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Tenacity

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For most of Blue’s life, he had insisted that every day was an opportunity for good. He had looked at every new event with optimism, every trial as a challenge to overcome. Back then, there had been no such thing as a “bad” day, only a day where things seemed to be going bad for the moment.

A perspective like that tends to shift after the death of your child.

At first, he had tried to maintain the same beliefs. He had done all he could to show the world that he wouldn’t be brought down, that he would stay as wonderfully positive as he had for his entire life.

Four years ago, he might have greeted a truly awful day with a smile, maybe a loud proclamation of his own greatness. It’d seemed almost… simple. All he had to do was stay bubbly and bright, and the world would right itself. If he gave it some time, he would adjust. After all, he was loved, right? He was married, cared about by two of the most considerate monsters in the whole of four undergrounds. Even without the hope of that classic dream of a family , he’d thought… maybe he could be happy.

He was beginning to learn that life didn’t quite work out the way he’d always thought it would.

This morning, he’d woken to the sound of his alarm, stared apathetically at the flashing numbers before reaching out, pressing the button that brought an end to the beeping. Sans’ arm had been across his waist, and he’d considered, just for a moment, of laying there a few minutes longer, enjoying the contact. Then he’d sighed, sitting up and letting the arm slip down to the mattress. Sans had shifted as Blue stood and stretched, reaching for the empty space on the bed before rolling over and cuddling into Red instead. Blue pulled the blankets over them before leaving the room to make breakfast. He left theirs on plates, scarfed his down quickly, then pulled on his boots and gloves, strapping on his vest before going back up to give them each a shake of the shoulder. Then he’d left.

It’d been a normal day, he supposed. The same routine, the usual dragging scenes and shifts of work. He smiled at the people he passed, helped a bunny monster carry in her groceries, landed a few solid hits on Alphys when he stopped by to visit. Nothing special happened, nothing out of the ordinary. It never seemed to, and he couldn’t help but wonder why life didn’t look like the same adventure it always had before.  

Well, that wasn’t strictly true. He knew exactly what had tinted his view. He just liked to pretend he didn’t.

He paused in the entryway for a moment, realizing that the house was completely silent. That was...unusual. Even if they were asleep, Red snored like he was trying to wake the dusted. Blue glanced up as he moved to the other boot, only for his fingers to freeze in dismay at the scene in the living room.

Every cushion they owned had been overturned, pillows scattered over the floor alongside what appeared to be an entire bag of half-smashed tortilla chips. There were dirty plates covering the table, far more than two people should have physically been able to eat from in the time since Sans and Red were supposed to have gotten home from work, and Blue could see where an overturned bottle was steadily leaking mustard onto the carpet.

Any vestiges of good humor vanished from Blue’s face as he glared at the scene, finishing the removal of his shoes with a little more vigor than necessary. Then he straightened, storming to the stairs and making his way up, intent on finding the objects of his anger. As he reached the top of the steps, he heard the low murmur of voices, and his anger increased as he heard the low baritone of Red’s laugh. He was working double shifts, working hard , and he would be damned if he was cleaning the mess that they seemed to have left after taking the day off entirely, without even telling him! They could have spent the day together, a fact that the two of them seemed to be forgetting more and more lately. Screw them, they could clean their mess together while Blue got some peace and quiet in their room. Maybe he could be the one taking a--

“You got it! See, then you just...right here! Yeah!”

Blue paused in front of their bedroom door, pressing lightly on the wood and peering through the crack of light left through the barely-open door. It was dark in the hallway, and if they looked up, they likely wouldn’t be able to see him, but he kept as still as he could anyway, watching the scene inside.

Sans had his hands out, Red’s settled palm-down on top as he stepped forward, matching Sans’ steps as he hummed under his breath. He tripped, and Sans laughed, tugging him up close and clanking a kiss to his cheek before Red pushed him off, grumbling under his breath. “I don’t know why we’re doing this.”

“You haven’t danced since the wedding, Red! It’s a good skill to have, especially since Blue loves it so much!”

His soul shrunk in on itself at the mention of his name, and he stepped back, clenching and unclenching his fists as he listening to the continued bickering. It’d been… God, it’d been years since they’d done anything like that. Months since they really even… spent real time together. He wasn’t stupid, he knew marriage wasn’t all wildfires and sparks the whole way through. But he just… he wished...

Blinking back tears, he turned around, descending the steps silently and making his way into the kitchen to get the carpet-cleaner and a rag. He’d leave them to it. They… probably didn’t know how to properly get mustard out of the carpet anyway.

~~~

“I told you not to touch anything!”

Blues head popped up at the voice from outside, recognizing it as belonging to Papyrus. What was he doing?

He'd had to open the living room window about fifteen minutes ago, the smell of his cleaning supplies becoming almost too much even for him as he tried to get that damn stain out of the carpet. It'd certainly helped to have bitterness fueling his scrubbing; Sans and Red hadn't even bothered to come downstairs when he’d vacuumed. Sticking his head out the open window, he caught sight of Sans’ brother rounding the corner from the shed, and following right behind him was--

He turned around, shouting up the stairs. “Sans! Red! Papyrus is here, and he has a visitor!”

Sticking his head back out the window, he was startled to find Papyrus’ face right outside of it, adorned with a wide smile. “Hello, Blue!”

“Hello!” He replied, hearing scrambling behind him as one or both of his husbands came down the stairs. “I see you've managed to successfully clone another monster, I'm impressed once again by your skill.”

“While I am very skillful, I am also aware that you have been spending a lot of time with my brother, which means that that is a joke!”

Behind Papyrus, the stranger Blue had seen trailing him earlier shifted slightly, shoving his hands in the pocket of a coat that was reminding Blue a lot of Red’s. His orange sweater looked like it was a size too small, dipping in on the area between his ribs and pelvis where there was no bone to keep it out, and his brown pants were ripped in several places. There were several scars on his face, the most prominent of which were a set of cracks connected to two false gold teeth.

Suddenly, Blue was jostled to the side as Sans stuck his head out the window too, grinning at his brother before his attention shifted to the new skeleton. He looked the other up and down, and Blue jumped as he felt hands settle on his waist.

“You're a Papyrus, right?” Sans was asking. “Do you have a nickname?”

“Sorry about the living room, sweetheart,” Red murmured, and Blue bit back something bitter, choosing instead to merely nod.

“Why are we still talking through a window?” He asked, stepping out of Red’s arms and gesturing at the front door. “The inside’s hospitable and everything, I'm sure you'll like it!”

Papyrus laughed, seizing his new alternate by the arm and appearing not to notice his look of exasperation at the contact.

“Where's your Sans?” Red piped up before they could get more than a step, passing Blue to lean out the window next to Sans. Papyrus jumped, spinning around to peer behind him.

“He was right here! Where did he--”

Blue didn't hear the rest of the sentence, yanked back by a pair of skeletal arms, something warm pressed to his neck. “Say a word and you're-- oof!

Jamming his foot into theirs, Blue spun around in the hold, blocking a swipe from the bone and kneeing the stranger in the pelvis. He stumbled back a step, but the purple bone in his hands didn't dissolve, swinging in his grip as he stepped forward again. Blue yelped as he dodged the weapon, barely managing to grab the other with blue magic and fling him back against the wall. He heard shouts from outside, and the door being opened, but he took a moment to study the stranger, trying to calm his breathing while he still had the other trapped.

This must be the other Papyrus’s brother; he was clearly a Sans. His socket had a twin set of cracks through it, one leading nearly into his mouth, and a pair of purple eyelights burned into Blue’s face, sharp teeth clenched as he fought the hold. The armor he wore was black and bronze, with purple gloves, boots, and a scarf that matched the color of his magic adorning the outfit. Much like Fell’s old armor, the breastplate only barely covered his ribcage, but instead of leather pants, he wore shorts that hung loosely down to mid-thigh. Fell-verse; Blue would bet money on it. He had likely never had a blue attack turned on himself.

“Blue, are you okay?!”

“Yeah, yeah, I'm fine! I've got him, don't distract me until we figure out what we’re doing.”

“M’lord…”

Blue glanced up to see that the new Papyrus had stepped around Sans’ brother, staring at Blue's attacker with something akin to disappointment.

“Don't call me that,” came the strained reply, and the new Papyrus chuckled. He turned to look at Blue, who grit his teeth, beads of sweat starting to crop up on his forehead at keeping the other at bay.

“He won't hurt you if you release him.”

“I'm not sure I'm willing to--”

“They're okay, Blue,” Papyrus said with a touch of exasperation. “Razz, why would you--”

“I was just checking !” He replied, anger coloring his face as he continued to struggle in Blue's hold. “You told me not to hurt them and I wasn't going to.”

“Then why were you attacking Blue?”

You may have earned my trust, but any version of me would clearly be shrewd and cunning!”

Papyrus snorted, gesturing at where Sans had slumped onto the couch, taking on the appearance of a lump of blue sweatshirt. It took the lump a moment to notice that everyone was staring at him, but when he did, he cautiously lifted his chin. “What?”

Shaking his head, Papyrus turned back to Blue. “They really are okay. I saved Slim’s life, they won’t attack us for real.”

Blue narrowed his eyes, then sighed, releasing the hold and wiping at his forehead. It was always harder to hold someone when they were struggling so hard to be released. Dropping lightly to the floor, Razz rolled his shoulders carefully before turning to his brother. “Not a word,” he said, and… Papyrus had called him Slim, right? Slim grinned in response.

“I wasn’t planning on it.”

“Why don’t we sit down?” Papyrus asked loudly, forcibly shoving his brother over so that he could take a seat on the couch before immediately springing back up, pacing back and forth in front of the coffee table. Blue stayed where he was, but Red and Slim moved almost simultaneously to throw themselves onto the couch, Red propping his legs up on the coffee table and grinning over at Razz.

“You don’t exactly strike me as the sitting type, but there’s plenty of room if you want it.” Razz just scoffed, moving to the wall and leaning back against it.

Papyrus clapped loudly, turning to face everyone on the couch. “Well! I suppose you would like to hear my story of grand proportions?!”

“Yep.”

“Sure.”

“I already know it.”

Blue held back laughter; apparently his passing thought of Slim reminding him of Red had been more than accurate.

“It was a dark and stormy night--” Red muttered, cut off by Sans shoving his elbow into his ribs.

“It was neither dark nor stormy!” Papyrus proclaimed. “It was, however, snowing! Because it is usually snowing in Snowdin! And I forgot my umbrella in the basement! So I went to retrieve it for my patrol, not wishing to obscure my vision during said patrol through lack of protection from the precipitation, and I found the machine beeping wildly!”

“Razz has no idea how to use the thing, and he’d put it in emergency mode,” Slim supplied helpfully.

“I panicked!”

“So I went over to investigate!” Papyrus continued, ignoring the other two, “And they came through! Well, Slim fell through. He was gravely injured! Razz was understandably upset, lashing out emotionally--”

“He tried to kill you.”

“--but I was able to calm him down through my amazing skills of manipulation--”

“You knocked him out with your umbrella.”

“Slim! Please allow me to finish my story!” Papyrus stopped pacing for a moment, arms thrown out wide with his bravado-fueled story telling.

“Yes, sir.”

“Thank you!” He went back to pacing. “So after successfully patching the injuries, I was curious as to where they had come from! As you know, it has been quite a few years since the last universe joined with our own, and after the whole Lust fiasco I figured that it would be best to know as much about their world as I could find out!”

“It’s gone,” Razz muttered, still leaning back against his patch of wall. “That’s all you need to know.”

“Gone?” Sans asked, sitting up so that he could turn and look at the other.

“As far as you or I or anyone in this world is concerned, yes. Our machine is destroyed, and our people are dying off anyway.” Razz’s voice betrayed no emotion, merely shifting in place before turning to face Papyrus. “We don’t need to have another one-sided conversation about it.”

Papyrus shrugged, looking vaguely uncomfortable. “Fair enough, Razz. All they need to know is that you are from a Fell-verse. Red’s situation was similar enough.”

Slim threw out an arm, bringing his hand down on Red’s head with a clack. “This one?”

“Yes!” Papyrus affirmed, then his eyes went wide. “I can’t believe I forgot to introduce everyone!”

“I’m--” Red started, but Papyrus had already crossed the room, scooping Blue up under his shoulders and holding him up for inspection despite his protests.

“This is Blue! And then you already know Red’s name, and the other one is my brother, Sans!” He pulled Blue in, hugging him to his chest. “Blue is very kind, and must have far more patience than myself, living with these two lazybones! I could barely handle one!”

“So what is this?” Razz asked, smirking as Blue swatted at the arms still holding him tightly. “A club? All the Sanses are segregated to a single house while everyone else--”

“No!” Blue said, finally managing to extricate himself from the trapping hug.

“We’re married,” Red said, slinging an arm over Sans’ shoulders.

“Then what is he doing here?” Razz asked, gesturing at Blue.

“I just told you. Oh, man, did we finally find ourselves a Sans without the smarts?”

“Oh, okay, sure, just all three of you are married, that definitely makes sense,” Razz scoffed, finally pushing off the wall and crossing the room to glare at Red properly. “What’s really going on here?”

Slowly and with more than a little sass, Red fished his left hand out from around Sans’ back, wiggling his fingers to show off the ring that adorned his fourth finger. “ Married ,” he said, loudly and carefully as though he was speaking to a very small child. Helpfully, Sans held up his own hand, waggling his brows until Blue sighed, showing his ring as well.

Razz looked between the three of them, then at his brother. Slim just shrugged, and they both turned to look at Papyrus. “There will be no judgement from the two of you, just as there has been no judgement from anyone else,” he said, shrugging as though the fact was obvious.

“Do you… have brothers?” Razz asked slowly, shaking his head as if to clear it.

“Yessiree, they’re married too,” Red said, grinning widely.

Slim jumped, staring at Papyrus. “You didn’t tell us you were--”

I am not. Stretch and Fell, however, are. They also have a child!”

“They...had a kid with...themselves?”

“Yes!”

Slim and Razz were both staring at him in disbelief. “Isn’t that...Doesn’t that...seem odd to any of--”

“There was an extensive study conducted by the royal scientists of the three open worlds on the relationship between the alternate universes. I do not pretend to understand it, but the scientists in Lust, especially, were invaluable in determining that it would have no adverse effects!”

Slim blinked. “...okay. I’ve never really wanted to know that I could realistically fuck myself, but here we are. The more you know.”

“I’m afraid you still may never get the chance. I am the only Papyrus that is not in a committed relationship.”

“Get wrecked,” Red muttered under his breath.

“This is a waste of time,” Razz said, folding his arms across his chest and glaring at the other occupants of the room. “Why did we need to come here?”

“I did inform you that I have no space in my home in which to house you.”

“We have money--”

“It is not so simple as merely having money when it comes to choosing a home,” Papyrus informed them gently. “There are contracts to sign, hoops to jump through. We need to find somewhere to house you until you are able to do so. And as I said, I would be happy to share my hospitality with you, but sharing a couch for several months is not exactly feasible.”

“We have a spare room,” Blue piped up, shooting his alternate a side-eyed glance. “I’m sure sharing a bed will be feasible?”

“It’s not like we’ve never done it before,” Slim said, shrugging. Red raised his brows, leaning over to mutter something to Sans that Blue couldn’t hear. Slim, being closer, certainly could, and he scoffed. “Not like that . Jesus Christ, assholes, it’s like you don’t even--”

“Hey, you were the one being all judgy about our--”

“‘Mehmehmehmeh’ that’s all I can hear right now, you remind me of my brother--”

“What the fuck, you don’t even know me--”

“I know enough, bitch--”

“Will you two stop?!” Blue stared at his husband in disbelief, huffing as Red just shrugged. Slim snickered, yawning widely as he slowly lowered an arm around Red’s shoulders. Red glanced up in confusion just in time for Slim to headbutt him in the face before hopping to his feet and crossing to Papyrus.

“Well, would you look at that, I can’t live here now. Guess I’ll have to stay with you.”

Papyrus just looked at him tiredly before exchanging glances with Blue. “I am very sorry to dump this on you with no warning, Blue, but do you think you would be able to help? My world is still having problems with overpopulation and I don’t know that they would be able to find a home.”

“Of course,” he said, nodding quickly as Slim slumped in place, disappointment flashing across his face. “I can call my brother to see about apartments in the capital, and I think there were even houses for sale a few blocks from their place last time we visited.”

“Thank you,” Papyrus said, and Blue could see real emotion flashing in his eyes before he placed his hands on his hips, turning to face his own brother. “Well! I certainly hope you plan to help them feel welcome. Where is my assistance required in this respect?”

Chapter Text

Tacos had long since become more of a ritual than anything else. It served to calm Blue down, ready him for whatever was ahead. He was sure that Sans and Red had long since noticed that these days, when they had tacos for dinner, it meant Blue needed something to even out his thinking, help the world make sense of itself.

Then again, maybe they hadn’t noticed. They hadn’t exactly reacted, and Blue liked to think that he did a good job hiding his distress. He could just as easily blame his own inability to express... anything as he could blame them for not paying attention. Blue didn’t really have any idea where to consciously direct that blame.

The meat was simmering on the stove, Blue keeping an eye on it as he prepared the other elements of the meal. Papyrus was upstairs with the others, helping to get the guest room set up for the brothers to share as Blue made dinner. He trusted Papyrus to keep a good handle on things, but his anxiety still had him chopping and stirring almost into a frenzy. The motions of preparing the meal was helping to calm some of it, but his worry was still picking and pulling at his mind.

It’d been years since a new world had been found. They had searched for a long time to find another, but they had quickly found that unless a universe had their machine up and running, they were impossible to connect with. There were dozens out there, they’d been able to tell. There had just been no way to get there.

But then, as Papyrus had told him in more detail in a spare moment, he’d been treated to an introduction to a pair of terrified monsters with almost no warning. They seemed to have patched up a machine and shot for the first universe they saw.

Blue had to wonder what had happened, to make them so desperate for escape.

Not even Papyrus fully knew, both brothers unwilling or unable to discuss the details, but based on what he knew of Red’s history and his assumptions of their similarities, Blue could imagine the possibilities. He supposed it shouldn’t matter; they would only be in his house long enough to find their own.

The fact didn’t help his worry.

It was clear enough, at least, that they wouldn’t be dangerous. Papyrus had told him that the newcomers had been at his house for nearly a month, begging him to keep their presence a secret until Slim had healed. According to him, Razz was “intense” and Slim was funny bordering on sociopathic. He said it with a warmth in his eyes that had Blue wondering why he was insisting on moving the younger brother out, but he could understand his reasons. Papyrus’s house had long since been converted for the use of a single person, and there was really no room for extra people. He was surprised he’d been able to let them stay as long as he had.

Blue sighed, scooping his newly chopped tomatoes from the cutting board and dropping them in a bowl. He supposed it wasn’t really that big of a deal to help out and accept guests into his home, especially temporarily. It was only two extra people, and hopefully, as had been the pattern with the other sets of brothers, at least one of them would be willing to help out. He reached for a spatula.

The meat was getting closer, but it wasn’t quite ready. Blue gave it a solid stir, then turned to his tortillas, beginning to layer them in the warmer. He was lucky to have the extra ingredients he needed; it had been a while since he last got groceries.

He turned around, only to be confronted with a figure in the doorway. Jumping violently, he just barely caught himself before running into the counter.

“Sorry!” they said, and Blue heaved a sigh of relief as he realized it was just Razz.

“You scared me,” he accused, but he smiled at the worry on the other’s face. “I didn’t hear you come downstairs.”

“We finished setting up the room,” he said, making a face. “Now they’re all sitting on the floor and talking about memes. Even Papyrus.”

Blue wrinkled his nose. “Why does that not surprise me?” Mentally, he made note of the other’s disgust. It was becoming more clear by the second exactly which brother fit which mold. “Did Sans start it?”

“Actually, it was my brother.”

Snorting, Blue turned back to the meat on the stove, giving it one last stir before removing it from the heat to cool. He could feel Razz’s eyes on his back for a moment before he spoke. “Do you need any help?”

He hesitated, long-ingrained social instincts telling him that he shouldn’t be letting a guest help prepare the food. Then he sighed inwardly, turning a smile back on the other. “That would be wonderful, thank you. Can you please get out the cheese and grate it into this bowl?”

Razz moved to comply, taking the bowl and grater handed to him before retrieving the cheese. They both worked in silence for a few minutes, the atmosphere settling into something not-quite-awkward.

“So,” Razz started as he dusted the last of the cheese into the bowl. “All three of you?”

Blue paused, shifting his jaw without looking up. “All three of us, what?”

“How do you...have a relationship with two people at once?”

Looking over his shoulder, Blue met Razz’s eyes tiredly. “I love two people at once. They love me, and each other. It’s pretty simple.”

“It seems pretty complicated to me.”

“No offense intended, but you’re really not the one that needs to understand it.”

Razz raised his brows. “Fair enough.” He went silent, and Blue thought the conversation was over, turning back to his preparations. “I think I’d have a hard time being the odd one out, though.”

Blue froze. “What?” It came out sharper than he intended, but he did nothing to take it back. He could feel the other’s shocked gaze on the hard lines of his back, and he made an effort to relax.

“I didn’t… mean anything by that. The’re pretty obviously more relaxed than you are, unless my first impression is horrendously wrong.”

“Well, without me, this house would fall apart.”

There was a long moment of silence. “Sorry, you’re right. I’m not in any position to be judging.” Blue still didn’t look up, laying out plates silently. Razz hesitated, then continued. “And I’m sorry about earlier.”

“What earlier?” he asked, finally glancing back over his shoulder in confusion.

“Attacking you,” Razz said, looking properly repentant. “I wouldn’t have harmed you or your family.”

Blue shrugged. “If you’re from any sort of world like Red’s, I don’t blame you. It’s instinct, right? Besides--” A grin stretched across his face. “I can handle myself.”

A laugh burst out of Razz, his smile one of pleased surprise. “I certainly caught onto that.”

They lapsed into silence, the awkwardness fading away as they worked together to set the table. Blue allowed himself to observe the other’s movements out of the corner of his eye. Razz moved with grace, his steps silent and his movements purposeful. His eyelights really were a pretty color, he thought. He’d always been just a little partial to purple.

“Where do you want these tomatoes?”

He was startled out of his observations by the purple eyelights on him, one brow raised questioningly as he held the bowl.

“Here,” Blue responded quietly, touching a place on the table. Razz obeyed, then caught Blue’s arm before he could step away, appearing to wrestle with his words before they made it out.

“This seems like a happy world. Is it?”

It was terrifying, Blue thought. It was absolutely terrifying that there existed any sort of world that could put that sort of ruined hope into anyone’s face.

“It can be,” He answered softly. “It’s just… the world. It’s not perfect, but it’s home.”

Razz appeared to think that over, releasing his arm as he straightened. “Home,” he repeated, nodding. “I like that.”

“I’m glad,” Blue responded. “Especially since it’s going to be yours, as well!” Razz’s mouth quirked up into a smile, and Blue responded with a full-fledged grin.

Yeah. He would probably be able to adjust to this.

~~~

Days passed, and the brothers adjusted, Papyrus stopping by less and less often to check on them as they settled into a daily routine. Blue understood; he had a job, after all, a life to get back to. He did wish Slim wouldn’t look so sad whenever he left, though.

Blue made his call to his brother, collecting information wherever he could find it to help Razz and Slim chose a home. It’d been a long time since he, personally, had been in the market, but he’d been there for when Stretch and Fell were choosing their own home, and he remembered most of the tricks they’d learned. They managed to narrow down what they were looking for, started setting up visits and tours usually with Blue’s help, but more and more on their own.

Slim picked up a casual job, fixing up appliances around the community, and the extra money was put away into seemingly endless stores. Blue was aware that there were times when Razz disappeared, with no appointments or other cause, but he decided it wasn’t his business. He had no reason to suspect anyone was getting hurt, so he would let the other make his own adjustments (and, based on the way he walked through the door each night with sweat tracking down his skull, blow off his own steam).

Things started to settle, the all started to adjust.

Then came one of the rare Warm Days. It was gorgeous outside, the core kicked up in intensity for the day to clear out clogged pipes (or something like that, Blue didn’t understand it), and the temperature all through the Underground kicked up a few degrees in response. Snowdin turned to slush, which made his patrols less than pleasant, but the moment he got off of his shift, he rushed home to get the others. Of course, when he’d gotten there, Sans and Red had been sound asleep on the couch, with Slim on the floor in front of them. He’d put aside his frustration in favor of packing a picnic and forcing every member of the household to go to the warmth of Waterfall.

However, as evidenced by Red’s snoring, his head in Sans’ lap and body sprawled in the warm grass, it hadn’t made much of a difference in their energy levels.

Slim was on his phone, squinting at the screen like it was hard to see despite there being no real difference in the lights, and Razz was eating one of Blue’s many packed sandwiches, face upturned towards the sky and eyes bright.

Blue smiled softly, following his gaze with a sigh. It was still dark as ever, but the warmth in the air all around them was making the whole world seem sunnier. Maybe it was just his own memories of the surface, or maybe it was just his imagination. Either way, he was content.

“Hey, Slim?”

Or, based on the tone of Sans’ voice, he had been content.

“Yeah?”

“Wanna hear about this book I was reading this morning?”

“I didn’t know you could read,” Slim responded pleasantly, and from Blue’s other side, Razz snorted loudly.

“First, fuck you. Second, it was a book about gravity. It was so good, I just couldn’t put it down.”

Blue sighed.

“Was the plot uplifting?” Slim asked, snickering quietly.

“Actually, the message is really weighing on me.”

“You guys are awful,” Blue muttered, glancing up as Razz let out a loud snort.

“Do you expect anything different?”

“Hey, Blue?” Slim said, grinning widely. He was leaning so that he was facing completely in Blue’s direction, eyelights glimmering with mirth. Blue found himself unable to resist smiling back.

Razz raised a brow, leaning over and muttering so that only Blue could hear him. “Don’t do it.”

Apparently aware of his brother’s opinions, Slim just grinned wider, leaning forward in glee and grabbing one of the many sandwiches in the basket. “Did you know that turquoise is the best color? It’s been cyan tifically proven.”

“I fucking despise you.”

“Ignore my brother, he tends to get violet when he’s angry.”

Blue cracked a smile at the look on Razz’s face, considering for a moment before he spoke. “Wow, Slim. That joke blue me away!”

There was a moment of silence, then Sans burst into laughter, Slim falling onto his back as loud chortles burst to the surface. Razz closed his eyes, burying his face in his hands in disappointment. “Oh, no… it’s spreading, isn’t it?”

“Sans,” Slim choked out past his laughter. “He red right into the situation.” They both dissolved into hilarity once again.

Blue chucked, shaking his head as he packed up what was left of the food, glancing up and considering the lake. “Sans, do you think you’d like to--” He cut himself off as he looked over, remembering that Sans was being used as a pillow by a sleeping Red. Sans had his eyes closed, but was still talking to a laughing Slim. Blue shifted his jaw, drumming his fingers on his leg before sighing and heaving himself to his feet.

“I’m gonna walk around the bank of the lake for a little while,” he announced, and Sans gave him a thumbs-up in response. “Does anyone want to come?” The thumbs-up changed to a gesture in Red’s direction, and Blue bit back a sigh. “Alright, me, myself, and I, then. Got the whole gang here!”

Sans laughed. “Oh, man, that could be our band name. Let’s start a band. I’ll wake up Red if you’ll start a band with us, Blue.”

He just stared at him for a moment, then he couldn’t hold back his laughter anymore, turning around and walking away. He’d barely gotten two paces away before Sans was shouting after him.

“ARE YOU GONNA BE ME OR MYSELF BLUE BECAUSE I WANNA BE I!”

Shaking his head, Blue glanced out over the lake. He could feel himself inwardly sagging at the prospect of walking the entire thing by himself on a day like this. He’d have loved to have--

“Mind if I join you?”

Blue jumped, looking over to see Razz drawing even with him. “Oh! Hi! What are you--”

“Hey, I like walks!”

He raised a brow. “Uh-huh.”

Razz mock-deflated, sagging dramatically. “They were telling more puns. I needed to escape.”

Blue resisted for about a split second. “Eggscape.”

“Oh, not you too--”

“I’m shelling out my own puns.”

Razz shot him an unamused look, and Blue’s laughter increased in volume. “Puns are a lot more enjoyable when you’re the one making them.”

“I think you’ve just been married to those two for too long.”

“I’d have to agree with you. It’s been eggcelent.”

“We didn’t even bring eggs on this picnic, Blue.”

“You know I crack you up!”

“Yeah, you’ve got me rolling,” Razz shot back, his voice completely monotone. Blue laughed again, bumping his shoulder with his own.

“That’s why I’m the funny one.”

Razz just snorted, stretching his arms over his head to pop his back before he bounded closer to the water, picking up a handful of rocks and returning to the path with Blue. Blue watched him with a raised brow as he sorted through the rocks, picking out some that were flatter than the others and discarding the ones that didn’t meet his approval.

As though sensing Blue’s eyes on him, Razz glanced up with a grin. “Do you know how to skip rocks?”

“Yes?”

“I’ll bet I’m better.”

Blue scoffed, pausing to crack his knuckles. “I’ll bet you’re full of crap.”

Grinning, Razz shrugged casually. “I suppose you’ll just have to prove me wrong then, won’t you?” Blue turned to snark back, but Razz was holding out one of his rocks for Blue to take. He had one brow raised in a challenge, and Blue bit back a laugh.

“You’re on.”

~~~

Blue sighed, sockets drooping as he reached up to rub his face. It’d been a long day, mentally and physically exhausting as Alphys had drilled him over and over again. He’d come home ready to fall into bed, but of course he couldn’t. The table needed to be cleaned, dinner made, dishes washed. Despite Razz’s offer of help, he couldn’t, in good conscience, allow a guest to wash up after his house (again). It would have been… undignified.

Still, he was used to it. Powering through was common, and this certainly wasn’t the first night he’d collapsed into bed ready to fall directly into unconsciousness.

This would also not be the first night during which sleep was simply impossible.

As long as he’d known them, Red and Sans had been sound sleepers. They conked out almost as soon as their heads hit the pillow, and they stayed out until acted upon by a great enough force (more often than not, that force was Blue himself, armed with a pillow or even a rolled-up magazine).

Currently, Sans was in the middle of the bed, blankets pulled up to his chin despite being what equated to a bony space heater. Blue had long since tossed off his portion of the covers, only the bottom sheet remaining to fight off the extreme heat that sharing a bed with Sans entailed. On the other side of Sans, Red was sprawled across almost half the bed, his whole chest rattling with the volume of his snores.

Blue propped himself up on one elbow, double-checking quickly to make sure he hadn’t accidentally married a lawnmower.

Huh. Weird. It was just Red. How strange.

Reminding himself that he was absolutely hilarious, Blue breathed out a quiet laugh that morphed quickly into a groan. Sitting up the rest of the way, he buried his face in his hands. God, he was exhausted.

Neither Sans nor Red stirred as he lifted away the sheet, setting his bare feet on the carpet and taking a moment to rub his face. He stood, swaying slightly as he made his way to the closet. Careful not to make too much noise, Blue reached inside, grabbing one of Red’s bigger sweatshirts and pulling it on over his bare ribcage. With the guest room occupied, the couch it would be. It was colder downstairs, but he’d normally be fine with just his shorts, especially curled under one of the thick comforters they kept in the downstairs closet for this very reason. But with guests in the house, Blue did have some slight sense of modesty. In all likelihood, someone would get up in the middle of the night, and he would rather not have half his bones on display in that event.

Grabbing his pillow on the way, Blue carefully opened the bedroom door, plodding down the hallway to the stairs and silently descending, only to come to a slow stop at the sound of people talking in the living room.

He blinked owlishly at the bluish light from the first floor, exhausted mind racing through all possible break-in scenarios before the sound of canned laughter reached him. He relaxed partially as he realized it was only the television, though he could feel frustration beginning to rise as he realized that meant the couch was likely in use.

Ah, screw it. Maybe the TV had been left on and the perpetrator had gone to bed. It wouldn’t hurt to check, and Blue would take a little awkward conversation over the heat factory upstairs, anyway.

Trotting down the rest of the stairs to announce his presence, he almost jumped when Razz’s face appeared over the back of the sofa, tired eyelights flickering with familiarity. “What are you doing up?” he asked, voice quiet to avoid waking anyone upstairs.

“I could ask you the same question,” Blue shot back, but he flashed the other a tired smile as he walked to the closet, tugging down one of the lighter blankets from the top shelf.

Razz drew his legs up, crossing them to make room as Blue sat on the far cushion from him. “...Papyru--Slim is a restless sleeper.” Razz said, but his mouth twitched down as he said it, and Blue wondered at the lie. He had been told he had that same tell after about the eighth time he’d been accused of getting into Red’s chocolate stash, and as amusing as that particular scene had been, Blue had learned to avoid that little twitch. It seemed as though Razz had not received the same information.

Deciding to let it be, Blue pulled the blanket over the exposed part of his legs, drawing himself in so he was curled comfortably on the cushions with his head propped up by an elbow. “It might seem like a dream come true to maintain two relationships at once, but the sleeping arrangements are a bit of a nightmare,” he said, watching tiredly as Razz muted the television.

Leaning forward to place the remote back on the coffee table, Razz shot him a broad wink. “I guess that means we’re sleeping together, then.”

Blue sighed, lifting his elbow and grabbing his pillow from underneath so that he could chuck it at Razz’s head. The other laughed, catching it in midair  and giving a snort of surprise before hugging it to his chest. “This thing is soft as shit. Where did you get it?”

“El Cloud Emporium-o.”

Razz shot him a doubtful look. “Eso suena falso.”

Blue stared at Razz for a solid twenty seconds, tired brain struggling to make sense of what he’d just heard. “What?”

“De alguna manera dudo que hables español.”

“Razz, I don’t--”

“El dominio del lenguaje es una habilidad importante.”

“Razz--”

“Podría decir cualquier cosa y no tendrías ni idea. Tu polla es probablemente azul--”

“Razz!” Blue was laughing, reaching up to grab the other’s gesticulating hands. Then he paused. “...Did you just ask if my… genitals are… blue?”

“Oh, I didn’t ask.”

He snorted, grabbing his pillow out of Razz’s hands and using it to smack him before he returned to his side of the couch with furrowed brows. “How do you know another language? I just took a couple classes in school, I pretty much only know the basics and the… swear words.”

Razz shrugged, grin still in place as he relaxed back into the couch. “I don’t know. I’ve had both for as long as I can remember. It’s a pretty common language in my world, so I probably picked it up from my parents or some of the other kids on the streets or something. Being in the Royal Guard certainly gave me ample reason to practice.”

Humming, Blue bunched the pillow under his head. He squinted at the characters on-screen, then sighed, closing his eyes. “What else is different about your world?” He asked quietly, feeling Razz shift on his end of the couch. “Good different, I mean.”

Razz was silent for a long moment.

“Do you have soul bonds here?” He finally asked. Blue cracked an eye open.

“You mean like...when you’re pregnant?”

“No, when you’re married.”

“I… don’t think so. When you’re carrying a child, you’re connected to the sire. Or sires,” Blue said quietly. Almost unconsciously, one hand drifted up to his chest, rubbing at the bone over where his own soul hung. “It doesn’t stay longer than the soulling is present, though. Is it different in your world?”

Razz nodded, reaching out and tugging Blue’s blanket down over his exposed feet, tucking the material underneath to keep it secure. Blue murmured his thanks, sockets lidding as Razz spoke. “There’s a ceremony back home, to bind souls together. It’s similar to what happens during pregnancy, but permanent. It’s considered the ultimate act of trust, to tie yourself to someone so securely, and it’s rare to find, but… that is something I will miss, if we never go back. I always found the idea to be appealing.”

Nodding softly, Blue’s eyes closed. “I think that Red’s mentioned it...There’s no one--” He yawned widely, feeling the cushions shift again, then hearing the click of the TV being turned off. “--in these worlds that knows how to do it, though.”

“So I’ve heard,” was the reply, and he cracked one lid open to see Razz sitting with his back to the couch and arms folded softly across his chest. “I’m sure the necessity faded with time and safety.”

“A lack of hope,” Blue whispered. “Being trapped under the mountain, maybe we didn’t want to be locked into another box.”

Razz was silent for a long time, and Blue’s exhaustion overruled his curiosity until he drifted on the edge of sleep.

“I don’t think it’s another box.” His voice was soft, barely piercing Blue’s consciousness. “It might have just been the closest thing an Underground like mine had to freedom.” Cloth shifted against the carpet, the pad of feet approaching before Blue’s blanket was tugged up a bit further over his shoulders.

“Good night, Blue.”

Chapter Text

“Sans, breathe.”

The fear is overwhelming, the pain tearing apart his soul.

“Deep breaths, we’re calling the doctor, it’s okay. Just take deep breaths.”

In, out. Slowly, smoothly. Blue runs his thumbs along Sans’ cheekbones, wiping away the tears there, holding back his own. His soul is pounding, fear ripping through, overwhelming anything and everything else.

Red’s voice echoes somewhere in the background, but all Blue can see is the flickering of pain in Sans’ eyes.

Blue looks down, and all he sees is dust.

 

When Blue’s consciousness returned, there were tears tracking down his face. He kept his eyes squeezed shut tight, willing away the memories that had been brought to the forefront of his mind. He’d forgotten the details of his dream, like he so commonly did, but by the way his body was shuddering with silent sobs, he could guess as to the contents.

After a few seconds, he reached up to wipe at his eyes, going to roll over only for there to very suddenly be nothing to his side. He caught himself just in time, staring down at the carpeted floor of the living room in sleepy confusion until he remembered; he’d slept downstairs last night.

With a sigh, he settled back into the arm of the couch. The uncomfortable position had left him with multiple sore spots along his body, and it was a few long minutes before he was able to heave himself upright, stretching his arms above his head to crack his spine. Then he relaxed, slumping forward and wiping again at his eyes.

The sound of dishes clanking together reached him from the kitchen, and he looked up with narrowed eyes. That wasn’t… he glanced over at the TV display, checking the time. Sans and Red wouldn’t be up of their own accord for hours.

Holding back the hope that maybe they’d decided to get up early to help with breakfast, he stood, pulling his blanket with him and wrapping it around his shoulders before making his way into the kitchen. The blanket dragged softly behind him, and his footsteps were quiet on the tile as he entered the room, a rueful thanks on the tip of his tongue.

“Fuckin… shitass… stupid…”

The words died in his mouth as he took in the sight in front of him, eyes widening and hand raising to stifle the laughter that was threatening to crop up. Instead of using the step stool Blue has tucked beside the fridge, Razz had somehow heaved himself completely onto the counter, standing on his tiptoes on the smooth surface as he reached into the back of the top shelf of the the cabinet. He was swearing under his breath as he searched for whatever it is he wanted, concentration entirely on his quest instead of on the doorway.

“Havin’ some trouble there, sport?”

Razz jumped, barely catching himself before falling off the counter and glaring half-heartedly in Blue’s direction. “Jesus fuck, Blue, how do you reach anything in this kitchen? I have a good two inches on you and I can’t get the fucking hot chocolate--”

He trailed off as Blue came further into the room, reaching into a bottom cabinet and pulling out a Tupperware full of drink packets, including, of course, several packages of hot chocolate. “Why would you think I keep anything but storage on the top shelves?” he asked, not doing a very good job at covering his amusement. Razz grumbled, bending his knees before hopping lightly to the ground. He winced as his feet made contact with the floor, and Blue held back another snicker. He should have known he wasn’t quite that cool. “Why were you trying to get the hot chocolate, anyway?” he asked.

To his immense surprise, Razz’s face flushed purple, snatching the packets from his grasp and turning to the mugs he already had sitting on the counter. It was a moment before he answered, ripping open the packets and dumping them into the cups.

“You were crying in your sleep.”

Blue raised a brow, but he shifted uncomfortably as he leaned back against the counter. “You saw that, huh?”

“There’s no shame in it,” Razz muttered, stirring in water and still avoiding Blue’s eyes. “But I always like chocolate when I’m... upset, and while I’m sure it was nothing you could control, I still thought you may enjoy the same.”

Taking the mug that was handed him, Blue raised a brow. “That was… thoughtful.”

Razz just hummed, leaning next to Blue, backs pressed to the counter as he sipped at the chocolate. “I guess.”

Blue smirked. “Aw… Razz… This was so sweet of you…”

“What are…” Blue snickered as it visibly clicked, and Razz turned to glare at him. “I despise you. I just-- You’re the worst.” Razz grumbled, but he was laughing, and Blue couldn’t hold back his own giggling. “I made you hot chocolate and here you are, telling puns !?”

“Razz, Razz --” Blue’s laughter grew as he leaned around the other, fishing a candy cane out of the mostly-empty jar of candy on the counter. “--It’s like it’s mint to be--”

“No! Stop! I refuse!” He was shaking his head violently, stomping across the kitchen to plop down at the table, cup held grumpily in his hands. Blue grinned as he skipped across the room to follow him, sitting in the adjacent chair and sipping carefully at his drink. Razz refused to even look at him for a moment or two, but when he did, it was with a rueful smile.

“I guess the mint one was kind of funny or whatever. Don’t tell my brother I said that.”

“Oh, I’d never .”

“I’m serious, Blue, I’d never be able to live that down.”

“Would you be pun ished?”

Razz groaned, slumping forward to rest his forehead on the table. “What did I do to deserve this?”

“That’s what you get!” Blue stated proudly. Razz glanced up at him doubtfully.

“...For what?”

He winked. “Being friends with me.”

Snorting, Razz sat back up to drink more of the hot chocolate. “You say that like I like you.”

“Awww…”

“Shut the fuck up, you’re fine or whatever. Call it whatever you want.”

“So we’re besties !”

“Are you sure you’re not drunk or something, you are extraordinarily chipper this morning.”

At that, Blue paused, glancing down at his cup. “Not unless this is some really spiked hot chocolate… or I’ve somehow evolved from rolling in my sleep to… drinking in my sleep. That would be… an interesting condition. I wonder if that’s what’s wrong with Red?”

Razz laughed at that, and Blue returned the grin before glancing up at the stove clock with a sigh. “Speaking of Red…” He heaved himself to his feet, chugging the rest of his hot chocolate before washing out the cup.

“What’s up?” Razz asked, still seated at the table.

“Oh, the lazybones won’t wake up on their own for a few hours, but Red has an early shift this morning. I need to go wake him up.”

“Oh,” Razz said, and Blue looked over his shoulder. The other’s face was clear as he sipped his drink, and Blue shook his head, wiping his hands on the the kitchen towel. He must have imagined the disappointment in the word. He turned back to face him, grinning widely and pulling the blanket from his shoulders to be folded.

“Thank you, Razz. It was nice to wake up to… anything, actually!” He laughed, but Razz’s brows furrowed. Blue ignored it, continuing. “Get ready, though; I’ll probably have to take back over the kitchen to make breakfast here in a minute.”

“What were you planning to make?” Razz asked quietly, pushing himself up to stand.

“Uh…” Blue glanced at the fridge, trying to remember if he’d put eggs on the grocery list when Sans went yesterday. “Avocado toast? With fried eggs if we have them.”

Razz crossed the room, pulling open the fridge as Blue watched him in confusion. Pulling out the carton of eggs, he set them on the counter before reaching back in for the lemon juice. Then he glanced up, waving a hand at the sight of Blue still staring at him. “I’ve got it. Go wake them up, you shouldn’t have to cook and clean all the time.”

“Oh!” Blue said, surprised by how much the offer touched him. “Thank you!”

Razz just waved the hand at him again, but he was smirking, a happy glint in his eyelights. Blue grinned, then turned to leave, folding his blanket on the way and returning it to the hall closet before he jogged up the steps.

When he reached the bedroom, it was to Red’s snoring, and he sighed as he watched his husbands. They were cuddled together, Sans drooling on Red’s shoulder as Red snored in his ear. Delightful.

Hesitating with his finger on the lightswitch, he glanced back at them. It’d been… a really long time since he’d…

Before he could second-guess himself, he stepped around to the far side of the bed, rolling his shoulders before taking a step back, winding up before jumping directly on top of the two of them.

Red spluttered as he was jerked out of his sleep, one hand jumping up to grab Blue’s shoulder before the sound of the other’s laughter reached him. He groaned, and Sans cracked one eye open to peer up at Blue in vexation. “Blue…”

“You will never convince me that you don’t love my surprise cuddles.”

Snickering, Red threw an arm around his waist, tugging him down between them and planting a kiss on Blue’s cheek. “Well, if we love your surprise cuddles that much, then I think we deserve some normal ones to go along with them.”

“Who has time for normal cuddles?!” Blue cried, throwing out one arm and nearly clocking Sans in the face.

“Better make time, sweetheart, you’re never getting out of this bed.”

Gasping in mock distress, Blue tried to sit up, only for Sans to roll over so that the upper half of his body trapped Blue to the mattress. “Vanquished,” he said, grinning in a self-satisfied sort of way.

“There are things to do! Work to get to, breakfast to be eaten--”

“Shhhhh…” Red said, wrapping his arms around Blue’s shoulders and kissing his jaw. Blue snickered, fairly certain that he’d missed his cheek with his eyes closed.

Hands dropping to Sans’ shoulders, he managed to roll the lazybones off, groaning as he tried again to sit with Red’s hold keeping him close. “I gotta get up, Red. You need to too. You have to go to work.”

Red groaned loudly, and Blue managed to get enough leverage to roll to one side, sending both himself and Red to the ground with a pair of surprised yelps. Sans’ laughter reached them from his place on the bed, and Blue grinned ruefully down at Red, who had one brow raised.

“I don’t think this is what they’re talking about when they discuss ‘going down’ on someone.”

Blue sat up, grabbing a pillow from the bed and smacking him in the face with it before he pushed himself up to stand and held out a hand for Red to take. Helping the other to his feet, he snickered at the pillow that was thrown at him (and completely missed, by the way) and turned back to the bed, where Sans was now fake snoring. Blue shook his head, leaning down to plant a kiss on his cheek before he said, “You can sleep for about another hour, Sans. Red’s the one with an early shift.”

“What?!”

Chapter Text

Crash!

Blue’s head snapped up, eyes trained on the stairs as his ears strained for any other noise from upstairs. The sound had set off alarm bells in his head, but as the silence extended, he allowed himself to relax the slightest bit. It must have just been--

“Razz--!” Slim’s voice rang out, followed closely by a groan of pain, and Blue shot to his feet, jogging up the stairs. As he approached the door of the guest room, there was a flux of magic, making his breath catch. He hesitated at the door for a split second, then turned the handle, pushing into the room.

Slim was a few feet away with his back to the door, crouched defensively and favoring his left leg. Blue caught sight of orange magic staining his pants, and took a half step forward before he saw Razz.

His chest was heaving, eyelights shrunken to pinpricks and hands shimmering with his agitated magic. Attacks hovered all around him, spinning in contorted patterns that Blue was finding it impossible to follow, and his empty stare was locked to his brother’s.

Blue started to step forward again, ignoring every instinct screaming the danger, but was brought up short by a hand abruptly closing around his humerus, yanking him back through the doorway. He jumped, looking back to see Red staring past him into the room. When Blue tried to pull his arm away, Red shifted his focus down to him. “Do you realize how dangerous this is, Blue?!”

“What’s happening?” Blue asked, trying again to pull his arm away.

There was another flux of magic, and they both looked up to see Razz staring at them, fingers twitching as though sizing them up for a fight. Blue felt a check wash over him. Then Slim jumped up to stand, spinning around and slamming the door closed. There was another burst of magic from inside, followed by a muffled groan.

Red pulled on his arm, and Blue turned to glare at him, unwillingly dragged down the hallway to the stairs. “We have to help them!”

“Slim will handle it! And frankly--” He spun back to look at Blue, and his eyes widened in surprise at the anger in his eyes. “--if I’d known he was still having these problems with his LV, I never would have agreed to let him stay here.”

Shocked into silence, Blue allowed himself to be led downstairs. They met Sans in the living room, and he looked them over in worry, stepping forward and detaching Red’s grip on Blue, holding tightly to his hands instead. “What’s going on?”

Red took a deep breath, calming himself, then let go of Sans’ hands. “Razz is having an attack. His LV must be even higher than Fells, he seemed completely out of control.”

“What should we do?”

“There’s not much we can do. It could be dangerous to get in the middle of that fight, I’m sure Slim knows how to bring him down from it. I checked Slim while we were upstairs, and he’s got HP to spare, but I’ll keep an eye on it. If it gets drastic I’ll get in the middle of it, but it would be best to let it play out.”

Folding his arms, Blue backed against the couch as he listened.

“We’re going to have to have a long talk with the two of them about whether they can be allowed to stay. I don’t want that kind of danger in the house.”

His fists clenched.

Upstairs, the door slammed open, making all three of them flinch. They stared at the stairs in trepidation until Slim appeared, limping casually and ignoring them as he made his way into the kitchen. Sans and Red exchanged glances, but Blue watched Slim go, mind whirling before he pushed off the couch to follow.

The sink turned on as he entered the kitchen, Slim holding a cup under the faucet. There was a bruise on his cheek, and his eyelights drooped until he caught sight of Blue. He peered at him out of the corner of his eye, then shrugged, turning off the faucet and turning around to face him.

“Is he okay?”

Slim looked at him tiredly, shifting the cup from one hand to the other. “Give him a few minutes. He will be. He’s not dangerous at this point, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“...Are you okay?”

“I never am,” Slim responded with a wink. “But I’m certainly used to much worse than this. My brother has never been the sadistic type when it comes to his family, but his LV’s pretty high. It’s hard to keep control of yourself when there’s so much shit rolling around inside you. I’m sure your husband can attest to that, can’t he?”

Ignoring that, Blue stepped forward to look at the bruise. Slim grabbed his wrist as he reached for his chin, returning the hand to him before it could come into contact with his face. “Don’t concern yourself about that. Razz isn’t going to let me heal him when he gets his ass down here, and he certainly isn’t going to let either of them. Save your energy.”

Blues hand dropped. “Does he… do this often?”

“It’s the first time in almost a year. He’s improving, ‘bettering himself’.” He let out a dry laugh. “That’s why we had to leave. His emotions got too easy to read, the signs of his loss of control got too clear. We both got too weak.”

They were both quiet for a moment, and Slim straightened, making his way to the doorway.

“Is he dangerous?”

Slim paused. “When he wants to be.” He glanced back at Blue, then down at his cup of water. “I don’t think you, or even your family, have anything to worry about.”

Then he was gone, and Blue was left alone.

~~~

“Hold still , Slim!”

Blue paused in his pacing, glancing at where Red was pouring healing magic into Slim’s cracked leg. Sans was hovering just next to them, a bandage in his hand and ready to hand it over when Red felt as though his magic had done the best it could. Slim was glaring down at the floor, his resentment at the mother-henning all too apparent.

Resuming his pacing, Blue glanced up the stairs. There had been no noise from above, no clue as to what was happening with the only other occupant of the house. Slim hadn’t spoken about the events upstairs, but Red’s anger was tangible, hanging in the air all around them.

Blue wanted nothing more than to go upstairs and see what was going on; not just the probable destruction of the guest room, but the state of Razz himself. Judging by the sounds from upstairs before things had calmed, Slim hadn’t exactly been standing there and taking it, and Blue was getting more afraid by the second that Razz’s injuries could be serious.

He stopped pacing for a moment, reaching up to rub his eyes. Slim had said it was okay. Slim had said Razz was okay, that this wasn’t exactly the first time this had happened. Blue tried to let that calm him.

The sound of descending footsteps reached him, and his head shot up in the same moment everyone else in the room seemed to freeze. Razz’s eyelights were small and wavery, darting between the occupants of the room. His gaze paused on his brother, and Slim nodded, lifting his leg for Razz to see.

Some of his tension seemed to dissipate at the sight of the mostly-healed wound, glancing at where Sans still held a bandage as Blue took a step forward. Razz jumped at Blue settled a hand on his elbow, lifting his arm to examine the bruised bone of a newly cracked humerus.

“Are you okay?” Blue murmured as his fingers lit up green.

Razz took a deep breath before gently pulling his arm back, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I assume we’ll be leaving shortly?”

Shooting up to sit, Slim stared at his brother with an open mouth for a moment before shifting his gaze to Red. The smaller was avoiding his gaze, shifting his jaw as a hard look came into his eyes.

“Of course not,” Blue said before a word could come out of his mouth.

He could feel Red’s gaze on his back, and he turned around to meet his confusion with a hard glare. Red narrowed his eyes with a scoff, standing fully. “Blue, this is not--”

“Where would they go, exactly?”

“It doesn’t matter!”

Slim withdrew further into the couch, scooting back against the arm of it. Sans laid a hand on his shoulder, murmuring something quietly that Blue couldn’t hear, and the betrayal in Slim’s eyes changed to anger, then to fear.

“Where is your soul?!” Blue demanded of Red, ignoring the exchange. Without waiting for an answer, he spun to face Razz. “Are you going to harm my family?”

Razz just stared at him for a moment, his face a mask of shock. “I don’t intend to.”

“Good. Then let’s go heal your arm, that could get worse if we don’t get it treated.” Razz opened his mouth, but Blue silenced him with a look, pointing to the kitchen. He hesitated for a moment, then complied.

Blue waited until he was out of sight, then turned back to the couch, leaning over the back to retrieve a few bandages and a roll of tape. He did his best to ignore the disbelieving look Red was shooting him, but when his wrist was seized, he turned a glare up to meet his eyelights. “We are not throwing them out.”

“I don’t want you or Sans to get hurt. Do you even realize--”

“I don’t care, Red!” He shot back. “You’re proposing to throw two people who are unfamiliar with the customs of our entire world out onto the streets to fend for themselves! If this is stress-based--?” He looked at Slim, who nodded after a second. His eyelights had gone dimmer, that same expression of fear within. Blue ignored it for the moment, turning back to Red. “--then leaving them with that lot would end with someone getting killed!”

The grip on his wrist tightened, and Blue winced. “Blue, what if it’s you?” Red asked, eyes dark. “What if it’s Sans? Are you really willing to take that risk?”

Shaking his head, Blue yanked his wrist out of the hold. He kept hold of the bandages, turning away and leaving the room to follow Razz into the kitchen. Behind him, he could just barely hear Slim, murmuring quietly to Red and Sans.

“He isn’t usually violent. It’s an LV-based thing, and the signs are easy to see if you’re looking for them. I hadn’t been, it’s been so long since he--”

~~~

“Why are you showing me mercy?”

Blue looked up, cutting off the stream of green magic he’d been pouring into Razz’s injured humerus. Razz’s expression was guarded, his eyelights dim with exhaustion and mouth twisted down.

“I’d like to think we’re friends, Razz,” he said, eyes dropping back to the injury. “Friends stick up for each other, and I’m pretty sure letting you or your brother get slung out to fend for yourselves would not be fulfilling that duty.” There was a long moment of silence, Blue reaching for the bandages he had taken from Red’s kit and beginning to apply them to what was left of the injury.

“What if I hurt--” Razz hissed as Blue tightened the bandage, then took another breath, deeper this time, seeming to steel himself before continuing. “What if you lost one of them? Red or Sans? What if I--”

“I’m of the opinion that you won’t.”

“Why are you willing to risk it?”

Blue finished his bandaging, sticking on a piece of tape to keep it in place before looking up, meeting Razz’s eyes. “It’s the nightmares that set you off, right? That’s why you go downstairs instead of sleeping most nights?”

Razz froze, staring back at Blue with wide eyes. “How did you--”

“Red used to get them. I’m willing to bet your LV is higher than his, but he still…” he trailed off, hesitating for a moment before reaching for the collar of his own shirt to expose his clavicle. “He used to lash out, when he would let the memories fester instead of telling us.” Razz’s eyes flashed with comprehension as he looked at the hairline crack adorning the bone, one hand twitching. “It’s been since before we got married that he actually hurt one of us, but he’s always had Sans to calm him down, especially since I was sometimes...stupid enough to be the one to set him off.” Blue let go of his shirt, hiding the scar again and responding to the horrified look on Razz’s face with a small shrug. “They’ve always understood each other. I couldn’t really help much, we’re just too different.” Razz’s eyes had dropped, staring hard at the place that was now covered by the collar of Blue’s shirt. “We’re closer to the same, though. You and I? I think… that if you have a nightmare again, you can come to me.” Razz shifted, and Blue’s eyes caught on a new spot of magic soaking into Razz’s shirt. “Here, can you lift up your shirt? I think you have another injury.”

He could sense Razz’s eyes on him, but he didn’t look up, focusing on the purple stain until Razz’s hands finally dropped to the hem of his shirt. Quickly, like he was ripping off a band-aid, he yanked it over his head.

Blue bit back a gasp at the sight, hands twitching up before he regained control of himself. His eyes were filling with tears, but he did his best to hold them back, still refusing to look up as he directed his attention to the crack in one of his upper ribs. It was leaking magic steadily, and Blue hands shook as he settled them over the injury, green magic sparking.

Scars, so much worse than anything he’d ever seen on Red, covered Razz’s whole chest and spine. Some were scratches, bruises, evidence of old injuries from fights and, probably, training. But the others were uniform in nature, strips of purple-flushed scar tissue running the width of his ribs, holes bored into the vertebrae of his spine that seemed to have been there for at least a decade or two. They were all thin, neat, lined up one next to one another with military precision.

The newest injury finished sealing together, and Blue cut off the flow of healing magic, hands settling down around the freshest scar among many, squeezing his eyes shut to stem the flow of tears. He felt Razz curl his hands around his wrists, holding them lightly and pulling in a shuddering breath.

“I don’t want to burden you with my bullshit, Blue.”

His voice broke on the last word, and Blue opened his eyes. Razz was looking down, eyes on the floor and jaw clenched.

“Do you need someone to talk to?”

“I--”

“Don’t you dare lie to me.”

Razz looked up, meeting Blue’s eyes for a split second before they dropped again. “Yes.”

“Then it is not a burden. Trust me.”

There was a long moment of silence, and Blue started to pull his hands away, to reach for another bandage, but Razz’s grip tightened incrementally, taking another breath before he spoke.

“I already do.”

Chapter Text

Blue paused outside the bedroom door, closing his eyes for a split second before reaching for the handle. He hadn’t seen Red all day; when he’d come out of the kitchen with Razz, only Slim and Sans had been left in the living room. Sans had told him that Red had gone upstairs, and had followed him up after only a few minutes of awkward silence. He could only imagine what was waiting for him when he walked through the door.

Steeling himself, Blue pushed it open, stepping inside before closing it behind him. Sure enough, Red was sitting on the bed, stony-faced and glaring at the floor. Blue ignored him, sparing a glance at where Sans was standing beside Red, and made his way to the closet. As he grabbed his nightclothes, he could hear them talking behind him. Their voices were too quiet to make out the words. He huffed, stripping off his shirt and throwing it in the direction of the laundry basket.

The bed creaked, and footsteps padded towards him before Red’s voice sounded out. “Blue, they can’t stay here.”

Blue took a deep breath, grip tightening on the cloth of his tank top before pulling it over his head. “Why not?”

“Did you see what he did to Slim?!”

Whirling around, Blue found himself face-to-face with his husband. Red towered over him, anger radiating from his expression. Anyone else might have backed off, but Blue had never been cowed by their size difference. “Did you hear a word Slim said?!”

“What if he’s being abused, Blue? He wouldn’t have any kind of objective view about this!”

“Red, if he’s being abused, we can’t kick them both out,” Sans said from his place a few paces behind Red. “And I don’t think Slim would stay if Razz left--”

“He’s not being abused! And you should know that better than anyone!” Blue cried, shoving a finger in Red’s face.

“How the hell would I--”

“Was Fell abusive?!”

Red’s face darkened, and he took a step back. “Of course not. His LV was controlling him.”

“Do you think, for a second , that I ever would have let my brother be with someone who would hurt him? Who I didn’t trust to keep themselves in check, every moment they could?!” Blue yelled, stepping forward so that he was back into Red’s space. “Do you think I would have even considered marrying you if I ever thought you hadn’t changed, or that you didn’t have the ability to? That anything that happened because of your LV could be blamed on you?!”

Red took a deep breath, meeting Blue’s eyes for a moment before his gaze dropped, hands jumping up to grip his humeri. “Of course not. But, Blue, if you got hurt… if Sans got hurt…”

Blue shook off his grip, clenching his fists at his sides. “If that happens, you are more than welcome to kick him to the curb. But you know, you know that with a proper support system, he’ll be okay. You know how it works, you know that the stress and uncertainty sets it off. So if we throw them out, what then? That all increases, and he hurts someone. You know how this works, Red!”

He was silent for a long moment. “I want my family to be safe.”

“Well, I want my world to be safe! And I want my best friend to get a goddamn hold on something he can’t even control! We are not throwing them out!”

Sans took a step forward, reaching out to settle a hand on Red’s shoulder, to tug him back and away. “Blue, please just--”

“No! No, because if you do this, then you may as well count me as gone, too! I’m not going to stand by and watch you destroy any chance they have for recovery, especially since you fucking know what it takes!”

With that, Blue shoved past Red, grabbing his nightclothes on the way and shaking off Sans’ calming hand. Neither of them said a word as he yanked open the door and stormed into the hall, slamming it behind him.

~~~

“Draw four, bitch! Green!” Slim exclaimed, tossing down his card and cackling at the unamused look Razz shot him. Blue snickered from his place on the couch, sitting cross-legged to better watch the family drama happening on the floor in front of him.

Razz pulled three cards from the top of the deck, glaring at Slim as he pulled the fourth. He took a moment to adjust his handful, then raised a brow at his brother. Slim fanned himself with his three cards, then put down a green reverse, looking around in confusion before grinning widely at Razz’s groan of frustration. “You know that means you get to go again! Don’t be an ass!”

“What, me?! ” Slim exclaimed, throwing a hand to his forehead in mock distress. “I guess I only can play this,” he sighed, throwing down a green draw 2. “Uno.”

As Razz flopped to one side, groaning in preemptive defeat, the ring of the doorbell had Blue rising to his feet. Razz opened one eye to look at him. “I don’t suppose you want to join the game when you get back?”

“I told you it wasn’t a good idea to play him one-on-one,” Blue laughed, shaking his head as he crossed the room to the door.

As the brothers fell back to their bickering, Blue opened the door to see Papyrus standing proudly on the front step. “Hello, Brother-In-Law! May I borrow one of your guests?!”

“Please.”

Papyrus laughed, stepping into the house and pulling off his shoes. He followed Blue into the room as Razz let out an indignant screech. Slim laughed triumphantly, and Razz threw all of his cards into his face.

“Slim, what are you doing?” Papyrus asked, and Slim froze comedically to peer over his shoulder. There was a card stuck to his cheek, and he casually flicked it off before he spoke.

“Oh, hey, Paps, what are you doin’ here?”

“Well, you see!” Papyrus began with all the dramatic air of an intrepid storyteller. Then he paused mid-gesture, furrowing his brows. “Can you fix my house’s heating system?”

Slim nodded bemusedly.

Well, you see!”

Blue crouched to help Razz pick up the scattered cards, mostly tuning out the conversation happening above him.

“Ten bucks says they’ll fuck,” Razz whispered as Blue handed him the gathered cards, and Blue snorted loudly. Razz just grinned, winking broadly and prompting another laugh.

“Blue!”

He straightened up, looking at the source of his name, and raised his brow at Papyrus’s hands on his hips. “Papyrus?”

“After we finish our repairs, I would be happy to assist you with the cleaning of your home! It must be must more difficult to maintain the same standards with extra people!”

Blue blinked. Coming from anyone but Papyrus, that would have been incredibly rude, but as it was, Blue looked around the living room. Things were picked up and arranged neatly, sure, but Papyrus was right. He could see dust on the TV stand, a small mustard stain on one cushion of the couch. He knew it would be a long time before it dropped to either of his husband’s standards, but he felt a pulse of anxiety as he realized how much he’d been letting slide.

Calmly, he turned back to Papyrus, whose hands were still proudly on his hips. “That’s very kind of you, Papyrus. But I’m sure we can handle it!”

Papyrus opened his mouth, but Slim tugged on his arm, insisting that it was fine and they should go. Despite the fact that Blue knew he just didn’t want to help, he was grateful for the assistance. He saw them to the door, smiling pleasantly the whole way, and shut the door solidly behind them.

When he turned around, the panic was coming full-fledge, looking around the entire room to find every spot, imagining what he would find in the kitchen if he really looked.

Razz was still standing by the couch, finishing up closing the pack of cards before he raised a brow, quirking a smile at Blue. “So I’m guessing we’re going to be doing some cleaning, then?”

“Don’t you mock me,” he shot back, but he was already headed to the kitchen for his supplies, tugging them out one at a time and setting what he needed up on the counter. He was startled by something bumping into him, looking up to see Razz leaning over him to grab one of the spray bottles and a sponge. He looked down to see Blue looking at him in confusion, and shrugged. “I’ll take care of stains on the couch.”

Gratitude pulsed through his soul, and he gave the other a thankful smile.

He started in the kitchen, working his way through each appliance and countertop until it had been scrubbed clean, sorting through the fridge and throwing out what had expired.

“What’s going on down here?”

He paused as he heard Sans’ voice in the living room, clenching and unclenching his fist until he realized he was holding a wet sponge and he’d just squeezed it all over the floor.

“We’re doing some deep-cleaning,” Razz responded as Blue dried the puddle, quickly tossing the towel in the laundry room before crossing the room to stand in the kitchen doorway.

Sans had pulled off his coat, draping it over the railing and holding his hand out in the direction of the very person Blue had been hoping against hope he wouldn’t see. Red was glaring at Sans defiantly, hands shoved into the pockets of his own coat until Sans sighed. He glanced at Razz, then hissed, “You get your ass cleaning, Red, or so help me--”

“Fine!” Red divested himself of his coat, and Sans slung it over his own before seizing the other by the shoulder and physically dragging him towards the kitchen. Blue disappeared around the corner before they could see him watching, crouching to wipe down the cabinets.

“You’re sweeping in here,” Sans announced, grabbing the broom from beside the fridge and shoving it into Red’s hands. “And I am helping Razz out there-- ” he pointed to the living room. “And by the time you come out of this kitchen, you will have talked to each other. I’m tired of being in the middle of this.”

Blue stared up at the other, shocked. This was the most forceful he’d seen Sans in years, and judging by the look on Red’s face, he was feeling much the same. Their eyes were both on Sans as he snatched a bottle of window cleaner and a cloth, shooting Blue a severe look before he stomped out of the kitchen.

They glanced at each other, then looked away.

Blue went back to scrubbing the cabinets with a vengeance, listening for the sound of sweeping and… not hearing it. He redoubled his scrubbing.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart,” Red murmured. Blue froze in surprise, glancing back as Red continued. “I wanted you and Sans to be safe, but I… I need to learn that you know what you’re talking about. Your judgement is sound, and especially if you’re going to call him your… best friend…” He shifted his jaw, looking down at the floor. “Even if I’d had my way, I wouldn’t have just… dumped them out on the streets. I hope you know I’m not that cruel.”

He looked back up, something hopeful flickering in his eyes, and Blue faltered. “I… I’m sorry, too. Not about… Razz, but I shouldn’t have said what I did about leaving, or about your brother. I just…”

“Like you said,” Red replied. “He’s your best friend. As long as he doesn’t harm any member of my family, he is welcome. I’ll agree to mercy.”

Blue turned away, looking down at the sponge in his hand as tears sprung to his eyes. “Red, I don’t like being upset with you.”

“I don’t like upsetting you,” his voice came from right behind him, and Blue looked back again, locking eyes with him as Red tilted his head to one side, eyes still hopeful. Blue hesitated.

Then he leaned forward, kissing Red’s cheek softly. “Thank you.”

An arm settled around his shoulders, holding him tightly for a moment before Red pulled away, standing straight and beginning to sweep the floor. Blue returned to his task, but he felt lighter, a weight lifted from his shoulders.

It felt… good.

Chapter Text

“Sans, breathe!”

The panicked shout of his own voice fills his head, and he wraps his arms around his skull, shaking it side to side. “No, no, no…”

His sockets open a sliver, eyelights glancing down to see a blue scarf around his neck, pulling, choking him, it’s choking him and he’ll never be able to breathe again--

Arms he’s not sure are his drop to the cloth, ripping it from his neck, throwing it to the ground, and he wants to burn it, burn the blue away, but he looks again.

Gray.

Gray with dust, flaking to the ground, and he drops to his knees, soul burning with the realization that he needs to save it, he can’t lose a single glittering speck--

 

A gasp rent the air as Blue shot up to sit, chest heaving and tears filling his eyes. He took a moment to calm himself, couldn’t help the glance he spared to one side, just to make sure he’s not greeted with the same view he’s just woken from.

Red was laying on his back, his face relaxed and body curled tightly into Sans’. Sans’ face was tucked into Red’s clavicle, and the blankets were tucked securely around them. Blue’s soul warmed for a moment at the sight of them, the peaceful expressions on their faces.

Then he started to shiver.

He looked down and realized that every scrap of blanket had been stolen by the other two. His bare bones were clacking together, the red-stained surface of his pelvis mocking him for feeling like last night would end any differently than it always seemed to. He glanced again at the others, taking in how tightly they were wrapped around each other, and something bitter wormed its way into his soul.

Carefully, cursing his body’s soreness, he made himself stand. He glanced back again, fighting back irrational tears as Red and Sans didn’t remotely react to his leaving the bed. He pulled in a deep breath, then stretched before walking to the closet. He grabbed something old to wear, something clean to change into after he finished washing up, and studiously resisted the urge to check over his shoulder. They hadn’t moved, and he knew they hadn’t. He knew they wouldn’t feel the difference.

He wasn’t sure why he always thought there was any way to change that.

Showering soothed some of the turmoil away. The warm water flowed between his bones, carrying the colors that weren’t his down the drain and taking the edge off the ache in his pelvis. He sighed as he turned off the water, leaning forward as water dripped between his ribs, rapidly cooling in the morning air. They wouldn’t be up for hours, and after last night, it might even be longer. Weekends were hard to judge; without a deadline, his husbands were prone to stay stock-still.

Blue sucked in a shaky breath, the back of his hand raising to his mouth as he pushed the emotion back, back. He knew how irrational this was, but he just… couldn’t help the loneliness that was shoving its way into every corner of his body, stretching him thin and leaving him broken. He closed his eyes, pretending just for a moment that none of it had happened. Pretending just for a moment that Persever--

He swore under his breath, bringing his fist down on the wall at his front. He did it again, then again. Then he stopped, a half-sob tearing out of his throat before he reeled it back in.

He pulled his hand into his chest as he straightened, flexing the fingers carefully and concentrating on the ache. He took another deep breath.

Then he dropped his hand, pulling aside the curtain and stepping onto the bathroom rug. He grabbed a towel, dried himself off, pulled on the clean clothes he had brought. Hesitating in front of the mirror, shifting his shirt before brushing his fingers over his bare neck.

He wants to burn it, burn the blue away...

Blue turned around and walked out of the bathroom, jogging down the steps and slipping on his coat and boots. He had time for a walk, to burn off some energy before the others awoke.

Stepping out into the frigid air of a Snowdin morning, he already felt just the slightest bit better.

Setting off increased the feeling exponentially, the brisk air and quick pace seeming to flash through his bones, making him want to go even faster. Soon enough, he was jogging, body warming with the motion and breath misting in front of him in the air. He settled into a steady lope, one he knew he could keep up for much longer than he needed to be out, and followed his usual path. People waved to him on his way, more used to the sight of him running pell-mell through the city streets than to measured and steady like this.

He returned the greetings with a smile, but did not stop, continuing on until he was passing into the forest surrounding the town. Breathing growing deep and even, he glanced behind him. All was quiet except for the the quiet thump of his footsteps and the puff of--

“HA!”

Blue barely caught himself before tripping over an exposed root, skidding to a stop and peering around him in bewilderment. The sound of a high-pitched whir filled the area, then--

CRASH!

Was that… he set off towards the sound, shoving his hands in his pockets as he went. That sounded an awful lot like something he knew.

Emerging into a clearing he remembered as being the local teenage hangout spot, Blue paused at the sight that greeted him. Hovering several feet above the ground were upward of five Blasters, all aimed toward an innocent tree at the opposite end of the clearing. At the center of it all, Razz stood coatless, standing tall in the snow.

Blue huffed, plugging his ears as Razz threw up a hand, firing every blaster at once into the woods with another shout. Blue raised a brow, impressed at the sign of the charred and blackened remains of the attacked tree.

Apparently satisfied with his own handiwork, Razz nodded, allowing his blasters to dissolve into purple magic. Almost as soon as they were gone, however, the tree seemingly decided it had had enough, promptly bursting into flames. Razz took a step back in surprise, then shook his head in a way that made Blue think this must have happened many times before. Deftly summoning back one of this blasters, he directed it to use its snout to scoop and throw piles of snow onto the fire. It was smothered quickly, and Blue bit back a laugh as Razz patted the blaster’s head, nodding concisely.

“Are you trying to start a forest fire?”

Razz jumped, spinning around to face him even as the weapon was already dissolving. When he saw it was Blue, however, he smiled widely. Blue returned the grin, starting to walk in his direction as Razz jogged to the treeline, scooping up what looked like an old winter jacket of Sans’ and slinging it over his arm before coming to join him. There was a sheen of sweat on his skull, and Blue’s eyes lingered for a moment on the veritable patchwork of scars that decorated his upper arms.

“What are you doing up?” Razz asked, the breathiness in his voice betraying the difficulty of the exercise he’d been engaged in. His chest was heaving, and his free hand went to his hip as he caught his breath.

Blue shrugged casually, dusting off his own coat before shoving his hands back in his pockets. “Well, I heard tell of some loser in the forest, I thought I should find out who he was.”

Feigning concern, Razz looked over his shoulder. “Did you find him?”

“Oh, yeah,” Blue said, grinning. “It’s just this weird freakin’ dude setting fires in the woods.”

Razz finally let a laugh slip through, cocking his hip out to one side. “Sounds pretty hot if you ask me.”

“Please don’t tell me that was a pun.”

“Fine, I won’t tell you.” He snickered. “But I can promise you it was pretty lit.”

Blue shot him a disparaging look. “I think you’ve been spending too much time with your brother.”

Shrugging in an accepting kind of way, Razz stepped around Blue, gesturing for him to follow as he started back the way Blue had come. Blue shook his head, but did as he was told, catching up quickly and starting as Razz threw an arm around his shoulders. “Want some help making breakfast?”

“Oh, from the likes of you, you mean?”

“Aw, Blue...that...that hurts, it does. Right here. I’m emotionally destroyed, I am.”

“Are you...are you trying to do a Cockney accent?”

Razz burst out laughing, his grip on Blue’s shoulder tightening. “Aye, laddie”

“That’s not even the right--”

“Bonjour.”

Snorting, Blue attempted to shove him off, but Razz held on tight, bringing up his other arm to pick him up off the ground as he tilted his head back towards the sky, yelling as if to a higher power, “Nunca lo soltaré, Jack! ¡Lo prometo!”

Yelping with laughter, Blue kicked Razz in the shin, shoving at his shoulders until, with an oof , Razz tripped backwards, carrying Blue down with him and landing in a heap in a snow poff. Laughing too hard to really even move for a moment, Blue struggled to get ahold of himself as Razz rolled to one side, groaning dramatically. He glanced over at Blue’s peals of laughter, letting his own snickering start up.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Blue looked over to meet the other’s eyes, taking in the mirth sparkling in them as Razz sat up, posing on the pile of snow like it was a throne. As he watched the other, his soul gave a thump, and he lifted one hand, resting it on the place just above the center of his being.

Then Razz grinned again, leaning forward to help him up and heaving himself up to stand alongside, and Blue couldn’t help but wonder how he felt so… light.

~~~

Reaching up to rub his eyes, Blue sighed. They were beginning to hurt, straining with his exhaustion as he worked. He shook the water from his other hand, taking a moment to prop his elbows on the counter and just rest his face in his hands.

The sound of the door opening had his face shooting up, turning to catch a glimpse of Slim plodding past the doorway, presumably on his way upstairs to bed. Blue glanced at the clock. It was late for the brothers to be getting home, nearly midnight. What had they been--

“What are you still doing up?”

Blue glanced over his shoulder again. Razz was standing just inside the doorway, watching him with concern. Shrugging and gesturing at the sink, Blue forced a grin. “Dishes.”

“Didn’t you work a double shift today?” Razz asked softly, concern pulling at his eyes. Blue nodded. There was a moment of silence, Razz staring at him in confusion before it seemed to click, and he threw a glare at the upstairs over his shoulder. He stepped out into the hallway, and Blue could hear the snaps of his armor being unbuckled before he came back into the room, stripping of his gloves and tossing them on the counter. “Here, let me.”

“Razz--”

“If you’re not going to just let me do it myself, I can at least do the more difficult part. Please. You can dry or wipe down the counters or something.”

Hesitating for a split second longer, Blue sighed. Then, murmuring a quiet thank you, he stepped away from the sink, drying his hands the rest of the way and bending to retrieve the wipes from under the sink. Once he had moved, Razz stepped into his place, beginning to make quick work of the pile of dishes in the soapy water.

“This is a lot of dishes for a single dinner,” he murmured, and Blue paused guiltily.

“I’m sorry, I can--”

“Not what I meant.” Razz waved a hand at him, gesturing for him to continue what he’d been doing. “Why did you go all out?”

“Red thought, since it was our first dinner with just the three of us in a while, that it should be a special occasion.”

Razz scoffed quietly. “And I suppose they were great helps in the preparation of such a meal.”

“Almost as great of help as they’ve been in cleaning up after it,” Blue responded with a tired grin.

“I don’t know how you do it, Blue.”

“It’s for the sex.”

Snorting, Razz spun to look at him in disbelief. “What?!”

“Y’know,” Blue said, bouncing his shoulders comedically. “The really fantastic sex. It makes it all worth it.”

“I’m not sure I ever wanted to imagine that.”

“You’re welcome, then. Glad I could solve that question for you. Red has the biggest dick,” he supplied helpfully.

“Matches his personality,” Razz snickered, turning back to the dishes.

Blue smacked him with the container of wipes, finally pulling one out and beginning to clean the counters. “Nah, I just… that’s what you do in a marriage. Everyone carries everyone else.”

“What are they doing to carry you, then?”

He paused at the question, staring down at the spot he was trying to wipe off. Then he glanced over his shoulder. “It’s almost midnight. We should probably hurry so we can get to bed.”

Razz hesitated, then sighed, nodding softly before putting his hands back in the water. Blue turned back to the counters, finishing his job quickly before drying the dishes Razz was placing on the rack and putting them away. They worked silently, but comfortably, the work going smoothly as they got into a rhythm. Soon enough, Razz was drying his hands, watching Blue stretch up on tiptoes to put away the last dish.

“Heading to bed, then?”

Sighing, Blue nodded. “Yeah… it’s been a long day. Why?”

“Oh, no reason.”

The lilt of a lie in his voice had Blue’s eyes narrowing, turning around and folding his arms. “Why?”

Razz looked at him guiltily, then forced a grin, shrugging lightly. “I’ll probably be up a little longer. Thought I might watch a movie or something. We were house hunting today and that last guy was, uh…” he chuckled, but his smile dropped. “He was certainly something. Didn’t seem to like the look of us much.”

“Alright,” Blue said, raising a brow. “So what are we going to do to distract you, then?”

“Blue, you don’t have to--”

“I know. I’m still going to. What are we going to do?”

Blinking, Razz just stared at him for a moment. Then he sighed, reaching up to rub his face. “You just said you were tired. I don’t want to keep you up.”

“A movie, right?” Blue continued stubbornly, pushing off the counter and passing Razz to head into the living room. “What movie were you thinking?” He heard Razz follow him into the living room, feeling eyes on his back as he crouched to look through their DVDs.

“...something funny. Some kind of...cult-classic funny.”

“Ferris Bueller or Monty Python?”

“Bueller.”

Nodding sharply, Blue put the movie in the player, standing up and turning around to find Razz right behind him, guilt flashing sharply over his face. “Blue--”

“Razz.” He reached up, taking hold of the taller’s shoulders and giving him an exasperated look. “You are my best friend. I’m never going to be too tired for you, and I’m especially never going to be too tired for Ferris Bueller . I thought you knew me better than that.”

Razz cracked a smile, and Blue raised his brows to drive his point before letting go of the other. Then he grabbed the remote, handing it to Razz before crossing the room to the closet. Tugging a pair of blankets down from the top shelf, he almost missed the other’s murmured words.

“Thank you.”

Chapter Text

“Sans…”

His voice is quiet, calm. Sans sits in front of him, eyes closed and hands on his swollen stomach. He’s laughing, but Blue can’t hear what he hears. He steps forward, kneels in front of him, cups his face. As soon as they touch, the smile falls from Sans’ face, white eyelights meeting his own with a jerk.

“I’m the one that’s fucked up,” He whispers, and Blue shakes his head. Sans doesn’t seem to comprehend it. “I’m the reason your kid died, so… so what are we going to do about that?”

Blue doesn’t have control of his body as his mouth opens, words slipping out before he can stop them.

“Sans, breathe--”

“Stop.”

Blue jumps, the figure between his hands falling away, replaced with a face so similar, he can almost pretend not to notice. Scarred hands come up, wrap around his wrists, pull his hands down to his lap. Purple eyelights bore into his soul, then the hands rise again, settling carefully on his cheeks as their owner leans forward. “Blue, stop.”

He sucks in a breath, tilts his head into one of the hands, closes his eyes. His soul is so heavy. He wants it out.

A thumb traces the planes of his face, and he opens his eyes. Razz looks back, meeting his gaze directly.

“I didn’t want to blame him,” Blue whispers.

Nothing happens for a moment. Then Razz sighs, removing his hands from Blues face.

“Perseverance.”

“What?”

“Giving up is never an option. Giving up is never a choice. But letting go…” Razz crooks a smile, sitting back on his legs and folding his arms across his chest. “Letting go is the best option you have.”

“I don’t understand--”

“What is it you want, Blue?!” Razz is suddenly all too close, hands clutching the back of Blue’s neck, claws digging painfully into the bone. Blue’s hands jump to the other’s wrists, but Razz has already relaxed, his hold going gentle as he presses his forehead to Blue’s.

“What would you give up to get it?”

 

Blue sat up with a gasp, hand pressed to his chest and the other tangling into the blanket that had been covering him moments before. His mind rushed; attempting to catch the tail end of his dream as it slipped away.

Something had just… he felt so…

He shook his head, trying to banish the sense of wrongness permeating his mind. After a few seconds, his hands relaxed into his lap, breathing still heavy as he turned, taking in the sight of Razz sprawled over the opposite end of the couch, mouth open a half-inch. He shifted as Blue went to stand, pulling his legs into his chest and letting out a small sigh.

The TV was letting off a soft light, left on after they had apparently falling sound asleep on their separate cushions. Blue reached for the remote, supporting himself on the coffee table as he turned off the screen before straightening fully. He spared Razz a glance before stretching his arms over his head. It had to be the crack of dawn or earlier, the way the other stayed so relaxed as Blue made his way into the kitchen. Filling up a glass of water, he chugged it, then repeated the process before hesitating. He leaned forward over the sink, pouring the remainder of the water over his face.

Sputtering, Blue reached for the towel to dry himself, shaking his shoulders before making his way back into the living room. He was awake now, and if he had it his way, he would stay awake until--

Blue paused, a smile curving the edge of his mouth as he caught sight of the occupant of the couch. Razz was newly sprawled across the cushions, blanket tangled around his legs and arms wrapped tightly around one of the spare pillows. He was facing the inside of the couch so that Blue couldn’t see if he was still asleep, but there was no reaction to his entrance to the room, and his breathing was deep and even.

Shaking his head, Blue crouched in front of Razz, untangling the blanket and spreading it over top of him. As the cloth settled over his shoulders, Razz shifted. A soft hum made its way into open air, and Blue paused. After a moment, Razz shifted again, turning to face the room. Sure enough, his eyes were still closed, mouth still just barely open.

After a moment of hesitation, Blue settled a hand on his face, smoothing his thumb along the planes of his cheek. Razz sighed, and Blue smiled, leaning forward to press his teeth to the other’s forehead.

He froze, still in the motions of the kiss, then drew away slowly, still being careful not to wake the other up. He drew his hand into his chest, staring open-mouthed at Razz’s relaxed face. Where in the… hell had that come from?

Swearing under his breath, he straightened from his crouch, backing up to sit on the coffee table.

Razz was his best friend. They’d grown closer over the past few months than he’d been with anyone in years . But he… he was married , for fuck’s sake. He couldn’t be going around kissing people in their sleep when he was married! Or… well, really at all. In hindsight, that had been pretty creepy.

He buried his face in his hands. This had to be normal, right? He’d been married for almost four years, crushes had to be a… typical thing to get. Just so long as he didn’t act on it, so long as Razz didn’t… didn’t return the feelings. He didn’t, there was no way he did. Was there?

Forcefully telling the voice in his head to shut the hell up, he pushed himself to his feet. Razz let out a small noise, and Blue paused, glancing down at him in concern. There didn’t… appear to be anything wrong, but after a moment, Blue lowered himself to the floor. His back was to the base of the couch, settled down by the other’s feet. He didn’t want to… it wouldn’t be the first time Razz had woken to Blue sitting on the floor and watching TV, so it wouldn’t be any weirder this time than any other time. Razz didn’t know about Blue’s stupidity, and Blue would never let him know.

He didn’t want to give up his best friend. So he could learn to pretend until the feelings went away.

It was just that simple.

~~~

“You know, you could probably use a new trap there by the lake.”

Blue jumped violently, spinning around to face the owner of the new voice. Razz snickered, but moved up beside him, leaning with his arms on the table to better see the map Blue had been poring over. “See, here?”

His whole body was on fire. They weren’t even touching and he just--

“Blue?”

Looking up, he caught Razz’s eyes. They were full of concern, the purple of his magic sparking with blues and reds. They really were a beautiful color, gorgeous with the contrast of the white of his bones. His sharpened teeth parted, and Blue’s gaze dropped, wondering just for a moment how it would feel to--

He lurched backwards, stumbling over his feet and forcing out a laugh. “That’s great advice!”

“Are you okay?”

“Yep!” he cried, forcing a smile and reaching for his map. “Where? Did you say?”

Razz looked at him in concern, but reached out, pointing to a spot on the southeast bank of Waterfall’s lake. “Here. If a human drops, and they get this far into the Underground, they’ll probably be thirsty, right? Or want some place to rest? The lake is one of the more… safe-feeling places around, and it’s likely this is where they would chose to stop. You could even place a trap right here --” He leaned further to point at a place closer to the northwest, and his shoulder brushed against Blue’s. Blue suppressed a shiver, inwardly cursing himself for his stupidity. Weakness hadn’t exactly been much of a personal flaw before now; why the hell was he giving in to it now?! “--then you could be prepared for the eventuality that they may venture further into the caves to give themselves more protection!”

“Thanks,” Blue managed to squeak out, grabbing his roll of colored tape. Carefully, he tore off two markers, placing them where Razz had pointed. Even with his distraction, he could recognize the good advice.

“So,” Razz started, turning around and leaning back against the table. “What are you up to for the rest of the day?”

Blue hummed, twisting the roll of tape in his hands for a moment before placing it back where it’d been. “I think this was the main plan. I just wanted to look over some spots on the map, since we have a surplus of materials on hand from my last puzzle. It’s honestly hard to believe that Alphys is still funding me.”

“I’m sure it helps that you have your head up her--”

“I do not!”

“Sure… You’re definitely not a suck-up or anything…”

“Well, some of us actually have to work to get on the Royal Guard!” Blue huffed, gesturing widely at Razz’s form. “Not everyone was born with all of that .”

Razz smirked. “All of… what, exactly?”

Faltering, Blue gestured again at… well, basically all of him. “That!”

“Ah, yes. Thank you. That clears things up.”

“And your sarcasm doesn’t help matters!”

Laughing, Razz shifted so that he could reach Blue’s shoulders, slinging one arm around him before gesturing between the both of them. “I don’t know about you? But I’m pretty sure we’re the same person, Blue. I wasn’t born with anything you don’t have too.”

Blue stuttered, rendered speechless by an arm around his shoulders like a goddamn teenager ! He suppressed the simultaneous urges to shove him away and push in closer, choosing instead to casually shrug the arm away, taking a step to one side and forcing himself to speak. “W-well, I’m shorter than you! I cross that line between being nimble or quick and just being too small.”

When there was no response, he glanced over at the other, catching a flash of hurt across his face as he pulled his arm back in to his side. A flash of guilt hit him, but he looked away. It was better than…

Well.

“I disagree,” Razz said quietly, and when Blue looked up again, the smirk was back. “I don’t think you’re lacking in any area that would make you a good guard. But at this point it’s becoming obvious that Alphys may not share that sentiment.” Sagging, Blue nodded. “But why should that matter?” Razz continued. “Why should you let her misconception of your abilities rule your perception of yourself? You’re capable of anything you want to do, Blue.”

He forced a smile. “Except reaching high shelves.”

“Except that,” Razz grinned in return. “But step stools do exist for a reason, and there’s no shame in utilizing what’s at your disposal.”

“Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Utilize everything at your disposal.”

Pausing, Razz looked down at his hands. Blue followed his gaze, taking in the sight of the imperfections, the scars and worn bone. Then his hands clenched, and Blue reached back to grip the edge of the table. He should know better than to want to hold them, to be the person who could tell Razz that he was worth everything, no matter what those hands had done.

“I try not to.”

But he didn’t. And he couldn’t. He would never be able to. And he would just have to try to be fine with that.

~~~

Bouncing down the stairs, Blue didn’t even notice the other occupant of the living room until he looked up from his phone and saw Razz sitting cross-legged on the couch. He was staring down at the remote with a frown, pushing various buttons before glancing up to see what effect they’d had.

Blue swallowed quietly, edging backwards to the stairs as he slid his phone back into his pocket. Maybe if he could just--

“Hey!”

He froze, forcing himself to meet the other’s purple eyelights with a smile. “Hi!”

Razz grinned, scooting to one side and patting the seat beside him. “Do you want to watch Kitchen Nightmares with me? I’m trying to get to the right channel but I’m sure we can--”

“No!” The other’s face fell in confusion, and Blue backtracked immediately. “No, I just meant… I can’t right now!”

“I didn’t think you had a shift--”

“I was just going upstairs!”

Razz furrowed his brows, looking between Blue and the stairs he had clearly just descended. “You just came from upstairs.”

“Yep!”

Razz’s mouth opened, but before he could say anything, Blue tossed out a salute and the brightest grin he could muster. “Talk to you later, Razz!”

Before he could say a word, Blue spun around, jogging back up the stairs and going straight to his room.

Slamming the door behind him, he leaned back against the solid wood. He was cursing himself inwardly, but he did his best to properly calm his breathing. God, in the few days since he’d realized his feelings, he just… hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it.

About Razz.

Every time he looked at him, he wanted to come closer. His hands would twitch towards him like they wanted to be locked around Razz’s, trailing along his bones--

Shit .

He rubbed at his face harshly, letting out a shaky breath. He couldn’t keep doing this. He couldn’t keep spending his nights next to the people he had been married to for nearly four years and his days thinking about his best friend, wishing things could be different. Wishing he… he could….

Groaning in frustration, he stepped away from the door, walking further into the room. Guilt was buzzing through his mind, guilt about his wishes, guilt about his marriage, guilt about his abandonment of the person he had promised to stand beside whenever he needed it.

The last thing he wanted to do was abandon Razz to his own mind. But he just… he couldn’t…

His fist connecting with the wall made a noise loud enough that he paused, cradling his knuckles in the other hand as he listened carefully for anyone coming to investigate. No one came, and he allowed himself a small whimper of pain.

It would all be worth it, he reminded himself. It would all resolve, just so long as he… he…

Pretended.

Chapter Text

Blue furrowed his brows, looking between Red’s face and the slips of paper he held. The look on his husband’s face was hopeful, so Blue tilted his head to one side, attempting to read the words printed on what he was belatedly realizing were tickets. They appeared to be handwritten, but unfortunately, the handwriting was nearly indecipherable.

“Do you think you’d like to go?” Red asked, raising a brow as Blue straightened slowly. “I did manage to get three tickets, so it could be nice for us to all spend some time together… I know it’s been a little while.”

Blue made another attempt to decipher the text, this time pulling them out of Red’s hands to properly study them. “Red, honey, you know I’d love to spend time with you, but… what are these even for?”

“Well!” At the question, Red’s face shifted to one of guilt. “It’s a… uh… physics convention.”

“...Oh!” Blue said, trying to keep his face from falling.

“I know.” Red held out his hand for the tickets, and Blue handed them over without hesitation. “I’m sorry, Blue, I know it’s not really your thing, but I just--”

“Why don’t you take Slim?”

Red paused, raising one brow at Blue. “Slim?”

“Yeah!” He exclaimed, reaching back to pick up the book he’d been reading. He didn’t open it, merely laying it in his lap after crossing his legs casually. “He likes that stuff, right?”

“I… I guess I thought that the three of us could--”

“I’d love to spend time with you doing one of the hundreds of things that all three of us actually enjoy!”

The room went silent, and shock filtered across Red’s face at Blue’s tone. Blue tried to glare, but he hadn’t even really meant to… He clenched his teeth, picking up his book and flipping it open, ignoring Red completely.

“O-okay. I’m sure Slim would love to go.”

Blue didn’t look up from his book as Red left the room, eyes drifting over the page without actually reading a word. He could feel the sting of tears behind his eyes, guilt cutting into his--

Wait.

Wait, if the dates on the tickets were--

He sat up straight, tossing his book to one side before standing, unable to stop himself from pacing as his mind rushed. The convention was two days? Who even needed that much physics? God damn it, that meant they would be gone overnight, and if Slim, Sans, and Red would be gone together, then Blue would be left alone with--

His phone was out of his pockets within a second, dialing quickly and holding it up to his head.

“Alphys? Hey!”

He stopped pacing, letting his hand rest on the back of the couch as he listened to the voice on the other side of the phone.

“Yeah! Hey, do you have any plans for--” He glanced at the calendar through the kitchen doorway, checking the dates that had been on the tickets. “--next Friday night?”

The voice grew in volume, and he sagged in relief.

“Do you feel like a bit of responsible weekend drinking?”

~~~

The railing was cold in his hands, seeping into his bones until he found himself glaring down at the metal, daring it to continue freezing him out. He’d let go when he was damn well good and ready.

He shifted his grip, winced when a warmer piece of bone touched the cold surface.

Alright, he was good and ready.

Heaving himself up the steps, he took a moment to gather himself on the porch before working his keys out of his pocket, jangling them uselessly until he held the house key up with pride, letting out a loud “Ha!”. He fiddled a moment longer, managing to actually insert them into the lock and get the door open, nearly forgetting to remove the them before he stepped into the house. Tossing his keys in the air in a cool sort of way, he then found himself frowning in disappointment at the floor, where they now lay after he had failed to actually catch them.

Carefully, he crouched, reaching for the dropped keys before a bare hand entered his vision, swiping the keys from the ground before disappearing from view. Blue stared down, realizing suddenly that there were socked feet on the floor in front of him. Had...had someone been standing there the whole time, or--

He glanced up, coming face to face with Razz as the other held his keyring out to him.

They stood still for about a split second, Blue staring in shock, before he very promptly stepped back through the entrance, pulling the door with him so that there was a solid barrier between he and his...between he and Razz.

Resisting the urge to slump forward against the door, he took half a pace backwards, not managing to distance himself nearly enough before the door was open once again, Razz staring at him in confusion.

“What are you doing?”

Blue glanced around, looking down at the snow-covered lawn before returning his gaze to Razz. Well, not directly to Razz. More in the vicinity of Razz’s shoulder. Blue didn’t want to look into his eyes, see the purple there he couldn’t stop thinking about--

“I...it was...I was too hot?”

Silence prevailed, and Blue risked a glance at Razz’s disbelieving face.

“Are you drunk?”

“Aren’t you s’posta be asleep or something?”

“It’s three in the morning, Blue. I was worried about you.”

Considering this fact slowly, Blue nodded. Then he stepped forward, pushing as gently as he could past the other and stumbling into the house, supporting himself on the wall as he heard the clank of Razz dropping his keys into the dish on the entry table. As slowly and stealthily as he could manage, Blue peeked over his shoulder, only to realize that Razz was glaring quite directly at him. He cleared his throat, looking away and studying a very interesting patch of wall.

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Razz approaching again. Despite himself, his eyes shifted to watch him, dropping to watch the deliberate steps the other took across the tiled floor. Hey, those used to be his socks. He liked those socks. They had little smiley faces on them.

Blue shook his head quickly, pushing off the wall and somehow managing to stumble directly into Razz. That startled a laugh out of his friend, and Blue grinned quickly, righting himself and looking up to finally meet the other’s eyes.

They were... smaller than Blue had seen them in a while. They were still that beautiful purple, flickering with shades of red and blue, but he looked so...concerned. Yeah, concerned. Definitely not worried. What was there to be worried about? Blue was fine .

All at once, he pushed off of the other, stumbling quickly to the stairs and glaring up them as though personally insulted. It’d been a long time since he’d gotten this drunk. Normally, he wouldn’t even try the stairs. Red and Sans weren’t home to bother him into going to bed, and the morning stiffness of sleeping on the couch was far preferable to the bruises of falling down the stairs and just falling asleep on the floor at the bottom.

“Blue…”

But he’d take the bruises over having to stay down here a second longer, having to look over and see what kind of expression warranted Razz’s voice sounding like that . He’d take falling down the stairs in a heartbeat.

Before he could move, there was a hand on his shoulder, pulling insistently until it was a choice between “turn around” and “fall the hell over”. He decided to just turn around. He’d have to look at Razz either way, and he’d rather do it from up here than from flat on his back.

Razz’s concern had grown, the hand not on Blue’s shoulder coming up to the small of his back as he attempted to guide Blue over to the couch. Blue did his best to dig his heels in, but he couldn’t quite find purchase on the carpet, the soles of his boots--aw, crap, his boots .

Immediately, he bent over, unlacing one shoe, then the other, as Razz came to a sudden stop beside him. He watched Blue in bewilderment as he completely pulled the laces out of his boots, stopping when he had the strings in his hands and staring down at his shoes in consternation. 

Then Razz was kneeling in front of him, gently guiding one of Blue’s hands to his own shoulder for balance before he lifted one of his feet, pulling his boot off and setting it aside before reaching for the other, taking the laces out of Blue’s hand and coiling them inside before straightening back up.

Blue blinked at him, feeling warmth bloom in his soul as he looked into those gorgeous eyes--

“Thank you--” He said, pulling his hand from Razz’s shoulder and clasping it tightly into his other fist. “--I’m going to go to bed now.”

He turned around, intending to go back to the stairs, but Razz let out a noise of frustration, reaching for his arm. “Blue, just sleep on the couch, I’ll get you some water before you fall asleep. I don’t want you to fall down the--”

“No, no, it’s okay, I don’t want to be around you is all--” Blue paused at the hurt that flashed through Razz’s eyes, reviewing what he had said. “Oh, no, I didn’t mean it like...that’s not what I…”

“Did I do something wrong?”

No --”

“Blue!” He jumped at the tone, eyes going wide as he caught sight of... tears ? He was crying?

Razz reached up, pushing at his watery eyes with the heel of his hand before focusing back on Blue. “I’m not stupid! I’m not thick or...or socially inept! Why have you been avoiding me?”

His eyes were already filling with new tears, and Blue reached up, brushing his thumb under one socket. They were stained purple with his magic, and it didn’t take Blue long to realize he was pretty much just smearing the tears instead of actually wiping them away. He went to drop his hand, and realized that Razz had ahold of his wrist, clutching to him tightly. He gave a light tug, and Razz loosened his grip, letting Blue have his hand back before he folded his arms.

“Well?”

“I-I’m not avoiding you.”

“Don’t lie to me, Blue. You’re shitty at it even when you’re sober.”

Blue took half a step forward, socked toes curling into the carpet before he raised both hands, pressing into the sides of his head as he tried to figure out the right words to use. His brain was scrambling around and around, and he found himself wishing he didn't have the alcohol clogging things up. It'd been a stupid idea, leaving Razz alone in the house and coming back so late and entirely compromised. Shoulda just... stayed here. Spent some time with--

“I’ve been married for almost four years...and two before that even, we were...dating, together, whatever you want to call it,” he murmured, and Razz’s posture loosened, looking at him quizzically.

“What does that have to do with--”

“Six years, Razz… and I thought I was really happy, y’know? But I’ve got all this… stuff with you, you’re different, and I want to be around you.”

Razz was silent. Blue didn’t dare to look up, pushing on.

“I’m...I can’t… I have… feelings , and it’s not okay and I just--”

“Of course I feel for you too, Blue,” Razz said, and Blue’s eyes shot up, locking with Razz’s as he continued. “You’re my best friend and I want you to be happy, that’s normal , right? I don’t get why you’re trying to--”

“No!” Blue stepped forward again, grabbing him by the sides of his skull, pulling him down so that they were face-to-face, barely a centimeter apart-- “ Feelings ,” he breathed, and Razz’s eyes lit up in understanding. Blue blinked, taking in the conflicted emotions rushing through Razz’s face.

He was… God , they were so close…

His grip on Razz shifted, one hand splaying on the back of his neck and the other looping around his shoulders, and he let himself relax into the other’s hold. He thought, for a moment, that he felt fingers ghosting over his hips, and he let his eyelids flutter shut, leaning forward to connect their--

Very gently, Razz took a step back, reaching behind his head and detaching Blue’s hands, pulling them down to his sides. Blue looked up into his face, feeling something burning behind his eyes that didn’t make sense, he didn’t want to do this, he was married , he… he was crying.

Razz ran his thumbs under Blue’s eyes, let his hands rest on his cheeks.

“Go to sleep, Blue. We’re… we’re talking about this when you’re sober, but go to sleep.”

Chapter Text

“Blue?”

“...yeah?”

“Breathe.”

 

Blue clung to the last vestiges of unconsciousness, groaning quietly as he felt the discomfort his body was screaming at him. He could feel something hard digging into his back, but his mind was providing no context as to what that could possibly be. God, his head was pounding. His mouth tasted like death, too, but he was pretty sure that if he stood up to wash it out, he’d throw up.  

He should have known better than to get that wasted after so long since he’d even had a drink. Hell, and he was supposed to be the responsible one! He could only imagine the look on his brother’s face if he could see this .

He took a second to think, sockets blinking open, but eyelights still extinguished. No reason to take it too fast and anger whoever was inside his skull with a hammer. His arms moved, trying to dislodge whatever was poking his spine with such intensity, only to encounter the edge of a very long, cloth-covered surface. Was he… was this the couch?

Carefully, he let his eyelights appear, drawing his brows together in discomfort as light assaulted his already pounding head. Oh, hellfire, the whole world was upside down. He’d slept through the apocalypse.

His mind informed him that he wasn’t nearly as funny as he thought he was. He groaned again, this one tapering off into a high-pitched whine of complaint.

With one hand, he managed to reach up and grasp the arm of the couch, heaving himself right side up. Sighing, he sat up straight. He arched his back, feeling his spine pop in several places. Okay. Okay, he could do this.

Stiffening his legs, he pushed himself up to stand, catching himself on the coffee table as he nearly dove head-first into it. He spared a breathy laugh at his own incompetence, glancing up at the TV to check the time. He grimaced. Hopefully Sans and Red weren’t home yet, they’d never let him live down sleeping this late.

“Blue?”

Blue screeched in fear, tripping backwards over his feet and landing on the floor. He sighed, loud and long, as he heard snickering from the direction of the kitchen, then sat up.

Razz crouched in front of him, setting a cup of water and a mug of… something… on the coffee table. “Did I scare you?” He asked, still grinning as he extended a hand.

Taking it, Blue let himself be hauled up. “No. The Magnificent Sans never gets scared.”

“Practicing for the opera, then?”

“You know it.”

Razz handed him the water first, and he sat back down on the couch, sipping carefully until he realized how thirsty he was. He could hear Razz laughing at him again as he gulped down the liquid, and he felt the cushions shift as he sat next to him.

Looking sadly at his empty cup, he set it down on the table, picking up the mug of steaming liquid and breathing in the smell as Razz leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands. Grimacing, he took a sip of the coffee, cursing the lack of creamer. The logical side of his brain knew it would just make him feel worse. The logical side of his brain was told to screw itself.

As he took another sip, he glanced over at Razz, pausing as he saw the fingers tapping rapid-fire against his jaw, eyelights drifting anywhere but at Blue.

...Crap. What had he done last night? It wasn’t that he’d blacked out, it was more just… Damn his head hurt. Despite that, he forced himself through the events of the night before as he set his mug down on the table. He’d...gotten home alright, he remembered dropping his keys inside the entryway. Razz had been there, right? Blue could vaguely remember slamming the door in his face. Was that it? Holy hell, his brain felt like it was going to explode. He reached for the coffee again.

“How are you feeling?”

Blue paused, swallowing his mouthful and glancing over at the other. “Kind of terrible, but… I don’t usually drink like that. Alphys got a little carried away.”

“Ah…” Razz said, the edge of a smirk playing around his mouth. “So this is Alphys’ hangover. Got it.”

“Hey, you should know by now of my competitive spirit. It rears its head at the most inopportune times.”

Snorting, Razz sat back, letting his arms drop to his lap, but his fingers kept drumming, almost...shakily? Was he okay? Blue’s soul dropped, but he forced himself to take another sip before setting the cup down again.

“Did… Did I do something weird last night?”

Razz jumped, eyes flashing to meet Blue’s before they dropped to the floor. “Do you not remember what happened?”

“Not...really? My head hurts.”

Purple eyelights glanced up at his own, holding them longer this time. “Uh...no, you--” His voice sounded wrong, raw, almost. Blue didn’t like it, found himself wanting to find a way to comfort him. He clenched his teeth, forcing himself to stay were he was, listening as Razz continued. “--you didn’t...uh...I’m gonna… you said your head hurts, right? I’m going to get you more water.” He stood up, grabbed Blue’s empty glass, paused. “And some...advil. Or something. I don’t know where your medicine is stored.”

“In the middle cabinet to the left of the sink. The painkillers should be on the bottom shelf.”

Razz nodded once, deliberately, before he left the room, leaving Blue blinking owlishly after him. Damn it, something had happened. For someone who’d grown up in a world like Red’s, Razz was a terrible liar. He sighed, leaning back into the couch and letting his eyes wander around the room. His boots were placed neatly by the door, laced up to the top and tied into neat bows. That was...he didn’t think he’d been nearly sober enough to actually tie his...hadn’t he pulled the laces out? He could remember staring down at himself as...Razz had helped him get his shoes off, then he’d--

His hands flew up to cover his mouth, eyes widening as his brain helpfully provided him with his missing memories. He could hear the water running in the kitchen, and he sprung to his feet just in time to see Razz come back into the room.

They made eye contact, and he could feel tears filling his eyes as he took a step back. Razz cursed under his breath, crossing the room in a few quick strides and set the contents of his hands on the coffee table before reaching up, taking hold of Blue’s humeri. “Hey, it’s alright, Blue--”

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I know that wasn’t okay, that wasn’t in any way okay, I’m so sorry, Razz--” His chest was heaving, his breathing speeding up out of his control as sobs start to wrack his body. He could feel shame and humiliation cutting through him, and he squeezed his eyes shut, not wanting to see the judgement on his face-- He could feel Razz’s arms around his back, tugging him in close, and he just couldn't help it, he buried his face into his chest and he couldn’t stop crying --

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, Blue, it’s okay--”

“Nothing about this is o-okay!” he sobbed, his voice muffled in the cloth of Razz’s shirt. Despite his words, he couldn’t get himself to pull away, his arms around Razz’s waist like they’d always belonged there. He could feel breath brushing over the top of his head, and he sobbed again, sucking in a deep breath. Razz smelled like rust, and spices, and something vaguely bitter that was so uniquely Razz that Blue couldn’t help but breathe it in again. He felt himself calming, chest jumping with slowing sobs as he tried to get ahold of himself. Razz was silent. One hand was rubbing calming circles into his back as the other kept him in close.

Finally, Blue sucked in a shaky breath, tightening his grip on the other as he found his voice again. When he spoke, his voice was quiet, almost a whisper as he did his best not to let himself sink in Razz’s hold. He could feel guilt prickling on the edges of his consciousness, but even when he reached for the thought of Sans and Red, he still didn’t want to let go.

God, how shitty was that?

“I...I’m so sorry,” he murmured, letting his eyes open, pulling in another deep breath of Razz.

“I’m...not.”

“What?!” At that, he did pull away, staring up at Razz in absolute disbelief. His hands stayed on the other’s hips, grip tightening as Razz’s hold shifted, loosening for a moment before sliding down to cup his elbows. Blue realized Razz was shaking, and he only hesitated for a second before pulling him back into the hug. He could feel the other’s terror, and despite himself, his soul filled with hope.

“I thought I was the only one,” Razz whispered against his skull, and the tears that filled Blue’s eyes as he pulled back were an altogether different variety than they had been just moments before. He stared up into Razz’s eyes, disbelieving in the face of the emotion there. He leaned forward before he could stop himself, and he could feel Razz’s hands shifting to the base of his spine, the back of his neck, but he pulled back, leaving just an inch of space between them. Disappointment swelled in his soul, but he didn’t push, waiting for the words that were working their way out of Razz’s mouth bit by bit.

“You have a commitment, Blue.” His soul crashed. “You’re married, and I would never dream of taking that from you, or...or from them.” It felt like the deepest, darkest wish of his soul was being snatched away, ground to dust right in front of his face.

“U-unless it’s something you want,” Razz whispered, eyes searching Blue’s own. “Unless you feel the way I do, that you would give up the world just to… I don’t even know, just to be… together? I don’t want to take your happiness from you, Blue. Say the word and I’m gone, but… when it comes to taking the leap? I’ve never met anyone I’d rather take the leap with than you.”

Blue was completely still for a split second.

Then he dove forward, catching Razz’s mouth with his own. A small noise of surprise made its way out of the other, but Blue went up on his toes, cupping Razz’s cheeks as he pulled away. His eyes flicked up to meet his darker ones, and he saw the sparks that flickered in them. Razz groaned, more of a heavy exhale than anything, and Blue pressed them together again. Summoning his tongue, he opened his mouth and ran it along Razz’s teeth, feeling the vibration of another shaky breath.

Razz’s hands dropped to his waist, taking a step forward as Blue took a step back, then Blue was being lifted by the other’s grip on his pelvis, slammed against the wall as Razz’s mouth opened, pressing his tongue to Blue’s. They wrapped around each other, Blue letting out a small noise that had Razz growling, the barbell through his tongue clinking against the roof of Blue’s mouth. Blue wrapped his legs around the other’s waist, hands curling into his ribs through his shirt, and kept his eyes shut tight.

His soul was racing, pulses of excitement and happiness arcing through his whole body. This felt like nothing he’d had in years , like a wildfire burning through his bones, and all he wanted to do was pull him closer.

They broke apart, chests heaving, and Blue wrapped his arms securely around Razz’s shoulders, managing to clank a single kiss to his jaw before Razz’s face was buried in his neck, leaving sparks of magic where he pressed his teeth to the vertebrae. Blue splayed his hand against the back of Razz’s neck, tilting his head to the side to give more access. His eyes were lidded, gasping breaths making their way out of his mouth as Razz’s fingers danced across his ribcage.

Then he glanced over, catching sight of the view through the window. The curtain fluttered, giving him a sliver of clear space through which to catch sight of a bright red car pulling into the driveway. Occupied as he was, it took him a moment to process the fact that that particular car belonged to Papyrus. Papyrus, Sans’ brother. Papyrus, Sans’ brother, that offered to give them all a ride to the--

“Stop, we have to stop,” he gasped, tightening his grip for a split second before grabbing Razz’s chin and pushing him away. Razz froze, mouth open as shock pulsed across his face, quickly followed by shame as he stepped back, letting Blue’s feet hit the floor.

“S-sorry--”

“Oh, God , no…” Blue leaned up, kissing him hard and feeling his hands drop lightly back to his hips. Then he pulled back, grinning in chagrin as the sound of an engine echoed in from outside, understanding lighting Razz’s eyes. Hesitantly, Razz echoed the expression, reaching up to cup Blue’s face and drawing him in once again, touching their teeth together lightly. Then the engine cut off, and Blue drew back. Razz’s smile looked a little more real now, and he winked. “Rain check?”

Blue laughed, then the click of the front door opening had them springing apart, Razz casually straightening his shirt as he made his way back towards the kitchen. He was humming, and Blue spared himself a smile as he picked up the Advil from the coffee table, washing it down with a few gulps of water.

Sans walked in, stomping the snow from his shoes before kicking them off in a pile next to Blue’s boots. He looked up, smiling when he saw Blue, and crossed the room as Red and Slim entered behind him.

Smiling back, Blue set his glass on the coffee table. “How was your trip?” He cursed himself inwardly, swallowing in an attempt to calm some of the breathiness in his voice. Sans didn’t seem to notice, and Blue waited for the guilt to rear its ugly head.

“It was great! We got into four of the panels, I think Red just about wet himself from excitement. Did you have a good time while we were gone?”

Nothing. Not even a twinge. Blue forced himself not to glance at the kitchen doorway, where he could hear Razz’s annoyed conversation with his brother. Red crossed the room to join them, looping an arm around Blue’s waist and clanking a kiss to the side of his head.

“Yeah,” Blue said, glancing down at the hold his husband had taken on him, wondering for a split second why the wildfire he’d been drowning in just moments before was nowhere to be found.

“Yeah, I did.”

~~~

“--and there was this workshop on astronomy and astrophysics that we managed to finagle our way into! I think you would have liked that one, Blue! They had full star charts from the surface, just how we remembered!”

In the motions of standing to collect the dinner dishes, Blue returned Red’s wide smile before giving him a shrug. “I tend to enjoy the memory of the stars themselves more than the science behind them, or points plotted on a chart. It just doesn’t have the same majesty on paper as it does in the sky. Besides--” He nudged Sans with his elbow as he took his empty plate. “You know I would have been bored any place where all you get to do is shuffle papers all day.”

“What exactly were your college years like, then?” Sans asked, grinning like he already knew exactly what was going to come out of his mouth.

Blue winked. “I’m not entirely sure. I don’t remember a large portion of it.”

Red laughed, deep and loud, and Sans chuckled, shooting a side-eyed glance at Blue. Shaking his head, Blue balanced Slim’s plate on top of the others before reaching for Razz’s.

“Now that’s a bold-faced lie, sweetheart. I think we all know you were a straight arrow before you let us drag you down.”

Razz stood before Blue could lay a finger on his empty plate, reaching for the stack in Blue’s hands. Holding it carefully out of reach, Blue turned a teasing smile on his husband. “Yes, Red. You were certainly the nail in the coffin of my innocence.” His eyes flicked back to Razz, holding out his free hand for the plate. “What little of it may have remained when we met, anyway.” Razz narrowed his eyes in a challenge, but there was a smirk pulling on the edge of his mouth, and Blue had to hold back a smile.

“I’d be happy to help with the dishes, Blue!” he piped up loudly, snatching the serving tray from the center of the table and taking off into the kitchen with his prizes, leaving Blue with his stack of plates.

Red laughed at the exchange, gesturing for Blue to sit down. “C’mon, Baby Blue. Live a little, let someone else do the chores just this once.”

He bit back a comment on the likelihood of anyone “else” actually stepping up to help. “And leave the guest to clean up after us? Not likely!” Red laughed like he’d been expecting nothing different, encircling his waist to plant a kiss on his cheek before releasing him.

As Blue walked into the kitchen, he could hear Slim’s quiet tones, Red and Sans both leaning forward to properly listen.

He huffed at the sight of Razz up to his elbows in soapy water. “Razz, I could have--”

“Toss them in, would you?” He interrupted, smiling openly and propping his elbows on the counter.

Blue glared at him for a moment, then sighed, doing as he’d been asked before turning to the drawers beside the sink, rummaging through for a towel. “Fine, but I’m doing the drying.”

Razz shrugged, handing him the bowl he’d been scrubbing before reaching back into the sink. Drying the dish quickly, Blue stood on tiptoe to add it to the stack of clean ones in the cabinet. They worked in silence for several moments, a tension building in Blue’s chest that he thought he recognized far too well.

Frowning at the serving tray, he turned around, bending at the waist to attempt to fit the stupid thing into its rightful place. Cursing, he finally just crouched, reaching in to rearrange some things so that it would properly fit. As he finally straightened, sighing in relief, he turned back to catch Razz’s eyes locked on his waist. Brows coming together, he glanced down to find that in his struggles, his shirt had managed to ride up over his pelvic girdle, exposing more than a few inches of bone to the peanut gallery.

Huffing, he straightened his shirt, and Razz looked up with a smirk. His face was dusted lightly purple, and Blue put a hand on his newly covered hip for a moment before advancing on the other. Razz took half a step back, running into the counter and effectively bringing himself to a stop as Blue planted his hands on the counter to either side of him. The coloring of his face darkened as Blue leaned forward, the fingers of one hand curling around his wrist as the other slid back on the counter. Then Razz glanced toward the doorway, and Blue took advantage of the distraction, grabbing a handful of bubbles from the sink and smearing them across Razz’s face.

Spluttering, Razz went to wipe them away only to encounter the soap covering his hands. He was left with water dripping from his chin to his shirt, mouth open at the betrayal but eyelights flickering with mirth.

Before Blue could retreat, Razz had grabbed a bigger handful of suds, managing to stuff the majority into Blue’s left eye socket before dancing away from his hold. Blue bit back laughter, picking up a new clump and throwing them in Razz’s direction. They floated slowly through the air, Blue sighing in frustration as Razz bent back to properly catch it on his shirt before standing proudly. They made eye contact, and simultaneously had to stifle more snickering. Razz crossed to the sink, dropping his fingers in. Blue started to back up, expecting the slow drift of more bubbles and instead receiving a splash of warm water, soaking his shirt and making him yelp in surprise.

Leaping forward, he seized Razz around the back, tugging him closer to the sink and splashing him repeatedly, soaking them both as Razz struggled to escape, laughter finally escaping as he held up his hands to block some of the deluge. Blue did not relent, however, continuing to empty the contents of the sink onto Razz, himself, and, largely, the floor.

“I surrender!” Razz finally cried, both hands in front of his face as he continued to splutter. Blue let go of him, throwing both hands up in victory just as a slow drawl piped up from the kitchen doorway.

“Wow, m’lord,” Slim said, pulling his lighter from his pocket and clicking it before he continued. “If I’d known we were having a wet T-shirt contest in here, I would have come sooner.”

“Don’t call me that, Slim,” Razz said tiredly, but his eyelights were still bright, and Blue swallowed the urge to wipe the remaining bubbles from his face.

Slim shrugged good-naturedly, striding past them to the screen door and pulling his cigarettes out of his pocket as he went. He stepped out of sight, but Razz’s eyes stayed on the door, his jaw shifting. Blue watched him for a moment, tapping his phalanges on his thigh, then sighed, glancing down at the puddle on the floor.

This was going to be a mess and a half to clean up.

Reaching back into the drawer that held the towels, Blue wiped the water from his face, considering stripping off his soaked shirt and deciding against it as he realized Razz was doing just that, using the dry parts to pat at his ribs and spine as he disappeared into the laundry room. Blue forced his eyes back to the towel, dropping it on the floor before lowering himself to his knees with a groan, beginning to soak up the puddle of water.

“What on earth happened in here?” came Sans’ shocked voice, and Blue looked up to see him peering into the kitchen in confusion. Razz reappeared in the same moment Red poked his head around the corner, the shorter raising a brow at the looks on their faces when they saw the covering of scars on his bare ribs before he pulled a clean shirt over his head.

“Dishes,” he replied, and Blue snorted in amusement, sitting the rest of the way back on his knees as Razz approached with another shirt. After a moment of hesitation, he peeled the one he had on from his ribcage, handing it to Razz and taking the one offered to him. Ignoring the wolf-whistle from the doorway, he quickly covered himself before continuing his cleaning.

Red’s voice reached him as he leaned back for a new towel, chucking the soaking wet one at Razz as soon as he appeared back in the doorway. “Do you need any help in here?”

Razz yelped, ducking back into safety and making Blue laugh out loud before turning to his husband with the same smile coloring his face. “No thank you, Red. We made the mess, we can take care of it.”

Shrugging, both of them disappeared back into the dining room. After a moment, Blue realized Razz had crossed the kitchen silently to be behind him, reaching into the drawer of towels before joining him on the floor. He jumped at the feeling of fingers on his clothed spine, snorting at the murmured words from the other as he began to assist in cleaning up the water.

“I totally could have won if I wasn’t taking it easy on you.”

“Taking it easy on me, huh? I’ll have you know I dont require soft handling.”

Razz smirked, and Blue felt his face heating up at his own choice of words. Then, glancing back at the doorway, Razz grasped his wrist, tugging it up to his mouth and pressing a kiss to his palm before murmuring, “I’d certainly like to see proof of that.”

Blue’s mouth quirked up as he linked his fingers through Razz’s, squeezing briefly before pulling his hand back. “I’m sure we’ll find time somewhere for a rematch.”

Razz’s eyelights burned into Blue’s. “I’m sure we will.”

Chapter Text

Somewhere around his second wedding anniversary, Blue remembered coming home, more excited than he’d been in months. Red and Sans had barely been able to get the reason for his elation out of him, but once they did, they’d been almost as excited as he was.

Alphys had promoted him.

It still wasn’t Royal Guard, but it was a step closer . It was Pre-Royal-Guard, mostly paperwork and other small jobs, routine checks and the like. But it was so close . At least, it’d felt that way at the time.

He had to admit, two years later, he was somewhat bitter about it. He wasn’t an idiot, and never had been; had known it was a stretch for him to get into the Royal Guard in the first place. He wished Alphys could just be honest with him instead of promising “new steps” and pushing back his tryouts time and time again.

Sighing, he shifted in his place on the couch, lifting his lapdesk so that he could cross his legs. Another report to fill out after another routine checkup of the same boring places. His life was certainly one of dreams.

His stream of mental complaints was interrupted by the sound of his text tone. Staring at the screen of his computer for a moment, he considered ignoring it. It wasn’t very professional to be on his phone during work hours, but his lunch break was approaching, and, well… There wasn’t much that was professional about sitting on his couch at home because the chair he usually occupied in the Guard offices had been commandeered by one of the secretaries.

Setting his computer aside, he lifted his hips to retrieve his phone, clicking it on and smiling as he read the text.

Razzmatazz: Hey! Do you have lunch plans today?

A burst of excitement and nervousness hit Blue all at once, a grin growing across his face as he replied that he did not have plans and that, in fact, his break could be taken any time he was hungry. The typing indicator popped up, then disappeared. Then popped up again. Then disappeared. Blue snickered, setting his phone to one side and, after a moment, reaching back and turning the volume all the way up.

He had barely set it aside when the door creaked open, and a burst of panic had him grabbing it again, re-quieting the ringer before he looked up to see who the newcomer was.

Razz was standing in the entryway, absentmindedly kicking off his shoes as he stared down at his phone. Blue’s grin returned as he watched the other pause, rapidly deleting whatever he’d just typed before shifting his phone to his other hand. His bemusement only grew as Razz advanced into the room, still appearing to not notice Blue sitting right in front of him.

“Wow, that must be one difficult text.”

The phone hit the carpet as Razz jumped in surprise, looking up at Blue. His face dusted with purple as Blue laughed at him, and he picked his phone back up and stuck it in his pocket.

“What are you doing here?”

Razz took another step forward as Blue stood up. “I had some paperwork to sort out. What are you doing here?”

“...I don’t have a job.”

“Oh, right!” Blue laughed, sticking his hands in his pockets and grinning. “How’s the house hunting going?”

“We have a place we’re finalizing on, I met with them this morning.”

Blue nodded, and they stood silently for a moment before he tilted his head to one side to regard the other. “So what were your plans for this lunch break?”

Smirking, Razz stepped past him to make his way into the kitchen. “Well, lunch is usually what happens on a lunch break, right?” he called over his shoulder. Blue scoffed, shaking his head before following.

Razz was standing with his back to the door, peering into the cabinets. Blue resisted the urge to wrap his arms around him from behind, instead boosting himself onto the counter next to him. Glancing over bemusedly, Razz pulled a loaf of bread out of the cabinet and set it on the counter.

“So…” Blue ventured, leaning forward to prop his chin in his hands. “How’re things?”

Razz looked over again, this time with real laughter in his eyes. “We already made small talk, Blue.”

He made a face. “Well, okay, what are your ideas to fill the time then, know-it-all?”

A small smile graced Razz’s expression and he took one of Blue’s hands, intertwining their fingers as he leaned up against his legs. “Did you have something different in mind than just lunch?”

Blue smiled, his free hand settling on Razz’s shoulder before running up his neck to cup his face. Razz closed his eyes as their mouths connected, Blue sighing into the kiss. His whole body felt fuzzy and warm, soul lighting up with every moment of contact.

They broke apart, but Razz didn’t go far, eyes staying closed as he leaned his head against the side of Blue’s. One hand wrapped around his back, and the one clasped with Blue’s own tightened, thumb tracing along his metacarpals. Nothing was said for a long moment, both just basking in the atmosphere.

“How far are we going to take this?” Razz murmured, shifting to touch his teeth to Blue’s temple.

“As… as far as we can?”

“You know what I mean, Blue…” He pulled away just enough to look at his face. “You’re--”

“Married,” He finished quietly, gaze dropping to the floor. He hesitated, then pulled his hand away from Razz’s face. “Yeah, I… I know.”

His hand was captured, twined in a grip to match the other as Razz closed the distance between them again, faces inches away as he spoke. “Blue, are you happy with them?”

Blue’s mouth opened, an automatic ‘yes’ already on its way out when he hesitated. “No. I’m not.”

“Are you happy with me?”

This time, there was no hesitation. “Yes.”

“Then what are we going to do about that?”

He faltered, fingers playing between Razz’s as he considered the question. “I don’t know?” His voice rose at the end as he thought about it, stilling his hands as he started to fear they’d start to shake. “I don’t… I can’t leave them, Razz, it’s been so long, and to just… my whole life would turn upside--”

“I’m not asking that of you,” Razz interrupted softly. “I wouldn’t ask you to throw away the last six years of your life for me.” He looked down then, apparently searching for words. “What… what I want for you is happiness. If your… if Red and Sans aren’t taking the opportunity to make sure you have that, then they don’t deserve to have you.” Blue had no idea what to say, blinking back tears as Razz steeled his jaw and looked up. “Maybe I don’t deserve you either. But I’ll take as much of you as you’re willing to give me.”

His soul was swelling, watching him. His eyelights were trembling, the beautiful color dimming as Blue stayed silent. Searching for words and finding nothing, Blue sat forward so that their chests were pressed together. Razz’s eyelights softened, and Blue sighed, closing his eyes for a kiss.

When he went to break away, Razz followed him, letting go of his hands to pull him back in. They clanked together, and Blue let out a noise of surprise that quickly morphed into a soft groan. He was pulled closer to the edge of the counter, supported mostly by the other’s hold, and this time, when they disconnected, they were both breathing hard.

“I want to be with you, Blue,” Razz whispered. “However you’ll take me.”

This time, it was easy to speak. “I just want you ,” he replied, voice breaking on the last word.

Razz smiled, and Blue’s soul skipped.

“You have me.”

~~~

Shuddering breaths filled the small space as they broke apart, Razz leaning forward to reconnect them even as Blue stifled laughter. Returning the grin, Razz’s hands dropped to his waist, pulling them closer together before pressing another kiss to his mouth. Blue groaned, letting his eyes drift shut for a moment before he pulled back again.

“Razz, this is the second time this week,” he whispered, shivering softly at the feeling of hands trailing up his back. Razz grinned, a cocky sort of smirk that had Blue rolling his eyes.

“Only the second, huh?”

He leaned forward, trying for another kiss, but Blue raised a hand quickly, laying it across his mouth and shaking his head in mock-disapproval. “Red and Sans are right downstairs.”

“So is my brother,” Razz said, voice muffled past Blue’s hand. “No one ever looks in this closet, do they?”

“Actually, Red keeps his--” Blue cut off in a gasp as Razz dropped his hands back to his waist, fingers slipping beneath the hem of his shirt to brush against the tops of his illium. He glared up at the other, trying not to let himself crack a smile at the sparks of mirth in Razz’s eyes. The hands smoothed over the bone, dipping below his waistband to press sharp claws into the sides of his-- “Okay! You’ve convinced me, sheesh!”

Chuckling as Blue removed his hand, Razz clanked their mouths together, pressing hard before pulling away and repeating the action, peppering kisses on Blue’s teeth until he let out a groan of frustration, seizing Razz by the collar of his shirt and summoning his tongue to run along his smile. He reciprocated quickly, pushing Blue back so that he was caught between a wall of shelves and Razz’s body, which insistently pressed up against his own as his tongue twisted around Blue’s.

Blue rocked his hips, groaning as one of the hands continued on their journey, the other wrapping around his spine. They broke apart for a moment, Blue looking down to work at the buckle of Razz’s pants before his wrists were caught, slammed up against the shelving behind him as Razz kissed him again. Their fingers intertwined, and Blue smiled into the kiss. He gave a light squeeze to the hands holding his own, closing his eyes as Razz hummed into his mouth.

Razz shifted, dropping one hand in order to grip Blue’s chin, tilting his head to one side and beginning to place open-mouth kisses over his jaw, down the bone of his neck. Sighing, Blue relaxed into the attention, a wry smile curving the edge of his mouth as he let his free hand drop back to the front of Razz's pants.  

"Is there a knife in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" 

Sighing, Razz pulled his face out of Blue's neck to clank their foreheads together. "If we're going to be trading shitty pickup lines, I'm pretty sure I left my knife in my bedroom. Want to go find it with me?" 

"Aren't we already in your--"

 

Rolling his eyes, Razz cut off the quip with another kiss. Blue laughed, trying to pull away to speak only for another chuckling kiss to be pressed to his mouth, followed by another and another until Blue was snorting quietly. Razz wrapped his arms solidly around the bottom of his ribcage, hauling him closer and continuing the kisses. Blue curled his fingers over Razz’s shoulders, deepening the next kiss until they were both sighing into it, biting back--

Click .

Simultaneously, they broke apart, freezing as they listened to the footsteps crossing the floor. The guest room was set with carpet, so it made it difficult to hear exactly where the newcomer was going. Blue felt Razz’s grip loosen, turning his head just enough to better take in the new sounds, and Blue glanced up to watch his eyes, the concentration flashing through them before he mouthed a silent curse, taking a half-step closer to the closet door. Blue shifted his attention just in time to notice the shadow through the slats of the wood, and, in a moment of panic, he pulled out of Razz’s arms, practically diving behind a section of hanging coats.

He only realized he had effectively abandoned Razz to his fate once the door was already open, light pouring in from the bedroom and backlighting the confused form of Red.

“...Hi, Razz.”

Razz straightened, folding his arms across his chest. Blue could only see him through gaps between cloth, praying his legs were hidden by the shadows of his corner.

“Hello.”

“What are you doing in the closet?”

“It takes a journey of self-discovery before anyone is ready to come out of one.”

Blue stifled a laugh, a disbelieving grin stretching across his face at the response. Red wore a similar expression, though confusion colored his voice as he said, “Alright, fine. I won’t ask. Can you hand me the blanket up there, please?”

Razz turned around, glancing in Blue’s direction once Red couldn’t see. He visibly relaxed, and Blue took it as a sign that he was well-hidden as Razz went up on his toes to retrieve the blanket. As he turned around, handing it over to Red, Blue closed his eyes and allowed himself a silent sigh of relief.

The closet door clicked shut, but Blue waited a few moments more before emerging, dusting himself off as Razz wrapped his arms back around his waist.

“That was too close.”

Despite his words, there was an edge of laughter in Razz’s voice. Blue smiled back. “But would it be as fun without a little risk?”

“Mmm…” Razz planted a kiss on his cheek. “It’d be plenty of fun no matter what.”

Blue hummed, shifting so that their mouths brushed as he spoke. “You’ve got that right… I think it’s all on you.”

“You think so?”

“You’ve got a certain…” Blue’s hands drifted up the sides of his ribcage. “...appeal to you. Any guy would count himself lucky to take a ride.”

“Cut yourself off a piece, baby, or I might have to go find somebody else to appreciate me.”

Blue snorted as they connected in a kiss, Razz laughing into it as Blue’s hands looped loosely around his neck. When they broke apart, Razz was still laughing, burying his face in Blue’s shoulder as he mumbled, “That was so stupid…”

“Everything’s a little stupid!” Blue whispered grandly, but he was still grinning. “That was pretty lame, though. I’ll admit that much.”

“‘Take a ride’...” Razz snickered again as he straightened. “What am I, a motorcycle?”

“You told me to break off a piece, so probably a cake motorcycle.”

Razz broke back into laughter, muffling himself with the back of one hand as he leaned into Blue. “A cake motorcycle sounds awesome.”

“I’d date a cake motorcycle.”

His grin widened. “Date, huh? I like the sound of that.”

“Sir, my husbands said I’m not allowed to have a boyfriend. I’ll kindly ask you to maintain my innocence.”

Snorting, Razz pecked his cheek again. “It may be a bit late for that.”

“Speaking of innocence,” Blue started, nervousness sparking as he looked into Razz’s face. It was dimly lit, striped with the light coming in through the slats in the door, and he was still smiling softly, watching him patiently as he searched for words. “I’ve been thinking--”

“Always dangerous.”

Blue snorted, then his eyes dropped, focusing in the vicinity of Razz’s chest as he forced out the words. “What do you… think about sex?”

There was a pause, Razz leaning back a few inches in an attempt to see his face. “...What do I think about sex?”

“Yeah! Like! With me!”

Another pause. “...Is this you trying to proposition me?”

Snorting again, Blue smacked Razz’s arm lightly. He attempted to glare up at the other, but Razz was grinning, and Blue couldnt resist the edges of his mouth curving up in response. “You know I don’t know what I’m doing, this isn’t exactly familiar territory!”

He snickered again, but leaned forward to pull him back into a tight hold, Blue’s head settling comfortably against his neck. “I wasn’t going to push it,” Razz murmured. “It’s hard enough to find the privacy for this, let alone anything more elaborate.”

Blue hesitated, twisting his hands into the back of Razz’s shirt. “The weekend after next, up in the capital, there’s a citizen guard training. It’s a two-day thing, and I thought we could go. Or just… skip it. Either way, I’ve got a… hotel room, in case we wanted to stay overnight.”

He was pretty sure his soul was going to explode with tension, his nervousness mounting with every second Razz paused. He’d messed up, hadn’t he? This was too far, too fast--

Gasping dramatically, Razz exclaimed, “Oh my God, you are propositioning me!”

“I swear to--” Blue shoved him off, surprised to feel tears pricking at his eyes as he folded his arms across his chest.

“Hey, hey, I was kidding,” Razz laughed, catching him by the humerus and pulling him back in. Blue could only stay stiff for a moment, letting himself relax into the other’s form. Razz cupped his cheeks. “Are you sure?”

His eyes flicked up, meeting Razz’s. “Of course I am.” He raised one hand, laying it over the one Razz had on his face. “I want nothing more than to be close to you, Razz.”

Razz was still searching his face, but there was something bright hidden in his expression, and Blue smiled nervously, hesitating before he pulled slightly away, gesturing as he spoke. “A-and if you don’t have to have like… full on, sex , that’s fine! I just… we can still have some privacy. A weekend, just us, and we could even actually go to the training thing, and just… sleep next to each other. Or not! If you don’t want to! It would be pretty easy to get a room with two beds, in case you--”

“Blue!”

Razz was laughing again, but this time, it left Blue with a warm feeling in his soul. He tilted his head up to receive the soft kiss Razz pressed to his mouth, closing his eyes as the hands on his cheeks dropped to wrap around his waist. “That sounds fantastic,” Razz murmured. “Just you and I.” He snorted, and Blue opened his eyes to catch the look of amusement on his face. “And I’ll be sure to bring my knitting. Wouldn’t want to get bored between all the sex we’re definitely going to have, who do you take me for?”

Sagging in relief, Blue laughed. “You’d better hope you bring your A-game.”

The warmth in Razz’s eyes was making his soul flutter, the kiss that Razz clanked to his mouth only increasing the feeling. They broke apart, but Razz didn’t let him go far. “I…”

Blue’s breath stopped.

Razz hesitated, then smiled. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Chapter Text

“Now, let’s stop running from love, running from love...”

Blue threw one arm out, mouthing along to the lyrics as he stepped along to the beat.

“Let's stop, my baby”

His hips jumped forward, then to one side, bringing the arm back in before spinning to face the other way. Dancing backwards, eyes lightly closed, he could imagine he was completely alone in the house.

Now, let’s stop running from us, running from us, let’s stop, my baby…”

Pausing for a split second, he grinned at the empty air.

“Oh, my my my!”

His arms drifted above his head as he continued to dance, eyes still closed and resisting the urge to sing out loud.

I die every night with--”

Blue stumbled, running smack dab into a solid form. He steadied himself on it, eyes opening just in time to feel the rumble of a laugh through Red’s chest. Smiling sheepishly, he pulled off his headphones and met the other’s eyes. “Sorry! I thought you were upstairs!”

“I’m glad I came down,” Red said, smiling softly down at him. Blue realized his hands were settled on his hips, and Red squeezed briefly as they looked at each other. “It’s good to see you so happy, Blue.”

He blinked, pushing back the thoughts that were immediately supplying him with everything Red shouldn’t know to make him arrive at that claim. “Thank you? What makes you say that?”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you dance is all. Months… or longer, even. I didn’t know I missed seeing it as much as I did.”

Blue knew he should have guilt hitting him hard, after hearing something like that, but all he could think was how angry it always made him, the reminders that they’d… noticed. That they knew he wasn’t the person he used to be, and they still didn’t do a thing.

“Maybe it’s the weather,” he supplied softly. “It’s been brighter out.”

Red nodded thoughtfully, then leaned forward to connect them in a kiss. Blue allowed the contact for a moment, then pulled away with a smile. Returning the expression, Red pressed another peck to his cheek. “I love you, Blue.”

“You too, Red.”

~~~

“Mm-hm…”

Something tapped his shoulder, and Blue shifted the phone from his shoulder to one hand, looking up to see Razz gesturing at the paper he needed to sign. He took the pen being offered to him, signing his name quickly.

“And it was noon you said you were going to be home, right?” Sans’ voice sounded funny, like it always did over the phone, and Blue nodded absentmindedly before he realized the other couldn’t see him.

Handing the pen back to Razz, he replied, “Yes, noon. We were planning to leave here around ten, maybe a little earlier? We might get back earlier than we think.”

“Okay, are you going to the trainings tomorrow? Or just today?”

“Hopefully both!” Blue chirped, the side of his mouth lifting as he watched Razz chat with the monster behind the desk. He was smiling widely, eyelights sparkling, and Blue couldn’t help but enjoy the sight.

“Do you think you’ll get out in time if you go to the ones tomorrow?”

The desk attendant handed Razz the little packet of room keys, and Razz handed them off to Blue before turning back with a smile, thanking them quickly before reaching to pick up his bags.

“We should! We’ll only go to the morning one, and if it goes a little late, no harm no foul, right?” Blue fished his key card out of the packet and handed the other back to Razz before picking up his own bag. “It shouldn’t go too much later, though.”

“Good!” Sans laughed. “Don’t have too much fun without us. I think Red’s a little jealous you got to go up to the capital.”

“Aw, it’s not that great!” Blue smiled as Razz looked back over his shoulder, raising a brow as he realized where Blue’s gaze had been directed. He turned around, walking backwards into the elevator with a roll of his hips. Blue rolled his eyes. “It’s pretty crowded here, I like Snowdin.”

Sans snorted over the phone as Blue entered the elevator. Razz made a small noise, then reached around Blue to press the button for the third floor.

“Yeah, it’s kind of funny that he likes it up there so much. He’s never been the biggest fan of crowds, has he?”

Blue almost didn’t hear what Sans said, humming quickly in agreement as Razz’s fingers drifted from the elevator button to hook under Blue’s chin. He was still pressed in close, and as the elevator started up, Blue turned to press his back to the wall, grinning as Razz curled his free hand around his waist. His bag was still slung over his shoulder, and it pressed into his spine as it was trapped between Blue’s back and the elevator wall.

“Hey, is Razz there?”

He jumped as the question came over the speaker, a startled laugh making its way out of his mouth. Razz furrowed his brows in confusion, but Blue just reached up with his free hand, laying it flat on the other’s chest before smoothing up to his shoulder, thumb stroking the bone there lightly. “He’s right here.”

“Can you put me on speaker really fast?”

“Of course!” Blue said brightly, pulling the phone away from his face and pushing the button. “He can hear you!”

Shaking his head in amusement, Razz tightened his grip on Blue’s hips for a moment before pulling away. “Hey, Sans. What’s up?” The elevator dinged, and they both straightened, Razz taking hold of Blue’s hand as they made their way into the hallway.

“Slim was asking me earlier what a fish does when it swims? He said it was really important to ask you.”

Razz sighed. “He knows that that joke doesn’t work in English.”

“He seemed highly amused by it.”

“Slim is always highly amused,” he responded, letting go of Blue’s hand to get the room key out of his pocket as they approached the door. “It’s better than the one with the Columbian bathtub, at least.”

“There’s a joke about a Columbian bathtub?”

“Unfortunately,” Razz replied, holding the door open for Blue to precede him. “We really don’t need to get into it.”

Sighing, Sans replied, “Well, if we aren’t going to get in on your secrets, I suppose I’d better let you guys go. I didn’t get a chance to check up on Blue before he left, wanted to see how he was doing, what the plan was.”

“That’s sweet of you,” Razz said, closing the door behind them and letting his bag drop to the floor. Blue made a noise of agreement, feeling more than hearing the other come up behind him and leaning back as his arms curled around the bottom of his ribcage.

“I mean, it’s my job, right?” Sans laughed. “The whole point is to care.”

Blue sighed silently as a kiss was pressed to the side of his neck.

“Still,” he replied, dropping his bag to the floor before reaching back to settle a hand on the side of Razz’s head. He breathed out a chuckle at the motion, and Blue fought a grin as he continued to speak. “Thanks, Sans.”

“Have fun!”

Razz paused, fingers curling into the front of Blue’s shirt. Blue huffed out a laugh, taking the phone off speaker and lifting it to the side of his head as he turned around in Razz’s hold. “We will!”

“Love you!”

“Bye, hon,” Blue said, grinning as the call finally dropped, throwing an arm around Razz’s neck as he tucked his phone into his back pocket. “What do you think?”

Razz leaned in close, touching their foreheads together lightly as he raised a brow into a smirk. “What do I think about what?” His hands brushed down Blue’s sides, stopping at his hips and massaging the clothed bone there.

“Do you like the room?”

Waggling brows, the click of a tongue. “I like the bed.”

Blue huffed out a laugh, tilting his head to the side just enough to kiss Razz hard, tongues brushing together before he pulled away completely, crossing the room to stand in front of the aforementioned bed. It was large enough for the both of them, the blankets clean-looking and the mountain of decorative pillows arranged neatly at its head. He’d originally been surprised by how easy it was to find a room at all on an event weekend, especially one with a single bed, but he was becoming more glad by the second that luck had been in his favor.

Even if the sight of this thing was making him more than a little nervous.

He glanced over his shoulder with a grin. Razz was still standing where he’d left him, hands in his pockets and watching Blue with soft eyes. He’d worn a gray button-down, and it hung loosely over his frame. It was rare enough to see Razz with his spine covered, but it was almost making Blue want to look at him more. He looked so good like this. Relaxed. It was wonderful to see.

Kicking off his boots, Blue plopped down onto the mattress, leaning back to support himself on his hands and smiling brightly. “Well, I call sleeping here! I guess you’re stuck with the bathtub!”

Razz snorted, taking his hands out of his pockets and crossing the room in a few quick steps. He leaned forward, placing his hands over top of Blue’s so that he was hovering over him. “I don’t suppose there’s a way I could earn myself into the bed, could I?”

It was said with the sides of his mouth creeping upwards, eyelights sparkling with mirth. Blue returned the expression. Letting his knees drift apart, he waggled his brows. “I might be able to think of a way.”

Laughing, Razz climbed onto the mattress, capturing Blue around the shoulders and rolling so that they were laying side by side. Blue nudged a knee forward, tucking it between Razz’s and curling forward to bury his face into the other’s sternum.

God, this was wonderful. No one could come in, no one could see them. No one could take this away from them. Here, what they did wasn’t a secret. They could just be...together. It could just be them.

Fingers trailed along Blue’s spine, and he pulled his face just far enough away to brush his hands over the top button of Razz’s shirt. He glanced up, taking in the other’s closed eyes and peaceful expression, and his own eyes lidded as he started to make short work of undoing the buttons, fingers brushing against bone as he went.

Razz only shifted when his chest was entirely bared, rolling them so that Blue was on his back, looking up into those beautiful purple eyelights as the unbuttoned ends of Razz’s shirt brushed against Blue’s clothed ribcage.

“You are gorgeous,” Razz murmured, gaze travelling down Blue’s body before snapping back up to his face. There was something in his eyes that made Blue’s breath hitch, hands jumping up to cup his cheeks, brush his thumbs along the bone. Razz was holding himself up on his elbows, but he relaxed, closing his eyes. He settled down into Blue’s chest and let out a contented sigh as Blue’s hands left his face, dropping to wrap around his shoulders and hold him in close.

“You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Blue whispered, and Razz’s breathing went shaky for a moment.

“Can I just hold you?” he breathed. “We have all night. I just want to hold you for a while.”

Blue lidded his eyes, relaxing down into the bed and welcoming the weight over him, Razz’s legs tangling with his own as his hands slipped beneath the hem of his shirt. As his fingers curled between Blue’s ribs, Razz sat back up just enough to press a chaste kiss to Blue’s mouth, smiling warmly at the expression on his face.

“Y-yeah.” Blue’s voice came out almost too quiet. “Yeah, we can just… don’t… don’t go anywhere.”

Grinning again, Razz relaxed back into Blue, tucking his face into the space between his neck and his shoulder and letting out a soft breath. “I’m not planning on it.”

Eyes closing, Blue could feel Razz mapping out his individual ribs beneath his shirt, sighing occasionally into his neck as Blue imitated the movements. He had it quite a bit easier, Razz’s shirt only held to him by his arms through the sleeves. Blue’s fingers ran over the ridges of his individual scars, lingering over those that stood out higher than the rest, pressing a kiss to Razz’s temple every time he tensed.

“I wish…”

Blue’s voice was quiet and soft, and Razz’s hands stilled at the tone. Taking a deep breath, Blue powered on. “I wish we could have this all the time. I wish I could be with you, without my whole world getting torn apart.”

Razz was silent for a long moment.

“Do you remember that apartment Slim and I were looking into?”

“...Yes?”

“We finalized last Thursday. We’re going to be able to move in any time after Monday.”

Blue paused, movements stopping completely. “You’re moving out?”

Curling his legs up to plant his knees on either side of Blue’s waist, Razz sat up carefully. Blue followed him up, looping his arms around his waist to keep him in his lap as it seemed for a moment that he might move away. Razz sighed, but there was a smile playing at the corners of his mouth, carefully taking Blue by the wrists and releasing his hold, tangling their fingers together and pressing a kiss to his metacarpals. “Yes.”

Blue looked up at him, eyes soft even as his soul was rushing. “What does that mean for...this?”

“You’re always welcome,” Razz murmured, climbing carefully out of Blue’s lap and leaning back against the mountain of pillows at the headboard, never letting go of his hands. “The apartment is in Waterfall, so it’s not far at all, and, well… there will be more privacy there.”

After a split second of hesitation, Blue followed him forward, effectively leaving their positions flipped. He could feel the pulsing of Razz’s magic beneath him, but he ignored it for the moment. “What about Slim?” he couldn’t help but ask, and Razz smiled softly.

“I doubt he’ll be there often. He prefers being at Papyrus’s.”

Blue hesitated again, not wanting to dampen the atmosphere, but… “Don’t you think that’ll raise some suspicion? Me always being at your place?”

“Do you really care if it does?”

Freezing momentarily, Blue glanced up at his face, meeting the purple head-on. Razz was looking at him softly, a note of fear in his eyes that was quickly extinguished by the expression on Blue’s face. He sighed in contentment, leaning forward so that they were pressed together, wrapping his arms around his neck and leaning his face into his shoulder. Razz’s arms went around his back with no hesitation, resting his jaw against the side of Blue’s head.

“I wish this wasn’t so complicated,” Blue murmured.

“Well.” Razz kissed the side of his head, then pulled away enough to lift his face to his own. “I might know a way to uncomplicate it, just for a little while.”

Mouth quirking up in a smile, Blue tilted his head to the side. “Yeah? Tell me all about it.”

“How about I show you, instead?”

Chapter Text

Blue wasn’t sure what woke him. It was silent as his eyes blinked open, the room warm and the blankets soft. It took him a moment to place the feeling of the presence at his back, the owner of fingers intertwined with his, attached to the arm that was keeping him in close. Then it clicked, and he sighed contentedly as Razz kissed the back of his shoulder. His hand tightened as he felt him smile against the bone.

“Sleep well?” Razz murmured, shifting up onto an elbow as Blue rolled onto his back. He smiled sleepily up at the other, and Razz grinned back, dropping back down so that his head was tucked into the junction between Blue’s jaw and neck. Blue sighed, letting his eyes drift shut as the other pressed more kisses to his bones and allowing Razz to shift his grip on his hand so that it was trapped to the pillow beside his head.

“Yeah…” his voice trailed off into a quiet groan as Razz slid one leg over his lap, straddling him carefully as continued trailing kisses across Blue’s vertebrae and down over his clavicle. “Best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time.”

Razz hummed, sinking down so that their bodies were pressed together, bare bones warm under the piled blankets. He let go of Blue’s hand so that he could wrap his arms around the bottom of his rib cage, squeezing tightly as he continued kissing his way over Blue’s whole chest. Blue laughed breathlessly, still blinking sleep from his eyes as he propped himself up on his elbows. “Have you been awake for a while?”

“Only about… fifteen minutes,” he said, glancing up with a grin. “Has anyone ever told you that you that you drool in your sleep?”

Scoffing, Blue picked up the other pillow, smacking Razz with it before the other had his hands on his shoulders, pushing him back down into the mattress. “Oh, so that’s how you want to play it!” Razz said, a cocky smirk playing across his mouth. Blue laughed, trying to smack him again only for his wrists to be repinned, a kiss being clacked to his mouth. They stayed like that for a few moments, each kiss immediately followed by a new one and tongues quickly summoned to twine together.

At the feeling of magic crackling through the bones of his pelvis, Blue turned his head to the side, catching the next kiss on his jaw. “We--” he bit back a gasp as Razz’s fingers brushed over his spine, all too aware of every point of contact down the length of his body. “We need to be back by noon, Razz.”

“So?” He murmured, mouth moving back to Blue’s neck.

“So if we start this again, I’m not going to  want to stop.”

Razz grinned up at him, one hand smoothing down to the inside of Blue’s thigh. “...So?”

Blue huffed, seizing him by the sides of his face and kissing him one more time before pushing him off. Razz’s laughter was clear and loud, but he complied, planting his knees to either side of Blue’s hips and sitting up. He stretched his arms above his head, letting his spine arch as the blanket fell down around his waist. Blue couldn’t help but let his eyes drift along the lines of his body, the display almost tempting him more than the touches had.

Razz was gorgeous, the strength in his movements enhancing the structure of his delicate-looking bones. The lines of scars might have seemed off-putting to an outside observer, but Blue could still remember how it’d felt to run his hands over them, every hill and valley under his fingers reminding him that this was Razz. This was Razz he was with, Razz with his body pressed close and magic sparking over his--

“Take a picture, babe. It’ll last longer.”

He glanced up to meet the other’s smirking gaze, returning it with his own grin. “Can I?”

Razz just snorted, dropping his arms behind his head. Show-off… After a split second of hesitation, Blue’s hands jumped up to his bare hips, brushing his thumbs over the bone as the side of Razz’s mouth quirked up into a smirk. God, this… unapologetic confidence was like nothing he’d ever experienced before, someone who didn’t shy away from the idea that they might be worth something. Not that he didn’t deserve to think that way; Razz had obviously put years of work into shaping these bones, training himself to look powerful and move gracefully. Looking him up and down, hands smoothing over scarred bone, he was damn near perfect.

Nothing like Sans. Certainly nothing like Red.

He flinched at the thought, hands dropping to his sides, but Razz didn’t seem to notice, having been moving to stand anyway. Blue sat up, lifting his chin to receive the kiss Razz pressed to his cheek, and wondered why the guilt he’d been expecting was nowhere to be found.

Watching Razz gather his clothes from the floor, moving to the bathroom, he tried not to think about it. And as the other paused in the doorway, glancing over his shoulder and raising a brow in an obvious invitation, Blue found himself unable to hesitate again.

After all, there was no real reason to deny himself the pleasure.

~~~

“Hey!” Blue looked up from kicking off his shoes to see Red standing in the living room, eyes gleaming with suppressed excitement. “I thought you were supposed to be back at noon!”

“We got out of the training a bit later than expected,” he replied, only kind of guiltily. He was distracted for a moment by Razz brushing past him, narrowing his eyes as he thought he felt a hand brush over his hip. Honestly…

Red bounced over quickly, and Blue raised a brow at the uncharacteristic show of energy. “How was the ride?” he asked, grinning happily as he helped Blue out of his coat.

“Slow at first, but it picked up after a few minutes,” Blue said, completely straight-faced as Razz choked from across the room.

Red furrowed his brows in confusion. “Are you okay, Razz?”

“Yep! Yep, I’m fi-- holy shit?!”

He’d come to an abrupt stop in the kitchen doorway, staring with wide eyes into the room. Blue could hear Sans laughing at the reaction from inside, and he glanced over at Red questioningly. He was grinning widely, and as Blue opened his mouth to ask, he just shrugged, gesturing at the kitchen doorway Razz had just disappeared through.

Eyeing Red suspiciously, Blue followed him into the kitchen, jaw dropping at the sight inside. Every surface had been scrubbed clean, the counters, the cabinets, the floor-- there was a vase of blue orchids! He’d had no idea they even knew that was his favorite flower, but there were so many , the vase full to overflowing with the gorgeous blossoms. He took a step forward, then glanced to the side, realizing suddenly that Sans was holding a cookie sheet out proudly. Red had stepped into the room and was corralling Razz into the corner, apparently trying to stop him from stealing one of the cookies.

“They would have probably been better an hour ago!” Sans said, but he was still grinning. “But we wanted to surprise you!”

Ah.

There was the guilt.

“Wow! This is… this is amazing!” He said, and he meant it, looking around at the obvious effort the two had put into this. “Why--”

“You work hard!” Sans stepped forward, and Blue took one of the cookies, still staring between his husbands. “We know we aren’t the best at helping out so we just thought that while you were gone, we could help! You’re always talking about how you never have time to really deep-clean the kitchen, so Red called Fell and found out some tricks, and we did it for you!”

Blue could feel tears welling up in his eyes, and to cover it up, he stuck the cookie in his mouth, looking away to brush his fingers over the petals of the flowers. He heard Sans offer Razz a cookie, and what sounded like Red attempting to steal half of them.

Then someone’s arm was around his shoulder, and he started, looking up just in time for Red to kiss his cheek, smiling warmly. “I know we’re hard to live with, sweetheart. Hopefully this helps make up for it a bit.”

He nodded, the emotions rolling in his soul making it impossible to speak. He took a deep breath in, then let it out.

“Blue, are you okay?” Sans asked, setting down the tray of cookies to wrap his arms over his shoulders. Blue reached up, resting a hand on each of his husbands’ arms.

“I-I--”

Razz shifted slightly, body angled as though he wanted to wrap Blue up too, and they made eye contact.

“Thank you so much, guys, I-I just need to go to the b-bathroom for a moment,” Blue said, detaching himself from the hug and doing his best not to run from the room. He hurried up the stairs, covering his mouth with his hand to keep any noise from escaping, and made his way quickly to the bathroom. He let himself in, closed the door behind him, sat on the closed lid of the toilet, and started to sob.

His body curled in on itself, hands covering his face tightly to keep any sound from escaping. God, this was so shitty, that he came back from the most amazing night in years to… to this. It felt as though the guilt was trying to tear him apart. How could he? How could he have done this to them? Weeks of sneaking around behind their backs, weeks of biting it back in public so that it could be done behind closed doors, and one night of absolute privacy, pure joyful companionship, and he…

He didn’t regret a single second of it.

Sobbing again, he drew his knees up to his chest. Why, of all days, did they have to pick today to give a shit? Why did they have to choose now to notice that he’d been flagging? It’d been years since they’d done anything to help him of their own accord, anything that mattered .

Deep inside, he knew it wasn’t true. He knew they loved him, he knew . But he’d fucking done it anyway, he’d followed his wants as they’d pulled him away, and he didn’t regret it.

Somehow, that was the worst part, that part that was making his soul curdle in on itself. He’d do it all again in an instant. He knew he would. He… Razz was…

“Blue?”

With a start, he realized he’d forgotten to lock the door, head shooting up to see Razz himself standing in the doorway. His eyes widened when he saw the tears smeared across Blue’s face, and he let himself in, locked the door behind him and took a step forward.

“Go away,” Blue whispered. Razz froze.

“I will. If you really mean it, I will.”

He couldn’t get himself to say it again, hadn’t really meant it the first time. Razz crossed the room after a moment. “What’s wrong?” he asked, crouching in front of him and reaching up to cup his cheeks. “I think they… thought you were overwhelmed with joy or something, but...Blue…”

Blue sobbed again, hard, and Razz pulled him forward, hugging him tightly and rubbing his back. It took a moment before Blue could speak. “Razz, I-I just--” He took a deep breath, face pressed into the other’s shirt. “How could I be doing this to them?”

Razz was silent for a long moment. “I thought you weren’t happy,” He murmured, but his arms didn’t drop from Blue’s back. “I thought you didn’t want to be with them anymore, that you didn’t fit into their lives and they didn’t try to fit into yours. I thought you wanted…” He trailed off.

“Y-you were right,” Blue said. “I’ve been out of place for so long, and I...I don’t regret any of it, Razz! That’s what’s… I’m cheating on them, I’m cheating on the people who I’m supposed to have loved for the past six years, and it’s making me so damn happy ! I’m not supposed to… God, it’s so messed up, I just...”

“I get it,” Razz said, pulling away just enough to look Blue in the eyes. He hesitated for a moment, then removed himself from the hug, just taking Blue’s hands and continuing to speak. “I really do. If you want, I’ll take my brother and I’ll go. We have that apartment coming through in a few days, enough money to hold us until we move into it. I’ll leave right now, if it will make things easier for you. You have a commitment, and as much as I--” He cut himself off, shaking his head. When he powered on, his voice broke. “All I want for you is happiness. I’m new in your life, and you’re new in mine, but I’ve never met anyone who deserves happiness more than you. You never have to see me again if that’s what puts you back together.”

Blue met his eyes, saw the honesty there. He meant it. He would pick up and go, put it all on hold so that Blue could find something he’s been missing for…

“I’ve been with Sans and Red for nearly six years, and I have never felt the way I feel with you.”

He could see Razz’s chest rise and fall as he took a deep breath, closing his eyes as the other leaned forward to kiss his cheek. It was within an inch of where Red had just done the same thing, and Blue couldn’t help but compare them.

“I’m yours, Blue. Whatever you decide to do.”

There was no comparison.

“Can I think about it?”

“Of course.”

Chapter Text

“Blue, what would you like to watch?”

He looked up in response to Red’s voice, peering between the options before giving a light shrug. “Uh… the one with the horse?”

“Oh, man, Spirit is the best movie,” Sans piped up, sprawled across the couch with his legs across Blue’s lap. “The horse fucking dies.”

“No it doesn’t, Sans.”

“Doesn’t it?”

“I… I don’t think so?”

They both turned to look at Blue, but he just shrugged. “I haven’t seen it.”

“Well, you’re in for a treat!” Red declared, crouching down to stick the movie into the player. Then he stood up, crossing to the couch and glaring down at where Sans was taking up the entire thing for himself. “Can I maybe sit down?”

“Sit on this dick,” Sans snickered, and Red sighed, glancing over at Blue with a long-suffering look on his face. Blue just shrugged, doing his best to grin back.

It felt like every word that came out of their mouths was grating on his nerves; every joke and pun slowly driving him to marching upstairs and calling Razz to make up another training session or road trip or anything --

He took a deep breath, ignoring the fact that Red was trying to fit himself into gap of space where Sans’ stomach would have been, if he had one.

Blue was so tired of being bitter.

“This movie is apparently a great representation of the pain that the colonial Americans put the native people through when they started moving inland,” Sans said matter-of-factly. Red stopped moving, turning to stare down at him.

“What the hell does that even mean?”

“You know, I’m not really sure? But I think basically humans are dicks.”

“Wow. Really? I never would have--”

“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit,” Blue said tiredly.

“What?! It is?!

He shot Red an annoyed look, then stood carefully. “Here, you go ahead and sit down, Red. It’s probably not great for Sans’ ribs to have your butt in them.”

“Only if you sit in my lap!” Red declared, plopping himself into the vacated seat and making grabby hands at Blue.

“Why don’t you get Sans to sit in your lap?” he snapped, surprised by the distaste that cropped up at the idea. Red didn’t even seem to notice his tone, turning his grin and his hands on Sans, but he was sitting up to look at Blue.

“Aren’t you going to watch the movie, Blue?”

“No, I…” He closed his eyes, then opened them. He wanted so badly to just… forget it all. He wanted to be able to sit down, to enjoy his time with them, to… to simplify all of this. But he’d had a taste of what it was like, to have something more . He just… couldn’t do it. “I need to take a shower before bed. If I come down before it’s over, I’ll watch whatever’s left.”

He didn’t give them a chance to respond before he left the room, jogging up the stairs and going straight for the bathroom. He was reminded, all too suddenly, of Razz, hugging him close, promising--

He stopped that thought right where it was, huffing quietly. He stripped off his gloves, toed off his socks, and reached for his shirt, looking at the shower as he stripped it off over his head. He could take a cold shower; it would help calm his emotions a bit; but the idea of a warm shower was appealing in a way few things were right now.

Going to drop his shirt to the floor, Blue glanced up at the mirror. He hadn’t been watching his diet as carefully lately, it was likely that his bones--

...What?

The shirt slipped from his fingers as he turned to face the mirror fully, hands rising in disbelief to touch the stomach that was formed between his ribs and pelvis. Resting on the surface, they smoothed up over the translucent skin to frame the shadow of a tiny inverted heart.

A new soul.

He… he was… he couldn’t be…

Nausea rose inside his chest, and he took a step away from the mirror, back hitting the wall as he stared at himself. His breathing sped up, tears pricking his eyes as his mind rushed to the conclusion that this was not the child of his husbands. This was not something he would be able to explain away, this was not something that should have ever happened to him . Sans and Red’s magic reserves were worlds higher than his own; and they all knew very well exactly who the carrier was in their relationship. Far, far too well.

Which meant that Razz--

He lunged for his phone, picking it up with shaking hands and punching in Razz’s number as he bent to grab his shirt from the floor. Twisting the cloth between his fingers, he waited as it rung, nearly bursting into tears as he heard Razz’s voice.

“Blue?”

“Razz!” Oh, god, his voice sounded awful. It was cracking and far too loud for the fact that his husbands were just downstairs-- “I-I need you, can you--”

“Slim!” Razz was already shouting, and Blue nearly sobbed in relief at not having to find a way to explain himself over the phone. “Are you hurt? Where are you?”

“I’m at home. And n-no I’m--” He glanced at himself in the mirror again. “I just really need you to come back.”

“I’ll be there in two minutes. Hold tight, okay? I-- stay safe.” Blue heard him shout his brother’s name again, then the call dropped.

He stood there for a long moment, phone held so tightly in his hand that he could hear his bones creak. Razz would be there soon. He was just over in Tale, he was just...avoiding the house until Blue had made his decision. That seemed laughable now, that he’d ever considered-- He took a deep breath, setting the phone carefully on the sink before pulling his shirt back on. He swore he could still see the shape of the stomach through the cloth, but that was impossible, right? There hadn’t exactly been much to it yet, and it wasn’t like it glowed or something. They wouldn’t be able to see it, he was...he was sure of it, it was just the fact that he knew- -

Turning away, he picked up his phone and stuffed it in his pocket, opening the door slowly and peeking down the hall. There was no one in sight, but that wasn’t much of a surprise. Red and Sans were probably sound asleep downstairs or something. Well, maybe not that fast. He started as he realized it had only been a few moments since he’d been down with them, trying to convince himself he belonged there.

Then the front door opened, and all thought fled as he rushed to the landing, almost tripping down the stairs in his rush to get to Razz.

“Blue?!”

He’d taken a few steps inside, not bothering to take his shoes off as he peered up the stairs at him. His eyes were wide with worry, and behind him, Slim was staring at him in concern as well. Sans looked up as Blue hit the ground floor, climbing out of Red’s lap to pause the movie. “Weren’t you two supposed to be gone until--”

“Razz, I-- I thought of a new puzzle!,” Blue interrupted, cursing the high pitch of his voice. Slim narrowed his eyes in confusion as Razz paused, blinking at him.

“What--”

“For the spot by the river! You said it needed a new puzzle and I had an idea!” God, he hoped that didn’t sound like a lie. It was coming out steady and clear despite his roiling soul, and by the annoyed look on Slim’s face, he certainly believed it.

“I thought it was some kind of emergency,” he complained, but from the couch, both Red and Sans were watching Blue carefully. He pretended he was imagining the worry in Sans’, the suspicion in Red’s.

“It is an emergency!” He cried, studiously ignoring them both. “Puzzles and traps are fundamental for my career and Razz’s help is invaluable!” Razz nodded in agreement, but his expression was still one of confusion. Blue stepped forward, took him by the wrist. “Sorry, Slim!” He said, smiling as gratefully as he could manage. “I just really need his expertise!”

Slim grumbled under his breath, but slumped down onto the couch with Red and Sans as Razz followed Blue upstairs. They took them two at a time, and Blue let go of his arm to push open his bedroom door, ushering Razz inside before shutting and locking it.

Razz’s hands were on his shoulders before he’d even turned around, concern coloring his eyelights as he looked Blue up and down. “Are you okay? They didn’t hurt you, did they? You--”

His voice cut off in a choke as Blue grabbed his wrists, guiding his hands down to press against the summoned flesh of his stomach.

There was complete silence for a split second, then Razz gasped, yanking Blue’s shirt up a few inches to expose the soulling hovering inside. He was frozen as he stared, completely still until he pulled his hands away, letting the shirt fall and shoving his hands into his pockets.

“I guess this means your choice is made for you, then?” His voice was even, controlled, and his gaze was directed just above Blue’s left shoulder, refusing to look into his face. Blue sucked in a breath as something dark began to trickle into his soul, tears filling his eyes at the realization that a bond had already begun. God, it had taken at least a week for it to form with Sans when--

“Razz, I don’t--”

“It’s okay,” he said, reaching out and taking Blue’s hand, squeezing it. “It’s okay, Blue. I-I still-- You need them, right? And this is enough proof that you love them, it’s impossible to have a kid unless you do. U-unless that’s different here, but… but that doesn’t make sense. I...um…” He looked dangerously close to tears.

Blue said Razz’s name quietly, reaching up to cup his face and pushing back against the feeling of a broken soul. Razz refused to shift, refused to even look at him, and Blue was terrified, just for a moment, that he was imagining the connection.

“Razz, can’t you feel that?” he whispered, holding back tears. “C-can’t you feel me?”

Blinking, Razz’s gaze flashed up to meet his own. “W-what?”

“It can’t be theirs, don’t you see? Don’t you feel that? Y-you’re in my soul, I can feel you there, and I know how you feel--” His hopeful projection faltered, interrupted for a moment with worry. Razz let out a shaky breath, reaching up to take Blue’s hands away from his face. Blue’s voice broke as he continued, fighting to keep the feelings he sent to the other positive. “A-and it couldn’t be theirs no matter what, Razz, I couldn’t have a child with them, last time it wasn’t me w-who did it--”

“Last time?” Razz murmured, but Blue shook his head, powering on.

“--A-and I just don’t feel the same way about them that I do about you, I want nothing more than to be connected to you and to be a part of you, and I don’t know what I would do if I--”

“Blue.”

His words came to a screeching halt, staring up at Razz, feeling the other slip his fingers between his own as his jaw shifted, searching for the right words. “Blue, i-is this…” He stopped, moved their joined hands so that he was touching the formed stomach. “They’re mine ?” He asked, voice breaking on the last word.

Blue let out something that was dangerously close to a sob, squeezing his eyes shut and nodding. All at once, the pain entering his soul changed to wonder, and his hands were dropped so that Razz could throw his arms around his waist, squeezing the summoned body there as he tugged them closer together. “H-how--”

“But, Razz--”

They spoke at the same time, and Blue opened his eyes just in time to see the smile drop from Razz’s face. The hands around his waist fell away, and he took a step back. “I… Blue, I would ask you to… keep it but I… it’s your decision and I completely understand.” He sounded like his soul was breaking all over again, but his face betrayed none of it. “I don’t want to be the reason your life falls apart and if you decided to stay with them I--” his voice morphed into a strangled groan of pain, and Blue realized too late that the grief and horror he was feeling at the thought was being shot into the other’s soul like an arrow. It took a moment to reel it in, but he tried, pushing away his distress, the consuming thought that he couldn’t lose another child--

There were hands on his face, and he sobbed as he lurched forward, burying his face into Razz’s shirt. The grip shifted so that Razz could rub his back. Blue could hear the other’s soul pounding with their shared fear, and he tried again to pull back his emotion.

“I’ll stay with you, if that’s what you want,” Razz murmured, and Blue sobbed again. “If you… want to tell them its theirs, that’s okay too. I’m okay with the kid not knowing I’m their… can I know them? That’s all I want, I never thought I would have the chance to be… to be--”

Pulling back just far enough to tilt his head up, Blue connected them in a hard kiss. He hoped the warmth he felt for the other was strong enough to be shared, felt relief in return. They broke apart, but Razz pulled him close again, foreheads settling together as he closed his eyes.

“I’ve lost one before,” Blue said. His voice was almost inaudible, but Razz froze at the words. Blue’s breathing hitched, but he pushed on anyway. “I-I… Five years ago. We were going to have a baby, and we-- we lost them.” He didn’t know why he was telling Razz this, why this felt so important.

Razz opened his eyes, looked at Blue straight-on. “Will it happen again?”

“No-- I-I mean, I don’t think so. Sans was carrier, he-- his magic flooded his system, pushed him into an early labor. Th-they were-- barely old enough to have formed their trait--”

He broke off, feeling his chest constrict, but Razz didn’t let go, didn’t move at all. “I’m so sorry, Blue.”

“I-I… Razz, it’s everything that’s been missing from my life,” He pressed impossibly closer, felt the squeeze of being held tightly back. “Even before, I wanted to… to be a father. I wanted to have children, and I never… I was never going to be able to. I want to do this, and I want to do it with… W-with someone I l-love.”

Razz pulled back, staring at him in slack-jawed shock. “What?”

Deep breath. In, then out. “I love you, Razz. I w-want to do this, and I want to do it with you .”

Razz surged forward, kissing him hard enough that it left Blue breathless, pulled away just to kiss him again, pressing his teeth to Blue’s cheeks, his nose, his mouth. “I’ll take you anywhere you want to go,” he said between kisses, breath brushing over Blue’s chin. “I’ll take care of you, and I’ll take care of our baby, and you can do anything you’d like, Blue, we can just… run away!” He laughed. “We can run away, and… and we can… find somewhere, anywhere--”

Blue threw his arms around his neck, silencing him with another kiss. “Razz…” he breathed, barely pulling away enough to talk.

“And I love you too!” The words burst out of Razz’s mouth, quiet in volume but with the feeling that flowed into Blue’s soul attesting to their truth. “I love you so much, and I-I have for so long, I wanted to tell you so badly b-but I--”

He choked out a laugh, realized that there were tears tracking down his cheeks. “I think I knew,” he said, and Razz grinned, eyes flashing. He brushed away the tears, kissing Blue’s cheek before he spoke.

“I thought the end of my life was going to be alone. I thought it was going to be at the end of a weapon, on some patrol or on a battlefield of some kind or another. I-I thought I was going to die without ever--” his voice faltered. “You’re giving me everything I thought I would never get the chance to experience, Blue. I want to spend the rest of my life returning that favor. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

The look on his face had Blue’s breath faltering, soul speeding up as he met the other’s beautiful eyelights.

“When should we go?” Razz whispered, eyes sparkling even as his expression dimmed. “I… We should tell Sans and Red, right? It doesn’t feel right just to climb out the window and-- that probably wouldn’t be great for the b-baby--”

“I’ll do it,” Blue said, soul warming at the reminder of the soulling even as it clenched with nervousness. “I’ll talk to them. They deserve to hear an explanation, to hear from me that I’m leaving. D-don’t you have that apartment finalizing the day after tomorrow?” Razz nodded. “Then go with your brother, back to Tale. Stick to your plan to help him overnight, and when you come back tomorrow, I’ll have told them, and we can go.”

Razz nodded, new tears springing into his eyes. After a moment, he pulled back, looked down at Blue’s stomach as his hands came around to press flat against its surface. “Can I see them again?”

Blue laughed. “You didn’t seem to have a problem just looking on your own a few minutes ago.”

Smile twisting in chagrin, Razz pulled his hands away to let Blue lift his shirt up to his ribcage. Shakily, he went down one knee, hands framing the shape of the soulling. “They’re beautiful,” he murmured, glancing up at Blue, and he smiled softly.

“Of course they are.”

A sharp rapping on the bedroom door had Blue yanking his shirt back down, Razz nearly falling over before straightening up as Red’s voice came through the door. “Hey, I think Slim’s gonna leave your ass here if you guys don’t hurry, Razz. Are you alright?”

Razz climbed to his feet, wiping hurriedly at his eyes as he replied. “Yeah! I’ll be out in a couple seconds.”

The doorknob rattled. “Why is the door locked?”

“Oh, sorry about that!” Blue called back, going to open it before Razz stopped him, hand brushing lightly over his stomach as he pressed one last kiss to his mouth.

“See you tomorrow,” he whispered, and Blue couldn’t help his smile.

Then Razz went to the door, yanking it open and stepping through. He passed Red with barely a nod, but Blue couldn’t blame him. He was having a hard time even looking at his husband.

“You guys alright up here?”

Blue looked up to see Red watching him, concern flickering in his eyelights. Blue feared, for a moment, that he heard more than he was meant to.

No. If that were the case, he wouldn’t be looking at Blue with so much care.

“Yeah, we’re good.”

Chapter Text

The slow trod of Blue’s footsteps down the stairs did nothing to calm the rapid beat of his soul. He felt as though he was about ten seconds from bursting with nerves; the sight of Red setting the table through the kitchen doorway nearly sending him sprinting back up the stairs.

It had taken him a long time after Razz left to work up the courage to come down, finally just going back into the bathroom and taking the shower he’d originally intended to. He wasn’t sure he’d ever adjust to the sensation of water running down skin that had never been there before. A good portion of time had been spent just staring down at himself, coming to terms with the strange blue stomach that now adorned his body. He thought he’d gotten used to the idea back when Sans…

God, this was so weird.

He hesitated again at the bottom of the steps, tugging hard on the bottom of his shirt as though his entire midsection would be bared if he didn’t. A few steps forward, and Red spotted him, giving him a soft smile before disappearing back around the kitchen doorway. “Come on in, we’re making dinner!”

Blue let out an abrupt laugh, all too familiar with exactly what kind of food they would be serving. It would… it wouldn’t hurt anything just to have a meal, would it? The confession could wait until they’d already eaten, right?

Steeling himself, he walked into the kitchen. Sans was standing at the stove, stirring a pot of boiling water while Red went up on his toes to retrieve a plastic bag of bread from one of the higher cabinets. Most essential supplies had been regulated to the bottom shelves, within Blue’s easy reach, but hot dog buns were not essential.

The smile died from his face as he realized that in less than a day, it wouldn’t matter where they put their ingredients. Did he get enough produce last time he went shopping? They wouldn’t cook much of anything, but they’d eat it, right? He didn’t want their health to suffer just because he--

“How was your shower?” Sans asked, grinning over his shoulder. “You were in there for a while.”

“Wet,” Blue responded absentmindedly, narrowing his eyes as Red tossed the bag of buns onto the table. He shook his head, forcing his face to clear. “Thank you for making dinner.”

“Figured you’d be hungry when you came down! Did you get that puzzle planned out?”

He glanced up, taking in Sans’ earnest face and feeling a shot of guilt run through him. “Yeah… yeah, Razz had some pretty good tips.”

“That’s good! When do you think you’ll get around to building it?”

“Maybe next week? A little later, if I have issues with getting the materials.” The lie rolled off his tongue with ease, and he took a deep breath. Logically, he knew this shouldn’t be coming as easy as it was. Logically, he knew the guilt should be crushing him, regret and denial making him want to change his mind. But it just… wasn’t there.

“Do you think Alphys will approve the funding?”

Blue just nodded, taking a seat at the table as Sans started to pull the hot dogs out of the pot, placing them on a napkin-covered plate.

“How many do you want, Blue?”

“Uh…” He eyed the offerings, picking up a bun and putting it on his plate. “I’ll just have one.” He glanced across the table, taking in the sight of the bottles of ketchup and mustard adorning the others’ places. “Do we… have any relish?”

Red paused in reaching for the plate of hot dogs, raising a brow. “What, no tower of gag reflex?”

Snorting, Blue stood up and went to the fridge, rooting around in the condiments until he uncovered what he wanted. There wasn’t much relish left in the bottle, and when he checked the expiration date, he found it had technically expired two weeks ago.

… “Best by” dates were all lies anyway, right?

“C’mon, Red,” Sans said in a passable imitation of Blue’s voice. “Mayonnaise and chocolate sauce are clearly the only choice for hot dogs! It’s the only combination that properly disguises the taste of mystery meat!”

“It is mystery meat, and it’s all grease and the texture is all wrong.” Blue supplied as he returned to his seat with his prize.

“Blue, covering up the taste of something only works when the thing you’re using to cover it up doesn’t taste like the wrong end of--”

“Have you ever tried it, though?” Red interjected before promptly unpending his bottle of mustard over his entire plate.

“Have you?!”

“No, because I don’t like the taste of sin.”

Blue snorted, taking a bite of his relish-slathered hot dog and letting out a groan of appreciation.

“Now, see?” Red said, waving a hand in Blue’s direction. “Some normalcy. I knew if we waited long enough, he’d really start to appreciate the taste of boiled meat tubes.”

“I’ll tell you about boiled meat tubes--”

“Guys!” Blue said, snickering. “Please don’t call them that. I’m trying to eat!”

Red nudged Sans before taking another bite and speaking through a full mouth. “Yeah, Sans, c’mon. The man’s trying to eat.” Sans just sighed, setting to his own plate and decidedly ignoring his husband.

They ate in silence for a few more moments, the only sound that of chewing and squirting more condiments over their food.

“Hey,” Red said as he finished, pushing his plate out of the way and grinning widely at the other two. “So I was looking at the, uh… all-powerful calendar this morning--” Blue snorted ruefully, sparing a glance at the long-neglected calendar that had somehow moved from the hall to the fridge sometime in the last couple years. It’d been a while since he’d had much to schedule, and he was honestly surprised that it was even flipped to the right month. Still grinning, Red continued. “--and I noticed that there is something special coming up.”

“International Jazz Day?” Sans supplied.

“...No, after that.”

“Star Wars Day.”

“Sans.”

“Yeah?”

“Why?”

Blue snorted, but as he looked over the calendar, he realized all too quickly exactly what Red was referring to. He shifted uncomfortably, feeling his stomach give an uncomfortable lurch.

“Are you okay, Blue?”

He looked up, realizing Sans was staring at him with concern, and forced a smile. “Yeah, I’m fine.” His voice came out higher than usual, but he cleared his throat, turning his attention back to Red.

“So… what are we doing for our anniversary?” Red asked, grinning widely. Blue’s eyes dropped, staring down at his hands as his stomach gave another roll.

“Oh!” Sans exclaimed, white eyelights widening in his sockets. “I forgot that was coming up! Wow, four years …” Red grinned happily, taking Sans’ hand before turning to reach for Blue’s--

Shooting to his feet, Blue managed to force himself to speak before just running from the room. “I’ll be r-right back.”

Sans dropped Red’s hand, rising to his feet with concern in his face. “Are you okay?”

“I-I--” Blue clapped a hand over his mouth, turning and making a run for the stairs. He barely made it to the bathroom before he was throwing up, body shaking with the nausea. Behind him, a pair of pop s signalled that his husbands had teleported directly into the room, one moving to the cabinet as the other knelt behind him. He couldn’t tell who, squeezing his eyes shut as he tried to calm the shaking. Then there was a hand on his back, rubbing up and down in what was supposed to be a soothing manner, following the curve of his spine until they reached the--

He tried to reach back, to push away the hands, but it was too late. The grip tightened into his ecto for a moment before it was snatched away with a gasp.

“Blue!” Red exclaimed, surprise and disbelief coloring his voice.

“What’s wrong?” Sans asked, crouching beside them and handing Blue the medicine he’d gotten from the cabinet. “Are you okay?”

Blue started to nod. “I’m fi--”

“He’s more than okay! Blue, can I--”

He looked over his shoulder, taking in the sight of the tears in Red’s eyes, his hands hovering over the hem of his shirt. Blue couldn’t quite bring himself to shake his head, to tell him not to touch, pushing himself up to his feet abruptly and feeling the other two rise with him. He crossed to the sink, rinsing out his mouth as Red’s excited energy filled the room.

Steeling himself, Blue turned around, opening his mouth only to be grabbed around the waist. He flinched, but Red didn’t seem to notice, letting out a disbelieving laugh as he hugged the ecto tightly. He seemed to be reaffirming his first assumption, grin growing wider as he confirmed it. “Is this what I think it is?!”

Closing his eyes, Blue nodded.

This was it. There was no way to excuse this, no way to explain how this could be anything but what it was. Red just hadn’t realized it yet, blinded by his own dreams, but as soon as he gave it even a moment of thought, the moment Sans realized--

His eyes flew open as his shirt was tugged up to expose his soulling, resisting the urge to yank it back down as the other two stared at him with wide eyes.

Then the tears filled Red’s eyes again, and he was laughing, reaching out to grip Blue by the chin and plant a hard kiss on his mouth before staring down at the new soul again in wonder. Blue glanced over, taking in the sight of Sans’ wide eyes, the fingers reaching for the summoned stomach only to pull away at the last second. “How--”

“It must be all the extra training!” Red exclaimed. “I’ve heard stories where if you exercise your magic enough, your stores themselves will increase!” Then his grin fell away, blinking at Blue guiltily. “Is this why you’ve been so distant lately? Did you think we weren’t going to be happy?”

Blue didn’t know how to answer, glancing again at Sans and seeing the conflict in his eyes, the pain in them. Then he forced a smile, and guilt hit Blue’s soul as he finally reached out to touch Blue’s stomach. “Do you think you’ll… have my problem? We should go see a doctor, right?”

“We can think of that tomorrow!” Red said, voice choking as he spoke. “We can worry tomorrow and we can… we can--” his voice cut off as he sobbed, pulling Blue into a tight hug.

Sans’ eyes jumped to meet Blue’s, and he took a deep breath. Then his hands rose, signing quickly where Red couldn’t see.

“Thank you for the second chance.”

Chapter Text

Red’s snoring filled the air as Blue lay awake, eyes wide open and staring up at the ceiling. He… he knew he shouldn’t do this. He knew he shouldn’t be allowing them to believe this, that it was their child Blue could feel fluttering inside him. But he just… hadn’t been able to bring himself to tell them.

They were both curled tightly into his sides, Red’s arm thrown protectively over the summoned stomach and Sans’ fingers intertwined with Blue’s own. Blue could remember being on the other side of this, laying as closely to Sans as was physically possible, waking up just inches from the sight of his panicked--

His eyes closed.

Red had barely stopped crying from the time he’d discovered Blue’s secret. Every time he seemed on the edge of control, he would look back over, see Blue or Sans or anything, really, and break into a fresh wave. It was giving everything an odd air of surreality, seeing Red cry. It wasn’t a common occurance, it never had been, and it… well. Blue wouldn’t flatter himself to say it might become more common.

He twisted, just enough to take in the sight of Sans’ peaceful face. If he was being honest, he was worried for him. How would he take the disappointment? How would he handle losing the hope of another child, even if the blame couldn’t be assigned to him? Not that… not that either Blue or Red had ever tried to blame him, it’d just… it was hard to reason. It was hard to get a handle on your feelings, when something like that happened.

Blue may have changed over the course of the past five years, but sometimes it seemed as though Sans had died alongside Perseverance. For the first few months, he’d just been empty . They’d been terrified --

There was a soft clink as Sans shifted, their foreheads tapping together. Blue didn’t move for a moment, staring at the other’s slack face and wondering where the love that had based his worry had gone. How could he be leaving someone that he’d made himself sick worrying over, time and time again?

He turned just enough to see Red, eyes lidding as he took in the sight of him. He’d been the strongest of them, in the end. It had surprised Blue, how well Red bounced back. He’d been the most excited, and, conversely, the most heartbroken to lose the opportunity to be a father. But he’d just…

Blue could remember a specific night, about a month or two after the miscarriage, that he hadn’t been able to sleep. It’d been that way as long as they’d been sharing a bed, with Sans’ temperatures and Red’s snoring, but it got so much worse after the room seemed to be poisoned with the memories of the pain they all shared. He’d gotten up and gone to the guest room, and instead of going to sleep, he’d sat on the bed, and he’d just… cried. It’d only been a few minutes before he felt arms wrap around his back, pulling him in close. Red hadn’t shushed him, hadn’t said it was going to be okay. He’d just held him. And, when Blue was done crying, he’d picked him up and brought him back to bed, hugged him until he fell asleep.

They were both so kind.

Maybe that’s why Blue had never really fit in with the two of them. Maybe that’s why he started to feel so alone.

Carefully, he tugged his trapped arm out from under Red’s sleeping form, wiping at the tears that had gathered in his eyes. They were such deep sleepers. He knew from experience that they wouldn’t do more than roll over if he left the bed.

It would be so easy, just to leave.

He bit back a sob, but the movement of it had Sans shifting again, hugging Blue tightly. With shaking hands, he reached out, brushing his fingers over the top of his sleeping husband’s skull.

He couldn’t do it.

~~~

The snow on the ground glittered in the morning light, shining up to hit Blue’s eyes with all the unapologetic beauty he’d come to love so much from Snowdin. He tugged his blanket closer around his shoulders, sucking in a deep breath as he kept watch out the window.

He’d woken up this morning to Sans shaking Red awake, apologizing quickly for waking Blue and telling him to go back to sleep. When Blue had asked what they were doing, he’d received a smile and a kiss to his forehead, and something about how he shouldn’t have to be the one to keep the house.  

Breakfast in bed, Sans curled into his side for the better part of an hour, Red calling Alphys to tell her he wouldn’t be in to work today; the surreality of the whole experience was growing with every second. Even being left alone in the room had felt… wrong. So he’d come downstairs, lifting his chin to receive the kisses pressed to his cheeks and forcing himself to smile in response to his husband’s jokes.

This morning, he’d been able to feel a sort of hopeful joy in his soul, flowing in smoothly from Razz even a universe away. The feeling had dimmed over the course of the few hours Blue had been awake, probably in response to Blue’s own pain. It probably felt no different than Razz would expect it to feel.

Razz thought Blue was ending his marriage.

“Are you okay?”

Blue only realized he was crying as Sans appeared in front of him, dropping to his knees and reaching up to brush away his tears with his thumbs. Nodding, Blue bit back a half-sob. Sans gave him a doubtful look, and a humorless chuckle burst out of Blue before he could help it.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, reaching up to bury his face in his hands. “Probably just hormones.”

“It’s a little early for hormones, isn’t it?” Sans said quietly, and Blue felt arms wrapping around him, tugging him in close.

He allowed himself to enjoy the hug for a long moment, burying his face in his husbands shoulder and crying into the material of his shirt. When the flow of tears had slowed, he took a deep breath, leaning back just enough to see Sans’s face. He was looking at him with concern in his eyes, and one hand rose to cup Blue’s cheek, thumb stroking the bone there.

“Blue, do you--”

“I need to talk to you,” Blue said quickly, cutting him off. “I need to talk to you, and to Red, I need to tell y-you something really important.”

“Okay.” Sans hesitated for a moment, then tilted his head to one side. “Do you want me to get him now? You know we’ll listen to anything you have to say, Blue.”

“I--”

“We love you, you know?”

The words faltered in Blue’s mouth, breath stopping as he held back more tears. “I-I want--”

A spike of anxiety hit his soul, and he jumped, recognizing the feeling as belonging to Razz only when the door had already been opened, the other entering after kicking the snow off his boots. Blue could feel him projecting as he did so, a tentative sort of concern making its way across their bond. He was quick to smother his own intent, a desire so strong to leave that in that moment, his resolve almost shattered.

“Sans, can I talk to Razz alone for a few minutes?”

He nodded, pressing another kiss to his cheek before standing, shooting Razz an easy smile as he went. As he disappeared to the kitchen, Blue stood, holding out a hand for Razz. He hesitated for a split second, glancing back over his shoulder at where Sans had gone, then stepped forward.

As their fingers intertwined, Blue held back more tears. He couldn’t-- He didn’t want to--

“Where’s Slim?”

Razz regarded him carefully. “He decided to stay the night at Papyrus’ again. He said he’d come by tomorrow to get his stuff so we could move into the apartment. Blue--” his voice dropped to a whisper, and his eyes dropped to their joined hands. “Are you… Sans didn’t look very upset. Did… did you…?”

Deep breath. “I can’t, Razz.”

Emotion hit Blue’s soul like a punch, disbelief and fear and grief all wrapped up in one before Razz seemed to remember the bond, pulling it all in and shutting it tight. He could still see it in his face, though, and he resisted the urge to reach up, tug him down into a kiss, take it all back.

“You can’t?”

Razz’s broken voice was barely a whisper, so quiet Blue had to strain to hear. He didn’t want to hear. He didn’t want to do this. He didn’t fucking--

“I-I made a promise, Razz,” he forced himself to say. “I made a promise when I married them. I-I can’t just… go. I can’t give up.”

The hand joined with his dropped away, shoved into Razz’s pocket as he stared down at the ground. He pulled in a few deep breaths, but Blue could see the tears gathering under his sockets.

“I want you to be happy,” he finally murmured.

“You make me happy.” Blue didn’t hesitate in his reply, didn’t even have to think about it. “You… I love you, Razz. I love everything about you, and I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life finding new things to love about you. I want nothing more than to be happy with you.”

“Then why ?” Razz asked, eyes jumping to meet Blue’s. He took a shaky breath, and the tears gathering under his eyes overflowed, trailing down his cheeks. “W-what about m-- the baby?”

Blue cupped his cheeks, pushed away his tears before tugging him down just far enough to press a kiss to his cheek. “They’re yours. I’m yours. We’ll never stop belonging to you, Razz.”

Razz’s arms wrapped around his waist, pulling him into a tight hug as Razz buried his face into the crook of his neck. When he spoke, Blue could feel his breath brushing the bone there. “Then stay with me, Blue. Please . You’re everything I--” He broke off in a sob, and Blue closed his eyes.

“I have to try. I have to try to work this out. What kind of lesson would it teach our baby, if I just left? Giving up is never an option. Giving up is never a choice. But letting go…” He leaned back, cupped Razz’s cheeks again, kissed him softly on the mouth. “Letting go is the best option I have.”

Tears were falling down Razz’s face too fast to wipe away, his shoulders shaking as he stared into Blue’s eyes. “I love you.”

“I love you too. More than I can tell you. But I can’t give up on a happy ending.” He forced a smile, but even without a mirror he knew it was a pitiful imitation. “Someday, if I’ve tried, really tried, and it hasn’t worked? You’ll always be my first choice.”

Razz closed his eyes, hands smoothing from Blue’s shoulders to his elbows and back again. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, Blue,” he whispered. “And you know I’ll do anything for you to have happiness. I-I--” One hand lifted from his arm, pressed across his mouth as he forced himself to stop crying. “I’d give you anything.”

“When I’ve fixed things, I’ll tell them,” Blue promised. “I’m not taking your child away from you.”

A quiet laugh burst out of Razz’s mouth, and his eyes opened. “Just you, then.”

“Just me.”

Taking a step back, Razz’s hands dropped back to his pockets. “I’ll never stop loving you, Blue. It’s never going away, but I… that means I want you to have everything. If this is what m-makes you happy, then I’ll gladly--” his eyes dropped. “Just…”

Blue’s hand rose, reaching for him for a split second before he thought better of it. “Just what?”

“Promise me you’ll be happy. Promise me this isn’t--”

“I promise.”

Razz looked up, searching his eyes, and Blue felt something flat and broken trickling into his soul. Then he nodded sharply, straightening his spine and removing his hands from his pockets.

It was terrifying, Blue thought. It was absolutely terrifying that there existed any sort of world that could put that sort of ruined hope into anyone’s face.

“As long as you’re happy, I can go,” Razz said. “As long as this is is what you want.”

“I want to be with you, Blue,” Razz whispered. “However you’ll take me.”

“It is.”

“Y-yeah.” Blue’s voice came out almost too quiet. “Yeah, we can just… don’t… don’t go anywhere.”

“I’m not planning on it.”

Nodding sharply, Razz glanced back at the door. “Well,” he said, the volume of his voice increasing and making Blue jump. “I will leave you to it, then. I’d better go settle some things with Slim, and he’ll come get our stuff tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Blue tried to reply, but he was pretty sure his voice didn’t leave his throat. He tried again, pushed a little harder. “Good luck.”

Razz met his eyes, and Blue sucked in a sharp breath as his soul opened, pouring out a feeling that Blue wasn’t sure how to put a name to. Something warm, caring, broken .

“And to you, Blue.”

With that, he was gone, crossing the room in a few short steps and pulling open the door. He didn’t look back, but Blue could see his shoulders beginning to shake again as he pulled it shut behind him. Before he could stop himself, tears were pouring down Blue’s face, sobs wracking his body as he fell down to sit on the couch.

He barely heard the disbelieving sound of Sans’ voice over the volume of his own misery.

“Blue?”

Chapter Text

He didn’t react to Sans’ voice, sobbing into his hands until he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. Sans said his name again, softer this time, and Blue looked up, tear-filled eyes blurring his view of his husband. He realized, suddenly, that he had no explanation for the crying, hiccuped as he tried to bite it back.

“Blue, are you…” Sans hesitated, then seemed to opt for silence, holding his arms out instead, an obvious invitation. Blue tried not to cringe, the clear reminder of what was quickly seeming like the wrong choice hitting him like a punch to the stomach. After a split second, he forced himself to accept the hug. Sans wrapped his arms tightly around him, one hand settled gently on the back of Blue’s ecto-stomach.

“I love you, Sans,” he made himself say. It tasted wrong coming out of his mouth. Bitter.

Sans tensed, the hand on Blue’s spine smoothing up, then down again before he pulled away. He took hold of Blue’s shoulders, opened his mouth. Closed it. Opened it again and took a deep breath.

“Do you?”

Blue flinched back, and Sans’ hands dropped to his lap. “W-what?”

“You…” Sans took a deep breath, and Blue noticed the tears gathering in the corners of his eyes. “Blue, I… I heard you. I heard everything.”

Soul dropping, Blue could do nothing but stare at him.

“I heard everything,” Sans repeated, then he stood abruptly, pacing away a few steps before stopping. His hands were stuffed in the pockets of his jacket, that giant blue jacket he hadn’t replaced in over six years.

“I-I--” Blue had no idea what to say, glancing down at his hands and realizing they were shaking. He clenched them in a futile attempt to make them stop, then forced himself to look up at Sans’ stiff back. “It’s not what you--”

“It’s not what I think?” he turned around, his expression one of pure disbelief. “Blue, I… I thought for a second there that you were a better liar than that. You can’t seriously expect me to believe that was anything but what it looked like.”

“Sans--”

“You’re not taking his baby away from him?” Sans reached up, pushed away the tears that were starting to run down his face. “ His baby, Blue? How could you--”

“How could I what?” Blue cut him off. He knew his voice was dark, flat and unyielding. He couldn’t bring himself to care. Pain from his soul was arching through his body, pain that easily could have belonged to him or Razz. He couldn’t tell anymore. “How could I… be unhappy with two people so focused on themselves they never had a clue that I didn’t want to be here?” Behind him, there were soft footsteps. He flinched as he realized who it was, squeezed his eyes tightly shut. “How could I want to be with the one person that’s given half a shit about me in four years? Or how could I chose you over the father of my child?” Red was silent as he came into view, standing just within Blue’s sight. He couldn’t see the expression on his face, didn’t want to see. “H-how could I have betrayed the two of you so completely, only to turn around at the last second a-and give up my only chance at real happiness?”

He opened his eyes to see Sans looking at Red, something broken in his expression. He could imagine the look on Red’s face, the silent communication between them that he used to be a part of. Sans tore his gaze away, shifted his attention back to Blue. “If you were that unhappy, you could have--”

“Could have what ?! Gone to therapy ?! We did that! After Perseverance, the two of you got your problems sorted right out!”

“You could have said something ,” Red said quietly, his volume contrasting deeply with Blue’s near-hysterical shouts.

“I shouldn’t have had to!”

“Blue, we aren’t mind readers.”

I never had to tell Razz!”

They both fell silent, and as Blue buried his face in his hands, the soft pad of Red’s footsteps signalled him moving closer to Sans. Blue pictured him wrapping an arm around his waist, tugging him close in comfort.

“Why would you stay, then?”

That was Sans’ voice. Blue grit his teeth, kept his face covered. “Because I didn’t want you to lose another child.”

“You told Razz you were going to tell us eventually. How is it any different to stay?”

“I didn’t want my child to grow up knowing they shouldn’t have even existed!” He looked up, met Sans’ eyes directly. His soul was churning, Razz’s pain becoming more prominent along with his own, and endless cycle that had his breath coming short and the words falling out of his mouth before he could think about them.

“Shouldn’t have--”

“You want to know why I was unhappy? You want me to talk to you about my problems?! How about this, I had to watch as my baby died because you couldn’t carry them!” Sans flinched back, and Red’s mouth dropped open, the hand that of course was around Sans’ waist tightening. Blue pushed himself up to stand, ignoring the tears streaming down his face to step forward, throw his hands up into the air. “How about waking up every morning next to the reason I want to follow Perseverance to wherever they are, because I never even got to see them! Or how about you --” He gestured sharply at Red, choked on a sob before forcing himself to continue. “Watching you pour all your grief into taking care of the person that basically killed your child, never noticing that he was not the only person that was in pain! You were both so wrapped up in each other, in being so damn grateful that Sans hadn’t fucking fallen down and left us alone to deal with his aftermath that neither of you ever fucking noticed that I was falling apart!”

He was choked off by another sob, closed his eyes and wiping the tears with his sleeve. His soul was hammering, and--

“Get the fuck out of this house.”

A broken laugh burst out of his mouth, and he opened his eyes, narrowing his eyes at Red in disbelief. “This is my house. I don’t have to go anywhere.”

“IT’S OUR HOUSE! In case you’ve forgotten, we’re married , Blue. The same vows you took promising to be faithful are the ones that bound our names together,” Red spat, gathering Sans closer to him. Sans didn’t respond, staring down at himself with his breathing deep and even. “If you’ve been so unhappy here, you shouldn’t have a problem leaving.”

Blue stared at him, searching for any hint that he didn’t mean it. He found nothing but anger, and panic welled up inside him as he took another step forward. “Where am I supposed to go?”

“I don’t give a shit!”

“I’m pregnant!”

“Problem solved!” Red said, throwing a hand in the air before returning it to Sans. “Why don’t you go be with the person you deemed more important than your marriage!”

Mouth opening, then closing, Blue’s eyes shifted to Sans’ blank face, then back to Red. “I just broke it off with him. I chose you! I chose my marriage!”

“If you’re going to look me in the face and tell me Sans is at fault for the loss of our child, you didn’t fucking choose your marriage! You chose convenience! You chose what looked easier, and you know what? I don’t fucking choose you! I choose Sans, and I would choose him any day over a fucking wh--” his voice broke, and Sans seemed to come back to awareness, turning his head just enough to watch as Red continued to speak. “Maybe you’re right! Maybe we should have paid more attention, realized you weren’t the same person you were when we fell in love with you. But that’s just it! Maybe you’ve been so wrapped up in yourself that you didn’t realize that we fucking love you!”

“Then why are you--”

“Because we deserve better than to be in love with someone like you!”

Blue was barely aware as Sans shifted, grabbing Red by the arm and saying something that he couldn’t comprehend. Taking a step backwards, then another, he felt the backs of his knees collide with the couch, sending him down to sit as his breathing sped up. He stared down at the ground between his feet, reaching up with shaking hands to grip the sides of his head, trying to control himself as he gasped. Panic filled his soul, and he felt Razz’s confusion, then worry. A sob tore through his throat as he retreated within himself, grabbing ahold of Razz’s emotion and pulling it in close, clinging to it in an attempt to ground himself. In response, he felt the other’s worry grow, mixed with something almost bitter. His pain compounded, and the bitterness was gone within a split second, replaced with comfort that Blue latched onto with every fiber of his being.

“Count to 10. Blue, count to 10 with me.”

He hadn’t realized his eyelights were extinguished until they relit, focusing on Sans’ face, the hands that were smoothing up and down his arms. There were still tears streaked down his cheeks, and his eyelights were tiny in his sockets as their eyes met.

“Come on. One…”

“Two,” Blue whispered, choking on air before Sans breathed in dramatically, Blue automatically imitating the gesture. “T-three--”

By the time they reached ten, Blue’s breathing was coming evenly, the panic in his soul receding. He could feel Razz’s relief, warmth flowing through him until it reached into every bone. Sans’ hands dropped from his arms, curling together in his lap as he sat back on his knees.

Blue glanced up, realizing as the silence stretched on that they were alone in the room.

“I’m sorry we didn’t see what you were going through, Blue.” Sans’ voice was quiet, his cadence broken. “I’m sorry we weren't there for you, and that you didn’t think y-you could come to us with your problems.”

He fell silent again, but Blue couldn’t think of anything to say that hadn’t already been said.

“Blue, I-I… I think it would best if you stayed with your brother for a while.” Blue glanced up, allowing his misery to flood his face, and Sans was quick to reach for him, clutching at his hands and pulling them into his chest. “Give us some space, give Red some time. We do love you, we do want what’s best for you. But we’re going to need some time to trust you again. And I… I can’t speak for Red, but I know that I could love a child that came from you just as much as I could love one that came from me.” He took a deep breath, then his hands jumped up, cupping Blue’s face as he sat up on his knees. “Just… just give us some time okay? We’ll work it out.”

He pressed a kiss to the side of Blue’s head.

Blue closed his eyes.

~~~

The ringing of his phone made Blue jump, the screen lighting up from the sleep he’d let it fall into as he stared blankly at Stretch’s number. He hadn’t been able to convince himself to make the call, to admit the situation he now found himself in, to look Fell in the face and admit what he’d done. But the name flashing across his screen now was almost worse. He pressed accept anyway, lifted the phone to his face.

“Hello?”

His soul exploded with relief that wasn’t his, and Razz’s voice came across the receiver. “Are you okay?”

“No,” he said, voice breaking on the single word.

“What happened?”

“I-I…” He glanced up from where he sat, a bench in the middle of a patch of echo flowers in the middle of waterfall. He’d been coming here since he was a child, reveling in the imaginary isolation of the spot. “I can’t go back.”

Razz hesitated for a moment. “They found out?”

“Sans overheard us.”

“Did they hurt you?”

Not as badly as he had hurt them. “R-red--” Before he could stop himself, he burst into tears, muffling himself with one hand and squeezing his eyes shut.

“Where are you?”

“E-echo flower f-f-fields,” he responded before he could think better of it.

“Can I come get you?”

He shouldn’t. He should call his brother, he should be trying to earn their trust back instead of giving up on it completely. “Please.”

“I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“Okay.”

The call ended, and Blue lowered the phone slowly, staring down at the screen for a moment longer before stuffing it in his pocket. He looked up at the cavern ceiling, breathing in deeply, then blowing it back out. Forcing himself to stand, he paced away from the bench, settling instead on the ground at the bank of a small pond a few steps away. He’d be more visible this way, wouldn’t have to guide Razz to him.

Sure enough, it was only a few minutes before he sensed a presence behind him, near-silent footsteps approaching slowly until he looked over his shoulder. Razz came to a stop, watching him carefully, soul shielded.

“Razz,” Blue said brokenly, holding up his arms as he let his expression shatter. Razz was in front of him in an instant, dropping to his knees on the soft grass and gathering Blue into a hug.

“They don’t deserve you.”

“I-I k-k-know--” Blue sobbed. “They d-deserve better , y-you d-d-des--”

“No!” Razz pulled away just enough to see his face, shaking his head. “No, Blue, you’re the best part of my life. You’re the best I could ask for.”

“Razz, I’ve messed up so badly. I’ve messed everything up.”

“Everything is fixable,” he murmured. “Do you want me to take you to your--”

“I-I shouldn’t have…” Blue continued on as though he hadn’t spoken at all, avoiding the rest of his sentence. “We should have done this right.”

“Done what right?”

“I shouldn’t have betrayed them the way I did.”

Razz took a deep breath. “I knew very well that you were married. I should have… shouldn’t have let it happen at all. I just w-wanted you to be happy, but that was the wrong way to--”

“No, Razz.” It was vital to make him understand. “That’s not what I-- I should have left. I should have chosen you from the first moment I realized--”

“Blue…” Razz spoke quietly, his face falling but his arms not moving from around Blue’s waist.

Sitting up fully, Blue gripped Razz by the shoulders, pulling him closer and pressing their foreheads together. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath. “I should have always made you my first choice.”

Razz reached up, took hold of his wrists. Blue thought for a moment that he was going to push him away, but he just stroked his thumbs over the bone. “You chose them.”

“I was wrong .”

“But--”

Blue moved abruptly, pulling his hands from Razz’s grip and cupping his cheeks instead. Before Razz could say anything else, he pressed their mouths together, reveling in the feel of him so close. He could feel Razz hugging him again, pulling him in and curling his fingers into Blue’s shirt. A thumb traced the curve of his ectobody.

They broke apart with a gasp, Blue clanking another kiss to his jaw before letting the side of his head settle against the side of Razz’s. “I love you Razz. I’m so sorry I hurt you, I’m so sorry I--”

“You don’t have to apologize,” he said, breath coming short. Blue felt one of his hands open, pressing gently against his stomach. “I… Blue, we can’t do this again.”

Desperation burst from Blue’s soul, mixed with all the warmth he could summon for the other. “It won’t be like before.”

When Razz still didn’t move, he pulled back, tears welling up in his eyes before he caught sight of his own hand, still held against Razz’s cheek. He sat back, working the ring from his finger and holding it up so that Razz could see. “Do you know what this is?”

Razz blinked at the change of subject, peering down at the criss-crossing strands of navy, blue, and red with a mystified expression. “...No?”

Seizing his wrist, Blue pressed the ring into his hand before leaning forward, burying his face into Razz’s neck and closing his eyes. “Throw it.”

“What?”

“Throw it as far away as you can. I don’t want to know where it went.”

After a second of hesitation, Blue felt him comply, the sudden jerk of the toss causing him to grip tighter to the other, shifting so his mouth was pressed to his vertebrae. Fingers lit under his chin, tilting his head up so their eyes met. “What was that?”

Blue took a deep breath. “My wedding ring.”

“Your--”

“It’s a symbol,” he said, answering the unfinished question. “A symbol of… of commitment. Married people wear them in the taleverses, to show everyone they belong to someone. That they’ve chosen to stay with that person forever.”

Razz’s eyes widened, flashing to the direction Blue assumed he’d thrown the ring. “But you can’t just--”

Blue took hold of his shoulders again, pushed carefully until Razz was on his back, supporting himself on his elbows and staring up at Blue in confusion even as his soul was projecting hope and disbelief. Carefully, Blue slung one leg over his lap, leaned forward so that they were inches apart.

“I belong with you .”

Chapter Text

Four Years Later

Blue furrowed his brows as he walked down the hall, checking around the kitchen doorway as he went. His steps were quick, but didn’t seem particularly hurried, his expression more one of confusion than of concern. He pushed open the second door on the right, stepping inside and pausing just inside the doorway.

There was a laundry basket on top of a white dresser, full of folded clothes. The striped shirts inside didn’t hold much variation of color, but the purple seemed to be a sentiment echoed in much of the small room. Most of the actual color variation appeared to come from a small pile of toys in one corner and the over-filled bookshelf in the other.

Sighing, Blue crossed the room, leaning down to scoop up the pile of toys and place them neatly inside a nearby bucket. Then, after quickly checking under the bed and on top of the bookshelf, he left the room, leaving the door open behind him.

He started to go back the way he came, but was interrupted by muffled voices from behind a door across the hall. Huffing good-naturedly, he followed the sounds, stepping into a slightly bigger bedroom. This one was furnished in mostly neutral colors, tans and browns and whites, except for a bright blue bedspread hanging down from the wide mattress to brush against the floor.

A grin spread across Blue’s face as he took in the sight that greeted him. On elbows and knees on the floor, Razz was peeking under the bedspread, grinning at whatever was underneath. He snickered, then one arm disappeared under the depths of the bed.

“Razz.”

He jumped, peering back over his shoulder to catch Blue’s eye. An innocent smile only served to increase Blue’s bemusement, and he folded his arms as Razz sat back onto his knees.

“Hey, babe! What’s up?”

“Well, I seem to be missing a child,” Blue ventured, and Razz visibly bit back a laugh. “I don’t suppose you’ve seen them?”

He barely managed to keep his expression neutral as he heard giggling from under the bed.

“Nope, haven’t seen them anywhere!” Razz exclaimed, still holding up the bedspread to allow light underneath. “Have you checked the kitchen?”

The childish laughter continued, and Blue finally let his smile take over his face. Razz echoed the expression, and Blue shook his head in amusement. “I just checked the kitchen… man, they’d better get found soon so that they can go play with Uncle Stretch.”

A little face appeared in the gap Razz was holding open, the purple stars in their eyes bright in the semi-darkness. “I’m playing with daddy!”

All at once, Razz let himself fall back down to the floor, gathering the child back into his arms and rolling back over so that he was holding them to his chest. “You blew our cover, kid! We were hiding so well!”

They laughed in delight, rolling out of his hold and coming over to Blue. “Can daddy come play with Uncle Stretch, too?”

Razz snorted, sitting up and propping his folded arms on his knees, watching as Blue scooped the child up and balanced them on his hip with one arm, reaching up with the other to brush lint from the top of their little skull. “No, sweetheart, your dad needs to call his brother .” This was followed by a pointed look at Razz, who snorted again, then laid back down and rolled under the bed where he couldn’t be seen.

Blue shook his head before turning his attention back to his child. “Can I bring my builders?”

“Yes.”

Their starry eyelights spun, a delighted smile growing across their face as they wiggled out of his hold and ran across the hall. Blue went to follow, but was interrupted by a disembodied voice.

“How about I take him and you call Slim?” Razz poked his head out from under the bed, followed by his arms and shoulders so he could prop his chin in his hands. “I could get all the gossip, bring it back and share... you know me, I love playing with Stretch.”

Blue scoffed, but he was still smiling. “I’m not the one who broke the bathroom door.”

“...Fair enough.” He sighed, heaving himself out from under the bed and collapsing down to his back. Then he grinned. “Can I make him do it on the house ?”

Before Blue could respond to the awful pun, there was a crash from across the hall. They both froze, listening carefully for any hint of crying.

Loud, high-pitched giggling rang out, and they relaxed, Blue shooting Razz an exasperated look.

Razz nodded knowingly. “Well, I have to call my brother. I think you’d better go see what your kid broke.”

“Why are they always my kid when they’ve broken something?”

~~~

Legs crossed, Blue leaned forward on the bench, chin propped in his hands as he watched his baby playing on the swings. They had left their toy trucks in a pile just nearby, giggling madly as their cousin pushed them higher and higher.

Stretch shifted from where he was sprawled next to him, watching the kids casually as he hummed. “So, how’s Razz doing?” he asked, crossing his legs casually.

“He’s great!” Blue responded, glancing over at him with a smile. “Alphys pulled him in as a full member of the royal guard last month and he’s really impressing everyone.”

Reaching up, Stretch patted Blue’s arm awkwardly. The angle made it difficult to hit with any degree of accuracy, so he was half-patting his ribcage, but Blue appreciated the gesture all the same.

“You’ll make it there someday, bro.”

“Thanks, Papy.”

Stretch laughed, then sat up, throwing one arm over the back of his bench as he nodded in the kids’ direction. They had gotten off the swings again, trucks back in their hands as they took off madly across the playground.

“Lavender’s sure growing up.”

Blue shot him an annoyed look. “You know that’s not their name.”

“Yes, because ‘Puce’ is definitely better.”

“At least I didn’t let my husband name a child Worldslayer .” Blue snorted.

“What can I say? He really cracked down.”

Shaking his head, Blue watched with a soft smile as Puce started to fall behind their older cousin, shorter legs just not able to keep the same pace. Egg slowed their own lope, reaching back for Puce’s hand before continuing their pell-mell assault on thin air.

“Your poor child is going to grow up hearing nothing but egg puns.”

“Yours is gonna wonder why their parents hate them so much,” Stretch retaliated, and Blue snorted. After a moment, he continued, a small smile on his face. “They’re really cute, though, the little bastard. Consider yourself lucky I haven’t stolen them yet.”

“I’d like to keep them, if that’s alright,” Blue said, raising a brow. The expression was ruined by him fighting off a grin.

“That’s alright. I can be the cool uncle… ” He finished the sentence by throwing up a double peace sign, and Blue snorted.

“Fantastic job of destroying any chance of being cool you did have.”

Stretch chuckled, then paused, shifting his jaw. “Hey, did you…” he hesitated, and Blue turned to face him fully.

“What?”

“Did you hear about Sans and Red?”

Blue leaned back against the bench, shaking his head silently.

“They’re adopting.”

It took him a moment to process the sentence, but when he did, he straightened, eyes flying wide. “Really?!”

“Yeah. Well, fostering. But the kid doesn’t have any family, so they’re starting the process to finalize an adoption. They’re a little older than I expected, probably about six? Just barely older than Egg. Cute kid, though. They’ve got some kind of… nerdy space name. Sirius A, I think? I can’t believe they managed to pull that, they didn’t even name them.”

“That’s fantastic!” Blue exclaimed. “I’ll bet Red’s ecstatic. By the way… how are they doing? It’s been a few months since I’ve heard from Sans.”

“They were good when we took Egg over last week,” Stretch said softly, watching Blue out of the corner of his eye. “Pretty concentrated on the whole foster-adopt process, but happy as far as I could tell.”

Blue nodded slowly, leaning forward again to watch Puce trying to tackle Egg to the ground. He let out a noise of surprise as he was gathered into Stretch’s side, a one-armed hug squeezing him tightly.

“Everyone’s gonna be good in the end. It might have not been the best means to get here…” He shot Blue a pointed look, and he rolled his eyes. “...but it seems to be working out.”

Blue smiled. “I hope so.”  

Chapter Text

Zero

“Babe?”

He didn’t look up immediately in response to the quiet voice, leaning over the jigsaw puzzle he’d been working on the past few hours.

Razz!”

Blue appeared directly in front of him, making him jump and look up in alarm. One of Blue’s eyelights was flashing with magic, and he had a hand cradling the swell of his stomach tightly. A smile started to curve Razz’s mouth at the sight, as it always did. Blue was so small that his stomach seemed to take up about half his total body weight these days, and while he didn’t like seeing Blue so uncomfortable, there was something absolutely adorable about Razz’s beachball of a boyfriend.

“Hey, not to interrupt you or anything but, uh--” Blue’s voice was choked off in a groan, and his fingers tightened on the back of the chair he was gripping. Razz stood slowly, watching him in confusion that quickly morphed into something close to panic as he caught sight of Blue’s ectobody flash brightly under his clothes.

Whoa hey somebody's giving birth and it's one whole Puce (their son)

 

One

Sans comes over and he’s never met Puce, Razz opens the door and is like "oh uh heeeyyyy this is slightly awkward Blue isn't home" and Sans is like "oh i can come back later i just wanted to meet Puce--" and razz is like "nah dude its fine fam lmaoooo hahaha" basically its weird for everyone. They've talked to him since Blue left but its always been with Blue there and Razz doesn't quite know how to handle this. Sans has basically forgiven Blue? Like he's still upset but at this point he doesn't want to create a huge family rift with their brothers and everything else that's going on? But Red gives no shits he hasn't spoken to Blue or Razz since that fight and it took a while for him to even speak to Slim or Stretch. Slim also isn't really speaking to Razz but Stretch has forgiven his brother and is slowly getting to know Razz and coming to terms with him. But Sans comes in and the awkwardness lessens a bit because Puce is adorable and Sans can't help but love him, and then Blue comes home while Sans and Razz are talking and playing with Puce and its awkward and Sans says that Red didn’t want to come.

 

Two

Razz and Blue have taken Puce to a picnic in that same place in waterfall where Blue told Razz he wanted to be with him, and they're lowkey celebrating because Red has been being a pill about the divorce (understandably like holy shit) and making things as complicated as he possibly can just to inconvenience them and they finally got it finalized a little while ago and Blue is officially no longer legally married! Woo! Kinda sucks honestly but at this point, everyone's adjusted to the idea so it's pretty much fine. But they're sitting there and Puce comes over and plops himself on Blue's lap and is like "papa" "yes puce" "i have a secret" "what is it" "daddy wants to marry you" and blue's like "what the fuck" but i mean he doesn't say that to his two year old of course and Puce pulls this whole ring box out of his tiny jacket pocket and is like "daddy said he wants to marry you" and Blue takes the box and looks at Razz like "what the fuck" and Razz just grins at him and goes on one knee and suffice it to say Blue said yes and they got engaged.

 

Three

Blue passing on the news that Sans and Red are adopting, Puce is excited about another cousin. Basically the follow-up to the epilogue of Tenacity. 

 

Four

Razz and Blue are finally getting married and they do their classic "first dance" or whatever then the song ends and Razz only has time to kiss Blue's cheek really quick before Puce Has Arrived and he just swings him up into his arms and starts dancing and playing with him. Blue laughs at him then goes to get a drink and they're just having a grand old time out on the dance floor without him. Then out of the corner of his eye he sees Stretch and Fell and Sans, and they have Egg and Sirius with them, and he brings Puce over and Puce loves Egg already of course and this is his first time meeting Sirius, so Egg introduces them and they race off to cause trouble together. Razz greets Stretch and Sans and gives Fell a nod because he doesn't want any shit started at his wedding. (Fell isn't happy with them, of course, but it's been years so like it's probably fine at this point). But then he talks to Sans about Sirius and how all that is going and most definitely does not comment on the fact that Red didn't come, but Sans seems happy enough! Then Blue comes over and Fell like immediately walks off but they all pretty much expected that and they get halfway through a conversation before the kids come tearing back through and the parents have to stop them from burning the place down and basically its a slightly awkward wedding but its fine and they got like three toasters.

 

Five

Sirius finally got officially adopted, everything went through and Sans and Red officially are their parents! They have a party to celebrate, and Red actually calls to personally invite Razz, Blue, and Puce to the party. He explains that he's ready to make some amends and things aren't ever going to be the same, but everyone seems to be happy and he's willing to forgive, so they go and of course it's weird because this is the first interaction they've had outside of divorce proceedings since Blue left, but they work through it and everyone is just really happy about Sirius. 

 

Six

Puce comes home from playing with his cousins at Red and Sans' house with a picture, and Blue's like what's that and he goes to Blue and hands him the photo. It's a photo of when Sans was pregnant, and both Red and Blue are kissing his cheeks and they just look really happy. Blue's face goes blank like someone wiped a cloth over it, and he asks "where did you get this?" "Sirius found it and they showed me." and Blue stands up with the photo and crumples it and walks away and goes to his and Razz's room and just shuts the door behind him. Puce is confused but finds things to entertain himself until Razz gets home to a disaster of a house because who the fuck lets a six year old have free range and is like "uhhhh where's your other parent this probably isn't safe" and Puce is like "i showed papa a picture and he didn't like it" "what picture" "he threw it away" and razz gets the picture out of the garbage and heaves this big sigh. "Did you get this from Sirius?" "Yeah" "Did they tell you about it?" "They said Papa was sad because he wanted to have a baby. What's a perseverance?" "That was papa's baby's name." "But I'm papa's baby, right?" "yes, but Perseverance was a different baby. They died, and papa was really sad." "Your baby died? Were you sad too?" and Razz is not quite sure how to answer that one, jesus christ kid, so he just says no, it wasn't his baby it was just Papa's baby, and makes Puce some dinner and gets him cleaned up and goes to check on Blue and he's just laying fully clothed in bed pretending to be asleep. Razz takes that as a sign that he wants to be alone and leaves him be to go take care of Puce. 

 

Seven

 

Blue has really just checked out and Razz isn't sure how to handle it. He has this whole rash of problems where like... he gets home before Razz because Razz is pretty high up in the Royal Guard and Blue's still in the same position of minor desk work? So he's supposed to get Puce from school and take him home and take care of him but he keeps forgetting to pick him up or picking him up and then going up to his room and letting this seven year old fend for himself and other stuff like that, and when Razz realizes how bad it is he signs Puce up for the daycare at his job and just starts picking Puce up himself? And like Blue will make dinner and not set out enough plates or not make enough food for three or whatever, and Razz will say something about it like "uh hey you know we have a kid right?" and Blue will pass it off as an absentmindedness thing. One day though, they were talking about taking an overnight trip up to the capitol and Razz said something like "we could go to that park Puce loves" and Blue was like "oh he could just stay here" and Razz did not exactly think leaving their seven year old alone overnight would be a great idea Blue what the fuck??? and he didn't get aggressive about it or anything he was just kinda like "Blue what the fuck no" and Blue just bursts into tears and stomps up to his room. Razz doesn't quite know how to deal with that but it's just about Puce's bedtime so he gets him to bed then goes to check on Blue and instead of pretending to be asleep like the norm, he's sitting up and crying and despite being a bit angry and confused, of course Razz doesn't like to see him upset, so he goes and sits and hugs him and Blue is like "I don't think I'm a very good parent" and Razz is like "shhh of course you are its just a rough patch".

 

Eight

Razz is playing some music and dancing around the kitchen and Puce comes in and they're messing around together, but then Puce is singing and...holy shit like...he's actually good? He's eight but he's singing better than Razz could. Razz tells him this and Puce goes all bright-eyed "Really?!"  and Blue comes in before Razz can answer “go do your homework” and puce goes to do his homework but before he’s even really left the room Blue tells Razz he shouldn’t lie to him and get his hopes up. Razz is absolutely speechless for a second then he's like "Blue i wasn't lying to him, he has real talent--" "just stop".

 

Nine

Puce calls Blue “Blue” instead of “Papa” and Razz is really confused and asks Blue about it. Blue tells him it’s sure to help him relate to him better, it’ll be fine, “he’s almost a teenager Razz"

 

Ten

Razz goes to find Puce for dinner and he's gone, and he's trying not to panic and he comes downstairs and he's looking for his phone. Blue won't give it to him and is like "oh leave him be he's probably at Stretch's" "without telling us?! Blue, we can't just let him sneak off!" "Why not?! He's old enough, he's just starting to be rebellious!" "He's ten!" And he's just really fucking worried and Blue keeps doing this thing where he's holding the phone just out of reach and Razz can't figure out why, but Blue keeps flaring his magic like a middle finger and it's combining with Razz's panic and making his LV go haywire. Blue says "Would it really matter if he left?" and Razz kind of loses it and grabs Blue's soul with his magic and slams him back against the wall so he can grab his phone, then lets Blue drop to the floor while he dials Stretch and Fell's number. He finds out that Puce is there and he's fine and he tells them to send him home then hangs up and turns around and Blue is crying and it all just falls out from under him, oh my God he hurt Blue, and Razz drops down to apologize and Blue just starts sobbing and says "What kind of father can you be, if you're going to let your LV control you?"

 

Eleven

Razz goes up to Puce's room to bring him down for dinner and he's gone yet again. Razz knows by now that he's sneaking out to go to Stretch and Fell's, so he knows he's safe, but he sits on Puce's bed and looks down at his scarred hands and tries to convince himself that it's best when he's not here. If he hurt Puce, he'd never forgive himself, and keeping Puce safe is more important than anything. Before he can stop himself, he's crying.

 

Twelve

Puce comes home and he’s got eyeliner smeared across his eyes, Razz asks him why and Puce glares at him “Well, I had a play, not that you bothered to know that” and Blue appears in the kitchen doorway “Dont speak to your father that way.” “Blue--” but Puce storms up to his room, and Razz turns to Blue. “I didn’t know he had a play.” “He got a notice from school, but I threw it away.” “ What?! ” “You know he doesn’t want us there.”

 

Thirteen

Blue approaches Razz with the idea of giving Puce up for adoption and Razz doesn’t want to but Blue pulls up the dangerous LV thing again and eventually convinces him it’s for the best. This is closely followed by the events of #cc8899, where Puce overhears them asking Stretch to adopt him, and Stretch and Fell agree.

 

Fourteen

Stretch comes to the door and Blue isn’t home, it’s just Razz. He lets him in and Stretch says that he needs some papers signed for Puce. Razz tells him that Blue isn’t home and Stretch shakes his head and says he only needs one signature, "one soul donor works as well as the other.” It’s said really dismissively and angrily, and before Razz can stop himself he’s crying. Stretch is beyond surprised. “Why are you crying?” and Razz just shakes his head, signs the papers. Before Stretch can take them though he’s like “Stretch, I just want to thank you for taking care of him. I'm glad that no matter what was happening here, he has always had a place with you.” or something and Stretch goes silent. “Blue told me it was your idea, to give him up.” “No. No, I… I wouldn’t have. I'm too selfish. But my LV…” and Stretch is thoughtful but doesn’t say anything.

 

Fifteen

Stretch texts Razz with a photo of Puce with an award from his theater class or something like that. Razz is really happy and like sets it as his wallpaper or something and then Blue walks into the room. He’s chatting about work, casually mentions something about hearing that Razz got a promotion. Razz answers him absentmindedly, yeah he’s second lieutenant now. Blue is kind of like “do you think you could put in a good word for me” and razz looks up from the picture, takes in the sight of him. He’s not sure how he feels about what he sees. “Sure.”

 

Sixteen

Razz comes home from work and is exhausted, he goes into the kitchen and sees Blue is wearing his old scarf. He pauses, confused, and realized that Blue is making tacos. He asks what’s going on and Blue pauses. “It’s the anniversary of the day I lost my child, Razz.” Razz glances up at the counter, realizes he’s right and it’s the day he lost perseverance. He deflates and goes to hug him. Blue talking casually about perseverance, like “they would have been almost 23 years old, Razz. I would have seen them grow up, make something of themselves.” and Razz is being comforting right up until “I never should have tried to replace them.” then he shoots up to sit. “What?!” “i never should have even tried. You should have been good enough, i shouldn’t have--” “Puce is your son, blue. Puce is alive, and here, and you gave him up. How dare you say something like that?” and blue shakes his head. “No… no, he’s not my son.”

 

Seventeen

Razz knocks on Stretch and Fell’s door and Fell opens it and immediately bristles. “What the hell are you doing here?” and puce behind him “i said he could come, remember?” and fell backs down unhappily and lets him in. Razz reflects on the phone call with puce where puce agreed to let him come to dinner, goes in and stretch is there. Stretch shakes his hand and gives him a look but then they all sit down to dinner and egg is there and egg and puce and stretch are all trading jokes but eventually Fell asks where Blue is and Razz avoids the question and fell is being terrible and razz is obviously trying and puce goes “dad, stop!” and fell flinches but from surprise of being called dad, that doesn't happen often, and razz stands up and excuses himself when he realizes who Puce was talking to. He goes out and sits on the back porch and after a few seconds Stretch joins him. He doesn’t say anything for a long moment. “I tried to talk to Fell about you wanting to talk to Puce, but I thought Blue was your secret to tell.” and razz is silent then “We finalized the divorce last week. I moved out, got my own place.” he gives this really grim smile. “On the upside, Slim is speaking to me again.” and stretch lets out a short laugh and goes to respond but behind them they hear “you got a divorce?!” and its puce looking horrified. Razz just stares at him and stretch stands up “I’ll let you two talk.” Puce asks why they got a divorce and Razz doesn’t want to answer but Puce is “I can handle it. You said you want to change things with me, why don’t you start with honesty?” and razz hesitates, then “I never wanted anything but to keep you safe.” and he talks about swapfell and the LV attacks and how he and Blue ended up together and Puce doesn’t look surprised by any of it because fell and stretch have long since told him these things. Razz hesitates again and Puce “I can take it, you know. I know Blue isn’t a very nice guy.” and Razz gives in and tells him how Blue lied to him, made him think that he was being hurt by sans and red even though he wasn’t. And by the time he found out, he stayed for puce, then he explains about how Blue convinced him he wasn't safe enough to be a father. Go along the storytelling as long as you need to but bring it to a close with something caring like “i never wanted to give you up” or “i stayed for you” or something.

 

Thirty

Razz is in his office at work, sorting some stuff out, and there’s a knock on the door. Before he turns around to see who it is, he just says come in and then turns around to see it’s Blue. He shuts down and just stares at him. “Can I help you?” Blue hesitates, then “My last guard application was rejected outright, and I thought it best to come straight to the higher-ups. Alphys won’t make an appointment with me, so I thought--” “I can gladly enlighten you as to your situation, Mr. Serif.” Razz is maintaining his professional tone, pretends not to notice Blue’s flinch at the name. “It’s still Aster.” “Is it? Anyway, secretaries in their late fifties are not regularly considered for acceptance into the royal guard, especially after… how many failed applications do you have to your name?” “As you very well know, the vast majority of those were a mockery of fairness, staged to pretend I had any chance.” “And as you have very well told me in the past, you were fully aware of their unfairness, and yet engaged to participate anyway. In that situation, Mr. Serif, the fault does not lie in the application process. So, to answer your question, your application was rejected outright because you do not meet our standards.” there’s a long silence. “I could sue for unfair bias in the workplace. Being under the judgement of my husband--” “Ex husband. And I’m sure you’ll find, in any consultation with a lawyer, that neither I nor Alphys have any control over the acceptance or rejection of applicants. We only oversee the final tests for our trainees, and as it appears, you have never made it that far into the process.” Blue’s eyelights flash and he opened his mouth to speak, but there was a loud bout of childish laughter from the hallway, and then Puce’s voice shouting, “Posie, you need to knock!” and then there’s a knock on the door before it bursts open and a kid runs in and launches herself at Razz. “Razzy!” Blue stares at her in confusion as Razz picks her up and stands. Puce appears in the open doorway and stops as he sees Blue, makes a face at Razz, but Razz just says. “If you’ll excuse me, Mr. Serif. It’s my son’s birthday today and I have taken the rest of the day off to spend with he and my granddaughter. I wish you luck with future endeavors, and ask that you close the door firmly on your way out.”