Chapter 1: The Wompening
It all started when Fate decided to have a laugh at your expense, since you were an awkward mess of clumsy slapstick humor that would make even The Three Stooges jealous.
You certainly felt like the butt of a joke each time you tumbled face first down stairs, especially now that you worked in a tiny, rundown smoothie shop, wedged between a massive gym and a sketchy nail salon. Most days were full of hangry bodybuilders that would order the entire menu and snooty Karens that would swear you messed up their orders.
Though something told you today would be different.
You should have known something screwy was going on when a seven foot tall skeleton walked up to the counter, wearing a pair of Groucho Marx glasses. They clashed horribly with his purple hoodie and upon closer inspection, you realized he was committing the cardinal sin of wearing socks with sandals.
The smug grin on his face told you that he knew what crime he was pulling, but you begrudgingly asked for his order instead of booting him out of sight.
He chuckled lowly, intentionally making the mustache twitch. "just a blueberry-fig smoothie with all the vitamin shots, snotface."
I'll show you "snotface", you snaggletooth'd turnip, you snarked in your head, but vocalized, "I'll get right on it, sir!"
He snickered, stepping over to the area designated for those waiting for their drinks as you moved around behind the counter. You scooped up the ingredients for the desired mixture, tossing them into the blender and turning it on, then stood patiently.
The moment it made a tell-tale, high pitched whine, you solidly thumped your fist on the side several times. It startled the skeleton, but it got the blender to start violently churning the fruits to a drinkable pulp.
"uh... is that normal?"
The nod you gave him was nothing if not resigned, smacking the machine again when it sputtered - then gave his "glasses" a pointed look. "Is that normal?"
"nyeheh. m'lord said i need to keep a lower profile."
You almost questioned what the hell he was talking about, then decided you didn't get paid enough to care and poured the smoothie into a cup.
It was when you were snapping on a lid and carrying it back over to the counter that Fate decided to get its laugh.
A much shorter skeleton popped out of thin air.
The sudden shout startled you, making you jerk violently and screech, losing your grip on the slick, plastic cup - which proceeded to defy physics just to nail the stout skeleton in the side of the head. You could only watch in horror as the dark purple liquid dripped down his skull and onto what appeared to be some kind of uniform: staining the grey-violet material.
The skeletal victim of your latest bout of clumsiness gawped at you.
Your customer service smile was frozen in place: your hand still hanging in the air from where it had thrown the offending cup.
The taller skeleton broke down into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, even as his shorter counterpart's face - his face that had a gnarly battle scar over his left eye - was slowly morphing into something that made you brace yourself for a punch. Mortification made your cheeks burn and you hoped that the ground would swallow your ass whole.
Unfortunately, you continued receiving a glare so intense, you were half afraid you'd spontaneously explode. The guy looked like he ate razors and babies for breakfast and dipshits like you for lunch, making your heart pound wildly as it sensed its impending doom.
He hissed lowly, his baritone voice dripping with scathing venom, "I Should Kill You For This."
"Yeah, that's fair," you squeaked, wholly impressed that you weren't pissing yourself. "I wanna kill me too."
His brows furrowed and his violet, triangular shaped eyes drifted down to your chest, where his scowl proceeded to intensify. You were almost offended by how offended he seemed by your chest, but you told yourself that you cracked him in the side of the head with a smoothie and he more or less earned a free peek at your apparently less than satisfactory goods.
"PAPYRUS," he shouted suddenly, making you jump again. "GET A REFUND AND NEVER STEP FOOT IN THIS ABHORRENT BUILDING AGAIN."
Groucho Marx rocked on his heels, his laughter silent and his stare far too interested in you. "a'ight, m'lord."
The shortstack pivoted to storm out, then jumped at his buddy: swiping the gag glasses right off his face. "AND STOP WEARING THESE IN PUBLIC. IT'S EMBARRASSING."
With that said, the skeleton vanished and you're pretty sure you made a sound akin to a dying Kermit the Frog.
"Papyrus" turned his head to look at you.
"weeeell. m'lord didn't kill you."
"Yeah, sure, whatever," you pointed at the empty space "m'lord" or whoever the fuck was previously standing. "Did he just Houdini out of here!?"
"myuup. i need a refund, by the way. can you remake the drink too?"
You mechanically opened the register to issue the refund and began gathering the ingredients again. "Okay, you're acting too casual about the whole vanishing act."
"i'd be more worried about getting dusted on your way home tonight, if i were you," he fiddled with the half full tip jar on the counter. "my bro doesn't let that kind of stuff slide, bucko."
You froze midway through beating the blender again and Papyrus grinned at you. "i could get him off your back for the low, low price of..." He tallied up the money in the jar, "you've only gotten tipped seventeen bucks? wow, you're lame."
Scooping up the jar, you hugged it close. "Hey, keep your mitts off my lunch money. I'll take my chances."
"suit yourself, just don't be surprised when you come across him in a dark alley."
Scoffing, you handed him the freshly made drink: it's not like you were scared of this dweeb - or his pint sized brother.
Chapter 2: The Witness
"Terrified" was an accurate description of yourself right about now.
Your thoughts had swirled around Papyrus' vague warning long after he left and it left you a bit shook up as you closed the shop up for the night. The shortie did look like the kind of guy that would hide out behind a dumpster just to bust your kneecaps with a baseball bat and you'd be lying if you said the way he glared at your boobs didn't spook you.
That being said, you were too cheap to call an Uber and planned on risking the walk home anyways.
The sound of your own footsteps shuffling along had your teeth on edge and your eyes darted around to scrutinize every shadow you came across. Sure, you knew the chances of the little Houdini actually showing up to scare the crap out of you were actually pretty low, but it didn't stop your imagination.
Monsters did have a reputation for killing people first and asking questions never, so it didn't hurt to be cautious, at least.
You were in the process of eyeballing the entrance of an alleyway for signs of those glowing, violet eyes when you heard it.
" H-help...! "
You nearly jumped out of your skin when you heard the weak rasp, followed by the sound of metal hitting something soft. It sent a wave of fear straight to the base of your spine and you stared into the alley harder than you had before.
Did I just imagine that?
A vicious, yet weak growl erupted from the darkness and you heard a scuffle before the metallic thwup! was accented by what sounded like sand being scattered.
Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck.
Fumbling for your phone on blind instinct, you unlocked it to have an emergency number ready.
In your panic to get the call directory open, your thumb mashed the camera option and with an obnoxiously loud shutter noise, the alleyway was illuminated as the device took a picture. It then proceeded to take a series of burst shots that created a blinding strobe-like effect, much to your growing horror.
Between the flashes, you saw two figures standing over a pile of crumpled clothes covered in Dust and your stomach dropped when they turned towards you.
Clad in featureless white masks and dark clothes, one clinked a metal pipe on the ground.
The other pointed a gun.
Having seen enough episodes of Law and Order in your lifetime, you immediately threw yourself to the side as an ear piercing BANG echoed through the night. It was enough encouragement for you to take off sprinting, flailing and stumbling as they shouted at one another to follow you while you clutched your still-flashing phone as tightly as possible.
In what felt like five seconds flat, you were across the street and scaling the iron fence of the fancy park you passed by nightly. The figures were hot in pursuit, though you fortunately had adrenaline burning to push you forward.
You didn't think you had ever run so fast in your life, as you heard your pursuers get hung up on the fence - much to your relief - and you barely managed to duck behind a tree before the crack of another gunshot rang out.
With your heart pounding in your throat, you continued your breakneck pace through meticulously cared for plants and relied entirely on your instincts to guide you to safety. You were slowly becoming confidant that you had lost them, but you weren't dumb enough to stop and look: however, you did hop onto the park's main path.
It wasn't until you noticed that someone was walking a short distance in front of you that you finally allowed yourself to relax somewhat. Safety in numbers, right? You started flapping your arms and trying to slow down while keeping your balance, but when they turned to see what the commotion was about...
You instantly tried to come to a full stop when you realized who the hell it was.
The short skeleton you had beaned in the head whipped around with a scowl, his eyes widening when he saw you coming at him like a bat out of hell.
Instead of dodging to the side like a normal person, the skeleton tucked his head down and widened his stance: bracing for the inevitable impact. He was short enough that when you crashed into him with the grace of a landlocked fish, you flipped completely over his back and hit the sidewalk hard.
The impromptu front flip knocked the wind out of you, but that didn't stop you from making the most pitiful series of noises you had ever unleashed.
He leaned over you, his wickedly sharp teeth set in a contemptuous snarl, "OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE. NOT YOU AGAIN."
Forgetting your previous fear of him in the light of your current situation, you waved your flashing phone above you, trying to convey what was going on through charades as you wheezed for air.
He looked at you like you were a moron. "ARE YOU HAVING A STROKE? I'M LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO ASSIST YOU IF YOU ARE AND I'D RATHER NOT WASTE MY TIME DOING SO."
His words made you squint at him in confusion before he scoffed and tapped the badge on his chest. You recognized the insignia of the Royal Guard: the Monster version of the FBI - or something.
You couldn't really say what the human equivalent to a Royal Guardsman was: you just knew that it meant someone that was more or less a police officer.
With that in mind, you pushed yourself up and shoved your phone in his face - accidentally blinding yourself in the process.
"M-muh- mur-mermaid and-" you smacked yourself and tried again. "Houdini - Skeletor? I think I just saw some creeps murder someone and they shot at me and I think I got their picture but I don't know and-"
He grabbed your shoulders, his face looking panicked enough that you shut up.
Chapter 3: The Shock
Mild Warning: The reader will be showing symptoms of shock/PTS (not to be confused with PTSD) that line up with panic attacks.
"Are You Injured?" Houdini's voice dropped to a barely audible level.
It almost unsettled you to see him shift from being bombastic to looking ready to throw up in your lap.
"Aside from the fact you made me do a half gainer onto concrete? Nnnooo...?" You waved in the direction that you came from. "But I dunno if that's prone to changing any time soon if they figure out I ran this way."
The skeleton swallowed - swallowed - and schooled his expression back into his usual "everything smells bad" sneer. "OH PLEASE. AS IF SOMETHING COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN ON MY WATCH."
You didn't feel reassured by his confident declaration - especially coming from a guy that was eye level with your tits when you slouched . It was something you kept to yourself though, as you stared over his shoulder for signs of the people that had chased you.
The short-Skeletor, however, swiped your phone and shut off the barrage of flashes so he could check your gallery for what you had been raving about. When he found the photos, his expression somehow became more grim and he gripped his badge, pressing a hidden button on it.
"SEND TROOPS TO MY LOCATION. IMMEDIATELY."
There was a heaviness in your body as the adrenaline slowly faded, leaving behind a jittery twitch in your hands and a fogginess in your head.
"H-help...!" The weak voice echoed in your head and the reality of what happened actually sank in despite having spoken it a few moments ago.
You had witnessed a murder.
The sound of Dust scattering hissed tauntingly and the urge to run away struck you like a lightning bolt even though you were certain your legs were jelly by now. You tried to take a deep breath to find you could only inhale shallowly.
Your chest was too tight, constricting your lungs and keeping you from breathing-
A hand smacked your cheek - not hard enough to bruise you, but it definitely stung. "KEEP IT TOGETHER. I DON'T NEED YOU GOING INTO SHOCK."
Blinking rapidly, you clutched your cheek and glared up at the short fucker. "Did you just slap me?"
He looked ready to roll his eyes straight out of his skull. "NO, I TENDERLY PET YOU ON THE HEAD - YES, I SLAPPED YOU, MORON."
You grumbled, but were secretly glad: you didn't think you could handle having a breakdown in front of him.
"NOW THAT YOU'VE GOT YOURSELF UNDER CONTROL: STAY HERE. ANOTHER GUARDSMAN SHALL BE ARRIVING MOMENTARILY."
With that said, he unabashedly pivoted away from you and began to head in the direction you had come barreling from.
The hissing sound of Dust scattering on pavement.
Something deep in your gut twisted painfully at the thought of this particular asshole sharing the same fate as the unfortunate Monster you had come across. It urged you up in a flash and you found yourself tackling his legs from behind - though he remained wholly on his feet and merely groaned from your antics.
"YES YES, GROVEL BEFORE THE MALEVOLENT SANS - I AM SURE YOU ARE IN AWE, BUT GET OFF."
"Sans" tried to shake you off, but you held tight: stubbornly risking getting kicked in the face if it meant he would be staying far away from those people. He tried a couple more times before huffing loudly and - POP! You were suddenly clinging to thin air, resulting in you bashing your face on the concrete as he mystically reappeared a few feet away from you.
You pushed yourself up, ignoring your bloody nose, and dove for him again.
"STOP BEING SO CLINGY!!"
He dodged your attempt to grab him and you quickly gave up, letting your aching body lay uselessly on the ground when you realized he was going to keep teleporting away.
"B-but they had a gun ," you mumbled and wiped at your face to avoid getting a mouthful of blood.
"SO? I HAVE MAGIC."
You didn't really have an argument for that, but you wondered how effective teleporting would be when someone was trying to shoot you.
"NOW STAY PUT: I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A HUMAN WHILE I TRY TO APPREHEND THE CULPRITS."
Resigned, you remained flopped on the ground, though he glared at you suspiciously before turning and darting away. You glumly stared after him until he disappeared around the bend, then with a heavy sigh, you pushed yourself up.
Glancing around, you realized just how creepy the park was when you're alone at night with a couple homicidal people running around. As appealing as staying put seemed, you really didn't want to stick around in case those assholes came across you and decided to put a bullet in your head.
With that, you turned and hopped the fence to head home.
You made it about a block down the road before a yellow, dinosaur-like Monster passed by. She gave you the stink eye with her only eye, making you wonder who you pissed off in your past life to have so many people wanting to beat you up today.
"Get your ass home, human! There's hostiles in the area," she barked suddenly, making you jump.
Nodding rapidly with wide eyes, you didn't have to be told twice - not bothering to tell her that yeah, you kinda already knew that. Mostly because she looked like she could punch you through a wall.
By the time you made it back to your apartment, there was a wave of exhaustion that threatened to make you fall asleep right in your doorway. You tried not to think back on what happened and attempted to control the shaking of your hands as you proceeded to ready yourself for bed.
You would deal with the emotional fallout tomorrow, you told yourself. It was normal for someone to be shook up so there was no need to be worried about it now .
Though when you went to plug your phone in, you found that it was missing.
Chapter 4: The Shakes
Someone asked if the Papyrus in this is Cash or Mutt and I uh... B... Both? (⚆ _ ⚆);;;
I'm more or less taking bits I like from certain Swapfell portrayals and mashing them all into one, but if I had to say which Papyrus is it mostly based off of, I'd have to say "Cash", but there's bits of Mutt sprinkled in as well. (To be fair, the tags do say I'm making stuff up as I go along lolol)
Purple eyes fading to black as the life left them.
The sound of Dust scattering on the pavement.
You jolted awake, chest heaving as your eyes darted wildly over every corner of your bedroom. Sweat left your clothes feeling damp and your body shivering as the last grips of your nightmare slowly released you.
Letting your head thump back against your pillows, you pressed one hand over your eyes and the other over your heart in an attempt to calm yourself.
Croaking out a laugh, you whispered, "... Fuck. I'm gonna need therapy, aren't I?"
You started your day as normally as you could: showering, eating breakfast and brewing coffee before finally getting dressed for work. There was a brief moment you considered calling in and just staying home, but the thought of being alone all day made you feel sick in a way you couldn't describe.
Yet it wasn't until you were leaving your apartment and trying to lock your front door that you noticed your hands were trembling: something that only got worse as you were walking to work.
Distantly, you contemplated calling a cab instead of walking, but stubbornly trudged forward instead.
The road where "it" happened was closed off by police barricades.
You stood at the back of small crowd of onlookers, feeling as though your lungs had yeeted themselves outside your body and that your mind was screaming at you to just run . Police officers were going over the scene with forensic equipment and taking pictures and you could see a couple Royal Guardsman milling about with scowls, overseeing everything.
A few people were whispering about a Bunny Monster being a victim of a hate crime.
You quickly pivoted and walked away from the scene as swiftly as possible.
You kept your head down as you approached the smoothie shop, focusing on taking deep breaths every three steps you took. It was difficult to keep from throwing up as your stomach churned, but you kept telling yourself that you'd be fine. Everything was gonna be just fine.
Groucho Marx was waiting beside the door, smoking a cigarette as he observed the people walking about - until he noticed you, that is. His thumbs clacked rapidly on his phone and he took a single step to block you from going inside, staring down at you with pale lavender pinpricks of light.
"I thought Houdini said you weren't supposed to step foot here again?"
The lanky skeleton laughed, shaking his head. "well, i ain't in your building, now am i?"
He wasn't inside, yes, but he was definitely loitering outside of it and blocking you from going in. The casual, tired look he was giving you made you feel like he was silently judging you and it made you shudder and step around him.
"Riiiight. Um. I have to clock in... So... Bye?"
The moment you reached for the door, a gloved hand grabbed your wrist.
"I TOLD YOU TO STAY PUT."
You shrieked, spinning to whack whoever grabbed you with your bag when you saw a familiar shortstack scowling up at you. A flood of relief washed over you and without thinking, you lunged to tackle him only for - POP!
He vanished and reappeared just outside of your reach, leaving you to belly flop on the ground.
You pushed your upper body up with one hand, using the other to hold your nose in case another nose bleed occurred. "Hoooudiniiiiii!! You're alive!!"
"wow, m'lord. looks like she really-"
"-fell for you. nyeheh."
Houdini groaned, "LEAVE THE PUNS TO THE EXPERTS."
"AND AS FOR YOU," the short skeleton glowered down at you. "STOP CALLING ME HOUDINI - MY NAME IS SANS."
Groucho Marx was still snickering into his palm, but you mutely nodded and stared up at him dumbly. When he seemed satisfied that you had been glared into submission, he placed his hands on his hips and motioned for you to get up.
"WELL? COME ON THEN, WE HAVE PLACES TO GO." You stood and moved to open the door again, only to be stopped again . "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"
"NO, YOU IDIOT. YOU'RE COMING IN FOR QUESTIONING."
"But... Work? And my phone is missing, so I can't call my boss."
Sans waved dismissively. "IT'S AT THE STATION. I SUBMITTED IT AS EVIDENCE, BUT IT WILL BE RETURNED ONCE THE INVESTIGATION IS OVER. MAYBE."
You resigned yourself to never seeing it again - and to losing all your progress in Flappy Bird.
"At least let me tell my coworker that-"
He huffed and yanked the door open, startling the girl behind the counter. "I'M APPREHENDING YOUR COWORKER. CALL SOMEONE ELSE IN."
With that, he slammed the door shut, pointedly giving you a look as though to say "anything else? ".
"you gonna tell her "the thing", m'lord?" Grouch Marx offhandedly remarked as he snuffed out his cigarette on his thumb before tucking it back in the box.
Sans turned his frown from you to the taller skeleton. "NO. AND I'M NEVER GOING TO. THE SOONER WE QUESTION HER ABOUT WHAT SHE SAW, THE SOONER WE CAN BE DONE WITH THIS FILTHY HUMAN."
"Hey man, I showered this morning," you complained quietly, not so subtly sniffing your shoulder. At least you thought you smelled clean.
He merely scoffed derisively and took hold of of your wrist. "DON'T PUKE."
"What? Why would I-"
It happened instantaneously.
One moment, you were standing outside of your workplace and the next, you were in a hustling, bustling police department that was full of both Human and Monster detectives. An intense feeling of vertigo left your mind reeling and your chest constricted as the shaking that had plagued your hands all morning got worse.
The room was too big, yet too small at the same time and oh my god you were dying-
A hand smacked your cheek and a trash can was shoved into you gut just in time for you to grab it and barf.
Chapter 5: The Questioning
Ahhhh this chapter was actually super tough because there were soooo many details I wanted to add, but I ultimately decided to leave out xD
Thank you all for your kind comments and all the kudos! I've been feeling pretty in the dumps about my writing for the past few months and all of the encouragement has really given me the boost I needed to start pouring out words again! So truly, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart <3
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Sans made sure to stand a solid ten feet away from you as you heaved your guts up in the abysmally small trash bin, casting you disgusted and judgmental stares the entire time. He probably would have continued doing it too, if not for an armored cat Monster that walked by - someone who immediately backpedaled.
"Like, WOW. That is. So gross." She turned, hollering across the station to get the attention of an alligator-like Monster in similar armor, "BRATTY!! Come check this ouuut!"
"Oh EW! Is that, like... A Human?"
They looked at each other, then chorused in unison, "Naaastaaay."
You spat in the trash, then sent them dirty looks. "Hey, I don't need commentary from the peanut gallery. Move along, asshats."
They looked at each other, then burst into snickers.
"Did it just-"
"Tell us to move along?"
"PFFFFT!!! No WAAAY!"
For a moment, you contemplated throwing the bin at them, but Sans snapped at them instead, "DON'T YOU TWO HAVE PATROL? YOU'RE NOT BEING PAID TO GAWK."
They both tossed their heads back and groaned dramatically, but they continued about their business while casting you amused glances.
You sniffed, "I could've handled it."
"I'M SURE," he said dryly.
Once he was sure that you were done throwing up your guts, he had you follow him to a room in the back - all while you awkwardly carried the bin with you. It apparently bugged him as much as it made you feel weird, because he quickly swiped it from you and shoved it at some poor rando before letting you into the room.
A small table with two chairs sat inside: clearly used for criminal interrogations.
"WOULD YOU LIKE SOMETHING TO DRINK?" he asked as he directed you to sit in a chair.
"NO? WELL, ALRIGHT THEN."
You were quick to realize that while the table and chairs were tiny as hell for you, they were the perfect size for the beansprout across from you. Each time you shifted in your chair to get comfortable, your knees bumbled the underside of the table - which would in turn, make Sans sigh. You deduced it was actually a torture technique to get people to spill their guts quicker.
"WHAT WERE YOU DOING THE NIGHT OF OCTOBER 18TH?"
"Uh," was all you offered, unsure of what the date currently was.
Another longsuffering sigh. "LAST NIGHT."
"Oh. Right. I knew that."
"I was running for my life? You were kinda there."
He smacked his forehead, feigning surprise. "HOW SILLY OF ME. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT WAS ALL YOU DID LAST NIGHT."
"Wow, okay. Let's be a douche about it."
The skeleton waved off your sarcasm. "I NEED DETAILS FOR THE REPORT. START WITH WHAT YOU WERE DOING WHEN YOU CAME ACROSS THE MURDER."
You clasped your hands together to stop the shaking. "I was walking home from work."
"WHERE DO YOU WORK?"
"The... Place I threw a smoothie at your face?"
Sans glared. "A NAME FOR THE REPORT. PLEASE."
"Juicy Smoothies," you intoned, holding your hands up at his incredulous snort. "I didn't name the place. If I did, it would've been Honeydew You Juice or something."
He pressed a hand over his mouth and looked away and you were half afraid he was even more pissed off from the way his shoulders were shaking. Once he composed himself from what you assumed was his neverending inferno of rage, he shuffled his papers.
"You've Given That Some Thought, I See," his softer voice cracked somewhat before returning to his usual volume. "AHEM. SO YOU WERE WALKING HOME FROM WORK..."
"I was... Uh... Well." Rubbing the back of your neck, you decided to just be blunt so you could out of the tiny chair before your butt got even more numb. "Your buddy-"
"Yeah sure, Groucho Marx or whatever. He told me that you'd catch me outside because I accidentally chucked a smoothie at you."
"A FAIR ASSUMPTION."
You gesticulated awkwardly. "So I was... Kinda hyperaware? Because I like my kneecaps?"
He seemed confused by your statement. "WHAT DOES YOUR KNEECAPS- NEVER MIND. CONTINUE."
"Anyways... I heard someone..."
Your lips sealed shut and you stared at the wall.
"I didn't do anything," you whispered. "I heard someone call for help and a scuffle, but all I did was try to turn on my flashlight."
Sans was surprisingly quiet, his face set in a stony, neutral expression. You couldn't tell what he was thinking and you were surprised by how much you even cared that he might despise you once you finished.
The words began pouring from your mouth: unwanted and squeaky, "I-I accidentally turned on my camera and it w-was stuck on b-burst mode a-and I took their pictures instead of calling 911 or-"
You inhaled deeply.
"The Pictures Are More Helpful Than A Phone Call. We Rarely Have Pictures Of The Crime As It Is Happening, So This Helps Us Immensely."
You felt genuinely touched at his attempt to make you feel better.
Until he ruined it.
"THAT BEING SAID, YES. YOU WERE VERY STUPID."
Frowning, you deadpanned, "Gee. Thanks."
"BUT BEING STUPID PROVED TO BE USEFUL IN THIS CASE. TAKE THAT AS YOU WILL," he stated and scribbled something down on the papers in front of him, motioning for you to continue.
From there, you tried your best to explain what happened in better detail.
At the end of the interview, Sans made you stick around for a few more minutes - blandly giving you a list of state licensed therapists that specialized in helping trauma victims. It was kinda obvious that he was pretty much going off a script at that point, but you let him pretend to be nice before he all but sprinted out the door to be done with you once and for all.
When you stepped out into the hallway to leave, Groucho Marx was there waiting for you.
"heya, snotface. i'm ready to go when you are."
"I'm sorry- what?"
Weirdly, I couldn't really find anything on Swapfell Bratty and Catty so... Just gonna do my own thing~
Chapter 6: The Scammer Follows
"m'lord didn't tell you? imma stalk you until the investigation is over."
Groucho Marx - or Papyrus, as he so casually corrected you - had told you that he had been assigned to follow you around. It's important, he said. You're a valuable witness and you needed protection, he explained.
Promised you could go about your day and that oh no, you'd never notice he was there. After all: he was a master of disguise!
"Disguise my ass," you hissed under your breath as you power walked through the store with a seven foot tall skeleton wearing a Bob Marley wig trailing behind you.
You ground your teeth, carefully examining the shiny phone on the display despite knowing it was beyond your price range. The down payment alone cost more than both of your kidneys were worth, so you moved on to the next glorified brick.
Would Houdini let you check your old phone to copy down your contacts? Otherwise you were gonna have to awkwardly write your parents a letter on how much of a dumbass you were. Not that they didn't already know.
Bob Marley- Papyrus whistled beside you, "that's a glorified brick."
"You said I wouldn't know you were here, lugnut."
"did i?" he drawled, taking a cigarette out of his pocket and clenching it idly between his teeth. "i meant to say it'll cost ya twenty bucks to get some privacy for an hour."
Papyrus grinned cheekily when you cast him a withering stare.
"You're a crook."
"never said i wasn't, bucko."
"have you ever thought about how you're actually just a brain trapped in a human-shaped shell?"
You swore under your breath, fishing out your wallet to thrust a twenty at him because you weren't prepared to deal with that kind of mind fuckery today.
He stuck your hard-earned money in his pocket, looking smug as hell all the while. "welp, i'm gonna go have a smoke."
As simple as that, he left the store, leaning against the wall to passively watch the hustle and bustle of people. Asshole. Your work day was shot, your mood was shot and your wallet was shot-
You inhaled: maybe it would be better if you spent the rest of your day at home. Just to relax a bit.
Wringing your hands to stop the tremors, you turned to the closest employee. "Do you have a back door?"
It had been far too easy to give Papyrus the slip by quietly slipping out the back. There wasn't any sign of him as you made the trek back to your apartment and you figured that since you hadn't indicated you wanted to ditch him before, he assumed that you were an easy job.
Not that you wanted to be a trouble maker but... You wanted to be alone so you could try to recover from this in your own way.
You didn't realize you had taken the normal route to your apartment until you ran into the police barricade.
The two investigators that were still on the scene gave you unamused eyerolls as you squeaked an apology, but didn't say anything as you backed up. Your eyes drifted to the alley, different now in the light, but you could still see the two masked figures in your head.
You definitely didn't want to be here. You shouldn't be here. This was a bad idea - you should have just told the jackass that you wanted to go home and took a cab. What were you thinking!?
A hand grabbed your shoulder and you screamed at the top of your lungs.
Your shriek startled the investigators, the old lady walking her dog across the street, the hand that grabbed you - if the way it recoiled was anything to go by - and even yourself.
Papyrus swore beside you, clamping his hand over your mouth to cut the sound off. "chillax. geez. that was unnecessary."
You sputtered, knocking his hand off you and jabbing him in the chest with your finger. "Y-you! You scared the crap out of me!"
"nyeheheh. not sorry."
You glanced towards the alley again, heart pounding, prompting him to take your elbow to redirect your attention away from it.
"anyways, i got orders from m'lord to feed ya."
You gave him a blank stare and before you could stop yourself, you blurted, "Is that a kink thing?"
He looked taken aback and you made a face like you swallowed a lemon.
"I'm not judging."
You held your hands up in surrender and nodded sagely: tactfully letting the awkward question drop. One skeleton or the other had mentioned they were brothers at some point, so you weren't even sure why you asked. It was probably some weird Monster status thing.
"c'mon, we've got places to be, weirdo."
"Didn't I pay you twenty bucks to get you to leave me alone?" you asked as you followed the lanky skeleton into a sandwich shop.
"for an hour, yeah." He looked at his phone - of which you were jealous of - and snorted. "it's been an hour and a half, so you technically owe me money, mooch."
"Yeah, you can kiss my ass."
"nah, my bro would have my head."
He motioned for you to order, telling you to go sit in a booth towards the back while he smoked another cigarette.
"if you go out the back, i'll know. snotface."
You picked at your unappetizing food, your gut still twisting uncomfortably from the stress that settled over you. Maybe you should look into one of those therapists. Ooor... Would it be cheaper to self-medicate?
Sighing, you held your head in your palm as your eyes swept over the other patrons of the shop - landing on a teen hunched over his food. You vaguely contemplated his doomed future of poor posture when you noticed he had a bag sitting beside his feet on the floor: the contents looking like they were about to spill out.
Including a white, featureless mask.
Chapter 7: The Punch
I wasn't kidding when I tagged this with "Reader is constantly in the wrong place at the right time"~ xD
You could still hear that weak cry for help and you could still hear their Dust scattering. You could still hear the clink of a pipe against pavement and the click of a gun just before it fired. You could still see the figures in your head as clear as day.
It was suddenly like looking at the world through a straw and your vision blurred everything else out as you focused on the backpack. The tremors in your hands moved up your arms, passing through your shoulders and down your back: accompanied by cold sweats.
You recognized that mask.
The real question was: what were you going to do with that information? Papyrus was outside and you were afraid that if you looked away, the teen would up and leave. You didn't have a phone to alert someone and it wasn't like you could tell the kid to stay put.
Moving a bit closer to his table wasn't creepy if you had a good reason, right? You stood, grabbing your plate as you moved away from your spot, never taking your eyes off him.
Naturally, your foot caught on a tile as you were walking: sending your food flying.
There was an intense feeling of déjà vu as your crappy sandwich sailed through the air like it was guided by a goddamn ghost and splattered on the table in front of the boy. He instantly jumped up, swearing furiously as your condiments dripped down his shirt and he leveled you with a nasty glare.
Again, your face was frozen in an awkward smile, still poised in the tripping position with your hands stretched out in front of you and holding an empty plate.
"What the fuck," he spat, stomping towards you. "Are you kidding me right now?!"
You felt the punch before you saw it - which was to say you didn't see it at all, but the burst of pain in your cheek sure as hell let you know it happened. He was swearing at you, spitting like a pissed off cat as you tried to blink your eyes back into focus.
Clutching your face, you stupidly offered him the napkin that was still on your plate.
Behind him, Papyrus loomed like the Grim Reaper, lit cigarette still clenched in his teeth - though it would have been more intimidating if he wasn't wearing that stupid wig.
"can't take my eye off you for a second, huh?"
The boy jumped at the sound of Papyrus' voice suddenly being behind him, but when he turned, his entire posture turned defensive. However, all the skeleton did was pull his phone out to send a text before giving the kid his full attention.
"pretty hotheaded, eh human?"
"It's... Not any of your business," he sounded unsure of himself despite how self-assured he seemed when he tried to knock your tooth out.
"kinda is now, since i have to arrest you before my bro shows up."
"Oh god no," you gasped.
You weren't in the mood to get lectured by Sans again so soon, but all you got was a shrug in return. "sorry, snotface. already told 'im."
Papyrus lazily pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his hoodie: you were baffled that someone dressed like they rolled out of bed had the authority to arrest people. Wasn't he just some guy they put on babysitting duty?
The teen protested, trying to throw you under the bus by stating you threw stuff at him first. It got a brow-bone raised at you in amusement, but the handcuffs were still clicked on.
"you have your human rights, or something," Papyrus dully said in a monotone as he steered the kid to sit down. "you can blab all you want, or shut up. don't matter to me."
You were pretty sure that's not how the Miranda Rights went, but far be it from you to correct him as you awkwardly realized people in the shop were staring. Maybe you could bolt before the tiny terror arrived-
"I LEAVE YOU TWO ALONE FOR HALF A DAY..."
You immediately pointed at Papyrus. "He did it."
"wow, not cool. the kid totally did it, m'lord."
Houdini - Sans - scowled at the teen, who shrank in on himself upon receiving the "I'll murder you and your family" look. You sympathized with him until your cheek throbbed, then you decided the little shit deserved it.
"TAKE HIM TO THE STATION: I'LL HANDLE THIS MESS," Sans growled lowly.
Papyrus shrugged, happily steering the kid outside while ditching you with his brother - who slowly turned his murder-look on you. His eyes flicked down to your cheek, then swept over the gawking people that had gathered to watch the drama.
"SIT. I NEED TO GET STATEMENTS BEFORE I DEAL WITH YOU."
You felt like an inmate waiting on death row as the prickly skeleton went from person to person, snapping at them to tell him everything they knew. The poor man behind the counter burst into tears and told Sans every unrelated secret he knew before getting to the point.
To distract yourself, you sat near the backpack that started the chaos in the first place and debated how much trouble you'd be in if you touched it.
Ice wrapped in paper towels was pushed into your hands, making you blink up at Sans lamely.
"FOR YOUR FACE."
Aw, he cares-
"FORTUNATELY FOR YOU, EVERYBODY CONFIRMED YOUR... ACCIDENT. YOU CAN PRESS CHARGES, HOWEVER."
"Yeah, whatever," you gestured to the bag. "I'm more concerned about that."
He furrowed his brows, following your gaze to find the backpack - and the mask that was in plain sight. His reaction was instantaneous as his back stiffened and he leaned in close to inspect it.
"Does me getting punched give you permission to, I dunno, swipe that?"
Sans looked unamused. "CONFISCATE, YES."
"I took one for the team!"
He didn't bother to respond and harshly shoved the ice against your cheek.
Chapter 8: The Dinner?
Sorry for this chapter being a bit delayed: I was a bit sick and I was struggling to figure out how to word properly ^^;;
I had a bit of a hard time with the flow of this chapter, but I hope that you all enjoy <3
"WELL, COME ON THEN. LET'S GET YOU HOME BEFORE YOU GET INTO MORE TROUBLE."
You tried to hold back the quip on the tip of your tongue as you clutched the ice to your face and looked everywhere but at Sans. There was no way sassing him like you did Papyrus would end well for you.
You settled for a bland, "What?"
He gave you an exasperated look - like he wanted to punt you straight into the sun if you said one more stupid thing. "I'M TAKING YOU HOME."
You tried to stop it.
"At least buy me dinner first."
He gave you the most "dead inside" expression you had ever seen on a person. His triangular eyes had nearly faded out completely and his wickedly sharp teeth that were normally scowling were set in the closest approximation of a thin line.
You briefly wondered if his soul yeeted out of his body and you glanced at the air above him to check if you could see it escaping.
"IF I MUST."
You laughed, very much confused because it sounded like he took your joke seriously.
When he glared at you and tapped his foot impatiently, you realized he did.
"I'm sorry, what?"
His mouth twisted into what could only be described as an evil grin. He looked like all he needed was a top hat and a handlebar mustache to twirl to complete the villainous appearance.
"I'M TAKING YOU TO DINNER FIRST."
"Whoa- what? Why?"
The skeleton leaned forward, giving you a hooded stare and a self-confident smirk that made a brilliant blush heat your cheeks.
Oh shit. He's hot. Why is he hot?
Something pulsed in your chest and you couldn't help but gasp a bit.
"BECAUSE YOU'RE THE MORON THAT WOULD GET INTO TROUBLE ORDERING A PIZZA."
He backed away from you, cackling at the dazed expression on your face and breaking the spell that had come over you. "NGH-HEH-HEH! WHAT'S WITH THAT LOOK, HUMAN?"
That's what you'd like to know, but you weren't about to tell him you were beginning to contemplate if finding the skeleton attractive would be "crushing" or "necrophilia". He's... Not dead? But...
You squinted at him.
"WHATEVER IT IS, THE ANSWER IS "NO"."
Did that count as indirectly answering the question?
You squinted more and scrunched your nose.
That's good, you supposed. Not that it mattered: you weren't crushing on him.
Sans picked up the nearly forgotten bag with his gloved hands - then threw it to the side unceremoniously. You yelped when it vanished in mid-air, feeling very much like a dog that had a laser pointer shut off on them.
You sputtered, pointing at the spot. "W-whu what!?"
The little Houdini huffed and grabbed your wrist, yanking you up and out the door. "KEEP THAT ICE ON YOUR CHEEK."
You stumbled, nearly falling on your face when you tripped out the door. "Did I just see a glitch in the Matrix?"
He turned to glower pointedly. "NO. IT WAS MAGIC."
The way that he had said "magic" implied that if you tried to ask further questions, you'd definitely get a sucker punch to the appendix. So, you shut up - mostly - as you trotted behind him and marveled at how people got the fuck out of his way as he marched down the street.
You were impressed, really, and staring at his back as he dragged you along only made your heart flutter more.
Which was weird because he was very much an asshole.
"Are you seriously taking me to dinner?"
Houdini scoffed flippantly, "I SAID I WAS, DID I NOT?"
It turned out that his definition of taking you to dinner was taking you to the grocery store so you could buy healthy alternatives to food you would have chosen while dining out. He was adamant about it and you insisted you couldn't cook worth a damn.
Yet, there you stood carrying a basket of ingredients for some dish you couldn't even pronounce while he tried to intimidate the store's butcher into giving him a prime cut of meat for half the price.
It reminded you how Papyrus swindled you out of money: something that ran in the family, apparently.
He was victorious over the butcher, of course, coming away with a slab of meat that should have cost a fortune for a quarter of the price and an irritably smug grin.
"I THINK WE'RE DONE HERE."
"Are you sure you don't want to bully the bakery for a discount on brioche buns too?"
Sans looked like he was considering it, then shook his head, "NO, I DON'T BELIEVE THEY WOULD PAIR WELL WITH THIS DISH."
You side eyed him. "Dude, it's bread . Bread goes with anything?"
He looked genuinely offended at your words, "DO YOU NOT HAVE TASTE BUDS?"
You didn't expect to be lectured on the intricacies of bread and how they're like wine with how you pair them with certain dishes. He was getting really passionate about it too, but you didn't dare tell him that you just drank the cheapest stuff you could find with ramen noodles in case he finally decided to murder you himself.
Upon realizing you had a vacant expression on your face, he sighed. "WHY AM I BOTHERING? IT CLEARLY GOES OVER YOUR HEAD."
You nodded solemnly and followed him to the cash register, hoping he'd let you go home after this.
Houdini did, in fact, let you go home afterwards - though he denied all your attempts to grab a candy bar at the register.
You tensed up as you got closer to "that place", but he seemed to pick up on it and steered you through a detour to avoid it. Which was sweet coming from the little asshole, even as he dissed you mercilessly.
When you came to the door, however, it swung open on a broken latch and you were greeted to the sight of your trashed apartment.
"WE KNOW WHAT YOU SAW," was spray painted along the wall.
Chapter 9: The Punny Name
It's hard to believe that this is still just the day after Sans took a smoothie to the face xD
Please feel free to let me know how I can improve, and thank you all soso much for the kind comments <3
You took one look at the mess and immediately turned to face Sans. "Would it be legal for me to leave the country?"
He furrowed his brow in confusion and you held your hands up and got the hell out of the way so he could see: you weren't going to set foot in there. Knowing your luck, someone was still in there waiting to choke you out and ain't nobody got time for that.
His eyelights completely vanished and he thrust the sacks of groceries into your hands. "Stay Here."
That was, indeed, what you already planned to do.
He rushed inside, leaving you standing awkwardly in the hall when your old lady neighbor decided to shuffle out and give you a judgmental upturn of the nose.
"You were making quite a ruckus today," she sniffed. "I had to call the landlord to get you to stop."
Normally you'd be a bit more salty at getting a noise complaint, but hey, that technically worked in your favor in this case, right?
"Huh, weird. I haven't been home all day," you said nonchalantly.
Sans popped out the door, making your neighbor scream unbearably loud and swing her purse at him.
The Houdini teleported to your left, sounding more annoyed than usual - somehow, "STOP YOUR BELLYACHING: THERE'S NOISE ORDINANCES IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS."
That shut her up right quick and you couldn't help but feel a spark of vindictive joy given your current crappy circumstance.
You decided to add more fuel to the fire, "Hey, she says she heard everything going on."
She looked at you like you just sentenced her to death row and with the piercing gaze Sans leveled her with, you were inclined to agree.
"IS THAT SO?"
This time, it was your turn to grin evilly. "Yep."
Unfortunately, you were only allowed to sit on the steps leading up to your floor as he grilled your neighbor mercilessly. It felt like you were in kiddie time out, especially when the peanut gallery arrived about ten minutes later.
"Oh my God-"
"Catty, is that-"
The armored cat and alligator looked up at you from the bottom of the staircase, then at each other as they squealed together, "That nastaaay Humaaan!"
You bared your teeth, "I will push you down these stairs, so help me-"
Sans cut you off. "GOOD, YOU'VE ARRIVED. GET UP HERE AND START COLLECTING EVIDENCE."
The duo snickered at you as they pushed past you and if you didn't have a lap full of groceries, you would have kept true to your word. You settled for trying to burn a hole in their backs as they entered your apartment while complaining noisily.
"EWWWW it's such a MESS!"
"Like, don't Humans know how to, I dunno..."
They burst into giggles, clattering around noisily and you were pretty sure you heard a dish break right off the bat.
The shaking in your hands returned with a vengeance.
You wanted to go to bed.
"LET'S GO THEN."
Houdini picked the sacks up off your lap and began trotting down the stairs, but you didn't budge from your spot. "Go where?"
He was already at the bottom when he tilted his head up at you. "I'M GOING TO ESCORT YOU TO THE STATION."
You slumped further in on yourself, muttering moodily, "Again? Why?"
"YOU'VE CLEARLY HAD A RATHER... EXCITING DAY." You didn't miss how he gave you a critical once over. "YOU LOOK LIKE CRAP."
"Why do I need to go there?" you pressed, sounding far grumpier than you actually intended.
"BECAUSE IT'S SAFE AND YOU CAN REST."
For the second time that day, you found yourself in the police department, but this time Sans lead you towards a room that was tucked off to the side and practically unnoticeable.
His name was printed in bold letters on the door: "SANS SERIF: CAPTAIN OF THE ROYAL GUARD".
You gulped, casting a sideways glance at him to find he had a smug grin on his face. "C-Captain, you say?"
He preened at the tremor in your voice, pressing his fingertips to his chest like he was trying to be humble as he talked, "OH YES, THAT. IMPRESSIVE, ISN'T IT?"
"I threw a smoothie at the face of the Captain of the Royal Guard."
He seemed less than enthused that you brought that up again. "YES. YOU DID."
You were about to say something else about it when you did a double take to stare at the door again. "Is that a-"
Turning to face him, you jabbed your finger at his name. "Is that a fucking pun?"
His entire face spasmed and you were half afraid he was having a stroke when he suddenly shoved you aside to open the door. "D-DON'T BE STUPID! IT'S A NAME."
The room was a very nice office, with a simple desk and computer combo, bookshelves and couch tucked off to the side. It screamed "workaholic", but you really didn't pay much attention to it.
"Your name is a pun?"
"IT'S A FONT."
When you started cracking up laughing, he worked on stuffing the perishable groceries into a mini fridge that was practically hidden in the corner.
"Oh Shut Up," he snapped as you wheezed against the door frame.
"I didn't know you were a comic, Sans!"
His face spasmed again, this time his triangular eyes appearing to completely change shapes.
It was brief, but you knew you just saw his freaking eyeballs turn into upside down hearts. "What the-"
"HELP YOURSELF TO THE FRIDGE, SLEEP ON THE COUCH AND DON'T FUCKING LEAVE ROOM!"
Houdini blasted out of the room at mach speed, slamming the door behind him hard enough that the entire wall shook violently. You blinked at the door, then slowly began to wander around the room that you had been told to stay in.
Nothing really captivated your interest, so you slowly sat on the couch and rested your head in your palm.
Your eyes naturally drifted shut.
Chapter 10: The What Now?
waaah i'm a failure
sorry for not updating this one in ages
you may throw the tomatoes now... xD
Something was smothering you.
"WE KNOW WHAT YOU SAW."
You were going to die if you didn't run.
The sound of Dust scattering on the pavement.
Terror froze you in place.
You're going to die-
You snorted awake, feeling that someone had their bony ass legs flopped on top of you, but your groggy mind had yet to fully wake itself up enough to process it. Scrubbing your eyes, you rolled your head to the side and peeled them open in an attempt to figure out what was going on.
Death stared at you with violet eyelights.
You shrieked, attempting to flail your limbs - only to find all but one was pinned under whoever the fuck was laying on you. The Grim Reaper startled, recoiling back as your free arm nearly cracked it in the jaw and you grabbed hold of your captor and chucked their surprisingly light body off you.
Before you fully registered it, you scurried up and over the arm of the couch you were laying on and soundly smacked face first into carpet. You groaned, surprised you didn't break your neck and stuck with your legs still up in the air.
There was an awkward pause before you heard someone breaking into a familiar fit of laughter.
"nyeheheheh, bro. your soul-"
A loud whap! shut Groucho Marx up and you found yourself suddenly being hoisted up by the waist and unceremoniously tossed back onto the couch. You blinked the sleep from your eyes completely, looking up at Houdini - was looked very unamused at your latest bout of shenanigans.
"Uh... Good morning?"
He crossed his arms and you swore you heard his teeth grinding.
"YOU WERE FUSSING."
You waited for him to elaborate, but he simply glared.
When you realized he wasn't going to speak again, you slumped and rested your elbow on your knee to prop your head on your palm.
He tossed his hands up in the air, "YOU HEARD ME!"
"Well, yeah, I think the fucking penguins in Antarctica heard you," you shot back, too tired and emotionally exhausted to tone down the snark. "But what did you mean?"
Groucho Marx got up from where you had tossed him, digging a cigarette out of his pocket. "you were making noises, snotface."
"I was probably snoring."
"I COULD SENSE YOU WERE HAVING A NIGHTMARE!"
Sans suddenly got a look on his face like he definitely didn't mean to say that and from the shit eating grin Papyrus had, you had a feeling that was exactly the case.
"You could... 'Sense' I was having a nightmare."
"CODSWALLOP! I SAID NO SUCH THING."
You stared at him.
Papyrus stared too.
He began to uncharacteristically sweat - the beads of violet dripping down his skull almost comically.
"FINE. I SAID IT! I MEANT I COULD SEE YOU WERE HAVING ONE!"
"because you were watchin-"
Sans lunged up and smacked the back of his head, "BACKSTABBING LITTLE LOUT!"
The two began to bicker - which was mostly just Papyrus turning to tell you something, which would send Sans into a frothing rage in an attempt to silence him. You weren't really sure what the short stack didn't want you to know, but now that you were hitting a point of being fully awake, the curiosity was starting to eat you alive.
"m'lord, she's gonna find out eventually."
"NOT IF YOU KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT."
"What am I gonna find out?"
Houdini whipped around, floundering for a moment before snapping, "NOTHING, IF I HAVE MY WAY! GO BACK TO SLEEP."
"That's kinda hard to do with you two yelling in here," you pointed out.
"OH. YES, I SUPPOSE YOU'RE RIGHT."
He moodily grabbed hold of the back of Papyrus' hoodie, proceeding to manhandle him towards the door. The latter skeleton simply shuffled backwards: unbothered by the comical action as he sent you a wink and made a motion like he was cupping a nonexistent ear before pointing at the door.
You just looked at him, confused as he shut the door behind them-
Looking closer, you saw that he didn't completely shut the door: leaving it open just a hair.
You could faintly hear Sans' scratchy baritone, but for somebody who's normal volume could shatter eardrums, he was being surprisingly quiet while whispering. It only served to feed your need to know what they were talking about, so you slowly began to stand to avoid making any noise.
There wasn't doubt in your mind that you looked like a moron trying to tiptoe across the room, but it was worth it when you started making out words.
"just tell her, bro. nothin' bad'll come from just being honest."
"And Then What? She's A Human, Papyrus. They Die Too Quickly: She Will Die."
Ooooh that's ominous, you thought to yourself as your eyes widened.
Papyrus' shrug was practically audible, "may as well enjoy it while you have it, then."
"I Am Not Setting Myself Up To Get Dusted From Heartbreak," Sans hissed back at him. "This Human Is A Magnet For Trouble Already!"
What the hell...? Heartbreak? You inched closer, listening for further context of the confusing as hell conversation.
"she's your mate though, soo... keep her out of trouble?"
"IT'S NOT THAT EASY, FOOL!"
The sudden increase in volume made you trip as you were sneaking, falling right into the door.
The door swung open from your sudden weight, slamming into someone as you belly-flopped onto the floor. Sans was swearing up a storm and Papyrus was cackling hysterically again, but you were too busy hoping the ground would swallow you whole before a certain skeleton started ripping you a new asshole.
The same skeleton that you just hit with a door and was currently giving you a glower so fierce you thought he was about to curb stomp you.
"THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT PAPYRUS- AND YOU! WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING!?"
Defensively, you lied, "I had to pee!"
You awkwardly stood in front of the bathroom, doing your best to look everywhere but at Sans. He, on the other hand, had no qualms glaring at you as he impatiently tapped his foot while waiting for you to go inside. Not that you were going to try to piss while he was lurking outside the door because knowing your luck, he would hear every noise you made.
"Thanks for walking me here?" you hesitantly said, hoping he would catch your hint and take a hike.
The further souring of his expression said no, he did not catch the hint.
There was a beat of silence, then you shifted in place. "Um. Thanks."
He didn't budge and kept looking at you like he fully expected you to do a party trick and you narrowed your eyes to match his stare. You were also pretty sure the bunny Monster behind the receptionist desk was watching both of you like she was expecting an old fashioned, Western ka-pow to go down.
Was he enjoying the weird eye contact? Was it a contest and blinking meant you'll lose?
You were in the process of sneakily blinking when he snapped, "GO IN!"
You quickly countered with, "Go away!"
"WHY WOULD I GO AWAY? YOU'RE OUR PRIMARY WITNESS-"
"only witness," Papyrus interjected, half hanging out a window several feet away so he could smoke a cigarette.
"-SO WHY WOULD I LEAVE YOU UNGUARDED?"
"Because I'd like some privacy?"
Sans scoffed, crossing his arms and rolling his triangular eyelights, "PRIVACY DOES YOU NO GOOD WHEN YOU'RE DEAD."
You yanked the door open, pointing a finger at him and spat out the dumbest jokes you knew just to annoy him. "Fine! But just know you pissed me off! I'm peeved at you, so urine trouble!"
Houdini's eyes vanished and he suddenly looked like he was holding back the urge to vomit - which you counted as a win. Though you scrambled to shut the bathroom door behind you before he put you in a full nelson and the moment the door shut, he began to make garbled, choking noises.
Deciding it was very much not your problem, you went about your business (turns out, you did have to pee) and splashed water on your face to try to bring some life back to your face.
Outside, Papyrus snorted, "she's really punishing you, bro."
"WHEN SHE COMES OUT, RETURN TO MY OFFICE AND DO NOT LET HER OUT OF YOUR SIGHT."
The door suddenly jolted: signaling the shortstack kicked the door and damn near made you crap yourself. You could hear him stomping away and barking orders at any subordinate that happened to cross his path while Groucho Marx was laughing outside the bathroom.
When you were sure he was far enough away from you, you cautiously stuck your head out. "Am I safe?"
Papyrus blew smoke your way and laughed, "with m'lord? you're never safe: he'll getcha back eventually."
"Go figure," you muttered.
Reluctantly, you let yourself be led back to the office - where the beanpole proceeded to flop down and take up the entire couch. You sniffed moodily and sat on the desk instead, swinging your legs as you gave him the stink-eye.
"So what's your deal?"
"Why were you laying on me earlier?"
He snickered, folding his arms behind his head. "that's easy: you were in my spot."
You huffed, but remained quiet a moment as your thoughts drifted to the things you overheard. There wasn't much that actually made sense, leaving you completely confused and fighting off a stress headache.
"she's your mate though."
You frowned as the skeleton's words to his brother came to the forefront of your mind and you hesitantly asked, "What were you two talking about?"
"m'lord told me to keep you in this room. you didn't hear?"
Groaning, you elaborated, "Not that. I meant whatever you two were talking about with mates and heartbreak and Dusting! It didn't make a lick of sense."
He was quiet for a moment, then he rose up on his elbows to meet your eye. "tell you what: i'll give you the deets for a hundred bucks."
"Oh, fuck you."
"welp, sorry bucko, i completely forgot the conversation through magical means that can only be cured by money."
"You're a fucking crook," you hissed, tempted to throw a nearby paperweight at him. "I'll figure it out myself."
"nyeheheheh, good luck. you're gonna need it." He flopped back down, sticking an unlit cigarette in his mouth to chew on. "m'lord won't tell you either."
Turning your nose up at him, you snooped and poked at some papers on the desk. "Is it the kink thing?"
"it's not a kink thing."
"Still won't judge," you assured him.
"get bent, you freaky meatsack."
Papyrus refused to speak after that, leaving you to slowly die of boredom without a phone to goof around on. You were ready to go back home, but you were sure that the peanut gallery were probably still in the process of wrecking your house more than it already was so you didn't bother to ask.
Instead, you were standing beside the bookshelf and fully wondering why a fucking magic skeleton would have a book called "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack: Defend Yourself When the Lawn Warriors Strike (And They Will)".
"Ah, fuck it."
You opened the book.
The book itself was clearly something to be taken as a joke, but you certainly weren't expecting to open it up to find detailed battle plans written on sticky notes. Things like "THIS IS WHY HOUSES SHOULD HAVE BATTLEMENTS" and "THE SPIKE TRAP WOULD PROVE EFFECTIVE HERE" made you chortle, wondering if someone was missing the fact that it wasn't supposed to be taken seriously.
The doorknob jiggled a bit and Sans stepped inside, immediately zeroing in on what you were holding. "AH YES, I'M PLEASED TO SEE THAT YOU'RE EDUCATING YOURSELF."
You bit your lips to keep from laughing.
why yes, that is indeed a real book How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack
Chapter 12: The Table's Demise
blegh i redid this chapter a lot, so i hope it came out enjoyable enough <3
also plz note that i am not a chef so i'm bullshitting any mentions of that stuff lolol
You inhaled through your nose, channeling your inner peace so you didn't laugh until you got a better read on whether or not he was serious. Instead of cracking up, you eyeballed the stack of food containers he held in his hands and shamelessly hoped that some of that was for you.
"I DON'T KNOW WHY HUMANS LIKE THOSE UNSIGHTLY THINGS ANYWAYS," he scoffed, kicking the door shut behind him. "THE SOONER WE GET RID OF THEM, THE LESS TIME THEY'LL HAVE TO PLAN THEIR ATTACK."
Okay, he's serious then.
You looked down at the book like it could somehow help you.
Your voice came out as a squeaky wheeze that barely hid the laugh caught in your throat, "Yeah, I dunno man. Humans like weird things, I guess?"
"CLEARLY." Sans set the food containers on the desk and went to the coffee table beside the couch, picking it up to move it as he continued talking, "I TOOK THE LIBERTY OF USING YOUR GROCERIES TO PREPARE DINNER."
You mentally thanked the food gods - you were feeling starved by this point - and said, "Oh hell, I think I love you."
He jerked violently - accidentally throwing the table into the ceiling.
You jumped as the wood crashed and shattered apart upon coming in contact with the ceiling, staring at Sans with wide eyes. It would have been funny, if not for the guttural noises he was making as the pieces of the table rained down around him.
Papyrus, as it turns out, had absolutely no qualms in laughing his ass off at his brother as the shorter skeleton whirled in place. His skull had become a dark, violet color and his eyelights flickered between triangles and hearts before vanishing altogether.
"HUMAN, I AM NOT INTERESTED. YOU'RE VAPID AND I HATE YOU."
It took you a moment to realize that he thought that you were confessing your love to him, to which you said, "Um... That's cool, I guess. I just wanted your food, anyways."
"DID YOU JUST SNUB ME FOR FOOD!?"
Caught off guard by his mood swing, you pointed at him to retort, "You just said you hate me!"
"Then why do you care if I meant I love you for your food?!"
Papyrus was practically in tears, curling in on himself as he snickered," nyeheheh, this is what you get for not listening, bro."
"YOU BE QUIET!"
"AND YOU," Sans whirled, kicking shards of the table in the process. "YOU... HELP ME SWEEP THIS UP OR YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A SCRAP OF MY GLORIOUS COOKING!"
"But you broke it-"
"BECAUSE OF YOUR NONSENSE."
That made absolutely no sense, but he was already walking out the door, leaving you to look at Papyrus in confusion. He was still giggling like a madman, wiping at the tears that started to form at the corners of his eye sockets before addressing you.
"you sure you don't wanna pay me that hundred bucks?"
"You can eat shit and die, fucknut."
When Sans returned, it was with a broom and dustpan - both of which he handed to you as he left the room again . Not knowing what else to do, you pushed the slivers of wood around until you had a half-assed pile while wondering how the tiny dustpan was going to handle a whole freaking coffee table.
"it's magic, snotface," Groucho Marx supplied after watching you stare at it like a dumbass.
"the broom and dustpan? just scoop it in and it'll do it's own thing."
Dubiously, you did as he said - only for absolutely nothing to happen.
He fell into another fit of uncontrollable giggles and you groaned loudly, "Oh you fucking asshole."
"QUIT TORMENTING THE HUMAN: THEY STRUGGLE ENOUGH AS IT IS."
You gave Houdini the stink eye, watching him wriggle a new table through the door and plop it down in front of the couch.
"I don't struggle."
"YOU ARE THE MOST DISASTER PRONE HUMAN I HAVE EVER SEEN AND I'VE ONLY KNOWN YOU FOR TWO DAYS."
As much as you wanted to debate that, even you had to admit that he was right: you were currently having a pretty nasty streak of bad luck.
Sans took the broom and dustpan back and proceeded to tidy up the pile you already made and you had to double take when pieces he started scooping up vanished. It reminded you of the backpack he had chucked into the nether and you couldn't help but make perplexed noises as you tried to math out how that was possible.
"QUIT GAWKING AND SET THE TABLE, IDIOT."
You pointed and whined, "What even-"
Both brothers responded at the same time.
You opened your mouth to question it further, but decided you probably wouldn't understand any science behind it.
Deciding it was best to not think on it too hard, you went to the desk and scooped up three identical containers of food to bring over to the (new) coffee table. You weren't sure what was inside of them, but whatever it was had you drooling as set them down in the center of the table and wondered if you were supposed to be locating plates and silverware.
Papyrus took pity you, taking the one closest to open it up and revealing that the inner lid had a fork clipped inside. "just pick a box and dig in, snotface."
Looking to Houdini for permission, he merely scoffed and nodded as he continued with his magic dustpan bullshit, so you eagerly grabbed a box and peered inside. It looked like some kind of salmon that had been stuffed and drizzled with a sauce of some sort and an arrangement of mouthwatering side dishes surrounding it.
"HERBED SALMON ROULADES WITH LEMON BEURRE BLANC," he informed you with a hint of pride in his voice.
You nodded in amazement, quickly unclipping your fork to spear a piece of it and take a bite; immediately looking at him with tears in your eyes.