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The dead leaves of the fall forest crunched under his midnight black and hot pink sneakers. The cool air fluttered the pink fur around the black hood covering his skull. Every so often, ruby red ankhs in his sockets darted from side to side, looking for any quick flutter of movement that resembled paper gliding on the wind.

In fact that was exactly what he was looking for: pieces of parchments gliding on the wind--- stuck in trees and brush or covered by red and orange leaves on the ground. Part of his job was finding these pieces of paper. The other (not so simple) part was destroying these sheets of parchments before they mutated into beasts so horrid, the populace referred to them as Night Terrors.

He wouldn't say he was an expert at his job, but he did have several years of experience after having gone through some intense training at Our New Kingdom. ONK didn't have too big of a Night Terror problem, unlike here in Falling Leaves which seemed to be having some sort of infestation for some unknown reason.

He wondered if the infestation was because Falling Leaves sat so close to the Lasting Remains, the ruins of Our Kingdom, the first monster settlement after the war. Myth said that a Night Terror had destroyed the original kingdom, but for that to be true, the Night Terror would have to be enormous.

He wasn't sure if a Night Terror had destroyed Our Kingdom, though he had his own reasons for believing something was down there. As such, he had given himself the task of making sure the large, stone double doors stayed locked (though a Seven Circle Seal was one hell of a lock to pick), so his hunting ground of sorts took him from the town and forest of Falling Leaves, a charming little place covered in autumn colors, to the double doors leading to the Lasting Remains.

This time around, he hadn't found anything out of the ordinary. That being the case, he figured he could just enjoy the walk back. His favorite part of his job had always been the solitary walks, especially early in the morning. He guessed the time right now was probably six thirty in the morning.. The town of Falling Leaves had still been asleep when he left for patrol an hour ago.

Thank goodness for that...

Now, all he needed to do was get home and try to lie down and sleep---try being the key word. His spine had been killing him more than he was used to and, being a Skeleton Monster, that was quite the problem in regards to sleeping as he literally only had one sleeping position--- on his spine.

Maybe I should finally get it looked at, he pondered. But that would mean---

Something fluttered past him.

He blinked. "Shit, was that a Sleeper?" Had a piece of parchment with the potential to mutate wisped past him?

Actually he couldn't tell if the spell was going to mutate, at least not from this far away. The parchment was already floating away from him and straight for the town, caught in a rather strong gust of wind.

"Shit, seriously?" Well, yeah, of course one would show up on tha way home, after I got done checkin' tha area. Of fuckin' course it would! He held out his hand.

"I Call Upon the Second Circle
Perseverance!
Show Me the Way Forward!"

Small, purple circles laced with wings and curly lines appeared along the path. He stepped on one and shot forward, picking up speed with each successful step on a circle. With each step, the autumn leaves of the forest became blurs and streaks of red, orange and yellow.

Long tense minutes passed before he heard screaming as he arrived to the outskirts of town. Moments later, he stumbled into a crowd of fleeing, frantic monsters, forcing him to skip a few circles so he could slow down. He looked after the retreating monster only for an explosion to sound in the distance. He whipped around and his sockets widen.

He watched a towering creature resembling a snake rear up over a row of buildings. Made of ruby red hearts strung together, the beast whipped its spiked tail around. The weapon slammed into buildings, bursting out windows and raining down bricks and concrete.

He took off again, the circles leading him through back alleys and corners. Far up a main street, he could see his older siblings coming into view. His brother Rust was conjuring barriers to corner the beast and steer monsters to safety. His sister Azure had already summoned her skeletal pack of dogs which were trying to rip at the beast's body.

They... didn't seem as if they needed him for this one.

He was about to jump over the next few purple circles to slow down to a stop when he caught a flash of blue.

Not the blue of his sister's magic....

He squinted. "Wait... is that...?"

Was... was that another monster on the other side of the beast? Debris trapped him, preventing him from getting up and running down the street, while the snake was being forced back towards him by a pair of oblivious siblings. Any closer and its tail might---

"Fuck!" the bulky skeleton cursed. "Perseverance, show me the way up!"

The circles shifted, stacking upward into the air.

Jump. Up and over the debris, jump down in between the trapped monster and the snake baring down.

He landed with a resounding BOOOOM.

Shake off the pain.

"I Beseech the Fifth Circle
Barrier!
Close the Gate Behind Me!"

He tossed back his hand and a row of arrows shot up between him and the other monster. The little monster, another Skeleton, let out a surprised gasp.

"Stay behind tha gate," he ordered as he focused on the creature now hissing at him. He glared back. "I'm gettin' rid of this one!" he called to his sister and brother.

"Red...are, are you sure?" Rust asked.
The ankhs in Red's sockets flashed. "...It cut my walk short."
His siblings shivered, sockets wide. They (and the dogs) backed up.
Red held up his hand.

"I Command the Seventh Circle
Open!"

A rose red light flashed underneath the snake, catching its attention before a crimson circle expanded from under the beast. A large crimson X glared from the center. Howling wind whipped up, trapping the beast in the circle.

A wisp of scarlet circled around Red as he began to speak.

"Like the Dark Shadows of the Unknowable that rest in the Farthest Corner, reach for your prey."

A shadow, smoke, fog, something with no true shape, rose from the circle, surrounding the flailing snake.

"With Claws of the Unruly Last One, grab hold of that which defies you!"

The shape sharpened, sunk sharp edges into the flesh of the beast, drawing fountains of black blood and a window shattering screech.

Red didn't flinch.

"Hold tight, like the Vines of the Thorns and bring this beast to its knees!"

THUD

With one swift pull, the snake was pinned to the ground by claws. All the beast could do was thrash around.

"With the Fangs of the Guilty, gnash your teeth and thus the fear they deliver unto us, return that trespass multifold!"

A set of fangs, humongous, dripping, belonging to something far too big, rose from the circle with a shattering roar. It shoved the snake into its fangs, then chomped down, ripping another scream from the snake's fangs.

"This place deemed Worthy, cleanse its Sphere of the Atrocity before me. Erase its Ways that bring us Offense. Remove this unwanted presence! That which Opposes My Will, may the weight of your Transgressions crush you like the Rains fo the Fallen! You are Expulsed!"

A roar thundered as the fangs pulled the serpent down into the red circle. The snake shrieked and squealed as it vanished in a flash of crimson. The X in the circle lit up with a soft THOOM before the circle shrunk into nothingness. No sign of the snake remained and an eerie calm fell over the street.

Long seconds later, a cheer rang up.

Monsters poured from their homes and nearby alley ways. They crowded around Rust and Azure, congratulating and thanking them.

Red was left alone.

Well... that wasn't anything new.

Chapter Text

Red turned around, intent on slipping past the debris. He stopped short at the large orange arrows in front of him. "Oh. Fergot ya was back there, sorry," Red spoke to the smaller monster sitting on the ground and peering up from behind the gate. "Barrier, Open the Gate in Front of Me."
The arrows sunk into the ground with a swift, sharp "twang."

The small Skeleton, dressed in what looked like only a long powder blue coat and sneakers, continued looking up at Red, almost in some sort of reverence. Red could make out the electric blue S's behind his white pinpoints. A Font Skeleton then. He began to speak, voice low. "That was...."
Red shifted on his feet. Here we go...
"...the most beautiful Incantation I've ever heard."

Red blinked.

...What?

Did he... hear that right? Beautiful?

But... no, no, his Incantations--- his magic--- wasn't beautiful. His magic was dark, frightening, a dark mystery no one had the courage to try to solve. His magic conjured all manner of nightmares to erase, destroy, eradicate things from the physical plane.

His magic wasn't beautiful.

And yet....

"Who wrote it?" the smaller skeleton asked.
"Uh... the Incantation?" Red questioned. "I... I wrote it."
"You wrote it?" the Font questioned, standing up. "I mean, you're a Spectral, right? Ya got one of those magic symbols in your sockets. I've heard Spectrals have a harder time writing longer Incantations, so you usually get a Font but... you really wrote it?" He peered up at Red, gaze curious and questioning.
Red fidgeted his phalanges. "Ye-yeah. I really wrote it."
"That's incredible," the Font smiled. "Oh, I'm Sans." He held out a small, gloved hand.
Red took the offer after some hesitation. "...Red."
"Red, huh?" Sans rubbed his mandible in thought. "Aren't Spectrals usually named after a shade of their Soul's color?"
"Yeah, but... uh...," Red shoved his hands into the pockets of his large jacket. "So, when a Spectral Masters his Soul Magic, he usually names himself after the general color of his Soul."
Sans blinked. "Oh," he nodded, understanding. "So... you mastered Banishment Magic."

Red glanced to the side. Okay, now he's gonna panic, right? He's gonna get scared or creeped out, or---

"Wow, that's... pretty amazing," Sans smiled.

Red froze.

What!? Now he was amazing!?

"I've never met anyone who's Mastered his magic before," Sans continued dusting off his blue coat. "I grew up here, back when there were a lot of Fonts, but, ya know, reciting ain't our thing. When I went to ONK for college, all the Spectrals I met there weren't Masters either. So, to meet someone who's Mastered like, the rarest magic, that's some kind of luck, right?"

...Luck?

Sans thought he was lucky meeting someone like Red?

"Ya... are ya fuckin' with me?" Red glared down at the much smaller skeleton.
Sans blinked. "Wh-what?"
"I mean, ya saw what I just did, right?" Red asked.
"...Yes?" Sans cocked a brow.
Red grimaced. "And that... that didn't scare ya!?'
Sans gave a confused stare for a moment. "No. You really weren't doing anything weird. I mean, I guess a lot of monsters don't get how your magic works, but---"

"No, no they don't get it," Red interrupted, glaring back at he crowd still congratulating his siblings. " it's... It's scary ta a lot of monsters. They don't know what it is or how it works at all. They don't want ta because they can't take the time ta get over the initial fear they have towards it. So they avoid it...." Avoid me. "Not everyone is as open-minded as ya... Unless..." He glared back down at Sans. "Unless, ya know, ya really are fuckin' with me, 'cause why else would ya waste yer time talkin' ta me unless ya were gettin' some sort of sick kick outta it?"

"No, no, it's not like that, at all! I promise!" Sans held up his hands, giving a weak smile. "Uh, hey, I know! It's early, but how 'bout some breakfast? My treat, as thanks for saving from that Night Terror. Hm, unless you need to stay here and help clean up?"
Red glanced back at the dispersing crowd. Some monsters had begun cleaning farther up the street, even though the area near Red needed the most attention. He sighed. "Let's go...." He peered down at Sans again, his glowing red ankhs the only features visible from the heavy shadow cast by his hood. "...Yer really gonna buy breakfast fer me?"
"Yep," Sans gave a big smile.
"And... ma magic really don't bother ya?" Red asked, glancing away, sharp phalanges scratching at his sleeves.
"No, not at all," Sans reassured. "In fact...." Sans' genuine smile slid into a smirk. "I'd like to get to know more about it, about you, if that's okay."

Red felt his cheekbones grow hot. He thanked Error Below that his hood was tossing such a dark shadow over his face because he was sure his entire skull was crimson. "Uh, well... I guess we can... talk a little."
"Great," Sans smiled again, clapping his hands together. "Let's go to your favorite place, okay?"
"Su-Sure," Red nodded.

Gods, this was...weird.

Other than his family, no one had been this nice to Red before. No one had been so... not afraid of him.

No one had just wanted to... hang out with him. 

Red hunched over a bit more, wanting to hide in his coat. He was beginning to come to the startling realization that he had no idea what to do in this situation.

Chapter Text

"Here you are, gentemonsters," a fire elemantal spoke. "The usual Morning Delight for you, Red, and an All-In Breakfast for our new guest."

Red murmured a thanks. Grillby's Restaurant (the second one of its kind) was one of the few places that seemed to at least tolerate Red enough to serve him. Usually Red was ignored or flat out asked to leave for "making other patrons uncomfortable."

The larger skeleton sprinkled some salt over his bowl of rice topped with a scrambled egg.
Sans had ordered a huge stack of pancakes, sausage, eggs and toast.

Is he seriously gonna eat all that? Red questioned. He's such a little guy, almost like a baby bones. He watched Sans eat his pancakes, slow and somewhat restrained. Huh, really did spend a lot of time in ONK, didn't you? All of 'em eat like spillin' a drop would end tha Underground.

Though, Red would be lying if he said he wasn't a bit too careful when he ate. In ONK, everything was rather prime and proper, taken in slow steps to make sure nothing was ever amiss or out of place. Monsters learned early on all the little tips and tricks to proper etiquette and if one wasn't brought up that way, one had to learn from one's peers as fast as possible because how well one used the proper fork was more important than just being a decent monster overall. Unlearning all the etiquette was a difficult task. Red had been in Falling Leaves for a few years and he still made sure to at least fold his napkin in his lap before his food even showed up at his table.

He and Sans also didn't talk for a few minutes either. ONK etiquette dictated that one enjoys one's food for a few minutes before indulging in conversation. This sort of worked in Red's favor because right now, he really didn't know how to start a conversation with Sans. At home, he could talk freely with his supportive siblings, but this... this was different. Sans wasn't family. He was another monster that could have hated him for having the "wrong" Soul, for using the "wrong" magic.

But he didn't. Instead he was sitting here, eating with Red like... like a friend would.

Red hadn't had a friend since childhood and the one Skeleton that had befriended Red had only done so in the hopes of somehow increasing his status. Looking back, Red really wasn't surprised someone had tried to use him in that way. In ONK, status was everything and betrayals weren't really unheard of.

So, was that Sans' goal here? To use Red for something? Red wasn't really a secret, everyone knew about his Soul Color, about his magic. His family had never made hiding him or denying his Soul Color a point. Finding out about Red, finding out where Red was, that wasn't difficult. He worked for the Queen, so all of his info was pretty much public information for emergency purposes, like sudden Night Terror outbreaks. Sans wouldn't have a hard time finding him if he wanted him for something.

But, the way Sans had acted.... He didn't seem to know who Red was at a glance and even asked questions about his name. Maybe Sans wasn't here for him?

Red sighed. Seriously, get a grip, he told himself. Just... ask him what he's doing here. ...Is that okay? To just ask? What if he says no? ...Well, then you're just back "here" and "here" isn't too terrible. Just... take a deep breath. ....There you go.

Red breathed deep again, exhaled, then put down his fork. "S-So," he stumbled a bit. "Um... yer kinda far from home. Ya visitin' family or somethin?"
Sans pat his teeth with a napkin before speaking. "No, all of my family are still in ONK. I came here for research."
Red cocked a brow. "Ya wanna do research... in Falling Leaves?"

Despite the town's growth in the last few years, Falling Leaves was still considered the backwoods of the Underground. The area had started as more of a village when some of the population from the old kingdom has spilled over due to overcrowding. Eventually monsters left to explore more of the Underground, leaving behind a sleepy town with a small population that just never picked up again. Red couldn't really imagine what could be worth researching here. He knew from living in ONK that anything of real value was in the Archives. So, then, what was Sans researching here?

"Not here in the town ---well, not exactly," Sans corrected himself. "At Lasting Remains."
"The ruins of Our Kingdom?" Red questioned, fangs shifting. How does he even plan ta get in there?

"Yep," Sans nodded, slathering his toast with jelly. "Everyone knows the story about a giant Night Terror destroying Our Kingdom in one night. But, before that happened, the Copy Archives were placed in Falling Leaves back when the area was just becoming an actual town. The Copy Archives' main purpose was to hold back up copies of anything important, including any major changes to Our Kingdom, but it was also just a general secondary archive. So, we have a giant Night Terror attack, a few hundred survivors and once everything settles down, no one makes an official record for the Copy Archives about what happened." Sans paused a moment to enjoy a few bites of toast.

Red took a moment to think about Sans' words. He had to admit, the fact no one had recorded anything in any official capacity was sort of strange. He could understand the initial aftermath, recording the event would be the last thing on anyone's mind, but even so, why would no one go back and record something like that later? Red was pulled from his thoughts when Sans started speaking again.

"So, there aren't any Official Records about what happened. The best we have is personal journals and mythology books, and even those are a little vague, saying things like "something large and imposing destroyed the old kingdom." So, after ONK was established, they moved most of the Copy Archives up there. I made sure to check through those before I came down here to look at the rest of the Copy Archives. The truth is, I just..." Sans paused a minute to gather his thoughts. "Without some sort of Official Record, it's hard to believe that what we've been told actually happened down there. Don't get me wrong, I agree that something happened, obviously, but was it a Night Terror? I can't really be sure. I mean, for starters, that Night Terror you Banished, that's the average size of one, right?"

Red shifted his gaze in thought. "...Hm, yeah, I'd say that was about average size."

"Okay then, so I'm just supposed to believe a huge Night Terror destroyed an entire kingdom when there's no evidence that they get any bigger than the one we saw earlier?" Sans crossed his arms. "For something to destroy Our Kingdom in one night, the size alone would have to be massive! Something that big and no one thought about recording it in the Copy Archives? Okay, sure, maybe they just forgot to record it, but even then, why don't any of the journals or myth collections just come out and say that a Night Terror destroyed everything? It's like they just want to pretend it never happened, but if no one knows what happened, how do we prevent it from happening again?"

Red nodded in agreement as he watched Sans gobble down his pancakes. He seemed to forget his manners when he was flustered.

"Another thing," Sans started again after a gulping down a big bite. "The overall problem with no one knowing the truth is that it's hindering progress."
"Hinderin' progress?" Red questioned, skull tilted.

"We can't go explore the Lasting Remains because everyone thinks that the Night Terror could still be down there," Sans explained. "The history of our ancestors, heck, the possible answer to what really happened, all of that could be down there in the Remains. But no one wants to go down there because of this myth, even though there's no official proof that that's what happened. So, my assignment is to find out if the myth is indeed fact, to see if I can find something that says a Night Terror was responsible for what happened. If I can disprove it, then Queen Undyne may finally let me go down there."

"So, if ya personally don't think it was a Night Terror, what do ya think destroyed it then?"
"I don't know," Sans admitted. "Maybe a natural disaster that was personified into a creature, maybe something from the Surface. I'm hoping to find the answers one way or another."
"Sounds like this is really important ta ya," Red noted as he finished up his breakfast.

"Of course!" Sans replied. "I went to college to study history, so as a history major, heck, as Font, a species that loves studying and looking for solutions, I can't let any possible answers remained buried just because of some bedtime story!" He then gobbled down his sausage, a slight glare of irritation on his face.

"So," Red took a sip of his milk. "Do ya have a plan if ya do get permission ta go down there?"
"Well, like I said, I do believe something of great power destroyed Our Kingdom," Sans began. "So, rather whatever that is is still down there or not, I would take a powerful Spectral with me. We Fonts just don't have the stamina to cast a lot of Incantations in a row like Spectrals can."
"I see," Red placed the cup on the table and leaned back in the booth as he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Is that tha real reason yer talkin' ta me?"
Sans blinked. "Wh-what?"
"I mean, s'not the first time someone's played nice with me fer their own gain, so we can just cut ta tha chase about it."
Sans stared back, sockets wide. Someone had... used Red for their own gain? What the hell? "N-no, that's not why I... Red, I sincerely admire your skill and talent. I mean... asking you to come down there with me, that never even crossed my mind. ...You wouldn't be interested though, would you?"
"No."
"Ah," Sans looked down at his almost empty plate. "Well, that's quite all right."

"I wouldn't because I know there's something down there."

Sans' gaze shot back up at Red, who was hunched down even lower in his seat, skull lowered and covered in his hood. He leaned forward. "You know there's something down there?"
"It's why I check up on tha doors ta make sure no one's trying ta break the Seal on them." Red answered.
"How... how do you know there's something down there?" Sans asked, voice low.

Red glanced to the side. What am I doing? I barely know this guy. I don't owe him any answers....

And yet...

"Somethin'... somethin' else happened down there," Red's voice was just above a whisper. "Somethin' I'm sure ya can find at least partial Official Records on. If ya find it, I'll tell ya everythin'."
Sans blinked. "...Really?"
Red nodded.

Why...why was he going this? Why did he want Sans to find any information at all? Why did he need anyone to know?

Gods, am I that lonely?

"Okay," Sans nodded. "I'll take you up on that," he smiled. What a cute, lazy smile. "Gonna go pay the bill, okay?"
Red nodded as Sans got up and walked past him.

His 'nose' twitched.

Was... was Sans wearing perfume? Something sweet he could almost taste on his tongue. How strange.

Red slid down in his seat. This is weird, he admitted to himself. Sans makes me talk.... no, he... lets me talk. And he listens and... I feel like i could tell him anything. He makes me... comfortable? Yeah... I feel sort of... comfortable around him...

"Hey," Sans called from next to Red.
Red glanced over. "Yeah?"
"All paid up," Sans smiled again. "I need to make a phone call. I hope we see each other again soon."
"Uh, yeah. Sure. See ya later."
Sans gave another lazy smile and walked out of the diner.
Red sniffed, catching another whiff of sweetness. I wonder why I'm now noticing that. Maybe because we're indoors? It smells nice, though. Maybe... If I see him again, I can ask him about it.... Oh geez... I... really want to see him again? Red tugged at his sleeves. I really have no idea how to deal with this.

~

Sans sat down on the plush bed of his small, pink floral patterned inn room. He reached over to the mahogany bedside table and picked up the receiver of the black rotary phone. After a few transfers, his colleague picked up.

"Hello?"
"Hey, Matisse, it's me, Sans."
A gasp. "Hello, Mr. Sans! I can't believe you're calling me at my personal office!"
That's because the main office is closed this early in the morning.... Sans gave a nervous laugh. "...Right."

Matisse had always been a rather... excitable Font. He was hard worker and very bright for his young age, and that was part of the reason Sans had taken him on as an intern. Matisse had a bright future ahead of him in Historical Geological Studies (the study of the the overall physical changes of the Underground to make predications about what could become (in)habitable in a few decades). His reports were always concise and well-cited. In short, he was a dependable, intelligent intern who just sort of got... distracted when Sans asked him to do an assignment--- if "distracted" meant "dropping everything to do whatever Sans asked of him." Sans had chalked this trait up to Matisse just wanting to please someone he viewed as a sort of idol, but after talking to him a few times, Sans was starting to think that Matisse's feelings were starting to become more than simple idol admiration.

Sans had been careful in keeping his relationship with Matisse as professional as possible by giving him small assignments to teach him how to balance time and projects, something he would have to do once his internship timed out. He only talked to him about assignments or anything in regards to the internship in the hopes that the infatuation would wear off. So, he would be cordial and keep this conversation short and to the point.

"What can I do for you, Mr. Sans?"
Drop the mister for one. I'm not that much older than you.... "I have a new assignment for you, though, I have to admit, it is sort of like a favor, too, since it would be helping me out."
"Anything, Mr. Sans!" Matisse chirped.
Sans' sighed a bit. "Right. Someone gave me an interesting tid bit of information. I still want to continue looking for solid evidence of what happened to Our Kingdom, but I think this info might be prove helpful. So, I was wondering if you could go to the Archives and look for---"
"Of course, of course!" Matisse interrupted loud enough to make Sans pull the phone away from his skull for a moment. "If it'll help you in any way!" His smile shouted through the receiver.

Sans' teeth shifted in annoyance. "Yes, right. So, if you would allow me continue. I met someone who told me he knew there was something in Our Kingdom because something else happened down there. He informed that I should be able to find some trace of what happened in Official Records. Personally, I think either he went to Our Kingdom or he knows someone who went. I imagine they went in an official capacity for Queen Undyne since you need her permission to open the doors, so maybe check Exploration Records?"

"All right!" Matisse replied, voice ever so chipper.
"You've got the number to my inn room, right?" Sans continued. He made giving his contact information to colleagues a habit so others could reach him in the event that his dad, Dr. Gaster, did something crazy. Gaster was a genius to be sure, but he also "had too many lights on in the attic" and his experiments, well-meaning as they were, got a little out of control from time to time as a result....

"Yes, of course," Matisse answered. "Um, since I have your number, could I call you, like, maybe after work?"
Sans cringed a bit, imagining the bit-too-wide smile on the younger skeleton's face. "Matisse," he started, voice stern. "I am going to be out doing my research. I will not have time for personal calls."
"Oh...," Matisse went quiet for a moment. "Yes, of course."
"Thank you for your help, Matisse," Sans continued. "Please call this number and leave a message if you find anything."
"Ri-right. Of course. Good luck, Mr. Sans. Good bye."
"Good bye."

click.

Sans let out a sigh. He was starting to think that perhaps he should find a less...devoted colleague.

Well, either way, that was done for now and Sans could move on to his next task: Heading to the library. The basement held the Copy Archives that hadn't been worthy enough to take to the ONK Archives. After going through the ONK Archives, Sans already had an idea of what to expect in the Copy Archives: Personal journals and diaries that dealt with the author's personal lives and nothing beyond that; mythological collections that weren't in depth enough and family registers of lesser known Monster Families. Sans was hoping that maybe something had been overlooked: a journal that hadn't been read to the end, a myth that had been misplaced in the shuffle. If he couldn't find anything that said something akin to the phrase "Night Terror," maybe that would be enough to convince Queen Undyne to let him go down there. The Copy Archives were all that was left of any historical documents that could disprove the Night Terror story. There would literally be nothing else for him to research once he went through everything.

But, what if he found proof that there had been a Night Terror down there? Would he have to prove that the beast was no longer there in order to explore? Sans had been so confident that the story was just another myth, that he hadn't gone into much thought if his hypothesis was wrong.

Perhaps he could talk to Red about the life spans of Night Terrors. He had Mastered his magic after all and Sans imagined that his job was fighting these things--- why else would he have jumped in front of Sans and protected him? No one just fought Night Terrors without reason. Right, he would try to find Red again and ask him a few questions.

Sans was surprised to find himself at the library minutes later. His body had just known where to go while he had been caught up in his thoughts. This part of town hadn't changed too much if he could walk around without paying conscious attention to his surroundings.

Once inside, he gave a nod to the large lady bear monster at the counter and headed to the basement. Once there, he began to skim over the spines of the books. Studying history had taught Sans how to look for useful information without too much effort. He could glance at the spines of the book and tell if they would be of any use to him. Journals tended to be thinner and titleless, while books from the castle were thicker and darker colors. Sans found journals more interesting than castle-generated sources as they were more honest and informative because monsters poured out everything about themselves when they thought no one was looking.

Sans gathered a few journals and spent the next few hours studying their contents. For a while he came across similar stories he had found in the ONK Archives: "a shadow fell over the kingdom" "something large destroyed the castle." "---it's must have been--- What else could it have been?"

Eventually, however, he came across something different.

"...'Incantation to heal the ailing Prince failed'," Sans whispered. "...Resurrection Incantation? 'Lord Error may have stopped it.'? What the... What does the God of the Void have to do with an Incantation? Was it because it failed?" Sans rubbed his skull in thought. "Abandoned Incantations are what turn into Night Terrors... but, what happens if one fails? I don't think I've ever heard of one failing before, though. They usually just don't trigger at all if an Invoker isn't strong enough to maintain it or the magic doesn't work well with the Invoker, right? ...I wonder if...." Sans didn't really like the idea of asking Red so many questions, especially after he told him about someone using him, but Sans really didn't know about Incantations beyond 101 Basics. Right now, Red was the closest resource he had the wouldn't involve flipping through pages of magic textbooks.

"Maybe if I buy him lunch in exchange for some info?" Sans pondered. "Actually, what time is it?" He leaned back in his chair to get a glimpse of the clock on the wall. "What, one o' clock already!?" He sat back up, taken aback. "I got caught up in my research again! I gotta get some lunch." The Font began to gather up the books to take back to his inn room. "For some reason, i feel like this is the right direction. It certainly is shining a new light on things. Incantations going wrong, Lord Error and a Resurrection Incantation. What kind of magic could that fall under, Healing? Red would probably know. I hope he doesn't mind me asking so many questions...."

And Sans blinked as realization hit.

"Crap. I have no idea where to start looking for him."

Chapter Text

Red leaned back in the creaking wooden chair, feet up on the matching creaking wooden table, sipping on a blueberry soda. After Sans had left, Red had gone home, slept rather well, had an early lunch at his house, then snuck out while the actual lunch rush distracted everyone from his presence. He had crunched his way through dead leaves to his sentry station which sat about a thirty minute walk from the stone doors that led to the Lasting Remains.

When he wasn't patrolling for Sleepers, this is where he spent much of his time; scaring away teens who had been dared to do something stupid or wanted to tagged the doors with graffiti or telling young adults to just make out somewhere in the woods and not against the door that might be holding back a Night Terror. Really, thousands of miles of forest and yet everyone kept on the path towards those damn doors.

However, if Red was being logical, he knew no one in Falling Leaves had the power necessary to get through the doors. Hell, he wasn't sure if he had the power to open the doors and he knew an actual way to open them. Still though, better safe than sorry as they say. He couldn't take any chances of someone rearranging the sliding triangles and circles with their symbols in the right placement or order. Sure, Red knew him playing patrol cop wasn't helping him gain new friends, but he was already used to monsters not liking him.

If he could prevent someone from going through what he had gone through years ago, well... he could live without friends. He had for this long after all.

Besides, sitting out alone in the middle of the forest, surrounded by the bright beauty of autumn was relaxing. The refreshing kiss of the cool air, the scent of pumpkin wafting from the distant woods, the sight of the leaves falling in a wave of warm colors, the sound of the wind flowing through the treetops, the soft crunch as leaves pilled on the ground, the jingle of a...

Red sat up, a bit startled. What was jingling?

He peered up the path, squinting a bit at something metallic flashing in between flutters of red, orange and yellow. He heard the jingle again.

A bike bell?

Red watched Sans peddle up in a low riding trike, the high back decorated with a bright red bow, the slick metal gleaming in the low light. The tiny Font stopped in front of the table.

"Hey," he gave his lazy grin as he slide off the midnight black seat.

Red felt his fangs itching to slide into a smile. The fact that Sans rode a trike around that was so low to the ground just highlighted the fact he was so short and that was so damn cute, like that lazy grin of his. He shifted in his seat. "Cute... huh, cute trike."

"Thanks," Sans smiled. "Her name's Delilah. She's a birthday present my little brother gave me a few years ago. He even tied his scarf on it like a bow and I just never took it off. I thought it was so cute." He gave the trike a longing glance, as if remembering all the fond memories he had had with her. "Well, anyway," he continued. "I didn't see you in town," he spoke, as he moved to the back of the trike to untie a bag hanging off the back of the seat. "Then I remembered you said you watched the doors leading to Lasting Remains, so I decided to come see if you were out here." Sans placed the bag on the table. "I bought snacks to share. I hope that's okay."

Red peeked into the bag. Chocolate Peanut Butter "Cuples" ("two cup couples per pack!"), Laying Around Potato Chips, Galazie Gum, and Black Flag Tarts.

Not a bad haul.

"Thank you," Red nodded, taking two packs of Cuples and a pack of gum.
"No problem," Sans replied as he opened a pack of Cuples. "So, how far are the doors from here?"
" 'Bout a thirty-minute walk that way," Red pointed to his right.
Sans peered into the indicated direction, but a consistent rain of leaves obscured his vision. He'd just have to take Red's word for it for now. He dug into the bag and pulled out a pack of Black Flag Tarts.

As Sans began to eat, Red caught that sweet scent again. He gave a strong sniff and felt his Soul twitch and flood with... arousal? Oh... Oh, geez, he is...? Red gulped and pushed the feeling aside as Sans began to speak again.

"Hey, would it... be okay if I...?" Sans looked down for a moment.
"...If you what?" Red pushed. Oh, geez, he's not going to ask me ta... Oh, man, I don't know if I can.... Oh, geez.... Red took a deep breath, held tight to the edge of the table to keep himself solid.
"I just had a few questions about Night Terrors and Incantations."
Red blinked, felt his body relax in one tired heap. "Wh-what?"
"I mean," Sans gloved phalanges tapped against each other as his teeth shifted. "I didn't want you to think I was just using you for your knowledge. I'd figured you'd know a lot because you Mastered your magic and I would get my questions answered faster if I just talked to you. But I didn't want you think I was... I mean, if this makes you uncomfortable...."
"N-no, it's okay," Red reassured. In truth, Red was rather flattered. Sans wanted to ask him questions because he valued his knowledge. Red felt his Soul flutter a bit. "Uh, what do ya wanna know?"

"Well," Sans rested a hand on his mandible. "Do Night Terrors have life spans?"
"Um, well.... A Night Terror stays around as long as there's magic fer it ta feed off of," Red answered. "Could be just the ambient magic of tha Underground, the magic of Sleepers, even newly written Incantations."
"I see," Sans nodded. So, there was a chance a Night Terror could be in Lasting Remains after all this time... "All right. So, next question. Has an Incantation every failed and turned into a Night Terror?"

Red blinked. "Uh...." That was actually a good question. "Well, Incantations that don't activate, that would be considered a failed Incantation. As far as I know, tha only way an Incantation can mutate into a Night Terror is if someone Abandons it. Tha magic don't get used properly, and gets all twisted. It's almost like everythin' that went into writin' tha Incantation takes a personal offense at gettin' Abandoned and mutatin' is how it retaliates. They take on different shapes dependin' on the emotions tied to 'em. Yeah, but like, not triggerin' first, than mutatin', without bein' Abandoned first? Nah, I don't think that's a thing."

Sans nodded again. "What about... Resurrection Incantations?"
"Resurrection?" Red's sockets narrowed. "Like, what, bringin' a monster back from tha dead? I've never seen one. I guess it would fall under Healin' magic, but even if ya mastered Healin', I can't imagine anyone would be strong enough ta bring someone back from tha dead."

Sans started to walk in a circle, hand on his mandible, murmuring in agreement. "Okay, one more question. Do you know if there's any connection between the Lords and Incantations? Like, I don't know, maybe if you wrote an Incantation that could make one of them show up?"
Red whistled. "That'd be one hell of a Summonin' Incantation. But, like, Lord Error and Lord Ink? I mean, tha general belief is that ya can't use an Incantation to Summon 'em, but no one's tried as far as I know, so, honestly, no one knows fer sure."
Sans nodded again as he came to a stop. "All right. I think that's everything, thanks." Sans then hopped up on the table and turned to face Red, legs crossed in front of--- wait, was he wearing anything under that long coat of his? And that sweet scent was a bit stronger now....
Just... take it easy, Red, the larger skeleton tried to calm himself.

"Hey," Sans called.
"Ye-yeah?"
"Could I..."
Red tensed up again.
"I know I said that was my last question, but could I ask about yourself?"
Red relaxed again, sinking a bit in his seat. Oh geez, I really need to stop jumpin'--- wait, what did he just say? Red leaned up again. "What did ya say?"
"Well," Sans started. "I was also a little curious about the Lore from your Banishment Incantation. I know a lot of Spectrals like to keep their Family Lore a secret, but, well..." Sans looked away, a shy smile on his face. "Like I said earlier, I'd like to know more about you, if that's okay."

Red blinked again.

Sans... actually wanted to know his Family Lore? No one had ever asked before--- because, yes, Spectrals did prefer to keep their Lore close to home and sharing such deep, rich stories was a big deal--- but... Sans really wanted to know.

Red felt his Soul pulse with... happiness? He wasn't sure, but he did know Sans wanted to know more and Red... wanted Sans to know more about... him.

"I don't mind," Red replied, a small smile playing at his fangs. "I'Il, uh, try ta keep it short. So, centuries again, one of my ancestors made contact with a creature called Tha Unknowable in a part of tha Void known as Tha Farthest Corner. Tha Unknowable is like, just a bunch of different beasts, sort of like an amalgamate, I guess, but, they can all separate if they want. Tha one ya saw was Tha Unruly Last One. Tha Vines of tha Thorns is actually another location in tha Void. Fangs of the Guilty is tha name of Unruly's Fangs, but also a weapon. It's got its own story. Rains of tha Fallen is... a whole other thing, too..." Red scratched the back of his skull through his hood. "Uh... that wasn't too informative, huh...?" Red looked down at the table, phalanges twitching.

"No, no," Sans waved his hand, smiling. "I get it's a lot of stories linked together. You don't have to tell me all of it at once. But... wow... one of your ancestors made contact with a Beast of the Void," Sans gave a sly smile. "You just get more and more interesting, don't you?"

Red peered up at Sans, fangs shifting. "Is... uh... that why ya smell like that?"
The smaller skeleton gave a nervous laugh. "Oh... so... you can smell that already?"
"It's not... too strong, ta be honest." Red admitted as he popped open a bag of chips. "Ya know, ya don't have ta do that. Skeletons ain't as rare as they used ta be."
"I know," Sans replied, leaning back on the table on his hands, teeth shifting as his sockets lidded. "And trust me, I get it all the time. 'We're above having a mating seasons and being Receptive, you know. There are Skeletons all over now, no reason to temp anyone',"
Red snorted. Sans had a pretty low voice, so hearing him do high pitched impressions was sort of funny.
"But, I guess," Sans continued. "I sort of like the reactions I get? And, Ink Above knows I love the sex."
Wow, he totally just said that. "Is that a fact?" Red questioned.
"Well, I'm adult," Sans replied. "I can have all the sex I want," he snarled a bit, glancing to the side.
Red studied the impression. I guess not everyone agrees.
"I mean, it doesn't interfere with my work at all and it's not like I'm spreading my legs for random monsters. Mostly colleagues," Sans explained. "S'easy when you're the son of The Great and Knowledgeable Dr. Gaster." He snorted. "Guys who want status are the easiest to get sex from," Sans admitted, sockets lidded. "Oh, but they'll shame me while they're plowing my pussy through the desk. Like we both aren't using each other. Get over yourself," he grumbled.
"Ya probably should stop havin' sex with guys that just wanna use ya," Red suggested, finishing up the bag of chips and tearing open the pack of gum.
"Ink Above, I know," Sans sighed, titling his skull back and popping the spine of his neck. "But nerds are really good at sex and kinky as hell."
Red's fangs shifted. "So... does that mean you're kinky as hell?" Oh, geez, I seriously just asked that. Why did I ask that!?
Sans stared back at Red before a smirk slid across this face. "You have no idea."
Red felt his cheekbones heat up, his sockets widening. "Uh...well... I, uh... I'm not a nerd... I mean ta say, I'm not a nerd interested in meetin' yer dad or gettin' status or whatever, so... why are ya smellin' like that fer me? Ya know, it ain't gonna affect me as fast since we're not tha same species of Skeleton."
"I know," Sans acknowledged. "As for why... Well, I find you very smart and talented, your voice melts butter and I bet you're hot under that hood," he smirked.
Red froze.

What? What, what, WHAT!?

He felt his brain start to shut down. "Compliments!? Fuck, how do I deal with compliments!? Nope! Does not compute! Rebooting.... Okay, huh... Get off topic! OFF TOPIC! Fuck, uh, the Remains! Ta-take him there!"

"Heeeeey!" Red shouted, standing up. "Ya wanna see the entrance ta tha Remains!? It'll probably help with yer research! Let's go, like right now!" He chocked out a nervous laugh and began down the leaf-littered path.

Sans stared for a moment before giving a small smile. "Yeah, sure." You sweet summer child, you.

Chapter Text

"Wow...," Sans whispered.

His sockets, wide in awe, racked over the towering stone, double doors. Seven circles, echoing from the center of the doors like ripples, spread over the stone. Different languages and symbols for magic were carved into the stone along the outer edge of the outer most circle.

Maybe instructions on how to open the doors? Sans wondered. Unfortunately... I don't recognize all of these languages and what I do recognize isn't enough to tell me anything of substance. Do the codices even exist for some of these languages? How am I going to translate these? Still though... Sans reached up and ran his gloved hand over the circles, the languages carved into the stone at least half an inch, the black and white triangles that wiggled a bit under his touch.

This was an amazing moment for Sans.

History was staring him in the face, laying out clues for him to solve. He was up to the challenge, though he wasn't sure exactly how he would go about finding all the answers.

Well, just start from the beginning, he nodded to himself and focused his attention on the seal. "So... this is a Seven Circle Seal," he murmured, running his hand over the largest circle and the words etched close by. "They're carved in pretty deeply, like a channel dug out for water... hm.... The words are only along the outer most circle... And these triangles look like they move, maybe? Hm...."

Red remained silent, resting against the wall near the door. He had seen the door thousands of time--- and had even been a little surprised when he thought he recognized some of the symbols--- but the novelty had sort of worn off at this point. However, seeing Sans' wide-eyed expression, the awe and curiosity on his face was... cute.

"Oh!" Sans' little outburst caught Red's attention, making him shift off the wall a bit. Sans was shifting the outer most circle around. "These all move? ...Interesting. So, the symbols along them must line up a certain way. The inscription must be instructions on how to correctly rotate the circles, then. Or maybe it's an Incantation that needs to be said while rotating the circles? If that's the case, that would make this some sort of Barrier magic then?" Sans pulled out a notebook from his messenger bag and began to scribble down a few notes. "Hm, my biggest concern is this inscription. I'm sure some of these languages are dead. I suppose they really were serious about no on going back inside."

"... Or not lettin' somethin' out," Red muttered.

Sans gave a quick glare, this teeth shifting. "Right...." He shuffled around in his bag for his camera. Keeping something in. There's no proof that anything is even still alive in there. He pulled out his polaroid and began taking pictures, making sure to focus on the carved words and symbols. If I can translate some of these, I can probably brute force my way through the rest of it.

"Thinkin' you can solve it?" Red asked, resting back against the wall.

"Realistically? ...No," Sans admitted, teeth shifting again as he held a developing photo. "Like I said, some of these languages are dead, which increases the chances that there's no Master Codex to help decipher them. You know about codices, right--- those "translation keys" that match up the alphabet of the old language to the new one. Yeah. Sometimes when a language died completely, they got rid of the Codex for it because no one spoke it anymore." Sans looked up at the door again. "I can probably piece together something though and just use context clues. Either way though...." Sans sighed as a wiggling smile and candy red bloomed across his face. "This is real history staring me in the face! I could probably write an entire thesis on the doors alone!"

Red rolled his ankh pinpoints. Nerdin' out like a true Font. Geez... "Hmmm?" he stared down at Sans who was pointing the camera up at him. "....Whacha doin'?"
"Well, I kinda just noticed your black outfit looks nice against the gray of the wall. I'm not much into the art, but it still looks nice, so..."

click!

Red shuddered a bit. ...Ew.

Sans didn't seem to notice Red's disgust as he let the picture develop. After slipping the picture into his bag, he looked through the camera again. "Hm.... Hold on." He took a few steps back. "I can get a wider shot this way. Oh, this looks nice."
Red looked away as Sans took a few pictures. He got the nagging sense that he should tell Sans he didn't like having his picture taken, but he couldn't get his fangs to form the words....

"Hey!" Sans called.
Red sighed. "What?"
"Can you... stand up straight?"

Red froze up again, the words echoing in his skull.

Stand up straight.

"...I, uh...." Red glanced around, sharp phalanges scratching at the edge of of his sleeves. What was he searching for exactly? An exit? He couldn't just walk off though, that would just make things worse, make Sans ask more questions. Breath hitched, Red answered. "I... I can't...."

Sans lowered his camera and stared, a brow arched. "You can't?" he questioned. "I... I thought you were standing like that to look cool or something. You... physically can't stand up straight?"

Stop. Stop asking me these questions. I don't want to talk about this. Just tell him you don't want to talk about it. Just tell him---I can't! I don't know how to---

Red glared, fangs bared. "No, okay!? I fucking can't!"

Why do I have to be so fucking angry about this!?

Sans stared as his sockets widen. "I, uh... I didn't mean to---"

Red pushed off the wall and began to stomp back down the path. He knew he shouldn't be angry. Sans didn't know about the things that made Red uncomfortable, he didn't know Red hated talking about his body, because talking about his body had always led his siblings to worry about him and he didn't....

...He didn't think he deserved to have anyone worry about him.

He should have just told Sans that he didn't want to talk about any of this, but being angry was so much easier. Being angry shut down things quicker.

Being angry meant Red didn't have to talk about anything.

Hands shoved in his pockets, sockets glaring, Red stomped past Sans without a glance. "Let's so," he growled. "Leaf storm's coming."
"...Oh..." Sans glanced around for a moment and noticed the wind was becoming more fierce, the leaves swirling around instead of just falling straight to the ground. "Ri-right," Sans muttered, following behind Red at a distance.

They walked back to the post so Sans could get his trike, then headed to the inn in silence.

As Sans locked up his bike, Red shifted his weight on his feet. You really fucked up now. The first guy outside of your family to be nice to you and you scream at him. What the hell is wrong with you?

I'm... I don't know.... This was a mistake, I never should have tried ta.... I don't know how ta do this....

Sans turned back from his trike and paused mid-step. For a few seconds, he watched Red tugged at the end of his sleeves and shift his weight. His ankhs were downcast and shimmered, like his sockets were filling with tears. Sans took a few close slow steps. "Hey, hey, what's wrong?" he asked, voice soft.
Red flinched. "I... I'm sorry, I... I don't...."
"Hey, it's okay," Sans gave a small smile. "Shhh, come on." He rested his small hands on Red's larger ones, holding them through his sleeves. "There you go, it's okay."
"I... I didn't mean t-ta... I just...."
"It's okay, Red. I'm not upset," Sans reassured. In truth, Sans had been more surprised at Red's outburst than upset. Red came off as pretty low-key overall, so hearing him shout had been a surprise. Now he was standing here shaking and stuttering, upset over the possibility of hurting Sans when he really hadn't. All Sans could do at this point was hold Red's hands and talk to him in a soft voice while making a mental note not to bring up Red's posture without asking first.

Red soon calmed down, his shaking fading away as a gust of wind gushed over them, slamming them with leaves.

"You should hurry home before the storm gets worse," Sans suggested, letting go of Red's hands. "They still last all day, right?"
Red nodded. "Hm, just stay inside, okay? It's easy ta get lost durin' leaf storms, even if ya know yer way around here."
Sans nodded back and turned around to head up the steps. At the top, he paused and glanced back at Red. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?" he smiled.
Red blinked, body freezing up for a moment. "Hm... ye-yeah. I'll... I'll see ya tomorrow."
Sans gave a sweet smile. "See you, Red."
"Se-see you later, Sans."
And with that, Sans opened the screen door leading into the inn and walked inside. The door closed with a soft clak.

Red let out a sigh. He... he doesn't hate me. He doesn't hate me!
Yeah... I... I don't know how we managed that, his brain admitted. We... we need to be careful though. We... we might not get another chance next time.
Red gulped, but at the same time he felt his Soul pulse with determination.

~

Pictures scattered on the bed, Sans rolled over of his back, staring up at a picture of Red. His sockets arched in concern.

"It's worrisome that he slouches like this. He seems Big Boned, so that would be a lot of weight on his spine... I wonder if he'd let me take a look... and then...." Sans blushed as a unsavory day dream took over. "Ooooh, I've never been with someone who's Big Boned. All of that weight on top of me while he's plowing my pussy and... Ah! No, Sans!" the little skeleton shot up, rubbing his skull. "Stop making everything about your pussy for once!" He sighed, slouching a bit himself back onto the plush mattress. As much as he'd love to fool around with Red, he knew that wasn't a good goal to have in mind right now. Red was someone that seemed to need a lot of trust in others before getting very close and Sans found himself coming to terms with that fact.

"Touching the clothed bones of a Skeleton is already sort of personal. Heck, Red never seems to take off his hood and his hands are always in his pockets. It's going to take a lot of trust between us for him to let me touch him to heal his body, but... what kind of Skeleton would I be if I didn't try to help him?" Sans nodded to himself. "Right. I'm going to work at this until Red trusts me enough to heal his body and when he ask what he can do in return...." Sans smirked, sockets lidding as inappropriate thoughts flooded his skull. He laughed to himself. "Geez, I've got it bad for him, huh? I guess because he's so different from the others guys I've flirted with." Sans smiled. "So, even if nothing romantic or sexual happens.... I'm still really glad I met him."

Chapter Text

"Ugggh," Sans groaned. "This is impossible. There's no way to decipher this inscription with so many languages missing." He rubbed his sockets with a sigh. "I bet any amount of gold if the codices for these exist they probably got left behind in the Remains. Ink Above!" Sans let his skull slam into a thick book with a soft thud.

Sans had been trying to translate the inscription since he had woken up early this morning, but he really hadn't made much progress. Either some of the languages looked familiar, but he didn't know what they said or the language was foreign to him in its entirety. On top of that, the symbols didn't match up quite right with anything he had studied either. Were they another language then or some type of code? He had no idea and none of the books here had been of any real use.

Maybe I could try asking Red....? No, I've already asked him so many questions. I don't want him to think I'm only using him for his knowledge. I'll just have to figure this out myself.

At that, Sans groaned again.

"...Uh, ya okay there?"

Sans' skull shot up and he twisted around to his left where the staircase was. Standing in the middle of the steps was Red wearing his ever present black and pink coat decorated with all types of symbols, zippers and ribbons. "Oh! Red! Hello!" he gave a tired wave.
"Uh, hey," Red replied, shuffling a bit. He felt a bit claustrophobic in the library's archive. The archive was in the basement, which had a low ceiling and Red was such a tall, big guy and gods, what was that? Did the ceiling creak? Oh, gods, oh gods, oh gods....

"Uh, oh," Red croaked. "How are ya?"
"Ah, just frustrated," Sans admitted. "This library doesn't have a lot of languages codices, so translating has been a little difficult. The Archive at ONK will probably have a much better selection. I might have better luck there."
"Oh," Red blinked. ""So... are ya headin' back then?"

"What?" Sans leaned back in his chair. "Oh, no!" he cried. "There's still a lot of books I can go through here and I can always call a colleague to dig around for me. Hmm... I should probably call and see how that's going on his end...." Sans murmured to himself before speaking to Red again. "I hope you don't mind that I have someone else working on the little task you gave me. I have orders from the Queen, you know, so I have to stay focused on that, especially with that I've found so far."

And Sans' S pinpoints lit up a bit. "I can't believe no one's taken any detailed photos of the doors before!" he smiled. "I mean, we learned about the doors in college, about how they were locked and no one could open them and all the Night Terror theories, but everyone is so convinced that it's dangerous, no one's bothered to studied the doors in any depth. I can't wait to figure out what all of this means!" His S's flashed again before he blinked. "Oh, I'm sorry," he blushed. "I got carried away again," he chuckled.

Red was grateful for his hood covering his skull because seeing Sans nerd out had been the cutest thing and he could feel his cheekbones heating up. "It, uh, it's okay! And, uh, I don't mind if someone else is diggin' around, especially since ya got direct orders from the Queen ta figure all this out. It's just... ya didn't give him my name or anythin', did ya?"
"Oh no!" Sans shook his hands and skull. "Totally anonymous." he reassured.
"Ah, o-okay," Red sighed. "So, uh... ya think translatin' this stuff will help ya figure out what's down there?" He asked as he walked down the rest of the steps to the table.
"Maybe," Sans answered as he began to close the books and gather up the photos. "Just gonna take a break," he informed Red. "And, there's a chance that it could tell us why the door was locked or what's behind it, so it's worth translating it. It's kinda my only lead right now. It's just difficult with so little codices to work with. I'm going to have to see if it's possible for me to get more...."
"Uh, well, it seems like ya been workin' real hard," Red pointed out. "Ya, uh, should probably get some lunch while ya takin' a break."
Sans blinked. "Oh. Is it lunch time already?"
Red nodded. "It's almost two."
"It's almost two!?" Sans cried, sockets widening.
"Uh, ye-yeah." Red nodded again. "I hope it's okay that I came ta get ya, since ya didn't come by like yesterday."
Sans' sockets soften. "You came to get me? Aw, Red, that's so sweet."
Red felt his cheekbones heat up again. "Uh, well... I guess, thanks...."
Sans chuckled. "And you came to get me for a late lunch, huh? Oh, it's kinda like a date!"
"It's not a date," Red huffed. "It's just lunch."
Sans pouted a bit. "Aw...."

~

As the two walked to Grillby's, Sans decided that maybe he could try to ease his way into Red's little bubble. If he could just present himself as someone who just wanted to be a close friend, Red might open up to him, might come to trust him.

For right now, Sans just held onto the end of Red's jacket sleeve, figuring that trying to touch him anymore than that would be a step too far. He watched Red slow down to a stop and just look down at Sans' hand holding onto his sleeve end. He moved his arm back and forth a bit, as if testing something, then began walking again.

Sans smiled. Success!

"...I don't get ya."

Sans' smile dipped into a frown. "Oh, hm... do you want me to...? I should have asked if---"
"Not that," Red interrupted. "Ya don't even know what I look like. We barely know each otha. Why are ya tryin' ta get so close ta me? Is it because yer horny?"
Sans' sockets arched as his frown deepened. Gods, he probably thinks I'm some sort of slut. I mean, I guess at a glance, I could be... no! I am not a slut! I just have sex a lot, all responsibly and consensually. There's nothing wrong with having a lot of sex! "I'm not that horny at all," Sans answered, voice clear. "I just find you very attractive. I mean, your voice alone hits me pretty hard."

And the fantasies began to slip into Sans' mind again. He blushed as his sockets lidded in lusty thought. "Gods, if you whispered to me right now, I'd probably come a flood." Sans panted a bit at the thought.

Red stared, trying to wrap his brain around Sans' lack of a filter. "Well... ya... yer honest, gotta give ya that," he murmured. "Uh, but... well...." He couldn't help but start to get a little curious. "What sort of stuff would ya want me ta whisper?"
"Hm...." If possible, Sans' sockets lidded a bit more. "Anything really naughty. Like, you could tell me to call you daddy. Mmmm," he purred.
Red's sockets widen and for some reason, his next question was, "You have a daddy kink?"
"Oh, yes," Sans answered. "It's a pretty basic kink actually. Lots of monsters have some sort of authority kink."
"...Huh...," Red murmured, surprising himself with how at ease he was with Sans just talking about his kinks. Maybe because Sans was just so straight forward and honest. He really didn't seem to care about what anyone thought of him and just did what made him happy. Red had to admit, he wished he could be as comfortable as Sans was with himself.

~

At Grillby's, the two ordered cheeseburgers and fries. There was a bit of tension when they slathered their burgers in their respective condiments, ketchup and mustard, but neither of them said anything and ate their lunch in silence for a few moments before Sans spoke.

"So... I'm curious."
"About?"
"Fangs."
Red blinked. "Fangs?"
"Do you have any?"
Red tilted his skull, confused. "...Yes?" He then watched Sans slip into another daydream, sockets half-closing, blue tint on his cheekbones, large smile spreading across his skull.
Red glance shifted from side to side for a moment. "....Wh...what are ya thinkin' about?"
"Hmmm... your fangs and tongue gliding over my spine," Sans answered with a sigh.
Red sighed and rolled his ankhs. He just thinks about this all the time, huh? "Ya really like fuckin' with me, huh?" he asked without a second thought. When Sans didn't answer right back, he turned his attention to a smirking, blushing Skeleton. "What...?" And Red realized the words he had used. He blushed and pushed back against the cushion of the booth. "That's not what--- I wasn't suggestin' we---"
Sans only smirked more, resting his Skull on his propped up hands.
Red's fangs shifted. "Can ya just...stop bein' in heat?"
"Technically, the word we should be using is Receptive," Sans corrected. "Heat is for animals. ....Though, I have been told I'm quite the animal in bed," Sans remarked, eating a fry.
Red rolled his ankhs again, coming to terms with the fact that Sans would always just say whatever was on his mind without worrying about what others thought.
"Anyway," the tiny skeleton started. "I can't just turn it off. I have to go through the process once it's started. I find someone I'm attracted to, and form my pussy, which leaks out my scent to the one I want. Depending on various factors, like species and mental state, the attraction can be almost instant or can take a long while. In the mean time, I try to get to know the one I'm interested in to sort of speed up the process."
Red looked down at his plate. "...How long are you willin' ta wait on someone?"
Sans shifted his gaze to his side. "Well, I have to admit, you're the first Spectral I've been attracted to. I already knew the process would take some time, and after talking to you a bit, I know that it'll take a while a longer still, but... well... I'm okay with that."
Red blinked. "Ya are?"
"Yeah," Sans smiled. "I mean, if I had to, I could take care of it myself with a toy, but I rather wait on you. It'll be a lot more fun," he chuckled.
Red blushed. He was... well, flattered didn't quite cover how he felt. Honored, maybe? Sans was willing to wait for his heat scent to hit him, no matter how long that would take. And until then, they would just... talk and get to know each other.

The idea of going into heat with Sans was both exciting and sort of... nerve-wracking, if Red was being honest. Maybe... maybe he shouldn't....

"Uh, wait...," Red started. "I got a brother, he might be interested! We can talk ta him later if ya want!"
"Red," Sans huffed.
"Wh-what?"
Sans' sockets narrowed, but his cheekbone puffed out. "You're not even a little curious about how things could turn out between us?"
"Uh... well," Red looked down. "Maybe a little...," he admitted. "From, like, a learning standpoint."
Sans chuckled again. "Well, you know, hands-on is a really good way to learn," he purred.
Red's fangs shifted as his sockets lidded. "Just eat yer food," he muttered.

~

After lunch, Red told Sans he was going back out on patrol for more Sleepers. "See ya later," he waved before turning around and heading up the street.
Sans perked up at this. "You're gonna come by later to see me? Maybe... we can have dinner together? Then, we can go back to my place for dessert!" Sans gave a large smile as Red whipped around with a slight glare.
"Seriously!? What if someone heard ya! Ya seriously don't have a filter at all, do ya?"
Sans gave a wicked smile. "I do, but there's no fun in using it."
Red sighed. "Yer evil, ya know that?"
Sans only smiled again. "So, how 'bout it? Dinner and dessert?"
Red shifted on his feet for a minute. "Ya know what? Fine." He walked back up to Sans. "I'll take ya out ta dinner tonight. And we'll have dessert at tha restaurant."
"Awww, booo," Sans crossed his arms, cheekbone puffing out. "Well, maybe next time."
Red gave another sigh. "I know ya said ya were gonna wait, but ya are really comin' off as someone who just really wants ta get laid as soon as possible."
"Oh yes," Sans smiled again. "But, I was being sincere when I said I was going to wait."
Red turned away. "So, until then, we're like, what, friends?"
"Well, yeah, I guess so," Sans gave another genuine smile.

Red shuffled on his face. He wants ta be friends with me.... I mean, sure, he also wants ta have sex with me, but he's willin' ta wait until tha heat makes me more open about it. Heck, maybe that's why I've been kinda okay around him already? But I don't feel attracted ta him otha than thinkin' he's cute, so maybe.... maybe I'm openin' up ta him on my own then? So, we're friends and maybe we'll have sex and then....

"What happens afta tha sex?"

Sans blinked. "You mean, after the heat ends?"
"Yeah. Do we just go back ta bein' friends?" Red asked.
"Well, we don't have to," Sans answered. "I'd love to have a big bad bones like you all the time," he smirked.
Red blushed again and whipped around. "Fine, fine, do what ya want," he snapped, trying to hide his embarrassment. "I'll come get ya later at tha inn, okay?"
Sans giggled a bit. "Sure, Red. I'll see you later."

And Sans watched Red shuffle down the street until he was out of sight. He then decided to go back to the inn and call up Matisse, more so to check up on the Skeleton himself than the actual task he had given him. Knowing how Matisse liked pushing aside his own work for Sans, Sans wanted to make sure Matisse was still doing his internship work, like reporting in on the patch of rock wall he had been assigned.

At his inn room, Sans waited for his call to be transferred to Matisse's office.
"Hello?" came a perky voice.
"Hello, Matisse, it's me, Sans. I know it's only been a day, but I thought I'd check in."
"Oh, Mr. Sans! I was just about to call you! I found some interesting files late last night."
"Oh," Sans blinked. "Well, what did you find out?"
"So about fifty years ago, Queen Undyne asked a Spectral-Font pair to investigate the Remains."
Sans' sockets narrowed a bit. "She did?"
"Yes, but something happened and the investigation was canceled. I've been trying to find all the information that was redacted, but so far, all I've got is two named: Cobalt and Melancholight. I don't know what Font Family Melancholight is from, but Cobalt is definitely a Dark Blue Family name."
"Hm..." Sans murmured. "So, the Queen's already sent someone down there? If that's the case, why is she making me do all this research then?"
"Maybe to know what's actually down there? Maybe Cobalt and Melancholight weren't able to go very far and had to turn back?"
"And there's no information on where the two are now?"
"No. No phone number, no address. It's like someone tried to erase them. Or maybe they went into hiding? I'm not sure," Matisse admitted. "It was lucky that I found this much at all. It was crammed behind some other files that were related to myths about the Remains. It feels like someone was trying to hide all this."

"Yeah...." Sans trailed. Was the Queen trying to hide this? But why? Maybe so I wouldn't find it during my initial research? Knowing that someone else went down there.... Something must have happened to them, something she didn't want me to know. But, she must know Red is out here. Did she think he wouldn't have said anything about what he knew? Well, considering how closed off he can be, it was kind of a safe bet and there was no guarantee we would have crossed paths either. Still... I don't think Queen Undyne hid this on purpose. She's strict, but not sneaky....

"Uh, well, thank you for your help, Matisse," Sans started. "This will probably be enough info to pass on."
"Pass on?" Matisse questioned.
"Yeah, the Spectral who gave me the hint," Sans explained. "He told me if I got back to him with any information he'd tell me more about it. He's proving to be very helpful overall, actually."
"...I see...."
"Anyway, could you do another favor for me?"
"Of course."
"I'm doing some language research, but I'm lacking in codices. Could you look around the Archives to see if any have been saved?"
"Yes."
"Oh, but don't do that until you take care of your geology thesis, okay? I'm not on any time limit, but your thesis is, right? So take care of that first."
"Oh, but---"
"I'm serious, Matisse. We've talked about this, you need to focus on your priorities and know what to shove to the background until later, understand?"
"...Of course."
"All right. After your thesis is done, do that and bring whatever you find here, okay? You have the address. Oh, and make sure you get a pass from Alphys so she knows where you are and what you're doing, all right?"
"Yes, sir."
"All right. Good luck with your thesis and I'll see you soon."
"Wait... Mr. Sans...."
Sans blinked at Matisse's low voice. "What's wrong?"
"About... that Spectral who's help you...."
"Who, Red?" And a second later, Sans slammed a hand over his mouth. Oh, crap, oh crap. Why did I say that!? If Matisse puts two and two together, he'll.... Sans lowered his hand.

He'd... do what exactly?

Sans didn't need to be ashamed of being friends with Red. But, then again, Red was so reclusive. Keeping him under the radar was probably for the best....

"Red?" Matisse questioned.
"Oh, it's just a nickname!" Sans lied. "Cause he's always wearing these red things on his coat. Uh, anyway, yeah, he's just helping me out a bit."
"... With work, right?"
Sans blushed. "...What else would he be helping me with?"
"Well... you are, hm...."
Sans rubbed his mouth as he tried to find something to say "Look, Matisse, Red has some interesting insight to my research since he's Mastered his magic, so I've been asking him questions. However, even if we were engaged in more... intimate acts, that would be a personal matter that I do not have to discuss with you. Do you understand?"
"Ye-yes, sir."
"All right. I'll see you in a bit then. Good bye."
"Good bye, sir."

click.

Sans heaved a sigh. "Crap that was close. Hopefully, Matisse brought that. Eh," he waved the latter part of the conversation off. "I've got better things to do." Sans slid off this bed and began to walk in circles as his hand came to his mandible. "So, Cobalt and Melancholight. Well, an Invoker and Composer relationship between a Spectral and Font is certainly not uncommon, so nothing strange about that. I imagine Red knows these two though--- mentors maybe? Maybe he knew them from his time in ONK....? He did talk about monsters using him, maybe it was these two? But, to be able to go into the Remains though, they'd have to be strong. They might have trained Red to help him in achieving his Mastery. Hm... is there a chance Cobalt is a relative? Technically, there are no Red Families, all recorded Red Souled Monsters are just "flukes" that appear in other Color Families, so Cobalt could be a distant relative...."

Sans stopped in his tracks and rested his hands on his hip bones. "I could go on and on about who they might be. It'd be easier to just research Registers at this point. I'm sure Red won't mind if I do that, right?" Sans nodded to himself. "Well, I won't worry about that now. I have more pressing matters," he decided, walking to his suitcase and popping the top open. "....I don't have anything to wear for a date...."

~

After Matisse hung up the phone, he glared at the receiver for a long time.

"Red. Red and he's Mastered his magic. Nickname my pelvis! How dumb do you think I am!?" He growled as he shot up from his chair, hands fisting. He stomped over to the door, and rushed into the hallway, lit with a dim yellow light. "I must hurry before Mr. Sans gets hurts. Associating with one of those "monsters." I'll bring him what he needs, show him he doesn't need to depend on someone else for help. I'll talk some sense into him, bring him back where he'll be safe if I need to. I won't let such a disgusting thing lay one hand on you."

Chapter Text

"And where are we going, little brother?"

Red froze at the front door, hand just above the knob. He turned to see his older brother, Rust, tall and thin, standing at the entry way to the kitchen. He was a a bit intimidating with his arms crossed, gaze steady.

"Dinner's going to be ready soon," Rust spoke, the dark orange scarabs in his sockets looking his brother over. He's usually not sneaky like this... He doesn't seem hurt or anything... well, no where than usual.
"Yo, is that punk tryin' to leave?" Azure called from the kitchen. Her boots stomped across the floor and she leaned out of the archway. The blue pyramids in her sockets rested on her little brother. "I'm making your favorite tonight: three cheese mac and cheese."
Red pouted a bit. He had totally forgotten tonight was Siblings Favorite Night and tonight was his night. "Uh, but... I, um... I made plans to have dinner with a... friend tonight."

Sockets widen, Rust gasped and Azure straighten up.

"Oh!" his brother smiled. "Well, by all means, have a good time! We will make sure to save some leftovers and you can have them for lunch tomorrow."
"Forget food!" Azure cried running into the living room. "When are we going to meet her!?"
"Azure!" Rust shouted, flicking her forehead.
"Ow, what!?" She glared before looking back at Red. "You're gonna bring her home for dinner one night, right?"
"Uh...." Red looked down. "It... it's a guy."
"Oh," Azure blinked. "Well, you're bringin' him over for dinner soon, right?"
"Azure," Rust groaned.
"What!?"
Rust pushed his sister aside and walked over to his younger sibling. He rest his hands on his humeri. "You have a lovely time," he smiled. "And you can bring him over whenever you're ready."
Red nodded. "Th-thanks," And with that, he shuffled out of the door.

"How about that?" Rust smiled, hands resting on his hip bones. "Our little brother has a friend! He hasn't really tried to talk to anyone else since we were kids in Blazing Embers. And when we were training at ONK, he only got attention from Gold and he was...." Rust trailed off, fangs shifting.
"Kinda a close-minded, manipulative dickhead?" Azure suggested.
Red whipped around, giving a glare to his sister. "Um. Well...," he coughed.
"Nah, he was a close-minded, manipulative dickhead," Azure repeated, arms crossed. "But hey... this new friend, you think he's cute?"
"Azure!" Rust warned, swatting at her skull.
She side-stepped. "What now!?"
"If he is cute, don't you dare try anything!"
"Oh, come on!" Azure cried, waving her arm bones. "I would never sabotage our little bro! But there's no reason not to be curious about his taste."
"For one, he said "friend," not "boyfriend.""
Azure let around a loud laugh. "Oh, please, Rust. Look, Red may be well, red, but he was born Dark Blue and Dark Blue Spectrals have charisma for days!"
"Hm. If I'm being honest, Azure, I think you got all the charisma here. Red's always been a shy cinnamon roll," Rust admitted, voice soft, phalanges fidgeting at his mandible.
"Nah, give it time," Azure smiled. "I can guarantee he's gonna be bringing a boyfriend over for dinner any day now. I have faith in you, Red!" Azure yelled to the ceiling. "Make us proud! FINALLY GET LAID!"
"AZURE!"
SMACK!
"OW!! WHAT!?"

~

Red took a long drag of his cigarette as he stood at the bottom of the inn steps.

"Hey, Red."

He turned around to find Sans in a (cute) blue button up shirt and black shirts. His sneakers were blue and red.

Red froze, sockets wide. "Uh...." Hold on, let me reboot here, his brain spoke. Okay.... uh... oh, tell him he looks nice! Yeah, that's a thing monsters say, go with that!

"You look nice," Red complimented.
"Thank you," Sans smiled. "Um, I didn't know you smoked, though."
"It, hm... helps with my nerves sometimes," Red replied, stomping his cig out with his sneaker.
"Oh," Sans walked down the steps, smirking. "Do I make you nervous?"
"... A little...."
"Aw," Sans tugged at one of the zippers on Red's jacket. "Why do I make you so nervous?"
"Yer, uh... interested in me and stuff."
Sans looked up at Red, staring into his crimson ankhs.

"Only ma family's been legitimately concerned with me, especially when I was masterin' ma magic. I was pretty young and all," Red fidgeted his phalanges against each other. "I'm... really grateful that ma siblings still care so much about me, even though..." Red's voice fell low. "I've distanced myself from them. I... didn't want them ta end up... ignored, like me. I mean, I know it won't happen. Their magic isn't...scary, ya know?"

Sans wasn't sure how to reply to this. He knew Red was ostracized, but knowing that the way monsters treated him was affecting his relationship with his family. He felt sick.

All he could do was hold tight to Red's jacket.

Red could sense the mood had gone south. Shit, why did I say all that!? I need ta.... "Uh, oh, but they're interested in meetin' ya!" he blurted out.
Sans looked up, sockets wide before a smile spread across his skull. "Really?"
Red nodded and began to lead Sans to the restaurant.
"Oh, wow!" Sans continued. "It's like we're best friends now! Oh...." His smile turned sly. "Or do they think we're dating?"
"I told 'em we were just friends," Red spat out.
Sans chuckled. "So, when can I come over?"
"Ya know about my brother, though--- by all rights, ya should be hittin' on him. He's been tryin' ta figure out if he's into guys, though, so yer heat might hit him? Azure is more into a girls though, so I don't think we have ta worry about her."
"Hm, if that's the case, your brother might get a bit of buzz," Sans admitted.
"So then, ya should probably do somethin' about ya pussy purrin' fer a tomcat."
Sans blinked. "Huh. That's a really good metaphor. But, it shouldn't affect him much since he's not my... "target," for lack of a better word. However... I did bring a vibrator, so---"
Red huffed. "So why not just use that?"
"Oh, please, Red," Sans waved off as they walked into an empty lot. "Nothing can replace the real thing. The vibrator was back up in case I got a little antsy without going into heat, but we both know how that turned out."
Red felt his skull heat up. He wished the warmth was from wearing the hood of his jacket.
"Either way, at this point, it would take a few days of playing with it to get my pussy to stop purring. But you know, if it really worries you," Sans stepped in front of Red. He leaned up, sockets half-closing as he whispered. "There's another way to calm it down in just one night."

Red blinked. "So then... we should probably have dinner next week?"

Sans glared, cheekbones puffing out. "Red, come on. Meet me half way here, would ya?"
"Hey, I told ya up front it was gonna take longer fer yer scent to hit me," Red glared back. "If ya wanna get fucked so badly, there's plenty of other Fonts across town who would probably love ta fuck ya through a table. And besides, what about all that gettin' ta know me stuff beforehand? Or was that a lie?"
"It wasn't a lie!" Sans cried. "I... okay, I'm sorry, okay? I just get a little excited at the idea of us.... I guess, I just... it'd be nice if you, I don't know, try to flirt back with me or something...." Sans murmured, looking to the ground. 
"Well, sorry, if I don't feel comfortable flirting with someone I barely know," the Spectral muttered
"You could use the flirting to get to know me, you know," Sans grumbled.
"What does it matter anyway?" Red murmured. "Ya just want ma dick at tha end of tha day...."

"You know that is not true!" Sans shot, making Red jump. "I wouldn't be going out on a date with you if all I wanted was your dick! I wouldn't have told you that I was attracted to your talent, I wouldn't have told you your Incantation was the most beautiful one I had ever heard. Hell, Red, I don't even know what you look like and I still want you to fuck me! Just trust me when I tell you that if I just wanted your dick, I would have gotten it already and we wouldn't be having this conversation!"

Red only stared back, body limp. "...What do ya mean ya would have gotten it already?"
Sans sighed. "I can control how much of my scent comes out. If I really just wanted to fuck you, I could have easily just Overwhelmed you with my scent and more or less... forced you to go into heat with me. It's a real shitty thing to do, obviously, which is why I just let it go at its own pace. I have too much respect for you to force you into something like that. I just... I find you really attractive and I get a little caught up in how I feel. I'm sorry if I come off as pushy. I don't mean to make you uncomfortable, I just... I really like you a lot."

Red trembled a bit. "But... you could... and I'm not...."
Sans gave a sad smile. "Let me guess: "you could do better", "I'm not handsome enough.""
Red blinked. "How did ya know what I was...?"
"Because that's how everyone makes you feel, isn't it?" Sans asked. "That you're not good enough to be around them, so you think everyone can do better than hang out with you. As for handsome, you always hide under that hood. But," Sans reached out and took Red's hands. "You are good enough. You Mastered your magic. And your looks don't matter to me, obviously. I fell for this up here," Sans reached for Red's skull, but.... "Um, could you lean down, dear?"
Red blinked and bent forward.
"Thank you. This," Sans rested his hands on Red's skull, feeling the mass of bone through the hood. "I fell for this up here." He smiled. "I guess you can say I fell for you at first verse. That talent and skill you have, that's what gets my pussy purring for you tomcat. Don't ever forget that."
Red blinked again. ".... I can't believe ya just said that."
"It's a very good metaphor. In fact, it's got my pussy purring really loud right now."
"Uh, y-yeah?" Red stammered.
Sans' sockets lidded as he smirked. "Yeah."

And Sans leaned forward and rest his teeth against Red's fangs.

Red's entire body went stiff.

Oh.

Oh, WOW.

OH, WOW! his brain screamed. Oh, Lord Error below, THIS IS AMAZING!

Red felt his arms move, felt his hands rest against Sans' cheekbones. He pushed forward, deepening the kiss.

Gods Above and Below, this was hot, Red's body felt so hot, and he felt like he couldn't get enough. No matter how much he pushed and grabbed, there wasn't enough. He didn't want to stop, he didn't want this to end, he just wanted time to stop, freeze right here so he would just keep kissing forever, so he could keep feeling his Soul soar, feel the sky open up to the universe and let the stars engulf them, blow up, reform, and they'd still be here, together, close like this, still kissing.

He felt the ground shake.

He gasped when he felt Sans' teeth leave his fangs.

Blink.

"...Wow," he whispered. "Wow." He stared down at Sans, who had a deep blue blush on his cheekbones. "Wow," Red repeated. "Did we... did we make tha ground shake?" he asked, still trying to land, but his Soul was still soaring in space.
Sans chuckled. "That kiss was fantastic, but I don't think we were responsible for that."

"RED!"

Red turned around to find his sister running up to him. "Azure?"
"A big one! Right on the outskirts of town!"
"A big one?" Red's sockets narrowed, confused. What was she talking about? A big what? He rubbed his skull, his brain rebooting, his Soul finally landing in his ribcage. "A big... Oh... a Night Terror.... Oh.... OH, SHIT!" he cried. "Right, okay, we gotta--- shit!" He turned back to Sans. "I have ta, uh, sorry, I---"
"It's okay. Just be careful," Sans smiled.
Red nodded and turned around to run after Azure.
Sans' smile grew. "I got to kiss his fangs," he sighed, eyes closed at the blissful memory. "They're just as great as I imagined."

Chapter Text

Red and Azure slid to a stop as the sight of the towering Night Terror.

This one was a little longer than the one from the other day and looked like a segmented cactus, each round joint a sick pea soup green covered in thousands of spikes. The green head was surrounded by neon pink flower petals. Fangs filled its open, square shaped mouth. The beast didn't appear to have eyes, but shuffled onward at a rushing pace with some unknown purpose nonetheless, filling the air with shattering shrieks.

"Where's Rust?" Red asked.
"He ran ahead to put up barriers," Azure pointed to the tree line. Orange arrows just peeked over a few tree tops.
"Let's try a summon on it," Red suggested. "We just gotta weaken it enough and it'll turned back into paper."
"Right," Azure agreed. "Slow it down for me."
"On it," Red nodded.

"I Call upon the Second Circle
Perseverance!
Show me the way forward!"

Purple circles appeared and Red used them to shoot forward towards the retreating Night Terror. Shit, it's fast! Farther up, he could see Rust stepping out of the brush. "Rust, slow it down!" Red called.

Rust held out his hand.

"I Beseech the Third Circle!
Gravity!
Slow down my Adversary's Space!"

A powder blue circle flashed in front of the Night Terror. Stop signs decorated its edge while a giant raised hand filled its center. A bright, artic blue light flashed over the Night Terror and its movement slowed.

"Hey, Gravity isn't my strong point!" Rust called. "So now's a good time to do whatever you plan on doing!"
"Move outta the way!" Azure cried, holding out her hand.

"I Summon the Sixth Circle!
The Guard Dog of the Farthest Corner
I Unlock your Chain and let you run free!
Come Forth and Eradicate that which trespasses in the Sphere deemed Worthy!"

Red and Rust raced for cover in the brush as an indigo blue circle decorated in chains appeared on the ground in front of Azure. A dog head glanced the circle's center. There was a flash of navy blue as a large, skeletal dog rose from the circle. Thin and white as a ghost, the Summon let out a shattering roar.

The Gravity Circle began to crack.

"Hey! We're breaking up over here!" Rust warned as the Night Terror began to squirm faster.
"Take it out, Guard Dog!" Azure ordered.

The towering dog snapped its fangs and rushed forward just as the Gravity Circle shattered. The Night Terror thundered ahead.

"Shit," Red cursed.
"We have to slow it down!" Rust held out his hand.

"I Command the Forth Circle!
Projectile!
Fire your Arrows straight ahead!"

An ochre yellow circle surrounded by arrow tips manifested in front of Rust's hand. A barrage of neon yellow arrows shot out of the circle and pierced the side of the beast. The cactus rocked to its side and slowed down, screaming in agony.

The skeletal dog caught up to the Night Terror and chomped down on a flower petal. The Summon then whipped its head backwards, ripping out the petal, drawing a fountain of black blood. The Night Terror reared back, screeching. Underside exposed, the fangs of the dog sunk into flesh, ignoring the needles trying to pierce into its bony jaw. Another yank produced another spray of blood. The Night terror screamed again and collapsed into a torn heap, exploding into bits of parchment.

There was a collective sigh of relief.

"Geez," Azure wiped sweat off her forehead. "I patrolled out here earlier and didn't come across any Sleepers. Uggh! How hard is it to properly Disenchant an Incantation!?" She rubbed her skull in a frantic mess as she walked past her brothers to her Summon. She gave a low bow. The dog lowered its snout before vanishing in a flash of blue light. Its Summon Circle followed suit.

"Well, s'easy to Abandon 'em when you can't trace 'em back to tha Invoker," Red spoke. He glanced over the area, the parchment mixing in with the leaves as the wind blew. "The Queen wasn't jokin' 'bout this being a problem, though," he noted. "And with so many Skeletons in Falling Leaves, it's really hard ta track down tha ones responsible for Abandoning Incantations. The only thing we can do it keep searchin' fer Sleepers and Disenchant them. Or fight 'em, which ever. But anyway, I guess we're done here," Red finished, shoving his hands into his pockets.

"Oh, right!" Rust perked up. "You have to get back to your date!"
Red froze. "D-Date!? Who said it was a date!?"
Azure narrowed her sockets as her teeth curled into a smile. "You two were lookin' pretty close back there."
"Oh?" Rust leaned in closer. "How close?"
"They were tanglin' teeth," Azure chuckled, now smirking. "Didn't I tell ya he'd get a boyfriend before you knew it! I admit though, even I didn't think he'd be that fast."
"Oh, geez," Red blushed and turned to head back to town, his gossiping siblings trailing behind him.

They parted ways at an intersection, Azure and Rust wishing Red luck on his date ("It ain't a date!") before Red found Sans waiting at the edge of the empty lot.

"Red!" Sans perked up as he walked over, big smile on his face. Before Sans knew what he was doing, he rested against Red's large ribs, happy that he was safe.

Red shivered underneath him, making Sans' blink wide and pull away.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking!" Sans apologized. "I just... I'm happy you're okay, that's all."
"Uh..." Red gulped. "It... it's okay... if it's ya...."
Sans smiled. "May I hug you then?"
Red nodded.
Sans slipped his arms around Red's massive frame as best he could. "I saw all the flashing lights from here. I'm glad you're okay. I mean, I know you're trained to fight these things, but still, I'm glad you're not hurt or anything."
Red nodded again, resting his arms on Sans' tiny shoulders. "Ye-yeah, I'm okay. We're all okay."
Sans looked up. "Did you... Banish this one?"
"No," Red answered, voice low. "I try ta Banish stuff as a last resort. Takes a lot of magic ta do it, fer starters. I can only do two Banish Incantations a day. Other Incantations trigger a lot faster, too."
Sans nodded, nuzzled more into Red's bones. "Hrrrrm," he purred. "Yer so big. I love your big bones."
Red blushed. "Uh... thanks, I guess? Uh... ya still hungry?"
"Yeah, but not for food," Sans smirked up at Red.
Red sighed. "Just a constant thing with ya, ain't it?"
Sans giggled. "Seriously, though, I could eat."
"Can we go some place quiet then?"
"Yeah, sure."

So, of course they went to Grillby's. No matter how crowded the bar was, the atmosphere was always low and lulling. A perfect place to unwind after fighting Terrors.

After dinner and dessert, Red walked Sans back to the inn, Sans holding onto Red's sleeve end all the way.

"Well, despite the interruption, I had a nice time," Sans smiled, looking down at Red from the top step of the inn's porch. "Dinner was nice. So was dessert. Hug?"
Red nodded.
Sans leaned into Red's chest and slipped arms around his neck. "To be honest, though, I'd love more dessert," he purred.
Red slipped arms around Sans' waist and replied with, "Sorry, but I'm full."
Sans pulled back to look at Red, sockets going wide. He then giggled. "That was actually kinda funny."
Red smiled, though his reaction was hidden by the shadow of his hood. "Uh, so, I'll... see ya tomorrow?"
"Of course," Sans smiled back. "I, uh, I'm sorry about the kiss earlier, if that was kinda weird. I should have asked the first time around, so, I hope, if it's okay.... can I kiss you again?"
Red's body went stuff, his entire skull heating up. He could only nod.

Sans leaned in and pressed his teeth against Red's fangs.

And again, Red felt his Soul ascend into space. Gods, he would never get used to this feeling, but he loved how amazing the kiss made him feel.

Chapter Text

Bright and early the next day, Sans still giddy from his rather successful date, headed to the library. He felt like today was the day. He was going to get some answers, solve some riddles, get to the bottom of---

"Oh! Is that Red?"

...Answers could wait.

Smiling, Sans began to approach Red who was shuffling down the sidewalk, head down and hidden in his hood, hands shoved into his pockets. Despite his bent posture, even from a distant, he looked so much bigger than everyone else....

Everyone else....

Sans slowed to a stop. For a moment, he watched everyone one else just... avoid Red. They crossed the street to the other sidewalk or ducked back into their homes and peered out the windows eyes wide in fear or narrow in disgust.

Sans fisted his hands.

Why in all of the Underground were they so afraid of him? Red protected these monsters from Night Terrors, guarded a door no one could even open just to make sure no one got hurt. As far as Sans knew, the only thing Red had done "wrong" was be born with a Red Soul and Master the magic that came with such a rarity. He was born with something he didn't ask for, with something beyond his control to ever change and just about everyone else hated him for that.

It's not fair, Sans thought to himself. He was about to start walking again when a door to a house several feet in front of him opened and a little bunny boy raced out, smile on his face. He whipped around the door and slammed into Red.

To a child, bumping into Red was like hitting a wall.

The bunny boy landed square on his butt, leaves crunching under him.
"Oh, geez, kid, ya okay?" Red asked, leaning over to offer a hand.
The bunny rubbed his butt and looked up at Red. He blinked before reaching for Red's hand, but as he did, another bunny monster, a woman, walked out and around the door. She gasped, hand going to her mouth, before she raced up to the boy. She grabbed him by the waist and held him close to her chest, taking a few steps back.
"Uh...," Red started. "I-it's okay. He, he just fell and I was just he-helping him up..."
"H-he's fine!" her voice trembled. "He doesn't need any help fr-from you! He's fine!" She whipped around and hurried back into house, slamming the door.

Red stood there, hand pulling back to his chest. He looked from the door, to the ground. He rubbed his face before shoving his hands back into his pockets.

"...Red...."
The Spectral jumped a bit, ankhs lighting up for a moment.
Sans was peering up at him.

...He didn't expect the smaller skeleton to offer his hand.

"You're going patrolling now, right?" Sans asked. "Can I go with you?"
"Uh," Red shifted on his feet. "Ye-yeah, sure. That's fine." He took Sans' hand and a moment later noticed the immense size difference between the two. He found himself stifling a small laugh.
"Wh-what?" Sans asked as the two begin towards the woods.
"I just... never noticed yer baby bones, that's all."
"Baby bones?" Sans questioned with a deep blush. "I do not have baby bones. Fonts just have smaller bones is all, but they are in no way baby bones."
"I know ya got smaller bones," Red replied. "And yers is small.... like baby bones."
Sans pouted before giving a smirk. "Do you think they're cute?"
"Ya baby bones?" Red questioned. "They're... I mean," he stammered before a shiver raced down his spine. Sans had run a phalange over his metacarpals.
"I really like your bones," Sans purred, sockets lidding. "So big and... heavy... hmmm...." Without thinking, he nuzzled into Red's jacket sleeve.
Red sighed. Though he could always smell Sans' "honey," Red noticed that the scent got a little stronger when Sans was... excited, for lack of a better term. "Your pussy is meowin' again."
"Purr," Sans quipped.
Red rolled his ankhs before stopping short. "Hold on." He glanced from side to side to the trees and brush lining the path, sockets narrow. He listened to the wind whisper through the leaves, sounding like a distant ocean.
Sans stared up at Red. "Red, what---?"
"Ssh!" he interrupted. "Stay here." He let go of Sans' hand and walked a bit off the path. He looked over the ground, then into the tree tops. "Hrm..."

"I Call upon
The Second Circle
Perseverance.
Show me the way up."

Familiar purple circles allowed Red to jump into the branches of a tall tree. Waving aside falling leaves, he made his way to a knot of branches. "Hey there, buddy," he whispered, reaching up to untangle a long piece of parchment from the branches. He then wormed his way down through the branches before jumping down with a loud thud.

"Why don't you use Perseverance to get back down?" Sans grimaced.
"Faster ta jump," Red answered as he walked back over while unfolding the parchment to its full length. He glanced at the Incantation, fangs shifting. "Geez, tha rhythm to this is all over tha place. No concrete images, no central point.... What even is tha goal of this Incantation?"
"Lemme see," Sans requested, reaching for the parchment with grabby hands.
Red looked down at Sans for a moment. "Oh ma gods, ya little baby bones with ya grabby hands."
Sans gave a glaring pout, but a moment later was surprised when Red moved behind him and squatted down. Red's arms encircled his floating ribs allowing him to hold the parchment in front of him to read.
"Can ya read it okay?" Red asked, voice heavy in Sans' "ear."
"OOOooooh, Red....," Sans purred, a deep blue blooming over his cheekbones.
"Focus, Sans," Red growled.
"Uh, oh, right, right, well..." He stared down at the paper, reading the words. "Huh... a... Healing Summon, maybe?" he questioned, brow bone arched. "Is that a thing?"
"Not like how it's written here," Red explained. "There are already Summons that heal, so ya don't need ta combine Healing if yer goin' to Summon a healer anyway. I mean, doin' that ain't gonna increase tha power of a Healing Summon. In fact, ya insult a Summon when ya try ta empower it. S'like saying ya think it's weak and ya can help it. Ain't no one in this plane that good."
"You think that's why they tossed it?" Sans asked, nuzzling a bit into Red's jacket. "The Summon felt insulted and the Incantation didn't trigger?"
"Most likely," Red answered and straighten up, much to Sans' dismay. "Well, now I gotta Disenchant it before it mutates or some other Night Terror absorbs its magic."
"Ooh, " Sans perked up. "I've never seen a Disenchantment in person before."
"Sit tight," Red grimaced walking a bit up the path to give himself some space. "So, tha first step is a Disenchantment Invocation. Let's all Seven Circles know what I'm doin'." Red closed his sockets.

"The Seven Circles
The Gates of All
I Call, I Beseech, I Summon, I Command
Ripple from your Center and
Heal these Afflictions
Show me the Way
Slow Down the Space of Those who Oppose Me
Fire your Volley
Close all the Gates
Come Forth as I Summon You
And Expule all Those who Oppose Me
This Physical Form that holds you
Use your Will to break free

Seven circles, each one a single color, rippled from under Red's sneakers. "Now ta figure out what magic is actually in this...." he held up the parchment, letting the paper float in front of him.

"Now, Open the Gates
And Show me the Paths."

The lights of the circles began to go out, starting from the outer most circle: red, orange, yellow and purple.
"That leaves Dark Blue, Light Blue, and Green--- Summon, Gravity and Healing," Red concluded.
"Gravity?" Sans questioned. "So, a Summon that can slow down things and heal?"
"It's a weird combination," Red admitted. "Maybe the Summon is slow movin', so they thought they were helpin' out by tryin' ta tie Gravity magic ta it. Another insult, really."
"Isn't this basic Incantation one oh one?" Sans asked. " 'Don't insult the Summons'?"
"Only if ya deal with 'em constantly," Red answered. "If ya've never dealt with Summons, and yer too lazy ta research 'em, ya end up with stuff like this."
"Hm," Sans murmured in agreement. "Well then, what's next?"
"Just gotta say the Disenchantment Invocations fer 'em," Red answered, closing this sockets.

"I Dismiss you Healing
These wounds are Closed and Healed
Close the First Gate."

The Green circle went dark.

"I Dismiss you Gravity
Retune this Space to Normality"

Light Blue flashed into darkness.

"I Dismiss you Summon
Return to Your Realm and Rest."

Dark blue blinked out.

The parchment then began to burn, releasing wispy smoke colored green, and light and dark blue.

"Good," Red nodded. "It'll burn, releasing tha magic back ta tha Aether."

Sans walked up to Red, sockets wide as he stared at the burning parchment. "So, you have to do that each time to Disenchant an Incantation, right?"
"Yep," Red nodded. "It can be cumbersome, 'specially if ya mess up a bunch of Incantations in a row and have to Disenchant them. Easier fer most monsters ta just Abandon 'em."
"I see," Sans nodded. "Well, thank you for letting me watch. It was very educational."
"No problem," Red replied. "Welp, come on." He motioned for Sans to follow him deeper into the woods.

Sans followed without question.

They spent the rest of the day looking for Sleepers, only breaking for lunch and then snacks. They found on more Sleeper on the verge of mutation ("ya can tell by the black edges on tha paper," Red informed Sans) and Red disenchanted this parchment, too.

"So, your days are pretty much like this?" Sans asked as Red escorted him to the inn's porch.
"Yep," Red answered. "Sorry if it's not very glamourous."
Sans smiled. "I had a nice time, so it's fine. Are we having dinner together tonight?"
Red rubbed the back of his hooded skull. "Sorry. It's Siblings Favorite Night. We try ta have dinner together at least three times a week--- over tha weekend, plus on Friday. They let me skip out on ma night, but I'd like ta go ta this one...."
"That's fine, I understand," Sans smiled. "I'll probably call up on Papy, my little bro. See how he's doing back at ONK. I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Yeah," Red smiled, surprising himself a bit.
Sans leaned down from the top step of the porch, sliding his arms around Red's neck. He blinked. "Oh, I should have asked if...."
"I-it's okay," Red assured. "It's fine, if it's you."
Sans smiled before edging in closer.
Blushing, Red leaned up to meet Sans in a gentle kiss.

Space was as blissful as ever.

Chapter Text

Sans arrived at the library the next morning, a bit disappointed.

He hadn't run into Red this time.

"I did wake up sort of late this morning. He was probably already patrolling by then.... But still..." Sans mourned the missed opportunity as he made his way down to the basement. No, no, this was fine. He could focus on getting back to researching, this time on Cobalt and Meloncholight. There had to be some sort of records down here that could tell him more about them, even if they were just old census records. If all of Matisse's digging hadn't bought up anything more than a expedition report, the library was the only other place anything else could be.

Sans glanced around the basement, trying to decide on where to start. "Census reports will probably have Meloncholight's family name, then I can dig in some Font registers. Cobalt is a Dark Blue name, so I can probably find some Color registers to figure out exactly which generation of Dark Blue they're from. If I can get an age range, I might be able to better figure out how these two may be related to Red."

So, Sans began the long task of digging up census reports and every Font and Color register he came across. He didn't know exactly what names lie in the pages since most registers were titleless, only sporting single letters for Fonts or a Color name on the front of the books. He'd have to go through all of them to find anything useful.

However, while Sans was searching, he came across a little journal with some sort of winged seal on the front. "Huh... kinda looks like the seal for the old kingdom?" Sans noted. "Hm, must be just about little every day things if it's not at the Archives, but...." Sans' sockets narrowed at the cover. "Why would it have the Our Kingdom seal on it if it was just a regular journey? For it to have the seal must mean someone at the castle was using it, right?" Curious, Sans took the book and sat at a table already creaking with the weight of other older tomes. "Hm... real leather... parchment, not regular paper.... The seal is part of the cover, not just stamped on.... This is definitely some high end stuff. Why was it left here? Just by accident, maybe?" Sans opened the book, careful with the yellowing pages.

"Hmm, looks like... a journal from a worker at the castle?" Sans murmured. "There's stuff in here about meetings with different staff members, then... something about the prince falling ill and.. dying....? So, was the Resurrection Incantation meant to... bring him back?" Sans tapped his mandible. "...'Lord Error's roar is ringing through the castle and Lord Ink is glowing....' Wait, a minute, both of them were down here!? How in the---?" Sans flipped through the pages.

Empty.

The rest of the pages were empty.

Another dead end.

Sans sighed and closed the book. "Okay, so... the Prince died, which is where the Resurrection Incantation comes in. Both the Lords of the Aether and Void were there, but you can't Summon them with an Incantation, so how did they get there? Did they just come down by themselves? Why would they do that...? And why isn't any of this in the ONK Archives? Dammit, it's because these books don't look like much of anything to begin with," the skeleton grumbled to himself. "Okay, okay," Sans sighed again. "I need a break. What time is it?" He turned around to glance at the clock behind him. "Is it lunch time--- wait, hold on...."

Red wasn't here.

Maybe him showing up that first time had been a lucky fluke, but... Sans felt like Red should be here, inviting him to lunch.

Sans shot up, grabbed his messenger bag and headed upstairs, his stomach sinking as he made his way outside. He found that a small crowd had gathered along the sidewalk, staring into the sky over the woods. Streaks of light flashed over the tree tops.

They must be fighting another Night Terror, Sans thought. But those streaks of light are a lot more intense than the last time they fought one. Sans kneaded his gloved hands. Something isn't right. The small skeleton's hands fisted before he began running towards the forest, messenger bag flopping along his side. This is dumb, right? What the hell do I expect to do when I get there!? Sans berated himself as he stumped his way through piles of fallen leaves. Streaks of light flashed past him, zapping the air making the area spark with heat.

CRRRruuush

Sans froze inches away from a giant... tail? All he could really make out was metal rings as large as he was tall, fused together almost like a chain with links stacked side by side. The tail thrashed around, tangled in the brush. Another loud rustle sounded as a second tail flailed near by, also covered in underbrush.

Sans snacked around the first tail keeping a safe distant of the long appendage. As he ran, he watched, sockets wide, as the tails fused together to make a slick, silver body that split again at the neck.

Three heads.

This behemoth chain had three, iron heads, each head's blank face covered in a ring of humongous teeth. Right now, the Night Terror flailed its tails in an attempt to break up the underbrush tangling them and holding the beast in place.

Sans took a frantic glance around the Night Terror. He spotted Azure behind the beast, face up and unconscious on the ground. Off in the bushes, Rust wasn't in better condition.

And Red...

Red was struggling to stand up, using a tree to support himself. The ankhs in his eyes were going dimmer.

He'd pass out soon.

Sans crept his way over to the tree, staying low in the brush. "Red," he whispered.
Red jerked around to peer around the tree. "Sans!? What are ya doin' here!? Run!"
"I can't leave you like this!"
"Sans, I've been fightin' Night Terrors since this mornin'. I've used up both of ma Banishment Incantations already. I can't use 'em again til they rest up. Rust and Azure tried ta fight this one, but it's strong. S'got some intense magic behind it. Look, I'll hold it back. Run to town and tell everyone ta evacuate!"
"Wait, you just need another Banishment Incantation, right?" Sans asked. "I'll write one for you!"
Red blinked. "What?"
"I'll write one using my own Family Lore," Sans spoke, digging into his messenger bag. "Just keep it from leaving, okay?"
"Crap. A'ight. Don't got much otha options anyway," Red growled. He held out his hand, focused on the space behind the beast.

"I Beseech the Fifth Circle
Barrier!
Close the Tallest Gate Farthest from Me!

There was a sharp twang as a row of orange arrows shot into the air. Much to Red's surprise, the arrows caught a tail of the Night Terror and yanked the creature into the air. The beast shrieked and flailed, trying to escape.

"Huh," Red gave a tired smirk. "Lucky me." Red turned to look back at Sans. "Hey, Sans, how are ya....? ...Whoa...."

The S's in Sans' sockets were a dazzling artic blue as he wrote across the parchment with such speed Red thought the paper would spark and catch fire. He knew writing Incantations was almost second nature to Fonts, but he had no idea they would get this far into the zone while writing.

"Ah!" Sans' hand froze his sockets flashed and he swayed a bit, prompting Red to rush over and catch him in his arms.
"I gotcha," Red whispered.
"I'm sorry. I've never...," Sans huffed. "It's finished though." He handed the parchment to Red.
"Thanks, Sans," Red smiled and rested him against the tree. He straightened up just as a shattering thud shook the ground.

The Night Terror had thrashed off the gate and was now squirming back towards Red, knocking over trees and steamrolling the brush.

"Shit!" Red stumbled forward, intent on confronting the Terror before the best could run over his family and boyfriend. "Gods, please let this works," Red prayed, looking down at the parchment.

I Command the Seventh Circle!
Open the Gate!

A familiar red circle flashed under the Night Terror, trapping the beast in the swirling wind.

Okay, good start.

"A Light that Ascends from the Highest Arch
Cut Open a Path to this Sphere and Descend!"

The Circle blinked out---

Red froze, sockets wide. "It.... it doesn't work!" he panicked. "It doesn't work when I'm usin' someone else's---"

---And reopened above the trees, exploding in a brilliant crimson that memorized the Night Terror to a stand still.

Red blinked. "...Oh."

The Circle split in half and a enormous, shining, porcelain white skeletal hand reached out, phalanges spread wide.

"Huh... uh...," Red looked down at the paper.

"A Judgement that only the Last One could know
Bestow your Retribution upon those who Trespass against Us."

The Skeletal hand hovered over the Night Terror before grabbing the beast by its long necks. The creature screeched and thrashed.

"A Blade that only the Standing Road could forge
Wield this weapon in the Name of the Honorable Few."

A second shining hand descended, holding an huge axe, blade polished to a silver shine, blue sapphires gleaming on the tawny handle.

"If deemed Unworthy of this Sphere
Commence the Judgement you have chosen
And bring down the Divinity of Seven!"

The axe rose in one slow, but fluid motion before slamming down on the Night Terror, chopping the beast in half. Blood exploded from the two halves, coating the skeletal hands in inky black.
Red stared. "Holy shit. That's metal as fuck.... Oh! Oh, right!" He looked back down at the parchment.

"A Divine Rain that only the Land of the Aether could know
Cleanse this land of Bloodshed and Evil."

The skeletal hands, dripping black, ascended back into the circle before a deluge of white rain poured out, drenching the area and burning away the blood and the Night Terror's flesh.

"Cleansed of all that Sinned against Us.
You are Forgiven," Red whispered.

The rain stopped, leaving behind only a pristine area of green grass. The Circle pieced itself back together before shrinking away into nothing. An eerie calm fell over the area.

"Wow," Red whispered to himself again.
"Red!" Sans called, staggering from a small group of trees. "Did it... it worked?"
"Ye-yeah," Red nodded. "Shit, I gotta get Azure and Rust back!" He staggered over to this sister and after checking for broken bones, he placed her over one shoulder, then did the same with Rust.
"Red!" Sans called. "Maybe you shouldn't---"
"There's no time!" Red shot. "I can't use healin' magic worth shit and ya used up everythin' writin' just one Incantation. I can't haul ya back either. Run ahead and tell someone ta get some clinic rooms ready!"
Sans nodded. "Right!" he scampered back through the brush, leaving Red to limp along.

~

"Look, we can't just let you---"
"Don't worry about me! Just take them!" Red screamed, pointing to his siblings on the gurneys.
The Astigmatism glared. "Now, look here---"
"I'll take him," Sans interrupted. "My healing's decent enough and right now, he's better off anyway. At least he's awake."
The Astigmatism continued to glare, but nodded nonetheless. "Fine, fine, but if you run into any problems, get him back here, got it!?"
Sans nodded and helped Red limp out of the clinic. "Are you sure you don't want them to help you. It's their job and---"
"It's fine," Red grumbled. "I don't want 'em wastin' their time one me when my bro and sis need 'em more."
Sans only gave a worried glance. "Well, it's your choice in the end. Let's get you home, then. Down this way?"
"Yeah," Red nodded. "Hey... How did ya know yer Lore would work fer me?"
"Well, there's no reason it shouldn't have... at least in theory. It was still a Banishment Incantation at its core."
"It's just... I've never used anyone else's Lore before, so...."
"Well, I don't really know, to be honest," Sans admitted. "Maybe because I trusted you making it work... Is this the right way?"
"Yeah, just a little farther down this street. Gonna be... on tha right. A little blue house." Red stumbled a bit.
Sans growled a bit, heaving Red onto his small shoulders. "Stay awake, Red. I can't carry you by myself and there's no one around to ask for help.... Is this it?"
"Ye-yeah," Red wavered a bit.
"Red!"
His skull popped up. "I'm okay! There... there's a key under tha false bottom of tha mailbox."
Sans pulled Red up a few steps, got out the key and unlocked the door. He put the key back, then guided Red inside to a cozy living room. A blue couch was pushed against the right wall, a table in front of the love seat. A TV was on the opposite wall.

Sans kicked the door closed. "Please tell me your room isn't upstairs."
"It... is..." Red heaved a heavy breath.
"Red, I'm gonna have to put you on the couch," Sans apologized, lugging him over to the love seat. He lowered him onto the couch. "Thank goodness," the smaller skeleton stretched before looking down at Red. "Red?" he leaned down and could hear Red wheezing. Every so often, his body trembled and he growled in pain. I'm going to need to heal but.... Sans peered down at Red. He squatted down to talk to him. "Red, can you hear me?"

Red's sockets slid open.

"I know you don't like being touched, but I need to undress you to heal you up, okay?"
"No... please...."
"Red, I can't leave you like this," Sans glared. "It's either I heal you or I call the clinic. Now, which is it?"
Red grimaced. "I can just lie here, too."
"Will you stop being so stubborn!" Sans demanded. He sighed. Counted to five. "Red, please. I can't stand seeing you like this."
Red looked away. "...Promise me."
Sans stared. "...Promise what?"
"Promise me..." Red bit back tears. "Promise me you won't tell my bro and sis how bad I've gotten."

Chapter Text

Red sat, quiet, as Sans unzipped the Spectral's coat. The large skeleton wasn't wearing a short underneath. Sans pulled the heavy coat over Red's clavicle and humeri, sockets widening as the coat slid down to pile around Red's pelvis.

His bones were a mess: twisted, cracked, bent, bruises colored a deep mahogany from magic seeping into the cuts and trying to heal the wounds, but failing from no concentrated effort.

And his spine, Gods Above and Below, his spine.

The chain of bones and disks twisted in sharp curves, were laced in such deep cuts that the vertebrae were on the verge of snapping.

How the hell had he been able to move, walk, fight?

"...It's pretty bad, right?" Red murmured.
"It... yeah," Sans admitted. "Red, how...?" But Sans could only look away. No, it's not my business, just have to do what I can. "Well, I'm going to get started, okay?"
"Red only nodded.

Sans sat on the couch in between Red's legs and closed his sockets to concentrate.

"I Call upon the First Circle
Healing
Mend that which is Broken
Cure that which causes Affliction"

Hands now glowing green, Sans began the long process of healing Red's body.

Sans reached up Red's skull, which was laced with hundreds of little cracks. Red flinched a bit as the smaller skeleton's magic washed over his skull, starting from the cranium and down to the mandible.
"It's okay," Sans whispered. "It's just me."
Red let out a breath.

He hated this. He had taught himself to hate anyone touching him. He didn't deserve to be healed like this. He was a fluke, a curse, a mistake, he didn't... he didn't....

And yet, he kept quiet as Sans ran his distal phalanges over his vertebrae and disks of his neck. Clavicle, scapula.... Sans moved to his ribs and cracking filled the room as they popped back into place.

Red grimaced. Gods Below, he hated this.

Sans, however, kept a calm disposition, his tips gliding over the bones, green wisps seeping into cracks and bruises. He went from the ribs to Red's humerus, radius, ulna, each individual phalange. He mirrored the other side.

Sans then rest his hands on Red's shorts. "Could you take these off for me?" he asked.

A scarlet blush bloomed across Red's cheekbones as he looked away, glaring. He reached down, pausing a bit when he realized his arms didn't feel so heavy, before lifting his hips and sliding off his shorts. He tossed them to the floor. He went ahead and kicked off his sneakers.

"All right, I'm going to work on your pelvis, okay?" Sans informed.
Red only nodded.

Sans started on the sacrum, then the ilium on the right. "I'm doing to touch your pubis, all right?"
Red nodded again, letting Sans know he could touch him. Seconds later, he sucked in a breath.
"Sorry," Sans whispered, pulling his hands away for a moment. "I'm just trying to cover everything here."
"I'm okay," Red breathed, skull a crimson red. "I'm okay, keep goin'."
Sans nodded back and returned to his work. He finished the pubis, worked down the ischuim, left ilium.

Femur, patella, which he spent extra time on as the joint was worn. Tibia, fibula.

"I'm going to take off your socks, okay?"
"...Okay."

Tarsals, metatarsals, phalanges. He repeated the process on the other leg.

"Okay, time for your spine," Sans announced, standing up.

Red clenched up a bit. He knew how bad his spine was, felt how bad his spine had gotten.

"It's okay," Sans whispered from Red's side. "We can take a break if you want."
"No, no, I'm okay," Red reassured, moving forward across the couch so Sans could sit behind him.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah."
"All right," Sans sat down behind the larger skeleton. His magic had died down a little, so he said the healing Incantation again to gather more in his hands. "I'm going to start, all right?"
"Ye-yeah," Red muttered. He tensed up again as Sans' magic seeped into the disks and vertebrae. There was small clicking and cracking sounds as his spine was coaxed into straightening out. Red's breathing picked up as Sans distal phalanges moved lower and lower.
"Almost done," Sans whispered.
"Uh... ahh..." Red breathed. "...Fuck... I didn't know it would...ahhhh."
"The lower portion of our spines is very sensitive, yes," Sans informed, moving his hands even lower.
"Ah! Shit!" Red arched his spine.
"Hey, careful, I just fixed that!" Sans warned. "Hold on, bend back slowly, all right? There you go. Try not to arch, okay? Just grab the couch cushions."
Red nodded and took hold of the blue cushion in front of him. His grip tightened and he started panting when he felt Sans' magic flood his lower spine more and more.
"Almost," Sans reassured.
"I... uh... I don't know... how much longer I can...," Red panted. He could feel his Soul directing his magic towards his pelvis. "S-Sans, ah... I'm gonna...."
"It's all right," Sans whispered. "I'm done." And Red felt the magic ebb away. The odd sensation of pleasure subsided and Red's magic trailed back to his Soul. He let out a relieved breath.
Sans smiled. "Try standing up."
Red shivered a bit.
"It's all right. Take your time."
Red breathed. One foot landed on the carpeted floor. Then the other. He stood up and... Gods Below, standing was so easy. Nothing cracked or creaked.

Nothing hurt.

"Mmm, that is a nice view," Sans smirked.
Red froze before he bared his fangs, skull turning crimson. He gathered up his shorts and slipped them back on
"Aww, bye bye, sexy pelvis," Sans cooed. "But, how do you feel?"
"....Good," Red answered. "Th-thank you."
Sans smiled. "No problem."
Red moved to sit back down on the couch. "Yer not gonna ask? About how I got that way?"
"It's really none of my business. You can tell me when you're ready."
Red looked down at his lap, twiddled his phalanges. Sans moved his legs, letting them hang off the plush couch.
Red sighed, let his spine sink into the cushion. "Hm... this feels good."
Sans smiled. Granted he had almost used up all of his magic healing Red (because, wow, his bones were huge, like tree branches) but he was happy with the results. A meal and a good night's sleep was all Sans would need to get back into top form. In the meantime, he nested deeper into the couch. He wondered if he could just fall asleep right here.

"Hrm...."

Sans cracked opened a socket. "What's up?"
"Uh, I just..." Red didn't meet Sans' gaze as his own sockets lidded. "Ma brother. He used ta heal me growin' up... but that all changed when we got our jobs at ONK."
Sans opened his other socket and sat up.

"Things are different out in the field," Red continued. "Would-be Composers always swarmed ma brother and sister after seein' how strong they were. They were hopin' to form Pairs. Meanwhile, I was pushed aside, ignored, fer being tha near taboo one. Rust couldn't reach me ta heal me..." Red's gaze looked distant for a moment. "I told him not ta worry, that'd I start healin' myself... even if I wasn't very good at it. But I didn't want him ta worry, ta miss out on forming a Pair because of me. So, I let tha crowd keep pushin' me aside and I guess... it started ta really affect me. I started thinkin' on why everyone ignored me, why they were afraid of me. I kept tryin' to tell myself it was my magic, not me, but I... I am ma magic. They are afraid of me... because maybe... maybe there was somethin' wrong with me. Maybe I was supposed ta be broken like this... Maybe I deserved it fer tha magic I use. So, I made myself hate bein' touched so no would heal me. I stopped healin' myself because I thought I deserved---"

"Red."

Red jolted a bit before looking over at Sans. He watched the smaller skeleton turn to him, lift his hands to rest them on his skull. Lapis blue pierced into crimson red.

"Don't you ever think so low of yourself again, do you understand me?" Sans stared, voice level and stern.
Red's sockets widen.
"You are talented, smart, kind, brave." His sockets lidded. "Extremely handsome." Sans stroked Red's blushing cheekbones. "So, I was right about you being hot under that hood."
Red's gaze shifted. "Geez, Sans...."
Sans chuckled. "I'm so glad you're all right."
Red gave a small smile back. "S'because of ya," he admitted. "But, more than just healin'' me. That Incantation ya wrote...."
Sans blushed a bit. "Well, you know, we Fonts are pretty good at writing them. Just don't have the stamina to cast a lot in a row. But...." Sans looked down, hands slipping behind Red's neck. "You... You needed help so...."
"Sans."
The Font looked back up. Red was blushing again, looking away.
"Would ya... write more Incantations fer me?"
Sans' sockets widen, mouth gaped as he pulled away. "Are you... are you asking me to be... to be your Composer?"
Red's blush brighten. "I, I mean." His gaze stayed glued to the floor at his side. He gulped. "I... I like tha way ya write and well, it could even help me get better at writin'."
Sans' smile grew wider and wider. "You're asking me to be our Composer!!"
Red's fangs shifted as he breathed in deep. "Ye-yeah, I... I am, so.... Sans." He took Sans' small hands in his. His gaze fell on Sans' sockets, making the Font blush arctic blue.
"Re-Red?"
"Sans... would you be my Composer?"
"Oh... Oh! Oh, yes!" Sans cried. "I'd love to!" He buried his way into Red's ribs, making Red freeze up for a second before relaxing. He found himself resting his hands on Sans lower spine, hugging him close.

Chapter Text

Red and Sans stood outside the clinic room, waiting for the load of fans to pour out. A good mix of young men and women, their excited chattering and blushing cheekbones filled the hallway.

"This is kinda ridiculous," Sans gave a displeased glare as Red let him into the room.

The room was wide, bright and full of GET WELL SOON banners, balloons, followers, teddy bears, and boxes of candy. Red even saw a few scrolls piled on the table. He rolled his ankhs. Really, they ain't even outta the clinic yet and skeles are still tryin' ta pair with 'em.

Azure and Rust sat in twin beds, bandaged a bit heavier than Sans thought was necessary, but nothing seemed too serious about their condition.

"Red!" Azure perked up, before her sockets widen. "You... you're not wearin' your hood."
"You...," Rust's gaze shifted up and down. "You got taller?" Now that Red wasn't bent over from a twisted spine, he was standing a lot taller.
"Uh, yeah," Red gave a shy smile. "Uh, Sans helped me out," he motioned to the Font, who gave a quick wave. "Are ya guys a'ight?"
"We're fine," Rust smiled. "We should be healed up in a few days."
Azure mumbled as she crossed her arms. "I still can't believe we got our boney asses handed to us, though. These Night Terrors are gettin' out of hand. They weren't nearly this much trouble in ONK."
"well, ya know," Red's gaze shifted to the ceiling as he thought out loud. "Tha magic in Fallin' Leaves seems a bit more potent--- plenty of fuel for 'em ta manifest."
"You would think all of these attacks would be incentive enough for monsters to dispose of their Incantations in the correct way," Rust gave a small glare.
"It is a long process, though," Red replied. "On top of that, ya got all these skeles who want ta be yer partners. They write their Incantations to impress ya, but they never feel like they're good enough so they trash 'em instead of disenchantin' 'em. Er, not sayin' this is yer fault or anythin'," Red added a moment later. "I mean, we got called here ta deal with a problem, so this was already happenin' before we showed up, but it's somethin' ta think about."
"Hmm," Azure crossed her arms and looked down in thought, brow bone furrowed. "Maybe we should think about gettin' Composers. Havin' one might make a lot of monsters stop writin' these things if they're doin' it just to impress us. That could slow down Terrors poppin' up."
"Seriously?" Rust cocked a brow bone. "Part of the reason Monsters Abandon Incantations is that they don't trigger because the Composer is too amateur to know any better. We'd most likely have to teach a Composer how to actually compose!"
"Well, I'm all open for ideas," Azure glared, arms crossing again. She turned back at Red and smiled. "Well, Red here won't have to worry about this sort of stuff. He's already Mastered his magic, so it's not like he even needs a Composer or anythin'."

"Uh, well, I mean... I got one," Red replied.

His siblings blinked. "What?"
"Uh...," Blushing a bit, Red stepped aside to motion to Sans again. "This is Sans, the, uh, friend I was havin' dinner with that night. His Incantation is what saved us, and I liked it, so...."

There was a brief silence before Rust let out a long coo.

"Awwwww, Red!" Rust chirped. "This is so precious! I'm so proud of you!"
"Well, wait, don't tell anybody!" Azure cried. "Because then our fans will start thinkin' we're settlin' down and I am not ready for that!!"
Red blushed brighter. "No one said nothin' 'bout settlin' down!"
"You two are goin' on dinner dates," his sister pointed out.
"That was just a regular dinner!"
"Yeah, sure, but now your Composer and Invoker. You might as well tie the knot," she waved off.
Red's sockets lidded in a sharp glare. "We ain't doin' that."
"Aww, but why not!?" Rust asked, tears of both happiness and disappointment dotting his sockets.
"We just ain't!" Red's entire skull was a deep crimson.
Azure let a grin slide across her skull. "Man, Red, livin' up to your name there," she teased.
Red growled and went on the defensive: he flipped up his hood and whipped around. "Shut up and get better, ya dorks!" he shouted before stomping out of the room, leaving a rather out of place Sans behind.

Rust sighed, smile on his face. "He's still such a kid."
"Hey, Sans, right?" Azure called, offering her hand. "I'm Azure and that's Rust. So, is that like, Comic Sans? That's pretty old school. What family?"
"Uh, Wing Dings," Sans answered, taking Azure's offered hand to shake.
Azure whistled. "That's really Old Magic. Red sure has a thing for the elites."
Elites? Sans wondered.
"Uh... Comic Sans...," Rust started, phalanges tapping each other's tips.
"Oh!" Sans held up his hands. "Sans is just fine."
"Oh, all right," Rust smiled. "Sans... I... I don't know what you did to get Red to open up like he has, but thank you. Please, take care of our little brother."

Sans blinked and for a moment, he remembered having a similar conversation back home.

"I know we've been friends for a while, but I still gotta make a request of you. Please, take care of my little bro."

Sans smiled. "Of course."

~

"What are ya doing?"
"Reading."
"Nah, tha otha thing."

Sans lowered his book and looked above him at Red's face, no longer hidden under the hood. In the past week of the two lounging from lack of Night Terrors and Sans' researching, the only time Red wore his hood was during the long walk to visit Azure and Rust (who was still under observation at the clinic), and even then, sometimes he forgot to flip his hood up. Without the hood on, Sans could stare into that handsome face at his leisure, which included right now.

"Hmm," he purred. "What am I doing? Oh, yes, I have my head in your lap while I read."
"Why?"
"You... have comfortable femurs?" Sans shrugged. "It's just nice right here? Do I really need a reason?"
Red shrugged back. "Guess not." He went back to flipping through channels on the TV. "Whutcha readin'?"

"Optimal Ways to Maximum Incantation Power," During his research, Sans hadn't found anything more on Cobalt or Melancholight, as well as what happened to the Old Kingdom. He still had much of the Archives to go, but had decided to take a break so he wouldn't stress himself out over not finding much as fast as he wanted. He decided to take the time to research more about writing Incantations since this was the first time he would be a Composer for someone.

Red, however, didn't appear too supportive of the idea of researching such a topic. "Ya actually need a book fer that?"
"Well," Sans blushed. "I've never written Incantations for anyone before--- I usually do essays or help with thesis papers. That said, I thought some research would be helpful."
Red rolled his ankhs. He slid the book from Sans' hands and dropped the bundle of paper on the floor. "Ya don't need a book fer that."
Sans blinked. "But---"
"Listen ta me," Red interrupted. "Ain't no magic formula ta writin' an Incantation. A lot of it is trial and error, common sense, practice. Ya ain't gonna get that from readin'. Ya'd benefit more from readin' yer Family Lore cause that's who ya work with when ya write an Incantation fer Summonin' or Banishment. Got it?"
Sans nodded. "Of course, I don't have any of my Family Lore Records with me. The one I wrote for you was just right off the top of my skull."
"That's fine," Red assured. "Incantations for Summons and Banishment are reusable. As long as ya let the Summon rest, ya can always keep usin' 'em. Ain't no problem. Anyway, weren't ya readin' somethin' else earlier? Did ya finish that already?"
"Oh, that," Sans replied. "That was a book about Lord Ink and Lord Error," he explained. "For some reason, they keep showing up in journals talking about what might be the Night Terror, even though they're not mentioned in the ONK Archives. I think... I think they were there when the possible Night Terror appeared."
Red cocked a brow. "Ya think so?"
"The first mention I found said something about Lord Error stopping the Resurrection Incantation. The second mention described Lord Error screaming and Lord Ink flashing."
"I don't know," Red admitted. "Tha Gods of the Void and the Aether comin' to tha physical plan ta stop an Incantation? Seems low on their list of things ta do."
"Well, there's a chance the Incantation summoned them there."
"Like I told ya, it'd have ta be one hell of an Incantation ta summon Gods. But who were they tryin' to bring back."
"Everything I've read kept talking about the Prince."
"Hm.... I guess that could warrant a Summon, but, still, the Gods? Even ta save tha Prince, it seems like overkill."
"Hm. I wonder if Lord Ink and Lord Error thought that, too," Sans murmured. "Hey, you know, chatting with you like this is really nice." Sans rolled over and propped his head up in Red's lap. "You really are knowledgeable about so much. It's really hot."
"I'm startin' ta think ya think everythin' I do is hot, " Red grumbled, flipping though channels again.
"That's true," Sans purred, sitting up. His arms reached up and slid around Red's cervical vertebrae, making the larger skeleton tense up a little. "Shh, it's okay, it's just me," Sans whispered.
"I, I know," Red breathed.
Sans rest a hand on Red's cheekbone. "You really did a psychological number on yourself, huh?"
Red looked down.
"Hey, wait, I didn't mean..." Sans looked to the side, pulling his hand away. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean... I just want to help you through this, that's all. You... You have a very beautiful body, Red."
Red tensed up again, skull turning crimson. "Ya can't just... say stuff like that."
"Hm, why not?" Sans smiled. "It's true after all. You have very beautiful bones." He reached back up and touched Red's cheekbone again, gave him a sweet smile. "I really want to help you realize that."
Red fidgeted a bit. "It's just a lot, ya know?"
"I understand," Sans nodded. "You've told yourself a lot of things over the years. It's not just going to unravel in an instant. There's no rush or anything, though, okay?"
Red nodded. "But, what if... what if ya get tired of waitin' fer me?"
Sans blinked.
"I... I'm really kinda fucked up here, Sans," Red started, voice low. "Like, it's obvious ya wanna get closer ta me and, all these years, I trained myself ta hate bein' touched and I... even when it's ya... I know it's ya, I know I can trust ya, but I still... I don't want ya ta get tired of waitin' on me."
"Red....," Sans whispered. "I... Can I kiss you?"
Red gulped, but nodded.

Clack.

Red blushed as he pressed into the kiss, his arms wrapping around Sans' tiny frame. He soon found himself getting a bit more excited than he usually did, maybe because Sans was sitting on his lap, legs spread, letting their pelvis touch through their clothes. He felt a little warmer when he realized how close Sans was to him, a thin layer of clothes between them. Red moaned a bit when Sans ran his phalanges over his ribcage, wrapped his arms around the neck of the larger skeleton's spine, moved in closer. He found himself moving to lie on the couch, Sans clenching to his jacket as Red moved him to rest him on the plush cushions.

They were side by side on the couch, still kissing, but Sans was threatening to roll off the edge, so Red just sort of rolled on top of him.

***

"Oh, gods! That's exactly how I thought you'd feel!" Sans cried, blue blush exploding over his cheekbones, tongue lulling from his teeth, sockets lidded.
Red blinked, sitting up on his hands a bit. "What?"
Sans sighed. "You're so heavy."
"Oh. I can get up."
"No, no, stay just like that," Sans begged, tugging Red to rest more on top of him. "Ah, yeah... put all your weight on me, daddy."
Red rolled his ankhs, sniffed at the hint of Sans' heat. "Right, I forgot you gotta... what kind of fetish even is this?"
"Don't know. Just want your big bones on top of me," Sans panted, tongue still hanging.
Red looked down at Sans, noticed his expression.

He looked... really turned on.

And Red had done that?

...Wow.

Red leaned forward until his forehead rested next to Sans' panting skull.
"Oh, yessss, daddy..." Sans moaned.
Red gulped. He had had many effects on monsters--- fear, disgust, apprehension, even hate.

Lust was... a new one. One that he sort of liked.

He gulped again. "Ya... hm, ya like that, baby bones?"
"Ah, yes, daddy. Your bones feel so good," Sans panted, holding tight to Red's jacket.
Red wiggled around a bit, making Sans moan louder. He thrust his hips forward and Sans screamed.

"Oh, daddy! Yes! Fuck me with your big pelvis, daddy!!"

Geez, he's really gettin' into this and it's just dry humpin, Red thought, thrusting against Sans' pelvis. In order to do this, Sans was, more or less, buried under Red's ribcage, clinging to his jacket, his small size having caused him to scoot down farther to connect his pelvis with Red's. He didn't seem to mind, if all the moaning and screaming was any indication.

"Yeah, daddy...a little harder! Don't stop! Don't stop! Ah, gods! I'm so close!"
Red's sockets widen. Wait, what is he about to---
"Oh, gods above, DADDY!!" Sans arched against Red's ribs, arms and legs clenching around him as he came.

***

Red froze up a little at the sensation of warm magic pressing into his shorts, at the sharp scent of sweetness. He took a few slow breaths to calm himself, then sat up, careful in lowering Sans back down to the couch, taking in how... fucking beautiful he looked after being spent.

His cheekbones were dusted in pale blue, his blue tongue hanging from between his smiling teeth, little pants sliding from his mouth. He looked a little sweaty, gaze distant from under his lidded sockets, the pinpoints now little hearts.
Red glanced down farther, could see a wet spot spreading on the front of Sans' long coat. Curious, Red found himself wanting to push up Sans' coat. "S-sans, can I....?"
"Ah, Red....," Sans called. "I kinda can't... I'm gonna have to pay you back later...."
"I uh... I just want to see, is that okay?"
Sans nodded, sat up on his elbows as Red revealed his glistening blue pussy, still dripping magic.
"Wow...," Red whispered. He had never seen anyone like this before--- had never been close enough to anyone to be able to.
"Hmmm," Sans smiled. "You did that by the way. That's the kind of effect you have on me."
Red blinked. "I really made ya...?"
"Hm, hm," Sans nodded. "You and those big bones of yours." He rested a hand on Red's.
Red could only stare at Sans, his blissful expression, his dripping sex.

He had done that.

Red's Soul pulsed with a sense of accomplishment.

Chapter Text

In the middle of the woods, amidst swirling leaves was a little wooden table and a wooden chair. A top that table was a jar.

A jar of honey.

Or, something that had the same look as honey. The color was off, being a sky blue instead of deep yellow. However, Red found the blue honey appetizing enough. He opened the jar, took a sniff.

So sweet.

He used his phalanges to scoop out a handful, took a cautious lick.

His body jolted at the taste.

Perfect, as if someone had made this honey just for him.

He shoved down handful after handful, until the jar was empty.

His Soul ached.

"You want more?"

Red looked up from the jar, gaze focusing on someone standing across from him, on the other side of the table.

Sans was standing there, smirking.

...Naked?

That didn't seem to phase Red at all, though. "Do you have any more?"
"Of course," Sans smiled, crawling up on the table. He squatted down, spread his legs, revealed the wettest pussy Red could imagine. "It's all yours," Sans invited.
Red leaned over, gave Sans a long lick---

And woke up.

"Shit!" Red almost tilted out of the chair. He blinked a few times, glanced around, checked the table for a jar.

Nothing.

He rubbed his skull. "Fuck, what the hell was that?" As far as Red could remember, that had been his first wet dream. Were all of them as intense as that one? What had even brought that...?

Oh....

Days ago....

He and Sans had fooled around on the couch just a few days ago and had snuggled together for a while after Sans had cleaned up. Sans had been sweet enough to make dinner, Red's favorite, three-cheese mac and cheese, before the two parted ways for the night. They hadn't done much since then, but Red did find himself growing more comfortable around Sans. They nuzzled more on the couch, held hands a lot more in public when they went to visit Azure and Rust (who had been released from the clinic this morning) and just generally enjoyed being with each other. That could have added to Red having a wet dream just as much as the couch session had.

But, now that the dream was over, Red found himself longing.

Maybe because he was hard as a rock.

"Crap...," he whispered at the thick tent in his pants, blushing. If someone came by, well, there was no way he could intimidate someone with such an obvious "problem" of sorts. He knew he didn't want anyone seeing him like this, that was for sure. "I guess I should take care of it...." Red glanced around before getting up and shuffling into the woods away from the trail. He unzipped his pants and dug into his boxers to pull his cock out. He was surprised by how thick his sex was, his hand full of the crimson length. He tried to remember if he had ever formed one before, but he couldn't recall any such time. Somehow, though, he knew what to do to relieve himself and began to stroke his length nice and slow. He let out a little sigh at the shivers crawling up and down his spine. He started remembering the dream, which only made him speed up in his stroking and moan out loud. "Hmmm, Sansy...," he purred.

As Red took care of him, he didn't hear Sans jingling his bell as he road up the path. Sans stopped in front of the table and glanced around. "Red?" he called. "Red, dear, where are you?"
Strange... did he go check on the door? Oh.... A scent had caught Sans' nose. Hm, not Heat, but definitely.... Sans wouldn't mistake that smell. No where near strong enough to be Heat, but he recognized the smell of sex without a doubt. Kinda sweet, like berries, he noted as he followed the smell. Low moans began to fill the air and he heard his name being called.

Sans stopped short when he peered around a tree. "Oh my," he whispered as he watched Red stroking himself. "Wow, he's huge." Sans felt his pussy begin to get wet, yearning for Red's huge sex to just sink inside of him. He let just a bit of his honey scent waft over to Red, which made the bigger skeleton moan Sans' name a little louder.

"Do you need any help?" Sans called as he strolled over.
"Fuck," Red cursed as he staggered away, his shorts falling to the ground and making him stop short. "S-Sans, I, uh...."
Sans smirked. "Aw, dearest, are you all right? This is new for you, isn't it?"
Red gave a shy nod, skull a deep crimson. He held up his shirt, revealing his dripping length. "I uh... I had a dream and I m-made this... and I just w-wanted ta take care of it b-before anyone saw...."
"I see, I see," Sans nodded. "Well, that's quite normal, dearest. I do wish I had left the library a little earlier today. I would have been more than happy to take care of this for you." He walked closer. "Would you like me to continue for you?"
Red gave a nervous nod.
Sans reached over and laid a soft hand on Red's cock. The larger skeleton shuddered as Sans began to stroke him nice and slow. "How's that, dearest?"
"It... it's really good," Red panted, still holding up his shirt.
"That's good to know," Sans smiled, stroking away, tugging low moans from his boyfriend. "Listen, love, anytime you get like this, you just come to me, all right? Your baby bones will take care of you." Sans lowered himself to his knees.
"Wh-what are ya doin'?"
"Taking care of you," Sans smirked and leaned forward to engulf Red into his mouth.
Red felt as if he had been struck by lightning, pleasure shooting up and down his spine. He let out a loud moan as Sans glided over his cock, grazing his sex with his teeth and tongue.

This was... gods, this was amazing.

Much better than kissing and, as proud as Red had been at pleasing Sans back on the couch, being on the other end was mind blowing.

"Ah, Sans....," Red quivered. His legs were going to give out at this rate. He looked down at Sans fucking him with his mouth, at Sans' stroking himself. He was starting to smell his honey and the dream came back to him.

Everything become overwhelming for a moment. The leaves and trees hazed over, but the colors grew brighter. The scent of honey grew more intense.

He needed a taste, just one taste.

Red pulled himself out of Sans' mouth.
"Red, what---?"
But Red didn't answer, just fell to his knees and shoved Sans onto his back. His hand moved without him thinking, they just knew to pull up Sans' coat and reveal that dripping pussy of his. He leaned over and sunk his tongue in Sans' wet sex.

"OH, RED!!" Sans shot up with a scream. "Ah, yeah! Oh, fuck, yes! Just like that!" He bared his teeth as Red's tongue slipped inside of him, lapping at his walls, running over his clit. "Oh, fuck, RED! You're amazing!"

Red only continued his eating, gulping down Sans' sweet honey, inhaling his scent. He felt like he was going crazy, all he could think was MORE, MORE , MORE. He need more honey, more of Sans.

He needed him to come.

So, he sped up his tongue, rubbed his clit, slipped some phalanges inside, anything to get Sans to come, he needed Sans to come.

"AH! OH, RED!" Sans wailed, pelvis arching off the ground as his pussy let loose a cascade of honey.

Red lapped up every drop, kept licking until Sans was begging him to stop because now his clit was getting over stimulated and needed a break from Red's amazing tongue. Red sat up, licked his fangs, looked down at Sans, who looked even more beautiful than he had on the couch. Again, he was panting around his hanging tongue, sockets half-closed, skull sky blue and covered in sweat.

Sans gave Red a lazy smile. "Well, that's two I owe you."
"Uh... I... I'm so-sorry," Red blushed, tapping his phalanges together. "I... I don't know w-what came over me. Ya w-were just... yer mouth was... and ya... ya were touching yerself and I could smell yer honey and I... I just need ta... ta taste it...."
"Ohhh," Sans' sockets lidded. "Looks like my scent got the best of you for a moment there. Kinda interesting."
"I'm, I'm sorry," Red sniffed on the verge of tears. "I didn't mean ta...."
"Red, Red," Sans shot up, crawled over to Red, took his hands. "Love, love, it's okay." He leaned up and kissed his cheekbones, rubbing his hands to calm him down. "It's okay, it hits everyone differently. You're just... more intense, and there's nothing wrong with that," Sans gave a reassuring smile. "It's okay, I'm not upset at all, love. You didn't do anything wrong. I mean, I was a little caught off guard, but, well, I'm the one who sort of sparked this whole thing, so I can't blame you for how you reacted. It's okay, love." Sans kissed Red's hands
"Did ya... really like it?" Red sniffed.
Sans chuckled. "You tell me. You got a face full of the results after all."
Red squeaked and covered his blushing skull with his hands.
Sans smiled. "Did it taste okay?"
"It was really sweet," Red admitted. "I, uh, I really liked it...."
Sans smiled grew. "Hey, I brought snacks. How about we have some and then, I can pay you back?" the smaller skeleton purred.
Red lowered his hands a little and nodded, somehow blushing brighter at Sans' lazy grin. Why was that grin so damn hot?

Sans helped Red to his feet and even zipped him back up before the two went back to the table for a snack: a few sandwiches, bars of chocolate and juice boxes.
Once done, Sans strolled around the table. Smirking, he got back down on his knees, prompting Red to twist around in his chair and open his legs. Sans growled in between them.
"Now, you just relax. Baby bones is gonna take care of you," Sans smiled, unzipping Red's shorts. He watched Red's cock pop out, thick as ever, before leaning in and giving the tip a quick lick before engulfing him.
"Uh, Sans...."

"Red! Red, are you out here!?"

The large skeleton whipped his skull around just as Rust appeared from behind a flurry of leaves.
"Red!" he waved.
"Fuck," Red groaned. "Shit, under the table!"
Mouth still full of cock, Sans was shoved under the table. He slid off Red's sex as Rust reached the table, then listened to the two chat about their day so far. Sans tried to get more comfortable, but all he could do was lean more in between Red's legs, press his mouth into his cock. Gods, he was still so hard and dripping, probably still excited from Sans being so close. And in truth, Sans was also still excited--- who wouldn't be with such a magnificent cock just there, waiting for them?

Panting, Sans opened his mouth and slipped onto Red's sex.

Red shivered, causing Rust to stop mid-sentence.
"By the way---are you all right?"
"F-fine... Uh, hold on," Red squirmed, trying to see under the table--- not that he needed to see what was going on. Oh, you little.... he glared before sliding back up to the table. Ya want a cock so bad, then here ya go. He reached down behind Sans' skull and pushed, forcing Sans to deep throat him.

Sans fought the urge to gag as Red held his skull in place and picked up the conversation with his brother.

"So, ya were sayin' somethin' 'bout... what we're we talkin' about?"
"I was asking whose bike that was."
"Oh, that's Sans'. He walked over to the Doors to get more pictures." Wow, that lie just slid right out.

Much like Sans' tongue circling the base of Red's cock.

Fuck, ya little.... Red growled.
"Red?"
"Huh?" Red looked back up at Rust.
"Are you sure you're all right?"
"Ye-yeah." He felt Sans give his jacket a frantic tug. Red released his skull, allowed Sans to come up for air before the smaller skeleton deep throated him again. Red bit back a growl.
"Well, anyway, I came to pass on an invite to Sans. Could you ask him if he would like to come over to dinner tonight?"
"Ye-yeah," Red shifted in his chair as Sans' tongue assaulted the base of his cock again. "I'll ask him when he comes back."
"All right. See you later then," Rust waved.
Red waved back and waited for his brother to vanish out of sight before leaning back to look at Sans still licking away as him. "Ya greedy little brat."
Sans slid off Red's cock, smirking. "Sorry, I couldn't help it. You're just really... tempting." Sans stroked the thick member, making Red hiss. He gobbled him up again, purring a bit.
"Fuck, Sans....," Red breathed.
"Hmmmm,: Sans murmured, coming up for air. "Call me greedy, daddy," he grinned, rubbing a tongue over Red's length.
"Fuck, ya are greedy," Red growled, pumping into Sans' mouth. Gods, he couldn't believe how amazing his tongue was, how great his teeth felt grazing over his sex.

He couldn't believe how fast things were moving.

Just a few weeks ago, they had gone on a their first official date (even if Red was too shy to admit that much), shared an Incantation, then just days ago had had an intense make out session and now they were eating each other out in the woods. The whole thing was a flurry of sensations for the most part, but Red felt good about being with Sans like this. They just sort of fit, no matter how dirty they got with each other.

"Fuuuu, Sans," Red groaned. "Ah, yeah... that's it...." he growled when Sans' deep-throated him again. "Fuck, ya greedy little...."
Sans smirked at the top of Red's cock. "Insult me, daddy."
"In-insult ya?"
"Yeah," Sans purred against Red's tip. "Tell me I'm greedy."
"Ya... ya are greedy...."
"Hm... why am I greedy, daddy?" A long lick.
"Cause ya just... suck... fuck... ya just... suck dick... when ever ya fuckin' want."
"Hmmm, yeah. I'm a little slut, aren't I? Just sucking on your dick out here in the middle of the woods." Sans sucked a little on the tip.
"Fuck, yeah," Red panted. "Fuck, yer a little slut...."
"I have a little whore mouth, don't i?"
"Ye-yeah," Red groaned.
"Tell me I have a little whore mouth, daddy," and Sans gulped him down again.
"Ah, FUCK! FUCK!" Red bared his fangs, sockets shutting tight. "Fuck, ya got a little whore mouth! Fuck, ya fuckin' slut!" Red cried, glaring down at Sans sliding up and down his cock. "Ya fuckin' greedy slut! Gods, yer little whore mouth is so gods damn good! More, ya little slut! More... oh... oh, FUCK!!" Red thrust his pelvis, erupting into Sans' mouth.

The sensation was incredible.

Pleasure flooded Red's pelvis, shot up his spine, sparked at the base of his skull and he saw stars and colors.

So... this was an orgasm. Gods, no wonder Sans felt like he owed Red, this was fucking amazing.

"Ahhhh...." Red panted. "Oh...oh, wow.... wow, wow, wow.... Oh, gods, I'm gonna die. I'm gonna fucking die."
Sans chuckled, licking Red clean. "You're going to live, love, just breathe and ride it out."
Still panting, Red looked down at Sans who seemed quite pleased with himself. He reached out to stroke Sans' cheekbone, making the smaller skeleton lean into the touch and smiled.
"Hm... thanks for the insults, daddy."
"Ah, did that really help ya out?"
"Hm mh," Sans murmured. "It's just the type of dirty talk I like."
"So, ya like it when I'm "daddy" and when I'm callin' ya a slut and a whore?"
"I'm a very submissive sort of skelly, yes," Sans acknowledged, finger trailing up Red's tiring cock. "And on the flip side, you're a very nice dominate when you're pointed in the right direction."
Red only blushed as Sans' smirk.
"Well, just keep in mind that I still owe you one, all right?" the smaller skeleton noted. "By the way, about dinner. Is it casual or formal?"

 

Chapter Text

A knock sounded at the door.

"Oh, that's him!" Red fidgeted. "Okay, okay. Azure, keep yer suggestive comments ta yaself."
His sister gasped, mouth hanging open.
"And Rust... Well, I know I don't have ta worry 'bout ya bein' difficult."
Rust gave a sweet smile, making Azure gasp even more, hand to her ribs in comical shock.
Red walked over to the front door. "Ready?" he asked.
His siblings nodded.

Red opened the door to Sans dressed in a nice button-up shirt, jeans and sneakers.
Red smiled. "Hey."
"Hello, dear," Sans smiled back. He pulled his arm from behind his back revealing a bouquet of roses. "For you."
"Oh, wow," Red lit up. "Thank you," he blushed as he stepped aside to let Sans inside. "H-he got me flowers," he gave a shy smile to his siblings.
Rust sniffed back tears as he smiled back and Azure gave her younger brother a thumbs up.
"Well, shall we have dinner then?" Rust offered as Red closed the door. The hulky skeleton led Sans into the kitchen, where he put the roses in a tall glass of water. He then pulled out a set for Sans, making the smaller skeleton smile.
Rust heaped dinner onto the plates: broccoli, cornbread and greens, mac and cheese, fried chicken, corn and little slices of kiwi and apple.

Well... that probably explained Red's size and maybe even his siblings' heights--- even for Spectrals, a tall species, they seemed a little above average.

"I hope this is all right," Rust started. "I suppose I should have asked if you had a preference."
"Oh, no, this is is fine," Sans smiled. "Hm, it is a lot of food to choose from."
Azure smiled. "Mom used to cook a lot of food. We were all sort of runts growing up. I guess we just never grew out of it. Plus, Rust really likes to cook."
"I actually used to cook a lot to deal with stress," Rust admitted. "But eventually I realized I had a knack for it."
"It is really good," Sans complimented after a few bites.
"Hm, so, Sans, what exactly do you do?" Rust asked.
"Huh, I work as an historian for the Archives at Our New Kingdom," Sans answered. "I usually keep the Archives organized, but sometimes I get projects from the Queen to work on."
"...Does that pay okay?" Azure asked.
"Azure!" Red hissed.
"What?"
"Ya can't just ask someone how much money they make!"
"Well, why not?" Azure pressed. "He knows how much you make, don't he?"
"No!"
"Why not?"
"It ain't important!"
"Like hell it ain't!" Azure glared. "How ya gonna have a stable relationship if ya don't have a rough idea of how much ya make? The least ya could do is tell him ya get paid the most outta all of us."
"You do?" Sans questioned. "That doesn't seem fair."

"Invokers are paid by how rare and difficult their magic is," Azure explained. "Red's the only monster on record who can use Banishment magic, so he gets paid the most. Then it's me. After Banishment, Summonin' is the hardest magic to learn." Azure smiled, proud of herself. "And if ya Master it, ya Summons never fail. Same with Banishment, actually. And if Rust Mastered his Barrier magic, his Barriers would never break."

"Oh, but I'm a long way from that, though," Rust smiled. "Granted, the height of my Barriers is getting taller by the months, so.... Oh, I just remembered," he gave a chuckle. "When Az was learning to Summon, it was one of the few times I've seen her sit down longer than five minutes and reading, no less."

"Well, ya know, there's a lot to it," Azure started. "Like, Red, I had to study our Family Lore, learn about all the Summons attached to our ancestors. Mostly different Guard Dogs of different areas of the Void. Funny thing is, I did all that studin' and never really found out what was with our ancestors and Guard Dogs. We just got a natural affinity for 'em, I guess," Azure shrugged, taking a few fork fulls of mac and cheese.

"I've always thought it had something to do with our ancestor who made contact with those creatures in the Void," Rust suggested. "Maybe who ever he met had a Guard Dog."
Azure shrugged again. "Well, the Incantations are easy enough. Of course that means there's a lot of 'em."
"Are there different types of Guard Dogs?" Sans asked.

"Yeah, yeah," Azure nodded. "Just like any type of Summon, there are attackers, healers, defenders. I mostly work with attack Guard Dogs. The longer the Summon Incantation, the more powerful the Summon will be, too. They don't ever get as long as Banishment Incantations though, and a lot of Summon Incantations came pre-written since they tend to be passed down through families."

Sans nodded. "Hm, I kinda wish I knew more about my own Family Lore. I know little things, from bedtime stories my dad told me, but, being a Font, I just don't have the stamina for a lot Incantations in general, especially for Summoning."
"Well, I suppose that's why you guys have always been so good at writing them for other Skeletons," Rust noted, scooping more broccoli on his plate. "Even if you can't use them, someone else will find a use for them, like Red did."
"And that just bring me back to my point earlier!" Azure cut in. "Red, if you're gonna marry this guy, we gotta know if he can support ya."

Red chocked, prompting Sans to pat his spine. Face a deep crimson, Red shouted, "Who said anythin' 'bout gettin' married!!?"
Azure sighed. "Ya just like mom. She told us she said the same thing when monsters started askin' about her and dad. But everyone just saw how the two of 'em just clicked."
Red blinked. "Do we... look like we just click?" Of course, after the day in the woods, Red knew he and Sans clicked, but he had no idea anyone else could see how the two fit so well together.
"Well," Azure stared. "If that kiss that night was any indication," she grinned.
Red chocked again.
"Azure, stop teasing Red," Rust warned.
"Aw, come in! Look at how cute they are!" she cooed, leaning over. "Don't they remind ya of someone?" she whispered.
"What?" Rust questioned, looking at the other two Skeletons. "Uh, well...."
Sans and Red just blinked, curious.
Red giggled. "Yeah, I kinda see that."
Azure leaned back, smirking. "I gotta say, I was a little worried when we found out Sans here was from Old Magic."
Red growled. "Please don't bring up that jackass."
Sans peered up at Red. "Bring up who?" he couldn't help himself.
"Just this guy I used to hang out with before we moved here," Red started. "Name was Gold. Total asshat."
"Total. Asshat," Azure parroted, voice a little louder. "Thought because his family had royal ties, he was better than everyone else. I'm pretty sure he only tagged along with Red because Red Mastered his magic. So, yeah, it was cool meeting someone else from an Old Magic family who wasn't a jerk," Azure gave a huge smile.
"Uh...thanks?" Sans gave a wavering smile.
Red just skullpalmed and Rust pinched his brow bone.
"Ah, let's finish up dinner," Rust suggested. "I made chocolate cake."
"Ah, sweet!' Azure cried and dug into her plate.
Red sighed and went back to eating, Sans following suit. Not used to eating so much, the tiny Skeleton could only eat half a slice of cake, though Azure was happy to take the rest of the slice.

As they ate, Azure and Rust continued drilling Sans with questions (though Rust was far less pushy on the matter). They wanted to know more about his family (his father Dr. Gaster and his little brother Papyrus, who had moved out after marrying Sans' best friend, a Fire Elemental named Grillby. Grillby ran a restaurant while Papyrus wrote up healthy recipes); his plans for the future, like his career (he was quite fine with his current position as one of the top Archivists. The job paid well and let him go on all the projects the queen gave him with ease). Did he intend on marrying Red ("Well... I don't think we've been together long enough to really discuss such a big step...."). If they did get married, would they have children?

"Uh, well---"
"A'ight, we're done here," Red cut the conversation short and drug Sans outside onto the porch and down the stairs. "Ugggg," he growled as he started to stomp back to the inn, Sans jogging a bit to keep up. "I can't believe they did that! We've only been on, like, one date and we fooled around twice. What makes 'em think we're plannin' on gettin' married!?"
"They seem to think we're cute together," Sans answered. "They even said we reminded them of someone.... Do you know who they were talking about?"
"Tch, no idea," Red growled again before stopping short, sockets wide. "Unless they meant...."
Sans stared up at the blush Red had over his cheekbones. "Red?"
"....It's nothing," he nodded. "Well, huh, other than that, did ya enjoy dinner?"
"I did," Sans smiled as the two reached the steps. "Thank you for inviting me over." He stood up on tip toe, making Red lean over and...

Clak!

"Night, Red."
"Night, Sans."

Chapter Text

Sans stared down at the thin family register book, a dull gray. Like all the other registers, this one didn't have anything close to a title on its front. On top of that, for some reason, all of them were either gray or brown instead of the color matching the Color Family information inside the book, forcing Sans to open them all to see what was inside. That's what he had been busying himself with in the mornings before meeting Red for lunch. He was still trying to figure out who Cobalt and Melancholight were since he couldn't do much translating until Matisse arrived with the codices. If he could discover how Red knew them, maybe he could get more insight on what was really dwelling in the ruins of the Our Kingdom.

"Well, let's see what we've got in this," Sans said to himself, voice soft as he opened the book. "Ah... Dark Blue Family. A good start. Wow... this family is old.... Looks like they got together with a few other Colors from time to time and every four or five generations, those colors resurface. Hn... I wonder if that's how Red's family works. Dark Blue or Orange must be one of the ones that pop out every couple of generations. Actually...." Sans tapped his mandible. "I don't think I asked if Red's family was Dark Blue or Orange.... There are no Red Families, so he most have been born from either Dark Blue or Orange.... Hm...."

Sans returned to the book, flipping through the frail pages in blissful silence, looking for Cobalt's name.

He almost missed the faded words.

Sans smiled. "Hello there, Cobalt, Three Hundredth Son of the Fourth Dark Blue Family. Now, who did you... marry?"

Across from Cobalt's name... was Melancholight.

"They were married...," Sans whispered, following the line down. "...Azure... Rust... Crimson." Sans' sockets narrowed. "Crimson...? A shade of... red.... That's how you know them. Cobalt and Melancholight were your parents. So... that makes Red... half Font Skeleton? So, that's why he's so good at writing such long Incantations. But wait..." Sans tapped his mandible again. "Okay, so there isn't another instance of a Font and Spectral having kids in this family, but, it's not like it's a taboo thing for the species to cross breed, so why would he not just.... Oh gods, of course!" Sans' sockets widen. "The paperwork that Matisse found--- Red's parents went down to the Remains and... what happened to them after that?"

Red, nor his siblings, had ever mentioned their parents. Either they had come back and left their children for some reason... or they had never come back at all.

If they had never come back at all... maybe that's why Queen Undyne had hid the paperwork about them. If monsters were going down there to explore, but not coming back, no one would ever want to go down there, no one would ever want to find any answers. Sans had to admit that even piecing this all together was making him nervous about carrying through with the investigation.

"Hold on, I don't know for a fact that they never came back," Sans countered to himself. "The only way I'd know for sure is if I asked Red...." But Sans wasn't sure if he wanted to know the answers. Sure, he and Red had a deal, but if Red hadn't wanted to come forward on his own, there must have been a good reason. "But I'll never know if I just don't ask. Red will keep up with his end of the deal, I trust him...."

But the more Sans thought about the possible answers, the more he felt sick to his very Soul.

~

Sans walked into restaurant, the regular meeting spot for him and Red for lunch. Red sat in the normal booth, near the back, close to the bar, reading a book in a fantasy series. Sans sighed before pushing himself to walk over to his boyfriend.

Just get it over with.

"....Hey, Red."
"Hm? Oh!" he sat up a little straighter, lowering the book to the table. "S'up? Whatcha got there?" he nodded to the little book in Sans' hands.
"It's... a registry... for a Dark Blue Family."

A tense silence fell between them as Red stared, fangs shifting.
Sans gulped. "You remember how I said I had a colleague investigating for me? He, uh, found some redacted files, but among all that was two names: Cobalt and Melancholight."

Red's phalanges twitched against the table.

"I figured Cobalt would be easier to find, so I went through the Color Family Registers for Spectrals. That took a lot longer than I thought, since all the shades are divided up by generations and how they count them are so arbitrary, plus the books didn't have titles, but...." Sans paused for a moment. "I found them.... Cobalt and Melancholight were... they were married... and they had three children. The youngest one was named Crimson. My colleague told me that fifty years ago, the two of them went to investigate the Remains, but something happened and the investigation was cancelled," Sans finished, then looked to the side. "You.... you haven't said a lot about your parents."

Red sighed and sunk down into the booth, hands resting on the table. "Well... looks like ya put it all together. And, I did tell ya I'd tell ya everythin' if ya found 'em. So," Red dug into his pocket and pulled out a card. He gave the card to Sans. "Meet me here tomorrow morning at nine-thirty."
Sans looked down at the card and as he read the information, his sockets widen.

Lowering Tides Asylum Center
Open to Visitors Daily from 8 AM to 6 PM
Main Desk: 13-2704-1102-9 from 7 AM to 7 PM
Please Visit UWW.LTAC.UDG to check the list of items not allowed in the facility

Sans gulped. He didn't say anything as Red got up and exited the restaurant. He imagined that, like himself, Red no longer had an appetite.

~

The next morning, Sans walked through the automatic doors into a eggshell white lobby highlighted in navy blue floor rugs and chairs. He gave a nod to the bunny girl receptionist and walked over to Red, who waited in front of another set of glass doors.

He was wearing his hood again.

"Come on," his voice was a little deeper than usual, and came out in a low whisper. "Don't want to miss it." He motioned to the hallway behind the double doors, which he opened. Sans followed him through them, then down a long hallway.

Sans soon became unnerved by how quiet the hall was. There were no voices, no sound of ticking clocks or heaters running. Just their footsteps, which also sounded far more quiet than they should have been.

Soon, they arrived at a large window displaying a room with only a blanket, pillow and....

Sans gulped. He didn't say anything at first, just watched a tall lady skeleton walk around in circles in the room. She was thin, bones looking so frail they seemed as they would snap at any second. Her sockets were long and looked more hollow than a healthy skeleton's would because her pinpoints, which were just white dots, were so small and appeared to be set back far in her sockets. Heavy, dark circles were under them, making her appear as though she hadn't slept in weeks. Her gaze was far into the distance, as if she could see past the walls of the room and miles away. She didn't seem tired in her endless journey around her room, she just kept going, around and around and around.

"Is... is that...?"
"That's Melancholight, my mom. Or... at least her body," Red answered, gaze hidden under his hood.
"Why... why is there only a pillow and blanket in there?"
"She'll hurt herself bumping into things if they put anything else in there."
"Is... is that all she does?"
Red glanced at the silent clock on the wall behind them. "Give her a few seconds."

And seconds later, Melancholight stopped in her tracks and began to scream.

"NO! STOP! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!"

She collapsed to the floor, holding her skull, screaming and shaking.

Sans was so caught up in the sight that he didn't hear the nurses coming up the hall. They opened the door and stepped in, approaching her inch by inch before taking her by the arms and injecting what Sans thought was a tranquilizer.

His guess was proven right when Melancholight's screaming began to die down, her body wavering and sinking into itself. Her gaze shifted to the window and she tried to lift a hand to....

Sans gulped again. "Is she...?"
"No," Red answered.
She let out a whisper before closing her sockets. ".... Co....balt...."

The nurses laid her onto the blanket and began checking for any injuries.

Sans let out a breath he didn't know he was holding.

"She don't remember me."

Sans' glance shot up to Red, who's gaze stayed on the sleeping skeleton who, in all honesty, he couldn't call mom anymore.

"She don't remember Azure or Rust eitha. Every morning--- every day--- she does this. She walks around in a circle until nine thirty-seven AM, when she relives whatever that thing in the Remains did ta her. The nurses sedate her so she can sleep and get an IV of magic. I..." Red gulped down a sob, voice shaking. "I've asked them... I've asked them if they can sedate her... so she don't wake up."

Sans' sockets widen.

Red bared his fangs. "They said they understood, but that would be considered a monstrosity. Ya know, cause havin' her relive this nightmare every day is such a fuckin' great alternative." He rubbed a socket. "I have now idea how she got out of tha Remains, no idea what happened ta ma dad, but we're sure that... that thing got him.... After we grieved and got mom set up here, I begged Queen Undyne ta do somethin' ta keep monsters from goin' down there, that tha seal wasn't enough. A strong monster can bypass it," Red explained. "My dad was a near Master in Summoning, tha second most powerful magic. He used his magic ta bypass tha seal by forcin' tha Circles open. That's how they got down there with that... thing," Red glared.

Sans took a step back, trying to let everything sink in. He had no idea, no idea that this was what he'd find at the end of his search. This is crazy! Why would the Queen even allow me to research this!? How badly does she want to know if that thing is down there--- isn't what happened to Red's parents proof enough!? Even if I still wanted to go down there, without translations for the doors, I'd need someone to bypass the seal, but....

He looked up at Red, Sans' sockets wide, pinpoints shaking.. "Can you... can you bypass it, too?"

Red's hands fisted. "There's a good chance, yeah. There's a certain way ta channel yer magic, but yeah, I probably could, but...." His gaze shifted to Sans, ankhs glowing a deep crimson from under the shadow of his hood. "I ain't goin' ta. I ain't ever lettin' anyone go down there! I ain't lettin' anyone end up like ma parents! The Queen sent us ta Fallin' Leaves ta deal with Night Terrors, but I told her I was gonna watch tha door, make sure no one went into tha Remains. She didn't try ta stop me... but she sent ya out here."

"She must know," Sans' voice shook. "She had the files redacted, she knows what happened to your parents! Why would she still send me---?"
"It ain't obvious ta ya?" Red cut in. "She wants ta know if it's still down there. She knows, even though I can probably open tha door, I ain't goin' ta. So, she sent ya ta find another way in because she wants ta know if it's still down there. But I don't fuckin' care what she wants."

Sans gulped again, Red's voice deeper, ankhs glowing brighter, his large form towering over him.

"I don't care what proof ya get, Sans! I don't care what orders tha Queen gives ya or me! I can't let ya or anyone else down there!"

And then, Red started to tremble, voice getting caught up sobs.

"I can't, Sans," Red sniffed as his ankhs glistened with tears. "I can't go through this again...."

Sans stared back, sockets pricking with tears. All he could do was hold out his arms and let Red collapse into them, sob against his coat. He held him for a long time.

~

Later that night in the inn, Sans laid in the bed, forlorn gaze stuck on the ceiling. "...Fuck."

Chapter Text

"Hello?"
"Undyne. It's me."
"Oh. You rarely call me by name now."
"I know, Undyne."
"You know...?"
"I talked to Red. He told me everything. He told me about Cobalt and Melancholight."
"...I see."
"What the actual fuck, Undyne!? You know something is down there, so why would you even---!? Fuck, no, I know why. Because you still want to know if it's down there, right?"
"... Yes."
"Why?"
"For the exact reasons you gave me: Progress, history, answers. Everything we've ever wanted to know about our ancestors is all right there. Red won't open the door, so we need another method. ...But, I understand how this all makes you feel. I should have been open with you, but I was... concerned---"
"Afraid."
"Excuse me?"
"You were afraid if you told me about Cobalt and Melancholight, I would say no. I mean, in a way, you used my natural skepticism against me. You gave me the chance to prove to everyone that this was just a fairy tale... except it's not a fairy tale. If anything, it's a fucking nightmare. I don't... I don't know if I can...."
"Sans... listen to me."
"...Okay."
"I... I'm going to give you something I should have given Cobalt and Melancholight."
"....What is it?"
"I'm going to give you a choice."

~

Azure peeked into the kitchen where Red sat at the table, body heaped over the surface with a longing gaze glowing from under his hood. She leaned back onto the living room. "Do ya think he got into an argument with Sans?" she whispered to Rust who stood next to her.
"I hope not," Rust answered before walking in, steps light. "Hey, little one," he called, making Red glance over at him. "You haven't gone out patrolling in the last few days. And, huh, I guess you haven't talked to Sans either?"
".... I told him about mom and dad."
Rust's sockets widen and Azure made a small cough-like sound.
"Sans was here ta find a way ta open tha door ta tha Remains. He didn't believe anythin' was down there ta begin with," Red continued, voice muffled in his hood. "I guess Queen Undyne still wants ta see if it's down there. All fer progress and knowledge, right?"
His siblings didn't reply, not sure how to.
"I told Sans I wouldn't let him down there, no matter what proof he found, or what tha Queen said. After that, he went back to the inn. I feel like like I ruined everythin'."

"Crimson," Rust murmured as he sat down and rubbed his spine. "I think it's good Sans knows, especially with how close you two seem to be. He's a curious Skeleton, too. If you had started actively preventing him from going down there, he would have demanded an answer eventually. Did you... take him to the center?"
Red nodded.
"...How... how is she?" Azure asked, edging into the kitchen.
"Same as always," Red answered.
Azure's shoulders slumped as she looked away.
"What happened after he saw her?" Rust asked.

"He... let me cry on him fer a long time. Then we walked out of tha center and just sort of... walked around fer a bit in silence. Somehow we ended up back at tha inn. He kissed me and went inside. That was it. He probably hates me. He came down here on this big, important mission and I ruined it fer him," Red murmured.

"Crimson, be reasonable," Rust started. "If he hated you, he probably wouldn't have held you as you cried. I imagine he's probably just rethinking how he's going to proceed and maybe there's a chance he thinks you're... displeased with him."
Red's gaze popped up. "What? Why would I....?"
"Well, you showed him mom at her worst," Rust almost whispered. "There's a chance that, you having to see her again like this, he might blame himself for that. I mean, think about it. If Sans had never come down, you wouldn't have to see mom like that again before you really wanted to."
"...Oh..." Red's gaze fell. "I just... I don't want anythin' like that ta happen ta Sans, so... so I had ta...."

"I think you two should really talk about all this," Rust suggested. "I bet you any amount of gold that if you've been thinking about him this much, he's probably doing the same in regards to you. Let him know that you're not upset and maybe even help him figure out which way to go with this whole looking into the Remains thing."

Red nodded and stood up. "Yeah, yer right. Sittin' here cryin' ain't gonna get anythin' done. Thanks, bro," he smiled and headed for the front door, which opened, then closed with a soft click.
Rust smiled. "I'm sure they're work this out. What do you think.... Az?"
The young Skeleton sniffed and slid a gloved hand across her sockets. "S-sorry. Just thinkin' 'bout...."
Rust stood up. "Do you... do you want to go visit?"
Azure looked away. "What's the point? She don't recognize anyone. Everyone looks like dad to her."
"I... I know, I just...," Rust looked away.

Azure moved back into the living room to a little vase on a shelf over the TV. She reached up to a lighter beside a pack of incense, then pulled out a stick of sandlewood. She lit the incense, then put her hands together. "I'm sorry, dad...," she whispered to the empty vase on the shelf. "I wish I was strong like Red. I haven't seen mom in so long.... Look out for Red, okay? He's sort of in a tough spot right now. You know how shy he can be. He could really use the courage...."

~

At the end of a long hall was Sans' inn room, all by its lonesome with no other rooms nearby. Sans had probably requested a "lonely room" so no other inn guests moving around would disturb him while he went over his research.

True enough, when Red arrived at the door, a 'do not disturb' sign hung from the door knob.

"Hm... should I come back later?" Red questioned. "Huh, I'll just knock once and see." So he knocked and heard... murmuring? Red cocked his brow bone. He leaned in closer. "Sans? Sans, it's me, Red. Can I come in?"

More murmuring answered him.

"Hmmm." Red tried the knob.

Unlocked.

***

"Huh." Red peeked in and the first thing to hit him was the overwhelming scent of honey. His magic dipped south in a instant. Red slid into the room, closed the door, tried to concentrate through the haze, but everything was getting fuzzy while the colors of the room, soft pink and deep brown, were becoming brighter.

If Red remembered from that one book he had read about Skeletal Heat, then Sans had reached Peak Receptivity. His heat had overtaken him and all he'd be able to think about was relieving himself. Red wondered for a moment if Sans had triggered his Peak by accident. If Sans had been thinking about Red as much as Red had been thinking about him, he may have....

Panting through the haze, Red watched Sans through lidded sockets.

The Font was on his hands and knees, thrusting his vibrator in and out of his dripping pussy. His bones were flushed a light sky blue and drenched in sweat. His sockets were lidded, the pinpoints little hearts. Low moans of Red's name slipped from his mouth.
Red felt his cock twitch with want, his fangs lengthen as his tongue lapped from his mouth. He felt like the haze, the honey, was calling his name.

Shit, it's the Overwhelm. I can't.... Red steadied himself. The honey was so thick, so potent, that the scent was driving Red to a state of sexual need. He wouldn't be able to control himself. But... if it's with Sans, then... it's... it's okay, he smiled.

And he sunk deeper into the haze, the want, the burning need and desire to just sink his cock into that dripping wet pussy.

He walked over, rest his hands on Sans' bare hip bones.

Sans looked back at him, sockets lidded. "R-Red?"
Red smirked down at him. "Ya want tha real thing, right?" He unzipped his shorts, pulled out his throbbing crimson cock, dripping with seed. He used his other hand to pull out Sans' vibrator.
Sans grinned up at him. "Pl-please... Please, Red. Please."
Red obliged, lifting up one of Sans' legs and sliding inside of him with ease. He hissed. "Ffffuuuuck."
Sans was so hot, almost searing.
"Hm... daddy....," Sans moaned. "Ple-please... please, daddy...."

With a grunt, Red began to thrust forward, somehow sinking deeper into Sans with each push, like his pussy was sucking his cock in deeper and deeper. "Fuck, yer so tight," he groaned, pumping away, trying to speed up, but the angle was sort of odd. He pulled out, lowered Sans leg and slammed back inside. "Ah, yeah!"
"Oooo, Red!" Sans screamed as Red pounded away inside of him. "Ah! Yes! More! You're incredible!"
Red kept up his pace, wet smacks echoing in the room as his hips met Sans'
"Fuck, Red, I'm gonna---! I'm gonna--- oh, gods!" Sans moaned. "Fuck, fuck, fuck me, Red! Fuck me! Harder!"
Red growled, holding tighter to Sans' hips. "I'm gonna fill ya up! Is that what ya want!?"
"Yeah, yeah! Fill me up! Fill me up, please!"
"Ah.... fuck, SANS!" Red slammed into Sans in one hard thrust and exploded inside of him.
Sans moaned and shuddered as Red's magic filled him up, arched as his sex released wave after wave of juice as bliss flooded his bones. "Oh... Red....," he moaned. "Red...."
Panting, Red still felt like this wasn't enough. He pulled out, sat back on the bed, looked down at his cock.

Still hard.

"Sans...," he groaned.
Sans turned and crawled over to him. "You're still hard, huh? Hm, let's try it this way." Sans crawled into Red's lap and slid down on the cock.

The two moaned at the hot contact.

Sans took hold of Red's jacket, slid the heavy cloth off him exposing his ribs. His hands rested on his shoulder joints as he began to ride up and down Red's massive sex.
"Fuck, yeah, baby, just like that," Red groaned, popping his hips to meet Sans in each thrust.
The smaller skeleton tossed his head back as Red fill him over and over again, hitting his most sensitive spots.

Gods, Sans was going to go insane. His heat had never felt this good before. Maybe because Red just wanted him--- not any sort of status, or favor or guaranteed meeting, no, Red just wanted Sans, his honey, his body, his taste, just him.

"Ah, Red!" Sans cried as the bulky skeleton ran a hot tongue over his sternum and ribs. "Yeah, taste me! Lick me all over!!" Sans begged, still sliding up and down Red's thrusting cock. "Oh, Red! Oh, Red! i'm gonna come again!"

Red grinned against Sans' ribs before biting down on one.

"AHH! CRIMSON!!" Sans wailed, arching against Red's ribs as he came. "Ah... ah... oh!" Sans grabbed onto Red's ribs as the bigger skeleton leaned forward resting him on the bed, then laying on top of him. "Ah, daddy! Your bones feel so good!" Sans cried. "Fuck me with your huge bones, daddy!"

Red started pumping away, resting all of his weight on Sans as the smaller Skeleton hung onto his ribs, legs wrapped around his hip bones. "Ah, fuck... Sans... I don't think... I'll ever get tired of this pussy of yers. Ya doin' okay under there?"
"Ye-yes, daddy. You feel so good on top of me," Sans groaned. "Your cock is so good."
"Hold on... I'm gonna... I'm gonna fill ya up, baby," Red panted. "Daddy's... gonna... fill.. ya... uhhh! OH, SANS!"
"OH, CRIMSON! FILL ME UP! FILL ME UP!!" Sans screamed as Red exploded inside of him again. "OH, CRIMSON! CRIMSON! IT'S SO HOT! IT'S SO GOOD!!"
Red growled as he rode out his orgasm, panting as he sat up.
Sans panted as well, bones still sky blue, ribs rattling with each deep breath. "Oh... Crimson, you're incredible... Give me more, baby?"
Red grinned and started pumping away again.

*** ~

Sans sighed. "Gods, Crimson... that was amazing."
"Yeah...," Red smiled.
"That was... too good to be real. I must have fallen asleep at some point, right?"
Red blinked. "What...?"
Sans gave him a lazy smile. "I hope I don't wake up too soon. I'm really having a great time... this was a great dream...." Sans yawned before his sockets shut.
Red stared.
....Dream?
Oh.... Oh, no....

Chapter Text

The next morning, Sans awoke in the middle of the bed. He sat up and stretched with a yawn. "Ah, that was a great session. A great dream, too. Feels like I got it all out of my system and everything. Well, I should probably call Red and---"
"...Hey...."
Sans blinked and whipped around. "Red!?" he baulked at the bulky skeleton sitting at the desk in the corner, covered in a spare blanket. "Wh...what are you doing here?"
"Uh, well...," Red looked down, shaking and sweating. "I, uh, I came ta talk and yer scent, kinda got me and, uh...."
Sans' sockets widen. "Oh, no, the Overwhelm must have.... Oh, Gods Above.... then that... that wasn't a dream, was it?"
"I am so sorry!" Red cried, shooting to his feet, the blanket piling on the floor. "I asked and ya said yes--- well, I mean, ya said please, so I thought it was okay and I thought ya were awake or, Gods, I, I don't know! I don't know, I don't know, I'm so sorry!!" Red burst into tears.
"Re-- Crimson!" Sans called.
The heavy Skeleton sucked in a breath, freezing up.
"It's okay. Here, sit down," Sans patted the spot next to him on the bed.
Sniffing and still shaking, Red shuffled over and sat down next to Sans, let the smaller Skeleton take his hands.
"My big, bad bones, are you okay?"
Red blinked. "Wh-what?"
"I mean, I just hate the idea that my scent Overwhelmed you and you were sort of pushed into it," Sans spoke, sockets archs. "I know this was all new to you, so I wished we could have talked about the actual sex beforehand. Are you okay? Do you feel strange or anything?"
"I, I'm fine."
"Do your siblings know you're here?"
"I, uh, I called 'em this mornin'. I just told 'em we talked all night and ya just let me crash here in tha chair."
"Well, all right. I can understand not wanting them to know about what happened."
"Aren't ya mad at me!?" Red shot. "I, I---"
"It wasn't your fault, Crimson," Sans interrupted. "My scent just Overwhelmed you and you just went with the motions. It happens, love. But I'm not mad at you." Sans reassured him with a kiss to his hands. "Listen, I'm going to tell you a secret," he smiled.
Red blinked. "A secret?"
"Mm hm," Sans smiled and motioned for Red to lean in closer. "One of my fantasies was you walking in on me while I was fooling around and then just taking me."
Red blushed. "Re-really?"
"Really," Sans smirked. "So, in a way, you fulfilled one of my fantasies. More importantly, I would have said yes to you either way. I mean, you know how much I like you."
Red nodded.
"So, I'm not mad, okay?"
Red nodded again.
"But, did you enjoy yourself at least?"
Red's skull matched his name. "Ah, well, hm... Ye-yes. It was... really... hmmm.... really amazin'," he squeaked out.
Sans gave a sweet smile. "May I sit in your lap?"
Red gave another nod with a slight gulp.
Sans slid into Red's lap, only the buiky's skeleton's boxers in between them. "You're sure you're all right? Do you need me to get you anything?"
"I, I'm fine. But, uh...."
"Yes?"
"I really want ta hug ya. Is that normal?"
Sans giggled. "It's not too uncommon. Sometimes after heat, the Skeletons involved can get much closer to each other." Sans slid his arms around Red's cervical vertebrae, which invited Red to slip his arms above Sans' pelvis. They stared into each other sockets before soft claks filled the room as they kissed.

"Ah, Crimson," Sans breathed as Red kissed his the neck of his spine. "Tell me one of your fantasies."
Re-really?" Red panted around another kiss.
"Hm," Sans purred. "I promise I won't tell. It'll be our little secret."
"Ya promise?"
"Of course, Crimson, my big, bad bones," Sans smiled.
Blushing neon pink and gaze downcast, Red began to murmur, "Well, I... oh, geez, okay. I, uh... I kinda... wouldn't mind... bein' on a leash...."
Sans blinked. "Like a pet?"
"Ki-kinda? Like, I don't want ta bark or anythin'. I just want ta be... intimidated? Ma-maybe even... owned a little? Oh," Red buried his skull in his hands. "This is so wierd, isn't it?"
"No, no, I get it," Sans replied, taking Red's hands again. "You're intimidating all the time, even though you don't mean to or even want to be. I think you want a little role reversal."
"Oh..., " Red tapped his mandible in thought. "I hadn't thought about it like that."
Sans smirked. "Well, I'd be more than happy to help you with that, my little pet," he stroked the top of Red's skull, making him close his sockets and pant a little with a lazy grin. "Well, since we're sharing. How about I tell you another one of my fantasies?"
Red nodded, sockets still closed.
"Well, I really like a little bondage and what I call "forced play." So, I like the idea of being tied up and helpless while someone is just having his way with me...," Sans trailed off at the day dream.
Red blinked up at him. "...Wow."

"Hmm, if you took me out into the woods and tied up my hands and gagged me, then just fucked me for hours and I couldn't stop you at all, I just had to let you fuck me...." Sans shivered and Red could see his magic trailing south a little. "Oh, I would love that.... There's just something about being absolutely powerless that really gets me. Oh, and your heavy bones on top of me while you pound me into the ground. Yes, that would be perfect...." he purred.

Red gave Sans a quick glance. "Huh. Ya do got cute baby bones."
Sans blushed and giggled. "Crimson, come on. That's embarrassing."
Red smirked. "Look at this." He pressed his palm against Sans'. "Ma hand totally engulfs yers."
"Oh, no...," Sans looked away, but gazed back with a innocent glance. "Are you okay being with a two hundred year old baby bones?"
Oh, he's fifty years older than I am, Red noted before leaning up and resting his head on Sans' clavicle. "I don't mind, baby bones."
"Hmmmm," Sans purred again before pulling away, dragging Red with him by a loop between his top ribs.
Red rest on top of Sans, kissed him nice and deep.
"Oh...," Sans murmured.
"What's wrong?"
"We can't really enjoy sex this way with me being so short."
"I don't know, I think we did okay earlier," Red replied.
"Hmm," Sans murmured. "That was pretty nice. You felt so wonderful on top of me."

clak

"And I suppose," Sans continued. "There are a lot of other fun positions we can try, too. Oh, but.. this isn't too fast for you, is it?"
"I... I'm not sure," Red admitted. "I... I really like tha sexual stuff we do, but maybe... maybe we can try other ways ta be intimate. I'd like ta go on more dates with ya."
"I'd like that, too, actually," Sans smiled before Red rested his forehead on his. A moment later, the two slid their way into a kiss before the door flew open.

"Surprise, Mister Sans, it's--- AHHH!"

The two Skeletons froze, sockets wide.

Sans scampered to sit up, Red flailing back against the bed. "Matisse!? Oh, crap!" His hand slapped against his forehead. "I totally forgot I told you to bring all that stuff! Crap, I... huh...."
Matisse glared, yellow M's behind white pinpoints gleaming as he turned away. "You can come get me in the lobby when you're done with... whatever this is." The door then slammed with a loud THUD.

"Uh...I... didn't lock tha door when I came in," Red admitted.
"You had a good reason though, it's all right," Sans replied while rubbing his forehead. "... I'm sorry about that. That's Matisse, my intern. I forgot I told him to bring some stuff for me."
"What kinda stuff?"
"Codices to help me with the door.... Crap," Sans murmured. "I, uh, I talked to the Queen about what she did. Turns out she's just as curious as me," Sans gave a weak smile. "But she gave me a choice."
Red stared. "A choice?"
"I can open the door or just... leave it all alone."
Red felt his breath leave him. "She's... she's okay with ya not goin' down there?"

Sans nodded. "In her own way, she admitted what she did was wrong, so to make up for it, she gave me the choice to keep going or stop. And after seeing your mom, I really don't have the desire to go. Everything that happened to your parents is proof enough that something might still be down there."

Red took Sans' hands. "I know this is hard fer ya, but thank ya."
Sans smiled. "There is one thing though."
"Yeah?"
"We should probably make sure there isn't an accidental way to open the doors. I think we should still translate the message on them to make sure. We can destroy the translation when we're done and take any precautions afterwards."
"I guess ya have a point," Red agreed. "I'm not sure exactly how ma dad used his magic ta open tha doors, so maybe tha translation will say somethin'. Plus, I can agree with ya. Knowin' what tha doors say could help us in tha long run."
Sans leaned up and kissed Red's cheek. "Thank you."
"Fer what?"
"Well, the sex for starters," Sans grinned. "But for being understanding about all this and letting me at least figure out what the doors say."
"I trust ya not ta go down there and, well..." Red blushed. "I'd be lyin' if I said I wasn't a little curious 'bout what tha doors say."
Sans grinned again before looking at the door to his room. "Hm, I just hope...."
"What?"
"Well....," Sans' teeth shifted. "It's Matisse. He can be a little... uh, let's just say, he has a lot of... respect for me?"
Red cocked a brow bones. "Respect, huh?"
Sans gave a nervous smile. "Yeah... something... like that?"
Red glared over at the door. "Yeah, sure..." It better be only somethin' like that.

Chapter Text

"So, I brought the codices like you asked. i hope this will be enough information."
"Wow... looks like you brought the whole library with you."
"I'm just as surprised as you are, sir! I had no idea we had so many of these in the Archives!"
"Well, I think we'll have a better chance of figuring out how the door works now. Thanks, Matisse."
"Of course, Mr. Sans! Um, but, may I ask a question?"
"Sure."
"Why is he here?" Matisse pointed to Red who sipped on a drink from across the table.
Sans looked over at Red for a moment. "He's the one that gave me a hint about a possible Night Terror. I've also become his Composer. I guess you can say we kinda come in a pair now," Sans smiled.
"You're his Composer?" Matisse questioned, face twisted in confusion and... disgust?
"Got a problem with that, kid?" Red grumbled at the short Skeleton.
"Well, I mean.... You barely know him!" the Font exclaimed. "I've known you for years," Matisse emphasized. "And we've worked together for just as long. I just don't see how someone you've only known for a few weeks can be a good Invoker for you, or even help you with this!"
"What does our time together have ta do with helpin' him?" Red demanded.
Matisse smirked. "For starters, you don't know the first thing about all these languages--- their dialects, their idioms, even their alphabets. You don't know how Sans likes to work, or research or study. You'll just slow Sans down--- You'll slow us down."

Red glared. As much as he hated to admit that Matisse was right, he... well... was right. Red didn't know anything about how Sans did this history stuff. He didn't know the languages on the door, other than the magic symbols he was sure he had studied at some point (though to him, the words still just looked like squiggles and boxes.)

There was really no way he could help Sans with this....

Red got up from the booth.

"Red, wait!" Sans tugged on his coat. "You don't have to go."
"I gotta go on patrol today," Red grumbled. "I'll see ya tomorrow, a'ight?"
"Tomorrow?" Sans' sockets arched as he looked down. "Ah, well... all... all right...." He let go of his coat.

Red flipped up his hood and walked out.

"Don't worry, Mr. Sans!" Matisse smiled, sharp cheekbones blushing. "It'll be a lot faster without him around. We won't have to worry about explaining anything."
"Red probably wouldn't have asked," Sans countered. "It wouldn't be the first time he's just let me research. He... he would have kept himself busy. He... he likes to read."
"He reads?" Matisse laughed. "Let me guess. Comics for little baby bones?"
"Actual novels, Matisse," Sans glared. "Red is actually very intelligent. He's taught me the basics to writing Incantations and even how to Disenchant one and recognize one that's about to mutate into a Night Terror--- his job is to hunt down Night Terrors."
"I've heard that doesn't pay a lot."
"Why does that even matter!?" Sans snapped.
"I'm just saying what I heard," Matisse spoke. "It's such a dangerous job and no really wants to do it."
"Red has his reasons," Sans spat, looking back at his book. "Let's just get to work, okay?"
"Fine, fine," Matisse waved off. "But do you know what you're getting into with him?"
Sans stared. "What are you talking about?"
Matisse balked. "His Red Soul!"
Sans glared again. "I obviously don't care about it."
"Are you serious!?" Matisse cried, sockets widening.
"Yes, Matisse," Sans bared his teeth.
"Does your dad know? Or Papyrus?" Matisse asked, tone a little frantic. "What do you think other people at the Archives are going to say!?"
"I don't care, Matisse! Red is more than just the color of his Soul. Now, I recall asking you to help me translate these languages, not pry into my personal life!"

Matisse' teeth shifted. He's making a huge mistake! Nothing good could come from being with someone like that Spectral. A Red Soul. Disgusting.... Hm.... that Spectral seems to understand that he's not much use to Sans, though. I might be able to use that.

~

The next day, after a long day of patrolling, Red opened the door to Sans' inn room, only to stop short.

Sans and Matisse were sitting on the bed chatting, the books and pictures from their research tossed around.

"Oh, hey, Red," Sans smiled. "I missed you last night."
Red blushed at the sly small Sans gave him.
"Whatcha got there?" the smaller Skeleton asked.
Red grumbled as he closed the door with his foot, hands full with three large drinks. "I got ya guys a drink. It'll be dinner time soon, by tha way."
"Aw, thanks," Sans reached up and took the drink. "What flavor is it?""
"Lime Lemonade," Red answered, sipping his drink.
"...Oh," Sans murmured.
Red blinked. "What's wrong?" he asked while offering Matisse the other drink.
Matisse giggled. "Sans hates lime. By the way, I don't want anything from you."
Red blinked again and drew his hand back.
"Matisse, come on!" Sans glared at the other small Skeleton. "Just drink it! And I don't hate lime. I just...," he looked away. "I just like other flavors better, but I still appreciate the gesture." He took a quick sip.
"You know, if he really cared about you, he would have asked what flavor you liked before making assumptions," Matisse spoke, lidded eyes looking bored.
Red only growled.
"It's okay," Sans reassured with a weak smile. "Thanks any---"
"Ya comin' ta dinner or not?" Red interrupted with a snap.
Sans blinked, sockets wide. "Uh, well---"
"If ya ain't, then I'm out. Later," Red spat flipping up his hood. He tossed Matisse's drink into the trash can, then stomped out of the room, slamming the door.

"Rude," Matisse crossed his arms.
"Matisse!" Sans shot. "Are you serious!? You could have taken that drink!"
"I don't want anything from him," Matisse repeated with a bored glare.
"Matisse, listen," Sans started, voice softer. "I really want you and Red to get along. He's very important to me."
Matisse rolled his pinpoints. "He doesn't know anything about you."
"He---"
"I mean, little things. You hate lime! Why doesn't he know that!?"
"I never told him!" Sans shot back.
"Well, then why wouldn't he ask beforehand? Seems pretty inconsiderate to me."
"He was just doing something nice, Matisse," Sans glared. "I'm not going to dump on him for something like this. Just... be nice, okay?"
Nice. Tch, whatever.

~

THUD

"FUCK!"

Red grabbed his arm. Definitely knocked out of tha socket. He groaned as he pulled himself to his feet. Probably should have asked Az and Rust to come with me, but I guess it's too late fer that.

The Night Terror bared down on him, gnashing fangs, twin tails of stone slamming into the ground. Red took a deep breath and pushed his arm back into the socket. He bit back a scream, then stumbled out of the way of a swinging tail, only for the second one to swing around and catch him in the spine. He was slammed into a thick tree, felt his spine and ribs crack, his head pop against the back. He slid down the tree, fought to stay conscious. Get up, get up!

Growling, he pulled himself to stand up.

"A'ight, big boy. I was already in a bad mood, but now ya really pushin' it."

His ankhs flashed red and a familiar phrase fell from his fangs, followed by a circle of crimson pulsing into existence.

~

"Crimson!"

Red looked up at Sans' voice. He hadn't expect to meet him at the front at his house, especially since the usual dinner time was over an hour ago.

He was happy that Matisse wasn't here, though....

"Crimson?" Sans glanced up at him, hands coming to his thick arms. "Are you...? Did you fight another Night Terror?"
"Ye-yeah."
Sans looked down and pulled opened Red's jacket. He gasped. "Crimson, your ribs... and your spine.... Love, let's go inside. I'll heal you up, okay?"

Red found himself yearning for Sans' soft touch, but something else was nagging at his Soul. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
"I came to see you!" Sans answered. "You were so upset when you left earlier. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I... I'm sorry if Matisse is---"
"An annoying little shit?" Red grumbled.
"Crimson!" Sans snapped. "I really do want you and Matisse to get along. Matisse can be a little... grating at times, but he means well."
"Oh, he means well, huh?" Red glared. "He means well when he's implyin' I ain't good enough fer ya 'cause I ain't smart enough. He means well when he's implyin' I don't care 'bout ya cause i got ya a flavor ya hated. Yeah, he's totally lookin' out fer us, huh!?"
"Crimson, please---"
"Just forget it!" Red snapped. "I'm used ta monsters treatin' me like shit cause ma Soul's Red. I shouldn't have expected anythin' different!" He stomped past Sans and up the stairs to the porch.
"Crimson, wait!" Sans touched his sleeve. "I'm sorry. I really am...."
"...Ya ain't tha one who needs ta apologize," Red murmured.
"I've tried talking to Matisse, to get him to understand how important you are to me." Sans called.
"Maybe ya shouldn't be friends with dicks," Red mumbled
Sans frowned, sockets lidded as he hands came to his hips. "Can you try to meet him halfway here?"

"Why!?" Red screamed, whipping around. "Why can't monsters stop treatin' me like I'm a waste of space when they realize what color ma Soul is!? That'd be real great! But ya wouldn't get that, would ya!? 'Cause ya normal! 'Cause no one's ever made ya feel like ya shouldn't exist, that ya'll never be good enough! How dare ya fuckin' sit there and ask me ta meet him halfway when he's already judged me before even knowin' a damn thing about me! Fuck him fer bein' a close minded dick and fuck ya fer ever suggestin' I give him a chance when we both know he'll never give me one!!" Red whipped back around, stormed inside and slammed the door with an echoing boom.

Sans remained frozen on the porch.

Well... that could have gone better.

Chapter Text

"Sans?"
"Huh?"
"Are you okay?" Matisse asked, resting his pencil in a book.
"Oh.... Yeah, just...."
Matisse sighed. "It's been days. You're not seriously thinking about that Spectral, are you?"
"His name is Red, Matisse," Sans glared from the other side of the table. "Why won't you give him a chance?"
"He's... wr... weird."
Sans cocked a brow. "What were you about to say?"
"He's wierd."
"No, you started saying something else."
"It...it's wrong, okay!?" Matisse shot, voice echoing through the library's basement. "It's wrong that his Soul is Red! Monsters aren't supposed to have Red Souls!"
"That's not his fault!" Sans shot back. "Red isn't a big, scary beast Banishing monsters left and right. He's smart, considerate, caring. He's really sweet and tries so hard to be careful so he doesn't scare anyone."
"Give me a break!" Matisse glared. "You barely know him!"
"You know what?" Sans stood up. "I think the one I don't know here is you."
Matisse blinked, leaning away. "What is that supposed to be mean!?"
"I have known you for years and never once have you been so--- so---"
"So what?"
"Rude! You're just rude to Red for no real reason!"
"I gave you a reason!"
"Something beyond his control is not a reason!" Sans screamed, voice echoing through the basement. He took a sharp breath. "Matisse... maybe you should go back to ONK."
"Wh-what?" Matisse stared, eyes wide.
"I just don't think... we can work together like this," Sans admitted with a sigh. "I know it can be hard to change a thought pattern you've had for a while, but you're not even willing to give Red a chance. The fact that he hasn't done anything hostile to you should be proof enough that he doesn't want to hurt you."
"How would you know?"
"Because I know him!" Sans shot. "I've talked to him, hung out with him----"

"You've done more than just hang out with him by the smell of it," Matisse glared to the side.

Sans' teeth bared. He crossed his arms. "Yeah, we've done that, too, but that's not my point. Look, Matisse, I know you... think highly of me and I'm sorry I don't think the same of you, but you really have been a great friend and intern. It would mean a lot to me if you would give Red a chance"
"...Would you really send me away if I didn't?" Matisse asked, sockets arched up.
"I can't make you go back," Sans admitted. "But... I don't think we could keep up any form of a friendship. Red means that much to me."
"But, what about all this?" his hands waved over all the books. In the last few days, they had translated a bit of each line, but there still wasn't enough to go on.

"I..." Sans looked down. "I've seen what happens to Monsters who meet up with whatever is down in the Remains. Red and I decided the best course of action is to translate the doors so we know exactly what it says. If it's a way to open the doors, we're going to take all precautions to prevent that... then destroy the translation."

Matisse stared, sockets wide, teeth gaping. "...What? What!? We're doing all this work just for you to destroy it later!? This is a chance for a great discovery and you're just going to throw away the key!? You were so determined to prove there was nothing down there!"
"Things change, Matisse," Sans replied. "But, we're getting off topic here. Look, let's go have lunch with Red at the restaurant, okay? You can take the chance to get to know him and see he's not such a bad guy. We can even talk more about this whole translation thing if you want."
"Fine, whatever!" Matisse tossed up his hands.
Sans gave a small smile.
Maybe... maybe this would be okay.

~

"Um, hey."
Red ankhs slid over to look over at the small Font. "...Hey."
Sans gulped and looked Red over.

He was wearing his hood again, bent over the table. His phalanges were bandaged up.

"Um..." Sans started. "I was wondering if you would be willing to have lunch with Matisse and I. I talked him into sitting down and just talking."
Red shrugged. "...Whatever."
Sans gave a nervous smile, then turned to the door and motioned for Matisse to come over.
Matisse strolled over, gave Red a sideways glance, then slid into the booth. Sans sat next to him.
"So..." Sans started again. "Hm... oh, Red, how's that book you're reading?"
Red blinked. "Uh... fine."
"What was it called again?"
"Oh, it's the second part of the Blood Moon Trilogy."
Matisse stifled a laugh. "A book for baby bones. How appropriate."
Red's fangs shifted.
"Uh!" Sans panicked a bit. "Well, um, so Red, you know, I don't think I know too much about your favorites. Like, favorite food?"
"Three cheese mac and cheese."
"Huh. That explains a lot," Matisse grumbled.
Red's fangs twitched this time.
"Um, what about favorite drink?"
"Uh, they sell these little juice boxes I like."
Matisse rolled his pinpoints.
Red sighed. "Okay, Matisse, enlighten me. What's yer favorite food?"
"Baked salmon with asparagus and mashed potatoes," Matisse gave a sharp smirk, sockets lidded. "I enjoy different flavored teas with my meals. Furthermore, I enjoy the works of New Times Roman and Helvetica. Real authors."
"...Right," Red spat.

"And now to Sans," Matisse's smirk grew. "Oh, but wait, I know all this already! The works of Cancelleresca and Guevara; loaded backed potato with ketchup on the side and grape juice." Matisse's knowing grin grew. "On top of that, his favorite color is powder blue, he likes classical music and he walks around the Archives late in the evening when no one is around to unwind. I can give you many other facts accumulated from years of knowing someone, which is quite pleasant, actually."

Sans gulped, glanced at Red's silent glare. "Uh, how about we move onto something else...?"
"Yeah, let's do that," Red stood up.
Sans' sockets went wide. "Red, wait---!"
"Sans," Red stared, back towards him. "It's fine. Thanks fer tryin' though."

And with that, Red headed for the door and for a moment, Sans felt his Soul go cold.

"Pffft, what a baby bones," Matisse giggled.
Sans whipped around. "Why did you do that!?"
Matisse blinked, stared. "What?"
"Red was willing to talk to you and you just--- you just--- You are the worst!!" Sans shouted, standing up. "You didn't even try!"
"I showed up, didn't I!?" Matisse shot back.
"And insulted him at every turn! You know what!? If you like me so much, you'd think my happiness would mean something to you!"
"How could you seriously be happy with that!?" Matisse cried, pointing to the door. "Do you know what monsters are going to say when they find out you're dating one of those---those things!?"
"THING!?" Sans exploded. "DID YOU SERIOUSLY JUST CALL HIM A THING!?"
"HE'S NOT A MONSTER!!" Matisse roared back. "MONSTERS DON'T HAVE RED SOULS!!"

Sans balled his hands, baring his teeth. "You know what, Matisse? Red is more of Monster than you'll ever be! He's nicer than you, more considerate than you, more respectful than you and if you or anyone else could look past the color of his Soul, you'd fucking see that!! TAKE YOUR SHIT AND GO HOME, UNDERSTAND ME!! JUST GO HOME!!" Sans yelled before storming out of the diner, ignoring the stares and gasps.

He couldn't believe this! He had known Matisse for years and he had never come across as so terrible, so hateful. He had thought Matisse would be a little jealous of Red, but disgusted by the Color of his Soul? He could have never imagined this.

Matisse was just like almost everyone else then....

And Red.... Gods, Red....

He had just taken all that abuse. He didn't lash out at Matisse, didn't fight, just took all the hate and left.

This wasn't fair!

Red was a big sweetheart, why didn't anyone else see that?

"Red!" Sans called to the retreating Skeleton.
Red stopped and turned around just as Sans ran up to him, rubbing a socket. "Hey, hey, what's wro---?"
"I'm sorry!" Sans sobbed as he buried himself in Red's coat. "I'm sorry! I thought I could convince Matisse to talk to you, but he just--- I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"
Red squatted down and put arms around Sans. "It's okay, baby bones."
"It's not, Red! ...Crimson, you're so sweet and smart and kind. It's not fair! It's not fair monsters act like there's something wrong with you! There's nothing wrong with you!"
Red just held Sans closer, let him cry and sob and just mess all over his coat. "Come on, baby bones, yer messin' up that pretty face of yers," Red smiled. "Come on." He heaved Sans off the ground.
"Ah!" Sans cried, blushing. "What, what are you---!?"
"Takin' ya back ta ma place ta clean up yer face."
"Mrrmm," Sans buried his face in Red's coat. "This is embarrassing. Monsters are staring."
"Get used ta it. If ya stick with me, they're gonna stare. They'll probably say shit ta you, too. Ya sure ya want that?"

Sans nodded. "It's not fair you have to deal with this alone. I mean, I was going to stay with you anyway, I just... I thought if monsters could just talk to you, at least give you a chance, they would see what I see, but they won't even do that... How do you... how do you deal with this everyday?"

"Ya learn how. Ya learn when ta go out ta avoid crowds, ya learn how ta look busy so monsters have an easier time ignoring ya; ya learn how ta fight when they push ya, ya learn when ta ignore it and walk away. Ya just learn."

Sans couldn't respond. He knew how hard Red's situation was, but the full scope was dawning on him. He had thought at worst, monsters just ignored him, maybe whispered things behind his back. But, there were those monsters like Matisse that made their hate for Red known right to his face.

Sans felt sick.

He let Red carry him to his house and inside to the living room. He carried him upstairs and placed the Font in front of the bathroom door. "Az and Rust are out patrollin'. Ya can take yer time cleanin' up in here."
"Thank you," Sans sniffed and went into the bathroom.

As Sans cleaned up, Red got out of his soiled coat and headed back downstairs to the laundry room down the hall from the kitchen. He tossed his coat into the washing machine, then headed back down the hall, pausing at a note on the fridge he had caught on his way to the laundry room.

If ur late 4 dinner again, we r eatin out again w\o u, bonehead! Love, AZ

PS: It's fine if you were eating with Sans, just let us know next time. Love, Rust

Right, they weren't here that night I argued with Sans cause I came back so late, so they went out ta eat... Can't really blame 'em for not waitin' up on me, especially if they thought I was with Sans, Red noted. He had thought about talking to his siblings about his argument with Sans, but he had been so grumpy, he had sort of avoided them as best he could. They hadn't asked what was wrong because he had been so snappy in replying. He sort of regretted not asking them for help just because he was trying to be more open with them, but old habits die hard as they say. At least now he and Sans had made up, so at this point, there wasn't really anything to tell. Red headed back upstairs.

Sans came out of the bathroom and perked up when he saw Red in only his shorts. A grin stretched over his skull as his sockets lidded. Red rolled his ankhs. He leaned over and picked up Sans, held him close.

Clak!

"... Mmm, Crimson... Can I...?"
"Yeah?" Red murmured.
"There's a little shop I think we should go to."
"Hm?"
"I want to buy a collar for you."
Red blinked. "What? Now?"
"Yep. As proof that I'm staying with you," Sans explained. "I want to help you fulfill one of your fantasies."
"...Ya sure ya ain't just horny?"
"Well... that might play into it," Sans purred, nuzzling against Red's cheekbone. "But it's mostly to commemorate my devotion to you."
"Uh... well, I guess," Red blushed. "I gotta put on a coat first, though."
"Hmmm, okay, but, well," Sans murmured. "There's no real hurry." He pressed his teeth against Red's fangs again.

The kiss was long and deep.

Chapter Text

"So, what do you think of these?"
"Hm... I don't know. They're so many choices."
"Can I help you?"

The two Skeletons turned to a rather cute furry cat girl, fur a slick black, eyes a chilling yellow. Her name tag read Juliett. She was dressed in a short, black skirt and a blood red blouse unbuttoned at the top.

Seemed sort of appropriate for the store they were in.

Red shifted on his feet, poking his phalanges together.
"It's okay" Sans reassured him, taking his hand before looking back up Juliett. "We're just looking at the collars. I think we kinda want something a bit heavy duty. Something that says... 'we're in this for the long haul'."
"Ah, well, you definitely want leather," Juliett smiled. "Are you interested in spikes? Loops for a leash?"
"Eh...," Red could only blush. "Uh... Sans...." He trembled a bit.
"It's okay," Sans repeated with a smile. He reached up and touched Red's cheekbone. "Come here. You can whisper to me, okay?"
Red leaned over and began to whisper.
"...Okay," Sans nodded. "Do you want a particular color? ... All right, then," Sans nodded again and turned back to Juliett. "Spikes are fine and a little loop in the front for a leash. Maybe something in black and pink?"
"Would you like ID tags? We can have them engraved with his owner's name."
"Oh!" Sans smiled. "Would you like that?" he asked up at Red.
Red gave a shy smile.
"All right, let's go with all of that," Sans nodded.
"Very good then," the cat clapped and grinned. "Let's start over there then."

Shopping was a bit difficult due to Red's sudden muteness, but, in time, they found a cute black collar with pink swirls, silver metal spikes, a single loop for a pink leash and a silver ID Tag that they got engraved with:

Sxxx's Pet
If Found, Please Call: 09-015-2015

"Have fun, boys! Come again!" Juliett waved as the two left the store.
"She was really nice," Sans noted.
Red nodded. "I was kinda nervous. Some of tha store owners try ta intimidate me. I wonder if I had gone in by myself would she have been as nice."
"Hey, let's just give her the benefit of the doubt for now," Sans smiled as the two walked past more stores, the smaller Skeleton doing a little window shopping here and there. Soon, they made their way back to Red's house and the larger Skeleton led Sans to his room.

Red's room was a mess, which sort of surprised Sans. Clothes and books, both hard cover and paperback, covered the beige carpet. The top of the white walls were lined with tiny white twinkling lights, giving off a sort of romantic glow. The bed was unmade, black and blue sheets tossed all over the mattress. A desk in the left back corner was also covered in books.

Sans couldn't help but smile. His big, bad bones was such a bookworm. He turned around, took both of Red's hands and smiled up at him. "I really like your room."
"Th-thank you," Red looked away with a blush. "I wish I had time ta clean it, though."
"I don't mind," Sans replied. "I think it's very lived in." He lifted up his arms, prompting Red to pick him up. He nuzzled into his cheekbone. "By the way, don't think I didn't notice."
"Notice what?" Red murmured against Sans' mandible, pressing his fangs into the bone.
"How beat up you are," Sans replied and motioned to the bed. He slid from Red's hold, took his hand and led him over to the mattress, where he sat Red down. He unzipped Red's coat, pulled the heavy piece of clothing off his large bones. "So," Sans spoke, smirking. "While i'm healing you up, you wanna try out your new toy?"

~

***

"Ah!" Red gasped as Sans tugged on the leash with his mouth, his hands gliding over Red's spine, trailing green healing magic. He yanked on the leash again, making Red arch his bare hips against Sans', who purred and slid his pelvis along Red's.

Red called out Sans' name.

Smirking, Sans took the leash out of his mouth to hold in one hand. "Enjoying that, pet?" he tugged on the leash again.
"Ah... yeah...," Red moaned, tongue hanging from his mouth. "Ah, ple-please... pull a little more, baby bones."
"Well, since you said please," Sans grinned, yanking again.
Red purred, a shaky smile on his skull, ankhs lighting up as a shiver ran down his healed spine.
"Aww, you are the cutest pet," Sans cooed, stroking Red's cheekbones. "You know what would make you even cuter?"
Red panted. "Wh-what?"
"If you made that sexy little cock of yours. Can you do that, pet?"
Red nodded, channeled, his magic to drain down his spine and manifest at his pelvis. At the same time, Sans conjured a vagina, dripping wet. He sat up and slid down on Red's massive sex.
"Hn... Crimson, your cock is amazing," Sans groaned, sliding up and down. "You're such a good pet," He tugged on the leash, making Red cry out and thrust up. "Yeah, that's it, my little pet. Show Master how much you love him."
Red reached up and took hold of Sans' pelvis and began to thrust up, pounding into Sans' tight cunt.
"Uh, yes!" Sans cried out. "That's a good pet! Pound Master's pussy! Just! Like! That!"
"Ah! Uh! Master, you're so tight!" Red groaned, pelvis driving his cock deeper and deeper, drawing out more wetness.
"Gods, pet!" Sans screamed, tongue hanging out of his mouth as he slid up and down Red's length faster and faster. "I'm so close, pet! Master is gonna come! Master ! is---Ah! Gonna come!" Sans yanked the leash, making Red come with him with a loud cry of his name.
As Red filled Sans, Sans released a waterfall of juice, their magic mixing in Sans' womb, creating a deep violet.
"Ah, pet....," Sans sighed, leaning down to rest on Red's massive ribs.
Red smirked and rolled over, shifting his weight atop Sans.
"Oooh, pet,"" Sans groaned as Red pumped away. "You bad pet, you," the smaller skeleton smirked.
"I... uh, I'm sorry, Master. I just... uh, ya feel so good," Red moaned, tongue hanging from his fangs. He moaned louder when Sans tugged on his collar via the leash. "Ah, Master...." He cried out when Sans began to lick his massive ribs. The sensation sent shivers down Red's spine, prompting him to pump faster and faster. "Ah! ...uh! Yesss," he hissed. I'm gonna... Oh, Master!"
"Come on, pet, fill up your Master again," Sans grinned before chomping down on a rib.
"AH! MASTER!" Red screamed, thrusting harder, faster, deeper. "MASTER!" He released again, magic thick and hot.
"Oh! pet!" Sans arched up as the magic filled his pussy, flooded his womb again. "Ah.... pet, you're amazing."
"Th-thank ya, Master," Red breathed as he pulled out, his magic pouring out from Sans' quivering pussy. He laid down next to the Font Skeleton, panting along with him, huge smile on his skull.

***

Sans crawled up next to Red, twisting the leash around his hand a few times, nuzzling against his ribcage. "Hm, Crimson, that was fantastic."
"Yeah," Red panted.
"So, was that how you imagined it?" Sans asked, running a finger over a rib.
"It was perfect," Red smiled. "Next time, can we do just the roleplay though, without tha sex? Is that okay?" he blushed.
"Of course, Crimson," Sans smiled.
Red smiled back, then glanced at the clock. "Oh, shit, we were in here fer fuckin' hours."
Sans giggled.
"What?"
"You said 'fucking hours,' like we have hours set aside for sex," Sans snickered. "It's sort of a pun if you look at it like that."
"Hn. I guess so, but, huh, seriously, it's actually almost dinner time."
Sans sat up. "Oh, yeah, I guess so."
Red shot up. "Don't ya get it, though?"
"Get what?" Sans questioned.
"It's almost dinner time, which means ma sis and bro are probably downstairs gettin' ready ta eat. They've probably been down there fer a while and we weren't exactly quiet."
Sans' entire skull turned candy red as his sockets widen. "Do... do you think they heard us?"
"...Let's just pretend they didn't. That'll probably be easier fer everyone."
And a moment later, they heard the front door slam a bit louder than necessary.
"They went out ta eat," Red realized with a sigh. "So, I guess they had the same idea as me."
For now, everyone would just pretend no one heard anything....

~

The next morning, Red and Sans waited until an hour after the normal breakfast time. They heard the door slam, again, louder than needed, and they took that as a sign to get ready for the day. Red was relieved, not ready to confront his siblings after a night of amazing, dirty sex that he was sure they had heard. Still cautious, he told Sans that showering together was out of the question (for now), so they took separate showers, got dressed and went down for a late breakfast. While Red cooked up bacon, eggs and rice, he asked Sans what happened yesterday after he left the restaurant.

"I told Matisse to go home," Sans informed as Red placed a plate of food in front of him.
"...Oh," Red replied, a little surprised. He sat down with his own plate of food. "Sans, wait, maybe---"
"Crimson," Sans started, gaze stern, almost boring into his ankhs. "Even if we were just friends, I wouldn't want to be friends with someone else who is just so close-minded. I don't regret telling him to go home."
Red looked down. "Are ya sure? He's probably gonna tell everyone back at ONK about us. They'll... they'll treat ya different."
"I told you, I'm fine with that. Even if somehow I lose my position at the Archives, I'll still have you to come back to," Sans squeezed Red's hand. He gave a small smile. "Hm, I guess this is the part where I tell you I love you."
Red's face went brilliant crimson. "Ya... oh, geez, Ya... ya can't just! Oh, GEEZ!"
Sans giggled. "But, really, I wouldn't just give up everything for just anyone, you know. So, that must mean I love you."

Red could only stare and gulp. He couldn't believe Sans was saying this! He... He loved him. Sure that was obvious by how he had sent Matisse home, how he was okay with how monsters would see him now, how he was fine if he lost his job over being with Red, but still. Hearing him say as much was so surreal, like he was dreaming.

"Pinch me."
Sans blinked. "What?"
"I just... I just need ta know I ain't dreamin'," Red replied.
Sans stared before giggling again. He pinched Red's hand, making him hiss a bit. "Doesn't look like your dreaming."
"Oh, geez," Red blushed, resting his skull on the table. "This is real. Ya really just said that...."
"Hm, mh," Sans hummed, stroking Red's hand. "I love you, my big bad bones."
Red lifted his skull to look at Sans smiling face. He tried to say something, anything, but his tongue wouldn't move right.
Sans only smiled and rubbed his skull. "You should eat up, love."
"Uh, yeah...." Red sat up and picked up a fork. "Hey, uh, what about yer research?"

Sans shrugged. "Matisse probably took at least the codices back with him. I'll have to call Queen Undyne about it and explain everything just in case Matisse tries to pass off any findings as his. We didn't manage to translate everything in the past few days, but it was a decent chunk nonetheless. Anyway, I doubt Matisse will be brave enough to try to open the door without written permission from the Queen. It's career suicide as well as treason. He won't risk it."

"So, what are ya goin' ta do now?"
"Well... let's head to the library to see if he left anything."
Red nodded in agreement. The two finished breakfast, then began for the library. As they walked, hand in hand, Red made note of the glares and whispers. He looked down at Sans, who seemed to be determined to stare ahead and ignore everyone. Red could only squeeze his hand.

Soon, they were alone in the library's quiet basement.

Everything was still there on the wooden table--- the photos, the codices, the trial and error translations.

"Weird," Red noted, walking over to the table. "Do ya think he went straight home after ya told him ta take off?"
Sans didn't answer as he peered over the contents atop the table, rubbing his mandible. His sockets narrowed. "....His notebook is missing. The one he was using to translate the door."
"Why would he just take that back? Ya guys never finished translatin', right?"
"....He wouldn't need to take anything back if he finished translating the door instead of leaving."
Red's sockets widen. "Ya... ya don't think he'd...?"

"N-no!" Sans exclaims. "Like I said, without the Queen's permission, going down there would be treason! But..." Sans nibbled a gloved phalange. "He was upset when I told him we were going to destroy the translation if it told us how to open the door. He's a Font, so the idea of destroying any sort of answer to a question, any sort of knowledge, it sort of goes against our nature. Sometimes our desire to know outweighs common sense."

"We need ta go," Red spoke, voice stern as he headed for the stairs. "If he's translated tha door, he's gonna open it and that thing, whatever killed my dad and broke ma mom, it's probably still down there! That idiot might let it out!"

Sans nodded, sockets wide in concern. He went for the table where he grabbed his pencil and his own notebook of possible translations. He turned and started up the stairs, two at time to keep up with Red's stride. Matisse wouldn't really try to open the door, would he? It's true that knowing exactly what's down there would be a major discovery, but going down there alone is practically suicide! Please don't be at the door, Matisse, I'm begging you, don't be there!

Chapter Text

"How ya doin', baby bones?"
"Fine, but can you go any faster?"
"Eh...," Red's fangs quivered as he jumped from one Perseverance Circle to the next. "I could, but I've never gone really fast while holdin' someone. I don't wanna hurt ya."
"Crimson, that's sweet and all, but we really are in a hurry," Sans called from the cradle of Red's arms.
Red nodded, and was about to push off hard on the next Circle when he caught sight of his siblings coming out of a store. "Az! Rust!"
The tall Skeletons whipped around, sockets wide.
"Red?" Azure called.
"Red, what's wrong?" Rust asked. "Where are you two off to in such a hurry?"
Red slid to a stop. "Rust! Listen, I need you to put up a barrier at the west side of the town!"
Rust blinked. "Wha-what? What's---?"
"We think someone might try to open the doors, if he hasn't already," Sans explained.
Azure's sockets widen even larger. "So- someone is trying to go into the Remains? Wait, what are you---?"
"We have ta go stop him, or get him out before he goes too far in!" Red cried. "But if case we don't---"
"You can't!!" Azure screamed, making the other three Skeletons recoil. "Crimson, you can't go down there!!" Her sockets bubbled with tears. "You can't! That thing that killed dad, that destroyed mom, it's still down there! I know it! If you go down there, it's going to kill you--- or worse!"
"We have ta, though!" Red cried. "I'm tha only one strong enough ta fight it--- I can try ta Banish it if we come across it and Sans is probably the only one who can talk some sense into Matisse if he is down there. We're tha only ones---"
"Just stop!" Azure burst into tears. "You don't have to go after him! If he's down there, it's his fault! You don't have to risk your life! You don't have to be a hero!"
"I'm not tryin' ta be a hero!" Red screamed. "I'm just--- someone has ta make sure tha doors aren't open, that that thing can't get out! Now listen ta me---"
"You listen to me!" Azure screamed, grabbing Red's arms. "I'm your big sister! I'm ordering you not to go down there!"
"A-Azure, wait!" Rust called, grabbing her hands. "Just calm down so we can---"
"So yer fine if he just dies, or he leaves tha door opens and that thing is makin' its way here right fuckin' now, is that it!?" Red bellowed, making Azure stumble backwards. "This is bigger than us, Azure! Rust!"
His brother jumped, straightening up.
"Set up tha biggest barrier you can in cause that thing gets past us! Get ready ta evacuate and contact tha Queen while yer at it! We're gonna go try ta stop Matisse!" Red whipped around, jumped on a Perseverance Circle and shot forward, leaving behind his shocked siblings.

Azure stared after her brother, sockets still wide and dripping tears. She looked up at Rust. " He won't listen to me... Rust... Rust! Go stop him! He might actually listen to you! Go stop him!!"
"Th-there's no time!" Rust shot. "I need to set up a barrier---"
"You need to stop Crimson!"
"There is no time, Azure!" Rust repeated.
"You're just going to let Crimson go down there!?" Azure screamed, grabbing her brother's arms with a glare. "This is just like with mom and dad!" She started sobbing again..

"It's not!" Rust countered "They know what might be waiting for them down there and Crimson is stronger than dad! If anyone can stop that Night Terror or whatever the hell that thing is, it's Crimson. And he's not alone! Sans is with him and Sans is his Composer."
"Mom was dad's Composer and look what happened to her, to both of them!" Azure shouted through tears.
Rust pulled away and began for the edge of town.
"Are you going to stop them!?" Azure called.
"I'm going to set up a barrier," Rust called back. "You go to the Guard Center and tell them to get the town ready for a possible evacuation, then call Queen Undyne and tell her everything that happened."
"Rust!!" Azure screeched. "If you don't go stop Crimson and we lose him, I will never forgive you!!"
Rust whipped around. "Why don't you try trusting Crimson and Sans and what they can do first before you start making threats! Now go to the Guard Center!" Rust turned around and this time ran off towards the woods. Besides, what makes you think Crimson is going to listen to me when he didn't listen to you?

~

"Baby bones, we're almost there."
"Hm, mh."
"What are ya doin'?"
"Going over what we do have translated, trying to see if I can finish it," Sans spoke over the wind whipping around them. "Kinda hard to do when you're carrying me bridal style, but I just... I feel like I need to do something."
"It's okay, hopefully we won't... oh, shit!" Red cried.
"What!?" Sans shouted and shifted in Red's arms to look ahead. "Is that the door! Is it open!?"
"It's closing! He got in, he opened it!" Red screamed.
"Why is he closing it behind him!?" Sans panicked. "He doesn't think there's anything down there!"
Red didn't answer as he leapt over the next few Circles to come to a sliding stop in front the doors. Sans scurried from Red's arms and slammed against the now closed doors.

Locked.

"MATISSE!" Sans screamed. "MATISSE, CAN YOU HEAR ME!? OPEN THE DOOR!!"

"...Sans."

"Matisse?" Sans called. "Matisse, open the door! It's too dangerous to go down there!"

"It's because of him you're not going down there, isn't it?" Matisse's voice was muffled from behind the stone doors. "Not only are you dating that... thing, you're letting it hold you back from making an amazing discovery! As a Font, I cannot stand for that and I'll be damned if some disgusting thing masquerading as a monster stops us from knowing the truth!"

Footsteps faded away.

"Matisse, stop!" Sans cried. When he got no answer, he whipped around to face Red. "We have to get these doors open! Even if there isn't a Night Terror down there anymore, he'll be trapped down there if he can't open the doors from the other side and... gods, he doesn't deserve that, despite being a complete asshole, that's a terrible way to dust, alone in the dark like that. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if...."
Red stepped up and rest a hand on Sans' trembling shoulder. "I understand, baby bones. Just because he's an ass don't mean we gotta act like that ta him. So, let's get these doors open and save this asshole."
Sans smiled, whipping away tears. "Thanks, Crimson."
"Ya got some of the door translated, right?" Red asked. "Maybe with that, we can brute force our way through."
Sans nodded. "You don't think you can force the Circles open like your dad did, though?"
"Ta be honest, I'm not really sure how he did it," Red admitted as he walked up to the doors and ran his hands over the circles. "Somehow, he pulsed his magic through tha Circles. I'm not sure... Uh, read ta me what ya got translated so far."
"Uh, sure," Sans answered and flipped through his notebook. "First line is something about... Sevenfold shut...."
"Probably the Seven Circles."
"Uh, Birth to Death."
"Birth to Death?" Red questioned. "So, do tha symbols represent birth and death?" He rubbed his forehead. "I know I've seen these symbols somewhere. Think, think... back in school maybe? Each Circle has seven different symbols, so... oh, duh! idiot!"
"What?" Sans stared.
"I knew I've seen these somewhere!" Red exclaimed. "When we were trainin' ta fight Night Terrors, we had to take a history class. Supposed to help us write better Incantations. These symbols on tha circles, they gotta be older representations of magic, like shorthand."
Sans blinked. "They are? I've never came across ones like these before."

"These are a real old set," Red explained. "I don't even think we went over all of 'em from this set. That's how obscure they are. There's hundreds of shorthand magic symbols and sometimes they look really different from previous generations or they barely get any use, so no one really recognizes 'em at first glance, like these ones, so a certain group of them is easy ta overlook. So, we were taught different shorthands, and not only that, different terms for each type of magic. Fer example, Banishment has been called "Death" while Healing has been called "Life." So, if tha Circles are closed from Birth to Death... to open them, you must go from Death to Birth. So, let's try startin' from tha top." Red rested his hands on the outer most circle.

"Oh, wait," Sans called, looking down at the paper. "It says something about... "spin like leaves in wind.""
"Like leaves?" Red questioned. "Oh!" he snapped his phalanges. "They spin clockwise in a whirlwind. That must be the direction I need to turn the Circles--- like, how a key only turns one way ta open or lock a door. So, I'll just..."Red rotated the outermost Circle all the way around to the right until the stone made a loud THOOM. A series of interlocking X, an older symbol for Banishment, set at the top. "It's not moving now. This must be right," Red nodded. "So, I'll start from tha center and work ma way out. So, Healing is Birth. That symbol was like... Oh, this little clover lookin' thing." And Red spun the innermost circle until a clover THOOMED into place. "Perseverance is the growth of what's born. Its symbol should be something like wings... maybe these clouds?."

THOOM

"Barrier is protectin' that which is born. That's one usually looks like a gate, so... maybe the one with a bunch of lines?"

THOOM

"Projectile is defendin' against Death. Probably this long stick lookin' one."

THOOM

"Summon is gatherin' up others ta aid against Death. And that is... Maybe this circle one? Summons have their own symbols, but they do all sort of sit in a circle, so let's try...."

THOOM

"A'ight. Good, next should be... Gravity, succumbin' ta tha Veil of Death. That's probably... this one kinda looks like a hand, so maybe...."

THOOM

Red took a step back. "And then there's Banishment. Death."

And yet, nothing happened.

"What's next?" Red asked.
"Uh," Sans looked down at the notebook. "Something about... "Gods, Above, Below... let them know"."

Red hummed as he stroked his mandible and stared at the door. "Maybe somethin' ta do with these triangles?" He leaned in closer to the grouping of triangles in the inner most circle, some black, some white. "Gods Above... maybe that's tha Aether? So, Gods Below is probably Void. So... can I move these....?"

Sans watched Red slide the triangles around grouping the white on top, the black on bottom. When the groups were separated, the triangles lit up. The white points shifted up, while the black points shifted down.

"That's how you let them know," Red whispered as the Circles begin to spin right, one after another. They lined up one last time and the door began to slide open.

"Crimson...," Sans whispered, sockets wide. "Crimson! You're a genius!"
"Ah, well," Red blushed. "I just, huh, I studied a lot, that's all."

"I'm serious, though!" Sans continued. "I never made the connection between the symbols and different types of magic! I thought those were their own language, separate from the instructions written on the doors--- I mean, it is language, sort of, just shorthand, but I thought it was some weird, super basic language! I can't believe I never thought about connecting them to magic symbols! I have to make a note of---"

"Baby bones, we don't have time, remember!?" Red interrupted.
"Ah, you're right!" Sans panicked as Red took some cautious steps into the darkness. "Wait!" Sans grabbed the back of Red's jacket.
Red turned to look back at him. "What!? We have ta---"
"That's not the whole thing!" Sans called. "There's four more lines. They're the only lines we were able to translate completely."
Red turned around and leaned over Sans to look at the notepad.

For What Starts
May Surely End
So Close the Door
Behind You Then

Red stared at Sans, then at the door. "... It's talkin' about tha Night Terror. It 'started' once and it can 'surely end'--- destroy everythin'. We... We have ta close tha doors behind us... If it's still down there, we have ta make sure it don't get out."
Sans stared up at Red, sockets wide. "...They... they must have planned to go back down there one day, to see if it was still there.... They wanted to go down there, but since they weren't sure what they would find, they put in the warning, just in case...."

"...Do ya still wanna go?" Red asked, voice soft. "Ya can stay here if---"
"No," Sans cut Red off. "We... We're Invoker and Composer. We stick together." He held out his hand.
Red gulped, but took Sans' offer. "Shit," he laughed. "All this fer a guy who hates me. How crazy is that?"
"I know," Sans gave his own nervous laugh. 'But..."
"Yeah. It ain't right ta leave him down there. So... let's go. Hopefully, Az and Rust will come lookin' fer us and we can tell 'em how to open tha door."

They walked through the threshold into darkness, hand in hand. Red only let go to turn around and press against one door to close them. One push and the doors pushed closed on their own with a echoing BOOM.

The two were alone together in the dark. The only sound filling the tunnel was the circles sliding out of order, locking the giant stone doors. Soon, the echoes flowed into silence, leaving behind only darkness and quiet.

"Hey."
"Yes, Crimson?"
"If... we don't make it back---"
"We'll be fine."
"But if we ain't... I... I love ya."
"I love you, too."

Chapter Text

"Ya okay?" Red asked.
"Fine," Sans nodded, holding tight to Red's jacket sleeve. "What is that?"
Red squinted. "Stairs?"
The two ascended the staircase, steps echoing in the dark.

"Whoa...," Red whispered.

The only proof that the two had arrived in a building was the ripped up wooden floor. There were no walls, no roof, no furniture, just scorched flooring dotting the sand lot underneath.

"Did the... Night Terror do this?" Sans asked, looking around.
Red walked forward, looking over the landscape. "Shit...." he sucked in a breath.

As far as he could see was destruction: decapitated houses and buildings, streets littered with chunks of cement and piles of broken glass. An eerie glow fell over the area, highlighting a thick layer of dust over the Remains.

How much was from debris and how much was from Fallen monsters?

Red gulped. He shifted his gaze to the streets to see if he could find Matisse scurrying around when Sans called his name from far to his left. "Yeah, baby bones?"
"Can you come look at this?"
"What?" Red walked down what he thought was a hall at some point, judging by how narrow the flooring was. The blacken floor seemed to open up to a larger area of which Sans stood near the back. The short skeleton seemed to be holding a long piece of paper. When Red reached Sans, he glanced down at the sheet. "An Incantation? Wait...," his brow bone furrowed. "What kind of Incantation is this?"
"I wonder if this is the Resurrection Incantation I read about," Sans pondered. "The one they wrote to bring back the Prince after he fell ill and died."
Red took a closer look at the Incantation. "Wow... it's beautiful," he whispered. "It's... straightforward, but elegant... detailed and... whoa..." Red took the sheet of parchment, sockets widening as he continued to read.
"What is it?" Sans asked.

"...They... they tried ta Summon Lord Ink and Lord Error."

Sans' sockets widen. "Wait, really!? So they really were down here!? They actually used an Incantation to call them?"
"I... I didn't think it was possible," Red admitted. "I just thought, I mean, they're Gods, I thought it would be impossible...."
"But, wait," Sans started. If this is the Incantation, what mutated into the Night Terror?" he asked.
Red blinked, glanced around. "How is this tha only thing left? Otha than floor, ther's nothing left of this place...."
Sans walked over to the edge of the flooring to look out over the Remains. "Now that you mention it, this building seems the most decimated, like... whatever hit the Remains... started here...."

The two skeletons peered at each other before a loud roar ripped through the air.

"Come on," Red bent over and scooped up Sans. "I call upon the Second Circle, Perseverance! Show me the Way Forward!"
Purple circles dotted the ground. Red stepped on one and shot forward. "Do ya got a plan?" he asked.
"Uh, no, not really," Sans admitted. "I was sort of hoping we'd fine Matisse before the Night Terror found us."
"Crap, I don't like this," Red grumbled, weaving around dust covered ruins. The ground rumbled moments later, making him slide to a stop. Another roar echoed, then a scream.

Matisse came barreling down the street past the pair as a thick shadow fell over the dirt streets and torn buildings.

"Gods Above," Sans whispered.
"Holy shit," Red gaped.

Towering over them, hundreds and hundreds of feet in the air was the tallest Night Terror either Skeleton had ever seen. The beast displayed enormous yellow petals surrounded by a ring of horns. Its body was a vine as thick as a large brick building, dotted with millions of needles. Smaller vines flailed from its body, some ending in blackened claws. Its eyes were swirling purple and black, its mouth full of fangs. The beast let out another bone shaking roar and shot down the street.

"Fuck!" Red ducked into an alley and the roaring plant thundered past them, tossing up a thick cloud of dust. "Gods Below, it's huge!" he growled.
"It's chasing after Matisse!" Sans started. "He's going to lead it straight to the doors!"
"It can't get out though, right?" Red countered with a hint of panic in his voice. "That's why tha message said ta close tha doors!"
"Love, I seriously doubt something that big is going to care what a pair of stone doors say!" Sans answered.
"How are we 'posed ta stop somethin' that big!?" Red shot.
"I, I don't know!" Sans admitted. "Can, can you Banish it?"
"In...theory?" Red replied.
Sans looked down at his notepad. He patted around for a pencil. "Go after it."
Red blinked. "What... what are ya goin' to do?"
"Something really, really crazy," Sans answered. He then began to write across his notepad, the S's behind his pinpoints beginning to glow.
Red called on more Perseverance Circles to shoot after the terrible creature that was still hurtling its way down the street. Gotta slow it down. "I Command the Fourth Circle! Projectile! Fire your Arrows Straight Ahead!"

A pale yellow circle flashed in the air, resembling an intricate target, and unleashed a volley of lemon yellow arrows at the back of the horrid creature. While the monstrosity let loose a roar a pain, the vine continued to barrel ahead.

"Fuck," Red cursed under his breath. "Gotta get ahead of it. Maybe try Gravity? I Call upon the Second Circle. Perseverance, Show me the Way Around!" He stepped harder on the next purple circle to increase his speed and get a little closer to the retreating beast. His circles then led him around a few buildings before being spat out of an alley in front of the stampeding Terror. He slid to a stop. "I Beseech the Sixth Circle! Gravity! Slow Down my Adversary's Space!"

An ice blue circle flashed in front of the wailing flowering plant, slowing the creature down to a thrashing crawl. However, Red could already see the chilly blue stop sign in the center of the circle beginning to crack.

"I Beseech the Fifth Circle! Barrier! Close the Gate Ahead of Me!" Red recited.

A row of orange arrows rose up between the two Skeletons and the monstrorous vine, further impeding its movements. Red called up Perseverance and shot off back towards the stairs. As he ran, he glanced down at Sans still cradled in his arms.

Sans was writing another Incantation, sockets alight in concentration, pencil flying across the page, only doubling back when he decided a verse wasn't working. He sliced the words with a line from his pencil before plowing forward in his writing.
"...Don't burn yerself out," Red whispered as the two finally reached the stairs. When he got to them, he found Matisse cowering at the top step in a little ball. He glared. "What happened ta makin' that big discovery, Font?"
Matisse glanced up at him, sockets big and hallow, pinpoints shaking and small. "I... I didn't think... anything was down here," he said in a tiny, croaking voice.
"So what tha hell did ya do when ya saw that!?" Red pointed to the flailing Terror. "Poke it and ask if it was a Night Terror!!"
"It.., it just appeared... out of the dust...," Matisse whispered, shaking his skull in his hands. "And for a moment... I... I saw something."
"Saw somethin'?" Red questioned as the sound of glass breaking shattering the air. Then came an echo of loud cracks. Red looked back at the fanged plant. "It broke through tha Gravity and its trying ta crash tha Barrier."
"Why can't you Banish it!?" Matisse wailed up at Red, crawling over to him to grab his shorts.
Red growled. "Oh, so now ma scary powers seem appealin', huh? Fuck ya! Go downstairs, open tha door, close it behind ya and tell the town ta---"
"LOOK OUT!" Matisse wailed.

Red whipped around as the snarling creature barreled up a small hill right towards them, mouth agape in a low growl, eyes swirling. "Fuck!" The Spectral grabbed Matisse by the collar and back peddled out of the way as the monstrosity whipped a vine at them. The enormous plant's weight proved too much for the ceiling of the tunnel below them and the structure collapsed with a thunderous BOOM, the thick vine falling into the tunnel below. The beast didn't miss a beat, hitting the ground and then rolling over to its stomach before charging head first down the tunnel.

"Fuck!" Red coughed for a few minutes as he stomped over to the gaping hole. "Oh, fuck! Shit!" He watched, sockets wide in a wild panic as the squirming would-be flower vanished down the tunnel below him. "S-Sans, Sans?" Red called to the tiny Font still cradled in his arms.

Despite the boom of the tunnel collapsing, Sans was still writing at a breakneck pace, sockets filled with a piercing blue light.

"Gods Below, yer a machine, baby bones," Red gave a small smile before looking back at the hole in the floor. "A'ight, a'ight, don't panic. Maybe it can't get through tha doors.... Ya!" He pointed at Matisse who he had tossed back behind him to save from being flattened. The Font only looked up at Red, sockets wide, bones trembling. "Stay here!" Red ordered. He turned back around and jumped down into the hall, Sans still in his arms. Taking a deep breath, he sprinted down the shuddering tunnel, could already hear the terrible thing charging into the doors over and over. "Gods Below, that is a one sturdy set of doors," Red noted as he stopped several feet away from thrashing vines.

The long vine roared again, but this time, not as loud, trailing off into a sort of whine. Red noticed its breath was slow and deep, as if....

"It... is it gettin' tired?" he whispered. He took a cautious step forward, but alerted the beast all the same.

When the Terror whipped around, it looked straight in Red's sockets.

And Red saw something.

His parents fighting the Night Terror, his father being crashed by the coiling vines twisting around him, his gurgling scream, his cracking bones, his body dusting in front of his pleading, wailing mother, his mother running away, sockets full of tears. The scene started over, played over and over.

Red fell to his knees, arms faltering, forcing Sans to the ground and snapping him out of his trance.

"Ow! Red? Crimson!?" Sans called to the frozen Spectral, whose sockets streamed with tears. "Crimson, snapped out of it!" Sans screamed, getting up on his knees to reach up for Red's skull.
"I... I see them," Red whispered, gaze far, almost like the look his mom had in her room. "It... it killed my dad. My mom saw it, that's why she's...." Red knew, Red knew in his Soul this thing had killed his father, but to see his death happen in front of him, as if he was there, was too much.

His Soul ran cold.

"Crimson! Crimson, please!" Sans pleaded as he shook Red who appeared to be shutting down on him. "Crimson, stay with me! We have to---"

BOOOOOM

Sans whipped around only for a cloud of dust to bombard his sockets.

When the dust cleared, he could make out the Night Terror squeezing its way out of the monstrous hole where the doors had once stood.

Chapter Text

"Oh, no... Oh, no, no!" Sans stared, sockets wide as the Night Terror reared up and roared, sound so overwhelming, leaves shook off the trees. "Crimson!" Sans called, taking Red by the shoulders. His sockets were still wide and dripping tears despite the fact dust still filled the air. "Love, please! You're the only one who can read the Incantation I wrote! You're the only one strong enough to do this! The Underground needs you!" He rest his hands on a frozen Red's cheekbones, stared into Red's dimming ankhs. "Crimson, come on, you have to snap out of it! Remember what you said, how you weren't going to let anyone suffer because of that thing? If you don't do something, the entire Underground is done for! Even the Surface could be in danger! Crimson, please!"

"I... I'm scared," Red whispered. "I... it...."

"I know," Sans pressed his forehead against Red's. "But you're brave, Crimson. You put up with so much everyday, more than any monster should. You are so brave." Sans kissed Red's forehead.

Red gulped, shivered, began to stand up, bit by bit. He gulped down air. "Did...did ya finish it?" He asked Sans, staring at the Night Terror roaring on the other side of the hole.
Sans nodded and gave Red a single sheet of paper.
Red looked at the Incantation, sockets widening. "Sans, this....."
"I know. It's crazy, but..." Sans took a quick breath. "Remember what the door said, about letting the Gods know? I think... I think this is what they actually meant." He nodded to the Incantation. "I think it was some sort of clue to stop that thing. I mean, it's so big, so massive, a normal Banishment isn't going to work. The only thing bigger than it would be, well... them."
Red gulped. "Oh geez...."
"I think if we read it together, it should work."
"O-okay," Red scooped up Sans, called Perseverance and shot forward. Already, he could see Rust's looming Barrier in the distance just glancing the tallest point of the tree line. The Night Terror was barreling straight ahead.
"We should read it now!" Sans called. "Before it gets anywhere near the town, let alone the barrier!"
"Right!" Red slid to a stop. "Oh, Gods Below, I hope this works...." He held Sans closer. "Okay, let's do it."
Sans nodded, held one side of the paper as Red held the other. They started to Invoke in unison.

We Humbly Pray to the Gods
of the Aether and the Void
Creators of the Fabric
That Holds our Existence
Rulers of Life and Death
Of Creation and Destruction
We Humbly Request Your Aid
As Our Ancestors before Us
In Our Time of Need
Please Bestow upon Us
Your Blessing Rains of Quiet
Your Fierce Fire of Purification
Your Arrow of the Ninth Justice
Your Chains of Honest Punishment
As our Ancestors have Told Us
We let You Know
Of the Transgression Before Us
And Humbly Request your Aid
Lord Ink and Lord Error
of the Aether and the Void
Aid your Humble Followers
Protect Us from Damnation!

And everything went silent.

No wind, no crackling of leaves, not even a roar from the Night Terror.

Just silence.

Red gulped. "Did it... work?"

As if answering him, the sky turned stark white, the ground, inky black.

"Holy shit!" Red yelped, taking a step back.

A humongous, glitching skeletal hand, bones a slick, midnight black, slid out of the darkness.

-HM, THAT WAS A LITTLE WEAK, BUT I'LL LET IT SLIDE THIS TIME
-COME NOW, ERROR, THERE'S NO REASON TO BE SO RUDE. THEY AT LEAST HAVE BETTER INTENTIONS THAN THE LAST ONES.
-WHAT!? I SAID I'D LET IT SLIDE! THERE IS NO PLEASING YOU, IS THERE!?
-THAT IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT THE CASE!

"Wow...," Sans whispered, leaning back in Red's embrace to take in the sight.

Ink and Error were... enormous, gargantuan, towering Skeletons, Ink a stunning white and Error a deep, rich black. Ink kept afloat with six pairs of humongous white Wings, his bones surrounded by thousands of orbs of light. Error squatted on the ground, yet still towered thousands of feet over the tallest tree tops. The chains around his bones rattled with his movement, the wisps of the Void circling him.

Error's piercing gaze shifted down to Red and Sans, rings of red, yellow and black peering at them. OH! THEY ACTUALLY GOT SOMEONE OF THE VOID TO CALL ME THIS TIME! FINALLY, A LITTLE RESPECT! WE ARE OFF TO A BETTER START!

Red gulped, put Sans down and approached the God of the Void. He got to his knees and bowed to the ground.
-ARISE, YOUNG ONE, Error ordered, satisfied with Red's display.
Red stood back up. "Um, Great God Error of the Luminous Void, I would be more than honored if I were allowed to ask a question of you."
-VERY WELL.
"Did... did the Incantation our ancestors use actually work?"
-THE ONE TO BRING BACK THEIR DEAD PRINCE? IT WORKED, THOUGH NOT AS THEY DESIRED. THEIR MISDEED IS WHY I CREATED THAT. He pointed to the still mystified Night Terror, which was like a mountain pointing at molehill.
Red blinked. "...You... created that?"
-YES! Error bellowed. AS PUNISHMENT! NO ONE IS ABOVE DEATH--- NO ONE IS ABOVE ME!! TRYING TO RECALL THE DEAD IS AN INSULT TO NOT ONLY ME AND THE VOID, BUT TO THE VERY CIRCLE ITSELF! SO, I TURNED THEIR PRINCE INTO A NIGHT TERROR AND GATHERED MANY SOULS THAT NIGHT!
"So, then... you really did come down here...," Red whispered.
-YES, Ink spoke this time, the single star in his socket glowing. GRANTED, IN MUCH MORE... MANAGEABLE FORMS. ERROR NOR MYSELF DID NOT PRESENT OURSELVES AS YOU SEE NOW TO THE HOPELESS ROYALTY. I WANTED TO HEAR WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY.
Error glared up at Ink. YES, AND YOU PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BROUGHT BACK THE PRINCE IF I WERE NOT AROUND.
-I THOUGHT THE LEAST WE COULD DO WAS HEAR THEIR SIDE, Ink replied, wings fluttering. THEY WROTE SUCH A BEAUTIFUL INCANTATION FOR US AFTER ALL.

Error growled. YOU ARE UNBELIEVABLE! BEING SWAYED BY PRETTY WORDS! DO YOU REALIZE WHAT CATASTROPHE WOULD BEFALL THIS PLACE IF NO ONE DIED!? THERE WOULD BE OVERCROWDING, NO FOOD OR DRINK! THE VOID FEEDS ON DEATH! WITHOUT THE VOID, THE AETHER WOULD COLLAPSE, THE FABRIC WOULD TEAR AND THE UNDERGROUND WITH IT! The God then turned back to Red. THIS IS WHY I PUNISHED THEM! THE VERY FABRIC OF EXISTENCE IS AT RISK WHEN YOU TRY TO TAKE EVEN A SINGLE COG OUT OF IT!

Ink's sockets lidded as his gaze shifted down. UNFORTUNATELY, ERROR SPEAKS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BALANCE. GRANTED, HE MAY HAVE DONE TOO WELL IN EXACTING PUNISHMENT. VERY LITTLE EVIDENCE OF WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN LEFT. HOWEVER, ERASING OR HIDING WHATEVER REMAINED OF THAT NIGHT DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT SUCH EVENTS WILL NOT REPEAT, I AM AFRAID.

-BY ALL RIGHTS, I SHOULD LET THAT THING DESTROY ANOTHER TOWN, SINCE YOUR ANCESTORS ARE SO QUICK TO BURY THEIR PAST. HOWEVER... And Error glanced back down at Red. YOU DID HAVE THE DECENCY TO USE SOMEONE OF THE VOID TO CALL ME.
Ink seemed to smile. I THINK THIS TIME THE LESSON MAY STICK, ERROR.
-HMMM, WE SHALL SEE. Error's gaze narrowed as he turned around back to the Night Terror that still stood, immobilized by the Gods' sheer presence. The God of the Void tossed out several chains, which ripped up trees as they careened through the air and wrapped around the Night Terror. The beast hissed and screamed as Ink pulled out his large paint brush from his back, nocked an bow made of light and fired. The brushed sliced through the air with a high pitch scream before striking the Night Terror head on. The creature let out an echoing, ear splitting screech as its petals, vines, its entire body caught blue fire. Moments later, the Terror bursts into flaming sheets of paper, and a hot wind blasted through the forest, whipping up leaves and almost toppling Red and Sans. They could hear surprised screams echo from the town as the sheets of paper burned to ash. The hot wind died down seconds later. Nothing of the Night Terror was left, as if the monstrosity had never been there to begin with.

Red stared. "... They made it look so easy."
"Well... they are Gods," Sans noted.

-WELL THEN, Error started as he stood to his full, monstrous height, skull almost reaching the white ceiling. LISTEN CAREFULLY, LITTLE ONES, his voice bellowed. DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AS YOUR ANCESTORS! NO ONE LIVING IS ABOVE DEATH. SHOULD YOU FORGET THIS, ANOTHER CATASTROPHE WILL BEFALL YOU... AND I MAY NOT BE SO WILLING TO LEND MY AID AGAIN. Error squatted down, then shifted his gaze to Red. He turned around, movement careful and slow, and leaned down to near socket level. LITTLE ONE Error did his best to whisper. YOU ARE A TREASURE. DO NOT FORGET THAT.

Red's sockets widen as Error began to sink away in the ground.

-DO BE KIND TO EACH OTHER, ALL RIGHT? Ink smiled as he ascended back into the white sky.

There was a loud THOOM, like heavy doors closing, and the sky and earth returned to their normal colors of slate blue and tan dirt covered in fall leaves. The sounds of the wind whipping through the tree tops rushed back and, for a long while, Red and Sans stood in silence.

Chapter Text

"Thank you very much for coming to see me personally."
"Well, it would be rude to pass up tea with the Queen."
"True, but you have every right to deny me company. Especially you, Red."
"Uh, well...."
Undyne dabbed her mouth with a napkin before lowering her hands into her lap. "I wish to apologize for my actions in concern with your parents, Red. I was so sure that such a creature was just a myth, but then...." Undyne's yellow eyes shifted to the table. "Melancholight came back alone, her mind barely together. That's when I knew things had gone horribly wrong. I cancelled the expedition, never really knowing exactly what happened."
"Hm..." Red put down his tea cup. "If... if it makes ya feel better, my mom's gotten a little better. Some of her memories have come back."
Undyne perked up at this, eyes widening. "Really?"
"We think when Lord Ink and Lord Error destroyed the Night Terror, it got rid of its residual effects, magic and otherwise," Sans explained after a quick sip of tea.
"The nurses say not ta get our hopes up, just in case she gets sick again," Red admitted. "But, well, after everythin' I've seen, I kinda can't hope but think somehow, it'll work out. Azure and Rust should be with her now. They've been visiting her a lot more, hopin' that will help her jog her memories."
"Yes...," Undyne agreed. "I can't help but share your optimism after everything that's happened. To think Lord Ink and Lord Error graced us with their presence, saved the Underground, really. Oh, not to say that you two didn't have a hand in it. Without your Incantation, they may never had shown up in the first place."
"I don't really like to think they'd let the entire Underground get overrun by a Night Terror, but Lord Error was pretty upset with the whole "bringing back the dead" thing," Sans noted. "If he had his way, he probably would have let Falling Leaves get destroyed before doing anything."
"Yes, but he seemed quite happy that Red was there," Undyne spoke.
"He kept sayin' I was "of tha Void," Red replied, voice low. "I'm sure he meant I was of the Void because of my Banishment Magic, but, I don't know, he made it said like I was actually from there or somethin'. It was kinda strange, ta be honest."
"I'm sure he was just talking about your magic," Sans spoke, trying to cheer Red up. "I mean, sure, things are alive in the Void, but nothing from there every comes out and walks around on this side, you know?"
"I guess so....," Red spoke, though he still had a hint of doubt in his voice.

"There is another point he made," Undyne began after a few moments of tea sipping. "About 'another catastrophe' befalling us if we forget the order of things. That implies another terrible event happened beforehand and I can't help but wonder if he was referring to the Night Terrors. As far as we know, the Night Terrors didn't become a problem until the night the Prince was turned into one. I wonder if the Night Terrors that came after that were meant to be punishment for our ancestors transgressions."

"Well, we've gone almost two weeks without a Night Terror sighting," Sans informed.
"Yes, it has been quiet here at the New Kingdom as well," Undyne spoke. "Perhaps with the death of the first Night Terror, the ability for them to be made also died."
"If that's the case, I'm gonna need another job," Red pouted a bit at his plate of cookies.
"Well, now, don't be so upset, Red," Undyne smiled. "I do need someone to explore the Remains now that we know for a fact that they are empty. Of course, the choice is yours," She nodded before taking another sip of tea. "In the meantime, you two should enjoy your break. You have most certainly earned it."
"Thank you, Queen Undyne," Red nodded. "I think I might go visit ma mom on tha way home," the Spectral spoke as he stood from the table.
"You go on ahead," Sans waved. "I'll meet you at the front entry way."
Red nodded and walked over to the towering doors which led to a long hallway lined with glass. When the door closed, Sans looked over at Undyne, who was emptying her tea.

"....How's Matisse?"

"Hm," Undyne gulped down her sip before speaking. "Not too well, but the doctors don't think the shock will be permanent. After he has regained his mind, he'll be properly disciplined. We will be removing him from the Archives and he won't be eligible for any Kingdom based jobs or any jobs located within Our New Kingdom."
Sans' sockets widen. "Wow, really? That doesn't leave a lot of options. Outside of ONK and the Kingdom jobs, there's not much water to cast your net."
"Yes, jobs have been rather stagnate," Undyne admitted. "I have been consulting with Alphys on what to do about the situation, but until then, he will have to scrap the bottom of the barrel to get by. To be honest, I think I am being very lenient. What he did was more or less treason. Had he been more sane when Red pulled him from the Remains, I would have tossed him in jail right after I read your report. Opening the doors without thinking of the consequences...."

Sans gave a knowing smirk. "That's kinda what you did with Crimson's parents."

Undyne missed the tea kettle's handle as her eyes widen. She sighed and put her hands back in her lap. "Yes,I should have taken many more precautions. I do regret the way I handled the situation. I did no better when I assigned the task to you and for that I apologize. I should have been more open with you. I should have taken better care of Cobalt and Melancholight." Undyne looked down at the table again, gaze stern as she seemed to be berating herself in her head.

Sans sighed. "It's over and done with 'dyne. Just don't fuck up like this again."

Undyne looked up at Sans and froze at the single ice blue pinpoint staring back at her, smoldering with blue flame and smoke.

"I'm serious, 'dyne. You screw over my baby again, you're gonna have to lock me up for treason when I'm done ripping this place apart."

Undyne gulped, watched Sans' pinpoint turn back white.

"Am I understood?" Sans asked.
Undyne nodded.
"Good," Sans gave a lazy smile. He slid from the table and began for the door.
"...Have you Mastered it yet?"
Sans paused at the door. "Nah. Don't really want to, to be honest."
"But, you and Red could---"
"Could do what exactly, Undyne? There's nothing to fight anymore."
Undyne sunk a bit in her chair.
"Besides," Sans started with a smile as he opened the door and began to stroll out. "Crimson and I are just lovers. We don't really need to be anything more." He closed the door behind him with a soft click.

After walking by himself for a while, Sans rounded the corner and found Red talking to a rather tall Skeleton dressed in a slick white pinstripe suit with a pink undershirt. His tall sockets held piercing yellow crosses.

Sans began to slow to a stop. He couldn't help but notice that this Skeleton was a little imposing. He seemed a step too close in Red's personal bubble, gaze stern and nose bone turned up in the air as he talked. At the same time, Red had zipped up his jacket, hiding his collar that he otherwise liked to show off. Hell, he had worn the thing in full view of Undyne, so why was he hiding the actual physical embodiment of his and Sans' commitment?

Wait... Sans glared a bit. Is this the Gold guy they told me about that night? He listened a bit harder to the conversation.

"So, you're not interested then?" he asked Red.
"No, I ain't," Red grumbled.
"But surely, you can't think of staying in that backwater town. Your job there is done, you can come home where you belong."
"I'm goin' home after I visit ma mom and it ain't back here, Gold. Besides, I recall ya made yer intentions with me quite clear tha first time around."
"Oh, Crimson, don't---"
"Don't!" Red snapped. "I told ya ya lost tha right ta call me by ma real name, so fuckin' don't."
Gold did a quick double take. "There's no need for such words, Cr--- hm, Red. But that's my point right there! You've been away too long. You're picked up such vulgar language. Now, be reasonable---"
"Don't talk ta me like some kinda kid," Red growled. "I already told ya, i ain't comin' back here and I sure as hell don't want ta associate with ya."

"Crimson, is everything all right?"

The two taller Skeletons whipped around at Sans who stood with his hands behind his back, sockets lidded in a hard glance.

"Sans, uh...." Red blinked.
"Sans?" Gold questioned. "Your... Dr. Gaster's son, aren't you?"
"And if I am?"
"Well, my oh my," Gold gave a large smile. "Red, you never told me you knew someone so important!"
Sans rolled his pinpoints. "Yeah, I already know where this is going," he marched over. "Crimson, love, let's go visit your mom, all right?" He took Red's hand, making Gold stare.
"What is the meaning of this?" the taller Skeleton asked.
"Sans is ma Composer and boyfriend," Red informed.
Gold shook his nose bone, sockets squinting. "Your Composer? A Font?"
"Yeah, a Font," Red growled.
Gold snarled. "Leaf didn't blow far from that tree I see." He turned around. "I take it you met him while in that little town? It really has done you harm if you think this is acceptable. I do hope in time you change your mind... Crimson." Gold gave a twisted smirk before marching down a side hall.

"The fuck is his deal?" Sans growled. "I hate the way he says your name. And who cares if I'm a Font?"
"Gold's one of tha few monsters outside of you and ma family who know ma real name because I told him... back when I thought he was ma friend," Red grumbled, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Gold also thinks Invoker and Composer pairs shouldn't be made of two different species.Thinks the magic ain't as strong or somethin'."

Sans gaped. "There are still Skeletons who believe that nonsense? They've done studies, you know, and yes, same species pairs do tend to get along better, but the difference of power between a same-species pairing and a different-species pairing is near non-existent at a base level. On top of that, you and I Summoned GODS! You can't get much stronger than that!"

Red couldn't help but chuckle. "Eh, who knows?" he shrugged. "Maybe they just took pity on us."
"I refuse to believe that!" Sans crossed his arms. "I'm telling our kids we Summoned Gods and saved the Underground!"
"I'm not sure if that's how they'll reco-- wait, what kids!? Red snapped.
Sans smirked. "The ones were bound to have if we keep this relationship up," he answered, wrapped arms around Red's larger one.
Red rolled his ankhs. "Ya just as bad as my bro and sis...."
"Well, there's no rush!" Sans smiled. "We still have the Remains to explore first after all."
"We?" Red questioned.
"Yes, "we"!" Sans answered. "We're Invoker and Composer--- though, without Night Terrors, I'm not sure what that means now, but, well, more importantly, we're lovers," Sans peered up at Red with lidded sockets, reached up and unzipped his jacket to show off his collar. Red leaned over so Sans could stroke the leather. "Why did you hide it?"
"Someone like Gold ain't gonna get it," Red answered. "He's too much of a prude."

Sans couldn't help but chuckle. He could see Gold trying to wrap his skull around Red being Sans' pet and how that was just part of their loving relationship. He could imagine Gold would think the whole set up was so disgusting, especially since he seemed to already think low of Sans for being paired with Red as his Composer. Sans found that he couldn't be mad at Red for just wanting to dodge the conversation all together.

"Hey," Sans whispered, prompting Red to lean in closer.
"Hm?"
"No matter what anyone says, I love you." He rest his teeth against Red's fangs. "We're in this together all the way to the end."
Red blushed, but couldn't help but let a smile slide over his skull and push back into the kiss. "I love ya, too. And, yeah, together all tha way ta tha end."

The End