Actions

Work Header

Cash In

Chapter Text

The air chills your bones. You thought it would be best that you left home late at night. That way, you wouldn’t have to explain why you left without warning. There hasn’t been a lot of job opportunities in town and you’ve been struggling to find anything to move out from your parent’s place. So, you were thinking about going into adult entertainment. It was your last resort, but here you are. Hiking up this mountain despite all the red flags going off in your head. You didn’t have much choice now. It was either this or being in debt to your family. This was probably the most stupid thing you’ve done.

You take the flyer out from your pocket and unfold it. You think this was made by hand. It looks like it was all written out in pen, with scribbles marking the errors. The lettering was big too. Some of the words were scribbled out and placed elsewhere on the page. It reads,

“Looking for adult, female actresses! Want something fun and exciting? Head to Mt. Ebott, where Ca$h will evaluate you. ONLY WOMEN OVER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN. Teens will be escorted out. Don’t even fucking try.” 

What made you think any of this was a good idea? Everything about this idea is screaming red flags. Yet, here you are. There’s just something that draws you here. Whatever it is, you’re here now. The chilled breeze washes over you. You feel your past behind you. 

Suddenly, you fall. The world you once knew is swallowed up in darkness. You see the faintest glimmer of light above you. You expect to die, or get hurt. Who would hear you? Would anyone even find you? This was all a mistake! A stupid mistake! You-
You suddenly land on something soft. Soft and fluffy. You look below you. Some giant creature is beneath you, with white fur. A bear?! No, wait, white bears aren’t in this area. Plus, the creature has long ears as well. Definitely not a bear. Wait, is it wearing clothes? A white bear with clothes? Wait, no, not a bear. Then what-?

“Ooh goodness... What in the stars...?” It spoke!! You jump off and step away from the creature. The fur ruffles a bit before the creature stands up. It easily towers over you, and it’s still slouching. It shakes its head and looks up. “What was that...? Too soft to be a rock... What in-?” It turns to you. You see the face of a tired, but kind, face of a goat. From what you can tell, he once had horns, but they seem to be broken off. He wears old, tattered, violet robes that drag across the ground.
“Oh...” He blinks. This... This isn’t the guy who wrote the flyer, right? “...Oh! Howdy! Um...” Definitely not the guy. He straightens up, showing just how massive he is. You instinctively step away, unsure what his intentions are. He shows his hands and takes a step away from you too. “It’s okay. I won’t hurt you, uh, miss.” He watches you. You refuse to move. He seems to understand and lowers his hands, which is swallowed by his sleeves. “You surprised me, you know. I was just tending this little flower patch here before you, um... Stopped by.” He steps aside, showing you a small patch of golden flowers. You’ve never seen these flowers before. At least, not in a patch like this. You glance at him, not sure if this was all some sort of trick before you slowly approach the patch. The giant goat gives you your space and watches you.
The flowers, upon closer inspection, smell lovely. The scent was gentle and warm. It puts you at ease, but you still haven’t forgotten the monster beside you. 

“You’re very quiet.... Are you hurt anywhere? Did I scare you?” He comes closer to you, but he approaches you as if you were fragile, about to break any second. You didn’t expect a creature like this to treat you so carefully.

“N... No. I’m okay...” You stammer. After all, he did break your fall. He smiles a little then looks up.

“My... You’ve certainly had a great fall... I don’t think I’ll be much help getting you back up there... Forgive me, miss.” 

“Oh, no, it’s not your fault!” You quickly say. The monster nods and dusts off the dirt from his robes.

“Well... I’d hate for you to go ahead all alone. Why don’t you follow me? I have a guest room you can stay at for a while.” He offers. “Oh, forgive me for being so rude. I haven’t introduced myself.” He holds out a hand for you to take. “My name is Asgore, young miss. It’s very nice of you to drop by.” He smiles. Dad jokes? You can’t help but smile, at least a little. 

“It’s nice to meet you, Asgore.” You reply, shaking his hand. Though you aren’t sure if you should go with him, you were already doing something stupid to begin with. However, he doesn’t seem to give off red flags, at least not yet. He walks ahead.

“Please, follow me. The ruins can be a teeny bit confusing, but it’s really nice. You’ll like it down here.” He states. You follow behind him, keeping a safe distance from him in case things go sour for you. As he leads the way, you begin to see purple stone, with more flowers growing. Vines climb the walls. Piles of red leaves are scattered about in the area. At some point, there was a little stream of water. It was shallow, and you could see the bottom. Insead of dirt, the roots from nearby vines covered the bottom. How interesting to see all these plants grow here without sunlight...

“It’s very peaceful here. Lots of things to keep yourself occupied. Plenty of things to take care of and many puzzles here to master.” Asgore hums. Puzzles? You haven’t seen a puzzle here in your passing. Some obstacles, but they aren’t what you would call puzzles. He continues to hum until you come across a large, black, dead tree. All around the ground are even more red leaves, and just up ahead you see a small house. Before you say anything, Asgore is already at the front entrance, unlocking the door. Why would he have to lock the door, you wonder. Nevertheless, you scurry up to meet him and step inside the house.

 

The house is fairly quaint. With wooden plank floors, shelves full of harmless nicknacks. There’s even a few cute little handcrafted snail decorations, where a rock is used for a shell, and clay made up the rest of the child-like snail. 

“Well, make yourself cozy. Oh, first, your room.” Asgore gestures the hallway, which you assume he wants you to walk ahead. You’re uncertain, but you do so anyway. He’s behind you and you make note of any possible escapes in case something goes wrong. He seems way too friendly to you. Can you even trust him? “Here. The first door right here, will be your room for now.” He says. “Go rest for now. You must be tired walking up that mountain. I’ll make some dinner for you. Though, um... I’m not much of a cook.” He mumbles. He continues to mumble something under his breath, but you cannot hear him.

“What was that?” You ask.

“Oh, um, do not worry. Just an old man talking to himself.” He chuckles. “I’ll try to make something to your liking. Until then, please rest. Make yourself at home.” He doesn’t move. Does he really want you to go in that room that bad?

“Um... I need to use the bathroom.” You say.

“Oh! That will be next door, miss.” He states. He still doesn’t leave the hallway. You figure if you had to lock yourself anywhere, the bathroom at least has water. You try not to worry too much and walk inside the bathroom. It’s rather plain, with pastel blue tiles and just the basics. A tub/shower combo on the far side of the room, the sink and toilet just to your right, with a mirror hanging over the sink.
You splash some water on your face, wondering when you’ll wake up from this strange dream. Only to look down and see a tuft of white fur stuck in the drain. You rub your eyes until you see stars and open them again. Still in the same bathroom. Monsters in the mountains... You thought people were just telling you things to scare you! How long have they lived in this mountain? Does that mean, the flyer you found... Was that made by a monster too? Is that why Asgore locks his door? To keep out other monsters? The thought makes you tremble. Asgore is massive... Why is he locking himself away?

“Young miss? I hope you don’t mind me interrupting, but how do you feel about pie? I’ve been trying to get this recipe right and I thought you would like to try a taste of it!” Asgore calls. You’re shaken from your thoughts and pop your head out from the bathroom.

“Um, yeah. I’ll give it a try.” You call back and step out. You don’t know why, but that room gives you the creeps. There’s some kind of.... Aura about it. Do you even believe in auras? Well, whatever this feeling is, it’s giving you all sorts of red flags. You almost ran past the room and try to follow the sounds of cooking from the kitchen. Upon leaving the hallway, you notice some stairs leading down into... A basement? Oh God, what could possibly be down there? You don’t want to know right now. Just focus on the kitchen for right now.

The kitchen is a mess. Asgore is clumsily flipping through a cookbook with a whisk in one hand, not noticing that the odd, brown, creamy substance is dripping onto the floor. A half baked pie stands on the counter. 

He’s struggling a lot, just to make you a pie. You can’t help but feel a little bad for him. Hell, the guy seems strange, but not a bad guy. He looks up and sees you.

“Oh! Um, sorry young miss. I was just... Well...” He sighs and scratches his head. “I’m afraid I’m not very good at this...”

“I can help, if you want.” You offer. His face lightens up and he nods. 

“Thank you. I didn’t anticipate your assistance, but I will appreciate it.” Asgore shuffles to the side, making room for you in the kitchen. It took the two of you some time to fix the pie, but the two of you finally create something that’s edible. He seems happy, and your stomach is thankful. Perhaps this guy wasn’t so bad. Still, you can’t shake off that bad feeling in the pit of your stomach. You try to convince yourself that you’re just tired, so you politely excuse yourself from the kitchen.

“Thank you for cooking for me, but I think I’m ready for bed...” You say. Asgore nods and stands up. 

“That’s fine! Don’t worry about the cleanup, I’ll take care of it. You just rest easy.” He says with a smile on his face. You nod and make your way to the hall. As you pass the stairs, you have an impulse to go down there, but you try to focus on going to bed. Asgore has done nothing wrong for you to want to run away. He seems really nice... Almost too nice. He didn’t have to do these things for you... Is he the one you’re actually supposed to be looking for? You turn around, but you know he’s busy... Just rest for now...
As you near the door, you tense up. Something beyond that door is bad, you can just feel it. It’s been plaguing your thoughts and gnawing on your anxiety. What is it about this room that makes you want to run? A part of you doesn’t want to know, but you’ll go mad if you don’t find out the answer. Your hand clasps onto the door knob, which sends an unpleasant chill down your spine. You can’t dwell on it forever. You need to have an answer. You open the door. You wish you hadn’t.
The room, alone, wouldn’t be so bad in any other context. It’s the thought that a lone, grown-up monster would have these sort of things. How did he get these children’s shoes? These toys... Even the clothes in the closet were from children... Worn by children. You can tell by the small stains, the little tears, the little imperfections from being worn. Was Asgore expecting a child to fall...? And if you were a child, what would... How did he...
You can’t take it. Even if you were tired, the thought of sleeping in this room makes you sick. You run out, slamming the door behind you and make a beeline to the basement stairs.

“Wait! Human, wait! Where are you going?!” Asgore calls for you, but you can’t stop now. You need to get away! What horrible things has he done to those kids?! Where are they now?! Your mind and heart are racing. You almost trip down the stairs, but you quickly pick yourself back up. You’re now in a dimly lit hall, but you keep running. You don’t know what’s down here, which makes you more frantic. Your eyes dart in every direction, seeing nothing. You hear Asgore running towards you. Your legs ache and the air you suck in is stinging your lungs. You scream when you feel a firm hand grasp your arm.

“Let me go! Let me go!!” You shriek, trying to pull your arm out from his grasp. 

“Tell me what’s wrong!” Asgore yells over your panic. “What frightened you? Was there a monster?”

“You’re the monster!” His eyes grow wide. “Those kids! Where are they?! Why do you lock your door? What the hell were you going to do to me?!” 

“No, no. Please... You misunderstand... I’m trying to protect you from the monsters out there!” He says. “Please, please, stay here. You’ll be safe here. I promise, I can change your room if you like! I’ll learn to cook better! Just please, stay here with me. You’ll be safe here... You’ll be-” He’s begging you to stay. Can you even trust what he says? There’s more monsters out there? If there was, they’re probably safer than him! You manage to pull your arm from his grasp and bolt down the hall. He hear him call for you, but you can’t stop. You can smell the fresh air and pine needles. This hall leads outside! You don’t hear him following you anymore, but you won’t stop until you know you’re free from him. 

Suddenly, before you know it, there’s snow. There’s pine trees and ice. You realize that wearing a hoodie and shorts probably wasn’t the best idea to wear now. The cold air on your bare legs makes you shiver. Or maybe that’s the adrenaline from earlier. You aren’t sure, but there’s no Asgore in sight. You can relax... At least, that’s what you keep telling yourself. You still can’t shake off the feeling he might still be after you, so you keep marching forward. You try to keep warm by pulling the hood over your head and tucking your hands in the big hoodie pocket. Though, after trudging in the snow for a while, your socks and shoes are getting soaked. You can’t feel your toes anymore. You begin to fear that they’ll turn black if you don’t find a place to warm up soon. 

You thought you were going to pass out in the snow by the time you reached a little town. A town? Underground? The thought puzzles you and you start to wonder if you did actually die back there with Asgore. You shake it off and enter the first building. 

“Oh, y’ here for the inn? It’s next door sweetheart.” A dog says from behind the counter. She’s flipping through some sort of magazine and doesn’t even look up at you. 

“Um...” You shuffle to the counter. Now the dog looks up at you, but she looks more irritated than anything else. You stumble over your words before you finally say what you want, “Do you have any new clothes...? It’s cold here and I thought-”

“Ooohhh, you’re coming in from the Capitol, aren’t ‘cha?” She asks, closing her magazine. “You rebelling or something? Parents sheltered ya and you wanna taste of freedom?” She asks.

“Um... Well, actually I’m here because I need a job.” You reply. She clicks her tongue and rummages through something under the counter.

“Well, lotsa jobs here miss, but none of them ain’t exactly what any little lady like you is expectin’.” She takes out a paper and scribbles something on it. “You know what’cha lookin’ for?”

“Actually, I’m here because of... Ca$h?” You feel a nervous tingle run through your body when the dog looks up slowly from the paper. 

“Oh. Him.” She nods slowly and turns to the shelf behind her. “Just a minute, sweetheart.” You now take in what’s around you. It seems like a general store, with all sorts of things shoved onto a shelf. It’s cluttered and not at all clean, but at least there’s a clear path between the front door and the counter. Behind the counter, things are more neat, and you can see some food items on the top shelf. Smells like cinnamon rolls... The dog takes out a pile of clothes and hands them to you.
“My husband runs the inn next door. Take this paper to him and he’ll get you covered. If you’re here to see Ca$h, I’m told he’s checked out for today. So, we’ll make sure you’re taken care of until he’s ready to see ya.” She explains. You nod and take the bundle from her.

“Thank you...!”

“Oh, don’t thank me yet, honey. He’s gotta evaluate you first and we gotta make sure you’re in good health, otherwise...” Her voice trails off and she stays quiet. Her brows furrow and averts her gaze to the ground. “Um... Anyway, you take care, dear.” She pats your head and returns to reading her magazine. You manage to sneak a quick glance of it before you leave. There were cute bunny girls dressed in provocative, lacy wear, all fawning over this... Android? Robot? You couldn’t exactly tell, but it was some kind of humanoid.
Back in the snow, but only for a few moments. Your toes were screaming at you to stop, but you tell yourself that it’s only going to be a little while longer. You didn’t see anyone behind the counter. So, you could only wait there... At least here was cleaner. By that, you mean it’s practically bare. There’s only the counter with a little, empty glass vase. You were just about to humor the thought of sitting on the floor until a bigger dog came stomping downstairs, complaining under his breath. He straightened himself out when he finally notices you and takes his place behind the counter. 

“Welcome! How can I help you!” Well, at least he’s better at greeting than his wife... You show him the paper that you were given. You couldn’t read her handwriting anyway... He looks it over, nodding every now and then. “Ah, so you’re a Capitol gal, huh? Gonna see Ca$h tomorrow, hmm?”

“He’s popular here, I’m guessing?” The dog chuckles and hands you back the paper.

“Oh, popular is an understatement, dear. You’ll see once you meet the guy.” He grabs something then motions for you to follow him. You nod, hugging the bundle of clothes to your chest. “Yeah, most Capitol girls aren’t used to the cold here. So, Ca$h has told us to take care of you girls when you get here.”

“This sort of thing happens a lot...?”

“Well, dear, it’s a business.” He shrugs. “Girls come and go. He’s just making sure his stuff is taken cared for.” As the two of you pass, you catch some.... Erotic sounds coming from one of the rooms. Your face heats up and you try to hide deeper into your hood. The dog nods. “Mhm... You’ll have to get used to that.” 

“Wha- Why?” 

“Because, that’s how things are here now.” He says with a shrug and unlocks your room. “Don’t worry, you’re safe here. Just don’t go out when it’s late like this, okay? Monsters tend to get... Well, I don’t wanna scare you just yet.” He sighs. “Just be careful and take care of yourself.” He opens the door and holds it open for you. You step inside. It’s a small room, only with the bare minimum. You weren’t expecting a five star hotel, exactly, but something a little bit more than this... 

“So, um... Tomorrow... Where can I find Ca$h?” You ask. “What does he even look like?”

“You’ll know. He sticks out like a sore thumb.” He says. “As for where he can be, dunno sweetheart. He’s everywhere. A busy guy, y’know?” You nod slowly. “Look, don’t worry ‘bout that for now. Just take it easy and get some sleep,okay? You’re gonna need it for tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

Despite how small the room is, it’s definitely better than the other room you were offered. You start to peel off your soaked hoodie, shorts, socks and shoes in exchange for the dryer clothes you were given. The shirt is a thick, knitted, red sweater and it’s much too big for you. When you wear it, you could get away with wearing it like a dress. So, for tonight, that’s what you decide to do. You gather your wet clothes and lay them out to dry overnight. You feel heavy, worn out. Finally, you climb under the covers of the giant bed and slowly drift away into a deep slumber.

You awaken from a dreamless sleep to your door opening. You sit up quickly from your covers. Your first thought was Asgore, but it turns out to be the dog lady from yesterday. She looks just as surprised as you when your eyes meet.

“Oh, sorry. Didn’t think you were still here.” She explains. “Just doing some housekeeping, is all. Figured you’d be out and about looking for Ca$h.” Cash? Like money- No wait, you remember now. 

“Where would I find him...?” You ask, throwing your legs over the edge of the bed. 

“Hell if I know. The guy is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.” She sighs, shaking her head. “I’ll tell you where he ain’t: Grillby’s. Don’t go there unless you’re with someone. Place is crawling with monsters in heat.” She huffs.

“H-Heat?” You squeak. The dog scoffs.

“Damn, the surface don’t teach you shit do they?” She glances over at your clothes and back to you. “Should’a figured you’re a human last night.” 

“I-Is that bad?” You stammer.

“Bad for you, yeah. Monsters here would have a hay day with you. So, I’ll give you some extra warnings, since Ca$h will be pissed if anything happens to you.” She sighs, as if it’s the biggest inconvenience to her. “Monsters here will only want two things with you: your Soul or your body. Ca$h’ll keep you safe, but it’s only to protect his business, so don’t look into it. Savin’ ya a heartbreak. Also, Grillby’s is shady. He ain’t exactly bad, but he ain’t good either. Same could be said for Ca$h.” She walks over to you, holding out your hoodie. “So, don’t be lettin’ monsters know you’re human till you’re under Ca$h’s care. Also, don’t be out too late at night. You got lucky last night, but I bet you won’t get away with it again tonight.” 

“Okay.. Um, thank you.” You take your hoodie and put it over your sweater. It’s still cold and a little damp, but it can hide you. That’s what matters most. “Is there anything else I should know?” The dog lady crosses her arms, and rolls her eyes to the ceiling.

“Yeah. Don’t get attached to him. Lotsa girls think he’s takin’ care of them because he cares, but it ain’t the case. There’s only one thing that he’s after and he loves that stuff so much, he’s named himself Ca$h. Don’t waste your time, sweetheart.” She turns on her heel and takes her leave. You aren’t too sure how to take her warning. If he’s as cold as he sounds, then how could anyone fall for him? You begin to put on a pair of sweatpants you discarded last night and decide to forget the shorts altogether. Even the pants are big on you...
Though outside makes you nervous, you have to find him somehow. You came here looking for work after all. Holing yourself up in this room until he finds you..... Actually, would he even find you? He sounds like he’s always busy. Perhaps going out to find him seems like the best option for you. You don’t like it, but you’re going to have to do this. You pull the hood over your head and make your way into the hall.

Upon leaving, you encounter the monster you heard last night. It’s another dog monster, but he’s different from the other two you’ve seen. For starters, he’s shorter (still taller than you, however) and you don’t recall seeing the other two dogs ever smoking. His ears were also pointed up while the other two had droopy ears. You keep your distance as he starts to leave downstairs. You only move when he’s out of sight. After hearing the dog lady’s warnings, seeing any monster now makes you walk on eggshells. The thought of being found out and... No, you don’t want to imagine what they would do to you. As you pass by his room, you notice the door is slightly ajar. You can make out half of a monster - a feminine rabbit and a cloud of purple smoke wafting in the air. You scurry on so you don’t get noticed.

 

You wander about the town quietly. Perhaps it would be easier to find Ca$h if you asked around, but you can’t bring yourself to talk to anyone. The monsters here all easily tower over you and you can’t shake off the dog lady’s warning. Hell, you don’t even know what this Ca$h guy looks like. He could be anyone, as far as you know and that didn’t make your situation better. If only you had some help... Something, anything would be better than second-guessing yourself. You won’t be able to find him at this rate.
Though, getting back to the inn is a feat on its own. You don’t remember how to get back there. Okay, don’t panic... Just breathe... Just retrace your steps. It’s that easy right? Though... It’s getting darker now... How long did you sleep in? How long were you outside? You check your hoodie pocket for your phone, but felt nothing. You either must have left it in your shorts pocket, or you lost it when you fell. Great... You feel dread coursing through your veins. Your hands are getting clammy and your thoughts of worst case scenarios play in your mind. What if a monster finds out what you are? What if they grab you and touch you and...
No, no, no! You can’t panic now! Keep trying, you couldn’t have wandered off too far. You tug on your sleeves and scurry around, trying to avoid as many monsters as you can. Though, as it grows darker, avoiding them is near impossible and you find yourself outside of town. You remember the inn was right at the entrance of the town, but you must be on the other side. Your heart sinks, wishing that you had been forced to move on the other side of town. Maybe you should-

“Hey there, lil thing~.” A voice behind you growls huskily. You freeze, but try to stay calm. “What’s a cutie like you doin’ so far outta Snowdin, hmm?” A hand, or rather a paw, trails up your arm and grasps your shoulder. You smell something sickly sweet, like cigarette smoke mixed with candy. 

“I was just, um... I really should be going.” You murmur, tensing your shoulders to the touch. Finally, you see the monster who’s invading your space. It’s the dog from earlier. The one that left the inn. He has a coy smile on his face and a flicker of wickedness in his eyes. From what you heard from last night, you can only assume he wants one thing from you. 

“Aw, c’mon! I just met cha and you won’t even give me a chance?” He whines, wrapping an unwanted arm around your shoulders.

“Please, I just want to get back to the inn...” You say, trying to push him away from you. He growls and squeezes you into his side. 

“Hey, doll, lemme let you in on somethin’. This heat is drivin’ me crazy and Grillby’s is too pricey. Help a dog out, will ya?”

“N-No!” You scream and try to get away, flailing out of his grasp. He’s stronger and that’s what makes your blood run cold. He’s got you in his arm and you aren’t getting away. Still, you won’t let him get away with this easily.

“Ya just don’t get it, do you?!” He barks. “I either can do this nicely and you can forget it ever happened, or I can be rough and I’ll leave ya to dust. Your choice!” You punch him in the muzzle, which makes him recoil back in pain. With a second of freedom, you bolt back into town. You don’t make it very far though, and you still find yourself just on the outskirts.

“Let me go!” You scream, trying to pry your arm out from his grasp. His fur sticks up as he growls at you.

“Bitch! I even gave you a choice! Now I ain’t gonna be so nice!” His hand comes down and you shut your eyes tightly for the blow that never came. 

“Hey now, no need to get ‘ruff’ on the girl, do we?” A cool, calm voice washes over your ears. You crack an eye open to see who spoke up. You only see a boney hand, clutched onto your attacker’s wrist. “I think you better let her go now.” The dog growls, glaring at your savior. You hear an irritated, low groan from behind you. “Drop it.” He commands.

“Fine. Whatever. You keep her, Ca$h. She’d break anyway.” The dog huffs and pushes you into a body. “Nobody here would want to fuck something that ugly anyway. Only good thing about her would be that she’s a co-”

“Right, right. Would be a shame if somethin’ happened to that dog house of your’s, right? I think the inn was talkin’ about expandin’.” You savior warns, pulling you beside him. You finally glance up at him.
He’s easily the second tallest monster you’ve seen, next to Asgore. You blink a few times to make sure you’re actually seeing a skeleton before you. The innkeeper was right, he does stick out compared to the rest of the monsters here. He has pointed, sharp teeth with a single golden fang just under his left eye. He wears an eye patch that covers his right eye, a violet, open hoodie, a black shirt and sweatpants. You fixate on his eye patch and golden fang. He glances at you before returning his attention back to the dog.

“Well? Go harass another guard again. You’re pretty good at that.” The skeleton says, waving off the dog. You attacker growls, glaring at you as if this was your fault somehow, before stomping away. Once he’s out of sight, Ca$h sighs and lets go of you. He fishes his pockets for a cigarette and a lighter. He places the end between his teeth and lights it. You smell that sickly sweet scent of the smoke as he lights the cigarette.

“Oh, um... Thank you for saving me...” You murmur shyly. He slowly takes a drag and breathes a cloud of purple smoke. His gaze shifts to you, unreadable. He could not look any more bored, with one hand in his pocket, slouched over, the way his cigarette is loosely held between his fingers and the disinterested look in his eye. However, something about him feels... Off, somehow. 

“Don’t be thankin’ me. Just saving potential business opportunities.” He says carelessly. “Been hearin’ that someone has been lookin’ for me. You the gal?” You nod. “Hm, good. That makes that part easy then.” He takes another drag and keeps the cigarette between his teeth. “Alright, lets get to my place. We got some stuff to talk about. I know a shortcut.” He waves you over, wanting you close. You aren’t sure about this and take a step back. He sighs. “Look, I don’t got all night. Either we make this quick, or I’m leavin’ ya.” The thought of the dog monster coming back gives you goosebumps, so you scurry to his side. He nods, satisfied, and takes a step forward.
You feel like you’re falling, but you feel Ca$h’s arm around you. In a blink of an eye, the world is gone. A void of darkness replaces everything. It chills you to the bones. There’s something... Wrong with this place. Though it looks empty, you feel as though eyes are burning into your core. You might have been there for only a few moments, but it still shook you.

“Hey, you’re gonna be alright.” He says. “Happens to everyone the first time.” He lets you go, walking up to a small house. You take a few moments for yourself, leaning over before your stomach betrays you. You feel like you’ve been tossed around, like you had just stepped off a roller coaster. Trying to focus on standing is proving to be difficult. Deep breaths now... You hear something sizzle faintly and look up. You see a bent up, half chewed cigarette in the snow. Ca$h must have went inside already. You hurry inside the little house before anyone notices you’re out here by yourself.

“Alright, lets see what you look like.” Ca$h murmurs, turning to you. You jolt when he suddenly comes close to you. Before you can even breathe, he pulls down your hood. His eye widens, just a little bit, and a happy glint shines. “Stars, would ya look at you...” He whispers.

“Am... Am I...?” He gulp. The dog lady’s warnings run through your head. Your muscles tense up. He pats your head.

“You’re perfect.” He whispers. “I didn’t think my little flyer would reach the surface...” You can’t help but smile, just a little. The way he sounds makes your heart warm. He coughs and straightens himself out. “Though, we still have to make sure you’re qualified for the job. I wanna make sure you’re worth investing. What can you do?”

“What...?” 

“What can you do?” He repeats. “You know, got any experience in this sorta thing?” Entertaining adults? Like... In “that” way? You can’t say you have. Perhaps something like that in previous relationships, but nothing like what you’ve seen online.

“Um... I’ve watched a lot of experienced performers...” You confess.

“But nothing else?” His gaze washes over you again, taking your silence as a ‘yes’ and sighs softly. “That’s fine. Better than some other girls I’ve had to take in.” He mutters. “Alright, here’s what we’re gonna do. There’s a club in a place called Hotland. You’re going to perform there and if you make me enough money, I’ll keep you around.”

“And if I don’t...?” 

“Then you’re left on your own. I’ll drop you off somewhere safe, but other than that, I’m outta the picture. Got it?” You nod quickly. So it’s either you do a good job, or you’re stuck in God knows where. You feel a weight fall onto your shoulders. You’ve never done this sort of thing before! Being a performer in front of so many people... Your hands are trembling. “Hey, hey, hey.” Ca$h gently calls to you. “I ain’t expectin’ you to be perfect. I expect you to do your best, that’s all I’m askin’. If you can’t be on a stage, then you can’t do anything else. No use forcing ya to do anything else.”

“On stage...?” From what you understood from his flyer, you weren’t expecting a stage.

“Yeah, a stage. Y’know, for pole dancers? Strippers or somethin’ like that on the surface?” He explains. “There’s other girls there too, so you ain’t gonna be alone.” A part of you is relieved now that you know what it is you’re actually doing and that there’s other girls working with you. However, now you’re nervous about meeting your potential co-workers. “Let’s see... For now, I’ve got a room you can use instead of that inn. Gets too loud there sometimes, heh.” He chuckles dryly. “Besides, I ain’t home a whole lot, so... Whatever.” He shrugs and starts walking off.
You blink and you finally realize how lax his place looked. His living room consists of a plum colored loveseat pressed against the back wall, a large, black bean bag chair thrown carelessly in the center of the room, an entertainment center with glass shelves, with a thin, wide television hung on the top of it, a black rack stood beside the entertainment center filled with various movies and/or CDs that you can’t read the titles of. In the center of it all was a plush, round, violet rug on top of the white carpet. It wasn’t much, but it makes you hesitate stepping in the room. The hall was off to your left, where you saw Ca$h vanish to. You follow him there and he already has a door open. 

“Here you are.” He says with a shrug. You nod and enter your room. It’s practically bare, save for a single bed and a small dresser. The sheets and pillowcases were a deep amethyst and your dresser appears to be made from some sort of dark wood. “Anyway, I’m off.” You hear Cash start walking off.

“Wait! Um, where’s the bathroom?”

“Here, let me help you out.” He points to the door across from your room. “That’s my room. Don’t go in there, ‘kay? That’s all you need to know. Anywhere else, fuck, trample all over it. I don’t care. Anything else? I gotta go talk to some buddies of mine.” You try to say something, but what comes out is half a word as he blinks out of view. Now you’re just standing in the hallway, alone. Well, for someone who saved you, he’s a bit rude. You sigh and drag yourself into your room.
You make a mental list of things you need once you start working. New clothes, new shoes, new... Everything, practically. Guess this is your life now... Once you pass his evaluation, anyway. You hope for the best and anticipate the worst. Right now, you just have to focus on the good.

Chapter Text

You didn’t dare brave the outdoors after what happened last night. You stayed in your room this time, despite everything telling you this was not healthy. You could hear Ca$h sometimes through the walls, but it sounds like he’s just talking with someone else. On a phone, you assume, since you never heard another voice. You didn’t even wander out to the kitchen, despite your stomach growling at you. After all that’s happened the last few days, you can’t bring yourself to move. This was all such a bad idea. Why did you leave home? There could have been other jobs you could have taken up. Why...?
Time moves slowly, making you wallow in your thoughts. Eventually, it becomes too much and you leave your room. Hunger claws at your stomach and you can’t take it anymore. You step out and look around. No sign of Ca$h anywhere. You scurry out to the living room and look around for the kitchen.
You didn’t think there was a kitchen at first until you stood in the center of the living room. To the right was a spacious kitchen. Like everything else in the house that you’ve seen, it’s pretty bare. You explore deeper in the kitchen, finding that Ca$h only owns the bare essentials. A few pots and pans, a couple of bowls, plates, etc. The tile was as white as the carpet. No stains. Does he even use his kitchen? You check in the refrigerator. There’s only a couple of containers filled with fuzz. You think it’s probably best to leave those alone. There is a bottle of honey, but who knows how long it’s been touched. It’s all crystalized and when you move the bottle, nothing inside moves. You wouldn’t be surprised if it’s turned into an amber now.

“Hungry?” The cool tone of Ca$h’s voice catches you off guard. You turn your attention to him. He has a cigarette between his teeth, though it’s not lit. You nod and place the honey bottle back in the fridge. He nods slowly and strides into the kitchen, opening a cabinet that you couldn’t reach. “Ain’t much, but it’s something. Here.” He offers you a packet of what looks to be ramen. “If ya do well tonight and end up stayin’ here, I’ll get ya some food. Ain’t got much right now.” He mumbles and runs a hand over his skull.

“Thank you..” You mumble. He nods and lights his cigarette, filling the air with that sickly sweet smell. 

“Next time, jus’ ask.” He heads out of the room, leaving you to cook the instant ramen. Though you have your doubts if it’s still good or not, your stomach growls and you don’t give it much of a second thought. You hear a door open and close. Ca$h must have went to his room.
You wonder if it’s okay to eat in the living room, since he doesn’t seem to own a dining table. With a warm bowl of ramen in your hands, you seat yourself on the rug in the living room. Would Ca$h be upset if you turn on the TV? Unfortunately, you couldn’t see a remote anywhere in sight. So, you settle for eating in silence. Now that you can inspect the living room more closely, you notice a sheet of dust settled onto most of the surfaces...
Once you’ve finished eating, you wash your bowl and fork and put them away. You decide to explore the rest of the house, but there really isn’t much else. Down the hall, the only rooms that you haven’t seen is the bathroom and Ca$h’s room. Admittingly, you’re curious about Ca$h’s room, but you didn’t dare invade your boss’s personal space. So, you peek into the bathroom. You didn’t know what else to expect. It’s a normal looking, empty bathroom. Looks as though it was ripped from a magazine. 

“Ready to head off?” You just about screamed. How many times is he going to scare you like that?! 

“How-Where-?” You stammer.

“Heh. You’re jumpy.” He teases, chewing on his cigarette. “I takin’ ya to Muffet’s, remember?” You nod, but that wasn’t the question you wanted to ask. “Much as I hate it, we’re goin’ by ferry. Don’t need ya gettin’ sick from shortcuts, y’know.” You are thankful for that, but now you remember the cost. Either you meet his expectations, or he’s throwing you out. You follow him out, pulling the hood over your head. When he steps out, he pulls your hood down.

“Don’t worry ‘bout that.” He mumbles. “You’re with me. No one will fuck around ‘s long you stay by me.” He snakes an arm around your shoulders, but keeps his distance. Though his touch isn’t really friendly, it’s not really hostile either. After your experiences with other monsters who tried to get close to you, you don’t feel threatened by him. There is something... Off about the air around him. It’s nothing malicious, nothing that raises red flags, but it feels... Tense. He gazes down at you.

“Got somethin’ t’ say t’ me?” He asks.

“N-No!” You squeak. A dry chuckle vibrates in his ribs and he breathes a cloud of purple smoke. 

“Whatever you say, little mouse.” He mumbles. He takes you north of town, not too far from his place and there’s a river. A figure hidden in a cloak is standing at the head of the boat. Ca$h nudges you forward, making you step into the boat first. You wobble, forcing yourself to sit down. “Hotland.” He barks at the figure and sits beside you. The cloaked figure nods and turns their back to you two. Before you know it, the boat starts moving on it’s own. 

 

The air is hot. You start to see bright, neon signs that advertise a variety of entertainment. The biggest sign you see is a cute spider monster, swinging her legs and holding a muffin, reading,

“Muffet Tops! Cuties of Snowdin, performing every week at NTT Resort!” You can hear monsters from here, cheering and cat-calling. Ca$h groans.

“Here I thought we’d miss the rush...” He growls and flicks his cigarette into the water. “Looks like you’re gonna have t’ really go hard, mouse.” What does that even mean? You grip onto the sleeves of your hoodie and avert your gaze. This is all just a big mistake. You could fling yourself into the water and never have to return...

“Welcome to Hotland. Here’s your stop.” Wait, here?! Ca$h gets off first, and lights another cigarette. 

“C’mon, mouse. I don’t have all night.” He waves you over. Slowly, you pull yourself out of the boat and follow him. With the sounds of monsters just up ahead, you can’t help but pull your hood over your head and hide. Your shoulders tense up and you shut your eyes. This isn’t real. What you’re about to do... You can’t do it! What makes you think you’re qualified for something like this?! Your heart races and you can’t seem to go on. 

“Nervous, hm?” Ca$h’s cool, calm voice seems closer than you expect... “Yeah, lots of girls are scared first time. Once ya meet them, it’ll get better.” You feel a hand pat the top of your head. “Just come and check the back room with me, hm? You’ll see it ain’t so bad.” Maybe it’s the way he makes it all sound. Maybe it’s because you know he’s experienced in this area. Either way, you find the determination to put one foot in front of the other. 

 

You couldn’t bear to look out from under your hood. Ca$h had to lead you the way, but you can hear a lot of monsters. You try to tune it out by taking deep breaths and just focus on following Ca$h to the best of your abilities. Eventually, you step inside a building and it’s... Quiet.

“Alright, mouse, you can relax right now.” You nod and pull the hood off your head. You see a fountain, with an anime-esque stone figure spitting out water far out from the actual fountain. There’s a purple rug that runs through what you assume is the lobby with gold trim. The violet and white tile shines under the lights and you can almost see your reflection. There’s a thin veil just to your left where monsters were leaving and entering. Ca$h points towards it and leans down to you.

“There’s the place. You ready, lil’ mouse?” He asks. You feel your past calling you, telling you this isn’t who you are. You knew who you were before, and you didn’t like yourself then. Now is time for a change. This is the first steps to that. Something in your chest ignites and you feel like you’re ready to charge into that room without a second thought. Ca$h’s brow raises and he tilts his head. 

“I’m ready.” Your voice almost didn’t like yours. It’s a new you - a you that you eventually want to become. Ca$h flicks his cigarette into the fountain and nods. 

“Alright, mouse. Lets see if you still have that fire when you get on stage.” He pushes the curtain back, letting you step inside first. No turning back now. You hesitate for a moment, but you push forward.

The lights are all pointed to the stage. You see a bunny monster with cream fur on the stage performing. Monsters are cheering, egging her on, but she’s being coy with the audience. The music is playful, flirty, fun while still being seductive. You’re too fixated on the performer to notice anything else. She’s smiling, blowing kisses to the crowd as she twirls and shows off her curves. She’s barely wearing anything, a cute sky blue mini skirt and a cropped top with no sleeves. Eventually, she slips off the skirt, showing off a cute, pink and sparkly bikini bottom. Before you can see anything else, Ca$h pulls you aside, past the rest of the audience.
He takes you over to the side of the ebony stage, where you see a familiar figure... They looks exactly like the stone figure on the fountain! Though he looks to be troubled, rummaging through a collection of records.

“‘Ey. Nappy, got the newbie.” Ca$h speaks up. They look up at Ca$h, then their gaze lands on you. They flash a toothy grin at you. 

“Ah, so you’re the human!” Judging by his voice, he’s a male monster? Or is he a robot....? A robot monster? “Hm... I thought adult humans would be... Taller.” 

“Didja think they’d grow to be giants, Nappy? C’mon.” Ca$h chuckles. “All the girls in the back ready for her?”

“Oh! Yeah, Muffet had a talk with them the other night. They’re excited!” 

“Good. See ya in a bit. I’ll tell ya what track to use once I’ve got her settled.” Ca$h tugs on your sleeve, leading you behind the stage and up the stairs.

Behind the stage, there’s a group of other bunny girls. They’re all hurrying to get ready, probably for their performances. One bunny, a little more plump than the others scurries over to you and Ca$h. He opens his mouth to say something, but instantly her paws are squishing your face.

“Oh. My. God! Aren’t you just the cutest little thing?!” She squeals and bounces.

“Easy Lily, she’s a shy one.” Ca$h chuckles. Lily squeals more and pinches your cheeks, which hurt.

“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!! Aah! I’m so- so- Eeee!” You look to Ca$h for help. He’s just watching on with a grin on his face. A few other bunny girls wander over to faun over you. Well, at least you know you’re welcomed here... Even if it’s a little overwhelming.

“Aah, what should she do for her first performance? She could get away with a cute, nerdy theme!” 

“No, no... She’s a shy, quiet type, she might get away with a goth theme...”

“How about cute and candy theme? Just to get her out of her shell?” 

“Girls! Girls!” Lily pulls you behind her and waves the other bunnies away. “Let’s let her choose whatever makes her feel more comfortable! This is Ca$h’s evaluation phase, after all. Once Ca$h takes her in, THEN we can talk about themes.” The girls whine and pout, but they give you some much needed space.

“Thank you...” You breathe. Lily smiles at you and takes you under her arm.

“Not to worry, bun!” She giggles. “Now, lets see...” She turns to you, putting her paws on your shoulders. She hums thoughtfully as her eyes scan over your figure. “Shy type... You look like the adorkable type...” She messes with your hair a little, turns your head side to side, then nods. “I got it! It’s a little vanilla, but it should work for your first performance.”

“Wha-Wait. What am I doing, exactly?” You ask. “I mean, I’ve never practiced, so....”

“Oh, bunny, he never told you?” Lily asks. “Okay, so, all you have to do is whatever you want. Don’t worry about looking like a doofus, Ca$h has seen it all, okay? Yes, it’s about the amount of money you make, but it’s also how you move. What you got already, right? Needs to see if you’re worth investing. If you move right, look cute n’ pretty, he’ll hire you.”

“If not....?” You ask.

“Well, then you can either work with Muffet directly, which ain’t as nice as workin’ with Ca$h or you find another job elsewhere in the underground, bunny.” She pats your head. “But don’t you worry your pretty lil face. We’ll get you to look all cute and pretty. Heck, bunny, he might hire you anyway since you’re sorta ‘exotic’ here in the underground.” She giggles. “Now, come with me, we’ll get you in a cute costume!”

 

You feel ridiculous. It’s chilly and you’ve never felt this exposed before. You’re heart is in your throat and the sounds are overwhelming. The girls are nice and you don’t want to let them down, but... Can you actually do this? You swallow and try to take a few deep breaths. 

“‘Ey. Heard from the girls you ain’t doin’ too good, mouse.” You spin around, seeing Ca$h with a glass hanging from his fingertips. You wrap your arms around your torso and gulp.

“I just... I don’t think I can do this.” You confess. He nods and takes a sip of his drink.

“Alright, listen, I get it. You’re in a tight situation, and you’ve got all sorts of things in your head. Whatever. It doesn’t matter.”

“Wha-?!”

“Lemme finish.” He says, raising a finger at you. “It doesn’t matter, because you’re gonna do your best, right?”

“R-Right...”

“And you ain’t gonna hold back, are you?”

“N-No?” He raises a brow at you. “No! No, I’m not.”

“Good, keep that fire on stage. You’re gonna need all the flame you have, mouse. I’ve got my top dollar on you.” He tips the glass to his teeth. You fixate on how the liquid seems to vanish in the void behind his teeth, then turn your attention back to that golden fang of his. He grins, and a long, purple tongue snakes out the void, running across his tooth. “You won’t let me down.” He turns and wanders off, leaving you alone behind the stage. 

 

The lights blind you at first. When your vision clears, you can only make out the stage in front of you and blurry outlines of various monsters. Instinctively, you cross your arms, trying to cover yourself. Then you hear the music. You close your eyes and take a deep breath. It’s like when you’re alone, dancing in your room. You’ve pretended to be on stage, with adoring fans cheering you on. Granted, it was a different kind of performance than what you had in mind.
As the music picks up, you let your hands fall. Just pretend you’re in your room, back home... You can’t even see who’s watching you. Move with the music, pretend you’re trying to seduce a lover. You feel awkward at first, but hearing scattered cheers makes you more confident in your actions. You sway your hips, move like you’ve seen other women do, let the music move through you... You hear more cheering. You feel your skin tingle and a rush run through your veins. Before you know it, your improv performance comes to a halt, and you’re reawakened from your trance by cheers and hoots. 

One of the bunny girls runs out and squeals, hugging your waist.

“Oh my God, bun! You were wonderful! Ca$h has to keep you!” It’s Lily, and her bouncing is making you feel a bit sick. You can’t help but smile though. You did something you never thought you would do. Something you were afraid of doing and it was more fun than you thought. 

“Papyrus!” A voice calls from the crowd. The room falls silent. Lily tenses and lets you go. Before you can even think, a skeleton, much shorter than Ca$h, climbs onto the stage. He’s scanning the crowd, looking for something or someone. “Papyrus, I know you’re here! Stop hiding and face me again!” The crowd murmurs. Lily pats your shoulder.

“C’mon, bun. Let’s get you out of here.” She whispers. You nod and follow her to the backstage. 

“Sans, c’mon. You’re embarrassin’ yourself.” That voice... Turning back, you see Ca$h standing in front of the stage. The murmuring grows.

“Pap, enough is enough. I won’t have you do this to yourself any longer!” The smaller skeleton, Sans, demands.

“I don’t go by that anymore, and also, forget it. This is what I do now. Beat it.” 

“Guess we’ll have to do it your way, huh?” Sans grins. 

“Nope. I ain’t doin’ this here. Bad for business. I’m out.” Ca$h sighs.

“Papyrus, don’t you-!” In a blink, Ca$h is gone and Sans growls in frustration. “Papyrus! You can’t hide from me forever!” He shouts, stomping a foot into the stage hard enough for it to splinter. You see a couple of big monsters try to carry Sans out of the building, but he shakes out from their grasp and exit the room himself. It’s strangely quiet now, but the DJ brings their attention back to the stage and another performer comes out to ease the tension. Just like nothing happened. The scene you witnessed repeats in your head as the curtains close and you’re back in your reality.

Chapter Text

“Oh my God!! You were amazing out there, bun!!” Lily squeals, hugging you tightly. “If Ca$h keeps you I’ll be the best mentor for you!” She pinches your cheeks. It hurts...

“Lily, lay off the girl a bit, would ya?” Another bunny girl, with much darker fur, speaks up. Her eyes are burning into you, though her gaze quickly shifts to Lily.

“Oh, Bethany hush! You’re just mad you hafta wait next week for your performance.” Lily cooes and fixes your hair. 

“I’ve been working on it for the past two weeks...” Bethany huffs. “But whatever.” She rolls her eyes and throws a coat over her shoulders. “I’m goin’ for a smoke break. Who’s with me?” A few of the other girls chime to her offer and gather their things before heading out. Lily huffs, pouting at them as they leave, but turns her attention back to you.

“Nevermind Beth, bun. She’s always crabby.” She pats your head. “You did a good job! Why don’t you get changed and I’ll meet you after I perform, okay?” Unsure what else to say, you just nod. Your hoodie sounds incredibly comfy about now...

You wait for Lily in the back room, where the other girls seem to be packing away their stuff for the night. You’ve never seen so many costumes, smelled so many different perfumes or been blinded by this many mirror lights. You’re feeling a bit dizzy from your senses being overwhelmed...
Finally, Lily comes scurrying to you, wearing a cute student-themed costume, though you aren’t sure if it rubs you the wrong way or not due to your current state.

“Aw, you doin’ okay bun? Lemme get into my cazzies before I take you out, okay?” 

“C-Cazzies?” You repeat.

“Casuals!” Lily chirps. She suddenly squeezes you again in her arms. “Ah! You are just so cute!!” You’re freed and left to wonder if she’s always like this with everyone. You watch her interact with the other girls and sure enough, she’s just as lively.

“Yup, that’s Lily for ya.” You turn to the bunny next to you, Bethany. “Too preppy for my taste, but she ain’t bad.” 

“Um... Are you, I mean... Did I-?” 

“Yeah, you took my spot, girl. I was pissed at first, but hey, it won’t be so bad once you’re here with us. Ca$h would be stupid if he didn’t invest in you.” She places a cigarette between her lips. “If he won’t take you, I know Muffet will. You’re one of a kind, and monsters are always looking for something new. Hell, you weren’t that bad. Not that good either, but you can always get better, y’know?”

“Y-Yeah...” You sigh. 

“Name’s Bethany, by the way. Uh... Sorry for the, um, bad first impression.” She mumbles. 

“S-Sorry for taking your spot!” 

“Girl, I told you not to worry about that!” Bethany snaps, poking your cheek. “And stop worrying about others. No one ain’t gonna take care of you but yourself now. So worry about you. We travel in packs too, so don’t stray away unless you’re with Ca$h, got it?” She warns, giving you another poke.

“Y-Yeah.”

“Good.” She huffs and throws her black purse over her shoulder. “I’m headin’ out for the night. Hopefully, I’ll get to see ya again.” She waves at you and you wave back as she walks away. Lily walks up to you, wearing a cute chocolate trench coat and smiles.

“Ready to go, bun?” She asks. You nod.

 

Out from backstage, things are empty and quiet. The only two that stayed were Ca$h and the DJ. You recall Ca$h calling him Nappy? Now that you’ve got a better look, he’s definitely a robot. Despite missing limbs, he appears to have several hands floating around him, following his gestures. So what’s keeping him in the air like that...?

“There you are.” Ca$h states, seeing you and Lily leave the backstage. “Wonderin’ if you were ever gonna come out.” 

“You’ll take care of her, won’t you?” Lily asks. “She’s too cute to be left behind!”

“Yeah, yeah, we’ll see.” Ca$h waves her off. “I’ll see how things are tonight, but you should catch up with the others.” Lily pouts.

“Okay, but first!” She turns to you, squishing your face. “You take care now, okay? Don’t let him get all stupid with you, now.” She scurries off before you can ask what she meant by that. Ca$h sighs and points at a chair.

“You. Take a seat. Still talking with Napstaton.” He states. You nod and quickly seat yourself in the chair. It feels sticky... 

“So, you think you can handle something like her?” Ca$h asks.

“Cashy, dude, is there any doubt?” Napstaton chuckles. “If all goes well, I’ll figure out the perfect playlist!”

“Ya better, Nappy.” Ca$h chuckles dryly. “So, I’ll let Muffet know what goin’ on tomorrow. Think if anyone deserves an answer first, it’s the girl. She’ll get it.” Napstaton nods and glances over at you. His eyes had a dangerous red glow to them, sending a shiver down your spine. He smiled a toothy grin at you, though it never reached his eyes. Or rather, eye, since a part of his hair was covering one eye. Now that you’ve got a better look at him, his overall appearance has a monochrome theme of blue. The only thing that differs is his white, gloved hands and his red gaze. He wears a puffy neon blue vest, and in his chest was a glowing, sky blue heart. Though, it was turned upside down... It can move.

“You like the mix I chose for you?” He asks, snapping you back to reality.

“Oh! Um, yes.” You reply quickly. His smile grows, showing pointed teeth.

“Did I scare you? Won’t be the first, dear. I am sort of a big deal here.” He chuckles, advancing towards you. You shrink into your seat. “Don’t worry, next time I’ll show you my very best.” How does he make that sound like a threat?

“Alright, I gotta get goin’ Nappy. Take care.” Ca$h sighs, passing you by. “Let’s go, mouse.” You nod and quickly scurry over to his side. 

“See you next week, Paps!”

 

The boat ride back to Snowdin was quiet. Ca$h is gently rubbing circles against the side of his skull, letting his other hand dip into the cold waters below. His sockets were closed, possibly a migraine, you thought. He was drinking earlier that night... You recall that other skeleton from earlier too.

“Hey, um...”

“What...?” Ca$h grumbles. You hesitate, knowing that you’ve upset him, but you already have his attention...

“Who was that earlier? The one who wanted to fight you?” Ca$h takes a deep breath and lets it all out in a long sigh. 

“That, little mouse, was an authority. His name is Sans, he was once the captain of the guard here in the ‘ground.” He explains in such a bitter way. “He’s had an issue with me before things got this way. But he’s not important now. Just more annoying to deal with every now n’ then.” He leans back in his seat, pulling both hands into his hoodie pocket. “Now, if you could go back to bein’ a quiet little mouse right now, I’d ‘ppreciate it.”
You decide to drop it for now. When the two of you get home, a wave of weariness washes over you. You drag your feet to your room and fall onto the bed. You don’t remember closing your door, yet you still hear it shut.

 

You’re half awake now. You feel warm and safe, comfortably trapped in the confines of your blanket. You could spend forever in here. Just forever dozing in your little bubble, feeling as though you’re on a fluffy, soft cloud....
Then you hear voices. Voices that you haven’t heard before. Maybe it’s a part of your half-dazed dreaming, so you ignore it. It gets louder, more clear. Someone isn’t in your room.... Right? Ca$h would have told you if he was coming in your room, right? Only, this doesn’t sound like him... You crack an eye open, seeing a large monster wearing... A suit? With a helmet? With bunny ears? You sit up, gaining both the intruder’s attention. The other one is wearing a helmet with pointy fins on each side of the head.

“Woah, dude, he didn’t tell us she was still sleeping!”

“Bro, I like, didn’t see her at all. Did you?”

“No, dude.” The one with the bunny eared helmet lowers to you. “Heya, morning dudette, we work for Ca$h, okay?”

“Wh-What are you-?” You stammer.

“We were supposed to get your clothes in here when you left, but Ca$h never told us you were still sleeping.” The fin helmet explains.

“Yeah, we wouldn’t have came in here otherwise, dudette.” The other adds. 

“How do I know you’re not lying...?” You ask, pulling your blanket to your chest. The two move aside and prop open your closet door. You see a variety of clothes, from casual outfits to shimmery, sparkly outfits complete with cute frills and such. For a small closet, it looks as though they bought an entire store. Curious, you climb out of bed and check your dresser. That, too, is filled to the brim with neatly folded clothes. 

“See? Ca$h needs you to look nice and feel comfy.”

“That being said, bro, not sure how much of it is your size. Try ‘em on later.” 

“Um... Thank you.” You sigh, closing the drawer. You are thankful for the clothes, but now you’re more confused. Your door opens, and Ca$h invites himself in. He doesn’t even give you a second glance as he passes by and mumbles a greeting,

“01, 02, see you got here early.” He glances at the closet. “Quick work, not bad. You made sure it’s you back room stuff?” 

“Yes dude sir!”

“Yes bro sir!” The two say in unison. Ca$h nods slowly and waves his hand.

“Alright, alright. Get goin’.” He sighs. “I’ll make arrangements for you two later. Too early in the damn morning for me.” The two monsters nod and scurry out of the room. Ca$h runs a hand over his skull and as soon as they are out of sight, he fishes a cigarette from his pocket. You silently debate whether you should get angry about this or not. I mean... A warning would have been nice, right?

“Um, hey... Next time, could you tell me someone will be in my room? Or if you have someone over?” 

“Hm? Oh, yeah, sure.” He mumbles. His carelessness is like a dagger to your heart. Did he really think so little of you?

“I-I mean it! I almost freaked out when I saw those two! I didn’t know who they were!”

“Then lemme catch you up t’ speed. Those two work for me, they’re called 01 and 02. They do the shit that requires heavy lifting, dirty work, whatever.” He casually lights his cigarette. “Oh, ‘n by the way, you made it.”

“Made... Made what?”

“I’m keepin’ ya. You just barely made the requirement. Consider yourself lucky.” You aren’t sure whether to jump up and down squealing like a teenager or cry. “Course, this means we gotta talk about your pay.” Finally, he turns his full attention to you. “We’ll talk about that later, after your rehearsal. Y’know where the NTT resort is, right? Good, I’ll see you later then.” Before you can even think about protesting, he blinks out of view. You hate it when he does that. 

 

You changed your clothes and try to remember where you went last night. Luckily, memory serves you well and you arrive at the resort with little problems.  All the bunny girls from last night are there, wearing clothes that look far more casual than last night. Yoga pants, shorts, skirts, that sort of thing. There’s one or two girls that still dress a little scandalas, but it’s still tasteful than the costumes. 

“There you are!! Oh my God, oh my God!” Lily’s squeals bounces off the walls and everyone turns to you. Napstaton is there as well, behind the turntables. Lily scurries over to you and takes your hands. “Oh. My. God! Ca$hy kept you?! Ohmigod!!! Bun, you’re with us now!” She practically screams and squeezes you in her arms. A part of you wonders if you’ll go deaf at this rate. You do like her enthusiasm though. 

“Told you he’d be stupid if he got rid of you.” You turn your head, seeing Bethany on the stage. “Lily and Rose were all worried you would never show up.”

“That’s because she’s late! I didn’t think Ca$h would let her be so tardy!” Lily whines. 

“Whatever, let’s just get to practice.” Bethany sighs and turns on her heel. Lily pouts and lets you free. 

“She’s extra crabby today...” She sighs. “Well, whatever! Lets get you goin’ bun!” She drags you up onto the stage. “Okay, so first! Themes. Lots of girls here have their own lil theme goin’! Like me, I’m the cute sweetheart mama-girl~! And Bethany normally does tomboy or goth themes. She’s got that sorta spunk to carry it out!” Benthany, who was watching you two over her shoulder, darts her head away and crosses her arms. Lily giggles and grabs your shoulders. “Now you... You’re as cute as a button! Quiet, a little on the shy side, but that just adds to your cuteness!”

“Thank you...” 

“And so polite! Eeee! You’re so cute!!” Lily squeezes your shoulders. “You’re gonna be a surprise package! I can tell! Everyone is gonna love you!” You feel your face grow hot and you suddenly feel quite bashful. You spend most of your time talking about themes with her, until you two finally decide what theme to use for your first authentic performance. She takes you over to Napstaton’s turntables, where he seems to be organizing some albums.

“And here’s the man of the hour~! Nappy here has been supplying his own mixes here at the club! He’s named after the resort for a reason~!” Lily cooes. Napstaton tenses and looks over his shoulder at the two of you. His demeanor seems to have changed dramatically from last night. The Napstaton you knew was confident, smiling, had an aura of danger and confidence. Here? He looks as though he barely slept. The red eye you can see is tired and somehow his metal-like fringe is all over the place.

“Are you okay...?” You ask. Napstaton jolts his head away and mumbles something under his breath. Lily giggles and leans to you.

“This is how he really is. He performs just like us when it’s time to shine~.” She whispers. That would make sense... If he’s as famous as he says he is, he would have to keep up with appearance. 

“Um... By the way...” You barely hear him mumble. “I-If you really didn’t like that song last night...” He sounds like he’s on the verge of tears, voice croaking. Lily jumps at him, throwing her arms around him, nuzzling his back.

“Aw! Nappy! You’re still hung up about that?!” She whines. Napstaton all but screams as his hands go flying in every direction. Under his hair, you manage to see his eye... Or lack thereof. There’s two wires sticking out and they spark upon Lily’s advances. 

“I-I’m-?! Well, I was just-?!!!” He stammers incoherently until another, bigger spark flies from his eye and his body falls limp. Your blood runs cold and a scream gets caught in your chest.

“Lily! Did you make him short-circuit again?!” Bethany scolds from the stage. Lily giggles, surprisingly keeping him up off the ground. You relax a little when Napstaton starts to mumble, albeit it’s unintelligible. 

“Only a little! He’ll be back to normal in a moment!” Lily shouts back.

“Dammit girl! We need him to practice our routine!” Bethany huffs, crossing her arms. Lily just giggles and props Napstaton’s back against his turntable. The light in his eye is flickering, as he tries to compose himself. You scurry to his side, wanting to provide help if needed. Upon closer inspection, you notice a bright glow running across his face. His eye flickers on and looks up at you. He blinks a few times, before the blush brightens  and he hides his face under his hair.

“D-Don’t look!” He yelps. You jolt back.

“Sorry! Sorry!” You squeak back. A pair of his hands come back to him, and covers his face. Lily cooes and takes you by the arm.

“Don’t worry, he’s fine. He’s just gets all kinds of flustered when he gets attention, huh Nappy?” She hums. Napstaton doesn’t reply and tries to curl up. Lily giggles and skips off back to the stage. Which leaves you in the awkward spot of do you leave or stay with him to make sure he’s okay?

“Um... Before I go...” You murmur. He peeks at you between his fingers. “The song you chose for me last night was nice. I liked it. So, um... Thank you.” You try to give him a friendly smile. He hides again, squeaking out a ‘thank you’ in the process. You have to admit, you prefer this Napstaton than last night’s Napstaton. You give him his space and join the other girls on the stage. Napstaton recovers shortly and it’s back to practice. 

 

Before you know it, practice is over. All the girls are gathered at the entrance waiting for the others. You’re tired and sore. You never thought your body could be flexible, but you’re sure your bones are rearranged now. You can’t wait to get back in your bed and take the rest of the evening to take it easy. You catch Napstaton before you leave.

“Hey, um, Napstaton?” 

“You can call me Nap or Nappy, if that’s easier...” He mumbles. “Uh, anyway, what is it?” You can see a mild panic in his eye and he refuses to meet your gaze.

“Are you okay? I mean, after that-?”

“Oh, that. Um... God, it’s stupid.” He chuckles sadly. “Um... How do I put it... I sorta... Pretend? Yeah, I pretend I have my act all together when we’re all working. Uh, but... The girls picked up on my weakness pretty quick...” One of his hands rubs the back of his neck. “See, when I’m... ‘pretending’, I guess I don’t mind it when fans adore me. Here though? Um, it’s sorta... Overwhelming. Especially when she hugs me... Out of nowhere. ” It does sound a little silly to you at first, but as you give it more thought, it sort of makes some sense to you. 

“Are you going to be okay, though?” You repeat. He nods slowly.

“Yeah... I’ll be fine... I know they’re just teasing. It’s what they do. Though, I have to admit... I wish they wouldn’t use me as their testing dummy... ” He whines softly. “Uhm, sorry, but I really want to go home now...” 

“Oh, yeah. Sorry for keeping you!” Nappy gives you a weak smile.

“Heh... I think I know why Papyrus chose you...” He murmurs. 

“What..?” You question. What does he mean by that? Two of his hands clamp over his mouth, as if he said the absolute worst thing in the world.

“S-S-Sorry! I shouldn’t have let that slip! D-D-Don’t worry about it!” He stammers in a panic. “U-U-Uh...! I gotta go! Bye! See you tomorrow!” He hurries out the door, leaving you in a state of confusion. An arm wraps around your shoulders and you’re being pulled towards the entrance.

“Aw, ain’t he cute when he’s flustered?” Lily giggles. She must have just stepped out as he was leaving. “C’mon bun, I’m sure you want some R n’ R, yeah?”

“Y.... Yeah.” Napstaton’s words still echoed in your mind, but there isn’t much you can do about it for now. The girls drop you off in Snowdin and you all go your separate ways. 

 

Ca$h’s house remained empty. You never saw him in his own house and you even wandered about until your legs ached. You decide to take a rest on the couch in the living room and enjoy the peace. Guess this is your life now. It doesn’t seem too bad, aside from your boss/roommate coming off as a jerk. You try to put him in a good light... Well, he did take you in. He gave you clothes, a place to crash and even a job. There isn’t anyone aside from your family that would do all those things in unison.... Except maybe the job part. You aren’t sure.
The door opens and you see Ca$h stroll inside from down the hall. Okay, despite the rough morning, maybe he was just too busy to tell you. Let bygones be bygones...

“Hello, how was your day?” You ask politely. Striking a friendly conversation should ease the tension. 

“Fine.” He mumbles. He carelessly lays a paper bag on the counter in the kitchen and makes long strides towards his bedroom.

“Everything okay?” You ask.

“Jus’ fine.” He murmurs. You try to follow him down the hall. “Bag is for ya.” He quickly adds before shutting himself away in his room. Your heart sinks. Did you offend him somehow? Maybe you bothered him too much when he just got home... You wonder if you should knock on the door, try and get him to talk to you... But something holds you back. Defeated, you make your way back to the kitchen.
The bag had toppled over, spilling out a variety of foods. Most are packaged and could easily be thrown in the microwave. Thank God you didn’t have to live off of instant ramen. Rather than leave them on the counter, you begin to put your food away. Once you’re finished, you inspect the television. You’re still not sure how it works, seeing there’s no buttons on it and you can’t find the remote. Maybe you’ll ask Ca$h tomorrow... Since there’s nothing else to do out here, you go back to your room and spend the rest of the night alone.

Chapter Text

You really didn’t want to go to practice by yourself. It makes you uneasy walking out here alone, but you really don’t have much choice. Ca$h is nowhere to be found and it’s not like you know where your other co-workers live either. As much as you liked your co-workers, Ca$h has been... Rude? Disrespectful? Ugh, it’s hard to put it into words... The way he looks at you with such indifference... It’s so different compared to how he first met you - discovered that you were human. Now? It’s like you’re barely there.
Suddenly, something catches your eye. You see a familiar figure, but your mind doesn’t click yet. Who is he? Why does he...? Suddenly, your heart skips a beat. It’s the skeleton that tried to fight Papyrus the first night you performed. Sans, you think his name is. He stares at you, as if he’s trying to figure you out too. You try to quickly leave his sight, but his expression lights up and he starts walking towards you.

“Hey! Hey, miss!” He calls out to you. You’re paralyzed with fear for a moment, then your feet move on their own. What does he want with you?! Does he know that you work for him?! What if he takes you hostage or-?

“Aah!” You squeal and fall back in the snow. How did he move so quickly?!

“Please, wait! I can explain myself! I’m not going to hurt you!” He sounds like he’s practically begging. “I won’t hurt you!”

“B-But the other night-!?!” You gasp, trying to scramble back to your feet, but you’re only kicking up snow.

“I was only trying to get at Papyrus! That’s all! You- Hold on, can you please calm down? Will giving you some space be okay? I’ll back up!” He’s... Trying to cooperate with you? He’s watching you carefully, but keeps his distance. Slowly, without taking your eyes off him, you pull yourself back to your feet. He gives you a weak smile.
“Better?” He asks. 

“Why did you... I mean...” You take a deep breath to calm your racing heart. “What do you want with me?”

“I, uh...” He falls quiet, somewhat. “You work with him, right? Papy- I mean... Ca$h, right?” You nod. “Then... Is he okay? Does he look okay?” 

“What?” Why would he be asking for Ca$h’s well-being? Especially after trying to fight with the guy? 

“Is he eating, or, um... I mean, does he look okay?” Sans asks again.

“Look, I’ll be honest, I don’t really see him that much. When I do, it’s literally for a moment or two. If he’s not in his room, he’s off somewhere else.” You reply, perhaps too harshly. You need to get to practice...

“But you HAVE seen him? Does he eat or get enough sleep? Does he still-?”

“I told you, I don’t see him!” You start taking steps back, but Sans follows.

“I-I know! But you have to give me something! Anything!” He cries. Your mind draws blanks. You don’t know what to tell him. You can’t tell him what he wants, but if you don’t he might follow you. Still, you had to get to the resort to prepare for your next performance and you’re already running late. 

“I-I’m sorry! I have to go!” You turn and bolt for the ferry. You hear Sans cry out for you from behind. You can’t look back. There’s a good chance he could follow you, but you’re willing to take that risk. Luckily, when you look behind you, he disappears from view and he’s nowhere in sight. You don’t rest until you have your foot in the little boat and you’re well on your way to the resort.
A part of you wants to cry. You’re frustrated that you don’t actually know that much about your boss. You’re scared of this place, terrified of leaving the confines of Ca$h’s house with the possibility of being assaulted. The dog monster that grabbed you... You could still feel his harsh grip on your arm, the dangerous growl in his voice... Then there’s Asgore... God, what happened to the children who owned all that stuff?
Before you know it, your eyes burn and you feel a sob build in your chest. You miss your home. Your family. Your friends. You chose to leave that all behind, and yet here you are. Do you regret it? At this moment, yes. Absolutely. You miss your room. You miss hugging the ones you love. There’s nothing you can do about this situation though but work. Work for that... Money-grabbing, distant, hollowed out monster you’ve known as Ca$h. Hell, the only reason why he’s helping you is so that he can make more money off of you. You’re a tool. You’re replaceable. 

 

“Hey, what’s going on?” Bethany asks when you enter the dressing room. Lily isn’t here right now, which you’re somewhat thankful for. You can’t bring yourself to answer her. You slip in and sit down on the nearest seat. Bethany stops applying her makeup, fixes her fur and then walks to you.
“C’mon, sweetheart, talk to me.” She says gently, patting your cheek softly. “Is it tough here? Taking a toll on you? Scared?” You nod your head. Though it’s not everything, it definitely is a factor. Bethany gives a sympathetic sigh and hugs you firmly. “Aw, dear... It’s okay. I know, it’s overwhelming and guys will try and grab you, but you have Ca$h. He’s not gonna let anything happen to you.”

“Yeah... Can’t risk losing his money tool, huh...?” You mumble. Bethany grasps your shoulders and looks you in the eye. 

“Did he tell you that?” She asks firmly. You shake your head. No, but the way he treats you tells everything. She hugs you again. “Honey, he’s distant to everyone. You’re no exception. It’s how he is. Down here, lots of monsters get hurt. I imagine it can be like that too on the surface?”

“Yeah....” You sniffle, wiping your cheeks with your sleeve. 

“Ca$h has been through a lot darlin’. Whatever he’s been through, you’ve just got to be patient with him. He’s a businessman, sure, but he ain’t really a people person. You know what I mean?” She asks, tilting her head to the side. You nod slowly. She pats your back and smiles at you. “It’ll be okay, hun. Go clean up and I’ll let Nappy know you’ll start later, okay?” She leads you to where the bathroom is, which is so tiny, you can barely fit in it. There’s a sink and a toilet, but calling it a bathroom is a stretch. Regardless, you splash water onto your face and try to calm yourself down. You’re at work now... It’s not so bad here... Everyone here is nice. They’ll make sure you feel safe. You are safe. 

 

You and Napstaton finally have an understanding of what kind of routine you want to do next. Something with passion, slow moving. He directs you the best he can, but he’s constantly asking if you’re okay with him giving suggestions like this. It’s sweet on his part, especially when you know he saw you coming into the building in tears. Still, you want to do your best, so you tell him that his suggestions are welcome. It doesn’t stop him from asking though.
When you’re finished for the day, your muscles are sore, but you somehow feel stronger because of it. Despite the day starting on a sour note, you feel like you’re shining. Almost powerful. As if the more you practice, it feels as though you’re slowly gaining a sort of power. A part of you can’t wait to show off your hard work at the end of the week.
You’re about to head back to the dressing room, but you’re stopped by a low, hollow voice,

“A wonderful performance. Muffet and Ca$h must be proud.” You turn, seeing a figure of purple flames and sharp emerald eyes. He’s dressed somewhat gaudy, having white fur that curls around his collar, stopping at his partly exposed chest. The rest of the top was sleek, ashen and sleeveless. He wears black slacks by the looks of it and shiny, pointed shoes.

“I’m sorry, do you work here too?” You ask. The fire monster chuckles, the flames flicker as he does so.

“How cute that you think I’d work at such a humble abode. No, I’m the owner of Grillby’s. Grillby himself.” He smiles at you, but it doesn’t reach his glinting, sharp eyes. Instantly, you took a step back. You remember the warnings. To stay far away from his place, to keep safe. He tilts his head curiously at your reaction. “I take it you know me?”

“What... Do you want with me?” You ask. It’s hard to keep calm when he radiates danger. Yet the most he’s done to you is just smile. 

“It’s clear that you work for Ca$h, but let’s be honest with ourselves, he’s the exact definition of an asshole. I take it he hasn’t even spared you a second glance in passing?” Grillby asks. You swallow and try to take deep breaths. He’s right, Ca$h hasn’t exactly been hospitable... 

“Well... He’s been taking care of me.” You try to find something good to say about him. He is your boss, after all.

“Yes, but Muffet could do that. Anyone here could take care of you. You’re special down here, you know. A rarity. Anyone would be stupid not to.” He grins. “However, Ca$h seems to be the only one stupid enough not to spoil you like you deserve.” He reaches to you and cups your cheek. You flinch back, afraid that the flames would burn you, but you’re pleasantly surprised when you feel a gentle warmth. The way he looks at you... It’s as if he’s studying you, looking at every inch of your face.
Suddenly, you’re pulled back and pressed into someone’s side. Napstaton’s visible eye glows bright red, glaring right at Grillby. His multiple hands are keeping you back, as if shielding you from him. Grillby lets out a light chuckle, amused.

“You aren’t allowed here. Get out.” Napstaton growls. You feel something radiating from him. Your skin tingles and your legs are telling you to run. Sparks fly from his eye, and one of his hands snaps. Two mini turntables are summoned before him. “I don’t want to make this ugly. Leave, or I’ll make you leave. ” 

“Ah, what a shame. Muffet still holding onto her grudge?” Grillby purrs. You see Napstaton’s heart in his chest vibrating wildly, something putting strain on the glass that protects it. 

“You know why you’re not welcomed here. You two have a deal. Go. Now.” Two of Napstaton’s hands hover over the turntables and the glass on his chest starts to crack. Grillby shrugs and turns on his heel.

“So much for friendly company. So long then. Remember my offer, human. My door is always open for someone like you.” He winks at you and strolls out of the building. Once he’s out of the room, Napstaton lets out a long sigh and releases you.

“S... Sorry about that.” He mumbles. “Sorry you had to see me like that. I-It’s to, um... I mean... He’s bad news, you know? Makes things sound nice and all, but... It’s all just business. That’s all it is...” A hand covers his heart, and he closes his eye. “Um... Maybe you should get ready to go. I’ll be heading out soon...” 

“Right... Thank you for letting me stay a little later for practice.” You reply. 

“I... I’m only doing my job!” He stammers, sparks flying from his eye and a glow growing across his face. “B-But... Uhm.... Y-You’re welcome...” He adds, just barely audible. You can’t help but smile and make your way to the dressing room. 

 

You arrive back to Ca$h’s place without a problem. A part of you was worried you would run into Sans again, but the walk here was peaceful. However, as soon as you entered, the air feels tense. You get goosebumps on your skin and suddenly your breaths get caught in your throat. 

“So, you were offered a position at Grillby’s?” You hear Ca$h from the living room. His gaze is icy, fixed on you. “What did you say?”

“I-I didn’t say anything! I didn’t get a chance to!” You squeak. 

“You don’t know how he is. Don’t even think about working for him. He’s a competitor. He’ll say whatever makes him look better than us. He’s too risky and careless. Next time you see him, you will decline his offer. He won’t treat you like I do. I’ve invested in you! I’ve pulled a lot of strings for you! You really think he’s going to do the same thing?!” Your muscles tense and you freeze on the spot. The fury in his eyes, the way he easily towers over you... The air becomes harder to breathe. Everything in your mind is telling you to run. 

“I-I’m sorry!” You cry, averting your eyes to the floor. Your skin tingles, feeling his power radiate. It’s overwhelming and your legs tremble. You can feel his burning gaze bore into your lowered head. You recall the first you met him, how he looked at you then... Now you understand what you really are to him. You’re only a tool to his success, nothing more. 

“Alright, then...” He murmurs. You hear a distinct flick of a lighter, followed with the terrible sweet smell of his cigarette. “Then you and I are done talking.” You can’t bear to look at him right now. You hurry to your room and let out a soft, broken sob. As much as you want to remember what Bethany told you earlier, it doesn’t make things easier. He’s so cold, so distant. Is everything he does just business?

 

After a while, you have settled into something more comfortable to wear. A red sweater and sweatpants. Both are baggy on you, but it adds to the comfiness. You hear a soft knock at your door. If you really wanted to, you could ignore it and pretend to be asleep. You aren’t sure if you even want to look at him, or give him any of your time just out of spite. 

“Hey, little mouse?” Ca$h calls from the other side. “You still awake?” There’s something different about his voice. It’s more... Gentle? Soft? It’s like when he gave you that pep talk before you performed the first time, but this feels different. It feels off. “Well, anyway... ‘M sorry. Didn’t mean to snap at ya like that. That bastard... He knows exactly what to do to piss me off. He’s not s’posed to be there... He can’t be takin’ any more of the girls...”
Any more girls? What’s that supposed to mean, exactly...? You slowly approach your door, listening to anything Ca$h could say. 

“I jus’... You need to be safe, m’kay...? You don’t belong at a place like Grillby’s... You’re too soft. Too... Too...” His voice wavers and then goes quiet. The door strains and squeaks, making you guess that he’s leaning against it. “Sorry, lil mouse. I’m gonna let ya sleep now... You’ve got your big show in a few nights... Don’t wanna miss it.” He sighs. Carpeted footsteps fade away and his door shuts closed.
What was so bad at Grillby’s? Was it more of a brothel than anything? If that was the case, then how bad would it be if everyone went there willingly? Something doesn’t quite add up, but you don’t want to think about this any more. That being said, you can’t help but to wonder what it would be like if Grillby was the one who found you first....

Chapter Text

The night of your actual performance. There’s butterflies in your stomach, but it’s not as bad as the first time. Remember... You did well your first night and that was before you started practicing. Ca$h is beside you again keeping you safe, but he’s quiet. Actually, ever since he snapped at you that night, he’s returned to his usual distant self. He won’t look at you, won’t talk to you or even acknowledge you. Yet, his words of caution and concern ring through your head. 

Why can’t he just be honest with you?! You’re tired of guessing what he thinks or feels. You still have no idea why he even puts up with you since he hasn’t shown any interest in you. Maybe it’s because he’s invested in your now and he wants to make a profit off of you. 

“ He won’t treat you like I do! I’ve invested in you! I’ve pulled strings for you!”  

Spoken like an entitled bastard... You aren’t sure which side of him to believe. Is he actually worried about you? Or is he more worried about making profits? Could it be both?

No matter. You’re going to show him that you’re more than he thinks. You aren’t a tool. You aren’t here to please him. You’re here because you wanted this job. You wanted this job because nothing else would take you. Now that you’re here, you’re going to show him exactly what you truly are.

 

Once the two of you arrive at the resort, Ca$h makes himself scarce while you retreat to the dressing room. Instantly, Lily meets with you and bounces around in excitement. 

“This is it!! This is for real this time! Aaaaah, you’re going to do amazing, bun!!” She takes your hands and squeals again. Bethany rolls her eyes, but you can make out a faint smile on her face. 

“Hey, um, is it too late to change the theme?” You ask. Suddenly, both Bethany and Lily’s eyes fall on you.

“Why, bun? Something wrong with the performance you’re doing?” Lily asks.

“No! No, I’m not changing my performance, I just want to change... Change the feel of it.” Bethany nods and approaches you. 

“Alright. I’ll work on her costume then. Lily, come with me. She might need a music change and you're last on the roster.” She instructs. Lily nods. You’re dragged to the costume area, which are just chests and clothes hung on wire hangers. There’s so much variety, from typical, skimpy costumes to some that you never would have guessed would be used in a strip club. “So, what are you going for?” Bethany asks.

“... I want to be like fire.” Ca$h has told you to keep your fire on stage, so that’s what you’re going to bring. Bethany raises a brow.

“Like fire? Like.... Something sexy or-?”

“No, no, no! Look at her Bethy!” Lily cups your head and turns your head to face the darker coated bunny beside you. “She’s so mad! Determined! Look at her eyes! That’s the fire she wants!” Bethany suddenly grows a smirk.

“Revenge.” She says darkly. “You know what to tell Nappy, Lily. I’ll get her costume ready.” Lily lets you go and you hear the ‘click clack’ of her heels scurrying away. Bethany puts her hands on your shoulders. “Alright, this is about Ca$h isn’t it? He’s pissed you off and now you want to prove something to him.”

“How do you-?” 

“Just get into costume quickly. Jasmine can do your makeup and we’ll get you some props.” She throws you a bundle of clothes. They’re not flashy like others. In fact, the top is an orange hoodie, but it looks as though it’s been through several washes. The color has been dulled and there’s a few holes. You look up at Bethany with a brow raised. She grins and winks at you.
“Trust me. If you’re looking to get a rise from Ca$hy, wear this under the rest of your costume first. Now, let’s get you going.”

 

You can hear Napstaton from where you stand. He’s so full of energy and so positive. It’s like he’s an entirely different person from what you know. You tug on the strings of the hoodie. It’s so long on you, it almost fits like a dress. It stops in the middle of your thighs, which is just right wear your costume starts. 

“‘Ey. Mouse.” Just like the first time. You turn to Ca$h who just appeared behind you. He tilts his head curiously as he takes a drink from his glass. “Now... Where’d you dig that up?” He asks.

“The girls.” You answer plainly. His brow rises. 

“That right? Hm...” His gaze washes over you then he chuckles. “Alright. Just remember to bring your fire on stage, got it?”

“Oh, you can count on it.” Despite his unchanging expression, there’s a glint in his eye. You wish you could tell what he’s thinking... But you’re determined to change his indifference towards you. Even now, how he speaks, low and bored. You’re going to amaze him like you did that very first night. When you two met. 

“You’re on now, little mouse.” He reaches over you and pulls back the curtain a little. You stare at him for a moment, unsure if you should thank him or act coldly. Instead you hurry on to the stage and wait for your music to cue. 

The song starts and your eyes snap up to the crowd. Though the song is different from practice, this can still work. You remember the steps and remember why you’re doing this. As you dance, your eyes scan for him in the crowd. Even though you knew you just saw him backstage a second ago, you know he can teleport or something to that extent. When you see Ca$h, your eyes lock on him. No one else matters. This is about you and him.
When you feel the song pick up on the chorus, you’re tempted to pull off the hoodie, but you see him at the bar. He knows you can see him. He leans back, watching you, but he’s fidgeting. He’s trying to hide it. A sense of pride wells up inside you. It’s hot as hell in this sweater, but something tells you to leave it on. It’s not until the second part of the song starts that you peel off the hoodie, but it was more because you were getting too hot to keep it on. He shifts, tilting his head at you. Now he’s looking at you in a different light.
A fire wells inside your chest. Is this what it takes for him to look at you differently? Your moves become more aggressive, stomping your feet when you can, shooting a glare in his direction whenever you can. The crowd is eating it up. You want him to apologize. You want to show him what you’re really capable of. Hell, if this is all that it takes, then maybe you should do this to him at his home too, just feel like you’re actually something to him.
Before you know it, your routine is over. You’re left firmly planted in the center of the stage. The audience cheers, begging for more, but you’re waiting for Ca$h to make a move. He doesn’t respond like the rest, which drives you absolutely crazy! You worked hard to get a reaction from him! You only got subtle looks, at most. To step forward, approaching the crowd, making sure every step is heard throughout the room. Ca$h finally grins at you, as a purple tongue snakes out from behind his teeth and runs over his one golden fang. It glistens in the beaming lights. It’s a subtle move, but it’s enough to stir something within you.
Before you can do anything else, you hear Napstaton announce another girl, which is your cue to get off. You strut off the stage, picking up the hoodie as you do so. 

“Ohmigosh!!! Bun!!! That was an amazing dom energy you put out there!!” Lily squeals, hugging you. A dom? You never really thought about being dominate. Was that all that was? You were just mad...

“Good work out there rookie.” Bethany grins. “Looks like you’ll fit right in with the rest of us. Go get changed, okay?” You nod and wriggle out from Lily’s iron grasp. 

It’s not until you’re finally back in your usual clothes that you finally realize what happened. You tried to seduce your boss. Why? For revenge? How does that make sense??? Your legs feel like jelly and you suddenly feel drained. That was a bad idea. Why did you do that? You actually did that. You really, actually did all that.... And you have to walk back home with him.  

“Hey, mouse.” You would have fallen onto the floor if you didn’t reach out and used the wall to support yourself. You wish you had his teleporting abilities. “You’re pretty pissed at me, aren’t you?”

“U-Um...” You stammer. Do you dare turn and face him? After what he just saw you do? He chuckles softly and you hear a faint ‘clink’ of a lighter being opened. 

“Wouldn’t be the first time, but you surprised me. Using that grudge on me on stage? That just got you some extra bucks.” 

“What?” You perk up, and turn to him. A fog of purple smoke seeps between his teeth. His gaze now... He’s impressed, with that same glint in his eye you saw while on stage. The corner of his mouth is raised, resembling a smirk. 

“Yup. Looks like they take you for a dominatrix or somethin’. How you walked up at the stage like that at the end? Good call, mouse.” You suddenly feel sheepish. That wasn’t really you up there... But the rush, the anger, the tension... Just thinking back at it stirs something within you. “Either way, I know I ain’t.... Well, I ain’t known for bein’ close with employers, y’know. Still ain’t a good excuse t’ treat ya like I have been, huh?” He cranes his neck away from you, taking a long drag of his cigarette and shortly breathing a cloud of smoke. Between his towering stance, the smoke, the sickly sweet smell and that golden fang, he looks... Surreal.
Your gaze fixates on that gold fang, recounting how he ran his tongue over it while you were on stage. Now, his gaze washes over you. You feel so small, yet you’re not afraid. At least, not scared enough to shy away. There’s something thrilling in his stare. You swallow a breath you didn’t know you were holding. He tilts his head at you, curious. 

“Hey, rookie, Lily’s on. We’re wrapping it up.” Bethany calls. Finally back in reality, you can breathe easily. Ca$h stands up straight, looking towards Bethany. Her eyes widen a bit, then she quickly averts her gaze and gathers her things. Her brows furrowed, determined. Ca$h sighs and turns back to you. 

“Hey, you worked hard tonight. And it’s your first actual performance, and I’ve sorta been a dick to you lately... Lemme take you to Muffet’s.” 

“Aren’t we already...?” He shakes his skull.

“Nope. This is her club, but she’s also got a cafe. Nice place. You’ll like it. It’s kinda cute, I guess.” He answers with a shrug. “Wanna take a shortcut?” As sick as you got last time, your hesitant, but your muscles are aching after that performance. You nod and without warning he hooks an arm around you. You shoot a look at him and he just grins.
In a blink, you’re in the void again. You close your eyes and hide your face into Ca$h’s side. Don’t focus on the burning gaze of the nothingness... Don’t focus on this weightless feeling... Don’t lose yourself in the void. Deep breaths... It’s only for a few moments. 

 

It doesn’t take long to get a table. Actually, there’s no one else here. Probably tired from tonight’s performance at the NTT Resort. The shortcut wasn’t so bad this time, though it still makes you dizzy. Ca$h keeps his arm around you, letting you lean on him. The sickly sweet smell of his smoke has clung onto his clothes. It’s... Oddly comforting in this situation. It feels more real than the Void...
When you finally feel your stomach calm down, you look around your new surroundings. The walls are covered in a pastel blue, with thin white stripes spaced widely apart and a spiderweb pattern between them. There’s wooden planks that come up to your hip that border the walls. The floor has a deep, dull orange brick-like tiles with some faint stains that you assume is coffee. The small periwinkle booths are lined against the walls, close to the windows with decorative, see through purple curtains. The smaller tables are shining ebony with wooden chairs that had a plush, pale blue cushion. On the back of the chairs, there’s another spiderweb design with a soft plum background. There’s gentle music playing, a delicate piano. The smell of sweet, sugary baked goods and coffee hangs in the air, reminding you how hungry you are.

“Nice place?” Ca$h asks you. You nod. You don’t remember when you two were seated, but you’re in one of the booths, still leaning on him. You sit up slowly and take a deep breath. With no one else here and the gentle music, you feel like you can breathe again. You can’t help but wonder what kind of monster Muffet is. Would it be insulting if you assume spider?

“Papy? Is that you darling?” A little voice, almost condescending yet still warm, comes from behind you two. Ca$h leans back and turns, throwing his arm behind you.

“‘Ey, what’s up Emmy? Thought you were off today.” He chuckles lightly. Emmy? Who’s Emmy? A spider monster comes into your view. Her hair was long and black, shining in the light. A couple of fangs peek out from her upper lip, framing her lower one. She’s wearing a cute, white shirt with ruffles at the hem and a striped, thin coat. The skirt she’s wearing stops behind her knees, hugging her curves and dons a pair of shiny black heels. 

“Oh, the girls are right, your girl is cute!” She coos, all four eyes locked to you. “Aw, and you’re confusing the poor thing! Don’t mind him, dear, I’m Muffet. You’ve probably heard of me.” He extends one of her hands to you. You smile politely and shake her hand.

“Nice to meet you.” You reply. 

“Ah! She’s so polite too! Oh, you’re a peach sweetheart.” She holds her hands close to herself, making a pinching gesture. You hope she doesn’t pinch your cheeks, you get that enough from Lily... “And what are you doing here, kid? Thought this sort of place wasn’t your style?” She turns her attention back to Ca$h.

“Yeah, well... Thing is, she did well tonight and I’ve been sorta an ass to her the last couple o’ days. Figured I’d treat her to something nice.” Muffet nods slowly, slowly turning to you.

“Well, it’s about time you showed up with this cutie. I’ve been keeping myself busy here that I haven’t gotten a chance to see the other girls.” She slides into the booth on the other side. “You are quite the popular one, you know.” She coos at you.

“What...? But I just got here.” Sure, you’re the only human that you know of down here, but that alone can’t be enough to be popular. Muffet giggles.

“Oh, sweetheart, you’re adorable. After your performance, I heard from Napstaton that you were the only one the crowd kept talking about. Keep this up darlin’ and you might be richer than Ca$hy here!” She teases. Ca$h doesn’t seem phased, but you see the lower part of his eye socket twitch like an eyelid. Muffet suddenly perks up and leans on the table. “Oh, did he ever tell you that he’s the one responsible for all this?”

“All... What?”

“Of the underground. He’s the one who figured out how to ferment things on accident, and not to mention he’s found some cigarettes from the surface. Honestly, the smoke from those things are disgusting, but they helped make ours better!” 

“Muffet, please-”

“Oh, he hasn’t told you what he’s been doing? Papy, how rude of you!” Muffet playfully bats a hand at him. “He’s the supplier of half the drinks and smokes in the entire underground! The other half is Grillby, but Ca$hy’s cigs are the best. We have competition when it comes to booze though.” She leans back, sighing.

“‘Ey, he keeps the competition hot. Can’t forget an old flame like that, eh Emmy?” Ca$h grins. Muffet rolls all four of her eyes.

“Please, like I’d ever go out with him. He’s such a drama queen.” She grumbles. “But this isn’t about him. I wanna talk about you! It feels like it’s been ages! How’s your brother?” Ca$h tenses. He shoots her a glare, but Muffet keeps smiling away.

“What brother?” He growls.

“Oh, please. Like you would ever forget Sans.” She turns to you. “Sweetheart, you should have seen them before. Those two were like two spiders on a web! Wonderful, sweet boys!” Ca$h leans on the table with his elbows.

“That’s enough, Muffet.” He growls.

“Oh shush, if you’re bringing her places then she’s gotta know. Anyway dear, they just got along so well. It wasn’t until Ca$h discovered all this good stuff that things got tense. See, lil boy blue was once a part of the Royal Guard. Sansy worked hard to get there and you know it’d look bad if his dear, sweet brother was becoming a delinquent.”

“Muffet, that’s enough. I’m serious.” Ca$h growls, but she shrugs him off and continues on.

“So they got into a fight, naturally. Ca$hy lost his eye and tooth over the whole thing, but soon after that he moved out of the place. Sansy went all sorts of crazy during the training that he eventually got kicked off the guard.” Ca$h suddenly stood up. The light in his eye was gone, staring straight at Muffet. She couldn’t hear it, but you could hear a faint rumble within his chest, something like a growl. It lasted only a moment before he blinked out of sight.
“Oh dear... I’ve made him mad.” Muffet sighs, but she doesn’t look the slightest bit upset. In fact, she giggled lightly to herself. 

“I-Is he...?” You’ve never seen him so mad. Even when he confronted you about Grillby, he never got so mad that he went quiet. 

“He’ll be fine. What’s he going to do? I’m his boss after all.” She grins. “Look, he was never going to tell you. The only reason why I’m doing this is because he needs the help... Plus, I’m tired of Sans coming in here, only ordering milk and whining about how much he misses Papyrus. I’ve been trying to get him to go to the resort to relax, but noooo! He ‘has to be morally ready when he returns to the guard’! What the hell does that even mean?!” She takes a deep breath, relaxes and returns leaning back in her seat.
“What I’m trying to say is, they used to be close. Ever since you came here, Papyrus has been in such a good mood lately. Like the piece of the surface has finally came back to him.”
That’s right... They’re all trapped here. You’ve heard the ghost stories of how monsters lived inside the mountain, but you never believed them. They were just stories to you back then... How long have they been down here? How long has it been since Ca$h or anyone seen the sun? It almost makes you feel bad for once having that freedom, that luxury... No one is here because they want to... 

“C’mon, sweetheart. I’ll take you back home. Knowing him, he’s probably locked himself up in his room again.” She stands up and huffs. “Go figure. He gets an entire house to himself and he still would rather cage himself more. I just don’t get it...” She waves you over. “C’mon, I don’t bite. I’ll even let you take a bag of my specialty doughnuts!”

Chapter Text

The air is stagnant. Not a single light was on, but you can feel traces of Ca$h’s magic lingering. Though it’s faint, it’s suffocating. You clutch the little white paper bag of Muffet’s doughnuts close to you as you shut the door behind you. You were going to offer the treats as an apology, but now you wonder if it’s a good idea to approach him now.
As you make your way through the home, you notice that all the drawers and cabinet doors are open. Upon closer inspection of the room, you find shattered glass towards the back. The shards are fanned out, but all seem to be directed towards Ca$h’s room. You carefully step out of the room.
As you make your way down the hall, his magic becomes more intense. It becomes harder to breathe. A heavy smell of alcohol and his smoke smell fills your lungs. At his door, his magic overpowers the alcohol. It smells of smoke and rain. 

“That’s my room. Don’t go in there.”

His words echo in the back of your mind. The day you arrived. It didn’t come off as a warning at first, just a statement. Though, as you stand here feeling his magic choke you, making your hands shake... Is this really such a good idea?

“C... Ca$h?” You call out. You hear nothing. You know he heard you. His magic flares, giving you goosebumps and forcing you to take deep breaths. Your grip on the paper bag is so tight it turns your knuckles white. It’s the only thing right now that reminds you that this was your fault. You could have stopped Muffet. You could have defended Ca$h’s privacy. He could have told you whenever he was ready. This was your fault. 

“C-Ca$h! I... I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I brought some doughnuts, but, um... I can leave them on the kitchen for you.” You hear nothing, but his magic calms oh so slightly. You swallow a breath and turn around to exit the hall, but you hear a shatter that pulls your attention back to the room. You drop the bag and forget the warning entirely. 

“Ca$h! Are yo-?!” You swing his door open. You’re greeted by the sight of what seems to be hundreds of glass bottles. Empty bottles are stacked on a desk so high that they almost reach the ceiling. There’s so many on the floor there’s a narrow path that leads straight to an old, worn mattress. What shakes your core is Ca$h.
His back is hunched against the wall at the head of the mattress. He is without his hoodie; it lies at the foot of the mattress in a careless bundle. He’s clutching onto a half filled bottle of dark liquor in his grasp. His eyepatch is absent, but you don’t see his face until he turns to you.
A large gash runs diagonally across his eye socket. The socket itself has no light, hollow, like staring into the Void itself. Despite this, you can feel his gaze bore into you with his hollow eye. He stands up and approaches you with staggering steps.

“Thought I told you never to come in here...” He growls. You take a step back.

“I-I’m sorry!” You stammer. His magic his overwhelming. The strong, burning smell of alcohol and sickly sweet smoke makes it feel like you’re drowning. Suddenly, you feel a weight lift you from the ground from your chest. You gasp as your back is pinned to the wall. 

“Well get a good look then! Lookit Ca$hy now!” He shouts. You meet his gaze now and you aren’t sure which is more terrifying: looking up at him or him raising you to meet with his glare. However, he’s not exactly glaring at you anymore. His one eye is burning bright red, wavering in his socket. “You’re scared of me, aren’t ‘cha? Scared I’m gonna hurt you? Do something stupid? Well, lookit me lil mouse. I’m a fucking monster! I’m that fucker who scares you at night when you’re just a kid waiting under your bed or in your closet. I’m made to be scary to your kind. So, why don’t you run? Go screamin’ and cryin’, wanting to go back home when you’re trapped down here just like the rest of us? News flash kitten! There ain’t any hope down here once you get here!”
He lets you go from his magic grasp. Though you’re shaken, you’re more scared now for him than scared of him. He takes long strides back to his mattress, his fingers tracing the necks of the empty bottles with a faint ‘tink’ sound echoing in the room.

“There’s no hope down here once you get here.” He repeats, more calmly. “It’s a cage. A prison, and we’re all here jus’ buyin’ time. We’re all trying to forget that we’re not welcome up there. Or, maybe, people forgot about us. Like dus’ under a rug.” He picks up the glass bottle, inspecting the label. “So, get going to Muffet. She’ll take you in. Y’ don’t need a fuck up like me.” Your heart aches. You can’t find your voice to tell him that things are going to be okay. You can’t find the right words at all to comfort him, but you can’t just run away. He takes a drink from the bottle and turns back to you.
He’s broken, void of any hope. He’s lost in a world that doesn’t want him, among the other monsters here. You see it in his lost eye. The pain, the confusion and the desire to just feel alive again. It pains you just seeing him like this.
Without thinking, you run up to him and throw your arms around him. He stumbles back from your embrace and tenses up. He drops the bottle on the floor and freezes. A moment or two passes and you hear his broken, tired voice gasp,

Why...?” You can’t speak. You’re not sure what to say. You just know you can’t leave him like this. “Why...? I tried to... you don’t want....” He grabs your shoulders gently, trying to pry you off. “I don’t deserve... You can’t do this....” He tries again to get you off him, but slowly he wraps his arms around you and slumps over you. You try to support his weight, not letting go no matter what. His shoulders shake and you hear silent sobs rumble in his rib cage. His arms tighten around you, pressing you into his ribs.
What’s wrong with me....?” He whispers. You can’t answer that. You just hold him as tight as you can, but eventually sleep takes you. You don’t remember anything else other than the two of you holding onto each other. The night passes and he holds you as if you’re the only thing keeping him alive.

 

When the morning comes, you’re instantly reminded of last night’s events. The smell of alcohol has grown stronger overnight, due to the dropped bottle. You try to wake up properly and try to sit up, but Ca$h’s arms are firmly around you. Only now you realize that you’ve been sleeping sitting up, with you on his lap and face pressed against his ribs. Luckily, he’s still asleep. So, you carefully try to get out from his arms and manage to get off the mattress. He falls over on his side like a ragdoll once you’re free, but doesn’t wake up.
Now that you’re free, you have an idea. Though he may not like it, you’re going to help him. Starting with getting rid of these empty bottles. You gather as many bottles as you can carry and leave his room. You almost forgot about the neglected doughnuts from last night and made a mental note to put those in the kitchen.... Where broken glass is. You sigh once you realize how much work this is going to take.

You aren’t sure when Ca$h woke up, but when you came back into the house after taking out your third trash bag you can hear him from the kitchen,

“What the hell are you doing?” He questions, eye sockets wide. He kept glancing between his room, the kitchen and back to you. “No, really, what are you doing?”

“I just thought I’d help...” You reply. He runs a hand against the back of his neck, letting a long breath out from his nose (?). 

“Ah, c’mon. I can stop on my own. I’ll clean up my act so you don’t have to.” He grins. Was... Was that a pun? Is he trying to be funny right now? No matter, you grab another bag from the kitchen and make your way back to his room. He sighs and follows closely behind you. “Okay, okay, that was a bad one, but I’m serious. It’s no big deal!”

“Ca$h, you need help. This is the only thing I can think of that might actually help you.”

“Listen sweetheart, I can take care of myself. I appreciate the effort but-” He stops in his tracks as soon as you take one of the bottles off his desk and throw it to the floor. The shatter shakes him, sockets wide and his stare wavers.

“Papyrus, you have a problem. If this is the best you can do on your own, then you need help.” Your voice is shockingly strong, something you didn’t expect from yourself. “I want to help you. You’ve done so much for me, so I’ll be here to help you.” He swallows a breath and averts his gaze. You tilt your head and crane your neck, trying to read his expression. It’s twisted, brow creased and eye lights searching for something intangible. 

“I... I ain’t used to hearing that name from you.” He mumbles. “‘S weird...” That’s right... You’ve only heard Muffet and Sans call him by Papyrus. You figured using that name would make him realize how bad this situation is. It didn’t occur to you until now that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea... Since Muffet only shortened it to ‘Papy’ and Sans seems to be a sore subject...

“Sorry, I just thought...” You mumbled. Ca$h glances at you then picks something up with his fingertips. His eye patch. 

“‘S not bad, just a little weird. You’ve always called me Ca$h, like everyone else does.” He stretches the band over his skull and covers his empty socket. “Just... Don’t call me that in public, okay? Don’t really care if you use it here.” You nod. He sighs gently and starts picking up the shards of glass beside you. He stares hard at a shard for a while, then returns his gaze to you. “You really wanna help huh...?” He murmurs, just barely audible.

“I really do... And I think the best thing to do is get rid of every bottle.”

“Even my-?”

“Every single one.” You say sternly. His jaw clenches and stares at the shard again. He’s holding it so delicately between his fingers, having some sort of fondness for it like an old memory. 

“It ain’t gonna be easy, is it mouse?” He asks softly. You aren’t sure how to answer him. 

“I... I don’t know. But I’m not going anywhere. So, hopefully this will be easier for you.” He nods slowly and tosses the shard towards the trash bag. He takes a deep breath and turns his full attention to you.

“Okay. I’m putting my trust in you.” He sighs. Something wells inside your chest and a small smile spreads across your face. He wears a soft expression and tassels your hair. “Heh, y’know...” He murmurs, letting his fingers slide down the side of your face. His gaze follows his fingertips until they fall from your chin. His eye fixates on something on your face, but you aren’t sure what. He clenches his jaw, turns his head away and coughs. “Damn... Head hurts...”

“Hangover?” You ask. He shrugs and stands up straight. You’ve heard of a few remedies that might help, but most you’ve only seen through television shows. You put the trash bag gently on the ground and scurry to the kitchen. Ca$h follows you from behind. You open the fridge, wondering if in those groceries he brought a while ago, there would be a jar of pickles. Pickle juice worked, right?

“What’cha doing?” He asks, firmly planting his skull over your shoulder. “Hungry?” 

“On the surface, I heard that pickle juice help hangovers...” You reply. He lets out an airy chuckle. 

“You’re real serious about helpin’ me aren’t ya?” Damn right. You close the door, finding nothing. He sits up and cocks his head to the side. “Alright, lemme guess, you’re gonna tell me to pick some up or somethin’?” 

“Well, um.... Maybe just drink a lot of water?” You suggest. He shrugs and smiles at you. 

“Don’t you have work or somethin’?” Shit, that’s right. You need to practice your new routine now. HE waves a dismissive hand. “Don’t worry about it. Take the day off. Least I can do for scarin’ you last night. By the way....” He strolls to the living you, beckoning you to follow him. “Need to give you your pay.” Honestly, you didn’t think you would be paid. You just thought ‘working for him’ meant ‘working to have a place to stay’. 

“How much is it...?” He turns to you, a cigarette between his fangs. Though instead of lighting it, he’s chewing on it. 

“That’s what I wanna talk about. It ain’t gonna be pretty this first time. I had to get food and clothes and shit for ya. With 01 and 02’s help, gotta pay for their services too.” He falls into the couch, takes the cigarette from his mouth and twirls it between his fingers. “So, here’s what I’m thinkin’: I get 70% of your cash this time. The rest will be 65%.”
So he gets most of your pay? Even though you’re the one doing the work? Granted, he DID go out and made sure you’re taken care of, but 70%? 

“Why not 50%?” You ask. He leans to you.

“Look, mouse, I like you, but I ain’t goin’ 50-50 with ya. I’ve gotta keep paying for your food, plus with an extra body here, you’re also usin’ house energy. Ya think electricity is free down here?” He bites his cigarette and lights it. “70%.”

“65 for this one, but 55 for the rest.” He raises a brow. He drums his fingers against the arm of the couch. 

“I’ve gotta do 70% this first time, kitten.” He growls. “But, for you, the rest will be 60%. That’s the lowest I’m willing to go. If ya don’t like it, work for Muffet, but you’ll be on your own. Hope you like sleepin’ in a cave, sweetheart.” You bite your lip. He takes a long drag from his cigarette and fills the air with sickly sweet smoke. The golden fang glints through the smoke. 

“.... Alright.” You don’t like it, but he doesn’t seem to be budging. He seems satisfied and carelessly tosses a wad of bills on the coffee table.

“There ya go then. Pleasure doin’ business with ya.” He grins. This... This much is yours? You pick up the wad, looking through the bills. The green bills look similar to the ones on the surface, though there’s a G on either sides of the bill in golden calligraphy. There’s a symbol on the center as well: three triangles and a winged circle above them. There’s also numbers on the bills... 100... 100 is written on each one. You count them out softly. Twenty. Your eyes grow wide and you look back up at Ca$h, who’s wearing a wide grin. 

“Told ya you’re popular here.” He chuckles. “Go ‘n have fun without me. You’ve earned it, haven’t ya?” 

“Th... Thank you!” Hell, if you knew you’d be making this much money just by taking off your clothes, you’d throw yourself down here sooner. (That’s probably a lie, but whatever.) He waves you off as you scamper to your room to change clothes. 

 

There aren’t many shops in Snowdin. Just a general store, an inn, Grillby’s lounge (which appears to be closed right now) a library (though it’s spelled libraby) and... That’s it. Well, can’t hurt to check out the store, right?
The dog wife is there to greet you in her usual bored voice. The shop is just as cluttered as you remember. She looks up from her magazine and watches you, though you aren’t sure if she’s staring at you intentionally.

“You work for Ca$h now?” She asks. Before you can answer, she continues, “You’re quite the talk of the town here. Better be careful, you know? Grillby loves some competition, and he’ll do just about anything to get what’s good.”

“Is he really that bad?” You ask while you browse the wares.

“He’s not exactly bad, but he ain’t exactly good either. Big people pleaser, but not exactly a good negotiator. Pays his people good, but he hooks you in with a contract. Can’t escape it once you sign.” She sighs. “Lotsa poor, sweet girls that don’t know any better... Ca$h ain’t exactly a people pleaser, but he’s more lax with his partners than Grillby is.” She puts away her magazine and puts her cheek against her palm.
“Them girls who used to work here handed their business to us. Things got tight for them and they had to work for Grillby for a while. Heard they moved and went to work for Muffet. That’s just a rumor though, that they moved.” Why is she telling you this...? Though, now you’re curious and stop your browsing.

“What were their names?” You ask. Maybe you know them! Unfortunately, the dog woman shrugs. 

“Beats me. My husband and I barely knew them before. We used to work for the guard you know, but we wanted to get married. Can’t do that when someone is a higher rank than you, so we left the guard and got married. Used the rest of our funds to get this lil shin-dig runnin’.” She smiles a little and dazes off into the distance. “Ah... We were so lucky. It ain’t so bad workin’ like this... Wonder if we ever get to the surface... We’ll have a cozy lil home with a lil shop. With toys and dolls and seein’ all those lil kids face light up...” She sighs happily and holds her face in her hands. It both warms your heart and pains it. 

“You’ll get there. All this is just temporary, right?” You say, hoping to shine some light. She nods slowly and returns to her bored expression.

“Yeah, maybe... We’ll see about that. Anyway, you gonna buy somethin’ hun?” She sighs. You bite your lip and return to gazing at the shelves. Though, nothing is striking you at the moment, you still feel like you should buy something since you’ve spent so much time in this store. You decided on a cute little charm of a little creature with big eyes and cat-like ears.
As you walk back, there’s a bitter-sweet feeling hanging in your heart. Perhaps it was the words of the shopkeeper. Or the fact that people had to give up their lives just to support themselves in other ways... Like you. You wish you knew what to say. Well... Maybe they need to hear what you need to hear... Whatever that is.
“Oh! Hi there!” A familiar voice snaps you back to reality. You see Sans approaching you with a warm, welcoming smile on his face. You jolt back, unsure of what he could possibly want. You looked for an escape route, but he’s almost right in front of you in a blink of an eye. “Got a moment to talk?”

Chapter Text

“I really should go...” You murmur, taking a step back. 

“N-No! Wait, please!” Sans cries and reaches for you. You recoil back in panic. He pauses, watching you with wide eye sockets. “Sorry, sorry. I’m just... I...” He sighs and rubs the back of his skull. “I’m sorry... We, uh, heh... Got off on the wrong foot, huh?” You don’t answer. Your silence rubs makes him frown and let his hand fall back to his side. “Look, I just... Papyrus. He’s my brother, my only family here. Can you blame me for being so... That?” No, you suppose you can’t.

“Then the first night I saw you... When you wanted to fight-?”

“That’s the only way I can get him to even acknowledge me! You’ve seen how he is. If you’re not helping him in some way, you’re lucky enough that you even get a second glance. Hell, he probably pretends that I’m dead or something.” You bite your tongue, recalling the conversation Ca$h and Muffet had. Your expression tells him everything.
“See?” He sighs. “Look, I’m not a perfect brother, but I did everything I could...”

“He lost an eye and a tooth because of you.” You didn’t stop yourself fast enough. That is what Muffet told you. Your words act like a dagger and his face twists into a pained scowl. 

“Yeah... I did do that...” He growls softly. “Though no one told you he started it, right? He’s the one that started that fight! I was only defending myself! I was- I’m-! Ugh....” The holds his skull in his hands. “It’s not my point... When he moved out, I was worried about him. Still am. So, please... If you can tell me anything, anything at all...” His hands fall. He stares at the snow that buries his feet. His sockets hollow and void of any light. “Please....” His voice is broken and pained, weak and small. “Please... I miss him....”
This feud has gone on for too long you think. Sans is so desperate for any kind of information or acknowledgement from Ca$h to the point where He could be straining his relationship with his brother even more. You already know how Ca$h can be with others, considering he rarely interacted with you until recently. Besides, is Sans is willing to help and be a part of Ca$h’s life again, he could help with Ca$h’s recovery.

“He’s trying to stop drinking.” You say. Sans snaps his head back up, meeting your gaze. The light in his eyes twinkle like stars and a small smile spreads across his face.

“R-Really? How? I mean, why? I-I mean-”

“He tried to scare me last night, but, um, it didn’t work. So I’m trying to help him now.” The stars in his eyes shine brighter and he takes both of your hands into his. Instinctively, you pull back, but he doesn’t seem bothered. 

“You did this? You’re getting him to quit? Oh my goodness!! I’ve tried to do that so many times before, but he never listened to me! You must be something special!” He beams. You’re flattered sure, but you’re just trying to help someone in need. Wouldn’t anyone else do the same? He moves in for a hug, but you manage to avoid him. Sure, he’s happy, but you really don’t know him well enough to allow him to be physical with you. He looks like a rejected puppy, looking at you with those wide sockets. 

“Aw, c’mon!” He whines. You laugh nervously and try to inch your way for an escape. He pouts and crosses his arms over his chest (ribcage?) You try not to smile. He may be about the same height as you, but he still looks and acts like a child. It’s strangely cute.

“Sorry, I, um, have my own ‘no touch’ rule.” You explain. Though it was mainly a rule you have for your work, you think he’d understand without getting upset. He still pouts, but he nods his head.

“Alright, alright. Fine. I understand.” He huffs. 

[Before MC leaves, she and Wild chat a little more, bond and she learns a little more about Ca$h in the process]

 

When you return home, you aren’t too surprised to see that the room is dark. You are, however, surprised to see Ca$h lying on the couch with his hoodie covering his face. As soon as you shut the door, he starts to stir, making his hoodie fall onto the floor.

“Hey, you have a good time out?” He mumbles. You nod, humming a response. He grunts and throws his arm over his sockets. “God, my head is killin’ me...”

“Have you been drinking-”

“God I wish I was.”

“Water.” You huff as him, crossing your arms. 

“Ah.” He sighs and sits up, scratching at his skull. “Hm... If I wanted water, I could just eat the snow outside.” He chuckles.

“That’s not the same thing and that’s gross!” 

“Heh. Snows what you know.” Did.... Did he just make a pun? He grins at your expression, picks up his hoodie and puts it back on. “Alright, alright, if it’ll make ya happy.” He seems to be taking this quite well. Then again, it’s just the first day. How long has his drinking habits lasted? How attached is he to the bottle? Hopefully with all the bottles gone from home, he won’t be tempted, but what about his work? He supplies the other majority of alcohol here, along with Grillby.
“Hey Mouse, what’s that look for?” He calls you, snapping out of your thoughts. “Ya think I’m gonna flake on ya or something?” Is he still making snow puns? Really? Though, you can’t help but grin and you hate it. 

“I can’t believe what I’m hearing.” Ca$h chuckles and gets himself a glass full of water. 

“Aw c’mon, don’t give me the cold shoulder yet. I’m just warming up.” You roll your eyes. He’s wearing the biggest shit eating grin you’ve ever seen on his face and gulps down his water. “There. Happy now?” 

“You need more than just one...”

“You’re killin’ me here, Mouse.” He sighs. “C’mon, I’m an adult, I can handle myself.” You could say something, but choose not to. As much as you enjoyed relaxing, a part of you wants to go to work and chat with the girls. Plus, you really need to figure out your new routine. 

“Um, well, I thought I’d stop by and see how you’re doing... I was thinking about heading to work.”

“On your day off? Heh, you a workaholic or something?” You just shrug.

“You can come too. Get some fresh air, maybe? Better than nesting in here.” He taps his fingers against the counter top.

“Hm... Yeah, not sure. That’s sorta your own thing, y’know? Besides, when I see you on stage, I like to be surprised.” He smirks at you. Flashbacks of your last performance pass your mind and your feel your face grow hot, but you still try to keep a straight face.

“My offer still stands.” He sighs and keeps tapping his fingers against the hard counter, making a rhythmic ‘tick’ with every tap. 

“Tell you what, I’ll come over to walk you back home, okay?” It was better than nothing. You nod, much to your disappointment. Maybe he’s not ready to do too much. You decide not to push it too much and head out to work.

 

When you arrive, it’s strangely quiet. Most of the girls were missing. At least Bethany was there. She was working hard, working on a more sultry styled routine. She perks up as soon as you came in.

“Hey, how’s it goin’ girl?” She calls, walking to the edge of the stage. 

“Ca$h said I could have a day off, but I still wanted to start a plan or something.” You reply. She laughs and takes a seat, swinging her legs.

“Workaholic, much?” She teases. Your face grows warm. “I’m teasing, hun. Look, I wouldn’t worry about today. Nappy’s been booked all day long.”

“Is everything okay?”

“Oh, yeah. He’s finally getting his new eye done and everyone in the Underground is excited for it. They can finally see his whole cute face again and all that. He’s also got his own debut going.” Debut? Well, he does supply music for this club.... Does this mean....? 

“Will he be back tomorrow?” You ask instead.

“He should be. If not, I don’t blame the guy. Poor thing’s been working hard on his new album. The pressure is on.” Bethany fishes out a small lighter from her breast. “Do me a favor? Go to the back room, find my purse, it’s the big green an’ gold one and gimme a cigarette? Need a break.” 

“Oh, yeah, sure.” You nod. You make your way to the dressing room in back. The faintest smell of floral perfume hangs in the air. A little group of three bunnies are crowded in the back corner, gossiping. They didn’t hear you come in and continued on without skipping a beat. You know you shouldn’t get into gossip. Eavesdropping was a terrible habit, and yet....

“No way! Paps really came on to her??”

“I saw him walk out of there. Bethany was there too!” 

“Oh my God, does she even know Bethy used to have a thing with him?”

“Psh, you call that ‘a thing’? Girl was just short of throwing herself at him.” 

Bethany was with Ca$h? Did they work together? Were they a couple? The rush of questions began to overwhelm you. You quickly grab Bethany’s bag. You don’t want to hear any more of this. Something ugly and hot coils in your chest. Whatever it is, you don’t want to encourage it. You scamper out, clutching the bag close to your chest. Bethany turns towards you when you leave, then tilts her head.

“Hey, what’s wrong? You doing okay girl? What happened?” She asks, brow furrowed. Where do you even start? 

“You and Ca$h... Did you work together?” You ask. She slumps her shoulders and lets out a soft, long sigh. She takes her bag and fishes out a cigarette.

“Yeah. My sis was just starting to work at Muffet’s but I needed to stay somewhere else. The resort hotel here didn’t have enough rooms and Muffet was still trying to organize something with Napstaton and Undyne, who own this place. I had to stay with Ca$h. Back then, he just supplied the smokes and drinks. I was a rookie then, not like my sis. She used to work with Grillby before Muffet.” She lights her cigarette and takes a long drag. 

“Your sister?” Someone here is her sister? No one else looked similar to Bethany though... Bethany has dark, almost black fur, while everyone else had white, fawn or sand colored fur. Realizing what she said, she coughs out her smoke. She pats her chest and tries to catch her breath.

“Look... You don’t tell anyone this, okay? As far as everyone knows, I’m just a nobody, okay? I don’t have any family working here with me. If anyone finds out, especially the customers, they’re gonna wanna start living out some creepy fantasies, you got it?” You don’t even want to know. You nod quickly.

“Promise!” Bethany sighs, and pinches out her cigarette.

“Yeah, I got a big sis here. You’ll never guess who.” She pauses, staring at you. After a moment of confused silence, she raises a brow. “Well? Guess!” Oh.

“Um... Is it Rose?” You ask. She shakes her head. “Prim?” Nope. “Jasmine?” 

“Nope. Give up?” It can’t be Lily. She’s everything opposite of Bethany. She’s bubbly, overly sweet, and her fur was snow white. “It’s Lily.” 

“Bu-Huh? How-?” You stammer. Bethany chuckles and leans forward.

“Different dads. Her dad once joined the Royal Guard and got dusted. Mom found my dad and had me.” She answers. Dusted? Is that a slang term or something? “Anyway, she started working for Muffet instead and I wanted in on the cash, so that’s how we ended up here. Reason why we don’t tell anyone we’re sisters is ‘cuz we had a couple of girls working here that called themselves sisters. Soon as it got out to the customers, all the guys wanted them to act out some twisted fantasy of their’s. The girls got sick of it and pretend to hate each other now. Stars above only know what would happen to real sisters.” She sighs.

“That’s messed up...”

“Tell me about it.” She places her hands behind her and leans back. “Eh, I’m bored. It’s not the same without Nappy. I’m heading out. You should too. Get some R ‘n R, girl.” She hops off the stage, slings her bag over her shoulder and struts out. You really wanted to work on your routine, but if Napstaton isn’t here... “Hey, c’mon! I’ll walk with ya to the river if ya want!” Bethany calls you over.

Chapter Text

The next few days were quiet. You still didn’t see much of Ca$h, but at least he stopped nesting in his room. He’s been doing so well. Hell, he never even drank when he’d come to pick you up from practice. You haven’t seen a bottle and haven’t smelled alcohol in his room.
Then why is he getting worse? His movements are slower than usual, he’s always complaining about having headaches and pains everywhere. You do what you can, but you honestly have no idea how to help him. You just don’t want him to get back into those habits again.

You’ve asked the girls at work for help multiple times and what little advice they give helps a little, but it’s sadly not enough. You know he wants a drink. He’s been bargaining for one with you a couple of times, but you stood your ground. He doesn’t get mad, but you can tell it’s tearing him up.
Napstaton hasn’t been seen either. Rumors are circling about his new eye and his new album dropping. Lots of his fans are hyping up about it, from what you’ve heard anyway. You’re just wondering if he’s been doing okay. How long can he “play pretend”?

Then there’s Sans. You’d run into him a few separate occasions. He’d ask about Ca$h and how he’s been doing and you’d answer honestly. You wish he could help out more, but he’s too afraid that he’ll ruin everything. He does try to cheer you up though. It’s not much, but you do keep your sanity.
Lastly, there’s you. How many days have passed since you’ve been down here? Are your friends or family tried to come find you? What if they fell down here too? It would be nice to see a friendly face, but you don’t want them to be here. Not like this. Not when you’re in this situation. Still, it pains you that you can’t see them. In fact, will you ever see them again...?

 

One night, as you’re pondering these sort of things in your room, you hear something tap on your door. At first, you thought it was just your imagination since it was so light. When you hear it again, louder, you climb out from your bed and open the door.

“Hey...” Ca$h mumbled, gaze looking past you. You don’t smell anything but smoke on his breath. It’s intense, but he’s not covering up anything. 

“Are you okay?” You ask.

“Can’t sleep. This damn headache is killin’ me...” He runs a hand over his skull. He’s not wearing his eye patch, so the tips of his fingers catch on a crack on his brow. “I’d kill for a drink right now...”

“I know but-”

“I’m not gonna do that, don’t worry.” He sighs. He stuffs his hands in his pocket and stares at the ground. He couldn’t have just came here just to complain, right? 

“Did you, um.... Want anything?” You ask. His jaw clenches and his eye sockets narrow slightly at the ground. When he meets your gaze, you see it’s not frustration, but fear in those lights. How interesting, you thought, that with a lack of eyes you could still understand how he’s feeling without saying a word.

“I uh...” He mumbles. “Member how you kept me company that one night? That was actually the first time I slept well in a while... So I was wonderin’...” He shifts his gaze again to the wall behind you. “If I could sleep with you again...?” There’s the faintest glow of his magic across his face. You feel your cheeks warm up as well as you recalled that night. It wasn’t a happy night, but he was right: he was practically dead asleep by the time you had woken up.
“So... How ‘bout it?” He asks. If it’ll help him, it can’t hurt, right? You step aside, opening the door a little wider for him. The corners of his mouth turn up into a faint smile and he makes his way into your room. Damn, he’s so tall he has to duck through doorways...
“Thanks, Mouse.” He chuckles. 

“You’re welcome.” You reply, leaving your door cracked open. You return to your bed and throw over your blanket over your shoulders. It’s now you realize that he hasn’t moved from the center of your room. In fact, his shoulders are tense and he’s looking everywhere but you. That glow across his face is gradually getting brighter.
“Aren’t you trying to sleep?” You ask.

“Yeah, yeah, gimme a sec.” Ca$h grumbles. “It’s not like this is an everyday thing, y’know?” A part of you understands, but the rest of you is smiling and can’t believe what you’re seeing. You don’t think you’ve ever seen him act bashful. You staring and smiling catches his attention and he pouts. “Hey, quit makin’ fun of me over there.”

“I didn’t say anything!”

“It’s written all over your face.” He huffs. Eventually, he makes his way over to the side of your bed and lays down on top of the blankets. He’s still so tense; just staring at the ceiling now. Out of pure curiosity, you poke him. He jolts and almost falls off the bed if he didn’t grab onto your nightstand. The lamp fell on it’s side and he quickly tried to fix it. 

“Are you sure you want to do this?” You ask, watching him scramble to correct himself.

“Ugh... This was stupid.” He sighs. He sits up and is about to leave until you grab onto his hoodie. He freezes and turns his attention to you. 

“It’s okay.” You say, gently. Very carefully, you pull him just a little closer to you. He falls softly into your arms and stays still. This goes on for a while until he relaxes and wraps his arms around you. You feel a gentle thrum come from his rib cage that warms your core. He tucks you head under his chin and at last the tension from his shoulders fall.

“Thank you...” He whispers. It was so small that you barely heard it, but it stayed with you until sleep took you.

 

When you woke up, he was gone. You were a little disappointed to wake up to no one at your side, but Ca$h still has a business to run. You can’t be too upset at that. Besides, you have work to do also.
As you make your way to work, you’re greeted by a familiar voice. Sans waves at you as he starts to walk beside you.

“Is Papyrus getting any better? Last time you said he was really sick.” He asks.

“I don’t know... He’s still getting headaches and I’ve barely seen him move... It probably doesn’t help he’s still working...” You reply.

“You’re letting him work still?!” He shrieked.

“Well, I can’t really stop him when he has magic and I don’t, can I?” You huff, crossing your arms. Sans pouts.

“Stubborn brat... Still the same way he was when he was a babybones.” You always sort of suspected that Sans was the older brother, but the way Ca$h asks made you think that Sans was younger. They certainly an interesting duo, to say the least.
“If you can, try to stop him. He’s going to exhaust himself and he won’t be getting better anytime soon.”

“It’s the only time I see him get out of the house though... I can’t seem to get him out no matter how hard I try....” You don’t want to cross any lines with him. Ca$h is still your boss, but since his road to recovery your dynamic with him has changed. To what, you don’t know. Does Ca$h know?

“You’ll have to be firm with him. He won’t listen or do anything until you learn to be assertive.” Sans sighs. “Then again, maybe I’m not the best one to be giving advice to...” 

“He could really use some extra support.” You say, hoping he’ll pick up what you’re saying. Sans turns his gaze down, his shoulders slumped. 

“I’m pretty sure I’m the last monster he wants to see here...” He sighs. It’s probably best not to push it, so you change the subject,

“So, um, how have you been doing?”

“Better. I’ve just been trying to keep myself busy by cleaning the house, cleaning up the town the best that I can, that sort of thing.” He smiles a little. “It’s not much, but I do really want to try to make Snowdin better. It used to be a nice place with hardworking people. Now it’s just... Trashed...”

“Maybe when I get a day off, I can help you out?” You offer. His smile brightens.

“You don’t have to, but I’d appreciate it!” To think you were ever scared of him at all.. It’s laughable now. His execution on things may be a little skewed, but his intentions are still good. Maybe this whole fight between him and Ca$h is just a big misunderstanding...
Before you know it, your paths split and you’re off to the resort. Hopefully, Napstaton has returned there as well. The end of the week was quickly approaching, and none of the girls have their songs yet. Hopefully everything is okay....

 

As you watch the world pass you by on the boat ride to Hotland, you can’t help but to think of the first time you came here. How terrified you were, how Ca$h was... Well, he’s still kind of the same, but he’s getting better. You didn’t know what to expect, and now you’re working with monsters every day... Almost three weeks. Three weeks you’d be down here. Has life above forgotten about you? What’s happened up there? Would your friends and family be able to recognize you now?

“You’ve arrived...” The boatman or boat woman declares, snapping you back to reality. You thank them and head on your way to the resort. 

 

Still not a single sign of Napstaton, but to your surprise you see Muffet there. She’s not wearing her office-like outfit however like last time. She’s wearing a short black skirt that hugs her hips with a small slit running to her mid-thigh, a pastel pink top with a little white cartoon skull pattern and the words “Fuck you” written in black, fishnet stockings and pastel purple platform boots. You have a moment of pause before you take in everything else.
The other girls are sitting or standing on the stage. Bethany and Lily are in the middle, Lilly sitting with her legs tucked under her and Bethany leaning against one of the poles. Muffet is standing on one of the tables, holding a clipboard. She turns to you as soon as you come in.

“Ah, good! You’re here cupcake! Join the others, I’ve got some news and updates.” She says, waving her clipboard to the stage. You nod and quickly join the others. She clicks her pen as she waits for you and smiles once you’ve settled. “Wonderful, all of you are here. Now, lemme address something all of you are thinking. Obviously, Nappy has been busy with his own lifestyle and here we like to compromise with are clients, right girls?”

“Yes ma’am.” The bunny girls say in unison. 

“So, Nappy has a new album to work on, plus his debut which means a live concert. Add on that he’s finally getting his new eye and his whole schedule is booked. This means, we’ll have to postpone our performance night to next week.” Groans and whines fill the room. Muffet stomps her foot on the table, quickly quieting the commotion.
“Oh, that’s enough! None of you want to be pet food, do you?!” She snarls. It gets deadly quiet. You don’t know what that means, but you’re not willing to find out. She clears her throat and turns the page on her clipboard.
“Now, with that out of the way, we can work on something I’ve always wanted to try. See, Nappy is going to make some remixes for us so they can be played exclusively here. Which means a lot more monsters will be coming in. I want to make this big, so I’m thinking group performances!” Some of the girls gasp and it grows to delighted squeals (mostly from Lily). You and Bethany have little to no reaction. You can’t speak for Bethany, but you’re not exactly thrilled about this. You just got used to performing by yourself. If you had messed up, it would be on you, but now if you mess up you’ll be messing everyone else up. That’s just something you don’t think you’re ready for.

“So, what I’m hearing is, you want us to think of a routine together while also doing one of our individual routines?” Bethany speaks up.

“That’s right!”

“Within a week?” Muffet sighs wistfully and lets the papers fall back down on her clipboard.

“Oh, Beth. Sweet, cynical Bethy. I know you girls well. You all work so hard and one extra little performance won’t be the death of you. Besides, after Nappy’s concert, you’ll all have your own songs to work with! I’m making arrangements with Nappy about the group routine.” Muffet smiles. “Also, if any of you rather go to Grillby for some extra cash, I ain’t stopping you.... But I’m also not saving you.” Something about the way she said that last part sends a chill down your spine. You don’t want to know what’s in there. Some of the other girls got quiet, including Lily.
“Now! Any questions?” A bunch of girls start shouting out their questions. You instead sneak off to the dressing room.
What fantastic timing.... First Ca$h, then your own problems and now this? How the hell are you going to stay sane? You can already feel your muscles screaming at you, and you’re just a few days training on the pole. Bethany had followed you in and sighs. 

“I can’t fucking believe this... She knows it’s gonna be all kinds of hell once Nappy drops a bomb like this.” She growls as she storms over to her purse, fishes a cigarette out and chews an end. “I need a smoke break... See ya, rookie.” She throws her purse over her shoulder and leaves you alone with your own thoughts. Good God, you don’t need this... You don’t want to do this, but you suppose you have no other choice... When you’re done collecting all your thoughts and sort out your emotions, you head back out there and you start practicing the group routine.

 

You slumped into the boat. Your body felt like it was burning, and not in a good way. It was much darker outside than usual when you left work. Granted, it was difficult to tell with all the lights and whatnot at Hotland, but when you arrived in Snowdin, it really showed. You drag your feet through the snow, exhausted. You hope that Ca$h had a better day than you did.
Finally. You’re home. Just exactly what you want and need right now. You pull the door open and... It’s dark. Not a single light was on in the house. You leave the front door cracked open, just in case something bad happened. 

“Ca$h?” You called. No reply. There’s something in the air, something strong. Your heart falls to your stomach. No... He couldn’t have... You bolt for his bedroom door and sure enough, the scent was stronger in there. You hold nothing back and swing his bedroom door open.
There he is, in all his horrid glory. He looks up at you, lazily, holding the glass bottle loosely between his fingers. He’s on his mattress, back leaning against the wall, slumped over two empty glass bottles. You couldn’t say anything. No words could even express this disgusting disappointment that welled in your chest.

“Ah.... You’re home early.” He murmurs.

“Ca$h... I thought you....” You can’t... You just can’t. You can’t believe what your seeing, what you’re smelling, what you’re witnessing right now. He was doing so well! He was getting better! Why?! He frowns and stands up slowly.

“What? I just needed something okay?! Give me a break, I’ve been feeling like shit!” He snarls.

“But you were doing great!” 

“Bullshit! Don’t fucking lie to me!” His good eye began to dim. Without his eye patch, he actually looked much more threatening. Both sockets are empty. Void of any empathy that you thought you once saw. “You think you can do better?! Do you have any idea how much I need this stuff?”

“You don’t need it at all!”

“Yes I fucking do! To deal with bullshit at work! To deal with everyone else’s bullshit! And especially do deal with you! You think I like taking care of you?! I’m the one that has to pay extra to keep you here! I’ve gotta do so much shit just to keep other monsters from fucking your brains out! You think I like doing that shit?!” There’s tears burning in your eyes. You don’t want to believe him. He’s drank too much. He’s not himself... He can’t be serious....

“P-Papyrus, I’m-”

“Don’t fucking call me that!” He growls, looming over you. “Don’t ever call me that again, got it? ‘Papyrus’ has been dead a long time. That ain’t me anymore.” He lowers closer to you. You can see your reflection in that gold fang. You look horrified, like a tiny, cornered animal. “You’ve been talking with him, haven’t you?”
Without thinking, you break out in a sprint. You don’t know where you’re going, you just had to get out of there. You don’t know if he’d following you, but you don’t dare to check back to go look. The front door flies open and you’re greeted by the harsh cold of Snowdin. The tears in your eyes burned in the cold air. All you see is white. Your body moves on it’s own. Out of nowhere, a pair of hands grab you, holding you still. You flail and try to run away, but you can only see white. You can’t even see who’s grabbing you. The only thing that runs through your mind is the face of a golden fanged monster. 

“Open your eyes! Please, it’s just me! Open your eyes!”