Sans has a gift, one that he wouldn’t share with anyone. No matter the situation, he always manage to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s seriously something he wishes he could get rid off, but it seems like it’s stuck to his bones with one of the permanent glues the humans created. Who knew someone could stay stuck to a chair for days?
This is why, when the small skeleton passes by an alley he never does pass by usually, except on that specific day because he decided to walk a bit for once, he isn’t surprised to find something there he would have liked to avoid.
He almost does not pay this regular alley any attention, but the sound of someone whining in clear fear makes him turn his head.
When his eye lights adjust to the lighting, sun setting down slowly, his whole body freezes. It takes Sans's mind a second to reboot, his hand fetching his phone in his pocket. His fingers search for Edge’s contact, but he only has the time to type some words before he can feel his sins starting to crawl onto his back.
“hey, pretty boy. spyin’ on me?” The edge in Red’s voice is so sharp, it almost sounds foreign to Sans's acoustic meatus. The threat is clear in it. “because i only like it when it’s in my bed and i have a hand on my cunt.”
Very slowly, Sans puts back his phone in his pocket. Keeping his hands there to look as relaxed as he can. Not that Red can’t read through his smile, knowing all of Sans's expressions like the back of his own hand. He takes in all of the scene. Red holding a human against the wall by his throat, feet almost leaving the ground. There is blood rolling down the child’s cheek and his left arm.
It takes him a minute to recognize the boy, humans look so alike. He is the one who tried to kick Sans a few days ago when he was doing some shopping with Edge. How Red got a clear picture of the boy is beyond Sans's current imagination.
The realisation would make his stomach turn if he had any, but as of now it’s only his soul that gives him an uncomfortable twist. “nah, just passing by.” He gives a glance to the human, trying not to show his recognition of the boy: he doesn’t look old. “for a piece of art, what you’re doing seems a bit sketchy, dude.”
A flicker of amusement passes on Red’s face, even as his fingers dig more into the human’s throat. Sans feels uneasy at the view of the boy’s soul turned blue and out of his chest. It reminds him of events he prefers buried deep.
He slowly starts to step forward. As quickly as he can, Sans proceeds to Check the other skeleton. Everything seems as it was earlier this week, except for the number of his LV, which is slightly glitching, hitching to get higher. “stop that!” Red’s angry order makes him tense.
The only time Sans saw this happen was in the Judgement Hall. It shouldn’t disturb him to see it on his friend, it isn’t a secret how high Red and Edge’s LV are.
“sorry, not happening again.” Sans raises his hands higher as he stops walking. He finally is about a meter and a half away.
Red’s free hand grabs the boy’s scared and crying face and turns it toward Sans. It takes him a lot not to wince and keep his smile in place. It would have been better for the kid to not show how easily he recognizes the skeleton he tried to hurt a few days ago. Edge might have scared the shit out of him that day though, hard to forget.
“recognize him, right? poor ya, going to die because ya don’t know how to act in society.” Red shushes him when the human starts to cry harder. “wanna help? after all, he’s yers.” The look he gives Sans makes him cold. He hates that look, he decides.
The thing is, Sans doesn’t like humans. He doesn’t trust them nor want them near him on a good or bad day. However, he also doesn’t want to be the reason one of them dies. On a bad day where flashes of his fight with Frisk come back to his mind, maybe he would mind less, but not for a kid, not for someone who looks the same age as their ambassador.
“you’ll have to give me space.” Keeping from showing his emotions to Red takes most of his concentration. There is a plan forming in his head, and he swears, if it doesn’t work, he might say bye to the world in this shitty alley. He lowers his hands, forming enough magic in one of them to show his intention to Red. The latter does give him a weird look, but he releases the human’s soul to leave it to Sans, who gets it as soon as the other lets him.
“found yer mean bone? took ya long enough.” The satisfaction is thick in Red’s voice, almost purring on the edge. It gives the impression that he could get off on Sans hurting the human, which wouldn’t be a surprise.
“me? a mean bone?” Sans pushes Red slowly to the side, careful of every one of his steps, hand going right under Red’s one on the human’s throat. Disgust hits him when his bones hit flesh, making him shudder, but he holds tight. “more like collagen and calcium bones, but i don’t judge difference.” Totally a lie, he judges a lot.
It’s easy to notice the way the bulkier skeleton hesitates a second before releasing the human, probably too aware of Sans's lack of HP to back himself up if his magic fails even for a second. He does keep close, hovering like a mother with careful eyes.
“love yer sanse of humor, sansy.” He pats Sans's shoulder, way too casual about the situation. “but now would be great for ya to use one of these collagen and calcium bones and show the human he is probably calcium intolerant when it pierces his stomach.” The position he has, just a bit behind Sans, is exactly what he was waiting for.
“sorry, kid.” Before Red can react, Sans releases the human, throwing himself backwards so his back hits Red’s front, bringing them both into a shortcut.
They end up in Edge and Red’s living room. Sans uses the laps of time it takes his friend to recover from the dizziness caused by someone else’s shortcut to take another one to the end of the room, trying his best to put some distance between them.
It’s not long for a Gaster Blaster to form behind Red as he gets up on his feet. “ye must be kidding me.” The laugh filling the room is nothing like Sans has heard before, it scares him for himself and for his friend. His composure is gone now that Red is away from the child, he could obviously shortcut back to him, but he is so pissed, Sans doubts he won’t deal with him first. “i’m all nice, huntin’ for ya the stupid creature that thought they could touch one of us, and ya do that?” His regular eye lights are gone, only one eye socket filled with red magic. So familiar and different at the same time.
“thanks, but no thanks.” Sans shrugs, so tense it actually hurts his shoulders. “i’d prefer ya keeping me safe here.” Not like he thinks he needs Red, but the latter has a weird kink with protecting them it seems. Caused by the life in their own universe, Edge had said to him once.
The moment Red fires at him is expected, and he avoids it the same way he does with any attack. It does make him relax a tiny bit to finally have him snap, at least now he knows what to expect.
“don’t fuck with me.” Red’s expression is pure rage. “ya prefer the humans? want to die because they can’t check how weak ya are and think punching ya won’t do anything?” Bones flies around his face, ending up in the wall when Sans manages not to get hit.
Being reminded of how weak he is in front of a human always gets to him easily. Not like it’s his damn fault if he only has 1 HP. It doesn’t mean he is some kind of art piece that needs guards on its ass 24/7. “don’t be ridiculous, we both know i don’t like them.” He would roll his eye lights for emphasis if he wasn’t so focused on avoiding to get killed by Red. Such irony that Red seems angry at Sans for almost dying at the humans’ hands when he is definitely going for the kill himself.
Sans isn’t angry at all though, it isn’t all Red. He knows. He can see. It’s the LV, something getting over Red’s head, something that could make him hurt even Edge.
“liar!” The fight doesn’t stop, more bones are thrown Sans's way, more shooting, more trying to grab him to pin him down. The Tale monster isn’t used to it, they take turn in his world, Red doesn’t. It’s tiring him off pretty quickly.
It must be the reason why he does one mistake, just slightly long enough for Red to grab his soul and turn him blue. It makes him a second too slow to avoid what’s coming his way.
When the pain strikes him in the right shoulder, breaking a part of his clavicle and spatula, it’s so sharp it makes him lose his footing. He isn’t used to feeling such intense pain, usually avoiding it as much as he can. Sans can’t breath, his body stuck by the bone in the wall.
Slowly, his HP ticks down. 0.9...0.8...0.7...0.6… Wow. Death feels close, eh. No reset this time, he thinks.
Someone grabs his face and his blurry vision shows him it’s Red’s panicked face.
Shit. Sans seriously doesn’t want his friend to have his death on his consciousness. Might be the last crack needed on his soul for him to definitely get mad. “hey… paps says i’m really good at avoiding, might not have mastered it yet?” He never heard his voice so weak, it creeps him out. 0.5… The way his HP keeps going down slowly shows that Red still didn’t put the intent of instant death in his attack. He wasn’t that far gone.
“shut up, shut up, fuck, shut up.” Red finally undoes his attack, the bone disappearing into thin air. Sans falls easily in his arms. Through his almost closed eyes, 0.4, Sans can see how despair takes over Red, swallowing all the light he had seen in the skeleton’s eyes in the past months. He hates it. He doesn’t want to die there and inflict this on him.
“s’not your fault.” His words are starting to mix together. That’s seriously shitty, the situation is shitty. Sans thinks of Papyrus, of his brother waiting for him at home. If he had the strength he would probably cry for the first time in years.
“bullshit. bull-fucking-shit.” Red whines loudly, and Sans can feel how his LV glitches against his bones when he holds him close. It really isn’t his fault. 0.3. “everything is my damn fault, always, fucking always.”
Sans finally gives up and closes his eye sockets when healing magic starts to pour against his injury. It’s nice and warm, but it doesn’t really bring his HP back up. Red is probably trying his best to keep him alive, but with his LV acting up, there is no way he can manage to produce good intended magic strongly enough to actually heal.
Sans knows. He doesn’t hold it against him.
He doesn’t hold any of this against him.
Sans wills his mouth to open one last time, hoping dearly that the words will leave his throat. “keep paps safe… please.”
Everything turns dark.