you push him aside.
he’s screaming something to the extent of “BROTHER, NO!”
there are tears in his eyes.
and, almost like in slow motion, you smile, and squeeze your eyes shut.
the impact of the construct lands, harsh as always.
your eye socket burns but miraculously, you do not dust despite your crappy 5hp. pain keeps that same left construct shut, even as you open the right one, even as the right’s vision is as blurry as ever.
but even through the blur and the tears of pain and the pounding in your head and- honestly everything is just too much - you can see HIM.
HE looks angry and intrigued all at once and that’s d a n g e r o u s.
so you back away and honestly the only thing you wanted to do was protect your brother and you must’ve said something because HIS look darkens and your brother cries out and-
a bone construct rams itself into your skull, right where your teeth are. you hear the crack. your hand goes up to the new source of pain, and you can feel it, the hole where your tooth should be and the grainy texture of dust and-
it’s a miracle you’re not dead yet.
you pull your hand away and there’s grey and red and grey and red and-
your left socket snaps open.
your vision is tinted red and you’re so so angry and in pain and you just want to protect your b r o t h e r and-
“THIS NEXT EXPERIMENT SEEMS VERY, VERY INTERESTING. WHAT DO. YOU TWO. THINK?”
you trip him into his creation.
you see his face, but not quite, it’s getting blurrier (what did he look like anyway? who were you thinking about again?), and your brother is crying and sobbing and you-
you’re on your knees and he’s in your arms and you’re n o t going to let go and the anger and hatred and fear and pain just ebbs away while he puts a hand on your socket, green flowing from it, and “it’s fine bro, it’s gonna be just-“
“fine” you mutter and drag your feet. “but don’t expect me to try.”
your brother scoffs, a distasteful look in his eye lights and your soul twists. “AS IF I WOULD DARE TO GET MY HOPES UP.”
you pull up your grin. it’s too wide and probably slightly manic but you keep it there. it’s a good look to have so no one will try to dust you and your fucking stupid 5hp ass which can’t raise itself no matter how much exp your garner. you know your brother’s cool now with other people’s expectations and a lot of things to do and he means well! he really does! but it still hurts your soul because you’re the “LAZY ASSHOLE GET OUT OF BED BEFORE I DUST YOUR SORRY ASS” and he’s cool and popular and leaving you in the dust.
but for your brother, you try.
the sentry tryouts are brutal. the interview leaves you a quivering wreck. the interviewer is relentless, tearing into you. she hasn’t summoned your soul (your kind may be brutal but not that disrespectful) but it feels like she can see it (she can see right through you heh). she can see your soul she can see you she knows you’re not worthy-
but somehow, she nods her head gruffly and waves you on to the next round. strangely, that doesn’t make you feel any better.
the next round is a lot worse, a free-for=all fight. you hate killing even though its the rule of your universe but you told your brother you would at least try and you shouldn’t dust so easily so-
-so you fight.
there’s dust in the air, you’ve gained exp and lv and your vision’s tainted red (horrible horrible red) - your eye light must be glowing again - and!
the adrenaline is high and you are both satisfied and disgusted with yourself at the same time.
you’re alive, you’re a sentry and your ulna’s broken.
you flood the injury with green when no one’s looking. your brother seems pleased. and so, you push down your disgust and let yourself feel satisfied.
(it’s only later you realise that the bones healed just slightly misaligned. you’re not going to break it just to heal it again. that would really-)
“-hurts! It h-hurts! Please! Just- Please sto-op!”
you stop. the voice is high pitched, childish and desperate.
a part of you says its a helpless child. another says that its free exp. the last tells you to be smart and walk away.
you don’t be smart and you don’t follow the rules. you’re not heartless. children are worthy to protect. (don’t think about HIM and you were just a child and your brother was just a child why did you have to go through any of that why shouldn’t this child suffer like you did-)
it’s a flower. or at least you think it is? how is there a flower monster in the middle of the harsh cold of snowdin?
you… decide not to question.
there’s no one there. no one but the flower.
the plant monster - somehow? how? - is shaking and crying out loud and you swear you see tears. you think you recognise the panic attack from your own ones.
but you’re terrible at affection and all you’re gonna do is mess things up but you’re not going to leave the kid monster - shouldn’t they still be in stripes? - alone to suffer through a panic attack. you know exactly what it feels like to just suffer. alone.
so you crouch down some distance away from the flower and try to gather yourself.
“hey-“ you start, but that must have been on the list of worst things to say because the flower snaps up, tears in their frantic eyes, screaming “Go away!”
a vine crashes into your femur and it doesn’t snap or break but fuck it hurts but- but-
you should have left (you should be dead), yet still, you stay.
the flower’s eyes are frantic in a different way now. “I’m sorry!” they wail, and you see them start to lower themselves into the soil (that makes more sense that’s how it moves around) and you go “wait!”
the flower freezes.
you shift yourself closer and stroke them by the petals.
they’re stiff and so you ask if its okay.
they nod, and start to relax.
“my femur is fine.” you tell the flower. it hurts just a little but you don’t tell them that. “‘m sans, what’s your name?”
“Flowey,” they murmur.
you don’t see them again after that.
you don’t think the lady behind the door knows the weight of what she’s asking of you. or maybe she knows but just doesn’t care. that would make more sans. heh. you laugh at your own terrible pun, stomping aggressively on a branch. it snaps into two and you see the human prepare to turn around.
you teleport out of the way.
the human turns around and stares at the branch, horrified.
you wince. you didn’t mean for that to have happened.
the human continues walking, looking slightly jumpy and on edge the entire time.
you play along with your mistake, freezing them with blue just before the gate.
“h u m a n-“
they break out of the blue and punch you.
you can feel the heavy weight of the intent ready to protect defend save guard and-
their stick somehow jabs right through all your ribs and goes straight for your spine. it hurts, just for a split second, before everything goes numb.
there’s this horrified look on their face and you can see them saying “I’m sorry I’m sorry!”
somehow, you come back.
back from dust.
this time the human child lets you finish and doesn’t kill you.
you think you like them better non-murdery.
the human, with their time mixing powers breaks the barrier and lets you all out into the-
surface life was, and still is, very different from underground life.
for one, monsters aren’t allowed to use magic in public. at all. which isn’t fun for you. you have always relied on your teleportation magic to get around. not walking or, stars forbid, public transport.
and also monster racism is a thing. humans really like discriminating stuff, you find, much to your displeasure. they’re also really fond of creating wars for absolutely no reason in particular, but you let that pass, as long as they don’t try to start another one with monsters.
monster hate groups are a thing, but humans hate on other humans (which is just stupid in your opinion) so…
you pointedly glare at the one you think is the ringleader of this little group. “buddy,” you say. “this is a warning. you really don’t wanna pick a fight with us.”
frisk quivers behind you, eyes afraid for both you and the group. the little softhearted idiot.
he scoffs. “Yeah right.”
the circle closes in. you’ve got nowhere to run. so you fight.
magic restriction laws are a pain, because you mainly fight with magic. of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t fight physically, so that’s exactly what you do. you fight with your fists, your teeth, your legs, your bones, anything you can use, anything you can protect frisk with.
it takes a while, but eventually, eventually, you chase them away. all of them have been hurt in some form and frisk is perfectly uninjured. thank stars for that or toriel would have your skull.
it takes you a while before you realise that you’re coated in a layer of dust. your ribcage hurts like a bitch.
frisk realises it before you, a soft whining sound coming from their long-injured throat. they grab a few healing items from their bag and feed them to you. and, as per your shitty hp, 1 item is enough and your hp is back up to max. you’ve stopped dusting.
but all that really matters to you is that frisk is safe though, so you ensure that no one’s watching before shortcutting the both of you back home.
you’re not going to risk another hate group-
“-Attack!!!” razz yells, eye lights glowing in friendly, controlled fury. his giant gb scythe is in his hand and you sidestep the swing with ease.
1 year up on the surface and mt. ebott opens up again. 3 times in a row.
your universe fuses with 3 others, 3 different universes, 3 different undergrounds, 3 different abovegrounds. you hate the stupid blueberry you and how he calls you cherry. you chose the name “red” stars damnit! (does it say something about you, hating someone who’s essentially yourself?) stretch, stretch is just an all in all asshole. razz is no better, but slightly more bearable. he understands the universe you came from. you don’t mind him that much. slim is stretch but… more like you in a way? blossom is a sweetheart, and all you skeletons protect him in a way. and his brother comic is an asshole like stretch, but also an asshole like you.
…you and comic started dating after a year. you’ve been dating for 3 years in total now. (does it say something about you, dating someone who’s essentially yourself?)
blue pulls his hammer out of the void, eye lights in the shape of stars. you don’t think your shared living space will survive this again. your brother shares the same look, even as he summons a few - many - sharpened bones. stretch, the asshole, takes one look and leaves the house altogether. asshole. slim raises a browbone, and settles himself on the couch. you don’t doubt he has a few defences ready in mind. blossom looks too excited for the house’s good, many many bones constructs at the ready and comic does what he always does, summon a blaster and fake-sleep in it.
outwardly, you sigh in what you hope seems to be exasperation. your vision tints red though, and you see the wisps of magic coming out of your socket, even through the red that you named yourself after. you’re more than ready for the play-fight.
the next few minutes is a blur. you’re all spread throughout the room, but blossom makes the first move. cyan bones fly up around everyone. razz is the first to react, swinging his scythe through to dispel them. you just teleport.
your brother shoots off sharpened bones at blossom, and you take the opportunity of the teleport to take a stab, literally, at blue, bones of cyan, red, orange and white flying at the skeleton all at once. his hammer doesn’t work as well as a counter as razz’s scythe. you pin him to the wall. just like that, he’s out. you turn your attention to slim, who moved out of the cyan bone trap somehow without losing hp. you know papyri can’t teleport, and so you really don’t want to know how he did that.
comic is still “sleeping” in his blaster, not at all affected by the cyan, but you all know from experience that he’s a devil when he actually fights, so you turn away from him, focusing on razz. just in time too, as you’re forced to sidestep a swing of his scythe.
out of the corner of your vision, blossom takes out your brother, before turning to slim.
you parry razz’s next attack with a sharp white bone, then teleport behind him, driving a bone through the back of his armour when he turns to you, taking care to not actually injure him.
you side step razz and your attack, even as another bone joins in. both of the pin him to the wall behind you, face first.
“You Little Shit,” razz growls, but he is out.
this somewhat reminds you of the sentry tryouts, with less raised exp and lv and a lot less dust. you push the though aside with a vengeance.
blossom has, in a way, finished off slim. all of you know that he has a soft spot for his brother and would only trust himself to fight him, so when he ensures that no one else in the room is a danger to comic and turns to you, it is expected.
what is also expected, however, is stretch barging in.
blossom instantly turns around and takes his brother as his sparring partner, leaving you and stretch as the other pair.
you think you’re going to enjoy the fight.
you teleport multiple times, shooting off four bones every time you do. red red white cyan, orange cyan red red, white white white cyan…
a few strike him, a few don’t. none of them take stretch out. you curse the fact that papyri have much higher hp than sanses.
stretch strikes back, shooting off a couple bones almost lazily. you sidestep all of them (a grand total of four, each with the intent to take only 1hp) with ease. you glare at him, almost feeling like he’s mocking you, then pull out a blaster. he pulls out his own, which almost surprises you because papyri normally aren’t fond of them, but you narrow your sockets and smile, scarily wide.
you fire your blaster and spin-dodge the blast when stretch’s overpowers yours. you catch a glimpse of blossom pouting on the couch with the others who were deemed out. comic is still in his blaster bed. the cyan bones are still surrounding him. asshole.
you smirk, teleporting and slamming your elbow into stretch’s skull, internally praying that it doesn’t leave a scar. stretch doesn’t miss a beat, grabbing your arm and pinning you to the ground. you’re not out, by any chance, hp still at 3, not 1. your hand twitches, and a bone pierces through the ground, stabbing stretch into the air and pinning him to the ceiling. neither of you are done yet.
stretch reacts first, shooting off many bones in your direction. there’s one aimed towards your left eye socket that you can’t quite dodge and it strikes hard, pain making you squeeze your sockets shut. you’re on the edge of something that should be a flashback but you can’t quite remember what you’re flashing back to.
(“-EXPERIMENT SEEMS VERY, VERY INTERESTING-”)
you think you must have made a very sad sound, because someone is next to you in an instant.
(-firing bone constructs and one lands on your skull where your teeth are and you swear you feel one snap off-)
“… red… …. … red… …. …red?”
you blink back to reality, experiments and broken teeth near the forefront of your mind but not quite.
“there we go, red… can you breathe for me?”
you nod, hearing the loud sound of rattling bones. you think it comes from you.
“deep breath in,” the same voice says soothingly, and you do as told, taking a shaky breath in. “deep breath out.” and out. “breathe in.” in… “and out” out…
“you with me red?” this time, you manage to focus enough to recognise comic’s voice, slightly winded and tinged with pain.
“what’s wrong?” you try to say, but hear your self sound more like “whazz ‘ong?”
comic sighs, but pats your back. you’re sitting on his lap, now that you realise it. your brother is in front of you, vaguely hidden concern buried in his gaze. you can feel blossom’s presence somewhere behind you.
“it doesn’t matter,” he replies mildly.
you huff, then turn around to face your boyfriend. it’s only then you notice his clavicle.
your voice is weak. “did i… do that?”
no one answers you.
blossom continues healing his brother’s wound. the healing magic must be the only thing keeping his 1hp stable, keeping him from dusting, yet the stubborn ass continues to help talk you down from a panic attack.
you raise your hand, and try to focus, pumping what little aptitude for green you have left into the broken bone. blossom refuses to look at you. you think that hurts.
half a minute later, comic shrugs, rejecting anymore healing magic. “it’s fine. i’m not gonna dust just like that.”
you and blossom start at the same time, then both instantly shut up.
“but nothing,” comic says firmly. “it’s been a long day, so we’re are going to bed. right?’
“IT’S FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON,” blossom huffs, then after a while, adds at a much softer volume. “Fine.”
you stand up and offer a hand to help your boyfriend up, still pointedly avoiding looking at blossom. both of them seem to appreciate it.
“it’s not your fault,” comic says as you walk up the stairs together, hand in hand.
you look away. “if you say so…”
“i say so,” comic says, and pulls you up the last couple steps and into your shared room. he throws himself onto your bed and makes a beckoning movement at you. “c’mon. it’s been a long day. why not relax and take a load off?”
you laugh, albeit a little weakly, but settle next to your boyfriend. he wraps his arms around you, trapping you in a warm embrace.
sleep comes easily after that.