He continued to stare at me, even as my gaze switched from the blood on my fingers back to his eye lights. I didn't really know how to react to his request. The more logical part of my brain was screaming at me to run far away from him. Get back to my apartment and get back to Soldier. But the more curious side, which often led me into all sorts of issues, was curious what he had to say.
Plus, I didn't know where I was. I mean, I knew I was in Sans's house. But...that was all I knew. I didn't know where he lived, and how far away it was from home. I didn't even know if I would recognize this part of the city. For all I knew, I was in a part that I hadn't even come close to before. So what would be the point in running if I didn't know where I was going?
There it was. That nickname. That little pet name he had given me the first time we met. While I was usually off put by people calling me things like that, hearing it come from him...it sounded sweeter than wine. It sent delicious shivers up my spine and damnit, I couldn't help myself.
I finally looked back at his face, my eyes flicking between his own eye lights. “I'm giving you five minutes. And only because I have no idea where I am.”
He seemed to relax, his shoulders slumping as he sat on the bed beside me. He perked up suddenly, getting back up and heading into his closet. After he dug around for a minute, he came back out with something slung over his arm. He got back to the bed and handed it to me, turning away and crossing his arms over his sternum.
I looked down and felt my face flush with heat. It was a pair of pajama pants.
“those should do fer ya,” he said, still faced away from me. I looked back up at his back. “put them on an' then we'll talk.”
I did as told, and shoved the blanket off my legs long enough to pull them up. I had to tie the strings in the front otherwise they would have fallen off of me. I moved the blanket back over me despite the heat in the room and I looked back over at him.
“You're good,” I whispered.
He turned back and reached over to his bedside table, pulling out a thing of wipes and taking my hand in his. He gently wiped the blood from my fingers before using his magic to throw it away. When he looked back at me, he sat on the bed by my legs. I folded mine underneath me, tucking them criss cross style and settled back against the pillow I put against the headboard.
“ya know m' title, sugar,” he started lowly. “though i am sans, 'm also th' judge. an' when i see people i give a shit 'bout gettin' hurt, it pisses me off. i had to show 'im...” He paused, a red ethereal glow appearing behind his teeth. It sparked against his golden fang and once more, I was transfixed by it. He took in a deep breath through his nasal cavity and out of his mouth, a red tongue poking out between his teeth. “i had t' show 'im ya weren't t' be fucked with, sugar.”
Pieces of what he was saying were clicking together in some kind of horrific puzzle. The urge to run away from him was growing stronger, and it took all of my willpower to sit there and listen to him talk. Grillby's words came back into my head.
“I understand, my dear. But you must be aware of what that title entails.”
I had told Grillby then I couldn't put Sans the Skeleton and the Judge together in the same body. And even now, I still couldn't.
“Sans, what did you do?” I whispered, my voice cracking on a couple of syllables.
“i didn't kill 'im,” he said quickly, putting up both hands palms out. “i wanted to. hell, even boss wanted to. but we didn't.”
“Wait. Boss? As in the Captain of the Royal Guard?” I straightened immediately. “He's here?”
Sans now eyed me warily, an emotion flitting across his face I hadn't seen from him before. Was it suspicion? Jealousy? It was something, and I had never seen it on his malleable features. But it was there, and his eye lights looked me up and down. I looked down and saw that his claw were digging into the bed. I heard a slight ripping sound and looked up again.
“'s there a problem with that?” he asked slowly, his voice deeper.
“What? No. No! Of course not!” I quickly managed to tumble out. “I just...didn't know you lived with...him...”
Sans seemed to relax a little as I raised my own hands in surrender. I stared at him, my eyes flicking quickly between his sockets. He wasn't really looking at me, but more like he was staring far off. It was almost like he was watching a movie with the way he looked so focused.
“boss...papyrus is m' brother,” Sans clarified. “i've raised 'im on m' own since he was a babybones.”
I chuckled a little at the term and relaxed. “Oh, I see. It's just I've heard some things...”
Sans shrugged. “they're prob'ly true, but don't hold it against 'im. he's jus' doin' his job.”
The way he said it so nonchalantly made a shiver run up my back. I mean, I understood, it was his job. But it was a job that took prisoners and lives. I didn't know his brother like I kinda knew Sans, but if he was anything like Sans, then he took his job seriously.
“Sans, what did you do to him?” I asked again, not so kindly this time.
He shook his head, pulling out a cigar from his nightstand. He also took out my Zippo and a pack of my cigarettes from the drawer as well before closing it. When he had placed them in my lap I blinked up at him, confused.
“yer purse was covered 'n alleyway water an' garbage,” he said, shrugging. “i managed t' salvage yer phone an' these, but i had t' get rid o' ya wallet.” He jerked his head over to the desk. “th' contents are all laid out o'er there dryin'.”
“Oh...thank you,” I murmured. I took my cigarettes and lit one up. I put my stuff on the table beside me and put the ashtray between the two of us, an old habit from when I'm usually waking up and smoking.
“t' be honest, he got off easy,” Sans muttered, taking a long drag of his cigar. The smell of cherries flitted around me, like little butterfly kisses. “we only hurt 'im a lil' bit. nothin' too bad, in my opinion.” The smoke filtered out from between his teeth as he spoke.
I looked down, flicking the ash from my cigarette before it could hit the bed. I took a long drag, my throat burning before I finally pulled the butt away from my mouth and sighed, letting the smoke out. I couldn't imagine what he, what they, could have possibly done.
It made me wonder, but it wasn't like I could just ask. I didn't want to taint the image I had of Sans laughing with me in the bar the other night. Or when he had walked me home. I had two different people in mind when it came to the Judge and Sans the Skeleton. And I really wanted to keep it that way.
I stubbed out my cigarette, moving the ashtray more toward him. I hadn't said anything, and Sans was watching me with those shining eye lights. He didn't wear any kind of emotion on his face, and his usual perma-grin was set in a frown. In truth, I didn't know what to say to him. I didn't know if I could tell him thanks for maiming a guy for me. Or if I should take all my things and leave, just wander the city until I could find a place that was familiar and head home from there.
But I knew that was silly. Why would I do that after Sans had literally taken me in? I touched the bruise on my face, wincing at how tender it still was.
“sorry 'bout that,” Sans mumbled, looking away from me. The light cast from his eye lights showed me where he was looking, and it was kind of weird. It like they were a beacon in the night, something I could find if I was ever in danger. “paps tried t' help ya, but th' guy used magic 'n his hits, so it didn't exactly...help.”
I scowled now, moving my hand away from my face. “Magic? I thought only monsters had magic.”
Sans took another drag of his cigar. As he let the smoke out, he said, “that's not necessarily true. ya see, monsters all have magic, yes. but, humans do, too. not all of 'em, o' course. that would jus' be a nightmare.” He nodded to himself. “everyone 'ere has magic. but through the generations, as they passed, the magic dwindled. an' now it's just a basic part o' yer anatomy. it's still there, but it's so dormant, there's really no chance that it'll come back.”
I hummed, taking in the information he was telling me. For being a mobster monster, he sure was knowledgeable. It was odd to see, honestly. Most people who had joined gangs or mobs usually dropped right out of school, or they weren't too bright to begin with unless it was violent. I knew a few people personally who had done it. A couple of them were dead in their graves now.
“Could it be the magic from the Sages who locked you guys down there? Or...?”
I let the question hang in the air between us as he stubbed out that fat cigar, the smoke rising from it thick. The smell of cherries seemed to wrap itself around me as I took in a small whiff. Even under the smell of cherries, I could smell the bonfire smoke. It was a little stronger than it had been when I first woke up.
“for some, yeah, it does.” He nodded and moved so one leg was up on the bed. He tucked it under the one that was still hanging off the side of the bed as he faced her. It was still quite eerie how his eye lights seemed to light up the area around her, letting her know he was giving her his full attention.
“fer some, it's b'cause those assholes possessed a bunch o' that shit,” he growled, his hatred for those that locked him away obvious. “but it dwindled fer most, like I said. fer others, magic was jus' a part o' their daily lives. so it wasn't really something the body would process as needed.”
I nodded slowly, getting what he was saying. It made sense. So something in the guy must have triggered his magic to go full force, which is why she wasn't able to be healed by his brother. Somehow magical injuries on humans weren't as easy to deal with than ones that weren't laced with magic. I tucked that information away in a safe space. I looked at him, my eyes flicking back and forth between his.
“You haven't commented once.”
I couldn't help it. It had been bugging me for days. My eyes were those for freaks. One so bright blue it looked white in the light and the other so deep a purple, it could look black in the darkness. While one was definitely not a normal human eye color, the other one borderline wasn't either. And it made a lot of people and monsters uncomfortable.
But he had yet to say anything about it. Was it that bad to him? Did he really just try to avoid her stare? That couldn't be it. I always caught him staring at my eyes, his own lights flicking between mine. Like he was transfixed on them. Like they were hypnotizing him. I couldn't say it made me uneasy, but it did make me think a little bit about what he thought.
With the way his face shifted, he knew exactly what I was talking about. His eye lights locked on mine the second I mentioned it, a faint red blush roaming over the area above his nasal cavity. It was one of the cutest things I had ever seen up until that point. Mister badass, blushing over being caught staring.
What was happening to my life?
He finally chuckled, nervously, as his hand came up and rubbed the back of his skull. His eyes shot to the right, that strange glow following suit. His other hand made a fist in the pajama pants and when he finally looked at me, he had a strange smile on his face.
“didn't wanna be rude when we first met, sugar,” he said, shrugging. “'m a better monster than that.”
I smiled at him, chuckling before a yawn took over. I covered my mouth, wincing at the sting that hit just below my eyes. This goddamn bruise was gonna be death of me. Couldn't even smile properly without wincing. How was work gonna go if I couldn't even do that much?
I gasped, keeping my mouth covered. “Work! Grillby! I gotta – fuck!”
I hissed as I tried stepping down and a pain shot through my leg. I must have been too out of it earlier to notice the pain. I yanked my leg back on the bed and shrieked when I felt Sans's bony hands wrap around my upper arm and move me back further on the bed. I looked from my ankle to him, glaring as he moved and placed the ashtray between us once more.
“no need t' worry, dollface,” he said, his voice sounding strained. “i already talked t' 'im fer ya. jus' make sure ya give 'im a call tomorrow.”
I wasn't sure if I was just hearing things or not, but it sounded to me like this skeleton was jealous. Of my boss. His old friend. I could have been just imagining it, but they way he was clenching his fist, I couldn't help but have that thought. It was a silly assumption make though.
He was a skeleton. I was a human. Human. Monster. There is not a single way that it would work. Sure, there were some...monster/human relations, but those were usually with the prostitutes trying to catch the eye of the mob. And that sure as hell wasn't me.
I nodded, reaching for my cigarettes once more and lighting up, snapping my Zippo closed with one hand. I set it back down on the bed. Sans moved it to the bedside table with my smokes and I inhaled before I rubbed my temple.
“You already spoke to him?” I asked hesitantly.
He nodded curtly, moving around until he was fully sitting on the bed. “sure did.”
I smiled at him. “Thank you. He was probably worried when I didn't show up for my shift. He's been like that with me since I moved here.”
Sans's brow plate moved up again. “ya haven't always lived 'ere?”
I shook my head, taking a thoughtful drag of my cigarette. “Nope. I used to live out in the country, believe it or not. Just outside the city.”
He smiled. I noticed then that it was an actual smile, not just his usual permanent grin. It made something inside of my jump, and it felt like butterflies were fluttering around in my stomach. I shifted and ashed my cigarette.
Sans checked the watch on his wrist, scowling before he plucked the cigarette from my fingers, stubbing it out. I opened my mouth to complain, my face contorting into a scowl.
“nah ah, sugar. it's almost midnight. ya gotta get some type o' sleep.” He tutted, moving the ashtray off the bed.
“I've been sleeping, like, all day,” I shot back. “I'm fine.”
Even I knew a lie when I heard one. Though it was true I had slept the day away, I was still pretty damn tired. It was only because sleeping was letting my body heal, but with the magic that the guy had used, it was probably going to take longer than the normal bruises and cuts I usually got. I sighed and tucked myself under the blankets, covering myself up to my chin and turning so I was facing him.
He didn't make a move. He still sat there with his legs crossed under him. The glow from his eyes was on me so I knew he was looking at me, but I didn't understand why he wasn't laying with me. It was his bed, wasn't it? I didn't want to kick him out of his own bed. Fuck.
I blinked up at him. He wasn't looking at me anymore, but off to the side. He was watching the floor under us, like something was really intriguing with it. He didn't say anything else and I just stared at him, the single word hanging in the air between us. It felt like my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth and I could only utter out one word.
“red.” His eyes looked back at me. He hasn't even blinked, and it was really strange as he just stared at me. “call me red. all m' friends and family do. 'cept grillby. 'im and paps're th' only ones who don't.”
I opened and closed my mouth like a fish out of water. I didn't know how to respond to him only to nod. He moved to get up. I didn't even think twice about it. I moved so I could wrap my hand around his bone. He paused, looking between my face and my hand before looking at me with a slightly tilted head.
“This is your bed,” I whispered, suddenly shy and unsure of how to approach this. “I...I don't want to kick you out of your own bed. I can take the couch...”
He scoffed at me. “ya can barely stand. i ain't lettin' ya sleep on that couch, sugar. an' it's fine. 've slept in worse and weirder places than th' couch.”
“Stay with me.”
The words were out of my mouth before I could take them back. He looked as shocked as I felt; his eye sockets had widened a fraction and there was a small bead of red sweat on the side of his skull. I didn't know if I should take that as a good thing or bad thing. I didn't even know what had come over me. All I knew was in that moment, I didn't want to be alone. Not in a place I was so unfamiliar with.
His almost whispered words drifted between us. He moved away, taking my hand off of his bone and he got under the covers with me. But he didn't get real close to me, keeping his distance even under the blankets. I made a silent noise of irritation before I moved, laying my head on his shoulder.
I felt him stiffen under me, but when I didn't move, he relaxed a little bit. He had shut his eye sockets; that ethereal red light from his eye lights was gone. This close to him, I could hear a small hum coming from him. I furrowed my brow and tried to hone in on the noise, but couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from.
I finally sighed, the day's events finally coming to a close and I felt my eyelids get heavy. Though I tried to fight it off, my eyes closed as if they were working on their own.