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These are the Nights that Never Die

Chapter Text

Everything was going so well…

Blue walks alone through the streets of the city, corpses line the street as dust clings to the air. Death clings to him like a shawl, following his every step as he continues moving forward without purpose. Nothing looks familiar, even though he knows it should. The world doesn’t make sense anymore, like everything has been shifted just an inch to the left and no one bothered to inform Blue.

This is the end…

In the distance Blue sees someone familiar, face obscured as they are battered with dust-laden wind. He opens his mouth, but his throat won’t respond, voice completely shattered as he feels the fingers of the corpses wrap around his ankles.

No… it can’t be!

Blue struggles against the clutches, but his body refuses to cooperate as he is dragged under. The screams and moans of the damned dragged at his skull as he fights just to get away. The figures in the distance fade away into the dusty air, disappearing slowly as Blue is dragged under into the sea of death.

I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die I don’t want to-

Blue wakes with a start, soul pounding in his chest. He can feel sweat dripping onto the pillow below him as he sits up, reaching for the water bottle on the nightstand next to him. The van has a sink in it, but that’s only for washing dishes and clothes. Blue chugs about a fourth of it before sliding out of bed, stretching as he tries to recall his nightmare.

It probably wasn’t important if he can’t remember it; he just needs to quit eating so much sugar before bed!

Blue walks across the room to a sleeping bag tucked in the corner. Tucked away cozily inside the folds is another skeleton; Blue’s flatmate and best friend.

“Red, time to get up~” Blue says, tapping the sheets with a foot.

The stout, sleepy skeleton doesn’t respond, murmuring and turning over in his sleeping bag. His scrunched up face and soft whines would be adorable - if he were in stripes . Blue pouts, having none of this. He puts his hands on his hips, pouting.

“Red, I will not allow you to sleep through the day yet again! Our friends won’t see you at all if you don’t get out of bed,” He says, tugging at the covers. They give surprisingly easily, as if the other weighs nothing at all. Red screeches as he is flipped out of his swaddle, landing on all fours with his face stuck forward in shock. Like a cat. A moody, lazy cat.

So, a cat.

Speaking of cats, while Red recovers from his spin Doomfanger strolls into the room, butting the door open with her head as she purrs loudly for attention. Blue smiles and greets her with a pat on the head, her head bobbing up to meet his phalanges. He wonders if the others have fed her already… she often comes to him in the morning for double breakfasts; she knows as well as Blue that he is weak when it comes to beggy-faces. “Good kitty… who’s up at a normal hour like a decent person?” He coos, picking her up.

“it’s a cat, blue - not a person,” Red mumbles, rubbing his eye as he heads to the bathroom to change into his day clothes.

“Don’t let your brother hear you say that…” Blue mutters. He’s surprised that Red took the time to put on sleeping clothes last night; Red often prefers just sleeping in what he wore during the day, not even taking off his filthy shoes despite them being filthy!! It’s a wonder he never stained their blankets… And if he isn’t sleeping in his sweat-covered clothes then he often decides that boxers are the perfect choice for sleeping in a small enclosed space with another person. So lude… if Blue wakes up to find Red’s bear coccyx in his face one more time-

There is a knock at the door.

“hey blue, pap wants t’ know if yer almost ready in there…”

“Just a second, Sans! We’ll be right out!!” Blue calls, back

“heh, egg- celent; oma-let ya take yer time, you know pap… he just likes to get going at the crack of dawn,” Sans’ self-satisfied chuckles force a groan out of Blues upturned mouth.

“I take it we’re having eggs for breakfast?” Blue asks through the door as he walks over to the hook on the wall where he keeps his outfit hung.

“don’t miss a beat , do ya kid?” Sans shoots back, voice fading as he walks away. “i can’t wisk letting a yolk go over ya head…”

Blue sighs fondly, reminded of his own brother as he pulls off his own nightshirt. He only has one set of day clothes on this trip (it was so last minute Blue hardly had time to pack anything else!) but through careful washing, drying, and folding he has managed to keep them nice and tidy. He pulls on his tee-shirt, the white fabric dulling just a bit so that it no longer matches the color of his bones as it did when he first bought it. His jeans are a bit rough too, with the fabric starting to wear down into holes. If his brother were here he would say that they make him look cool, and Blue would scold him for allowing his standard of dressing to be so bedraggled.

Blue giggles to himself, tying his bandana around his neck. “Reddd~ hurry up or I’ll feed your breakfast to Doomy~” He slips on his sneakers before picking up Doomfanger so she doesn’t get trapped in the room again.

Red clamors out of the bathroom, hopping on one foot as he throws his slippers on haphazardly. “i’m up, i’m up!” He shouts, rushing for the exit.  “jeez, yer worse than boss…” He mutters; Blue just smiles, humming as he skips into the main room of the trailer. The smell of cooked eggs, fresh bread and cheese bombards Blue’s senses as he strolls into the room. His stomach growls as he heads right for the table, grinning as he takes in the scene around him. Edge and Papyrus are standing side-by-side in the kitchen; the RV may be rather spacious, but between the sizable kitchen, fold-out-couch-living room, dining area and cockpit there isn’t much room for five people to spread out. Sans is giving his best attempt at gaining a little more space in their cramped home by working to fold up the couch he and his brother have claimed as theirs. The valiant endeavor ends with Sans curled up like Doomfanger and napping until Papyrus picks him up and carries him over to the living room. The bed lives another day…

Blue sides in to the booth next to Sans, letting the perpetually-sleepy skeleton take the window seat as he watches the others finish up their work in the kitchen across the aisle.

“Good morning, Edge!” Blue chirps as the taller skeleton removes his flower-splattered apron. “How did you sleep last night?” Edge drops a plate in front of Blue, returning Blue’s cheerful morning wishes with a simple grunt. Blue takes it as a compliment. The cheese omelet in front of him has been shaped into a smile - no doubt this was the work of the joyous skeleton across the table from him, scolding his brother for his laziness. The compact roles on the side must belong to tall, dark and brooding; he has the most talent when it comes to more complex cooking and baking. The aforementioned skeleton is now scraping out the remaining eggs for Doomfanger as the cat paws her master’s leg, mewling softly.

Blue smiles, feeling at peace as he lifts a precious bite of omelet to his mouth.

He freezes when he realizes-

“Oh! Sorry Red,” he says, sliding out from the booth and dashing over to the other side of the room. He pulls out a folding chair from under the shelf, setting it up at the other end of the four seater booth. “We forgot to get your chair!”

“‘s cool… it’s nice to know that someone chairs enough about me to try,” The skeleton jokes, sliding in to join the breakfast table. Blue hides a snort at the joke, picking up his fork to finish the bite. Edge kicks the chair with his foot as he slides in next to Papyrus; Blue pretends that it was an accident.

The table is quite for a few moments after the interaction, the silence only being broken by Sans after a few moments had passed.

“so, you sleep okay?” He asks Blue. “we hit some pretty bumpy terrain last night…” Blue gives a quick affirmative.

“Yeah! I could feel the whole car shaking!” He says between bites of food. “But luckily Red kept me company so I was able to sleep through most of it - he even wore clothes to bed last night! It’s an improvement, despite them being what he wore yesterday…” Blue mumbles in mild disgust. Red just chuckles and shrugs while Edge’s nose wrinkles up in distaste.

“ ‘at’s good…” Sans says, turning the conversation on to their current location and where they should all head to next.

Very soon everyone is talking, and the room isn’t silent for a single moment as the friends chat over the skillfully and lovingly prepared meal. Blue glances at the scenery out the window behind Sans’ head between conversations. The road trip has taken Blue to so many new places these past months… he’s seen waterfalls, forests, cities. Since getting to the surface Blue has wanted to explore, and yet he never really found himself an opportunity to do so; and then his new friends showed up and offered him and Red a chance to go on this adventure! He’s so lucky…

“Oh Blue-Sans!” Papyrus calls towards the end of their meal. “Would you give me a hand in the kitchen when we are finished? There were a lot of messy dishes made by Edgy-me’s firey box-cooking.”

“For the last time, it’s called baking ,” Edge snaps, eye twitching.

“heh, no need to get so heated , boss,” Red says with a wink, shooting his brother a pair of finger guns. Edge ignores the pun to continue lecturing Papyrus on proper kitchen terminology. Blue gives a little giggle at the joke, forsaking his quality taste in humor to make Red feel appreciated. The smile that crosses the other’s face makes it worth it.

“Besides,” Blue cuts in when it seems that Edge has hit a lull in his rant. “Today is my day to clean the floors,” He says, pointing to the chores chart hanging on the fridge. Sure enough, Blue’s scrawled-crayon handwriting clearly states today he will not be doing dishes. “Why not ask Red? He only has cat sitting today…”

“fuck that - i ain’t givin’ up the easiest job in the house t’ help clean up boss’ mess,” Red says, crossing his arms.

“Language,” Blue scolds, frowning right back. “If Papyrus needs some help today then we should be good friends and give him a hand!”

Red just grumbles, looking away. Sans taps Blue’s shoulder, motioning that he would like to slide out of the booth. Blue moves for him, watching Sans walk over to the chart on the wall and pull it down. “alright, so obviously we are in need of some chores redistribution.” He says, placing the paper down on the table for everyone to see. “pap, red, and edge will clean up the kitchen, i’ll take care o’ the livin’ room if blue works on the bathrooms and laundry - sound fair?”

Everyone nods in agreement, seeming settled. Blue raises his hand.

“What about Doomfanger?” Blue asks, pointing to the Red’s square on the schedule. Walk Doomfanger .

“oh, uh, right…” Sans says, scratching his head. He looks up at the two tall skeletons. “edge - you got this right?” He asks. “it is your cat, after all…”

Edge grumbles, nodding after a moment. “Even now I’m doing the runt’s chores for him…” He groans under his breath as Red chuckles.

“thanks bro - ya really saved my hide right meow .”

With that the group gets started on their assignments.

---

Cleaning took longer than usual today, and not just because the powdered egg seemed to stick to just about every surface in the house that it touched. Doomfanger had tracked in mud from her walk outside; the moment that Edge released her from her leash she rushed in and rubbed herself over every surface. Papyrus offered to bathe her, but Edge educated Papyrus in excessive detail on what an absolutely awful idea that is.

“It is better to let her towel off herself and clean up where she goes,” He says dismissively. “Attempting to put her near a source of water will only make her angry.”

While literally everyone living here would love to disagree, they know it would be no use. Edge has first, second and final say when it comes to Doomfanger; she is his whole world, even if he wouldn’t admit it. The only time any of them have seen him show outward affection is when he is petting that cat.

Blue doesn’t mind spending the extra time cleaning, though. It is Sunday, after all - they agreed that today would be a maintenance day. Besides, It gives Blue something to do. Even though they are all on vacation they don’t get out much; everything seems to be closed this time of year, and the people that they meet aren’t very nice. Sometimes they get to go on hikes when they find nice trails, and Edge likes to go hunting (though Blue never goes with; the thought of shooting a gun makes him squeamish). And despite having traveled for over a week, they haven’t really gotten anywhere yet...

But that isn’t the point of a road trip!! The point is all the quality time that you spend with friends. Looking around Blue can see Papyrus scrubbing the tiled floors while he discusses battle strategies with Edge as he works on fixing something with the sink, Doomfanger at his shoulder. Sans chimes in with a pun now-and-then, and when they get particularly bad Edge will whip around with the wrench in his hand, loudly threatening bodily harm to those who dare disgrace a Papyrus with awful japery.

Yeah, this is the best road trip ever…

Blue sighs, taking a break to sit down next to a napping Red, who has already shed his work clothes for a loose tee-shirt and shorts. He sleeps even more than Sans! He’s hardly interacted with anyone, too busy sleeping.

“hey, blue,” Sans says, catching the smaller’s attention. “we’re gonna go out grocery huntin’ in a bit, care to hold down the fort until we make it back?”

Blue smiles, putting a hand to the top of his head while beaming with pride. “Roger!”

“no, it’s sans.”

Blue giggles as he watches his new friends prepare to head out. He looks down at his phone. He’s expecting a call from his brother tonight; ever since he moved away to start work in a lab out west, Stretch has made a point to call once a week on Sunday. Stretch hasn’t missed a single call yet, and Blue finds that as the days get closer he gets more and more excited - he has so much to tell his bro about since he started his trip! There was that time that they all went fishing, or that time that Sans and he pranked Edge, and he has to tell Stretch all about his new friends!

Blue tosses his phone from hand-to-hand, tapping his feet and humming quietly. He feels too antsy, too excited cooped up in this vehicle, and yet he knows the rules; no going outside alone. It is very dangerous with all the wild animals. So to avoid pacing he stands up and heads to the back room, shutting the door softly as he lies out on the bed and rolls himself up under the covers.

Come on Pappy… call me!! He thinks, holding the phone just inches from his face. He hears the front door open and shut as his friends leave to do their shopping. He sighs, wiggling his legs as he wills his phone to ring with sheer determination.

The Screen lights up.

Bzzzzzt.

Oh wow. That actually worked.

Blue quickly presses the answer button, sitting up as fast as he can. “Hello?” He says, clutching the phone tightly to the side of his head.

“heh, sup lil bro,” Stretch’s voice fills the speaker, spilling over Blue as he smiles into the covers. His brother’s voice will always be the most soothing sound in the world to him…

“Pappy… I’m older than you…” Blue whines in mock hurt. Stretch just chuckles.

“i know,” he says. “you’re the older bro, but i’m the big bro.” He says with a little too much pride in his tone. Blue holds back a snort.

“You’re being silly,” He says, rolling over in the covers.  “How’s work going.”

“boring,” Stretch sighs. “th’ boss has been gettin’ ont’ me for sleepin’ in. i don’t get why he’s so upset, i told him this place would be my dream job.”

Blue groans, burying his face into the pillow so Stretch can’t hear him laugh. “That was terrible…” He says, voice obscured by the comforter.

“yeah, but yer smilin’.”

“I AM AND I HATE IT!!”

The two of them laugh, finally breaking their faux aggressiveness. Blue would like to ask about what Stretch is working on, but he knows the company policy - really Stretch isn’t allowed to talk to Blue at all, but because monsters’ souls are so fragile his work allows him one call home per week. One heavily monitored call, that is, and Blue doesn’t want to get his brother in trouble.

Thankfully, Stretch comes up with a much better conversation for them.

“so how is your road trip going?” His brother asks, and Blue feels excited tingles run down his spine.

“It’s going so well!” Blue says, toying with his phone as he talks. “I wish you were here - you would love Sans! He is very clever when he actually puts in the effort; he is pretty much in charge here.” Blue rolls over onto his back as he goes on. “Papyrus is his little bro - but he’s also the big bro, like you.”

Stretch chuckles. “see? i told ya it could happen…”

Blue rolls his eyes. “He’s really nice,” He moves on. “He was the one who invited me and Red on the trip to begin with, and he really makes me feel like I belong here.” Blue feels his cheeks grow warm. “He gave us all cool nicknames too… since we all have the same name, being the same person…” Blue scratches the back of his head. “Mine is Blue! And when we’re talking about you… they like to call you Stretch!”

A soft laugh rings over the phone. “nyehehe… that’s a pretty awesome name…” Stretch admits. There is a quick pause before he speaks again. “how is red?”

“Currently? Napping,” Blue says with exaggerated exasperation. “But he seems to be getting along with everyone here pretty well… OH!” Blue remembers, sitting straight up. “Red’s brother is here too!!”

Stretch laughs, making a soft, curious sound. “really now?”

“Yeah! I think they’re still fighting,” Blue says sadly. “But that’s just because Edge is a stubborn butt! He’s always starting problems; if Sans wasn’t such a good leader we would have a very hard time with him… but he is also a really good cook and his cat is pretty cute…”

“he has a cat?” Stretch laughs. “he seems like a dog person to me, honestly.”

“Yeah, but he really loves that cat… I think he was really lonely before he came on this trip,” Blue says, frowning. “I was too…”

There is a pause between them, the silence hanging in the air as Blue waits for his brother’s reply.

“Sans… I-”

Rustle.

Flash.

There is movement outside Blue’s window; he frowns, cutting his brother off to go investigate. It is evening outside, the sun just starting to set. The trees in this part of the country are a deep green, fading into a partial blue… they remind Blue of the foliage in snowdin, except without the snow. They seem almost living out here, the winds of the surface making them wave almost as if they were alive like the animals that made their homes inside of them.

Blue hums, opening up the window to get a better look outside. He is sure he saw something moving out there-

“GAH!” Without any warning a fluffy white poof is in Blue’s face, Doomfanger’s face only inches from his own. Blue’s soul almost stops as he stumbles back, hitting his back against the dresser. Hand clutched to his chest, Blue gasps to catch his breath.

The cat just ‘mreow’s, pawing lightly at the mesh screen as she asks to be let inside. Blue laughs awkwardly, shaking his head. “Stars, kitty, you really gave me a scare there…” He says, walking to the window. “How did you get outside? You know that Edge doesn’t like you going out on your own… especially not at night. Red was supposed to be watching you…” Blue grumbles, reminding himself to scold his forgetful friend later.

Blue’s fingers tuck under the screen, ready to pry it out to let his furriest friend inside when the cat suddenly decides to jump down from the ledge, padding off towards the forest.

“No! Doomfanger!!” Blue calls, watching in horror as the cat simply walks off into the trees. “Bad kitty!! Get back here!!” Blue whines, tapping his foot nervously. Great. Now he has to go get him.

Blue rushes out of the room and into the living room, pulling on his coat as he shakes Red awake.

“mmng, is the world ending yet?” Red mumbles, rubbing an eye.

“No!” Blue says, pulling his gloves on in preparation for going outside. He rushes into the kitchen and grabs a pack of kitty snacks - Doomfanger’s favorite kind.

“then why ‘re ya wakin’ me?” He asks, seeming as though he might fall right back asleep.

“Because you let Doomfanger get out!” Blue scolds, already unlocking the front door. That seems to get his friend’s attention; Red jumps up and gets his boots on.

“jeez, kid, i thought you said the world wasn’t ending!!” Red says, sweating as he throws on his jacket. “do ya know what boss’ll do t’ me if he finds out his cat got out?”

“No, and I won’t find out,” Blue says, heading out the door. He rushes through the campgrounds, past the abandoned tents and long-dead campfire and towards the treeline. “I saw her go this way… I bet we can catch up to her if we hurry.”

Red grunts in affirmation. “let’s be quick, ‘k kid?” He says, following Blue through the woods. “sans don’ like us out on our own… buddy system and all.”

“True, but I got you with me,” Blue says. “Plus, this is for Doomfanger!” He says, shaking the bag and calling the cat’s name. Red’s voice chimes in, though much quieter; for someone so crass Red can be very soft spoken. It’s probably because he smokes.

Red and Blue continue their path deeper into the woods, always being careful that they don’t stray too far away from the well lit campgrounds. Surely Doomfanger wouldn’t have wandered far…

“Hey Red, check this out!” Blue calls, motioning his friend over. The ‘this’ that he found happens to be a two-story high structure made of stone. It’s rather large - a sign reads in bright painted letters that this is the visitor center for the park. The lights are off inside, causing Blue to frown. Rats. They must be closed… the people inside might have been able to help them find their missing cat.

Behind the structure is a large wall of mesh fencing. Blue can hear wild animals crawling about behind it… it makes him feel on edge, for some reason. He is about to tell Red that he thinks they should head back when he hears a new, more hopeful sound from within the structure.

‘merrrow?’

“Doomfanger!” Blue cries, rushing into the building. He really wishes that he had brought a flashlight… the light outside is too dim to reach in here. He squints as he looks around, shaking the bag of treats. “Doooooomy, I’ve got something good for you if you just come out~~!” Blue says, padding softly through the room. His boots crunch along broken glass as he searches for the lost pet. “Come on… this is trespassing, kitty, you don’t wanna go to cat jail, do you?”

“technically we’re trespassing too,” Red points out.

“But we’re doing it to retrieve our friend, who is the true trespasser,” Blue assures him. Red just shrugs

“can’t argue with that logic…” He says, walking with Blue further into the structure. There is a thick layer of dust floating through the room, partly-obscuring Blue’s vision. He coughs, shivering. Someone really needs to clean this place… there is a thick smell in here that is absolutely rotten . Blue covers his nose as he shakes the bag. “Doooomfangeerrrr.”

Finally a streak of white catches Blue’s eye, and he looks down to find Doomfanger rubbing up against his leg. Blue lets out a sigh of relief. “Doomy~ We found you!” He says, picking up the cat and holding her close. “Now let get you back home before your daddy kicks our butts!”

Blue turns around to head for the exit when he is stopped dead in his track by a shadow. There is a person in the doorway… their silhouette looks human, though not quite. They are hunched over in the darkness, backlit just enough so that what little light reaches inside the room only serves to obscure them further.

“A-um…” Blue says, feeling his soul pick up in speed. Terror rushes through him in waves as he steps back.  “H… hello sir… I-I’m sorry… this place is k-kinda closed now…” Blue clutches the cat to his chest as she hisses, wiggling as though she plans to attack.  “I-if you w-want me to leave… I-I’ll go… I j-just wanted to… get our cat back…”

The figure takes a step forward and tears spring to Blue’s eyes, his body trembling too hard to properly stand as he leans against a wall behind him. He watches the creature slowly move forward, that horrible rotten smell starting to fill Blue’s world as it limps, limps, limps…

They’re everywhere - the invasion taking over their homes, their lives. Everyone dying, people falling down in the street. Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide because it’s over. Death is everywhere, this is the end, this is the e n d.

Suddenly it lunges forward and Blue screeches, throwing himself out of the way as fast as he can, still clinging to Doomfanger as he darts as fast as he can into a storage closet, locking the door behind him. He throws his back against the door and slides down, sobbing as he cradles his knees, Doomfanger sliding off to lick his face.

There is a pounding at the door as Blue sobs, his hands going from his knees to his head as he covers his ears, trying desperately to block out the sounds around him.

They barricaded themselves away, so that during the initial waves they wouldn’t be killed like everyone else. Shoving an old radiator in front of the door as the world crumbles outside. “we’re safe now, kid, shh… don’t cry… we’re okay - we’re gonna live, kid, ya hear me? we’re both gonna make it out of this alive.”

Blue shakes his head shivering as the sounds increase outside, getting more and more violent until…

“Blue?”

Blue’s soul stops, his hands falling down to his lap as he quickly gets to his feet. Scooping Doomfanger up into his arms, he turns around to face the door. With trembling hands Blue moves the bolt lock back, looking up at the person behind the door.

Blue sighs in relief, his shoulders sagging.

It was only Papyrus.

“Oh!” Blue says, sniffing up his tears as he steps out of the little room. “You scared me!!” He laughs, instantly forgetting what it was that made him so terrified. Doomfanger purrs, moving herself up onto Blue’s shoulder to perch.

I scared you ?” Papyrus looks utterly relieved, and a tad tired. He shoulders a rifle as he looks over Blue, making sure the smaller skeleton is unharmed. Blue just allows the examination. “You could have stopped my soul! You know you’re not supposed to leave the camper alone!!” He scolds, sounding close to tears as he wraps his arms around Blue in a hug. Blue just giggles, returning the embrace to comfort his spooked friend.

“I wasn’t alone,” Blue claims, shaking his head. “Red came with me, though I think he wandered off…”

“nah, i’m over here,” Red’s voice comes from further in the room, casually walking over to the two. “i was just checkin’ outside for doom when i saw pap lookin’ for us.” He explains. Blue just rolls his eyes.

“We were supposed to stick together…” Blue scolds, releasing Papyrus to face Red. “What is the point of the buddy system if I don’t have my buddy!”

Papyrus frowns, getting Blues attention with a hand on his shoulder. “Regardless, It is best that you take one of us next time you want to go out,” Papyrus says, worry laced in every word. Blue sighs contently, appreciating the sentiment.

“I’ll be more careful next time,” Blue says, following Papyrus as he heads for the door. “I was only trying to find Doomfanger since Red let her wander off…”

“Is that so?” Papyrus asks wearily, taking Blue’s hand.

“...Hey Papyrus…?”

“Yes, Blue-Sans?”

“Why are you carrying a gun?”

“Oh! You know…” Papyrus glances back into the building when Blue looking. His eyes fall on the still-twitching corpse laying sprawled across the floor, head blown in half. The reanimated dead lets out a guttural moan; Papyrus cringes.

“......Reasons.”

Chapter Text

“paps, no.”

“But Sans!”

“no,” Papyrus’ older brother said, sharpening his blade. Papyrus crossed his arms; Sans looked up, unimpressed. “It’s too dangerous.”

Papyrus glanced over to Edge with a pleading look, hoping that at least his rough counterpart would take his side. Much to his dismay Edge simply shook his head, wilting any hopes that Papyrus had of coming with them. “He has a point,” The other justified. “Someone responsible needs to stay here and guard homebase.”

“Besides, the engine still needs looking at,” Sans said, loading his pistol. “Ever since we hit that hoard it’s been making a sound… we can’t afford it breaking down if we’re in a fight.”

Papyrus sighed, knowing full well that wasn’t the main reason his sibling refused to let Papyrus come with them; he hated how his sibling refused to make eye contact with him as Sans stood.

Edge had already packed his guns and first aid kit. Supplies had been running low for a while; their last big “refueling” stop had been when they picked up their newest traveler. Even then, it has been months since the outbreak, and by now all of the fresh food had rotted, leaving only the cans that other survivors have yet to pick up. Occasionally they will find a home that miraculously still had power; the frozen food there gave them a good meal for the night. Yet with so many mouths to feed it seemed that supplies vanished as soon as they came.

“The store was about half a mile from here,” Sans said. “There shouldn’t be any of them out at this time of night; I think they like to go home… though ya never know; some of them can be pretty dead-icated,” He snapped his fingers, winking at the two larger skeletons who simply groan at the bad joke, though Papyrus with just a touch of fondness.

With that Sans stood up, sliding on his backpack that stood almost as tall as he did. Edge carried the larger weapons, making sure that the hunting rifle was left loaded and ready for Papyrus. The two walked out the door, promising to try to make it back before sunrise. Papyrus sighed, waving as the left before going to the cubbies in the living room to retrieve his tools. He might as well start on the engine…

“Hello?”

Papyrus stopped in his tracks; his eye wandered back to the door to the master bedroom. Blue’s voice is instantly recognizable; deep and melodic, yet cheerful. A peppy version of Papyrus’ own brother - which is what Blue is, after all. He was about to answer Blue’s call, letting Blue know that it was just him rooting around in the living room.

“Pappy… I’m older than you…”

Huh? Oh! He must have been on the phone with his brother. Papyrus smiled subtly, picking up his tools and the rifle before heading outside. He wouldn’t interrupt; hopefully Blue would go right to sleep after his call. Not that Papyrus didn’t love having his company - far from it. Blue’s optimism was a very welcome part of this very scary new life; however, if the other slept through the night then the little skeleton wouldn’t have to be bothered with worrying about the others, like Papyrus would.

Papyrus walked out to the front of the RV, infinitely grateful for the solar panels that kept the lights going in this park. He and Edge would have to remove them when they get ready to head out; the more power they can generate for their home the better. It will be hard to do without magic - since the outbreak all monster magic had inexplicably stopped working, including that which powered most of their technology. Which meant that Papyrus had to learn a whole new system of electronics.

Of course, there is no challenge too great for the Great Papyrus… but this one does make things a lot more difficult for him. He popped the hood open with a lever on the underside of the RV, reaching inside to check each part of the engine. Ideally, he would like to have it replaced; but even if they do find the exact model they would need for this rather rare vehicle, the group would have to stop for at least a day or two to install it. And that’s assuming that there aren’t any complications. The risk would be too great - if they happen to be attacked during the process there would be no way to flee, and if by chance any damage is done to either the current engine or the replacement there is no guarantee that Papyrus could fix it. He’s a mechanic, not a miracle worker.

So for now, maybe just giggling some parts and flushing out the engine would do.

As Papyrus was loosening some of the screws he heard a sound outside. He paused, placing the wrench down on the ground and slowly picking up the rifle. There was no such thing as too careful, after all, not anymore…

Papyrus made his footfalls as quiet as possible, turning the corner of the RV. His soul banged against his rib cage, causing his fingers to quiver against their tight grip. After careful searching, Papyrus concluded that it was just his imagination - or perhaps the wind, or a wild animal.

But, thankfully, not a zombie.

He was about to head back to his work at the engine when he heard something far more terrible than the moans of the undead.

“Doooooomfannnnger!!”

Papyrus’ soul froze entirely, stopping in his chest as he turned on his heel to face the woods. That was Blue’s voice, no doubt about it. But he should have been inside!! Where it’s safe!! Why would he go out into the woods!? Shouting like that, no less! He was going to attract the attention of a zombie that way, and once as one found him there would be several more to follow...

Hands tightened around the gun, Papyrus sprinted into the forest after his very happy, yet very unbalanced new friend.


 

“so he just walked out into the woods??”

The group sits huddled around the table, cups of coffee and tea in each set of hands. Sans and Edge had just returned from their ‘shopping trip’. They came back with a fairly good haul - a week ago this would have been enough for months, but now it might last them two or three weeks, at most. The early morning sun dances through the window, illuminating their grim faces.

Papyrus nods in response to the question, staring down at the off-red mixture in his cup. Edge’s fist flies onto the table with BANG .

“AND YOU DID NOTHING TO STOP HIM!?” Edge shouts, causing Papyrus to flinch. Sans shushes him, motioning to the door in back with a little sight taped to it reading ‘Blue and Red’s Room - No Girls Allowed!’. Edge sits back down from his half stand, sipping his black coffee as he glares out the window.

“I… I did not realize he had left,” Papyrus admits. “I was fixing the engine, and I assumed he was on the phone with his brother.” He taps his cup awkwardly, feeling guilt and shame for almost allowing Blue to be murdered.

Edge grunts. “These delusions of his are no longer cute nor endearing…” He says, quick to add a muttered, “If they ever were.”

“what can we do?” Sans says amiably. “you saw how he was when we picked him up; if he didn’t find some way to cope he would have fallen down…”

“Wouldn’t he be the lucky one…” Edge jokes in a humorless tone, moving his cup from his lap so that Doomfanger can leap onto him.

“speaking of which - wasn’t it your cat that he was chasing in the first place?” Sans asks, looking to Papyrus for confirmation. Papyrus takes a moment before responding, nodding despite his fear of starting a conflict. Just as he predicted, Edge’s face scrunches up in a scowl.

“You dare try to blame Doomfanger for this!?” He cries, clutching the fluffy cat to his chest. He nearly spills his coffee all over the table.

Sans holds up his hands in surrender. “nah, nah - but we should really take some precautions t’ make sure she don’t get out again… for her sake as well as ours.”

Edge sits back down in his booth, crossing his arms as he huffs. “...Very well,” He says, nodding along. “I will make sure that she does not leave my sight from now on…” Papyrus smiles subtly. That isn’t entirely what Sans meant, but he has faith that his very edgy friend will do everything in his power to protect his pet. Edge turns to Papyrus next, “Did the pipsqueak say how Doomfanger got out?” He asks.

“No, he said he doesn’t know,” Papyrus shrugs. “I will take a look around for any loose vents or holes that she could have escaped from, though.”

Edge nods, seeming satisfied with that response.

“welp,” Sans says, popping his ‘p’s and standing up. He finishes off the last of his coffee, downing even the sugary cream that settled at the bottom. There is no wastefulness allowed here. “we’ve all had a long day, and if we don’t want the kiddo on our backs in a few hours we should probably hit the sack.”

Edge nods in agreement, finishing off his cup much lower as he collects their dishes. He goes to clean them off now rather than in the morning with a dry rag. They can’t afford to use their water supply on something so small. Papyrus helps some before Edge climbs up into his bunker above the cockpit. The space is just big enough for him to stretch out and relax in his bunk before closing the privacy curtain. Papyrus watches as Sans struggles to open the couch-bed, moving his brother out of the way as he undoes the latch with ease.

“heh... that thing is busted,” Sans says, flopping out on the unfolded mattress.

“Or maybe I’m just more talented than you when it comes to bed-making,” Papyrus retorts.

“yeah, that’s probably it. yer the bed- st at it.”

Papyrus snorts, shaking his head. “That was the worst,” Sans smiles and papyrus spins around to point at his brother. “ Don’t - I can see that pun forming in your mind!” He says, watching as his brother snickers into his pillow. “Go to sleep, Sans!”

“‘k”

“I mean it Sans!”

“i’m sleeping, i’m sleeping…”

“Then why are your eyes open…”

“yer eyes don’t have’t be closed t’ snooze; there is much you don’t know about sleeping, my pupil .”

“That one doesn’t even make any sense!!!”

“that’s because i’m tryin’ t’ sleep.”

Papyrus rolls his eyes, a subtle smile playing at his mouth as he turns around.  “Good night, Sans,” He says, opening up the back-room door. “I’ll be just a moment.”

He quietly tiptoes into the room, careful not to disturb Red’s sleeping bag on the floor. He walks over to to the bed, watching the small skeleton buried in the covers rest peacefully. Unlike everyone else here, there are no permanent bags under his eyes. His face is completely relaxed as he sleeps, oblivious to the world around him.

Papyrus sits down next to him, resting a hand on the other’s head. He is so glad that they found him; life has gotten so much nicer since Blue arrived. Even if the rest of them can’t escape this horrible reality, having him around fuels their optimism. Edge had been far more closed off, Sans’ outlook a lot more bleak, and even Papyrus was beginning to feel the effects of the world closing in around them.

And yet, waking up every morning and having breakfast together, taking turns doing chores, planning for their next ‘destination’ on their ‘trip’… it was honestly kind of fun. They weren’t just surviving day-to-day anymore. Things felt almost… normal, for a change.

Blue whimpers in his sleep, turning over to escape Papyrus’ touch and settle back into the sheets. “Pappy, go to sleep…” He mumbles, Papyrus understanding the words were not meant for him. He just snorts, sliding off the bed.

“Okay, Sans,” He says quietly, heading for the door. “Goodnight…”

“ ‘Night…”

Papyrus smiles, shutting the door with as much grace needed to preserve the precious silence in the room. His cheeks suddenly feel warm, and Papyrus reaches up to feel wetness under his eyes as something catches in his throat. His hand quickly moves down to his mouth, covering it before any sound can escape. He chokes down his sobs, refusing to allow his silly emotions to ruin the peace of this moment.

Swallowing hard, Papyrus turns around and returns to the fold out bed with his brother.

Chapter Text

“Wow… the storm’s gotten really bad, hasn’t it?” Blue says, looking up at the sky. Despite the fact that it was mostly clear, with only a few fluffy clouds covering up the blue ocean above, the RV has been plagued with moaning winds and harsh rain all morning.

“yeah, it’s really raining dimes and nickels out there…” Red says, head in his hand.

“What does that even mean?” Blue asks, giving his friend an odd look.

“that there’s been a change in the weather.”

“Stop.” Blue slaps his palm into Red’s face. It only seems to encourage him.

“Is Red making unnecessarily complicated puns again?” Papyrus sighs, eyes never leaving the table as he scrubs it clean, removing all remnants of their breakfast. He’s tenser than normal; under his eyes are a woven pattern of black swelling.

“Yes, he is,” Blue pouts. Red places a hand over his soul.

“excuse? my puns are only as complex as they necessarily have to be,” He claims in mock outrage.

Blue rolls his eyes, going back to staring at the clouds. They are honestly very pretty… days like these just don’t seem real; when the sky looks just so perfect like this. Ah, if the weather wasn’t so bad they could all go out and have a picnic with the new food that Sans and Edge bought last night! It would be nice to get out of the RV… it has started to accumulate a bit of smell that Blue can’t quite find where it’s coming from.

A particularly bad gust of wind hits the side of the camper, causing Blue to jump and Red to jerk awake from his half nap. Sans watches them from behind.

“why don’t ya come away from the window?” He says from the couch,  “ain’t good t’ be that close to glass during a storm…” Sans’ books and spreadsheets laid out in front of him. He does all the planning for the trip; deciding where they’ll stop next, how much water they can use, how much food they have. Blue sometimes wonders what he does to be able to afford a vacation like this… it’s rude to ask though.

“Oh okay,” Blue says, pulling Red’s arm over to the couch. Blue takes a seat next to Sans while Red sprawls out on the floor, snoozing quietly. “...Lazy.” Blue mutters, shaking his head. At least the others have an excuse, being out all night getting groceries.

Sans hardly seems to notice when Blue sits down next to him, frantically scribbling on sheets of paper as he sweats in silence. Everyone seems to be stressed out today; Blue imagines it has to do with the storm. Papyrus is oddly quiet, hardly taking up any conversations or banters with his counterpart, and Edge has been particularly snippy as well. It all makes Blue very uncomfortable, but he refuses to bring it up in fear of making everything worse.

Blue plays with his hands for a while, trying to seem uninterested in the incredibly interesting things that Sans is up to. He may not want Blue looking over his shoulder, after all. He seems pretty deep in focus right now… He looks up at the ceiling, attempting to count every tile on the roof… then all of the corners of all the tiles… then all of the dead flies in spiderwebs that they really should clean off sometime

“So whatcha doin’?” Blue finally breaks, looking over at the papers laid out all over the coffee table. In the center of them all is a blue notebook with a faded skull sticker on it. Sans smiles, glancing at Blue out of the corner of his eye.

“what, you wanna take a look at my cheat sheets?” He says, scooting over just enough that Blue can get a better view of all the papers.

“What are these?” He asks, looking over the complex documents.

Sans points to the first one. “this is water supply; we can carry about 150 gallons of water at a time, and we gotta periodically flush out the waste water.”

“That sounds hard,” Blue says.

“yeah, it’s a real drain.

“Mweeeh… no puns while we're learning!!!”

Sans chuckles, shuffling the papers around. “right now i am focused on making sure that we have enough food to make it to our next stop - this storm has really put us behind schedule… we might have to leave today.” Sans says with a frown, tone shifting minutely towards the ‘worried leader’ side.

“Aw, but we just got here,” Blue complains. Sans snorts.

“tell me about it… it’s a pretty big pain in my coccyx,” He says, nose ridge wrinkling up. “we got some stuff last night, but we’re gonna need a lot more before we head out for our next stop again.”

Blue hums in understanding. “So… if you don’t mind me asking… what is our next stop?”

“heh... i’ll tell ya when i figure it out.” Sans’ voice sounds deeper than usual, raw exhaustion interwoven between every syllable.

Blue raises a brow bone, confused. Don’t they have this trip planned out at all? He opens his mouth to ask exactly that when there is a loud noise from the kitchen, taking both of their attention.

“nGAH!! EDGE! PLEASE REMOVE YOUR BLASTED CAT FROM MY KITCHEN BEFORE SHE BREAKS SOMETHING ELSE!!!”

“I DO NOT CONTROL HER MOVEMENTS, PERHAPS YOU SHOULD NOT STACK THOSE PLATES SO PRECARIOUSLY!!”

“welp... i better go step in before someone busts a skull…” Sans says, sliding off the couch. Blue scoots over entirely onto the couch, looking over the notebook that Sans left behind. He hesitates… is it rude to look in here when Sans had already sort of gave him permission? Yes, but Blue is realllllly curious; he decides one little peak is a forgivable offense.

Blue giggles to himself as he opens the book, feeling like a child going through their parent’s drawers. Inside he finds page after page of calculations; records of how much fuel they’ve used, how much they’ll need, where they’ve been, places they plan to go… some sections are crossed out with little scrawlings giving reasons as to why this plan won’t work, or why going to that state is out of the question… just a bunch of random, ramblings thoughts and plans that Sans has collected.

Blue finds himself quickly bored with his searches, scanning through the pages until he gets closer to today’s date. He stops when the pages run out, going back to the last writings that Sans made.

Water:

    Runs out in 3 days

Black Water:

   Overflowing

Food:

   Runs out in 6 days

Ammo:

   Low but not dangerous. Yet.

Electricity:

   Literally the only fucking resource we have.

Closest Safe-Havens:

    Pleasant town (Too far)

   Gaston (Probably not safe)

   Hagersville (Not enough gas)

   Berton (Too Residential)

Conclusion: We’re fucked.

Blue hums, looking over the notes. Well these seem… rather bleak. No wonder Sans seems so stressed out all the time! He is doing so much planning and worrying that he doesn’t have time to enjoy this trip at all!

Blue closes the notebook, setting it back down where he found it. He claps his hands together. Well! This certainly won’t do! He won’t allow their brilliant leader to be bogged down with so much worry. Blue is going to make sure that he has fun tonight.

Sliding off the couch, Blue taps Red with his foot. The other stirs, looking up sleepily.

“wha…?” He says, rubbing an eye.

“Get up, lazy bones - we have planning to do!” Blue says, skipping back to their room. Red just shrugs, following along.

“whatever ya say, kid,” He mutters.


“now, have th’ two ‘o ya finally got that out of yer systems?” Sans says, exhausted from mediating the two very large yet immature skeletons in front of him.

Edge frowns, holding his precious cat to his chest. “I would be more satisfied if he would apologize to Doomfanger.” He says with a genteel tone.

“I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE TO THAT ANNOYING CAT!” Papyrus folds his arms, “YOU ARE LUCKY THAT SANS MADE ME APOLOGIZE FOR YELLING AT YOU.”

Edge snarls as the two fall right back into bickering. Sans sighs hard, pinching the bridge of his nose. This… is exasperating. Everyone is exhausted from their stressful night, and waking up to a hoard of zombies banging at the side of the bus this morning wasn’t exactly the most relaxing turn of events.

He doesn’t even try to get between the Papyruses this time, just sitting down on the dining booth as he waits them out. The van rocks as a particularly enthusiastic zombie slams its body into the side of the vehicle. Really, this is his fault. He should have known this place would be crawling with crawlers… except it also had so many useful resources - it was worth the risk as long as they didn’t do anything to catch the attention of any predators .

Anything, such as running out into the middle of the woods at night shouting like a crazy person

Sans laughs at his own unintentional joke, even if it is in bad taste. He glances over to where he left the kiddo, feeling a deep pang of worry when he realizes Blue isn’t on the couch anymore. He looks around and sees that the back-room door is shut - Blue must be in there. He relaxes once more as he listens to his brother and friend snap at each other over just about every petty squabble one could have. Jeez… they haven’t fought like this since Blue came around…

That guy sure does wonders for the psyche, ironically. Sans really thought that things were gonna get better now that he was around; but nope. It was just a lull in their luck, a pleasant kink of fate. And now that they are settling back in things are going right back to shit.

Sans sighs.

“AND ANOTHER THING - DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LOUD YOU ARE??”

He’s lost track of which one is speaking at this point… Sans puts his head against the table, digging his palms into his temples. The headache this entire conversation is giving him has spread to his patients. He’s done .

e n o u g h!”

Sans’ hand comes down on the table.

“alright, you two - listen up!” Sans snaps, head jerking up. If he still could, his eye would be ablaze with magic right now. He stands up off of the bench, ready to lay into the two skeletons until they put this petty squabble to bed for the rest of the day.

Except he is interrupted by a familiar, cheerful voice.

“Guyyyys~” Blue says in a sing song voice, walking into the room with one of the biggest grins they’ve ever seen on his face. In his hands he clutches a baby-blue bag - the only item they had found on his person when they discovered him locked away in the basement of his apartment complex. “I have a surprise for you~~”

Papyrus’ arms unfold and his face softens some. Of the three of them he has been the most receptive to Blue’s particular brand of positivity. It seems that no matter how bad his mood gets Blue is able to come in and cheer him right up. Edge is much less so, but even he relaxes a bit, attention turning from the skeleton beside him to the one across the room.

Sans smiles, well, this at least makes his job easier.

“heh, whatcha got there, kiddo?” Sans asks, hands shoved into his pockets. Blue’s smile grows impossibly wider. If he had skin it would probably tear with just how much force he is putting into showing his happiness.

“Close your eyes~” Blue commands.

“Now may not be the best ti-” Edge starts, abruptly cut off by Sans elbowing him in the shin. Papyrus already has his eyes shut, and Sans waits only long enough to ensure Edge’s cooperation.

“No peeking~” Blue says, voice laced with excitement. Sans can’t help the small grin that plasters itself over his face. The kiddo is just so contagious. There is a soft shuffling of fabric from in front of them, and something is unzipped as Blue places the contents of the bag down on the table in front of them.

“Ta-da!!” Blue shouts. Sans winces at the sheer volume of the noise. “You can open your eyes now!!”

Sans opens a socket to take a look at what Blue has decided to get so worked up over. Part of him is honestly expecting nothing - that he’s created some new delusion in his mind to instantly remedy the situation. But once again, the kiddo manages to surprise him.

“heh... where’d ya get that ?” Sans asks, hands in his pocket as he steps forward to observe the grey, book-shaped box that has been set up on the dining table. Even at first glance there is no mistaking what this is; a portable DVD player. Sans hasn’t owned one of those since they were in the Underground, and even then it was way back when he was a babybones. He opens the lid with a finger, looking at the screen inside. It isn’t much bigger than his hand-and-wrist, but it looks to be in perfectly good condition. He wonders if it still works…

“It’s mine,” Blue says proudly. “I carry it with me on the way to work. The buses run so slow, so I like to watch a movie on the way.” Sans snorts; that’s genius. Papyrus has bent over to look at the device, examining it with mild intrigue.

“Well that is very nice,” Edge says shortly. “But what I would like to know is why you chose now to bring on this impromptu show-and-tell.” He snarks. Sans rolls his eyes - jeez, what a wet blanket.

“Well, Red and I decided that it is time for us to have a movie night!” Blue says. The three skeletons stand up straight, looking between each other. Movie night?? Now? Blue smiles, crossing his arms. “I know that everyone is a bit stressed out because of the storm, so since there isn’t any way we can change the weather, we might as well take this time to relax and have some fun!”

Sans blinks, tapping his chin. That… isn’t a half bad idea actually. It’s not like sitting around and worrying about if-or-when the zombies will crawl back into their hiding spots is doing anyone any good. They have the extra electricity from charging in the sun all day; and if the three of them continue to stay this high strung it isn’t the hoard outside the party will have to worry about killing them all…

Edge looks less convinced, scowling at the device. “That has got to be the single dumbest idea I’ve ever-”

“heh i’m in.” Sans says with a shrug.

Both Papyrus and Edge look to him curiously

“Sans, are you feeling alright?” Papyrus asks, sounding worried. His hand comes down on Sans’ forehead. “You aren’t developing a fever, are you??”

“nah bro,” He chuckles, shaking his brother’s hand off of him. “i think it’s a good idea; our batteries are full and they’re just gonna keep chargin’ t’day since we won’t be doin’ much. i say we should just relax and take the day off.”

Papyrus doesn’t seem entirely convinced Sans is entirely sane, though apparently the idea of a movie night speaks to him as well, and he lets up. “Well, it does sound fun…” He says, a smile slowly writing it’s way onto his face.”

Edge is less convinced, looking between the two as if they had just suggested they jump out and try to make friends with the hoard surround them.

“HAVE YOU TWO LOST YOUR MIND!?” He snaps. “WE CAN’T JUST- WE CAN’T- WE HAVE TOO MANY THINGS TO DO!? SITTING AROUND JUST… DOING NOTHING????”

“it’s not doing nothing,” Sans corrects. “it’s a mental health day, for our health.” He closes the dvd player, flipping it over to check just how many watts it uses for his notebook. “if we stay cooped up in here worrying any longer we’re gonna end up killing each other or ourselves; the kiddo’s got the right idea.”

Blue squeals in pure delight. Hands curling little balls at his chest. “THIS IS SO AWESOME!! MWEHEHE… WE’RE GONNA HAVE SO MUCH FUN!!” He reaches into his bag, practically dumping out about half a dozen DVDs.  “I don’t have too many with me - if I had known we’d be gone this long I would have packed a few more…” He says, already going through and picking out favorites.

Sans chuckles, strolling across the room to one of the shelves.

“oh, i wouldn’t be too worried about running out of choices,” He says with a wink, opening up the doors of the storage space to reveal his and Papyrus’ collection. Practically every movie they’ve ever seen is in here, and several that they haven’t, all organized by genre and director. He turns around, delighted to see Blue’s awestruck face as he pursues the titles.

“now, what kinda movies you guys like t’ watch?”


In the end, they settled on five movies; A comedy for sans, an action thriller for Edge, a superhero film for Papyrus, a mystery for Blue, and a cartoon for Red. They drew straws to decide who goes first, all agreeing that Sans should get first pick of times since he’s done so much for them all. Blue and Red end up in the kitchen making popcorn while the other three set up the living room, finishing their chores down with twice the gusto.

An air of excitement seems to have come over the entire camper. It seems that for the first time since Blue arrived everyone is in anticipation for something; even Edge, despite his constant grumbles about how stupid this all is, seems to be just a little lighter in his steps as he goes through his routine.

By the time midday rolls around everyone is sitting in the living room, waiting. The spare duvet from the master bedroom has been pulled and laid out in the middle of the room, Papyrus and Edge sprawled out as Sans selects his dvd. Blue has finally finished popping the popcorn he found under the sink, pouring out the warm treat into bowls. He keeps the kettle ready for another batch, certain that there will be more need to be made by the time the day is through.

Blue hops up onto the couch with Sans and Red, offering up the bowls to everyone who wants one; which is everyone. Even Edge takes some popcorn, eating it slowly and savoring every bite. Papyrus is much less conservative with his, taking entire fistfuls at a time and dropping bits onto the mat which are promptly scooped up and fed to Doomfanger. Blue doesn’t actually see Sans eat any of his popcorn, but every so often when Blue looks over a little more has disappeared.

The movie is more to Sans and Red’s taste than anyone else's, but it gets a chuckle out of Blue. Sans, on the other hand, just about busts a rib with every line. Red lets out a constant stream of chuckles, drowning out the dialogue half the time. Blue acts as the runner, going between the living room and the kitchen to retrieve drinks and refresh popcorn. By the time the credits roll on the first movie everyone seems relaxed. Blue comes back from getting another round of snacks to find Papyrus leaned back into the couch with Sans draped over the armrest so the two are almost completely side by side. Red has his feet propped up by Sans’ head, looking halfway to sleep - a sign of relaxation for him. Even Edge looks less… well, on edge. He sits with his spine straight, Doomfanger in his lap. His facebones are no longer scrunched up, his shoulders hung relaxed at his side. Blue smiles at him, feeling his soul warm.

Edge glances over at Blue, face suddenly dusting with a light blush as he looks away, hands clenched.  “I still say this is a waste of time and electricity.” He snips, arms coming up to cross over his chest. Blue rolls his eyes.

“Would you like the orange juice, or apple?” Blue asks, holding out the cups in his hands. Edge refuses to look at him as he snatches the apple juice from him. Doomfanger rubs her head into his shirt and he lets a hand down to pet her coat.

“i think boss ha’ next selection, right?” Red says from the couch. Blue nods.

“Yeah, he does!” He says, turning back to the gruff skeleton. “Which one was yours again?”

“Midnight Blaze Racer Four,” He mutters, squirming in his seat.

“Aw, but we haven’t seen the first three??” Papyrus says, sounding just a tad disappointed. “How will we be able to follow the plot?”

“heh... yeah… ‘plot’...” Sans says from his spot on the couch, physically drawing the air quotes with his fingers. Edge turns, throwing a bit of popcorn back at Sans, bouncing off his head with a satisfying thunk . Sans chuckles.

“You will be able to pick up on main story,” Edge assures Papyrus. “Besides, this is the fourth installment, but it actually takes place before the first movie but just a bit after the third-and-a-half, which was a prequel telling the story how Blaze’s mother ended up going from a rich girl from southern california to wanted intergalactic crime fighter.” He is already loading up the DVD and skipping through the commercials for ‘soon-to-be-released’ movies that came out almost a decade ago. “But you don’t need to know any of that because when this movie came out the plot for the next hadn’t even been written yet. This is just the best movie in the franchize, so we are skipping all the garbage that came out with the extension and sticking to the original cannon.”

“...Well now I’m even more confused than when we started!!”

“shhh, just watch the movie bro.”

Blue ends up spending this move squished between Sans and Red, the two of them falling in and out of naps as the spectacle on the tiny screen plays out before them. Honestly, Blue has no idea what is going on, and he has a sneaking feeling that even if he’d seen all the previous movies he would still be lost. This time the movies takes about twice as long as it’s runtime due to Edge pausing it at random intervals to explain some plotpoint from another movie in the franchise, then again seconds later to answer follow up questions posed by a very befuddled Papyrus.

By the time that movie ends the group is very much ready for Papyrus’ much simpler, logical movie about an orphan bit by a genetically engineered snake, gaining the power of super speed and strength and chooses to fight the forces of evil. It doesn’t have to make sense in the real world - it just has to flow logically on its own. Which it does, somewhat. At times…

Papyrus is on the edge of his seat the entire time, and even Blue gets excited, cheering along Snake Lad as he takes on Sir Mongoose and saves Lady Lana, warrior super spy princess, from his evil clutches. Sans seems to get his enjoyment from the flick by pointing out every time the movie tries to do science and exactly why it is wrong, while Red just makes lousy puns on just about everyone and everything there. Edge pretends to ignore it, claiming the effects are too cheesy for him to get involved - but every once in awhile Blue thinks he sees genuine enjoyment on Edge’s face.

Finally it is Blue’s turn! Sans only had a single mystery movie that Blue hasn’t gotten to see yet; it’s an old one in black-and-white. It has a very unique pacing and tone to it, something that Blue can appreciate. Sans and Blue keep a long discussion going on about film techniques and cinematography. Papyrus and Edge seem bored, while Red straight up falls asleep during the first act, though the action scenes at least get some response out of the others.

During the final confrontation where the murderer is revealed Blue notices something. He steps forward, pressing pause on the player and he listens.

“Do you guys hear that?” He asks, quickly getting the attention of the other occupants of the room. They all sit up, listening closely for any sign of disturbance, sharing a look of mild fear.

“Hear what, Blue-Sans?” Papyrus asks with a frown. “I don’t hear anything…”

Sans’ eyes widen as he practically throws himself off the couch, bare bones clacking against the floor as he prances over to the window. He stands on his toes to look out. “...they’re gone……” he mutters, almost too quiet for anyone to hear. Edge and Papyrus share a look of disbelief as Blue smiles.

“See? The storm is over now, and you guys didn’t even notice!” Blue chirps. The others look between each other, seeming blown away by the fact that they could have forgotten about their current situation. Blue rolls his eyes, ejecting the DVD before going to the cabinet to select a new one.

“what’s up kiddo - movie borin’ ya?” Sans asks, going back to lay out on the couch.

“It’s getting late, and I wanna see Red’s movie before we go to bed!” Blue announces, pulling out the DVD Red had anted in. The skeleton chuckles from the couch.

“aw, yer sweet, kid,” Red says, setting his head on his hands.

Edge stands as the movie loads up, taking the empty bowls of popcorn back into the kitchen. Blue frowns, watching his friend leave the room with a deep heaviness in his soul. “...Are you not going to watch the movie with us?” Blue asks, downtrodden.

“No,” Edge replies, scrubbing the bowls harshly with a dry sponge. He growls softly as Blue watches, scrubbing with extra gusto. Blue would like to think that it is just because he is trying to get off the extra butter… but... Blue glances back at Red, looking apologetic. The bags under Red’s eyes seem deeper than normal as he waves a hand.

“don’ sweat it, kid,” He says, a hint of something deeply troubling in his voice. “boss is… complicated…” He leans back into the couch, arms folded over his chest. “let’s just watch the flick…“

Blue isn’t entirely satisfied with that resolution; nevertheless he slots the dvd into the player and presses play, sinking back into relaxation as the cheerful sound of violin music fills the room. Almost as soon as the actual movie starts Edge seems to be satisfied with the dishes, immediately climbing the ladder to his bunk and flinging shut the curtain with a loud grumble. Sans and Papyrus relax some, politely asking that they unfold their bed so that they too can lay down. By now it’s pretty late, after all; they spent the entire day watching movies.

Blue starts to feel sleepy as well, rubbing his eye as the movie splashes bright colors against the dark walls. He moves closer to the DVD player on the table, setting him and Red up at the foot of the brother’s bed. He curls up in the comforter with Red, rubbing his eyes.

“heh, kiddo… ya should probably get t’ sleep yerself,” Sans says from utop the bed, propped up on a pillow. “ya look bone tired.” He chuckles. Papyrus grumbles in his sleep, mumbling something that sounds suspiciously like ‘overused joke’.

“I wanna stay up with Red, though,” Blue says, flighting back a yawn. His head bobs without him meaning too, floating town to rest on his hands. “Everyone else got to watch their movie with friends…”

“heh, i think red’s already asleep kiddo…” Sans says from utop the bed. Blue blinks, looking back to his friend lying next to him. Sure enough, soft snores come from the snoozing skeleton. Blue chuckles, curling up in the blankets.

“What a lazy bones...” He mutters sleepily, petting Red’s skull. A soft purr builds in the other’s throat as he nuzzles into the touch. Blue is tempted to just sleep here on the ground; but that would just be too lazy for his tastes. Slowly he rises to his feet, nudging Red awake as he bundles up their covers. He turns off the DVD player and ejects the disk, making sure that all of the DVDs make it back to the correct case and spot in the cabinet before heading off towards his bedroom.

“Goodnight Sans!” Blue says, following the sleepy Red into the bedroom. “Goodnight, Papyrus…”

“Goodnight!”

“g’night, kiddo…” Just before Blue can shut the door Sans continues. “hey, uh… blue?”

Blue pauses, looking back out into the room. It is dark, the only light coming from the everpresent glow of the outside lamps. Sans’ silhouette would look ominous in any other context, but to Blue it is relieving. Sans’ posture is relaxed, slouched against the back of the couch-bed. Blue can practically hear the other’s calm soul-beat from here.

“i wanned t’ thank ya,” Sans says, contentedness filling the air. “fer t’night…“

Blue feels his cheeks warm, his soul aching in a way he can’t quite place. The smile on his face can’t be seen in the dim light of the RV, but Blue has a sneaking suspicion that Sans knows it’s there.

“Mweh… no problem, Friend! I’m glad everyone had fun...” Blue says quietly, slipping into the room. “Goodnight.”

Chapter Text

“boss… you know can’t ignore me forever.”

Red watched his brother cutting vegetables, fingers tapping arrhythmic against the surface of their shitty table in their shitty apartment on the shitty surface. He sniffed back a sneeze, allergies acting up thanks to that damn mangy stray Edge allowed into their home. Because of course, that’s what their shitty lives needed on the surface - a fucking cat. The radio in the background blared a news report at obnoxious volumes, announcing the third set of alternate monsters coming from the underground.

‘As far as we can tell, Jim, these monsters are far more peaceful than the last wave, coming out in numbers far greater than we’ve seen previously. Fourteen governments are already predicted to extend sanctuary to these refugees, which begs the question: will they run out of room?’

‘Right Sall; it seems that more conservative politicians argue that the Ebbot portal may cause overcrowding. Scientists are debating the long-term ramifications of magic and dimensional travel on our society and the universe as a whole. Researchers from the Canonic Underground claim that the sudden influx of monsters has created a magic shortage, resulting in many of the newly settled monsters falling ill-’

“papyrus, for the love of shit turn that thing off and listen to me!” Red snapped, grabbing the slipper off his foot and launching it at the far-too loud contraption. The radio faltered, tipping back and falling off of the table with a crash. Doomfanger looks up from her grooming, staring at Red curiously from the top of the fridge. He snarled back at the littleshit, cursing it for every sneeze and every cough he has had since it entered their lives. Pieces of the radio scattered across the ground; a few caught on the torn-up bits of linoleum that lined the kitchen floor. Edge flared, spinning around with a snarl scarred across his features. Red smirked under his brother’s glare. That’s what you get, asshole.

The animosity between them seeped into the room, bleeding out of the silence between him until slowly Edge stepped forward. Red smiled, leaning his his head into his hand as he awaited his brother’s wrath. Edge breathed slowly, fists clenched as he approached but never once made eye contact with the smaller sibling. His movements were precise and swift, as always Red found himself fascinated by just how intimidating Edge could be while simultaneously being the biggest, overgrown brat Red has ever known…

Months of being ignored did not a happy Red make - he couldn’t even remember what started their arguments by this point. Or when they had started, for that matter; had they always hated each other? Red wanted to say no, his memory told him that wasn’t the case - and yet waking up to the everpresent silence between them that clung to their backs until the day was through made it hard for Red to remember why he loved his brother in the first place.

Oh, but they talked sometimes; when Red left a shoe in the wrong place, or came home just a bit later than Edge would have liked, or when he yelled just a bit too long at the cat - whenever Red did something to piss that high strung asshole off, then and only then is red worthy of his majesty's fucking attention! Never when he did something right - not when he found a job. Not when he paid rent on time. Not when he would go to bed at reasonable hour, sharing a bed with Edge because stars knows money doesn’t grow on fucking trees on the surface.

Red wished they never left the underground; all they have up here is poverty, squalor and stars… and only one of those things couldn’t have been easily seen in the underground. He hated this life; he hated the way that things changed so fast, how they lost all of their friends during relocation, how they are forced to live among humans and learn how to interact with them as if they are equals. He hated the way it changed Edge, hated how Edge shifted day by day, how he no longer seemed to want to give his brother a single ounce of his attention.

If Red could have one wish, it would be to go back in time and kill that stupid brat before they decided that the Underground wasn’t good enough for them.

Red kept his sharp teeth bared in a smile as Edge stalked forward, the rage coming off of him over the broken radio palpable. He folded his hands in anticipation for his lecture, already feeling the buzz of adrenaline over their impending fight.

And yet, Edge walked right past him.

Red’s eyes stared blankly forward as the footsteps fall behind him, heals tapping over to the broken radio bits strewn across the floor. Red turned to see Edge bent over, slowly retrieving the pieces one-by-one. It seemed that only the battery cap was damaged, so Edge is easily able to slot the pieces back together. The radio was returned to its rightful place as Edge pressed a button on the side to start back the broadcast.

‘-nd thanks for tuning into W-MTE’s news broadcast; now for your hour of smooth morning jazz…’

“i don’t fucking believe this!!” Red shouted over the melodic tones of a saxophone. Edge didn’t even respond, just returning to his cooking in the kitchen. Meanwhile Red was boiling. He slid the chair back, letting it slam against the legs of the dinning table. “i don’t have to fucking take this, you know?” He shouted, slamming his fist into the wall next to him. Edge refuses to respond. “i can go anywhere i fuckin’ want now, boss,” He spit, glaring down his brother’s back. “this is the fuckin’ surface; i don’t need your protection anymore!!”

That was right, wasn’t it? Red didn’t have to stay with Edge anymore; the laws on the surface are far more protective of those who can’t defend themselves. Even if he’d have to watch his back, Red could certainly make it on his own. He did it before, back when his father abandoned him, infant brother in arms, to survive all alone in a kill-or-be-killed world. If he could do it back then, in the hellish nightmare that was the underground, as a child…

Red stood up suddenly, stomping out of the single living space and into the only other room in the house - a miniature bedroom with half bath. He went for the closet, grabbing fistfuls of his clothes and shoving them into a sack. He grabbed a spare set of socks, a few shirts, a pair of pants, and his savings that he kept stashed under the drawer. He stomped into the bathroom and snatched up his toothpaste, toothbrush and medication, tucking them away with just as much enthusiasm as before.

When he returned to the kitchen Edge still hasn’t turned around from his work, continuing to chop vegetables and slide them into a pot. As if Red were never there. Fuck his soup. Fuck his apartment. Fuck his cat and most importantly fuck him. Red coughed, eyes burning from what he pretended were his allergies.

Finally, Edge spoke, not even turning around as he does.

“...If you are going to leave, make sure you shut the door behind you, Sans.”

The tone was hollow, yet sharp. Red felt his tight throat give, the tears burning as they welled up in his eyes. He shook - every inch of him on fire as he watched his brother’s nonchalant movements, even now that he is about to leave refusing to notice Red. He huffed, striking away the tears with the back of his hand as he head for the door.

“good fucking luck, asshole!”

The door slammed for the final time as Red walked away.



“Go fish!”

“eh, i dunno if i believe ya, blue… that hand seems kinda fishy t’ me~”

“nGHA IF YOU MAKE THAT JOKE ONE MORE TIME-”

Red snickers behind his cards as Blue mock-fumes. Blue hates it when his friend reuses jokes like that… puns are an art form, and deserve more respect than simple repetition of the most obvious variety! How annoying.

Regardless, Red reaches for the deck and draws his next card. Sans glances at his cards, eyes gliding over his hand as he seems to plan his actions several moves in advance. Blue tries very hard to read Sans’ expression; normally it is the only skill that allows Blue to win games like these. However since he is literally playing against himself he soon realizes that they all have his natural pokerface yet none of his tells.

The van hurries along the road, Papyrus’ skillful driving avoiding most of the particularly awful bumps. Blue much prefers it when he drives; the other two can be careless at times and the extra movement makes him nauseous.

“Alright, Sans, it’s your turn!” Blue says, looking to his other counterpart. Finally Sans gives a tell, however it appears to be too late as he chuckles victoriously, laying out his hand for the group to see.

“royal flush, kiddo, pay up,” He says with wink.

“THAT’S NOT EVEN THE RIGHT GAME!?”

“oh shoot really? i thought we were playin’ gin…” Sans chuckles when Blue screeches, throwing his cards into the air.

“heh, no need to split, ace,” Red retorts.

“THAT’S BLACKJACK!!”

“aw jeez, kiddo, i didn’t realize you’d made such a big deal out of this…” Sans fires back, returning his cards to the deck and shuffling. Blue lays his head out on the table and groans, defeated.

“I am surrounded by dirty pun abusers…” He whines as Sans deals the cards back out. After a moment’s recovery Blue’s hand dips up from under the table to slide his cards in. He looks at his hand, examining his cards and faintly wondering what game they could possibly be playing now. Out of the corner of his eye he sees moment, and a smile breaks across his face.

“Edge!” He calls, waving the taller skeleton over. “Come play with us! We could use someone with quality taste in jokes.”

Edge proudly smirks, putting down his laundry basket to see what the others are up to. Blue has found that the best way to get Edge to do anything is to give him a compliment; he is particularly partial to ones about his intelligence and capabilities.

“What game are you playing?” Edge asks, looking over at the cards.

“rummy.”

“blackjack.”

“Poker!”

Edge raises a brow, unimpressed. “...I see,” he says, crossing his arms. Blue smiles, picking up the deck and shuffling it.

“Come on, just one round?” He pleads, using just the slightest pout to add to his persuasion. “I’ll deal you in after Red - it’ll be fun.”

Edge’s face falls, a scowl seeping onto his features as he returns to his basket. “Thanks but no thanks, some of us around here have to work.” Red flinches at the words. Blue frowns, putting the deck down as he watches Edge stalk off. Red folds his cards as well, sliding out from the booth.

“...i should probably get started on my chores too…” He mutters, heading back towards their room.

Blue frowns as he looks back to an awkward looking Sans. The sweaty skeleton looks down at the cards in his hands, pretending to scrutinize them. Blue grunts, tapping the table with his fingers. “why are they fighting?” He asks, watching as Sans flinches harshly.

“who’s fightin’, kiddo?” Sans asks, glancing away. Blue hums. For a guy who has such a great poker face when they’re playing cards Sans sure does look nervous when he’s hiding things…

“Red and Edge,” Blue replies, looking back at the door. “When Red moved in with me I knew that he and his bro had… issues…” He trails off, remembering the vague stories Red would share with him about Edge. So far Edge hasn’t quite lived up to his reputation of ‘neglectful, abusive asshole’ as Red put it. He turns back to Sans. “But I never realized they were this bad… what happened?”

Sans sighs, cupping his cheek with a hand. “honestly, kiddo, i have no idea,” Sans admits. “edge is pretty tight-lipped when it comes to his life before… metaphorically, of course,” Sans chuckles dryly at his own joke. Blue rolls his eyes. “eh, get it? we’re skeletons? no lips??”

“Yes, yes, you are hilarious and very witty,” Blue dismisses. “But… It’s just so sad…” Blue says, returning to the conversation at hand. “Brothers shouldn’t fight like that…”

“eh, it happens sometimes, kiddo,” Sans says with a shrug. “even paps and i have gotten into little spats once or twice…”

“This isn’t exactly what I’d call a ‘little spat’...” Blue mutters.

Sans hums. “...have you never gotten into a fight with your brother?”

Blue shakes his head, dismissing even the thought of having such a fight with Stretch. “No! Never,” He defends, “My Pappy and I have always been very close… we would never just… ignore each other like that...”

Sans sighs, a deep depression skirting across his face before he swallows it up with a smile. He carefully collects the cards back into the deck, Shuffling it twice before returning them to their box. “well, if i were you i wouldn’t worry about it,” He says, sliding out of the booth. “it ain’t none of our business, n’ i don’ think they like talkin’ ‘bout it.” Sans says.

Blue frowns. Inaction never sits well with him, but he trusts Sans’ judgment. The other skeleton stretches, popping his back as he turns to look at his friend.

“i’m gonna go tag paps out on drivin’,” Sans says, heading for the cockpit. “we’re gonna try to head out ‘t the shoppin’ center t’morrow, and it would suck if we had t’ walk all the way there.” Sans chuckles to himself. “even if the weather is lookin’ pretty runderful.” Blue shakes his head, holding up four fingers. Sans shrugs. “can’t win ‘em all, i guess…”

Sans disappears around the corner and Blue sighs, leaning back in the little fold up chair. Closing his eyes he can hear the breathing of the van - the sound of Edge beating out dust from their clothes, Papyrus talking loudly to himself as he bangs out the engine, Doomfanger purring as she rolls around in the light of the sun streaming through the windows… It can be so peaceful around here at times. He wishes his friends could see that more often than they do. Getting caught up in little things isn’t good for you, not at all. It can make a person lose sight of the important things in life, and very quickly those things could disappear.

Blue is jolted from his relaxed state by a puffy white tail suddenly appears in his face. He sits up straight, listening to Doomfanger as she gives off her ‘hungry’ meow.

“Eddddge, has anyone feed Doomfanger today?” Blue calls.

“Check the chart!”

Blue lowers his shoulder so that Doomfanger can ride as he goes to the kitchen to make sure that their precious four-legged friend has eaten.