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Gunpowder and Rose Petals

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Reaper stayed at the Gaster house the next couple days, most of his time spent cuddled up to Geno’s side and trying to help keep him entertained while he was on doctor mandated bed rest. No mention had been made yet about Reaper being allowed to go home, and while he did trust Mercy to have told Life and Respite something, Reaper would like to call them himself soon. He missed his brother and best friend slash boss. Currently Reaper was sitting next to Geno, the both of them propped up by a veritable mountain of pillows as Geno scrolled through his movie selection.

“Could go old school, watch something like Blade Runner or the original Star Wars.”

“Respite loves Blade Runner, it’s one of his favorite movies.”

“How’s he doing, by the way? I haven’t heard you mention him once.”

“Not sure, Mercy hasn’t given me my phone back yet.”

Geno sighed and sagged in place, he turned off the TV and dropped the remote. “Really?”

Reaper just shook his head, then remembered Geno couldn’t see him at that angle. “No.”

Geno rubbed the uninjured side of his face and sighed again. “And you didn’t ask me about that?”

“I guess I figured Mercy or your dad would do something eventually, they promised me he was fine and knew I was okay.”

“Wait, if they got your phone are they keeping you here against your will?”

“Technically they kinda are. I don’t mind staying though, you need me. But it would be nice to at least call Respite and talk to him myself.”

“You’re taking this whole situation a whole lot better than I would have expected.”

Reaper shrugged, “I had some time to think about it before you woke up.”

Geno sighed and rubbed his hand over the un-bandaged side of his skull again before letting it drop limply into his lap. “I just don’t get how you can be so calm!”

“I guess I just go with the flow.” Reaper had always been quiet and a bit of an introvert, it shouldn’t be so surprising he was being quiet about this. “I guess I’ve also been feeling kind of numb, or at the beginning when I suddenly got blindsided by that whole… mess. And uh… Error helped a bit.”

“Really? What’d he do?”

“He shoved me into Ink’s lap and told him to hold me while I cried. It was pretty damn surprising.”

“Heh, I bet. Expressing emotions is one of the things he has a hard time with.”

“No, I mean… well yeah that too. But what I meant was Ink didn’t flinch and push me away like everyone else. Actually everyone was pretty handsy while you were still missing, I didn’t notice it then but looking back it’s just so weird.”

Geno laughed, “Yeah? It’s ‘cause we’re all skeletons, dumbass.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“The magic holding us together is on the outside, it’s pretty uncomfortable to be inside that little uh… personal bubble field thingy? Except we’re built this way so we’re used to it. Not a lot of monsters are built like us, mostly just ghosts and some elementals. Also apparently monsters with bones inside them, like your boss lady, and humans find the feeling of bone to be pretty uncomfortable.”

That actually made a whole lot of sense. Reaper thought back to the closest thing they’d had to a parent, someone’s whose memory was worn thin and hazy by this point, and Reaper was pretty sure they were a ghost with a vessel of some kind, something with a lot of hands but no arms.

“Wait, am I really the first skeleton besides your brother you’ve ever met?”

“Yeah, didn’t I tell you that?”

“I don’t think so, but if you did I guess it didn’t register. Man, no wonder you went from complete stranger to a clingy koala bear in almost no time.”

“Your cute personality didn’t hurt either.”

Geno flushed, his face mottled red and cyan, “Shut up, I’m not cute!”

“Absolutely adorable.” Reaper put his arm over Geno’s shoulders and gently pulled him closer, careful not to press his injuries into himself.

“I’m not cute though, not like this.” He started to lift his right hand, then hissed with a wince and let it relax back into its sling.

“Nope, still cute.” Reaper gently cupped Geno’s face and turned him to face him, then leaned down for a chaste, brief kiss. “The only reason we aren’t going to town right now is I’m kinda afraid of your doctor.”

Geno laughed at that, face glowing brighter than ever. Once he calmed down he settled more fully into Reaper’s hold, twining the fingers of his left hand with Reaper’s right. “So… you planning on sticking around? Really? You’re not gonna dump me after everything my pops and bros put you through while I was gone?”

“None of that was your fault, but I wouldn’t mind an apology if you can talk them into one. Not Error or Karma though, Error really tried to help and Karma just wasn’t around.”

“I’ll see what the old kicked puppy look will get. But I’m serious, you finally figured out what my family does, right? For a living?”

“You mean the whole mafia thing?”

“Yeah, that.”

“I thought so. And I thought about that a lot too, I’m pretty upset you didn’t tell me sooner, that I had to find out when your family decided to keep me prisoner while you were getting tortured by some sicko. But I… just… it’s uh… you… I already knew your family was really rich and uh… I don’t… it’s…” Reaper huffed in frustration, unsure how to voice his thoughts. “I don’t want to give you up.”

“I’m in just as deep as any of them, I’ve done some pretty horrible things.”

“But not to other monsters, and not to me. So long as Respite doesn’t get sucked in as well I really don’t care.”

“He could be though, he could easily become a target because of your connection to me.”

“You have plans to protect him though, right?”

Geno scoffed, “Of course! Like I wouldn’t protect the people you love.”

Reaper nodded, “I thought so. But I’d like to tell him what’s really going on, I don’t want him left in the dark like I was.”

“Sure, but it’s best to do that in person. Can’t go leaving evidence around for any two bit hacker to steal off the cloud or whatever.”

“Really? You’re okay with me just telling him?”

“Yeah??? It’s not like it’s a big secret.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me?”

Geno winced, “It’s uh… it’s a bit complicated.” He paused for a moment, but when Reaper simply stayed silent he sighed and continued on, “At first I thought you knew, you were being really polite.”

“You’re obviously really rich, I’d heard so many stories of entitled rich people utterly destroying people’s lives over rude customer service.”

“Yeah, I figured it was something like that once you relaxed and got all chummy. It was nice to have someone who didn’t care about all the politics of rival families or trying to suck up to someone powerful for favors. I know it was selfish but I just wanted to enjoy it while it lasted, I thought for sure once you found out the truth you’d drop me like a hot potato.”

“If I had it would have been because you lied to me above anything else.”

“I know, I’m sorry.”

“Can you promise not to lie like that again? I need to know I can trust you.”

“I can’t promise not to keep some secrets, you not being in the know on some things is for your protection, plausible deniability and all that.”

“Then you can tell when something I can’t know about is happening and stay away for a few days, but I don’t like being lied to.”

“Ok, I won’t lie like that ever again, I promise. When there’s something going on that you can’t know about I’ll let you know to keep clear, and I’ll make sure the others know as well so we don’t ever have another shitshow like this again.”

Reaper nodded, “Good. Ok, I accept your apology.” Reaper leaned down and dropped a quick kiss on Geno’s skull.

Geno flushed all over again, then snuggled more comfortably into Reaper’s hold and sighed as he relaxed. “Angel above, I don’t deserve you.”

“Funny, I was thinking the same thing of you.”

“Shush, I’m injured, let me rest.”