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It Doesn't End When You Fall Asleep

Chapter Text

Your eyes flit open, and you jump. No reason why, of course, but you could have sworn you heard a noise... oh well. No point in going back to sleep now. Stretching, you stand, peering out the window of the living room into the dark outside. Some creaky floorboard probably woke you up. It takes a moment to decide whether or not you should back to sleep- something tells you you won't be. You start listing the facts, basic things about yourself, an old habit of yours.
You’re here. Here in the Underground no human thought existed, where it’s safe. YOU made it safe. But, you were also its greatest fear for many years. Those memories of murder and pain, dust swirling around you in the snow...they're hazy. Like you weren't really there when they happened. You defeated Asriel, and Asriel shattered the barrier. Ever since then, only a few monsters went to the surface permanently. They were happy to be free, but they were dubious of the human's kindness. So most of them stayed in their homes after confirming they It’s been a few years since all of that, though. You turn your back to the frosty window. But through all the indecision, the skeleton brothers? They stayed. It wasn’t always easy, of course.
Sans still cries some nights, when he thinks no one can hear, mumbling about how he can’t settle in, he can’t relax, it’ll all reset soon, and Papyrus will die again. But he puts on a brave face, and keeps on going. You quietly admire this, but wish you could just make it better somehow, wish he would trust you. He’d only really ever told you one secret, but he was desperate then.
Papyrus comes and goes from the little house in Snowdin. Sans worries about him, but it paid off in the end. He finally acquired some human admirers, and some friends, and even a boyfriend. Mettaton.
“BUT, I WILL ALWAYS BE HERE IF YOU EVER NEED TO TALK, AND THE GREAT PAPYRUS HAS PLENTY OF ENERGY AND WILL MAKE YOU LOTS OF PASTA AND DINOSAUR-EGG CEREAL!” You smirk remembering how he jumped out of his chair when he said that, and upset the table on top of Sans.
You’re startled out of the thought by sniffling coming from upstairs. Definitely Sans. Paps is out for the night on a date, so there isn’t much other option. Tentatively, you start up the stairs. You hear his muttering start to carry:
“stupid, why would’ya let him go and get a boyfriend… when the kid resets it’ll all be over, dammit, stupid, stupid-”
You stare in, crushed that he can’t even be happy for his brother through his anxiety. Should you say something, or just pretend you never heard it? Before you can think of any formulated decisions, the words tumble out.
Your voice breaks as you whisper into his room, hand on the doorframe.
“I won’t reset. Ever. Not unless- not unless something happens to you.” He jumps and turns his head. His faint eyelights, his luminescent tears, he can’t hide he’s been crying.
“shit... kid, I didn’t mean- it’s not like that- i’m just- i mean- i dunno,’ he sighs, defeated. ‘just scared, okay. i just want my bro to be safe; and its kinda hard sometimes, that’s all- whoa, um, hi there.” he stops, startled, as you throw him into a hug mid-sentence. A rush of emotion swells over you, and you say things you don’t realize you mean until after they come out of your mouth.
“Please, please, please don’t be afraid of me, ever, I can’t stand it. I can’t stand when you cry up here, and you worry about Pap, and I promise I’ll never reset again and I just wish you were happy, I wish you were happy more than I wish I was ALIVE, I- I love you, okay?”
You choke back tears, and then, suddenly, he’s hugging you as fiercely as you’re hugging him, and you’re crying together as he holds you.
“hey, don’t say that, i couldn’t- i couldn’t be happy without you here, i-i love you too, i’m so sorry-”
His bright tears are landing in your hair and yours are dampening his hoodie. Suddenly, blue magic swirls out from his soul, around the room. Your eyes widen in fear and you struggle for a second, thinking he’s trying to hurt you. But something, whether the soothing warmth of the magic or his arms around you, you don’t know, makes you calm down. You look up into his eyesockets, and he looks surprised, but calm. Determined- something tells you he was expecting this, somehow. You both hear it, his soul, speaking silently through his eyelights that he loves you back, he needs you, you’re all that keeps him going day in and day out, he loves you, he loves you, he LOVES you.
Then it all stops. Whatever soul miracle just occurred quiets enough for him to blink and rub his sternum with a hand. You smile, laugh breathlessly, and fall into his hoodie again. You can’t believe it- he really meant it, the same way you mean it. His arms tighten around you and his head rests on yours, and even though he doesn’t have any lips, you feel as if he were kissing your hair. It’s soft and gentle, like he’s trying his hardest not to let you notice.
You turn your head to look up at him, surprised. A glowing, blue blush laces his cheekbones as he avoids your eyes.
You brush the tears out of the corners of his big eyes with your hand and smile. You cup his head in your hand, and he leans into it like it will all end soon, like he wants to savor this dream.
“This could be, you know, if you want it. All you have to do is say yes.”
You see him hoping, watch as he registers it, finally considering that, maybe, this wasn’t just some far-fetched dream anymore. This could be real. He holds your hands in his and looks back at you, grinning sheepishly. Nothing fake about it.
“in that case, would you mind if I tried something?”
You grin right back and say, “Try away.”
Suddenly he kisses you, and its just like the kiss in your hair: soft, gentle, but his hands are around your waist and yours, to his head. He’s so warm, you feel so safe, but after a moment you both seem to realize you might be overdoing it a bit. You lean forward into his arms, which wrap around you. He seems a bit starstruck. You realize all of the things that you hadn’t noticed until now: the fact that you’re only wearing a thin night-dress for starters, and you’ve leaned over during the kiss so that he seems very, very close to you. Not to mention his hoodie is slumping off of his shoulders, and you see that under is nothing more than a thin white t shirt- you can see his ribcage through it. As you bury your face into his chest, Sans seems to realize the same things.
He chuckles nervously and tries to get out some words-
“heh, er, um, was that, uh, okay with you? sorry, I just kinda, um, heheh, did…it…” he looks down bashfully, but you look up into his face and your eyes sparkle as you say,
“That was the best thing that has EVER happened to me. I think... I think I love you, um, a lot, okay? But I’m, heh, kinda excited about this, so would you mind if I sleep in here from now on? If you don’t mind or anything, just to be warm and be here? If you don't mind or anything...” you trail off, feeling stupid at the sudden offer, but he just grins and stands, still holding you a little bit.

“well then, imma need your sheets from the couch, 'cause these are kinda gross- and we can make the bed and sleep the night away," he holds out an arm melodramatically, and you smile. Give him a hug, happier than you've been in a long time. Then you stumble down the stairs- you rip the blankets off the couch and scurry back up, already worrying this is just another dream, but Sans is stuffing his greasy ball of sheets in the washing machine and waiting on you. After a few minutes, your own blankets thickly cover his mattress, and he has you in his arms. You wear his hoodie and curl into him, and he plants gentle kisses on your forehead and hair. Soon enough, you both fall asleep.



Chapter Text

Sans sits up and stretches. He looks down and jumps a little when you’re in his bed, wearing his hoodie for warmth. He remembers the events of the night prior and feels a little thrill run down his spine. You’re his girlfriend now.
'in that case, i probably shouldn’t wake her up.' he thinks.
As Sans steps quietly down the stairs, he hesitates about halfway down. Wait- he NEVER wakes up first… so where’s Papyrus? Shouldn’t he be in the kitchen making food? Sans checks his brother's bedroom. No sign of Papyrus. But, the bed is made, so he must have been here this morning.
'probably out on guard duty or fixing a puzzle…but doesn’t he always make breakfast first? or at least leave a note….'
He decides if Pap isn’t back in ten minutes, he’d start to worry. In the meantime, he’s going to go find out what phenomenon made him wake up before you. As he climbs the steps, there’s a thump upstairs. In a flash, Sans opens his bedroom door, eye smoldering blue, ready to meet some burglar trying to attack you- but no. You’d just fallen out of bed. But something’s off. Whether it’s the tossing and turning or the way you fight to escape the blankets, he kneels down and picks you up. You're BURNING UP. Now, Sans has never been able say he’s an expert on human sicknesses, or ANY sicknesses for that matter, but he can identify this- fever. And a bad one, by the way you're acting.
Nervous, Sans sets you back on the bed and frantically searches for something he can do-
'will this kill her? is it different on humans than on monsters? will any shops near here have medicine? where's Paps when you need him? what do i do what do i do what do i-'
The door slams open and Papyrus comes rushing up the stairs. The moment Sans opens his mouth, Papyrus cuts him off, talking rapidly in a quiet tone, so as not to wake you.
“I know, I know already, I woke up and thought I’d check on her and I felt how hot she was, so I sprinted down the street to see if anyone had human fever medicine; they had monster fever medicine, so I grabbed that, but I think we need to call Alphys to ask if its safe to give her this kind, do you have your phone??”
“uh, yeah I do, is she going to be okay? do we know yet?”
Papyrus shakes his head as Sans calls Alphys. She answers on the first ring.
“konnichiwa- oh, um, hi Sans; what’s up?”
“Alph," he starts, frantic, while you squirm uncomfortably on his mattress, "(y/n) is sick, really sick, we think it’s fever, do you have any medicine? or can we use the monster kind? fever doesn’t kill humans, right? what do we do?”
“oh, oh geez, um, I don’t have any medicine, um, but don’t use the monster kind! It’ll definitely make her, uh, worse, and if you want me to come check on her I can bring a human first aid book and find out if it’s um, d-deadly, or, um, not…there are other ways to make humans better besides medicine, but uh, Sans, if this is really bad you might have to bring her to a surface hospital, I don’t know yet, but I’m on my way now,” there are noises of rummaging as she gets ready on the other end.
“wait, don’t hang up yet, what do we do until you get here?” Sans begs.
“um, Sans, you d-don’t have to do anything yet, its kind of a lot to ask of you…” she trails off uncomfortably.
“please, please, just what is it, i can do it, just tell me.”
“oh, um, if you’re sure… uh, you c-could change her out of whatever she’s in right now and put her in a nightgown- it’ll help with germs and regulating her b-body temperature- but she’ll need to be conscious when you do it, so, um…you can’t use blue magic. The gravity effect in blue magic will knock her out when she’s this weak so, you’re, uh, going to need to change her, um, uh, manually…”
There’s a pause, and Alphys tries to fill the silence.
“I mean, um, if you’re not ok-kay with that, that’s- that’s fine, I can do it when I get there, we just need to do it, um, soon, but don’t worry about-”
“i can do it. i can do this. so, um, just the nightgown, nothing else?” he asks firmly, determination in his voice.
“Oh! Um, yeah, just a nightgown- and, um, heh, underwear, of-of course- and ask Papyrus to make the bed with clean sheets, too, that’ll help, and, um, no bright lights, she might be sensitive right now. That’s it.”
“When will you be here?”
“Twenty minutes.”
“okay, thank you, see you then.”
“Oh, um, bye.”
She hangs up and Sans quickly relays all of the new information to Papyrus, and asks him to make the bed for you, there should be clean sheets in the dryer from last night. He closes the blinds so there won’t be too much light, picks you up off of the bed gently and grabs one of your nightgowns out of the hall closet. He brings you into the bathroom and sits you down on the floor, leaning against the wall. He feels so GUILTY for doing this to you, when you don’t even know what’s happening. He tries to wake you up, to make it easier.
“hey… you gotta wake up, only for a minute, we gotta change your clothes…please wake up,” his voice breaks a bit as he whispers, and at this your eyes flutter open and you moan a bit, then mumble,
“Sans, I don’t feel so good, I wanna lie down, can you stay ‘till I fall asleep…”
Sans breathes a sigh of relief, not only that you’re awake, but that you still remember him, even seem to remember you trust him, and that’s enough.
“okay, sweetheart! arms up! we gotta change your clothes so you can feel better.”
You lift your arms up shakily, let him take his hoodie back, and then watch him try not to look as he changes you out of last night’s pajamas. You shiver as the sweltering hot clothes come off, and you’re sitting on the frigid bathroom floor.
“ready? we’re almost done, kay? we just need to get this nightgown thingie on.”
After you’re all changed, you pass out into his arms and mumble for him to tuck you in and make you feel better. He kisses you lightly on the forehead and says he will, and soon you’re bundled up under the covers in the dark. Sans lies next to you and holds you. With the clean, cool nightgown on, you fall right to sleep.
A few minutes later, Alphys knocks on the door and Papyrus answers it, filling in Alphys on everything that has happened since she called.
Alphys smiles, and tells Papyrus that optimism is always important, but she needs him to go hold off Undyne. She’ll be freaking out when she can’t find Alphys for their weekly date, and if she found her she might come kick down the door and wake you up, which, Alphys said, wouldn’t be optimal. Once he dashes out, she turns her sights on Sans’ room.
'“Watching her to make sure everything’s okay?”' she thinks, 'I smell a ship here... and if I’m right... then asking Sans to change her was an accidental, but outstanding move. This could be such an otp...!'
She scurries up the stairs and knocks on Sans’ door, and there's some shuffling before he opens it.
“thank god, she’s so hot, but she was conscious at one point and she remembers who I am, so, yeah.”
“oh, um, that’s good, she doesn’t have amnesia then… but that doesn’t, er, eliminate the possibility of a bad fever. o-okay, (y/n)! I need you to sit up for a minute, um, so I can find out what’s making you sick.”
You sit up, not entirely there, but doing all of the things that Alphys asks of you. You’re looking at Sans as he answers her questions, and silently pleading with him so you can go back to sleep. He catches your eyes, and looks sympathetic, but you know he can’t do much else. Finally, it’s over. You lay back down, and Alphys sits, reading some pages in a book by a flashlight. She looks up after a few minutes of comparing notes to book, with relief swimming in her eyes.
“Common fever, at her temperature. H-Humans get over it in two to three days with p-proper treatment, or a week if medicine can't be provided. She’s fine!”
Sans seems to melt with relief. He sinks to the floor, grinning stupidly and staring at you as you smile right back at him.
“C'mere, Alphys can know, she probably already does,” you say, lifting your arms out weakly. Sans blushes, but stands and walks into them. He hugs you, and whispers how happy he is that you aren’t seriously sick.
Meanwhile, Alphys is squealing in such a high pitch that it’s difficult to hear her.
“oh my gosh oh my gosh ohmygosh- should I be in here? I’m sorry! But ohmygosh y’all are my otp forever!! There will be fanart I will see to it that...that…happens…sorry,” she mumbles as you give her a look of confusion and amusement.
“Well, everything is okay now, but Alphys, you really ought to go find Undyne and explain why Paps's been stalling for you. She’ll kill you. And him.” You gesture toward the door. Alphys starts and gives a hurried goodbye as she rushes out.
You laugh for a minute, hug Sans again, and ask to sleep. He readily agrees, stating that he could use some rest himself. It’s been quite the morning.



Chapter Text

A few months after you started to date Sans, a glow is coming from under the door to Papyrus’ room. At first it’s a bright orange, but then it softens into a magenta-like color, ending in a burst of sparks…and silence.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sans is tossing and turning, sweating blue, muttering in his sleep. There are only a few hours left until dawn- you feel his movement and wake up, grab his hands in your own. Something about the motion wakes him out of his nightmare. He looks out, past you, seeing worlds that you couldn’t see if you tried. Glowing blue tears leak down his face, and he just seems so; CRUSHED.
“S-sans? Was it another nightmare? I’m here. No one is dying, everyone’s okay-”
Then he says something you never imagined could come out of his mouth, said with insurmountable anger and sadness:
“papyrus…papyrus you IDIOT… how could you go and- and- and-” he broke down in tears again. You are so shocked you don’t even think to move- but after a moment you whisper,
“Sans? Are you okay? It was just a nightmare- what did Paps do, anyway?” You make eye contact with him and he murmurs,
“he went and made a soul bond with Mettaton.”
“Um, a what? He made a what with Mettaton?”
He stares at you a moment, before something clicks in his mind and he explains.
“um, oh, right, yeah, you don’t know…um, humans reproduce and "marry" different than monsters do. monsters have soul bonds- two beings with souls fuse them, so they each have a little part of the other inside them wherever they go. but, it makes is a third soul. a,” Sans flinches, “a kid. since we’re brothers, i can feel when he’s had a soul bond. I just assume it’s with Metta…” Sans freezes. A hollow smile lights his face for a moment, and he murmurs, “(y/n)…. i’m a puncle.”
You laugh softly for a moment, before asking,
“So? This is great! You’re a puncle, Sans! What’s wrong with Papyrus having a kid? But… wouldn’t he have told you by now? Are you sure you weren’t dreaming?”
Sans’ face falls, and his eyelights go out like snuffed candles.
“(y/n)…i can’t protect both my bro and this kid. if anything happens to it, it's my fault, and Paps'll be crushed, he’ll never be the same, i can’t let that happen, but…what if the kid’s just like me? what if he has nightmares and doesn’t trust people and wants to hide forever? what do i do then? not to mention i haven’t even told Paps about the timelines or the resets yet…”
Suddenly, Papyrus is standing in the doorway to the bedroom, grinning broadly.
You stand to give him a big hug and congratulate him, and ask what he is going to name him. (“IMPACT!” He states proudly. “AS A HALF-SKELETON, WE THOUGHT IT WAS ONLY RIGHT WE GAVE HIM A FONT NAME, AND METTA AND I KNOW HE'LL MAKE A BIG IMPACT ON EVERYONE!!”) Sans stands, eyelights still out, and asks for a word with his brother for a minute, and you oblige, leaving. You sit on the stairs and think-
You doubt anyone is going back to bed this close to dawn, and if Sans is telling Papyrus how he feels, or even about the timelines, it might be a long conversation. So you make coffee and turn on a quiet re-run of Mew-Mew Kissie Cutie.
As you sit and sip on the hot drink, you're still processing. What would happen if you and Sans did a soul bond? Would it work with a human soul? It's probably too soon, it's only been a month or two. You’d never wanted a kid with Sans, anyway, but would it be worth it? Or what if you didn’t… what if you did something else instead… you set down your coffee, giddy at your idea. But it would take a few days of planning. And you’d need some things. But that could definitely work. After about forty-five minutes, Sans calls you back in his room.
Papyrus is looking at you slightly warily, like a time bomb, or a snapping turtle, or maybe Jerry. His voice volume has dropped significantly as he asks, not to anyone in particular,
“She did all that? To us? But…but how? When?”
You turn a resigned smile to Sans.
'You told him everything?' You ask the question with your eyes. He nods. You sit on the bed and say,
“Paps, there are two forces in this world that I think we’ll never truly be able to understand: hate, and love. When I did those things, when I-" your voice breaks a little, "when I hurt the both of you, I think there was something possessing me, something that used hate as fuel. Sometimes I could shake it. Sometimes, I couldn’t. But for better or worse, I always started over. One day, the hateful thing came out of me, looked me in the eyes, and gave me a chance to fight it. I won, I destroyed it, and I hope it never finds me again. And I’ll always love the both of you, no matter what. And now that we’ve started something new,” you eye Sans, “I never want to reset again.”
Both of the skelebros’ eyes are swimming. You hold out your arms for a hug, and the bone-crushing (heh) hug that ensues is painful, but you know that it’s real.
“And Sans,” you sit up, “Did you tell him what YOU went through during the resets, or should I step out?”
He looks away, and Papyrus asks what you’re talking about. You step back into the living room. On the bright side, your coffee is cool now. The sunrise dances through the windows. You smile. What a day. After about ten minutes, you hear soft crying from upstairs, and you know in your soul that all of the secrets and sadness around Sans is starting to fall. You wonder who he is outside of it.



Chapter Text

It’s been a few days since Impact was “born”. Since Papyrus learned the truth around his brother’s secrecy. Since you and Sans came out to the whole Underground as a couple. And Paps is staying at the Mettaton Resort until Impact is old enough to come live in Snowdin. So you and Sans have the house all to yourselves for the next few months.
“So, whatcha wanna do since we're allllll alooooonnneee?"
“dunno…why do you ask?”
“‘Cause I wanna try some things.”
Firstly, you pull out an ancient cartridge and Gameboy, and show Sans how to play Pokémon. He is fascinated, not by the game, but by how old the system is-
“you said this thing was from the 1990’s?! that’s crazy! how do you even have it?”
“Um, hand-me-down from my mom, I think. Why?”
“just, vintage stuff! wow!”
His eyesights are glowing like little stars as he quickly masters the game. You snuggle up to his side, and he wraps one arm around your shoulders and plays one-handed. By the end of an hour, the couch is more of a bed, you’re wearing his hoodie, and he’s lying on his back playing with your head on his chest. Not to mention he’s re-replaying the game, because he beat it after twenty minutes. After he finishes it for the third time, you grab it and toss it aside.
“hey! I was playin’ that,” he says, laughing at your pouty face. You fall back dramatically onto him and say,
“I just want to be LOVED! *oof*”
“how so, my drama queen?”
“We do the rest of the stuff on tonight’s to-do list.”
“whelp, what’s next?”
“I wanna see your soul.”
Sans debates something internally for a moment, then he takes his thin white t-shirt off, and you realize he’s thinner than you thought without all of the layers on. Through his ribcage, you see the glowing, revolving blue heart. His soul. Your eyes shine, and you look up at him.
“I didn’t think you’d really show me! It’s so beautiful…”
“why wouldn’t I show ya, sweetheart?”
“I thought it was a personal thing… not to mention you’re shirtless.”
“it is a personal thing. but I realized something: I trust you. I trust you with this, and with Pap, and with me. Also, I’m a skeleton. I’m shirtless and skinless.”
As he shimmies back into his shirt, you smile big and give him a hug, which he receives happily, stroking your hair.
“what’s next on your list?”
“um….oh! Right. So I found a book on your shelf the other day- um, Dance Through The Ages? You’d marked up some of the classier dances, and also a lot of hip hop ones… I hope you don’t mind that I saw it, I was just curious…” you look down for a second, but when you look up, Sans looks intrigued.
“and what are you going to do with that? yeah, I used to dance a bit, but then i dropped it…but, why’s that matter now? i don’t mind that you read it, sweetheart, don’t worry,” he adds.
“I was just wondering if you know how to waltz! You hadn’t marked that page too much, you mostly marked the more fast-paced ones, but I know how and I thought we could dance a bit. If you don’t mind, I guess,”
“yeah, I um, I do- I mean, I know how, but where would we do it? i don’t think we have any music for it either…”
You stand up off the couch, and pull the rug out of the center of the living room, then tell Sans to use his blue magic to push the couch out of the way. He does, and then you turn back to him.
“Now,” you say, wiping your dusty hands on your jeans, “don’t you have waltz music saved on your phone?”
He nods, getting excited, and pulls one up. He turns it on, walks to the center of the living room, and offers you a hand. In quiet voice, he asks,
“may I have this dance?”
You curtsy with an imaginary dress and give him your hand.
“You may.”
As you twirl elegantly around the room, dipping and sliding and occasionally being lifted off of your feet, you think about how much you love Sans. Of course, you think you’re doing a pretty good job of the whole girlfriend thing- its almost the same as having a really close friend, but with more layers. You’re just a little more defensive of each other, just a little more trusting, just a little more aware, just a tad bit more worried about one another. And a lot less secrecy and sadness. You want to throw caution to the winds so badly and enact your plan right now! But no. You can’t ruin it.
Finally, the song ends, and you’re both left panting and sweating, your hands still on his shoulders, his still on your waist. You smile, and he seems to melt a bit at it. He presses his forehead to yours, and whispers as if it was a big secret:
“I love you, sweetheart. So much. If you hadn’t come into my room that night- I- I’m not sure how I woulda kept going.”
You kiss him, the first time you’ve kissed him on the lips (“lips”??) since that first night a trillion years ago. Your hands are on his head, and his slide up your back, and pull you closer. When it finally ends, after a hundred glorious moments, you open your eyes to see that his eyelights have switched into little heart shapes. You laugh, grinning, not at him, but at the odds that you’d get someone this amazing.
“what’s left on the list…or do you feel like getting a little side-tracked?”
“No way. We gotta stay on schedule. We’re gonna go outside on the porch to watch the sunset and play truth or dare. Then we go to bed, and enter uncharted territory.”
You grin roguishly, and his eyelights sparkle and return to their normal shape. He goes to grab a thicker shirt, but lets you keep his hoodie for now- “after all, skeletons are naturally warm- especially when there’s a soft, adorable heat source nearby.” You laugh- you’ve always considered him to be your heat source- but you happily walk outside, sit on the wooden balcony, and let him hold you; “for warmth”. After a minute, you say,
“Truth or Dare?”
“ummm, dare.”
“Oh, um, ok, make a pun.”
“um…oh, here’s a good one- what happened to the heart that robbed a bank?”
“I dunno, Sans. What did happen to the heart that robbed a bank?”
“He was put under cardiac arrest!”
You snort, then say through laughter-
“dude, that is so dark!”
“i dunno, i thought it was kinda punny, but maybe you thought my heart wasn’t in it.”
You slap his arm with the loose sleeve of his hoodie and laugh. After it quiets again, he asks,
“heh, ok truth or dare?”
“um…oh, how much do you remember from when you had that fever-thing?”
“Honestly? Not much. I think I was out for most of it…but…” you screw up your face in concentration, “Alphys was there, and Pap, too, for a minute, I think, and you were really scared… oh! I remember at one point I was on the floor in the bathroom- wait, did I throw up?”
Sans blushes heavily.
“nope…your turn!”
You frown at his obscurity, then demand,“Truth or Dare?”
“I dare you to tell the truth. What happened during that fever?”
“you can’t do that!”
“Can too. What happened?”
Your eyes must seem a little hurt by the fact that there are still secrets going on, especially one involving you. Sans relents.
“we’d called Alphys to find out how best to make you feel better until she showed up to check you out, and she said we had to, um…”
“Go on. I won’t judge. I’m better because of you- and I’ll tell you a secret if you tell me yours.”
“…we were supposed to, um, change you out of your clothes and into…into a nightgown and we weren’t allowed to use magic because it would hurt you, and um, and I didn’t want Pap to- to see you like that so I-I did it.”
Sans is visibly guilty from the memory, but you bust out laughing.
“That’s it? It’s fine, if it had been anyone else, that’s a different story- but I trust you. You wouldn’t do anything inappropriate or cruel without permission in a normal setting, and it was an emergency. Not to mention the fact that you didn’t want anyone else to see me like that is really kind of you.”
Sans looks incredibly relieved.
“now that that’s over, what’s your big secret?”
You look at him and say quietly:
“If I had had that fever on the surface, without ever having met you, I would have died.”
Sans was shocked.
“b- wh- why?”
“My human parents hate me. My dad tried to kill me once when I was seven- so I ran away, climbed Mount Ebott, and fell. I should have died…part of me wanted to- but those flowers broke my fall. I’m so glad I didn’t die then. I would’ve never met you.”
You lean against Sans and let him hold you closer. He looks at the floor, and then mutters,
“If you hadn’t come into my room that night, I would have probably killed myself- I couldn’t stand not being able to protect anyone I loved anymore.”
Your eyes meet his, and a small part of you wonders why only one can glow like it does- but you push the thought away for now. After a moment, you’re asleep, and he carries you into his room- with a kiss goodnight and no thought for putting on pajamas, you hold onto each other like its the last time you’ll ever be able to. Maybe there shouldn’t be so much sadness now. After all, you are together now. It’s all going to be okay.



Chapter Text

“Rise and shine sleepy head! We got stuff to do,” you shout and throw the sheets off of the bed.
Sans rolls over and grunts, then notices you. You’re much more dressed up than normal: a t-shirt tucked tightly into a short skirt, under which are tall socks and modesty shorts. You have your favorite Vans on- the red ones with the stripe. Sans whistles, and you smack him with a pillow and continue.
“We’re going out to Waterfall on a date- remember? You agreed we’d do this a week ago! It’s nine o’clock Sans: that’s crazy late. I’m gonna go wait outside.”
You flounce down the stairs, and suddenly, Sans is opening the front door, wearing black trainers, some shorts, a clean white t-shirt, and his blue hoodie.
“You know, I have a love-slash-hate relationship with those “shortcuts” of yours. Also, what’s with the new trainers? They’re classy.” you quip.
“just something I picked up for the date I definitely prepared for.” he grins and beckons you out the door- you giggle.
“mm-hmm. we’ll see.”
You go down to the trash heap in Waterfall, hand in hand, and promptly ruin your Vans (for the fiftieth time) sloshing through the piles of junk. You find a cartridge for your Gameboy, and a Polaroid camera you have to explain to Sans. After a few minutes of him ogling at it, you drag him forward. Then you move on to the Echo Flower room, where Sans makes armpit farts (how he does this without skin, you don’t know) until all the flowers will repeat them, and the room is filled with a chorus all the way out. You laugh so hard you cry, and you have to sit on some nearby bench. Next to it is an Echo Flower that whispers, “i just can’t handle the responsibility”, and you find a plate of quiche that the flower must be referring to. Your laughing redoubles at that. Next, you’re in the Mettaton resort, visiting Papyrus, Metta and “Impact", who “ALREADY LEARNED TO “GHOST” OUT OF HIS BODY- HE REALLY SCARED US WHEN IT FIRST HAPPENED, BUT THEN WE REMEMBERED METTATON IS HALF GHOST SO IT’S ENTIRELY NORMAL!” Finally, the two of you are sitting at a table in the dining hall, laughing over everything that had happened, how cute Impact was, how beautiful Waterfall seemed.
But finally came the time to enact the plan, the plan that you’d waited days to put into motion, the plan that made you giddy every time you thought of it. It had taken some convincing to get Undyne to do some things, and you’d even asked Grillby to make some things. After a while, conversation slows as you both run out of things to say.
Perfect. “Let’s go home- I’m kinda tired,” you sigh contentedly.
“yeah, okay, let’s go.”
“Oh, hold up, I think I left something at Pap’s place, lemme call him-” but the moment you dial, you hang up- “no, geez, it’s right here, how tired can I get?” you give a little laugh and stuff your phone back in your pocket.
Sans doesn’t notice anything wrong about the exchange, and he laughs.
“You’re adorable when you don’t know what’s going on, you know.”
As you walk out, you “pause” to talk to Burgerpants, for exactly five minutes, then pretend you need Sans to get you out of it. He cuts the conversation short with a concise “bye”, grabs your arm, and suddenly you’re in the woods outside Snowdin- Sans explains he has a bit of a “range” before he runs out of magic. As you approach the house, he pipes up.
“hey, what’s that?” he points to a note on the door. You shrug, grinning.
“Read it.”
“hey, this is in your handwriting- ‘I love you, and I mean that. Go inside.’ ” He turns back to you, smirking.
Sans opens the door and you watch as his jaw drops. The house smells like the snickerdoodle cookies cooling on the table, and all of the lights are off- except some fairy lights woven around the posts on the stairs- and you walk in front of him, get down on a knee and extend a wrapped present-
“Sans, I’m not asking you to marry me. I’m asking for a promise; even if we never get married, I promise you I will love you forever. In short, will you promise me the same?" you try to keep a straight face at how shocked he looks, but it doesn't last. You hold out the gift and smirk. "Open it, I want you to see it!”
Still shaken, he opens the present and pulls out a hoodie- a new blue one. It's thick, with fur around the hood, all soft and warm and big pockets. Eyelights shining, he says,
“always, sweetheart. t-thank you.”
You stand and let him kiss you on the forehead, and he asks,
“how did you have time to do this? you were with me all day!”
“So you know how I called Papyrus because I “forgot something”? Well, all he needed was the missed call as a signal. Undyne put up the lights herself- I gave her a key, and she knew to go when Paps called her, once he received the signal from me. Then he called Grillby and Grillby ran over, opened a window and put the cookies on the counter, then Undyne moved them to the table, and the present was under your bed the whole time! Undyne moved it to the door for me.”
“why call Undyne? i’m surprised she didn’t smash everything.”
“She lives close, she’s fast, and we only had five minutes.”
“i-i can’t believe you did all this for me.”
“I go far for the people I care about," you say, softly. He grins.
“then let’s eat those cookies before they get cold.”
You race past him and grab the plate, stuffing one in your mouth.
“Na- if I ea- dem aww fiwst!”



Chapter Text

Sans doesn’t remember how he arrived, but suddenly he's walking in the snow with you. His hand in yours, smiling. He seems to be giving you a tour of Snowdin. Like… you’d never been before.
“over there's the shop, there’s some stuff there, i guess. oh, that’s Grillby’s. i hang there a lot. um, that’s my house.”
'why don’t i say “our house”? isn’t this (y/n)? she knows all this already…' he thinks.
He looks down at the person holding his hand and stops cold. Their eyes…they’re red. What’s happening?!
Suddenly, the...thing...speaks, it's your voice, but twisted, contorted.
“Why still here, Sansy? They’re gone, Alphys, Mettaton, Toriel, Asgore, even wittle baybee Impact. All killed, because they were just so WEAK. But don’t you worry! I saved the best two for last.”
Suddenly, Papyrus is there, hovering above the the snow.
“NO! NO YOU CAN’T- LET HIM GO! KILL ME INSTEAD- LET HIM G-” suddenly Sans couldn’t speak, the words coming but not making any sound… he can’t move, either.
“So loud, Sans. It’s quite rude. Be quiet and watch the show,” the thing says, then turns to Papyrus.
“Sans? Where are we? Where’s Impact, Sans? SANS-” he cries out, but before he can get out the scream, a single blow from the creature beside Sans knocks him to pieces. His dust scatters over the snow.
Sans is crying, trying to tell this twisted version of you to kill him instead, when suddenly, you're in front of him, suspended in the air.
You speak weakly, surprised, growing panicked as you see your predicament.
“Sans! What’s happening? Stop! Let me go- let me go, you don’t know what you’re doing!” you struggle, unable to twist your way out of the invisible ropes holding you in the air.
The twisted monster mutters, “Finish her, trashbag. Do it, and you’ll never have another nightmare. I won’t draw out her death, it’ll all end…”
Sans refuses, crying out in silent protest, asking, begging that he die instead-
The thing sighs.
“Your precious princess is waking you up…let her know Chara isn’t after her anymore…I’m coming for YOU, Sansy.”

Sans’ eyes snap open. You hang, bound, suspended in front of him by blue magic, shaking, begging that he wake up, that he let you go- he drops you to the ground suddenly and rushes to your side. Involuntarily, you flinch, not quite knowing whether or not he’s awake. He's shaking, half-sobbing, half-relieved, and immensely guilty for hurting you.
“i’m awake- sweetheart i’m awake- what happened, did i hurt you? are you okay?”
“You’re awake! I’m fine, it was only a tight squeeze, but, oh god, what happened to YOU, I was trying to wake you up from a nightmare and then…you sort of snapped and jumped up…oh, it’s okay. You didn’t do it on purpose, you know that,” you brush his face with your fingertips as he cries; finally you hold him in your arms and give him a squeeze.
That's enough for him.
“there was a thing, it was like you in the old timelines, but it was worse, it controlled me, it killed Papyrus- wait, if i picked you up, is Papyrus alive, IS HE OK-” he leaps to his feet, pulling away from you, reaching for his phone. You hold his wrist gently and say,
“Sans, Papyrus is fine, you did knock over that lamp though- it was just a dream, don’t worry.”
“no, no- it wasn’t LIKE that, it said to tell you- to tell you that... i think it said it’s name was- ugh, i can’t remember- but it’s real, it’s coming for me, for you! i don’t know what to do, what do i do-”
You look up at him and whisper,
“Stop, Sans. If what you’re saying is true, then we’ll talk about it another day. For now, we’re gonna fight through this together.”
“and if i hurt you- if it hurts you through me?”
“Then you’ll wake up when I yell, and then you can heal me and I’ll hold you and it’ll all be okay.”
There's a pause, and he slides back down the wall to sit beside you.
“how come it’s always me?”
You smile sadly.
“It’s always us from now on.”



Chapter Text

You’re sitting on the couch, curled up, plugging away on your ancient Gameboy with the news playing in the background. Sans just left, going to the surface for a few more boxes of snickerdoodle mix. You had offered to get them, but he said he wanted to try driving Papyrus’ new red car. It's a sleek red Jaguar, topless, the kind the tall brother always wanted. Now that he's with Mettaton, money can be stretched a lot more. But Sans- he was never the best driver. You can't help but worry. Still- after last night's predicament, you agreed that he might need some fresh air. Whatever nightmare overcame him was quite a lot. You shudder at the memory. He shifted, jumped up suddenly from the bed and lifted you up in the air by magic. It made you think of a snake, how tight it got around you, blocking your breath, bruising your arms. You push the thought out of your mind- he hadn't meant to do what he did. Paps is home with you, in the kitchen, busy making hot chocolate. In a few months, he and Metta'll be buying the house next door to yours and Sans’. A little wooden one, abandoned by some other family who moved to the surface. It's barely a thirty second walk between the two... but that means that this house? It's really yours now, as well as Sans'.
“Hey, Paps, while you’re making hot chocolate, could I have a mug?” you call, tongue sticking out of your mouth a little as you toggle the controls of your game.
“Of course, (y/n)! I was already planning on it!” he responds, jovially.
You think about how much quieter Papyrus’ voice level is now, relatively speaking- something tells you Metta has been getting onto him for it. You imagine him humming loudly and waking up Impact or something. The idea makes you snort. Oh, he should be fine- he practically raised you, anyway.
The Under-News is interrupted suddenly; an alpaca-looking monster with long horns and horn-rimmed glasses is announcing something. You glance up from your game.
“BREAKING NEWS:" she begins- "A monster has just been found dead in a car crash outside of a human store- the human who hit him admits he did it because of a hatred for monster-kind. Will there be more hateful attacks like this one? Live at the scene, Shell Melson.”
You sit up a little straighter, listen a bit closer. Monster? Car wreck? Store? Dead?! Was it…no, it can’t be- the odds are definitely against it.
“Thank you, Velty," says a tall purple monster made entirely of a glowing purple goop. He has a Boston accent. "I’m here, live at the scene, where a monster has just been killed in a car wreck-”
'Please don’t be a red Jaguar, please don’t let it be a red Jaguar-' you think, dropping your game and crossing your fingers tightly.
“-the monster has no emergency contacts, and was found in a red Jaguar. Emergency services cannot identify the monster through the wreckage, and-”
You stop listening. You fumble with your phone, heart beating into your throat, and call Sans.
“uh, sorry, can’t talk now, leave a message if you feel like it.”
You call again and again, only to hear the same stupid message. Papyrus walks into the room, holding mugs of hot chocolate. He hurries to your side when he sees how scared you look, Gameboy discarded beside you, as you try for the fifth time.
“What has you so frantic, (y/n)? Who are you calling?” he asks.
He looks up at the old television in time to hear more live developments on the story. Even though he's already bone-white, something pales as he makes the connection.
“The odds are against it, surely…what if it’s just a human they thought was a monster? Nothing would happen to my brother. He wouldn’t let it.”
He sits down on the couch next to you and gives you a one-armed squeeze, the other holding his shaking mug.
“Do you know why? He wouldn’t let it because I happen to know that, unfortunately, his top priorities are the two of us. He wouldn’t get in a wreck like that because he thinks we need protecting. But I’m not as helpless as he thinks- can I tell you a secret?”
You nod distractedly.
“I can defend myself fine. My attacks are on par, maybe a bit stronger than his, and I have quite high HP levels after all of the training I did with Undyne. I just… don’t like violence. But now that I have a family…” he drifts off for a second and stares at the ceiling. “I can see where his protective-ness comes from.”
He smiles down at you a moment, finally setting down the mug when he realizes you're no longer interested in drinking anything. Suddenly, your phone rings, and Sans’ name flashes on the screen. You grab it, pick it up, and you both start talking at the same time:
“Sans? Is that you? Are you okay?”
“i saw your missed calls, 's everything okay over there?”
You sigh in relief and nod at Papyrus, who gives you a thumbs up and mouths, 'I knew it.'
Sans doesn’t ask what’s happening to have you so worried just then- when he tries to, you ask that he not talk about it until he’s home, to just stay on the line with you. So he does. He talks about normal things like the annoying teenager at the cash register at the store, or how cool Pap’s car is, or how the snickerdoodle mix was on sale, so he got ten boxes for five bucks. He finally says,
“i’m just dropping Pap’s car off in the lot at the Metta Resort and i’ll shortcut right outside Snowdin. i’m gonna hang up now, 'k?”
“O-okay, see you in a sec.”
After he hangs up, you thank Papyrus for being so reassuring about it, and give him a hug.
“You know, I feel like you’re my brother sometimes, Pap.”
“And you, my sister,” he answers, kindly.
“Do- do you mind if I go run outside and meet him?” “Not at all. See you in a minute.”
You pull on your boots and sprint out into the snow, past the monsters- they're oblivious of what could have just happened... how weird- shouldn't the world stop moving with all the fear welling up in you? You find your way into the woods. Just as you get to where he should be, he appears a few yards away. You run at him, and give him the biggest, tightest hug you can.
“oof; WOAH, hey, hey, it’s okay! i’m okay, what has you so worked up? loosen up, this hug is bone-crushing.”
You're hugging him so tight that he can’t move, clutching onto his shirt like a lifeline- but he’s alive; he’s alive, and he’s breathing, and he’s HERE. After a second, he feels how cold you are and helps guide you home. When you arrive inside, Sans shoots a confused look over your shoulder at Paps, who nods towards the glowing television. Sans sets you on the couch so that you can lean against him, and listens.
“-unfortunately, we still cannot identify the monster who has died in a car crash earlier this morning. We ask that you please call this number if you know any monsters who have been near a “Target Superstore” in a red Jaguar in the past twelve hours, to help Monster Protective Services.” A phone number flashes on the bottom of the screen, and then it cut to black.
Sans looks back at you, horrified that you be in such anxiety all morning over a car crash he wasn’t in.
“oh, sweetheart, no…”
You nod into his chest, and he hugs you.
“We really *sniff* need a break from all of the *sniff* separation-anxiety-inducing-phenomena.”
He laughs and hugs you tighter, then releases and walks over to his brother.
“and you, bro?”
“I had the utmost faith that you would return to us, brother! After all, you would never leave us without all-around consent. Even so..” he holds out his arms- “I could definitely use a hug.”
Papyrus opens up his arms and lets Sans fall into them, and you decided that right now, you could see the brotherly side of them. Papyrus turns to you, grinning, and speaks in a tone that reminds you of how he spoke when you were little- “COME HUMAN! JOIN THE HUG PILE!” You laugh at him calling you “human” again, then join them. It's a happy hug pile, and for that moment, no one wants anything more.



Chapter Text

“SAAANNNSSS! That blasted dog took my attack again and I cannot get it back!”
Papyrus is running laps around the house, chasing the furry white streak, who has a bone clamped tightly in his teeth. You laugh as Sans yanks Papyrus’ scarf off with blue magic, and ties it tightly around the dog’s legs in a little bow. Then he stands up, reaches down, picks up the little pup, and dumps it unceremoniously in Papyrus’ arms.
“there- now you get the scarf, the dog, and the attack.”
The dog barks and wags its fluffy little tail. Papyrus looks down at it, takes his attack back, and frees him. He straightens his scarf back on over his loose, mustard colored sweater. A few moments later, Mettaton comes walking up the street with Impact in his arms, pointing out all the things he’d be able to see and do when he gets old enough.
“- and there, darling, is Uncle Sans and-” he stage whispers behind his hand- “HOPEFULLY your Aunt (y/n)’s house, if they would just tie the knot-”
“i heard that!”, Sans calls across the lawn.
It’s fall in Snowdin- the only season where a difference in temperature and scenery is observed. It's like a mini summer- just two weeks where the snow melts, the trees grow leaves at a rapid pace before dumping them everywhere, and everyone comes outside to throw balls and visit family. It reminds you of Thanksgiving every year, minus the football and the turkey. Every year, without fail, everyone you made a connection with when you first fell down shows up at the skelebros’ house. Your house too, now.
First to show up is Papyrus, who arrives early to hang out with you and Sans and to help with food prep- there may not be a turkey, but there’s plenty of pasta (and some poppyseed muffins you whipped up for dessert). Then come Mettaton and Impact an hour or so later. After that, it’s as if someone pulls the plug- Alphys and Undyne come in, hand in hand, Toriel and Asgore show up together, Monster Kid even trips in a moment later, asking if he can stay because ‘Undyne and “The Great Papyrus” are here!’ Papyrus, of course, grins at the old nickname and lets him in- even though it's been years since he’d called himself that- since ANYONE'S called him that, Monster Kid never seems to age a bit.
You grin at Sans as he grabs your hand underneath the table, squeezing it. He rubs a thumb over your knuckles- he just wants to fall asleep on the couch, you can tell, but it'll be a while before he gets the chance. Alphys notices, squealing quietly across the table at the two of you. You smile back at her, and realize that even though you came out as a couple months ago, no one really treats you like one…
'Well, we don’t really act like one, do we?' you think. 'We’ve kissed on the lips exactly twice since we started, we don’t act all mushy when everyone’s around, and neither of us've changed the way we do anything, unless you count Sans making his bed in the morning.'
After a long while of eating and laughing and telling stories, the party breaks up and everyone drifts home to go enjoy the fall day at their own leisure. You and Sans clean up. He looks over at you.
“god, you’re gorgeous, you know that?”
You look up and blush, but fire back-
“You aren’t so bad yourself.”
You turn and continue to wash the dishes, but then he’s behind you, wrapping his arms around your waist and resting his chin on your shoulder.
“i dunno what’s coming over me right now: but i just have to say how much i really, truly, honestly love you.”
You set down the dish you’re working on and take his hand, climbing up the stairs. You both sit cross-legged on his bed, leaning against the wall, tilted so that he can hold your hands.
“i think it’s just how beautiful it is outside- how happy everyone is, that made me see how amazing you are today. dammit, that was mushy, wasn’t it?”
“No, no, I love it: that’s how I see you ever since that first night you said you wanted to be with me. You can’t see that way most days because you’re used to just, surviving. You haven’t lived in a while. I think you just, I dunno, remembered how.” there's a little silence as he processes that, then he stutters-
“can i-i mean would you mind if i-i, um,”
“Kiss me?” you ask, arching an eyebrow and grinning.
“you know me so well…”
And it’s just like he did it after the dance, but so much longer, so much happier. His hands are in your hair, caressing you, and yours are content pressed against his chest, listening to his soul thrum with magic. It’s soft, it’s passionate, and in between, during little breaks for air, you giggle and he grins.
Finally, when you’re spent, you fall into his new hoodie, smiling. The new one already smells like him, but it’s thicker, and warmer, and softer. There’s a few minutes of happy silence, and finally Sans breaks them, murmuring,
“there's a way to do a soul bond without makin' a third soul…but it’s painful on both ends. really painful. but, i just want a part of your soul in me forever, and to just be there with ya for as long as i can. whatddya think?”
You smile up at him, and whisper softly,
“I think I’d like that.”



Chapter Text

Sans is getting increasingly nervous as the night wears on- a few days after making the offer to soul-bond with you, everything is finally ready.
He’d called Alphys, asking about the effects of a soul bond with a human and a monster, but she couldn’t find much information on the topic, other than what to do to create it. You told him you were sure it would be fine- Alphys said the strength of the soul bond was based on how strong the two participants’ love was, not on the type of souls fusing. ‘Meaning,’ you’d said confidently, ‘that this’ll be the strongest one yet.’
Yet, Sans had been reading about soul bonds gone wrong, and how if one participant wasn’t as strongly committed as the other, you could absorb their entire soul. He knew he was confident in how badly he wanted this, but was wary about what would happen if you weren’t. He was also very nervous about how the two of your souls would handle the pain of an empty soul bond- one that didn’t produce a third soul- especially when you’re both weak in your different ways. Sans has 1HP. You have a fragile frame. The books said that only the pain would be present- no damage taken or physical harm to the body; but that was for monster-monster soul bonds. You decide to go through with it anyway- it’s worth it to you.
Now it’s time- you light candles for mood lighting: they’re unnecessary, but they make San’s room glow softly.
“now, um, hold my hands- i’ll go first and show you how to do it-” he clears his throat nervously and begins;
“(y/n), sweetheart, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. if it wasn’t for you, i might be dead right now. i love you more than anything. i would die for you, i- i mean that. but, most of all, when i hear you laugh, see you soul melts a little bit. i wanna bond my soul to yours forever, so i can always be with you.”
You look at him, kind of in shock. For someone so lazy and ridiculous, this was easily the most heartfelt thing you’d ever heard him say. Then, there’s a blue glow, and he gasps as if he knocked the breath out of himself.
A single wisp of soul goes out from him, and hovers in the air between you. You look at it a moment before Sans nudges your hand, waiting for you to start. You jump- “Oh! Um, okay," you take a deep breath, trying to think of the right things to say, and begin. "Sans, I couldn’t live without you- you’re soft and stable and- and, mine- and I know you’d never leave me, you’ll always be there to protect me. Even when you can’t, some part of you is always there, comforting me. But. Um. Thats’ figurative- I want to bond my soul to yours forever, so that you can always be with me when I need you most, and so that I can always be there to hold you when you have nightmares.”
You gasp- it’s as if something punched you right in the soul- and suddenly out from your chest is a little red wisp. Sans looks at it, mesmerized, and so do you. Suddenly, the two begin to spin, faster and faster. Suddenly Sans shouts,
“okay, sweetheart! i need ya to pull as hard as you can! it’ll hurt, but we gotta do it!”
In less than a second you realize what the means. The two souls are trying to bond as one, trying to make a third soul, but you can’t let them. You pull hard on Sans’ little piece, pulling it past your wisp, towards your own. The process is incredibly difficult, and just as taxing. You look to see how Sans is holding up; his eyelights are dimming rapidly, and you realize that if he passes out this could all go wrong- you pull stronger on his soul, begging that this get easier, so nothing bad would happen to him. Suddenly your wrist snaps in his, like you were trying to lift a building with it, and you cry out in pain. Then, like a little vacuum, your soul holds Sans’ wisp, and you feel them coming together and blending like melted crayons. Sans, without the resisting force in the way, pulls your wisp into his chest and goes out like a light.
Your wrist burns, like fire that shoots up your arm whenever you move it. You try to shuffle over to him, but every movement makes you shout in pain. Your phone is across the room- it would kill to go try to get it. You finally just give up and lay down, pull your wrist to your chest, and try to ignore how it's bleeding. After about ten minutes, his eyelights re-light dimly, and he sits up. He looks almost groggy, like he took a nap. When he sees you, he jumps- he stumbles over and tries to hold you- and bumps your wrist. You cry out and pull your arm closer to your chest.
“oh god, what happened to you?” he asks, fear making his eyelights tiny pinpricks of light.
“I-I think the force broke my wrist. What about you?”
“i was on 0.5 HP- only for a second there.”
“What?!" you exclaim- that's so dangerous! "Are you okay? You need to eat something!”
“no, I healed already. you need it now.”
You begin to protest, you need to help him, you had a broken bone, his LIFE was at stake. Suddenly, his hands grab your arm, right above your wrist, and you shout. The fire is burning, shooting stabs of pain through your wrist- hot tears press at the backs of your eyes. But it would hurt too much to try to pull away. A blue glow goes out from his hands, and smokes in his eye. A soothing warmth covers your arm, like a heated blanket, and you sigh in relief. It's like he's leeching out all the pain, mending every little crack. The pain in your wrist ebbs to a dull ache, and he stops, unable to do anything more. Panting and leaning against the wall, he says,
“try to move it a little.”
You do; other than feeling a bit sore, the pain is gone.
“It works! You did it, I’m fine, but you can’t be this spent at 0.5!”
“i'm not, i told you, i healed myself-”
“No, I can feel it. You wanted to heal me first- now you’re too tired to heal yourself. I’m going to go downstairs and grab you a hotcat, but first, you need to lay down.”
He pauses, then nods, confirming all of your theories, unwilling to lie to you when he can feel your soul inside him, knowing. You turn down the sheets for him to climb under. “We can do the celebrating part in the morning, Sans. For now, rest and heal. I’ll go make that hotcat- you need to get some energy to heal yourself.”
“sweetheart- you’re tired, i know you are, just lay down, i’ll be fine.”
You flinch at the truth in his words, you know he knows, but you can’t let him stay like this. Suddenly the front door bangs open, making you jump:
You stumble down the stairs and give Papyrus a great big hug. He's panting heavily- did he run all the way from Hotland?! Well, he must have, a look confirms his car isn't outside. It's so good he's here! If Sans has healing abilities, surely he does, too. He looks down at you and quietly asks,
“It was empty, right? I felt a bit of a twinge.”
You nod solemnly.
“But I thought that was dangerous- are you okay? Oh, of course you are- if you were hurt, he probably healed you immediately…is Sans okay?”
“Not really- he’s upstairs.”
The taller brother nods and steps quickly up the stairs, and you follow, reassured that everything'll be okay now that he’s showed up. By the time you walk into Sans’ room, Sans is sitting on the bed and Papyrus is sitting behind him, with his hands on his brother’s skull. His eyes glow a soft orange, and he stares off into space. After a moment he gets pale, even for a skeleton. You remember the look- it was similar to the one he had when there was the accident with the other red Jaguar on the news.
“Brother,” he murmurs, “How long have you been at 0.3?”
Sans avoids your eyes and says,
“Um, a couple minutes…”
You gasp and lift your hand over your mouth- you’ve only had a soul bond for twenty minutes and Sans has nearly died. You sit down and cradle your sore wrist in your other hand, thinking about how much it was worth. As you look up, Papyrus and Sans are engulfed in slow, swirling, orange flame. For a moment you panic, but then you see that Papyrus is just healing him, and the flames ebb.
Over Sans’ head you mouth, 'Can I hug him yet?'
Papyrus nods.
You crawl over on the bed and give Sans a hug, and soon, you don’t exactly know when, Paps is gone and it’s just Sans holding you as he drifts off to sleep, you there to protect him.



Chapter Text

Today, Sans and Alphys are working on some science thing in the “secret” basement- you laugh to yourself at the thought of the geek and the nerd teaming up to do some geek-nerd thing. You're more of a geek yourself, but not enough to know how to build or fix anything. So today, you and Papyrus were going to hang out. Impact is in day-care now while Mettaton resumes his show, and so it's just you and Paps, all day.
“What do you want to do?”, you ask him.
“We could cook!” he offers enthusiastically.
“Nope. Done too much of that while Sans and Alphys work on their ‘project’,” you laugh.
“Um, we could go to the surface and do human things!”
“Do you wanna see something cool up there?”
Grinning, you stand and grab your hiking gear- there isn’t much of it, just some sturdy boots and cargo shorts, and after you change, you come downstairs. Papyrus already seems pretty well prepared- his loose yellow sweater from earlier that year, pants ripped at the knees, and some brown boots.
“Come on, then!” you declare.
You walk quite a long way- all the way through the Underground to the barrier, where you pause, panting. He could keep walking for hours, you know, but humans get tired must faster than monsters do. Papyrus seems surprised at the sight of the barrier- you did tell him where you were going, right? Why he would be- but then you see the full moon glinting through the barrier and grin.
“Wait, you’ve never seen the moon before?”
“Is that what it is? We really don’t have a proper moon and sun down here- just light. And I do not go up very often,” his voice is quiet with awe.
“Yeah, I noticed that. Has Sans seen the moon before?”
“I don’t believe so, but he often studied ‘stars’- real surface ones, not our stones in the ceiling.”
“Oh, so neither of you have seen stars before?”
“Not in person.”
“Oh, you are going to love this!”
You grab his hand, fatigue forgotten, and run through the barrier come out on a cliff. You can see a human city in the distance, and the moon shines a bit behind you. Stars litter the sky, crystal clear in the cloudless night. Pap’s eyes are glowing, shining, and you think he’s going to get a neck cramp for looking up for so long.
“We probably need to go.”
You laugh and then ask, “So, uh, could you drop my hand, please?”
He looks down, and then drops your hand hurriedly,
“Oh! I apologize, I wasn’t thinking, it is just so beautiful out here!”
He gazes up for a moment longer and then nods that you can keep going now. After a few minutes, he pipes up;
“So, where are we going, might I ask? Why go up? All the human villages are out there, yes?”
“Yeah, but right now we’re on top of our house. Directly down, I think,” you say, stomping a little.
He gasps and grins, and looks down as if he could see it through the solid rock and scrubby plants. A few more minutes of walking, and you arrive at a large hole. “Roots and loose dirt surround it- don’t get too close or you might fall in,” you warn him.
“Where does it lead to?” he asks.
“That was my entrance to the Underground.”
“You mean, when you first fell down??”
“Wowie! Are you okay? That is quite a fall…” he tries in vain to see down to the bottom, peering over the edge.
“There are some thick layers of flowers at the bottom. I was a bit shaken, but otherwise fine.”
You sit a few feet away, staring at it. You're reliving memories in your head, and he's trying to capture the details of the hole to complete his own. Suddenly, he blurts,
“I keep wanting to ask you ‘what is it like’ questions, but I can’t pick one to ask!”
“Then ask ‘em all.”
“Oh, okay! Ah, what is it like being human?”
“Um, I dunno if it’s much different from being a monster- we bleed, I guess, most monsters don’t." you pause and shudder. There's only one monster you'd ever known to shake it off. "And, uh, our soul properties are different. Really, we’re more different physically than mentally.”
He pauses to think that over, then nods. “Interesting. What is it like…um…dating my brother? I mean, if you don’t mind me asking.”
You smirk at him and he laughs sheepishly, but you oblige.
“Well, its normal that you’d wonder- but honestly? It’s just like having a best friend, but with a lot more layers than that. Like, we always have each other’s backs, we worry about each other more, we trust each other, and we just- love each other, I guess. And he’s super cute,” you add, grinning. "If you don't mind me saying so."
Papyrus grinned back, then questioned inquisitively,
“Not at all! So, he really does trust you? He really doesn’t do that for many monsters- er, or people…” he drifts off, uncomfortable. You nod.
“Yeah, I think he does. A few years back, after I’d convinced him that I’d gotten rid of the thing possessing me, he told me everything. All the stuff bothering him over the years. I already knew it, I... I was the cause of it. He told me about the timelines and how constantly terrified and depressed he was, everything. He honestly deserves better, after all of the things I did to-” you grind up a little clump of dirt in your hand as you speak, but he interrupts.
“You MUST stop saying YOU did all of those things to us! Whoever; WHATever was possessing you then, used you as a pawn- YOU didn’t do those things, THEY did. And from what I hear all around, you were trying to stop it the moment it appeared. You just weren’t strong enough then. But you are now.”
You ponder that for a moment and nod. You both turn to look at the gaping hole again.
“So what brought us here? Why here?”
“Because it’s the best place I know for talking.”
“Then what do you want to talk about?”
“Have any more ‘what’s it like’ questions?”
“If you don’t want to answer, you don’t have to.”
“Dude, we passed the comfort zone a few minutes ago, just tell me what your question is.”
“…what’s it like…being possessed?”
You pause, and close your eyes to try to remember everything- for accuracy.
“It’s like being in a dark room. It’s freezing cold, and you’re sitting on a metal chair. You can’t move, or speak, or fight. And then there’s a screen, a million miles away, and you’re looking out of your own eyes. You’re there, but you aren’t doing what you want to do. You’re doing whatever this voice does. And ‘you’ do it, but it isn’t you, and you hate it…Paps…I- it- killed you so many times. And every time, I felt like I was killing my best friend.”
You look at Paps, and he’s staring at the hole. But Papyrus doesn’t cry. He just has pain in his eyes, and in his soul, and he digs around in it until he finds a bright side. Finally, he abandons his search.
“We’re going to do happy things now!”
After his firm declaration, he stands and climbs up the mountain. By the time you catch up with him, he’s found a flat outcropping and is laying on his back, looking at the stars. He calls over to you like nothing has happened at all.
“Come show me all of the con-star-ations.”
“Yes. I want to show Impact when he’s old enough to go through the barrier.”
You lie on your back next to him and point out all of the ones you remember, mostly the big ones like the Dippers, And the Ursas, and Orion’s Belt. Soon, you’re falling asleep. Of course, Papyrus never needed as much sleep as a human, or a normal monster for that matter. He had energy for days, and then he’d take a four-hour cat nap and feel refreshed. He looks over at you when you pause in the middle of a spiel about Jupiter, and sees that you’re asleep.
Torn between wanting to wake you up and hear more, and taking you home to rest, he sighs and picks you up under an arm like he does with Sans. After a few seconds of trying to shift your weight around, he realizes that it might be a little rough. After a moment, his eyes glow, and you’re floating in front of him with orange magic surrounding you in a little bubble. Before you know it, you’re lying in San’s bed, under the covers. You hear laughing downstairs, and get up to go see what’s happening. You look down from the top of the stairs. What. A. Scene.
In the center of the room, there is a softly humming machine, and a number of confused monsters. Papyrus is standing in the back, near the door, looking over the whole thing with bewilderment, and Sans and Alphys are practically jumping up and down, laughing hysterically. Sans is going around to each monster to explain something. From what you can hear, Sans had helped Alphys build a machine to return amalgamates to their normal state. Your eyes widen. These are the amalgamates?
Those twisted things you found in Alphys’ lab? They’re all back?! You fly down the stairs.
“You really did it?! Oh my god, these are really them?”
Sans and Alphys are too giddy to question where you had been for the past hour, only nod and laugh happily. Alphys looks so ecstatic you think she might pass out.
“The e-experiment was- was a failure, but now these monsters get to come back to a free- a free Underground!” Alphys is bouncing so fast her tail is smacking the floor. Sans’ eyelights are stars, and he’s rushing around talking to the monsters in turns and taking notes. You’ve never seen this side of either of them before, and their excitement is infectious. You walk a full circle around the machine. This was it? The old dusty thing under the blanket?
Half an hour passes, and the monsters are filing out. Returning to families who’ve grown up, or grown old, or gone. But all of which missed them. Papyrus is instructed to walk some of the ex-amalgamates home on his way back to the Mettaton Resort, and you offer to join him. Sans protests at first, saying it will be dangerous crossing the Underground alone on your way home, but you tell him that you’ll be fine, and go. After all of the monsters are dropped off at their respective addresses, you and Papyrus still have a bit to walk to get to the resort. You explain the amalgamate situation to him, and he seems appalled.
“(Y/n), I almost signed up for that experiment! Pure gut feeling kept me from trying it! I mean, I don’t have any guts, but figurative ones.”
You shake your head, amazed that it came that close to you never meeting Papyrus, and probably Sans for that matter. Suddenly, Papyrus stops walking. You turn to look at him, and he looks positively dumbfounded.
“Wait, if I can do all of the same magic as Sans, can I do shortcuts?”
“I’ve never thought about it before- I mean, the logic makes sense-”
“I don’t think you should go so fast, Pap, Sans says you have to be very specific about where you want to go, and it’s incredibly magic-taxing… you should ask him for lessons before you just go blipping everywhere.”
Papyrus wilts a little, but agrees.
“Yes, it would be rather bad if I got hurt and scared him, not to mention Mettaton and Impact.”
“Right. So let’s not, at least right now, okay?”
“Yes; okay.”
You’re pushing up the hill toward the resort when Papyrus shouts. You spin around, ready to fight something, when he grabs your hand and-
Suddenly you’re in the lobby of the Mettaton Resort, which is closed for fall. For a second, you’re dizzy, wondering how you got through the locked doors, when it hits you.
He used a shortcut.
You sit up, looking wildly around the lobby for him, and hear a shuffling behind the front desk. Struggling to your feet, you run and peer over the edge. For the moment, you sigh in relief- he’s here, and he hasn’t merged with anything. You walk around and crouch down beside him, trying to shake him awake.
“Come on, Paps, why’d you go and scare me like that? You could…have…” your voice drifts off as you notice his right arm is lying at an odd angle by his head, and you gently pull back the sleeve of his sweater to check on it. You gasp in horror as you see the damage- its cracked, all the way up, splitting a bit.
You fumble for your phone, but it isn’t there, you must have left it at the house- so you check Papyrus’ pockets for his, and see it poking out. You gently pull it out, relieved, and scroll through his contacts. Who did he need most right now? Sans could be here fast, and you knew he could heal Pap, but should you call Mettaton first, to tell him what’s going on? You hesitate, then click on Sans’ name, and clutch ahold of the phone like a lifeline.
On the third ring, Sans answers, still sounding excited-
“hey, what’s up, bro-”
“Sans, it’s me, Papyrus tried to shortcut, he’s hurt, really really bad, I don’t know what to do.”
“i’m on my way, give me a second, where are you?”
“I’m in the lobby at the Mettaton Resort- come straight inside, the doors are locked,” Your breathing is shallow, and you realize if Papyrus is dying, Sans can’t make it in time. He can only shortcut so far before he loses his magic stores- chances are he’d be coming on foot to save energy for healing magic. You would have to check his HP yourself. Placing your hands on either side of Papyrus’ head like you remember he’d done for Sans the other night, you sit and hope, wishing you could see whether or not he was okay, then, *ping!*. The noise is like that of an indie gaming system, and suddenly you see a little pixelated Papyrus hovering in front of your eyes. His stats read:

HP: 50/680
AT: 20
DF: 20

Even as you watch, fascinated at how similar it is to something you’d see on your Gameboy, the stats change, and a crack shoots up his skull:

HP: 49/680
AT: 20
DF: 20

He is dying. I need to call Sans and tell him he needs to shortcut here now!
Just as you find his contact, he stumbles into the lobby, after having to shortcut the doors. He gives the room a sweeping look, and you shout to get his attention.
“Sans! Over here! Oh god, you have to heal him right now, his arm is cracked, and he’s dying, he-he cracked his skull open,”
Sans rushes around the giant lobby desk and kneels beside his brother. He nudges you over with a shaking elbow and puts both hands on either side of Papyrus’ head. His eyes glow blue, and he’s gaping at the low HP, at a loss for words. You get the feeling that the numbers dropped again, because he’s suddenly back in action, and blue flame rises around them. After a few minutes, Sans collapses with fatigue. You check his stats first, but they’re glitching a bit, you can’t read the numbers- you assume he’s just spent. Then you check Papyrus.

HP: 445/680
AT: 20
DF: 20

That was the majority of it, but it was 235 away from healing that long crack in his skull- there would definitely be scars. You didn’t know of any other monsters that could heal, you’re frantically scrolling through Pap’s contacts again, looking for an answer.
Then, a man in a lab coat appears. Out of nowhere- it seems- you didn’t hear him walking up… A skeleton, definitely, but he has holes drilled through the back of his hands, and cracks running down one eye and up the other. You shout in protest, but he turns and he makes a motion of putting his hands on either side of Papyrus’ head.
Is it safe to let a stranger heal him? I mean, until Sans wakes up, I don’t have many options.
You nod. You lean against the wall beside Sans as the mysterious stranger heals Papyrus. Then he turns to you and nods. Then he speaks in garbled language, like he was talking underwater through a radio. You make the ASL sign for “I don’t understand”.
He seems to like this. He signs rapidly to you in ASL-
“I have healed him completely. He cannot know I was here. However, you can trust Sans with this. Make sure that Papyrus gets lessons in shortcuts before he tries again.”
You nod. You sign back slowly,
“Thank you- what is your name? Do I know you? How do you know them?”
He smiles sadly.
“You could only know me through them. Goodbye.”
Before you can ask any more questions, he melts into the floor, turning into black goop, and vanishes. Just when the last of him disappears, Sans sits up.
“oh, shit, I need to keep going, he’s…how is he completely healed…?”
“I’ll tell you later. I think he’s waking up.”
Papyrus shifts and Sans hurries to support him as he leans to a sitting position.
“Wha- where are we? I feel sick, I want to go home…wait, when did we get in the hotel?”
“paps, you tried to shortcut in here. you did it wrong, you messed up your arm, but everything is fine now, we’re here.”
Papyrus buries his head in his hands and moans.
“I remember now! Oh, why would I do that, I just, I thought I saw…I panicked because on the way up the hill, I could have sworn I saw…saw Gaster.”
He says the name like a curse word he isn’t meant to say, so quietly and painfully that even Sans flinches.
“I can’t blame you, bro. That guy was awful.”
A sneaking suspicion crawls into your brain, but you push it away for now. Now you just need to support Papyrus up the elevator into his suite with Mettaton, and then you can tell Sans everything. Mettaton tends to Papyrus while he sits, smiling. You and Sans leave, hand in hand, and the moment you set foot in the front door Sans breaks down.
“i can never leave him, he’ll never be safe, what if next time he’s alone, god, this day started so great, why couldn’t it stay that way?”
You let him crumble to the floor then sit beside him, drawing circles with your fingertips on the backs of his hands. After a few minutes, you begin humming lullabies, and let the silent tears start down his face.
“i love you, sweetheart…if you weren’t there today-”
“Let’s not think about the “what if’s”. I was there. We were lucky. That’s all that matters right now.”
“how did you heal him, earlier?”
“I didn’t. I’ll tell you another time.”
“Can you tell me a joke? I feel like it would help.”
“. . .knock, knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Yoda-lay-ee-who- oh you’ve got to be kidding me-”
He chuckles for a minute, but stops pretty fast. You frown.
“I’m scheduling a check-up for you with Alphys. When I checked your HP today, it was glitching out. And then I’m gonna take you to the surface so we can talk about some stuff.”
“what sort of stuff?”
“We’ll see. I’ll make a picnic basket, and we’ll both charge our phones so that if any spontaneous shit happens, we can stay in touch.”
“why is it always us?”
“I think it’s ‘cause bad things always seem to target the best people.”
You both think on that for a minute, and then you fall asleep on the floor.


Chapter Text

Sans woke up on the floor. You’re curled up beside him, like a cat, dust all over your pants from the places it had drifted out from under the couch. He just…hates himself. For not being able to protect you, not being able to protect Papyrus- he thought that soul bonding with you would help somehow. Might help take away some of the pain, in addition to bonding your soul to his. But it isn’t like that- he’s just dragging you down with him. He’s crying then, and he doesn’t want to cry, but whenever he tries to stop it just comes back harder. And he’s facing the wall then, back to you trying to think of why he should stay, why he should keep enduring this. Why should he even keep trying?
'just give up. it’s such a wreck being here, being me. i wish i was somebody else, anybody else. why did i get picked for this. . . wait. no. i have to keep going; if not for me, then for her. for Paps. for Impact. i can’t leave them like this.' he thinks, firmly.
He doesn’t know where the thought came from. He’s never thought that way before. It's a nice change. What else is there to think about? He remembered what you told him yesterday. His HP is glitching out?
He looks, checks. It is… but through the smeared numbers were…different ones. He reaches out his hand, tries to touch them, but pulls back. Some primal instinct tells him that touching the numbers is a bad idea. A word comes to mind, from books.
'code, right? i always had a theory monsters were part code.'
He stands, writes a note on a corner of a piece of paper, and slips out the front door.
You wake up a few hours later, stretch, do not see Sans. Then you notice the paper on the floor beside you.
I'm goin' up to the Hotland lab for my checkup early. Alph’ll be there. just have to ask a few questions. meet you on top of Mount Ebott in three hours. bring your phone. love ya sans
You pack a picnic basket with three bottles of ketchup, snickerdoodle cookies, a blanket, and some water.
Then you climb.
By the time you reach the top, it’s been roughly three hours and you hear Sans’ voice carrying down the mountain… he’s singing.
“we fight, argue, talk and cry, and i still wanna be spendin’ my life with you, and your other personalities the type that love me despite what i'm makin of everything- love, you’re perfect, even at the surface, and i’m nervous, that maybe you’ll just realize your worth, notice i’m just a chore, and you’re a gift to this earth, and you’ll leave me for good, swear i feared it the worst. oh, won’t you just pick me up, dust me off, see what’s up, give me all of you? ‘cause i see more than what meets the eye, i, can’t imagine life without you-”
and then he sees you and grins. You smile right back, set down the picnic basket, and run and jump into a hug. He swings you around, sets you on the ground, and lays out the contents of the basket by magic.
“What has you so chipper today?” you ask, grinning.
“what, is being in a good mood illegal now?” “No way! I was just wondering what Alphys told you. Did you write that song?”
“nah. just spoke to me.”
“Can you sing it again?”
And he does, and the second time the meaning of the words sinks in a little deeper. He turns to you, smiling, and you return the favor.
“I am not a ‘gift to this Earth’!”
“well, i think they chose it because it rhymes better than ‘universe’.”
You snort, and yank his hand until he’s sitting beside you, staring out over the human cities and the low hanging clouds.
“I’d never leave you. You know that, right?”
“if i wasn’t so lucky, i’d probably say that you deserve better.”
“Well, whose shoulder would I go to cry on then? Muffet?”
You both bust out laughing, imagining you fawning over that proper little spider-woman. After you can’t laugh any more, you cut to the chase.
“So? What’d Alphys say?”
“(y/n), I have 3 HP now!”
You squeal, hug him hard, and ask,
“Oh my god! Oh my god, I’m so happy for you! Does she know why it changed?”
“she thinks that the soul bond must have given me some sort of boost. made me stronger, now that you’re with me.”
“Oh, have you told Paps?”
“i didn’t even think about it! i’ll put it on speaker.”
He opens up his phone to Papyrus’ contact and calls. Paps, as per usual, answers on the first ring.
“Oh, hello brother! How are you? If you’re calling to check in, I’m fine, I was completely healed, somehow.”
“no, bro, it’s me! you’ll never believe what Alphys told me today!”
“What? Oh, is it good news?” he sounds hopeful.
“Paps, I have 3 HP now!”
“nah, Paps, it’s good! me and (y/n) are on the surface right now, hangin' out. i'll see ya later, though, how about that?”
“Ah! Okay then! Hello, (y/n)! Have a nice date, Sans!”
“kay. bye, bro.”
After he hangs up, he lays back on the blanket and asks,
“so, didn’tcha say you wanted to talk about some stuff?”
“Yeah. Um, how Paps got healed last night.”
“oh, yeah. What was up with that?”
“Uh, there was a guy. He showed up out of nowhere after you passed out, and told me he wanted to finish healing Papyrus. Well, he didn’t tell me, exactly. He spoke weird, and so I tried ASL, and he knew it really well.”
Sans’ face darkens considerably.
“what’d he look like?”
“Oh, um, he was a skeleton, I think, but he had holes in his hands, and really bad cracks in his face, and he was wearing a lab coat.”
“he tell you his name?”
“I think it was Gaster. Was he the guy Papyrus thought he saw? What’s so scary about him?" he turns away. All of the cheer from a moment ago had vanished like it had never been. Finally, he mutters,
“wasn’t a very nice guy.”
“raised us. made us in a lab with soul fragments and bone pieces. woulda been a great relationship if not for the whole lab-rat and torture thing.”
“The whole what?!”you feel your face go pale.
“why do you think only one of my eyes glows? why do you think i can’t heal squat? he broke me. he gave Papyrus 680 HP and gave me one. he ran tests on me first to see if they were safe for him. blew me up, put me back together again, and then called for Paps to come try.”
Your eyes are swimming, and you can’t even look him in the eyes because he’s turned away.
“'course, i don’t know why i got all the humor. but i can understand where i got the depression thing from…and that’s the other thing Alphys told me. i don’t have depression anymore.”
“Sans, that’s great- so what’s wrong? This Gaster guy was horrible to you, but you aren’t with him anymore, Papyrus is safe, you’re up to 3 HP and you don’t have depression anymore! I’m not saying your life is a walk in the park, but today is a good day. Why not celebrate it?”
“Chara. that name ring a bell?”
You freeze.
“How do you-”
“that nightmare. when that thing controlled me. that was its name. said it wasn’t coming for you anymore. coming for me.”
“Sans, Chara was the thing that possessed me way back when, I killed her, she can’t be back.”
“then i’m not letting it get to you through me.”
He stands and sticks out his arms. Before you can register anything, sharp bones appear in the air around him, and he tries to draw them towards himself. You cry out, tell him to stop, and suddenly he can’t pull them any closer. A glowing red bubble surrounds him. The same color as your soul. He tries in vain, blue tears spilling down his face, to pull his own attacks through himself. You both seem equally shocked, and then a voice in your head tells you, pushes you to sing. You don’t know why, but it’s a good voice, it’s just his soul in yours, telling you what it needs. You start softly;
“Let out a sigh for another day the same as the last, come on let’s try, dye it blue and change it up from the past, reflecting up from a puddle then gone in a flash-”
“-is that the most that you could dream or wanted to see?”
You look up, and he meets your eyes. The bones vanish. You don’t make a move to hold him, just keep singing, eyes locked on his.
“But look around-”
“dance up and down.”
“The world is now-”
“still going round.”
“Just feel it pound-”
“we’re skyward bound. move at the top, speed, of, sound.”
He walks over and sits by you. You try to speak-
“Sans, don’t leave. I need you, okay? Even if you don’t need me.”
“you know i do.”
“Then don’t kill yourself.”
“if Chara comes back-”
“Screw Chara.”
He nods slowly at this, and you say firmly,
“I demand that tomorrow be a fun day. That’s an order.”
“eye-eye cap’n.”
“We’ll invite Alphys and Undyne on a double date. Mini-golf. I know a good place.”
“you’ll lose.”
“Is that a challenge I smell?”

Chapter Text

Alphys and Undyne were happy to go on a double date- especially after you told them about what Sans did, or rather, attempted to do. Undyne was almost indignant that he would try- didn’t he know there were people who would be crushed if he died? Alphys seemed shocked, but didn’t say much else. She sounded empathetic.
After booking a few hours at a mini golf place, you made sure to mention to the manager on the phone that the three “others” coming with you were monsters, and not to be shocked. He said that it made no difference to him as long as he got to meet them. He’s a good guy.
The next day, you arrive at the course in Papyrus’ car and go inside. You’re still a bit windswept. It had been years since you had been in a car. Undyne and Alphys are standing at the counter, talking to a man with graying silver hair and a green apron. They turn as you come in. Undyne is wearing a tank top and shorts, and some combat boots, whereas Alphys is wearing a lab coat with a t-shirt underneath. Undyne runs over and picks Sans up until the two are at eye level.
“um, sorry, can we not talk about this please?”
“i thought i just did-”
She spins Sans in the air and catches him. He’s held at the same height, but now he’s facing you.
“sorry, sweetheart.”
“Come on, put some backbone into it,” you snort. He grins, then pretends to be offended.
“who, me? what, was it not heartfelt enough?” He knocks on his empty ribcage.
“submitting to her right now, you seem kind of spineless.”
“oh really-”
“WE GET IT, YOU LIKE PUNS! God, I see why Papyrus used to get so angry about this stuff.”
You’re trying to keep a straight face as she drops him and turns back to the manager, who looks both amused and bewildered. Alphys is smiling a little bit, but you know she’s still worrying about Sans. Then, you lean on the counter, swing an arm in sarcastic cheer, and say,
“We put the “fun” in “dysfunctional” down in the Underground!”
The manager snorts and takes you to the golf course. After getting fair-sized clubs for everyone, he leaves you to it. Alphys goes first, looks at the hole for a few seconds, and then makes a hole in one. You’re impressed.
“How’d you do that?”
“D-do what?”
“You just, looked at it, and then you made the perfect swing!”
“Oh, um, it’s just physics. You just have to find out how far you need it to go and the right speed to hit it at.”
“Yeah, that’s the idea of golf, what I mean is how did you calculate it that fast?”
“Mental math, I guess.”
You drop the subject, amused by how smart she is, and let Undyne go next. She swings like a pro golfer. And by that, she swings hard. She misses the ball, however, and her club is tossed into a little pond. She shrugs and summons a spear as her new one. Next, you get a hole in three, and finally Sans gets a hole in two.
As you walk from hole to hole, you ask about Alphys and Undyne.
“Are you guys planning on doing a soul bond?”
They look at each other skeptically and Alphys says,
“w-well, we’ve never talked about it before, so n-no, but I don’t know that we would. I’m too nervous to be a parent, and Undyne, um-”
“Oh, I am way too, er, passionate. As Alphys tries to put it, I’m ‘easily excited.’”
“heh, yes, there’s that. I think for now we’re fine just, um, dating.”
“Yeah, but I heard from Papyrus that you two did! How’d it go?”
You stutter for a moment, but Sans comes to your rescue.
“fine. empty, obviously, but fine.”
“Y-you’re lying, Sans.”
You turn to Alphys, inquisitive. Sans looks embarrassed.
“well, um, yeah, i am. it kind of hurt us a lot. how’d you know?”
“um, well, for s-starters the um, ch-chances that it would go flawlessly, were, um, incredibly low, and, uh, also you’re HP only l-levels up when you, um, either kill something o-or you have a n-near death ex-experience.”
“Sans, why do you keep submitting yourself to all of this stuff,” Undyne says, “when you know there are people out there who would never be the same if something happened to you? Think about Papyrus-”
Sans’ face darkens and he interrupts her.
“i do think about Papyrus. every day. he means everything to me, and when i can’t protect him, i hate it, okay? so let's just drop it.”
Undyne seems a little taken aback, but stops pressing it. After three glowing spears land in the pond, 14 hole-in-one’s from Alphys, your pathetic attempt at copying her, and Sans flying balls into random holes by magic, the game is over. All in all, the scoreboard reads as follows:

Alphys: 19/18 holes WINNER!
Undyne: 26/18 holes
(Y/N): 67/18 holes
Sans: 20/18 holes SANS CHEATED!!
did not.
You absolutely did.
You smirk at Undyne’s and Sans’ little fight on the paper on the drive home. Really, they were both good people, but they only had Papyrus in common. As the topless car sweeps the wind out of your face, the song Sans sang on the top of the mountain last night comes on the radio.
“-you’re perfect, even at the surface, and I’m nervous, that maybe you’ll just realize your worth, notice I’m just a chore, and you’re a gift to this earth, and you’ll leave me for good, swear I feared it the worst. Oh, won’t you just pick me up, dust me off, see what’s up, give me all of you? ‘Cause I see more than what meets the eye, I, can’t imagine life with out you so I write a love song or two. Oh~”
The song ends, and you look at Sans. He’s humming and tapping the wheel with his hand, but you get the feeling he’s too lost in thought to notice. You think that maybe he isn’t focusing on the road, but just when you think about tapping his shoulder, he pulls onto the exit that leads to Mount Ebott.
Once you’re off of the busy asphalt and back on packed dirt roads and wildflowers, you consider asking to pull over, but he beats you to it.
“wanna pull over and chill here for a bit?”
“I was just about to ask.”
You find a safe spot to park Pap’s car and wander into the woods.
“so warm up here. nothin’ like Snowdin. i’ve never even stopped to think where that snow comes from, but it’s colder than up here.”
“There’s a lot of weather stuff in the Underground that doesn’t make sense. How is there day and night? Sure, Waterfall can happen, but the rain? Like, what??”
“i guess you could say it’s snow laughing matter?”
“Good one.”
You wind up sitting next to a tree tearing up pieces of grass with your hands, and he’s sitting next to you, sending acorns whizzing as far as he can send them with blue magic.
“It’s been so crazy lately, I’ve been wondering all day when some creepy demon is gonna come ruin everything.”
“or we get a call saying that Mt. Ebott was a volcano all along.”
“Exactly! Or everyone spontaneously combusts.”
“or puns are secretly an ancient rite to summon Satan.”
“Spaghetti is poisonous.”
“Asgore is just a hand puppet.”
“Grillby comes to have a knife duel with me as revenge for accidentally leaving the oven on.”
Sans laughs outright at that one, and you toss your pile of torn up grass into the air. As it lands in his hoodie and your hair, you ask,
“So, like, until all of that happens again, do you know of any good books I could read? I know that when you aren’t defeating the forces of evil and sleeping you read a bit.”
“yeah, but mostly science studies. i like the human ones best, because sometimes they do them on monkeys.”
“What’s so great about monkeys?”
“they act like stupid humans! throwing things, beating each other up, getting mad when they do the same things but don’t get the same rewards. hilarious.”
“Okay, but besides those, have you ever read any plot-heavy books?”
“1001 Puns?”
“Um, no.”
“Fluffy Bunny?”
“I’ve heard you read that one to Papyrus a zillion times.”
“A History of Monsters?”
“That sounds good. Can you summarize it a bit? Did you like it?”
“it’s fantastic to me, but then again, i also read a study on ant pheromones in one sitting.”
“Gross, continue?”
“monsters and humans live in peace. Then they don’t. Then they get sealed in a mountain. written by J. J. Bittenbinder.”
“That’s not even a real name, you stole it from a comedy special.”
“New Topic: why haven’t we picked up that sock in the living room covered in sticky notes?”
“because it reminds me of Papyrus.”
You think better of pressing the subject, because he seems to get nostalgic at the thought.
“New New Topic: if you could be any of these flowers, which one would you want to be?”
“you first.”
“Um, that pink one with all of the petals.”
“i want to be an acorn.”
“That wasn’t an option.”
“what? acorns are cool. squirrels like ‘em.”
“Sans, squirrels eat acorns.”
You snort, and he picks up an acorn and tosses it from hand to hand. You hope you haven’t offended him.
“Acorns have potential. If no squirrels eat them.”
“Come on, give me more than that.”
He silently puts the acorn by the pink flower.
“that’s how i feel, basically.”
You nod. You lean over and tilt the flower until it’s leaning against the acorn. You lean against Sans.
And that’s all that needs to be said.



Chapter Text

Alphys calls you around five the following morning. It’s the first night in ages that Sans hadn’t had nightmares, and you’re happy to let him sleep, even though you’re up.
“I’m- I’m sorry-”
“Dude, you haven’t even said hello yet. When did you become a Canadian?”
“A what?”
“Oh. Um, never mind. Anyway, what’s up? What’s wrong?”
“So, um, Sans might have t-told you I said he doesn’t have depression anymore?”
“That, um, isn’t true.”
You freak out for a moment-
“What about his HP levels?”
“Oh, no, that’s true. I just, um, thought if I told him he didn’t have depression anymore, maybe it would be a placebo thing?”
“Okay…um, well, what do I tell him? I mean, no offense to your method, but it didn’t exactly work.”
“Yeah, that’s why I-I called. I thought if you could b-break him the news, you might be able to convince him to let me give him some anti-depressants. It wouldn’t, um, fix everything, of course, but it would certainly, er, make his outlook more optimistic.”
“I didn’t know they made anti-depressants for monsters…well, Alphys, I’ll try. I’m not going to do anything against his will, he already gives out trust so scarcely, but I can try.”
“T-that’s all he needs.”
“Thank you for this, by the way.”
“it’s no trouble, really! Just thought I- um, I’d try to help after he helped me with the whole amalgamate thing. He helped me with so much before the timelines started- research, theories, the soul ext- um. Never mind. I’ll go now.”
Before you can say a word, she’s gone. After making coffee and toast, you turn on the Mettaton show. Geez, he’d better start filming again soon- they were playing re-runs from when you were eight, when you died a million times.
Sans stumbles down the stairs a minute later, hoodie momentarily forgotten in a panic to find you.
“geez, (y/n), there you are! you can’t scare me like that-”
“Sans, you scare me every literal day. Sit.”
He plops on the couch and smirks at your eight-year old self dodging falling cream pies. You turn to him.
“So you know how Alphys said that you don’t have depression anymore?”
“i know she was trying the placebo trick. she knows i’m not an idiot.”
Slightly taken by surprise, you ask, mostly to yourself,
“Then why’d she bother trying?”
“‘cause she cares. good people, Alphys.”
“Yeah…well, she said she has monster anti-depressants if you want to try.”
It’s his turn to look caught off guard.
“but…she said those were just prototypes…finishing them would’ve taken weeks…”
“I dunno about that, I just know she said she had some if you were down.”
“um, yeah, sure. side affects?”
“Didn’t ask.”
“kay. i could use some antlers anyw-”
Suddenly, Papyrus slams open the door. He’s holding a paper bag, and he’s crying. Before you can even get over the shock of the door, he’s scooped up Sans like a teddy bear and is squeezing him.
Sans hugs him back, and even though he’s dangling ridiculously three feet off of the floor, something about the scene makes you completely silent. After a minute Papyrus finally collapses on the couch, elbows on knees, head in hands.
“Sans…you haven’t called in days- when Undyne told me what happened, I, I couldn’t believe it. Mettaton doesn’t even want to talk to you anymore, you’ve scared us so badly. I thought you were dead, Sans…nobody thought to mention (y/n) saved you until I asked where you were. And you-” he tilts his head up to face you, “I can’t thank you enough for this, really. You’re the reason he’s here. But,” he turns to Sans now- “I’m not making that mistake again. I’m moving back in. Metta can take a break from filming to watch Impact for a bit until I know you’re okay. I literally ran from Hotland for your medicine, then straight here to make sure you were really fine. I mean- everyone tries to break things to me gently, I didn’t know if they were telling the truth about you being alive- I-I’ll never even criticize your puns, just please don’t do that again.”
Sans looks up. There are tears in his eyes, but his eyelights turn into faint little stars.
“you-you mean it?”
Papyrus looks Sans in the eyes, and says,
“I’m DEAD serious.”
Sans is crying again, both happy tears and sad ones, and you can’t tell if he’s grinning or grimacing as he hugs his brother. An unconventional apology, maybe, but it fits. When they pull away, Sans is staring at the floor. Papyrus looks like he’s willing to do anything for him. Finally, Sans pipes up.
“um, so, could we get a dog? on the surface they have those little, quiet, um, what are they called?”
You think about what type of dog would fit best in the little house. Low shedding, low energy, small, well trained…oh!
“How about an emotional support dog? They work wonders in kid’s hospitals!”
Papyrus looks hesitant.
“One condition: we forget I made that pun a second ago.”
Sans sticks out an arm.
While they hug it out, you open the paper bag lying discarded on the floor. Inside are about 20 pills and a note in Alphys’ tiny handwriting.

Only take one every 24 hours, every 12 if you feel like you need a second.
No worries, Sans, forgot to mention I had a tested version, not just the prototypes!
Side affects aren’t big, but taking too many will make you delirious and, um, stuff happens? by the way- made sure that taking too many can’t kill you- that would kind of defeat the purpose.
(y/n), note that if you breathe in any of the stuff inside the pills, you will pass out. So, don’t do that.
~ Alphys (@ ^ @)

Today was a good day.

Chapter Text

If you’re walking by the little house on the street, you would never guess that anything inside had changed. However, being on the inside, things are shaken up like a snow globe. Papyrus deep cleans the entire house, down to the last corner and shelf. Later, you tell him that you’ve been cooking with more variety lately, not just spaghetti. He nods sadly.
“Yes, Mettaton had to tell me the same thing. We can have one Italian night, yes? Maybe one a week? I’ll even make garlic bread.”
You love garlic bread- and how can you say no to that face? He also insists on making dinner; even when it’s not spaghetti. Anyway, even though he isn’t fantastic at cooking other things, it’s still pretty good. Besides, everything tastes better when you aren’t cooking.
Sans changes considerably under the antidepressants. He doesn’t have nightmares most nights. He showers a lot more often, and he finally washes every article of clothing in his closet. Sure, it’s all white t-shirts and basketball shorts, but his room is a lot bigger looking without all of the dirty clothes on the floor. He also makes more puns, worries less, and counts down the days until you can pick up the dog.
But today is finally the day. Sans is especially excited, and you are too, and even though Papyrus wasn’t for it, he seems a little more upbeat.
You’d had to do a lot of searches on the internet before you could find an emotional support dog of the right temperament near Mt. Ebott. After half an hour of driving, and stopping for food, and picking up dog things at PetSmart, there is a corgi in the car. Sans had to go in to meet him by himself so the dog would know who he was supposed to take care of. It took longer than normal because he didn’t trust the weird, white alien-looking-thing sitting crosslegged on the floor. But then Sans literally threw him a bone, so, it didn’t take long after that.
The corgi had three legs.
So Sans named him Yardstick.
Because he had three feet.
(Honestly, this chapter ought to end right there because that is just a work of comedy genius but, hey, there’s more happening.)
After arriving at home, Sans sits out in the crunchy snow and plays with Yardstick for a while. He re-enters the house freezing, wet, and in love. You make sure not to say anything about where the dog can or can not go, and advise Papyrus to do the same. So most nights Yardstick sleeps quietly in a ball on the floor at the foot of San’s bed. But on the occasion Sans had Chara nightmares- they aren’t happening too frequently, but if he has nightmares, that’s what they’re about- Yardstick will leap up on the bed and curl up right on Sans’ hands to he can’t hurt anyone. One night, Papyrus misses Impact more than usual, and you practically shove him out the front door-
“Papyrus, he’s your freaking son! You should be able to visit him whenever you want!”
“But, (y/n), Sans-”
“Why am I here? Why is that dog here? Go visit your frickin’ son, Pap!”
He grins at this, and sprints off.
Finally, I can watch anime without Papyrus fussing over me the whole time.
You pull out a bowl of MandMs, and collapse on the couch to watch Mew Mew Kissie Cutie. Sans’ bag of meds sits open next to you-
Oh, come on, who left these here? What if the dog got them?
The rest seemed to happen in slow motion- Sans drops on the couch next to you, and the bag of meds flips into your MandM bowl. Then Sans takes a huge handful and pops it all in his mouth. Your jaw drops as you try to warn him- but nope. He eats, like, twelve pills.
“Frick, Sans! Oh, geez, this is gonna be quite a night.”
“uhm, why?”
“Sans, you just spilled your pills in the MandMs. Alphys said if you take too many you’re gonna get all loose and weird.”
“oh, shit, i did? do you remember how long she said they take to work?”
“Um, no…well, apologize in advance for any weird crap you say or do.”
“I forgive you.”

After a few minutes of sitting on the couch, Sans’ eyelights go out. You look over at him, nervous, and jump when he leaps to his feet.
“HI! I’M BLUE! Wait… where am I? What am I wearing? Oh, Angel, there you are.”
You tilt your head and say,
“Sans…? What’s happening, buddy? You okay?”
“Um, you aren’t Angel…do you know where I am? Who are you? Where’s Papyrus?”
“uh, my name is (y/n)…you’re in Mt. Ebott? In Snowdin? Paps is out visiting Mettaton, remember…”
“I don’t remember. Do you have any coffee, (y/n)?”
Before you can answer, his eyelights go out again. Then Sans comes back, bewildered.
“um, where was i, what just happened?”
“I was about to ask you the same thing- Sans, is that you?”
“duh- wait, hold up, I think it’s happening again-”
His eyelights don’t change this time, but he starts, and looks around.
“Gaster, where’d you…where am I? Who are you?”
“Um, this is going to be weird, but Sans just took some pills and now I think he’s switching brains with people.”
“Oh. Wait, I’m in an alternate universe? This is fascinating! ” He turns around, then notices you again. “When all of this is over, ask your Sans about alternate universes. Assuming you’re thinking of Classic, he knows because I know.”
Then Sans comes back, looking shaken.
“Gaster… but…”
It happens a few more times- hyper, surly, confused, excited. Finally, your Sans collapses back into the couch and continues to watch the movie like nothing happened. You sit up, look at him and say,
“Hi! Um, excuse me, what the f*** just happened?”
He snorts.
“well for one thing, Alphys’ freaky antidepressant side affects are completely untested, and second, that was roughly every alternate universe I’ve ever been to.”
“Wait, you’ve done that- that’s happened before?!”
“a few times, yeah. mostly it was on purpose though, back when i was still working with Alphys.”
“Uh-huh. And so when all of those people were in your body, you were in theirs?”
“And this doesn’t bother you whatsoever?”
“How do you feel?”
“i could use some sleep.”
You let him flop down until his head is on your lap. You look down at him and absentmindedly stroke your fingers on his head. There are other worlds? With other Sans’? And maybe even another you, and Papyrus, and everyone else?
Movement flickers in your peripheral vision. You jump and yell when you see Chara standing in the shadows by the door. She holds no weapon, but something about this scares you more than if she had one. You look to see where Sans is- you don’t feel his head on your lap anymore- and then Chara has him.
'So that’s her weapon…' you think. 'I can’t fight back, I don’t have anything!'
“So,” says her contorted voice, “You thought that if Sansy got a puppy everything would be a-okay, huh? Wrong. And after I kill him, I’ll go for his little dog.”
Sans hangs immobile, eyelights out, motionless. Grinning hollowly. When you try to move, to speak, you can’t. You think suddenly of something he told you, forever ago, back when things mattered, when determination counted for something. ‘just give up. i did.’
You rip yourself out of the bonds holding you to the couch and stand, crossing the room to Chara. She looks mildly surprised, but lets you tear through the barrier in your throat and speak.
“Prove to me this isn’t some messed up nightmare, right here, right now. If you can, kill me and let him, and everyone else, go. He doesn’t deserve all of this evil bs. He just needs Papyrus.”
“And how do you trust me not to go back on that plan the second you die?”
“I don’t. But I know you’ll let me wake up just in time to say goodbye.”
“Hmm. So you know it’s a dream then?”
“Of course. Sans wouldn’t just hang there, he’d be fighting back.”
“Well, I’ll improve my graphics next time, then. But never forget, one of these days I’ll be out of nightmares- and into your world. And every one of you will die.”
You wake up facing the door, Sans shaking you and yelling.
“oh, you’re awake…thank god, you scared me for a minute there.”
You hug him and he melts a little at it. He supports you back to the couch where he asks what it was about.
“She had you that time, but I knew it was a dream.”
“i know. you were talking out loud…sweetheart, if she ever gets me, don’t give yourself up so fast. if it really was me, i would’ve gotten out like you said-” you interrupt.
“Yeah, just like you got out when Flowey stole your soul!”
“No buts. If she ever gets one of us it needs to be me, I can’t let you.”
“it would be more painful leaving me alive without you than letting me die! my only problem with just dying right now so you don’t go sacrificing yourself is that i need to keep you safe!”
He looks so mad, so serious- you know he means it. Hot tears bubble up in your eyes and you let him hold you- it feels like the first time in ages he’s done it. You cry and cry into his hoodie until Papyrus comes home. Through your tears, you hear Sans tell Papyrus that you had a nightmare and he needs help getting you up the stairs into his room. Once safely there, Sans is holding you again and letting you squeeze him, and then Papyrus is there, rubbing your back and murmuring things you don’t hear.
For the first time, you know what Sans feels like- powerless to help anyone, just being taken care of like a scared toddler. And you know that he feels the opposite, now. He knows that he can protect you, even if it comes to death, and he knows that he’ll hold you until everything is okay. And even though you feel awful, you’re fine just then being held until you fall asleep, and letting Sans take a break from not knowing what to do. Once you’re safely asleep, Sans and Papyrus hug for a minute over you, and then Paps goes to bed. Sans doesn’t sleep tonight. His eyes glow blue, waiting for an unwanted visitor to try to hurt you. Not tonight, not ever.
And, right then, Sans starts the road to climbing out of the pit he’d dug himself. He realizes he has real motivation now- something in his soul tells him that Papyrus and you can’t live without him, not because you can’t protect yourselves, but because you love him. It’s something he didn’t know if he believed before, but he knows is the truth now.



Chapter Text

The next day, Sans seems more excited than usual. It always seems to happen when he takes his antidepressants, but today it feels more…real.
He wakes up at the same time as you. Even though you want to get up and do things, he slides his hands around the front of your waist and holds your back to his chest. You lean into him, and you spend the first half hour of your morning in his arms. Finally, when he stretches out his arms and lets you loose, you leap out of bed and smack him with a pillow.
“oh, it is on.”
He holds a large pillow up with blue magic and sends it flying at you. You slip to the side.
“Oh, ‘do you think I’m just gonna sit here and take it’?”
He sends the blankets at you from every direction, until you’re caught up in a tangled web of sheets. He pounces like some weird panther thing and grabs the mess of blankets in his arms.
“Well, little do you know, you have two big weaknesses.”
“do i really?”
Before he can even register what’s happening, Yardstick has leapt up from his space at the foot of the bed and jumps up, trying to lick Sans’ face. He stumbles and falls on his butt with a thump, and Yardstick backs away apologetically. Sans laughs for a second, then asks,
“well, i’ll give you that one, but what’s my second weakness?”
“You actually do want kisses.”
You lean forward in your trap of sheets and kiss him. He melts, like you expect. You decide to set off the whole untangle-yourself-and-get-revenge plan for a second. He holds your head in his hands, and you cancel it altogether. When you pull away for air, he smiles at your helpless self, still trapped in sheets. Without so much as a snide comment, the blankets float off of your back and plop on the mattress in a messy pile.
With that out of the way, he tries to go in for another when you jump to your feet.
“Kisses are for people who come downstairs and eat breakfast.”
“aww, come on,”
“Breakfast! Ya doof.”
“fine. where’s paps, doesn’t he always make food by now? he’s getting better at waffles, even if the strawberries he adds still do have the leaves.”
“I dunno. Guard duty, maybe?”
“maybe. i’ll call him- if he isn’t in his room, then we could make toast and bananas.”
“oh, and by the way, can we go to the surface today? i want to see something.”
“Uh, what?”
“if i told you, it wouldn’t work.”
“Oh. Okay. Guess it gets us out of the house. You sure that you don’t need any more sleep?”
“i’ll be good.”
“If you say so.”
He digs out his phone and you go down the hall to check Papyrus’ room. Nothing, but a note is hanging on the door handle when you go to shut it. It reads,

Sans, (y/n), I’m going to visit Impact and Mettaton for the weekend. If anything happens, call me immediately and tell me. No secrets, you two! Be back in a bit.
- The Great Papyrus (ha!)

You bring the note back to Sans, drop it on the floor next to him, and let him read it.
“well, that’s really a shame. he’ll be back in two hours after some demon comes for our teeth and left shoes.”
“We really do attract the weirdest stuff, don’t we?”
You make two plates of toast (his is almost black and slathered in butter, like he likes it, and yours is golden brown with butter and jelly), and drop them on the table. Sans drops into a seat and starts to munch on his. Then you leave.
After some walking, you pick up Papyrus’ car and Sans drives you both to the surface. When you arrive, Sans flinches at the sun, like always. You do too, but it’s a lot easier for you to adjust than for him. You don’t know why you didn’t think this when you went up here together for mini-golf…something’s shifted since then. You feel like you’re more acute to his feelings now- why, you can’t say. After a few minutes of driving, you’re in a crowded city. A few more, and the car can barely move from the traffic. Finally, Sans seems to decide that wherever you’ve ended up is a good spot, and park. You walk along the sidewalk until you see a tavern- something about it reminds you of Grillby’s. The noise, the air of familiarity of the people inside it, the smell of greasy food and alcohol. You are about to walk past it, but Sans grabs your hand and drags you inside.
“Sans, where are we?”
“no clue. feels like Grillby’s, though.”
“Yeah, it does! Why are we here?”
“for science, obviously.”
“Mm-hmm. Yeah, that totally makes sense.”
“glad we’re on the same page.”
You roll your eyes, and his eyelights glow mischievously. He sits down at an empty bar stool and pats the one next to him. You sit. Then he leans forward and asks the bartender if he accepts monster money.
“What’eva pays the bills, kid. Watchu wanna order?”
Sans’ eyes glint. He stands and yells that he’ll buy a drink for any guy in the house. You jaw drops.
“Sans! This is a terrible idea! It’s noon, no one will even want-”
But they do- men come from all directions to collect shots and beers. Sans smiles at this, and looks at your terrified face.
“sweetheart, i’m not having any. i have to drive us home, right? besides, i’ve been saving up for this.”
“Why wouldn’t you do it at Grillby’s?”
“because humans are so much more fun to watch when they’re drunk.”
You sigh and Sans sits back down at his bar stool. He swivels it around to watch the show. Drunk guys are already singing songs- there’s even a bit of a scuffle near the door. Man, alcohol does work fast. Sans turns and asks for a bottle of ketchup. You order a milkshake. He chugs the bottle while you look around at all of these guys- you have to admit- it’s kind of fun to watch.
But after a minute, a small group of men have gathered around Sans, harassing him for being a skeleton. He makes jovial puns back. You shout when one of the men throws a punch at him- he dodges easily, of course- but still you scream at them to back off. They turn your attention to you, now. Sans looks more on edge.
“Hey, pretty girl, what are you doin’ downtown? You look like you could use some assistance.”
Sans’ eye is smoking blue, but you slap the creep across the face. He roars in rage and leaps at you- you jump around him and hit the ground running.
Soon, you’re sprinting down the busy street, Sans running behind you, a group of about five men on your heels. When you look around to see where they are- slam. You stumble on an untied shoelace and fall to the ground. They’re standing around you, grinning, and the rush of foot traffic has made a point to avoid the scene. Sans is nowhere to be found.
“Hey, you thought you could outrun us? Wrong. Where’d you’re little friend go, the weird one buying the drinks?”
“He’s not weird! *oof*”
The big one kicks you in the small of the back, and you can’t breathe. When you try to stand, one of them pushes you back to the ground. In less than a moment, you’re being kicked from every direction- shoulders, gut, back, legs. When you call out, nobody comes to help. Sans must have assumed you were with him and ran away- where was he now? Did he mean to do this?
The barrage of shoes ends suddenly, and you open your eyes- where were they? Were the cops here? Still flinching, you sit up and look around. It’s like nothing ever happened- save for the bruises all over you. You stand.
“Hey, are you okay?” asks a little old lady walking by. “You don’t look so good.”
“Oh, I’m fine, I’m a little beat up, I guess, but right now I’m just looking for my-”
You feel his soul swell a moment before he’s there, hugging you. The lady smiles, nods, and walks away.
“god, you’re so bruised, i’m so sorry, i just wanted to see what they’d do- dammit, come here a sec, will you?”
You stumble over to a park bench and let him heal you- the blue flame swims up around you, and the onlookers ooh and ah at it. Soon, the pain is gone, and all you’re left with is being filthy and having a set of ruined, ripped, stained clothes.The hand that isn’t healing you is held in the air- blue magic pulses in his palm, but you have no clue what he’s doing with it.
“come here, i need to do something and then we’ll get out of here, kay?”
You walk into a small alleyway and see that the hand he had held up was holding all six men against a brick wall. His eye smokes electric blue and he roars at them-
“don’t you ever, ever think about messing with her again, okay? not that we’re ever coming back- but if you treat anyone like this again, ever, i will know. And i will come, and you’ll be dead where you stand.”
He releases them and they fall to the ground and sprint away. He turns to you, embraces you, holds you tight to him and doesn’t let go. But before he can say a word, you cut in.
“Before you say ‘sorry I couldn’t protect you’, you just did, you healed me, you taught those guys a lesson, even if it wasn’t before they had their fun. And before you say, ‘but I brought you right into that stupid bar’, how were you supposed to know that drunk guys are dangerous, scary creeps? And before you say anything that’s super self deprecating, know that I am more proud of you than I could possibly imagine. You left the house today, you haven’t been sad and mopey in weeks, you haven’t tried to hurt yourself! Even if the human race is a setback, you’re doing it. You’re getting better, you know.”
After being speechless for a moment- he grins.
“i am, aren’t i? can i say sorry anyway? i just feel like it’d make me feel better.”
“I forgive you. How about this- we go by that monster boutique and replace my clothes, then we go home and watch some comedy specials? We can make a night out of it.”
“that’s a plan. can we get stuff to make microwave s’mores?”
“How can one have comedy night without microwave s’mores?”
“no idea.”
You grab a polar bear onesie at the little boutique- you probably should’ve got more nice clothes, but the onesie called to you. Sans even got a panda one. As the cashier rings it up, Sans snorts-
“wait- does this make me a Sans-da bear?”
“Oh my god, yes.”
After walking out of a Walmart a few minutes later with s’mores ingredients, you drive home. Sans is laughing and grinning on the way home. You know he still feels guilty inside, but he seems to recognize that he’s recovering as much as you do. He turns to you when you’re walking in the front door.
“guess what?”
“i didn’t take my pill this morning.”
“But- but that means-”
“i didn’t need them to have fun today.”
You squeal and tackle hug him. Soon Yardstick is licking you both rapidly, and wagging his tail. He almost looked like he knew what was happening. It’s a good day.


Fin- but wait!
You’re showered, and changed into your onesie. Sans does the same. A plate of gooey microwave s’mores sits on the couch between you, and John Mulaney is playing on the TV. Before the special is even over, however, the plate is empty. As you belly laugh, Sans slides his arm around your shoulder.
“you said kisses were for people who get up and eat breakfast- and i did, didn’t i?”
“Yeah, I guess you did.”
“oh, fine,”
He kisses you long and slow, his teeth almost seeming soft against your lips. When you pull away, he murmurs,
“i was so scared today, but, you always find a way to make it better.”

Chapter Text

“Guysguysguysguysguysguys LOOK!” You yell, running over to Sans and Papyrus. You’re holding a flyer in one hand, and the milk in the other. That’s the thing about shopping trips- everyone ends up carrying something.
“Ah! The milk! Yes, that’s the last thing on the list-”
“No, Paps, not the milk, the poster! Sans, you look too!”
“what’s it for?”
“Guys- it’s a DANCE CONTEST! The prize is a Volkswagen Beetle! In any color we want! Sans- you’re good at hiphop, Papyrus, you’ve got a formidable tango, and I’m not bad at ballet. Don’t you get it?! We need a car, and if we enter separately, one of us is bound to win!”
Papyrus’ eyes look worried, but Sans’ eyelights are glowing brighter than stars.The taller brother speaks up.
“Where is this? When is it? If it’s too big a contest, our chances are slim…but maybe being monsters will give us an edge. But either way, the tango isn’t nearly as, er, “formidable” alone. I’d invite Mettaton, but I’m worried he’d, um, get, too, er…”
“excited? i feel ya, bro. what if ya did it with (y/n)? she’s not nearly as tall as you, but she’s a good dancer. she could enter twice under different names. come on. i need a car, or i’ll be using yours forever.”
You grin at Sans and begin to beg like Yardstick.
If Papyrus had eyes, he would’ve rolled them- but he was grinning.
“Well, I suppose…”
You and Sans grin and hug him like toddlers, but everyone is laughing.
“We can either sign up online, or we can drive over to the parking lot where they’re setting it up and sign up in person.”
“um, what’dya think, bro?”
“I do want to see everything. Let’s pay and then go check it out.”
After the groceries are safely in the backseat, you drive the few minutes over to the lot. A tear-down stage is being constructed there, and a man with a t-shirt and torn jeans is overseeing everything. You approach him. He turns around to greet you, and yelps when he sees Sans and Papyrus-
“Oh! I am so, so sorry, I’m still not used to seeing monsters around- are you here to sign up?”
“We are! My name is (y/n), and this is Sans,” Sans waves, “And this is Papyrus!” (“Hello, human!”)
The man chuckles.
“Hello! My name is Daniel. What dances are you planning on doing? Are you a group?”
“No, we wanted to sign up separately, so we have better chances. Sans here is great at hip-hop and breakdancing, I do ballet, and Papyrus can really tango! We were wondering if I could do ballet and also be his partner? Nobody else in the Underground really knows much about dance.”
“Of course! Technically, however, the prize would have to go solely to him, as you’re signing up twice.”
“Perfect,” you scribble the information on the clipboard he hands you, and add, “Oh, and is it okay to bring your own DJ? The Underground has kind of different music, and we know a guy who’s really good. We’ll pay for him to be here, of course.”
Daniel hesitates.
“I can’t make too many exceptions for you guys- I know you’re from Mt. Ebott, but if I change the rules too much for you, then I have to do the same for everyone else.”
Sans steps in-
“we get it. Blook is a ghost after all- we wouldn’t want illegal spirits in the house, right?”
Daniel looks Sans dead in the eye, and says,
“Damn, that was good. Bring your guy. You deserve it.”
Papyrus looks dumbfounded, but Sans shakes Daniel’s hand and makes a note on the sheet.
“now let’s go grab some good dance clothes, and tell Napsta what we signed him up for.”
After a heartfelt thank you to Daniel, you hop in the car and drive to Dancer’s Emporium, a monster-friendly store for workout clothes and dance gear. Sans grabs a blue hoodie and sweatpants, and a new pair of white socks. Papyrus finds a perfect Spanish-looking pair of slacks, dress shoes, and a white long sleeved dress shirt. Lastly? You find a leotard and matching tutu in the clearance bin. They’re a little old, but there’s nothing a good wash and glitter spray can’t fix! Besides, you already have ballet shoes at home, so there’s no need to buy one of the more expensive matching sets. The tournament is in two weeks, but Daniel suggested that everyone try on their costumes and rehearse. The day before the show, you could come to the stage and program the strobe lights however you wanted. Sans goes to Napstablook’s house every afternoon to work on songs, Papyrus teaches you his tango, and you go to the Hotland lab to ask Alphys to help you rig your tutu to do some “extra” things. Mettaton hears about it and comes down to give you fashion advice.
“There’s never enough gold glitter in the world, darling. Not for anyone, ever.”
The weeks pass in a blur. You rehearse in the living room, silently, not wanting to spoil your music to anyone, and practice to music in Temmie village. Not many monsters know it’s there, and the Temmies always seem to like the beat. You get the feeling Sans is doing the same, but elsewhere- he never practices in front of you, but comes home sweating and satisfied from some unknown hangout. Papyrus is the only one who doesn’t have any air of secrecy- after all, you are his partner, here. His tango is fast and intense, and you never find out where he’s getting his lapel flowers from, but by the time the song is over, it’s between his teeth. If you didn’t know it was a bad idea, you’d think it was really attractive. It suits him. After many evenings of determined practice in front of Sans, you learn that Latin dancing is rehearsed, but always a tad bit spontaneous. Moves come out of nowhere, but once you learn what you’re doing, you learn to expect the unexpected. It’s honestly just really fun. Sans is always belly laughing by the end, but you know he likes it, too.
Finally, the day before the contest arrives. Papyrus only needs a spotlight to follow the two of you, so he asks that you do it- apparently he has a “secret errand”. The huge stack of flyers in his arms reveals the “secret”- he’s passing out flyers about the contest to the whole Underground. Whelp, this should be fun.
Sans programs the lights for a long while, in addition to the fog machines. This is surprising to you- you kind of assumed he wouldn’t want to put the work into a bunch of fancy affects- but you take equally as long, and then add a request for someone to man a spotlight. When you walk back to the car, you and Sans are already debating what color you want the punch bug in.
“blue, obviously.”
“What? No way- too boring- we can get in any color and you go with blue? I’m thinking white with pink racing stripes.”
“next you’ll be asking for wood siding and a bag of jacks. we’re so going blue.”
“Oh, pfft, I’m not that old school. Well, we’ll see who wins, huh? Winner can pick.”
“fine by me.”
Finally, the night arrives- you, Sans, and Papyrus pick up Napstablook at his house and drive to the surface. Sans won’t stop making ghost puns at his expense, and he looks really embarrassed. As you leave the Underground, however, a number of familiar vehicles pull up too- a tiny, white futuristic-looking car pulls up beside you and beeps it’s horn. A familiar yellow lizard waves shyly from the wheel. Behind her is a motorcyclist with a long, red ponytail sticking out from underneath her helmet. A pickup with furry beasts at the wheel, a wave of spiders, two matching pink cars- it’s like Papyrus really did invite the entire Underground!
When you arrive, you go backstage to get changed and receive instructions, and the monsters wait in the parking lot. Papyrus looks dashing, Sans looks almost intimidating with his hood up, and your tutu glimmers in the streetlights. You look around at the competition. A group of moms in sweatbands, some girls with long ribbons and leotards, and some soloists in t-shirts and hoodies. There are a few couples, but not a lot- and no monsters anywhere. Your train of thought snaps as Papyrus yelps-
“You don’t have a dress! Oh dear, we only prepared your costume for ballet, what do we do-”
“Oh, that- I thought of that. Look,”
You pull on a fold of fabric and the whole thing shifts- pulling on fabrics and letting them out, swirling, changing, until a full, red, flowing Latino-style dress drops to the ground. The contestants ogle at it, and so do Sans and Pap.
“Wowie! I’m happy you remembered! I sure didn’t.”
“It’s cool. Isn’t it nice? Mettaton helped me match the color to those roses you make appear out of nowhere.”
“Oh, I don’t make them appear out of nowhere! They’re magic!”
“That counts as ‘out of nowhere’.”
“I suppose- nyeh heh heh!”
It’s been so long since you heard him laugh like he used to- a pang of nostalgia runs through you, mingled with a bittersweet feeling you can’t describe. Sans looks to be feeling the same thing.
“kay. group hug time now.”
“Sans, what for?”
“Paps, don’t question it. it’s good luck.”
“Yeah, come on!”
The hug is brief- it’s interrupted by Daniel walking onstage and addressing the audience. He announces the groups first.
The sweatband moms are terrible- they try to finish their little 80’s style dance in drop-to-the-floor splits, which would be impressive if they didn’t rip their neon tights immediately. The ribbon dancers are spectacular- even you have to admit that they’re good, though you can’t say what that many girls would want with one tiny car. A beautiful group of African American children do a cultural dance and sing their own song. A group of three “interpretive dancers” go up last- they jump and dive and yell and spin- and it’s the most hilarious thing you’ve ever seen. They may suck, but they give everyone a laugh, at least.
“YOU WOULDN’T KNOW TRUE ART IF IT HIT YOU RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES!”, one yells as they leave the stage.
Next are couple dances- all Latino groups, which is nice- you don’t need Blooky to DJ. Daniel welcomes you to the stage-
“Now, all the way from the Underground, please welcome, Papyrus and (y/n)!”
You and Papyrus are second out of the three groups, and it’s fantastic. He summons you a rose and you slide, dip, leap and spin across the floor. Your height difference makes it difficult, but it gets a lot of attention as the first monster to dance tonight. As the grand finale approaches, you suddenly get an idea- and right before he gets in position to dip you, you dip him. The crowd goes wild and Papyrus is smiling so wide you think it will wrap all the way around his head- not like you’re any different. You bow and throw your rose into the crowd, and return backstage. Sans looks amused.
“now that is what I call dancin'.”
You pull another fold on your dress and it folds back into a pink tutu. (Alphys is freakin’ magical.)
After a few more solo dances, mostly hip hop or jazz, you’re called up. You nod to Napstablook, who is behind the speakers, waiting. You step onstage, and Daniel announces your name:
“Our first ballet dance of the night, folks- please welcome back to the stage, (y/n)!”
There are cheers from the monsters and polite claps from the humans. Your tutu glimmers- there really couldn’t be more glitter on it- and get in position. You purposefully wanted the beginning to be boring. You picked a boring song, boring moves, and aside from all of the glitter, a boring outfit. Alphys’ eyes shine in the audience- she knows what’s coming. You stop dancing. The crowd claps tentatively, but something its happening, and they know it- you kick out and leap, flying into the air.
You yank on a fold of your tutu. It stretches, and a stiff black tutu replaces the old one, and dragon’s wings grow out of the now-black leotard. One perfectly timed landing turns the lights from white to a shimmering gold. The classical music twists, contorted, until it resembles something faster, something more intense, but still ballet-ish. The crowd explodes. You kick, spin, fly, and the dragon wings seem to carry you through the air. When you finally stop, you delicately pull back the pink tutu and with a wave of your hand, replace the lights to white. The music stops.
“Thank you.”
As you walk offstage, your friends run to the stairs to meet you- since this is your last performance of the night, you can go into the audience now, where Papyrus went a few minutes ago.
Alphys and Undyne, Bratty and Catty, Papyrus, Muffet, everyone, give you a tackle hug and yell their approval and astonishment. You thank Alphys for her help, and take a seat, still chattering with everyone. After a few more sub-par performances, Daniel speaks the words you’ve anticipated all night-
“And now, our last performance of the night, Sans!” You cheer and clap as he walks to the center of the stage. He looks almost scary in that hoodie, as you’re unable to see his face, save for his eyelights. The music picks up, Napstablook silently working his magic, and it’s wordless, but still you hear his voice in it, spinning the rhythms over one another, faster and faster. Then, the story starts.
White lights, casual bopping to the beat, you get the feeling you’re just watching him walk around in Snowdin. The lights start fading, dimmer and dimmer, until he’s standing with just foggy light to see him by. He picks up the pace then- dodging some invisible hand, faster, faster, and the lights come back gold…like…like the gold in the hall. The gold in the Judgement Hall. He sweeps out his hands, bones flying from the floor to form a circle around him. The crowd cheers. You wish they’d just shut up, you want to hear the story, you need to see how it ends. Red strobe lights pulse under every thing else…your liquid pain on those walls, the times you suffered, because you deserved to suffer…and it all stops. Lights out, song gone, all still- but bright blue luminescent drops fall to the stage. The crowd roars at the “effects”- Papyrus looks across at you now- he seems to realize that this isn’t to win, it’s to tell a story. To you. And it’s everything he couldn’t say in words.
The light returns as dark blue- so much color, so much to say- and the tears streaming down his face don’t matter to the cheering audience as he jumps, nods, slides, drops. And his smile comes back then, a real one, you can tell, and underneath all of the music, you can hear him singing his song-
“-and you’re a gift to this earth, and you’ll leave me for good, swear i feared it the worst.”
You’re crying a bit then, bittersweet tears, and a smile fighting through it all. God, he deserves everything, if anyone doesn’t deserve him, it’s you. As the music fades, his voice cuts clearer through the air, silencing the crowd.
“Won’t you just pick me up, dust me off-”
You can’t take this anymore, this isn’t true! Your voice sings loud and clear, harmonizing with his.
“-see what’s up, give me all of you~?”
You quiet for a beat, give him the choice to ignore you or let you join him. Eyes locked on yours, he continues, allowing your voice to join his.
“‘Cause I see more than what meets the eye, I, can’t imagine life without you, oh~.”
It ends then, and the audience is speechless-until Undyne cheers, and the entire parking lot of people and monsters join her. Daniel appears from backstage, grinning broadly, and begins to shout over the cheers-
“I think it’s obvious who the winner is, folks! The winner of this annual Ebott dance-off is Sans! Oh, (y/n), get up here, you, this guy needs to see ya.”
You trip onstage and give Sans a great big hug, which he returns with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen him wear.
“we won, sweetheart!”
“No, you won. I just helped win over the audience.”
“you certainly won me over.”
He dips you and kisses you in front of everyone- the humans are speechless, but the monsters wolf-whistle and catcall and cheer. When he lets you up, you murmur that the rest can wait until tomorrow night after Undyne throws a huge celebration party- as she’s bound to do. Daniel signs off to the audience and leads you backstage briefly- he asks Sans what color he wants the car in and other details.
Hours later, after a thousand congratulations and pats on the back and a party that went on late into the night (Undyne’s, of course), you and Sans slip home.
“Before the ending, when you were, um, telling, or, er, dancing that story…”
“Are you still angry with me for all of that?”
“oh, sweetheart, no. i just wanted to try to put everything i can remember into three chapters- Snowdin, Chara, and you- and then show how it made me think. in Snowdin, it was cloudy and blurry, nothing really mattered then. but when Chara came in the form of you, it was kinda just a blur of blood and pain and-” he stops, unable to go on for several moments. His eyes are swimming.
“you can’t appreciate how amazing someone is until they’re gone, sweetheart. you just can’t. when he died… i- i didn’t know what to do but try to level the scales. i thought it would make me feel better one day- might save someone. never did. but that last part? that was all you. and I love it that way.”
“I love you so much, Sans.”
“you too, sweetheart.”
When you go home and crash on the bed- pajamas and covers forgotten- Yardstick is pinging around and licking Sans, making sure he’s okay.
You love him.
You love him.
You love him.
And you wouldn’t want it any other way.



Chapter Text

A few weeks go by. Not much happened that this author can say was necessarily exciting. After Sans got his new car, you’d been taking frequent visits to the surface, simply because you could. The light blue punch-bug was decked out in bumperstickers with shitty puns on them. You snorted whenever he came out of a store with a new one- soon there wouldn’t be any more room on the boot window for them.
But, geez. Why can’t Chara stay away from a happy ending?
One night, you wake up, sensing something is off. Really off. Chara is standing by the window, grinning. A single streetlight sends a shaft of light over her. Sans snores softly beside you, and realize that that’s it- Chara doesn’t have Sans. You shake his shoulder and let him sit up groggily.
“Sans. Do you see that?”
He hears the fear and concern in your voice and wakes up a bit more. He gives the room a sweeping look and his eye sockets land on Chara. You can practically see as the realizes the same thing you had. Chara’s grin widens.
“yyyyyyyeessss… i do. damn, she’s creepy. hey, creep! you gonna sit there smilin’ forever or are you gonna tell us why we can both see you?”
“Do I really need to explain it?”
“Oh, Sansy, can you both see everything else in here? Or do you need your eyes checked? This is real. You want me to prove it?”
Before either of you can answer, her arm shoots out to a scarily long length and grabs Yardstick. He jumps and whimpers. CRASH! The window smashes as she throws the squirming dog out of the window. A faint voice sounds from down the hall.
“Sans? (Y/n)? Are you okay in there?”
Sans tenses next to you- it’s hit him for real now. This is no dream. And Papyrus is walking right into a trap.
“Oh? Sansy, is your trash brother coming to check on you? You ought to get the door for him…no? Fine then.”
The door slams open with a surprising intensity, and Papyrus is standing there, arm lifted to knock.
“Sans? (Y/n)? Who is this? Why is the window broken? Where’s Yardstick-”
“Ugh, so many questions,”
He wraps an arm out and pulls him closer until he’s gagged by her grotesquely long limb and hanging awkwardly from the ceiling. Sans shouts, but you grab his hand and squeeze it- he gets the hint. All the shouting in the world won’t help Papyrus- it’ll kill him faster. Papyrus is shaking so hard his bones are rattling together, and his eyes are filled with confusion and fear. Silent tears make tracks down your face, but you stay calm. Hysteria never helped anyone in situations like these. Chara makes eye contact with you.
“Nightmares never were my forte, (y/n). You know where my element lies- killing. So I’m going to do that. Kill everyone in the Underground, and then the surface, until this existence is pointless. And I’ll move on. But I’ll take you with me. Oh, yes, don’t worry, I’ll make you watch. In fact,” her head snaps to Papyrus, who is struggling and crying. “I’ll give you front row seats.”
Her arm tightens around his head, you can see it start to crack- when she’s shot by a burst of incinerating light. A Gaster Blaster. You look to Sans- his arm is tense, like it’s just the move he was about to make, but no- and you weren’t sure that Papyrus even could. Chara’s arm loosens for a fraction of a second on him in the shock of the move, and he drops to the floor. You stumble over and grab his arm, dragging him to the side of the bed by you when the light ends. The blaster fizzles out, and Sans’ eye smokes. He stands firmly in front of you and Papyrus. You know he’d rather die than let her past.
“Oh, that was a tricky move, Sans- if had been yours. So daddy’s keeping an eye on you…clever. I’m going to meet you in the woods in ten minutes, trashbag. If you kill me, I’ll stay dead. If I kill you, then I’ll spare your little friends. Don’t keep me waiting.”
She fades until nothing is there. You explode, begging him not to go.“Please, Sans, she has determination, she’ll kill you, she’ll kill all of us, you can’t go, please, please, PLEASE-”
“you know I have to, sweetheart.”
“No, you don’t, let me come, I can watch your back!”
“she’d,” his voice breaks, “she’d kill you, too.”
You stare into his dull eyelights. You realize what he thinks he’s doing. He doesn’t have any hope of surviving this. You decide, in the moment, to resign yourself to this- you might be able to help him…
“Then at least heal him first. If you’ve already decided you’re going to die, then don’t leave me here alone.”
He shakes his head.
“you have to, if i have any hope of winning i’ll need all of the strength i can get.”
This surprises you- it wasn’t the answer you expected. So he hasn’t given up all hope.
“I don’t know how to, Sans. Can I even do it?”
“Just keep him alive.”
“Sans, if she kills you, how do you know she won’t kill us, too?”
“i don’t. but she’ll let me say goodbye before I go.”
He smiles sadly down at you, and then walks out. His words resonate in your head, and you wonder where you’ve heard them before…oh. They were yours. When Chara asked you the same question. The door shuts, and Papyrus’ grip on your hand tightens.
“You…you can’t let him go…you have to go help him. That’s what Undyne would say.”
“And what would you say?”
“To let me get up and drag him back in here.”
“No way.”“Yeah, that’s what Undyne would say. Go.”
“You’ll heal yourself?”
“Love you, Paps.”
“Like a sister, (y/n).”
You hug him, tug on your boots, and run out the front door. You follow the tracks from his slippers deep into the woods. Carved into a big, flat tree are the words:

please go back. she’s expecting you. at least do something to throw her off.

You smile to yourself. God, he knows you well. You turn off of the trail and go around, feeling like you’re circling a stadium. Finally, you see Chara’s back, and gasp as walls of bones and Gaster Blasters appear from every side. Even though all she has is a toy knife, the two are pretty evenly matched. Neither of them see you standing in the shadows behind a tree. How can you fight? You have no weapons, and your only fighting experience was from her. You don’t even do that many activities.
But wait. You do ONE.
You tentatively pull your boots off of your feet until your socks are soaked in snow. Chara leaps at Sans just as you sprint into the clearing. There’s a noise of knife meeting bone, and your heart shatters. Sans is a one hit kill. That was most definitely a hit. Chara’s guard drops as she watches Sans drop to his knees. You could still avenge him… you leap, spinning. BAM!
You’re foot makes contact with her head, and she drops to the ground. You grab her knife and stab her with it. It’s a horrible feeling, and you never want to do it again. But as she dies, a kind of savage pleasure rushes through you. This was finally over. You turn to Sans. He’s not dead yet…the scar across his chest is bleeding, but he’s still conscious.
“damn, sweetheart, you really are a badass.”
Tears stream down your face. You scramble over to him, shaking with the cold and wet, and hold him to you.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for this, I love you, please stay, please, please, please,”
You repeat the word like a prayer. He grins.
“oh, you forgot, too? i have three HP now, remember? i’m not a one-hit kill anymore, at least with a wound this shallow. she can usually go much deeper.”
“wait, w-what?”
“yeah- yeah, sweetheart, i’m okay, i’m gonna be fine.”
You laugh, a shaky, crying laugh, and hug him tighter. He tries to do the same, but winces.
“this is INCREDIBLY uncomfortable!”
You laugh harder this time. You can’t even tell if you’re happy or sad anymore- it feels like whatever emotion sensors were in your head are fried.
“here, lemme heal myself.”
The blue fire flares and dies after about ten seconds.
“damn, i forgot i can’t heal too great after using all that magic…i’m at 1.5. You gotta get me home to Paps, if he didn’t use too much energy healing himself he can help me.”
“Sans, I can’t move, I can’t feel my legs.”
The panic in your voice is clear, and he hears it. If you can’t move, and he can’t use magic to heal himself, you’ll both freeze to death. You drag yourself out of the clearing, using numb fingers, until you can lean against a tree. Sans follows, stumbling and bleeding.
You grab his hand and murmur,
“Well, what a way to go. Where’s creepy-savior-dad when you need him?”
He silently gives you his hoodie, which you accept gratefully, and take his hand. He closes his eyes. You do too. And everything goes black.


Ha, suckers, suffer my cliffhanger.
Frickin’ Fin.

Chapter Text

Papyrus heard your footsteps receding quickly, and a cold draft of air filled the house. You’d left the door open in your haste to after Sans…oh well. Snow could be cleaned up, but what’s more important now is that you come back. He leaned against Sans’ bed, trying to heal himself- no, he never did well with magic under pressure, and he knew his jaw would suffer for it, but at least he was alive. After a few minutes of flickering magic fire, all that was left were some scars and a bit of an ache.
Suddenly, a feeling pounded through his soul, one that wasn’t his- triumph, relief, a bit of pain. And then it was gone. Papyrus let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. Those must have been Sans’ feelings, surely. So his brother was alive, and from the feel of it, he was safe. But what about you? Were you hurt? Was that where the pain was coming from? After thinking a moment, he stood up and thumped heavily down the stairs, reminding himself of Sans.
He swept all of the melting snow out of the entryway and shut the door. If you and Sans would be back soon, the house should be ready. He turned up the heat until the house felt warm and comfy, and put some pillows on the couch. There, that ought to do it- but shouldn’t you be back by now? Papyrus glanced anxiously towards the window. He had to stay calm, if he needed to heal anybody, his anxiety wouldn’t help.
A blast of cold air shot through him, wet and frigid, and he turned to the door-
It was still shut, and in a moment the feeling was gone. Papyrus thought anxiously.

It’s just cold everywhere, wherever he is. What if they can’t get home, because it’s too cold? In a storm like this, it would be no wonder. Humans suffer awfully bad from cold…so why hasn’t Sans brought her back?

After a tense moment, he gathered up some blankets and pulled on a thick coat. If you were fine, the least he could do was walk you and Sans home, but if not, he might be able to find you before too much major damage occured. But how would he find you in a blizzard like this? And if he did, how would he find his way home? Thinking hard, he lighted upon an idea. He dug the sewing basket for fixing clothes out of the hall closet. A spool of thick red thread sat at the bottom, and he picked it up. This could work.
Papyrus tied one end around his wrist, tight, and stuck the spool on a loose nail on the front porch. There was enough thread to go to the edge of Snowdin, maybe less. If it got caught on trees, he might not even make it back. But he had to try. Blankets in arms, he rushed out into the woods, following Sans’ now faint footsteps to a clearing.
A girl lay in the center of the space, knife in her back, and he rushed to her side. No, this wasn’t you. It was that scary thing from earlier. Papyrus wondered who had killed her. He looked around, and just out of sight of the clearing, he noticed a snatch of blue. A voice echoed out of the trees.
“b - b r o?”
“Sans! Where are you?”
No answer. He ran to the blue thing- it was you, half buried in powdery snow and clutching on to Sans’ hoodie. You were shaking, and unconscious. Your lips were blue, your eyelashes frozen, each breath shallow and difficult. Sans was looking through bleary, snow filled sockets at Papyrus. He had a bleeding slash in his chest, and he was smiling, covered in snow, and only half-awake. He was talking slowly, like he was underwater.
“t h a t y o u , b r o?”
“Yes, yes, it’s me! Oh Sans, what happened? We have to get you home!”
“C - c - c a n t m o v e. T o o c o l d.”
Papyrus was wrapping you up in blankets, holding you cradled in one long arm, your legs dangling to the ground.
“Come on… she needs you, brother. You must get up! If you can get out of the snow, you can get on my back, but I don’t have enough energy to use magic right now. Please, please, just get up!”
He brushed the snow out of his eyes and stood, heavily leaning on the tree.
“C - c a n t m o v e.”
“Come here, I’ll carry you.”
Papyrus hoisted Sans under an arm, and tried to hold him in a way that didn’t jostle his wound too much. He cried out anyway. Following the red thread through the woods, he finally made it to the front door.
He brought the two of you into the warm house and dropped you onto the couch. He didn’t have enough magical energy to heal Sans, not enough to wake you- what to do? A memory surfaced in his mind…
~You were walking out the door with Sans to go to the surface. You’d turned to Papyrus as you’d gone-
“Don’t forget, Paps, if something happens and Undyne’s busy, call the human police- their number is easy. 9-1-1, remember?”~
Papyrus scrambled for his phone and dialed the number-
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
“Can you dispatch an ambulance into the Underg- I mean, Mt. Ebott?”
“We can, sir, but we will need directions, and a bit of time. What is happening?”
“My human friend has severe frostbite and my brother has frostbite and a wound on his chest, I can give you directions, how fast can you be here?”
“Our nearest ambulance is about five minutes away, sir, but it will take a bit longer than that to get into a mountain.”
“You’re going to drive up the path and see a big hole. Drive through, and keep driving until you’re driving in snow, and we can find you from there.”
“Snow in a mountain? Are you on any sort of intoxicants, sir?”
Papyrus shouted angrily into the receiver. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d shouted, but it was the first time he’d been truly angry in a long time.
“Please don’t overreact, sir. I didn’t know we were referring to the “Underground”. Where the monsters are, correct?”
“Yes,” he said, trying to compose himself. “I am a skeleton, and so is my brother.”
“We can have our MCS team tend to him. The ambulance is pulling towards Mt. Ebott now.”
“Thank you.”
“I’m going to hang up. Please wait outside of your house and turn the front porch lights on.”
“Y-yes, okay.”
There was a click on the other end, and Papyrus turned the front porch light on, then came and crouched next to his brother.
“Sans? There are people coming to help you and (y/n). Please- I need you to stay conscious for a minute.”
“‘kay. i can do that.”
“Thank you… p-please don’t die, Sans.”
Sans sat up a little straighter and looked into his brother’s swimming eyes.
“never, Paps. no way am i leaving you here alone.”
“I know, I just…” he drifted off.
They hugged for a second, and Papyrus turned to you. You’d thawed a bit, but you were still out. At the sight of it, both brothers turned to each other. A single thought went through both of them.
You couldn’t die. They wouldn’t allow it.
Papyrus walked to the door, opened it, and shut it behind him. He leaned against it, letting out a shaky breath. The ambulance came then, and humans in hospital uniforms jogged up the front step. They went in, and Papyrus’ watched them carry out his brother and…and his sister. Yes. You were his sister, and you were his family. His family, the only one he could remember having, came out on stretchers. He got in the back of the truck without asking. They weren’t taking you and Sans without him.
You wake up, wince, and look around. Where are you? What’s happened? Where’s Sans? The memory of the night in the snow comes back full swing, and the last thing you can remember is being passed out, freezing. This was…this was a hospital? It sure smelled like a hospital. A look around the room confirms your theory- IV drip in your arm, thin sheets, ‘how do you feel’ chart on the wall. You hear a shout in the hallway outside your room: Undyne?
You hear the low, rumbly voice of some poor nurse who has to deal with this. Undyne’s voice fades away, and the door opens. Papyrus stands there, rubbing his temples. He doesn’t look tired, per se, but he looks stressed and exasperated. “Papyrus?” Your voice is hoarse from lack of use- how long had you been out?
“(Y/N)?! Oh, you’re awake, you’re awake, oh thank god!”
He laughs, and happy tears swim in his eyes. You must have been out for quite a while to warrant that kind of reaction.
“How long was I out?”
“Um, a couple days.”
“Oh, geez, Paps, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you like that-”
“The fact that you’re even alive is a miracle, the doctor said, don’t apologize!”
“Oh, geez…”
You look away. How much stress has he been in over the past couple days? Wait-
“Oh my god, is Sans okay? Where is he?! He got hurt so bad, oh god,”
“Oh, he woke up right after they treated him. He’s fine, in fact, he’s been sitting right there for ages, he just left for a second to go down to get something to eat. Figures he leaves right when you wake up.”
You turn your head to survey the armchair- rumpled blankets cover it, and there’s even a ketchup stain.
“How’d we get out of there after I passed out?”
“I went and found you and called the ambulance. Undyne is a fantastic guard, but she’s not great at the whole, you know, taking-care-of-people thing.”
“Heheh, yeah. So, um, am I okay? Like, after the whole “almost dying”- HOLY SHIT-”
You lifted your arms to sketch air quotes around the words, but you were missing the index finger on your left hand. How hadn’t you felt that?! All there was was a stump with some bandages! What the hell!
Papyrus winced-
“Well, that. We tried to convince them not to amputate, but they said if we didn’t, you might risk getting infection, so… I’m so sorry, (y/n)…”
The shock of the thing is surprising. You didn’t expect to feel so numb inside…surely you should feel something! You don’t even feel bad for Papyrus for a moment, it’s all just…empty. Finally, you speak.
“N-no, don’t feel bad, Paps, you didn’t- you weren’t- you tried- you-”
“I know. I get it, it’s a shock. Oh! SANS GET OVER HERE, YOU LAZYBONES, SHE’S AWAKE!!”
You hear him drop something and stutter,
“she’s what?!”
His footsteps slap down the hallway and skid to a stop in the door, his eyelights tiny bright dots in his sockets, not quite believing the news. Your feelings rush back through your eyes, and when you see his face, the bandages around his broken ribs, tears fall down your face. He’s grinning, and so are you. And then he’s hugging you, and it’s all tears and happiness and little kisses, and your missing finger is no big deal just then. When you break away, Papyrus is watching you like a particularly adorable anime- Sans blushes. The taller brother grins awkwardly. He clears his throat.
“So, um, yes, I will go attend to matters that need attending, now. Oh, and Undyne made you these.”
He drops a plate of cupcakes on the bedside table and hurries out. You snort- he’s so awkward sometimes. The cupcakes read, “GET BETTER, PUNK” in red icing on the top.
“Am I even allowed to eat these?”
“probably not, but with her cooking skills i’m not sure you’d want to.”
There is a moment of silence, both of you lost in your own thoughts. Suddenly you come to a screeching halt-
“Wait, what happened to Yardstick?!”
“oh. yeah, that.”
“dude, calm down, that monster kid is takin’ care of him- we all totally forgot until Undyne came to drop off some stuff and saw him. she called us, and even though he was hurt pretty bad, the snow broke his fall.”
A sigh of relief goes through you. You didn’t realize how much you love the little guy until…he was almost gone… Is this how they felt when you made it? Was that momentary rush of anxiety all they’d felt for days? You hug him tighter, and he returns it.
“Sans, I can’t believe I was out for two days, I’m so sorry, I must have scared you so bad, I didn’t mean to, I-I should’ve, I-”
“Should’ve what? Not come to save me and stayed inside where it was all warm and cozy? You saved my life, sweetheart. If you hadn’t been there I would have,” he snorts, “bit the dust.”
Tears start down your face again, and he immediately regrets the joke-
“no, oh, don’t cry, you’re here, i’m here, we’re both okay. Papyrus is here, the creep is dead, thanks to you, everything’s fine.”
“I-I-if you ha-had died I-I-”
“i know.”
You lightly brush your fingers on his bandages. They aren’t thick, they seem more of a precaution than a necessary thing. Your missing finger makes your whole left hand feel awkward, clumsy.
“i love you, sweetheart.”
You look into his eyesockets, at his glowing blue eyelights, and squeeze his hands in yours.
A few kisses later, you shiver.
“It’s freezing in here- and they don’t exactly go big on sheets, do they? When are we going home?”
“well, doc says that you have to get checked out before you go home, something about skin damage. and you have to have therapy, too, ‘till they let you out. PTSD and whatnot.”
“Are you getting therapy?”
“oh, Doctor-Old-Fart is always making me talk about my feelings and crap.”
“Sounds fun.”
“exhilarating, really.”
“So, it might be a little soon to ask this, but how are we going to afford the medical bill?”
He seems thrown off by the question, almost bewildered.
“funny thing about that…we shouldn’t be able to, but apparently an “anonymous donor” paid our full expense. we can’t find out who, none of our friends have that much money.”
A knock on the door untangles Sans from you. When it opens, a nurse walks in, asking rapid-fire questions, drawing blood, and poring over the skin on your arm and hands. Finally, she seems satisfied.
“I can getcha outta here in two days, but we gotta keep an eye on your skin, if any more mottled bits come up we may have to do more amputations. That alright with you, suga?”
“Perfect, thank you. Could you do me a favor?”
“Whatcha need, I’m on a tight shift.”
“Get Papyrus and Sans out of here. Make them go home, take care of themselves, sleep, and come back.”
Sans jumps and begins to protest, but the nurse cuts him off.
“I can’t make ‘em do all that, but I can put a temporary ban on ‘em if you want.”
“Great. Sans, please shower and get a clean set of clothes. Eat something, literally anything, and get some sleep, for god’s sake, you look like you’ve been up for days.”
“no, i can’t go home, no way, i’m staying with you until you can home home with us.”
“Well, I don’t want to come home to a messy house, right? All the more reason that you need to go. Home.”
The nurse was watching, amused, but shrugged.
“You heard the girl, shorty. Get your stuff, you legally aren’t allowed to be in here any more. We’ll call you with any developments. Don’t expect any calls, though, seeing as she’s doin’ fine.”
“Really, Sans, please go home, you need to take care of yourself. It’s only for the night.”
He hesitates, but finally nods and stands. You hug him tight, and then he’s gone. A few minutes later, Papyrus sticks his head in the door, looking half worried- half relieved.
“Are you sure you’ll be alright? We can stay however long you need.”
“Nope. I insist. And make sure Sans doesn’t just sit on the couch and freak out.”
“I’ll sure try! Love you!”
“You too! Bye!”


Third installment coming at you soon.
To be continued, but for now, Fin.

Chapter Text

After Sans and Papyrus arrived at home, Papyrus cleaned the house, inside and out, and tried to make everything as warm and inviting as possible. Blankets were folded in stacks all around the house, as the doctor said a lasting side effect of frostbite was extreme sensitivity to cold. He bought your favorite brand of hot chocolate mix, too. But the main thing he did was keep Sans from doing exactly what you said he’d do- sit on the couch and freak out. After a good deal of nagging, both brothers were fed, clean, and had clean changes of clothes laid out for the next day. Sleeping was the part they both anticipated would be hardest.
Oh, after being awake for days under tremendous amounts of stress, Papyrus would sleep fine. But Sans would be awake. Either unable to fall asleep or tormented by nightmares, rest was something that would not be happening.
“Here,” Papyrus said, “call her before you go to bed. It’ll help.”
Happy for some excuse to call you, he quickly clicked your contact in his phone and waited. On the first ring, you pick up.
“Hey, Sans! How’s stuff over there?”
“Fine. How are you?”
“Great! They said I can definitely leave tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be home before we know it!"
There was bit of a pause, then you sigh.
“You can’t sleep, can you? I can’t either.”
“heh, nope…i miss you.”
“Sans, it’s one night, we can’t have this bad separation anxiety. But, I miss you too. A lot.”
“so, you wanna stay on call until one of us falls asleep?”
So you do, just talking about the little things, little memories, little snippets of pasts that don’t seem to matter. Things you miss that you couldn’t really appreciate until now.
“This place is freezing, they gave me extra blankets because of the aftershocks, but I still wish you were here. You’re like a little heater when you sleep.”
“really? heh, i always thought you were the warm one. everything just feels emptier without you over here.”
“You showered and ate and everything, right?”
“i told you; yes.”
“I’m just nervous, okay?”
“yeah, i know.”
Another little pause, then you whisper,
“Can I try something?”
“try away.”
Sans melts a little at the sudden feeling- like one of your hugs and smiles, or your little kisses…but right to the soul.
“woah. how’d- how’d you do that?”
“I-I can’t describe it, it’s easy, I just, um, did it.”
Deja vu hits you- seemingly out of nowhere.
“can i try?”
“Go right ahead.”
Now you melt a little; it’s like all of his puns and real grins, or his big comfy hugs, but inside. You immediately want to fall asleep.
“did i do it?”
“Yeah, yeah, you did. Here, if we can both do it at the same time, maybe we can fall asleep. If you have any nightmares, call me, okay? Three, two, one.”
You hang up and cradle his piece of soul in yours; at least that’s what it feels like. He does the same, and the loop of comfort holds. Without even trying, you fall asleep, and he does too, though you don’t know it.
The next morning, Sans wakes up, still feeling warm and happy for a moment, not remembering why. But when he does, his hold on the comfort loop breaks, and you wake up suddenly. Soon, it’s all gone, and you call him.
“oh, hey, sweetheart, i didn’t mean to wake you up,”
“It’s okay. Can you come back now?”
“like, to the hospital?”
“’kay then. see you in an hour.”
“Oh, one more thing. Can you do that thing so I can fall back asleep?”
“’course, sweetheart.”
You crash immediately after the feeling hits you. Meanwhile, Sans realizes that holding it is like remembering to breathe. He doesn’t need to put a conscious thought into it; if he wanted to break it, he could, but for the meantime it just feels like something he’d always done. But now, he goes to wake Papyrus up so they can leave.
“bro, come on, she wants us to come back, is everything ready?”
He sits up quickly, looking around.
“Oh, dear, did something happen? Is she okay?!”
“she’s fine, she just called and said she wants us to come back.”
“Oh. Did you get any sleep at all last night?”
“yeah, i did. weird, she did this thing, it felt like she was right there, and, um, hugging me or somethin’.”
“Oh, you two found out about Huggles.”
“what now?”
“That’s just what Mettaton and I call them- even if you’re far apart, you can kind of hold their soul, and then they feel like you were right there. We do it a lot, but it saps magical energy over time, so it’s really only for stressful things.”
“oh. what’d you call ‘em?”
After a hurried breakfast, they tug on clean clothes and go up to the surface. Within the hour, they’re at the hospital. Undyne is waiting outside, tapping her foot. She seems frustrated.
“Undyne? I thought security made you leave the premises!”
“not supposed to eat sugar yet.”
“Oh. Okay, then! Let’s go!”
The skeleton brothers exchange nervous glances behind Undyne’s back. If you’re still asleep, it would be difficult for you to exactly appreciate what was sure to be a loud wake up call. But, the security guards step aside and let all three monsters inside, and even give them directions to your room.
You sit up groggily when there’s a loud pounding on the door. The warm feeling is gone- so Sans must be here! But neither brother would pound on the door like that, so who was that? You trip out of bed and open the door. Undyne stands there, looking triumphant, and Paps and Sans stand behind her, looking nervous.
“dude, you woke her up.”
“Actually-”, Papyrus starts, but she cuts in.
She gives you a noogie, one that would’ve snapped your IV if you still had it on. You stumble back dizzily, and Sans pushes her aside and supports you.
“you really ought to go downstairs, ‘Dyne. you’ve seen her now, and she really needs some sleep before we leave later.”
Papyrus steps in.
“Undyne, we know you care a lot, and we do too, but enthusiasm isn’t what she needs right now. She needs bed rest and quiet, and if you won’t give her those things, we’ll have to ask you to leave.”
Her face falls like a shamed puppy- she didn't seem used to being shamed by Pap. “Yeah, I guess. Okay, I’ll go, probably shouldn’t be here anyway. Oh, and Alphys says Mettaton needs to see you soon, Impact said his first word.”
Pap’s face lights up immediately-
“Oh my gosh, what was it?! When?? Why didn’t you say something sooner?!”
“She says it was “Ton-Ton”, and then Metta got him to say “Pappy” next.”
He’s practically jumping up and down now.
“Wowie! Sans, (y/n), can I go see him, just for a bit, I need to see this! Undyne, can you take me?!”
“Yeah, ‘course, what are friends for?”
He looks at you for approval, and you nod vigorously.
“Send videos, Paps!”
"Yeah, come on Paps, let’s leave the lovebirds here.”
Everyone, minus Undyne, blushes, and with an awkward wave, they’re gone. The moment they turn the corner, you sink to the floor. Sans jumps.
“Dizzy…tired…want back in bed… please…”
He wraps his arm around your shoulders and helps you climb into bed, where you lay, eyes shut, panting. Why won’t everything stop spinning?
“hey, you good?”
“Just, *pant*, dizzy.”
“lemme do the thing, okay?”
“No, you’re here, that’s better than faking it.”
He blushes a little bit as you grab his hand, and slowly, the world stops twirling around you.
“Sorry- must have gotten up too fast.”
“nah, it’s okay.”
“So…what do you wanna do when we get home?”
“i dunno.”
You both think for a minute, but before you can come up with a conclusion, the doctor walks in.
“You’re officially discharged- you can leave whenever you feel ready.”
“Thank you, for everything.”
“I really am sorry we had to amputate. It gets better with time. My niece had something similar happen, hand slammed in a car door. Broke her wrists and several main arteries- had to amputate, too. But now she’s doing just fine, doesn’t even inconvenience her anymore.”
“I’m so sorry-”
“No, no, like I said, she’s fine. You’re very lucky to have such a good, um, family, to find you in time.”
“Yeah…I am.”
The doctor smiled and left. You sit up slowly, and stand. It didn’t occur to you that you wouldn’t have any clothes to go home in.
“oh, yeah, I brought you these.”
Sans opens a duffel bag he’d dropped by the door, and pulled out a long sleeved shirt and sweatpants.
“i know it’s only August, but i didn’t want you to be really cold when we get back to Snowdin.”
“Oh, perfect. Thank you! Can I have some help to get to the bathroom?”
“yeah, ‘course.”
He walks over and pulls his arm around your waist, and lets you wrap one around his shoulders. You probably only needed to lean on him, but neither of you say anything. You finally get your legs back to normal, though they're still tired out of lack of use. You walk into the bathroom and change. When you come out, he’s leaning on the wall, laughing shakily. You don’t tell him you’re ready for a second- what was he saying?
“calm down, she’s fine, you’re fine, everyone’s fine…it just came so goddamn close…”
You cradle his soul in yours, and he looks around at the feeling.
“oh, sorry, sweetheart, i didn’t see ya- you need help getting out?”
“Sans, I know it came close, but I’m here, aren’t I?”
His face falls.
“yeah…if i’d lost you, I would've- but dammit, it was just so close!”
You hold your arms out, and he hugs you tight, as if at any second he’ll wake up, and you’ll be dust in his fingers. “Let’s go home, huh? I know something we can do until Paps comes back. I get the feeling he’s gonna move back in with Metta after he gets us settled in. Luckily, they’re almost done moving in, right?”
You drive home in the punchbug, which you’ve started to call “The Blueberry”, fondly. You get a little motion sick from the car ride, but not enough to warrant stopping. You want to be home so badly. Back in Snowdin, where you belong. As you drive through the city, suddenly you screech-
He pulls in, looking at you with a scared look on his face-
“what?! why?”
Before you bother to explain, you jump out of the still-moving car and shout, waving your arms-
A girl turns around. She’s wearing a neon purple hoodie, a black choker, and torn jeans. She has remarkably short black hair with blue and pink streaks.
“Wait- (Y/N)? HOLY SHIT, IT’S YOU!”
You run through the crowd and hug her, and then do a complicated fist bump.
“Dude, I heard about all the crap you did for monsters and stuff! God, if people knew what you used to do back in the day-” “Shut up! You were the bad influence!”
You laugh, and then she says,
“I got real worried after you fell down, thought you’d finally decided to off yourself, man! But, like, it’s been years, how’d you even recognize me?”
“Purple hoodie, headphones, black choker, two different color streaks in your hair- you really don’t change, Ali.”
“Well, neither do you, much! Wait, WOAH, what happened to your hand?!”
You hold up your hand, grinning.
“Woah, dude, lemme buy you a coffee, I wanna hear this story-”
Just after you start to decline the offer, Sans walks up.
“hey, what just happened? why’d you run off?”
Ali jumps, and looks at the both off you- you see her make the connection.
“NO WAY, is this guy your boyfriend?! He’s so cool!!”
She holds out her hand to fist bump Sans- he seems kind of taken aback at the immediate assumption, the immediate chill with monsters.
“How’d you know?” “He looks worried about you, you get that little apologetic twitch, you’ve been around monsters for years, you might as well date one. It’s kind of obvious.”
“Really? Um, okay. This is Sans. Sans, this is Ali.”
“’Sup! So, what about that coffee? I can get one for all of us!”
“Nah, I just got back from the hospital- my finger, you know. I haven’t been home in days. Here, gimme your number, I’ll give you mine. Where are the guys, by the way?”
“Well, you know, some moved, some got, um…”
“Yeah. But Jake’s still here, and Mikey. Mikey sure grew up, you oughta see him! But not now- you go home, rest and stuff, and we can hang out some other time.”
“Sure! And how’re y’all treating all the monsters?”
“When we heard you freed ‘em, we assumed you would want us to keep ‘em safe. So that’s what me and the guys have been doing. You know, our way.”
She elbows you playfully, and Sans looks confused. You put your hand on her shoulder and mutter,
“Remember, call me if they getcha, I have my own people now.”
“’course. Aww, you’ve grown up so much, nerd! Now go home with your boyfriend.”
“Bye, Al!”
“See ya, (y/n)!”
You laugh and get back in the car. Sans gets at the wheel, inches back onto the street, and asks,
“so, if you don’t mind me asking, who the hell was that?”
“Ali was my only friend when I was first on the surface- she was fourteen when I was eight. She knew my parents were trash, so one day at school she said, if I wanted, she could steal their car.”
“she could what?!”
“Yep. Had a gang even back then. She basically protected me and anyone I wanted her to keep safe. Anyone who messes with the people on her safe list usually get their car stolen or have drugs planted in their closets, so they get arrested.”
“and you didn’t think to tell me this, why?”
“I guess I thought you wouldn’t like it. I think when I was just a little kid, I didn’t want anyone to find out and arrest her or whatever. Maybe I just forgot about it over time. But what I love about her is that she keeps monsters safe from any abuse around here. It’s nice of her.”
“yeah. she seems cool, just don’t go leaping out of cars now that you two can call each other now, okay?”
“Oh, geez, yeah, I’m sorry, Sans, I just didn’t want her to walk away.”
“it’s fine. just happy you’re okay now.”
After a second of tense silence, your favorite song comes on the radio, and he turns it up. He sings, perfect at every note. You join in-
“a hundred bad days made a hundred good stories-”
“-A hundred good stories make me interesting at parties, yeah! No, I ain’t scared of you! No, I ain’t scared of you no more!”
And then you pull into the Underground, drive through the barrier. The song cuts out now that the satellites can’t reach your car, and the UndeRadio begins playing instead. He turns it off and leans back. He seems more comfortable here.
You shiver violently as you pull into Snowdin. The chill isn’t even that pronounced from the inside of the car- but you wrap your arms around yourself anyway.
“you good?”
“J-just c-cold. Keep driv-v-ving.”
When he stops in front of the house, you sigh in relief, but then tense up- you’d have to get out to walk inside.
“N-not really. So c-cold.”
In a moment, he does the thing with your soul, and as the warm feeling spreads over you, you sigh. He opens the door, walks around, and opens yours. He pulls his hoodie off, wraps it around your shoulders, and carries you, bridal-style, into the house. You’re shaking, but as you enter the warm entryway, you stop. It’s so nice in here. You snuggle closer to Sans’ chest, and he sits on the couch, not quite ready to let this moment go. Neither are you, to be honest. He plants a kiss on your hair, and you pull closer.
“we’re home, sweetheart.”
“Maybe, but I wanna stay here a sec before I go home.”
“yeah, me too.”
He holds you, letting you pull as close into him as you want, and smiles down at you. A minute passes, and you sit up a bit-
“hey, hold up your hand.”
He does, and you put the heel of your hand on his- comparing hand sizes. His is bigger, but not by much. You grab his hand and kiss him, suddenly, then leap to your feet and run upstairs. You’re still wearing his hoodie.
“oh, you aren’t getting away that easy!”
“Watch me!”
You run into his room, pull the zipper shut, and pull your legs in. Flip the hood up, and you’re just a piece of laundry on his floor. He runs up the stairs and checks his room- he must not have seen you at first glance, because you hear him open the hall closet and even the door to Pap’s room. When he can’t find you there, he comes back into his room, giving everything a closer inspection.
“no way are you giving me surprise kisses and then just running off-”
He sees you in his hoodie, shaking with laughter, and flips the hood up. You stuff your head in between your knees, hiding your face, and yell through laughing;
“No! No more, I had a good hiding spot, you took forever!”
“well i found you, right? i win.”
He unzips your little fortress until you’re laughing, looking right at his smug face- but he’s laughing a little, too.
“i win.”
He kisses you, and you’re smiling through it, arms around his neck. His hands press into your back, pulling you closer. It's deep, and slow, and you feel like the whole world doesn't matter right now. He’s everything you never had. You’re everything he never knew he wanted.



Chapter Text



“So, do ya’ll wanna do a human thing?”
After a while of just laying around, and letting Papyrus cook, you finally pipe up. He turns to you, and Sans even shifts on the couch.
“Yes, what is it?”
“It’s um,” you hesitate, then decide to turn it into a thing. “Its an ancient human ritual.”
“how’s it work?”
You think if Sans had eyebrows, they’d be raised- he looked slightly impressed. Papyrus looked ecstatic.
“Yes, what do you do?!”
“It’s called Circle Of Truth. Everyone sits in a circle, normally after dark, and everyone takes turns asking questions. Then everyone in the circle has to answer them honestly. And if you take anyone’s secrets outside of the circle, then…um…you’re cursed!”
“Wowie! Sounds like an adventure to me! Do you want to do it, Sans?”
“yeah, okay.”
After the sun went down that night, you have both brothers sit in a circle with you, and say, sounding excited,
“So, um, who wants to ask the first question?”“Sans, why don’t you go?”
“oh, okay. um, most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you.”
Everyone thinks for a second, and you start-
“I remember one reset, when I fell down, I broke my ankle. First time ever. I basically limped the whole time, and nobody knew what to do with it.”
Sans laughs, and asks,
“wait, wait, what’d I do?!”
“You- you MADE SO MANY PUNS- you were all like ‘you should work at IHOP,’ and ‘one foot in the grave already, huh?’”
You’re laughing hysterically at your own misfortune, and he’s laughing at his puns, and Papyrus looks mortified at both.
“You were hurt! How can you two be laughing?!”
“hahaheh, okay then, bro, your, heh, turn.”
“Well, oh, I have a good one! I was trying to hold Impact once, and he hiccuped, and it scared me. So I jumped, and Impact went flying- he was so little, and he freaked out, and he ghosted. But the thing is, he’d never done it before. So I didn’t know what was happening- I thought I’d dropped him so hard,” he snickers at himself, “I thought I’d knocked him out! And when Metta got home, I was holding Impact, but he wasn’t in his body, and I was so freaked out. Mettaton forgot I didn’t know what was happening, and he was mad that I overreacted so much!”
You and Sans laugh, and so does he. Finally, you both turn to Sans, waiting for him to take his turn.
“Well, once, I let down my guard, and something good happened.”
When he doesn’t elaborate, you look at him, confused-
“that’s it.”
“Oh, come on, remember, if you don’t tell the whole truth, it doesn’t count.”
“fine- i got caught crying once by someone who i didn’t want to, and something good came out of it. better?”
“Well, it isn’t perfect, but it’s a start.”
You know he’s referring to the first night, but you don’t want to press him into that right now. Not in front of Paps. So you gloss over the sticky moment by asking the next question:
“So, next, what do you guys want most in the whole world? I can go first again. There’s these huge mountains really far away from here, in a place called Colorado. In Colorado, you can climb up these really tall mountains, and there’s snow at the top. And you can go hiking. I’ve always wanted to go hiking in Colorado- you’re up so high, and there’s snow everywhere, and it would be so nice. Thing is, I can’t now because of my cold sensitivity.”
They seem impressed, and then Sans goes next.
“i wanna go back in time. just, whenever i want. relive the good parts, and tell my past self that everything comes out okay in the end.”
“Good one. Paps?”
“I can’t think of much…I’m fine with what I have right now! Wait; no- I want hair. Yours, specifically. I mean, I’m not going to steal your hair or anything-”
And everyone is laughing again, and Papyrus is blushing furiously, and scrambles for a question.
“Oh, um, what’s an unpopular thing that you do that you’re proud of?”
“Geez, that’s specific! I mean, I sing in the shower, I guess. Does that count?”
“Yes, I think so. I really like maple tea. Nobody I know does.”
“ew, bro, that stuff is gross. it’s just mashed up maple leaves in chai tea.”
“Well, that’s why said it was unpopular!”
“you’re right there. well, i have a few- chugging ketchup by the bottle, for one. oh, cats weird me out. they seem too familiar, like i’ve met them all on an, um, personal level.
i read human science journals. for fun. you know, stuff like that. i’m just weird, i guess.”
“No, you are not! You’re awesome, Sans, don’t say that.”
You give him a one-armed squeeze, and he grins.
“you know, i have another question- everyone rate your first kiss. come on, don’t be nervous, comfort zones are over-rated.”
Your face falls, and Papyrus starts.
“Mettaton. Tenth date. Seven out of ten, because he was half-drunk and it felt kind of weird. Sans, you next.”
“(Y/n). i don’t even remember how long ago. eight out of ten. your turn.”
“come on, if i was bad at it, i don’t mind.”
“No, it’s not that- I dunno, can I skip this one?”
“hey, what’s up?”
You look really down and nervous out of nowhere- it would ruin the whole night if you answer honestly, but you aren’t going to lie to them.
“Um…uh, it was ages ago, on the surface. Um…there was some…some creep. I was seven. Nothing out of ten.”
They look mortified, and you immediately regret saying it. Papyrus has his hand over his mouth, and he looks as if he might cry. Sans’ eye is smoking blue- he’s as tense as you’ve ever seen him.
“Guys… it’s not a big deal, it was ages ago, like I said.”
“Why would a human do that…? What…why would…”
“what else did he do.”
Sans doesn’t ask it, he states it.
“Sans, please, can we just move-”
You flinch at the silent anger in his voice, and murmur,
“Not much else. Beat me up a bit. Tried to…um…well, I ran away, is what matters.”
“Sans, stop, she obviously doesn’t want to go into this!”
“i have to know.” His voice breaks, and he doesn’t meet your eyes.
“He tried to… um… well, pin me down, but I was a lot smaller than him, so I got away.”
Now it’s all really messed up. Papyrus is angry at Sans, feels awful for you, and Sans seems angry and tense. You’re just really uncomfortable.
“Sans, please, we’re all here now, I’m fine. It was just some creeper. Who wants to ask the next question?”
The hopeful attempt at conversation dies feebly, and Papyrus crosses his arms.
“Apologize, Sans.”
“No- really, he doesn’t have to,”
“i’m sorry, sweetheart. i’m so sorry-” his voice catches, and you hug him tightly.
“You didn’t know, it was my idea to do this, you just wanted to know.”
Papyrus looks awkward.
“I, um, I can go ask Grillby if he can make more snickerdoodles for us. I will go do that.”
He stands and leaves, mouthing at you, ‘sorry’, as he walks out the door. When the door shuts, you do the soul hug thing- Huggles, Sans called them. He melts, leaning on you, then tries to pull away. He seems guilty, like he doesn’t deserve it. You stop.
“Sans…you’re hurting me more than that creep did, by pulling away. Please just stay here. I know your mind is off somewhere else, but there’s nothing you could’ve done.”
“i could’ve…i could’ve…”
“No, Sans, you couldn’t have.”
You let him hold your head in his hands. He isn’t crying. He just looks defeated. His eyelights, flickering feebly, finally look you in the eyes. You lean forward and hug him, murmuring,
“I don’t deserve to be here right now, but I am anyway. And you are, too. So how ‘bout we not think about the past.”
“you deserve to be here more than anyone else in the world, sweetheart.”
“Maybe…maybe we all just got really lucky.”
“maybe. that sounds right. i hope i don’t wake up.”
“Me, too.”
When Papyrus comes back in the house, carrying a paper plate piled with warm snickerdoodles, you and Sans are passed out on the floor. He’s curled around you protectively, and your face is pressed into his chest, hands folded in front of you. Papyrus smiles. You really do love each other. But everyone really needs a break. He writes a note on a sheet of paper and steps out the door.
You can find it tomorrow. For now, you’re content to wake up covered in dust and curled into him.



Chapter Text

You wake up the next morning, a thin coating of dust covering your clothes from the ancient carpet. Sans shifts on the floor when you stand, so you give him a Huggle to make sure he doesn’t wake up. You notice that Papyrus isn’t here, and know he left for Metta’s before you even see the note.
What to do today? The surface sounds like fun, especially seeing Ali, but what if you bring Ali down here? You did promise her a day to hang out- but wait, did she mean without Sans? He’d be nervous all day…you pick up your phone, and go upstairs to change and call her.
You snort. “Hey, Al.”
“Whassup? You up for that hangout today?”
“Yeah, sure! Do you wanna hang up there or down here?”
“Oh, man, going into the Underground?! Dude, that sounds so cool, but I don’t wanna mess anything up down there. If we stay up here we can get some revenge on some anti-monster creeps.”
“Remember, I’m still not up for killing anyone- even if they are jerks. But I can still key a car!”
“Sweet. So, do you wanna bring your boyfriend? He seems like the revenge type. But he also seems like the i-will-protect-you-to-my-inevitable-death type. So maybe not. Your call.”
“How…how did you know all of that?! You met him for like, two seconds!”
“When you see people like I see people, secrets are overrated. Like, remember. Did you ever TELL me that your parents were trash?”
“Um…no. Yeah, you’re right, I never told you that. You just knew. Weird.”
“Right?! Anyway, you wanna bring him or not?”
“Is whatever we’re doing going to get us in trouble?”
“Then I dunno. Monster souls are weaker than human ones. If the cops show, one bullet’ll take him out.”
“Oh, yeah. Forgot. Um, oh, how about this. I found this forest, a few miles out of town. It has fantastic climbing trees. And some of ‘em are magic ones. We can climb up there and just, chill. I still have that pocket radio! We can listen to music! Would he be up for that?”
“Oh, that sounds perfect! Lemme ask him if he wants to come! Oh, and if Jake and Mikey are free, they can come, too.”
“Call me back in a sec.”
“’kay. Bye.”
When she hangs up, you run downstairs and wake up Sans. He sits up groggily and looks at your ecstatic face.
“mornin’, sweetheart…why am i up at seven?”
“Because if you want to come, me and Ali are going to go to the surface and climb trees!”
“ok. i’ll come. just gimme some more sleepy time.”
“Sans, I’m leaving in ten minutes. If you wanna come, come.”
“fine, fine. i’m comin’.”
He stands up, pops his back, and lets his hip slide back into place with a dull *thunk*. You’re already in your clothes for the day, and start making breakfast. He goes upstairs, changes out of his dusty clothes, and replaces his pink slippers with trainers. When he comes down, toast and bananas are on the table.
“so, this, uh, little adventure we’re goin’ on doesn’t involve doing somethin’ illegal, right?”
“I don’t think so. Just tree climbing.”
“Well, there’s one thing we could do, that I want to do, that’s illegal, but it’s in revenge.”
“So, Ali remembers everyone who’s ever hurt anyone on her safe list. Whether she’s gotten around to punishing them or not. So, if I’m not wrong, she may just be able to find the creep. The one told you about.”
He nearly spits out his toast- his eye is already smoking blue a little bit. You keep going, calmly.
“Sans, we’re not going to kill anyone. I’m sure she’ll be happy for you to have fun with him, but even she knows killing people is sick. And he might have already been arrested, or moved- he might even have died, somehow. So if he’s even there, you have to promise me we aren’t going to kill anyone.”
He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t meet your eyes.
“we’ll see.”
“Sans, I’m not going anywhere until you promise. What if he’s someone’s Pap? We’re better than that.”
He flinches at the truth in your words, but still remains silent. You stand, and he mutters angrily.
“sweetheart, nobody should do something like that to ANYONE. especially not you. so if you don’t want me to get too carried away, i should just stay here.”
“Sans-” you come around to stand behind him, “please, just promise me that you won’t kill him- that you won’t kill anybody.”
“…if i promise you that, you have to promise me something.”
“that you’ll help me get him.”
“What do you mean?”
“you’ll help me dunk him, punish him, get revenge, however you wanna say it.”
You pause. But, hey, whatever it takes.
As you go up to the surface, you call Ali. You know Sans is listening, but he has the courtesy to pretend he’s not.
“Hey, so, we’re on our way, where do you wanna meet up?”
“Starbucks, obviously. Then we take our drinks to the forest.”
“So, um, side note, you remember all of the safe list violators, right?”
Sans is listening now, you know it.
“Um, yeah, why? You looking for someone?”
“I am, actually. Remember when I was seven, and I was walking home, and there was that creep?”
“Oh, yeah! I roundhouse kicked him in the face? Or are you talking about the perv?”
“Yeah, him. You know his name?”
“Chad Kingsley. He lives in the big apartment on Main, the one with the fireman pole on the side. Sans wants to kick his ass, doesn’t he?”
“I’m gonna stop questioning how you know that, but yes. He does. So can you find a way to get him in the alley?”
“Gotcha. Your bf knows my policy on killing, right?”
“Yup. So, do we want to start with that, or end with that?”
“End- he goes out in the alley at around eight every night for a smoke break. Reliably. So we can hit that last.”
“Fantastic. We’re here.”
“See you in a sec.”
She hangs up, and Sans looks satisfied- you can see it in his eyes. As you walk in to the Starbucks, people stare a little. What can you expect when you’re walking with a skeleton? Ali waves from a little table. On her left is a red-headed boy with curly hair and a t-shirt. Mikey. On her right is Jake- tall, brown hair, leather jacket. He’s the bad boy type.
“’sup, guys!”
They both jump up, shouting in surprise and happiness, and give you friendly slugs on the arm. You laugh, and introduce Sans- he grins and fist bumps them both. When you sit, you do your little handshake with Ali, and she greets Sans.
“Nice trainers, dude! ‘sup, (y/n)! We already ordered our stuff, what do ya’ll want?”
“Um, I’ll have a tall hot chocolate with whipped cream, and you’re probably going to want a bottle of ketchup, right?”
Sans nods, and grins at everyone’s confusion.
“i like ketchup, okay? do they even have it here?”
Jake pipes up- “Yeah, think so. So, Sans, I hear you have a little agenda?”
He nods. “yep. lil’ bit.”
Jake grins darkly, and mutters, “Oh, this is going TIBIA lot of fun.”
Sans snorts. Mikey giggles- like, actually giggles. You shoot a look across at him. He still seemed like the ten year old with the chipped tooth from years ago. Ali mouths a word across the table at you, but you don’t catch what it is. Sans and Jake are making skeleton puns across the table at each other now. Finally, everyone’s drinks (and ketchup) come, and Ali gives you directions to the forest. After a short drive through the city, you hit a forest, glowing gold with fall.
Though you don’t notice, as you stare in wonder at the beautiful trees, Sans watches you. He watches you, and he’s infatuated, and you don’t notice.
Once the path is so thin and the trees are so thick you have to get out of your cars, Ali calls that she found a good tree. Everyone hops the stone wall separating the path from the trees, and help each other into big one.
“WOW! It’s so cool up here!” Mikey calls from the top, already breaking his face through the leaves.
Ali comes next, perched next to him, silently staring out. Then Sans pulls himself up, on a different branch. He pats the spot next to him for you to sit. When you do, your head breaks through the canopy, and you look out over the trees- a million golden trees stretch for miles, and behind you, the city shining in the distance.
Sans wraps an arm around your waist, and you smile.
“This is so cool.”
“isn’t it?”
Ali whoops into the sky, a long drawn out wolf howl, and soon everyone joins in. The people in the city would probably blame it on coyotes or some weird bird. When it ends, everyone’s laughing, and Jake has finally climbed high enough to join everyone else. Ali pulls out her little pocket radio and blasts “100 Bad Days” on full volume. Everyone’s singing now, even Sans- who is of course singing the best. When the song ends, everyone takes turns twiddling the little dial until they find a song they like.
“Sans, your turn!” Mikey says, handing him the radio.
He plays with the knobs for a second, and then Stalemate comes on. Nobody knows the words as well as the two of you, and after the first few lines, their voices die out to let the two of you sing.
“-realize that I’m just a chore, and you’re a gift to this earth-”
“-And you’ll leave me for good, swear I feared it the worst, oh~!”
Before you can keep going, you realize you can’t feel the branch anymore- you’re floating. A blue bubble surrounds you, and as you look around, you notice the same thing happening to everyone else. Ali has her hands and feet pushed to the top and bottom like she’s trying to to a flip in a hamster ball. Mikey and Jake are in one big bubble, looking terrified and exhilarated at the same time. Sans shouts from his bubble-
“sorry! probably shoulda warned you first. it’s safe, promise.”
You hang there, a blue tint on the golden trees, for a few hours. Everyone making conversation, having fun just flying above everything else. You drift farther and farther away from your tree, up into the air. Eventually, Sans pushes the bubbles back to the tree.
“so, um, i can’t hold this up much longer, so i’m gonna try to get everyone as close to the tree as possible, and then pop ‘em. we gotta grab the tree, okay? three, two, one!”
Everyone lands awkwardly, grabbing branches or bunches of leaves for support. Mikey lands next to Sans on the left side of a big cluster of branches. Ali lands in the cluster, and tries to untangle herself from some acorns that grab her hair. On the right, you land next to Jake. After you both get your bearings, he looks you up and down, and says,
“You sure grew up, (y/n).”
“I guess so.”
“I kind of wish you didn’t go and get a boyfriend.”
You laugh nervously, and look around for Sans. “um, well, thanks, I guess.”
“I can change that, if you want,” he slides closer on the branch.
“Jake, back off. I’m not interested, please just stop.”
He smiles, and wraps an arm securely around your waist.
“Maybe he’ll dump you if he finds you cheating…how cruel of you…”
You squirm, and try to dislodge his arm, but he stays firmly in place. You slap him, right across the face, and he grabs your arm, pulling it back, and kisses you. You’re trying to pull away when he goes flying backwards. He hangs, a blue aura surrounding his body, and you turn your head. Sans.
“hey, buddy. that wasn’t very nice of you.”
Ali is out of the branches now, and is glaring at Jake in disgust.
“And I know you know my policy on violators of my safe list. Do whatever you want, Sans.”
He nods. “give me one reason i shouldn’t drop you right now.”
“Because you promised me you wouldn’t kill anyone!” You’re standing now, grabbing a branch, shouting. “He may be a jerk, but he doesn’t deserve to die!”
“Jake? back her up. why don’t you deserve to break your spine right now?” Sans is giving him a chance…
“Come on, man, be chill, we’re cool, just put me down!”
“buddy, we are very not cool right now.”
“Okay, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t’ve messed with her, I get it, I’m chill!”
“well, that’s a start. you very much should not have messed with her. you know why? because then you mess with ME. but I’m not gonna kill ya. ‘cause I made a promise, and i don’t go back on promises.” His face darkens. “well, i try not to. here’s what i’ll say though. you’re gonna apologize right now. to me, to her, and to Ali.”
“Sorry! I’m really, really sorry! I’m sorry, Ali, I shouldn’t have-”
“DAMN RIGHT, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE. Sans, bring him here, I need to slap him.”
He swings his arm around, until Jake is hovering in front of Ali, shaking. She slaps him clean across the face, and there’s a red handprint afterwards. After “accidentally” slamming him full force into some branches, Sans drops him on the bottom branch, making sure that it hits him right between the legs.
“now,” he says, brightly, “let’s go beat up the OTHER creep. i’m in a mood.”
Ali laughs, and you smile and hug him. His face softens, and he hugs you back.
“i’m always, here, ‘kay, sweetheart? i’m always gonna protect you from jerks like that.”
You nod.“I know.”
Ali shouts from below you-
Sans laughs, and grabs your hand. Then he leans back falls off of the branch. As you plummet through the air, he grins at you. Right before you hit the ground, he sends out a bubble of blue magic to cushion the fall. Mikey scrambles down the branches behind you. He looks really down. Ali mutters,
“Mikey’s been really into Jake for a while now. Tried to say something earlier. Must be kinda a shock to see him like this.”
You grimace, and Sans nods.
“at least he knows now- what he’s really capable of.”
After throwing Jake in the truck and consoling Mikey, You get in the Blueberry with Sans and follow Ari’s car back into the city. Once Sans parallel parks outside the apartment building, you peer down the long alley beside it- sure enough, a middle aged man is lighting a cigarette. Ali calls from down the street.
“I’m gonna go get ice cream- there’s a Braums down the street. This is your thing. I’ll meet you there.”
“Okay! Hey, um, Sans, are you sure this isn’t, like, mean, right? It was years ago, he might not even remember. What if he’s changed? I’ve changed, so’ve you, maybe we’re all moved on.”
“okay, sweetheart- if he doesn’t remember, or if he seems like he’s different now, we’ll let him go off. i just hate it when people do things like that and get away with it.”
“I know.”
You walk into the back alley, and the man freezes. Sans starts;
“you Chad Kingsley?”
“Who wants to know?”
“Gee, buddy, that isn’t very friendly behavior.”
Sans held him against the alley wall by magic, like he did with the drunk guys that day weeks ago.
“so, I’m just gonna cut to the chase, kid. i happen to know that years ago, you messed with little girls- i really dunno if you’ve been doing it since then, or maybe you were drunk, and it was just the once. you remember that?”
“You a cop or somethin’? How do you know all that?”
“doesn’t matter. here’s what i’m gonna ask, and if you lie, i’ll know: are you still doing it?”
“Nah, man, that was years ago, I was a messed up guy! I got therapy and shit, I’m all good!”
He holds both hands up by his shoulders, palms out. Sans nods.
“good. see, funny thing is, this girl behind me? you did some of your crap to her. so you are going to apologize, and then i’m going to let you go, and then you are never going to do it again.”
“Aw, man, I did that to you? I’m sorry, really. I used to be a pretty bad dude, but lemme tell you- you got a real good guy if he’s willing to do all this.”
“I…thank you. He really is the greatest, even if he gets a bit defensive.”
“Don’t lose him, ‘kay? Now, I gotta go back upstairs. Gotta feed my dog.”
“Sans, let him go.”
Sans drops him and sticks out his hand- Chad shakes it, grins, and walks up the back flight of stairs.
(Sans may or may not have smiled a little up at him. I won’t say if he did.)
As the sun sets, the fall day gets just that little bit chiller. You shiver, and Sans wraps his hoodie around your shoulders-
“chilled to the bone, huh, sweetheart?”
“Heh. A little.”
You let him zip it up in the front- you could have done it yourself, but you love it when he does little things like this. You give him a little hug. He holds you for a second, but then he murmurs,
“i wish Ali wasn’t waiting for us to come…”
“Well, then, let’s call her- we can go home. She’ll probably have expected this, anyway.”
As if she was listening all along, your phone lights up. Ali, obviously.
“I know already. Go home. I (*dramatic sigh*) suppose I’ll have to eat your ice cream for you.”
“Ah, yes. We’ll have to live vicariously. See you, Ali. Don’t forget to pull Jake out of the trunk.”
“We’ll see. Bye, nerd.”
She hangs up, and you drop your phone in the pocket of the hoodie.
“Let’s go home.”
He wraps an arm around your shoulders-
“i think there are some humans who CAN change- besides you.”
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you all along, bonehead.”
“heh. maybe.”
As you walk down the street, back to the car, Sans chuckles.“What?”
“it’s just- it’s funny.”
“What is?”
“i’ve never had a nickname before. i mean, Papyrus used to call me “lazybones”, but i don’t know if that counts.”
“So, what, I can call you “bonehead” now?”
“please do.”
“Okay, bonehead.”
You bump into him a little, and he laughs outright.
“you remember those alternate-universe things?”
“Oh, yeah. When you swapped brains with other versions of you?”
“yep. well, there’s this one guy- he’s my favorite alternate of me.”
“Which one?”
“the kinda mean one with the red eye? spiky teeth? Underfell.”
“The one where everyone in the Underground are jerks?”
“yeah, but not for long. they come off as really mean, but it’s really not their fault. they don’t know much else, they’ve never seen kindness. so, this version is called Red. good guy. his Papyrus though? treats him like trash. it’s,” he cringed, “it’s not much fun to see. but there’s a version of you, too. and…” he drifts off, eyelights fading.
“What? Do I die or something?”
“no, well, yes, but it’s not that. he just,” he lets out a passionate little huff of air, “he just loves her so goddamn much, and she dies over and over because everyone’s always out for humans, and he tries so hard, and i only know a half of what he must go through all the time! but he still tries, and cares, and he doesn’t give up. and yeah, he’s a little surly, but around his “Angel”? he melts like a freakin’ popsicle. i look up to him. i mean, if it isn’t narcissistic to look up to yourself.”
You look at him, and he looks so sorry, but so passionate, and you get it- you really get it.
“No, I don’t think so. I think you just found someone who you can empathize with,” you weigh the words in your mouth, and they sound right.
He nods, slowly, and then says,
“yeah. i guess you’re right.”
“Of course I am.”
He opens the car door for you and lets you hop in, then slides into the driver’s seat. Neither of you make a move to turn on the radio- but you sing anyway, quietly.
“For~ever is a long time~ but I wouldn’t mind spending it by your side…” you try to only murmur the words, but he hears you. Without meeting your eyes, he finishes the line.
“tell me, everyday, i get to wake up to that~ smile, i wouldn’t mind it at all, i wouldn’t mind it at all.”
You smile softly at the ceiling of the little car, eyes shut. As long as his hoodie was on, and he was here, the faint chill wasn’t a big deal. You wait for him to start the car, but when he doesn’t, you look over. He’s staring at you, eyelights in the shape of tiny glowing hearts. When you raise your eyebrows, he blushes deep blue and turns to put the key in the ignition. One hand on the back of his stops him. God, he’s so cute when he’s flustered.
“Hey, who says we have to go home yet? Let’s drive up Mt. Ebott. The Blueberry can take it.”
You give him a little kiss on the skull and tell him to hit the gas. He does, still a little flustered- you had been dating for months, but you could still get him like this. It's adorable. Bonehead.
When you reached a flat little outcropping near the summit about half an hour later, you told him to park the car, and then close his eyes. He does, and you go around to his side of the car. He’s grinning, still blushing, not sure where you’re going with this. You pull him out of the car and into the clear night. It’s even colder on the top of the mountain, and you’re tempted to shiver, but you know that that would prompt him to take you back in the car. The stars are so clear up here, with nothing in the way.
“wha- WOAH.”
He looks up and does a full rotation. He’d really only ever studied the stars in the past. Seeing them is a whole different thing. You watch him, laughing. When he turns to you, he’s grinning brightly again. One of his real grins, not something hollow or fake.
“this is quite the view, isn’t it?” He’s referring to you, of course, but you pretend not to notice.
“It really is.”
You lay down on your back, hands behind your head, and sigh dreamily. Your eyes reflect the stars above you, and your subtle smile is more than enough to get his eyelights back to hearts again. You pat the spot beside you. He sits, lays down by you on the rocks.
“you too cold, sweetheart?”
“Well, I guess I could be warmer.”
You curl up to him, let him laugh softly and hold you. Your head is laying on his chest, and your hands are folded on your lap. He has one arm still behind his head, and the other is around you. While you stare at the stars, his eye sockets are locked on your shining eyes.
“i love you.”
“you too, bonehead.”
He grins up at the stars, and begins.
“you know, a few years ago, when you were about fifteen, i started falling in love with you a little bit. but i thought, ‘no, that’s gross, she’s still basically a kid, don’t be weird’. and a few years passed, and i kinda tried to keep you away from Paps a little bit. i just didn’t want you to go run off with him. i love my bro, and i want the best for him, but i thought, i might be able to have a little bit of happiness for myself. i felt really bad- felt like i was being mean or somethin’. when he met Mettaton, though, i got really excited. Paps wouldn’t be the type to go run off and cheat, so assumed that i had a shot with you. and then i realized something. you could still reset. you could still turn on us at any second. if i wanted to keep Papyrus safe, i couldn’t just go off and skip off into the sunset with the person who might kill him.
“and i hated myself for it. every damn day. and so i stopped going out as much, doin’ things. and one night, you came in, and said you’d never reset, and i couldn’t really protect myself. i didn’t know what to do. i tried to hold it in, and i didn’t want to say anything, i wanted to lie like i do to everyone else when i can’t protect myself. but then my soul did that thing…i’m so glad it did. i told Papyrus about what happened while you were passed out from fever. i was so nervous, and i told him that i really liked you but i didn’t know if it was a good idea. he said that i should go for it…” he smiles. “and i did.” You’re quiet for a minute. That’s his whole story. It’s a lot to wrap your head around, and you look up until you’re looking into his eyes. You shift until you can sit up on an elbow, and you start to laugh. It’s little giggles at first, but then you’re laughing so hard you’re crying, and you can’t breathe. He looks at you, confused. You stagger to your feet and stand at the edge of the outcropping and scream:
You look back at him, and he’s laughing now, too. He stands.
You collapse on the edge, still giggling a bit, and when he sits by you, you wipe your eyes and say,
“And he’s so amazing! And he makes the greatest puns! And he loves cuddles! And he’s MINE!”
“and she’s so awesome! and she’s nice to everyone! and she’s so adorable! and she’s MINE!”
You hug him tight, pinning his arms to his sides, and he snorts and blushes blue.
“Some-one’s blushing~”
“maybe a little.”
You kiss him on the side of the head, and he blushes harder.
“Aw, man.”
“I missed.”
“what’d you miss?”
He turns his head towards you, and you kiss him, grabbing the shoulders of his t-shirt to pull him into it. After a second of being shocked, he leans into it. He kisses you harder, making you blush a bit. When it ends, you’re hot and slightly embarrassed, and so you take off his sweatshirt. You hold it in your arms, pulled towards your chest, still panting a little.
“WOW, you’re good.”
“you aren’t too bad, yourself.”
When you lean against him, he brushes the hair out of your eyes.
“so, do you wanna go home now? i found another good comedy special the other day.”
When he goes in for one last kiss, you hold up a finger.
“Not right now, bonehead. Too tired. Kinda cold. Need a few minutes.”
“’kay, then.”
You love that he respects you enough to back off when you ask. You drive home and lay down on the couch, let him turn on the special. Eat a burger and fries snagged from Grillby’s on the way over. Maybe somewhere in there were a few kisses. But either way, you fall asleep in the living room again. Nothing better than this.



Chapter Text

You get the feeling Sans has plans for today. When you wake up, you’re alone in the bed, so he must have gotten up before you. He saunters in a few minutes later holding a HUGE plate of waffles. We’re talking, like, ten or so waffles stacked in a messy pile, and drenched in syrup. Your jaw drops;

“You MADE these?!”
“oh, no, don’t be ridiculous, i asked Grillbz to make ‘em, i just carried ‘em home.”
“that’s so sweet!”
“well, so are these. try ‘em.”

You stuff a forkful in your mouth- it’s delicious- you wolf down about half the stack before you enlist Sans for help. In about five minutes, the entire plate is empty, and you and Sans are stuffed.

“we can’t stay down! we have things to do today!”
“Do we?”
“yup. i’m gonna go get the syrup off my face. you might wanna join me.”
My child, I may not remember you after very soon, which I do regret, but I hope seeing this will let you know that I am more happy that you are alive than that I know who you are.
My love,
Laughing, you walk down the stairs until the nozzle of the kitchen sink sprayer is aimed right at your face. And then all over you. And then all over him. Suffice it to say there were a lot of paper towels used afterwards. He says to go change, and you do. He does the same, you know, because when you come back down his clothes are dry and don’t have any syrup stains on the front.
He leads you to the car, and drives all the way to Asgore’s place before getting out, telling you to stay in the car. When he comes back, he’s holding a little bouquet of golden flowers, which he presents to you.

“Where’d you get these?!”
“Asgore’s a florist, remember? does a good job, too, seeing as he doesn’t have the widest variety of material.”
“Heh, yeah. Thank you!”

You wonder where you’ll end up next- the surface, evidently, but what does he have in mind? When you drive out of the mountain, Ali is there, grinning broadly. She jumps onto the car- ONTO the TOP of A MOVING CAR. Surprisingly, Sans doesn’t seem to mind. A little farther down the mountain, Papyrus is there…why is he here?! Sans sticks an arm back and pops open the back door, and Papyrus jumps in and shuts it behind him. No words. No explanation. It just happens. You decide to go with it, for now.

“um…hi, Paps!”
“HELLO, (Y/N)!”
“hey bro, would’ya roll down the window and tell our friend she can swing in?”
Hey, punk, I’m sorry if I’m mean to ya after I don’t remember who you are. Sans says nobody will remember but him, so, that kinda sucks.
See you soon, ya nerd!
He rolls down the window and sticks his head out. He seems so excited! You hear him shout-

“Oh, sweet!”

When he comes back in, he’s followed shortly by Ali, who actually looks different- she has a light purple chunky sweater on, with jeggings. It suits her, and you think to look back at Papyrus to see if he’s changed, too. Not much to notice at first glance, but now that you’re looking, you notice that he’s in a chunky sweater too. He has his leggings on- you assume he couldn’t find much else in his size- he could quite literally be a beanpole. He’s too tall to go in most front doors, and with no skin or muscle to speak of, he’s insanely thin. Unlike Sans, he doesn’t bother to try to wear baggy things to make an illusion. He doesn’t seem to mind.
After you’re in the heart of the city, you expect him to stop the car, but he doesn’t. He keeps going out into the woods, into the golden leaves that are starting to drop at a rapid pace to make way for winter. The huge piles are such a temptation-

“Sans, can we jump in the leaves, or are these plans of yours time-based?”
“Dude, he was waiting for you to ask!” Ali shouts.
Darling, Sans told all of us that after the accident, you can come back, but we won’t know you, so we wrote these so that you know we’re sorry. I hope you remember me, it would truly be a shame if you didn’t remember a glamorous star such as myself. Please come back- Papyrus misses you ever so much, darling, and so do I.
Ali elbows you, and Sans grins. Of course. He pulls to a stop on the path, and you jump out of the car, beckoning for the others to follow. You stand on the low stone wall and leap into the piles. They’re so deep! Papyrus falls beside you, and Ali swings off of a low branch to land on your other side. Sans lands in front of you, holds out his arms, and says in a sing-song voice,

“Happy One-Year An-ne-ver-sa-ry~”

You give him a huge hug, then smack your forehead- how could you have forgotten?! But wait- no!

“WAIT, no, I DID get you something, I have it here!”

He looks surprised, and so are you…you could’ve sworn you left it hidden at home…but really, who cares? You pull the tiny white book out of your pocket and hand it to him.

“It’s a book,” You squeal, giddy.
“yeah, i can see that…‘1001 Puns On the Go’?”
“It’s travel sized!”
Ali smirks. “You two are so weird.”
Papyrus claps his hands; “IT’S ADORABLE!! Even if it means I’ll never catch a break from your terrible puns, Sans.”
Please come back.
*the middle is smudged and wet, so you cannot read it*
Sans hugs you again, grinning.

“so, there are some good climbing trees around here, obviously, so we could do that, or me and Paps could make those bubble things and let everyone float around for a bit.” he offers.
“Oooooooh, I vote bubbles! What do you guys wanna do?!”
Papyrus is grinning, but he seems a little nervous. “Well, I don’t know how reliable my magic is that long and high up, but I’d let Sans do the bubbles!”
Ali shrugs- “I’m UP for whatever. Ay, guys, that was good, come on!”

You and Sans laugh, but Papyrus sighs. (But he’s smiling a little bit.) Sans lifts everyone up through the trees in the bubbles, taking care to avoid too many branches so as not to pop them. The view is just as breathtaking as the first time, maybe more. After hours of talking and bubble races and singing to songs that play on Ali’s pocket radio, the sun starts to set. Everyone watches in awed silence as the pinks and purples and oranges streak the sky. Finally, Ali checks her watch-

“Damn, I have to go! I’m meeting some potential “new guys” later. Sans, lemme down gently, would ya? Happy Anniversary! Bye guys!”
Sans told all of us about, um, the timelines, and I’ve studied them for years, trying to find ways to remember everything, but I couldn’t. and, um, I can’t. So I’m not going to remember you, but, you probably already know that, sorry. I’m really sorry.
Even if I don’t remember it, you and Sans are still my otp.
Alphys <3
As she floats to the ground, landing with a little *pop*! Papyrus asks to be let down, too.

“Apologies, I promised I’d be home for dinner. Goodbye, brother! Goodbye, (y/n)! If anything happens, call me. Happy anniversary, you two!”

He lands, too, and you sit, still watching the sunset. Sans watches his brother disappear into the trees. As evening falls, more people come out of the city- to go on walks, to see the stars, some teenagers to goof off and be ridiculous. You point out all of the different constellations to Sans.
Suddenly, there’s a sound far in the distance- like throwing acorns at glass. Gunfire. You hear shouts from far below-

“What ARE those?!”
“Are they UFO’s?”
“Shoot’em down!”

You turn to Sans, fear in your eyes. Surely they don’t mean- *pop*! You’re falling, falling, your arm and back and neck stinging, you aren’t sure where the sky starts and the ground begins, and you hit branch after branch after branch. They scrape your arms and legs and eyes. How are you still conscious when you land?!
When you come back, give this back to me, and I will make you whatever dinner you want. I promise… I’m sorry I left, if I had stayed a bit longer maybe I could’ve done something. I’m sorry I won’t remember you. I’m sorry for everything. Please just come back.
Your brother,
The Great Papyrus
You’re dying, you know you are, and then Sans is there.

“sweetheart, oh god, oh NO, NO, NO,”
“yeah, sweetheart, i’m here, lemme heal you-”
“Sans, you-” you gasp in pain from where the bullets hit, “you can’t, you know you can’t- you’ve been doing those bubbles for hours.”
“NO, no, I can do it, I can do it!”

The blue flame flickers and dies, flickers and dies.

“i- i'll call the hospital, they can do it,”
“They won’t get here in time.”
“they HAVE TO.”
“Sans, please..”
“what is it, sweetheart?”

He’s crying now, looking at your broken body, watching as your soul shatters.

“Do you want me to reset?”
“i- yes.. don’t waste any time, just come back.”
“No… I think if I wait to come back, I can keep our ending. I can,” you cry out a little when you try to move your broken arm, “I- I can do it.”
“no, sweetheart, don’t leave me here for too long,”
“No one will remember me but you. You’ll know…I’ll meet you back here, soon. Right here. I’ll wait.”
“please, please don’t go yet,”
Tem sorry tem won’t remember much cute hooman. hooman gOod dancing. Bob will miss hooman, too.
Temmies (an Bob)

You sigh a little, trying to hold your broken pieces together. But all it’s doing is breaking them more.

“yeah, yeah, what is it?”
“Can you carry me into the echo flower room? After I die?”
“okay sweetheart. whatever you say.”

You’re breathing harsh, shallow breaths, each one causing you so much pain. You just need to die, you need to let it all end so that you can come back, but you have to hold on just a minute longer for him. He holds you the best he can without moving you, and finally he whispers,

“you can go now. i know it hurts.”
hello…sorry you died. i guess it isn’t that bad, from experience…but i guess i won’t remember you…that’s not very good. sorry, this was kind of a lot.
“I’ll meet you right here, bonehead.”
“okay, sweetheart.”

You let it go, like you were trying not to fall asleep, and you go out like a light. He shuts your eyes and cries for a minute, letting his grief overwhelm him for a second before calling Papyrus.

“Hello, brother! How is your date going!”
“Paps, she’s…”
“Sans. What’s wrong?”
“She’s dead, Paps.”
“But, you said a-after she dies she resets! She starts over! We’ll- we’ll see her again! But…if she starts over… then we’ll be back in the Underground. I won’t know Mettaton. I won’t have Impact…”

There’s a silence as Papyrus chokes back his tears. He lost you, and now in order to get you back he’ll lose everything else.
Hey! The guys said you died, but you’re gonna come back, right! And you’re gonna tell me all about dying! I mean, I might not remember you, but like, I wanna know that it’s like to die, you know? You’re so cool!
P.S. Sorry my handwriting is kinda bad, I have to write with my teeth.
Monster Kid
“she said it’s gonna be different, this time. she’s gonna come back and give us our happy ending, let us keep what we’ve got. all of us.”
“Then why are we bothering crying?! When will she be back!”
“she doesn’t know this time, bro. but…” he fights tears, he fights screaming at the entire universe for ripping everything away from him, “but you won’t remember her. nobody will. just me.”
“…no, no, I HAVE to remember her, she’s my SISTER, she’s FAMILY, it isn’t fair! None of this is fair!”

He’s crying openly on the other end now, and Sans lets him, because he feels the same way.

“Where are you…I have to see her, I have to.”
“she says she wants us to bring her to the echo flower room.”
“I’ll meet you there.”

He hangs up, presumably to cry, to tell Mettaton what was happening, to go to the echo flower room and wait. In a bit, Sans is there, carrying you under the shimmering ceiling and through the softly glowing flora. Papyrus sees you and cries, his orange glowing tears splashing on the floor, soon mingling with blue ones. Why does it hurt so bad, it would all be over soon, all the pain would end either in ignorance or in your return.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ hey, sweetheart. i can’t wait for you to come back. i had everyone write you these letters for you to keep even after they don’t remember you. i come to the spot you said you’d meet me every day. your friend, Ali, she waits with me some days. she might remember you, i dunno. but she doesn’t believe that you’ll be back.
please prove her wrong.
please call me bonehead again.
yours (against all odds)
A few weeks pass. Then a couple months. Sans goes down to the trees every day to wait, even if he never wants to go home because it’s cold and empty without you.
One morning he makes the hike down again. He doesn’t use the car much anymore, because it still smells like your hair and it makes him cry. As he walks into the woods, holding the stack of letters he always brings, something shifts. Something in the air, something in the minds of everyone walking around. Like a thought they’d been pondering for a long while had just disappeared. Sans doesn’t notice too much- if he does, he doesn’t care enough anymore.
Standing, looking up through the trees, is a girl in a simple white dress. She has buttercups in her hair. Her index finger on her left hand is gone, somehow. She’s staring up at the broken branches, maybe pondering what fell to break them so badly. She is you. You are her. You don’t quite remember how long you’ve been there, staring up, waiting.
Sans almost walked by, almost missed you- but you’d never let him.

“Hey, bonehead! What are you doing out here so early?”

A double take- he’s staring at you, the way that people stare at mirages in deserts to find out if they’re real. He turns to you, grinning in disbelief.

“nothin’ much. lookin’ for someone.”
“…Same here.”

You laugh, the one that makes him melt a little inside, and run at him, arms open. He catches you, spins you around- your eyes are shining, and his eyelights are brighter than they’ve been in what feels like a million years.

“How long has it been for you?”
“a couple months.”
“Wow- I felt like I was only gone for a minute.”
“i brought something for ya.”

He reveals the stack of letters. You sit on the leaves, letting him hold you, and begin to read them with him.


Chapter Text


You run up and give him the biggest bear hug you can. He’s gardening near the front porch of the house next to your’s and Sans’. So he finally moved in! Sans looks on hopefully from the stairs- maybe he’ll remember?

“Um…hello, human! Do I know you?”


“Oh. Um, right. You don’t remember.” Pain is in your eyes, and he looks confused- you see him trying desperately to remember where he’s seen you before.
“Really though- do I know you?”
“You did. But I think we’ll have to start over. Hi, Paps. I’m (y/n). I’ve known you and Sans for years- um, let’s see, do you remember Sans telling you about the timelines?”
“Yes…but how do you know about that?”
“And the resets? And the one human who could do it?”
“Yes- I remember that.”
“I’m the human. I died. When I died, I reset- and you forgot about me. But I was…I was your sister, Paps.”

He looks so close- the memory is just on the edge of his brain, you can see it teetering there. Would he catch it?

“I know I know you, I know it. I mean, if that makes sense. Um, keep going, what else?”
“Paps, I got frostbite when I had to save Sans from Chara! And you carried us out of the woods, and they had to get rid of my finger-” you lift your hand hopefully, “um, I soul bonded with Sans? You moved in with us for a bit… and you always loved making dinner for us- all of us. Oh! And in that dance competition, I was your tango partner, I dipped you! You- you gave me this after I died?”

You hold up his letter. A promise, an apology. Sans comes up behind you and pulls an arm around your shoulders.

“come on, bro, please. we thought you could be the only one who might remember. she’s your sister… please.”

He looks from the letter, up at you, back down at the letter.

He’s crying, but he has a smile on. Something in his ‘eyes’ tells you before he does. You hug him again, just one more nudge, one more burning hope. He hugs you back, tentatively at first.

“You- you made those poppyseed muffins that fall…”
“Yes! I did!”
“And you won the car at the dance competition?”
“Yes, yes! You remember?!”
“And you loved it when I made garlic bread!”
“And you- you died…and you reset…”
“Yes, but I’m here now, Paps!”

Sans is grinning a million miles wide, but he doesn’t dare interrupt, just in case he ruins it. Papyrus is staring in bewilderment at you, then up at Sans, the letter still in one red-gloved hand.

“And you’re always able to make my brother smile like that…but I thought we weren’t supposed to remember? It’s hard, but I can do it if I really try! But…is it really you? I saw you, after you died…”

You understand how skeptical he must be. You can’t imagine what it must feel like to see someone as broken and dead as you had been come back out of nowhere. Of course, Sans must have told him you’d be back one day. But he didn’t expect to remember you, and if what he said was true, you’d been gone for months. Maybe everyone had given up hope.

“No, really, Paps, it’s me! I promise, I promise it’s me! Do you really remember?”
“I do…oh, you’re alive!”

He scoops you up in a huge hug- even though it knocks the air out of you, it is easily one of the best you’ve ever had.

“Do you think anyone else will remember, brother?”
“nah, i dunno, bro. we’re skeletons- i thought maybe since i can remember, you could, too. but I don’t know about everyone else.”
“Well then! Let’s go introduce the Underground to their new human friend!”

You laugh, and Papyrus walks you both in to his new house. Mettaton did an excellent job with the interior decorating. From the looks of it, he has expensive taste. Mettaton is doing yoga in the middle of the living room, and looks over at Papyrus.

“Done with your morning…wait, why do you go out in the morning again?”
“Nyeh heh, um, fresh air!”

Sans squeezes your hand and mutters in your ear,

“he used to go out there and just stare at nothin’. started the day after you died. didn’t talk, just sat there. i got worried for him.”

Mettaton cuts in.

“And WHO is with your brother? You have excellent taste in flowers, darling. Sans, did someone finally…but I thought you had…but no, you’ve always been single, haven’t you? I could have sworn…never mind me, if you can. What’s your name?”
“(Y/n)! Yours is Mettaton, right? I love your show!”
“Why thank you, darling!”

You finger the buttercups in your hair. You remember someone braiding them there. You need to think on that. Papyrus is looking at him, hopefully.

“You’ve met her before, Metta, don’t you remember?”
“I don’t recall. Was it at a gala? I can never remember anyone from those things.”
“You nearly killed me ten years ago, look!”

You shrug one of the shoulders of your dress off, and point to a mall heart-shaped brand. A scar, a burn. His eyes seem to recognize the result of his attack, but he can’t remember how it got there. Sans looks kind of pissed that he did that to you, but he knows that now really isn’t the time. Papyrus just looks insanely hopeful.

“I really don’t remember, darling, but I am sorry if that was the result of an attack of mine.”
“Oh, it’s alright. Even if you don’t remember, I still love all of your shows!”

You turn to go, but Sans grabs your shoulder-

“hey, wait, before we go, see if Impact remembers. he learned to recognize your face from pictures. says “Auntie” all the time. he’s technically a babybones, you might as well give it a shot.”
“Aww, that’s so adorable. “Babybones”. Aww. Hewwo Impact! You know me? It’s me, Auntie, um, (y/n)!”
“Anny! Anny, Anny, Anny!”

Mettaton’s jaw dropped-

“But- I’ve been with him all day! How would he know you?”
“Metta, why would you have pictures of her framed in your house? why would you have written this?” He holds out the letter he’d written to you. “why would that happen? You just can’t remember- it’s okay- she remembers you.”
“Sans, that was too much, back off for a sec. He’s gonna have an existential crisis.” You hold on to his shoulder now, pull him back gently.

Mettaton is gripping the letter, reading his own words, scanning them over and over.

“Is it a forgery? Why- how? I don’t remember you, darling, and I don’t know who you are, but if I did, this is what I’d write. Maybe I do know you… give me a moment, darling.”
“Metta, they have a lot more people to meet today. I’ll stay here, you two go. If this was all a dream, it was quite a good one. It’s good to see you again, (y/n).”
“It’s not a dream, Paps, we’ll be back in an hour or two. Love you.”
“yeah, bye, bro. be back in a bit.”

The rest of the day goes by in a blur- some monsters remember you more than others. Undyne nearly ran you through when she saw you, and Toriel thought you were incredibly familiar. Alphys cried a little when she saw her letter, though she didn’t know why. Napstablook apologized (for what…?) and vanished into his house. Asgore asked you if you wanted to stay for tea (you politely declined). Monster Kid was still very interested in what happens after you die, though he didn’t remember asking in the first place.


“It’s really warm, everything is warm and purple-ish… and there’s a little glowing star. The star is your determination- normally all you have to do is hold the star in your hand, and then you go back to the very beginning of everything. But this time, I begged the star to not change anything when I came back. And it glowed at me, and it kind of, um, I can’t really describe it- it sort of came into my soul and fixed me, and then it sent me somewhere really far from here…” you fight to remember where you went, but you know you just need to think on it later. “…then I came back.”

“WOAH! SO-COOL-SO-COOL-SO-COOL-SO-COOL-” he jumped up and down and ran off, tripping on his face as he went. Sans looks at you curiously. He hadn’t thought to ask what happens when you die and reset.

The Temmies, (terrifying as Sans found it,) seemed to remember you. When you came in, they asked you to do your dance from the competition for them in their broken language. They asked if you had any more “dog residus”. You didn’t.
All day, little by little, you got more and more disappointed. Ten years or more’s worth of relationships, experience, memories- gone. Sans can see it in your eyes. The way you walk up to their front doors with hope burning on your face, and leave with it snuffed. By the time it’s time to go home, you feel hosed down entirely.

“I didn’t know it would hurt this bad- that nobody remembers… I was just so focused on coming back…what if it was a mistake? What if I messed everything up, I’ve messed THEM up-”

He stops walking, suddenly, turning you around firmly by the shoulders. He looks borderline angry. Like he’s in pain.

“don’t EVER say that coming back was a mistake. EVER, sweetheart. i know it’s hard right now, okay? i get it. how many resets did i go through where the monsters i met had the same conversations with me, over and over and over again? but Paps wasn’t the same after you died. he sat out front every morning for hours, hating himself. Undyne cut off her ponytail! Alph would go to the echo flower room and talk about anime to nobody! Metta only wore black the ENTIRE TIME. Blook stopped writing songs, Toriel stopped baking, Asgore cut up all of his buttercups and put them all over the Underground! nobody was the same without’cha, (y/n). i- i wasn’t the same.”

You tilt his head up to meet your eyes again.

“I’m sorry I died.”

He can’t think of anything to say- no little quips to make now. He silently brings you into a hug, and you accept gratefully. You can’t imagine how much he must have missed you- you sure missed him.

“Hey, can we go home so I can change and take these out of my hair? I need to think.”
“’bout what?”
“That’s what I need to find out. I’ll tell you once I remember.”
“well, ok. though, the look is growing on me a bit.”
“Oh, I’ll be in your hoodie in five minutes. But I’ll keep the dress in the hall closet- I feel like I know where it came from, but not quite. I dunno, I feel weird wearing it, like it isn’t mine.”

He opens the front door and lets you walk in, and suddenly you jump-

“WAIT! It isn’t mine, it’s- it’s that girl’s, she had flowers all over her face! I have to write this down, hold on!”

When you can’t find a sheet of paper, you snag a sharpie and a paper towel. You draw a girl with buttercups blooming all over her face, and nearby was Sans, but with sharp, pointy teeth. You draw her over and over again in little drawings- she braided these flowers in your hair, she gave you a dress, she gave you hope that you’d get to go home to an unchanged world. This Sans was there too, in little sketches that bled through the towel. Sans with angular-looking teeth, a spiky fur hoodie, blushing, smiling, hugging the flower-faced girl. Where have you seen him before, what was his name, what was her name, why can’t you remember? Sans stands over your shoulder, squinting at the blurry sketches.

“are you drawin’ Red and Angel?”
“yes, YES, those were their names! After I died, they were kind of… waiting for me. They replaced my messed up clothes, and fixed my hair, they were so nice to me!”
“Yes, well, she did most of the fixing me up, he just kind of watched. He really seemed to love her, Sans. Everything she did, he was just happy watching her work her magic.”
“hey, so, i know this guy. i’ve told you about him, how he really loves her. he’s a good guy, but…did you see his brother?”
“Only for a second.”
“anything happen? to anyone?”
“Well, they got in a little argument, and, um, Red was yelling at him, and then he started walking over to me and-”
“he didn’t touch ya, right?”
“What do you mean? Um, no, the Red guy sent out a bone wall and then his Papyrus left. It all happened in a split second.”
“. . .okay, then.”
“What, what about it?”
“just wondering.”
“You know what? I literally just came back from the freakin’ dead. I’m too tired to wonder right now.”
“you wanna go over to Pap’s for a minute?”
“lemme change first.”

You leave your little drawings on the table and change into a t-shirt and sweatpants. You can’t find a sweater, but you assume Sans will let you use his hoodie if you seem cold. It surprises you; walking around Snowdin in the cold in a summer dress didn’t feel cold to you today. You wish it could stay that way, but something tells you now that you’ve removed all of the buttercups and the dress you’re goin’ back to normal now.
When you step downstairs, Sans is smiling up at you, eyes soft, hands in pockets. You stop- in the movies, a spotlight falls on some girl in a dress on a marble flight of stairs. He’s looking at you like that. But you’re slouching, wearing a t-shirt, hair messy, not a care in the world.

“that’s my girl.”
“I’m yours, am I?”

You grin and peck him on the cheek as you walk by. You drag him by the hand towards the door, where he leans against the knob to keep you from getting by.

“you’re a kiss-and-run type of person, aren’tcha?”
“I suppose.” You’re grinning, because you know where he’s going with this.
“see, i’m not that way, sweetheart. i like longer stuff.”
“Do you really?”
“i haven’t gotten a proper one in since you died for two months- i feel like i’m owed a little somethin’.”
“Is that right?” You giggle borderline maniacally- you can see him try to hold it together.

He jumps forward, trying to grab you, but you slide to one side- he won’t get you that easily. He shortcuts back and forth across the house, trying to catch you off guard. But you decide to turn the tables, for once. You predict the spot where you think he’ll show up and run towards it; sure enough, he appears just where you thought. You give him a backwards hug. He melts, but you know he’s still trying to stay put together. God, you’d missed this- just playing with him. Screw growing up- you don’t even know if he can.
You walk around to his front, tracing a finger around his round jawline- he leans into your hand, discipline failing by the second.

“Hey, bone~head? You aren’t doing a very good job of capturing the human.”
“i, heh, i don’t mind.”

He’s blushing so thoroughly blue you think it’ll stick. His hands are fallen to his sides- he’s so helpless, it’s adorable.

“god, i missed those eyes.”

Well, maybe he isn’t entirely defenseless.
When you turn slightly red, your entire arsenal falls, but before he makes a move, he asks,

“you really don’t mind, do you? i’m not doin’ this if you don’t want it.”

You answer his question with a soft kiss, a little slow, a little sensual, but only for a moment.

“Can we come back to this after we see Paps? I don’t want him to see me all flustered and giggly.”
“yup. come on, then.”

When you walk up the porch stairs, you see Papyrus peering out the window- you know he’s trying to tell if you weren’t just some dream. He grins as he confirms it. You wave. When he opens the door, your mouth waters immediately at the smell- he made a huge, heaping pile of garlic bread.

“geez, bro, that might take a few guys to finish off. mind if i help out?”
“Of course! Come over for a while, we can all have plenty!”

When you come inside, you see that Mettaton has gotten over his little freak out from earlier. He seems to look at you a little more, still trying to find out where he knows you, but he can’t. Impact is at his high chair eating Mettaton BrandTM Baby Food. He seems to like it fine. A few times he even held it up and babbled, like he was endorsing it. You and Sans are sitting in their fancy kitchen chairs scarfing down the garlic bread. It’s one of the few things he doesn’t need to dip in ketchup to love. Papyrus has a few pieces, but mostly leaves it for you. You aren’t going to try to make conversation through the huge mouthfuls, but you know the taller skeleton is just waiting until you’re done.
When the plate is empty, he asks,

“So, did anyone else remember?”
“I mean, the Temmies, for some reason, but nobody else. And I haven’t gotten around to calling Ali and finding out if she remembers me.”
“Oh. I’m sorry, (y/n).”
“Well, that means they don’t remember all of my embarrassing moments, right? I get start over…”
“Don’t say that, I know it hurts you, I can’t imagine how I’d feel if nobody remembered me. Not to mention you have a rather poor poker face.”
“Heh. You’re right, yeah. The fact that YOU remember though? That feels amazing. It’s a million times better, Paps.”

He smiles at you, a genuine one, before asking,

“So, this is going to sound like a dumb question…”
“Great. I love those.”
“Nyeh heh…um, would you mind leaving your front door unlocked, just for tonight? I just might come over for a second, later.”
“Um, for what?”
“Well, um, nightmares and such…”
“you’re-” your voice breaks as you look at him, but you try to hide it, “you’re having, I mean, I gave you nightmares?”
“No, you didn’t give me- I mean, I’m having a few, um, nyeh, I’m having nightmares, sometimes, but-”

You stand and walk around the table to him and give him a big hug. He looks across the table at Sans, who shrugs, smiling sadly.

“I just have trouble sleeping sometimes, I suppose, and I feel like just seeing that you’re okay would help.”
“Then of course. I’m sorry, Paps.”
“Don’t ever be sorry for things you can’t control. It is a rather painful way to go through life. Learned that one the hard way."
“Why do I bring scarring emotional trauma everywhere I go?”
“Oh, dear.”

You’re crying, just the little bit, so angry that you did this to them, all of these things that they don’t deserve. They don’t deserve to have nightmares worrying about you every night because you just HAD to go and die on them. You don’t realize how tense you are until you feel your short fingernails digging cuts in your palms. You relax, and feel Papyrus hugging you, rubbing comforting circles on your back, and Sans behind you, holding your hands. You love these brothers so much. And you know they love you- in different ways. You see a little drop of blood fall out of your hand, and try to hide it- they don’t need to worry about you anymore.

“hey, do you wanna go home and get some sleep? it’s been a long day, sweetheart.”
“Yes, I insist. Go home and rest, you need it.”
“T-thank you guys.”

Sans wraps an arm tightly around your shoulders and waves goodbye to his brother, promising to keep the door unlocked. You walk, shivering, back into the house, but you feel better after apologizing. He stops in the entryway and silently heals the cuts on your hands. Of course he noticed. You love him so much, and you’re just happy he’s here.

“let’s go to bed, ok? no kisses until you feel better.”

After you shower and change, you collapse into bed. He’s waiting on you, and when he falls in he sighs contentedly.

“the past few months everything has been so cold and empty in here. the change is nice.”

You curl up against him- it works like puzzle pieces fitting together. When he holds your hands, you finally stop trying to stay awake.



Chapter Text

When you wake up, Sans isn’t there. You don’t quite remember what happened last night- some warm, fuzzy feeling mingled with the feeling of bittersweet goodbyes. But what was it? And why?
You stand in an open expanse of buttercups- standing beside you is your flower-faced friend- Angel- from after you died. Wait- no, you can’t be dead. So this is a dream.

“hello, again!” Her singing voice rings across the clearing.
“Oh, hello! I meant to thank you for what you did after I died- where are we?”
“don’t worry, it’s just a dream. you aren’t dead, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“Okay. Where’s your Sans? Red?”
“yes, that’s why i needed to talk to you.”
“Oh no, did something happen?”
“no, he’s trying to hold off Edge.”
“oh, Edge is our ‘Papyrus’.”
“So…why is he ‘holding him off’?”
“…Edge is the opposite of your Papyrus. he really wants to kill you- and me. he’s angry that Red is taking care of humans. he doesn’t care that we were only watching you until your world was ready to reset. he doesn’t care that i don’t want to hurt him or anyone else here. so we’re not going to see each other again.”
“So that your Papyrus doesn’t kill me? I mean, it’s just a dream, right?”
“yes, killing you would just wake you up. but he, um, let’s say he plays with his food before he eats it. i mean, he isn’t a cannibal or anything, but…”
“But nobody needs to be tortured until they wake up. I get it. Thank you, for everything, by the way.”
“of course. we love you, you know, er, platonically. Red and i. you were a fantastic friend, while it lasted.”

You hug her in the field of buttercups until you hear mumbling in the distance. You don’t know whether it’s Sans or Red or Edge or something else entirely, but you wake up with a buttercup pushed into your hair.
As the memory comes back to you, you hold the buttercup in your fingers before dropping it in Sans’ self sustaining tornado. As the wind tears it to pieces, the petals and the pollen spread around the room until the it all seems to glow a little brighter. You head down to see where Sans is. He left a note on the counter for you-


‘headed over to Pap’s place for a sec. had to ask him a question. and i called Ali for a sec on your phone, so that’s on the couch.’

You stare for a second, confused. Oh, wait, he probably called Ali to find out if she remembers you. Maybe he plans to surprise you with it later. It might ruin it if you mention it. Going next door to find him also seems like a bad plan. You wouldn’t want to mess up some brother-bonding-moment. Did Sans have any nightmares last night? He definitely shifted a lot. But you were there to hold him; this time.
Sans wakes up early, determination in his eyesockets. It seems to come out of nowhere- but he then remembers last night’s… dream? Nightmare? What exactly was it…?
He was standing underneath a golden tree while sunset painted the sky. Everything felt peaceful- he was just starting to drift off, in fact, when something fell and landed in front of him. (It was this dream again- god, he hated this one every time.)
You lay, bruised and broken, bloody from tree branches and bullets. You said something, something he couldn’t hear. When he tried to fight through to you, an invisible wall appeared in the way. You looked at him, sad and disappointed. Why could he never save you?
Suddenly, the whole thing shattered, waves of black glass falling until Sans stood in darkness. In oblivion. In a sort of void. Garbled language echoed all around him, but he understood it fine, even speaking back. And then he was more afraid than he had been moments before.

“I do not come to you in anger,”
“you never felt anything- that isn’t much of a consolation.”
“You were always the witty one.”
“That girl of yours-”
“don’t even think about trying to TOUCH her, Gaster.”
“I was going to say I could help her.”
“we don’t want any kind of help from you.”
“You’ll hear out my proposal whether you want to or not.”
“Wonderful. Now, if she dies again, her soul will want to save your ending again, obviously. So her soul will need a place to go until there is enough determination and time to do so. Last time, her soul went to a nearby alternate universe- the one closest to yours. However, I happen to know that it is incredibly dangerous for her there. If she ever dies again, that’s where her soul will go, and next time, she won’t make it out without being quite tainted by their universe. You understand.”
“Yes, unfortunately for her. Though he cannot kill what is already dead, he can certainly to whatever else he wants. My proposal is that, should she ever die again and wish to keep your little ending, I can divert her soul to the next closest world. The safer one- ah, what did you call it?”
“That’s it. I can bring her soul there and fix things. But, keep in mind if YOU die, she’ll either have to start all over again…or she’ll have to live on without you. She can’t do a partial reset. So don’t do anything you might regret.”
“why are you telling me all this? what do you want for it?”
“Your universe is the first in which I’ve ever been able to manifest physically- mostly to save you and,” he said in a slightly annoyed tone, “your ‘brother’. If your little human doesn’t have the will to live when she comes back to life…well, let’s just say that negatively effects my ability to do that. So: all I want is for you to not die. You die, she doesn’t have will to go on, you understand.”
“you know i still don’t trust you, right?”
“good. if it’ll save her if anything happens, i’ll try my best not to die.”
“Wonderful. You’re waking up now. If I were you, I’d try to find whoever remembers her- it will help with her mental well-being.”
Sans calls to see if Ali still remembers. Like Papyrus, once her memory is jogged, she remembers fine. But she still doesn’t entirely believe you’re alive. He goes to see Papyrus next. He had some nightmares himself, but now he seems okay. Sans didn’t bother to go to the Temmies. Those things had creeped him out almost as much as cats.
When Sans comes back, you’ve pulled out your phone and started blasting songs from musicals. A hairbrush for a microphone, eyes closed, belting out the lyrics so loud you don’t even hear him open the door for a second.


You pause the music and nod towards the table, where a bottle of ketchup and a piece of nearly-burnt toast are waiting on him. He ignores them for the moment and scrolls through the playlist until he finds the fastest song.

“Sans, what are you doing? Do you know that song?”

You stare in awe as he raps the whole song perfectly, letting you come in for the slower parts. You’d had no idea he could rap like this- sing, yes, but RAP? Plot twist. Not to mention you didn’t think he knew the musical at all. When it’s over, he sits down, panting, and wolfs down the breakfast you made him- it’s cold now, but he doesn’t seem to care.

“And HOW do you know Hamilton?”
“went through your playlist years ago.”
“Uh-huh. Wow, that was good. Anyway, what were you and Paps up to?”
“’bout what, bonehead?”
“dreams and stuff.”
“Oh, geez, I had a bit of a dream last night myself.”
“heh, guess it was movie night for all three of us.”
“oh, when Paps and i were babybones back with…a while ago, when we’d both have nightmares on the same night we’d call it “movie night”. they weren’t very common, ‘cause he didn’t have very many.”
“Huh. ‘Kay then. Why’d you call Ali anyway?”
“wanted to see if she remembered you.”
“Well, does she?”
“yup, after some convincing.”

You sigh in relief, leaning against the fridge. Well, at least you have some people who remember you. Maybe the humans were unaffected? That would be nice.

“What did you have a dream about, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“just the same nightmare i’ve had for a few months now,” he lied.
“oh, sweetheart, don’t blame yourself for all this.”
“Harder than it sounds,” you say, laughing spitefully.
“yeah, i know.”
“Looks like we’re in the same boat, then?”

He turns his head so that he isn’t meeting your eyes. Oh, yay. Now everyone think’s it’s their fault you died. Not many people can say that, you think. You walk over until you’re sitting next to him at the table. Your head leaning on one hand, resigned expression on your face. For a second, nothing. Then you jolt.

“Wait, what did you do to those teenagers?!”
“Those weirdos who shot me out of the sky!”
“. . . i forgot about them. . .”
“Oh, good. Geez, I was worried for a second there.”
“…i’m gonna go to the surface for a quick second.”
“No, Sans, don’t, please don’t,” you plead, standing to block the door.
“they KILLED you, sweetheart…i just need to remind them not to do stuff like that…”
“They didn’t mean to, you know they didn’t,”

There is a moment of silence, then Sans sits back down. You aren’t going to thank him for not killing those kids. He’d take it as a “hey, thanks for being weak”.

“what was your dream about?”
“Mine? Something with the girl with flowers on her face. Oh, Angel! She told me that I couldn’t come back to Underfell because of their Papyrus…um, what’s his name?”
“what? Edge?”
“Yeah, him. Well, she said that he was kinda out for humans, so I couldn’t come back to Underfell. Something about him being really cruel when it comes to killing.”
“you could say that.”
“Why will nobody tell me? We’re just dancing around it, I can tell.”
“he’s a perv, sweetheart.”
“…oh my god.”
“Okay, um, let’s just not, what did Papyrus dream?”
Papyrus was standing in white. No feeling- it wasn’t warm or cold, it wasn’t soft or smooth, it just WAS. Then Sans was there next to him, like he did when they were sharing dreams. But they weren’t, they couldn’t be… Golden trees appeared out of nowhere, a grove. Blue bubbles swirled in the wind. Echo flowers bloomed under his feet. Sans blew away in a swirl of dust.

“S-Sans? Where did you go? Where am I?”
You appear in the center of the grove, dead and bloodied, broken. Sans is leaning against one of the trees on the edge of the grove, slash in his chest, grin on his face. Snow swirled around him. All of these catastrophes, and yet he couldn’t move.

“Sans?! (Y/n)? What’s happening?!”

His arm crumbled. His jaw snapped, Chara’s silhouette loomed in the trees; but she wasn’t really there. Papyrus mewled and cried in his sleep.
“said he had a nightmare. had to come by at some point last night to make sure you were ok.”
“You know what?! I’ve made a decision. Everyone needs to stop worrying about me. I mean, I think that it’s really sweet of you guys, but eventually somebody is going to have a panic attack and die on me. It’s going to catch up to you guys. Here’s what I say: I go out and hang with someone for the day tomorrow. All day. I’ll come back just fine, and I’ll prove that you guys shouldn’t have to worry so much.”
“Can we start out with someone on the safer side? Like Alphys? Or King Fluffy-Buns?”
“Asgore and Alphys are nice, but I was thinking more along the lines of Ali.”
“you picked the most dangerous of our A-name friends.”
“Out of ALL of our friends, I’d suggest.”
“yeah, okay, so, let’s say you do this. you go to the surface and steal a car or whatever, and what do i do all day?”
“What if you had a skele-day thingy with Paps and Impact?”
“okay. fine. tomorrow then? can i at least talk to her first?”
“No threats. I won’t get hurt.”

You give him a friendly slug on the arm, and he chuckles, smiling.

“well, if I’m not gonna see you at all tomorrow, then today needs TIBIA great day.”
“That was a stretch, and you know it. Put some BACKBONE into it,”
“you use that one too much; don’t be a LAZYBONES.”
“BONEHEAD,” you say, laughing. He grins, losing track of his quips when you call him ‘Bonehead’.



Chapter Text


“Hey, Ali, can I come over for a bit?”
“Wait, (y/n)?!”
“Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’m alive!”
“Here, lemme call you back, I need to find out if I’m high or something.”
“Dude, I’m serious. Not dead. No hallucinations.”
“Shit, dude. I heard you were like, REALLY dead.”
“I heard that too. I mean, I didn’t really examine myself, because I was dead, but I’m good now.”
“Anyway, can I come to the surface later today, or are you busy?”
“I mean, I’ll always make time for my previously dead friend. Oh, by the way, those people that shot you down? So, I wouldn’t tell Sans this, but they came to the spot afterwards and planted flowers. They didn’t know it was monster magic when they shot, but when word got around that you’d died, they knew they’d done it. So we didn’t key their cars or anything.”
“Why shouldn’t I tell Sans that?”
“I didn’t think he’d like the absence of justice or whatever.”
“Nah, he’ll be chill. He knows all about humans who’ve changed a lot.”
“By the way, can I talk to him for a minute?”
“Can I ask why?”

He comes downstairs, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. You hand over the phone.

“hey, Ali.”
“Make her leave so she can’t hear.”
“um, okay… er, she says you can’t listen. you wanna go have breakfast with Paps?”
“Sure, alright. If he’s busy, I’ll head to Grillby’s.”
“great. see you, i’m gonna find out what’s happening.”

You stand, grab some keys, and leave, and Sans plops on the couch to listen to whatever Ali has to say. The moment she hears you close the door on the end of the line- she begins-

“waitwaitwait, what?! what are you talking about?”
“can we calm down for a second so you can explain stuff?”
“Ugh, fine. She told me you’ve seen anime, don’t they propose in those?”
“So, basically, you know about human marriages. You aren’t an idiot. But proposing is ASKING her if she’ll marry you! She literally stayed dead for two months to stay with your sorry ass, and you’re still dating!”
“dating? we’ve soul bonded!”
“Okay, now YOU explain.”
“it’s like being married, but we did an empty one, which is kind of more like a hard-core dating thing.”
“So, no kids?”
“yeah…anyway, so why is it so important that we do this the human way?”
“Because- well, I don’t know, I feel like it would mean a lot to her.”
“do all marriages have to have kids?”
“No, not ALL of them, I guess.”
“that makes it sound like it’s not a common thing.”
“Oh, it’s not. But I’d say this is a bit of a unique case.”
“And is the whole proposing thing a surprise? Do I tell her?”
“Nonononono. BIG surprise to her, but not to the rest of the family, they gotta know what they’re in for.”
“i don’t have a big family, at least not one that remembers her anymore, and she doesn’t
contact her human family. I mean, we both have Papyrus, I guess.”
“I’m guessing we need to talk out the whole prooposal-wedding-marriage deal?”

Ali explained everything, from the different unique surprises of proposals to the traditional style of weddings. Asgore technically had authority to marry two people, as the king of an entire race was bound to be, and Ali went over best men and bridesmaids, flower girls and tossing bouquets. Sans’ head was reeling when she got to rings, and you came in, freezing and wondering if it was safe to be home yet.

“hey, i’ll call back later, she’s home.”
“Oh, shoot, it must have been hours. Well, we might need to meet up on the surface sometime for this. Bye.”
“bye,” He turns to you. You’re leaning on the door, shaking and chattering your teeth a little. The inviting warmth of the house helps, but your cold sensitivity doesn’t do well in snow. “hey, you don’t look that great, you need to lay down. come here,”

When you step away from the wall, you take tripping, shaking little steps until you’re leaning into his strange aura of heat, melting into him a little as he wraps his arms around your frozen frame.

“s-s-so warm…”
“you’re freezing, how long were you out?”
“Paps was on guard duty, Metta was f-f-filming and Impact was at daycare, so I went down the street t-to Grillbys. Stayed until some half d-drunk bear with a shirt on t-told me to get lost. Grillby kicked him out t-too, but I thought I’d go home since it’s b-been a while.”
“yeah, sorry about that. lost track of time.”
“Can you tell me what you and Ali were t-talking about?”
“not right now. sorry, sweetheart.”
“’s okay. So, this might be a little out of nowhere, but if we ever get married, which, i mean, sorry, it’s a dumb question,”
“no, keep going.”
“So, would you wanna do a big thing or maybe just like, elope?”
“Like, a big party and everything, or just run away for a few weeks? Just the two of us?”
“i dunno. i’ve never really thought about doing it the human way.”
“Yeah, it just feels fine how it is, doesn’t it? But I dunno, maybe it’d be fun.”

Lost in your own thoughts, you stand up and stretch. Ali’d be expecting you on the surface in an hour or two, so you ought to get ready and head out. Sans stands up too, but he doesn’t need to get ready as much. Paps wouldn’t really expecting him to dress up much. And Impact honestly won’t care. You grab a backpack with a change of clothes in case you ruin your first ones- it happened fairly often during her little heists.

“so, Ali wanted me to call her later, but can you ask her to write down some of the stuff she’s tryna tell me? ‘cause it’s really hard to follow.”
“Sure! I’m still not allowed to read it?”
“i’m really sorry, she says i can’t tell ya, apparently.”
“Don’t worry about it, if you could tell me, you would. Oh, and those kids who shot me down? Ali told me they came back after they saw that it was just monster magic and they planted some flowers. Said that they were really sorry. They can change, Sans. Everyone makes mistakes- though I admit not many people get possessed and kill everyone in an entire civilization. So if I can change, they can, too.”
“you’re right, as per usual, but i’m still pissed.”
“I know. Can you drive me up there? I can drive a little now, but those mountain paths always make me nervous.”
“yup. oh, did you hear about the guy who had his entire left side cut off?”
“don’t worry, he’s all-right now.”

For a second, you stare at him, trying to work out what’s happening, then you snort. He laughs harder and harder as he watches the joke dawn on you.

“Oh my god.”
“oh, oh that was great! the- heheheh- the look on, on your face!”
“That was- I can’t even decide if that was good or bad!”
“what, are you going to pun-ish me?”
“I’ll send you to the pun-geon!”
“the pun-itentiary!”
“I’ll have you put pun-der arrest!”

As you laugh, you grab his wrist and drag him into the car, and he sits in the drivers seat, laughing to the point of tears. When it subsides, it’s all he can do not to fall into it again. You make sure to stay quiet- if you so much as speak, chances are he’d start again and drive straight into a wall. But you still smirk rather hard.
Once on the surface, you decide that it’s probably safe to talk again. Concern is written faintly in his eyelights.

“I promise I’ll be fine. Ali wouldn’t let me get killed. Worst case scenario, I get arrested. And that wouldn’t be the first time.”
“i thought the first time you were on the surface you were eight! how does someone get arrested at eight?!”
“Well, when you’re caught sitting in the driver’s seat of a stolen car, people typically jump to conclusions. Boy, was dad mad.”
“Oh, geez. Whose car?”
“The one that Ali helped me steal…from my crap parents. So, they were pretty pissed. Ali hid under the backseat, she thought I’d followed her, but I hadn’t.”
“i always wish i could find them.”
“Parents are parents. Even if they sucked, I don’t want them dead.”
“you say so. if i could kill Gaster- not that i think of him as a dad, or anything- but i’d jump at that opportunity.”
“How’s this- we both vent. What’s the worst thing he did to you, and I’ll tell you the worst thing they did to me?”
“…he never did anything to me. kinda hard to punish someone with one HP. he did everything to Paps because he knew i cared.”
“Yeah, I’m not gonna ask. Anyway, my dad broke my arm pushing me down the stairs. And then there was the whole nearly-killed-me-thing.”
“Well, we’re here.”

You realize that it didn’t really come out as venting- you wince awkwardly. He’s quiet as you hop out of the car. Ali is leaning against the brick wall outside of the Starbucks, and you say goodbye to Sans-

“And HAVE FUN with your bro. You’re a puncle now! You should be a fun one. Raise the babybones on bad jokes, and he’ll make ‘em forever.”
“heh, i will. i can come back whenever you need, but if noting goes wrong i’ll be back here at six.”
“Then I’ll see you at six.”
“dunk some pricks, will ya?”
“I learned from the best!”

You wave and shut the car door, turning to Ali. She gives you the little handshake, still staring at you in a kind of awe.

“You really ARE alive.”
“Crazy, right?”
“So, um, doesn’t that mean you’re basically like, an ultra powerful, uh, god or whatever?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say so- I just have determination. If you have enough determination in you, you can do anything.”
“That sounds like something they’d put on a cat poster. But okay. What do you wanna do?”
“Well, I need something to eat, but I really wanna go back and see the flowers those kids planted.”
“You mean go back to where you died?! I mean, okay, but it doesn’t seem like a happy memory kinda deal.”
“’s okay. I just wanna see it. You know any good places to eat or not?”
“Oh, there’s a really good place on fifth! You like pizza?”
“I haven’t had a really good pizza in years!”

She walks with you, past people who don’t remember you, past people who shy away from her. She tells you about her new guys- she got three. Johnathan, Beck, and Caster. She said Caster was kinda weird- like a geek, but with a shady backstory that he didn’t talk about much. Somehow, word got around that there was a spot open, and he just, came out of the woodwork. Nobody knew who he was, no records of him anywhere. Big fan of the monsters.

“Yeah, weird guy. Kinda hot, though. Oh, hold up, that guy owes me money. Wanna watch me work my stuff? You just have to act tough.”
“Ooh, okay. Don’t be too mean, though.”
“Kid, I have a reputation.”
“I know, I know.”

She grabs him by the sweatshirt hood and slams him into the wall in an alley. It happens so fast you nearly walk right by. The way she interrogates him reminds you strongly of the way Sans interrogated you years ago in a certain Judgement Hall.

“Hey, buddy, remember me?”
“Oh, hello, Ali.”
“Someone sounds confident! That’s great, that must mean you have what you owe me all ready for me!”
“No, I don’t, Ali. Apartment burned down last week. I had it all set to go, but it’s gone now. I knew you’d find me, so I did you a little favor instead. But that kid behind ya looks like a snitch.”
“And you look like a coward. Kid’s chill. Well, let’s hope this favor of yours is enough compensation. Let’s hear it.”
“I heard that Caster kid joined your little troupe. Bet you couldn’t find much on him.”
“I’m not gonna ask how you know that, but let me just tell you that your source is gonna be history if he goes spreading info about my gang around town. Anyway, you’re right. Whaddya got on him?”
“Hope you haven’t added him to your safe list too quick, Al. This little runt faked his own death when he was fifteen, got a new identity, and then killed a little family of monsters. Snake-thingies. Good guys, from what I hears of ‘em. Anyway, he gang jumped quite a bit. If anybody tried to kick him out for being “shady” or “violent”, he killed ‘em and moved on. You gotta save yourself, Ali. He’s gonna find out you know ‘bout him.”
“You don’t owe me anything no more, Clark. Thanks for the heads up. What’s your source name?”
“Oh, him. ‘Kay, scram.”

He walks off, and turns to you, tough demeanor melting. She looks worried. You walk to the pizza place in silence, and then crash into booths. After some thinking and giving your orders, you blurt out,

“Come live in the Underground with us for a bit! You’ll be safe there, Al, if you don’t do anything stupid.”
“Probably. But I’m not a coward, (y/n). I face my problems, I don’t hide from ‘em. But it’s not like I can catch him off guard- he probably has a weapon on him at all times in case of something like this. That’s what I’d do if I were that little rat.”
“Mmm-hmm…well, okay. But what about if you had one of my friends come help you out? I know a few who are incredibly skilled fighters, and even if they don’t remember me, they’ll be sympathetic if I tell him that he killed those monsters! Not to mention they don’t have to kill him, they just have to capture him. I know a few monsters who are experts at capturing humans- they captured me tons of times.”
“And these are your friends?”
“Heh, I know. Kinda complicated, the whole reset thing.”
“oh, so they were mean in some resets?”
“No. I was mean, they just want to defend themselves.”
“You were mean?”
“I was possessed by a demon. But that’s a different story.”
“One that you’re going to tell right now.”

After going into the specifics of literally fighting your inner demon, and ultimately stabbing her in the back, you finally end with the story of how you lost your finger.

“-and then I woke up because Papyrus opened the door to my hospital room! Sans had been awake for a few days after healing monsters helped him out.”
“oh, okay. Geez. Your life has been really, um adventurous. And to think that I was excited to tell you that some kids planted flowers where you died…”
“Nah, it just sounds impressive. Most of this I was crying like a baby.”
“Well, so would anyone else! Dude, I get that it probably sounds more impressive than it was, that’s how all cool stories are- but I didn’t know that all that creepypasta stuff really exists!”
“I guess…but yeah. I wouldn’t lie to you. I learned my lesson in betraying people after Chara messed everyone up.”
“Heh, yeah.”
“Anyway, can we go to the forest now? Do you wanna walk or do you have a car?”
“I got a car. Let’s go.”

After a few minutes of driving, you stop where the dirt roads get fairly thin- trees with spring green leaves are trying to heal from some broken limbs. A faint crater is overgrown with grass. Flowers in a thousand different types and colors grow everywhere. Petunias, roses, hydrangeas, even some wisteria…how did these guys even get so many flowers? Buttercups even shine on the edges, perfectly taken care of. Out of the woods, some teenagers come out, carrying watering cans and weeding gloves.

“Oh, hello! Are you the ones taking care of these?”
“Um, yeah. Who are you?”
“oh, don’t worry about that, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Anyway, why are there so many flowers here? Who’s your supplier- er, um, florist?”
“We- uh, we honestly don’t remember. Kinda just always been doin’ it. We know a guy with a lot of flowers, but he doesn’t remember why we’ve been doing it, either. seriously, who are you guys?”

You turn to Ali, question in your eyes. You look amused, but she seems to feel bad for the little trio. She shrugs.

“Nobody important. I run a gang and she died here. You bozos shot her out of the sky. You’re lucky her bae isn’t here.”
“He is NOT MY-”
“Waitwaitwait, what did you say? Who died?”
“Heh, I did.”
“We…we shot you out of the sky?”
“Yep- think it was airsoft guns. Left some pretty bad holes in my neck, to be honest.”

One of the guys in the back elbowed the one talking. They were all wide-eyed now, as opposed to their prior apathetic demeanor.

“dude, I remember this. holy shit, don’t you?”
“Yeah, yeah, I do. SHIT, dude. Hey, J.J., you remember this?!”
“Oh my god…how are you okay? You’re alive, but we killed you, we saw you1 Are you Jesus?!”
“Um, nonono, nothing like that. I just have determination, is all-”

Ali’s eyes shine with an opportuninty, and she interrupts your embarrassed explanation-

“Oh, oh geez, you’re f***ing with us, aren’t you?”
“I mean, she’s not, but she could have phrased it differently,”

The quiet one in the back, J.J., elbowed his way to the front.

“We’re sorry, okay? We just wanna take care of the flowers!”

You nod.
“I respect, you, ‘kay? I forgive you. Just don’t shoot at shit if you don’t know what it is. Thanks for the flowers. Come on, Ali.”

You grab her arm and stuff her in the front seat of the car. As she pulls it out, you wave at the shell-shocked kids. They wave back, tentatively. They seem to believe you. Ali is sniggering as she pulls back onto the wide paved streets into the city.

“God, they looked so scared.”
“Dude, you really didn’t need to say what you- LOOK OUT!”

There’s a thump on the roof of the car- what WAS that? Did you hit someone? Who’s sitting on the roof?

“Don’t sick your head out to check, I get the feeling that’s Caster. I’m gonna swerve real hard, okay? Hold on!”
“You’re gonna do wh- FRICKFRICKFRICK-”

She swerves until she’s driving on the angular walls that sit under bridges. When she lands back on the road, you hear the crash behind you- Caster is no longer an immediate problem. It all happened so fast! You’re opening and closing your mouth soundlessly like a fish- Ali seems completely unfazed. She parks the car and pulls you out.

“Your boyfriend is parked two spaces over. Don’t tell him why, but I’ll hike up to Mt. Ebott tomorrow night. I have to leave my car here in case he’s tracking me. See you then!”

She walks away, leaving you still absolutely bewildered. You laugh shakily and give a little wave, then throw up in a trash can. Whelp, your terror nausea has at least passed. As you stumble to the car, you’re pale as a sheet of paper, wiping barf off of your face, and laughing hysterically. Sans takes one look at the state you’re in and laughs nervously.

“um…hey, sweetheart! you look like you killed someone- wanna tell me what happened?”
“I have no freaking, heheh, idea what just happened. I potentially just shook a mafia killer in a purple sports car, and killed him. Well, I didn’t, exactly. I just kinda rode shotgun.”


You press the heels of your hands to your eyes and laugh harder, madder. The look he gives you is confused and amused simultaneously. It is also very scared for your mental stability.

“…wow, okay. um, yeah, sounds like you had a fun time. dunked some dude. you sure you’re okay?”
“Not at all. Can we go home?”
“on it.”



Chapter Text

During the last chapter, back in Snowdin:


Sans drives back to Mt. Ebottt, steeling himself not to turn tight around and come pick you up. You had decided to spend the whole day with Ali just to prove a point. It’s stupid, what if you get hurt? No. You won’t get hurt. Sans just needs to focus on his day with his bro and his nephew- everything’ll be fine. Finally, he pulls in to Snowdin, where Papyrus is sitting inside his house, face pressed to the window. He never seems to grow up, and Sans likes it just fine. Both brothers grin when their ‘eyes’ meet, excited for the potential of the day.

“hey, bro!”
“Hello, Sans! Impact, say hello to Sans!”
“aww, come to your puncle Sans, babybones.”

Sans grins as the pun hits Papyrus full swing, and he groans.

“You aren’t planning on letting him call you that, are you?”

Sans nearly drops Impact in surprise- did he really just say “puncle”?! Papyrus looks like he might pass out. He presses his face into one red-gloved hand and groans, then walks inside. Sans follows, still holding the little guy. He’s wearing a purple footie and grinning like he won a race-

“punnel Sans! punnel Sans!”
“oh god, kid, you’re gonna give your dad a seizure.”
“You’ve ruined my only child, Sans.”
“i wouldn’t say ‘ruined’, exactly.”
“Next he’ll be making puns and drinking ketchup straight from the bottle.”
“we’ll get there.”
“*loud groaning*”

Sans sets the kid in his little playpen and crashes on the designer couch. Papyrus is laughing- he can’t stay mad for long.

“so, whaddya wanna do?”
“Oh, I was just about to ask! We could make cookies, or you could help me with a puzzle I’m trying to install!”
“would that be too cold for the kid?”
“Oh, no, I don’t mean install it right now, just help work out the kinks in the design.”
“sure. where is it- HOLY SHHhhooot, sorry Paps.”

Impact is floating around, a little orange-magenta ghost, leaving his little babybones behind him. He swirls around, phasing through things and having fun. Papyrus laughs- he’s used to it by now, but of course Sans isn’t.
As he dives and swirls, Papyrus pulls out a few rolls of blueprints for the new puzzle ideas- ways to improve the ones that you had gotten past so easily as a child. Paps wants to fix them so that it will be easier for monsters to enter and exit Snowdin, and for people to only try them if they want. No one will get hurt- now that the barrier is broken, they aren’t much for trapping as having fun.

“Oh, Sans, speaking of humans, we heard something when we were on the surface the other day- we were out of garlic. Metta came with me, he had a day out of the studio and we wanted to spend it together, even if I was running errands. So we have Impact, and we’re checking out at the store, and the nice human helping us said, ‘have a nice day, ma’am’. And we were confused, we were wondering where the lady was. But then when he saw our faces, he apologized a lot. He’d thought Mettaton was a girl! And he was really angry, saying that just because he had fashion sense didn’t mean he was a girl. The poor human looked so confused, I felt really bad for him.”
“oh man, some human traditions are pretty weird.”
“Yes! Well, we were leaving, I nearly had to drag him out of there to keep him from yelling. And as we left, a human, she had a purple sweatshirt and very fun hair, she says that humans can be stupid sometimes. She asked if Mettaton was,” Papyrus makes air quotes with his hands, “‘trans’. And we didn’t know what she meant, and she said it was fine, it was just a human thing. So we didn’t think much of it. But all the rest of the day, people kept thinking Metta was a girl, and we’d explain, and they’d ask things with words like “gay”, or “trans”. Some people were very nice about it, but some people…some of the humans were really mean after they found out.”
“how so?”
“Nothing big, just give us weird looks and things. Sans, do humans not like Mettaton? Do they not like ME?”
“man, don’t think that, okay, Paps? how about we chalk it up to humans being weird. maybe (y/n) can explain when she gets home.”
“Yes. That is a good idea. She can help. Anyway, what about this step? The electrical orb thing never seemed to work-”

After a few more minutes of puzzles, Impact has to go down for a nap, leaving Sans to sit and think- what was with humans and their weird stuff? Weddings were weird enough. Now this? Maybe baking is a good idea. It’ll certainly take his mind off of everything- oh, but the couch is nice-

“Alright lazybones! Impact is asleep, let’s bake now.” He says, in a whisper-shout. Sans flops off of the couch onto the floor.
“nooooo, i’m like a bicycle!”
“What? How are you like a bicycle at all?”

Sans sticks his hands up and makes finger guns at his brother.

“i’m two-tired!”
“Aaaaaand, there go my hopes and dreams.”
“heheh, bro, my puns aren’t THAT bad.”
“They’re pretty bad.”
“fair. what kinda cookies are we makin’?”
“Lemon-sugar. Come on, you can’t bake from there.”

Sans stands up from the floor, still sniggering a little at his own joke. Everything said over the course of the next while is whispered, or whisper shouted. Impact floats in, ghost-style, a few times at the smell of cookies, but goes back when Papyrus says so. Good kid- certainly a smart one.

“hey, hey, Paps!”
“What is it?”
“that kid’s quite the SMART COOKIE, eh? eh?
“That was a stretch, even for you.”
“And don’t even think about making a ‘put some more backbone into it’ joke.”
“ah, you know me so well. pass the flour?”

When the cookie-smell wastes through the house, Sans sighs. He knows you’d like to have some when you got home. He turns to Papyrus-

“hey, bro, so, one of (y/n)’s friends, Ali, she’s tellin’ me all of this stuff about how I should…um, propose to her? She’s trying to explain what it all means, and it’s really confusing-”

The eyes of the taller brother light up, and he’s practically jumping up and down.


Before Sans can even react, there’s a sound of faint mewling from upstairs. Papyrus’ shout must have woken Impact up.

“Oh, hold on Sans, Impact is crying, I’ll be right back.”
“Here, can I help?”
“I’ll call you up if I do, but that’s unlikely, he barely ever-”

There is a resounding *CRASH* from upstairs, and Sans and Papyrus fly up to see Impact, eyes pulsing red, hands inside holes he made in the plaster walls. Like Sans when Chara had him-

“i got this, hold on, bro,”

Sans puts his hands on either side of the little guy’s head- instantly they’re sharing dreams. As Sans hurtles into Impact’s head, he looks around. No sign of Chara, just open white space, and in the middle, Papyrus’ scarf. Next to that, Mettaton’s purple boots. Some black, pulsing, mass-thing had taken them away, and Impact stands, a teenager, in the center.

“Sans! There you are, we have to get them!”
“Kid, you’re grown up in dreams- that’s freaky! Um, no, you broke a hole in the wall, this is a dream, you gotta calm down, Paps is right here, he’s fine!”

Papyrus appears next to Sans, looking down at his scarf and then up at the swirling void holding “him” hostage.

“Impact? You’re so grown up, how did you-? Never mind, I’m here, this is a dream, you have to wake up!”
“Yes, and Sans, we’re here, you have to wake up!”
“Okay! Okay, I’m trying! You guys have to go now!”

Sans and Papyrus fly backwards, landing in Impact’s nursery. Impact blinks, and his eyes flicker back to their soft orange color. He holds up his arms to be picked up, but the two brothers are just staring at each other. Were young monsters supposed to be grown up in dreams? Weird…but time seems to have flown by while Paps and Sans were dream sharing…it’s nearly six now!

“oh, geez, bro, i gotta go pick her up! i’ll call you later!”
“…Um, okay, brother. I will see you later, then. Oh, and, um, tell me what happens with the proposal! I know that it’s a secret, I will tell nobody about it.”
“thanks, bro, i gotta head out!”
“I love you, brother!”
“love you, Paps.”

Sans shortcut into the car, then drove full speed to the surface. It probably wasn’t safe, but he was in the city just in time to see Ali’s purple sweatshirt recede into a crowd, and see you laugh as you throw up. He jumps, considers getting up out of the car to help you, but then decides that you probably wouldn’t want him to know about it. Pretending he didn’t see, he lets you laugh and stumble into the car.

“um…hey, sweetheart! you look like you killed someone- wanna tell me what happened?”
“I have no freaking, heheh, idea what just happened. I potentially just shook a mafia killer in a purple sports car, and killed him. Well, I didn’t, exactly. I just kinda rode shotgun.”
“…wow, okay. um, yeah, sounds like you had a fun time. dunked some dude. you sure you’re okay?”
“Not at all. Can we go home?”
“on it.”

He starts the car, but before he can pull out, you murmur,

“Heheheh, how’d- how’d you know I looked like I killed someone?”
“i’ve had my experience with killing people. and the look on your face when you kill people.”
“Oh, geez.”

You cry a little, shakily, and he puts a hand on your shoulder. Geez, you look banged up. At the feeling of his hand, you take a deep breath and hold it. You nod- he can drive out now.
With one hand on the wheel, and the other held tight in yours, Sans pulls out of the city, through the country, and into the mountain. But he stops right inside the barrier room and parks the car.

“we’re going to stay here while you tell me everything. better to vent here than to get comfy at home and then ruin it with sad stories… again.”
“Heh, yeah. Ali got a new guy in her gang, I guess. Caster…some guy gave her a tip that he was some gang-betraying, monster-killing freak. Well, we thought that was that. But- but then he jumped on top of our car while we were driving down the highway and-and…” you take another deep breath, but you aren’t crying anymore. “Ali swerved to shake him off. And he fell into the highway. And he got hit by a car. I’m okay, I don’t even know what’s gonna happen. But she’s coming to stay with us tomorrow night so she won’t get hurt. I hope you don’t mind.”
“no, ‘course not, sweetheart. i woulda offered the same. but today was a good day! I had fun with Paps, and other than what happened, did you have fun with Ali?”
“Yeah, I did. Look at you, being optimistic. I’m just shaken up over nothing, don’t worry about me. Just jumpy, is all. We had a lot of fun, we got pizza and everything…what did y’all do?”
“hung out, worked on some puzzles, made cookies. babybones cried a little, but he was okay.”
“Sounds fun. Can we go home now?”
“you sure you’re done freaking out?”
“Heh, I think so. Can I have some cookies?”
“alright, alright. let’s go.”

You drive home- those cookies taste better than you could’ve ever thought.



BONUS: Search History

*If you were to go into everyone’s search history, you sometimes wonder what you’d see…especially with your friends. You won’t ever see it…


How to be quieter
What is “gay”
How to get your brother to stop telling terrible puns
Clothes for very tall, thin people

How to assert dominance
How to be a good friend to monsters
Skeleton puns
How to explain weddings to kids

Interior decorating ideas
Cute pet names for skeletons
Why don’t I remember things?

Undyne, Alphys, Toriel, Asgore:
Why am I forgetting something?

Good puns
Funny puns
How to raise self esteem
Intimidation techniques
Funny puns
Good uncle jokes

Chapter Text

Caster sat up in bed- it was a cheap motel one. He’d grabbed a room when he’d realized it wasn’t safe to return to the bunk with Ali and the others. He HATED this. The gang jumping, what he had to do to those monsters. He still woke up in a cold sweat some nights, remembering how they’d crumbled to dust, how they’d called at him to stop. He ran his fingers through his messy red hair. Kinda hard to hide with hair like his.
Now that Ali was on his tail, how could he really be safe? She wasn’t one of the more infamous gang leaders, but everyone respected her for how honest she was- she only killed when she had to, typically self defense. She only got revenge on people who hurt her friends, the people she’d sworn to protect. If he hadn’t been tasked to kill, to run, he would’ve really liked her…but now wasn’t really the time for that. If he could kill her, her little gang would disband and he could move away. Disappear.
He packed up his duffel bag- a few changes of clothes and a glock. Not much, just enough to make do. It sucked living like this. Sharkomb was easily the person he resented most in the world. But not much time to dwell on that. Now was the time to act. Luckily, Ali was nearby.
You wake, dream burned into your mind. Like a memory you had lived. Real. Something, a strong yank on your soul, perhaps, leads you finally to words.

“He’s not the threat. He’s a pawn. He’s- he’s just another me, another Chara.”

At the word Chara, Sans snorts, sitting up in bed.

“Oh, sorry, Sans. Just a dream.”
“nothin’ happen?”
“No… oh, go back to bed, you look awful.”
“just tired, I’m allgoodrinow-”

You force him back into a laying down position, and he grins sleepily. His eyesights seem fuzzier than normal, looser.

“that’s kinda hot, sweetheart…”
“Sans, are you okay?”
“i’m okie-dokie here!”
“You’ve never said ‘okie-dokie’ in your life, Sans. Oh my god, are you high? Can monsters get high? Or drunk? What’s going on? I’m calling Alphys.”
“noooo, doooo’nt-”

You pull away as he tries to kiss you suddenly. It reminds you on a scary level of that creep from years ago. Something is definitely up- to have him acting like that. As you dial Alphys’ number, he seems to be fighting a battle in his head, you can see it in his eyelights. For a second, they clear, define themselves. They seem normal. But then the fuzz overtakes them and he melts into the sheets again. After a few rings, you hear her pick up the phone-

“Hey, um, who is this?”
“Oh, shoot, right, you don’t remember me. You know a week ago or so when Sans came by and he showed you that letter?”
“Oh! You’re, um, that human…(y/n), right? You, um, seemed really nice. W-why are you calling me at, er, f-f-four thirty in the morning?”
“Heh, yeah. Sans is acting really weird. Way back when, you used to let me call and ask about weird stuff like this.”
“R-really? Um, okay. How weird? In what way?”
“Really weird. I woke up in the middle of the night because of a dream, and I woke him up by mistake. His eyesights went all fuzzy. He tried, um, to kiss me out of nowhere- it’s not something he typically does. Just, he seems like he’s drunk. Can monsters get drunk?”
“Oh, yes, they-er, WE can, but I would be quite surprised to find out that Sans is drunk. Not to mention that it is extremely difficult for skeletons to become drunk. So I don’t think that’s it. B-but one of the common side affects of, um, Lill-vallay sickness in monsters are looseness and sudden changes in p-personality. Do you need me to come over?”
“Yes, sure. Bring whatever you think will help.”
“Can you invite P-p-paps over, t-too? He’d help, I’ll explain when I arrive. S-see you in a second, (y/n).”
“Okay. Um, see you, then.”

She hangs up, and you turn back to Sans. Lill-vallay? What’s that supposed to mean? Is it permanent? Sans looks at you, sitting up on one elbow. You should probably change out of your nightgown- it will make this feel less awkward. You suddenly remember you need to go get Paps. He wouldn’t mind that you’re in a nightgown- Sans probably needs someone to monitor him while you’re changing, anyway. You give him a Huggle, hoping it will send him to sleep. It does.
You slip, frozen, through the thick snow and rap on the door. Papyrus opens it, and you sigh in relief at the warmth of the house as it blows out into the cold. He whisper shouts so as not to wake up his family.

“(Y/n)! Come in, you’re frozen solid!”
“No, Paps, you have to come over for a sec, Sans is sick, Alphys says she needs your help and mine.”
“Oh, dear. What is it?”
“Alphys said he has symptoms of Lill-vallay, or something like that.”
“Come on, then.”

He picks you up, and carries you over the snow so as not to make you all cold again, then sets you down in the threshold of your house. He steps hurriedly up the stairs, two at a time, and you let go of the Huggle on San’s soul. He wakes up, looking around for you. You appear in the doorway-

“Watch, Paps- Sans, please snap out of it.”
“whaddya talkin’ about? i’m all good over here- you look reallyprettybytheway-”

You put the Huggle back on and he crashes. Papyrus looks horrified; you grab some clothes and announce that you’re going to go change into something more conservative. He agrees, and says he’ll watch his brother in the meantime. You come out, feeling much…cleaner, somehow, and you hear a little knock on the door. You open it, and your lizard friend is there, meekly holding a basket of flowers and medical supplies.

“Oh, thanks, Alph, come on in. He’s upstairs. He’s asleep because I’m, er- but I can wake him up if you need.”
“O-oh, okay. Thank you. Um, lead the- lead the way.”

You show her up the stairs and into Sans’ room, where you let go of the Huggle. He sits up, groggily, and his eyelights are even blurrier than before. If not for the circumstances, you might have thought he was looking through tears. Alphys took one look at him and turned to you and Paps.

“That is d-definitely Lill-Vallay. Papyrus, I need you to try to heal him- he’s going to be at full HP, but I need to see, to find out if it’s serious.”
“Oh! Okay, whatever you say.”

He sits on the bed next to Sans and puts his hands on either side of his head. Pap’s eyes glow oranges, and soon the flames around him start.

“Now, P-papyrus, don’t stop- for any reason.”

After about forty-five seconds, Sans starts to squirm uncomfortably. A minute, and he lifts his hands up, trying to pull Papyrus off of him. The longer he went, the worse it got. When he started to whimper, Alphys said it could be over.

“Oh, geez. This is going to be harder than I, um, than I thought. Well, he isn’t at risk of dying or anything, of course. Minor Lill-Vallay is like human fever, and Severe Lill-Vallay t-tends to act more like, um, flu.”
“Oh, this is just monster flu? I can handle that.”
“No, no, it’s just like that in, um, in severity. The symptoms are, heh, incred-d-dibly different.”
“What can we do?”
“I’m afraid you only have two options…”
“What are they?”
“Well, um, I can either take him into the lab for a while and give him treatment, or you can keep him here and…um…he won’t exactly be on his best behavior for the next few weeks.”

You look over at Papyrus- he’s looking at you. The decision is obvious; but you’re still hesitant to have him be in Hotland for that long.

“You’re sure it would be no trouble?”
“Yes, Alphys, we would not wish to put you under stress due to my brother’s condition.”
“Oh, I don’t, heh, have much going on otherwise. But how are you going to deal with being alone for that long?”
“Oh, CRAP!”

You stand, yanking on your boots, and they ask what’s happening.

“I can’t- I don’t have time to explain, crap, crap, crap, CRAP!”

You tumble out the door and start down the snowy steps towards the car when orange magic stops you. Papyrus stands at the top of the stairs, one hand out to control his magic.

“I’m not releasing until you tell me what’s happening.”
“No, please, it’s Ali, I was supposed to pick her up last night, Caster’s after her, what if she’s still out on the mountain?!”
“You need me to drive you to the surface?”
“No, you have to stay with Sans! I need to go, let me go, please!”
“You aren’t going to drive through snow while you’re this frantic, it isn’t safe. I’m not letting two siblings get hurt at five in the morning.”
“Okay, just tell Alphys she can take Sans, please, I have to go!”

He releases you and tells you to stay where you are. You fidget, wondering if you should just go, when he shuts the door and hops in the car. You jump in shotgun and he pulls out, as fast as he can go through the snow.

“Papyrus, I don’t know what we’re gonna find out there, but I’m gonna need you to stop the car right after we exit the barrier. If there’s a human with a weapon, or even multiple, I need you to hold them up with your magic. I know you don’t like violence, but I’m not asking you to be violent, just to keep violence from happening.”
“Why would there be humans with weapons?”
“One of my friends is in trouble, through no fault of hers, I swear. Someone’s after her, and I forgot to pick her up last night to bring her into the Underground. I forgot, and if she’s still out there, she might already-” your voice breaks, and you don’t go on. He seems to understand, and drives a little faster.

When you fade through the broken pieces of the barrier, he slams on the brakes. Ali is on the ground, whether sleeping or dead or unconscious you don’t know. You jump out of the car and run over. You shake her, and she snorts and sits up, growling. When she sees it’s just you, she sighs in relief and hugs you. It means a lot, seeing as Ali isn’t much of a hugger.

“Oh, thank god, I saw him for a second, and he saw me, and I ran all the way up here. It was quite a hike, he has a glock, it was really close. I think I lost him.”
“Did he try to shoot you?”
“Well, let’s go inside, it’ll be safer in there.”

Suddenly, a bullet pings off of the rock beside your head. Before you can think to scream, to panic, to do anything, there’s the slam of a car door. Papyrus draws himself to his full height and pulls up the culprit out of a bush by magic.
‘Poor Caster’ is your first thought. He’s terrified, hanging high in the air, glowing luminescent orange, gun dropped out of his shaking hands. Papyrus speaks first.

“Human, why did you try to shoot my sister and her friend?”
“I-I, she’s your, what-?”
“I am told you have something against my sister’s friend. So you are trying to kill her. Now, I do not know very much about human traditions, but even I know that that is a bit rash.”
“Yeah…I know. I really am sorry. I don’t exactly have a choice.”
“Someone is MAKING you do this, then?”
“I see. And why did you listen?”
“I, um, I can’t say that.”
“Well, if you don’t, I am going to have to bring you to the authorities.”
“I-I’m being blackmailed.”
“That is no excuse for trying to hurt people.”
“Yeah, I…I know.”
“If you know all of this-”
“No need to yell. I understand he must have something fairly big on you to make you go to these kind of lengths. That would put anyone under a lot of stress. So here’s what I’m going to do. We are going to get rid of your weapon, we are going to take you into the Underground, and then in a few weeks, my brother is going to get into this.”

You jump-

“Paps, don’t give him to Sans, Sans’ll kill him! He doesn’t deserve this, he’s just a pawn!”
“That’s why we are going to put this human- Caster, right?- into counseling with Asgore, and when Sans is ready, we’ll go to the human who has been blackmailing him. And Sans will have his way with the right person.”
“What if he gets shot?!”
“My brother knows how to dodge. He is also fair with his judgement.”
“Geez, Paps. I never knew you had a dark side.”
“I don’t. I just don’t like it when people try to hurt my family. Ali, do me a favor and throw this poor man’s weapon down the side of the mountain. But make sure to unload it first, we wouldn’t want any wildlife to be harmed."
“Sure, thank you, Papyrus!”
“No trouble.”

Ali sits crosslegged and unloads the nearly-empty gun, even taking it apart, then chucks all of the individual pieces over the edge of the cliff. She turns back.

“You can set him down now, but I would still hold onto him in case he tries to do anything. Once we get into the Underground we’re probably good. After all, no human can enter or exit without a monster, right?”

When you start to correct her, she stamps her foot on yours. Oh.

“Oh! Um, yes, I nearly forgot! You cannot ever go in or out without a monster present!”
“Yes,” Papyrus says, “So get in the car, come on.”

Everyone piles in, and Caster is set in the backseat by magic. He can’t move much, but what limited movement he has is watched closely by Ali. He seems both immensely relieved and incredibly terrified at the same time. You fight the urge to laugh. Oh, all the stuff he doesn’t know. Papyrus can’t, no, won’t, hurt him if he tried, Sans is a force to be reckoned with, but he’s sick, and Asgore is literally just King FluffyBuns. The most threatening person in the Underground right now is probably either him or Ali. Which isn’t much of a comfort.
As you drive through the caverns, Ali oohs and ahs. The glittering stars in the ceiling, the buttercups, the Castle, the lava bubbling below the tires of your car. Finally, she’s questioning everything when she sees the rain and snow.

“It’s gorgeous- BUT IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE?!”
“I know. You get used to it. Anyway, we’re here. Don’t do anything, Ali, every monster down here is innocent. Well, mostly. But I came out fine in the end, so who’s to say?”

Papyrus rolls his non-existent eyes and looks back at you now that the car is parked.

“Ha-ha. Very funny. Anyway, you two get out and go make yourselves at home. This one is staying with Undyne for the first few days. I’ll drive him over now.”
“’kay. See you in a bit, Paps. If he gives you any trouble, don’t hesitate, just act.”
“I know. I get the feeling that we’ll be okay, though. His soul seems awfully sad.”
“Bye, Paps!”
“Goodbye, (y/n), and Ali.”

As he drives off, you smile. Everything is going to be fine.



Chapter Text

Even though Sans is still sick, he only has a few more days in the lab. You keep hoping he hasn’t hurt anyone or anyTHING in the state he’s in. Caster is in therapy sessions with Asgore, and seems genuinely sorry about what he did. Ali is amazed by the Underground and its inhabitants, and its inhabitants are fascinated by her. You’re doing fine, if a little lonely without Sans around- Ali is a riot, enough to keep you from dwelling on it too long. She doesn’t judge when you get a little mopey; she knows you’ve been a bit down since he left. But she and Paps hit it off- so much so that Mettaton sat down with her and (argued) had a talk about it.
One evening, while you’re curled up watching old Disney movies (with Ali’s consistent commentary on how the fairy godmother is probably too old to be alive) when your phone buzzes. Papyrus!

“Hey Paps, what’s up? You wanna come over- we’re critiquing Disney movies.”
“Come over very fast! This is an emergency! Bring all of the blankets you have!”

His voice sounds urgent, and you think you hear something right before he hangs up- laughter?

“Ali, Paps wants us over right now, says it’s an emergency, says we need to bring all the blankets.”
“Oh, crap, okay- um, here are a bunch, let’s go!”

After all of the weird random phenomena you’ve been through with Sans, you’re fully expecting to see some axe murderer come smashing through the walls. However, when you open the door, blankets in hand, you snort.
As tall as the ceiling is the biggest blanket fort you have ever seen. Pillows make sturdy walls, blankets hang from the hooks on the ceiling where a detachable chandelier used to be (it has to be detachable- when tall monsters come to visit they often find themselves tangled up). Mattresses and couch cushions, throw pillows and comforters, all one massive fort. You see Papyrus and Impact inside, playing some little toddler game. When the door opens, they turn to you.

“Ah, hello! Do you like it?! We were going to invite you two over for a sleepover with us, but we realized we used all of the blankets in the house on the fort, so we don’t have any left for sleeping with. Nyeh heh heh!”
“Paps, this is one of the greatest things I have ever seen in my whole life. Just- just wow.”

Ali walks in behind you-

“Don’t say it’s an emergency, you coulda told us it was a blanket fort! You nearly made me shiiiiii…um, never mind. Just- it was scary,” Papyrus looks guilty.
“Apologies- I wanted to make it a big surprise! With everything that’s been happening lately- or even just in general- I thought it would be nice to just have a fun night. Ooh, could we do the ancient human ritual again?! Er, um, what was it called?”

Ali looks at you questioningly and you want to laugh as you say-

“Circle of Truth.”

Luckily, she doesn’t question it.

“Oh, ppfft, no way, Circle of Truth isn’t as fun as Truth or Dare!” she explains to Papyrus- “It’s like Circle of Truth, but you get to choose whether you have to answer someone’s question- or do a dare!”
“It sounds exciting! I believe I’ve played with (y/n) before once, when she was much younger.”
“Probably,” you nod, “I remember we used to do it a lot on the surface; but there was a lot less truth and a lot more dare.”

After setting up blankets, grabbing cookies, and saying hello to Impact, Ali asks Papyrus truth or dare.

“Truth- I want to start off on the easier side.”
“Okay…um…oh, have you ever broken a bone before? How?”
“Oh, nyeh heh, um, once I tried to shortcut; it’s a magic thing skeletons do. I messed it up and I broke my arm and my skull. Sans and (y/n) healed me. I broke a rib a long, long time ago when I slipped during training with Undyne and fell against one of her spears. I broke my jaw at one point…Chara, that time.”
“Wasn’t Chara that creepy demon thing?”
“Oh, geez. You must be, like, super brave if she broke your jaw and you were still takin’ care of (y/n) here after she lost her finger! That’s really cool- I mean, not that you got hurt, but that you went through it all so well. I’d be pretty messed up if a demon broke my jaw. I wish I had healing powers.”
“Thank you!” He looks ecstatic at the praise, but then gets thoughtful. “The healing powers are a big responsibility, though. And they are very tiresome to use. But they can help in little ways, like if you nick yourself or fall over. Since monster HP is so delicate, it helps to shake off little wounds quickly.”

You know they could go on and on for hours like this, so you cut in.

“Whose turn is it next? How about Paps because he had to answer last?”
“Sure, go ahead, P.”
“Oh, um, alright! (Y/n), truth or dare!”

Papyrus is lost, and Ali’s face lights up suddenly-

“Ooh, ooh, I have a good one, come here!”

They whisper for a second, and Papyrus is giggling a lot by the end. Finally, he turns to you.

“(Y/n), I dare you to marry my brother!”

You choke on your bite of cookie. WHAT now?

“Um, what? Like, right now? Doesn’t HE have to ask ME? How does this even work, anyway?? Are you guys even serious?”
“Well, it was Ali’s idea, but I agree it would be good and important for you two to do it the human way!”
“Says you! You haven’t married Mettaton ‘the human way’!”
“Neither of us are human, (y/n). And since this is an ancient human ritual, you have to do it!”
Papyrus is trying to keep an I’m-serious face, but he’s not doing a very good job. His grin shows through- Ali snorts and elbows you-

“You SO have to marry him, dude.”
“Could we like, change the subject? It’s my turn to ask a question, right?”
“Fine, fine, ask me!”
“Truth or dare.”
“Dare, obviously.”
“Go climb on the roof and-”

Mettaton walks through the kitchen and shakes his head.

“No way you’re damaging my new snow shingles with your shenanigans. No. Way.”
“Oh! Sorry, Metta. I’ll think of something else. Um, you have to wrap yourself in blankets like a burrito for the rest of the game, no matter what dares you get.”

Ali groans, but obliges. She can’t roll much more after her third blanket, so she sits up as best she can and listens. Papyrus turns the tables quickly.

“Ali, truth or dare? Let’s go around backwards now so that we can all ask everyone.”
“Yeah, okay. Truth, seeing as I can’t move much.”
“What is ‘gay’? Nobody seems to know the answer.”
“Oh, that’s all? Sure.”

After a concise explanation, Papyrus seems confused.

“Well, this all makes sense. I was expecting something weird or bad…so why do humans treat Metta differently after they find out?”
“Because, and I’m not proud to admit it, some humans are biased, awful, cruel, scumbags.”
“That seems extreme.”
“It’s an understatement. But the keyword is SOME humans. Not all. As you obviously found out with me and (y/n) and, well, even Caster. Some humans are kind. And some humans don’t treat the people around them with respect.”
“Why are some humans that way?”
“To make the rest of us look better,” she smirks.

You laugh. Impact is nibbling on a cookie with his little baby teeth. He grins up at you and giggles. You see Pap’s light in his eyes, Mettaton’s hair bouncing about, and even smile a little at his grin. It’s SO like Sans’. It almost makes you feel a little sad. Sans has been gone a really long while. At least, it feels that way.
Ali is getting better and better at judging your facial expressions-

“Hey, he’ll be back in a few days, right? Alphys said three on the phone yesterday, so it’s only two now!”
“Yeah. Don’t worry, I’m fine! Just miss him a little is all.”
“I know. Guess you’ll have to sit and suffer with us for a little while instead, huh?”
“Heh, you guys aren’t TOO bad!”

She jabs you in the ribs with a blanketed elbow. You snort and push her little nest over. She yells and falls sideways on the rug, like a turtle stuck on its shell. Papyrus sets her back up, trying to hide giggles behind a hand. Impact is falling asleep, so everyone breaks up to grab more cookies and, in Papyrus’ case, put Impact to bed. You set up your pile of pillows and blankets in a corner and crash. Some part of your head knows Ali and Papyrus stay up talking, but you don’t try to join them. It feels so fluffy and nice…you could almost fall asleep.

You have a dream that you’re standing in a corner of the Hotland lab. Alphys is curled up on her heat rock. Sans is asleep on a little cot, piled high with blankets. Most of them have anime characters on them, but he doesn’t seem to care. He sits up, suddenly. Fear has turned his eyelights into tiny pinpricks. You jump, wondering if he sees you, but his gaze goes straight through you. Nightmares, of course. His breathing is ragged for a moment, but when he settles back in, he seems to have calmed down.
When you automatically go for a Huggle, he melts. He looks around, but doesn’t see you- dream you. So you can see him in real time, but he can’t see you? Your first reaction is to tentatively step out of the shadow, worried he’ll jump again at the sight of you. He doesn’t. You stand at the end of his cot. He’s shaking a little. You don’t know whether it’s from cold, or crying, or something else entirely. You try to wake up; if you can call him you can fix everything. But no- it doesn’t work that way, apparently.

Alphys gets up from her heat rock. She wasn’t asleep? Can she see you? No, doesn’t seem like it. As she scrolls through feed on her softly glowing laptop, she notices Sans shaking a little.

“S-sans, I know you’re awake.”
“heh. no i’m not.”
“Whatever, um, dream you had isn’t real, S-sans! Do you wanna watch another, um, another anime?”
“nah. you need to go to sleep, Alph. you haven’t slept in days. heat rock breaks don’t count, you know.”
“Oh, um, heheh, p-probably not, huh? You’re r-right. If you’re going home t-tomroow night, you need t-to go to bed, too.”

Tomorrow night? He’s coming home early!

“what’s in that medicine-flower-thing again?”
“Modafinil, or “insomniac s-stuff” to you. T-time tables shift in your head. M-meaning sleeping is g-going to be difficult, on top of nightmares. Sorry, Sans, I t-tried to warn you. But it does mean you’ll be, er, home sooner!”
“yeah, yeah, i know, you did warn me. i just can’t spend another day without ‘em, you know? Paps and (y/n), i mean.”
“When you learn how t-to keep that one rib from catching fire out of nowhere, I’ll let you out early,” she deadpans.
“isn’t that seriously weird though? all these freaky symptoms?”
“That’s the thing with L-lill of the Valle. Symptoms b-basically consist of, um, expect the unexpected.”
“but it’s JUST THE ONE RIB that catches fire.”
“Not f-fun, huh?”
“not much of a rib-tickler.”

You laugh at his sense of humor, but Alphys has never found Sans’ puns very funny. She doesn’t hate on them like Papyrus and Undyne do, she just has a forced smile. The dream world fades, and their words blur and blend and muffle into silence. You wake up and reach for your phone.
Dead. You slump back into the pillows.
When you wake up the second time, you smell waffles. Must be morning already. You sit up. The pillows have sunk out from under you and left you with achy joints and a sore neck. As you pop your jaw and spine, you peer out from the door to the fort. Mettaton has a stack of waffles on the table, and he looks exhausted. He’d had to let all of his “assistants” go after Impact came, to save money. Most of the time Papyrus was doing all of the house things, but when he needed a break, Metta was always there to help. He did a *fabulous* job, of course, but he has to sit and charge his batteries afterwards.
You pull yourself out of the fort, stumbling a little as you go. Metta looks up at you-

“Sans called, darling. He says he’s coming home this evening! One night earlier than expected, good for him. And for you. You could use a twenty fifth hour of beauty sleep right now. So, would you like Ali to stay with us tonight so you could have a romantic night in?”
“Oh, that won’t be necessary. We don’t, heh, um, do much that would bother her, or that would bother us that she’s there.”
“I heard all those things they said about you and Sans getting married. Never be afraid to say that it’s your relationship, not theirs. Do what you want with it, darling. I’m going to wake up sugarskull and Ali for breakfast.”

You eat- the waffles are fantastic, and you stuff your face. By the time Ali and Papyrus arrive, yawning, you’ve finished half the plate. Papyrus asks first-

“(Y/n), when did you wake up?”
“Little while ago. Did you hear? Sans is coming back tonight!”
“Oh, really? Wowie! Then you need to get home and get ready. You look like you haven’t slept in ages.”
“But I slept so well last night… where’s a mirror?”

After Mettaton’s remarks and Papyrus’ warning, you brace yourself for the worst. Even so, it’s still a little surprising. Your hair is matted, you have faint bags under your eyes, and you look just so TIRED. You remember- you haven’t exactly taken care of yourself much the past few days…the irony of the thing stings.

“I am such a hypocrite. I need to go home and shower. Ali, do you wanna stay here or come with?”
“I’ll stay here. But I’ll be over once you’re done to help clean up the house, if you want.”
“Sure, that’d be great. Paps, you wanna hang at our place for the day until Sans gets home?”

He smiles, but waves a hand.

“My apologies, I can’t. I promised Metta I would watch Impact while he’s filming today. They finally caught up and some new episodes should be rolling soon! He could stay this morning, but he’s back on the clock in a few hours. I’ll be over to see Sans when he gets here, though. Go on, you need that shower!”

You laugh and pull your coat a little tighter as you walk out the front door. You still shiver a lot in the snow, but recently it’s been easier. Apparently skin sensitivities can adjust- that’s good news, you decide. One long shower later, Ali arrives to help you pick up the house. Soon, everything is set and ready, and all that’s left to do is wait. You look considerably better. Brushing your short bob of hair feels nice, especially after how matted it’s been. Ali stops making comments at your expense; she somehow senses how down you’ve felt lately. Self care was at the back of your mind. She sits up-

“Oh, wait, you wanna call him and find out what time he’ll be back? Do you think he can call yet?”
“I think so, maybe. Good idea.”

A few days ago when you’d try to call him, he would either answer normally and then one of his other side effects would kick in, or he’d be creepy and weird. As a result, you hadn’t talked to him much since he left. You dial, and he answers on the first ring.

“hey, sweetheart.”
“Hey, bonehead.You back to normal yet?”
“yup. all the creepy stuff is gone.”
“Great! Do you know what time you’ll be back?”
“Alph says around five. she has to run a few tests to make sure most of the side effects are gone, but i’ll be back soon.”
“Side effects…like your rib?”
“yeah, weird…wait, i never told you about that!”
“Had a dream. Like I was there in the lab, and you were talking about it with Alphys.”
“was that why that soul-huggle-thing came out of nowhere last night?”
“Yeah. Anyway, now that you can actually call normally, I should fill you in. Quite a bit has happened since you left… Ali and I nearly got killed, for starters.”
“aw, you’ve gotta be kidding me.”
“Nope, but everything is fine now. So, it was that Caster guy who we hit with a car? Apparently he was fine, and when Ali came up the mountain to come into the Underground, he tried to get her. Papyrus and I made it just in time to grab her, and Caster shot at us. But then Paps lifted him up in the air by magic! Turns out he was just being blackmailed, and we can protect him on the condition that he doesn’t hurt anyone. He’s been in therapy sessions with Asgore, actually. Really sweet dude, underneath all of the terror and crap. The guy who blackmailed him is the guy we need to get now. Fun fact: that’s where we need you.”
“oh, i get to dunk a dude? man, this is going to be a skele-ton of fun.”

You laugh. It feels nice to hear his voice after so long. You can practically hear him blushing through the phone.

“Speaking of fun, what do you wanna do tonight? Ali is here, too, until we get that dude.”
“We could watch a comedy special? Or maybe play a game?”
“What about a Disney movie? You remember Mulan, right? Best princess.”
“isn’t that the one with the sassy dragon? i liked him.”
“Yeah, that’s it. How ‘bout that? I bet I can dig it out of the movie box in the hall closet.”
“sure. see you then. love ya, sweetheart.”
“You too, bonehead. Bye.”

He hangs up on the other end, and you stand up. Ali raises her eyebrows questioningly.

“We’re watching Mulan when he gets here, so I’m gonna go dig out the movie.”
“Okie-dokie. Can I make snickerdoodles?”
“You get one bite of batter, Al.”
“One? That’s ridiculous. I’ll take two.”
“Fine. Imma go dig it out.”

You finally find the movie at the bottom of the box, under about a million animes that Sans borrowed from Alphys. Some are more questionable than others, but you decide not to question any. In half an hour, the smell of snickerdoodles floats through the house, the movie is queued up to go when sans gets home, and you’ve taken to making hot dogs for lunch. Yum.
Not much happens after that. You and Ali get in a friendly argument about whether a tree can own itself if someone sells the land the tree lives on to the tree. It’s complicated, and you finally look it up. There is actually a tree that owns itself, funnily enough. (This is true.) You humph and Ali looks at you smugly.

“Fine, okay. You win. Do you want one of these hotdogs?”
“Nah, I’m too busy tasting victory.”
“You want one.”
“Yeah, I do. No condiments, I’m fine with it plain.”
“Sans would run you through if he heard you say that- ketchup is clearly the best condiment.”
“Sure- if you’re Sans. My opinion is MY opinion, after all.”

After lunch, you sigh. So much time to kill! Ali seems to read your face.

“Hey, lets go out near one of the sentry station thingies- didn’t you say Paps and Sans made snow statues out there? I wanna see.”
“Oh, yeah, okay.”

You lead her out into the powdery snow. Luckily it feels mostly dry, no sloshing through it. You shiver, but it’s easier to ignore now. Ali is still fascinated by the fact that it’s snowing inside of a mountain. A little bit of walking and talking later, you see the snow statues. Even fall could never seem to destroy them. It has been years since they were made! Sans’ lump still has his name written in ketchup on the top! Ali is questioning all of these facts when she stops mid sentence-

“How does this even- WAIT! Does this mean if we make snow statues of us they’ll stay up forever?!”
“We can try it, but I don’t know if snow this powdery will pack very well.”

But she’s already begun. You consider your options for a moment, and while she tries to copy Papyrus’ grand bust of himself with her own features, you sit by Sans’ lump. You poke it questioningly- your fingerprint stays for a moment, then re-inflates like a balloon. You sprinkle some snow on the top. It stays for a second, then slides off like water on a dome made out of oil. The more experiments you try, the more intrigued you get. How had this even happened? Finally, you learn to stop questioning it. Ali has done a fairly good job. You know it’ll be time to leave soon, you’ll have to if you get much colder. Shivering, you scrape together some snow with your hands tucked safely in the sleeve of your sweater. Another lump. You scrawl “(y/n)” in the top with a finger. It isn’t as bright as Sans’ red lettering, but it’ll work. You stand, shaking from head to foot. Ali is surveying your work and snickering good-naturedly. Hers is a fairly good likeness of herself, though a little blurry with the lightness of the snow. She pulls her choker off and puts it on the statue.

“There. You look frozen, we should go home.”
“S-s-sure. What’s the t-time?”
“Four-thirty. He should be back any minute.”

You stumble home, fingers prickling with cold, nose bitten. It doesn’t feel like when you got frostbite- that hurt much worse. But you walk a little faster nonetheless. Getting frostbite once is accidental. Getting it twice would just be careless. As you round the corner of the road leading to the house, you see a snatch of blue. Sans is here? You walk into the house. He’s standing in the living room, calling up the stairs.
He looks just slightly panicked to find the house empty. He must have taken a shortcut in when he couldn’t find the key under the mat.

“Heya, bonehead. Done catching your ribs on fire?”
“there you are, geez, sweetheart, you had me worried there for a sec.”
“Stop freaking out and gimme a hug, I’m freezing.”

He chuckles a little and gives you a big hug. You return it. You mutter,

“No kisses or anything yet, Ali’ll be here in a second. It’s been kind of weird, she and Paps have been putting a lot of pressure on me to marry you, it feels really awkward.”

He pulls away enough to look at you properly. You look kind of uncomfortable at the idea. You are REALLY young to be marrying anyone, and you haven’t even thought about it much. They don’t know you feel this way, how could they? They don’t mean to make you feel bad, anyone for that matter.

“heh, same over here before i went and got sick. sorry, sweetheart. do you wanna tell them to stop?”

You nod indecisively, not sure if that would help or not. Ali walks in just then, and grins at the scene. Sans calmly starts right off the bat-

“heya, stop telling us we need to get married, okay? we can figure out stuff like that fine on our own, thanks. also, it’s good to see ya, Ali.”
“Oh yeah, that. Sorry. I won’t if you don’t want me to. Didn’t know. Also, ‘sup, Sans.”

You laugh. Today is definitely a good day…why do they always seem to end well, and start so different, you wonder. Mulan is a good movie, better than you remembered. Sans still likes Mushu better than any of the other characters. It’s so good to have him home.

Chapter Text

“Go to bed, Sans, no more sleeping on the couch.”
“but i’m bone-tired!”
“i’m like a bicycle.”
“I’m not falling for that, Sans.”
“come on, that’s a good one.”
“This is your last warning.”
“you’re smiling, though!”

You scoop him off of the couch bridal style. He blushes furiously and tries to escape. It doesn’t work.

“hey, hey, hey, lemme down!”
“come on, lemme-”
“I said no.”

Finally, you dump him on the bed upstairs, panting. He’s blushing harder than ever. You laugh at his still bewildered face. He picks you up with blue magic, and deadpans;

“you are NOT getting way with that.”
“Maaaaaan. I mean, I don’t mind floating for a bit.”
“heh. you forgot something.”

He pulls out his phone and flips through his music files. He starts blasting show tunes, radio songs, and vines in turn.

“What’s wrong with this? This is great!”
“exactly. have fun!”

He takes the phone downstairs and shuts the door. You can hear them still being played, but you’re trapped floating in midair, no longer able to make out the individual words. Dang. You hope he doesn’t get too tired and drop you.
After a minute, you give up on trying to make out the words and sit back. The magic pull around you is getting weaker by the second- if you really stretch you can almost touch the floor. Sans must be so tired…he hadn’t been sleeping much on the medication Alph gave him. For a monster who needs his sleep, he’d really been suffering the past few days. You’re always there to remind him that laying on the couch doesn’t count as sleeping, but he doesn’t seem to remember that much.


A few seconds go by, and you drop to the floor, luckily on your feet. You open the bedroom door and go down the stairs. He’s crashed on the couch again, just like you had found him before, panting with the magical exertion. Some Dear Evan Hansen track is playing in the background. You’d never known the words to the songs really well, but you still love listening to them.

“Sans, you’re going to pass out.”
“i could use the sleep.”
“Yeah, you could.”
“i’m gonna fall asleep now.”
“I’m going to carry you up there again so you don’t wake up covered in dust.”

He crashes, and you pick him up again. Finally, he’ll get some rest! He looks so peaceful in his sleep, for once. Despite the fact that it’s only noon, he’s so warm and you’re so tired…you fall asleep in bed next to him.
“get outta here. no way.”

You’ve been playing the damn game for three hours. Sans hasn’t won once. Frustration is flaming in his eye sockets, but he isn’t giving up yet.

“we’re playing again.”
“Sans, it’s two in the morning, admit defeat!”

You sigh dramatically and divy up the cards. Three wins later, Sans looks like he is going to explode.

“no way! no actual way did you just win nine times! what the hell?”
“It’s a talent, I guess. *yawn* So, are we going again, or can we go to bed now?”
“one more round.”

You feel like, just for the game, your personality and his have swapped places. Energy and determination burn in his eyelights, and you’re yawning and tired, but winning anyway. Finally, you hold up your last card, but he shouts over you.

“Hey, Un-”

He slaps the card on the floor and pumps a fist. You laugh. He’d only JUST beat you to it. You look at his grin, though you’re too amused and apathetic and tired to really take anything in properly.

“I’m gonna go *yawn* to bed now. Can we pick this stuff up tomorrow?”
“oh, geez, i didn’t even think of the time, sweetheart. c’mon, let’s go.”

You flop onto the sheets, not even bothering with them, and go out like a light. Sans’ medicine wears off, and he realizes he’s tired, too. He nudges you awake so you can slide sluggishly under the comforter, and comes in with you.
You mumble a little as you fall asleep-

“I’d say best kiss was three AM…Uno…nine out of ten.”
“you’re a riot.”

He buries his face in the top of your hair, breathing in the scent of lavender shampoo. Runs his smooth thumbs over the soft skin on the backs of your hands. Blushes- if you were awake to see him now. But he smiles anyway and lets you shift closer into his automatic curl. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Why *sniff* did we have to watch a sad dog movie?”
“’cause they’re the greatest.”
“They’re so s-sad, though!” (*SNIFF*)
“sweetheart, think about it this way. movie dog died: but in the studio, after they finished filming, that little pup sat up and got a bunch of treats.”
“I never thought about ‘em that way before…where’s Yardstick when you need him?”

(HI! This is my way of telling you where Yardstick went- he died…

Ha, psyche, kidding.

In my head, Monster Kid got really attached and kept him, but I realized I haven’t, well, written that. So yup, that’s where he went. I’ll write some more stuff with him later- I’m just too lazy to have to squeeze it in somewhere random. Thanks! Sorry for the near-death experience. Who am I kidding, no I’m not.
Alphys. Alphys is the singular greatest friend ever.
Because if you mention a TV series in passing, she will watch all four seasons. And the movie adaptation. And read the fan fiction and reviews. And sometimes, she will recreate things from the show.
And you, accidentally, mentioned Phineas and Ferb.

Hoo, boy.

When Alphys invited you over, you didn’t think to question it. But as you arrive, you see a rollercoaster sticking out of the top of the lab. It is a large rollercoaster. It is a VERY large rollercoaster. She sticks her head out of the elevator-like doors and beckons you inside; you recognize various -inators and inventions scattered around the lab. But throughout, twisting, turning, is the gigantic red rollercoaster.

“You made all of this?!”
“How long did this all take?!!”
“I was very, er, enthusiastic. S-so I did most of it in a week, b-but the rollercoaster took a week and a half.”
“You did NOT have to do all of this.”
“I, heh, I know.”
“Is this…is this everything?”
“Most of it…”

You turn full circle, running around to examine time machines and lasers, zip lines and other curious things. Finally, you run back to where she is hunched timidly, rubbing her claws together. You jump up and down, smiling bigger than ever.

“R-really? Why?”
“Are you kidding?! Phineas and Ferb was my favorite as a kid! Paps used to put it on for me all the time after Sans hooked it up to that antenna we found! Seeing all of it, like, real?! THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!”

She smiles timidly and doesn’t try to deflect the praise (for once). She feels fantastic knowing that someone appreciates her obsession, however short lived it may be.
You’re walking in the farmer’s market with the skelebros today. They’d only just come into town for the week, and you knew that they only sold the best apples. And they had fantastic homemade doughnuts! They’re intrigued by the idea of a temporary outdoor grocery store and you have to explain that while the vendors don’t have the same things that the normal store does, whatever the farmers market does have is better. Papyrus was walking around excitedly, talking to humans and even some other monsters, and buying lots of fresh vegetables, spices and even cheeses for Italian night. For once, you’re really looking forward to it! Sans keeps being mistaken for Papyrus’ child due to the height difference. Paps thinks it’s annoying, but Sans is highly amused. He peruses the organic ketchups relentlessly, and finally finds one he likes. You’re just grabbing whatever catches your eye, which is basically everything.
Suddenly, a woman in a stiff business suit steps in front of you and sticks out a hand to shake, catching you entirely off guard. Sans walks on, not seeming to realize you’ve been stopped.

“Good afternoon. I’m Linsey Barbagi from the Morning Report. My team would like to interview you, if you have the time.”
“W-what? Shouldn’t there be a phone call or something? What is this again?”
“My apologies- I shouldn’t have sprung out of nowhere this way. My camera crew is just outside there and we are wondering if we could interview you.”
“Like, now? What for?”
“Yes, now, if you have the time. We were told that there was a woman who has been living with monsters her whole life, the one who freed them from Mt. Ebott. Is this you?”
“Um, well, yes, it is. But why is it so important that you interview me…wait, how do you even remember me?”
“I don't know what you mean by ‘remember you’, but we are trying to start a movement against the anti-monster community. We thought you would be an excellent place to start.”
“That’s really kind of you- er- your news station, and I really appreciate it, but can it wait an hour or so so we can finish shopping? All of this is fresh, and I want to keep it that way.”
“Yes, ma’am. As I said, we’re right outside there when you’re ready.”
“Thank you.”
“Of course.”

She strides away, and you can see Papyrus’ head poking above the others, looking for you.

“Paps! I’m over here!”
“Ah, there you are!”

He swings his long legs over, effectively cutting through the crowd, Sans at his heels. You can see him trying to blink away the blue flame in his eye; he had already started panicking? Papyrus asks,

“Where did you run off to? Sans says he was walking right next to you and then you were just gone!”
“Oh, I’m sorry, guys! Some reporter wants to interview me for the Morning Report, something about a movement against anti-monsters.”
“How exciting! But please don’t disappear like that again.”
“yeah, we got nervous for a second there.”

You smile apologetically.

“How could I lose you guys in a crowd? Papyrus is tall enough I could see him from a mile away, right? At least around humans.”

Sans grins and Papyrus nods-

“You have a point there! Let’s go!”

A little while longer of shopping and checking out, and then you walk towards where the news van is parked. Sans and Papyrus watch from a distance as you approach, but Lindsey beckons them to come closer, too. You’re happy about this, and so, seemingly, are they.

“No, no, don’t stand back there! Our viewers would love an interview with the monsters you’ve lived with for so long! Ah, what are your names?”
“I’m (y/n)! It’s nice to meet you, thank you for doing this.”
“It’s no trouble- this is the best story we’ve had in a long time! And you two?”

She turns a polite smile to the skeletons, and Papyrus introduces himself first-

“I am Papyrus, and this is my brother, Sans!”

The camera crew buzzes around you, pulling out chairs and hairbrushes and stage makeup. They seem clueless as to what to do with Papyrus and Sans, and finally settle on adjusting the height of the chairs they’re sitting on. Sans seems amused, but Papyrus is glowing with excitement- he still loves attention just as much as he used to. Finally, Lindsey explains the basic outlines of the questions she’ll be asking you, and the cameras begin rolling.

“In today’s modern world, monster haters, or “anti-monsters” are common. They commit hate crimes, and found monster-free establishments, making an overall unwelcoming community. We in the Morning Report wish to begin to fix this. I’m here with (y/n), the human who fell down into the home of the monsters for many years. She helped to free them from this prison, and help integrate them back into the life here on the surface. We asked you for an interview, (y/n), because after living for many years with monsters, who would know better how to help them feel welcome than you? So, tell us, what would you say humans can do to help create a more monster-friendly environment?”

You pause, still a tad nervous, then begin.

“Do not deny them service or charge them more than is necessary in stores. It is a ridiculous and cruel thing to do, and with the currency change from monster to human, it is difficult to find out exactly how much anything should really cost. Don’t do silly things like make jokes about their appearance or size, just like you wouldn’t, or rather, SHOULDN’T make jokes about another person’s shape or size. There are things common on the surface that aren’t normal in the Underground, and vice versa. Help explain things, but not in a condescending way. Just, um, be nice, I guess. Be decent; it really isn’t much to ask.”
“It really shouldn’t be too much to ask. What do you say to anti-monster groups watching right now?’’
“Um, just stop. There’s no point in being hateful anyway, it just ruins someone’s day.”
“And to pro-monster groups?”
“Look, there shouldn’t have to be pro and anti monster groups, just like there shouldn’t be pro and anti gay groups. Just, treat them with decency and make them feel welcome. But thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing and help turn it into the new normal.”

She nods and thanks you. The cameras pan onto Papyrus and Sans.

“And you two have helped take care of her and been her good friends for many years, I understand?”
“Um, yes! She fell down when she was eight, it has been a long and, er, exciting friendship! In fact, she and my brother are dating!”
“heh, um, yup.”

She seems taken aback- this was a line she didn’t know she was going to cross. You don’t know what she’s going to do with the new information- but she tears up a little bit.

“That is wonderful! Good for you! What way to show that humans and monsters really can live together in peace.”

You smile. She’s doing a really good job with this. Papyrus looks like he’s going to burst with pride, and Sans seems like he is caught between wanting to disappear and wanting to stay strong in front of the camera. Lindsey makes some finishing remarks, and the ON AIR lights flick off. Lindsey talks with the three of you for a bit and you leave. Maybe this will fix things? Probably not. But you glow with happiness that, whether they know it or not, the world knows that you’re dating the best guy in the universe.

Chapter Text

Ali and Caster are packing up- today is finally the day. The skelebros, Ali, Caster, and of course, you, are heading to the surface to “dunk this Sharkomb dude”. At least, that’s how Sans chose to put it.
Caster would go in first, under the guise of reporting the latest to the mafia lord; then Sans would teleport inside and hold him up with blue magic. Then someone would call the cops to report him, and hopefully he’d be incarcerated by lunch. If anyone got hurt, Papyrus would be there, ready to heal. Worst case scenario, everyone would need to be in the building/casino thing where he’s staying in order to hold him off. Ali would be there because…well, she needs to go home, and she loves being in the thick of the action.
Everyone gets in cars, Caster riding with Ali in the backseat, scrunched down so as not to arouse suspicion. He and Ali walk together to the car, and you decide not to tag along. Something tells you that they need a bit alone. You, Sans, and Papyrus all take the red Jaguar. Sans reminisces about when he came home to find you flipping out that he’d died in a car crash. You laugh- in comparison to what you’re about to do, the memory seems childish. But you still cringe a little at the memory of the feeling. Papyrus smiles, but still seems a bit nervous. Sans drops it. Papyrus picks up the conversation once you’re out of Mt. Ebott.

“Something is going to happen when we get there. Whether it’s good or bad, no plan goes off without a hitch. So when something happens, if anyone… well, when something happens, we all have to be prepared.”

What he didn’t say hangs in the air. If anyone dies. The thought hadn’t occurred to you. Technically, if YOU die you can reset. But if Ali dies? Sans? Papyrus? Caster? You can either start over from ten years ago: or you can move on. Your sole goal now is to protect them. All of them, at the risk of losing your own life…again. Sans holds your hand firmly in one of his. He doesn’t need words to say it: ‘Don’t worry. We’re gonna be okay.’ You feel significantly better after this. How many times did Sans kill you, after all? He didn’t have to try too hard…but no. This time the goal isn’t to kill, it’s to capture. Yeah, he’s never been the best at that. Neither has Papyrus, though you’d never tell him so.
Finally, you arrive. The huge casino towers there, and you park the car and wait inside of the Starbucks next door, so as not to be noticed. Ali’s paler than you’ve ever seen her. Sans stands by the window, waiting for his signal to go. You stand next to him, silent. Behind you, Papyrus is talking in a low, comforting voice to Ali.

“I’m sure he’ll be just fine. My brother is excellent at…what he does. He’ll have this human apprehended in no time, and then Caster will be safe. Do you know what I always tell Sans when he has nightmares?”
“Deep breaths. Everything’ll be okay.”

One minute goes by. Two. No signal. Sans is getting more tense by the second. He mutters,

“i’m just gonna go.”
“No! What if he isn’t ready for you yet?”
“and what if he’s dead, sweetheart? i need to go.”
“Then take me with you.”
“i’m not risking your life for this. you’ve already died once, i’m not letting it happen again.”
“If you die, I’ll reset from ten years ago.”

He turns to you, unsurprised and sad simultaneously.

“don’t forget, okay? if anything happens.”

You don’t cry, though you know that’s what you should be doing. Something in you refuses. You nod firmly, and avert your eyes. You can feel his eyelights reaching for eye contact, but you’re too scared. He hugs you, once, briefly, tight, and vanishes.

“Guys…he went.”
“There wasn’t a signal!” Papyrus says, jumping to his feet.
“I know.”
“He’s so reckless sometimes! Do you have the next signal yet?”

A window shatters with bullets and blue light, bone attacks and blood. Whose?! You feel your heart hammering against your ribcage- your breath is getting harder to catch.

“Papyrus,” your voice is panicky and urgent. “You have to shortcut us in there, go, right now, go, go, go, GO, GO-”
“But I- I don’t know how, what if I hurt us?!”

You’re wheezing, breath coming in little gasps. Ah, the wonders of hyperventilation. Ali grabs you and sits you on the floor, trying to calm you down. Papyrus takes a deep breath, turns on the spot and vanishes. You can’t breathe, everything is so dark- what’s even happening? Where is Sans when you need him? You stand, shaky, still struggling to see and breathe. No tears, just panic. Sirens blare- is that in your head, or is it real? They’re loud, that’s all you know. Ali is gone, you don’t know where. A voice is trying to ask you questions, to figure out what’s happening, to see if you’re all right.
It’s so dark. It’s so cold. You can’t breathe. Nothing is really happening. If it is, you don’t know about it. What’s all the panic for? There isn’t reason anymore, just the crushing fear and anxiety there, overwhelming you. You used to have panic attacks when your parents were looking for you, but nothing like this.
After what feels like years, but may really only have been a minute, your breath slows. The world lightens. Tear tracks are stuck tightly to your face, but you don’t remember crying. There’s a college-age girl in front of you, crouching and telling you that “everything is going to be fine”. You’re kneeling against a wall, but you don’t remember sitting down. Finally you splutter out some words.

“Where’s Sans?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know, everything’s going to be fine. I have friends who have panic attacks all the time, it’ll pass.”
“Where is he?”
“Hey, we’ll find him, it’ll be oka-”
“No. Where is he?”

Her face scrunches in worry, and the sirens in your head get louder. So they’re real- when you turn to the window, you see an ambulance and a cop car side by side. No Sans. No Papyrus. But! A snatch of a purple hoodie is hopping into the ambulance. You stand, running out to it as it pulls away, then vomit on the ground. A police officer begins asking questions, walking up to you at a brisk pace.

“Ma’am? Are you alright?”
“Where’s…where’s Ali?”
“Where’s Sans?”
“I’m sorry, I d-”
“Where’s Paps?”
“Ma’am, are you-”
“Where’s my family…”

And then you ran out of words. None would come out anymore. You turn, ignoring his protests, and run towards the casino. Blood is on the ground, glass, bullets. You don’t know who won or lost. You don’t know who might be inside the building. And you need to. Tearing past the caution tape and agents, you run up the stairs. Stairs and stairs and stairs, adrenaline and fear keeping you from tiring. When you finally reach the floor with all of the wreckage and policemen, you stop cold. They’re holding up a thick blue jacket, fur lining the hood, torn a little bit.
Why do they have his hoodie.
Why do they have his hoodie.

“Ma’am, this is a crime scene, we’re going to have to ask you to leave immediately.”
“Why do you have his hoodie.”
“I’m sorry-”

A few men go to grab you and bring you back down the stairs, but one steps up to wave them back. He has red hair, a police uniform, and a chipped front tooth. Mikey! But- how does he remember you? Who cares, really? Humans are weird.

“(Y/n), this is Sans’, isn’t it?”
“Mikey…yes, it’s his, where is he?”
“At the station for questioning. He’s fine, calm down, we’re going to need you to tell us everything you know.”
“Mikey, why are you here?”
“Doesn’t matter now. What do you know? We can take you to him if you tell us.”

You tell them about how Caster was being blackmailed. How Caster was after Ali. How all Sans was going to do was help apprehend the guy blackmailing him. Ali is innocent. Papyrus is innocent. Sans is innocent. Caster broke the law, but unwillingly. Mikey listens to your garbled, panicked story, nodding and taking notes. He even lets you hold the hoodie. After a few minutes, you finish and ask-

“And then I came to in the Starbucks d-down there. How long has it been? Is anyone hurt? What happened?”
“Caster was shot the moment he entered the room. He died in the ambulance, from what they’ve told us. Ali is there with him. Sans came in to try to save Caster, but he was too late. He managed to get “Sharkomb” in the end, but he was nearly shot. His older brother, um, Papyrus I think, entered the scene just in time to block a bullet that lodged in his ribcage. It would’ve hit Sans, roughly in the neck area, so it was lucky he came in time. Sans struggled a lot when we asked him to go to the station, said he needed to find you, but when he saw me he calmed down a bit. It’s been roughly forty-five minutes since someone called.”
“Can you drive me there?”
“He might still be in questioning when you get there, (y/n).”
“I don’t care. Is Paps okay?”
“It definitely hurt him, but he healed himself fairly well. No fatal injuries. It’s lucky he was where he was. Sans might have- well, point is, it’s all okay now.”
“Please drive me there.”
“Alright. Hey, Cody, could’ya drop her in the QR at the station?”

The man, supposedly Cody, turns.

“The one with the skeleton chaps?”
“Yeah. She needs to see ‘em. They’re innocent.”
“Ah, really? I’ll com the chief, then.”

After countless conversations, after what feels like hours, but might be a moment, you’re in the police cruiser. Cody is trying, similarly to everyone else, to tell you that everything is going to be okay. You won’t believe him until you see Sans, see that Paps is REALLY properly healed. Cody says Sharkomb was arrested. You don’t care, won’t notice until you see that Ali is fine. Caster…damn it, Caster’s dead because of this. Some part of you can’t help but blame yourself, though it isn’t even remotely your fault. This morning seems like a universe away.
A random thought hits you out of nowhere. What would Toriel do? Toriel would probably be doing the same as you- sit pale faced and silent in the front of the police cruiser and wait to see her family. You’d never thought of it like that before. Family. It sounds like a foreign word. Even though none of them are really related to you, it feels real.

“Oi, we’re here, you should get out and go check on your friends in there.”

You nod silently and trip over your own feet out of the car. You hit the pavement on your hands and knees- it’s hot. Is it only noon? As you get up, you rush into the station. Cody is standing there watching as you look around the hallways for the room.

“Down the hall, third door on the left. Don’t go barging in there, at least knock.”

You run- not any of this stumbling now- down the hallway and turn. Third door on the left, third door on the left. Here. You’re about to push the door open when you remember the warning and knock. The officer, supposedly the chief, opens the door. Behind him, Papyrus is sitting closest to you, and Sans is slumped in a fold-out chair in the corner.

“Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to come back at a later time.”
“…I- no, can I please come in?”

The simultaneous shout from both Papyrus and Sans startles the officer out of the way. They're hugging you then, laughing shakily. Your knees buckle with relief and you slump to the floor, and they follow. You don’t realize you’re still clutching Sans’ hoodie until you feel how cold his bones are. You take a deep breath and relinquish it, letting him slide it on. Better. They don’t stop holding you when you can’t breathe anymore. They don’t stop until your breath comes back, normal and even. Sans is shaking, and you know he’s crying, but you are too. Not sad tears, necessarily. It’s just relieving- you were so scared. Then Papyrus wraps his arm behind your back and hoists you to your feet, helping you into the fold-out chair Sans had been in a moment ago. Sans turns his head, eye smoking blue, to the officer.

“let us go home.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
“we’re innocent.”

Papyrus seems just as outraged as his brother.

“Yes, the voice on that talkie-box said so!”
“That doesn’t mean you’re free to go.”

And then your voice comes back, full blast.

“Officer, we have the right to know why we are being retained.”
“YOU aren’t being retained. These two are being held for questioning.”
“And have you asked your questions?”
“Papyrus, Sans, have you answered honestly?”
“Now, sir, if you’ve already asked your questions, and these two say they answered honestly, then that means the only reason we are being retained is because you don’t like the answers you got.”
“And how do you know they’re being honest?”
“When you live with a person for ten or more years of your life, you learn their tells. Paps, Sans, say it again, all of it.”

They repeat themselves, and you back them up with evidence, report that everything they’ve said is true.

“-and they helped take down a mafia lord YOU haven’t been able to catch! Why are you retaining us?”
“How do you know THEY didn’t kill that red-head? How do you know?”

Sans’ eyelights go out, and Papyrus sinks into a chair, then murmurs,

“W-wait…Caster died?”
“yeah. how come no-one told us?”

You hold out an exasperated arm at the chief.

“Isn’t that enough proof for you? Ask the men down there now! They know! You have no right to retain- to retain my family.”

He sighs, defeated, and waves an impatient hand.

“Just go. I’ll get the information I need from my dispatch. Fill out the form on the way out.”

You stride out, Sans beside you, Papyrus behind. When the door shuts behind you, you shut down again. There’s no thinking of driving home in this state, though that’s the only place anyone wants to be. You collapse in the front lobby chair at the station and lock your head between your knees. Sans is on your right side, rubbing circles on your back.
Papyrus is on call with someone: you assume it’s Metta. Geez, he’d never let Paps see you again after this. Sans tenses up, shaking a little. You pull yourself up a little bit. He’s grinning, as usual, but he’s crying.

“we killed the kid, dammit.”

You murmur, your voice raising just a little so he can hear.

“No, no, we didn’t, I was the one who didn’t even help, I just sat there hyperventilating for forty-five minutes.”
“and how could ya control that? you couldn’t. i should’ve gone sooner, that’s my fault.”
“We should’ve just reported the guy’s hideout or something…I don’t know. Oh, geez. I just want to go home. I want to go home and start over, I want to reset to an hour ago, I want to try again! I want to fix this, why is determination so damn finicky?! This IS my fault, I can’t fix it, why can’t I fix it?!”

And you let go of the tears, choking on them as they fall. Sans watches silently, but doesn’t pull you closer when you lean against him. You reach a hand to touch his face, the mask he’s put up.

“Stop smiling, just for a minute. I know it hurts.”

He lets his grin slip. It’s taking everything he has not to put it back on. He looks so different without it- like he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do with his face. You smile the tiniest little bit and hug him. Papyrus walks over and hugs both you and Sans in his long arms. You’d normally be so happy to be at the center of a group hug, but just this once, it just hurts. Papyrus speaks first.

“Let’s go home.”
“No,” you protest, “we have to go to the hospital and pick up Ali.”
“Are you sure? You need to get some rest, (y/n), we can come back later.”
“I’m sure. We’re not leaving her here after all of this. I’m scared for her… I don’t know what she’ll do if we leave her alone. I don’t want her to hurt herself.”

Papyrus looks at you for a minute. He’s looking straight through you, trying to stare right into your soul. You meet his gaze steadily. There are so many things you want to give up on right now. But Ali isn’t one of them. He nods and stands.

“You two stay here. I’ll pick her up myself- I have a feeling it’ll help somehow. I’ll be right outside in the car in twenty minutes.”
“Okay. T-thanks, Paps.”

You choke back more tears and hug him really tight. He hugs you back, and turns to Sans.

“Brother, everything will be okay. It isn’t right now, but it will be. What do I always say?”
“‘no puns’?”
“No, the other thing.”
“deep breaths?”
“Yes. Deep breaths…I’m here, Sans.”
“i know, bro.”

Papyrus hugs him, and gets in the car. You don’t exactly register how long he’s gone for. You don’t register much, actually. No clear thoughts, just a deep, heavy feeling. Sans’ eyesights are extinguished, but suddenly he speaks.

“. . .yeah?”
“are you gonna reset?”

You turn your head to him- oh, he doesn’t really think- but he does. You haven’t considered it. Would it be a good idea? Ten years is a lot to reset. Ten years is a hundred thousand people whose lives start from the beginning, or maybe the middle. Maybe some people died then, too… why didn’t you reset for them? What makes their lives less valuable than Caster’s? They aren’t. But what if it had been Sans with a bullet in his head? You know you’d reset, no thought. But that would mean Impact won’t exist. That means you won’t see Ali for years and years. You’d be eight again. It would all start over…

“What did I tell you? I’ll never reset unless something happens to you.”
“what about Paps?”
“I- I’m not sure I could live without him, either.”
“yeah. me, neither.”

The silence hangs for a minute longer, and then Ali is there, pale and shaky and silent. You’ve never seen her act anything but confident- and she sure didn’t act like this when Caster was just a random assassin you hit with a car. You wonder if he told her something- maybe he’d planned this? Maybe he’s just faking his own death again. But it seems unlikely. Ali speaks, choking on her words.

“You guys go home. I’m staying up here.”

Papyrus protests, but you stay silent. Sans doesn’t speak either. You don’t know why- a minute ago you were advocating for her to stay, that it was important you pick her up. It’s like a wave of apathy has crashed over you- but then Sans speaks.

“well, are you gonna try to kill yourself?”

She doesn’t respond.

“that’s a yes. you can stay in Pap’s room. come on, i wanna go home.”

Papyrus watches, almost surprised, as Ali hangs her head and gets in the car. You get in the backseat next to her. Sans rides shotgun, and Papyrus is silently voted best driver.
Something in the radio jostles as the car pulls out, and a song starts to play. Nobody moves to turn it off, but nobody turns it up, either. It’s one of those songs you don’t know the name of, but it’s stuck in your head all day. The ones you can know word for word, without ever listening to it outside of a car radio. When the chorus hits, Ali starts singing, voice broken in pieces.

“My heart’s a stereo, turn me up when you feel low, this melody is meant for you, so sing along, to my stereo-” as she tries to hold the note, her voice breaks and she chokes on her tears. Sans turns the song off.

In an hour, or maybe a second, the car is pulling into Mt. Ebott. Then you’re inside. Sans doesn’t bother trying to hide it- he grabs the knife block in the kitchen, puts in in a drawer and locks it. He stuffs the key in a pocket and goes upstairs. Ali drops onto the couch. Papyrus tells the floor that he’s going next door to let Mettaton know he’s okay. And then it’s all silent. You’re left standing in the living room, in front of the TV, not quite sure what to do with yourself. Two options now, you suppose. Go upstairs with Sans, and leave Ali by herself, or do the opposite. For the second, Ali seems like the more urgent case. She half-shouts, blurting-

“I shouldn’t be like this. It’s not my fault. I don’t- I didn’t even really-”

She’s crying now, and you sit on the couch next to her.

“What did he tell you when you went on that walk with him?”
“……that he loved me, a little. If nothing went wrong… he said he wanted to- he said he wanted to- he WANTED to, he- he-”

She snaps again, and you sit with your arm around her shoulders.

“It’s not like I haven’t seen guys die before! I’m the leader of a goddamn gang! It just feels like, it feels like he was my brother, or, or a friend, or… like he really did love me. It’s stupid, I don’t feel a lot of mushy feelings and stuff, its so stupid, why do I care?! SANS SAW IT HAPPEN, FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHY DO I CARE?!”
“Because you love him back, Ali.”
“NO, no, no, no, I can’t, I don’t, no…”

She murmurs ‘no’ over and over like a prayer, or a chant. You let it happen. Was it really only mere hours since this morning? The clock must be lying- it says that it’s only five in the afternoon. Ali is muttering something new now, under her breath…what is it?

“-kill me, kill me, kill me, just let me die, use your freaky superpowers or something, just stop all of this!”
“I’m not going to kill you, or anyone else. Do you know why?”
“No- just, please, just-”
“Because this will pass, and I’m just as scared as you are. And if I’ve learned anything from dying, it’s this: the people you leave behind are lost without you. Look at Caster: we only knew him for a month, and look at us now that he’s gone. Not to mention if I killed you, I’d never forgive myself. And I have enough guilt in my life.”
“I know.”
“No, you DON’T.”
“Really?! Are we going to do this? How many times has Sans come THIS CLOSE to dying? How many times did I kill him, watching through my own eyes as he turned into dust?! I don’t understand- bull. I get it, Ali. I didn’t know him as well as you did, but I know what it feels like to lose someone. And I’ll tell you this- I’m not going to kill you, I’m bringing you to a surface hospital that can help you. There’s only so much we can do, and I can’t do it unless you show me you have a will to live. When it’s over, you can live with us.”

She puts her head in her hands- she knows you’re right, but you were too harsh. Some part of the fight in you comes back in keeping Ali safe. That’s your purpose right now- that’s your reason to live. You have a will: she doesn’t. You know you can’t take her to a hospital- that would be downright cruel.

“How about you take a nap? It sounds stupid, but I think it’ll help.”

After helping her into Papyrus’ old racecar bed, you open the door to Sans’ room, mysterious flames licking the underside of the door into the hallway for no apparent reason. Sans is lying on the bed, sheets drawn around him in a cocoon, back to the door. It looks warm, but instead of joining him, you sit on the edge of the bed.

“Sans? Are you okay? Well, no, of course not, that’s stupid, sorry.”

He doesn’t respond. You sigh, still tired and shaky. The last thing you had to eat was a single waffle and a banana.

“Where are you, Sans? Where’s the bonehead I know? I know it hurts- I hurt, too. But we gotta stick it out.”
“it’s my fault.”
“It’s not, you know it’s not. It was a flawed plan, you know it was. I was the one with the panic attack- anyway- if it’s anyone’s fault it’s Sharkomb’s.”
“…what’s a panic attack?”
“Oh…you can’t breathe very well, and everything gets all dark, and it’s like anxiety kinda crushes on you. It’s not fear, it’s more pure panic- hence, the name. I saw one of the windows explode, and there was some blood, and I thought it was yours. And there was a lot. So I got one.”

He opens out an arm and lets you snuggle in front of him into the cocoon. You do a Huggle on his soul, and he relaxes, tenseness ebbing out of him. You turn around so that you’re facing him.

“heh. not lookin’ forward to tryna sleep tonight.”
“Guess what?”
“When you wake up, I’m here. And when I wake up, you’re here. So everything’ll be okay.”
“heh. how come you’re always right?”
“I think it’s cause I’m lucky.”
“you’re lucky? i coulda sworn i was the lucky one.”
“Technically, we’re both extremely UN-lucky, but we got very lucky in the love department.”

There’s a pause, and you hear Papyrus walk in the front door. The crack in the door darkens as he looks in, confirms that you’re there. He knocks lightly, and you tell him he can come in. He does, and sits on the floor, back leaning against the bed.

“You know, Sans, it is very stressful when someone dies.”

Sans starts chuckling, then laughing, harder and harder, until you fall off of the bed. He’s laughing and laughing, and then he splutters;

“you think?! oh, there we go, NOW you get it, it is “quite stressful indeed”! no wonder, tell the guy who watched everyone he knew die on repeat that it’s “very stressful”! might wanna let HIM know!”

He has tears streaming down his round face, and you know that they aren’t laughter tears. You climb back on the bed and wrap Sans in your arms. He’s still grinning, but the tears are flowing thicker now. He puts his head in his hands, and Papyrus stares at him for a second before speaking, voice sounding hurt and sad.

“Brother, why did you never tell me all of this? You told me some, but never everything. I could have helped you, I could have known! Sans, you NEVER had to bear all of this by yourself.”
“He’s right, Sans. You aren’t alone, okay? None of us are. We’re here for you just as much as you are for us. I’m here, right? Paps is here! Ali, even. All of us.”
“…not Caster.”

You frown- that’s not where you wanted that to go. Papyrus starts next.

“You want to know who else couldn’t save him? Me, Sans. And (y/n). And Ali. And the entire police force. So if you’re sad because you were the only one who failed, don’t be. We’re a team.”
“you did not just seriously call this a team.”
“I- well, um, I did. We’re the Failure Club. I’ll make us t-shirts.”
“. . .did you just make a joke?”

Sans looks up, the slightest hint of a real smile on his face. Papyrus hesitates, but continues.

“Er- um, well, nyeh, I suppose. But don’t have your heart set on the t-shirts. Here in the Failure Club, they’ll probably come out as dresses.”
“hey, what’s Metta always sayin’? ‘anyone can rock a dress if they try hard enough’.”
“That and ‘there’s never enough glitter’.”

Sans and Papyrus are looking at each other, grins growing on their faces. finally, some humor. You stand-

“I’m making sandwiches! Everyone feels better with food in them.”
“hey, don’t forget the chips.”
“I will come and help prepare the sandwiches! Sans, you come, too. And take a shower, I will sew up that rip in your hoodie.”
“heh, ok.”

Things will be okay. As Sans grabs some clean clothes, he swears he hears a voice from a deep, far away place.

“I’ll be fine. Feel better, okay?”


Sans wakes up, shaking, panting, at two in the morning. You sit up too, startled by some vivid nightmare. You look over at him and smile, reassuring. He calms at that smile.

“there you are.”
“I’m here.”

You lay back down, and he does, too, laying on his side so he can still see you. For the first time you can remember, he doesn’t have his hoodie on at night. You reach forward and let him hold you, but it feels a lot touchier than when he has it on. Nothing but a nightgown and a t-shirt stopping the heat exchange between you. He slips a hand under your nightgown to rub your back, making you shiver at the feeling.

“I think we’ll fall asleep fine.”
“i think so.”

Chapter Text

You roll out of bed- literally. You roll over and fall face-first to the floor, banging your nose. It isn’t broken, but it bleeds anyway.

“whashappnin’” Sans says, sitting up.
“Bang’d mah nose.” your voice is low and nasally.
“oh, geez, should it be bleeding like that? did you break your nose?”
“No. I don’t think so. Lemme go get some papew towews.”
“oh, lemme help. heh, happy birthday, sweetheart.”

Heh. What a way to start your birthday. Wait! It IS your birthday, isn’t it?! Sweet!! He helps you get a warm, wet bunch of paper towels and you hold it over the sink until the bleeding stops. Ali comes downstairs to wish you happy birthday, bringing a small wrapped box with her. After the accident with Caster, she’s a lot more mellow and quiet, but when she gets excited, she seems to go back to her old self again.

“Happy Birthday, (y/n)!! Wait, why are you bleeding?”
“Fell out of bed and banged my nose on the floor. Thanks! Ooh, is this for me?!”
“No, it’s your birthday, and it’s a wrapped gift that I’m handing to you, but it’s really for Sans. Yes, it’s for you! Open it!!”

You laugh and throw the wad of paper towels in the trash, then crash on the couch. Inside the box is a bunch of little plastic thingies…wait! These are game cartridges! Perfect for your ancient Gameboy, too!

“WOAH! How’d you even GET these?! My Gameboy is so OLD… Sans, come look! She got me more Gameboy games! Thank you so much, Ali!”
“It didn’t take too long- if you look in the right stores and ask the right people, you can get quite a few.”
“Thanks, oh my gosh, I wanna play one, is there the new Pokémon?”

Sans comes and grins, but shakes his head.

“nope. we got stuff planned, sweetheart. first, next door for birthday waffles. the whole crew’ll be there!”
“Wait, like, Alphys and Undyne and Tori and everyone? I thought they don’t remember me? Undyne nearly cleaved me in half!”
“eh, yeah, I talked to ‘em though, and they all seemed excited to come, but I don’t think they know why. i just thought you’d think it was fun if we got the whole gang together again.”
“I am! I really am, I just don’t need a magic spear through me on my birthday. Thank you, Sans! You too, Ali, I know you helped.”

They laugh and you run upstairs to change into something presentable and brush your hair. When you come down, Sans has Pokémon in your Gameboy and is plugging away at it already.

“Hey, ya doof, drop it! I don’t want spoilers, the story is the best part.”
“fine, fine, ok. i will, look.”

He lets go of it and continues to play the game with blue magic. You snort and tug. It pulls out of the magical grip really quickly, and the little *pop* noise it makes you jump. After hiding the little system and the box of games, you walk through the snow to Papyrus’ house. Tracks in the snow of varying size and shape lead to the door. So Sans wasn’t kidding. When you open the door, Papyrus yells “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” and pulls you into a huge hug. The rest of the crew is buzzing with energy, and they all wish you a happy birthday, too, but you see it in their eyes: they don’t remember.
Trying to ignore this, you scarf down waffles drenched in syrup and whipped cream, even going as far as adding sprinkles. ‘Birthday calories don’t count’, you think. Everyone is milling around with plates and cups, talking. Sans and Alphys are having a heated discussion about some space thing. Toriel and Mettaton are polar opposites, but they get along well when it comes to doing a little bit of cleanup here and there. You hear Undyne beg that Asgore fight her, that they can spar in the snow. He declines politely. Napstablook is floating next to you, staring at the food set out, not really knowing what to do with himself- you try to make conversation.

“Hey, um, how are you? I know you can’t really eat this, sorry about that.”
“oh…it’s okay. i don’t really eat much anyway.”
“Yeah, alright. Have you, um, written any new music lately?”
“no…not really…sorry.”
“Oh, that’s fine! Everyone should have breaks sometimes, heh. Um, sorry. You don’t remember me, do you?”
“. . .no.”
“That’s okay. You aren’t alone, after all.”

He quiets and fades into nothingness. So much for conversation. A few more hours of this, and then Mettaton pulls on your sleeve.

“Come here, darling, I want to show you something.”
“Um, what?”
“Meet me upstairs.”

You look on, confused, as he slips away, then stand up off of the couch and go upstairs. The house has a very similar layout to yours, so after determining that the first room is Impact’s room, you know that the next is where he must be assuming you’ll meet him. When you go in, you grin at how impeccably decorated it is. The closet has lots and lots of outfits in it, most of which are Metta’s. He is standing in the middle, hands on hips, grinning.

“Why am I up here?”
“We’re going to get YOU all dressed up, darling!”
“It’s your birthday, of course! And my gift to you is one free dress and a makeover.”
“But…you don’t remember me.”
“I’ve seen how you treat Paps like you’ve known him for years. He calls you his sister. So I call you my sister, too. Now get over here! I’m thinking something red.”

He picks out a cold shoulder dress- gleaming red silk and a bow in the back. It only goes down to the knees, and you feel kind of silly with the weather outside being so cold. Mettaton doesn’t bother with high heels- he already knows by the looks you’re giving them that they aren’t something you’ll be able to manage. He settles with little red suede flats. One quick makeup session later, even you can’t deny how nice you look. Luckily, Metta went with something natural, so you don’t look drastically different.

“Oh, man.”
“Oh, dear, do you not like it?”
“I’m gonna have to walk down the stairs in this.”
“And everyone is going to watch.”
“But- but I look so different now! How am I gonna do this?”
“Just walk down the stairs like you normally would, and you’ll get less attention than if you hesitate. But I think you look ravishing, darling. Happy birthday. Now go on! They’re probably waiting on you to open presents!”

You take his advice- by getting down the stairs as quickly as you can, nobody has time to stare- until Undyne shouts-

“LOOK! Guys, she got all fancy!!”

Well, there goes that plan. Everyone oohs and ahs, and you blush so hard you’re worried it’ll stick. Sans sees you and grins- half amused at your discomfort, half taken with you. You stick your tongue out at him and he laughs. Oh, and the gifts! Papyrus got you a huge shopping bag’s worth of snickerdoodle mix. Alphys got you the entire series of Mew Mew Kissie Cutie on DVD (You already have it, but how would she remember that?). Undyne got you bluetooth headphones- WOAH! Now you can listen to music wherever! Cool! Asgore says that he didn’t really know what to give you, so he just made you a bouquet. It has buttercups and baby’s breath, ivy and little rosebuds.

“It’s beautiful! Thank you so, so much!!”

Finally, Toriel got you a huge stack of books. Most of them are on snails, but there’s the odd pun book or astrology book. Napstablook is gone, but he left you a note with a link to his songs on the Undernet. Finally some non-physical copies: you can listen to them with the headphones! After thanking everyone, they begin to drift out the door to attend to their days. Sans is sitting on the couch, grinning as you open the headphones hurriedly.

“not yet, sunshine. we got stuff to do.”
“And where is this?”
“surface is next.”

He laughs and drags you to your feet. After packing up all the gifts and thanking Mettaton and Papyrus a zillion more times, you walk out the door. The moment it opens, however, you start to shake. This dress does nothing for keeping you warm, however pretty it is. Sans looks at you worriedly, then picks you up with blue magic. You squeal in surprise, and suddenly you’re in the living room. Sans pops into existence behind you. He laughs at your bewildered face and reassures you that everything is okay. You drop off the gifts, but keep the flowers. They’re not too large that you can’t hold them easily in one arm, so you think they’d be cute to keep.
Sans shortcuts you into the car, this time with a bit of a warning first, then follows himself. He’s driving this time. Drive, drive, drive to the surface, then he parks in front of the tallest hotel in the city, and tells you to get out. You do, and he follows and pops the trunk. A picnic basket, a boombox (like, a legit 50 pound one…how does he have something so old, anyway?!) and a small white box. He stuffs it in his pocket and picks up the boombox onto his shoulder. You’re left with the bouquet and the picnic basket.

“ok, so, don’t scream, ok? i’ve practiced this a lot.”

He wraps his free armaround your waist, then there’s the feeling of flying. You reappear somewhere- where? The view is spectacular, if you look down you can even see the tiny blue speck that is the Blueberry. Sans is fiddling with the boombox behind you.

“Where are we?”
“on top of the hotel.”
“WHAT? We’re gonna get arrested! This is so illegal!”

You’re laughing as you say it, though. He laughs back. Two minutes later, you’re sitting crosslegged on a picnic blanket and listening to the boombox pump some random song- but Sans seems to know it by heart.

“-it might seem superficial, mm-hmm, stereotypical man, mm-hmm, you dress up just a little, and i’m like ooooooohh, damn. so suddenly, i’m in love with a stranger! i can’t believe that she’s mine. now all see is you~ with fresh eyes.” (Fresh Eyes, Andy Grammer. Worth a listen!)
“You have a way of picking the most beautiful songs without all the slow stuff. An excellent talent.”
“heh. thanks. it’s kinda hard to find ‘em when you’re so distracted by the source material, though.”
“Pfft. I can’t believe you.”
“it’s true.”
“Do YOU wanna hear a song?”
“uh, should I be scared?”

You twiddle with the dials on the boombox until you can play through your phone’s playlist. Then you begin blasting a song, and you stand for the chorus.

“If you gave me chance, I would take it! It’s a shot in the dark, but I’ll make it! Loaded gun at her heart, you can’t shame me! When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be!” (Rather Be, Clean Bandit. Also a great song!)

You’ve lip synced so enthusiastically that you feel awkward when the chorus ends and you don’t know the words. Sans stands when it comes back.

“if you gave me chance, i would take it!”
“It’s a shot in the dark, but I’ll make it!”

You’re laughing through the words at the end, and a different song starts playing. You don’t know it. Sans is grinning broadly, and you sit back on the blanket, panting hard.

“that wasn’t bad.” he quips.
“High praise from the love song master.”
“that is easily my new favorite nickname.”
“Really? Get over here, ya bonehead. Did we bring any food on this picnic or just music?”
“i put snickerdoodles at the bottom of the basket.”

You dive for the basket, and find the plate of cookies (with a happy birthday note from Grillby) inside.

“You are the singular best person on this entire damn planet, Sans.”
“i dunno about that, but, um, yeah. cookies.”

He’s blushing now, and you yank him to a sitting position with one hand. He falls gracefully into your lap, and knocks the breath out of you.

“Oof! Sans! Get off me!”
“nah. comfy.”
“You’re ridiculous.”
“i’m Sans-tastic.”
“Okay, that was good.”
“yup. i know.”
“Fine. You can stay, just scoot over a little.”

He does, but then in one swift motion you push him so that he’s laying with his head in your lap. He blushes again and he tries to move, but a well-aimed peck on the forehead makes him flustered. He doesn’t try to move again. You smirk smugly.

“’kay. I got an idea.”
“mm-hmm?” God, he’s still so starstruck.
“Do you have any magic things you haven’t shown me yet?”
“oh…um, i think i have one, but you have to promise me that you’ll never make me do it again. i hate it.”
“You don’t have to-”
“hah, it’s not like a scary deal, for once. it just feels weird.”
“Oh, pfft, okay, do it.”

He opens his mouth and suddenly a blue tongue pokes out. You jump and squeal. He laughs and it disappears.

“it feels all big and clunky every time. looks so freaky, doesn’t it?”
“Oh my god, that is terrifying.”
“so…we agree i never have to do it again?”
“A hundred percent. Any other slightly disturbing powers?”
“‘powers’… it sounds like a superhero thing when you say it like that. but it’s just how i’ve always had everything. without magic- i’d be a big pile of bones for starters, but then, my eyes, shortcuts, everything. just, gone. so weird to think about. but not really, no. no more ‘powers’.”
“Oh, okay. Yeah, I guess it would be weird for you if you didn’t have any magic. I used to wonder, heh, when I was younger, if you were human, what would you look like?”
“i can’t even imagine. i’d be one jacked-up lookin’ human.”
“I don’t know about jacked up, but I definitely prefer you as you are. Skin is overrated anyway.”
“If you cut yourself, even a little, blood goes everywhere. Acne, rashes, birthmarks, tan lines. I guess you can get tattoos, but that’s about the only upside I can see.”
“it’s soft.”
“Heh- I guess so, if you take care of it. But…if could be a skeleton, I would.”
“Oh, a million percent.”
“i like you as you are. skin and all.”

You laugh out loud- you’re blushing madly, though. It’s wonderful up here- clean concrete, sun shining on your face, blanket under you, and Sans leaning on you. He perks up after a second to ask his own question now;

“heya, do YOU have any mysterious hidden powers?”
“I don’t know about mysterious. I have one thing I can do, but it’s creepy. Other than that, my soul is usually just doing random stuff that I don’t understand.”
“what’s the thing?”
“You have to promise not to freak out and stab me or something.”
“um, ok. promise.”

You blink a few times, and your vision is tinted. The colored part of your eye is blood red, you know from looking in the mirror. You were never able to do it when you were younger, just after Chara possessed you. Sans jumps a mile, and you hurry to reassure him-

“I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m okay. Not evil or anything. Sorry, I hate these.”
“w-woah, sorry, just scared me for a sec. hey, don’t feel bad, i, um, like ‘em.”
“No you don’t, Sans.”“i do. you have the most… benevolent red eyes i’ve ever seen.”

You open your mouth, but no words come out. Your ears and face are hot, you must be blushing hard now. You smile a little bit, hot and embarrassed.

“I never use them because I always think I look like Chara. I found out I could do it when I was like, fourteen-ish. I thought you and Paps’d hate me for it.”
“well, i would’ve questioned a few things, but i’d never hate ya for it.”
“I…I’m gonna go back to normal.”

A few blinks later, your vision resets itself. You don’t realize how tense you were until you relax.

“hey, you good?”
“I’m okay. They just make me jumpy.”
“really, though, it’s ok, i don’t mind ‘em.”
“Sans, you don’t have to say that, they’re creepy.”
“i really mean it- you’re gorgeous, ok?”

That REALLY makes you heat up. You laugh nervously, flustered.

“I- you, you’re, um, I’m-”
“c’mon, i wanna dance. i still have waltz music on my phone.”

He’s grinning mischievously; he doesn’t get you like this very often, normally it’s just the opposite. He flicks the boombox on again, but instead of waltz music he switches to something else, and offers his hand to dance. You take it, trying to keep up with his fluid movements.

~Her eyes, her eyes, make the stars look like they’re not shinin’~

He twirls you around, and you smile at his song of choice- of course.

~Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her tryin’~

You smile wider, and he looks at you and murmurs the words under his breath.

~She’s so beautiful, and I tell her every day.~

A slide, a dip, a jump, a spin.

~I know, I know, when I compliment her she won’t believe me, ~

You put your hands in his, and he lets you spin out, then pulls you in.

~It’s so, it’s so, sad to think she don’t see what I see.~

You look up at his content smile, eyesockets scrunched up happily. He’s blushing a little bit, but he’s staying level headed.

~When I see your face!~

He wraps an arm around your lower back, pulling you in ever closer.

~There’s not a thing that I would change~

It doesn’t really matter where you are. The world seems to vanish as you step gracefully in line with his swift motions.

~Because you’re amazing~

You move a hand to his neck, your fingers slipping across the smooth bone.

~Just the way you are~

He pushes a little strand of hair behind your ear and kisses you. He’s smiling through it, and you can’t seem to get close enough to him. He buries his face in your neck, peppering you with kisses. When he breaks away for air, you grin.

“Hey, bonehead.”
“heh, yeah?”
“I love you.”

His eyelights sparkle brightly, and he accents every word with a kiss to your nose.

“i (kiss) love (kiss) you (kiss) more (kiss).”
“Pfft. Nose fetishist.”

You smile as he pulls you into another. You hug him hard, nearly knocking him backward.

“I’m so happy, dammit!”
“it’s been a while, ‘sn’t it?”
“Yeah. It has. I haven’t- woah, your eye!”
“It’s green.”

And it is- his left eye, where it usually glows blue, glows leaf green, smoldering brightly.

“you sure? it’s green?”
“Yeah, definitely. Are you okay?”
“i didn’t even know it could still do green.”
“What’s it mean?”
“it-” he chuckles. “it means i’m really happy.”

You squeal and jump, wrapping your arms and legs around him and knocking him onto the blanket again. He laughs, and his eye gets brighter. Blushing, still giggling, you roll off of him and lay by him.

“I hope it stays like that forever.”
“i hope it stays like this forever.”
“I hope so, too.”

He pulls out the little white box from his pocket and hands it to you. You fumble with the little bow on top, then open it. Inside are two little tickets- plane tickets??

“Waitwaitwait, are these plane tickets?!”
“yup. you ready for Colorado?”

The thing you wanted most was to go hiking in Colorado…he remembered!

“NO WAY!!”
“yes way!”

You hold the tickets tightly to your chest and squeal, then hug him again, pinning his arms to his sides.

“Happy birthday, sweetheart.”
“Is- is it just you and me?!”
“yup! a whole week- hotel is booked and everything. we leave day after tomorrow.”

He grins and kisses you on the forehead.

“i know.”
“Aww- how did you get these, anyway? Colorado and hotels and things are so expensive…you really didn’t have to!”
“we’re not paying a cent, actually. i was in the car and one of those radio contests came on- i called in, i answered the question right, and i got an all-expenses-paid trip to Denver.”
“What was the question?” you ask.
“to win, you had to answer a trivia question- you had to name the three largest black holes.”
“Tricky, but I guess it was easy for you, my astronomy nerd.”
“heh, got it pretty fast.”

A few more hours of talking, and you bring up that you could use some food. He agrees. You walk to the edge of the building, put your chin in your hands, and look out over the city, the park, the golden trees in the distance.

“see any good places?”
“Um, there’s a little pizza place Ali took me to on fifth. It’s right by the park, we could go there. This view is insane, come see!”

He wanders over, hands in pockets, looking out over the world.

“you don’t get a view like this in the Underground.”
“No, you don’t.”

A minute of staring, and you giggle a little bit.

“If ten year old me saw me now…”
“In a red dress, on top of the tallest building in the city, dating you. She’d flip out. Gosh- when I was younger I had a huge crush on you, but after a while I realized that maybe it wouldn’t work. Since I, you know, killed you a bunch.”

He laughs outright.

“It came back a little bit when I was, like, sixteen. But then you would lock yourself in your room a lot. I thought you didn’t like me, so I tried to stay out of your way.”
“we were both kinda dancing around each other that whole time…man, i must’ve been so awkward.”
“Not nearly as much as me! I was in the bathroom turning my eyes different colors and freaking out, you at least had a reason to be worried.”
“i was just laying on my bed screaming into my hoodie and sleeping, at least you tried to do things.”

There’s a little pause after that, both of you lost in thought. Your stomach growls, and a few minutes later you’re in the pizza place. When Sans tells your server that it’s your birthday, he brings out a free sundae.
You decide that this is the best birthday you’ve ever had.