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(I don't want to) RESET

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After everything… after all you and he went through together, this is how it ends. Sans, brought to his knees by despair stared unseeing at the blood and dust on his phalanges. He was too late. Again. At least this time he wouldn't suffer and live on. Any moment now, he'd fade to dust, the loss of his mate surely too much for his soul to bear.

As the seconds ticked by, it became more and more apparent that his soul wasn't cracking, his bones weren't disintegrating. Despite the excruciating pain in his chest, he still wasn't dying. Why?

As if in answer to his unspoken question, his soul shuddered and a wet cough wracked his body. Bright red liquid spewed from his mouth, and he had to hunch over from the pain of expelling it. Of course, it wasn't blood. Monsters didn't bleed. He realized why he hadn't died along with you. DETERMINATION. Something monsters shouldn't have.

As another wet cough sprayed more determination onto the snow in front of him, he started laughing. He had nothing left to lose. He slowly, shakily rose to his feet, manic grin on his face, determination spilled down his front. He knew what to do.

Lucky for Sans, the good doctor had up and disappeared, leaving the remains of his experiments behind. Better put them to good use.

It took a while, collecting enough determination. Turned out determination souls were rather rare, and grabbing the humans attached to those souls was difficult enough as it was. He mostly had to make do with extracting small amounts from many humans. Without the use of shortcuts he never would have gathered enough. But he would succeed where Gaster had failed. He didn't have a barrier between himself and an endless source of determination. The extractor worked like a charm, and soon he had enough.

There, as the kid had once described to him, in a life he couldn't remember, was a set of buttons, swimming before his face. Bright red, dripping determination, artificially crafted with stolen power. Only one button mattered, however, and he jerked his hand up to press it, finally ready to-

R E S E T
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You were so tired. After a terrible night's sleep you rolled yourself out of bed and immediately started on making breakfast. Something simple: ham and scrambled eggs. He said it was fine. That's better than a negative review, you supposed. After he headed off to work for the day, coffee thermos in hand, you started your own work.

The TV was flicked on and tuned into the news. Something for you to listen to while you cleaned the kitchen. As you were scrubbing yesterday's coffee stains out of a pair of mugs, you heard something interesting.

"-Monster 'Queen' to have talks with president and high ranking military personnel today. For those who have been living under a rock - who wrote this? - a group of approximately five hundred creatures identifying themselves as 'Monsters' emerged from the foot of Mt. Ebott nearly forty eight hours ago. Humanitarian efforts are being made to feed these hungry individuals, as it appears food has been in short supply. If you would like to donate to the MFF (Monster Food Fund) you can visit our website-

Sorry to interrupt your program but there is breaking news from your local station, we go now to-"

"Shit!" One of the mugs slipped from your hands, shattering on the floor. "Aww fuck, he's gonna kill me."

As you bent down to collect shards of ceramic that had skittered under the sink, you turned your attention back to the news programming. Something about a robbery just around the corner?

"- the suspect, last seen leaving the gas station convenience store wearing a dirty, blue hoodie pulled over their head surprisingly did not take any money from the register. According to the attendant, the suspect filled a large bag full of food and promptly left in a stolen vehicle-"

Suddenly, a loud knock on your front door startled you, causing you to slice your thumb on a rather sharp sliver of ceramic. Sticking the injured finger in your mouth and mumbling curses under your breath, you scrambled awkwardly over to the door. The moment you disengaged the deadbolt, the door was thrown open. You stumbled back, startled, and took in the figure taking up your doorway with huge eyes.

They were tall and bulky, probably nearly two heads taller than you, and twice as wide, and were sporting a worn, stained….blue jacket. No fucking way it was…

And suddenly there was a pressure on your arm. You looked down and nearly keeled over at the sight. Huge, thick, BONE fingers were wrapped firmly around your forearm. Filled with unfathomable dread, your eyes panned up the massive hand, over the shoulder, to the hooded face of the apparent food thief. One bright red light was floating in a dark cavity, surrounded by a shadowed, bone face. A skeleton face. A fucking-

The hand gripping your arm tightened minutely and suddenly you were elsewhere.

💀💀💀

 

Papyrus trusted his brother, he really did… it's just…. sometimes he did questionable things. Of course, nobody could be expected to be completely the same when they get their head bashed in but Sans really got… different.

But! No matter how questionable Sans' actions, Papyrus would continue to trust him. When he said to eat the fallen humans, Papyrus complied along with the rest of Snowdin. When he was told to keep Sans from eating said humans, he complied. When he asked him to finally stand against Queen Undyne with the human girl by their sides, he complied.

All of that paid off, after all, they were on the surface now. Now they would be able to eat normal foods again! And befriend humans! And drive cars! And see the sun! So many wonderful things his brother's actions afforded him. So when his brother had grabbed him and teleported him into some car (such a lazy habit, teleporting!) he went along with it. When he asked him to wait in the car while he "got some stuff" he did as told. And when he asked Papyrus to keep a hold on you… he did…

💀💀💀

 

Oh god oooh my god there's another one. One moment you had been standing in your doorway, the next you were in some strange car next to a HUGE skeleton who was bent over, his impressive height stunted by the cramped conditions of the car. You were practically in his lap with the way his legs were spread across the back seat in a desperate attempt to sit comfortably. And then he spoke

"HELLO TINY HUMAN!"

The sudden loud voice made you recoil backwards in fear, causing you to smack your head on the car window.

"OH! THAT LOOKED PAINFUL TINY HUMAN, DON'T HURT YOURSELF!"

Oh god you could feel the beginnings of a panic attack coming on. A low whine built in your throat as you tried to vent the bombardment of stress like a kettle releases steam, before yelping as the skeletal behemoth next to you reached out his gloved hand.

Before he could touch you, a deep, rumbling voice murmured from the driver seat of the car, halting his movement, "Paps, inside voice. Humans've got sensitive ears."

Oh god that's the guy that kidnapped you. Why the fuck were you being kidnapped by skeletons??

Thinking quickly, you fumbled with your hand behind you until you grasped the car door handle and yanked on it. You could feel the door open behind you but before you could tumble out to make your escape, your fellow back seat skeleton lunged forward and grappled you back into the car. You wiggled and squirmed like your life depended on it (it very well might!) but it seemed your efforts were futile. The door was shut again, and the skeleton pulled you fully into his lap and wrapped his long limbs around you in some sort of awkward, full-body hug.

"I am sorry for startling you, tiny human!" Wow, even his inside voice was a bit on the loud side… especially when his mouth was right by your ear… you shuddered violently.

"I know being hugged by The Great Papyrus is a bit overwhelming but please try to keep it together!"

Overwhelming was certainly one word for it. Voice strained beyond belief, you managed to squeak out, "W-where are you taking me? My f-fiance will find me, he's with the police!"

The bulky skeleton in the front, who was still focusing out of the windshield replied, very matter of fact, "no, he won't."

"W-what do you mean, of course he will!" It felt like your heart was crawling up your throat.

"Nah. He's dead."

You started blankly at the back of the skeleton's hoodie-clad head, not absorbing what he said. As if sensing your gaze, a bony hand pulled the hood back from the horrifically cracked skull and rotated to face you. In his other hand, now outstretched to you, lay an innocent little protein bar. Your… favorite kind…

"Ya hungry?"

The last thing you saw before passing out was a set of gleaming, sharp teeth, pulled into an unsettling grin.

Chapter Text

Papyrus was filled with...discomfort. After the small human passed out in his arms, Sans had turned back around and started driving without a word. It had been nearly two hours at this point, and the silence was threatening to crack Papyrus' resolve to wait for an explanation.

Deciding to throw caution to the wind, he finally broke the tense atmosphere with a truly subtle, "AHEM!" Apparently startled, Sans served the car to the left before quickly correcting back into the lane. He tossed a glare over his shoulder to let Papyrus know not to do that again.

"Brother, I've been quite patient waiting for an explanation for- oh! Your human is waking up!"

And indeed, the tiny, squishy being in his lap began to stir, wiggling in his grasp. And then their eyes snapped open, and- "aaAAHH"

"AAHHH!"

In a horrifying trio of two screams and the screeching of tires, the car skidded to a stop on the side of the road. Oops. Papyrus hadn't meant to scream but you startled him! There was a loud crunch which drew both the human's and his attention to Sans in the front… he'd dented the steering wheel with his grip. Uh oh. He was mad again, wasn't he?

Turning excruciatingly slowly to look behind him, Sans shifted in his seat until his piercing eye light and strained grin were trained on Papyrus. The human still in his grip tensed at the look on Sans' face. Papyrus didn't blame them.

"Can you two...keep it down?" He said it slowly, deliberately, restrained frustration clear in his growling voice.

"Yes, of course brother!" Papyrus chirped while the human nodded frantically. Poor thing, they didn't know Sans had no intention of harming them.

Seeming satisfied there would be no more screaming, Sans turned back around and pulled onto the road again.

 

💀💀💀

You really didn't mean to shriek like that, but waking up to the crooked teeth and empty eye sockets of a skeleton monster practically twice your size was not something your lizard brain had been expecting. Speaking of your lizard brain, you could feel your heart pumping and adrenaline surging at the look on the driver skeleton's face. Decision time: fight, flight, friend, or freeze. You went with friend. Maybe these guys could be reasoned with?

"U-um." You squeaked, voice cracking from disuse.

"Yes tiny human?" Mr. Teeth replied. Oh wait. He had introduced himself, hadn't he? Papaya or something?

"Um, that's not my name." You gave him your name, not particularly appreciating being called "tiny human".

"Oh thank you tiny human!" Well so much for that…"And since my brother has no manners I will introduce him to you myself!"

"No need, Paps. 'M Sans the skeleton."

Right Sans. And Paps? So maybe his name was Papaya. Better avoid using it until you know for sure. Didn't want to offend your kidnappers.

"Um, if you wouldn't mind telling me… where are we going?" Best to keep your questions out of the realm of accusations. Anything to keep them calm. Damn you wish you'd listened to your fiance when he blabbed on and on about hostage situations. Maybe you could have used that info.

Paps chimed in, much to your surprise with, "Yes brother, I too would like to know where we are going. I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to anybody!"

He didn't even know?? Were you both being kidnapped?!

"North."

Wow. What an enlightening answer.

"North where? And why?"

Thank you Paps for asking the real questions.

Sans grunted and replied, "safer."

Safer? Safer?!! Safer than what?!

Paps continued prodding Sans for answers, but it seemed he was done responding for now. Great. You're going north with two skeletons and a duffle bag full of convenience store food. What could go wrong?

Chapter Text

After spending a good five hours hanging out in close quarters with Paps, he'd really started to grow on you. Sans still scared you shitless, but the taller brother had you pretty charmed. He was so completely earnest in his manner and way of speaking, you couldn't help but start to like him.

The two of you passed the time playing puzzle games together: when Paps expressed his boredom, Sans had reached into his bag of ill-gotten gains and pulled out a children's activity book. The two of you were absolutely demolishing those puzzles, no challenge was insurmountable for the dynamic backseat duo.

After defeating a particularly difficult crossword puzzle, you happened to glance outside the window. Was it snowing!? To be fair, you had been traveling for a good while, and there were quite a few mountain ranges near your hometown, it wasn't unreasonable for it to be snowing on the mountains this time of year… and no doubt it would get snowier the further north your trio traveled. Actually… you were staring to feel a bit cold.

Paps must have noticed you shivering because he soon expressed concern over your comfort. Before you could open your mouth to reply, a smelly, stained sweatshirt was thrown into your lap. You looked up, startled, to see Sans had somehow removed his coat without taking his focus off the road. Despite the fact that he was nothing but a skeleton in a t-shirt under the fluffy coat, he still managed to look strong and bulky. The bare bones of his arms were thicker than your wrists!

"Umm… thank you," you murmured. Sans simply grunted in response. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, you pulled the coat over your considerably smaller frame. The jacket absolutely dwarfed you, you might as well be wearing a dress. Despite its overwhelming size, it somehow carried residual heat (did skeletons produce body heat?) and did wonders for keeping you warm.

Feeling considerably more comfortable thanks to the warmth, you started to feel a little bit sleepy. Your jaw nearly cracked with a wide yawn, signaling the need for a nap.

Paps seemed to read your mind, "if you are sleepy tiny human, you may rest on me, I don't mind!"

Aww, that was kinda sweet… despite his frightening appearance, Paps really was just a ray of sunshine. Taking his offer, you pulled Sans' fluffy coat hood over your face and snuggled into your new buddy's embrace. Maybe some rest would help you figure a way out of this mess.

💀💀💀

 

Sans' grip tightened on the already cracked steering wheel, heavily repressed jealousy coursing through him at the sight of you snuggled into Papyrus' arms. It took him ages and saving you from a traumatizing event to get you to sleep in his arms last timeline! Yet Paps gets you calmed and trusting after mere hours of time spent together! It was infuriating!

Not that he was angry with either of you, no no no. He could never be truly angry with his brother or you. Frustrated yes, annoyed yes, but never angry. It was just… devastating to know that even with the special connection you and he shared, his brother still was more trustworthy to you than he was. It just wasn't fair. Not to mention he already had a disadvantage in this timeline: he'd straight-up kidnapped you. And murdered your useless fiance. He hoped that would be a relief to you, like it was last timeline, but you had seemed legitimately upset at the idea that he was dead. So fucking unfair. Even dead the abusive shitwad was fucking up Sans' relationship with his soulmate.

It was okay, though. This time, he was gonna get both you and Paps to safety, somewhere without other humans or monsters. It would be perfect. He could protect and provide for both of you, he was good at those things. Eventually you'd come around, like you did last timeline. He just needed to be patient. Heh. Patience. He could do that. Anything for you… you'd never leave him again…

Chapter Text

Remember when Sans said he couldn't be mad with you two? Well he certainly could be annoyed. And he was. If only you guys would. Stop. Asking. Questions!

"There's no way the tank is gonna last, just how far are you planning on going?!"

"Brother, I'm sure the human appreciates borrowing your coat but would it kill you to clean it for one in your life?! It reeks!"

"No, seriously, where are we going?"

"Did you grab any food besides junk? There's nothing but chips and candies in here! Sans this is unacceptable!"

"If you have to stop and get gas how are you gonna do it? It's not like a skeleton can just go around buying things from humans. Not to mention this car has been reported stolen!"

As glad as he was that you were loosening up with him, you were really driving him crazy. Heh. Driving…..Fuck.

"So why me?"

What.

"Of all the humans to nab, why me? I'm not anybody important or anything. I don't have money. I'm nothing special-"

No.

"Shut up."

He wasn't gonna tolerate you degrading yourself. Never.

"Um…"

"Don't… talk down on yourself."

He chanced a look at you via the rearview mirror. You looked so confused.

"...I don't understand. Why do you care?"

Ahh the subject he'd been avoiding. Last timeline, when he revealed that you were soulmates, you'd freaked out on him. He was not going to repeat that mistake. Time to shut up.

".... you're not gonna answer my questions, are you?"

Nope, he wasn't.

You heaved a deep sigh and turned back to the coloring page you and Papyrus had been working on. Bullet dodged.

💀💀💀

As the car continued climbing the mountainside, you found this sense of foreboding rising steadily. You'd distracted yourself for a while with puzzles and games but now you were starting to get antsy. Plus it was getting dark out… was Sans even planning on stopping for the night? Did skeletons even need to sleep?

You picked at the sleeve of the borrowed coat, trying to ignore what looked like old bloodstains. Without a more substantial distraction, a much more pressing issue was presenting itself… you had to pee. Like, really bad but you felt too awkward to say anything. Would they even know what peeing was?! Was this your fate? Pissing your pants while being kidnapped by skeletons? Wonderful…

A couple more minutes dragged by, and suddenly, you couldn't take it anymore.

"UmmcanwepleasestopIhavetopeerightnow!"

Sans met your frantic gaze in the mirror and seemed to contemplate something for a moment, before finally pulling off to the side of the road. Oh hell no. You were not gonna pee in the freezing cold forest. Your junk would freeze!

Sans looked at you expectantly.

"Umm! I can't pee here?! Can't we find a gas station bathroom or something?"

"No."

Fuck. Fucking fuck. Alright, time to brave the cold. You can do this.

As you're going to open the door, you feel a burning glare on you. Apprehensive, you look up to see Sans boring a hole into you with his blazing eye light. His dangerous aura fills the car, and you can feel yourself trembling.

"Don't you even think about running off. Got it?"

You nod furiously in agreement and quickly slip out of the car. As if you're stupid enough to wander off into the cold with no cell phone! And damn is it cold!

By the time you run back to the car and hop inside, you're shaking violently. Your ears feel like they're about to fall off and your nose is running like a leaky faucet. Paps immediately pulls you into a very surprisingly warm hug, proclaiming that a hug from The Great Papyrus will warm anybody up. And ohh. That's his name. Papyrus. Not papaya. Oops.

Another hour and it's truly starting to get dark. When Sans makes no motion to turn on the headlights, you decide to speak up. It's not like they had cars underground, right? He might not know about the headlights. Actually… how does he know how to drive a car at all? Weird…

"Umm are you gonna turn on the headlights?"

He doesn't even spare you a glance before responding, "nah, don' need 'em." What.

"So we're stopping soon?"

When Sans doesn't respond, Papyrus jumps in, "We skeletons have excellent dark vision! There's no need for headlights, nyeh heh heh!" Damn this guy's laugh is adorable. And loud.

"Umm okay…" Well at least they can see. From your perspective there's not a single thing you can see out the window beyond the one lane highway and the ghostly figures of looming trees. You decide another nap is in order, and burrow your face into Papyrus' warm and bony embrace.

You're next awoken to the sound of the car pulling off the road into snowy gravel. You hear Sans mumble something about chains and gas as he slips out of the driver's seat and walks around to the trunk. You crane your neck around to see the vague shape of the bulky monster pulling a box and a gas canister from the back. Looks like there's no need for a station yet… so much for your escape plan.

Your backseat companion has a strange, contemplative look on his face. He looks sad and worried. You can't help but feel the look is wrong on him, it's too melancholy for such a sunshiny personality. He murmurs to you in the most subdued tone you've heard from him yet, "Wait here tiny human. I must speak with my brother."

You can't really make out their conversation, muffled as it is by the car doors. Sans' voice is nothing but a bass rumble and Papyrus' newfound quiet voice is impossible to make out. With a slam of the trunk that makes you jump, Sans comes back and opens the door nearest where you're sitting.

"We're staying here for tonight."

"What?! But we'll freeze to death! Or at least I will!"

Papyrus jumps in with, "Not to worry tiny human, my brother and I can keep you warm!"

You're not very reassured. If it had been anybody else, you might consider that a lewd comment. However, considering it was the cinnamon roll Papyrus, you doubt he meant anything dirty by it. His brother however… you still weren't sure of his motivations. The bloodstained coat made you think he might be some sort of serial killer, and you were his next victim. If what he said about your fiance being dead was true, that seems even more likely. You still didn't really believe that though. He had years of police training under his belt, there was no way!

Sans and Papyrus set up the car for sleeping by leaning both the front seats all the way back. Poor Papyrus' legs wouldn't fit sitting in the seat like normal so instead he awkwardly laid his head on the dashboard with his legs dangling into the back seat. It did not look comfortable.

Sans wasn't too much better off, the car was obviously made for much smaller people than the two monsters. You, of course, chose to sleep on Papyrus' side of the car. You thought you might have seen Sans' face twitch when you curled up next to his brother but decided to disregard it. You had a plan, after all.

There was no way in hell you were gonna sit idly by and be murdered by some crazy monster. No. You were gonna make a break for it. Even if you lost a couple fingers or toes to frostbite, at least you'd be alive. You could do it.

You waited until both brothers were sound asleep: Papyrus with a high, whistling snore and Sans with a low, growling one. Okay. It was time. You carefully extricated yourself from Papyrus' loose grasp and shimmied towards the passenger side door. You did feel a bit bad leaving the big goof behind but he was kinda enabling a kidnapper so…

Finally, blessedly you got your fingers around the handle and, feeling a surge of elated success, you pulled. And nothing. But… you checked the lock. It was unlocked… that could only mean-

"Goin' somewhere?"

You turned slowly to see one engorged, red eye light fixed on you. He knew you were gonna make a break for it. He predicted your move and put on the child lock when you weren't paying attention.

You were fucked.

Chapter Text

Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck! Was he just gonna end you here? Was he gonna tie you up? Cut your legs off? Something so horrifying you can't even imagine it?!

"C'mere." Oh fuck his voice is so deep and quiet he must be pissed oh fuck.

Reluctantly obeying his order, you shuffle awkwardly back over Papyrus. As soon as you were within arm's reach, he grabbed you around your waist and pulled you to his chest. Startled, you squeaked and attempted to push yourself away from him but his grip was unbreakable.

He bent down and murmured into your hair, "I'm not gonna hurt'cha." A violent shiver ran down your spine and you again, unsuccessfully, tried to shift away. "No, you lost the right to sleep unwatched when you decided to leave."

You shook your head, an excuse coming to mind, "N-no no, I was just trying to go to the bathroom!"

He sat there, his face mere inches from yours, staring at you with a knowing look. "Really." He sounded unimpressed with your lie. Fuck.

He sighed, "Look, forget about it for tonight. Just sleep."

"Like this!?" You squeaked. There was no way you were gonna fall asleep while being forcefully cuddled by your abductor. No. Way.

"Mhmm…" He already sounds like he's falling asleep. And he's not letting you go. Still. Aaand he's snoring again. But is he actually asleep this time? Doubtful. Nobody can fall asleep that fast.

Finally, resigned to your fate, you reluctantly close your eyes and try to get some sleep. At least Sans is warm and surprisingly soft, considering he's a skeleton.

💀💀💀

 

You tried to leave. You tried to leave him. He made sure to switch on the child lock so he'd know right away if you tried to open the door. Fuck. He hoped you wouldn't try to run, that you'd stay with him willingly. But no, the universe wouldn't let him have anything easily. He's going to have to work for it. Again.

Well… as sad as seeing your fear and distaste for being in his arms made him, he still reveled in the feeling of you up against him. He'd missed it, having you near him. So warm and soft. If he closed his eyelids he could almost pretend he was in the last timeline. After you'd already accepted him. When casual touches between the two of you were commonplace. When you weren't afraid of him…

But no. He'd lost all of that.

💀💀💀

 

You woke up the next morning feeling… surprisingly well-rested. It took you a moment to register that you were still clutched to Sans' front. In fact, he'd pulled you even closer in his sleep and had curled his much larger body around yours. If he didn't make you so uncomfortable you might have felt protected, or even cherished. Your fiance never held you so desperately…

Ugh, what a horrible comparison to make! One is your fiance who's done so much for you and the other is a kidnapper who's holding you against your will and claimed to have killed said fiance. Not a fair comparison at all.

You decided you'd had enough of this cuddle fest and began struggling to try to get out of his hold. The moment you'd gained an inch of freedom, his arms tightened like a vice, squeezing you even closer. Okay. Guess you're stuck. Unless…

You wiggled and squirmed until you reversed direction enough to see Papyrus. And he was awake! And laughing at your pathetic struggle!!

You hissed quietly but angrily at him, "Papyrus! Help me out here!"

Instead of helping you, he shook his head and demonstrated to you why he wouldn't. The moment his gloved hand got within an inch of you, Sans let out a rolling, deep growl. An obvious "back off" warning. Well then. You settled in to wait, not sure how Sans would react to being woken up.

💀💀💀

Papyrus could remember a time in his life where he hardly ever had to sleep, way back before the famine. His magic was so plentiful, his energy so boundless that he almost never had to spend more than a couple hours sleeping before he was up and at 'em again. Now he felt drained much more easily, his magic spread more thinly throughout his long body. He needed to sleep for a lot longer… but at least he still wasn't as lazy as his brother! Who refused to wake up at a reasonable hour! And took naps all the time!

Speaking of, Sans was still asleep in the cramped car, the human clutched to him like a teddy bear. It was pretty cute if Papyrus was being honest. The human was already quite awake, and was struggling to escape Sans' grasp. A truly futile task. They squirmed awkwardly until they could turn to see Papyrus sitting there watching them. When they asked for help, he couldn't help but laugh at them. As if anybody could pull something from Sans' clutches! Impossible.

It was another hour until Sans finally awoke and released the human from his embrace. And the road trip continued.

Chapter Text

It had to have been another six hours of driving before you absolutely NEEDED to get out of the car and stretch your legs. You were starting to go stir-crazy and it manifested in constant fidgeting and the feeling that you were constantly on the edge of a panic attack. Not good.

Finally you just couldn't take it anymore, you screeched, "PULL OVER," and launched yourself from the vehicle before Sans had brought the car to a complete stop. You managed to tuck and roll, and luckily landed in a soft poff of snow, which broke your fall spectacularly. You laid face down in said snow poff, breathing heavily and fighting back the bile creeping up your throat.

Behind you, there was the sound of car doors slamming and furious footsteps crunching through the snow towards you. You didn't move. The snow actually felt nice on your feverish skin. Plus, you were beyond the point of caring what was going to happen to you next. The boomerang effect of your emotions had you drained to near complete apathy, and the harsh cold of the snow sapped the last bit of panic from your system. You felt much better.

You continued to not react, even as boney hands reached out and pulled you out of the snow by the hood of your borrowed jacket. You were forcibly whirled around to face an extremely agitated Sans. He was panting furiously and had strange blue sweat dripping down his skull, his face pulled into a half furious, half worried expression. Who knew skeletons could be so expressive?

"What in the absolute f u c k were you thinking!? You could have-!" His voice cut off suddenly in a choked sort of whimper. "Why would you… do you really hate me that much?"

Well this was taking a weird turn. Looks like this dude was crazier than you originally thought. You blinked slowly at him, and answered in a deadpan voice, ticking each grievance off with your fingers, "First, you stole a bunch of shit, including a car. You apparently murdered my fiance, you kidnapped me, shoved me in a car for who knows how many hours, yelled at me, menaced me, and, once again, YOU ARE KEEPING ME AGAINST MY WILL!" And with a rush, an avalanche of anger swept back through you, clearing out the apathy like a fart clears an elevator. You were so fucking pissed at this idiot's audacity to sound hurt that you didn't like him. Of fucking course you don't! Why would you!?

The hulking skeleton released you from his tense grip, and his hand snapped up to hook some fingers into that creepy, blank eye socket of his. Then he tugged hard, causing you to flinch. That looked incredibly painful. He wasn't even looking at you anymore, his red eye was fixed on the snowy ground, jumbled sentences falling from his teeth. You were filled with a sense of dread.

 

💀💀💀

 

Sans felt his soul nearly jolt out of his ribcage when you leapt from the car. He slammed on the brakes and threw the shifter into park. He practically wrenched the car door off its hinges in his haste to get to you, the sound of crunching metal seeming distant.

He stormed over to you, full of anger and terror. After yanking you up and spinning you around, he checked you over for injuries and confirmed that you were unharmed. Seems the snow broke your fall.

When he demanded to know what you were possibly thinking, he didn't expect you to answer in anger. He didn't expect you to air his sins. Your words crawled down his spine, your distaste for him clear in your tone. This was almost worse than last timeline! He was supposed to be doing everything better, but all he'd managed to do so far is to make everything worse!

No, not everything was worse. He had Paps, after all. Plus, even if you didn't know what he'd saved you from by killing your fiance, he'd still saved you nonetheless. It was worth it to protect you from that suffering.

He just had to get you and Paps to the safehouse he'd set up, then he could spend all the time in the world repairing your relationship with him. It would be fine. He just had to be patient.

Chapter Text

You slowly backed away from the agitated skeleton, only to bump into his brother, whose arms wrapped around you gently.

"Human, let us go wait in the car while my brother has his… moment." Papyrus firmly steered you by the shoulders back to the car. You balked when the sight of the driver's side door came into view. It looked like it had been opened with a sledgehammer…from the inside. It probably wouldn't close anymore. Great.

Feeling disassociated again, you remained passive as Papyrus maneuvered you back into the car and strapped you in. Like one would for a child. Nice. You stared at the back of the seat in front of you, not really seeing it.

Eventually Sans pulled himself together and returned to the car. As you predicted, when he reached over to close the door it simply bounced back off the frame of the car. With two more unsuccessful attempts to close the door under his belt, Sans growled ferociously and suddenly a huge bone impaled the side of the car, sticking the door to the frame forcefully. You couldn't manage to control the strangled yelp that was startled out of you. Sans simply huffed and pulled back onto the road while Papyrus somehow managed to roll his eye sockets.

💀💀💀

 

As predicted, it was now cold as fuck in the car. So much precious, heated air was being swept out the haphazardly "closed" door. Your teeth were chattering and you had resorted to practically climbing inside Papyrus' rib cage for shelter. He'd stopped you before you managed to crawl all the way in, a strange, orange blush flooding his cheekbones. He mumbled something about it being improper for non-datemates to touch the insides of bones. Or something like that anyway. You could've swore you heard the sound of grinding teeth emanating from your very "stable" and "friendly" chauffeur. Fuck him though. Mr. Grumpy Bones.

As you adjusted your koala death-grip on Papyrus, you happened to catch Sans staring at you through the rearview mirror. It might have just been a trick of the light, but you thought you saw something melancholy, or longing even, in his expression. You dismissed the thought and snuggled back into Papyrus' hold. Thank fuck skeletons were so warm.

A good six hours later you noticed the car starting to slow down. You perked up a bit, watching as Sans pulled off onto a nearly invisible path. The grating sound of the chains powering through the drifts of snow was somehow foreboding. You hated it.

The further from the main road you got, the more it sunk in how far from civilization, from rescue, you truly were. You were going to die out here in the snowy forest. Feeling numb again, you bury your face back into Paps' shirt and try to get some sleep.

💀💀💀

You're next awoken to the sensation of the car slowing to a stop. A quick peek out the window reveals snow and trees lit by twilight. Nestled in a copse of slightly smaller pines is an old-looking, rickety log cabin. It looks like some sort of abandoned hunting shack. Great. This must be the scene of your murder; it's perfect. Straight out of a horror movie. Sans is probably gonna dismember you and mount your head on the wall or something horrifying like that.

Seeming excited for the first time since you've met him, Sans hops out of the car (after wrenching that bone out of the door) and strides eagerly over to inspect the cabin. Eventually he turns back to Papyrus, "Stay here and keep them warm. 'M gonna start the generator and get a fire goin'."

You're mildly surprised to hear this place has a generator set up. Did Sans prepare this? How?! Monsters had only just been freed from their underground prison as far as you knew. Whatever. You're too exhausted to think that deeply about your current situation.

Once Sans is out of earshot (you assume) you look up to study Papyrus' worried expression. "Hey Paps, what's gonna happen?" He jolts a little and turns to look down at you from where he'd been staring forlornly after his brother.

"I'm… not sure tiny human. My brother does lots of things I don't quite understand."

"Is he gonna… yanno… hurt me?"

Papyrus' eye sockets shoot wide open at that and he rushes to reassure you, "NO! MY BROTHER WILL DEF- ahem sorry. My brother will definitely not do anything to hurt you! He likes you, obviously!"

You're… not convinced. Sans likes you? He has a funny way of showing it.

"I don't think kidnapping somebody is usually considered a sign of liking them."

"It's not?"

Bless this poor, innocent cinnamon roll. "No, Papyrus. Don't make friends by kidnapping them."

"Oh. Well I'm sure my brother and I will remember how to make friends properly with you around to help us. It's been a while since we've had practice. I haven't made friends with a human since-"

A harsh slam of a skeletal hand to the window startles both of you out of your conversation. Sans looks pissed again… and Papyrus appears to be sweating orange droplets. Weird. The lanky skeleton cranks the window down a crack to speak with his brother while you snuggle him further to keep out the biting cold.

"It's ready. You two can come inside now."

💀💀💀

Sans was majorly relieved to have finally reached his destination. Now he'd be able to settle down and work on building a relationship with you. He just needed to finish getting everything ready and he could get you and his brother inside.

His first step was getting the old generator running. He grabbed a gas canister from the trunk and rounded the cabin to a small shed where the generator was housed. It took a bit of tlc and magic to kick the thing to life but he managed it. Luckily it wasn't cold enough to freeze gasoline so that wasn't something he had to worry about.

Setting up a fire was much easier. He grabbed some wood from the pile in the shed and took a shortcut into the house. All that junk food he'd stuffed his face with went a long way in building up his lost magic reserves. He unceremoniously dropped the wood into the little stone fireplace and lit it with a well-placed bit of fire magic. It probably wouldn't have started properly if he'd had to light the fire the human way, even the wood was freezing cold. Time to get his family. The three of them could huddle up by the fire… it would be perfect.

He took another quick shortcut out to the car, just in time to hear, "I haven't made friends with a human since-" Shit! He quickly slammed his hand against the window, stopping Papyrus in his tracks. Dammit Papyrus. Don't bring up… them. Or any humans for that matter. Nothing but bad things could come from speaking about the humans they met underground. Or maybe Papyrus had been about to talk about that poor kid that'd helped them escape their prison… regardless. It still wasn't a happy story and definitely wasn't information he wanted his mate to know. At least not until he knew they loved him unconditionally. Then maybe he could spill his secrets. For now, however, it was bedtime.

Chapter Text

Cozying up by a fire while you watch snow fall out the window sounds relaxing and idyllic. Unfortunately for you, the one who was cozying up to you was your mentally unstable, skeletal kidnapper. It was… less than ideal.

You'd done your best to pointedly snuggle Papyrus instead of Sans but he'd retaliated by pulling you by the waist until your body was flush with his before flopping on his side. Now you're being spooned by your kidnapper. Wonderful. Struggling and squirming only resulted in a more firm grip around your middle and a bony leg to be twined with yours. Eventually you ragdolled and submitted to your fate. At least you were warm now!

But still, sleeping on a mat on the dusty, wooden floor was not doing you any favors. You could already feel the ache of laying on an unforgiving surface building in your body. Deciding to push your luck, you speak up, "Hey so… it's really uncomfortable on the floor. Is there like a blanket or something I can use as extra padding?"

In lieu of answering you, Sans simply rolls the two of you over until you're perched on his illogically soft belly. You still don't understand how a skeleton is so nice to lay on. Must be magic. Grumbling but resigned to your fate, you make yourself as comfortable as possible on your new skeleton-mattress. As you nuzzle sleepily into his chest, you notice a soft rumbling emitting from the skeleton. You press your ear to his ribcage, trying to place the sound. No way… you don't want to believe it but it's undeniable that the vibrations you're hearing sound uncannily like a cat's purr dropped down a few octaves. Fuck. That's actually kind of endearing… and really weird too. Who knew skeletons could purr?

In your warm, comfortable, half-asleep state you find the words slipping out before you can stop them, "Are you fucking purring?"

Like an engine's sputtering, the purring pauses before coming back stronger than before. Okay then. Guess that's as much of an answer as you'll get for now. The sound, although a bit strange, is very relaxing. So relaxing, in fact, it's not long before you find yourself slipping into a deep slumber…

💀💀💀

Yessss…

You felt so nice, curled up on top of him, snuggling into his chest. He couldn't stop the purr that rumbled from deep in his bones. Once your breathing had evened out into the soft rhythm of sleep he indulged himself further by gently running his phalanges through your hair and down your back. There was nothing more soothing than petting your soft skin. His little human. Back in his arms, safe.

💀💀💀

You awoke the next morning to pale light hitting your face. You squinted at an impossibly tall figure silhouetted by the light, trying to place them. As your eyes adjusted, so too did your mind. It was Papyrus. Your kidnapper's brother. He'd apparently thrown the ratty, old curtains open to let in the morning sun. You were plenty comfortable though, and buried your head back into your pillow. Your… warm, moving pillow.

With a flash you remembered your sleeping arrangements and quickly scrambled to get out of the skeleton's hold. In a repeat of yesterday's struggle, you were utterly unable to break the death grip Sans had around your waist. It wasn't hurting you in any way, but it was certainly preventing you from moving.

Not wanting to suffer through the same humiliation as before, you decide that annoying your captor into letting you go is the route to take. You start poking his boney cheeks (cheekbones?) relentlessly. In his sleep he grumbles and turns his head, trying to avoid your onslaught. You persist with your attack, increasing the pokes per second. One skeletal arm releases you and reaches up to sleepily fend off your fingers and you take the opportunity to make a bid for freedom. With a quick rolling maneuver, you manage to slip from underneath the arm still holding you and make a mad four-legged dash to get out of sleepy skeleton arm's reach. Success!

Before you can celebrate too much, a heart wrenching cry emerges from the still-sleeping monster. In his slumbering state, he's reaching out, searching for something (presumably you) desperately. He's whimpering in such a pathetic way that you can't help but feel a little guilty for (possibly) being the cause of his upset. Luckily, his brother had finally noticed his plight and rushed over to comfort him. Papyrus bodily picks up the bulky skeleton and cradles him like a child, cooing soothing words at him in an attempt to calm his nightmare.

As you watch the taller brother attempt to comfort Sans, a thought occurs to you. Neither of them are paying you any mind. You cast your eyes about the room, a plan rapidly forming. There! The keys to the car that brought you here are sitting on a rickety side table. As quietly as you can, you edge around the two skeletons, making your way to the door, which is blessedly easy to unlock. You quickly but gently slip through and shut the door before practically falling over yourself to get to the car. You wrench the damaged driver-side door open and throw yourself into the seat, not bothering with the belt, you punch the key into the ignition and turn it. You wince as the engine sputters, struggling to start in the cold.

This is how you die, like some cliche horror movie victim. You frantically try again, cursing when you fail. Again and again and again until finally, blessedly, the sound of the engine starting reaches your ears. You slam into drive, and peel out of there, a wave of snow showering the windshield as your tires kick it up.

You switch on the wipers to clear your view, only to scream at the sight ahead of you. Sans is standing in your way, power emanating from him in dark waves. His skull is tilted slightly down and his eye socket is devoid of its usual red light. The darkness of his empty sockets seem to suck the light out of the sunny morning and bore into your soul. In a split-second decision, you decide not to stop. You would charge him until he had to move away. There's no way he'd win in a game of chicken with a car. Determination flowing through you, you floor it, speeding towards the motionless skeleton. As you fly every closer, you start to realize he's not backing down but you're too late to stop now, you're going to hit him! You slam on your brakes just as the hood of the car connects with Sans, who you just noticed has reached his arms out as though to catch the car. You're jarred violently in your seat as the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop. No way…

As impossible as it seems, Sans has indeed stopped the car with nothing but his hands. There are two massive dents where his palms connected with the metal of the hood. You stare in horror as he slowly, deliberately releases his grip on the car. The entire time his empty gaze has not left you. You feel it crawling down your spine like a million tiny spiders. He rounds the car slowly, deliberately, until he stands before you at the useless driver's side door. Your chest is heavy with unfathomable dread and you can feel yourself shaking with a mix of adrenaline and terror. What was he going to do to you now?

Chapter Text

Sans was furious. How dare you try to leave him again. He was having the most horrible nightmare about you being taken from him once more, and then he woke to the sound of the car’s engine starting. You were leaving. Nobody was taking you away from him...you were taking yourself away from him. He couldn’t have that.

It was child’s play to stop the car. While his magic might have been weakened by the famine, his physical strength had only increased. As he rounded the car to where you sat, he breathed heavily, taking in your scent, making sure you were still there. His senses were filled with the scent of your fear. Normally he hated smelling your fear but right now he needed to get it through your head that you can’t leave him. He wasn’t going to hurt you, obviously, but you still needed to be punished.

💀💀💀

As you sat quivering in the driver’s seat, Sans ripped the car door from its hinges, making you flinch. As he reached out to grab you, your self-preservation instincts kicked back into high gear. You awkwardly propelled yourself over the center console into the passenger seat, and yanked the door open. You fell out into the snow and quickly scrambled to a standing position and took off running. You hardly made it two feet before you were snatched up into the air and pulled against a familiar t-shirt clad chest. No! You did your best impression of a caught fish, wiggling and struggling violently but it was all for naught. He easily held you still against his body, obviously not hindered by your struggling at all. He leaned his head down to speak directly into your ear, causing you to flinch, “Looks like we need to go over some ground rules, babe.”

‘Babe’? Who the fuck did he think he was calling babe? “I’m not your babe you sick fuck, if you’re gonna kill me or whatever just do it already! I’m tired of waiting!”

At that he pulled you away from himself, and you dangled in his arms like a naughty cat. He looked confused, and oddly a bit upset. “‘M not gonna kill you, what the fuck? Is that what you think?”

He had the gall to sound hurt! “What the fuck else am I supposed to think?” You took another opportunity to flail against his grip, although it proved to be fruitless, “You kidnapped me and carried me off to this creepy cabin in the woods! Of course I’d assume you wanted to kill me! It’s a perfect horror movie set-up!”

“ALRIGHT, IT’S TIME FOR A TIME-OUT!” The blessedly loud voice of your savior broke through the burning tension like a bull through a glass door. Papyrus deftly plucked you from Sans’ arms and strode back inside the cabin. Sans immediately started complaining, following at his brother’s elbow and reaching out for you.

“Bro give them back I wasn’t done!”

“Well you are now! Both of you are going to take some time to cool off and then we can discuss this like rational adults.”

“Rational- Are you fucking kidding me!?”

“Language, tiny human!”

“Put me down Papyrus!”

Papyrus ignores you until the three of you are back inside the creepy murder cabin and then he finally places you back on your own two feet. Sans pops up beside you and wraps you in his arms again, pressing his face into the back of your head. You are uncomfortable.

“Sans, what did I say about giving each other time to cool off?”

Sans simply grunts, tightening his grip on you. Papyrus, with a long-suffering sigh walks out of the room, leaving the two of you alone. You whine, “Don’t leave me with hi-”

A bony hand covers your mouth and you retaliate by biting into the hard surface. You immediately regret it.

s t o p

You freeze. The dark tone in his voice frightens you to your core, it makes you feel exposed and vulnerable. Sans sighs heavily, his breath ruffling your hair and raising goosebumps on your neck.

"'M serious. I'd never hurt you. If you'd just stop fighting-"

All this is becoming too much for you, you can feel the heat building in your eyes, signaling tears. You're just so exhausted and stressed and confused by what's going on, you had to break eventually. And you did. It was silent at first, just tears crawling down your cheeks at a rapid pace until you can't hold it back any longer and sob brokenly into the hand over your mouth. He swiftly removes said hand and spins you around to face him. You can't really see his expression through your tear-blurred eyes but he appears almost anguished. Fuck him though. If he thinks you're going to be an easy, quiet, and compliant prisoner he's got another thing coming. You're not giving up.

"Please, please don' cry," he murmurs, and attempts to wipe your tears. In retaliation you slap his hands away, not wanting those claws anywhere near your face.

Since you won't allow him to wipe your tears, he instead pulls you into a tight hug. It would almost be comforting if it weren't for the entire context of why you were here in the first place. None of this is right. None of it is right, but you're tired and scared and weak and you need the comfort, so you take it. You hate yourself for it but you can't help but bury yourself into his embrace. It's warm and soft and feels almost protective. Such a contrast to how he normally feels to you.

After a couple minutes of sobbing and Sans drawing comforting circles on your back, you finally start to calm down. Sans seems to notice and murmurs against the top of your head, "You're still getting punished for that escape attempt, you know."

You stiffen. Sans takes that opportunity to pull his coat from your body (you'd kept it on throughout the night) and puts it back on himself. You're too stunned by his quick motions to even consider running and soon enough he has his coat back on and his hands back on you. He lifts you up to his chest, and deposits you inside his coat, which he proceeds to zip up. It's a tight fit with both of you in it and your head just barely peeks out the top of it. Humming in apparent satisfaction, Sans wanders off in the direction Papyrus left in. Is this your punishment? Coat jail?

Slightly hysterical from your ridiculous situation, the moment you make eye contact with Papyrus, you can't help the desperate bark of laughter that escapes you. Papyrus turns completely around from where he was standing at a basic kitchen counter and shakes his head at his brother's antics and raises his brow bone. At the quirked brow, Sans mutters, "punishment."

As if that answers anything, Papyrus nods sagely and returns to whatever he was doing at the counter, leaving you to your sentence.

Chapter Text

Seven hours. Seven! That's how many hours you were trapped in coat jail. One hour for your first escape attempt, two for your second, and four for your third. If you tried again, the hours would be doubled again, meaning you'd have to be jailed for eight hours! Ridiculous!

You tried to be as unpleasant of a coat-companion as possible, wiggling and adjusting your position constantly, but Sans seemed unfazed. You eventually gave up your struggle and tried to take another nap. You'd had more sleep the past few days than you'd had in weeks. It probably wasn't a healthy amount of sleep.

After jolting out of a weird dream involving a confusion of canned pasta and screaming skeletons, you looked up to see what your captor was up to. His swollen red eye scrolled down to glance at you before returning to staring straight ahead. "How much longer?" You mumbled sleepily.

"'Bout an hour," came the gruff reply.

You huffed in impatience and struggled to move your legs into a more comfortable position. They were starting to fall asleep. Once you'd settled again, you decided to amuse yourself by both sating your curiosity and annoying Sans. You started moving your hands around, feeling along his weird belly, trying to understand how somebody made of bones even had one. He immediately stiffened at your exploratory touch before chuckling lowly.

"Jus' can't keep your hands off me, huh?"

You pulled your hands away as if they'd been burned and looked up to glare into his stupid, smug face. In retaliation to his satisfied smirk, you pressed your hands over his mouth, squawking, "shhhh shut up shh no."

He chuckled even more at this, the laughter rumbling through his chest into your own. And then… his sharp teeth cracked open beneath your hands and he-!

💀💀💀

This was perfect, having you cuddled up into his hoodie with him, so close together, practically soul to soul. You were very fidgety but it didn't bother him much. You'd even fallen asleep at one point. He gazed down at you fondly; you were so fucking cute. He wasn't able to admire the softness of your slumbering face for long before there was a pointed throat clearing. Right. Papyrus.

Sans looked up from where he'd been staring at you to meet his brother's expectant gaze. Uh-oh. His hands were on his hip bones. He was in for it now.

"Are you finally going to explain to me why we've abandoned our people, run off into the woods, and kidnapped a human?"

Sans could feel the sweat forming on the back of his skull and pulled you slightly closer to himself. You murmured and stirred a bit, giving him the perfect out. He smiled awkwardly and shrugged his shoulders, "Can't, bro. Don't wanna wake up my human."

Papyrus' sockets narrowed in great suspicion. "You can't avoid this conversation forever, brother."

"Watch me."

Papyrus sighed and turned away, apparently done with his brother's bullshit.

Sans plodded off to the other room and gently sat on the floor against the wall, making sure not to jostle his precious cargo.

He'd been staring at you for at least thirty minutes when you finally began to stir, so he darted his eye light up to avoid being caught staring. You were so cute, yawning like a little kitten and stretching your whole body out, it was hard to look away.

You grumpily asked how much longer you had in coat jail and he may have fudged the number, just a bit, to keep you with him longer. As he stared off into space, pretending his whole being wasn't focused on you, he felt your hands creeping along his sides. Were you feeling his belly? You'd been fascinated by it last timeline too, said the pale glow was pretty. Of course, he had to make a flirty joke, he only had so much self-control, after all. Your reaction was nothing short of adorable. Speaking of adorable, you were currently pressing your hands over his teeth in an attempt to shut him up. The opportunity was too good to pass up. His teeth clicked open and his newly-formed tongue slicked itself along your palms. You shrieked shrilly and pushed, hard, propelling yourself away from him. Somehow you managed to awkwardly launch yourself out of his jacket and flip backwards, falling headfirst towards the wood floor!

💀💀💀

He licked your hand! What the fuck! What the actual fuck! How does he have a tongue in the first place? You picked up your struggling, pushing violently against him until you propelled yourself out of the jacket. As you braced for the impact with the hard, wooden floors, you prepared to hit the ground running. He wouldn’t catch you again. After a couple awkward seconds you spent with your eyes squeezed shut, you realized you weren’t falling. Your eyes flew back open, only for you to shriek at your current predicament. Sans’ eye was tiny but emitting a violent blue glow, one clawed hand reaching out for you. You, beyond reason, beyond your own understanding of physics, were hovering above the floor with nothing supporting you.

Sans gestured with his hand, and you found yourself following along with the movement. Your body righted itself and floated gently into the skeleton’s arms. You suddenly became aware of a strange heaviness in your chest, which only caught your attention when it vanished, leaving your body subject to gravity once again. You fell a short distance, letting your full weight rest against Sans’ chest. He grunted lightly and squeezed you to himself. You could feel the deep rumble as he muttered, “time to go over some rules, I think.”

“1: no doing anything that will cause harm to yourself or Papyrus. 2: escape attempts will be met with increasingly long punishments. And that should be it.”

You blinked at him, while still trying to calm your racing heart. “Not allowed to hurt myself or Papyrus, huh? What about you?”

His sinister grin widened, “Babe, you couldn’t hurt me if you tried.”