Napstablook generally wasn’t good at being aggressive. Not that the poor ghost couldn’t be good at passive aggression, but monsters preferred it in a way that was obvious and in-your-face. Not wishing to be constantly bullied for not being “good enough,” Napstablook took to hiding in their house, and whenever it was necessary to go outside, they took advantage of their ghostly abilities and turned invisible if they heard anyone coming. It was a terror-filled, lonely, but simple existence: tend to the snail farm, check their email, lurk on Undernet (they never dared actually post or message anyone), download music, create remixes and pray no one is listening, sneak to the Ruins when they’re struck by cabin fever, and most of all, lie on the floor and feel like garbage.
One particular monster perplexed the ghost however—the odd skeleton sentry named Sans. By all means, they should feel intimidated by the black leather jacket with white fluff around the hood, the red turtle-neck sweater and spiked choker, and the little gold fang in his smile… and they are. But it’s hard to feel as intimidated when he’s constantly sleeping or telling terrible jokes. The few times the two bumped each other, the skeleton didn’t double-down when he sensed the ghost was frightened. It was… refreshing? Especially in this atmosphere of kill or be killed.
“Hey. You mind if I stayed at your house for a while?” Sans asked.
Napstablook would’ve jumped if they weren’t, you know, already floating.
“Ohhh…… Is something wrong?”
“Nah. I just feel like layin’ low for a while, if that’s all right with you.”
“Um… okay. Sure………”
“Cool. Meet you there.”
And that’s the story of how Sans had teleported to their house… or how Napstablook had anyone come to their home at all.
“Welcome………” the shy ghost murmured, hurriedly putting on headphones to make themself more presentable. “Sorry……… it’s a bit of a mess here. I should’ve cleaned earlier… oh……”
“Can’t be as messy as my place, pal.” Sans winked.
“Oh uh… is that good? Oh, or… is that bad? I’m so sorry—”
“Don’t worry about it. You’re not under attack here.”
“O-Okay… would you like something to eat?”
“Nah, I’m cool.”
Napstablook’s entire home was a shade of old rusty red, with cracks on the walls that looked as though they had bled out long ago. Dusty cobwebs splattered the corners, one of them netting pocket change and coupons for spider pastries. Piles of compact discs strewn about the floor, some smudged with fingerprints (or rather, “dummyprints”) and others smashed into pieces that the ghost felt too tired to sweep up. There was an old fridge and television and desktop computer, and a Playstation with sticker residue that Napstablook had discovered from the dump.
“Yo, nice tunes you got there.” Sans complimented, reading off the labels of the closest discs but not picking any of them up out of respect for the ghost’s privacy. “Got any in particular that you like?”
“Ohh, nothing special…” Napstablook replied. “Just some spookwave. Something slow… And gloomy……… I can play some for you………”
“Sure. Go ahead.”
With a tiny ounce of confidence that the shy ghost hadn’t felt since their cousin had disappeared, Napstablook pushed the button on the Playstation to wake it. In truth, they had only three games: Eagleland NBA Live 199X, NASU 3D, and Petscop (the latter which they can never beat because the second disc is cracked) But they discovered that the system could play music discs and they could fiddle around with the settings for some neat effects. The first song rumbled into being with a low synthesizer like the growl of a sleeping dragon. Dreary piano notes thronged before a feminine voice murmured about purgatory and reprisal.
“Mmm.” Sans yawned, stretching himself before laying down on the floorboards. “Deep stuff.”
“………I mix music sometimes…………”
“Sounds swell. Mind if I hear when this is done?”
“It’s not that good…………”
“Still better than anythin’ I’d make.”
Should they trust him? How can they be sure he won’t be disgusted and break their discs, like what happened with Aaron and Woshua? At least with Mad Dummy, it was common for them to break everything when something sets them off—both Napstablook’s and their own things. But no matter how scary Sans seemed, he hadn’t done anything to hurt them. He hadn’t even said anything cruel or demeaning. If he was going to reveal his true colors after this, the ghost might as well get that out of the way. Napstablook picked up the Playstation controller and skipped several songs to the one they wanted.
It was the same song as before… but this time, it started with a choir of men’s voices, echoing through the room like an empty crumbling cathedral. The feminine vocals were accompanied with a distorted stutter that transformed them into a demonic litany. Howling winds and shifting dunes transformed the song into a soup of horror… what was originally an unsettling tune had become the anthem of a lost forbidden cult. When it was over, both Sans and Napstablook were speechless, as if waking up from a bad dream.
“…Wow. That’s… something.” Sans blinked.
“S-Sorry… you didn’t like it?”
“No, I’m serious. You got a talent for this. And that’s not somethin’ I say lately.” the skeleton tucked his arms behind his head. “The only way it could be better is if my brother did it. But he’d have to be interested in music first.” His perma-grin grew larger.
“Th-Thank you…” Napstablook stammered. “Ohh… that… that means a lot… really……”
“Is this what you do all day?”
“Not judging. Pretty cool way to live, if you ask me.”
“I don’t do as much as I used to………” Napstablook sighed. “Actually………… I just lie on the floor……… and I feel like garbage…”
A sad glint fell across the skeleton’s eyelights.
“Me too, pal… me too.”
Once again, an overwhelming sorrow gripped the shy ghost… but for once, it wasn’t for themself.
“Hey………" Napstablook said. "I can lie down with you, if you want me to.”
“Sure pal…” Relief warmed the skeleton’s face. “I’d like that.”