You, were dead.
For years. You know this.
Something woke you up, something strong and filled with-
Well, you guess it could only be magic.
You phase through the roof of the house as you hear new voices entering the front-door.
It’s been a while since anybody’s wanted to buy the house, you hope they don’t try and rebuild it again.
It’s hard to know where the basement ends sometimes still.
You’re careful not to peek too much of yourself out, not wanting to be spotted by the new maybe-buyers.
Being ghastly made you by default, hard to see, but some people had been able to spot you before so you’re extra careful when dealing with newcomers.
Oh, they’re really noisy . Is about your first thought when the banter reaches your spectral ears.
“I still don’t understand why it should be us that has to go look for residences! We’ve barely been here more than a year compared to some of the others!”
“sorry boss, but it seemed like we’re the ones with the most time to look.”
“It’s not like they’re busy themselves, with how whiny they are about that machine!”
“yeah, you’re right boss. they stress too much about shit they can’t change.”
You peek just below the ceiling of the living-room, looking at an angle that’ll let you look at them without letting them see you. Hopefully.
You almost startle at the sight, then realize that it’s super sceptical considering that you’re literally a ghost.
They look to maybe be family, with how they’re talking, however calling the other ‘boss’, you suppose they might be worker and employer.
One tall and one short, they’re both dressed in various shades of black and red, with the small one wearing a jacket that seems to hold more fur than a huskie.
They’re bickering back and forth, the poor estate agent not managing to get a word in. Neither do they seem inclined to let them try their usual spiel in the first place.
You almost feel pity for them, but they’re also trying to sell your old house again. You suppose you’re allowed to be a little bitter about that.
But then, you’re pretty sure you’ve been dead for a long while at this point.
While you’re reminiscing, it seems that you may have phased a little further through the ceiling than you wanted, and when your focus is back on the skeletons-
The small one, he’s staring at you.
About to raise and hand to draw attention to you.
With a squeak and a force of will, you propel yourself back up and out of sight.
You’re now in the small space of the loft, trying to calm down after the unexpected sight. It’s not a large space and the air up there is undoubtedly stuffy. However, it’s not like you really need to breathe, but you can feel yourself loose your sense of up and down a little with how quickly you made yourself exit that situation.
Reorienting yourself, you try and brace to take another peek. After all it couldn't be a bad thing to check out the new maybe-owners, it’s not like you can get hurt if the monster decides to try and take a swing at you.
This time, you’re very careful to listen before phasing through this time. You’ve decided to try and fully enter the kitchen and maybe get a full look at the skeleton before they spot you. You make sure to have a quick look just by peeking your head down before letting the rest of you float down.
And there’s some rather red eyes looking into yours, just inches from your face.
You squeak, quickly making a move to return to the loft.
The skeleton calls for you to stop, but nope, that spooked you. You’re not willing to stay and chat, back up you go.
You phase right through the ceiling, only to find the same skeleton waiting for you in the cramped space.
“just lemme say-“
And up you go, time to chill on the roof.
He’s there too.
What the fuck.
While you technically could keep going up, you get the feeling that the skeleton will somehow still be able to follow you. Right now, he’s standing on the roof tiles, a tense smile on his face and seems to be sweating. A skeleton sweating doesn’t make much sense, but you don’t feel like thinking about it.
As you’re not moving anymore, the skeleton lets out a breath of air and seems to relax a little.
“not to be the shithead that doesn’t know one monster from another, but ye’re not one of us are ya?”
You shake your head, still kind of floating uncertainly mid-air as you stare at the skeleton. It’s the fluffy one and a thing you hadn’t noticed is that one of their teeth is replaced by gold and their height would pose your living height just slightly passed.
“thought so, never seen one of you before though.” The skeleton seems to be rubbing the back of his head in a nervous gesture. “join me back downstairs, my bro isn’t happy with me disappearing on the best of days.”
You nod, levelling down into the living-room, where both skeletons and the estate agent stands by, they’re seemingly waiting for you to appear.
Well, not like you could turn invisible like ghosts in movies, you just kind of – phase through everything, at varying paces. Nothing super scary about that.
So, you glide down to be at eye level for both the smaller skeleton and the agent, though it places you so that the taller skeleton has to look down to meet your eyes.
“So, what did you expect from this Sans?” The taller asks, glaring at you.
“honestly, I dunno boss, should’ve been included in the contract that they got a ghost here.” The smaller – Sans – says.
Boss – whatever his name is – stares at you for a moment, and then turns to the real estate agent. The poor agent seems to be a little scared of the skeletons and with you added to the mix, rather resigned to perhaps not having one millionth of a chance to sell the house.
“Why is there a spectral human in this house when you told us that nobody owned it?” Boss asks, impatiently tapping his foot when the agent takes a second too long to reply.
“No-“ The agent takes a moment to clear their throat, trying to sound professional, “Nobody’s ever heard of a ghost – or whatever that is.”
“well looks like you were wrong, this wasn’t in the deal.” Sans says, shrugging.
“Look, we can’t guarantee any magical beings appearance here,” The agent argues, “You know as well as me that we don’t know how to handle –“
“Handle?” Boss cuts off, “Handle them like they’re some sort of dog? Like you’re trying to tell us that you didn’t know that they were here in the first place?! This is an insult!”
Oh boy, this is starting to escalate. Not knowing if this is a good idea, you raise your hand to catch their attention and hesitantly speak.
“They didn’t know because I never showed.”
Both skeletons pause, taking what you’ve said in. Even the agent looks baffled at your words.
“hey,” Calls Sans, making you turn to look at him, he looks nervous yes – but also worried, “how long you been here?”
“Living or like this?” You clarify.
“like this,” Sans says, one hand reaching out to try and grasp yours, only to pass through it.
The agent looks visibly uncomfortable at the skeleton actually wanting to touch you.
“What’s the year?” You ask instead, moving a bit backwards. Touching – or more not-touching others wasn’t any different for you from phasing through the walls, but the thought of them consciously trying to touch you, failing, makes you uncomfortable.
To your surprise, it’s Boss that tells you. He’s been mostly just observing, fuming on the side-lines while you’ve been speaking.
“Oh,” that’s longer than you thought between owners. The last had been roughly three years back then, if this is right. “I’ve been like this since the barrier break, maybe a decade.”
“And you’ve only been here?” Asks Boss.
“Yes, I can’t leave the grounds.” You reluctantly tell him.
You’ve heard of people, especially real estate owners, trying to exorcise spirits if they were in any of the houses, because apparently sort of constant residents brings the price down. That’s why you’ve made sure to stay out of sight most of the time. Besides, the skies deliver plenty of entertainment, sticking to the roof where people usually never looked, you just spent most of your time there.
You didn’t want to test your luck, but seemingly it ran out without your input.
After your answer, both skeletons seem to be exchanging a glance before turning their back to you, starting to argue about prices and details with the agent. As they’re busy doing that, you take your leave back onto the roof.
It’s always calmer there, and sometimes bird will try and see what shiny thing is resting on the tiles.
Surprise birds, it’s you, just a ghost, not a delicious snack or a nice piece of metal.
You’re pretty sure that you’ve been let off the hook, when you hear shuffling and a pair of worn sneakers enter your line of vision.
“yo.” It’s Sans, he settles down next to you, closing his eyes up against the suns rays.
“Hello,” you say.
Unsure about what he wants and why he’s up here, you just keep looking upwards, not wanting to spend your energy on trying to keep up chatter. You’re to say, pretty bad at small talk, being a ghost and all, you’ve rarely had the chance to talk, much less try to keep a conversation going that’s longer than five words.
So, you just lay there, absorbing some energy through the sunlight, trying very hard to ignore the skeleton next to you.
Okay, so maybe you’re not trying all that hard.
It takes you maybe another half hour before you lose the fight with your curiosity and sit up. Looking at the skeleton, light reflecting off the tooth on one side and how he looks even paler – is that even possible – out here in the sunlight.
“Why are you here?”
He doesn’t even move to start off with, just opening one lazy eye and looking at you out of the side of his socket. He then lays back, hands behind his neck, keeping you waiting and seeming like he’s got all the time in the world.
After five more minutes trickle by, you give up trying to stare him into giving you answers and instead taking your first chance to inspect a monster this close.
As not to touch him - not like you could, you just decide to float above him. Looking down at the odd skeleton that seems to have made your favourite spot his home. Not that the roof really is yours, considering that you seem to have been ghastly for about a decade – not to count the time you’ve been dead.
This is so odd. You, a ghost. And him, a skeleton, are both a thing that exist.
Your hand moves to cradle his cheek, as if able to touch it, curiosity getting the win over your caution.
You’re just about to lean down, getting a closer look to see how he manages to close his eyes , when said eyes pop open, startling you back. You almost let out another squeak at the scare but manage to keep it back as it’d probably just make him laugh. Getting the jump on a ghost, what a joke right?
Still, Sans is smiling. Not the carefree way that he did before, but a maybe one that makes him look more at ease.
“never had anybody come up here, huh?”
He flaps a hand at the cracked tiles littering the roof. “did you ever think to show yourself, to let yourself be involved in the lives of the people moving in here?”
You don’t reply, just staring at him as he sits back up, puzzled. What did a monster want with a ghost? Why was he asking all these questions? Did he expect you to disappear if you solved some kind of personal dilemma from when you were alive? Is he trying to get rid of you?
Well, to be entirely honest it’s doubtful with that last one, if monsters even knew of the tale about how to disperse ghosts.
“would ya mind us moving in?”
That makes you startle. You’ve never been asked . Just the mere thought of somebody considering you in the equation makes you completely still and when nothing else comes to mind, you escape the situation.
You phase down through the roof to hide within the walls.
Honestly, nothing that skeleton – Sans, you mentally correct yourself – said, makes any sense. Why would they consider you when moving in? You didn’t have needs or wants in the eyes of the living , you can just keep existing without needing anything at all.
You don’t see either skeleton for several days, even as you make sure to be on the side of the roof where you can gaze down into the driveway.
Maybe they’ve found a better place. Without a resident ghost and more space and better placement.
Oh wait, somebody’s coming in.
Two motorbikes are rolling in the driveway. You stare, awed, at the nice vehicles. Those aren’t cheap, even if you’re out of the loop with what’s popular, you know that those can go for a pretty penny.
Two skeletons jump off, one seems to be Sans and the other one –
The other one seems to be the same size as Sans, maybe a bit smaller, and is wearing an outfit more decked in blues and silvers. A rather stark contrast to the darker appearance that Sans and Boss pulls off.
Are they related? It’s a little odd to see them side-by-side, their mannerisms are almost complete opposites. The new one keeps shifting to one foot or the other, gesturing with his hands as he speaks. In contrast to this is Sans, he’s just standing placidly and only responding with the occasional shrug or shake of his head.
A bit of their conversation flows up to your spot.
“ – but if the place is good there is no need for me to see it! Both Classic and Axe seem to find that your judgement is sound regarding this.”
Sans shakes his head at the other skeletons words. Placing a finger over his teeth in a shushing motion. “I didn’t tell the others, and you know how Boss doesn’t care about explaining. but there’s something else about this house that I wanted you to take a look at and tell me if it’s something you pacifistic types are alright with –“
And suddenly he’s standing right in front of you, startling you back.
“ – you see, there’s another little resident in here.”
You meet some, interesting personalities.
Yeah this is basically the 'big spooky introduction chapter', I hope you guys enjoy!
I think my schedule will be sunday/monday depending on when I think it's good to publish.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Before you realize it, the other skeleton has also appeared in front of you, his hands on his hips as he gives Sans a glare.
“Rust, why in all the stars name did you leave in the middle of the conversation!”
Rust – no, Sans, right? His name is supposed to be Sans – grins. “she’s a bit hard to spot but have a look.”
That makes the other skeleton turn to confusedly stare in the same direction as Sans’. For a couple seconds he looks nonplussed, before he manages to figure out what he’s looking at. When he finally registers your presence, you’re already halfway through the roof in a meek attempt to get out of their sight.
When he furthermore realizes that you’re making a quick exit, he raises his hands in a placating gesture. The stars in his eyes seemingly turn brighter – what, how? – as he steps forward.
His smile is without malice, but very, very excited as he moves closer to you. “Please don’t leave miss, I apologize for not noticing you before.”
You’re hesitant about what to do about this skeleton that seem to ooze energy on a whole other level compared to his companion. To figure out what is going on, you turn your attention to the other skeleton, standing more relaxed by the edge of the roof.
When he notices your gaze on him, he shrugs. “thought we might get a second opinion about the place. me an’ my bro, we don’t care as long as it has the basic amenities.”
He then gives your situation a cursory and shrugs. “seems like I didn’t have to worry, blues here doesn’t seem to mind you at all.”
“Mind?! This is great Rust!” The other skeleton – Blues, interjects. “We’re getting a companion added to the already reasonable price for this placement. I am elated!”
As you’ve been fixated on Blues’ spiel, it seems that you haven’t been paying much attention to Rusts movements. Because, the moment that Blues takes a moment to breathe, almost close enough to touch you. Rust is on your other side, still just standing like he hasn’t moved an inch since getting off the bike.
“you heard him, what do you think?”
“What?” You don’t know what to think. You don’t know what to do about this very excited skeleton and Rust that just stands passively beside you as if expecting something from you.
“think you’ll be up for having some skeletons in your old closet?” Sans says, grinning crookedly at his joke.
You start, about to tell him that you’re not really capable of affecting their situation in the first place, but Blues cuts in before you can start arguing, a hand moving in between you and Sans.
“Don’t overwhelm her Rust, you haven’t even told her anything.” He gives Sans an even glare as he is seemingly protecting you from a further onslaught of confusing that follows Sans’ words.
You take that chance with both of them distracted to phase through the roof. These past two days has been the most exhausting in ages, considering that you’ve been discovered and apparently dragged into the whole mess way too quickly for you to handle.
You’re floating somewhere between the bricks supporting the outer walls and the plaster keeping the insulation in. Not feeling up to any more conversation.
That’s when you hear a loud yell throughout the house, “Don’t worry miss! We’ll go now so you can take it easy! I’ll make sure that we bring the others next time!”
It’s such a strong voice that you almost feel the walls quiver with the force of it. It’s likely that you’re imagining it though.
It takes you a minute or two before building up the will to phase up onto the roof again. Not only is Blues and Rust – Sans? – gone, but when you peek down onto the driveway both bikes aren’t there.
With all the intentions to lay down in the sun and perhaps regain some of your lost energy, you spot something placed near the chimney.
You slowly move over to read it, hoping that it was in English as not to be stuck with some unknown language, like French. You never figured out how French was supposed to work while you were living.
God, you’re just stalling now, better read it before it blows away. Leaning over to look at the little slip of a note, written on the back of a receipt it seems, you try and discern the handwriting on it.
Take it easy, we got the lot for a ridiculous deal because of you. We ’ ll be dropping by in a couple days, be ready for a few more faces.
Oh, so it was Rust? You aren’t so sure anymore with how Boss had kept calling him Sans. Maybe it was a nickname? It’s weird though, who is named Rust or even Blues?
Then again Sans isn’t all that normal a name. You guess monsters might just have a different taste for names than dead-human-ghosts, huh. Whatever.
But more people? You think you’ve had enough interactions to think about for another decade. To say that you’re hesitant to ever exit the walls of the house is to put it mildly. You don’t even know where to begin talking to others at this point, with your very one-sided conversations with the monsters, you can feel that they won’t let you be.
Also, from the way you’ve really only been able to utter maybe ten words in total, you think it’ll be a hard time for you to get used to the chatter.
Oh well, its not like you mind some life around here.
You can sometimes force yourself to sleep. A weird kind of sleep, when it succeeds you just stop registering anything for a while.
It’s gentler than the memories – or lack hereof. But it also makes you lose track of time without registering it. You don’t know what happens when you do this, you always make sure to do it within the plaster or between the rooftiles, maybe you just look to be sleeping. Maybe you disappear.
Stars, you hope you don’t disappear. What if some day you won’t come back.
You don’t think about that. Or, try not to.
You wake, hearing voices echo throughout the hallway. Apparently, somebody is dissatisfied with something, as their loud displeased tones easily carry throughout the house, even through the walls. You can’t hear the words, but then another voice starts talking to the negative one, a gentler more monotone voice that is barely heard from where you are.
Oh. Has it already been two days? It might’ve. You don’t remember when you decided to rest, but it must’ve happened. Otherwise you’d be readier to inspect whoever is inside the house.
You’re very careful shifting out of the walls of the second floor. Trying not to make any discernible movement against the start-white of the painted walls.
Unfortunately, it seems to be in vain, as somebody is already standing where you’re trying to so sneakily take a peek from.
It’s not Rust, or Blues. It’s a much taller skeleton than them, however, he doesn’t seem to quite rival the towering heights that Boss managed to pull off.
Honestly, you might’ve been able to get a closer look, if not for the fact that you phased right into the fluff of his jacket as he’s leaning up against the wall. You’re not capable of choking on the fuzz, but its disconcerting nonetheless. However, as you don’t manage to stop your momentum out of pure surprise, you end up passing through the entirety of his ribcage – nothing besides bones there, who’d have guessed.
You hear a huff, and when you turn to look up at the skeleton that you’ve managed to so fabulously stumble through, you see that he’s got one gold tooth, kind of like Rust. Also, he’s trying very hard not to laugh as he looks down at you, half-way through his chest.
As you divert your gaze from his, making a move to retreat back where you came from, he raises his eyes to look at something out of your line of sight.
“hey, I found her.”
You freeze for a moment at hearing his voice, and then take another to register the steps that is moving your way. It’s two moments too long for you to escape unnoticed. But you’ll be damned if you don’t try anyways.
Instead of pulling back through his ribs, you move so that you fall backwards into the floor instead. The building still has a deep enough flooring for you to hide in, even if you have to make sure not to move too much.
“Where is she?” The impatient one from earlier demands, seems like you managed to drag their attention away from whatever argument they had.
There’s the mumble of somebody talking more calmly for a moment and you hear the scuffle of feet moving away. Then, just about where you’ve hidden yourself, you hear a knock against the floorboards.
“It’s ok Miss, they’ve gone outside.” The voice is much calmer than he’d been two days back.
You take a beat to think about the consequences of running away, then decide against it. Blues had been nice, even if slightly overwhelming.
You pop out of the floor, hesitantly fully exiting so that you’re facing Blues without him having to look down.
“There, that’s nicer isn’t it?” He half-reaches out, as if offering comfort – remembers that you can’t be touched, and a sad shade passes over his features in less than a moment before his sunny smile fully returns.
You nod, not really knowing what to do now. You’ve willingly shown yourself after your accidental close-body encounter with the other skeleton. They’ll probably be offended and displeased with you, phasing through somebody does resound to you as something rude.
“I’m sorry we surprised you, Rust wanted you to meet the others. But didn’t think that some of them aren’t all that glad that they have to consider you too when they move in.”
He runs a finger along the edge of the bandana that he’s wearing, looking displeased. “We didn’t want to scare you. But you weren’t to be found anywhere so some of the others started to think we made you up.”
He pauses for a moment, as if choosing his words carefully. Odd, the impression that you got from him is that Blues wouldn’t be having a hard time to just continue talking.
“I know,” He smiles at you. “But Rust is known for not being truthful in all his endeavours, and some think that this was a way of hiding that him and Boss threatened the seller- agent.” He corrects himself, “I did not doubt him, but some of the others were sceptical. Of course, they don’t all have the same intuition regarding Rust’s lies.”
A tug at one of the wings protruding from Blues’ bandana, “Of course, as magnificent as I can be with my belief in others. With you not showing; the others got angry.”
He takes a step forward, with his hand raised, as if accepting yours.
“Despite their anger, will you let me introduce you to them? I do not wish for you to hide in the walls out of fear for us, that wouldn’t be kind.”
You honestly are to enraptured with his words that it takes you a second to realise that he’s waiting for a verbal reply. When it takes you a moment to even react, Blues’ hand falls, probably thinking that you’ve gotten too traumatized by their aggressive approach that you will deny him.
He’s been so kind, despite your skittish nature.
You quickly move to try and grasp his hand, even though you can only pass through it, you keep it raised just above his palm.
Not knowing whether that he’ll take that as a yes, you manage to muster your voice.
“I’ll do it.”
Blues’ smile is as beaming as the first time you met him. Turning his palm, he makes it like you’d have your fingers intertwined. It’s a little odd, with you only being able to mimic actually doing it, but it does make you let out a huff of a laugh as a small smile passes your lips.
That seems to be enough for Blues, he gestures for you to follow as he starts walking. As not to let the illusion of handholding disappear, you follow along.
He walks up to the door, pausing and then turning to you. “Rust told me you said you can’t leave the grounds, but is that the house or can you also exit it?”
Oh, right. You did say that. “I can go into the garden, also the driveway’s fine.”
Not that you’ve been there much, people will notice a spectral neighbour, especially if they hang around the places where people usually look when they’re bored and passing by.
“Alright then!” Blues proceeds to open the door, making you follow once more. He calls out into the drive-way; “She’s ready to meet you!”
You hadn’t managed to look at more than the one skeleton you’d accidentally phased through. The others approaching you had scared you too much to look in their direction, so now that they’re all standing outside in the sunlight you can take a good look at them.
Well, they’re all skeletons to start.
Boss is here. Standing at the back with Rust, observing the situation with a rather neutral look. Rust grins and gives you a rather cheeky thumb up when he sees you. But either makes no other move to go any nearer the main group.
What you see is about a good extra handful of monsters, all with an uncanny resemblance to each other in some way or the other.
Wait, is it rude to think skeletons look alike? It might be, like with racism, regarding a group of a minority as the same just because that minority carries a slight resemblance is super rude. You decide to keep your mouth shut until somebody else starts the introductions.
Luckily, Blues seem to have everything in hand.
He gestures to the group, whose attention has turned to you and Blues as you came out of the room. “This is our new residential friend, miss-“
Blues Pauses, thinks, and then turns to you. “What is your name miss?”
Ah, yeah, about that. You kind of hopelessly shrug, not knowing how to break this to them. Well, better keep it simple you guess.
“I don’t remember.”
Time is not a gentle mistress when you’ve got no way of keeping up your memory.
“Oh.” Blues seems to be thinking for a moment, still keeping his hand as if holding yours. Though, you make a movement to pull it back, his hand still follows yours. “Well that is no problem, miss. We can just figure that out later!”
“What a joke!” Comes the call from the group, one of the skeletons break off from it. He’s about Blues’ height, though he’s dressed maybe a bit more similarly to Rust and Boss.
He stops in front of the two of you, crossing his arms. “I am in no hurry to figure out pleasantries in the first place! If we must start this charade of politeness to be even able to get everything set up inside; then I am Crux.”
After the rather roundabout introduction, he stops talking, looking at you as if expecting something.
“Nice to meet you?” you say, unsure if that’s what he wants you to do.
It apparently is, because he huffs and pushes past Blues and just walks through you to enter the house.
You’re stuck looking at the shut door, wondering if you did something wrong.
“Don’t mind him,” Blues says, drawing your attention away from your inner debate, “He’s just mad that Rust and I were right. He doesn’t care for many.”
The last is said with such a sad tone that you can’t help but wonder if there’s something between them that you haven’t caught onto.
With Crux having entered the house, the rest of the group ambles up to you and Blues. The one who you accidentally passed through walks forward, one hand raised as if to clasp your shoulder, just moving through it instead as he follows the other inside.
“Name’s Mutt, don’t mind me.”
And he enters the house. Hm, he doesn’t seem as hostile as the other one. Hopefully you didn’t offend him earlier when you peeked out through his ribcage.
Now, aside from Rust and Boss, there’s five skeletons remaining.
One walks up to you, holding one hand up. Similar to how Blues did it, his motions are gentle and not pressuring. You try and put your free hand on top. When you do, he beams, letting this hand fall from yours and instead puts it on his chest.
“I am the great Captain! I am elated to meet you miss ghost!” When not bending forward to be at your height, he’s very close to Boss in terms of tallness. A decorative long scarf flows from around his neck and his clothes seem to be chosen from the terms of being able to fit his form.
Another smaller skeleton step up beside him, giving you a lazy wave. “I’m classic. nice to meet you ghostie.”
As you’re unsure of what to say, Captain motions to the door behind you. “We’re going to keep an eye on Crux, he still isn’t yet accustomed to a calm lifestyle.”
Classic just puts his hands in the pockets of his hoodie. Shrugging, he nods at you. “mind letting us in to take care of some business?”
You just let go of Blues’ hand to move over and away from the doorway.
“thanks.” And both of them step inside.
You think they might’ve been brothers. But neither has mentioned it, so you just keep quiet as the door closes behind them.
Next comes a pair that has to be brothers. One of them has a jacket with a fluffy hood like Mutt’s, but his is leather and he seems to emit a more careless air about him. The other is much taller, and you’re wondering where he managed to get a coat that was long enough to cover his form.
Both have cracks running down from each of their eyes and another opposite from the other.
You try not to stare. It’s not entirely successful.
The one with the leather-jacket gives you a finger-gun, that reminds you of the mannerisms that Classic showed.
“Name’s Roman, I’m hoping to see more of you. Don’t mind the rest of them – They’re just a little off-balance, makes you twitchy.” Roman says, as if that is supposed to make any sense to you at all.
The other gives you a slight bow in greeting. “We apologize beforehand for any grief our other residents may cause. I am Paladin. I also hope to be able to talk once things calm down a little.”
His smile is gentle, though his features seem rough.
Neither makes a move to enter the room, instead, they loiter with the rest of you outside. Probably not wanting to face whatever is happening inside between Crux and the others.
Lastly, there’s a tall skeleton in an orange hoodie that makes his way over, standing on Blues’ other side, he nods at you. “I’m Blues’ brother, call me Stretch.”
He doesn’t seem inclined to enter the room either, so now all five of you are standing awkwardly by the doorway. You don’t know what to say to even try and get a conversation started.
You look wistfully up at the roof. Maybe you can just call it a day and escape back to your spot?
Then Rust and Boss moves over to the rest of you and with the way that Rust is grinning, you feel like your wishes won’t come true unless you want to accept that you’re being rude. Which is, something you’re not good at being.
Yeah, almost no talking for a decade and you’ve still got anxious jitters from just a few minutes of casual introductions.
Rust gives you another thumbs-up. “bet you found them all real charming.”
“I guess.” You say, a little uncertain if he is sarcastic. “There is, a lot of you.”
Rust chuckles at that.
Boss doesn’t bother with talking to you, instead he marches past all of you and into the house. You hear a dissatisfied call from inside and you’re glad you’re not there, you don’t want to know what’s happening.
After a beat, you mutter; “Is there enough space for all of you?”
You know the layout of the house, and eight people isn’t something it could even dream of housing. It’s held a couple families over the years, an old couple. But they were maybe four people max, and they slept together in the same rooms.
The kitchen is large though, not an issue there you suppose.
Blues apparently picks up on your words, raising a finger to catch your attention. “Do not worry miss! We have already figured out a solution. In fact, Sa- I mean Classic should’ve already set it up by now!”
He gives you his hand again, as if the gesture actually offered any comforts. You accept, once again semi-intertwining your fingers.
Blues opens the door, stops, and then turns to his brother and the others. “Would you like to join us?”
Stretch and Rust nods, Roman shrugs and Paladin shakes his head. Seems like you’ll have the two tailing you to – whatever Blues is supposed to be showing you.
He drags you through the living room and up the stairs, where Classic stands by the door into the bigger of the two bedrooms. When arriving there, you notice that there are small devices set to the four corners of the doorframe.
Classic only glances over his shoulder from where he’s crouched down to fiddle with the machinery before going back to work. “showing her where the magic is blues?”
“Yep!” Blues agrees. “The miss was worried about how we all were going to sleep here.”
Classic chuckles, “guess she’s not wrong, this place won’t be able to suit us all. gotta go a bit creative.”
As Classic stands, he points at each of the corners. “don’t suppose you’ve seen any magic in action before?”
You shake your head.
“well, see, we’ve got a little solution to our space issue.” And Classic reaches up to press a button on the side of the one placed in the right-most corner.
And he then opens the door.
That’s not the bedroom.
Instead of the decent bedroom, the door now reveals a large hallway, with doors lining each side of the corridor.
One of the doors in the back opens, and yet another skeleton step out. Looking this way, you see that he looks very close to Classic, if only he’d been thrown in the washer with a couple handfuls of rocks to go. His skull is caved in and when he gets closer, you see small scratches litter his bones wherever they’re visible. He nods at Classic as he nears the doorway, eyeing you for a moment before stepping through the door.
Classic nods at the newcomer, “glad to see it working. no problem on your end?”
The other skeleton shrugs, still staring rather intensely at you. “no, neither of us felt any problems.”
He’s still staring. You want to hide in the floor, because his eye-light – apparently this one only has one? - is a deep shimmering red, it’s unnerving.
Blues, thank god, catches onto your discomfort and steps forward to stand between the two of you.
“She’s our new roommate, Axe.” Blues says.
“hm,” says Axe, “odd.” And he leaves it at that. Turning to step back into the corridor, walking back to the door that is open and leaves your sights as he closes it.
You just really want your rooftop now.
“wait,” Stretch says before you make a move, “let’s make sure she can also go in there.”
“why?” Classic asks.
Stretch points down at the hallway. “it’s technically not the grounds of the house. so, she might not be able to go there.”
Classic winces, turning to you. “mind testing that?”
You’re about exhausted of having to talk, being talked at and being talked to. So, you just nod. Better to get this over and done with so you can retreat.
You move forward, letting Blues go as you first try to put a hand through the door-opening.
No existential erasure, so it seems your limits aren’t passed here. You try to move entirely through the door. Nope, no problem.
As you turn, you see that Classic is giving stretch a rather I told you so kind of look.
However, you really don’t feel up to any more conversation. So, when Blues holds out his hand again for you to take, you shake your head a point upwards. Understanding, both Blues and Rust nod as the others look puzzled at the three of you.
You don’t wait for them to ask even more questions, so you do as you wish. Up through the ceiling you go.
There’s nobody there when you pass through the last bit of the tiles. Only the breeze and the muted murmur of conversation flowing up to your perch. Yeah, this is much better.
You lie down in the sun with all the intentions to stay there for a good long while.
You don’t get a good long while, you get maybe about an hour of you-time before you feel somebody standing by the edge of the roof. Giving up getting any more rest, you sit up from where you’re sprawled out over the tiles.
Looking over, you see that it’s Rust there.
He gestures for you to stay where you are, and you will. Because moving sounds like a lot more will and energy than you’re willing to muster right now.
Rust appears right beside you, sitting down and closing his eyes up against the sun’s rays. He’s not trying to fill the air with needless chatter, which you are grateful for. You don’t think you’ll be able to muster much at the moment.
You feel drained.
He seems to get that, shuffling for a moment, Rust lays down with his arms behind his head. Just like a few days ago – god has it only been a few days? – when you first met.
Rust looks to have all the intentions to take a nap, so you don’t move an inch from where you are. Even inspecting him, as interesting as it can be, seems like so much effort on your part. You kind of wish you hadn’t taken a nap before they arrived, now it’ll be days before you can black out again.
Well, at least the sun is nice and high today.
So, yeah. I'll note down who the different skeletons are in here, just so if my nicknames doesn't make that much sense when you read it.
Undertale Sans: Classic
Undertale Papyrus: Captain
Underfell Sans: Rust
Underfell Papyrus: Boss
Underswap Sans: Blues
Underswap Papyrus: Stretch
Gaster! Sans: Roman
Gaster! Papyrus: Paladin
Swapfell Sans: Crux
Swapfell Papyrus: Mutt
Horrortale Sans: Axe
Horrortale Papyrus: Sweets
But yeah, I really hope you all enjoyed this chapter! it was a bit longer than the other one, but i felt that leaving it off with just the introductions would be weird and also not how an actual interaction would go. So yeah! also some small bits and facts here and there about both the reader and the skeletons.
If there is anything I need to clarify then just ask! I read every single one of your comments and I love them all <3
You get your chatterbox a bit more on.
Or atleast, you try.
So sorry about the wait, I cut my finger pretty bad last week and couldn't write anything for it because of that.
Also I started a new job! So I think I'll try and update weekly with the odd off-week here now and then depending on how busy I am. However, I will try and set it so that I'll make a callout on my tumblr right here about it whenever it happens. You can also bug me about the story and the characters there! Check the "Seethrough" tag for fanart and questions :D
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
You don’t really know what to do after – what’d you’d guesstimate – an hour has passed and Rust is making little to no movement to recede from the spot next to you. Even though the placement of you doesn’t really change how much sunlight you’re getting, aside from the chimney being darker than the other places and that’s obviously because of the shadow it casts and –
Anyway, it’s been your spot since before you really started to remember what you did on a day-to-day basis. You feel maybe a bit uncertain about sharing it with Rust despite his rather friendly demeanor towards you.
Well it’s not like he knows, so you suppose the fault is also yours.
You think about this, as you’re keeping at a small shuffle to the side, just to create what you’ll call a respectable distance between the two of you. Maybe you can manage to daydream again.
You try, and when you close your eyes and lean back down onto the tiles of the roof, you almost manage. Just the calming touch of the sun together with the whisper of a breeze in the air is always soothing.
Letting yourself just listen to your surroundings rather than look, you catch onto the happy thrill of birds and the creak of wood where branches are playfully tugged on.
And then there’s something else, something you haven’t heard before. It’s a low thrum, a shivering whisper of, of something.
You open your eyes.
Rust is there. Upside down, as it seems he’s standing above you and bending over to look down at you.
As he sees you being aware of your surroundings again, he smiles.
“yo, got a little problem downstairs. don’t move for my sake, but i’ll just check it out.” And with that he’s gone.
You listen to his advice and don’t move an inch. Now the weird sound is gone and you’re able to tune out your thoughts to let the sounds of nature cradle you as you keep your gaze upwards.
It’s a good number of hours later that you pull yourself enough together to will movement back into your body. The moon is now high in the sky and Rust nor any of the others have visited the rooftop since.
If you’ll have to guess, only Blues and Rust actually knows about your little spot up here, so it’s really just those two that are capable to interrupting your rest.
You look down at the tiles under your hand, thinking. Maybe none of the others are up now that it’s night, you mean, you hope monsters also sleep at night. If you’ll encounter them all sitting around the fireplace and chatting, you don’t think you can handle so many people at once again in such a short span of time.
Well, only really one way to find out right?
You move down, through the ceiling and the walls of the first floor to end up in the living room.
There is no one immediately in sight, you let your shoulders slump in relief. Then a small stab of guilt goes through you. You had half-promised to get to know some of the skeletons a bit better, hiding away on the roof might not have been the best thing to do just because you were a bit tired.
You mull a bit about this, thinking of maybe just going back up onto the roof and stay there until sunrise to try and play off that you’ve been down here at all.
And then you hear a thud and a creak. From the kitchen.
You swear that if you have one, your heart would’ve skipped a beat in fear. But it doesn’t.
However, you do feel a heavy apprehension towards investigating the sound. Something going thud again confirms that there is somebody in the kitchen at this time of night. You try and see if you can actually pinpoint the time, but no watches are present in the still-bare living room.
Investigate or escape?
They are monsters, if it’s a break in you’re sure they can handle yourself.
And then, you remember how Blues had made an effort to make you seem less than sentient air and light. Rust actually taking your opinion into consideration when he bought the house – despite not receiving an answer he did try – and you pull your shape together to go and investigate when –
“you’re like a nightlight lil ghostie.” A gruff voice comes from the kitchen, and when you look over there you see, Axe?
It was Axe right? He’d only huffed one word at you before and then disappeared back into his room before you had chance to say a word to him.
And as you look at him, again finding your eyes stray to the damaged part of his skull, you also note the heavy bangs under his eyes.
Not knowing if he expects you to say something, you just float wordlessly closer. Peering further into the kitchen you see a larger shape crouch over the counters, the low flames of the gas stove illuminating him slightly as he searches through the drawers for something.
For a moment you think it’s Captain, but he’s bulkier, a bit more gangly and sharper? You don’t know how a skeleton can be sharp, but this one manages to make it seem so. As you stay by the opening into the kitchen, you almost flinch and flee when the figure turns to face you and Axe.
“Sans, I cannot find a spatula to help turn the bacon over. Help me look, oh – “
The skeleton finally seems to catch onto your presence, setting down the old potato peeler in his hands and moving over to get a better look at you.
He’s so tall, moving with little to no wasted movement, though you think you see that he’s drawing slightly on one leg. When he gets nearer, you also see what else separates him from Captain.
His teeth, they seem incredibly damaged. For someone made of magic, you didn’t think this was something that could happen. The upper teeth have grown down past the lower in some places and it seems incredibly painful.
But he’s smiling regardless.
“Why hello!” He says, not making any move towards moving any closer than a couple feet away, making it easier for both him and you to meet eyes. “My name is Papyrus! It is pleasant to get to know you, our spectral resident of this house. Sans told me to expect you, though I didn’t foresee us meeting so soon!”
Despite his cheery demeanour, you see his hands clench and unclench in the fabric of his shirt, as if expecting a reprimand.
Instead you raise a hand to give him a small wave, “It’s nice to meet you too Papyrus.”
Axe – Sans? Is there a common name in Sans for these guys? – Moves the other way past the island in the middle of the kitchen and produces a half-rusted spatula from one of the cupboards. Probably a relic from one of the previous owners since there has been nothing new brought into the house yet.
Where did they get the bacon from then?
You curiously eye Sans from around Papyrus, wondering, as you notice Papyrus also turning his attention to the other skeleton.
Papyrus sighs when he sees the half-useful kitchen utensil, but still walks over to take it from Sans’ hand. “Thank you Sans, you just take a break while I’ll make us the sandwiches.”
Sans nods to Papyrus, shooting you a glance over his shoulder before moving over to sit on the island.
He doesn’t make any effort to start a conversation, only staring at you with the same curious? Annoyed? Calculative? Stare as he’s given you so far.
You don’t know what to do in the dark kitchen, the seemingly pitfall-like shadows at the edges of your sight, a touch of discomfort, maybe even fear, the silence only broken by the sizzle and pop of the bacon on the pan.
Suddenly, Papyrus starts humming under this breath as he works, the atmosphere easing and settling. The shadows becoming normal and the fear dissipating. You listen for a moment, taken in by the low tune before you subconsciously shift closer to the tall skeleton.
Ignoring the pointed look that Sans gives you as you pass him, you find yourself observing how Papyrus works as he hums a half-forgotten melody under his breath. Turning off the pan, you see that he’s already got some bread cut into slices beside the pan with cheese on them.
He shifts the pan over, putting a couple pieces into each sandwich before setting the used utensils in the sink. He slows down the tune and lets it die out as he brings one over to Sans and takes another for himself.
“bro,” Sans says, reaching out for the second one with a shimmer of magic dancing in his one live eye socket.
“I’ll be fine Sans.” Papyrus says, just as cryptically as Sans, and you feel that maybe you should leave.
They’re probably also brothers with the way they’re used to move around one another. Seems like all the weird pairs of skeletons in the house now are brothers of some kind.
It’s a little odd. To have so many similar-but-not pairs of monsters under one roof.
Also, you stare at Sans sitting on the island, hand still raised to accept his brother’s sandwich. He sighs and finally lowers it when it seems like whatever he wants Papyrus to do isn’t happening and instead chows down on his own.
His teeth, especially his canines look terrifyingly sharp, a vast contrast to his brother that is gently nibbling on a non-crusted piece of bread.
As Papyrus is still working through his own food, Sans finally fully turns to you. You do your best not to startle when that rather piercing stare is entirely focused on you.
A couple beats pass, you wondering if you should make a hasty exit before something goes down when Sans finally shrugs and finally seems to let his guard somewhat down. Raising one leg to rest on the edge of his seat, he leans his arms onto them as a make-shift comfort to rest his head on.
“so, what are you actually doing here?”
You don’t say anything, looking around and expecting any of the other skeletons to have appeared in the doorway while you’d been staring at Papyrus’ cooking.
“no, you.” He says in clarification, pointing one bony finger your way. “why are you here?”
You blink at him, “Tonight or in general?”
“Both – either,” Sans says, ignoring the displeased look Papyrus shoots his way as he speaks. “i’d bet you’re not down here for the excellent company, so why were you in the living room in the middle of shitstain night? Ever heard of sleeping when it’s dark?”
You just shrug, “I don’t sleep.”
“hm,” Sans scoffs, “why you down here then?”
You just give him another shrug. You honestly can’t put a finger on the feeling that led you to abandon your spot to investigate downstairs. It’s not like any of them have dragged any furniture in during the day since you haven’t seen any moving trucks or anything.
He stares at you for a while longer before speaking again; “why are you here?”
You shudder, something swelling in your chest at his question. That something choking up your reply of, you mean as a ghost? Something anxious, something you don’t want to think about.
With you not replying, having frozen, Sans goes on.
“how’d you die in the first place for you to end up like this?”
You don’t remember the next couple hours very well. You know you were on the rooftop, staring up at the stars as you always do, but you don’t remember how you got there or whatever might’ve passed through your head.
What wakes you up from your daze is the reeving of motorcycles, peeking over the edge of the roof, you see Rust and Blue drive away as they wink to the some of the others standing in the doorway.
You don’t feel up to talking to anybody at the moment, so you make sure to keep yourself concealed as you phase down. Staying completely within the walls, you try to catch bits and pieces of conversation, but they are a bit too muddled through the plaster that you don’t manage to make any sense out of it.
Finally, it seems that most of them has left through that odd doorway leading to their rooms and you dare to take a peek out. Placing yourself in the ceiling of the living room, you try and see if any of them are still there.
Looking from above changes the perspective you know, but you’re relatively sure that you see Roman and maybe Mutt standing around.
With no furniture so far, you guess there are still issues about seating and various comforts. Considering that most socializing is based on sitting down and talking and eating.
You think you’re inconspicuous, only peeking down from above them, but apparently something catches Romans attention, because all of a sudden, he looks up at you.
He raises a hand, also gaining Mutts attention as you give up on the ghost, heh, and float down to see what’s going on.
“Yo,” Roman greets, Mutt just giving you a wink as he shuffles a bit closer to the two of you.
“how’re you doing?” Mutt asks, fiddling with a cigarette between his fingers.
Seems like they haven’t heard about your late-night adventures from Sans and Papyrus.
“I’m good, the weather is clouding over a bit, so I felt like going inside.” You say, and it is true. Grey clouds were moving in, they just weren’t very close yet.
“gotcha,” Mutt says, looking down forlornly at the cigarette before turning his attention back to you. “you seem to disappear a lot, relaxing on the roof then?”
You nod, thinking for a moment and then pointing at the small side-corridor. “You know, they do have a porch here.”
“reading my mind ghostie.” Mutt laughs, then looks at Roman who’s been mostly watching the conversation. “wanna join?”
“Sounds good.” Roman nods, fishing out his own pack.
Ah, you guess their brothers disapprove of their smoking habits.
You lead them to the small door that opens to the back of the house and the decently-sized porch hidden there. There’s an aged bench and a couple dying houseplants, abandoned by the previous owners to wilt and die.
The lemongrass survived pretty well, you’ve watched it cover the railing of the porch on one side.
Both Roman and Mutt sit down on the bench, each already exhaling small clouds of smoke, reflecting the nearing skies above. Roman leans back to rest his skull against the wall of the house, seemingly relaxing. Mutt almost takes on a complete opposite pose, slouching forward to let his hood fall up and cover his face as he exhales heavily.
“needed that,” Mutt says from under all the fluff, “thanks ghostie.”
You begin to shake your head is dismissal of the gratitude, then realize that neither is looking your way and then summon your voice.
You manage a quiet “No problem.”
Instead of rudely stare at the two, you turn your eyes to the shifting clouds, seeing the first drops of water start to trickle down. Soon becoming a slight drizzle of water, blanketing the sounds from outside.
The sound of the water hitting the cover above is almost serene, you close your eyes to enjoy the sound. You again catch onto that thrum, the slightest of sounds, this time a bit stronger as if layered.
You try and catch where it’s coming from but fail, as it seems to come from all around in your little bubble of silence.
It’s Roman that breaks the trance you are in, his voice a low murmur as a snake of smoke moves out from the corner of his mouth its tail tracing a melancholic smile. “Its still weird sometimes.”
You don’t know what he’s talking about, so your keep quiet. Surprisingly, it’s Mutt that catches on.
“i feel that. waking and it’s still real, still up there without anything between.” Mutt says, as if it elaborates anything at all.
It doesn’t, at the very least not for you.
However, Roman lets out a short laugh, “If that isn’t the truth, Paps’ caught me a couple times just sitting outside. He does join me sometimes tho.”
Mutt straightens at that, raising his cigarette to take another long drag before replying.
“yeah, a dream.” And then he seems to lose whatever he was going to say, seeing you look curiously over at them.
“Ah,” You feel maybe a bit like you weren’t supposed to hear that. “I’ll just-“ And you point up, considering that you should’ve picked up some kind of clue that you are supposed to leave.
But before you manage to do much more than shift upwards a couple centimetres upwards, Mutt stops you by raising a hand and waving you over.
“no it’s fine ghostie, you’re just so quiet.” Mutt says.
“Sorry.” You murmur, still feeling like you are maybe not supposed to be here.
“it’s fine,” Mutt repeats, giving you a lazy smile as you follow his lead and move a little closer to them. “you’re living with us, makes sense you wanna know stuff.”
Roman nods in apparent agreement.
You’re a little unsure but smile at them nonetheless. “You don’t have to talk to me if you don’t want to,” You try and reassure them. “I’m hardly good company.”
At that Roman lets out a dismissive – psstch, stubbing the burnt end of the cigarette against the side of the bench. “Being a ghost doesn’t make you less, even without a name or whatever you think makes you important.”
You’d beg to differ, but you don’t say it out loud, just diverting your attention back out to the rain. Seems like it might be a heavier shower later on.
Roman sighs behind you, and you catch the click and fwoosh of a lighter being used. Seems like Roman needs another before heading back inside.
Mutt apparently does seem to mind the silence and asks from behind you; “how many years have you been like this?”
You don’t catch what he hints towards, “Hm?” Keeping your back turned makes the questions a little easier. Sans’ stare as well as his burning curiosity had become too much for you. Maybe not facing whoever that’s asking the questions will make it easier.
“how long you been alone?” Mutts tone is lighter, less pressing than Sans’, different from the probing tone that Rust and Boss had used.
You take a moment, trying to recall and only partially succeeding. “Years and years.”
“but people’s been living here, right?” Mutt continues.
“Yes,” You say.
“they never talk to you?”
You don’t reply. Mutt takes that either as an answer in itself or accepts it as a dismissal.
You don’t say anything more for a while, relishing in the silence.
You hear cars nearing, and the semi-familiar sound of bikes.
Sounds like some of the others are back.
Mutt just silently puts away the cigarette he smoked, conspicuously hiding it in the edge of a flowerpot. Roman sighs, slouching for a moment before he also flicks his half-used down beside the bench where he disposed of the first.
Both skeletons disappear in through the door, though you don’t follow when Mutt raises a questioning eyebrow at you. Just shaking your head and sticking to the end of the porch where the raindrops occasionally manage to pass by the small roof and pitter patter down onto the aged wood below.
Mutts questions were gentler than the others, like he’s heard about how you reacted to the others. But with how Crux acts all aggressive, you’ve drawn the conclusion that his maybe-brother – they never specified, but right now everyone seems to be brothers one way or another – will also be less inclined to be as polite as Mutts been.
You close your eyes up against the spray of rain, enjoying the semi-touch of rain. It’s always so alive.
But it also exhausts you a bit, that much passing through you feels tiring after a while, so you pull back. Thinking of maybe spending a bit of time in the walls of the house or the ceiling, you startle near the door as you hear a heavy thud, and a swear.
Waiting with you hand half-through the door, you weigh the options of just taking on the rain and move that way upwards to keep yourself unseen to whatever spectacle is happening inside.
But it’s decided without your input when a loud voice inside calls, “Do not worry Miss Ghost! We just momentarily misplaced our new couch.”
Well, with Captain calling out for you like that, disappearing would be rude, especially since he’s also been very accepting to the thought of having you living together with them.
You move inside, seeing him and Paladin fighting with straightening up a long couch. Finally ending up in front of where Rust is setting up a TV. It’s turned so that the fireplace is to the side, so whoever is sitting on the couch will also be able to enjoy the heat from it.
Captain quickly greets you, “Miss Ghost! We’re very sorry about the racket!”
“It’s fine,” You reassure him, turning to glance behind him. From the front-door you see Classic and Blues enter, Blues carrying a stack of chairs and Classic putting as little effort as possible in lifting a bag of groceries.
While your attention was gone, Captain has already jogged back outside in the rain to help haul more inside. You wonder how they keep dry in the rain, but mentally shrug the question off with the explanation of ‘magic’.
Paladin however, seem perhaps a bit more exhausted than Captain, and takes a minute to sit down on the couch. You float over to check a bit on him, noticing that both the couch and the TV seem rather new.
Did they buy completely new furniture? How luxurious.
Paladin seems to be cradling his shin, a green shimmer of magic dancing between his palms.
Oh no, did he get hurt?
But before you manage to see if anything’s wrong, Paladin has already straightened back up and notices you in front of him, undoubtedly looking a bit worried.
He gives you a gentle smile, “I am fine, Captain is perhaps just a bit too enthusiastic when it comes to physical labour.”
You get that, “Are you okay?”
“Nothing a touch of healing can’t fix.” Paladin reassures.
You accept that, considering that you don’t know anything about how it works. Again, magic seems to be a very practical thing all around.
You shift, looking over at how Captain carries in the remaining chairs and helps Blues set them up around the island in the kitchen and also a semi-big dining table that now takes up half the space in the kitchen.
“How do you feel?” You hear Paladin ask while your attention strays.
“We are not too noisy, are we? Because we wouldn’t want to keep you from resting.”
“Oh,” You honestly can’t hear them much when you’re on the roof so it’s not like their volume matters. “No, you’re fine, don’t worry about it.”
“That is a relief to hear, even with the extended corridor, I had my doubts about the privacy and space in here.” Paladin says, standing back up from where he’s sitting. “I suppose I should also join the others in carrying the rest inside.”
And he does, it seems there are no more large items that needs to be carried, but an additional two recliners and one large beanbag joins in front of the TV. Also, several much-needed kitchen appliances and groceries are carried inside. A couple paintings and some shelves to-be-filled-with-books are set up on the walls. And finally, everything is set up.
The house finally starts to feel like it’s more of a home and less of an abandoned building.
A lot of interactions here, I tried to balance it out to some degree, but I don't know if I succeeded. I'd love to hear if any characters feel out of place or if anything sounds awkward and I'll do my best to fix it! ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ
You manage to chat a bit more with the others.
So sorry about the late chapter! I hope you enjoy! :3c
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
You’re reminiscing for a bit, thinking about how nice it’ll be for the place to actually have somebody living in it again. When you hear a dissatisfied voice ring from outside.
You don’t manage to catch the words, but by the tone and the pitch you can guess that it’s Crux that is displeased in some way or another. With how he’d reacted to your presence the first time you met, you don’t particularly feel like receiving a round of complaints about your current existence.
So, you just wave at Captain and Blue, both standing in the kitchen-area and working on putting away various tools for cooking. They both enthusiastically wave back at you before you shift up and out of sight.
Pausing in the loft, you try and take an account of how you’re feeling. Tired. But that’s nothing new.
Glad, maybe even happy at the new monsters moving in. It’s mixed, but the conversations you’ve had with some of them have gone well. Mutt and Roman seemed less prone to bouts of anger and the others also seemed not to mind you as much.
Though you still felt unsure about Crux, and Sans – Axe? – and Papyrus. Honestly, Papyrus hadn’t done anything with ill will towards you and technically Sans hadn’t attempted to harm you. Or you don’t think so. It might’ve just been brutal honesty.
It’s a bit of a greyed area with regards to them you think. You don’t feel like spending energy pondering about their motivations at the moment.
With a shift of will, you make yourself move up the last bit through the roof. The rain has eased, but it actually seems like the roof is dry despite the constant drizzle these last few hours.
Even more odd is the skeleton that’s taking a nap on the roof, and a weird little stick that set up on top of the chimney.
Upon further inspection – and by further inspection you mean you sneakily float above him and wave your hand in front of his face – It’s Classic. And he seems to visiting dreamland heavily.
You can even hear him snore a bit. Which is, odd, considering that he doesn’t have a nose or lungs in the first place. Skeleton monsters don’t make a whole lot of sense to you as far as you’ve been interacting with them. But of course, you shouldn’t have a whole lot to contribute to that again, because, you’re a ghost.
So, you decide to ignore his presence for now and instead just lay down on the tiles of the roof to relax and recover some of your mental stamina.
It works to some degree; you still can’t sleep, but you manage to lay and gaze into the hazy trickle of water above. Looking at it, you see that it appears to evaporate approximately a couple meters above the roof and follow a whole arch that covers the driveway, but not the garden or the porch there.
Hm. You shoot a look at the pole on the chimney. Probably it’s function.
As you let time flow past you, not getting interrupted, you feel yourself zone out. It’s nice, even if the rain usually would be a cause of exhaustion. Now, with it being withheld from soaking the roof you can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
You’re just letting your gaze flicker about, seeing the clouds pass by overhead, each delivering their share of water. It continues for a while and even as you’re really enjoying this, you end up just closing your eyes to let the pitter-patter of the raindrops lull you into a relaxed state.
Letting your thoughts wander, you brush across the different interactions you’ve had so far with everyone once more, trying to sort your feelings about them a little better. Most seems pleasant enough, if maybe a bit more forward than you’ve ever really encountered while being spectral. Most people seem uneasy or uncomfortable with the thought of having a ghost living in their house.
Or at least that’s what happens of what you’ve heard from the various renters over the years.
You never really interacted much with them at all. Considering.
Well, hopefully the more disinterested skeletons stay like that. You don’t think Crux or Boss seem very keen on your presence. Neither did Sans or Papyrus.
Or, Sans didn’t. Papyrus acted like he didn’t mind you all that much, but again, you don’t remember last night very well. Something must’ve come up.
When you try and think about what happened, your thoughts shift, instead pondering about other subjects.
Well, aside from those four, it seems that most of the skeletons are friendly towards your presence.
You return from your mental recount to the sound of laughter.
Opening your eyes, all you can see is the underside of feathery wings. It takes you a moment to react, then sit up to try and see what’s going on.
Oh. There’s a bird.
It’s on top of you and it appears to be very confused as to why it can’t interact with you. As you sat up, you’re half engulfed in the wings of your passenger. It’s a seagull, one of the biggest birds around here.
It’s also unsuccessfully pecking at your legs, instead hitting the tiles of the roof in a dull ‘clink’ every time it fails to achieve its objective.
And the one laughing – the reason behind you waking up – Is Classic.
He’s rather losing it, one hand braced against his chest as he laughs, the other is occupied keeping him sitting up as it seems that the scene of you having a feathery companion is rather amusing to a skeleton.
Well, it maybe does look a little weird, like a bird-human hybrid or something.
You flap your arms in an attempt to spook the bird away. Failing, as the movement instead attracts it attention further and it tries to peck at your spectral arms.
This isn’t working.
Trying to ignore Classic’s laughter, you will yourself to phase down and through the roof to the loft beneath. Maybe the curious thing will leave after a while without you showing.
That might be a good solution long-term. But now your rest was interrupted for a second time in a day and you’re still not fully up with the energy needed to move about all that much.
You might have to tell then that you feel further ghastly if you don’t manage to recharge about a certain number of hours. And by ghastly, you mean that you don’t remember much when you don’t manage to.
Well it doesn’t seem to be that bad yet, however you would appreciate the lack of skeletons tonight if you wanted any extended rest.
Footsteps fall below you as you shift down through the ceiling, and when you gaze down you see Classic standing there, having likely teleported downstairs once you made your desired exit from the roof. Also, there was a large bird, that might’ve playing into him leaving. Seagulls especially seem to dislike company if their cause of interest has left.
Looking at him, you see that there are tears in his eye sockets from the laughter. Still letting out an easy chuckle, he waves you down. You oblige. Mostly because you did leave rather rudely earlier.
He takes a moment to gather himself, then smiles lazily at you. “i know you can float and all but I didn’t know you kept to the other side too.”
You sigh, contemplating just disappearing through the floors of the second level to avoid bird-related jokes. You didn’t even realise that any of the skeletons aside from Rust possessed any kind of humour.
At your exhibit in reluctance at your continued presence, Classic lets out another laugh. “not one for the classics? don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. a lot of us seem to be birds of a feather.”
Okay, you’re seriously considering making another act of disappearance. You rarely have the energy to interact on others, much less deal with cheesy jokes.
It’s not that you’re against having a bit of fun but further having to deduce what is meant as a genuine thing and a sarcastic remark as well as joke ridden banter.
Not letting Classic get under your fictive nails, you just sigh and shrug. “Guess that I’ve got to learn how to fall before I try to fly.”
There, your best attempt. You’ve now humoured Classics antics. Maybe skedaddling out of this conversation is now a valid thing to do without being considered rude.
Well apparently, your attempt at a joke is decent, because it does startle a chuckle out of Classic.
He gives you a thumb up and another grin as he recovers. “well done ghostie, i’ll give you a passing grade.”
You can’t help but give him a tired smile in return. He doesn’t mean anything bad by it, so you think you’ll get along with Classic well enough, giving that you’ve got enough energy to mentally deal with all this.
This meaning Classic in general.
You guess the same applies to everyone else in the house, but at the very least you’ve got a small thread picked up for how Classic likes to talk.
He then proceeds to give you a wave and make his own exit, a casual; “don’t be a stranger ghostie.” Thrown your way as he leaves to enter the hallway.
Thoroughly exhausted, you consider now retreating to either the roof or the porch. Either spot seems to be quiet enough for you, since now Classic has left one of them and the other is relatively hidden from the majority of the skeletons.
But then again, you can always rest when its night. If you stay away from the house and maybe ‘sleep’ on the porch or in the garden once the rain has stopped, you should be able to get some relative rest.
For now, you think you can handle just a bit of chatter if it doesn’t demand too much out of you for participation. That, and there’s a pleasant smell coming from the kitchen downstairs.
Maybe worth a peek to see who’s home right now.
You mentally dip through the carpet and wood that makes up the first floor, down and down until you – not really, but again it’s all about thoughts when it comes to this – touch the floor on the ground level.
Looking about, you see that there’s somebody taking a nap on the couch, guessing by the lump beneath a large blanket. You don’t make a sound, nor go any closer to whoever is sleeping. You know that you cast a relatively strong luminous light around wherever you are, so moving any nearer could potentially wake up whoever is there.
You don’t care to find out who it is, considering that maybe half of the monsters in the house seem disgruntled by your presence.
Instead, you move away from the couch and closer to the kitchen, noticing that the lights are on, in there in opposition to the living room.
The voices you catch are also quieted down and calmer than usual. Likely out of consideration to whoever is asleep. It is getting a little late you guess. While the sun is still up for a while longer, it’s dipped deep below the horizon, a distant glow that casts a mix of orange and red rays in through the window in the kitchen.
Here, you spot Stretch and Mutt sitting by the island in the middle of the room. Both are seated on bar-chairs, likely a purchase from earlier considering that they weren’t there last time you peeked downstairs.
Blues and Roman are both busy cooking, with Roman chopping away at some onions while Blues is swishing around some sausages and bacon in a pan until they become crisp and brown. On the stove, a large pot is simmering away.
Mutt is the first to notice you, raising a hand in a half-wave unthinkingly before he realizes that the movement also attracts everybody else’s attention. Freezing slightly, he lowers the hand and instead fiddles with the cup that’s placed next to him on the island.
Ah, he probably wanted to check before he drew the other’s gaze. Since you’re fine with it, you raise your own hand and sheepishly wave at them before shifting over to float beside the island.
“Ah, Miss. It’s very nice to see you again!” Blues seems cheery, not fully setting down his work, but still shooting you a smile. “I would offer you some as well, but I do believe that this is not of the calibre needed for spectral consumption.” He seems displeased for a moment, returning his attention back to cooking. “I do wish that we had a more diverse kitchen at the moment, however nearby stores do not seem to have an abundance of monster produce.”
With Blues having returned his full energy back to the pan and spatula that he’s wielding, you don’t want to interrupt him. Instead, you try and shoot a curious look at Stretch, trying to prompt him to continue the subject.
Stretch seems to catch on, swirling on his chair to face you better and leaning one elbow heavily onto the surface on the island as he rests his chin on it. “you never heard of monster produce?”
You shake your head no.
Stretch hums in contemplation for a moment, then tapping one finger against his cheekbone before explaining; “It’s ingredients that have magic naturally imbued in it.”
He pauses for a moment, the finger stilling. “tho I guess that most normal food also has magic to some degree in it.” Stretch pauses again, apparently thinking while looking over at where Roman is still chopping away at a rather large pile of onions.
Roman, apparently feeling the gaze on him, turns to his apparent audience. The knife in his hand is waved loosely though the air as he starts talking. “Yeah, magic’s in everything. But it hasn’t been in a long time, so most normal foodstuff only contains a small amount of residential magic compared to the stuff that’s handled by monsters.”
He points the knife at the pot on the stove. “Most common food seems to have enough magic to be able to be consumed by monsters without issue or something like that.”
“but we could eat the stuff even without magic in it underground?” Stretch remarks, eyes lazily resting on you while speaking to Roman. “we think it’s because just passing the barrier was enough to give it enough kick to be edible for us. now that the barrier’s gone, stuff’s getting back in order. seems to take a bit of time tho.”
Roman is nodding along as Stretch talks. “Plants seem to have the easiest time absorbing all the new magic, though the meat is also starting to have enough in it to be able to be eaten even by weak monsters.”
You are fascinated by the prospect of food containing magic. However, even though the explanation was very good. It wasn’t really what you wanted to know. What had caught your attention initially was the thought of ghost-food.
However, you do feel hesitant about asking, mostly because Stretch seems rather tired and Roman has redirected his attention back to chopping away at the onions.
“’ts food fully made of magic that ghosts can eat.” You hear from beside you.
Mutt has apparently caught onto your line of thought, hands cradling his cup as he speaks. “’idn’t have any where I was at, but it’s supposed to be food that helps spectral monsters keep their energy up.”
His voice is low though, a bare murmur that is only discernible to you because he’s right next to you. However, Stretch also manages to catch onto the last bit, eyes still resting on you as he raises his lacking eyebrows – how do they do that? - seemingly catching on.
“ah,” He straightens a bit in his chair, lifting his own cup to his mouth as he takes a sip and sets it down again. “right, guess that’d interest you. being a ghost and all.
You shrug. You’ve managed this far, so you doubt that it’ll help you any.
None of the others say much after that, supposedly after a busy day that they’re all tired and would like to just get something to eat. Roman finishes chopping the onions and add them to the pot, turning up the heat a bit before leaving it to keep chugging on its own and taking a seat with the rest of you.
Roman eyes you for a moment, most likely thinking about something, but not saying anything right away. Instead he rises for a moment to brew himself something from the fancy new coffee machine in the kitchen.
It’s quiet. Only the sizzling sound of Blues finishing his part of the food carries through the silence. None of them making any attempt at conversation.
You’re reminded of last night, where Papyrus had cooked bacon in much the same manner. It’d been a whole other mood then, less relaxed. This here feels comfortable, less forced calm and more like what you’d felt together with Mutt and Roman when you were sitting on the porch.
Weird that was just earlier today.
After a while, Blues finishes up his own part, adding it to the pot as well and taking it off the heat. He then starts fishing out plates and cutlery from various shelves and drawers in the kitchen.
Seems like food is ready.
As Blues pours himself a portion and sits down in the last available chair by the island, you see that the dish they’ve been working on is risotto.
Being dead, you don’t feel hunger, as you can’t eat anymore in the first place. However, the smell that wafts through the kitchen is undoubtedly rich and pleasant.
Once Blues is seated, the rest also rise to take their own portions of food. Now it seems to be a bit livelier than earlier, everybody is enjoying the food, chatting more than before about this thing that’s missing and that thing that can also be added to the food. Seems like it’s a pretty good dish.
You don’t join the conversation, instead listening in and enjoying the easy atmosphere.
Seems like checking downstairs proved to be a good idea.
When the pot is still half-full – likely out of consideration to the rest that haven’t eaten, making you think of Sans and Papyrus – Blues and Stretch takes care of clearing up the dirty dishes. With Stretch gathering whatever has been used and transporting it to the sink, Blues, with a pair of those horrid pink latex gloves on, takes to washing them and setting them up on a drying rack.
Once that’s taken care of, they all seem to gather with refilled coffeecups, even Blues, around the island. The attention once again returned to you.
You don’t really know what to say, so you just focus on watching the sun disappear under the panes of the window.
“so, what do you like?”
The question is unexpected, unseen, and completely random. You turn your gaze back to the table to see that it’s Stretch that’s made the effort to talk to you again.
With him just holding your gaze, you suppose you’re meant to deliver some kind of verbal reply to the unspecific question.
Blues comes to your rescue when it seems that Stretch will just keep staring. “Jeez brother! You cannot just ask about something so undecisive without providing some form of area you’d like them to elaborate on. Watch!” he then turns back to you, thinking for a moment before asking; “Miss, do you like to watch television?”
You nod, “Sometimes people left theirs on. I like the odd shows about people clearing obstacle courses.”
Blues practically shines at your reply. “Oh those are very enjoyable, I agree! Are there any other things you like to spend time doing or seeing? I suspect that being spectral limits some hobbies.”
Again, you nod. “I like animals I guess. Also audiobooks.”
“audiobooks?” Stretch probes.
“Yeah.” You can faintly recall lively eyes and boundless energy. They always left the player on whenever they left the house. It was a nice six months then.
“Hm.” Ponders Blues, one hand running along the bandana around his neck. “I wonder if we can acquire more for you to enjoy!”
You move to dismiss his generosity, but Blues just keeps a hand raised to placate you. “It is the least we can do! We all appreciate you being here and wishes for our stay not to be a bother for you.”
Ah, not much you can do about that. You know by the way Blues’ stance holds that he won’t be budged on this subject.
So, all you can do is accept it. It’s a little odd, to be taken care of when you’re little more than reflected light and an apparently stubborn soul.
Well, you suppose it can’t hurt to accept.
I hope the characterizations are accurate! writing so many different characters in one scene is p hard ;;
Also I'm gonna be gone next week! out on vacation until next weekend. However I also hit 700 followers on my tumblr and therefore I've now got an Art Raffle going down right here!!
You aren't managing as well as you thought you were
Hey everyone! sorry for the very long wait, but here's a new chapter!! ╭( ･ㅂ･)و ̑̑
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
You talk about differences in taste for a bit. Blues’ and yours relatively overlapping, with both of you preferring fictional content rather than stuff like biographies and slice-of-life stuff. Blues and even Mutt seems to have a taste for the romantic genre while Roman just shrugs noncommittally and Stretch just nods along to whatever.
You tell them that your taste is maybe a bit biased since you’ve had limited resources. Blues then asks how you managed to listen to what you do know, and you tell him that it was just forgetfulness on the hand of the previous owners.
He buys it, somewhat. He at least leaves the subject be.
As you all have a lull in the conversation, with you trying to scrounge up any memories about anything interesting you can recall. But your proverbial skin is saved from trying to talk about the weather – it’s a thing people still casually talk about? Right? it’s pretty much the only thing you remember anything detailed about.
“you really haven’t thought about this huh?” Stretch asks.
“What?” You say, befuddled, as watching the others had been keeping your attention.
“you know.” He waves a hand through the air, “all this about what you like. seems like you’ve had a whole lotta time to think, but never really wondered about this?”
You shrug. “I guess.”
You try to get a sense of what Stretch is trying to go at. It’s curiosity about you probably, but more, it’s curiosity about how your routine is.
However, as your noncommittal reply just leads him to give you an inquisitive glance and you can almost feel the further probing down your non-existent spine.
To maybe make him stop staring at you, you decide to elaborate a little. “I just never really thought of my interests as anything important. I mean, with how I never talked to anybody, who’d I chat about it with?”
“Not important?!” Comes the slightly outraged cry from Blues, who was clearly listening in on your conversation with everyone else.
He seems to almost be ready to spring forward towards you, but a slight hand on his shoulder from Mutt halts his apparent displeased speech that was aimed towards you.
“don’t stress it too much bro. remember she’s only known us for a coupla’ days.” Stretch says.
“No its not that Stretch.” You interject, making him turn his attention back away from his brother. He’s undoubtedly asking for you to elaborate on that.
It’s a little odd to put words to something you’ve mentally accepted for years, but you do your best.
“Look, I appreciate the sentiment – to the degree I’m capable of.” There it is, time to be a bit more of a participant in the conversation rather than the subject of it.
Stretch shoots you an odd look, one that’s mirrored almost by everyone at the table once your words sink in.
Mutt, shuffles his cup around in his hands for a moment, before biting the proverbial bullet; “what do you mean by that?”
“No – look.” You think they might be misunderstanding something here. “I am a ghost, a decade old ghost.”
Roman nods, urging you on.
“I can’t touch anything. I don’t get hungry, but I don’t eat anything either. I can’t feel warmth or cold.” You tick off your points on your fingers, trying to be as frank as possible. “I don’t have anything specific binding me to the ‘physical world’” You even do little quotation marks. “But the bottom line is that the one thing still holding me here is my perception of ‘me’”
“So-” Hm, you don’t think you’ve really tried to put it down like that actually. Seems maybe a bit depressing that way.
“So, I don’t erhm.” Oh wow, how do you make this sound less sad?
“I don’t have any interest in anything other than my physical state I suppose. And that also demands energy, so it gets a little iffy on how much thought I give to myself as a person at this point.” There, great, nailed it.
Ah. As you look at them all after your little spiel, you don’t think you made your point of view as positive as you’d hoped. They all look rather. Uhm. Horrified? Torn? Angry?
Perhaps a swift exit would be appropriate.
But before you manage to focus on removing yourself, somebody is standing in the opening leading into the kitchen. It’s no matter of blocking your exit, you know that, but you don’t know who it is as you’ve got your back turned, but you can feel the other’s attention shift.
“huh, i see. makes sense.” His voice is leaden with sleep, but it’s undoubtedly Rust that’s behind you. He must’ve been the one sleeping on the couch, awoken by the sound of your chatter.
Somehow, that makes this further worrying.
“i mean,” Rust continues, and when you turn to look at him, he’s scratching a clawed finger on the bridge of his nose. “’sidering you’ve been here a decade. with how little magic is seepin’ back into everything, gotta think that you’re still here is kind of a miracle.”
“we don’t really know much about ya’ll ghosties-“ Rust pauses to let out a long-stretched yawn. “but yeah. can’t fault her for focusing on existing, living from one day to the next. not a bad way to handle it.”
“Not a bad way?!” Blues looks, well, he looks split between being angry at Rust just accepting your situation and being mortified over how you’ve been hanging on this far.
“yeah,” Rust just repeats, his gaze sweeping over the room. Stretch and Roman both seem disgruntled with his statement in a similar manner as Blues, but instead of voicing it, they just shoot a worried glance at you.
Mutt is... Mutt is nodding along to Rust’s explanation. It’s not a full-bodied show of approval, more a slight tilt of the head. His eyes also rest on you, but look more melancholic than anything, as if thinking deeply about something.
“I can’t believe-“ Blues is about to counter with something, but something between Rust’s heavy glance and the way that you don’t seem to be countering anything Rust had said seems to silence him.
Blues instead seems to force himself to calm down. Sitting back down on the chair and taking a deep gulp of his coffee. Setting it down, he rubs the bridge oh his nose with his gloved finger, thinking. “I suppose I never asked Napstaton about being a ghost as much as I should have, and thusly do not have much to back up on how spectral livelihood is experienced.”
Briskly turning to rinse his cup in the sink, Blues continues on; “But the few times I recall talking to them about it I can’t recall them mentioning that it was as heavily a duty as you’ve described.”
You don’t know if you should take that as a statement of the conversation finished or if you’re supposed to say something to refute his comment. You do, after all, not know any other ghosts. So comparing yourself to the one – Napstaton? Sounds somewhat familiar? – that Blues knows isn’t really all that effective.
Finally, Stretch seems to deem the conversation approachable. His eyes no longer just focusing on you and instead follows his brothers’ movement. “’don’t remember much about any of their family members going on like that either.”
Stretch then also rises from his seat, bringing his cup over to add to the one that Blues is already washing. You notice that he bumps his hip together with his brother’s, as if to reassure him.
Something unspoken seems to pass between them, and you almost feel like phasing out of the room to leave this odd atmosphere.
Rust then steps up beside you, a hand reaching up to half-pat you on the shoulder as if to reassure you, he’s undoubtedly trying to make you calm down a little, even if his hand passes through you.
You appreciate his attempt nonetheless.
Feeling more than a little exhausted, you don’t say anything more, deciding that this evenings conversation has taken plenty of energy out of you.
Keeping your silence, you phase back up the ceiling as the low murmur of the skeletons follow you through the plaster.
You haven’t been sleeping.
You know that it wasn’t all that unusual for you not to sleep for weeks or even months on end when you were just, well, just there. All the talking, the moving around, the emotional management. It’s really wearing you down faster than you could’ve ever imagined.
If you were physical, you would probably have a killer headache.
Instead, you start to find it harder to move around. Somewhere around mid-morning after your conversation with the others, you can’t make yourself go downstairs. Your body is almost fighting against the attempt, as if you’d suddenly become corporeal.
Not that you have, and even if something like this normally happening would’ve maybe made you happy or hopeful of reaching another level of spiritual footing, this only shows that something is wrong.
You don’t move most of the morning, staying almost entirely still on the rooftop in the exact same position you’ve held all night.
Alas, you don’t get to stay there for longer than the sun rising. As Blues suddenly appears next to you.
“Ah! I see, this is where I first met you. Seems like Rust’s guess was correct!” He’s wearing a sweatshirt today over a pair of leggings, his bandana still tied around his neck, despite how it bulks slightly behind as it is pushed up by the hood.
You don’t say anything. Even registering that he’s speaking is taking more out of you than you expect.
Honestly, you think that everything is draining. Blues seeming to notice this, as he crouches beside you with a worried expression the moment you don’t reply to his greeting.
Blues crouches by your side, and you notice that even your light seems to be dimmer as it is reflected in his eye-lights.
One hand hovering half between trying to touch you and staying by his hip, he looks you over from where you’d turned from your resting position.
“Are you alright?” He asks, finally deciding on giving up on touching you, instead hooking his hand in the rim of his bandana and tugging slightly. You’re glad he didn’t. Him phasing through you would’ve burned even more energy.
Then, between you blinking and the next, he’s gone.
You don’t think about where he’d gone, just that you don’t have to focus on anything. Your soul – your form quivers.
And you fall asleep.
You don’t dream. You never do. But you fall asleep on the roof, with two things apparent; you were not hidden, and Blues had just seen you at your weakest and furthermore you falling asleep.
It’s almost like you can think, just a little, as you sleep. Usually it’s just nothing – a void, a silence, a blessing, and you don’t try and fight against the numbness it induces.
But this time, there’s a tug, a pinch. The worry of frightening a friend. You don’t want him to be scared.
However, the sleep is hard to shove off, it’s heavy, as if flesh and bone still weighed you down. You know that time passes as you try and push away from the darkness that fills your mind, searching and searching for the light that calls you to your conscious state.
But suddenly, there is a shine, a glow. You follow it.
You open your eyes.
You don’t feel as rested as you should. Probably because you didn’t let it pass naturally. Or, as naturally as you can consider your unconscious switch to be flipped the very moment your body doesn’t contain enough energy.
But you managed to wake. That is good.
What you first see is harsh sunlight. You don’t know if hours, days or weeks have passed. But it’s at the very least daytime, waking a night and trying to find Blues to apologize would prove a problem.
“Oh. You’ve awoken.” You can’t pinpoint the voice very well from the get-go. But when you turn to the side, you see Paladin sitting next to you on the rooftiles. His hand has a slight glow to it where it’s poised in your direction.
You don’t find that you can speak right away, but Paladin doesn’t seem to mind. Sitting back down and leaning back on his arms, he keeps his eyes on your form.
“You’ve only been gone a few hours-“ Well that is good to know. “Blues had a right fright at seeing your state. I’ll admit, I didn’t have much of a clue of what could’ve caused it. But none of the others were awake yet – Captain has left to shop for tonight’s dinner – and it was only the two of us to try and solve this.”
Solve? Solve what? Is he talking about how you look when you sleep? Is it that bad?
You find your voice. “What-“ Summon a bit more energy in your voice, that was barely more than a whisper.
“What do you mean? I was just sleeping.”
“You were?” Paladin seems stupefied. Then he slowly reaches out toward you, hand glowing a semi-familiar green. Oh, that’s healing magic.
“Yes.” You reply, sitting up, the light feels remedying on your exhausted form. Man, you really didn’t get much sleep. This might end up badly if you continue losing energy like this with no constant rest. “What did it look like? Since I apparently scared Blues.”
“You were barely there, flickering like a candlelight before a breeze.” Paladin says. “We were both worried that you were disappearing as we’ve heard that some ghosts do after a while.
Guess that would be worrying.
You lean forwards to cradle your head in your hands. “Mmm, sorry. I don’t know.”
Paladin is quiet for a minute, probably thinking it over. His hand still slightly glowing as if he’s forgotten that he’s actively using magic. Then he startles – a fullbody motion that makes him jump onto his feet. “I forgot! I have to tell Blues you’re alright!”
And, he’s gone.
Seems like they all have the ability to teleport around. What an odd trait for a full group of skeletons to have.
And then again, you’re able to phase through anything and move anywhere you will yourself to be. Maybe it’s a similar principle? Urgh, while the strong sunlight is good, your level of energy is still very low. But still, it’s better than it was yesterday despite your short sleep.
What was that about the healing magic? You raise your head to gaze out into the garden. Paladin seemed to have used it on – you? while you slept. Maybe it helped you wake back up?
No matter, you’ll ask him about it – later. Yeah later. Right now you should find Blues.
You’re just about to make yourself phase down through the roof, when somebody appears right in front of you.
“I was so worried!” Blues, as ever, seems to have little control over his volume. There’s a slight tremble to his hands as he crouches down in front of you, reaching out to frame your face with his palms. It’s a little off as he’s making sure not to go through you, but you get the feeling that he’s trying to inspect you.
“You suddenly didn’t respond. And then you did this horrible flicker – You’ve never done that before! No I mean, we haven’t known each other long, so I shouldn’t dismiss anything as a bad thing. But then you didn’t respond to anything I said or did! You just laid there, frozen!” Blues keeps on ranting, eye-lights flickering over your features. As he leans a little closer, his arms end up shifting down and leaning on the tiles of the roof. Framing you as he still sits face-to-face with him.
“I was so – so scared you would disappear.” He then closes his eyes, turning his face to the side as if forcing back tears.
As his form shudders and then sort of curls in on itself, you end up with him half-leaning his face on your shoulder. Half, because he’s actually resting his weight on his arms and not on you in any form.
A little uncertain, you raise your arms up to wrap them around his form. Blues even gives a little shiver where you accidentally pass through him, you do know that you emit warmth to some degree, so he probably can feel your touch from that.
You stare at the skies, holding an exhausted skeleton in your arms.
“I’m sorry Blues.”
So, you end up in the living room. It’s later in the day, whereas some of the others are still in bed or out and about, you do have a small audience to your explanation.
Captain returned from his trip, confused over the worn look on Blues’ face before he had the situation explained and then eagerly wishing to participate in listening. His rather boisterous voice summoned some of the others. One of them Crux, who, at the sight of you, sighed and went out the door.
Mutt had followed in, as well as Classic. None of the others showed though, so you guess they were still asleep.
So now you have Paladin, Blues, Classic (who, Captain had gone up and into his room to pick up), Mutt as well as Captain to have to talk to. They’re all sitting in the couch or on the floor – Mutt seems to be able to lounge anywhere and make it seem comfortable.
“Well.” You start. You don’t feel fully invigorated still, so you’ll try to keep this simple. Also, the attention paid to you is making you rather anxious.
You raise your hand to point it at Blues and then Paladin. “This morning, I was found by Blues on the roof. As I was exhausted by that time, I fell asleep in front of him. And my state apparently worried him, so he called Paladin to help. So, they’ve both managed to see me as I slept. Now, I didn’t know how it seemed to anybody else before now, because I usually hide or am left alone while sleeping, but not to make any of you worry, I want to tell you what happens when I do sleep.”
You try and describe what Blues and Paladin had seen, with them adding on here and there. “So, it seems I can’t keep my form very well while sleeping. And I don’t know why – All I know about it is that I black out for a time, lasting from hours to weeks.” Blues startles at the timeframe, and a frown appears on Classic’s face. “So, if it happens again, that I fall asleep somewhere you can see me. You just need to know that it’s not me disappearing, but just that I need a recharge. And you won’t need to worry about me.”
“sounds a bit worrying to me though.” Classic adds. Slouched forward with his chin resting in his palm. “i mean, sounds a lot to me like you’re runnin’ low on energy to a point where your soul shuts down to conserve energy. might not be bad if you’ve been doing this all this time, but we might be able to figure out something else that can keep you from having to do that.”
“Yes.” Paladin tacks onto Classic’s statement. “I can’t believe that such a state is healthy for a soul, even one where you have no physical body to keep up.”
You just shrug. The whole spiel you went through was enough to make you feel overwhelmed. You’re not really in the mood for a continued discussion on the subject.
“However, I do believe we can ease the progression of your exhaustion slightly.” Paladin continues on, rising from his seat on the couch. You didn’t notice earlier, but he’s wearing a rather nice dress-shirt covered by a sweater, seems a lot more comfortable than his earlier outfit with the long jacket.
As he steps nearer, his hand glows a gentle green – the one emitted by healing magic. His hand raises, palm up, as if to ask for yours.
You oblige, placing yours, palm-down on top of his. Then, you feel a soft buzzing, and you suddenly feel a bit less tired. It’s not a grand shift, but you do feel like you’re less prone to passing out again right away.
Oh, so it was healing magic that helped you wake.
As you gaze at Paladin, he also looks up from where your hands are touching (well as much touching as you can manage) and gives you a gentle smile. “It does seem like active magic affects the miss to some degree. Healing magic appears to assist her in managing her energy a little easier but doesn’t seem to replenish it much.”
Paladin makes the magic fade, and you remove your hand, pressing it against your chest as if the buzz of magic still flowed through it.
The conversation continues, but most of the words pass by overhead for you as you feel yourself still drained. Making eye-contact with Blues, you point upwards. He gives you a thumbs-up and you take that as approval to leave.
The rooftop is warm from the constant sunlight today.
That evening, you phase downstairs – your energy relatively restored from the nice weather and uninterrupted rest. Waiting below are both Stretch and Blues, the brothers lounging on the couch with something banal and simple playing on the TV as they chat.
Stretch spots you first, giving you a wink as he waves you over. “hey ghostie, nice to see ya.”
“Hello Stretch.” You greet, floating closer to peer over the back of the couch. It looks like a drama series of some kind, but the sound is almost completely down, so it was likely on more for background noise rather than anything else.
“Hi Miss!” Blues greets, giving you a sunny – if slightly tired, smile.
You guess it has been a rather hard day on him, with how the morning went. Since you also don’t know what happened after you left.
But, despite all that, he still tries his best to summon a positive façade, you’ll have to appreciate that. “Hi Blues, how are you doing?”
“I’m doing just fine.” Blues answers. “Actually –“
He reaches out his hand for the remote, fiddling with it for a moment before the screen switches over from the current program. “Would you like to watch some Wipe Out with us?” Blues asks, and you see that he’s found several seasons of the show, all available.
Aw. He remembered your conversation from yesterday before it turned depressing.
You nod and the genuine smile you get from him is worth it.
With you peeking over the back of the couch, both Stretch and Blues settle in to watch.
Yeah this chapter was a bit Blues-heavy, but I just love the dude! he's so good!! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧
Feedback is always appreciated! I'd love to hear what parts you enjoyed!
Early bird gets the worm? More like early bird gets a whole can of problems instead
wooo! a more recent chapter than 2 months later what are the odds!
Anywho, my work has finally calmed down some, so I'll be trying to go with bi-weekly updates again since I also want to move this story along! <3
Hope you enjoy!!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Watching TV with Streth and Blues is very relaxing. None of you really chat much, aside from the low murmur of comments regarding what you’re enjoying. It’s calm and pleasant you’re wholly enjoying yourself as you watch a couple of episodes like this.
Eventually however, Blues starts yawning and excuses himself to go to bed. Stretch sticks around, but you do get the sneaking suspicion that he’s also just falling asleep on the couch. As a new episode is about to start up, you shift from your position and glide down to hover above him, trying to figure if he’s still awake. If he’s not you think you’d try and attempt to get him to go to bed.
As you’re only a short distance from his form, illuminated only by the light from the TV and the slight glow your form casts; you see that he did indeed fall asleep. His face is pressed into the back of the couch as he’s pillowing his head on his arm and tucked his other around his body.
Almost curled together. Even if he does look like he could sleep another two years – judging by how his eyes are bagged and the tired slouch in his posture – you don’t think it’s wise for him to sleep on the couch as he already has a perfectly functional bed.
Hm. Actually, you do not know if Stretch’s bed is better than the couch. He also seems to be sleeping quite deeply.
You hover, a bit uncertain before finally deciding on at the very least attempt to wake him. Comfortable or no, he shouldn’t sleep here.
So, you try and reach down to maybe – well sort of, not entirely sure if he can feel it – reach down and phase through him.
He doesn’t react.
No real surprise there.
Looking around, you don’t see any of the other skeletons downstairs at the moment. The kitchen is dark, as are the stairs leading upstairs.
Perhaps you should see if Blues is still awake? Probably not but maybe one of the others can come down and haul Stretch into his room. Worth a shot.
Moving back, with a final look to check and make sure that Stretch isn’t just faking it or something like that. He seems to be absolutely passed out. So, you twist and shift upwards to the second floor.
The rest you’d gotten earlier really helps, you don’t feel as drained by moving around as before.
When you finally phase through the last part of the flooring, you see that it’s also dark up here on the second floor. You suppose it’d be late for everyone.
However, peeking your head through the open door leading into the corridor, you see a couple of rooms being open down the hall. Both of them has a dim light flooding outwards, seemingly inviting.
You hope you’re not intruding. Even though you’d been told that you were free to move wherever. It’s still with great reluctance that you move down past the closed doors to peer into the first open one.
In it sits Captain, tinkering by a desk placed in the back of the room, the light cast on his form is the only source of light and comes from a small desk lamp. His back is turned to you and you don’t think he’s noticed you. He looks busy. You don’t say anything right away, instead moving over to look in through the other open door.
There’s nobody there, weird. Why’d they leave the door open then? Isn’t that a bad thing?
You don’t think you could do anything about it in either case, but you make a mental note to figure out who lives in the room.
Anyways, with the lack of any other resident present, you suppose you’ll have to try and catch Captains attention somehow to come and assist you with getting Stretch into bed.
You move back into his doorway, lingering there for a second as you ponder on how to approach him, when he straightens from his hunkered position. Stretching his arms high above his head with a sigh, he then turns and rises from his chair.
As he moves away from the table, he spots you and gives you a smile. However, before he can say anything, you quickly place a finger over your lips to indicate how late it is. He stares at you, befuddled for a second before straightening and giving you a thumbs-up.
You lower your hand, a little unsure about how to get him to understand the situation. When he takes a couple of long strides, shortening the distance between the two of you.
A hand is reached out, and you hesitantly place yours in his. You’re rewarded with another grin and a gentle hum of magic that courses through your body. As you raise your gaze to meet his, he gives you a much gentler smile, other hand coming up to place on top of yours as his voice – rather drastically lowered to take grace on whoever might be sleeping next door – carries in the silence of his room. Your light being much weaker than the one at his table casts his face in shade, but you can see that he also looks tired.
“I’ll take a guess at your unexpected appearance Miss Ghost; that you require assistance with some matter downstairs.” He says, gesturing for you to take the lead with the hand he’d caged yours with.
Embarrassment clouds your mind for one moment, with how you’ve perhaps come at an inopportune time. But it fades quickly as you give him a nod and turn, your hand kept within his as you move back into the living room.
When he sees Stretch passed out on the couch and the TV on still, he pauses, releasing your hand in favour of placing his hands on his hips as he thinks. Captain then eventually lets out a sigh and gets to work.
He turns off the TV, letting the light you emit be the only source of illumination as he first tries and fails to awaken Stretch. In the end, he rolls his eyes and picks the sleeping skeleton off of the couch. Despite how dense you think Stretch is – considering that these skeletons forms aren’t exactly up to human standards – it seemingly is no effort for Captain to carry Stretch up the stairs.
When you follow him up, you take note of the doors.
The one that Captain sleeps in is the one that’s the second on the right. The one that was left open still gapes and is the fifth on the right. But the one that Captain nudges open is the second on the left.
You don’t follow him further than the opening leading into the hallway. When Captain then steps out of the room again, he tilts his head in confusion at your apprehension. But you just shake your head when he gestures for you to come closer.
You didn’t think of this much when you went in search for assistance, but you feel a bit like intruding into their personal space when you’re in the corridor with their rooms.
However, Captain seems to have it all in hand, as he steps closer and leans down to be at your eye-height.
“Thank you for helping Stretch out. I’m sure he will appreciate it once he awakens.” Captain says, his voice still hushed.
He then steps back, gives you yet another thumbs-up and goes back to his room, gently closing the door behind him.
You stay in the doorway for a moment. Revelling in the silence.
You might’ve stood there for a good ten minutes, when the fourth on the right opens, and out steps Sans – Axe? He was called that once if you recall correctly – and Papyrus.
Remembering how your last chat with them went, you shift backwards, a little sceptical about talking to them again. They didn’t seem like they appreciated you being there, so maybe exiting would be a good idea.
But Papyrus spots you before you manage to move further, covering the ground between the two of you with long strides akin to how Captain had done earlier.
“Oh! Greetings my spectral housemate!” Papyrus speaks rather loudly, but then catches himself.
He continues on, a more restrained volume to his voice; “We would like to apologize for the rude treatment last we met. But we’ve been unable to locate you since.”
You stare a bit bewildered at Papyrus for a moment. Then Sans steps up next to him, and you can’t help flinching.
That’s odd. You don’t remember him being that hostile to you last you spoke. So why do you feel incredibly uncomfortable with how he stares at you with his lone crimson eye-light?
“yeah, my bad.” Sans says, not an ounce of remorse in his words.
“Sans!” Papyrus starts out, catching himself being loud again, winces and then wrangles his volume back down. “That was not a proper apology! You know how distressed she became with how you questioned her last time.”
He leans down to be closer to his brother, and their voices drop too low to hear from where you are. But with how Sans just shrugs and waves his hand like swatting away a bug, and how Papyrus’ shoulders slouch and a hand rubs absentmindedly at his jaw, you can take a guess at what the subject they’re talking about is.
It’s you. It’s most definitely you.
Maybe leaving would be a good idea.
You’re half-deciding on making your escape, when Papyrus turns back to you, giving you a once-over and then nodding as if agreeing with himself.
“We were just about to make ourselves some food. Would you like to join us Miss?” Papyrus then asks, stepping forward to pass through the doorway. You shift to the side, leaving plenty of space for him to move.
Sans also just walks past you, his empty socket turned to your side an eerie sight.
After a minute, and no great demands from you, you find that Papyrus meant it as a suggestion for you to choose if you wanted to accompany them into the kitchen.
You don’t know if you have the nerves.
Something is curling in your chest, you think it might be fear.
How silly, to fear somebody when they can’t harm you.
You go downstairs, hearing the tinkering of a pan getting pulled out of the cabinets and Papyrus’ exclamations about how nice it is to have a fully stocked kitchen.
Sans sits at the island, instead of on it. But the placement is rather equal to where he sat that first night you met him. And once again he also eyes you with a disconcerting focus.
You try and ignore him, instead focusing on what Papyrus is planning on concocting. You see him about to pull out several packs of meat from – somewhere, you don’t actually see him open the fridge.
Seeing him about to open them, you see a lack of knives in his, instead what he uses to cut into the plastic is a long bone. Sharp enough to cut at the end, as proved by how smoothly Papyrus wields it to prepare to make food.
He then reaches for the cupboard above him, fishing about in it for a moment and then finding what he was looking for; pasta, apparently.
The moon’s light is dim tonight, casting everything in shadow.
Then, a light. The burner on the stove turned on to heat the pot of water that Papyrus throws onto it. He then moves – still dragging slightly on one leg, you wonder if he’s hurt – about getting everything ready for, whatever, he might be planning on cooking. With a stocked kitchen he seems more at ease, fishing out spices and fillings.
It’s pasta bolognaise apparently, and as Papyrus manages to get everything set up and ready, he starts humming. Again, it’s a slight and thin melody, but as you zone out gazing at his form moving around, you hear that semi-familiar thrum. It almost follows the melody, weaving with it as the tall skeleton starts plating the food.
When he stops, you almost startle, with how stuck you were in your reverie. Furthermore, as you turn around to see him walk over to his brother to hand him his portion, you swear you see Sans eyeing you with something, maybe your imagination, but it seemed like curiosity, rather than animosity.
But if he wants to say something, he keeps it tight between hooked canines as he digs into the food like a starved monster. Papyrus on the other hand, takes his time and you realize it’s likely due to having to be careful with his teeth rather than actual table manners.
Meanwhile, as the two of them share a meal, sitting side by side. You’re just kind of awkwardly settling down in the windowsill. The bare moonlight cast through the night mixing with your own natural illumination and when you look at your own hands, you feel like you’re shining brighter than usual.
“fadin’ on us again lil’ ghostie?”
You raise your gaze, shooting Sans a confused look just as you remember that you’re incredibly intimidated by him and instead lower your eyes.
He doesn’t seem to notice your discomfort – or maybe he doesn’t care. Sans just keeps his eye on you, you can feel the weight of his stare, but he doesn’t say anything else. While the sound of his fork scraping the bottom of his plate is loud and eerie in the sudden silence.
Just before Sans seem to open his mouth to say anything else, Papyrus puts his hand on his shoulder, gathering his brother’s attention back to him.
“Do not upset her once again brother. We cannot afford that we cause any further distress.”
Sans just hooks his hand into the bottom of his eye-socket, huffing out a breath of air. “no promises bro, dunno what’ll cause her to fall apart like that again.”
Papyrus, despite his rather guard lowering demeanour, seem sharp and tense for a fraction of a second before his shoulders drop. “I suppose that some suspicion is warranted Sans. But I as far as the others told us, even she doesn’t know what happened to her – much less what her own name is.”
And, we’re back to feeling like you’re an outsider. It was there before, when you first met them, and even when you joined them earlier tonight.
It’s something entirely different from what you felt from any of the other skeletons. Like they’ve got barriers up – despite their semi-friendly acting, that they keep up between you and the others.
Hm. Maybe they don’t like others butting in on their own family-time. Perhaps that was it.
Your attention drifting, you miss what Sans replied to his brother with. But you’re snapped back when another, much less quiet voice drifts into the relatively calm atmosphere.
“What are you doing at this abysmal time of night?!”
You haven’t heard his voice much, but you can still recognize Crux the moment that he steps into the kitchen and the moonlight illuminates his form. The cracks over his eye a sharp contrast between him and the large missing part of Sans’ skull.
When he sees who you’re with, he doesn’t let up on his displeasure. “Why are the two of you out of your rooms? Unsupervised even!”
Papyrus shuffles to the side, avoiding eye-contact while Sans just stares at Crux. “we didn’t get enough dinner, so we gotta make some ourselves.” The tension between the two could be cut with a knife.
Crux actually thinks this over for a minute, tapping his food with his hands folded over his chest. Finally, he seems to be deciding on what he wants to counter with. “If that was an issue, when why didn’t you just inform the others of it?”
Sans shrugs. “dunno, might have something to do with everybody being too damned worried over nothing to pay us any mind.” And he flaps his free hand in your direction.
Ok. Now you really don’t want to be here.
Crux merely gives you a quick glance, dismay in every fibre of his being. “I do not see how that should have limited you Axe. Even if Blues and some of the others were unable to be reached, I can guarantee you that my brother and myself were plenty reachable if either of you needed anything store-bought.” He then points at the opened packages of beef. “I do not trust that you gained those by staying in your rooms as told.”
Papyrus then puts out a hand, breaking off the stare off between Sans (Axe? Was it actually Axe, but?) and places his body between his brother and the other skeleton, wringing his hands together, he curls in on himself slightly to meet the eyes of Crux. “We meant nothing bad by it, and those packages were from before the move!”
“Back before the move- ?!” Crux cuts himself off, releasing his defensive stance to take quick strides to inspect the packaging. “These are several days too old! This is foolish. You’ve been cooking overdue food.”
He almost looks horrified, from your perch in the window you see several looks cross Crux’s face before it settles in steely determination.
As Crux turns to look at the other two, you feel a little bad for them – if just Papyrus, who looks almost ashamed of his choice in groceries. With Sans sitting passively with a ‘What did you expect at this point?’ kind of look on his face.
“This is unacceptable.” Crux seems just about to say something else, but instead clenches his teeth. “I will be having a stern talk with Classic about these – late night cooking sessions if you must have them several days in a row.”
Crux turns to throw out the packages, his shoulders tense as he continues on. “The least we can do – as we still have our immigration papers unsettled, is to make sure that there is enough food until we can get the important issues out of the way. So S-“ He visibly snaps his teeth shut, very uncomfortable with whatever he was going to say. “So, Axe, you and your can at the very least try and inform me if you have any purchases you wish to have finished.”
Axe actually huffs at that, grip tensing on the edge of his eye-socket. “and how are we gonna get a hold of you? it’s not like im able to go out and have a nice lil’ chat with how all the others jump at the sight of us.”
Folding his arms back over his chest and glancing at the ceiling. Crux seem to summon the last of his patience and generosity, teetering on over into the bad mood you’ve seen him display every time you’ve otherwise run into him.
Then, he sees you, and you see almost a flash in Crux’s eye-lights as he keeps his focus on you.
“Just tell the spectre whenever you need anything. I’m sure she has plenty of time on her hands.” You stare at him, more than a little intimidated and equal parts confused. He continues on, almost absentmindedly; “After all. She is keeping you well enough company.”
And then he just turns and walks out of the room. Leaving that half-threat hanging over your head.
Sans mutters something ineligible under his breath, unhooking his fingers from his eye-socket. Papyrus almost deflates, sinking back down onto his chair and leaning down so he can rest his skull on his arms. “That! Was the worst possible situation!”
Sans pats a hand on his brothers’ spine. “could’ve been worse. i mean he’s a shithead, but he did say he’d keep us stocked.” His attention then strays over to you. “so guess we’ll be seein’ a lot of each other in the future hm, ghostie?”
If there was any conceivable way of making that sound any less threatening, Sans sure as hell didn’t make an effort to do so.
Despite the nerves settling in your chest, you nod. It’s maybe a little stupid, to get scared of the monsters when you’re unable to get hurt. But the look on Sans’ face promises to find a way to make your life unpleasant regardless.
However, before either of them can say anything more. You make a quick exit.
You hide out on the porch, knowing that only a few skeletons know where it is.
Maybe also hoping that they might not try and find you out here since ‘they’ – referring to Crux, Sans and Papyrus, have been nothing but exhausting and you really wish that you hadn’t shown yourself to them last night.
But now a new day is blooming, well relatively blooming considering you are entering late summer and nearing fall, and you see that the apples on the small tree in the back yard is starting to get heavy with fruits.
Maybe you should mention that to some of the others.
Hm. Something to remember for later.
You’re leaning on the handrail on the edge of the porch, thinking, as you hear the door behind you creak open. However, as much as you’d like to chat, you’re really not feeling up to it right now. So you just keep your gaze fixated on the garden instead of turning around, leaning down to mimic resting your cheek on your crossed arms across the worn wood. The illusion clearly broken by the fact that your legs are folded under you with no foothold.
Also, you’re floating a good foot in the air. Yeah.
Whoever exited the house also seem less inclined to chat, as all your hear are footsteps and then the click and fwoosh of a lighter. The smoke carries over past you, the slight tail ending just above you. You take a beat to let your eyes follow its body, the lack of a breeze leaving it almost unbroken until it reaches outside your cover. Then it fades until its gone.
You turn and see who it is.
Wearing a much less – well less, outfit today, as it seems that he’s decked in a thin tank-top and loose jeans, Roman sighs out another plume of smoke as he leans against the beam next to you, eyes unfocused.
He looks drained, no, exhausted. Like he hasn’t slept properly in days.
You could’ve sworn he looked just fine the last time you saw him – but then again, you were also rather tried at that point, so you might’ve not been as observant as you’d thought.
Well, you don’t know how helpful you can be, considering you know so little about any of them – discounting the weird knowledge you’ve just gained about Sans and Papyrus apparently not getting enough food – but you can at the very least keep Roman company if he needs it.
You straighten from your curled position, shifting closer as you keep an eye out for any sign of him not wanting the additional company after all. But he doesn’t, in fact, a smile creeps up on the corner of his mouth just as he takes an additional drag and notices you.
“Taking a breather ghostie?”
“Mhm.” You hum, moving over so that you’re standing beside him, upper body turned to gaze up at him – Roman is, actually; rather tall. “Want company?”
“Sounds nice.” He lets out another puff of smoke, a grey cloud rather than the thin snake he let loose earlier.
As you keep close, a comfortable silence settling between the two of you as your eyes trace unintelligible smoke-signals, you hear a quiet hum. Like a beat, a feeling, a piece of a forgotten song without lyrics.
It the same you heard when laying on the roof with Rust, the same as when you last sat out here, Mutt and Roman having a quiet smoke.
Every time, it’s only appeared when you’ve been with one of the skeletons.
But not always. With Classic you didn’t hear anything, nor when the silence descended as you spent time together with Sans and Papyrus.
Maybe it’s variable. A coincidence.
Nonetheless, it feels very comfortable.
Ohhhh I'd love to hear what you liked about this one! also if I got Crux right, bc that boi is very difficult for me to write and he's maybe a bit too supportive? idk
Anywho, look forward to the next one! a lotta interesting stuff will start snowballing! ;3c
You have some rather serious talks with a couple of the skeletons.
oh dear, im so sorry, this is late,,, again
also a little shorter than the others but I just couldn't figure out where to let this one go, so here's a bit of a bite
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
You let a beat pass. The silence settling as Roman burns his first cigarette down to a nub, stubbing it on the railing beside him before lighting another.
The thrum settles, and you barely notice it as you keep your eyes on Roman.
You don’t know what to say to help him. But you’re willing to try.
“Roman.” You say, drawing his attention back to you.
“Are you…” You pause, but decide to curb your anxieties. “Are you alright?”
His eyes link with yours, a plume of smoke blurring his features for a second before he sighs.
“No.” Roman looks, vulnerable. “I’m not, but I can’t do much about it.”
Oh. You know the worry shows on your face as you think, and he lets out a hollow chuckle. Closing his eyes, he leans his head to the side, resting it against the hard, wooden surface. The cigarette is left be, a trail of smoke rising.
“I dunno how much the others have told you.” Roman starts, eyes still closed, the bags under his eyes more prominent. “They all want to fix this stupid machine. Because if they fucked something up, they’ve gotta be able to fix it. Like it’s all that simple.”
Clouds are starting to drift in. The winds picking up with a promise of autumn approaching.
You don’t really understand. But listen regardless when he keeps talking.
“I mean I get they want all their loved ones back and all that shit. But with how many times they’ve fucked up don’t they realize that they should stop and just learn to live with what they got?” You notice his fists clench, the cigarette stub falling from his fingers. “And with them losing patience, they come to me and my bro- ‘you know the most about this shit, so you gotta know how to make it work.’” Roman mocks - somebody, you can’t really figure out who.
“It’s near-sighted, that’s what it is.” Roman finishes. Eyes opening and gazing over onto you.
You don’t really know what to say, it sounds like there’s a lot more going on than you realize. A machine? You’ve never seen one. Maybe it’d be in the basement, since you rarely go down there anymore.
“Did you say yes?” You hesitantly ask.
“No I -.” Roman forces his hands to unclench, instead pressing one hands knuckles against his temple, as if to starve off a headache. “I told them to take care of it themselves. But my bro…” He scoffs. “He’s too nice you see? They say we’re scary alike, but he’s able to go through a lot more shit than I am and he…” Roman looks over at you, something pained in his eyes. “I can’t make myself get near that thing, and yet he can.”
“You’re not the same person, Roman.” You say, trying to sound reassuring. “You can’t expect yourself to be able to handle the same things.”
That surprisingly causes him to let out a hollow laugh. As if your statement somehow amused him.
“You’re a bit off on that Ghostie.” There’s no mirth in his posture though, even with the slightly mocking tone he’s speaking in. “I really don’t know how much the others want you to know, but…” He trails off.
Roman looks at you, really looks at you for what feels like the first time this morning. Taking in your faded form, the soul that just refused to become nothing, how you’re half-torn between wanting to touch and knowing that you’re unable to do so.
“Wait.” His voice is grave. And something in his eyes tell you that he’s thought of something and then found it wholly unpleasant. “Ghostie, can you feel magic?”
“Feel it?” You echo, suddenly a bit befuddled with the change of topic. “What do you mean?”
“Like, when my bro gave you a bit of healing magic. Could you feel it?” He elaborates, hand rubbing at his jaw as he speaks, a worried tick.
“It buzzed?” You say, a little confused still. “And I mean, there’s a couple of times I’ve had this weird feeling when I’ve been with one of you. Not always though.”
“Can you say how, I mean you say ‘weird’ but what is weird to you Ghostie?” Roman presses on, his brow narrowing.
“It’s like…” You say, thinking of how to describe it. “It’s a bit different? Every time. But mostly it’s been like a low thrum, a hum, like somebody talking from afar and you can’t hear it.” You nod, muddling it over.
Roman stops rubbing at his jaw, instead pinching his nose-bridge. “You feel it with everyone?”
“Who have you heard it with? Or do you think you heard it with?”
“You, Mutt, Rust… I don’t remember if I heard it other than that.” You don’t think you did.
“Damn, okay.” Roman sighs, moving over to sit on the bench instead of standing. He waves you over and you follow, crouching in front of him as he puts his head in his hands.
It takes a while before he looks up, his hands cup over his mouth as he exhales and meets your eyes.
“Ghostie I need you to be careful not to tell it to the others.” He sounds serious.
“Why? What’s happening?” You’re more than a little worried at this point, he almost looks. Haunted.
“Look, I promise to tell you more when we got some proper privacy. But the thing that’s happening is that your soul is sort of locking onto our magic. Kinda like a bond or something of that branch.” Roman lifts a finger, magic flickering at the tip. You also notice that his eye flickers a dull yellow when he does so. “It’s not hurtful. You’re not trying to leech off us, but our residential magic is, instead of just leaving traces everywhere, being led back to you to help you keep yourself stable.”
He turns off the lightshow, hand falling limp onto his thigh. “I don’t know how strong it is for you at the moment. But it can be used as a way to connect yourself to others, let you know if they’re alright, help you find them. That kind of thing.”
“Is that bad?” You ask, trying to break off the explanation as it seems to upset Roman further.
“No.” Roman replies, letting his other hand also fall from his face. “But it can be used by them to try and do something. I know what it’ll be, and if they do it then it won’t end well.”
“For me? Or for them?” You ask.
“Oh.” His eyes flicker, as if recalling a bad memory. “If they make you help, I promise it’ll be them that gets hurt.”
Roman leaves a short while after that. Saying something about; “Needing to think this over. Don’t worry about it Ghostie.”
But it’s damn hard not to worry. So, you just kind of, shove it out of your mind. It’s not the healthiest coping method, but you’ve got a decade of bad memories, so you’re well versed in numbing your thoughts.
Again, not the best plan. But it’s what you’ve got.
Since Roman left, and you can hear the hustle and bustle of the others getting their day started. You decide to try and take a peek at who might be up.
You’re very carful not to move too far, a shift and a tug of your mind and you’re keeping yourself half in the wall and half still on the porch. Letting your head just peek through the wall, you see that Boss and Rust are sitting on the couch, watching the morning news, as several of the others bustle around in the kitchen.
Rust and Boss, you know – though Boss has been rather a hard monster to locate these past few days – they were the first ones you greeted, and you think you’ve got a relative grasp on how to talk to them.
Alas, phasing out through the wall right next to the TV without warning, might’ve not been your brightest idea.
Boss starts, to a degree that he leaps from the couch, eye flashing a bright red and a bone summoned in his hand. Though for all his sudden preparations for a fight, when he sees it’s you, he sighs, letting the magic go. “I’d appreciate it greatly if you did not move around unannounced! As if ah-“
“a ghost?” Rust tacks on, grinning, even as you’d also noticed him stiffening and then forcing himself to relax at your appearance.
“Yes. Sa- Rust! A ghost!” Boss kind of awkwardly finishes. Sitting back down on the couch and waving you over. “Despite your illogical approach for an entrance, as it is seemingly polite to ask for your state of being. I will extend this curtesy that none of the others undoubtedly will as they are afraid of poking any sore spots of your illogical existence; Are you well or do you need anything?”
Boss actually grimaces, realizing his extremely weird wording for that.
You decide to spare him as Rust chokes back a laugh. “I’m fine Boss. Thanks for asking.”
He huffs, nodding. “You’re welcome.”
You glance at the TV – you’ve never been particularly interested in the news, as nothing could really be changed by you or affect you. Hm. The weather is supposed to stay cloudy, though rain wasn’t guaranteed.
“Going out today?” You ask, still looking at the TV, now they’re going off about some kind of sports – you don’t remember what.
“nope.” Rust says, leaning back into the couch. “got no job yet so we’re just hangin’ about here. keeping watch ‘n stuff.”
“Not much keeping watch necessary when half the house is still here.” Boss remarks, sitting back down and leaning forward so his arms rest on his legs. “We have little in the ways of ‘work’ to do here regardless. All we have to do is to keep an eye on some of our less ‘even’ boarders.” You can almost hear the quotation marks, giving you the sense that he doesn’t see the necessity in what he’s set to do.
Less ‘even’ boarders, huh. You think that’d apply to Sans – Axe? And Papyrus.
“eh,” Rust huffs from his slouched seat. “’is not all bad, we don’t have to worry about nothin’ but those.”
He then gives you a wink, “so, what’cha up to ghostie?”
You shrug. Looking over to the side, into the kitchen to see who’s at home. “Nothing honestly. Like I’d be able to do much in the first place.” You don’t mention your chat with Roman. You don’t know if it’s a bad thing that the two of you talked about.
“Truly?” Boss remarks. “Are you truly incapable of affecting anything at all?”
He doesn’t look like he’s mocking it, instead you sense that his attention is fully focused on you. Oh, he might be bored, if his earlier words match up.
“Not anything that I know of, no.” You say, gliding down so you are at eye-height of Boss. Not, you note, that it’s far down you have to go. He’s ridiculously tall. “I can move around and talk and stuff. But not much you can do with just that.”
“you can chat with us.” Rust says, winking at you again and making you smile – just a little. Because it’s true, with all these monsters living with you, you haven’t really been bored.
“I can.” You say. Turning to look at him, you see that he’s dug out a phone and is fiddling with it.
“pity you can’t touch stuff though.” Rust says, glancing at you as he types something into his phone. “must’ve been dull never to be able to affect anything.”
“It is.” You say, hit by something you haven’t thought about in a long time.
Longing to touch something, to move it, to feel, to be able to set your imprint in this world.
You advert your gaze to the ground, “It really is.” You murmur, wrapping your arms around yourself.
Forcing yourself to try and break the melancholy that suddenly settled somewhere around where your heart used to be, you direct your attention back to the pair sitting in front of you.
“So what would you like to do? If you didn’t have to sit around at home that is.” You say, trying to redirect the topic away from your rather depressing state of existence.
Boss eyes you for a moment, likely having caught onto your weak deflection. He however, grants you mercy in the way of letting it go. “Personally, I do not care. It just frustrates me to no end to have nothing to occupy my time with. If I’d have to choose, I do not believe it to be satisfying to get a job either, so perhaps I’d instead just like to have some sort of routine rather than working.”
“What, like a hobby?” You ask.
He considers it for a moment and then shakes his head in a resolute ‘no’. “Routine, in my experience relies perhaps more on how to manage your day. My hands are not needed with cooking or cleaning in this case, so I have nothing to feel productive while doing.”
As Boss says that, he clenches his hands, looking down at them. “It is not caused by malice, but rather than many of our housemates feel the same and has taken those duties upon themselves.”
“heh, you’re too nice boss, could’ve taken it off their hands if you were that bored.” Rust remarks, having kept quiet throughout most of Boss’ and yours talk. He’s still on his phone.
“I do not care for discourse in this house regardless.” Boss snaps back. A couple more smart remarks play between the brothers as you sit, spectating.
You put a hand up, waiting for the bickering to calm again. When Boss give you a nod, you ask; “Can’t you go outside if the others are here to keep an eye on stuff?”
Boss huffs, shaking his head, “No. We have not yet been fully permitted to traverse the town on our own.” His hands clench in his lap again, restless, “It’s been close to a year soon and Classic is sitting on his hands, instead focusing on the machine.”
“i mean, not like he couldn’t take the time to speed up our papers yanno. we’re more than one skeleton with our hands in there.” Rust has finally directed all his attention to the conversation, letting his phone fall into his lap as he talks. “not like he’s gotten anywhere since before we moved but it can’t hurt.”
“Very true,” Boss concedes. “However, he is as hard to get a hold of as that damned dog.” He makes an impatient gesture, as if willing something unpleasant from his mind. “Nowhere to be found and only present when it is not needed.”
Rust chuckles at that, glancing down at his phone before shrugging and stuffing it in his pocket.
ok so! since this story is a lot of character-chatter-heavy, are there any skeletons you all would like to talk to more? I try and get around to everyone, but it's a little hard to keep a track of ⌒(ㅇㅅㅇ❀)⌒
You start poking your spectral nose into things.
Hey everyone, it took a while but we got here! ∠( ᐛ 」∠)＿
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It’s quiet for a while, with the three of you each your respective thoughts as you hear people move around in the kitchen and the unmistakable patter of feet on the second floor as somebody walks around up there. Though nobody steps down the stairs.
”So,” Boss speaks, looking about for any unwelcome listeners and then returning his gaze to you. “Has there been any troubles with the others? As you just heard, Classic is not an ideal example of regulations or a healthy schedule in general. However, these past few days have been busy and it seems that you have encountered more monsters than what I’d guess is about a decade.”
You smile a little at that, raising a hand to tap at your cheek, a little embarrassed. “Actually, both you and Rust were the first monsters I’ve gotten to see up close.”
“Truly?” Boss asks, “However even so, some manners must be kept.”
He then rises, hand against his chest in a formal-looking gesture. “If there is retribution to fall upon any of our various renters, I, as a corporeal being will oversee that any offense you experience will have a punishment delivered.”
You look over at the two of them like this is some sort of elaborate joke. Boss is meeting your eyes, all seriousness and a steely will behind his posture. Rust shrugs and tugs at the collar of his fuzzy jacket.
“I mean,” You say, raising a hand in a semi-placating motion, “Boss I appreciate the offer but it’s really not something I think is necessary.”
Boss straightens back up from his half-bow and looks you over before he huffs and then sits back down. “Need or no need. It is only granted as you’ve shown considerable hospitality towards us.”
Considerable hospitality? You wouldn’t really call it that. Furthermore, in the first place you’d kind of regarded Boss as one of the monsters that tolerated your presence, but only just. This makes it seem a lot more like he’d been keeping on the side-lines to keep the amount of monsters pushing for interaction to a minimum.
When you look to Rust, he tilts his head and looks at you, his eyes lidded. “just accept it. ‘s kind of a thing from back home.”
You look back and forth between the two for a couple of moments, neither budging to your rather bewildered and anxious expression. After a beat, you sigh, intertwining your fingers except your index fingers, which you point toward Boss.
“Thanks? I don’t know what to do with this; but I guess I accept.” You say, still feeling rather befuddled. This is still really weird and totally unexpected after your rather serious talk with Roman.
“Oh, do not worry Ghost. Your input is not necessary when it comes to your defence, it is more of a situational cause and effect rather than you, calling upon it.”
“Yeah, ok.” You guess you can get behind that.
Then there’s a commotion from the kitchen, whereas Blues and Stretch peek their heads out to announce that breakfast is finished and that they can come get some now. Rust and Boss then excuse themselves to go and get some food – Rust basically just giving you a peace-sign and then turning to walk over to the kitchen instead of the actual apology that Boss hands you.
You don’t feel like joining in on their morning chatter, so instead you move to mimic-sit on the couch, watching the news. You’re leaning your head on your arms, wrapped around your curled-up legs as you let their talk become background noise as your little window out into the real world continues on.
It’s no surprise that little has changed in the decade you’ve been gone. People still die, people still change, people still cry in outrage at the powers they’re unable to affect. It’s sort of reminiscent of how you imagine that other living humans take in news. Pick and sort what will be relevant to them, and then either not caring or not be able to process everything else on top of it.
Though, it does seem like some things have changed. Monsters feature in positive and negative news both. Something that’d no doubt was never featured back when you were alive. After all, the barrier break was what woke you up.
Sitting and zoning out to the droning of the various newscasters is apparently somewhat relaxing, because when you refocus back to the world, you do feel less exhausted. You blink for a moment, thinking about where you are, since it is not your usual rooftop refuge.
The TV is still on, still droning away about some issue or another. However, what drew you back into the present is the presence of another sitting down next to you. You blink for another moment, trying to clear the fog from your mind as you look to see who joined you in your reverie.
Wearing a grey and white striped hoodie, Stretch is the one who plopped down next to you without a word. He’s nabbed the remote from where it was resting on the couch and is now casually flipping through a rather exuberant amount of channels. Wow, that is so unnecessary, there are like five different channels for politics and news and that’s not even touching onto all the ones that host news-regarding talk-shows.
You sit and stare at the TV as he flips through the rather silly excess of channels, seemingly not really finding anything that catches his fancy as he huffs from beside you.
“how are you holding up?” Stretch asks, drawing your attention from his rapid-fire handling of the remote.
You look over at him, raising an eyebrow in question at the sudden interest. He hadn’t really been there when your little tale about your spectral state had been brought up.
“heard from my bro.” Ah.
You shrug, answering that would lay it somewhere between ‘I can’t focus for long enough to be conscious of it’, and ‘I’ve felt like this so long I don’t know how else to feel’.
“I don’t know.” You say instead, “I’m not like, better, but I’m here still so…” You lose the thread, though you think he knows what you mean.
“yeah. I got a feelin’ for what you’re saying.” Stretch says, setting down the remote, having found a simple criminal series mid-episode. “but, don’t worry too much about the others.” He continues, settling into his seat, almost leaning back in a way that’s almost close to laying down horizontally. “take your time figurin’ them out, and try and just ask if anything is confusing you.”
You tilt your head, not really knowing how to reply. “You don’t go for the easy subjects do you, Stretch?”
“i think they’re good subjects to chat about.” Stretch replies, fiddling with something in the pocket of his hoodie, glancing over back towards the kitchen for a moment. “maybe not easy no, but i’ve never been one to dance around. ‘takes too much energy in my opinion.”
You shift a little closer to him, feeling the thrum of magic emanating off of him. It makes you think of what Roman said, how you were subconsciously latching onto their magic and also how he didn’t think it a good idea to tell the others about it.
Maybe Stretch could be someone you could tell it to, if you maybe get to know him a little better. You’ve talked to him, what? Three times since their move in. You think you might have talked more with Sans and Papyrus (wasn’t it Axe though? Crux referred to Sans by that, hm). So maybe, with time, you can talk to him about it. Because it is confusing, but you also want to respect that Roman seemed so uneasy about it and keep it quiet for now.
Instead, you’ll try and poke something else that has been on your mind these past few days. “Hey Stretch?”
“What’s the machine?”
Watching Stretch first register and then react to your words is pretty funny. First, he stares at you for a good ten seconds and then finally lets out a deep sigh and, somehow, manages to sink further into the couch.
“oh man, i did not want that one. i can tell you that.” His arm comes up to lay over his eye-sockets, blocking whatever expression is on his face. “stars, okay, that’s a whole can of worms you just opened there.”
“You don’t have to tell me.” You try and reassure Stretch, trying to reach up a hand to pat his brow, even if the gesture is unseen. “Really, Stretch. I don’t have to know everything that’s happening just because I’m stuck here.”
Stretch doesn’t reply right away, though his arm lifts from his face, with his eyes glancing in your direction. With your hand still outstretched, you quickly retract it, leaning back so you’re sitting on your mimicry of folded legs.
“I heard it’s hard to fix, but that’s really all.” You say, shrugging. “Sounded like it was a problem or something.
Stretch keeps his attention on you for a moment longer, finally letting another sigh before he speaks, “do you know which room is mine?”
This question confuses you for a moment, before you realize that he wants to talk about this in private. You nod, you’d seen it the night when he’d passed out on the couch.
“you leave for it first then, i’ll be there in a minute.” Stretch then makes a show of sinking back down into his seat and stare at the screen.
You comply, taking a moment to see where everyone is, before you make your mind shift you back and up, to where the doorway leading into that hallway is.
Glancing about, almost feeling nervous, you could only imagine how your heart would beat faster and your hands start to shake. Now, you only furrow your brow, trying to act as inconspicuous as a ghost can be.
Which is to say, pretty easy when you just phase right through the door. No need for noises if you do not want to make them.
On the other side, the doors are all shut, creating an anonymous feeling as you move further down.
Right, so the door that Captain deposited Stretch into the other night was the second on the right – so you’ve just got to phase right in there and all will be fine.
Or so you thought. Because when you’re just in front of the door, the one right next to it opens, revealing Crux to be the one stepping out from that room.
Already nervous, you freeze in front of Stretch’s door, not knowing what to do now. You don’t think to phase downwards, caught like a deer in the headlights as Crux turns to go down the hallway.
However, his path is derailed by spotting you lurking in front of Stretch’s room.
“And however why would you be here?”
“Uhm…” You try and stall, thoughts whirling.
“The hallway should be off-limits to you with it not being a part of the house. Is this not true?”
“I guess, ah.” You start to nod, then register the question and start to shake your head. “I can go in here if the door is on… I think.”
Crux shoots a puff of air out of his nose, like a sigh. “And I for once hoped to be able to keep bothersome spectral out of our private rooms. But lo and behold, this is happening.”
He’s pinching his brow, just as somebody steps in the hallway from the house. It’s Stretch, who, at seeing you being nattered at by Crux, lifts an eyebrow and steps up to the two of you.
“something wrong crux?”
“gonna elaborate on that?”
Crux then flaps a hand at your form, crossing his arms to shoot a glare at Stretch. “I’m sure the lot of you are quite comfortable with this spectre sticking its nose in your business. I, however, with my own unpleasant experience in regards to ghosts would like it if you would not encourage it to move outside of the house.”
“sure, yeah.” Stretch says, scratching at his neck. “but you know it’s not going to hurt you to, like, let her be here, cuz she was here first.”
Crux seems to be pondering it for a moment before he closes his eyes and pinches at his nose-bridge. “I am relatively grateful for it’s presence considering that it helped ease the price of the house and also drew my attention to an issue that was occurring. However.”
He then looks back up at you, where you’ve been mutely watching the conversation and sort of trying not to get involved. “I am not one with fond memories of spectral beings and suchlike would prefer it if it cannot enter places that me and my brother finally have deemed ‘safe’.”
“I won’t.” You say, tilting your head as Crux stares at you. “I know how that feels, so I’ll promise I won’t.”
“Hm.” Crux hums, considering it for a moment before he finally shakes his head. “That will have to do for now.”
Crux then turns away, striding down the hallway and entering the rest of the house.
Both you and Stretch stand there for a long moment. With Stretch finally just shaking his head and throwing a thumb over at his door. “i guess today is the day of having to deal with shit you’d rather avoid. let’s go before anybody else gets a sense of what i’m about to tell you, with how paranoid some of them are about it.”
You look at Stretch, taking in the bags under his eye sockets – unrealistic on a skeleton, but monster’s anatomy rarely made sense from what you’ve seen so far. He seems stressed, and you feel like maybe right now isn’t the best time after all to talk about this.
“Stretch?” You move over to stand beside him, laying a ghastly hand on his shoulder as you mimic trying to give him comfort.
“We can do this another day.”
You meet his eyes from where you’re half-leaning against him. “You don’t seem to be okay right now Stretch. I don’t mind waiting. I think you should rest some instead, or I wouldn’t mind just doing something else together.”
You shift to the side, away from him and grasp one arm with the other. “We can even just talk or whatever. But I’m not going to but this pressure on you. Not today.”
There’s a pause as Stretch looks at you, sighs, and then fiddles with something in his pockets until he pulls out a small pack of what seems to be cigarettes.
“can’t say i’m not thankful for the free pass ghostie.” Stretch says, shoving open the door to his room and gesturing with a tilt of his head toward the inside. “if you want, you can still check out the closet of this skeleton,” that last bit was added with a wink and a tired smile, but you’ll take it.
Mentally checking how you’re feeling; you sense that you should probably rest soon if you want to avoid having to sleep. So, you could go and hang out with Stretch if you wanted, but you’d have to watch yourself.
“Sure,” you say, shifting forward and halfway through the door, leaving space for Stretch to follow behind.
As the door shuts behind the two of you, you look around. It’s a pretty simple bed-and-desk setup with a closet to the side. Spread here and there on various surfaces of the room were clothes in seemingly varying stages of wear, so much for using the closet.
While you’re taking a moment to orient yourself. Stretch crosses the room to a window on the other side, taking a moment to open it, he then settles himself on the frame and lights a joint. Oh, that’s what were in the pack you’d thought were cigarettes.
“don’t mind a bit of smoke, do you?” Stretch asks while you’re closely inspecting the pile of various electronics littering the desk.
Looking up at him, you shake your head. “I’m alright as long as you don’t try and blow it through me.”
He lifts what would equal an eyebrow, “how come?”
Throwing your arms out, you do a broad gesture to your body, trying to underline your translucent state. “It can drain my energy, like with rain. I can’t relax if something is moving through me.”
“so, the whole thing with moving through walls and such; it drains you?”
“Yep. Can’t do it if I’m too tired.”
“my bro mentioned something like that,” Stretch takes in a long drag of smoke, looking outside. “he got scared when you disappeared.”
“I didn’t really disappear though, I just slept.” You’re done inspecting the electronics in the dim light – maybe if the lamps were turned on you could hope of making heads or tails on it, but for now it’s useless.
You move up to where Stretch is sitting and look outside the window and –
The sight, it’s not outside the house.
It’s inside a city.
What the hell.
You almost startle out of your ghostly skin when you realize how close you are to leaning outside of the window. “We’re in the city?!”
“wha? oh – yeah, that’s where the rooms are from.” Stretch looks slightly bemused with your reaction. “it’s not like we set up into a conveniently placed pocket of reality that just had to have enough rooms for us all. we’ve just built a shortcut between these and the house.”
You stare outside for a minute, awestruck. You’d never thought you could come to see anything other than what you’d been stuck with the last decade. The ozone oozing through the air, the slight tint of Stretch’s joint mixed with the sounds of cars moving, the chatter of people and the sights.
With the sun starting to set, you see numerous neon lights start to light up, with streets never left darkened even as the sun disappears beneath the horizon.
So! a lot happened over the winter and spring, and some pressure has finally started to lay off, so I finally managed to finish this one off! ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ yay
I'll try and get a chapter out in the not-too-far future, however, I make no promises bc life happens ( ﾟ▽ﾟ)/
However you can always hmu on my tumblr or just in the comments below! Your reactions really fuel me and if I got smth wrong I'd love if you pointed it out since it's been a while I've written and finished a chapter ＼(;´□｀)/