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Gaster Family

Chapter Text

In a little town, far up a hill, beyond a creaky gate lied a giant, dark mansion. It is the source of all rumors within the town.

A man lives there. A skeleton, that is. The whispers say he’s always lived there, never aging, watching the town as it grew over the years. Only the elders say this, insisting he didn’t look a day over the time they had met him. Such gossip was brushed off, however. No one could live forever, even monsters aged in time and died.

The rest of the rumors were intriguing. A tall skeleton, he wore what appeared to be a very long robe, one that glided after him on the ground, with long flowing sleeves, that gripped around his torso. No one ever saw his legs, even though no one was brave enough to even think of it. They knew his name.

Wing Ding Gaster.

Doctor Gaster, if you were so inclined to politeness.

That was a rumor that persisted over the years. Doctor Gaster knew some interesting things, but he was not to be called for simple cuts or bruises. The first incident that anyone can recall is two small children, one that appeared as a goat and one human, had as children do decided to be tiny little chefs. They ate buttercups from the field, mistaking them for something akin to honeysuckle. Both were struck down with fevers and shaking and vomiting for a day.

The parents pleaded with the Mayor to inquire with the Doctor if he could help them. The Mayor hesitantly agreed, if only because he wasn’t a horrible man and he did not want to see children die.

Gaster swept in to town, all quiet, knife-like smile, robe trailing over the sidewalk as he followed the stuttering mayor. He nodded politely, hands clasped in front of him, mysterious smile as he paused near the home where both children were residing.

“I shall be back,” Gaster murmured, sweeping away down the stone walkway, leaving the mayor to feel as if he had escaped death itself.

The parents revealed he had locked himself into the room with the two highly ill children, and within an hour, he came out with two bright eyed and rosy cheeked children who asked for popsicles.

Since then, the town gently requested Doctor Gaster’s assistance with various medical maladies. He would never speak a word of what he would do, and the ones who were his patients could only say they had been in a deep sleep and would awaken to Doctor Gaster gently leading them from wherever they lay when disaster struck.

They insisted to pay him, but the doctor would deny them with that mysterious smile, and would walk away each time.

The elders said they could even remember their grandparents requesting his assistance, but again, they were ignored. No one could live forever.

Then one day came new rumors of him spiriting away two infants from a neighboring town, or having a hidden lover, or perhaps they were split from him like ribs, growing into their own.

Either way, the doctor appeared with one little infant tucked into his arm, another larger one on his back. The small one had an intense look, and they whispered how much like his father he looked. The larger one screamed loudly, albeit he never appeared in danger nor in a fit. He would just take a moment as the doctor walked, then would crack his little mouth open, tiny hands gripping Gaster’s robe as he howled loudly, mischief dancing in his eyes when others jumped.

He didn’t take them into town often. So much so that when the next time came for Doctor Gaster’s calling, the two children had grown a little.

The small one was barely at Gaster’s knee, in a ruffled black dress that made him appear like a porcelain doll. He was quiet, much like his father, eyes gazing forward and small hand clutching at Gaster’s cloak. The taller one was a head over him, dressed in a simple shirt and odd leather pants that had crossing belts on it. His skull was long, like Gaster’s, but the small one’s facial features took more onto his father than his brother’s did.

The few times they accompanied him, they would sit outside, sometimes sitting on a bench or standing side by side. The larger would have his arm around the smaller’s shoulders, both of them staring forward until Gaster arrived, and they took their positions once more.

The years went by, slowly but surely, and the citizens that lived there now remembered not the small skeleton children, but rather the larger ones that accompanied Gaster.

The one in a dress was just about half of Gaster’s height, wearing the ruffled dress from his youth. Instead of clutching at his father’s robe, he held his arms out in a bell fashion around his skirt, and by the clicking as he walked he had heels on. The dress had no sleeves but it stretched up to circle around his neck, covering his entire torso.

The larger one now wore a dark red sweater under a leather jacket. It had spikes decorating it, and still he wore the leather pants and flat boots.

They still would stand outside from where their father worked. The taller’s arm would be around the smaller, a hand laid on his shoulder, both of them stock still guards of some sort.

No one knew their names. When asked the doctor would smile, and immediately side step the question, inquiring upon a patient instead.

It was…well, kind of peaceful. The towering mansion stood against the test of time, a metropolis of sorts surrounding around the hill in the middle of the city now. The gate wrapped around the bottom of the hill, but no one ever saw children come out and play or even the two grown ones outside. Just when Gaster came and went.

It was large and foreboding, a mysterious air around it that no one dared to question. Of course, as time went on, the generations became more cocky and ignorant of the previous ‘treaty’ with the doctor. They still asked for his assistance if it was something the hospital couldn’t heal-or was too expensive to heal-but beyond that the ones in charge brushed him off.

‘A blight,’ they said, ‘An eye sore,’ they muttered, staring at the mansion as they passed.

A tourist attraction of sorts, they found, enthralling ghost hunters and lovers of supernatural alike. None of them were allowed in-or rather they never dared to ask-so no one knew what it even looked like on the inside.

A new family moved in, and they had no idea of the future that was in store for them.

Chapter Text

Doctor Gaster meets them on the way home after tending to a very badly hurt child who had ran out into the road for a ball. Now she had a ‘pretty pink’ cast and a lollipop, and was, well, alive. Doctor Gaster has his two sons with him as they walk in the sunlight, slowly down the sidewalk.

His tallest, Papyrus or ‘Edge’ as he’s taken to calling himself (ah those horrible teen years where you defy your parents, Gaster distinctly remembers rebelling and joining a choir before realizing it just was…not for him), was on one side, looking bored as ever. Edge never liked going out into the town, complaining that it was boring and that he’d rather play around in the graveyard blasting away tree stumps.

His youngest-Red, for his darling red eyelights-was as always on his other side. When he was young, he’d hold onto Gaster’s robe tightly. It was so cute. Now he’s a delicate little china doll hiding away pins that threatened to stick anyone who came near. He didn’t care for the town too much, but liked watching the people.

All this to say, this is how he meets the Swap family, in front of a cheery yellow house with a U-Haul in front of it.

Gaster had paused his little procession to allow a worker with a table by, only for someone to shout and hop down from the back of the U-Haul. “Hello, neighbor!! Isn’t it a grand day!!”

The man-skeleton-was tall, but slightly shorter than Gaster himself. He had sloping eye sockets as well, but a rather giant happy grin rather than the mysterious one Gaster sported. His eyes were orange and blue eye lights that were very, very huge in excitement. He was wearing a tweed sweater vest over a white button up shirt, slacks with a belt, and spiffy black shoes.

…how…interesting.

Gaster slowly nodded at him, tilting his head. “Positively dreadful. You are new then, to the town?”

“I am!” A hand swung up, and had Gaster been a lesser being, he would have jumped. However he merely stared at the hand stretched out before him for a handshake, looking slowly up to the eager man’s face, then slowly clasping his long cold fingers around the thin stumpy…warm…ones. “Ding Aster! Everyone calls me Dingy! How are you? Are these your children? They’re darlings, do you work around here?”

Question after question were shot out, the handshake never stopping. Gaster had to give it to ‘Dingy’, he didn’t flinch from the chill of his fingers, nor even stop at spying Edge’s fierce glare or Red’s unending stare. Intriguing. He squeezed his hand around Ding’s lightly. “I live up on the hill. I am a doctor.”

Ding gasped. “Oh! A doctor! That’s so neat! I-”

“DAAAAD!” The door to the yellow house banged open, a blur speeding at them and running straight into Ding’s legs. “DAD, WHERE’S MY-OH. HELLO!”

Another skeleton, around Red’s age, it appeared. He had an odd white shirt with blue sleeves and black shorts, while also wearing blue flat boots. He had bright blue eye lights, and he hugged onto his dad, waving brightly at the group. “HI HI HI!”

Gaster raised an eye ridge slowly. “Your child?”

Ding laughed, clapping his hand on the little skeleton’s head happily. “Blue! He’s going to high school this year, we’re all quite excited.” Blue seemed distracted by staring at Red with a blush, almost hiding around Ding’s leg despite the fact they could still see him. “Papy should be around here…or he’s taking a nap.” He laughed.

Gaster clapped his hands together. “How wonderful. We really must be on our way. Perhaps we’ll meet again.”

Ding laughed, nodding as he gave a jaunty wave. “Of course! See you around town!” He ushered a star struck Blue into the house as the trio started up their walk again. Almost to the gate of the hill, Red tugged on his robe lightly.

“Are we really going to see them again?”

Red’s voice was like a soft wind, something that seemed like it was nice, at first, and terrifying when it rose in speed.

“UGH I HOPE NOT.”

While Edge’s was like glass being thrown in your face. Gaster so loved his boys. He opened the gate and they went in, the gate mysteriously shutting behind them. “Perhaps.”

Red flicked a look up at him, then back to staring ahead. “We have never met any other new neighbors before. Why this one?”

Gaster hummed, the door to their home opening the moment he stepped on the creaky wooden steps, shutting behind them with a click of a lock. “Skeletons such as ourselves are few and far between. Our extended family is too far to even visit for now. It wouldn’t hurt to make allies of them.”

“YEAH THE KID LIKED YOU, RED!” Edge teased, ducking in time to avoid a steel needle with a drip of poison. Red rolled his eyes, stepping down the small step from the entrance. Their living room had a fireplace, two armchairs, a massive bookcase, and the most dreary looking wallpaper with stairs that wrapped around the walls.

“His infatuation is of no consequence to me.” Red sniffed daintily, stepping around the little bear rug they had, slipping into one armchair and folding one ankle over the other as he picked up the book of torture methods he had put away on their way out.

“Boys, don’t argue, you know how it upsets the ghoul in the attic.” Right on time came chains shuffling and horrific moaning. Edge rolled his eyes, huffing as he loudly said, “APOLOGIES, GHOUL!” The ghoul settled down, only making small chain shifting noises now.

Gaster clicked his tongue, lacing his fingers together slowly. “Besides, wouldn’t you two rather some…playmates besides each other?”

Edge quickly nodded with a giant grin, and Red peeking over his book was nearly the same indication. “Exactly. For now, settle down and I shall put the pot to boil, it’s time to eat.”

“Yes, Father.” They echoed, Red ducking back into his book while Edge headed up the stairs with a long stride, eager to check on his dynamite supply.

Chapter Text

When they next meet, there is a town meeting happening in the park nearby…of sorts. Everyone’s gathered under a gazebo, spread out into the park and chattering softly to themselves.

No one knows why Doctor Gaster-and his children-were there as he never came out for anything, but he was, under the shadow of a tree in the distance. He had his hands steepled together, an intense look on his face as he stared ahead. Edge was carving at a piece of wood he found and Red held a black lace parasol, spinning it slowly in his hands.

Ding and his own children had arrived, Blue racing around into the crowd instantly. Gaster saw the other child, a lanky boy, about an inch taller than Edge, wearing an abnormally orange colored hoodie. It didn’t help it was blistering hot out, but he didn’t seem swayed, chewing away on a sucker as Ding was drawn into a conversation with someone.

Gaster never moved from beneath the tree, staring at the gazebo filled with happy people who held balloons or children or dogs. He knew Red had left his side to retrieve his dropped penny purse, he knew his son could take care of himself.

The penny purse-a small satchel that Red kept intriguing coins in-had slid down the small hill the tree was on. Red sighed slowly, taking a few steps after it. He paused as a gloved hand picked it up, the boy skeleton from before holding it out with a blush. “H-HERE YOU ARE!”

Red blinked, tilting his parasol so their hands were covered as he covered the purse in one hand, gently squeezing Blue’s fingers as he smiled. “Thank you.”

The blush deepened as Blue stuttered while Red tied the penny purse back onto the ribbon on his side. He went to turn except Blue squeaked out a “WAIT!”

He turned, staring at Blue who was plucking at his gloves lightly. “DO-DO YOU GO TO THE SCHOOL HERE?? WE COULD BE STUDY PALS!”

“I don’t.”

“OH…” He seemed disappointed at that, then perked up. “WOULD YOU LIKE TO HANG OUT SOMETIME? I HAVE MANY AN INTERESTING ACTION FIGURE!”

Red tilted his head in amusement, his eyes skating over Blue slowly before he smiled. “Perhaps. …in three days. Meet me at the gate of my home.” And with that he left, leaving Blue stuttering out an affirmative before he rushed away to gush to his brother who would tease him over his crush.

Edge looked down at Red who kneeled onto the grass, spinning his parasol. “YOU GOT THAT KID ALL EXCITED.”

“Mm. Father’s right, we should…branch out, dear brother.”

“EW.” He went back to scraping at the piece of wood in his hands. Gaster was mysteriously absent from the tree now.

Ding turned around after letting a small child scribble on his face in lieu of face painting, nearly jumping out of his sweater vest as the skeleton doctor he had met before was right behind him. “Oh! I’m so sorry! It’s nice to meet you again!”

“Hm.” Gaster slowly looked over at the gazebo, then looked back at Ding with that mysterious smile. “I believe I know what’s going on. What say you?”

Ding shrugged, licking at the ice cream cone in his hand. “I have absolutely no idea! We got a paper on our door this morning! Do you?”

“I do.” He stared at Ding for a while, then cocked his head to the side. “They know not what they have disturbed.”

Ding blinked, scrunching his nose up in confusion. “Wha-”

“If they ask for volunteers, I’d like you to raise up your voice.” Gaster grinned slowly. “I will not let anyone come near. Understand?”

Ding nodded in confusion, and Gaster turned, his robe following him almost like a giant ink stain, people moving around him to let him through and back towards the tree. Well. That was. Something! Ding was distracted by Blue launching himself at Ding’s legs, asking if he could have a sleepover with a friend in a few days. Aww. He was so happy his boys were making friends!

As time went on, the mayor tapped a microphone, asking everyone to settle down so he may make an announcement. Ding looked back, but Gaster and his children were already gone from the tree, nothing to indicate they were even there. He turned back around with a shrug, one hand on Blue’s shoulder to keep an eye on him. Papy-his eldest-was right next to him, looking down at something in his hand in confusion and turning it around and around. Ding’s attention was drawn back to the gazebo as the meeting began.

It was interesting, for sure. The mayor happily announced that he and the rest of the ‘board’-whoever that was-had teamed up with Gleeful Construction to clean up the parks, fill in potholes, make the town ‘better’ he claimed. Ding thought it was nice as is, the park may be overrun with weeds a little, and yeah the potholes left much to be desired, but it wasn’t the worst place in the world. And then the mayor did something that surprised Ding.

“We need volunteers in order to do a special project! It will take guts and brains to do what we have planned, so please, think about it amongst yourselves! We’ll gladly accept more than one person for this project, as we don’t believe just one could do it.”

…huh. Isn’t that…what…Ding cleared his throat, throwing his hand up and waving wildly like how Blue did often. “I’d like to! I’d love to help out in our new town!”

Not many others volunteered, as they really didn’t want to deal with anything more than cheering on the workers and leaving them at that. Papy gave his father an odd look. “Really, Dad? We just got here.”

Ding patted his shoulder sweetly. “Yes, but the kind doctor wanted me to help out! I’m not sure why, but I bet he’s part of it, don’t you think?”

Papy shrugged as Blue vibrated in place. “IT SOUNDS EXCITING!”

Ding nodded, waiting until the crowd thinned out so they could approach the gazebo. Papy slipped the thing in his hands into his pocket hoodie, but Ding spied it before he did so.

It looked…like a wooden mine with a heart carved into it?

How silly. His boys always found the most interesting things.

———————————————————————————————————————

Gaster knew it would come to this. He didn’t know when, exactly, but it was going to happen, either way. However, in the past he could pick up and move with nary a thought, but he had children to think about. He recalled his own father, spiriting him and his mother way at the slightest sign of trouble. No. That was a nerve wracking hellish existence. He’d never put his children through that.

He already had precautions in place, as it were. And with his new…alliance with ‘Dingy’, at least he could control what was revealed and what wasn’t.

They were modern people. They relied on laws and lawsuits and ‘protests’ to do what pitchforks and torches did back then. Gaster scoffed, pouring a cup of tea slowly, the house shaking with a boom as Edge mistook his timing and ended up launching a tombstone the wrong way. These people didn’t know fear, nor were they exactly the fearsome persons that their ancestors were. No, he would win this battle, he thought as he set the tea pot on a small tray that skittered away on spider legs.

He sat down, taking up his cup to slowly sip.

He had to. For his children.

Chapter Text

When the time comes, Ding rudely interrupts Gaster’s tea time by ringing the doorbell. The ghoul in the attic wails loudly as the bell makes a series of horrifying chimes. Gaster is out in the small greenhouse, sipping tea while nibbling small sandwiches as his smallest son goes around the giant venus fly trap they have and feeds the many heads little ferrets. His head snaps around towards the door, then looks at Gaster with wide eyes. Gaster sighs, putting his cup down with a clink. “Yes yes, go and greet them. I’ll put on a new tea. Tell Edge to be on his best behavior.”

Red nods, and neatly disappears towards the living room with small clicking steps. Gaster stands up, taking his tray with him to go and prepare a new pot of tea. Perhaps something citrus-y, with a bit of alligator…

Red opens the door slowly, the gigantic thing swinging inward as he stares out at the family on the porch. Ding looks marvelously at ease with a giant smile on his face and some file under his arm. The tall skeleton from last time was peering at a stray vine while the other-Blue?-was vibrating in place as he stared at Red. Red flicked his eyes up at Ding. “Hello.”

“Ah! Hello there! Is your father home? I’ve been told-”

“Come.” Red turns without much prompting, and lets them into the home. He leads Ding to a chaise, waving a hand at it for him to sit before lacing his arm with Blue’s. “Come.”

Blue squeaked, blushing bright and his brother snickering as Red led Blue away up the stairs. Ding smiled. “Oh Papy, don’t tease your brother. He’s got a new friend! It’s adorable!”

“Suuuure, pops.” Papy chuckled, taking a seat in the oddly spiky armchair. A giant clock ticked somewhere in the house, but it wasn’t too long until Gaster himself swept out of the kitchen with a tray of tea cups and…a smoking tea pot. Hm. He laid the tray on the coffee table before standing up with a wave to the tray.

“Dig in, then, tea is nicely boiled.”

Ding looked a bit nervous while Papy happily snatched up what had appeared to be a round red berry. He grimaced. It tasted…really tart. He didn’t much like it. Gaster took a seat in the other armchair, gracefully crossing his arms in his lap as he smiled at Ding. “You took a while.”

Ding perked up. “Sorry! Yes! I had to sign the boys up for school and activities and find out where the shops were…you know, all the fun moving…stuff.” He laughed nervously, scratching his cheek at the heavy look Gaster was giving him. He was still smiling, oddly.

“Indeed. I believe the last time I moved, the land was still formed together.”

…okay, that was a thing then. Ding easily sidestepped as he cleared his throat, Papy playing with the string on his hoodie. “Oh. Yes. Of course. Ah, well, you see! I am here because the Gleeful Construction company says they’ve been trying to reach you!”

“I haven’t moved.” That strange mysterious grin was still on his face. Ding bobbed his head nervously.

“Yes, I’m not sure why…they needed someone else to do it, but anywho! They seem interested in helping clean up your hill here! Planting flowers, making the house…” He looked around slowly. “…well, I like it, at least. Has a ‘museum’ feel to it.”

Gaster let out a soft huff. “Yes. I’d rather them not.”

Ding sat up quickly with a grin. “I know, they said it was inherited land or the like, but times are changing! Wouldn’t you like a nice bed of roses or, or a giant apple tree!” he was near bouncing in place himself at the idea of it all. Gaster merely gave him an amused smile as he watched him.

“Times are always changing. May I show you around? It wouldn’t do to talk business without having seen what you’re supposed to be arguing over.”

Papy bristled a bit-it sounded a bit like Mister Gaster was calling his dad not very bright-but Ding didn’t seem to mind as he gasped and shot up. “Absolutely! That sounds marvelous! It’s such a big home, I wondered how many rooms you did have!”

Gaster slid up so smoothly, Papy could only imagine a snake rising up from a coil that he’d seen online. Creepy. He stood near his dad as Gaster turned, crooking his fingers at them. “Follow me.”

——————————————————————————————————————

“ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THIS?”

Red had strapped Blue into a funny chair, dropping a silver bowl onto his skull although it didn’t block Blue’s vision. Red walked around his room easily, gathering up a few things. His bed looked exactly like a coffin, but the inside had lace around the edges, and for some reason was pale pink? There was a small bench looking thing at the end with a plush seat, a very soft carpet under their feet, and so many books! A lot of them!

…and dolls. Lots of them. Everywhere on shelves. So many were missing heads, some were holding their heads, some appeared to have button eyes.

They were cool!

But Blue wasn’t so sure playing ‘Death Row Prisoner’ was safe. Red could hurt himself!

Red stepped in front of Blue, patting his cheek with a sly grin. “Yes. Edge loves this game. You will too, I assure you.”

Blue blushed brightly at the touch to his cheek, seeming enraptured as Red slid his fingers slowly over his cheek as he stepped away to a large switch. “O-OKAY~ HOW UM, HOW DO I WIN?”

Red’s eyes glinted dangerously as he gripped the switch. “Survive.”

———————————————————————————————————

In Gaster’s library, where Gaster was happily showing a very large and ornate book to Ding that showed his heritage of this land, the lights flickered. Ding looked up nervously, Papy was busy spinning a globe with a grin. “Doctor, I think your lights are going out.”

“No no, Red’s just playing, the little scamp. I would suggest your son play with Edge, but Edge is busy studying.”

Ding perked up. “He is? What of? Mathematics?”

“History of Dynamite,” Gaster smiled. Ding laughed, shaking his head.

“Oh teenagers, they do have such odd interests! Now, you say there’s a swamp nearby? Would you not consider perhaps at least putting some peonies by it?”

——————————————————————————————————

Gaster and Red saw their guests off at the door. Ding seemed happy with their ‘progress’, Papy looked bored, and Blue…well he was positively lit up.

With strange soot marks on his cheeks and head, and stars in his eyes.

Ding had asked him if he and Red had fun and Blue nodded dreamily as they walked away from the mansion. “HE WAS NICE. CAN WE COME BACK AGAIN?”

Papy snorted. “We gotta if that weird construction company tells us, right, Dad?”

“Yes, but for now, we still have things and the like to unpack at home! Let’s go, boys!”

Papy’s groan echoed through the pathway as the gate shut behind them, and Gaster peered down at his son. “Death Row Prisoner, darling? Already?” Red’s eyes were wide and the eye lights were round like a cat’s as he nodded. Gaster sighed, gently placing his hand on Red’s head to lead them back inside. “How you boys grow up so fast…at least wait until your twenties before raising the dead with him, I’d rather not have little serial killers toddling around before you get to reign terror down.”

“Of course, Father. You should scold Edge as well, he gave away a naval mine to the taller one.” Red peered up at Gaster, his hand clutching at Gaster’s robe again. “If you don’t watch, you may get a firestarter on your hands instead.”

Gaster’s laugh and Edge’s offended sputtering-and proceeding boom as he threw a molotov at Red-echoed in the house as the doors shut behind them.

The town may think they have someone on their side, but oh how they underestimated Doctor Gaster. It wouldn’t take much to ensnare the man and his children into Gaster’s web so bad they wouldn’t dare dream of betraying him.

And with them on his side…with nothing to lose…

What a glorious, horrible day that will be.

Chapter Text

Ding had a secret.

It wasn’t a big secret, not really. In fact, it maybe might not even be considered a secret.

Ding had bad luck.

Not any normal bad luck either. The reason for their move was that while out on a field trip, Ding had lit a small candle, in the middle of a table with nothing around it. The candle wax dripped on the table, shattering the glass in an instant, and lit their house on fire.

He had already stacked up their storage with most things as they were moving for his job anyway, but still!!

It didn’t even keep to him! He recalled shaking Blue’s teacher’s hand when they had met, and the moment he had left the room, a pen flew out of someone’s hand and stabbed the teacher’s hand so deeply he needed stitches.

Everyone he came across had something bad happen to them, and everything bad happened to him as well.

Except for his sons. His lovely children. He had fallen in love with a college sweetheart, and they had managed to have two little boys within two years before tragedy struck. He tried so hard not to think about it, but rather kept up a jovial look for his children.

His bad luck never affected his sons, to his great relief. Nor did it affect anyone near them in a way that would harm them as well (Blue was being signed out when the incident with the pen had happened, and was in the hallway). They didn’t have his curse either, thankfully. But oh…how it upset him, sometimes. He could barely keep friends with it all going on, much less a…another romantic life…but. Then he met that strange doctor. There was just something about him.

Ding wanted to be closer, to know more about him. But he was sure somehow, someway, it would end so very badly.

But at least he had an excuse to visit now, even if he didn’t quite believe the construction company’s flimsy excuse. He knew they just wanted him to bully Doctor Gaster into giving up his land, for one reason or another, but that was just so mean! Not that they cared. They had some kind of…they weren’t very happy with the doctor. For some reason. Ding wasn’t sure of the friction between them and the doctor. Maybe he had said no before?

Didn’t matter. For now he concentrated on getting his boys to school, setting up his office, unpacking everything. It took longer than he thought, but at least they had the weekend free, right?

He doesn’t visit, though. That would be too fast, right? He just went to the doctor’s home. That’d be…well it would be annoying and Ding didn’t want to annoy the doctor. But Blue begged to go to see his friend, to give some gift he had. Ding laughed and nodded, patting Blue’s head. “Oh go on then, dear. Just be back before it gets too late! And don’t wander off!” he called after Blue as the boy sprinted out the door, boots knocking on the ground, bandanna waving in the air. Papy snickered.

“He’s gonna chat the kid’s head off.” Ding chuckled, shaking his head.

“Be that as it may be, Blue’s happy. Now, let’s go and dig out the rest of the kitchen utensils!”

“Booo…”

——————————————————————————————————————————

Blue ran as fast as he could to the gates of the dreary looking home. He kept a blanket covered item close to his chest, panting as he looked around. Red said to come here so-

“Blue.”

Blue’s neck snapped as his head turned in an instant, brightening up as he saw Red who was holding his parasol. “H-HI! I CAME! I UM. HAVE A GIFT!”

“How quaint.” The gate between them opened, Red taking a few steps back slowly, waiting for Blue to cross over as he held the blanket. He unraveled it, showing two odd dolls. Red raised an eye ridge, looking up at Blue. “I have many dolls.”

Blue blushed, nodding quickly. “Y-YES, BUT!” He held up the spiffy looking man in a tux. “THIS IS H. H. HOLMES! HE BUILT A GIANT UH, MURDER MANSION! I MEAN. IT WAS HORRIBLE B-BUT…INTERESTING!” He handed the doll to Red then showed the other, a woman in a dress. “RITA GLUZMAN! SHE CHOPPED HER HUSBAND UP WITH AN AXE!”

Red blinked, then his face turned the slightest shade of red. “You think I could kill with an axe?”

Blue nodded, smiling brightly. “YOU JUST WOULDN’T GET CAUGHT!”

Red seemed to sway a bit in place, then took the doll with a smile as he turned. “Come talk.” Blue happily raced after him, floating on the happy feeling that he had impressed Red with the dolls. Red led Blue to an outdoor greenhouse, where large furled plants grew around them, and the smell of wet earth permeated the area. Red shooed Blue to a small table with a teapot and cups, setting up the dolls on a windowsill nearby as he started to pour the tea. “Talk.”

Blue happily launched into a story about something, Red wasn’t quite paying attention. Instead he sipped his tea, watching Blue’s eager hand waving as he filled the silence with his noise. Red was definitely keeping him, if Father would let him. All the rest of the townsfolk were boorish, dull, frightened of them.

Blue willingly walked into the spiderweb and smiled without a care. Red liked that in a future husband. Sadly, Father did make him promise to finish his studies and wait until he’s a little older. He was patient, though, unlike his brother. Red was willing to wait, and keep Blue entertained. After all, they had to teach Blue about their world, it would take…an exceedingly long time.

But Red still couldn’t help imagining their own castle on a hill and the ability to go grave robbing whenever they please.

———————————————————————————————————————————

Blue came home, blushing and a little hazy, it looked like. He blushed harder when Papy teased him and fussed at him, while Ding just asked if he had fun. Papy and Ding headed to the kitchen to eat, and Blue paused, slipping his fingers into his bandanna. A little white cloth square was folded up, it smelled of the wet earth from the greenhouse along with a tinge of cherry.

Inside the cloth was a long, thin needle with a pointed end on both ends, and a promise to teach Blue how to use it when they met next.

Chapter Text

The rain, even with how light it is, runs people into their homes and away from the outside…except for Doctor Gaster.

…and Ding, of all people.

Gaster finds him standing in his own yard as he passed by, walking down the sidewalk. The house caught his eye, and then the skeleton standing in the yard, face tilted up to the slightly warm rain with a smile, not caring about his soaking close.

“Ding?”

Ding jerked violently, making a noise as he stared at Gaster before laughing. “You scared me!”

Gaster tilted his head, looking Ding over slowly. His sweater vest was dripping wet, and his pants had gotten soaked enough it seemed to stick to his legs. “It is raining.”

“I know!” Ding laughed, raising his hands up to the sky. “Isn’t it amazing?!”

Hmm. Gaster quirked a smile, watching Ding. “Indeed. My children adore thunderstorms.”

“Blue likes them, but Papy hides away in the house,” Ding explained, still smiling even as he rocked on his heels, letting the rain fall on him. Gaster really couldn’t say anything. He had no umbrella as well.

But it was like even the rain knew he was not to be touched, and he appeared dry as a bone to the naked eye.

“How darling. You haven’t been by in a while, I thought you had forgotten me,” he teased. Ding laughed nervously, rubbing at his cheek with a grin.

“Just been busy, getting the boys settled, setting up activities…the..usual,” he muttered. Gaster nodded, his hands cupped together as he continued to watch Ding.

“Come by then, I’ll have a tea set up. Your youngest can play with my child. I believe he’s been missing him.”

Ding laughed, stretching his arms up to the sky. “Blue talks about nothing but Red lately! It’s sweet, I hope it’s not an inconvenience.”

Gaster quirked a smile. “Not at all. My little vampire is just as enthralled in him. They’ll make great partners in crime.” Ding nodded quickly, letting his arms fall back down with a wet slap to his pants.

“Wonderful! We’ll pop by then, possibly this weekend?”

“Perfect.” Gaster smiled. “I shall see you then, sir.” With that, he turned, walking down the sidewalk as he did usually towards his home, leaving Ding to enjoy the weather.

——————————————————————————————

“It ain’t gonna work.”

Edge jerked his head up, scowling at the hoodie-wearing skeleton. Edge was setting up a line under the porch stairs, when someone stepped on it, it would unleash several pop fireworks, ending in a giant bomb that would propel a headstone to smash RIGHT into Red’s room! (Because he totally wasn’t jealous that some little miscreant was taking his brother’s attention, no way.) “WHAT DO YOU KNOW?”

Papy pointed at the pressure plate. “You set it up wrong. You put the wire in the middle, that’s too obvious.” He shrugged. “You should do the edges instead. Make it less obvious.”

Edge blinked, scowling at Papy, huffing. “HM. I’LL TRY IT, I SUPPOSE,” he grumbled even as he wrapped the wire around it and taped it down. Papy gave a thumbs up, shuffling off to the side as Edge hopped up.

“WHAT?”

“Was gonna watch.” Papy shrugged. “Looks fun. Who’s gonna step on it?”

Edge grinned maliciously, dragging Papy by the sleeve and shushing him as they hid in a bush. It seemed the target of his ‘prank’ was a portly man with a mustache that twitched every few minutes. He seemed to be grumbling, juggling two large books as he walked up the steps. He nearly stumbled with a yelp as he stumbled on the pressure plate.

Like magic each pop firework on the line was set off and the man yelled, scrambling to run in the house calling for Gaster. Edge nearly shook in excitement, bouncing in place. “5…4…3…2…1!!!”

…”Was something supposed to happen?”

Edge groaned, stomping around the house as Papy followed in amusement. The wire was wrapped around a giant mine that WAS buried under a headstone but was now being carefully stood on by the petite skeleton. “Brother, you aren’t very subtle.”

Edge huffed, stomping his foot. “YOU’RE NO FUN!”

Red blinked, twirling his parasol as he rocked on the mine, to Blue’s worried looks from below. “You’re explosive. However, I am willing to exchange an attack on my fragile window for a nail bomb.”

Edge lit up. “ABSOLUTELY!”

Papy snorted as Blue laughed nervously. “I-ISN’T THAT A BIT…DANGEROUS…THEN?”

Red peered down at him with that hazy gaze again. “Of course it is, dear, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides, I hate having to redecorate my room.” He hopped off it, and Papy did look on in shock, but Red slowly floated down with the dress in a bell fashion around him, the parasol twirling as he floated down.

Edge huffed. “SHOW OFF,” he muttered.

“If you insult me, you may get the bomb in your bed.”

Edge rolled his eyes, nodding. “FIIIINE. GIMME!”

Red tutted before winding his arm with Blue’s. “Very well. Come along.” Red led Blue between the gravestones, Edge nearly jogging to catch up as Papy shuffled after them. They sure were some weird kids…but neat all the same.

—————————————————————————————

The portly man wheezed in the armchair, dabbing at his face with a handkerchief. “It was brutal! Awful! I was nearly lit aflame!” Ding was busy patting his hand, looking a bit nervous as Gaster brought out some tea.

“Oh Mister Richard, it can’t have been that bad. Children play tricks all the time-”

“He’s trying to murder me!” Richard howled, and Ding looked over at Gaster with a frown. Gaster just looked amused as he settled on the couch, taking his cup in hand.

“If you wouldn’t react so much to his attempts,” Gaster explained, “He would lose interest. But every reaction eggs him on. Now, let’s get down to business.”

Richard grumbled, snatching up a cup and draining it. “You added whiskey! I think he’s forgiven.”

Gaster just smiled and Ding tried not to sigh. That was an emotional roller coaster to be sure. “What um, what are you doing here, Mister Richard?” Richard gulped his tea down, filling it up with the pot, not even daring to ask why his was refilled with whiskey.

“Yes, yes, well, you see.” He coughed, blotting at his face again with the handkerchief. “Dickens went on vacation to The Penitentiary-” lightning flashed through the window despite the bright blue clear sky. “And we all know how he is about informing others and keeping up to date with work, so I was voluntold.” Richard sighed roughly, taking another long draw of his ‘tea’. “Calibri wants to visit, but due to all the ah business with…” He made a motion at Ding.

“Ah the Gleeful Construction people?” Ding responded. Richard nodded, blowing his nose on his handkerchief before folding it up into his breast pocket.

“Yes, that. Well, more stress than it’s worth. She has invited you back to Alcatraz, you should take the boys one day.”

Gaster just nodded, and Ding felt very out of place. Richard patted one of the books.

“Well, check these over, make sure it’s all good, I’ll see you all later.” He rumbled up out of the chair, nearly stomping out of the house, and had Ding not seen how…jovial he was, he would have assumed he was steaming angry at Gaster. Ding sighed, finally taking a drink of his tea as he shot a confused look at Gaster.

“That was…interesting.”

Gaster nodded, placing his cup down before folding his hands in his lap. “Indeed. I had nearly forgotten the month’s time. I should have expected as much when Edge requested pop fireworks and a rocket. I haven’t heard an explosion, however. I suppose Red caught on.”

Ding just nodded again, giving a bit of a nervous smile. “Ah, well, yes, children and their tricks, yes?”

“Yes. Come, let me show you around the upper level of the house.”

Ding nodded eagerly, mostly to get away from the awkward tension, and he put his cup down to hurry after Gaster. One of the rooms Gaster showed him had old torture devices. Gaster explained his family had been during the witch trials, and had saved a few…items from it all. Ding looked at all of it slowly, the cuffs attached to the wall, the hanging chains…the Iron Maiden.

“Oh! What’s this?”

Ding reached over to an odd assortment of spears, but before Gaster could say, the moment Ding got close one of them swung free of its home and flew threw the air. It caught in a chain, which dragged itself down, and when it reached the iron maiden the spear smashed into it, forcing it closed as the chain comically wrapped around it tightly. If anyone had been near it, they would have been caught inside. Ding slowly turned to Gaster with a dark red face, sinking into his shoulders.

“…s…sorry?”

Gaster slowly raised an eye ridge, looking at the tied up Iron Maiden then back to Ding with a hum. “Interesting. I’ve never seen that happen before.”

Ding groaned softly, a hand coming up to rub at his face. “I’ve got…horribly bad luck, it always shows up at the worst of times,” he muttered. He didn’t see the way Gaster’s eyes flickered in intrigue.

“Oh?”

Ding sighed, nodding. “I used to kill plants in grade school, make volcanoes explode in science…that one time I shorted out the school’s computer system,” he mumbled.

Gaster’s eye sockets brimmed in darkness as he smiled, leaning closer to Ding. “How absolutely dreadful. Please, tell me more.”

A crack of dark lightening sounded outside, Ding never knowing exactly how he had gained the attention of a viper hiding in plain sight.

——————————————————————————————

The nail bomb went off splendidly, littering nearby cars with sharp nails along with their fence. Red easily deflected most of them with his parasol while Edge laughed manically and dodged everything by rolling around. Blue hid under the parasol with Red, frowning. “WHY DO THEY WANT YOU ALL TO LEAVE?”

Red shifted, tugging Blue’s hand up to hold the parasol with him, wrapping his hand around Blue’s. “We’re different. Father says when he was young, his parents weren’t as lucky, and our grandparents’ longest stay was on the edge of California for three months. Before the earthquake hit.”

Blue’s eyes widened. “OH UM. WHICH ONE?”

Red blinked. “The one that started the San Francisco fire, of course. The townsfolk blamed them. Which, they’re not exactly wrong.”

Blue frowned, tilting his head. “HUH? YOU CAN’T MAKE EARTHQUAKES JUST HAPPEN!”

“No, but an Earth God can.” Red’s eyes shone brightly as he stared at Blue. “When things happen, who do people blame? The ones who can reach through the Veil,” he whispered, leaning in closer. Blue could swear his breath had stopped, either at Red’s intense words…or how close they were as nails rained down among them. “But even we cannot soothe Gods and Deities, not when they’ve so been insulted. We can only beg.”

The nails stopped, and Red snapped his parasol shut, swinging it onto his arm to point down as he leaned back. “There’s nothing wrong here,” Red said, his eyes sliding from Blue towards the fence that was now dented. “But there’s that old primal fear of the Unknown. Rather than make a pact as their ancestors did, they wish to wash their hands of us in a way that doesn’t stain their souls with guilt.”

“B-BUT THEY WON’T, RIGHT?” Blue squeaked, now realizing his breathing had stuttered, blushing as Red’s arm wrapped with his.

“The future is what it is, Father will fight in the only way he knows how.” Red paused, looking into the distance as Edge and Papy started play-throwing the nails at each other, hissing fake insults covered in laughs. “The only reason he was allowed to stay is that he was useful. He still is, but they know not what they take advantage of.” Red laced their hands together, and started walking them back to the house.

“If you cheat Death enough times, he starts to get suspicious.”