fall, but he loosens his grip when you pull away so that his hand is resting on the small of your back. You’re lying on top of him in the bathtub.

Leaning away from him slightly, your mind fires off a million questions in an instant. What just happened? What brushed your sides? How did you end up in this position? Is G okay?!

“Are you okay?” you blurt out, noticing his pained expression.

“Just put another crack in my skull, maybe,” he answers irritably. “But I’ll be fine. I can take the hit.”

“What just happened?”

“Uhh, sorry,” he apologizes sheepishly, cheekbones flashing gold in abashment. “Maybe I should’ve given you a bit more warning before trying to hold you by your waist to help steady you.”

… Is that all he was trying to do?

And now he’s hurt because you freaked out about him just trying to help you.

“Sorry!” you apologize quickly, eyes stinging with tears. “I’m so sorry, G!”

“Hey, hey, it’s okay princess,” he reassures you. He brings his other hand up to wipe at the corner of your eye, hard phalanges curling into your hair as he tries to comfort you. “Give me a day or two to mend and I’ll be fine. Honestly I was more worried about you getting hurt.”

You are… A mess of emotions right now.

Not only did you do the complete opposite of what he intended by helping you, but he’s gotten injured in the process. And it was all just to protect you.

And he’s been so perfect and nice since you got here, helping you out secretly when your idiot self didn’t even know how to do the job you signed up for, treating your issues with understanding and respect, buying you an entire box of your favourite chocolate bars and sharing them with you when you struggled with whether you even deserved such a gesture. Sure he started off flirting with you and making you angry, but he’s definitely dialed that back a lot, reading your reactions and learning what is and isn’t okay with you.

And there’s another feeling like fire, burning very low in your belly. It’s not a sensation you’re used to feeling, but it makes this whole situation feel almost three times as uncomfortable as it already is, pressed against a half-naked skeleton in a bathtub.

And yet…

You don’t want to pull away.

If anything, you want to get even closer.

Your face feels hot and your eyes fix on his hard mouth.

… What would it be like to kiss a skeleton?

“Hey, _____? Earth to _____,” he chuckles at your spaced out expression. “I asked if you were okay?”

You shake your head. “I don’t know.”

And then you kiss him.

You press your lips against the corner of his mouth, and he reacts with brief, clumsy surprise. You kiss him again, and this time he turns his face to catch your mouth with his, reciprocating in earnest. He’s warm, and his face is more flexible than it looks, and it’s not nearly as weird kissing bone like you thought it might be. It’s actually really nice, indescribably so. You keep kissing him, and he doesn’t seem inclined to get you to stop.

His hand presses against your back to urge you on as you both continue the impromptu makeout session, his hand in your hair shifting to stroke his phalanges gently through your locks. That unfamiliar fire burns even hotter when he traces the lacy hem of the nightie you’re wearing, warm hard fingers grazing your bare skin underneath. You moan in surprise as that hand finds its way up your nightie instead, flattening against the skin of your back and pulling you closer.

Both of you reluctantly stop as you hear the door slowly creak open.

“I HEARD A LOUD SOUND A COUPLE MINUTES AGO, BUT RED IS DOWNSTAIRS RIGHT NOW SO IT CAN’T BE THE TOILET. IS EVERYTHING OKAY IN- OH!

In a daze, you break off to look up at Blueberry, whose eye lights seem to shine at what he’s discovered. Before the two of you can say anything, he dashes off without another word.

FUCK,” G swears. He sits up quickly, holding on to you so that you’re not jostled by his sudden movement. “That’s not good.”

What’s not good?” you blink.

“Ughh…” He rubs at his injured temple for a brief second. “I think you better come downstairs for a minute. Things are about to get extremely complicated around here.”

Chapter Text

Tonight was a disaster.

Stretched out with your old backpack behind your head, you scroll through the online classifieds while your phone claims out of service in the top right corner by the dwindling battery.

G never explained what the hell was going on, just shamefully brought you downstairs to where the rest of the guys, gathered there by an excited Blueberry, practically pounced on you.

Apparently, they had all made some kind of deal while you were out for lunch with Alphys that one day. It was explained that should you be interested in dating any one of the guys, that it would apply to the rest of them. They basically agreed to… To share you around in your absence. Blueberry got the idea from how you had kissed a few of them on the cheek before heading off for the afternoon.

Nobody asked you if that would be okay with you.

No one even considered that you might have a few problems with that.

It was just like your parents all over again. Making decisions for you without your consent, or even deciding how you should feel without even asking you about it, and just assuming they’d know what you’d want.

You didn’t stick around for all the details though, because Red decided to christen the occasion by sticking his big slimy monster tongue in your mouth.

The memory causes you to bite down on the eleventh mint you’ve had in the last five minutes, crunching it and reaching desperately for another one from the bag.

Yeah, you’d hit him for that – and from the looks on the other guys’ faces, maybe that was enough to show them that they’d done you wrong – but now your hand hurts, and there’s just one more reason on your new list of reasons why you never want to go back there again.

After running upstairs to get your things, you’d gotten the hell out of there as fast as you could. Dumb luck had it that there was a city bus at the corner right as you got outside, so you ran for it.

And now you’re in some neighbourhood you’re not completely familiar with, chilling on the sidewalk just next to a strip mall with a Timmies, around the corner out of sight of most folks walking by.

“… you can’t stay here.”

Is that a cop? You sit up straight and grab your backpack in a fist, turning to the owner of the voice in a hurry.

It’s not one of the boys in blue, though. It’s Blue – basketball shorts, pink slippers and all.

“… The hell do you want,” you grumble, settling in to scroll through your phone again. There really aren’t a lot of jobs out there that you can just show up to.

“i’m here to take you home,” he says.

“That’s not home,” you tell him. “That was a job, and I think I made it pretty clear that I quit.”

He sighs, then moves over to you to sit down against the wall by your head. You straighten to sit up so he’s not so close, pulling your backpack and all your things by your side.

“it was a pain in the coccyx to find you, you know that?” he mentions.

The fuck is a coccyx? “Whatever.”

“we’ve all been texting you – alph too – have you been getting them?” he asks.

“No, I think my parents finally shut off my number,” you admit.

“well… if it’s not home, then, can i convince you to come back to work?”

You shake your head.

“you’re gunna have a hard time finding a new job without a phone number,” he points out.

“I’m sure I’ll think of something,” you bite off bitterly.

“well, i did get alph to send you your first pay. maybe that will help?”

Skeptical, you open your banking app and log in to it. Then your eyes widen at the amount.

You were overdrawn before, and the red number with the minus in front of it had just kept getting bigger. You didn’t really have any way of dealing with it before, but now… Now the number’s in black, and a lot more than the red numbers that were there previously.

It feels weird. You’ve never had your own money like this before. It’s too much.

“listen, uh… red wants to apologize.”

You rustle the bag for another mint to pop in your mouth, crunching down on it. “Just Red?”

“we all do, really,” he quickly corrects.

“If you all feel so bad about it, why’d you all agree to it anyways?”

He looks up at you in shock, cheekbones dusting blue. “n-not all of us did,” he claims with a pleading expression. “there were five votes for berry’s ‘plan’, and one abstain vote. i, uh, abstained, ‘cause i didn’t think it’d be fair to you.”

Well, that’s nice of him, you guess. “Why didn’t you talk the others out of it then?” you ask.

“didn’t you hear? i was outvoted,” he shrugs innocently.

You hum at that as you resume your job search on your phone.

“so… can i take you back?”

“I’m good right here.”

“this is a sidewalk. this isn’t anywhere you can sleep.”

“I’ll manage.”

“for how long? it’s gunna get cold soon.”

“For however long it takes.”

“that’s ridiculous. you’re being completely ridiculous right now,” he scolds you.

“I don’t really care what you think,” you snap back at him.

He stands up and offers a hand to you. “come on. we’re going back,” he demands.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“don’t act like a child!

You scramble to your feet to glare down at him. “Don’t treat me like one!”

He opens his mouth to shout something else, then snaps it shut as his glowing white eye lights glance sheepishly away.

“… you’re right,” he relents. “sorry, _____.”

You blink, fire still in your veins. You have to turn away and take a couple deep breaths to calm yourself down a bit.

“listen – i know you’re pissed off at everyone, but can you at least… just come back, so you can sleep in a bed? we’re not gonna ask you to work or nothing, just… i can’t stand the thought of you sleeping rough, and you’re welcome at our place. you can use our address to get a new phone or even a new job if you want, okay? just… don’t do this to yourself just to spite us. we’re all worried about you and just want you to be safe.”

After a long, long moment of considering the earnest nature of his words, you nod.

“… Fine. Just until I can figure something else out.”

Chapter Text

When you walk back into the house behind Blue, a couple of things happen.

First, you hear running water upstairs, along with some muffled bitching, and an actual waterfall coming down the hardwood steps.

Second, Reaper lolls his head to one side where he’s sitting on the couch. You make brief eye contact with his empty sockets and he grins. You roll your eyes and groan.

Third, Dance comes over from the lounger, taking his headphones off to rest around his neck. He holds out his arms to you, a sorrowful expression crossing his hard face. Is he asking for a hug? You ignore him as you kick off your shoes.

Fourth, Blueberry peeks out from the kitchen, seemingly followed by a cloud of smoke. His face lights up into a grin of his own, then falls as some guilt for tonight’s earlier events settles in. It’s his fault any of this happened in the first place for suggesting that stupid idea.

You just… Want to hide.

You take your chances with the waterfall as you climb the stairs in your socks. Passing the open bathroom doorway, you see a bunch of pieces of broken ceramic collected on the floor next to G, and no toilet. He’d just gotten the valve for the water closed when he startles and looks up at you.

“_____!” he calls, scrambling to his feet and reaching for you.

You walk past him.

On the way past Red’s room you hear ugly sobbing.

Unlocking the door to what was formerly your room, you slip in and lock it behind you.

After quickly changing clothes and plugging your phone into the wall, you crawl under the covers and try your damnedest to fall asleep.

 


You wake up to the smell of roses.

Honestly, it’s kind of overpowering. And when you open your eyes, you quickly understand why.

During the night, someone went out and filled your room with roses. And by filled, you really mean filled – there must be at least thirty vases of bouquets scattered throughout your room. Most of them are red roses, but there are a couple of vases of white, yellow, peach, and pink – almost like whatever flower shop they hit just ran out of the red ones. They’re on your nightstand, on the desk, on a new table by the window, even the floor surrounding the doors to the walk-in, the private master bathroom, and the door to the room.

The only place there isn’t flowers is on the vanity.

That’s covered in a bunch of boxes of chocolates of all kinds. Fancy chocolates, more of your favourite chocolate bars, even a couple of kinds you don’t like.

It’s an overly grand gesture, for sure. Someone really wants to apologize to you. Maybe more than a couple of someones.

Sighing, you resolve that you can’t exactly hide forever, and decide to head down to the kitchen to make breakfast.

... Your breakfast.

The guys can all go screw themselves.

On the way past Red’s room you hear loud snoring. At least he won’t be creeping on you from the livingroom couch today.

Instead of bumping into Red first thing, you find G at the stove cooking pancakes for breakfast.

He startles when he hears you enter the kitchen behind him, taking a toothpick from his teeth and offering a weak smile.

“Uh… Good morning, princess,” he stammers a greeting, cheekbones flushed yellow.

“Don’t call me that,” you scowl at him. “Are you going to be done soon?”

“Oh, right.” He turns back to the pancakes and expertly flips one in the pan. “Blue told me why you came back, so I figured I’d handle this for today… Did you want some?”

You shake your head no, instead opening the fridge and scanning it. There’s still plenty of eggs. Scrambled eggs sounds alright right about now, but the stove’s in use and you’re not sure you want to hang around waiting for him to finish.

“I’ll come back later,” you announce, heading for the doorway out of the kitchen.

“Wait,” G calls after you. He flips the current pancake out of the pan, landing it perfectly on the pile plated on the counter next to him, before setting it aside. “Can’t we just talk for a second?”

Why,” you demand flatly. “What would be the point.”

“At least let me apologize,” he tries, taking a couple steps towards you.

“You knew the entire time.”

He stops.

“Was it some kind of plan?” you accuse. “If you got close to me, then so could everyone else?”

No!

He snaps his jaw shut as he realizes he’d just shouted at you, running a hand over his skull.

Listen, I- I knew about the thing. Yes, you got me there, but- if anything happened between us I’d planned to keep it secret, okay? I didn’t want the other guys to find out, but I also wasn’t anticipating you kissing me just then. If I’d have known, I would’ve done something to hide us.”

“Then if you were so opposed to Berry’s stupid plan, why’d you agree to it?!”

He blinks. “Is that what Blue told you? That crafty little asshole.”

You’re a bit taken aback by that. “He told me he abstained from the vote. That it was five-to-one.”

“Yes there were five votes for the plan, but I was the one to abstain.”

“He said he didn’t think it’d be fair to me.”

“Well,” G sighs. “My reason for abstaining wasn’t quite that selfless. I figured if anything was going to happen between us, that I wanted you all to myself,” he smirks. “Man, no wonder he was able to convince you to come back,” he chuckles.

Only further infuriated by this information, you just throw your hands up in the air and stomp back upstairs.

“I guess that’s a no to pancakes, then,” G frowns.

Chapter Text

Alphys had sent you a weird e-mail earlier.

sans told me bout the whole thing - plus i saw on the camera feed wat happened. dont worry backups on th way lololol

You have absolutely no idea what she means by backup. You’re not even sure you want to know what that means. But you’re glad you found the router and figured out the Wifi situation – it turned out that nobody had bothered to set it up in the first place, so it was all default. At least now you can have Internet on your phone again. No texting, but you’d traded e-mails with Blue just for the interim, and he’d clearly shared that with Alphys.

Ugh, what are you even doing still hanging around here, anyways?

Just as you resolve to get up and go out for a while, just to get out of the house and into some fresh air, you startle as you hear a loud thump against the bedroom door. Then there’s the shuffling of clothing as a body slides down it. Then a choked sob.

Who?

… ya in there, sweetheart?

… Oh, god.

Red makes a sound that seems to be halfway between a hiccup and a sniffle.

just… tell me you’re in there,” he pleads.

“The hell do you want, Red?” you call out, groaning.

He lets out a huge sigh. You hear liquid slosh around in a glass bottle.

… did ya get the flowers?

Red set this up? You look around at the literally hundreds of roses still filling your room.

“… Yeah,” you admit.

d’you like ‘em?” he burps.

“Red, what do you want?” you demand.

i fucked up. i really fucked up. ‘n i wanna do somethin’ to fix it, but,” he chokes. “i don’t know what that is. i don’t fix stuff, ‘m way better at breakin’ shit.

The bottle sloshes again and this time you hear him take a strangled gulp.

… i wanna make ya happy, to make up for that thing i did. i don’t know what to do. don’t know what i want.

He shifts audibly as he panics.

sweetheart? still in there!?

His gruff voice sounds so small. So afraid. Is he worried you’re going to disappear?

You sit up from the bed and swing your legs over the side. Standing up, you walk over to the door to sit against it, opposite Red.

“Yeah, I’m still here,” you answer softly.

He sighs, sounding content to have you so close, even if there’s still a door between you.

… ‘m sorry i destroyed the toilet,” he says.

Part of you wants to scold him since that’s not what he should be apologizing for, but another part of you realizes that he must be drunk, and that it’s just such a ridiculous thing to bring up right now. You have to stomp down a laugh before it bubbles out of you. He doesn’t get laughs. Not right now.

“Oh?” you invite.

those things jus’ piss me off!” he rants suddenly, his voice rasping harshly. “what the hell are they even for, anyway? why do we have one in a house with a bunch’a monsters? it’s jus’ a useless thing that g dusts every now and again, an’ for what? fucking toilets, man. i jus’ don’t fuckin’ get why we haf’ta have one in the first place.”

“So you destroyed it because you have some grudge against toilets?” Okay, it’s getting a little harder to not laugh at the situation now.

Red burps, then audibly takes another swig of whatever he’s drinking. “i realized after i’d done it – well, g explained – humans need ‘em for shomethin’. so, guess i shouldn’ve broken it again.

You thump your head against the door as you lean back and sigh.

“That’s not really what I’m pissed about, you know that right?” you tell him.

i… yeah, i know that.

There’s a long silence between the two of you as you hear the bottle sloshing around.

… can i tell ya somethin’, sweetheart?

“Go ahead,” you tell him.

… i wanna apologize an’ make it up to ya, make up fer that shitty thing i did, but i don’t fuckin’ know how to do that.

“… Can I tell you something, Red?”

always.

“Even if you did? I don’t know how to go about forgiving you guys. I don’t know that I want to, but I don’t want to stay angry, either. I don’t even know where to start.”

And isn’t that the truth. This situation reminds you too much of your parents, and your solution to that after twenty years of life was to pack up and leave. But now you’re discovering that these guys actually care about you, in varying degrees and for varying reasons, and you just don’t know how to process that.

whatever you do, sweets, don’t listen to sober red, ‘k? ‘es a fuckin’ asshole.

You restrain a giggle. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

seriously, he talks a big game but he ain’t shit, okay?

“Okay, I believe you.”

he might even try an’ tell ya that he was th’ one to abstain from the vote.

You frown. “Oh really?

yeah. but he didn’t! truth is, he’s a big selfish n’ jealous ashhole an’ who figured you’d go for that smooth-talker g, an’ he just wanted a piece for himself.

“I see,” you say.

You hear him screw the cap back on the bottle, the absence of sloshing telling you that he must be finished with his drink. He groans as you hear his large body shift to stand up from the floor.

good talk, sweetheart,” he announces. “’m gunna go nap this stuff off. are you… are ya gunna still be here when i wake up?” he pleads, his abrasive voice getting small again.

You stand up from the floor as well.

“… Yeah. I mean, I don’t have any firm plans otherwise yet,” you answer honestly.

okay good,” he sighs, relieved.

You hear him wander down the hallway, his heavy body bumping into the wall on the way to his room. The knob rattles as it turns, and the hinges squeak as the door opens, then a slam as it’s shut.

You head over to the bed, picking up your phone from where you left it. Looking over it at all the flowers scattered around the room, you’re surprised at yourself.

Of the guys, Red was the first one to be honest with you. Sure, he had to get completely sloshed before he could be, but it shocks you that maybe… If you can figure out how to forgive these guys, and in spite of that unwelcome kiss last night before you left, Red might be the first one you can bring yourself to let off the hook.

Chapter Text

This is getting frustrating.

You don’t have a job, you don’t have a phone to get a job, and you don’t have a job to get a phone. Blue had implied that you could stay here for as long as you needed to get your stuff sorted out, even use their address on applications and such, but you’re not actually sure how you can make this work.

Plus you’ve had to sidestep around the guys literally all day, just to get something to eat from the kitchen every now and then.

Red woke up earlier and continued drinking, but besides a brief attempt to paw at you, he’d left you well enough alone when you reminded him that he’s already burned all his strikes.

Blue and Blueberry hadn’t really left their rooms, except when Blueberry came out to make tacos for dinner, one of which he’d left by your door on a plate. You tried it. It was terrible. No wonder the guys preferred your newbie cooking. A while later you heard pizza being delivered.

G seemed to be everywhere you went, but you brushed him off every time. What the hell do you even say to him? He asked if you got the chocolates and kept trying to apologize or make small talk, but you still just don’t know how to trust him. Your heart feels broken.

Reaper and Dance, on the other hand, both seem ambivalent about the whole situation. Dance still hangs out on the lounger listening to music, and Reaper still hangs out on the sofa watching horror movies and chuckling at them. Sometimes Dance looks up at you with a shy smile, but you remember that the vote was five for and one abstain, and if that was G, then he was in on the whole plan too.

Late that night, as you’re just getting into bed, there’s a small, hesitant knock on the door.

“Who is it?” you call out in the dark room.

“UM…” Blueberry’s innocent voice mumbles, and you suppress an immediate grown. “C-CAN I ASK YOU SOMETHING?”

“What.”

“I WAS WONDERING IF, UM, YOU COULD READ TO ME AGAIN?”

“Sorry, Berry,” you sigh. “But according to you, if I read you a bedtime story then I have to read one to everyone else, too. And frankly who has that kind of time?”

Besides, the lights are off, you’ve brushed your teeth, dressed for bed, and taken a painkiller for the headache you’ve been working on. You don’t plan to leave this room until morning, at the earliest.

There’s a defeated sniffle on the other side of your closed door.

You roll over and bury yourself in the comforter, trying to get some sleep.

 


You didn’t sleep very well.

Grumbling the whole way, you haul yourself into the tub for a morning soak, then get changed into some of the clothes on loan to you from the walk-in closet. Fortunately, there’s no surprises waiting for you in there this morning, nor in the bedroom itself – just all the flowers and chocolates still littering the place, right where the guys left them before. You just haven’t had any inclination to do anything with them.

It’s very early still, with the sun just starting to rise, so you figure it might be safe to head downstairs to make yourself some breakfast. Your stomach gives an approving growl of this course of action, so you head out of the bedroom and down the hallway.

Down the stairs you realize you’re not alone in the livingroom. Reaper’s on the couch watching…

… Is that Tucker and Dale vs. Evil?

After heading into the kitchen for a pack of pop tarts, you decide to take up the recliner opposite the sofa and join him.

morning, mortal,” Reaper greets idly.

“Morning, god,” you snidely reply. “Can’t sleep?”

don’t need to.

“Well, that’s convenient.” More time to do stuff, although you guess his thing is just horror movies.

He shrugs his response, that perma-grin still on his face as he turns back to the movie, chuckling at this next part.

Behind you, you hear someone climbing the stairs up from the basement. You spot G poke his head around the corner. “Oh, morning _____, morning Reaper.”

Absently you wave at him before G excuses himself to make some coffee. Reaper grins wider.

“... Okay, that look makes me feel like there’s something you’re not telling me,” you accuse the enrobed skeleton.

… maybe,” he drawls in that ethereal voice.

“Well, my life’s not getting any less complicated, so spill.”

… i know a couple of the guys have told you that they abstained from the vote,” he highlights.

You groan in realization. “You’re not about to tell me that it was you who abstained, are you?”

oh no, i definitely voted yes,” he grins. “i figured it’d end in disaster and i wanted to watch.

This guy is a regular shit disturber! He had no interest in the deal, he just wanted to see it all fall apart.

“… Then who…?”

dance abstained. ‘cause, you know, he doesn’t talk.

G curses from the kitchen, and you scowl in the direction of the doorway. Then, hearing footsteps on the stairs, you spin around to see Dance stopped on the stairs midway down, having paused when he heard Reaper say his name. Between his hoodie and basketball shorts, you’d almost assume it was Blue, but then he’s also got his headphones on around his neck with a cable leading to his pocket.

Realizing he’d just been trying to offer you some support yesterday, you climb out of the recliner and give him a big hug. The slight skeleton’s hard face warms up at your touch, hands coming out of his pockets to hold you timidly.

“Sorry I was an ass to you that night,” you tell him quietly.

He shakes his head against your shoulder, shrugging and giving you an awkward, comforting pat. It seems like you’re already forgiven.

fuckin’ figures. why’s it always the quiet ones ya gotta look out for?” Red scowls, standing on the landing just above you and Dance. It seems the rest of the house is slowly deciding to start waking up.

Suddenly there’s a loud WHAM WHAM WHAM against the front door immediately behind you. Dance jumps and you break off the hug with a startle. Holy shit, who’s here at this hour of the morning? And why does it sound like they’re trying to break in?!

They SLAM against the door again for good measure, then you hear muffled yelling. Did they just body check the door? Fuck, you might have to open it just to figure out what the hell’s going on. Whether or not that’s a safe or wise decision right now is hard to gauge.

In between the stranger’s assaults on the door, you manage to head over to it and take a look out the peephole.

Outside you see a black tattered t-shirt with a broken red heart on it, teal skin, long red hair, and a wide, sharp, almost demonic smile.

Chapter Text

no…” Red pleads. “no no no, fuck no.

Against all sane and better judgement, you had opened the door.

The figure dashes past you and Dance, moving like a black and teal shadow as it bolts after Red. Long red hair trails after them in a high ponytail, knee-high red boots with stiletto heels causing them seemingly no trouble on the warped wood staircase.

Red falls on his ass as he tries to get away, his housecoat flying open and one of his slippers falling off. His skull soaks itself in beads of pink sweat, then he vanishes from sight as he teleports right next to you downstairs. You yelp as he grips your shirt, red eye wild with… Fear?

why’d you let the crazy bitch in?!” he accuses frantically.

“I don’t even- Who??

DON’T THINK I’LL FALL FOR THAT OLD TRICK, SANS!!!” the figure howls.

Red tries to scramble away again, but the stranger leaps onto him from the stairs, somersaulting over the head of Dance, who deftly avoids getting hit in the exchange. They land on Red and after a lot of cursing and a brief struggle, they have both their arms hooked under his shoulders, with their fingers interlaced behind his neck.

you fucking psychopath! what are you even doing here??” he demands in frustration.

The figure, now that you can get a better look at her when she isn’t leaping around the house like some wild untamed beast, is a tall monster woman with fins in the place of her ears and teal scales. She’s got on black cut-offs with a simple belt, that battered black shirt that’s had both sleeves and the midsection violently torn away to showcase her muscles, those tall red boots, and long, elbow-length red gloves. Her eyes are yellow with dark slits like a cat and bright with malice, a long dark scar over her left. She flashes her sharp teeth in a broad, sinister smile over Red’s shoulder as she answers him.

“Alphys called me. Sounds like you boys need to be PUNISHED,” she cackles.

G appears from the kitchen with a pot of coffee in hand, curious at the events going on in the front hallway. She twists to see him and changes her grip on Red so she can raise one slender gloved hand in the air. In an instant, a glowing red spear is summoned from nothing, and upon lowering her arm, it flings itself violently at G.

The coffee pot shatters, soaking his clothes and the floor with hot coffee. G just looks down at himself and sighs resignedly.

“… Damnit. Undyne-“ he complains.

“NO BREAKFAST UNTIL I ALLOW IT!” she barks. “We’ve got a LONG day of TRAINING ahead of us, FUCKERS.”

 


Alphys appeared a short time later to drive you to Timmies for breakfast. Just you, though – she seems okay with the idea of leaving the guys alone with that crazy lady who moves like a wolverine and destroys glass coffee pots with inexplicable magic spears.

“So, like,” you blink, rubbing at your eye and still feeling off-kilter from the events of this morning already. “Who the fuck? What the fuck? And how the fuck?

The shy lizard’s glasses seem to glint as if she’s suddenly some sort of cartoon villain. “Un-Undyne, or, well, at least th-this one, is from Red’s home universe,” she explains. “I-I thought that, um, it might h-help things out, i-if she came by for a tr-tr-training day. You know! J-just to loosen things up a-a bit, b-back at the house.”

The way Alphys’ eyes are shining and the fact that her tail swishes from one side to another as she talks tells you that maybe Undyne was serious about the whole punishment thing – and that Alphys was in on it. Is this what she meant by backup?

“I don’t… Ugh,” you struggle. “I don’t need the boys punished for what they did, that seems… Mean, and really unnecessary. Besides, things are already weird between us anyways! I don’t think that whatever Undyne’s here for is going to do anything.”

“J-just give her a chance,” Alphys encourages.

 


After getting you a bagel with cream cheese and a hot drink from Timmies, breakfast for herself, and a box of doughnuts for later, she drives you to a large open football field at a highschool nearby. It’s Saturday, so the only people on it right now are your skeleton housemates, and Undyne.

They seem to be running laps around the paved track circling the outside of the field. Several of the boys already look dishevelled, Red and Blue in particular. Dance has good form but he’s panting with his mouth hanging open, G is struggling to stay upright, but Blueberry actually seems to be enjoying this. He’s moving faster than the rest of the skeletons, pumping his arms and grinning broadly almost like he lives for training day.

Reaper, on the other hand, is lounging on the bleachers just watching the action, face still turned up in that eternal smile.

Once Alphys pulls into the school parking lot, you both decide to head over and join him.

“Sitting this one out?” you greet, taking the bench seat next to him.

Reaper tilts his head back to look at you and chuckles.

for some reason undyne didn’t think i needed the workout,” he grins.

Huh. Wonder why that is?

Alphys slides in on your other side, looking out at the skeletons still doing laps. Undyne’s summoned a glowing red whip with spikes at the end that she keeps coiled in her hand at one side, barking orders and cracking it at each skeleton that passes.

G runs up to the bleachers first, bent over double and resting his hands on his knees as he pants.

Thank god you’re here, _____,” he bemoans. Behind him, Undyne looks up at you curiously.

You crook a brow at him, sipping your drink. “What do you want?”

“L-Listen,” he coughs. “Undyne said we could stop doing laps only when you said so,” he explains, looking up at you pitifully. “Think you can let me off the hook for a bit?”

… Really?

Well, you have to think this one over. On the one hand, you still don’t quite get the point of ‘punishing’ the boys by making them work out on an empty stomach at the crack of dawn, and kind of want to let them all off of the hook. It’s a little embarrassing to think that they’re only being roughed up for your sake.

But, on the other hand…

“Five more laps,” you announce, sipping your drink.

“F-Five?!”

Undyne cackles behind him and the whip cracks right over his head. He falls to his knees at the sound of it.

“Sh-shit!” he swears. “Princess, some mercy, please!” he begs.

“That was the first time I’d kissed anybody in about two years, and it was because for the first time I thought I’d found a guy I liked that I could trust,” you explain bitterly. “When you can figure out how to apologize for that, then maybe I’ll let you stop running.”

His eye sockets widen in an expression that you can’t quite make out – as human-like their expressions can get, you’re just not up to speed on skeleton expressions just yet – but you’d like to think the slight droops of his sockets was sorrowful. Undyne cracks the whip behind him again, and he jerks forward.

“TEN MORE LAPS!!” she announces harshly.

“What?!” G protests. “But _____ said five!

“DID I FUCKING STUTTER?!

This time when she cracks it, it very nearly gets him on the ass, and he has no choice but to slip into a jog to keep going.

Alphys nudges your side, with the box of doughnuts out and open on her lap. “W-want one?” she asks, beaming brightly.

You gladly take one and snicker with her at G’s poor beleaguered form shuffling further down the track. “You know,” you say to her, after taking a mouthful of sickly sweet pastry and swallowing it. “Part of me feels kind of bad for making him suffer like that. But another, bigger part of me? Really enjoyed that.”

Chapter Text

Once Red rounds the track, everyone’s a little bit surprised when you let him off the hook next. You feel like being a little sweeter on him though, what with his honest drunken confession the other night. Undyne cracks her whip at him anyways.

“I wanna see one more lap outta you, Sans!” she crows.

fuck off, fish bitch. _____ already let me off the hook,” he groans.

“I DON’T CARE ABOUT HER, YOU STILL OWE ME TWO HUNDRED GOLD! NOW MOVE IT!!

Well, you guess he’ll be back the next round.

Dance you let off the hook immediately, shoving Alphys’ doughnuts in his direction promptly. He blushes and takes one, finding a seat higher up on the bleachers behind you. He was the abstain vote, and if you’d had your way he would have been up here with Reaper, Alphys, and yourself since the start.

Blue you gave a couple more laps to for initially lying about being the abstain vote, and Undyne saw no reason to increase the number of them. … Until she heard him mutter “sadist” under his breath. That earned him two more.

Blueberry never actually stopped to ask. He just kept going like the Energizer bunny. Each time he passed he flashed you a grin and even a wink. Was he just trying to show off? You rolled your eyes.

Of all of them though, G was the last to finish, and Undyne had to chase him down with the whip to get him to complete his final lap.

After everyone was done running and on the bleachers, the rest of the doughnuts having been distributed to Dance, Red, Blue, and Undyne (who split the last one with Alphys), she produced a box of protein bars for the guys to recharge.

ugh,” Blue complains, opening his teeth and letting crumbs fall out. “did you intentionally buy the worst-tasting protein bars on the planet?

Undyne dramatically rips the wrapper off of hers and snaps it in two with her razor sharp teeth. She swallows the half in her jaws in one gulp. “If you don’t like it, you don’t eat,” she threatens mirthfully.

Blueberry has already devoured three of the gross energy bars and started doing squats.

The rest of them struggled to eat even one. Red actually only ate half of his and then spit most of it out anyways, and Reaper didn’t eat. He offered the one he’d had shoved into his hands to you.

morbidly curious?” he presses with a grin.

You chuckle slightly. “Actually, yes.”

Unwrapping it, you take a small bite off one corner. The guys are watching you intensely.

Then you take a second bite.

You shrug. “Not bad.”

“wait, really?” Blue complains, looking pained.

You shrug. “It’s just bland is all. The saltiness helps, though.” It’s honestly no worse than some of the diet food your mother tried on you to keep your figure thin. Ugh.

un-fucking-believable,” Red curses behind you.

Undyne tosses everyone some water bottles to hydrate, downing her own in one extended gulp, then she stares down each of the skeletons intensely in turn. It feels like it takes forever for her to finish whatever thought she’s stuck in the middle of, but once she does, she jerks a thumb at Dance and Sans.

“You two, sit out,” she barks. “Reaper, fuck it, you too. The rest of you, back on the field!”

“oh, thank god,” Blue sighs, relieved.

You crook an eyebrow at him. “What was that about?”

“oh,” he startles. “she was just checking our stats. if our hp is too low then she won’t fight us. i’m guessing dance and reaper have the same issue as me, so they’re sitting out.”

He looks up at Dance sitting above him on the stands, who has a silent question crossing his face.

“right, you weren’t here the last time she did this. basically, the next step in her training plan is mock battles.”

Dance opens his mouth in understanding, then nods, sliding his headphones over his ear holes and tapping at his MP3 player.

You look at Alphys next. “Mock battles? They’re actually going to fight?”

Reaper’s smile twitches, unseen by you or anyone, then he chuckles as he grins wider.

now this i’ve gotta see,” he says, amused.

“Are we going one at a time like last time?” G asks, facing Undyne with Blueberry and Red at his left and right. “’Cause if so, I’d love to go get a coffee while Berry-“

“OH! PICK ME FIRST! PICK ME!!” Berry perks up, jutting a blue gloved hand in the air with stars in his eyes.

“-Inevitably volunteers to go first,” he finishes.

HAH!” Undyne cackles, summoning long red spears of magic in each of her hands, taking a stance. “None of you even SCRATCHED me last time, so THIS TIME I want to see a REAL fight!”

“… did she just ask for a three on one?” Blue asks.

“I-I-I think so, eheh,” Alphys nervously stammers.

tch. fucking crazy-“ Red complains.

“I’M FIRST!” Undyne bellows.

For his indignance, or just because they seem to know (and not like) each other, Undyne fires her spears at Red first, one after the other. He just barely rocks his body out of the way of them, seemingly relieved when he does, only for the boys to look up.

She’s created perhaps a hundred spears in the air above her, maybe more, which she then rains down on all three of them. You launch from your seat as they come crashing down on top of them.

G and Red disappear and reappear so quickly you can’t even determine where they begin and end. Blueberry, on the other hand, has summoned a large bone to deflect some of them, dodging the rest.

You heave a sigh of relief. They all seem to come out of it okay. G and Red are panting, looking maybe a little battered for the ones that still grazed them, but they’re okay.

Blueberry is loving this. He glances up at you before taking a stance.

“MY TURN!” he declares confidently.

A blue outline forms around Undyne and she drops to one knee. What is he doing to her? Did he make her kneel for a reason?

But the fierce woman from another universe is unperturbed. She tilts her head back up and grins.

Blueberry starts summoning his bone magic as frantically as he can, sending them along the ground to try and strike her as much as he can, while also summoning them in the air to fly at her simultaneously. It doesn’t seem to compare to the shower of spears that she just unleashed, but from the look of concentration on his face, you feel like he’s doing the absolute best that he can.

Undyne makes it look like child’s play, though. She cartwheels around them, jerking left and right as if she can see them coming before he can even manage to summon the magic bones. The ones in the air don’t even graze her ponytail. Sometimes she jerks left and right unnaturally, bringing her closer to some of the larger bones in the onslaught, but she keeps her balance regardless and they miss her all the same.

Blueberry’s panting now after using that much magic, but then he straightens and flexes, sending you another wink.

“You could’ve used your special attack, Berry,” G grumbles. “She can take it, you know.”

Berry almost looks appalled. “WHAT? AND REVEAL MY SECRET WEAPON ON THE FIRST TURN?! INCONCEIVABLE!”

“G, you’re up next,” Undyne barks, straightening as the blue outline around her fades and bending her knees, ready to pounce. “Hit me with your best shot!”

He glances next to him at Red, who grins, and he smirks.

“Oh, we will.”

Both of them disappear from sight. Wait, are they working together?!

This might be the first time you’ve ever seen Red and G in agreement on anything.

Blueberry looks flustered as he glances around for them in every direction. “TH-THAT’S CHEATING!!” he calls out.

They reappear about ten paces from Undyne on either side of her, and they’re not alone when they do.

Dozens of these huge, floating, dragon skulls hover in the air above each of them. G is on the far side, and the ones above him almost mirror his facial features – a glowing yellow ring in the left socket, and the cracks going down from the left eye socket and up from the right. Red’s you can’t see as well as his back is to you, but his seem much larger and have more sharp teeth in their open jaws.

You worry that they’re all going to go flying at Undyne and bite at her, but something else happens instead.

All of their mouths start to fill with light.

Undyne stands tall and grins.

Alphys launches from her seat next to you, the empty box of doughnuts and remaining crumbs going flying.

“UN-UNDYNE!”

You have to shield your eyes from the light.

After hearing what basically sounded like a bomb going off maybe a hundred metres in front of you, you bring your arm down to see what’s happened.

Undyne’s grabbed both G and Red by the fronts of their shirts, holding them effortlessly above her and smacking them into each other by their skulls, which causes them to yelp or groan in pain. She’s got that wild, serrated smile on her features, the hair of her ponytail mussed up from some effort you couldn’t see.

There’s a bit of hair over her face that doesn’t seem to shift when she jerks her head to clear it out of the way. It trickles further down her face from the effort.

Wait. Is that… Blood?

“DID YOU REALLY THINK YOU HAD ME WITH THAT LAME STUNT, YOU DUMBSHTS?!” she cackles menacingly.

“Ow…” G whines.

Alphys looks between you and Undyne, fretting with something invisible in her claws and looking extremely nervous. You stand up from the bench and start heading down to the field.

“Hey, um, Undyne?” you call out. “I think that’s maybe enough for one day.”

Chapter Text

There was apparently an elementary school nearby that had really invested in their playground, so Undyne had the guys run there to use it as sort of an impromptu obstacle course until noon. You and Alphys hung back as she hired a landscaping crew to come repair the track and field after the ‘mock’ battle left a giant crater behind. They showed up pretty quickly for a Saturday morning.

“Do you just have all sorts of repair people on speed-dial?” you ask.

“Pretty much, heh,” Alphys smiles shyly, swishing her tail from side to side.

… How loaded are these monsters?

After they wrapped everything up including laying down fresh sod and watering it, she invited you back to her smart car and drove you to a buffet restaurant to wait for Undyne and the skeletons.

Dance came in the car with yourself and Alphys after you exempted him from the obstacle course, as you didn’t want him to have to go through any more punishment today. Especially since he didn’t actually do anything wrong. You’re a bit thankful for him, as he slides into the seat next to you. Alphys is on your other side, with Undyne immediately next to her with her arm casually draped over the lizard woman’s shoulders.

“… C-Can you at least let me l-look at it?” Alphys stammers out to the intimidating woman next to her, blushing furiously.

Undyne rubs at her forehead with a paper napkin, crumpling it and tossing it aside. “Feh,” she grunts. “Don’t even bother wasting the magic. It’s nothing.”

“W-Well, d-don’t scare me like that,” she scolds gently.

The larger woman blinks, then nods solemnly and kisses her on the forehead.

“Are you two dating?” you have to ask.

Tch. What was your first clue, nerd?” Undyne rasps, chuckling.

“I mean, I don’t mean to be rude,” you fidget. “But like, how does that work? Aren’t you from Red’s universe?”

“Sans doesn’t own the place,” she snaps. “But we make it work. It’s not hard to bridge back and forth thanks to those two boneheads at the helm, and while we both get caught up in our work, we still find the time.”

“That’s, I mean, that’s cool,” you admire.

It makes you wonder about the Undyne from this universe though, and the Alphys from Undyne’s. Assuming the pattern holds, anyways.

Slowly, the rest of the boys start to filter in to the restaurant and slide into seats at the long table. Reaper is at the head of the pack looking none the worse for wear, probably having been exempted from taking the obstacle course as well. He casually claims the seat next to Dance on the other side of you. Blueberry follows him, out of breath but still beaming from earhole to earhole with pride. He slides in next to Undyne, looking over at you and grinning.

Apart from those two, the rest of the boys look half dead as they drag themselves in to sit at all sides of the long table.

“Took you all long enough!” Undyne barks.

G collapses on the table with a THUNK, his face sideways so he can scowl at her. “It’s twelve blocks!

“That’s nothing!” she fires right back. “I got here fifteen minutes ago!

ughhh,” Blue groans, resting his face in his folded up arms on the table.

“Get some food in you, you lazy shits!” she swears. “We’re only going to sit here for an hour, and then the REAL work begins.”

“Um, actually,” you speak up. “I think that maybe the boys have had enough ‘training’ for one day.”

G’s head snaps up to look at you. He doesn’t say anything, just sighs.

Undyne scans you curiously over Alphys’ head. “You sure, punk? These jokers can take it.”

You still feel a bit embarrassed that they were being punished for your sake in the first place, and that ‘mock’ battle went from zero to a hundred way too quick. You don’t think you have the stomach to watch another one like that, and the way Alphys is looking at you, you’re not sure she does, either.

“Yeah,” you relent. “I feel like they’ve had enough for one day.”

Assorted groans and sighs of relief erupt from the gathered skeletons. Shortly thereafter, a waitress comes by to take all their drink orders.

“Coffee, please,” G perks up immediately.

“Would you like cream and sugar on the side?” she helpfully offers.

“No, actually, if you could just bring me the whole pot? That’d be wonderful.”

She scans the table, counting how many coffee cups to bring.

“Oh, that’s just for me,” he clarifies. “Blue, what do you want?”

 


You’re on your second soda when your stomach starts to rumble in annoyance that you haven’t fed yourself yet. How can you, when you’re boxed in at a buffet table like this? Undyne got up to get Alphys’ plates for her, and Reaper doesn’t eat (he'd traded spots with Dance when Dance went and got food, so now he's immediately next to you), so you’ve just kind of suffered through it, not wanting to ask either of them to move out of the way.

Undyne seems to notice your predicament though, as she nods at the boys. “Somebody go get _____ some food before she wastes away back here!” she orders.

“Okay, I’ve had enough of this,” G grumbles back, straightening in his seat. He seems to have recovered after having half a pot of coffee. “Why the hell are we getting put through the meat grinder for her? It’s not like any of us are dating her,” he complains.

“No,” you highlight flatly. “You’re not.”

He gapes a second, and then looks extremely guilty for his actions, slouching against the table again with a hand coming up over the top of his skull.

“And none of you have actually even said you’re sorry yet,” you point out. “Just shifted blame to each other and expected me to be okay with it? Well, besides Red, kind of,” you reconsider.

Red halts with the open mouth of a beer bottle an inch from his face, his skull seeming to scrunch up around his nasal hole in confusion. “i what?

You roll your eyes. “You were drunk and talked about how badly you wanted to make it up to me.” He seriously doesn’t remember that?

The bottle hits the table with a THUNK, his other large hand coming over his reddening face. It seems he remembers that. Undyne, clearly familiar with his antics from their home universe, cackles as she smacks a fist against the table.

“Anyways. I mean, Blueberry – the whole thing was your idea. Don’t you have anything to say?” you say, all eyes landing on him.

He wrings his gloved hands in front of himself for a moment, then looks up at you with a blue face and a sheepish little smile. “I FIGURED, I MEAN… WE ALL JUST WANT TO MAKE YOU HAPPY,” he announces, beaming at you warmly. “SO I THOUGHT THAT, MAYBE THIS WAY WE ALL COULD.”

Your next words die in your throat. Your eyes burn. His face is so innocent and earnest and it’s killing you. How is the cinnamon roll so sweet?

“I… Uh, Alphys,” you turn and clutch at the white sleeve of her labcoat. “I need to get up.”

She nods and Undyne shuffles out of the way for you too. You head for the bathroom to try and block the flow of tears.

G gets out of his seat to follow you, but a strong hand on his shoulder pushes him back down to pin him to the chair. Undyne scans the table with a dark, menacing look.

“You dumbasses are all just lucky she didn’t notice the rest of your faces just then,” she growls. “You’re all gunna apologize to her, and work to make it up to her, ‘cause otherwise if I have to come back here to fix your screw-ups again I’ll DUST you pack of idiots MYSELF. GOT IT?!”

Berry nods enthusiastically, while Reaper and Dance remain neutral. The rest of the boys murmur their agreement.

Chapter Text

Things are still a bit weird when you all get back to the house later that afternoon. But you can tell that the boys are all trying their best.

Reaper was actually the first person to approach you, which was surprising for a number of reasons. He said he’s had his laughs out of the whole situation, but highlighted that it wasn’t okay to vote in favour of you getting jerked around like that. You were kind of at a loss for words there, but once you finally struggled out a ‘thank you’, he just smirked and sunk into a black puddle in the middle of the floor in his overly-dramatic version of a teleport.

After he was the first to go, it seemed to break the ice for the rest of the boys.

Dance came up to you next, just opening his arms for a hug, which you happily gave.

Red struggled a bit with his apology. “’s not my fault you’ve got a fine ass, sweetheart,” he grinned lewdly at you. Is he seriously trying to flirt with you after what he did?

You crossed your arms and fixed him with a firm look. “Nope, not going to work. Try again.”

His smile soured to a frown and he smacked the wall above your head, gritting his teeth. “the rest of those fucks voted for it anyway, can ya really blame a guy for wantin’ a piece?” he challenged.

You rolled your eyes at him, unintimidated. “Maybe try this again when you’re drunk.”

Red balked at that, cursed under his breath, and went upstairs to his room, slamming the door shut.

Blue was timid about it, but after visibly struggling for a few seconds, finally stumbled out some words.

“sorry, for uh… well, a lot of shitty stuff i did,” he said, rubbing the backs of his cervical vertebrae.

“… For which parts?” you asked. Not challenging him exactly, just… Wanting to hear him say the words.

He looked down at his slippered feet for a few seconds, shuffling them, then looked up to meet your eyes just barely, his whole face and expression still downcast. “for, uh… for lyin’ to you about the vote, an’ for the vote itself. i realize now, we shouldn’t have, uh, treated you like… well, like something we could share.”

That was… Actually pretty good. Sincere, even if it was a bit difficult for him to get through. You hugged him around his shoulders and felt him jump a bit, then put his hands gently on your sides, almost as if he’s afraid to touch you after how he acted. When you let him go he was blushing bright blue, eye lights glancing away and muttering something about heading up to his room.

Berry was very enthusiastic about his apology.

“I’M REALLY SORRY,” he pleaded, palms together over his head like he’s begging and bending at the knees so much he may as well be kneeling. “I WON’T DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT EVER AGAIN, I TRIPLE PROMISE!”

Your heart melts at his earnest pleas, and you still feel a bit mixed up about refusing to read him a story last night. It was mean, but, well, he’d really kind of deserved it.

“Listen,” you shift awkwardly. “Did you really mean what you said, back at the restaurant?” you sigh, flustering slightly yourself. “When you said that… You guys all just wanted to make me happy?”

He looks up at you as he brings his hands down, stars in his eyes as he beams at you. ”YES!! I MEAN, I REALLY LIKE YOU, AND I KNOW THE OTHER GUYS REALLY LIKE YOU TOO! AND, LIKE-LIKE, NOT JUST FRIENDS-LIKE! UHH, B-BUT, THAT WOULD BE OKAY TOO! UM, IF YOU’RE STILL MAD…?”

He blushes a bright blue as he fidgets nervously with his gloved hands. You sigh and hold your head.

“… I don’t know if you really get why I was mad, still,” you reason out loud, more to yourself than to the youthful skeleton before you. He frowns slightly as you look over his head at Undyne, just inside the kitchen chatting animatedly with Alphys. “Here’s a weird idea, but just go with me on this one, okay? If you had proposed the same thing with Undyne, do you really think she’d have been any happier with it?”

“W-WELL, NO,” he frowns, bony brows knitting together. “SHE’D PROBABLY GET MAD ENOUGH TO DUST US, AND I KNOW SHE DOESN’T FEEL THE SAME WAY AS WE- OH. OH,” he stammers, his frown deepening. “A-ARE YOU SAYING, THAT MAYBE… YOU DON’T LIKE-LIKE US??”

You shift, feeling uncomfortable, then pat his bald head, just because it seems like the thing to do. It’s hard to resist comforting this innocent bean, even after the shitty thing he did behind your back. “You all have your moments, I’ll give you that, but I just mean that you guys didn’t consider my feelings at all, and that’s what really hurt me.”

Blueberry grabs your hand in both of his, blubbery blue tears forming at the sides of his bright sockets as he hugs it against his warm, hard face. “I’M SO SORRY!! AND, I WILL NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT EVER AGAIN!!” he promises once more, this time with a renewed intensity that tells you he gets it now.

You breathe a sigh of relief as you hug him gently around his slight shoulders. “Apology accepted,” you murmur to him, misting up yourself.

As you pull away he takes both of your hands gently in his. “AND, UM, I WAS WONDERING… I’D LIKE TO MAKE IT UP TO YOU SOMEHOW!”

You feel dizzy as you recall the events of training day. “I think you guys have suffered more than enough for my sake, honestly,” you say, shaking your head.

“NOT LIKE THAT! I MEAN, I WANNA TAKE YOU OUT SOMEWHERE… NICE,” he smiles gently, that bubbly earnestness coming back. “MAYBE WE COULD GO FOR ICE CREAM OR SOMETHING?” he beams.

… Is he really asking you out on a date on the heels of his apology?

… Ice cream doesn’t sound like a bad idea, after everything that’s happened over the past few days.

“You know,” you smile weakly, wiping at his tears as he unties his kerchief and offers to wipe yours too. “Ice cream actually sounds kind of nice. But, not tonight, okay? It’s late and I’d like to sleep soon.”

“OKAY! WE’LL FIGURE IT OUT TOMORROW, THEN?”

“Yeah. I’ll see you tomorrow, Blueberry.”

His whole body seemed to shake as he let out a joyous giggle, practically skipping his way upstairs to get ready for bed.

After picking through the kitchen for some crackers to munch on before bed and saying goodnight to Alphys and Undyne as they were heading out the door, you decided to head upstairs yourself.

Before you could get very far down the hallway, a very large skeleton wrapped himself around you and pulled you to the floor, smelling of beer and sweat and bad decisions.

don’ go. ‘m sorry. please don’ go.

… Red. That’s gotta be Red.

Seems like he took your advice about getting drunk first seriously. He hugs you tightly to his hard chest as he rocks you where you’re now both sitting on the floor of the hallway.

Sighing, you shift in his arms to hug him back. His chest shakes with a sob as you run your fingers through the soft fur lining of his open jacket.

“Hey big guy, I’m not going anywhere,” you reassure him gently.

He says nothing, just nuzzles into your hair as he trembles. You feel kind of awkward getting so close to him like this, when barely an hour ago he was still being a dick to you. It’s almost like he has some sort of Jekyll/Hyde personality to him, except that getting sloshed turns him into the nice one.

Blue at the end of the hall ahead of you opens his door, having heard the commotion. “everything, uh, okay?” he asks skeptically.

“We’re good,” you wave him off.

He crooks an eyebrow at that, glancing between you and Red for a second, then shrugs and closes his door again.

’m sorry ‘m such an asshole,” Red mumbles into your hair. “’s like i don’t know how not ta be, sometimes.

“… Do you get why I was mad?” you ask cautiously.

i hurt you. ‘m sorry. don’ wanna hurt you no more.

He hiccups rather loudly, and you feel it through his whole body as it explodes your ear near his shark-toothed face. It’s a struggle not to laugh at such a random noise amoungst all the feelings and crying you’ve been having all of tonight.

… i’d get it if ya wanted to leave,” he continues somberly, pulling away slightly so he can hold your face in his humoungous hands. “… but i’m a selfish bastard an’ i don’ want you goin’ nowhere else.

You take the opportunity to wipe at the red tears and sweat marring his big pathetic face, then take his and kiss him on the forehead. “I’m really not going anywhere, okay? I forgive you, Red. I’m staying, okay?”

He sighs, hugging you close again, the sobs seeming to have relaxed a fair bit. He hugs you a lot tighter this time though, almost to the point of crushing you, and you grip his sleeve and are about to ask him to loosen up a bit when he mutters something by your ear.

… don’ wanna be alone no more.

… That’s right. He lost his brother Papyrus – they all did – and they’re all struggling with that reality in their own ways. Maybe being drunk doesn’t necessarily bring out the softer, nicer Red, but it throws open the floodgates for his loneliness instead.

You let him squish you for a few more minutes before coaxing him to stand up and bringing him back to his room for bed.

It’s a disaster zone in here – you have to be really careful with where you put your bare feet on his stained carpeted floor, as it’s completely littered in clothes and some visible pieces of broken glass from beer bottles. But you manage to lead him by the hand to his bed, then sit next to him and hold his hand as you softly talk him to sleep.

Once he starts snoring up a storm of chainsaws against sheet metal, you head to your own room for your rest.

You distantly wonder how his Papyrus might’ve handled tonight before you pass out, exhausted from today’s events.