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Death of a Bachelor

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Death of a Bachelor

Chapter 1 – Welcome to the End of Eras

Post-Pacifist Route

The entire world had changed in a single year. One day, people were just going about their lives normally. Humans were living in a world governed by science and logic. Black and white. And then the next day, hoards of monsters were coming out of the mountains. In a matter of hours, hundreds of years of scientific advancements and discoveries had been turned upside down. Monsters were real and so was magic. That was only the beginning as far as weird went.

In the following days, the small town of Ebott, Colorado and the surrounding forest was inundated with government officials, members of the media and tourists. For a few days, the entire population lived in fear. What did the monsters want? Were they here to harm us? What was the government hiding?

The fear among humans only grew as the entire story came to light. Hundreds of years ago, a war between humans and monsters had broken out. It had happened so long ago, that there weren’t any monsters alive who remembered the surface or what had started the war. Obviously it wasn’t in the human history books either. From what the monsters told, it had been a long war and in the end, they weren’t able to fight physically like the humans could. And because humans wielded magic similar to the monsters, they had no chance of winning. In the end, the king and queen of the monsters had no choice but to surrender and hope for the best. For whatever reason, the humans trapped the monsters under the mountain in a show of strength and power. Little had they known that by sealing away the monsters, they sealed away the source of their own power. As generations passed, the humans lost all knowledge of the magic they had possessed and the monsters that had lived among them as equals at one time.

Instead, monsters became a myth. Something parents could use to scare their kids. They became the horrifying, mutilated, evil creatures you saw on television. If this was what we knew of monsters, how could we NOT be afraid? Grocery and sporting goods stores became empty as panic erupted in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people left the country, and globally, stock markets crashed. The government was keeping mum on the whole thing and the media outlets were only furthering and supporting the fear mongering. You couldn’t turn on the television without seeing something about the newly discovered monsters. And for the most part, nothing good was being said.

About a week after the monsters came to the surface, a press conference was finally held and people got the first glimpse at monsters in the form of King Asgore. And frankly… he was adorable. There was nothing terrifying about the man save his stature. He was a giant, fluffy goat.

After days of negotiation, it was finally decided that monsters would be allowed to live freely on the surface as long as they cooperated with the American government and military. In short, the government wanted to study magic and see if it could be applied to combat and military strategy. There were probationary guidelines, of course. For now, the monsters had to stay in Ebott. The government was more than generous, providing new state-of-the-art homes for every monster family.

The people in the town of Ebott were given the option to leave or stay. Those who wished to live among monsters were allowed to stay after a background check, and those who didn’t were relocated at the government’s expense. For the most part, it was as smooth a transition as could be expected given how bizarre and unbelievable the entire situation was.

After some time, everything seemed to quiet down and return to normal. People went back to their jobs and the economy recovered. Strangely, people seemed to forget that monsters even existed for the most part. The American population put their trust in the government and assumed they were safe from whatever threat the monsters may pose.

But if there was one thing about the American government that the general population liked to overlook, it was their secrecy about, well, everything. It wasn’t just a conspiracy theory to say that the government liked to keep the people in the dark about important matters. What they didn’t know about couldn’t hurt them, right? You weren’t one to typically use phrases like ‘sheeple’, but… what else could be said about millions of people that were happily going about their lives not even wanting or demanding to know what was going on with freaking monsters??

There were conspiracy theorists, of course. And there was something to be said for them. They tended to overthink things, but at least they were thinking about it. Humans used to have magic, until they put monsters behind the barrier. So wasn’t it natural to think that that magic would come back once the monsters were back on the surface? The government did nothing to confirm or deny those rumors which seemed to work in their favor. It was just nutty conspiracy theorists who spoke about it, therefore it couldn’t be true.

Little did people know what you knew. Personally, you thought it was awesome. The idea that humans could do magic. That you could do magic.

The first signs of humans possessing magic again after the barrier broke was at an indian reservation a few hundred miles from Ebott. A young Native American man seemingly woke up with the ability to control electricity and create bolts of lightning. Naturally, this interested the government very much because of the military implications.

As a result, the government invested millions and billions of dollars into technology developed in cooperation with the monsters. One of the monsters working with the government, Dr. Alphys, was able to make a machine that could not only detect magic, but could be used to read the type of magic each mage possessed. This machine was duplicated and placed in locations throughout the U.S. They could be found at airports, amusement parks, shopping malls, and tourist attractions disguised as simple metal detectors. One simply had to walk through it and the results would be sent to a monitoring room. When magic was detected, the person would be pulled aside and further assessed as to their magical abilities.

If the person possessed a powerful enough source of magic, they would be sent to Ebott and trained with monsters. Eventually, you supposed, the endgame was for the government to have an army of superheroes.

Now, the general population knew nothing about these machines or the fact that humans were able to do magic. The only reason you knew was because you were one of those ‘mages’.

It was amusing to you how fast life could change. One day you were getting ready for a flight to Boston to visit friends and the next thing you knew, you were being told you were a mage and shipped in the opposite direction to Colorado. You had your objections at first. In fact, you were fairly sure you were either on some kind of reality prank show or were being kidnapped and sold into some sex slave ring.

Those objections started to quiet once you were loaded off the plane, into a military humvee and taken into the mountains onto a very heavily guarded government base. And you were pretty sure you lost the ability to think or speak when you were carted into a room with what appeared to be a strange yellow dinosaur in a lab coat.

“O-oh, h-hi. You must be ____,” the dinosaur said, looking up from her clipboard and blushing slightly.

You could only nod your head. This was the first time you’d ever seen a monster up close. She wasn’t at all gross or scary! She was SO CUTE!!!

It was as though she had read your mind, because if she’d seemed shy before, she was now a full-on mess. She’d gone from lemon yellow to a strange shade of orangey-red. Her glasses fogged up and her hands (claws? Paws?) became so sweaty, she dropped the clipboard. “O-oh d-dear...”

You couldn’t help but laugh as you bent down to pick up the clipboard and you tried to hand it to her but she was frozen in place so you set it down on a nearby table. “Yeah, that’s me...” you told her, still inwardly gushing at how cute she was.

It was then that you noticed a young man in a similar white coat. He was darker skinned with shoulder length black, shiny hair. He picked up the clipboard and cleared his throat. The yellow dinosaur lady seemed to compose herself a little and turned to him, “A-ah, y-yes… Michael. If you c-could take n-notes for me...” Her hands were still dripping in sweat. “I-it seems Miss ____ is v-very powerful indeed.”

You tilted your head in confusion. Powerful?? YOU? “I’m sorry. I’m just really confused here...”

“O-oh...” the yellow dinosaur said and her human companion had to stifle a laugh.

“I’m Michael. This is Dr. Alphys. And you, _____, are here because you are a mage.”

You blinked at him. This was a joke, right? Or a dream. “I’m a what?”

Michael gave you a crooked smile, “You’re a wizard, Harry...” You couldn’t help but laugh at that and Michael looked extremely pleased with himself. “So basically, monsters made magic happen and you’ve got some. So, we just want to evaluate you. Okay? No needles, no prodding.”

You nodded, still not quiet sure that you believed him. Or any of this nonsense. But monsters were real, so why wouldn’t magic be? “Ooookay. What do I need to do?”

Dr. Alphys seemed to regain some of her composure and she took her clipboard back from the human that you could only assume was her assistant. “Y-you kinda, w-well, m-measured off the charts for magic c-capabilities,” Alphys stammered, looking over the clipboard. “A-and the r-readings show that y-you seem to have emotional type magic. V-very rare among m-monsters. F-fascinating.”

You could tell she really thought so as she studied the charts. “So what does that mean?”

“W-well, I th-think that you possess the a-ability to m-manipulate others’ emotions,” Alphys said.

You laughed, “Me? No...”

“W-well, I-I’m pretty sure...” Dr. Alphys said, her voice trailing off as she blushed and avoided eye contact. “You w-were th-thinking I’m cute right?” Her voice was so quiet you almost didn’t hear it.

You were the one to blush this time. How had you been caught???? “I uh, well yeah. But you are. You’re cute like in a cuddly kind of way and you’re the first monster I’ve seen and you’re just small and yellow and kind of adorable,” you babble.

She’s that funny orange-red color again. “S-see? I c-could feel that f-from you...”

“Huh,” you replied, not sure what else to say.

“That’s it?” Michael asked incredulously. “You’ve just been told you can do magic and that’s your reaction?” He looked like he would laugh if he weren’t so shocked.

“Well, it’s not very interesting magic, is it?” you pointed out.

“N-no! It’s v-very interesting!” Dr. Alphys insisted. “I f-felt s-so happy when I could feel you th-thought I was c-cute...” her voice grew quieter with each word.

Michael nodded in agreement. “Totally. I felt the same way when you laughed at the stupid Harry Potter joke. Like I was the funniest person in the world.”

“Okay. But again, not very useful...” you pointed out.

“Oh my God,” Michael cried, exasperated. “Girl, you are the FIRST person to complain about having freaking magic!”

“I’m not complaining,” you said, bashfully. “I just kinda wish it was something useful. Like turning one object into another, or levitating shit, or teleportation. Something that could be helpful or useful in every day life.”

“B-but th-think of the b-bigger implications,” Dr. Alphys pointed out. “Y-you have the ability to make p-peace. Y-you could m-make wars stop. Y-you could make p-people put th-their weapons aside.”

You thought about it for a minute. If all of that was true, it was sort of an amazing power to have. You could single-handedly bring about world peace. You could feel the corners of your mouth tugging up into a smile. “Well, when you put it that way, it sounds sorta cool.”

“See? Now quit complaining,” Michael joked. It seemed like that matter was taken care of as Dr. Alphys came towards you.

“Sh-she’ll need training,” she pointed out to her assistant as she led you towards a machine in the corner.

“Yeah, but who? Like you said, her magic was off the charts and its a rare kind of magic,” Michael pointed out as he followed after Dr. Alphys. “It would need to be someone really powerful to be of any use to her.”

“Hmm, I’ll h-have to think a-about it. M-maybe ask King Asgore if he knows of a-anyone,” Dr. Alphys replied before pushing you into the scary looking machine. “N-now this might feel strange,” she said as she came around the front of the machine and started pushing buttons.

You felt a lurch in your gut, like a rolling wave of nausea, and then what felt like all the air being sucked out of your chest, “Ugh,” you groaned. “That felt horrible.”

“S-sorry. Just had to pull your soul out for a look,” Dr. Alphys, said as she began to dictate notes to her assistant. “LV 1 and 0 EXP. That makes her an e-excellent c-candidate,” Dr. Alphys told Michael as he jotted it all down in his notes.

“I’m soooorry,” you said sarcastically, interrupting their conversation. “YOU WHAT???” They’d taken out your soul? How were you still alive?? And why were they acting like it was perfectly fine??

“O-oh, d-don’t worry. I-it doesn’t cause you any physical harm. I-its how m-monsters gather information a-about others,” Dr. Alphys said. She went back to ignoring you as she continued to tell her assistant more about your soul. “Purple. That means perseverance.”

“What is LV? What is purple? My soul?” you interrupted, starting to feel annoyed. When they ignored you, you continued, “It’s very rude to talk about someone like they’re not here!”

They must have felt your annoyance, because they both turned to you immediately and apologized. “Oh… s-sorry! LV is your level of v-violence. And y-yours is g-good. You’ve n-never hurt anyone. A-and Y-your soul is p-purple. That m-means perseverance. That’s the m-main trait of your s-soul.”

You weren’t even sure what that meant, but you knew that it sounded pretty lame. “Uh, so what does a yellow soul mean?” you asked.

“Y-yellow? I-it means j-justice. W-why?” Alphys asked distractedly.

“That’s your soul color, right?” you asked her.

“M-my s-soul color?” Alphys looked up, confusion etched across her face. “M-monsters don’t have soul c-colors...”

“Then what’s that?” you ask, pointing towards her chest. “That little upside down heart thingy?” At first you thought that it was some kind of care-bear symbol thing that all monsters must have, but now you could see it was moving and pulsing and seemed to get brighter or dimmer depending on Alphys’ emotions.

Alphys blinked. “It’s not white?”

You shook your head, “Nope. It’s yellow.”

“A-are you s-sure?” Alphys asked.

You nodded. “Yes. It’s very yellow.”

“C-can you see Michael’s?” she asked and you shook your head. “W-wait right here,” Dr. Alphys said and then scuttled out of the room.

Michael was looking at you in amusement, “You’re gonna really mix things up around here. I can tell.” He pressed a few buttons on the machine and you felt your soul return to your chest before he gestured you out.

“What do you mean?” you asked, finally deciding to come out of the machine. You rubbed your chest absentmindedly but before Michael could answer, Dr. Alphys was coming back in the room, with another monster. This one was definitely creepier; it looked like a giant jell-o mold, complete with wiggling action.

“C-can you see his soul?” Dr. Alphys asked, sounding excited.

You nodded. “Cyan...” you thought that was the best way to describe that obnoxious 80’s neon blue color.

“P-patience. It s-suits you,” Alphys told the blobby thing kindly. He wiggled his thanks and made his way out of the room. “T-this is w-wow...” Alphys said. “We h-had no idea m-monster s-souls had colors. Or t-traits.”

“Uh-oh, you’ve got her excited,” Michael laughed.

“So, what does it mean?” you asked.

“I-it means I k-know who can t-train you,” Alphys squealed.

 

____________

“nope.”

“BUT BROTHER, IT IS YOUR DUTY!”

“nah,” sans said, flopping down onto the couch lazily. He wanted no part in this stupid mentor program. The entire thing was stupid. Why would he ever want to help the government when all they wanted to do was either keep monsters trapped or turn them into weapons? The last thing he wanted was for them to know how powerful he was and that’s exactly what the program would do.

Besides, it was incredibly naive of Asgore to agree to this ‘training’ program. Did he forget that it was mages that pushed them underground? Why on earth was it a good idea to train them so they could do it all over again?

“P-please, S-sans,” Alphys begged. “She can s-see monster souls! W-we never knew that was even p-possible!”

The scientist in sans had to admit that was fascinating. He wasn’t sure he even really believed it. “dont you think the government will find a way to use that against us?”

“M-maybe. B-but she has f-free will,” Alphys pointed out.

“That’s right,” Toriel agreed. She’d come along to assist Alphys in convincing sans. Until now, she’d kept her mouth shut on the matter. If sans didn’t want to help, she knew he had his reasons. There was a time after they surfaced that she’d hoped they could grow closer and perhaps even bridge the gap between friends and something more. Alas, sans was a complex and confusing person, and as close as she wanted to be to him, she’d never truly managed to break down his walls. There was however a mutual respect there at least and she liked to think that he would consider what she said. “It is crucial in these times to maintain a good relationship with the humans. If you befriend her, why would she want to aid the government in harming us?”

He had an answer to that question, but couldn’t speak it. He’d befriended Frisk how many times and the kid had still killed Papyrus and everyone else. Plain and simple, humans couldn’t be trusted.

“YOU REALLY WON’T DO IT, SANS?” Papyrus asked.

Sans shrugged. He hated disappointing his brother. “dunno. dont think its a good idea bro.”

“YOU CAN AT LEAST GIVE IT A CHANCE, BROTHER.”

“And this way you can keep an eye on her,” Toriel pointed out, giving him a look as though she knew more than she was letting on. Sometimes sans wondered how much Frisk told her. In any case, she knew just the right things to say. “Make sure that she is a good person. Because with or without your help, the government isn’t foolish enough to let her magic go to waste. And we really can’t afford to make enemies with them.”

Toriel and sans shared a look with one another. “fine. ‘ll do it.”

Dr. Alphys squealed. “Ooooh! Good! I’ll tell her. We c-can have her m-moved in tomorrow!”

“moved in?” sans asked, a sweat drop forming on his head.

“BROTHER, YOU KNOW TRAINEES LIVE WITH THEIR MENTORS!” Papyrus said, though his own mentee was the exception to that rule.

“You have a spare room, right? How about we get it fixed up for her?” Toriel suggested as she led Papyrus out of the room and away from a sans who looked on the verge of a panic attack.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2 - Eyes Like Broken Christmas Lights

 

After discovering that you could see monsters’ soul colors, Alphys left quickly, stuttering about needing to see someone right away. Why it had to be right away, and what you were supposed to do in her absence, you had no idea. She’d pretty much left without evening saying goodbye to you or Michael. “Is she always like that?” you turned to Michael, once Alphys was out of the room.

 

Michael chuckled and finally set down the clipboard he’d been holding, “Yeah, pretty much. But she’s a genius so it can be forgiven. Besides, like I said, you got her all excited. I haven’t seen her this thrilled since she found out that there was a rare Mew Mew Kissy Cutie Live Action movie.” After a moment of silence, he looked at you with a bit of concern and asked, “Are you okay? I know this is kind of a lot to take in.”

 

That was an understatement, but oddly you felt sort of detached from the entire situation. You weren’t quite sure if it was because part of you still felt this had to be a joke or if it was from how lame your magical abilities were. You didn’t feel any different. Either way, it didn’t seem like a significant enough situation to freak you out and you were always the type to roll with the punches. “Yeah, I’m good,” you told him.

 

“Really?” he seemed a little skeptical. “I was pretty freaked out when I learned I was a mage.”

 

“Wait, you’re one too?” you asked, suddenly curious. Now that you thought about it, it had to be impossible that you were the only person to have powers. You would be lying if you said you weren’t dying to know what else ‘mages’ could do. “Show me!”

 

Michael gave you a grin and the next thing you knew all of the lights in the room blinked off. You let out a startled gasp and it took a few seconds of sitting in complete darkness to realize that Michael had done it. “That’s so cool!” You couldn’t see his face but you were pretty sure he was pleased with your reaction.

 

“That’s not all. Watch,” he said, and you felt his hands on your shoulders, steering you to look out the windows lining the wall behind you. You weren’t sure what you were watching for until you saw a giant bolt of lightning come out of sky and strike a charred stump of wood just on the line of trees surrounding the military base.

 

Wow. “See? Now that’s some bad ass magic!” you cried excitedly. You felt an almost immediate wave of jealousy.

 

“It’s called Electrical Manipulation. It’s the same type of magic Dr. Alphys uses so she’s my mentor,” Michael explained. “We can basically create and control electricity.”

 

“Wow. Well, color me impressed,” you told him. “What does it feel like? And how do you do it?”

 

“Well, I don’t really feel anything when I do it,” he explained, “But afterwords, I do feel a bit tired. The lightning especially uses up a lot of magic.” Once he saw the confused look on your face, he continued. “Mages have a limited amount of magic that can be used and once it’s depleted we kind of need a ‘recharge’ period. Dr. Alphys’ theory is that we absorb magic from the monsters around us. That’s why we didn’t have it until monsters returned to the surface.”

 

You nodded along. “That makes sense. Except I’m from the Midwest, so where would I have absorbed the magic from?”

 

“Yeah, that’s a good point. Like I said, it’s just a theory. You’re definitely the only boss mage from so far away. Anyway, wherever our magic comes from, we only have so much before we run out of juice,” he explained.

Your head was starting to hurt a little from all the information he was throwing at you and it all left you with more questions than answers. “What is a ‘boss mage’?”

 

“Oh, right. I guess Alphys probably should have explained all of this to you before she ran off to find you a mentor.” He sat on the edge of a table in the center of the room, leaning against it and crossing his legs at the ankles like a bad caricature of a college professor. You could tell he was totally jazzed about being the one who got to explain all of this to you. “So basically, there are two types of monsters. Regular monsters and boss monsters. Boss monsters are like super OP. Almost impossible to defeat in combat, crazy high stats and strong magic. Most of them can use multiple types of magic too. Regular monsters are much weaker and only have control over one type of magic.”

 

“You make it sound like a video game,” you pointed out. He kept throwing out all these buzzwords that didn’t sound like they should apply to real life.

 

“It is kinda. Anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted, I was going to explain that there are also regular mages and boss mages. You are a boss mage.”

 

“How do you know?” you asked. You certainly didn’t feel very ‘OP’.

 

“Dr. Alphys invented a machine that measures how much magic a person has. And yours was off the charts,” he picked it up and showed you the print offs from your readings. “A regular mage would fall somewhere in here,” he pointed at a low peak on the graph. He pointed to another peak much higher up than the first. “I’m around here. And you are waaaay up here. Which is interesting because if Dr. Alphys’ theory is correct, then you are going to be ridiculously OP. If this is how much magic you absorbed from being thousands of miles away, imagine how high its going to be when you’re surrounded by monsters to absorb from.” You swore you saw him shiver before he added, “Man if you had combat magic, you would be like a walking atom bomb.”

 

That thought was terrifying to you too and suddenly you wondered what your purpose here was. Were they going to train you to be a walking atom bomb? Would you be allowed to say no if you didn’t want to stay here? Suddenly, it did seem like all too much to handle. Michael must have sensed you were on the verge of breaking down because he patted your shoulder. “There it is. I was wondering when you would freak out...” he laughed.

 

“Sorry, I just don’t understand what I’m supposed to do. You guys aren’t going to like dissect me or something, right??”

 

That made him laugh even harder. “God, no. At this point, we’re all just trying to figure things out and learn about what we can do. You don’t need to worry though. All of us mages have a mentor who helps us learn how to control our magic. Dr. Alphys has been amazing,” he told you. When he saw that you didn’t look particularly placated, he added, “You don’t need to be afraid of the monsters. And if its the government you’re afraid of, I’m sure your mentor will help you navigate it.”

 

“What if I don’t want to, ya know, do this whole boss mage thing?” You asked. You had a life and a job and school and bills to pay. As cool as it would be to play Hogwarts here, it just didn’t fit into your life at the moment.

 

“Sorry. Don’t think you’ll really be able to tell the military no,” Michael said, almost amused at your question. “But seriously, it’s fine. You’re not alone. You’ve got me and the other boss mages. I’ll introduce you to them tomorrow.” He put an arm around your shoulder and gave you a reassuring squeeze. As he began to pull away, you felt his phone vibrating in his pocket and he reached into his lab coat to retrieve it. After speaking on his phone for a few minutes, he pocketed it and turned back to you. “Sorry, I’ve gotta go help Dr. Alphys with something. I’ll send someone to get you all set up for the night.”

 

You felt lonely after Michael left and you realized how much you really liked him. At least if you were going to be stuck here, it was nice to know that you had someone you could consider a friend. He had promised to introduce you to the other boss mages the next day, so hopefully you would be able to make more friends.

 

Not long after Michael disappeared, a uniformed soldier came to get you and take you to a motel in Ebott. The first thing you decided to do once you got there was take a long hot shower and try to relax. You had a lot of information to unpack and were almost relieved to have the solitude. The entire day almost seemed like a silly dream. You were a mage and there were monsters. You had to admit that Dr. Alphys wasn’t at all scary like you’d thought a monster would be. You trusted Michael and he seemed to really like her. Would your mentor be as kind as she was? You stayed in the shower fretting over the predicament you’d found yourself in until you were out of hot water. Stepping out, you toweled off and changed into your pajamas.

 

You flipped on the TV so the noise could keep you company and peered outside your window. There was a military guard standing outside of your room and you had to wonder if they were protecting you or keeping you from escaping. Either way, it didn’t make you feel very safe. You would have to talk to someone tomorrow about having a place with more privacy and less guards. There was no way you’d be able to stand sleeping with someone on the other side of your door every night. For tonight, your brain was tired enough that you were able to fall asleep easily.

 

 

You were having a fantastic dream, when you were roused from your slumber by a knock on the door. You rolled back over and tried to slip back into your wonderful dream, but the knocking just got louder. Whoever was on the other side obviously couldn’t take a hint. You sat up and looked around, suddenly remembering everything that had happened the previous day. Crap.

 

After smoothing down your hair as best you could (it wasn’t good since you’d fallen asleep on it when it was still wet), you padded across the room and peered through the peephole. It was the same guard who’d been standing outside of your room and since he was young and kinda hot, you didn’t want him to see you like this. “Yes?” you called through the door.

 

“Your mentor is waiting for your training. We need to leave in five minutes,” the guard informed you.

 

“Okay!” you said, sounding slightly panicked. Five minutes was NOT enough time to get ready! And why was that guard acting like it was your fault that you had to leave in five minutes? No one had told you when you needed to be ready by last night! And what was the dress code for training? Was it like a formal ‘hey-you’re-meeting-your-mentor-wear-your-Sunday-best’ kind of affair or more of a ‘girl-this-is-serious-training-wear-your-yoga-pants’ thing? Not that you had either with you and that made you miss your closet and all your clothes. If you were going to be staying here, the least the government could do is pay to have your clothes shipped hear for you!

 

You finally decided on a pair of skinny jeans, a band t shirt and a pair of leopard print sneakers. You tossed your hair up into a messy bun and grabbed your purse. You gave yourself one last look in the mirror and decided that it would have to do for now. As you exited, you gave your guard an unimpressed look, deciding that he wasn’t that good looking.

 

The ride back to the military base was awkward to say the least. The guard kept trying to make conversation and was being overly nice because he knew you were annoyed with him. He followed you all the way to the training room, still trying to make conversation. You were kinda glad when he didn’t have the clearance to make it into the room where you were meeting your mentor.

 

The first thing you noticed was that Dr. Alphys was there, and the second thing you noticed was that she was with a short skeleton. Which probably should have been the first thing you noticed. “O-oh, ____, y-you’re here! I w-want to introduce you to y-your m-mentor. S-Sans...”

 

You looked down at the skeleton, feeling uneasy. His eyes were big black holes but at the center of each, there was a tiny prick of light. You could tell that he was looking right at you with a forced grin stretched across his face. “H-hi...” you said, feeling uneasy. Now THIS is more of what you’d been expecting from a monster. Downright creepy.

 

He was about to offer you his hand, but you could tell he decided against it. Had you hurt his feelings? It wasn’t your fault he was so creepy! It wasn’t every day that you saw a moving skeleton. “hey.”

 

Dr. Alphys looked back and forth between you two, and became more flustered as she realized that it was on her to break the discomfort in the room. “I-I was just telling S-sans about your emotional m-manipulation magic.”

 

You nodded. You weren’t sure what else to say. They kept telling you that you had this magic, but it wasn’t something you could feel or see like Michael’s lightning trick. You looked over at Sans who looked bored out of his mind. Even your own mentor wasn’t impressed with your magical ability.

 

“M-maybe you could demonstrate?” Alphys suggested.

 

“How?” You asked. The only times you’d used it were when you hadn’t been trying to.

 

“U-uh, w-well, just f-focus on s-sending Sans a strong e-emotion, I guess?” Alphys offered.

 

You didn’t think that was a very good explanation on how to do anything. You closed your eyes and concentrated really hard, but you were unsure of what exactly you were concentrating on.

 

“D-do you f-feel anything, Sans?” Dr. Alphys asked.

 

“nope.”

 

“T-try a l-little harder, ____. M-maybe a happy thought?” she suggested.

 

You nodded and tried to think of something happy, but you could only think about Sans’ creepy stare. A few minutes of silence passed as you tried to send a strong emotion before you gave up and opened your eyes. “Sorry...”

 

“I-its okay. We just need to f-figure out h-how y-your magic works,” Dr. Alphys said, trying to sound encouraging.

 

“maybe you were wrong, Alph,” Sans spoke up.

 

“N-no. I felt it. B-besides, you saw her r-readings,” Alphys pointed out to her friend.

 

“maybe your machine’s busted,” sans suggested. “her reading was unbelievable. and clearly she cant do much.”

 

“m-maybe if it was just one m-machine, sans. B-but we got almost the s-same r-readings on two d-different machines,” Dr. Alphys pointed out.

 

“or maybe youre gettin too involved in this whole mage program and are looking for things that arent really there,” Sans suggested.

 

You felt indignant on Dr. Alphys’ behalf on that. It was one thing if he thought that your magic was stupid or pointless. It kinda was. And maybe he was right. Maybe you weren’t as OP as people kept suggesting. But he didn’t have to treat Dr. Alphys like it was her fault.

 

“B-but...” Dr. Alphys tried interrupting.

 

“youre wasting her time, youre wasting mine,” Sans pointed out to her. “maybe cut your losses and just stop-”

 

“Would you shut up?” you finally snapped. “Just stop. You’re being a jerk to her.”

 

Sans turned to you, his mouth open, but not a sound came out. You saw several expressions cross his face in a short time: confusion, shock, and… amusement? All expressions that a skeleton shouldn’t be able to make but somehow Sans accomplished it.

 

“U-um. S-sans?” Dr. Alphys asked cautiously. He shook his head and pointed to his mouth and then at you. “Y-you c-can’t talk?”

 

“Did I do that?” you asked and Sans nodded. “Sorry. Sorry. You were being a giant turd though...” You still had no idea what you’d done or how you’d done it, but apparently when you’d told Sans to shut up, he literally shut up.

 

“W-wow...” Alphys said.

 

“a turd?” Sans asked, amusement still in his voice. It seemed that your apology had broken whatever spell had left him incapable of speech. “kay… ill admit. youve got some magic. but that little trick isnt why im here.”

 

“O-oh yes. _____, Sans is going to be your m-mentor to help you with s-soul j-judgement,” Dr. Alphys explained. “H-he c-can also s-see souls and s-stats without my machine or e-entering combat.”

 

“so kid, can ya see mine?” he asked, still sounding amused, but somehow it seemed condescending now rather than genuine. How annoying. You’d just proved him wrong about having magical ability and now he was back to being skeptical.

 

You focused your attention on his chest for the first time. You’d been so distracted by his creepy eyes and the fact that he was a skeleton that you hadn’t even noticed his soul. Which was weird because now that you were looking at it, you couldn’t understand how you’d noticed anything BUT his soul. It was really very beautiful and nothing like Alphys’ or the Jell-o thing’s. You nodded your head. “I-its yellow in the center and blue around the outside.”

 

“J-justice and i-integrity,” Alphys said with a smile. “A soul with two colors.”

 

“alph, cmon, you cant believe that. souls dont have two traits...”

 

“Yours does,” you insist. You weren’t seeing things. There were two very distinct colors.

 

“W-what about his stats?” Dr. Alphys asked.

 

“Stats?” You asked, confused. You didn’t see any stats. Just his soul.

 

“Y-yeah. O-oh, l-let me explain. S-souls have different s-stats b-based on the owner. F-first there’s your LV or l-level of v-violence. T-that shows whether you’ve h-hurt another person. I-it relates to y-your EXP or execution points. The more EXP you have, the h-higher your LV. Y-your EXP is 0 s-so your LV is only 1. Then, there’s HP. T-the higher y-your HP, the more d-damage y-you can take. Y-yours is totally average. There’s a c-couple m-more stats, but they’re n-not as important right now.”

 

“How do I see stats?” you asked, still looking at Sans’ soul.

 

“Um, w-well, how do you d-do it, Sans?”

 

He shrugged and looked over at you. When he noticed you still staring at his chest, he looked extremely uncomfortable. He fidgeted like he wanted to hide himself from your eyes. “i just want to see them so i do.”

 

“That’s not very helpful,” you told him, forcing yourself to look away from his chest.

 

He shrugged like he didn’t care that he wasn’t being helpful. “look, Alph, if she cant even see stats, is it worth training her?”

 

You didn’t understand why he was being so negative. Clearly, it wasn’t that you didn’t have the ability. With training, maybe you would be able to see stats. He was just looking for an excuse not to have to train you. You’d probably made him uncomfortable, but he’d made you uncomfortable too. He obviously wasn’t very nice and you didn’t want to have to train with him either.

 

“Y-yes! Think a-about all the u-useful information she c-could contribute to soul research!” Dr. Alphys pointed out.

 

“whats the point of soul research?” Sans pointed out. “the barrier is broken. we dont need to study souls anymore.”

 

“I-It’s the essence of who we a-are, Sans!” Dr. Alphys pointed out, as if it were obvious why it was worth studying. You supposed it was the monster equivalent to medical research.

 

Sans shrugged. “dunno what youre trying to figure out, alphys, but count me out.” He shoved his hands in his pockets and you were consumed with the overwhelming need to prove him wrong. Then, suddenly, you could see it.

 

“LV: 20… EXP: 99999… HP: 1… AT: 1… DF: 1,” you said loudly. “I see your stats, Sans.”

 

Sans froze in his spot, his back still turned to you. Dr. Alphys spoke with a laugh, “N-no… th-that can’t be right. His LV and EXP c-can’t be that high. He’d have to be a k-killing machine.”

 

Sans turned around, looking at you with shock and horror as Dr. Alphys continued, “Hold on. Let me find a couple more monsters to test it on.” She hurried out of the room.

 

“1 HP, huh?” you taunted. Even your own HP was higher than that.

 

Sans entire face was covered in sweat and he looked as though he might be sick. “i gotta go.” Suddenly he was gone.

 

You blinked. Had he teleported? That was so COOL.

 

 

After Sans vanished, Dr. Alphys had sent in more monsters for you to test your judge skills and she began cataloging what she could. Now that you knew all you had to do was really want to see a soul in order to actually do it, it was a piece of cake. Sans’ advice really was pretty helpful even though you knew he hadn’t been trying to be.

 

Around noon, she’d given you a break for lunch and as you left the training room, you were pleasantly surprised to find Michael waiting for you. “Hey, how’d it go?”

 

“Uh, not bad. My mentor is kind of a jerk and bailed so I spent most of the morning with Dr. Alphys,” you explained as Michael started to walk you down the hallway.

 

“Oh, yeah. Sans, right? I don’t know much about him. He doesn’t really interact with humans much. His brother is pretty cool though,” Michael told you.

 

“Did someone say Sans?” you hear a voice from behind you, and turn around to see a short Asian girl walking out of a different training room.

 

“Hey, Josie,” Michael greeted the girl. “This is _____. She’s the new boss mage.”

 

She looked you up and down and you did the same. She was wearing a pair of black leather leggings, and an oversized black t-shirt with a pair of black doc martens. You always admired the all-black aesthetic, but never had the gumption to try to pull it off. It suited Josie though.

 

“Cool,” she said, tucking a lock of short black hair behind her ear. “So what was that about Sans?”

 

Michael gave you an amused look. “Uh, ____ here is Sans’ new trainee.”

 

Josie grabbed your arm and squeezed it hard. “No...”

 

“Ow...” you said, trying to pry her hand off of your arm. What a death grip.

 

“You are so lucky. And you get to live with him. Oh my god… you have to invite me over,” she begged.

 

Michael laughed, “You see… Josie is a little bit obsessed with Sans.”

 

“He’s so gorgeous,” she gushed, finally letting go of your arm. For such a tiny girl, she sure was strong.

 

“Wait… live with him?” you asked, a little freaked out. You were NOT going to live with him. He couldn’t even stand to be in the same room with you. How were you supposed to live together???

 

“Well, yeah. We all live with our mentors,” Michael explained. “That way we have 24/7 support. I live with Alphys, Josie lives with Undyne. Liam’s the only one who doesn’t live with his mentor.”

 

“Why?” you asked desperately, hoping this Liam person would tell you his secrets so you wouldn’t have to live with Sans.

 

“Ask him yourself,” Michael said, nodding towards a tall, dark-skinned man in a military uniform. He was walking towards them with that marine strut. “Hey, Liam.”

 

“What’s up?” Liam dropped his military facade and gave Michael a fist bump. He looked over at you and grinned. “Fresh meat.” You gave him a look because ew. You weren’t meat.

 

“This is ______. _______, meet Liam,” Michael introduced.

 

“And don’t be gross and scare her off. She’s my ticket to getting in Sans’ pants,” Josie said, wrapping an arm around your waist.

 

Liam gave Josie a disgusted look, “Gross. If you fuck a monster, I’m never talking to you again.”

 

“ANYWAY,” Michael said, stepping in to break up the discussion before it escalated. “We were just discussing why you don’t live with your mentor.”

 

“Oh,” Liam looked sheepish as he scratched the back of his head, “Well, see when monsters first emerged… I miiiiiiight’ve killed a few.”

 

“What? Why?” You asked, horrified. As far as you could tell, they were peaceful. What reason was there to kill any of them?

“Because I’m in the military and my commander ordered me to shoot on sight,” he explained. “We didn’t know who they were or what they wanted. I only killed a few before we realized maybe we shouldn’t. Anyway, my mentor’s brother freaked out when he found out and wouldn’t let me live in their house. Didn’t want me to hurt his brother,” Liam explained.

 

“His mentor is Papyrus. Sans’ little brother...” Michael further explained and you put two and two together.

 

“Gotcha,” you said. That made a little more sense of why Sans would be so distrusting of you. He probably didn’t have the best impression of humans. You could almost understand where he was coming from, but that didn’t mean that you wanted to live with him. That was a fate worse than death in your opinion. “Well, I hope you don’t plan on killing any more monsters.”

 

“Nah,” Liam grinned like the topic wasn’t all that serious. He changed the subject quickly, “I’m starving. You guys wanna go grab some lunch in town?”

 

You followed along with your new group of ‘friends’ but spent the afternoon preoccupied by the thought of moving in with your skeleton mentor. You remember his face as he teleported away. He looked… scared. And you’d teased him about his low HP too. He hated you, for sure. Oh god… living with Sans was going to be absolute hell.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3 -

 

Sans teleported himself into his bedroom and collapsed onto his bed, holding his damp skull in his hands as he tried to catch his breath. He felt like he was about to hyperventilate. What the hell was that?

 

He thanked his lucky stars that Alphys had brushed off the soul judgment that you had given. He knew that you must have actually seen his soul stats because that was the only way you could have known he only had one HP. But then, why was his EXP and LV so damn high? He remembered what Alphys had said. He would literally have to be a killing machine in order to rack up that many execution points. He’d NEVER seen something so high with the exception of Frisk.

 

All that EXP had to have been from all those times he’d killed Frisk. And that was terrifying because it meant that you could see stats regardless of timelines. And that in turn hurt his head to think about. What would be the point of such a power? As far as he knew, Frisk and him were the only ones who could remember the multiple timelines. How was he supposed to explain why his HP was astronomical? People would think he was absolutely insane.

 

Of course, that was his most pressing worry, but he was also unsettled that you knew about his low HP. If you knew, Alphys would almost certainly catalog it and then everyone, government and military included, would know that one hit could kill him. He felt like a complete fool. The smartest thing he could have done in his situation was refuse to mentor you. Then he wouldn’t be in this situation with all of his shame laid out for you to see. How could he have been so stupid? He should have seen this coming. He was an idiot not to realize that you would be able to see how weak he was.

 

He was startled from his thoughts when he heard a knock on his door.

 

“Sans? Are you in there?” It was Toriel. Sans knew that she’d spent all of yesterday and today helping Papyrus fix up the guest room for you.

 

“uh, yeah.” He stood up and wiped the sweat off his face before opening the door a crack to peek out at her. He didn’t want Toriel to see his room. “sup, tori?”

 

“We’ve finished up your mage’s room. Do you know what time she’ll arrive? I thought maybe we could all have dinner together,” Toriel suggested.

 

“BROTHER. YOU MUST COME. I WILL BE MAKING MY WORLD FAMOUS FRIENDSHIP SPAGHETTI,” Papyrus announced as he walked past Sans’ room carrying a light purple velvet comforter. “NO EXCUSES,” he narrowed his eyes at his brother as he carried the blanket into your new room.

 

Sans wasn’t exactly in the mood to sit down to dinner with everyone. What if you brought up his stats in front of Toriel? How would he explain that away? There was literally no one he could confide in besides Frisk. They were the only other person who knew about the resets and wouldn’t think he was completely insane. Maybe they could help distract you from bringing up his LV before he had a chance to figure out how to explain it. “will the kiddo be there?”

 

Toriel smiled fondly at the mention of her adopted child, “Of course. Frisk has been dying to come see you both.” She lowered her voice and added, “And I’ll bring dessert so Papyrus’ cooking doesn’t scare her off after the first night.”

 

“cool. Sounds good, tori,” Sans told her and began closing his door.

 

“Ah, Sans?” Toriel put her rather large and furry foot in his doorway to stop him. “You know if you need to talk, I’m all ears,” she said, pointing to her big floppy ears.

 

“heh. thanks.” Toriel removed her foot and Sans closed his door the rest of the way. As much as he’d like to be able to spill his guts, he knew Toriel wouldn’t like what he’d have to say. The fact that he’d killed Frisk more times than he’d like to count would definitely put a damper on their friendship. With somewhat of a plan of action, he decided to shower and change before you arrived.

 

____

 

 

After lunch with your new group of friends, Dr. Alphys informed you that in a few days you’d be meeting with some of the heads of the U.S. military to show them what you could do. You weren’t sure that you could do anything at all so the idea of meeting with what was essentially some of the most important people in the United States was a terrifying one. “But I don’t know how to do anything,” you told Alphys.

 

“D-don’t worry. S-sans will begin t-training you tomorrow,” Dr. Alphys said, patting your arm awkwardly.

 

“Yeah, and they really don’t expect much. They just want to see that you’re able to do something,” Michael added. “All I did at my first demonstration was make a lightbulb flicker.”

 

“But Sans doesn’t even want to train me,” you pointed out. “He totally bailed today.” You were still thinking about that look of shock and terror on his face before he’d poofed out of existance.

 

“D-don’t worry. The m-meeting isn’t j-just to see w-what you can do. It w-will give Sans reason to train you. There c-could be consequences if he doesn’t,” Dr. Alphys explained.

 

“Consequences?” You didn’t like the sound of that. You didn’t want Sans to get punished on the contingency of whether or not you’d be able to perform. Not only would that weigh on your conscience, but it would make your mentor resent you even more than he already seemed to.

 

“Oh, d-don’t worry about that,” Dr. Alphys said. “Cooperation is k-key for us to get c-citizenship. And if they th-threaten to take that away… well, let’s just s-say that Sans w-wouldn’t let that happen. For P-Papyrus’ sake.”

 

You frowned. You hadn’t thought about the issue of citizenship for the monsters. After a year of them basically being isolated in Ebott, it stopped being a hot-button issue and everyone kind of forgot abh out the idea of them integrating into society. But if you thought about it, why wouldn’t they want that? Of course, they probably weren’t much happier being on the surface in what was essentially an internment camp than they were underground. Now that you had met monsters, although only a few, you realized that they were really like everyone else save for their strange appearances. They deserved citizenship just as much as anyone else. “Am I helping?”

 

Dr. Alphys tilted her head, “Helping what?”

 

“Me being here, I mean. Is it helping you all get citizenship?” You asked. After a moment you added, “I just don’t want to be an added burden for Sans.”

 

“O-oh,” Alphys simply said, as though she didn’t know what else to say. She looked touched. “W-well, I can’t say. B-but y-you’re d-definitely not a burden.” You smiled at Dr. Alphys. She was just a big marshmallow.

 

“Come on,” Michael said, pulling you out of the room. “Let’s go before you make the doc cry.” You let him drag you down the hallway. “I’ll walk you to your new house.”

 

You suddenly felt nervous. You knew that Sans didn’t care for you and that made you want to hightail it out of there. But from the sounds of it, he and his brother both wanted citizenship and you wanted that for them. You’d have to stick it out and change Sans’ mind. You didn’t need to be best friends or anything, but getting along at least would be nice.

 

Michael led you down a gravel road, away from all the Quonset huts where the mage training seemed to take place. You felt your shoulders relax a little as you passed the soldiers at the main gate and led you off-base. A few hundred feet down the road, you saw another gate posted with more soldiers but from what you could tell, it only led into a neighborhood.

 

“We had to put up fences and guards. About six months ago, some assholes tried to dust a few monsters,” Michael explained. You were pretty sure that meant murder, but only nodded your head. He handed you an ID. “You’ll need to show this to get in and out.” He lifted his own and showed it to one of the guards and you did the same before they let you pass through the gates into the neighborhood.

 

The first house on the left was a huge palatial mansion complete with an English garden and hedge-maze. “That’s where Asgore lives. He’s basically the ruler of the monsters.”

 

“It’s amazing,” you said, resisting the urge to run through the maze. Maybe once you got to know all the monsters better, you’d be invited to actually go through it.

 

“And right across the street is Undyne’s house,” he pointed over to a fish shaped house, which was an engineering marvel of its own. It would have been impressive if not for the freshly charred lawn. “Uh, she gets carried away sometimes and there’s fire...”

 

You blinked, “Scary...”

 

Michael laughed, “Nah, I think you’ll like her. She’s Josie’s mentor,” Michael said, still leading you down the street. He led you past several more homes and named off a few monsters who lived there before stopping at the end of the road that looped into a big circle, surrounded by several buildings. In the center of the circular road, there was a statue of a human child and what appeared to be a humanoid goat child.

 

“This is like the downtown area. There’s the Snowed Inn… that’s where my brother stayed when he came to visit. There’s a few clothes shops, a bakery and then… there’s Grillby’s.” He pointed over to a cozy looking bar and grill.

 

As you walked by, a heavenly smell wafted out. “Oh. my. God. That smells SO good,” you practically moaned.

 

Michael laughed, “It tastes even better than it smells. The guy who owns it is a fire monster and damn can he grill a burger.”

 

Your stomach grumbled at the thought of a juicy burger even though it had only been a few hours since lunch. “Why didn’t we eat lunch here?” It was way closer than downtown Ebott.

 

“Uh, Liam’s not really welcome at most of the monster establishments,” Michael pointed out, his voice dropping as though even mentioning Liam was taboo.

 

Right. That made sense. Afterall, Liam had no doubt killed some of these monsters’ family members. Part of you felt bad for being friends with someone who had essentially murdered some of your new neighbors’ loved ones. “He’s got a lot of making up to do, huh?”

 

Michael nodded. “Yep. The problem is that he doesn’t think he was doing anything wrong. Just obeying orders.”

 

You frowned, “And his mentor is okay with that? The fact that he’s not even remorseful about it?”

 

“Well, you’ll understand once you meet his mentor. Who coincidentally is your roommate number two. I heard he’s very excited to have you living with him,” Michael grinned. By now, you were out of the downtown area and heading down a new street. “Here’s where me and the good doctor live,” Michael said, pointing to a modern looking square house. He led you past a few more houses to a two story wooden cabin. “Here’s yours.”

 

You stood awkwardly for a moment and looked at your new home. Did you need to knock or could you just walk in? You looked up and noticed an assortment of Christmas lights, a jolly roger flag, and a balcony. What really caught your attention was that Sans was standing out on said balcony with a small human child. When he noticed you looking, he took the kids’ hand and went back inside the house. Before you had too much time to stand around thinking about it, the front door slammed open and a tall skeleton appeared in the doorway, standing with his hands on his hips. “HUMAN!”

 

“Uh, yes?” you said, unsure of how to react to being addressed by your species. You could only imagine that this was the famous Papyrus you’d heard about. You had the impression that he was Sans’ little brother, but if you were judging based on looks alone, you’d guess Papyrus was older. He certainly had more… stature.

 

Papyrus leaped from his spot in the doorway and did a front flip, landing at your feet, before scooping you into his arms for a bone-crushing hug. “WELCOME TO YOUR NEW HOME!”

 

“Papyrus, dear, don’t crush her!” You heard a gentle voice from the doorway and looked up to see a tall goat woman in purple robes, her hands folded regally in front of her.

“I’m fine,” you squeaked as Papyrus let go of you. You took a final look at the outside of the house before the tall skeleton led you inside. The inside of the house was cozy, but you could tell it was a house lived in by two men. The décor was completely masculine and there was a pile of what appeared to be dirty socks next to the tv.

 

“AHEM. IGNORE THE SOCKS,” Papyrus told you. He must have been watching you look around at his house.

 

You stifled a laugh. “Sorry. Just not something you see everyday.”

 

“THAT IS THE WORK OF MY LAZY BROTHER. THE PILE GETS BIGGER BY THE DAY AND I REFUSE TO TOUCH THEM,” Papyrus narrowed his eyes at the pile as if looking at his mortal enemy.

 

“Understandable,” you tell your new roommate, still trying not to laugh. There was something humorous about the pile of socks and how much it seemed to annoy Papyrus.

 

“You must be ____,” the goat woman smiled warmly and stepped forward so pat the top of your head with her fluffy goat paw. “I am Toriel. It is wonderful to meet you.”

 

“Nice to meet you too. Do you live here with Sans and Papyrus?” you asked. Maybe she was married to one of them?

 

“Heavens, no,” Toriel laughed. “We are just close friends.” She looked at something over your shoulder and smiled, “There you are. I was wondering where you two had gone off to.”

 

You turned around and noticed Sans coming down the stairs with the human child you’d seen earlier. You made eye contact with him and his eyes darted away nervously, his smile looking strained. “was just showing the kid the view from the balcony.”

 

The child in question jumped down the last three stairs and bolted over to where you stood. “HI! I’m Frisk,” you heard inside of your head. You blinked and then gasped, causing Toriel and Frisk to both laugh.

 

“Are you telepathic?” you asked, in awe. “THAT IS SO COOL!”

 

Frisk looked extremely pleased with themself. “Yep! I’m a boss mage like you!”

 

“Wow,” You were super impressed. This ten year old kid was already better than you could even hope to be. “Can everyone else hear you, or just me?”

 

“Everyone can hear me now,” Frisk explained. They gave you a flirtatious wink and added, “But now only you can hear me.”

 

You gave a snort. This kid was quite the character. “That might be one of the coolest kinds of magic I’ve seen, uh… heard so far.”

 

“NOW THAT WE ARE ACQUAINTED, LET’S EAT DINNER,” Papyrus suggested, leading you to an eat-in kitchen.

 

You all sat down at the table where there was a place setting of spaghetti for each of you. The table was barely big enough for the five of you, especially with how big Papyrus and Toriel were, and poor Frisk was squeezed in next to you on what appeared to be an ottoman. Maybe the skeleton brothers would let you fix the place up a little.

 

The spaghetti itself looked delicious and you wound a good portion around your fork only to notice that everyone was watching you. Toriel and Frisk seemed to be looking at you with amused anticipation, Sans with wariness and Papyrus with excitement. You took a bite and froze when you felt something crunch between your teeth. You looked down at your plate. Was that glitter in the sauce? How had you not noticed it before?

 

Your immediate reaction was to spit it out but the way everyone was watching you made you feel as though that would be rude. Part of you wondered if they were messing with you. Was this some type of monster hazing? You looked over at Papyrus who was still watching you with the most hopeful expression on his face and you knew that he was sincerely waiting for your reaction. There was something in you that just wasn’t able to hurt his feelings or disappoint him. “It’s… really good,” you said, little pieces of glitter flying out of your mouth as you gave him a thumbs up.

 

Toriel and Frisk were still obviously amused, but Sans looked relieved. “NYEH HEH. OF COURSE IT IS. THE CULINARY GENIUS THAT IS I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, CALL IT ‘FRIENDSHIP SPAGHETTI. AND NOW THAT YOU’VE EATEN IT, WE ARE DESTINED TO BE BEST OF FRIENDS.”

 

Now that you’d tasted the culinary sensation that was Papyrus’ friendship spaghetti, everyone else began to dig in. Halfway through, you couldn’t stomach anymore, and part of you was just dreading the gastrointestinal difficulties that were to come. You were pleasantly surprised when your food just vanished off the plate and you looked over to see Sans give you a wink. So… not only could he disappear but he could make objects vanish as well. You were beginning to see why he was a boss monster.

 

He must have done the same thing to everyone’s plate because soon enough, Papyrus was proudly clearing off the empty dishes and Toriel was replacing them with slices of warm heavenly-scented pie. You didn’t think you’d ever be able to eat again after the dreaded spaghetti of 2019, but your stomach was already giving you an anticipatory growl of approval. “Oh god, this smells so good.”

 

“Butterscotch cinnamon pie. It’s the best,” Frisk announced, digging in.

 

You tried your best to be civilized and not scarf it down, so you decided the best route was conversation as you ate. “Toriel, are you Frisk’s mentor?”

 

“She’s my momtor,” Frisk grinned.

 

“good one, kid,” Sans said, reaching across the table to fluff Frisk’s already messy hair.

 

You wanted to ask about Frisk’s actual parents, but decided you might run into a taboo topic of conversation there. The last thing you wanted to do was upset a small child. “Do you live nearby?”

 

“We live with Dad, uh, Asgore,” Frisk told you and Toriel looked rather disgruntled about the whole thing. You could read between the lines and sense that you’d stumbled into a bad topic, so you turned to Papyrus. “So, Papyrus, what kind of magic can you do?”

 

“NYEH HEH, I CAN SHOW YOU HUMAN,” Papyrus stood up, knocking his chair over in the process. “ARE YOU PREPARED TO BATTLE?”

 

Battle? With a 7 foot skeleton? You weren’t sure you wanted to be subjected to his magic. He looked pretty badass, especially with the armor he had on. You decided to check his stats before agreeing to anything. You concentrated hard and suddenly his stats appeared before you in black and white. LV 6. Not as high as Sans but you had the impression that LV 6 was way more than you could handle on your own. You doubted that Papyrus would purposely hurt you but he also probably didn’t know his own strength against humans. “I don’t know, Papyrus, your LV is p-”

 

“bro, not sure that’s a good idea. ____ here can’t do combat magic and shes never been in a confrontation before,” Sans cut you off quickly and you relaxed. You shot him a grateful look.

 

“Maybe after she’s trained for a while,” Toriel suggested, easing the disappointed look on Papyrus’ face.

 

The conversation took a more comfortable direction once Toriel took over deciding on topics, and you were glad she was there. You liked Papyrus a lot, but you felt like you could easily get caught up in some sort of unpleasant situation just because it was hard to say no to him. And Sans hadn’t said two words to you directly the whole night. Part of you knew that Toriel wasn’t going to be around 24/7 but it was nice to have her there for the first night.

 

After dinner, you helped clean up the table and load the dishwasher. “HUMAN. ARE YOU READY TO SEE YOUR ROOM?” Papyrus asked excitedly, his bones practically clacking in anticipation.

 

“Oh, uh yeah. I’d love to,” You told him with a smile. You thought it was sweet that they’d made up a room for you and even sweeter that Papyrus seemed excited to show you.

 

He grabbed your hand and dragged you up the stairs, everyone else following in tow. You passed the first room which had notices taped to the door declaring that no boys or girls were allowed and a third that stated Papyrus was allowed. Easy enough to tell whose room that was. Next was the bathroom, which Papyrus opened to show you. “I EVEN BOUGHT YOU SOME SHAMPOO FOR YOUR HUMAN HAIR.”

 

You laughed, “Thanks Papyrus.” It was thoughtful of him to think of buying you something that he had no use for himself. You could tell already that he was going to be a dear friend. Even if Sans didn’t like you, it was nice to have someone around who did.

 

You passed a third room that had flames coming from under the door and Papyrus simply told you, “SANS’ ROOM.”

 

“Uh, is that fire? Should I be worried? Should we like… put it out or something?” you asked, glancing over your shoulder at the flames licking at the hallway carpet.

 

“AND GO INTO HIS BIOHAZARD OF A ROOM?” Papyrus looked horrified at the thought.

 

“no need to get so heated, bro,” Sans cracked and you shot him an amused look. So he did have a personality and sense of humor. Good to know. You could use that.

 

Papyrus completely ignored Sans’ joke and threw open the last door in the hallway. “TADA!” he announced, standing proudly with his hands on his hipbones.

You stepped into the room and immediately felt touched. The walls were a lavender color and all of the furniture white and feminine. In the corner was a bookshelf and next to it, a purple velvet chair with a stuffed bunny sitting on it. “DO YOU LIKE IT? THE BUNNY WAS MY IDEA. NYEH.”

 

“I love it!” You told Papyrus. You weren’t expecting anything special when you were a guest in their home, but clearly Papyrus had given you a room you would be comfortable in. It wasn’t like any other room in their house, which meant that he’d gone through all that effort just for you. You wrapped your arms around him and gave him a hug.

 

Papyrus’s face turned orange and he patted your back. “LADY TORIEL HELPED.”

 

You stepped out of the embrace, not wanting to make Papyrus feel uncomfortable. “Thank you,” you told them both. “It’s really great.”

 

“SANS DID NOT HELP AT ALL,” Papyrus announced.

 

That didn’t surprise you at all, but it would be rude to answer that way. “Well, I just appreciate that he’s letting me stay here.”

 

“DO NOT WORRY, HUMAN. SANS WON’T GET AWAY SCOT-FREE. HE WILL HELP YOU MOVE SOME OF YOUR BELONGINGS HERE TOMORROW,” Papyrus announced and gave his older brother a look that dared him to argue.

 

Sans looked temped to argue, but decided to let it go. “sure thing, bro.”

 

“Now that that’s settled, I should be getting Frisk home for bed,” Toriel announced. You thanked her again and followed them downstairs with Papyrus to see them off. Once they were gone, you noticed that Sans was nowhere to be found. Well, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad living here if Sans was hiding in his room all the time.

 

“YOUR TRAINING WILL START TOMORROW. YOU SHOULD GET SOME REST,” Papyrus suggested.

 

You nodded in agreement, “Yeah, that’s a good idea. Goodnight Papyrus.” You were thankful that he was giving you a chance to have some alone time too. It had been a long couple of days and you were starting to feel exhausted. You weren’t sure what training would entail, but you were anxious about being alone with Sans.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4 -

 

To say that the first day of your training started off with a bang would be an understatement. The bang in question came as your bedroom door slammed open, almost coming completely off the hinges. When you managed to rub the sleep out of your eyes and sit up, you saw Papyrus standing in the doorway, glowering at you. Tucked under one of his arms was Sans, who appeared to still be sleeping. “HUMAN! YOU AND MY LAZY BROTHER ARE SLEEPING THE DAY AWAY!”

 

You reached for your phone and the glare of the screen made you squint your eyes, “It’s only 11:30.”

 

When you looked back up at Papyrus, you swore you could see his eye socket twitching in irritation. There was barely time to react before he launched Sans across the room at you. Quickly, you yanked the covers over your head for protection and felt the thud of Sans landing in the middle of your bed. “WAKE UP!”

 

After pulling the blankets off your head, you gave a snort as you noticed Sans still sleeping. “How is he sleeping through that?” You asked in amazement and poked the side of Sans’ skull.

 

“SANS IS A NATURAL AT SLEEPING THROUGH ANYTHING,” Papyrus informed you in a tone that was somehow both annoyed and adoring.

 

Suddenly, one of Sans’ eyes snapped open and he fixed his dot of light on you, “i could do it with my eyes closed.”

 

A beat passed and you looked between the two brothers, “Did… did you guys plan that?”

 

Papyrus looked affronted at the accusation, “NEVER!” He turned to leave and gave you both a look, “AND DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING BACK TO SLEEP! WE LEAVE IN TEN MINUTES!”

 

With Papyrus gone, Sans rolled off the bed and stood up, shoving his hands in his pockets. You couldn’t help but notice that he had been sleeping in the same clothes he’d worn the day before.

 

He seemed to notice you staring and asked a little gruffly, “what?”

 

“Are those the same clothes you were wearing yesterday?” you asked.

 

His face turned a little blue, “yeah.”

 

“Are you wearing them again today?” It was hard keeping the amusement out of your voice.

 

“maybe.”

 

“I take that as a yes,” you said, a teasing tone to your voice. You wondered if he even owned other clothes and the idea that he didn’t made you sad. For the first time, you found yourself wondering what life was like underground. Resources must have been limited and you felt a little guilty for teasing him about wearing the same clothes day in and day out. He’d lived his whole life without many other options. And now that they were finally on the surface, they were confined to this military compound.

 

“if it upsets you that much, i can change,” Sans offered, knocking you out of your thoughts.

 

“No, it’s fine,” you assure him. Your concern for his situation must have been clear on your face but you didn’t want him to feel self-conscious. Maybe this was a good excuse for a shopping trip. You were pretty sure you saw a couple of boutiques in downtown Ebott. “Can you go to Ebott?”

 

Sans looked at you in confusion. “ya mean like off-the-compound-ebott? Nah...”

 

You frowned. “You can’t even go into Ebott? You have to stay on the military base the whole time?”

 

It was Sans’ turn to look a little amused this time. “well, yeah. ‘pparently its not safe for us.”

 

You had to wonder if that was really the case. It wouldn’t be surprising or outside the realm of possibilities that people would try to harm monsters if given the chance. The hard to believe part was that monsters were so easily vulnerable. You weren’t sure exactly what Sans was capable of, but you knew he was a boss monster which had to mean that he was packing some serious power and was more than able to take care of himself if attacked by a couple of rogue humans. No, you were pretty sure that the government was more afraid of what monsters would do to humans if given the chance. “Hmm,” was all you said.

 

Sans studied you thoughtfully for a few moments before speaking. “well ‘spose we should get ready before paps starts throwin’ one of us.”

 

You nodded at him and got out of bed. “I’ll see you downstairs in a few.” Once he was gone and your door was closed, you dug through your suitcases for something to wear. You weren’t sure what training would entail, but if it was anything like yesterday, jeans and a t-shirt would work. Still, you were missing your full wardrobe. Sooner rather than later, you’d need to talk to someone about moving more of your stuff here. You knew that Papyrus had offered Sans’ service but you weren’t sure that you were willing to take him up on that. Sans was hardly someone that you would consider a friend and you were fairly certain that Sans just didn’t want to. Forcing him into something that he had no interest in definitely wouldn’t foster a friendship between you two. If you were going to be staying in the compound, and especially in this house, you would need him as a friend. Hell, you wanted Sans as a friend.

 

You threw on the only pair of jeans you brought and a clean t-shirt before heading to the bathroom to brush your teeth. When you finished getting dressed, you headed downstairs to find the brothers waiting for you in the living room.

 

“HUMAN! ARE YOU PREPARED FOR TRAINING?” Papyrus asked loudly, his hands on his hips as he looked at you. “YOUR BATTLE CLOTHES DO NOT APPEAR VERY… PRACTICAL.”

 

“Battle clothes?” you raised an eyebrow and looked over at Sans. “Do I need battle clothes?”

 

Sans shrugged and Papyrus answered for him. “YOU MAY NEED TO RUN OR JUMP OR DO FLIPS.”

 

“Flips?” The incredulity was clear in your voice. Never in your life had you done a flip. Coordination and athleticism were not your forte. “I really don’t think I’ll be doing flips.” You looked over to Sans, “Right?”

 

“dunno. might be fun.”

 

You narrowed your eyes at him. “You’re the one training me, so I guess you’ll have to be the one to show me how to do those flips.” For some reason, you had the distinct impression that Sans wasn’t the type to do flips. Or run. Or jump. Or exert himself at all, really.

 

“no need to get so somer-salty,” Sans quipped.

 

Papyrus made a noise of frustration and you looked away from Sans. “Let’s get going then,” you suggested, pulling on your shoes. “Are you training today, Papyrus?” You followed the brothers out of the house and watched with concern as they didn’t even bother locking the door before starting down the street.

 

“I SHALL TRAIN WITH UNDYNE AND HUMAN-JOSIE WHILE HUMAN-LIAM TRAINS WITH THE MILITARY,” Papyrus informed you.

 

“Josie, huh?” you asked with a grin and glanced over at Sans out of the corner of your eye. You wondered if he had any idea how she felt about him. From the blue tinge to Sans’ skull, you had a feeling he did.

 

“SHE IS QUITE… FEISTY,” Papyrus told you, unaware of what you’d been implying.

 

“No kidding. Check out these bruises she gave me yesterday,” you said, lifting the sleeves of your t-shirt to show him.

 

“HUMAN. ARE YOU ALRIGHT?” Papyrus asked with concern, eyeing the purple marks on your arms with a little discomfort.

 

“Yeah, I’m fine. Like you said, she’s a little feisty. Especially when it comes to Sans. She freaked out a little when she heard I was living with him.” You swore you saw Sans shrinking into the collar of his hoodie at that.

 

“STILL… IT LOOKS QUITE PAINFUL,” Papyrus fretted.

 

“They’re just bruises,” you reassured him. “I bruise easily anyway.”

 

“ill get tori to heal it for her,” Sans told his brother. Papyrus looked satisfied with that and you walked in silence for a moment before a spear came flying out of nowhere and crashed right at your feet.

 

“HEY DORKS!” A loud voice called and you looked over to where the voice was coming from. Standing where the charred lawn of the fish house met with the road there was what you could only describe as a sexy fish woman. Her lips were curled up in a snarl as she twirled another blue spear in her hand.

 

“Woah,” was all you said, not sure if you were scared of her or a little turned on.

 

“UNDYNE!” Papyrus called cheerfully. “HAVE YOU MET SANS’ HUMAN???”

 

You blushed, not sure how you felt about being referred to as someone’s human. Especially when that someone was a monster you weren’t even sure if you liked. You waved at her anyway. “Hi.”

 

“Come on, nerd! Let’s see what you’ve got!” Undyne challenged, before sending another spear your way.

 

Your eyes widened as the spear came flying right at you. Your instincts were telling you to duck, but before you even had a chance, you were levitating six feet off the ground. The spear landed exactly where you’d just been standing and while you were thankful you weren’t a shish-kebab, you also hated being off the ground. “Uhhhh,” your voice cracked and you looked over at Sans. His hand was glowing blue and was aimed directly at you so it was safe to assume that he was the one who had saved you. But still, you’d like to be put down. You just couldn’t find your voice.

 

“shes not a combat mage,” Sans told the fish woman.

 

Undyne gave a laugh and manifested another spear. “Aw come on. She should at least learn to protect herself!”

 

“UNDYNE,” Papyrus said uneasily, sensing the tension in the air.

 

Sans held you aloft with one hand and manifested a bone in his other. “undyne,” he warned.

 

“SAAAAAAAAAAAAANS!”

 

You tore your eyes away from Sans and looked over at the doorway of the fish house to the source of the deafening scream. Your eyes were able to focus on Josie for a split second before she came tearing across the lawn and launching herself right at Sans. It all happened so fast that even Sans hadn’t been prepared and without focus, he dropped you onto the ground where you landed right on your side.

 

You watched as Josie launched herself at Sans, wrapping her arms around him. As amusing as it was to watch, you’d have to wait until later to tease Sans about it. For now all you could think about was the excruciating pain you were in from falling six feet directly onto your arm. You’d never broken a bone before but you were pretty sure your right arm was broken. “Ow,” you groaned, trying to push yourself up into a sitting position but without the use of your arm to prop yourself up, you were left rolling around in agony.

 

“HUMAN! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?” Papyrus ran to your side and helped you sit up. He gasped in horror as he looked down at where your forearm was bent at an unnatural angle.

 

You felt equal horror and nausea at the sight of it. “Gross.”

 

“Cool… you broke it,” Josie said, still clinging to Sans as she looked over at your arm with morbid curiosity.

 

“Yep, definitely broken,” your eyes darted around, too squeamish to actually look at it. Somehow, seeing the break made it all that much more painful. You could feel your eyes watering up but you didn’t want to cry in front of so many people.

 

“SANS. TAKE HER TO LADY TORIEL,” Papyrus suggested as he helped you stand up. He seemed to be just as unable to look at it as you were. Considering he was all bones, you imagined that the thought of breaking a bone was especially unpleasant.

 

Josie protested as Sans disentangled himself from her and he put an arm around your waist, careful not to touch your arm. As he pulled you closer, you wondered two things: first, how a skeleton could feel so humanly warm and second, what he was planning to do. Before you had much time to think about it, you felt an overwhelming sensation of deja vu and squeezed your eyes shut.

 

When you opened them, you were standing in what appeared to be the living room of someone’s grandma. Sans helped you into an over-sized chair and you looked around at all the doilies and tchotchkes. “im gonna go get tori,” he told you before hurrying off. So this was Toriel’s house.

 

You cradled your arm and tried to look anywhere but at it. You got out of the chair, looking to distract yourself from the pain you were in and noticed that there were some pictures on the mantle, mostly of Frisk, but others were of many of the monsters you’d met. There was a cute one of Undyne noogie-ing Papyrus. Another one was of Frisk curled up asleep between Alphys and Undyne on a sofa. The next was of a sleeping Sans whose face had been drawn on. There was a large mustache/monocle combination and ‘FRISK WAS HERE’ written across the forehead. That kid was a little shit and you loved it.

 

“Oh, _______, dear. Are you alright?” Toriel rushed to your side and steered you back into a chair.

 

Frisk was following behind her, trying to get a good look at your arm. “What happened?” you heard their voice in your head.

 

“I fell on my arm,” you told Frisk and looked over at Sans. He looked so guilty about it, but you wanted him to know that it hadn’t been his fault. “Just a little accident.”

 

Toriel touched your arm gingerly and you flinched in anticipation, but all you felt was warmth and then nothing at all. “How does it feel?”

 

“Great,” you told her, wiggling your arm around. “Like it was never broken at all. That’s amazing.”

 

“Perfect. Sans, why don’t you let your brother know she’s fine? I’ll walk her over to the facility and we’ll meet you there,” Toriel suggested and Sans nodded, looking relieved to be off the hook. He poofed out of existence and then it was just you, Toriel and Frisk.

 

“Frisk dear, go brush your hair and put on your shoes,” Toriel told her adopted child. Frisk looked like they wanted to protest, but decided against it. You had the distinct impression that Frisk knew better than to argue against their goat mother. “Why don’t you tell me what happened?” she asked, worry in her voice.

 

“It’s not a big deal, really. We ran into Undyne and she wanted to fight. Sans was trying to defend me and get her to back off. He got distracted and I fell.” That was the short version of it, anyway.

 

Toriel looked surprised. “He was helping you?”

 

“Yeah. I mean, it’s kind of his job as my mentor, right?” you pointed out to her.

 

“Of course. It’s just a little… unexpected of Sans,” Toriel offered.

 

You wondered what that meant. Sans seemed like a good person to you and you were fairly sure Toriel was friends with Sans if the pictures of him in her living room were any indication. “You don’t think he’s a good person?”

 

“No, no,” Toriel said quickly. “He’s very kind. He’s just… not very trusting. I’m just surprised that he was so quick to defend you, that’s all.”

 

“Well, I mean, he didn’t have much choice. If he hadn’t stepped in, Undyne’s spear would have definitely killed me,” you told Toriel.

 

“One hit wouldn’t have killed you, dear,” Toriel told you. “She was probably just trying to show you the importance of learning to dodge an attack. She can just be a little overly enthusiastic.”

 

“So, basically, I was never in any real danger?” you asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Well, it probably would have hurt a little. But no, you weren’t in any real danger. In any case, I’m sure breaking your arm hurt much worse than anything Undyne had been planning to do,” Toriel laughed a little.

 

“That turd,” you grumbled. “Why did he get his underwear in a twist over nothing?” You were thankful that he was willing to defend you but this sounded like a case where there was nothing to really defend. It also sounded like he should have known himself that there was no need to get so worried. If he hadn’t looked so guilty about your arm, you would tear him a new butthole.You glanced over at Toriel who seemed to be deep in thought.

 

“I’m ready!” Frisk announced. You glanced over and bit back a laugh. If anything, their hair looked even messier than when they’d been sent off to brush it.

 

Toriel didn’t seem to notice as she stood up, or maybe it was more that this was a constant game they played and she wasn’t going to take Frisk’s bait. You stood up too and followed Toriel out of the room, laughing a little when Frisk winked at you. Yep, they were definitely playing a game.

 

“Are you excited to start training?” Frisk asked, grabbing your hand as you left the house.

 

“Um, kinda nervous. Is it weird that the whole military thing freaks me out a little?” you asked, lowering your voice so no one could hear.

 

“Nah. A lot of the monsters think they’re creepy too,” Frisk offered.

 

“Yeah, I suppose this is different than they all thought it would be when they came to the surface,” you mused out loud.

 

“Yep,” was all Frisk said as Toriel led you out of the monster district.

 

“So what kind of magic can you do? Can you heal like Toriel?” you asked Frisk.

 

“Nah. I can do telepathy and a couple other things. But I definitely want to learn how to heal,” Frisk told you. You wondered what the other things could possibly be, but you were distracted as you entered the military compound and found Papyrus, Undyne and Josie.

 

“HUMAN. I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE OKAY,” Papyrus lifted you into a hug.

 

As much as you enjoyed Papyrus’ bone-crushing hugs, you’d had enough of crushed bones for one day. “I’m fine, really. Toriel is a miracle worker.”

 

She blushed and waved off your praise. “It was my pleasure, dear.”

 

“Sorry for causing such a scene,” Undyne said, almost begrudgingly. “Didn’t know you were such a weenie.”

 

You might have been offended if you weren’t so acutely aware of your weenie-dom. “It’s fine. I shouldn’t have thought the worst. Toriel told me I would have been fine even if you’d got me.”

 

“HA. What ‘if’? I definitely would have hit you!” Undyne proclaimed and you had no doubt she was right. “We’ll have to spar some other time when your babysitter’s not around.”

 

Clearly, it was Undyne’s way of inviting you to hang out, so you chose not to be offended by the implication that you were a baby. “Yeah, maybe.”

 

“Afraid to lose?” Undyne asked, giving you a toothy grin.

 

“Pretty much,” you agreed easily. “I mean, look at you. You’re ripped. I’d definitely lose.”

 

Undyne’s face fell as though she’d been expecting more of a challenge from you. It seemed to confuse her that her niggling was getting her nowhere. “You’re so weird.”

 

“I guess I should go find Sans,” you told everyone. Now that you were surrounded by military men it made you feel even more nervous for the coming meeting. At this point, you had nothing to show them.

 

“He’s in the training center,” Josie informed you. “I’ll take you there.” She took your arm and led you away.

 

“Thanks,” you told her, slipping your arm out of her grasp at the first chance you had. The last thing you wanted was more bruises.

 

You both walked in silence for a few minutes before Josie finally spoke up. “So. You and Sans?”

 

“Me and Sans what?” you asked and then looked over at her. She looked oddly… vulnerable. Oh. “No. No. Just no.” What on earth would give her the impression that there was a you and Sans???

 

“Really?” she asked, her whole face brightening.

 

“Really. I mean, I’m fairly sure he can barely stand me,” you clarified.

 

“So you’re not interested in him?” Josie pressed and you shook your head. God, no. “Good. It’s so nice to finally have a girl around. You have no idea how long I’ve been stuck with Liam as company. I’d hate for something to get in the way of being friends.”

 

“Me too.” Josie was strange and intense, but she seemed nice. She dropped you off outside a door and you said your goodbyes. You pushed the door open to find Dr. Alphys and Sans chatting.

 

“G-good morning, ______,” Dr. Alphys hurried over to you. “H-how’s your arm?”

 

“It’s fine. Good as new,” you told her and wiggled it as demonstration. You glanced at Sans, who looked relieved to see your arm all in one piece.

 

“W-we were j-just discussing your t-training,” Dr. Alphys said. “W-we th-think your magic might be almost like a t-type of h-hypnotism. W-when you f-feel an emotion s-strongly enough, you p-pass that feeling onto s-someone else.”

 

“when i made you mad, your magic came out naturally. today we want to get you to do it unprovoked,” Sans added.

 

You nodded. “Okay. How do we do that?”

 

“dunno. are you completely useless?” Sans asked.

 

You frowned at him in confusion. You didn’t get it. He seemed almost… cool earlier. Why was he being a jerk again all of a sudden? “Well, sorry. I haven’t been doing this my whole life like you.”

 

“so thats a yes?” Sans asked. “this is such a waste of everyones time.”

 

“That’s not fair. Even Michael said he could barely do anything at first. You haven’t trained me at all yet,” you pointed out.

 

“lifes not fair. doesnt mean you gotta make it harder for everyone else around you,” Sans pointed out.

 

“You’re such a jerk, you know that? I’m not trying to make it harder for you!”

 

“youre not tryin at all, are ya?” Sans pointed out.

 

“I am!” you ground out, getting increasingly angry with him. “I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.”

 

“youre supposed to be doing magic. even Frisk can figure it out and theyre ten.”

 

Sans was absolutely infuriating! “And clearly they’re also more mature than you. You’re such an ass. You break my arm earlier and now you’re berating me because you’re a bad mentor and suck at teaching magic.”

 

Sans said nothing, but blinked at you in an unimpressed way.

 

“C-can you talk?” Dr. Alphys asked him and he shook his head. “G-good job, ____!”

Somehow in your anger, you’d managed to shut him up like you had the day before. “Oh.” Finally, you put all the pieces together. Sans had been provoking you into using your magic. “Sorry. I didn’t realize.”

 

“way to make a guy feel bad,” Sans told you with a shake of his head.

 

“Sorry! But you were the one being a jerk first.”

 

Sans shrugged non-chalantly. “had to do it.”

 

“H-how d-did it f-feel?” Dr. Alphys asked. “H-how did you d-do it?”

 

“I just got angry and wanted him to shut up,” you explained to her.

 

“Got it. Now can you ch-channel that f-feeling and d-do it again?” Dr. Alphys took some notes and then looked up at you.

 

“I can try,” you told her, though you felt kinda foolish. You knew your magic was real at this point, but you had trouble believing it. You brushed your self-doubt aside and tried to remember how you felt when you were angry at Sans moments before.

 

After a moment, Sans opened his mouth, then shook his head. He gave you a thumbs up.

 

It was that easy? You wondered if it would be as simple as remembering your anger each time. “This could come in handy,” you joke at Sans.

 

You let the anger melt away as he gives you a look. “funny.”

 

“G-great! You’re l-learning f-fast!” Dr. Alphys congratulated you. “B-before I forget, w-would you m-mind if we m-measured your m-magic?”

 

You shook your head and let the doctor lead you into the scanner. You waited patiently as she pushed a few buttons and then told you that you could step out. “I n-need to go g-grab the s-scans from the other room. I’ll be b-back in a f-few minutes.”

 

She hurried out of the room, leaving you and Sans alone. You sat down in a chair and pondered what kind of effect other emotions might have on people. If you could make someone shut up just by being angry at what they were saying, what would happiness or sadness or love do?

 

“can i ask you something?” Sans questioned, breaking you out of your thoughts.

 

“Sure,” you agreed.

 

“last night at dinner, you were about to say something about paps LV,” Sans reminded you.

 

“Oh yeah. His LV is 6,” you told Sans easily.

 

Sans looked at you for a minute and then shook his head. “nope. not possible.”

 

You shrugged. “That’s what I saw. He had LV 6 and 200 EXP.”

 

“you know what that means?” Sans clarified. “that he literally had to have killed someone. not possible.”

 

“Well, maybe he did?” you pointed out.

 

“paps would never.” You could feel the anger radiating off of Sans and when you looked at his face, the dots of light in his eyes were completely gone. Chills went down your spine.

 

“I don’t know, Sans. That’s what I saw,” you told him, looking away from him. He was starting to creep you out.

 

Sans shook his head. “youre wrong.”

 

You weren’t sure what to say to that. Maybe you were wrong about it. You didn’t know what you were looking at when you saw the stats. You were still new to this, afterall. When you finally found words again, you asked him, “Was I wrong about you? Your LV or EXP? Your HP?”

 

Sans didn’t answer. Instead, he blipped out of existence again.

 

You sighed and leaned back in your chair. Maybe you’d crossed a line but he was treating you like you were an enemy when all you’d done is tell him what you saw. It hardly seemed fair of him to get mad at you over something you had no control over. Whether or not Sans liked it, you were positive about what you’d seen when you looked at Papyrus’ soul.

 

When Dr. Alphys came back, you explained in embarrassment that you’d gotten into another fight with Sans and he’d taken off. Thankfully, she seemed to understand and told you to go home and get some rest.

 

You were able to find your way back to the monster district, but were hesitant about going home when it would just be you and Sans. You felt guilty about the fight you’d had with him and honestly, you could see why Sans was so doubtful. Papyrus was a sweetheart and you found it hard to imagine that he would hurt a fly. But based on Sans’ disappearance, you’d been right about the older brother’s stats. Which meant that Sans had killed before too. You couldn’t imagine that either. Sure, Sans could be a jerk at times, but he wasn’t a bad guy. He’d even defended you from Undyne.

 

Confused about what to think, you wandered around for a while before finally coming to the conclusion that souls were complicated and the ability to read stats was even more so. You would have to ask more questions about it at some point, but it was still too touchy of a subject to bring up with Sans. You sighed again and decided to just go home and face the music.

 

When you arrived back at the house, it was clear that if Sans was home, he wasn’t downstairs. The thought of him being so upset that he would hide from you made you feel guilty. You would apologize to him at dinner that night.

 

With that thought in mind, you decided to go ahead and start making dinner. If left to Papyrus, you might be stuck eating his spaghetti again. After rummaging through the cupboards and refrigerator you came to the conclusion that the brothers at nothing but spaghetti and ketchup. You would have to go grocery shopping and expand their culinary taste buds. For tonight though, you settled on making spaghetti. Perhaps if Papyrus knew what it was actually supposed to taste like, he’d take a hint.

 

Papyrus walked through the door shortly before you finished and poked his head into the kitchen. “HUMAN. IS THAT SPAGHETTI I SMELL?”

 

You grinned at him, a little amused at the thought that he could smell anything at all with no nose. “Yep. It’s almost done, so can you go get Sans?”

 

Papyrus did as he was told and sprinted out of the room as you loaded the plates up with spaghetti and sauce. A few moments later, Papyrus reappeared. “SANS IS FEELING UNWELL AND WON’T BE JOINING US.”

 

“Oh.” was all you said. He was so angry, he was avoiding you now. You twirled some spaghetti around your fork as the guilt ate at you. Great. You’d made Sans feel so uncomfortable he was hiding in his own home. You were the biggest jerk ever.

 

“THIS IS DELICIOUS. EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO GLITTER. HOW DID YOU DO IT?” Papyrus asked in awe. He had little hearts in his eyes.

 

“Oh I can teach you next time,” you offered in a distracted tone.

 

“IS SOMETHING WRONG?”

 

“Uh, Sans and I had a fight,” you decided to tell Papyrus. The guilt was eating at you and you really needed to get it off your chest.

 

“A FIGHT ABOUT WHAT?”

 

“Um, it’s not important.” You couldn’t find it in you to tell Papyrus the fight was essentially about whether or not he was a murderer. “I was insensitive I guess and now he’s hiding and I feel bad.”

 

“HMM, WELL IT IS IN SANS’ NATURE TO HIDE, SO DO NOT FEEL TOO BAD,” Papyrus offered.

 

“Yeah, but I should at least apologize.”

 

“THAT WOULD BE NICE,” Papyrus agreed. “SANS DOESN’T TRUST MANY PEOPLE AND IT WOULD DO HIM GOOD TO HAVE A FRIEND. I DO HOPE YOU CAN BE FRIENDS.”

 

“Me too,” you agreed. Even if Sans could be a jerk. You felt a little better about it after telling Papyrus. You finished your dinner with small talk and Papyrus offered to wash the dishes. Once he was done, you made him a cup of tea and brought one upstairs to Sans’ room and knocked on the door.

 

You felt nervous as you waited for him to answer, but you knew you wouldn’t get a good night’s sleep unless you at least tried to make things right. When Sans finally opened the door and stuck his head out into the hallway, he didn’t say anything. “Um, I made you some tea. Papyrus said you weren’t feeling well.”

 

Sans took the mug after a moment and said, “thanks.”

 

Before he could shut the door, you added, “I just wanted to say sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean to upset you. I know Papyrus is a good person. You too. So I’m sorry.” When Sans didn’t say anything you added, “I left some food for you in the fridge if you get hungry. Goodnight.”

 

“Night,” Sans said and for a brief moment, it looked like he really wanted to say something else but was holding himself back. After changing his mind, he gave you a nod and closed his door.

 

Maybe that was as good as you were going to get from him. At the very least, you were able to apologize and tell him how you felt. He certainly didn’t seem angry anymore and for tonight, that was good enough. Hopefully you’d both be in a better mood tomorrow morning.

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 5 - Hell of a Feeling

 

When Sans shut the door, he stood there for a few long moments, cup of tea still in his hand. He didn’t get it. Why were you apologizing to him? He’d been the one treating you like a jerk. He’d been the one to ask about Papyrus. Sure, the answer you’d given him had upset him. The implication that Papyrus would harm anyone was a disturbing one.

 

He wasn’t really mad at you. He was upset at the thought that Papyrus’ LV would be that high. Sans knew it couldn’t possibly be right. He remembered every timeline, every reset. Papyrus hadn’t killed Frisk in any of them. There was no way Papyrus could kill anyone. Undyne could testify to that. It was why she could never let Papyrus join the Royal Guard.

 

And even if Papyrus had killed Frisk in a couple of the timelines, he would have told Sans. Papyrus would never keep a secret from him. He wouldn’t even want to, Sans was sure.

 

Not only did what you claim of Papyrus’ make no sense, it also threw his only hypothesis right out the window. He knew that there must be some truth to what you saw when you looked at a monster soul. There was no other explanation for why you knew he had only 1 HP. He’d thought that maybe you could see his stats across all timelines, which would explain why you saw his LV and EXP so high. After all, he’d killed Frisk more times than he cared to count.

 

But it didn’t make any sense because Sans knew that Papyrus had never hurt a soul.

 

With a sigh, Sans plopped down in the pile of laundry on his floor that currently served as a makeshift beanbag chair and flipped through the few books he’d borrowed from Toriel’s library that mentioned mages and their magic ability. He’d been hoping to find some information on a mage that showed similar capabilities, but he couldn’t find anything at all. The only mention of soul judgment was a brief passage in a children’s storybook about a human princess and a monster that fell in love.

 

He brought a hand to his forehead and scratched as he took an absentminded drink of the tea you’d brought him. He’d spent all afternoon pouring over the books and gleaned nothing from any of them. The best idea would be to get some rest, but his mind was working in overdrive and he didn't think he'd be able to turn his brain off without an answer. He grabbed another one of the books and began flipping through it, knowing that the effort was already futile and that he was in for a long night.

 

----

 

For the second morning in a row, you were awoken by Papyrus throwing your door open and marching into your room. “HUMAN! THIS IS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE AND CANNOT CONTINUE!”

 

When you cracked open your eyes, Papyrus was standing at the end of your bed, hands on his hips. “Huh? Oh, morning Papyrus.”

 

“IT IS NOT MORNING! IT IS NOON!” Papyrus informed you, and as you rubbed the sleep out of your eyes, you could see his annoyance in the way he was gritting his teeth at you. “YOU ARE ALMOST AS BAD AS MY LAZY BAG OF BONES BROTHER.”

 

“Bag of bones? Was that a joke?” You asked Papyrus. Only a couple of days had passed since you’d met the younger skeleton brother, but you’d already discovered that he had an intolerance for jokes. Or at least Sans’ jokes, which you had to admit weren’t exactly your cup of tea either.

 

His eyes grew wide for a moment and then he said, “NO! I HAVE NO TIME FOR SUCH PERSIFLAGE!”

 

You had to bring your blanket up to cover your laugh. Papyrus was really cute when he was all worked up. Now you could completely understand why Sans was always riling him up with bad jokes. “Of course not. How silly of me.”

 

“NYEH. YES, YOU ARE QUITE SILLY, HUMAN. NOW, I MUST GO WAKE SANS.” Papyrus turned and left quickly, but you swore you saw him blushing, just a little.

 

You got out of bed and stretched, groaning loudly as all of the stiffness left your body. You weren’t sure how today was going to go. Training needed to happen, especially if you were going to have to show off your mage skills soon. The thought of training with Sans worried you though. He’d bailed out on you both times so far, and after last night you weren’t sure if things were okay between you. There was nothing left that you could do to remedy the situation after apologizing to Sans.

 

With a sigh, you opened your suitcase and pulled out the last of your clean clothes. After showering and changing, you piled all of your clothes into your suitcase and began lugging it downstairs. “Papyrus? Can I use the washing machine?” you asked as you found the taller skeleton in the living room doing stretches.

 

“OF COURSE!” He jumped up and sprinted towards the kitchen, leaving you to drag your suitcase behind him. When you finally caught up with him in a little room off the kitchen, he had the top of the washing machine popped open and stood proudly. “NYEH HEH. IT’S BRAND NEW!”

 

You smiled at how proud he looked of his washing machine and supposed that whatever equivalent they had underground, it probably wasn’t this nice. “Thanks, Papyrus.” You opened your suitcase and started loading the machine. “I don’t have a full load. Do you need anything washed?”

 

“THE GREAT PAPYRUS DOES ALL OF HIS LAUNDRY BEFORE THE BREAK OF DAWN!”

 

“Oh, then maybe Sans has some?” You wondered out loud. You certainly didn’t want to ask him so you hoped that Papyrus would take the hint and go check. The last thing you wanted was to be on Sans’ bad side first thing in the morning. Even if it was technically noon.

 

“NYEH HEH. GOOD IDEA, HUMAN. WHO KNOWS WHEN SANS DOES HIS LAUNDRY,” He sprinted off and after a lot of noise from upstairs, he came back downstairs a few minutes later with a few balled up items of clothing. “I HAD TO DODGE SOME ATTACKS TO GET THESE.”

 

“Dodge attacks?” You raised an eyebrow as you took the clothes from Papyrus.

 

“SANS WAS… UNCOOPERATIVE.”

 

“Is he going to be mad if I wash them?” You worried as you picked up a crusty, wrinkled t-shirt with a ketchup stain on the front. You made a face and plopped it into the washer. Suddenly, you weren’t sure you wanted Sans’ nasty clothes in with yours.

 

“DO NOT WORRY, HUMAN,” Papyrus patted his head. “IT ALWAYS REACHES A POINT WHERE I NEED TO FIGHT HIM TO GET HIM TO WEAR CLEAN CLOTHES.”

 

“What’s the deal with that?” you wondered out loud. You’d noticed he’d been wearing the same clothes the entire time you’d known him.

 

When you looked over at him, you noticed that Papyrus was frowning. “SANS DOESN’T ALWAYS TAKE THE BEST CARE OF HIMSELF.”

 

You nodded, “Yeah, I can get that. Sometimes when you feel down, it’s hard to care about stuff like that.” You wondered if Sans was really okay. Depression could be a nasty disorder. Papyrus was such a passionate guy that you hated to seem him worried over Sans. “He’s lucky he has you to watch out for him.”

 

Papyrus’ chest puffed up a little at that. “YES, HE IS FORTUNATE TO HAVE SUCH A GREAT SKELETON FOR A BROTHER.”

 

You finished loading the washing machine and started a cycle. “You couldn’t wrestle his hoodie away?”

 

“HE WAS WEARING IT,” Papyrus said, his eyes narrowing. “HE TELEPORTED AWAY BEFORE I COULD CATCH HIM.”

 

“s’not nice to talk about someone like theyre not there,” Sans spoke up from where he’d been standing in the door way.

 

You jumped a little and squeaked, “Sorry. Good morning.”

 

“IT IS NOON,” Papyrus pointed out again.

 

“Right,” You said and shared an amused look with Sans. At least he didn’t still seem angry about yesterday.

 

“uh, thanks for doin the laundry,” Sans said, shoving his hands in the pockets of his hooded jacket.

 

“No problem. I can do your hoodie too,” you offered.

 

“nah, its fine.”

 

“SANS, THERE IS A KETCHUP STAIN ON IT.”

 

“just a little one,” Sans shrugged.

 

“Why don’t we get you another one?” you suggested. “That way you have a backup one for when you need to wash it.”

 

“OH THAT IS A GREAT IDEA!” Papyrus agreed.

 

“Awesome. I’m sure we can get one just like it on the internet,” you smiled and looked between the two brothers who were just staring at you blankly. “You do have the internet…?” Two head shakes later and you were flabbergasted. “You guys have been here for a year and they haven’t set up internet?”

 

“WE HAVE UNDERNET. WELL, WE USED TO...” Papyrus explained.

 

“Oh, well, this is going to have to change,” you muttered to yourself. You couldn’t live without the internet. Or Netflix. Or Amazon. “This is ridiculous. You’ve been on the surface for a year and you don’t have internet or cable or anything.” You knew the US. policy on immigrant rights was sketchy but this was borderline hostile. You might have to raise Hell. “Is there anything else you guys need but don’t have?”

 

Papyrus and Sans shared a look and then just shrugged. “ITS OK, HUMAN. WE’RE JUST HAPPY TO BE ON THE SURFACE.”

 

“It’s not ok,” you told him. “You guys don’t even have a grocery store here. All they’ve given you is ketchup and spaghetti. That’s not ok!” You remembered the horror from the previous night when all you’d found in the kitchen was cupboards full of spaghetti and ketchup. Ketchup and spaghetti.

 

Sans snorted then and you gave him a look, “That’s funny to you?”

 

“welp, they ask us what we want for food, and we tell em what we like. they bring it for us.”

 

You blinked, “All you ask for is spaghetti and ketchup? What about vegetables? Fruit? The basic food groups???”

 

“dont need em,” Sans shrugged.

 

“BESIDES, SPAGHETTI SAUCE IS A VEGETABLE.”

 

You gave them both a very unimpressed look. “We’re buying real groceries from now on. You may not need them, but I do.” You began to grumble under your breath as you walked away, “Single men, I swear to God. Monsters are no different than human men...”

 

Anger wasn’t exactly the word you were feeling. Not at the brothers anyway. You couldn’t blame them for being typical males. You were angry with their situation, though. They had been on the surface for over a year now and while the house they’d been given was nice, it wasn’t enough. These weren’t fresh off the boat immigrants. These were an entire race of living beings that had been living on (under) US. soil for longer than most Americans’ ancestors. They were being forced to stay in this tiny one mile radius and weren’t even being given the necessities to function!

 

“uh, if everythings ok, we should probably get goin,” Sans suggested.

 

You grabbed your shoes and put them on quickly, stepping outside with Sans. Papyrus was the last one out of the house but somehow managed to take the lead as you all started walking towards the gates of the monster district. From down the street you could already see Undyne and Josie waiting for you.

 

You noticed Sans freeze next to you at almost the same time. “uh, maybe i’ll take a shortcut...”

 

“Are you afraid of Josie?” you snickered.

 

Sans sunk into his jacket. You were beginning to realize it was like a security blanket for him. “not afraid.”

 

“Look, if you’re not interested, just tell her that. She’ll probably leave you alone,” you suggested, not positive that you were right. Josie had a little psycho in her. “But you know, she’s kinda cute. And I happen to know she uh… wants to jump your bones.”

 

What you had been expecting was for Sans to laugh at your joke. What you actually got was… well, you weren’t sure. He was frozen solid like one of those skeletons in a science classroom, only his head was lost in his hood and you couldn’t even see his face. “Sans? You ok??” You waved a hand in front of his hood where his head should have been.

 

Then, he was just gone.

 

“Uh, Papyrus?” You jogged to catch up with the younger brother. “I think I um, broke Sans.”

 

Papyrus looked around and then sighed, “DID HE TAKE ONE OF HIS LAZY ‘SHORTCUTS’?”

 

“Yeah. He’s afraid of Josie,” you told him, snickering as you pointed down the street towards the object of Sans’ terror. Part of you was a little worried what Sans would say when you found him. Would he be angry that you’d teased him about Josie? You couldn’t help yourself. It was kinda... cute how flustered he was when it came to her.

 

“I MUST ADMIT EVEN I FIND HER TO BE INTENSE,” Papyrus said.

 

“Yeah, but she’s nice,” you said, slowing down a little so that you could finish your conversation before reaching Josie and the others. “So um, what’s his deal, anyway?”

 

“HIS DEAL?” Papyrus asked.

“You know… what is he into?” You asked. Based on Sans’ reaction, you were really curious now.

 

“YOU MEAN AS A DATING FRIEND?” Papyrus asked and you swear you saw his brow bones waggle.

 

“Yeah, what is his type?”

 

“HMM, HE DOESN’T HAVE ONE, I THINK. HE HAS NEVER HAD A DATING FRIEND.”

 

“Really? Never? Not even underground?” you asked.

 

Papyrus shook his head. “NO.”

 

You blinked. So he’d never had a girlfriend? Was he maybe gay and not out of the closet? You certainly hadn’t gotten those vibes from him, but sexuality wasn’t that simple. If he’d never had a ‘dating friend’, did that mean he’d never been intimate with someone? It would certainly explain why he teleported away. “Is he a… you know?”

 

“A WHAT?”

 

Was Papyrus being purposefully obtuse? “You know, has he ever…?” you waggled your eyebrows this time.

 

By now you’d caught up with the others. “What are you losers talking about?” Undyne asked as she threw an arm around Papyrus and noogied his skull.

 

“Nothing,” you said at the same time as Papyrus said, “SANS.”

 

“What about Sans?” Josie asked excitedly, looking around for the topic of conversation.

 

“Nothing,” you reiterated. You didn’t want everyone to know what you’d been talking about with Papyrus. Sans would probably be mortified if it ever made it back to him. You would never do that to someone, especially when you had your own insecurities when it came to sex.

 

Undyne narrowed her eyes. “Is it a secret?”

 

“Yes,” you said and then rethought your answer, “Well, it’s private anyway. I don’t want to embarrass him.”He’d been mortified enough when you’d mentioned Josie’s amorous intentions with him. When you looked over at Josie, she gave you a questioning look and you just shook your head.

 

The rest of the walk to the military base was silent. You could tell that Josie was annoyed that you hadn’t spilled the beans on the conversation you’d been having with Papyrus. You didn’t feel bad about that, but you were starting to feel a little guilty about discussing Sans’ sex life behind his back. What he was or wasn’t into was not your business. Maybe monsters didn’t even have sex.

 

When you finally made it to the base, you were left alone as the other three took off towards the gym for training. After two days, you were beginning to learn your way around the base and headed towards the Quonset hut where you’d been training. You had no doubt you’d found the right place when you rounded a corner and found a soldier in a confrontation with Sans.

 

“Hands up,” the soldier said, lifting his weapon to point at Sans.

 

“Uh, what’s going on?” You asked, too scared to move towards Sans to offer help.

 

“He just appeared out of nowhere and doesn’t have a badge!” The soldier didn’t take his eyes off of Sans as he finally pointed the gun at him.

 

“He’s fine! He’s supposed to be here. He’s my mentor!” you told him.

 

“Hands out of your pockets, monster,” the soldier said, finger on the trigger. “Let me see what you’re hiding.”

 

Sans wasn’t saying anything but he did as he was told and pulled his hands out of his pockets. You couldn’t tell if he was angry or uneasy.

 

“Now take off the jacket,” the soldier said.

 

“He’s fine. You can see he doesn’t have anything in his pockets,” you defended Sans.

 

“Jacket. Off.” The soldier wasn’t listening to you and if you’d had any doubts about whether or not Sans was angry, you didn’t anymore.

 

He wasn’t the only person upset. You were quickly becoming angry on Sans’ behalf. He was being treated like he’d done something wrong and it was clearly because this particular soldier didn’t care for monsters. “Wearing a jacket isn’t a crime,” you pointed out.

 

“I’m not going to ask again. The jacket comes off or you’re turning to dust, monster,” The soldier applied more pressure to the trigger.

Sans’ bones were audibly rattling as he lifted his hands to pull down the zipper on his hoodie. “Sans, don’t you dare.” You told him, your own voice dripping with anger. “You’re going to lower your weapon,” you told the soldier and he did it instantaneously. “And we’re going inside.”

 

The soldier stepped aside and let you both past. Once the doors closed behind you, you exhaled and felt your knees give out under you. Luckily, Sans reached out to keep you steady. “whoa, you ok there pal?”

 

“I had no idea if that was going to work,” you said, your voice shaky. You hadn’t even consciously made the decision to manipulate the guy. You just knew that you could do it and it worked out.

 

“kinda a risky game to play with a gun pointed at me,” Sans pointed out as he released you.

 

“Oh, god. Sans, I’m sorry...” you said quickly. He was right – if that hadn’t worked he could’ve died.

 

“heh. s’ok,” he shrugged nonchalantly and his hands went right back into his pockets. “whaddaya say we practice that a little more?”

 

“Oh there you are,” Michael ushered you both in, completely unaware of the tense standoff that had just taken place outside. “We’ve been waiting all morning. Your meeting with the military heads is tomorrow.”

 

Your face paled, “What? Oh my god, I’m not ready.”

 

“you’ll be fine,” Sans pointed out. “you just got a soldier to put his gun down. thats gonna impress the pants right off all those guys.”

 

“That was a fluke,” you told him. “I don’t even know how to do anything without getting angry first.”

 

“if it comes down to it, i’ll make sure to getcha riled up tomorrow,” Sans offered. “but lets just practice first?” He nodded his head over to wear a sweaty Dr. Alphys was waddling over.

 

Dr. Alphys came waddling over, “U-uh, g-good morning! W-would it be o-okay if, um, m-maybe...”

 

You really liked Dr. Alphys and didn’t want to do anything mean to her. Besides, you wondered if maybe you could do something a little more interesting with your powers. You concentrated for a minute as you listened to her stumble her way through whatever it was that she was trying to ask you. When you’d been with that ass of a soldier, you wanted him to put his weapon down and let you pass and he had. You’d wanted Sans to shut up and he had. So maybe all it took was just wanting something?

 

Dr. Alphys trailed off and paused, confused for a moment before suddenly regaining her composure and saying confidently, “Come with me. We’re going to measure your magic first this morning.”

 

Michael froze, his clipboard falling out of his hand and Sans burst out laughing. Alphys seemed to realize that she’d just got two entire sentences out without stuttering, pausing or saying ‘um’. She squeaked and clapped a hand over her mouth. “O-oh...”

 

“Sorry!” you couldn’t help but bite your lip to keep a laugh from tumbling out. “I just thought it might help to make you a little more confident?” Alphys was bright red and you felt bad because clearly you’d embarrassed her. You sent Sans a look and mouthed, “Stop laughing!”

 

Michael was recovering from his shock and bent down to pick up his clipboard. “Alright, let’s get your magic measured.” He led you over to the machine while Dr. Alphys got it ready. You’d done this twice already so you knew the drill. After the machine powered down, you stepped out and watched as Dr. Alphys ran off to get the results printed out.

 

“that was hilarious,” Sans said, joining you and Michael.

 

“Don’t tease her, Sans,” you scolded.

 

“Can you imagine how fun it would be to do that when Undyne is around?” Michael grinned at Sans. “She’d get so turned on.”

 

“oh god. it’d get gross real fast,” Sans shuddered.

 

You made mental note of that. So at least monsters were capable of something sexual.Maybe I should do it to you when Josie is around.”

 

Sans suddenly didn’t think it was so funny. “please don’t.”

 

“What else can you do?” Michael asked curiously.

 

“Hmm, I’m not sure. But I’m feeling kinda hungry.” You remembered the heavenly smell coming from the bar & grill in the monster district and it made your stomach growl. “Go get us some Grillby’s?” You asked, wondering if that would be enough.

 

Michael didn’t even say anything. He just set down his clipboard and walked out. You turned to Sans and shared an incredulous look before bursting out in laughter. “you have the best magic power.”

 

You beamed at him. A few days ago, he’d been acting as though you had the most useless power and now he was complimenting you for it. You knew he was joking, of course. Your power wasn’t the best. It could never beat something like teleportation, but both you and Sans were beginning to see that it could definitely be useful.

 

“uh, can i ask a favor?” Sans looked uneasy and scratched the back of his head nervously.

 

“Sure, yeah,” you told him. You’d be willing to do him a favor if it moved you both towards friendship.

 

“could you not use that on me?”

 

“Oh, yeah,” You agreed, easily. If you were in his place, you probably wouldn’t want someone to manipulate you into saying or doing things. He didn’t trust humans as it was and you didn’t want to contribute to that distrust. When you thought about it, your power could be a terrifying weapon. You could manipulate people to do anything. “I won’t. I promise. I won’t do it to Papyrus either.”

 

“thanks,” Sans said, his face relaxing. “it is kinda funny though. i bet you could get him to pick up my sock pile.”

 

“I wouldn’t dream of it. Who knows when the last time you washed those was,” you teased.

 

“theyre all clean. i think.”

 

Dr. Alphys returned a few moments later and looked around, “W-where’s Michael?”

 

“He volunteered to bring us lunch,” you explained, sharing a grin with Sans.

 

“O-oh, Okay. Um, w-well y-your m-magic levels are still increasing. S-sans, do you f-feel okay? H-have you noticed any d-differences in energy since ____ moved in?” Dr. Alphys asked.

 

Sans shook his head. “nope. Doin good.” He gave her a lazy thumbs up.

 

“Hmmm, w-well, I g-guess for now we w-won’t worry a-about it,” Dr. Alphys said but you couldn’t help noticing that she added the results to an even bigger folder with your name on it.

 

Before long, Michael was running back into the room with a giant bag of food, “YOU SUCK.”

 

Both you and Sans burst out laughing. “I didn’t think it was actually going to work!” you told him between gasps for air. “You ran out before I could even stop you.”

 

“I was like in a fog. As soon as Grillby handed me the food, I snapped out of the trance. And you SUCK!” Michael reiterated, stomping his foot and setting the bag on the table. “I didn’t even know what to order so I ordered like 5 of everything. You owe me fifty bucks.”

 

You grinned and reached for the bag, pulling out a hamburger. “It smells soooo good.” Sans did the same and his grin stretched wider when he realized Grillby had put an entire bottle of ketchup into the take-out bag.

 

“What are you punks doing?” Undyne asked, as she burst into the room. “Is that Grillby’s? Oh man, I’m starving.”

 

“Grillby’s?” If Papyrus had a nose, it would be wrinkled.

 

“Yummmm,” you moaned, taking another bite of the hamburger. “I don’t know what kind of magic Grillby has, but damn.”

 

Josie and Liam came trailing in, sweaty and tired looking. Liam headed straight for the food and Josie headed straight for Sans, taking the empty chair next to him before anyone else had the chance. “What’s going on?”

 

Michael was still pouting but he reached for a few fries, dipping them into the mound of ketchup that Sans had created on one the now discarded paper bag. “She used her magic to make me buy Grillby’s,” Michael pointed at you accusingly.

 

You grinned sheepishly. “I was hungry. And I didn’t think it would actually work.”

 

“GOOD JOB, HUMAN! YOUR MAGIC IS IMPROVING!” Papyrus patted the top of your head and you found yourself leaning into his touch.

 

“Do me next!” Josie said excitedly.

 

“Um, what should I do?” you asked, looking at her.

 

Undyne leaned over and whispered something in Alphys’ ear, causing Alphys to blush and giggle. They both looked pointedly at Sans and it didn’t take you long to catch on to what they’d been whispering about. They wanted to see you get Josie to do something with Sans. You rolled your eyes and shook your head at them both. You weren’t going to use your magic on Sans and you also weren’t going to use it against him.

 

Instead, you opened up apple music on your phone and started playing “Girls” by Maroon 5. You grinned at Josie, “How about you dance for us? Undyne and Dr. Alphys, you should join in!”

 

Soon, all three girls were dancing to the awful song. By the end of the song, everyone else was cheering and whistling at the girls. You joined in the clapping when the song was over and all three women sat down, looking a little embarrassed. You had a feeling they got the message loud and clear. You weren’t planning on using your magic to embarrass or harm anyone.

 

Undyne went back to eating, Josie went back to stealing glances at Sans and Papyrus scooted closer to you. “HUMAN, THANK YOU.”

 

“Hmm? For what?” you asked, picking up your burger and taking a big bite.

 

Papyrus seemed a little disturbed by your eating manners but ignored it, lowering his voice to a decibel you didn’t know what possible for him. “I HAVEN’T SEEN SANS THIS HAPPY IN A LONG TIME.”

 

Sure enough, when you looked over, he was laughing along with Michael and Liam who were doing an impression of Undyne and Alphys dancing. “Well, I’m glad he’s having fun.”

 

Papyrus gave you a hug and Sans looked over, smiling fondly at his little brother. All in all, you’d say it was a good day. You’d managed to figure out how to control and use your magic, and you were starting to feel like you and Sans might be friends someday. For the first time since you came, you felt like you were where you wanted to be.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

 

After lunch, at Sans suggestion, you’d all decided to call it a day. Your new friends would all be at your meeting the next day, and while you understood they were trying to be supportive, the thought of all of those extra eyes was a littler nerve-wracking.

 

“you’ll do fine,” Sans tried reassuring you as you began your walk home. “you’re a boss mage so anything you do is more impressive than half the stuff they’ve seen.”

 

“Yeah, but it’s not like I can create lightning or anything like that,” you mumbled.

 

“Well, there are other mages that can only make a tiny spark,” Michael fell behind the rest of the group to join you and Sans in conversation.

 

“There are?” You felt stupid. There were hundreds of monsters, so it only made sense that there would be other mages.

 

“Almost every monster has a trainee,” Michael said. “Some have two.”

 

You’d noticed that there were all kinds of humans milling about but it never occurred to you that they were also mages. Was it stupid that you’d thought they all must be military too? “Oh,” was all you said. Being a boss mage must be kind of an elite situation otherwise you probably would have met some of the others.

 

What did the other mages think of all the ‘boss mages’? You certainly didn’t want them all thinking that you thought you were better than them. Despite what everyone was insisting, you didn’t feel all that powerful. For all you knew, the other mages around town were stronger and more capable than you at this point. It might not be the worst idea to try talking to them, maybe make some new friends along the way.

 

You were deep in thought when you heard Liam ask, “Can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Me? Uh, sure, what’s up?” You hadn’t even noticed that you’d caught up with the others. Liam took your arm and slowed his pace and you did the same so that you dropped back from the rest of the group.

 

From up ahead, it was hard not to notice Undyne and Alphys turning around to watch and giggle. Even Papyrus and Sans turned around to see what was going on.

 

“I was just wondering if you’d like to go out sometime,” Liam said, shooting you a charming smile.

 

“Why?” you asked, unable to stop yourself. As far as you were aware, Liam was out of your league. You wouldn’t consider yourself unattractive but you were never first choice.

 

Liam laughed, apparently amused that you were questioning his motives. “Because you’re cute and you seem fun?”

 

“Oh,” you said, apparently incapable of saying much else. “I mean, if you want to...” You wouldn’t exactly call Liam your type. He was good-looking but seemed kind of shallow. He was the kind of guy you would think expects a girl to put out on a first date and honestly, you really weren’t that kind of girl.

 

“Awesome. You’re going to Undyne’s party Saturday, right?” Liam asked. “We could go together.”

 

“I didn’t know she was having a party, but yeah, that sounds fun,” you agreed. That would be an ideal first date. If things got awkward or you didn’t click, there were other people there to break the tension. It’d also be easy to ditch him if necessary.

 

“Cool. I’ll pick you up at 8?” He asked, still giving you that charming smile.

 

“Sure,” you agreed.

 

“It’s a date,” he winked and then jogged to catch up with the rest of the group. You decided to rejoin as well, just in time to see Undyne making kissy faces at Liam.

 

You were caught up in your head, wondering what you would wear. You didn’t have any party clothes with you but maybe you could borrow something from someone or go into downtown Ebott for some shopping. You almost didn’t notice the look Sans was giving you because you were so deep in your thoughts. But you did notice it and it wasn’t until you were back at the skeleton brothers’ house before you found out the reason why he was looking at you so aggressively.

 

“youre going on a date with him?” Sans asked before you even had a chance to take your shoes off. Papyrus had barely even closed the door.

 

“Yeah, I guess so,” you answered, not understanding what the big deal was.

 

“why?” Sans asked. “hes a jerk.”

 

“I don’t know him well enough to know if he’s a jerk. That’s why people go on dates,” you pointed out.

 

“you don’t need to go on a date to find that out. he’s killed monsters before,” Sans argued.

 

“That was before he knew if monsters were dangerous,” you shot back.

 

“right, so kill first ask questions later?” Sans said sarcastically.

 

“UH, I THINK I’LL GO START ON DINNER,” Papyrus said, inching out of the room and away from the impending argument between you and Sans.

 

Neither of you acknowledged his exit as you continued, “It’s not that simple. Besides, are YOU really innocent? I’ve seen your LV, Sans.” You gave him an accusatory look. There had been a nagging feeling that told you Sans thought you were naive when it came to understanding stats. Dr. Alphys had been very clear in her explanation. Sans would had to have killed or hurt someone a lot to get stats that high.

 

“thats different,” Sans said stubbornly.

 

“How?” You asked, raising an eyebrow. All you got in reply was a head shake as Sans stared down at the carpet. Clearly, you’d touched on a difficult topic. He didn’t trust you enough to tell you yet, or maybe it was just too painful. “Look, I’m not accusing you of anything horrible. There are circumstances where people are forced to do something out of their control. Just like Liam.”

 

“dont compare me to him,” Sans said, his voice dangerously low.

 

“I’m not comparing you to him! I don’t even know what you did to get your EXP to where it is. I just know it’s pretty damn high and that you’re not a bad person even though it’s high. And Papyrus isn’t bad either even though he’s got execution points. All I’m saying is that you can’t judge Liam based on that alone. Because if that’s the case then both you and your brother are no better than him.”

 

Sans didn’t say anything else to you before he angrily disappeared from the room. You sighed and decided to join Papyrus in the kitchen. At least he wasn’t constantly moody like Sans. Whenever you started to make progress towards being friends with Sans, something happened to set you back two steps. With a sigh, you sat down on a stool at the counter and watched as Papyrus began cutting tomatoes.

 

Papyrus glanced over his shoulder at you, giving you a worried look but he said nothing. You sighed again and he set down the knife he’d been using and turned around to look at you. “ARE YOU… OKAY?”

 

You gave him a desperate look, “Your brother is so… ugh!”

 

Papyrus looked as though he didn’t know what to say. “HE CAN BE DIFFICULT, BUT PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP ON HIM.”

 

“I’m not ‘giving up’. He just doesn’t like me, Papyrus,” you lamented as the younger brother went back to cutting his tomatoes.

 

“THAT’S NOT TRUE,” Papyrus said passionately as he dropped the knife and crossed the room to grab your hands. “HE’S HAVING TROUBLE TRUSTING YOU, BUT HE LIKES YOU!”

 

You scoffed and looked away. “I want to be friends. But I don’t want to be here if he can’t stand to be around me and all I ever do is offend him.”

 

Papyrus frowned and let go of your hands. For a moment, he looked almost like he was going to cry. “I’M VERY WORRIED ABOUT HIM,” he finally admitted, his voice lower than his usual yelling style of speech. “HE’S CLOSED HIMSELF OFF. TODAY HE WAS SO HAPPY. I DON’T WANT YOU TO LEAVE.”

 

You looked at Papyrus sympathetically and had to stand on your tip toes to awkwardly pat his shoulder You weren’t sure what to say. You knew that it wasn’t possible to leave the base, but maybe you could live somewhere else like Liam. If you told Papyrus that, he might break down so you settled for encouragement. “You’re a good brother, Papyrus. Sans is lucky to have you.”

 

A dam seemed to break and Papyrus burst into tears. “I CAN’T DO ANYTHING FOR HIM!”

 

You’d never seen Papyrus look so upset. Obviously, he’d been keeping this in for a while. You led him over to one of the stools and sat him down. “Have you tried talking to him about all of this?”

 

Papyrus nodded as he dabbed at his orange tears with his neck scarf. “HE SAYS HE’S FINE.”

 

To you, it sounded like Sans was depressed. He’d been trapped underground his entire life and from the moment he came up, humans just stuck him in a camp and refused to give him freedom. All of the other monsters you’d met seemed to be adjusting to the situation. They seemed happy just to be above ground. But you could also understand where Sans was coming from. Nothing about the situation seemed fair. Whenever you thought about their situation, you felt a pang in your chest. You wanted to do something for Sans and Papyrus, but you felt helpless. All you could do was give Papyrus a hug. “I’m not going to give up on Sans, ok? You don’t have to worry about that.” Papyrus sniffled. “I need him and maybe he needs me a little too.”

 

“REALLY? SO YOU’LL STAY?” Papyrus asked hopefully.

 

You hated promising him that, but a 7-feet-tall crying skeleton was a force to be reckoned with so you nodded at him. “I’ll try.”

 

Papyrus stood up, knocking his stool over in the process and scooped you up into his arms, swinging you back and forth, “OH THANK YOU!”

 

You just let him swing you around for a solid minute, hoping that this wasn’t going to blow up in your face. You weren’t sure that you’d ever be able to cross the bridge and make friends with Sans. You didn’t deserve the way he spoke to you, but you also wouldn’t blame him if he wanted nothing to do with you. You were working with the enemy, after all. “Do you want some help with dinner?” you asked when he finally set you down.

 

“YES, PLEASE!” He handed you another knife and an onion and you got to work cutting.

 

With your help, Papyrus’ spaghetti was slightly more palatable than usual, though you still made a mental note to go shopping when you had a chance. Sans had stayed in his room for the rest of the night, much to his brother’s disappointment. To cheer him up, you’d decided to eat dinner in front of the TV where you introduced Papyrus to some of your favorite sitcoms.

 

As you headed upstairs to bed, you caught Sans creeping out of his bedroom with a childrens’ book in hand. He looked almost like a deer in headlights as he caught sight of you but you decided the least mature thing to do would be to ignore him or act annoyed. After your talk with Papyrus, you were determined not to instigate any beef between you and Sans. You gave him a quick smile as you walked past where he was frozen in the hallway and said, “Night Sans.”

 

You were almost to your door before you heard him say, “Night.” You smiled as you shut your bedroom door behind you.

 

-----

 

The big day had finally arrived. Your meeting with the military. You’d fallen asleep just fine, especially since you kinda-sorta made up with Sans. But you woke up in the middle of the night and had been unable to fall back asleep because your mind was racing. What if you screwed up? What if they were unimpressed?

 

You tossed and turned for a couple of hours before deciding that you were too worked up to fall back asleep. You threw the covers off of yourself when you saw the first slivers of sunlight through your curtains and decided to go downstairs for a cup of coffee. When you got to the bottom of the stairs, you were greeted with the sight of Papyrus doing stretches in the living room. “You’re up early,” you said through a yawn.

 

“THE GREAT PAPYRUS ALWAYS WAKES UP EARLY,” He said, puffing his chest out as he went into a butterfly stretch. Briefly, you wondered what he was stretching when he had no muscles, but you decided not to question it.

 

“Did you sleep well?” you asked over your shoulder as you went into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee.

 

“YES, I GOT A SOLID 3 HOURS,” He exclaimed proudly, causing you to shake your head. You would be a walking zombie if you only got 3 hours of sleep.

 

There was a loud knock on the door and Papyrus sprinted to open it. You peaked out and saw Undyne standing there, wearing a pair of leggings and a sports bra. It was hard not to stare. Good lord, that was a fine fish. “Oh, it’s Sans’ human!” She exclaimed, walking around Papyrus and putting you into a headlock.

 

“I have a name!” You complained as you spilled your coffee on the kitchen floor due to her rough handling.

 

“Yeah, yeah. You coming with us this morning, nerd?” She let go of you and you grabbed a paper towel to clean up the mess.

 

“Coming where?” you asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

“For a morning run, duh!” She said. “You’re going like that?” She looked you up and down, a little disapprovingly. You were wearing your favorite pajamas – baggy pants and an oversized vintage Garfield shirt that depicted the cat with a wheelbarrow full of food and a caption that said ‘just a little midnight snack’.

 

“I don’t run,” you said, shaking your head as you sipped your coffee.

 

“Why not, ya dork?” she poked your stomach. “You’re getting a little soft.”

 

“Hey,” you pushed her hand away. “I don’t run unless I’m being chased.”

 

Undyne shared a look with Papyrus, “We could chase you.”

 

You gave her a look, “No thanks.” You tried to walk around her but she grabbed your arm.

 

“It’ll help let off some steam,” she said as though she knew you were feeling a little stressed out.

 

Papyrus nodded, “EXERCISE IS THE BEST MEDICINE!”

 

You sighed, “I don’t have any workout clothes.”

 

“Oh!” Papyrus sprinted out of the room and came back with a basket of folded laundry. “You can borrow some of Sans’ clothes.” He tossed you a pair of basketball shorts and a t shirt.

 

“I’m not sure he would like me to wear...” you began and Papyrus cut you off.

 

“NONSENSE. WE’LL WASH THEM AND HE’LL NEVER KNOW.”

 

You sighed and took the clothes, “Is there any chance of getting out of this?”

 

Undyne just gave you a toothy grin and Papyrus shook his head. You shuffled into the bathroom and closed the door. The last thing you wanted to do was run, especially with two gym rats like Undyne and Papyrus, but you were also terrified of what they would do to you if you refused. You quickly changed into Sans’ clothes, surprised that they fit and a little disappointed that you actually looked kind of cool.

 

When you came out, Papyrus snapped a quick picture of you in the clothes. “NYEH HEH.”

 

“Hey!” you tried complaining but he was already pocketing his cellphone.

 

“Ready?” Undyne asked, already jogging in place. “Gotta get you lookin’ hot for your date with Papyrus’ human!”

 

You made a face at her, “I don’t think one day of jogging is going to do much difference.”

 

“Last one to the corner has to make breakfast,” Undyne called over her shoulder, leaving you and Papyrus in the dust.

 

“NO FAIR!” Papyrus screeched and ran off after her.

 

You seriously considered going back to bed. They might not even miss you at this point. It took you several seconds before you decided to be a good sport and follow them to where they were already waiting at the corner for you.

 

When you returned home 45 minutes later, you barely made it over the threshold of the door before collapsing. Papyrus and Undyne were barely out of breath but your lungs felt like they were on fire. It was only after you were nearly crying that they’d finally relented and brought you home. “I’m dead,” you said dramatically as Papyrus and Undyne both stepped over your prostrate body.

 

“Pft, that was nothing,” Undyne said, bending down to lift you up. “Come on, nerd. You owe us breakfast.”

 

You lay limp and unmovable as she tried to lift you from the ground. “I told you, I’m dead.”

 

“Sans, your human is being a baby,” Undyne complained and you noticed Sans standing at the top of the stairs watching you in amusement.

 

You let your tongue loll out of your mouth as Undyne finally hoisted you up onto her shoulders and wrapped you around the back of her neck.

“make sure to get my clothes back before you bury her, k?” Sans said as you heard him shuffle down the stairs.

 

Undyne rolled her eyes at Sans, “Come on and make us breakfast or you won’t have time to shower before your meeting today.”

 

“Crap!” You wiggled your way out of Undyne’s grasp and landed clumsily on the floor before picking yourself up and running to the bathroom to shower. It wasn’t until mid-shower that you realized that you’d forgotten to bring a fresh set of clothes with you. Your choices were either to put Sans’ sweaty clothes back on or to wrap a towel around yourself. Neither option was ideal.

 

After stepping out of the shower and drying yourself off, you weren’t any closer to a decision. You bent over to pick up the dirty pile of clothes off the floor but once you caught a whiff of them, your decision became much easier. You wrapped the towel around yourself and opened the door a crack to peek out. Once you’d confirmed the coast was clear, you eased the door open the rest of the way and stepped out into the living room. Where everyone was enjoying breakfast. Great. “Uh… don’t mind me,” you joked as 3 pairs of eyes turned to look at you.

 

Barely more than a split second passed between when you saw the mischievous look on Undyne’s face and when leaped across the room towards you. With no time to react, you just had to watch in horror as she yanked your bath towel off your body, leaving you to stand in all your glory in front of three monsters.

 

You weren’t sure what a monster looked like naked, but the concept of nudity meant something to monsters seeing as they wore clothes. In your panic induced state, you chanced a look at where the skeleton brothers were sitting and noticed right away that Papyrus had averted his eyes to stare up at the ceiling. But Sans… well he seemed frozen to the couch, ketchup bottle in hand and eyes on you.

 

You tried to grab the towel back from Undyne, but she held it up high, forcing you to jump for it. The jiggle physics involved in such an act didn’t occur to you until you heard what sounded suspiciously like a fart. Both you and Undyne turned to the source of the sound only to notice that Sans had squeeze his ketchup bottle so hard that a stream of ketchup shot out and landed directly on his face.

 

Undyne, the pure evil being that she was, dropped to her knees in laughter and you were finally able to grab the towel away from her and cover yourself up. By the time you’d secured the towel, Sans was nowhere to be seen and Undyne was rolling on the floor. “YOU ARE SUCH A JERK!” you spat out at her.

 

“That’s what you get for skipping out on making breakfast!” She cackled.

 

Papyrus was still staring up at the ceiling, his face completely orange. You pointed at him, “You broke the skeletons!”

 

Undyne burst out laughing, “No, YOU broke the skeletons.” She waggled her eyebrows at you.

 

“You are literally the worst. I will get you back for this,” you warned her as you clutched the towel to you and stomped up the stairs to get ready. You had some time to cool down as you started doing your hair and makeup and all would be forgotten about the morning’s events if not for the fact that once a came back downstairs, the skeleton brothers were looking everywhere but at you.

 

Undyne looked like she was trying so hard to keep her cool now that she had the threat of revenge against her. Even you had to admit that if the tables were turned, you would find the brothers’ reaction to the situation completely hilarious. But you had to live and work with these boys. You sighed, “Can you two just get over it? It’s not like you’ve never seen a naked woman before...”

 

Neither brother said anything and they just continued to look around the room, at anything except you. “Huh. Except neither of you have seen a naked woman before...” you groaned. “Undyne. You are so supremely evil...”

 

She grinned and shrugged, “Not my fault they’re a couple of baby bones...”

 

You shook your head at her and put your shoes on. “Guys, it’s fine. Really. We’re living together so it was probably bound to happen at some point.”

 

More silence. You sighed as you opened the front door and led the way down the street. “You guys are literally more embarrassed about it than I am,” you scolded. You waved as you noticed Alphys and Michael leaving their house. “Thank God,” you breathed a sigh of relief, glad to have less awkward company. Though you weren’t sure that Alphys counted as less awkward.

 

“G-good morning,” Alphys greeted as she joined Undyne. It only took a few seconds before she seemed to notice the weird atmosphere, “Wh-what’s going on?”

 

“Your girlfriend might be Satan,” you told Dr. Alphys with an eyeroll. “She pulled my towel off in front of these two cherry boys.”

 

“O-oh...” You could barely hear as Alphys lowered her voice and whispered to Undyne, “Was she hot?”

 

Undyne grinned and held her hands up to her chest to imitate your chest size and said, “Oh yeah.”

 

“Oh my GOD. You are not helping,” You ground out and turned to Michael. “Please tell me I’m not the only sane person here.”

 

“You probably are,” Michael joked. “But at least they’re doing a good job keeping you distracted from your meeting.”

 

“Crap. The meeting. Oh god… I’m not ready,” You fretted.

 

“You’re fine. We’ll all be there,” Michael assured you. “Just do what you did yesterday and everything will be perfect.”

 

You nodded but didn’t feel like everything would be fine. What would happen if you screwed up or weren’t able to do anything at all? Would you be punished? And if you didn’t perform, would Sans get into trouble? You didn’t want that either. He didn’t even want to be involved in this and he certainly didn’t deserve any kind of punishment if you were too weak or stupid to produce any magic.

 

You were so lost in your thoughts that you didn’t even realize you were at the base for the meeting until Alphys asked, “Are you ready?”

 

“No,” you said but Undyne rolled your eyes and pushed you through the door. The first thing you noticed was the row of folding chairs filled with men in olive green uniforms.

 

“Gentlemen, Ms. ______ is ready to show you her magic,” Michael informed them as he led you to the front of the room.

 

You weren’t sure what to do. Did you salute? Or was that like… only for military members? “Good morning,” you greeted as you wrung your hands nervously.

 

“Tell us a little about your magic,” One of the officers spoke, looking completely disinterested in you before you even began.

 

“Well, I can manipulate other people,” You said, your voice quivering. “Um, for example,” you began and pointed at the guard at the door. Before you had a chance to say anything, you said to the guard, “Put your weapon on the ground.” You remembered how that had worked with a soldier yesterday and figured it would be an impressive show of the military implications of your magic. The guard did as he was told without a second thought and the room filled with murmurs.

 

“Very impressive,” an officer whose uniform was decorated in dozens of medals spoke. “Can you do multiple people at once?”

 

“Yeah,” you said, remembering how you made Alphys, Undyne and Josie all dance the day before. “Why don’t you boys dance as a demonstration?” you suggested and three of the men stood up and started to dance. You frowned, “I guess I can’t do more than three at a time.” Your concentration broke and the men who had been dancing sat down, red faced.

 

“Y-yet,” Dr. Alphys said, stepping forward. “With more training, she’ll get stronger.”

 

“Who’s her mentor?” The same officer who had previously spoken asked.

 

“S-sans?” Alphys called and the shorter skeleton stepped forward.

 

“thatd be me,” Sans raised a hand and gave a casual wave.

 

The military men looked unimpressed with him. “Are you sure he’s capable?”

 

“Y-yes, of c-course. H-he’s one of the m-most powerful m-monsters,” Dr. Alphys said and Sans glared at her, clearly wanting that little tidbit kept secret.

 

“And this is the extent of her power?” Another military member spoke up, still giving Sans the stink-eye.

 

“A-actually,” Alphys began.

 

You cut her off, “Yes. I promise I’ll work hard to get better.”

 

The men had already started to gather up their things, probably off to do whatever important military men did. You weren’t confident that you’d impressed them all that much, but you didn’t seem to be in serious danger of repercussions. “We look forward to seeing your improvement, Ms. ____. We’ll be in touch.”

 

Once they were out of the room, you breathed a sigh of relief, “Was that good or…?” You honestly couldn’t get a good impression of how the meeting went. You hadn’t been expecting them to clap for you or pat you on the back, but you were expecting… something.

 

“Went as well as we could have hoped,” Michael reassured you. “They’re not going to discuss with us what they want to do with you, but it seems that they’re at least interested in keeping their eye on you.”

 

“Okay. Well, that’s good. I feel relieved now that it’s over...”

 

“W-why d-did you tell them that was your only p-power?” Dr. Alphys asked and you didn’t like the accusing tone to her voice.

 

“Because it is?” you played dumb.

 

“Y-you didn’t tell them you c-can s-see monster s-souls,” she reiterated.

 

“That’s not important,” you told her, waving your hand. You weren’t sure why you hadn’t mentioned it. Something inside of you told you that it was a very bad idea to do so.

 

“I-it is! I-if th-they find out, we could all be in b-big trouble,” Dr. Alphys said.

 

“They’re not going to find out because no one is going to tell them, right?” you pointed out. “We don’t even know what that power is or how it works. If it turns out to be important, we can tell them.” Dr. Alphys looked troubled by what you were saying, but didn’t argue any further.

 

“How about some lunch?” Michael asked to ease the atmosphere.

 

“Grillby’s?” You suggested, your stomach rumbling. You were physically exhausted from your run and mentally exhausted from the meeting. On top of all of that, you hadn’t had breakfast. A nice greasy cheeseburger was exactly what the doctor ordered.

 

As a group, you made your way back to the monster neighborhood. “hey, uh...” Sans tugged on your sleeve.

 

“Oh… you’re talking to me again?” you teased, keeping your voice light. “And looking at me, too. Wow, so honored.”

 

He ignored your teasing, but his blush gave away his humility. “thanks for not saying anything about the whole monster souls thing.”

 

You shrugged, “Don’t worry about it. And sorry they gave you kind of a hard time. For what its worth, I’m glad you’re my mentor.”

 

“heh, even though im always gettin mad at you?” he asked, scratching his head awkwardly.

 

You shrugged, “If you didn’t give me a hard time, I wouldn’t have figured out how to use my magic, right?”

 

“youre givin me too much credit,” Sans said.

 

“Nah, you’re kind of a moody teacher, but your methods worked,” you joked.

 

“sorry,” he apologized and it looked like he wanted to explain himself further, but you were being ushered inside of Grillby’s by Undyne and Papyrus and squished into a booth.

 

Sans was still looking at you as you grabbed a menu. You hoped you got a chance to talk to Sans more later because it seemed like he was actually willing to talk about his feelings and that was a first. But for now, all you could think about was a burger so you gave him a wink and opened the menu.