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And Then There's You

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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.

 

Again .

 

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-

PAPYRUS.

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.

“shit…”

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-”

 

“DON’T!!”

 

“…numbskulls.”

 

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.

 

Nothing.

 

He shot another.

 

And 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.

 

“Sans..?”

 

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…?”

 

...Oh?

 

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

 

DISTRACT

 

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.”

 

“S-s-Sa-An-n-sss?”

 

“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.

 

“S...Sans…?”

 

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.”

 

“H-HUMAN-”

 

“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.

Chapter Text

Light filtered in from your bedroom window, despite your curtains. Birds chirped noisily outside, and you could hear Bartholomew slinking over to his favourite sunbathing spot, the low bookshelf in front of the large window among your cacti. It was late morning. One of the ladies who lived next door was playing music while hanging the wash up to dry.

 

Time to get up.

 

Well, to your stomach anyway. You could sleep however long you wanted, you were off work today. However, you really wanted some grapefruit and you needed to take your meds. So, huffing to yourself, you rolled out of bed, shoving your feet in your shark slippers and draped a blanket around your shoulders.

 

Fuck that cold ass kitchen.

 

As you plodded across the second floor and down the stairs, you took note of the TV going in the living room. Thinking it was either Paps watching the news or just accidentally left on through the night, you paid it no mind and passed through to the kitchen. You wanted that good citrusy fruit in your bod.

 

Turns out Sans or Papyrus must have had a big craving for fruit or something because every kind that you had was gone. Shrugging, you put the kettle on and got out your favourite mug.  You'd have to go shopping at the market today, you guessed. Come hell or high water, nothing was going to get in your way of eating a grapefruit today, for some reason.

 

Grabbing your phone, you glanced the day of the week before reaching for your organizer and taking all the pills in the corresponding container. You had been having trouble taking your medication last month, so you were trying your hardest this month to make sure you were taking them correctly.

 

You checked your phone and yawned while waiting on the kettle. Swiping through social media, you saw Alphys had posted about a new anime she had started with Undyne last night, something with heros and lots of lasers.

 

Undyne posted a picture of her itinerary for the day with her gym class, one like from Frisk and then Undyne proceeding to get mad about them being on their phone in class and doing something so bold. But she did say Frisk would be one of the captains of this week’s dodgeball game.

 

Heh, there was Wendy’s, roasting some poor fool again. Ah, memes.

 

Humming, you pulled the kettle off and poured your morning tea. Digging around in the tea box in the cupboard rewarded you some mint tea, and after plopping a tea bag in your mug you grabbed the honey. You also tossed two toaster strudels in the toaster and took a seat at the breakfast bar. As you steep your tea, someone cleared their throat behind you, making you jump. Turning, you were met with…

 

“Papyrus?”

 

Huh. You’d never seen your friend in such a...dark and gothic outfit. It looked good! But it definitely was a different style. Did he make it himself?

 

Frowning, you noticed he also just looked...Sharper. Sharp teeth, sharp eyes, sharp jaw, sharp-

 

“Oh, geez, Paps!! Your eye, what happened??”

 

You hopped up, reaching towards his face only to be met with him recoiling and shoving you away. You stumbled a bit back into the counter.

 

“Paps…? Papyrus are you okay? Why aren’t you speaking to me, is everything alright..?”

 

Papyrus huffed and crossed his arms, scrutinising you with narrowed eyelights. You kept quiet, waiting for him to say something. Anything. That seemed to irritate him as he grew more frustrated the longer the silence stretched on. Finally, he snapped.

 

“IS IT ALRIGHT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU YET?! THIS IS GETTING TIRESOME!!”

 

What in the stars did Paps mean by that - oh.

 

Your head began to ache as the memories of last night flashed in your mind. This wasn’t Papyrus. This was a Different Papyrus. One of the many that apparently were here. In your home.

 

You groaned and clutched your skull before taking a large gulp of tea, not paying any mind to the bag still in it and the bitter flavour. This was gonna be one of those days, wasn’t it?

 

Not Papyrus gave an amused huff. “I SEE YOU REMEMBER NOW.”

 

“Unfortunately…” You grumbled, fishing out the bag before taking another sip of tea. “Help yourself to whatever. Tea’s in the cupboard, and just...yeah. Whatever. I need to process this mess…” Sighing, you rubbed an eye and looked up at the tall, towering monster. “Got a name, stranger?”

 

“I,” the skeleton started with a flourish, placing a clawed hand on his chest as he puffed it out, sneering deviously, “AM THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS!! THOUGH YOU MAY REFER TO ME AS ‘MASTER’ OR -”

 

“Yeah, that’s not happening, edgelord.”

 

He blanched. “HOW DO YOU KNOW THE NICKNAME THE OTHERS GAVE ME?! I WAS THE FIRST ONE YOU SPOKE TO!! FURTHERMORE, HOW DARE YOU BE SO INSOLENT TO ME! DO YOU TREAT ALL YOUR GUESTS THIS RUDELY?!”

 

It was your turn to huff in amusement. “It was just a wild guess. And no, I don't. But you aren't a guest as far as I'm concerned. You're an asshole yelling at me in my own kitchen and trying to gaslight me into showing you respect.”

 

“YOU LITTLE-"

 

“EDGE? ARE YOU DONE WITH THE TV?”

 

Leaning back in your chair to peek around Edge presented you with someone you remember a bit more from last night, but only vaguely. One of the Sanses, this one had big blue eyelights and a cyan bandana. He seemed to be wearing a soft grey shirt with those shoulder pad armour thingies that for the life of you, you couldn't recall the name of.

 

As soon as he locked eyes with you, those eyelights turned into freakin’ stars, man.

 

“HUMAN!! HUMAN YOU ARE AWAKE! I WAS WORRIED THAT AFTER LAST NIGHT-” he interrupted himself and covered his mouth, gasping and suddenly speaking in a softer voice “-I Mean, Can I Talk To You Yet? Your Mind Won't Break, Will It? Gah!!! I Shouldn't Even Be Talking, I'm Sorry!”

 

Dammit why was this Sans so cute. This had to be illegal.

 

“No, no! You're fine, I'm okay!” Yeah that didn't convince him. He was eyeing you skeptically. “Rather, I'll be fine after a bit. I can roll with this. It's not the first time Sans did something stupid.”

 

“Oh, Really?”

 

“I'm guessing he never mentioned the time we swapped souls while he was fucking around in the basement, huh? Or the time he made himself like, 5 inches tall. Or the...eh, you get it. Sans is bright, like, real bright, but he's also as daft as a waterlogged sack of potatoes sometimes.”

 

Ah, there we go. That got a burst of laughs out of the little guy. (He had to be an inch or two shorter than Sans. And you were around a head taller than that bonehead!) “WELL!! I'M GLAD TO HEAR YOU ARE DOING BETTER! WOULD YOU LIKE FOR ME TO COOK YOU BREAKFAST? AS A SYMBOL OF MY GRATITUDE AND OUR SOON TO BE BLOSSOMING FRIENDSHIP!”

 

You snagged the two zephberry (a fruit that grew in the Underground, that tastes like an odd mix between a lemon and a gooseberry) toaster strudels and shook your head. “Sorry dude, already made mine. Would you mind letting the rest of the crypt know that if they want breakfast to come make it or get it now, though?” you asked, humming a bit with a too-sweet smile and drumming your fingers in irritation before biting into one of your pastries. “I need to...make something for a certain Coccyx.”

 

Small Sans nodded in a determined fashion. “NORMALLY I'D INSIST ON MAKING OUR HOST PANCAKES, BUT I CAN TELL YOU ARE PLOTTING SOMETHING FOR YOUR UNIVERSE’S ME! I'LL FIX PAPY AND I CEREAL.”

 

Edge huffed, making his presence known again. “I'LL MAKE MYSELF AND MY LAZYBONES BROTHER SOME TOAST AND EGGS. IT'S NOWHERE NEAR WHAT I NORMALLY MAKE, BUT IF I MAKE IT, IT WILL BE THE BEST THING YOUR FILTHY MOUTH EVER TOUCHED.”

 

Sounds fake, but okay.

 

“WHATEVER IT IS YOU ARE PLOTTING, MONGREL, MAKE SURE ITS GOOD FOR RIPPING ME FROM MY DUTIES.”

 

“Oh, trust me. It is,” you grunted, tearing another bite out of your breakfast. “Mf, atualu- actil-” fuck, shit, okay hang on, “ac-tu-al-ly, blah, do you have a name, Bandanna? Or at least a nickname? I mean, I know you're Sans and stuff and like I'll call you that but if you have one so if there's multiple Sanses in one place-"

 

“OH!” Bandanna chirped, “OH YEAH, WE KINDA GAVE EACH OTHER NICKNAMES LAST NIGHT! WELL, SOME OF US. OTHERS COULDN'T THINK OF ONES THEY LIKED!”

 

Well, duh. Rule number one of nicknames, you don't nickname yourself.

 

“BUT YEAH! I GOT THE NAME BLUEBERRY, OR BLUE!”

 

“Huh. That's a snazzy name.”

 

You both chatted idly while you ate, talking about the different nicknames given. Stretch, Edge, Red, these names were easy to remember. However…

 

“Mutt? You called him Mutt, of all things??”

 

“BAH, NO. THAT TINY EGOMANIAC ONE DID! APPARENTLY HE'S JUST HAD THAT NICKNAME BEFORE. JUST LIKE THE MIDGET’S IS ‘MILORD’ LIKE HE'S SOME TINY LITTLE KING!”

 

“Something tells me you and Milord didn't hit it off too well, Edge.” You cleaned your plate while waiting on Edge to finish with the stove, the ingredients you needed for a Sans Omelette already out. “Yeah, that nickname won't work. I'm not calling him that and I'm not calling you Master, Edge. Sorry, but not really.”

 

Edge growled as he plated his and his brother’s breakfast. “WHATEVER. THOUGH I WILL AGREE CALLING HIM THAT WOULD BE RIDICULOUS. ANY PATHETIC NAME IDEAS YOU WANT TO OFFER UP?”

 

You thought as you set to work on Sans’s punishment. “Blue said he looked most similar to him, and they even hit it off well…” you glanced at the skeleton munching on cereal. “How about Blackberry? Black for short?”

 

Both of your kitchen buddies seemed to mull it over before nodding. Sweet. You were always good at picking out names when you wanted to be. Shit, just look at Bartholomew. How the fuck WASN'T that a good name?

 

You finally got the kitchen cleared out and began your revenge, the Sans Omelette: a sausage and no cheese omelette with three kinds of bell peppers and diced tomatoes, cooked on top of popato hash browns so it has a crispy, crunchy texture to the outside of the omelette. Plated with a hearty drizzle of ketchup.

 

It was perfect.

 

You set it on the kitchen island, where the smell would waft into the vents. You then took your place at the actual dining table, back to the wall and in the corner so you able to watch the whole kitchen.

 

You sipped at your fresh mug of tea, crossed your legs, and waited.

 

It only took five minutes.

 

Sans popped into the kitchen, back to you and focus entirely on the meal for him. Of course it was for him. He was the only one who ate his omelette like that. As soon as he plucked up the plate and fork…

 

“Sans.”

 

His shoulders stiffened before he heaved a sigh, turned, and trudged over to where you sat, stone-faced and unimpressed in your blanket cape and slippers.

 

“We need to have a chat, Coccyx.”

 


 

 

“What the fuck do you mean you can't send them back!?”

 

You angrily stuffed another bite of Sans’s omelette in your maw. That was his punishment, getting to hold this delicious brunch in his boney hands before you ate it all right in front of him. He looked like you just kicked his pet rock.

 

Good. Fuck him. You continued to give him your best ‘focusing all of the hate I have towards my shit bosses and awful clientele’ glare, as he called it.

 

“k-kid, please, the whole reason they even got pulled here in the first place is because of a fluke with a semi-operational dimensional rift bridging machine, which is now broken. it'll take a long time to get the parts for it replaced or built, and then repaired back to the unfinished state it was in whi-”

 

“WHICH YOU WERE FUCKING MESSING WITH IN THE MIDDLE OF A MAJOR ELECTRICAL STORM!! ISN'T THAT LIKE, COMMON LAB SAFETY SHIT? NOT MESSING WITH POWERFUL EQUIPMENT WHEN THERE'S SHIT WEATHER, BECAUSE IT CAN ELECTROCUTE YOU?!

 

Papyrus slid the swear jar towards you. You shoved a few bills in. You weren't going to stop there, might as well pay up front.

 

“okay, fair point, but-"

 

“Not only that, but you surged the power AGAIN doing this! The electric company is gonna have our heads!”

 

“yes, but-"

 

“YOU COULD HAVE DIED!” you snapped, slamming a hand down on the table before freezing up. “God, dude you...you could have been dusted . You and Papyrus BOTH could've, I...I just…”

 

Fuck. Why were you bad at controlling and showing your emotions right? You plopped back into you chair and covered your face in your hands. Okay, breathe. Think it out. Plot your words and don't be stupid.

 

“I could have lost my best friends, Sans. My family. I care for you both so much and this one night could have ripped you away from me,” you finally muttered. Sans winced at that.

 

A gloved hand patted your head, Papyrus hopefully trying to soothe your mind. “BUT...WE DIDN'T! WE'RE HERE STILL, WITH YOU! I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE STILL UPSET, AND YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE, BUT YOU SHOULD ALSO FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE!”

 

“heh, he's right, champ. we’re still here, and we won't be leaving for a long while.”

 

You gave Sans a weak glare. Damn him. Damn his stupid, laidback aura and his ability to make you feel better. You grumbled before shoving the remaining half of his brunch back to him, which he gladly tucked into. “That being said, last night…”

 

Papyrus stiffened. “HUMAN, I KNOW WE WERE DISHONEST WITH YOU AND TRIED TO HIDE A SERIOUS PROBLEM-.”

 

“And regarding the living situation…”

 

Sans looked nervous. “champ, please? look, i know it's a lot to take in and this will lead to some problems with money being bare bones here and there…”

 

“For living spaces, I don't think we have-"

 

Sans had a rare gleam of determination in his eyelights. “i will buy you three whole orders of those potstickers you like from that Chinese place you like.”

 

…. fuck Sans was driving a hard bargain. Why were you so easily swayed by food?!

 

Well, you knew why but didn't want to think of it. It would lead to a breakdown probably. Anyways, back to the task at hand-

 

“Look, Sans, I just don't think-"

 

“FIVE ORDERS.”

 

Deal. They can stay.”

 

Papyrus whooped in joy and you were soon crushed in a tight hug. “I KNEW IT! I KNEW WE COULD CONVINCE YOU!!”

 

“hhhk- I mean, I was g-going to say yes anyways, just suggest we get some extra mattresses seeing as we only have the one guest room.”

 

You peered into the hollow sockets of your friend, regretting his brother's eagerness to appease your black hole of a stomach. “What? You didn’t really think I would have turned away a hoard of my best friends, did you?”

 

“but...last night we went out of our way to hide this from you.” Sans eyed you. “we basically lied. aren't you, I dunno, mad?”

 

“Well, kind of, but I can see why you did it and I appreciate that you cared so much for my mental wellbeing that you of all monsters would have gone through some lengths to help me.”

 

Sans made a huff before finishing off his omelette. “ah. well, thank you for the eggcellent brunch, but I need to talk to Alphys about the situation and see if she knows anything. Ketch you around.” He winked before taking a shortcut.

 

Papyrus groaned.

 

“You know with four more versions of him running around…”

 

Papyrus groaned louder before leaving you to go to school.

 

Well. Looks like you were bound to do some meet n’ greet.

Chapter Text

“Oh. Uh, hi.”

 

 When you had finished up in the kitchen, you left only to find a swarm of eavesdropping skeletons lining the hall. Chuffed, you crossed your arms and cocked a hip. “So. Hear any good gossip?”

 

One of the skeletons-Blue, you realised- hopped up from his crouching and rushed up to you. This knocked the Papyrus that was leaning on him off balance and he took down two others with him.

 

“HUMAN! YOU DIDN'T MAKE US LEAVE!”

 

You stopped him before he barreled into you and took you both to the floor. You were strong, of that there was no doubt, but still, it's not hard to knock someone over. “Eh, yeah? Look, I may be an ass but like, I'm not heartless. I'm not throwin the lot of you out, this was all an accident and not your fault.”

 

“heh, would ya lookit that, boss? you was right.”

 

“OF COURSE I WAS, SANS! AFTER ALL, I AM THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE EDGE!”

 

Oh boyyy. You could feel the shenanigans radiating off this bunch. “Uh, so, did either of the guys explain the rules?”

 

Ascot scoffed. “WHY WOULD THE MALEFICENT BLACK LISTEN TO ANY OF YOUR RULES, PEASANT?”

 

“One, don't call me that. Two, one of these rules will be the judge on whether or not I dropkick you. So like, you don't have to listen. But you might end up with a few bruises.”

 

Yeah, bad move. Black glared at you while his brother- you guessed?- eyed you wearily.

 

Hey, he used the name you offered. Hell yeah!

 

“Look, there's not many. A few words are banned from being used in the house but they're mostly just slurs or like, trigger words.”

 

Edge’s brother, Red, if you recalled, rolled his eyelights. “sounds fuckin’ retarded-"

 

“Wow, yeah, cool. That's LITERALLY one of them. Don't use that again, thanks.”

 

“or what, hm? ya gonna tell on me to Vanilla?”

 

“....Vanilla? Fuck me, is there more of you guys? How many of you are there?!”

 

“VANILLA IS WHAT RED CALLS THIS UNIVERSE'S ME!!” Blue chimed, making another move to cling to you, which you dodged.

 

“Oh. No, if you just like, keep using banned words and not even make an attempt to stop I'll just kick you out. I DO pay rent, this is as much my house as it is Nilla Wafer’s.”

 

Red seemed to shut up at that.

 

“Cool. So anyways, my room is upstairs. It has a darker wood door than the others.” Which was from Papyrus when he piledrived you into it and smashed the thing to splinters while you two were showing Undyne some old wrestling videos and were play fighting. “Anyways, knock if you need something but don't go in my room please and thanks. At least, not without permission.”

 

“got something to hide?”

 

Orange hoodie was the one that spoke up this time. The way he smiled and his slouched posture made it seem like he was just joking, but his eye sockets were boring into you. You vaguely remember him. His name was...uhm…

 

Fuck. You'd remember later.

 

“I mean. I have bad issues with paranoia and I'm also a sexually active adult but if you want to make me out as hiding anything I do have weed up there.”

 

He looked like he regretted asking. Good.

 

Blueberry looked a bit disgruntled at your dodges to his attempts of hugging and grabbing. That...okay that made you feel like a bit of an ass. So you held a hand out towards him and he happily began holding it.

 

Huh. He was a physically affectionate guy, it seems.

 

“Anyway, I do have two jobs so I'm out of the house a lot so you won't see me much. Pantry’s open if you're hungry, just help yourself. Uh, some stuff has a sticky notes and if they do it's just that the food item is going to be used for a specific reason by someone, usually Paps.”

 

Blue began studying your hand curiously while you talked, pushing his phalanges into the squishy parts, tracing where he could feel bone, rolling your wrist and playing with your fingers...he was pretty inquisitive. He reminded you a bit of your Papyrus when you first met.

 

“That's really it. Other than that it's like, don't wreck the place, try to pick up after yourself, don't break my shit, keep the noise to a legally acceptable level because cops coming by would be a pain, and be nice to the neighbors. Well, except the Harrison family two houses down on the left. They're assholes.”

 

You stood there idly for a bit, content with Blue’s prodding and the clock ticking. He had moved to your tendons in your wrist and feeling the muscles in your arm. “Anyways…yeah.”

 

Fuck, you were bad at socializing.

 

You chewed your lip for a second before extracting yourself from Blue. This was becoming more awkward as the seconds went by. Re-wrapping your blanket cape, you bobbed your head in a way to at least somewhat say goodbye before turning and heading back up to your room.

 

Yay, you suck.

 

After changing into some comfy clothes for housework that you... should be doing, but lacked the energy for, you sat on you bed and messaged your buddy.

 

[Umeme] Hey Comic I was social and talked to the mausoleum you special delivered to our basement.

 

[Umeme] What kind of Amazon Prime bullshit u got man?

 

[Snas] lol

 

[Snas] is u talking 2 the guests ✔ or ❌

 

[Umeme] :+)

 

[Snas] that bad huh

 

<Snas has been renamed to Chucklefuck>

 

[Chucklefuck] aw :/

 

You laid back on your bed and stared at the ceiling. You shouldn't still be frustrated at yourself for your social skills- or lack thereof, rather- yet here we are. Picking apart every aspect that you messed up on and could have done different. You DEFINITELY could have handled Black better without like, low key threatening him.

 

You could've just kept your mouth shut and let this cause problems down the road.

 

You could have also been funnier and lightened the situation. Thrown a pun or two in there like Sans.

 

Stop comparing yourself to other people, it makes you hate yourself. You have good qualities, too.

 

Name three.

 

Fuck, no. Stop that right now. Warring with yourself was bad. Time to spark it up and play Stardew Valley. You could talk to your therapist about this. It's what you paid for, anyway.

 


 

 

Wafts of smoke exited the end of the empty toilet paper tube you held to your mouth, lazily filtering through the dryer sheet secured to the end and getting rid of much of the weed stank.

 

You were pretty clever for an idiot. You always hated the smell, so doing this made your room smell like laundry and only faintly of cannabis, which you could snuff out with an incense or two.

 

You watched the screen idly as a sprite laid passed out in a room, your own hurrying over to help him up.

 

“Shane, dude, it's okay. Shit sucks now but it'll get better, don’t drink away your sorrows like that…”

 

Damn if this depressed and alcoholic little character didn't hit home in all the worst ways. You reached for the night stand to take another hit.

 

Knock knock

 

“Fuck, okay, one second!!”

 

You coughed a bit, tucking the glass pipe away and getting up after pausing the game.

 

...when had it turned to dusk? Fuck, you had been playing a long time, you didn't even register the change in season.

 

After lighting another stick of incense (this one smelling of rosemary and thyme), you called out to let your guest it was okay to come in.

 

You were surprised to see a Papyrus that looked closest to yours, but at the same time was clearly not him, peek his head in.

 

“HUMAN HOUSEMATE, I, AS WELL AS THE OTHERS, WERE WONDERING WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO EAT FOR DINNER?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“THAT IS...NOT A CORRECT ANSWER, BUT I APPRECIATE YOUR ENTHUSIASM! I WOULD PREFER PASTA OF SOME TYPE, BUT AM OKAY TO EAT MOST ANYTHING!”

 

You snorted a bit and uttered a ‘same’.

 

Stars you were baked.

 

You crossed the threshold to see Biggest Sans standing a little ways down the hall. He was watching you like a hawk while you followed Tallest Paps to the kitchen. “So like, what’s everyone’s choices? Also, y’got nicknames yet?”

 

“...technically they gave us nicknames but...they're pretty cut n’ dry. nothing too fitting.”

 

“THEY NAMED ME CROOKS! AFTER MY ER...TEETH, IT SEEMS.”

 

You may be blitzed but you weren't dumb.

 

“Dude, that's so rude of them. That'd be like, calling Casey ‘metal mouth’, that's just fucked. Let me guess, your brother got like, Cyclops.”

 

“...nah, I got the charming pet name of ‘Axe’...”

 

“Dude, I'd be pissed too if they named me after a middle schooler’s shower in a can.”

 

“NO, THEY MEAN IT MORE LIKE THE WEAPON! LIKE AN ‘AXE MURDERER’!!”

 

“Bruh that's twisted. Y’ can’t just like. Ugh. I'm bad at saying the things but just know that’s just. Fucked, man.”

 

You were confused with how you could smell smoke all the way into the living room as you passed by Fuzzy Hood (who's name you forgot) and Hoodie (who’s name you also forgot). Oops. You shot them finger guns.

 

You don't know why you shot finger guns at them. You kind of just low-key panicked and did the first thing that came to mind. At least they did it back as they lounged and watched tv.

 

However, upon entering the kitchen, you realised why you smelled smoke. A pot of…something... was being yanked off the stovetop by Edge and tossed in the sink. Blue and Black were bickering, there was more smoke pouring out of the oven, there was a pan that had SOMETHING charred in it, the smoke alarm was having a fit…

 

“WHAT THE HELL, GUYS!! I LEAVE YOU ALONE FOR…”

 

“...four hours-”

 

“-thanks FOUR HOURS AND YOU THREE NEARLY BURN MY KITCHEN DOWN!! WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?!”

 

The bickering immediately started up again, the three fighting and pointing fingers. It was Tallboy who ended up overseeing things.

 

“WELL HUMAN! WE ALL WANTED TO MAKE DINNER TONIGHT, BUT THEY NEEDED SOMEONE TO FETCH YOU SO I HAD THAT JOB! EDGE WANTED TO MAKE DINNER, BUT BOTH BLUE AND BLACK INSISTED THEY DO IT!”

 

“D...Did you all three start cooking at once?”

 

“...MAYBE.” “PERHAPS.” “WELL, I DIDN'T BUT…”

 

“And you were cooking different foods??”

 

“WELL…” “I MEAN-" “IT'S JUST…”

 

You pinched the bridge of your nose. God these doofuses were killin your chillin.

 

“Alright, first thing’s first. Who came up with the nicknames of Crooks and Axe?”

 

The group were suspiciously quiet.

 

“...it was Chucklefuck, wasn't it? Dammit Sans, what the fuck- okay. We'll figure out better names as we go along.” You looked to the duo. “Like I mentioned earlier, I'll call you guys Sans and Papyrus unless there's like. Multiples in the same spat- spoce- sauce-” you broke off with a sigh and waved a hand. “Whatever. Anyways, any ideas of what you would rather be called? My infinite wisdom of great names is here if you need it~” you joked.

 

Beanpole gave an apologetic smile (?) and slowly reached to pat your head. Stars he was tall. “I WOULD RATHER EARN MY NICKNAME. THAT WAY IT HAS MEANING.

 

“Hey man, that's cool.”

 

You glanced over to Biggest Sans, who seemed to be mulling something over.

 

“...ya got anythin’ good for me in mind?”

 

Was that a joke about his head injury? Huh. “Well, I got one. Stoned me really likes the name Butch.”

 

More pondering. “...what? Like Butcher?”

 

“I mean. I guess? I was more thinking of names for like, big, tough looking guys who probably are real chill. I also thought of Magnus but I'll just end up calling you Maggie or make Adventure Zone quotes.”

 

He seemed taken aback. “...Butch, huh... guess I could give somethin’ like that a test run.”

 

You beamed proudly before looking to the three chefs. “Aight, you three. I'm thinking of a number-"

 

“sixty-nine!!” Red called, suddenly appearing at the kitchen island.

 

“No.”

 

“four twenty,” drawled Stretch (Ha!! That was his name) as he leaned into the room.

 

“No!”

 

The two only looked mildly unhappy, like they were displeased that you DIDN'T pick those numbers.

 

“Anyways! Number, one through twenty, closest one cooks tonight, go.”

 

After a short time, Edge, Black and Blue all blurted out their answers. Blue guessed 1, Edge has 20, and Black picked 13, which meant…

 

“Well, Black, you uh. You got that one right on the button. Congrats, you cook with me tonight.”

 

Edge huffed and crossed his arms. “I DO NOT NEED TO BE TAUGHT HOW TO COOK, FEEBLE CUR. I KNOW MY WAY AROUND A KITCHEN.”

 

The deadpan look he got as you picked up the sautee pan and flipped it over, only for none of the charred mess to spill out was one for the history books. “You could've fooled me.”

 

“Look, I'm willing to look past this. I've cooked my fair share of messes. But until each of you can separately prove to me that you can cook without burning my home down, you are kind of on like, Kitchen Probation.”

 

Blue grumbled a bit.

 

“I know it sucks, but like, if you do good you'll be out of it before you know it.”

 

Blue’s eyes lit up before he blurted out “I CLAIM LUNCH NEXT COOKING SESSION!!”

 

You nodded. “Alright, done. Might be a couple days though, I have work and whatnot.” Thankfully Blue nodded in understanding. However, Edge stormed off, upset he was going last, most likely.

 

You slipped to the fridge to look at what you had to work with. “Alright, well. Black, what are we doing for dinner tonight?”

 

“WELL!! I PROPOSE A DELIGHTFULLY SPICY PAD THAI-"

 

“Nope, try again. We have no shrimp.”

 

“WHAT?! WELL FINE, THEN BEEF LO MEIN-"

 

You took a glance at the messy kitchen before noting the package of beef...empty next to where the skillet had been. “That's a no-go too.”

 

Tallest Papyrus was at least being a dear and trying to clean up. You'd have to let him have a round of cooking with you. Something fun. Maybe baking.

 

Black huffed and rubbed his chin, scowl growing. “WHAT DO YOU HAVE?”

 


 

 

“d-drunken chicken was an excellent choice, m’lord.”

 

“IT WILL DO. I PUT MY OWN TWIST TO IT SINCE WE DIDN'T HAVE MUCH TO WORK WITH AND HAVE A LARGE GROUP, BUT IT SHOULD BE ADEQUATE TO FEED THESE MONGRELS.”

 

While you would rather have liked cooking with Black to ensure there were no more fires, you had decided on helping clean the kitchen instead with the help of your skyscraper skeleton friend.

 

Black had certainly scared the shit out of you when he up ended the bottle of fire wine into the pan and it lit up with pink and orange flames, but he definitely proved he knew his way around the kitchen. Mutt had even watched from the breakfast bar.

 

Sans finally strolled into the kitchen. “hey bucko, I'm back. Alphys is gonna run some figures and see if she can't- that smells amazing.”

 

“OF COURSE IT DOES. I MADE IT.”

 

“...anyways,” he rolled his eyelights to you scrubbing at a pot and frustrating Black, “I'll probably swing back by after dinner tomorrow. I'm gonna see if we can't get the machine at least semi-stabilized. ‘s paps back?”

 

You noted your cleaning buddy’s hand falter a tad but you couldn't place why.

 

“Yeah, he's finishing up homework.”

 

Sans nodded and shifted on his feet. “well, uh. I’ll...go get him.”

 

Dinner was oddly tense that night. You sat in your preferred corner spot and just tried to finish up as fast as possible. Black’s twist to the dish certainly made it a lot spicier, but it was still delicious and flavourful.

 

Beanpole and Butcher took extra helpings. More than even you.

 

Sans tried to lighten whatever mood, punning here and there.

 

Stretch wouldn't even look in your direction.

 

God, this was suffocating. Was this actually awkward? Or was this anxiety? You took your meds, right?

 

After polishing off your plate, you slipped away to go put away your dishes and snag a water bottle. You wanted to hang around and play videogames but you really couldn't stand this tension. It was unnerving you.

 

“HUMAN? ARE YOU HEADING TO BED?”

 

Papyrus, gift to this world, how he betrayed you sometimes. You could feel the numerous eye lights on you.

 

“Y-Yeah Paps. I'm um. I'm just turning in early. Work tomorrow, y'know?”

 

Papyrus frowned as he stood and went to dump his also clear plate in the sink. He then followed you upstairs. “Are You Doing Alright, Friend? I Know This Is All…”

 

You halted to stare up at him, only a few feet from your room. “Hm? I'm fine, why do you ask?”

 

“There Are Ten Skeletons Living With You Now. I've Been Informed That Technically Our Home Could Be Considered A Crypt.”

 

Yeah okay you snorted at that.

 

“Paps, I'm fine. I'm still processing bits and pieces, but like I said. They're you, and I care about you, so I care about them too.”

 

Papyrus crossed his arms as he studied you, tapping a foot as he mulled something over. “You Have...An Appointment This Week, Yes?”

 

Bless him for being aware of prying skulls.

 

“Yes, I do.”

 

“I Implore You To Please Not Skip This Session. While I Understand For Obvious Reasons You Won't Be Able To Reveal What Is Going On, I Still Believe You Should Go. You Skipped Two Last Month…”

 

God, Paps was good at making you feel guilty about being so uncaring towards yourself.

 

“Just, Please. Promise Me You Will Go?”

 

He crouched a bit so he could look you in the eyes. He really wasn't letting this go. With a begrudging sigh, you nodded and rubbed at your face.

 

“I promise, Papyrus. Soul and all.”

 

Your friend looked relieved at that, patting your head before gingerly pulling you into a hug. You gently butted your forehead into his shoulder before hugging him back.

 

“You Worry Me, Friend. I See You Are Getting Better, But You Stumbled A Lot Last Month. Please, I Know You Can Do A Bit Better. If You Need Help, Do Not Be Afraid To Lean On Others, Including Your Coolest Friend!”

 

Fuck, he was going to make you cry. Not like it wasn't the first time, but still.

 

“I'm sorry.”

 

“I Know.”

 

“I'll try harder.

 

“I Know. You Always Do. I Have Your Backbone, Nyeh Heh.”

 

You took your sleeping meds that night. You were going to need them.

Chapter Text

You woke up the next day and immediately began getting ready for work. You cleaned up, put on your work clothes and pulled your boots on. You then ate a quick meal and took your medication before throwing your jacket on.

 

You hurried off and proceeded to work a double at the warehouse job. The work was long and laborious, but you pushed through it stubbornly. Afterwards, you went home, took your sleeping meds (which you really needed to refill) and went to bed.

 

The next day you showered, tossed on some work clothes and ate before taking your meds, putting your jacket on, and heading to work. You patrolled until late at night at the security job you held before finally heading home, taking your sleeping pills, and crashing.

 

You got up. You ate. You took your meds. You worked. You came home. You took your sleeping pills. You went to bed.

 

Wake up. Eat. Meds. Work. Home. Pills. Sleep.

 

White. Brown. White. Grey. Brown. Blue. Black.

 

Copy. Paste. Repeat.

 

Shit fucking sucked.

 

When thursday came you woke up in the mid-morning, Bartholomew sunbathing in his spot, and you were happy, in a sense. You could curl back up and sleep in if you wanted. You could chill and play videogames. You could do errands and chores.

 

It was Therapy Day.

 

One day a week you made your way to talk to your therapist, Dr. Riviera, helped yourself, and had 0 obligations to go to work because both of them knew this day of the week was your mandatory day off. The day gave you so much...freedom, sometimes. Options. Yes you had to go to therapy, but if it was an awful manic low you were in you could technically ski-

 

“HUMAN!! WAKE YOUR LAZY REAR END UP THIS INSTANT!”

 

So much for sleeping in.

 

“Piss off!! I want to sleep!”

 

“GET UP NOW BEFORE I DRAG YOU OUT MYSELF, YOU HEAP OF TRASH!! WE HAVE COMPLAINTS FOR YOU!”

 

“You're always complaining.”

 

EXCUSE ME?!

 

“Fine, fine, I'm up! Give me like. Twenty minutes to get dressed and make tea before you bitch me out for breathing or whatever.”

 

Edge huffed and stomped off. Probably to go nag Red or tell a kid that Santa died. You grunted and rolled out of bed, stretching and popping your joints. You shuffled back to open one of the drawers “under" your bed.

 

You had four drawers in your bed frame and a small closet to store your clothes. Anything in the closet was all of your nice clothes: dress shirts and pants, sweaters and cardigans, blazers, a few blouses, two suits and a couple dresses.You also had a tux you pieced together that could have either pants or a long skirt.

 

Your drawers had one for masculine clothing, one for feminine outfits, one for neutral or genderless stuff and then one for all your socks and undergarments. You glanced at your phone to check the temperature, cool for a spring day, before donning a pair of skinny jeans and a loose blouse. You even put on makeup.

 

Today was a femme day.

 

You opened the mini fridge by your desk and set out some food for Bartholomew before heading downstairs to the kitchen. You desperately needed a pick me up. And you had just the tea to fix that.

 

While brewing yourself some energizing green sea tea blend (that you SWORE up and down tasted like gummy bears and Ocean Water) you started a pot of coffee for anyone that was interested. Thankfully your favourite bonehead was as he shuffled himself into the kitchen. He cocked a tired browbone at your attire.

 

“you look like a well put-together adult today.”

 

“T-day. Wanted to feel pretty.”

 

“gimme a spin, sweetheart?”

 

You rolled your eyes and decided to indulge him. He was getting your mug down for you. He gave a low, appreciative whistle.

 

“looking good. knew that blouse would be nice on you. n’ the constellations pap embroidered on the collar make your eyes look brighter and not dead.”

 

“Har har. Eat my heel, Sans.”

 

“seriously though, you do look nice. I've noticed you haven't been a lady for a while. mostly just neutral.”

 

He filled his ‘please don't confuse your google search with my professional science degree’ travel mug before handing over your ‘I have anxietea’ mug. You got them for each other on your birthdays a year ago.

 

“Yeah. Just...Haven't really felt that way. Been more guy than girl recently.”

 

“i mean a few months ago you were only ever femme. your gender doesn't really work in perfect symmetrical balances.”

 

“I know…”

 

“brains and bodies and emotions are weird, sweetheart. ya gotta learn to like. feel and figure things by your own ways. just not on your own.”

 

You nodded and took a sip before remembering your meds and turning to grab your organizer off the top of the microwave. Awe, one of the guys even refilled it for you…

 

As you knocked back your meds, you heard sneakers squeak against the tile before coming to an abrupt stop. You paid the noise no mind as you took a hearty drink of tea.

 

The sound of Sans swearing and stumbling caught your attention and when you glanced to where he has been chilling with you, Red was leaning against the counter, propping his chin up with a hand and eyeing you a tad salaciously.

 

“hey there. did you sit in sugar? cuz you got a sweet a-oh. it's you.”

 

“of course it's her!! who else would it be?!”

 

“i dunno!! figured that i would’a noticed an ass that fine in the same house as me!”

 

“Yeah, my work pants hide it really well, unfortunately.”

 

“that’s a fuckin’ travesty is what that is.” grumbled the little pervert as he got himself a mug (your ‘CUNT’ mug, you noted, where the C was the handle) and poured himself some coffee. Apparently he liked hazelnut creamer.

 

As Red went to go plop his lazy ass down at the counter, you noted Mutt shambling in.

 

And man, you thought skeletons couldn't look more dead.

 

Mutt’s sockets were practically empty, just that darkness they held their eyelights in. He looked a little worse for wear and his shoulders were hunched as he shuffled. Poor guy.

 

You watched him pull out a mug for himself (the biggest one you owned) and proceeded to fill the cup as dangerously close to the top as he could manage before setting it on the counter. He then went to the fridge and, after waiting on Sans to awkwardly scoot out of the way, got out the whipped cream and proceeded to squirt a MOUNTAIN of it on top.

 

The three of you just sort of watched in wonder as he took a long drink.

 

“You uh. You okay hon?”

 

He didn't respond, only took another gulp of coffee. Yikes.

 

“HUMAN!! VANILLA! WHERE IN THE BLUE BLAZES ARE YOU TWO SLACKERS?!”

 

The three of you watched in despair as Mutt flinched and jumped at Edge’s yowling and proceeded to drop his mug. You tried to save it, but it just barely slipped past you before shattering on the tile.

 

Poor Mutt looked crushed.

 

“Here, dude.”

 

You didn't even realise what you were doing until you had pushed your mug into Mutt’s clenching hands. He looked down at you in surpise as you grabbed a few dish towels and threw them down on the mess.

 

Mutt took a sip of the drink you gave him before shaking his head a tad. However, he still downed the rest of it with little problem and set your mug aside before shooing you and Sans off to go get lectured.

 


 

 

The great thing about being equal parts lazy and comfortable with Sans was that you two sharing a spot and cuddling up wasn't unheard of. You two took naps on the couch together and sometimes you'd let him crash with you in your bed. Sans was quite compact and snuggly, you were excessively squishy and warm, it evened out.

 

That being said, you wished you both hadn't pulled this stupid power move of sharing the recliner (because Blue, Black and Stretch took the couches) while Edge screamed at you both about issues that, granted, were definitely problems, but he also could have just. Talked about it. Sans’s hip bone was digging into what you think was your pancreas. Or your kidney.

 

“Look, dude, I agree that you all need like. Clothes and shit. That's not a problem, I'm on board. The problem is like. I won't be in town for a few hours and Sans has a PTA meeting to get to later.”

 

“yeah. plus, groceries are needed Edge. we can't take all of you clothes shopping. we don't have time.”

 

“Or space. My car holds a MAXIMUM of four people. It's not that big.”

 

“THEN SPLIT IT UP!!”

 

“We are not splitting my car up-"

 

“NO, YOU IDIOTS, SPLIT UP WHO'S GOING WITH WHO TO SHOP!!”

 

“...Please establish you just mean for one clothes shopping trip. I'm not running back and forth.”

 

OBVIOUSLY YOU MORON. TAKE A FEW OF US CLOTHES SHOPPING AND VANILLA CAN TAKE A COUPLE GROCERY SHOPPING.”

 

You gave Sans an exasperated look. You REALLY didn't want to be doing this. And by the look he shot back, he didn't either.

 

You know what? Life sucks and then you die. You just had to find the bright points to make you keep fighting. Maybe this was going to be a bright point?

 


 

 

It wasn't .

 

You drove, losing what little sanity you had left as Stretch kneed the back of your seat again, Red told a dumb pun and Edge screamed about his hatred of it.

 

Fourty. Minutes.

 

Forty fuck damn minutes of a one hour drive to the next town over where you had ‘an appointment’ as you called it.

 

Red said something stupid, a pun about axles and sending Edge into another fi-YOU COULDN'T FUCKING TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!

 

Angrily, you snatched up your auxiliary cord and jammed it into your phone. Your eyes kept flicking to the road and back to the screen as you searched for a good song to get your passengers to quit their shit. You'd throw your music into a randomized playlist afterwards.

 

You huffed and grinned when you found one. You were thankful for the slow startup in the song as you cranked the stereo as loud as it would go.

 

3…

 

Lemme hear you say ‘Hey miss Carter!’

 

2…

 

Say ‘Heeeeey miss Carter.’

 

1.

 

Gimme somethin’!

 

The soul-and-heart shaking vibrations of the bass kicked in, loud and powerful. You heard strangled noises come from the two numbskulls sitting in the back, who were probably shocked to have their chest cavities rattle with the beat.

 

Good. Fuck them.

 

Even Edge looked pretty shaken and stunned from the loud thrumming of music coming from the speakers. Well, at least everyone shut up.

 

Praise be to the great queen, Beyoncé.

 

Sans and Papyrus both honestly didn't like when you turned the volume all the way up in your car. They both stated the vibrations of the speakers rattled their skulls so much they'd feel after shocks for a bit after the radio turned off.

 

You hoped by the sight of Edge clutching at his skull that the same would be the case for these bozos.

 

When the song got to the bit with the paparazzi, you turned the stereo down. “So! Are we done being a bunch of assholes? I can make this drive even less enjoyable with a quick youtube search. I hear Greensleeves is a great song to hear on the otomatone.”

 

“shit, kid, don't do that! i thought m’ vertebrae were gonna vibrate apart.”

 

“I CAN STILL FEEL THE THRUMMING IN MY SKULL…”

 

“Good! I'll not crank my baby up higher than midway if you stop doing this shit. Stop kicking my seat, stop antagonizing your brother, and for the love of my sanity stop screaming in a small enclosed space, ‘Pyrus. Please.

 

Edge huffed and crossed his arms before looking away. He grumbled in compliance.

 

Time for a reward. You tossed him your phone. “Here. You get next song pick. Then your brother, then Stretch. You can look through my whole library but I'd suggest checking my playlists for genres and sub genres. I have my music organized better there.”

 

Once your one true queen’s song finished, Edge’s pick played. A guitar solo rifted through the speakers for a bit before the accompanying drum beat kicked in.

 

Hail to the King. Edge seemed pleased by the dark and dramatic themes of Avenged Sevenfold. You weren't entirely surprised.

 

Red’s choice, DVP by PUP followed up. You saw head banging in the rearview mirror.

 

When Stretch picked The Growlers’ song I'll Be Around, you were reminded about how long it had been since you heard it. You needed to get baked listening to that again. Just, not while driving.

 

By the time you finally neared the first stoplight of Quartz Creek you'd already cycled through your pick and had Edge playing Chop Suey. The small-ish town was further away from the mountain than Ebott was, being a good hour and a half of a drive on a low traffic day. Quartz Creek was a sleepy town, not nearly as tourist-trappy like Pinegleam 20 minutes the east.

 

QC was also the location of your mental health clinic, as well as Boba Bombon, the nearest place to get a bubble tea, a small vegan bakery that made great zucchini bread, a thrift store, and Aspen Ridge, which w-

 

“YOU'RE TAKING US TO A THRIFT STORE?? ARE YOU INSANE?!”

 

“I mean. Kinda.”

 

Edge glared out the window as you pulled up and parked in the parking lot.

 

“Look, Sans and I gave you all 100 bucks a piece. You all have a person you also have to shop for and 100 bucks for them. I'll look through the picks and if you got the person you're shopping for some straight garbage, I'll return the purchase and then do their shopping myself, in which case it'll be an even longer wait to go back to the house, seeing as I'm already shopping for two.”

 

Edge snatched the bills you offered. The others weren't any better.

 

“Look, I don't know exactly how long my appointment will be, but I'll be back in an hour and a half, tops. Just, please, behave. It's all I'm really asking.”

 

After bidding everyone goodbye and making sure your car was locked, you began your three block trek to Mossy Woods Mental Health Clinic. You figured it would be best to leave the car at the thrift store to make your undead brigade not think you dumped them there and left.

 

Stop. Wait at crosswalk. Check both ways. Jog across.

 

Stop. Stare into the window of the comic book store. Stare at that new edition of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Desperately want it. Shake head and continue down sidewalk. Shiver.

 

Cross street. Glance down alley way. Shiver. Bound past. Stop at the bookstore. Look at window. Don't actually look inside. Use reflection to see if you're being followed. Wonder if you're just paranoid. Continue down sidewalk. Turn corner.

 

Lightly jog towards destination. Slow to a quick walk. Glance at window. Shiver. There's someone back there. Turn fast.

 

“FUCK. Stars above, Stretch, what the fuck are you doing?!”

 

Before you stood the orange-clad seat kicker. He watched you with narrowed sockets and a cigarette in his mandible. “just needin’ a smoke break, kid. no need to get so flighty.”

 

He took a smooth drag. You pulled your scarf up over your mouth and nose.

 

“you smoke pot but can't stand cigarettes? that's rich.”

 

“Why are you following me?”

 

“why did you lie to my brother?”

 

“Because fuck off, that's why.”

 

Before you left, and while you and Sans were arguing about who would take whom, Blue had asked where it was you were going. When you answered “clothes shopping", he clarified with “NO, WHAT APPOINTMENT? IS IT A DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT?”

 

You told him yes just so he wouldn't pry much. A simple flu shot was what you gave.

 

“So that's why you took over for Blue.”

 

“ ‘m not an idiot, i could tell you were lying.”

 

“Not an idiot, but you're sure fuckin nosy for lacking any real form of one. Go get you and your brother clothes, for fucks sake.”

 

“tell me where you're going.”

 

Lying didn't work on him. How about...half truths? “I need to pick up more pot and edibles so I was going to go to the dispensary.”

 

“for over an hour? try again.”

 

Fuck. Fine. “Mental health clinic. I see a psychiatrist there. Now piss off and go blow a cigarette carton.”

 

That seemed to throw him through a loop. “...wait. repeat that.”

 

“I am going to a clinic to see a therapist about my mental health problems.”

 

Stretch shoved his hands in his pockets and looked deep in thought.

 

“that's...it? that's what you lied about?”

 

“Uh, haha. Yeah? I don't want everyone up in my business about personal shit? Anyways, quit stalking me and go shop. I don't need you breathing down my fuckin neck.”

 

Stretch rolled on the balls of his feet before turning around and heading back around the corner. You headed onward to the clinic a few stores down.

 

After sitting in the reception area, filling out information and chatting with a few people here and there, you stood up when called and headed into the hall, following after Dr. Riviera.

 

“God, doc, you won't believe this shit.”

Chapter Text

“uh...where's the human?”

 

Red glanced up at his goody-goody counterpart before rolling his eyelights and taking a sip from his glass of whiskey.

 

“how the fuck should i know, vanilla? i ain't her fuckin babysitter.”

 

“you left and came back with her.”

 

“like i said: not her sitter, so fuck off.”

 

Sans had a more strained grin on his face before turning around and strolled out of the kitchen. He'd asked Edge and Stretch both were you had gone to and both had similar answers: they didn't care, leave them alone.

 

Sticking to the main floor, Sans passed the library and sewing rooms, which had been turned into basic bedrooms for the other skeletons. He had a hunch he knew where you were. It was either the enclosed porch, or the gameroom. And since he could see the recording light on the gameroom door, he figured he knew which of the two you picked.

 

Sans slipped into the soundproofed room and checked over you and your set up.

 

‘Boba tea, that's good. And they're playing games instead of their drums, that's even better…’

 

But then he noticed what game you were playing while curled up on the couch and immediately winced. You only played one of those old playstation games he knew next to nothing about when you were upset. It seemed this one was a horror game.

 

“If you're just gonna stand there, I'd suggest grabbing your bubble tea from the mini fridge and leaving.”

 

Oh yeah. Real upset. He shuffled to peer over the couch at you. You just laid there and stared blankly at the screen, running from a few garish creatures.

 

Hoo boy.

 

“i uh...made good on our deal and brought you two orders of potstickers.”

 

You paused your game and scooted one of the take out containers towards you, immediately tucking in.

 

“so uh. I take it that the shopping trip went bad on your end?”

 

You lifted your feet, a sign for him to take a seat. He snagged his drink before plopping down. You dropped your feet down in his lap.

 

“So. When I returned from therapy-"

 

“how did that go, by the way? any news?”

 

“Yes and no. The bullshittery with my stats is rare but not unheard of. The shrink said, with my permission, she would get into contact with a bunch of colleagues and see if she couldn't get more information. She suspects it's trauma or depression based but miss Riviera can't make heads or tail feathers about it.”

 

“Well, that's a bit of a relief…”

 

“I guess so, if you squint hard enough.”

 

Sans quietly watched you play for a bit, rubbing your calves in content, but slightly tense silence.

 

“They threatened me. Stalked me, too.”

 

Sans was glad he hadn't taken a drink. “wait, what? who threatened you? Edge, Stretch or Red?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“fuck me…” the comic grumbled, rubbing at his temples. “what happened?”

 


 

“SERVANT!! YOU SURE TOO-"

 

“Do not call me that, Edge. I don't like that.”

 

“...Feh. As I was saying--HUMAN!! YOU SURE TOOK YOUR TIME AT YOUR APPOINTMENT.”

 

“I mean. I have to wait my turn. Lines exist.”

 

Edge eyed you, a few dozen sets of clothes draped over his arm. He was also holding a pair of ankle cut heeled boots. Something new for him to try instead of his regular heeled boots that nearly reached his knees.

 

“WHATEVER. I DON'T CARE.”

 

“Cool. Thanks.”

 

“WHAT I DO CARE ABOUT TO A LARGER DEGREE IS WHY I AM IN CHARGE OF THE TINY TYRANT’S CLOTHING AS WELL AS MY OWN.”

 

You were too emotionally exhausted to deal with this.

 

“Because I have to shop for both Butch and his brother, Stretch is shopping for Blue, and Red is shopping for Mutt. Barely. You have the closest thing to his sense of fashion and you don't seem like the type of guy who'd purposefully pick shitty clothes out for someone to make your job easier, you'd do it right or in your own way to make the end goal. Besides, do you really want to listen to Black bitching at you 24/7 about his wardrobe?”

 


 

“And I was right, y’know. He did pick all of Black's clothes alright. He got him ten super versatile outfits. Plus new boots. He did good.”

 

“nice.” Sans hummed and sipped his bubble tea. “...buuuut…”

 

“But…”

 


 

“I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE, BUT NO ONE TELLS THE TERRIBLE PAPYRUS WHAT TO DO. NOT UNDYNE, NOT THAT PATHETIC VERSION OF MY LAZY BROTHER, AND ESPECIALLY NOT YOU.”

 

“Noted,” you yawned before turning away. “Anyway. If this is all, I'm going to get on with looking for a new jacket for Butch. And maybe some good shoes.”

 

Edge grabbed your shoulder, digging his phalanges into your flesh and spinning you back around. You growled slightly and tried to wriggle free as the skeleton increased his grip.

 

IF YOU CONTINUE TO DISRESPECT ME, I WILL BREAK YOUR RIBS FROM YOUR SPINE AND TEAR YOUR LUNGS FREE TO LOOK LIKE WINGS.

 


 

shit. ” Sans coughed, sitting up and placing his drink on the coffee table. “stars above, he said that to you?? what did you...how do you even respond to that?!”

 

You stuffed another dumpling into your mouth. “Mmf. Jus’ walked ‘way.”

 

Sans hissed another few swears before rubbing his forehead. “so...so after that, what happened?”

 

“Well, I asked Red if he still had the paper with everyone’s measurements…”

 


 

“piss off, ya shoulda’ memorized it.”

 

“Just give me the fuckin’ paper dude. You aren't even using it.”

 

Red gave a dirty look as he looked over a pair of pants before tossing them over his arm. “i ain't doing jack shit for you. you can fuck off.”

 

You groaned and rubbed your temples. “Stars above, what is your problem? I didn't even do anything!”

 

“yeah, you and that LV stat sure are innocent.”

 

---

 

“he brought up your stats??”

 

You shrugged as you moved your character down a dark hallway.

 

“but like...okay, first of all, he's been stat checking you outside of encounters, which that is a huge breach in privacy.”

 

A wry smile found its way on your lips as you sat up a bit to look at your skeleton buddy.

 

“oh, don't give me that. it was my job.”

 

“He's you, dummy. He had the same job.”

 

second ,” he started, lightly shoving you, “if he checked you, he could see your stats aren't normal. like yeah, congrats, you called the human out on having weird LV, good job, but now explain why its like that.”

 

“Yeah. Do the fucking job of my therapist and my doctor and save me some fucking money. If you're gonna call me out on being broken, and least fix it.”

 

Sans shook his head and huffed. “Anyways, Red being a dick, continue.”

 

“Uh…” you blinked, trying to remember. “He brought up my stats...Oh!! Shit, I got it now.”

 


 

“You want me to take over shopping for Mutt? Why?! That's so unfair! I'm already shopping for two…”

 

“i don't give two shits. you want the size sheet? i dont want to fuckin shop. take it or leave it.”

 

God this guy was a headache and a half. You sighed before complying, snatching the crumpled paper from the skeleton. “God, you and your brother are quite the assholes…”

 

You began walking off, only for a heavy feeling to weigh your chest down. You struggled to stand before you felt yourself being yanked back by your soul.

 

insult my bro again ,” Red snarled, wrapping a hand around your throat and squeezing lightly, “ and imma have a good time making you eat your own fucking teeth.

 


 

Sans had his head in his hands and was shaking it slowly. “he fucking...stars above kid, if I didnt know how resilient you are, I'd fear you sneaking out in the dead of night and never being seen again…”

 

You huffed and nodded. “You're lucky I love you and Paps so much.”

 

“no kidding. are you alright? they didn't leave bruises, right?”

 

You unbuttoned your blouse some and sat up, letting the monster have a look.

 

“well, your neck looks fine, but...I'll see if my brother can't heal those bruises where Edge grabbed you.”

 

“Thanks, dude.”

 

You both sat in silence for a bit before you moved, butting your head gently on his skull. Sans gave an amused chuckle and leaned his own on your chest.

 

“alright, what happened with Stretch?”

 

“Surprisingly he was super cold to me. Ignored me when I asked if he needed help, turned away when I asked if he knew what kind of shirts Mutt would like, he didn't even look at me until I asked him if he needed help finding stuff for Blue.”

 

“what did he say?”

 

“He said that if I didn't watch myself around Blue that I would mysteriously disappear and no one would care to find me.”

 

Sans stiffened. “fuck stretch. I'd care, paps would care. didn't think he'd be such an asshole. though, I'd just ignore him. he seems like a guy who'd stretch the truth, heh...”

 

Your roommate shifted a bit uncomfortably, so you moved so that you were back to laying down and he was laying on top of you.

 

“I'm pretty sure Blue doesn't like me either.”

 

The comic had to freeze at that. “wait. what? but the guy is like, super buddy-buddy with you.”

 

“He acted super weird when we came home late, because y'know. Shopping for three people, plus getting teas for everyone. He kept eyeing me, made sure to hurry over to his brother, and kept asking me why we took so long. But the way he asked was almost...like he was accusing me of plotting it.”

 

“yeesh,” the skeleton winced.

 

You hummed quietly and wrapped your arms around the squat skeleton. He shuffled a bit in order to get comfy. The two of you laid there in silence, him enjoying your soft, warm body and you enjoying his cuddling.

 

“Sorry about unloading on you.”

 

“nah, don't be. me an’ my bro are here for you. you're our best friend, and if you're going through a rough patch, we don't want you bottling it up. yeah, we ain't your shrink, but these things seem more like a...oh…”

 

“Domestic dispute?”

 

“yeah, that. kinda. it's something we gotta get through and get our guests to understand it's not okay.”

 

Yawning, you nodded before stuffing another potsticker in your mouth. Sans began talking about the work he'd done with Alphys, and how she would have to visit to have a good look at the machine to help him identify what all might need immediate replacement.

 

While he described the cooling system, you offered him a dumpling and he happily accepted, letting you feed both him and yourself as he continued to break down his ideas and plans for repairs.

 

It wasn't until an hour later when you both decided it was alright to leave the game room. Sans rolled off of you so you could stretch.

 

“man, I remember when you wouldn't even let me touch your food. and now look at you! sharing your dinner with me like it's no big dill .”

 

“Oh my god, no. Bad comedian.”

 

Sans chuckled and knocked his hip with yours. “hey, you love my sense of humerus.”

 

“Speaking of food,” you huffed, trying not to grin, “I picked you up a few edibles and nugs when getting my stash. They're up on your mattress.”

 

Sans lit up at that. “hey, thanks bud.”

 

“I swear, Sans.”

 

“aw, you're toke-ally the best.”

 

“That was really pushing it, dude.”

 

“yeah, but you snorted, so I won.”

 

Rolling your eyes, you gave your bonehead a well meaning shove. Sans said that as long as you had actual food today, Papyrus would understand you skipping out on “family dinner", so you headed back upstairs to your room.

 

Upon arriving, you immediately flopped onto your bed and kicked your shoes off. You had a Nuzlocke challenge to finish and a weed muffin on your nightstand, you were ready to roll.

 

It wasn't until several hours later that you realized you'd forgotten something important.

 

White. Green. Pink.

 

You had beaten three gyms, only losing your Togepi to Bugsy’s Scyther. Whitney’s Miltank was a breeze with your Nidorina.

 

Brown, blue, and white.

 

You took a quick shower, washing away the dirt and makeup from your body. You loved your new shampoo.

 

Purple, orange...blue?

 

You had put Bartholomew to bed, had gotten a cup of water, but were now staring at an empty bottle of your sleeping medicine.

 

Frowning, you realized you forgot to order your prescription today. The floor and even along the sides of your bed were scouted as you looked for any pills you hopefully had dropped. Your debilitating insomnia was creeping up on you, and though you wanted nothing more than to sleep, your hopes dwindled as your search came up empty.

 

With a broken sigh, you sat on your bed and glanced at the alarm clock.

 

1:22 A.M.

 

Exhaustion weighed heavily on you.

 

You took hit after hit from your pipe, hoping your relaxed muscles and lack of constant pain in your back would ease you to sleep.

 

It did not.

 

Creeping down to the kitchen, you snuck a bottle of brandy back to your room and finished off the half empty bottle, hoping it would make you tipsy. Hoping the clouding of your mind would help your slumber.

 

That failed as well.

 

You tried tea.

 

Cold showers.

 

Soft music.

 

A bottle of nyquil.

 

But as you stared at the shadows that painted themselves across your room at 3:55, you found your mind still buzzing. You had hoped watching your boring ass ceiling in your dark room would settle your mind.

 

However, when the opposite began to happen and you noted the shadows twisting and morphing, you knew you wouldn't be sleeping tonight. You gave up before you grumbled tiredly.

 

“Fuckin’ great, its you. Hey, Ghost.”

Chapter Text

When Papyrus flipped on the light in the kitchen, he nearly dropped his school bag in surprise. He hadn't expected to see his human housemate to be sitting at the island counter. He especially didn't plan on seeing you sitting there, eyes glazed over, staring into space. Your lips twitched and quivered slightly, and though he couldn't hear exactly what you were whispering so faintly to the cinnamon coloured walls of the kitchen, he knew by the rasp in your voice that you were being vocal.

 

“HUMAN?”

 

You seemed…out of sorts. Papyrus reached out to shake your shoulder, but the skeleton thought better of it. Instead, he started calling your name, gently. After about the 4th or 5th time, you finally came to your senses and looked up at him.

 

“Human Friend, What Are You Doing Up So Early?”

 

“Can't sleep. Needed to...Stars, I don't know…”

 

“Couldn't Sleep?” Papyrus was trying to keep his voice down but this...this worried him. “How Long Has It Been Since You Last Slept?”

 

“What day is it?”

 

“It Is Monday Morning.”

 

“Ah. Since Thursday. I think. The days have kinda...started blending together. Napped here an’ there, but…”

 

The monster winced as you let your head drop to the counter before groaning.

 

“I'm so fucking tired man.”

 

Papyrus gently patted your head before setting his bag on the counter, and getting everything he needed to make his morning oatmeal. “I Do Not Wish To Step On Any Toes, But...What About Your Medicine?”

 

“Out. Been out. Can't get more til Friday.”

 

“Why?”

 

You didn't answer, instead covering your head with your arms. When he continued to pry, you mumbled out an answer.

 

“Repeat?”

 

“I can't...afford them.”

 

Papyrus sat next to you, serious as a heart attack. “What Do You Mean?”

 

“Giving our lovely little guests all that money to to shop with, plus buying everyone boba tea...I spent more than I meant trying to get them to like me. And look where it landed me. They still hate me I can't even afford my fucking meds.”

 

“Friend…”

 

“Some fucking good I am. I know I'm a damn lunatic and can't even be fucked to take my medicine.”

 

“You Are Not…”

 

“Ghost was here. Has been for four fucking days, Pap.”

 

Papyrus took your hand and encompassed it between his two much larger ones. You heard the creak of the floorboards in the hall settling.

 

“I Am Sorry Your Mind Is Toying With You, Human. Is...Ghost Here Now?”

 

“No, I already took my meds so its starting to take effect, but I can't double dip so I see the fucker all the time at night.”

 

Ghost was a hallucination you saw. Your therapist thought it had something to do with bipolar disorder, or it could be due to having severe trauma, or a whole number of things. She even wondered for a long time if you were just unaware of there being an actual ghost in your home, but when you asked Sans and Paps if either of them had seen anything paranormal, they both denied.

 

Well, Sans teased you for a while. Until you brought up why you asked. He then helped you pay for the first order of medicine you were now on.

 

Ghost wasn't... bad , per se. The thing was nonverbal and didn't really interfere with much. It was misty, usually, and hard to always see, but it seeked attention and would try to pester the skelebros constantly when they were there. Well, in your eyes anyway. Sometimes it just also seemed curious?

 

Eh. Whatever. You were too fucking tired to think.

 

“I Believe It Might Be Best For You To Stay Home.”

 

“Paaaaps, nooooo…”

 

“YES!” your friend demanded, putting his hands on his hips. The house made another noise. “It Is Very Important You Get Rest!! You Are In No State To Work, Let Alone Drive There!!”

 

“I'll take a bus, we need the money--"

 

“WHAT IS THE CAPITAL OF VANCOUVER?”

 

Vancouver? Fuck, what was it...think, come on….

 

After letting you struggle for a bit, the monster huffed. “Vancouver DOESN'T Have A Capital, It Is A City! It's Where I Bought You That Nice Scarf!”

 

….hhhhhh fuck okay he had a point. “Okay, okay, I'll stay home. I'll call the boss and let him know…”

 

Your roommate nodded sternly before digging into his breakfast. You flopped your head back down on the counter.

 

Creak.

 

Groan.

 

“A-AHEM! GOOD MORNING, ROOMIES!”

 

Your eyes flashed open as you were hit with the realization that the noises were not normal. Slowly, so as not to draw too much attention, you rubbed at your face, peeking between your fingers.

 

It seemed Blue likes to be nosey.

 

“GOOD MORNING, BLUE! ARE YOU READY TO START THE DAY?”

 

The smaller skeleton nodded before sitting down next to you.

 

“GOSH HUMAN, YOU DON'T LOOK SO HOT…”

 

You fake little sh-

 

“Hun, I'm always hot. I'm a solid 8/10. The only one who has me beat is that tall glass of milk over there,” you sassed, motioning to Papyrus. Blue huffed.

 

“YOU JUST LOOK RATHER TIRED, IS ALL. ARE YOU NOT SLEEPING WELL?”

 

Like he didn't hear…

 

Blue stiffened and coughed into his fist. “I-I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU MEAN! I JUST GOT HERE!”

 

...did you say that out loud? Oops.

 

“Whatever. I'm too fucking tired....”

 

God your eyelids felt like they were glued to the top of your forehead.

 

….what was that from? Hm…

 

Papyrus watched in concern as you sank yourself in your tired thoughts, muttering and trying to tap out the beat to something. After finishing his oatmeal (he ADORED those little dinosaur eggs) he cleaned his bowl and went about making you a light breakfast. He watched Blue dig into the box of cinnamon roll oatmeal to make himself a bowl as well.

 

After he made you Toad In The Hole (something he learned from one of the nice neighbor ladies), Papyrus gave you a gentle pat on the head and grabbed his bag before rushing off.

 

Which left you and Blue, who you could tell was about to say something, until two of your favourite people came in.

 

“-APPALLING THAT YOU WANT ONLY CAFFEINE FOR BREAKFAST!! I WILL BE MAKING YOU SOME TOAST SO YOU AT LEAST WILL HAVE SOMETHING OF SUBSTANCE !!”

 

“really boss, just some coffee for me today, that's- oh great, it's you.”

 

You're no ray of fucking sunshine either, Red.

 

“oh yeah?? Got somethin’ to say there?”

 

You groaned and squeezed your eyes shut. Fucking hell, you hate being this tired. At least Red was sitting next to you as you slowly lifted your head to pick at your breakfast. Sitting next to people was good, right? ...whatever.

 

“WHY IN ASGORE’S NAME ARE YOU MOPING LIKE THAT AT THE COUNTER? IT'S UNSANITARY AND IMPROPER!”

 

Red snickered as you slowly sat up and gave his brother a dead look.

 

“I haven't slept in five days.”

 

A look passed the sharp skeleton’s face before he huffed and turned around. “WELL, THEN THAT IS YOUR FAULT FOR STAYING UP AND DOING WHATEVER IT IS YOU'VE BEEN DOING.”

 

“I have insomnia. It’s a disease that prevents me from sleeping”

 

Red winced at that. “no wonder you're such a grumpy lil shit.”

 

“I'd like to remind you that I'm taller than you.”

 

“IS THERE...A CURE? I'VE NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING!”

 

Sans shuffled in and sat at the kitchen table while you explained to Edge how the only real cure you knew of was your medicine. Or vallium. You even half-joked that at this rate being knocked unconscious sounded appealing. Blue however seemed confused.

 

“HAVE YOU JUST... TRIED FALLING ASLEEP?”

 

You stiffened, and Red began prying your now bent and ruined fork out of your hand. How were you going to play this? He couldn't possibly be…?

 

“I MEAN, IT CAN'T REALLY BE THAT HARD, RIGHT? IT'S SLEEPING!”

 

“...oh no.” Sans muttered, dropping his head in his hands.

 

Sass it is.

 

You gasped, like you were having a sudden realization. “Oh my GOD Blue you GENIUS!! ‘Just go to sleep’ gosh I'm so stupid, how have I never thought of that! I never knew you were a psychologist, let alone a somnologist , oh my gosh what school did you graduate from?? The one where they teach you ‘home remedies’ or the one where you just assume because you sleep fine that it works, hm?”

 

Blue was staring at you in shock, sockets wide and those blue eyelights searching you, probably hoping you were kidding or something. You just stared back, stone faced with your “dead eyes” as Sans called them. Red wheezed as he took a shaky breath, trying to reel in his laughter as Edge turned his back to the situation, gloved hand over his mouth to avoid laughing, but the spasming of his shoulders have him away.

 

Red suddenly stopped and you felt a presence behind you.

 

“that wasn't very nice, pal.”

 

Stretch had a strained grin, but that quickly faltered when you spun in your stool to face him with your own overly happy smile.

 

“Wow!! Completely unlike you guys have been acting towards me, correct? You know, disappearing and no one caring to find me and all that shit?”

 

“...don't mess with my brother,” the orange-clad skeleton growled after a moment, towering over you.

 

Nah. You weren't doing this.

 

Hopping off your seat, you stood chest-to-chest with him. “Then maybe you should teach him that it's rude to eavesdrop on a conversation he's not part of, hm?”

 

The skeleton didn't budge. Neither did you. Not until Sans called you off and you stalked out of the room. You didn't have to put up with this. You shouldn't , not in your own home. It felt like you were being attacked at all sides. You probably weren't, but fuck if it didn't feel that way.

 

Back to your room it was.

 

Tossing yourself onto your bed (which was, undoubtedly THE most comfortable one in the house) you stared up at the ceiling and tried to will yourself into at least a nap of some degree. Shit, you'd take 10 minutes. You were pissing everyone and yourself off.

 

Closing your eyes, you settled yourself under your weighted blanket and clung to your body pillow. It didn't have a daki cover, though Undyne has gotten you several as gag gifts, it was just good to hold.

 

You quietly rested, trying to remember the tips your therapist gave you. You tried not to focus to hard on thoughts, instead just sort of...acknowledging them, but watching them pass. You eased yourself from trying, and avoided forcing yourself to be at res-

 

THUD!

 

You jolted up, staring at your door in alarm. Scrambling, you rushed over and flung it open to see…

 

Nothing.

 

Frowning, you scratch your cheek in thought before closing the door and climbing back into bed.

 

It wasn't until the fourth time it happened when you realized what was going on as you stared down the hall at a very too casual looking Stretch hanging out at the end. Snarling, you slammed the door. Stretch was fucking with you, and probably Blue too after you went off on them.

 

You tried to think of something to do to get them to stop, but your mind was so tired that all you could think of was crashing with Sans in his bed. Looking at your phone told you that wouldn't happen any time soon. Sans was at his job at the college right now and wouldn't be back for a few hours.

 

You fucking hated this. You were so tired it hurt . You began thinking of any safe spots in the house you could crash, but the only one that came to mind was the game room, and it would be too easy to blast music or something to wake you.

 

...maybe you shouldn't be thinking of where , but with whom .

 

Mulling over your choices, Butch or Mutt seemed like good sleeping buddies. They as well as their brothers seemed like they were more neutral towards you instead of hating you. You'd prefer their brothers, but if they were similar to Blue and Papyrus, that meant they'd be less inclined to actually sleep and might not take kindly to you sleeping.

 

You mulled over your choices when you heard a shrill keening noise. It took a moment for your poor muddled mind to sort out what it was, but when it clicked, you stiffened and hurried to the window, shoving it up and and leaning out.

 

Scanning the backyard, you finally spotted what you were looking for when you saw a small lump in the neighbor’s tree, all the way near the top.

 

“IZZY!! GET DOWN FROM THERE, YOU'RE GOING TO BREAK YOUR NECK!!” You yelled up at the young girl. Her younger sister Casey was staring up at her, probably on the verge of tears as she worried over her more energetic and rambunctious sibling.

 

“I can't!!” wailed the child, clinging to the thin trunk like a lifeline. You hurriedly climbed out of the window and eased yourself off the eave below it until you could drop to the ground. You quickly sprinted to the fence and hopped over.

 

“She's been stuck for ten minutes.”

 

Turning, you noticed the eldest, Viktor, dragging a small ladder over to the tree. The blonde 13 year old was scowling up at his sister. “START SHIMMYING DOWN! THOSE BRANCHES ARE TOO BRITTLE FOR ME TO CLIMB ON!”

 

Soon, the mothers Anya and Olivia filed out before crowding the tree, fretting noticeably.

 

“Dearest, please be careful!!”

 

“Little one, please be hanging on tight! Help is coming!”

 

Rubbing your hands, you jumped and grabbed onto the lowest branch, pulling yourself up as you began scaling the tall hickory tree. However, you only made it about 7 or 8 rungs up before the small bough you were braced on snapped and you plummeted, taking out a few more branches before hitting the ground with an audible thunk .

 

“FUCK, MY BACK.”

 

Olivia puttered over, easing you up and letting you lean on her shorter frame. The portly auburn was worried about you, yes, but she was more concerned with her kid, which you understood.

 

Grunting, you braced a hand on your back, trying your best to ease its pain and straighten up when you heard a “paps, wait-" before you noticed the sound of boots clomping your way. Looking back over the short wood fence, you saw Tallest Papyrus hurrying over, beady eyes locked on the stuck child.

 

“ARE YOU IN NEED OF HELP? I HEARD THE SCREAMS FROM THE PORCH, AND I COULDN'T HELP BUT WORRY…”

 

You watched as Anya did a double take, gasping at the poor skeleton’s appearance. However, she rushed over, shocked as she pulled his face closer.

 

“Сахарок, are you alright?! What has happened to your teeth? Did someone hurt you?”

 

The poor thing looked frightfully uncomfortable, but partially relieved the woman didn't start screaming. You decided to try and help.

 

“That is uh, one of Sans and Paps’s many cousins. They're staying with us since their home got...caved in down in the Underground.”

 

“Cousin?”

 

“Yeah! I mean, do you think Paps grew like, 3 feet overnight?” You looked around, trying your damnedest to think of a good name. Shit, you weren't wanting to rush to find one for him either, you wanted it to be special. “This is, uh...Hickory.”

 

Fuck yeah nailed it.

 

Freeing himself from the tall blonde woman, the now-dubbed Hickory gently squeezed Anya’s hands before hurrying to the tree. He glanced at you one more time before scaling the tree with ease, his lighter and more lithe form making short work of the climb. He had to coax Izzy down a few branches, but as soon as she had her arms around the spookier Papyrus, she clung to him like a baby possum or koala and refused to let go until Olivia gently tugged her free of his...Hickory’s neck.

 

Anya practically smothered Izzy, scolding her in Russian for doing something so dangerous before tugging her inside, Viktor following behind. Olivia squeezed Hickory in a warm, gracious hug before scooping up Casey and going back inside, muttering about the stove being left on and a fear for her soup.

 

Standing next to Hickory, you glanced up at the skeleton and noting his odd expression.

 

When you asked, he shook his head.

 

“I JUST...I WAS SO WORRIED THEY WOULD BE PETRIFIED OF ME...INSTEAD THEY HUGGED ME...THANKED ME...THEY WERE EVEN SCARED FOR ME.” He slowly turned and looked toward you. “Is...Is This Normal?”

 

“With them? Yes. Not necessarily on the surface in general though. Anya and Olivia, well….they're good people. Great ones.” You smiled and took his much, much larger hand in yours.

 

“...Ya think you can carry me back inside? My back hurts like a bitch.”

 

“OH! WHY CERTAINLY, HUMAN!”

 

Yawning, you suddenly realized how tired you were before remembering your previous problem. “Oh, hey, would it be cool if I asked a favour of you?”

 

Hickory seemed surprised, but gave you a toothy smile. “OH? WHAT COULD YOU BE WANTING, HOUSEMATE?”

 


 

Stretch crossed his arms as he stared at you napping on the couch. You were laying on Hickory, who was stretched out across it and was happily watching a new MTT Drama. Stretch couldn't disturb you because, if the two large hands on your back gave any clue, he was protecting you. And interrupting his show would make him seem like an asshole.

 

Huffing, the orange clad skeleton slunk away to find something else to do that didn't have Butch staring at the monster like he would crush him if they were disturbed...

Chapter Text

The small white beam of light coming from your flashlight lit up the fenceline as you continued your patrol. If you'd shined it a bit further up, you probably would have caught Sans watching you while you worked.

 

Not that he was being creepy, no, he just liked watching you work sometimes.

 

Okay, still creepy. Let's rephrase that.

 

Sans liked seeing the way you seemed to change personalities to fit into situations. When you were at home with just him, you were relaxed and lazy like him. You preferred movie binging and eating fast food or Grillby’s. When Papyrus was around, you shifted, instead being more energetic and restless and eager to adventure.

 

At Grillby’s you were fun, a little flirty, and you and the fire monster could tell a story to impress anyone. At work, you were either more of a worker bee who knew how to take charge, or a serious and intimidating guard who, frankly, even made him nervous sometimes.

 

Speaking of Grillby's, the reason why he was visiting you was getting cold. Just before you turned a corner, he teleported around it.

 

“Oh. Hey.”

 

And this was why your ‘guard dog’ mentality messed with him, because he couldn't mess with you. He tried quite a few times to startle you, and had appeared behind or beside you more than once only for you to know instantly that he was there. He had to admit, you were pretty good.

 

“hey kiddo, broughtcha dinner.”

 

However, no matter what persona you were in, as soon as food was mentioned, it was all over and you were placid. Your gruff, no nonsense attitude changed from guard dog to happy puppy. He swore your eyes even got bigger and shinier.

 

“Oooh!! What'd you bring me?”

 

“sweet potato fries from Grillz’. He wanted you to try ‘em and let him know if he should add them to his menu.”

 

“The dork. The nerd. The absolute FOOL. As if I wouldn't grade anything he makes with an A+ and 5 stars.”

 

“see, i told him the exact thing. you can't have biased judges.”

 

You were practically bouncing on your toes as you reached for the bag, but he swatted your hand. “ah-ah! gotta pay your Uber Eats guy before you can Uber Eat these fries.”

 

Huffing you crossed your arms and stared at him. “You didn't drive here. You teleported.”

 

“same dif. come on, fork em over.”

 

Sans’s grin widened when you grumbled and dug your hand in your uniform pocket, pulling out a fist full of sweets in crinkly foil wrappers. He held his own hand out as you dumped the star shaped lychee candies in his awaiting palm. He could feel magic pool in his mouth like saliva at the thought of snacking on those bad boys.

 

However, he gave you a cheeky grin. “what, no tip?”

 

He almost began to sweat as you eyed him, cool and sharp and making him think of a fox stalking a mouse who maybe bit off more than he could chew. However, you just huffed and leaned in, your breath fanning over his face which he was sure was beginning to flush.

 

“There is a very fine line between loving something and being greedy for it,” you murmured, taking a slow, deep breath as your lips brushed lightly against his cheekbone. Sans shivered as your strong arms wrapped around him. You mashed your lips to his zygoma and squeezed him tight and-

 

PBBBBHBHHHBHBBBBBTT!!

 

The monster let out a startled wheeze of a laugh as you blew a raspberry on his face, guffawing when you pulled away. Your boisterous laugh echoed amongst the trees, and Sans had to blink away the heart-shaped eyelights he was now sporting. The skeleton beamed as you slowly let him go, letting out a few good-natured chuckles as you ‘ruffled’ his skull.

 

“you butt.”

 

“My butt is pretty great.”

 

“ugh. you brat how ‘bout that.”

 

The two of you just laughed jovially, ribbing each other before you remembered you had work to do. Sans offhandedly mentioned you had three dipping choices to pick from with the brown sugar sprinkled fries, one being marshmallow, one honey, and one maple syrup. He also offered you a bit of ketchup and handed you a few packets when you agreed to try.

 

Sans checked his phone and let you know he had to leave, seeing how late it was.

 

“Oh, hey, did you go in my room recently? Or maybe like, return laundry to me?”

 

Sans frowned and shook his head. You didn't seem happy at that and crossed your arms, thinking to yourself.

 

“...why? what’s up?”

 

“It's probably nothing, I might just be like, digging to into the paranoia, but I feel like my stuff’s being messed with-"

 

“like what.”

 

Sans didn't look happy.

 

“N-Nothing too big. Clothes have been folded in a way I don't fold and like, I'm pretty sure my nightstands have at least been gone through, stuff isn't how...I put it. There's method to the madness and-"

 

“if your clothes have been folded different that means they’ve been dug through. are your underwear all there? did your uh...stuff get tampered with?"

 

You got a bit flustered at that and you wouldn't quite look him in the eyelights. “I-I don't think I'm missing anything, and I didn't know so I just kinda…tossed or cleaned em. Its just, I don't know what's going on and it's making me paranoid because god what if this is happening in my sleep and-"

 

“do you want me to talk to them?”

 

“NO!! No, no, god, no. Not...not yet. Not until I have...evidence.”

 

Sans gave you a confused look.

 

“Listen just...if this is all just...me, and my head messing with me, I don't want them to be blamed for it. Just...just wait, and I'll let you know. God, so many of them don't even like me, last thing I need is more fuel added to the fire.”

 

The skeleton grumbled a bit before nodding, and you bent down to press a kiss to his forehead, his cheeks dusting a nice powder blue. “Thanks for having my back though. You need to head out soon, I have to patrol.”

 

Sans wanted to stay, but...he really had to work on the machine. Sighing, he gave you one last grin before teleporting back home, to the basement where Stretch and Mutt were waiting. Rolling his shoulders, the skeleton grabbed a magic solder.

 

“alright, we're burning time, let's get busy.”

 

….

 

“...W-we were waiting on you. We don't have...any blueprints to this.”

 

“ah, shit. yeah. you wouldn't, huh?”

 

---

 

When morning came, Sans was seated at the breakfast bar, watching you work your proverbial magic. He was bone tired , and you were, too, but you had decided to make breakfast for the whole house.

 

And Sans would be damned before he missed out on one of your breakfasts.

 

When you cooked, it was always a meal and a show. One he rarely caught because of conflicting schedules. However, the Angel must have blessed them because here he was, nursing on his coffee while you belted the lyrics to whatever radio app you had playing and jived to what you felt.

 

Sans was content.

 

You were making pancakes and singing something that had to be from the 80s as Black stalked in, freshly awake and followed by Mutt who was looking exhausted. Before either could say anything to break you out of your musical performance, Sans pressed a finger to his lips-his teeth?-and hushed the two.

 

He noticed you hold a hand out, a plate stacked with some blueberry pancakes balanced on it. Sans easily levitated it over to the kitchen table with the other three platters, one with banana, one strawberry, and one with bits of maple sausage mixed in. Seems to him you were on your last few pancakes worth of batter and you were adding cinnamon and vanilla to this batch.

 

It wasn't long until you were done, with the pancakes and you dancing, and you had a whole spread ready for breakfast just as Papyrus and Blue entered, who quickly went about rousing the whole household. Sans glanced over at Black, who, while he was a bit upset that he hadn’t been the one that cooked, seemed to enjoy your musical performance featuring the likes of Soft Cell and Caesars. He shot the shorter monster a sly wink and he grumbled before moving to sit at one of the heads of the table.

 

Axe-Butch came soon, followed by his brother, who sat next to you in your spot, and soon the rest filed in. When Red, Edge, Blue and Stretch sat down, you stopped chatting excitedly with the two more frightful monsters about their invitation over to the neighbor’s for lunch and grew quiet. You had a plate with one of each kind slathered in syrup and you were trying inhale your food.

 

Sans frowned. Everything you’d been telling him about the four from the past few weeks was ringing in his skull. He hoped today would go well for you.

 

After bidding you goodbye, needing to go teach at an assembly, Sans left, but not before mentioning that he was a text away if you needed backup. Papyrus had said something similar later when he left to go to college, squeezing your hand before leaving.

 

Around noon, Casey and Viktor came and got Butch and Hickory, taking the two over to their house.

 

It wasn't until you'd finished the dishes, Black watching from the counter with sharp eyes, that the sense of being outnumbered hit you. There were four monsters in this house that wouldn't blink if you'd die. You hoped Black and Mutt would be on your side if worse came to worse. They were pretty...neutral towards you. Black at least enjoyed bossing you around the kitchen as his sous chef sometimes when he cooked. Mutt occasionally sat and enjoyed the quiet in the back porch with you early in the mornings while drinking tea or coffee.

 

You shook your head as you dried the plates and went to go play some video games. You were tired, but you wanted to have some fun before crashing. You slunk off to the game room, finding Mutt already there and looking through the collection. He jumped a bit when he saw you, but quickly went back to looking.

 

“...If you wanna play, you're more than welcome.”

 

“n-no, it's okay.”

 

“Seriously. I have multiplayer games if you wanna play with someone. Fronk Launching is great with friends.”

 

Mutt gave you an apprehensive look.

 

“Papyrus, I don't bite unless it's consensual, and as far as I know, nothing else in here bites as well.”

 

“EXCEPT FOR ME.”

 

Behind you, Black was leaning against the door frame, unamused.

 

“Uh, I'd appreciate if you didn't.”

 

The shorter monster bristled, his face turning mauve.

 

“T-THAT'S NOT- NEVERMIND! MUTT DOESN'T HAVE PERMISSION TO PLAY.”

 

“Yes he does.”

 

“YOU NEVER GAVE IT.”

 

You blinked. “What do you mean? He doesn't need my permission to play, everyone is welcome to em. Just like. Don't break anything.” Frowning, you added “Wait, have you both not been playing despite wanting to because I didn't say you could?”

 

The taller skeleton shuffled nervously while his brother tapped a heel. “OF COURSE!”

 

“Oh.” You were quiet for all of one moment before you blurted out an apology. “I'm sorry. I should have clarified that with you. Had I known, I absolutely would've said it was okay.”

 

Black simply huffed. He seemed like he was trying to stay stern but, also looked relieved. “YOU ARE FORGIVEN. THOUGH I...DO SUPPOSE WE SHOULD HAVE ASKED. THE THOUGHT JUST NEVER OCCURRED WHEN YOU WERE HOME.”

 

After shrugging and mumbling that you understood, you stepped to the side and invited them both to play some party games. You just picked up a copy of Crash Team Racing not long ago that you were wanting to stream with Sans and Papyrus, but you'd been busy. After setting the game, plugging in some controllers and setting up multiplayer, you went to select your character.

 

...Your choices didn't change.

 

After being gentler, rougher, and smacking the hunk of plastic in your hand, you noticed the vanity lights weren't working.

 

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, always with this one. You two go ahead and play so you can practice. I'm gonna see if I can't get this one working…”

 

The two acknowledged you as you left the studio, winding the cord up as you went. You knew you had a screwdriver for the thing. Probably in your room.

 

You jogged up the stairs, glancing at the now occupied rooms as you passed them in the hall. And then...you heard it.

 

You stopped, not far from your door, listening as you heard shuffling. Rustling. A shoe scraping the corner of something-your bed?

 

Your skin prickled. Someone was in there.

 

They found you. Broke in. Came to take you. To kill your friends. Danger. DANGER.

 

Stop.

 

WONT STOP. FOUND YOU. KNOWS. COMING COMING COMING TO TAKE TAKE YOU TAKE YOU BACK HURT YOU BREAK YOU GOING TO KILL KILL KILL THEM ALL NO ONE LEFT GOING-

 

STOP.

 

Squeezing your eyes shut, you mentally began walking backwards out if this trap.

 

Papyrus is at college. He will be having a sleepover at Undyne’s. He is safe, he can protect himself, he is strong. Sans is safe. Public work, he can teleport, he'll be fine. You lock the windows and doors, and that demon doesn't know where you are. That you're even alive .

 

They're safe.

 

You're safe.

 

But oh, are you pissed.

 

Panic attack and potential PTSD issue avoided, you took a deep breath and slammed open your room, making the skeleton inside jump. Your eyes narrow at the bandana’d culprit standing in front of your desk.

 

In his hands, a whole lot of files. Your files.

 

You charged him, barely missing as he dodged, vaulted over your bed and began sprinting down the hall, papers in hand.

 

“GET BACK HERE YOU FUCKER!!”

 

And with that, you were off, chasing this skeleton as fast as your feet could fly. He could run faster, but you were taller and had longer legs, so you covered more ground. You followed him without hesitation over the banister and kept trying to block him off.

 

Blue sucked in a breath before yelling for his brother just as you dived for him.

 

Orange suddenly was in front of you, startling you. You jumped an-

 

CLONK

 

“shit, my jaw..!”

 

“Ow, fuck, god my head .”

 

You and Stretch both stumbled back a bit, clutching your sore spots. After a few seconds, you shook it off and were back to your mission. You tried darting around the taller monster, but Blue mimicked you. No matter which way you went, Blue made sure to keep his brother between you both.

 

“You little SHIT,” you snarled, swiping at him, “those aren't YOURS, GIVE EM BACK YOU OBNOXIOUS LITTLE-"

 

You felt a pulling sensation from your chest before you went flying, the breath in your lungs being knocked out as you slammed into a wall. There was a small side table in the way, so part of you slammed into that before it was knocked over and you were pinned, feet dangling.

 

“FUCK, my BACK.”

 

Stretch glared, one of his sockets glowing a volatile orange. His arm was extended, and he quickly slammed you back and forth into a wall a few more times before going back to pinning.

 

“i have had it with your shit, human.”

 

“WELL I'VE HAD IT WITH YOURS!! YOUR PRICK BROTHER HAS BEEN GOING IN MY ROOM AND DIGGING THROUGH MY SHIT!”

 

Blue look like he wanted to protest, but instead chose to focus his attention on the files in his grip.

 

“THESE ARE THEIR MEDICAL FILES.”

 

Your blood chilled and you began writhing.

 

“bro, go put those ba-"

 

“DON'T YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEIR STATS?”

 

You continued struggling as Stretch seemed to consider it for a moment before nodding, shuffling over to have a look.

 

“YOU MOTHERFUCKIN SHIT STAIN IF I COULD MOVE I'D THROW YOU OUT A FUCKIN WINDOW!! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU TWO! I'M GOIHHHHHKK-”

 

The pressure in your chest increased, and you felt like you were being suffocated. You struggled harder. You could briefly see your stats as you tried to think of an escape.

 


 

LV: 3̴̟̮͕̯͕̲̥̬

 

ATK: 7

 

DEF: 9

 

EXP: ?̡̮̬̦̮̪̦̕͟ͅ?̵̗̺̪͖̯̪̳͖͖͚̝̞͖̗ͅ?͏̡҉̻̺̹̣

 


 

Coughing a bit, you noted your stats weren't about to do jack shit in terms of helping you. You squirmed a bit, before doing the only thing you could.

 

You started screaming.

 

Shrieking and thrashing and pitching as much of a fit as you could, you would not make this easy. After a moment or two, a door slammed open and Edge stalked down the hall towards you, followed by Red. He was about to snap at you, but then probably noticed you couldn't very well pin yourself to the wall and have your feet dangling. There was slight confusion before he whirled his attention over to the asshole brothers.

 

“YOU! ASHTRAY! PUT HIM DOWN, I'M TIRED OF THIS INSISTENT SCREAMING!”

 

“nah. kid took a swing at my bro, they can chill there.”

 

“I was aiming...for the shit he stole!” you gasped out.

 

“ ‘sides, you might wanna have a look at this stuff. might tell us why their stats are freaky.”

 

Your stomach dropped as Edge looked genuinely interested, marching away from you to snatch a folder up and begin looking through. So you reverted back to your old tactics of ‘Screaming’ because you didn't really have many other options.

 

“UGH, WILL YOU SHUT UP?!”

 

“No!! Fuck you!!”

 

“RED, GAG HIM.”

 

“wit’ pleasure, boss.”

 

Despite your thrashing and gnashing teeth and yelling, something was shoved in your mouth that made you want to puke. It was cloth, of that you were sure, but it smelled abhorrent and the taste was disgusting. It was slightly crunchy too.

 

“FEH. LOOKS LIKE THERE WAS A GOOD USE FOR THAT SOCK AFTER ALL~”

 

Oh my god, you wanted to hurl. Your thoughts were buzzing and though you tried to scream, it was muffled well and you still couldn't get down.

 

The fear from earlier was creeping back. Your brain was turning to static.

 

And then they began to find things.

 

“HEY, RED! COME LOOK AT THIS! WHAT'S THIS MEAN?”

 

“...holy shit. paranoid schizophrenia?”

 

Locked.

 

“DEPRESSION!”

 

No sun.

 

“hm, post traumatic stress disorder.”

 

No food.

 

“ANXIETY.”

 

Back.

 

“hallucinations...”

 

BACK.

 

“-come on, let's see if- WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE GREAT QUEEN TORIEL IS FUCKING GOING ON?!”

 

Eyes snapping open, that you hadn't even realized you closed, you focused on Black leaving the game room and storming over to you.

 

Pinned, gagged and on the verge of a breakdown.

 

“THE BLUE BRAT FOUND SOME INTERESTING FILES IN THE HUMAN’S ROOM, COME HAVE A LOOK, IF YOU WANT.”

 

The shortest skeleton stared at the group, then glanced up at you.

 

You were pleading with him.

 

“...MUTT, FETCH.”

 

Your heart joined your stomach as the taller brother vanished for a brief second and-

 

“AWW!!” “hey!!” “WHAT THE-" “you fucking asshole-"

 

And returned right back to Black, folders in hand. Did he...want to read all of them? To keep them? To not share?

 

“MUTT, GUARD.”

 

In a blur, Mutt had shoved the files up under his shirt before lighting his sockets up with magic, a smokey amber wisping from them.

 

“...I CANNOT BELIEVE THE FOUR OF YOU.”

 

The sock was yanked from your mouth, and you stretched your jaw a bit.

 

“I CANNOT FUCKING BELIEVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS THIS WAS REMOTELY OKAY FOR ONE SECOND. DID YOU UNDERSTAND FOR A MOMENT WHAT THE HELL YOU ARE DOING?! THE FUCKING HUMAN DID NOTHING TO YOU. AND YOU DECIDE THIS IS ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR?”

 

“but, the stats-”

 

“WHO GIVES TWO FLYING FUCKS ABOUT SOME NUMBERS. THEY'VE NOT ATTACKED YOU, AND FROM HOW VANILLA HAS BEEN BEING MORE PROTECTIVE AND THEY'VE BEEN MORE SKITTISH AROUND YOU ALL, SOMETHING TELLS ME YOU-"

 

“OH PLEASE!” Edge snapped, stomping over. A clawed finger was jabbed at Black as he towered over, trying to intimidate the Sans. “IF YOUR WORLD WAS ANYTHING LIKE MINE, THEN YOU SHOULD KNOW TRUSTING SOMEONE LIKE THAT IS A RISK-"

 

The stupid sharp version of your friend practically squawked as he stumbled back. You'd been aiming for Edge's eye socket, but with how fried your nerves were and the fact that you were still shaking and STILL IMMOBILE, you'd give yourself props for managing to lob a wad of nasty sock spit into his maw instead. Some even dripped down his teeth.

 

“alright, fucker, that's it.”

 

Red teleported over, about to probably choke you again when Mutt blocked him off. The two began to argue when the back door slammed open, the sound of fast feet and a lumbering pace adding to the cacophony.

 

“HUMAN!! WE COULD HEAR YOUR SCREAMS ALL THE WAY AT LADIES ANYA AND OLIVIA’S ABODE! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!”

 

“...you okay peach? wha’s goin' on?”

 

Butch and Hickory. Backup had arrived. Very spooky backup at that. The sight of the two made Red and Edge back up a bit, but tensions were still flaring.

 

Stretch still had you pinned, and it felt like he was trying to crush your ribs at this point. Your back was screaming. Your mind was buzzing and humming and the screaming wasn't helping.

 

And then, you felt...something. A shift in the paradigm. Something changed. A quick check of your stats told you all you needed to know before you wrestled your arms and legs under you and began pushing off and away from the wall until you broke free and collapsed into Mutt. Thankfully he eased you up.

 


 

LV: 6͏͍̺͖̳

 

ATK: 3

 

DEF: 22

 

EXP: ?̡̮̬̦̮̪̦̕͟ͅ?̵̗̺̪͖̯̪̳͖͖͚̝̞͖̗ͅ?͏̡҉̻̺̹̣

 


 

That seemed to make things worse, as everyone was now at war, but you couldn't care less. You stared at the floor, fists clenched.

 

“Get out.”

 

“wait, what?” asked Red, looking towards you and raising a skeletal brow.

 

“Get. Out.” you repeated. A shaky hand went out to stop the ones who had your back. “No. You four. Out.

 

“What do you mean, get out?” asked Blue, false innocence lining his tone.

 

You snapped.

 

“What the FUCK do you mean, what do I mean?? Get the FUCK out of my house! I shelter you! I feed you! I buy you things and THIS is how you repay me?? By stealing my PERSONAL documents and assaulting me in my OWN GODDAMN HOUSE?”

 

“WELL, WHERE SHOULD WE GO?” Interjected Edge, the nervous wringing of his hands betraying his scowl.

 

“How the fuck should I know? I don’t care where you go as long as it isn’t here! You can sit on my fucking porch for all I care! Not one of you is stepping foot inside until Sans and Papyrus are back and if you do, I’m calling the fucking police! I don’t care what fucking situation you’re in! Why should I? You obviously don’t care about mine!”

 

You were shaking violently and nobody in the room could tell if it was from anger, fear or embarrassment.

 

“H-” Stretch began, but was swiftly cut off

 

“I don’t want to hear one FUCKING word from you! I don’t know what you have to say, and I don’t care what you have to say-

 

Stopping short, the fact that you were nearly screaming at this point dawned on you. Taking a deep breath, you let your head fall into your hands. A large, but gentle one lightly pressed on your back, trying to somewhat comfort you.

 

“Just….. Get out. We can talk about this when Sans and Papyrus are home but for now… just leave.”

 

Chapter Text

“I...AM SORRY."

 

You coughed, smacking your chest as you tried knocking the tea free from your windpipe. Next to you, Papyrus had even jumped. The two of you had been so caught up, discussing the issues you'd had with the Bastard Bones not an hour and a half ago while he and Sans were out.

 

Sans still wasn’t back, but he had driven to his speech thing and his phone was off. It wasn't hard to figure out he was still at the conference or at work teaching.

 

Before you could say anything, Edge held up a gloved hand, silencing you.

 

“I...How I Behaved And Treated You Was, Well, Despicable At Best And Downright Vile In Reality. Not Only Was It Unfitting For A Member Of The Royal Guard, Tarnishing The Name, But As A Skeleton, My Actions Have Reflected Poorly On My Kind.”

 

You tried to pipe up but he didn't seem to notice, sockets locked onto the gloves he was twisting in his bare hands. His gloves.

 

“While It Is Of No Excuse, My World Was Quite...Different From This One. In My Universe, Kill Or Be Killed Is The Law Of The Underground. Violence Is The Answer And Kindness Is Rare...But...That Does Not Mean...It Is Right. I Am A Skeleton With Standards!! Charity Is Something Taken Very Seriously And...I Have Not Done That. I Have Been Nothing But Hostile And Judging To Your Stats And….I Should Not Have Done That. I...I Just…”

 

The sharper monster looked at Papyrus before sighing. “Nevermind. IT...IS NOTHING.”

 

You glanced between the two before nudging your friend, jerking your head towards the kitchen doorway. “Hey Papaya, can you go give Barth some food? I'm sure he's eaten all of it by now.”

Papyrus looked like he wanted to protest, but after a tick, he nodded, giving you a firm pat before standing. “I WILL RETURN SHORTLY!! I WILL EVEN CHANGE OUT HIS WATER!”

 

“Thanks bud.”

 

Edge watched his doppelganger see himself out, before turning his...very anxious attention back to you.

 

“...There's something that caused this, in a sense.”

 

The monster stared at the floor before nodding.

 

“Tell me what it is. Whatever started the problem you had with me, it needs to be addressed.”

 

There was a mumble from him.

 

“I Hate….How Everyone Is Mocking Me.”

 

...Mocking him?

 

“Everything From My Style And Clothing To My Mannerisms Are Mocked. The Nickname I Was Given Even Reflects That. Edge . Like My Life And Hardships And Personal Demons Can Be Waved Away By Saying I'm Being Dark and Brooding. It Really Takes The Piss Out Of...Anything I Do. Then I Get Called Edgy, Edgelord, Shadow the Edgehog-! It's Just! It's Frustrating And Too Much And I Feel Like A Laughing Stock.”

 

“...Holy shit. Papyrus I am...I'm really sorry. I didn't even think about how that name probably insults you-"

 

“And You know What's Better?” he croaked. “The Fact That If I Brought Up ANY Of These Problems With Anyone, That It'd Be Treated Like A Joke. I'd Be Told To Suck It Up, Or Mocked, Told That I Was Being Bitchy. No One Would Care, And I'd Have To Just Swallow My Emotions.”

 

“Dude...I'm so fuckin sorry.”

 

“I Lashed Out At You, And For That I Am Very, Very Sorry. I Also Humiliated and Did Nothing to Help You. However, I Also Feel I Am Being Pushed To The Limit And Never Quite Felt...Welcome. If Need Be, I Will Take My Eviction With No Chip Off My Shoulder, But….Please...Forgive My Brother And Let Him Stay. He Only Has One HP, And At Least I Know He's Safe Here.”

 

You both sat in silence for a while. You stared into your mug of tea while he wrung and pulled at his gloves, fear and anxiety eating him alive. Eventually, he turned, nodding his head and leaving the kitch-

 

“I accept your apology. And...And I forgive you.”

 

The skeleton spun back, sockets wide. “Y...You Do? No Offense, But...Why?”

 

You sighed, motioning for him to take a seat. “Look, what you did and how you treated me was shitty. But...well, I've been an ass to you. I snapped at you, I've called you Edgy and Edgelord more times than I've done laundry this month and, well...I never did treat you fairly. So...I'm sorry as well. I apologize, Papyrus, for how I singled you out and how I behaved at times.”

 

“...You Are Forgiven.”

 

The two of you fell into a quiet again. Tensions were still high, and you were wound tight, so he didn't want to press his luck. You also kept putting a hand to your back, likely where Stretch had slammed you so many times. Edge-...Papyrus soon, hesitantly, took a seat next to you. You flinched a little, and he acted like that didn't hurt.

 

“...Do You...Have Any Nickname Ideas For Me?”

 

That made you look up. “You want to try one?”

 

“I-IF IT IS ADEQUATE ENOUGH TO MEET MY STANDARDS!!”

 

His huffy attitude made you snort and shake your head good naturedly. “Lemme see what I got, ‘Pyrus.”

 

You began to think, mulling over what you knew of him.

 

The guy had a sharp wit. You'd absolutely admit to that. While he'd made Red act like a bit of a lackey, you had no doubt he wouldn't hesitate to get his gloves dirty if need be. Though he'd probably be less than thrilled. He reminded you almost of a hardboiled detective from those old shows. It wasn't difficult seeing him in a suit, drinking cognac and glaring out a window at the rain.

 

...or maybe you were thinking of a mob boss with a glass of wine and a cat on his lap. You’d admit, either could work.

 

The click of his heeled boots on the tile reminded you also of how he was obviously quite fashion forward. He had style, and what he'd brought home from the thrift store was mended or altered in a way to closer suit his tastes. He was rocking a pair of leather pants and long red stiletto boots for fuck’s sake. He looked like a rock star, or a well-put together villain. He also was pissed you took him to a thrift store, obviously preferring high brands and dollars.

 

A name came to your mind that suited him perfectly.

 

“How about...Noir.”

 

The skeleton lifted his head in surprise. “NOIR…?”

 

He mulled it over, saying the word a few times before puffing out his chest and placing a hand on it in a flourish. “WHY, THAT NAME IS NOT AS GREAT AS MYSELF, BUT AS IT COMES CLOSE ENOUGH, I'LL ALLOW IT!! NOIR IT IS!”

 

He then settled into a scowl. “TELL ANYONE ABOUT MY EMOTIONAL VOMITING AND I WILL TAKE YOUR KNEECAPS IN YOUR SLEEP.”

 

“Bold of you to assume I have any.”

 

A smile twitched on your lips and he quirked his own before your Papyrus entered, beaming at you. He expressed how grateful he was you two at least partially mended bridges and that he had fed Bartholomew his greens. It was then you introduced him to Noir, letting him know this was the sharper skeleton’s nickname from then on.

 

After a while, Noir turned to you, looking a bit remorseful and sheepish. “I Know I'm Probably The Last One To Apologize, But I'm Thankful That You Still Forgave Me-”

 

“Actually,” you piped up, “so far you're the first one. The only one.”

 

“...I BEG YOUR FUCKING PARDON?”

 

You nodded. Papyrus did as well. “Yeah. The only one who came back in other than you was Stretch, and he just had the worst luck. Teleported in front of me while trying to sneakily grab his cigarettes.”

 

“SO THAT'S WHY HE WENT FLYING OUT THE DOOR…”

 

“Yeah. You guys aren't that heavy.” You drank the last of your tea, setting the mug aside. “Regarding your brother, seeing uh...well he's done... more to me. Not so subtly threatened choking me, and then there was the fucking sock, his attitude...well. Your apology won't tally for him.”

 

Noir seemed appalled at hearing his brother had grabbed your throat at one point, quickly admonishing the thought that he'd been told to act that way.

 

Your eyes caught the reflection of something bright blue in the metal of your spoon, and speaking of choking , Blue was there, peeking his skull into the kitchen.

 

Papyrus wrestled the bent utensil from you as he sidled up next to you, unaware at how he'd been the cause of death for two pieces of flatware.

 

“W-WELL, HUMAN, I THINK IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO APOLOGIZE, RIGHT?”

 

You kept quiet, your eyes staring down at him, the cold in them making him shiver. You watched him begin to sweat, light blue beads of magic forming on his skull. He didn't say anything.

 

“...Well? Then apologize.”

 

The fact that, for a moment, he seemed entirely thrown off, suggested he didn't think he was going to be the one saying sorry.

 

Like you fucking owed him one.

 

“O-OH! RIGHT, I'LL GO FIRST.”

 

Yeah. You called it.

 

“HUMAN, I DIDN'T MEAN IT IF MY ACTIONS MIGHT HAVE HURT OR OFFENDED YOU IN ANY WAY. I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE TRAUMATIZED PREVIOUSLY, AND IF I HAD I-”

 

You stopped listening.

 

Blue went on for several minutes, describing how he “didn't mean to hurt you” and “was hurt by the things you said too, you know.” You zoned out, letting the self centered brat talk all he wanted.

 

He didn't  even say ‘Sorry’ or ‘I Apologize’. What a fucking toolbag...

 

When he finally finished, all you did was ignore him, standing up and going to wash and dry your mug. The kitchen was quiet again, Papyrus giving Blue a disheartened look and Noir looking...genuinely offended.

 

“BLUE YOU DUMB SLUT, THAT WAS THE MOST ABHORRENT EXCUSE FOR AN APOLOGY I'VE EVER HEARD.”

 

The short skeleton's jaw dropped.

 

“H-HEY, DON'T CALL ME THAT!”

 

“WOULD ‘MORONIC TROLLOP’ BE BETTER?”

 

Before it escalated more, you held a hand out towards Noir, letting him know you had this before turning back to Blue.

 

“Why do you believe you are above apologizing to me?”

 

The short monster stiffened. “I DON'T!!”

 

“Then do it right or leave.”

 

He only deliberated for a moment before slinking back out of the house. You rolled your eyes before putting your mug up and leaving the kitchen, heading back up to your room to lie down and ease the pressure off your injury.

 

You really, really missed your percocet sometimes.

 

Grumbling, you flopped on your bed, face first into the pillows. You couldn't wait for Sans to get back so he could throw those fuckers out.

 

...well. Noir was fine, at least. Hell, with what you'd found out about where they once lived, you'd even give Red a pass, but he would have to apologize really fucking well.

 

Now that you thought about it, Red had been a weird...grey area. He'd been a massive dickpunch of a guy at times, but he also tried flirting with you once or twice.

 

…what even was his issue with y-

 

KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.

 

Sighing, you sat up before calling Papyrus in. You'd worked with the brothers and they made their own knocks so you could tell it was them long ago. Your mind had a tendency of fucking with you, making you think there was an intruder or that you were hearing things. So you all worked out a system so the brothers could let you know who it was.

 

The tall skeleton, your closest friend, stepped inside, closing the door behind himself with a click before joining you on your bed. You were both quiet for a while before Papyrus croaked out, very quietly, an apology of his own, throwing you through more loops than you'd thought you'd go through today.

 

“Human…Friend I Am So Very Sorry For All Of This…”

 

“Pap...Hon you didn’t do anything…”

 

“BUT I DID!” he cried, gently grabbing your hands in his own and squeezing. “You Told Us NUMEROUS Times About How They Treated You! I Saw The Bruises, I Healed Them! You Told Us So Many Times How Hostile They Were And We...Sans And I…”

 

Your heart sank, watching as your friend became choked up, magic pooling in his uneven sockets. “Paps, hey…” You squeezed back, gently butting your forehead against his. “Sugar Skull, it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything to harm me. You didn’t cause any of this.”

 

“No...But I Feel As If I Enabled Their Behaviour By Not Telling Them To Stop! Sans And I Thought They Would Stop Or You Would Talk It Out And Now You’ve Taken DAMAGE From Them And I Just Can’t Believe Any Of Them Would Hurt You Of All People, You Did Nothing And They Didn’t EvEN GIVE YOU A CHANCE AND THEY HURT YOU AND STOLE YOUR STUFF AND-”

 

You grabbed him, hugging the skeleton close and resting your cheekbone on his temple. You softly shushed him, pressing a kiss to the crown of his head. “Paps, hon, it’s okay. We’re talking about it now. It’s a little late but...but there’s a chance some of us can work this out. Noir and I already did and...after what he told me about their world, I might even forgive Red. Maybe. Uhm, I dunno. I want to but it’ll be a hard thing to do...We might have to work it out over a longer point of time….But I’d heartily take him over Stretch and Blue.”

 

“Sans Has Proposed A Meeting Between Us...And...Well, I Want You To Know, However You Stand, I Will Be Behind You On Any Choices And Demands. It’s....The Least I Could Do.”

 

Your hand went to his skull, comforting words on the tip of your tongue as a pounding came from your door, both of your heads shooting up to look towards it. You stared for a moment before you heard scolding, probably from Noir as he berated someone for knocking so violently. Another knock came, this one a bit quieted, but very...sharp. Hesitantly, you called for them to come in. In came Noir, followed by…

 

“Red…”

 

The squat skeleton had his arms crossed and he huffed, glaring at you. However, at Noir crossing his own, Red cursed and trudged over, standing before your bed.

 

“...Sorry.”

 

“NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT, YOU WILL APOLOGIZE AND YOU WILL MEAN IT, BROTHER!”

 

You frowned, holding a hand out to Noir. “Yo, no. If he doesn’t wanna apologize, it’s whatever. I would rather have a sincere apology than a shitty, half-assed and condescending one any day. Ah, maybe just try leaving him be. If he wants to say sorry, he’ll do it.”

 

Noir growled, before huffing. “VERY WELL. IF YOU WILL...ALLOW ME, HUMAN, I’D LIKE TO MAKE DINNER TONIGHT. TO APOLOGIZE FURTHER FOR MY OWN ACTIONS.”

 

You tilted your head before agreeing, with the exception you watch. He agreed and, within a half hour, you were downstairs, seated at the table while Noir began cooking. You offered to help, but he nearly snapped at you, stating that there was no sense in you helping his apology and to “PLEASE REFRAIN FROM TOUCHING ANYTHING, THANK YOU.”

 

A few times, you watched Red come in the kitchen, trying to strike up conversation with his brother, only to receive cold shoulder after steely glare. Noir must really have been upset with him…

After a while, with you humming some song to fill the quiet, tense air, Red instead approached you. He didn’t say anything for a while, but then, very quietly, you heard it.

 

“...’msorryihurtyou…”

 

You looked over, but his eyelights were locked on Noir. “...I don’t feel like you really are. Plus, like...you’ve been kind of a dick.”

 

“I said I’m fucking sorry, didn’t I? What more do you want?!” he hissed. “My bro hasn’t been this pissed with me since I locked Doomfanger out of the house. Accept my apology so he stops...hating me.”

 

“...You don’t really think he hates you, do you?”

“ ‘course he does. Look at me. Begging for a human’s forgiveness like a bitch.”

 

“You know...when he apologized, he didn’t even ask to stay. He wanted you to be able to stay. He was worried about you, not himself. Maybe...I dunno, show me and him somehow you mean it when you say sorry; That he had reason to have faith in you.”

 

The monster eyed you, that golden tooth of his flashing in the light as it was getting worried.

 

With that, he teleported away.

 

You paid no mind as you went back to watching his brother, who had stopped chopping and was instead watching you in return. He was still for a moment before quickly returning to cooking. In return, you went back to humming, zoning out after some time. Humming turned to soft singing as Noir continued cooking the beef burgundy.

 

“This is the captain of the Pike

Are you receiving me alright..?”

 

You hadn’t realized your eyes had closed, or how long it had been, until someone cleared their throat next to you. Peeking your eye open revealed the mug of Red, who was back and had an...odd look in his eye sockets. In his hand was-

 

You jolted backwards as the skeleton shoved that disgusting sock of his in his mouth. He gagged for a bit, before choking it down, swallowing hard before coughing and hacking and falling onto his hands and knees on the floor.

 

“Holy FUCK, dude are you OKAY?!”

 

Even Noir was gawking as he gagged a bit before answering, Red keeping his head down. “I...I’m fucking sorry. Please forgive me. I was a total dickmunch, and I treated you with nothing but hostility.”

 

“Jesus, yeah, you’re forgiven! Quit grovelling and stand up! Do you need water? Whiskey?”

“Whiskey.” was all he grumbled as you scurried to the cabinets to get him the bottle, which he took two swigs from. “Ya really forgiving me?”

 

“I doubt you’d eat a nuclear sock if you weren’t sincere. Just. Next time...don’t be a dick..? I get where your attitude is coming from but...You don’t have to worry about that now. I had a shitty past too, but it’s still not cool to harass and fuck with people.”

 

Red hesitated before nodding, taking another drink.

 

Headlights shone through the window, and you heard the garage open and close before Sans suddenly appeared in the kitchen, breathing heavily. His eye light was flickering from white to blue, him obviously trying to keep his cool. He took one look at you before hurrying over, gently grabbing you arms.

 

“kid. buddy. you okay? pap told me everything and stars, I am so damn sorry. I can’t believe that this happened.” He turned to the other skeletons in the room before you stopped him from giving a piece of his mind and magic, filling him in on the events with Noir and his brother as Papyrus strolled in, helping set the table. Sans seemed a little skeptical, but after ‘nicely’ letting them know that he was in charge, he made them promise not to act out like they had again, lest their ribs be used to help repair the machine.

 

“They’re fine,” you assured him. “It’ll take a long time before I fully am...comfortable with them, but these guys are the lesser of four evils. Sans, Stretch and Blue CANNOT stay here.”

 

“I AGREE!” you heard Papyrus chime in. “THEY HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES UNFIT ROOMMATES AND CAN’T STAY HERE. I’M POSITIVE UNDYNE AND ALPHYS OR EVEN THE KING CAN FIND THEM A PLACE, BUT HERE SHOULD NOT BE IT!”

 

Sans took a slow, steady breath before giving you a level stare, which immediately filled the pit of your stomach with dread.

 

“Pal...we can’t throw them out. they have to live here so I can keep tabs on everyone and have extra people to work on the machine.”

 

“No…” Was all you uttered as you shook your head in disbelief.

 

“ 'm sorry, but Stretch and Blue are here to stay.”

Chapter Text

A few days had passed and you were really glad you cleaned out your car.

 

When Sans told you that those two...abusive, manipulative dickwits were here to stay, you had gotten angry.

 

Very, very angry.

 

In a fit, the two of you yelling back and forth (you demanding they stay 100 yards from the house and Sans claiming that ‘if you would just calm down and listen he had plans’) you had gotten up from the table, knocking your chair over, and stormed up to your room. When Sans saw you come back down a moment later, your arms laden with some blankets and pillows, he was confused. Until you snapped at him, stating since you didn't feel safe in your bed that you'd sleep in your car, and with that, you were on day four of waking up in the passenger seat.

 

Stars above, everything ached…

 

Groaning, you raised your seat back up so it was upright, your back popping several times and the snuggie you had on draping low on you. You rubbed your eyes, murmuring sleepily to yourself as you reached for your phone to turn off the alarm and-

 

“kid. we need to talk.”

 

Sans teleported to the back seat, swearing as he dodged your punch, which shattered the driver side window. Your scream morphed into a string of curses as you clutched your hand to your chest, blood dripping from the cuts and into your lap.

 

“Motherfuck!! Sans, what the shit!!”

 

“stars, kid! don't give me that, you swung!”

 

“You were in my locked car, dickweed! I just woke up.”

 

“alright, alright, sorry. get up and go inside, I'll get Pap so he can look at it.”

 

And look at it he did. In fact, when he first saw your hand, all he COULD do was look.

 

You twitched and ground your teeth down on the wooden spoon more as Papyrus eased another shard of glass from your hand. Thankfully it wouldn't need stitches, the wounds were small enough, despite being a bit deep, but they still hurt like a bitch.

 

Sans sat next to you, holding your other hand. “kid….please hear me out.”

 

You didn't say anything, and instead looked away.

 

“if you do, I'll buy you dinner tonight.”

 

...Well, maybe you could listen to him for a bit.

 

Your skeletal friend sighed in relief when you didn't leave then, knowing he had your go-ahead. He also pried the practically-destroyed utensil from your mouth.

 

“look…I wholeheartedly agree that they treated you terribly. no way around it.”

 

“It doesn't feel that way.”

 

Papyrus tapped the inside of your wrist, and when you looked to him, he pulled a small sliver from your hand as he spoke. “Human, I Know Anger Tends To Cloud Your Mind, But Can You Try The Technique We Talked About? I Am Very Great, But Even I Am No Psychic.”

 

You sat quietly, tapping your heel on the floor a few times before pinching the bridge of your nose, taking a deep breath and slowly letting it out. You repeated the process once more before answering. You needed to calm down.

 

“I…feel as if you are choosing their side over mine. It's like…despite evidence of them hurting me, and causing problems, that you either don't believe me or don't care. That you're…downplaying what happened.”

 

Sans inhaled through his teeth. “champ, I promise that's not what im trying to do. scouts honour.”

 

“You weren't even a scout.”

 

“Human, Deflecting With Humour Won't Help Right Now.”

 

“R-Right, sorry. Sans...they did awful stuff, and I don't understand why they're going unpunished and am... hurt that you want them to keep staying here.”

 

“i apologize for that. i really am sorry i hurt you this badly. i understand how you can be mad at me and i don't blame you.”

 

The two of you were quiet for a moment.

 

“....I don't want to be mad at you…”

 

Sans looked at you, and you squeezed the hand you were holding gently. He gave a softer smile, one that felt more genuine than his lazy grin. You didn't quite smile back, but the slight ease on your face let Sans know you were being honest.

 

Papyrus eased the last shard of glass from your hand, pulling it out and setting it on the dish towel with the others. “WELL, THAT'S THAT! HOW DO YOU FEEL?”

 

“Stupid, sappy and my hand stings.”

 

“HUMAN….”

 

“I punched my own car window out!! I can feel like a dumbass!!”

 

Sighing, the taller of the brothers shook his head and brought out the rest of the medical supplies. The squat brother winced as you reflexively squeezed his hand tightly.

 

“owowowow okay let's uh- let's ease up there a bit.”

 

“Why are they staying here?”

 

Sans paled when he realized what this was. “t-they need a place to stay.”

 

“Wrong answer, we can give them to the king. Try again.”

 

“i can't just turn em loose in a world different from theirs. plus like...Stretch...he's still Papyrus. I can't do that, it's throwing my brother out on the street.”

 

“I can't have him around here! He's here when I get up and leave, he's here when I come home, and even when I was sleeping in the car he would smoke in the garage!!”

 

Sans made a comment on how Blue had steered clear, you snapped back it was because he was probably planning something. Anxiously, you sipped your tea before glancing at your phone, choking on it and coughing before slamming the mug down before launching out of your stool. “Shit. Fuck. Sans, I need a lift to work, I won't make it in time after I get ready. Sorry Noir, I’ll eat when I come back!!”

 

You heard a “no problem” follow you up the stairs and a huff as you dashed to your room, quickly getting dressed and rolling on deodorant. You then hurried to the kitchen, scarfed down two granola bars, and hurried to the front door to yank your work boots on before Sans grabbed your shoulder and in an instant, you were at work, just outside the gate.

 

You thanked him, gave your friend a hug, and hurried inside. You waved to your coworker Gurigeri, who was just leaving, and punched in, sighing in relief when it showed you'd made it by two minutes. Stretching your arms and legs a bit, you proceeded to your locker, grabbed your vest, and found the bulletin stating where you were stationed today. Seeing Zone 3 made you wince a bit, but you didn't have much say. So you rolled your shoulders, grabbed a hard hat, and headed over.

 

Your brain felt like static, and you could feel your ‘work mode’ engage. Focus on the task, get it done, and do it fast. Stick to the job at hand, and you could get to lunch early.

 

And with that thought, when the first truck pulled up, you felt your toes curl in your boots, itching to bolt to it and breeze through but knowing dashing at the truck like a lunatic would look dumb. These small trucks were a blessing, and it was often joked around the warehouse that they were an omen that the shift would be an easy one. Whether or not you chose to believe in these silly workplace fortunes were entirely dependent on how much caffeine you had.

 

Though, you supposed you could need a good day, so you decided to still be appreciative to the half load.

 

 


 

 

Sans found you a few hours later hidden in your room.

 

He had just popped in to deposit some stuff Papyrus had hemmed for you, some stockings and an old tee you really liked, when he jumped a bit at seeing you curled up under your blanket, reeking of kush and shovelling a handful of fries in your mouth. Your eyes were puffy and red, and whether it was from the pot or crying was anyone's guess.

 

Though, he'd wager both, by the looks of that half empty bottle of Jameson.

 

“uh….hey buddy, you're home early.”

 

You didn't answer, but kept watching whatever episode of Monster Factory that you had on.

 

“hey...you okay?”

 

There was a quiet, mumbled response, and after a little gentle prodding, Sans was seated next to you, rubbing your shoulder comfortingly as you began getting emotional again. Your face buried in his shoulder, and Sans’s fingers massaged your scalp comfortingly.

 

You'd been fired.

 

It was something stupid, you being caught operating a forklift under instruction by the manager while not having a permit to do so. Both you and the manager were fired for the foolish action, and you'd been so distressed and not wanting to let Sans know, you had walked home.

 

“I should've declined and got someone else,” you had whimpered, “but I was so close to my raise and getting a promotion, I just...I wanted to prove myself and seem competent. Really send it home, ‘yknow?”

 

Sans rubbed your shoulder and consoled you as best he could. He was upset, and what happened was sad but….a small seed of fear began blooming in his sternum. You working that second job was the reason the lights even stayed on this month. They needed the money that job provided. It wasn't great, but only so many places would hire you, and a lot of them payed much worse.

 

On the bright side, he was relieved you wouldn't injure your back with a falling shelf anymore.

 

On the other, his mind flashed to the bills Papyrus had in the filing cabinet, and the late fee he'd have on his car's tags. Text books, food for 13, insurance, gas money, repairing your window…

 

“shit…” he murmured, rubbing his skull as the numbers only increased and the funds to cover them would dwindle. He lifted his head when he saw yours shoot up, eyeing your door intensely as he heard a slight scrape. He had to ease you a bit, murmuring how he wasn't mad, and that he was sorry, and how they would all figure everything out. And as something sparked in his mind, Sans had a feeling he wasn't wrong. Noir had actually spoken to him after you'd left, and he had a very, very good idea.

 


 

“...work?”

 

Red and Stretch both stared at you and Noir in disbelief, while Blue looked more like you had ended his summer vacation after day 3.

 

“YES. WORK. RED, YOU AND I KNOW HOW EXPENSIVE A HOUSE IS, AND I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE AMOUNT PAID ON THIS PLACE. SO, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, WE AS WELL AS THE ASHTRAY AND CHILD HAVE TO GET JOBS IN ORDER TO PULL OUR WEIGHT.”

 

“hey, that's not fair! why d'we gotta pay rent and stuff?”

 

Sans rubbed his temples in exhaustion. “look, Noir is the only one who has to pay rent. however, you all are in charge of a different bill of some sort. you aren't living in our house for free. Red, you're paying for the groceries as per your brother's request, Stretch has internet, and Blue has utilities.”

 

Stretch tried making an excuse about not having papers to get jobs, but Sans easily shot him down while you watched with a grin, your housemate stating he'd have papers for everyone by the end of the week. Red seemed to quietly accept his punishment but Blue, he was another story.

 

“WHAT ABOUT AXE AND CROOKS?!”

 

“Butch and Hickory you little runt.”

 

“Whatever. WHAT ABOUT THEM?!”

 

“What ABOUT them?” you snapped back. “So far they haven't been shitty to me in the slightest. They have been model guests next to Black and Mutt. They're both not paying rent unless they want to, but I think they still need adjustment time.”

 

“THAT'S FAVOURITISM!”

 

“And?” you bluntly questioned.

 

“those two babysit sometimes for Olivia and Anya, and they probably...need a little help. nothing against it, but if they need meds, I don't think forcing them to have a job will help any mental problems.” Sans claimed.

 

“whatever,” grunted Stretch, as he light up a cigarette, “still favouritism. ‘sides, my bro already told us everything, and i don't think being punished for the human being out of a job is fair.”

 

Baring your teeth, your therapy chimed in the back of your head as you shoved Stretch. “Fuck off. You don't know shit, freeloader! Least I had fuckin two.”

 

Stretch stumbled a bit before turning and facing you. Magic began flaring, and Sans quietly tried getting you both to relax. Papyrus seemed to be on standby, ready to jump in and protect you both from each other.

 

“ooh, someone didn't learn their lesson, did they, lil missy?”

 

“Choke.”

 

Papyrus eased his way in then, putting himself between the two of you. It seemed to help, as you had stopped to take a breath and turned away. However, that lasted only a few seconds as Stretch made a comment about you being too chicken shit to do anything. However, his tune changed when he found his hoodie snatched up and your eyes burning into his own sockets with a lot of hate.

 

He saw them again when he tried apologizing several days later for how he acted, hoping that it would smooth any rough corners he caused.

 

And here you stood, toe to toe, eyes burning in rage at his attempt at an apology. A ‘look i said sorry’ kind of apology. You had him pulled down by the drawstrings, and there was a lot of….intent, radiating from you.

 

“I want to make myself crystal fucking clear with you.” You hissed, setting your laptop on the counter so your other hand could grab him as well. “I hate you. And I doubt I could ever fucking forgive you. You seriously hurt me and took your manipulative brother's side despite knowing he was in the wrong.”

 

“...I-”

 

“Shut your stupid ass up and listen. For once, step out of your self absorbed little bubble and hear the words coming from my mouth. You can tell when someone is lying, right? Yes or no.”

 

Stretch hesitantly nodded. You stared him in his sockets.

 

“Papyrus, the one I know, believes that everyone can be a good person. He gave me a chance. He helped me heal, and he helped me stand on my feet. The only fucking reason…” you growled, “the one and only reason I haven't taken a bat to your fucking knees, is because you look like him. I could never hurt someone that looks so much like the person I care about. But my patience isn't without its limits.”

 

The two of you stared at each other long and hard. Stretch let out a shaking breath. He could tell you were being honest. Not only in how your soul reacted, but…your cold eyes never left his. And he could feel the hate radiating from you.

 

“I was told by Sans that monsters are beings made up of souls. So I would appreciate it if you pretended to even have one.”

 

And with your piece done, you turned and walked away, back to where Noir and Red were peeking from the doorway to the living room. “C'mon you two. Let's get you a job."

 

Chapter Text

You stared quietly at the scene in front of you, laundry basket balanced on your hip. Black stared back, sockets wide and eyelights nothing more than small pips watching you frantically. The two of you stared at one another in silence until you blinked hard.

 

Okay, not the weirdest thing you'd stumbled across, that still was held by Papyrus when you caught him duct-taping Sans's sock to the jar of pickles at 4 in the morning. But still, it was pretty strange.

 

“Uh, you-”

 

“I-I CAN EXPLAIN, HONEST.”

 

Sighing, you tossed your basket to the ground and stepped through the doorway, kicking the downstairs bathroom closed behind you as you did. You quietly locked it too, it was just you and Black currently but who knew when anyone would show up in this house.

 

“Alright, shoot. Tell me why you're wearing one of my missing skirts.”

 

“Now, I Did Not Steal It-”

 

“That sounds like something someone who stole my skirt would say.”

 

The skeleton gave you a frustrated look, huffing irritably. “It Had Gotten Mixed In With My Own Laundry, Thank You.”

 

You eyed him a bit before shrugging. That sounded reasonable, a lot of his clothes were black or dark in colour, your tartan skirt getting thrown in accidentally wasn't too far-fetched. You hummed quietly, plucking up one of the clips on the counter. Seems he was using these to cinch the much too big clothing to his bones.

 

“Maybe so. Doesn't explain you wearing it though.”

 

The skeleton sputtered a bit, face blooming mauve, before snapping. “WHATEVER. YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND ANYWAYS.”

 

“Really?”

 

“REALLY! NOW SHUT UP ABOUT AND DON'T MENTION IT AGAIN!”

 

You raised your hands in a placating manner. “Hey, hey, chill, I won't. However…” You snatched the skirt's waistband and yanked on it, popping all the clips off before jerking it down and off the skeleton. When he shrieked and leapt back to get away from you, covering his pelvis with a shirt, you picked up your skirt and stood, tossing it in your basket before picking that up.

 

“If ya ever wanna talk, my door is open,” was all you said before you stood straight and left. You closed the door behind you as you left and went back to your room, dumping all the clothes back in the hamper.

 

You'd do them another time.

 

Glancing around at the rest of your room, the Need To Be Productive was still coursing. That stack of folders could use reorganizing and refiling, that cup could be washed, that bottle could be tossed, Bartholomew could use a nice snack, that bottle could be tossed, you could finally put away those halloween bits and baubles, you could toss that bottle-

 

Your brows furrowed. One, two…

 

Cheeks warm, your mouth pulled into a grimace. You counted twelve empty water bottles. TWELVE!! Stars know how many were in your overflowing trash bin or on the opposite side of your bed. Groaning, you rubbed your cheek, feeling the pull of stubble since you hadn't shaved all month. Your room was a disaster rivaling SANS'S ROOM.

 

Standing around, you yanked and tugged at your ear before finally giving in and huffing. You trudged downstairs, snatched a bin bag from the drawer and grumbled your way back to your room.

 

Man, fuck depression. Your room was rank.

 

After two hours of nothing but cleaning, picking up, vacuuming, and lots of air freshener, you stood staring at the wood floor of your room. Two trash bags sat in the center, and the curtains fluttered with the breeze from the open window, airing out Hoarder Stank and Smell Good Cleaner Abuse.

 

At least you didn't make chlorine gas this time! You learned your lesson not to several months ago when you mixed bleach and some cleaner in the toilet and almost killed your dumb self. Papyrus was very happy he was home that day.

 

Hefting your shame over one shoulder and your pet over the other, you and Bartholomew headed outside to toss your bags before going to the kitchen. You needed a snack and so did he.

 

The fridge supplied you with kale, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, some mustard greens, baby carrots, and lots of other fresh fruits and veggies. Honestly, Red being in charge of groceries was the best idea Noir had ever had. The asshole loved sucking up to his brother, so what more or less happened was Noir would compile the shopping list from everyone's requests and necessary things, and once it was given to Red, you knew it would be filled. Though anyone wanting something for themself would have to supply the extra money.

 

Pulling the baby carrots and kale out, you ripped a leaf off of arguably the Worst thing to eat raw and fed it to Bartholomew, who seemed to happily crunch through the fresh green. You munched on a carrot yourself before closing the fridge, plopping down at the breakfast bar and popping another in your mouth as you scrolled through your youtube feed, one earbud in. Any time Bartholomew finished a leaf, you'd feed him another while he chilled out on his perch.

 

You mulled your thoughts quietly to yourself, pulling a notepad over to scribble ideas. It had been a rough month, you needed to put a new drumming video up soon or your subs might leave. They'd already been spamming the stream's chats and twitter. Papyrus was as sweet as could be replying to the comments, but his patience was wearing thin. You could always go with that one song that kept being requested, but you still wanted to do something from a more recent game and while it was a good song with a nice roll it just-

 

“WHAT…IS THAT?”

 

Blinking, you swiveled around to face Noir, which confused you until you noticed the time. You'd been zoned out for quite some time, it seemed. Guess he was back from his job at the coffeehouse.

 

“A carrot.”

 

“I..- NOT THAT. WHAT IS THAT DISGUSTING THING ON YOUR SHOULDER?!”

 

“Bruh, he's just an iguana, don't be rude to Bartholomew.”

 

“WHERE THE HELL DID IT EVEN COME FROM??”

 

You beamed as Red came around the corner before halting, staring at the large green reptile on your shoulder. “He came from my room. Normally he just hangs out there since he's so old but I figured he needed a change of scenery.”

 

“is...is that a baby dragon?”

 

You snorted as Red shuffled closer, interested in Barth.

 

“Not really, though he kinda looks like one.”

 

You passed a piece of kale over to the squat skeleton, which he took with a hint of confusion. When you instructed him to feed it to the lizard, his eyelights seemed a bit brighter as he followed your instruction. When you grunted in discomfort at Bartholomew REALLY digging his claws in, Red took notice and gingerly picked up the old guy, putting him on his own shoulder so you could rub out the pain in yours

 

“man, lookatcha.” Red scritched at the big guy's neck, grinning. “all beat to hell but yer still kickin. punk as fuck. c'mon, let's veg out on the couch.”

 

Snorting, you waved him off after he grabbed the kale and left before biting into a carrot, offering Noir one as well. He took it, groaning at the pun as he snapped the snack in half between his sharp teeth.





A few nights had passed, and Black never approached you about the subject. You'd tried showing your support for him wearing skirts by getting him a few, but that all ended with him in a spitting rage, screaming at you before shredding them.

 

You took the hint and left him alone.

 

You weren't sure why he reacted that way. You tried asking Mutt about it but he just got weird about it, commenting on his brother being too macho for skirts.

 

Maybe it was a cultural thing…? No, Papyrus wore skirts sometimes, he would've mentioned it by now…

 

Sighing, you headed to the game room. You were off work for the day and you'd promised Sans and Papyrus you would all stream something together. Paps had been itching to get into MediEvil. Maybe you could figure out a song to cover from the OST..? Upon entering, however, you saw a familiar blue bandanna and felt your blood begin to boil.

 

And seeing your drum kit pulled out, set up haphazardly, without care and being treated like a toy, that made it so much worse.

 

As quietly as you could, you closed the door behind you and flipped the recording light on before stalking up to Blue.

 

Just as he was about to slam the sticks down on your baby, you snatched them from his grip.

 

“What the FUCK do you think you're doing?”

 

Blue whirled around, sockets wide upon seeing you. When he said nothing, you growled. “Well?!”

 

“P-PAPPY!!”

 

For a second, Blue looked confident, but as they continued to tick by, you began grinning and he looked worried.

 

“He can't hear you, this is where we record. Whole room is soundproof. Now answer the question.”

 

That…made him look fearful. Part of your more spiteful and vengeful self thought it was delicious to see him cower. However, the part that still saw him as Sans…it made your soul twist.

 

“I-I JUST WANTED TO PLAY WITH THEM!”

 

“Well, they're A: mine and B: Not. A. Toy. So don't. We have guitar hero drums, go play with those. They aren't worth thousands of thousands of dollars.”

 

“YOU DON'T EVEN PLAY THEM!!”

 

“Yeah, it's been a rough month and I haven’t felt desire to drum, but I do play them, and Sans and Papyrus gifted them to me. They're important and special to me. Quit acting like a child to try and get what you want, it's obnoxious.”

 

Blue's sockets narrowed at you, those cyan eyelights of his instead looking more frosty blue or white. “I'm Not A Child!!!”

 

“You could've fooled me!” you snapped. “Whining when you don't get your way, throwing tantrums and blatantly ignoring rules, being a general terror , and crying for your brother because you can't handle being in trouble. You're nothing but a child!!” You pushed him (gently, you were angry and didn't want any intent behind the action so he wasn't hurt) aside and knelt down, twisting and screwing at one of the stands for your electronic drums. Blue started to say something, but the proverbial cork had been popped and you couldn't stop.

 

“You're whiney, bratty, and a fucking pain . You think you can do no wrong, and if someone challenges you, you get your big brother to get them like a well trained guard dog. You're sneaky, manipulating, conniving, selfish, and far, FAR too clever for your own good.” The stand collapsed, and the snare was set aside for you to work on another drum. “Why do you think this is okay? What, are you mad that I told you no? That I set up boundaries?! Do you hate me because I refuse to baby you?!

 

“NO!!”

 

“THEN WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM!?” You spun to glare at Blue. “SANS, ARE YOU WANTING ME TO TREAT YOU LIKE A CHILD?? BECAUSE I CAN!!”

 

NO!!

 

“THEN STOP ACTING LIKE ONE AND BE AN ADULT!”

 

I DON'T KNOW HOW !!

 

You faltered, and Blue sobbed, those sockets that had been brimming with tears looking so pained and….scared. Magic fluid poured in big, fat drops as he heaved, shoulder blades shaking. “I...I Don't Know….I Don't Know Why I'm Like This…I dont...I can't...please, stars, don't hate me , I-” he hiccuped, choking on his words as he fell to his knees, his phalanges clawing at his skull in anguish as he stared at the carpet. Fluid leaked from his nasal cavity, and he sniffed, hacking and coughing before wailing. A quiet mantra of “sorry, so sorry, I'm evil” was being muttered as Sans curled around himself.

 

Shit.

 

Biting your lip, you very, very awkwardly patted his shoulder.

 

These weren't crocodile tears. At least, you didn't THINK they were. This was far too ugly and messy to be fake.

 

Or..maybe these were also fake?

 

You could deal with fake crying easy, this? Messy gross crying? That was out of your ability. If it were real.

 

“I'm so-ho-horry, s-so sorry. I just, I'm so tired of being treated like a chi-ild. P-Papy does it all the time, an’ he means well b-but I don't….I c-can't…”

 

His bony hands rubbed at his closed sockets, trying to stop the onslaught of tears with little luck, ripping a hitched sob from him.

 

You…sat there, unsure of what to do. Fingers anxiously picked at the carpet while you watched Blue cry.

 

“E-everyone always treats me like a child and I'm not! I'm not a kid! B-but they keep doing it and no one respects me, not even the GUARD. How am I s-supposed to be in the royal guard if they think I'm nothing m-more than a kid!?”

 

“I wanna be an adult,” he croaked, staring up at you, “b-but I don't...I don't know how..and I'm so, so sorry for what I did to you...I knew it was wrong, b-but I was curious and I wanted t-to have my way…”

 

OOF. Okay, you were so far out of you element.

 

You felt bad for Sans. Obviously he wanted to be treated like an adult, but it seemed all the babying Stretch did growing up didn't help him. It also sounded like he's probably mentioned his feelings to his brother but either he didn't care, which you doubted, or he just...didn't get it.

 

Man, being an adult and getting treated like you were a dumb kid all the time had to suck. You were lucky the only people that really did that to you were the women at the PTA, if it was day in and day out it would drive you up a wall. You guessed if being dealt a shitty hand like that you would lean into it more and act childish to get your way…..you guessed….

 

...Was all of this even real? Not the babying thing, that was obvious. He was babied and spoiled out the ass. But…he seemed CONTENT a lot of the time to dig into being a child and use it to get what he wanted. You were so...confused.

 

Plus, you never treated him like a kid, you think. You tried just, treated him like a person. When he kept grabbing for you his first 24 hours of being here, you didn't let him. You only let him touch you on your terms. You had no problems calling him out for his shitty behavior.

 

This whole…everything, it made you feel weird. You didn't know what to do. Was...was yelling at him bad? Good? Granted, unloading on him like you did WAS bad, but should you keep treating him like an adult? Or like a kid instead?

 

What was the correct thing to do here?

 

Quietly you stood and shuffled back. Blue had removed his bandana to soak up some tears, and he stared up at you with confusion and...a little hope. Like you might have the answer.

 

Welp.

 

“I'm sorry.”

 

Maybe showing him a taste of maturity would be the right way to go. Blue stared at you in obvious confusion, not understanding why you were apologizing. So you kept going.

 

“I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have yelled at you and gone as far as I did. That was a bit cruel of me, and I should have controlled my temper better. However…”

 

Those small shoulders stiffened.

 

“However, I'm also sorry to say I...Can't believe you. I can't tell if you're even being sincere or not. And so with that, though I want to believe and help you, I'm afraid I can't accept your apology."

 

The skeleton stared at you in abject horror as you began leaving. A fitful wail left him and you felt something latch onto your leg.

 

“P-PLEASE!! PLEASE BELIEVE ME! PLEASE, I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY I'M SO, SO SORRY!”

 

You stared down at him, bracing yourself on the door of the game room. You gave your leg a little flail bit he just clung tighter.

 

“PLEASE. PLEASE YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO TREATS ME LIKE AN ADULT , BY THE ANGEL, PLEASE!

 

Frowning, you pried his arms off your leg, and when he latched back on, you pried him off again before scooping his light body up and tossing him on the couch, away from you. Much to his surprise, it seemed. Your drumset was on the floor and still a mess but you'd clean and fix it up later when you had time.

 

“Then give me a reason to treat you like one now.”

 

And with that, you left. You had decided to leave the recording light on in case he needed to cry all….that out.

 

You yourself were beyond stressed and emotionally drained and your back and hips hurt, so you went upstairs to take a hit.

 

Dinner that night was was delightfully delicious thanks to Papyrus but overwhelmingly overcharged in regards to the weird air of silence looming over it. Blue didn't even come and eat.



Your bed welcomed you that night, but your dreams did not.

 

You awoke with a choked gasp, legs sprawled out and your blankets kicked off. Your chest, your soul , ached with a thrumming pain that felt like broken glass lined your chest cavity. You panted as the dark shadows painted on your ceiling grew and shrank with the curtains playing and twisting in the breeze.

 

You could still feel those hands. You could feel them clawing at your skin, making it prickle with unease as you watched the walls. You could feel the breath on your sweaty neck, and the cold, saccharine whispers in your ears, hissing about love. They loved you so much, and if you did too, you would stay forever.

 

You could see the shadows morphing. Lines from branches oozing sludge on your walls. They trickled down to the floor, and you could hear dripping beneath your bed. The air was cold and sharp and smelled of ice. Winter coming in through spring.

 

The shadowy tendrils began to wisp along your skin. You felt your limbs growing heavy. You tried shaking off the goo covering them, but everything touched was soon covered. The sludge climbed your legs and arms, slithering up your neck until you began choking on the tendril forcing its way in your mouth.

 

You screamed, but all that came from you was silence.

 

You blinked. The edges of your eyesight grew darker, and ink coloured tears rolled down your cheeks. With one last strangled gasp, you were pulled down through your bed, and into a vast nothing that devoured you.

 

Chapter Text

The darkness pulled you deeper, past any depth you could swim in safely. You struggled, trying desperately to scream and cry but you only choked and gurgled as more of the thick fluid pulling you in filled your lungs. You could see small flashes of light, blips and flickers among the nothing.

 

You were cold. Sweat beaded and dripped off you, falling up past you. Looking below you made you only struggle harder as you descended towards a floor. Tiled and cracked and filthy with stars knew what.

 

You knew that floor.

 

You hated that floor.

 

Tears added to the sweat, and instead of the black ink that had poured from you before, they appeared like bubbles. Iridescent and beautiful. Fragile.

 

Bat. Bat. Where was your bat you needed your bat--

 

The floor was frigid. Grainy. The tentacle that had your leg dragged you until you were tethered into a corner. You pulled and clawed, until your ankle bled stardust and your fingers splintered like wood.

 

Click. Thunk.

 

Thousands of eyes lit up the dark, staring down at you. Teeth, so many teeth, pulled into vicious smiles. Hungry.

 

“My darling, I'm home.”

 

You could hear the footsteps echoing around you as your name was hissed between shadows. 

 

“My love, don't fight it. You know I hate when you struggle.”

 

A thick chain suddenly bound your wrists, yanking you down so you knelt on the floor. A dainty foot pressed into your back, and what felt like nails and glass pierced your skin.

 

“You're so cute like this. Now tell me how you love me~”

 

You managed to find your tongue, snarling a slurred and slowed string of obscenities at the cold, honeyed voice. That foot pressed harder into your back, your skin burning before it eased off of you. You yanked your wrists and legs free.

 

..end...

 

Scrabbling to your feet, you sprinted as hard as you could along the tile, the cracked and dingy grey fading into black squares. The nothing began warping and melting, chains dangling from somewhere. Fragments of glass suspended in the air. The smell of rot and fester and filth clung to your skin.

 

Eyes.

 

So many, many eyes. Watching. Staring.

 

Haunting.

 

...ke u….ase…

 

Feeling the ground shake, you looked behind you to see a dark, shadowy silhouette rushing towards you, dragging SOMETHING. You could hear the scrape of something metallic against the floor, and when the shadow lunged at you, you saw what was in its hands.

 

“You are MINE. MINE AND MINE ALONE. MINE, MINE, MINE-”

 

A meat hook.

 

“MINE.”

 

The ground gave way, shattering and sending you sailing into oblivion.

 

“MINE!”

 

You fell, falling faster and faster, so fast yet your assailant was gaining on you. The splinters of the floor reflected what was happening, as you descended and they reared their arms back to plunge that hook into your-

 

“..-UMAN! HUMAN WAKE UP PLEASE!!”

 

Gasping, your chest heaved and your limbs flailed as your eyes snapped open. You felt bony arms holding you tightly and your teeth were sunk deep into a collarbone. You could taste magic, and calcium and something powdery and-

 

“Friend, Please, It Is Okay. I Am Here. We Are Here. You are home. You are safe.”

 

Your fingers clawed weakly at a set of ribs, before your emotions caught up to you and your arms dropped weakly. A sob was enough to unclench your jaw and your chew toy was eased from your maw. A wail bubbled up and a large hand gently pressed your face more into the chest of whoever you bit.

 

“Shh...Shh It's Okay. All Is Well, Human.”

 

You were trembling so violently, you could hear the bones of the skeleton holding you rattling. 

 

Your chest hurt so bad.

 

Chest? No, SOUL. That was your SOUL that ached inside you.

 

A second skeleton gently rubbed your back, making you flinch. Seeming to catch on, they shifted to your shoulder instead. You all stayed like that until daybreak became dawn, the birds outside beginning their morning chitter.

 

Leaning your head back, you looked to who you thought was Papyrus holding you, only to see beady sockets and jagged teeth instead.

 

“H-Hic-ckory..?”

 

“It's Me, I Am Here. We Are Here.”

 

“W-We? Who's-”

 

A nervous cough and voice crack came from behind you, and Mutt made himself known with a quiet mumble.

 

“Mutt Felt Your Soul's Distress And Anguish From Outside Your Room! He Went To Go And Fetch Pa-...Your Universe’s Me, And Found He'd Already Left For School. As Well as Vanilla Having Left For Work Already! So He Went And Got Me, Hoping I Might Be Of Some Assistance Since I Was, Quote, ‘the closest’ Unquote!”

 

He could...feel it? Through the door and walls?? That couldn't be, sure monsters were more sensitive to that stuff but they couldn't feel them from THAT far. 

 

Could he?

 

….Wait, hadn't you locked the door last night?

 

As if sensing your confusion, Mutt spoke up, quietly revealing he had picked your lock.

 

You weren't sure how you felt about that, but chose to ignore it. “How...could you have sensed my soul?”

 

Mutt ducked his head.

 

“ ‘m...real sensitive to that stuff. I can pick up on emotions real easy. it's...weird, I know.”

 

“H-huh…”

 

“yeah…”

 

The three of you sat there for a moment before you were overtaken by a pang of agony from your soul and doubled over, whimpering as you clutched at your breastbone.

 

Stars, you hated when this shit happened. Every time you had a night terror, or hallucination, or WHATEVER the doctor wanted to call it, it always left you in absolute anguish. You'd need to get some sort of healing item in you soon, or get Papyrus to come heal you. A quick check of your stats told you that your HP was lower than the base number.

 

So that's fun.

 

Grumbling, you massaged your chest, as if it would ease your soul's pain, and slowly went to ease yourself out of bed. You were still shaky, and you sniffed and wiped a snail trail of snot on your arm, which you wiped on your sleep pants. As you stood, though, you were surprised when a big hand reached to stop you, and you flinched away from it, skin crawling.

 

"W-WAIT! YOU ARE QUITE INJURED, AND STILL VERY MUCH RATTLED, LITTLE HOUSEMATE! LET ME HAVE A LOOK."

 

" 'm fine, Papyrus. Leave me alone. I c-can't do….I'm not okay right now."

 

That hand gripped your shoulder and your body immediately tensed, your heart thumping painfully hard in your ribcage. "I UNDERSTAND THAT, BUT-"

 

"DON'T. TOUCH. Do not touch. Touch is VERY bad right now."

 

Hickory's hand snatched itself away quickly, while Mutt instead shuffled over and...rifled through your nightstand? Oh, wait, he's handing you a blunt. Guess you needed to put some more dryer sheets in that drawer. Good thing he didn't search the one below it.

 

You weren't keen on telling Hickory about your toys right now.

 

You shook your head at the offer, holding a hand up in refusal. "C-can't. Overstimulated. The smoke will make me vomit."

 

Hickory and Mutt but looked at one another before getting up off your bed. "then perhaps…..would being left alone be alright? and we'll check on you later?"

 

You stood quietly, picking at your arm while your body felt like a live wire. Jerkily, you nodded.

 

And they left. They quietly bid you adieu and got up, Hickory taking the time to straighten your covers a bit, and left you to yourself. Once sure they left, and were a ways away, you sat on the bed and cried while eating a few monster candies kept for emergencies like this. 

 

You hardly ate pure monster food, always human or fusion. Monster food never filled you, never nourished you, just cured wounds and fixed HP if you were quick enough. It couldn't cure diseases, or kill viruses or infection, or fix past a certain point regarding physical wounds, but soul stuff? It helped a lot, like a balm on a burn. It soothed the constant pain and replenished the magic in them.

 

…It had been nice, you know. Going two months without a night terror/hallucination. But now that you had one, they'd be coming back for the next few days.

 

Tired, cold eyes full of tears met yours in the mirror, and followed the form of your hunched over body to the beginnings of several nasty scars on your side, inching in towards your back, before flicking away.

 

But it was too late, another bad memory of a blade tainted with rust and sick swinging down at your spine and the hazy ghost pains made you pull your small trash can full of crumpled papers and snack wrappers closer before spewing last night's supper into it.

 

You felt your HP drop again. 

 

Pulling your SOUL out and looking at the mess made you whimper and claw at your scalp. Your bin filled more as your mind buzzed with thoughts of shattered plates glued back with bits from other, different shattered plates. A disgusting wreck of shards and mismatched pieces. Just like that stupid, floating "heart".

 

If you could even call that mess of a shape one. Quietly sobbing, your shaking hands popped another candy in your mouth.

 

Your body still wasn't yours. It hadn't been for a long time. You should've known better than to look at your back, you were still that demon's toy. A possession.

 

Your eyes strayed to the mirror once more.

 

You will always belong to me. You will always be MINE.

 

Time passed, and with it, so did your tears. In fact, your emotions left as well. You were numb, a husk, skin still buzzing and itching just under the surface and your face puffy and red. 

 

Stars, you couldn't stay like this. This was embarrassing. You had work in a few hours, and Papyrus would be home soon, you had laundry….

 

But, you had no spoons to work with. And so, laundry would be skipped again. Hopefully a shower would help.

 

Quietly, you crept from your room, snatching what you needed from the linen closet and slunk to the upstairs bathroom. Interaction wouldn't go well right now. All that was desired was a steaming hot shower and a loofah scrub.

 

After locking the bathroom door, you stripped off your sleep pants and set about fiddling with the shower, making it nice and steaming so the uncomfortably hot water would be all you thought about.

 

You washed up, retching only once more, before turning the shower off finally and wrapping yourself up, stepping out since you had stood there so long mulling your thoughts. The towel you snatched was one that was fluffy and tan, and reminded you of hot chocolate.

 

...you still needed to take your meds…

 

Sighing, you wiped the accumulation of fog on the mirror away, assessing your appearance. Other than another zit or two coming in and the dark circles, you looked...fine. Your eyes weren't wild, skin not sallow and taut, and your skin was flush from the heat. You needed a shave, though.

 

There was also steam pouring off of you, but that was neither here nor there.

 

You crouched down, fumbling through the cabinet drawer until you found a razor. Unclipping the lid, you applied a liberal amount of shaving gel to your face and stood up, already taking a few swipes at your face before glancing in the mirror at the glowing red eye right behind you-

 

You swore when you nicked yourself pretty bad, hunching over the sink as blood seeped up on your chin. Whipping around, you began yelling and the intruder. "WHA-"

 




Butch couldn't believe his miserable luck.

 

He'd teleported into the bathroom, deciding that on day three without bathing he'd finally get to it. He had his towel, some toiletries, all sorts of things for showering. All was good.

 

He'd teleported into the bathroom to avoid stalling, only to look up from the tub and spotting the chubby, weird roommate he had in front of the mirror. And you just happened to spot him.

 

And now, you were unconscious on the tile. Slipped in a puddle at your own feet. Great.

 

Swearing to himself, the monster knelt down and checked you over, silently noting that other some scars here and there you seemed fine, just knocked out. And bleeding from cutting your face. Though you did have a knot where you cracked your head on the sink. Taking note of the wet floor, he lifted your shoulders slowly and began to pull you away from the sink to better assess you and away from the blood.

 

That was, until the door swung open.

 

And Blue stood in the entrance, staring at him, a known killer, hunched over a bloody body on the floor.

 

They were both silent for all of 3 seconds. Butch, for cursing the angel, and Blue, to let it all sink in and let dread and fear bubble through his marrow.

 




Waking up was interesting.

 

Your head hurt, throbbed and ached, and opening your eyes was a slow process. It took time for them to adjust, and the flashes of glowing things zipping past your vision made it hard to focus. The ringing in your ear was slowly changing to shouting.

 

You sat up, aware that your towel was loosely hanging onto your hips and-STARS ABOVE THAT WAS CLOSE.

 

No further than an inch from your nose and imbedded into the wall was a glowing cyan bone, launched from the skeleton charging to you with big tears in his eyes and looking terrified.

 

He was saying something, but your mind hadn't quite kicked in fully from whatever happened, so you just patted Blue's head, assuming it was an accident.

 

Looking around, you caught sight of true warzone, more bones jutting from the walls than in your body. Some distance away was Butch, stance wide and with a club of bone wider than your hips. You gave him a wave while your brain kept catching up.

 

Butch, confusedly, waved back.

 

"-nd hE HURT YOU BUT I PROMISE I DIDNT LOOK MORE THAN I HAD TO I JUST EXTRACTED YOU FROM THE BATHROOM!!!"

 

"...that wasn't what was happening, i already told you, ya little twerp-"

 

You pinched the bridge of your nose. "Slow down."

 

"-AND HE WAS PICKING YOU UP, PROBABY TO HIDE YOUR BODY AND-"

 

"...they fucking fell, bratface-"

 

Please, stars, stop arguing. Your head felt like it was splitting open. "Blue. Butch."

 

"AND HE WAS GOING TO EAT YOU!!! AND PROBABLY HIS BROTHER TOO-"

 

Butch teleported closer, and Blue stood defensively over your body. "...say that shit one more time, you nosy, mouthy little bitch. say it again, i da-"

 

Alright, that's enough. "SANS!" 

 

Both skeletons looked to you, and you braced yourself against the wall as you struggled to stand. Trickles of….something, came into mind, but your head was still battling your screaming headache. Butch and Blue, funnily enough, both seemed to try helping you.

 

"Okay, first and foremost, we're not yelling about this."

 

"BUT-"

 

"No. My head is in agony and I'm not listening to it. Second, Blue, I have no idea how long I was out for, but I need my meds. Can you run downstairs and get me a drink and today's pills?"

 

Blue hesitated before nodding and bolting off, running to fetch what you asked.

 

"Butch?"

 

"...yeah?"

 

"Couch. Please. "

 

Butch didn't teleport you, thankfully, but instead slowly walked with you, taking a lot of your unsteady weight and supporting it as he eased you downstairs to the living room to sit.

 

You readjusted your towel, thankful it had been one of the big ones you grabbed, as Blue dashed in, skidding to a stop in front of you and handing you the medications.

 

"Ibuprofen..?"

 

"For Your Head. I Also Think We Should Take You To A Doctor. Concussions Aren't Good."

 

Shaking your head, you thanked him as you took all the medicine.

 

"Now. Blue, without jumping in, I'm going to talk to Butch. Then I'll talk to you, and Butch won't be allowed to interrupt. Does that track?"

 

Blue huffed but nodded, and took the spot next to you on the couch. Butch was left with the armchair.

 

"You. You were in the bathroom. Explain."

 

And he did. Your memory was fuzzy, but he explained how he teleported into the restroom to take a bath. He apologized for scaring you, and you forgave him. He didn't know why you fell, but you vaguely remember there being a puddle on the floor from where you stepped out and dripped on the tile.

 

It made sense. To you anyway, but judging by how Blue was chomping at the bit, you assumed he had his own input.

 

"Thank you, Butch. Blue?"

 

"HE TRIED EATING YOU!!!"

 

"Blue! Yelling!"

 

"NO, YOU NEED TO LISTEN!! BUTCH, HE'S DANGEROUS! IN HIS WORLD-"

 

"Blue!"

 

"HE ATE PEOPLE! HIM AND HIS BROTHER!!"

 

You grew quiet, and Butch tensed visibly. "What do you mean he ate people?"

 

"HE. ATE. THEM. HICKORY COOKED THEM INTO SPAGHETTI AND BUTCH MADE SAUSAGES WITH THEM. HE'S A CANNIBAL!!"

 

"...Is it cannibalism if he's eating humans? Or was he like, eating monsters? Can you eat monsters? I thought you guys dusted."

 

"I..! OKAY, FIRST, HE WON'T ANSWER WHICH HE'S EATING, SO I'M INCLINED TO BELIEVE BOTH. IN HIS WORLD THERE WAS A GREAT FAMINE."

 

"Oh shit. Dude, I'm so fucking sorry, no wonder you were so hungry all the time your first week."

 

"...thanks…?"

 

"SECOND!! THAT'S…! AN INTERESTING PROSPECT, BUT I'M NOT SURPRISED YOU DON'T KNOW, BEING HUMAN. ER, NO OFFENSE."

 

"None taken, most of my life was spent thinking y'all were just. Myth. Legend. Lore."

 

"ANYWAYS! WHILE THE PROPER THING TO DO WHEN A MONSTER FALLS DOWN IS TO SPREAD THEIR DUST ON THE THING THEY LOVE MOST, THERE WAS TESTINGS DONE A FEW TIMES ON DUST THAT SHOWS IT STILL CARRIES SOME MAGICAL PROPERTIES. IT'S WHY MUFFET PUTS SPIDERS IN HER COOKING WHEN THEY'RE DYING. THEY LOVE HER BAKING THAT MUCH. THE DUST ADDS MAGIC TO THE FOOD AND IT'S ALSO A RESPECTFUL WAY TO GO."

 

"So why is that okay and like, the idea of Butch eating dust not?"

 

" THAT IS A WHOLE LEGAL CASE I WON'T DELVE INTO BUT THE LONG AND SHORT IS THAT BUTCH IS MURDERING THEM, ITS NOT THE MONSTER FALLING DOWN NATURALLY AND CONSENTING TO IT. WHICH BRINGS ME TO THREE!! STOP!! IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO HE'S KILLED, HE KILLED AND ATE PEOPLE!! DOESN'T THAT CONCERN YOU?!"

 

He had a point.

 

You thought of this picture painted by Blue, of twisted and terrifying creatures fighting each other for any scrap of food. One of humans slaughtered in the quaint town of Snowdin for their meat, something to stave off the hunger pains.

 

You thought of Butch, holding that massive bone club and standing over some poor monster, caught in one of his brother's puzzles.

 

You thought of teeth and dust. Pain, unrest and hunger. A need to eat, but fear of losing oneself. Feral instincts scratching just below the surface. Chains and fangs and magic and blood. Shattered glass and broken tiles. Venomous smiles and croons of a mad-

 

Butch, making you lunch. Hickory, risking himself saving Izzy.

 

Two skeletal brothers, who protected you from Noir and Red and Stretch and Blue.

 

Sans and Papyrus, who put their trust and faith in you to not kill them in your sleep, much like you did with them.

 

Hell, if the boys wanted you dead you would have been killed that night you stumbled home and flopped next to Butch on the couch thinking he was your buddy Sans.

 

Butch began to stand and you hurridly stood before him. "Wait. No. It's okay."

 

Butch and Blue both watched you blankly, not registering what you said at first.

 

"Look, what happened was a misunderstanding. One that solidified with me that you are both DEFINITELY Sans because none of you all know how to fucking knock ."

 

The two flushed in embarrassment and looked away.

 

"Listen, this was an accident. Nothing malicious or heinous happened, other than I think someone getting a bit more of a look at me than they wanted. Butch didnt hurt me, I slipped and fell. HOWEVER, Blue, I'm not mad at you or anything. I'm glad you jumped in to help me. It means a lot, the thought really mattered."

 

"BUT-"

 

"No, listen. You talked, it's my verdict. I'm not mad at you, and I'm not mad at Butch either. And Butch, relax, I PROMISE I'm not kicking you out or anything over this. Its okay. If anything I'm just...so very, very sorry you went through that."

 

"ARE YOU REALLY NOT BOTHERED BY THE FACT THAT HE ATE PEOPLE?!"

 

"No. And I'll tell you why." You turned to Butch. "Sans, did you have any other choice? Was this to survive an unfair circumstance? Would you not have died otherwise?"

 

Butch quietly replied what you already knew. They were starving. They had to do what they could to live. It wasn't a fun thing to do. You nodded at that response.

 

"Exactly. Blue, humans have done the same thing when they were stranded and had no other choice. People in plane crashes survived on fallen friends and family until help came while they tried to survive the snowy mountains. It wasn't a choice that was easy, but one for survival. And I'm not going to fault them for fighting to stay alive. He's haunted by what he had to do. I refuse to punish him for doing what he had to do with such a bad hand dealt to him."

 

You turned and looked at Blue. "You and your brother probably would do the same once all other options had been exhausted and you could feel hunger clawing at your body."

 

Both were quiet, and you were too. You adjusted your towel, nodded to the boys, and headed back to your room to change. You had work in an hour. You'd be training Johan's replacement and they were going to have a lot to learn, like the best routes, the codes used, how to deter curious teens and tweakers, and not to follow the glowing eyes in the woods.

 





You would never fault someone for eating. Food was important. 

 

But as you stood in the basement, the small workshop's overfilled trash can in your hand, you began hating that skeletons ate so much. Mostly because the ones that all frequented this room didn't fucking clean up after themselves.

 

You stared quietly, listening to the pitter-patter of rain outside. The yellowed lightbulb that illuminated the stairs flickered weakly reminding you that you would have to ask Papyrus to change it soon. The paper and markers that you had brought down were set on the work bench while you assessed…. all this.

 

The last time there was a storm like this coming, stupid scientific bullshit made your two housemates become 10. And as much as you enjoyed approximately seven of them, if Sans or the others somehow pulled an extra Stretch or two from another dimension, you would break out Kindness.

 

And stars knew no one wanted that.

 

God, if they pulled another Blue, there would be- no, no. Not continuing that thought.

 

Instead you were preventing that from ever happening. Opening the heavy door was easy, if you pulled up at the same time you turn the knob, the latch would pop and you were free to enter. That whole "don't go into the basement" shit ended month four of your life staying with the skeletal brothers. Needless to say, you were all wounded in some way or another. Some more than others.

 

Looking towards the back of the room you spotted your target. That fucking thing. The interdimensional what's its tits. Even from across the basement, you could make out a few open panels and a mess of bits and baubles. Damn, these guys weren't safe.

 

They weren't clean for that matter either. You could smell old food and gone-off coffee mingled with oil and sweat. Papers and blueprints were scattered everywhere, jackets and boxers had been thrown over the faded folded-up futon, and you knew that, somewhere, there was something that had spoiled.

 

Grumbling, you rolled up your sleeves and marched up the dimly-lit stairs, grabbed the laundry hamper and some trash bags, and stormed back down. There was no way in HELL you were letting these dopes work on a massive, dangerous piece of machinery with so much mess and hazards about.

 

And so you cleaned.

 

You picked up clothes and socks, stuffing them in the hamper. You gathered cups of drink and dumped them out in the sink before tossing the cups. Eight mugs. Ten fast food bags. Styrofoam take out boxes, crumpled papers, plastic sporks and sugar packets. You threw away old food that had sat from 3 days ago, with only mold gagging. You left when the first bag filled only to toss it and grab the air freshener.

 

As you cleaned, the storm rolled in closer.

 

The rain poured in sheets as you gathered more garbage, finally getting close enough to the machine that you could DEFINITELY smell that rotted food was in the area. 

 

It radiated from the machine.

 

Good gods, these guys were going to kill you all.

 

Grumbling, you paused cleaning to do what you originally came down to do. Grabbing the massive switch to the power, you yanked it into the OFF position, taking extra precaution to unplug it from its power source as well. You weren't getting any explosions or extra mouths to feed tonight.

 

You then went to the papers you brought down, grabbing the "NO WORKING ON THE MACHIME DURING STORMS" sign and- oh, dammit, there was an extra M there.

 

Grumbling, you rewrote the sign, stole some tape, and stuck it over the door over the dimensional bridger.

 

While adjusting the sign, your shoe accidentally knocked into a loose pannel, making it crash to the floor and- oh god, yup. It was there.

 

The rolling of your stomach eased slightly as you saturated the hole with cinnamon apple spray, before sucking in a deep breath, and getting on your hands and knees to look in the access point. The nerve you built up shook and trembled at the nasty patty looking burg wedged deep in there.

 

You blinked hard before grabbing a crumbled up blueprint and, using it as a make-shift glove, you reached in and yanked the fucker out, gagging at the rank smell as you hurriedly tossed it and tied the bag shut with a shudder. You took a second peek to make sure that was all before you left- what the fuck was that?

 

Frown tugging on your face, you took another look. There was something in there. Besides the wires, metal bits and circuits. Something small and white.

 

Was...was it bone? Once, Sans lost his pinky down the drain. Maybe one of the guys lost their finger in there.

 

Something in your mind felt like it was tugging you to it, and your hand was already slowly reaching in, not thinking too hard about it. The machine was SUPER off, no way of being electrically shocked. The storm outside picked up as you picked up the shiny, shimmery white thing- oh. No you didn't.

 

Frowning, you stared at your empty hand. You looked in the hole again. It was right there. You had grabbed it. You felt it in your fingertips. However, it was gone. You know you didn't drop it, did you absorb it…?

 

Shaking your head, you shrugged it off and stood. You were just...tired. Probably. And needed to rest. You had already pulled your shift, and stayed a few hours over filling out reports. You needed to sleep. It would most likely be full of terror, but maybe you would luck out and have no dreams at all.

 

Grunting, you stood, took the trash out and the laundry to the laundry room, and took your sleeping medicine. You laid in bed for some time, playing on your phone until you finally were drowsy enough that you nodded off.

 




The darkness dragged you in, past any depth you could swim in safely. Thrashing, trying desperately to yell and cry out, the liquid filled your lungs as you sank. Bubbles escaped you as you stared up towards the bright light of the surface. You could see stars, tiny blips of light, as you were dragged down. Down, to that waiting demon. Down into that clawed hand.

 

"My little prize…..it's so cute you think that you can flee…."

 

You writhed in that grip, but you were too weak. You needed a weapon.

 

Cackling, a gruesome face leaned in toward you.

 

Bat. You needed your bat.

 

Teeth like knives and broken glass reflected your terrified eyes, tears pouring from them.

 

Bat.

 

You squeezed your eyes shut, but you could feel the demon's breath fan over you, and you knew that mouth was opening.

 

Bat..!

 

There was a crash. A thousand mirrors shattering at once. Broken china. A car crash.

 

You peeked your eyes open to see and feel wood in your hand. A bat, lined with nails and barbed wire. Your bat.

 

You looked up to see the demon reeling, covering the gnarled mouth that had teeth pouring from it.

 

The bat trembled in your hands slightly as you felt a surge of power. You did that. You fought back.

 

You hurt that demon. The thing that tormented your sleep and left you a mess of tears and choking on the pain of the past.

 

You hit it with your bat, and hurt it. Knocked the beast back from you.

 

Glaring, you raised your bat up, storming over to the nightmare that plagued you, your shadow growing darker, yet darker.