Sans was dead.
In retrospect, he was pretty lucky he wasn’t actually dusted, thanking the stars that he was alive. His skull was killing him, and his hand was burned a bit, but he was still kicking. He could smell smoke, though. Groaning, Sans slowly opened his eyes and let his eyelights try to focus on the blown fluorescent lights above him in now-pitch black room.
He had knocked the power out.
He was going to be in so much trouble.
The monster had been pushing his luck, pulling a stunt like this. Another peal of thunder and crash of lightning echoed loudly from outside, the electrical storm mocking him. He could faintly feel the tremors from the powerful force of nature outside, surprising him as he was in the basement. He had been so focused on his work, Sans had been blind and deaf to the tempest brewing outside, instead zeroing in on the colossal machine he was constructing, a device to crest the gaps between the many universes-
The skeletal monster shot up, coughing a bit and shaking his singed hand as he desperately looked around, searching for his brother. The taller monster had come down, calling out to Sans that dinner was finished just as a particularly loud crash of lightning had occurred. The power surged and overloaded the machine, causing such a large explosion-
Relief washed over the skeleton as he saw a body slowly move to get on its hands and knees, the lanky form groaning and shaking their head.
“oh, paps, thank the stars you’re okay! bro, you can’t-”
His words froze on his metaphorical tongue, eyelights widening as he stared into the confused eye sockets of someone who couldn’t possibly be his brother. While they looked similar, yes, the silver lower fangs and fur-lined hood of the jacket were definitely foreign and, judging by the confused and somewhat terrified look he was getting, he assumed the situation was just as alarming to the other as well. Scrambling backward, partially shoving Not Papyrus away, he lit his eye up with magic to hopefully shed some light in the room just as he backed up into…himself, but with a large hole in his skull and only one functional, blood red eye.
Sans panicked and, using a quick burst of magic, popped over to his workbench, moving a groaning body to open a drawer and pull out a flashlight, flicking it on and shining it around the room to find 9 other skeleton bodies, each in various stages of coming to and sprawled about. He let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding when the beam of light landed on Papyrus, HIS Papyrus, and saw he was okay- a little jarred and sore, but fine, all things considered. Sighing, he rubbed his temples as he slowly took in and processed all that he was looking at.
Sans was so dead.
Grumbling, he slowly sipped his coffee, eyeing the 8 new party crashers in his home. Papyrus pinched the bridge of his nasal cavity in frustration.
“I CANNOT BEGIN TO FATHOM WHY YOU WERE DOING SOMETHING SO RECKLESS AS EXPERIMENTING DURING THIS STORM, BROTHER. FURTHERMORE, I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT FOUR OTHER VERSIONS OF YOU- ER, MYSELF- BOTH OF US, WERE DOING THE SAME DANGEROUS THING!!”
“heh, what can i say? guess that we’re all a bunch of-”
Sans snickered a bit as the Papyrus clad in the orange hoodie finished off his pun, sending their respective brothers as well as three others into a fit of whines and complaints.
“Papy!! That was awful!!”
“I HAVE TO UNFORTUNATELY AGREE WITH THE BRAT. THAT WAS AS HORRID AS YOUR OWN JOKES, SANS!!” howled his brother's double that looked like a Bond villain.
Sans huffed in amusement before clearing his throat. “alright, alright, enough’s enough. i feel as though we should probably talk about the ah…situation.” He noted numerous sets of eye sockets resting on him as he continued. “so uh, the machine’s…fried. completely toast. not only that but, judging from the smoke and the amount of debris that came outta the thing, it definitely blew more than a few gaskets, so you all might have to get comfortable with the idea of hanging around here until the machine’s fixed and, well probably finished…”
He definitely noted more than a few upset looks. One of his doppelgangers, the one with the red eyelights and gold canine slammed his hands on the kitchen counter, snarling.
“the hell you MEAN ‘get comfortable’?! WE have worlds and universes t’ get back to, asshole! this whole shit show probably fucked ‘em all up!!”
“Yeah, the pissy one’s got a point. Paps n’ I gotta get back t’ Snowdin…” rumbled the him with a hole in his head. His Papyrus, the tallest one with the unfortunate dental situation, nodded.
“I HAVE TRAINING WITH ALPHYS IN THE MORNING!!”
“AND MY TRAPS NEED TO BE CHECKED FOR BODIES!!”
Sans shivered a bit. “hey, now, no need to get worked up-”
“NO NEED?!” shrieked the version of himself wearing the tattered maroon…ascot? “MUTT NEEDS TO GET BACK TO HIS SENTRIES!! NOT ONLY THAT BUT I HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT NO HUMANS HAVE PASSED THROUGH!!”
The bickering continued and Sans quickly realized he’s lost control of the conversation. Some were shouting at him, some at each other, some attempted to sleep against the wall or kitchen table, Papyrus was trying his best to smooth things over but it was…chaos. Grumbling, Sans sipped his coffee and palmed an eye socket in frustration. He glanced at the stove to hopefully get an idea of what time it was, but the power surge had reset all the clocks. At least the power was back on…
“alright, enough.” Sans barked, the doppels all focusing on him. He patted his brother on the arm to let him know that he was fine. “as thrilling as all this is, we gotta focus on the task at hand. look, i understand you all have lives to get back to, but until the machine is working, you ain't goin back.” Sans gave everyone a steady look before continuing. “however, an extra couple of hands would definitely speed up the process and probably get you home faster-”
“AND WE DON’T INTEND ON BOOTING YOU OUT!” Papyrus chimed in. “YOU ARE ALL WELCOME TO STAY AS LONG AS YOU NEED IF YOU ADHERE TO A FEW RULES THAT WE AND OUR ROOMMATE FOLLOW!!”
Sans felt a second chill tingle his spine. He had entirely forgotten about you in the mess of things, and here he had a batch of skeleton monsters, some who had no qualms about killing humans-or EATING them, as he’d found out during their curiosity-induced run down of each other’s universes. There was definitely some jealousy from the others, learning that his had monsters on the surface for close to 4 years now. He wondered how they’d be able to handle THIS reveal. Hell, how would YOU be able to handle this?
He knew you were on the cusp of probably having a mental breakdown when he’d finally checked his phone, you letting him know that work had definitely been having a downright negative effect on you, but you couldn’t leave because you all needed the money. The mortgage on this house wasn’t cheap, after all.
Not that Sans wasn’t somewhat stacked due to his jobs and the conversion of Gold he had done within the week the government started, but this house and the insane amount he had to pay for it weren’t a laughing matter, and he rather liked owning it. After all, the number of bedrooms they technically had that were used for various other things were, well, nice. Comfortable. Plus, the human friend they had garnered INSISTED on helping pay while living there was welcome and their rent helped a lot with covering Papyrus’s college funds. They’d even gone so far as encouraging him in going and even buying his textbooks once in a while.
He often suggested you get jobs that didn’t leave you mentally and emotionally drained as much as they did physically, but after the time you snapped and barked that you couldn’t, you never really responded.
At least you had therapy coming up this week. You were probably going to need it if this was what you walked into.
“-WE JUST ASK THAT FOR TONIGHT, YOU DO NOT ALERT THE HUMAN THAT YOU’RE HERE.”
Sans jumped a bit as he zoned back in. “er, wait, what? Paps, are you suggestin’ we hide eight extra skeletons from-”
“EXACTLY!!” Papyrus crowed. “THE HUMAN’S BEEN HAVING SEVERAL DOWN DAYS, SO MEETING SO MANY NEW PEOPLE AT ONCE WHEN ALL THEY PROBABLY WANT IS TO REST AFTER WORK MIGHT REALLY UPSET THEM! NOT ONLY THAT BUT, THEY ARE A MEMBER OF THIS HOUSEHOLD AND WOULD LIKELY WANT TO WEIGH IN ON OUR SELVES STAYING. IT WOULD BE BETTER TO LET THEM REST AND HOPEFULLY FEEL BETTER BEFORE THEIR INPUT.”
Sans blinked. “you want them to be easier to sweet talk into accepting this mess.” The older brother chuckled. “that’s pretty clever, bro.”
Papyrus flushed a bit and huffed. “WELL, I AM CERTAIN OUR FRIEND WOULD BE WILLING TO HELP, BUT I WOULD RATHER THEM NOT BE UPSET…”
The Sans with the busted up skull grumbled before getting up. “well this is all good and fun, but I’m going to go take a nap. wake me when we need to play hide n seek.” The larger, bulkier monster lumbered out of the kitchen, and Sans could hear the sofa springs creak. His brother, beady eyes and jagged teeth, rattled off something along the lines of “Telling His Brother To Take His Sneakers Off” before following him to chastise.
“SO,” Ascot barked, “IT SEEMS THIS HUMAN IS THE ONE IN CHARGE OF YOU THEN. HOW PATHETIC.”
“more like they’re the balance between us. don’t cop an attitude, they’re swell, and they’re bettering thierself.”
“FEH! PLEASE, IF YOU’RE WILLING TO-”
“M-M’lord, perhaps it is best not to, ah, press tensions tonight....”
“HAH!! I CAN’T BELIEVE HE MAKES YOU CALL HIM ‘MILORD’ LIKE SOME TINY LITTLE TYRANT!! HOW DEGRADING.”
“uh, your brother calls you ‘boss’, edgelord.”
“Shut up, ashtray.”
“HEY, THAT WASN’T A NICE THING TO CALL PAPY!!”
Aaaaand the chaos was back. Sans sighed as Papyrus (his anyway) got up to start making up places for their guests to sleep like a good host. He registered the TV in the living room flicking on and some documentary playing. Probably the Too Tall one trying to drone out the noise, or maybe they were actually interested.
Sans lolled his head and watched the bickering and passive aggressive jokes fly by like crazy. The him with the red eyelights and gold tooth chilled next to him for a while, helping himself to some coffee before he was dragged back into the fray by the wannabe villain him saying that his brother had poor taste in heels and THAT brought on a whole new wave of fighting. Sans looked down at his phone.
“hey paps, when was the human coming back tonight..?”
He felt his magic chill as headlights shone through the nearby window and the sound of a car rolling into a driveway hit him.
Sans was so dead.
“DO YOU THINK WE CAN GET THEM ALL INTO THE GAME ROOM IN TIME?”
Sans shook his head. He motioned for the beanpole in the living room back across to the kitchen. Everyone managed to shut their mandibles just as he killed the lights. He even chucked a slipper at the switch by the front door to turn them off in the living room as well just as a jingle of keys were heard and the doorknob jiggled. Hopefully you’d think everyone was in bed since it was like, ass o’clock at night...or in the morning…
Sans winced as he heard you stumble in and swear.
The stupid warehouse job you were working was exhausting, and from what you texted him, the building’s power grid was a load of shit. The electrical storm had caused something to go haywire and the computer system to freak out, so you weren’t able to clock out until two hours past when you should have, but you weren’t allowed to just sit around, no. You had to work until the systems came back online and weren’t flipping the fuck out.
He listened as you kicked your work boots off, tripping a bit and hissing in relief as you did so. Next came the sound of you tossing your keys onto the side table before you trudged across the living room towards the stairs-
He thanked the stars you were too tired to notice the giant skeleton monster still crashed out on the couch holy fuck how did he forget-
While your back was turned, very sleepy eyes glaring at the stairs he was sure you were regretting led to your upstairs bedroom, he conjured a small bone, something tiny that would only annoy and pester, not injure, and shot it at the massive lump on the couch.
He shot another.
Finally after one bounced across the bridge of the giant’s nasal cavity, he stirred and sat up, the springs beneath him groaning in complaint. Rubbing his eye sockets, he noticed Sans, the one from this universe, waving at him frantically from the kitchen he and his Papyrus had demolished all the fruit in. He took a minute to slowly realize he was being waved in , before noting you by the stairs, mumbling a soft “fuck it” to yourself before turning and tiredly noticing him and jumping a bit.
Fuck. Out of the corner of his eye he could see his other self stiffen. Well, looks like breaking this to you nicely was out the window-
“The hell are you doing up, dude…?”
He noticed how extremely tired you were, and how dark the room was. You looked like you were about to collapse on your feet.
Sans was so damn lucky. He sent a silent thank you to the stars as you shuffled over to...the cannibalistic skeleton who had no qualms about eating humans. Which you proceeded to flop down next to, and watched him IMMEDIATELY get uncomfortable.
He revoked that thank you.
“Did you have a nightmare, dude? It’s cool if you don’t wanna talk about it, I get it. Just worried about you, man.”
Craterface just coughed a bit and made a non-committal grunt. You nodded, seeming to understand before leaning AGAINST the doppel. This was bad. He had a kitchen full of skeletons needing hiding, you were snuggling up to someone you THOUGHT was him, and that NOT him but still TECHNICALLY him was starting to freeze up and panic. He was honestly worried that you were going to end up without a head.
Sans noticed his brother’s eyes glint in that way they did when he was thinking of something genius or crazy.
Before Sans could register, Papyrus materialized a slew of bones as you shifted to lay more onto “his” lap and had your back more angled towards the kitchen.
PLAY IT UP
Sans was quite impressed. It was bold of him to use bone attacks to spell out his plan, especially knowing you could turn around at any minute, but it definitely paid off as he saw the other him take note and nod a few seconds later at the message.
“...sorry, kid. jus’ real tired. how’d work go?”
While you grumbled your complaints, Sans sighed in relief, but before he could start leading the rest of the cavalry towards the game room, you shifted again so you could see the tv, back no longer to the kitchen. It was too risky for them to move.
Thankfully, after quietly giving answers that he thought that Sans would give, Big Sans took note of what was happening and hatched a plan.
“...say, pumpkin, howsabout I carry ya to your room, hm? ya look...dead on your feet, heh.”
“Ah, it was that dream. Dude, it’s cool, I’ll probably just sleep down here. You can head on up to bed.”
Sans watched with his magic in his throat as the cannibal stood and plucked you up, tossing you over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Your face was tiredly complaining into his jacket as he made a small ushering movement with his hand before heading up the stairs.
“ s’no skin off my nose, kid. y’need your beauty sleep.”
“Oh, har har. Very funny, coccyx. Ugh, fine, just don’t drop me…”
Sans could see you two by the banister on the upper floor, he heard you both sassing each other. He didn’t feel good knowing that headcase was going to know where your room was.
And then all hell broke loose.
You had leaned back to look at the monster carrying you, possibly to deliver another quip, before bursting into terrified screams. You had definitely noticed some upsetting features, no doubt, and your hands were frantically grabbing at the poor dude’s skull.
And they had been so close, too.
King Size panicked and dropped you, your feet scrabbling against the hardwood floor as you backed up. This was it. The gig was up.
“HOLY FUCK DUDE WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR SKULL?! Oh my GOD your eye is all RED AND SHIT!! PAPYRUS!! PAPYRUS WAKE UP, YOUR BROTHER IS ALL FUCKED UP!”
Well, at least you still thought it was him. And “he” was trying so hard to stop your screaming.
“k-kid I’m fine, it’s fine, take a breath, you’re freaking out-”
“YOUR SKULL’S BEEN BASHED IN!! FUCK, FUCK!! OH MAN, WAS THERE A BREAK IN?! GOD I’M CALLING TORIEL OR AN AMBULANCE I DON’T THINK ANY MONSTER FOOD CAN HELP THIS- PAPYRUS!! PAPYRUS, HELP US !!”
Sans felt like facepalming as his brother darted up the stairs. He didn’t blame him, you were screaming your head off and saying he was injured, it was just...natural that he would. Still, things were spiraling out of control-oh stars, you were crying.
“HUMAN! HUMAN YOU HAVE TO CALM DOWN, YOU ARE PANICKING!”
“Of course I’m p-pani-i-hicking!! Your BROTHER-R has a HOLE in his HEA-EAD!!”
“pumpkin, you gotta breathe, you’re shakin’ like a leaf-”
“D-DAMMIT SANS!! Stop worry-ying about m-me and get he-he-help!! God, are you gonna be okay-ay? S-S-San-nsss-s!!”
Stars, it was upsetting him so much hearing you sob like this. It was making his gut twist. And he didn’t even have a gut.
Suddenly, he was beside you, not even realizing he had teleported before gripping your shoulders and giving you one good shake. “focus on me, champ. you gotta cool it.”
“in the bone. c’mon, breathe with me, deep breath in.”
When about half an hour passed and he had finally managed to get you to calm down and successfully avoid a full blown panic attack, you had looked up and locked eyes with him. Then with the Big Guy, then Papyrus. And then you locked eyes with someone behind him.
Sans turned to see it was the him with the bright blue eyelights and bandanna. He looked positively wrecked, and on the verge of tears himself. Just a little ways behind him was the Papyrus dressed in the orange hoodie, lying on the floor with an arm outstretched towards him, as if he tried to keep his brother hidden away but had been unable to catch him.
“IS...IS THE HUMAN...OKAY? THEY’RE NOT BREAKING, ARE THEY?”
You turned your head to look downstairs and spotted five more skeletons attempting to creep down the hall.
“You know what…?” you hiccupped, staggering to your feet. Papyrus, the cool guy he was, steadied you nervously. “I’m not...I’m not doing this tonight. No.”
“NOPE! NOPE NOPE, NO ONE TALK. I want no one to talk, lest my brain will curl in on itself at what I’m seeing!!”
You pointed at Bandanna. “No.”
You pointed at Hoodie. “Nope.”
You pointed at all the skeletons downstairs. “Nah.”
You then turned to the cannibal, but you froze. After studying him for a bit, you sighed.
“Are...Are you okay..?”
Bode took a bit to respond, but he nodded.
“Do you need medical assistance? Papyrus is a good healer, and we can call the hospital and get you an ambulance.”
He paused, but shook his head.
“Well...alright. There’s a medical kit in all the bathrooms, so if this is more of a private thing, you’re welcome to use anything you need.”
The big guy gave a nod and a strained grin.
And then you turned to Sans, a dead look in your eyes. Sans could feel his sins crawling down his back. “I’m going to bed. I will sleep for who knows how long. Dissociation and Executive Dysfunction are saving your bony ass tonight, but we ARE going to talk tomorrow. Or later. Whatever. Goodnight.”
They watched you trudge off to your room, an aura of disdain and exhaustion coming off of you in waves.
Sans was so fucking dead.