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Holy Matriboney

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It’s nine o’ clock on a Saturday morning and you’re happily chewing on a handful of dry cereal, watching an infomercial for some kind of new space age Metaton-brand vacuum—with New Special-Grip Handle for monsters lacking opposable thumbs and/or hands!—when your phone starts ringing.

You glance down to see The Great Papyrus flashing on your caller ID.

You’re so comfy that you briefly consider letting it go to voicemail. But then you are immediately swept up in a powerful wave of guilt when you remember how Papyrus always picks up the phone by the second ring whenever you call him.

With a grunt and a stretch of underused muscles as you reach towards your coffee table, you pick up the phone.

“Hey Pap—”

“Clear your schedule!” he interrupts. “I, the Great Papyrus, am to be the Best Man in a wedding! And you, human, have the great honor of being my plus one!”

“Oh.” You blink. “Okay. When’s the wedding?”

“Noon today!”

“Wow. That’s… sort of short notice. I’m not sure if I can make it, Papyrus. I’m kind of busy doing…” You trail off, glancing at the video image of a dog vacuuming over a patch of snow. “I’m just busy. Can’t Sans be your plus one?”

“What?!” he shouts, sounding scandalized, “I can’t bring my brother as my plus one. Because he’s already invited! Besides, I want you to be there to see me be the best Best Man there is. Because you're one of my coolest, bestest friends!”

Oh no! The wave of guilt is coming back with tsunami-like proportions!

“I… guess I can make it. I’ll just reschedule a few things.”

“Great!” he beams. You can literally hear his smile over the phone. “Be here by ten!”

The call disconnects and you’re looking at your phone’s screen in a blank stupor. Begrudgingly, you pull yourself off the couch and shuffle away to your room. If you’re going to a wedding, you have to make yourself look halfway presentable. You put on the most formal outfit you own, stuff one last handful of dry cereal in your mouth, and head out to Sans’ and Papyrus’ home.

As you approach the front door, you hear voices arguing back and forth.

“Sans, you can’t wear slippers to a wedding!”

“Okay.”

“You can’t go in just your socks, either!”

“Okay.”

“Put some shoes on!”

“Okay.”

“Why are you wearing your slippers?!”

“You told me to put on some shoes.”

“Not your slippers!”

“Okay.”

“SANS!!!”

You smile to yourself and shake your head as you knock on the front door. There’s silence, then the sound of someone running down the hall before the door bursts open to reveal Papyrus wearing a tuxedo. Not just any old cheap rental tux either; he’s going all out. Cufflinks, a bowtie, and even a professionally-fitted jacket ending with a tail in the back! It’s hard to believe this is the same guy who spends the vast majority of his time wearing hot pants.

You let out a low whistle. “Looking sharp, Papyrus.”

His chest puffs out at the compliment, eye sockets closing and hands posed heroically at his hips. “Thank you! The Best Man must do his best to look his best and The Great Papyrus is the absolute best at besting!”

You let out another impressed whistle at his speech. Papyrus opens an eye socket at that, most likely curious about the strange noise you keep making with your lips and tongue, and his jaw drops when he gets a good look at you. His cheekbones take on a pink tint and beads of perspiration gather along his skull.

You follow his line of sight to see him staring very intently at your choice of attire.

“I know I don’t usually dress up like this.” You rub your arm self-consciously. “I hope I don’t look too weird.”

“OH MY GOD,” he says with his eyes angrily popping out of his sockets. “You must be joking! You’ll be the best-looking person there, second only to me of course! Don’t tell the happy couple I said that, though. NYEH HEH HEH! Now, come on in!” he says as he steps aside, holding the door open wide for you to enter.

First thing you see is Sans lounging on the couch. He’s wearing a tuxedo too but his shirt is wrinkled, his jacket’s unbuttoned, and his tie is just hanging loosely along his collarbone instead of being properly tied. He’s also still wearing his slippers instead of dress shoes. Honestly, you’re just impressed he went through the effort to put on actual dress clothes instead of a tuxedo T-shirt.

“Hey,” he waves lazily before eyeing you up and down. “Do you have a secret job as a janitor you’re not telling me about? Because you clean up pretty good.”

You duck your head. “Thanks,” you mumble. You’re too embarrassed by the compliment to groan at the cringe-worthy joke.

“If only the same could be said about you.” Papyrus crosses his arms over his chest, eyeing his brother critically. “Sans! Why are you still wearing your slippers?!”

“Because you got mad when I took them off.”

“Just put on your dress shoes!”

“Oh. Why didn’t you just say so from the beginning?” Sans pauses for a beat. “They’re in my room.”

“So go get them!”

“But it’s so far away.”

“Ugh. Fine, you lazybones. Since you are much too busy molding the shape of your tailbone into the couch cushions, it’s up to I, The Great Papyrus, to fetch those shoes so that my brother doesn’t look like a complete slob and embarrass me!”

“Thanks, Papyrus.” Sans grins. “You’re the best.”

“That’s why I’m the Best Man!” he sing-songs as he climbs up the steps. He’s about halfway up when he looks over his shoulder to you. “Please, make yourself comfortable. If the shoes have found themselves in the trash tornado, this might take a while.”

What?”

But he’s already up the stairs and slamming the door to Sans’ room shut behind him.

You turn to Sans. “Trash tornado?”

He just grins and unhelpfully shrugs his shoulders.

You feel sort of awkward standing there in the center of the living room so you gently plop yourself down on the end of the couch that’s furthest away from Sans. He’s staring at you. You pick at the material of your clothing that’s bunched up in your lap, making an effort to look anywhere but at him.

After about a solid three minutes of tense silence and the feeling of his eyeless sockets constantly on you, you finally give in. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah,” he holds up one end of his disheveled tie, “Can you knot?”

You frown. “You don’t knot a tie.”

“See? You already know more about ties than I do.”

You roll your eyes and heave an over exaggerated sigh but you still scoot over on the couch until your legs are touching so you can grab both ends of his tie. He turns his upper body to give you better access.

“Papyrus is really glad you decided to come. I know this was short notice and there’s probably other things you’d rather be doing on a Saturday than go watch some strangers get married with a couple of boneheads like us.” You look up from the tie but Sans is avoiding your eyes. “So, what I guess I’m trying to say is, thanks for always being so nice to my brother.”

You don’t have anything to say to that, mostly because you’re not sure what a proper response to that would be. Instead, you just make a noncommittal humming sound as you finish up with his tie.

“And there we go!” Sans grunts as you tighten the fabric around his neck. You lean back to admire your handiwork, chin resting on your knuckles. “Button up that jacket and put on a decent pair of shoes and we just might make a proper gentlemonster out of you yet.”

Sans somehow makes a noise that sounds an awful lot like a snort despite not having a nose or nostrils. “That sounds like it’s going tibia challenge.”

You roll your eyes. “That joke was pretty weak. Did you break your funny bone?”

“Hey, I don’t have to sit here and take your inskullts.”

“Good thing you don’t have any muscles, otherwise you might’ve hurt yourself with that stretch.”

Your playful banter is interrupted by the sounds of a struggle coming from upstairs. It continues for a few seconds before Papyrus comes bursting out of Sans’ room, slamming the door shut behind him, and leaning his spine back against the door frame as he takes a moment to collect himself. He huffs out a couple hurried breaths before he notices your stare and smiles.

“I got them!” he declares, holding a pair of polished dress shoes over his head.

Sans shoots his brother a thumbs up. You give him a concerned onceover. For the most part, he doesn’t look any worse for the wear though you do spy a wrinkled sock hanging off his shoulder. Papyrus notices your line of vision and immediately brushes the offending garment away once he sees it.

You raise an eyebrow. “Trash tornado?”

“Trash tornado,” he confirms.

The shoes are tossed Sans’ way and the smaller skeleton makes no effort to catch them; just ducks to the side to allow them to harmlessly bounce off the back of the couch.

“Now hurry up and put your shoes on, Sans! We have to leave soon or we’re going to be late!”

Sans grins as he puts on the first shoe, taking an exceptionally long time to tie the laces just for the sake of testing his brother’s patience. He’s just about to slip the second shoe on when he pauses. “Hey, what’s a shoe’s favorite musical genre?”

“Don’t—”

“Sole music.”

“I can’t take this!” Papyrus grabs his skull and screams. “I’ll be waiting in the car! And try not to dillydally!”

You and Sans exchange looks as Papyrus stomps away, slamming the front door with enough force to make the picture frames on the wall shake.

“Some people just have no taste,” Sans shrugs, “Though that’s to be expected, on account that he doesn’t have a tongue.”

Silently, you take the shoe out of Sans’ hands and slap him in the face with it.

Chapter Text

After a slight scare in which you almost murder one of your best friends with a shoe, the two of you finally head out the house. You feel kind of bad about hitting Sans for all of thirty seconds before he starts up again.

“Hey,” he says as he’s locking the door behind him, “What’s a shoe’s favorite kind of food?”

“Sans,” you frown, “I swear to God—”

Sole food.”

“Oh my God. You literally just told that exact same joke!”

“Nah. That other one was about music. This one’s about food.” He stuffs his hands into his pants pockets. “Those are two completely different things.”

You tug at your hair in frustration. “The punch line is exactly the same! They’re the same joke and you know it, you sad excuse for a comedian!”

Sans’ only response to that is a widening of his grin.

Now you regret not hitting him with the shoe harder.

Papyrus honks the car horn at you two. Whether it’s to hurry you up or put an end to Sans’ bad jokes, you’re not sure. Knowing Papyrus, it’s probably both.

You let out another low whistle as you get a good look at Papyrus’ cherry red convertible. You’re no automobile expert so you have no idea about the make or model or any of that, but you don’t need to be a grease monkey to know it’s a pretty nice car. It’s the type of car middle-aged men get when they realize they’ve wasted half their life and lost all their hair.

Which makes you wonder why Papyrus of all people owns a mid-life crisis car but you suppose that’s a question for another day.

With a call of, “Shotgun!” you hop into the front passenger seat of the little red convertible. You fasten your seatbelt and recline your seat back a little bit if only to ensure that Sans has less leg room if he chooses to sit behind you. He’ll probably still sit behind you out of spite. Also to kick the back of your seat during the trip.

But, instead of jumping into the backseat, you watch as Sans disappears into his tool shed only to roll out a bicycle.

You raise an eyebrow. “What’s that for? Will you be joining us or are you going out to deliver some newspapers?”

“As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news,” he says as he throws a leg over the bike, “I’ll be heading to the chapel solo.”

Your raised eyebrow rises above your hairline. “It’s a bit of a drive from here. Even more of a peddle, I imagine. Aren’t you worried about getting there late?”

“Don’t worry,” he grins, “I know a shortcut.”

Your eyebrow lowers and you look at Sans with a dull expression. “There is absolutely no way you’ll make it there on time if you travel by bike.”

Wheel,” he winks, “Maybe I’ll catch a brake. It might be a close call but I think I can handle it.”

For someone who doesn’t actually have eyes, Papyrus does a valiant job of giving the impression that he’s rolling them. “Don’t waste your time on my thick-skulled brother. Once he’s set his mind to be boondoggling about, it’s hard to convince him otherwise.”

Sans shrugs. “Yup, lazy and stubborn. That’s me right down to a t-bone.”

You want to argue more over the ridiculousness of the situation but remain silent for poor Papyrus’ sake. The two of you pull out of the driveway, leaving a grinning skeleton behind in your wake. Although all of Sans’ smiles seem to carry with them a sense of foreboding, you can’t help but feel there’s something particularly unsettling about this one.

It only takes twenty seconds worth of driving with Papyrus to figure out why Sans was so adamant about not joining you guys in the car.

You reach over and jerk the wheel to the side for the third time since this wild ride has begun, just narrowly missing the oncoming truck. It seems that Papyrus, as great as he is, has yet to master the difference between a dotted white line and a solid yellow one.

“Papyrus, you can’t cross a yellow line!”

“Of course I can! It’s easy, see?”

You scream bloody murder as you are again thrown into the middle of oncoming traffic, rushing across three lanes and almost getting T-boned by a minivan before you commandeer the wheel and get the two of you back into the correct side of the road.

“WHO GAVE YOU A DRIVER’S LICENSE?!?!”

“Wait!” Papyrus turns his head towards you. “You need a license for driving?”

“OH MY GOD KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD JESUS CHRIST!”

Papyrus doesn’t fight you as you grab his skull in your hands and forcibly turn his head so that he’s looking straight down the highway. He just hums cheerily along to the advertisement jingle of an MTT-brand electric toothbrush playing on the radio.

With these precious few seconds in which you are no longer staring down the face of DEATH, you’re able to take a moment to breathe deeply and collect yourself.

“Hey, Papyrus,” you begin, voice sickeningly sweet, “Maybe I should drive us the rest of the way there.”

“Nonsense! You’re my guest, after all.” Papyrus pauses to offer a friendly wave to the family of four shouting curses at him as he cuts them off. “And a guest of The Great Papyrus deserves the VIP treatment, including the thrill of being chauffeured around by yours truly!”

“Maybe so but you’re the Best Man which kind of makes you the guest of honor. If anything, I should be driving you.”

“Hmm…” Papyrus takes both his hands off the wheel to thoughtfully scratch at his mandible. Thankfully, you’re quick to reach over from your side of the car and grab hold of it before you can veer off and scrape against the car in the lane next to you. “Your logic is sound! I will allow you the great honor of chauffeuring me to the wedding!”

With your help, Papyrus manages to pull to the side of the road without crashing straight into a guardrail or tumbling the car down into a ditch. With you behind the wheel, the rest of the drive goes pretty smoothly aside from Papyrus whining at you that you’re losing every time a car passes you on the left.

When you pull into the church parking lot, Sans is already there.

“Hey.” He leans casually against the bike rack. “You two have a fun ride?”

“Sans!” Papyrus shouts in greeting, “You made it here before us!” He then turns to you. “See, I told you that you were losing.”

You don’t question how Sans beat you and Papyrus here. You’re beyond caring about that. You just step out of the car and head straight for him, vision turning red from either rage or a stress-induced popped blood vessel. The little skeleton is still smiling even as you bend down to grip the sides of his skull with both your hands.

“Why?” you ask, voice quiet and desperate as you shake Sans’ skull in your grip. “Why do you let him drive?”

“I knew he’d be okay. Papyrus already has plenty of experience,” he pauses to wink, “Driving people crazy.”

You scowl. “Maybe you should be the one behind the wheel because you’re driving me to drink.”

“Nah, kid, you don’t want me to take the wheel. Put me in control and you might get wrecked.”

You blink slowly, grip on his skull loosening. “Is that a sex joke, or…?”

“Hey you two!” Papyrus comes stomping your way, hands firmly planted on his hips. “Save your canoodling for later. Preferably at a place and time that is not just outside a church right before we’re supposed to attend someone else’s wedding!”

Your cheeks heat and you immediately release Sans’ skull. You cough, standing up straight and brushing imaginary dust off your clothes. Sans grins unhelpfully as he’s wont to do. Papyrus just rolls eyes that he doesn’t have and steps past the two of you to enter the church.

Following Papyrus’ lead, you enter the double doors of the chapel, Sans close behind you.

Even though you know it makes you look like ignorant human trash, you can’t help but stare slack-jawed at all the people around you. There’s a huge variation of different types of monsters scattered among the church pews. There are monsters with fur, some with scales, and quite a few that seem to be made of a gelatinous-like substance. It’s hard to tell but you think you might be the only human here. Definitely a lot of dogs, though.

The seats are already filling up fast and you and your friends are forced to pick out a pew near the back. You look to Papyrus, waiting for him to step into the pew first, but he simply stares you down with a mixed expression of distress and encouragement as he places his boney hand on your shoulder.

“It is with deep sympathy and regret that I say I am unable to sit with you during the ceremony. I play a very important role in the service, you see, and if I’m sitting back here I’ll be unable to perform my duties as Best Man. Sans can sit with you so you won’t be lonely. I will meet up with you again after the ceremony is finished so please don’t cry in my absence.”

“I’ll try but no promises.”

“Great!” He gives you an encouraging smile, phalanges squeezing gently at the bone and flesh of your shoulder. “I believe in you! But if you can’t contain your emotions, there are tissues at the ends of each pew.”

You roll your eyes even as you smile fondly at him. “Thanks, Papyrus.”

His hand lingers just long enough for it to be awkward.

You raise any eyebrow. “Don’t you need to be somewhere…?”

“Y-yes!” He jerks his hand away like he’s just touched a hot stovetop and coughs into his fist even though he has no lungs or throat to clear. Sweat beads down the side of his skull. “I’m a very important skeleton with very important places to be!”

He turns, back ramrod straight and arms tucked in tight against his sides. He takes a few awkward-looking long-legged strides away then pauses.

“Human,” he calls over his shoulder, “Please keep an eye on my brother in my stead. And Sans! You be on your best behavior!”

“Sure thing,” Sans replies with a lazy salute of his right hand. You can clearly see the fingers of his left hand crossing behind his back.

Papyrus disappears among the crowd of monster guests and just like that you’re left with Sans.

“Hey,” Sans nudges your elbow, “You want to smell my flower?”

You blink dully, sparing a glance at the fake-looking flower placed in the pocket of Sans’ tuxedo jacket that you know for a fact was not there two minutes ago. “No,” you answer, “I do not.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s obviously one of those gag flowers that’ll squirt water in my face. You’re so predictable, Sans.”

“Yeah,” he chuckles softly, “I guess I am.”

You’re still eyeing him suspiciously as you finally take your seat.

All eyes turn to you as the sloppiest, wettest-sounding fart noise echoes loud in the chapel and is clearly coming straight from the vicinity of your butt. You don’t have to look down to know what has just happened; Sans’ shit-eating grin is the only confirmation you need.

He winks at your mortified expression. “Your ass has just been whooped.”

Noticing all the eyes on you, your knee-jerk reaction to the embarrassment is to release an ear-piercing screech of, “IT WASN’T ME!” Shouting, however, is obviously the wrong move because it just makes even more people turn in your direction, thus resulting in even more people associating your face with the all-intrusive sound of a loud fart in a quiet room.

Didn’t anyone ever tell you that the one who denied it, supplied it?

You slowly seep down into your pew, willing yourself to disappear. Maybe you can seep all the way down to the floor and just bonelessly ooze your way out of the chapel without anyone noticing.

“Hey,” Sans nudges your arm again with the pointed edge of his elbow, “Don’t feel so down, buddy. Look at the bright side.”

What bright side?” you groan miserably.

You somehow manage to keep a straight face as a weak stream of water hits you in the cheek. You blink slowly as the water drips down your chin, your eyes narrow and lips set in a firm line.

Sans grins. “You were right about the flower.”

Chapter Text

The only thing that stops you from pulling off your shoe and smacking Sans in the face for a second time today is the fact that you’d rather not cause a larger scene than you already have. Instead, you settle for briskly wiping off your face as you keep an unblinking glare on Sans.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than that to unnerve Sans, mostly because he doesn’t have a central nervous system. He also doesn’t have eyelids so he pulls the whole creepy staring shtick off a lot better than you do. You soon grow bored of staring at his shit-eating grin and turn your gaze to survey the chapel.

For all intents and purposes, it’s just like any other generic sort of church. The room is large and with high ceilings, stained-glass windows, and an old pipe organ in the corner. Sitting at the organ is a small ghost who seems to be playing something soft and spooky in the background despite not having any arms.

Each pew is packed with monsters of varying shapes and sizes. You should consider yourself lucky that you and Sans managed to find seats together because there’s hardly a space left unfilled. Of course, some of that has less to do with the amount of people attending and more to do with the size of the people attending. There’s a giant smiling octopus monster sitting in the back that fills up one whole pew all by himself!

While you distract yourself with people-watching, it doesn’t escape your notice that there are an awful lot of cameras everywhere. Granted, you suppose it’s not that unusual to see a bunch of video cameras at a wedding. It’s the camera crew, Hollywood-level of professional equipment, and flurry of people with headsets and notepads that throw you for a loop.

“Hey,” you tap Sans on the shoulder, deciding that you’re done being mad at him as long as he can make himself useful and answer your questions. “Is this being broadcasted?”

“Yeah. Apparently it was the only way Mettaton would agree to officiate the wedding.”

“Oh? Mettaton’s here?” You dart your head left and right, skimming the crowd for any sign of the celebrity. “Would it be in bad taste for me to ask him for an autograph?”

“Yeah, so it would be out of character if you didn’t.”

Because you’re a mature adult, you resist the strong urge to smack Sans in the mouth. Instead, you stick your tongue out and blow a raspberry.

“Hey, kid. Say it, don’t spray it.”

You roll your eyes. “Oh my God, that expression is ancient. Where have you been living this past century, under a rock?”

Sans pauses a moment to arch a single eye ridge at you. “Under a mountain, actually.”

“Oh.”

It hasn’t been all that long since monsters have come up to the surface world after their exile beneath Mount Ebott. You feel like a jerk for bringing it up, even if it was entirely accidental. This is supposed to be a happy day and here you are, mucking everything up by bringing up the sad times.

“Sans,” you start, finding it difficult to meet his eye sockets but forcing yourself to do it anyway so he knows you’re sincere. “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine.” He stuffs his hands in his pockets. “You don’t have to apologize, though I appreciate the sediment.”

You blink owlishly. Did he just…?

“I mean, we monsters have been below ground for so long that you humans started to think we were a myth. Under those circumstances, it’s no wonder you might take something like that for granite.”

You scowl. “I take back my apology.”

“Now that’s just stone cold.”

You bury your face in your hands. “Please stop,” you mumble against the heel of your palm.

“Aww, come on.” The pointed edge of his elbow digs into your side as he nudges you. “You and I both know that you think my jokes rock.”

Your only response is a muffled groan.

Before Sans can make another geology-themed pun, the organ music changes from soft background music into something loud and attention-grabbing. You settle back into your seat, facing forward with your hands folded in your lap. The tune is familiar but sounds nothing like any church music you’ve ever heard before. You strain your ears trying to figure it out when, finally, it hits you:

They’re playing the opening theme for Mew Mew Kissy Cutie.

They’re actually incorporating music from an anime into their wedding and the only thing sadder than that is the fact that you know enough about anime to recognize it in the first place.

“Oh my God. What is life?” you groan audibly and the buff bipedal wolf monster sitting in the pew behind you shushes you.

You quiet yourself down if only because being shushed in church by a burly wolf man wearing a tuxedo top and a pair of ripped jean shorts makes you begin to question your life choices.

You instantly perk up as Papyrus walks down the aisle, a bridesmaid hanging on each arm. On his left is an anthropomorphic cat girl and on his right is an anthropomorphic alligator girl. While your focus would normally be on thinking of ways to tease Papyrus about having two lovely ladies hanging off his arms, you’re distracted by the odd choice of apparel both girls are sporting.

You raise an eyebrow as you turn to Sans. “Are they seriously wearing kimonos?”

“Kimono. I think those are actually yukatas.”

“Same difference.”

“No, it’s not the same as a kimono because it’s a yukata. As in, yukata kimo-know the difference between the two.”

You stare at Sans with a dour expression. “First of all, you’re wrong. Second of all, if you think I won’t strangle you here and now just because we’re in a house of God and there’s at least dozens of witnesses then you have severely misjudged my character.”

He shrugs.

Meanwhile, you pull out your phone and search yukatas on Google. You scroll angrily through your results for all of two seconds before you find all the evidence you need.

“You piece of living garbage; yukatas are a type of kimono. I was right.” You elbow Sans in the ribs before holding your phone out to him, the Wikipedia page for yukatas displayed on its screen. “I bet you didn’t even know what you were talking about. You just wanted to argue with me so you could make some stupid puns.”

Sans says nothing but the widening of his grin is the only answer you need.

The wolf monster sitting behind you shushes you again but you ignore it.

You lean back into your seat and huff out a long sigh. “How are we even friends?”

“Because Papyrus is friends with everyone and I’m his friends’ friend by association.”

“Yeah, that sounds about right.”

At this point, Papyrus and the bridesmaids have already reached the altar, Papyrus taking his place on the right and the girls standing to the left. Papyrus stands in place, back ramrod straight and chin held high. He catches your eye and immediately beams, waving excitedly at you and Sans. Discreetly, you wave back. Sans not-so-discreetly grins and holds his thumb up high in the air, not caring who sees. You feel like a proud parent at your third-grader’s first school play.

The sound of several monsters awing and cooing gets you to pull your eyes off of Papyrus and towards the back of the church again. While other guests pull out their cameras to take pictures, you just stare as a human child makes their slow trek down the aisle, spreading golden flower petals in their wake. Their expression is serious, mouth is set in a firm line and looking determined as they evenly distribute flower petals down the aisle.

A large flower with a face peeks out from the child’s pocket and you swear that you hear it muttering complaints under its breath as the child passes you by.

You want to turn to Sans and ask him if he saw the flower too—if only to confirm that he didn’t and you truly are sliding down the slippery slope of insanity—but the music changes from the anime’s opening song to the main protagonist’s theme before you get the chance and once again everyone’s attention is drawn to the back of the chapel.

Two monsters—the happy couple, presumably—slowly begin to make their way down the aisle. On the right is tall woman with a face like a piranha and flaming red hair. On the left is a stout woman with golden scales and a thick tail that drags across the floor in lieu of a wedding veil. As the women walk they clasp their hands tightly together and even though they’re moving towards the altar they don’t look forward. They only have eyes for one another.

When they reach the altar they keep their fingers intertwined.

The bride on the right is wearing a suit of armor. It’s a little unconventional but you suppose that it’s not too out of the ordinary; just the monster equivalent of a Marine wearing their dress blues. It wouldn’t even be worth mentioning if she wasn’t also wearing pointy anime shades and holding an ungodly huge spear. Her hair blows dramatically behind her despite the fact that she’s inside. Then you notice the fan plugged into the wall next to her. Holy crap, what a nerd. You’re not at all surprised that she and Papyrus are close friends.

At least the bride on the left looks like she’s taken the more traditional route, wearing a white dress with ruffles and ribbons and lace aplenty. Granted, the dress seems to be styled more like a Japanese school girl uniform than a typical wedding dress and the cat ears on the headband of the veil is a rather bold choice on her part but, hey, who are you to judge? You’d probably be wearing sweatpants right now if it was socially acceptable.

There’s a lull in the service as the music comes to an end and the brides just sort of stand their awkwardly while the whole room watches their every movement.

Five more seconds of unnecessary quiet and Mettaton pops up from behind the podium in an explosion of glitter and uncooked grains of rice. He’s left behind his boxy original body in favor of his more human-like Mettaon EX form. You can only assume it’s because his pretty-boy yaoi face better fits in with the anime motif.

“Welcome beauties and gentle darlings to the special televised event we’ve all been waiting for: the marriage of Undyne, the Captain of the Royal Guard, and Alphys, the official Royal Scientist!”

A bright pink neon sign hanging along the back wall behind the altar flashes the words APPLAUSE NOW. The monsters around you burst into a fit of applause, cheers, and wolf whistles—by an actual wolf in the case of the monster in the seat behind you—and you just sit there silently while you try to figure out if this is real life.

“I’m your host and Master of Ceremonies, Mettaton!”

He pauses to blow a kiss to the cameras and lifts one of his legs so high in the air that toe of his boot is pointing straight up to the ceiling. The cat and alligator bridesmaids at his left grab each other by the arms and squeal loudly.

“But folks,” he steeples his hands together, folding them so he has a place to rest his chin. “We’re gathered here today for more than a celebrity wedding. We’re here because these two care for one another so much that they want the whole world to know. This is more than just an important political event in monster history. This is more than a TV special. This is a celebration of true love.”

The neon sign changes from APPLAUSE NOW to COO AFFECTIONATELY. The monsters around you obey as if in a trance. You and Sans share a look.

“Now, I could stand here and talk about love until your ears—or alternate hearing appendages—fall off but I would be doing a huge disservice to not only all of you but to love itself.” He slams his fists against the top of the podium, hamming it up in typical Mettaton fashion. “Because love is not measured in flowery words and spoken niceties. No. It’s measured by the actions of the ones who are at its mercy.”

Mettaton flips his hair out of his face with his raised leg still pointing towards the ceiling. The neon sign now reads QUIET APPLAUSE.

“So let us take action today as we witness these two unite in holy matrimony.” He lowers his leg back to the ground only to raise the other sky-high as he throws his head back dramatically. “Now who here will be giving these lovely ladies away?”

A large mountain of a monster raises his hand as he steps up from one of the front pews and makes his way to the front. The intimidating size of his physique and sharpness of his horns is betrayed by the gentle smile on his face.

“Wait,” you turn back to Sans. “Is he the father of both the brides?”

“Nah,” Sans shrugs. “He’s the king of all monsters but he kind of played a paternal role in both of their lives, what with them both having highly-respected positions in the royal court and all.”

“King of all monsters, huh? Would it be in bad taste for me to ask him for an autograph?”

“Shhhh!” hisses the wolf monster behind you.

You twist around to face him and respond with a “SHHHHHHHH!” of your own, twice as loud and drawn out.

The wolf stares at you, wide-eyed, looking unsure how to respond. You turn back in your seat with a smug grin, feeling strangely accomplished and also kind of like an asshole.

Meanwhile, up front where your attention should be focused, the monster king just kind of awkwardly smooshes the brides closer together before gently patting them on the heads and going back to his seat.

“Thank you, your majesty. At this time, the brides shall exchange their vows.” Mettaton stares into one of the cameras and winks even though the situation really doesn’t warrant one. “Alphys, will you please begin?”

The stout lizard woman flushes, audibly gulps, then takes a deep breath before finally beginning. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that Senpai would notice me.”

Oh my God, how did you get wrapped up into this weeaboo’s wet-dream wedding horseshit?

Unaware of your derogatory inner monologue, she continues. “I know I haven’t always been the most honest person. I lied and pretended to be someone cooler than I am because I wanted you to like me. Even if the person you ended up liking wasn’t really me at all.”

The smile on her face turns bittersweet, eyes downcast as she gets lost in thought.

“But I thought that would be okay because I figured no one could ever like me so, maybe if you liked the illusion of me—the me that I presented myself to be—then that would be enough.” She brings her full attention back to the woman at her side, her eyes filled with love and adoration. “But you took the time to get to know the real me and love me in spite of all my lies and mistakes and my many inadequacies. Undyne, you make me want to be a better person. You make me want to be the person you believe I can be. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to meet those high standards, but I’m prepared to spend the rest of my life trying as long as you’re there at my side.”

Slowly, so as not to draw any attention toward yourself, you reach for the box of tissues at the end of the pew.

Sans catches you, his ever-present grin widening. “Oh my God, are you crying?”

“Shut up, Sans!” you hiss under your breath.

He tilts his head to the side, sockets lighting up like he’s holding back laughter. “You don’t even know them.”

“I said, shut up!”

While you might be a wreck, Undyne up front is a beautiful combination of hot mess and beaming. Her whole face is purple from the intensity of her blush and wet streaks drip from the corner of her eye and the slit of her nostrils. Still, her thin lips are parted in a happy shark grin that stretches across her face from fin to fin as she stares down Alphys with a look in her eye of pure unadulterated adoration. Undyne takes a moment to bask in the feelings surely fluttering through her chest before clearing her throat to begin her own vows.

You pointedly ignore Sans’ grin as you grab a handful of tissues as you prepare yourself for yet another tear-jerking speech.

“Alphys,” Undyne begins, “You are a huge nerd. But I think your passion for nerdy things makes you smokin’ hot.”

There’s a long, stagnant silence.

Mettaton’s lip curls. “Is that it?”

“N-NO!”

Undyne looks to Papyrus, flustered and drenched in sweat. Papyrus offers her two thumbs up and an audible wink. Revitalized by Papyrus’ encouragement, she turns back to Alphys, bringing the shorter girl’s hands so close to her mouth that she could kiss her knuckles.

“Alphys,” she begins again. “You say that I inspire you to be a better person but, the truth is, the only reason I am the way I am is because of you. I might be cool because I like to do cool things like bench-pressing stuff and chucking spears, but you’re equally cool for liking geeky things because you love them so shamelessly. And your unabashed passion for what you love made me realize that love is never something to be ashamed of in the first place.”

She pauses to press her mouth to Alphys’ knuckles. The corner of her lips curl at the high-pitched sound that squeaks its way from the back of Alpyhs’ throat.

“I’m so honored that I get to be one of those geeky things that you shamelessly love. And I’m proud to say that you’re the geeky thing I love most of all.” Another pause as she strokes her fingers over the knuckles she’s previously kissed. “I also know that it’s hard to take words like that at face value when you think that you’re unlovable. That’s why I vow to spend the rest of our lives loving you with the unbridled passion you’ve taught me. And I look forward to proving to you how truly loveable you are.”

Sans snorts as you reach for another tissue. You retaliate by kicking him in the shinbone.

“Thank you both for those beautiful vows!” Mettaton’s head spins at a 360 degree as if that’s a perfectly normal way to express excitement. For all you know, maybe it is. You don’t really know enough about monster culture to dispute it. “This is it, lovelies. In a matter of seconds, these two are going to bonded in the sanctity of marriage. If there’s any reason these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace.”

“Hey, you all better keep your mouths shut if you know what’s good for you! If I hear any of you chumps object then I’ll suplex you with the force of a raging storm!”

“Undyne!”

“What? I will.” She flashes Alphys a sharp-toothed smile. “This is our day and I won’t let anyone stand in between us, babe.”

Mettaton raises a single, perfectly-primped eyebrow. “You know, that would’ve made a half-decent wedding vow. Maybe you should have started off with that first.”

It’s hard to tell from your seat near the back so you can’t be too sure but you think Undyne mouths the words, “Fight me.”

Mettaton simply smiles at the camera. “With the power invested in me by King Asgore and that online course I took two days ago, I now pronounce you wife and wife. You may smooch the bride!”

Undyne grabs her newly betrothed lizard wife by the waist, dips her so low to the ground that the spikes on the back of Alphys’ head nearly scrape the floor, and then proceeds to slobber messily all over her face.

You blink slowly. Five years ago, if someone had told you you’d witness a dinosaur and fish make out, you’d probably laugh. Now, it’s just another typical day in your life. You’re not entirely sure how you should feel about that.

Undyne effortlessly picks up Alphys, tosses the lizard woman over her shoulders in a fireman’s carry, and charges down the aisle with a battle cry of, “I’m married now! SUCK IT, NERDS!” A tune that you vaguely recognize as Mew Mew Kissy Cutie’s ending theme is hastily played on the organ as it attempts to match the newly-married fish woman’s pace.

When Undyne reaches the back of the church, she stops just long enough to kick open the chapel door so hard that it falls off its hinges and clatters to the ground with a heavy sound. She spends all of half a second to be apologetic before dashing away.

Just as they’re out of sight, Alphys tosses a bouquet of flowers over her shoulder. It lands on the fallen door and a several monsters dive for it, piling on top of each other and kicking up clouds of dust in the struggle.

Service presumably over, you pull yourself up out from the pew to make your way towards where the reception is being held. Sans follows close behind.

“So,” Sans starts, waiting for you to glance back at him before continuing. “How’d you enjoy your first monster wedding?”

“Actually, it wasn’t all that different from a human wedding, assuming that the humans getting married are complete anime trash-loving lesbian weirdoes.” You smile fondly. “It was nice.”

He stuffs his hands deep into his pants pockets. “Good. Glad to hear it.”

“Human! Sans!”

You perk up at the sound of Papyrus’ voice, turning towards it source. You watch as the tall skeleton makes his way through the crowd of monsters. It takes a little longer than necessary for him to reach you because he insists on apologizing to every monster he bumps into but eventually he’s standing before you and Sans with a smile so warm it could melt butter.

“I’ve returned! And look!” Papyrus shouts. “I caught the bouquet!”

You try not to gag as a tasteful-looking floral arrangement is shoved unceremoniously in your face, a bristle of baby’s breath poking into your open mouth. Gently, you place your hand over his wrist and force him to slowly lower his arm.

“That’s nice, Papyrus, but I think the bouquet toss is just meant for girls. Usually the garter toss is for the guys.”

“Okay, but what do they toss for the skeletons?”

You blink, not expecting the question. “Umm…”

Sans stuffs his hands in his pockets. “Maybe they’ll throw you a bone.”

Several dog monsters dressed in suits of armor perk their ears, looking towards Sans expectantly.

“Sorry guys.” He holds his arms up in a placating gesture. “False alarm.”

The guard dogs let out a couple pitiful high-pitched whines but it’s nothing that a good scratch under their chins can’t fix.

With the guards contented, you turn back to Papyrus with a sly grin. “You know, traditionally, whoever catches the bouquet is said to be the next person to get married.”

Papyrus’ face turns pink.

“Guess we know whose wedding we’ll be attending next time, huh?” Sans nudges Papyrus playfully, grin shifting to a leer. “So, bro, who’s the lucky monster? Or human?”

“S-Sans!” Papyrus’ eyes dart nervously between you and Sans, his cheekbones flushing darker by the second.

Taking pity on him, you step between Papyrus and Sans, linking your arms with both brothers. “Hey, let’s hurry up to the reception hall and get ourselves some grub. I’m starving.”

“I know the feeling. I’m nothing but skin and bones over here,” Sans pauses, looking you straight in the eye. “Sans the skin.”

You and Papyrus share equal looks of disdain as you roll your eyes.

Chapter Text

After a quick peek at the seating chart, You, Sans, and Papyrus find yourselves sitting at a table with six dogs. Or, rather, five dogs and some kind of gooey mass that might be one dog or many dogs combined into one vaguely dog-shaped form. Even with a gaping hole for a face, it looks very pettable.

Supposedly, the lot of them are fellow members of the Royal Guard. It’s kind of hard to imagine that when at least half of them are pressing their heads against your lap in an effort to get you to pet them.

“Guys, please, I only have so many hands.”

But your protests go ignored as Greater Dog nuzzles his head against your left palm and Lesser Dog stretches his neck from across the table to press his head against your right hand. Doggo squints from across the table, eye darting back and forth and ears twitching at every little sound. Dogamy and Dogaressa whine a little at your lack of attention but soon grow bored and begin petting one another.

From your prison of soft dog fur—and goop, in Endogeny’s case—you glance at Papyrus and Sans. “Can you give me a hand?”

Sans stares you dead in the eye as he claps his hands together in quiet applause.

“That’s not helping!”

“Oh no,” he leers. “You sound pretty mad. Does that mean I’m in the doghouse now?”

“Still not helping!”

Papyrus, on the other hand, stands from his seat, elbows bent and metacarpals pressed flat to the table as his eyes scan over each of the dogs. “Am I looking at members of the Royal Guard or a bunch of lapdogs? Just because it’s Undyne’s wedding day doesn’t mean she won’t see fit to whip you into shape if she thinks you’re getting soft.”

At the mention of Undyne, the guard dogs all sit up ramrod straight with their tails stilled and their paws tucked firmly in their laps.

You look at Papyrus in awe.

He notices your staring, cheekbones tinting with color as he brushes his coattails behind him and takes his seat. “What?” he asks, beads of sweat forming across his scalp.

“I’ve never heard you talk with that kind of authority before. It was…” You pause, searching for the right word. You settle for, “Impressive.”

“Yes, well,” Papyrus pauses to clear his throat, though—considering he doesn’t actually have one to clear in the first place—you suspect he’s just trying to cover up how the color is spreading from his cheeks to the expanse of bone that surrounds his nasal cavity. “As a member-in-training and potential future Captain of the Royal Guard, one must know how to speak with authority in order to help whip their men into shape!”

No words come out of Sans’ mouth but the way the lights of his eyes dart back and for the between you and his brother and the widening of his smile speaks volumes.

Papyrus must have some kind of sibling-centric sixth sense for detecting Sans’ smugness because he turns to scowl at his brother. “Now if only I knew how to whip you into shape.”

“What are you talking about, bro? I’m already in shape. I’m well on my way into becoming a perfect circle.”

“Don’t,” says Papyrus.

Sans ignores him. “I’d be happy to give you the details, but it’s kind of pointless.”

“DON’T,” Papyrus repeats, a little louder.

“Sorry, bro, I didn’t mean to strike a chord.” Sans winks. “When I start making math puns, I just can’t help but go off on a tangent.”

“THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!”

The brides must have entered the reception hall sometime while you were busy drowning in dogs because they’re already seated at their special table at the head of the room and the catering staff is beginning to bring out dishes to the tables.

Your food is brought out to you by anthropomorphic cat monster with peach-colored fur and an uncomfortable forced smile. Greater Dog raises his hackles and growls at the server but you’re quick to distract the big fluffball with a scratch behind his ears. You give the server a genuine smile as he places the dish in front of you and he returns it with a somewhat grateful grin that is slightly less strained but still rather painful-looking.

You offer him a casual wave as he leaves to return to the kitchen. He doesn’t return it; just gives you an odd stare before he walks off. The guy is kind of awkward but so are you so you don’t take offense.

You do, however, take offense to whatever-it-is that is currently sitting on your plate.

You scrunch up your nose. Free food is supposed to be the best part about going to a wedding but you’re not sure if the strangely-colored assortment of odd textures and smells is even edible by human standards.

You glance over to Papyrus to see him expertly navigating through the excessive amount of silverware in front of him as he daintily cuts his meal into tiny little bite-sized pieces. Well, bite-sized if the person eating has a mouse’s mouth. He brings the first bite to his teeth, chews it for a disproportionately long amount of time for its size, then swallows it down with a smile before going in for the next bite.

You shift your line of sight towards Sans’ direction. He’s picking at his teeth with his fork, plate already empty. He catches your eye, winks, and pats his stomach in satisfaction.

You look back down to your own plate. The meal still looks as unappealing to you as it did thirty seconds ago but Sans and Papyrus seemed to like it so it can’t be all that bad. Never mind the fact that Papyrus sometimes uses arts and craft supplies as cooking ingredients and Sans drinks ketchup straight from the bottle. You’re just satisfied knowing that eating this meal will probably not kill you.

You raise a forkful of some kind of flaky substance that smells an awful lot like fish sticks up to your lips. Just before you can open your mouth to take a bite, you hear a chorus of high-pitched whines.

You look up from your meal to see every single one of the guard dogs staring at you.

You pull your fork away from your lips. “Why the heck are you all looking at me like that? You literally have a plate of your own with the exact same meal on it.”

They just keep staring at you with big, round eyes. With the exception of Endogeny who kind of just oozes at you in a strangely irresistible way. You can feel your determination diminishing drastically. How are you supposed to withstand a puppy-eyed stare from monsters with literal puppy eyes? That’s not even fair.

“Oh my God, fine! Just take it!” You push your plate out in front of you and it’s immediately attacked by every dog at the table. You lean back in your chair and huff. “I don’t even care anymore.”

It’s probably for the better. The food didn’t look all that appetizing in the first place. You swear, if you ever get married, you’re just going to make the reception meal something like macaroni and cheese or hotdogs.

Meals eaten and, in the case of the guard dogs, plates licked clean, the catering staff clear the dishes from the tables as the wedding guests begin to leave their seats to mingle.

The guests aren’t the only ones making their rounds, either. You can feel the floor shaking beneath your feet from the weight of Undyne’s heavy armored footsteps as she comes charging your way with a sharp-toothed smile on her face and Alphys held high above her head.

“And how are my favorite royal guardsmen in the whole wide world doing?” Undyne shouts before gently placing her wife back onto the ground.

You stand up from your seat and watch in wide-mouthed awe as all the dogs—and Papyrus—swarm around Undyne in a flurry of wagging tails, excited panting, and wet noses. Undyne laughs as she’s assaulted with wet kisses and warm nuzzles. Alphys hesitantly reaches out and pets the giant gooey doggie amalgamation and it makes pleased void-like sounds at the touch.

“Hey, quit slobbering all over me! I’m a married woman now! That’s Alpyhs’ job.”

“U-Undyne!” Alpyhs squeaks but her voice can hardly be heard over her wife’s boisterous laughter and the excited barks of the guards.

“Alright,” Undyne holds her hands out in front of her face but it does little to protect her from the onslaught of affectionate waggling doggy tongues. “That’s enough, that’s enough!”

“You can hardly blame ‘em for drooling all over ya,” Sans says from a spot immediately at your left, hands casually stuffed in his pants pockets. You have absolutely no idea when he got there. “After all, the two of you are looking rather fetching today. Speaking of,” Sans trails off as he brings his closed fist out of his pants pocket.

His hand is obviously empty but all of the dogs follow the back and forth motion of his fist with rapt attention. Sans pulls his fist back like he’s winding up for a pitch, thrusts his hand forward, and opens his fingers.

In a flurry of motion, the dogs turn heel and dart across the reception hall in chase of the nonexistent ball. Papyrus almost joins them but you manage to hook your arm in between his and hold him in place before he can dash away. He only looks mildly inconvenienced for a split second before he realizes he’s engaged in friendly contact and a winning smile splits across his face.

“Are they going to be okay?” you wonder aloud as the dogs collectively charge across the dance floor, just narrowly avoiding a caterer with an armful of plates and knocking a short fire elemental flat on their ass.

“Don’t worry.” Sans pats your arm lightly. “I’m sure they’ll have a ball.”

“So,” Undyne slings an arm around Papyrus’ shoulder, bringing him into a one-armed hug. “How are you punks enjoying the reception so far?”

Papyrus returns the gesture, smile beaming. “Everything is wonderful, Undyne! But I don’t understand why you didn’t let me cook for you.”

“I already told ya, dork, it’s cuz you’re the Best Man. And having my back is much more important than feeding a bunch o’ free-loaders.” She throws back her head and lets out a deep, guffawing laughter.

“Ah, of course! My skills as an excellent chef are only dwarfed by my skills as an excellent friend and altogether great and loveable person! It must’ve been so hard, knowing that you couldn’t take advantage of the skills of Grand Spaghetore Papyrus because I would be too busy with my duties as Best Man.”

“Nah, the choice was easy. I like your cooking and all; after all, you learned from the best! But if I have to choose between your spaghetti and your friendship, it’s no contest.” She flashes a toothy smile.

Papyrus’ eye sockets sparkle with unshed tears. “Undyne~!”

Papyrus continues to gush over how great the ceremony was. Every once in a while, Sans pipes in with a bad joke but seems content to listen to Undyne and Papyrus for the most part.

Alphys remains quiet, listening to the conversation but too shy to join in. You feel a little guilty, seeing as this is supposed to be her special day, so the least you can do is try and make her feel included.

You smile warmly at her. “Your wedding vows were very moving. And you look gorgeous in your dress.”

Her face turns a very flattering shade of red. “Th-thank you.”

“Hey!” You flinch back as your personal space is suddenly invaded by a very threatening-looking Undyne. “Are you trying to steal my wife?” she growls while baring a very sharp set of teeth.

You gulp. “N-no ma’am! I’d never dream of it.”

That seems to be the wrong thing to say because the wrinkles of her brow deepen. “You wouldn’t, huh? Well, why the heck not? Are you saying you think you’re too good for her?”

“What?”

“Undyne! Stop harassing my plus one!” Papyrus throws a boney arm around your shoulder and pulls you closer to him as if to shield you.

“Oh?” Undyne’s expression immediately shifts from jealous rage to a sly, toothy grin. She eyes the way his fingers tighten around your arm with a raised brow. “So this is that human friend of yours that you’ve been gushing to me about, huh?”

You blink, turning to Papyrus. “Gushing?”

Papyrus shrugs his shoulders, looking mostly innocent except for the beads of sweat forming along the side of his skull.

“Well,” Undyne continues, crossing her arms. “So far, I’m not impressed.”

She turns back to you, finger jabbing your chest.

“Human! How much can you bench-press?”

“I… don’t know?”

“So you’ve yet to reach your limit, huh?” She strokes her chin. “All right then. I challenge you to a bench-pressing contest! Whoever bench-presses the most wedding guests is the winner!”

“What?”

“You can do it, human!” Papyrus slaps you on the back in what’s meant to be an encouraging way but nearly knocks you off your feet.

Sans offers you a thumbs up. “Yeah, we belift in you.”

You scowl.

“Sorry,” Sans shrugs. “Guess that one was pretty weak.”

Alphys squirms in place with nervous energy, sweat beading down the side of her face. “Undyne! You promised me you wouldn’t bench-press anyone today. At least, not until the honeymoon.”

“Oh yeah, I guess I did, didn’t I?” Undyne scratches the back of her neck sheepishly like she’s an anime protagonist.

You, meanwhile, can’t get over the fact that Undyne apparently bench-presses people on such a regular basis that her wife actually had to get her to promise not to do it on their wedding day.

Undyne turns her attention back to you, single eye not obscured by the eye patch narrow and shining with a dangerous light. “Looks like you’re off the hook this time, punk, but next time we hang out, it’s on!”

You gulp audibly.

Again, Undyne’s intense expression changes with a blink of an eye, transforming back into the broad smile of a happy newlywed. “As much as we’d love to stick around, we still have to make our rounds and greet everybody else. I have to show off my cute wife to as many people as possible!”

Alphys’ covers her face as her cheeks turns red again but you can see her smiling wide behind her hands.

“It was nice meeting you.” Undyne pulls you into a handshake that nearly fractures your wrist.

“Likewise,” you gasp through the pain.

She laughs and gives you a hardy pat on the shoulder before turning back to Papyrus and Sans. “I’ll see you again after we make our rounds. Try not to have too much fun without us!”

Alphys waves to your group shyly before she and Undyne head off to greet the other weddings guests, hand in hand.

“That went well,” says Papyrus with a smile.

You rub at your sore wrist. “You think so?”

“Absolutely! Undyne went a whole conversation without breaking anything. That’s got to be a new record!”

“Oh.” You pause. “So, what was that she was saying earlier about you gushing?”

“Oh, wowie, does that server have a plate of mini quiches?! I better go investigate those instead of staying here talking about silly things that definitely didn’t happen!” And with that, Papyrus has already made his way across the reception hall, leaving you alone with Sans.

You turn to Sans and the shorter skeleton grins at you in a way that tells you he’s about to tell a really bad joke.

“Well,” he begins. “As far as excuses go—”

“Don’t,” you warn.

“—that one was half baked.”

Silently, you turn around and walk away, ignoring Sans’ wheezing laughter behind you.

You really hope this place has an open bar.

Chapter Text

There’s no open bar, much to your great misfortune, though you suppose it’s for the best. Undyne is brash enough without any liquid courage coursing through her veins. A quick glance across the room shows Undyne juggling a couple of huge guards who are wearing full suits of armor high up into the air. If that’s her when she’s sober, well… If you were Alphys then you probably wouldn’t have open access to alcohol at your wedding either.

The room fills with sound as the DJ begins to play some songs you’ve never heard before in favor of the quiet instrumental music that had been previously acting as background noise. The music has only just started so the dance floor is still relatively empty but a few brave souls begin to boogie oogie woogie their hearts out.

You stand by yourself, back leaning against the wall as you listen to the music pumping through the speakers. You perk up a bit when you recognize the beginnings of Sweet Caroline. It seems that even anime-obsessed monsters can’t escape Neil Diamond’s influence. They even know when to shout, “BUM, BUM, BUM!” Amazing.

Then the song ends and Caramelldansen starts blasting from the speakers in its place.

You watch in a mix of morbid fascination and shame as all the monsters bring their hands up on either side of their heads—well, all the monsters that have at least two arms and a minimum of one head—and start wiggling from side to side.

You cover your face with your hands and mourn. “Japan has gone too far.”

“Actually, I think it’s Swedish.”

You look down to see Sans sidled up against the wall space at your immediate left. You frown at him but you don’t quite have the energy to be surprised by his sudden appearance. Besides, Sans appearing out of thin air is pretty much the norm by now.

“As in, Swedish is not a Japanese song,” he says with a wink.

You groan. It doesn’t matter where the song originated from or what language it’s in. All that matters is that, at one point of time, in what could only be considered one of the darkest points of human history, it was the anthem of the weeaboos.

“But I get’cha,” he continues as if you aren’t making a point to try and ignore him and his terrible sense of humor. “You’re more a fan of the previous song. Guess I can’t really blame you. It’s a Neil Diamond in the rough.”

You give him a look but say nothing.

“So, speaking of music, what’s a flower’s favorite band?”

He doesn’t wait for an answer.

“System of a down.”

It’s not funny. It’s so stupid and not funny at all but somehow it still surprises a snort out of you. You hope Sans takes it as a sound of derision instead of the suppressed sound of laughter it truly is.

“So, you rooted to the spot or what?” Sans stuffs his hands into his pants pockets. “Stand here any longer and you’ll start blooming.”

You quirk an eyebrow. “If you just came over here to make wallflower jokes then you can make like a tree and leaf me alone.”

“Don’t petal me what to do. Besides, I just wanted to come over and make sure you’re feeling vine.”

Sans is smiling as is typical of him when he’s speaking in the language of bad puns but there’s just a hint of tension to his usual lackadaisical expression. It’s subtle and you don’t think you’d even notice it if you weren’t so accustomed to him grinning at your expense but something about this particular smile doesn’t quite reach his eye sockets. Something is bothering him, at least a little bit.

It’s hard to say what’s on his mind. For a guy that talks a lot, Sans is surprisingly tight-lipped when it comes to himself and his own feelings. He seemed to be alright just a minute ago and you can’t imagine much has happened in the short amount of time since you stormed off. Wait…

Is he actually worried about you?

You’re not one hundred percent sure if that’s the case—it’s just as likely he’s sad that there isn’t a single bottle of ketchup in sight—but you’re still touched all the same. Sans might be a huge jerk with awful jokes ninety-nine percent of the time but he’s also your friend.

You smile as you lean into him, resting an elbow on the top of his skull. “I’m fine, you dork. I’m having a great time in spite of the lack of alcohol and your terrible sense of humor.”

“Whoa, ouch.” He pulls out from under your elbow and grips at his chest in mock offense. “Are you a wallflower or a bee because that one kind of stung.”

Wilt you cut it out already? We both know my bark is worse than my bite.”

He chuckles and the smile shifts ever-so-slightly. Nothing puts Sans in a better mood than crappy wordplay.

Reassured now that you know Sans is alright, a thought occurs to you. “Hey, speaking of flowers, I’ve been meaning to ask; who was that human child throwing flower petals down the aisles? I haven’t seen any other humans here.”

“That’s Frisk.”

You blink stupidly.

“Uh, you know, Frisk.” At your complete lack of recognition, he continues. “The kid who fell in the Underground, broke the barrier, and changed the course of history as we know it? The reason that all us monsters are living on the surface after centuries of being trapped under a mountain? They’re kind of a big deal.”

“Wait, hold up. You’re telling me that little human that was throwing flower petals down the aisle is the Ambassador?”

Sans nods his head.

“Wow. …Would it be in bad taste if I ask for their autograph too?”

“Asking anyone for an autograph at a wedding is in pretty bad taste.”

You stick your tongue out and blow a raspberry. “Yeah, well, what do you know about taste anyway? You don’t even have a tongue.”

Sans tilts his head to the side in a playful way. “Hey, you trying to steal my material? I already made that joke today.”

“What? No you didn’t.” You pause, tilting your head to the side. “Wait a minute, when?”

“This morning, before we left.” At your complete lack of recognition, Sans continues. “Remember? It was when Papyrus got the car started first because he couldn’t stand to listen to all my great jokes.”

You blink. “Really? Are you sure that was just this morning?”

Sans nods his head.

“Huh. I guess you’re right. It feels like that was months ago, though.”

“Hey, don’t go knocking on the fourth wall, kid. It’s fragile.”

You stare down at Sans incredulously. “What are you talking about?”

“Nothing important.” He shifts in place. “So, you want me to introduce you to the human ambassador?”

“What?! You actually know them?”

Know ‘em? We’re practically family.” He flashes a grin. “C’mon.”

He pushes himself off the wall and grabs your hand, boney phalanges lacing in-between your fingers. You stare down at where your hands connect as he leads you across the room. This isn’t the first time you’ve held hands with a skeleton—Papyrus is the most tactile person you’ve ever met—but you think it might be the first time you’ve held hands with Sans. At least, the first time without immediately being followed by the wet fart sound of a whoopee cushion.

It’s nice.

With Sans as your guide, you easily weave through groups of monsters, dodging flailing arms and eagerly wagging tales that come at flying at you from every direction. For a guy that claims to struggle to get himself out of bed in the morning, he’s surprisingly agile. In no time, you are at the center of the dance floor.

The two of you find the young human child engaged in a wiggly hip-swaying dance with what appears to be a giant lime green gelatin mold. The two of you watch for a bit as the child continues to gyrate their hips in a way that you’re sort of envious of if you’re being completely honest with yourself. Those hips don’t lie.

They dance, spinning around in a perfect pirouette, and you can tell the exact moment the child sees Sans because their eyes light up and their smile stretches from ear to ear.

Frisk gives a parting wave and the gelatin monster wiggles its way over to a refreshment table full of drinks. Wiggling is dehydrating work, probably.

With the slime monster wiggling out of sight, the child’s attention is focused solely on Sans.

Sans tilts his head in acknowledgment. “Hey kid.”

You shoot a sharp look at Sans, which he ignores. Seriously though, what kind of way is that to greet an important political figure?

The greeting doesn’t seem to bother Frisk any. They immediately perk up at the sound of the skeleton’s voice, face beaming with a smile that stretches impossibly wider. They run straight into Sans’ arms, encircling their arms around his waist and pressing their face to where his stomach would be if he had one. Sans reaches down to pat the top of their head.

“Hey, I want you to meet a friend of mine.”

Sans takes a step back and gestures to you. No proper introductions or anything; just holds an arm out in your direction like he’s unenthusiastically showing off a new car or something.

You roll your eyes at him and take a step forward. You tell Frisk your name and hold your hand out for a handshake.

Frisk looks back and forth between you and Sans. After about three more back-and-forth glances before they settle on Sans and wiggle their eyebrows up and down. San responds with a silent shrug and half-smile which only results in Frisk wiggling their eyebrows even faster. You honestly have no idea what they’re doing but that kid has excellent motor control of their facial features. That eyebrow game is strong as hell.

Eventually, they stop wiggling their eyebrows at Sans long enough to make eye contact with you. They take your hand, smiling bright and shaking with a much firmer grip than you would expect from a small child.

“It’s such an honor to meet you, Ambasador Frisk.” There’s a rustling in the child’s front pocket and your eyes dart down to the sentient golden flower resting there. You make eye contact. “Oh? And what’s your name, little guy?”

“Bite me.”

You blink. “E-excuse me?”

“You heard me, you idiot.”

You stare, dumbstruck.

Thankfully, Frisk is there to moderate. They flick the flower at the center of its face and fix them with a sharp look. The flower backs down, grumbling something that almost might sound like an apology.

“Um, it’s okay,” you respond even though it’s not really because, seriously, what an asshole.

But you must’ve said something right because the kid gives you this big, genuine smile. It’s a nice smile. Definitely worth getting sassed off by a mouthy flower.

Then Frisk pats your arm and winks. Are they… are they flirting with you?

You’re about to pass it off as silly kid shenanigans when they suddenly take your hand and press a sloppy wet kiss to the back of your knuckles and, yep, they are definitely flirting with you. Kid thinks they’re a little Casanova junior.

You look towards Sans for help but he’s too busy laughing at your expense.

Thankfully, you don’t have to spend too much time thinking up a way to let the kid down gently before you’re saved by a small, scaly monster.

“Hey, Frisk!” shouts the monster. “C’mon! You promised you’d dance with me!”

At Frisk’s nod of confirmation, they turn and start running towards the dance floor only to take two steps and fall flat on their face. They pick themselves up quickly and laugh before stumbling their way back to the crowd of dancing monsters.

Frisk shoots you one last parting finger gun and a wink before they turn tail to follow after the small monster and join a group doing the chicken dance.

As they wander off, Flowey looks over Frisk’s shoulder to blow a raspberry at you. What a little brat!

Your eyes narrow. “I don’t like that flower.”

“Nobody does. Well, except Papyrus, but Papyrus likes everyone. Hell, Papyrus even likes Jerry.”

“Who’s Jerry? I don’t think I know them.”

“And if you’re lucky, you never will.” Sans stuffs his hands back in his pockets. “As for the flower, the kid insists on taking that nasty weed with them everywhere.”

“But, why?”

He shrugs. “Something about everybody deserving a happy ending. Kid logic, you know?”

You don’t know, not really, but you nod your head in agreement anyway. You suppose even little jerks need to have friends. In fact, they probably need them more than most.

Sans is lazily scanning the dance hall when he suddenly sees something that makes the lights of his eye sockets brighten.

“Hey, c’mon. There’s someone special I want you to meet.”

“Even more special than an ambassador?”

“Well, maybe not more special, but definitely just as special. Follow me.” He doesn’t take your hand this time; just gestures for you to follow after him.

Again, you weave through throngs of dancing monsters though, without Sans to hold your hand, you get whapped across the face by a few enthusiastically wagging tails. Sans never turns his head back to look at you but you’re pretty sure he knows if the faint chuckling coming from him is any indication.

You escape the crowd, your breathing a little strained and your formal clothes covered in dog hair. You’re brushing some fur off your shoulders when Sans nudges your side with the pointy edge of his elbow.

“There she is,” he says, nudging his head in the opposite direction.

Your breath catches in your throat when you turn to see the most stunning-looking monster you’ve ever laid eyes on. She’s tall and elegant and has an air of regality that makes her seem untouchable yet she also has such kind eyes and a tender smile that radiates approachability. Her beauty is otherworldly and, briefly, you wonder if she’s single.

Sans waves his hand lazily. “Hey, Tori.”

“Hello, Sans, it’s very good to see you again.” Her eyes widen for just a second when she sees you. “And who might this be?”

You hold your hand out to shake and tell her your name.

Her grip is firm and her hand is warm in yours. “Ah, so this must be the human friend I’ve heard so much about.”

You raise an eyebrow at that. Sans talks about you with his other friends? You don’t know if you should be flattered or suspicious. There’s just something about the gleam in her eye and the way she put emphasis on the word friend that makes it sound less friendly and more…something else.

She and Sans exchange a look; Sans is sweating bullets with a strained smile while Tori stares right back at him with a raised eyebrow and a mischievous tilt to her fanged smile.

The goat monster turns back to you. “I’m Toriel,” she introduces herself. “It’s nice to finally meet you in the flesh. Though, I couldn’t help but notice you earlier before the service started. You made, um, quite the impression.”

Your cheeks heat as you turn to Sans and scowl. “I should make an impression of my fist in your face, you knucklehead.”

A look of understanding flashes across Toriel’s face. “Whoopee cushion, right?”

You nod your head, resigned.

Toriel laughs. It’s a light, fluttering sound that makes your chest swell and almost makes you forget about wanting to punch Sans in the face. “I should’ve known it was one of Sans’ pranks. He’s quite the troublemaker, isn’t he?”

“Yeah,” you let out a low chuckle in self-depreciation. “He really goat me good.”

At the widening of her eyes, you realize what you’ve just said.

“Oh my God.” You slap your hand across your mouth. “I’m so sorry! I was just kidding.” Your eyes widen and you slap your other hand over your mouth. “Oh crap, I swear I didn’t mean to make another goat pun!”

She looks at you a long moment, her eyes narrowed.

You gulp audibly.

After a tense couple of seconds, she smiles again, eyes bright and fangs poking out of her mouth in a way that’s more endearing than it is intimidating. “It’s okay,” she assures you. “It was all in good fun. No need to bleat yourself up over it.”

Did she just…?

She turns back to Sans. “I approve,” she says simply, placing a gentle hand on Sans’ shoulder before walking off to boogie down on the dance floor to join Frisk and their circle of friends.

You watch her shake her rump for a moment before, slowly, you turn back to Sans. “What was that all about?”

He shrugs, a faint dusting of color flushing his cheekbones. He starts heading back towards your original table seats and you follow close behind.

“I can’t believe you’re friends with a monster like that. She’s so…” You run your hand through your hair as you sit down in your chair. “…majestic.”

“Yeah, well,” Sans trails off with a shrug of his shoulders. “That’s the Queen for you.”

You freeze, eyes wide. “Wait a minute, are you telling me that I just made an ass of myself in front of the Queen of all Monsters?”

He nods his head as he takes the seat next to you.

“Oh my God, the Queen of all monsters must think I’m a huge dork.”

“If it’s any consolation, most people think you’re a huge dork.”

You groan loudly as you bury your face into your hands.

“Hey, no need to stress yourself out. So what if you made a royal ass out of yourself? Tori’s cool. Plus, it was obvious she liked you.”

“Really?” You peek at him from behind your fingers. “You think so?”

“Yeah, I know so.”

“That… actually does make me feel a little bit better. Thank you, Sans,” you say with a smile.

Sans shrugs his shoulders like it’s no big deal.

“So, on a scale of one to ten, how tacky would it be for me to ask Toriel for an autograph?”

Sans jabs you in the side with his elbow.

“ACK!”

He chuckles deeply as you rub at your side.

“Hey, don’t laugh,” you say with a pout. “That actually kind of hurt.”

“I can’t help it. It really touched my funny bone,” he says, pointing to where his humerus meets his elbow.

“You know,” you start, expression a careful neutral. “For someone without a proper butt, you’re a grade-A smartass. You’re starting to get on my ulnar nerve.”

“Please, don’t encourage him,” Papyrus says as he pops out of seemingly nowhere, a plate of food in his hand. He pulls up a chair to place himself between you and Sans, most likely in an attempt to selflessly shield you from Sans’ bad jokes. Papyrus is the best.

“So where have you been all this time?” you ask.

“As I told you before when I left,” Papyrus says as he hands you a plate full of mini quiches. “Investigating.”

You pop one into your mouth and chew thoughtfully, savoring the flavor. “These are some excellent findings,” you tell him as you stuff another two directly into your food-hole.

“But of course! The efforts of The Great Papyrus yield nothing but the best of results and these tiny little quiches are pretty good! Still,” he pauses to eye the plate critically. “If only there were some sort of pasta-based baked good instead.”

“Oh, you mean like lasagna?”

Papyrus’ eye sockets instantly light up. “YES!!! A LASAGNA! It’s the perfect blend of cheese, noodles, and sauce all layered together like a delicious pasta version of cake. In fact… Sans!” he exclaims as he turns towards his brother. “This year, I would like lasagna for my birthday."

“Why not now, bro? No time like the present.”

“Hmm,” Papyrus stops to rub his jaw. “I suppose you are right. There’s no reason I couldn’t bake one as soon as we return home. After all, I’m sure the human cannot rest now until they have tasted the masterfully-crafted artisan-style cuisine of The Great Papyrus!” He turns back to you. “As soon as the festivities are over, you may return home with us and I shall prepare you a feast!”

“Uh, you don’t have to go through the trouble.”

“It would be no trouble at all! Isn’t that right, Sans?”

“Yeah. For someone as gifted as my bro, it should be a piece of cake.”

Papyrus is too busy fantasizing about pasta to detect any of Sans’ bad puns so you make sure to give the shorter skeleton an unimpressed glance in his stead.

It doesn’t bother Sans any. He just winks at you as he reaches over Papyrus to snatch a mini quiche off of your plate. He casually plops it into his mouth, a thoughtful expression on his face as he chews slowly.

“These mini quiches are pretty good.” Sans is sure to look directly into Papyrus’ eye socket with eye sockets narrowed and a sly smile. “You could almost say that they’re gushing with flavor.”

Papyrus is immediately brought back down from his thoughts, coughing into his hand as his whole face flushes with color.

You just blink, nose scrunching in thought. “I don’t get it.”

“Gushing,” Sans repeats. “Like Papyrus was in the last chapter.”

“Chapter?” You raise an eyebrow.

“Um, of our lives.” Sweat beads on Sans’ forehead. “The last chapter of our lives.”

You continue to stare at Sans oddly, though he’s quick to switch the attention back over to Papyrus.

“So, if you are what you eat, you must’ve eaten a bunch of these, huh, bro?”

Papyrus covers his face but you can still see the bright coloring of his cheekbones through the cracks of his fingers. “THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!” he shouts.

You nudge the taller skeleton’s shoulder with your own. “No it’s not. You’re the best man at your best friend’s wedding. This has definitely got to be one of the best.”

Papyrus takes a moment to consider that. “THIS IS THE WORST BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!”

“That’s the spirit.”