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A Familiar Face

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     ‘Ughhhhhh, my ship has crashed and BURNED!!!’ the SOUL complained as they and Kris trekked through Hometown, ‘Undyne doesn’t even KNOW Alphys?!? Then how the f*** are they supposed to be the cutest lesbians this side of the Void!?’

     Kris shrugged with what little control they had at the moment.

     They took a right turn at the next intersection, the SOUL wanting to see absolutely everything this town had to offer.

      There was a very familiar restaurant, though only the SOUL found the lack of name-sign weird. It brought back memories of snowy days in a similarly small town, eating fries and exchanging jokes with friends in the warm bar without a care in the world. The SOUL ached with homesickness…

     ‘...excuse me what the f***’

     Then confusion at seeing (presumably) the store’s name scrawled messily at the end of the sign-space. The same name as that which belonged to the familiar skeleton monster that just so happened to be standing right outside the door.

     The SOUL brightened with joyful recollection, pulling Kris’s face into an eager grin. ‘Oh heck yes! If that’s Grillby’s, and there’s Sans, then that must mean that Papyrus must be here somewhere! Yesssss!!! If we can just find Papyrus, then this will all be worth it~!’

     ...Who’s Papyrus?, Kris asked mentally.

     ‘Only the coolest dude in the entire multiverse!’ the SOUL replied as they walked up to the grinning skeleton.

     “hey, look who’s walkin’ around.” Sans said as they stopped in front of him, “how are ya, kid?”

     *Who the hell are you ? Kris thought at his casual greeting, a greeting more appropriate for old friends, of which they were not .

     The SOUL ignored them and grinned even wider, “ * Great to see you again , my dear old Sensy~!

     Sans glanced to the side “yeah, it’s real nice, isn’t it?” He looked back to them and  winked, “especially considering i’ve never met you before.”

     ‘Wait-what?’ The SOUL snorted in amused surprise, which translated to Kris snorting as well.

     I told you! Kris scoffed mentally. The SOUL dissolved into a giggle fit, somewhat contradictory to the immense amount of disappointment they were feeling at that moment.

     “the name’s sans. sans the skeleton, though i bet ya already knew that.” He continued, somewhat indirectly pointing out the odd nickname.

     You shouldn’t have said that.

     ‘Yes- I know, don’t worry. I’m an excellent actor, I can salvage this.’

     “ Heh heh, ” they refocused on Sans and rubbed their neck sheepishly, “ Sorry about that, you look a heck of a lot like this one old friend of mine I haven’t seen in ages~ I thought you were them.

     He raised a brow-bone, but didn’t question further, “okay then.”

     They smiled, “ Well, since we’re already here, why don’t we chat some more?

     The skeleton glanced off to the side again, “sure, what’s up?”

     The SOUL pursed their nonexistent lips at the options displayed out of sight of their companions. They took a second to pick one. “ What’s that *store ?

     He glanced over his shoulder, “behind me?”

     Duh.

     “yeah, that’s the grocery store. unfortunately, it’s closed. what a pain, i really wanted to buy some milk.” He turned back towards them and winked, “someone oughta complain to the guy who runs it.”

     ‘But that’s your own store!’ the SOUL thought with mirth. They snorted in an attempt to stifle their laughter, both they and Kris finding the joke quite funny. “ I would, but I don’t know who that is, ” they responded, looking at Sans with such a pointed look that it was clear they did know.

     As their laughter died down, the dialogue options reappeared. The SOUL chose another one, “ Do you have any *friends ?

     “we just moved in, so i hardly know anyone.” he said quite matter-of-factly, then grinned a little wider, “why? got anyone i should get to know better?”

     They hesitated a moment, weighing their options, before answering, “ I bet you’d like *my mom .

     He closed his eye sockets in thought, “your mother, huh…?” He opened them again and winked, “too late. i already ‘befriended’ your mom last night.”

     Their eyes widened in shock and realization, ‘... Oh, so that’s why there’s been so many “Sans Undertale f***ed my mom” jokes going around online lately.’

     If Kris could have, he would have screamed, exCUSE ME WHAT THE F***!?!

     Sans, completely missing the teen’s internal turmoil, continued, “she’s great, came to the store to buy chocolate kisses.”

     The SOUL breathed a sigh of relief that no, it was not an innuendo, they just had a chat, probably quite a punny chat, and became fast friends. That’s basically what happened in the last timeline (the SOUL quashed down the returned feeling of homesickness).

     “said she’s gotta lock her door to stop you from eating ‘em.” He winked, “heheheh, you sound like a fun kid, huh?”

     They nodded. ‘Kris, do you really do that?’ The SOUL remarked with some amusement.

     Kris pouted, shut up.

     The SOUL laughed internally, ‘Hah! Nah, and besides, I’d totally do the same.’

     Really?

     ‘Totes-mah-goats, my dude, no pun intended. Now anyways…’ they turned their attention back to Sans, “ Well, if you already know my mom, then how about getting to know *me ?

     He chuckled and glanced aside, “woah there, tiger. you can’t just jump straight into friendship. it takes time.”

     He paused for a moment.

     “alright, that’s enough time.” he grinned and winked, taking note of the teen’s renewed mirth, “take this. call it whenever you feel like.”

     The SOUL narrated, *(You got Sans’s number.) . “ Well, thanks my-dude.

      “no problem.”

     “ So, I suppose, on the topic of friends, have you meet *my teacher , Alphys, yet?

     “yeah, i know about her.” He grinned and nodded, “came into the store with a suit and sunglasses. thought she was part of the mob. she opened the case and stuffed it full of instant noodles. paid in small bills, then slunk out of the place, pajamas trailing on the floor.”

     ‘Sounds like Alphys alright.’

      ...Agreed.

      “anyway, our relationship is, uh, purely business. so, uh, i guess i’ll just let her do her thing.”

      They smirked and nodded. The SOUL evaluated the dialogue options and, deciding all possible conversation topics had been exhausted, waved goodbye to their new (old) skeleton friend and began walking away.

      “...” Sans placed a hand on their shoulder, “hey bud.”

      Kris groaned internally, Can we please just go home and get this crazy day over with?

     ‘No, how rude would that be.’ The SOUL replied as they turned them around to face the grinning skeleton, “ Mhm?

      “...are you busy tomorrow…?”

      Yes, yes we are!

      “ No, why?

      “i need some help with something. it’d be great if you could come over.” He winked, “i live just next door, ya know.”

       They glanced up at the house next to the store. The SOUL had guessed it had been his as soon as they laid eyes upon it, seeing as how it was identical to their one in Snowdin, minus, well, the snow. It seemed they had guessed right.

       This time they didn’t even have to think before answering with a resounding “ *Yes

      The skeleton chuckled a little in response, “wow… you answered quickly, huh.” His expression turned serious, “that’s not good. I’m a total stranger.”

     ‘No you’re not.’ the SOUL thought offhandedly.

      Yes, he is, Kris rebuked.

      ‘Sush! You’re not the one who’s traveled across thousands of timelines containing his alternative-selves, I think I know a bit more about him than you do.’

      Sans continued, oblivious to their mental argument, and winked, “you should probably hesitate more. well, guess i shouldn’t complain…”

      “ So, what exactly are we doing? ” they asked.

      “Huh…?” he grinned mischievously, “oh, i’m not going to be there. that’d be weird.” he said with a wink.

      They frowned, the two of them feeling mutually suspicious about this new information.

      “it’s just gonna be you and my little brother.”

      Their eyes lit up at that, barely able to contain their excitement in their now trembling body. There was only one “little brother” he could be talking about, the one they had been waiting this whole goddamned adventure to meet, Papyrus! ‘Yessssssss~!’

      Kris was significantly less thrilled, nooooooooo.

      Sans sighed, “he needs friends.” then grinned a little wider, “thanks for hanging out with him.”

      “ No problem, he sounds cool! ” They gave the skeleton two thumbs up, ignoring Kris’s protests.

      “the coolest,” he winked and waved, “well, see ya.”

      “ Byeeeeee~! ” they waved back and began skipping away with renewed curiosity.

      They made their way over to the house and up to the door. 'why wait until tomorrow when we could just talk with him now?' The SOUL thought off-handedly. They glanced back before they knocked, it seemed like Sans was texting someone on his phone, by his wide grin and stifled laughter, they guessed it was Toriel and probably something about them. Good, he wouldn't notice them being somewhat weirdly overeager about meeting Papyrus.

      Wait , Kris asked confused, you’re worried about looking weird???

      'yeah', The SOUL replied plainly, as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

      Wh- you weren't before though??? Kris stuttered in disbelief, flashing back to all of the cringey weird stuff the SOUL had done with their body.

      They rolled their eyes, 'This is Papyrus and Sans , I really don't want to screw up in front of them.'

      Kris scoffed, wow, you must be really fond of them then.

      'Only Papyrus' They shot back as they knocked on the door.

      Their eyes skimmed over the narration text that appeared, “ *(knock knock knock…)

      “ *(...) ” Silence. The SOUL began worrying.

      “ *(no response…) ?

      “ *(... but the distant trousle of bones) !!!” they whisper-shouted in shock.

      They quickly tried knocking again, only to get the same result.

      ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!’ The SOUL screamed internally.

      Yessss! , Kris cheered

      ‘MAH BAB BOY PAPS- NOOOOOOOOOOooOOO!!!’

      Now can we go home? Kris asked gleefully.

      ‘Ugh! Fine.’ they threw their hands up in defeat as they started walking back along the road to Kris’s home, ‘it’s not even worth it if there’s no Papyrus.’