Actions

Work Header

Save Point

Chapter Text

The medley of sounds from the busy city were drowned out by you turning up the volume of your car’s radio. You adjusted your rear-view mirror to see your child (S/N) sitting peacefully on the backseat, too distracted by the breakfast he was eating to notice you were staring at him. He seemed excited by the lively expression he carried on his face and the way he scarfed down his food without so much as taking a break to drink from his unopened juice pouch.

 

It took you fifteen more minutes of driving to arrive at your destination. Your child had already finished his breakfast long ago, and he was currently halfway done with colouring a page of his book.

 

“Excited for your first day?” you asked, smiling at him after opening his side of the doors.

 

He nodded in response, a bright grin showing on his round face. “Yeah! I can’t wait to see what it’s like.”

 

You smiled back at him and waited for him to pick up his backpack. He reached out for your hand after making sure he had everything with him, following you to the entrance of the new school established by a former queen of whose name you were told was ‘Toriel’. Though you were aware you had no reason to be nervous – seeing as you weren’t the one who would be starting over in a new place – you couldn’t brush off the feeling of anticipation when beginning to spot  monsters left and right. Having lived most of your life at a quiet, peaceful town with a population of no more than a hundred people, you weren’t used to seeing so many of them in one place.

 

(S/N), however, didn’t seem to be having trouble with that aspect, already breaking free from your hold to run off with a pair of bunny children and one goat child. The group of four engaged in a quick game of tag while you were left to wait for the gates to open. You looked around you during your wait, being particularly entranced by a tall fish woman holding a child up in her muscular arms. The latter noticed your staring and waved at you, an act which you returned to avoid upsetting them or making them think you ignored them.

 

The more you looked around, the more monsters your eyes seemed to come across with. They varied from humanoid fires to multi-limbed spider people, your trouble with adjusting to the diversity of monsterfolk only intensifying with that observation.

 

You snapped out of it when hearing the gates open, the vast sea of people that began to walk into the premises making it hard for you to track down where your son had ran off to. Your eyes jumped from one person to another, finally stopping to see him conversing with a goat monster clipping the hedges set close to the gates. The pair were occupied talking with each other, content looks showing on their faces.

 

“Come on, (S/N),” you called out, tilting your head downwards in a form of salute at the gentleman left in charge of trimming the plants. “You can’t be late on your first day!”

 

He said his goodbyes to the goat monster and took your hand again, excitement clear by the way he pulled you whenever you were walking too slow. You still couldn’t shake off your awe at how different things were at the city, and your curiosity only grew when spotting a skeleton sweeping the hallways with a broom. You slowed your walking pace in spite of your son’s speed and pent up energy, catching a glimpse of the name tag on the skeleton’s shirt. It read ‘tutor & janitor’ on it, another observation that only made things more confusing to you and exiting all the same.

 

It was most likely going to take a while for you to get used to this new lifestyle, though you were just as determined to go explore it.

 

Your alarm going off made you jolt from your daydreaming, the sound in surprise that came out your mouth making the skeleton – Sans, from what you could read above his job titles – look up at you with an arched eye socket. You looked away from him in a haste and settled on checking your phone instead, holding back your frustration after reading you only had half an hour left before you arrived late to work. The harsh reality of balancing work with having to drop off your kid at school fell on you right at that moment, and you muttered a curse to yourself before hurrying the rest of the way to his classroom.

 

Breathless and near having your legs collapse, you arrived at the entrance door of your son’s first class. You didn’t leave until you made sure he settled in well with the students and his teacher, waving goodbye before stepping out of the classroom.

 

You avoided parents and staff on your way back, engaging in a battle against time to prevent a tardy mark on your first day at the new job. From the looks of it, adjusting yourself to this brand new lifestyle was going to be harder than you thought.

 

You still had the determination to power through it though, and you weren’t planning on letting frustration get the best of you just yet.

Chapter Text

Your son was failing Math.

 

You frowned at the graded paper in your hold, a fifteen out of fifty marked with a red pen on the top corner of the test. (S/N) shrunk further into a corner of the room, waiting for you to scold him at any moment.

 

“We have tutoring services available if you cannot afford outside help,” Toriel spoke, a gentle smile showing on her face. She pushed her glasses back and shuffled some papers and documents, the pristine look of her work desk being the only thing to stand out more than her. “The enrollment fee covers those services as long as your son attends a lesson at least once a week. Would you like me to register him? You can talk with the tutor to make an agreement with him on a schedule that best suits you and your child.”

 

“That would be great,” you replied, taking the card she offered out to you. "Thank you.”

 

A phone number along with the name ‘Sans’ was scribbled over the card, the goat lady’s polished handwriting making the service seem more professional than it was supposed to be. You stuffed the card with the others inside your wallet and thanked her one last time before standing up from the chair to take your leave. Your son followed closely behind, still afraid to speak after the grade he received.

 

You stepped out of the principal's office and made your way down the hallway, searching for the skeleton you often saw cleaning the floors and scolding students whenever they ran around the halls. The time marked four o'clock already, and with the more you walked around without spotting him, the more you believed he'd already ended his shift for the day. You were about to give up on your search and resort to calling his number, the school's exit already visible to you from a short distance away.

 

What made a change in plans was the slippery floor underneath you, the feeling of losing balance making you close your eyes shut. You stumbled on your feet, preventing the fall by holding onto the nearest support you could find.

 

“You okay there, buddy?” a low voice asked.

 

You opened your eyes after making sure you weren't going to fall. Your eyes caught the image of the same skeleton you were searching for ever since leaving the principal's office, and your hands were holding onto the mop in his hold for dear life.

 

“Oh, uh. . . Sorry,” you muttered, letting go of his mop. You rubbed the back of your neck, an apologetic look crossing your face. “There weren't any warning signs around that I could see.”

 

“It was my bad,” he assured you, chuckling. “I forgot to do that before I started moppin' the halls.”

 

You looked behind you to see (S/N) staring at you, relief showing on his face after seeing you found a way to prevent the fall. He shied away from you and the skeleton after catching onto what topic was going to be spoken next. Not wanting to hear the subject of how he was failing math again, he sat down on one of the benches nearby and waited for you to talk with the tutor standing next to you.

 

“Before you leave, sir,” you called out, noticing he was about to go back to mopping the halls. “I'm here to ask about your tutoring services.”

 

“Uh, sure,” he replied, looking up at you. “I don't normally teach adults, but I can try.”

 

“Quite the comedian, are you?” you commented, raising an eyebrow and letting a cocky smile take over the firm, professional look you tried to maintain when first talking with him.

 

“Considerin' the font I was named after,” he remarked, the smile that never seemed to wipe off his face tugging slightly upwards. “But enough of that. Whaddya need help with? I can tutor your kid on science and math.”

 

“It's math,” you explained, lowering your voice as if to respect the privacy of your son's grades. “He. . . got a fifteen out of fifty mark on his first test, and well. . . I can't exactly look for an outside tutor with our current income.”

 

“Leave it to me, then.” Sans leaned the mop against the wall. He rummaged around his front pockets, retrieving a notepad and a pen from their contents. “What time's best for ya?”

 

“Could it be on Fridays around six p.m.?”

 

“Sure,” the skeleton replied, nodding. He jot down the information on his notepad, looking back up at you afterwards. “Here, or at your home?”

 

Curiosity sparked in you when being asked that question, surprised to have these services accommodate as well as they were with your work schedule. The money spent on the enrollment felt like a steal with how many benefits this gave you and your child. Then again, the school's primary purpose was to work as a non-profit organization for the benefit of monsters and humans coexisting together, so you figured it was one of the few perks that came with it.

 

“Would it be alright with you if it were at home?” you questioned, not wanting to make him feel obligated to answering positively to that question.

 

“I've got no problem with that – It's my job either way. Just write down the address, and I'll be there this Friday at six.”

 

Nodding, you took the notepad and pen from his hold, scribbling down the address. You made sure it was easy to understand, even going as far as to sketch a simplified map and add silly details to the directions of your home.

 

“Thank you so much, sir,” you spoke up again, offering your brightest smile at him. “I guess I’ll see you in a few days, then.”

 

“Just call me Sans,” he suggested, a snicker leaving his teeth. “The 'sir’ makes me feel too old and accomplished.”

 

You muffled a laugh at his comment, saying your goodbyes and signaling for your child to follow you out of the school. He directed a reserved wave at the skeleton when passing by him, still shocked by the grade he received to greet his new tutor properly.

 

You breathed in when stepping outside, grateful the new school offered as many benefits as it did. Now, your next mission was to organize the mess of your home before Friday marked itself on your calendar.

Chapter Text

You smiled at the sight of the two getting along right away. Not half an hour had passed since Sans arrived at the door of your home, yet your son was already involved in deep conversation with him, discussing division step by step. You left the two to continue with the lesson while you went off to the kitchen in search for some refreshments.

 

Your eyes scanned the cabinets for any snacks you could give them. You settled for potato chips and fruit juice for the time being, taking out two plastic cups for the drinks and a bowl for the snack.

 

“(Mom/Dad) used to teach me all this stuff before they got a divorce!”

 

The bowl almost ended up on the floor when overhearing that conversation. A few chips ended up scattered around, though you were able to save most of them. Wanting to comprehend what they were talking about, you inched a little closer to the door keeping you from seeing them at the living room and pressed your ear against it.

 

“What about your other parent?” the skeleton asked, an awkward tone present in the way he asked that question.

 

“They're out of the country, so they can't really help me much with school, but. . . But they always call in the weekends. And they visit us on holidays, too!”

 

You couldn't bring yourself to step out of the kitchen just yet, not wanting to interrupt the conversation they were having. You gave it some thought and settled on waiting a little longer, overhearing more of their conversation that consisted mostly of your relationship with your ex (wife/husband), a topic you never imagined your son would be discussing with his math tutor. The embarrassment was enough for one day, so you tried to avoid being the center of attention by waiting for a change in the pair's topic of conversation.

 

“How do you divide by this many numbers?”

 

A soft sigh in relief left your mouth when hearing your child change the subject. After a few more seconds of wait, you pushed open the door, placing the bowl of chips and the two glasses of juice on the coffee table located close to the work desk (S/N) sat on. Sans was standing next to him, pointing out what he should do next.

 

“Would you like me to take out a chair for you?” you asked, unable to see a guest standing without remembering the hospitality rules your mother taught you since you were young.

 

“I'm fine,” he replied, looking over his shoulder to catch a glimpse of you standing by. “But thanks. You look like the one who should be gettin' some sleep."

 

“What gave it away?” you questioned, an amused smile showing on your lips.

 

“Other than the bags under your eyes, the way you're leaning against the wall right now kinda gives it away,” he spoke, returning your smile by chuckling to himself after his comment. “I should know, since I do that a lot after making my rounds around the school.”

 

You rubbed the back of your head, a yawn forcing its way out of your mouth.

 

“Well, I. . . I'll go wash up while you guys keep on doing that. Let me know if you need anything.”

 

After making sure it was okay for you to leave the two alone, you went off to the bathroom, a sense of relief remaining among the rest of your thoughts now that you had a helping hand around the house. You took this moment to relax, taking five more minutes than usual in the shower to appreciate the free time you had now that tutoring was out of your way.

 

 


 

 

You placed (S/N) down on the bed and turned off the lights, a few cushions placed next to him to avoid a possible fall. You made your way out of his room, shutting the door as silently as you could and walking back to the living room to see the tutor off.

 

“Thanks again for helping us,” you spoke up, directing your words at Sans as a small smile showed itself over your (s/t) complexion. “It's honestly a huge load off my shoulders.”

 

“I'm just doing my job,” the skeleton objected. He stood up from his seat on the couch, approaching the exit of your home. “I should be thanking you for the food.”

 

“It was only chips and juice,” you remarked, letting out a small laugh. “It really wasn't much to give thanks for.”

 

His smile seemed to lighten up at your comment, the white pinpricks of his eye sockets glinting as a result. The hand he'd placed over the doorknob retreated back to him and he extended it out to you.

 

“The name's Sans, by the way. Part-time janitor and tutor at your service,” he added, looking up at you. “I don't think we've introduced ourselves properly yet.”

 

“(Y/N),” you replied, taking his hand in yours. “It’s nice to–”

 

A loud 'pop’ followed by his hand detaching from his arm made your words come to an abrupt halt. You stared down at the detached hand you were holding onto, shock making your mouth fall open.

 

“Holy crap, I– I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to–”

 

You stopped again in your words when hearing him break into hearty laughter, his shoulders shaking and an amused glint crossing the light of his eye sockets. Scared out of your mind, you froze in place, unable to snap out of it despite his laughter.

 

“I gotta hand it to ya,” he spoke up, a final chuckle erupting from his ribcage. “The face you made just now was priceless.”

 

“I thought I hurt you for a moment there!” you exclaimed, finally snapping back to consciousness. “I. . .”

 

You breathed out a heavy sigh, relieved to know you hadn't completely screwed up after formally getting to know the tutor's name. A sense of terror still remained on your shoulders, weighing you down as you stared down at the hand still in your hold. You looked at it for a few seconds, an idea crossing your mind.

 

“Need a hand?”

 

“Literally.”

 

Grinning, you gave him his hand and waited until he adjusted it back on his wrist before saying something else.

 

“I was gonna get some coffee to wake up and get stuff done around the house, but I don't think I need that anymore with what just happened.”

 

“Glad to be of service,” he commented, winking at you. “See you next Friday?”

 

“See you next Friday," you replied, smile growing wider as you watched him make his way out of your home.

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans’s Perspective

 

Papyrus brought his gaze away from the stew simmering in the pot, the sound of the living room door closing alerting him of someone entering his home. Sans had arrived, looking more relaxed than on previous occasions and still tweaking his wrist to fix the consequences of the joke he pulled on (Y/N).

 

“You look a little chipper, brother!” the taller skeleton commented, a bright smile made apparent on his skull. “Did something good happen on the way here?”

 

“Nothin’ big,” the short one replied, shrugging. He took off his shoes and placed them aside, making his way to the couch. “Just got done with my first tutoring lesson, and the people there were kinda nice and stuff.”

 

“You've made new friends, then? What are they like?”

 

He sat down, looking towards his brother and peering through the island that kept the living room separate from the kitchen. “There's this seven year old that's pretty into my math puns, and then there's his (mother/father), who made this really amazing, one-of-a-kind face when I pulled a prank on them.”

 

“I figured that would be your only way of making friends! Nonetheless, I am glad you are getting along well with them,” Papyrus commented, taking a break from the conversation to mix the contents of the pot. “You haven't made any new friends since we left the Underground!”

 

“Eh,” Sans droned, rubbing the back of his spine. “It's been hard to, but. . . I can't say I didn't enjoy today. The human (mom/dad) even gave us snacks while I was tutorin’ their kid, so I guess it's pretty different from the ones that don't want anything to do with us.”

 

“You are letting a few incidents get to your head, brother! While I am aware not all humans are as kind as Frisk. . . That does not mean it should take you this long to acquaint yourself with them. It's been a year since you last made any new friends!"

 

“I really don’t wanna talk about that now, Paps.” Sans let out a sigh, slumping himself on the couch. He placed a hand over his forehead while the other reached for the TV remote. “I'm tired.”

 

“It's been a year, Sans,” Papyrus persisted, turning off the stove. He then turned back towards his brother and narrowed his gaze at him. “Please do not treat these humans too distantly. Frisk is not the only kind human out there!”

 

“I know that.” Another sigh left his teeth, his hand rubbing away the headache slowly creeping on his forehead. “I just need more time.”

 

 


 

 

After eating a slightly more edible dinner than usual, Sans stayed around for another half hour to watch the news and chat with his brother, and took another to wash up to be ready for the next day. The clocked marked eight thirty five when he entered his room, exhaustion taking over his body in waves. 

 

He sat down on the edge of the twin bed and reached for the phone he'd placed on his nightstand, the notification for three new, unread messages showing on the screen.

 

Thank you for today, Sans!

Having you teach (S/N) today has been the best thing that's happened in a while.

I hope you have a good rest. :-)

 

Sans reread the messages over and over, the little smiley face at the end making his thoughts a mess. He still couldn't bring himself to believe he'd given them his phone number and that – even after leaving their home – (Y/N) still had him in their mind long enough to thank him again for something that was supposed to be his job. It was clear by the way they apologized after the hand situation and from what was happening right now that this was their nature.

 

no problem. the kid's pretty eager to learn.

and same to you, pal.

 

I still haven't gotten over the hand situation.

Seriously, I'm sorry if I hurt you or anything.

 

it's fine.

didn't mean to get you that worked up.

 

I guess you could say your hand slipped on that one?

 

He couldn't help the small laugh that burst through the quiet of his room when reading (Y/N)'s latest message. Though the delivery was weak and the joke could use some work, he had to give them props for trying – especially through means of text messaging. Unable to leave them without a reply, he typed in one last response before placing the phone back on the nightstand next to his bed.

 

good one.

 

He drowned himself in the sea of bedsheets after that, unable to grasp how quickly another human had entered his life, and how well they seemed to be adjusting to the fact that he wasn't human himself. Shaking away those thoughts, he stared at the hand he twisted loose to pull the prank on (Y/N), replaying the events one last time before grabbing the phone again.

 

Unable to sleep with the changes going on in his life, he scrolled through Undernet for well over an hour, aimlessly going through the posts and updates made by people he followed. It wasn't until he noticed it was already ten that he stopped scrolling. Though it was the weekend tomorrow, he couldn't risk losing any more sleep if it meant he would regret it the morning after.

 

Giving in, he placed the phone aside and plugged it to the charger cable, finally managing to catch some sleep after another half hour of tossing and turning around in bed. Although he knew he was thinking too much over the subject, he couldn't shake off Papyrus's words while he prepared dinner for the both of them.

 

The fact that a whole year went by since monsters left the Underground was still an overwhelming thought to him. Times were changing, yet he still felt the same. As he opened his eye sockets again to stare at the ceiling, he began to realize just how much everyone else was changing and how he still remained the same old skeleton only known for his jokes and laid back character.

 

How he got all that out of a tense, yet brief conversation with his brother was a mystery to him. Even so, he couldn't deny the truth behind the observation he just made, and he wanted to do something about it.

 

He just didn't know what yet.

Chapter Text

“You really don't have to pay for it,” he intervened, looking at you.

 

“It's fine,” you insisted, smiling at him. “It's the least I can do after a whole month of you tutoring my son. His math grades went from D's to B's!”

 

Sighing, the skeleton gave in to your words, grateful Papyrus wasn't around to talk his non-existent ears off about how it was only fair to split the bill with you. Pleased you were able to convince him, you handed the cashier the payment for both your orders while she gave you your change back. You waited for your food to be handed to you by standing next to Sans, mentally summing up how long it would take until your ex finished taking your son out to the movies.

 

Your ex took him from you around six thirty – thirty minutes into the usual tutoring lesson – and now that it was currently seven fifteen, there were only fifteen minutes left until the movie began. You figured they would be back home by ten, allowing you more than enough time to have a meal with Sans, run some final errands, and head back home without any complications.

 

“Sorry again for the unexpected changes,” you spoke up, facing down slightly to meet with his eye sockets. “I didn't think my ex would be returning to see (S/N) during his school year.”

 

“That's fine and all, but how’re ya feeling?” he asked, arching an eye socket. “You didn't look too good when they showed up at your door.”

 

Embarrassment rose over the back of your neck and ears at that question. You shrugged that feeling off, wanting to keep your conversation going with him.

 

“To be honest, I. . . I still miss them,” you replied, passing a hand through your (h/c) locks. “Even though we're not together anymore, they weren't a bad (wife/husband). We just had to take different paths a year after the adoption, and that involved our. . . separation.”

 

You looked down, still finding yourself unable to say the word 'divorce’. You loved them deeply – enough to adopt a then five year old (S/N) back then. Oddly enough, their attitude changed right after the adoption, and even to this day, you were unsure as to what were the reasons for those changes.

 

“It's been a year, but the memories are still vivid.” Catching onto how emotional you were getting, you took in some air, closing your eyes and letting it out slowly. “But. . . What about you? Any special someone you have in mind?”

 

Your words came off light, wanting to let him know you were joking and that he wasn't obligated to give a serious answer. To your surprise, however, he stuffed his hands in his pockets, letting out a pensive sigh.

 

“Never really thought about that,” he admitted, honesty clear in his tone. “It's not really that different how monsters fall for someone, but we do have our differences. Since we can live longer than humans so long as our souls stay healthy, we don't need to rush into that kinda stuff.”

 

“If you don't mind me asking. . . How old are you, then?”

 

You thanked another employee for handing you a tray with both your and Sans's orders on it. He helped you by holding onto the coffee cups, walking with you to the nearest, empty table you could find.

 

“I’m in my mid twenties,” he replied, placing the cups down on the table. “Twenty-six, if we're gonna be exact.” He gave you a subtle once over after saying that, the sudden attention thrown at you catching you off guard. “You?"

 

“Twenty-three,” you replied, setting the tray down next to the cups. “I. . . got married at twenty, and then divorced at twenty-two.”

 

You braced yourself for his next question, expecting him to ask the same one almost everyone asked when you told them of your age.

 

“I rushed into it and pretty much received an 'I told you so’ from almost everyone I knew back then,” you added, being quick to avoid having that interrogative brought up. “I don't regret it, but. . . I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong.”

 

You stopped on your words, realizing you ended up rambling about your life again.

 

“Enough about me, though. How're things on your side?”

 

The skeleton took a few sips of his coffee, gulping the hot liquid down before taking a napkin to his teeth. He wiped his face before speaking up, placing the coffee aside.

 

“For starters, I have a pretty cool bro that's a huge help around the house,” Sans spoke, adjusting himself to the unanticipated attention brought upon him. “He works outside and all, but he still manages to have food ready by the time I get home. The guy's the definition of a hard worker.”

 

“I can understand why,” you commented, smiling at his words. “It can be pretty difficult to deal with too many things at once."

 

“The food he makes is kinda. . . still in the works, but I can't complain. If it were me, I'd just eat out every day.”

 

Before you knew it, you ended up talking with him until your coffee grew cold. The only things that managed to save themselves were the cold sandwiches you both ordered. The two of you broke into laughter when coming across the fact that you both forgot about the food, even while speaking about his brother's cooking.

 

You both ate in comfortable silence as you munched on your sandwiches, savouring the flavour and letting the food warm your taste buds. A soft breath escape your lips when taking a third bite of your meal, your eyes closed and body releasing the stress from a hard day of work, picking up your son, and having your ex show up at your house a few minutes into the usual Friday tutoring lessons.

 

“Woah.”

 

You were shaken out of those thoughts by the sound of Sans's voice, looking forward to see him staring at you with an amused expression painted as clear as day on his skull.

 

“Never seen someone enjoy food that much.”

 

Caught in your daydreaming, you glanced down at the half-eaten sandwich in hand, a sheepish look crossing your face.

 

“I don't think I remember the last time I ate this type of food. It's either home-cooked or Burger Queen for us most of the time.”

 

He chuckled at your explanation, the sound airy and honest to your hearing. His irises flickered over to you, the ever-present smile on his face appearing freer to your eyes.

 

For a brief moment – as you reached for your cup of cold coffee and he reached for his – your hand brushed with his own, the small slip up only making the situation more awkward for you to digest.

 

“Sorry about that.”

 

Expecting him to say something in response to your apology, you were surprised to have him remain in silence. He seemed out of it for a split second, though he soon returned to the present, a hint of tension present in the way he looked at you.

 

“Do you, uh. . . want me to go get some new ones?” he questioned, his voice coming out as strained as the time your son brought up your divorce on his first day of tutoring. “I dunno about you, but cold coffee ain't my thing.”

 

“Sure,” you answered, your own voice faltering in that sole word. “Thank you, Sans."

Chapter Text

A week went by since the day your ex arrived to pick up (S/N) for the movies. They spent the entire weekend with him and were planning to stay a whole month at the inn located a few blocks away from your home. Now, you were back to the same routine of taking him to school, with the exception that you were at Toriel's office again. Your son had – somehow – managed to pick a fight with a girl at his class, and he was now back to his quiet self from the time he obtained his first 'F' in Math.

He shied away again at a corner of the small office, waiting for you to finish speaking with Toriel, not daring to say anything in his defense. He only watched as you signed a paper claiming you were informed about the incident, and that you agreed on him receiving an hour of detention for his acts.

"That would be all then, (miss/mister) (Y/N)," Toriel spoke, her voice calming you down. "I hope all goes well."

"Thank you," you replied, smiling at her.

You first stood up from your seat and later excused yourself from her, extending a hand out towards (S/N) for him to take it and follow you out of the office. He complied without uttering a single word of protest, his eyes facing the floor the entire time.

Carefully, he loosened his hand from yours as soon as he stepped out, still quiet and still too frightened by what happened to keep up with your pace. You allowed him to follow behind you, knowing he wouldn't budge right now into telling you how he felt.

Your steps were haste as you made your way through the extensive hallway, (S/N) walking behind you with a pace slower than a snail's. Clouded by your own thoughts, you didn’t stop walking blindly ahead until you heard your name being called out from behind you. You turned to see who it was, eyes facing the tutor-slash-janitor standing in front of you, a trace of concern showing in the way he looked at you, then back at your son.

“Everything okay back there?” he asked, directing his words more at the child rather than yourself.

The child remained quiet, looking down at his feet and avoiding the skeleton’s gaze. His hands balled into fists, and – before you could so much as blink – tears went running down his cheeks.

“I didn’t do anything. . .” he muttered, a hiccup interrupting his words. “I. . . I just wanted to. . . to–”

His hiccup turned into a series of sobs, his crying messy yet quiet as he rubbed his eyes free from tears. Stunned, you took a cautious step forward, attempting to reach a hand out towards him, only to have his silent cries explode into loud, uncontrollable sobs.

“Kid,” Sans muttered, caught aback by the child’s outburst. “Calm down and tell me what’s wrong. You’re acting real different from the kid I’m used to tutoring math to.”

He crouched down to bring comfort to (S/N), carefully holding out a gloved hand for him to take.

“What happened to the kid who’s always trying even after making mistakes in division?”

The child took his hand, a noise similar to a balloon releasing air making him flinch and take a step back. His surprise shook his tears away and dissolved into giggles when having the skeleton show him the whoopee cushion hidden underneath the work gloves he wore.

“Feelin’ better now?”

Nodding vigorously, he smiled at the skeleton before him and pulled him into a hug. The action seemed to take Sans by surprise with how long it took him to return it, though once he did, you could see happiness on his expression. After the two let go, he stood up from his crouching position and looked down at your son.

“I. . .” he trailed off on his words, hesitating. “I was sad because I got sent to miss Toriel’s office.”

Though neither of you were expecting to have (S/N) mention the cause of his troubles – a fact proven by the way you both looked at one another – you kept silent, waiting to hear him out.

“Someone was making fun of my bunny friend for her front teeth, so I. . . I told the girl to stop it. But then she pushed me, and then I pushed her back and–“

He stopped his venting when hearing his name called out from the same hallway you’d just walked through. The three of you looked to see a pink bunny child standing close to the principal’s office, gaze traveling further to see Toriel and a taller, equally pink bunny woman conversing with her. The two started to run towards each other until Sans warned them about running inside the school premises, obligating them to slow their steps. You watched the two talk the second they arrived next to each other, a small smile freeing you from the previous tension of being called out to see your son at Toriel’s office.

“Wanna join me?”

You turned away from the scene to come across Sans sitting on the plastic bench nearby, his welcoming tone making your smile widen. You sat down next to him, keeping some distance between you to avoid brushing with him like the time you invited him for some coffee and sandwiches.

“Thanks for the help back there,” you mumbled, an awkward laugh breaking free from your lips. “He usually tells this stuff to his other parent, so he. . . doesn’t really tell me when something’s wrong. I didn’t want to bring it up until we got home, but this is way better than the tactic I had in mind.”

“He won’t tell you about stuff like this?” he asked, his eye sockets furrowing slightly.

“Not unless I convince him to tell me, or if I’m told about it by people like miss Toriel just now,” you replied, letting out a soft breath. “I didn’t know another child was involved in it. By the time I got here, I was told he just pushed a girl out of nowhere.” You looked back towards where the children stood, facing Sans with a brighter smile afterwards. “I don’t know how you did it, but. . . This is the first time I’ve seen him open up this much to someone else.”

“I used to take care of my brother Paps when he was younger,” he noted, his smile loosening at that thought. “Guess I still got it.”

Caught in the moment, the skeleton inadvertently hooked his arm behind your side of the bench, the proximity of that action making him tense in place, his leg brushing against yours. At a loss for words, you looked away from him, the sudden leap in your emotions reminding you of the time you first met your ex (wife/husband). He scooted away from you after growing aware of how little space there was left between you, an awkward cough breaking the silence that fell after hanging his arm behind your seat.

You looked elsewhere, desperate to find a topic of conversation that would distract you both from that incident. Your wishes were granted by the sight of your son playing red light, green light with the bunny child, their joy and laughter making you smile.

“I kind of wish I could get used to change as quickly as (S/N) does,” you spoke, your words finally getting Sans to face you again. “I still can’t get over the fact that we lived in a small town just a few months ago.”

“Everyone deals with things differently,” he commented, his words still cautious after what happened. “For a kid like him, it might be a little easier, so don’t compare yourself too much with him.”

His word of advice was enough to keep your conversation going with him, the earlier experience vanishing – if only momentarily – as you both carried on with different topics. You talked with him until the children were done playing and the bunny parent was done speaking with Toriel. Then, you excused yourself from him, wanting to have a word with Toriel and the other woman before leaving back home.

Chapter Text

 Third Person POV

Sans's Perspective

 

Sans tossed and turned in bed again, still finding himself unable to grasp how he ended up feeling that comfortable around Faust's parent. His mind still remembered how it all happened and felt, how their skin felt softer to the touch and how their eyes grew when having his skull lean closer to their face. It was hard for him to forget the face (Y/N) made – quite like the time he pulled a prank on them, but with an entirely different context.

 

In need of counseling, he stood up from the bed, not caring it was already eleven o'clock or that it was still a Thursday. The mere thought that he had to see their face tomorrow again only made him rush on leaving the house. He picked up his well-worn jacket and wore it on the way out, being careful when closing the door to avoid waking Papyrus from his slumber.

 

 


 

 

The contrast in temperatures made him feel as if he entered another world in itself, the cool breeze of the city changed for a warm and cozy bar carrying the distinctive scent of fried food and alcoholic beverages. As usual, the bartender left a stool specifically for him, one that kept him at the privacy of only a few people instead of the ruckus the tables for four made. He sat down and ordered a plate of fries. Then, he chatted up with the couple sitting next to him while he waited for the bartender to return.

 

The recently repaired jukebox shifted from jazz to blues while the minutes went by, his order arriving after a few minutes of wait. He stopped his conversation with the couple to focus on the fiery bartender walking towards him, finding himself at the urge to have someone of trust to talk about his recent troubles to.

 

“. . .” ("Did something happen? It's almost midnight.")

 

Grillby handed him a generous plate of fries and a bottle of ketchup aside. He directed a question only the couple sitting close by or Sans himself could manage to understand, the almost inaudible language Grillby used to communicate being rare for people to comprehend.

 

Noticing the humanoid flame was waiting for a response, Sans took a small bunch of fries before beginning the conversation. As he did so, he remembered just how shocked the human parent had been when they detached his hand from his wrist. He wondered what questions they could possibly have in regards to how a skeleton monster's digestive system worked. He was certain (Y/N) wouldn't believe him for a split second if he told them his monster magic could disintegrate what he consumed.

 

"Earth to skeleton?" 

 

Sans was brought out of those thoughts by the duck monster calling out for him. He looked towards him and then back at Grillby, realizing he'd forgotten to answer his question with how far he dived into those thoughts. Clearing his non-existent throat, he shifted on his seat before speaking up.

 

"Something happened at work today, and I can't get it outta my head," he explained, a chuckle leaving his teeth. "It's really stupid, but I. . . got a little too close for comfort with the (mom/dad) of the kid I'm supposed to be teaching.”

 

“. . .” ("And why is that a bad thing?")

 

“I just don't feel too good about gettin’ that close to someone who barely divorced a year ago. I'm supposed to be a tutor for their kid, not their friend. A tutor doesn't go out for coffee with the kid's (mom/dad), and a tutor's not supposed to butt in when the kid gets detention. I'm only supposed to teach the kid and leave, but I'm always pulled in somehow.”

 

“. . .” ("That doesn't sound too strange. Is it because they're human?")

 

“It's not about them being human, Grillbs. It's more that it feels like I'm crossin’ a line I'm not supposed to.”

 

“. . .” ("You shouldn't think that way. I think it would be good for you to make friends with them – whether you're a tutor or not.") 

 

Sighing, the skeleton rubbed a hand against his forehead, trying to seek some calm.

 

“Welp. . . Thanks for the talk, pal," he spoke, gazing down at his almost untouched plate of fries. “I don't know where I'd be if I didn't have an awesome bartender like you around. Hell, maybe tomorrow won't be as awkward as I'm expecting it to be.”

 

Finally, he focused on finishing up his meal, a little more enthusiastic about returning home to bed now that he succeeded on clearing out some of his doubts. The friendship he feared forming with (Y/N) became clear to him after talking it out with Grillby, and he understood that the earlier proximity felt off due to how much he tried to avoid being close to them. He didn't want to risk the reputation of tutors in the school by painting them out to be wolves who preyed on newly divorced or widowed parents. He wanted to keep a good and proper image for the school Toriel worked so hard to establish at the Surface – At least, that was part of the reasons why he tried to keep his distance.

 

sorry for butting in today.

your kid looked sad on the way out of the office, real different from the kid i'm used to tutoring.

 

It's fine.

Thank you for looking out for him.

 

He stared at the reply for a few seconds, analyzing how different it was from previous messages. The human was much more formal in their typing and they cut to the chase with their response. Unlike previous conversations exchanged through quick text messages, (Y/N) didn't leave it open for any further replies.

 

He figured they would be feeling strange after that incident too, though he wasn't expecting a change like this. Breaking his irises away from the phone screen, he looked at Grillby again and showed him the messages, in need of more guidance from the quiet yet wise bartender standing behind the counter.

 

“What does this mean?”

 

“. . .” ("You do realize you're worrying too much about all this, right? (Miss/Mister) (Y/N) is most likely still feeling strange about what happened between you. Just give it some time.")

 

Snickering, Sans shook his head, the response he received from Grillby making him realize how much he overcomplicated the situation. It was a change he feared going through ever since Papyrus told him it was time for him to start making new friends and form new relationships besides the ones he already had down at the Underground. If it were up to him, he'd stay the same, though as he looked around at the bar, it dawned on him. It dawned on him that – besides Toriel, Grillby, and his own brother – there wasn't any other relationship he could say was deep enough to rely on stuff like the one he was experiencing now.

Chapter Text

You greeted Sans with a simple wave and signaled for him to enter your home, too tired to bother dwelling over yesterday's situation at the bench. He stood next to your son's desk as customary, giving him directions as to what he should do next and making sure he followed the steps correctly.

 

An uneasy feeling remained in you as you watched them go about their usual lesson, your thoughts dizzy and a headache pounding persistently at the sides of your head. Your first attempt at leaving the living room was stopped by you trampling over your own feet. What kept you from meeting the floor was the wall you held onto, the thump making both Sans and Faust turn to face the product of the noise.

 

“(Y/N)?” your son questioned, startled by the sight of you holding onto the wall for support. “What’s wrong?”

 

“It’s nothing,” you assured him, managing a small smile. “I just feel a little dizzy.”

 

Both the child and the skeleton seemed to have trouble believing your words. Faust was instructed to keep working on the next exercise while Sans’s gaze lingered on you for a moment. You stared back at him, feeling as if your white lies were deemed useless in front of him. If he managed to notice something was wrong with your child in as little as a month of knowing him, it was of no doubt he could tell when something was off with you, as well.

 

 


 

 

The lesson went by as you were used to – half an hour of teaching, a quick break for snacks, and another half hour to finish up with the lesson. Faust ran off to get ready for bed the minute he finished being tutored by Sans, and you were left alone together once more.

 

“You sure you're okay?” he asked, sitting on a corner of the couch, as usual. “You didn't look too good the whole time I was here, and you didn't eat anything either.”

 

Breathing in, you crossed your arms over your chest, fighting against whether to tell him about the reasons behind your headaches. You only knew him for a month, and – besides the times you went out for coffee together or met up after school – you hadn't really crossed borders beyond those. It seemed as if a thin thread stood between you, one that could snap if either one of you stepped forward.

 

“I'm just a little tired from work,” you replied, sitting on the couch opposite to his. “I've had to work a few extra hours to make up for some things.”

 

Before answering, he stared at you again, irises focused on your tired complexion.

 

“Is that all?” he inquired again, furrowing his eye sockets.

 

You faced him at the sound of him directing another question at you. It was unsure to you whether it was your current state of exhaustion, but you were certain of one thing. Right now, he was trying to form a conversation with you – he was trying to be friendlier with you, a large contrast from the times he pulled back when noticing he was getting too close to you.

 

“Honestly. . . No,” you replied, shaking your head. “I. . . I found out my ex is dating someone else now. I know it’s been a year, and that it’s about time for them to move on, but. . . I feel like I’m falling behind.”

 

“You, too?”

 

The question caught you completely off guard, his tone changing for a more enthusiastic one. He scooted forward, almost falling off the couch with how close to the edge he was.

 

“‘Cuz, ever since I left the Underground, it feels like everyone else is moving ahead, while I’m still stuck on the same spot.”

 

“I never thought I’d meet someone else who feels the same way!” you exclaimed, coughing when realizing your tone of voice rose with your own excitement. “It’s like I can’t move on, no matter how badly I want to."

 

You ended up talking with him for a whole hour after that, telling him all about your week at work and asking him about how things were going at his own job. The two of you didn’t stop until you both checked the time, eight thirty marked on your cell phone. You both ended up excusing yourselves at the same time, laughing it off afterwards.

 

“I can’t believe it’s this late! Are you sure you don’t want some of the rice left on the pot? There’s beans and stewed vegetables, too.”

 

He looked just about ready to reject your offer, though another thought seemed to interrupt that. Instead, he turned back to you, accepting your offer and walking with you to the kitchen.

 

You served him two bowls – one for him and one for his brother. You were used to making more than for just two people, using the leftovers either to bring with you for work or give to your neighbour whenever she came back late from a long day out.

 

“Thanks,” he muttered, hesitating when reaching for the bowls. His phalanges brushed against your fingers when doing so, the cold of his touch making you flinch. “You didn’t really have to give us this much.”

 

“It’s alright,” you assured him, offering him a smile. “I always make enough for over four people.”

 

You accompanied him out of your home, walking all the way out until reaching the busy road. The night was hot and scarce of stars, a stark difference from the cold nights and starry skies you experienced at your hometown. His footsteps were heavy against the pavement, making you wonder just how much he weighed for someone made out of bones.

 

“See you next Friday?” you asked, facing him with a smile.

 

“See you next Friday,” he replied, holding a hand out to you.

 

Aware of what happened the last time Faust did that, you grinned at the skeleton, tilting your head in a confident manner.

 

“Can I hug you instead?” you questioned, a laugh breaking the silence of the night. “We both know what happened last time with my son.”

 

It took him a second to respond, though he soon loosened his shoulders, snickering.

 

“Sure,” he spoke, extending his arms out the moment you did the same.

 

Having received his consent, you leaned down slightly to match with his shorter height, bringing your arms behind his back and pulling him close to you. You jolted when feeling his hands slip behind your lower waist, the action reminding you once more of your differences in height.

 

You both let go of one another, saying your goodbyes and watching him off. He walked down the street and stopped on the nearest bus stop, waving at you from that distance one final time.

Chapter Text

A knock on the living room’s door was the only thing to motivate you into stepping foot out of bed. Reluctantly, you tried to make yourself look decent by throwing on a jacket and slipping some sneakers on. You made sure your (h/c) locks weren’t a bird’s nest before stepping out of your room and closing the door behind you.

 

“Don’t open until I check who it is, Faust!” you yelled out, making your way down the stairs.

 

Your steps were slow and sluggish, your headaches becoming worse to the point of you considering them to be migraines. A feverish tint covered your (s/t) cheeks and you couldn’t go a few minutes without coughing.

 

“Who’s–“

 

You cut your words short after arriving at the living room. Sans was standing at the entrance, a taller skeleton along with Toriel and a human child standing right behind him. Aware of the sudden visitors, you held back the scolding you wanted to direct at Faust for not following your directions for safety and chose to greet them with a wave instead.

 

“Welcome,” you muttered, throat dry with your fever and constant coughing. “I. . . I think I might have the flu, so I wouldn’t suggest you guys get too close to me.”

 

“It’s fine,” Sans replied, winking at you. “Monsters can’t contract human diseases, so we’re here to make you some company.”

 

“And to make you heal faster, as well!” the taller skeleton – Papyrus, from what you assumed based on the stories Sans told you about – exclaimed, directing a bright smile towards you. “I have brought you some vegetable soup and juice. You must stay healthy and hydrated if you have a cold!”

 

“Oh, well. . . Come in, then. Thank you for your troubles.”

 

Toriel and Papyrus made their way in while Sans approached Faust, bumping his fist with his, the greeting they’d made for themselves causing you to smile. Your curiosity sparked at the sight of the human child stepping in, extending their hand out towards your son. Your interest increased when observing how – right after the handshake –  the child began to sign their name. ‘Frisk’, you managed to make out, not noticing how long you’d spaced out watching over the two children until feeling someone place a bony hand on your shoulder.

 

“How’s it going?” Sans asked, casting his white irises up at you when seeing you turn around. “I was worried somethin’ happened when you called to cancel yesterday’s lesson.”

 

“I didn’t want you getting sick, so I figured it was for the best,” you replied, directing a smile at him afterwards. “But. . . Thank you for coming. Did Faust tell you the truth, by any chance?”

 

“Yup,” he replied, chuckling. “He saw our texts and replied saying you were too stubborn to tell me why you cancelled.”

 

“That sneaky Faust,” you muttered, feigning annoyance as a laugh made its way out. “He downright snitched me – my own son!”

 

He grinned at your dramatical act, humor crossing the glint of his eye sockets as he made his way with you to the couch set next to the one Toriel and Papyrus were sitting on. Faust and Frisk were still at the entrance, the pair already good friends and playing ‘eye spy’ around the house.

 

The taller skeleton introduced himself as Sans’s brother, your deduction at him being Papyrus proved correct. He handed you two bowls filled with vegetable soup and placed a carton of juice over the coffee table, his smile never faltering as he talked with you.

 

“Those bowls are the ones you gave us last week,” Papyrus commented, his cheery tone matching with the friendly look on his skull. “May I say. . . You are quite the cook, (Y/N)! I have never had something like that dish before. Where is it from?”

 

“It’s a Cuban recipe my friend taught me after moving here,” you replied, smiling at him. “She’s native from there, so she’s always teaching me new things.”

 

“That sounds lovely!” Toriel chimed in, beaming with joy. “I would love to exchange recipes with you sometime.”

 

“Same here, (Y/N)!” Papyrus added, matching Toriel’s cheerful nature. “You must tell us how you do it.”

 

 


 

 

The visitors stayed for two whole hours, the time flying by with the conversations you shared with them. They arrived around three in the evening and it was now five. Frisk had gone upstairs with Faust to check out his room before leaving, while Papyrus and Toriel were already standing by the door frame, patient smiles on their faces as they waited for the children to finish up what they were doing.

 

Sans approached you during the wait, a sheepish look masked by the casual pose he kept in front of you. You faced with him, waiting to hear what he had to say.

 

“Are you free next Saturday?” he asked, hiding his hands in the pockets of his jacket. “I wanna make up for last time.”

 

“You don’t have to make up for anything,” you spoke, chuckling. “But I am. What did you have in mind?”

 

“I’ve been wantin’ to show you and Faust something special from the Underground,” he replied, his smile widening slightly. “We, uh. . . kinda brought here some of the flowers that used to grow there. They’re at Tori’s garden. She won’t be around that day, but Undyne’ll be taking care of Frisk at their house while she’s gone.”

 

“Is that what the kids were talking about seeing each other’s rooms?”

 

“Yeah,” Sans replied, letting out a laugh. “Frisk’s pretty hyped up about it. They’ve been wantin’ to make new friends, so they jump in at every chance they get to meet new people.”

 

“Well. . . It’s a date, then,” you agreed, nodding. “I guess we’ll see you then. . . And on Friday, too.“

 

“Great. Just don’t get sick again,” the skeleton teased, making his way to the others while you followed close by. “We could drag you out of bed and throw a jacket on you, but then it wouldn’t be as fun. Take care of yourself, (Y/N).”

 

That last sentence struck a chord on you, the fever you carried increasing with that feeling. His words came off genuine, more earnest than you were expecting them to be. Thankful your visitors wouldn’t be around long for you to deal with that feeling, you smiled at him before waving them off.

 

“Same to you.”

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans’s Perspective

 

The time marked nine o’clock when reaching his home, the detour Papyrus had to take for the supermarket being the cause of them arriving at an hour later than usual. He helped him carry four of the nine bags they’d packed in the car and followed him towards their home. The night was cloudy and cold, completely free of stars. The unusual change in temperature reached his bones, though it was nothing compared to the perpetual cold of Snowdin.

 

Sans stopped walking after reaching the entrance and waited for Papyrus to unlock the door, taking this as an opportunity to check his phone before it was time for him to wrap up for the day. Surprised to see a notification marking two unread messages, he set himself aside -- right next to the locked door his brother was still searching the key for -- and placed the four bags he carried nearby. He clicked on the notification, the two messages he was informed of displaying themselves on screen.

 

I feel like I’m saying this too much but. . . Thank you for visiting.

I really like the time I spend with you.

 

don’t mention it, pal. i feel the same way.

i think you’re pretty rad-ius.

 

How humerus.

I bet you could go ulna-ight making puns like that!

 

“You seem quite close with (Y/N) now, Sans!”

 

Those words were the ones he regretted hearing the most. He almost jumped at the sound of Papyrus’s sudden, booming voice and was close to dropping his phone with the startle he received from him. Feeling a strange sense of guilt -- quite like that of a child being caught eating too many sweets -- he locked the phone and put it away, shielding it from Papyrus’s attentive line of sight. Though he was expecting his brother to bring up that subject again, he still didn’t feel ready for it. He looked up at the taller skeleton, his hand holding the door open for him and the rest of the grocery bags he carried set on a corner inside the house.

 

“How long has it been already? Three months? Four?” Papyrus asked, enthusiasm clear on his voice.

 

“It’s been two months,” Sans replied, walking with him into the living room. “It’s been kinda fun, tibia honest, so I figured it’d be nice to invite them and Faust to see the Echo flowers.”

 

“I am happy for you, brother! Perhaps, you could bring them over some time.”

 

“Sure,” the shorter one muttered, chuckling. “Is there a another reason behind it, Paps? A cooking duel or somethin’ like that?”

 

“Don’t be silly, brother!” the tall one exclaimed, furrowing his gaze at him. “I think it would be a good way to get them to know you better. Show them what you do for fun!”

 

“What, like my sock collection?”

 

“I am being serious! What about science? You give tutoring lessons on that too, after all! I am certain they would love to hear you talk about things you like. You could perhaps find something in common, too!”

 

“I’ll see what I can do.”

 

Still feeling as if he’d been caught sneaking his hand where he wasn’t supposed to, Sans set his phone aside on the coffee table and began unpacking the groceries, helping Papyrus organize the pantry and fridge. Palpable silence spread across the kitchen, the baby elephant in the room refusing to be addressed, no matter how many times he initiated conversation to ask over where an item was supposed to go. Although his brother meant a lot to him, this was a matter he could only bring himself to discuss with Grillby.

 

Later on, perhaps, he could find the ease to tell his brother the whole story, rather than evading the topic with every miniscule chance he got. Right now, however, he couldn’t find the right words to explain how much he liked receiving texts from (Y/N), nor how much he enjoyed visiting their home to see them and Faust.

 

 


 

 

What was left of the night disappeared in the blink of an eye. Sans found himself at Grillby’s again, choosing a burger this time for his order. Grillby was standing behind the counter as customary, eyeing him warily -- or at least, it seemed so. It was hard to tell based on the flame’s featureless face, the only thing to enhance it being the eyeglasses he wore.

 

“. . .?” (“Something on your mind? It’s midnight again.”)

 

Looking away from his half-eaten order, he smiled at Grillby, resting his hands over the counter as he leaned closer to face him. “Your advice worked like a charm, Grillbs,” Sans explained, his voice sounding calm despite the thoughts he had left in mind. “I, uh. . . think we’re technically friends now.”

 

“. . .?” (“You think? . . .Technically? Why are you this uncertain?)

 

“Gimme a break, pal,” the skeleton intervened, snickering. “I just wasn’t sure what to call it before. I mean, we talked after the lessons, and we went out for coffee a few times. . . But it was a lil’ awkward back then, since I didn’t know how close I could get.”

 

Appearing pleased by his regular’s response, the bartender only nodded and left off to the back without a word. Intrigued, Sans watched the door Grillby passed through, finishing up the rest of his burger while he waited for the flame monster to return.

 

The quiet bartender returned after a few more minutes of wait. Much to the skeleton’s surprise, he placed a shiny, round rock on the counter. It was similar to the ones he observed with the help of a telescope near Waterfall, the sight bringing back memories, both good and bad.

 

“What’s this for?” he asked, taking the rock and inspecting its smooth and perfectly spherical surface. If he didn’t know where these were from, he would’ve assumed it was fake or modified to look the way it did. The fact that nature could create such wondrous, striking objects still amazed him to this day.

 

“. . .” (“It’s a gift for (Y/N). Give it to them when you feel ready, or when the moment’s right.”)

Chapter Text

You heaved a sigh, throwing yourself on the couch while your ex continued to rant from their phone. If it weren’t for the late hour, you would’ve left the house to avoid the possibility of Faust waking up and sneaking in on your argument. You settled on lowering your voice and stepping out of the house, the warmth of the night seeping into your skin.

 

The night was quiet with the exception of the (man/woman) ranting on the phone and the few cars honking as they passed by near your home. You leaned your back against the door and caught sight of your neighbour just arriving home from a busy day at work. She waved and you waved back at her, a sympathetic smile showing on her dark complexion when taking notice of the distressed look on your face.

 

“It’s only a small trip to miss Toriel’s garden,” you explained, hearing your ex calm down. “He’ll be spending time with Frisk.”

 

You could hear shuffling noises in the background along with them sighing deeply. Hushed whispers exchanged words, the second voice you recognized as their new lover.

 

“Is that really the best you can do?” they asked, their voice mocking to your ears.

 

“What do you mean?” you questioned back, knitting your eyebrows together as your hold on the phone tightened.

 

“Only two months living in this city, and you’re already going out with a monster?” they commented, the way those words came out leading you to imagine they were frowning at your choices. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m in favour of monsters being here at the Surface, and okay with them working with us, but dating them’s a little. . . Y’know.”

 

“I don’t know,” you snapped, creases forming on your forehead as you directed a disapproving look at the wall next to you, wishing they were present to direct it at them. “I’m not dating Sans, if that’s what you’re thinking. But that still shouldn’t excuse what you’re trying to say here.”

 

“I just don’t think you should be so friendly with someone like him,” they persisted, chuckling at their own words. “We don’t know how things were like at the Underground. For all we know, they could be underdeveloped lives – unknown creatures waiting to snap at any moment.”

 

“I don’t think we’re on the same page here,” you intervened, frowning. You paced to and back the entrance of your home, taking deep breaths to avoid getting worked up. Not only were you out in public, but it was late in the night and you were against causing disruption with the hour it was. “Sans has been nothing but cordial since we met. He’s the one responsible for Faust’s math grades going up.”

 

“It doesn’t matter to me what he does. That’s something you could do, or hell  – You can even tell me, and I’ll try to tutor Faust every once in a while.”

 

Furious, you could feel your hold on the phone turn painful. It was becoming harder for you to remain calm with how nonchalant they were being, yet you tried to keep yourself from blowing up -- it being one of the main reasons why you ended up in arguments with them in the first place. You wanted to change now that you were divorced and living at a new place, so you took in another breath, letting it out through your nostrils.

 

“I would do that, but you’re never there. . . I tried contacting you when he got his first ‘F’. Three times I called you, and three times it went to voicemail! I’d teach him if I could, but you know it yourself. I can’t do that right now.”

 

“I just don’t feel comfortable having a monster around at your house. You and Faust should be more careful around him and the rest of those guys. That janitor-tutor-whatever’s being too friendly with you for someone who’s only supposed to teach Faust.”

 

“Careful? Faust goes to a human-monster school, run by a monster herself,” you disagreed, glaring down at the floor and pressing the phone closer to your ear. “Why bring this up now of all days? It’s been two months since he started school!”

 

“Honey, calm dow–“

 

“Don’t ‘honey’ me anymore,” you interrupted, gritting your teeth and letting your back slide further down from the wall until reaching the floor. You slumped yourself on the floor, already worn out from your argument with them. “You’ve been like this ever since we signed those adoption papers.”

 

“You’ve changed, too,” they objected, their tone growing cold. “You’re nothing like the (Y/N) I fell in love with seven years ago.”

 

“Don’t start with me again,” you muttered, holding back the urge to start crying.

 

Noticing the change in your tone, you could hear their mocking tone return with a dramatic gasp, a noise that made annoyance prick at your mind. “Oh? You’re not gonna call your little monster boyfriend to comfort you?” they spat, snickering. “I’m sure he knows by now how to make you feel good in bed. I should know, since it didn’t take me longer than a few weeks to get under your pants.”

 

You felt sick to the stomach with those words, incredulity mixing with a strong sense of hurt. Out of all the things you expected them to say, this one was at the bottom of your list.

 

“I’ll be taking Faust with me tomorrow, whether you like it or not. I don’t want to hear your voice anymore, so goodbye.”

 

“Too bad you adopted a kid with me – You still have to, even if you don’t want to.”

 

With that, they hung up on you. Fury coursed through you as the earlier words kept surfacing over your thoughts. The fact that they dared to bring up how quick you both ended up in bed together during your younger years made your chest ache. You never expected them to bring that up as a way to make you feel like a lesser being.

 

Defeated but not yet ready to give up, you let out a sigh, allowing your tension to be released from that action. The wrinkles on your forehead lessened the further you calmed down, and you were able to stand up, gathering determination to head back inside and get ready for the next day.

 

Though the conversation still remained in your thoughts as you made your way inside, you tried to distract yourself by packing a backpack large enough for both Faust and yourself, not exactly knowing what you would need for your trip to see the Echo flowers. You settled on packing the essentials just in case, a ‘ping’ noise from your phone interrupting you from your planning. You picked up your phone from the coffee table and checked to see who it was, coming across Sans’s name on the screen.

 

i hope you’re ready for tomorrow. frisk won’t stop asking how long ‘til you guys get here.

g’night, (y/n).

 

 


 

 

Choice #1

 

How will you reply to his message?

 

a.) Finish packing first

b.) Don't reply

c.) Formally

d.) Casually

Chapter Text

Choice A: Finish Packing First

 

You decide to finish packing up first before answering.

 

It’s almost midnight when you pick up the phone again, and you hesitate to answer, thinking you could wake him up from his sleep. Your doubts are shaken by the sight of another notification on screen, marking it was sent just a few minutes after he sent the first message. Curious, you click on the notification and see a friend request from Sans.

 

You accept his request and enter the app, able to confirm he’s still online by the small, blue dot on the top left corner of his profile picture. It’s then that you finally decide to reply to his earlier message. You leave the website and head back to your phone’s SMS app and begin typing a response.

 

Just finished packing. :)

What are you still doing up?

 

can’t sleep.

i might’ve tried what you guys call ‘coffee’ here a few minutes ago.

i knew that stuff existed, but i didn’t know it had caffeine.

so now i can feel my soul drumming really fast.

i think i might die or somethin’.

 

Don’t say that!

I’m sure you’ll be fine. . . You’re just not used to it yet!

Drink some water or warm milk, and lay down for a bit until it calms down.

 

thanks, (y/n).

i’ll try to do that soon.

 

You chuckle to yourself when receiving his latest reply, wondering over just what exactly had led him to try coffee at eleven p.m. -- and for the first time, at that. A smile remains as you resume to what you were originally working with, not exactly able to picture the earlier scenario as clearly as you were expecting to. It was hard for you to imagine him worrying about something like that.

 

It takes you another hour to finish with setting things up for tomorrow morning. Your steps are careful and quiet as you make your way up the stairs of your home. You soon arrive at your room after passing by Faust’s and -- without thinking it twice -- you throw yourself in bed, letting your body be taken captive by the sheets and pillows, the softness of the fabric easing down the tension from your muscles.

 

 


 

 

Choice B: Don't Reply

 

You decide not to reply to Sans’s message, the words your ex spoke still revolving around your mind. You couldn’t shake off the thought that they assumed you were already in an intimate relationship with the tutor of your son. It was difficult for you to process just how and why they viewed you that way -- if ending up in bed with them a few weeks into knowing them had been the only reason for them to see you that way, or if there was something else behind their comment.

 

Catching yourself delving into an unhealthy spiral, you snap out of those thoughts and resort to packing, leaving the phone aside. You pack until you realize how late it is and how hungry you are.

 

You check your phone to see it’s already half an hour past midnight and more than five hours since you last ate. Sighing, you make your way to the kitchen and grab the quickest thing to eat from your fridge, grabbing a bottle of water along with you as you make your way up the small set of stairs leading to the bedrooms.

 

You pass by Faust’s room and enter yours, sitting on the edge of the bed. The night is unusually quiet, and you can’t stop thinking about the phone call with your ex.

 

 


 

 

Choice C: Formally

 

You'd stared at his message for half an hour, still unsure as to whether to reply to his message or not. After a few more minutes of thinking, you settle on answering, refusing to let your ex’s words influence you anymore than they already had.

 

Goodnight to you, too.

 

Groaning, you set your phone down on the coffee table and place your hands over your face, realizing how quickly you cut off the conversation with him. Even after thirty minutes of staring at his message, you still couldn’t bring yourself to forget about your recent phone call. The image of Sans being more than just an acquaintance and the tutor of your son was still painted fresh and clear in your mind, and it was hard for you not to think about the fact that your ex had pretty much called you easy to please and bed.

 

Aware you ended any possibility of having a conversation with him, you stand up from your seat on the couch and make your way up to your room. You then begin packing with the company of the late night news being broadcasted from your phone’s FM radio, the foreign pull you felt on your chest remaining even as you finished packing.

 

Yawning, you decide it's time to head to bed now that the clock marked midnight. Hoping you wouldn’t lose that thread of drowsiness, you turn off the lights and hurry to bed.

 

 


 

 

Choice D: Casually

 

His message was the type of distraction you were hoping for after ending up the call with your ex. Happy to have a change of subject, you proceed to type in a message on your phone.

 

I’m getting things ready just now.

Goodnight to you too, Sans. :)

 

can’t figure out what to pack?

 

Honestly. . . no.

I’m not sure what to bring with me.

 

the way there’s only an hour long, but you can bring stuff for faust, just in case.

and maybe a change of clothes for him, since frisk has a kiddie pool, and I'm 99.9% sure they’re gonna want to splash in there with him.

 

That’s so cute!

You sound just like a father, Sans.

 

psh. i’d rather call it brotherly instincts.

raising paps was a lotta work.

 

That’s still pretty sweet.

thanks, i guess.

you’re pretty nice yourself.

 

Thank you.

Are you. . . sleepy yet?

 

not really.

i’m at grillby’s right now, so i won’t be home in another hour.

 

Grillby’s?

 

it’s a pretty nice bar n’ grill kinda thing.

i dunno if it’s your style, but. . . it’d be cool if we could hang out someplace like that sometimes.

 

That’d be nice.

I have to finish up packing now, but talk to you tomorrow!

Don’t stay up too late.

 

heh. i’ll try.

see you then, (y/n).

 

A smile remains on your face after finishing with the conversation. You check the time to see it's already ten o’clock. You would get roughly six hours of sleep if you were to finish preparing for tomorrow in the next two hours -- and as long as you didn’t forget setting up your alarm. The silence of the night allowed you some time to think on what to do first, so you chose to pack up the extra change of clothes Sans had suggested you brought with you.

 

Carefully, you go up the stairs, map out your plans, and slowly push open the door of Faust’s bedroom. You then begin your search in the dark, not wanting to wake him up by turning on the lights.

 

You arrive at your room at midnight, checking your phone one last time to see Sans had sent you a friend request on Overnet, the Surface's equivalent of Undernet.

Chapter Text

The striking scents of coffee, cinnamon, and freshly-baked goods meld together as you exit the employee's lounge and head over to the checkout counter. You pick up Sans’s order from your boss’s mittened hands and thank her for giving you an extra ten minutes for today’s lunch break.

 

You walk to his table for two and set the small batch of doughnuts down on the table. Then, you sit across from him, waiting for him to take one and be the judge of the food’s quality. He picks one up and gives it a thorough, curious look.

 

“So. . .” he speaks up, trailing off on his words before continuing. “You don’t use spiders to make this stuff?”

 

“No,” you reply, shaking your head. “That’s Muffet’s specialty.”

 

“You know her?”

 

You grin at Sans’s comment, thinking back on the day you first met the spider. It was on a busy day like this one that she entered your boss’s newly-opened pastry shop with her feet stomping the floor, an angered look painted on her face. “Yeah. . . She called us ‘greedy little humans’ when she saw my boss and I setting this place up.”

 

“She can be a real tough one to deal with -- or so, I hear,” Sans comments, chuckling at your words. “Is she still angry about the competition?”

 


“Well, not really,” you reply, lips forming a faint smile. “Turns out her shop is two streets across from this one, so we don’t really have to compete with each other -- though she says otherwise.”

 

“Sounds like her.”

 

Your conversation is interrupted by the sound of a camera shutter almost a foot away from where you stood at. Startled, you look around you to see a pair of adults -- both apparently teachers based on the way they dressed -- hunched over a camera, one human and one monster. The man fumbled with his phone while the monster scolded him for not lowering the volume before taking the picture.

 

“Hold on a sec, (Y/N).”

 

You’re taken by further surprise at the image of Sans standing up from his seat, a scowl leaving his teeth as he makes his way over to the pair arguing with each other. He approaches the two with a neutral, unreadable expression, the one previously scolding the other teacher closing his mouth shut.

 

“What was that for?”

 

Caught red-handed, the one with the phone looks up from the screen and faces Sans with a tense smile. “Hey. . . pal! H- How’s it going? We were just having our lunch break -- Wanna join us? You can invite (Y/N) over, too.”

 

“You’re ignoring my question,” Sans persists, his eye sockets furrowing slightly. “You took a picture of us without permission.”

 

“Aw, c’mon, buddy. We don’t mean any harm! You know we were just--”

 

“Just tell him the truth,” the other teacher intervenes, sighing. “You screwed up already, so just come clean to avoid embarrassment.”

 

The rest of the conversation is drowned out by a flood of customers entering the premises, the once small and serene pastry shop taken over by couples and students looking to have lunch here for Valentine’s. Concerned over what Sans was dealing with, you stand up from your own seat and walk to their side. You reach out for the skeleton’s shoulder bone, excusing yourself into the group’s conversation.

 

“Is something wrong?”

 

You can see the owner of the phone jump at your words. His face pales further than it already is and you can see his hands shake with controlled anxiety. The older one -- a bear monster with brown fur -- faces down to meet with your eyes, an apologetic look on his face.

 

“Sorry, (ma’am/sir). My friend and I were just trying to take a picture of you and Sans to tease the guy later, but we both screwed up by forgetting to turn off the camera shutter. It’s. .  . nothing personal. We don’t mean any harm.”

 

From the calm look on Sans’s face, you can confirm his words are true. The skeleton appeared to have resolved the conflict by the way his shoulders relaxed and how he returned to his usual self.

 

“You guys owe me after what happened here,” Sans speaks up again, his smile lighting up with amusement. “There’s no way I’m lettin’ you guys off the hook this easily if you didn’t bother being sneakier enough.”

 

Relieved to know the two talking with him were simply co-workers and friends of his, you smile and excuse yourself back to your table. The worry you had about being out on Valentine’s Day with a monster fades away as you wait for Sans to finish his conversation and return to your table. You return to your conversation about doughnuts and Muffet’s establishment until you both finish with the pastries, left only with the drinks brought to you by your boss, who gives you a playful wink before leaving back to her post. Aware there’s only fifteen minutes left of your lunch break, you try to stand up but are promptly held back by Sans reaching out for your hand.

 

You jolt at his frigid touch, his bony fingers pricking lightly onto your skin. Time seems to halt for a moment as he pulls back and produces a small teddy bear along with a ribboned, five piece chocolate box from inside the jacket of his work uniform. He almost too quickly hands it over to you, his irises facing everywhere but your face.

 

“This is for you, (Y/N),” he mutters, his voice low and strained, almost as if he couldn’t believe he was actually accomplishing something like this. “Thanks for inviting me over for lunch here today. I dunno if you feel the same way, but. . . I really like what we have together so far.”

 

“Thank you. . .” you mumble, any other words you could direct at him unable to reach into your mind. “I would’ve got you something, too -- I just didn’t know what that would’ve translated as.”

 

“You paid for our lunch,” he reminds you, amusement in his tone. “But even then, you don’t need to feel that way, ‘cuz honestly, I was thinking the same thing. I didn’t wanna make you feel like I’m suddenly asking you out or anything, though I’m up for it s’long as you are, too.”

 

“You. . . want to go out with me?”

 

“If it’s cool with you, sure.”

 

Heat rises up in response to his nonchalant way of asking you out. You bring a hand over the back of your neck and think it over, the smile you were trying to hold back showing up on your face.

 

“Can I. . . kiss you on the cheek-- uh, cheekbone, then? I. . . I’ve had that in mind for a while.”

 

A snicker leaves his teeth as he nods to your request. Without a word, he leans forward on the table, allowing you to plant a kiss on his face. Slowly, you close the space left between your face and his skull, pressing your lips against his cheekbone. You’re surprised to have him reach out for your own cheek, holding you back for a few more seconds before letting you go to end the kiss and lean back on your seat.

 

Instead of a shutter noise, what’s next to interrupt the moment is a burst of goofy giggles and muffled laughter. Instinctively, you look towards the table with the man and the bear, seeing the monster snatch the same phone from earlier to hide it behind his back. You smile at that scene yourself and resort to placing a hand over the one Sans had set on the surface of the table, preventing him from standing up again.

 

“It’s fine,” you assure him, smiling. “That’s just your friends pulling your leg.”

 

“They’re just co-workers,” he shrugs off, looking away from you.

 

“It’s been a year since we’ve met, Sans,” you insist, squeezing his hand tighter as if to prove a point. “You. . . really shouldn't feel like you can’t make new friends, because I’m sure they see you as that, too.”

 

“I would, but. . . Last time I did that, it was with you. And look at how that turned out.”

 

“What do you mean by that?”

 

“You’re just. . . interesting, and kinda nice to be around with. I’ve never told you this, but since the day we first met -- when Faust was just starting out at Tori’s school -- I kinda stressed out a lot over our friendship. I never imagined we’d be this close with each other, and. . . I tried to keep my distance at first, but it was harder to do that the more I got to know ya better.”

 

You take a small sip from your drink before responding, an eyebrow raised as you make eye contact with him. “You? Stressed? You’re the most chill guy I know! I don’t know whether to be flattered about that, or annoyed that what you’re saying is a lie.”

 

It startles you to have him hold your free hand, the cold left behind from the glass matching with his own temperature. He squeezes them both and faces you with a foreign expression -- one you’re not used to seeing on him often. “I’m not,” he objects, furrowing his gaze at you. “I wasn’t lyin’ when I said I wanted to give this dating thing a try.”

Chapter Text

“You look terrible.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

Sans stood in front of your door, an amused expression showing clear on his skull after taking in the state you were in. It was already nine in the morning, and you were supposed to be at Toriel’s home by ten. After yesterday’s argument with your ex, you stayed packing for two whole hours and threw yourself in bed afterwards, completely forgetting to set up the alarm for six in the morning.

 

Stepping away from the door, you allow him to enter your living room and walk with him back inside. Faust was busy scavenging through the backpack you prepared for the trip while the television played in the background, giving reports over the weather and sports.

 

“Feel free to change the channel if you want,” you speak up, checking your phone again to make sure you wouldn't run late. “I’m gonna go take a quick shower before we go.”

 

Nodding, the skeleton holds back a grin, observing how you huff and ruffle up the (h/c) mess of your hair. He sits down next to Faust while you go up the stairs, rushing in your steps to avoid delaying the two further than you had already.

 

 


 

 

Sans kept his eyes on the road, casting a look every once in a while to your side. It wasn’t until fifteen minutes passed since you mounted his borrowed convertible that he managed to say what he had in mind.

 

“Did, uh. . . Did somethin’ happen last night? You look pretty tired for someone who overslept.”

 

Smiling, you look down at your lap and let out a breathy chuckle, embarrassment making you take longer to respond. “A call came up last minute, and well. . . Things didn’t end up well in the end.” You spare a look his way, understanding flashing through the light of his irises before he focused his attention back on driving. “But how are things on your end? Any other kids you’re tutoring this semester?”

 

“Just Faust, two kids with Algebra, and Frisk with Science,” Sans explains, slowly pushing the brakes when seeing the green light switch to red. “Most kids usually need help with Language and Geography, so I don’t really get many kids to tutor that often.”

 

He takes a moment to look through the rear-view mirror, his ever-present smile appearing to widen at the sides. Faust waves at him, a bright smile showing on his face.

 

“But Faust’s been improving a lot since we first started. I think he can strive for that A if he keeps that up.”

 

Your own smile grows at his words, a thought making its way to your mind. “How do you manage both jobs at once?”

 

“I usually work three days as a janitor, so that leaves me more time to work on the other job.”

 

“You must be very committed to what you do,” you comment, glancing his way again.

 

He steps on the gas, the light changing back to green. “Thanks, though my bro thinks otherwise,” he replies, chuckling. “But I know he means well.” A beat of silence takes over your surroundings before he speaks up again. “What about you? I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk about your own job.”

 

“I’m a pastry chef,” you reply, a wistful sigh breaking through your words. “I used to be a police officer, but a lot of us got laid down after that incident with the new laws about monsters living at the Surface. I. . . I wanted to resign before that, since I didn’t agree with some of the changes they were making, but the lay off got to me first.”

 

“What kinda changes were they makin’?”

 

“They wanted to set some laws with the schools -- keeping monster children in categories. They wanted to put bunny monsters on one side, fire monsters on another, and so on. In the end, they passed the law since things are kind of different at my hometown.”

 

The skeleton hums in thought, turning the signal left, where your eyes spot a large yet cozy-looking home painted in warm colours and decorated with a wide array of wildflowers in various shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. He turns the car said direction and parks under the small, open garage located next to the house.

 

“You’ve got integrity to ya, (Y/N),” Sans comments, his gaze carrying a warm tint when facing you. “Resigned or not, you wanted to leave ‘cuz of the laws they were makin', and I think that’s still pretty cool on its own.”

 

“Thank you,” you mutter, sheepishness making your voice hard to hear. “I never thought of it that way.”

 

You open the front passenger door and step out of the vehicle, closing it shut shortly after. You then make your way to Faust’s side, ready to open his door, only to see Sans was taking care of that already. The only thing left for you to do was to take the backpack in your hold and follow them there.

 

Taking in a breath and allowing your thoughts to settle, you take in your surroundings, the sight of the flowers dancing gently with the wind providing you with calm. Your steps were hesitant the closer you got to approaching the front door, Sans’s words still resting in the back of your mind.

 

The door opens and you're promptly welcomed by the sight of a fish woman stepping out of the house, her sharp teeth in full display as she directs a grin at Faust. You watch her put out a hand for him, your worries falling from your shoulders as you see her shake hands with him. She encourages him to join Frisk inside for their playdate.

 

“Don’t be shy, (Y/N)!” the woman exclaims, making a gesture with her hand for you to join her inside the house. “We’ve been waiting for you!”

 

You manage another smile and direct it at her along with a firm nod. No matter how many monsters you saw day-by-day, the sight of how different they all were from each other still surprised you. Awe was one of the main emotions to cross you whenever you spotted a different kind of monster, the fact that they could grow so used to their own differences without seemingly any difficulties making you wonder just how they managed to do it.

Chapter Text

Quietly, he observes the way awe strikes over (Y/N)’s face. Their (s/t) skin lights up with joy at the sound of the bright blue flower repeating the ‘Hello!’ they directed at it. It's hard for him to focus on anything else, and -- before he can process it himself -- he's stepping foot forward, standing next to their side as he too leans close to the flower to mutter something for it to repeat.

 

“Go ahead,” Sans encourages, his smile widening slightly at the sides as he waits for the human to approach the Echo flower again.

 

The human nods and leans close to the flower, not quite sure what to expect from him.

 

“If you were a flower, you’d be a damn-delion.”

 

The pit of silence that once overpowered the garden is shattered by (Y/N) bursting with a laugh, their knees wobbling and gut aching with the suddenness of that pun-slash-pick up line. Sans’s shoulder bones relax at that sound, relieved they hadn’t taken it as seriously as he imagined them to. They face him with teary eyes before focusing on the Echo flower again, an amused smile stretching across their lips.

 

He takes a subtle step closer, hoping to hear what they were whispering to the flower, though he doesn't manage to hear beyond the beginning of their sentence. The human takes a step back and waits for him to approach the flower.

 

“I’m lavender time I spend with you. I can really feel something blossoming between us.”

 

“Damn,” Sans comments, chuckling. “Two in one -- Good job, (Y/N).”

 

“Thank you,” they reply, grinning.

 

The skeleton moves on from the Echo flowers after that, too worked up over the risk he'd taken with that pick up line to stay around them any longer. He takes the human to a field of tall sunflowers, some of them towering slightly above him while a few surpassed (Y/N)’s height by a foot.

 

“These ain’t from the Underground, but I figured you’d still like to see them,” he explains, facing to their side to see them casting their eyes up at the yellow field sporting a light, flowery fragrance and a few bees buzzing close by. “Whaddya think? Tori’s been working on ‘em ever since we reached the Surface.”

 

“They’re beautiful,” they reply, their smile widening as their fingertips brush carefully against the flower petals. “How can she manage to grow flowers with different needs on one same climate? That had to be hard to do.”

 

Catching onto another opportunity to further his relationship with (Y/N), Sans walks over to the gardening shed nearby, opening the rickety door with caution. Inside, he produces a pocket knife from the gardening supplies set on the middle shelf. Then, he leaves the building and approaches the human again. “It’s actually pretty normal at the Underground. We had around four or five different weather stations coexisting all at the same time.”

 

His irises scan the sunflowers until finding one of the smaller ones. Carefully, he retrieves it from the ground it was planted in, making sure not to damage its stem or roots to have it last long enough -- until the human could arrive back home.

 

He brushes off the few bits of soil that clung onto it and looks at (Y/N) before speaking up. “I’m not sure if Echo flowers can last with the weather at your place, but here.” He hands them the sunflower, his hand jolting slightly when feeling their hand brush against his. “We can put it in a vase when we head back inside, but there’s one more thing I wanna show ya before we leave the garden.”

 

Sans watches the human bring the flower close to their face, a warm smile brightening their (s/t) complexion, (e/c) eyes softening when looking back to him. He returns the smile, trying to maintain his calm demeanor despite his mind telling him he could most likely screw up with any chance he got. He breathes in and settles on ignoring those doubts, moving on to the next batch of flowers the garden had to offer.

 

“Woah.”

 

That was the first reaction he got out of (Y/N) when taking them to a pond decorated by all sorts of wildflowers. The clear water rippled lazily and a few more honeybees were accompanied by hummingbirds and butterflies.

 

One of the butterflies lands on the human's nose, the ticklish feeling making them sneeze.

 

“That was amazin',” Sans speaks up, snickering. “I woulda taken a picture if that hadn’t ended so quickly -- You looked just like a Disney (prince/princess) for a minute there.”

 

“You watch Disney movies?” (Y/N) questions, curiosity leaking from their tone.

 

Sans bends down to sit on the grass close to the pond and gestures for them to join him. “Frisk makes me watch one every other Sunday,” he replies, his irises glowing brighter with the memory. “I think they’re in that phase where they won’t stop watching ‘til they’re tired of it, but the movies’re pretty good.”

 

(Y/N) takes up his offer by sitting next to him, keeping enough distance for another person to sit between the two. “Do you have a favourite?” they ask again, a more teasing tone exchanged with their earlier curiosity.

 

“Lilo and Stitch,” he answers, looking down at his reflection over the water. “I, uh, actually got a lil’ emotional at the end of it.”

 

Humoured by his response, the human scoots a bit closer to his side. They engage in conversation with him about other Disney movies and talk about their own, favourite film out of all the ones they'd watched over the years. He listens intently and finds himself reeled in by the topics (Y/N) spoke about, losing track of time and being informed about it by the fish lady appearing behind them, her reflection cast between them on the water.

 

“You two dorks ready to head back inside? Frisk cooked up some dinner and they’re waiting for you guys to join them and Faust.”

 

Surprised to hear it was already late enough to have dinner, Sans fishes out his phone from his back pocket, unlocking it to see it was already five in the evening. He stands up from the grass and helps (Y/N) back to their feet, still unable to process three hours had gone by since he took them to the garden.

Chapter Text

You’re taken by surprise the second your next-door neighbour opens the door for you, the same fish woman who greeted you into Toriel’s home barely just a few days ago sitting on the couch of her living room. She recognizes you almost instantly, a bright and welcoming grin replacing the doubt she seemed to have clouding her eye.

 

“Hey!” she calls out, grinning. “You live around here, too?”

 

“Yeah,” you reply, smiling at her. “I, well. . . I wanted to discuss something with Solana, but I don’t want to interrupt you guys from what you’re doing.”

 

“Nonsense, (Y/N)!” your neighbour intervenes, both hands on her hips as she gives you an amiable look similar to Undyne’s. “You can help us with Undyne’s dating dilemma -- Did you hear she and Professor Alphys are going out?”

 

“The science teacher at Toriel’s school?”

 

“Precisely,” she replies, nodding. “Any ideas for a way to celebrate their one-year anniversary as a couple?”

 

You walk over to the couch, sitting next to Undyne while Solana takes the small reclining chair set next to the television stand, occupied with both fiction and nonfiction books of all sorts rather than an actual television. “Well. . . What about the place where you first asked her out -- or the place where you guys first kissed?”

 

Both women hum at your suggestion, Undyne’s face being the first to light up. Your neighbour, on the other hand, stays a little longer in her thinking state, her eyebrows knitting together as her eyes focus on the floor. “Where was that place, Undyne?” she asks, lifting her gaze from the carpeted floor.

 

Undyne leans back on her seat, passing a hand through her red locks of hair kept tidy by a high ponytail. Her eye goes back to its clouded state as she begins to think back on that memory. “It was at the beach -- I. . . gave her a kiss on the cheek right after we left the Underground, and she got all blushy and cute about it.”

 

“Then that’s where you should go with her!” Solana declares, moving her gaze over to you. “You’re pretty good at this, (Y/N). Who knew we’d find a solution this fast?”

 

“Yeah,” Undyne agrees, laughing. “It would’ve taken me a lot longer to come up with that idea.” She casts her eye over to you, a curious look on her face. “Are you dating anyone, (Y/N)?”

 

You feel a surge of cold run through your body, aware of how awful it would sound to say you were divorced, right after just providing her with dating advice. Solana notices your hesitation, a frown forming on her lips.

 

“It’s. . . It’s a little complicated, but--”

 

“They’re crushing!” Solana intervenes, startling you out of your confession. “(Y/N) here’s been single for almost two years now, and just recently. . . the (girl/guy)’s found a crush again -- Isn’t that right, honey?”

 

“Y- yeah,” you stutter, almost choking on your words. “But it’s kind of a secret right now.”

 

“Do I know him? Her? Them?” she asks, enthusiasm clear in her voice.

 

“You do know him,” you reply, stifling a laugh at her intense nature. “That’s exactly why I can’t tell either one of you who it is.”

 

The rest of your conversation with the two women goes by smoothly, steering clear from the bump in the road involving your divorce thanks to your neighbour. Hours pass with the three of you chatting together and having some coffee courtesy of Solana. You wait until Undyne leaves to approach her again, the doubts you had only increasing in their strength after your talk with her and the fish woman.

 

You’re both standing outside now, seeing Undyne off after making sure she was -- and felt -- ready for her anniversary celebration with her girlfriend. You wave her off as you watch her mount her car, silence falling between you and your neighbour the second the fish woman closes her car door.

 

“Solana?” you call out, uncertainty in your tone.

 

“Yeah, honey?” she asks, turning her attention back to you.

 

You wait until Undyne’s vehicle disappears from your sight, bracing yourself for what you were about to say. “What’s, um. . . What’s your opinion about monsters?”

 

She raises an eyebrow at your question, a stunned look reaching her dark complexion. “What do you mean by that? My general opinion on them or. . .”

 

“G-- General, I guess?” you clarify, heart racing as your mind refuses to get straight to the point. “What you think of them. . . working and living together with us.”

 

Her gaze narrows at your words and she crosses her arms, her back leaning against the door of her home. “What brought this up, (Y/N)? Those words don’t sound like your own.”

 

You chew on the inside of your lip, trying to contain yourself. Your palms grow sweaty and your mind begins to overthink, making it hard for you to come up with a response straight away. “My ex called a few days ago, and. . . It just got me thinking. There weren’t nearly as many monsters at my hometown as there are in this city, so I guess I just want to know what you think -- since you’ve always lived here.”

 

“I think they’re just like us, but a little different all the same,” she replies, passing a hand through her brown curls as she lets out a breath. “Things were different a year ago, with people here not wanting to live near any of them, but the co-ambassador changed that with time. Some people can’t believe Frisk’s only nine years old! They weren’t able to become the monster ambassador per se, since they’re still too young, but. . . Their vision helped the mayor of this city realize monsters are just like us.”

 

Solana pauses in her speech to inspect you again, intrigue and confusion both swirling in her eyes. She walks over to the stairs set in front of her home’s entrance door, sitting down and inviting you to join her.

 

“Something in particular you want to ask me? You were the one who wanted to resign as an officer for stuff like this happening in the first place.”

 

You sit next to her, facing the floor as you place your hands on your knees. “Should I be getting this close with Sans? Is it. . . okay for me to let Faust study at Toriel’s school? I just feel like I’ve been moving too fast, and that I’m barely considering what’s happening right now. What if Sans feels forced to spend time with us? What if. . . What if we’re just taking advantage of that school? Hell, the tutoring’s free! It still feels weird not having to pay, even though it’s been two months already.”

 

“Breathe, honey, breathe,” Solana soothes, placing a hand on your back. “You’re getting way too worked up over this stuff. You were telling me how great your date with Sans was just a few days ago!”

 

“It wasn’t a date,” you correct, gathering the strength to look at her in the eye. “The phone call just got me thinking.”

 

You flinch at the sight of her standing up from the stairs. She looks down at you with a furrowed gaze, a hand being offered out to you.

 

“Forget about that damned phone call!” she exclaims, a glare forming on her face. “Are you seriously going to act this way just ‘cuz your ex can’t handle you moving on -- Or are you gonna do what a real cop should do, and try to fight for what you think’s right?”

Chapter Text

You stare at her hand for a minute, lips forming a straight line.

 

“I. . .” Your shaky hand reaches out for hers while your fingers hesitate on making contact with her palm. “I-- I’m not sure yet.”

 

You pull your hand back, a frown tugging your expression downwards. Your neighbour only sighs and retreats her hand, her feet moving her body back to the door of her home.

 

“Alright then,” she speaks up, voice sharp and somewhat stern, a vast difference from the usual warmth of her tone enhanced by nicknames like ‘honey’ or ‘dear’. “I won’t rush you into sorting out your thoughts, but please don’t drag Faust with you on this -- I’ve never seen a kid like him this happy to go study, and I’m pretty sure Toriel’s school has something to do with that. Cancel the tutoring and tell Sans how you feel if you want, but what your kid needs right now’s a stable experience. It’s the second time he’s seen a divorce, with the exception he didn’t got sent back to adoption after yours.”

 

“I. . . I won't take him out of there,” you assure her, resting your hands on your lap. “I just need some time to think this through. I need to think about the life I've been living here so far. I. . . I just never imagined I'd be making friends with monsters -- And that I’d be having a crush on one, too.”

 

“Why’s that?”

 

“That's. . . how it was back in the town I was in -- We didn't or, well, still don’t allow monsters to work or live in the same place as us. The children can study together, human or not. . . but they still keep them on separate sides of the classroom.”

 

“Then take your time to reflect on that whenever you can,” she replies, a smile finally breaking the stern look she carried since your conversation drifted away from lighter topics. “I'm not telling you to rush yourself -- Just try not to let others get to you.”

 

“Thanks, Sol,” you speak up again, returning her smile. You stand up from the stairs and walk to her side, giving her a quick and tight hug before taking your leave. “Sorry about the trouble.”

 

“It's fine -- Just remember I'm here if you ever need someone to talk to about this kind of stuff.”


 


 


You stare at the sunflower on the center of your living room, debating whether to keep your feelings firm or push them away. Though you couldn’t deny the time you spent at the garden was a good moment to relax and enjoy yourself, you had your doubts over what route your current relationship was detouring to. Sighing, you check your phone again to see one of the main factors of your doubts.

 

You’re not answering my texts. -- Sent six hours ago

 

Bet you’re messing around with that janitor-skeleton-thing again. -- Sent five hours ago

 

Those were sent about an hour into your conversation with Undyne and your neighbour. The most recent ones were the ones that made you more frustrated than you already were.

 

I’m taking Faust with me until you clear your head a little. ‘Cuz, clearly, you’re not thinking clearly about what you’re doing.

 

You can’t do that.

Let him finish this semester in school first.

He needs this chance to make some new friends.

 

So now you respond, huh? You fell for that bait real quick.

 

What do you mean?

 

He can keep on studying at that school, but I don’t want him near that skeleton -- Sam or whatever his name is.

 

It’s Sans.

You’ll have to tell Faust that yourself, then.

I’m not going to be your accomplice for that kind of stuff.

 

Suit yourself. I was giving you a chance to say it nicely by yourself, but I guess I’ll say it to him in my own way.

 

Rather have it that way than listen to your bullcrap.

 

Soft as ever aren’t you, (Y/N)? Can’t even curse through text.

 

I have no clue how they hired someone like you to be a cop.

 

You refuse to answer your ex’s last two texts, anger swelling inside you. Breathing in, you can feel your body shake with pent up emotions, palms building a cold sweat and heart racing a mile a minute. It isn’t until dizziness takes over that you realize you’re panicking.

 

Avoiding the risks of ending up passed out on the floor, you try to stabilize yourself and begin to make your way to the kitchen. There, you open the old refrigerator and take out a bottled water. You turn it open and chug it down, both the cold and the sudden intake of liquid startling you out of the light-headed feeling.

 

Your next mission is to pick up your phone again and hurry to text Sans. You return to the living room and sit back down on the couch, sighing again as you let your eyes close and shoulders drop for a while before texting. Calm returns to you after a few minutes, haste breaths regaining their steady pace and chest returning to its slow rise and fall. Once you’re sure you’ve regained your composure, you open your eyes again and grab hold of the phone.

 

Hey.

I need to talk with you for a minute.

Could you call me when you’re free?

 

Expecting him to take a while to respond, you almost jump from your seat when feeling your phone vibrate in your hand. You stare at the screen to see Sans’s name, the options to either answer or hang up showing up on screen. Your fingers flutter over the ‘answer’ option as you then bring the phone to your ear.

 

“What’s up?”

 

The rumble in his voice makes you check the wall clock nearby, finding it odd but still expected from him to be sleeping at seven p.m. on a Wednesday. It was just a few hours after him finishing his work shift for the day.

 

“Were you sleeping? Sorry if I woke you up.”

 

“Nah, I’m just hella tired. I might’ve stayed up last night ‘til two in mornin’ trying to get some sleep.”

 

“Oh? Do you have insomnia?”

 

“Don’t think so. I just had a bit of trouble sleepin’ last night, and when I did, I just kept waking up every hour.”

 

“I’m no expert, but I think that’s insomnia, then.”

 

“Heh -- Who knows? Might have to get that checked sometime,” he replies, chuckling. The laugh makes his groggy voice more prominent, though you don’t comment on that. “But what did you text me for, anyway? Something happen with the kid’s grades?”

 

“No. . . It’s not that,” you dismiss that thought, a frown growing on your face. “It’s about my, well. . . ex. They’re gonna talk with Faust tomorrow to convince him to stop being tutored by you. I don’t know how or what they’ll tell him, but. . . I just wanted to let you know about this before I canceled the tutoring on my own. Or at least make it seem like I did, until I. . . until I find a better solution to all this.”

Chapter Text

“I don’t want to!”

 

A headache was bound to show itself soon with how much and how long the argument between them was becoming. Faust refused to quit with his tutoring lessons, no matter how much his other parent tried to convince him it was for the best.

 

“Why should I?” he pressed, anger slipping from his tone.

 

“Don’t you dare talk to me like that, Faust (L/N)! I’ve been patient enough with you already,” your ex speaks, chastising him for his behavior. “(Y/N) may be okay with having a monster in this house, but I’m not. It’s dangerous, and I won’t put you through that risk.”

 

“But. . . But why are they dangerous?” the boy questions, earnest confusion replacing his anger. “I’ve made friends with lots of them!”

 

“They just are,” was their response, words stern and cutting sharp. “Do you even know what happened to Frisk when they were in the Underground? Monsters attacked them with every chance they got -- They were merciless, I’m sure, and they’ll act no differently with you!”

 

“Stop for a second,” you intervene, stepping in on their argument. “I’m aware they attacked, but merciless? That’s an adjective that doesn’t really fit them.”

 

“So now you’re defending them?” your ex asks, disbelief showing by the humourless laugh they direct at you. “What’s next -- Are you gonna marry that tutor and adopt another kid with him?”

 

“Don’t change the subject,” you object, narrowing your eyes at them. “While quite a few of them did attack Frisk, the monsters spared Frisk, or Frisk spared them -- And now those that did are being held accountable for their actions.” You pause in your words, a sense of spite rising in you. “I should know, since I was one of the people left in charge of detaining and punishing them in the first place.”

 

“You were a shit cop and you know it,” they taunt, grinning. “Why else would you be laid off?”

 

“I was about to resign when they did that,” you defend, still maintaining a stern look their way. “The only reason I was fired was because I didn’t agree to separating monsters in categories.”

 

“You did the wrong thing, then. They should all be--”

 

Your argument is interrupted by Faust bolting out of the argument, tiny and short legs rushing to make their way up the stairs of your home. You stop sending glares at your ex and cast your gaze up, catching the image of the child covering his face away with the sleeve of his striped shirt, scrubbing the tears with a furious pace. You don’t bother to excuse yourself from your ex and instead run after Faust, stress making your shoulders freeze.

 

“Faust!” you cry out, hurrying in your steps as you climb up the stairs. You can hear footsteps close behind you as you reach the top, and you turn around to see your ex running after you.

 

“Wait up,” they plead, panting and out of breath. “I want to talk with him, too.”

 

“You cursed right in front of him,” you remark, annoyance prickling at your tone. “I think you should calm down a bit more first.”

“You should too,” they snap, managing to say those few words after recovering from the dash they gave from the living room until here. “Maybe. . . Maybe think about what could happen whenever you greet a monster into your life and into your house -- especially that tutor guy.”

 

“I will, but right now. . . I want Faust to be happy again. I’ll be more careful, and I promise I’ll protect him while he’s with me -- But please let him have this. He’s made a lot of friends, and Sans is one of them.”

 

You remain hopeful as you wait for their response. Silence settles on your surroundings while you wait, giving them time to think.

 

“Alright,” they give in, words let out with a sigh. “But on one condition: Sam has to tutor him at the school -- far away from this house.”

 

Chewing on the inside of your lip, you hold back the urge to correct your ex. Rather than inciting another argument with the topic of them purposely misspelling that name again, you smile at them, relieved they managed to come to an agreement with you. “Good. I’ll tell Sans it’ll be there from now on.”

 

The both of you make a silent agreement by nodding and carrying on to your original plans of comforting Faust. You lead them to his room and slowly creak the door open, peeking into the child’s room. The lights are off when you look, and you can hear faint crying and hiccups from inside.

 

“Faust?” you call out, words soft and treading with caution.

 

There’s no response, even during your second call. Puzzled on what action to take next, you walk towards the lump of bedsheets in a corner of the bed and sit down beside it. You place your hand on top, feeling his soft strands of hair even from the shield keeping him separated from you. Carefully, you begin stroking his head and press your cheek against his, comforting him the way Sans had advised -- or least, taught -- you to.

 

Being a police officer for two years straight had its consequences in terms of how you brought comfort to others. The things you heard and saw -- from robbery and fraud to murder and sexual assault -- you were lectured to keep a thick skin and a heart of steel, if you wanted to keep the job and not let the increasing rate in criminality get to you. That was one of the things you realized the day Faust broke up crying right in front of Sans.

 

Unlike the skeleton, you were never patient in your approach and demanded Faust told you what was wrong right away. What softened you up a little was the service you provided to the clients at the bakery you worked in, but even then you had your troubles on detecting when someone needed a bit more care and patience for them to function and respond to you properly.

 

You flinch when feeling him wiggle around. He breaks free from his blanket fort and wraps his small arms around you, burrowing his face on your stomach and letting his muffled crying be heard.

 

“I. . . Did I do something wrong? I-- I just want to make new friends!”



 


 



You wave goodbye at your ex as they mount their car, breathing a sigh of pure bliss the second they disappear from your sight. Happy things hadn’t gotten as bad as you were expecting them to, you allow yourself a moment of rest by staying outside. You sit down on the stairs of the entrance of your home and pull out your phone from your back pocket.

 

The clock on screen marks ten, and you look up to see the starless sky. You look back down at your phone and access the messaging app, thinking over how you could lay down the news to the tutor who remained in wait for your update on what would happen to Faust’s lessons from here on.

 

Hey.

Our. . . talk went better than I expected.

Faust can keep on with the lessons, with the exception that it can’t be at my house anymore.

 

damn.

that’s a lil’ harsh, but way better than what i was expecting.

 

You’re still welcome to visit, though.

But it’s now my mission to protect Faust more than before.

 

s’if you weren’t doing that already.

you came off strong when the kid got in a fight, but you still showed you cared.

some parents don’t really pay much attention to the fights their kids get into, so the cycle just repeats itself ‘till someone gets hurt real bad.

 

Thank you, Sans.

What you did back there, it made me realize some stuff. . . And it’s that I need to be more patient.

When I got the call, my mind just went blank and all I could think of was in what way I could punish Faust. . . Not why he got into a fight in the first place.

But enough about us two. When is it okay for you to meet up at school?

I don’t want to trouble you more than I already have.

 

You wait for his response for a few seconds, watching the three dots until they fade away and no message is received. You’re startled from that observation by your phone vibrating, and you look back down at it to see Sans calling your number.

 

“Hello?” you answer quickly, heart caught in your throat.

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans's Perspective

 

He stops eyeing the child’s paper at the sound of an older human calling out his name. His irises look up to see (Y/N) standing by the open door, Faust now standing next to them and eagerly tugging at the corner of their shirt, encouraging them to step inside.

 

“Relax and c’mon in,” he speaks, catching onto their uncertainty. “I won’t bite.”

 

“Kinda hard to do after what I said to you through that phone call a few days ago.”

 

Sans lets out a chuckle at that remark. He shakes his head and gestures for them to sit down on the chair set closest to his work desk. Not long after, he notices them hesitate once more when stepping in -- quite like that of a child afraid of plugging in a device after being shocked by the power outlet firsthand. He decides not to comment on that for the moment being, ignoring the urge to tease them for their hesitant nature.

 

“Thank you. . . for still choosing to tutor him even after what happened. And I’m really sorry for how this ended. I. . . I didn't think a compromise with Faust’s other parent would lead to this,” (Y/N) speaks up, their earnest tone failing to mask the blunt tiredness behind their voice. He notices bags forming under their eyes again, not to mention they took up the offer to sit down almost too quickly. The faint smell of baked good catches his nose cavity when the human shifts in their seat, and it isn’t until then that he notices something unusual about their appearance -- more specifically, their face.

 

They had flour in their hair, actual dusts of the ingredient stuck to their hair’s left sideline. He stifles the urge to let his smile widen, already imagining a scenario where they would freak out the second he mentioned that missed detail. He imagined how they would vex over that -- how they would think back on the number of people that saw them like that prior to arriving at the school.

 

“Should I take Faust with me now? I don’t wanna keep you if you’re busy.”

 

He almost jumps at the sound of their voice and focuses his eyesight again to see (Y/N) facing their lap, looking apologetically at their palms. They squeeze them into fists and sigh, looking up to meet with him again.

 

“I’m not busy right now,” he corrects, awareness falling upon him like a bucket of ice cold water. He’d been staring far too long at the human, and they had obviously come up with the worst case scenario as to why he wasn’t responding to them -- when in reality he’d spaced out completely, staring at the specks of flour decorating their (h/c), (h/l) locks of hair. “You, uh, just have some flour stuck in your hair.”

 

“Oh,” they mutter, posture stiffening at his comment. “Where?”

 

The skeleton directs them to where the stains are, chuckling when they’re unable to locate the last spot left to dust out. Wanting to lend a hand, he leans over his desk and reaches out for (Y/N)’s hair, excusing himself before getting to touch it. The close view of their face makes it all the more clear that they weren’t getting enough sleep at home, though he still refuses to make a comment on anything personal. He was more than aware by now that there was still the line of teacher and parent between him and them, one that kept him from approaching them any closer than he had the day Frisk and Faust decided to set up a day to hang out together.

 

“Thanks,” (Y/N) speaks up again, the suddenness and informality of that one word response only adding to his desire of teasing them for how nervous they seemed to be. “Are you. . . okay with this for real, then? I know I talked with you on the phone about this, but I wanted to make sure you were being honest by coming to see you in person.”

 

“I am,” he replies, leaning back on his seat. “It ain’t the first time somethin’ like this happens, if I'm gonna be honest, but it is the first time I’ve had someone worry so much about how I feel.”

 

“I just feel like have to. You and this whole school have been. . . pretty good changes, to say the least,” the human explains, words sounding distant despite having them sitting right next to his work desk. He observes the expression on (Y/N)’s face as they contemplate on their own, intrigued by the way their eyebrows furrowed the more they waited to say what they had in mind. “Faust’s opened up to me a lot since the day you talked with him. . . I-- It made me realize I could be a bit more open with how I feel every now and then.”

 

“So whaddya feel right now?”

 

“I. . .” They sigh again, placing their hands on their knees as they grip both tight. “I feel like this experience -- the whole moving to a new place, choosing a new school, and working on a new job. . . It feels like the right thing to do right now. The town I used to live in wasn’t any good for us, but here. . . I’m really starting to feel at home here.”

 

“Then keep doin’ just that,” Sans suggests, waiting a few seconds before adding else to his comment. “And if it doesn’t work out, you can try again. I’m sure you can do it if you stay true to what you want in life.”

 

He jolts at the sound of them letting out a laugh, one he would grow annoyed at if it had come off as mocking. Instead, the tone was warm and genuine, as so was the look on (Y/N)’s face.

 

“What’s got ya laughing?” he asks, looking to prod gently at them now that they’d chosen to do the same.

 

“Nothing,” they dismiss, a stray laugh hiccuping from their throat -- one that they covered by grinning. “That was really sweet of you, is all. Haven’t heard advice like that in years. . . Since high school ended, if I’m gonna be exact.”

 

“Are ya still in college?”

 

“I left when I got my Bachelor’s half a year ago -- started it at eighteen and finished four years later. Kind of a waste, considering I quit the job at the police department barely a year into it, but. . . I was lucky to find a job at the bakery a few blocks from here.”

 

“Is that the one Muffet’s still tryin’ to sue?”

 

“Precisely,” the human replies, snickering. “It’s still kind of nice, though. . . Really makes things interesting every now and then.”

 

Sans catches himself on a comfortable, back-and-forth conversation as he readies himself to speak up again. How he managed to keep this friendship going with (Y/N) was still a mystery to him. He didn’t have to be at Grillby’s or crack jokes all that often to gain the human’s attention, a change of pace he appreciated just as much as the feeling of falling asleep without having to aimlessly toss and turn in bed for an hour.

Chapter Text

Two weeks passed by since the incident involving the tutoring lessons. An empty feeling similar to that of melancholy lasted whenever you came to pick up Faust Fridays at five -- an hour earlier than usual to fit the changes your ex agreed on -- and come home to an empty, quiet house. During those three months, you’d grown used to having someone around your home once a week. Hearing the two discuss the math problems had, in a way, become a therapeutic experience for you, and even more so when the skeleton stayed an hour or two later to chat with you.

 

You look at the calendar and then at the old wall clock of your living room, calculating it was currently noon thirty on a Saturday. You reach for your cellphone and hover your finger on Sans’s number, reluctant to listen to your thoughts and the pull in your heart. It had become hard to stay in touch with him ever since the schedule changes, and you were beginning to grow tempted on asking if he wanted to go out sometime. A sharp, metallic taste stops you from chewing on the inside of your lip as you tune back to Earth. Another split second of uncertainty crosses your mind as you click the ‘call’ button, hearing it beep twice before he picks up.

 

“Hello?”

 

You almost yelp with how loud the voice is, recognizing it as Papyrus’s, and manage to smile through the pain despite knowing he couldn’t see you. “Hey, Papyrus! How’re you doing?”

 

“I'm doing well, (Y/N)! Sans is currently showering right now, but I can tell him you called! Is there something in particular you wanted to speak with him?”

 

“No, not really,” you dismiss, an awkward laugh following after your words. “I just wanted to catch up with him on some stuff.”

 

“Is it to ‘hang out’?” he questions, the way he says those last words making it seem as this were a foreign concept to him. “He has been saying recently how he misses the days you--”

 

“I’ll take it from here, Paps.”

 

The abrupt change in the caller’s voice leaves you stricken. You press your phone closer to your ear, hoping to hear what the two brothers were discussing between themselves. The only few words you’re able to decipher is something along the lines of ‘Lucky I got here on time’.

 

“How’s it going, (Y/N)?” Sans asks, his lower tone of voice a drastic change from the cheerful and naturally loud tone of his younger brother. “Been a while since we talked like this.”

 

“Yeah. . .” you mutter, a phantom smile reaching your face. “I was gonna ask if you wanted to hang out today? . . .If you’re not busy and all, of course.”

 

“I’m not,” he replies, amusement present in those words. “This week was pretty light, so I woke up at eleven today. I’ve got no plans for the rest of the day, ‘sides from reading through some new school policies Tori needs to look over for Monday.”

 

“Do you guys need help with anything, then? I could always do some research before she has to turn them in.”

 

“It’s fine -- We’ve got some people looking over them already, but I’ll let you know if we need more help.”

 

You conclude that topic with an ‘alright’ and move on to settling on the hour and location you would meet up at. The last thing you hear as he says goodbye is Papyrus asking what he planned to wear for your outing. By the way the call ends shortly after that, you figure he’d forgotten to hang up before heading over to his brother. You laugh to yourself as soon as you check the call had truly ended, against the idea of embarrassing him further by letting him know you’d been listening all along.

 

Energy rises within you as you set the phone down on the coffee table. You rise from the couch and head over to the kitchen drawers. There, you take out a pen and a sticky note from the second drawer, placing the yellow paper on the counter as you begin composing a quick heads up for your ex.

 

“I went out to run some errands. I'll be back by 7.” — (Y/N)

 

Though there was the option of sending them a message and be done with it much faster, there was the risk of them asking for specificity. You were more than done arguing with them about what you were choosing to do now that you weren’t together any longer, and it was turning harder each passing month to have a discussion with them without making compromises over any discrepancy you had between you.

 

 


 

 

A collective laugh fills the room with a sense of tranquility and contentment, the hospitality of the bartender adding volumes to the comfort of your surroundings. You take a sip from the coffee in hand after blowing some of the steam away, the bittersweet taste spreading across your tongue and warming up your face. The cup is set back down as you turn your head left and then right to take in the aspects of the establishment.

 

From the worn billiard set, the poker table, and the collection of fine and antique alcohol bottles hidden behind the bartender and her boss, it was clear this place was still meant to stand out more at night. The ‘family diner’ aesthetic it tried to keep until five in the evening crumbled whenever you took a closer look at these things, masked only by the bright and cheery menu advertising food and drinks both children and adults could consume freely.

 

You snap out of it the moment you feel a hand on yours, the cool feeling of bone making recognize the person without having to look up -- though that doesn’t stop you from doing just that, onset to see why the skeleton had chosen to reach out for you. Your eyes adjust to the sight of him busy talking with a duck monster, and you go into deeper observation to see his phone just a few inches away from where your hands laid at. His hand had gone just a little farther from his stool and landed on your own, missing the phone entirely.

 

Instinctively, you pull back and are presented with him turning around to face you. His irises fall on your face, then your hands, and -- finally -- to his phone. It doesn’t take any words for him to pull back and look away again, muttering a haste but earnest apology from his teeth.

 

“. . .”

 

You aren’t given much time to dwell over that scenario, already reeled into another conversation by the owner of the establishment himself.

 

“Excuse me? I didn’t catch you the first time, sir.”

 

Although he required a translator for most people to understand him, you still wanted to keep the polite customs of asking again. His employee -- and presumably, also his daughter -- steps in, her small, dot-like eyes squinted in a way of mimicking a smile.

 

“He asks if there’s something going on between you and that guy,” she explains, whispering those last words to avoid the subject of conversation from overhearing what she said.

 

“No,” you respond, almost instantly, smiling to mask the embarrassment you felt creeping on your shoulders. You remember Papyrus’s words and cling onto them. “We’re just hanging out.”

 

“. . .”

 

Giggling from the fire girl’s part makes you raise an eyebrow, curious as to what Grillby had said to make her react that way. You wait to hear her upcoming translation, though she turns back around one more time to make sure she had heard him right.

Chapter Text

Grillby hesitates at the firegirl’s doubt as to whether she should translate his sentence or not. Though he doesn’t have any facial features that resemble eyebrows or a mouth, you’re still able to see confliction when his bright orange fire pales into a yellow colour, eyeglasses focused more than ever on the cup he was wiping down with a cloth. Slowly, he shakes his head from left to right and stops staring at the cup to look at her. He dismisses the idea and delivers another message in return, making her turn back to you.

 

“He asks if you want a refill for your coffee,” she explains, small, dot-like eyes narrowing in mischief -- you were certain she would be grinning right at this moment if she were to have a mouth. She receives a nudge from Grillby, and the latter stares her down until she gives in to his silent scolding. “And. . . for how long you’ve lived at this city.”

 

You take the empty coffee mug and hand it over to Grillby, shaking your head ‘no’ in response to his first question. Then, you shift on your seat and think back on how long it had been since your arrival here.

 

“Three or four months,” you reply, trying to reel your thoughts back in. “I’m still getting used to it, if I’m gonna be honest. The town I lived in was pretty. . .  secluded, to say the least. And it didn’t really see all. . . this as acceptable.” You gesture at the premises surrounding you, from the group of six -- four humans and two monsters -- chatting away among themselves and the few families eating together regardless of their appearance or race. It feels like a safe haven for both human and monster kind -- that is, until you hear someone laugh in a mocking manner, the words that follow making you freeze on the spot.

 

“Never thought a guy like you’d be hanging out with someone like that.”

 

Tense, you almost crack your neck trying to get a view of who’s talking to who. Your eyes come across a drunken bunny monster with an arm hung over Sans’s shoulders. They seem too close for comfort by the way Sans leans back, though they don’t seem to pick up the signs. Rather, they press themselves even closer to the skeleton’s side, removing their hand away from his shoulders to stand in front of him and jab a finger at his chest.

 

“You know what people like them do to us,” the monster scolds, ears flopped as they send a disapproving look his way. “Frisk might be nice and all. . . But all the other humans just take advantage of us and spit on our faces whenever they don’t like something about us. A fun guy like you shouldn’t be taking this chore -- leave it to the monsters actually patient enough to deal with humans like (Y/N).”

 

You gulp down the saliva stuck on your throat, the thick substance almost burning you when it goes down. You’re about to speak when Sans beats you to it.

 

“Nobody’s free from judgment or consequences,” he intervenes, leaning back until he reaches your seat, his escape from their constant proximity cornering him between you and the bunny monster. “So far, I have no reason not to trust (Y/N), so I’m gonna keep hanging out with them -- whether you like it or not. You’re not my brother or anythin’ like that to be sharing your two cents like this.”

 

Without any argument to retaliate, the bunny monster scoffs and balls their hands tight. They spare a glare your way and push themselves between you and Sans, jabbing a finger at your chest the same way they had done with him.

 

“You better watch what you’re doing, (Y/N),” they hiss, words heavy with venom and rencor. “This may be a friendly place, but that doesn’t mean I like the game you’re playing with us here -- You can’t just jump in on this city all of a sudden and act like you’re not one of those people who want nothing to do with us in the first place.”

 

“I think you could use a moment to cool down,” you reason, trying to ease them down. The thick, orange hairs on their arms are all ruffled and their ears are perked up, signaling they were on edge and ready to keep going with their argument. Instead of following along, you push their finger away from your chest and look at them in the eyes. The smell of booze is strong and prominent in their breath, though -- from the looks of it -- it seems they’d already entered the premises drunker than the average person could probably tolerate. “Do you want some water or anything to wash down what you had?”

 

“I’m fine as is.” They end that sentence with a sharp finality behind their voice, glaring at you and Sans one final time before pulling away and stomping off to one of the empty tables around. Grillby only spares the two of you a look along the lines of if should he throw them out or not, but you shake your head gently and manage to regain some calm, assuring him it was fine as long as they didn’t turn to insults or threats again.



 


 



It’s one hour earlier from the time you expected to be back when you make it to the safety of your home. Sans is walking next to you, still choosing to stay by your side after the tense incident at the bar. He looked to be onset on keeping you company until the very end as a way to make up for that confrontation.

 

You reach your front door without so much as a word exchanged between you, the tentative subject you had between you refusing to be addressed. The door opens with a click after you insert the key and turn it around.

 

“Do you want to come in? There’s no one here -- Faust’s still with his other parent, so he won’t be back until two more hours.” A faint heat rises your cheeks when remembering the night you first shared with your ex. You’d done something like this -- the cliche of saying your family wasn’t home, with the addition that your bed had room for two.

 

“Sure,” he replies, a chuckle finally breaking the dubiousness he seemed to have on his face since leaving Grillby’s diner-slash-bar. “I don’t really feel like being alone to think right now.”

 

The two of you enter your home and settle on the living room. You quickly resort to bringing up the only other subject you could think about out of the few you had to choose: how work was going for him, and how it was on your side. The elephant in the room shrinks in size the more you exchange words with him, growing more at comfort the more minutes go by.

 

“So how’s it going for you?” the skeleton asks, deciding to change the topic of his job and the new things that came to him each day at work. Now, the attention was concentrated on you as he waited for your response. “That flour in your hair from a few weeks ago has to mean something. Do you always bake stuff for the shop, or do you only work behind the counter?”

 

“I’ve been in charge of breadmaking recently,” you reply, placing your hands on your lap. “But that’s really all I can bake properly -- I’ve been meaning to take a course on baking, but I can’t really do that right now with our budget, schedule, and all that.”

 

He arches an eye socket, staring at you, a puzzled look showing on the white light of his irises. “Do you always have Faust with you still? I figured his other parent would wanna split the time now that they’re back.”

 

“Oh no,” you correct, shaking your head with a strained smile. “They’re not back permanently -- they usually come over to visit on holidays or summer, but they’ve been visiting more often lately to see how Faust’s doing at school. I still have him with me seven days a week.”

 

The more you talk about that subject, the more you begin to think you were being taken as a fool by your ex, but you weren’t exactly ready to come to that conclusion just yet. You still understood they had to help out their family to adjust in life overseas, and that they would come back as soon as that was settled with. You were told to wait -- a wait that seemed to be stretching out more and more each day.

 

“You doing okay there, pal?”

You’re shaken out of your spiral at the sound of Sans speaking up again. You look at him again to see a touch of concern marked on the white of his irises -- as if fearing he’d taken up a touchy subject.

 

“Yeah. . .” The word that leaves your mouth doesn’t quite match what you choose to do next. Slowly, you shuffle closer to his side and hesitate when it’s time to follow with the next step. You wanted nothing more than to ask if he'd like to go for a walk with you until you cleared your head, yet the drunken bunny’s words kept you from doing that. “I just. . . have a lot on my mind right now.”

Chapter Text

The next day, you’re still thinking about what happened at Grillby’s. You reflect on the tension that put in your relationship with Sans and pretty much every other monster you came across with, adding to those thoughts the long time you had been waiting for your ex to be back permanently -- to split the time you each spent looking after Faust. Today, according to your calendar, marked a year and a half since your divorce, and a year since they went away and left you with Faust seven days a week. Reflecting on any of these three subjects was becoming a burden to you. All you wanted at this moment was some peace of mind to continue preparing the dough for the bread.

 

“We need two more pounds at the register, (Y/N)!” your boss exclaims from the front desk, the sound of people chatting making it hard for you to hear her clearly. “And a separate one for another customer!”

 

You sweep off three long loaves of bread from the stock -- one wrapped individually -- and rush out of the kitchen. There’s a lengthy line behind her register, and you can see a few people growing impatient with the wait by the way they tap their foot or cross their arms. You hand her the three pounds of bread and ask if she needs anything else.

 

“A dozen glazed doughnuts and the ice cream cake I put in the freezer,” she instructs, taking the bread from your hands. “The client requests ‘Happy Birthday’ written in purple icing.”

 

“You got it, boss,” you reply, nodding as you turn to leave back to the kitchen. It was still hard for you to process how different this job was from the one as an officer keeping watch on the streets.

 

The familiar scent of bread and pastries wafts through the air as you rush back in, keeping your boss’s orders listed on your mind. You choose to ice the cake first and place it in a small, white box after finishing with the second ‘y’ on ‘Happy’ Birthday’. You take that box along with the dozen of doughnuts back to the front counter, carefully holding onto both items with both your hands while you use your hip to push the door open.

 

“Thanks, honey.” Your boss takes the two boxes away from your hands and places them on the counter. Then, she excuses herself from the customer in front of her and turns to you, wiping her hands on the white towel hanging on her pocket before continuing. “Take twenty -- the shopkeeper bunny I told you about will take care of the back for the next few hours, so we’ll be covered while you’re gone.”

 

You nod and set yourself on going to the employee’s lounge. There, you untie and take off your flour-stained apron and the hair net wrapped around your scalp. Once that’s out of the way, the items are set aside on the small couch set on a corner of the room, and you make sure to look at yourself in the mirror hanging above the furniture before doing anything else. The memory of the flour in your hair makes you check twice around.

 

“Hey. . .”

 

That single word is whispered behind you. The ghostly sound almost makes you retaliate towards the direction of that voice, but you hold yourself back when coming across a winged monster half your size. Her face is contorted into one of fear and her small body shakes, most likely ready to endure whatever form of attack you were going to direct right at her face. Embarrassed, you cough and adjust yourself before apologizing.

 

“Sorry about that,” you speak up, words coming out muttered and about as quiet as the eerie whisper most likely meant to be an inoffensive greeting on the Whimsun's part. “You scared me -- I didn’t think another employee would be showing up besides the bunny woman.”

 

“I get that a lot,” the Whimsun replies, giggling. “I’m not very good at speaking too loud. . . so people always say I’m more like a ghost than an actual Whimsun.”

 

“Still, I'm sorry -- I could've hurt you.” you insist, now looking to introduce yourself to make up scare she'd give you, and vice versa. “It’s nice to meet you miss. . .” You squint to see the name tag on her pink apron. “Sunny?”

 

“Yup!” she replies, her frail expression changing into a bright and happier one. “I was nicknamed that by my friends when we saw the Sun for the first time here.”

 

“Oh. . .” You feel your body freeze at her comment, the way she says it almost making it hard for you to believe monsters like her were still experiencing things for the first time here at the Surface. “What about the stars? It’s pretty hard to see them here in the city, but the towns across have lots of them.”

 

“I’ve seen them, too!” she chirps. “The sparkling rocks at Waterfall were nice. . . but the stars here are something else!”

 

You smile at her excitement and walk with her to the small couch. Rather than going out to take in the air outside the bakery, the two of you chat about the differences between Waterfall and the Surface until your twenty minutes run out. She even exchanges phone numbers with you before you leave to wash up and head back to work.

 

It amazed you when you thought of how different her perspective seemed to be -- You’d heard of Waterfall before, and the pictures you saw showed beautiful flowers similar to those Sans had shown you at Toriel’s garden. It was a place widely known around the Surface for its glistening puddles and a large waterfall brimming with clear water.

 

While you found more beauty in Waterfall, the tiny Whimsun saw more beauty in the stars and the Sun.

 

 

 


 

 

 

You arrive home to a quiet and empty house. The hectic day at the bakery had led you to leave work at four instead of two, and you had to call Faust’s principal -- Toriel -- to notify the child of it. You instructed him to take the bus back home, thankful you’d given him a copy of your keys since moving to this city. Even with that reassurance, however, you still found it difficult to breathe at the sight of an empty living room and kitchen -- Faust was nowhere to be seen downstairs.

 

“Faust?” you call out, receiving no response.

 

Breathing becomes even more difficult for you as you go up the stairs, ready to check both the two bedrooms and the bathroom.

 

“Faust!”

 

The rest of the search is completed in a haste, with you running to and back the rooms, checking to see if he was playing some sort of heavy prank on you. What makes you stop on your frantic search is a note resting under the lamp of your bedroom’s dressing room. You take it out carefully and unfold the paper, the words you read causing the world around you to spin.

 

“I’m taking Faust with me. He’s better with me than with someone who gets into fights with randos at a human-monster bar.”

 

There’s something else written on the back of the note. You turn to read it almost instantly, the words adding fuel to your fire. Your fury makes your hands tremble and for your surroundings to blur into incomprehensible shapes and colours.

 

“Have fun with that ‘Sam’ guy. Tell him thanks for tutoring Faust, something you could’ve done on your own.”

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans's Perspective

 

“So when was the last time you saw them?” Undyne asks, directing her words at the skeleton, who was too caught up in his conversation with her to pay attention to anything else.

 

“A week ago,” he replies, a breathy chuckle leaving his teeth. “But if I'm gonna be honest, I don’t even know why I’m worryin’ about all this. It ain’t the first time a kid’s been absent for more than three days.”

 

“That’s what happens when those people are your friends ,” the fish lady sneers, grin bright and wide as she snickers at the skeleton’s words. “Of course it’s normal for you to worry about ‘em. Don’t you feel the same about Grillby and all your friends at the bar?”

 

Sans sighs as he leans his head back on the dining chair, the scent of pasta boiling reaching his nasal cavity. “Yeah, I guess,” he comments, shrugging his shoulders bones and making eye contact with Undyne. “It kinda just feels weird -- making new friends, I mean. It’s like I’m living things all over again, gettin’ to feel and see all new kinds of stuff.”

 

“Like that time you invited them over to see Toriel’s garden?”

 

“That was Frisk's idea,” he objects, a laugh leaving his teeth. “But yeah, it was pretty nice -- I wouldn’t mind gettin’ to do something like that again.”

 

His conversation with Undyne is interrupted by Papyrus placing a steaming hot plate of pasta between him and the fish lady. He greets the two with a cheerful smile, the look on his skull making it clear he waited for them to give the new recipe a try.

 

“Thanks, Paps,” Sans speaks up, directing a freer smile towards his brother.

 

“Who gave you the recipe anyway?” Undyne asks, looking down at the plate to see colourful, ribbon-shaped pasta with garlicked broccoli on the side.

 

“It was (Y/N)!” Papyrus exclaims, excitement in his voice. “We have kept in touch ever since we went to visit them when they were sick!”

 

The elder skeleton stifles a laugh at his younger brother’s comment, finding it amusing how eager he was when it came to making friends who could cook. “I didn’t know you were pals. Are you guys friends on Overnet?”

 

“Why, yes,” the taller skeleton replies, nodding firmly. “I saw you were friends with them there, hence why I figured I could do that myself. I was surprised to hear they work at a bakery rather than a restaurant!”

 

“Wasn’t (Y/N) an officer before that, too?” Undyne chimes in, interest in her voice.

 

Both heads turn to look at Sans, the two aware he was the most acquainted with the human to know more about the topic. Papyrus seems to be the least informed of the pair, though he waits with the same amount of eagerness as the woman next to him. Sans’s smile widens at that sigh, though he tries to hide it by shifting on his seat and looking elsewhere.

 

“Yeah, but they quit after what happened at their town with the monsters that moved in there.”

 

“You mean that thing about keeping them in categories?”

 

Sans nods at Undyne’s question, tapping his fingers against the wooden surface of the table. Steam has stopped rising from the plate, though when he pricks the pasta with the fork and moves some aside, a little puff of heat rises from it.

 

“The new lay off got to them first, but it was still for the same reasons,” he explains, pinching a small portion of pasta through the throngs of the fork. “The department over there didn’t want officers who thought monsters should be treated the same as humans.”

 

Sans brings the food to his teeth, using his malleable cheekbones to chew on the food. He remembers the day (Y/N) invited him out for cold sandwiches and a cup of coffee. The human had been enjoying their food too much to notice how his cheekbones could move in order to let him chew, but he was certain they would react just like the time they had accidentally popped his hand from its socket. It was similar to how people looked at him strangely for the fact that he had irises instead of hollow eye sockets, with the exception that there were people like (Y/N) who wanted to understand those differences, rather than avoiding them.

 

“You spaced out,” Undyne comments, her cheeky tone of voice making him more alert of his surroundings. “Thinking about (Y/N) again now? I don’t blame you for it, though -- It has been a week since you last saw them.”

 

“What’re playin’ at Undyne?”

 

Undyne shrugs, leaning her back against the seat. The dining chair creaks as she props the seat on two legs and holds it back with the wall behind her. Confidence emanates from her body as a smile spreads on her face.

 

“I’m just saying,” she dismisses, pose unwavering. “I think it’s pretty cool you’re thinking more about stuff like this now.”

 

“Whaddya mean by--“

 

“I agree,” Papyrus interrupts, booming with joy. “You are worrying more about those two humans with each passing day! It is nice to see you happy with this choice, brother.”

 

“Thanks, Paps,” Sans relents, letting out a mix between an exhale and a laugh. “I, uh, appreciate your support.”

 

“That is my duty as family. I do not wish to see you down, nor against meeting new people. Our lives at the Surface are just beginning -- for all thousands of us. We should all be deserving of fulfilling something from this milestone.”

 

The conversation simmers down as Sans continues to eat from his portion of the meal. Undyne begins as well, already halfway done when she compliments Papyrus for his recipe. He says his own words of praise, the new dish he had gotten to taste along with the improvement in Papyrus’s cooking skills being enough of a reason for him to finish until the last bite. The peppery seasoning brings bursts of flavour and the mild taste of the pasta contrasts with the broccoli dipped in garlic broth.

 

He glances a look at his phone after eating, spotting three new unread messages from Toriel. It’s as if instant regret falls upon him the precise moment he skims through them.

 

Greetings, Sans! I hope you are well. 3:-)

 

This is to inform you that Faust’s mathematics lessons have been cancelled as of today. He has been officially marked as a departing student, as he will be studying abroad for the rest of the semester.

 

P.S. If you are in disposal, would you be so kind as to give (miss/mister) (Y/N) a call? I have not been able to contact them ever since the weekend ended. Please do update me on this matter as soon as you are able to.

 

Sans stares at the messages and reads them over again, disbelief being the primary emotion to stick out from all the questions he had. He locks the phone, sets it down, and thinks on how to respond, finding himself hesitant to delve further into his thoughts.

Chapter Text

Your eyelids weigh down on your sight as the sound of your fingers hitting the keyboard lull you into a dulled, drowsy trance. You can feel your breathing slow as tiredness continues to rise and take over your body. It takes some willpower and a quick gulp of water from the bottle you placed nearby to wake up. Followed by that is the sound of a new notification on your phone, two more of the same sound making it known it was a string of the same notification. You stop on your research to check what it is and come across three messages from Sans on Overnet.

 

hey.

can we meet up somewhere?

i need to talk to you about somethin’.

 

You feel reluctant to respond, a wave of guilt washing over you. A full week had gone by since the day Faust was taken away by Jessie overseas. The pair were currently living in the house Jessie shared with their new lover, and your son was already midway into the process of enrolling into a new school. You responded to Toriel’s calls only twice, the second time you used to finally tell her Faust wouldn’t be attending her school any longer.

 

Sure.

I’m at the East Librarby right now.

Think you can make it there, or should we go somewhere else?

 

there’s fine.

i’ll be there in a few.

 

The conversation ends with those last two messages from his part. You eye yourself through the poor reflection of your computer screen to make sure you looked presentable enough to meet up with him. Then, you fix your clothes by taking off the baggy jacket you’d worn on the way here.

 

You hadn’t really bothered trying to fix yourself up too much for the library, given it was only a few blocks away from your home, and that you only chose to make a trip here in order to work on the case involving Faust and Jessie. The only effort you placed on your appearance before leaving the comfort of your home was by fixing your hair, washing your face, and throwing on a jacket over your worn work clothes. You wouldn’t’ve even bothered taking a detour back home after leaving work, if it weren’t for the fact that you had to take your laptop and documents with you to go anywhere with your research.

 

You set your computer on sleep mode and allow yourself a minute of calm. The silence of the library is enhanced by the hushed murmurs of people around you along with the soft sound of raindrops hitting the roof and windows of the building.

 

 


 

 

“How long have you been here?” Sans asks, it being his first concern after seeing you wave at him from across the table you were sitting at. “You look like you haven’t seen a bed in years.”

 

You can’t help the smile that follows with you hearing him speak. His teasing was something you undoubtedly missed since the last time you saw him. You offer the monster a seat next to you and grin, checking the time on the wall clock nearby before answering him.

 

“A couple of hours.”

 

“I’m guessin’ the hours from your shift weren’t enough work?”

 

“I just can’t sleep well at night until I know Faust will be back. I. . . Even if I can’t have him here with me, I want to know I’ll be able to see him.”

 

“So you haven’t filed a case against Jessie yet?” he asks, furrowing his eye sockets as he leans forward on his chair.

 

“No,” you reply, shaking your head. You grasp onto the back of your scalp as you look down at your lap, shoulders shaking abruptly with a deep, heavy sigh. “I don’t want to do that yet — I want to try and fix this first without having to bring in lawyers and all that stuff.”

 

“That’s dangerous.”

 

“I— I know, but. . .” You can’t bring yourself to finish your statement, gulping down saliva to prevent your voice from breaking. Your eyes begin to burn as you refuse to blink away the tears building up the further you discuss this subject with him, wanting your eyes to stop watering. “What if I lose the case? The law’s the law, and I won’t be able to fight against it if my ex decides to bring this case to a court that doesn’t allow. . . this.”

 

You take his hand, making a point by showing the sharp differences of your (s/t) skin against the yellowish, white hue of his bones. His hand is cold, much like some of the reptile and amphibian-like monsters you interacted with at work or when picking up Faust from school. The sudden, risky action on your part is only acknowledged when you level your gaze with his.

 

“I can’t let that happen,” you add, letting go of his hand and making a mental note to apologize later for the suddenness of your actions. “I can’t lose him — He’s the only good thing that stayed after our divorce. He’s. . . He’s my son.”

 

“You can make it work,” he states, keeping eye contact with you. “Hell, we can make this work — together. We can hang out like this whenever you need a breather. You don't have to worry all by yourself.”

 

“Thank you, but I. . . I need to try talking with Jessie first.”

 

“And if they don’t wanna work things out?”

 

“Then I’ll try to do that. But right now, I. . . I—“

 

You stop rambling to take in a shaky breath, a single tear trailing down your cheek. In a haste at trying to cover up, you wipe it off and blink a few times to ease the burning sensation and see past your clouded vision, hoping in vain he hadn’t seen you when looking back to him.

 

“I think you need a break right now.”

 

The sound of a chair being pulled back snaps you from your panic. You look back to Sans's side to see him back on his feet, a hand in wait for yours. You manage a smile and decide it’s time to stand up from your own seat, taking his hand only when you’re certain he doesn’t have any sort of prank or trick hidden underneath the work gloves he usually wore.

 

“I’m surprised you didn’t have anything hidden this time around,” you mention, standing up from your chair.

 

“I have other ways,” he remarks, directing a wink at you afterwards.

 

You become alert at the wit and vagueness of his warning. Reflexively, you let go of his hand once you’re standing on firm feet and take a few steps back in precaution, losing track of him the second your eyes avert elsewhere. A soft, quick press on the center of your back makes you jolt, and you reach out behind for whatever’s deemed responsible for that feeling.

 

Paper crumples and crunches under your touch as you retrieve a sticky note from your back. You unfurl it to see a few words scribbled on it.

 

“‘Wanna go to the park?’” you read out loud in a tone leveled enough not to disturb the people around you, raising an eyebrow as confusion settles on your thoughts. You look up from the sticky note to see him standing in front of you again, a cheeky look showing on his skull. 

 

“Thought you’d never ask.”

 

A warmer smile stretches across your lips when taking in the joke the skeleton had made. You fold the note and hide it away in the back pocket of your jeans, smile widening into an earnest, freer grin.

 

“You’re such a dork,” you comment, a laugh interrupting your words.

Chapter Text

The sun is already gone by the time you reach the park. For most of the ride, you drive with the skeleton sitting quietly by the front passenger seat, occasionally initiating conversation with him whenever a topic came to mind. The stress of solving the issue with your son was without a doubt still there, though you reprimanded yourself for that when driving past a yellow light, something you had ticketed various people for -- countless, if you included red lights -- during your short time as a cop. No matter how much worry you were submitted to, you didn’t want to gloss over that negligence, and even less knowing it could lead to accidents.

 

You don’t notice how much pressure you’re putting into gripping the steering wheel until you settle at the nearest, empty lot available at the park’s premises. A dull, tingling pain emerges the second you let go, a reddish tint showing on your palms.

 

“It’s a miracle you didn’t tear off the wheel,” Sans comments, chuckling as he steps out of the vehicle alongside you. “Want me to drive the way back?”

 

“It’s fine,” you reply, shrugging off his words with a small, discreet smile. “I’m. . . not as stressed as when we were at the library.”

 

You breathe in as if to compose yourself, though the method is cut short when you hear your phone ring once and then vibrate, signaling a message rather than a call. Reflexively, you take the device out of your jeans’ back pocket and unlock it, disappointment making your shoulders droop when checking what it is. The notification shows a subscription e-mail rather than the text you were waiting to receive from one of your friends well-informed with lawyers. You set the phone on silent and follow Sans to the park, taking in the subtle taste of fresh air around you, a luxury given by having this place a bit farther away from the city.

 

A blue rabbit monster waves at the two of you as you begin to walk past various benches and tiny, artisanal shops just opening for the night. There’s a shorter, maroon cat standing close by as well, though he’s too busy taking a smoke and just as indulged looking at the darkening sky to notice any changes whatsoever. You wave back at the rabbit and smile, stepping aside when hearing rushed, tip-tapping steps getting closer and closer to the direction you were heading to. A gust of wind follows quickly, barely allowing you enough time to process what was happening.

 

Barking and low, husky laughter makes you look down to see a white dog standing on top of Sans, his continuous licks at the skeleton’s face being the product of that laughter. You bite back a smile as you watch the two, the dog determined to keep him down while the skeleton struggles to stand up. You lend a hand by crouching to pick up the dog, his thick coat of fur tickling your face when taking him in your hold.

 

“Is he yours?” you ask, the smile you were keeping hidden finally showing on your face.

 

“Kind of,” Sans replies, propping himself up with his arms to sit on the ground and look up at you. “Paps finds him at our kitchen every once in a while, but the lil’ guy never really stays in one place for more than two seconds.”

 

“Must be a handful then, huh?” You grin at that observation and place the dog back down on the ground, only letting go when you’re certain he won’t jump at the skeleton again. “Do you have a bowl, food, and all that stuff for when he’s back?”

 

“I’d be lyin’ if I said I don't go to PetSmart every now and then for the guy.”

 

Your expression brightens more at that image, and you take the opportunity to deepen your conversation with him. “What about Papyrus? I take it he’s angry whenever the dog messes with the kitchen?”

 

“Oh, definitely,” he remarks, a laugh making his smile tug slightly at the sides. “But he’s the first one who brings up a bowl of food whenever Toby’s back.”

 

You help Sans up with one hand and pick up the dog with both once you’re done. Then, you follow him to one of the benches, sitting just a few feet away from the ice cream cart the blue bunny owned. The dog settles on your lap whereas Sans sits next to you, the proximity not as awkward as when you were first getting to know him.

 

“That’s a cute name,” you comment, smiling. You take Toby in your hands and hold him up in the air. “It suits you, doesn’t it?”

 

The dog responds with an animated ‘woof’ and sticks his tongue out, ready to lick at your face, though you bring him back down before he has the chance to. He circles around your lap two times before finding a comfortable spot, resting his face against your arm by using it as a pillow of sorts. Not long after, he closes his eyes and drifts off to sleep, the energy and spontaneity of the moment slowly dissipating back into calm.

 

Sonder settles in when you cast your eyes forward, observing how couples, families, and people gathered around the park, some stopping to buy food from the shops while others went straight away to having fun. You look next to you to see Sans staring down at the dog, though he quickly looks up when feeling your gaze on him.

 

Without a word, he scoots a little closer to your side and maintains eye contact with you, white irises reflecting your face on them. He shuffles on his seat and coughs, breaking the silence that formed since Toby fell asleep.

 

“You want somethin’ from one of the shops?” he asks. “My treat.”

 

You nod and form a smile. “That’d be nice.”

 

Slowly, you take the dog in your hands again and cradle him between your neck and shoulder, careful not to wake him up with your movement. The crowd has grown noticeably in size by how much you have to step aside to give passerby space to walk past you, the act leading you to walk side-by-side with Sans and the dog still in hold. A jogger stops close by and spares an odd look your way, though he shrugs before taking a sip from his water bottle and sprinting off again from the scene.

 

It’s subtle looks like those that remind you of what got you into this mess in the first place. Hadn’t you chosen to go against the new laws set up at your hometown, and moved to a city allowing both human and monster kind to work together, you wouldn’t’ve ended up having to go through what you hoped was the temporary loss of your son.

 

What stops you from thinking negatively about that matter is the dog that presses himself closer to you when shifting in his sleep and the presence of Sans handing you a popsicle with the name ‘Nice Cream’ labeled on the wrapper.

 

He helps you with taking off the wrapper -- given you were occupied holding Toby -- and you reach out for it with your free hand. You cast a subtle, curious look his way when he hides the wrapper away from your sight, managing to see some letters on the wrapper, but not being able to read them.

Chapter Text

You thank your neighbour for the coffee and turn your back on her when you reach the sink. The scent of dish soap overpowers the lingering smell of the caffeinated drink when you pick up the wash cloth and begin wiping the cup clean. It’s evident you’re trying to avoid a specific topic of conversation with her by how long it takes you to clean up.

 

“Are you sure about this?” Solana asks, still unconvinced with the options you were taking into consideration. “I mean, if you tried to work it out before, but even then they still didn’t cooperate. . . I think it’s a bit risky.”

 

The taste of iron makes you stop chewing on the inside of your lip. You hold onto the coffee mug tighter than before, hands losing their coordination with the longer it takes you to be honest with your neighbour. You didn’t want to tell her you had already sent a message to Jessie saying you wanted to talk things out with them. A part of you demands honesty, while the other fears how she would react if she knew you were trying to get in contact with Jessie for the past two weeks, in spite of receiving no response on their end.

 

You turn to face her and lean back on the kitchen counter. “But what’ll happen if they take the case to my town or somewhere similar?” you ask, a frown on your face. “You know those places still have their laws against monsters.”

 

“That’s still not an excuse. They shouldn’t shut down your case just because you’ve made friends with a few monsters. Hell, Faust studied in a place full of ‘em! Jessie should’ve had a word against it since the beginning, not just now — all out of the blue.”

 

You let out a breath and rub the back of your neck, facing down slightly to avoid her sharp stare. Your mind is conflicted as to what you should do, and it doesn’t help that you can’t stop thinking about the actions you’ve taken up until now.

 

“Think about it,” she advises, stern voice contrasting with the gentle expression on her face. “You have a lawyer, evidence, and even a few witnesses if you ask them beforehand. If Jessie wanted to fix things, they wouldn’t have taken Faust away like that.”

 

“Thank you, Sol,” you mutter, voice groggy with confliction and a general lack of proper sleep. “I. . . I’ll give it another day to think about it.”

 

“I’ll take your word for it.”

 

Ready to say your goodbyes before you can get any further with that topic, you stop leaning against the counter and walk to her side. You kiss her on the cheek and receive one back before taking your leave, a farewell customary of her country. Tiredness reaches your muscles when you walk out of the house, the feeling reminding your weary self of just how many nights of sleep you’d lost since Faust was taken away from you.

 

A cold, light breeze blows by when you step outside, said action retrieving an involuntary shudder from your body. You shove your hands in the pockets of your (jeans/skirt) and keep walking, wanting nothing more than to reach the warmth of your home and think over what you were to do next. The shiny, wet asphalt is slippery under the soles of your shoes, forcing you to walk with caution.

 

A buzz from your phone makes you stop barely feet away from the entrance of your home. You reach out for it to see a reply to one of the strings of messages sent to your ex.

 

How is he?

I haven’t seen him in a week.

— Sent a week ago.



It’s been two weeks and I haven’t received a response from you.

— Sent two days ago.



I want to talk things out with you.

— Sent five hours ago.

 

Like hell I will.

You think I don’t know what you’re doing over there? >> Attachment: 1 image <<



You click on the attachment and wait for it to load. The image shows you holding onto the white Pomeranian from the park with one hand, and walking side-by-side with Sans. What makes the picture stand out is how close you’re walking beside him and the smile that shows on your face.



You were with that Sam guy again, real close to be just a goddamned tutor.

How long did it take for him to end up stuck with you?

 

What the hell.

How did you even take that picture?

Aren’t you supposed to be overseas?

 

I am.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not watching how you dig yourself deeper into a hole.

 

More than angry, you turn off your phone, look back one final time at your neighbour’s door, and rush off back home. Anger and adrenaline fuel your flame in an instant while your hand continues to squeeze the phone in your hold.

 

As soon as you reach the privacy of your home, you sit down on the smallest couch and cover your face with your hands, letting out air through your nose. A shaky nose flare makes it clear you’re not ready to be facing all this yet.

 

It was becoming harder for you to keep your patience now that you’d gone two weeks without hearing anything from Faust. Jessie was persistent when it came to doing things their way, and you were losing hope of taking a less strict approach to solve the problem. With each ignored phone call and text message came a frustration you couldn’t seem to shake off during your sleep, and the lack of it only worsened your situation.

 

You decide to stand up after a few minutes pass, not wanting to wallow in your doubts and errors despite how much your body pled for you to stay and rest a bit longer. You head to the kitchen and stand in front of the refrigerator. There, you retrieve a water bottle and lean back on the counter after closing the door. The only thing you manage to do is to open up the bottle and drink half of it, right before another noise and vibration from your phone interrupt you from your attempt at distracting yourself from the problem in hand.

 

A scowl shapes your mouth when you pull the phone out of your (jeans’/skirt’s) back pocket, mind already speculating around what other accusations Jessie would come up with. It’s a pleasant surprise when you see a different name marked on the caller ID. Relief makes you smile as you take the call and press the phone against your ear.

 

“Hello?” you answer.

 

“Hey,” Sans replies, his background quiet while yours carried the sound of the refrigerator running. “I have Faust's credit transcript printed out. Tori gave 'em to me yesterday, but since you're still trying to figure things out, I was wonderin’ if you wanted to hold it back for now.”

 

“Yeah,” you reply, voice shaking with fury despite your better judgement. One thing you didn't like about having specialized in criminal justice, only to quit your job barely a year into was just how downgraded and ashamed you felt when being put against something like this. “I'm gonna file a case against them, so please don't send it out yet.”

 

A reflective hum comes out as a low, soft breath from the other line when you say those words. Anxiously, you swish and swirl the contents of your water bottle as you wait for a response.

 

“Alright,” he speaks, the once silent background broken by the sound of papers shuffling and a drawer being shut closed. “I won't do that yet, but you'll have to keep Tori updated about it.”

 

You open your mouth to speak up, though Sans beats you to it.

 

“But you doing okay over there, (Y/N)? You don’t sound too happy.”

 

Choice #2:

 

What will you do next?

 

a.) Tell him it’s nothing.

b.) Tell him the partial truth.

c.)  Ask how he’s doing instead.

d.) Come up with a white lie.

Chapter Text

Choice A

 

You tell him it’s nothing.

 

“I’m just tired,” you add after that, strengthening your resolve by not letting the truth of the situation slip from your tongue.

 

Sans sounds reluctant and generally unconvinced by your response, though he doesn’t push further from that. You ask how’s work going for him to make up for it, yet the conversation falls short the second he gives you an answer. The last thing you say before hanging up is a quick goodbye, not knowing what other topic of conversation you could bring up that wouldn’t involve anything personal.

 

It’s at that moment that you realize that -- if it weren’t for Faust -- you would have never met with Sans in the first place. Almost all of the time you had spent with the monster was when Faust was around. Now that he wasn’t, it was harder for you to keep what you had with the tutor of your son.

 

You finish the remaining half of the water and toss the empty bottle in the recycling bin. Then, you lean on the counter again and huff. The time you had to spare now that you didn’t have the responsibility of looking after Faust makes you wish you could find something else that could distract your mind.

 

A scoff in annoyance leaves your mouth the moment your phone rings once with a new notification. You look at it to see the one thing you were expecting: another text from your ex.

 

Remember to bring me Faust’s grades and transcript as soon as they’re out.

 

 


 

 

Choice B

 

You tell him the partial truth.

 

He stays silent all the way until your last word, and only speaks up when you’re done.

 

“So you’re gonna bring this to court, then?”

 

“Yeah,” you reply, chewing on the inside of your lip, a custom that had grown on you ever since Faust went missing around the house. “I’ll use the messages, the missed calls, the note, and a witness as evidence. Sunny, my co-worker, she. . . She accompanied me on the way back from work. I had to work overtime that day, so she saw when I entered the house and came back out to her with the note in hand. I. . . I just hope it’s enough.”

 

“If it ain’t, something’s wrong with the judge,” Sans comments, chuckling. “You look like you’re covered on that part, but you don’t sound too good right now. If you’re gonna go up there to the judge, you gotta be sure about it.”

 

“I’m worried I’ll lose Faust,” you add, voice trembling at that sole sentence, the mere thought of not getting to see him again making your knees quake just as much as your words. “I don’t want to think what would happen if I lost the case.”

 

“You’ve said than ten times already, (Y/N).” Sans laughs again, though it isn’t mocking. If anything, he sounds genuine from the other line. “I get that you’re worried about him -- Hell, Papyrus’s is all I got, so I get that feeling whenever he comes home late, or whenever there’s an accident close to where he works. I know you don’t wanna lose him, but you gotta stay calm first. It won’t help you if you can’t think clearly.”

 

Breathing in and then out, you feel weight fall from your shoulders as you conclude your conversation with him. It’s already been an hour by the time you’re finished talking.

 

“Thank you -- I really can’t stress this enough,” you speak up, ready to say your goodbyes. “It was. . . It really helped having you listen." You pause, mind feeling lighter since picking up the call. "Talk to you later? I know you must be busy.”

 

“Sure -- Sounds good,” Sans replies. “Talk to you later, (Y/N). I miss having you and Faust around the school -- It’s a real change without you two.”

 

The call ends with that last sentence, one you weren't able to reciprocate fast enough before he got to hang up. Happy all the same, you look down at the call history with a smile. Then, you lock the phone and set it back down on the kitchen counter, only to have it ring again -- with the exception it was a text rather than a call.

 

Remember to bring me Faust’s grades and transcript as soon as they’re out.

 

It’s a message from Jessie. What helps you not want to scowl or frown at that name is the talk you had with Sans.

 

 


 

 

Choice C

 

You ask how he’s doing instead.

 

“I appreciate the sentiment and all, but I don’t think it’s me you should be worryin’ about right now,” he replies, his tone firm yet teasing all the same. “Did somethin’ happen with Faust? I figured somethin’ bad came up now that you’re asking for that credit transcript.”

 

“It’s Jessie,” you explain, sighing as you pinch the bridge of your nose with your fingers, and use your other hand to keep the phone pressed to your ear. “They want it asap, but I’ve. . . I’ve had a change of heart. I don’t want to negotiate with them anymore.”

 

It’s quiet on the other line for a few seconds, until you hear him speak again. “I’m guessin' they ticked you off for the last time? It doesn’t sound like you’re doing this for no reason.”

 

“Well, actually. . .” You trail off on your words, wording out your thoughts and doubts before getting to say them out loud. “I’m going to bring this to court very soon.”

 

A smile forms on your face as you’re finally able to be honest with yourself. You tell him all about the evidence, the witness, and the note you had found in your room. Once you’re through with that, you can feel your thoughts weighing less on you, and you finally ask how things are going on his side.

 

“I’m doing good,” he replies, a snicker being heard from the other line. “Better now that I know you’re gonna try and bring the kid back home. It’s a big difference without him and you around.”

 

The call ends shortly after that, and you’re left once more to the silence of your home, with the exclusion of the notification sound that makes your phone vibrate in your hold.

 

Remember to bring me Faust’s grades and transcript as soon as they’re out.

 

 


  

 

Choice D

 

You come up with a white lie.

 

He doesn’t believe you for one second.

 

“Is that really the best you can come up with?” Sans teases. You can picture the bashful look on his skull in spite of not being able to see him. “I’m surprised you’re such a bad liar, (Y/N) -- white lie through a telephone, where I can’t even see your face and all.”

 

“Stop laughing!” you exclaim, furrowing your gaze at nobody in particular besides the refrigerator next to you. “I was trying to be serious -- Not all of it’s a lie, y’know?”

 

“That’s why I called it a white lie,” he defends, chuckling. “I figured you’d be better at this given what your specialization’s about.”

 

“My main job was to ticket people for passing red lights,” you joke, giving in to his teasing and following with it. “I’m basically that bunny from Zootopia on that scene with the parking meters and stuff.”

 

“I can picture that like daylight.” He stops with his mischief, his tone changing for a more serious one. “But really, (Y/N), what’s up? I doubt the sale you missed at the supermarket’s what’s making you sound so sad.”

 

“You underestimate my dedication for affordable prices.”

 

“Gonna get back at me for playin’ around with ya, huh?”

 

You both burst into laughter at that final comment of his. The conversation carries on after that, and you manage to avoid telling him what was really bothering you. You don’t feel too good about it when you hang up, though remembering the laughs you shared with him helps to some extent.

 

Letting out a small breath, you aim to place the phone down on the counter, but are stopped by the notification sound going off once. You pick it back up and scoff, the person you least wanted to think about showing on the screen.

 

Remember to bring me Faust’s grades and transcript as soon as they’re out.

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans’s Perspective

 

“So how’s yer (girlfriend/boyfriend) doing these days?” Gerson asks, setting down a small stack of papers on his desk before getting to look at Sans, who was busy helping him move twice the amount of luggage into the office.

 

Though the turtle monster had lived a long life and accomplished numerous things ever since he was young, some things were becoming harder to do with each passing year. Now, he needed help with simple tasks. Simply moving a stack of graded papers and diplomas back into his office was hard for him at his age. Sans had offered to help, given the school was clean and the students were all inside the classrooms, busy taking their two p.m. classes.

 

“My what?” the skeleton questions, arching an eye socket as mirth slips from his tone. “I’m not going out with anyone.”

 

“(Miss/Mister) (L/N),” he clarifies. “Haven’t heard from ‘em in a while. Didn’t ya always visit their house on Fridays, but then stopped aluva sudden?”

 

Sans places the papers down on the desk and wipes a few drops of sweat from his forehead, the hot day letting him know summer was just around the corner along with its companion: humidity. Not even the air conditioner seemed to be working with how high the temperature was.

 

He slides his hands inside his front pockets and turns to look at the elderly monster, aware he was in danger of being reeled into a long conversation about his relationship with (Y/N) -- a topic he’d been trying to avoid ever since the turtle found out he was printing the credit transcript for Faust.

 

“Yeah, but their kid switched schools, so I don’t get to do that anymore.”

 

Gerson hums at the former tutor’s quick response, a smile making his wrinkly expression soften and for his working eye to narrow with interest. Sans grows even more uncertain of what direction he’s about to be pulled into, fearing the conversation would only deepen further if he added too many details regarding that topic.

 

“And why’re ya acting all chummy with a human, anyway? Didn’t ya say you didn’t trust most of ‘em a while back?”

 

“I never said that,” Sans objects, sending a disapproving look his way. “I just don’t like how some of ‘em treat Frisk and every other person who’s in favour of Tori foundin’ this school.”

 

“Yer hung up about the past, ain’t ya? None of us were ready for what happened -- Not even Fluffybuns expected that much hostility from the Surface.”

 

“I ain’t thinking about the past. That’s just how things are.”

 

“Sans, my boy, I’ve lived long enough to know you're stuck right now. Heck, I’ve lived through plenty of those feelings myself! Sure, life ain’t always pretty or peachy -- most of the time it's not. But now that you've made friends with (Y/N), you should pay attention to how much distance you’ve kept and how much of it you've closed with them.”

 

“I’m doing that already,” Sans remarks, setting another stack of papers down with a dull thud. 

 

“I figured you’d say that!” Gerson comments, a cackle making his smile grow wider. “Why, it was yer brother who convinced ya to make friends with ‘em, wasn’t it? But even then -- Think about what I’ve said, Sans. I don’t wanna see ya lose that friendship with them now that their kid’s outta the picture. You’ve got no pretext to hang out with them now, but you can still keep in touch if you like (Y/N) enough.”


 



 

“Sans?”

 

(Y/N) calling out his name makes him stop and think about what he’s doing. He looks down to see his hand on their knee, the fabric of their work uniform being the only thing to keep distance between him and them. A little too quickly, he pulls back and scoots away, facing every other direction except their eyes. They don’t seem fazed through plain sight, though by further observation, he can see they're just as reluctant to face him directly.

 

Sans shakes his head and dismisses their worry with the wave of his hand, falling back into the swing of things with the sound of the city and people walking to and back the streets. (Y/N)’s work uniform and the yellow folder they’re holding onto makes him remember just what was he talking about before he drifted away from the conversation.

 

“Sorry about that,” he speaks up, coughing away the startle from being caught with his head in the clouds -- plus a hand on their knee. “I was talkin’ with a co-worker before this, and it just got me thinking.”

 

“About what?” they ask, a smile on their face.

 

He stops to think on whether he should truly say what’s on his mind or not. It’s hard for him to put it into words without making them think he didn’t enjoy their company. Though he had tried his best to follow Papyrus’s advice on how to maintain his friendship with the human, he wasn’t too sure about it now that Gerson had called him out on that. He was still getting used to the subject of making new friends, and it was harder to do now that he couldn’t seem to feel at ease when being too close to (Y/N).

 

After some thought, Sans settles on the former, realizing he kept silence for just a little too long. “About how I’ve been acting around you,” he replies, meeting with their curious stare. He stops to find further words to include in his explanation, already seeing confusion settle on their face. “I don’t know if I’ve been too distant or not, but I want you to know that, uh, you’ve been a pretty good friend, (Y/N). That phone call we had the other day. . . You can call me when you need someone to talk to -- You don’t need to keep everything all to yourself.”

 

He stops to look at (Y/N), their raised eyebrow and barely contained smile making it known he’d been rambling. They don’t say anything, however, and only wait for him to continue with his train of thought.

 

“So I guess what I want you to know’s that, aside from the former tutor of your son, I’m your friend -- And I’m sorry if it didn’t translate as that before.”

 

“What are you even saying, Sans?” (Y/N) asks, an honest, spirited laugh making their face light up with joy. “That’s about the last thing you need to clarify with me. After all the things you’ve done for me -- for us. . . How can I not see you as a friend?”

 

Sans leans back even further when having them shift on the park bench, their presence just a little too close for what his mind was going through at the moment. A single, loud honk from one of the passing cars makes him snap out of it and encourages him to look at (Y/N) again.

 

“I can’t reject saying that hearing you say all that helps clear up some stuff, but you don’t need to act that way around me. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again,” The human stops to grin at him, playfully jabbing a finger against his chest -- more specifically, the center of his ribcage. “You’re a dork. . . But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Chapter Text

You pick up the yellow folder Sans had given you the day before and begin scouring through its contents. The first thing you retrieve is Faust’s semester-long report card: D & B in Math, A & A in English, C & B in Spanish, B & B in Physical Education, and so on. You smile at the sight of the Math grades and then at the Spanish ones, grateful you had people like Sans and Solana around to aid in the education of your son.

 

The next thing you take out is a neatly folded paper. Intrigued, you unfold it and flatten out its few wrinkles with your hand. Your eyes widen when seeing it’s a drawing of five people: Jessie, their new lover, Sans, Faust, and yourself. Below the drawing is an eight sentence paragraph with the title ‘Family’ above it.

 

Family

 

         It is very weird and confusing, but I like it. I have a (mother/father) named (Y/N), a (mom/dad) named Jessie, and a stepparent named Lucy. Lucy lives with Jessie at (hometown). There is also a tutor named Sans. (Mother/Father) likes to spend time with him, and I do too! He is nice and funny. He is different from (Y/N), but they are still good friends. My real mom and dad could not take care of me, but I am happy with my new family.

 

A few tears are running down your face by the time you finish reading. Hastily, you wipe them away and breathe in, swallowing the tension stuck on the very center of your throat. There’s a little 20/20 scribbled at the bottom, along with the sketch of a smiling goat woman resembling Toriel. You figure English is given by her and wonder briefly over how she managed being both a principal and an English teacher at once.

 

Snapping back to the present, you gasp and quickly wipe away the paper when noticing a few drops had fallen on it, being careful so as to not damage either the drawing or the words written above it. A sudden thought of sharing the drawing -- or at least, part of it -- crosses your mind.

 

Grinning, you pull out your phone and snap a picture of the doodle Faust had made of Sans. You make sure not to include your ex, their lover, or yourself for that matter, wanting to deflect unwanted assumptions and to not make him feel uncomfortable with them.



Good afternoon. :-))

 

>> Attachment: 1 image <<

 

I thought I’d share this with you.



You see some dots already moving next to his profile picture, the sight making your heart race in spite of how silly it was.



s’that me?

who’s the artist?

 

Faust drew it for English class!

Isn’t it cute?

 

very.

the kid’s got some talent.

really knows howta capture my eye sockets.

 

And your smile, too.

It’s just as goofy as I remember it being.

 

wow.

first cute, and now goofy?

didn’t know you thought that way about me, (y/n).



You feel heat rise over your ears at that last string of replies. A tad flustered, you gulp away your nervousness and shuffle a bit on your seat before typing up a response.



What can I say?

I’m a (woman/man) full of surprises.

 

wanna meet up somewhere tonight?

i’d like to see ya outside of work, even if you’re not around the school anymore and all.

 

That’s real sweet of you considering what I just called you.

Where to?

 

does the park near the gas station at 7 sound good?

it’s the one near your street, close to where we met up yesterday for the documents.

 

Sounds good!

See you at 7, then.



Your mind is a puddle by the time you send that last text. You hear one side of you yelling that you shouldn’t be getting this close to Sans, though the other yells back just as loud, calling you silly for worrying so much about something so simple as meeting him at the park. Fleeting crush or not, you didn’t want to screw up your friendship with him -- and even more now, knowing he’d taken up the courage yesterday just to say he feared he wasn't showing he cared for his friendship with you.



 


 



Sans is already there by the time you arrive at the park. It’s still a bit clear out with summer just a couple of weeks away, so there's a few people walking by and idly chatting to themselves. You can tell it's Wednesday by how little parents and children you see around.

 

“Hey,” Sans greets, his voice sounding just a few feet away from where you stood. You turn to see him and notice his attire is different from his work uniform and his casual wear composed of a blue jacket and some basketball shorts. To differ, he now wore a simple, plain grey t-shirt along with some baggy jeans -- a look you never expected him to enjoy wearing. “What’s up?”

 

“Wow. You look. . . different,” you comment, a smile on your face. It takes all your willpower not to let your eyes linger on the change for too long. “In a nice way, I mean.”

 

You can catch a glimpse of surprise flicker on the light of his eye sockets, though he masks it just as quickly with a snicker. “Thanks. You clean up nice, too.” He stops, though speaks up again before you have the chance to come up with a remark to his comment. “I mean it -- It’s nice to see you outta your uniform every now and then. Makes it feel like I’m seeing another version of you besides the overly anxious parent, and the baker who forgets when they have flour in their hair.”

 

“Can’t go a day without prodding me like this, huh?”

 

Though your words are meant to be taken lightly, you catch a hint of the same, foreign emotion you had seen yesterday when having him drift away from the conversation. You wonder over what Sans’s co-worker said for him to worry this much over something so trivial.

 

“It’s become a tradition, I’ll say.”

 

He closes off the distance by taking a few steps forward and taking his hands out of his front pockets. A welcoming visage shows on his skull when he makes a hand motion for you to join him.

 

“Wanna go to the mini-mart over there? I wanna talk with you about stuff.”

 

You nod and walk side by side with Sans, sparing a subtle look at him every once in a while until you’re at the front of the gas station, steps away from entering the mini-mart. Cold gusts of wind begin to settle the hot and humid temperature down to a comfortable degree as the noisy background of the city exchanges for peace and tranquility. It turns a bit darker by the time you enter, though the large, neon orange sign with the letters ‘Open 24/7’ assures you there’s no need to rush on your outing.

Chapter Text

“I didn't know this place was open twenty-four hours,” you comment, taking this opportunity to look at the inside of the cozy mini-mart the gas station had to offer. It was rare for you to look around too much -- You were only used to paying up for gas and leaving right back out.

 

The coolers on one side of the building are packed with all sorts of groceries, drinks, and alcoholic beverages, and the shelves are just as equally distributed to aid in last minute errands. The small café of sorts set on a different corner of the premises is illuminated by the bright, yellow lights hung above as the distinctive scent of coffee permeates through the air.

 

Sans takes a detour to the café and asks if you want anything from the menu. You smile and dismiss that offer, telling him you would pay for whatever you decided to order. He doesn’t seem convinced by your words, though he doesn’t insist further when you ask if he wants anything for himself.

 

“I was the one who made the initial invite, so I’m the one who’s supposed to do that,” he objects, rejecting your offer of paying for the soda he had picked up from the coolers.

 

“Did Papyrus give you a lecture about that or something?” you ask, a smile playing on your lips. You try masking it before getting the chance to say anything else, but to no avail. “You sound really sure about this.”

 

“I really gotta stop messin’ with you so much if you’re gonna do the same,” he comments, grinning when he looks up at you. “You’re really startin’ to get back at me, huh?”

 

“It’s self defense,” you remark, returning his gesture. “Can’t let you have all the fun, y’know?”

 

The talk ends as a tall man clad in a pink polo shirt comes out of the door placed behind the counter of the café. He offers you a small, polite smile and asks what you would like, to which you respond with the words ‘Coffee, please’. He nods firmly and walks to the electric coffee brewer next to him, where he prepares your order in less than a minute, and with equal -- if not more -- swiftness than the  female bartender at Grillby’s.

 

You thank the man and take the foam cup from his hands, using one hand to hold the cup while the other holds onto the napkins and sugar packets he hands you over. Sans is already sitting by one of the two tables, waiting for you to return. Your surroundings are pleasantly quiet with the exception of the faint noir music playing in the background, which is soon interrupted by the broadcaster to ask the listeners what song did they wish to hear next.

 

Your hearing perks up at the sound of a can being opened, and you turn your eyes to the sound to see Sans holding the soda he’d picked up earlier. You glance another look at the label and hesitate to say what's on your mind.

 

“So, you don't drink?” you ask, treading carefully in that question to prevent it from coming out as disrespectful. You settle down on the chair set opposite to his, holding the coffee with both hands after placing the napkins and sugar down on the table.

 

“Used to, sometimes,” he replies, setting his drink down to look at you. “But I'm more of a fast food kinda guy. Used to hold up a hot dog stand back when we were underground.”

 

“Ah,” you breath in, a small smile stretching your lips. “That’s cool -- Sorry if I came of as nosy.”

 

“What about you?”

 

“Aside from when I tried to impress someone to make them think I was grown up. . . I don't really drink unless it's for a toast or celebration.”

 

“Mind me asking who that person was?” he asks, the way an eye socket furrows slightly making it know he was curious but waiting to see whether you would say anything about that matter, or if you would rather keep it to yourself.

 

“Not at all,” you reply, stifling a laugh. “I was sixteen. Jessie was eighteen. I thought they were pretty cute, but still two years too old for me. . . And the rest kinda just fell together after that.” You cough in the middle of your confession, embarrassment threatening to follow up with your next words. “Now that I think about it. . . We're lucky we weren't compatible to have a kid. We were both half-drunk and didn't think much about the rest.”

 

You stop talking, realizing you'd said far too much for just one question.

 

“Oh man, I've said too much, haven't I?”

 

You can feel your ears burn as you meet with his gaze. Guilt-ridden, you quickly look back down, not knowing what to say to lessen that feeling.

 

“Hey,” he calls out, making you look up at him when you feel his hand briefly brush with yours. “If it makes you feel any better, I still don't know how to reject someone who's flirted with me ever since Grillby first set up his business.”

 

“You mean that bunny from last month?”

 

“That same one,” Sans answers, chuckling. “I went on a date with them once, but I didn't really want that at the time. So it was mostly me just tryna dodge whatever move they tried to pull next.”

 

“Are you. . . okay now though?” you ask, concern making your gaze furrow. “You shouldn't feel forced to do something like that.”

 

“Nah, they're a good bun when they’re not drunk and lashing out at other people.” He lets out a short and earnest laugh, casting his faint, white irises on you again. “They stopped when I told them I didn't like them in that way, so it's fine.”

 

You feel uneasy when you swallow the next two sips of your drink, not knowing whether it was the coffee you were drinking or how personal the conversation was that was making you feel this way. As subtle as possible, you look to your left and try to get a grasp of your reflection through one of the metallic shelves located behind the payment counter, hoping to see you didn’t look as much as the mess you felt you were currently. 

 

“You sure you don’t want me to treat you to anything?

 

If you hadn’t been holding onto the coffee cup, you would’ve most likely jolted like a cat. You look down at the beverage when you turn to his side, not knowing how to face him after that conversation. “It's fine, really,” you assure him, trying not to falter in your words. “You paid last time we went out, so it’s only fair.”

 

“Can I get you two anything else?”

 

The man in charge of the café pops out from the door behind the counter and the shelves you had been looking at. A hospitable smile shows on his bronzed face when he catches you staring at him.

 

“I’m fine,” you reply, placing the empty foam cup down in front of you.

 

“Same here,” Sans adds, doing the same with his drink.

 

You thank the man before he disappears back behind the door and wait until you hear a click to focus back on your companion. To your surprise, he’s staring at you rather than at his drink, the look on his irises letting you understand he wanted to have another conversation with you.

 

“About what I said yesterday,” he begins, picking up the near empty can of soda to swirl its contents around. “So you’re really okay with us being friends?"

 

“Of course I am, Sans,” you reply, a half smile and a raised eyebrow being used to scrutinize him. “Why do you ask?”

 

“I figured I’d ask in case you thought I was pushing you to keep doing this, after what’s happened this past month and all.”

 

You toy with the brim of the coffee cup as you maintain eye contact with him, flaring your nose slightly in amusement. “I honestly don’t feel that way. I actually really like spending time like this, and exchanging recipes with your brother is a huge plus -- I wouldn’t change these experiences for the world."

Chapter Text

The night is entirely darkened by the time you make it out of the 24/7 gas station. There's almost no one around the area besides a few people -- mostly truckers and bus drivers -- refilling their tanks and stomachs. Sans accompanies you to your car before he goes to wait for the last bus.

 

“Want me to drive you home?” you ask, stopping in front of your car. The few lampposts surrounding the parking lot allow you to see which key you were meant to choose from the rest. “You usually take the bus, right?”

 

“Thanks,” he replies, stopping a few feet away from you. “But I’ll take the bus. It’s late, and the road there’s about an hour away from here.”

 

You hum at his response, pensively toying with your keys while using your index finger to hold onto them. “Then what about staying for the night? It’s better than being back home real late.”

 

His face turns a bit brighter at your comment before he gets the chance to speak up. “If it’s really fine with you, sure -- I’m damn lucky tomorrow’s a holiday, else I’d be in for a bad night.”

 

With that thought moved out of the way, you nod and unlock your car, waiting for him to get on first before you do the same. Silence takes over until you turn the key, the engine spurting a few times before actually getting to turn on. You make note of saving up a little more to get it checked.

 

Breathing in, you grab onto the steering wheel, change the gear, and move out of the parking lot, the sound of the air conditioner along with the faint static of the news playing on the radio making you feel more drowsy than you already were. It was a good thing you took a bit of caffeine back at the gas station.



 




 

“(Y/N)!”

 

You feel hair spike up on your arms when you hear an all-too recognizable voice calling out from Solana’s front yard. Your eyes snap over to said direction, where you come across Faust standing next to Solana, who lets go of his hand to let him run after you.

 

“(Y/N)!” he calls out again, short legs rushing to get to you.

 

Shock makes you unable to shorten the distance, though by the time you snap out of it, he’s already pouncing on you, small arms wrapping around your back as he buries his face against your torso. You can feel all sorts of emotions by having him in your hold -- from surprise, to relief, to worry and fright. Your eyes search around for any signs of Jessie, though they’re nowhere to be seen.

 

“Where’s Jessie?” you question, quirking an eyebrow once you’re let go. “Are they waiting for me somewhere?”

 

Faust leaves your side a while after the hug, giving you space to ask Solana a few of the endless, burning questions running rampant in your mind.

 

“The lil’ rascal here snuck away from home at around eight, an hour after you left. Don’t know how Jessie hasn’t bothered to check if he’s here yet,” Solana explains, making you look back at her front yard. She's now sitting on the stairs of her balcony, busy tucking a strand of curly hair behind her ear as she casts her eyes at you. “I didn’t call you, ‘cuz I didn’t wanna interrupt your plans. Figured Faust also didn’t wanna go back if he went to the trouble of taking two buses to get here.”

 

“Two buses?” you ask, the words not quite fitting together with you. “And Jessie hasn't called yet?” Disbelief is clear in your tone, though you can't bring yourself to lessen the anger surging along with it. The mere thought of Faust traveling a long distance on his own made wish you could confront Jessie right at this moment. “How. . . How did you know I was going out, anyway? You didn't have to worry about that! I don't want to burden you with something like this.”

 

“Honey, I would've done that if you hadn't actually taken time to change outta that goshdarned work uniform.” she asserts, a giggle softening her expression. "You looked happy when I saw you leave earlier ago."

 

“Told ya you looked different,” Sans comments, chuckling.

 

You look to Sans's side to see Faust hugging him tight, the sleeping child resting his head against the monster's shirt and clinging onto him. It makes you wonder how he finds it remotely comfortable, given who he’s leaning against.

 

“Let me help you,” you state, refusing to acknowledge either Sans or Solana's prodding compliments. You approach the monster's side and take Faust away from his hands. “He’s in for a scolding as soon as he wakes up.”

 

Heat begins to gather on your cheeks, ears, and neck as you continue to process the situation, already sensing your voice was about to break with the suddenness of Faust's return. You stand and wobble when hoisting the child up in your arms, though you soon stabilize yourself by resting your back against the car door. Sans takes the keys from your free hand and locks the car.

 

“Thank you, Sol,” you speak up, holding Faust tighter as you make eye contact with her again. “I. . . I really owe you for all this!”

 

“I did it ‘cuz I wanted to,” she replies, warm smile bright, even from far away. “You need your time off too, (Y/N). Just make sure to contact Jessie first ‘fore they decide to pull something funny for what’s happened.”

 

“I will,” you assure her with a firm nod, a smile showing on your face.

 

 

 


 

 

 

The night grows quiet once you tuck Faust away in bed, being sure to leave some space for yourself in order to let Sans have your room. You yawn when leaving the child’s bedroom, though it isn’t out of tiredness. You lost your sleep the second you saw Faust running after you. If anything, you're certain that yawn was out of hunger with how long it had been since your outing. It was now almost three in the morning, yet you were still wide awake.

 

“Still up, (Y/N)?” Sans asks, emerging from the stairs. He’s now changed into the most appropriate clothing you could find for him, it being an old Uni t-shirt a size too big and some loose pajama pants he had to hoist up to keep the legs from dragging across the floor. “I’m guessin’ you’re not tired anymore.”

 

“How’d you know?” you tease, leaning your back against the door of the bedroom.

 

“Just a hunch,” he replies, mimicking the tone you used on him.

 

You smile and straighten back up, heavy eyelids making it hard for you to focus your gaze on just one place. Now that you’re beginning to process everything that went on, you can’t seem to think clearly anymore. The only thing you feel is in the right place is remembering Faust is safe in his room.

 

Through the past few hours, your riptide of emotions ranged from nervousness to anger. In included the fact that your ex didn’t pick up neither of the two calls you made -- one right after you made it home with Faust in your arms, and another right after you finished setting everything up for him. There was an hour difference in both of the calls, and they had yet to call you back. You were close to putting an end to their game if it weren't so late in the night.

 

“I want to wait a little bit before I go to sleep,” you speak up again, nodding your head over to your bedroom. “My room’s all set if you want to go there.”

 

The snicker you hear from the monster is enough to make your eyes grow wide and for you to rush on fixing your words.

 

“I’ll be sleeping with Faust in his room once I get in contact with Jessie. If not, then I'll just have to talk with the police department about this,” you speak, breathing out your exhaustion through your nose. “Don't let me keep you up, else you'll get tired of me too soon.”

 

You mean your last words as a joke, though the look on his face is the opposite of what you hoped it to be. You see he’s not too convinced by your dismissal, though you shake that off by smiling at him. If it was one thing you couldn’t do right now, it was talking things out with someone else. That single ‘So how are you feeling?’ people often asked led you to break down with emotions you didn't want to make public.

 

It didn't help knowing the day of the custody trail was getting closer with each day, nor remembering the fact that Jessie was back at your home country -- assuming from the child who'd taken two buses just to get back home.

 

You're not sure where to begin or what to do now besides wait for the sun to rise and for your phone to ring at least once.

Chapter Text

“So you like your partners with a bit of baggage, huh? It’s usually the other way around.”

 

“Whaddya mean by that?”

 

Family drama.

 

That was something you could never avoid when having your family over for holidays. Easter, especially, was an infamous time for nosy aunts and uncles to dish out their strongest arguments at someone labeled as a threat through their eyes.

 

Today, it was your aunt and more-than platonic relationship with Sans.

 

“Well, you had a. . . thing for Ms. Toriel too, no?” your aunt prods, narrowing her eyes at the monster in front of her. “And now you’re dating my (niece/nephew), with a son and a divorce in their bag!”

 

“I don't think those two things really go together, ma’am,” Sans objects, trying to ease the growing pressure of the conversation by letting out a rough, constricted laugh. “Toriel’s just a friend, and it doesn’t matter if (Y/N)’s divorced or not. I just like them for who they are.”

 

You gain a better hearing and view of their conversation by inching a bit close to the door, not knowing when it would be most prudent to interrupt, or if was simply better to wait until they finished talking. Everyone else was already gathered at your backyard, yet the pair were still engaged in a heated conversation at your living room.

 

“That’s sweet and all, but I don’t think you should go after someone with an ex and a kid in the picture. You should seek someone else and let (Y/N) fix things with--“

 

“I don’t think I can agree with you on this one,” your date interrupts, a hint of annoyance cutting through his words. “I get that you liked the other person (Y/N) used to date, but--“

 

“Hey, guys!” you exclaim, heart pounding in your chest as you burst through the door of the living room. “Mind if I borrow Sans for a bit, auntie?”

 

Tension is almost palpable between them as they exchange a look, though your aunt relents. She sighs and gives another warning glance at Sans before you take him by the wrist and bring him out of the living room. Your hands interlock as you rush in your steps and make your way to the kitchen.

 

You both enter the room and stay silent. You’re more than certain he had to know you were eavesdropping in his conversation with your aunt with how flustered and soul-drained you looked right now. Before he can bring that up, however, you take the tray of marshmallow treats from the refrigerator, place them on the kitchen island, and take one from the batch.

 

“This may sound silly, but I’d like you to try one first before anyone else,” you explain, approaching his side. “First, because you’re honest, and second. . . ‘Cuz, well. . . we’re kinda-sorta dating now.”

 

Sans nods as you sit down next to him on the kitchen island, though an idea interrupts your actions right as you’re about to give him the treat. Carefully, you place the marshmallow bunny between your lips and urge him to get closer to your side. Then, you take him by the wrist and close off the distance as soon as he leans into you.

 

You intend not to touch his teeth, but he thinks contrarily of it. His teeth press against your lips the second after he bites down on half of the marshmallow treat.

 

“What. . . What do you think?” you ask, trying with all your might at maintaining eye contact with him despite how on-edge you felt right now.

 

“It’s nice,” he replies, backing away into his seat. “A lil’ too sweet for my taste, but it’s good. The design’s pretty cute-lookin’, too.”

 

You smile at his review, though it doesn’t last when you remember the main reason you pulled him all the way here. Although you did want him to try the marshmallows first, it wasn’t until five more hours that you would actually start handing them out to everyone attending the Easter dinner.

 

“Sans?” you speak up, placing a hand on his lap.

 

“What’s up?” he asks, looking away from your hand to face you.

 

“Listen, I. . . I’m sorry about my aunt -- I really shouldn’t have pushed you to attend. She means well most of the time, but she doesn’t have a filter when it comes to this kind of stuff." You spare him a look before continuing, not quite ready to bring up the next subject yet. "I. . . I told her I was through with Jessie ten times already, and she even knows about what happened in court. But she still thinks I should get back with them.”

 

The droning of the kitchen filter grows louder when you finish talking, silence falling like a rock on ocean water. You feel the urge to speak again, but hold back your tongue with the sheer force of willpower.

 

“I came ‘cuz I wanted to. Nobody said it’d be easy gettin’ in a relationship, so I was ready for backlash when I had your aunt say she wanted to talk with me in private.”

 

You’re relieved for Sans's response, though you’re not convinced by his level of preparedness. “Are you sure, though? I know she brought up some personal stuff. You don’t have to keep quiet if something’s bothering you.”

 

“I’m fine,” he insists, chuckling. “Didn’t ya say I was honest?”

 

“You are. But I don’t think you are when it comes to being honest with yourself.”

 

He seems taken off guard by your statement, a surprise which is exchanged for curiosity when you take another marshmallow from the tray -- choosing a chick this time around. ”If you think otherwise, you can reject this marshmallow.” You place it between your lips, gesturing for him to do the same as before. “If not, you can take it.”

 

Your last sentence is muffled by the sweet, but the message still comes across. You observe him for a while before he settles on an answer.

 

Slowly, he starts to lean in again, stopping once he’s about to bite into the second marshmallow. You wait, not wanting to encourage or discourage either of the two choices he had available for himself.

 

An answer is given when he grabs your face with both hands, cold fingers digging lightly onto the warm, (s/t) skin of your cheeks as he brings you forward enough to oblige you to leave your stool and suspend yourself over him. You lean down a bit more to match his height and return the kiss with the same amount of -- if not more -- adherence, onset on not being caught off balance in your own game.

 

The kiss is broken when you let go, shaky breaths leveling down when you sit back on your stool. You face forward, expecting to see him looking back at you. Instead, you see him staring at the tray of marshmallows, two empty spots on each row now that the game had come to an end.

 

“I won’t deny I felt angry at what happened back there, but I can take it, (Y/N). If there’s one thing I like going by, it’s that I don’t like empty promises.” Sans pauses to hold your hand, making eye contact with you now that the adrenaline of the moment cooled down. “When I accepted that invite for a first date, I meant it. That ‘sure’ I sent through text is the one damned thing I’ve been really sure about in a long while.”

Chapter Text

You hug Sans before he steps foot out of your home. He hugs back after a few seconds, his body radiating a faint, almost ghostly warmth the longer the hug lasts between you.

 

“Thanks for helping out yesterday,” you speak up, letting go of him and taking a step back. “I. . . I had fun, and I didn’t really think you would stay after what happened with Faust last night.”

 

“Don’t mention it, (Y/N). I had fun, too, so I’d say we’re even.”

 

Stepping in, Faust approaches the skeleton with a hug himself, though he gives it with much more strength than you do. He doesn’t hesitate and asks the monster when he would visit again.

 

“It's a bit tough to say right now, but if things work out, you can ask me again later,” Sans replies, placing a hand over Faust’s head as he ruffles his hair and lets out a laugh. “For now, make sure ya don’t fall back in math, alright? You need to keep going now that you’re getting better at it.”

 

Their conversation ends with another quick, final hug on the child’s part. Faust waves goodbye at Sans while you do the same, closing the door only when you see him take the bus and drive off.

 

You head to your room as soon as he’s gone, hurrying to tidy everything up before you ring your ex one final time. Faust follows you up the stairs and heads back to his room while you enter yours, flicking on the light when you step in.

 

Looking around, you begin to feel strange. Though the bedroom’s as tidy as you left it yesterday, there’s hints of someone being here recently, mainly by the wrinkles on one side of the bed and the pillow sunken a bit more compared to the other one next to it. You approach the bed when something catches your eye. Under the raised pillow is a small, sphere-like object projecting a natural sparkle and closely resembling that of a star. Below the item is a cut-out of a nice cream wrapper labeled with the same flavour as the one you bought at the park. You turn it around and read the words on the packaging.

 

“You rock!”

 

You burst out a laugh after reading that sentence, conserving both items in your drawer as soon as you’re done inspecting the star-like object a second time.

 

 

 


 

 

 

The mood grows sour when Jessie shrugs off your questions. They keep some distance and refuse to sit down for a breather, leading you to do the same. You’re staring directly at them while Faust stays back, conflicted on what to do as his eyes go from Jessie, to you, and then to the set of rooms waiting upstairs.

 

“Where were you when he ran away? I tried calling you so many times, I didn’t call anyone else waiting for you to show up!”

 

Faust flinches at the sudden raise in your voice. He clings onto your leg, hiding himself behind your back. Softly, he tugs at your shirt as if to keep you from doing that again. You clench your fists and press your lips together into a tight line, holding back the impulse to lash out more at Jessie to avoid scaring the child further.

 

“I was busy working.”

 

“Working where? I thought you were supposed to be away." You breathe in, heart pounding as anger continues to grow within you. "You take him away from me, you tell me you’ve moved back overseas, you ask me for the credit transcript. . . And all of a sudden, you-- you’re sending me pictures of times I go out with friends! You--“

 

The feeling of two hands on your torso is accompanied by a push and you losing your footing. You fall back on the couch behind you, Jessie now standing in front of you while Faust moves away to a corner of the living room. His choice of finding refuge reminds you of the day he got an ‘F’ in Math, and the days when you were still getting used to being patient for him to open up to you more.

 

“Shut up already! I didn’t ask for this. You think you’re being so goddamn progressive living with monsters and going out with Sam, but you forget you used to jail up monsters barely two years ago. You were in charge of arresting monsters, but then you take a huge turn and decide the way they’re treated is bad!”

 

“Because it is!” you exclaim, eyebrows closing in as a deep, unrestricted frown forms on your lips. “Some of them were being imprisoned even though they did no harm.”

 

Your attempt at standing up from the couch is prohibited by your ex. They trap you on one place by placing both their hands on your shoulders, hovering above you as a bead of sweat trails down their forehead and all the way down their face. Their body is shaking and their jaw is clenched tight enough to make you fear they could break it.

 

“Did you forget why you used to love me?Look at me in the eyes and tell me you don’t like me anymore. Prove you like that Sam guy more than me, and I’ll take you seriously when you say you like being with monsters.”

 

Their breath hits your face as they press closer and continue to hold you back. You don’t dare to push them away or fight back when seeing Faust frozen on one place, shock denoting through his eyes and quivering mouth.

 

“Tell me,” they persist, squeezing your shoulders enough to make you scowl at the sensation.

 

“I. . .”

 

You look at Faust again and hesitate, a pang in your chest making you close your eyes to take in a breath and let it out.

 

“I do like him, but we’re not going out. I’ve made good friends with him, his brother, and a few others, too.”

 

“What about me, then? Don’t you still love me?”

 

You look down at your lap to process your thoughts, looking back up once you’re firm on your decision.

 

“I used to,” you reply, the feeling of their fingers on your skin growing more intense after you say those words. “You used to be a great (husband/wife), but not anymore. I’m sorry for what I did that made you stop liking me. If you could tell me now, I would be more sincere in my apology.”

 

A single, loud cackle makes your eyes grow as you face them directly. Jessie lets go of your shoulders, though they still keep you on one place by pushing you again and pressing down on your body until the back of your head hits the armrest.

 

“You really don’t know what you did wrong? Even after what I just said?” Jessie leans in close enough to graze their nose with yours and grab onto your chin, a deep frown on their face. “You left me behind. You didn’t think about how I felt when I saw you quit your job just ‘cuz you didn’t like how monsters were being treated by the law. I only adopted Faust with you because I thought that would make you happier, and you would stop thinking about all that stuff for once. But I was wrong. You betray me a year later saying you’re gonna take him to a school run by monsters! All that, and you still dare ask why I left you?”

 

“Listen, Jessie, I--”

 

You feel Jessie’s body freeze over yours and see Faust push himself between the two of you. The boy tries to separate you and lets out a broken breath, his body trembling in the process. Tears stain his reddened face as he pleads for the fight to end and for Jessie to take a step back. You can feel yourself shaking when they get off of you and leave you be on the couch, body going limp when being set free.

 

Faust stays by your side, an action that makes Jessie glare at you with even more displeasure than before. They take a few steps back and let out a huff, calming their heaving breaths before making their way over to the door. They stop when grabbing onto the handle, looking back at you one final time.

 

“I’ll see you in court this Saturday. You better have a good reason why you’ve changed so much. You’re a goddamned hypocrite and a traitor, (Y/N) -- And you know it.”

 

The door finally closes shut, leaving you alone with the uncomfortable silence of your home and Faust wiping his tears away with the sleeve of his shirt. It’s not until a few seconds that it hits you, the reality of the situation making you cover your face with your hands, trying your best not to let your anger or sorrow burst.

 

It doesn’t last long when Faust asks if you’re okay. Without a word, you hold him tight and close your eyes, trying to forget the scenario and the day that awaited you soon.

 

After today, you didn't want to see their face again.

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans's Perspective

 

“So that’s the one?” Gerson asks, pointing with his working eye at the (s/t) skinned human chatting with a middle aged woman sporting long, curly hair. In between them appears Papyrus, who greets them both with a hug.

 

“Yeah,” Sans replies, leaning back against the wall. “I kinda followed your and Grillby’s advice, so we’re friends now.”

 

“Well go ahead and wish them good luck, then! I’m gonna stay here a lil’ while ‘till my legs start working again.”

 

“I’ll just wait here.”

 

Gerson shakes his head at that response, though he doesn’t say anything else to counter that decision. He lays back on one of the empty benches set just a few steps away from the door to the courtroom and pats at the space next to him.

 

“C’mere, then. Help me kill time while the judge shows up.”

 

Sans nods and sits down, looking back at (Y/N) before getting to talk with the turtle monster next to him. The human turns to look his way, a smile forming on their face when spotting him nearby. Caught off guard, he expects them to be looking at someone else close by, but waves back at them when taking note of the opposite.

 

The moment is short-lived when Undyne arrives next to them. She holds up a hand for them and lets out a roaring laugh when (Y/N) proves capable of high-fiving her without wincing or stumbling back from her strength. Alphys arrives next to the fish woman and holds out a hand for (Y/N) to shake. The pair exchange a few introductions and end their conversation when Toriel and Frisk step in. It takes no more than a few minutes for the human to fade away from his sight, already surrounded by too many people for them to look anywhere else.

 

“What’re ya laughing at?” Gerson asks, directing his words at the skeleton after hearing him chuckle under his breath.

 

“Nothing,” Sans replies, dismissing that thought. “I spaced out.”

 

Half an hour passes with (Y/N) still surrounded by the group. One by one, they begin to leave until everyone settles down. The human is called out by the guard watching the entrance and urges them to step inside. The doors open and close behind them, the thud that follows making everyone look to that direction, quiet falling upon the waiting room.

 

 


 

 

"Please state your name and relation to Faust.”

 

“My name is (Y/N) (L/N). I’m Faust’s adoptive (mother/father).”

 

The same question is asked for Jessie, who’s standing on a podium opposite to (Y/N)’s. Unlike them, Jessie is quick to respond and holds more confidence in their tone. The pair are asked for the reasons behind them being here today, and the same happens again.

 

Pleased with the responses, the judge nods and casts his eyes over to the audience standing by. His lips are a tight, unshakable line as he brings his glasses up to the bridge of his nose and hits the mallet once.

 

“Settle down, everyone -- Humans on the right, monsters on the left. This should take no longer than a day if both parties are cooperative in their interrogation.”

 

Murmurs and whispers overcome the silence of the courtroom as everyone around moves accordingly to the rules stated by the judge. Almost all of the audience present settle themselves in their seats, with the exception of Toriel, who -- conflicted by having to leave Frisk alone in the opposite side -- frowns as she thinks over what to do.

 

(Y/N)'s neighbour gestures for her to leave Frisk in her care, making Toriel break into a smile at the offer. Frisk finally rushes off with the rest of the humans gathered on one place and waves at their family on the other side as soon as they sit down.

 

"What events led to this outcome?"

 

"(Y/N) failed to keep their part of the compromise. We agreed that Faust could stay at the school for humans and monsters as long as he didn't bring any monsters home. They were supposed to tell the tutor that he couldn't give the lessons at Faust's home any more, but they didn't listen. I have pictures of Toriel and Faust entering the house together, and of (Y/N) and Sam not long after I took Faust with me."

 

Jessie walks away from the podium and stands in front of the judge. They take a firm step forward when he extends his hand out in wait for the pictures they mentioned. With a nod, the judge dismisses Jessie as his eyes scan the three images one by one, checking the first one again and setting the other two aside.

 

"What was Toriel doing at their home without the guardian around?"

 

"(Y/N) was working overtime. They preferred to work a few extra hours than take care of their son. I saw that, and decided he was better off living with me."

 

"And what about the second and third pictures? Why do you still choose to point them out even though they were taken after you took Faust with you?"

 

"I believe it shows how incompetent (Y/N) has been acting lately. They seem to favour spending time with Sam and other monsters more, rather than with their own son. While they could've been trying to contact me to see how Faust was doing, they were out on a date with Sam and had the audacity to bring him home."

 

The judge stays quiet after Jessie’s answer ends. He locks his hands together and sets them over the podium as he casts his eyes towards (Y/N).

 

“(Miss/Mister) Jessie seems to mention Sam quite often. Is he here, by any chance? I would like to have a word with him before we continue with this case.”

 

“Well. . .” (Y/N) hesitates, turning back to the audience in search for the monster in question. Sans raises his hand to stand out among the monsters, an act that seems to surprise the human by the way they raise their eyebrows and open their mouth, mouthing the words ‘are you sure?’ at him.

 

Nodding, the skeleton stands up and walks forward, taking place on the podium set next to the judge. Content, the judge nods and focuses his attention on Sans.

 

“Are you romantically involved with (miss/mister) (Y/N)? You must be aware of the consequences for someone born in this town. Even though they may have moved to the city, that still does not erase the fact that they are native to this town and must keep in mind the laws set here.”

 

Sans maintains a stoic expression as he spares a look at the audience, then to Jessie, (Y/N), and finally,  the judge. The only aspect that remotely gives away his confliction are the white pinpricks of his eye sockets, which begin to falter the longer it takes him to respond.

 

“We’re not.”

 

“But you are still friends, correct?”

 

“Yes, Your Honor. I, uh, asked them if we could be friends a little while ago.”

 

“And they agreed to it?”

 

His chest heaves when he takes in a breath, glancing at (Y/N) from the corner of his eye socket to see what their reaction was. They notice him staring and nod firmly, appearing a bit more confident than before.

 

“Yes, they did.”

 

“Very well,” the judge speaks, looking away from the skeleton to look down at the book spread open in front of him. He turns back a few pages before getting to speak up again. “While the law does not prohibit friendships between humans and monsters as of recently, that does not exclude the intimacy both parties seem to be exhibiting as of late. The pictures shown by Jessie do not seem to be that of mere friendship.”

 

“I have proof of them staying together in (Y/N)’s place. It happened last Wednesday night, actually. Sam stayed over until the next day and Faust was present, too -- meaning that (Y/N) was also breaking our agreement of not letting a monster wander around the house while Faust is near.”

 

“What was Faust doing in his primary home? Were you not still keeping him under your care?”

 

Sans holds back a chuckle at the sudden turn in questioning. A shocked look shows up on Jessie’s expression by the way their posture stiffens and their confidence falters.

 

“If I may, Your Honor," (Y/N) intervenes, certainty present in their voice. The confidence and determination Jessie lost appears to have been absorbed by them. "I’ve been taking care of Faust since Wednesday night. He ran away and took two buses just to get to my house.”

Chapter Text

“Settle down, everyone!”

 

The crowd grows rowdy with the sudden reveal of information, and the noise only increments when Faust is called out from the audience. His steps are meek and careful as he makes his way to the front podium, exchanging seats with Sans. You can’t shake off the ache dwelling in your chest when you see him. He’s teary eyed and his legs can be seen shaking from where you’re standing.

 

“Is your (mother/father)’s statement true?”

 

You stare at his direction as you wait for him to answer the judge. He stops looking at the floor to face him, uncertainty crossing his eyes.

 

“Yes. . . Your Honor.” You hold back a smile when hearing him say those last two words, happy he remembered that courtesy despite the state he found himself in. “I ran away because I was angry. Jessie wouldn’t let me see (mom/dad) anymore and. . .” Faust grows visibly frustrated at his sudden loss for words, and faces back down as he clenches his palms into fists.

 

“Take your time, child.”

 

Faust nods softly and breathes in, managing a small smile before it fades away back into a crooked line. His eyebrows furrow as he tries to gather courage for the interrogation.

 

“They said that (Y/N) was always busy, and that they didn’t have time for me anymore, but. . . But I heard them talking on the phone with (Y/N). Jessie didn’t tell them where I was and hung up when they kept asking about me.”

 

“Is there anything else that made you consider running away?”

 

He gives a slow, reluctant nod, looking at Jessie’s side for a second before continuing. “The next day, Jessie came home and started. . . fighting with (Y/N) on the phone again. They said it wasn't (mom/dad) even though I saw the name on the screen. Th-- There was a fight after I ran away, too. . . Jessie came to pick me up, b-- but then. . ."

 

Faust hesitates again when taking another look at Jessie’s side. A frown stretches his mouth as he grits his teeth and furiously wipes away the single tear going down his cheek. He covers his face with his hands and hides away from the audience by letting his knees hit the floor, the height of the podium covering him away from your sight.

 

“Very well -- You are dismissed for the moment being, Faust. Please return when you feel better,” the judge speaks up, casting his eyes at the social worker and bailiff waiting nearby. “For now, please follow the brown-haired lady standing next to the guard.”

 

It takes a few seconds of you staring at the podium for Faust to stand up and appear to your eyes. He refuses to make eye contact with the judge, though he still nods and mutters a quick thank you before leaving. With a smile, the woman mentioned escorts him out of the courtroom and shuts the door as soon as he’s out.

 

You wait for the judge to continue, unsure what to expect. Faust was close to telling him about last Thursday, yet it was clear by the way he looked at Jessie that he was still conflicted by that day. At first, you worried he feared going back to living with them, but the second look he had sent had been one of need and concern for his other parent. You didn’t know which of the two looks to lean on more, or which one was worse for the situation you were in.

 

“(Y/N)?”

 

The way your name is called out by the judge makes you realize you’d closed off touch with your surroundings. Looking up, you make eye contact and apologize for not hearing him the first time, and prepare yourself for what’s next.

 

“Why was Sans with you that day, and in such late hours of the night? Did you not consider it dangerous for him to stay under the same roof as your son?”

 

“I am aware that people -- monster or not -- should not be trusted easily with the care of a child, but I made sure to stay in a separate room with Faust by my side,” you reply, the rehearsal of that subject helping you recover from the previous distractions. “Sans only stayed since he would be home too late while he waited for the last bus.”

 

“What were the both of you doing alone at such a late hour?”

 

“We were only hanging out as friends, Your Honor.”

 

“Can you testament you haven’t thought of him in a romantic way? No thoughts beyond that of being his friend?”

 

You bite the inside of your lip and try not to look down as you speak. “I have, Your Honor. I admit the thought has crossed my mind as of recently.”

 

The judge closes his eyes to contemplate your words, letting out a hum before opening them again. “Very well.” He pauses to glance at the door Faust had passed through a few minutes ago. “If you state so, confirm that Faust has been under your care for the past four days, and Faust mentions you have called but have been refused multiple times, that disproves what Jessie has interpreted from your past actions.” Another halt in his speech makes you ease the pace of your heart. “Do you have your cellphone with you? I require both yours and Jessie’s to verify if they have indeed ignored all your attempts at contacting them.”

 

An awkward harrumph makes the judge stop facing you to see the bailiff standing next to his podium. Clearly a newbie by the way he withers under the judge’s countenance, he stutters before getting his message across. “The time is up, y- Your Honor. Should we extend the time?”

 

“I’m afraid that is not possible today,” he states, shaking his head slightly. He breaks eye contact with the bailiff to stare at you and the rest of the audience present. “The trail will continue tomorrow at the same hour. Given how much progress was made today, I expect we culminate the judgment by then.”

 

With the hit of his mallet, the bailiff stands up straight and rushes to the doors again.

 

“Audience dismissed,” he states, setting the mallet down next to him.

 

The crowd begins to stand up while the guards hold the doors open. Murmurs overcome the courtroom once more, these fading away when the last person exits and the doors are shut. He looks at the both of you once he’s certain there will be no interruptions and that everyone has left the room.

 

“I would be needing both your cell phones and Faust to stay for interrogation. Details on the argument are necessary before tomorrow’s trail.” Nodding, Jessie hands him their phone first and your follow after. “You will be provided with government phones while these go under research. Faust will be taken under temporary foster care until tomorrow.”

 

 


 

 

You can’t stay in one place while you wait for the line to end. Hunger lessens more with each second of wait, worry and anxiety making it hard for you to keep your appetite intact. Next to you is Solana and beside her stand both Toriel and Frisk. The usual calm of the night on busy weekdays is exchanged for people talking and pop music blaring in the background.

 

“Next.”

 

Quickly, you step forward and stand in front of the cashier, one look at the menu making you think back on Wednesday night. The flashy, three-dollar promotion of artisanal beer reminds you of the confession you made to Sans about how you ended up dating Jessie in the first place. Anger and temptation both have a conflict in your thoughts, but you try to shake that off by ordering your meal.

 

“What drink would you like with that?”

 

Clenching your jaw, you look away from the menu and face the woman again.

 

“Soda, please.”

 

The cashier smiles and marks your order down on the register. After a few more taps, you make your payment and receive a receipt for the meal. With a thank you, your temptation ends and anger stays. You stand in wait for your order and continue to glare at the menu, what if’s starting to make their way into your head.

 

You wonder over what would’ve happened if you hadn’t ended up with Jessie that day -- if you hadn’t asked them out in the first place. Past friends encouraged you to go for it and take a drink or two to gain courage. The idea of doing the same with Sans crosses your mind again, though you can’t help but shake your head and let air out of your nose when remembering what he'd said about the bunny monster he once dated. The reaction gathers Solana’s attention to you.

 

“What’s up, (Y/N)?”

 

She places a hand on your shoulder, the squeeze she gives making you stiffen under her touch. “It’s nothing,” you reply, letting out a small although honest laugh. “Just thought of doing something stupid again.”

 

Clearly unconvinced by the way she raises an eyebrow and frowns, you fear you’re in for another question on her part. She relents, however, when your order arrives -- the sight of three trays instead of one making her narrow her gaze at you again, though it comes off as playful this time around.

 

She helps carry a tray while Frisk steps in to take the other one. Toriel thanks you for ordering in her place and aids her child by taking some of the weigh away from the tray. You take the liter of soda with your free hand, walking with the group to the nearest table you can find.

 

Barely mid into setting the table, you're startled by the arrangement of flowers that fall next to your tray. You look to your left when feeling a presence close by, eyes dilating when you make eye contact with the gifter.

Chapter Text

“Sunny!” you exclaim, hugging the small Whimsun as soon as you recognize her. Her thin arms wrap around you as she flaps her wings to elevate herself and match with your height. You let go seconds after, facing her with a smile. “Where were you? I didn’t see you before.”

 

“I-- I didn’t want to distract you, but I was there waiting in case you needed my testimony.” A smile of her own forms on her face while the conversation keeps going. “You did really good out there, (Y/N).”

 

You thank your co-worker and offer her to sit down. She refuses when you ask if she would like to join you and the rest for dinner, though she still greets your company before getting to speak with you again. “I need to go now. . . B-- But call me when you get home, okay? I want to know you made it safe.”

 

The conversation ends on that note. You give your gratitude again -- this time for the flowers she had given you -- and bring her in for one final hug. She returns it with a bit more strength this time, and you notice a barely traceable hint of embarrassment on her face when she lets go of you.

 

Sunny exits the diner and leaves you be with your company. Toriel and Frisk are busy talking with each other while Solana’s attention is focused mostly on you. Her eyes darting to your back makes you realize she’s giving you a heads up rather than looking to have a talk with you.

 

Turning around, you see Jessie and Papyrus talking with each other. A deep, saddened expression is present on the skeleton’s face while Jessie’s is left unknown due to you facing their back. You nod at Solana and she nods back when you stand up. You try to be subtle by taking your serving of soda in hand and chugging most of it down, making it look as if you were ready to throw the cup away.

 

Near empty cup in hand and ready to take action, you walk close to where they’re having their conversation, passing by a few tables and greeting the few acquaintances passing by. You arrive near the trash cans located close to where they stood, listening in on their conversation.

 

“My brother and (Y/N) have the right to continue their friendship,” Papyrus objects, furrowing his gaze at Jessie, who you could now see held a stern visage and arms crossed defensively in front of them. “I do not see why Faust cannot do the same, either -- He has made many friends at his new school!”

 

“Says who?” Jessie asks, challenge in their tone.

 

“My brother says so,” the monster replies, pride in his tone. “It is a tutor’s duty to observe the progress the student makes. He was the one in charge of providing you the credit transcript, in fact!”

 

“I don’t see why he’s allowed to meddle so much in my son and (Y/N)’s life,” your ex disagrees, shaking their head. “Things are the way they are for a reason. A tutor shouldn’t butt in on whatever’s going on with me and (Y/N). I don’t know why you think it’s fine for your brother to hang out with a divorced parent in the first place.”

 

“If you would excuse me, I believe everyone has the right to move on. You have found another partner, haven’t you? Why should it be any different for (Y/N)?”

 

“Because (Y/N)’s responsibility’s taking care of Faust now, not mess around with a monster like--“

 

“Hey.”

 

You almost jump at the sound of Sans’s voice from behind you, the feeling of a finger poking the side of your waist adding to that experience. Calming your heart and holding back the surprise in your eyes, you turn to meet with him, an instant sense of guilt rising when being caught nosing around.

 

“Uh. . . Hey,” you speak up, voice shaky with the earlier startle. “How’s it going?”

 

“Weren’t you just overhearing a conversation?” he asks, grinning.

 

“And weren’t you just watching me overhear a conversation?”

 

He snickers at your line of defense, visibly taken aback by the change of expression shown on the white dots of his eye sockets. Aware of the risks of standing nearby Jessie and Papyrus’s argument, he signals for you to follow him outside. You assent and make your way out, excusing yourself from the group for another moment.

 

The mild warmth of the night hits your skin when you step out. You’re promptly greeted by lampposts shining over you and a few cars speeding right past the empty streets. Not exactly knowing what the monster planned to say besides his accusation of seeing you listening in on a conversation, you stand right beside the door and wait for him to take any sort of action.  

 

The sudden memory of what you confessed in court makes you have a change of plans. Gulping your tension away, you press back against the wall before standing straight and passing a hand against the back of your neck.

 

“About what I said back there, Sans -- You. . . I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable, so forget about what I said, alright? I’m really fine with us being friends, and I remember what you said about your last relationship with your friend. I only said it to be honest with the judge, so don't worry about it."

 

You observe him from a distance, the look on his skull unknown to you. His hands are in his pockets while his irises are facing down at the worn path of concrete beneath him. You lean against the wall of the establishment again and cross your arms over your chest, the humidity of the air blowing past warning you over the approaching rainfall. The silence grows unbearable as you wait for him to say anything.

 

“It's fine," he states, a dry chuckle leaving his teeth. "I didn't bring you out here for that -- I just wanted to ask how you're doing. I know the kid wants to stay and that he liked being at Tori's school, but what about you? How've you liked being here so far?"

 

You're caught unprepared by that question and break eye contact with him as soon as you take a second too long to speak up.

 

"If I'm going to be honest with you, I want it to be tomorrow already. I don't want to let Jessie have their way with any of this -- That's the reason why I don't live in this town any more in the first place. Faust's been on his happiest ever since the day we adopted him -- the school's amazing for him, and. . . it's amazing for me, too." Heat settles on your cheeks and ears as you take a breather and continue with your train of thought. "I. . . I like what we have here now, and I want it to stay that way."

 

Sans looks straight at you once you're done with that confession, a quick trace of surprise displaying itself on his skull. Slowly, he takes a step forward and closes off some of the space kept between you.

 

"(Y/N). . ."

 

What he plans to say dissolves away, and quiet quickly falls between you as a few drops begin to land on your skin. One by one, these continue to fall consistently enough to make the two of you seek shelter below the empty gazebo set for people who wanted to eat outside. The breeze blows stronger, lashing out the thin rain right at you. Sans notices and furrows his sockets, staring at the sky before looking at you again.

 

"Let’s go back,” Sans speaks, the way those words come out leaving no room for additional topics to be brought up between you. “It’s gonna fall harder soon, and your food's gonna go cold."

 

Nodding, you manage a strained smile and stand firm, burying down the pang of disappointment at him dismissing that topic entirely.

 

You enter the diner and say your respective goodbyes, sitting back down with Toriel, Frisk, and Solana to finally begin eating your part of the family meal. Sluggishly, you bring a piece of food to your mouth, appetite entirely gone by now. The lukewarm food is no match to the constricting feeling that remains on your chest. Though you try not to dwell on it too much, it’s hard for you to forget when you see him and his younger brother standing in line from afar.

 

Whatever he was about to say, you blamed the downpour for interrupting him and leaving you wanting closure on his thoughts.

Chapter Text

The judge requests silence as he carries on with his final judgement. People are impatient as so are you, in wait for what he was to say next now that Faust had been put under interrogation, and both your and Jessie’s evidence were looked over -- twice by the judge, and once by the police department.

 

“It appears that, while Jessie has photographic evidence of why they chose to take Faust away, that does not excuse the way they obtained it. Police traced the source of the pictures, and these were all taken on Jessie's cellphone," the judge gives commencement to his speech, stern look being brought down at the yellow folder on his podium. "No evidence that they went back overseas was found. This concludes they did not leave at any point, but rather stayed close by, watching to see what (Y/N) would do. It appears Jessie has been present ever since Sans was assigned as Faust’s Math tutor, which dates back roughly six months ago. This explains why Faust was able to return to (Y/N) with two buses rather than a passport.”

 

Pausing on his conclusion, the judge looks at you and the crowd does the same. You freeze in place, the strong sensation of all eyes on you making you beyond uncomfortable. If it weren't for the situation you were in, you would rush out of the room and refuse to look back.

 

“As for (Y/N)’s evidence, Faust and miss Sunny both testified in favour of their reasons for bringing this matter to court. Their respective testimonies allowed us to uncover domestic violence, and both written and verbal threats.”

 

You can feel your legs shaking and cold sweat build up on your palms. Your eyesight goes blurry and you can feel your stomach churn when you overhear what the audience behind you whispers and murmurs to themselves, a few being purposefully louder than necessary for the sake of being spiteful.

 

“Oh dear. . .”

 

“I dunno why (Y/N) didn’t say something about that earlier -- They used to be a cop! Why did they chicken out aluva sudden?”

 

“What a pity what Faust has to go through.”

 

“(Y/N) had it coming for messing around with monsters. That guy they're with is just a janitor bragging he knows basic addition.”

 

“I just hope the kid’s--“

 

“Silence!”

 

All mouths collectively shut at the sound of the mallet hitting twice. Visibly bothered by the interruption, the judge casts a disapproving expression at the crowd before facing Jessie’s side.

 

“Jessie,” the judge speaks, gaining the attention of your ex. The one mentioned grows rigid under the call of their name and faces the judge with an impassive gaze. “I am afraid you are to be sentenced to two years in priso--“

 

“What?” Jessie snaps. A loud scoff leaves their mouth as they look up at the judge's podium, incredulity in their eyes.

 

“You are charged with two years in prison for assault with a minor as the witness.”

 

Surprisingly, the spectators behind you stay quiet. Nobody dares to utter a word, though you can’t discern whether if it’s for the judge’s request for quiet, or if there’s a reason besides that. Still in the process of growing aware of Jessie’s sentence, you look to their side and see them clutching onto the podium, eyes casting down as they slam their hands against the wooden surface. A loud thud follows up to the abrupt explosion of anger in their voice.  

 

“That’s ridiculous! Faust would never send me to prison,” they exclaim, wide eyes darting back and forth in a quick pace, searching for the one responsible for the judge's sentence. “Where is he? I-- I want to hear from him personally.”

 

“I will not allow that. If you wish to see his testimony, we have a recording available for you to see, but I cannot permit you to see Faust or (Y/N) any longer, until you have finished your sentence and proven you won’t resort to physical violence again.”

 

“You call that physical violence?” Jessie asks, a loud chuckle leaving their mouth. “(Y/N) used to be a cop, for fuck’s sake -- Even the crowd agrees with me on that one! They can take a little push and shove.” Their chest heaves sharply when they pause, the sight reminding you of when they’d pinned you down close enough to feel their breath on your face. “I'm sure their old job was way worse than whatever I did.”

 

“Past officer or not, that only makes you look worse. If (Y/N) were still a cop as you say, that would also count as an additional penalty and increase to your sentence.”

 

“But that doesn’t even make sense! (Y/N) should know better than to--"

 

“Silence, (sir/ma’am),” the judge intervenes, slamming the mallet once against his podium. “Bailiff, please escort Jessie out of the room. I would like to have a word with Faust and his (mother/father) now.”

 

With a stuttered ‘right away’, the man from yesterday’s trail arrives between you and Jessie’s podium. He tips his hat when he sees you staring and proceeds to bring Jessie in his hold. Carefully, he puts them in a tight arm lock and orders them to walk along with him.

 

The judge fixes his posture once the pair are gone. He casts his tired eyes over to you and gestures with his hand for you to take a step forward. Hastily, you do as told and look up at him, waiting to have him continue with the trail.

 

“I request two things from you if you wish to keep Faust under your care.”

 

You take a second to think and send a subtle look at the audience. The courtroom is quiet and everyone is calm, standing by until your sentence is determined. Pressure builds in your throat and you have to compose yourself before getting to raise your voice.

 

"What would that be. . .  Your Honor?” you ask, a frown marking itself on your face when you delay in between your words.

 

The judge takes the envelope lying in front of him and hands it to you. Meeting with his eyes, you stand slightly on your toes and reach out a hand for the item. You can feel the crowd already criticizing you from all directions when the envelope begins to shake in your hold. 

 

“Firstly, you must refrain from introducing any new partner into Faust’s life -- until he is old enough not to react the way he did during the interrogation," he explains, making stern eye contact with you. "The changes have been too much and too frequent since the day of your divorce. He has had to adjust himself to moving away, entering a new school, and seeing you grow attracted to his Math tutor, who -- may I add -- is also a monster. The assault he witnessed did not help the situation, and we mustn’t forget he was once taken away from your care, only to then run away barely a month under Jessie’s care.”

 

Quietude falls upon the courtroom. Anxious, you look down for a split second to gain some sense of calm and look back up once he raises his voice again.

 

“If you wish to keep seeing other people, that is fine. But I forbid you bring that person into the household or near him. For the child’s safety and psychological well-being, you must wait until he grows up from these experiences." A break follows with his words. The judge's deep stare is more intense than you can manage at this point. "You must promise to refrain from entering a serious relationship if you want to keep looking after Faust.”

 

Rigidity builds up on the back of your neck as your mind goes into an instant state of overthinking. It doesn’t take long before you’re imagining all sorts of farfetched outcomes based on the judges words. Your throat is as dry as chalk by the time you snap out of it.

 

“Can. . . Can he still go to his old school? He was doing well there and he liked being with his friends.”

 

“Yes, he may -- He has told me himself how much he likes miss Toriel’s school and how many friends he has made there. As for his former tutor, however, he will be assigned a different one if he requires so. Even if you do not have the funds, Jessie’s child support should be enough now that they have been given additional charges.” Each stop the judge takes only makes it worse for you. The envelope is pressed against your torso as a way to mask your nervous body. “Though I did not find it controversial to let him keep his old tutor for the sake of their friendship, it is best he moves on and finds a more stable resource to rely on. Your confession of your feelings for Sans also adds to the reasoning behind my decision.”

 

"Does this mean that--“

 

You find yourself unable to say your next words. Catching onto your doubt and inability to finish that last sentence, the judge nods and lets a minuscule frown tug his lips down.

 

“A restraining order will be applied to Sans. For the next three to five years -- until the child grows past his ten years of age -- Sans is forbidden to cross paths with either one of you.”

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans's Perspective

 

 


 

 

The sight of the human face-calling him is admittedly something beyond his expectations. Sans rolls to the side and grabs his phone charging by the night table, pulling off the chord and scooting back to where he was. He answers the call barely two rings in, the fast action making him take note of the mess of his bedroom.

 

Remembering Papyrus’s advice about good impressions, he moves to the edge of the bed and presses himself against the wall. He does so just in time to greet (Y/N) from the other side.

 

“Hey. . .” the human begins, the awkward tone of their voice making him forget about everything else and remember the reason why they were face-calling him in the first place. “How are you feeling?”

 

He stares at their moving image and sees they’re in the living room. Faust is nowhere to be seen and the only sound he hears is of their own voice.

 

“I’m fine,” he replies, shrugging off their worries before shuffling on his seat and speaking up again. “But how are--“

 

“I’m serious,” (Y/N) interrupts, frowning and furrowing their eyebrows right at him. “I want to know for real now that I got you into this mess.”

 

Sighing, the monster falls back on the bed, angling the phone so it doesn’t show anything besides him -- He was still onset about good impressions, no matter how silly and trifling it was in this situation. The human has a sudden shift in expression at that change of angle, an observation that makes him furrow his eye sockets, only to realize the reason behind their surprise is due to how close to the screen he is now.

 

“You look like you’re hiding something,” (Y/N) comments, a smile causing their face to light up.

 

“Why do ya say that?” Sans asks, chuckling under his breath.

 

“You were standing behind a wall, and now you won't let me see anything else besides your face." They look the least bit convinced about his well-being -- gaze restless and searching his skull for anything out of the ordinary.

 

“Can you make things work even with the monitor holding you back? It must be hard covering it up at school.” The look on their face matches the worry behind their voice, urging the monster to take action and speak up. “I really don’t want to ruin your reputation anymore than it has with the trail.”

 

“It’s fine -- I'm covering it up for school. Don’t worry about that now.”

 

“Still. I’ll try to do something about this, alright? I. . . I know it’s been more than a week and I haven’t gotten anywhere with this, but I’m gonna keep trying to--“

 

“I’m not asking you to do that,” he intervenes, holding the phone up just enough for the human to see the bedsheets, but not the mess scattered about. “Though I won’t lie that I miss havin’ you guys around.”

 

He sees a grin replace the worry on their face and hears a few quick knocks sound on their line. Faust’s distinct voice calling out for his parent is heard as clear as day from behind them. Another emotion overcomes the previous one on the human’s face, and he can tell they’re not sure what to say.

 

“I’m not supposed to let him see you, but. . . I really wish I could. You’re-- You’ve been a great tutor and friend. And just a cool person in general. I don’t know if you’re busy right now, but if you give me a minute I’ll be back to talk with you about something.”

 

“Go ahead, (Y/N). I’ll wait.”

 

The human gives a nod and flips the phone down so it faces the surface of the couch. Now void of a view of their living room, Sans waits and listens as (Y/N) instructs Faust to head upstairs and shower. Steps can be heard going up the stairs and, not long after, he can see a hand turn the phone around and take it from the couch. (Y/N) covers the camera quickly before another set of footsteps -- these louder in comparison to the child’s -- rush in their pace. The camera is then uncovered to reveal the human now sitting on their bed, a bashful look showing on their (s/t) complexion as they sit up straight, huff, and brush some tousled hair away from their face.

 

“I have something for you, Sans.”

 

He watches them put the phone down on the mattress and waits while they pull out a gift box from behind them. It’s much larger than what one would call a regular present, the size big enough to be considered more of a child’s holiday gift than an ordinary present.

 

“I. . . figured you’d need these now that you have that thing around your ankle. I can give you the receipt if they don’t fit.”

 

Another grin makes their eyes and entire demeanor spark with anticipation, hands shaking the present to tease him over the contents. Sans pays close attention to the noise it produces, the sound similar to something soft making friction with cardboard -- most likely some sort of clothing or fabric, given he would need to try that on.

 

“Faust helped pick the colors,” (Y/N) mentions, setting the gift box down in front of them. “Is it okay if I send it to you by mail, or should I leave it with Toriel at her office?”

 

“It’s fine if you leave it at the office. I’ll just pick it up after my shift ends.”

 

“Great! I guess I’ll talk to you la--"

 

“Thanks,” he mutters, stopping the human when he sees they’re about to hang up. “Is it cool with you if I call you back sometimes?”

 

“Sure,” they reply, letting out a laugh. “It’s not like I made the order -- I’m not the one who wants you out of my life.”

 

The longing in their tone is enhanced by the their droopy eyelids and strained smile. They sit up straight and put a hand on the present, the other falling on their chest as they tug at the fabric of their work uniform and break eye contact by facing down at their lap.

 

“Faust just came back from his tutoring lessons. . . But it’s just not the same, y’know?”

 

“Warmed up to me that much, huh?”

 

“I guess so,” they confess, smile widening and eyes finally facing him again. “I never thought it’d be possible, but it really did felt like we were starting over. A new school, new job, new people. . . Having you here every Friday was just another thing I liked about all this.” They bring a hand against the back of their head and rub their neck, looking more troubled the more words left their mouth. “It might just be my sleepiness talking, but I hope that all made sense, at least.”

 

(Y/N) hangs up after that, leaving him no time to say anything about that sudden burst of words. The monster sighs as he rises from the bed and looks around his room, the pile of clothing on one side and the mess of papers and books on the other threatening him each time they got bigger. He lets out a groan and stands in front of the mess of papers and books, giving a head start to his piled up work -- however begrudging a task it was for him at the moment. It was the only thing he could think of doing that would distract him from the call.

 

The ankle monitor wasn’t too much of a bother itself seeing as he could hide it under some long, baggy pants and keep going about his day, yet the reminder he received each day the bell rang was what made him remember why it was there. Every other weekday, when it was time for the students to leave back home, he had to wait until (Y/N) and Faust were gone for him to get anywhere near the school gates. He never dared to get close enough to see the pair and wave at the two from afar, the warning the judge had given sounding more on his mind whenever he thought of doing anything like that.

 

Though he wasn’t entirely in favor of the discrepancies between Jessie and (Y/N)’s sentences, he was in no place to fight against them. Unlike his time on the Underground, his title of judgment was almost entirely stripped away from him the moment he arrived at the Surface, both for the sake of being a monster and not being relevant enough to hold the same power as he once used to.

 

The monster wanted to give up, yet something nagged at him whenever the thought so much as crossed his mind. Then again, it was most likely just his sleepiness talking right now -- quite like the human had stated before.

 

He would’ve left his room and head straight to Grillby’s, if it weren’t for the fact he felt too lazy to get dressed and make the effort of covering the device around his ankle.

Chapter Text

You decide to spend your lunch break at the school, in dire need of discussing what you were planning to do with someone else. Undyne beats you to it first, however, having spotted you from afar now that she was in charge of covering up for Sans each time Faust was near. That thought haunts you as you wave at her and try to keep a neutral expression.

 

“What’s up?” she asks, arriving in front of you. The sound of the soccer ball being kicked around by the children drown out part of her voice, though she speaks just loud enough for you to hear her clearly. You both sit down on one of the benches while you greet some of the parents you're acquainted with by waving at a distance. “I heard you guys still keep in touch after what happened -- Papyrus told me that much, at least.”

 

“Yeah, we. . . We still do,” you state, feeling strange at the mention of that subject. “I called him a few days ago, and I’ve been thinking of doing something about all this. I don’t think I can stop thinking about it until I give it a try.”

 

“What’s on your mind, then? I can help.”

 

You smile at her and hesitate, looking down at your palms and closing them when you make a decision. “I want to talk with the mayor of my town. I’ve been drafting a bunch of letters explaining the problem, but I don’t know what else to do from here -- Or if the letters are even any good to send to the mayor.”

 

The severity of the situation falls upon you right as you finish speaking. Many times you told yourself to keep calm when discussing the topic, yet you couldn’t manage that now that you were actually taking action. You remember Jessie and the confidence they carried up until the end. Even as they were being sent off to jail, they looked shocked at the knowledge that Faust had betrayed them with his confession of what he witnessed, rather than for the mention of their two-year sentence in prison.

 

“I should’ve done something earlier, but things just came one after another, and now I feel like I’ve lost that chance. Sans, he. . . He looked off that time I called him, but he tried to hide it. I doubt he feels okay with what happened, but I- I. . . I don’t even know how to get him to open up. And now that I think about it, why should he?”

 

“First off, calm down, (Y/N),” Undyne intervenes, a chuckle leaving her mouth. “You went off on a spiral stronger than the ones Alphys has.”

 

She scoots closer to your side to have more privacy and stare more directly at you. Her eye softens a little as her expression grows distant, most likely lost in thought. That lasts for a few more seconds, her eye turning back to you.

 

“We all agreed to be careful with what we do,” she continues, words firm as so is the look on her face. “We’re all monsters except for Frisk, so we don’t want to risk having Faust taken away or anything like that. Hell, we even thought of Frisk also being thrown into it if we acted too rashly. That time Toriel had to sit separately from Frisk got to all of us. We were scared we were gonna lose them and everything they represent, even it though it was just that one time.”

 

She leans back on her seat and looks up at the sky, a different emotion showing on her expression. You look up at her, feeling as if she had something left to say out of everything else she had mentioned.

 

“I doubt it’ll be easy, but if you’re also onset about doing this, that says a lot -- ‘Cuz it’s not like we asked you to do that. You started taking action all by yourself.”

 

Her gaze finally breaks off from the sky and a more familiar emotion crosses her face this time around. She looks at the watch tied around her wrist and checks the time.

 

“I have to clean up now, but we can talk more about this later. Do you have me on Overnet yet?”

 

You reply with an ‘I don’t’ and hand her your phone when she requests for it. She accesses the app and gives a few taps, nodding and handing it back to you as soon as she’s done. You thank her and take to phone back to see her profile along with the message of ‘request sent’ at the top right of the screen.

 

“I don’t know if the thought’s crossed your mind lately, but he’s still your friend. If anything, I think he wants to talk with you again. He was all busy yesterday calculating when you’d be out of work to call you, but then I made the mistake of making fun of him about it.”

 

The smile that shows on your face catches you off guard, giving you no chance to fight it back or cover it away from her gaze. You stand up from the bench and search for Faust around the playground, remembering you were still on your lunch break and that you had to be going back soon.

 

You wave at Undyne as she waves back and walks away, leaving you to yourself and with only fifteen minutes left to get back to work. In a hurry, you rush to Faust’s side before preparing to leave and plant a kiss on his cheek once he approaches you.

 

Faust smiles and hugs you, giving you the exact same look he gave you lately whenever he wanted to ask about the situation between you and Sans. It was the same look he gave you after he found you writing the letters and the one when he heard the two of you talking during your face-call last Friday. He had been persistent to know, yet you reminded him of the rules of the judge and how he wasn’t meant to meddle in that subject.

 

Instead of acknowledging his look with words, you give a look of your own right back at him, your firm eye contact, stern frown, and furrowed eyebrows enough for him to get the message. He pouts and relents with a huff, rushing with his friends back to the playground.

 






 

Eight minutes late mark when you clock in. In admittance to your defeat, you slump and let your forehead make contact with the wall. You stay in that position for a while and hold back a grin, waiting until Sunny flies in and places a hand on your back, asking if you're okay. You start to feel guilty about your charade, mind already imagining how worried the Whimsun would look when you turned around.

 

"I'm gonna send that letter," you mutter, lifting your head away from the wall. You can feel a smile creeping on your face with how dramatic those words come out.

 

"R- Right now?" she stutters, pulling her hand back.

 

"As soon as I get out of work. I can't stand to wait. . . and it's only been a few weeks."

 

You turn to her and smile, a laugh finally bursting through when you see her panicking for you. She looks more stressed than she's supposed to, and you feel guilty despite your attempt at teasing her.

 

"How do you even like hanging out with me after I make you worry so much?" you ask, smile widening as you walk with her to the coat hangers to pick up your apron, gloves, and hairnet. "You gave that testimony even though you're not one for crowds, and yet you still put up with me."

 

"I thought it was ex- exciting, actually," she speaks, waiting for you to finish setting up for the second part of your shift. "Seeing all those officers and the judge watching. . . waiting to hear me talk. I- I felt. . . determined all of a sudden. When I saw Faust tell what he witnessed, his bravery gave me courage, and that's when I knew I had to tell about the threats you were getting."

 

Unable to stand listening to her without doing something about her words, you give her a careful nudge and offer her a hug. Her small eyes grow bigger when she sees that, and it takes her a while to shake off her surprise. You bring her close and hug her just tight enough not to hurt her -- her body and wings being frail and less sturdy when compared to a human's average physicality.

 

"Thank you."

Chapter Text

You receive a response from the mayor faster than you're expecting to. Having sent your letter the day after talking with Undyne -- Wednesday, to be more exact -- you weren't expecting to receive a response until next week. Your hands begin to shake when you take hold of the letter, closing your eyes when you pull the paper out of the envelope and opening them when you're done. Your eyes skim past the pleasantries and concentrate on his reaction to your complaint.

 

"While I do not plan to change the laws, I am interested in your complaint, (miss/mister) (L/N). Your short-term service to our community the past year was questionable, but I commend your unwavering dedication towards your beliefs. I assume the fellow you mentioned is your partner, correct? Otherwise, it would be strange for you to worry about him as much as you do. I still do not approve of you leaving your position as an officer to side with the monsters, but do as you wish. I will deem whether your complaint is worthy or not based on our first meeting this upcoming Monday at one thirty in the afternoon. You have three to four days to prepare until then."

 

A knot forms on your throat when you finish reading. You fold the paper by the same lines and slip it back into the envelope. Your sight turns blurry and you feel nauseous at the thought of what awaits you ahead. The pressure builds and you find yourself at the need to sit down for support, pressing the back of your head against the couch and letting your body find ease.



 


 



Sans actually lets you see his room the second time you call him. You're sitting on the edge of the bed with your back facing the mirror of your dresser, already out of your work uniform and door locked in case Faust woke up in the middle of the night.

 

"Hey," you greet, a smile showing on your face. Your eyes take in the room behind him: a twin bed, a small work desk, and some laundry on a basket lying at the corner of the room. The lighting is dim, the moonlight that enters the windows casting nature's shadows on the floor. Sans is sitting on what looks to be a black office chair with wheels and -- unlike you with your gray and blue pajamas -- he doesn't seem like he's ready to call it a night yet. “Are you. . . feeling better?”

 

“Sorta, yeah,” he replies, honest response made seem less important by the way he shrugs it off with a laugh. “That gift you sent me helped a lot.”

 

“So, they fit?” Excitement is present in your question. That feeling grows when he nods and you see him stand up to reveal the clothing he now wore. The pair of dark-coloured pants reaching right below the ankle and their thick fabric were able to hide away the monitor Sans was obliged to carry everywhere he went. “I didn’t think I’d get your size right.”

 

His irises flicker once and grow brighter when he sits back down, expression appearing less dreary to your view. He rolls the chair to your left and arrives at his work desk, where he retrieves a small, black box from the top drawer.

 

“I, uh, got somethin’ for ya, too.” The monster breathes in and tugs at the collar of his shirt with his free hand. He looks troubled to speak up again. “I. . . had a lotta time to think these past few days about what you confessed over in court. These past three weeks without you around kinda made me realize how I feel.”

 

“Sans,” you intervene, flustered at the thought that he was forcing himself now. “You don’t have to-"

 

"About what you said to me before the final judgement," he intervenes, facing you directly enough to make you waver and pull back slightly from the camera. "I don't think I can return your feelings just yet, but I care about you."

 

A tidal wave of self-directed I told you so's make way into your mind, the fact that you so much as kept hold onto the hope that he felt the same way vanishing. Restless and drained of your calm, you immediately fault yourself and take it you had been too hasty with your expectations the day he pulled you out of the diner, and that -- one way or another -- you had pushed him to give you an answer at the most inconvenient time possible. 

 

"Don't get me wrong, (Y/N) -- I don't wanna put you in a tough place with this stuff, since I know I ain't exactly rejecting or accepting your feelings here. If you like someone else by the time this is all over with, don't wait for me. But right now, I can't be in a relationship with you -- or pretty much anybody else -- knowing what's been happenin' these days."

 

A slow nod's the only action you're capable of now. You look away and breathe in, trying to bury your despondency in order to face him back. You want to be reasonable and avoid letting your thoughts go too deep into the subject, but your mind persists and your pulse speeds up the more you think about it. Going through the mail before making the call had been a mistake -- the pressure was too much.

 

“Anyway, I. . . heard from Undyne you’re tryna to talk with the town’s mayor now,” he continues, changing the subject. He toys with the box in hand by flipping it and setting it down on his lap afterwards. “So you were doing this on your own all this time?”

 

“It just felt like it was my responsibility.”

 

You pull back slightly when you see Sans’s face grow dull. The sudden change of expression and the heavy silence that overcomes the conversation reminds you of what often happened right before you started an argument with your family or (ex) spouse. “It ain’t supposed to be like that -- I thought we were past that stage now.”

 

Angry, you inch forward and press your eyebrows together. A frown falls on your mouth and your tongue is ready to snap at him. “You wouldn’t tell me what was bothering you last week, either.”

 

“Just like you told everyone in court about what Jessie did to you, when I knew nothin’ about it.”

 

“It’s in my right to choose what I want to say, and when I want to say it.”

 

“Then it should be my right, too.”

 

Exasperation shows by the way your chest rises and falls with each rough breath. You both look at one another for a long, excruciating while, until you stare at his clothes and he looks down at the box. Expressions simultaneously soften, and you’re the first one to shake your head and laugh at the shift in moods.

 

“How did this happen? I just called to check how you’re doing.” You pass a hand through your hair as you say that, emotions running high now that the spontaneous argument came to an end. “It’s- It’s not like we’re a family, or a couple, or anything like that. I mean, friends fight too, but. . .” You cover your face with your hand and groan before facing him again. “This is so damned frustrating.”

 

“Tell me about it,” he replies, chuckling. “I'm not sure what we are now, but this is honestly one of the things that keeps me going. I really like the time we spent together, (Y/N) -- Faust included." 

 

Bewildered by his last statement, you sit up straight and stare at him directly. He picks up the box he previously set on his lap and opens it, revealing a dark blue phone strap with a circular locket dangling right beside it.

 

“I was gonna give you this after you won the custody, but then that happened.”

 

He opens it up and displays the image of you and Faust standing by the garden on Toriel’s home. Faust is in your arms while he holds onto the sunflower Sans had given you, warm and bright smiles closely matching with the faint rays shining above you. The background is the small pond you had spent hours on talking, and you can almost make out every little detail despite how compressed the image is.

 

“Paps helped out with the locket. He thought it’d be nice to hang it on your phone.”

Chapter Text

"Nothing that matters is easy." – Miss Fisher Season 1, Episode 2

 

 


 

 

It’s Monday.

 

You’re all dressed up for the occasion: a plain dress shirt, a suit, and a tie. The weather is against you, the wind that blows when you get out of the car spitting needle-like rain on your clothes. You guard your attire by taking out an umbrella and opening it, using it until you reach the entrance of the town hall. A guard steps in front of you as soon as you stand before the doors and asks the reason for your visit. She gives you a quick once over and tries not to let her recognition be seen -- something that seemed to happen often at your hometown ever since the mention of your trail was plastered all over the newspapers they gave out.

 

“Good afternoon, (miss/mister) (L/N). The mayor has been expecting you,” she states, looking at the small watch on her wrist to check the time. Wary, you check the hour on your phone, relieved when you see you’re twelve minutes early for the meeting. “I will escort you to his office shortly, but I will need to perform a security checkup first.”

 

Nodding, you follow her lead and pass through the entrance, stopping when she does the same. She takes you to her station composed of a single desk and chair, complete with the equipment needed for security, all located in one small room kept hidden from the waiting area of the town hall. She instructs you to stretch your arms out and begins patting your suit for anything that might stick out. You wait and see her take out your phone and wallet, handing you back the latter and keeping the phone in her hold.

 

“We will be confiscating your phone until the meeting is over,” she explains, her blue eyes staring deep into you while she passes a hand through her ginger hair. “If you can’t find me here by the time you’re out of the meeting, another officer will be waiting for you.”

 

“Understood,” you speak up, a polite smile showing your agreement. The locket dangling on the phone makes you hesitate, and you try to find courage to say your thoughts out loud. “But may I still keep the locket? It’s. . . very important to me.”

 

The officer raises an eyebrow, subtle action giving away her interest for knowing the reasons of the importance behind the locket. She inspects the item and uses a metal detector to verify it’s safe. Once she marks it as such, she takes it again and unlatches it from the phone, giving it back to you.

 

“Here you are, (ma’am/sir).”

 

“Thank you, officer.”

 

She pockets the phone and continues walking after taking a turn to the left. Her broad shoulders are firm in place as her heeled dress shoes tap against the marbled floor, the rhythm quick and consistent to your hearing. You follow close by her side, careful not to fall behind on your steps and make her point that out when noticing.

 

You’re tempted to stop when you catch sight of something shining from the corner of your eye, but settle with a double-take before you keep walking any further from it. It’s gone by the time you look again, though you can’t bring yourself to shake it off as your imagination.

 

“Here we are.”

 

You dismiss those thoughts and wonders at the sound of the woman’s voice. Her voice is firm, and she’s holding the door open with one hand, the other she uses to lead you in. Her expression is unreadable as you step in, dull mouth and severe eyes making it hard to see beyond her composed nature.

 

The door closes with a thud, leaving you no option aside from checking out the room when you realize the mayor is not on his desk. (E/c) eyes scan the area from east to west, taking in the stuffy, if not imposing look of the thick curtains blocking nature from your view. The mayor’s desk is clean aside from his silver name plaque and a thick, yellow file with your information on it. You take a step closer, curious to read the words scribbled on top of it.

 

“(Y/N) (L/N)’s Child Custody Case. Case File Number-“

 

Lightning striking close to the windows interrupts you from reading. The lights flicker and warn over a possible power outage while the air conditioner shuts down in entirety.

 

“These darned thunderstorms keep messing with the air conditioner!” a man’s voice exclaims, almost scaring you out of your skin with how quiet it is now -- it was a large difference without the cooling device making noise.

 

Your gaze falls upon the mayor, who emerges from the door located on the right side of his desk. He’s busy holding onto more documents in his hands, a soft smile welcoming you to sit down.

 

“Come now, (miss/mister) (L/N),” he greets, walking to his desk and setting the pile of papers and folders down on it. “I have been eager to talk with you again.”


 



 

The mayor’s friendly attitude lasts until the most part of your meeting. His words are calming and considerate whenever you mention your troubles, though one question in particular makes his smile quaver.

 

“Why do you agree with Sans’s sentence despite acknowledging him as my partner in your response letter?”

 

His countenance twitches as he folds his hands over the desk, straightening his posture before answering. “I simply do not believe this will last between you -- It has only been seven months, hasn’t it? Your marriage with Jessie ended in spite of you knowing them for many years. Who is to say you won’t lose interest in Sans after a period of separation?”

 

You’re at a loss for a response to his statement. Your mind racks for a quick response, though all of them fall short when you plan to say them out loud. So far, the meeting had gone smoothly and you had even retrieved the hope of it resulting well. Now, you think differently. The mayor’s smile shifts into a grin, warmth and amiability falling away from his gaze.

 

“I’d like to object on that, sir. Jessie’s views clashed with mine, so I had to leave them. Sans, though, he. . . I care about him, and I think I have the right to move on just as much as Jessie has with their new lover.”

 

“But now Jessie is in jail because of you, aren’t they?”

 

“Jessie is in jail because they attacked me right in front of Faust.”

 

You reach into your pocket and clutch onto the locket, squeezing it in hopes of easing out your mind and gaining some sort of calm. You had gone too far to let things go to waste now.

 

“Still, I believe you would know better with your past experiences in the workforce, correct? One of the main requisites was practiced knowledge on self-defense for a reason.”

 

That comment weakens your resolve. Your thoughts go out of order as buried memories of the times you were brushed off in a similar manner surface again. It had been this way ever since you left your old job, and things didn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

 

“I didn’t want to scare Faust -- He ran back home, and he was shaking when Jessie showed up yelling."

 

“Then perhaps you should’ve thought first about who you were bringing in home with you. If you had listened to your-"

 

“It was already proven Jessie didn’t keep their part of our agreement. They went as far as stalking me to get evidence in their favor.”

 

You tighten your hold on the locket one final time before letting it go, determined to say your mind for at least once in a lifetime. Many times you had been reluctant and indecisive when it came to choosing something for your own good and the good of Faust. Hadn’t you received upfront support from your next-door neighbour and a few of your friends, you wouldn’t have gained courage to face Jessie like you had in court.

Chapter Text

“They may have chosen a wrong way to execute their beliefs, but they were still trying to keep your son out of harm's way.”

 

The mayor's words are final. He leans back on his desk chair, defiance showing underneath the well-mannered expression he tried to keep with you.

 

“If you still can’t see the wrong Jessie did even with all the evidence brought up in court, then I won’t keep bothering you, mayor. I think you of all people should know how wrong it is to be that unjust with people.”

 

It takes all you have in you not to bring up the disbalance between Sans and Jessie’s sentences. You still believed it to be incomprehensible that one would receive almost five years of sentence while the other got only two. That single thought is enough fuel for your anger to rise along with your pride.

 

You stand up and fix your outfit, trying to keep your head up despite the itchy feeling of your eyes and the dryness of your throat. You can already tell you’ve lost this case by the unimpressed features of the mayor. His lips are a straight line and his hands are still neatly folded over his desk, not budging to move or do anything in protest to your leave. He keeps quiet until your hand reaches the exit door, ready to push it open and leave.

 

“Good day, (L/N).”

 

“Good day, mayor.”

 

A tear escapes your eye when your close the door behind you, feeling your chest tighten when you remember it’s only been a month since Sans was given his sentence. You missed him -- there was no other way to put it. You missed having him over on Fridays and planning the days when you would hang out as a pair, or by Faust and the monster’s family by your side.

 

The officer notices you when you take a few steps down the hall leading back to the main entrance. Concern seems to fall on her visage when she sees you quieter and gloomier than when you first made it here. She doesn’t say a word, however, and instead signals for you to follow her down the hallway, steps slowing down for your sake.

 

“You’re mister Sans’s partner, correct?”

 

Her voice catches you by surprise when she decides to speak mid into your walk back together. She’s looking up at you, her shorter height and soft look never dampening the drape of authority she carried within.

 

“We, uh. . . never got to that point.”

 

“Really? Not even a kiss or anything of the sort? He looked genuinely worried for both you and your son.”

 

“Nothing, really. We’re still friends -- It got tougher now that we’re technically in a long-distance relationship.”

 

Platonic relationship, I’m guessing?” she teases, nudging you on the shoulder.

 

“Kind of,” you reply, a tiny, amused smile replacing the sorrow you carried fresh in your thoughts. “We talked about our relationship a few days ago, and I guess he wouldn’t mind dating if we weren’t in this situation.”

 

You can see the officer bite her lip and hesitate on her steps. It looks like she has something she wants to say, though she doesn’t speak when you make eye contact. The walk back together feels longer to you with how many turns you take to get there. The same, sudden flash of light appears at the corner of your eye again, but the same as before happens when you look back at it.

 

The woman passes a hand through her curls as she looks at you. “What about finding another solution if this doesn’t work out? Have you tried talking with the judge directly? I’m not supposed to say this, but. . . He might have a soft spot with you now that he worked on your case.”

 

“I. . .” You’re left dumbstruck by her words, not quite expecting that from her. “Thank you. I didn’t think about that.”



 


 



The constant thunder and increase in rain force you to stop trying. No matter how many times you turn the key and fruitlessly slam your hand against the car, it won’t start. You forgot to check up on it with the last warning you got.

 

Muttering hostile words under your breath, you press your forehead against the wheel and flinch back when the car honks at you. You lower down the glass just enough not to let the rain in and lock the doors, letting your back rest against the seat when you’re done. Another flash of lighting is enough of an encouragement for you to sit up straight and try again, the proximity of that last bolt threatening you into taking quick action.

 

The engine sputters complaints right before it manages to start up. You turn the air conditioner off in hopes of lessening the vehicle’s struggles, change the shift out of parking, and buckle up. Bracing yourself, you step on the gas until the car finally gives in, a side smile inviting itself on your face at that small victory.

 

Rain continues to fall harder as you drive out of town and towards the city, the thunderstorm never ceasing to surprise you. In a pinch, you allow yourself to take a shortcut in your usual route to Faust’s school, checking the time to make sure you wouldn’t make him wait. You pass by a series of tall buildings, wooden houses, and flooded terrains until you drive past the final trace of old, rundown edifices to reach a small hill overtaken by countless trees and wildflowers sprouting from all directions.

 

The engine starts to pull again, unable to put up the strength it needs to go up the hill, and you can see the speed meter lower not long after. The shortcut you took is useful in the sense that there's no vehicles nearby honking for you to move when your car slows down, but it still has its disadvantages. In sync with the next strike of thunder, the engine coughs and shuts down, leaving you right in the middle of the road. Begrudgingly, you turn the key around and take it out of the slot, pocketing it along with you and securing your phone inside the drawer next to you.

 

You set the car on parking for extra safety measures and take hold of the umbrella under the front passenger seat. Remembering the hour and destination you had to reach by four o' clock, you gain determination to get out of the car. The sky is still pouring for you to see too much ahead, but the familiar look of the place makes you want to look around some more. You're not too far from Toriel's home, the greenery around you closely matching from the time Sans had driven there for you to see the garden. The umbrella serves as your shield when you step out and squint your eyes to see through the rain. You take off your suit jacket and throw it back in the car, walking on ahead with your dress shirt and shoes.

 

Your heart sinks at the sight of Mt. Ebott closed off with police tape long-past drained of its bright, yellow colour, the image bringing back memories of the day you locked up almost fifty monsters for allegedly attacking Frisk to no end. You remember peeking into the social worker’s office to see the young ambassador trying to explain the innocence of a great majority of the monsters, that scene being one of the first to make your purpose waver.

 

All thoughts are shaken off when you feel someone hold you from behind, your guard falling and body gaining relaxation when you make note of who it is. Height difference and scent are the principal factors to give out the person's identity, his absence making you take in the feeling more than usual. The umbrella is taken out of your grasp by a different person and warmth quickly falls on your shoulders as a towel is placed over them. 

 

“What the hell were you doing out here? You’re soaked.”

 

The pull of your soul ceases when you hear him talk. You break your eyes away from Sans’s back to see Frisk and Undyne out in the rain, umbrellas and plastic ponchos shielding them from a likely cold. The uniform Frisk is wearing reminds you it’s already three in the evening and that Faust leaves school at four.

 

Despite his words and how damp your clothes are, the monster doesn’t seem to want to let go. His hands are careful not to go any lower than your back, though he’s still close enough for you to hear his shaky breathing.

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be at school?” you ask, voicing out the first thought that comes into mind.

 

“I was. But the kid got suspended, so I’m looking after ‘em till Tori’s back from work. Undyne’s gonna cover the rest of my shift.”

 

“This is heartwarming and all, but why don’t we talk about this somewhere safe?" Undyne's voice suggests. “You guys already broke a law here, so you might as well keep on breaking it until we’re done talking.”

 

“Oh God, I’m sorry,” you mutter, pushing Sans away when you remember the sentence he was under. You look at his uniform and take note of the monitor now visible through the soaked fabric of his pants. “I swear I’ll explain before they try to fine you for this.”

 

A clash between a nearby tree and a lightning bolt makes everyone present flinch and huddle close. You inspect the area around you to see another car parked not too far ahead, waiting behind yours.

 

“Seriously, punks. Get in there before I pick you both up and throw your butts in myself.”

 

“Right,” Sans agrees, sparing a look at Undyne before looking at you. “I'm guessin' that's your car over there?"

 

"Yeah, it. . . it shut down on me."

 

"Then c'mon in, (Y/N)," Undyne speaks up, gesturing with her hand for you to follow her out of the rain. Frisk smiles and mimics her actions, waiting for you to join them. "I'll deal with that after we make it to Toriel's place."

 

You thank the fish lady and walk in a group with the four of them, Frisk marching happily about while you stay a bit far behind, keeping up with Sans's slower pace. He notices and closes off part of the distance between you, Undyne's earlier words of wisdom being taken into account.

Chapter Text

Thunder becomes less frequent when you make it to Toriel’s home. You’re sitting on the guest bed with a towel wrapped around your body, waiting for your shirt and pants to come out of the dryer. Your phone rings during your wait, and you pick it up to see a message from Faust under Toriel’s phone number.

 

Im at miss Toriels office. We can ride the school bus, but we cant leave until the rain stops. Im playing with my friends until then :))

 

You smile at the message and type back a response.

 

Got it. Do you want me to pick you up still? The car broke down, but I can get there before 5 pm.

 

I wanna take the bus!! My friend always takes it so I wanna go with her

 

Alright. Take care, dear. <3

 

“Undyne hauled up your car at the garage.”

 

You look up from your phone and see Sans leaning by the doorway, a cup in hand and a folded towel in the other. He walks over to you and sits down by your side, handing you the cup. It feels warm to the touch and you stare down at it to view a serving of hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows and a dollop of whipped cream.

 

“. . .With a car crane?”

 

“With her hands.”

 

The monster hands you the towel and laughs when he sees the shocked, if not stupefied look on your face. He scoots closer to your side and places a hand on your lap, avoiding contact with your skin. “I’m serious, (Y/N),” he states, snapping you out of your awestruck daze. “She just lifted the back up a lil’ and pushed it all the way up to the garage.”

 

“I knew she was strong, but woah,” you speak up finally, shaking your head lightly as a laugh prevents you from taking the first sip of your drink. “Wasn’t she part of the Royal Guard back then?”

 

“Yeah,” he replies, placing the towel over your shoulders. You quirk an eyebrow at that, but it falls back when you take a look at the towel you’re wearing. It’s still cold and humid from the shower you took to wash off from the aftermaths of the storm. Catching on, you take a gulp of the drink, place it down on the floor, and pick up the towel from your shoulders, placing it over the old towel before letting that one go. “She can’t be with the law yet, but she’s damn good with heavy work, and she’s been coverin' up for my shifts ever since I got that sentence.”

 

“What about Papyrus?”

 

“He’s an assistant cook at the food court a few miles from here.”

 

Nodding, you pick up the cup and take another sip, checking the time on your phone before deciding to bring up another topic. “Did you make this?”

 

“Frisk did.” Sans stands up from the bed and takes the old towel along with him, folding it over his arm as he stares at you again. “You can walk around if you want. Frisk’s down at their room in case that’s what’s keeping you here.”

 

“It’s fine -- I think the clothes should be done drying soon.”

 

No other words are exchanged after you say that. Sans is already by the door frame when you decide to say something else. Though the argument from a few days ago had been dealt with as quick as it came, it was made apparent that he still felt uneasy about your relationship with how much he tried to keep distance with you just now.

 

“Wait,” you call out, standing up from the bed. Your hand keeps the towel from slipping when you head toward his side. Less than an arm’s length away, you lean down slightly and place a kiss on his cheekbone, lips lingering for just a second before you pull away. “Thank you for the locket."

 

Your face is still in front of his when you say that. Though his regular expression doesn’t change much on a first glance, the single flicker in the white lights of his irises and the hand he places against your torso show his surprise over that action. He removes his hand back and closes off the distance, bringing you into another hug, this one softer and less in duration compared to when you greeted him out in the rain.

 

 


 

 

You slip off the towel and stand before the dresser's mirror with nothing else besides your underwear, dry clothes laying by the bed. The feeling of a rougher material under the soft fabric of the towel is accompanied by the sound of crunching. Startled, you unfold the towel completely to reveal another sticky note similar to the one Sans had placed the time you met up at the library.

 

“betcha didn’t expect this gag twice in a row, huh? flip the paper around."

 

The note is wrinkled but legible to your eyes nonetheless, though you still have to squint to make out some of the words, these faded and smudged by your hand. A longer message is present on the back side of the note.

 

"i'd been feeling stuck lately, but not anymore. that argument we had helped, and it made me think about how much we've opened up with each other. just like how i didn't give a single damn about myself a few days ago, i didn't give a damn about this thing 'round my ankle when i saw you today. i wanted to hug you, and so i did just that. 'course that doesn't mean i can do that again whenever i want, 'cuz i'm sure this'll come bite back at me soon. but one thing's for sure, it was well worth it."

 

You drop the note at the last sentence, mind shutting down the rest of your surroundings to focus solely on that small string of words.

 

"i like you, (y/n)."

 

Those words make their rounds on your mind as you stare down at the note now lying on the floor. It's already four o' clock sharp and you're just about ready to head back home with the next bus at four thirty, eager to get there first before Faust grew any more suspicious of your whereabouts again.

 

You crouch down and pick up the paper, hand shaking with anticipation. Not quite believing your eyes, you read the letter for a second time, against being hasty regardless of the time crunch you were in.

 

Choice #3

 

What will you do next ?

 

a.) Confront him.

b.) Dismiss the note.

c.) Leave it for later.

d.) Hold onto it.

Chapter Text

Choice A

Confront him

 

You decide to confront him about the note. Still in your underwear, you begin dressing up as quickly as you’re able to and check yourself in the mirror once before stepping out of the guest room.

 

The exit leads to a hall with a few potted plants set next to each door. You turn to your left and arrive at a small living room composed of a reclining chair, a couch, a coffee table, and a bookcase. Sans is sitting on the couch with a small pile of papers set on one side, a briefcase in the other, and a pen in hand. He’s facing down at a piece of paper, busy correcting it with blue marks, though he stops when he hears you enter the room.

 

“Hey,” you call out, directing a small wave at him.

 

“Headin’ out already?” Sans asks, setting the papers down on the table in front of him.

 

“Yeah, I. . .” you trail off, taking another step into the room as you decide whether to truly approach him or not. “I just. . . came to say goodbye.”

 

Sans lets out a breath through his nose cavity as his smile loosens up at the sides. He stands up and stretches his bones, appearing more relaxed once he does so.

 

“You read the letter, didn’t ya?” he asks, playfulness in his tone.

 

“I might’ve,” you reply, refusing to acknowledge the taunt behind those words. You approach the monster and close off the distance left between you, though you stop when you get too close to his face.

 

As if taking note of your doubt, Sans stands to close off the remaining height difference and presses his teeth against your cheek, his left hand finding its way to the back of your head to keep you still while the other stays back. He lets go not long after that, the bold, shameless expression on his face making you wish you could wipe it away.

 

“I’d take you out right now if I could. Did anyone ever tell you how smokin’ you look in a suit?”

 

Stunned, you blink once at his words, mind incapable of registering them in order to make sense of them. Of all the things you were expecting from him, this was really not one of them. Refusing to accept those words as his own, you look around for any possible accomplice and catch Frisk peeking in from the kitchen door. They notice and hide as quickly as you spot them.

 

“What can I say, (Y/N)? The kid’s good at this stuff -- They even made a frog blush once with their compliments.”

 

You want to say something, but you’re cut short by your phone’s alarm ringing. It marks four twenty-five when you pick it up, hurrying you to make way to the bus stop. In a race against time, you say your goodbyes and thank both people present for their help -- Frisk for the chocolate, and Sans for taking you in.

 

 


 

 

Choice B

Dismiss the note

 

You dismiss the note, any possible happiness you could obtain from it perishing when you remember what Sans said during your argument. Though those written words reached your heart, you couldn’t accept them wholeheartedly without thinking about the situation you were in. There was still the obstacle of his sentence keeping you from getting anywhere further than you had. Giving into those thoughts, you crumple the note into a ball and throw it away into the paper bin nearby, incapable of looking back at it when you finish getting dressed and exit the guest room.

 

Frisk is the first to greet you with a wave when you step out, smiling at you as you pass through the hall and walk past various doors and potted plants until you arrive at the exit of their home. You don’t have the necessary courage to see Sans in person or much less talk to him with his letter still fresh in your memory, so you settle with casting a quick look at him sitting at the living room's couch.

 

Looking away and reaching for the doorknob, the door opens with a single turn and allows you to step outside. The only thing you manage before walking away is to sign a haste ‘thank you’ and offer Frisk a smile right as you close the door behind you.

 

The alarm on your phone starts to ring and you take it out to see it’s four twenty-five already. You turn it off and hurry down the road, in search for the bus stop before it was too late.

 

You don’t know where those minutes went by or why you took so long to come up with a single decision, but you don’t have time to think about it now that you’re falling behind schedule. The bus is already waiting for you, and it’s close to driving off when you get there.

 

 


 

 

Choice C

Leave it for later

 

Not wanting to risk getting home late, you save the note for later by putting it away in your pants’ back pocket along with your phone. You ready yourself to go out and close the door behind you, checking you have everything with you when you make it to the living room.

 

Sans and Frisk are there when you reach the room. You thank them both for helping you out and say your farewells afterwards. They return your gesture and wave as you step out of the house, four twenty-five marking itself on your phone’s screen. Time is limited, but you’re able to reach the bus stop before it leaves.

 

 

You arrive home to see Faust already waiting for you, backpack on one side of the living room and shoes placed near the door. He smiles at you and runs your way, giving you a hug.

 

“Did you have fun with your friends?” you ask, returning his smile.

 

He nods firmly and grins, performing a victorious pose by straightening his back and placing his hands on his hips. “I won at hide-and-seek today!”

 

Faust beams when you compliment him over his achievement. You instruct him to go shower and wait until you see him go up the stairs, letting him know you were waiting for him to follow your instructions. He looks like he wants to protest and ask for some time instead, though he doesn’t say anything when he sees the stern look on your face. It’s noticeable by the way his eyes spark and how he pouts that he’s suspicious of you again.

 

“We can talk later, dear,” you speak up, ushering him to go. “I promise I won’t keep so many secrets from you, but you have to listen to me first -- Now go shower and come back after you’re done.”

 

He mutters a reluctant ‘okay’ before looking away and making his way up to the bathroom. You enter your kitchen and turn on the stove to heat up the food you left before going off to work. While you wait, you reach for your phone and look for Sans’s Overnet profile, taking a peek of his social media to view his most recent posts and clicking on ‘send a message’ once the screen loads.

 

I like you, too.

Though I guess you knew that already.

 

i’m gonna be frank with ya and say i have no clue when it comes to dating.

so, in a way, i wasn’t really sure you did ‘til you told me upfront.

 

Are you really sure about this, though?

I know you said you couldn’t date anyone because of your sentence.

 

i like to gamble sometimes.

and not gonna lie, having you so close today motivated me into giving you that letter.

 

So you’re sure about this?

 

definitely.

i’d take you out today if i could.

but i hope this’ll be enough for now.

 

An image pops up after that last message. As soon as it loads, you can feel blood drain from your face. It’s a stock photo complete with a watermark and the generic brand name ‘Best Value’ sticker placed on the fruit.

 

. . .A date?

 

the best kind.

 

 


 

 

Choice D

Hold onto it

 

You choose to put the note away in your wallet, hiding it behind your driver's license. It takes you no longer than a few minutes to get dressed and leave the room, remembering you had to make it home soon. The door closes behind you as you exit and pass by various doors decorated with potted plants, until you make it to the living room, where Sans and Frisk stand. The human child is busy organizing a bookshelf while the monster is sitting down on the couch nearby, going through some papers and setting some apart.

 

The child greets you the second they spot you and offer you to stay a bit longer. You think of declining their offer, but one look at your phone gives you security that you have a few minutes to spare until the next bus made it to the stop. 

 

Frisk asks if you enjoyed the chocolate they prepared while Sans keeps to himself, making eye contact with you when you answer the younger one’s question. You smile at the skeleton when you see him, though you can’t bring yourself to do anything beyond that. Instead, you mention you have to leave five minutes before the next bus arrived and wave goodbye without exchanging a word with him. You do, however, pull the note out of your wallet, wave it at Sans discreetly, and wink, said actions retrieving a flustered look from his part. He looks away and concentrates back on organizing the papers scattered about, sparing a quick look at you before you leave as he waves. 

 

You almost take it as your imagination when he winks back right after.

 

 

Your heart leaps when you step out of the kitchen. The two dinner plates on your hold almost topple over when you see the wrinkled note now in Faust’s hold. His eyes are narrowed as he reads through the paper’s contents, the fact that the wallet was still in your possession making you wonder just how it slipped out. He seems concerned for the most part of reading, though a smile breaks his tension away when he reads the last bit. You don’t move an inch, paralyzed by the sight of him having caught onto one of your (not-so) well-kept secrets.

 

”Are you guys dating now?” Faust asks, tearing his eyes away from the paper to look at you. He seems excited by that thought rather than troubled or angered by the revelation.

 

“No,” is your response, that single word coming out stronger than you intended it to. You see him flinch at the sharp and sudden rise in your voice, noticeably caught off guard by your reaction. “Or, well. . . Not yet,” you correct, sighing as you take in another breath and place his plate on the center table of your living room. “I haven’t wrote back at him about the letter.”

 

"But you like him, too. . . Right?” Faust presses on, setting the note down on the table right next to the food.

 

“I do, but that doesn’t mean I can go anywhere with that yet -- The judge’s decision is still there, dear. We can’t risk it.”

 

"That doesn't mean you can't text him, though," Faust suggests, smug grin and tone making you wonder who he was hanging out with for him to say something like that. You can't believe him and his enthusiasm in discussing that topic.

Chapter Text

You wake up to a hand against your mouth and another pinning you firm in place.

 

Still groggy with sleep, it takes awhile for the gravity of the situation to fall upon you, even more so when the attacker is a familiar face. Jessie’s standing on top of you, eyes wild and wide with anger as their fingers dig deep into your skin, nails piercing through. They let go of the hand over your mouth only to mash their lips against yours when you try to get a word in what they’re doing. You struggle to break free, repulsion manifesting quickly by the way your stomach churns at the feeling of their mouth on yours.

 

“What the hell’s wrong with you?!” you shout once you’re free, pushing them away by grabbing their forehead and shoving them back, teeth smacking with theirs when you break the kiss. You hiss at the pain but gain the upper hand when they fall and hit the bed with their back, though it’s only temporary. Jessie stands up almost instantly and corners you in place again.

 

“You’re ruining everything!” they exclaim, wiping blood away from their mouth. You don’t notice you cut their lip earlier until they start bleeding, a short trail tracing all the way down to their chin. “Haven’t you seen the news? Your little friendship parade with those monsters is all over the papers, and people won’t shut up about the trail -- I'm the bad one now thanks to you!”

 

“Let me go,” you demand, not daring to make a move in case your energy was deemed necessary for an escape route. Your eyes bounce from the locked door of your room to the curtained window just a few steps away from the bed. “I know I should’ve discussed with you what I wanted to do when we were married, but I wasn’t the one who took Faust away. And I wasn’t the one who attacked y-“

 

You’re silenced by their hand letting go of your shoulder to grab hold of your chin. They crane your neck up to make you look at them, unaffected when they see you scowl at the force of that action. “I made a big mistake, too, (Y/N). I would’ve never let you divorce me if I knew, and maybe then we wouldn’t be stuck in this mess. I’ve received nothing but backlash since I made it into prison, and all for what? It’s not like I threatened you with a knife -- You had your chance to fight back!”

 

“I tried to-“

 

“Shut up. I’m the one talking now.” They pull your chin higher and bring you closer, a wide, complacent grin marking their face. “Would you believe me if I said I still love you? I can’t believe it myself, but you're still nice to look at. You’ve still got your charm, (Y/N) -- pajamas and all.”

 

“I thought you moved on,” you object, pulling the bedsheets over yourself when you notice Jessie’s eyes linger a little too much on your body. It doesn’t help when you see the traces of blood on their lip, reminding you of how they chose to silence you the first time. “You told me you found someone else back when Faust started school.”

 

“I did, but I got tired after a while -- It’s just not the same.”

 

Your mind is close to collapsing with how much tension it’s set under. You try to stand up and push them away, yet they keep you from doing so by digging their fingers harder against your skin. They keep you still and refuse to back off, no matter how soft with melancholy their expression turns after they say those words. Cornered, you try to keep some degree of calm and brace yourself to fight back, planning out your first attack.

 

“I’m gonna have my way with you before I put an end to this completely.”

 

You direct a punch at their jaw the second you feel their hand slip under your shirt, earlier words making you  nauseated. They budge and curse but stay firm in their decision, using their other hand to grab your face and pull you in for another kiss, tongue attempting to pry into your mouth.

 

“Screw off!” you exclaim, kneeing them in the gut.

 

Their hold on you loosens as they bring a hand to their stomach and double over, groaning in pain. You scramble out of bed, tugging your shirt down as a shudder makes your entire body shake. The pungent taste of blood is present in your mouth and you feel nauseous when you remember their tongue trying to force its way into your mouth. Too shaken by Jessie’s actions, you don’t notice their recovery until they grab you, pushing you down in bed again.

 

Jessie’s hands find their way to your neck, hold tighter than a snake’s. You gasp for air while your foot tries to aim a kick at their stomach again.

 

“Faust hates me -- Everyone I love hates me because of you!”

 

They prevent your kick by tightening their hold on you. You try again, refusing to give in despite your blurry vision and lack of oxygen. It’s weaker than you intend to, but it’s just enough for them to tumble and loosen their hold on you slightly.

 

“(Y/N)!”

 

Faust’s voice rings clear, halting your plans of fighting back again when you lift your head to see him and the same bailiff from court next to him. The newbie officer rushes to your side with a gun in hand and badge on his uniform, warning Jessie with the weapon by ordering them to stand with their hands up. Obligated to follow his orders, Jessie grits their teeth, scoffs, and gets off of you, giving you one last, dirty look before the man in blue takes hold of them and brings out handcuffs to keep them still.

 

You melt in bed when you’re set free, chest rising and falling as you close your eyes and shudder once more. Faust calls your name and approaches you, hair tickling your face when he climbs up in bed and nestles close to your side.

 

“I’ll be taking Jessie with me now, (ma’am/sir). . . Do you need me to call someone for you?”

 

“No. . . It- It’s fine.” You stumble on your words, chest and mind tight with pent up emotions. “Thank you, officer.”

 

You feel helpless, but you don’t want Faust to know that. Declining his help is the only thing you can come up with to put on a stronger facade.

 

 


 

 

The atmosphere of people talking and the performer singing her heart out from the jukebox set in a corner grant you relaxation, though you still can’t help your shaky hands and the constant flashbacks from this morning. Grillby sets a plate of fries down in front of you, a scrutinizing look on his face despite having no distinct features besides his glasses. He orders an employee to go fetch you a bottle of water while he sets the dish rag on the counter, crossing his arms together afterwards.

 

“. . .” (“Are you sure that’s all you want? You look ill.”)

 

The device wrapped around his wrist helps translate what he means to say. You ask over who designed it and receive the name Alphys as a response. It was in many ways helpful -- both for the privacy it gave now that you didn’t need a person to translate for him, and that it was able to replace that person when they weren’t available to translate for you.

 

“Thanks, but I’m fine with this -- I’m not too hungry right now.”

 

You touch your lips with the tips of your fingers when you say that, patting the cut you received yourself the second time Jessie kissed you. Sickened, you swallow and grab the bottled water as soon as it's given to you, chugging down half of it in one swig.

 

“. . .” (“I won’t press on, but I assume it has something to do with your case, right? I read about it in the newspaper this morning.”)

 

“Really? What did it say?” you ask, unaware of any updates from the news. You were too caught up with the previous matter to worry too much about that. Grillby answers by holding a finger up to excuse himself as he crouches behind the counter, retrieving a newspaper not long after. He sets it down in front of you, pointing at the headlines.

 

“Former officer (Y/N) (L/N) takes their first step towards monsterkind’s rights,” you read to yourself, glancing at the smaller font below the title. “(Miss/Mister) (L/N) confronted the mayor Monday afternoon, pointing out the disbalance between Jessie and Sans’s sentences. Most monsters agree with their actions as do a handful of the human population, inspiring a small chain of movements to erase the laws keeping the two races apart.”

 

You decide to read the entire article, too engrossed in the topic to back away from it now.

 

“Rebellion tampers with the sharp rise in (L/N)’s reputation when local police contact both them and Sans to question over broken laws after the monster brings (L/N) with him to what appears to be miss Toriel's home, the school principal he currently works for. Both people involved failed to follow the rules, though they both claim it was for the sole sake of helping (L/N) when their car shut down in the middle of a storm.”

Chapter Text

"And his unkindness may defeat my life, but never taint my love.” – Othello, Act 4 | Scene 2

 

 


 

 

Dust flies when you take out your suitcase, a fit of sneezes taking over when you breathe in the stuffy air of the room. It had been long since you used the suitcase -- ten months having already passed since your move to the city. You still can’t bring yourself to believe you had spent almost a year here and that Faust was already finishing his second semester, just two weeks away from it being eight months since he started studying at Toriel’s school, and the same if you were to count the time you knew most of the monsters you befriended along the way.

 

You stop scavenging through your belongings when you hear your phone ring and feel it buzz in your back pocket. That was the third time it rang today since you woke up -- and it was still only ten in the morning. Word traveled fast with the newspapers announcing Jessie’s breakout from prison and their breakin into your home. Two days had passed since that incident, and you were wasting no time on getting out of the house as soon as possible. Not only did you fear for Faust’s safety, but you couldn’t sleep well at night without waking up every other hour, remembering Jessie on top of you.

 

“(Mom/Dad)?”

 

Faust emerges from behind the door, leading you to stop looking at your phone to face him. He looks scared to step into the storage room, though you smile to encourage him.

 

“Where are we going now? Do I have to switch schools again?”

 

“Of course not,” you reassure him, patting at the floor for him to sit next to you. “You can stay there ‘til graduation if you want, but we can’t stay here. You’ll be safe in school, but not in this house.” You face down at the suitcase, using a rag to wipe away the sheet of dust left on it. Faust helps you tidy up by taking his own suitcase, though you instruct him to cover his nose with a rag first before he got to helping you out further. “I’ll use our savings to find a safe place.”

 

Your phone rings again, this time a call rather than a message, and with Sans’s name showing up on screen. You try to cover it away from Faust’s hawk-like line of sight, all to no avail. He catches on quickly and lets a grin show on his face, goofy look enhanced by the way he nudges your shoulder.

 

“You should answer,” Faust suggests, hope reflecting on his face. “I bet it’s important.”

 

“What's gotten into you?” you ask, incapable of fighting back your smile. “And why should I?”

 

“Frisk said you met up with him on Monday.”

 

“Yeah, ‘cuz the car broke down, dummy.”

 

You place a hand on his head and ruffle up his hair, though he looks at you with the same amount of mischief as before. “And he gave you that thing you have on your phone -- That means you’re dating!”

 

“Alright, Sherlock -- Hold up one second. You know I can’t do that.”

 

Yet,” he objects, pointing a finger at you. “I read the newspaper, too. You went with the mayor to talk about it!”

 

“Remind me not to give you coffee again, Faust,” you scold, dodging his assumptions. “You’re way too hyped about this.”

 

Faust pouts when you put an end to the conversation, ignoring his frowns and dramatic sighs while you clean. He covers his nose with a clean rag and begins tidying up when you start to hum a tune over his speech, preventing him from getting another word in your situation with Sans.

 

The phone shows the unread message from your cousin and Sans’s missed call when you pick it up to check the time, fifteen minutes having flown past during your bickering with Faust. You start to hurry with your chores after that, wanting nothing more than to find a place today before sundown -- You couldn’t bear thinking about Jessie on a constant basis whenever you stepped foot into your room.

 

Faust notices when you stop humming over his protests and catches you frowning at your thoughts. Without a word, he stops clearing the dust to approach your side, cuddling up to you by leaning his head against your shoulder.

 

 


 

 

“Hey.”

 

You don’t know what to say when he picks up. It’s noon thirty by the time you call him back. 

 

“How’re you holding up over there? We couldn’t really talk much yesterday.”

 

That last statement drives out a pang in your heart. Nobody knew about what happened on Monday. The day later, however, you had calls from every which way -- from concerned friends and family, to journalists and old co-workers in the force. Sans had been one of the first people to call, yet you couldn’t manage so much as a few words with him before another call interrupted. 

 

“I’m doing better,” you reply, walking out of the storage room. Your steps are slow as you make it down to the living room, where Faust is multi-tasking by doing his homework and watching television. He doesn’t spring up to question if it was the person you had been trying to keep secret from him, though that still doesn’t erase his capability of lowering down the television’s volume a few numbers to listen in on your conversation. “I didn’t think I’d do it, but we’re moving again.”

 

”About that,” Sans intervenes and trails off after, Papyrus’s whispering sounding in the background. “I talked with a. . . friend about this. Didn’t get into too much detail 'bout what you told me, but he has a hotel business not too far from Faust’s school. I can give you the details if you want.”

 

You don’t pry on how strained the word ‘friend’ comes out, but it doesn’t stop you from wondering why he was reluctant to call him that way. Rather than questioning him over that, you accept his help and stay quiet for him to give you the information. He starts by saying the name of the hotel, the location, and how much it would cost to stay there. The price makes you think either it’s a humble place or that the word 'friend' meant he had to bargain his way to get on the owner’s good side. He doesn’t give you much space to object over the cost of the stay or why he was even bothering to go that far for you in the first place.

 

”The guy’s name's Mettaton,” he mentions, that last bit of information ringing a bell on the back of your head. “You can go there today if you don’t wanna spend anymore time at your old place.”

 

”Thank you,” you speak up finally, mind wandering in search for the familiarity of that name. If you weren’t mistaken, Mettaton was one of the monsters you were close to handcuffing -- both for the purpose of his creation and for the dangerous game show he put Frisk under. It was due to the child’s words he was set free, the second reason being he looked the most human out of all the monsters that rose to the Surface, a factor that made authority more lenient to letting him go. “But, uh, I don’t think I can do that.”

 

”Why not?” 

 

”I. . . I was the one in charge of his background check when the Barrier broke. I was close to arresting him if Frisk hadn’t intervened in on that.”

 

”He told me that much,” Sans states, the sound of him chuckling making you wish you could hang up. Those words didn’t sound as nice when you said them out loud. “Shame you didn’t do it, but at least it has its perks.”

 

”I’m serious,” you say, mulling over your words. “I. . . Maybe he was built to destroy at one point, but Frisk. . . They- They were firm in their decision, and they wouldn’t let me take him away. I followed along with the first time our department started throwing monsters in jail without batting an eye, but I. . . I didn’t know what to do when I saw innocent ones being pulled in, too. I turned my badge in after the chief found out I bailed on my mission. And so he. . . He laid me off, and I walked away without thinking too much about what I was doing.”

 

”Whoa there.” Sans’s voice stops you from rambling. “Undyne wasn’t kidding when she said you turned into Alphys sometimes. Slow down -- I already know what you did back then.”

 

”You do?” you ask, surprise in your voice. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you about it before."

 

“It’s impossible not to know when I’m one of the people in charge of looking after Frisk.” He stops talking for a moment, and you can soon hear him sit down on something soft. You figure he's in the living room by the television drowned out in the background. “I knew you were the cop Frisk told me about way since we first met. I didn’t bring it up ‘cuz, for starters, that woulda made me look like a creep, and second of all, I figured you really did change your mindset if you were signin' your kid up in Tori’s school. You said it to me yourself you got laid off 'cuz you didn't like the new laws."

 

"But still, I-"

 

"We can talk about this later if you're still worried about it. But right now, I called you to check how you're doing."

 

"I'm fine, really," you assure him, caught off guard by the warmth tracing his voice. "You don't need to worry so much about this."

 

"That's gonna be hard to do considerin' how I feel about you now, (Y/N)."

 

You can feel your face warm up at that, mind remembering the note he had given you on Monday. The hand holding onto your phone squeezes the device tighter while you think over his words. You don't find anything to say, though you can feel a smile stretch on your face.

 

"Well. . ." you trail off, trying to wipe your smile when you see Faust spying from nearby. "Thanks again for helping me out with this. Take care, alright?"

 

"You too, pal.”

Chapter Text

It’s close to sundown by the time you finish packing. Faust is waiting at the dining table, chewing on a leftover muffin from work as he waits for you to wrap things up. There's a thin thread of tension present in the kitchen, threatening to break if someone didn't speak up soon.

 

“Where are we going?” he asks, taking another bite of his snack.

 

You feel your eyes burn at the sound of his voice. It was unbelievable to you that a seven year old was this determined to moving forward. The day after Jessie broke into your room, you had sat by his side to ask if he needed to talk, yet all you got from him was a smile and a question over your own well-being instead. You wanted to talk with him about that subject again, but you weren't sure how to bring it up anymore without hesitating or without the possibility of scaring Faust out of his determination.

 

”We’re going to stay at a hotel for now.”

 

”Mettaton’s hotel?”

 

Your grip on one of the suitcases freezes when you hear him say that. Frowning, you wonder how good he is at eavesdropping and how far his hearing can go. You had been quieter than normal during the phone call in hopes of making him less suspicious of your conversation.

 

”No,” you reply, taking hold of your luggage. “I’ll have to talk with him first.”

 

Your voice breaks when you say that, thoughts becoming overwhelming when you make memory of all the things you’d faced in such a short time. You clear your throat and breathe through your nose, looking up at the ceiling to prevent yourself from shedding any tears. It felt like a monkey paw situation: you couldn’t obtain Faust’s custody without sacrificing something else for it. You still couldn’t bear to think about Sans and the ankle monitor restraining his freedom, nor about Jessie doing the least thing you expected them to do after your time together: break into your home, and do more than just threaten you. If it weren’t for the place you were still residing in, you would’ve called it a day by throwing yourself in bed.

 

”Now let's get going,” you add, slinging a backpack over your shoulder. Faust helps carry two backpacks while you carry on with both suitcases. “We have to get going before it gets too dark out.”

 

The words that left your mouth were incomprehensible even to you. The you from a year ago would’ve laughed and felt ashamed at the thought of you being fearful of someone else. You used to work late night shifts and face people -- both monster and human -- no matter their size. That confidence went away after your divorce and disappeared almost entirely during the long time trying to fight for your right of having custody over Faust.

 

 


 

 

Your face drains of life when you see Mettaton waiting for you, his back leaning against a sleek black car. Catching your eye, he waves and winks when you stare for too long.

 

”Can’t fault you for staring,” he comments, propping a leg over the other once he sits on the hood of his car. “Dear Alphys’s been updating my features since the last time we met.”

 

He wasn’t lying -- You could say that much by the lustrous shine of his metallic body and how life-like his hair was now. His once pale face now carried a tint of rose on his cheeks, making him look much more lively to your eyes. As if that wasn't enough, his voice was less compressed, and the only thing that gave out at him being a robot was the metallic echo that followed after every pause he gave with his words. You gulp and fumble with the handle of your suitcase, unable to stare at anybody or anything but him.

 

”What are you waiting for, sweetheart? Sans sent me to give you a ride for a reason.”

 

“Thank you, but. . .” You sigh, pain crossing your forehead. “I really can’t ask that of you.”

 

Mettaton smiles at your response, eyebrows furrowed as he props himself up and away from the car. “I did my wrong and was judged fairly for it -- I don’t blame you for doing your job. Maybe we both walked away from each other on a sour note, but there’s no harm in trying to make amends.”

 

“I still can’t accept this,” you insist, looking away. 

 

“Think of doing it for your son, then,” Mettaton persists, crossing his arms over his chest. “It’s not safe for you to be picking a random hotel at this hour. Don’t deny him of this opportunity.”

 

You look down at Faust to see him staring back at you, round eyes almost shining as he waits for you to say something. He seems impatient by how he chooses to stare at you, then at the suitcase, and finally at the car waiting for you. It was surreal to think the monster was looking forward to patching things up between you regardless of how rocky the path was. 

 

“Alright,” you breathe out, passing a hand against the back of your neck. There’s points of tension present all around your shoulders. “Only for a while.”

 

Satisfied by your response, Mettaton smiles at you and then at Faust. He leaves the car be and approaches Faust’s side, helping him with the luggage. The two start up a conversation almost instantly, the excitement in your son’s voice and expression incomparable to any other. You wondered how he managed to get along with people that easily.

 

You don’t have much time to think further than that, seeing the two already making their way to the car. Faust is holding onto one backpack while Mettaton helps by carrying the other remaining bag and one of the three suitcases left at the entrance of your home. Left with no other options, you carry the baggage left beside you, propping them up and using the strength of your arms to carry them without needing to use the wheels. Mettaton waits until you make it to the car for him to take your luggage and set it in the trunk. You assure him you can do it on your own, but he insists on lending a hand out to you. Smiling, the robot tells Faust to sit at the back while you work together with him.

 

“Let’s get to know each other from here, alright?”

 

You're surprised to see him reach out a hand for you, the other busy keeping the trunk’s hood up as he looks straight at you. The smile on his face eases out your feelings toward the situation, making it a bit easier for you to grab his hand in yours. “Alright,” you reply, shaking hands with the robot. “I’ll look forward to it.”

 

Mettaton returns your gesture and closes the trunk of the car. He invites you to sit at the front passenger seat and sits down after you, starting the car after he pulls the key from a little slot at his hip meant to imitate a jean’s pockets. The car starts with a roar, much different in comparison to your car -- or at the very least, what was now left of it.

 

”Buckle up,” he exclaims, grabbing onto the steering wheel. “I’ve got a staff meeting at nine!”

 

With that, he zooms out of your old home and drives past the highway. How this was any safer for Faust was beyond you, though that thought fades when you see Faust’s excitement and Mettaton’s eyes focused sharply on the road in front of him. 

 

You feel safer after that observation and shake your worries away, excitement of your own rising when the monster lowers the car’s windows to let air hit your face. He does so when he exits the highway, the scent of fresher air and freshly cut grass welcoming your nose. You arrive at the hotel barely half an hour later, the speed of the ride and the mileage of the vehicle shortening the distance by three. 

 

Mettaton parks the car at a parking spot labeled with the word ‘reserved’ and turns the engine off, giving you time to look at your new surroundings from where you stood.  “Feel free to look around -- This place is my pride and joy. It’s not easy building up a business from scratch again.” Grinning, he fixes his hair and laughs when he sees Faust doing the same.

 

”I will,” you speak up, nodding in respect. “Thank you, Mettaton. . . Do you have a last name or title I should call you by?”

 

“Just Metatton’s fine,” he replies, winking at you. “Though I wouldn’t mind being called ‘handsome’ every now and then.”

 

A laugh bursts through your mouth at that, but you cover up with a cough and settle for a friendly grin. You look away to see Faust already out of the car and ready to take out the luggage from the trunk. The sight of him looking and acting hopeful makes the situation and every other worry you had going on in your mind a lot easier for you to cope with.

 

If he was marching forward without faltering, you were going to do the same.

Chapter Text

Monsters surround you from all directions when you step inside the hotel. Your arrival attracts the eye of almost everyone present, though most are prudent enough not to call you out. It was way too obvious you weren’t meant to be here -- or at least, so you thought. Faust didn’t appear to mind seeing all sorts of monsters around him. For you, it’s a different story. You don’t know how to react when an origami monster asks if you need help with your luggage and much less when you see the receptionist stop painting the nail on her thumb to greet you. Having no eyes or pretty much anything else besides a hand for a body makes it hard for you to decide where to focus your eyes on.

 

Faust interrupts your interactions with the hotel workers as he separates himself from you and rushes off to greet the young rabbit monster from his school. You can feel your pulse quicken when the parents acknowledge you, but you manage to wave at them with a smile on your face.

 

“(Ma’am/Sir)?”

 

You realize the hand monster is still waiting for you to pay attention back to her side. She’s holding onto a yellow file when you look back at her, and she sets it down for you to see it’s a record of your stay. The register is under the name of Sans, but it clarifies you’re the one to book the week-long stay not too far below.

 

“Will we be expecting your boyfriend, too?” she asks, pointing with her index finger for you to sign at the bottom of the paper. “He never told me if he was coming back, but he did say you would have a child with you -- How old is he?”

 

“Uh, Faust is seven -- almost eight years old.”

 

“He’s qualified to pay less for his stay, then.” Although you can’t tell whether she’s smiling or not, her gentle tone lets you know over her hospitality. She takes the file away and checks the validity of your signature, putting it away afterwards. “Your room is 12F. It has a full bed and a twin one for your son. You can take a look at the pamphlets beside me for the restaurant, bar, and laundry hours, or if you just want to take info about the hotel.”

 

“Thank you,” you comment, smiling at her. “How much would it be?”

 

“I’m afraid we use monster currency here, so you would have to exchange it at the service stations first. Part of it was already paid for by your partner, so you still have up until this following weekend to pay the rest.”

 

You make a mental note to talk with Sans about the subject, the cost he mentioned to you making much more sense now -- He had never mentioned the reason for the low cost of the stay, but you carried the idea as to why now. The reminder to thank Undyne for the help she gave you by hauling up your car is another thought that pops back in on your mind. Solana and the fact that she wouldn't be your neighbour anymore also crosses your thoughts. You can’t even begin to count how many calls you had to make to settle things out with everyone.

 

The receptionist hands you the key and waves you off. Smiling, you do the same and thank her one last time before you rush off to Faust’s side. His friend and her parents had already gone back to their rooms, yet he still somehow found another person to talk with -- this one also about the same age as him. You approach his side and see him talking with a young fire monster about the luxury of Mettaton's hotel, demonstrating his awe over what surrounded him by pointing out the large fountain at the center of the lobby and the chandelier placed right above. He also comments his surprise at how many new monsters his eyes had come across with, mentioning how he had never seen an origami or hand monster before, while the fire monster tells him she had never seen a younger human besides Frisk until today.

 

“Are you Faust’s (mom/dad)?” the child asks, bright orange flames flickering when she walks to your side.

 

“Yes, I am,” you reply, looking down at her with a smile on your face. That seemed to be the only action you could manage best while your mind adjusted itself to seeing so much change at once. You couldn’t erase the judge’s words off your mind and your worry for Faust -- He kept quiet about what Jessie had done to you once it had been dealt with, and he refused to talk about it further whenever you brought it up again. “It’s nice to meet you, miss.”

 

She giggles at the name you give her and offers her small hand out for a handshake. You reach out with caution, not wanting to intervene too much without the granted permission of her parental guardian. “I’m Pepper! Can my brother Chilly and I play with Faust sometimes?”

 

“Of course -- That’s fine with me. But remember to ask your parents first, too.”

 

A frown shows on the girl’s face when you say that. Guilt flashes on her visage as she looks down at the tiled floor and furrows her thin eyebrows together. “I- I’ll try,” she stutters, the bright colour of her fire growing dimmer along with her voice. “They won’t let me make human friends besides Frisk, b- but I want to change their mind.”

 

You can’t find the right words to aid in her lament. Faust, however, is one step ahead of you. “You can do it!” he exclaims, grabbing the girl by both her hands as he squeezes them lightly. “(Mom/Dad’s) been fighting all this time just to be with their monster friends -- One of them's even (Y/N)'s boyfriend now!”

 

It takes strength for you not to rush in and interrupt their moment, a few heads turning -- specifically on you -- when he says that. You try to focus on what he says next to distract yourself from the embarrassment and try not to dwell too much on how that word made you feel. Ignoring the curious glances from people nearby, your attention centers on the darker shade of orange that spreads on the girl’s face when Faust says that, and you can’t help but think back on a cartoon show he'd once made you watch with him. ‘Adventure Hour’, you remembered it being called. You recall you had been strict about him watching it, given you felt he was too young and guileless to know about the budding romance between the fire princess and the human boy, or the one between the bubblegum scientist and the vampire.

 

You wait until he finishes providing words of encouragement and order him to pick up his suitcase. He follows with a grin on his face and stops a few steps away from the fire girl to wave goodbye at her, his content expression managing to grow even brighter when he sees her wave back. You let out a laugh at that and cover up when he looks at you by taking the rest of the luggage and putting it in a cart.

 

Faust accompanies you with his suitcase and backpack while you push the rest towards the elevator. It’s empty on a first glance, but on a closer look, you can see a few Temmies huddled up at each corner. The door closes before you have the chance to back away from the elevator, leaving you with four Temmies shaking intensely, one of them growing red spots all over her body when she gets too close to you and Faust. Concerned, you ask if she’s alright, but she dismisses it by saying it’s her usual allergies. You give her a chewable kid's Bendadryl from Faust’s medicine bag, not knowing if it would work on monsterkind, yet hoping it would be enough of a gesture to show your concern for her health.

 

As you stare at the group of Temmies and contemplate all the stuff you had gone through as of recently, you begin to think about Frisk and Faust -- how neither of the two seemed to have much trouble facing life as it kept on going. You think about Jessie, the trail, and Sans, until you hear Faust calling out your name, telling you the elevator had opened up at floor F.

 

"C'mon!" he shouts, pointing at the hall at the left side of the hotel. "Our room's over there!"

 

You wave goodbye at the Temmies before the doors manage to close on you. Then, you start making your way to Faust's side, telling him you would be there in a second.

 

The walk doesn't last long until you're forced to stop by your curiosity. Your eye catches the same light you had seen reflect twice at the town hall. Determined to see it this time, you stop fully on your tracks and turn to the light, head tilting up to see a bright, yellow object floating above you, closely resembling a four-pointed star. Allured, you reach out for it with your hand and flinch back when you see its shine grow brighter.

 

* It's a save point.

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans's Perspective

 

Sans adjusts himself on the couch when he sees (Y/N) answer his face call. Normally, he wouldn’t be calling someone right before his shift at school and much less would he bother looking decent for something like that --  It was the reason why he preferred texting and voice calls rather than this. He brushes those thoughts aside when he sees the human yawning against their palm and sporting a bed head. The human doesn't acknowledge him in spite of having answered, making him notice the reason behind that when they mutter unintelligible words under their breath, these along the lines of why had their alarm gone off earlier than intended to.

 

Humored, he stays quiet and decides not to hang up, seeing (Y/N) place the phone on the night table as they then begin to stretch their limbs. Their shirt rides up slightly when they do so, making him look away until they’re done stretching. It’s only when he sees they plan to change out of their night clothes that he hangs up, soul going a mile a minute when the screen goes black.

 

Chest rising and falling, the monster looks around the living room to see Papyrus from behind the kitchen isle, whipping up what smelled like buttered toast and fried eggs. The taller one acknowledges Sans when he sees him looking, unaware of the scare he had gone through -- It was a good thing he knew how to keep a cool exterior, no matter how dire the situation was.

 

Breathing out, Sans checks the time and decides it’s better to wait until the human finished their morning routine. Briefly, he wonders if Faust would be attending school today, given class was supposed to start in an hour and that (Y/N) was only just waking up. He finds some confront in the thought he had helped them in getting on time to both school and work, trying to distract his mind from the previous call.



 


 



Now half past eight, he decides to call again. This time, he's greeted by (Y/N) now with their hair brushed and sleep washed away from their face, though he can tell they're still at the hotel. The human is also in casual wear rather than in their usual work uniform, and he can hear Faust talking with another child from a distance. From his deduction, it really did seem like either (Y/N) had forgotten it was still Friday, or that they simply did not plan to go anywhere today.

 

"Good morning," they greet, grinning at him. For a moment, he thinks they're about to call him out on what happened an hour and a half before, but their next words ease the pace of his soul. "I don't know whether to thank you or be angry that you did all this for us."

 

"Looks to me like you're happy," Sans comments, looking around the school grounds to verify the students were all in class. "Is the kid doing okay?"

 

"He is," (Y/N) replies, nodding. "But I didn't bring him to school today. I feel like he's been through a lot, and. . . he doesn't want to talk about it with me. I'm thinking of bringing him to a counselor like the social worker suggested."

 

"That sounds good. But what about you? I know you were against stayin' there, but I figured it'd be the safest place for now."

 

"I'll manage." They accompany those words with a laugh, concern flashing in their expression not a second after. "It's you who I wanna have a word with -- Why did you pay for our stay?"

 

"What? Can't I treat you every once in a while? I might always ask Grillby to put it in my tab, but that doesn't mean I don't pay back -- Just like I'm doing with you."

 

"What are you even paying me back for?"

 

"For starters, you bought me clothes -- And now you're dealin' with the mayor about my sentence."

 

"That was a gift," (Y/N) mentions, frowning. "I'm not asking for anything back."

 

Abruptly, Sans stops seeing their face as the screen goes black. Hearing Faust's shrill voice confirms the call is still ongoing.

 

"I'm not talking with anybody!" (Y/N) exclaims, defense in their voice.

 

"Y- Yes, you are!" Faust retorts, tone weaker than his (mother/father)'s, but determined all the same. "You can't fool me! That's your boyfr-"

 

"Don't you dare say it!"

 

Sans chuckles at the banter the two have going on, Faust's voice persistent and unwavering as he accuses (Y/N) of not being honest with him. The background changes to a blurry motion of Faust running with the phone in hand. He can hear footsteps chase after the child, the sound of feet against wood casting rhythmic thumps all across the room.

 

"Got you!"

 

The background changes again as (Y/N) takes the phone back from Faust's hands. The child is nowhere to be seen now, though Sans can hear him huff and walk away from the room, the sound of a door closing following after. Only the older human is left as the background goes calm and the screen shows them fixing themselves up from the effects of the chase.

 

“Sorry about that,” they breathe out, passing a hand through their messy (h/c) hair, hoping it would be enough to tame it back to its previous state. “I keep telling him to wait, but he won’t listen -- The social worker gave me a warning about this happening. I. . . doubt she’ll be any happier when she knows what’s happened over the course of this week. But one thing's for sure, I can at least tell her he’s made more friends by staying here.”

 

“Wasn’t he talking with one of 'em before?” Sans asks, remembering the other voice he’d heard when making the call.

 

“He was -- The parents came over for a bit to talk, but then the friend stayed to hang out with Faust some more. I didn’t notice when she left, so I really didn’t think he’d come chasing after me like that.”

 

“Looks like he’s mad at you now,” the monster sneers, remembering the huff Faust let out before leaving the room. “You shouldn’t let this slip by.”

 

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” the human states, returning his laugh. “But you’re right -- I should go talk with him soon.”

 

Solemnity arrives on (Y/N)’s face when they say that. It’s not until then that Sans realizes there’s still a lot left to resolve before things could go back to a calm state. The banter between the two had been a good distraction from the monitor on his ankle, the newspapers dishing out updates about (Y/N)'s actions -- both in favour and against -- every single day, the prison breakout, the preparations for the move, and his recent confession. It was all too much for anyone to deal with. It was silly for him to think he was anywhere near close to asking (Y/N) out on a first date.

 

“I have to wait a week for the mayor’s response letter,” (Y/N) speaks up, facing him directly. “I. . . doubt it'll turn out like I hoped it would, but that won’t be the end of this. If Faust can keep up with this stuff, then I should, too. One way or another, I’m gonna get you out of that bracelet, and if you still like me by the time that happens. . . I wanna take you out on a date."

 

Hadn’t the monster been through that incident barely two hours ago, his roaming thoughts wouldn’t have immediately plummeted to that one (shoujo/shounen-ai) romance anime Alphys had made him watch one once. That simple idea of sharing a kiss beyond the cheek with (Y/N) was a wild, wild thought, but one he looked forward to nonetheless.

Chapter Text

"If you are not scared then there is no merit in being brave." – Kerry Greenwood, Death at Victoria Dock

 

 


 

 

A long line starting from the service counter to the waiting area of the lobby fill the hotel with all sorts of conversation. You stand at the end, against leaving the matter for last minute. It was the only place available that exchanged your usual currency for monster gold -- or at least, the only place you knew about. The time on your phone shows you have enough time before leaving the hotel to pick up Faust and take him to the counselor, though not even ten minutes pass when you’re interrupted from waiting, the echoey sound of Mettaton’s voice ringing in your ears.

 

“Come with me for a moment, (Y/N),” he states, appearing right between you and the person waiting before you. He grabs you by the arm and pulls you out of the line, his hand letting go once you’re free from the crowd. “I need you to talk with you for a moment."

 

The robot leads you to the lobby, empty thanks to the late hour and the group of people waiting to exchange their currency. Only a few guests and clientele are around, too busy admiring the looks of the hotel to care about what you were discussing with Mettaton. He urges for you to follow him behind the counter now lacking a receptionist and scoots closer to you. His eyes are locked firm on you, denoting his stern feelings over what he was about to discuss with you.

 

"Jessie knows where you work, right?"

 

You remain quiet at that, the question being the last one you expected to hear from Mettaton. "Yeah. . . Why do you ask?"

 

"Do you feel safe there?"

 

"I'd be paranoid if I didn't -- My boss won't let me take graveyard shifts until things settle down. . . so I can't complain, either."

 

"That still doesn't mean you can't be too careful," he suggests, casting a frown at you. "I have a job offer for you if you want to start over again. It wouldn't be bad for you to live and work in brand new places." The robot's cutting voice makes you look at him, the depth to his concern making his facial expression almost surreal considering he was made of metal. “I plan on putting on a show for our restaurant the following month, but I’m short staffed,” he explains, making eye contact with you. “How would you feel about catering for the event? I’m aware you’ve got a lot on your hands right now, but this won’t be until then, and you won’t be doing it for free.”

 

You feel short of breath when he comments on that. You immediately make the assumption someone had told him about your current job and that the robot had misinterpreted your level of professionalism in the field. Although almost a year had passed since you started the job, bread and sweet rolls were as far as your talents went -- You were still the one in charge of tending to the cash register for most of the time.

 

“I’m sorry,” you speak up, passing a hand across the back of your neck as a shy smile grows on your face. “But you’ve got the wrong person, sir -- uh, Mettaton. I mostly just work behind the payment counter.”

 

“I know that, silly,” Mettaton states, placing a hand on his hip. “Sans told me that part, but he also said you and Papyrus exchange recipes every once in a while. How good are you with savoury foods?”

 

“A lot better than with desserts, that’s for sure.”

 

“Good.” He nods, a pleased smile crossing his face. “Think you could show me your skills this weekend at the restaurant? You’ll have a bigger kitchen at your disposal.”

 

“Sure,” you return, smiling at him. “Do you have anything specific in mind?”

 

“I’ll be leaving that to you, (Y/N). I'm sure you can whip up something creative -- I've seen your potential, and I think it's time you put to use on other things, too. Stress can wait until Monday, so just focus on enjoying yourself for now."

 

 


 

 

The scent of vanilla wafts through the air when you step into the counselor's room. There's a single desk and three chairs: one for her and two for her guests, plus the short bookshelf set on the rightmost corner of the room. The simplicity makes the winged monster stand out more than customary, though her presence is inviting rather than threatening, her smile and eyes being the main reason for it. She offers for you and your son to take a seat, and you notice the product of the aroma when you accept her offer. A small incense burner is at the edge of her desk, dispersing small puffs of vanilla all across the area.

 

Pleasantries are exchanged for a while, until it's time for her to confront Faust for visiting her office. She concentrates solely on him as she interrogates him over recent events and how he was coping with them. Stunned, the child stays quiet for a while, though you give him a soft nudge on the shoulder in hopes of him regaining the courage he displayed with you for the past few days.

 

“Don’t be afraid, Faust,” the Whimsun soothes, handing the boy a napkin when she sees him tear up. She’s different to your co-worker in the sense that she talks louder and that she acts more confidently compared to her, though her appearance is almost the same as Sunny's. It’s a scenario similar to the one when Faust failed his first math test, with the exception it was the school counselor now, and that Faust hadn’t burst or made a fit. Unlike that day, he was trying to keep calm by blinking through the tears and looking down at his school shoes. “I’m here to listen.”

 

His persistent demeanor from the past few days crumbles as he grows sullen and starts to sob, covering his face with his hands. Unfit to see him like this, you frown and offer him support by putting an arm around him, pulling him close to you. He buries his face against your shoulder, hiccups, and pulls away, managing to smile right as it falls back into a quivering frown. “I wanna go home. . .” he murmurs, looking down at the floor again. Quietly, he sniffs and wipes his tears with the sleeve of his uniform, avoiding your and the counselor's line of sight.

 

“You can do that after you tell me how you feel,” the counselor persists, offering him another napkin. “(Miss/Mister) (Y/N) here told me you were taking this better than expected, but that your mood changed whenever the subject of your tutor or other parent was brought up.”

 

“Sans’s not my tutor anymore,” Faust corrects, tone sounding angry and tired. You nudge him again as a way of scolding him for his behavior, though the Whimsun dismisses your intervention with the simple wave of her hand. “And Jessie’s not my parent anymore.”

 

“Why do you say that, Faust?”

 

“(Mom/Dad) says I can't get near Sans ‘cuz he has that thing on his ankle. Bu- But I know they're hanging out in secret! I've heard (Y/N) talk with him on the phone before, but they won't let me see him."

 

“And what about Jessie, then? Do you dislike them?”

 

“(Y/N) does,” Faust replies, faint creases forming on his forehead when he thinks too deeply over the subject. “I. . . I don’t know if I do. But I’m angry at what they did to (mom/dad). J- Jessie made them upset before, but they hurt (Y/N) this time. . . And I don’t know if I can forgive them anymore."

 

“Go on,” she requests, nodding. “What was it that you saw when you brought the officer home with you?"

 

“I- I saw Jessie strangling (Y/N) when they were supposed to be sleeping. . . I heard screaming and weird noises from (mom/dad)'s room, and saw Jessie hurting (Y/N) when I opened the door. I went there with a police officer who said Jessie escaped from prison, and that they broke into our house."

 

“Just how much did you see?”

 

"I. . ."

 

Faust tells the counselor of all the things he had witnessed ever since the trail came to an end. He tells her in detail of Sans’s sentence, of your hidden conversations with him, but most importantly, of the things he had seen when opening the door to your room. He almost grows petrified when he mentions what he’d seen. With a strained voice, he states kissing was only meant to be done without forcing the other person into it. Faust had seen the last time Jessie tried to kiss you, and it was clear you weren’t in favour of them doing that based on the way you struggled to break free.

 

Remembering that day, you feel a shudder reach your spine and stand up involuntarily, excusing yourself from the two as you exit the Whimsun’s office. 

 

A breeze blows past when you step out of the room, taking this chance to view the school’s east premises from afar. You can see a few students still waiting for their parents to pick them up, teachers talking with one another as they watch over the students, and Undyne covering up for Sans by sweeping the floors free from debris, taking a break every once in a while to have a talk with Alphys.

 

“Are you alright, (ma’am/sir)?”

 

You perk up at the sound of that voice, distant but familiar all the same.

Chapter Text

The elderly turtle you had seen with Sans on the day of the trail is standing in front of you, the wooden cane in his hand propping his body up. Dark lines are present under his eyes and his hunched stance shakes regardless of the support the cane gave him. He leans back against the wall next to you, prompting you to do the same.

 

“I’m fine,” you speak up, facing him. “I just have a lot on my mind right now.”

 

A smile stretches on his mouth when you reply, the way it forms making it known he had trouble believing your first statement. “I doubt I’ll be here for much longer, so I’ll ask you this now that I’ve got the chance,” he begins, working eye staring up at the sky. “Has Sans told ya ‘bout his job as a sentry? I’ve seen 'im grow up from a kid to the short stack he is now, and if there’s one thing I know well about 'im, it’s that he closes off when you least need 'im to.” He takes a pause to catch his breath, eye facing back to your side. “You’re (miss/mister) (Y/N), ain’t ya? I was surprised to hear the boy found another friend up here -- let alone a (girlfriend/boyfriend). He’s told me a lotta ‘bout you.”

 

“Good things, I hope.” You smile back at the monster, reach a hand out, and complete a handshake with him, searching through your mind for his relations with Sans to make memory of his name. “You must be Gerson, then. What’s that about him being a sentry?”

 

“He’ll have to tell you that himself,” the monster replies, grimness falling upon his face. “That aside, don't you remember seeing a gardener around 'ere before?"

 

The oddity of his question makes you keep quiet for some time. You try to think back on when in the entire semester had you seen one around the school. You think way, way back on your time spent here, until your mind comes across the first day of school: it was the goat monster you had seen clipping the hedges of the school gates. He had been the one talking with Faust after he slipped away from your hold.

 

“The goat monster?” you question, raising an eyebrow. “What about him?”

 

“Doesn't that description ring a bell? A big, fluffy goat monster?"

 

Further puzzled by the elder's words, you try to follow up, but are met with more questions than answers. "You mean he's the former king of monsters? Why. . . Why are you telling me all this?” you ask, head hurting when you try to process everything at once. You feel dizzy and your breathing grows scarce when you remember the harm Asgore did to other humans -- some of them supposedly young based on the dusty toys and kids shoes police found when investigating Toriel and Asgore’s respective homes.

 

“Whyddya think you've never seen 'im again?" the turtle monster remarks, tone growing sharp as he straightens his back. "He's meant to stay behind bars for his deeds, but he's also meant to serve the community by doing what he does best: clippin' leaves and makin' flowers bloom again. "Sans’s past job wasn’t all that pretty either. I’m not sayin' he hurt anybody, but he ain’t naive. Figured it’d be good for ya to know ‘bout that before your relationship gets any more serious -- ‘Cuz from the looks of it, he’s really waitin’ for the day he gets to be close to you again.”

 

You slip your hands in your front pockets and face the floor. Processing all those words was making your mind foggy, not only for how much Gerson had shared with you in so short of a moment, but for the reminder that Sans sought after your kind at a certain point. The idea of him hating your guts had you fallen instead of Frisk makes your chest tight, and you have to take a breath to avoid letting your emotions soar too high.

 

“I’m not askin’ you to confront him immediately, but don’t wait too long and ask him when your soul tells you to.”

 

 


 

 

With Faust sleeping on the twin bed and the door to your hotel room locked shut, you slip on your night clothes, take the locket in your hands, and let your head rest against the pillows. You start to think about what the turtle monster meant to say with his advice -- Of course, you knew about the harm monsters had cast over Frisk in the process of defending their home, but the reminder that the King of Monsters had taken actual lives paralyzed you in your thoughts. You wonder how far would have Sans gone to fulfill his job as a sentry and over the reasons why he had chosen not to harm Frisk during their journey through the Underground. The thought of Faust being put in the same situation troubles you further, until you put the locket down on the night table and choose to stand up in search for a drink of water. You think about confronting Sans right here and now, though Gerson‘s advice stops you -- Your mind and sight were a little more than clouded with the recent discovery and you felt far from ready to call him about it.

 

Arriving at the kitchen, you open the refrigerator, stare aimlessly for a while, and take out a serving of water in a paper cup, bringing it with you to the balcony, all while including with you a compact kitchen knife as a weapon when Jessie crosses your mind. It was late in the night, and you weren’t taking that risk.

 

The hotel’s garden appears to your view when you exit, displaying a wide variety of flowers and fruit trees, quite like Toriel’s garden, but more fitting to Mettaton’s vivid personality. Red and orange roses bloom on the left, while yellow and orange celosias sprout on the right, casting the illusion of fire dancing in accordance to the wind blowing past. A round patch of yellow flowers stand in the center, their bright colour capable of challenging the sun if it were still out. Your interest piques when the wind lessens in strength and you see faint, rustling movement in that same patch of flowers. Entranced, you wait for an animal to come running out of the flower bed, but it stops moving about, and you never get to see it.

 

Tired of waiting, you focus your eyes elsewhere, spotting the type of monster you were now skeptical of approaching: a seemingly harmless gardener clipping the trees and hedges around. Though he's a bear instead of the goat you were reminded of, you can't help comparing him with Asgore. He doesn’t notice you from the balcony, too concentrated on gardening to look up from tending to the flowers. It strikes you when you remember such a gentle-looking monster had once made the order of hunting humans for their souls if they fell underground.

 

Asgore had been one of the few monsters you weren’t assigned to for background check. Even so, you were aware of his notoriety, though not of his appearance. All you knew about him were the words -- mostly adjectives -- people often whispered, yelled, and spat about him: from heartless monster to beastly goat. It was now that it fully dawned on you he was the same gardener Faust had been talking with on his first day of school.

 

A violent shudder takes over when you delve too deep on that subject, the now lukewarm cup of water in your hands almost ending on the floor. You catch it just in time, however, half of its contents spilling on your bare feet. Your breath hitches, both anger and sorrow rising in the form of shaky hands and dewy eyes.

 

With all the change you had gone through since moving to the city, you had forgotten you were befriending what many of your kind saw as an enemy, no matter how clean or spotted their background was.

 

You don't dare to think too much on what light Sans saw you in since the first day of your meeting. His frequent avoidance when being too close to you and the long time it took for him to see you as a friend makes more sense to you, but in a different way. What you thought was him feeling the same way you did around him crumbles with your doubts, until you start to doubt over the sincerity of the note he left on your towel.

 

Signals mix when you reminiscence over the warmth of his tone during your voice calls, the pain in his look when talking about the ankle monitor, and the concern in both when finding out about what Jessie did to you. Conflicted, you feel your cheeks burn and the water in your eyes slide down your face when you think back on him and Faust during tutoring, and of how his skull brightened when you told him about the prospect of dating. In adds the fact that you were now standing at a hotel booked by him, all those thoughts faltering back into nothing when you begin to doubt over what he truly thought about you.

 

If Jessie changed as much as they did with you, you had almost no trouble believing the same could happen with him, too.

 

Safely said, you're not sure what to think anymore.

Chapter Text

Alphys hunches over and brings her glasses back to the top of her snout. Her fish girlfriend watches quietly from above, resting her chin on top of her spiky head when she decides to skim the letter again. Still unconvinced with what she read, she narrows her eyes at the letter in her hands, trying to search for anything abnormal -- a hint that would give out the strangeness of the writing. Sans is watching the scene from the camera on your phone, the face call marking already half an hour since Alphys began her investigation. It's unusually quiet for a place with three people -- four, counting Sans -- in one same room. 

 

“I believe I have good news for you, (miss/mister) (L/N). Come to my office this Wednesday at two in the afternoon if you want to be informed.”

 

Alphys reads the letter a few more times after that, looking progressively puzzled with each read. She sets the paper down in front of her and huffs, eyes centered sharply on the letter and how empty it was compared to the first one you received from the mayor. You would be head over heels with joy if the letter didn’t sound or look as eerie as it did to everyone present. To everyone's agreement, it felt off and morose when compared to the hopeful words of the decision the mayor had come to.

 

“You shouldn’t trust this letter,” Alphys comments, standing up from her chair once Undyne steps back. She walks to your side and folds the paper in two, giving it back to you, an apologetic look on her face. “It- It may be the mayor’s handwriting, but. . . . it doesn’t sound right. You really sh- shouldn’t go there alone. It’s dangerous.”

 

“They wouldn’t even let me keep my phone with me during the meeting,” you mention, frowning. “I don’t think they’ll let anyone else pass.”

 

“You should still go with someone else,” Undyne intervenes, crossing her arms. “We’re not risking you getting hurt again -- You said it yourself the mayor excused Jessie over that time they attacked you. What’s to say he won’t do the same when he finds out Jessie’ll be in prison for a lot longer? Even if you want Sans to be free, you should still be careful. I’ll go with you even if it’s just to wait by the parking lot.”

 

“It’s alright. I couldn’t possibly ask for tha-"

 

“I’m not gonna fall for modesty, (Y/N). Now’s not the time for that. I’ll go with you, and if you’re not back or done with the meeting in an hour, I’ll ask the town hall about you. We wouldn’t worry if you at least had your phone with you.”

 

“Undyne’s right,” Sans speaks up, voice muffled by the sound of the school bell ringing from not too far away. “I don’t trust that guy if he’s willin’ to overlook what Jessie did to you. And I doubt it’ll be that easy to get ‘im to change his mind now that Jessie attacked you again.”

 

“D- Do you have any marks around your neck?” Alphys asks. She has her back to you and Undyne now, hurrying to tidy her desk before the next group of students arrived. “I know this is a touchy subject, b- but maybe seeing the damage will get the mayor to soften up a bit.”

 

With all the changes you had been exposed to, you had barely given much thought to the physical damage Jessie left on you. Your major fear was of waking up abruptly with them on top of you again, but -- beyond that reoccurring nightmare -- you really didn’t pay much mind to the cut on your lip or the sore pain surrounding your neck and shoulders. Finger and nail marks from when they tried to pin you down were still visible on your skin, but you tried to ignore them whenever you showered and by buttoning up the collar of your shirt more than usual.

 

Without a word, you unfasten the buttons of your work uniform, revealing faded marks around your neck and a few right below your collarbones. The room falls into a deep, uncomfortable silence, begging for someone to speak up.

 

“I really hope the cops do somethin’ more about this,” Sans comments, a hint of anger in his tone. “Jessie broke out way too easily.”

 

“Didn’t they get eighteen more years in prison after this?” Undyne asks, raising an eyebrow. “I agree that won’t help much if they don’t up the security at that place. If anything, that’ll just make them angrier.”

 

The sudden shift in attention from the conversation between the three towards you makes you stand up straight. Undyne stares at you, a stern, searching look present in her eye as her mouth falls into a perplexed frown.

 

“You should stay at Mettaton’s hotel for a while more -- At least, until we know you and Faust’ll be safe somewhere else.”

 

Your discussion comes to an end as the second bell rings, signaling it was time for students to start making their way into the next class. The same loud noise can be heard from the phone displaying Sans’s face on screen, the broom in his hold letting you know it was time for him to begin his next shift for the day. It was paining you to think you were both standing in the same school, yet unable to get close to each other due to his sentence.

 

“Can I call you after work?” he asks. “I wanna talk with you separately.”

 

Alphys wiggles her eyebrows at the skeleton when she overhears him and laughs when you do the same. You take the phone off her desk and wave goodbye at her and Undyne, seeing students already entering the science teacher's classroom.

 

“Sure,” you reply, snickering. “You don’t have to ask me, though -- Just call me when you’re out.”

 

 


 

 

The cheery atmosphere at Alphys's classroom vanishes when you step out, Gerson's words popping back in your mind. You stare at your phone and calculate how long it would be until Sans ended his shift, but are met instead with a message from Solana asking when it would be good to catch up. 

 

How does the par-

 

You erase the message the second you start typing the word 'park'. That had been one of the few places Jessie had followed you to in their time stalking you. The pictures they took are now fresh in your mind, forcing you to come up with another meeting spot.

 

How does the mall across from Toriel's school sound? I'm about to head back to work, but I was thinking we could meet there after.

 

Sounds great! Meet you there at six? :)

 

Sure, that works just fine. :)

 

You slip the phone back in your pocket as soon as you send that message. It had almost been a full week since you last saw Solana in person, but you were no less eager to stay in touch. She had been one of the main people to encourage you since day one, cheering you on when you wanted to get something done, and putting you in place when you were thinking about giving into uncertainty and backing out.

 

You start your march back to work after that, recalling you had taken more than three days off since the day your car broke down on you. With the mild paranoia of crossing paths with Jessie again, you almost despised taking the bus as a replacement for the loss of your car. Working overtime was a tempting yet risky option now that you were thinking of saving up for a new used car.

 

Your eyes are glued to the time on your phone as you make it down the school's hallway, the screen marking roughly twenty minutes until it was time for you to clock in again. It was of no doubt you would get fired today if you were to receive a tardy mark again -- Almost four consecutive absences and two days late had placed you on thin ice, and you were a little too close to ending up jobless again.

 

Caught in a spiral, you don't notice you're blocking someone's path until you bump into them, their short height leading you to grow anxious at the thought of bumping into a student making their way to class. What leads you to stop altogether in your meltdown is the familiar sight of short, brown hair and a striped sweater.

 

"Frisk?" you speak up, a sigh making your body shudder from top to bottom. "I'm sorry about that -- I. . . I didn't look where I was going."

 

The child quirks an eyebrow and tilts their head to the side, curiosity sparking their expression when they inspect your state. "Are you okay, (Y/N)? You look worse than Alphys during public speaking."

 

You don't catch their entire sentence with how fast their hands form words, though you're able to understand enough to give an answer. "I'm okay."

 

“Are you, really?” they ask again, a grin showing on their face.

 

"Maybe just a little overwhelmed right now," you confess, letting your shoulders fall. "I. . . I don't know what to think or do with my life anymore."

 

“And now you sound like Burgerpants." Frisk giggles at their own comment, the way their face lights up adding some joy to your own visage. “Wanna go with me and Mettaton for dinner tonight? We can talk about your future love life now that Sans’s gonna be free.”

 

"Frisk. . ." you mutter, caught off guard by their words. 

 

"I'm kidding -- But we can if you want.”

 

”Thanks for the offer but. . .” You trail off on your sentence, the plans you made with Solana crossing your mind. “But maybe next time? I’ve kind of already made plans for tonight.”

 

“Let’s keep in touch, then,” they propose, a smile on their face. “You can’t keep this all to yourself, right? Figured you were with the grumpy face you had before bumping into me.”

 

You wave goodbye at them after confirming you would call them when you were free. Frisk doesn’t look convinced until you pinky promise, the incredulity in their expression changing when you assure them you wouldn’t break it. The last words you see them sign before you zoom off towards the next bus heading for work are ‘stay determined’.

 

It’s not until then that you remember they were the same person who faced the monsters Underground -- the same person who still chose to stand with the monsters despite the truth behind both sides: how neither humans or monsters were free from the aftermath of their choices.

Chapter Text

1. Red (Life)

 

Your aunt’s squeaky voice makes your ears ring, the loudness of her tone triggering a headache. Between the vegetables you had cooking on the pan and trying to read the e-mail the social worker had sent you, it’s almost impossible for you to keep your patience. You huff and clench your jaw, not wanting to end up in another argument with her like you did the last time she came for a visit.

 

“So not only are you dating a monster, but a male one at that?” your aunt prods, taking a seat on one of the dining chairs of the kitchen.

 

You have her back on her as you turn to the vegetables, using the serving pincers to flip them over. “Jessie was a man, too -- What’s wrong with me dating a guy again?”

 

“He’s a monster! Doesn’t that count as beastiality?”

 

“Are we talking about him or Jessie? ‘Cuz now you’ve got me confused.”

 

“You know who I’m talking about,” she warns. You can feel her narrowing her eyes at you despite having your back on her. “He’s a janitor and a low grade tutor, too -- Why do you even like him?”

 

“Auntie, I don’t have time for this,” you comment, scoffing. “He’s not a mindless beast, and there’s nothing wrong with what he does for a living. Can’t we talk about this another day? I have a date with him tonight.”

 

“It’s only five, and I’m your aunt -- It’s rude of you to be throwing me out like that!”

 

Knowing it would be a waste of time trying to get her to change her mind, you take out the vegetables and set them on a ceramic plate, covering them with aluminum foil afterwards. The alarm on your phone marks your date would start in just two hours.

 

“I’m gonna go get changed now. There’s pasta in the pot if you’re hungry, auntie.”

 

With that, you hurry off upstairs, mind focusing sharply on the three main things you had left to do: shower, get dressed, and look your best. While you weren’t one for dressing up too much, Solana’s comment the time Faust had ran back home makes you want to try again. It felt good knowing both she and Sans had noticed the difference in your clothes -- it was a drastic change from the monotony of your uniform.

 

 

2. Orange (Healing)

 

“You look nice.”

 

Those are the first words the monster greets you with. You look towards the door to see him leaning against the door frame, a calm, if not relaxed expression present on his face. He has a gift bag on one hand and his phone in the other, and his casual clothes are changed for an outfit composed of jeans and an ironed, collared shirt.

 

“You do, too.”

 

You escort him to the kitchen, where you show him the dining table set up with two plates, two sets of cutlery, and two empty wine glasses. He approaches the table, sits, and hands you the gift bag, giving you specific instructions not to peek into the contents until the date ended.

 

“How did Faust feel about having two dads back then?”

 

The wine you’re pouring almost topples over when he comments that. You can feel your face grow warm with the hidden meaning involved with that question. “. . .Why do you ask that?”

 

“Just curious,” he comments, looking lost in thought. “Figured he’d be against you doing this again with what happened not too long ago.”

 

“Are you kidding?” you speak up, chuckling. “He’s the one who wanted me to set this up in the first place -- Said it’d be a good way to celebrate your freedom and all.”

 

“What about you then, (Y/N)?” Concern is present in his voice this time around, white irises staring directly at you now that you’re sitting across from him. “Are you okay to move on?”

 

“I won’t lie that I’m. . . worried about us. But I want to move on. I like you, and there’s no other guy I wish I’d be dating right now.”

 

He looks happy with your choice of words by the way his expression softens up, the warm, white colour in his eye sockets brightening up when he brings a hand over the table, reaching out for yours. Catching on, you do the same and lock hands with him, watching quietly as he leans closer to you. “Y’know, (Y/N), I was wonderin’ if-“

 

“Dad?” Faust’s voice sounds from the living room, his small frame appearing when he calls out for you again. He stares at the scene of you and Sans sitting at the dining table, warm dinner plates and cool wine glasses being the only things to occupy it besides your hands. “Did you really decide on this? I thought you were gonna leave me with auntie while you went to a restaurant.”

 

“See what I mean?” you speak, directing your words at Sans. He laughs under his breath when you comment on that, heart making a leap when he squeezes your hand tighter. “Auntie. . . doesn’t really want me doing that, so I couldn’t convince her in the end.” Your next words are directed at Faust, who pouts when you direct an apologetic smile at him.

 

 

3. Yellow (Sunlight)

 

The sun serves as your alarm, shaking you out of your sleep. You grumble a protest and shift to the other side of the bed, a curse leaving your mouth when you bump into something -- or better said, someone else. To your right is Sans, eye sockets closed as faint, consistent snores leave his teeth. Hadn't you decided to call it off at two wine glasses, you would've immediately jolted out of bed.

 

Still looking to catch some more sleep, you scoot close to his side and relax when you feel his arms wrap around your bare chest. It almost seems like he's awake with how much pressure he puts into holding you, but he looks completely knocked out when you turn to see his face. His arms aren't long enough to close in around you completely, but he makes up for it by resting his face against your neck.

 

 

4. Green (Nature)

 

You laugh when a dog starts to chew on his leg, the sight attracting the attention of everyone else around the park. A flustered owner makes her appearance between you, giving all sorts of apologies for the stunt her dog pulled on Sans. With a smile, you tell her it's fine whereas Sans reassures her by saying he was used to it thanks to the dog he kept at his place. His comment makes you wonder if it was the same dog you had seen jump on him the last time you hung out at night, and if the dog really did stay at his place -- Papyrus never commented about him much, after all.

 

The grass tickles your arms when you lay down on the ground, resting on your back so you can see the sun hidden behind the clouds. 

 

"C'mere," you offer, patting at the grass next to you. "I'll keep an eye out if I see any more dogs around."

 

”I’d appreciate that,” he replies, letting out a laugh. “Where’s Faust run off to, by the way?“

 

You nod your head to the side opposite to his, where your eyes come across with the slide and see saw set up near the Nice Cream truck. Faust is too busy playing with Chilly and Pepper to notice you staring. Sans looks towards the direction you're pointing at and sees the same scenario, the smile on his face appearing to loosen up when he sees more children join the group in their games. He sits down beside you after that, though you encourage him to lay on his back. 

 

“It’s nice — The ground’s cool and you can see the clouds.”

 

 

5. Blue (Harmony)

 

“Didn’t know monsters could also be fags.”

 

You’re shaken from your slumber by those words and the feeling of Sans’s shoulder shifting underneath you. With the bus almost empty of people, there aren’t many witnesses around to either snigger or frown at the man’s words. You open your eyes and see his full appearance: a businessman clad in blue and with his hair brushed back with gel. Thankfully, Faust is still sleeping, his head resting on your lap. 

 

“How’d you even manage to adopt a kid anyway? ‘Cuz I’m sure you’d be rejected to in a heartbeat.”

 

Sensing Sans was growing tense, you grab him by the arm and squeeze him, facing him with a stern, worried look as you then nod your head over to the man spitting insults at him. You think about how long must’ve he endured the comments with how grim his expression is. Determined to do something, you inspect the man’s attire again, a smile growing on your face when you spot something peculiar on his wrist.

 

”Scared of being yourself?” you taunt, staring at him. “‘Cuz that rainbow slap bracelet you have under your sleeve says so.”

 

Agitated, the man sputters a ‘what’ and casts his gaze down at his clothes, hurrying to hide the bracelet when he sees it peeking out of his long-sleeved jacket. “I- That. . . That doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a freakin’ rainbow!”

 

”Take it easy, pal,” Sans intervenes, chuckling. “We’re not out to get ya -- Just don’t be two-faced, and come out when you’re ready.”

 

 

6-7. Purple/Violet (Spirit)

 

“Wait,” you speak up, stopping him. “We. . . We can’t kiss yet.”

 

”Why not?” Sans asks. Concern flashes on both his voice and expression, irises searching your face for any negative emotion -- for any sign that he was crossing a line with you. “You doing okay?”

 

”I’m fine,” you assure him, smiling. “We just haven’t kissed in the actual storyline yet, so it wouldn’t be fair to do that here.”

 

”Shouldn’t you wait to open that present later, then?”

 

”Wh- What do you mean?”

 

He leans away from you and stands up from the bed, irises turning towards the gift bag you had yet to open up. The date had extended to two days, and you intended to keep your promise by waiting until he left back home.

 

“You can’t see what’s in there yet.”

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans’s Perspective

 

“Hey.”

 

Sans doesn’t know what else to say when (Y/N) picks up, what he planned to ask fleeting away from his mind. With a huff, he gives up on asking and instead stares at the background the human’s at. He sees a lamp turned on by the night table and the locket he had given them set neatly alongside their wallet. Though he’s happy to see they still kept onto the locket, he wonders why they decided to put it aside, roaming thoughts being shaken off when he notices he had left them hanging.

 

“Sorry about that,” he speaks up again, shaking his head. “I got lost for a second there. What did you say?”

 

“Just, how are you?” they ask, a small, expectant smile on their face. “You seemed a little pissed off when we were talking at Alphys’s classroom.”

 

“I’m fine. I just couldn’t stand seeing you so close, yet so far away.” Against himself, Sans can feel his emotions overtaking his expression. He tries to cool them back down by looking away from (Y/N), unable to meet their eyes without having those thoughts spike again. “It’s been what, two months? ‘Cuz it sure feels like a lot more. You don’t know how much I wanted to see you when you told me what happened with Jessie.”

 

“I. . .” He sees the human’s gaze stare down at their lap, (e/c) eyes growing dim for a split second. “I just hope you’ll be free soon. That letter. . . It- I won’t deny it got my hopes up. I didn’t think bad of it until Alphys asked me about it.”

 

“You need to be careful, though. Don’t just dive headfirst into trouble for me.” Finally regaining some composure, Sans stares at (Y/N) directly, irises lingering on what they were wearing. They were still in their work uniform even though the clock marked nine sharp, that observation leading him to assume it was just now they managed to have some free time. “But what about you? Haven’t heard from you since that time Faust ran off with your phone.”

 

“To be honest, there’s. . . something I’ve wanted to talk about with you.”

 

He sees the same, dim light flash on (Y/N)’s eyes when they mention that. Worried, he sits up straight on his bed and narrows his gaze at them. “What’s up?”

 

“Would our relationship be any different if. . . if I met you earlier?”

 

“Whaddya mean by that?”

 

“Gerson told me you used to be a sentry for the Underground,” they clarify, passing a hand against the back of their neck. “What did that job involve?” The emotion he feared (Y/N) was keeping to themselves shows up through the waver in their tone. Their face grows dull as their lips fall back into a grimace, eyes growing shiny with tears. “I- I know I’m probably rushing into this, and that’s the exact opposite of what he told me to do, but. . . I want- I need to know.”

 

The monster grows speechless with the sudden rush of words falling from the human’s mouth. Suddenly, the background they’re at and every other thing around him become trifles as he focuses on them entirely. It was more than apparent (Y/N) wasn’t ready to hear him talk about any of that -- that they would immediately go off on a tangent were they to take his words the wrong way. At the moment, what they needed was to find stability rather than doubt.

 

“Alright,” he speaks up, heaving a breath. “Can we talk about this after you’re through with the mayor? If he really is gonna set me free, I want to tell you all about that in person.”

 

“Can you promise me that?”

 

“‘Course I can.”

 

He briefly worries (Y/N) might see through him when he says that. If there was one thing he struggled with, it was with keeping his previous promise with Toriel. What made him decide so quickly on an agreement were the consequences that involved it, in including how serious he felt about his relationship with the human. The previous call where he had caught them just waking up had only furthered that wish -- that desire of having a relationship beyond family and friends. He did still see (Y/N) as a friend, but he also wanted to be on a closer, deeper level with them: to learn how humans tended to express their love towards another, to have them close without bothering about breaking bonds or making their friendship awkward, but most of all, to have someone beside him.

 

“Thank you,” he hears (Y/N) say, interrupting him from those thoughts.

 

Noticing he’s drifting away from the conversation again, he dismisses those wants for the time being and flinches back when he sees (Y/N) closer to his phone screen. He can view almost every detail of their face now: how their eyes had faint, dark lines underneath them, how a few strands of messy hair fell over their forehead, how their lips tugged the slightest bit upwards, and how their (s/t) skin showed faint marks from where stress-induced acne used to be -- a reminder that the human was still years younger compared to most of the parents at the school. He had almost forgotten what they had said about them rushing into marriage.

 

“Put your cheekbone against the screen.”

 

Amused by their command, he relents with a chuckle and follows their orders. He closes his eye sockets and listens closely, hearing (Y/N) press a kiss against the screen. Lured, he has to hold back a shudder when he hears their breath close to his hearing, almost making him sense as if they were sitting on bed with him. 

 

“Stay strong, alright?” the human speaks up, voice sounding farther away now. "This'll be over before we know it."

 

The human’s beaming at him when he pulls back. They’re farther away from his screen again, sitting straight on their bed. Looking closer into it, he sees the weariness of (Y/N)’s face fade away with the grin on their face and their bright tone of voice. He would've returned that gesture weren't the phone's screen serving as a barrier for physical contact.

 

 


 

 

There’s only one thing Sans can think of doing when the call with (Y/N) ends. Were it the weekend tomorrow, he would’ve ran off outside and searched for a distraction: either by talking with Grillby or going to the hills to stare at the stars above it. The hour and day of the week limit his choices, his best option being to head down to the kitchen and whip up a late night snack.

 

He tries to be as quiet as possible on his way there, reminding himself Papyrus was already sleeping. Tired, the monster takes it slow and stops when he reaches the room. Not exactly finding himself in a functional state, he slumps and bumps his head against the refrigerator laid out in front of him, closing his eye sockets as he then lets out a huff.

 

The meeting with the mayor was the day after tomorrow, yet he couldn’t help feeling as if there was something off with the news. What stopped him from voicing his doubts to (Y/N) had been first and foremost for the question they had brought up regarding his past job, and -- second -- for how stressed they looked when speaking to him. It would be troublesome making them think he was being superstitious, and even more if he were to bring up the constant uneasiness he felt now that he was at the Surface. Unlike the Underground, the Surface gave him no second chances -- He had seen and heard about humans and monsters dying without returning. This was the real world now, and he wasn’t sure how to feel about it. It had its pros and cons like almost everything else, but he feared more for the future than he ever did before. Now, the monster wouldn’t be given the precarious blessings that were second and third chances. He didn’t dare think how badly things could end were he to act the same way as he did underground.

 

What would he do if the human were to get into trouble with the mayor? What would become of Faust were he to lose (Y/N) for something like that? And if things weren’t to result as badly as he feared them to, how would he explain to (Y/N) about his past job without letting it taint their relationship?

 

He had gone too far to let things crumble back to pieces. What he wanted now was consistency: a calm, peaceful life he could share with his family, friends, and -- hopefully -- partner and adoptive kid were things to result well. He wouldn’t hesitate in his relationship anymore had he the certainty no further obstacles like Jessie or outdated laws would cross his path. A life alongside (Y/N) and Faust sounded like a dream too distant for it to be made real -- let alone in any manner plausible.

 

Buzz.

 

Sans flinches back from the refrigerator when he feels his phone buzz inside his pocket. Sluggish, it takes him a good minute before he gets to check what the notification’s about, though he can feel some energy return to him when he sees it’s a text message from (Y/N).

 

Goodnight xx

Faust taught me those xx’s were like hugs, so I’m sending you some.

 

Humoured, Sans waits when he sees they’re still in the process of typing another message.

 

xxxxxxx

. . .Was that too many??

Sorry if I woke you up. I didn’t wanna hit the bed till I made sure I sent you this.

 

you’re good, pal. i couldn’t catch sleep in the end, so now i’m just raidin’ the fridge.

but here. have some, too.

xx

x

xxxxx

xxxxxxxxxx

xx

 

My phone’s blowing up now! 

Two can play it that game.

 

An impromptu battle of the x’s begins as (Y/N) sends a string of them in one message. He sends some back, the quantity growing with each message -- until the box reaches its limit. It’s a back and forth situation that lasts for well over ten minutes, the last thing they send when he surrenders making him burst out a laugh loud enough to sound throughout the entire kitchen.

 

(Y/N): 1 Sans: 0

I win, baby

 

did you just call me baby?

 

Who knows? 

Maybe I did. . . Or baby I didn't.

 

Feeling something cold run down his cheekbone, Sans sets the phone aside on the kitchen counter and wipes it away with his hand. He chuckles when he realizes it’s a teardrop, that observation reminding him of the last time he had ever laughed as wholeheartedly as he did tonight.

 

Having gone through too many emotions at once, he yawns once and decides to call it a night by taking water and a few chocolate chip cookies from the refrigerator, bringing those with him to his room right after he pockets the phone back where it was. It’s only when he reaches the bed that he finally feels at ease, the silly exchange he had with the human replaying in his mind as he finishes with his snack, ready to call it a night now.

 

g’night to ya too, (Y/N).

Chapter Text

The weather is clear the second time you travel to the town hall, not a single grey cloud present in the sky. You unbuckle your seatbelt, step out of the car, and say goodbye to Undyne, though you pause on that last action when she warns you about your safety. She reminds you that she would be back after an hour to check up on you, saying -- and you quote -- that she would come over and kick butt if you were in any sort of trouble.

 

You’re escorted into the mayor’s office by the same policewoman as before, her hopeful grin and kind words being the one push you needed to gain courage for facing what remained ahead. Bracing yourself, you pass through the doors and are welcomed by an environment colder than normal, though the sound of the air conditioner is nowhere near. Without that many options in hand, you choose to dismiss the uneasiness the silence and cold brought over you and conform with looking around the room as a distraction. The thick curtains are pulled back this time, revealing the sun and the few buildings and homes found close to the town hall. Regardless, the stuffy, confining feeling of the office doesn’t lessen, the sight of sunrays passing through the windows appearing to be a mere illusion. You couldn’t feel their warmth, no matter how long you exposed your hand to the sun shining over the desk.

 

“Take a seat, (miss/mister) (L/N),” the mayor’s voice speaks, the finality to that sentence making it a command rather than a simple act of hospitality. You stop looking at the sun shining on your skin and pull your hand away from the desk, eyes looking towards the door the mayor had come out of the first time. It’s barely possible for you to keep a neutral expression when your eyes meet his. The warmth -- however fake -- he radiated at the beginning of your first meeting wasn’t present any longer, blank eyes and straight lips making you feel smaller than him. His clothes are far more polished and his tone is empty of empathy. “I believe you’re here for your partner’s freedom, correct?”

 

You freeze in place. That feels like a trick question to you, and you’re not certain which way’s best to respond. “. . .Yes, sir. Did I misinterpret what you wrote in your letter?”

 

“Of course not,” he replies, a grin forming on his face. You have to hold back a shiver with how uneasy that change makes you feel. “Do you really think that lowly of me, (L/N)?” That I would go as far as to trick you?”

 

“N- No, sir,” you intervene, fumbling over your words. “I just found it strange you came to that decision. We. . . didn’t really end on the best note back on our first meeting.”

 

“It would be unfair and biased of me to base a decision on those emotions rather than on the gravity of the situation. Are you insinuating those things of me, too?”

 

Your chest feels tight, mind unable to cope quickly enough to his seemingly restless string of taunts. You can’t think of any words to say without them being put under the same scrutiny.

 

“Very well,” he comments, suppressing a laugh. “I can’t change how you think of me, so let us move on, shall we? I have all the documents necessary for Sans’s freedom in my possession, but I will need to have a quick word with you before I hand them over.”

 

He retreats from the door and walks towards his desk, where he takes a seat. His eyes break away from you to center on the papers in front of him, giving you time to compose yourself before he spoke again. Anxious, you gulp as your eyes then trail down to his shoes while you wait for him to finish, hearing something shuffle underneath his desk. You don’t see anything out of the ordinary when you look down, but the sound returns when you stare up at him again, the same scenario repeating itself a second time, right before you choose to give up and dismiss at as being paranoid.

 

“Here we are,” he speaks up, bringing you back to Earth. You stare at his desk to see a thin, yellow document under his palms -- similar to the one the judge had given you after you won the trail, but with Sans’s basic information on it. The mayor harrumphs, shifts in his seat, and pushes the document closer to you. “Whether you answer strong or weakly to my question doesn’t matter, but I still require you give a response before I give these papers to you.” He waits for your approval, to which you respond to by nodding, letting him know you awaited his interrogation. “Are you ready for what’s ahead, (L/N)? I’m sure you’re more than aware by now that it won’t be easy. What you’re doing now -- taking the monsters’ side -- it isn’t seen kindly by many. Jessie saw you as a traitor for a reason.”

 

Deja vu strikes when the chair underneath you shrieks right as you stand up, speediness making it tumble and almost causing it to fall over. Anger and alarm spike at the simple mention of that name, and you can’t contain your expression when you look towards the mayor again. The calm, unperturbed look on his face shows that’s the exact reaction he hoped to get out of you.

 

“Don’t worry, mayor,” you speak, tone dry with vexation. “I already know what I’m getting myself into.” The sight of him handing you the document is the only thing to bring some sense of calm over you. Your hand reaches out for it with caution, ready for him to pull back at any moment.

 

“Alright. I await nothing but good news from you, then.”

 

 


 

 

"So how's it going with you and Alphys?” you ask, bringing a spoonful of rice to your mouth. You're sitting across from Undyne, the Cuban restaurant Solana had recommended bustling with all sorts of people and food. You wanted to treat the fish lady to dinner as a way to thank her for her company, and for giving you a ride while your car went to repairs. "You look pretty close."

 

"Do we?" Undyne asks, chuckling. "I don't really know how to work with our relationship now that we’re dating, but I've been trying to be bolder."

 

"I'd say you are," you assure her, smiling. “You were the one who kissed her first, after all.”

 

A tiny blush spreads on her cheeks when you make that remark, eye looking down at her plate of food. Her bashful nature only lasts for so long, returning when she takes another bite off her empanada. Back to her strong character, she takes a swig from her drink and grins at you when she’s done, a hopeful look on her face. "What about you, (Y/N)? Why did you keep your crush a secret?” Her grin widens at the sides when you shrink back, the confidence you found when making her blush dissipating with your courage. “It wasn't till I saw Sans get all goofy and defensive whenever I teased him about you that I realized who it was."

 

"Well. . .” You're at a loss for words. You didn't think she would still remember the time you helped her with her dating dilemma, nor of the things Solana had said about you being attracted to someone as a way to make up for mentioning you were a recent divorcee. "Uh. . . You know how Jessie's my ex, right?" The woman nods once, allowing you to continue. "It was only a year since our divorce happened when you asked me for some relationship advice. I thought it would look real bad if I said the truth."

 

"So you lied to me?” she questions, raising her voice. “And here I thought we were pals since the beginning."

 

Your eyes grow when she asks that, her tone gruff and annoyed. When you look up at her, however, you can see she's smiling at you, unpatched eye and intact smile giving out her mischief. "It was a white lie, alright?" you tease, grinning. "I already liked him by that time."

 

The conversation falls into comfortable silence as you both continue eating, enjoying each other’s company without having to exchange any more words. You feel calmer now with the documents in your possession and Undyne's presence, the calid atmosphere of the restaurant adding levels to your calm. In between the cheery music playing in the background and the few drops of rain hitting the roof of the building, you can hear your and Undyne's cell phone buzz, most likely notifications asking how things had turned out. You're stirred at the thought of meeting with Sans tomorrow, the reminder you had seen him in person only once since the past two months intensifying that feeling. Not even the approaching rainfall or the eerie words of the mayor were enough to tamper with that joy.

Chapter Text

"Your yes means nothing if you can't say no." – Meshell Ndegeocello

 

 


 

 

News about the achievement had inevitably spread within the past few hours. 

 

The next day, you wake up to a newspaper tucked under the door of your hotel room, the blaring headline making you stare blankly for a good five minutes without moving. ‘(Y/N) (L/N), former police officer of (hometown), confronts mayor and gains the freedom of a monster they claim to be their partner’. ‘The town mayor mentions (L/N) was hostile in their approach, though he still pushed forward with his decision, claiming he would never be as biased as (L/N) had been with him on both meetings’ is written right under the title in smaller lettering. Anxious, you search for page number sixteen, where a full article of yesterday’s happenings is displayed. You can’t bring yourself to read beyond the first three paragraphs, the amount of backlash hidden in flowery language making the paper shake in your hands. Not only was it directed against you for more than half of the article -- that being as far as you could read -- but your face was all over those few pages, some of them using the technique of editing to distort your image. Stunned, your thoughts drift back to how cold and bound you had been with your last response and how the tension had only grown worse between you and the mayor. Your mind starts to form ‘what-ifs’, a needle of guilt piercing your consciousness when you remember how you lost your composure the second the mayor mentioned your ex’s name.

 

You set the newspaper down on the kitchen counter when you hear Faust exit the bathroom. With the premises being large enough for three people, it doesn’t take you further than a few steps until you reach his bedroom and come across him already dressed up for school, towel and toiletries placed aside as he moves on to brushing his hair. You check the hour on your phone, having lost track of time when reading the paper, and calm down after you realize there’s still time.

 

“Can I really go with my friend today?” Faust asks, incredulity in his question. He stops fixing his hair and sits on the edge of his bed while you stand by the dresser and lean against it, facing towards his side. “I thought you wanted to meet up with Sans!”

 

“He’ll be busy working,” you reply, a smile creeping on your face. “And I have to go to work today if I don’t wanna get fired, so I can’t really stay too long either way.” You halt in that statement, humoured by the restlessness tracing his voice. “But I thought you liked taking the bus with your friends?” Your words come off in a sing-song manner, mind already possessing the knowledge as to how you could tick him off. 

 

Unamused by your words, Faust gives you a dull look and shakes his head. You laugh at that, though you cover it up when he crosses his arms and narrows his eyes at you. “You’ve only let me ride the bus that one time the car broke down, but now you’re cool with it all of a sudden! Did you guys break up, or are you just being a chicken?”

 

“Just go take that ride with your friend, alright? I should be there by lunchtime.”

 

“You’re ignoring my question!” he exclaims, standing up from the bed.

 

You don’t pay mind to his words and pretend to be busy going through his drawer, an act that makes him further annoyed by your dishonesty when it came to talking about your relationship with Sans. With what you had seen at the counselor’s office, you didn’t really feel like he was ready to welcome Sans in that way -- That was the one thing you agreed to when the monster was given a sentence of his own. Perhaps you could have that relationship kept private, but you didn’t want to force it upon Faust knowing he had broken down when talking about Jessie and what they did to you. He was still fighting with his feelings, uncertain whether he could see Jessie as his parent any longer, and even less if he could bring himself to forgive them.

 

“She's here!” Faust shouts, making you jump. You shake off from those thoughts and see he’s running this way and that, rushing to pick everything up -- from his backpack, to his lunchbox, to the sweater hanging on the door. He dismisses your help when you try to reach for his backpack, stating he was big enough to do those things by himself now. 

 

His steps are quick while yours are steady. You watch as he settles everything along with him before opening the door, hanging his lunchbox on one side, the school bag in the other, and the sweater on one hand, using his free one to open the door.

 

“Remember to check who it is first,” you warn, arriving next to him.

 

The hand he placed on the doorknob stops as he rather chooses to stand on his toes to look through the peephole. You keep watching behind him, not wanting to ruin his attempts at independence.

 

“Have fun, dear.”

 

Faust jumps in for a hug once he’s done opening the door, muttering a haste ‘okay’ when he pulls back and runs out of the room. You keep the door open, watching how he meets with his friend already waiting for him out in the central hallway. He greets the bunny child with a wave, the ecstatic smile on his face matching with hers. You couldn’t tell if he was happy about the news you had returned with yesterday, or if it was due to there being less than a month left for his second semester to end. The door remains open until you see the two parents -- one the bunny’s mother, and the other a bear -- ready to take the children off to school. Mouthing a thank you when they catch you staring, you wave at the group and close the door when they’re gone. 

 

As soon as you do that, you can feel your heart racing with anticipation. Your hands begin to shed a cold sweat you soon wipe against your pants. You start to think about what you would do when lunchtime came around. Despite the response you gave to Faust, you planned to have Sans over at your hotel room if you met with him at school beforehand, or tell him later through means of messaging if you didn’t. What these had in common was that you planned to invite him by the time Faust fell asleep, and that you had to confront Sans about the recent change in your mindset regarding your relationship.

 

 


 

 

Your plans are forfeited when you hear the bells of the pastry shop chime, looking up from the cash register to see Sans in front of the counter, no other customer standing by besides him. He’s in his work uniform, though he carries a paper bag in his hand rather than any sort of work equipment. 

 

“Long time no see,” he greets, handing you the bag. “You’re off in a few minutes, right?”

 

You look up at the wall clock placed behind the counter to see it’s only five minutes until your lunch break began. “Yeah,” you reply, taking the item from his hold. You’re too caught in the spontaneity of the moment to peer into its contents even as you crouch down to place it by the floor. “I just have to finish with the register first.”

 

He nods and moves away from the counter, gaze searching for an empty table. You see him look around for a while until he decides on one set at the far end of the establishment, the wink he sends your way when he catches you staring leading you to start over with counting the quarters. Annoyed, you huff softly and shake your head at that, mentally scolding yourself for letting your mind and eyes wander off towards him. 

 

Finally through with recounting the quarters, you close the register and take the bag off the floor, still choosing not to look into its contents. You only catch a glimpse from the surface, though dark blue wrapping paper is as far as your eyes can see. Ready to clock out for lunch now, you step out of the counter and head inside the employees’ lounge, where you mark just one minute past your established break time. Your attention drifts off towards the mirror set next to the couch, where you take off your hairnet and apron, doing a double take when you remember the time you had left your shift with flour stuck to your hair. It was silly knowing you hadn’t been in charge of baking today, but you still do it nonetheless.

 

“Sorry for the wait.” Your words grab Sans’s attention when you reach his table. You see a small pitcher of lemonade, two glasses, and a few doughnuts piled up on a paper plate. “Why didn’t you tell me your order back there?”

 

“‘Cuz it was already time for you to be clockin’ out.” He pushes the plate closer to you when you sit down, waiting for you to take one first. Estranged by the offer, you hesitate and overanalyze when picking up a doughnut from the batch, not exactly sure which one he liked best. “Wanna come over to my place tonight?”

 

Words misinterpreted, you lose coordination and almost end up eating the entire doughnut in one bite. You scratch your throat once, look away, and take some air before gulping down the food, sending a glare his way when you hear him laugh under his breath. “Actually,” you speak up, voice scratchy with the aftermath of the bite you took. “I was. . . thinking if you wanted to come to the hotel -- After Faust’s back from school.”

 

“I figure you mean after he’s sleepin’?”

 

“Well, uh. . . Yeah. But not in that way. I was hoping we could talk in private to catch up on stuff.”

 

“This’s about what happened with the counselor, right?” he asks, taking one of the two glasses with him. He fills it with lemonade and brings it to his teeth, stopping when he’s about to drink from it. “Faust told me about it.”

 

You sigh, passing a hand against your forehead. “It is. I was gonna tell you that when we got there, but I. . . I’m sorry. I was eager to tell him all about us, but that changed when I saw him break down.”

 

“So you don’t want this anymore?”

 

“No -- I. . . I do! But I don’t think it would be good to let him know about us yet.”

 

Sans’s face grows solemn as he takes a sip from his drink, the way his mouth contorted to allow him to eat and drink still a mystery to you, yet not something you could bring yourself to think too much over given the situation you were in. He takes another sip, chugging down the rest of it in one go. “The kid asked if we broke up. I’m not sayin’ you should throw our relationship card at him, but I need you to tell me about these things sooner. I was serious about what I wrote in that letter, (Y/N).”

 

Your tension softens into a smile as you reach out for his hand, clutching it in both of yours and squeezing it tight. He flinches slightly under the warmth of your touch, though he loosens up when you scoot closer and bring his hand against your chest, keeping it safe in yours. “I promise -- Just like you did for me. And I’m sorry for not telling you sooner about this.”

 

You let his hand go and stay quiet, watching as he gives your words some thought. With the way he tucks his hand away and how his irises cast down at the table, you figure it’s good to give him the option to break up if he wasn’t able to follow with your choice.

 

“So we’re still up for catching up tonight? I know a babysitter if you wanna go out without Faust knowin’ about us.”

 

“Are you. . . really sure about this, then? It’s okay if you wanna break up. I should’ve told you firsthand.”

 

“I’m sure -- We both owe each other a date, and plan to get mine out first.”

Chapter Text

The cool breeze of a fast-approaching autumn shakes the palm trees and drives out a shiver down your body. Brisk, salty air reaches your lungs when you breathe in, the scent serving as a soother for your mind. Empty surroundings with the exception of the two stray dogs sleeping by the shore, you’re given privacy to spend time with Sans without having to worry about being scrutinized by others. Sitting down by the sand, you let him rest his head on your lap and begin tracing your fingers across his face, slowly outlining his features by starting from top to bottom. You begin from his forehead and continue going downwards, laughing when he sneezes after you brush with his nose cavity. 

 

“Didn’t know you could sneeze,” you comment, smiling down at him. “What else don’t I know about you yet?”

 

“Try to reach for my irises,” he replies, taking hold of your wrist. Carefully, he brings your hand towards his left eye socket and waits for you to do as suggested.

 

You bring your fingers close to his irises, flinching back after you see the white light falter when you get closer. Sans encourages you to continue, grin widening at the sides when he sees you frowning, doubt preventing you from doing as he said. “Okay, but. . . Tell me if it bothers you, alright?”

 

He closes his right socket and keeps the other one open, still waiting for you to finish with what you planned to do. “Alright.”

 

Determined, you close the distance and come in contact with the light, shock passing through you when you feel warmth under your fingers. The glow stays and gives the illusion of it piercing your skin, the view similar to catching a lightning bug and trapping it by closing your fist. Having Sans this close was inexplicably ethereal to you. He was letting you go as far as to explore his differences -- what made him a monster and you a human -- through means of physical contact. Your heart begins to race when you pull back and see his iris still there, unhurt by your touch. Your eyes trail down to his teeth, a new wish crossing your thoughts.

 

“Can I kiss you?”

 

“Go ahead, pal.”

 

A shaky breath exits your mouth, anticipation making it hard for you to do what you wanted regardless of asking beforehand. Mulling over your next choice, you swallow your tension, breathe, and press your lips against his teeth, closing your eyes in accordance to your actions. Mind adrift, you flinch when feeling his hands slide behind your head, fingers passing through your hair. The moment lasts for what it feels like minutes, the only other sound present being of the waves crashing into the shore. You’re made to let go when you hear talking from a distance, voices and conversations muffled by the sounds of the ocean.

 

Eyes opening, you pull back whereas Sans untangles his fingers from your hair and sits up straight in the sand. The once empty beach is now habited by other people, most of them keeping away from the shore. Children are kept at bay by their parents, an elderly man stares, and a police officer discusses unintelligible topics with him. With the varied looks you’re given and the caution they all maintained, it was unnecessary for you to question what they were thinking. You stand up from the sand and wait for Sans to do the same. 

 

The night makes it harder for you to see people’s faces, but you can tell the officer's getting closer. He only goes as far as a few steps, keeping more than twenty feet of distance between you. “I'm afraid you’re not allowed to be here,” he mentions, hand reaching for the defense equipment set beside his waist. “Please leave immediately if you want to avoid conflict.”

 

You squint through the darkness and notice the man’s neither pleased nor perturbed by your presence. In contrast to the fearful stares some of the parents gave and the confused looks of their children, he has a plain expression further made neutral by straight lips and knitted eyebrows, emotions indecipherable to your eyes. “What’s wrong, sir?”

 

“I don’t think I need to tell you,” he answers, staring you down. “You should know why you’re not supposed to be here.”

 

“I still think we deserve an explanation,” Sans steps in, gaze narrowing slightly. “I thought this place was open for the public.”

 

An unmentioned battle starts in the middle of Sans and the officer, equally grey expressions hinting at the tension they had with each other. The monster takes a step forward, posture firm as he stares up at the man without faltering.

 

“Until a certain hour, that is. Nobody’s allowed after nightfall.”

 

“Then why’s there people still out here? Last time I checked, it was still eight thirty. The sign over there says it’s until ten.”

 

“You talk back a lot for someone your size. Why not let your (girlfriend/boyfriend) do the talking?”

 

Fearing where the two were headed towards, you step in. You place a hand over Sans’s shoulder, holding him back when you see he tries to intervene with the officer again. “Sans’s right, sir. We went far out here ‘cuz we didn’t wanna bother people nearby -- We were alone until now, and we weren’t breaking any rules. It’s supposed to be your responsibility to explain why you’re doing this.”

 

The officer’s composed expression grows weak with your words. You see his brow twitch once while a hand clenches into a fist. “It’s my job. I don’t always like it, but I’m not about to do the same as you did. I don’t have the luxury to lose my job -- unlike you, (Y/N). I won’t repeat myself: leave now if you don’t want any conflict. We don't need people like you around here."

 

You can't think of anything else to say this time around, words reaching out for you more than you ever intended them to. The sound of hushed conversations drives your attention to the group of people still standing by, a few who grin and wait for your next movement, and a few others that grow concern on their faces.

 

“Gladly,” Sans speaks up again, the blatant anger tracing his voice catching you by surprise. "We’ve got better places to be at.”

 

He turns to you, takes your hand, and stares at the officer once before rushing off with you out of the beach. His hold tightens as you both struggle to keep a fast walking pace whilst fighting with the inconsistency of the sand below your feet. This was one of the few times you had seen his emotions overtake his expression and actions. The knowledge that he had always kept a calm, laid back exterior was one of the primary reasons why you had trouble believing he vexed over -- and devoted himself to -- that much to the things he deemed important. Up until the time you started seeing him as a friend and the day he asked you if you really did see him as one, you mostly saw him as a fun, carefree tutor to be around with.

 

One thing stayed the same, however, and that was in what light you saw him. You still saw the monster as a person you could spend time with -- someone who you could trust when it came to things like dealing with not only Faust's school troubles, but his own matters as well. The strong, decisive note in his voice -- in spite of how angry he sounded at the moment -- noted his experience when it came to dealing with difficult subjects.

 

“Sans,” you call out, stopping him. You’re out of the beach now, though sand still covers the floor. What gives out at you having left the area is the parking lot you spot just a few steps away from your current location. “Calm down for a minute.” Those first two words were the least you expected to ever say to him. While he had said them to you the days you fought with your fear of losing Faust, you had only seen him show his insecurities as of recently -- and all of them had been through means of face call. Tonight was the first time you had gotten to see him like this in person.

 

You freeze when he turns around, the white light you had experimented with earlier ago almost entirely gone from your view. You can feel his hand trembling now that you’re standing still, and you catch sight of his forehead shedding a cold sweat. 

 

“We didn’t come all the way up here for this,” Sans comments, voice lower than normal. He squeezes your hand tighter and grits his teeth, eye sockets facing the blackened sky. “It was real stupid of me to think things would turn out any better. When I first met you, I thought maybe things wouldn’t be so tough -- that I could hang out with you and forget about stuff for a while. But then there’s Jessie gettin’ in the way, that thing I had around my ankle until yesterday, and these lame laws they keep makin’ up just ‘cuz I wanna go out with you. I swear the cop had to make that stuff up on the spot. We weren’t botherin’ nobody, but then a group of meddlers suddenly show up with him. Someone had to tick him off enough about us being out here for him to do something about it."

 

With Sans's irises gone and yet to return, you act instinctively, letting go of his hand and using yours to grab his face, obliging him to stare straight at you. “Breathe,” you soothe, tightening your hold on him. “We’re going to be alright -- We just need some time to cool down.”

 

You stay still when you hear him breathe out, watching as he closes his eye sockets and loosens up under your touch. He rests his face on your shoulder and places his hands behind your back, bringing you closer to him. 

 

“Thanks, (Y/N). Sorry I couldn’t take ya out to a better place. This was supposed to be a date, but look how that ended.”

 

Amused by the dreariness of his tone, you cup his face closer, keeping a nose’s distance between you. “It's okay," you assure him. "We can continue at my place if you want.”

 

He nods and lets his shoulders drop. With the distant sounds of the sea and the wind passing by, you watch light returns to his eye sockets and how he slips his hands in his pockets. He stares down at the sand, looking up after a while. “Sounds good,” he agrees, staring up at you. “Would it be ironic to say I feel more human now? I dunno when’s the last time I let myself get worked up like that.”

Chapter Text

Sans greets the babysitter and hands her payment when you make it to the hotel. With Faust having fallen asleep, the bunny woman waits by the lobby, one of her children fully awake and holding onto her hand while the other sits by the waiting lounge, drowsiness showing through the way his eyes slowly close and later open again. “Is it fine with you if my kids hang out with Faust sometimes? They got along really well during the time you were gone.”

 

Although it’s not a rarity to hear that said about Faust, you feel just as much content for knowing that as you did the first time you saw him talking with monsters. You grant her that permission and tell her to call you if something ever came up, numbers having already been exchanged when you met up with her to leave Faust under her care.

 

“Come over to my shop sometime?” she offers, a smile on her face. “I used to be a shopkeeper at Snowdin, but now I have a lil’ business set up near the city mall. I heard you work at a pastry shop, so I’d love to talk with you about cooking and all that.”

 

“That would be nice,” you reply, returning her smile. “I’m not the best when it comes to baking, but I know a thing or two about other stuff.”

 

Excited, the shopkeeper’s nose begins to twitch as does her tail. Her ears perk up, and it takes you more than a second before you realize what she wants. She squeezes you into a hug, her plump figure soft with the purple coat of fur that covered her skin, the scent of baked goods emerging from her body. You return her gesture by letting yourself loosen up under the hug and squeezing her back. Oddly comforted by her approach, you keep your eyes closed until she lets go of you.

 

You watch her take leave with her two bunny children after that, waving her off when she’s about to exit. The lobby grows quieter when she closes the door behind her, nine thirty being responsible for the tranquility inside the hotel.

 

“Are you really okay with paying?” you ask, directing your words at Sans, who’s now laying back on one of the five chairs available of the waiting area.

 

“I already did, and I don’t plan on askin’ you back for it,” he replies, standing up firm on his seat. “She didn’t want us to pay her for this one, so it doesn’t matter either way.“

 

“Why would she say that?”

 

“She was a well-known gal in Snowdin -- made the best cinnamon bunnies around. Doesn’t know that many people in the cookin’ business though, so she’s always eager to make friends who are.”

 

“Bunnies?” you ask, a grin on your face.

 

“They were bunny-shaped. It was a real hit with kids.”

 

Your conversation ends as you choose to head back to your hotel room, not in the comfort of leaving Faust home alone more than necessary. While you felt and were aware of your paranoia, your mind could only come up with constant scenarios of what would happen to Faust were you to leave him on his own for too long.

 

You pass by a busy Mettaton on your way to the elevator, who gives you a flirtatious wink when he notices Sans beside you. “Sneaking in late, I see,” he jokes, placing a hand on his hip. “Have a nice night, sweetheart.”

 

You wave farewell and see him wave back just as the doors start closing in. You’re left to the company of Sans and a Temmie huddled up at the rightmost corner of the elevator. Noticing you, she takes a few steps forward and narrows her eyes at you and Sans, the latter who narrows back his eye sockets at her, accepting her unscheduled staring contest. You don’t notice it’s the same Temmie who you gave the Bendadryl to until she starts showing faint, red spots around her fur. Said coat spikes up as her body starts to shake fervently.

 

“Hooman!” she exclaims, staring up at Sans. “Who’s this?” She sniffs the monster, growing more and more alert with each sniff. “Are you. . . dating?”

 

“Uhhh,” you trail off, taking a step back. “Yeah. Why  do you ask?”

 

Her defensive stance immediately withers with your response. Her cat ears drop while her dog one's ease down, fur going back to its rightful place. She frowns and looks down at the floor, a defeated expression on her face. “Did hooman give you medicine, too?” she asks, directing her words at Sans. 

 

“S’that a metaphorical question?”

 

“No -- Hooman gave Tem medicine whens sick. Tem has loved hooman since then!”

 

It’s only when you start to question why the elevator’s taking so darned long that the doors open. With the heated confrontation between the two though, you’re not given much of an option besides waiting for the doors to close on you again.

 

“Why do you love hooman if it’s not for medicine? Did hooman give you food? Home? Tem flakes? Colleg money?”

 

“That’s a real tough question there, buddy. Don’t think I can answer that one yet.”

 

The conflict ends after that, leaving you in a more than awkward silence as you wait for the elevator to make its rounds again. It opens up on various floors before yours, leaving you sandwiched with the Temmie and a muscular seahorse, who mentions you’re more than allowed to check him out, words followed by a wink. On the other hand, Sans is left at a corner, looking a little more than gloomy as he becomes surrounded by strangers of all kinds.

 

 


 

 

Tiptoeing into your hotel room, heavy, uncomfortable moods are lifted and exchanged for better ones. The aggravated look Sans had when confronting the Temmie is swapped back to his chilled demeanor while your confusion over what happened earlier is changed for a strong sense of concentration, the mission of hiding from Faust being set up in your mind. You hide in the darkness of the living room with Sans staying by your side, holding his hand as you lead him towards your bedroom. Your view on the mission is firm and focused -- quite unlike Sans, who kept on whispering harmless but no less provocative taunts about how you were going to be caught by Faust at any moment. 

 

“Shut up,” you hush, nudging his shoulder lightly. Sans chuckles and fakes losing balance to bump against you, making you tumble and close to clashing with the couch. “I swear I’ll tie you up if you keep this going.”

 

“Spicy,” he comments, covering a laugh. "But sorry about that -- Didn’t mean to get you in a knot, pal.”

 

Too dark for you to see clearly, you can’t avoid the next furniture you cross paths with, bumping into the coffee table of the living room. Alert, Sans lurches forward and aims himself at you. You can feel him place both hands on your shoulders, preventing the fall and stopping completely with his string of teasing. You’re grateful when he does, though it’s an entirely different story when you feel his fingers accidentally slip and brush against your skin. Against yourself, you flinch back and push his hand away, heart racing and eyes wide open when you turn to him, only to have your fears spike and distort his image, making it feel as it were Jessie standing in front of you. You pull back almost instantly and wrap your arms around yourself. 

 

Though you were aware that touch had been unintentional, you couldn’t control your body and mind when it came to forgetting about feeling small and helpless underneath Jessie’s body. 

 

Calming down, words are placed aside while silence conquers the room. You apologize and take a seat on the couch, offering him to join you when you level down the trembling of your body and the pace of your pulse. He keeps his distance, but you soon put an end to that by urging him to get closer. 

 

“Sans. . .” you murmur, placing your hands on your lap, forehead creasing when you try to muster the right words to say next. “Are you really, really sure about this? I feel like I’m being selfish with this about not letting Faust see us -- And now this happens. I. . . I won’t stop you if you want to leave.”

 

Were he to have eyebrows, you would’ve assumed he would be raising one at this moment. He shakes his head and closes his eye sockets, breathing out a sigh that makes his shoulders shake. “Don’t put me in that spot now, (Y/N) -- I already said before that I wanted this. Hell, I was gonna kiss you back if that cop didn’t interrupt us.”

 

“You liked it?”

 

“Damn right I did,” he replies, a snicker leaving his teeth. “You’re, uh, soft -- Or at least, your lips are. It felt good. And your hands also. You kinda snapped me outta that bad spot when you touched me like that. Real different from bone, fur, or scales.”

 

Stricken by his response, you smile and move your hand towards him, waiting for him to take it. He takes your hand, looking up at you as you stand up from the couch and make him do the same. “Would it be okay if we talked out on the balcony? It feels. . . stuffy in here.” You grow full, unwanted consciousness of where you’re sitting at, brain making memory of the time Jessie pushed and pinned you down on the couch. Though it's not the same one or the same living room, you can still replay that scenario as if it happened barely a day ago. “I won’t hold you back if you’re tired, but I don’t think I can fall asleep anymore.”

Chapter Text

The earthy scent of flowers wafts through the air when you step out of the hotel room. Sans follows your footsteps and stops when you do, staying back when you decide to stare at the landscape laid out in front of you. More at home with your surroundings, you rest your hands on the cold, metallic rails of the balcony and urge Sans to do the same, the new set of flowers blooming by the distance serving you as a quick subject for conversation.

 

“Do you know much about the flowers where you used to be?” you ask, turning to him. “I’m curious about how things were like underground.”

 

“I guess aside from the Echo flowers, I’d say everythin' else was pretty much a lil' similar. We had our shining rocks and drastic climates, but most of the stuff under there can also be seen up here. Population-wise, now that’s a whole other thing.”

 

You rest your body against the railings, eyes enclosing on the monster next to you. He notices your interest and chuckles once when he sees you plan to stay quiet.

 

“Dunno if you’ve noticed, but I don’t really know how to get along with new people. Humans and monsters are different enough that I didn’t know what to do around you when I started feelin’ close to you. I didn’t know how much was too much -- what you liked and what you didn’t like. In the end though, it turned out you were just like everybody else I knew: a person just dealin’ with life. I guess I saw Frisk as one of us, ‘cuz when it was time for me to deal with stuff at the Surface, I didn’t know what to do when I came across the ones that wanted nothin’ to do with us -- and even less with the ones that wanted to help us, ironically enough.”

 

He stops speaking to stare at you, returning to his line of thought when he sees your interest hadn’t diminished with his word flurry.

 

“But it ain’t just about that, either,” Sans continues, looking towards the garden again. “When it was time for me to look after Frisk, I had to study up on an entirely different science -- I had no clue what colds, flu, or any of those diseases were, so when Frisk got sick, I kinda just panicked and tried callin’ someone for help.”

 

The next time he stares, it’s not into your eyes. You can see his irises focus on other features of your face: from the (s/t) shade of your skin to the way your mouth curled to form a smile.

 

“Then there’s physical appearance. Humans ain’t that different from each other, so it was odd finding out about the tension some had with each other for tinier differences.”

 

He stops looking when you smile at him, teasing him over his staring by letting your smile turn to a sly grin.

 

“As for you. . . You’re uh, surprisingly soft. Some monsters are fluffy, but then there’s your softness, no matter how fit you look from the surface. It still feels weird whenever you grab my hand or hug me -- a good kinda weird, ‘course. Maybe you have a stronger build ‘cuz of police training, but you’re not scaly like Undyne.”

 

The monster ends with his explanation, gaze now cast down at the flowers swaying with the new, sudden surge of wind. You rack your brain for anything that might go with his words, eyes inspecting the expression on his skull -- the subtle furrow of his eye sockets and the tense view of his smile.

 

“What would you like to know about us?” you ask, catching onto his untold words. “I can tell you if you wanna know more.”

 

Seeing his visage change for an easy smile and relaxed brow, you feel content with your choice of words and push them forward by moving just a tad closer to his side, brushing shoulders with him lightly.

 

“I dunno where I could begin,” he replies, shaking his head. “The dumpster at the Underground. . . Stuff from the Surface usually fell down there, and some monsters would often dig around to see what things were like up there. Alphys found out 'bout some of her hobbies through that place.”

 

“Then what about you? What things are you interested in?”

 

“I’d have to think that through before givin’ you an answer.”

 

The balcony goes silent after his response, it possessing the same feel as the answer he had given to the Temmie regarding what he liked about you. With the silence, Gerson’s words rise amongst your thoughts again, though the instant ache in your chest forbids you to bring it up right there and then. You knew it was risky to keep setting that aside, but with what happened at the beach and at the elevator -- not counting the numb, bone-deep tiredness you felt, you didn't have the strength to make mention of that topic. 

 

“I owe you an explanation ‘bout my job, right?” Sans's voice asks, shaking you out of your thoughts. “Just tell me when you’re ready, and I’ll talk.”

 

“How did you know?” you question back, eyebrows tilting up slightly. You see he’s closed off the space entirely, a hand carefully reaching for your arm when he’s aware you’re looking at him.

 

“You look worse than Burgerpants on a Monday night.”

 

It’s hard for you not to have a change of expression when he states that, a laugh stopping you from getting a word in on that comment. 

 

You force yourself to breathe out, chest hurting with how much you held that back. “Alright. Can we talk about it tomorrow? I think I still need to process what happened at the elevator.”

 

“Tell me about it. But sure, (Y/N) -- Whenever you’re ready.”


 


 


With Sans resting next to you, the air conditioner set lower than normal, and the muffled sound of the television playing at the far end of your room, you feel sleepy and at peace. You take this moment to look through the gift Sans had given you, retrieving the dark blue gift wrapping you spotted while at work. Hearing paper crumble, Sans shifts slightly in bed and opens his eye sockets, sleepy irises fully waking up at the sight of you unwrapping the gift. 

 

“A book on monsters?” you ask, reading the title. It has the words ‘The Underground 101: An Understanding on Monsterkind’ written in the least appealing font you knew of: comic sans. “Did you. . . write this book yourself?”

 

“What gives it out?” he asks, voice groggy with sleep. His chuckle is heartier than usual, and you feel your heart leap when he nudges in closer, pressing himself next to you.

 

“Didn’t know you were an author,” you comment, surprise tracing your voice. “Is this your first book?”

 

“Second one, actually,” he responds, bringing a hand on top of the book. “You’re the first one to read any of ‘em, though. I don’t think I plan on making ‘em public, so I mostly just use the copies to help tutor kids around the school.”

 

“That’s adorable,” you remark, a goofy laugh leaving your mouth. “You’re such a softie underneath all that bone.”

 

“Maybe I was bone to be that way all along,” he jokes, pulling his hand back. The pace of your heart rises when he sits up in bed, irises staring down at you now that you’re the only one laying down. “Don’t read that book ‘till I’m gone, though -- It’s. . . kinda embarrassing having you read it while I'm here."

 

“What if I can’t fall asleep? The TV isn’t helping.”

 

“Then I’ll find another way.”

 

Warned by his words, you shift back against the headrest of the bed, stopping when you bump with the wood.  “What do you mean?”

 

“I’ll wake up Faust so he keeps you company.”

 

“Don’t you dare!”

 

You stand up fully from the bed, ready to chase him out if it was necessary. While your mind assures you he was only joking, your gut tells you to go stop him. You do the first thing that comes across your mind, that being to throw yourself at him, similar to how you used to do when chasing after a thief. He dodges you, however, a loud, unrestricted laugh leaving his teeth as he watches you fall face-first into the mattress, a loud ‘thump’ accompanying your fall.

 

Your second attempt is successful, though it’s less of a careful fall now that he’s not in bed. A louder thump follows when you jump down on him, his back hitting the carpeted floor of the bedroom while you fall on top of him. Your chest rises and falls as you try to catch your breath, hand holding him back while your legs brush with his.

 

“Alright,” he wheezes out, a chuckle bursting through his words. “Fair’s fair -- You win, (Y/N).”

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans's Perspective

 

Sans wakes up to an empty bed and a teary-eyed Faust tugging persistently at the sleeve of his shirt, both posture and gaze flooded with concern. He places a hand on the space left next to him, (Y/N)’s warmth far gone from the fabric of the bedsheets, even with the air conditioner now turned off. He follows the child out of the bedroom and tenses up at the sight of the human’s shoes gone from the welcome mat of the living room. The belongings they usually carried are gone simultaneously, and he doesn’t hear their phone neither ring or buzz when he calls their number.

 

“Where’s (Y/N)?” Sans asks, rubbing the sleep away from his eye sockets. 

 

“(Mom/Dad) said they were gonna go check the mailbox, but it’s been almost two hours already. I- I tried calling them with the hotel’s telephone. . . But they didn’t pick up.”

 

“How many times you’ve called already?”

 

“F- Four,” Faust stutters, looking down at his shoes. Sans can see tears running down his cheeks, those of which he tries to wipe with the aid of his shirt.

 

“Calm down, kiddo,” Sans speaks up, placing a hand on top of Faust’s head. He ruffles his hair and makes him laugh by poking at the ticklish spot under his armpit, dreary expression growing less severe. “They’re, uh. . . probably just caught up with somethin’. I’m sure they’ll be back, so let’s get you ready for school, alright? We can head there together.” As if just realizing it was still a Friday, Sans looks at the time on his phone to see it’s only thirty five minutes until his work shift began and the same amount for Faust to start his classes. 

 

“I can do that!” the boy exclaims, excitement replacing the worry in his voice. “You- You should look for clothes in (mom/dad)’s room, though -- I. . . think they still have some clothes they were gonna give you as a gift or something.”

 

“Really?” A chuckle leaves the skeleton’s teeth when he hears that, the thought that (Y/N) still had him in mind that much for them to do something like that distracting him from their disappearance -- however briefly. “Gotcha. I’m gonna go check.”

 

Nodding, Faust zooms off to his room, footsteps light and clumsy with anxiety, yet determined to get there all the same. Sans is left to the empty and silent surroundings of the living room, a heavy, weighing feeling of uncertainty resting on the back of his mind when he starts making way back to the bedroom. He starts rummaging through the contents of the drawers when he gets there, the compact room helping him decide on which place to look for first. He opens up the first one, revealing nothing but files and documents varying from Faust’s custody case to the newspapers announcing the mayor’s decision. Unsurprised by the words written in the articles, he closes up the first drawer and continues with the second one, hand stopping completely when he pulls it open.

 

“Crap.”

 

Sans manages to censor himself when making the observation, the sight of (Y/N)’s phone cracked and turned to silent mode sending all the wrong vibes up his spine. Not quite comfortable with going through their phone, he hesitates when he chooses to grab and unlock it, although he doesn’t regret it when he sees eleven messages left unread, plus Faust's four missed calls, five from their neighbour, and three from their co-worker.

 

You think I’m done with you?

I’m barely just getting started.

 

The first sixteen messages are the oldest of the bunch, these already marked as read.

 

I’ve got friends.

Friends who’re not in prison for stupid bullshit like you’re blaming me of.

 

Hold on tight to your little freak circus of a family if you want them to be safe.

 

What the hell do you want from me now?

 

You moved out of the old house, right?

Didn't know you were that big of a coward, (Y/N).

 

I'm not here to talk about your life choices, though.

But I am gonna warn you.

 

About what?

 

About the safety of the freaks you're friends with.

I'll call to give you directions on where to go for that.

 

Why not tell me now?

 

I'm not that stupid anymore, (Y/N).

I know what you're trying to do with that.

You either pick up my call and hear me out, or I'll tell my friends you want your friends dead.

 

How can I know you're not bluffing?

 

See for yourself.

>>Attachment: 3 images<<



Sans has to hold back his anger and shock when the pictures load. The first one is of Sunny: the shy little Whimsun he had known to be (Y/N)'s coworker and subsequent friend. Her face is one of pure, uncensored fear as a masked figure holds a gun to her back. Her wings are tattered and so are her antennae, showing additional signs of struggle by the dirty work uniform she wore. The next one is of the bunny mother and the bear: the couple of the bunny child who Faust first made friends with. There's two masked figures this time around, one keeping the bear down by stepping on his back with the help of a hiking boot, while the other one has the mother in a strong chokehold. The last picture is of Solana sitting on the floor, clothes tattered and hair messy as she glares at the camera. She shows to have put on a fight by the dark, swollen eye the masked figure sports, along with the equally torn and dirtied clothes the person has.

 

It starts with unread ones now, each bunch separated by a few minutes.

 

Not answering me anymore, huh?

Already fell for my bait?

 

Heard you went with Sam to a hotel last night.

How long did it take you? Eight. . . Or ten months, was it?

You think you’re real different now that you’re not with me, don’t you?

When just two years ago, you couldn’t have enough of me.

 

How was it, by the way? Sam, I mean.

Was he any good in bed?

 

Still not answering me? Man, you must be running wild now.

You should’ve waited ‘till I told you what all this was about.

 

'Cuz you’re the only one I want to see gone.

 

For the first time in a while, Sans sees blue. He sets the broken phone back in its place, another small, seamless crack passing through the screen when he puts too much pressure into it. Although the name was under ‘Migraine in human form’, it was made clear the person was none other than the one obstacle he had wanted gone since the day they had taken Faust from (Y/N)’s care. He had been so, so close to reaching that next step with the human yesterday, he had to stop himself from kissing them the time they quite literally threw themselves at him, not only for their strong reaction when having him accidentally touch their skin, but for the things that were left to be discussed between him and (Y/N). He knew what would happen if he got his hopes up like he had yesterday, yet he was far from expecting something like this.

 

“Are you ready yet, mister?”

 

Faust’s voice is the only thing to keep him level-headed. With his positive attitude and hopeful tone, it was almost impossible for the monster not to see him as a young Papyrus: the one he had been in charge of raising since he was only a year older than Faust. While he knew they were different people, he still couldn’t shake that thought away whenever it came back to him. Frisk had been the same case with time. After getting to know them better, he couldn’t bring himself to be as harsh and distant as he had been during his time as a sentry. (Y/N) was right about that: he was a softie underneath -- A softie that had been close to giving up multiple times hadn’t he received the support of others. He wanted to do the same for his (girlfriend/boyfriend) now, and show them all the wonders he could recover from the closed up path of what once used to be the Underground.

 

“Almost,” he replies, letting his exhaustion out through a faint flare from his nose cavity. “Go grab a snack before we leave.”

 

He waits for Faust to leave the room, pressing Solana’s number when he’s gone. The phone rings once, then twice, call being picked up before it rang thrice. A rich voice characteristic of the woman answers, making his tension fall. 

 

“Hello?”

 

“Hey, uh,” he begins, rubbing the back of his neck. “It’s Sans. You doing okay, Sol?”

 

“Some thieves rammed into my home and called me a buncha stupid names, but I’m fine. Just a scratch or two from getting into that fight,” she replies, voice firm with anger. “What about (Y/N) though? I tried calling the (guy/girl) a lotta times before, but they didn’t pick up -- You’re the only one to call back, and it’s getting on my nerves! I told the police about what happened, but they wouldn’t listen to me! They just said I shouldn't stick around (Y/N) if it’s for the best -- That they’ll investigate what’s happened.”

 

“Sounds like bull to me.”

 

“That’s what I was thinking. Those guys fled when they received a call, so the cops didn’t believe me one bit! They just said it was probably a regular group of thieves, but they’re not fooling me -- Those guys took a picture of me when I was held back, and they sent it to someone else, too. They tried to be secretive, but I heard them talking about (Y/N).”

 

Sans exchanges a few more words with the woman before hanging up, moving on to call Sunny and the two other monsters to check how they were doing. 

 

Though he’s relieved when he has the confirmation that they were doing alright, it doesn’t help with his worry over (Y/N). The human had been blackmailed for the sole sake of a choice they made: for choosing to stand their ground over the treatment other monsters received. The dirty glares, insults, and slurs Sans received in his day-by-day were no match to how he felt currently. He felt angry, tired, and even a little bit nostalgic, all of these mostly product of thinking back on past events. His anger derives from the mistreatment monsters and their supporters had to face, while his tiredness comes from all the changes he had been submitted to in only a year. As for his nostalgia, he could confirm it was for remembering the times shared with (Y/N).

 

There was so much more he had wanted to do alongside the human, so many more things he had been looking forward to, and so much hope he had nestled in his ribcage, he almost couldn’t believe he was the same monster from a year ago -- or the one from the Underground. For once, Sans had gained hope, but he was starting to lose it again, each minute without an answer as to where (Y/N) had gone off to counting down his hope for a better future.

 

 


 

 

Undyne glares at the officer behind the counter, slamming her hands down on the desk to let her utter displeasure known. “What do you mean we can’t file a missing persons report?” she snaps, sharp teeth grit as her blue knuckles go white with exertion. “(Y/N)’s been missing for twelve hours now and we can’t find a single damn lead on where they could be. Do we need to wait more?”

 

“While I understand your concern for your friend, we cannot allow a monster to file a report in search for a human. We have no restrictions regarding how long you have to wait, but it can’t be done by a monster -- or any human affiliated with them, for that matter."

 

“What if the monster’s their partner?” the fish lady persists, hand gesturing to the skeleton standing alongside her. 

 

“It doesn’t change a thing,” the man replies, shaking his head. “They may be bending laws at will, but (Y/N)’s relationship with this 'partner' you mention is still a silly title with no actual weight or substance to it.”

 

Clenching his jaw, Sans lets out something between a scoff and laugh as he closes a hand into a fist, anger being let out through the force he places into tightening his hand that way. He closes off the distance left to reach the officer's desk, placing a hand on the printed copies of the messages (Y/N) had received, as if to emphasize they were still there for the officer to look at.

 

“Those texts and pictures ain’t enough for ya, buddy?” Sans intercepts, tone gruff and cutting the chase. “‘Cuz I can hand over more proof, if that’s what ya need.”

 

“You can gladly keep those to yourself, sir," the man objects, a formal smile on his face. "We are fully aware of Jessie’s infamous background and have taken all the necessary precautions for dealing with them -- We can assure you they’re in good hands.” He takes a pause, taking the stack of copies in his hold as he looks through them. "Jessie's been on their best behaviour ever since they got sent back here again. While this does mark to be their personal phone number, their phone is missing from our possession, and we haven't had records of them escaping a third time, so it would be a stretch to mention they are in any sort of way associated with (Y/N) -- your. . . 'partner's' disappearance."

 

“Gonna need a whole lot more of those ‘good hands’ then, 'cuz I ain't seein’ any damn progress with keepin’ Jessie outta the picture -- (Y/N)'s gone through enough crap with 'em already to have another person fakin' to be their ex. If we can't file a damn MPR, then at least look for who's behind those messages."

 

"We will attempt to," he assures, smile widening at the sides. "But you may want to watch your language there, sir. You wouldn't want another crime marked on your records, would you?"

 

"Way to cover up the truth."

 

Fuming, the monster turns his back on the officer, huffs, and slumps down on one of the chairs of the office, casting his irises up at the fish lady staring with a wide eye at him. 

 

He closes his eye sockets and tries to take in some air, though the pain in the center of his ribcage makes him unable to do so without shaking. It was hard for him to process how much more honest he was being with himself now. Were it an earlier time and a different scene, he would have feigned his calm instead of letting out his opposition the way he had just now.

 

"Ready when you are, Undyne."

Chapter Text

"It feels like the more I work, the more I have to protect." – Aggretsuko, Season 2 | Episode 9

 

 


 

 

You find yourself between a rock and a hard place.

 

The pictures were no joke -- They truly did have four of your closest friends held captive by masked people, a fact you confirmed by calling both Solana and Sunny’s numbers, neither of the two who answered you, but rather two entirely unfamiliar voices taunting you over the little time you had left to make it to your hometown.

 

“Be at the cafe before eight o’clock. Each minute past that hour counts in the loss of one of your friends.”

 

With a shaky hand, you firm your grip on the phone and check the time: only thirty minutes until six in the morning. Were you to have your car, you would arrive early with enough time to spare and think about the risks of what you were about to do. That option grows null with the fact that you had to wait until six to mount the next bus.

 

“And don’t you dare think about telling Sam any of this. My buddies’ll track down where you’re at quickly enough with the witnesses we have. Each person you tell is another one you’re putting at risk.”

 

Your gaze drifts off towards Sans, eye sockets closed and hands splayed close to your side of the bed, the one thing to keep him from waking up being the pillow you placed beside him, covering up your absence with its lingering warmth and scent. He shifts once and then twice, stopping when you walk to his side and plant a kiss on his cheekbone. Holding back a frown, you form a smile at him, wanting to depart on a positive note. You move away from the bed afterwards and head to the bathroom, where you press the phone close to your ear again.

 

“Hello?” Jessie answers, staged innocence dripping off that single word. “Still there, honey? Don’t worry -- The guys just want to have a word with you. It’s nothing big! I told them all to let your friends go if you cooperated with them.”

 

With no other choice, you listen closely to Jessie’s instructions, saving up time by dressing up, combing your hair, and brushing your teeth while they kept on with their explanation -- adding in a sharp, pointed weapon you try to conceal as much as possible under the thick sole of your shoe, plus slipping the locket in your jeans’ back pocket for safekeeping. You choose to wear your uniform in spite of the situation, mind still hoping this wouldn’t turn out as badly as you thought. 

 

“Good luck, (Y/N) -- Don't forget to be there before eight.”

 

The utter hypocrisy in Jessie’s voice is enough to drive out ire within you. Your hand squeezes the phone tightly, hold growing tighter until a crack makes you freeze and snap out of your anger. You look down at the device in your hand, screen cracked by your fingers pressing too harshly against it.

 

 


 

 

A tall, red-haired woman and two shorter though muscular men -- one blond and one brunet -- are waiting for you when you make it to the town's cafe. They act buddy-buddy when they spot you, keeping their profiles low by pretending you’re an old friend. The trio directs you to the table for four set farthest away from other people, false kindness falling from everyone’s tone, yet kept through the small smiles on their faces.

 

“What time is it, friend?” the woman asks, mocking tone heightened by the arm she places around your shoulders, pulling you close to her. 

 

You keep quiet about having left your phone at the hotel, using the watch around your wrist as a replacement. “Seven forty-six,” you reply, showing her the time.

 

Nodding, the woman flashes a wolfish grin at you and moves on to face one of the two men. “Start calling those guys,” she instructs, grin falling from her face as she gives those orders. “We’ve got our target now.”

 

“Got it, chief,” the brunet replies, giving a firm nod of his towards her. Excusing himself, he pulls out a phone from his jeans’ pocket and moves away from the table, maintaining some feet of distance to have privacy for the call. You keep your ears alert, wanting to hear what the conversation would be about -- if he really was going to keep his part of the deal. “Hello?” he speaks up again, the person on the other line having picked up. “Put your weapons down and start packing up. We’re gonna handle th-”

 

“Do you know why you’re here, sweetie?” Your attempt at listening in on his exchange is interrupted by the woman’s question. She’s smiling at you when you look back to her side, her body closing off the remaining distance she kept with you. “Why Jessie sent you here?”

 

“They hate me?”

 

“On the contrary,” she objects, shaking her head. “They still love you -- The old version of you. Jessie thinks they can make you go back to how you used to be, and we think so, too.”

 

“What’s wrong with current me?” you question, narrowing your eyebrows at her. “I like the life I have now -- the one with my son, my. . . boyfriend, and my friends. It would be better if Jessie understood I don’t want to be with them anymore.”

 

“But it’s not just about that, (Y/N). You’ve betrayed all of us by leaving your home for a city full of monsters -- joining the monsters side and-”

 

Bang.

 

Angry, you act before you think, standing up from your seat and slamming your hand on the table. It’s soft enough not to bring the attention of the customers far away, but it’s just enough for the two men to scowl at you and for the woman to cover your slip up with a friendly facade. 

 

“I'm not joining any side,” you scoff, glaring at her. One glance at her expression makes you wipe that look off your face. “I- I’m only doing what I think’s right. The monsters deserve to be treated the same as us. They’re not that different from us -- Most of us can even be stronger than them, so I never understood what was the point of threatening or treating them like crap. The only ones we should’ve been mad about were the ones who did their harm, but not the ones just going about their damned lives!”

 

“Fetch me some drinks, won’t you, dear? I think (Y/N) here needs to cool off a little.” She directs her words at her company free from making the calls. The blond nods sharply and scurries off to the ordering counter, leaving you alone with her. “Listen, (Y/N),” she continues, focusing on you now. “I get what you’re saying here, but life ain’t that easy. You can’t expect kindness and justice to give back to you whenever you act nicely. When was the last time you felt at peace, anyway? What have those people done for you?”

 

Her words make you think. You drift back to your first day at the city, already finding your first answer to her second question. “Plenty,” you reply, gaze firm and unshakable. “A school to study in, people to give me company, help for Faust when I couldn’t do that myself. . . Happiness -- genuine happiness. I still can’t see why they’re so different from us. They took me in with open arms, even though I wasn’t one of their kind.”

 

“You could’ve had more than that if you’d just kept doing your job and forgotten about the monsters.”

 

“It wouldn’t be the same -- I couldn’t. . . And I still can't bear whenever they're treated unfairly. Sans was sentenced to five years with a restraining order, just 'cuz he was doing his job as a tutor." 

 

The blond brings two drinks over the table, handing you one and the only other left to the woman keeping you company. Quiet falls over the table, both people waiting for you to accept their drink. The yellow lights hung to the ceiling make the glass cast a soft, lustrous shine. Ice cubes bob lazily in the liquid and a few droplets of water slide down to the surface of the table, the present sight a would-be tempting one weren’t you in a life-threatening situation.

 

“Drink up, sweetie,” the ginger cooes, pushing the drink closer to you. “I promise it’ll be good.”

 

You push the drink aside, defiance showing on your face. “I don’t drink,” you mention, white lie serving as your first attempt at rejecting her offer. “You can have it.”

 

“It’s just one drink,” she persists, pushing it back to you. “I’m sure it won’t hurt.”

 

“Thanks, but I’d rather not risk it."

 

The brunet joins in on the gathering between you three, finally finished with the calls. He asks if there’s a problem, to which the woman responds to by shaking her head, while the blond hides a grin with the palm of his hand.

 

Patience falling from her expression, the woman’s smile falters and her posture tenses. She takes your drink in both her hands, looking down at its contents as she swirls it around a few times. She takes a sudden move, chugging down the drink and slamming the cup down on the table. You’re not given much time to process what she does next, feeling her hands grab the back of your head as she pulls you towards her. 

 

Suddenly, her lips are on yours, the liquid she had yet to swallow being passed out to you.

 

You choke and start coughing -- gasping for air, the attention it brings from one of the employees covering up the true motive behind your lack of oxygen.

 

“Oh dear! What’s wrong?” the worker asks, rushing to the scene. 

 

“Th- They must be allergic to something in the drink!” the woman exclaims, feigning panic. We. . . We were doing just fine until now!”

 

“I’ll call an ambulance!” another employee intervenes, trembling voice almost matching with the woman’s, the only difference being the genuinity of his tone.

 

“Don’t worry, sir -- I’ll give them a ride!” one of the two men chime in, aiding the woman in her act. “It would be risky to wait so long.”

 

You can’t stay awake much longer after that, the harmful substance in the drink already weakening you to your core.

Chapter Text

Little by little, you begin to open your eyes, dingy and unfamiliar surroundings forcing you to stay on guard. You lay on a mattress old and grungy with fungus stains, the rest of the room appearing normal were to you overlook the walls long faded of their colour and the questionable stains splattering the floor. The tiny dresser and worn night table hooked up with a working lamp makes it seem as if this were still a room frequented by someone, with the exception of the bed and the poor, if not nonexistent tidiness of the premises. Lack of windows or any ventilation of the sort, it’s hard for you not to feel nauseous when you’re forced to recycle old, stuffy air.

 

You stand up, wobbling twice when you set foot on the floor. It's unpleasantly cold when you touch it, bare feet making you feel every little, unwanted detail about the cleanliness of the room. The floor's coated with a sheet of dust thick enough to make your steps slippery and stray, yellow shards of glass warn you not to step on them. You stand in front of the dresser's mirror, frowning when you see yourself sporting a black eye and a purple hue overtake the (s/t) shade of your neck. You had been stupid and rash this morning -- if it even was the same day -- choosing to confront Jessie's so-called friends head on. They had been waiting for you by a cafe, following the same instructions as those Jessie had given you of going there for the sake of keeping your close ones safe. Such a straightforward decision had let to you getting poisoned. You could tell that much by the soreness of your throat and the faint, purple colour that covered your neck. The black eye, though? You had no idea how it got there.

 

A loud, bursted laugh is the only thing you can manage doing when you realize what situation you got yourself in. Just a year ago, you used to train and work in the police force, for Heaven's sake -- You should have known better than to let yourself swallow that drink!

 

As an icy tear and another two leave your eyes, you laugh at yourself and scoff. "Jessie's right," you mutter, closing your eyes. "I was and still am a shit cop."

 

You don't restrain yourself when tears keep pouring down, these now warm with the rising temperature of your cheeks. The dresser's the only support you have as you lean your body over it and bring your hands over your face. Your body hurts just as much as your forehead does, the bone-deep tiredness you felt since a few days ago almost unbearable to you now.

 

"Need another drink, (Y/N)? I wouldn’t mind giving it to you the same way she did."

 

Instinct over reason, you jolt away from the dresser, wipe your face free from tears, and look towards the voice, eyes coming across a tall, young man smiling down at you, an amused glint in his eyes. He doesn’t appear to be a year older than you despite his towering height, messy hair and casual clothing making him look like anything but a kidnapper. There’s a yellow parcel held under his right arm and a drink similar to the one the woman had forced you to swallow on his left hand. Grinning, he winks at you, swirls the liquid around, and brings the cup closer to his lips, mocking you further by taking it down in three chugs.

 

"Can't believe it was that easy to capture you -- You’re weaker than I thought.”

 

Your eyes search for an immediate weapon, the sheer emptiness of the room making it hard for you to find one fast enough. You think about using the lamp as a sharp object to protect yourself with, though that would result in you breaking it and sending additional, tiny shards of glass around the room, endangering your bare feet. The only other option you have are your fists and feet.

 

“Stay away from me,” you warn, shifting into a fighting stance. “Wh- What did you do to me?”

 

“Nothing, nothing!” the man exclaims, his honeyed voice and gestures reminding you of Mettaton. “Why would I do anything to hurt you? You’re not my target.”

 

“Then who is?”

 

“Allow me to correct myself, (Y/N) -- You are the target, but I’m not the one who wants you here. I’m only following the doctor’s orders!”

 

He throws you the parcel, muttering a heads up for you to catch it. You do it just in time, the package landing on your open, outstretched arms. It’s not too heavy in weight, though it’s big enough for you to hold with both hands. 

 

“Change into those clothes and meet me at the central room -- Just go straight and then take a left.” The man moves away from you and stops, turning back to you quickly. “Dare try anything and your brains’ll end splattered on the floor.” He points at the ceiling, where a camera is set, grin falling from his face. “We’ve got eyes all over the room. One wrong move and a bullet’ll be aimed right at you.”

 

Done speaking, he waves playfully and leaves the room, footsteps growing faint the more seconds you wait. You can’t find the will to change out of your clothes knowing there were cameras on you now, a shudder trailing up your spine when you think of how the watcher’s eyes could scan you. Beyond exhausted, you let your eyes close briefly and try to gain mental well-being. You force yourself to take the parcel and set it down on the dresser, hands patting it until you find a good place to open it from. 

 

Rip.

 

Your entire self grows frigid when you make the first tear, eyes already spotting something too bizarre for your mind to comprehend. You keep tearing up the package bit by bit, thoughts going blank when you process the fact that you were supposed to wear this over your body.

 

The clothes shouldn’t even be called clothes. 

 

The main piece is quite literally a large, transparent onion sack with stains of earth still stuck to it, accompanied with two paper-thin, plastic sandals that you were meant to wear as shoes. It’s impossible for you to wear it in a way that wouldn’t show your underwear. As if that weren't enough, you’re given the option of a small-fitting, scratchy cloak to cover up part of your body, though it has profanities and insults written all over it, both front and back: from ‘two-faced cop’ and 'adulterous traitor' to 'easy', 'sissy', and more. You don’t know what’s worse of an option: strutting around in your bare underwear or letting the cloak take away the last bit of dignity you had left in you.

 

“Are you done yet, (Y/N)? We’re gonna be late to your commemoration!” 

 

“Almost,” you shout, blatant lie urging you to gather what was necessary for you to begin dressing up. Breathing out, you close your eyes tight and begin taking off your work uniform, forcing yourself to look down at the floor to avoid making eye contact with the camera looming from above.

 

You want to call for help. . .

 

. . .But you’re unable to.

 

The only remote thing you had to protect yourself with had been taken away from you. The weapon you had hidden under your foot disappeared along with your shoes, leaving you with nothing else but your bare feet and hands to fight with. It’s right then that you remember you hid the locket in your work uniform’s back pocket. You hurry to find it, sore eyes stinging and vision blurring when you see it cracked, the picture vandalized by the word ‘freak’ carved with a knife.

 

At a loss for any other options, you try to stay determined. . .

 

. . .But you can’t.

 

Falling on your knees, you cover your face with your hands and let out a groan muddled with frustration. Your chest heaves once and you find it difficult to keep your stance upright and unshaken. 

 

Your tardiness drains the patience of the man waiting for you to get dressed, his rhythmic footsteps sounding closer with each passing minute as you feel his hand grab your arm, forcing you to stand up.

 

“Get a grip already,” he demands, words carrying the same amount of poison as the drink. “You’ll have enough time to wail when you’re locked up.”

 

Angry and tired, you can’t tolerate his words. You throw yourself at the man, yelling at him to ‘screw off’ as you land a punch right at his nose. The camera above zooms in on your opposition, shooting panic straight through your body when you see a subtle, red light start blinking close to the lenses. You close your eyes and wait for the shot, not knowing where it could possibly land on you.

 

Bang!

Chapter Text

Laughter fills the room when you open your eyes, the long-awaited shot being aimed at your leg. Pain shoots through you when the adrenaline starts to settle down, eyes looking up at an older man grinning at you. He’s about twice as old as the other man, a smile defining the deep wrinkles on his face.

 

"Did you really think we'd kill you?" he asks, another laugh mocking you further. "Killing you would be an act of mercy -- You can die of blood loss later, but right now, we need you living. Everyone's waiting for you to show up in your cute little onion suit!"

 

He places his shoe against your back, the sole making you identify it as the hiking boot used to stop one of the people held hostage until your arrival. You try to get a good look at his face with the possibility of him being one of the masked people, though he prevents that by doing the same as he had done with the bear, pushing you down until your cheek presses against the floor.

 

“Tie ‘em up,” he demands, directing his words at the younger man still recovering from your punch at his nose. “It’s almost time.”

 

Refusing to stay still, you attempt to break free from his power over you, the pressure he puts resulting as too much for your weakened state. You aim a kick with your healthy leg despite those drawbacks, the pain that stings your wound slowing you down enough for him to dodge and for another bullet to be shot right at you -- this time at your upper arm. A muffled scream is your only relief from the pain surmounting your body, against giving both men the satisfaction of hearing your scream out loud. 

 

They both partake in keeping you still this time around, the red-haired woman responsible for poisoning you making her appearance from a corner of the room as she takes on the job of tying you up. A shudder reaches your spine when she wraps her arms around your bare shoulders, snickers, and blows out hot air into your ear. Slowly, she pulls you against her chest as she then lets go and grabs both of your wrists with one hand, using the other to begin wrapping a strong, thick line of rope around them.

 

“First a kiss and now this, huh?” the younger man’s voice speaks up, teasing remark made stronger by a soft, belly-deep chuckle. “Looks like you guys are taking it fast. Think there’s room for me?”

 

You feel sick to the stomach when he comments that, the idea of doing anything intimate with either one of the two sending ripples of nausea and disgust in all forms.

 

“Let’s hope (Y/N) survives this,” she replies, returning his laugh. “It wouldn’t be fun if they’re dead.”

 

Too distracted by their exchange and weakened by blood loss, you don’t notice when the woman’s done tying you down. You’re pulled off the floor after that, the oldest of the three present laughing when he sees you stumble and fall back to the ground, the same boot pressing down on you again. 

 

“Put this (lass/fella) to sleep -- We can’t lose ‘em yet.”

 

Those are the last words you can distinguish as he waits for the other two to take action, the final thing you can feel being a needle pierced close to the wound on your arm, boot keeping you from grasping a look at the substance being injected into your veins.

 



 


With bloodied bandages wrapped tightly around your injuries, health long-past depleted, and cameras observing you from all directions, your only choice is to comply to the younger man’s primal instructions of following him towards the central room, forced obedience rewarding you with a pair of painkillers and a lukewarm glass of water. 

 

You’re sitting on a small, worn out couch, not too far from where you gave resistance. The older man is busy putting items inside a first aid kit while the woman leans back against a wall, eyes closed as her arms cross firm over her chest. The younger man waits for you to finish the glass, looking impatient as he then hands you over a pair of glucose tablets.

 

“Can’t have you fainting on me,” the man states, injured nose now covered with the same bandages as yours, a visual that reminded you of your first attempt at resisting his demands. “You’re gonna have to pay for my surgery bill if it doesn’t heal by itself.”

 

“Assuming I’ll be alive after this?” you ask, gaze furrowing when you look up at him. 

 

“He doesn’t want you dead yet.”

 

“Who’s ‘he’?”

 

Grinning, he turns straight to you, grabbing your face with his hand. He cocks his head to the side and raises an eyebrow, a glare following after that. “Asking that many questions even after you punched my nose and all, huh? Can’t say I don’t like the way you’re thinking.”

 

You frown when he lets go of your face, perplexed by his words. “Why do you say that?”

 

He stays silent for a while, gaze subtly trailing off towards the woman resting her eyes and the man putting away the medical equipment. A hint of nervousness can be seen on his body language, feet shifting and posture stiffening.

 

“You wouldn’t believe how much I hate doing this -- having to deal with all the stuff thrown at me. This sorta dirty work isn’t something I looked forward to when I was a beginner, but I eventually grew used to it,” he replies, a laugh breaking out of his lips. “So that doesn’t mean I don't know where you’re coming from with this, y’know? We’re both humans in the end, (Y/N). . . different perspectives and all. I didn’t expect for one second you would obey me or any of us three, so I was ready for you to jump at us. I’m just doing my job, and you’re doing yours -- Props to you for following up with what you believe in. You were given the opportunity to change your path in life, and it doesn’t look like you’re wasting it. Or at least, it didn’t.”

 

He doesn’t let you get a word in on his response when he’s done, almost immediately ordering you to stand up when you take the glucose tablets and chew them against your will, far from wanting to stay conscious for what you were about to face. Begrudgingly, you clench your jaw, breathe in, and follow him to the last corridor of the featureless building, finally arriving to what you assume is the central room he had told you about, an exit to nature presenting itself to your eyes. What stops you from admiring the bright morning sun and the birds flying past are the roars and cheers of people resonating from nearby. 

 

“Time to face your judgement, (Y/N) (L/N).”

 

The odd words of the man fade away when he slides open the door, noise growing louder when he does so. Screams and unintelligible chants engulf your hearing, triggering a pounding headache that falls flat when the pain in your leg increases. You stare down at the few scraps you’re wearing, (one/two)-piece underwear being the only thing to keep your thin shred of decency intact. The man tugs harshly at you to follow him outside, nodding when you begin taking steps forward.

 

"Are you ready to see what happens when you're blinded by justice?" a voice asks, the strong, echoey note that's left behind with the words letting you know the person was using a microphone. "When you're stubborn enough not to care about losing your dignity? When you ditch your own kind's side and long-time spouse to join the other side?" The further the voice speaks, the more you're able to deduce them to be the mayor. "(Y/N) (L/N) thought it would be funny to deface and make me seem as a bad person, when I was only trying to help them. Surprisingly, (L/N) agreed to go through with their punishment, so let's hear it for them! Let your claps be heard as we welcome them to our stadium!"

 

"Get moving."

 

Speechless, you can only meet with the man's eyes as you stand frozen in place. You can't move regardless of the authority in his voice, mind completely clouded by the fact that you were meant to step out and face a crowd of people all while wearing an onion sack that exposed almost all of your body. 

 

You want to call for help. . .

 

. . .But you can't.

 

Voice gone and leg far-too bruised for you to pull off another stunt, you're forced to take a step forward, head hurting more when the sound of clapping drowns out your hearing.

 

"Move!"

 

You try to stay determined. . .

 

Bittersweet memories over what you had and would still have were you to survive arrive in your mind, though the chants, whistles, and claps tune these out. You try again, reminders of how far you had gone in the past year flashing amongst all your panicked, dispersed thoughts. The clamour of an impatient audience increases, making the situation overtake your newfound pride over your achievements.

 

. . .But you can't.

 

As a camera zooms in on you, your mind can only think of waiting as you see the red light start flashing again. You wait in silence, eyes closing as you let your gaze stand tall.

 

The last thing you expect to hear is a loud crash and the crumbling of cement, the hellish sound of metal screeching being sufficient for the gunshot's noise to muffle itself to an extent. You can feel the bullet graze your shoulder, slicing part of your skin as fresh, warm blood trickles down your arm. The next thing you can process is being pushed down by someone heavy, an orchestra of bullets sounding from all directions as one of them ricochets and grazes the same spot on your shoulder.

 

When your body grows limp, you're not sure if it's due to tiredness or blood loss -- or perhaps both. Blurry vision scans the area around you to see what’s going on and who’s covering you from the duel, yet you’re only able to see dust and debris, a recognizable shape shining through it all.

 

Peering closer into it, you notice it’s the same, four-pointed star you had seen at Mettaton’s hotel. You try to gain the strength required for you to reach out for it, fingers grazing with the star. It shines brighter when you come in contact with it, warmth spreading throughout your hand. 

 

It almost feels as if it’s trying to heal you -- to reach out for you.

 

A bullet passing right past your cheek urges you to make a decision, arm and hand put in danger, these the only parts of your body unguarded by the person holding you down.

 

*Would you like to save your progress?

 

You see the area surrounding the star glitch as two options show themselves before you, giving you the choice to either refuse or accept its offer.


Choice #4

 

What will you do next?

 

a.) Save.

b.) Don’t save.

c.) Attempt to grab the star.

d.) Pull your hand back.

Chapter Text

Choice A

 

You accept the star’s offer, the warmth it exuded slowly fading away as its shine begins to grow dim. It continues to do so until the star and its gradually fainting light vanish completely from your sight. 

 

Now gone, you’re left with the person and their body holding you still, the dust and smoke caused by the destruction of your surroundings making it difficult for you to see who it is. You can only see as far as moving blurs of red, black, and blue, other colourful figures of varying shapes rushing this way and that as they dodge what you interpret to be bullets, kicks, and punches.

 

“Heads down!” a person shouts, voice sounding gruff and dry. 

 

Blurry figures hunch down one after the other, a ‘boom’ making the walls shake as another person clad in pink and black emerges from the hole that’s made to the building, the bright morning sun shining over them. You’re lifted by the one holding you still once debris stops falling, a strong, light-headed feeling surging in you, panic and loss of blood becoming the main obstacles for you to keep your eyes open and see what was going on.

 

“Keep on walking!” a second voice exclaims, a roaring thunder to their voice. “We need to get out of here, now.

 

You can feel the person’s arms tighten firmly around your body as you’re lifted off the ground, pain numbing your thoughts and leaving you no other choice but to let your mind wander and eventually shut down. The last thing you hear right as you pass out is the cacophony of people fighting, yelling, and running as they rush to leave the building. A lingering warmth in your fingertips from having touched the star is the last thing you feel as pain and exhaustion are replaced by you losing your consciousness.

 

 


 

 

Choice B

 

You reject the star’s offer, keeping your hand outstretched to continue feeling its warmth. Though it doesn’t seem threatening, you’re not sure what it could do if you were to accept its offer. You had heard very little about how the residual magic of your ancestors’ spell cast to keep monsters underground in turn enabled certain things to work differently than when on the Surface. It was rumoured the Underground provided second chances for those who were most determined, though you didn’t know what that implied when at the Surface. Up here, there hadn’t been one case even close to similar to Frisk’s, so choosing to save felt like a risky action to you.

 

Bang.

 

The gunshot noise snaps you out of your observation, the feeling of a bullet barely missing your arm encouraging you to stay back. You pull your hand away from the star, blurry vision seeing bright red contrast with the (s/t) shade of your skin as blood trickles all the way down.

 

Shouts and warnings for people to duck their heads fill the room as an explosion makes the building tremble. A hole is left on one of the walls when you look up again, the early morning sun shining on a blurry figure dressed in pink and black. 

 

You take cover as so does the person standing with you, waiting until chunks of concrete and zinc stop falling and flying off the explosion. You’re lifted from the ground with no warning whatsoever, the sudden lurch making your muddled vision and faint consciousness falter further in their strength. Blood loss makes it almost impossible for you to stay awake for longer than a few more seconds, the cries for people to start evacuating the building being the last thing you hear as you allow yourself to pass out.

 

 


 

 

Choice C

 

Rather than rejecting or accepting the star’s offer, you choose to reach out for it, the warmth it projected a soft, comforting one. It grows stronger when your hand makes full contact with the star, palm resting against it. A faint, yellow aura begins to emerge from it, gradually growing stronger until it covers up just enough field for you to be covered in its light, warmth intensifying as energy returns to your body by a small degree -- just enough to keep your eyes open and hear a loud ‘boom’ from nearby, walls shaking as a hole is made into one of them. The blurry image of the person holding you down is covered by the same aura as you are, protecting the both of you from chunks of debris that fly off with the explosion while others resort to ducking their heads.

 

When it’s over, the light vanishes, the person holding you back wrapping their arms tightly around you as they make you stand up, dizziness overcoming your body with the sudden pull.

 

“Go, go, go!” a voice demands, urging everyone to leave the building. “Let's keep moving!”

 

Too overcome by blood loss and pain, you can only hang on tight to the person’s back, closing your eyes shut as you start drifting off to sleep. Voices continue shouting as you’re held strong and rushed out of the building, a final gunshot coming from behind you. You can feel it graze your ear, though you don’t feel either pain rise or blood gush, a grand difference from the leg and arm injuries still begging for medical attention. 

 

The last thing you hear is of people cheering ‘we lost them’, voices panting with the effort the run had taken them. Feeling safer, you breathe a shaky sigh and let your exhaustion take over completely.

 

 


 

 

Choice D

 

You pull your hand back, not quite trusting what saving could do. While you had heard about the aftermaths your ancestors’ magic left on the Underground, you weren’t sure if it would have the same effects when being on the Surface. Based on what you studied after monsters were set free, second chances were given to those who were most determined, though -- as far as you knew -- that only applied to those who fell into the Underground. You choose not to save just yet, wanting to gather more knowledge on the subject before diving head-first into it. Instead, you watch as the star fades away, leaving a lingering warmth behind.

 

An explosion breaks your attention away from your thoughts, making you look towards the noise to see a hole carved in the wall, sun shining over a blurry figure clad in pink and black. You take cover by ducking as cement flies from all directions, the people surrounding the building having stopped in their fight to do the same. 

 

Not a moment after the coast is clear, the person holding you down stands up and carries you with them, grabbing onto you tightly as they begin to run and evacuate the room, allies escaping the enemy’s grasp and following after you and them. 

 

Dizzied by pain and blood loss, you try to blink a few times in a vain attempt at keeping your strength, wanting to see where you would be taken to. You don’t last for much longer than a few seconds, though -- the last thing you see being the greenery of the outdoors and the sound of people cheering when they make it out of the building. You let your weariness overtake your body when you’re placed down, closing your eyes when the sun shines over you.

Chapter Text

Weren't there are a strong, aching pain surrounding your arm and leg, you would've brushed off recent events as nightmares, familiar premises making your body relax as you take in the room. The scent of cinnamon permeates in the air and the yellow bed sheets feel and smell fresh out of the dryer. There's a slice of pie and a glass of water set next to painkillers, bandages, and gauzes of all brands. Curious, you lift the sheets and stare down at the clothes you're wearing, the bright purple that meets your eye almost welcoming you back to life. The white logo in the center looks similar to the clothes you had seen on Toriel outside of work, and it's only when you shift your legs that you notice it's a dress -- or a tunic, given the overall, unisex appeal of the clothing. It didn't hug your body or show off anything beyond your hands and neck, the goat lady's preferred style letting itself known.

 

You try to stand up from the bed, gathering all the strength you possibly could. A constrained wince leaves your mouth when you turn your leg to a position opposite to the stitches that were made, warning you to be careful in your steps. Slow and steady, you make it to the door frame, where you start to hear voices talking amongst themselves -- not like the chants, whistles, and shouts, but warmer ones discussing indecipherable topics with each other.

 

"They're gonna send us straight back to the Underground after this," Undyne's voice groans, the sound of her fist hitting something solid following with her words. "This freaking sucks! I. . . I'm so damn mad I could just-"

 

"Undyne, c- calm down!" Alphys's voice chimes in, stopping her girlfriend for whatever inanimate object she was about to punch next.

 

"(Y/N)'s hurt! I was supposed to be their friend, but I let them get hurt."

 

"Nobody knew this would happen," an unfamiliar voice comments, empathy in their voice. "Don't blame yourself, Undyne! It- It's those jerks who should feel bad about what they did!"

 

"They try to do that again and I'll file a lawsuit against 'em," a low voice speaks, the sheer determination in his voice taking you some time to classify it as Sans's. "That shi- uh, crap they pulled on (Y/N) and aluva us can't and shouldn't be justified. I'm sick and tired of 'em actin' all high and mighty when they straight up kidnapped and forced (Y/N) to wear an onion sack stark naked. I'm glad the hospital over there didn't want nothin' to do with us, 'cuz I want nothin' to do with that town either."

 

"Woah," Undyne's voice speaks, bafflement in her tone.

 

"What?" Sans asks, tone coming off guarded the second time he speaks. 

 

"You do care!" the fish woman exclaims, a loud cackle hearing itself all across the house. "You always say you don't, or that you're too lazy to -- or that you've given up. . . But now look at you!"

 

"Undyne, I swear now's not the time-"

 

"I'm proud of you, brother!"

 

You figure Papyrus has ambushed his brother by the commotion that rises in the room. You stay back, still wanting to hear more.

 

"Thanks, Paps. But can you please let go n-"

 

"Group hug!" the unfamiliar voice speaks up again, the excitement in their tone rising.

 

You don't realize you're smiling until you feel your cheeks sting. Warmth conquering your chest, you decide to step out of the room, more than eager to meet everyone at what you assumed was Toriel's living room.

 

The wounds slow you down as you start going down the stairs, bare feet stepping with a little more caution than necessary at the thought you could still be in danger. It was silly for you to think that, sure -- but you weren't taking any risks. What happened not-so long ago had been enough, though you were aware it was naive of you to expect peace after all that. You had to be alert, regardless of how smoothly things went. The night you had spent with Sans was enough proof you couldn't allow yourself to be too careful.

 

"(Y/N)!"

 

Various voices call out your name, the first one to greet you being Undyne, who runs up to you for a hug. She loosens up her grip the second she remembers the state you were in, letting go after patting your back twice.

 

"Had a good sleep?" she asks, sharp teeth turned to a bright, approachable grin. "Toriel gave you those clothes 'cuz it was the fastest thing we could come up with -- Mettaton's coming over later to bring all your stuff here." A glint of concern flashes in her eye as she places a hand on your healthy shoulder, gaze furrowing at you. "Hurt anywhere? I'm not good with first aid, but Sans can help you with that while Toriel's back."

 

"I'm okay," you assure her, smiling. "I just. . . have a lot of questions."

 

"You can shoot 'em at us later,” Sans answers, appearing next to Undyne. “But you’ve been asleep for a day now, so you gotta eat somethin’ first.”

 

“So it’s. . . It’s Sunday now?”

 

“M- Monday, actually,” Alphys contributes, standing next to a short monster appearing to be the same type as her: a lizard -- with the exception they had no arms and seemed younger in age. “It took almost. . . twenty-four hours t- to track down where they took you. Undyne and Sans went to file an MPR, b- but they. . . The police station wouldn’t listen.”

 

The conversation ends when the smell of pasta reaches your nose. You look away from Alphys to see Papyrus standing next to the entrance separating the living room from the kitchen, holding a steaming pot in his gloved hands. “Let us sit by the table, (Y/N)!” he exclaims, beaming. “I tried out the latest recipe you sent me!” You watch him walk all the way to the table while the unknown monster disappears into the kitchen, returning with paper plates balanced over their snout not long after. “Put those there, MK.” Papyrus directs his words at the younger monster now, instructing them to set the papers down and go look for the rest of the items. 

 

Undyne hurries off to help MK in their assignment while Alphys’s eyes detour towards Papyrus setting the table. She performs the same expression as she did the time Sans asked if he could talk in private with you and leaves you be with him afterwards.

 

You don’t know what to say when you’re left alone with him, the many questions you had about what happened and how were you saved having to be pushed back for the moment being.

 

“I’m glad you’re alive.” As if having heard something surreal, your head turns to him, eyes searching for his expression. You see his white irises cast down at the floor, eye sockets half-lidded as he stuffs his hands in his pockets, shoulders tense as he takes in some air. “When Faust came to me Friday mornin’. . . I felt this bad feelin' crawl over my shoulder bones, and it wouldn’t leave me alone ‘till Undyne and I took action by ourselves. Those people in the town you were born in wanted nothin’ to do with ya. They didn’t even bother investigatin' over your disappearance, and when we found you. . . The hospital refused to take you in. That’s when Tori decided to take you here and do it by herself. I dunno how she did it, but seeing you still here’s what really matters to me right now.”

 

You grow alert when he takes a hand out of his pants' pocket and rummages in his jacket’s pocket instead.

 

“I got the locket fixed while you were sleepin’.”

 

He places another small, black box in your outstretched hand, phalanges lingering over your palm a little longer than necessary. You don’t pull back though, and smile at him instead.

 

“Thank you.”

 

His irises cast down at the floor again, only rising up when Papyrus calls for you to join the table. You look away from the shorter skeleton and see everyone seated at the table, plates of ravioli in front of each person along with paper cups placed beside them. MK and Undyne are chatting between themselves while Papyrus argues over the quality of store-bought ramen with Alphys. 

 

“Are Frisk and Faust at school?” you ask, the thought crossing your mind.

 

“Nah -- They’re both with Tori lookin’ for dessert. School’s been cancelled for the next three days ‘cuz of the protests happenin’ between the city and the town,” Sans replies, snickering. “You wouldn’t believe how hyped everyone was when we had a local doc come over and say you were healin’ up just fine. She didn’t believe us for one second when we told her we’d been healin’ you on our own.”

 

You sit down across from him, Alphys seated next to you. The scent of ravioli -- broccoli and cheese, based on the aroma -- becoming too much for your hunger to bear. Your stomach growls, earning a snort from both Alphys and MK when Sans comments on how it sounds.

 

“Can’t bear the hunger anymore, huh?”

 

Bearly. Feels like my guts are having a drunken fist fight.”

 

With him sitting across from you, Alphys next to you, plus the rest of the group surrounding the table, you start to feel better. You take the first bite of ravioli, the savoury taste making your mouth water and empty stomach yearn for more. The taller skeleton smiles at you enjoying the meal, his improvement in cooking only made better by your hunger. You compliment his new dish halfway through with your plate, causing his gaze and smile to brighten in numbers as he stands up from the table, rushing to your side.

 

Before you know it, you’re pulled out of your seat, feet dangling in the air as he brings you into a hug.

 

“We’re glad to have you here, (Y/N)!”

 

The door to the living room opens as you’re set back on firm ground. Papyrus beams at you one final time before he sits back on his chair, stopping altogether when he notices Toriel, Frisk, and Faust emerging into the home. Ecstatic, he runs off to aid them with the bags they’re carrying, the quantity all three carried with them making you fret over how much had they exactly planned to buy for the gathering. 

 

Just as the door’s about to close, in comes the spider lady your boss was rivals with. She struts in with four boxes from her shop in each of her hands, leaving one free to wave at you and the other to close the door with.

 

“An itsy spider told me one of my rivals has fallen!” Muffet greets, shutting the door behind her. “. . .And it also told me of a big, mean, butt-faced jerk who kidnapped you for ransom! Tell me everything, dearie -- Rivals or not, I'm here to listen!”

 

“I’m also here, sweetheart!” Mettaton’s voice exclaims, pink boot bursting the door open. “Spill it, (Y/N) -- We’ve got an asshole to chase after.”

 

“Mettaton!” Toriel scolds, earning giggles from both Frisk and Faust.

Chapter Text

The muffled sounds of the saxophone, piano, and violin all meld together to form a tune fitting to the light drizzle falling from the sky. A dinner made robust by the treats Muffet had brought from her bakery plus the additional appetizers Mettaton had taken from one of his caterers ends with everyone either too full or drowsy to move. The few that do leave are the ones that have other matters to tend to, the robot being the first to go, second being Alphys, having to leave her girlfriend behind to begin her investigation over what you had been submitted to and who were the people behind it.

 

You’re left with Toriel, Undyne, Papyrus, Frisk, and MK -- Monster Kid, as they introduced themselves -- at the living room, all gathered by the pair of loveseats to discuss what had happened in the past few days, hoping to get your memory running to deduce who had been the person to blackmail you. Toriel, Frisk, and MK sit next to you while Undyne and Papyrus take the smaller couch. Faust and Sans are away at the guest bedroom, busy searching for what was needed to treat one of the wounds that reopened with you standing up from the dining chair. Muffet, on the other hand, is the only one standing in front of you, one knee knelt on the floor. She’s occupied vexing over the state of your injury, two of her six hands carefully holding onto your leg as she narrows all five eyes in scrutiny.

 

“Who did this to you, (Y/N)?” she asks, annoyance pricking at her tone. “I may be stubborn with my own interests, but this is going too far! Whoever did this should be bitten by all of my spiders.”

 

You stay quiet for a while, taken aback by the concern she seemed to be showing over you. She had been your boss’s rival ever since she opened for business, unrelenting when it came to the topic of how many customers and money she was being robbed of. To see her that concentrated over the poor state of one of your injuries was a little more than surprising to you.

 

“The only person allowed to take down my rivals is me and myself only,” the spider lady speaks up again, as if growing aware of your confused state. “What am I supposed to do if someone else does it for me?”

 

A smile spreads on your face when you see her do the same. She lets go of your leg, standing up from her crouching position when you both spot Faust and Sans going down the stairs. A little too suddenly, the soft, jazzy tune of the film changes for a blaring gun fight, the sound shooting panic into your thoughts as you flinch, looking around with startled eyes until you make contact with the scene playing on television. Everyone else seems just as tense, though one person in particular seems the most caught aback. Undyne’s eye is wide as she clutches onto the sofa she’s sitting under, teeth grit as she forces herself to snap out of it.

 

“L- Let us change the channel, shall we?” Toriel chimes in, conscious of the mood that overtakes the room. She does as suggested, old action film being changed for the evening news. 

 

The tension stays, being broken only when Sans steps in the middle of it, the sight of him kneeling in front of you making you snap out of your panic. Faust joins in by standing behind him, curious gaze paying attention to the wound.

 

“Gonna have to take ya tomorrow for some stitches if it keeps openin’ up,” he states, hands reaching out for your lower leg. He inspects the open injury closely, from the fresh blood trailing down your skin to the swollen area surrounding the gunshot. “The doc I told you about agreed to it, but she says it has to be real secretive. There's been lotsa journalists and news anchors tryna get the scoop on what happened back there, so they all flock together when they hear someone’s even remotely close to you.”

 

“I have a bad feeling about all this,” Undyne comments, sighing as a frown tugs her mouth downwards. “School’s out for a few days now that things’ve tensed up. Can’t go walking for more than two blocks without coming across a protest or people asking how we know you.”

 

“We should keep listening to the news!” Papyrus suggests, offering the fish lady some support by patting her back twice. 

 

Sans nods at the latest commentary, usual expression carrying a trace of solemnity to it. “As bad as they make us feel, Paps’s right. I don’t like how tense things are gettin’.”

 

You hold back a shudder when Sans’s fingers brush with your leg a little too softly, a reaction he acknowledges with a snicker right as he douses your wound in alcohol. Wanting to be the bigger person, you hold back the urge to get back at him and instead hiss at the pain, glaring at him as a response for not giving you a heads up.

 

“What about the culprit behind this stuff?” MK asks, joining Papyrus in giving Undyne support by leaving your side and choosing to sit in between the two. “Didn’t you guys say it was–"

 

“The mayor, yeah,” Undyne intervenes, frown growing more severe as his name leaves her mouth. “But we don’t have any good proof of it. Or, well, we do -- But it’s gonna be hard for anyone to believe us.”

 

“What about asking (Y/N) about what they remember?” Toriel adds, a hopeful smile on her face. “Were you also aware it was the mayor, (Y/N)?”

 

Your attention moves away from Sans when you’re asked that question, still wary he could catch you off guard by tickling you again. “Yeah, I. . . I heard him speaking on a microphone about how he was gonna humiliate me for humiliating him.”

 

You feel Sans’s hands tighten on your skin, looking down to see his ever present smile tense with what you could label as anger spiked with annoyance. “Guys gotta grow some, then. I dunno what happened between you guys, but kidnapping you and tryna show you off to everyone in that condition’s no way to go about him being pissy over somethin’. He should be the one wearin’ that onion sack.”

 

The monster freezes when you place a hand over his, the grin on your face unable to be wiped off at the still rare sight of a seemingly calm and laid-back person getting worked up over what had been done to you. He leans into your touch and closes his eye sockets, breathing deeply right as he opens them again, stiff and troubled expression returning to a relaxed state when you pull away.

 

I wish I could’ve filmed that,” Frisk signs, a playful smile showing on their face. “I know it’s too soon, but. . . It would’ve been good for blackmail.”

 

”Frisk!” Toriel scolds, using the same tone as she did with Mettaton.

 

Faust and Frisk exchange looks from where they’re standing, the former letting a grin light up his face as he takes out a flip phone from his pocket, waving it at them victoriously. Instinctively, you think of standing to tend to the situation, yet stay back when you remember your condition.

 

“Better watch what you’re doing there, kid.”

 

To your surprise, Sans is the one to call Faust out on having filmed him and you, the way Faust’s body freezes obliging you to hold back a smile. He pauses on his work with your injury, taking a moment to warn the child over the likelihood of having the phone taken away were he to play the video.

 

The lighthearted banter’s cut short when you feel a sharp and too-sudden sting on your leg, glancing back down towards Sans to see him staring at the open wound, a more concerning red colouring the skin surrounding it. You don’t think twice when you pull your leg back, deciding to speak your mind.

 

“I. . . I’ll speak with my doctor about this. This shouldn’t be your responsibility.”

 

“But I want it to be,” he disagrees, shaking his head. “Your referee doctor straight up refused to help you, and I ain’t about to beg him for it. He didn’t bat an eye when you were bleedin’ out in the waiting room -- Hell, he didn’t even bother comin' out of his office to see you.”

 

“I can drive (Y/N) to that other doc,” Undyne intervenes, easing out the tension between you. “Best to get those stitches done before she decides you’re not her patient anymore.”

 

“What about Alphys?” MK asks, those three words being sufficient for the same tension to fall over everyone again. “Didn’t she used to work with that kind of stuff? She did all kinds of experiments underground!”

 

“And that’s exactly why she’s not allowed to anymore.”

 

Undyne seems just about ready to protest against Sans’s response, though she frowns instead, crossing her arms stiff as she faces the floor. “He’s right. What Alphys did. . . It caused a lotta damage to a bunch of families, so she’s not allowed to work in the medical field anymore.” Troubled, the fish lady stands up from the couch and walks to your side, inspecting your leg and watching as the skeleton tries to keep it from tearing up more. “Want me to take you there now? I don’t start work ‘till a few more hours.”

 

We can take you there, (Y/N).” Sans speaks up right as he finishes patching the wound, standing from his kneeling position afterwards. He gives your shoulder a careful pat, avoiding your wounds. His grip is firm, however, urging you to accept the woman’s offer. “We’re in this together now.” 

 

Overwhelmed, you attempt to keep your cool by letting air reach your lungs, pain piercing your leg when you stand up from the couch. Being the closest person sitting next to you, Toriel does the same, offering you support to stay standing by holding onto your arm with both of hers.

 

You have too many questions for your mind to give much thought to anything else besides the pain and how had these group of monsters managed to take you back. The itching want of knowing who had been the one to carry you out and who had been responsible for blasting a hole through the building were still present, not to mention the reminder that the mayor had it out for you, and that danger was waiting for not only you, but for everyone close to you as well. You can’t keep a straight face when you remember the haunting pictures Jessie had sent you, their messages hitting all your bad spots and numbing the good ones. 

 

“(Y/N), stay with us. Please refrain from closing your eyes.” 

 

Toriel’s stronger tone brings you back to the reality of the situation. Everyone’s eyes are glued to you, most with concern and some with confusion, the silence making it worse for you.

 

“You’re right,” you speak up, finally stringing some words together again. “Let’s go -- I’m. . . I’m ready when you guys are.”

 

None of the faces present look convinced with your words, the gravity of the wound’s state responsible for forcing everyone into sending you off to treat it with a professional in that field.

Chapter Text

In comparison to the busy background of a hospital, you’re welcomed by a calm, empty neighbourhood with the exception of a few cats and dogs sniffing around the trash cans and a few onlookers peeking from their front porches. You advise the two monsters accompanying you to stay in the car and leave once you made sure you arrived at the right address. With the worsening state of your leg difficulting your decision, you try to gather strength, forcing yourself to stand up.

 

“I’ll go with ya, (Y/N),” Sans intervenes, speaking up when he sees you fail in that attempt. He has his back on Undyne now, irises staring at you sitting by the backseat, unable to hold onto anything besides the headrest of the seat next to you to keep yourself up. The wound had only gotten worse in the time it took Undyne to drive you here, remedial medicines growing useless with each new dose. “Undyne can stay watching in case somethin’ happens.”

 

You frown and chew on your lip, eyes peering outside to see two more people staring at the unmoving car, confused looks on their faces. With how little cars and people there were around, it was hard for Papyrus’s bright red convertible to go unnoticed -- even harder with Undyne’s same coloured hair, eye-patch and bright blue skin, the blatant difference between her and Sans the one factor to top it all off.

 

“Are you sure?” you ask, growing concerns preventing you from agreeing.

 

“It ain’t like these windows’re doing much to keep us undercover. We'd need tinted ones to keep those guys from starin' at us."

 

Undyne moves away from the wheel when setting the vehicle on parking, turning her gaze at the back seat to face you. “Go with him, (Y/N). You’re in no state to be walking on your own ‘till you get those stitches done with.”

 

Reluctantly, you accept, allowing Sans to step out of the car and help you out of your seat. You struggle a few times before you can find the right position to shift your leg into, Sans’s arm hung around your shoulders for support. 

 

A faint, blue hue surrounds your body -- mainly shoulders and leg -- when you get down and begin your trek towards the doctor’s home. Your attention quickly centers on Sans, who has his gaze cast down at the floor, preventing you from seeing his full face and stare at the rightmost side of his jaw and cheekbones instead. 

 

“Are you the one doing this?”

 

You can hear him breathe in before he gives an answer, a soft tremble heard from his voice. “Yeah.”

 

You arrive not too long after he gives you that one-word reply, whatever magic he was using on you making it easier for you to move your injured leg. It felt as if your body was floating, needing little to none of your effort for it to respond to the steps you wanted to take. Sans's visage is still facing the floor when he makes it to the door, only looking up when the blue vanishes completely from your skin, traces of his magic lasting in the form of warmth.

 

“Thank you,” you speak, smiling when you see his own expression soften up. “I’ll take it from here. It’s safer for you guys to leave while I’m done with this.”

 

“You sure?”

 

“I’m sure.”

 

Hesitance flickers in Sans’s eye sockets when you say that, irises faltering in their light as his shoulders grow tense. He leans in, placing a kiss on your lips and staying there for a few seconds. You don’t break away, the awkward yet comforting feeling of his teeth providing you with a sense of peace, fleeting moment extended for just a few more seconds when you kiss him back, yours more of a peck than an actual kiss.

 

“Take care, Sans.”

 

“Same to you, pal.”

 

You watch him turn around and walk away until you see him reach the parked car, waiting until he gets on to look away and knock on the doctor’s door, the strong scent of vanilla emerging from the half-open windows of her home. The doctor he and Undyne described to you pops out of the door after a full minute of waiting, eyes taking in her appearance: from the soft look of her tanned skin to her brown, wavy hair tied up into a bun, eyeglasses hung over the bridge of her nose. She opens the door wider, sweet scents growing more prominent when she helps you walk into her home.

 

“Make yourself at home, (Y/N)! I have everything set up already, so I was getting some cooking out of the way while you came.”

 

With her friendly and welcoming nature, it’s hard for you not to compare her to Solana, the most striking differences besides physical appearance being her accent, this one sounding Hawaiian rather than Cuban.

 

 


 

 

It’s late in the night when you make it out of your treatment, wound kept together by a tight set of stitches and pain temporarily numbed by over-the-counter medicine and anesthesia. The doctor steps out seconds after you do, a few papers in one hand and a paper bag in the other. Her gaze is shifty as she looks around, relief letting her chest fall as she approaches you, handing the bag to you. 

 

“Again, I apologize for how informal this has been. It’s almost near impossible for people to see you without wanting to put their nose in on what’s happening,” she states, tone firm despite the exhaustion tracing her voice. She retreats her hand back once the bag is in your hold, prescriptions still kept safe in her other hand. “You don’t plan on taking public transport anymore, right? It’s dangerous for you to be taking those risks.”

 

“No, ma’am,” you reply, smiling. “My car should be done getting fixed soon.”

 

“Who’s picking you up, then? I can’t see your friend’s car from here.”

 

You look towards where she’s staring at, noticing the red convertible Undyne borrowed from Papyrus was nowhere near the neighbourhood. Only endless rows of identical houses painted in pastel colours are as far as your eyes can see, the empty streets showing no signs of her familiar red hair or the dark blue of Sans’s jacket. You start to worry when you check your phone and see no messages from either one of them, the quiet of your surroundings worsening the ‘what if’s in your mind. The three of you had gone as far as to have your stitches made far away from the hospital to avoid unwanted attention, though that still didn’t erase the fact others could still see when a tall and built fish woman and a shorter skeleton drove you to the doctor’s home.

 

“Care to come back in to call them? I can wait.”

 

Anxious, you stare down at your phone, debating whether it would be good to give either one of them a call. You give a slow, reluctant nod as you step back into her home, the now fainter scent of vanilla reaching your nose again. She waits for you by the living room while you stay behind near the door, phoning Undyne until it reaches three rings and texting Sans next.

 

She offers you a seat when you leave the door and make it to her living room, a kinder smile replacing her professional look with patience and amiability. Her eyes stare at the locket dangling on your phone as she waits for you to sit down, gaze carrying the same spark of interest as she did the first time she saw you.

 

“S’that a gift from your partner?” she asks, small smile growing wider at the sides. She leans her head on the palm of her hand, her work uniform being the final, thin sheet of professionalism to stay on her when she lays back on the couch, chin kept up to face you. Her attempt at striking conversation with you while you wait for a text or call back is just enough to shake you out of your worries for the next few minutes. “How’s your relationship going with him?”

 

“Oh! Well. . . He bought it for me after I won Faust’s custody,” you speak up, a hint of excitement slipping from your tone. You scratch your throat once at that and hold back your smile, sheepishness taking over when you remember the last time you had been that excited over a relationship. Jessie had been your first, breaking up for only a year and a half, and getting back together after the both of you tried seeing other people, the relationship lasting three months for you -- a month for them. Sans was your third, the abrupt reminder that he hadn’t experienced anything remotely similar besides the bunny monster crushing on him causing for an awkward feeling to remain in your chest, worry sprouting for a split second, and withering back down when you remember the doctor was waiting for your answer. “We haven’t really had time to think about it, but. . . I like what we have now. It’s a lot different than when we were apart and talked through face call.”

 

“So I’m guessing you plan to take it serious from here? It’s gotta be risky dating if it’s what got your ex that pissed off in the first place.”

 

“I guess I do?” Your next response comes off as a question more than the former, doubt still rising regardless of your attempt at staying firm in your thoughts. “But I. . . I don’t know about him yet -- I mean, he did say he liked me back, and that he wants to be with me even after all this mess. But I guess it’s kinda awkward to think about since it looks like I’m his first.”

 

“You mean he’s never dated anyone before?”

 

“Yeah. He did almost have a thing with a bunny monster he’s friends with, but he rejected them in the end.”

 

The doctor hums at your words, standing up straight on the couch and propping one leg over the other, the sound of the cloth’s friction and the couch’s creaking the only sounds to fill the room. “So you’re worried he might not be your last -- Is that it? ‘Cuz I’m pretty sure anyone with common sense would’ve bailed off on a relationship like yours if they weren’t up to it, knowing all the trouble it would’ve brought. Hell, he got a restraining order just for being friends with you!”

 

“Okay, so maybe that’s a stupid thought,” you reason, a chuckle leaving your mouth. “I’m just more worried he’ll regret it later -- like this might not be for him, y’know? Or. . . Or that he’ll find someone else, and that I’d be forced to stay single for the rest of my life.”

 

“You’re exaggerating, (Y/N).”

 

“But who would wanna date someone who’s been divorced, has a kid, and a bunch of lawsuits to work with? I was almost made a joke by the mayor of my town, and almost every newspaper has my face in it!”

 

“So now you’re saying you’re dating him ‘cuz you’ve got no other choice?”

 

“Th- That’s not it either. I just. . . doubt this’ll last long -- what we have, at least. Maybe things’ll get better, but at what cost? After everyone’s near giving up and after our image’s completely destroyed?”

 

You can’t stop words from pouring out of your mouth. You’re pretty sure you’re tearing up and that your voice is close to breaking at this point, but you don’t have the strength to stop. What makes you feel the slightest bit better’s when the doctor stands up from the other couch, joining you in the one you’re sitting on. 

 

Carefully, she wraps an arm around your shoulders, pulling you close to her in the form of a side hug. “Tell me, (Y/N). . . Do you want to be with him -- with them? I’m not saying you should hang out with only monsters, but if they’re there for you, why not accept it if that’s what you’re wishing for? The goat woman who healed you’s pretty much taking you into her home, the fish lady who drove you hear seems pretty worried about you, and your partner seems to care about you. If you want to go through it, then do it. But if you can’t -- if you don’t have the strength to -- then don’t. I’m pretty sure it's not a crime to admit when you can't handle something. And even that doesn’t mean you should try to be someone you’re not, or try to do things beyond your reach. If you feel weak, then say it, (Y/N). Bottling things up only hurts everyone in the end.”

 

A muffled though honest laugh leaves your mouth when she says that. You pull away from her and scoot to the side, allowing her more space to sit down.

 

“What’s up?”

 

“Nothing,” you dismiss, shaking your head softly right as another laugh bursts in between. “It’s just. . . You’re supposed to be a doctor, not a therapist. I’m sorry for acting like that in front of you.”

 

“Oh, honey,” she counters, shaking her head and returning your laugh. “You’re human -- It’s only natural for you to want to break down crying every once in a while. But try to deal with this on a regular basis, alright? It’s not healthy for you to keep all those thoughts to yourself. If Faust was suggested some counseling, you should do the same, (Y/N). And maybe your boyfriend, too.”

 

Her last sentence makes you think back on your day at the beach with Sans and on the day you had your first argument. Though he was still the same, laid-back skeleton you knew since the first day of Faust’s math tutoring, you were noticing minor changes in his conduct. He appeared more hopeful now, yet he also looked more on edge, expressing his distress more through words rather than keeping quiet about it. The way he had gotten all worked up with the officer throwing you both out of the beach, and how bleak and tired he looked when saying how hard it was trying to adjust to the restraining order -- along with how much he wanted to see you in person again -- were all quirks you found he had once kept to himself until recently.

 

“Would it be good to bring that up with him?”

 

“Of course! What better way is there to help each other grow? You might not be responsible for anyone’s happiness, but you can always try to give the person a hand or a push to get by.”

 

The conversation ends not too long after that, how overwhelming it had become not making you notice Sans had texted back while you talked with the doctor. In a haste product of your rising nerves, you swipe the phone off your lap and read his message.

 

hey.

sol and i’re gonna pick you up soon. undyne hadda go to work, but she says she’s gonna make it up to ya later.

 

Another message pops in right as you’re reading the second one, sending a smile to your face almost instantly.

 

we’re havin’ dinner at grillb’s right now. want me to get ya somethin’ to eat?

Chapter Text

“Living things need not just nourishment for the body, but for the soul as well.” – Carole & Tuesday |  Episode 15

 

 


 

 

Third Person POV

Sans’s Perspective 

 

Solana has a plan, and Sans knows it. 

 

Why else would she invite a fourth person into the car right after finishing dinner at Grillby’s? Better yet, why would she even pull Grillby with her and leave his business in the hands of his two other workers just for him to sit next to her and leave Sans with (Y/N) at the backseat, going as far as turning on the radio for additional privacy? 

 

While he knew he needed to talk with his (girlfriend/boyfriend) about what they went through and ask if they needed help to cope with it, he had been avoiding the topic in fear of failure. He decides to take a first shot though, remembering the earlier days when he used to work at the Judgement Hall and the speeches he gave to those who went there.

 

“(Y/N), uh. . . Do you-“

 

He’s cut off by them hooking their hands around his arm, pressing themselves closer to him. As if that wasn’t enough to make his soul jump, (Y/N) presses a kiss on his teeth and mutters a thank you close to his ear cavity. 

 

“For what?” he asks, the warmth of their actions still lingering on his teeth. 

 

“For lots of things,” they reply, a laugh leaving their lips.

 

He grows silent for a moment, trying and failing to stay resolved with his prior plans of having a serious talk with them. “(Y/N)?”

 

They nudge even closer to him -- close enough for him to feel the strong vibrations of their soul. “Yeah?”

 

“Do ya wanna talk about what happened over there?”

 

The smile on the human’s face falls out, hands clenching tight onto his arm as their fingers dig deep into the hardness of his bones. They don’t reply verbally, using their head to nod instead. “How did you guys know I was there?”

 

“I meant about how you feel, (Y/N),” Sans persists, sensing a change of subject. “Did those guys try anything with you?”

 

“N- No,” (Y/N) stutters, managing another smile as their hold grows even tighter. He can start feeling pain prick at him, though he doesn’t shake them off just yet. “I was. . . scared, though. There was a guy and a girl laughing and joking around about what they wanted to do with me, but in the end. . . All they did was shoot me and refuse to let me die ‘till I went out there in those clothes.”

 

Noticing the furrow of his brow, the human lets go of their snake-like grip on him, retrieving a chuckle Sans tries to suppress. “You’ve got a strong hold there, pal. No wonder you fought them off for so long.”

 

Liveliness returns to the human’s face when he comments that, embarrassment surging in their expression when they spot faint nail imprints and scratches on his arm. “Sorry for that. I. . . I didn’t think you’d bruise like that.”

 

“How’d ya think I bruised, then?”

 

“Maybe through the soul? . . .Kinda like how you can’t touch ghost monsters?”

 

“You’re sayin’ I’m like a ghost, then?”

 

“Not ‘like’, but similar to.”

 

“So ya think I’m spooky?”

 

“Again, not spooky. . . but cute," they correct, laughing. "It’s so weird wherever I compare you with Papyrus -- You almost look like the younger brother of the two.”

 

Feeling the mood’s grown lighter, Sans grows resolved again, taking his cell phone out of his pocket, unlocking it, and readying himself to show the number to (Y/N). With a quick, mental countdown, he gathers wit to speak up about their kidnapping again.

 

“Sunny gave me this number while you were recoverin’. I know you’ve got those stitches all done with, but this type of healin’s important, too.”

 

(Y/N) grabs his phone in their hands, narrowing their eyes at the screen. “A therapist?” 

 

“He’s helped Sunny with her own stuff -- Said it’s the reason why she’s even had the courage to work behind a counter in the first place.”

 

He’s afraid he’s made the wrong move when he sees the human tear up, eyes glossy as they try to keep their smile on and tears from falling. They fold their hands over their lap and look down, a soft yet shaky breath making their chest heave once.

 

“You okay? Haven’t seen you like that since that whole custody thing with Faust.”

 

“I’m okay,” they assure him, smile lightening up along with their tone. “Those are happy tears. I’m. . . To be honest, I was worried about our relationship.”

 

“In what way?” Sans asks, meeting with their eyes as soon as they stop looking down at their lap.

 

“It’s your first time trying something like this, right? A serious relationship, I mean.”

 

Warning signs go off on his head when he hears 'serious' and 'relationship' together in that same sentence. Though he did like (Y/N), he couldn't begin to process just how serious his relationship with them was becoming. It was far from similar to the times he hung out with the bunny monster, agreeing into letting them kiss him that one time for the sake of ending it straight with them. He was fond of the bunny, but not in the same way as (Y/N).

 

“It is. But it feels right.”

 

“But what if that’s just ‘cuz you haven’t tried it with other people?”

 

“You’re underestimating how I feel about us, (Y/N). I’ve, uh, felt things for other people, so I know I like you. It ain’t the first time I’ve fallen for someone -- You just happen to be the first one I chose to go out with.”

 

(Y/N)’s looking at their lap again when he looks towards them, a more pained expression crossing their face. “I understand,” they speak up, sighing as their hands turn to fists, grabbing onto the fabric of the tunic. “And I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to underestimate you -- I was just insecure about myself. I- I’m not exactly a clean slate anymore, y’know? I've slept with other people, I- I'm divorced, and I have Faust to take care of. . . It just feels like I'd be imposing too much on you if I said I wanted to be in a serious relationship with you."

 

"In what way does that define who you are, (Y/N)? It ain’t like that affects your personality or how you treat other people."

 

"Maybe it seems silly, bu- but to me. . . It's important -- even more now that I'm affecting the lives of other people and putting them in danger."

 

"That has nothin' to do with those people or what they're doing to your -- our friends. If that were the case, I would haffta consider myself a criminal just ‘cuz I got a restraining order in my records for being your friend.”

 

The radio station changes its music for the late night news, putting a halt in his conversation with (Y/N) when both they and himself decide to listen to what the reporter had to say. Solana turns the volume up a notch while Grillby shrinks back on his seat, the way the woman’s hands clench onto the wheel and how the colour of the monster’s fire dims giving Sans a heads up as to what he needed to expect.

 

“As of the following month, three new laws will be established for the sake of keeping harmony between the two races. The first one, written by the governor of our country, establishes that monsters may keep the land they have covered up until this far, with the condition that they do not step foot into human-owned houses, businesses, and apartments, as well as take on job offers in the same building as humans. Humans who have already decided to work and live in the same places as monsters will be forced to stay in the monsters’ territory if they so choose to take their side. (Miss/Mister) (Y/N) (L/N), Faust (L/N), and Solana Cortez are three examples of this choice. More on these laws will be presented by their creators this upcoming Friday.”

 

Solana shuts down the radio when it moves onto the weather, the uncomfortable mood that stays along making even Sans want for the silence to be broken.

 

 


 

 

It’s almost close to midnight when Sans finally reaches Toriel’s home. Solana’s busy talking with (Y/N) at the living room while Grillby stands beside him at the kitchen, watching as he pours four drinks -- three with alcohol and one without. 

 

“S’that one for them?” the skeleton asks, referring to the human laughing along with Solana. He can hear the two’re exchanging stories and banter, though he knows better than to overhear what it’s exactly about.

 

Grillby’s flaming hair flickers as he nods once, setting a liquor bottle aside as he picks up another to form a blend. “. . .” (“It is the best option if they are taking medicine. Since nobody looks like they plan to sleep soon, why not include (Y/N) in, too? They and anybody else who would want to join us shouldn’t be excluded just because they can’t or won’t drink.”)

 

Sans’s grin widens at his friend’s words, chuckling when the flame sends him an expressionless but all the same powerful glare after making him lose coordination by nudging him. “Ya sure know a lot, pal. Dunno how you’re dedicated to just one profession only.”

 

“. . .” (“I enjoy it.”) He replies after recovering, a pinch of anger still present in his look. It melts away when he shakes his head softly, flames becoming brighter to match with his surge of contentment. ". . ." (“Up until now, this job’s given me plenty of new perspectives to look from.”)

 

The conversation ends in time for the drinks to be handed out. He can hear there’s an additional person hanging out by Solana and (Y/N) when he steps out of the kitchen, Sans helping to carry one drink on each hand while Grillby holds onto the other two. When they step out, he can see Papyrus is standing next to the youngest human of the pair, keeping a fluffy, round Pomeranian in his hold as he instructs him not to hurt (Y/N).

 

“Be careful with them -- I know you like to bite, Toby!”

 

Toby shakes out of Papyrus’s hold and licks the human’s hand instead, the latter giggling when the dog thrusts his snout onto their palm, waiting for his head to be petted by them. Sans joins in on the fun when handing over the drinks by sitting close to (Y/N), watching as they scratch the dog behind his ear and smile when he yelps out a loud, happy bark at them. As if mimicking Toby’s behaviour, the skeleton places his arms around the human’s waist and brings them to sit on his lap, their weight balanced by the temporary magic he uses to keep them in place. He rests his chin on their shoulder, (h/l) hair tickling his face when they shift in order to take the dog in their hold.

 

“What’s gotten into you, Sans?” the human asks, a hint of teasing nature in their voice as they turn their head to face him once Toby’s safe in their lap. 

 

“It helps with stress. You’re awfully comfy, (Y/N).”

 

Sans looks away from the human when feeling something cold on his shoulder now warm by the temperature the human emitted. He sees Grillby standing next to him, two drinks in each hand. The monster hands him the spiked one and the non-alcoholic one to (Y/N), stepping back when the drinks are out of his hold.

 

“So what’re we gonna do with these laws, huh?” Solana asks, speech already distorted by her drink. Sans can tell she’s not a drinker by how fast that single drink had invaded her system. Grillby, on the other hand, drinks his without much trouble, most of it already evaporated by the time it reaches his throat. A glass of cold milk is in Papyrus’s hands, complimentary of Grillby and his strong belief of not wanting to let anyone feel left behind. “That ain’t the way to solve problems -- Those lawmakers and lawyers should be investigatin’ the town’s mayor instead! Isn’t there at least a little footage of what he did? He should be the one gettin’ punished instead!”

 

Seeing her brown cheeks now tinted red, Grillby arrives next to her with a glass of iced water, the swiftness of his moves making Sans suppress a chuckle. Even to this day, it still amazed him how quickly the fire monster could adapt to a new or dire situation without so much as batting an eye.

 

“We should still think positively,” Papyrus exclaims, already halfway done with his own drink. “That just means we’ll have our own little territory to take care of! I bet we’ll still have plenty of humans just like you two and Faust to keep us company. We do not need negative people like the mayor hurting kinder ones!”

 

Sans has to hold back his figurative tongue when he hears Papyrus talk, his want to intervene and say it wouldn’t be that easy leveled down by his attempt at letting him stay positive, further neutralized when he gazes back at (Y/N) to see they’ve fallen asleep in his arms, small dog included. The empty drink rests besides the empty spot on the couch, one hand holding onto the dog while the other rests limp on top of his interlocked hands pressed against their stomach.

 

New laws or not, the monster was finally creating something he could call his own: a family and close friendships he could rely on whenever things took a turn, be it for the better or the worse.

Chapter Text

The new law has almost every parent around the school on edge, children around the same age as Faust showing their own concerns over the possible changes that would come during winter vacation. You shimmy through the crowd huddled in front of Toriel’s door, being extra careful with your injuries as you squeeze in, brush shoulders, and excuse yourself with the people you bump into. 

 

“Take it easy, guys. I know tensions are high, but you can’t just ram into the principal’s office like that.” Undyne’s voice can be heard in the middle of all the worried murmurs and whispers of the audience, her scaly blue skin and red hair standing out amongst human parents. “Everything will stay the same, so there’s no need for you to wait here unless it’s to see your kids’ grades. We’ll still have the winter gathering and we’ll still keep teaching so long as there’s people still willing to study here.”

 

“Isn’t this all (L/N)’s fault? They should’ve kept a low profile after that whole scandal with them dating one of your tutors here!” a man exclaims, how angry and nearby his voice sounds making you fear he could attack you were he to spot you.

 

“It’s not just (L/N) who’s doing things like that!” another voice chimes in, blatant disapproval in her voice. “Any human who decided to sign their kids up into this school's also an accomplice. We would have to stay completely separate from monsters if we didn’t want this to happen.”

 

“Then what’re we gonna do now? I can’t afford to lose my job just for lettin’ my kid stay in this school!” the same man speaks up again, distress replacing his anger. “How am I supposed to break the news to her?”

 

“And what are we supposed to do?” a bunny monster asks, blue fur spiking as his ears perk up. “My family depends on the job I have, but I can’t keep it if that new law’s for real!”

 

Undyne massages her temples as one voice keeps talking over another, chaos erupting in the form of words unable to be understood by how many different topics and voices there were. Concerned, you keep pushing yourself past the crowd, the brown bear meant to look after Faust’s friend shielding you with his body from incoming elbows and shoulders. His large figure is enough for him to stand firm and unshaken as people keep trying to push themselves in.

 

“Whatever the changes will be, this school will still maintain its policy of never charging for education. I’m afraid the rest would be in the hands of the governor and the higher-ups of this city, so I can’t say anything beyond that’s a secure statement.” She gives a pause in her words to straighten her posture, Sans and Gerson appearing next to her. “Those who want to see the final grades can step into the office, but the rest have to leave. Please cooperate if you want things to stay calm.”

 

There’s a few muttered complaints shared between parents before the group starts to break up, most leaving and only a few staying. You’re left with around ten humans and double the quantity of monsters, in including the bear you were now close acquaintances with. Those who left are currently spread out around the school, frowns and scowls on their faces as they discuss the future of what awaited them. 

 

The feeling of a tap on your shoulder makes you shake off your observation, looking towards the person to see the same bear smiling at you.

 

“Here to look for Faust’s grades?” he asks, smile growing warmer when he sees he’s gotten your attention back.

 

“Yup,” you reply, nodding as you return his gesture with a smile of your own. “The school year felt a bit. . . longer this year.”

 

He chuckles at your comment, heartiness in his tone. “I can only imagine why, (miss/mister). That custody trail must’ve been no walk around the park.”

 

The few people in line are almost gone by the time you look towards the door again. Noticing that, the monster follows you into Toriel’s office, two of the three people in charge of guarding the building standing on each side of the door while Undyne is left to watch the crowd dispersed around the school’s halls by a farther distance away. Sans acknowledges you with a wave while Gerson forms a smile, watching as you enter with the bear into the office.

 

Upon entering, the distinctive scent of cinnamon hits your nose, eyes casting to the goat lady’s desk to see her talking with two parents: one a monster and the other a human. She has the pair sign a separate paper each and hands them a disposable cup of tea right as they begin to take their leave. The human stands up first, winged monster busy shuffling things around her purse.

 

You decide to sit next to your companion by the waiting area while Toriel’s done with the other parents, though you don’t stay for longer than two minutes seated until the both of them leave the room as she then beckons you and the bear to step up.

 

“Come along now,” Toriel calls, patience in her voice. A smile decorates her face as she waits for you to approach her side, hands already holding onto some files and papers. “I have your documents ready for you to sign.”

 

Something new catches your eye when you take a seat in front of her desk. You narrow your eyes behind her to see a miniature pine tree set at a corner of her office, decorated in similar shades of gold, red, and green. There’s a bunch of palm-sized gifts underneath it, each wrapped with a different pattern.

 

“Lovely, is it not? We have adapted this tradition in school as most children seem to enjoy it.”

 

Toriel’s waiting for your reaction when you stare back at her, hands folded over her desk as a kinder expression takes on her visage. You nod once at her, a grin forming on your face. “It really is,” you reply, taking the paper laid out in front of you. “Do you guys have any plans for decorating the winter gathering? I have some stuff in my old house if you need them.”

 

Her entire expression livens up with your words, shock crossing her face as she shifts in her seat. “Would that truly be alright? I could not possibly ask that from you! Are you not going to use them?”

 

“Well. . . Since I’ll be staying at your home for a while, I think it’s only fair.”

 

“There is no need for that, (Y/N). I would not offer you to stay if I did not wish you to.”

 

Her words make your heart ache. Jessie’s past actions had left a large imprint on you, enough for you to doubt your own capabilities and self-worth. With all the turns your life had taken this year, you were doubting your skills as both a person working for the law and a person strong enough to be able to defend themselves. You had gone against the law and had been weak enough to end kidnapped by what you assumed were the mayor’s accomplices. Hearing the goat lady say she appreciated your presence was a well-needed comfort for making you feel more appreciative of your progress.

 

“Thank you, but the offer still stays,” you state, confidence returning to your voice. “I’ll bring the decorations soon, and you can tell me which ones you like more.”

 

 


 

 

A frantic Alphys runs over the papers she sets on the desk, words spilling from her mouth fast enough for you to lose track of what she means to say. Undyne arrives by her side and tells her to calm down, squeezing her shoulders as a way of reassuring her it was okay for her to take it easy. Papyrus is with Faust and Frisk, the three busy making arrangements on how were they going to set up the tree, Mettaton joining in when he sees the group are discussing ways on how to tie ribbons. Sunny is with Solana, the two lost in a conversation about what they had experienced when the masked people caught them. It’s almost impossible for you to keep track of what everyone’s doing, a fact proven by the way you jump when you have someone call out your name.

 

Catching your breath, you look towards the person to see Mettaton’s cousin floating idly in front of you, a plain CD cassette held in his pale, fingerless hand. 

 

“This is for you. . .” he mutters, hesitating when it’s time for him to hand the item out to you. “D- Don’t get me wrong, I. . . This is a thank you for agreeing to help Mettaton with the catering event. I don’t know if you’ll like it, but. . . But he said you might.”

 

You offer him a smile before accepting his gift, offering him to sit next to you as you pause on looking through the pictures Alphys handed over to you. It was footage of the incident at your place of kidnapping, crumbled cement and bent bars of steel covering most of the photos taken. “Thank you. . . Blook, was it? Or do you prefer Napstablook instead?”

 

“Blook is fine,” the ghost replies, a tiny smile forming on his face. “You’re. . . (Y/N), right?”

 

You nod at Blook’s question, moving aside when you see he plans to sit next to you. To your surprise, he leans closer and points at one of the pictures, smile fading away when he speaks up. “Did anyone tell you what happened while you were unconscious? That blue blur on the corner. . . It was the mayor trying to run away. I was taking the pictures since I can hide a little better than the rest, but he caught me somehow.”

 

“How many of you guys went there?” you ask, brushing off the strangeness of his statement. If the mayor had seen a literal ghost sneaking pictures of the incident, you figured he would’ve needed extra help with that -- either that, or he had hawk-like vision for him to have seen a translucent body from that far away.

 

“Six, I think. . . Including me.” Blook trails off with his words, gaze furrowing as he tries to remember more about the case. “Undyne, Alphys, Toriel, my cousin. . . And Sans were all there. Papyrus took Frisk and Faust to school and kept it a secret from Faust until we were back.”

 

“So Frisk knew?” 

 

“Yeah. . . They planned out most of what we were going to do for our mission -- Alphys was in charge of messing with the cameras, Mettaton blew a hole into the building, and the rest fought off the people holding you hostage.”

 

No matter how much he describes to you, it’s hard for you to grasp all six people working to reach one same goal, how different they all were from each other only making it harder for you to picture the scene. Frisk had to know them all well-enough for them to make that plan on the spot. 

 

“Undyne held you down after we broke in. . . Toriel kept fighting others back, and Sans, he. . . He was the one confronting the mayor. It looked like he was ready to fight him, but he couldn’t. Mettaton broke into the building right before anything happened between them, though.”

 

You try to search for Sans among all the monsters and humans working together. While you had seen the skeleton stressed and angry a few times before, he still had a way of containing his emotions and replace them for indifference. The most you had seen him distressed had been the day at the beach when the lights of his eye sockets disappeared, and the first and second occasions where you gave him a call during his time with a restraining order. Remembering that made you want to have a word with him right now, the words you had heard Undyne say about how he had given up or that he didn’t care strengthening your resolve of offering him an ear to listen. What tops it all off is what Gerson had said right before you ended up in this mess. 

 

Determined, you finish your discussion with Napstablook and stand up from your seat, onset to go look for Sans and confront him the same way he had with you just a few days ago.

Chapter Text

You find him at the balcony, his back turned to you as he looks down at the houses below him. He doesn’t budge when you step into the premises, so you continue to be quiet in your approach, waiting until you’re close enough to slip your hands around his waist and pull him close to you. He stays silent, hands holding tightly onto the rails as his body shakes with a breath.

 

“Can you feel that?” he asks, voice scratchy when he first decides to speak up. “That weird feelin’ in your soul?”

 

“What do you mean?” you question back, tightening your hold on him. “Is something wrong?”

 

“No. I, uh. . . I’ve just been feelin’ this weird pull on my soul whenever you get close to me. It’s gotta have to do with connections and whatever, but I was wonderin’ if you felt it, too.”

 

A frown shows on your face when he comments that. While you didn’t want to disappoint him, you couldn’t bring yourself to lie either. You either hadn’t felt anything like that, or you didn't know enough about that to recognize when it happened. “I. . . don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like that. I can feel my heart beat fast sometimes, but not the soul -- Not with you, or anyone I've dated before. And if I did, I don’t think I’d be able to recognize when it happened.”

 

Sans doesn’t break from your hold, instead loosening his hands off the rails to grab onto the ones you’ve placed around his waist. “Can you feel anything?”

 

“I. . . I’m not sure.”

 

He breaks away from you this time, turning to you to place a hand over your chest -- close to where your heart would be at. “How ‘bout now?”

 

You close your eyes and concentrate, trying to search for any feeling beyond that of physical. It’s a fruitless attempt, only resulting in embarrassment when his hand remains awkwardly in place. “. . .N- No. Is that bad?”

 

“Yeah -- You should at least feel when your soul rejects the person touching you. If ya don’t feel anythin’, then. . .” Sans sighs, forehead creasing as he tries to keep on speaking. “Can I see your soul for a second?”

 

“I’m not sure how that works, but sure,” you reply, a nervous laugh leaving your mouth. “How’re you gonna do that?”

 

“Just take a deep breath and forget about where we’re at. Focus on your mind and thoughts instead of anything physical. Most humans think the soul thing’s a myth ‘cuz some of ‘em still go by old history books, but it’s real -- just that most don’t know they have it, or that those weird pulls they feel actually come from the soul.”

 

Worried, you try to remember when in your short life had you felt your soul be pulled or repulsed by previous partners. The closest you had been to anything similar was on your wedding day, yet you could still tell it came from your heart and mind. While Sans keeps his hand close, you keep thinking back on when had you felt something closer to that sensation. You think back until you reach the older days when you were just getting to know him.

 

Sure, you felt nervous and a little jumpy whenever you sensed a progress in your relationship, but was it really due to your soul?

 

“(Y/N),” Sans calls out, shaking you out of those thoughts. “Your soul’s- Look down at it.”

 

Doing as told, you feel a chill run down your spine when you stare at it. A greyish tint surrounds the heart-shaped soul, a faint shade of red letting you know it had once been crimson. Oddly enough, its pulse is steady, giving signs of a healthy soul despite its opaque colour.

 

“Looks like your soul trait hasn’t been decided yet,” he comments, lost in thought. “Does it hurt anywhere?”

 

“It feels fine,” you assure him, smiling. You place a hand over the one he has out in front of you. Your soul shakes at the same time you bump with his hand, driving out your curiosity. “So you’re the one kinda just keeping my soul floating right now? It. . . moved when your hand did.”

 

“Somethin’ like that, yeah. The technique’s mostly used at the Underground, though.” Just as awkwardly as before, he pushes your soul forward, pressing it against your chest until it fades away into your body. “It’s, uh. . . usually not as weird-lookin’ or soundin’ at the Underground. This was considered normal down there.”

 

With your soul now back in its rightful place, you take one step back while he does the same, leaving some space between you. The book he had given you shows up in your memories, and you remind yourself you had to read it as soon as you had the opportunity to, the differences between you becoming stranger the more you deepened your relationship with the monster. “So. . . my soul’s not in danger or anything?”

 

“It’s fine -- It’s just tryna find its trait. The default’s always determination, since almost every human has that, but it shapes up depending on how you act and what you believe in. Determination’s red, so your soul still has its default trait.”

 

You bite back your sudden want of asking another question related to that topic, remembering the reason why you had been searching for him. Without a word, you follow him back to the edge of the balcony, holding onto the rails and staring down at the houses and buildings laid out. A similar colour scheme composed of beiges, browns and light yellows cover most of the houses, these looking the same in architecture and only differentiating themselves by the gardens and ornaments people placed by their front yards. Some already have Christmas decorations on, while some have flowers of varied types and colours sprouting in plastic pots.

 

“Sans, are you. . . feeling okay?”

 

“Whaddya mean?”

 

He makes eye contact with you when you stop looking at the houses. The white glow in his sockets is soft, a hint of surprise glinting on them. 

 

“Just, if you’re feeling okay. These changes have been a lot recently, so I was wondering if you were maybe feeling overwhelmed or anything like that.”

 

You hear him laugh under his breath, posture slumping to a more relaxed state when he does so. He places a hand on top of yours, giving it a squeeze. “ I gotta be honest with ya and say I do. All of this is kinda new to me -- I was used to monotony, predictability. . . I felt some sense of safety knowing that. Out here though, everything’s real different. You know how humans, so long as they had determination, could tamper with the Underground? It doesn’t work up here. Or at least, I haven’t heard of that happening. I guess I’m happy things’ll be stable from here on, but. . . The Surface doesn’t give second chances.”

 

Sans’s voice grows strained the further he keeps talking, forehead creasing as a drop of sweat trails down to his collarbones. He squeezes your hand tighter, an act that would hurt hadn’t you grown more tolerant to pain. 

 

“For a moment there, I really thought I was gonna lose ya. When I woke up to an empty bed and saw Faust cryin’, I felt lost -- And I hadn't felt like that in a long time ago.”

 

Pressure marks from holding onto you too tightly show up when he moves his hand away from yours. You can see fluster flicker in his irises when he sees that, though you brush it off and encourage him to keep talking instead. 

 

“Having you still here’s kind of a drive for me to keep tryin’ -- that it’s worth a try, at least. I like what we have, (Y/N), so I hope you understood me back there -- Hell, maybe it’s true that it’s my first time doing something like this, but I don’t regret it, and I think my soul agrees with that, too. Either that, or I’m gonna have to get it check to see why it speeds up whenever you’re near me.”

 

You let out a single, unrestrained laugh with his final comment, bumping shoulders with him as a smile stretches your lips. Smiling, you place a hand over his chest -- similar to how he had done with you -- and close the space left between you. He wasn’t lying about his soul: you could feel it drumming underneath your palm, a feeling that made you wonder over just how he could maintain a neutral expression even while his soul went a mile a minute.

 

“(Y/N)?” he asks, taking a step back.

 

“Yeah?” you reply, smile growing fonder.

 

He looks down at his shorts and reaches out for his front pocket, retrieving a tiny, black box like the previous two that carried the locket inside them. His hand trembles subtly when he stretches it out to you, his fingers brushing with yours as you reach out for it.

 

“You, uh, don’t have to say yes if ya don’t want to.”

 

It’s now your turn for your heart to race, hands shedding a cold sweat as you try to gather wit for seeing what was inside the now familiar, if not signature black box. Determined, you breathe in, then out, and gather courage to open the box, eyes becoming cloudy when you peer down at its contents.

Chapter Text

A small, silver key lies on top of a white cushion, polished material glistening with the fast setting sun. It has what you assume is a home’s address engraved on the center, the immediate assumption that comes with that thought making your emotions a mess as you try to cope with the speculations that make way into your mind.

 

“Is this. . .” you mumble, words drifting off along with your thoughts.

 

“A copy key of my house,” Sans replies, a sheepish strain to his voice. “I thought about us living together now that you’ve moved out of your old place. I know Tori offered you a place to stay, but. . . The offer’s still up.”

 

Shocked, it takes a minute for your brain to form a comprehensible question, the sight of the key and its purpose freezing you right in place. “Wh- What about Papyrus, though? Will he be okay with this?”

 

Sans lets out a deep sigh when his brother’s name is mentioned, a speck of sadness reflecting on his irises. “I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, but he’s movin’ out soon. He’s gotten real good at cooking, so he’s plannin’ on working farther away from here. The place he used to work at and the recipes you sent him helped a lot with improving his skills.” He pauses on his words, gaze casting firm at the open box in your hand. “There’s. . . somethin’ underneath the pillow I want you to see also.”

 

Your nerves are practically on edge at this point, hand almost dropping the box when you fumble around with it. Carefully, you lift the cushion, a golden ring revealing itself right under it. 

 

“Wh- Sans, I. . .”

 

You’re left speechless when you stare down at it. Your attention shifts between the key on your dominant hand and the box with the ring in the other, a foreign feeling rising within you. Unable to process things straight, you move all the items to one hand, clutching onto them as you then break into a wide, quivering smile and engulf the monster into a strong hug, face burying deep into the crook of his neck. 

 

“I. . . I don’t know what to say,” you murmur, voice muffled by the thick fabric of his jacket. Your hands rest all the way down to his waist and stay still around his back. “Thank you, bu- but. . . This is too sudden.”

 

“I know that,” Sans remarks, snickering. “It is for me, too. But I want you to have it -- To keep it with ya ‘till we’re both ready for this. The key, though. . . Now I’m gonna need an answer to that. I was thinkin’ of moving to a smaller place ‘cuz it feels too empty when Pap’s not at home, but I came up with this while thinkin’ about where I could move off to. Faust could stay at Pap’s old room, and you, uh, could stay in mine if ya wanted to.”

 

You squeeze him tighter -- until you feel the beat of his soul against your body. 

 

An onslaught of tears run down your cheeks, unable to be controlled when your mind betrays your emotions by letting your hopes run wild. You promptly melt into a series of nervous laughter, eyes stinging as you try to blink the seemingly endless row of tears away.

 

“I’d love to, Sans,” you reply, happiness dwelling in your chest. You feel your breathing grow tighter and tighter, until you’re left to heave for air, a shudder reaching up your body. “I. . . I’d love to move in with you.”

 

You pull away after that, face burning with the back and forth of your emotions. It was hard for you to pin one straight without it dissolving into the next one, joy bursting on your expression right as melancholy manifests through tears and a strained smile. You shudder and burst with a chuckle once more as you try to take in everything at once, tear-stained eyes moving on to see the monster staring at you, amusement present the next time he laughs. 

 

“Here,” he speaks up, offering you a handkerchief. “Figured you’d need this.”

 

The mischief in Sans’s tone makes you wary of his true intentions, hand slowly reaching out for the cloth as you try to figure out what he could be hiding behind that emotion. You look at him to see his usual, relax expression plastered on his skull, irises being the only thing to give away his expectancy. Handkerchief in hand, you inspect it thoroughly, its dark blue colour tainting your fingers when you pass it to your other hand. 

 

“Looks like I lost the chance to say you’re lookin’ a little blue, (Y/N).”

 

Far from wanting to give Sans the satisfaction of seeing you react to his shenanigans, you look away from the cloth and narrow your eyes at him, grin showing on your face as a plan pops into your mind. Without much of a warning, you chase after him, though he catches on just as promptly as you act, a scenario similar to the time you were at Mettaton’s hotel replaying itself on the balcony, the context and general intensity of your actions differentiating them. 

 

The skeleton dodges each one of your attempts at capturing him, the charade lasting until he arrives at the metal railings of the balcony. Trapped between them and yourself, you gain the upper hand, laughing when you throw the handkerchief at him, tinting his cheekbones blue when it lands right in the middle of his face.

 

You’re the one looking blue!” you exclaim, pride immediately halted when he blows the cloth off his face and aims it at yours, giving you no time to dodge his attack. Being of light material, it lands with grace, though it still manages to paint your face the same colour as his.

 

“Now we’re both blue,” he mentions, a resonant, hearty laugh following along with his statement.

 

 


 

 

Anticipation and anxiety have a conflict in your thoughts as you wish goodnight to both Faust and Frisk, the pair near falling asleep and sharing a bunk bed. You plan on staying at the goat lady’s home for another week or two, the thought of moving in with Sans right away one you couldn’t fully cope with yet. Not only would you have to explain to others how that decision was made, but you also couldn’t bring yourself to mention anything about the ring to other people -- Not to any of your friends, and even less to Faust or any of your relatives.

 

While you knew it was unhealthy for you to worry as much as you were right now, you can’t shake off Jessie from the picture. You had been a little more than over the moon the day they proposed to you, immediately falling into their arms and ending in bed not an hour after. You still couldn’t forget the day they called you easy -- that they had the guts to call you out on how fast you fell for their past self. Worry that you’re going about the same way with Sans disturbs your thoughts, though you find comfort in the thought that you felt happier alongside him. 

 

“(Y/N), dear?” Toriel’s gentle voice comes from behind you, a warm, fluffy hand being placed on your back. “Are you alright?”

 

You turn to see her figure, face still visible even with the lights turned off, the night light set by the bunk bed providing with some source of illumination. A smile shows up on your face, feeling a bit more confident with your last line of thought. Jessie was a thing of the past now -- They had haunted you enough, and you weren’t planning on giving them the pleasure of invading your thoughts, even while they weren’t present. You were happier now: not just with Sans’s presence, but with Toriel’s and many other people, too. You had friends you could almost call a family, a home to stay in, and Faust’s custody safe in your hands.

 

“I’m fine,” you reply, smile turning to a meek grin. “Something. . . really good happened today, so I’m kinda lost in thought.”

 

“And what might those good news be?” she presses on, playfulness in her tone.

 

Bracing yourself, you reach into your (jeans’/skirt’s) pocket, retrieving the box Sans had given you. Toriel’s expression lightens up with curiosity, a kind smile making her entire face brighten with contentment. 

 

“Congratulations, dear!” she exclaims her joy in a hushed tone so as to not wake Frisk and Faust, clasping her hands together as a giggle exits her mouth. “No wonder the worrisome look on your face -- I was on pins and needles when that day came for me!”

 

She practically ambushes you with a hug, hold tight enough to make you yelp when she squeezes you. Her fur tickles your nose as she brings you close to her, the soft scent of butterscotch emanating from her clothes. “Thank you,” you reply, smiling. “I honestly don’t know what to do next.”

 

The goat lady breaks up the hug as soon as those words leave your mouth, eyes bright with excitement as she holds both your hands and levels her gaze with yours. “I believe I can assist you with that, dear. Tell me all about your day! I am certain we can work this out tonight.”

Chapter Text

"It's not about 'tit for tat', it's about 'I love you, too'." – Karen E. Quiñones Miller

 

 


 

 

Hypocrite.

 

That was the one word you could use to describe yourself as you glance a look at the suit you’re wearing. The deep black dress (skirt/pants) are fitted according to your lower figure while the suit jacket covers most of your chest away under its fabric, a hint of a white polo shirt peeking under your collarbones. Your hair is kept back by styling gel and your shoes are pretty much squeezing too tightly for you to move without looking stiff and awkward. These were the only clothes you had available that resulted appropriate for meeting with the head of the city. You were certain she had to hate your guts just as much as the mayor did, so looking through your old wardrobe to find your small and worn job interview uniform from three years ago was a bit of a two-faced move in your eyes. 

 

Why bother going through all this effort if you were against the laws people like her were making?

 

Hell, you had even considered spending a whopping three-hundred dollars just to avoid using old clothing and shoes for the meeting. That thought alone made you stop and think about how you were worrying so much simply to face what most would consider a rival and obstacle for your progress.

 

Luckily, you don’t look too ridiculous despite your tight shoes and the weary expression on your face -- The lower half of your outfit and your hair looked decent, at least.

 

“Finished already?”

 

You jump a little when you hear Sans’s voice close by, mind returning to the present as you turn around and catch him standing by the doorway. Against yourself, a grin stretches your lips, the stuffy look the monster carried just enough of a distraction from your worries. Quite like yourself, he wore a suit jacket just a little too large and formal to seem natural, dress pants baggy by the end and shoes a tad too shiny with polish. It was painfully clear neither him nor you were ready for something as formal as this.

 

“What's got ya laughing, pal?”

 

Nerves transforming into hysteria, you melt into a series of chuckles, snorts, and giggles when he waddles over to your side, looking much more unnatural than you did. The sight was too much to bear at once. He had only ever worn casual clothing, the stark difference from today sticking out like a sore thumb.

 

Breathless, you clutch onto your stomach and fall back in bed, eyes tightly shut as you try to keep yourself from laughing again. “Y- You. . . You look like a penguin working for the mafia,” you state, snickering. “Who even gave you that suit, anyway? It’s way too big for you.”

 

Still laying on your back, you don’t notice he’s made it to your side, his figure hovering over yours when you decide to open your eyes and stare up at him. He peers down at you with a playful look in his eye sockets, taking on your challenge now that you've made fun of him. “And you look like you’ve been zapped by a shrink ray,” he states, laughing when you glare at him. “Figure a penguin’s the better lookin’ option of the two. The heck’s even s’possed to be that jacket you’re wearin’? It’s almost three times smaller than your size -- The buttons look like they’re gonna fly off anytime soon.”

 

“What’s up with your jacket?” you tease back, confidence in your tone. “You look more big-boned than usual.”

 

Creak.

 

The grin on your face is wiped off when the bed sinks slightly, the creaking that follows making you stare down to see the monster had climbed into it, knees next either sides of your waist and hands placed over your shoulders, holding him up as he leans over you, a more serious, stoic look crossing his gaze. “Who ya callin’ big-boned, eh?”

 

Lips now a straight line, you try to find any hint that you’ve offended him, though his expression is close to unreadable, white irises faint as his jaw clenches slightly. You’re skeptical to label that as anger, fearing you had crossed a line or brought up a touchy subject.

 

“I was only jo-“

 

You stop yourself when you feel him shaking, jaw loosening as he holds back what you can only figure is laughter. 

 

“Your face -- Goddammit, haven’t seen ya make that face since that time you took my hand right out of its socket.”

 

His usual smile grows wider as light returns to his irises, chuckles leaving his teeth as he presses his forehead against yours, holding onto you as he grows helpless with laughter. 

 

“Freakin’ priceless,” he comments, voice muffled due to his face now pressed against your suit jacket. “Sure felt like the old days. You haven’t changed one bit, (Y/N) -- in a good way, I mean. Did ya really, seriously think I’d get pissed off for somethin’ like that?”

 

“Why wouldn’t you?” you defend, a little shaken by his actions. While you tried your best not to think about the past, it was hard for you not to stay alert when he leaned closer, the fact that you were in bed and that you were underneath him bringing back the clear, unwanted memory of the time you were harassed and almost strangled in Jessie’s hands. You don’t comment anything on that fear though, trying your best to cope with those feelings by yourself to hopefully contact the number Sans had given you in the long run. You clearly weren’t forgetting about the damage done by Jessie, and it was starting to get on your nerves. You wanted to feel normal and joke around like this without having that memory brought up every few seconds. “I made fun of how you look.”

 

“I think we both know we were just playin’ around,” Sans states, another chuckle leaving his teeth. “You worry too much, (Y/N).”

 

You feel better when he gets off of you, sitting next to you in bed as the both of you stare at the mirror nearby. It reflects the two of you looking way too ridiculous to assist a formal meeting, outfits now further disheveled as a consequence of you goofing around with him about how you looked. Silence overtakes the room as you observe your reflections, suppressing a grin when you notice Sans still trying to contain his own mirth when looking at both your and his own appearance.

 

“We've gotta do somethin’ about this,” he mentions, determination in his tone. “We can’t go anywhere otherwise.”

 

In need of a solution, you stare intently at both his and your outfit, contemplating what made them look stuffy and unnatural until an idea pops in your mind. 

 

“Thought of somethin’, pal?” the monster asks, noticing the way your face lights up when you figure something out.

 

“Let’s switch jackets,” you state, looking towards him. “Mine’s too small, and yours is too big -- I’m sure it should look at least a little bit better than this.”

 

Anythin’s better than this,” he remarks, grinning. “Let’s try it out.”

 

Silence is exchanged for the sound of you and him shuffling with your clothes, working to take the jackets off while simultaneously keeping the rest of your outfit intact. He gives you his while you give him yours, moving on to the next step afterwards.

 

 


 

 

The two of you are scrutinized by a picky Mettaton and an even pickier Papyrus when you make it out of the room, Toriel, Frisk, and Faust already dressed up for the big day ahead. The goat lady stands in a purple maxi dress while Frisk carries a dark denim skirt along with a red blouse. Faust is in some new clothes Toriel had picked out from Frisk’s closet, these composed of a light green polo shirt and some dark blue jeans. Everyone looked just about ready to head out, Papyrus being the only one to wear his new work uniform given he had a shift right after your meeting at the city capital. 

 

“Are you sure you guys wanna come with us? She said it was fine so long as two witnesses of what the mayor did came to her office.”

 

“Of course we are, (Y/N),” Mettaton comments, eyes darting to meet yours quickly right as they go back down to making some final adjustments to your clothing, undoing some of the jacket’s buttons and redoing the folds of the sleeves. Sans is in the same situation as you, having his shirt’s collar fixed and jacket lint removed by his brother. “And besides, I could use a close-up scoop of the meeting. Not only does it help with the ratings, but it could seriously help with getting more people to understand what you -- what we’re all fighting for here.”

 

All four of you are interrupted when you hear a knock at the door. Both Faust and Frisk stand up to go get it, leaving the goat lady to smile when she hears them say they’ll get it in place of her.

 

From the door come out all the other people who had worked on your rescue mission. Next to them three stand Solana, Sunny, and Muffet, plus the judge, bailiff, and policewoman from your hometown, all nine of them carrying strong, determined looks on their faces when they stare at you. Even the rookie bailiff, shy Blook, and frantic Alphys stand firm, Undyne being the first to speak up.

 

“You guys ready yet? We’ve gotta give those punks a piece of our mind!”

Chapter Text

It’s even harder for you to feel and act natural when you arrive at the city capital, not a single monster in sight besides those accompanying you. Only Mettaton and Undyne are the ones to remotely blend in with the crowd, yet their flashy colours prevent that from lasting long. All sixteen of you sit by the waiting room, topics varying from how were you going to introduce yourself to the woman and what evidence were you to use against the mayor. 

 

Mettaton has a tiny camera hidden close to his right shoulder blade, onset on filming everything that went on despite the blatant warning he received from the guards not to. Alphys and Blook keep track of all the evidence gathered from the rescue mission while the town's judge and bailiff give a final revision to the argument written on paper. Undyne, on the other hand, helps her girlfriend and the ghost choose what evidence was best for presenting at the office, Sunny and Solana both pitching in by recalling the day the masked people had barged into their homes. Toriel helps you with refining your appearance one last time whereas Papyrus encourages his brother with some pep talk.  

 

Despite everyone's level of preparedness, not one person feels secure about the thought of you facing the woman behind the door, the fact that she could decide your and the monster's future enough for submitting even the toughest person of the group under panic and uncertainty. The new law was beginning to have its effect on the general behaviour and tolerance of people, those who worked under the same roof as monsters erupting into fights every so often -- and vice versa. 

 

You had been lucky to have Faust study at a school meant to keep that harmony intact, and even luckier to have gained a job at the local pastry shop following the same policy. 

 

“Sans should know what to do,” Toriel compliments, encouragement present on both her voice and smile when she takes notice of how stiff the environment has become. “He does not say it often, but he was quite skilled with his profession at the Judgment Hall.” Her gentle gaze moves from the skeleton to you, her smile brightening as she pats your shoulder once, a support similar to when you told her of your plans of moving in with Sans. “And you, (Y/N). . . You should have the necessary drive for convincing her to listen to your claims. You made it this far thanks to that quality, dear. I believe the both of you complement each other well, so there is no need for you to doubt yourselves.”

 

“I- I agree with miss Toriel,” Sunny comments, her frail voice sounding more excited as a smile forms on her face. “You both did well in court, so I- I’m sure you can do this. We can pitch in if she needs more convincing!”

 

“Yeah!” Faust agrees, Frisk nodding beside him. Muffet sits next to them two, vigilant of the pair while the rest of the group dealt with the flurry of evidence and words meant to be rehearsed before confronting the situation in hand. “If (mom/dad) won the right to date Sans. . . They can win this, too!”

 

“Of course they can,” the policewoman pitches in, a smile on her face. “It was only made difficult since the town's mayor is strong-headed, but I’m sure the mayor of this city isn’t like that.”

 

“Strong-headed’s an understatement,” Sans remarks, a hint of anger cutting through his chuckle. He sounds reasonably pissed, an observation that makes you smile when you see annoyance flicker at the mention of that name. “Tryna reason with that guy’s kinda like tryna have a conversation with a brick wall.”

 

“(Y/N) (L/N) and Comic Sans, please step in.”

 

A man’s tired voice sounds from the intercom lying above your heads, stopping everyone in their process of giving you encouragement. You stand up from the chair of the sterile waiting room, how rarely habited it felt and seemed making it appear more stuffy and constraining than it tried to be. The polished furniture and hard cushions made it feel as if you weren’t meant to be here -- as if this place wasn’t meant for you.

 

Sans stands up right after you do, the rest of your companions watching you off and waiting until you entered for them to carry on with their discussions. 

 

You walk with him towards the looming entrance of the woman’s office, the distant murmurs melding with the background as you instead focus on what awaited you behind that door. You expected nothing less than someone similar to the town’s mayor as well as no better of an outcome. Frankly speaking, you were expecting the worst, though that wasn’t about to stop you from walking forward and into the office, earlier words of encouragement serving as a battery for your mind.

 

“Ready?” Sans asks, hand resting over the surface of the door. He has some documents in his free hand while you hold onto the rest.

 

“Ready,” you reply, nodding your head.

 

The doors open to reveal an office overwhelming with grandeur, each piece of furniture looking to cost a fortune. A silver chandelier hangs on the ceiling and two large, cushioned chairs stand in front of the mayor’s desk. In contrast to the elegance of the room, however, sits a plain-looking woman, her straight, brown hair reaching her shoulders and soft, hazel eyes welcoming you in, smile humble as she waits for you to sit down. Her pale skin contrasts with the dark purple of her suit and the deep black of her office chair.

 

“Good morning,” she greets, widening her smile. “You are (L/N) and Sans, correct? It is a pleasure to meet you both. Please take a seat -- I’m aware we’ve plenty to discuss.”

 

You do as told, steps careful as you arrive in front of her desk and take a seat, Sans doing the same. 

 

"Good morning, ma'am," you reply, tensing slightly when you feel Sans's hand slip over yours. "We're here to discuss the new laws, and what the town's mayor submitted all of us to."

 

Caught aback by the monster's actions, you glance a quick look to his side to see him looking straightforward, breaking his gaze away from the woman when he notices you staring at him.

 

Toriel wasn't joking -- He seemed like an entirely different person now, white irises focused sharply on the mayor as he hears you speak. He holds onto your hand tighter, reassuring you by intertwining your fingers with his.

 

"While this may seem like a wild claim, I suspect him to be behind the person who blackmailed me and the ones who kidnapped me. My companions and I gathered evidence when they went to rescue me at my hometown, so I was hoping we could discuss what we could do from here."

 

"I understand, (miss/sir)," she replies, nodding as her gaze breaks away from yours. "Were you also present in the mission, sir?"

 

Her words are now directed at Sans, his posture firm unlike yours, though you can tell he's taken by surprise when you feel his hold on your hand grow a bit tighter, his thumb rubbing against your skin. "Yes, ma'am. We found (Y/N) near unconscious -- bleeding out on the floor while some guys kept pushing at ‘em to walk out into a crowd waiting to see them at some stadium. It was their town's mayor speaking, and he was saying somethin' 'bout how he planned to humiliate (Y/N) for what they did to him in the meetings. They were wearin’ next to nothing when that happened, and they were being yelled at to move."

 

"Could you provide a clear description of what (Y/N) was wearing, or do you have pictures of that available instead?"

 

"We do, actually," you reply, aiding Sans with his testimony. "Napstablook was in charge of taking pictures of what was going on."

 

Sans lets go of your hand to retrieve the folder resting next to his seat, placing it over the mayor's desk as she then reaches out for it.

 

"There's also the faces of the people pushin' (Y/N) to step out, and there's audio of the mayor talking 'bout what they were gonna do to ‘em."

 

"So you do not have any pictures of the mayor's face?"

 

"Unfortunately, no. He caught Napstablook takin' the pictures 'fore he could snap a picture of him."

 

"Very well. Either way, I will look through your evidence and decide what's valid and what's not," the woman states, hands shifting through the pictures as her eyes quickly scan the images of the incident. "Do you have plans to file a lawsuit against him? While I see there is indeed no clear picture of him available, the audio you claim to have, the threats (Y/N) received on their phone, and their history with the mayor should be enough for the case to be taken to court. The injuries were life-threatening, after all. And the both of you had already won the right to be together, so there was no reason for either of you to be threatened about it any longer."

 

"Can. . . Can we really take this to court, ma'am?" you ask, taken aback by her words. She was being far more reasonable than you were expecting her to be, humility and kindness never faltering from her tone or expression.

 

"It is only just. Just as you did for your ex spouse, you should do for him. If he did indeed play a part in this crime, you have the right to stand your ground and take the mayor to court. The both of you can confront him even more now that the restraining order has been dealt with."

 

In the midst of the woman speaking her judgment, Sans's hand finds its way to yours again. You glance back towards him, the serious look he carried since the beginning now clad with warmth as he puts in a word of his own.

 

"When can we start makin' plans for that? The guy deserves what's coming for him."

 

The professional look the woman carried up until now falters slightly as a brighter smile blooms on her face, the sheer eagerness coming from Sans's voice sending a surge of determination to settle on your chest, and seemingly hers, as well.

 

“You sound sure of yourself, Sans.”

 

Her words catch you both by surprise, the way they leave her mouth making it sound more like a compliment rather than retaliation.

 

“Your devotion to this relationship looks to be right on par with (L/N)’s,” she continues, sending heat to your face. Your ears are close to burning, and you can’t bring yourself to glance at Sans’s reaction as quickly as you would like to. “I am glad you are both doing well together.”

 

“Thanks,” Sans speaks, a hint of bashfulness in his reply. “We’re workin’ things out. That restraining order was a pain in the neck, but I’d be damned if I said it didn’t make me consider this kinda stuff possible -- Never woulda thought we’d be out here together tryna set things straight like this.”

 

Hand intertwining with yours for a second time, you picture a positive outlook despite the nagging worry things could take a turn for the worst the same way they had the day after Sans’s restraining order was abolished. You imagine what it would be like starting over with the monster at his home, and even go as far as to envision yourself taking the ring out of the box and slipping it on your finger. Confidence returning, you squeeze his hand back a little tighter, a reassuring look present on your face when you proceed to speak about the procedures of filing another case.

 

If he was looking forward to it, you wanted to do the same.

Chapter Text

“Just like that?” Mettaton asks, voicing his surprise as quiet as a whisper. “No drama, no tension, no. . . resistance? She couldn’t have possibly just agreed to your claims on the spot!”

 

You’re back at the waiting room again, in patient expectancy for the intercom to call out your names a second time -- this time as a cue for your dismissal and the set date for the next step in your plans. 

 

Papyrus and Muffet have already gone off to work while both Frisk and Faust are away with Toriel in preparation for the winter gathering. You, on the other hand, sit between a curious Solana and an even curiouser Mettaton, everyone else just as equally surprised with how quick the results had been and how little resistance the woman made in regards to your claims. 

 

“She just said I could file a lawsuit so long as we had enough evidence to take him to court. I think Blook was called out to give more detail about the pictures he took back there.”

 

“Will Alphys be called out, too?” Undyne asks, standing beside the robot. Her concern is just as sharp as her suit, eye narrowed as a deep frown falls on her face. “She’s already on thin ice with all those experiments she did back at the Underground, and now she’s in trouble for messing with those cameras -- Think she’ll be put under probation or something like that again?”

 

You chew on your lip as you consider her question. Not only was it Alphys who looked to be in a bad spot, but Mettaton, Toriel, and everyone else who helped rescue you, as well. Winning the lawsuit against the town’s mayor was not only for the purpose of standing up for yourself, but for salvaging the monsters’ -- your friends’ -- reputation in the long run. 

 

“I. . . I’m not too sure about that right now,” you admit, returning her frown. “Sans still has that restraining order messing with his background, so that. . . could be a possibility.”

 

“That’s a load of crap,” Solana comments, arms stubbornly crossed together as the policewoman and Sunny join her side. Her eyes hold anger to them, voice closely matching with her expression. “He’s only got that thing on him thanks to Jessie’s creepy behaviour.”

 

"Yeah," the Whimsun agrees, hands turned to fists. "Th- They crossed way too many lines with you!"

 

“I’m ashamed our department didn’t wait until that bastard broke out to actually take their sentence seriously,” the policewoman adds, passing a hand through her auburn curls as she lets out a sigh. Her dark complexion grows dim as she frowns, looking displeased as those words leave her mouth.

 

“You guys are bein’ way too soft with your insults,” Sans jokes, intervening in the conversation. He stands beside Alphys, who scoots closer to Undyne’s side, a worrisome look on her expression as she listens to your discussion. “But I’m just glad they ain’t around here anymore. If they got handsy with (Y/N). . . Hell knows what they coulda done to the kid, also. I really wouldn’t trust them with anything, and callin’ ‘em creep or bastard’s like callin’ Burgerpants a mildly grumpy person.”

 

“Wretch's a better word, then?” Mettaton comments, reiterating his first word similar to how he called the town's mayor an arse not too long ago. “They went as far as to break out of prison, after all.”

 

“If they make your reputation look good, then sure. That word fits fine."

 

Another mood takes over when Sans comments that, the tension the two monsters seemed to carry in regards to the case manifesting in the worst way possible. The pair glare at each other, humour and banter collapsing from the conversation almost instantly.

 

“Watch it, Sans -- You’re playing with fire.”

 

It's safe to say you and those standing nearby don’t like where this is going, everyone freezing as tension strikes. Your mind screams at you to do something while your limbs itch to move.

 

“The cat hated workin’ with ya, and you know it. The only reason I trust (Y/N)’s not gonna end on the same note workin' with you is ‘cuz they’ve got options.”

 

Priceless coming from a sentry who refused to do his job just to sell hotdogs and watch some stupid, shiny rocks from the sky.”

 

“Are you two punks seriously getting pissy with each other now of all times?” Undyne intervenes, standing in the middle so as to block them from staring at each other. “You can talk about this later if you want, but let’s keep it low right now. It’s not every day we get a chance to stand up for ourselves like this.”

 

At the sudden tension that rises in the waiting room, you feel yourself at the need of standing up and joining Undyne in her intervention, a frown present on your face as you do just that. Carefully, you grab Sans’s shoulders and pull him away in hopes of bringing him off the source of his stress. Mettaton only pouts and grimaces afterwards, a leg effortlessly propped over the other as he glares sharply at the skeleton in spite of your actions to prevent that, refusing to back off anytime soon. 

 

“Thank you, Mettaton, for your help, but. . . We should all calm down.”

 

“It’s not you who I’m fighting with, honey -- Don’t bother yourself with this.”

 

Sans tries to take a step forward, though you halt him by turning to his side, gaze furrowed as your lips shape into a tight, straight line. “And, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you, too. If we want this to work, we. . . We have to take it easy. Maybe it looks too good to be true, and maybe she did sympathize quickly, but I. . . I think we should trust the city’s mayor, and submit our right to defend ourselves. I don’t want you guys to feel like the Surface isn’t for you, so let’s try and keep working together to make it feel like it is.”

 

“You don’t know what he’s talkin’ about, (Y/N),” Sans speaks up, reminding you of Gerson’s past words. “And he doesn’t know, either -- I didn’t wanna work as a sentry anymore for a reason.”

 

“Alright, so maybe I don’t know why you guys suddenly started fighting,” you state, anger slipping from your tone. “But I do hope you can tell me so I can try to understand you better. I love you, Sans, but I also know I’ve still got a lot to learn about you -- And you about me, and we about us, too.” You pause to breathe, thoughts going too fast and back and forth for your liking. “I’m happy you want this relationship just as much as I do, but we need to work through this when the time’s right. . . Just like you said about the ring and about us living together, we’ll keep moving forward at our own pace.”

 

With the confession slipping in the middle of your words, your chest tightens and you’re obliged to find a route for escape. Your eyes jump around the compact room in search for a place where you could go to, almost instantly spotting a place you could choose. You spot the judge and the bailiff gathered by a farther corner of the room, these two the only ones not to have witnessed the scenario between you four.

 

You see they’re busy revising the papers you needed for filing the case, scrutinizing every word and discussing each worry that popped up amongst themselves.

 

Wait,” Undyne’s voice comments, gaining everyone’s attention with how loud she is. “You guys are engaged now?”

 

A beat of silence passes on after the fish lady’s question, neither him or you able to answer it when its meaning dawns upon you. 

 

“No wonder you’re so worked up,” Mettaton comments, directing his words at Sans as a single, stifled giggle leaves his mouth. “Didn’t really know you had it in you, but congratulations -- Maybe we can talk wedding arrangements when we’re a little less pissed with each other.”

 

As those words leave the robot’s mouth, tension drops, Sans’s shoulders doing the same as he lets out a chuckle and rubs a hand over his nose cavity so as to soothe his worries away. 

 

“Thanks, pal. We ain’t engaged or anything yet, but we’re working on it.”

 

He looks towards you this time around, his skull softening as a faint, red colour tints his cheekbones. It’s a similar sight to when Papyrus would blush whenever you gave him a new recipe or whenever he discussed things he was passionate about.

 

“And thanks for setting it straight, (Y/N). Sorry I called you out on that -- It was a stupid thing to do.”

 

“I’m sorry about that, too,” you reply, lips breaking into a smile. “I got angry even though neither of us have had the time to sit down and talk about that.”

 

“Wanna talk about it when we’re back home?”

 

“Yeah -- That would be nice.”

 

Weight drops from your shoulders when you see his irises brighten, everyone else looking just as relieved with your exchange. You let out a shaky breath, closing your eyes as you sit back down in wait for Blook to return.

 

You listen to Undyne and Alphys brace themselves in case the lizard was to be called out, while you hear Mettaton tap his boot impatiently, most likely worried for his cousin called out on his own to go present his evidence up front. Sunny, Solana, and the policewoman move on to talk with the judge and bailiff, a wave of disappointment crashing against you when you hear the former of the two most likely wasn’t going to be managing your case again. You take a look at them five gathered by afar, though you can already feel drowsiness take over the longer you spent waiting for the ghost.

 

“What do you mean you’re not gonna take the case?” Solana asks, huffing her disbelief off her chest. “Everyone out there will probably be too stuck up to take it, anyway. (Y/N) almost died tryna find someone willing to heal them!”

 

“I- I was wondering the same, too,” Sunny comments, sounding just as gloomy as that discovery made you feel. 

 

“Truthfully, I am. . . close to having my badge and license forfeited for allowing Faust to stay under (Y/N)’s care,” the judge replies, frowning as he brings a hand to his temples. His age shows more through that action, brown skin turning more wrinkly on his forehead and nose, not taking into account his beard looking whiter than Napstablook. “The court does not want me leaving him under (Y/N)’s custody now that they know that restraining order was eradicated by them. Not only that, but they wanted to take Faust away from his current school -- I refused and managed to disprove their accusations of Faust being in danger, but that came with consequences.”

 

You feel short of breath when the judge comments that, shutting your eyes closed as if pretending to sleep and reminding yourself to ask him later about the subject personally. Against being nosey, you tune out their conversation after that, mind coming up with all sorts of scenarios where you would have to fight for that custody again hadn’t the judge prevented it from happening.

 

As you wait, you sense someone nearby, opening your eyes as subtly as you're able to see Sans sitting next to you. Half-lidded eyes make contact with the white of his eye sockets, the sudden quiet that falls over the waiting room quick to lull you into a mild, sleepy trance. You don’t do or say anything, rather waiting until you see him reach out for the hand laying on the armrest, the other one freezing on your lap when he leans in and whispers something to you. 

 

“. . .Love ya, too, (Y/N)."

 

Against the erratic jolt those words bring to your heart and mind, you pretend to continue sleeping, the way those words came out showing he had taken your pretend slumber as legitimate, and for a chance to say those words back to you.

Chapter Text

Third Person POV

Sans's Perspective

 

Alphys, Mettaton, and every other person involved in (Y/N)’s rescue are spared from being called out to face the city’s mayor for what would be the third time in one day. Sans can tell everyone is just as relieved as he is not to be held back longer than they had already, the two hours he had spent inside that office, plus the additional two waiting for Napstablook’s return being enough suspense and wait for a lifetime.

 

With the clock now marking half past two, his next mission is to pick up his brother at his new job while Toriel came back from shopping with Frisk and Faust. He splits up from the bailiff, judge, and policewoman the moment after they pass through the doors of the city hall, being left to walk with the rest to the bus stop, where Napstablook and Sunny take up Solana’s offer of driving them back home. 

 

Only Mettaton and (Y/N) are left accompanying him, purposefully stalling the robot in order to deal with the outburst earlier ago. Quickly, Sans turns to him before he gets the chance to talk with the human, more than ready to part ways and deal with other matters pertaining to his relationship with the latter.

 

“Sorry about what I said back there,” Sans speaks up, scratching his nonexistent throat. He finds it difficult to speak having (Y/N) as an audience, though he feels grateful when he sees them look away and pretend they aren’t listening to the conversation. “You, uh, really helped us out back there -- offerin’ us a room for permanent rent and all. Didn’t mean to poke at old wounds.”

 

The robot holds back a smile, lips parting to speak up in replace. “I could say the same to you, Sans. I know you didn’t quit as a sentry just because you didn’t want to,” Mettaton replies, passing a hand through his hair as a subtle snicker shows on his face. “I’ve. . . heard Burgerpants say a thing or two about me, but I can’t blame him. I was and still am kind of a dick, so I’m trying to be less like one now.” He stretches out a hand towards Sans, a feat that would make the skeleton raise an eyebrow were he to have any. “How about this, then: I’ll try to be more understanding with my employees, so long as you agree to come to me for arrangements if that wedding so happens to pop up. Truce?”

 

Taken aback by his words, Sans can’t help chuckling when he sees Mettaton is serious about making an agreement. He holds back a grin and accepts, shaking hands with the robot as he sends a small shock of electricity to his body, a gag kept hidden at his wrist thanks to his long-sleeved suit jacket.

 

“Knew you had to ruin this somehow,” Mettaton comments letting go of his hand.

 

“Knew ya had to bring up the wedding again,” Sans retaliates, laughing when he sees him do the same, (Y/N) covering a smile of their own from farther away.

 






 

It’s a much more tense situation when the monster is left to confront the human about his past job. 

 

Uncertain, Sans grabs the steering wheel tight, giving himself some motivation and time to try bring that topic up while he made it to Papyrus’s new workplace.

 

“(Y/N)?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

Receiving confirmation they were listening, he breathes in and steals a look at the human now free from wearing a formal suit and tie, the red light allowing him to make brief eye contact with them. 

 

“You already know monsters used to attack humans who fell underground, right?"

 

It takes a little longer than he would like for them to respond to his question, his mind already forming regrets for having decided to bring up the topic in a car he borrowed from his brother and in the middle of nowhere of all places. 

 

What would the monster do if things were to take a wrong turn during the conversation? 

 

Both him and (Y/N) would be obliged to stay in the car fuming until they made it somewhere other than the endless lanes of a busy city. 

 

“I do,” they reply, sending some relief to his mind. Sans releases his grip from the wheel, a few marks showing on its rough, leathery cover. “That’s. . . the main reason why the department wanted to act so strictly with every monster they came across with. I didn’t always agree with what they were doing, but I can’t deny that I felt the same way about monsters at one point -- I was. . . scared for the safety of my people.”

 

Sans holds the wheel tighter on par with their last statement. Hadn’t his brother encouraged him to go make friends with those at the Surface and for him to try to look at things from a more hopeful, positive perspective, he would most likely still have only a select few he could trust, a scenario immensely different from being surrounded with as many people as he had today.

 

“Can’t say it ain’t a normal thing to feel that way. I felt the same way about humans ‘fore I started gettin’ along with them better. It was and still is kinda tough tryna keep both sides in harmony -- People like those who hurt you don’t really help make it better, and neither those like the bunny who got all pissed at ya when we were hangin’ out at Grillby’s” 

 

The monster pauses in his conversation, a knot forming when he tries to say his next words. 

 

“My job as a sentry was ‘cuz of similar tensions,” he continues, already bracing himself for the worst. “Frankly speaking, if I saw a human wanderin’ around the Underground, I was supposed to capture, and then take ‘em to Asgore. Either that, or. . .”

 

The knot grows bigger, and he can tell -- or rather, feel -- the human is as uncomfortable as he is. Gritting his teeth, he feels sweat build on his forehead and his soul strain underneath his ribcage. He doesn’t dare look at the human in the next red light, unable to face them without completely giving up with what he wanted to speak with them. 

 

“. . .I had to take care of ‘em myself.”

 

Sans can hear the human breathe sharply and sees them cover that noise with their hand not a second after. He then catches them looking to the window next to them in a vain attempt at hiding from his sight. 

 

“‘Course I didn’t actually do that, ‘cuz, well. . . I promised Tori not to. And I didn’t like the idea in the first place, considerin’ how hypocritical it was to say kindness's an honourable trait all monsters are meant have -- Then acting all two-faced by refusing to spare humans when it came to it.” 

 

The next red light takes too long to change, the fact that he could take that spare time only to look at (Y/N) avoiding his gaze making him less than enthusiastic about continuing with what he had to say -- all the things Gerson advised him to tell the human about before he got too deep in his relationship with them. A breakup could be due were he to tread wrongly with his words. 

 

“That’s actually why she left her position as the Queen, even if I still kept working under Asgore. ‘Sides workin’ half-assedly as a sentry, though. . . I was also in charge of judging the human if they made it all the way to the Judgment Hall. Don’t ask how a washed-up guy like me won that position, but it kinda just happened. I left the human to make their own choices instead of capturing ‘em, and waited to see how far they made it in their journey.”

 

The next time he hears the human make a noise similar to that of a sorrowful hiccup, he has to take the nearest emergency lane and park by a worn patch of grass, close to an intersection where three roads met. It was way too busy of an area for him to choose to stop in, but he couldn’t bring himself to wait longer. 

 

Setting the car on parking, he unbuckles his seat belt and tries to approach the human still looking out the window, placing a hand against their back.

 

“You, uh, doing okay there, pal?”

 

Watery eyes, trembling lips, and a strained smile greet him when (Y/N) turns around. They shrink back on their seat, trying and failing not to let him see them the way he was right now. 

 

“I’m okay,” they assure him, voice choppy as tears go down their cheeks. Sans can see their (s/t) complexion already puffy and tear-stained, a sign they had been crying prior to him stopping the car. “It’s just I. . . I kind of expected something like this, but it still caught me off guard. The background checks I did during my old job. . . They weren’t as. . . direct as you’re telling me now, but they were still there. I was aware this wouldn’t be easy, but it still kinda just gets to me, y'know?” The human wipes their tears away with the back of their hand, taking in a shaky breath. “But enough about that -- What did Asgore do when he found out you weren’t doing your job as a sentry?”

 

“He let me keep on doing that so long as I took up the other offer. I was meant to warn and judge the human before they went to face off Asgore, where they were then meant to confront him in battle to see who was stronger -- to see if the human had changed in their journey, and if they were capable enough to face him.”

 

With caution, he reaches out for the human’s cheek, irises growing brighter with interest when he notices they don’t brush him off. Instead, they grab his hand in theirs, allowing him to cup their cheek as their gaze casts down at their lap. He feels his soul grow less painful in its strain when he feels their touch, allowing for his tension to level down more. 

 

“I didn’t exactly feel myself in the right mindset to be judging others when I was pretty much lost on my own, but I had to do it. And eventually. . . It became a natural thing for me to do.”

 

“What do you mean when you say you were lost?” 

 

Afraid they were going to press onto that subject, his hand moves away from their cheek and grabs the back of their head, fingers tangling with their (h/l) strands of hair. He toys with them for a while, until he finds the strength to speak up again. 

 

“I grew hopeless. Didn’t really think much good would come out from being stuck in that place for Hell knows how long. Things were gettin’ tougher down there, and Asgore’s decision wasn’t exactly helping make progress happen, so there was a time when I felt I was going through the same cycle -- that it didn’t matter tryin' if the world wasn’t gonna change, or if it was just gonna be stuck the way it was.”

 

“So, do you. . . Do you feel any different now?”

 

“A whole lot more,” the monster confesses, managing a softer look towards them. “We’re. . . actually movin’ forward -- Things are changing. Paps’s improved his cooking, Tori’s school grows bigger every day, Undyne and Alphys are dating now. . . And I got to witness the day you won the custody case against Jessie. I’m hella proud of everyone, and I’m happy things’re going the way they are, even with all this conflict with the mayor and Jessie not backing off when they were supposed to. That’s why I wanna see us win against the mayor next, and why I came up with the thought of proposing in the first place.”

 

His soul lightens when he feels the human’s close by, their hands finding their way to his waist as they bring him in for a tight hug. A different, stronger sensation courses through his body when they press a warm kiss against his neck, then another, and then a third, a roused breath escaping his teeth and forcing him to grab onto their back, returning their embrace. 

 

“I’m proud of you, too, Sans.”

 

He strengthens his hold on the human and presses himself close enough to feel their heart beat against his ribcage, those few words being the ones he needed to hear the most.

 

“Thanks, (Y/N).”

Chapter Text

The string of kisses left by (Y/N) is enough to make him want more, the calid sensation of their lips still lingering on his bones. Sans does the same for the human, planting kisses of his own against their neck until he reaches under their collarbones, where he nips lightly onto their skin, not quite knowing how much was too much for someone soft enough to bruise like they had the day he saw them lying unconscious and bleeding, yet strong enough to resist that damage as he rushed to have them receive medical attention. 


He receives approval through them letting out a breath and shifting closer to him, leaving no space between them and himself.


Everything falls silent when he has (Y/N) that close to him, mind shutting off the sounds of a busy road and the muffled, static noises of the radio playing the evening news and discussing the weather and traffic. He allows himself a little more freedom by bringing his teeth to their lips, where he pecks once and then twice -- this one lasting longer in duration. 


The rising heat of the human’s body combines with his colder temperature, keeping a neutral degree. 


It’s hard for him not to feel overwhelmed with how much his soul is reacting, yet he manages through it, his breathing becoming infrequent and shallow when he feels the human kiss back. 


*Are you okay to move on, (Y/N)? Or do you need more time to cope?


 

 *Move on   

*Cope and talk it out

   




Move on



Sans slides a hand under the human’s shirt, slipping it off with both while they take off his suit jacket. Friction arises when he’s pressed close against their body, further made intense when the human takes initiative and presses down on him. He lets out a guttural groan when he feels their soul close by, to which they respond to by taking off his shirt -- the only other piece to keep his upper decency intact. Both him and (Y/N)'s left without a top, the human now sporting a (bra/bare chest).


A euphoric noise of their own escapes the human's mouth when he reaches out for the back of their head and pulls them closer, bringing their lips to his teeth for a third time. He soon feels their tongue lick and tease his jaw, searching for his mouth. Lured, the monster parts his teeth open and lets the human explore beyond, soul thumping as he feels one hand graze with the white glow of his soul while the other keeps him pressed down under their body. 


With a few more eager kisses, the car's windows turn foggy and the air conditioner grows null, the only other sounds to fill the area being of his shaggy breathing and (Y/N)'s further ragged by their makeout session. 


He can't think clearly when he has to part from the human, soul still yearning for more. 


"Shouldn't we go look for Papyrus? We can. . . finish this off later if you want to."


Though he wouldn’t have minded going a bit further, the monster sighs and nods, muttering a ‘you’re right’ as his irises search for his shirt and suit, these discarded to the back seat. He picks up (Y/N)’s shirt along the way, a hint of embarrassment showing on his cheekbones when it fully dawns on him just what he was going to do with them right here and now -- on a busy intersection, with only mildly tinted windows serving as a curtain for privacy. 


A couple of years ago, when he was just coming out to the Surface, he wouldn’t have thought of doing something like this. Not only that, but his old self wouldn’t have bothered taking up the responsibility that being in a relationship beyond that of friends and family ensued. He had enough trouble trying to find motivation just to make new friends or keep in touch with his family, so looking at the human’s shirt and disheveled state was enough for him to stay firmly still, staring blankly at the clothing he had slipped off of (Y/N). 


He had proposed and offered them to move in with him.


How could (Y/N) be a friend, lover, and family all at once?


His thoughts are brusquely shaken away when he’s embraced from behind, the human’s (h/l), (h/c) strands of hair falling over his neck as they laugh, placing a kiss on his cheekbone. 


“Whatcha thinking about?” they ask, grinning brightly at him, an expression would-be contagious weren’t he still trying to decipher how they could be all three things at once. “You look spaced out.”


“After that, who wouldn't? I dunno what just happened, but I ain’t complainin’.”


“Sorry if I got too heavy on you. I forgot you were new with all this.”


There’s a teasing trace to the human’s remark, one he can’t allow himself to let pass. “Tryna imply somethin’ with that, pal?”


(Y/N)’s grin shifts into a full-toothed smile when he says that, a snort leaving their nose as he hugs the monster tighter. “Not really. I just think it’s cute how you zoned out for a moment there. You really weren’t the most expressive guy when I first met you, so seeing you get like that’s a pretty new, kinda cool sight to see.”


“Whaddya mean by that?”


“The only side of you I got to see back then was your chill sort of one -- and the one where you would just be tutoring Faust, all formal and stuff. I never really saw you get sad or worried aside from when you talked about your brother or how the school was going.”


“Ain’t that a normal thing? I didn’t really see ya as anythin’ other than a weird, newbie parent too worked up about everything they had going on.”


“You jerk!” (Y/N) exclaims, laughing when they make the monster topple over by nudging him and subsequently losing their hold on him. “I was. . . I was trying to be serious and you ruined i- Hey!”


Sans laughs when he sees their shirt fall right on their face with a ‘whap!’, an annoyed look revealing itself when they take the clothing off their line of sight.


Whap!


He doubles over when he has his own shirt slapped against his face, letting his back fall against the backseat as he bursts into a fit of chuckles. The image of the human smiling back at him is the next thing he sees when he takes the shirt off his face, observing in silence as they slip theirs back on. 


While the skeleton would rather stay where he was and drift off to sleep, he stands up and starts to get ready himself, choosing not to wear the suit jacket anymore now that the meeting was out of the way. He peers at his reflection in the window to fix his collar and pat the wrinkles down, finalizing by retrieving the tie from the floor and throwing it along with the jacket on a corner of the car.


Ready to go pick up his brother, he climbs back towards the front seat only to see (Y/N) already holding the wheel, shirt back on and face wiped off clean. 


“Nap it off if you want -- I can drive from here on.”


Sans takes the front passenger seat, returning (Y/N)’s smile right before they take off on the road. 


He doesn’t fall asleep, however, how close he was to having his soul call out for theirs having enough of an effect for him to stay wide awake, watching as cars and trucks zoom past him, and as green and grey backgrounds blur with the speed of the vehicle.


As Papyrus’s workplace starts to show up, he feels hope rise on his chest. 


While he was still dealing with the fact that his brother was moving on to work at places farther off in the city, he felt some comfort in the thought of having (Y/N) and Faust move in next.





Cope and talk it out



It’s not until he slides his hand under their shirt that things take a turn, (Y/N) stopping him completely by firmly grabbing his wrist. The human’s gaze is lost as they try to regain composure, though he can still see fear flicker in their eyes.


“Sorry,” they speak up, that single word coming out too fast for the apology to feel necessary. He sees (Y/N) clutch their chest, close to the center -- where their soul would be at. All the sounds the monster had forgotten about flood his ear cavities as he centers his gaze on the human looking a little more than shaken from his perspective. A faint mark from where he had bitten shows due to their disheveled collar shirt, which they try to cover up. “I- I know I should have experience with this by now, but I. . .I'm not ready yet.”


Sans watches as (Y/N) fixes their shirt and hides the mark by fluffing the collar, hands trembling and buttoning their top all the way to avoid having it show by accident. They take in some air after that, eyes closing as a frown falls on their face. 


“This isn't supposed to be new to me, so I don’t know why I’m hesitating now, but I. . . I’m sorry. I still can't forget what happened last time.”


Uncertain as to whether physical contact was still a viable option, he scoots back to his seat and scratches the back of his head, mind perplexed as he searches for the right words to take out. He huffs once and contemplates the situation, mind finding a solution when he remembers the number Sunny had given him.


“Have ya tried talkin’ it out with someone? I, uh, don’t know what assault feels like, but I can listen if something’s botherin’ ya.”


“It’s okay,” they shrug off, hugging themselves as they close their eyes shut. 


He waits for them to speak up again, the way those words rolled off their mouth hinting at their need to talk about their worries out loud.


“This is gonna sound stupid, but. . . That time Jessie forced themselves on me, it- It wasn’t the first time," the human continues, bracing themselves by breathing in, then out. "Things first started to feel off between us the day before I started college. I was. . . making breakfast, getting ready for orientation when they grabbed me at the kitchen and started making out with me, refusing to back off even though I told them to stop -- that I would be late, and that we could do it when I felt less nervous about leaving high school, and starting out in a new place."


(Y/N) stops with their breathless, shaky rambling as a sniffle leaves their nose, a hint at them being close to faltering in their words.


"They said it was a natural thing for me to do it whenever they wanted to ‘cuz we were a couple. I didn’t really like it, but they were, so I just went with it at first. We weren’t engaged or anything by that time, but I. . . I moved in with them instead of staying on campus, and that’s when they- They started getting worse -- getting too touchy with me, and making me try things I didn’t really like.”


“You never talked about it with anyone?”


“No, I was. . . afraid to.”


Sans hesitates when he reaches out for them, though he settles when the human grabs his hand softly.


“And remember that time I told you they were a good (husband/wife)? They were at one point, but I never realized how bad our relationship had turned until a full year went without us being together -- a full year after our divorce. I was blinded by their past and all their good points, where we would be together without any trouble, or without them trying to have their way with me every other day. I- I completely forgot the real reason why they adopted Faust with me, or why they didn't want me helping monsters adjust to life on the Surface." 


The human lets go of his hand to take both of theirs and pass them across their face, huffing as their shoulders loosen, hands release, and a stronger smile rises on their lips. 


Sans watches as they regain stability, that sole confession appearing to be just enough for them to feel less weak. He waits again, not wanting to interrupt now that they had gone as far as to tell him all that.


“I feel way better these days, though. . . Just that I felt like I was back at that place again when Jessie broke out and ended in my room. I really don’t want it to be like this, but the memories just pop back in whenever we do stuff like this. I want this with you, but I’ve. . . I’ve gotta deal with these thoughts first.”


Sans hears them breathe deeply when they end with their words, their body still stiff around their arms and legs as they calm themselves down. An idea popping in his mind, the monster turns off the air conditioner and lowers both his and their side of the windows, allowing for wind to enter the car as he takes it out of parking and readies himself to drive off. 


He glances at the time on the radio when he takes a red light, calculating how much time he had left to take them somewhere else before picking up Papyrus from work.


“Ice cream or doughnuts sound better to you? I ain’t gonna pick up Paps yet, so you choose.”


He sees the human break into a small, brighter smile out of the corner of his eye socket. Their gaze casts out towards the open window as they breathe in and out, taking in the air hitting their face and sending (h/l) locks of hair flying in all directions.


“(Ice cream/Doughnuts),” they reply, warmth replacing the fear in their voice, if only momentarily.


The next time there’s a red light, Sans meets with their gaze, returning their smile. 


It was hard for him to understand everything as well as he would want to, though (Y/N)’s gaze gives him some assurance as to having dealt with it well enough not to push or make it worse. He sees their lips part as if they were going to talk, yet he’s interrupted from looking by the light changing to green.


“I’m gonna give that number a call and see how it goes -- It wouldn’t be bad dealing with this stuff now that Jessie’s not out here anymore.” 


“Never too late to get somethin’ like that off your chest.”

Chapter Text

"It is not the strongest nor most intelligent that survives, but the one most adaptable to change." – Charles Darwin

 

 


 

 

You cross another day off your calendar, the day you would be moving out of Toriel's home getting closer. The winter gathering was also nearby, meant to happen just two days before you were to move in with Sans, and a whole week before the day of filing the lawsuit arrived. Even with twelve, full days of preparation ahead, you couldn't avoid feeling nervous over the thought of seeing the mayor again. You were even afraid of working at the pastry shop and staying around longer than necessary, fearful he had tracked down enough information to bring you back to his level again. 

 

Pictures, recordings, and documents related to the case are splayed out on the desk in front of you, eyes trying to take in all the pictures at once, failing to focus on the smaller details laid about. Sighing, you brace yourself for another hour of research. You take one of the pictures off the table and bring it a bit closer to your face, narrowing your eyes as you inspect the image partially blurred out by movement. The blue blur Napstablook told you about was near indecipherable to you -- You had almost no clue of its background. Hadn't the ghost given you that heads up, you wouldn't have taken that smudge of colour as the mayor running away from the scene.

 

You're interrupted from your observation by the sound of porcelain touching a wooden surface, glancing up from the picture to see Toriel setting a tea set down by the night table of your room, taking out a cup and the ingredients you most took a liking to. She smiles when she catches you staring, mouth parting as she goes to speak up. "You should take a rest, dear. I am aware the case is important, but your health is, too -- You have not stopped in your research since three hours ago."

 

"Thank you," you speak up, returning her smile when she arrives to your side and hands you the cup. "I guess I'm just. . . a little nervous things won't turn out well, so I've been trying to prepare as much as I can for when the day comes."

 

“I take it you are also worried about other matters, are you not?” Toriel asks, a hint of playfulness in her tone. “Have you told Faust about that yet?”

 

You take a slow sip of tea and pretend not to immediately catch onto what she was teasing you about, holding back your smile when you reply. “I haven’t. But I think he’s onto me. He might’ve been overhearing us talk that day I showed you the ring.”

 

Toriel giggles at your response, sitting beside you as she takes a serving of tea for herself, joining you in your break. “Why not confront him today, if so? If he seems unbothered by it, you should not worry about it so much. He got mad at you for hiding your relationship rather than for you being in one.”

 

“But that’s the thing, Toriel,” you persist, smile faltering when you remember the days you called Sans behind Faust's back -- and of the day you requested the monster kept his relationship with you a secret from him. “That. . . That’s not normal! Even I wouldn’t want my parents to date someone else after witnessing something like what Jessie did to us. He’s just way too cheerful sometimes, and I fear he’s gonna get hurt by that.”

 

“How is that a bad thing, (Y/N)? Positivity and kindness are not weakness, but rather strong points. You are confusing that with naivety -- something Faust is not. He knew danger when he saw it. Otherwise, he would have not run away from Jessie’s care and come back to you. It will only hurt him more if you keep these things a secret from him.”

 

The cup is empty by the time she’s finished speaking, stress making you drink it too fast for you to even take in its flavour. She fills your cup again, allowing you some time to recover and rethink your next words.

 

“Then should I only tell him about us moving in? . . .Doesn’t it seem kinda wrong to tell him Sans and I’ll be living together, even though weren’t not married or anything?”

 

“It is not as if Sans is a stranger, (Y/N). You have known him for well over a year now, and Faust trusts him. If it is how others will view it, that is their own concern. Either way, it is not as if it is possible for you to marry Sans in official terms yet, so him having proposed to you should be enough of a reason if you explain it all to Faust carefully.”

 

Chugging down your second cup of tea, you place it down and cover your face with your hands, letting out a muffled, frustrated groan. “God, this is so weird and just. . . confusing. Is Sans even for real about all this?”

 

“You underestimate his potential,” Toriel comments, stifling a giggle. “Sans can take up more responsibilities than you can name so long as he finds the motivation for it. While he tends to put little effort with himself, he puts great care when it comes to his brother and anything unrelated to him. He had an aspiring career as a scientist, though. . . certain things stood in his way before he could get farther in it. Perhaps he might show you his blueprints when you move in. I bet you he-“

 

“The heck’re ya doing there, kid?”

 

“Shhh -- I’m trying to hear something!”

 

Your conversation is halted when you hear whispers behind the door of your room, one you’re quickly able to identify as Faust’s while the other’s too hushed and masked for you to decipher it quickly enough. It’s not long after those whispers grow louder that the door creaks open, in arriving Faust with Sans standing behind him, the two showing to have been caught in their act by the way they stand still in front of the open door.

 

“Aw, c’mon, kid -- Whyddya open it like that? We coulda done a knock-knock joke or somethin’,” Sans teases, directing his words at Faust, who pokes his tongue at him.

 

“It- It’s not my fault! You distracted me when I was trying to hide from (Y/N)! Faust objects, sounding just as annoyed as he looks, a defeated expression showing on his face as he sends a disappointed glance at Sans. “When are you guys gonna get married anyway? I. . . I didn’t know you were keeping it a secret, too! (Mom/Dad)’s the only one who does that.”

 

“We already talked about that,” Sans remarks, stepping in next. “We can’t yet -- Not like it ain’t impossible, but we need more time. You guys’re just gonna stay at my place ‘cuz Paps is movin’ out soon.”

 

“But miss Toriel has two guest rooms -- You guys just wanna be together, but you won’t admit it!”

 

“Do not forget he both proposed and asked them to move in at the same time.”

 

“You’re not helpin’, Tori.”

 

As Toriel, Sans, and Faust involve themselves in their banter, you fake being displeased to hide the smile on your face, happy despite the fact Faust was calling you out on your uncertainties. You soon confront the younger one of the three, however, remembering he had been overhearing your conversation with Toriel again. 

 

“You really need to stop doing this, Faust,” you scold, furrowing your gaze at him as you place your hands on your hips. “You can’t keep sneaking up on topics like these, and I can’t speak about them to you for a reason.”

 

Faust frowns at your words, huffing dramatically. “But I already know you guys are dating! You’re just being a chicken again.”

 

“Am not -- I have my reasons.”

 

“Then why won’t you tell them to me?”

 

Caught unprepared, you take a little longer than you would like in answering his question. “I. . . I just can’t. It’s not that easy, Faust.”

 

“Is this about what the judge said about my custody and stuff?” 

 

“How do you know about that?”

 

Hesitating, Faust pouts and crosses his arms, looking down at his shoes. A few locks of hair cover his face away from your sight, a hint of teary eyes showing through. “The social worker came to visit when you were unconscious. She said some stuff about how I was lucky the judge intervened, and then she just gave some papers over to Sans. I didn’t read them all, but it said something about how I was gonna be taken away if the judge didn’t do anything, and that Sans could’ve ended up in jail even though the restraining order had been taken away.”

 

Your gaze shoots up towards Sans, who visibly freezes when you look at him. A subtle trace of sweat shows on his forehead, and you can see his jaw clench as he averts his gaze from yours. “Sans. . . Is that true?”

 

He refuses to look at you, though you can see his face move as he forms a response. “Yeah. Didn’t wanna say anythin’ yet though, ‘cuz I know we've got enough stuff to deal with as it is. Thing is, I’m kinda on probation again -- I know the others are, too. . . But I ain’t supposed to step foot outta this city ‘till all that stuff with the mayor’s over with.”

 

Speechless, you have more questions than answers by the time he confesses all that, thoughts scrambling as you struggle to focus on one thought at a time. A headache starts to show on your forehead, chest tight as you try to breathe out once. The alarm on your phone rings at the same time you try to find order in your thoughts, taking it off the desk to come across a reminder you had to take the first step into filing the lawsuit today.

 

‘Submit evidence’, read the reminder, already one minute past three o’clock.

 

With how much there seemed to have piled up at once, the most recent private moment you spent with Sans at the car felt like nothing more than a dream -- a growing want of peace too farfetched to become a reality. 

 

How long until things finally settled down?

 

Better asked, would they ever? 

 

You can only stay determined, the calendar with three of the most important dates marked down in red, green, and blue markers being one of your main motivations for standing firm and getting the job done.

Chapter Text

"Are you ready yet, punk?!"

 

You practically jump when Undyne bursts into your room, the door and its hinges salvaging themselves from her energy thanks to you having left it open after getting dressed up. The pictures, audio, and documents you had been preparing since waking up end on the floor -- some scattered and some intact, though the fish lady is just as quick to help you pick them out. It's difficult for you not to feel on edge with four o'clock marking on your phone, and the next alarm signaling the meeting at six taking place at the town hall. 

 

The newfound information about Sans being unable to leave the city doesn't help with the situation, though having someone present aids in preventing you from worrying too much about it.

 

"I'd ask if you're doing alright, but that look on your face tells me you're not," Undyne comments, handing you the papers. "The mayor shouldn't be there, if that's what you're worried about. He should be at the police department getting interrogated, so his face shouldn't show up 'till that day in court gets here.” She strikes a confident pose, placing her hands on her hips and breaking into a grin. “And if something were to happen. . . You’ve got me by your side!"

 

You smile at her unwavering demeanor, an expression soon replaced by a frown when you remember it was still a weekday. "Is it really okay for you to take a vacation day for this?" you ask, unsure about her going through the trouble of accompanying you. "I can just contact the policewoman there if anything happens."

 

"That still leaves you in danger of being on your own 'till you make it to her side. That town's not a friendly place anymore -- even less if it's with you, and worse if it’s with all of us. It's best if we just stick together and prevent anything like that from happening again."

 

"But-"

 

"I'm going with you, (Y/N),” she persists, staring you down. “One vacation day less isn't gonna be the end of my career. We get there and show the evidence, and then we can forget about stuff for a while by going out someplace together."

 

"Like where?" you ask, happier at the prospect of hanging out with Undyne.

 

More persuaded by your response, the fish lady perks up, excitement visible in both her posture and gaze. "The mall, the movies, the park. . . You pick! We should take some time to catch up on things, 'cuz you're hiding big things from me, (Y/N), and I'm not gonna tolerate that! Seriously, it's taken me years to get together with Alphys, but then you get to know Sans for like a year, and all of a sudden you're moving in together? I don't think anyone saw that coming with how slow you guys were taking it at first!"

 

"I honestly don't know how that happened either," you confess, smile growing wider when you think back on Faust’s first day of tutoring. It was difficult for you to process the silly yet reserved skeleton from that day was the same as the one you had spent that moment with at the car. You had reached as far as to have him tell you his kind once sought after yours were they to fall underground. The myths regarding what past human ancestors had done to their kind were being either debunked or confirmed as truths now -- leading for old fairy tales to be labeled as history books, and for theories and postulates to be classified as either truths, lies, or half-truths. "It's hard to believe that a few years ago, I thought you guys were myths. The whole fantasy genre from movies and all that stuff has a. . . different feel to it now that I know monsters exist -- and even more now that I'm apparently engaged to one."

 

"We thought you guys were myths for a period in time -- that you just went extinct sometime after the war was over with," Undyne comments, sitting on the edge of your bed. You do the same, pulled in by the new surge in topic. "That spell they cast down there started to wear off with time, and that kinda just led to humans finding their way in. Toriel and Asgore took in a human child at first, and things went well for a good while, but then. . . certain things happened, and their family fell apart." 

 

At the mention of the first fallen human and the repercussions of their passing, a gloomier mood settles over the room. The sudden energy that had risen with the topic crumbles as you try to find the right words to carry on with it.

 

"Are they. . . doing better, though? I know Toriel has Frisk's custody now and all, but what about Asgore? I haven’t heard much from him.”

 

For a moment, Undyne’s confidence falters with the surge of that question, smile fading and posture stiffening as her eye stares down at her lap. "He's still under the department's vigilance for what happened down there. He's. . . way happier now compared to a while back, but he can't really see Frisk or pretty much any of us as much as he would like." She looks up, gaze meeting with yours. Her grim appearance disappears as a friendlier, more vivid expression reaches her eye and mouth. “Think you'd like to meet him sometime, though? I got in touch with him after what happened with the mayor and the restraining order, so now he's curious about you."

 

You tense at her invitation, not quite picturing how a meeting with Asgore would go. You had heard about him through the distorted views and comments of others, though that was as far as it went. Many still saw him and those related to the Royal Guard as monsters meant to be avoided the most out of all. Even those that didn't cause harm or went after Frisk were isolated at the mention of their past job, one of the apparent reasons why Sans was being put under vigilance again. 

 

"Of course," you reply, nodding as a subtle smile forms on your face. "When will he visit next time?"

 

"He'll get some time off at around Christmas," Undyne answers, a warm look crossing her eye as a smile forms on her lips. "Maybe we should make a separate get-together from the one at school! Wouldn't be bad having everyone gathered up like that time Papyrus made dinner for you."

 

"It was fun." You pause in your words to chuckle, Muffet crossing your thoughts. "Even that spider lady my boss is rivals with showed up."

 

Undyne returns your laugh, sharp teeth on display as a brighter, wholehearted grin takes her over. "Muffet may be stubborn, but that doesn't mean she's not caring, y'know? Her old, pet spider cupcake's all finicky and stuck up 'cuz of how much she pampers him."

 

"Pet. . . spider cupcake?"

 

Undyne makes a face, a combination between a grimace and a smile. She looks at you dead in the eye, disbelief visible on her gaze.

 

". . .Are you seriously questioning this when you're marrying the Grim Reaper?"

 

"Please elaborate," you request, a laugh escaping your mouth. "Why are you calling Sans that?"

 

"Don't you guys have a videogame or something where you can marry the Grim Reaper?" she questions, raising an eyebrow as a more playful grin creeps on her face. "I think he’s pretty much the only character available that looks similar to skeleton monsters. Maybe I can choose blue skin, red hair, and fangs to create myself, but they don't really have other options for monsters yet."

 

". . .You mean The Sims?"

 

"Yeah." She chuckles at your guess, grin widening at the sides. "Maybe you should do that to start getting ready for real life."

 

With the moods being lifted, you finish your discussion with the fish lady and stand up from the bed, gesturing for her to join you as you gather your piled belongings and make way out of your room. She helps you carry some of your files and follows you out, striking up another quick conversation with you about the oddities of each race: how humans carried similar physiques only mostly ranging in size and how monsters were all of different kinds; how humans had more advanced technology meant to imitate things that were out of their reach and how monsters had magic; how your ancestors once used to be adept at magical spells and how theirs learned about human traditions through old movies and games found by the dumpster underground.

 

You lose track of time with her by your side, grateful for the company and the distraction from overthinking.

 

 


 

 

Tense. Cold. Stuffy. 

 

Those are the first three words you use to describe the town hall. 



The thin clothes you’re wearing are far from practical for a temperature cold enough to make the windows foggy, some of the drawn-out curtains reminding you of the mayor’s office and how fake -- outright staged -- everything had felt the more you looked around. There’s far too many people nearby, a few being unsuspecting residents of the town while most are clearly here to cast their judgment on you. Undyne stands behind you, alert for any possible danger as she waits in silence for you to enter the premises.

 

Almost everyone’s attention snaps to you when you step into the hall, reporters rushing to interview you as some of the passerby flock close while others stay away from the root of drama. 

 

“What caused this conflict between you and the mayor?”

 

“Are the rumours about the lawsuit true?”

 

“Why are you submitting it?”

 

“What made you want to date a monster?”

 

“What about him made you fall for him?”

 

“Is it true your ex spouse-“

 

Everyone’s brushed off from your side when Undyne steps in the midst of all the people huddled near you, her height surpassing most of the people present as she sends a stern look at them all. Her gaze is intense, a scowl threatening to show on her visage weren’t she trying to stay calm. She hangs an arm around your shoulders and pulls you close, almost instantly driving out a reaction from one of the less informed reporters of the bunch.

 

“Are you the monster (Y/N)’s dating?”

 

Undyne’s eye grows wide at the rise of that question, gaze furrowing when she looks down at a pale-skinned man dressed in red. 

 

“Hell no,” she replies, voice loud and firm. “I’m already taken. The guy that’s supposed to be here couldn’t make it ‘cuz of the crappy laws you guys have here.”

 

“So (Y/N)’s all alone now?”

 

“How does it feel not having his support for such a difficult procedure?

 

“Do you think he’s even thankful for what you’re doing for his kind?”

 

“I bet none of you monsters are grateful for what-“

 

“That’s enough,” you intervene, the scowl Undyne had been suppressing now bright and clear on your face. “I think it’s time we-“

 

“Good to see you, (L/N). You seem to like getting into trouble quite often.”

 

At the sound of that voice and the mocking call of your last name, stress reaches new levels and breathing becomes a challenging task for you to perform. Paralyzed, you can only see his face when he turns to you, body refusing to budge when he nudges Undyne out of your way, a toothy grin showing when he casts his gaze to you.

 

“Didn’t I warn you about this? You sure are a stubborn one, aren’t you?”

 

“Back off, punk.”

 

Collective gasps and criticism fill the room when Undyne pulls the mayor away from you. She takes him by the wrist, grip tight as she grits her pointy teeth and glares at him. Quiet falls heavy over the hall as everyone observes the scene through frozen states, some shaking off their surprise with amused looks and devious smiles while others tend to the matter by frowning and hesitating to make an intervention.

 

“Stay away from them -- They've already tolerated you enough.”