Sans growled deep in his throat. His rings clacked against the glass of the coffee table beside him as he repeatedly tapped his fingers in an anxious, impatient rhythm. His eye lights flashed toward the clock. Twenty-five minutes past the hour and you still weren’t home. It wouldn’t have bothered him at all, if it weren’t for the fact that your commute never took longer than ten minutes.
When the monsters broke the barrier, Red’d finally put his foot down concerning Boss’s controlling behavior. He even got his own apartment, but it turned out that racism equals unequal pay and he was unable to easily foot the bill of rent for the place, despite juggling two jobs. So, he’d begrudgingly set about getting a (semi-illegal, considering his place was a one-bedroom) roommate.
You had been the only one who’d answered the ad who he could somewhat stand. You were quiet, respectful of alone-time and personal space, plus you barely came out of your pseudo-room (which was converted out of the small area intended to be a laundry room). He wasn’t entirely surprised to learn you had a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a camper’s stove in there, and so what if he’d peeked that one time you left the door open. It was his apartment in the first place, so he’d deserved to know.
He played absently with the phone in his pocket, but remembered he didn’t have your number. Not that he would have called, anyway. What would he have said? Ask you where the hell you were and demand you come home? Nope, that would make it look like he cared; which he definitely did not. He just needed to make sure, if you were dead, he wouldn’t be implicated. Not that he was afraid you were dead. You were probably just working late.
You kept a work calendar on the inside of your door, which he knew about, but had never cared to look at. He could check if you were working late tonight, and if you weren’t…he stopped with his hand on the knob. What if you weren’t working late? A thousand possibilities ran through his skull, and he jerked the door open too hard out of sheer temper. He ground his teeth together as he ran the tip of his index finger down to the correct date. No overtime, no shift change…today was supposed to be a normal workday for you. “C’mon, you idiot.” He growled under his breath. At this rate, he’d have to search your room for clues. “Where the fuck are ya?”
You were a neat freak, neater even than Papyrus had been, to the point where he knew he’d have to be surreptitious about his clue-hunt. You’d notice it if anything was out of place, he was sure, and he didn’t want to give you any ideas or expectations. He also didn’t want to disturb the comfortable peace you two had going on; the whole ‘you- do-you-and-I’ll-do-me’ thing was really working for him. He could admit that he didn’t feel like fucking that up.
Your twin bed was lodged at the far end of the room, as near to the exposed metal of the boiler as you’d dared to go, and was neatly made. The mint-green blanket was partially tucked over your pillows, which were dressed in chocolate-brown covers that matched your sheets. A few stuffed animals were perched atop your pillows, including the one he’d grumpily shoved into your arms on your birthday last month, and now that stuffed black cat seemed to be glaring back at him as a rebuke for his invasion of your privacy.
Your laptop was situated neatly under your bed and plugged into the outlet between your bed and the painted, Ikea bookcase he’d helped you build because, damn it, you were shit with tools and he didn’t wanna have to take you to the goddamned hospital again. He picked through the books with his eyes and saw nothing that indicated the cause of your absence, so he moved on.
You weren’t entirely an introvert by choice; he knew it was mostly because you were new to Ebottcity. You were there for the work opportunities; fresh out of college, and ready to starve between low-paying internship jobs before you finally gained a satisfactory amount of experience for your resume to get a second glance. Still, if he didn’t know better, he would’ve said you were avoiding going out of your room entirely. The camper’s stove, of course, is the best proof of that.
“We have a kitchen, stupid.” He rolled his eyes. The stove sat on the microwave, which was on your three-drawer nightstand that served as your cooking space. He opened one drawer after the other; inside were spices and a few food items that didn’t need to be refrigerated, plates and silverware, and cleaning supplies, in that order. He even checked the mini-fridge and found himself somewhat impressed at how you’d managed to fit so much stuff in there. No wonder you barely had anything on your side of the big fridge in the kitchen.
A passing thought crossed his mind; did you feel unwelcome in the apartment? He realized he wasn’t exactly the easiest monster to get along with, but he’d done his best to appear accommodating, which was saying a lot. He’d even clean up his messes in the common areas most of the time. Should he get a mat for the bathroom or something? He’d noticed you took a lot of baths and spent a lot of time in there, so maybe he should put effort into sprucing it up a bit as a gesture of goodwill and tolerance between roommates?
He continued to snoop through your things. A stack of plastic storage tubs caught his eye and he reached for the one at the very top. He pulled the top off to find a large number of yarns in a variety of colors and thicknesses, as well as a few looms and hooks. He hadn’t known you were a knitter, but it made sense. The next bin contained similar supplies; only this one seemed to contain sewing and embroidery stuff. He huffed in frustration as the last box also turned out to be a dud; nothing except a bunch of beads, a pair of jewelry pliers, clasps, and what-not. He carefully replaced the tubs.
An hour had passed by now, and he was on the verge of breaking something. He was running out of places in your room to search and he was beginning to suspect he’d find nothing. Your desk was the only place he hadn’t checked. He pulled out your chair and sat in it with a contemplative, irritable sneer twisting his boney features. The desk was nothing fancy; it was another Ikea purchase and the reason he’d learned to never trust you with tools in the first place. He ripped open the first drawer and found several cheap notebooks, along with a few pencils, erasers, and pens. The next contained more of the expected; post-it notes, a stapler and staple remover, a hole-punch, color-coding stickers, a calculator, et cetera. The final drawer, however, required a key to open, but that wasn’t a problem for him. He gathered a small amount of magic on the tip of his finger and worked it around inside the lock until he heard a click.
“Whatchya got t’ hide, doll?” He murmured as he pulled the drawer open.
His mouth dropped open in surprise. He’d been expecting a diary or some other girly shit, but it was just a framed picture; a picture he only vaguely remembered you taking with him on your birthday. In the pic, you were clutching that damned stuffed cat like a lifeline and he was looking away from the camera with a blood-red blush staining his cheekbones.
Red let himself recline a bit in your chair as he turned the frame over and popped the picture out. On the back, there was the date and a small note; 25th birthday w/Red. It had been written in red ink and his name had been followed by a tiny, scarlet heart. He stared slack-jawed at the little heart for a few heartbeats. He shouldn’t read too much into it, women did that little heart thing all the time, didn’t they? But the doubts he had couldn’t restrain a shit-eating grin from growing on his face.
He quickly replaced the picture, locked the drawer, and all but leaped out of your chair before shoving it back in place. He shut your door behind him, made his way back to the living room, and flopped down on the couch to wait. He almost didn’t care that you’d been gone so long because of the opportunity he’d been presented. Almost.