Papyrus leans against a nearby wall to catch his breath.
It hurts so damn much.
Everything fucking hurts.
He wills himself to stand tall when he hears shuffling nearby. He winces as pain shoots up his side.
He takes a deep shuddering breath.
Holding his head high, he continues on his way.
His knee is on fire and he’s unable to fully hide his limp. He can feel his left arm starting to lock up. He wants so badly to lean against the wall again. Something to help him make the world stop spinning.
The shuffling gets closer.
He grits his teeth against the pain as he summons a bone. “Show yourself,” he commands. He thanks the stars that his voice doesn’t shake; that it sounds strong.
“Papyrus?” Sans’ unmistakable voice rings out. He rounds a corner and practically sags in relief. “fucken hell, thank the stars.”
Papyrus lets his weapon fade. He doesn’t have the energy to keep it summoned. Not that he needs to. Not with his brother around.
“Sans,” he snaps trying to keep his voice steady. He tries to hide his limp, more than ever, as he approaches his brother. “I told you you’re not to be out!”
Sans hunches his shoulders. “Right… sorry, bro,” he mumbles looking away.
Papyrus grits his teeth at the sudden tightness in his chest. He hates this. He hates having to speak to his older brother like this. “Never mind that, it’s already done,” he huffs irritably. “What is it you want?”
Sans keeps his head down as he replies. Papyrus hates it. “was startin’ to get worried ‘bout ya,” he mumbles scratching his cheek nervously. He really should learn to cover that tick. “ain’t nobody seen ya or Lieutenant Cachorron all day.”
He hates how worried his brother sounds.
“a−an’ i know just how much they hates ya,” Sans continues.
Papyrus snorts, straightening his shoulders. “Well you won’t have to worry about them anymore, Sans,” he says plainly. He grits his teeth against the pain in his body as he shoulders past his brother. “Now come along, brother,” he can’t quite keep the smug smirk off his face. “I’ve an announcement to make to the Guards and Sentries of Snowdin.”
He keeps walking despite the lack of footsteps following him. He’s almost out of Waterfall when he finally hears hurried shuffling. “bro… didja really?”
He snorts. “In front of the Emperor,” he says smugly.
“Hell yeah!” Sans suddenly cheers. “my lil’ bro’s a fucking badass!”
Papyrus can’t help puffing up with pride despite his injuries. “Of course I am, Sans,” he sniffs. “After all, not everyone can join the Guard the day they become an adult.”
“’n not everyone can be an Overseer at eighteen either, bro,” Sans says proudly. He’s grinning, wide and proud, as he bumps Papyrus with his shoulder.
Papyrus hisses in pain, not having expected the impact. His brother instantly freezes. “Yer hurt,” Sans states.
“It’s nothing,” he dismisses.
Sans’ grin is gone. He looks worried. “Bullshit,” he spits.
“Enough!” Papyrus snaps. “I am not some pathetic child, nor am I as weak as you.”
Sans’ mood instantly sour. “yeah,” he grunts sarcastically, “can’t have the Boss showin’ any weakness.”
He grits his teeth against the pang in his soul. That’s exactly it. He can’t show any weakness. Especially now that he’s taken the Overseer position. He’ll have a bigger target on his back.
Sans will have a bigger target on his back…
He needs to start gathering information on Luma.
If he wants to ensure his brother’s safety, he needs to be strong enough to deter challengers. He needs to take Luma’s spot as Lieutenant General, second in command of the Royal Guard. He’ll even kill Undyne if it means ensuring Sans’ safety.
“Boss,” Papyrus forces himself to sound casual. It tastes like dust in his mouth. “I quite like the sound of that.”
Fell wakes up from the aching of his back.
He straightens his back with a quiet groan. This damn chair is going to break his back one of these days.
He glances at the bed and briefly stiffens. His brother’s no longer there. He sags back into the chair in defeat. He’s still not accustomed to not having his brother around.
He shifts his gaze to the urn sitting on the desk. Red’s collar is wrapped around the base and his clothes neatly folded next to it.
It’s intricate in a simple way. Something well above his paygrade. Only the nobles in his world would have been able to afford something like that.
The Delta Rune is its main feature. In place of the circle, however, is an inverted heart; a soul made of glass allowing the dust to be seen.
Stretch got him the urn, but he knows it really must have come from the man behind the door: Asgore.
Stretch had refused any payment for the urn, so clearly Asgore was doing it for the sake of doing it. And for someone he’d never met before.
To think this world’s Asgore would be such a kind monster.
The air gets harder to breath as he thinks about how unfair it is that he gets to live in safety while his brother, the one who really deserves it, doesn’t.
Blue tries teaching him how to cook breakfast and dinner that day.
He doesn’t pay attention.
Fell grabs Blue’s wrist before he can grab the salt. “Don’t use that,” he says.
Blue gives him a questioning frown. “But the macaronis won’t have any flavor if you don’t cook them with salt.”
“I know,” Fell replies, “but all the food you cook is sweet. I have come to believe there is sugar mixed in with the salt.” He lets go of Blue’s wrist when he sees the other turn a thoughtful look at the salt.
Blue uses the little measuring spoon to scoop up more salt. He tips it onto his gloved palm. With a bit of hesitation, he eats the small mound of salt.
Fell’s amused at the face Blue pulls.
After a moment, Blue puts the measuring spoon back. He grabs the container with a frown. “Stretch!” He yells stomping out of the kitchen.
From where he’s standing, Fell sees Stretch startle. “i didn’t do anything!” He instantly replies.
“Not recently,” Blue accuses. “How long have you been mixing sugar with the salt?”
Stretch grimaces. “i uh, i dunno what’cher talkin’ about”
Blue puts his free hand on his hip. “I can tell you’re lying, brother. Now,” he holds up the offending salt, “why did you put sugar in the salt?”
“what makes you so sure it wasn’t Fell?” Stretch tries.
“How do you think I noticed? Blue asks. “Fell figured it out.”
Stretch grimaces and glances into the kitchen. He and Fell make brief eyelight contact before Stretch turns back to his brother. “dunno what ta tell ya bro. i didn’t do it,” Stretch insists. “’sides, there’s nothing wrong with sweetenin’ up life.”
Blue lets out an indignant sound and stomps his foot. “Unbelievable!” He storms back into the kitchen only to realize Fell was watching the whole time.
Fell can see the embarrassment clear on his face.
“Sorry about that,” Blue apologizes awkwardly. “Um. I have to go buy regular salt. Do you want to come with?”
He’d rather not have to socialize with the other monsters. He’s still too unaccustomed to how different they all are. That, and he’d rather stay behind to give Stretch shit for putting sugar in the salt.
But he doesn’t want to be left to his thoughts if Stretch storms off.
“May as well.”
Blue’s face lights up. He seems genuinely happy that Fell accepted his invitation. Even his eyelights turn into stars.
Fell wonders if Blue does that on purpose.
He excuses himself to get some of his money. If this world really is like his own— despite its swapped features— Doggo’s shop should have everything a monster could need. He may as well get some better fitting clothes while he’s there.
He stops in front of the urn before he leaves the room. He gently runs his hand across the collar, careful not to disturb the brass tooth in front of it. “I’m going out for a while, Sans,” he says quietly. “I’ll be back soon.”
Even though he knows he won’t get a reply, he still waits a few seconds. With a final jerky nod, he leaves the room.
Blue’s waiting for him by the front door. He’s now wearing what looks like a short-sleeved jacket. Fell wonders what the point of a short-sleeved jacket even is. It certainly won’t keep Blue warm. Though, he has to admit the shade of blue makes Blue’s bones look whiter. He briefly wonders what shade it is.
“You ready?” Blue asks him.
He merely nods.
Blue turns towards his brother, smile giving way to a stern look. “I expect an apology when I get home,” he says. “And pick up your sandals!”
Stretch raises a hand in a halfhearted wave. “’kay” he says not even bothering to turn away from the tv.
Blue huffs before turning away. When he opens the door, he holds it open for Fell.
Fell doesn’t notice as he quickly walks through. That exchange between the brothers made something painful twist in his Soul. It was so reminiscent to the arguments he and his own brother would have about all the socks Red left lying around.
“So, I was thinking,” Blue says after a few minutes. “Since we’re out and all, why don’t we also get you some new clothes?”
He hums in thought. He’d already planned to do that, but he had also agreed to go with Blue a few mornings ago. He nods. “Very well.”
Blue smiles up at him, happy.
The walk through town is much like it was last time. Monsters kept eyeing him with weary curiosity. To his utter surprise, however, some smiled at him and Blue. He wonders what the difference between those monsters is. Why do some just seemingly accept him?
Doggo greets them the moment they set foot in the shop. “Afternoon, boys.”
“Good afternoon, Mr. Doggo!” Blue cheerfully returns the greeting.
Fell simply nods with a grunt.
Blue beelines towards the food while Fell takes the time to look through the other wares. The prices of everything surprise him. They’re so low. Especially considering the quality and newness of the items.
Unsullied and uncracked kitchenware are lower priced than the garbage from his own world. There’s also a lot more trinkets. He’s never seen some of them before either. Like the metal block with two slits, a dial, and a spring-press lever. Though, now that he thinks about it, he vaguely recalls seeing one tucked away in a corner on the counter in Blue’s kitchen.
He’s still idly looking through the wares when Blue walks up besides him. “Find anything cool yet?”
“I agreed to go clothing shopping with you, so I waited until you had what you needed before starting,” Fell says.
Blue’s smile softens. Not knowing how to respond to it, Fell starts towards the clothing.
He and Blue have only barely started looking when he hears a loud gasp followed by the sound of pattering feet.
Blue, again, is swift enough to scoop MK off her feet before she crashes into Fell. “Mister Fell!” She says clearly distressed.
Dogaressa quickly approaches them. She looks embarrassed. “(I’m so sorry,)” she says taking MK from Blue. “(She just slipped out of my grasp.)”
MK is struggling in her mother’s hold as Fell approaches them. “No need to worry,” he says. “Agility is a good skill to have.” Dogaressa tilts her head, not quite knowing how to respond. Remembering just how different their worlds are, he shifts his attention to MK awkwardly continues. “I appreciate you coming to check on me a few days ago,” he says surprisingly truthful. “I must have worried you then.”
MK stops struggling to nod vigorously. “Are you okay?”
“What’s happened has happened, and it cannot be undone,” Fell says placing a hand on her head.
She gives him a confused frown, clearly not understanding what he said. “But are you okay?” She asks again.
“(MK!)” Dogaressa scolds. She turns her attention back to Fell. “(I’m sorry,)” she apologizes again. “(She has gotten quite attached to you since you saved her. She’s only worried.)” She seems to hesitate for a moment before continuing. “(As am I and my husband. If you need anything; we’re all here for you.)”
Fell shifts uncomfortably. He doesn’t want to continue this conversation. “I am still standing; this is not something I cannot get through,” he reassures. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, Blue and I still have things we must attend to here.”
Dogaressa bows her head in embarrassment. “(Yes, of course,)” she says backing away. “(I’m sorry. Have a nice day.)”
“Are you okay?” Blue asks when Dogaressa and MK approach Doggo to pay.
Fell doesn’t respond. Instead he turns his attention back to the small rack of clothing.