The badlands were a rough place where hardly anything grew but monsters that were as harsh and unforgiving as the soil the grew up on, but some like a fire elemental who remembered the old ways had made it into a home, a bloody, dusty home. But home none the less.
When the skeleton first walked into the roughest toughest bar in the roughest toughest town in the badlands Grillby thought the little skeleton looked fragile enough to break with a gust of wind. He was short and small, with a big round skull with a wide permeant smile. The big fluffy blue hoodie, black shorts, and pink slippers he wore did not help his image. He looked, for lack of a better word soft. As if the weight of the world had never touched his shoulders. But the skeleton's wide open eye sockets, eye lights and arched bones that served as eyebrows told a different story like this skeleton was not one to be messed with.
The skeleton had ignored the stares and the tugging's on his soul as the patrons of the bar who were still sober enough to do so checked him. Grillby did so as well, it was a custom in places as rough as this, and what he read made him almost laugh out loud. The dogs were having a bit of trouble controlling their snickering.
*The easiest enemy.
Well if that wasn't just swell, Grillby fully expected that their would be dust on his door step as soon as the little skeleton exited the safe haven that was Grillby's. The skeleton walked up to the bar and asked in a bouncing baritone that sound like it would be much more welcoming with humor laced in it for ketchup. In a place like this where Grillby had been asked he cauterize wounds during an open heart surgery it wasn't the strangest request he had all day. He pushed the ketchup to the skeleton who shoved some coins across the bar. The skeleton's jaw unhinged showing off an impressive pair of fangs as he downed the ketchup like one would a tankard of beer after a long day. A blue tongue made out of some form of magical plasma licked across the fangs in a way that would only be used if trying to seduce someone or simply testing the sharpness of your teeth.
The skeleton did not immediately walk out then and return to whatever corner of this town he had come from but sat down at a table across from Doggo, the arm-wrestling king here at Grillby's where arm-wrestling was the closest the bartender would let them get to fighting. As a cat like man who now had a defiantly broken wrist stood up and walked out whimpering slightly the skeleton sat down. It was a sport here, and the most deadly kind because though the elemental through out bar fights, he did not discourage gambling.
Doggo bobbed his head getting a good look at his contestant before laughing. The dog tended to be a winner because he had a nasty habit of twisting your wrist until your arm gave out just to end the pain.
The skeleton set his left elbow on the table holding out his hand which was quickly gripped by an anthropomorphic paw. The betting began, most of it against the skeleton.
Doggo's face took on a shit eating grin as he prepared to bend the skeletons wrist back, but the smile soon fell when the skeleton's wrist snapped backwards but his arm did not yield. The skeleton's grin tugged up at the corners and Doggo's paw lay on the table. The skeleton cracked the bones in his arm in an impressive display as they shifted in unnatural ways on their own.
That was the first time Sans came to his bar.
The second he did not sit down at the arm-wrestling table where Doggo sat his left paw bandaged. Grillby was surprised to see him not dusted.
He sat at the bar, took a drink of ketchup and started talking. At first Grillby was confused, who was he talking to, then he realized when the skeleton paused waiting for his response staring right at him that the skeleton was talking to him. It startled the elemental. There were 2 rules at Grillby's the first was don't start fights, and the second unofficial one was don't expect a response from the bartender, because of this Grillby tended to get talked at, not talked to.
He hadn't said anything just acknowledged the skeleton by staring at him in surprise, apparently acknowledgment was enough consent to the skeleton to keep going.
The third time the skeleton started making puns.
The fourth he had ordered fries.
The fifth the fire elemental realized Sans didn't talk to anyone else. He sat at the bar and talked to Grillby, he told about a younger brother who he had managed to hide the horrors of the world from and had raised himself. He told about 4 or 5 jobs he had to keep food on the table and make ends meet. He made puns, but he never asked Grillby a question that forced the fire elemental to respond verbally and he never talked about the strange show of strength he had displayed on his first day in the bar.
The sixth, gossip reached the bar and Grillby found out Sans and his brother Papyrus had moved in recently. Sans was laid back and someone had tried to dust him, they had come into the bar with 1 HP and had muttered with the tone of voice as a war veteran about bones and gravity and great horned skulls that shot lasers. They had healed to 32 HP when Sans casually strolled through the doors. Hopping up into the bar stool he had asked Grillby what was up with the guy in the booth. Grillby brushed it off as gossip and mistaken identity. There were a lot of rumors surrounding skeletons after all.
The seventh Grillby was watching the door waiting for the skeleton to come in, and he was very sure the skeleton did not walk up to the door just appeared in front of it.
By the twentieth the fire elemental realized he would be upset if the skeleton failed to show.
By thirty-first he knew he considered the skeleton a friend.
By forty-seventh he had come to terms with the fact he viewed the skeleton as a potential mate.
By fiftieth he spoke.
The skeleton had walked in casually, he sat at the bar. No longer was he stared at as monsters whispered behind paws, hands and tendrils, he had been accepted into the bar family, a family of backstabbers and murderers, but still a family. The dogs had dropped their resentment and grudges, and had often challenged the skeleton to drinking competitions. To which the skeleton had laughed accepted and every one in the bar found out that alcohol did nothing to the skeleton so he could knock it back with the best of them because of it.
Because of this the dogs and Sans were having a talk, they were discussing relationships in a place as poisonous as the badlands, in after Sans learned of Dogeressa and Dogamy's new engagement. Sans was of course looping Grillby into conversations as only you can bring in people who don't talk but listen. You prod them.
"Oh Sans have you found some one to settle down with?" Dogeressa asked him.
"nah, got my eye on a guy, but i think he would dust me if i mentioned it to him, kinda married to his work. how bout you grillbz?" The dogs turned to look at Grillby for his nod or head shake, through Sans most of the bar had realized Grillby was a person, and he got talked at less and less. Though still very little, it was still well known what Grillby could do mad, after his last out burst... well he was glad very few people talked about it.
"No Sans I have not, I do have someone in mind, but he's.... very hard to corner." Jaws dropped, it was not only Sans' first time hearing Grillby speak, but almost every patron in the bar's first time as well. Dogeressa recovered first, though Grillby didn't really care he was too amused by how Sans' jaw had tried to drop but had still been locked in place and how it resulted in a very lopsided grin.
"Oh that's wonderful Grillby." Sans recovered next.
"heh, never expected you to be off trying to corner some bastard." Sans chuckled taking a sip of ketchup. Grillby drummed his fingers on the counter slowly.
"....Yes, he's quite the numbskull, with all the attention I give him I would have expected him to pick up on it." Every head in the bar was turned to look at Grillby and a very oblivious Sans, jaws slack, everything sat down.
Very rarely did monsters display affection in public, because out here in the badlands, it could be taken as just a weakness, but Grillby didn't care right now, he was one of the most powerful monsters alive and could off any one who tried to hurt the skeleton, and since Sans wasn't picking up on the fire elemental's subtle clues, some one would have to step in or the elemental would take him there, and fire elementals taking mates by force was never pretty.
"attention? grillbz you-" Red bird elbowed Sand hard in the ribs.
"hey the- oh... attention..." Sans looked at Grillby.
"Oh good you finally came to your senses." Sans and Grillby both retreated into silence and the bar filled with its usual din though there were lots of less than hidden glances at the two, one of which was going about his job completely normaly, and one of which was trying to disappear with a fiery hand grabbing the sleeve of his hoodie, which was literally the only thing keeping him from disappearing.
Grillby proceeded to finish the day with one hand the other always gripping on Sans' coat.
When it was closing time Sans started to pull away to leave.
"No you don't, I worked to hard to make it clear to you my feelings, I'm not letting you out of my sight now." There was an audible gulping sound.
Slowly the bar emptied out the dogs glancing over their shoulders as they were the last to leave.
"...so... was i subtle enough?" the skeleton asked.
"No Sans, you lost any hope of being subtle when you made a joke about my being hot under the collar."
"but no one else picked up on it..."
"I wanted them too, that way they would know you're mine. Now shut up and kiss me."
"and if i don't?"
"There will be hell to pay."
"eyyyee i see what you did there!"
"You Sans are the only person who would risk not kissing me to point out a pun I made."
"but puns are important-mmmphhh" And then they kissed.