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The Instructive Influence of Housing Disasters On Rising Prime Rates

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When Error discovered a new universe tangled up in the web of complete idiocy that the multiverse had become (and kept becoming, with Ink’s help), he took less than 30 seconds to scan its code, before saying, “He’s trying to piss me off. That’s the only explanation. He wants me to kill him.”

Fresh leaned over his shoulder. “Brah, that ain’t a very nice thing to say.”

Error stiffened--when Fresh had skated his way into the anti-Void, earlier, Error had tried to force him right back out by fighting him (which had proved futile). Then he’d spent ten minutes, straight, yelling at him (which also proved futile). Eventually, he’d settled on viciously ignoring him (because everything was futile when it came to making Fresh leave him alone).

Error glitched, his vision swimming for a moment, then turned to glare at Fresh. “I told you to get away from me.”

Fresh just nodded. “Ya did, broski. Ya did.” He turned a grin on Error, sudden and sharp. “And ah didn’t.”

Error made a wordless sound of sheer frustration, one that came out far more high-and-whining than he’d intended. His sockets swam with error messages, for a moment. When his vision cleared, Error found that Fresh had retrieved his Furby from his fanny pack and was actually brandishing it at him (like an idiot--an idiot who wanted to die at Error’s hands).

“Do ya need a hug from--”

“If you touch me with that thing, again, I’ll kill you, too,” Error promised, voice fervent.

Arching an eyebrow at him, Fresh edged the Furby closer to Error.

Immediately, Error summoned his strings.

Within minutes, the shredded remains of Fresh’s Furby were scattered across the floor of the anti-Void--Fresh, himself, was giving Error a mournful look, though, like most of the expressions Fresh tried on, it didn’t come across exactly ... right. The face he made was neither hollow nor empty and certainly more convincing than some of his early attempts at emoting. Somehow, knowing that only disturbed Error, more.

“Brah,” Fresh said. “Why’d ya have to murder Radby? Little bro never did nothin’ to ya.”

“He existed,” Error hissed back at him.

Fresh shook his head, pushing a few shredded Furby bits across the floor. “He was just tryin’ ta give ya hugs,” he said, his tone lower and dragging--a mockery of true sadness made even worse by Fresh’s accent and the way it mangled the rhythm and cadence of his speech. He looked back up at Error, suddenly, tipping his glasses down enough that the other monster could see the soul in his socket, bleeding out magic. His sharp grin returned. “Y’know, ‘cause ya don’t know how to touch people right. Seein’ as how you only touch Ink when you’re--”

An enraged noise from Error cut Fresh’s speech short. He resummoned his strings, fully ready to add Fresh’s scattered remains to the bits of Furby still littered across the anti-Void--

Only to suddenly jerk his attention away from the pointless distraction that was Fresh and his entire, constructed persona when he remembered the new universe and its budding code. Not a moment too soon, really. Error’s eye sockets actually snapped wide when he realized the alterations currently being made to that universe’s Papyrus and--

“That’s it,” Error said, opening a portal, fully prepared to pitch Ink directly into the Void, this time. He eyed Fresh, for a moment--the other monster had settled down on the floor of the anti-Void, sitting cross-legged among the tattered remains of his Furby. “You’d better be gone, when I get back.”

Fresh just waved at him. “Ah'll be right here." He grinned and patted the ground, next to him. “Waitin’ for ya.”

Making glitched, furious noises, Error stomped through his portal, closing it behind him with a vicious twist of his wrist.

He spent three glorious minutes tearing through the new universe’s code before Ink showed up.

“Trying to get my attention?” he asked Error, who currently had that universe’s Alphys tangled in his threads, the blue strings pinning her arms to her body and making her breath wheeze from her throat.

As if Ink could really talk, Error thought, pissily, remembering the altered code that composed that universe’s Papyrus. Still, he dropped the Alphys and turned to face Ink, fully. “No.”

“You know, you can always just spill--”

“Shut the fuck up,” Error cut Ink off, sending his strings to snatch up the guardian, who nimbly dodged out of the way, slicing through the strings with his paintbrush.

“I’m just saying, most monsters--”

“I’m not most monsters,” Error snapped.

Ink just grinned at him. “True.”

Error glitched, momentarily--then growled at Ink and redoubled his efforts, with his strings.

By the time that Ink had Error pinned firmly beneath him, half of Snowdin was in ruins, around them. They’d knocked down several more houses, in the course of their fighting, and Error--managing to slip away from Ink, for a moment--had even laid waste to a few more resident glitches before Ink caught up to him, again. Now, the house they’d crash-landed in was swaying dangerously around them while the floor beneath them shuddered and groaned, violently.

Ink looked down at Error and grinned. Then he leaned in close and whispered, “Hey. Hey, I think you might be about to fall for me, so--”

The floor gave, sending them both plummeting downwards, Error shrieking in a way he’d deny under pain of torture, death, and having no one but Ink to deal with for the rest of his existence. Both monsters landed hard in the building’s basement, Ink nearly fracturing Error’s pelvis when he landed directly on top of him.

Ink pushed himself upright, slightly, and shook his head, looking heavily dazed. His eye lights kept shifting but slower than was usual for them and in a strange, irregular pattern. Not that Error would ever have accused Ink of being normal or consistent. But he did seem like he might have hit his head, at some point during the fall.

Error groaned. “Get the fuck off me." He shoved at Ink’s shoulder, trying to get the dense little fucker to at least roll off him enough that Error would be able to dislodge whatever jagged bit of debris was currently trying to lodge itself in his spine.

Overhead, someone called out, their voice echoing strangely through the ruined building. Error could hear them trying to pick their way through the wreckage, steps faltering and uncertain. Ink briefly stilled, on top of him, then slapped a hand over Error’s mouth. Error just glowered up at him (as if he’d give anyone, ever, the satisfaction of hearing him call out for help--especially help with Ink).

They both listened as the voice and footsteps retreated, once more.

The instant they’d faded back into the distance, Error slapped Ink’s hand away.

“What the fuck, Ink,” he said.

Ink just stared down at him, a moment, saying nothing. Then he grinned, his hand creeping towards Error’s ribs.

"So." Ink drew the single syllable out long enough to have Error fantasizing about stringing him to the basement wall and just letting the building collapse on top of him. "I want to trade."

Error glanced at their surroundings, just to confirm they really were laid out in some useless asshole’s basement, still with the remaining floors of the building groaning in a way that threatened imminent disaster. The sort that would mean crushed and shattered bones for both Error and Ink and immediate death for most other monsters. He snapped his attention back to Ink as he felt the idiot set one hand gently down against Error’s ribs (over his clothes, for now, not that Error was foolish enough to believe that would last). Both the tone and expression that Error immediately turned on him were withering. “Now?

Ink just shrugged. “Why not?” He gestured at the remains of the house, swaying above them. “Pretty sure no one’s going to bother us, down here.”

Error twitched, transferring his glare to the bandolier Ink wore and its rainbow assortment of vials. He didn’t bother mentioning the total instability of the house, the way that it only just remained standing, around them. Error had yet to effectively halt Ink’s lunacy for very long, so he doubted the threat of death-by-crushing made much of an impact on the idiot.

Error glanced up at the walls that still stood, overhead, taking in the groaning remains of the house’s first and second floor. Then he looked back at Ink, whose eye lights were shifting, constantly, but whose gaze remained steadily fixed on Error, not even glancing away when a few tiles fell from the first-floor ceiling and made an unholy racket, dashing themselves against the kitchen flooring.

Fine,” Error snapped out--then slapped at Ink’s hands as he immediately started peeling Error’s clothes away. Ink just snorted out a laugh and kept tugging at Error’s shirt.

“Kind of late for modesty,” he said.

“I can take off my own damn--” Error cut himself off with a yelp as Ink shrugged and, apparently giving up on taking Error’s clothes completely off, for the moment, simply stuck his hand down the other monster’s pants.

Ohhh,” Ink said, appreciatively, as his fingers slid into Error, the motion made easier by how wet Error already was--Error huffed indignantly up at Ink as the guardian grinned down at him. “Looking forward to something?”

No,” Error said. Ink managed to spare himself Error’s growing indignance, though--managed to effectively short-circuit his speech, altogether--by grinding down against his clit as he curled his fingers up inside him.

Undressing Error went much more smoothly for Ink, after that.

Soon, Error found himself balanced in the guardian’s lap as Ink pushed up into him. His glitched groans echoed through the basement as Ink’s hands tightened on his ecto-flesh, pulling Error down onto his cock.

Above them, the whole house swayed, the walls whining and shuddering before the structure settled, once more.

Error momentarily froze, his system lagging in alarm, but Ink never even paused in his movements, his eye lights taking in Error and only Error. His fingers fluttered over the other monster’s thighs and hips, ghosting soft touches over smooth ecto-flesh, forcing a shuddering moan from Error’s throat as he teased at his clit. Attempting to choke back the sound really only served to emphasize it, and Error tossed his head back, glaring at the ceiling, just so he wouldn’t have to see whatever idiotic look Ink currently had on his face.

He felt Ink’s fingers skim up the column of his vertebrae, pausing to smooth over the nicks and deeper cracks that decorated Error’s dark bones. Many of those old injuries were incurred in fights with Ink, himself, and the guardian seemed to unerringly seek out each such scar, his fingers tracing over a centuries-long history, mapped out across Error’s skeleton.

Looking back down, Error met Ink’s eye lights with his own. The expression he made, upon seeing their shape--each one formed into a trembling soul, the right lit up bright pink while the left took on a deeper purple hue--probably could have convinced any onlooker that Ink had just whispered some terrible personal secret to him. They’d likely assume he’d just confessed his guilt in the destruction of Error’s original universe or his confinement to the anti-Void, and not simply that he’d been looking at Error like--

Like he could actually--

Error’s vision swam, for a moment. When he felt one of Ink’s hand cupping his face, he actually growled at the guardian, who simply laughed and tipped Error’s skull down, towards his own. Still half-blinded by the glitches swarming in his sockets, Error tightened his legs around Ink’s waist, keeping them locked together, only to growl, again, when Ink pressed his tongue into Error’s mouth.

When Ink laughed, a second time, the sound was garbled by Error’s tongues, pushing back against his own.

Ink’s hands slid back down, encircling Error’s waist--for a moment, the world tilted alarmingly around Error, before he found himself on his back, once more, an outraged noise breaking free of him as he felt Ink pull out. Immediately, Error latched on to the first part of Ink that his hand happened to make contact with--his skull, as it turned out.

Hearing Ink laugh, again, he seriously considered twisting around, just to bounce that thick, idiotic skull of his right off the ground.

“Wait,” Ink said. “Hold on. Just--”

Both monsters groaned when Ink pushed back into him. Error quickly wrapped both of his arms around Ink’s shoulders and the slender curve of his spinal column, not immediately decided on whether he should pull the other monster closer or simply use the hold to break Ink’s stupid neck. A moment later, he magnanimously decided to spare Ink’s life (for now, anyway), as long as the other monster’s every thrust kept hitting--

The sound of wooden planks splintering, overhead, brought Error jarringly back to the present.

Eye sockets snapping wide, he watched as, with one final, fatal groan, the floor above them buckled and gave, plummeting downward. An entire section broke off, shuddering as it passed across support beams, which snapped beneath the floorboards combined weight, sending the whole section careening straight towards--

Instinctively, Error summoned his strings.

The sound of wood and metal striking the stone basement floor was deafening--splintering, cracking, and crushing everything it landed on top of. Just not Ink or Error, who were both now jammed in the only corner of the house that hadn’t tried to fall and crush them beneath its weight. Error held Ink firmly against him, his strings still wrapped tightly around the other monster. Error himself stood, panting and trembling slightly, with his back wedged against the stronger corner join, where the basement walls met and one section of the ceiling remained aloft.

The trembling came from somewhere deep in his core, originating in laggy, overladen programming that seemed fully ready to overheat or drag Error into a reboot with every second Ink kept looking at him with that idiot fucking grin on his face.

“Awww,” Ink cooed at him, the moment he realized what had happened. “Error.”

“Shut up,” Error snapped. “Shut up, right now. Or I swear, Ink, I’ll kill you, myself.”

Ink, miraculously, said nothing, but the look he gave Error, alone, was enough to send both magic and a further wave of red-hot anger crashing through Error’s still-trembling form.

Making a wordless, stuttering noise of fury, Error pushed Ink to the ground and straddled him, practically forcing himself back down on the other monster’s cock. Growling, eyes wild--wilder, even, than normal--Error rode Ink like he intended to break him, his strings keeping Ink’s arms pinned to his sides as he rose and sank over him. Underneath him, Ink shuddered and moaned, clearly trying to arch up into him but failing to ever gain the leverage necessary. For once, Error had managed to effectively contain the other monster and kept him pinned down with relentless motion, not about to let up just because Ink was looking up at him with shivering eye lights, his face flushed with every color that decorated his stupid bandolier--

His expression--

He looked like he--

Another stuttered and furious sound broke free of Error. Maddeningly, even though he had Ink pinned beneath him and tangled in his strings, capable of little more than gasping out his name, he could still hear the jokes Ink usually would have been making. Something idiotic, definitely, about broken fax machines or the angry spirits of long-defunct modems or--

A wave of glitches swarmed over his body, for a moment, buzzing like a particularly pissy swarm of bees. Beneath him, Ink cried out as whatever sensation he was feeling must have changed. Slamming himself down, once more, Error loomed over Ink and used his grip on the strings to pull the other monster up into a kiss that was mostly a clash of teeth.

The moment he pulled away, he caught Ink’s eye lights. Each one was spiraling through a separate, dizzying array of shapes and colors, but both shivered and pulsed as the guardian groaned, sucking down desperate, panting breaths, his gaze ever-fixed on Error.

Throwing his head back, Error growled up at the remains of the first floor--at the same time, he reached down and raked the strings away from Ink’s body with his claws, freeing his arms. Glitching wildly, he grabbed Ink’s wrists, jerking his hands up until he could press them against his own ecto-belly, holding them in place as he rode Ink into the ground. The glitching only grew more and more intense, as he felt Ink approaching orgasm--error messages swarmed over his sockets, leaving him wholly blind, capable only of feeling how Ink was pushing up into him, how his hands were moving feverishly over Error’s belly. He could hear each panting breath that Ink took. On every exhale, the other monster gasped out his name, and Error felt something deep within him trembling in response, the sensation foreign mostly because it wasn’t fury he was feeling, this time.

No, Error thought, struggling to sort through internal processes--struggling to keep moving despite the way his system wanted to lag heavily behind, lock down, and drag him under. No, fury would have been fine. Fury he could have easily accepted, especially given what a fucking prick Ink could be. This was--

Ink came inside him, and Error actually rebooted.

When he came to, Ink was (unfortunately) fully recovered and casually poking at Error's face. He grinned when Error's eyes focused in on him--Error immediately scowled, which just made Ink's grin widen. Only when the other monster shifted beneath him did Error realize two things: 1) that Ink was still inside him and 2) that sometime right before or during his reboot, Error must still have come because Ink was soaked in--

“Stop making that fucking face,” Error said. Because if Ink didn’t wipe the smug look off his face right that second, Error was going to have to kill him, anyway, and render this all moot. He probably should, just to be certain Ink could never be smug about this, again, or make a single stupid joke about it, ever.

Laughing, Ink actually caught up Error’s wrists, wrapping his fingers around them, as the other monster’s hands crept towards his throat. “Error.”

Error let out a high-pitched noise of sheer frustration, glaring down at Ink. “Don’t.

Ink’s expression softened, ever so slightly, and his laughter petered out, a little, as he repeated, “Error.” His eye lights shifted between Error’s face and his belly, where, Error realized, at least one of his hands had been, the whole time, up until he’d lifted them to keep Error from maybe choking him, a little. Error didn’t exactly regret the direction his hands had been headed (Ink would have deserved it for something), but he still glared down at Ink’s pale fingerbones where they lingered against his own darker wrist bones, wanting--

He wanted--

A few glitches rolled over Error’s form, as he twisted his wrists in Ink’s grip, but settled once he had Ink’s hands pressed back against the swell of his ecto-belly. Glaring down at Ink, he growled out, “Stop moving.”

Ink just blinked up at him a moment, before grinning. “Uh huh.” He arched up beneath Error, pressing deeper inside him and forcing a stuttered groan past Error’s clenched teeth. “You sure you don’t want me to move, at all?”

“Shut the fuck up, too,” Error snapped out, pressing his hands down against Ink’s shoulders and bracing himself as he started moving over him, again. Glitches split his groaning to pieces at the feeling of Ink still inside him, Error already sensitive from earlier actions--the reboot seemed only to have heightened and intensified those sensations, and each movement of Ink’s hands as they skated over his bare ecto-flesh just made things worse.

Even in the middle of riding Ink, Error still managed to huff at him and bite out, “You’re the fucking worst.”

“I could--” Groaning interrupted Ink’s speech, a mixture of both his and Error’s. “I could go?”

“Don’t even think about it,” Error said, pushing Ink’s shoulders more firmly into the ground as he quickened his pace, needing to--

No, needing Ink to--

Beneath him, Ink cried out as Error glitched, wildly, nearly rebooting for a second time.

“Error,” Ink gasped out, his hands clenched tightly just above the other monster’s hips. “Error.”

Error, in response, did a bang-up job trying to glitch himself right out of existence.

Upon regaining awareness, his first thought was that Ink’s face looked wrong. Error took nearly a full minute to properly orient himself, then realized Ink’s face looked wrong because his expression was one of actual concern. He was leaning over Error, now, his perpetual (infuriating) grin pulled down into a slight frown. His eye lights were cycling rapidly through different shapes and colors, but one kept shifting into a quivering sort of teardrop, appearing in a different color, each time it emerged.

Error didn’t get a chance to relish that look, though, given that Ink was grinning, again, the moment he realized Error was looking back at him.

“Hey, bud,” he said. “So I know you said you’d be the one to kill me--”

Error narrowed his eyes at Ink. “I will be.”

“Uh huh,” Ink said, sounding insultingly unconcerned. “But I didn’t know you were going to try it in the middle of sex. You know, with your--”

Error actually slapped his hand across Ink’s mouth, managing to muffle the rest of that sentence enough that he didn’t, at least, have to hear it, even if he would have to walk around with the knowledge that Ink had tried to say it.

“Seriously?” he growled up at the guardian, who simply pushed Error’s hand away from his mouth and laughed.

“Yep,” he confirmed.

A small tussle ensued, starting with Error trying to get his hand back from Ink and Ink simply refusing to let go--it ended when Error used Ink’s own irritating tugging against him, planting his hand squarely on Ink’s face and pushing him over, right onto the ground. Ink landed in a sprawled and giggling heap, while Error climbed huffily to his feet, glaring at where the building had nearly fallen down on top of them.

His clothes, he realized, were trapped somewhere beneath that wreckage.

Immediately, he turned his glare on Ink, who seemed to have come to the same realization. The guardian, however, didn’t seem at all put out by the development, still sprawled out, shamelessly, and grinning at Error.

“You could go without?” Ink suggested.

No,” Error said.

Ink seemed to consider the situation, for a moment. “I could make you something?”

Error pulled a face, seriously considering just opening a portal and disappearing straight back into the anti-Void, naked or not. But given how unlikely it was that Fresh had ever left--

“Fine,” Error said. He gave Ink a narrow look. “But nothing weird.”

Ink managed those instructions about as well as he managed any--not well at all, really. Error took a full minute just to glare at the style and colors involved in the clothes that Ink made for him. He pulled them on, anyway, reminding himself he’d only have to wear them as long as it took him to steal less ridiculous clothes.

When he looked back up, Ink was staring at him.

“What?” Error asked, his voice heavily laden with suspicion.

“Huh,” Ink said. He mostly sounded like he’d hit his head, again. His eye lights even stuck, for a moment, on a star and a spiral, which Error had no idea how to interpret. Reaching out, Ink snagged the fabric of Error’s new (and terrible) jacket sleeve, rubbing his fingers over it. When he looked up, again, his eye lights had changed, one now jammed on a question mark while the other continued to flit between shapes and colors, never quite settling.

What?” Error growled out, more insistently.

Ink just looked at Error--then down at his bandolier. His fingers skimmed over the brightly colored vials it contained, coming to rest on the one filled with pink paint. After a moment’s hesitation, Ink pulled it out and popped the cork, dipping his fingers inside.

“What are you--” Error started but cut himself off, abruptly, when Ink reached out and smeared the paint across one of his cheeks.

“Oh,” Ink breathed out.

Error stared at him. Ink simply stared back.

“I’m leaving,” Error decided. “You’re staying here.”

Ink, for once, seemed to have no smart reply to that.

Summoning a portal, Error made to step through, back into the safety of the anti-Void, when he was arrested, once more, by Ink’s voice.

“Hey, Error?” Ink asked. Error turned to look at him over his shoulder. For a moment, Ink shifted his gaze back and forth, from the pink vial to Error, then back to the pink vial. Finally, he looked back up, his gaze fixing on Error. “The part where the building didn’t fall on top of me. Is that going to cost me extra?”

Error regarded the other monster, for a moment, taking in the vial he still held, the pink paint smeared on his fingers--the damnably hopeful expression that graced his face. Automatically, Error lifted one hand towards his own cheek, where he knew he’d find a matching paint smear, only to drop it well before making contact.

Huffing, Error turned back to his portal and growled out, “You’re going to be paying off interest for the rest of your miserable existence.” Then he vanished through the portal, leaving behind Ink--the other monster smiling, softly, in the dim light of the collapsed basement.