Sans was very worried when they had first met their Underfell counterparts. They were violent, crude, rude, and annoying. We'll... Red was. Edge was kinda adorable. (Sans would often tell him this just to see that flustered expression on his sharp features.)
They were dangerous monsters with high LV to boot. But, what worried Sans was Red. When he found out about alternate universes, for some reason, it did not occur to him that Sanses could be different sizes... So, it was a bit of a shock when he found out Red was taller than his own Papyrus...
Red had to be at least twice as tall as Sans, and he did not miss out on the chance to remind him of it.
"aw, look at the adorable babybones..."
"can you even reach the sink?"
Those were ones he could handle just fine. It was the rather lewd ones that irritated him.
"ha! instead of telling shitty jokes all day, why don't you put your mouth to better use? your just the right height... if you stand up on your tip toes..."
That one nearly started a fight big enough to tear the house down. Sans wasn't proud of himself for that, but it got his point across. Red left him alone for at least two weeks.
Now, he really regretted it. Not because he was sorry about it. No. It was because it shoved his brother closer to Red. Papyrus had taken it upon himself to teach the Fells how to behave in the Tale universe. Since the fight, Papyrus had been paying extra attention to Red.
"I THINK I HAVE BEEN MAKING PROGRESS WITH HIM, BROTHER! I REALLY DO! HE HASN'T SAID ANYTHING TO MAKE ANYONE UNCOMFORTABLE IN AT LEAST THREE DAYS! I HOPE HE CAN KEEP UP WITH THIS STREAK!" Papyrus chirped as he was cooking dinner one night.
"bro... he doesn't have to say anything to make people uncomfortable. all he has to do is stand up," Sans said from his spot on the couch. Edge had been kind enough to let Sans lay his head in his lap while he read some book he got from Underfell Alphys.
“I KNOW HE CAN BE A BIT INTIMIDATING TO OTHERS, BUT HE ISN’T SO BAD. HE’S MUCH BETTER THAN HE WAS BEFORE HE AND EDGE ARRIVED.”
“I, THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS MUST AGREE. MY BROTHER HAS ACTUALLY GOTTEN OFF HIS ASS AND DONE HIS JOB FOR A CHANGE IN OUR UNIVERSE. HE ACTUALLY GETS UP EARLIER AND EVEN STAYS FOR MOST OF HIS SHIFT NOW,” Edge piped in.
“OH! THAT’S WONDERFUL NEWS! NOW IF ONLY A CERTAIN BLUE-CLAD SKELETON WOULD DO THE SAME EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.” Papyrus said, eyeing him from the kitchen.
Sans chuckled from the half-hearted glare. “i might. but you know me, bro. i’m a lazybones.”
“THAT YOU ARE, BUT MAYBE YOU CAN LEARN A LITTLE SOMETHING FROM RED.”
That struck a chord in Sans. He knew Papyrus didn’t mean it like that, but Sans felt his soul throb a little in pain. Sans wasn’t what his brother wanted him to be. He didn’t get up early every day like he should. He didn’t stay at his job like he should. He didn’t pick up after himself like he should. If Papyrus wasn’t there… Well, he already knew what would happen.
Sans turned over on his side and closed his eye sockets. He really wanted to go to Grillby’s now, but Red was there. His counterpart had grown to like this Grillby better than his own for some reason or another. It didn’t escape Sans’s attention that Grillby liked Red, too. Everyone was really liking Red better than him…
Was he really that easy to like? Or… Was Sans really that easily forgotten about? His soul throbbed again. He didn’t want to move anymore. He wanted to just lay there forever. Edge wouldn’t mind if he took a little nap in his lap, would he? Probably. He didn’t care. He just wanted to sleep.
Sans jumped a little when he felt arms wrap around him, but he didn’t open his eyes. It was probably Paps either about to shake him awake to tell him dinner was ready or take him up to bed. He hoped it would be the bed. When Papyrus didn’t shake him awake, he mentally cheered. Bed it was! Wait. That didn’t feel like Paps walking up the stairs. He felt himself be placed in a chair at the table. Huh…
Blearily, he looked around the room. Papyrus went about setting up the table. Something smelled really good that he couldn’t see. Maybe his brother finally made something edible. Sans was very surprised when he found a plate set in front of him with a burger and fries on it. His eyes grew wide. He was dreaming. He had to be dreaming. He looked up to his brother who was just getting a bottle of ketchup out of the fridge.
“what’s the occasion, bro?” Sans asked.
“OH, NOTHING REALLY,” Papyrus said. The tall skeleton gasped a little when they heard the door open and close. Papyrus practically sprinted to the living room, positively beaming. “RED, YOU’RE JUST IN TIME FOR DINNER!”
“i thought somethin’ smelled good. what’d ya make? it smells amazing in here.”
“I THOUGHT I WOULD MAKE THOSE BURGERS YOU AND SANS LIKE SO MUCH. JUST FOR YOU TWO OF COURSE. ME AND EDGE WILL STILL EAT OUR SPAGETTII, THOUGH!”
“yeah, i know. i know. ya hate grease and all. but, thanks, sweetheart. i bet it’s the best burg i’m ever gonna eat.” The little tilt to Red’s grin told all. Sans felt his phalanges dig into the table. That bastard had the fucking gall… Sans chomped down angrily on a fry. Two can play that game.
“of course, whatever paps cooks is great. almost as great as he is.” This got him Papyrus’s trademark ‘Nyeh heh heh’. He smiled a little when Red didn’t respond.
He didn’t seem to have a witty comeback to it. He just shot a glare at him and sat down at the other end of the table. Papyrus set down a plate in front of him, along with a bottle of mustard and whispered something in his ear. Sans watched curiously as Red nodded and Papyrus smiled brightly. Another jolt of pain struck his soul when Papyrus sat next to Red and not him. Edge sat next to him with his own look of confusion. Something didn’t feel right.
But, neither of the two said anything. They dug into their food. There wasn’t much conversation, other than Red throwing a pun here and there, with Sans joining in sometimes. But, his heart wasn’t in it. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
When they had finished their meals, Papyrus asked them to stay a little longer at the table. He and Red looked at each other and then at them. For the first time in years, Sans watched Papyrus take a deep breath.
“Sans, Edge. Me and Red need to tell you something important,” Papyrus began. “I know this might come as a shock, but me and Red… well…”
“go on sweetheart. it’s alright,” Red coaxed softly.
“Red and I are… We’re dating now.”
Sans felt his soul stop. His hearing went out, and he was sure his eye-lights did too. His mind tried to process what had just been said, but he just couldn’t understand. How? When? He wanted to ask so many questions, but he couldn’t speak. His soul hurt. It ached so bad as he thought about it. Sans found himself mumbling something, but he had no idea what he said. It was probably his automatic responses, like “that’s great, bro” or “I’m happy for you”. Apparently, one of them was goodnight and he went to his room.
He didn’t remember the journey to his room or even how he got to his bed. He just laid there amongst the messy covers. He curled up, not feeling the tears seeping from his sockets.
For the next week, Sans was either at work, in his lab, or in his room. Although, Papyrus and Red were spending more time in Pap’s room so he quickly made a nest in the basement. He took his food to his new room some nights. Others, he didn’t eat at all. One night he cringed when he looked in the mirror. His eye sockets had been stained blue around the rims from when crying so often.
If they had even noticed his change in behavior, none of them showed it. They didn’t even ask him once if he was okay. Papyrus hardly paid any attention to him anymore. Sans felt like his soul was going to break every time he thought about it. So, he did everything he could not to. But, the little voice in his head wasn’t helping him at all. Why was still here then? His world revolved around Papyrus. So, if Papyrus wanted nothing to do with him, why was he still around? He should just be happy his brother found someone. Even if they were a bigger, better version of himself…
Sans sunk further into the covers of his bed. He’d been neglecting it for a couple of days. Though he could sleep anywhere, the nest he made in the basement wasn’t as good as his bed.
At some point, he fell asleep. It wasn’t particularly restless, yet he still awoke at some ungodly hour. He looked over to check his clock and was right. It was 2 a.m., also known as Fuck-Everything-O’clock. Sighing, he got up and wobbled his way to the door. He really wanted some water right now…
On his way down the hall, he stopped. He heard something that set off his brotherly instincts immediately. Crying… Why was Papyrus crying?! He quietly sprinted over to his brother’s door and cracked it open, eye blazing, ready to give Red a bad time. However, when he looked inside, Papyrus was sleeping soundly in his room. Red was nowhere in sight. He looked over the banister into the living room and caught sight of Red sound asleep on the couch.
But… That means…
Sans slowly made his way down the hall to the guest room. He noted the door was slightly cracked open. He pushed it the rest of the way and looked inside. Edge was laying down on his side, sobbing quietly to himself. He could tell Edge was trying his best to keep himself quiet, and he was doing a fairly good job, but he couldn’t fool Sans. His own Papyrus went through a spell of trying to hide when he was upset at one point. Paps still tries to hide it…
Edge had red tears dripping from his heavily scarred sockets. He choked and coughed on his own tears here and there. Sans felt his own tears begin to well up in his eyes as he watched. Not wanting to startle the other too badly, Sans announced himself.
“Edge,” he whispered. He saw the other jolt and immediately turn his piercing eyes to Sans.
“G-go away,” Edge stuttered, clutching tighter to his blanket. Sans ignored it.
“i’m not gonna leave you here by yourself…” He walked over to the bed and sat down on the edge (heh) of it. The taller skeleton eyes him up and down with untrusting eyes. Sans didn’t let it bother him. He reached out and grasped Fell by his wrist and pulled him into an embrace. Edge weakly struggled against him. Edge beat his fist against Sans’s ribcage, but not hard enough to do any damage or cause any pain. He was weak from crying all night.
“N-no! No… I-I don’t need you! I don’t need anyone! I am… I’m…” Edge’s sockets poured more tears as his voice stopped working. His rib cage shook with sobs as his soul forced him to accept Sans’s comfort. He pressed his face into Sans’s shirt as he returned the embrace, picking the smaller one up and placing him in his lap.
“there, there… let it all out, papyrus…” Edge sobbed more at the name but didn’t protest. Sans petted his skull soothingly, in the way he knew his own brother liked. A few of his own tears slipping down his face. “i’m here for you…”