All the monsters were scary at first.
You liked the flower. But something wasn't right. They were like those kids back home. The ones that smiled but glared at the same time. The ones with nice words and pleasant voices but eyes that said otherwise, that said 'we don't like you.' Somehow they were the opposite of what they were, and they knew it. Mocking.
The white lady was nice. Goat lady. Her hands were soft and she reminded you of someone you couldn't quite remember, safe and strong with a voice that chased away the nagging in his chest. You smiled. She smelled like cinnamon. And butterscotch, though you didn't mind. You liked one better but it didn't matter.
The bed was soft and you slept better than you had in a long, long time. It was cosy, safe, comfortable. But the nagging feeling wouldn't let leave you.
Then she'd gone cold.
You didn't want to hurt her, but you didn't want to die. You hit her once and you hated yourself for it. Then one moment she was smiling, sad and lonely, and then you were leaving. Out to the snow, were looming trees hovered above you and the snow bit into your skin seconds after you left the warmth. She'd been scary – had she realised that? Then she was nice again. The frogs were like that, too, and the ghost. They'd been scary. Then they weren't.
You hopped over the branch. Stepped on it, one, two, three. Too thick to break. Then the crack. Your chest was tight, your arms were curled up against your chest. Your feet, tiny shoes, were cold and sore and you were shaking. You wanted to run, but something held you in place at the bridge.
Soft stomps, closer, closer. Then words that appeared in your head like writing forcefully plastered in your mind.
H U M AN
He was standing over you, a big grin stretched across his face, a hand hovering out to you. Black, black eye sockets burrowing down into your face and you wanted to run. But you'd stopped shaking. Your face was blank again and you grabbed his hand. You were always afraid, but you never showed it.
Then he'd been funny.
Scary, then funny. Then the tall skeleton came. You didn't know what to think, huddled behind the lamp.
You'd laughed at the jokes. The Skeleton's white pupils beamed along with his grin when you did. He ruffled your hair, winked when he made another pun. You liked the skeleton, he liked you. He said he'd look after you, keep an eye out.
All the way through the snow, it happened again and again. Scary monsters. Scary people. A dog with knives. You petted it and suddenly he wasn't scary, he was just a dog. They were like spiders, you realised as you went along. The nagging in your chest subsided and you actually liked the nice cream, you actually ran around the puzzles. You...had fun. For the first time in years. You almost forgot how.
When the married dogs came it was easy. Then the big dog in the suit. You weren't as scared of them because you knew they weren't frightening, really. They couldn't really hurt you.
The tall skeleton was strange, at first. He made puzzles and you passed them easily. He confused you. That was it. Said things too loud and usually you didn't like that. But he wasn't scary until you saw him standing in the fog. You couldn't tell he was a skeleton in the fog. He was big and tall and pointy...like them. Back up there.
You were scared because you didn't understand why he wanted to hurt you.
Then he didn't. He wanted to be your friend. He showed you his action figures.
Undyne, too, was scary. She was loud, and she chased you all through the hot lands. She said you were bad, you were standing in everyone's way. You felt guilty and you couldn't understand what you'd done wrong.
Then she was flopped like a fish on the bridge and suddenly she wasn't scary anymore. You were in the kitchen, next, Papyrus had jumped out of the window. She threw a lance at you but you didn't even flinch that time.
You threw the spaghetti into the pot like you were smashing down a football. You hadn't ever played that game, but she'd roared like you'd won it. She wasn't in armour, she was dressed like a normal lady. A normal lady that smashed tomatoes until you were both covered in mush and standing in a burning kitchen.
You'd giggled, again. You didn't usually do much with your face but you were smiling, more and more. Here, everything made you smile. Cat dogs. Sans put them on your head, totally nonchalant, keeping a straight face as he piled up to twenty-nine.
They were all scary at first, but you knew the rule. They were scary and then they weren't.
So of course you went with Sans again, to the restaurant. You sat at a table. The noise of the other patrons, the cleaners, the kitchens and the cutlery murmured in the background. It was warm and smelled like good; a little candle sat on the table. The chair was a little high for you, so you swung your legs back and forth as you waited for the menu.
Sans started talking.
It was a nice story.
Lady behind the door. That was familiar. For some reason it makes you stopped swinging your legs, stop tapping your little palms on the table top. Something in Sans' voice. He kept looking away from you.
"You know what would have happened? If she hadn't said anything?"
He wasn't looking at you. He'd turned away. You weren't moving, either.
And then he was looking at you again.
The music was gone, all noise was gone, his little white pupils were gone. Dark empty sockets latched onto you, dark and deep and –
YOU'D BE DEAD WHERE YOU STAND.
You didn't scream. You didn't cry. But you wanted to. Your insides were clenching and it was hard to breath. You wanted to run away and hide, huddled away somewhere in a corner or under a blanket, away from the dark, smiling face boring into your soul. For some reason the fun Sans was gone, the nice Sans, the Sans that petted your head and told sneaky jokes to make you smile. In your head a voice was screeching –
He's gonna hurt me he's gonna hurt me he's –
Then he was smiling, his eyes were back to normal and he was shrugging it off. Had he seen your skin go chalk white? Had he seen how still you'd gone? He'd wandered off, said he was on your side, someone really cared about you.
But it wasn't him.
It wasn't the same after that but you both acted like it was. You wanted to think you'd misunderstood, you wanted to be friends with Sans again. But you didn't like being alone with him. You were his friend. When it was all over, when you'd saved them all, and stood in the sunset, you'd forgotten all about it. You saved him from Flowey, you'd called out to him in the abyss. But then all the excitement died down. You lived with Mom – Toriel.
You made sure never to be alone with him. The nagging feeling never really left. Sometimes you were sure he was watching you, that grin ever present on his face. The nagging feeling grew. It said he was watching you. Said he was making sure you were behaving.
You didn't realise how clear the nagging feeling had gotten. It had grown, changed, over time, so gradually you hadn't noticed.
Sans wasn't like the others.
The others had been scary, and then they hadn't been.
Sans hadn't been scary at first. Well, he had been. But it wasn't the same. He'd been joking.
He'd been funny. Friendly. Welcoming.
They'd been scary. Threatening.
Then they'd been quirky, helpful.
Then he was the scariest of them all.