You rolled off of the couch later that night, relishing in the cold air that hit you. The window off to the left of the couch was cracked open, curtains flitting in the wind. You smiled and forced your heavy body off of the cushions, peeling away from it happily. Blueberry was slouched next to you, body limp and chest rising slowly. Stretch was sprawled out on the couch across from you, his form practically shaped into the cushions. It's amazing how their bodies can mold like that. You stood abruptly, your head spinning just a tad as the room came into focus again. Outside seemed...too dark. Oddly dark. You checked the phone sitting on the table, noting that it was Blue's, and figuring out that it was only 8:56. You shuffled quickly over to the window, peering through the curtains and out to the front yard.
Just a few feet past the first line of trees that surrounded the lodge, there was...a floating black cut. It was as if someone took a pair of scissors and cut a hole into the surroundings. Or if someone took a still image shot of the lawn and poured a small line of black ink on it. Whatever it was, it was alarming. No one else had noticed it? You peered back at your housemates...your family and then did a double-take towards the window. The slit was still there. And from what you could make out, was vibrating in place. You needed to check it out... Never hurt to look right?
You snagged your cardigan from the coat rack by the front door and quickly slid it on, shutting the door behind you as slowly as you could. You made haste and dashed over to the slit, or portal? Random rip in space- and stood, staring into its inky expanse. There was an underlying urge in you to reach out and touch it...feel it. Be a part of it.
[Come closer dear...]
A raspy voice ripped through your body, striking your spine and sending a rather violent but oddly pleasant shockwave to your core. You physically stumbled back, wincing at the sudden overwhelming sensation. The air you had in your lungs had left you in those few milliseconds the voice echoed not only in but around you. You did as you were told... You stepped forward and all too quickly, a set of inky black arms shot out from the darkness, yanking you in. Your mouth opened to scream but there was nothing, not a single sound.
When your eyes finally adjusted to the vast darkness, you caught just barely, the face of someone, staring directly at you. They resembled one of the skeleton brothers, albeit, they looked to be constantly sweating...or melting. Their sockets were slumped at odd angles, smile crooked and trembling. The scars...they had to be a Gaster. His hands weren't connected to a set of arms, from what you could see. Maybe they were spectral, like what Rhubarb had shown you? Either way, they were off color from the stark white that skeletons usually came in. They were black, almost. You could make out the separate ridges in his phalanges, hands ending in clawed tips. He spoke, finally.
[My dear. I have been watching you for some time...]
Your breath still wasn't there, but he seemed to know what you were going to say before you even thought of it.
[I know you have many questions, and I will answer them. I promise. But. I need to ask you to help me.]
He shuddered, his hands gripping your shoulders tighter.
[Will you help me (Y/N)?]
You nodded. Your hands moving to gently cup his face in your hands. The bone had stopped melting when you touched him, and instead, seemed to cave under your palms. Only a bit. A soft bird-like coo came from him, his face flushing a rather beautiful shade of midnight purple. You smiled.
[I know your name. But please tell me...do you know mine?]
Suddenly, cool air filled your lungs, and a wry smile tugged at your lips. You inhaled sharply and leaned forward into his figure, giving him a tight hug as you whispered his name.
His body shook, a soft gasp coming from him before he clutched onto your form tight.
*[Thank you...]* He managed to choke out, and just as quickly as you found yourself in the dark expanse, you were out of it, sitting in the grass with another, new housemate presumably. He was slumped against you, some familiarity in the way he felt. It was like hugging Green, or Horror...or Gaster. But what would his nickname be?
"Y-You can uhm... Call me...Ink."
He managed to mumble into the space between your collarbone and your neck. His spectral hands had left him, and now you could see just what he was wearing. He had on a long black cloak, that seemed slightly melted? With a white turtleneck that seemed to be hanging off of his neck ever so slightly.
"(Y/N)!? WHO IS THAT!?"
Blue's shrill yell caught you completely off guard, sending you into a fit of yelps and trying to pull your form off the ground. Ink had yanked you to his chest and turned you around to face your housemates, slumping down to hide himself as much as he could behind you. He was shaking like a leaf, and Blue was barreling towards you both as quick as he could, Stretch hot on his heels. You held up your hands in a gesture of pleading to slow down, to which Blue skidded to a halt a few inches in front of you.
"STATE YOUR BUSINESS TRESPASSER!"
"I-I am not a trespasser!"
Ink retorted, pulling you further against his chest, his face flushing that same deep midnight purple. His form was shaking erratically, hands clutching your dangling form close. It was then, Gaster had stepped out onto the porch, looking at you both with wide eyes. He shivered and slumped down, setting you in the grass before sprinting towards Gaster who in tow, rushed him as well. They locked one another in a tight hug, much to the confusion of you, Blue, and Stretch. They pulled away long enough to look at each other before breaking into hearty laughs.
"Arial you inky bastard!"
"T-That's Arial Gaster to you!"
"Oh who cares! Y-You're ok!"
Gaster hoisted him off the ground, spinning with him in his arms. Papyrus and Sans had come at the mention of Arial and just as Gaster had, rushed him, pulling him into a tight hug. "Arial" once again, burst into laughter, holding the other two hysterical skeletons close.
Oh, what a morning you all would have tomorrow.
Early the next morning you were practically shoved out of the comfort of your bed, hoisted downstairs by none other than Papyrus. He was bouncing with excitement, giddy and chattering the entire time your half-conscious form dangled from his shoulders. You were unceremoniously slung into one of the chairs at the dining room table, letting out an ungodly shriek. Sans chuckled at your distress, patting you on the back.
"he got everyone up this early, trust me, were all tired."
You nodded and looked at Sans, the familiar glare you gave each other when you were about to probably commit what Papyrus had dubbed as "unholy". You both nodded before you both slouched onto the table with a dull thud, alarming Ink, Gaster, Papyrus, Wings, Green, Blue, and a very tired Red. Then you both slouched towards each other, clinging to the other with a cheeky grin.
"hey paps didnt it dawn upon you that everyone might be tired?"
"Yeah Papyrus, and were not saying this just to get a rise out of you!"
"were just sinc-early hurt that you got us up at this time!"
"Sun-thing must be important then!"
"dawn right it is!"
Papyrus screeching to the heavens had been the best wake up call for sure. Collective groans from around the table were just as good. Red had been reduced to a snickering mess, Blue and Green both shared looks of complete horror, Wings had only laughed because of Papyrus' dismay, while Ink and Gaster both glared at you and your burly friend. Eventually, everyone was gathered around the table, gawking at the new houseguest. Gaster cleared his throat and smiled, patting Ink's back happily.
"This. Is Arial. Arial Gaster Serif."
Everyone gave a collective nod, Sans still leaning on your shoulder.
"I and my brothers initially thought that he had...not survived the tragic event that befell him, but! He is alive and well and he will be staying with us. I only brought this to your collective attention to make sure that it was ok with (Y/N)."
You jumped as everyone turned to look at you, eyes full of hope and slight confusion.
"O-Oh why. Uhm... Why me?"
Gaster gave you a soft smile.
"Because we have already gained 3 new housemates that weren't mentioned in your job inquiry. We do not wish to burden you."
Your heart ached for these sweet boys. There was a sudden surge of warmth that rushed through you, a soft glow coming from the center of your chest. Everyone gawked at the sight before the glow snuffed out. You shrugged and smile.
"The job is still something I'm working on but... I don't mind more of you. You're all good company and I have no bad blood or bias for you all. You've done nothing but be kind to me."
Your smile widened, Sans' gentle hug making you all the warmer. Ink shot you a cheeky smile, and you noticed something you didn't before!
He had tiny horns on his cheeks and his head!
Just as you were marching into your room, a bony hand clutched your shoulder. You let out a soft "eep" in surprise, but it quickly subsided when you noticed it was Ink. Or Arial. You were sticking with Ink. He smiled and gave you a firm pat on the back before ushering you into your room.
"I can finally explain myself."
He sighed and slouched into the seat at your desk, the chair protesting as his "weight" was placed in it. You'd have to figure out how heavy skeletons are. Your legs dangled off the edge of the bed, looking at him curiously.
"I am as Gaster has said, Arial. I am his, Sans, and Papyrus' eldest brother. We were all sadly separated in the Underground while still young. I was the oldest at the time, so after my disappearance, Gaster was left to take care of the other two."
He slouched in his seat.
"I truly am regretful that things played out the way they did."
He choked up a bit, coughing into his hand to mask it.
"I was displaced in the...physical realm and forced into somewhere in between the two. And as a result, my physical body couldn't exist. Which is why I am uhm. A bit melted."
He paused thoughtfully before shooting you a smile.
"...but. You have helped me. And I thank you. I am glad you knew my name. But my true one, is Arial. I much prefer Ink though!"
Suddenly, his somber attitude was thwarted by his cheery spirit flourishing. He bounced in his seat giddily.
"Oh everyone has codenames! Such fun!"
He clapped his rather large hands together and stood, catching you in a hug before he set you on his shoulders.
"Let us go talk to the others, yes?"
"O-Oh actually could I shower first?"
You managed to mumble. He promptly set you down, smile wide as ever.
"Oh of course! Your scent is uhm...very strong."
His face flushed that familiar shade of purple again, slumping into the neck of his sweater.
"I'm sure one of the boys have told you that our sense of smell is heightened, no?"
You shook your head.
"Oh, dear. Well! Quick biology lesson! Monsters have a way stronger sense of smell, specifically male monsters, can pick up the scent of a uhm... 'fragrant' woman very easily. And you dear are caked in that scent of femininity."
Your whole body suddenly felt like it was fire. You had recalled that last night after Ink came back into existence, you were feeling rather stressed and had a bit of...self care time. He noticed your distress and quickly backtracked.
"I-Its in no way bad! It's just very...what's the word... Potent! And slightly tempting. It's like a fresh vanilla mixed in with...citrus and lilac. Very sweet."
He finished his sentence with a soft snap of his fingers. He chuckled and shuffled to your door quickly, giving a soft wave before leaving the room with no time to spare.
Well. One more houseguest can't hurt right?